Jun 07 2012

Your Image at Work – Does it Matter?

Category: Business BrandsSarah Watts @ 12:09 PM

Poor old (or is that young?) Gen Y, they are in trouble again for not understanding the rules and dress codes for the workplace and taking a too casual approach! Isn’t it okay to wear a t-shirt, Havianas and have the band of your undies showing, when you are meeting clients? Does it effect your ability to the job? Doesn’t Mark Zuckerberg (facebook founder) LIVE in a hoodie? And he’s a Billionaire!

Ettiquette and dress codes have definitley relaxed in recent years. Some of us can remember a dress code at work that included skirts, not pants for women, only black or navy suits for men and NO coloured shirts and women required to wear stockings all year round.

While it is great that some of those rules have relaxed, for many there is still the expectation you will present a certain way at work and after all, first impressions DO count. Plus, many bosses (and customers) are either Baby Boomers or Gen X with a different perception of what is the right dress code for work. Some companies have resorted to hiring Image Consultants to advise staff on the appropriate dress code. This was usually spelt out in the past when you were hired. If your workplace has a uniform much of this dilemma is solved, although ‘policing’ the wearing of the uniform, including name badges and appropriate makeup, hairstyles and jewelry/piercings may still be an issue!

So who is right? Well if the person making the decision about your pay rise, hiring or promotion is from the ‘Baby Boomers or Gen X’ generations, then you probably will need to dress to suit their expectations to get the pay rise, job or promotion, rightly or wrongly. One way to look at it is that the Company ‘pays you to present a certain image’ to the community/clients, so at work you dress the way they expect and leave the ‘self expression’ for your spare time. Another school of thought says ‘dress for the job you want, not the one you have’ and that will help you take the next step up.

If image doesn’t matter, why do organisations have uniforms? Qantas and other large corporations even go to the expense of employing Fashion Designers to design their uniforms. Imagine an Airline Steward in hoodie, baggy jeans and thongs giving the safety demonstration, how would you feel – safe, confident, sure they could do their job?

While the way we dress may not effect our ability to do the job (other than in the case of PPE and safety clothing) it can effect others’ perception of our ability and therefore whether or not we are hired, promoted or given the pay rise. So maybe image is worth thinking about.

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Dec 21 2010

Out with the Old and In with the New!

Category: Life Experiences,ValuesSarah Watts @ 10:46 AM

The end of a year is certainly a time for reflection on what has happened this year and what we would like to do differently or how we would like to be different in the new year.  So, many of us will make New Years’ Resolutions for the year ahead and there will be plenty of articles appearing in newspapers and magazines with advice on ‘how to keep your resolutions,’ such as;  write them down, tell a friend, post them on the fridge or even register them on a website www.newyearsresolutions.com.au

Apparently 69% of Australians make at least one New Years’ resolution yet less than a quarter actually stick to achieving our goals!  One suggestion I saw recently is to only make short term resolutions (say 3 months at a time) rather than for the whole year, then review them regularly and make the next one – could work.

Along with the old year we want to get rid of the old us, our old job, our old habits and bring in new, fresh and exciting ones!  Resolutions tend to be around improving our fitness, health or appearance, becoming better people, giving up smoking and other bad habits, saving money and getting that new job.  Having worked in recruitment for a number of years I have certainly seen an increase in both ads and applications for jobs,  occuring in the ‘New Year’ and this is certianly true here at White Now.  Whether this is due to holidays and festivities finishing, people making New Years’ resolutions to get a new job, or a combination of both, I’m not sure!

For me, I am still deciding on what my New Years’ resolutions will be and how I will ensure I achieve my goals.  I’m sure straight after Christmas I will swear off food and alcohol – but I doubt that will last long!   Then all of a sudden it’s Easter and life is busy and nothing has changed and ‘what were those resolutions again?’

So good luck with any resolutions you make, may you achieve your goals and may 2011 be everything you want it to be!

