Welcome to our new series of interviews, Charity Careers, in which our guest writer Nicola Greenbrook talks to key influencers in the charity sector, inviting them to share their personal career story so far and describe in their own words how they navigate the professional world.
We discover what they've learnt from their ups and downs at work, what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning and even what their dream breakfast might look like when they do...
If you're a graduate curious about the not-for-profit sector, an emerging leader looking for inspiration, or simply want to read a motivating charity success story, look out for more Charity Careers features throughout the year.
Starting us off with some much-needed sunshine, Nicola meets highly-experienced head of fundraising Sara Rees!
Sara Rees is Head of Fundraising for Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity which exists to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families across the UK.
The charity's work brings joy, hope and relief and creates precious memories for the whole family.
Our charity's mission is...
We believe these brave young people deserve to experience happiness and put their illness on hold, even if only for a day. We grant magical wishes (whether being a ballerina or fireman for the day or a trip to Disneyland), deliver services in children's hospitals and hospices (like installing play areas or running activity days with arts & crafts and entertainers), and organise days out and events (from Christmas parties to pop concerts).
We've seen a 93% increase in demand on our services since 2011, and last year we granted our 6,000th wish and touched the lives of 12,000 children.
I'm responsible for...
Working with the fundraising and management team and Board to raise the funds that make our work possible. We do this through amazing events, corporate partnerships, patrons, community supporters, people taking on challenges in aid of us and lots more.
I started my career...
I studied languages at Uni, but I didn't really want to become a translator or interpreter. So I fell into jobs across a variety of sectors that played to my strengths. It was during a gap year when I was 25 that I realised I wanted a more meaningful career. Once back in the UK, I temped and half-heartedly tried to break into the charity sector. I didn't know what my transferable skills were though, so was unsure what jobs to apply for.
About a year later, I was introduced to a friend of a friend who'd set up a recruitment agency. His advice was, start volunteering and work your way up. I found this so frustrating - I was certain I had so much to offer right then!
He sent me a job spec anyway and it turned out to be an Account Exec role in the Corporate Partnerships team at Cancer Research UK. I nearly fell off my chair when I read it... someone had written my dream job down for me! It was then, only with hindsight, I realised my previous jobs shared a common thread: account management, business development, sales, relationship management. I got the job - and I haven't looked back since.
My key roles along the way were...
I spent 6.5 years at CRUK, thirsty for experience and taking on new roles or projects with greater responsibility every two years or so. Since then, I've worked on a Capital Appeal at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and then headed up the Corporate Partnerships team at Breast Cancer Care.
I keep my skills fresh by...
Learning new skills is one of my highest values. I'm grateful that my thirst for learning has been matched with some amazing developmental opportunities from day one. In my early career, I signed up for courses on everything from presentation skills to time and priority management. You name it, I went to it. My passion for development was noticed and I was trained to facilitate in-house learning sets and programmes.
One of the best things I did was a post-graduate certificate in Leadership & Management and another highlight was joining the free Aspire scheme. I was paired with the most insightful coach I've ever met. They generated some massive breakthroughs and 'aha' moments, which I still apply on a daily basis.
Cheesy as it may sound, I genuinely view every challenge as an opportunity to learn, gain experience of something new, and become better.
My advice for anyone considering a move to the charity sector...
For grads - first, work out your strengths and skills and what kind of role you could get really passionate about. Then apply for internships and volunteer roles in those areas. If a position opens up in the charity, you're in a prime position to apply. If not, the experience looks great on your CV and provides valuable content for interview questions elsewhere.
To emerging leaders - get yourself an experienced mentor and read up on the world of management. There are plenty of books and courses on different management styles and techniques. Get equipped with as many tools in your belt as possible!
The best piece of advice that's stuck in my mind is...
I've heard some of the most successful women in business asked, "what advice would you give to your younger self?". They almost unanimously respond along the lines of "you are unique - know and play to your strengths, trust yourself, stop seeking approval all the time, don't try to be something or someone else, and relax - you can handle it." I love that advice. The older I get, the more I appreciate it.
My alarm goes off at...
7.00 am - I'm so not a morning person! I'm more snoozer than spring-out-of-bedder. My 20-minute walk to the station is a life-saver - it wakes me up and provides great thinking time.
My dream breakfast is...
Eggs Royale; poached eggs, smoked salmon drizzled with lemon juice and wholemeal pitta bread - delicious. My other half also makes mean pancakes!
Since I'm not a morning person though, and usually in a hurry, the Eggs Royale looks more like a nutrition shake or a nut bar with some fruit to snack on (I'm a 'fruit nut' as my old boss used to say). Oh, and a coffee. I love my coffee - the last sip is always accompanied by a resigned sigh.
A typical day...
Doesn't exist, but that's what I love about it. Today, I was in Leicester presenting with a colleague to a group of hotel chain general managers. Yesterday I was buried in budget spreadsheets, writing a strategy and pitching for new business. Some days I get to help out at one of our magical beneficiary events.
Right now I'm reading...
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, a gift for my birthday. Also reading and definitely not enjoying - GDPR guidance papers!
I grew up on classic comedies and can't get enough of brilliant stand-ups, sitcoms and satire. I whooped out loud on the tube when I read the BBC is giving Alan Partridge another series this year.
I can't get through the day without...
Good conversation. I get a lot of energy from connecting with people. Not just with colleagues, family and friends; I chat to random people during the day too. I really enjoy each encounter and it so often leads to something positive - from a simple film or restaurant recommendation to something more impactful, like a lead or an introduction. I can't imagine going through a day without it.
And finally, on sleep...
