Having recently been made a Director at DMJ Recruitment, I’ve found myself reflecting on how my professional career came to be and what I have learnt throughout my 8 ½ years at DMJ.
My first day at DMJ was 16th July 2012 and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Me in sales, a gawky country bumpkin who just moved to the city. The thought alone gave me anxiety. Truthfully, I needed a job and took the first thing I was offered. At the time, I thought it would be a short-term gig to build up office experience and pay my rent. DMJ itself was growing quickly and I was one of two new trainees to join on the back of DMJ receiving a grant from the Government under its Growth Accelerator Initiative.
The first 12 months were a cocktail of adrenaline, cortisol, serotonin, and dopamine. So much so that I needed an outlet for this intensity and ran the Berlin marathon to keep from imploding! What I quickly came to realise however, was that the company I had joined was genuinely interested and invested in helping me to succeed. It was like having a coach, someone who gave pointers on your technique and pushed you to continue developing. There were targets of course, however all they really asked was for me to put in the graft while they finessed and focused that energy.
I survived my first full year in recruitment and thoughts of this being a stopgap were quickly fading away. My anxiety around the sales aspect of the job was being overcome by my in-built competitiveness, a side effect of being from a large family, as well as my growing confidence thanks to training from the Directors.
Once the fear of the job subsided and my ability and confidence grew, I started to have fun. I still do. Rather than listing 8 ½ years of failures and successes, wincing all the while due to my crippling Britishness, I’ll save it up for the biggest cringe of them all and say that having fun is the most important thing I have learnt in my career so far.
My interests, motivations and enjoyments have changed over the years at DMJ. In year’s 1-2, fun was the deals, competing with my colleagues for ‘top-biller’ and hitting milestones and goals set by the business. In years 3 – 5, I started finding fun in helping junior colleagues hit their targets. For the last 3 years, fun has been being a part of DMJ’s growth strategies, supporting the development of new divisions, and having to adapt and face new challenges on a daily basis.
Being able to explore and follow what I find fun continues to keep me energised and what I am most grateful to DMJ for. While fun to achieve, each milestone in my career has required plenty of energy and learning, I always look back on my first year for the inspiration, confidence, and belief to overcome the challenges faced. Most importantly however, DMJ has always been there to provide the training and support to my development and ultimately, giving me the freedom to choose my own goals.
Much like choosing your Desert Island Discs, trying to think of what my greatest personal learnings are after 8 short years seems impossible, there is so much time and too many experiences ahead to have them all figured out. That said, there are a few I strongly believe will always make my DIDs list,
- Have fun
- Plan your day and always take notes
- Find a manager/mentor who is genuinely interested in your development
- Help others to be successful, always
- To be Decided…
- Time for Heroes, The Libertines
- Mercedes Benz, Janis Joplin
- To be Decided…
The supportive environment at DMJ doesn’t end at its consultants, it’s a core part of our DNA both internally and externally. As we have grown as a business this support has evolved to the point where we are considered a trusted advisor by all our clients and candidates on their departments and careers. We are truly invested in the governance profession and passionate about how we can support it and its professionals.
If you’re interested in having a confidential discussion regarding the market or your current department, please contact me to find out how DMJ can provide you with this same level of support.
Rory Strong – firstname.lastname@example.org – 020 3058 1443