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Sep 26 2010

STOP & THINK. Its all the Action Plan – Make DREAMS a REALITY

Category: Life Experiences,Social Media,Uncategorized,ValuesJenny White @ 7:12 AM

Formulating a dynamic Action plan to translate dreams to reality

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today”

The first step in developing an Action plan is to stop and think! Before taking any action, it is vital to understand the purpose for the action, and ensure that the steps you take are aligned with your core values and visions. It sounds like stating the obvious, yet there are many people whose daily actions are actually moving them further away from their deepest desires! The clearer you are about what is important to you, the more dynamic your action plan, and the more likely you are to be energised to take action.

There are countless ways to devise an Action plan, and here is a framework for you to adapt to suit your specific situation. Turn off your phone, put on some relaxing music, take some paper and coloured pens, and answer the following questions:

What is my current reality?

Where am I now? What decisions and habits have brought me to where I am today? What resources do I have available? What are my existing skills and strengths? What gives me energy? Which parts of my day do I truly look forward to? What support do I need right now?

Where do I want to be?

What is the main vision for my Action Plan? What do I want to achieve? What will I see, hear and feel to know that I have been successful in achieving the goal / vision? Is this vision an expression of one or more of my core values?

What perceived constraints do I have, eg time, money, or other resources?

What habits do I have that may get in the way of achieving my goal? What are my limiting beliefs about being / doing / having the desired result?  What if the opposite was true? What support do I need to release these constraints?

What are my gifts, talents and strengths?

When have I been successful at achieving something I desired? What qualities do I have that will benefit me for the future? When was I truly energised and excited about what I was doing? What was present? Is my current vision aligned with my strengths and talents?

Write my desired outcome using the SMART method – old, but good!  Make it Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-framed. Write it in the present tense as if it is happening NOW!

How do I get there?

Think of all the possible things you could do to take you closer to achieving your goal, no matter how small. Write down all actions you may need to take to achieve your goal. At this step, focus on generating and writing as many different options and ideas as possible. Take a sheet of paper and write more and more ideas, just as they come to your mind. While you are doing this, it is important not to judge or analyse. This is a brainstorm, choosing the most appropriate steps will follow!

What is the very next step I must take towards achieving this goal / vision?

Arrange the steps in a logical, chronological order and put a date by which you will start each step. Try to set yourself weekly goals: what research you will do into jobs, what skills you will concentrate on learning etc. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of planning a timetable each evening listing your steps for the next day or two.

Each action step should include the following information:

  • What actions or changes will occur;
  • Who will carry out these changes;
  • By when they will take place, and for how long;
  • What resources (i.e., support, skills) are needed to carry out these changes;
  • Which core value is being expressed by taking this action

Create a collage or metaphor of your vision, and keep it in front of you every day. It is a powerful reminder when the going gets tough.

Celebrate the milestones! Remember to acknowledge yourself and others as you accomplish each step along the way.

 “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant” –Robert Louis Stevenson

This AMAZING piece was written by our AMAZING guest blogger Karynne Courts from Values Connection.  Ph +61 2 9983 0755

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Sep 03 2010

It takes HEAPS of Courage to be a Visionary Leader !

Category: Uncategorized,ValuesJenny White @ 9:58 PM

With the world in turmoil with the global financial crisis, climate change and environmental disasters, humans wreaking devastating harm on one another in various parts of the world, as a species we are facing some of the biggest challenges in history. Do you have the courage to lead confidently in these uncertain times? If you can see these challenges as opportunity, you will be one of the survivors. As leaders, we must be pioneers in forging new relationships, new ways of doing business, new ways of being in the world. It requires comfort with ambiguity, confidence in uncertainty, and a willingness to celebrate diversity. It takes Visionary leadership.

Visionary leadership is an art. Unlike the managerial tools of policy, procedures, techniques and measures, it comes directly from knowing and understanding Self. A visionary leader is one who serves through being Trustworthy, Inspirational and Passionate. The emphasis on serving through being is the essence of our work with values and energy. There is no recipe; there are no seven steps or ten tips. It requires the courage to abandon what we “know to be so” and embrace the mystery and complexity of what it is to be human.

