Business housekeeping

Anyone that works freelance knows that finding time for business housekeeping can be difficult. So busy looking for new ventures, one’s accounts and websites get neglected. I put my hand up that even having spent many years working in business development and marketing it is far easier to promote others than one’s self.

I love writing other people’s CV and mine today is looking rather sad and was not a true reflection of what I have actually been doing the past few years. I am an old fashioned girl and still believe it’s the covering letter that gets you noticed. Many colleagues have been groaning to me recently about the online approach to job seeking where just uploading a CV may leave some of us at a disadvantage.  I am told a faceless agent is sifting through hundreds and it’s a secret what they are looking for and weeks go past without any contact. I am sure we are not alone in feeling this way.

To be honest most of my best projects have come from personal recommendation and in between…yes that’s right I get on with the business housekeeping. Yesterday the dreaded accounts and today I’m tweaking the websites… the months disappear and like me the websites are in need of a revamp and a serious update!!

To those followers who have already commented on my kissing blog posted earlier –  a huge thank you for confirming I am not always talking to myself though I am mindful some days I am!

International Women’s Day

Today I started celebrating International Women’s Day by having a ladies breakfast at the Waffle House with two of my favourite women. I am extremely fortunate in having known and worked with with some amazing women in my life many of whom have been great mentors.

I look on with pride at the younger generation of females who are so confident, sassy and non-judgemental and who have ambitions and the energy to follow their dreams. Spurred on by positive supportive mothers and great role models in other female family members and successful friends no challenge is insurmountable.

As a mother of a daughter for many reasons I realise the world can be both a cruel place and one of great opportunity and for those wanting to take the plunge and make something good of their lives…it will happen.

Last year I attended a great women’s conference where a speaker suggested that world leaders and heads of large corporates should adopt the many positive female traits of compassion, empathy, caring and sensitivity to work towards world peace and fairer and more honest business practices.

Here’s to being a women with the world at our feet.

 

Empathy and confidence

It is no secret that one can learn empathy but nothing beats having walked in another’s shoes to really know how they feel. Even the most confident person has experienced times in their life when experiences have left them feeling isolated and possibly insecure. It takes great courage to fight the natural instinct of flight and stay and fight.

However, as one gets older and reflects back on those conflict situations we would rather not have encountered we realise that they were all indeed character building. I often say to those in need of positive input and support that no experience is a waste and it is true that it is not what happens in our lives but how we handle it.

I am mindful what works for one person will not work for another as we are all different but we all have to move forward and grow in our own way and try to be the best we can. As my great mentor used to say ‘worrying about things won’t change them’ and that is sound advice.

My years spent in marketing and sales it was a case of every complaint is an opportunity and when things are tough in life it can be just the opportunity we need to make that change in our lives we are struggling to avoid making.

Seize the day and live one day at a time…as in reality that is all any of us can do. Remain curious and take that adventure as it is offered.

 

 

Helping the bereaved not ignoring them

Earlier this week during a visit with a bereaved lady we both agreed how we put on a brave face with those around who are also struggling in coming to terms with a loss of a loved one. Why is that? Over the past few years I have read many books on the beravement journey of others and have my own experiences to recollect too and what is blatently obvious is that to deny somebody’s right to grieve openly is of no use.

I am certain I would have said this before -my own mother said people crossed the road to avoid having to speak to her after my father died suddenly. It made me cross and upset then as a child and still does. However, shall we just be angry with the person that does that or should we feel sorry that they cannot find the words…any words?  As I have written in various articles just a hand on the arm or shoulder and ‘i’m thinking of you’ will suffice nobody who is recently bereaved expects you to say something profound honestly!

What we need as a bereaved person is for people to acknowledge our pain and the existence of those we have loved and lost. We have such a long way to go still in this country in dealing with how we approach the subject of death and it is something all of us will have to encounter and deal with at some stage of our life.

In a world where people post so many private things about their life (which frankly I would rather not see) I find it hard to believe that talking about death leaves them dumb struck.

As always I am sending a little reminder that it is after the funeral people need you to to phone or visit and let them know their loved one is not forgotten.  For anybody who is feeling alone in their grief then please talk to somebody, your loved one would not want you to suffer in silence and most of all celebrate their life.

Student wellbeing -The RVC

Our Prime Minister spoke this morning in support of awareness and assistance in terms of mental wellbeing within education. The move to train teachers to spot signs of mental health may be seen as a step in the right direction -however what we actually need is more funding within schools to employ more trained counsellors/pastoral staff to deal with the growing stress factors that face today’s students.

I sadly often hear how schools fail children in respect of not adhering to the anti-bullying processes they are meant to follow and/or taking individual cases as seriously as they should – much to the distress and frustration of both students and parents.

