Posts Tagged job search

Sunday Column (472)

Another week in January, already half way through the first month. I started writing this early in the week. I have a new creative outburst this year it seems, e.g. I love putting thoughts into writing and talking (see last week’s post with the info on my podcast Stories Of Success). And I am proud to announce that the first (solo) episode went live this week. Check it out. Also, I conducted first interviews which, post production, will be published over the forthcoming weeks. This has been fun and and exciting.

Not sure I mentioned this before, but on weekends, as you would, time is reserved for the family. That is very important for me, as normally I am not around that much during the week. Having said that, I truly enjoy the school runs at the moment, however it seems that whilst this week was still quieter than anticipated, my diary is filling up for the next weeks. Fingers crossed to get back into the ring and get some, even if temporary work. I am starting to go stir crazy 🙁

Anyway, on Saturdays for instance, I love getting a lie in (that means 7 am for me at the latest) and then have breakfast with the boys who are usually up at that time, before taking the youngest to Karate. When I was a child I wanted to do Judo. Mainly because a friend of mine did Judo. Years later I got into Tai Chi and loved it, and think that hindsight I would have benefited from learning a martial arts when I was younger. If I say it wasn’t done in those days, I would be lying. Everything was done, but a lot of things you did were more conventional, not exotic, and martial arts were probably seen as exotic.

As I describe in my podcast, I used to think a lot about what others thought, and that’s probably down to the way I was brought up. That has changed, and when my boy decided to take up martial arts, I would get up at 3 am at the weekend to make it happen. There are always excuses, unless you just move forward and do it. To conquer a fear or an imagined fear. No one really cares what you look like or if you do one thing or another, and you shouldn’t really care if they approve or not. Who are those people that think they can approve or disapprove what you do with your life? That’s the same with a lot of topics, the immediate one I can think of is your sexuality. You shouldn’t worry if you are gay for instance, and neither do I. Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been the case in our society, and neither was it common place to do martial arts. Life is changing for the better. Just see the #metoo campaign lately. Rant over 😉

You know that I have been looking for a job. No news yet, and I believe it will take another few weeks to be honest. I am not very good at sitting at home doing nothing, and until you know what project you do next, you are a bit restless. Potentially I might sign a short term contract as a consultant, yet it is about the bigger picture, the long term perspective. And there are plans, as always.

There is a thought of moving out of advertising technologies (adtech) industry and move to a different industry. Discussing that with a friend this week showed that I am not the only one 🙂 As a matter of fact most people I speak to think about it. That’s never a good sign, is it? I don’t yet have to make a decision on anything but I have been thinking about that for the past weeks. Adtech has been good to me, and I have been working in it for over ten years, pioneering some of the stuff we are taking for granted and yet still, people make it sound complicated. I love my mates in the industry and it is a fun and dynamic industry too. I speak to more and more people recently that are fed up of people who made it to the top and don’t have a clue about what’s happening. The industry is due a change in 2018, and I won’t bore you with the details here, but I believe that a big change is going to happen. The old model and set up of agencies specialising in different discplines and consultancies being specialist in some aspects of it, won’t work. I see them two joining together, delivering strategy and execution at the same time. What that means is that agencies will become more strategic with clients across the board, not only around media and creative, and consultancies becoming more hands-on with delivery and execution.

Adtech will be at the heart of this merging with Martech. Martech will just become part of an overall technology stack, software essentially. Whilst this transformation will still take 3-5 years, there will be lots of turmoil. M&A will fuel all that and big telecoms will buy those technologies, ending up with a few original adtech players like Google but also telecoms being the owner of technologies. I am excited for that industry and love it. However, being in the middle of it won’t be too much fun, as something will have to give, and quite frankly, I could do with a bit more stability in life on the job front, in order to focus more of my spare time on my number one priority: family and kids.

Now don’t get this as a too negative notion on adtech. I am still speaking to a few companies in adtech and some have some smart solutions. Just this week I spoke to an interesting company which has a niche solution delivering incremental ROI. That is so cool! That’s when I get still excited. And yes, likelihood is I am back in adtech before we know it, but let’s also be honest and watch the space as it is changing.

