Finding a graduate Job.
As I begin my annual search for Graduates and Trainees, I take pause to reflect on my own experiences looking for a graduate job over ten years ago leading to running my own business today!
After spending 2 years following graduation living the high life working overseas I decided it was time to come home settle down and find the “graduate job” I “deserved”. Determined to get myself on a graduate scheme I attacked my job search like I would a full time job. Daily trips to the job centre and library to check the papers (no social media in my day!) and application after application yielded several interviews but no sign of my beloved Graduate scheme.
Time ticked along and with no real idea of recruitment but knowing I enjoyed HR type stuff at Uni and was a decent at sales from my experiences abroad. I started applying for recruitment roles. Knocked back by a rec2rec “you aren’t suitable for a career in recruitment” (how I would love to shake their hand 😉 I ploughed on and landed a temporary trial in a resourcing role.
There were rocky times (I hadn’t expected the amount of phone work and the pressure was tough sometimes) but I grew in confidence and really appreciated the benefits of working for SME who took on board my individual talents and needs. My week long temporary contract turned into a 4 year stay where I moved from Resourcer to Sales Manager. I appreciated the promotions and pay rises and the friendships I made are long lasting. The constant banter in the office kept me motivated as did the incentives! My driving lessons and test were paid for after I won an incentive, I did my Christmas shopping one year thanks to the House of Fraser vouchers I won and I enjoyed the annual Christmas party, conferences in Ibiza, Bulgaria and Majorca and a beer at my desk every Friday afternoon!
In 2009 I was offered the chance to apply to set up a new brand to enter the education market in conjunction with my boss. I applied and was successful and Smile Education was born. Recruitment helped me develop my business development, sales and leadership skills. Then opening Smile gave me a fantastic 360 degree view of running a business, I learned to deal with suppliers, recruit my own staff, take full responsibility for profit and create a culture which everyone would hopefully enjoy. The learning curve was immense but so satisfying and the feeling of knowing that every bit of business you win is down to your own hard work is one that can’t be replicated!
Buying Smile In 2014 as part of a Management Buy Out was one of my greatest achievements and I am so excited to be building not just a future for me and my family but also for everyone who works at Smile. We aren’t perfect but I always have in my mind my own journey in the last 10 years and what I have gained from joining a SME and taking the plunge with a career in recruitment; namely a house, a driving licence, a wedding abroad, work life balance to spend time with my son, some amazing holidays (Cuba, Mexico, Egypt, Greece, Spain…), lifelong friends, training and serious job satisfaction.
If you are a graduate looking for work, I urge you to consider recruitment, it’s demanding, hard work and definitely stressful but it’s also fast paced and if you are focussed and driven just think…
Where could you be in 10 years?
Please contact me for any more information.
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