On people who ignore your invitation for coffee

They probably haven’t had to build networks outside of their home town, school and family who have connected them to opportunities.

They probably haven’t tried to branch out of a skill set or industry they already are connected in.

They probably don’t understand that even if they can’t do something like hire you, that just spending some time over a coffee, perhaps sharing a suggested connection or some insight, is so incredibly helpful too.

They probably don’t understand that taking the coffee invitation is a clear sign that generosity is a part of their character, and ultimately someone you’ll always hope to do a good turn.

They probably aren’t worth worrying about.

Being ignored sucks, but chasing people who lack empathy and generosity is even worse.

How do I know this? Because I have lovely, privileged, smart and powerful friends who I watch ignore invitations because they don’t get it, and have never needed to get it. I hope they will get it one day, and I hope, in the meantime, whoever is sending those invitations is moving right along without losing too much sleep.

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Weed

It’s spring, and although everything is green, I was surprised that when I actually looked at the garden, a huge amount of weeds have sprung up.
It was a good reminder that in times of growth, we have to be really on guard about what’s establishing in our lives.
Are you learning – pushing yourself – getting out of your comfort zone?  
Or are you being challenged – feeling stretched – making lots of tough calls?

Whether it’s growth you’re choosing, or that’s being imposed on you, while you are concentrating on everything else, just take a moment to look at what’s established during these times … your sleep habits, eating habits, stress relief… Is there some weeding to do?
Cheers,
Sarah
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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Forgiving yourself for your full time job

How amazing are biological rhythms that we just accept, like REM cycles, tides, moons, seasons – flowers that open and close at certain hours of the day. We say “yes of course, these things should have this rhythm because they are from nature and part of nature and are participating in the natural order of things.” But when it comes to ourselves, we forget we are from nature, we forget we are part of nature, we forget we are in a natural order of things. We must compete and fight and find glory and excellence in ourselves. We think we tap into our wild side, all the while forgetting what the wild is really like. A plant doesn’t strangle another plant for its own glory, it has no concept or interest in glory, it merely does so for survival. It is fulfilling the purpose of being that one particular plant. So why fight and work tirelessly to seek out things we neither need for survival or fulfilment of our purpose?
I’ll tell you why – because we hear about things like portfolio careers, and see the current dotcom boom as websites are snapped up for $1 Billion Dollars, and are people who have weathered recessions and GFCs and terrorism and wars on terrorism, and have seen the hard work of our qualifications melt into the new status quo, and can wake up and read the news, celebrity gossip and see our vain friend’s selfies all before 8am. The competition, the fear, the intensity, it’s all right there – a relentless beating of the drum. We keep getting told over and over that our purpose is not enough, that we need to aim higher, be harder, better, faster, stronger. ‘All’ isn’t the job and the family, having it ‘all’ is the job, the family, the blog, the daily jogs, AND the adorable dog.
I dunno, this is just a really long winded way of me saying, if you work a full time job, go easy on yourself that you’re not also writing a book and running a blog and living in a hospital-grade-clean house and having a fabulous social life to publish on Facebook. It’s ok to just do the simple things like surviving and fulfilling the purpose of being you. And survival doesn’t have to mean that whole bullshit happy clappy business perk up of ‘don’t just survive, thrive’ – it can also mean the very basics of being a human being – working for a roof over your head, food on your table, being with people you love and using your natural gifts for good. I have never looked at a plant that has survived an Adelaide summer and thought, “if only it had pushed itself harder.” I don’t know why I keep looking in the mirror and saying the same thing to myself.  
Cheers,
Sarah
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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The Question That Landed Me in a Psych’s Office

What do you want to be?
This question always baffled me, because I knew I was supposed to list a profession, but ultimately I would just like to ‘be’ happy. The amount of pressure I felt on my shoulders to choose a profession that would not only bring me success, prestige, riches and respect – but would also make me happy – landed me in a psychologist’s office. After hours of testing and my parents’ considerable financial support, I was presented with a list of jobs that I knew could make me very happy indeed, except for that issue of stability. I adore stability. I adore bills paid, heating/cooling to my heart’s desire, having mutliple lights on around the house, credit cards named after stupid metals and buying everything to do with a hobby before I even have started the hobby. I adore money. So despite my innate creativity and ensured happiness, the offer of being an illustrator or fashion designer was just not going to cut it. Regular pay checks are where it’s at for me.
And there in lies the harsh bitch of life. We ask children “what do you want to be?” and expect them to interpret this as a question about their ambitions and interests. But let’s examine the question – especially the question we bombard teenagers with as they prepare to leave school – the ‘be’ isn’t so much as about doing something, as it is about being labelled as something. We’re asking our children, our teenagers, ourselves – “what label will you happily wear for the world to see?” And I don’t know about you, but labels scare the bejeebers out of me! Labels are so easily manipulated into discrimination, exclusion and reputations. 

Michael Bolton from Office Space nails it:
“No, you’re working at Initech because that question is bullshit to begin with. If everyone listened to her, there’d be no janitors, because no one would clean shit up if they had a million dollars.”

I like the question “what do you want to work as?” At least we’re keeping it clear that this is a section of life, not a whole life. Once we’re adults, we even acknowledge that work isn’t our life because we don’t ask “what are you?” We ask “what do you do?” But we still answer as though it’s our label… “I’m a HR Manager” At least we’re asked with the benefit of the doubt that we may answer “9-5 I work in HR, other than that though, I’m mad keen on comedy.” 
I don’t know when it started, but I certainly enjoyed the golden age of work advice about choosing a passion, following your dream etc etc etc. And now the fashion is moving away from that fluffy advice (or is the economy wisening our asses up?) Either way, I believe a very quick way to change the dialogue is to keep questions about our future endeavours of ‘being’ to a strictly holistic approach. We are beings.
Cheers,
Sarah
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.


Julie Waddell did a fantastic response to this post on her blog ‘Accidental HR’. I love Julie’s point that “NO ONE grows up wanting to be in HR.” I certainly didn’t amidst my plumbing and ferry captain ambitions. Have a read of Julie’s conclusions here!

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