Interview with Anna Friend of the La Fosse Permanent Division.
Anna Friend joined La Fosse in August 2016 as an Associate Consultant in the Permanent desk. She’s now a full-billing consultant specialising in Infrastructure and Services.
Joining La Fosse as a grad, I was surprised by how relevant my skills were.
Seeing the level of expertise people have in their specialism can be intimidating when you first join, especially when you feel like you know nothing about your own. However, the analytical skills that you need is what makes the role immediately interesting, then over time as you learn more about a given technology, you will apply that knowledge in the calls you make.
The Perils of BD
At first, I definitely found BD challenging. I was of the mindset that when you call a candidate about a job you’re offering them something, but if you’re calling a hiring manager for roles, you’re trying to get something out of them!
It took me time to realise that when you’re good at your job and understand your market you're offering them a genuinely valuable service. You just need to have confidence in that when you pick up the phone.
That being said, cold-calling clients takes some getting used to. The thing to remember is that sometimes you're going to have difficult calls, and that's fine.
You just need to keep persevering. Once you know your space and you’re comfortable speaking to people, whoever you’re chatting to will open up and it won’t feel forced. For me, successful AD and BD has always been nice conversations where I was just being myself.
The BD Accelerator
The BD Accelerator helped me a lot on the way to realising this. It’s a big change to go from answering emails and calling candidates to suddenly being on the phone all the time!
One of the first calls I made was to a hiring manager who no one had spoken to in over a year… we didn’t even know where he currently worked! I booked in a meeting, kept in touch, and he ended up signing my first BD deal.
However, this wasn’t plain sailing either. I picked up the role in Jan 2017, but didn’t end up signing terms until May for the candidate to start in July, so the whole process took around 6 months from being given the initial brief! However, I’m happy I stuck at it. The client gave me a glowing reference, and several roles subsequently, in addition to that all important first BD point.
This role taught me more than I ever expected – not just about working
I guess what all this shows is that the role teaches you a lot about resilience, which is such a valuable lesson to learn, not just in this industry. For me, I’m incredibly proud of how far I’ve come in my career since joining La Fosse as a grad less than three years ago. I'm now managing my own desk, and looking to soon move into management! It’s a position I didn’t think I’d be in at 24. This company really fast-tracks your development in that regard.
I know this is cheesy… I’m proud of how I’ve developed as a person. Working here has really improved my confidence and the way I talk to people. I now no longer let things phase me when things go wrong. Seeing that growth in yourself is pretty cool.
Use the culture
If I could give any advice to someone starting out, it would be to lean on the culture, ask for help, and ask questions.
In this company we’re so fortunate that everyone makes themselves so accessible. When people say they’re always there for advice or a chat, they genuinely mean it, so take them up on it!
It’s so important that you feel able to talk to your manager, or if not them, that you find someone else in the company you do feel comfortable talking to. Remember, most people at La Fosse came in at Associate level, so we know what you’re going through.
Also, set yourself big goals, but don’t get frustrated if you don’t hit them every time. Everyone here is capable of doing the job, it’s just about having the right mindset to be able to get through the difficult times, so you can push through to the good ones.
If you're interested in joining a high growth business with an award-winning team, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org, or call on 02079322083.