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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.
Previously in 2020: fires, floods, locusts and a global plague, but if you're not playing Apocalypse Bingo and you're keen to hear about our inter-charity quiz (or just desperate for literally anything new to read by now), you’re in luck! A quiz to remember Cast your mind back if you can, to the halcyon days of February 2020: that carefree age when you could leave the house at will to go around touching your face and buying toilet paper with abandon. It was in this bygone era, when gathering hundreds of charity people in a bar was a convivial prospect rather than an invitation to certain doom, that the 2020 Harris Hill Charity Series Quiz Night took place. And rather good it was too. You’ll perhaps be wondering who held the winners’ trophy aloft, but let's not get ahead of ourselves - who knows how many months we might have to spin this out for - so firstly some very well-deserved thank-yous: to our wonderful hosts at Patch St Paul’s, who’ve hosted countless times and always manage to make a hectic night look effortless with smiles all round; and to our quizmasters extraordinaire Rob Wyatt and Matthew Glass, not to mention all the rest of the organising committee who work so hard to bring these events together so brilliantly. The big draw There are also thank-yous galore when it comes to the other big draw of the night, the fundraising raffle, which this year will make a real difference close to home, contributing to a much-needed specialised wheelchair for Muscular Dystrophy's Ravi, who never misses an event despite living with the condition himself. We’ve had some fantastic prizes before but this year’s selection was surely the biggest and best to date, all donated thanks to the huge generosity of the organisations and businesses below that we would strongly encourage you to go and frequent! Not right now obviously – they’ll be closed and you might get arrested, which is never as much fun as it looks. (In no particular order, that's Vauxhall's Embody Wellness and Floatworks spas, the Movember Foundation, Mondo Brewery, Northcote Biscuiteers, Linnaen restaurant and spa, Headcase Barbers, stylish retailer Oliver Bonas, Psycle Clapham, Sadhana Yoga & Wellbeing, the Sipsmith Gin Distillery, Beefeater Gin Distillery and a small team you may be aware of called Manchester United Football Club!) There were even more prizes on the night too - we don't have all the details in this new home-working world, but our huge thanks to you too! Of course there’d be nothing raised if nobody bought tickets, so an enormous thank you to every single person who did, and once again to our CEO Aled Morris for bumping up the total quite significantly to raise a fantastic final figure of £2,200! ---------- And so to the winners… There are some familiar names among our titans of useless trivia this year, and after a closely-fought contest there was a tie for second place between 2018 winners the Canal & River Trust, who nearly barged (sorry) right back to the top, and the combined talents of The Brooke and C40, collectively known as The Globetrotters! But out in front and fast becoming Charity Series legends, a team who know things as well as they throw things (given their second place in 2018's quiz and victory in November's bowling), our congratulations go to the irrepressible Citizens Advice aka The BearOs! All of which begs the question, can they follow up those consecutive quiz and bowling triumphs by doing the triple and topping this summer’s charity softball league? Sadly the coronavirus may have something to say about that, as we wait to see the extent of its impact on the 2020 season. Naturally the committee will be watching developments closely and doing whatever can possibly be done, but safety of course comes first, so all we can say for now is watch this space! Just not all from the same place, obviously. Until next time - whenever and wherever that may be - take care and stay safe! Team HH x More from the Harris Hill blog Should you be working for a large or small charity? ► The Harris Hill and CharityJob 2019 Salary Report ► How to be assertive at work ► How to set goals (and stick to them in style) ► Back to the blog homepage
Ever wish you were more assertive, when those 'few little requests' become a giant mountain of work? Our guest blogger, freelance writer and HR specialist Nicola Greenbrook has been finding out how, with insight from professionals in and out of the charity sector. How to be assertive at work Assertiveness is an essential workplace skill, but can be tricky to apply if you’re an introvert or have trouble speaking up. Many of us avoid being more assertive through fear that our colleagues, and boss, will think badly of us. Yet, taking on just.one.more project despite a full inbox can lead to over-work, over-tiredness and overwhelm - not to mention a dent in your personal life. So, how can we reclaim the power? Should I be aggressive, passive or assertive? First, let’s explore these different behaviours: • Aggressiveness can be defined as ‘a determination to win or succeed, and the use of forceful action to do this’. Fictional fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly is a wicked master of this. • Passivity on the other hand is ‘acceptance of what happens, without active response or resistance’. Always going with the flow and yielding to other people’s demands can lead to burnout and resentment. • Assertiveness falls somewhere between the two extremes. Not simply being calm, confident and firm with your convictions and decisions, being assertive is a state where you approach situations assuredly and objectively and are happy to seek feedback, aware of the growth and development it can bring. A satisfying compromise. Assertiveness in the charity world For people working in the third sector, the need to balance assertiveness with empathy - listening to service users, understanding their circumstances and inspiring action - can often be a particular challenge. In a recent LinkedIn thread, the author had observed the number of women in her office who over-apologised (for getting into the lift, having the door held open for them or just taking up space). As part of the discussion, Garry Wilkinson, Head of Charity Partnerships at Vintage Cash Cow considered whether being a chronic apologiser isn’t necessary limited to women. ‘Maybe it’s also something to do with sorts of people who work in the Third Sector; they tend to be people with high levels of empathy and are very conscious of the feelings of others,’ he suggested. Christina Grant, an executive coach and trainer for the fundraising sector has considerable insight