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The ‘highs and lows’ of a new career in recruitment

12 April 2018

Having moved from Bath to London for his first full time job, f1 recruitment Junior Associate Johnnie Carpenter talks about the highs and lows of his new career in recruitment.

What were you doing before you joined f1?

I had recently graduated from the University of Sheffield, where I had studied Biochemistry and Genetics. I spent the summer after graduation going on some much-needed lovely holidays, before finding a temporary job at a restaurant in my hometown Bath. This enabled me to save up some money while I looked for a permanent recruitment job in London.

What position did you join f1 as and what was your brief?

I joined as a junior associate, but was chosen to join the freelance and contracts team, as it seemed to fit my scientific background (attention to detail) and personality profile (outgoing!).


What attracted you to the job?

I have always wanted a job that involves interaction with people, and was also attracted by the target-driven pace of work, as well as the high earning potential.


What has been your most awkward or embarrassing moment?

Having the wrong PowerPoint slides loaded for one of the talks at the most recent BAME2020 event when I was in charge of the tech side!


What have you found the most challenging in your first 3 months?

The ultimate lack of control you have over how well you perform – people ie candidates and clients can be very unpredictable!


What did you think would be easy but turned out to be tricky?

Interviewing candidates – I imagined this would come very naturally, and in some ways it does, but I still get quite nervous before every meeting.


What has been your biggest achievement?

Finding out I had placed my first candidate during the Christmas party felt pretty amazing. It was my first financially significant placing, and I managed to bargain for an increase in her salary.


What are the most important things to accomplish in your first three months?

The first three months are mainly about learning, and developing relationships. By the end of the three months you want to have a basic understanding of all aspects of the job, and have gained the confidence to begin acting with more independence. This requires a lot of patience, as you want to be completing deals ASAP, but it’s more important that you have developed your skillset, and taken in as much feedback as possible.


What are your goals going forward?

To gain a completely new client

To triple my fee income this year

To increase the number of sports sector fixed term contract roles we are briefed on.


How can you prepare for a new job before you start?

It’s of course a good idea to read around the subject area of the role, as well as learn as much about the company and their competitors. However, ultimately I feel nothing can really fully prepare you for the world of work – it’s best to just dive in, have a go, and don’t be too afraid of making mistakes.


What advice would you give starting yourself now looking back?

Don’t focus too much on trying to impress everyone, and don’t rush too much at the beginning – quality over quantity.


Have you changed anything about yourself since starting working?

I feel I value my time a lot more, and have learnt to plan more and increase my efficiency.


Where is your go to lunch venue?

I like to mix it up, but I have bought far too many chicken and Halloumi wraps from the world food market in Holborn!