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New Role, New Challenges

Employers Professional & Managerial

Working with Madison Recruitment for nearly 10 years has been a fantastic experience, from every person I’ve met along the way to developing into a Business Manager.

Having recently taken on a new challenge at Madison, a few clients have asked how I’ve handled the change and how it works out with my family. What I’ve learned from the experience so far, is that when you are motivated and push yourself, things tend to fall into place.  And… it’s actually turned out easier than expected.

I loved my previous role as Team Leader in Auckland. I had a great team who were high performing, fantastic clients and a great pool of candidates who I had formed solid long-term relationships with. Getting to that point is what I’d been working hard to achieve and it finally all came together. However, like for many, I knew it was best if I continued to challenge myself and aim high, growing further in my career. Recruitment can be hard and you have to love what you do in order to succeed; I wanted to keep fuelling the passion I have for this fast paced, ever changing industry.

It couldn’t have been better timing, when a secondment opportunity arose for a Business Manager in our Wellington branch to cover maternity leave. I knew this was an opportunity I wanted to take advantage of. Expanding my knowledge to a new city, new clients and a brand new team was going to take me to the next level. It was perfect; I would get insight into a whole different environment.

Personal Challenges

The first challenge that arose when I got the job was how I was going to juggle the commute and my family in Auckland. I didn’t quite know how I was going to cope with the time away from my boys, and with living out of a suitcase.

Wellington welcomed me with my first earthquake and a weather bomb, all in my first week. But… I fell in love with this moody, unpredictable city that seemed to throw massive weather tantrums and then snap out of it, just like that! I found myself standing on Featherston Street holding on to a street sign just to keep my feet on the ground, hair blowing in every direction, as I’m laughing-out-loud at the lack of control I have against the wild Wellington wind.

The commute from Auckland to Wellington is actually easier than I thought it would be! I live on the Hibiscus Coast and some mornings with the Auckland traffic, I could’ve almost made it to Sydney in the time it takes me to get to work, and therefore it is actually easier to commute once a week to Wellington than 5 days per week from my home to Auckland City. I’m currently spending Tuesday – Friday in the Wellington office and one day in Auckland. The work/life balance works out well. I stay in a serviced apartment in the Wellington CBD. I can leave my things there and not have to pack every week. Plus, it’s right across from the gym which I often frequent in the evenings.

Juggling my family life remotely is also easier than expected. School apps and technology these days allow you to stay connected, along with a great network of Mums who kindly send me footage of swimming sport races and athletic days to keep me in the loop. My 2 boys, who are in primary school, look forward to our FaceTime chats and get pretty silly, showing me their tonsils and up their noses – they probably talk to me more on FaceTime than they do in person! Of course none of this would be possible without the support of a very understanding husband who has reduced his hours to run the household.

Professional challenges

Outside of the challenges around family time and the commute, there are of course, the challenges that come with taking on a different role. Having been a Team Leader in Auckland for several years, moving into the Business Manager position has presented situations I haven’t come up against before. The main hurdle was learning not to be as hands-on, and delegating work rather than trying to do a lot of it myself. I have several more direct reports now and have to be able to manage my time to get things done and still give my team the support they need. In addition, I’ve had to quickly get up to speed with our Wellington clients and how the team work with them. While it’s been a learning curve, I love the pace and that no two days are the same!

Adapting to a new role

If you’re moving into a leadership position or from one leadership role to another, and find yourself facing similar challenges, here are some of the key tactics that have helped me:

  • Taking time to get to know the team and what motivates them, what their strengths are, what they don’t like and where they would like help
  • Having strong relationships within the business who provide support when needed
  • Meeting with current clients to introduce myself and start forming a relationship
  • Doing my own research and not just relying on what I’m told; having as much knowledge as I can before meeting with clients
  • Jumping into the networking scene in Wellington to meet as many people as possible, as quickly as possible
  • Focusing on our priorities which are our people, our clients and our candidates, and prioritising in order of urgency
  • Staying organised
  • Accepting that I won’t always have the answer and figuring out where to find it

I’m learning that Wellington is well connected and that our team have formed genuine relationships with their clients. It’s a really nice place to do business, and I’m excited for the coming months!