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The First 128 Days (of a new professional marriage)

​Changing jobs doesn’t happen very often to me. In fact, since I started my working life when I was 18, I have only ever worked for 5 companies! And since I started my career in the staffing industry in 1994, I have only ever worked for 2; Impellam and LMA.

So, when a year ago, I hung my hat up at LMA and decided to look for a new home, you can only imagine how that made me feel. I was entering the unknown. And it was scary! LMA was a business I had built over the previous 15 years, and I was very proud of it, but I knew it was time to hand the reins over to somebody else. I have worked in recruitment for over 25 years. That’s a very long time! When I first entered the industry, it was a bit like the wild west. Barriers to entry were very low, there was little regulation or compliance, and diversity and inclusion were words not in our day-to-day vocabulary. Indeed, I recruited in financial services in those early years and if you were over 40, a woman, or gay your career opportunities were severely restricted.

Fast forward 25 years and I am so pleased to say the world is a very different place, although some age-old problems do still exist. I have seen the ED&I dial shift dramatically during this time and have witnessed companies doing so many amazing things over this time to become more inclusive and to recruit and retrain more diverse talent. My personal and professional interest has developed during this time too and over the last few years I have been on my own journey to develop and educate.

So, when I began my search for a new professional marriage earlier this year, it quickly became very evident and clear to me that I wanted to be part of a business that had a desire to change the world, one person at a time and one company at a time, as much as I did. Inventum was the perfect home for me. I have known my business partners, Adam Tobias and Joe Wells, for a very long time (in fact I was Adam’s manager back in 1997 at Impellam!) and we all have the same ethics and values. We are all passionate about making the working world more inclusive and we all still love the staffing industry. And we are all totally ambitious! So, we struck a deal. And we became a triumvirate. And I had a new professional marriage! July 1 st , 2021 was my first day. I’d had 7 months off (I couldn’t do much as we were in lockdown for most of it and travelling was a nightmare!) and as someone who hasn’t had many new jobs, it was a shock to the system. It was weird being in a new company where most of my colleagues were still going from running lots of companies where I had a headcount of 250+ with offices around the world to a single office and employee numbers in the tens not hundreds! But it was all a “good” odd. I liked it.

I quickly remembered why I was in this industry in the first place and why I was good at it. I love sales and that’s what I started to do again, and it felt great. I hadn’t recruited for 10 years and here I was working with clients to fill their roles. And it really felt great. I loved the freedom of the business being mine (well a third mine) with no one peering over my shoulder. No reports to write, no corporate meetings, no interfering, no corporate jungle to navigate. The world was simple again and I LOVED it.

So here I am on 9th November, 128 days into my new professional marriage with my 2 new spouses! We haven’t had a row yet (!), I have a wonderful new business and we have made loads of progress. We have hired new Inventum people. We have written a clear strategy and vision to help companies become more inclusive and diverse through building our ED&I consulting practice (which Adam runs) as well as driving growth in our core recruitment and executive search functions (which Joe and I run). It has been the perfect time to do it. The markets are so buoyant, and we are so busy, going great guns and making so much progress. We have made some more key hires (not easy at the moment) and have more in the pipeline which will be announced soon. Clients are loving our proposition and we are having loads of fun. Joe, Adam and I have ambitious plans (those that know me, know that I am always looking forward) and we want lots more Inventum people to join us on our journey. Please so give me a shout if you would like to find out more! We want to build something really, really special.

So, changing job is great! I recommend it. It has worked out for me better than I could have ever imagined, and I have remembered why I love this industry and my job so much. Long live recruitment, long live ED&I and long live being brave.