It’s a no from me

As recruiters, the hardest thing we have to do is to tell to a candidate that they have been unsuccessful in a role. It hurts like hell.

There is just no easy way of doing it. Today I googled “standard rejection letters” for some inspiration.

And just like the words of Paul Simon “50 ways to leave your lover” there are at least 50 ways to tell a candidate its a no. And every time you have to do it, you feel like shit each and every time.

You feel like you haven’t done enough to prepare them for the interview, worst of all that you’ve let them down.

Most of the candidates are cool with it or at least ok. Or they say they are “I’m fine, really, it’s fine” but you know rejection hurts, for us all.

You can talk to them, email confirmation, job description and client details, advise on appearance, how to dress and then call ahead of their interview to answer any last minutes questions or concerns.

But still candidates go to the wrong location, are late, don’t follow the dress code or turn up looking a bit wind swept, know nothing about the job role or company or ask for more money on interview AAARRRGH!

Most of the time Recruitment is the best job in the world but sometimes it sucks. But at least its never frigging boring.

Onwards and Upwards or as my Boss would say “tomorrow is another day Ronnie”.   Thanks Will I say.

Life as we know it no longer exists

In a blink of an eye everything can change.

In life, nothing is permanent, we know that. We have to adapt and modify and roll with the changes they say, but in reality, we are creatures of habit, so it’s gonna be tough, with no gym, no pub, no football, no restaurants.

Everyone is self isolating and everywhere will be on lockdown soon. The world’s two biggest music festival Glastonbury and Coachella have been cancelled and travel for the moment is banned. How bad is that?

Businesses are closing every day and in the world of recruitment, pipelines are disappearing faster than loo roll. 5 days working from home and already fed up and bored. Cabin fever is setting in. Not quite Jonny from the Shining yet but there’s still time. Even the cats are getting on my nerves.

But lets not forget, this is a small price to pay, to sacrifice our lifestyles to save the lives of others.

And because of the no touching, a handshake has been replaced by elbows or a toe tap and world leaders are adopting “Namaste” as the new greeting. Even Trump used it the other day.  Namaste actually means “The divine in me honours and blesses the divine in you” No divine in the US president, that’s for sure.

Yogis believe that at any moment your life can change forever. Yogis practise non attachment, which means you must be willing to change anything and everything in your life, in order to be truly free.

To stay safe and boost our immunity, we are told to eat well, drink water, exercise and get some fresh air. Shouldn’t we be doing this anyway? Lots of acts of kindness are happening as we speak and again we should be doing this anyway.

Let’s hope this is over soon and when it is, we need to learn from this. How to be kinder, more considerate, to look after ourselves more and to be more careful with the way we spend. Not to take the simple things in life for granted, our friends, our families and our jobs. To appreciate everything we have and be grateful that we are alive and well.

Stay safe people


Black is my happy colour

What colour you wear says a lot about you.

Even if you have a wardrobe full of different coloured clothing, there will be one colour that is your go to colour. This is the colour you are most comfortable and most confident in and the one that reflects your character.

I wear black a lot and experts say that wearing black means that you are confident, powerful and success driven. I’ll take that.

Colour psychology is a thing and psychologist state that the colour black indicates power and prestige and that black clothes wearing people take themselves seriously and are ambitious and want respect from others. They are also driven but sensitive and perceived by others as reliable and trustworthy. All good there too : )

Black is also perceived as the most attractive colour. Good job I have a 80% black wardrobe then.

I will never struggle with having nothing to wear at a funeral or a Halloween party or a gig. Notice that most musicians wear black, especially rock bands and punk bands. What woman doesn’t have  a little black dress in her wardrobe? It is also flattering and can hide unwanted bumps and bulges.

The biggest downside is that I can never find what I want to wear as its just a sea of black. One day we lost one of our kittens, she was black and called Raven and was lost for hours. Eventually found a few hours later in the wardrobe even though we looked for her several times in there. We have two white dogs and three white cats, probably not the best idea really.

So what your favourite colour to wear says about you:

Blue – associated with trust, intelligence, integrity and tranquility. Ever wonder why so many of the people in uniform dress in blue? Police force for example, according to research  the colour blue subconsciously evokes feelings of comfort and security in most people, supposedly making it a good choice for people in a position of authority to wear. Also a good colour to wear to interviews as its good for communication and sends messages of confidence and reliability. Interesting as I’ve always worn black ; )

Green – shows a kinship with nature which creates a feeling of peace and contentment. People who wear green lead an active life, are financially stable and are caring and kind with  a soft heart.

