Tell us more about what you do for work, and how you first got into it.
I’m a recruitment consultant, so my role is to find a match between employers and employees. I’ve been doing this for about three years now.
I first got into this line of work because I wanted to do something meaningful with a sustainable income. Previously, I was working in a social enterprise that hired hearing impaired staff, so when the opportunity to be a recruitment consultant popped up, I decided to go for it and give it a try.
The work is really meaningful to me because we talk to many people in need of jobs daily, and we get to hear their stories and their challenges, like whether they’re unhappy in their current job, or if they’re being underpaid. But we don’t just provide a listening ear, we get to help them find a better job as well, which they’re usually very, very appreciative of. In fact, some of them have even offered to take us out for a meal to say thank you, or have even asked if they can come down to the office to thank us in person.
Of course, on the employer’s side, it can be difficult to find the right employee match in terms of skill set and personality, so it feels good to be able to help both employers and employees in this aspect.
What’s one misconception most people would have about your job?
People think that we only help them to find a job so that we can earn a commission, but that’s not the case at all. A lot of hard work goes into shortlisting potential candidates, especially when a single job ad can receive up to 50 or 100 applicants, much less finding the perfect candidate for the job.
Whenever we hear comments like these from applicants, we tend not to select or shortlist them, because if they’re bold enough to say such things to us, they’ll definitely be capable of saying worse things to their future boss. It doesn’t speak well about their character.
What are the similarities and differences between working at a social enterprise and in a corporate job?
Wow, I don’t even know where to start (laughs). I think the similarity is that in both, I’m value-adding to the lives of the people that I help. I guess the biggest difference would the types of people that we help, and the scale on which we’re able to help these people.
In a social enterprise, I help the minority by giving them employment opportunities, which would be a total of about 10-20 people I would say. On the other hand, in corporate, I help the masses by matching and linking them up with employers, which would be a total of a few hundred or more people.
Outside of work, are there any particular habits or rituals that you have?
I like to journal, and I sit down every week to pen down reflections. I think over the course of my life, or at least since I picked up this habit, I’ve amassed over 12 journals full of my reflections.
I reflect on many things, especially the mistakes that I make in my daily life. I think back on what I did, any shortcomings of mine that I’ve noticed, and any consequences that I’ve had to face because of my actions, and then I write them down so that I’ll remember them for the rest of my life, and not make the same mistakes twice.
How do you think journaling helps you in your daily life?
Apart from processing my mistakes, journaling is also a way for me to review my dreams and my goals, and to keep track of my achievements, both big and small. It also allows me to release any thoughts or emotions that I have, and that I can’t share with others because of confidentiality.
For example, as a recruitment consultant, I mentioned that we get to hear a lot about how people are treated at their jobs, and the problems that our clients are facing in terms of their jobs, but we can’t share this information with anybody else because it’s private and confidential. I can’t even talk about it with my family, so I just write it down in my journal.
What’s one life lesson or quote that you always hold onto?
There’s this one thing that I heard from someone a while back, either one of my friends or someone in my family, and it’s that one person alone cannot help the whole world, but one person alone can help another person.
So I guess even if we have a full-time job and a ton of responsibilities in life, we can still value-add to the people around us, like our colleagues for instance. For me, I’m fortunate to be surrounded with people who are givers, not receivers, so I learn a lot from them about what it means to go above and beyond for others. Even if it’s not convenient for you, just try to help someone in need.