I have to say – I’ve been lucky and had lots of fun along the way in the wonderful world of recruitment.
It might never have happened!
It might never have happened, having been rejected at the first interview with Alfred Marks for being too assertive! No, never…not me.
The second interview was a success and I launched a new branch for them in Solihull which involved a lot of hard work – everyone wanted secretaries in those days. There were lots of jobs and lots of great quality candidates available. I was then promoted to an established branch in Edgbaston as they were not doing so well. Figures weren’t great, low morale, lack of motivation, sounds familiar? So again lots of hard work with a brilliant team, we had fun rebuilding what was once a mighty branch surrounded by banking and commerce, to what it was before and more. It taught me that maintaining a branch is not my skill, building a better branch or company is.
Headhunted then by Kelly Services I found myself back in Solihull, eventually becoming a Senior Manager of 3 branches in the Midlands, Solihull, Wolverhampton and Birmingham. We had many successes along the way, and one that I am proudest of was winning, with the support of a national tender team, the contract for Birmingham City Council admin and support staff. At the time it was the largest contract of its kind in Europe, I believe.
Over 600 possible sites, from schools and colleges, neighbourhood offices, to the offices for births, marriages and deaths, and not forgetting the crematoriums. Long hours with 350 temps out working on a regular basis, and in those days, we still had to hand write the ‘bible sheet’, for those who remember the days before computerisation.
After my corporate career
I moved back to Solihull working with a local agency Ashfield Personnel, suppliers of temporary engineering staff. We diversified to develop a commercial desk of temp and perm staff, and grew year on year. At the same time, I recognised an opportunity to buy the business from the current Directors and spend the next five years buying them out, allowing both of them to retire.
I became the external PR person for the business, networking and promoting us which enabled me to develop the brand of Sue Yates, and grow the company. A trusted and reliable local business person, in 2007 I became President of Solihull Chamber of Commerce, and two years later Chair of the Pre- Business Improvement District (BID) for Solihull. Both voluntary positions within the community.
In 2008, I sold the company. Again a proud moment for me, and while I spoke of retirement, a notion that lasted two weeks, I then set up Sue Yates Personnel, building a company offering business coaching and HR solutions. While I still do some recruitment, I work now with those companies whom I coach, which enables me to fully understand the culture and needs of their business for the future.
I still work hard to this day, but this has enabled me to travel around the world, meet some wonderful people and have many memorable experiences… although the work-life balance still isn’t quite there…yet!
Has it been luck or maybe hard work or both? Was it all planned? No, it wasn’t.
I do though regularly review where I am planning to go, how I am going to get there and what I don’t want to do, as this is equally important to me.
I look at what enthuses and drives me and equally what drains me, what I don’t enjoy, or want to do in the future. I recognise my strengths and pay attention to activities that energise me. Equally, I build clarity into my weak areas and self-assess every year at those times of reflection.
In your role right now on a scale of 1-10:
- How much do you love what you do?
- How much does time fly when doing what you love doing?
- How much of a ‘buzz’ do you get from your work?
- How ‘interested’ do you sound when you self-talk about your current role?
Be honest now.
Perhaps this article has motivated you to strive to go to that next level, as I am no different from anyone else. We can all achieve what we want to achieve. Stand out from the crowd and show your competitive edge, work hard ensuring it’s fun as well.
If you need further assistance with developing a strategy for your own development of a mentor, do please get in touch.