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How I Got Started in Recruitment: By Leaving My Comfort Zone Behind

My journey to become a successful recruiter with JacksonGrant has helped my personal growth and development. 

Embrace the Potential for Change

A couple of years ago, I was working as an investment consultant. It really wasn’t my thing. It was a high-pressure environment, intensely competitive and cutthroat. Even worse, it was boring. I was unfulfilled; I felt like my career was stalling.

I wanted to find a new job. But first I had to open my mind to the possibilities.

I have a close friend who has experience in the recruitment business. She knows my skill set and personality, and suggested I might be good at recruiting. I have experience in sales, so it seemed a good fit.

JacksonGrant Recognised My Talent

I began doing some research online, looking at all the recruitment agencies operating in Bangkok, big and small. I reached out to all of them via email, and applied for every headhunting vacancy I could find on the job boards.

As I learned a bit about the business, I started to feel that a big international agency might not take the time to really train and teach me; it takes time to become a good recruiter.

JacksonGrant is the only agency that called me back. They saw my potential and wanted to train me from scratch, even though I didn’t have any recruitment experience. JacksonGrant gave me the opportunity to really learn and build a new career.

Exceeding Expectations

I had no idea what it would be like to work in recruitment. I didn’t know anything about the job, I only know it was possible to make good money as a recruiter. I wasn’t very enthusiastic at first, but neither did I have any preconceptions – it’s important to start a new job with an open mind.

When I started to actually do the work, I found it really interesting. A new recruiter needs to do a lot of research to understand our clients, to learn about the different jobs and skill sets required.

Most of all I found it fascinating to learn about the various industries. Recruiters have a unique perspective on the economy. All of the research we do to keep track of the job market provides an overview of how the economy is shifting, and where multinational investment is being directed. As a recruiter, especially a junior recruiter, I have to be ahead of the curve.

For example, if I am working with clients in the Logistics industry, I need to compile comprehensive lists of companies operating in the region. I need to find out what they are good at – and where they are perhaps struggling. I look into market share, emerging trends, all the data I can find to understand the big picture.

I found I have an aptitude for research and analysis. It has given me an inside view on the industry landscape in Thailand and beyond, and that helps me be a good recruiter.

I also enjoy the work environment at JacksonGrant. It’s more interesting than my old finance job, and the office is more close-knit. Headhunting can be frantic and a bit of a mess sometimes, but I am surrounded by friendly human beings who lift my spirits and share a common goal.


JacksonGrant has really given me the chance to learn that I was looking for. Alex Grant has been a great mentor. He allows me to make my own mistakes and learn from them. He sees the potential in me and invests time and effort in my career development.

We have honest conversations about what I want to learn and achieve. The process involves a lot of self-reflection. Together, we identify my weaknesses and the areas where I want to improve. I am encouraged to attend training sessions and seminars.

We Need to be Resilient

As a recruiter, you are in the middle – between the client and the candidate. Your stakeholders are human beings. Unlike finance, there are no fixed variables in the equation. The variables in headhunting are always changing and moving.

I love the personal touch involved with recruitment, but that is also the most difficult part: recruiters need to balance everyone’s needs and desires. When your stakeholders are human beings, you have to accept that you do not have control in the same way you do with financial investments.

It is frustrating when I think I’ve made a deal that will satisfy all stakeholders, but at the last minute a candidate changes their mind about making a move. People change their minds, and there are a lot of factors in their decision-making, things happening in their personal lives, that you just can’t control.

At moments like this you need to be more resilient and accept that this is a very personal business. Like surfing, sometimes you must go with the flow. Sometimes you will crash out. It happens to the best recruiters. We need to accept that we can’t control the outcome, and move forward despite any setbacks. Resilience is a key aspect of successful recruiting.

Building Confidence

After the first four or five months, I almost gave up. I felt really desperate. I had made a few placements, but I didn’t think my performance was good enough. I felt like I was failing. I told the management team that I may not be cut out for this.

Thankfully my bosses listened to my concerns, and moved me to the Supply Chain and Logistics division. Then something clicked. After changing specialisations, I started to be more successful. I got to know the market and my clients better; I became more familiar with the candidates; my network reached a tipping point and started to expand.

“Maybe I can do this,” I thought. I began making more placements, and started to feel proud of myself. Before I had no confidence. But now I was working in an industry that felt like the right fit for me.

This year I am working with Manufacturing and Engineering sectors, and increasing my knowledge about more industries in Thailand.

Closing a Big Deal

Last year, I started to achieve my goal of closing senior roles. My biggest placement was the head of new product development for a luxury consumer electronics company. Our client has a big production hub in Thailand. The company was setting up a new team dedicated to expanding operations, and created a high-profile new position to lead this team. JacksonGrant got the recruitment contract to fill this role.

 I worked hard on it, and closed the deal just before the end of 2022. It was a tough position to fill, and strategically very important for a blue-chip company. It is the most senior position I have hired so far, and I will always remember that feeling.

Keep an Open Mind

I didn’t expect recruiting to be interesting. I just knew it could be profitable. But now that I’m a year-and-a-half into the job, I really enjoy it. Now I’m in it for the long haul.

I am working very hard, but I feel energised and refreshed. It took five or six months to adapt and get up-to-speed.

When I completed my first year at JacksonGrant, I was approached by a big global recruitment firm. But I’m not interested to leave JacksonGrant for a giant international agency. I learned so much in my first 18 months about recruiting, manufacturing, engineering, supply chain and logistics. I feel there’s so much more to learn here. I like working at a smaller firm.

I want to tell everyone who reads my blog that it is so important to keep an open mind and try new things. When I started this job, I had no idea what recruitment was about.

I was ready to jump out of my comfort zone. That’s when you will see the world differently. You will see what you are really capable of, if you go out into the world and see for yourself how many things you can learn. But you must be open-minded to learn new things. When you see the world in a bigger perspective, you will change your attitude and your mindset about what you can do and achieve.

If you’re looking to hire personnel, or you are a candidate ready to seek new opportunities, I’d like to hear from you. Please visit my LinkedIn profile and send me a message for more details.