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My Journey In Management - Zoe McCabe

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Management is something that had always seemed like natural progression in a person’s working life. Something that would almost be guaranteed as you move through life. Much like wrinkles, developing questionable taste in fashion or an inclination to carry boiled sweets on all occasions. I always thought that if you work long and hard enough, you’ll inevitably end up managing someone.

I’ve been the ‘Office Manager’ in several companies now. Most of the time, this has meant being manager of a department of three people. Me, myself and I. So yeah, one person. One person’s time to manage, one person to shoulder the workload with and one person accountable to me.

June 2016 this all changed. My workload had increased vastly over the 18 months I’d been in my role and something had to give. Luckily that something was the budget to recruit a second member of office staff, which I duly did.

Naively I thought that the hardest part was going to be imparting the knowledge I’d accrued over the past year and a half on to someone else. Often thinking ‘Ah, it’ll be quicker to do it myself than teach you how to do it’ and therefore never really making any progress in passing jobs over. How wrong I was. Not only was my newly acquired assistant astute and able but proactive as well. With just a bit of guidance she quickly picked up everything I threw at her and asked for more. My concerns were wholly unjustified and I haven’t looked back since.

What has been challenging however is my own development in my new role and recognising that the skill set needed for managing someone else is completely different to those needed for managing yourself. Most management skills are best learned on the job. You’re going to make mistakes. Embrace them and learn from them. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned from my experience so far.

Aim to be respected above being liked

  • Almost everyone wants to be liked. That’s natural and it certainly helps grease the wheels when asking for a favour or when you have a special request to make. However, if you regularly choose being liked over being respected, you’ll find it increasingly hard to ensure your team accept your decisions. Which leads us on to…

Feedback – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

  • I’m a nice person. I don’t like to upset people or cause them to feel bad. However, one important lesson I’ve learned is not to hold back when giving feedback for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. It doesn’t help you to build a strong team and it doesn’t help your team to develop to their fullest potential. You’re not doing them any favours, you’re simply trying to avoid feeling mean. Which given that feedback is generally given to help a staff member improve their work and or themselves is a rather selfish and self-defeating act.

Don’t worry if your management isn’t always needed

  • Sometimes I offer help or advice to my assistant that she simply doesn’t need. She’s fine managing herself on this particular task. Rather than worrying that this means my management isn’t needed, I’ve come to realise that this simply means I’ve hired the right person for the job. This frees up even more of my time for my own work, which was the whole point of the hire in the first place.

Six months into my role as someone else’s manager and I’ve made some mistakes along the way, with more to make I’m sure, but mostly it’s been a great education.  It’s looking likely I’ll be hiring and welcoming a third member into our small team in the first half of this year. I’m looking forward to applying what I’ve learned so far and no doubt discovering new lessons along the way. 

My Transition; working for a High Street Agency to being a Sales Specialist Recruiter...

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June 30th 2014 was my first day in recruitment, and I can be completely honest in saying I was unaware and naive to what my actual job was going to be. I saw a sparkly OTE figure on an advert, thought “I would love to earn that much money” and clicked apply. I had no idea what I would be doing, I knew the basic ‘finding people jobs’ and ‘finding jobs for people’, but not the specifics.

How I became a God

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Now I imagine upon reading the title of this blog, images of some self-proclaimed, incredibly handsome, world class recruiter come to mind… While all of the above are true my title has a somewhat more modest story attached. 


Growing up I would have been classed as a bit of a wild spirit by some, raving lunatic by others.  With little to no regard for personal safety and a slightly selfish, thrill seeking personality, I spent most of my teenage years studying, partying, working various jobs and partying. At the near adult age of 21 I had a bombshell dropped on my utterly self-centred world “I’m pregnant” came the words every young man longs to hear… Being a rather pragmatic individual I hugged my girlfriend, smiled and cried with er joy…

New year, new job? More than one in five employees expected to seek out new role in 2016, with better pay and benefits being the biggest motivator

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A survey of 1,000 full-time employees released today by people management consultancy Penna discovered that nearly half (48 per cent) of those planning to leave for pastures new were doing so to seek out better pay and benefits, while 44 per cent wanted more opportunities to develop and 32 per cent long for a change from what they are currently doing.

Our newest consultant Alex Szabo has written a great blog about his journey to recruitment

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My Journey


I still remember the day six years ago when I was sitting in the living room with my parents discussing my future and new opportunities. How could we develop our two already successful businesses? We needed to be more financially stable to grow so we made the courageous decision to move to the UK. My dad helped out with his friend’s business and the idea of being able to open a third business was more possible than ever.


I decided that I wanted to move to the UK with my dad. The education system in my country was not as advanced and I wanted to better myself as much as possible. After battling through GCSEs and A-levels I came to the end of my education journey. I was now seeking full-time employment and a friend of mine recommended a recruitment agency that were seeking staff for their catering vacancies. Without a second thought I dived at the opportunity. I was pretty good at what I was doing and within only three months of working for them I was promoted to supervisor.


I developed so much as a person whilst in this role. I was training people, ensuring events ran smoothly and minimising complaints. As things progressed and I got more experienced I was offered the opportunity to work directly for the agency itself as an Administrator. I worked closely alongside the recruitment consultants and assisted them with their needs. Again I progressed fairly quickly, I found the admin is pretty easy to pick up and master. I asked my manager to give me a bit more responsibility and he assigned me to manage the company's advertising on social media and recruitment, which I loved doing! In time the recruitment consultant that I was working closely with decided to move on from the company, which led to my promotion!  They offered me a recruitment consultant position, and I took it!


As time passed I felt that there was nothing further that I could learn, no skills that I could develop, so I decided to move on. I wanted to join a company whereby everyday was a challenge.  I came across CPI Selection, a team full of driven individuals, a team with great mindsets and they are very motivated to succeed!


Now, I'm learning new things on a daily basis and I look forward to every day at work, I can’t thank CPI enough for the opportunity they have given me.


My journey is nowhere close to ending however, I still wonder where will I be in five years time.


 Alex Szabo

The evolving world of sales & communication…my take on youth to (almost) middle aged selling!

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November 23rd 2004 was the day it all changed, I had gone through a couple of interviews and had met the ‘new team’. This was my first day in my new job and in all honesty...I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, or how fast actually this roller coaster of a career was going to be for me.

I was 27 years old, relatively a late starter into recruitment, I had just bought my first property with my girlfriend, driving around in a brand new Vauxhall Astra SXI. Disposable income was a wonderful thing and my weekends tended to start on a Wednesday! Prior to this I held a couple of sales positions for a large retailer and then a national hotel chain. Yes I had been on all the training sessions on sales processes, negotiation, and how to make a proper hand shake! (Yes, I actually went on a course on how to shake hands professionally!) But in all honesty I never really knew what selling meant!

Embracing flexible working practices

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How does your working day start? Wake up at 6am, drive your car in angry rush hour traffic, or get on an overcrowded non-ventilated form of transport? Are you exhausted and fed up by the time you arrive at work? What about when you arrive at work? Does the layout of your desk give you neck ache, or does the chatting of your colleagues distract you?


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