P&O get told to P.O…


Of all the mass dismissals gone wrong, the stunt pulled by P&O over the course of these past few weeks has to rank pretty highly.
To sack 800 employees via video call wasn’t just off key, it was actually illegal (as they would later admit themselves…)
As hundreds of people learned their fate, the reactions varied from dismay to despair, and from disgust to defiance.
We even heard stories of dismissed employees refusing to leave their ships. Not in the way that captains refuse to leave sinking ships, we have to add, but P&O really have sunk their own ship with this absolute farce.
The human beings at the centre of the story, the dismissed workers, should be our main concern here, not the arrogant millionaire bosses, as it is those people who will have some serious thinking to do in the days and weeks to come.
Yes, they may well be getting their jobs back, but put yourself in their shoes…
…would you really want to carry on working for a company that treats its employees as ‘disposable’, and then throws them overboard? No, probably not.
For many, the idea of going self employed, or even looking elsewhere in similar industries can seem daunting. It’s a big, bad world out there, after all, especially when the comfort zone has regular pension contributions and annual leave…
…but P&O have just blown the whole idea of the ‘comfort zone’ out of the water.
Yes, making a change can be scary, but in our eyes, being under the employment of a group of callous and careless bosses, like those at P&O, is even more scary.
It’s bloody terrifying, actually.
Imagine thinking that you’re in a secure role, with progression and protection, only to find out that the people at the top can let up the anchor whenever they like, whether it’s legal or not.
All of a sudden, you could find yourself off course and cut a drift, heading to capsize.
The puns are easy to make with this story, but the point is even easier.
How long can you afford to rely on the fat cats to look after your best interests?
So, what should you do to avoid a similar fate?
Take a look at Glassdoor when considering taking on a role with a big company, you just never know who the next P&O will turn out to be.
You could also have a conversation with Career Garage, as we can help you steer yourself into the best possible position of an application process.
We can help you make plans for the next steps in your working life.
We can make you the captain of your own ship.





Security for Everything!! (Apart from your job…)

The Easter & Jubilee holidays of the last couple of months have been dominated by stories about UK airports.
The daily delays & disasters at baggage reclaim have been international news for a while now, with cancellations coming as standard for thousands of would-be holidaymakers.
At the heart of the problem, whether Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, would admit it or not, is the fact that airport staff were let go in huge numbers during the pandemic period & that there simply hasn’t been enough staff to cope with the huge upturn in passenger numbers.
To take one airport in isolation, over 40% of staff at Gatwick airport were made redundant in 2020, as passenger numbers fell by 78%.
Still, as restrictions eased & people were desperate to get back to ‘normal’, you’d have thought that recruitment would’ve been ahead of the curve, rather than a million miles behind it…
You’d have thought wrong.
Security staff are vital to the safe running of our airports, of course they are, but a chronic shortage of trained security personnel isn’t helped by the length of time it can take to security check the security workers!
The Government has now ordered security vetting centres to prioritise checks for airports, so that new recruits can help get things up & running again.
So, that’s the ‘security’ staff that we’re talking about, having to get their ‘security’ checks rushed through, but what about the ‘security’ that Career Garage is most interested in – job ‘security?’
Well, as far as we’re concerned, job security doesn’t just mean how likely you are to keep your job…
…it also means how secure it makes you as a person in the 21st century.
Does it pay you well enough to live a secure life, especially with the ongoing cost of living crisis?
Will it give you security of income should you become ill?
What about maternity & paternity leave?
Well, with 700 Heathrow workers set to go on strike in the middle of the summer holidays, the answer to those questions may just be worth looking at in detail, before pursuing a career in the aviation industry.
The workers are striking over pay, arguing that British Airways still hasn’t restored their salaries to pre pandemic levels.
They were offered a 10% ‘one off’ bonus to help with the cost of living, but union members say this “doesn’t cut the mustard.”
Profits must be up, as let’s face it, passenger numbers are easily where they were before the pandemic. Even before the pandemic though, this was seen to be an underpaid profession.
From our point of view, it looks like this…
The need for security workers is pretty dire…
Rushing security checks for airport workers isn’t necessarily the most sensible idea…
The security of a career in the aviation industry is questionable (at best…)
So, what’s the solution?
If you’re heading away on holiday in August, keep your fingers crossed.
If you’re thinking about a career in the aviation industry, make sure you read between the lines.
If you want to make a plan for the next steps in your career, whichever industry that happens to be in, make sure you book a meeting with Career Garage as a first port of call.
Our security checks are a breeze & whatever baggage you bring to our check in desk, we’ll always try to lighten the load!!

