Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Perils of the Office Christmas Party. What to do and what NOT To Do

We are now well and truly into the festive season, and many of us still have the office Christmas party to look forward to. However, for some the Christmas period is a time of intense social anxiety. And when the free booze is flowing, it is more than likely that some will go overboard! Here are a few top tips to prevent your ‘Christmas do’ from turning into a Christmas don’t!

DO eat a good meal in the afternoon. We all know the types of foods we should be stuffing up on before a night of partying: milk is good for ‘lining the stomach’, but starchy foods like pizza, pasta and potatoes may help to prevent a hangover. So remember to treat yourself to a carbohydrate feast before the big night!

DO buy a decent present for your Secret Santa recipient… If you don’t make an effort you’ll just be feeling awkward when that underwhelming bottle of talc you found at the back of the bathroom cupboard is emphatically rejected…

DON’T  wear something too uncomfortable. You may look a million dollars in your killer heels, but after a few hours of wearing them you’ll be in agony. Ankle boots with a low heel are a stylish alternative that won’t make you feel like your feet are about to fall off. Also, don’t wear anything too tight- you want to have lots of room for nibbles and mince pies!

 DO the rounds and try to speak to everyone. The Christmas party is a great time for networking as everyone will be (hopefully) full of cheer and high spirits. Plus, you’ll have more fun if you can speak to people that you don’t normally see on a daily basis. DON’T overdo the Prosecco and end up the office laughing stock. Whenever you finish an alcoholic drink, balance it out by drinking a pint of water. Simple, but it does work!

And finally, DON’T do this: 

David Brent Dance


How to Find Fulfilling Work

In The Wonderbox, cultural historian Roman Krznaric makes a very strong case for why we should aim to be ‘wide achievers’, rather than high achievers. He argues that those who specialize in a very niche area or  field risk cutting themselves off from other rewarding and valuable career experiences. In Krznaric’s view, we should strive to gain experiences in a number of diverse areas, in order to learn about ourselves and find meaning in our work. Roman himself has had many jobs ranging from gardening to academia, and refers to himself as a ‘serial specialist’.

In this short lecture, Roman discusses how we can find fulfilling work, and explores the ways in which it is better to be a ‘wide achiver’ than a high achiever.

Get Building, Girls!

Have you ever heard of GoldieBlox? This new toy company’s aims to inspire girls to become ‘future engineers’. We may live in the 21st century, but women are still hugely underrepresented in jobs relating to engineering. It seems that even now, boys are encouraged from a young age to do well in maths, science and technical subjects while girls are pushed more towards languages and social sciences. This is not surprising when you consider the vast range of toys on the market aimed to encourage boys to build.

GoldieBlox represents a challenge to traditional notions of gender, and aims to encourage girls to have fun while using the technical side of their brains. According to its creators, Goldie Blox is a construction toy designed from a female perspective. While women hold only 11% of all engineering jobs worldwide, it definitely seems right that steps are being taken to address this discrepancy.

Check out GoldieBlox’s website here:

Cocaine- the New Caffeine?

Now I would be lying if I said I don’t need a quick fix first thing in the morning in the shape of a good old cup of joe. But how many of us rely on substances of the illegal variety to supply us with the energy to get through the day?

Studies frequently reveal that the UK has the highest cocaine use in Europe, and in recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of women indulging in the drug.

The ongoing high-profile dispute between Nigella Lawson and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi has raised questions about the nature of drug use in middle-class women. The controversial case seems to have exacerbated fears that outwardly successful highly-motivated women are resorting to using class A drugs in order to maintain their busy lifestyles.

Headlines inform us that middle-class women are in the grip of an alarming epidemic in cocaine use. While some may dismiss this as sensationalist journalism, it is undeniable that the number seeking NHS help for addiction to the Class A drug has leapt by 50 per cent in two years.

The areas most affected by this new trend are the traditional ‘home counties’ surrounding London. These are the areas in which officers issue the most cautions for cocaine possession to women. It is no surprise that these areas are home to many high-flying professionals who rely on cocaine to fuel their demanding careers in the City. Cocaine has become easier and cheaper in the past decade. However, it has retained some of its ‘glamorous’ connotations. It seems as though cocaine has gone from being to a vice of the rich and famous to a quick fix for busy middle-class workers.

The motivation behind the decision to use cocaine is twofold: the drug may be relied on by high-achieving workers to help achieve the results they need. Alternatively, cocaine has become a popular fix, allowing solvent individuals to maintain high energy levels at parties and social gatherings. The result is that it has gained unprecedented social acceptability within middle-class professional circles.

However, as with other drugs, occasional use of cocaine can spiral into an addiction which may become out of control. Frequent users of cocaine can experience anxiety, insomnia and heart palpitations. The risks may increase when the drug is combined with alcohol.

Those who rely on the drug view it as an easy fix, a quick way of boosting their energy levels and increasing their output. These people should take time to consider the wider implications of their habit. The production and trading of the drug is responsible for countless murders and kidnappings  every year in Columbia and Peru: the world’s largest producers of cocaine.

It’s difficult to know how this alarming trend could best be tackled. This new cocaine-taking demographic are educated professionals, but the recent uptake of cocaine by the middle-classes may signal a need for more education on the effects of the drug on an individual’s health, and the worldwide consequences of its trade.

I think I’ll just be sticking to stick to my coffee for now.



What kind of Entrepreneur are you?


1. Superpreneur

The Superpreneur needs little introduction, mostly because you know and feel them when you see them. Their entrepreneurial pursuits span space, time, countries and nations. They typically bite off more than they can chew in one, let alone four, lifetimes. Think Richard Branson and Steve Jobs.

Want to become a superpreneur? Good luck. They’re as chaotic as they are awe-inspiring: Their road to success is a labyrinth of disconnected strokes of good fortune and unpredictable market timing infused with unparalleled genius.

2. Localpreneur
This particular type of entrepreneur shares qualities with the Superpreneur, minus the mammoth global focus. Their ambitions may be smaller, but their efforts can also be life changing.

3. Wingpreneur
The Wingpreneur can be likened to Batman’s Robin. Without her, the entrepreneur would not be nearly as powerful — or likeable for that matter — as the “wing” has a specific talent for assuming leadership when appropriate but happily taking the passenger’s seat so the entrepreneur can shine.

These folks are often found in “COO” or “co-founder” positions and are best suited to partnerships where they are not assuming all the risk. Typically, they are also adept at providing order to the chaos.

4. Productpreneur

This is the type of entrepreneur who places product at the center of his/her vision.  “Typically, these folks are engineers who have technical expertise, but very limited experience in leadership, management or what it takes to build a significant company. While they are innovators in terms of envisioning a new product idea, they are best served finding a partner who can build a company around the product.

5. Fauxpreneur
As startups explode in number, and having one is this generation’s version of having a band in the 90’s, another emerging type of entrepreneur is what I tenderly refer to as the Fauxpreneur. If you don’t speak Frenglish, or haven’t heard of “faux fur” this will sum it up:

“Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.”
– Paul Graham

Read more: by Rebekah LLiff