in this area. She believes the fundraising role is fundamentally an influencing one. However, she observes that whilst her trainees are drawn to the sector by a desire to make a difference, limited budgets can often mean they lack adequate training or support in influencing and assertiveness. Fundraising also attracts a high number of women. Yet senior teams, major donors and senior leaders in organisations remain predominately male-dominated - and so influencing is even more critical. She believes the fundraiser has a challenging role, because in a first meeting with a donor or supporter, ‘they have to be seen as friendly and warm whilst also being authoritative, knowledgeable and credible’ so as to be trusted with a gift. Women also face even greater challenges at work when they start displaying assertive behaviours in the workplace which are then deemed as ‘bossy’ or overly aggressive. So what can we do to address this? The power of words We’ve all heard people say ‘you need to be more assertive!’. But what if you can’t find the words or find yourself apologising instead? Olivia Dunn, Head of Marketing and Communications at Halpin Partnership Ltd has observed women and men disempowering themselves with the words they use at work. In her insightful article ‘The shortcut to empowered communications’, she offers valuable advice on using emboldening language without bravado. Olivia suggests ditching ‘just’ (‘I’m just part-time’) and ‘I think’ which can dilute your point before you’ve even made it. She makes a compelling argument; it’s not the words you add in but the ones you remove which can empower you. Why it's win-win to be assertive at work Being professionally assertive can increase your self-confidence and lower your anxiety and dependency. It can also help you stay in control and communicate more effectively and healthily. A graphic designer from London shared with me how assertiveness worked for them: ‘Last year I worked on a particularly messy job for a lovely client.’ they explained. ‘Remaining assertive throughout the project meant the experience for both me and my client remained positive - even when the project became a source of stress. The feedback at the end of the job was that I handled things with grace’. Setting clear boundaries about what they were OK with in their own mind before conveying them externally, as well as taking control when requests from clients or others feel ‘too much’, was a useful strategy for them: ‘Instead of saying ‘no’ and explaining why I can’t do what they want, I try to respond positively. I explain what I CAN do and when, or I pass them on to someone who may be able to help, instead of giving the impression they’re inconveniencing me. If someone ignores or shuts down my assertiveness with a passive-aggressive response (including no response), I’ve learnt to let it go, move on and find people to work with who are a much better fit.’ How to be assertive! Assertiveness may not be an innate characteristic for everyone, but it can be learned and developed. Christina Grant emphasises the importance of body language and gestures in key meetings, especially when making first impressions. She explains, ‘For example, it’s important for women to seat themselves in prime spots in a meeting room and to be present in the room physically’. She points out that seemingly little things can affect this; being overly concerned about everyone's comfort and refreshments or taking responsibility for taking notes when no one else does. ‘This can sometimes damage our own credibility without us realising it (although if a woman has enough confidence she could take notes and make tea and it would not have an impact on how she is perceived)’ Christina explains. She also encourages women to ‘open’ meetings with a two-minute, strong introduction, to ensure other attendees know they're ‘leading’ the meeting and will sense their authority. ‘It should help other people to relax and feel confident that you have a plan and you're in control - not in an aggressive way, but rather a signal that you’re confident in your world’. Here are some final strategies on being assertive at work: • Practice outside of work first. Build up your assertiveness muscle; speak up about bad service or ask for the table you want at a restaurant. • Set clear boundaries. Career and business coach, Nathalina Harrison likens good assertiveness to good parenting. Put clear boundaries in place on how you want to be treated and communicated with and be clear about the consequences if they’re not adhered to, whether upwards (your manager and stakeholders), sideways (your peers) and downwards (your direct reports). • Be analytical. If you want to be assertive but you're hesitant and reluctant to speak up, do a quick analysis of the situation. What’s the worst that could happen? ______________ Assertiveness is an invaluable skill. It can bolster your career progression, improve your visibility and credibility in meetings and strengthen relationships with colleagues, clients and contacts. Being confident in your approach, removing disempowering words and setting clear boundaries will ensure you nail it at work. I’m certain you’ll like your assertive (not aggressive) self a lot better than the passive, exhausted resentful one and soon that mountain of work won’t look so daunting. Just don’t be Miranda Priestly, OK? That’s all. Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist and Freelance Writer Contact Nicola, check out her website, or follow her on Twitter. More from Nicola Greenbrook How to set goals (and stick to them in style) ► Podcast your way to workplace wellbeing ► How to negotiate a pay rise in the charity sector ► More from the Harris Hill blog Should you be working for a large or small charity? ► Caudwell Children: Building a better world for disabled children ► The Harris Hill Charity Series 2020 ►
