The Office Club
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I am the other part of the duo who runs The Office Club – a boutique recruitment agency specialising in Office Support, HR and PR & Marketing searches. We pride ourselves on being a truly bespoke and personalised service to each of our clients, delivered by myself or my Business Partner, Judy. Our days vary depending on what roles we have live and what time frames we are working towards. A typical day consists of meeting potential clients for new business collaborations, interviewing candidates for roles, researching the latest market trends, attending industry events, chasing invoices and looking at new ways to develop the business. It is always go go go 24/7.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?
Ever since I was a little girl I had always wanted to be an actress. I don’t actually remember wanting to do anything else. I loved the idea of inspiring and influencing others through performance and making an impact in a positive way. After 12 years in the industry, having worked in TV & Film across the UK and US, I slowly began to fall out of love with the profession. As you get older your priorities change and I started wanting different things from my life. I craved more stability and structure in my day-to-day living and I was tired of jumping around from one acting job to the other. I fell into recruitment without any prior experience, but I soon realised it was about being able to communicate and understand people. Using my previous acting skills, I soon realised that networking and business development was all about being open and honest with people and I fell in love with this aspect. With recruitment I can see the results of how we can make constructive impacts on people’s lives by helping them find their dream jobs.
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
After my A-Levels I had a place at Leeds University to study Acting and Journalism, however, I deferred entry for a year and moved to London to audition for drama schools. I interviewed at 8 different places and luckily got into two. I attended ALRA, ‘The Academy of Live & Recorded Arts’ and studied a three year Acting Diploma.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
I don’t remember being given specific career advice, but I grew up watching my Dad work incredibly hard. He would leave the house at 5am and be home at 9pm so a strong work ethic was instilled in me from a young age. I think that hard work pays off so like him I tend to do things 100% otherwise there’s no point in doing it at all. I can’t get up as early as him though!
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
Probably my Dad. He came from nothing and built up a very successful business all by himself. I’ve seen him deal with a world wind of problems, but nothing has ever phased him. He continues to carry on and doesn’t ever believe in giving up. If certain things seem impossible he showed me there was always a way to get past the barriers using different methods. I don’t tend to take no as an answer, so I must of got that trait from him.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
Working with Judy who is also my best friend. The fact that we are able to go on this journey together has been extremely comforting and beneficial. Some days can be great and other days things don’t always tend to go to plan but knowing she is there by my side gives you an extra sense of reassurance. Each day is an expedition and I am glad we are on it together.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?
Being able to have a masseuse in the office all day as I do get a bad back from being on the computer so much!
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
Having a very successful business of up to 30-40 people where we can oversee things and carry on watching it grow! Perhaps developing the brand and exploring other niche areas and also coming up with new methods to be a specialist leader in our field!
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?
Yes absolutely. I think this is one of the main reasons to what sets The Office club apart from other agencies. What you see is what you get. We are both very transparent in our approach and we can relate to both the clients and candidates on a personal and honest level. At the end of the day we are all human and we can all relate to real life day to day stresses and responsibilities. We don’t pretend to be something that we are not. I remember last week that I ended up discussing my washing machine breaking down with a client for 10 minutes as they had just experienced the same issue! It’s about breaking down those formal barriers and communicating at an open and authentic level. Why try to be anything other than yourself? You need to be confident in who you are and focus on being the real you and that will then translate in both areas of your life.
WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?
Judy and I share the leadership roles and we delegate the responsibilities between the two of us. As the company grows we will maintain leadership positions but will delegate other duties to different members of the team to encourage them to have managerial responsibility.
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
Absolutely. Diversity brings variety to the workplace and in this day and age things are changing at a rapid speed constantly. It’s crucial to be open to change and revolution so that the business can continue to grow alongside the ever-changing needs of society. I always like clients to think outside the box and give candidates a chance that they probably wouldn’t have given initially. Diversity is a melting pot of inspiration and enables people to learn and alter their methods.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
Ha ha…. It varies on a weekly basis. As a business owner you never really are able to ‘switch off’, but at the same time both Judy and I make it imperative to have ‘down time’ away from the office. It’s important to have a balance of working hard, relaxing, eating well & exercising whilst finding the time to see friends and family. We both recently attended an event about work/life balance and the speakers main point was that you will only be successful in your work/life if you are also equally successful in your personal life. That really resonated with me.
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
Listening and having patience. We are constantly waiting on clients and candidates to respond and sometimes we need to be understanding that their priorities are not always going to be the same as ours. The other vital point is being able to communicate with people at all levels and finding the best approaches on a case-by-case basis.
ANY FINAL COMMENTS?
Someone once said to me that it’s not about how hard you work, but how smart you work. Business is about balancing your time and ensuring that you cover the daily priorities efficiently and effectively at your own pace. And love what you do. If you don’t, then what’s the point?