Sometimes, the grass is actually greener on the other side.
Our Melbourne Development Consultant, Alex Milligan, reflects back on 2020.

With time to reflect back on 2020 over the Christmas/New Year break I had to really think and understand why I’ve had such a good ending to such a mega shit year. Yes, we came out of lockdown in Melbourne, yes the pubs opened, yes we could fly domestically again…but non of these were the main reason why (although they did help a bit).

To cut to the chase a huge part of this for me was joining Just Digital People. Now I’m not just saying this because I currently work at JDP and I’m trying to get brownie points by writing about it, but life has been f*cking good for a number of reasons and I hope people can take things from this regardless of their profession.

The first thing that comes to my mind is values – I’ve come to realise that you need to work for a business that has the same values and beliefs as you do. Throughout my recruitment career I’ve certainly come up against barriers or “red tape” with those superior to me, and for those who know me I’m definitely not the unreasonable type (I hope not anyway). I’ve always believed in doing the best/right thing for the client or the candidate in order to sustain a long term relationship and therefore continue doing business together. Makes sense right?

The second thing is find a place that invests into their employees in order to help them succeed – maybe I’ve had a rough run I don’t know, but after joining JDP I was a bit overwhelmed all the tools they gave me in order to get to where I want to be. And yet as time goes on, they’re constantly trying to innovate, step away from the crowd, and be a recruitment business that everyone wants to be associated with internally and externally. In a separate point to investing in people, after the pandemic I’m sure a lot of businesses regardless of industry cut back on their festive celebrations. But to get flown up from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, put up in an insane AirBnB for a week, and then taken out on the Christmas party all day in Brisbane with the rest of the head office up there, really showed to me that I’m working with an owner who puts his team’s happiness above anything else.

Now referring back to values/beliefs slightly on this one, but just be a normal f*cking person! For me, long gone are the days of the corporate IT recruiter in the 3 piece suit who writes emails like “Hello Mr/Mrs Client, I’d like to bring to your attention that the incumbent we have established within your shortlist filed away in your compendium that I previously attached in my email for your pursual…” you get the gist. Sorry for the old cliché but people buy people, so be yourself. If you were out until 3am on Saturday night or did something more interesting than saying “ah yeah just a quiet one again” then let them know. And even if you did have a quiet one what series did you binge on, what did you cook, where did you take the dog for a walk? A bit of a rant that bit wasn’t it, but what I’m trying to say is that it’s great to finally be who I want to be when speaking with my network, and if that’s not a happy recruiter I don’t know what is.

My next point is more around making a plan and sticking to it. This one seems really basic but I’ve seen it get messed up a lot. But to make a plan on how you’re going to achieve your goals, stick to it, and do the basics of your job really well whilst being a good human can make great things happen in any walk of life. However too often I’ve seen businesses try and reinvent the wheel, shift the goal posts, and end up back at square one. Making it a really unpleasant and stressful experience for everyone involved. So to summarise I’d say just find a company that shares the same vision as you do in terms of what you think is right.

If you’ve read this far by the way, thank you. Blogs can be a bit boring or annoying to read sometimes, especially when they’re by a recruiter!

I guess my last point which has been a big learning curve for me is online presence, branding and good content. The way I was trained in recruitment was if you’re not on the phone then what are you doing? But since starting with JDP I’ve really learnt that if you put a small amount of time to one side here and there to put some real effort into a LinkedIn post, it goes a lot further than you think. Now I’m certainly not branding myself as the king of good content (I’m far from), and everyone has their own opinion on what they believe good content is, but LinkedIn is a funny old place isn’t it. Fake stories on how Terry hired the homeless man from 7-Eleven on his commute to work at 4am because money never sleeps and this man is now the CEO of their own million dollar business because he took him under his wing, which somehow ends up with 100k plus likes. Below is an absolute classic. But what my point is that being more than that person that posts a job ad (I’m not against this obviously) or quotes an article and puts the link underneath (my least favourite), can really make your life as a lot easier and help you engage with your network on a new level.

To sum this up it’s always worth now and then to take a step back and see if you’ve got your ducks in a row, and if not see how you can change that. Because as Ricky Gervais once said - we’ll all be dead one day, forever, so make sure you have a great day.

I hope some of you out there got something from my official blogging debut, any feedback positive or negative feel free to let me know. If anyone needs me I’ll be checking my followers to see how many 1000’s more people have added me since this post…I did try to add in some dark humour here to keep it fresh but when you live in a world of keyboard warrior Karen’s you’ve got to be careful these days.

Wishing everyone all the best for 2021!