So, that’s all from me folks. More news next week.
Volker

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Sunday Column (396)

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The end of July. Wow. This year flew past. It is Thursday when I start this post, and this week passed quickly too. I don’t even know what I did on Monday. Amazing, and good to see I am busy. There are so many things I need to be sorting.

Let’s see. I updated you on my job situation last week. More updates to follow, once hopefully things get a bit clearer, once people are back from holidays. Emails are quiet. News sites are quiet. I keep writing my own news on Linkedin, so if you haven’t seen my articles there, please have a look. Holiday season means slow response times, no decision making. Hey, keep looking forward, enjoy the quieter time, and some of the nice weather. It will get busier before you know it.

In Germany we call it the Sommerloch, literally the summer hole. No, nothing rude, not an a*hole, but the hole the press and everything else falls into when it gets really quiet. My FT is getting smaller by the week, and the content worth reading too. Hibernation almost. I did notice that I got more tired, but a few runs sorted me out again. Some more sleep would be good but too many things are going around in my head. Summer hole. I like that term. It reminds me of home, of the smell of grass from the fields, the freshly cut one. The one they collect later on in the year for hay. It is like the beginning of Autumn, my most favourite season. I know we make it to the end of the year. Things are moving forward. When I grew up I didn’t have hay fever. I now seem to have some allergy. Things are in constant change.

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Talking about change. I noticed this week in particular how change is affecting fast growing organisations. I wrote about it a while ago that when people join organisations at the early growth stage, and they then evolve and these people leave, they might leave with a bad memory. Yet a lot of companies then attract new people. I overheard at an event a few weeks back, that someone said ‘how could you join this company, they are not doing well’. I don’t ever say that about any company. And this is not in regards to my current situation. But companies go through changes and if one person leaves, others transition in. It might just be the right opportunity for them at the time, and works very well. They grow with the company probably for another 2-3 years and then a new group of people transition in, the new old ones out. Only bigger cooperations can afford to job rotate you every 2-3 years, and only a few hang around to grow with smaller companies and continue to have an interesting job for life.

That is one of the reasons of digital staff turnover. Too many small to medium sized companies grow too quickly. Some people cannot cope with the amount of change or like more stability. Some people grow and some outgrow a company, growing personally quicker than the company. Then there are changes, and it is very common. Whether that is redundancy, voluntary leave or head hunted to another position, doesn’t really matter. But this change must be managed very carefully. Companies who do, are the ones that survive, grow and outgrow competitors.

No this picture isn't really the way we live in Scotland ;-)

No this picture isn’t really the way we live in Scotland 😉

So when I am speaking to companies about jobs, I don’t only look at the job. Given my experience I can do most senior jobs unless they require a very specific skill I might not have. Equally important for me is due-diligence within the industry. What is it like to work there? How high is the staff turnover? And if high, why? If low, why? What are the points of differentiation? Are we onto a winning organisation? What are the values represented within the company, what do they stand for? I am a people person and my next step needs to be right. Above is just one example of a whole array of questions and talking points when discussing jobs and positions. With the change of guard there are opportunities and they might just be right for one person and not right for another. That’s what makes our industry so exciting.

In the meantime I spent a fantastic weekend with the family in Scotland. I love being in Scotland and enjoy the Scots, their mentally and the fresh air. No kidding. 15 degrees, slight drizzle and some fresh sea air. Nothing beats that. Whilst you looking out of your living window, across the Black Isle, having a coffee, the peat fire on and think about the things to come, the things to accomplish. You hug your kids as they wake up. You makes sure they are happy and you think, that this is now the only thing that matters. Everything else must wait. Everything else is secondary.

I cherish those moment. The moments that fully fill that summer hole for me!

Have a great week,
Volker

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Sunday Column (225)

Another week. Another busy week to be precise. Summertime. Parties, school runs, interviews, discussions, evaluations, rejections, hopefuls, yeses. No, I don’t have a job yet, and if that’s the sole reason why you read this blog, I cut straight to it. Things take longer than anticipated, then again I have only been out of work for two months. So really, no one expects me to be back at work yet, with upcoming holidays and all there might be no news for a few weeks. Trust me, I will announce it here first, and will write up some of my experience.