How’s it going?

As a business owner, who was once an employee, I sometimes have to pinch myself…
As the sun shone brightly last week, I found myself able to actually enjoy it (whilst working hard, of course!)
I was able to take my ‘office’ out into the garden with me. Factor 50 & a nice cold drink, with no one telling me what time I was allowed to clock off at.
Enough about me though.
How’s it going for you?

Are you becoming increasingly frustrated that you’re making other people money, or that you’re not able to find time ‘for you’ (not to mention your family & friends) because you’re working to a ‘traditional’ work schedule in a ‘traditional’ work environment?
Let me tell you a secret. It doesn’t have to be that way!

The world of work has changed & maybe we have the pandemic to thank for that. It certainly changed our perspectives on what counts as ‘work’ & there are still so many of us who are continuing to work from home, having done so beforehand, too.
It’s not all rosy though & in the interests of fairness, let’s look at it from the other way round.
You might be working from home, for yourself & feeling isolated. You might be missing that interaction with other people.
Well, guess what?
That’s right…
It doesn’t have to be that way either!
I’m speaking from experience when I say that you really do have the power to change your situation. That’s personal experience & the experience of helping lots of other people do the same.
A conversation with Career Garage can help you evaluate where you’re up to & more importantly, where you want to be.
We’ll talk about how to get there as well.
You don’t need to wait until you’re retired to start enjoying life.
Why wait?
Whether you’re employed & looking for advice on how to become self employed, or if you’re self employed looking to get back into employment…
…even if you’re unemployed & looking to get back to work, I want to talk to you to find out how it’s going.
As for me, I think I’ll have another week of sitting in the garden, making the most of the British summertime, because who knows how long it will last!
I’ll be working hard, make no mistake about that, but I’ll be working hard on my terms & on behalf of the people I help.
Some people call it achieving a good work / life balance, but I prefer to think of it as just living life.
Loving life too.
Are you ready to start doing the same?

The Gender Agenda

Workplace WhatsApp groups for ‘the lads’…

What’s the harm? Quite a lot, actually. Even now, in 2022, with all our movements, new understanding & widening acceptance, a ‘lad’ culture still exists in some corners of the workplace. Don’t believe me? It’s amongst the top reasons why women leave their jobs & I really would know!I It can 100% lead to talented females discovering their actual value elsewhere…

It may start with inappropriate comments about female colleagues, becoming accepted as a ‘bit of banter’. “She’s fit”, “I’d give her one”, you know the kind…
It then progresses with the sharing of sexist & misogynistic images or videos on ‘boys only’ WhatsApp groups, porn, crude memes, in-jokes etc, etc. It ends with an unconscious (or conscious) bias against women in the workplace, resulting in a leveling down of women at all stages of their career & that, is a big problem. It also leads to ‘cliques’.

Even in predominantly female environments & fields, such as the NHS, higher management & board level is still an arena dominated by men. So, is the so called ‘harmless banter’ & lad culture at lower levels to blame for this? Probably not on its own, no. It’s a small part of a bigger puzzle, including things like maternity leave & the gender pay gap, that all add up to women feeling as though their chances for career progression & general equality are limited in comparison to their male counterparts. They don’t just feel this way, it’s actually true, their chances really are limited in comparison. What can we do about it?

