Handing your notice in can be more frightening than an interview

So, you went through the countless interviews, telephone interviews, you have spoken that much that you have no voice and you have been offered the job! Feelings of excitement and pride are rushing through your body, you want to jump for joy, do a dance, call everyone in your phone book….you accept the job!

Now the question…..when is the earliest you can start? Your stomach turns a little in realisation that although you are so happy to have achieved this opportunity, you now have to face your current employer. Feelings of desertion, loyalty and non committal fill your mind. Your current employer will put the pieces together and realise that you weren’t at the dentist 3 times in the last fortnight! You tell your new employer you notice period and agree to call them once your notice is in to confirm an exact date.

So… you have written your notice carefully (probably googled a few times how to write the perfect resignation letter) and you are on your way to work, thinking of the perfect time to grab your line manager. Do you do it first thing and get it over with? Or lunch time when its less busy in the office? Or even better, the end of the day then run for door??? I recommend going for the first option, get it out of the way. Employees leave businesses every day, and although you feel like your the only one and you are a huge let down, truth is your not, and if you have been unhappy for a while, they are probably expecting it to be honest.

So let your line manager sit down, have their breakfast and take their coat off before you pounce, and quietly ask if you could have 5 minutes with them to discuss something. This WILL be terrifying for most of you, those first words are the most frightening but once you have done it, it gets easier.

Once you are with your manager, let them know that you will be resigning, you can tell them why if you feel comfortable (not recommended to bad mouth them!!) and explain factually. Your manager may have questions, where are you going? what is the role? but you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to. You are well within your rights to politely say ‘I’d rather not say at this stage, I’d like to get established first’ and they should respect your decision.

And then its over, they will go away and speak with other management and you will agree your notice period, the office will find out either by you telling them or your manager might want to, and all that terror is gone, you did it! The excitement comes back to you and you are now looking forward to your future.

My advice for your notice period, don’t put your feet up, still work business as usual and stick to your job description, you still want to part ways on a good note and grab that all important reference.

Moral of the story, stay strong, stay confident and stay you.


Temporary Workers Umbrella vs PAYE

I often get asked by temporary workers, what is the difference between PAYE and UMBRELLA status when being paid.

I’m not an accountant, and for more financially intricate detail you would need to speak to one but I will cover off the basics so that you are in the know.

So, how does an umbrella company work? Umbrella contracts were initially set up to allow contractors and temporary workers to claim tax relief on some expenditures such as Travel, accommodation and food whilst they are on assignment. This is because temporary workers are disadvantaged in the fact they may have multiple assignments a year and not one place of work to account for to travel to.

Employment status, you will be employed by the umbrella company you work through, not the agency or the client, the umbrella company and you will submit expense forms and receipts to them directly for them to process.

It is important to know that you can only work through an umbrella company for a maximum of 2 years, and if you are still contracting after that you will need to decide if it is worth working through your own Ltd company or PAYE. An accountant can help you with this.

Are umbrella companies a scam? No, they aren’t scamming, they are fully regulated by the HMRC and have regular audits, but it is important that you choose the right one, one that is going to pay the tax on your behalf!

Do I have to pay for the service? Yes, the umbrella company will charge a weekly fee (which differs per company) which is why you should look at whether the fee out ways your tax relief and if you are going to be better off financially. The general rule is that if you earn less than £10 per hour, you should be on a PAYE contract as it wouldn’t financially benefit you.

How much will I be better off? This differs from person to person depending on your hourly rate and what expenses you are eligible to put through. It is best to speak with a Umbrella company that will work out both rates for you on a typical week earnings on an Umbrella contract and a PAYE contract.

Do I get holiday pay? This differs from umbrella company, but the general rule is no, the reason being is you will be paid the holiday accrual in your hourly pay, as because you are a contractor, you wont be normally be taking chunks of holiday during an assignment.

There are many other questions, but I have worked with many umbrella company’s in the past, one being Paystream, who genuinely offer a great , honest service, and they give you a full breakdown of your earnings. The team are very friendly and easily approachable and they are certainly one of the better umbrella companies in my experience.

If you are looking into Umbrella companies, my advice is speak to a couple and choose the one that feels right for you, make sure they give you ALL the information, and if they hide any financial information it is best to stay clear as you want a trustworthy company who is open book with you.

