The Office Club
THE BIG QUESTIONS
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
I am one part of the duo who run The Office Club – a recruitment agency specialising in Office Support, HR and PR & Marketing searches. We are an owner led-service meaning we offer a truly bespoke and tailored service to each of our clients, delivered by myself or my Business Partner, Anouska. As a Business Owner, every day is different and involves multi-tasking and covering a multitude of actions from business development, to monitoring our finances, issuing and chasing invoices, updating our database and website with new clients and new roles and most importantly, finding brilliant talent for our equally brilliant clients who need great staff! It’s busy!
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?
Good question! I imagined myself in a creative, office based job involving some form of writing. I always loved English and drama at school so I wanted to develop these interests. As I started secondary school, I have memories of reading The Sunday Times and Vogue, thinking I wanted to be a fashion journalist.
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
I have a first class degree in Geography from King’s College London.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
I have been given very little career advice from other people. At school, in the only one-to-one meeting I ever had with her, my Head Teacher suggested I might suit working in PR so something must have resonated in me as this comment somehow resulted in a 10 year career working in PR agencies in London and Sydney! The best advice I have had is actually from myself. I listen to my gut instincts and told myself at 32, to not to be afraid to change career direction when a new opportunity arose. I firmly believe there is no point in sticking to something if you're not enjoying it. Life is too short. And if you want to work / have to work, you should do something you believe in, something that will allow you to develop and something that will give you lots of satisfaction.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
All the female business owners who have had the balls to set up on their own, despite not having a guaranteed salary or employment benefits for the foreseeable future.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
Being my own boss and putting all the energy, love and drive into something that I can call my own. Creating something from nothing is seriously empowering and rewarding and I love seeing the business growing and flourishing. It’s truly amazing.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?
Having more down time outside of 9 – 5. It’s very hard to switch off when you are a business owner. There is ALWAYS more to do!
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
As a Founder of a top recruitment agency in the UK, operating in major cities in the UK. I would love to be developing a team who genuinely love coming into work and who share the same values as myself and Anouska – recruitment is all about helping people and solving problems.
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?
Absolutely. Anouska and I both pride ourselves on our honesty and transparency and ‘being ourselves’ all the time, whoever we are dealing with at work. I think these qualities are a big reason why clients and candidates choose to work with us and enjoy it!
WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?
At the moment, Anouska and I share the leadership roles. We are both obviously very hands on with recruitment but naturally our strengths play to myself leading the Operations and Anouska leading Business Development.
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
Diversity is essential in what we do. We always encourage our clients to embrace diversity in the talent they look for. Being based in London, we are blessed with being in one of the most diverse cities in the world so we leverage this as much as possible.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
Getting a little better as time goes on but in the busy periods it can be very hard to switch off! Personally, I know where my limits are and to keep on track, it’s very important to make time for myself and make sure I am getting enough sleep and doing enough exercise. Anouska and I look out for each other and make sure that we maintain an equal level of workload and will always help each other out.
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
Being a people person. It’s essential to be a good communicator and to enjoy working with clients and candidates all day, every day. Finding common ground with people is a great way of connecting quickly and building relationships.
Listening. Communication skills are vital but listening is just as important as talking in this business. Listening to the brief and understanding what people are looking for on both sides of the coin (clients looking for talent vs candidates looking for their dream role), is vital to being a successful recruiter.
Resilience. There is a LOT of rejection in this job so you need to have a thick skin to keep going despite not winning every placement or every client.
Efficiency. It’s a quality we pride ourselves on and sets us apart. Recruitment is about being quick and beating your competitors by finding the best candidates – and finding them fast.
Networking. We are in a people based business which means the more people we meet, the more opportunities there are to meet new clients and candidates so we try and be as sociable and proactive as possible when it comes to networking. It can be tiring but it is always worth it!