A visionary leader is clear about who he or she is, and exudes genuine SELF-confidence. Visionary Leaders have a confidence in who they are and what they stand for which is accompanied by trust that they can face whatever situations come their way. A visionary leader knows and trusts in their ability to be infinitely creative, and also trusts that capacity in those he or she leads.

Why Visionary Leadership?
The prevailing model of the authoritarian leader is under-performing and failing, and in too many cases failing in spectacular yet sad circumstances. We only have to look at the Business section of daily press for numerous examples of this. If I was to ask you “who is the source of your greatest frustration in your current business climate” and you find yourself pointing the accusatory finger of blame, then there are also the three fingers pointing back to YOU, giving you the answer to the question! Your profitability and success is a direct result of the quality of your leadership. No exceptions! The good news is that you are also the solution. The question is: Do you have the courage to liberate the visionary leader within?

What are the characteristics and skills of the visionary leader?
Authoritarian leaders focus on protecting what they’ve been in the past while Visionary leaders focus on what they are becoming in the present and future.

Key differences are illustrated in the table below:

Authoritarian            Visionary
Is very competitive. Is very cooperative.
Is focused on the shareholder.            Is focused on the stakeholders.
Is risk averse.  Encourages innovation.
Is uncomfortable with uncertainty. Revels in uncertainty.
Is a creator of teams that ‘follow’. Creates leaders at all levels.
Operates within a tangible framework. Operates intuitively.
Seeks to control the enterprise. Realises the enterprise is ‘self-organising’.
Tells people what to do.          Listens by asking questions.
Talks of what the problem is. Talks about possible solutions.
Is reactive Is Creative
Is focused on “What’s in it for me?” Is focused on “What will benefit US?”
Debates Dialogues and values storytelling
Strong masculine energy Strong feminine energy

 

How are these visionary behaviours developed?
It is important to note that these behaviours are not mutually exclusive. Today’s leaders will benefit from being able to consciously operate along a continuum encompassing both styles as varying circumstances require.

The guidelines for learning the visionary behaviours above are rarely found in any current management texts, courses or training programs, let alone when you were at school.

Your choices to develop these behaviours are to:
• Engage a mentor or coach to assist you to unfold and develop these behaviours
• Read quality books and publications in this field
• Take regular time out for reflection – to listen to your inner voice and practice recognizing your intuition.
• Understand your values, and write your purpose, visions and strategies to reflect the most important priorities in your life.

The Language of Values
There is also a new language to be learnt, to understand the nature and role of values. Values, defined as our unconscious motivators, underpin every action we take. Everyone has values. Visionary leaders are people who have revisited and clarified their core values to consciously choose which values will be expressed in their lives. Visionary leaders pay attention to honouring and dissolving those values that are no longer useful to their future as a visionary leader and releasing the energy from values that keep them“stuck in the past” to values that energise them to create a compelling future.

Examples of this skill include:
• dissolving a lack of ‘self worth*’ and relocate the energy into ‘being self*’
• dissolving the value of ‘independence*’ and relocating the energy into ‘interdependence*’
• dissolving the need to be ‘competitive*’ and relocate the energy to being ‘cooperative*’
* from an Australian model of 128 universally researched values ( New Wisdom 11 by Colins and Chippendale)

Now ask yourself, when did you last reflect on and review your:
• Personal work practices, e.g. reading, time management, paper management?
• Management skills, e.g. communications, project management, technical competencies?
• Leadership abilities, e.g. visioning, creating, listening, mentoring, thinking/concentrating?

May I suggest that the reality is that these skills and abilities continue to be essential and need to be under continuing formal review if you seek to be a leader of change and innovation?

The quantum leap forward for you as a Visionary leader, way beyond the above, is to become aware of your inner levels of consciousness, offering access to abilities that are infinite.