Well, not all men in the workplace are sexist dinosaurs, thankfully. As I said at the start of this piece, this culture is now limited to dark corners of certain industries, clung on to by people with no personality or purpose. When it rears its ugly head, we must challenge it & root it out.
Don’t ignore it, report it, call it out.
I can hear people shouting at their screens, telling me that men can be objectified or ridiculed in the workplace at times too & that’s definitely true, but not on the same scale & anyway, it’s not right, whichever way it happens & it should be challenged in all its forms, but if we’re to get to the point where women have the same chances & choices as men in the workplace & in the world, as soon as possible, then we need to be united in our efforts against sexism, all sexism, all division……& that starts with throwing lad culture in the bin…

Many men, do not like being lumped into a ‘lad’s Whatsapp group & don’t like the ‘lad culture’ but struggle to communicate that with other males, as they then feel immediately judged, usually negatively, too… The culture becomes toxic to them too…

Whatever your gender, do you need to find your value & find the right company culture for you, before targeting your next career move? Book in for a call…
Empowering people is Career Garage’s mission…

You’ve Got the Job…Now What?

Four words that all job hunters long to hear…

“You’ve got the job!”
…but what happens next?

At Career Garage, we love success stories (whether or not we’ve had a hand in them), but we also know just how important it is not to rest on your laurels.
It’s great that you’ve landed that new job, however, there are things you need to do in order to make your transition from one job to the next as smooth as possible.
If you’ve accepted a job having been unemployed, the process could potentially be a little smoother, but there are still some tips here that are pretty pertinent to the process…

Career Garage’s 5 Tips for After You Get the Job

1. Talk to Your ‘Old’ Boss…
However nervous you feel about letting your boss know that you’re moving on, try to put it to one side, you’re not the first person to leave a job, and you won’t be the last. If they’re worth their salt, they’ll be pleased for you (if a little sorry to see you go…)

If they are sorry to see you go, take that as a positive!

If they’re not, it’s clearly the right time to move on.

2. Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork…
Like it or not, there’s going to be a hell of a lot of paperwork coming your way. Hopefully, a lot of it will be online these days, but it still has to get done. If you know that you’re not the most organised, set yourself a day and a time to complete all the transition paperwork.

Leaving it until the last minute is sure to cause unnecessary extra stress in an already potentially stressful process.

3. Leave Positively and Proactively…
This is a strange one, as you may want to drive away from your current job, as fast as you can, without even looking in the rear-view mirror, but bear with us…

…if you pass on your responsibilities and knowledge to the people taking over from you, your name will be held in high regard after you’ve left. You never know when you’ll need someone to do the same for you.

4. Talk to Your New Boss
You might have signed the contract and had your first few conversations with your new employer, but maintaining a good line of contact in the weeks and months ahead of your move is vitally important.

Don’t assume that everything will fall into place without your involvement, and don’t worry that they’ll think you’re ‘too keen…’

For a new starter, there’s no such thing as ‘too keen’.

5. Relax…
If you’ve managed to squeeze in some down time between leaving your old job and starting a new one, well played…

…make the most of that time, however much you have, as things can all feel a bit ‘full on’ once you start somewhere new.

Now that we’ve got the tips out of the way then, and as long as you’ve understood them…
…surely, it’s time to celebrate landing that new job!
So, what are you drinking?

P&O Sink to New Depths

After illegally sacking around 800 employees last month, you’d be forgiven for thinking that P&O had gone as low as they could possibly go…

…but they still had a few tricks up their sleeve, it turns out.

The company has been forced into a U-turn on a plan it had been cooking up to pay its new, cheaper agency staff even less money than they were contracted to receive. 

Pretty harrowing reports (we wish we could say ‘unbelievable’ reports…) had been coming in to the RMT Union last week, concerning agency workers at Dover, who were being asked to sign new contracts with lower pay, to replace their existing ones.

Just, wow.

Quick as a flash, the union reported P&O to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which ensured the workers were able to retain their existing wages. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that P&O are yet to comment, especially as they’re still riding the wave from the debacle of the last month and a half…

Agency workers will know the risks associated with short contracts, of course, but to say that it’s their choice to work under these less secure conditions just isn’t the truth at all. The availability (or lack thereof) of decent jobs means that people to have to take on agency work, and we’d bet a few quid that the vast majority of agency workers aren’t working in this way because it’s ‘better for them and their situation’. Come on…

There will always be a few people who prefer things that way, and good luck to them, but security and at the very least, a little reliability, must be high up on anyone’s wish list for the world of work.

