My first experience of career guidance was in my sixth form at school. From what I recall, and it was a while ago, the advice I was given was “Pass your A levels and go to Uni. If you fail get a job at Natwest or Midland.” That was it. Looking back, nobody asked me what I wanted to do, what interested me or what excited me. Fast forward to 2014 and the career transition support we provide people couldn’t be further from that rather pitiful help I received all those years ago.
Anyway, I’m pleased to say I didn’t listen. I wanted to work in advertising. It looked fun, glamorous and exciting. After a spell in the media I landed a fantastic job with one of the most creative recruitment ad agencies of the time. And I can honestly say it lived up to the fun and exciting bit – not sure about glamorous though! During the 90s I was helping my clients plan and implement advertising strategies to attract what we used to refer to as the ‘casual browser’ and ‘passive job seeker.’ As we headed in to the 00s my conversations with clients began to change. We were talking less about advertising and more about employer branding. And of course, the internet was beginning to transform how candidates found employers and, critically, vice versa.
I learnt a lot during my time in recruitment comms. First and foremost, it was clear that attracting talent into an organisation is only part of the story. Managing, developing and engaging talent is how the really successful businesses gain an edge.
At the back end of 2011 I joined Chiumento. I’d met Ian Gooden way back in the 80s at Austin Knight (hands up who remembers AK) and I am living proof that networking can be the most successful of routes to a new job. Chiumento was a breath of fresh air for me having worked in large scale agencies and consultancies. Agile, nimble and flexible – it’s a business that is equally adept at delivering very big as well as very small projects. And I like that.
My client-facing role is to ensure we develop a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and are able to design and implement solutions that make measurable difference and are aligned to their corporate goals. My management responsibility is to ensure Chiumento’s talent consultancy continues to delivers a quality service to our clients and commercial success to the business.
Outside work I’m a family man with a love of getting out on the fells of the Peaks, Lakes and Dales. And seeing Palace finish mid-table in the premier league this season against all the odds has been very, very enjoyable. Just shows the power of hard work, belief and teamwork!