Uni to Recruitment: How I survived the Baptism of Fire

10 Dec 14:00 by William Irwin

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Taking the plunge: Graduate to Recruitment Consultant

I chose to study history at university. In spite of my degree, I wouldn’t really describe myself as an academic person, but History was one of the few subjects at school I actually found interesting.

To be honest, I found leaving university a really daunting experience. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do as a career and was unsure what to do next. As a result, I took a labouring job with a local building firm doing heavy lifting and groundworks. Ouch. I knew I wanted to be successful and I knew I wanted to earn loads of money – I just needed to work out how I was going to get there!

The stark realisation was, that after going through the three year course, there just wasn’t a career that was directly related to my degree.

Archaeologist? No.

Librarian? Absolutely not.

So then, like many others before me, who wanted to smash it but not sure how, I fell into recruitment. Here are my words of wisdom –


What advice would you give to graduates adjusting to the recruitment environment?

My advice to a graduate adjusting to the recruitment environment would be jump in feet first. There is so much to learn and it can be overwhelming. The more you throw yourself into it, the quicker you pick things up. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, the more you make the quicker you learn.

Staying a little later after hours allowed me to dedicate time to figure things out in quiet, away from the never ending hustle and bustle of the office.


What do you like the most about working in recruitment?

My favourite thing about working in recruitment is the impact you have on the lives of the candidates you work with. Obviously, it is a sales environment so there is always an element of self-interest; but the buzz of an ecstatic candidate thanking you for landing their dream job is incomparable to any commission I take home!


What has been the most challenging part of the role?

The most challenging part of the role for me was definitely adjusting to the office environment and hours that come with working in a professional environment in the city. It really couldn’t be further from my days on the building site!


Would you recommend it as a career choice for graduates?

I would definitely recommend recruitment as a career choice for graduates. There is unlimited earning potential if you are willing to throw yourself into it and work hard. In addition, I like how progression is earnt, irrelevant of age or stature.

If you come in and hit the ground running, you will not be waiting in line behind a crop of more experience consultants for them to progress.

Progression based on merit.