I love sleep, but I'm a night owl through and through. At the time I should go to bed, I get a new idea or an overwhelming urge to tick one or two more things off my to-do list. It takes me ages to finally get to bed - but as soon as my head hits the pillow, that's it. I'm a good dreamer but not a great bed buddy; apparently I sleep like a starfish and for a little person, manage to take up the whole bed. Then before I know it, it's 7.00 am again...
We know the feeling only too well! Our sincere thanks to Sara for kindly being our first interviewee and sharing her insights - and of course to Nicola for bringing us another great feature: we're already looking forward to more!
Meanwhile if you'd like to find out more about Sara's organisation, visit Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity.
We’re always open to adding new faces to our friendly and diverse team – find out more about what it’s like to work for us, the opportunities available and the kind of people we’re looking for.
Recently expanded into our new South West office, our executive team offer bespoke recruitment solutions for CEO, chair, senior management and trustee positions, with an exceptional track record of success.
Our hugely popular series of inter-charity competitions includes bowling, quiz nights and lead sponsorship of the London Charity Softball League! Get the lowdown on those and more events here.
Be it a glamorous getaway or simple staycation, holidays are a chance to relax and recharge. Which you'll probably need after the frantic fortnight of frenzied preparation that all too often comes first. So how do you take a stress-free break without simply cramming it all in beforehand? And what if you're left holding things together on the home front? In this month’s guest article, freelance writer and HR specialist Nicola Greenbrook has advice on pre-holiday planning to help you head away with everything in hand, keep calm with your carry-on, and be raring to go on your return. Holiday season is well and truly upon us. Oh, the anticipation of what’s to come! An opportunity to get stuck into the book gathering dust on the bedside table or to broaden your horizons at a bucket list-worthy destination. A chance to recharge and refuel. According to Dr Christian Jarrett, holidays can make us happier, healthier and even prolong our lives. Sometimes though, the pace and pressure in the weeks leading up to the holiday almost negate the benefits of the break itself. Here are some tips to help you deliver a successful handover - keeping your credibility, peace of mind and work relationships intact. Before you go... (Excited! Full of anticipation! But a bit stressed!) American polymath Benjamin Franklin quite wisely said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. He was spot on. Nailing a holiday handover is all in the preparation; giving yourself sufficient time to organise everything weeks in advance. Forewarn your absence Make sure your holiday dates are in your team and key stakeholders’ diaries as soon as your leave has been authorised; even if you sort the finer, exciting details later. If you’re client or supporter-facing or manage multiple projects, consider adding an extra line to your email signature a few weeks in advance that clearly outlines the period of your absence. Rather than appearing smug (‘I'M GOING ON HOLIDAY FOR TWO WEEKS AND YOU'RE NOT’) it instead ensures your contacts are notified well in advance and can plan accordingly at their end. It also prevents any nasty surprises on your last day. The art of the handover note It’s always a good idea to start your Holiday Handover Notes (HHN) a good few weeks before, even if you jot down headers or topics in the first instance, rather than frantically wracking your tired brain the night before you fly. Consider always having the document open in the week before you go, for ease of brain-dump, rather than scribbling a note on a Post-it that gets lost in a yellow sea of more Post-its or overloading your already full head. CJ Sinclair, founder of Go Travel and Talk, a network that provides detailed travel guides to worldwide destinations with solo travellers in mind, is always on the move; and therefore well-practised in the art of the perfect handover. She breaks her HHN down into critical priorities, current and upcoming projects and ‘things to watch’ and ‘worry or pain points’. CJ also cleverly adds screen shots and media, to break up the words and highlights important text for an easy at-a-glance view. Aim to strike the balance with a comprehensive but concise approach to your HHN. HR News suggests that ‘…there’s no need to cause an unreasonable amount of stress on the employee/s covering you whilst you’re away, so highlighting all the ‘need-to-know’ points will help them keep on top of things’. Order tasks by priority and include key delivery dates or deadlines, with the most recent first. Schedule in a face-to-face meeting with your colleague who’s taking the reins. You can talk through the HHN before you go, so they can ask questions and jot down their own points. Avoid being patronising; your team are knowledgeable enough to know what ‘pass invoice to Finance' means in practice. There's no need to go into intricate detail about the ‘third cupboard on the left with the squeaky drawer’ if everybody knows perfectly well all about the squeaky drawer. Be a clever planner In the weeks before, keep your diary as clear as possible and stay focused. It may feel a wrench missing Steve from Events’ birthday lunch, but avoiding social engagements or non-urgent appointments wins you back a few hours of uninterrupted work time. At 7.00pm on your last day when you’re panicked and finishing with all your holiday toiletries still to buy, you’ll be grateful for that hour. You can catch up with Steve and the gang on your return. If you’re a freelancer or consultant in the not-for-profit sector with no-one to actually hand over to, it's even more crucial to plan ahead. CJ finds that scheduling everything in advance with calendar reminders or apps like Later and Tailwind, can be helpful. Although "it does mean a lot of work beforehand to get it all done”, she also notes “it’s amazing how much technology can help to give you a little respite!” Avoid dumping-disguised-as-a-handover-task Be reasonable and conscientious, and tie up as many loose ends as you possibly can before you go. Don't be tempted to use your absence from the office as an opportunity to slip in