Knowledge is Power
Recruitment is a tough game. It’s high pressure, fast paced and often it feels like extremely hard work for little reward. There’s a good reason it’s an industry populated by 20-30 something year old young guns with energy to burn and a name to make for themselves.
My best friend and colleague of 10 years, Jonathan, is a veteran of the industry and the best recruiter I have ever met. Having parted company from our recruitment company around 6 years ago, Jonathan stayed in recruitment, joining a global boutique legal consultancy as a partner.
Over breakfast a few weeks ago I listened carefully to Jonathan, as I always have, as he talked about his business and the market. What struck me first is that Jonathan has retained as much passion for the job, and the industry, as he had over 15 years ago. But now, what accompanies that passion is something even more powerful – his wisdom, borne solely out of experience. There is not much Jonathan hasn’t seen in recruitment, and nothing that will surprise him.
Rather than jading him, Jonathan’s years of experience have made him stronger, and even more passionate (and perhaps a wee bit more ruthless too) about his role.
Experience is not just a number
In his book “Outliers”, Malcolm Gladwell discusses the 10,000 hour rule – a study which shows that elite performers (musicians, athletes, etc) study or practice for more than 10,000 hours to reach their peak performance.
Jonathan has also been in the game a long time, and maybe has over 10,000 hours experience (sorry, Jono). However, it’s important to realise that it’s possible to gain immense and highly relevant experience in a relatively short period of time. Remember, you are always one step ahead of someone else.
The key is to continue to build on that experience. Think of it as a layering, like a cake. One layer on top of the other makes up the final, delicious feast, but even licking the spoon before the cake is finished, proves that it’s possible for something to be of merit, even before it’s a finished product.
Concentrate on making the most out of every element of your experience. You will always gain something, and so long as you keep growing and learning from that, you will continue to flourish and be able to use your voice of experience to help you, and others, in your career and your life.
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