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“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” was typed time and time and time again by a manic Jack Torrance (played superbly by Jack Nicholson) in “The Shining” where he loses his mind..… But there was another part added to this proverb a long, long time ago which was “All play and no work makes Jack a mere Toy”

Why am I talking about this? Because I have just read about the UK IT company that has recently converted a pub to offices and now provides its employees/playmates with a giant slide, swing, pool table, cinema, bar and putting green. When I first read the article I noted that it was quite close to April 1st but having read similar stories about companies, particularly in IT, I had to believe it to be true.

I am the first to admit that I can be a bit of a dinosaur as far as work is concerned, particularly having started life in the conservative atmosphere of a chartered accounting firm. When I started work you went to work to work… You then went home in the evening to play, and you played at the weekends. Life was quite simple. The only exception to this rule were the partners in the firm who tended to “work” a lot on the golf course during the week, but the only “play” we had at work was when somebody told a joke, or flicked a rubber band at you. The photocopier malfunctioning and throwing paper all over the office (as it often did) was cause for laughter – I guess, as accountants, we were easily amused.

Did I feel hard done by? Did I feel oppressed? Did I feel that there was some accounting firm elsewhere in London where I could play more and work less? Hell No .. The firm gave me good training, paid me well and had some brilliant clients to work with.

Did I feel therefore that not being able to jump up and down on a bouncy castle or slide down a giant helter-skelter meant that my ability to give good business advice to a client was severely prejudiced? – I do not think so.

What happened to a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay? Did everything really change forever after the first episodes of “The Office” and work fun like Gareth’s stapler being covered in jelly became the norm behaviour?

As I said before I may be a dinosaur… so I would really appreciate some comments on where work begins and play finishes. Having a playground in your office – does it really make your business more profitable? Your clients better served? Your organisation more productive?

Should employers now be focussed on a full day’s pay for a full day’s play – and perhaps the employees do all their work at home? Now there’s a thought to make you as crazy as Jack….

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How to deal with Interviews after redundancy

Here’s some great advice from Lawstaff.

They specialise in legal appointments, but the points they make are relevant to all:

How to Deal with Interviews After a Redundancy

For many people, the experience of being made redundant can be a soul-destroying one, severely knocking one’s confidence and self-esteem.

With downsizing and the current economic recession, redundancy is more common and no longer carries the social stigma it once had.  Luckily these days, being made redundant does not impact on your employability.

It is important to be proactive and positive while job-hunting after redundancy.  How to deal with job interviews about being made redundant may seem a daunting prospect, but the trick is to be honest about the circumstances of your redundancy.  Here are some tips on dealing with interviews.

1.      Before the Interview, Deal with Your Feelings

Deal with any feelings of failure, anger, humiliation, loss or rejection before the interview.   Failure to do so will impact your interview.   Even though you have been affected personally, understand redundancy is not personal.  Move on by focusing on making your skills marketable and current.

2.      Focus on Your Selling Your Skills and Experience

A potential employer is interviewing you for your skills and experience, and this is what you should focus on in the interview.  Otherwise, you would not have got the interview in the first place!  Save any discussion about the circumstances in which you left your previous job for later, after the employer has shown some interest in hiring you.

3.      Be Honest

Be honest answering questions about the circumstances of your redundancy.  Volunteer information and try to explain it in a factual way.  Give reasons such as downsizing, restructuring or a merger.  You may also have to explain what you did after being made redundant.  Focus on what constructive steps you took during this period.

4.      Focus on the Company and the Role on Offer

Don’t focus on being made redundant as the reason why you want the position.  Needing a job to pay the bills won’t impress the interviewer.  Ask questions about the culture of the firm and the responsibilities of the role.  Make sure you have done your interview preparation on finding about the firm and their products and services.

5.      Do Not Criticise Your Ex-Employer

It is best to avoid reflecting any negative feelings about your former employer.  You may come across as being a complainer or someone with a negative attitude.  Try to be objective about the situation your employer was in and the new possibilities that redundancy has opened up for you.



Interview questions

useful comments added today on Interview questions by Tom O’Neil on our Interview page



Free Interview Tips

Some useful free tips added from Jonathan Davison on our Interview page  

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