Like many other industries and jobs, the Recruitment sector can be challenging and unpredictable. Yet, throughout my career as Marketing Specialist at people2people, I have worked with many influential and courageous female leaders who have influenced my career and outlook in some way, helping both myself and my peers to overcome challenges. Here are eight key lessons I have been taught and why they are influential to me:
Lesson 1: Work hard, but work smarter.
At people2people’s 2020 STRIDE awards, Brooke McKay, Senior Consultant, Temporary Recruitment Services, was recognised as our most successful temp recruiter. But the part that makes this award even greater? She achieved this result from working only three days a week (which is not uncommon at people2people!). This hits me right in the guts: in the past, I’ve always made sure I worked super hard, but was I working smart? I’ve realised being productive and producing results is not about who arrives first at the office in the morning and leaves the latest, it’s about who can make the biggest impact and produce results.
Lesson 2: Focus on what matters the most.
It’s easy to get caught up in the small minor tasks everyday which can take away the focus of your key priorities and major projects. Shannon Barlow, Managing Director of people2people Auckland and Frog Recruitment told me more than once I should always begin my days by focussing on the big projects to optimise my productivity. You always can squeeze the small tasks at the end of the day.
Lesson 3: “I want you to fail.”
Jane Kennelly, Business Relationship Director & Founder of Frog Recruitment, told me when I first met her – ‘I want you to fail’. This wasn’t said in a negative way – she was simply encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone and dare to try new things to challenge and provide both professional and personal growth. It’s true when they say, our failures will be our greatest lessons. If you don’t fail, it means you’ve never taken any risks.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.” – JK Rowling
Lesson 4: Leadership brings loyalty.
Leadership isn’t about telling your co-workers or team how to do their job, as Christina Sclavos, Manager of people2people Sydney emphasised in this article. These days it’s imperative to show and coach your new employees or co-workers through clear conversations and allow them to shadow you as a leader. In my role this lesson has been highly useful when coaching our wider business on social media use and strategies. Rather than a simple email with instructions, it’s important to take the time to show new starters how to use systems and tools to empower them as well as having regular ‘check in’s. In the end, actions do speak so much louder than words.
Lesson 5: Age doesn’t matter. Skills do.
As one of our youngest leaders, Kim Padmore at the age of 27 became a Director and Shareholder of people2people’s Perth branch and was recently nominated and selected as a finalist (out of 22,000 applicants!) for the Telstra Business Women’s Award 2020 as an emerging leader. This is no easy feat. To say we’re proud is an understatement. Kim has taught me success does not simply come with age, it’s about your skills and ability.
Lesson 6: Be curious.
The importance of networking and building relationships can never be underestimated. Karen Thompson, Business Development & Communications Manager at people2people is a natural people person who is curious and passionate about her clients and all things marketing/communications! Karen has taught me the importance of making connections and asking questions. Being kind and curious can go a long way in the working world.
Lesson 7: Be you.
There’s no better version of yourself than you so don’t try to be someone else. Lisa Johnson illustrates this lesson in bucketloads. She is hilarious, an amazing writer and provides laughter in everyone’s day who encounters her (either via phone, email or in person!). Yet despite this, Lisa is exceptionally talented in her role as Shared Services Manager at people2people. With multiple balls in the air at any one time, Lisa is always patient and shows kindness to those around her. This is a valuable lesson in life – kindness never goes unnoticed.
Lesson 8: Be optimistic.
It's almost a cliché to say that employees don’t leave companies, they leave their managers. However, this happens all the time. My manager Renee Daysh-Smith, Australasian Marketing Manager at people2people is a great leader as she demonstrates on a daily basis the power of optimism and positivity. Despite challenges that may arise, I’ve learnt the importance of ‘picking your battles’ and focusing on the positives.