*Originally posted on my medium blog here*
A startup networking tale from the dark side.
I was on the phone halfway through another of londons amazing startup meetups and before I put it down I told her;
I love coming to these things but sometimes I wish I didn’t have to tell people what I do!
Of course its not 100% true — sometimes telling them can be incredibly rewarding, but I work in an industry that is surrounded by stigmas and most people view those with a similar job title to mine with a certain amount of contempt, disregard and distrust. Especially at a startup event in London! I work in an industry that is considered something evil. Something that has encroached on every area of industry in every area of the world to the point that it is now one of the UK’s most profitable and fastest growing sectors of industry.
Let’s make one thing clear; I honestly and truly really really really like my job! Its fast paced, engaging, entrepreneurial, constantly changing, good money and once things are running smoothly its incredibly emotionally rewarding. It draws on every ounce of the skills that I have built up since I started my professional career deadheading roses and cleaning out the chickens at the local pub when I was 14. It pushes me and challenges me and the moment I start to feel comfortable in it I realise I can learn more and do more… But there is one problem with it that I want to change! What people think when I tell them what I do.
When I’m out and about with friends and family and they ask me what I do, I find it hard to tell them! When I’m at the meetups and events that I attend on behalf of my employer and people ask the question; “So, what do you do?” I am always hesitant to answer. Sometimes, I can avoid it for so long that if the conversation is interesting I will never let them know.
Should I change job? NO and anyhow what else is there that I can do that will reward me as much emotionally and financially? Nothing is the answer and trust me I have looked! (those of you that don’t know what I do yet will soon realise I am exceptionally good at looking!)
Is it because I’m not confident enough? Well that can’t be true, if you hadn’t figured it out by now — I am pretty confident. If you ask anybody that knows me they will tell you that I am so confident that I can sometimes be considered arrogant or rude. (But that’s only because I’m a bit like Marmite in a social environment)
It has dawned on me more recently that it might not be my problem at all — it maybe something that is industry wide. In fact it has now got to the point that I 100% believe that this is one of the largest problems with my industry; Most People don’t know what I do!
Which often means that other people with the same job title as me forget what they do too! Not saying that all my competition are rubbish (saving that for another blog) or for that matter that everyone I come across takes an instant dislike to me. When people ask, I look them in the eye and as I tell them what my job title most of the time I see a look of distaste, a twinge of anger or a simple cringe flashes across there face!
I understand why, Every one has had a bad experience with us me included. However, from now on instead of telling them Im an EVIL Recruitment Consultant I’m going to say;
I find jobs people NOT people jobs!
Did you know that’s what we do?
Just to make sure, these are my own points of view not those of my employer. They do not in any way represent anything more than a start of some ideas that will hopefully lead to changing the recruitment industry and please get in touch/comment if you wish do discuss or disagree with any of the points here. Professionally, You can of course get in touch with me on LinkedIn or twitter and I will try and be as helpful as possible.