HRRRRRRRRNNNNK! HRRRRRRRRNNNNK! Yes, as you’ve so rightly guessed, that's the unmistakable sound of the Harris Hill Charity Series klaxon signalling the start of the 2020 Series! But what is the Harris Hill Charity Series? We decided to ask the question. In slightly larger blue type. What is the Harris Hill Charity Series? We’re so glad you asked. In the most straightforward terms, it’s a series of three fantastic inter-charity contests that just get more and more popular by the year: February’s big quiz night (more of which in a moment), bowling night in November, and right through the summer from May to August, the daddy of them all: the London Charity Softball League! For us, it's also a way to give something back to the sector we love working with. We can’t claim credit for organising the events – that’s all down to the tireless and super-committed committee from numerous charities who heroically (and entirely voluntarily) do the hard work in their free time to make it all happen, and who we really can’t thank enough. But we're delighted to have been lead sponsor since time immemorial, currently estimated to be somewhere around 2005. If you’re under 35 or so, that’s a year from the distant past when you were probably still at school or uni, while for the more ‘vintage’ among us it’s one of those that feels about three months ago and cannot possibly be FIFTEEN YEARS already. Yikes. How can my charity get involved? Via the aforementioned committee who you can read about here and here, and much like the other A-Team, ‘if no-one else can help... and if you can find them' (ideally Mr Leo Visconti, founding father of the softball league) maybe you can sign up for the next available event. All charities are welcome, and if you're keen to play softball but don't have the numbers for a full team, do not despair: many of the league's top teams are a hybrid of two or more charities working together, a great example of the collaborative and supportive spirit that makes the league something really quite special to be part of (but still fiercely competitive!) Meanwhile, speaking of hybrid teams and the next event... It's the 2020 quiz night! Yes, tomorrow if you're reading this today (Feb 24th), today if you're reading this tomorrow, and 'some time ago' if you're watching this on catch-up, the Harris Hill Charity Series Quiz Night is back! Around 40 charities will be heading to the fabulous Patch St Paul's, where the winning combo of Can Mezzanine and Disability Rights UK (aka The Cantelopes) took top honours in 2019, very closely followed by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and Lumos. Just a few rounds of challenging questions now stand between us and knowing who's the smartest in the sector (SPOILER ALERT: probably not us), and there are some particularly fantastic prizes to be won in this year's fundraising raffle. So our huge appreciation and a round of applause if you will please, for these brilliant businesses who've kindly donated prizes, including Vauxhall's Embody Wellness and Floatworks spas, Mondo Brewery, Northcote Biscuiteers, the stylish Linnaen restaurant and spa, Oliver Bonas, Psycle Clapham, Sadhana Yoga & Wellbeing and the ever-popular Sipsmith Gin and Beefeater Gin! One last note for those attending, don't forget to bring some cash for raffle tickets if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning one of these brilliant prizes (and there are more to come!), may the best team win, and we'll see you there! Team HH x More from the Harris Hill blog ► View all current charity vacancies ►
Does size matter? It’s a question we’re certainly not the first to tackle - if that’s the word - but what size of charity is best for your career? The bigger the better? Or do the best things really come in small packages? Here's what our fundraising team and deputy CEO Faye Marshall had to say in a 2019 article for The Fundraiser (relevant for most other charity jobs too), updated here for the blog. Should you be working for a large or small charity? As specialist recruiters we work with charities of all sizes, helping fundraisers find those best aligned with their priorities. For some the environment or location will be more important than progression, for others career development may be paramount, and for many of course, the cause in question will be top of the list. Sometimes only one type of charity will do, but in many cases there are both larger and smaller options, each with their own advantages. So how do you know where to go? Appropriately enough there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but what we'd recommend generally depends on three things: where you are in your career, your experience to date and where you ultimately want to go. Let's start at the beginning. Starting out If it’s your first charity job, the best place for your baby steps may be the biggest organisations. That might sound counter-intuitive but as with any new job, there’ll be downtime while you learn the ropes and won’t be fully productive. You’ll also need training, and someone with the time and resources to deliver it. All of this means there are costs, which are often unaffordable for small charities operating on little more than Hobnobs and hope. However their larger counterparts are more likely to have support for new starters in place, as philanthropy manager Annabelle Burt told us of her role at NSPCC: "Starting my charity career in a large organisation has without a doubt been the best decision I’ve made. The organisation invests a great deal in personal development, and they’ve already given me countless opportunities to attend nationwide conferences and training with the best in the business. I’m given all the support I need to succeed in my role and really value being able to learn about different areas of the charity sector from collaborative working with other departments." Stick or twist? Perhaps you’ve now got a couple of years under your belt, doing direct marketing for a major charity. You're enjoying it, maybe even to the point you can't imagine doing anything else - but nevertheless it’s usually wise to diversify. Specialising too soon may limit your options later – for example after six solid years when you see the perfect direct marketing job, but the candidates you’re competing with have four years in DM and two in other fields. Many employers will favour your competitors for their more varied, well-rounded experience. And the same of course applies should you change your mind and want to branch out later. So it’s worth trying different things: don’t put yourself in a pigeon-hole unless you’re prepared for the possibility of living there permanently. Like beanbags, debt, and conversations with people who’ve taken up CrossFit, they’re easier to get into than out of, and best avoided if possible. Shifting down can be the best way up Moving to a smaller charity is often a fantastic way to branch out. Leaving that large DM department behind, you might now be a team of one - and it's unlikely to be the only thing you do. Whatever your job title might suggest, in a small team you’ll always need to help each other out, which could mean events, community projects, partnerships with local businesses and more. And with few support staff you’ll likely do more than just fundraising, which could mean admin, marketing, media relations, procurement (somebody’s got to buy the teabags) or even catering and hospitality, because those cakes for the big event won’t bake themselves. It's a challenge for sure, but a great way to develop existing skills and