That may sound like the start of a bad joke but is something I know a bit about. Having spent seventeen years working in the food industry, most recently running my own fruit and veg wholesale business. I decided I wanted to leave the food industry behind and have a complete career change. So, I signed up to do a degree in Psychology & Criminology, merged my business with a larger competitor and worked part time for them looking after my clients while attending lectures. After completing my degree, it was time to find a new job, something completely different, or so I thought.
Choosing to work in recruitment was easy, it offered everything I wanted from my next career move, an escape from working evenings and weekends, using my degree to some extent, working with people, and the ability to earn a good living. I had no experience and therefore no idea what I was doing and no skills the industry would recognise. I knew it would be a challenge, but it was one I was ready for.
A few interviews later and I realised that the ‘typical recruitment firm’ was not really for me and I started to question my career choice. That was until I was offered an interview at Jepson Holt. I did my research and due diligence and soon realised that retained search was far more my style.
I have now been at Jepson Holt eight months and learned very quickly that the skill set needed to be successful in search is very similar to selling veg. You have to know your client, listen to them and identify what their needs are, add value where possible with the market knowledge you have, and then deliver. Sometimes you have to manage expectations, and sometimes you have to find clever and innovative ways to solve a problem, all the while delivering a consistent and clear message to the market about your client. It goes without saying you need to be good with people.
The differences are obvious, you don’t have to get up at 3am to talk to a Lawyer about a job and clients rarely give you a bacon butty when you deliver what they asked for . . .