Just a Player in the Game (Poor Recruitment Practice)

So we have recently moved to a new area due to a change in my husbands job. I love and support my husband and this has been the best thing for our relationship, despite meaning I have had to lay aside a job I loved to look for another. I have no issue with this, but after a three month search I really feel I could write a book on appalling recruitment practice.

Now I am not naive when it comes to looking for jobs- I regularly moved around and needed new employment when I had left Uni due to the nature of the work I completed. I am also young and employable, you could even have called me confident and enthusiastic up until about a month ago, when using the word “passionate” in interviews made me die a little bit inside. ( Because if you’re not passionate they don’t want you, but believe you me it is hard to be passionate about any old job you have applied for in desperation) So here is, employers, it’s all a game to you and we’re just the players but if at any point you’re interested in hearing any feedback on how to maintain more positive relationships with your candidates, here are some major “dont’s”:

DONT: Not even attempt to shake hands. What?! It feels so awkward and unnatural not not even reach for your candidates hand in greeting, forcing them to “be the bigger man” and shake yours at the end to make a point!

DONT; not acknowledge an application. It takes time to fill those bad boys in, let me tell you (whoever said you should have a CV was wasting their breath, as now you have to duplicate EVERY detail onto an application form)

DONT: Say you will contact the candidate within the week and then not! I have recently been told this, had to ring the employer only to be told they would get back to me next week. They haven’t, and I had to contact them once more.

DONT: Say they have got the job and then leave them hanging for well over two weeks despite them contacting you regularly for an update.  Simply Poor manners and poor practice!


Now, in fairness, I’m sure candidates can be just as annoying to employers, as they can be to us. As a disclaimer (!) also I have attended some extremely professional, polite and well organised interviews who have got back to me with excellent forward thinking feedback within 24hrs, however this is the exception not the norm and all I am calling for is a little bit of understanding, manners and quite simply, if you haven’t got the time to reply to people and take them on once you have issued a verbal offer of employment DONT start recruitment processes! It clearly isn’t the right time!


13 Reasons Why – Whats the Take Home Message?

13 Reasons Why is a Netflix series dealing with the tragic story of a young lady at high school who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes detailing why she did what she did. The result is an emotional and graphic rollercoaster for those she leaves behind.

Whatever you thought of it I’m going to ask you to put judgement aside and consider the take home message. In my personal opinion there are several very beautiful and crucial messages we should be focusing on. I work with vulnerable young people from a variety of backgrounds on a day to day basis but this really highlighted to me how things that might seem trivial to us can literally be the difference between life of death for someone else, so who are we to make that call for them by being just like everyone else?

So I guess the first message we can take is that we need to listen more actively, be more present. When someone is talking consider how we would like to be listened to- really try to take on board what people are saying to us, not just nodding or agreeing. Challenge yourself to challenge them (positively of course) to ensure you are fully in the moment and hopefully others will do the same to you. You don’t have to be their hero, just listen, but actually listen.

I love the part in the last episode where Clay tells Mr Porter that we all need to take more time for one another – that we are all responsible for our actions and we need to learn from that before it’s too late. Listen to your heart an share it with the world. Be the one to organise something – it doesn’t have to be groundbreaking or huge, maybe a cup of tea or heart to heart with a friend but be the kind of person the world feels they can approach and the world will be there for you when you need it.

Someone else’s drama might be another person’s trivia and we need to change that. Everybody has a different opinion on what is important in the world and something someone has shared with you might seem trivial, but to them it could be a really big deal. Think about it for a while- they have chosen you for a reason, perhaps you are someone who thy feel safe to talk to. Perhaps they may not have spelt it out that what they are saying is a cry of desperation, but don’t be afraid to read between the lines sometimes. Try to clarify if you are unsure, but be sensitive.

Finally I think it is so sad that we have created a society where it isnt ok to talk feelings. Consider an everyday “how are you”, the correct response is “I’m fine” or “I’m ok”, the truth might be otherwise but there is stigma attached to being honest when it comes to our mental health and that is not ok. We need to talk, shout, sing it from the rooftops so that people understand it ok to talk feelings, to be honest and to be open.

From the last episode also, I love Clay being he change he wants to see in the world 🌎 asking Skye to hang out and I love that she asks if he is ok and he says “no” and she’s ok with that.

So whatever you thought of the characters, the story, whatever your opinion on the realism, whatever your judgement, I hope it has at least “rattled your cage” as they say and encouraged you to open up your cage to share and be shared with others.

Ill leave you with a quote to think about: everything affects everything. 

And if you know a young person affected by or considering suicide, don’t be like everybody else, please reach out. Advice can be found here:






This post is a continuation of an idea I started back in January which is located here.