discover others you didn't know you had, while gaining diverse and multifaceted experience that's likely to broaden your future options. Speaking of which... Further into your career: where next? By now you’re perhaps looking for your third or fourth fundraising job, and having worked for both larger and smaller charities you’ve got the experience to go in either direction. The best move now largely depends on where you're ultimately looking to go, so it's a good time to take stock and think hard about where that is. Then, consider what you've done and more importantly, what you haven't yet done to help you to get there, and aim to plug any gaps that could hold you back. If you’re aspiring to a directorship with a top ten charity for example, you’ll need to start boosting the big-name experience on your CV. Ultimately it may just come down to the environment you prefer, and on which side of the whole big fish/small pond question you feel more at home. Both have their advantages (and drawbacks) of course, so here are some that we've yet to cover: ► Autonomy can be huge part of the appeal: if you’re the entire corporate fundraising team, guess who’s in charge? If you’re used to following procedures and losing even your most brilliant ideas to multi-layered, glacially-paced approval processes, the freedom to chart your own course is both liberating and exhilarating. ► As a result you’ll be very hands-on, designing and delivering your campaigns from end to end. You’ll get to do it all yourself, the only drawback being that you’ll have to do it all yourself, but there’s a lot of satisfaction in making things happen. Whatever you do will be noticed, so you can bask in the credit when it works - though of course with nowhere to hide if it doesn’t. ► That close connection with leadership helps small charities to be more agile, changing course more quickly than their bigger brethren. Getting the whole organisation on board with your new initiative is a lot easier when you can fit everyone in one room. ► Usually you’ll also be close enough to your beneficiaries to see that you’re making a difference – something fundraisers buried far from the frontline in a major charity HQ may envy. ► Having a well-known name can have significant advantages in key areas like fundraising and marketing. For one thing, if you don’t need to explain who you are, you’ve got more time or space to make your case. And there’s no denying it looks good on your CV. That said, while a big name might open some doors, it isn’t always an advantage: a 2018 study by the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership found public trust in national charities significantly lower (at just 29%) than in local community charities (43%). ► However, you’ll have more resources to call on in your fundraising efforts, and often on a larger scale: partnering with a major corporation for example, or a national TV advertising campaign, experience you’re unlikely to gain locally. ► Arguably the clearest advantage is the prospect of progression. If you’re the events person for a small charity but want to manage a team, you’ll either need to grow the charity considerably (and fast) or move somewhere big enough to have one. Even if there’s a role above you to aim for, there could be a long wait before it’s a vacancy. By nature, larger organisations will have more opportunities more often, so there’s more chance of moving up without having to move out entirely. What about salaries and benefits? Things are more evenly matched when it comes to things like flexible working and staff benefits. Both large and small charities tend to score highly, but large-scale events and the social side of bigger organisations may give them an edge, depending on your preference. As for salaries, check out the Harris Hill & CharityJob 2019 Salary Report which has market rates for more than 120 different roles in the sector, including differences in pay between small, medium and large charities. While larger organisations do appear to pay a little more in general, as you might perhaps expect, the full picture is rather more complex. Most of the disparity is at senior levels, based on larger remits and scope, but at the junior end there's often very little difference. There are certainly big name charities who offer small starting salaries, knowing their brand alone will bring in new talent, just as there are smaller organisations paying above average to attract potential staff. So at least in the early part of your career, charity size is unlikely to have a huge impact on pay. You might earn a little less at a smaller charity, but that could pay off handsomely in future thanks to your greater breadth of experience. So where should you go next? Most of the fundraisers we work with move between both large and small organisations several times in their career, and it’s a good strategy. The strongest CVs have a balance of both, and the breadth of experience you’ll gain will give you the option to move in either direction. Meanwhile if you’re switching charity sizes, be sure to read the job description in detail. Jobs with the same title may have very different remits depending on the size of charity, so know what you’re in for and be wary of assumptions. Don’t let the bright lights of a big brand blind you to what’s actually a more limited role, for example, or dismiss a superb opportunity on account of a name that you’ve never heard of. And if you’re not sure of your next move, consider where you eventually want to be, and what’s missing from your CV to get there. The chances are that’s your answer. Final thoughts: we've inevitably made some generalisations here, and for every trend we’ve mentioned there are charities busily bucking it. But both large and small charities can offer superb career opportunities, and the best advice we can give is to make the most of them however you can. Plenty of factors can make a great employer, so a charity’s size isn’t everything. Believe it or not, it really is what you do with it that counts. Faye Marshall, director of permanent recruitment and deputy CEO, Harris Hill Search all charity jobs ► More from the Harris Hill blog How to negotiate a pay rise in the charity sector ► Charity Careers 5: meet SPANA's Chris Oak, Associate Director of HR ► How to write a great supporting statement ► The Harris Hill and CharityJob 2019 Salary Report ► Return to the blog homepage