a few projects that have been on the back burner, or to dump tricky tasks you’ve been putting off on to an unsuspecting colleague. This may cause resentment in your absence, confusion or delays to a project. Don't use OOO to get a LOL It’s tempting to set a comedy out of office message, but the best advice is to save it for the comedians. As funny as they might be to read, there's a fine line between light-hearted and inappropriate, and it's not necessarily in the same place for everyone. Getting it wrong and causing offence can reflect badly on the charity, its purpose and mission. A simple message that clearly states your return date and who to contact in your absence will do the trick, although it can be a nice touch to highlight a particular campaign your charity is running. Oh, and don’t forget your voicemail too if you receive direct calls. Set boundaries Depending on what works for you, let your direct reports and manager know how and when you can be contactable if a genuine emergency arises while you’re on the beach. Otherwise, you should trust your team and colleagues to adequately manage things in your absence, especially if you’ve put all of the above into place. Prioritise your wellbeing, family and friends during that precious break, and where possible, learn to switch off. If it's your turn to hold the fort... It can be tough being the stand-in. You’re managing your own workload as well as bearing the responsibility of doing a good house-sitting job. Be assertive. Even if your colleague is looking rather up to their eyes in it, ask all the questions you need before they go so you’re well informed and can maintain the proper functioning of tasks in their absence - it’s for both of your benefits. CJ Sinclair especially looks after her colleagues by cc’ing them into emails in the weeks leading up to her holiday and keeping them 100% in the picture. If the work is project-facing, she also arranges calls with clients to introduce them to the person holding the fort - so why not consider asking for the same treatment? Be proactive and schedule a meeting with the hander-over on their penultimate day to avoid a last minute panic on the final one. Politely ask that their handover notes are in good shape so that you can go through the entire document together, check your understanding and fill in any gaps. Then schedule one in the early afternoon of their first day back. Consider using Google Docs so that you can update the document with your own notes as you go along. It will save you time and allow your colleague to read through and extract the key points and actions before their return if they fancy, making their first day back easier (and yours; you’ve now just the one workload to juggle. Hurrah!). It can be hard bearing the weight of managing tasks in someone else’s absence and the risk of being overwhelmed is high. Accept that you can’t do everything and be aware of what you can reasonably do. Focus on the deadlines and priorities, and don’t fret if you didn’t even get a peek at the ‘non-urgent’ section of the HHN. These can be picked up when your colleague returns. If you’re struggling, talk to your manager and shout for help. This Harvard Business Review article has some great tips on what to do when you’re covering for colleagues - and can't keep up. When you get back... (Jet lagged! With post-holiday blues! Slightly full of dread!) It's tough coming back from a holiday. Even worse when you’ve had to come straight from airport to office, you’re desperately missing the pool/beach/mountain/all-inclusive buffet and were not at all prepared for a painful reunion with the tube. Here’s some final tips on how to restore some of that holiday-energy. • Keep your diary as clear as you can. Prioritise the meeting with your colleague who managed your work (who hopefully would have scheduled it for early afternoon) and use the morning to clear/organise your emails and get your task list up to date. The responsibility is back with you, and the chances are your colleague will be relieved to relinquish the extra load. • Be gracious and thankful for the support you received from your colleagues. If time hasn’t allowed them to complete all tasks, keep your cool and try not to be angry or concerned that things haven't been done ‘your way’. • Avoid a post-holiday grumble. You fully deserved your break and it’s always hard to come crashing back to reality when you’ve had the time of your life. However, be mindful that while you’ve been travelling they’ve been sweating it in your absence. Don’t moan about being back or repeatedly say ‘this time last week I was *add fabulous holiday thing*' and sigh, loudly. Be grateful for both a super break and a supportive team of colleagues. • Come bearing gifts. Like a bottle of that funny-coloured liquor from the local supermarket, unpronounceable sweets or some local delicacies. It doesn’t have to be expensive or purchased from somewhere impressive; a box of fudge can go a long way to say thank you. So, there you go. You’ve notified people way in advance that you're jetting off. You’ve planned, scheduled, created perfect handover notes with no nasty surprises, and your team know how to track you down in an emergency (unlikely as they’re so well-informed). Now, swap sandwiches at your desk for something delicious al fresco and lose yourself in a good book rather than a report, safe in the knowledge that everything's in hand. You deserve it. Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist & Freelance Writer Contact Nicola More from Nicola Greenbrook: ► How to manage stress at work ► How to switch off ► Charity Careers 4: meet James Harris of Rethink Mental Illness Check out the brand new Salary Centre ...home of the Harris Hill & CharityJob 2019 Salary Report, the essential new guide to UK charity salaries. With market insights from our sector specialists and the expert team at CharityJob, you'll find more than 350 current rates for roles in 26 job functions, based on over 45,000 recent charity vacancies. What should you be earning in the charity sector? Find out here... ► Back to the blog homepage
