Do we all expect too much?

about 7 years ago by Huw Martin

​Here’s a few questions for you on a cold, sunny Monday in Scotland! Please answer honestly!

What jobs did you do when growing up?

What was the worst?

What was the best?

What entry criteria did you have to meet to get them?

How did it end?

Lots of questions that if you have time or the inclination to answer it may be quite fun.  Here are my honest answers;

First job was Paperboy! No qualifications needed just a pushy parent and ended prematurely as it was a free paper therefore I thought (wrongly) that it didn’t matter so used to throw them in the bin in the back lane.

Second job was a Cleaner in the local Jubilee Bakery! (pictured below in the 80s), I loved it! Well saying that, I loved the bread rolls and muffins far more than the job and was “let go” after a few days as my cleaning standards weren’t meeting the most basic of hygiene rules!

Huw - Bakery

I worked in the local video shop (£1 per hour! I’m not joking) which I loved as would sit and watch films all day in the school hols and given that we didn’t have a TV (really? yes!) it was great. I was let go again when the shop closed.

At University I had to work to pay the bills and decided a short career of agency work might help. A “friend” (you know who you are Julian) got us signed up to one of the larger firms who then sent us around the local area doing some great things;

  • 1 day we were in Stockport (for which I received a speeding ticket at 5am on the way to the job which effectively meant I worked on the bins for free! You’re welcome).

  • 1 day in Manchester we moved heavy office furniture up 4 flights of stairs with no lift.

  • 1 day we delivered dried flowers to a market in Liverpool.

  • Lastly, I spent a small period of time as a security guard of a derelict school in Moss-side in Manchester. I had a hut, a uniform and a very very tame German shepherd dog who didn’t want any trouble. I won’t go into details but suffice to say my school partially burned down due to some pesky kids and a lack of awareness from me & my dog!!!

After moving to Scotland and failing to realise my dream as a rock star, I got an office job at Standard Life in customer service, loved it, learnt loads. I moved into recruitment, loved it, learnt loads and with a combination of luck, hard work and a positive attitude have forged a career for myself which given my start I’m really proud of so far.

The point of this slightly showy blog is not how great I think I am, as I don’t.  Its demonstrating that I did a large number of “interesting” jobs throughout my life and never once did I think I deserve better.

I see and hear a lot of people in society at the moment bemoaning the fact that they don’t have opportunities, they don’t get the career choices they deserve or wondering why when they graduate they aren’t instantly given the CEO job and £200k salary!

My point is that expectations have somehow shifted over the years, people have a need for instant gratification, instant results, instant career advancement. It seems to me that not everyone is putting in the graft!  Of course this is one heck of a generalisation and I know it’s tougher than in my day,  however without doubt there are large numbers of people who expect far more than their efforts/experiences deserve.

How many people do we hear moaning about the system, complaining about the lack of opportunities when never once have they encouraged their child to do such simple things like;  try hard at school, pass their exams, read to their kids, help them with homework.  No, they’re far more content to complain about what they don’t have rather than understand the reasons why they don’ have it!

I often say when interviewing people for our business, its all about attitude and application. We can teach technical skills or processes, what we can’t teach is the get up and go, the desire to succeed and passion to make something of oneself without it being handed on a plate.

It would be great to hear about some of your experiences.

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