Welcome back to Charity Careers, in which freelance writer Nicola Greenbrook invites key influencers in the charity sector to share their career story and how they navigate the professional world. We discover what they've learned along the way, what motivates them to get up in the morning and what their dream breakfast might look like when they do... Kicking us off for 2020, Nicola was delighted to chat to Chris Oak, Associate Director - HR and Facilities for Society For The Protection Of Animals Abroad (SPANA) about his career, keeping your perspective, why he bounces out of bed in the mornings, giving back to the community, and an extraordinary commitment to Doctor Who… Hi Chris. Please tell us a little bit more about SPANA and its mission? Put most simply, we believe any working animal is entitled to live a life free from pain. We facilitate this in a number of ways; free veterinary care, veterinary training (in some of the countries where we operate veterinarians receive no hands-on training whilst studying) community training and education programmes. The cornerstone of our work is the three ‘T’s - treat, train, teach. What are you responsible for? My role encompasses the full range of HR-related functions; looking after selection/recruitment/on-boarding, appraisal and one-to-ones, Learning and Development, organisation design, policies and procedures, support and business partnering for managers and disciplinary and grievance management. I provide support on teams and structures to the senior management team, advice to trustees on HR related matters and off-boarding and exit interviews. I also lead on all IT and premises-related aspects of SPANA which includes, room and desk allocation and IT projects. We’re currently out to tender for an integrated IT service that would include IT, telephony, printing, video conferencing and connectivity across our countries of operation. Is there a particular appeal or campaign you're focusing on in 2020? • Blindness - Every year, SPANA vets treat thousands of working animals facing sight loss. • Traditional practices - From pouring engine oil into an open wound to pressing scorching hot irons onto a working animal’s skin, traditional ‘cures’ seem barbaric. But owners that carry them out are trying to treat their animals in the only way they know how. • Lameness - Lameness is misery for thousands of working animals and is most commonly caused by problems in the feet. This suffering could be avoided with a simple solution – proper farriery. Where and how did you start your career? Were there any key roles along the way that helped your progression to Director? I began my career in Leisure Management, where I continued to work for 26 years in a variety of roles for a variety of employers. During this time I worked as a Manager, Deputy Manager, Gym Manager, coach and Personal Trainer, Marketing Manager and Sales Manager. I’ve also worked as a lecturer in PE, done youth work and was the Records Library Manager at University College Hospital. Had you planned to move into the charity sector? It wasn’t always my intention, but I’ve always been drawn to work where I feel I can make a difference to the lives of others. When I saw the (then-advertised) HR Manager role at SPANA and read the JD, I was very interested, especially when I read further into what the charity did. Although, admittedly, I hadn't heard of SPANA before then, having experience and a background in various forms of education meant I was very interested in the work SPANA does in that field. What advice would you give to, for example, graduates considering a move into charity or emerging leaders about to make their first leap into management or a director role? To graduates I'd say the most important thing is not so much their passion for the charity’s work but rather the role and its main purpose. Being excited about the work of the charity is the icing on the cake; but first and foremost must always be the ability to do the job. For emerging leaders - I’d always say, think of the additional responsibility that comes with moving into management. If you’re taking on team leadership for the first time, ensure you've gained skills in both management and leadership; so you can move beyond technical competency in your current area and towards being skilled at getting the best out of others. Similarly, for moving into a director-based role - there’s always a need for the ability to take the bird’s eye strategic view of the team and the organisation. As people move up the ladder, another key skill is the ability to effectively collaborate with colleagues at all levels and move beyond straight hierarchical methods of managing. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given, who gave it and why does it stick in your mind? Keep your perspective. I can’t remember exactly who said this, but I think it was one of the senior youth workers I worked with when I first started in that field. It sticks in my mind because I so often see - and have occasionally been dragged into the trap of - trying to do everything every day. We should always strive to do the best we can and help others achieve their best…but the world won’t end if the things we selected to do today don’t get done! What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? Bringing other managers to a point where they can recognise their own responsibility as managers, so HR can evolve into the business partnering role it should be; advising colleagues and moving away from being mostly a reactive service. What’s the best/most rewarding part? Seeing people flourish and moving on to new ways of working that engage a wider audience. Bringing change to the people element of the charity. What have been some of the biggest challenges in your career? Of all time, it was building children’s holiday activity programmes when I used to work in the leisure industry. In one case we started with no programme and no children, building up to a maximum of 130 children per day offering activities for children aged 5 – 16 years every holiday. At SPANA, I think it’s been the introduction of a more focused HR function taking control of a wide range of activities. In my past three roles (all new HR roles for growing organisations) it's been establishing HR as a standalone provision with a purpose, beyond ensuring the admin functions it was originally envisaged for are delivered. Who do you look up to - either in the charity sector or more generally? Very few and very many people! I think we can all take inspiration from the work of almost anyone around us - and should do this. Looking only at the top of the mountain sometimes obscures the great views to be obtained on the slopes. If I had to choose just one, I’d lean towards Richard Branson - more for his support for the development of all of his staff. As for a quote to live by I’d probably go for Charlie Chaplin: 'Life laughs at you when you are unhappy. Life smiles at you when you are happy. But, life salutes you when you make others happy’. Let's finish with some