Purple -in the past was only associated with royalty as it meant wealth and luxury. Cleopatra wore loads of it, only rich people could afford colourful clothing in those days. Nowadays its quite an arty colour and people who wear it are seen as sensitive and emotional, dreamy and passionate. As much as you might love it, DO NOT wear purple to an interview or a funeral or anywhere really except at a festival or a yoga class or unless you live in the Haight district of San Francisco.

Orange – for me the most auspicious of all colours as its worn by the Buddhist monks and has strong associations in yoga. My yoga mat is orange and I used to have a pair of orange yoga pants that I wore to pick my son from school once and he was so ashamed that he ran away from me and then shouted at me to never wear them again, he was only 7 at the time and clearly didn’t understand how cool it was to have a yoga teacher for a mum.  Wearing Orange means you are optimistic, energetic and cheerful.

Red – People who wear red are seen as passionate and powerful. Also seen as attention seeking, energetic and exciting.  On the flip side can be seen as self centered and easily excitable.

White – Symbolises freedom, purity and innocence. People who wear white are often seen as optimistic, neat, tidy and organized.

Pink – Flirty, warm and feminine. Romantic and worn by people who appreciate kindness and comfort. Soft pink is very calming and also seen as a powerful sedative which is why some prison walls are painted a soft shade of pink to reduce the levels of aggression.

“Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says this: “I don’t bother you – don’t bother me.” ― Yohji Yamamoto

At Ox Seven we do wear a lot of black, me, Mollie and Meg especially. Lisa hasn’t come over to the dark side yet but she will. Will wears a lot of black and when my daughter first met him said he looked like the milk tray man lol! Black is said to be cool, sassy and stylish and we are a pretty cool and stylish company and sassy with it.



Are your hormones happy?

From the day we are born, our hormones determine our appetites, our sleep patterns, how we deal with stress, our sex lives, whether we are anxious, angry, sad or happy and pretty much everything in between. Such crafty buggers.

We have absolutely loads of hormones in the human body that do loads of different things but by far the best ones are the ones that promote positive feelings like happiness and pleasure.

These are the happy hormones that can help to naturally boost our moods:

Dopamine (the feel good hormone)

Serotonin (the happy chemical)

Oxytocin (the love hormone)

Endorphins (stress and pain relievers also feel good)

Hormones are basically chemicals that are produced by different glands throughout the body. And there are lots of ways that you can use these chemicals to boost your mood naturally:

Exercise is the best way to boost endorphins, if you’ve ever run, you know what a “runners high” feels like. And regular exercise will also increase dopamine and serotonin. No-one ever regrets going to the gym but sure as hell regrets not going when you are back in your bikini for the 10th year running thinking of how you wish you had and that one day you will eventually get sick of breathing in.

Being outdoors and getting some sunshine helps to boost endorphins and serotonin. Also gets you out the office and away from your laptop screens that are destroying everyone’s eyesight. Some of the Ox Seven team are now all wearing these weird glasses, Meg has started it, she doesn’t like being the only Deirdre Barlow in the office so we now have Will Barlow, Mollie Barlow and a Glen Barlow.

Laughing of course is always known as the best medicine and can increase levels of dopamine and endorphin levels. Will does a great job of making us laugh and keeping us all very amused most of the time. Adam and Glen come a close second with their jokes. We do all giggle a lot. Nights out, long lunches, random quizzes and Meg practising her yoga moves in a very short skirt. Mollie makes me laugh all the time with her razor sharp tongue and cutting remarks (will miss her lots) and I pretty much find anything that Lisa says as funny, probably because of her Northernishness.

Food is enjoyable anyway but certain foods are known to help the happy hormone levels too. If you’ve ever eaten a Love bar from Pret a manger you’ll know exactly what I mean. Danny B would argue that a good steak would suffice or a KFC or a nice curry. TBH we all love our food at Ox Seven, lunch time is always a happy time except when food has been provided and me and Danny B can’t eat any of it.

Massage helps with all 4 happy hormones (Lisa we are onto a winner here ; ) we all love a good stroke and having a good massage is just one of the best things ever.

Stroking your pet, dog or cat or any other furry creature (feeling sorry for the inside out cat already) can help with Oxytocin levels.

Sex or even just kissing and cuddling is the best way to boost Oxytocin and face it, its quite a nice way to get happy.

Random acts of kindness 17th Feb was actually RAK day and also my birthday. I was too hungover to do any of those on that day but do do them quite often. Research shows that performing a RAK can increase those happy hormones no end, can be something simple like holding the door open for someone or carrying someones shopping, giving a homeless person a hot drink or a chocolate bar. Makes you feel good and so the other person, kindness when shown will be returned by that person to another and so on.