This inner level of consciousness within each of us is often experienced as a ‘flash of insight’, an instant solution to a complex situation, an entirely new idea, and in each instant you will express amazement and wonder ‘how did I do that?” and ‘where do they come from?’

The process of accessing the visionary leader within engages a wide range of innate abilities and will include:
• Being present with oneself.
• Being present with another
• Dissolving negative judgment of oneself and others
• Listening empathetically
• Detaching and transcending the senses
• Detaching and transcending the human constructs of time.
• Listening to your feelings
• Looking for patterns in the complexity of the issue at hand.

Now as you can see, to engage these deeper levels of consciousness calls for changes to your traditional work practices and the emphasis on rushing around getting things done to being at-one-within, thinking and concentrating.

Key questions for courageous leaders
1. Who is your mentor and your protégé?
2. What is your next formal learning project?
3. When will you formally refresh your purpose – for your Self, for your business and for the people you lead?
4. What must you, as a leader, be willing to give up or let go of in order for your business to be more flexible and responsive to change?
5. Reflect on three core principles which determine how your business currently operates. How are these helping or harming the business’s ability to achieve its Vision?
6. What barriers will have to be removed in order for your business to be stronger, more profitable and exist 5 years from now?
7. What are your top 9 values that you orient your life around?

Our planet needs visionary leaders, your country, your organisations and communities need visionary leaders. Our children need new role models for leadership in the 21st century. I urge you to rise to the challenges and be courageous enough to discover the visionary leader that resides within every one of you.

This AMAZING piece was written by our AMAZING guest blogger Karynne Courts from Values Connection.  Ph +61 2 9983 0755

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Aug 03 2010

Lessons for Leaders – How we live our lives !

Category: Life Experiences,Uncategorized,ValuesJenny White @ 2:31 PM

 

Journey to the Blue Road

The sheep station where I spent my childhood was a three hour drive from the nearest town over dusty unsealed roads. The town had nine hotels and two grocery stores, and we only went there every six weeks or so to stock up on our supplies. Living in such a remote area meant we needed to be self-sufficient and resilient. We had a vegetable garden, sheep and cattle for our meat, and we kept hens for eggs.

Every year, we would order our hens from the city poultry farmers. They were only young, not much more than a year old, and were already considered “burnt out” by the egg farmers. We would order four dozen at a time – for about 20 cents (1 or 2 rand) a chicken!

We would drive the three hours into town and pick them up from the rail depot. They were transported in large cardboard cartons with little air holes cut out. We’d bring them back home, tie the dogs up, and open the boxes.

 Out would fall the most bedraggled creatures we had ever seen. They were often featherless, their crests pale and shabby and their claws overgrown. They had spent their entire lives inside a cage in tin sheds under intense 24 hour artificial lighting, and were expected to lay to maximum capacity – sometimes two eggs per day.

They had never seen the sunshine or felt the earth beneath their feet. Some of them even had their beaks removed to prevent them from pecking their eggs. We let them out into the yard to learn how to be chooks – to pick at the green weeds, scratch for worms and bugs, and cluck at each other. After only a couple of weeks, their crests became a deeper, healthier red, their feathers grew back, and they even “walked taller”.

The most amazing thing was that they started to lay eggs again.

When we create environments that focus on who we are, that allow us to express our values and nourish us, then our natural talents and energy are released. The impossible becomes possible, and results exceed expectations.

By focusing on the who – allowing them to be the best they could be, the “what” came naturally. Of course they would lay eggs – that’s what hens do. So instead of saying “now go off and lay lots of eggs”, we let them rediscover how to be real chickens – and laying eggs was a natural consequence.

How often in workplaces do we ask our people to lay more eggs – turn the lights up, increase performance, keep producing – with the threat of replacement if they slow down?  If we focus more on the nurturing of our people, providing the environment that allows them to be the best they can be, then the natural consequence is for them to do whatever it is they do. Trust that if they are healthy, stimulated, encouraged, and believed in, you will have all the eggs you need!

