Oyster News

Life Lessons Learnt from 15 years at Oyster

Hannah Clarke

Director of People & Operations

Jun 14, 2024

15 years. That’s a long time to be in a job, isn’t it? Google tells me that the average tenure in a job is between 2-4 years these days but, I’ll be honest, I never thought I’d be here for 15 months, let alone a decade and a half.

So, let’s roll it back to 2009. The Black Eyed Peas released Boom Boom Pow. Michael Jackson died. Swine flu became a real thing. Barack Obama became the 44th US President and it was the summer that I joined Oyster.

Over the years colleagues became friends. Friends became family. Candidates became clients. Clients became candidates. Engagements. Weddings. First babies and second babies. Covid. Promotions. Qualifications. Losing loved ones. Milestone birthdays *ahem*. Did I mention Covid?

I’ve laughed so hard I’ve cried. I’ve cried so hard it hurt. And I’ve learnt. A lot. So here it is, 15 lessons I’ve learnt from 15 years at Oyster. Enjoy.

  1. Get over it. Get on with it. The mark of a great recruiter is someone who can have a bad call and bounce back from it. Don’t let a bad call become a bad hour, then a bad day, then a bad week, then a bad month… you get the point? Don’t let it the negatives spiral out of control. Draw a line under it and move on.

  2. No response is a response - with clients, candidates & colleagues, actually scrap that, people in general. If they wanted to reply, they would. If people aren’t replying to you, look at yourself for the reason why and change tact.

  3. Mind over matter - Mindset is everything. If you think you’ll do it, you will and I can easily relate this to my everyday work life with targets and deals. It honestly doesn’t matter if you are chasing a temp starter, running a marathon or climbing a mountain, a positive mind set will get you over the finish line every single time.

  4. Have fun. This. 100%. Don’t get too bogged down. Some of the funniest moments over the past 15 years have involved Oyster and my colleagues. Yes, work might get tough at times, and stressful, but life could be a lot worse.

  5. Manners cost nothing.

  6. Enjoy the ride. Let’s be honest, recruitment is a rollercoaster. There are lots of highs and lots of lows. You just have to embrace it, it’s what makes it such an exciting career.

  7. Not everyone’s values are the same as yours and not everyone will care like you do. This is hard one. And as I’ve grown and matured, I’ve realised that not everyone has the same morals as me, and that’s ok. We’re all different. And how dull would life be it if we weren’t?

  8. Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead. Sometimes you’re not. In a society where comparison is everywhere, remember you’re running your own race. It doesn’t matter if you’re the first over the finish line or the last. You still get to finish.

  9. Chase your own dreams. Everyone has their own goals, needs and wants. Don’t let someone tell you what you should be chasing. Be honest and be you, because everybody else is taken.

  10. Loyalty goes along way. Way more than I ever thought it would. When Dan (our now Chairman) interviewed me, this is what he said he looked for in people and I’ll never forget that.

  11. Respect your people. Regardless of tenure at the business or seniority. Listen to the team and respect their opinions, even if it’s not what you agree with.

  12. Some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue. When I was a billing Consultant I said this, a lot.

  13. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t worry about things that are not in your control. As Baz Luhrmann said in the 1999 song ‘Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen) ‘Don’t worry about the future or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.’

  14. Don’t regret the things you do. Every decision you made was the right one at that moment in your life. Own it.

  15. Smile. Life is too short.

To everyone who has been a part of my journey, thank you, you’ve made the last 15 years pretty awesome.

To Dan. Thanks for taking a punt on me.

To Sasza. Thanks for continuing to take a punt on me.

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Director of People & Operations

Hannah Clarke

With 15 years of Recruitment experience under her belt, 13 of which have been spent at Oyster, Hannah is (and always will be) an office legend. After reaching a staggering 80-something temps – the stuff of Oyster folklore – Hannah made the monumental decision to step into a whole new role. And thank goodness she did, or we wouldn’t have her as our Head of People, steering our often-chaotic ship, and playing a huge part in Oyster’s staggering growth plans.

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