Tag Archives: jobs

Military Values in the Workplace

“To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
Sun Tzu

Applying military values to the workplace and career works; it is from discipline and a combination soft and hard power that spontaneity evolves. “What is this guy on?!” you may ask, you may suggest “This is the era of ‘Soft Skills’ and ‘Digital Natives’! Military-style disciplinarians at the office are history, they were the worst!” Or you may even think “not another traditionalist.”

There are numerous articles on avoiding toxic workplaces and the invaluable lessons on ‘Soft Skills’ . There is an increasing focus on the needs of the emerging graduate workforce and employers are often expected to match graduate expectations. According to the Telegraph, “graduates are struggling to wade through generic company messaging to find their way to the right job…and the result is 1 in 4 graduates quit within a year of starting work.”

Hannibal Barca marched his Carthaginian army across the Alps. He lost half his army along the way to the winter cold. Similarly Alexander the Great marched his army from ancient Greece to India in the space of eight years. What did these men and their armies achieve by pushing themselves to the extreme? They won remarkable victories and they both achieved historical fame. How did the Roman Army become the best the world had seen in its time? It was disciplined, relentless and adopted new strategies and tactics to not just survive but evolve. The reward was loot, treasures, empire, fame, and being the subject of debate for military scholars and historians hundreds of years after they had gone.

What defined Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Brian Clough? They were ruthless and defeats were guaranteed to be few and far between. They got results, whatever the cost. However more importantly they got the balance right between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills. They won piles of trophies in the footballing world. At the other end of the spectrum Paulo Di Canio had a mutiny on his hands at Sunderland in 2013 after he cracked the whip too hard whilst Arsenal F.C have been defined as a ‘friendly club’ and therefore easy to bully in the crunch games. With all the new trends emerging across the globe, the rise of the millennials and digital natives, the ever strenuous push for ‘world peace’, and the technological revolution you’d be forgiven for thinking that the past, particularly military history, has little to teach us bar substantial barbarity.

Granted, a hard-core disciplinarian without a reward system, trying to impose their views forcefully on other and the lacking ability to be flexible is not a good leader. Balance between sacrifice and reward, balance between discipline and innovation, balance between compassion and discipline and timely daring and timely caution. These are the military qualities have served the best military commanders and the best businessmen. Generals and leaders have only failed when they got this balance wrong. The digital natives don’t want to be too nice for their own good. Field Marshal Hague technically worked from home in the First World War, dishing out archaic strategies and orders miles behind the trenches. The result? This reoccurred across Europe a century ago with the deaths of millions of young men.

Dramatic? Certainly, but why does this affect the new generations pouring into the workplace? We expect employers to accommodate our needs, expect success and above all we have instant expectations.  Everything that happened yesterday is largely forgotten and we operate at break-neck speed, preparing graduates for jobs and roles that have scarcely been invented or taken off as projects. The digital world dominates in its entirety in the workplace. There were there were 4.2 million UK home workers in the first three months of 2014, amounting to 13.9% of the workforce. . This was the highest since records began and according to Futureboard’s research this looks like a trend that is set to increase with the introduction of the ‘Millennials’ and ‘Digitial Natives’ into the workplace. The latter facts are disconcerting to some extent.

“Too many bosses still don’t trust staff to work from home and instead force them to trudge into the office so they can keep an eye on them,” said Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary. “Employers’ attitudes to new working practices must change to make a much better use of modern technology in all workplaces.” Since when has an email be more effective than a face to face discussion? I have learnt more in a conversation than I will in the content of an email. I have worked from home before, yet I find it restrictive, anti-social, and a monotonous experience. There is less reward from working from home and technology for its wonders and the capability of our generation to utilise it is merely technology, it does not improve human instincts which have served us so well now and in the past.

We might be known by future generations as ‘the Softies’ and our ancestors would likely brand us as such in a heart-beat. Why lose our ruthless streak when it has served the best of us so well in the past?

Matthew Williams

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Here We Go Again: Futureboard are on Campus!

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

Milton Berle


Futureboard will be on campus at a variety of universities over the next 8 weeks and we hope to find you in good stead as university life begins (or continues) for many students across the country. The universities we will be at include:

  • Aston
  • Essex
  • UCL
  • Sheffield
  • York
  • Birmingham

Futureboard are working on a range of graduate roles across a range of sectors (including business and technology) and our campus tour 2014/15 aims to facilitate discussions with, and provide opportunities to, student groups, societies, clubs and individuals.

We are happy to work with any size of group to discuss graduate job search concerns and the challenges you’re facing, or perhaps how you can improve at assessing your own skills and applying these to different opportunities and ultimately, a job you love. Whether you’re a small committee or a whole society, we’re keen to flex our approach to aid your knowledge and progress.

Futureboard has the advantage of working in close partnership with graduate employers and so has a deeper level of understanding of what employers expect from candidates and as a result, what candidates need to do to tackle the graduate job market successfully.

When looking for the ideal career choice amidst the all-consuming pressure of exams and dissertations, it can be difficult to stop, take stock and think ‘What are my priorities right now?’ but we can help! If you would like to have a chat about; CV’s, interviews or general career advice, send us a tweet/email and we can arrange a time to have a coffee! …/pub quiz!

Matthew and Nathan

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CVs and Cover Letters- What Should you Write?

CV and cover letter writing skills are probably the most talked-about skills a graduate needs to have – but that doesn’t make them less confusing. By Carolina Are070912-03 Continue reading

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Futureboard’s report on socio-economic diversity in graduate recruitment

Last year, Futureboard Consulting commissioned a report to understand graduate recruiters’ perspective on social mobility. The report found there was a clash between their wish to repeat past success in their profession and increasing diversity in the candidate pool. Tracking diversity in the application process also proved to be a problem. One year on, we talked to some experts to see if this situation has changed. By Carolina Arefutureboardconsultingsticker Continue reading

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How to use your dissertation to kick off a job interview

As most undergraduates, I’m ready to hand in my dissertation… But after months and months of work, I can hardly stop talking about it. I asked the staff here at Futureboard how a dissertation can help kick off a job interview. By Carolina Arei_love_my_dissertation_t_shirts-rdaca0852e403418e8a28282fe3372737_804gy_512 Continue reading

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The LinkedIn staff’s tips for the perfect LinkedIn profile

Like most employers, Futureboard actively searches for candidates on LinkedIn. As having an up-to-date and professional profile becomes increasingly important for job-seekers, we asked the LinkedIn staff to share their best advice on how to make the most out of LinkedIn.linkedin-tips

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What do employers look for on social media?

“Look after your personal brand” seems to be these past few years’ mantra when it comes to matching employability to your online presence. But what do recruiters actually look for on social media?onlinerep

After almost 80 per cent of employers has admitted to have Googled candidates, it’s becoming increasingly important to have a good online reputation.  Futureboard’s staff makes a point out of being Internet savvy: everyone here uses social media to headhunt the best graduates and students in the market. Continue reading

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Curiosity: the key to a job in a tech firm

With companies looking to fill more and more technology roles, non-tech  grads may fear they will be thrown out of the job market. But is finding a tech job really that difficult?

Rowen Douglas, consultant at Futureboard Consulting, says curiosity – not outstanding technology skills – might give you a better chance to get a tech job. She says: “Tech firms are looking for candidates with a passion for learning.”Curious-Definition1

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