Organisations, governments, and individual consumers pour millions of dollars into working out ways to lay more eggs – bigger, cheaper, faster, quicker, more! We are constantly offered tools and gadgets that are supposed to make our lives better, yet we become involved in a cycle of replacing the unnecessary to do the necessary, and we lose the ability and sometimes even the knowledge of doing things for ourselves. Tools that are supposed designed to “make it easier” have made us less productive, and many people are burnt out, exhausted, tired, sad, depressed. In order to shift the focus from maximizing egg production to cultivating healthy and happy chickens, we have to challenge the assumptions and beliefs that have created our current situations.

 It is not about being a better leader, which suggests that you have something “missing”, it is about recognising the qualities that already reside within you, and allowing yourself the courage to peel away the masks and layers to reveal the infinite creative energy of your real Self.  The most courageous journey is the “inner journey” of self awareness.

 By embracing and expressing the qualities that reside within, we develop comfort with ambiguity, confidence in uncertainty, and a willingness to celebrate diversity.

A leader is a person who serves through being trustworthy, inspirational and passionate. Leadership is not about role, position, salary, or authority. It is an innate quality in everyone, and leaders are at all levels of the community, family, and work place.

We lead how we live, and how we live our life is the way we leave the world.

Welcome to our guest Blogger – Karynne Courts from Values Connection who has donated her time to Blog for you some great lessons. 

(Source: Karynne Courts, Values Connection (see www.valuesconnection.com.au for more inspirational stuff  or to purchase the book – Journey to the Blue Road … an amazing book by an amazing person!!)

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Jul 21 2010

Fired up then wired up from a GREAT service experience

Category: Business Brands,Life Experiences,Social Media,ValuesJenny White @ 10:18 AM

great serviceI had an ENLIGHTENING experience recently.  I’m NOT ashamed to blatantly praise a company through this blog as they simply deserve it.  In turn I’m not going to ‘name and shame’ those who have no idea what good service means.

 Recently we were looking for a person or company who could help us her e at The Now Bunch with systemizing and organizing our computers, wiring and cables in our offices.  We were about to receive new desks in 3.5 weeks and needed to get this sorted prior to their arrival.  This seemed enough lead up time to secure someone to help us for a couple of hours !

We have over 1400 friends through our different Social Media channels so we thought we would go to them and ask for referrals from them so that they could continue to build relationships as well.  We posted a simple call out “Who knows of a good electrician or data cabling person or company who can help us sort our office out ?”. 

We received many replies back which equated to 7 names/companies for us to contact.  Being as diligent as we are and respecting the advice from our ‘friends’ we contacted each of the 7 suppliers.  It is important to note that with everyone we talked to, we let them know that they had been recommended by a current client of theirs.  Here is the outcome from each;

Suppliers 1 & 2: We left a message on the voicemail of 2 suppliers and neither called back.

Supplier 3:  This guy said he was busy for two weeks but would call in a week to book us in – he never called back.

Supplier 4: They took down all our details (the wife of the sparkie was on the end of the phone) and she promised that her husband would call back either that night or in the morning.  He never called back.

Supplier 5: We called him and he did not have a pen, so I said that I would text him my name and number and also email him with our details, which we did. He was very happy with that, but …. You guessed it, he never called us back.

Supplier 6: We called this company who said that they would send someone on Friday at 10am.  We waited. No-one showed and no-one called. We never heard from them again.

Supplier 7:  this company promised that they would drop in the next day on their way back from a job but they did not show.  I called them again and they apologised and said that they would call me on the next Monday.  They never called.  I spoke to them again and they promised that they would call the next day to organise a time, they never called. 

I was over it and it was now only a week until our desks arrived.  I just wanted to give someone money to do some work !! With cap in hand and frustration oozing, I went to Toby, our CEO and asked if he knew anybody.  He said that he had used a guy when he was at Tradies who owned a company called WED Group.  The guys name was Matt Worthington.  Toby said that he always did what he promised he would do.  Toby gave Matt a call.  Here is how the journey with the WED Group went ….. 

