The Recruiter's Soapbox

Melbourne Cup

The Race That Stops The Recruitment Industry

Melbourne Cup is one of my favourite events of the year in Sydney.  The BMR team once flew to Melbourne for the day and quite frankly it just wasn’t the same. Surprisingly, it did not have the same atmosphere as Sydney.  On reflection, I decided that it must be down to the official nature of the public holiday in Melbourne where people do one of two things: They either attend the actual event, or they take advantage of the day off and spend it at home with family and friends, so the city itself is relatively quiet.

In Sydney it’s a totally different vibe.  For many people (and most recruiters) who are lucky enough to be treated to a Melbourne Cup bash by their employer, it’s an amazing day.  The vibe in Sydney is incredible and I put it down to the fact that it feels just a tad naughty.  We are not in VIC and entitled to the public holiday, but we seem to wangle an unofficial day off anyway.  An unofficial paid day off with free champagne just seems to add to the deliciousness of it all.

This is how I have felt about Melbourne Cup for years.  It’s always been a big day in the diary for Barton Mills staff and for most of my clients and their teams.  I write this, looking down the barrel of my first ever Melbourne Cup spent at home in over a decade (Don’t ask!!! 3 kids do tend to throw a spanner in the works sometimes) and I am quite frankly gutted to be missing out.

Most recruiters I know will be out celebrating the Melbourne Cup. At BMR this is our 13th year of celebration.  My point to you is this:  Do you realise that not everyone is as lucky?  We work in a challenging, tough, sales industry and a lot of the time it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the “grass is greener” in other industries.  If you are being treated by your employers this week, I hope you take this blog as a reminder of how lucky you are to work in such a fun, social and rewarding industry.

A couple of years ago I received an email from an ex-BMR employee who now works for a large corporate.  She emailed on the morning of Melbourne Cup to say a belated thank you for the efforts we had gone to on this day in the past.  She said that it wasn’t until she was back in a large business, that she realised, not everyone is given an unofficial day off, not everyone is treated to a corporate event, and not everyone gets the opportunity to dress up and have fun with their colleagues.  She informed me that she had not appreciated it before, but now it had been taken away, she understood how wonderful it was.  Her words meant a lot to me.

So here is my message:  Don’t take this wonderful perk for granted.  Don’t just presume that it’s your god given right to have a party at your employer’s expense.  (They don’t have to do this).  Don’t bitch and moan if the canapes are not up to scratch, or if the bubbles are not Dom Perignon.  If you are lucky enough to have an event to attend today then go on………….. give your boss a big hug and say thanks, it will mean a lot and ………oh yes, have a glass of champers for me.