Tuesday, 25 October 2011


After my last dreary post today I intended to be upbeat and positive, but, like the England Cricket Team in India, I have reverted to form and failed miserably.  My topic today is bullying.

We all know the real human damage caused by bullying whether in the playground or the workplace.   Nobody reading this has ever bullied anyone, right?  Or stood by and watched a colleagues life being made a misery as that is the easier option?

I am not naive enough to think that bullying doesn’t exist in most workplaces to some degree but over the last few weeks I have been genuinely sickened by three specific cases in my sectors.   There are pages of literature on corporate bullying so I am not going to bore you with amateur psychological/sociological nonsense, but, I think in areas such as those in which I recruit the bullying often takes the form of intellectual harassment. 

The specific examples I am thinking of are where people have been made to feel a failure due to not having the knowledge or not being quick enough to pick up concepts/information that comes easier to others.  We see clear evidence of this behaviour on professional forums all the time but online it feels a little more removed – how would you feel if you were facing this every day?   One example I have in mind is a new graduate who moved to London for her first real forensics job.  Within a month this poor girl had her confidence totally destroyed by experienced practitioners who should know much better. 

This behaviour is so upsetting – how would you feel if this was your daughter who was trying to adjust to the pressures of the world of work for the first time in a new City and was effectively being laughed at and made to feel stupid on a daily basis?

In areas such as Computer Forensics/Electronic Disclosure some people will very quickly realise that they don’t have the technical/intellectual/investigative ability to be successful and will naturally leave the discipline very quickly.  However, if you see someone struggling in your organisation, please think carefully about how you behave towards them as a friendly arm around the shoulder can mean everything to someone feeling isolated.   Just on a human level surely we all have a duty of care to help to solve the problem rather than make it worse?

Thursday, 20 October 2011


A short, off-topic post this evening.

As I see it there is no doubt that Gaddafi committed terrible crimes and there are lots of people who are (probably) understandably delighted to see him dead.  On a personal level I really struggle with the media coverage here in the UK celebrating the death - for a variety of reasons it makes me very uneasy.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


I know, I know.  It has been a month since I last blogged and you have missed my incisive, witty, intelligent and informative posts.  You don't have to say it out loud, let's just leave it unsaid!  As today is my birthday I thought it was time to share some more random words with the world this time about autumn.
The month of my birth is in many ways as unremarkable as a senior member of the Cabinet taking his best friend everywhere with him (apparently David Cameron can't sack Liam Fox because, and I'm not making this up, he has a cat).  Talking of politics, I bumped into a friend of mine earlier who told me his wife had just phoned to say she's just gone into labour.  He told her it was bloody ridiculous to start a career in politics when they are expecting a baby.  

I digress.  Here in England the weather on this day is usually quite dull and dreary (please don’t even think of making the connection here) however, it is notable as it is one of the most popular times to change jobs in our sectors.

It is hard to give a concrete answer why the autumn is such a popular time to make a move, but looking back through my records from 2003 the shape of the graph is remarkably similar each year.  Immediately after Christmas recruiting levels are very low and this doesn’t really change until March. We then see a steady increase in recruitment through to September and this activity accelerates until late November before declining to a standstill by mid-December.  

According to one of my first bosses, the reason for the autumn peak was that people resigned after reflecting on life during the annual summer holiday.  Mind you, the same boss who shared this wisdom with me placed a £500 bet on England to win Euro 2008 the day Steve McLaren was appointed England Manager!  OK, so I think we can conclude my old boss is not exactly Nostradamus for the 21st Century but there is probably some truth in his thoughts.  I think it is also because appointments need to be pushed through before the party season begins in mid-December.

This autumn has been especially busy, particularly on the ED side where demand far exceeds supply at this time which means that some very attractive salaries are currently on offer to help persuade professionals to make a move.  If you are pondering new opportunities this is as good a time as any to make that call to your favourite recruiter!  

As it is my birthday I am feeling a little self-indulgent so will leave you with one of my favourite songs of all time by the incredible Nick Drake. Enjoy!