From my school days, I was always the girl who had a lot of acquaintances, but just a handful of fabulous friends that I would confide in, and they would do the same. I valued these relationships and nurtured them. To this day, I still have very good friends from school and we can pick up the phone even though time has passed and it was as if we saw each other yesterday. The weekend just passed was twenty years since we finished Year 12 and headed to Schoolies. I reminisced with a great friend of mine on the weekend about the amazing time we had, as if it happened yesterday. That was our first taste of freedom.
When university was over, I obtained my first Graduate Accounting role. This was my first taste of the ‘real’ world. I was so quiet to begin with, a bit unsure, a bit insecure, but over a short amount of time, I came out of my shell and I felt like I was part of the family – thanks to some of the most amazing people that were fantastic mentors. I moved on after a few years, maybe wrongly so, because I was too impatient and the environment was so great that no one was ever going to leave! I met with a recruiter and in hindsight, if they had actually listened, they should have advised me to stay, grow up and put in some hard years. I still recruit for these people to this day, even though most of them have left and have moved to other organisations.
I went onto my next accounting role which wasn’t the best, actually more like a nightmare, but in terms of learning about myself and what I really wanted to do, it was turning point in my life and career. I THEN JOINED THE WORLD OF RECRUITMENT. I loved to talk and thought I would stick to my area of discipline, Accounting. Recruiting Accountants, not too far from being an Accountant, right? Technically I could advise my clients and candidates on what the roles entailed and give them honest advice as to the best career moves. How hard could it be?
I have forged many fantastic relationships with people from all walks of life and the key to it is being honest, genuine, being a good listener and just being yourself. People want to feel like they can trust you to give them the most honest advice and genuinely care about them and their careers. Let’s face it, us Accountants want the pros and cons of each role, what is the career progression, what is the size of the company, what is the average longevity. We don’t want to be ‘sold’ into a job. We like to make informed decisions based on extensive research.
I don’t think I have ever learnt so much about business, about people, about life and about myself as I have in the last 6 years. No one can explain the feeling of people calling you for advice, asking you to help them make their next career move, calling you to help you restructure and recruit their teams, referring you to their friends to recruit their teams, based purely on your reputation. The most amazing feeling; that feeling of being needed and trusted to give your professional opinion. This has been the ultimate in career satisfaction. It doesn’t get any better than this. After almost six years, it was time for me to get some balance back into my life. A dedicated recruiter if they are not careful can let the profession take over their life, and I was no different.
The most important thing for me was to align myself with a business that values its employees, values relationships and acts with professionalism, integrity and has a culture of loyalty, hard work and fun. I have found this and more at Optimum Consulting. I go to work every day and am surrounded by like-minded people, a hardworking and loyal group that are passionate about the brand and what it stands for. Brad McMahon has a very loyal client base and loyal long term staff and I would say both are protective of him and the business. That is not a culture that just appears. It is borne from hard work, respect, the cultivation of long term relationships and a genuine passion for recruitment and the industry itself. I have found my new home.
What I have learnt in life and certainly in my profession is the power of building relationships is invaluable. Treating people the way they deserve to be treated and showing a genuine interest not only in their careers but also as a people. The Brisbane market is a very loyal one and people align themselves and show their loyalty to people. I have been very fortunate that my client base has followed me wherever I have gone and it no different now being at Optimum Consulting. Building long term relationships, being a good listener, showing empathy and making lifelong connections is so important. The word ‘connection’ has come up a lot in the last few weeks and I believe the secret to a successful Recruitment Consultant is having those lasting connections and being able to build solid relationships, without even thinking about it.
Marianne Savas – Divisional Manager