#RecruitmentMum - an honest insight into both my jobs, both of which I love and both of which can be unpredictable!

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This is the first in a series of blogs by #RecruitmentMum, Lou Earp, Recruitment Consultant at ARM.

Hello, I’m Lou Earp, mid-thirties, I'm married, have two boys aged 4 and 2 and a step daughter aged 8. I’ve been in recruitment for just shy of ten years. I work 3 days a week in a very busy consultancy.

I’ve been fortunate enough to experience the really good times and along with so many others I’ve experienced the bad times in this industry, especially throughout the recession period.

This blog is to speak honestly about what it’s like to be a mum, to two (angelic!) young boys whilst working in the relentless, but exciting world of recruitment.

It’s the start of the new financial year and so it’s all go go go, let’s make this the best year yet. I’m motivated, I’m working with some excellent clients, candidates and working on some really interesting and cool roles. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I work in Software Development and have been speaking predominantly with developers day in and out for the last 3.5 years (bar a stretch of maternity leave in the middle). What they do is actual magic, SO MUCH RESPECT for these guys and gals!

So a usual day for me, look like this……

12.30am – JJ wakes up (at nearly 2 years old … what the actual…..), wanting milk or a cuddle or just to chatter general nonsense to me, arghhhhhhh I need my sleep, I’ve got work in the morning. Nonetheless, I know this won’t last forever so whilst I’m sleep deprived and livid that I’m awake, I do cherish this time…..but in just so many minutes, phew I’ve got him back to sleep!

5.30/6.00 am – "Morning mum" I’m met with my nearly 4 year old, who has either an "on" or "off" switch, there’s no in between …. I’m sure some of you can relate right? So that’s it, my day has begun.

Now this is the fun bit, getting out of the house; my husband and I share the jobs in the morning and as he wrestles with the 2 year old trying to get him dressed, I’m wrestling with the hair straighteners and my massive mane of hair…. got to at least TRY to look presentable for work!

7.45am (or more like 8am), phew, I’m actually out of the door…. This is post my eldest child trying to suffocate the youngest with a beanbag, moments before I’m trying to load them and their school bags into the car.

7.50/8.10am, I drop the first child off to the child minder and I can still hear him screaming as I pull away to drop the second child off at pre-school, that bit really pulls at the heart strings! Fortunately, I get a message from my childminder 2 minutes later about him happily playing cars…. I know he loves it there, he just loves to make me feel guilty. 

8.15am – I tuck into a thermos mug of tea….. first cup of the day, you just can’t beat it!

8.30am – I get into work, computer logged on smiling and happy to be a "grown up" for at least part the day!

Throughout the course of the day, I’ll catch up with my clients, speak with my candidates, qualify new jobs, undertake 1st stage interviews, prepare CV Introduction forms to attach to CV’s for submission, arrange interviews, make sure candidates are fully prepared for their interviews, present job offers and all the other good things in recruitment. I pride myself on being thorough, I like to build up a rapport and really get to know who I’m working with, I’m lucky that my recommendations on LinkedIn reflect this well.

Then there’s the not so fun bit, those calls I really hate, like telling people they have been unsuccessful, that’s the worst part of my job. By this time, I’ve got to know my candidates and I really hate being the bearer of bad news.

I continue with my search, ad response, job boards, networking, LinkedIn etc. Then I find them……. THAT GEM, the candidate I just know our client WILL ABSOLUTELY LOVE…. So I prepare myself, think about what I’m going to say (jump up and down a little bit in excitement), pick up the phone, here goes……. Aaaaaaannnnndd Voicemail. I leave a message and then just to make sure I’ve covered all bases, send a short e-mail as well.

The candidate comes back to me, on e-mail and we arrange to speak at 7.30pm that evening, after my kids have gone to bed. Brilliant, this is great news. Sets me up for a fun, positive day of hard work. I’m excited about speaking later on.

So the end of the day starts to approach and here begins the mad rush, again……

5.30pm, I log off and fly out the door, putting on my coat and fumbling for my keys

5.50pm, I pick up my eldest from pre-school

6.05pm, I pick up my youngest from the childminder (today he learned a new word, Pigeon!)

6.20pm, I get home, my kids are soooo excited to see their Daddy and I’m pretty relieved that my husband is home to help out with bath and bed time…. With two over excited, over tired little boys on my hands, I need all the help I can get!!

7.00pm, bathed, teeth brushed, pj’s on in bed, ready for story time…. Usually Stick Man or What the Ladybird Heard!

Lights out by 7.10pm…… and then it begins…."Mum I’m hungry", "Mum, please can I have a drink"……. That 7.30pm deadline to call back that candidate is looming…."Mum, I need a wee", "Mum I’m not tired".

I get the kids all sorted and off to sleep and finally manage to log on at 7.40pm (dinner is in the microwave and I’m soaked from head to toe from bath time!). It’s now 7.45pm by the time I’m plugging in the candidate’s number, I’ve missed my window of opportunity and receive an e-mail to say I didn’t stick to my appointment. I am disappointed and feel like I’ve let them down.

(You may not catch me at 5.30pm, but I'm always really happy to catch up of an evening after the kids are in bed. Which may work better for you too!)

PLEASE always know, that if I say I’m going to call you, I will. If I’m a few minutes late, I will be sorry and I promise to make it up by being a good consultant who is driven, passionate and prepared to make calls of an evening. I know my clients, I really take time to understand their roles and I will do a thorough job. 

I really do want to speak with you, it’s just I have two jobs, both of which I love! Only one is slightly more unpredictable than the other….. but I’ll leave that to you to decide which! 

Over and out for now, but I look forward to catching up again soon for my next "Recruitment Mum" Blog!