Loads of questions coming into the blog this week, but mainly: a) Can it possibly be time for the charity softball finals? b) Seriously, it’s been a year already? and c) Why DO Cadbury’s Giant Buttons* taste so much better than the small ones despite being exactly the same chocolate? To which the answers are respectively a) yes, b) I know! and c) no idea, it's a lightweight blog about softball, you want Mysteries of the Universe next door. (*Other large versions of small chocolates are available. As are small versions of large chocolates, but even they know they're just wasting everybody's time. Celebrations aside, obviously). But yes, the big day is very nearly upon us, and after a gripping summer of unexpected twists, extraordinary turns and fast-paced-but-friendly competition, all eyes will be on Hyde Park tomorrow, Thursday 15th August for the Season 17 finale of the London Charity Softball League! Spoiler alert if you’re still catching up on earlier episodes, but previously this season: 80 teams (made up of players from over 120 charities) battled it out in parks across London, and just six have now made it all the way to the grand finals to compete for the coveted Harris Hill Plate, Bluestep Shield and the granddaddy of them all, the Harris Hill Cup! And your six finalists are... Sustrans Sluggers vs Mind Action on Hearing Loss vs Business in the Community Anthony Nolan vs Food Fighters (Action Against Hunger and Fareshare) Naturally we'll be on hand with refreshments (by which we mean beer) for no less than our 13th year, along with our excellent fellow sponsors, and we hope to see you there! Meanwhile in keeping with more recent tradition, we also interrupted all six teams during vital last-minute preparations to fire a whole bunch of questions at them about their season and whether they’re going to win a prize. Just to throw in some extra tension and jeopardy, it's been a race against time to see which teams would make it into this career-defining feature, but three were quick enough off the mark, so please would you welcome the Sustrans Sluggers, Anthony Nolan, and the hunger-tackling hybrid of Action Against Hunger and Fareshare, the Food Fighters! ► First up, the only one of last year's final six making a reappearance, this time challenging Mind for the Harris Hill Cup: it's the Sustrans Sluggers! Sustrans Sluggers Answering the questions: Ami 'nition' Udeshi and Will 'Statman' Wright, Vice Captains About the team: Sustrans Sluggers (the Slugs) are the team making it easier for people to walk and cycle to their softball game. We can normally be spotted by the large stack of bikes piled up near the diamond. Tell us about your history in the league? We’re relative newcomers to the league having started in 2016. When we started we had no idea what we were doing - most of us just thought softball was "basically rounders", much to our captain’s dismay. Four years on and we’ve somehow slugged our way into the Cup final. What's the best thing about being part of it? Playing an amazing, inclusive sport on warm summer evenings, hanging out with your colleagues and meeting people from other charities across London. You can’t beat it! There’s always a real buzz in the office every match day. What's been your season highlight so far? Our captain “King” Cliff Batsuya and top batsman Oli “Big Slug” Gladstone promising to get slug tattoos if we win the Cup. This was at a time when no one ever dreamt we’d get this far. They’re somewhat regretting videoing their promise. Friendliest team you've played? We’ve played so many friendly teams this season, and that’s what makes this league so special. Particular shout outs must go to Amnesty International and Rethink Forward for being especially awesome. We also love playing against Pitch'n'Mix and will always organise a friendly against them if we’re not in the same league Who’s been your MVP this year? Despite only joining the team last Friday, Slugs McKenzie has already earned a place in our hearts (or maybe nightmares): Two years running in the finals - what's your recipe for softball success? For us it's down to a heady mixture of team spirit, unbridled enthusiasm and warm, cheap cans of lager. That, and a spreadsheet full of statistical analysis that puts the guys in Moneyball to shame… And lastly, what are you hoping for from the finals night? Team spirit, unbridled enthusiasm and warm, cheap lager (we're all over it - Team HH). To be honest, we’re just looking forward to an incredible evening, whatever the result. We feel a bit like whenever Scotland qualify for the World Cup – we’re just happy to be here. Best of luck to Mind, we can’t wait! ► Battle for the Bluestep Shield Our next two teams are both in contention for the Bluestep Shield, and the Nolans might appear to have a distinct advantage numbers-wise, plus a surprising amount of twins on the team, but it's purely because we've seamlessly (honestly, you'll never see it) stitched together two photos to try and get everybody in. Paging team captain Amy Holland! Anthony Nolan Answering the questions: Amy Holland, Team Captain and Donor Provision Coordinator at Anthony Nolan, meaning I look after donors when they’re selected to donate. About the charity: Anthony Nolan is the charity that makes lifesaving connections between people with blood cancer and incredible strangers ready to donate their stem cells. We’re saving three lives a day, in fact. By growing the stem cell register, carrying out ground-breaking research and providing the best post-transplant care, we’re giving families a future. So how long have you been involved in the league? Anthony Nolan have been in the league for about five years (it pre-dates the team we have now so we’re not entirely sure). We got to the Cup finals a few years ago but were defeated, and we made it through to the first round of the Cup last year but were beaten by Cancer Research! Who are the friendliest team you’ve played this year? We’ve had some great competition this year and some lovely catch-ups in the pub after. A few notable mentions go to Southwark Sluggers, WWF and NDCS last week! Who’s been your MVP? Probably Xenia - a few weeks ago we were missing most of our usual pitchers so I kind of threw her in (pun intended) and she was awesome! But she is also a great all-round player, picking up whatever position I put her in and being the only girl this season to hit a home run. Of course, everyone has been fantastic and played their part in getting us here! Is that the secret of your success? I don’t think I can pick one thing; we can really knuckle down when the pressure is on which is great, and we have a really strong fielding team which has got us out of more than one tight spot this season! But we’re a really friendly team who all get along really well. We’ll be in the final without our co-captain, Chris, who