quick lifestyle questions: are you a snoozer or a spring-out-of-bedder? My alarm goes off at 6.00am - and I’m a spring-out-of-bedder! I almost always get up immediately and most days go out for a morning run in the park behind my house. What's your dream breakfast (and your actual breakfast?) Dream breakfast is either scrambled egg and smoked salmon or a full fry up. Most days I actually have either cereal, or boiled eggs with croissants. In either case it is always washed down with a large glass of water (I’m not a tea or coffee drinker). Is there such a thing as your typical day? NO such thing! Much of the work is reactive and unpredicted as I tend to spend quite a lot of time giving support and advice to managers in meetings, which I see as a key part of my role. I deal with organisational matters (payroll, pensions, benefit management etc.) as well as the usual bundle of ‘vital’ emails that arrive every day. What gets you out of bed in the morning, even when it’s cold and raining? I love the morning even if it is cold, dark and wet! I’ve always seen this as a magical time of day when it feels everything is made new ready for us. As a reflection of this, I’ll soon be launching a new activity for people in my local community called ‘Spirit Walks’. This will be held either at sunrise or sunset and once a month throughout the year, providing the opportunity for gentle contemplative walks in our park and to greet either sunrise or sunset with prayers, poems or reading that feel apposite. This will be open to everyone and free; part of what I consider to be my service to the community. What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment? I don’t really do podcasts but I was watching Grimm recently. I’m a fan of Death In Paradise as well as Doctor Who (I’ve seen all of them in real time except the very first one, with William Hartnell as the Doctor!). I’m reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman as well as Marathon by Hal Higdon (I’ll be running two marathons and an ultra-marathon this year). What else do you do outside work? Lots of exercise has always been a key part of my ‘off work’ time, as well as community work. I served as chair of my local residents’ group for five years, organising various activities during that time. I'm also an active member of my faith; I am Baha’i (a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people) and have served the faith in a number of capacities over the years. And finally, what have you committed to do (or not do!) in 2020? As above, two marathons and one ultra-marathon (50 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh) so far. I’ll be doing a couple of half-marathons too. I’m also committed to my monthly Spirit Walks as well as the free walks I lead in my local park every Saturday for all people which encompasses gentle walking with a range of functional exercises. Aside from that, I’ll also be trying to complete my second novel, a children’s story - I’m yet to find a publisher for my first children’s novel, but the search continues… Sounds like a very busy year for you, Chris! We wish you all the very best with your many endeavours, and thank you for taking the time to share your story and career insights with our readers. Nicola Greenbrook - HR Specialist and Freelance Writer Contact Nicola, check out her website, or follow her on Twitter - and to find out more about SPANA just click below to visit their website. More Charity Careers Charity Careers 1: Sara Rees, head of fundraising for Rays of Sunshine ► Charity Careers 2: Hannah Sanders, consumer brand partnerships, Save the Children ► Charity Careers 3: Andy Harris, director of income generation, Shelter ► Charity Careers 4: James Harris, Associate Director of Communications, Marketing and Membership, Rethink Mental Illness ► Back to the Harris Hill blog homepage ►
Yes, it might be the hoariest old recruitment headline for anything vaguely air-related, but in these fantastic roles with Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex we genuinely believe it's what you'll do. Plus it was either that or 'New Year, New High-Flying Career!!' (for the benefit of anyone playing Recruitment Cliché Bingo), so let's count ourselves lucky and cut swiftly to introducing this brilliant organisation. Striving to deliver world-class, life-saving medical care all day, every day, the intrepid Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex team have been flying high and saving thousands of lives across South-East England for more than 30 years, and we’ve got fantastic opportunities for you to get on board. As an independent charity with strong support and even stronger demand for the service – last year alone they were called to help over 2,500 people in life-threatening conditions – they’re going from strength to strength and forging ahead with expansion plans, making it an exciting time to join the family. Right now they’re seeking talented professionals for these four key positions, all working from their main Rochester Airport base: Head of Governance & Compliance £38-44,000 Head of Brand & Marketing £35-40,000 Head of Communications £35-40,000 Database Manager £32,000 Why should you apply? What makes this such an inspiring organisation to work for is that it really does feel like one big extended family, with a friendly and supportive culture that's much loved by those already there. And even if your role is more about taking to social media than the skies of the South East, everything you do ultimately has a direct impact on saving people’s lives, so it couldn't be more rewarding. There are plenty more good reasons too, so click below to our Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex microsite for the full details! ► More from the Harris Hill blog • How to negotiate a pay rise in the charity sector ► • I QUIT! How to leave a job gracefully ► • How to write a great supporting statement ► • The Harris Hill and CharityJob 2019 Salary Report ► Return to the blog homepage ►