Clearly, that’s never going to come from P&O, who have consistently put profits in front of people, and in front of PR too it seems. They’re clearly not bothered what anyone thinks, at board level anyway.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it was “good P&O have reversed the further attempt at a pay cut”, but also added that “they must go much further and pay the minimum wage like all UK businesses.”

Well, yeah! That would be nice!

Bringing people in to work on one and two month contracts is one thing, but then coercing them to accept contracts with lower pay just sums this company up. Remember, this is a company who admitted illegally dismissing around 800 employees…

Are you working for the next P&O…?

…because there will be others waiting to make the same decision. They’ve seen how P&O have tested the waters and they may just be waiting for the wind to change before setting sail with their own master plan. Career Garage is able to support agency workers, contracted workers, zero contract workers (all workers, in fact!) who need to sit down and assess their situation, to see what the future holds.

You can make plans before the tide turns. Make sure you don’t get swept away…

Career Garage’s Seven Secrets to Stress Management at Work

Working for someone else (employment) can be stressful, but guess what…?
…so can working for yourself (self employment…)
At Career Garage, we speak to people every single day, who struggle with the stresses of their current employment situation, whatever that happens to be.
It’s one of the main reasons that someone might look for a new job, as it happens – too much stress.
Whether they’re worried about a lack of stability or advancement opportunities, it can be stressful. If they’re working within a toxic environment, struggling to find any real meaning or purpose, that can be stressful too. Even if they’re just looking for more financial security or an improved work/ life balance. Yep, these can be a cause for stress, just the same.
Since the industrial revolution, the ‘civilised’ world (if that’s what you want to call it!) has battled with the idea that work is stressful, and that this is just how it’s supposed to be.
Being stressed is often seen as a badge of honour, which is actually kind of perverse when you think about it!

“How’s work?” they ask…
“Mad! I’m mowed out. Meeting myself coming back” you reply, as if it’s something to be proud of, all this reaching unhealthy levels of stress at work.

Now, whilst it is certainly true that some people deal with stress more easily than others, it’s also true that we could all do with a little less stress in our working lives, so let’s have a look at Career Garage’s Seven Secrets to Stress Management at Work.
Try one of them, try them all even, and see if it makes a difference to your stress situation…
Career Garage’s Seven Secrets to Stress Management at Work
1. Create the Office of Your Dreams – a comfy chair, beautiful pads and pens, an essential oil diffuser, tacky little mascots. Wherever your office is, make it a place that you want to work in.

2. Timetable, Timetable, Timetable – from the moment you open your eyes, to the time when you hit the hay, having a carefully thought through plan will help you get the most out of each and every day. Your productivity will go through the roof with an effective timetable.

3. Respect Your Mood – it’s impossible to feel motivated all of the time. Sometimes, you will need a slow start or an early dart. This isn’t you being lazy, this is you responding to what your body (and your brain) needs.

4. Get Off Your Arse – exercise in whatever form you choose is so important to relieving stress. Run, walk the dog, do some press ups or go to the gym. Just get off your arse every now and then.

5. Connect – you don’t need to invite your pals round to the office or meet for lunch every day, but keeping in touch with the people you love most is one really effective way of keeping stress at work at bay.

6. Disconnect – sometimes things like social media can seem like a welcome distraction from the task at hand, but turn them off, if you possibly can. Firstly, you’ll eradicate that feeling of FOMO, and it’ll add productivity to your day instead of procrastination.

7. Do Your Thing – yoga, pilates, eating a bit of chocolate. Whatever you do to relax, make sure you add it in to your daily routine. Your stress levels will thank you later.

This list of Career Garage’s Seven Secrets to Stress Management at Work is by no means a quick fix, but it should be a start to easing some of your work related stresses.
If you try a combination of the above for a decent amount of time, and still feel like your stress is out of hand, it’s probably a good idea to get in touch with Career Garage, to talk about your future employment or self employment plans.
No one should be stressed indefinitely, even if that’s how society has us all programmed!

