In 1988 I was 16 and had left college much to my parents dismay. A fairly uneducated (although I pursued higher education later) Essex boy. A friend, Simon Taylor of the 777 group, had been working in the City and told me he needed to replace himself so he could move on, I had no idea what he did but it paid £78 a week and 40 pence per day luncheon vouchers, I was sold!
On day one I enter the office of IPS in Lloyds Avenue and am introduced to 60 filing cabinets stuffed to the gills with CVs, there were 8 Consultants specialising in Mid to Senior placements into the insurance industry, Brokers, underwriters and all sorts of things I had no concept of, but these people seemed confident, spent all day talking and didn’t seem short of a bob or two.
Basically my job was getting CVs out of filling cabinets and putting them back again, a couple of times a day I would be given an envelope and asked to deliver it by hand to a certain Hiring manager in the gasworks (the Lloyds building) I would run over there, present the envelope and even progressed to giving a short precis of each candidate and waiting for immediate feedback from the hiring manager. The company found me a lot cheaper than a fax machine. After 6 months I did something else for a few years closer to home.
In 1994 I wanted some different work, I was 22 and ready to take on the world, I was determined to get back into recruitment and grab some of the riches I had witnessed, I took a role in an independent doing high street recruitment and ran a commercial desk successfully for a few years, eventually moving house back to Essex and found a role with Reed where I ran a commercial temp desk. The training was excellent and helped me to make more sense of where I had been successful and more importantly where I hadn’t been, I developed quickly and became successful in temps, I enjoyed the faster pace and immediacy more than perms, but was still craving bigger and better things. I moved onwards into pure business development and account management and successfully grew a few major accounts gaining promotion to Associate Director within Hudson in 2004. I was finally getting somewhere, but BD can be lonely and I craved an operational role and worked for a couple of smaller owner managed firms in senior roles successfully, which also gave me the opportunity to travel to Dubai, Houston, China and various other locations before being offered the opportunity to work in Singapore.
An old colleague was doing well and needed someone with my skillset, he was offering a good salary and relocation assistance, I was working in the UK in the middle of the biggest global recession since the war, it didn’t take long to pack and take over a significant team in Singapore, the opportunity was amazing, I was working abroad and living a wonderful life because the job I did afforded me the opportunity! Without recruitment I would never have had over two years near the equator, weekends in Phuket, Langkawi and Bali, or a wedding in Koh Samui. My wife became pregnant and we returned to the UK with our baby son.
I now had significant experience and got an amazing opportunity to work at Morson International for Ged Mason, Directing its London Operations, I was fortunate to work with and for some inspirational and amazing people and enjoyed this role immensely. Eventually moving on for new challenges.
Recruitment has bought me some of life’s comforts and pleasures, helped me travel to some amazing countries, live abroad, meet some amazing people, work for some inspirational leaders, grow as a person and have a wonderful and fulfilling life.
I will always be grateful to those who have inspired me to do a role that doesn’t really require specific qualifications, education and background, you don’t need to be privileged, you simply need hard work, an open and enquiring mind, to listen to those that have done it, to understand human nature and be extremely resilient.