What time does your alarm go off?
I wake up just after 6am and three days a week go straight to a spinning class. On the other days I head out for a walk with my dog, Buddy.
Do you work in an office or from home?
Recruitment isn’t a 9 to 5 job, so as long as I have my laptop and phone I can – and usually do – work from anywhere. I’m often out at appointments and use my time ‘on the road’ wisely to make and take a lot of calls. Early morning on a weekend it wouldn’t be unusual to find me working poolside at Freeman Quay in Durham, while my son is swimming; you just have to be flexible!
What’s your first task when arriving at work?
E-mails, it’s always my e-mails! Then I begin working through my to-do list. I cannot finish my day without making a list of priorities for the next morning. If you’re busy, you can’t underestimate how important it is to be organised.
What does a typical day entail?
Although the fundamentals of recruitment remain the same, every job is different and needs to be approached individually. That means my days are a real mixture of speaking or meeting with employers about vacancies, writing job specs and adverts for clients, posting on social media, interviewing and offering career advice to people looking for new opportunities, arranging and prepping candidates for interviews, relaying and negotiating job offers, organising start dates, the list goes on. Happily, no two days are ever the same.
Where’s your favourite spot for a business meeting?
I have to be a little discreet when meeting people, as they don’t always want to be seen having a coffee with me, so I can’t give too many of my hideaways up! The North East has a huge number of amazing venues however and I try to be as flexible as possible when meeting people, so it’s as convenient as it can be for them.
What’s the one piece of kit you couldn’t live without?
If you asked my children they would probably say my phone, but I would say the piece of kit I need most is my laptop. Last time I bought a new one I converted from Windows to a MacBook Pro and wish I’ done it years earlier. It’s so much faster and easier to use. I really couldn’t live without it!
When’s your favourite time of the day?
I like the simple pleasures in life, so time with all my family before the children go to bed can be special. Also walking the dog as the sun rises and before anyone else is about is always a fabulous way to start a day.
Do you find it easy to maintain work/life balance?
I would love to be able to say yes, but the reality is no. To be honest, I’m not even sure work/life balance is relevant when you’re a mum who runs their own business in a service sector. I think it’s much more about striving for a positive ‘work/life integration’ which I do much better at. It’s normal for me to be working well outside of core hours, so you can never completely switch off, but I do give myself flexibility when I need it, especially around my family.
How important is social media to your daily life?
It’s very important, as it gives us all our own channels of communication, but it is only one of many tools we need to use. Working in recruitment means you need to be able to appeal to a cross section of people and reach every demographic, geographic and socio-economic group, so you need to use a lot of different methods.
How do you find time to work on your business as opposed to in it?
I have quarterly and annual goals and each month try to find time to take stock of what has been achieved, so I can identify what still needs to be done to reach what I set out to do. This is often difficult however, when you work on your own, which is why I try to attend a couple of networking events each month, such as with the Entrepreneurs’ Forum. They to me are invaluable self-indulgent days where I can take time out to focus on business strategy.
What do you get up to after hours?
When I’m not working I spend a lot of time at my children’s many clubs – like me they live pretty full-on lives, so relaxing in front of the TV is rare. I love to exercise and go to Pilates. Walking my Labrador is a daily pleasure and at the weekend it’s all about spending time at home with my family, or maybe popping out with the girls to go shopping or for a meal!