Deciding what you want to do and knowing how to achieve it

by | Oct 1, 2017

Deciding what I wanted to do:  Leaving university and thinking about this, I discovered I didn’t know what I would really enjoy doing.  I had a degree in Business and HR Management.  I enjoyed the HR, marketing, finance and economics aspects of the degree, but had little commercial experience.

This self-reflection led me to decide I needed some commercial and business experience, and with a market place flooded with entry level vacancies for ‘Recruitment Consultants’ I started to pursue these roles.

As a recruitment consultant I spent all day resourcing job vacancies – essentially advertising job roles, sifting applications, searching the companies’ candidate database and telephone interviewing potential candidates.  The role taught me two things:

  1. I grasped the commercials very quickly – revenue values, how much business I needed to generate to cover my salary, profit margins, how much revenue I had to generate to get a bonus, and when to stop working on a vacancy because the likelihood of filling the role, coupled with the revenue to time ratio, made it low value.
  2. I realised I needed more variety – I have a short attention span which benefits me when juggling multiple projects or tasks, but when in a job role with only three real tasks to execute, and only one real objective – to fill the job role – I struggled to remain focused, interested and motivated.

My first job was never going to be my job for life

My first job was never going to be my job for life, or even a focus for my long term career, however what it did give me was a commercial understanding which has stayed with me ever since, together with a clear idea as to what I liked and disliked doing and what I was good and not so good at; Experiences like this are essential spring boards into your next job role and, although frustrating at the time, I still apply some of the learnings I attained from this role today.

Before leaving this role I was clear that I wanted to move into HR and use more of my degree. I wanted to work in a varied role and I wanted to progress quickly.  I was hungry, impatient and ambitious.  None of these are bad things, as long as you are also realistic and willing to put the work in.

Top tip: This experience taught me the importance of not moving on quickly just because you dislike a role. I stayed for over a year, learnt everything I could from it both in terms of skills and things about myself. I also ensured I gathered learnings which I did not have before – the commercial gap I had as a new graduate had begun to get filled.

To hear about my experience on a graduate scheme and gain access to blogs from other senior managers and executives sign up to Your Horizon now.