It’s hard to believe but the end of 2019 is nearly upon us. Not only the end of the year, but the end of a decade (according to some). Regardless of your view on when the new decade actually begins, most of us can probably agree it’s sped by. Balancing the festivities with work commitments makes for a busy time, and it can be tricky to stop and reflect. Yet, grabbing a few precious moments to consider the year that will soon be behind us can be worthwhile - and set you up nicely for the new one ahead. What have been your career highlights - or lowlights - this year? Have you been promoted or side-stepped into something more interesting? Has a challenging year on the work front been the catalyst to make a change in 2020? Have you thought about your aspirations for next year already? What will you do differently? Once again, I have been very fortunate to be a guest writer for Harris Hill in 2019 and contribute articles for the blog on a range of diverse and interesting subjects. This year, as well as interviewing two successful and inspirational charity professionals, I covered a broad range of topics from rejection to pre-holiday handovers, stress to keeping things fresh at work as well as highlighting the best charity podcasts. I’m pleased to present a round of up of my articles, and offer some suggestions for your own aspirations and ambitions for the new decade (or the last year of this decade, whichever way you lean!). January 2019 - I Quit! How to Leave a Job Gracefully I kickstarted the new year by tackling the often painful and emotionally complex issue of leaving your job. I explored why people feel a wide range of emotions when resigning from a role - whether they’ve held the position for 12 weeks or 12 years, set out some clear advice on what you should and shouldn’t do to ensure a graceful departure and provided some insight into how someone I know masterfully retracted a resignation without any awkwardness or embarrassment. I also shared some horror stories of my own, including when leaving speeches go bad and when leaving dos go even worse (clue: it involves the helpful services of a St John’s Ambulance first aider). 2020 Career Aspiration: *I will make decisions based on what is best for my career, and execute them gracefully and professionally* February 2019 - Charity Careers: Andy Harris Harris Hill’s Charity Careers series features interviews with inspiring individuals and success stories from the charity sector. As the interviewer, I always feel privileged to gain an insight into the inner workings of the UK’s most successful charities and what makes the people that run them tick. This month, I chatted to Andy Harris, Director of Income Generation for Shelter UK and invited him to share his own individual career story to date, tell us about his 350-strong team and the invaluable work they to do to fundraise for Shelter’s work for the homeless or those who do not have a safe home. I learnt about Andy’s resistance to getting stuck in ‘cosy corner’, how he keeps his skills and knowledge fresh and why he may be eating fruit for breakfast, but really he’s dreaming of a fry up in a greasy spoon to fuel his busy day… 2020 Career Aspiration: *I will not get too comfortable in cosy corner; I will be inquisitive, take risks and strive to do more* March 2019 - How to Turn Rejection into a Success Story For March’s article, I focused on one of the most awkward and painful experiences that spans our professional, social and personal worlds - rejection. *Shudder*. I shared the five stages of rejection and ways to navigate through them and told courageous and motivating stories from those who may have been rebuffed, but had gone on to achieve much, much better things - something that may not have been possible without fate stepping in. I explored why rejection may be the right time to consider reinvention, and why a brush-off can actually provide the chance to try something new and clear the way for the right opportunity; allowing you to think creatively about your career path. 2020 Career Aspiration: *I will turn rejection on its head, and use it to fuel my career growth and purpose* April 2019 - How to Manage Stress at Work In April, to coincide with Stress Awareness Month, I faced head on some of the most pervasive but unwelcome players in the modern working game - stress, anxiety and burn out. Aiming to provide some guidance and support to those who were creaking under the weight of their to-do list, I highlighted the importance of paying attention to stress (described by a careers expert as ‘the business world’s silent killer) and considered stress in the current climate, finding that work-disrupting anxiety’ for Millennials was worryingly common. Via research and my own personal strategies for managing stress, I offered some advice to individuals and managers on moving from distress to de-stress at work - including working smarter not longer, not seeing rest breaks as ‘time away from work’ (and definitely not holding in a wee to finish one.more.thing) and the life-changing notion of saying NO. 2020 Career Aspiration: *I will recognise the signs of stress, seek guidance to manage it and prioritise my wellbeing* May 2019 - Charity Careers: James Harris In the second Charity Careers interview of 2019, we met James Harris, Associate Director of Communications, Marketing and Membership for Rethink Mental Illness. James gave us a fascinating insight into his career to date including how he fell out of love with politics (and they’re still not talking) and moved on to the third sector, why it’s a privilege to have a job where you get to bring about change on the issues you care about and why he looks inwardly to his own team to keep his skills fresh. James provided some great advice to graduates about being useful, creative and ready to deliver and made us envious that his dream breakfast is his actual breakfast. He also nearly converted me to a certain East London football team as part of his one-person evangelical mission. (Nearly. #cpfc) 2020 Career Aspiration: *I will try to be useful and creative and always deliver on something I’ve committed to* June 2019 - How to Switch Off Around mid-year, things were feeling rather busy and I realised I had a tendency to be ‘always on’. Fascinated, if not a little concerned, about our general inability to disengage from our jobs out of hours, or our phones pretty much all of the time, I explored why it was imperative for our health, productivity and wellbeing to not always be working. I reached out to others who found it difficult to unplug (the results were quite shocking), investigated the dangers to our health of the ‘always on’ mentality and offered some tips on how to switch off and reframe how, and why, you work the way you do. 2020 Career Aspiration: *I will aim to find a balance and focus on my professional accomplishments without comprising my mental wellbeing * July 2019 - How to Nail the Holiday Handover This month, my thoughts turned to going on a summer holiday and… the intense fortnight of frenzied preparation that often comes before a well deserved break. For those who also find it overwhelming to leave the office for a week or two, I was on hand to offer some advice on slick communication, creating the perfect handover note and why success is all in the planning. I warned against using a comedy OOO to get a LOL and also gave out some survival tips for anyone who was NOT going on holiday, but