The CEO Zombie

by in Business, Recruitment, Uncategorized

Here’s a warning. This blog contains nothing more than some musings from me on what I’ve observed in August. Usually, buried within my blogs are some facts or nuggets of research that you can use from time to time. Not today. Just thoughts and some personal experience.

So, summer is pretty much over, and we’re faced with a bank holiday-less three months in the run up to Christmas. We’re seeing back to school adverts all over the TV (adverts I used to dread by the way), and something of normality is to be restored for me having been away for a few long weekends this summer.

When I was a wee lad in recruitment advertising, January would be full of ad campaigns promising a ‘New Year, New Career’, and September would often signal a new wave of ad campaigns as everyone got back to business.

In recent years, if you listen to the job boards (normally selling space during the summer and December months), they’d tell you that applications continue all through these quiet months. With countless theories of how to reach the passive candidate, and the insistence of the fact that we’re ‘Always On’ with the connection of smart phones etc, it’s a fairly compelling argument.

Maybe for a while it was true. I for one was always checking my phone, email, my internal company chat, in fact, all things notification related, work or social. So if I was looking for a new job I’d be doing the same. We’ve all probably done it – just because we can.

Except more recently I haven’t been. I’ve been learning to switch off, not because I don’t care, with everything Wave is doing at the moment, I’m telling everyone and anyone who will listen this is the most exciting time in our entire history. No, it’s because as long as it’s not business critical, I feel I deal with things better when I’m in the right environment. That is, in work mode. Answering an email to a client on the beach with a beer in my hand sounds ‘cool’ but am I giving it the right attention? Am I taking the right approach? Compared to being at my desk working, thinking and planning on how to achieve the best I can for Wave. Guess what, I’ve been getting more done this way. When I’m working, I’m really working, when I’m not, I’m not. I think when you run your own business you can get into a routine of sluggish working. That is, you work 9am-5pm full on, then 6pm-8am in a semi working state, which without head space you end up being some sort of 24 hour CEO Zombie in an attempt to prove how macho you are by working all the time. Maybe it works for some and I have spent many years doing that. But I’m trying out this new way. So far it’s working well for me.

And scratching the surface of something significantly more complex, this method I’m sure is better for one’s mental health, which is a condition that impacts more and more of us and yet despite recent increased efforts, a lack of awareness and understanding still surrounds the topic. I’m brewing a deeper blog around mental health but that’s for another time.

The point of this blog is, I wonder if I’m not alone in starting to prefer to switch off the constant notifications being fired through on all my devices, as it all gets a bit too much. So we compartmentalise to organise dealing with such information. And as a result, we’re going back to the days when August was a time for holidays, December is a time for Christmas indulgence, and not a time for recruitment and looking for a new job?

The question is, will this make us more focused? Therefore better at applying for jobs, working and well whatever it is we’re doing. Who knows, but so far it’s working for me.