I’ve been at Lookahead for almost 9 months now, and have spoken with over a hundred people. I’ve never been in a job that allows me to connect with so many different people. They tell me about their work, their life, what they love doing, what they want to do in the future. They ask me for advice about their resume, career path, hiring process, company culture and much more. Sometimes they even share with me the ups and downs in their personal lives.
Through every conversation, I get to know them a little better. I feel very privileged that I get to do that and share some of their experiences: I feel their joy when they find their dream job, are able to hire someone they really want on their team or finally have their permanent residency. And I feel their disappointment and sadness when they don’t get that job they want, someone turns down their offer, or something sad happens in their personal lives.
I’m humbled that so many of them trust me enough to have me as their sounding board and someone they’d come to when they need advice. Some of them even become my friends. Thank you to all the people who’ve trusted me.
As I’m writing this, I’m on my way home after a very long day. It started at about 11am when I got a call from my SydCSS co-organiser David to say that something came up and we had to change venue for our event. And that was happening in about 7 hours!
I probably let out the loudest F bombs anyone has ever heard me yell. So much so that our friends next door asked me later, “Was that you swearing before, Fiona?”
So we needed a plan B. David and I started figuring out who we could call for a last minute venue. We rang people we knew from the community, emailed people, I started asking if work would let us crash the office. No one hesitated to help us. While I was panicking, everyone was reassuring me that things would be ok. We finally decided we’d use Lookahead’s office and we started setting things up at around 2pm. Our neighbour whom we share the office with were lending us their office equipment. David’s team from Finder carried these metal chairs from their office (5 blocks down the road) so we could have more seats. My colleagues helped move all the furniture away and got the popcorn machine going. Friends came to help us get the place ready… I can go on and on.
The night was a success. We had about 75 people turn up and I think everyone had a pretty good time! Throughout the night I was thinking, “Wow! What an amazing community I am in”. Everyone has been so supportive of us. Even before today, John Allsopp from Web Directions was connecting us with CSSWG speakers, and they offered to give a talk on the night. Support was coming in from all directions. We really couldn’t have pulled it off without everyone’s help.
I feel so lucky that I chose a career which lets me be a part of such a caring and sharing community. I don’t know what other industries/communities are like, but this web one is pretty f*cking amazing.
10 weeks in at Lookahead and I’ve made my first placement! Super happy about it. I was kind of lucky that the timing worked perfectly: the right job came up for the right candidate. But that’s not to say I didn’t work hard in getting the candidate the offer.
If anyone says to me being a recruiter is easy, I may have to punch them. It’s a challenging job because people are hard. I’m really enjoying it though because I am learning SO much, like how to write good emails, how to ask the right questions, how to understand people, how to deal with difficult situations, how to multi-task etc. I find these are good life skills that I can use on a day-to-day basis. Even if one day I decide I want to do something else (not anytime soon!), I can still see myself using these skills in any jobs I take.
Although I’m not coding on a daily basis, I’ve really enjoyed meeting developers and chatting with them. Having that technical background definitely helps me in being able to understand what developers and companies are after. I’ve also spent a lot of time in giving people general advice on job search and resume writing. Some of them were really appreciative of that.
I’m slowly learning that a lot of things can go wrong in this job even if I put in 110%, because people are unpredictable. But when things do work out, it really is quite satisfying :) I’m happy that I can do what I’ve wanted to do when I joined Lookahead: helping others without compromising my beliefs and integrity.