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Stepping out of my comfort zone - my transition from an accountant to a recruitment consultant

​Have you ever made major life-changing decisions in your career? Have you ever had the courage to step out of your comfort zone in your profession?

I am sure everyone would at a certain point in their career, whether it is engaging in a new initiative, joining a new company or starting your own businesses.  According to career change statistics, a person will change their careers 5-7 times on average during their life. There would be excitement and learning, also self-doubt, uncertainty and exhaustion. One thing I observed that will always hold true, however, is that with perseverance, determination, dedication and hard work, you will yield a fruitful outcome. 

Personally, my career goal has been nothing out of the ordinary. Born and raised in Hong Kong, I have complied with social expectations and followed the traditional education and career path for the “safest choice” - to graduate with a Bachelor in Accounting, obtain a professional qualification, start a career in a prestigious corporation, and aim to become a manager, then a partner and get rich… 

Meanwhile, things didn’t quite go as planned. After 2 years as a Tax Accountant, I discovered my personality and strengths weren’t best suited to be an accountant. I enjoyed talking to clients but was not number-sensitive enough compared with most of my peers. I liked driving new initiatives over doing tasks requiring high precision. I would like to follow my heart when I am still young, to go beyond the ordinary to reach the extraordinary. Thus, I have made the important decision to step away from an accounting career and start a new chapter as a recruitment consultant - a job that I was curious about, that my MBTI test suggested I would be most suited for (as an ENFP/J), and that I could possibly make good money and achieve new heights.  (Feel free to do your own free MBTI assessment test here.)

Similar to what most people would experience, the change and transition to a new career was not easy. People outside of the industry may often view the job of a recruitment consultant to be as simple as making a few phone calls a day, sending messages on LinkedIn and scheduling causal coffee meetups...But is that the case?

It couldn’t be further from the truth! In reality, it requires hard work, dedication and perseverance to be a successful and persistent consultant. It may mean that loads of your personal time would be utilised in a bid to promptly solve queries from candidates and clients; you may face numerous push-backs, rejections and challenging conversations on a daily basis; and if you have the ambition to enhance your credibility and gain trust from your stakeholders, you would need to push yourself hard and spend a great deal of effort and time to absorb industry knowledge and polish your professionalism.

It’s no secret that the past two years have been exceptionally tough for the entire recruitment industry. The job market has become highly client-oriented, meaning we need to do exceptionally well to win businesses, and at the same time gain trust from high performing candidates and ensure both parties of a smooth recruitment process. Only the best stays, and agility and persistence have been the key to sustaining.

Despite all the challenges, the job satisfaction for being a recruitment consultant has exceeded my expectations. Over the past few years, I am honored to have gained trust from clients and candidates, some of which have yielded long-term friendships and relationships. It has been a pleasure to be recognised on work achievements through successful placements and services, especially this year. And the absolute best gift for me has always been the appreciation from different parties. I feel my work most valuable when I could provide balanced and unbiased options to both candidates and clients via my role as a middle-person, keeping all parties well informed and getting meaningful and mutually beneficial results.

Throughout my career transition, I felt my decision of stepping out of my comfort zone has been a blissful one. I remained thankful to all my current and ex-colleagues, bosses, candidates and clients that I have had the pleasure to work with, which definitely include those from my first job as it provided me with such wonderful exposure to work in an international corporate environment and relate myself to candidates from my background.

I cannot wait to achieve higher heights in my recruitment life. Let’s go beyond and make no regrets in your profession. 

If you would like to know more about the corporate governance job market, please reach out to me at kyung@argyllscott.com.hk.

Posted over 3 years ago
About the author:
Karen Yung

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