"You have to be resilient. This is not a job for the faint-hearted. You can go the extra mile with the right attitude and self-discipline. There will be days that aren't so good, but it is all worth it when you get the assignments done for the clients and candidates. Nonetheless, this is probably one of the most satisfactory and rewarding jobs!"
I had a few questions to ask Jun Leong, technology consultant in Singapore and he shared his advice for someone just getting into recruitment, the proudest moment of his career and why he chose to work at Eames.
1. How did you get into recruitment?
I was graduated in Architecture and worked as a practicing architect for 3 years. In my third year of working in the architecture industry, I realized it might not be able to fulfil my goal and vision that I had for myself.
I started to look into my own line of work, and I picked out the most enjoyable task for me – which is the scope of consulting. I have been visualizing myself since a kid that I wanted to work in a corporate setting. At the same time, I listed the rest of the criteria that I wanted, i.e. a rewarding career, clear progression, growth etc.
Short say, I put all these puzzle pieces together and recruitment was one of the highest relevancies of my option! Took a leap of faith and jump on this boat, I have never regretted my choice ever since!
2. What is your advice for someone just getting into recruitment?
You have to be resilient. This is not a job for the faint-hearted. You can go the extra mile with the right attitude and self-discipline. There will be days that aren't so good, but it is all worth it when you get the assignments done for the clients and candidates. Nonetheless, this is probably one of the most satisfactory and rewarding jobs!
3. What is it about recruitment that has kept you in the industry?
I think the quality of the network that I have established from clients/candidates that have turned into friends. It is the unspeakable bond that drove me for the past 3.5 years. Trust is the most valuable thing in a human relationship and I felt the inspiration and motivation every time I managed to build another strong bond with a candidate or a client after going through the hiring process. There is no better feeling than being trusted by people!
4. What is your proudest moment in your career to date?
I guess it has to belong to this candidate who went through 7 rounds of interviews, but he didn’t get selected for the role in the end. However, he was very appreciative that I was helping him throughout the journey and he requested to be exclusive to me as a candidate. A few months down the road I managed to place him in a good company, and we have turned into good friends after!
5. What is your number 1 secret to success?
The habit to follow up. Do not miss out on every single follow up call to a client or candidate. You will never know what new updates you will be getting from each follow-up call. I tend to have a habit to follow up with my clients every month, and a casual biweekly catch-up with some active candidates in the market. I learn a lot of the market updates from them too!
6. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Do not take criticism personally. Your manager, peers, clients and candidates are giving feedback to you, take it as a gift to you to make yourself better at what you do. Don’t concern yourself with the person or the method of delivery. Instead, absorb whatever is learnable and move on to a better version of yourself.
7. What are you driven by and how do you stay motivated?
I am a huge believer in networking and am surely driven by it. It kept me going every morning thinking of what are the new networks I am going to establish, at the same time what are some new updates from some of my older networks. Sometimes too much networking can turn into fatigue. To stay motivated in what I love, proper time management is a secret tool. Trust me, if you can manage your time properly, you can drive as far as you’d like!
8. How do you keep a work-life balance?
I think it is important to practise the art of “Step Back to Lean Forward”. I do a lot of yoga and meditation especially after a long day in the recruitment field. It helps me to slow down my thoughts and reorganize my emotions. Aside from that, I would also pick up some leisure activities like painting, video games, or exercise, just to keep my mind away from reality for an hour or two. It always helps me to gain new perspectives when I come back to reality, often followed by better results and achievements!
9. Why Eames?
I was very impressed by the people and culture in Eames. They spoke the same language and the direction was very aligned from the team members, management, L&D and HR function. Their professionalism is by far the most impressive across other agencies in the market.
10. People would be surprised if they knew?
They might be surprised to know that I was once a jazz bar singer! There was a speakeasy bar that I used to work at as a part-time singer after school. Good old times!