I never advise people to sell themselves hard, just to try to get across in any interview situation how they conduct themselves on a daily basis. I’ve always tried to think what I’m good at in daily life, then how I can relate that to my career: Meet Tom Wright
Hey Tom. I understand that you’re fairly new to the Ad Idem team. Can you tell us a bit about what you were doing before you joined and what drew you to Ad Idem?
I won’t go too far back (so as to not bore you) but I was working in the Non-Exec Director and business advisor space before Ad Idem. Prior to that I was in recruitment, in the construction industry. My decision to join Ad Idem was made after I had met Ann a couple of times. It was clear she is very straight talking and had a dry sense of humour; as well as this, she is very experienced in the industry, experience which I knew would be great to learn from.
Can you talk us through a typical day in the office?
Working for the Ad Exec International arm of the business, I work mainly with senior interim finance professionals. The sector is extremely fast paced. Throughout the day I am constantly speaking to candidates on the phone or meeting with them (I try to meet up with two in person each day), and gathering references; one of the most important things I do is reference the people we are working with – this gives us an honest account of them, which we can pass onto our clients.
I always think it must be quite tough to be the person that candidates rely on to help them get a new job. Do you find it difficult? Especially if, for example, you have a candidate you’re particularly warming to and they’re just not seeming to get the break they want. How would you approach that, if you can see that they just don’t have the right skills or experience for the kind of role they’re focusing on?
With the level of people I work with they tend to be hugely experienced with a broad skillset, so this doesn’t come into the equation too often. I have experienced this in the past though. In this situation you have to trust your gut and be professional enough to consult on what the future could look like for them, and where we look next.
Can you give us 3 tips on how someone can work out what their top sellable skills are?
Every client I work with at this level will always appreciate honesty, assertiveness in a role, and a strong work ethic. Above this, people are so unique and their natural skills and personality will always come through. I never advise people to sell themselves hard, just to try to get across in any interview situation how they conduct themselves on a daily basis. I’ve always tried to think what I’m good at in daily life, then how I can relate that to my career.
What advice would you give someone who is coming back into the job market after a period of time focusing on other things? Perhaps because they’ve taken time to focus on their family, or they’ve had to deal with a challenging personal situation; or even that they’ve taken an adult gap year and spent the time travelling and doing voluntary work?
I always find the best way to approach this in any situation, is to be honest: honest about timings and the reasoning behind your decision, if you are happy to discuss it. Things happen in life that are out of our control and any good employer who you are looking to work with should understand this.
We know you’re a great uncle (congratulations on your niece’s recent dance recital; we could see how proud you were in the picture of the two of you). What else is important to you outside of work?
I mainly spend time with family and friends (there isn’t much in life more important than this to me). This will usually revolve around some sort of cooking or eating: BBQ’s, food festivals etc. I play golf every weekend (the constant desire to better myself in the game). Then, whenever the weather allows it, I’ll get out on my motorbike.
You happen to stumble across a magic lamp (yay!); what are your 3 wishes?
Happy and healthy lives for my family and friends (I’m sure that can be one wish), the ability to travel through time and… able to eat whatever I want and not have to exercise (we hear you Tom).