After completing my PhD and backpacking for a year it was time to start my career — I was looking for a company that would let me scratch my entrepreneurial itch and where I could be in charge of my own destiny i.e. if I worked hard and did my job well I wanted the opportunities open to me to reflect that — SThree fit the bill perfectly.
I interviewed with a number of brands and chose for Huxley based on the people I met and the vision they painted for me about their plans for Amsterdam and beyond. I started in London in a team of 6 people (they’ve since moved on but we still stay in contact) and 6 months later we moved to sunny Amsterdam. I can hand on heart say it was the best move of my life — Amsterdam is a beautiful city in which to live and great place in which to do business. I’ve lived here for 17 years now and it is very much my home (I even became a proud Dutchman last year!) [photo]
Simple — success in a SThree is a choice — you either choose to succeed or you choose not to . SThree provides the environment, opportunity and skills you need — all you have to bring to the table is hard work, a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. Combine all of that and you’re in business. After that it’s all about the value you add to other people’s lives (clients, candidates and colleague) — if you understand that your career is built on helping other people to build their careers then you’ll go a long way.
“If you understand that your career is built on helping other people to build their careers then you’ll go a long way.”
Apart from what I mentioned above, resilience and positive mental attitude are key — what we do is not rocket-science, but it can be very hard sometimes when you’re doing your very best and things aren’t going your way. Those that succeed don’t do so because things always go well for them — it’s the ones who are faced with tough situations and have the courage and determination to turn them into positives that ultimately end up achieving the most.
Plenty, but 2 spring to mind that had a huge impact on my life and career.
On a personal level when I was 18 my family and I went through some pretty dark days. I watched those around me get dragged down by it all and was determined to find some positives in it so I made 3 vows to myself: to be 1) well educated (PhD — tick), 2) well-travelled (went round the world for a year — tick) and 3) well paid (at 18 that is what I thought constituted a good career — led me to join SThree — tick).
Later in my career I’d been made a Director but the business was not going well — I spent a lot of time making excuses for it all but ultimately had to face up to the fact that a large part of the situation was down to me. I faced a choice — deny, quit or change what I was doing. I chose to change which was the hardest of the options I was faced with, but from a professional point of view the best thing I ever did because the changes I made worked and the business has gone from strength to strength ever since.
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