Music is a brilliant way to boost your mood. We listen to it all day long in the office, sometimes it pop, sometimes dance music, rock music (sometimes my nose bleeds), lots of indie but never dreary and boring. Musicians experience  a natural high when they play. Serotonin, endorphins and dopamine are released when listening to, playing or performing. Dancing is a brilliant way to get happy, who doesn’t love to dance? Even if you are a donkey you can dance #savethedonkeys

So you know what to do to get happy and stay happy: Exercise, get some fresh air, eat well, sleep well, stroke a pet or someone else, get or give a massage, love more often, perform random acts of kindness, listen to music, dance and find something or someone who makes you laugh out loud. We all deserve to be happy.


2020 what an absolute pile

7 weeks into 2020 and it sucks so far.

First there was Brexit and Corona Virus and then poor Kobe died.

Now the news that Caroline Flack has killed herself. She was young, beautiful, talented, wealthy and famous.

Being famous was her biggest problem. Her every move criticised, what she wore, how she looked and who she dated. How horrible not to be able to do anything without being watched and for everyone to have an opinion on your life. And to have everything dragged through the tabloid press, the price of being famous. So very sad.

We are all human beings, we all deserve respect, love and kindness. The bullying has to stop, enough is enough. Why kick someone who is already down, who has reached their lowest point, until they have no where to go?

Who cares if Philip Schofield is gay and if Harry and Megan want to step back from their Royal Duties? Surely that’s their business not ours.

What right does anyone have to say how you live your life and who and how you love?

Having a public image shouldn’t mean that your life can be dissected and ripped apart by the media. Don’t buy into the tabloids and trolls.

Be kind people, love your fellow humans.


Acronym or abbreviation? TBH IDK

On my course this weekend I learnt some new acronyms:

SPAM – Specially Processed Animal Meat (although some would argue that it stands for Shoulder of Pork and Ham – either way its gross)

SCUBA – Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

We have some choice acronyms (or abbreviations) in the office used quite often: FFS, WTF, FML and Mollie is gonna hate this post because its full of CAPITAL LETTERS.

I didn’t know that GIF stood for Graphic Interchange Format, did you?

I once asked my daughter to do something and her response was CBA – I had to google it LOL

One of my favourites is EBITDA – Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. Only because when it first came out other Managers would keep saying it to sound clever – it’s not.

Did you know that YAHOO stands for Yet Another Hierarchical Official Oracle? Nor me.

IKEA – Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (WTF?)

We are just so used to using them now rather than sounding out the full sentence that they are common everyday speak: ATM, TBF, FYI, OMG etc.

ASAP Rocky would not be half as cool if he was known as As Soon As Possible Rocky – it doesn’t make sense does it?

We are just a bit lazy and when texting using acronyms or abbreviations is so much easier. Anyway have a GD WK peeps.




3 strikes and you’re out

How many  chances do you give someone before you decide that enough is enough?

You know what I mean, the candidate is a no show again. Even after you have confirmed the day before and on the morning of the interview. When called they say that they are on their way and still they don’t arrive.

Then after going ghost for a week, they apply for another one of your jobs and worst still this is not the first time this has happened. How many chances do you give them?

Bin them off should be the answer. Once a let down always a let down. A leopard doesn’t change its spots . Or as Lisa would say “always a bad ‘un, they’ll get wrong from me”

Three strikes I think, then they are out and off the database!

At the last agency I worked at we had a candidate who when she rang her name would come up with “Do Not pick up” as her surname. They’d had enough of being messed around all the time and had decided that she wasn’t worth the effort.  I really like the girl and I’m trying to find her a job. She’s interviewing with clients and doing really well. I never give up on people, deep down there is good in all of us (except my old Boss, no good in him at all)

I swerved the car the other day on the way to work to avoid a pheasant and as Lisa says “you daft cow we could’ve ended up in a ditch” but for me I’d rather save the pheasant and risk a dent in my car rather than kill anything.

We work on a farm and the owner has lots of cats, some are Sphinx, the hairless ones. One of them always comes to our office meowing to be let in. Dan calls it the inside out cat and refuses to let it in. All I want to do is pick it up and wrap it up in a blanket to keep it warm, feed it tuna and give it a cuddle.

I have another candidate who constantly applies for jobs and I get to interview stage and then she just blanks me? Suppose that’s working in recruitment for you, nothing ever surprises me anymore.

But I’m so guilty of always giving everyone another chance. I see the good in everyone and always believe that in life there is always a place in this world for everyone.

And I do love an underdog me and I enjoy the challenge of finding a job for candidates who others have written off. Even the flakes.

Have a good week folks.



Lisa is not a robot

So Lisa is not a robot but she has been banned from Linkedin. She has just done so much damn head hunting that they think she is not real.

Pretty funny as this is her first experience on a social media platform and this is how they treat her.