left Anthony Nolan last week and moved to Cornwall for a new job in the NHS. Yet to determine whether this is an advantage or disadvantage to the team… And how are you feeling about your chances on Thursday? Pretty good, it feels great to have even got this far so to win would be the cherry on top of an already-great cake. We have a strong team and everyone is pretty determined. One of our ex-colleagues plays for the opposition so it could get interesting…!! ► It could indeed: we don't know if they're in the photo below, but speaking of the opposition... Food Fighters (aka Action Against Hunger and Fareshare) Answering the questions: Luke Wiechula, Co-Captain of the Food Fighters and Community & Corporate Fundraising Partnerships Officer for FareShare. About the charities: We have different means as charities, but we both agree that the notion of people going hungry in this day and age is absolutely abhorrent. Action Against Hunger saves the lives of malnourished children. They ensure everyone can access clean water, food, training and healthcare, and enable entire communities to be free from hunger. FareShare believes that no good food should go to waste. We redistribute surplus food to charities that turn it into meals. We are doers, a community, and we change lives. How did the partnership come about? Though FareShare have been playing for a few years this is our first year as a merge team (and Action Against Hunger’s first ever), all of our admin contacts left and therefore we lost our spot as an independent team. However Action Against Hunger were kind enough to allow us to join them, both teams agree this has turned out to be a great decision and we’ve all made some great friends and memories as a result. What are the best things about the league and making the final? Considering a few months ago most of us had never met, we’ve got lots of people playing their first ever softball season and to make it to the final is no small achievement. We’d love to lift The Shield, let’s hope the softballing gods are on our side. Besides that, it’s about: - the camaraderie - tactics (when they come off) - summer days spent in London’s finest parks, glove in one hand, beer in the other Who’ve been your toughest opponents this year? We played my old charity SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, a team that I helped set up - they bested us in that particular match thanks to some sublime fielding. Able to resolve all of our differences in the pub afterwards! And the friendliest? Scope! Fantastic team, really closely fought but friendly game, looking forward to catching up with them on Thursday. What about memorable moments on the pitch? Rich ‘arm-cannon’ Guion (think Barrett from Final Fantasy VII) had managed to get to a ball that landed way beyond him in deep field, cranked up the arm-cannon, launched it to myself in short stop and as the runner was making her way between third and home I threw another hail mary and we were able to get them out. Great team play! (Louis Theroux voiceover): 'None of us understood what Luke was saying, but there was an important softball game at stake, so we decided to move on'. Any mascots, MVPs or special mentions? Hope ‘Superhands’ Rapp. A stalwart on first base and most frequently-awarded MVP (to the extent that she has her name pencilled in every game) for being so reliable, I honestly can’t think of a time she’s fumbled a ball. So what's brought you all the way to the finals? Although we enjoy winning and we're all thrilled to make it to the finals, we as a team make sure that we're having fun first and foremost. There have been some teams that have beaten us, but I can guarantee they haven’t had half as much fun as our merry band! There have been some high pressure situations this season, but if we think positive and trust in the rest of the team, our positivity has allowed us to make it this far. Will it be enough to lift the trophy on Thursday night? We know our strengths and intend to play to them, who knows how it will go. We can only do what we can do, but I think as a team we are quietly confident. All the planning can go out of the window immediately with someone injured or restricted by transport options. Keep happy, have fun, plan for the worst, hope for the best. ► Planning for the worst certainly sounds like good advice right now, but the sun always shines on the softball finals (eventually) so we're sure it'll be a triumph as ever! Huge thanks to Luke, Amy, Ami and Will (not forgetting Slugs), best of luck to the teams from Mind, Action on Hearing Loss and Business in the Community too, and we'll see you at the bar! Team HH More from the Harris Hill blog: ► How to handle the holiday handover: guest writer Nicola Greenbrook on how to ensure you enjoy a drama-free departure ► Softball season is here! an introduction to the 2019 charity softball season ► Charity Careers 4: meet James Harris of Rethink Mental Illness Don't miss the Harris Hill & CharityJob 2019 Salary Report... ...the essential new guide to UK charity salaries. With market insights from our sector specialists and the expert team at CharityJob, you'll find more than 350 current rates for roles in 26 job functions, based on over 45,000 recent charity vacancies. ► What should you be earning in the charity sector? Find out here...
We're delighted to bring you more than 20 great opportunities with Adviza, a vibrant and innovative charity working to make a positive difference for young people and adults, and with a great reputation for supporting their own staff too. They're currently looking for flexible and enthusiastic individuals for a range of permanent, temporary and contract positions, all based in the Thames Valley and starting very soon. Adviza delivers services for communities through a range of contracts such as The Prince's Trust, National Careers Service, Building Better Opportunities and National Citizen Service, and their work is all about giving young people and adults the best possible chance to progress successfully in learning and work. The good news for anyone joining the team is that they're equally committed to supporting and investing in their workforce too, and were recently awarded silver status by Investors in People thanks to the highly positive feedback of their current staff. There's so much to say about these superb opportunities that a blog post alone wouldn't suffice, so check out our dedicated Adviza recruitment pages for the full details.
