How I Went From Designer to Recruiter

26 June 2018 Mark Abbott

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I moved to Sydney from NYC six years ago. The first two were spent by exploring every pocket of land I could hitch a ride to and picking up freelance design gigs to support my new coffee and tim tam addictions; I was surviving.

Approaching the two-year mark I was granted PR. It was then when I would start a job search that would completely change my career. For each hour a day I would spend on Seek, I found myself receiving 20 calls from recruiters wanting to talk to me. I was confused to say the least, but kept asking myself, "Why would anyone pay a recruiter to find someone they could easily find themselves?". Especially when the recruiters I chatted with on the phone didn't seem to have a clue about the job they had posted. How could this be?

After meeting with multiple recruitment agencies and chatting with what seemed like thousands of recruiters, I was about to give up. Then realising my funds were running low, I decided to keep the search on in a desperate attempt to find a perm role. I got a call from a recruiter who said she had a unique opportunity for me and invited me to meet with her. I obliged and met up with her the next day to discuss this so called "opportunity”.

THE OPPORTUNITY: Keeping this short, I met with the owner of a recruitment agency who asked if I had ever considered being a recruiter. I choked, thinking to myself that every recruiter I've come across couldn't even tell me the different between Photoshop and Illustrator. Why would I want to be labelled a Recruiter? I figured that since I made the trip to Chatswood, I might as well hear her out. She went on to explain to me why my experience could prove to be valuable as a Digital Recruiter. A digital what? I'm not sure if it was my desperation or her unique way of selling which led me to agreeing to interviewing, but I went ahead anyway.

THE INTERVIEW: I like to wear clothes that suit my mood. Comfortably creative I like to call it. Basically I'm not wearing a suit; EVER. To my surprise, that was how most others were dressed when I entered the office at Interactiveinc for the first time. Beyond a relaxed atmosphere, I learned that Interactiveinc was interested in me because of my design background, industry knowledge and confident communication skills. After learning more about what a Digital Recruiter does, I was interested and felt this was the challenged I've been looking for. I've moved across the globe, so why not move my career direction? After a few interviews, an offer and a signed contract... I became a Digital Recruiter.

TRANSFORMATION: A year has gone by as my transformation from Designer to Digital Recruiter is complete and I have to say, it has been one hell of a ride.Day 1: WTF? Week 1: WTF? Week 3: I need to drink more.

I'm not going to lie, it wasn't easy, but I knew that I could do a better job than most of the recruiters who once embarrassed themselves on the phone with me. I was right. It was only a matter of time before I was placing incredible talent with their dream jobs and all the while impressing my clients with my new found capable skills as a Digital Recruiter. I've taken my passion for people, combined with my industry expertise and well here I am at Week 52: Success!

This overall experience has led me to an exciting new career which I am constantly challenged and excited to come to work. I may not look or act like your average recruiter, but in this case... I say it's a good thing!