One Year On
I've never been the shy type, I think it's what comes with being a northerner, but I remember my first day like it was yesterday. Sweaty palms & a dry mouth are two of the most common symptoms of office fright, not to mention the fact that I couldn't even find the building to begin with, great start. Although I had practiced many of the necessary practical skills while studying towards a degree in Journalism and media at Cardiff University, there is no substitute for hands-on experience. 365 days later, I think it's good to stop and reflect on how far I've come, what I've learnt and whether it was everything I expected (and more?)
When I joined the team last year, I had absolutely no idea what recruitment entailed, in fact, I'd go as far to say that if someone had asked me what it was, I'd probably have mumbled a few 'erms' under my breath. The in-depth knowledge of the industry which I now possess did not materialise overnight, it slowly developed through plenty of research, listening to others and learning from my colleagues. When speaking of the recruitment industry, it never seems to get off lightly, yet I can honestly say that Staffroom Education is one of the best companies I have ever worked for. I know you'll think I'm biased, and to a certain extent I probably am, but working here has built my interpersonal communication skills, my understanding of the education sector and has widened my perception on the bigger picture.
I've always wanted a job that pays the bills and keeps me happy, a job that when I triumphantly click the shutdown button at 5pm I don't have to mention the word work until Monday morning, yet the past year has pushed me in a completely different direction. The saying goes 'If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life', which is a slight exaggeration as the 6.30am alarm never gets any easier, but aside from that I enjoy my job. This sounds cheesy, but I’ve learnt that if you don’t believe in yourself then no one else will. Social media has given me the opportunity to showcase my creativity, and luckily enough I've always been encouraged to do just that.
I have also realised how important it is to just sit and listen to others. Being in an industry where you are constantly on the other side of the phone can desensitize you from the outside world, but just calling an individual and asking how their day has been can make the world of difference. It’s become a regular occurrence to find myself sat with a cup of tea and a teacher who tells me how much my managers have listened to them in the past, which is always music to my ears. It’s justifiable that everyone wants to hit their targets to climb the career ladder, but to me it’s becoming more and more apparent that to make a long lasting impression you must give back to the people who are the business in the first place.
Most importantly, I’ve learned that some things are out of our control. We cannot predict and pre-empt every situation, and sometimes things run more smoothly than others. Going with the flow has definitely taught me some of my most valued lessons, everyone has a bad day, but more often than not you'll experience far more of the good. Graduate life isn't always easy, you finish university and don't always walk straight into a job that you're proud of, but it will come. I never planned on taking a path in recruitment even if my role in the business is doing what I'm good at, but I'd definitely class myself as one of the lucky ones with the cards I've been dealt.
(Oh and my final lesson has definitely been that in an office job, cake is your best friend and your worst enemy, it's as simple as that.)