What happens when you talk to Career Garage?

Is it some kind of magic? Is it a golden ticket to the job of your dreams? Free money?

What happens when you talk to Career Garage?

Not exactly, no.

The first of our case studies could have you convinced otherwise though…

The subject: a lovely young lady who had been working within the care sector for years. It was all she knew (or so it seemed…)

With a degree in Health & Social care, this was always the career path she was destined to follow. She began her working life within this sector as a carer – and then fast forward a decade or so – to the point where she found herself as a care home manager.

This was no mean feat, and she now had responsibility for all sorts…

From staff management, to rotas and medication, not forgetting the patients.

Oh, and throw in 18 months of a global pandemic whilst you’re at it, with all the death and difficulty surrounding that period of time.

This was a high pressure role, with long hours and little money. Overworked and underpaid, you might say.


Like so many others in this sector, our girl was giving it her best on the daily. All she hoped for in return for this, was the knowledge that she had a reliable income. A safe and secure role. Surely, that wasn’t too much to ask?

Well, as it turns out, it was too much to ask, because one morning, out of nowhere, she went into work to be confronted with the news that she was being made redundant.

Just. Like. That.

Home again, just an hour later, she was understandably shocked. There had been no consultation, and she had no clue that her job was at risk.

Fortunately for her though, and testament to the powers of both word of mouth and networking, this lady’s partner advised her to book a call with Career Garage ASAP.

She did just that, and we had a chat with her just a day later. Yes, the news was still smarting, it was as raw as it comes after all, but we knew it was time to set the sights on something new.

The call consisted of talking about what her options were…

We discussed the things she enjoyed from her time in care, as well as the things she hoped she’d never have to do again!

A little out of the blue (but this is what these calls are for…) there was the revelation that our subject wanted to get into ‘sales…’

A nice broad area then…

This could have meant one of a million different things, and so we discussed branches of sales such as:

  • Door to door
  • Call centre
  • Product sales
  • Commission only

It was during this process of elimination that we realised she had a glaring omission from her CV.

See, working in the care industry wasn’t her only gig, as it happened. She and her fiancé were also running a very successful utilities business alongside their day jobs, yet there was no mention of that anywhere on her CV.

Career Garage suggested changing that, especially with this potential foray into the world of sales looming large…

We managed to fine tune the search down to the more specific field (and Career Garage speciality) of ‘recruitment’ and that’s when the lightbulbs started pinging left, right and centre.

Here’s the advice we gave, in a nutshell…

  1. With no sales experience (WHATSOEVER) listed on the CV, why would anyone consider the subject for a sales role? It wouldn’t make sense for them to.
  2. As she was 50% of a very successful utilities business, with 50 or so partners working beneath her, why on GOD’S GREEN EARTH was that nowhere to be seen on said CV?
  3. As far as Career Garage sees it, this shows potential employers her capability to do something completely different to care. There’s already recruitment there, there’s building a team, nurturing people, leading them too. This stuff should have had its own double page spread on the CV!

The conversation progressed for an hour or so, with more ideas being shared, and then it was down to the subject to start searching and applying.

Whilst she was doing this, Career Garage was only ever a quick call or message away, to provide reassurance that what she was applying for was appropriate, and that the way she was applying for the role was playing to her strengths.

Now, believe what you want about the next part of the story. Golden ticket, magic spells, free money…

…but having been sacked on the Tuesday, and then having a call with Career Garage on the Wednesday, this lady secured 3 Zoom interviews by the Friday of the very same week.

Jump ahead to the following Tuesday, and she had her first job offer!

This was followed by several other follow up interviews, further offers, and another initial interview.

What happens when you call Career Garage then?

Well, for this particular woman (who was sacked on the Tuesday) by the Thursday of week 2 (just 7 working days after losing her job) it meant accepting a recruitment role within the care sector, combining her skills and making the most of her strengths. Nicely done!

Magic? A golden ticket? Free money?

Nah, it’s better than that! It’s Career Garage!