We don't normally highlight individual vacancies here at the blog... ...but it's not every day we have one of the country's very biggest fundraising opportunities to talk about. Specifically, a new and hugely exciting role as Director of Income Generation for Tenovus Cancer Care, Wales' no.1 cancer charity and a fantastic organisation to work for. Read on or check out our dedicated Tenovus pages for details of what's likely to be a truly career-defining opportunity. Tenovus Cancer Care’s ambition is a future where fewer people get cancer, and those that do have equal access to the best treatment and support. With annual incomes of £9.6m, 250 staff and c.2,000 volunteers, Tenovus Cancer Care funds high quality research into major cancers, provides support to those affected by cancer, and educates the public and health professionals on cancer issues. Tenovus Cancer Care has cemented its position as a leading and well-respected cancer charity, with a track record of success in helping to improve people’s lives and growing income from its 63 shops in England and Wales, and via funding from donations and other sources. They're currently looking to recruit a Director of Income Generation, a fantastic new role in which you'll provide strategic leadership to the Income Generation team in order to achieve long term, sustainable income that enables the charity to achieve its strategic ambitions. Based in Cardiff, you’ll continually grow and develop our income streams including Community, Corporate and Events, Individual Giving, Major Donors, Legacies, Lottery and Retail. You will also be a member of the Leadership Team where you’ll work alongside other senior managers to shape the strategic direction of the charity and ensure that its aims and objectives are delivered by integrating and delivering a joined-up service. This is such an exceptional opportunity that we couldn't do it justice with a simple job description. Instead, check out our dedicated Tenovus pages where you'll find a welcome from CEO Judi Rhys, a video that provides a real flavour of the charity and their work, and plenty more on the benefits of working for this outstanding organisation. ► Find out more about this role ► What should you be earning in 2019? The Harris Hill & CharityJob 2019 Salary Report has the answers... ► More from the Harris Hill blog
Our very own haphazard duo Jessamine Green and aptly named Harriet Mountain (with the team name Hazzamine) are embarking on the epic Three Peaks Challenge this weekend on 3rd August 2019. The Three Peaks challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours. So to help prepare and understand why they have decided to embark on this madness we thought we would ask them a few questions. What made you decide to do the three peaks challenge? Jess: I’ve always wanted to do the three peaks and so when the opportunity knocked to be able to do it for a good cause I signed up immediately! Last year I fundraised for the Nepal Earthquak Recovery Fund by trekking the Himalayas and building a water tank in rural Nepal. I realised how all the funds went directly to those affected by the earthquake, the amazing work the charity had done previously to allow the basic need of clean water, after villages and towns had been wrecked and people displaced (two earthquakes in two years) and I am so enthusiastic to support this charity to continue their work. Harriet: I’ve always thought about doing a challenge like this but then Jess mentioned she was doing it and I thought why not? It can’t be that hard and then signed up on a whim without realising quite what it entailed! I also really admired the work that NERF do as all the funds go directly to those affected by the earthquake. How are you feeling about it? J: Terrified! Trekking last year was very difficult and I am hoping for no altitude sickness and some good weather (Trying not to think about 24 hour time cap!). Even seasoned trekkers find it difficult so hoping my strong legs and stubborn attitude will help. H: I’m absolutely terrified if I’m honest. I don’t feel very prepared and have not done anywhere near enough training. It’s the completing it in 24 hours that is really worrying me as I would be really looking forward to it if it was at a more leisurely pace! Who have you chosen to raise money for? J+H: The Nepal Earthquake Recovery Fund Have you done much climbing before? J: I’ve done trekking in Malaysia, Israel and last year went to Nepal to hike the Himalayas. H: I’ve done Snowdon before and also climbed Mount Kinabalu (4,095m) in Borneo a couple of years ago How's the training plan going? J: …what training plan? H: SNAP!...what training plan? I have done a couple of long walks and attempted the gym a few times but not gone to plan. Eeek! I did do a 10 mile walk in and around Richmond park on Sunday but then ended up a pub afterwards for six hours for a well earnt roast and a few gins! How confident are you feeling and what's going to be the biggest challenge? J: I think resilience and determination is my driving force as I’ve always loved a challenge and the feeling once you’ve exceeded your own expectations. Even for experienced hikers it’s supposed to be gruelling and incredibly difficult. I think the last peak will be the hardest as I know the end is getting near and my legs will be ready to buckle. H: I’m not feeling that confident as training hasn’t gone quite to plan but I am quite resilient and feel that will be a help and also I don’t want to let the rest of the group down so that will keep me going! The biggest challenge is going to be the timeframe as I do like a little rest and don’t think there’s going to be much time for that! I’m also worried as I have got Boomtown Festival three days after we finish so am going to be sore for that! Are there any of your recruitment skills that will come in handy during the three peaks challenge? J: My persuasion and assessment skills and breaking down a project into bitesize chunks (persuading myself to tackle one peak at a time!) H: Resilience is something I have really developed in recruitment, dealing with candidates dropping out, clients choosing other candidates etc. You have to develop a thick skin and roll with the punches. I just keep going… I will just keep going up the mountains! What are the biggest challenges you face in charity recruitment and how does the three peaks challenge compare? J: The biggest challenge I experience is managing multiple jobs with multiple candidates and the seasonality of the recruitment cycle – I feel myself a little a daunted at the prospect of these multiple peaks and working to a strict deadline. H: The biggest challenge I experience is managing multiple varying jobs with multiple candidates at any one time, at least it will be just one peak one at a time. How's the fundraising going and most importantly, where can we donate? J + H: Fundraising is going a little slowly with a consensus of donating on completion – however, it would be more encouraging to see the faith of our friends and colleagues if donate ahead of doing it! J: You can donate here! H: You can donate here! J+H: Please! And last but not least, what are you most looking forward to when it's all over? J: A cold beer in the national park in Snowdonia. H: A BIG gin and tonic! Well cheers to that! I am sure after all that climbing you will most definitely deserve it. Good luck! If you would like to donate to either Jess or Harriet’s pages these can be found here and here. Or if you wish to donate directly to the Nepal Earthquake Recovery Fund this can be found here.
We've teamed up with one of the biggest names in charity recruitment to bring you our most comprehensive guide yet to charity sector salaries, based on more than 45,000 recent UK vacancies. Find it in the Harris Hill Salary Centre, the brand new home for our growing collection of remuneration-related resources!
