No matter what line of work you're in, someone is bound to ask you how you got into that job or industry.
For many recruitment consultants, they "fell into it," have a read of how Priscilla Sedgwick, from our Singapore office, landed not a 'job' in recruitment, but a career.
My experience of recruitment agencies in the UK started whilst I was at Uni and I went and signed up for catering jobs to earn me a bit of spare cash on the side. I’d get a call with little or no notice and get told I had got a job; back then I was signed up as a “silver service” caterer (as it was more money), which effectively meant I could carry more than two plates in one hand!
I then did three 1 month temp jobs in Staines of all places as an admin bod. Awful jobs, horrible bosses and people who couldn’t be bothered to talk to me because I was “just a temp,” but I had the most wonderful Recruitment Consultant who was tentative, always got me the hourly rate I requested and also kept in touch with me throughout the assignment, she was great. But, the bright lights of London were calling, so I decided to trawl the newspapers for PA/Admin jobs with really cool companies like MTV or Saatchi and Saatchi but rejection after rejection followed and I was finally called by a leading Recruitment firm to come in and meet them, so I decided to take a trip up to Covent Garden and register in the hopes they would get me a PA/Admin job with a really cool company. This was the 10th February 2000 and I’ve been in recruitment ever since.
I joined as a team secretary and within a number of months I was a Candidate Researcher and then a year later a fully fledged Recruitment Consultant.
Back in those days whenever you asked someone how they got into recruitment the answer was always “I didn’t know what else to do after Uni,” or “I just fell into it,” which was true; it was a quick way to make a lot of money. We sauntered around the City in pin stripe suits, we rang a bell every time someone made a placement in the office. Everything we touched turned to gold, it was like something out of “Boiler Room”.
Years later, Recruitment suddenly became a career, one that kids at school and university were intrigued to apply for. I worked for a firm and ran Graduate schemes and assessment centres. I mean, I couldn’t believe these wide eyed kids with their immaculately new M&S suits were walking into our offices fighting for jobs at our company. I felt like Alan Sugar and these were my Apprentices wanting to work with me! Recruitment suddenly became a serious career!
And here we are in 2013. Sure, you still get the odd “cowboy” and sadly the pin striped suit and the bell still even exists in some companies, but all in all, Recruitment is a professional, grown up industry which teaches the psychology of dealing with people combined with the shrewdness of running your business whilst enjoying it! Oh yes and you can still make buckets of cash!