Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

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Taking stock

In Friends,Lessons,Life,Work on August 21, 2014 by kiltforhire Tagged: , ,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. Terribly sorry. I didn’t really feel like I had too much to say as life whizzed by and over took me.

I guess I missed the words which has brought me back here.

However, normally when I come here I come to rant or slam something or to talk about something personal. Today? Nah. Too much has happened in the past year for me to even put down on digital ink and commit to cyberspace.

Today though. Today is about the future. It’s about the lessons learned from the past in work, in relationships and in life.

It’s about the years of journalism experience that has fueled my core and allowed me to dive into the world of public relations and social media. That skill set has stood me in good stead as I furthered my career by cutting my teeth in digital and marketing. Taking the time to move career and focus on new areas has allowed me to retain my core skills but build around them so I can work across the majority of promotional aspects for any business.

I was really lucky to have worked for over two years at NBN Co driving digital communications for them and building the brand from something small to the company it is today. I like to think I made a difference to how people saw the company which is no bad thing.

Confidence is important in a workplace and I realised that I’d lost some of my confidence while working on a start-up. It’s a different beast and it doesn’t allow you to use your main abilities but instead teaches you a whole new skill set but sometimes that comes at the detriment to your older skills.

I also realised that my connection with my homeland felt further away than ever. A recent visit back home changed that. Seeing my friends and family from Scotland reminded me how far I’ve come and how my life has changed in the past ten years.

Seeing my dad also made me realise the abilities he passed down to me and how they have kept me going. His constant socialising, joking and ability to woo a crowd with anecdotes and joy never failed to amaze me and I feel privileged to have been given 10% of his skills. He is the single most charismatic man I’ve met in my life and a damned skilled footballer – sadly a skill set I didn’t get.

I also realised how lucky I am to have a wonderful group of friends across the globe. Friends who are always there for me and who offer unconditional support no matter what is happening in my life.

Sometimes you have to take stock of your life and as I creep ever closer to forty I guess now is that time. So here I am taking stock. Feeling incredibly lucky to have my health, my family, my friends while living in a beautiful city.

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Kickstarting a new wardrobe

In Life,Marketing,Social Media,Uncategorized,Work on March 24, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , ,

I’m a sporadic clothes buyer and I tend to stick with what I know. I’ve been buying Ben Sherman shirts, socks, belts, shows, waistcoats and more for years. They suit my shape and I’ve always found the quality great.

I buy Adidas Star Wars trainers cause I’m a tad geeky and because they are unusual and stand-out. I like that. They are also damn comfy. Plus I grabbed a nice Star Wars hoodie which is pretty awesome. Plus I have a host of Threadless t-shirts as they are a little different

But some times you have to branch out and I’m doing it by kickstarting my wardrobe. Or at least part of it.

So let’s talk about the projects I’m Kickstarting to make me look and feel a little bit more dapper shall we. My Kickstarter profile is here.

First off let’s start with the 10 Year Hoodie
It’s a gorgeous hoodie made with great materials and backed for 10 years. If it rips, tears or pretty much anything else you just send it back (yup to the US) and they will mend it for free.

I remember when I was a kid and clothes seem to last forever. My parents would always pass them on after you grow out of them. But clothes these days don’t seem to last as long. Sure I have a few things that do seem to last a while but mainly because of a lack of use rather than anything else. Say no to disposable I say!

And you know what two hoodies cost $180 including shipping. That’s $90 each. Or $9 a year which isn’t too bad when you think about it.

Next up is my life of getting fit and with that comes the Radiate Athletics t-shirt.

It’s basically the hypercolour t-shirt of the 2010s but with a use. It takes sweat away fro, your body so you aren’t a sopping mess and it shows you which areas of your body are working hardest when you work out.

