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How I changed career & became a Recruitment Consultant

06th September 2017

I started my career as a receptionist in 1999, my first proper job with a uniform. I laugh when I think about it, I was thrilled with myself. I was there over 3 years, but I knew I wanted to be out and about in some sort of role dealing with people so I got a job as a check-in agent for Aer Lingus. I loved the glamour of the job, the buzz of the airport and meeting various kinds of people. Unfortunately, after September the 11th, I found myself made redundant.

I was devastated and found myself back in a reliable back office job. I couldn't settle and after a few years, I went back to the airport to work for Ryanair, again as a check-in agent. I loved it, but being young and carefree, I decided to move to London.

Working in London

In London, I interviewed with a well-known agency for secretarial work and the consultant asked If I’d be interested in working for them as a candidate resourcer.  I always thought you needed a degree for a job like this, but low and behold, I became a candidate resourcer. It was brilliant - I was getting paid to meet and chat with people every day. It didn't feel like a job at all.
After a few months, due to unforeseen circumstances, I returned to Dublin and fell back into my usual, safe administration role. Although I really enjoyed this role I longed for more of a challenge. I believe everything happens for a reason and after 5 years with them I was made redundant. It was the first time in my career I was out of work for a long period of time and to be honest, it was a rough 6 months.  

The switch to recruitment

I felt lost without a job, then I saw an advertisement for a junior recruitment consultant role with an international firm. It sounded amazing and I pictured myself working there. I thought I was just dreaming, as the role required a degree but I applied anyway. I sent my CV and as I knew they would have gotten a lot of applications I thought I'd stand out by calling to ensure they received my CV. After I made that call, I was selected for interview.  
I was offered the role as a junior recruitment consultant. It was a fantastic company and I received in depth training in their London office on the entire recruitment process.  I excelled there and was made a senior consultant in January 2017.  After 6 years, I was comfortable in my role and my colleagues and management were so supportive, but late last year, I felt I needed a change.  

Working at Cpl

I have a mortgage so the fear kept me from looking for another job, but then an opportunity came up with Cpl. I met Richard Minchin and the Office Support team and I knew this company was for me. I never thought I'd have the courage to leave my old job, I kept thinking what if it doesn't work out and I have a mortgage to pay but then I thought what if it does - it could be the best decision I've ever made.  
Everyone in Cpl is just so friendly and there's a great buzz in the office. The Cpl systems are second to none and with their well-established name in the Dublin market, I am inundated with roles from clients so there's no high volume cold calling required. I also love the social aspect of the job as there's always some event taking place with the social club. If you're looking to make a career move either into recruitment or otherwise I say, "face your fear and go for it". I know I haven't looked back. 

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About the Author

Deirdre O'Dowd

Senior Consultant

Office Support

Deirdre has over 10 years’ experience working in secretarial/office support roles and is currently a senior consultant in the office support team in CPL, focusing on permanent recruitment. She takes pride in providing excellent customer service to both candidates and clients. 

Deridre's experience working as a candidate resourcer in the London market inspired an interest in working as a consultant when she returned home to Dublin. She has over 6 years’ experience sourcing quality office support talent for a variety of companies across financial services and commerce & industry.

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