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Showing all posts with the tag: Inspiration

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  • Find out why these guys love their start-up careers!

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    I am frequently asked to explain why I think start-up careers are so much more attractive than blue-chip ones. My answer is always long …there are so many reasons!

    For example, in a high-growth, entrepreneurial environment, there are more jobs than there are people to do them. This means that start-ups offer employees an unparalleled breadth of experience. Not only is this hugely exciting- no two days are ever the same- it also means that employees learn so much more than they would in a relatively narrow role elsewhere. This is coupled with the fact that you get so much more exposure to the leadership team in a small business. Further, the pace of growth and change creates limitless opportunities. As a result career progression is so much faster than it would be in a large corporate. Progression is also meritocratic and governed by you: you can truly be the master of your own destiny whereas, in a large business, one’s career path is often already mapped out for them.

    Beyond this, the ownership, sense of responsibility and ability to make a significant impact is unparalleled elsewhere. You are a big cog in a small machine and the agile and ever-changing nature of start-ups, as well as the pace of change, means you can move ideas from conception to realisation very quickly. This is hugely exciting and stimulating and really gets you out of bed in the morning. It is so empowering to know that you are making a genuine difference and so rewarding to see a tangible outcome of your work.

    … I could go on all day!

    But then I figured, “Who knows better than our network of candidates and clients currently working in cutting-edge start-ups?” And so, I put this question to them. Here are the responses I received:

    “Influence, Involvement, Excitement” (Rachel, Vivid Drinks);

    “Impact, Accountability, Pace” (James Bagley, Naked Wines);

    “Creativity, Pace, Variety” (Vic, Charlie Bigham’s);

    “Opportunity, Pace of Change and Influence” (Andy, Tough Mudder);

    “Pushing yourself, Making a Difference, Taking Responsibility for your Work” (Eamon, Naked Wines);

    “Tangible Results, New Challenges, Constant Drive” (Laura, The Fold);

    “Responsibility, Creativity and Opportunity” (Alice, Raconteur Media);

    “Agile, Collaborative, Excitement of Creating Something New” (Melissa, moo.com);

    “Fast-paced, Dynamic and Varied” (Alex, Parkatmyhouse);

    “Collaborative, Ever-changing, Exciting” (Mark, onefinestay);

    “Flexibility, Independence, Dynamic” (Rosalind, Raconteur Media);

    “Hands-On, Sense of Urgency, Disruptive” (Kathleen, Stella&Dot);

    “Variety, Visibility, Ownership” (Dan A, Peppersmith;)

    “Impact , Hands-on, Team Spirit” (Charlotte, Little Dish).

    Posted on: March 6th, 2014

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  • So what really matters when choosing a career? How we can learn from the most successful

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    So, what really matters when choosing a career? As Eric Schmidt then CEO of the relatively unknown Google said to Sheryl Sandberg (COO facebook) as she was considering her career options:

    “Only one criterion matters when picking a job- fast growth. When companies grow quickly there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies grow more slowly or stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to not be doing them. Politics and stagnation set in and everyone falters. If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”

    Needless to say Sheryl took the role at Google. In her words: “Google was tiny and disorganized but it was a rocket ship. And, even more important to me, it was a rocket ship with a mission I believed in deeply.”

    Cheryl stayed at Google for six and a half years and “learned more than (she) could ever have hoped while working with true visionaries.”

    Cheryl goes on to describe that, despite being totally adverse to any sort of risk or uncertainty in her personal life, in her professional life she has learned to embrace it. “Risk – and a great deal of luck- landed me at Google. That worked out so well that I decided to embrace risk again, which led me to Facebook. At the time, other companies were willing to hire me as CEO, but I joined Facebook as COO. At first, people questioned why I would take a “lower-level” job working for a twenty three year old. No one asks me that anymore.”

    In 2012, Sheryl Sandberg was named in the Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world according to Time magazine. As of January 2014, Sandberg is reported to be worth over US$1 billion, due to her stock holdings in Facebook and other companies.

    I think we can all learn from Sheryl’s choices. Start-up careers often require people to take a “step-down” in salary or to roll their sleeves up and do more of hands-on role, where someone may feel that this is now “beneath them”. I have seen so many people miss out on such great opportunities by focusing too much on job title, salary, car allowance etc. They have all gone on to regret it. Instead, I encourage my candidates to prioritise potential for fast growth and the mission of the company.

    Posted on: February 24th, 2014

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  • Lovework’s mission: Disrupting the Recruitment Industry and Building a Loved Brand

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    Lovework is an entrepreneurial recruitment business with one simple mission: to connect the most exceptional people to exciting roles in high-growth entrepreneurial businesses and fledgling start-ups, providing new ventures with the very best team of people to help them become tomorrow’s success story.

    When I founded Lovework, in Janaury 2013, I did not set out to create just another recruitment company. Instead, I intended to build a brand that would be seen by our clients as trustworthy, approachable and like-minded and thus representative of our values.

    And this is because Lovework is not your typical recruitment business. We are a start-up working for other start-ups. We are staunch advocates of enterprise both internally, as a young business ourselves, and externally, working for entrepreneurial businesses to help them maximize their potential for success.

    As innocent has shaken up the beverage industry and, as many of Lovework’s clients continue to innovate in their sectors: from confectionary to bird food, healthy snacks to nutritional ready-meals, these cutting-edge businesses are creating loved, personal and ethical brand identities, so too Lovework is disrupting the recruitment industry, to build an honest, open and loved brand that is based on trust and friendship with the consumer.

