I write this blog as we celebrate RMG’s 25 years’ anniversary.
This is a light-hearted 25 years+ look back, as a woman in recruitment - who recruits professionals into industry and welcomes trainees into our team!
So … Think of the advice you got as a girl from your parents, school, college/University, first employers (or you are getting now)…and with the sounds of this advice ringing in my ears …..and the well-meaning ‘nurturing’ advice’ and ‘my own Chimp thoughts’ from the past ........here goes!
On a Monday – Didn’t realise how ‘before the times’ our old fashioned girl’s grammar really was. So the tweedy senior mistresses, actually now looking back were independent women with careers in their own right trying to nurture us to take our opportunities and follow our careers
Albeit, options were not far outside of Lawyer, Teacher or Doctor..!
On a Tuesday …At Uni…advised don’t waste your skills on that interesting career route (probably better suited to do by nature!) be an accountant
As a 21-year-old trainee in accountancy, ‘professional lads’ went to see strippers at lunchtime and Page 3 girl posters on the office walls, not a comfortable situation looking back
On Wednesday….Find your way in your first job(s) and find what’s suited. ‘Don’t waste your education, don’t get pregnant and be a stay at home wife, take your opportunities, fulfil your dreams…it’s hard to combine family and a career path…a woman’s ‘job’ is with the children, in the home…etc
Recruitment was still not seen as a ‘proper job’ or professional path in many circles; although the crusty ‘headhunters’ in the City wouldn’t have been saying that, in their successful ‘old-boys’ career networks
Careers don’t just go down a one track defined path; we evolve our career paths to suit us, life happens
Work full-time with one, two or more children.. with staff responsibilities…must be seen to be ‘first in – last out’ at the time….it’s getting impossible?
How do you cope? Commuting, transport, nursery day-care drop-offs and pick-ups, are you being fair on your children, are you fulfilling your job, are you going ‘mad’...are you a good mum, good employee!..sound familiar?
Prove it, go to that meeting, that training course or a week away overseas ..leave your child or baby behind….or lose your chances…your position, job
‘What you are asking to use your expertise in a flexible part-time role, get paid less and still have the same targets!?’ Well…’who’d have thought it’! No-one at the time
… Except for a leading light, woman CEO, announced in the Sunday Times back pages, what a revolutionary idea in the world of recruitment.. not an easy option!
Laddish 90s…working part-time…’you’ll miss the banter’?!
Back to full-time for the rewards, teenagers growing up….thinking should have stayed part-time!
Women have been getting good at evolving life-work balanced careers and now we are also seeing an upsurge of men thinking the same nowadays with shared parental responsibilities and legally recognised support.
Recruitment is never static through ever-changing technology and the accepted face of flexible home working has also changed business practices and enabling people to stay part of a team; it is becoming more widely accepted in recruitment
….and I’ll stop there, as it catches up with my time at RMG, and a company that has supported my ongoing career path and professional interests for the last 13 years
I work as a specialist Search Consultant within the Chemicals sector and related Technologies, a role I thoroughly enjoy (which suits my ‘nature’).
I firmly believe in the influence of ‘nurture’ and have seen the immense changes in attitudes over the last 25 years’ to now allow women to equally compete in business and industry today, if they wish. I believe there has been a marked step-change in the confidence of young women regarding their natural expectations of competing equally in their careers in the last 5-10 years.
Having had an established career in recruitment which has evolved with the revolutionary face of recruitment and my own work-life needs, I am happier to recommend a career in recruitment to female (or male) graduates than ever before. It seemed in the past, people mainly ‘fell into’ recruitment by having the career path suggested to them due to their style, more recently it has become accepted as a valid professional career choice for graduates and can also act as a stepping stone into many other avenues, including Sales, Account Management, HR etc.
Establishing a long-term career in recruitment enables you to grow and develop your experience and skills to work in different ways that suit you. I have evolved with the changing nature of recruitment throughout my 25 years+, although I strongly believe the fundamentals, courtesies and good ethics remain the same (or should do), it is a good career path if you are interested in understanding and dealing with ‘People’ in a sales or account/project management style of role.
Graduates have you ever thought of a career in recruitment ......it’s one to look at…?!