The HR Juggler

Day 30: Confessions

Posted on: December 30, 2012


Today’s post is by Ed Scrivener, recruiter extraordinaire, blogger and curator of the popular and useful Human Resources UK group on LinkedIn. You can find him on Twitter @ScrivRec.


I chose not to compete with Alison’s advent calendar this year, as I know when I’m beaten! But the theme is extremely relevant for me as this year has been packed full of experiences that definitely need to be reflected upon and whilst I’ve never been an advocate of resolutions (as many others have written, I simply cannot stick to these false goals!), there are definitely aspects that I need to put into practice for the future.

To set the scene I would advise you read this imagining Simon Mayo’s confessions music playing in the background…

2012 has been a mixed year for me and certainly professionally has had some real highs and lows (remember that music). My career for the last 10 years up until July of this year had been as a recruitment consultant. After the company of worked for went into liquidation in 2009 I became self-employed and for a large part of the time thoroughly enjoyed it. However, by the middle part of this year I had come to the very difficult decision to close the business and go in a different direction. I had become disillusioned by agency recruitment as I was convinced there is a better way of recruiting and I decided to focus on the direct recruitment process. In order to find the right role I had to walk a fine balancing act, as whilst actively searching I would only move for the right role, so I felt it only right not to publicise the fact nor seek advice from my network. Nevertheless I ended up accepted an opportunity with an award winning business within a few weeks of starting my search.

Within a few months I would realise these were 3 major errors on my part.

I joined a business with the intention of consulting with organisations to help shape their resourcing process. Whilst I still value the service of this company, for a range of reasons the remit did not materialise. After 5 months I realised I could not continue anymore, it wasn’t the right role for me and I needed to move on. Reflecting upon this maybe I was swept up in the speed of the initial recruitment process and didn’t take the time to fully consider the opportunity. I have realised I needed to take a step back and detach myself from the process to make an unbiased decision. So resolution number 1 is to ensure this doesn’t happen again!

Once I had made the decision to leave I went a step further and handed in my notice without a role to go to. Looking back I failed to use one of my strengths I value most, namely my network. Very few people knew I was looking last time round, but boy am I making up for that now! I am delighted to say I am being referred numerous opportunities by my network and I am confident I will make the transition into in-house recruitment shortly. So my next resolution is to make sure I seek peoples’ advice and opinions in future.

My final error and definitely my largest, is that I already knew all of this. I have been giving people this advice for nearly 10 years. In this instance I definitely didn’t see the wood for the trees, so my final resolution is to practice what I preach.

Whilst it has been a challenging year professionally, it has still been one of my best years to date. Despite those challenges I wouldn’t change a thing. I have learnt more than any other year and I am a firm believer it is better to regret something you have done than regret something you haven’t. More importantly I have had a fantastic year with my family and seeing my daughter grow up is a joy to behold. Furthermore the year was just topped off with the news that my second child is on his/her way early next year. I truly value my career and want to continue my success, but this year has firmly cemented my view that the most rewarding element of my life is by far my family.

End music…

3 Responses to "Day 30: Confessions"

The comedian Peter Cook was once asked about his failures etc and he replied “asked about my failures, I could repeat them all accurately” 🙂

Good also to hear that you used the time to do things which cannot be repeated with your family. Knowing the difference between urgent and important is very wise in changing times.

Thanks for a very frank and open invite into your year Ed. Hoping that 2013 gives you some better choices.


Thanks Peter. I have a very good feeling that next year will be a great year, so I hope it is for you too.

Thanks Alison for posting my warbling!

I’m drawn to your point about seeking advice and opinion. I feel that we are increasingly being driven towards a coaching culture where the only right answer is one you’ve had coached out of you. I can see where that is helpful and equally – there are times when we just want to get told eh? Nicely done. Good luck.

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