Now, I have no doubt this t-shirt will not be useful for me at all except from its ability to wick sweat away. That’s why I’m getting it. I go to my personal trainer twice a week and it would benefit him more but you know what? I love gadgets and this is a gadget t-shirt that I can wear to get rid of sweat and stop my bag smelling that much. How much I hear you ask? Well $45 including shipping so not too bad at all.

Then we have the Nice Laundry sock drawer option.

I love socks. I really do. They are the tyre to your toes. They are the barrier for your trainers or shoes. I love the ranges and the shapes and the colours. Not sure why but I do.

And by golly do I love the socks being made by these guys. I’m torn between which package to take but eventually I settled on the Sock Drawer option. 18 pairs of socks, all of which look delightful, and I can actually take all of my old socks – which are getting on a bit – and give them to charity.

The packs I’m gonna get are: Visionary, Exec and Dreamer. Go on. Have a look at how awesome they are. Right? Wearing those every day would simply make you feel like a god (small one) walking amongst men. Every time you look down and see your socks you would want to stand on the table and shout “see these?? How fucking cool are they?? COOOOOOOOOL!!!” Sorry. I’m just kinda excited about these socks.

And lastly I’m gonna talk about shirts and the Ainste Handcrafted premium luxury handcrafted shirts.

I have a lovey selection of Ben Sherman and Herringbone shirts but the moment I saw these Kaden shirts I was in love. The collarless shirt with the stunning cuffs blew me away and had me kickstarting two right away. I’m actually tempted to ramp up and buy more but it’s not possible 😦 I’d love an option to buy four or six shirts. Hmm maybe I should message them.

Anyway these are four things I’m kickstarting. If you haven’t got involved in kickstarting then I suggest you should.

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My Google Glasses Rules

In Digital,Lessons,Life,Media,Social Media,Technology,Work on February 28, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , ,

When I woke this morning my feed was full of chatter about Google Glasses. Google’s big man Sergey Brin while talking at TED said that smartphones are emasculating and forcing us all to look down – as a man I look down occasionally in a needed way which got me thinking about what would happen when you wear the glasses and the rules that will need to be enforced.

1. Don’t wear your Google Glasses at dinner/lunch/breakfast if you are sitting with other people. If you think people checking their phone is annoying just wait till people simply stare up to read their latest text.

2. Bathroom etiquette is going to be massive with this one. Don’t wear them at the urinal if you are a bloke. That could end up in fights if people think you are filming their cocks. And for everyone it’s gonna be rude to just record any and all bathroom chatter.

3. No google glasses in the cinema. I don’t want to see little lights in the top corner lighting up around me. SWITCH THEM OFF.

4. I realise that being a citizen journalist is gonna be awesome with these things but I also want you to think about what you upload. Don’t use them for evil.

5. Sex. No. Unless you feel like being kinky and watching that stuff later on…but let’s be honest what if your partner wears them and she puts the video on and all you see is yourself having sex. That’s gonna be weird right? Nobody wants to see the faces they make during sex.

6. In meetings at work. May seem like a good idea but no one will say anything because everyone will be paranoid it will come bite them in the ass.

7. Shower rooms. Hopefully the glasses are waterproof. This does not mean it’s ok to wear them in the gym shower room.

8. Surgeons. Leave my insides inside not outside on the web.

9. Don’t watch porn on them on the way to work. That’s freakin’ weird.

That’s pretty much the main ones for now but I have a feeling I’ll be adding a lot more to the list as time goes on.

Do you have any suggestions where you shouldn’t wear your Google Glasses?

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My Elevator Rules

In Lessons,Life,Work on February 13, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , ,

My Elevator Rules. Or Lift Rules.

Or woooo we’re going down really fast rules.

1. Similar to trains I wait till people get out. I also stand quite a way back to allow people to move out of the elevator and get to where they need to go.

2. You know what if the button lights up you don’t have to press it again and again and again. It won’t bring the goddamn lifts down any quicker.

