How a recruitment agency changed my life

-By Jane Kisnica, Marketing Assistant-

It can be a little frightening how fast the time flies… 22nd of November 2017 I walked through the doors of Oyster Partnership not knowing where the job will take me or what the next few years will look like.

My journey at Oyster Partnership has been a bit different from most of my colleagues as I didn’t start as a recruitment consultant. So let’s rewind a little bit…

I moved to London in 2011 and somewhere along the way I ended up living in Bangkok, Thailand. I spent over 3 years in Thailand and after moving back to London in 2015 I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.

My time spent in Thailand was quite amazing and I got to do many different things when it came to work. I worked for a start-up real estate portal managing their social media and client onboarding, did modelling in my spare time, got a PT license and worked at a CrossFit gym (yes I’m a Crossfitter at heart…), I helped to open an art gallery in Bangkok and worked as a real estate agent for a short period of time, I even managed to sell a property to a lovely Thai couple… not an easy thing to do for a white girl in Asia who didn’t speak the native language! (and yes that’s 5 jobs in 3 years)

After moving back to the UK, I spent the next two years trying to decide what to do next. I went back to what I knew best, hospitality. Very quickly I realised how little patience I had for this type of work, working weekends were a lot harder than when I was 20 and not to mention the late nights!

After accepting that hospitality was not a life-long career prospect for me I thought I would test the waters within the fitness industry. I started at Fitness First gym on reception and planned to use this as a foot in the door before stepping into a PT role. I a relatively short period I realised how unstable the job was and unless you worked from 6am – 9pm the chances of you being successful enough to feel financially secure were very slim.

This is where Oyster Partnership comes into play. I started applying for office-based receptionist jobs so I could have my evening and weekends back. As I’m sure you all know looking for a new job can be very exhausting and stressful no matter what industry you work in. It took a lot of interviews and a lot of appointments with recruitment agencies in all corners of London.

By the time I got an interview at Oyster Partnership, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about recruitment agencies. My experience with the recruitment industry up until that point hadn’t been the best. A lot of promises, a lot of talking, but not much in the terms of results, so I wasn’t sure how I felt about interviewing for one.

However, the initial phone call I had with Hannah Clarke, the Talent Manager here, was incredibly welcoming and positive. For this reason, I decided to give Oyster Partnership a chance.

The interview went great and I was asked to come in the next day to meet Sasza Bandiera the Managing Director. Talking to Sasza was very intimidating for me, as I could tell he wasn’t like anyone I’d ever met before. He was very inquisitive, professional and straightforward to a level of being blunt at times, but also hard to read. All combined, the interview had been quite intense for me and making me sweat figuratively and literally.

A few days later I received an email with a job offer from a Coworking Space I had interviewed at the week before and within that hour a call from Oyster Partnership. Both roles were technically the same, same responsibilities, same money, but something about Oyster Partnership just felt like the right choice, so I accepted on the spot.

A few weeks later, I started my job at Oyster Partnership on the 22nd of November 2017. The first few months were quite exciting as it was a new job, new responsibilities and new people. I also got to learn how the recruitment industry worked from the inside. However, a few months later things in the business were changing and the recruitment process became more streamlined, my job became less busy and the one thing I like is being busy!

The drop in responsibilities lead me to become involved with some of the creative aspects of the business – marketing. I have always had a flair for the creative side of things ranging from photography to dabbling in social media and graphic design. Wherever I worked, I naturally would get involved with the creative functions of the business. The possibility of this was one of the main reasons why I chose Oyster Partnership’s job offer over the other company.

As time went by, my responsibilities on the reception desk kept shrinking and it became apparent the role would become redundant. Luckily for me, Sasza had picked up on my interest in all things creative and marketing. I was offered a 6 month contract working on a big project designing our 12 week Oyster Academy training programme, while assisting the marketing manager at the time.

Towards the end of my 6-month contract, the marketing manager had decided to move on. For me, that was one of the best opportunities I have ever had in my working career. I got offered a chance to prove myself, take over the role and make it my own.

I have been in the job for nearly two years and I have to admit it is the best job I have ever had. Since I took on full-time marketing responsibilities for Oyster Partnership, I have rebranded the look and feel of the whole business, project managed the design of our new website (it is not an easy job, don’t trust anyone who says it can be done in a couple of months! ), worked on various marketing campaigns, implemented new processes, helped raise our profile within the industry and much more.

When Oyster Partnership says they invest in their staff and their futures, in my personal experience and watching others grow in the office, I can say it is 100% true. I have never worked for a business, that follows through with these type of claims, and trust me I have worked for many companies in my 32 years. I started on reception 3 years ago and today I manage all of the marketing functions for a £32m+ turnover business.

I might not be a recruitment consultant bringing in the money, but nevertheless, the business has invested a lot of time and money in my development furthering my career. I have been sent on numerous courses and learned so much from Sasza who coaches me on a weekly basis on how to be better at my job. Oyster Partnership has also helped me evolve as an individual, professionally and personally which is something that is missing from so many other organisations.

On top of all the time and money being invested in me and my future, the people running the business trust me, trust my capabilities and ever-growing knowledge. I have at least 95% of creative freedom when it comes to all things marketing and design, where else have you seen a business give that much trust and freedom to a creative?!

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would find my dream job within a recruitment agency. Walking through the doors of Oyster Partnership on the 22nd of November 2017 has without a doubt been one of the best choices I have ever made in my life.

I can’t thank Sasza enough for trusting me and giving me this amazing opportunity. The journey I have had so far has not been your typical recruitment agency journey, nonetheless, it’s still been pretty amazing. I have watched myself and the business grow and change in the last 3 years and I can’t wait to see what the next 3+ years will bring for all of us!


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