Teaching to Recruitment
By Josh Baraclough
There have been lots of changes in the last 18 months. Changes none of us saw coming. Changes which probably could not be foreseen. And many of us have made a change for ourselves too. Be that professionally or personally, some changes for the better, some worse.
I made a change of career. Having been a teacher for the better part of 6 years, in different schools and countries, I made a change to work in recruitment. And so far, it has been an excellent change. I find myself more relaxed on an evening, my partner has noticed the change too. But is it all that different?
What comes to mind when you think of teaching? Working with young people, to help them improve their lives and create careers and aspirations. Is recruitment that different? I spend my day ringing up people, trying to help them with the next stages of their career.
Its similar in other respects too. You talk to people, trying to change and improve their lives. And, like teaching, some people want to hear you, learn from you, develop themselves. Others aren't really interested in what you have to say, but are polite. And, like teaching, some just simply don't listen.
The hours are long too, and you're never really off the job, LinkedIn being a 24 hour place. But as a teacher, you never truly clocked off, whether it was spending Sunday afternoon planning lessons and writing PowerPoints for the following week, or Tuesday evening marking those Year 8 exam papers, because you foolishly promised them you would have them marked overnight to review in the morning.
But its a more equitable time frame which I work in now. In my teaching career, I would be in the classroom on average at 6:30, putting the coffee pot on and outlining my day, getting textbooks ready, printing worksheets etc. And some days, depending on afterschool meetings or that Year 7 rugby team I had offered to coach, it would be 17:00 before I would leave the school.
Now, I am in the office from around 8:30. I am still in office at 17:30, but its a different kind of work. I can nip to the toilet whenever I want. If something doesn't go great, I can mumble a swear without fear of some Year 9 kid going home and telling mum that "Mr. Barraclough said a naughty word.". Lunchtimes too, are long enough to nip out and run an errand, or go out for lunch with an old friend who happens to have the day off and a couple of hours spare.
There's the balance too. Thinking of children and childcare going forward, both myself and my partner being in the classroom before 7, childminders would be extremely difficult. Now, dropping off a child around 8, half an hour before work, seems much more manageable, with more choice.
So in some ways, its a complete change, I sit at a desk for large portions of the day, calling people, trying to work out if they want a new role, a promotion or change of pace. But in others, its almost identical in its outputs. I am working with lots of people, hoping to change their lives for the better. It may be that they don't want to hear my message, or speak to me, but for those that do, when I succeed, it will hopefully, do just that.