CAREER / 12 July 2017How to Remain Optimistic During the Job Hunt
1. Tell me a bit about yourself and what you do
I started as a recruiter in 2004. Like many other recruiters, I started at recruitment agency where I learned this craft and the basics of how to be a recruiter. Before I started as a recruiter I had no idea what to expect from this job and what recruiters really do. But I quickly fell in love with the diversity of this job and soon saw the benefits of my position. Every day is different and you never know which candidate you are going to meet and which position you will be trying to fill tomorrow.Because I’m also kind of an IT geek, I started my career as an IT recruiter, helping IT companies find their new team members. Currently, I am working as a Senior Recruitment Manager and I am responsible for international Talent Acquisition teams. My main responsibilities are training, mentoring and coaching recruiters on recruiting methodology, cutting-edge sourcing techniques and tools, relationship building, negotiation and closing techniques.
2. Is this something you always saw yourself doing?
When I was growing up, I didn’t even know that recruiting was a profession. Like almost every kid, I hoped that I would become an astronaut and explore space. I hadn’t fulfilled this dream yet, but when I got the opportunity to start as a recruiter I took a chance and I fell in love with it. I am really happy with what I am doing and feel good that I’ve helped many people to change their lives by helping them to find new and better jobs.
3. What are the different career paths someone can take if they want to enter this field?
Most people start as associate recruiters in recruitment agencies when they learn this trade, and some of them quit because they realize that this job is not for them. Some people start in agencies as sourcers (do not confuse this with sorcerers!); they learn how to source candidates from various websites and sources, and they move on to a recruiter role after that. But they can also continue as sourcers. The recruitment field is changing every year. For many years, we’ve been reading about how recruiters will be replaced by Artificial intelligence (AI), but as you can see, we are still here
4. What skill sets do you wish you had learned in college that you didn’t?
There are lots of things that I wish I learned in college. I probably could write a whole book about it, but here are my three main things I wish I had learned: - Learning more languages. There is an old African proverb: “If you want people to understand you, speak their language.” It’s 100 percent correct.- Work/life balance. I wish I had learned the importance of work/life balance; instead, I learned how to balance work and life the hard way. - How to handle failure, that it is OK to fail, and that failing is an essential part of success. Most colleges celebrate only those who are successful and have good grades. But it would have been valuable for me if I learned during my studies how to just fail quickly, learn, adjust the process, and start over again. Because beating yourself up over mistakes only wastes time. This could have saved me lots of time.
5. Any final words of wisdom for those who are just beginning their careers?
Your career will have some ups and downs, but don’t give up easily and always try to fight; the experience you will get from fighting will help you a lot in the future. And don’t compare your career or life with others; this advice will save you lots of time and energy. Just because you are not making progress as fast as others does not mean that you are not making any progress at all. Just stay focused, and in the end, you will go further than others because you are not going to be distracted by them.
6. Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
One question that most candidates hate hearing is, “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” To be honest, I don’t have any special plan for another 10, 15, or 20 years of where I want to be. I just hope that after another 10 years I will still be doing a job that I love, and a job that will still give me a sense of purpose and satisfaction. I hope I’m working in a job that is one of the reasons I wake up every day and not the reason why I would like to stay at bed.
7. If you could have only one type of food for the rest of your life - what would it be?
As a foodie, it’s really hard for me to choose only one type of food. But I would definitely choose Asian cuisine, and my choice of food that I could see myself eating for the rest of my life is Bún bò Nam Bộ. (in Vietnamese, meaning Southern Beef Vermicelli)
Jan is a results‐oriented Talent Acquisition Leader with extensive experience in full life cycle recruiting, and broad knowledge in international recruiting, sourcing, recruitment branding, marketing and pro-active innovative sourcing techniques. He is a trainer, coach, and blogger who believes that recruitment is a great field and he is constantly trying to make it better.