Michelle Allen is a Principal Consultant for the Legal Finance & Accounting team and has been working with Ambition since the very beginning.
How has your career progressed since joining Ambition?
I first joined the company when we were still Witan Jardine back in 2005. I started off as a consultant then progressed through the ranks to Senior Consultant and later Principal Consultant. I spent 10 years focusing on temporary and contract recruitment but 3 years ago I decided I wanted to broaden my skillset so started to focus on recruiting for permanent roles instead.
As someone who has never been interested in management, I like the fact I have been able to progress my career to the most senior level as a billing consultant without being pressurised into taking on a management role – that’s something that I really value.
What has changed in the years that you have worked here?
Obviously, when I first started we were a different company but from the time we became 'Ambition' I think that culturally it hasn’t really changed and that’s the main reason I have stayed here all these years. We have always stayed true to our core values.
Being a smaller boutique firm means that everyone is able to make an impact. Everyone is really friendly and the directors are very down to earth – it’s always easy to approach them and share ideas which is empowering. We’re not a huge firm but the culture we have is really rare in recruitment.
From a legal finance perspective, that was a strong business area when I joined and we’ve continued to build on that and become real market leaders in this area with both candidates and clients.
What is your favourite part of your job?
There are lots of things I like about my job: The people. Our culture and values. The fact we have a strong brand and reputation. I feel proud to work for a firm that is so highly regarded.
Being known as a market leader and clients/candidates asking me for advice.
Having been here for a good amount of time, I have built long-standing relationships and I find it really rewarding when people come back to me on a regular basis. Helping someone develop their career by placing them as a junior candidate, seeing them develop and then continuing to assist them as they progress through the ranks is one of the aspects I enjoy most about my job.
What moments in your time at Ambition stand out to you?
The events we’ve had over the years: the launch party at the gherkin back in 2008, team building events we’ve had, building relationships with clients at credible events that we run.
Being promoted to Principal Consultant and winning temp consultant of the year were personal highlights and I’m proud I’ve been able to progress my career to the top level of recruitment.
Are there any significant challenges you have faced in your career and how did you get past them?
The biggest challenge has always been that you have to constantly adapt to the market which is always changing. I was here during the Financial Crisis, which definitely had an impact – it was a really tough time but we pulled together as a team and as a business and came out the other side.
Transferring from temp/contract to permanent recruitment was another challenge as the recruitment process is slightly different.
Are there any valuable lessons you have learned in your time with Ambition that you could share?
Don’t be complacent – make sure you are constantly pushing forward and adapting to market conditions and listen to what your clients and candidates want. Recruitment is continuous hard work; you could be at the top of the league one month but you can’t take your foot off the pedal and expect the success to continue.
Recruitment is a rollercoaster - you could be working hard one month and enjoy great success but then nothing happens the next month. To succeed in this industry to you need resilience and passion to enjoy what you do enough to help you power through the tough times and achieve your long-term goals.