Expert Opinion Insights

Career Notes from a Recruiter in 2020: Focus on Who You Are, Not What You Do

August 30, 2020

Words by Brandon Nguyen | Her Economy Girl @rozmuhree

When you meet someone for the first time (whether in public, in a social context, or an interview), the first thing you are likely to be asked is ‘tell me about yourself’. As humans, our default response we generally refer to is sharing information about where we work and what our role entails. However, instead of focusing on our job, we should instead focus on what truly makes us unique as individuals.

2020: A Year of Personal Change

Ever since my role as a recruiter was made redundant in late July 2020, I had the time to really reflect on who I am as a person, and what makes me, me. Throughout my career, having talked to candidates, friends, and colleagues, one thing they consistently referred me to as, was being ‘the face of the firm’, which I was a part of.

However, what I truthfully wanted was for them to remember me for who I was, my character, and what I loved to do outside of work.

Ever since working from home from March due to the ongoing pandemic, as interactions moved from in-person meeting rooms to video calls, one thing became really clear to me – I started to learn more and appreciate the people I worked with beyond their roles.

Personal attributes such as learning about their kids and pets, or new skills they had acquired over time (from cooking, to gardening and decorating), allowed me to focus on what makes that person who they are.

The New Normal

COVID-19 has uprooted some of the certainties that we may have previously taken for granted in life, such as:

  • Socialising with friends and families on a regular basis
  • Eating out in restaurants/cafes
  • Being together in a physical university/school classroom

However, one thing I will always be grateful for during this time, is the ability to learn and understand what makes a person who they truly are, and not define them based on what they do. Being able to focus on building a genuine relationship with those I interacted with, has made me grateful for the time and trust people have shared over time.

We, as individuals, know ourselves best, and maybe this is a defining moment in our time where we realise that a job is there to help provide for you, not define you.

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