Can we realistically put in the hard work to achieve our career goals but avoid burnout? How do we set personal and work boundaries when technology blurs the perimeters and we’re expected to be ‘always on’? This month, guest writer Nicola Greenbrook explores why it’s essential for our health, wellbeing and productivity to not always be working. How do you switch off? No, let me rephrase that. Do you ever switch off? Findings from some highly credible research I recently commissioned (a straw poll via Facebook and Instagram Stories) indicated that the majority of people find it very difficult, if not impossible, to disengage from their job at the end of the working day. Always on Some key themes emerged from my study. Almost all respondents never, ever switch off entirely and an ‘always on’ mentality was the norm. Most permanently keep an eye on emails and remain digitally visible to their manager or team even when on holiday overseas. Many were secret email-checkers outside of work; sneaking away from their partner to hide in the loo and catch up, or were ‘just popping back to the apartment’ on holiday to check in. For others, although they left work on time due to childcare responsibilities or to meet friends, the reality was this; when the children were in bed, or once the night out was over, they automatically started working again. For many people, work is their life. If you’re a CEO, single-handedly running your own business or have been recently promoted to managerial level, it’s helpful to keep things ticking over out of hours. Sometimes burning the midnight oil or waking at 4.00 am with the sweats was down to sheer excitement, or with a fantastic idea pinging into their head. However, this was often countered with constant worry and anxiety about work tasks building up or having too much to do if they switched off. So, always on. Working 9 - 5 (or 11, if you're at home) According to the ONS Labour Force Survey, as reported by BBC News, more than 1.54 million people work from home for their main job - up from 884,000 ten years ago. Working from home may offer freedom and flexibility, but it can be difficult to resist the urge to do ‘just one more thing’, to skip breaks and lunch or to set a definitive finishing time. Jen David, an experienced CV Consultant is familiar with the ‘always on’ mentality as she works exclusively from home. She knows all too well the challenges of ‘splitting yourself in two when it’s not possible to finish by the time the school run is due; flicking between the work screen and the homework screen’. In her article for CV Library, she shares her strategies for staying focused at home and not succumbing to the domestic distractions but, importantly, knowing when to stop. Why always on needs to be off People Management magazine reports on the prevalence of the ‘always on’ mentality which can be a downside of more empowering flexible working methods. The CIPD’s Health and Wellbeing at Work Survey 2018, notes the increase of ‘leaveism’ which has been observed in nearly two-thirds of organisations over the last year. The concept may be new, but it’s likely that HR professionals, as well as individuals themselves, will be familiar with the behaviours - which include catching up on a backlog of work while on annual leave, taking work home or working when sick. Habitually working during what should be relaxing time is not only unhealthy, but could have a detrimental impact on individual performance and organisational productivity. Could it be that the more frequently we check emails, the less productive we come? In our attempts to be efficient, are we burning ourselves out and becoming more stressed? The World Health Organisation now recognises burn-out as a medical condition whose characteristics include ‘feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion’ and ‘reduced professional efficacy’. If you find it hard to unplug, you may keep working through the stress and fatigue - which for some is a badge of pride or honour - without realising the damage you could be doing. How to switch off How do we find the right balance between nailing our professional accomplishments and not compromising our mental wellbeing? In her book How to Not Always Be Working, author Marlee Grace believes that one of the most fundamentally important things you can do to unplug, is to turn your phone off and step away. Even if your work is your passion, the spirit of this idea still applies; with no phone, you’re connecting with the world, but not digitally watching it. Here are some other tips to help you switch off: ►Make the ‘one more thing’ you do a small task which, according to The Harvard Business Review, ends your day on a positive note of completion. A short phone call, signing a document or firing off a quick email response can give you a gratifying sense of one less thing to do tomorrow, without pushing yourself too hard. ►Use your lunch break as the cornerstone of your mission to unplug. Arrange a team get together, take your book to the park or seek out local, free activity that powers your legs and/or your brain. This Time Out is particularly good if you’re London-based and need some digital-free headspace. ►Try to lead by example; if your team perceive you as being permanently available there’s the risk of blurring the message and setting unhelpful expectations. ►Let voicemail take over on a non-working day; allow calls to go straight to voicemail so you can field the non-urgent ones and decide how to prioritise any issues. This avoids getting caught in the ‘yes’ trap if you’re caught off guard, or rushing into decisions. ►Preserve your personal time - and DO NOT compromise on this. The more you sacrifice seemingly insignificant parts of yourself or your life for work - like sleep, books, TV or time with friends - the more resentful, unhappy and ultimately unproductive you may become. Trying reading on your commute rather than scrolling or emailing, and keep your phone out of sight. It feels really, really good. ►Set a time slot - If you really must keep on top of things outside of any traditional working hours and doing ‘one more thing’ enables you to crack on with XYZ with a clear conscience and nothing hanging over you - proceed. However, set yourself a time slot; like one hour on a Sunday evening to nail your Monday to-do, but then be strict with yourself and don’t sneak back in. If you’re always switched on, now might be the best time to reframe how, and why, you work the way you do. If you don’t respect your time, then how will you expect others to? Try it today, this evening or tomorrow (if you’re reading this at 2.00am, while checking emails instead of sleeping)... Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist & Freelance Writer Contact Nicola More from Nicola Greenbrook: ► I quit! How to leave a job gracefully ► How to be productive at work ►How to turn rejection into a success story ► Back to the blog homepage
