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Monday, 9 July 2012

Sodden and Gomorrah: a little trip back to hippy-ville - and how to get a job

Sorry about the dreadful pun, but it seems to have been raining forever and a day.

Having said that yesterday I visited Glastonbury, where the ever vigilant Chloe who tries to keep me on the right lines comes from.

The day was a joy for many reasons.

To start with, we witnessed a small miracle. The sun shone all the time.

By my reckoning this has only happened once for about ten minutes during this pathetic apology for a summer.

There was lots to look at in Glastonbury. The town is full of slightly dazed-looking folk wandering about in multi-layered, scrupulously mismatched clothes. I couldn't think what they reminded me of, then realised they look as though scooped up in Haight-Ashbury in the '60s and miraculously dumped in this little market town half a century later.

Every other shop is selling bizarre jewellery, fortune-telling, all-round wizardry and any number of loony religious outcrops. I never in my life saw so much mysticism in such a small area. I thought it only polite to get with the programme and in no time at all I was pushing Buddhism prayer-wheels round and making wishes.

Actually I rather like Buddhism. It seems the only major faith that has never thought that slaughtering the unenlightened is a good way to spread the word.

There was a pilgrimage (Christian) going on, too, which we ran into when we went to visit the ruins of the Abbey. The hymns were rather dreary, but you can't have everything. We climbed Glastonbury Tor, where they hanged the last Abbott half a millennium ago.

Perhaps the two best things in the town for a greedy-guts like me are gastronomic.

Burns the Bake sell all kinds of goodies including pasties that are twice as good and half the price of the ones the big chains offer.

A couple of hundred yards away is Knight's who have been around since 1909 and were recently named the best fish and chip joint in the west. We ate in a small sunlit courtyard. Excellent. Their haddock is the size of a small whale.


To change the subject radically, I got an email the other day from Alison in Australia, who wants to get into direct marketing after raising children for 13 years.

She told me she is 46 and a bit concerned that digital "seems like it's made to be the be all and end all".

Here's what I wrote back:

My God: I wish I were 46 again, Alison. That was almost 30 years ago, and I was about to make a great deal of money.

That is a tricky question, for two reasons:

1) The industry is full of semi-literate 23 year old muppets who know little but think they know it all (as I did at that age).

2) Everyone - 23 year old or not - thinks the solution to everything is digital. I happen to agree to a great extent.

Having said that, the beginning of a solution, as with all else in life is to do your research and have a clear objective.

You should make a scrupulous study of what is happening in marketing and an equally scrupulous study of yourself.

That is because your aim is to find out where you are most likely to be able to do well.

What are you good at; what are you not good at; where do you think you could make a difference?

Then learn about how to get a job.

95% of people haven't a clue on how to go about it - and that is a kind percentage.

A friend who has been looking for good employees has been depressed by the ineptitude and illiteracy of would be candidates.

But the bias against age is such that you must then be prepared for a lot of rejection.

For that, the only solution is to remember the remark of Calvin Coolidge.

"Persistence alone is omnipotent."

I was going to suggest she look at a report I wrote on how to get a job, but I couldn't find it. Now I have and you can see it if you know anyone who is in the same position as her.

There is also a video I made about three years ago that you may find interesting. By the look of it we must have a had a good summer when I made that.

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