Monday drew around and the fear/excitement/existential dread began to set in. It was an incredibly potent combination of feelings that culminated in a surprisingly clear head walking into the office in the early morning. The ball seemed to finally be in my court, but this was very much a double-edged sword; now, more than ever, it was up to me whether I sank or swam.

As we were introduced to everyone and shown to our desks, everything began to feel much more set in stone. Call me weird, but in the period between receiving the job and actually starting at The Engage Partnership, this completely irrational fear of none of it actually being real was running rampant around my head. As the morning progressed, the fear began to quell and turned into a focus to become good at this job I was supposedly not right for, as told by everyone who turned me away.

Andrew Backhouse (our mentor & trainer) was keen to get things up and running straight away and we were straight into activities. Beginning to understand how the company came in to being as well as the fundamentals of the database. It felt like the precursor to something much more. Low and behold, the following day Andy had us do role plays around candidate qualification. It highlighted just how much we had to learn whilst in a fun environment, allowing for mistakes to be made in the relative safety of the training room. This was certainly a good learning environment, with everyone on a level playing field and no one being left behind in the process.

It was a strong to-and-fro as the week progressed. When I would feel like something is improving, it became clear something else wasn’t quite up to scratch. In the wrong frame of mind, being thrust into such a difficult environment would make you crumble like wet cake and with the need to remain proactive even in the face of rejection being drilled into us, it was certainly a lot to take in. Thankfully, I refused to let such an opportunity pass, making sure I would be the only one dictating my own success through hard-work.

The more I listened to the team, it was astounding how different everyone handled their business. From my own previous experiences from the interviews and offices visits I had done, most other places try to make sure things are done their way, because it’s a way that works. The Engage Partnership allowed each of the recruitment consultants to have their own way of handling business and this reflected in the way they worked and the way each one dealt with their candidates and clients. It was a wealth of real experiences to absorb, and was the first thing to instill some future sight for me, allowing me to relax and mold my work load around me.

By the end of the week, Andy had us create a presentation on our given market and territory. The purpose of this presentation was for us to start learning and understand the in-depth markets that neither I, nor any of my other colleagues had even the foggiest idea about. Over the week, as I chiseled away at this seemingly everlasting gobstopper of a task, I began to figure out what I needed to do. It was about understanding enough to be competent, to be able to understand and communicate with candidates. The candidates were great to talk to, they took the text book research and made the technologies seem real and allow me to understand how things started to fit together.

After the penny dropped, things became easier and I felt I smashed the presentation. Afterwards, Andy said that he felt every place that turned me away missed out and these words were incredibly powerful in fueling my drive to improve and continue my journey. It was a high end to the week, until Andy ran through next week’s activities and the realisation that this week’s success was a small stepping stone to being able to call myself a Recruitment Consultant.

By Ed Sims

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