Published on 31st July 2017
We take five minutes to chat to one of our Relationship Managers, Tom, about how he has developed his career with Ambition and continues to Build Better Futures for his clients.
Q. What made you join the world of recruitment and what did you do before?
Before I joined recruitment I actually worked in Finance for small businesses and start-up companies back in Los Angeles. I also worked as a Talent Manager for a while. So when I came to Australia, I combined that background in Finance and representing talent and people, and began life as a recruitment consultant in Ambition’s Finance department.
In terms of the reasons why I joined the industry, I think I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the ability to earn good money was a big incentive for me. But, ultimately I joined because I liked how I could work autonomously. Even though I’m working under the Ambition brand, I’m consistently marketing myself as an individual in addition to the brand. In that way, it’s almost like you’re running your own business using your own personal brand and skills, but with the strength of Ambition behind me. That really appealed to me.
At the same time, recruitment is a competitive industry. I have a completive nature so I really enjoy that aspect of the job!
Q. What skills do you think are most important to succeed in the role?
I think resilience is really important. In any role where you’re dealing with people, there are certain levels of patience and confidence in equal measures that are good skills to have. Being a people person can help, but really being able to understand what makes people tick in general, is important.
One of biggest skills needed is attitude. The job is very fast-paced with many challenges faced on a day-to-day basis, so someone who is dynamic and keeps a positive attitude will naturally do well. I personally think that a good attitude is more important than a person’s skillset. Skills can always be accrued but if the attitude is there you’re more likely to survive and be successful in the long term.
Q. What are some of the key challenges you faced in the first few months?
I think anyone who’s worked in recruitment will tell you that the first six months are the most difficult time because you tend to learn everything at once.
I remember being on the phone with someone who was much more educated and senior that I was, yet it was my job to be a consultant to them and give good advice. That can be nerve-racking for some and was a big challenge for me initially until I really backed myself and the team that I was working with. Once you have that confidence in yourself it’s a pretty great feeling to be speaking to someone, who might be running an entire business, and they’re asking you for advice and guidance.
Q. If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before starting in the industry. What would it be?
It’s okay to fail. You have so many mistakes that you need to make, there’s no way around it, and you just have to make them. People can tell you what to do and what not to do, but until you’ve made the mistakes yourself, you don’t really learn. The key is learning from these in the first six months and getting past them.
Q. You have recently transitioned into a role within our Markets team. How does that differ to what you were doing before?
Our markets team was created as a client-facing, business development arm of our business. The idea came from the fact that the industry was changing so much that there was extra pressure on each consultant to have a healthy pipeline of both candidates and clients. This is really two full-time jobs and there are actually two different skill sets needed to succeed here.
At Ambition, you can now specialise in one or the other. So if you look at my role now, it’s different to when I used to be a 360-degree consultant, looking after both clients and candidates. I was always more passionate about understanding businesses and championing the Ambition brand into the market. So you can see why me moving into this role made a lot more sense, and management was great to understand and support that.
Q. What is the best part of your role?
I enjoy face-to-face meetings and learning about different companies and their challenges. When I walk into a company and they tell me about what’s keeping them up at night and the key difficulties they’re experiencing, it’s great to know that I’m able to assist them in a number of ways. More often than not, the solution is finding the right individual to come in and solve a problem. I can’t tell you how rewarding that is because it can actually sometimes save businesses and make a huge difference in their bottom line. So getting to know companies and being able to help them deliver on their strategies is a big driver for me.
Q. What is your team like?
Our team is actually really different in a lot of ways. It’s encouraged for everyone to develop their own style and way of doing things, provided it's done in a professional way, Ambition is very fostering of people to be individuals.
If I was to pick one key trait that’s common across our team, it would be attitude and hard work. We work very closely with each other and share our successes and failures as a team, which is great for morale and motivation.
Q. What is life like at Ambition?
Ambition is known for its culture, it really is. We work hard and I think we generally pay better than similar companies, which puts a lot of smiles on a lot of faces around the office.
The culture is what really sets us apart, however. Management is trusting so we can enjoy our working day as they’re confident that everyone has theirs and the company’s best interests at heart.
I’ve never felt pressure that I’ve had to be at my desk every second of every day and I think that creates a really fun, interesting atmosphere.
Be like Tom and be part of the Ambition journey of Building Better Futures.
We are currently hiring a number of Consultants and Associate Consultants across our Finance and Commercial division in Sydney CBD and Greater Western Sydney.