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49,600m, 49.6km July Swim Challenge. How you can help

49,600m, 49.6km July Swim Challenge. How you can help

Doing something good with your time.

I don’t take for granted how lucky we are to live in Singapore and how awful this situation has been for many people globally. Keeping positive can be tough, check out my previous post on keeping busy.

I find setting goals and challenges really help. It’s now July (How?) and things are opening up here in Singapore. Most importantly to me, the pool is open again which has inspired my July challenge. In order to do some good and get fit, I’ve started a month-long swimming challenge which forces me out of the condo and to exercise, good for physical and mental wellness.

From the 1st July I’ve been swimming 100M x day. So that means that on day one, I swam = 100m, day two = 200m, day six = 600m up to day 31 = 3,100M. Our pool is 50m long so for every 100m I’ll be doing two lengths of the pool. All the way up to 62 lengths on the final day, which will be tough as I would have done 60 lengths the day before. I did the maths, if I manage to do this each day, I’ll swim 49,600M by the end of July, which is 49.6KM and 30.8 miles. A little further than a marathon. Shit!

I was going to do this for LOLs and to lose a bit of belly fat. But today I decided I’d try to do it for a cause. Part of my extended family, like a second mum, and one of my mum’s best buds, hosts a coffee morning each year for Macmillan Cancer Support and I want to help her from afar. She has already done an incredible job raising £6,506.26 this year and I’d love to get her to £7,000.

This is going to be physically and mentally challenging and the thought of helping others will hopefully power me through. The last seven days of the challenge will see me swim a casual 392 lengths of the pool. Which sounds awful!

Feeling giving? Please donate whatever you can here and feel free to share with others to get Kay and her coffee morning to £7,000.


Share, wherever you can 

Check out Kays Coffee Morning Site. You missed it this year, but something tells me she’ll do it again in 2021, either physically or virtually.

Five Months living in Singapore – Don’t get down, get busy.

Five Months living in Singapore – Don’t get down, get busy.

A quick update on the last five months living in Singapore. I get a lot of friends and connections reaching out to ask how I’m doing and whether I’m still a man of leisure.

So, yes. I’m still a man of leisure. But I’m keeping busy. I wanted to share a few of the things that I’ve been up to and also a few of the things I’ve been pondering over the last few months. Objective: to update friends and also to inspire others that may need a nudge, just do it, don’t get down, get busy.

Month One. (Feb)

The first week was spent exploring with Danielle. She had a week before she had to start work so we did the standard tourist stuff with meeting friends that were already out here. I also kicked off our hunt for an apartment as we only had four weeks included within the relocation package. Mid Feb and Singapore had already closed the boarders to certain countries and where temperature screening everyone at every opportunity. It was super quiet, and we could explore. Highlights, eating out every night, golf trip with a few guys to Indonesia, exploring and finding our Condo (just in time).

Month two. (March)

Covid-19 started to get a little more serious here. Rumours of a ‘lock-down’ Our first Serviced Apartment stay was over, and we had to book a second (cheaper) apartment in Clarke Quay, as ours was not ready until April 7th. I started my job hunt, applying for roles on LinkedIn and also started to meet people for coffees to start trying to develop a new network. Still eating out every night.

Month three. (April)

Oh, crap lockdown Starts 7th April. The day we’re meant to get our keys and all the furniture delivered. We had nothing, we’d travelled with two suitcases each, mine was pretty much just shorts and gadgets. Lucky for us, we got the keys two days earlier, we had two panic trips to IKEA, and everything arrived as planned – except for bed slats. Apparently, these don’t come with beds in Singapore, you have to order them separately. We stopped eating out, turned the spare room into a gym and I started cooking every day. Gave up on job hunting to focus on networking, all via Zoom, Hangouts and Teams. There’s only so much networking you can do in a day, so I started looking for new things to fill my time:

  • Considered setting up a photography and video company to help local property agents list condos, boy do they need it! Apparently, it’s been tried many times before.
  • Completed a certificate in Nutrition with Optimum Nutrition – very good!
  • Completed Google – Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
  • Started writing a book – ‘Oh Crap we’re moving to Singapore’
  • Started to provide content and social consultancy to a local craft beer bar, poor sod put his life savings into a bar for the country to lock down.

Month four (May)

Locked down, bought some bikes and pretended to be keen cyclists just to get out of the apartment. Highlight bought a BBQ for the balcony. That was a game changer, less washing up. Keeping busy:

  • Completed a certificate from HarvardX – Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies.
  • Continued to write my book – 10,000 words and counting.
  • Decided to try and start a clothing label, I have samples if anyone’s interested (ridiculous, as I’m the least trendy person)
  • Set up a Shopify with fulfilment globally to sell my T-Shirts. 
  • Started a new Certificate with London Business School – Managing the company of the future
  • Started to provide Pro-bono consultancy to Recruiters Give Back, looking at their business plan, marketing and content.
  • Considered a YouTube channel – decided against it.

