David Parkin on doing things right in business, making networking deliver and sporting winners and a loser

THE youth of today.

Every generation throws their hands to the heavens and always says things were “better in my day”.

I’ve never been a subscriber to that approach.

Having interviewed and employed lots of young people, I’m continually impressed by the communication skills, maturity, enthusiasm and tenacity that so many of them display in a world where the challenges of getting a job, never mind forging a career, are ever greater.

I often think back to what I was like as a raw graduate looking for a job and I don’t really think I had many of the skills that today’s generation are equipped with.

On top of the ability to speak, write and engage face-to-face, young people today have to master the ability to communicate electronically and via social media.

It is an ever-increasing minefield – put a foot wrong and you are held up to public ridicule in a way that never happened in the past.

Well, not since medieval times when they put offenders in the stocks and pelted them with rotten veg.

There is a tendency for people to communicate via email and text – rather than face to face or even by phone.

And younger people clearly prefer that.

You can call me old fashioned if you like, but there are times when only a face to face conversation will do.

Like when you resign from a job.

If you decide to move on from one role to another then I think your employer, the person who has been paying you, deserves to be told that.

You have to go in to see them, look them in the eye and hand them your resignation letter.

I got a text last Sunday afternoon from a talented graduate who had been working part-time with me for the last few weeks.

She told me in the message that she had got a better paid job elsewhere so wouldn’t be returning to work.

The mealy-mouthed words didn’t anger me, they just left me feeling a bit let down.

You always hope that if you leave a job it is because you have got a better one somewhere else.

And I’ve always felt that the downside, or rite of passage, of that process is going in and facing your employer, thanking them for the opportunity they gave you and saying you hope they understand the attraction of the new challenge.

There is always the fear it won’t go down well but I’ve never had that experience with former employers – macho newspaper editors who took no prisoners.

Indeed two of them actually headhunted me back to work for them, hopefully because I’d done a good job previously and left in the right way.

When I was at TheBusinessDesk.com we employed two sales people who both resigned from their previous jobs via an email to their boss.

I knew the reputation of their employer as a very angry person but I still felt they shouldn’t have resorted to email.

As an employer you look for many different qualities when you take on a new member of staff and ‘character’ is one of them.

I didn’t think that emailing a resignation letter to a boss showed much character and, perhaps not surprisingly, neither sales person showed much character in the job they did for us and departed soon after.

As I said, perhaps my approach is old fashioned, but doing things the right way, respecting yourself and others, should never go out of fashion.


IN the light of this, perhaps I should start running training courses on business etiquette.

However first things first – next week I’m doing a training session for a recruitment firm on that huge business bugbear: Networking.

Like it or hate it, it is something that you almost certainly have to do if you are in business.

Approached in the right way, networking is interesting, exciting and enjoyable.

But we’ve all had experiences that we’d rather forget.

Although I’ve always thought that the kind of people who tell you how great they are at networking are some of the biggest boors and bores that you can meet.

So I will be careful not to regale those present with a list of my top 10 networking successes and I also don’t want to create a load of Mini-Mes.

Instead my focus will be on tips that individuals can tailor to suit their own style.

For more information on what we can offer you click here

Although the thought of a dozen Pocket Parkys running around events may well appeal to some.

Calm down ladies.


CHARITY events can often be dull and worthy and that’s why I always said if I got involved in one it would have to be different.

The Lord’s Taverners Balloon Debate is different, fast-moving and entertaining.

It features four personalities from the world of sport and the media who all speak about their sporting hero and compete against each other over a series of knockout rounds to try to win the Balloon Debate.

It might sound a bit unusual but it makes for a very entertaining evening in which well known stars are trying to win the support of the guests at the event.

This year’s Balloon Debate has a great line up of speakers – Yorkshire and England cricketing great Ryan Sidebottom, Paralympic cyclist Steve Bate MBE, BBC football commentator Guy Mowbray and Great Britain international and Leeds Rhinos player Danika Priim.

As compere of the event I am lucky enough to get a ringside seat.

I hope you can join me and our Balloonists for a great night out.

Tables of 10 are £895 +VAT or tickets are available individually for £89.50.

To book please email events@copasummit.com or telephone 0113 892 1002


SIR Bradley Wiggins might be a five-time Olympic champion, the first English winner of the Tour de France and hold a knighthood, but the response to the criticism of him in a report by MPs this week shows that despite all his successes he is not a very popular man.

All top sports people need self confidence, indeed even a streak of arrogance, but Wiggins has always struck me as someone who has it in abundance and revels in his self-appointed superiority.

Technically, Wiggins and Team Sky have not cheated, but the damning report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said that they “crossed an ethical line” by using drugs that are allowed under anti-doping rules to enhance performance instead of just for medical purposes.

Wiggins hit back and in refuting the accusation he told the BBC that: “I would have had more rights if I had murdered someone than in this process.”

That’s probably not quite true.

If he had murdered someone then he’d probably be doing 20 years in Wakefield Prison in the next cell to Charles Bronson rather than being highly paid to feature in adverts for Skoda.

Despite his undoubted achievements, I’ve never been a fan of Wiggins.

I didn’t like the way he carried himself – sitting on a gold throne after his London 2012 Olympics triumph – and generally treating others with haughty disdain.

Then I saw him at the Firecracker Ball at Rudding Park in Harrogate in 2013.

Wiggins had donated a signed shirt in the auction and as bidding reached £5,000, host Jon Hammond approached him to ask about the shirt.

The cyclist’s face then appeared on a giant video screen and he said to Jon: “You’ve got a posh voice. I like posh voices, why don’t you suck me off.”

A comment like that is bizarre, unfunny and inappropriate in any circumstances, but given the Firecracker Ball was being held to raise money for Barnardo’s which supports victims of child abuse, it was even worse.

After I wrote about it in my blog the story was covered by the national media and finally elicited a vague apology from Wiggins’ ‘representatives’ who described it as “friendly banter”.

I want to look up to my sporting heroes, not be ashamed by them.

This week’s accusations about Sir Bradley Wiggins have not lowered him in my estimation, because he was already in the gutter.


THE headline on last week’s blog read: ‘David Parkin warms his cockles with a kangaroo and lunches with a lounge lizard.’

Shortly after I published it I received a message on Linkedin from David Powell of Auditel with the shortened headline you can view below accompanied by one word: “Unfortunate…”

Really? Not a bit of it, I replied. I said it had created an opportunity and I make my debut on Channel XXX next week.

And that response got more views on Linkedin than the original blog.

People have such filthy minds.

Have a great weekend.

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