Six years ago this week, I said goodbye to one of my most meaningful business relationships and my long career as an “on the tools” Recruiter and Recruitment Business Owner.
It was an amicable “work divorce” when Deb and I parted and I am incredibly fortunate that she continues to be one of my very best friends and confidantes after 12 years of working together and 7 years in business together. Deborah took our E-Commerce business and continues to go from strength to strength working with her husband in an incredibly challenging space utilising the widely regarded service skills she came to be known for in the corporate world. I’ve yet to meet anyone else who can live up to her well deserved reputation when it comes to delivery.
So what have I been doing in the last 6 years and how is it relevant to Mental Health Awareness week?
Many of you know that when it came to Technical Recruitment - we were different to our peers. If I had to summarise how we were different it would come down to our deep understanding of people, what they wanted and why they wanted it. We didn’t just CV shift, or skills match or use competency base and behavioural interview techniques. We combined every element of our toolkit and pulled it together with deep values based questioning that helped us understand behaviour as opposed to merely assessing it. We didn’t just reserve that for our candidates either. We worked incredibly hard to understand our clients to ensure that all our partnerships were mutually valuable. We didn’t always get it right and in those instances we learned more essential lessons around human behaviour when it came to career based decisions.
I wasn’t exactly sure how I intended to move forward back in 2014. I was will still very much affected by the death of my Mum and the rapid and destructive manner in which we lost her to Motor Neurone Disease the previous August. In hindsight I now understand that this was a turning point. I was inspired to understand more about Resilience, Quality of Thinking and how our mental health impacted every thing we did whether at work or at play when combined with our inner values and beliefs.
I studied, read and worked with some incredible mentors, something I continue to do every day. I have applied the unique approach we built at Mida combining it with positive psychology and I have come to understand that true coaching/counselling/advising lies in facilitating a process that allows individuals to understand themselves and their thinking to best design their own path ahead. It is not pushing my own views on their world, company or situation based on my own experience.
In the last few years I have met, spoken to and worked with some incredible people and companies. Improving Quality of Thought has many significant benefits and one is the ability to manage and reduce stress. When I first published this article Stressed remained the biggest cause of long term absence in the workplace and the 2nd most common cause of short term absence - I was asking then if this is something that businesses can continue to overlook or offer only a light touch on and 3 three years later I'm asking it again.
With mental health statistics telling us that 1 in 4 adults will experience a mental health issue such as stress, anxiety and depression in the next year I place great importance on how my career has diversified and who I can work with.
I have looked to identify inspirational leaders that I can truly partner with. Leaders with integrity who are looking to impact their employees and improve quality of thought, and in turn: performance, for the sakes of the people and not just the profits. Leaders who can do this show true vision and commitment whilst demonstrating empathy and engagement with their employees.
So this is where I am today 13 years after launching Mida Technologies and 6 years after diversifying. Wanting to make a difference and making it with the right people.
first published in 2017, updated 2020