At this time of year, as well as gorging myself on chocolate and cheese, I take the time to reflect on the business year gone by, plan my strategy for the year ahead, and review what lessons I have learned from a personal and professional perspective. I think it is vital to use the holiday season to relax, rest, and recuperate- both physically and mentally from the high pressures and pace of business life; apart from the obvious benefits to this natural pause on your daily grind, it means you can allow creative thoughts that may have become congested by reactive problem-solving tasks. And also to ensure you break the inevitable cycle of negative behaviors or ideas you may have allowed to dominate, especially if you have had more troughs than peaks.
We can self-develop naturally by writing down our goals for the year ahead- breaking these down into personal and professional ambitions; there is so much content available if you need a little more guidance in self-improvement with the likes of Tony Robbins, Ariana Huffington, Michelle Obama- to name but a few, giving very easy to follow lay-person tips on drastically improving your mental health and generally making your life easier.
However, I also think, simply put, this reflection allows me as a recruiter to make a list of Do’s and Don’ts for the year ahead from lessons learned during the current year. So let me show you my top 5 for this year, and I wonder whether you will agree with me too:
1. Learn to say NO:
How often do we feel almost obliged to work with customers- whether that is a hiring client or a potential candidate? Despite warning signs that we aren’t compatible during a process, we persist and compromise – at what point do we realize that we just are not clicking? Well, I can speak from experience that one of the most empowered feelings as a recruiter is walking away from a customer with integrity and head held high. Never in a nasty or derogatory way; always with decorum and a “door left ajar.”
2. Share relevant social content:
I am a social media contributor across all the leading platforms. Given that 20%+ of our placements (2018) come from the Qui Recruitment channels, I know there is a huge benefit to sharing videos, blogs (like Undercover Recruiter!), and even exciting job adverts. However, I also have a “clear out” of people who overshare useless and irrelevant social content. On Facebook, I won’t necessarily unfriend someone, but I will unfollow them- same on LinkedIn. You can change your settings so your timeline has exciting and relevant content. Try it- and remember only to share relevant and original material with your audience and be careful what you share with which platform.
3. Be kind to yourself
Very often, the most successful recruiters are the most conscientious about overachieving. I know this was often the feedback when I worked for others that I was harder on myself than they ever wanted to convey. We do a tough job. It is often 247 relentlessly 50 weeks of the year; how many people check their emails on their hols. Respond to texts at silly
o’clock. That is all fine, but please make sure you don’t beat yourself up when you occasionally need to take time out.
4. It’s all about balance
Work-life balance is one of the most over-used phrases now, and what it truly means can often get lost, particularly in recruitment and especially to those, like me, who live and breathe their job – but I mean it. Take time every day to get out and walk. Take time every day to switch your social media and work off. Take time every day to have peace and think. We have started encouraging #walkingandworking, which I have always done- mindfulness and being physically active are vital to good mental health. Have clear boundaries of when you are working and when you are not.
5. Self-development is key
I have invested in two courses this year, which have allowed a significant improvement in my billings and the overall strategy of how I will grow my business over the coming years. This investment in my growth has allowed me to look inwardly at what skills I need to develop but also outwardly at how I grow the brand. I have also invested in personal growth with other strategies, including hypnotherapy (I have been an avid complicit in this process for over a decade- hugely recommend!) to ensure my conscious and sub-conscious brain is on board 100% for the journey ahead. I read a lot of books which are varied in genre but usually have a related theme of self-growth; whether it is a guru-style life coach or a piece of fiction; I have often said I should start a recruiters book club as I have loads of recommendations for people and not just obvious books. Another tip is to write into a journal every night- it allows for a healthy night’s sleep as it encourages a brain dump and reflection each day.
This time of year is the perfect antidote to a crazy busy life and pace all recruiters sign up for. My advice is to unwind, relax, and be around positive people who make you feel as good about yourself as you deserve.