Becoming a Team Lead
I’ve been here for five and a half years now. The first three months of my journey were a learning curve. I was scared of picking up the phone and saying the wrong thing, but my manager explained to me that unless I was being rude to candidates I had nothing to worry about, and that if I forgot to ask a question, I could always call them again. I applied myself and made two placements during my probation period. I then had a small period where I didn’t place anyone and then I had two full years placing candidates month after month, which is quite an achievement.
There were other challenges: Around Christmas time, businesses make changes, and this industry isn’t any different. The first Christmas I was here, I had around 17 contractors working for me and in a space of a few weeks I lost about 10 of them, either because they handed over their notice or they had been let go by the client. It was difficult, but I recognised that it was out of my control and I stayed positive, building the number of contractors again. I set myself a goal to get to 20 contractors the following year so I could be promoted to Senior Consultant. I did reach my target and got the promotion I was looking for. My manager then suggested that I should consider becoming a Team Lead – it took a while to hit all the targets for that but I was promoted again at the start of the year.
What do you like about being a Team Lead?
I like watching people grow and develop at work. Being a Team Lead isn’t easy because you have a group of people to guide, mentor and to look after, and they are often a priority over your own work. You must help them keep positive and motivated, even when you are not having a great day yourself. It is like having children in a way – you feel proud about their achievements. I like my team, I care about them and I know they care about me too. We are a team.
What has been your biggest challenge as a Team Lead?
Not taking everything to heart. Seeing people frustrated, demotivated or being negative is really hard to watch, but I had to understand that part of my team’s learning process is to fail. I try to motivate my team, but I always tell them that they have to be the ones with the drive to succeed and that only they can motivate themselves. It’s on them to look at their work and accept when they might require further training, for example. Learning isn’t embarrassing or a failure, it’s an opportunity to refresh knowledge or to develop something skills. I personally would get training every day if I could, why not? It’s something that you can take advantage of. Naturally, I want to protect them, but as I learned on our internal Leadership Programm, I need to take a step back and let them fall so they come back stronger.
What has been your biggest achievement?
After my two year run of back to back placements I was one of the top five billers of the year. I was also the top female biller in the company. I never thought that is something I could have achieved.
What do you like the most about Whitehall?
Everything. I like the training opportunities provided through our Learning & Development team but also how great the support system is in general. I can talk to the managers if I need help resolving and issue, or I can talk to HR if I need advice. Recruitment is a stressful industry, but Whitehall is an easy place to work. Everyone is different and unique, and everyone here accepts you for who you are. There is no mould or standard to fit, it is very inclusive, and they try to help everyone to their own needs. You can simply be yourself.
What is next for you?
Keep learning, keep enjoying my work, not losing hope or feeling I failed because I haven’t been able to help someone. Keep encouraging people who want to take their next career step. Be proud of that and enjoy it. I’d also like to become Senior Team Lead which will mean growing and developing a successful team even further.