Tag Archives: work

Ten tips for new graduates


So you’ve just left university and you’re hankering after a job in PR.  What should you be doing?  Here are my ten top tips.  Continue reading


Filed under Careers, Graduates, PR

What to write in the “hobbies” section of your CV

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Note: This post now also appears on PRcareers.co.uk along with lots of other useful PR careers advice.

So you’ve mastered the CV format and written a brand spanking new one following the the brilliant guidelines in my book but you’ve still got that pesky bit at the bottom to write – the bit most people call “hobbies”.  So what do you do if you don’t actually have  any hobbies?  Should you leave that section blank?  I think that everyone has something interesting to say about their pastimes and there’s a number of ways you can tackle it.

Firstly, don’t title that section “hobbies”.  Continue reading


Filed under Careers

Surviving Work Christmas Parties

Q.  I like to keep my work and home life quite separate but my firm is throwing a Christmas party and I am feeling under pressure to attend.  How can I avoid it?

Photocopying A.  Some people are not natural party animals and can think of nothing worse than spending extra time with their colleagues, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to deal with it for one night as not attending may mark you out as being reluctant to be a team player and damage your career.  A staff party is one way for a company to show appreciation for their employees’ hard work over the year and to give them an opportunity to mingle outside of work and therefore build rapport.  If you’re a manager, not going along can also send a bad message to your team – i.e. ‘I don’t like you enough to spend time with you’.  Even if your company expects you to contribute financially to the event, and in this age of austerity, some will, it may be frowned upon if you chose not to attend. 

So, once you’ve come to terms with the fact that you should go along, here’s my guide to surviving your work’s Christmas do.




-          Don’t get drunk.  Even the quietest among us can say dreadful things with a tongue loosened by alcohol so keep the drinking to a minimum.

-          If you have to buy a secret Santa gift play it reasonably safe – edible undies may *seem* like a good idea, but the recipient may not see the funny side.

-          Try not to only talk about work.  This is not the occasion to suggest to your boss that you’re due for a pay rise, or tell your team about a piece of work you want completed by Monday.  It is meant to be fun. 

-          Dress appropriately.  This is easy if your party is at lunch time as you are likely to be in work clothes but if your firm throws a lavish evening do try to remember that you are going to have to look the other guests in the eye in the office the next day. 

-          Use it as an opportunity to network.  You may not get many opportunities to meet some people at your company – particularly if it’s a big firm – so make yourself known to the movers and shakers, without chewing their ear off about your job. 

-          If you snog someone in the stationery cupboard, someone WILL find out and it’ll be the talk of the office until the next shin-dig.

-          Ditto photocopying your bottom.

-          If your partner is invited to attend, try to make them feel at ease by introducing them to people instead of leaving them to fend for themselves while you have a laugh with your office mates.

-          Do your best to actually enjoy it – you might surprise yourself. 


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Filed under Careers, Christmas

25 Things to Avoid Doing at Work

Want to know how to avoid winding up your colleagues?  Discover your irritating work habits and make work life easier for everyone.  Here’s my quick and easy guide to what not to do:

1)      Don’t eat smelly food in the office.

2)      Don’t shout into your phone.

3)      Don’t worry about other’s people’s time keeping.  Make sure you get to work and meetings on time, let other people’s bosses worry about them getting there.

4)      Don’t use your mobile/Blackberry/smart phone in meetings.

5)      Don’t take credit for other people’s work.

6)      Don’t come into the office when you’re sick, spreading your germs won’t make you popular

7)      Don’t blame others for your mistakes.

8)      Don’t sit on a task all day then ask a member of your team to do it five minutes before the end of the day.

9)      If you’ve set a deadline for a piece of work, don’t ask for it repeatedly BEFORE the deadline.  What’s the point of a deadline if you’re going to nag for it earlier anyway?

10)   Don’t miss a deadline.

11)   Don’t interrupt.  Give others a chance to speak.  Don’t speak over other people or ignore them completely.  You may like the sound of your own voice but your colleagues will find it pretty grating.

12)   Don’t use endless management speak.  Thinking outside the box is SO last year.

13)   Don’t  allow your parents, friends or partner to call you endlessly at work – particularly if you work in an office where there are no direct lines.  It’s irritating having to take messages from your husband every fifteen minutes.

14)   Don’t be consistently late.  A one off is a one off – everyone oversleeps or gets stuck on a defective train now and then.  But five minutes late EVERY morning is disrespectful and annoying.

15)   Don’t shout across the office at people.

16)   Don’t belittle colleagues and if you have to tell someone in your team off, do it in private.

17)   Don’t talk on the phone with your mouth full of food.

18)   Don’t expect other people to make you cups of coffee if you’re not willing to return the favour.

19)   Don’t leave the printer jammed with paper for someone else to sort out.

20)   Don’t put the empty milk carton back in the fridge.

21)   Don’t say you understand something when you don’t.

22)   Don’t expect everyone to drop what they’re doing to do something for you, unless it’s an absolute emergency (and then be nice about it).

23)   Don’t make a mess in the staff kitchen and leave it for someone else to tidy up.

24)   Don’t leave the toilet roll holder empty.

25)   Don’t send unnecessary emails.  Pick up the phone, or talk face-to-face, once in a while.

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