Now (June)

Unlocked, slowly exploring again. Starting to network a little harder as the jobs market seems to be opening up a little more here. I got invited to join Recruiters Give Back on the board of advisors an exciting opportunity to give back. Plan going forward:

  • Carry on with the book, I’m hopeful it’ll help the next batch of Expats coming to Singapore.
  • Finish the Certificate with London Business School
  • Continue to support Recruiters Give Back and grow new opportunities to help other local organisations.
  • Considering a Podcast, just for LOLs.
  • New Business idea – ‘Condo Experience’, working through that.
  • Continue to network – If you’re around and want a coffee, I’m keen.

That’s been the last few months, I’ve not been working. But it’s been busy. Thank you to everyone that’s chatted with me, tried to help and shared connections.


Hustle, keep going you’re not quite doing enough

Hustle, keep going you’re not quite doing enough

My experience in finding a job, so far.

The current pandemic has impacted everyone and will continue to for a long time to come. Many people have lost more than they ever imagined. But I’m sticking to the subject of jobs.

I knew I was leaving a career I enjoyed and would have nothing. That was a risk I was willing to take, and it was essential in achieving our goal in moving to Singapore. I chose not to have a job and to find something when we landed. What I didn’t expect was a global pandemic to hit a month after arriving in a new country.

There are a lot of recruiters and business leaders commenting on recruitment and how to get a job in this most challenging of times. Some of the advice is good, most is obvious and some I just don’t agree with. Whilst I haven’t landed a job yet, I’ve been successful in having a number of conversions and I’ve started to develop a whole new network in a new country and continent. This for me is a huge win and I’m hopeful of some positive news soon.

With the above in mind, I wanted to share a few of the things I’ve been doing over the past few months to gain some traction in the recruitment cycle, in hope that it helps someone else. I’m no expert, agree or not, this is simply my experience to date.

  1. Use your network. Just before I started my search, I posted a message on here asking my network if they knew of anyone in APAC and more specifically Singapore. So many people shared my message and connected me with friends, family and ex-colleagues it was incredible. I figured, what’s the point building this network if I wasn’t going to use it?
  2. Biggest learning – LinkedIn alone, isn’t enough. Please, please, please don’t just apply on LinkedIn and think your job is done. If this is the approach you’re taking – then you’re not doing enough. Having been on the other side I can tell you that the format isn’t pretty, and you won’t stand out. It’s unlikely that you’ll even hear back from a LinkedIn application. So, to counter this, I’ve been proactively finding the hiring manager. Nine times out of ten this is listed on the description ‘reporting into the CEO/VP of X’. Find this person and drop them a mail, say hi, start building a relationship beyond your profile. I’ve been pleasantly surprised as to the number of responses I’ve had and remember, if nothing comes of it, you’re growing your network.
  3. You’ll do more by yourself and with friends than a recruiter will. I appreciate I may have now screwed myself for the future. But the reality is I’ve got further personally trying different routes to build my network than any recruiter has for me so far. I’ve met a few and they have all been great, they’re having a tough time too. But, don’t rely on them to get you out of a hole. You’re only as good as you’re network. But, don’t forget your friends, family and ex-colleagues have networks too and a referral goes a long way. I’ve sent countless WhatsApp messages asking people if they know anyone at X business or Y agency. A lot of the time someone knows someone and they’re mostly happy to refer as there’s a financial benefit if I get the role.
  4. Think outside the box, be open to different roles and consider creating a role over finding one. It has surprised me a little in Singapore. Everyone seems to want to put me in a client services box. It’s not a position I’ve ever had before and to be honest not a position I’ve ever really wanted. But, three of the interviews I’ve had have suggested that they’d love to reach out when a client leadership role becomes available. As nice as it is, I’d urge you not to jump into an area that you don’t want to be in, just for the paycheque. Stay strong, you’ll find what you want.
  5. People are trying to help you, let them. I saw this last week, ( which is actually part of a bigger thing, Set up by Caroline Langston to help people, like us in Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, USA, Thailand, Australia and Dubai, definitely take a look. I thought this was pretty awesome, a little ray of sunlight in a miserable forecast. There are many examples of people trying to help. From people offering CV advice and free coaching (like my lovely friend Kerry) to others sharing lists of companies that are hiring. Use this resource, it’s free!
  6. Digital interviews are the new norm. Prepare just like you would for a face to face. I’ve struggled to adapt to digital interviews seeing them more as chats or meetings over interviews. But, if you’re lucky enough to land a job in these times, your introduction to the business, colleagues and clients will be digital so get used to it and make sure you have a setting that enables it.
  7. There are jobs out there, you have to look for them and hustle a little more than you normally would. Don’t give up, you’ve got this. Be patient (if you can) I appreciate everyone isn’t in the same position. This is your opportunity to redefine yourself and find a role that you’ll enjoy.
  8. Don’t let it consume you. It’s mind-numbing, a little demotivating and can get you down running a search and seeing nothing new day after day. Relevant jobs don’t come up every single day. Set a schedule, I’ve started searching every three days. It’s the first job of my day and is followed by learning, I’ve just finished a certificate in nutrition. Otherwise, networking or playing a bit of Scrabble on my iPhone. Consider your mental health as this could have a negative impact if not managed, it’s a tough slog.

Eight things I’ve learnt in the last two months. I hope this help someone else, I’d love to hear your thoughts and any lessons you’ve taken too.

Practising what I preach – if you know anyone in Singapore, specifically in the content world, I’d love to grab a virtual coffee with them and would appreciate an intro.

Good Luck!