Believe me, Lisa is so very real, a real Northern lass, who works hard, drinks loads of coffee and swears lots. But I love her. She is my new Recruitment resourcer and my friend of 2 years.

She has been working at OX seven for 3 weeks now and it feels like she has always been here. She has never worked in a company like ours. No straight lines, no square edges and with limitless potential.

Sometimes she needs subtitles so that you can understand what she is saying, but she is super smart and dead clever. Some of her best words include:

Twisting – moaning

Aye – yes

Why aye man – of course

You’ll get wrong from me – I’ll be annoyed with you

Bairns – kids

To quote her ”I cant get my head round when everyone just gets up to leaves and its only 4 o’clock!” you are never early for work and you can never be late because we have flexible working hours.

And working from home is like “living the dream” Lisa comes to mine on a Thursday and we work from 8am to 11am then I go teach my Yoga class and she is left with two dogs and three cats and the telly on. I come back at 1.15pm and take her for a pub lunch and we get back to work at 2 ish for a few hours.

Work should be fun and as adults you should be trusted and given the freedom to choose your working week.

Ox Seven is like a breath of fresh air, a grown up company where employees are allowed to grow and be the best they can be, to express themselves, earn money and work reasonable hours and have fun.

I feel we are going to have a good year in the Health & Wellness sector and at Ox Seven. 2020 is the year of the rat. The Chinese believe its going to be a prosperous one.



Happy Blue Monday

So today is Blue Monday so I thought I would do a nice easy to read post to cheer you up and to get some happy thoughts in your head.

I saw the new Star Wars movie on Saturday. It was frigging brilliant. Nice good over evil movie where the baddies were all dressed in black and goodies in white. Loads of British actors in it and oddly enough all the baddies were British. The fight scenes are incredible and its funny in parts, sad in others, worth going to the movies for. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan but I loved it.

Then last night Coach Cater was on the telly and I watched it again for about the 20th time! Its one of my favourite movies and I could honestly watch it over and over again. In fact if I was sent to a desert island to live for a few months and could only take one movie to watch it would be Coach Carter.

So if you were sent to live on a desert Island to live for a few months who and what would you take? So you can only take one movie, one album, one companion, one book and one essential item.

Here’s mine:

Companion – My cat Delilah

Essential item – lip balm

Movie – Coach Carter

Book – God of small things

Album – Late Registration – Kanye West

And if I had to eat the same meal every day it would be cheese on toast!

Happy Blue Monday folks



It’s always good to talk

Talking about stuff really helps. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that. Talking is a big part in building and keeping relationships. It is vital for strong mental health also. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness, look at it as taking charge of your well being and doing what you can to stay healthy.

If you are worried about something it can turn over and over in your mind, keep you awake at night and might just get bigger. By talking to someone about this it will help. Talk to a friend or a colleague, they may be able to help you to see things differently. Whatever you need to do, don’t carry things around in our head that are bothering you, let it go. Have a chat with someone about it.

For men, going out with their mates is important for mental health. A study by Oxford university states that men who maintain social groups are less likely to suffer from depression and are even able to recover from illnesses quicker. The research says that men need to go out for a drink with their mates at least twice a week to reap the benefits of male friendship. These benefits include a stronger immune system, the release of endorphins, an overall decrease in anxiety levels and higher levels of generosity!

My husband and a load of other blokes from out village just go to the local pub, stand around the bar and let off steam about work, their wives,the footy and generally just get stuff of their chest. Man time is down time and is as good as therapy for some blokes.

It always amazes me when I talk to candidates and 6 months down the line they have still not had a one-to one with their line manager. Shocking really, how do you know what makes your staff tick? If they are okay and if they are coping with their workload, work mates and life in general. I always notice the companies with a high turnovers of staff and a lot of the time, its because they are not managing their team members properly in a way of one to ones, team meetings, appraisals etc. Your staff are your greatest assets so look after them. Successful companies have happy people. People perform better when they have good relationships with their Managers and the people who they work with. Reward and recognition are so important but talking to your staff and your customers shows that you care.

Sometimes its just good just to get things off your chest, or to ask for advice or for  some else’s opinion,  don’t suffer in silence. Talking is good for you. We all feel overwhelmed at times and think that we cannot cope but talking about stuff before it becomes a bigger issue can really help solve this. Pick up the phone, knock on a door, ask for help and advice.

If this doesn’t help talk to a professional, a counsellor or a therapist. Talking therapy is an actual thing and some are available on the NHS like CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) I learnt all about this weekend on my course and its a great way of helping people with anxiety and depression. Or for anyone who is going through a bad time or has emotional problems they need help with. Sometimes its easier to talk to a stranger than friends and family.

Having a healthy mind is important. Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health.  So off load, spill the beans, have a chat. Its always good to talk.