The Big Switch With Keith Grant

Our marketing executive, Aidan, sat down recently with Keith Grant to quiz him on his big switch from Banking to the world of Recruitment. And, here’s how it went:

Keith, you have had a successful career in Banking before making a career change last year. Why the move to recruitment?

Why not?! I am not sure if the pandemic subconsciously triggered something in me, but in late 2020/early 2021 I was really questioning the trajectory of my career. I loved my team, my peers, the senior leadership I worked with, and it took me a good few months to pinpoint exactly what was missing – it turned out to be job satisfaction. Once this clicked, I immediately knew that I needed to do something else with my career, so I started to think about the elements of roles both past and current that did bring me job satisfaction. I quickly realised that I really enjoyed the hiring element of a previous role that I had done, where I had to build a big team from scratch. That’s when I started to toy with the idea of becoming a recruiter. I also loved the idea that although recruiting would be something mostly unknown to me, there were certain skills and industry knowledge that I had that would actually lend themselves quite well to recruiting. So, I started to explore.

Explore? What do you mean?

Well, I wasn’t sure if people did what I wanted to do at my age (they do!) and whether I could make it a success (I could). To be frank, at 37, I was concerned that I may have left it too long to move into another industry completely. So, I started asking people. I started with a colleague who had worked in an agency before. The conversation went something like this:

                    Me: Look, I’m thinking of giving up Banking and moving into the recruitment space. Am I mad?! Could I do it?

                    Colleague: *pause* you would be excellent at it, I promise.

That made me feel more confident. My colleague put me in touch with someone in the industry who she assured me would give me an unbiased assessment as to whether I could do it or not. This person turned out to be Paul McClatchie, owner and director of Engage People!

That worked out well for you – so you moved to Engage People?

No, not at first. I spoke to Paul to get his view. I wasn’t asking him to give me a job, or to get me a job. I wanted his expert opinion on my skillset, background etc., and ultimately, I wanted him to tell me that he could see me as a strong recruiter. Our relationship grew from there, I met the rest of the Engage People team and I got a really strong feeling that I would fit in well there.

Great! Looking back on the experience, what advice would you give someone who is thinking of making a career move in general (not necessarily into recruitment)?

Speak to the experts. Speak to senior leaders in that industry (reach out via LinkedIn) who can give you a warts-and-all overview of the role you want to move to. You need to make sure you are going into a career change with your eyes wide open. Also, speak with a recruiter who specialises in that field. This is also a reason why I wanted to work for Engage People – the recruiters have very strong industry knowledge, and they are great at giving career advice, from the best companies to work for, to how to do a strong CV.

Thanks, Keith, anything else to add?

Not really, this move has been the single most daunting career experience of my life and so far, from a job satisfaction perspective, it has also been the most rewarding! Hashtag, no regrets.