  • Matt promised Toby that he would call me the next day before 10am.  Matt called me at 9.30am.
  • Matt said that he would send someone out the next day to have a look and see what our needs were, and if one of his team could not, then he would come himself.  He said he would be at our office at 10am.  At 9.30am we received a call from Matt to confirm that he would arrive at 10am.  He was there on time and in person !
  • Matt let us know what was needed, the time frame it would take, the approximate costs and what we needed to do prior to his team returning.  Matt then sat down at the computer and logged into his online appointment system and locked us in for a suitable time which was only 3 days later.  Perfect – it would be complete before our desks arrived.  Matt confirmed that he would be at our office at 7.30am on the Friday.
  • The day before our appointment, Matt called to reconfirm his visit the next morning.  The next morning, we received a call at 7am from Matt explaining that he was caught in traffic and would be about 30 minutes late.  He arrived at 8am as promised.
  • Matt wasted no time in completing the job
  • Matt and his team presented well (in uniform) and were polite and thoughtful to our business needs.
  • When Matt was leaving, he noticed that there was a problem with an electrical source that may cause a problem in the future (yep – a fire).  Matt fixed that at no further charge !

Basically, we were blown away that this company, who I had never heard of before, did everything that they said they would.  That is all that I asked for ! How can I give back to a company that simply did the right thing by us and demonstrated exceptional service?   Firstly I bought the team Vietnamese pork rolls for lunch whilst they were in the office (every blokes favourite lunch I think), I then drafted a banner for them to advertise their services with us and now I am writing to tell the world about them.  This is what great service does to others.  People like me want to put others on a pedestal when they go beyond the call of duty.  Don’t you want to tell everyone about truly exceptional service?  Congratulations Matt Worthington and your team.  You blew us away !  It is a pleasure to have met you.

You can find Matt at http://wedgroup.com.au  – say that that White Now recommended them  – because we DO!

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Jul 06 2010

It’s SO frustrating when you apply for a job and NEVER hear anything back ! Want to know why this happens ?

Category: Recruiting Tips,ValuesJenny White @ 3:15 PM
Hear NOTHING back !
Hear Nothing Back !

White Now has witnessed a trend over the past 15 years with regard to job applicants and the interview process.  With the growth of the internet and on line job applications and the subsequent ability for ANYONE to lodge an application for ANY role at ANY time, we have seen a growth in application number for all jobs ! This has brought with it some interesting challenges……..

In the old days (geesh – I sound like my 81 year old mother !), it used to take a fair bit of effort to apply for a job.  You’d have to type the covering letter and print it out.  Go to the library to get your resume photocopied and then get it bound at another place.  Buy a large envelope and suitable stamps and THEN go to either the Post Office or Post Box.  You’d then wait for it to arrive at the employer/recruiters doorstep 4 days later.  The cost of this exercise could have been up to $10 per application.  After it was posted, it would then be another week  or two (if at all) that you receive a letter back in the mail saying that the documents had arrived.

These days (sounding like my mother again – sorry) a job application can take some people as little as 2 minutes to send off without a cent being spent. 

They copy their cover letter or change the address and contact name (that’s a debate for a whole other blog post), attach their resume and just press send on the email.  The effort in applying has been lessened so considerably therefore the seriousness and commitment of all applicants in applying for the job can sometimes be an issue. 

The team at White Now can reel off so many examples of when they have contacted an applicant in relation to a job that they applied for (maybe to organise an interview) and the person cannot even remember applying for that role, or even who the role was with.  They have probably applied for 90 jobs that week and kept no record of whom or what they applied for.  I think it is called the splatter gun approach.  They don’t have a specific target, they just keep shooting and maybe one will hit the bulls-eye.

With this behaviour being so prevalent in today’s job market, there are a few outcomes that have surfaced from this trend that you should be aware of.

