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From Accounting to Recruitment: Claire's Story

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Principal Consultant, Claire Cheung, has been in the recruitment business for over six years. 

Prior to making the move into recruitment, Claire had a successful career in finance and accounting, working at a tier 1 investment bank in Hong Kong. 

We asked Claire why she chose to move from finance to recruitment, the main challenges she faced and what it takes to become a successful recruitment consultant.

1. How did you get into recruitment? 

I first became interested in recruitment after talking to a friend who made the move from audit to recruitment herself.

She spoke to me about changing jobs, working for another company doing finance and accounting and I let her know that I was looking for something a bit different. 

She then asked me if I would consider a career in recruitment. It wasn't something I had previously thought about but she told me a bit about what recruitment entailed and I haven’t looked back since then.

2. Why did you make the move into recruitment?

There were a couple of reasons: I was attracted to the high energy environment that I was told about, but most importantly for me, it was about the earning potential.

Being in finance and accounting I felt I was constricted on how much I could earn, so I was really attracted to a career in recruitment after finding out I could be in control of my earning capabilities.

3. Did you have any reservations prior to the move?

I did have some reservations prior to starting my recruitment career.

When I was going through the interview process, I had a consultant tell me that recruitment was a sales job. 

However, having been in recruitment now for 6 years, I would say it’s very far from a sales role – it’s a consulting role more than anything.  

4. What were the main challenges that you had to overcome?

The main challenge that I initially had to overcome was finding the confidence to speak to and meet with peoplethat I had never spoken to or met before.

Although I found this tough, once you put yourself out there, you do gain confidence and it does become much easier.

5. What are the best aspects of your role? 

One of the best aspects of a career in recruitment is being able to support clients in the growth of their team.

A lot of the time clients will come to you not knowing what roles to hire or even why they are hiring, but once you sit down with them to help them understand the market – it is really satisfying.

On the other side, being able to support candidates on their career growth is a fantastic aspect of the role.

We have candidates come to us not knowing why they want to change jobs, but they know they are not happy. Being able to understand what they are looking for and placing them into a new role that they are really happy and excited about is really very satisfying!

6. What does it take to be successful in recruitment?

I would say there are four main traits that make you successful in recruitment – drive, determination, persistence and positivity.

If you have all four of these attributes, you will definitely succeed in recruitment.

7. Why Ambition?

I made the move from Hong Kong to London, having previously worked in recruitment, but not for Ambition. 

What really attracted me to Ambition was the culture, the support that Ambition offer and also the warm environment.

Join the A-Team

Whether you are starting out in your recruitment career, are an experienced consultant looking for your next step or have experience in the Professional Services sector and are looking for a change in career, we would love to hear from you!

Check out our Work for us page or contact Grace Golton today for more information about how to start your journey with Ambition.

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