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Fred Watts

Transitioning from industries and changing careers is never easy but it can work. Fred Watts, from the become Sydney team worked as an Account Manager in digital and creative agencies before making the move into recruitment. Here he tells us why and how he made a successful transition from his beginnings in advertising to his current creative recruitment role…

For a lot of us, a university degree or diploma of some sort seems a sure fire way to secure a job in the field that we have studied. However, with recruitment, people often come from all sorts of backgrounds and it’s rare to find somebody who set out to find a career in recruitment. Most people kind of fall into it.

I spent 3 years studying an Advertising degree and once university was done moved in to working in creative and digital agencies in Sydney. 

Why I made the move…

Looking back, there are a number of things recruitment has given me that advertising didn’t, aside from no more late nights spent writing briefs or answering client emails. It’s the feel-good factor you get placing someone in a role who may have been unhappy or uninspired. 

How my industry experience helped me switch careers…

Working in client services, as I did, you get to work with a lot of creative people including designers, copywriters, studio managers and producers. This helped me understand the way creatives think and work. 

Having industry experience can be hugely beneficial as I have found that I can relate to my clients and candidates well, having walked in their shoes.

Obviously working in recruitment, I spend much of my day interviewing candidates from a variety of backgrounds. This is something that has made the switch a lot easier, I know the sorts of questions to ask, the lingo that is used and the sort of responses that I am likely to get. 

Finding your transferable skills:

Being from an advertising background I can also totally understand when someone says they are not enjoying their job, either because of the poor work-life balance or wanting a new creative challenge. Aside from this, working in advertising and recruiting in that space makes it a lot easier to understand the agency structure, what a good designer looks like and what sort of salary an Account Director and Digital Producer should earn. 

Why recruitment?

Working as part of a smaller team has allowed for an incredible work culture to cultivate; that includes regular team nights out and lunches. I have met so many different people, grown my network and learnt so much about the different sort of roles that we as recruiters source candidates for. Joining recruitment has also allowed me to learn about other parts of the business such as media, tech and digital that I would never have known about without making the switch. 

What you can do to facilitate a career change?

  • Identify your key skills and the industries/jobs for which they are transferable
  • Think about what parts of your job make you the happiest
  • Where do you want to go next in your career?
  • Be prepared to take a step backwards in order to move forward
  • Do you need to study further, or upskill?
  • Are there existing opportunities in your own company but maybe in a different department?

For any help or advise in making a career move, contact our team of friendly recruiters; we’re always happy to help. If Fred’s move has inspired you to try out recruitment, apply to join us here at become! With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, London, Manchester and Hong Kong, we are always looking to grow our incredible teams of recruiters.