After graduating from the University of Warwick this July, I was faced with a cloud of uncertainty. Although the past three years were an incredible experience, they’d brought me no closer to deciding which career I wanted to pursue. With graduation looming, the time for procrastination was over. I needed to spring into action. After a panicked meeting with a careers advisor, some rampant searching on google and a large amount of self-reflection, I discovered three things. The first was that as an outgoing individual, a client-facing career would befit me greatly. Next, I realised that my primary motivator is income (and it’s not a bad thing to admit). Lastly, I concluded that I’m adverse to stagnancy, therefore needed to work someplace fast-paced and challenging. Armed with this knowledge, the answer finally seemed clear. I started to look for a job in Recruitment.
Within three weeks of beginning my search, I landed a role at Paramount Recruitment as an Executive Resourcer, covering the US Pharmaceutical Advertising Market. This opportunity was as exciting as it was daunting. Not only was this my first taste of Recruitment, but it was also my first (real) job. I knew nothing about office life, let alone how to navigate the US healthcare marketing sphere. Expectations at Paramount are high, and I sit at a pod surrounded by Consultants who are experts in their field. But rather than view this as intimidating, I see it as a rare advantage to learn from the best, something I’ve truly been benefitting from. From day one I’ve been able to learn the best Recruitment practises from people with demonstrated success. The vital lessons? Don’t cut corners. Ever. Urgency is key. Time management is one of the most important skills to have. Ultimately, if you put effort into everything you do and maintain a solid level of consistency, you’ll soon find yourself reaping the rewards.
As a resourcer, my responsibility is to source and screen high quality candidates for our clients. The process is then taken over by a Consultant, who handles the client interaction and completes the placement. I was paired with an extremely successful Senior Principal Consultant who took the time to teach me all about the market and what exactly was expected of me. He’s been a brilliant mentor throughout, imparting valuable guidance wherever possible and doing his utmost to ensure I fulfil my potential. He offers constructive criticism when necessary (and believe me, it’s necessary sometimes!) and balances this with praise, always recognising my contribution and effort. With support such as this I was able to truly hit the ground running, making calls to candidates in only my second week. I quickly became familiar with LinkedIn Recruiter, our primary platform for sourcing candidates, and was able to start putting together decent projects. I genuinely enjoyed (and still do!) going to work each day, and I felt confident in my ability to succeed in such an encouraging environment. By way of confirmation, within six weeks of working at Paramount I’d assisted in my first placement! The pride I felt that day was unmatched, and I knew one thing for certain: a career in Recruitment was definitely the right choice.
Of course, my experience thus far hasn’t been without its challenges. On my first day I began the daunting task of learning the US healthcare advertising market. Not only did this involve becoming familiar with our clients, their competitors, and the different roles we recruit for, but also understanding what exactly healthcare marketing is. Growing up in the UK where the only medication I’d ever seen advertised was hay fever tablets and headache gel, the pharmaceutical industry was completely alien to me. I truly had no idea how to navigate it. But, after some thorough training sessions, plenty of market research and endless searches on LinkedIn Recruiter, I gained a solid understanding of the market and any trepidation I once felt quickly vanished.
My preferred method of learning has always been to get stuck in, and luckily that’s exactly what I was able to do at Paramount. Soon I was able to list dozens of US healthcare marketing agencies off the top of my head, just by having gone through the resourcing process several times. Speaking to candidates and pitching various clients to them became easier each time. Each conversation I had taught me more about the pharmaceutical advertising industry. Things started to click, and I quickly understood the complexities and responsibilities of each role I was recruiting for. If I’m being honest, the most confusing parts were all the abbreviations! HCP, DTC, GCS, ACD… letters I’d never heard strung together before starting at Paramount. I felt somewhat rattled on my first day, wondering how I would ever wrap my head around all these new terms, doubtful that I’d ever learn them all. By now they’ve been successfully weaved into my vocabulary, which serves to confuse my friends and family when I tell them all about my job!
Alas, rejection is something I’ve become well acquainted with. I was warned by many that this might be the case, but that didn’t do much to dull its sting. Candidates can be fickle, and even the most promising placements can fall through. I’ve been frustrated, disappointed and downright upset. All you can do is shake it off, regroup and start all over again. Luckily, there’s a silver lining; with failure comes resilience. Each disappointment punctures a little less, which contributes not only to growth within my career, but also to my personal development. I’m stronger than I was when I started three months ago, and for that I can only be grateful. Recruitment comes with highs and lows. Fortunately, the success is well worth the rejection. Ultimately, I’ve come to learn that recruitment is high effort, high reward. The hours can be long, and I’ve already done my share of late-night calls. A 5-hour time difference between us and our clients means I make sure to stay readily available. I’m often met by incredulity when I tell my friends I have some work to do at 10pm. But with each target I hit, I’m reminded of why I chose to work at Paramount. Success is an incomparable feeling and it’s always worth the effort.
Additionally, I can’t stress enough what a fantastic place Paramount is to work. The culture here is genuinely great, very relaxed and encouraging. The team is small and close-knit; everyone truly wishes the best for their colleagues (though we’re not without our friendly competition!). We’re all thoroughly rewarded for our hard work, with regular team outings and incentives to look forward to throughout the year – in fact, many of my friends have made envious remarks about what a great place Paramount seems to be. Dan and Eugene (our CEO and Director, respectively) are wonderful. They work on the floor with us and truly show how much they care, often stopping by our desks for chats and to share their praise. It’s really encouraging and inspires me to work even harder.
Overall I can honestly say I look forward to working each day, a luxury I know if not afforded to all. I’m incredibly fortunate to have started my career here and been given the opportunity to learn from the best, evidenced in my contributions thus far. Since starting in late August, I’ve made four placements and am extremely happy with the progress I’ve made. I’m so grateful to everyone at Paramount for making me feel welcome, offering useful advice whenever they can and celebrating each success as if it was their own. If you’re thinking about joining us, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Reach out to anyone on the team for more information – they’re a lovely bunch, and anyone would be happy to chat! Click here to find out more about Paramount Recruitment and see all our vacancies.
Sian Juy-Pareja - Executive Resourcer