Six Pay Days Out – What They Don’t Tell You at ‘Outplacement School’ – The Not So Nice Things

June 28, 2016

By Donie Wiley

I left the organisation I joined from school after 35 years in December 2015.  To make sure I was ready to go, I availed of all the internal and insourced support including a fairly reasonable outplacement programme (that dispelled any myths I had about fantastic 4/6 page curriculum vitaes with three page letters of application).  Here was I facing out into a pretty favourable economic cycle, with a very vibrant jobs market and a with fair degree of confidence in my ability to plough my own furrow.  What could possibly go wrong?  Lots!


Having eventually grown a pair, here was I, out on my own, all fired up, looking forward to setting up my new business, I had a great central idea, a plan to deliver on it, some spare change from my redundancy and lots of friends, contacts and supporters who would help me if I called on them.


What I had failed to grasp, and I share here now, for those following a similar journey as mine, is not to underestimate the social and professional isolation you may find at first through unavailability of your friends and contacts – a simple reason explains why they are working and doing things (the cheek of them) – usually in a formal professional context, and they often take a while to come back to you.


For me understanding and getting to accept and work with this was a breakthrough I hadn’t considered.  Put simply I had forgotten how busy I was in my previous role, as my friends are now, and how my returning of calls and mails sometimes slipped down the priority list.


Navigating this is important for your future success, so seeking different ways to engage is crucial for the friendship and the benefits it may hold including arrange/getting invited to social functions is key, making sure when you do get time to use it wisely and productively and seeing how encounters can be win/win for you and your friend or former colleagues or contact.


HR – A Time for Leadership, Courage and Innovation – Let’s Be Having You

May 19, 2016

By Donie Wiley

When asked, I have always been proud to describe myself as a human resources professional, I say this even though it has been close to 11 years since I formally worked in the function.


However, this self-applied moniker is now coming under pressure when I look at the increasing list of poor people management and staff leadership positions that the function presides over.


Let me say, I accept I may not be aiming my ire and disenchantment at the right target.  It may well be that HR is ‘following orders from upstairs’ but if is, it then raises the question about what the function stands for, has responsibility for and is it a partner of equal at the top table – an altogether different topic for a different day.


So what is really bugging me?  It’s one of the most insidious and mean minded initiatives to emerge since the economic crisis arose – the wholesale implementation of zero hours contracts.  I am especially concerned at the behaviour of the retail, hospitality and tourist industries who are taking particular and perverse advantage of (mostly) young employees as well as many international workers and generally those who are looking to getting a start in some sort of a meaningful work scenario.


I find it amazing that these successful businesses, many of them large and complex, cannot work out and plan around their cycles of customer demand that arise either seasonally or related to special events within their enterprises.  It is shameful with all the advances and capability around analysis and big data that forecasting and planning models cannot deal with this matter.  I say simply it’s not that they can’t it’s that they don’t want to, because to do so would involve commitment, increased compliance and possible cost and they are not prepared to make that investment.