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Knowing Your Limits

By July 17, 2020No Comments

We’re slowly coming to terms with the fact that our Twitter account wasn’t big enough to be hacked here at Rice HQ. Still, if you’d like to chuck some cryptocurrency our way then please first explain to the ins and outs of cryptocurrency. We’ve actually been MULLing over some other news in the office this week, that is of course the swift departure of Todd Muller from the National Party. That’s right, the blogs getting political! It’s not all bumhole jokes and Anglo-centric pop culture references; Panda Pops, Bullseye, Zig & even Zag from Big Breakfast will have to wait for another week! After all, this is first and foremost a Recruitment blog so I’ll probably remember that halfway through.

For the hoards of overseas Whiteboard faithful, there’s been a bit of a change in political personnel here in Aotearoa. Muller who was still within his 90-day probational period decided that being the opposition to grace personified was a bit of an uphill battle. Jacinda is essentially an empathetic goliath and Mullers’ attempts at slingshotting jibes weren’t as successful as his biblical counterpart. This is a leader that has governed over a terrorist attack, a volcanic eruption, and who’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been revered around the globe. Not to mention that since Trudeau’s infamous brown face incident Jacinda has firmly taken the top spot as most likable and least reptilian politician. In truth, Muller was up against it and a victim of two things. Timing; running against a party who has just given away a ridiculous amount of free money and importantly, ambition.

By all accounts, Muller was a GC way before he had desires on becoming PM. His opening speech was delivered at the Te Puna rugby clubroom in his native Tauranga, with Dave Dobin’s ‘willing’ playing softly, elegantly dancing with the aroma of bacon and egg pies (probably?) He held court as Waikato universities student politician, a seat seldom held by a conservative at the left-leaning Uni. He wasn’t the product of a secret society or incubated in an underground facility funded by the Clintons, Muller was an astute businessman before he was political fodder. He was General Manager at Zespri International, the world’s largest kiwifruit marketer between 03 and 06. He was at Fonterra for 3 years, 2 of which he served in a senior position as Group Director of cooperative affairs. I don’t have an org chart of Fonterra handy but the Herald reported in March of last year CEO Miles Hurrell had a base salary of $1.95m which, I’m sure you’ll agree is dairy high…

PM of NZ earns roughly what an ITD consultant with a dual desk should be billing a year, $471K. That’s right! Recruitment!! It’s a bit of a myth in recruitment that you earn more money the higher you get up the tree. The reality is that when you move into a management position you have less time to focus on billing and instead your attention is set on nurturing the talents of fledgling consultants, while they rake in comms. This is what I mean when I say a victim of ambition. If Muller was to stay in the private sector, he would probably be earning more money and would be nowhere near a frothy weekly recruitment blog. There’re examples of just that in our little industry, examples that are pushed into clear view when collective purse strings have tightened. Those candidates that demanded $140K as a base found themselves nervously looking over their shoulders as the pandemic persisted.

I have to credit my amazing fiancé with introducing me to the excellent turn of phrase “putting a ceiling on your desires” as I think it’s worth being reminded. Who do you think was more comfortable during lockdown? The person that owns two Audis with a massive mortgage on a huge house or a person of modest living? For sure be ambitious but be realistic, do you need the title? The responsibility? Is never having your phone off worth that slightly elevated step on the ladder? I think we can all learn Mr. Mullers Icarus-esq ascension. As I said, by all accounts he is a good fella to work for and with so I’m sure he’ll be all good. I’m intrigued to see how JC will handle the pressure, the rhetoric I’m hearing is slightly concerning. The championing of toxic quasi masculine traits seems to be similar to a certain Iron Lady, I just hope kiwi kids get to keep their school milk.