My path into the world of Talent Acquisition and Human Resources is an atypical one. I completed my Bachelor’s degree at McGill University in Montreal with a major in Art History. Upon graduation, I was unsure of what the future held for me, but I knew I was anxious to get out into the “real world” and begin “making a difference”.
I worked in retail clothing stores, where I was able to explore my creative side and develop my work ethic. I learned two things: 1) working in retail clothing stores was not for me and 2) as anyone who has worked with the general public will tell you, dealing with customers is not always easy. I taught myself to maintain a cheerful demeanor with each new customer, regardless what had happened with the previous one. I learned that the one thing I could control was how I managed myself and my outlook, and this has proven to be a valuable life lesson which has served me well throughout my career.
One day, I ended up at an employment agency as a prospective candidate in the hopes of landing a temporary receptionist job, which would allow me to have a steady daytime schedule as I pursued a personal project on the weekends. I had no idea at the time how this day would alter the course of my career and my life. I found myself meeting with the branch manager, being told I had “what it takes” and being hired temporarily with the agency as a recruiter. I was eventually granted a permanent position a few months later which made me ecstatic; I was learning about so many different fields and so many different companies as I interviewed candidates for positions with our corporate clients.
As I progressed in my career, moving from the agency side to the corporate side and working in recruitment within the context of an HR department, I realized that I was in a truly unique position. I was the one who met with hiring managers when a new position came available, published job postings, did headhunting, reviewed CVs/résumés, interviewed candidates, presented offer letters and negotiated salaries. I had close contact with everyone from hiring managers to candidates to employees within the company as well as universities, professional associations and recruitment firms outside the company.
What I found fascinating during hours and hours of interviews, week in and week out, was that it seemed impossible to talk about one’s career without talking about one’s life. I also noticed in my personal life that so many conversations about life sooner or later had to do with work: loving the job, hating the job, looking for a job, starting a new job, leaving a job, co-workers, bosses, policies, great things, terrible things and the list goes on.
Throughout my career, I always felt it was my duty to lend an ear to a friend, family member or co-worker. As Human Resources was not my field of study nor something I had ever set out to do, I always felt in my core that I had to use everything I learned to help out, to “make a difference”.
And that is how this platform was born.
I spent 10 years hiring for every position level from Intern to Director in various fields such as Accounting & Finance, Fashion Design, Manufacturing, Marketing & Communications, Graphic Design, Engineering, IT, Sales, Customer Service, Legal Affairs, Project Management, Product Development and, of course, Human Resources. I have always worked in Montreal, Canada, which has its own set of unique hiring challenges. I have worked job fairs, partnered with colleges, universities and student associations to foster a favourable name for my company. I have partnered with Marketing & Communications departments to infuse life into the employer brand. I also love social media and would be considered a LinkedIn super-user.
While this has been a truly rewarding career, I made the difficult decision to leave the field and pursue writing, which has always been at the core of my identity.
In true HR fashion, this intro would not be complete without mentioning that the content of this blog is for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as career counselling as I cannot know each individual’s unique situation. Rather, I am presenting my perspective based on experience to help people, as it is my belief that information, coupled with action and the right attitude, is power.