Often an employer now can receive hundreds of applications for the one advertised job.  If this is a larger employer (150 plus employees), they may be recruiting for 5-10 different positions at any one time.  This may mean in any given time, an employer may receive 1000 applications for 10 positions.  Many employers now put the courtesy of replying to these applicants on the back burner and the applicant simply does not get a response at all, whether that be to say that their resume was received or that they were unsuccessful.  This creates a snowball effect in itself.  These applicants who do not receive a reply then cannot narrow their application to a smaller target.  They apply for absolutely everything as they have no idea where they stand with any job. Alas, the cycle of lots and lots of applicants for jobs and employers not offering a courteous reply will continue. 

We are all so pleased with the growth, speed and automation of internet technology but think about how this has affected the process of applying for a job.  Basic courtesy has gone out the window !

As you know, on our White Now website, many of the positions advertised are ads placed by the Club/Venue/Supplier and they receive the applications directly (White Now don’t see them at all).  It is up to them to respond to the applicants as they see fit.    We place at the base of each ad the following sentence “Please Note: Only short listed candidates will be contacted.  We thank you for your understanding with this decision”.  Now there’s something that you would not have seen on a job ad 15 years ago but now, it is a fact of life for all the reasons I have discussed above.

The good news is that White Now have actually retained the ‘old style values’ when it comes to recruitment.  If we are secured by a client to undertake the full recruitment for a club or client, then we guarantee that EVERY person who applies will receive email notification from us to let them know of their status.  We are still honoured and chuffed by the comments that we receive from candidates about our high level candidate care – it seems to stand us apart from the rest !  We wish that all those who advertised with us would contact all of the applicants but as you can see, this is where the world has taken us !

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Jun 18 2010

Busy! Busy !! Busy !!!

Category: Life Experiences,ValuesToby Kennett @ 2:52 PM

One of the questions we often get asked is, “how are things going in the land of White Now?”  (or words to that effect), and our response is usually along the lines of:

  • Flat Out
  • Flat Chat
  • Busy, Busy, Busy!
  • Don’t Know if We’re Arthur or Martha
  • Etc, Etc, Etc

What I’ve noticed though is that each and every time the above is clarified with something like:

  • But I’m not complaining, or
  • Which is FANTASTIC, or
  • I’d rather be flat out as at least we know we can pay ourselves this week, or
  • We never take our good fortune for granted

It got me to thinking just how “lucky” we are!  And when I say “lucky” it is not because of a fluke or being in the right place at the right time.  It comes down to a lot of BLOODY HARD WORK!!!  But the bottom line is that we all genuinely enjoy it and on a personal level, I am not sure what I would do with myself if I was sitting around twiddling my thumbs!

The past fortnight has seen a significant part of the team away on annual leave and whilst some in our office might suggest that the people in question do very little ‘real’ work, the fact of the matter is that they (well, at least one of them) do/does contribute to the overall productivity of the team!!! :)  ……office humour!

What never ceases to amaze, please, excite and drive me personally is the continual influx of business and the fantastic range of services that we get asked if we can provide or assist with.  Not a week goes by without the phone ringing or an email pinging that asks us to step outside our core business/services and look at opportunity from a different angle.

I was wondering why this might be the case.  And I think the answer is our………………INTEGRITY.  I firmly believe that the business is founded on such strong principles and that each of the team live up to those values on a daily basis so that our customers form a trusted bond with us which means that they are comfortable asking us for things that might not be on our ‘list’ of what we do.

So, in summary I would like to say that I believe we are so incredibly fortunate to wake up each day and be surrounded by opportunity, questions, ideas, laughter, integrity, honesty, support, open communication, etc, etc and that I pinch myself regularly and do a stop…….check…… every couple of days to make sure I recognise the reality of that fortune and never, ever take it for granted.

To everyone that supports “us” in the myriad of ways that we are so fortunate……….THANK YOU!!!  You are our reason for continual improvement and integral to our overall success.

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May 05 2010

A summary of how the Read & Recover Initiative was Born !

