What Razor LOVES: November 2019

We’re an eclectic bunch at team Razor.

Each month, we’ll share with the world a flavour of what’s caught our attention and influenced our thinking and conversations in the office.

 

Chloë B
This month, I’ve been thinking mostly about nothing. In other words, meditation. I used to find meditating difficult and, more often than not, ended up falling asleep while trying. Our co-working space offers weekly classes and I’ve recently been taking half an hour at a time away from my computer to give myself some peace and to recharge my batteries. So far, I haven’t fallen asleep. But I took one of the Razors with me to a session and he pretty much snored loudly all the way through. (He’s a new dad though so we’ll let him off.)


Chloë F
My two top picks this month are immersive viewing experiences, and both come courtesy of Netflix

The first is Shtisel. The two-season (so far!) series follows a Haredi family living in an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood of Jerusalem. I’m not Jewish, but where I live isn’t far from Stamford Hill and I’ve always been fascinated by its culture and community. I’ve become so used to TV dramas full of fire and fury, sex and death; what I loved about Shtisel is that it’s none of those things really. It’s about a family, a culture, and a set of beliefs. It’s about a world very, very far from my own. It made me think hard about the tug of faith vs. selfish, individual desires. It swallowed me up. 

My other pick is the mobster epic, The Irishman by Martin Scorsese. I invested in the big screen view for this one even though it’s on Netflix. 3½ hours is not to be sniffed at – or snoozed through! It follows many decades of the lives of various mobsters and it’s been praised (and sniggered at) for the astonishing ageing and de-ageing of the stars (Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and a bunch of others).

Both of these viewings have been lengthy, committed and all the more enriching because of it. Beautiful

Gem
I went to a podcast recording at Kings Place* a few weeks ago. Beverley Knight was the guest of honour and being a fan, I jumped at the chance to see her in an intimate setting. I’ve seen her in concert a few times and, though she has many of her own songs, I especially enjoy listening to her perform tracks by artists that mean a great deal to her. During this particular chat, BK talked about two of her inspirations, Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan, before introducing some of their lesser-known songs. I went with a friend one rainy Monday evening and it was one of the most relaxing nights out (in) I’ve ever had.

*Do sign up to the Kings Place mailing list. They put on some brilliant stuff. For just a tenner, I once got to watch David Baddiel try out some work-in-progress slides for one of his stand-up shows. BARGAIN.


Jill

I’ve just finished reading Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World by William Davies. It’s an exploration of why feelings can dominate over facts (hello, Brexit!), and charts the reasons why people are far less likely to believe experts and trust facts. Not only is it a timely read (seeing as we’re in the throes of a General Election where facts often seem to be taking a back seat) but, from a research perspective, it reminds me of the importance of understanding both the what (quant) and the feeling behind it (qual).


Lindsay
I’ve been watching Twin Peaks, the 90s TV series about murder in a small – and sometimes very odd – town. It’s quirky, clever and intriguing, which is good because the second series is 22 episodes long! They released a third series a few years ago so I’ll be moving onto that as soon as I’ve finished binge-watching series two!

Steve
As a protein obsessed fitness fanatic, The Game Changers, rocked my world this week. It puts forward convincing arguments for a fully plant-based diet. So convincing in fact that I’m seriously considering a month’s NO MEAT and/or DAIRY trial.

If I do this it would mean saying hello to soya, beans, mycoprotein and (more) veg. And goodbye to chicken, fish and steak. I’d also have to kick my beloved whey protein powder in favour of a plant-based alternative.

Hmmm… When I say ‘I’m seriously considering…’


 

Learnings

Intro:
Nikisha’s been a fantastic intern these last three months and today is her last day. We’re very sad to see her go. She has a great future ahead of her and we wish her lots of good luck for her next role. Thanks for everything, Nikisha! 
Love, the Razors. x

I always thought I’d end up teaching, or doing journalism, after my English degree; but never imagined myself in market research. Not only have I been lucky in finding such a great internship, I’ve met the most incredible bunch of people who have supported me endlessly, taken the time to teach me different things about research, and made me laugh every day (I think Chloe F was a comedian in her past life).

I’ve loved coming to work, being surrounded by positive people, and learning something new (whether it’s about research, the world, or people around me). Here are some things about research I’ve learnt which will stay with me. I hope they’ll help any aspiring researchers out there.

Always be yourself
You’re unique so use your quirks and interests to form bonds and friendships. You’ll find everyone has weird traits – in a good way (even if they do like cold samosas!). Embrace who you are, and others will too. Take an interest in those you work with. You may find someone who has similar interests or experiences but will also teach you about different perspectives.

Being able to talk to different people is a big deal in research; being able to talk freely in the office will help build your fieldwork and networking skills. During focus groups/fieldwork, you’ll find the participants have a range of personalities. Some will be willing and open to sharing their experiences immediately. But others will be naturally be more reserved and will need some encouragement to engage.

Have an open mind and ask questions
When it comes to qual, don’t ask questions that will lead participants to desired answers (even though this may often be a temptation if you have personal opinions on the project). You’ll get the most benefit from honest and accurate consumer opinions. As a researcher always ask why. Probe further to find important associations and emotions. Kenny was super great at teaching me this.

Be flexible
Every client is different. Every project is different. Rather than having the same standard methods that you might use for all projects; you should first try to understand what the project needs and adapt the research to the project. There’s no one set method. Solid research recognises the value of using multiple methods to get results.

Ask for help if you need it
If you don’t understand something, speak up. Don’t pretend you know the answers. People are always there to guide and teach you on the job. For a sports project, Jill took the time to explain the rules of cricket to me using a variety of sweets – that was amazing. I’ve learned something new during every project I’ve worked on be it through someone explaining things to me or simply allowing me to watch/participate.

I worked on a mental health project during my time here and had so much support – from my backbone, Chloe B, helping me brainstorm questions to my angels, Lindsay and Kate, reading and editing my blog. Gem’s always come to the rescue when technology failed me. Everyone starts out in the same position so don’t be afraid to ask for help; doing so shows that you’re eager to learn something new and to do a good job.

Go the extra mile
Doing more for your company will benefit you in so many ways. You’ll learn more about the business and yourself while showing you’re an active learner. Whether it’s staying a few extra minutes after work to help or by writing a blog, you’re showing that you can add value. When I first started writing my mental health blog, I wrote it almost like a university essay. But taking some extra time to read through the other blogs on the Razor website allowed me to gauge the tone and style of the blogs written here. Always offer to help if you can and support others like they support you.


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