3. Today I watched a guy shove his entire arm into the lift to get in. Seriously, is a minute of your time so precious that it’s worth losing a limb over? If the doors are closing just let it close. No one wants the nickname “liftslice”

4. Conversation. Never discuss anyone you work with or anything to do with work except general stuff. As an ex-journo I can’t tell you how much great info I used to get by simply stepping into lifts and going up and down. People discuss all manner of secret stuff thinking no-one is listening. People are. Shut up!

5. Farting. Don’t. Unless it’s silent and you are out on the next stop and no one you work with is in the lift.

6. If I’m ill I don’t go to work but if you must and you have to use the lift then please don’t sneeze, don’t cough and don’t talk. People deserve not to get your illness. If I’m unwell and have to travel in a lift I stand closest to the door to try and breathe out only when the door opens.

7. I only press the close button when I know no-one was behind me and wanting in the lift. It’s pretty damned rude to close it knowing full well someone is heading to get in the same lift as you.

8. Headphones. See number 9 on My Train Rules.

9. I always let ladies off before me. It’s polite and the right thing to do. If they have a lot of luggage I always ask if I can help carry it. Yes some people look at me like I’m a thief ready to sprint off with their stuff but my mother brought me up to always ask. So I do.

10. Every single elevator I get into I look for another way out should I get stuck. I’ve seen Speed and I’ve seen Die Hard. I know that one day brakes will fail or the lift will get stuck and I’ll be escaping any way I can! I even keep a spare white vest on me just in case I have to take on a bunch of german terrorists determined to rob a multi-national.

11. In a crowded elevator keep your hands to yourself. No brushing against people. That’s perverted. Oh and try to avoid fast head movements. I’ve had one girl flick her hair and it end up in my mouth.

I think that last one is a good one to end it on. Basically it’s a short trip, be polite, be nice, don’t be rude and help people if they need it.

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Marginal Improvement and big thinking

In Digital,Lessons,Life,Marketing,Work on February 10, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

This is a post about marginal improvement and my recent list of rules

I’ve had a few people chat to me about my recent bunch of rules I’ve posted and have been saying that life needs fewer rules or that they thought I used to be a rebel would would always break the rules so I thought I would explain.

I’ve already posted these:

My Twitter Rules

My Train Rules

My Cinema Rules

And I’m currently working on a set for Facebook, LinkedIn, Vine, beach, elevators, escalators and more.

However, what I want to say is that they are more guidelines than rules. I follow the majority of them most of the time and I try to do what I can to be considerate to others. The guidelines or there just as a reference that if we all did all them well maybe, just maybe, the world would be a little bit of a better place.

Which brings me to marginal improvement. I’ve recently taken an interest again in economics (yeah I know who would have believed I would start enjoying that stuff all over again) and have been devouring podcasts on them.

The ‘Team GB’ cycling team in the UK won so many Gold Medals thanks to the their Head of Marginal Improvement, Mr Matt Parker. There is a good article on him here.

Basically he looked at how he could help increase the team’s performance marginally. Just a tad. Just enough to make them a little bit better. For instance he made the team where heated shorts before races to stop the players muscles going cold. The only team who did this were Team GB and I have no doubt at the next Olympics all cyclists will have toasty legs.

Now normally I’m the kind of guy who likes to take risks and who isn’t afraid to speak out. I’m always willing to go for the long shot and see how it pans out and I dream big – however I see that one of the best ways to dream big is to start small and that is with marginal improvements.

I’ve been re-focussing how I work by seeing which small things I can change and what things I can do that will make a small but important change in delivery and result and so far, so good.

I realise that you need a mix of marginal improvement and long term thinking. You have to dream big but also look for the small things that improve your life and your work marginally because the small things really do make an impact.

I’m not saying that from now on all I’ll be doing is looking for the little wins, oh no, I’ll always be looking to make a big impact but until they pay off I’ll be making small leaps rather than massive bounds.

