This past Sunday was International Men’s Day, and although I’m two days late to the party because I don’t work weekends and I was at the lovely Leeds office yesterday, I still wanted to make a post to talk about something as important as this day. I wanted to take a minute to look at why this day is so important, and what it means to me as someone who is surrounded by some really, really incredible men.
International’s Men’s Day is a day dedicated to celebrating men, their positive influence and value and raising awareness for the issues that men are facing. This year’s theme has been ‘Zero Male Suicide’ and is aimed at providing better mental health support for men, so these high rates can hopefully drop. There are also many other issues for men that need to be recognised and International Men’s Day aims to promote positive male role models, celebrate male contributions to society, focus on men’s health and wellbeing to create a better and safer world.
To celebrate International Men’s Day and share some love to the men we have the honour of working with at Best in Class, I wanted to take a minute to share some of my experiences with our very own Scott Holt, Lance Jackson, Connor Stocks, Felix Waddington and of course, a special little shoutout to our Clarity partner, Nick James. I wanted to give them a spotlight to show the positive influence that they have, not just to me and to Best in Class, but to everyone who has the very good luck of knowing these guys.
What better place to start that with our incredibly funny, multifaceted Best in Class director, Scott Holt. I first met Scott in December 2021 and started working with him in January 2022. There hasn’t been a day in between that time where I have not counted myself incredibly lucky to have him as a boss and a friend. Scott’s passion for education recruitment, for the people around him and for the pursuit of laughter always, is such a rare combination which all culminates in Scott truly being one in a million.
Scott is backed by a wealth of knowledge and experience that makes him the kind of person who approaches every situation with intelligence and compassion. He is the king of office games, unusual quizzes, dad jokes and is the undefeated champion and creator of Whoeee?, which has generated a lot of laughter and confusion over the years. He has a natural wit, a patient but determined demeanor and the ability to make a stressful situation seem like a stroll in the park. Working to support Best in Class, Scott and Sophie’s vision and their passion for education and recruitment, I will count as one of the great honours of my life.
Next up is Lance Jackson, who arrived at Best in Class in April 2022, and has bled Best in Class blue ever since. Lance is dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate about our work (enough that potentially his next tattoo is going to be Best in Class themed which is personally super exciting). But as well as being a shining star of a consultant and colleague, he is also a fierce and loyal friend and I am impressed daily by Lance’s ability to remember tiny details about the people he cares about, even if it has only ever been mentioned once in passing, six months ago.
Lance is the calm in the storm and in the almost two years we’ve known each other now, I’ve been lucky to feel grounded, reassured and cared for no matter what I’ve spoken to him about, workwise or in my personal life. Lance says all the time that he has found the company he plans to work for, for the rest of his life, and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to keep cracking jokes, clearing candidates and smashing Bradford recruitment until we’re retired.
Connor Stocks, where to even start? Connor joined Best in Class in November 2022 and has recently celebrated his first year with the company, despite the fact that it feels like we’ve known him for years (for better or for worse). Connor is unlike anyone I’ve ever met, being a combination of a driven and determined careerman, a fourteen-year-old boy trapped in a man’s body, and silently the sweetest guy ever.
Connor will try his hardest to be the best at everything, from days to darts, to go karting and gaming. He is singularly focused when he’s passionate about something but never forgets to pick his head up and check on the people he cares about. His favourite thing is to call one of us on his drive home, for a chat or to ask how we are. He likes to pretend it’s because he gets bored in the traffic, but I have my own suspicions. Where sometimes work can feel intense and focused, Connor is always the first one to remind us that fun, laughter and a little bit of childishness is good for you.
And for our Best in Class finale, our last man of the hour is Felix Waddington. Felix started at Best in Class in July of this year, and spent the whole summer absorbing as much information as he could to hit the ground running in September. From the first day, he has been fearless in the face of business development and is a whip at speaking to our candidates. Yesterday, Felix hit a huge milestone and we’re so super proud of him, and it just goes to show that those patient summer days listening have paid off and are a credit to him.
Felix is also infamous in the office for being the cutest kid around. He’s always silent on a Monday morning because he’s tired from the weekend, will offer to help out anyone with anything and bless his heart, he’s obsessed with scotch eggs. He’s also a good sport, and never has anything but laughter for us when we call him our office cat, and tell him it’s a wonder he’s so good at business calls considering all he can do is meow. Getting to see Felix develop professionally is such an incredible thing to witness, but getting to know him as a friend is a pretty sweet deal too.
And for a Best in Class special, I’ve decided to add a little shoutout for the incredibly knowledgeable, caring and full-of-life, Nick James. Nick runs a branch of Clarity homecare from our Bradford offices and despite the company gap, he has felt like nothing less than one of the team every day he’s been here. He is the first to offer to play darts with Connor when he needs entertaining (fourteen-year-old boy, like I said), is an expert listener and is the kind of person who genuinely cares about those around him.
As well as getting to witness the passion Nick has for healthcare and being a manager, I also get to see his joy for life, his drive for bettering himself and the lives of others and his unwavering support to all of us. He pushes Sophie to drink more water by challenging her to a contest and is the first person to offer up advice where we need it. His laugh is always infectious, his smile is always genuine and we’re especially lucky that he has some really good restaurant contacts, so we get some belting dinners out of him too.
International Men’s Day is dedicated to supporting men across the country and the world with the huge issues that are facing them as a whole. For our International Men’s Day, I wanted to put a little bit of positivity and love back into the world and to some of the men I am lucky enough to know, love and work with. Here’s to you guys!