Whilst it may sound horrible, I’ve always been a fan of trial by fire. The best way to learn anything (through past experiences) is just to do it and adjust accordingly. It was how I learnt to play the drums, it’s how I developed my writing and it’s how I planned on tackling my recruitment career. Whether it be pot-luck or just a sheer unfortunate coincidence, Andy proverbially threw us in the deep end in the next part of our training.

Having us work a week on the phones talking to candidates, as well as utilising the database in a “real working week” we began to understand how best to use it on a day to day to basis. It was the perfect example of learning on the job, as my fellow trainees and I all developed our own styles when the time came to communicate with the intention to build rapport with candidates.
It very much felt like progression though, a feeling I feared would take much longer to settle. Here lay a very difficult balance to find, as whilst I wanted to celebrate this momentum, it’s incredibly easy to get ahead of oneself and ultimately stumble at the next hurdle. Whilst the feeling of moving forward from my inept first week was welcome, it was still clear how much more work was needed.

The best thing about the week was the opportunity to develop our own style and beginning to stamp our own identity within The Engage Partnership team. Listening in on my colleague’s conversations allowed me to learn from people in the same position as me whilst also using the open office space to continuously learn from the other conversations had by the most established team members. This was exciting, and recognising successes when having a great phone call was integral and something the trainee team was great for, as often there would be high fives all-round when the phone call ended!

This team based training is part of the reason why I feel like things are progressing so well. The friendly competition and the satisfaction of just getting on and doing it. The key is to appreciate that we will have bad moments but refusing to let these incidents stop us. Because of this collective mindset, it allowed fellow trainees Alex and Tom to gain their first roles, encouraging myself and Ron to catch up and not fall behind in our own improvement. Without this feeling of community, it’s easy to see how bogged down a rookie in the recruitment industry can get.
Doing things people are bad at can scare them away from opportunity. I can’t help but think the amount of rejection I received has encouraged me to go out and get good, proving those who told me I couldn’t hack it otherwise. Rejection can be an incredibly powerful motivator (when looked at in the right light) and when starting out in an industry filled with rejection and near misses, it’s important to develop the ability to reflect and move forward.

By the end of the week, having experienced a full ‘proper’ week at work (the training is still in full swing) it was encouraging. With more training on the horizon and connections starting to form with this new-found knowledge, things were starting to build and develop. My train of thought seemed to be circular though; yes, I’m improving but I am also still very much in training. Regardless of this fact however, I’m still on the pathway I want to be on and with all things considered, I do think the future looks bright. By taking on board the knowledge Andy was passing on to us and appropriating it to ourselves, I genuinely believe that the whole trainee team has the potential to do well and crucially, we’ll do it together.


By Ed Sims


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