One way that straightness affects our lives is adherence to our values. Our values are personal to everyone and some reading may even wonder “what are my values”. To determine these, consider what you couldn’t live without and then think about what it is you do to maintain this. Think about what is important to you, who is important to you and  how you show this to the world. And once you have worked out your values, consider how true to these you are on a day to day basis and how this affects your mental wellbeing. For example, if your community is important to you, perhaps one of your values is community spirit. How often do you present and stick to this when challenged – for example perhaps one evening you are offered a night in with friends when you promised to help at a charity event. Sure, everyone has a slip now and again and you must allow yourself this to be a well rounded and healthy human being, but if you regularly give in to pressure surrounding your values and morals then perhaps you need to reassess them or consider what more you could do to align yourself in harmony with your values.


Another example of trying to maintain straightness in our lives is making descisions. Descisions help us progress along our path and affect us every single day of our lives from the small and seemingly meaningless ones to the huge and life changing. Descisions can be terrifying and overwhelming for the most “normal” of human beings but for most of us they are overbearing to some degree on a fairly regular basis- so how to make effective and confident choices which set us on the straightest path at this moment in time?

1. Trust your instinct- in today’s world we are constantly overanalysing and we forget our brain is designed to keep us safe, comfortable and happy- why question whatever the baseline message is that it is giving us?

2. For big descisions don’t be afraid to weigh up the pro’s and cons of an outcome- practicality and implementation are important but know when to stop analysing and be prepared to take risks sometimes. This is where your gut feeling comes in- if it isn’t practical to let it “have a say” in the main, at least let elements of your instinct flow into parts of the big picture.

3. Talking of big pictures, step back and ask yourself- how important will the outcome of this descision be in 1*5*10 years time? The further in the future it affects, the more headspace you can attribute to the choice- if it won’t matter in 20 minutes, what the hell, just do it!

4. Get advice from people you trust and who understand where you are going with an idea but don’t be afraid to question how well their opinion aligns with the straightness of your path. If it is an idea that affects everyone then get everyone’s opinion but if it only affects you, share only where it feels necessary and safe.

5. Assess how well the outcome of the choice aligns with your values, morals and motivations- does it sit right with you and does it positively affect those around you- If so you have a more straightforward choice, if not some  re-evaluation may be needed.


Whilst these pointers aren’t necessarily exhaustive I hope they may at least be points to consider in maintaining the straightness of your own journey moving forward and specifically feeling like you recognise your core beliefs and can represent and stand up for these in the way you choose to behave on a day to day basis.


Make Your Own Memory Piñata

First of all, if you are in full time work be prepared to set aside a good few months of your spare time to complete this project or at least rope in some good natured friends and learn to love rolling paper roses 🌹(Mine took five months, give or take some lapses in enthusiasm!)  !!! We used ours as a wedding guest book, asking friends and family to contribute a memory, message, joke or prediction, and we will break it open on our first anniversary with a bottle of bubbly! 🍾 ( I plan to create a retrospective guest book by sticking the messages into a nice scrapbook with wedding pictures!)


Choose a good, round ( or whatever shape you prefer) balloon to start your project. You need one filled with air only, helium will be a nightmare!! I used a foil helium balloon but filled it with air using a straw to blow into the one-way seal. You then need to paper mache several layers of newspaper and PVA around your balloon ( I’d say minimum 5 layers to give it the necessary strength).  Don’t forget to leave a neat square hole at one end to put gifts or memories inside! Once your “shell” is dry and fairly solid, you can burst and remove the balloon.


Then comes the real fun!!! Roll tissue paper roses in your choice of colours ( I used our wedding colours) using long strips of 1-2 inch wide tissue paper. Pinch the bottoms and staple them to secure. You can then use a hot glue gun to secure the bottom of the rose to the piñata. If you’re feeling really creative you could do a pattern, or just scatter the colours randomly! You will learn to either love or hate this bit, but if your roses are the same size as mine you will end up with over 1000 to do!!!

Before you finish around the hole at the top, use a sharp implement to put holes in your piñata, you can then use some natural jute string to hang the piñata ( I would recommend playing around with the string to get it to hang nicely and level).


Finally (five months later!)  at the bottom of the pinata, you can make a small space among the roses to hang some decorative ribbon  🎀 . You could also add beads or streamers, whatever fits with your theme. Hot glue gun these amongst the roses and then hang up your piñata ready for your event! Voila!



Contact in Wellbeing


This post is a continuation of an idea 💡 that I brought up in this post. Please check it out if you’re interested in the context!


Firstly what do we mean by “contact” in the sense of promoting wellbeing and emotional health? Contact deals with our relationships, day to day interactions and people management.


