With a new home within the office, next on the course of business was supporting one of the senior consultants with live vacancies. Lewis was quick to pass me some fresh roles that required quick turn-around. As well as this rapid pace, the job roles required me to make my first client calls, meaning that the gaps in my experience were being filled whilst also being tested. It was great experience, and working with Lewis across the desk from me offering advice and improvements resulted in a welcomed increase in my confidence.

The move in market meant that, ironically, I was talking to people doing the job I went to university to train for. These roles were creative roles, working in industries linked to the things I loved so it was a much nicer match for myself. I was comfortable, and the resulting work reflected that. I was able to contact good candidates and landing my first set of interviews, something I was immensely proud of. The patches in my game were certainly still there, but at least these patches were seemingly getting smaller the more I was sat next to Lewis.

These first interview confirmations were exactly what I needed. The success to confirm that I can in fact make shots on target, but now it was just a case of seeing whether I could take it all the way. There was a penny drop moment so to speak during the time between the confirmations and the actual date of the interviews. Understanding that it was in everyone’s best interest to be as good at the job as I could because that’s how deals are made seemed like an obvious revelation to have, but until you experience a moment when it genuinely feels like make or break, the necessary catalyst for epiphanies like that isn’t usually present.

It’s mad when I really start thinking about how much I’ve developed and learnt about the terrifying ‘real world’ since starting work at The Engage Partnership. Learning about the true meaning of urgency, with the help of Freddie and his slightly unhinged but hilarious rants, and then simultaneously having Lewis offer sound advice about I needed to slow down, or ask better questions, meant that there were still important lessons at every corner. The live roles I was working resulted in a focussed approach and gave real life examples of what we were being taught.
I was starting to look more and more into the future with every day passing. With the very real possibility of great rewards being given to hard work meant that I was starting to get caught up in the ‘what ifs’ but on the other side of the spectrum. Instead of negatives, it was instead wondering things like ‘if I make this deal, I can then move on and do this’ was enough motivation to plough onward in the face of dial tones with no answer and the infuriating rejections in the face of looming deadlines.

Starting to hit small slumps within the work and pushing through them felt incredibly rewarding in itself. Figuring out what worked for me, whilst Alex and Ron also figured out what worked for them, meant that we were all starting to maximise our output to the best of our abilities. We all had interviews, we all had live vacancies and, more importantly, we had all failed along the way. We were getting close, being knocked back and then getting closer still. That ever elusive first placement is getting closer, the light is at the end of the tunnel and growing stronger with each day.

By Ed Sims

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