    Recruitment is an industry that traditionally has a bad reputation. Agencies and Consultants alike are often associated with being solely driven by money, focusing on hitting aggressive targets and the short-term goal of earning commission, without having a consideration for the interests of either the job seeker or the hiring businesses.

    Isn’t it time the recruitment industry was shaken up? Not least because it is such an emotional process for those involved, even without the added burden of dealing with an aggressive, money-hungry, jumped up recruitment consultant whose sole interest is getting bums on seats and subsequent money in the bank?

    From the perspective of the job-seeker, searching for a new career can be demoralising, onerous, stressful and emotionally-draining. From a business’s perspective, it is absolutely crucial to have the right team of people in place. This is particularly true of smaller ventures where every individual has such a significant and meaningful impact on both business performance and team dynamic.

    And so, through a number of key differentiators, Lovework is disrupting the recruitment industry and dispelling those negative connotations:

    Our Brand: We have invested considerable time in our branding to ensure it is fun and innovative and aligned with the brands of our target customer. In this way, our brand is representative of our collaborative approach to their needs as well as our commitment to building loyal, lasting customer relationships.

    Further, through the use of bright colours, fun imagery, personal case studies, and a chatty tone of voice, we hope that our brand injects some warmth and openness to the job search and thus relaxes, rather than intimidates, the job seeker.

    Our Empathy: We are an entrepreneurially-minded, disruptive and innovative business ourselves, giving us a unique appreciation of our clients’ needs and goals.

    Our Passion: We are passionate about entrepreneurial businesses. We must be… we are one! Further, we are passionate about the opportunities they offer their employees which, we believe, are unparalleled elsewhere. Our genuine passion for our clients’ ventures is absolutely core to the success of Lovework and is a thread that runs through everything we do.

    Our Commitment to Promoting Enterprise: Lovework benefits from an extensive network of entrepreneurs and is passionate about encouraging worthwhile connections and promoting enterprise. We do this in a number of ways:
    1) Through facilitating mutually beneficial partnerships between businesses,
    2) Through making valuable business introductions,
    3) Through hosting entrepreneurial networking evenings. Not only do these evenings facilitate the exchange of valuable information, experiences and contacts between entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs alike, they also offer a forum through which start-up ventures can promote and market their products. Our last event, in January 2014, saw over 250 people flock to Sofa.com’s show-room, to indulge in tempting tipples courtesy of Naked Wines, Sipsmith, Fever Tree, Belvoir and Vita Coco and tasty treats courtesy of Lettice, Peppersmith and Propercorn. Invitees shopped to their heart’s content for business attire at The Fold, jewellery at Stella & Dot, and even gained fashion tips from The Chapar. All this before calling on Uber to return them full, satisfied, inspired and thoroughly spoiled, to their homes.

    As we look to Lovework’s second year and to the years ahead, as Lovework grows in scale, it is crucial that we retain the values that are so core to our business. It is my dream to build a team of entrepreneurial, like-minded individuals who are as passionate about start-up ventures as me and whose motivations will always be aligned to those of our clients.

    As I picture our open-plan offices, I know that they will be filled with the innovative fruits’ of our clients’ labours: lunches of Charlie Bigham’s, healthy snacks by Popchips, Propercorn and BEAR, fresh breath for meetings thanks to Peppersmith, intellectual reading materials provided by Raconteur Media and refreshing tipples from Vivid Drinks and Vita Coco: it will be a true celebration of enterprise. And, who knows.. if business continues to go so well, we may even celebrate with a well-earned glass (or two!) of Naked Wines on a Friday afternoon!

    Catherine

    Posted on: February 14th, 2014

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  • Lovewok: one year on

    lovework-logo

    It is hard to imagine that it was only a year ago that I set up Lovework, to connect exceptional people to exciting, high-growth, entrepreneurial businesses.

    Prior to that, I was working in a start-up myself. I fell into this role, having never even considered the possibility of career options in entrepreneurial businesses. Having been so overwhelmed with big brand names when job hunting, it simply hadn’t occurred to me that there might be another path. However, I so loved the challenge, responsibility, autonomy and ownership that came with my start-up role that I decided to set up Lovework, to help others like me find stimulating and fulfilling entrepreneurial careers.

    And what a great year it has been! We have helped just shy of 30 start-ups to find talented individuals for their teams. From wine to pets, extreme sporting events to healthy snacking, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with such exciting and cutting edge businesses as well as with such talented, dynamic and inspirational people.

    We were also fortunate to have had our achievements recognised through picking up a number of awards in 2013. Smarta 100 named us among the 100 most innovative, disruptive and resourceful small businesses in the UK and they nominated me for Female Entrepreneur of the Year. We were voted as Home-based business of the Year in the Simply Business Startups awards and we were named as one of the Top 20 UK Startups to be founded in 2013.

    As far as first years’ go, we could not have asked for much more. And this has all been down to our loyal customers. We have hardly had to do any business development at all since we started and this is because the vast majority of business we receive comes to us as a result of their kind recommendations. It allows us to focus our time on finding talented individuals for their teams as opposed to selling Lovework’s proposition.

    I look forward to an even more successful 2014!

    Catherine

    Posted on: February 6th, 2014

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  • What makes a business agile?

    Raconteur

    The first report produced by Alice in her new role at Racontuer Media.

    Alice secured her exciting new job through Lovework and is absolutely flying. Within 3 months of her starting, the fruits of her labour are apparent here. It is so wonderful to see how well she is getting on and to hear how happy she is in her new role. We greatly look forward to reading her next report on Funding Growth!

    Keep up the good work, Alice!

    Catherine

    Posted on: February 1st, 2014

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