It goes without saying that to some degree we rely on others for our wellbeing, for example we rely on positive interactions and others providing us with support. However we need to remember that we cannot control the behaviour of others and therefore we cannot rely solely on them to provide support. We can control our own actions though, which means that sometimes we need to make a choice to respond to others differently or ask for support where our needs haven’t been recognised, be that from a partner, boss, teacher or family member. Asking for help isn’t an indicator of weakness, in fact it shows maturity of thought and problem solving abilities. From a selfish point of view it also helps us to proceed more calmly and fruitfully with our tasks/aspirations.


Going back to the thought that we can’t control the behaviour of others, it is also important to note that we can save ourselves emotional drainage in our contact with others by managing our responses more appropriately. An example might be feeling like we are going to “lose it” but using a psychological “stop button” to help us pause and make a conscious descision to respond differently, perhaps by suggesting a compromise. Whilst not always easy, it is amazing how empowered we can feel when we implement this technique.


And finally, improving the quality of our contact time with others can drastically improve our wellbeing. Of course we can’t always choose who we interact with, but as a general rule try to spend more time around others who make you feel good and who spread positive emotional contagion. In day to day interactions with others, for example when shopping or walking, try a smile or simple “hello” where you might not normally- again the results can be surprising.  The most important thing is to treat everybody in a way that is true to your values and you will find eventually the world will return your values in its interaction with you. E.g even people who you consider to be in a less fortunate situation than yourself.


Thanks for reading and check out my next post where we will consider the impact of straightness on wellbeing! For a clearer picture of where these topics have sprung from, check out my original post.


Suppleness In Wellbeing

Suppleness refers to our physical and mental flexibility and here I hope to explore the role that this has in keeping ourselves happy and healthy. The idea behind suppleness as a theme comes from this post: How a Horse Training Tool Could Help Us Develop Ourselves


As we all know, physical suppleness has obvious benefits for the body, including reducing aches and pains and carrying us healthily into our twilight years. Maintaining and practising mobility, however has powerful hidden benefits such as helping us to lower our resting heart rate which in turn through supporting positive changes in the autonomic nervous system leads to a calmer, more relaxed mind.

Whilst most of us are probably relatively familiar with the concept of physical suppleness, the principle of being mentally flexible we are probably less so. And I don’t necessarily mean doing Sudoku puzzles- although I also don’t doubt their power in developing logical and systematic thinking. What I am getting at more is our ability to compromise in order to save our energy- developing the wisdom to choose what is worth fighting for. By learning how to prioritise our battles we save not only energy-which is invaluable- but time also. Saving time can help us reduces our stress levels for obvious reasons- who doesn’t need more minutes in the day!! However even when we do decide something is worth debating, by giving more consideration to the way that we are getting our point across can not only have a positive impact on the response we receive from others but also help us to leave the situation feeling calmer and more able to proceed effectively with our day. This is in contrast to feeling  stressed, anxious and contorted with worry.

It is a phrase as old as the hills but it really is ‘not what you say but the way you say it’ -not just to protect others but ourselves. It’s also worth remembering that we can’t control other people’s behaviour, so why try- simply consider how we respond to them in order to guide the situation positively and save ourselves some stress in the meantime!!

For further posts related to this one please see the original post and Rhythm In Wellbeing.


Rhythm In Wellbeing


So this post follows on from my last in which I talked about how an equine (horse) method of training could help us to refine our own personal development (see this post).


We start with Rhythm. Rhythm is key to many pleasures in life such as music, dance and sport, but how is it relevant in the sense of personal development and maintenance of wellbeing?

Rhythm is natural to us as humans in feeling secure and grounded. Our physiological self relies on rythym and routine to keep us healthy- consider circadian rhythm, heart rythym and consistency of breathing as examples. This natural inclination to use rythym is ingrained in us as human beings and as a result our mental health benefits from development of consistency and building our organisational skills.


Routine and structure in our day can help us build a sense of rhythm and harmony. I’m not suggesting you make your interesting life more boring or cut down on extreme sports etc- some deviation from everyday routine is equally important for our health! However, with some of the more mundane tasks in the day having a routine or a system can help to reduce everyday stress levels which protects our long term health and wellbeing. Everybody has a degree of routine in their lives whether we like it or not (I’m not saying we’re predictable!) but it’s a question of whether we step it up or tone it down depending on how it affects us! Ways in which we can change our rhythm include adding events to our social calendar or taking more time for ourselves.

Rhythm in sport supports balance and balance is another keystone in our health and wellbeing – of course there is the well known work life-balance, and this is an obvious focal point in keeping ourselves sane! Don’t forget, however to consider other areas of balance such as how much time we spend on social media (virtual world vs. real world) a balanced diet and even developing physical balance through enjoying activities and exercise. As this risks sounding a bit “preachy” and getting into “New Year, New You” territory, I’d just like to add that the odd deviation from these things adds to life’s rich tapestry and our sense of adventure!

Please check out my next post tomorrow where we will look at Suppleness! (Eh? Check out my last post to make sense of the theme here!) Many thanks!