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Lessons from 10 Years in Recruitment

So earlier this year I turned 37. Never before has my age been an issue for me, in fact I’ve always been proud to share my age, but something changed this year. For about a month I felt really old! It doesn’t help that the latest member of the InspHired team was born in the year I matriculated! After sulking for a bit I looked back and realised I’ve been in recruitment for 10 years. It got me thinking about what lessons I’ve learned over the last decade, come with me and let’s reflect together.

Start where you are
I often look back at the unfortunate situation that led me into this field. I was in a really bad place personally but took the first opportunity I could find and that led me here. I always tell applicants, start where you are. Being unemployed is not a reason to do nothing. Volunteer if you have to, but start where you are!

Things won’t go according to plan
Here’s a confession; I don’t really plan well. I’m the kind of person who jumps first and plans on my way. I’ve had to learn to plan better, keep to-do lists and ready myself for success every day, every month and every quarter. Having said that, things hardly ever go according to plan. Sometimes they work out better than planned, but sometimes… Well I’ll let Mike Tyson say it “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth”. You will get punched in the mouth, it’s how you respond to it, that’ll be key. Candidates will ghost you, clients will put that role on hold and colleagues will disappoint you. How will you respond?

Find mentorship
Hanging my head in shame on this one. I don’t have a business mentor at the moment, but I’m looking for a mentor and I’m going to be more than a little fussy in choosing one. One thing is clear, we all need someone to be accountable to. The times when I’ve had the right mentor, I’ve always had exponential growth. Find someone who’s done what you want to do and ask them to mentor you, and as simple as it sounds – do what they say. This is a great way to accelerate your success.

Your life is what you do daily
John C. Maxwell’s says “If you tell me nothing about a person, but you allow me to spend all day with them, from the time they get up to the time they go to sleep for a period of time, I’ll be able to tell you their net worth.” It’s that simple. Nothing moves until you move it. When I learned this, I stopped blaming everything and everyone else for the state of my desk and took control of it. If you want to be successful, review everything you do on a daily basis.

You will never be more successful than your capacity for that success
The market pays for value. If you want to increase your worth, increase the value you bring to the market. To increase your value you have to increase your capacity as a whole. So what are you doing to improve yourself in order to increase your capacity? How many books are you reading? How many seminars have you attended this year? Over the years I’d like to think I’ve development the ability to self-assess and improve where necessary.

The future has never been brighter
I listen to talk radio when I drive in order to stay up-to-date with current affairs and to be honest, current affairs can be depressing. The economy is struggling, companies are retrenching, there’s violence and corruption all around us BUT I’ve never been more optimistic about the future! I believe in never letting a good crisis go to waste and in Africa right now we have many crises. Together we can solve the many challenges our people face and in the process create legacies for the ages.


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