You are my new inspiration… New Year blog 2016…

Every year on or around my birthday I try and write a blog post that reflects something about where I am.  In the main this covers my work and career thoughts rather than about my personal life although on occasion as with this post I give the whole game away.  Last year I didn’t write one.  This wasn’t intentional, more that I wrote less last year in general and that a piece all about me didn’t sit well.  My friend Paul always said that I write about me too much, although strangely he may have missed the point.

It’s my blog and I’ll talk about me if I want to.

But, here we are in 2016 and having missed my birthday I thought I would write what I hope will be a series of short New Year although slightly birthday-ish related posts.  I have had to edit and re-edit a few times.  Whilst I have not sold out (some of you may disagree), I am tweaking the content so that I remain employable.  I might be the saviour of recruitment, the Donald Draper of recruitment even but I need to earn a living.

In career terms since I wrote my last birthday based it’s been a tougher period than many I had experienced. When I reflect back I can see that I changed, that I internalised an awful lot and that created a sense of anger and frustration I had probably not seen before.

As you know, is not my usual style.

I lead with humour, a dark sense of doom and a veiled layer of sarcasm that makes people question whether it is real or not.  As someone (thanksCat) reminded me a while ago they have often found it tough to know if I am being serious or not.  Or at least she did until she heard me on the phone.  I was interviewing a candidate and she began to appreciate that I can be deadly serious when doing what I see as my life, equally though the killer question “As a potential hire, what’s wrong with you?” reconfirmed many of her suspicions.  (Another blog another time I suspect.)

In a world of attention grabbing headlines, blogs are driven by ten reasons you hate your cat, seven signs that you are addicted to paper shredders that kind of thing, so as ever, demonstrating I am at the cutting edge of written word creation…

Five things I learned from the previous chunk of time since I last wrote a birthday blog…#1…
…This birthday/New Year as with others was an opportunity to take stock of where I have got to, on a personal and professional level…

As I have written before the lines between those two things are getting more blurred for all of us, in recruitment we are our own personal brand and the boundaries feel even more blurred.  As with other forty something men, my career remains important even though many people assume you must be on a wind down.

I am my work, my work is me with the good and bad that brings.

For us forty somethings there is a constant challenge in that our personal overheads are often at the highest we have ever known and yet our longer term career plans are often less clear.  Organisations are happy to pay for experience, knowledge and ability to do things but there is always an undertone of risk in that they can find someone ten or more years younger who has less of those things but crucially less baggage.  In salary terms you can get several bouncy young graduates who lack experience but potentially make it up in enthusiasm alone.  Only they don’t.

2015 was the first time that I was told that I was too old for the job I was doing, that whilst my energy levels were high I was old compared to my team and that made a difference “Look at how he talks to the team Martin, he’s from a different generation, they can relate to him…you know, because he is younger…”

As ever I will continue to be last man standing and continue to compete and win with the younger team members as well as coaching, mentoring and giving support when they do hit a roadblock.  I wear my work scars with pride and that I have helped more junior team members accelerate their learning giving them the opportunity to take on bigger and better roles.

I might not be cheap but I do offer great value for money.

2016 will see me getting out to do more talks and events with the next later this month (The FIRM Manchester) and I am on the look out for more.  2016 is the year when I reengage my career plan, read more, do more and I am looking forward to you coming along for the ride.

Next time:
Five things I learned from the previous year when I thought about it on or near my birthday and/or new year…#2…

…That despite everything I do, say or write, not everyone values what I have to offer…

I have a background in executive search and selection, headhunting and senior level recruitment combined with people and business management experiences. My focus has always been on the IT services, technology and management consultancy sectors on a permanent and interim basis where I have developed a personal portfolio that covers areas such as EVP, social recruitment and the successful creation of talent pools as well the management and leadership of corporate talent acquisition teams.

Currently working across Europe with high growth, high tech organisations to develop effective blended onshore/offshore recruitment models, covering full commercial engagement, transition and ongoing delivery management.

I am an avid blogger, writer, public speaker and traveller of trains across the UK.

Follow me on twitter @MDangerfield or find me on Linkedin.

Martin Dangerfield