However, I must take this opportunity to congratulate The Royal Veterinary College who do take the wellbeing of their students seriously. This starts from day one aiding students considerately in preparation of their interview for a place. During a recent visit to the RVC’s Hawkshead Campus it was also good to see their new sports centre named as ‘The Sport and Wellbeing Centre’ which is free to all students.  I think this speaks volumes of how valued their students are and how the RVC recognise both education and preventing student stress need focus and investment.

Here’s hoping some of the stress can be reduced if our government address and implement some of the financial improvements being muted for students persuing a university education.

Marketing mistakes

So I stand accused, and rightly so, by one follower of joining the marketing mob and promoting my kissing book around valentine’s day! My response and in my defence I think my accountant would be shouting if I hadn’t mentioned my project at this crucial opportunity -and he scares me most!

Jokingaside, my book is educational as well as amusing and therefore apt at any time of the year so I will be mentioning it more regularly. As with most writers we are the world’s worst at self-marketing – I am no exception to this weakness inspite spending many years in marketing. It is always harder to market one’s self.

As self employed individuals we spread ourself so very thin at times, especially when very few can afford to pay ‘the experts’ to do it on our behalf.

Happy monday and for those that need to… get marketing – note to self be more proactive!

Supporting students

I am mindful that this week is mental awareness week for children and these events give us all a platform to encourage our children to open up, if they are able. Over the past few weeks I have had several discussions with colleagues working within education and one common theme is recognising how stressful it is for today’s students.

Thankfully proactive schools consider positive intervention which can take many shapes. I write often about the value of mindfulness and, of course, taking regular exercise and considering yoga both are great ways for staying relaxed and fit. The various breathing and calming exercises that take just a few minutes can really make a difference in quickly regaining a position of tranquility and calm.

As parents we must ensure that communication between our children during exam time is kept open without appearing to be nagging but encouraging and offering support.  Providing a base that is quiet when needed and positive social inter-action to stop them from suffering cabin fever by isolated studying!

As I discussed with a mother recently – at times we feel we are going through the exams with them! Good luck to both students and parents this coming year, stay focused, positive and be proud of your achievements.

 

The love of a pet

For many people who are animal lovers they may be accused at times of going over-board in terms of how they care for their pets. The reality is if you have a pet you should be prepared to look after it properly and consider all aspects of its health and wellbeing. Animals rely on you to love and protect them and ensure that all their needs are met.

Over the years we have had several cats and loved them all with each one having different characters. Our beloved maisy was a rescue cat and has given us many years of love and affection, such a sweetie but very sensitive.  Today she has been to see our lovely local vet as again she is suffering from detachment issues which manifest themselves in over-cleaning. This is part of her fretting for her human sibling proving one cannot under-estimate the love and attachment a pet feels for its family members.

My followers will remember last time we had similar problems I enjoyed the effects of the pet clamer plug in a little too much, so this time I am only plugging it in for a few hours at a time. Maisy is sat next to me whilst I am blogging and relaxing following her steroid injection. Hopefully I will be able to report that her fur reverts to its pristine condition very shortly.

So for those parents suffering from the empty nest syndrome as our children return to university following the Christmas break…remember to check the furry family members who may also be feeling the void they have left.

 

Communication let’s talk

I have lost count the times I write about communication being the key to success in any personal or business relationship, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves that some people find it harder to communicate than others. This is where patience, caring and understanding step in and we can all do our bit even in our own community and within families.

A recent blog I ranted about how people in wheelchairs or disabilities are often ignored (a discussion I had earlier this week with a new friend**) additionally we agreed this can happen when people are recently bereaved as we search for the right words to offer in sympathy -there are no words but don’t avoid people either. Don’t under estimate the power of a simple hand of the arm and just saying ‘i’m thinking of you.’  **Hi Julia if you are following.

Equally, many will find it awkward to speak to somebody with dementia but there is help available. As ever I am steering my followers to the Alzheimer’s Society’s website: within their wide selection of free literature you will find easy tips to follow to enhance your relationship with, and the life of, the person living with dementia.

Being elderly can become very isolating and lonely so pop in and see that neighbour… a quick bit of engagement will make their day.

Cyber bullying

Glad to See Prince William discussing and supporting the modern day problem of cyber bullying. As I have written many times before school time bullying was just at school now its 24/7 and its effect can bring heartbreaking outcomes for families as victims feeling desperate sometimes take their own life.

Online bullying seemingly has no escape and it is so personal. Sadly we have a generation of people who post first think after…or not thinking at all. Parents, teachers need to remind all users of the ramifications of their actions.

Please read my article on Innovate My school’s website

http://www.innovatemyschool.com/industry-expert-articles/item/1670-how-schools-can-tackle-cyberbullying.html