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Matriarchy

In Lessons,Life,Work on May 29, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , ,

I’m from Glasgow in Scotland. Most people seem to think that Glasgow is full of tough men who would beat you up in a second if you looked at them the wrong way, and it can be like that at times but behind every Glaswegian hard bloke is a Glaswegian woman who he is terrified of.

Their mums.

Most Scotsmen will not stand for ‘your mum’ jokes simply because you don’t make jokes about someone’s mum. It’s their mum for fucks sake. You do not do this. You show respect to mums.

You listen when a Scottish mother speaks. You do what she tells you. You do not provoke her anger for her wrath knows no bounds.

My great gran was the matriarch of our family (on one side not the other), followed by my gran (she ran the roost between her and her sisters/brothers) and I guess now my mum. Decisions are made by these strong women and men listen when the words are said.

But in business I have noticed how many men fail to listen to women and sometimes they dismiss them as if they don’t know what they are talking about. I’ve seen men in meetings with women talk to them like dirt. I’ve seen men sit with their legs wide open scratching their balls in front of women.

And in many occasions I’ve said something. It’s rude to treat women like that anywhere.

I treat women with respect because where I come from they are the bosses. If my dad was angry at me for something I was scared. If my mum was angry at me for doing something wrong I wanted to run and hide … forever!!

Everyone you work with should be shown the same courtesy whether they are male or female.

On another not I will say that over my years working I have noticed that some women will happily betray or backstab other women to get up the ladder which I find horrible. Not seen it so often with men but I have no doubt it happens also.

The point of this blog post? Don’t mess with Scottish women. They will fuck your shit up.

And the second point is that women are as skilled as men and the old guard need to start realising this.

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Like a boss

In Lessons,Life,Work on March 17, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , ,

The other night I had the pleasure of seeing Heston Blumenthal and something he said really piqued my interest.

He said the boss of a workplace should never get angry and lose his temper at his staff. Obviously most chefs you see seem to be rather angry (especially a certain Scottish one) and always seem to be shouting or lambasting their staff however Heston had this to say.

If a staff member is failing at his job then, said Heston, one of three things has gone wrong…

1. There is too much expected of them

2. They haven’t been trained enough in the role

3. They are not right for the role

And all three of those things are the fault of the boss.

This made me think of all of the bosses I have worked with and their attitude towards staff and the way they treat them. Now over my years I have worked with some very unsupportive and very unappreciative bosses and I always think I learned from them how not to treat staff.

1. Shouting at your staff, screaming at them, telling them they are useless etc is not the way to help staff stay productive. All it does is create doubt in their mind which isn’t good at all. You may get a quick boost out of them but ultimately you are messing things up for yourself and the company.

2. Your staff are the single most important aspect of your organisation. You should expect a lot from them but not the world. Give them enough to extend themselves but not too much that they end up in too deep.

3. You should train them up but never organise training sessions over the lunch time of the staff. It’s rude to think they should give up unpaid time to do training when the training is to help them be better at their job.

4. Give praise where praise is due.

5. If someone doesn’t enjoy something but another staff member does whey not switch tasks. People who don’t enjoy doing certain tasks will take twice as long and the job won’t be completed as satisfactory as someone who does enjoy the work.

6. Offer constructive criticism but also help them understand where they have went wrong and how they can avoid it in the future.

7. Friday’s from 4.30pm are beer time. Seriously. Your staff work hard so reward them from that point on to enjoy themselves.

8. Ensure they attend events outside of work to interact with others in their field. Yes they may meet people who may try to steal them but if they are happy and enjoy the work they tend not to leave. Attending these events help them learn from other peers.

9. Just cause you are having a bad day doesn’t mean your staff have to know. All it does is create confusion and fear in the office.

10. Be confident and strong in the office, listen to your staff but don’t bend backwards to please them. Ultimately you are the boss and still need to have the final say.

11. Don’t choose favourites. Again this creates discord in the team.

12. Enjoy yourself. It’s your job too 🙂