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7 years ago, I wouldn’t be writing this. Although we are religious in pumping a blog out every Friday, and have been for 12 years, should a Friday coincide with the last day of the year, we’d put up some mildly comedic photoshopped image and be done with it. Writing a weekly recruitment blog containing original content is hard enough, and it’s quite frankly soul destroying to write them when only one man and his dog reads it. When I first arrived on these shores in 2011, I soon realised that the recruiters of Aotearoa packed up way before the 23rd December. The last week of School was poorly attended, with most of the industry slipping, slapping, and slopping before I’d even gotten to the Toblerone on my advent calendar. For those readers who are based in the northern hemisphere, Christmas in New Zealand sure is odd. Firstly, it’s mostly hot. Secondly, no one in retail says “Merry Christmas” to you. Thirdly, Turkeys are super expensive (mine was $149/£77). Importantly, and pertinent to our professional behaviour here, Christmas in New Zealand is a time of relaxation – and it lasts for ages. Many people take the whole of January off. Bearing in mind this is peak summer, it makes sense that we should slowly wind down for the year, before finishing horizontal for most of the (extended) break. This has meant that for us recruiters wanting to send invoices, the second half of December was always an uphill struggle, with plenty of voicemails left and just as many “OoO”s received.

In the UK, Christmas is very different. Obviously it’s cold, but rarely “nice cold”. We typically live in small houses and turn the central heating up too high. We all cram together in these tiny, hot buildings, with relatives we don’t like, and consume far too much booze. Christmas is many things to the Brits, but relaxing it sure ain’t. We get through the (much shorter) festive period on a mix of nervous energy, Disaronno, and Turkey sandwiches. This goes hand-in-hand with our professional life. Most people in the UK are working their arses off until the 24th, cramming in the Christmas shopping between meetings or from the 24 hour garage, whilst slamming down pints at a rate of 4/hr on our lunch breaks. A frenetic end before a stressful holiday.

Why do I make this point? Well, firstly I have to write about something. Secondly, I’ve noticed that in recent years, we have been busier for longer here in New Zealand. I was on the phone to a client at 9.30pm on Wednesday night, which meant we were both working. I met another yesterday who’s team were set to close off a further 15+ deals before that fat-ass squeezes himself down our collective chimneys. I’m still hopeful to ring that bell again today myself. I swear these things were unthinkable in 2011. For whatever reason, we have enough people wanting to do enough business to make December a month like any other. And even on the last week of the year, I think it’s fantastic that we’re still getting people jobs. I’m far from a workaholic, but if you don’t get a buzz out of doing a deal and finishing the year in style, then maybe it’s time for you to hang up your faux leather compendium? And this isn’t me being a Grinch either, expecting everyone to sit miserably at their desks. I love Christmas, but I don’t feel the need to wind down until tomorrow. Today, load me up on Port, give me a role to work, and toss me to the lesbians.

As much as I love the Kiwi culture, and am proud to be a citizen, I just love this high-beat rate, high-stress, high-reward end to the year. Being lazy doesn’t make me feel festive. Closing a deal in the pub before running to Lululemon really does. Anyway, short one from me today. It is Christmas after all.



  • Murray says:

    Thanks Sean
    You’re not the only one beavering away…interviews today to be able to present a shortlist for a client first week of Jan.
    Maybe I’m the one man or the dog, but I do enjoy the weekly Friday morning read here in Sunny and somewhat warm Melbourne.
    Have a great Christmas break – starting from tomorrow!
    Cheers, Murray

  • Emma says:

    Great post as always Sean. A merry Christmas to you and yours this year!