Students, Don’t stress over exam results, you have options

So your friends are going to their choice of university and you didn’t get the results you needed for your preferred choice? What do you do?

Don’t bury your head in the sand! OK you can mourn the results for a couple of days but then its time to make a plan! 

Did you check your marks? Is it worth asking for a re mark?– If you are only a few points off the higher grade, then it could be worth a re mark, but do remember you can also get marked down!! So if you are more than a few points off its probably best left as is.

Call your university of choice- Act now, don’t delay, pick up your confidence and call them! Up to now all they have is your application form, but you can be character to this and add to your application. Explain to them that you didn’t get the mark, can you do anything extra to gain a place?

Take a gap year- In some cases this is a fantastic idea. If you really want to wait to get into the university you preferred, then defer for a year. In this year, don’t use it sat in-front of TV box sets, get some relevant work experience to the course you intended to do. This will give you extra credits when the next year comes, and also allows you to grow as a person.

Start calling round employers now- There will be many people in your shoes, and now they will be turning to the job market, do not delay, start enquiring about opportunities with businesses you want to work for…..check out my page for applications for some tips.

The most important thing to remember is that you have options, lots and lots of options. I know people who have been in very similar situations, and went back to University after the gap year, or they found a love and passion for something else in that time. What happens now will define you, so keep positive, read up on my hints and tips and be who you want to be

Is it really about how you look at Interview?

The answer is YES!!!

After many years in the recruitment industry, hundreds of interviews, and many placements I can honestly tell you that it, how you present yourself is important!

Now, I am not talking about cosmetic/ celebrity style looks, I mean simple presentation is key.

Recruiters hate talking about the sensitive subjects, so here I am telling you how to impress at interview…..IN DETAIL.

Hair…. Males and Females included, you must have a tidy haircut/ style, wash it, style it simply and make sure it is tame.

Make-up… This one is for the ladies, I have personally found that simple is best (depending on what type of role you are going for) but unless you are a top make up artist, don’t try fancy eye make-up and angel flicks, keep it neutral with tones to suit your skin and YOU.

Hygiene… A taboo subject….. you must be clean. Don’t run for the bus on your way there, or walk through fields. You must look and smell clean. Make sure you use antiperspirant and a fresh smelling perfume/cologne. Not too strong though, you don’t want to smell like a boys changing room after sports! And smoking, there are a lot of workers who smoke, and if you do, make sure you don’t smell of it. Wash your hands, don’t have a smoke before you go into an interview (you can manage for 2 hours) Also make sure you have beautifully smelling breath by brushing your teeth and taking mints with you.

And most importantly your dress


– Suits, Plain suits, dark colours, with a Jacket

– Dresses, over the knee with a jacket

– Shoes, clean, polished, if you can walk in heels great if you cant stick to flats

– Accessories, Keep to a minimum, do carry a folder with your CV and references in


– Trainers- absolutely not, ever, in any circumstance

– Casual trousers/ Jeans, never ever (you will be surprised how many people have lost opportunities through jeans)

– Footwear, no uggboots, sports boots, flip flops

– Take any bags in with you (if you are planning on going to the gym after, leave the bag in the car!) This goes for shopping too, if you pass a shop on the way to your interview, unless it fits in your smart bag, refrain from purchase until afterwards!

Remember first impressions count, always! Within the first 30 seconds, the interviewer will have formed an impression of you and you want this to be a positive one! Check out my interview tips and advice pages, for more in depth information

Trying this out!

Thanks for clicking on folks! After a lot of deliberation I am trying this ‘blogging’out, to see if I can reach out to you, on a level without you feeling embarrassed about your job situation.

Now a bit about me, I am an experienced recruiter, and my aim here is to give you as much advice and tips for securing a role, progressing up the career ladder or dealing with in office politics. I have 8 years experience in the industry (that’s a lot of jobs I have recruited for).

I have also been in those tricky situations in interviews and selection processes myself, so I hope to pass on my knowledge in the hope it helps you.

Plus if this takes off, I’ll jump off the free blog and buy one (you’ve got to try before you buy right!)

But I do have a website if you fancy popping over there too, and whilst you clicking you could follow me on twitter for up to date information

Thanks folks, stay tuned!