Category: The 'Read & Recover' Initiative - Helping sick kids!Jenny White @ 4:39 PM

The Read & Recover Initiative was born through the thoughts and actions of some kind people with some kind hearts.  The owner of White Now, Jenny White had experienced periods of time with her then 3 year old in hospital with recurring bouts of pneumonia over a 12 month period – an experience that can be teatering on life of death for a toddler.  With this in mind along with the great experiences that Jenny and her family had with the medical teams, Jenny thought of ways to simply ‘give back’ to those who gave so much to her family to ensure that her 3 year old survived.  She noticed that some of the books in the hospitals were a little tired and ‘well used’.  WIth further research of other hospitals, she found that this was an all too familiar story. Jenny’s child is a lover of books and this kept him going through the many nights in hospital.  If something can keep a sick kid happy – then this is a Godsend !

At Christmas time 2009, immediately after Jenny’s child was released from hospital for the 4th time in 6 months, a ‘friend’ on Facebook (a friend that Jenny had never met) posted that he would like to grant some Christmas wishes.  That gentleman, Brad Sugars was a very successful businessman living in Las Vegas (an Aussie ex-pat).  Jenny posted on his Facebook page that she would like to donate 100 books to 10 hospitals in Sydney.  Soon after, Brad granted this wish but increased the donation to 1,600 books for 100 hospitals Australia wide.  The kindness and generosity of Jenny and Brad lead to this amazing initiative.  The inaugral year was 2010 with the initiative to be continued in years to come !

What a great story !

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Apr 07 2010

We Never Stop Laughing

Category: Life ExperiencesToby Kennett @ 10:21 AM

It wasn’t so long ago that when I received a call or text at 10pm I sighed heavily and resigned myself to the fact that it was going to be a work call that I would have to “manage”! 

So, you may be surprised to hear me say that last Friday night just before 10pm when I received a text from a work colleague (for the purpose of this blog, let’s refer to her as Jinny Whyte so as to ‘protect the innocent’), I actually didn’t sigh, but smiled.  You see Jinny had been prepping for her son’s 4th birthday and things had not gone quite according to plan!  There had been a whole load of hype around the Ben 10 cake that she was going to produce for her little boy, but time had worked against her, hence why she was baking at 10 at night. 

The text that came through simply read “Thought you might like to see the cake for tomorrow”, to which was attached the following picture:  (immediately below)

My response was simple – “Awesome job!!!  What r u on about???  U r a legend!!!”.  I was so suprised at how good it looked that I decided to show my wife as she is an avid baker and had offered to lend assistance to Jinny if it was required (we are all part of the White Now team – husbands, wives and kids included).  My wife was suitably impressed…………………and then she said, “Hey, hang on!  Isn’t Jinny’s son turning 4 and NOT 6?”.  “Good point!  You’re right”, I replied.  And so I sent a follow up text which said, “Nice job JW.  You truly are a ‘talented’ woman!”. 

“Just wait until you see the REAL THING“, was what I got back!

On the Saturday, my wife, two boys and I drove over to Jinny’s for the party.  A great day was had and the fanfare leading up to the revealing of the cake was building the tension………….you could cut the air with a knife (poetic license). 

The covers were pulled off and we were all met with: (see pic on bottom right)

We all fell apart with laughter!  Even with all of the stress of the previous evening (the details of which I have avoided intentionally).  Jinny had managed to see the funny side of things and had pulled us all in on the joke.

This is just ONE of a MILLION AND ONE stories that could have been shared!  This is genuinely just another day in the life of a White Now team member!  There is never a dull moment and we never stop laughing.  WORK or PLAY, we all get along so well and have such a similar sense of humour that we can’t help but include each other for a laugh.

We quite literally NEVER stop laughing!  No matter what the situation.  No matter how stressful things become.  We are always there to offer a hand and whilst doing so, make a “funny”!  What stems from this is a team that is engaged, passionate and involved.  Don’t get me wrong – we don’t live in each other’s pockets, but we do genuinely care about each other and about having fun and this is what makes White Now such a great place to work and such a successful organisation.

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