holding the fort instead. The result? Readers could swap desk-sandwiches for something delicious al fresco, lose themselves in a good book rather than a report and be safe in the knowledge that everything was in hand. 2020 Career Aspiration: *I will execute a successful holiday handover and keep my credibility, peace of mind and work relationships intact (and have a terrific break)* August 2019 - How to Negotiate a Pay Rise in the Charity Sector Harris Hill released its 2019 Salary Report, the 14th annual survey and definitive guide to salaries in the UK Charity Sector, in collaboration with CharityJob. It got me thinking about people in the sector who might be feeling a little short-changed after reading the fascinating results, and why asking for a salary increase in the charity world can be uniquely awkward. I set out to tackle this tricky dilemma by exploring the issues that comes with asking for more money (guilt, discomfort, modesty) and why feeling undervalued actually helps no-one in the long run. I helped you do your homework and prepare for the request; helping you determine your market value, drawing up a solid case for a pay review and how to ensure the meeting (gulp) runs smoothly - with a successful outcome. 2020 Career Aspiration: *I will not put-off a terrifying money talk and focus instead on my career progression and full earning potential long-term* September 2019 - How to Keep Things Fresh at Work Are you one of the 26% of Brits who are almost never happy at work? In September, I reached out to the Harris Hill blog readers who may have been feeling their work had got a little stale and in need a shake up. I considered how starting a new job can be a bit like a new relationship (who isn’t tempted by the alluring ‘attraction phase’ of job hunting and networking) and why it’s easy to slide into the disappointment stage (the ‘what have I done, I want to go back to my ex-job!’ panic when you’re confirmed in post). With in-depth, research-backed advice on how to spice up your work, look inward to your lovely colleagues and speak up if you need extra motivation as well as quick-fire tips including podcasts, desk spring cleans and jazzing up your work wardrobe, I aimed to help people move from disgruntled to delighted. 2020 Career Ambition: *If things feel stale at work, I will work stop, reflect and diagnose the issue rather than letting my discontentment intensify * October 2019 - How to Set Goals (And Stick to Them in Style) This month I turned my thoughts to goals (not just from a football perspective, although England were well on their way to qualifying for Euro 2020) and it was quite hard not to. In 2019, goals invaded social media (food, fitness, life, relationships etc) and seemed to be everywhere. There were even #beardgoals. Although most of us might be familiar with goal setting, I was keen to expand on this. So I considered not only why goals were important in our careers, but how to avoid getting too tangled up in the pursuit of them. I pushed the benefits of writing your goals down, backed up by university research, and also got a bit arty on you by reaching out to some ‘bullet journallers’ who had some creative inspiration to goal setting. I also asked an established career and business coach for some invaluable tips for smashing your #careergoals in no time at all. 2020 Career Aspiration: *I will take a meaningful, creative and structured approach to goal setting - and write my goals down* November 2019 – Podcast your way to workplace wellbeing Lastly, in November, the weather got chillier and the weeks got more frantic in the lead up to Christmas. So, I popped on my headphones and considered the benefits of the charity podcast to satisfy our curious, but frazzled, minds during busy periods and to aid our mental wellbeing and learning and development. With the help of experts at Harris Hill, I trawled through the varied and sometimes overcrowded podcast ecosystem and recommended a selection of useful charity podcasts - as well as some non-charity ones. Podcasts can help you discover new topics or trends, get away from your desk and are a multitasker’s dream - you can cook, file or even run at the same time as listening. So what are you waiting for? 2020 Career Aspiration: *I will consider the benefits of digital learning and have fun selecting the right podcast for me* It’s been an absolute pleasure writing for Harris Hill this year and I hope my articles have helped and inspired you in some way. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and successful 2020 and all the best for the festive season. Nicola x Contact Nicola, check out her snazzy website, or follow her on Twitter.
A better world for disabled children That’s the aim of Caudwell Children, the unique charity founded in 2000 by entrepreneur and philanthropist John Caudwell, better known then as the man behind Phones 4U, and we’ve got five fantastic opportunities to be fundamental to their fundraising team. Specifically, they're seeking experienced fundraisers to join them as: • Head of Events • Philanthropy Manager • Partnerships Manager (x 3): three positions in which you'll focus on corporates, SMEs or government partnerships, depending on your skills and expertise About the charity With a vision to create a world where all disabled children and their families have choice, opportunity, dignity and understanding, the organisation reached a key milestone in May 2019 with the opening of the Caudwell International Children’s Centre. Based in the Science and Innovation Park at Keele University in Staffordshire, the centre is a brand new, state-of-the-art facility that's been purpose-built to deliver innovative services and ground-breaking research that could change the way some disabilities are treated, potentially affecting millions of people around the world. Now recognised as one of the fastest growing children’s charities in the UK, the organisation's running costs are fully covered through the unique association with the Caudwell family, allowing them say with legitimacy that 100% of direct donations are used to directly support disabled children. Naturally that's a real advantage for fundraisers, and just one of the factors that makes each of these key opportunities such an unusual and exciting proposition. So exciting in fact, that we couldn't do them justice with job ads alone, so we built a dedicated microsite to tell you much more about them and this unique organisation. Just click below to get started! More from the Harris Hill blog ► Top regional charity jobs for #UKCharityWeek 2019 ► And the winners of the Harris Hill Charity Series bowling AND our Golden Softballs competition are... ► The Harris Hill and CharityJob 2019 Salary Report