So I hit 40 and decided to make a fundamental change in my career.
After 18 years in property sales I left my comfort zone filled with excitement and confidence. Most people go into recruitment in their 20s, now I know why!!! It is an incredibly fast paced and highly charged industry. It is rewarding, challenging, frustrating, and no two days are ever the same.
The first time I was asked to make a call to a candidate I was a wreck, a fish out of water. Once that first call was out of the way the calls started coming thick and fast. I was recruiting Property Managers, one aspect of estate agency that I had never really covered. So how do you learn? You ask questions, you probe, you ask candidates to tell you what they do on a daily basis as a Property Manager and in no time at all I knew the duties and responsibilities and the sort of character best suited to this niche profession.
The first 3 months things went swimmingly well, I was close to my target each month and over the moon. Then 6 months in I found myself in unchartered waters. I couldn’t place anyone, I didn’t know what had changed, I was floundering. I began working erratically, clutching at straws out of desperation.
6 weeks of no placements, I was in turmoil but determined not to give up! I sought advice from anyone and everyone who would listen and offer advice, my colleagues, my MD and even our portfolio CEO.
I regrouped, took stock and went back to basics. In recruitment you need total transparency and honesty from candidates and clients through every step of the process. There are always red flags before something goes awry. “Family Emergencies” ten minutes before an interview are par for the course. The industry makes you cynical, something which I tried to avoid becoming but it’s inevitable to a degree.
That said, I still trust my instincts and I put my faith in people and most of the time I am not disappointed. I build strong relationships with candidates and clients alike. I spend time getting to know them and I dig deep to ensure that I know everything throughout the process so that there are no nasty surprises at the last hurdle.
Once I went back to basics everything changed and the trajectory I was on was going in the direction I wanted. Suddenly I was consistently hitting my targets and 10 months after joining the business I was promoted to a Senior Consultant. Roll on 7 months and I was delighted to be promoted again to Principal Consultant.
The last 2 years have gone in a flash, every day I blink and suddenly it’s lunchtime, I blink again and it’s 6pm. I have never once clock watched. I have never been bored. As I exceed targets set by the business and by myself I immediately raise the bar. I am constantly striving to be the best, ultimately I want to be the best recruiter that I can be. Of course I want to be the top biller in GKR but equally important to me is getting there by doing it the right way. I aim to treat everyone I work with as I would like to be treated myself. I don’t profess to care, I do care and I will always do my utmost to give the best service possible.
Moving into recruitment in your 40s is a bolder move than I had realised but it was the best decision of my career and once that initial 6 month wobble was ironed out I have literally never looked back.
As I go into my 3rd year at GKR I have set myself many personal goals– watch this space as I fully intend to achieve them and more.