With the first ever London Climate Action Week kicking off from Monday 1 July, we’re delighted to welcome a guest feature from Harriet Lamb, CEO of sustainable energy champions Ashden, an inspiring organisation we’ve enjoyed recruiting for on many occasions. Given the number of fantastic charities we work with throughout the sector, singling out one particular cause to throw our burgeoning weight behind can be problematic: it's rather like trying to choose your favourite child out of literally hundreds (though with that many children you’d presumably be far too exhausted to decide on anything, we should think). But when it comes to preventing climate catastrophe, few but the most orange of presidents could disagree that it's one of, probably the most important issue of our times. However noble and essential every other objective may be, without a habitable planet we suspect they'd become what Joey Tribbiani would consider a ‘moo point’ in very little time at all. So how can we make a difference in our everyday lives? Over to Harriet, who shares some valuable and innovative ways for charities, their staff and indeed anyone else to enjoy a greener daily commute. -------------------------------------------------- Green solutions to commuter misery How often do your colleagues arrive at the office tired and flustered thanks to a nightmare commute? Workers around the country are reaching their desks in a foul mood, miserable before they’ve even powered up their computers. With just a few days to go until London Climate Action Week, we should remember that clogged roads aren’t just creating stressful delays. They’re increasing air pollution that triggers serious illness and kills up to 36,000 people a year. Toxic fumes are also speeding up global warming, with scientists warning that we have just 10 years to tackle the climate emergency, maybe less. It’s a gloomy situation – but solutions are at hand. Sustainable energy innovators are creating happier journeys while cleaning up our air. So how could their smart thinking transform our commutes – and help employers create a healthier, happier workforce? ____________________________ Electric vehicles are here to stay Millions of us love the freedom of four wheels, with two-thirds of the UK’s commuting journeys made by car. But all too often the driver is alone in splendid isolation, particularly if they are going to and from work. One answer filling the headlines is electric cars. New models are constantly hitting the market, with sales boosted by improving technology, falling costs and a greater public awareness of climate change. Last year energy giant BP bought Chargemaster, creator of the UK’s largest public charging network. At the time, BP predicted the number of electric vehicles in the UK would grow from the current total of 135,000 to 12 million by 2040. Of course, we won’t hit top speed as a nation of truly green commuters until companies like BP ditch fossil fuels – but their move into electric charging at least shows how quickly green innovation can go mainstream. Lift sharing and green deliveries Elsewhere, people are joining forces to cut carbon emissions through lift sharing. Companies such as Liftshare offer an app that helps people set up shared journeys, and also work directly with employers to set up workplace lift sharing schemes. In 20 years they’ve saved 800 million car miles working with organisations such as Boots, Bupa, Jaguar Land Rover and the NHS. That’s equivalent to 1,674 return trips to the moon. Of course, our roads aren’t just clogged because of the work commute. Another reason is our online shopping obsession – which has unleashed a flood of vehicles chauffeuring our groceries, takeaways, fast-fashion bargains and Amazon packages. But convenience doesn’t have to trigger sky-high carbon emissions. Logistics company Zedify is using pedal-powered cargo bikes and trikes, as well as electric vans, to deliver parcels in cities up and down the UK. So next time you order a hat, hoodie or pair of headphones, it could arrive guilt-free on two or three wheels. They work with businesses of all sizes from – independent shops to e-commerce giants. Partnering with them is a great way to boost your organisation’s green credentials. Of course, there’s still a carbon cost to manufacturing electric vehicles – and until the UK electricity grid only uses renewable energy, charging them still relies on polluting fossil fuels. So, can we get even greener? Better places to walk and cycle More public transport, as well as new tax measures and incentives, will help. For example, Nottingham City Council has introduced a workplace parking levy raising money to invest in new tram routes, electric buses, cycling and public transport smartcards. More people are using public transport and congestion has been constrained, even as Nottingham’s economy has grown. But ultimately, we need to make greener transport more attractive. People will only be tempted out of their cars if we create liveable cities, towns and villages. With this in mind, the London Borough of Waltham Forest has taken bold steps to shift the way people travel. Its multi-million pound ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest’ project has made the borough a nicer place to make journeys by bike or on foot. The authority has redesigned road networks and crossings, built hundreds of bike hangars and storage areas, and planted 700 trees. Travelling bike or by foot will never be the answer for everyone – but it could be a huge part of the fight against climate change, particularly in our most crowded and polluted cities. As a London cyclist, I know how much staying active boosts my physical and mental health – in fact, it’s the polar opposite of a stressful hour stuck behind the wheel. Employers must get ahead of the game In March 2019, a Government survey found a record 80% of the British public were very or fairly concerned about climate change. The behaviour that most people thought would have the biggest impact on tackling climate change (if everyone does it) was choosing to walk, cycle or use public transport more instead of using a car. Employers need to recognise that public awareness of air pollution is growing every day, as are demands for climate action. More and more staff will expect their company to see the dangers and respond. So how can employers avoid being left behind? One great way is to partner with sustainable travel innovators such as Liftshare or Zedify – or ask your local authority to follow the lead of Waltham Forest or Nottingham. Our free toolkit, launched just a week ago, makes it even easier for councils and others to lead climate action and promote sustainable lifestyles. Employers can also help staff make the personal changes that protect their health and planet. How about bike vouchers or loans (and facilities to change and shower), or travelcard loans? The global switch to sustainable energy will only work if everyone gets their say, so ask your teams what changes they would like to see. Their feedback will create a much better working environment for all of us. Harriet Lamb, CEO, Ashden ________________________ ► Ashden supports and promotes sustainable energy enterprises from around the world, championing innovative solutions and campaigning for the changes needed to roll them out both locally and globally. Find out much more about their work, initiatives and resources at the Ashden website. ► Discover more green transport innovation... ...at the 2019 Ashden Awards in London on 3 July 2019. Tickets are available now. ► More about Harriet Lamb Harriet Lamb joined Ashden as CEO in May 2019, taking responsibility for the organisation’s ambitious new strategy to tackle climate change. She was formerly CEO at peacebuilding organisation International Alert and spent 15 years leading Fairtrade in the UK and globally. She has always worked for NGOs with a focus on international development, peace and the environment. More from the Harris Hill blog ► The 2019 Salary Report: Harris Hill and Charity Job's essential new guide to charity salaries ► Charity Careers: meet James Harris from Rethink Mental Illness ► International affairs and advocacy expert Andreea Petre-Goncalves on why Brexit means exit from the UK for her multinational family ► Back to the blog homepage