I really like the notion of “stickability”.  This term was coined by a very special friend of mine who was a Principal Educational Psychologist in the North of England.  His team were known in the profession as the “FIat Cap Brigade”. 

For those of you not aware of the millinery preferences of males from the North East of England, the flat cap has been (forever?) the preferred attire to complete any ensemble (OK – that’s a big generalisation).

When seeking to appoint a new member to the team, Chris was more interested in their “stickability” than anything on their CV.  Because the team was based in a less than salubrious part of the country, Chris was not interested in applicants who might just be “passing through” and using their time in his team as “CV fodder” . . . yes, yes, yes, I’ve worked in an area of deprivation blah, blah, blah . . .

Chris was interested in their ability to commit to an area, to stick with “it’,’ and to stick with “them”.  He saw the job of work about being more about a connection, a vocation, and a passion for the community . . . over time.

I think that Chris’ philosophy was similar to my own: I can see from your CV that you are qualified for the job, but are you equipped for it?

Being equipped for the job is much more important than any number of qualifications – it’s about attitude.

In my mind, attitude is about “stickability”.

In my mind, qualifications mean relatively little to a future research-based career compared to “stickability”:


–  Are you enthused by the idea of what you are about?


–  Would you get out of bed on a Saturday or Sunday morning for it?


–  Are you a marathon runner? (sprinters need not apply)


–  What motivates you to want to do this?


–  Is there a genuine depth to your motivation?


And so, what is it that I look for when . . .



In fond memory and appreciation  –  Chris Reeves (AKA “Superman”) R.I.P.



Posted on 4th October, 2015.  Copyright Conor Mc Guckin