New Year, New Me…Or Authentic Me?

05 January 2024

So here we are in the foothills of 2024! We are awash with various predictions about the future 12 months which may or may not pan out – a bit like the weather forecast.

And, many of you like me will be working on your over-ambitious resolutions to be a better version of yourself. On that, I lean in the camp of the Daily Telegraph journalist, Bryony Gordon who wrote this week: “I hope you’re not planning on changing a goddamn thing just because it’s January” and “the best resolution you can make this year is to be fearlessly, unapologetically you”.

I am a great believer in being yourself. One of the hardest aspects of my job as a recruiter is to share negative feedback with a candidate who has been unsuccessful in an interview, particularly at a second or final stage. Invariably, the feedback falls into two camps: fit or chemistry with the in-house or agency team being the primary one. This is a toughie as few of us will know the real essence of a team without being inside it so there is not much you can do here apart from be yourself. There is also the ED&I perspective that teams will benefit from recruiting outside their “type” to bring in fresh ideas and ways of working that engage more widely and appeal beyond the “typical” employee. This is not happening as much as it should – and hopefully will – yet.

The second most common feedback is where a candidate has not offered up good examples to illustrate their experience and skills. This is an area of preparation where you really can impress. I recommend three different examples that clearly show a client how great you are (not your old team). You should work and practice your case studies and test them with trusted pals and/or colleagues. I remember when I was guilty of under-prep myself with a headhunter who kindly shared her thoughts – when I asked – that I was “woolly and unstructured” and I was forever grateful.

Most clients rush on through recruitment without sharing any feedback so the learning can be limited. Where it is offered, I encourage you to embrace it but not be knocked back by it. The internal (change) communications and employee engagement talent pool is wide and deep and if you have done good work before, you will do so again. In a crowded and slow market, it pays to stand out as friendly, well prepared and keen, and if you can develop how you sell yourself, you may be surprised with what you can achieve.

I recently had to push myself to record a video for our recently relaunched website. It’s not slick but it is “unapologetically me” and with some light editing, it does the job! To wrap my New Year post, I am sharing a link to said introduction video:

I hope 2024 is a great year for you.

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