On a positive note I took on another freelance project to chair the content of yet another conference. This time Admonsters Screens in London. I enjoy working with thought leaders in the industry, putting content together and network with the industry in the field of “screens”. We shall see. I see another blog post coming, about data and second screen, connected TV, mobile and data analytics. There are some cool companies out there but there seems to be only one that does it all.

We are sleep training Rohan which makes me hangover without drink. Sleep deprivation, him crying for hours at times and my wife and I taking turns of staying up with him. It breaks your heart but we both find this method will be the best moving forward. It also worked with our older one, but we started quite late with Rohan due to sickness. Anyway, Colin was crying too. When I took him to school he didn’t want to part and stay there but instead come home with me. I went through that phase age 3-7 with 30 minutes crying in the corner before slowly easing into the environment. Hopefully this was a one off, but again this breaks your heart. The kids enjoy daddy being around and him playing with them and teasing them. However, this means a lot of attention, and less exercise, book writing etc. then again I won’t get this chance again soon (I hope) to spend so much time with them.

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Also this week we had repairs done to the heating and we needed a new car tyre. Just great timing. Some windows need replacing and we waiting for some cash to do some not so urgent repairs before the winter. I know it’s only summer but….time flies and I am confident to put the orders out there soon. Don’t misunderstand, we are not struggling yet mastering the situation and prioritising. A good exercise to be honest.

There are many things in life you learn from. Things turn out for the better and decisions happen for a reason. You are in charge, you decide. Karma is there and the greater universe to guide you if you listen. Are you willing to put your life out there based on a gut feeling? My wife is good with that. She says we be ok – so we will be ok. Oh yes and we will, the kids will go to big school soon, the house will be fixed, the new kitchen going to come and so on.

But I learn that some things are just not important. A beer with my Greek friend is more important than a take away; and the love of my kids, quality time with them more important than some other appointments. And some trips to London and beyond are necessary evil. That’s life. It is all part of it.

And enjoying it is key. We have been to great parties this weekend. Being able to live in the now, focusing on the future, balancing the ups and downs and enjoying life for what it is. A journey. A place to make the most out of your ambitions. Love.

Staying sane. So far anyway.

Have a great July, a good week ahead.

Volker

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Sunday Column (15)

Another week and a rainy weekend, at least most of Saturday and Saturday/Sunday night. Even some thunderstorm. Welcome to Britain.

At the time of me writing this blog entry there is no news from little Colin to come out. Jen had some acupuncture and we are hoping it speeds things up. We will have breaking news on this blog depending on the situation. Also, we will inform you via email and send first pictures. What an exciting but also stressful time!

This week was a busy interview week. With a flying start on Monday and 3 interviews on Thursday/Friday, I am now all interviewed out 🙂 I hope that one of the interviews I had will lead to a job. Again, I keep you posted on the developments.

We got our Lombok sideboard exchanged. It had a big crack in the top piece and they exchanged it quickly and without asking too many questions. Their customer service is just great. So is their furniture. Nice to see that companies don’t cut down on customer service.

Our friends’ Volker & Tini had their wedding this weekend and we hope they had better weather than us. Shame we could not make it, as we so would have loved to be there. But with the due date being a day before the wedding, this just was not an option. I don’t want to say “see you next time”, but surely see you at the next occasion soon. Enjoy your honeymoon!

I spent Saturday morning visiting our old neighbour and then went to Waitrose. Their 4 for 3 or 8 for 6 offer on wine is very tempting. So I got into the wine buying rush and got a few bottles, then went to Oddbins and stocked up on the great stuff even more. As a result I re-organised my wine cellar (under the stairs) and noticed that I have about 60 bottles laying around, some of which exceed the proud price of £10, some the £20 and a few….never mind. I just really like my good wines and hope I can enjoy them more often again when the wee man is here.

So, a lazy lazy weekend. No CV writing, no interview preparation. Just a waiting game and lots of thoughts on my mind. Even the cats were lazy. I don’t think they moved all day. Pah…..

Then again I was active today. Pictures to follow, but we spent a small fortune on garden plants and dug up the garden once again and planted so many plants. It will look all nice flowery and green soon that I cannot wait to share some pictures!

Also, on Twitter, I finally cracked the 500 followers. That is good going.

Lets pray for some nice weather next week, the arrival of our boy and me finding a job.

Love and Happiness from our wee, greener and more flowery, place,
Volker

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