The Impact Of Working Life
12th October 2023
by Suzanne Burr
I realised recently that it’s twenty years since I graduated from university and in all that time, I’ve only ever really worked for one company.
I guess that makes my career experience unusual these days, and the irony isn’t lost on me that I help people find a new job with a different employer!
Even before I graduated, I temped at TMM Recruitment providing reception cover at their office.
This initial connection with TMM proved to be pivotal, it gave me an insight into recruitment which up until that point I had never considered as a post-graduate career.
I'm a real-life example of how temping can be a valuable way of experiencing different job types.
It may seem astonishing that a role providing temporary cover has ended up influencing my entire working life, but it is one of the pieces of advice we share with students during our employability workshops.
Temping can be a valuable way of experiencing different job types and company cultures, helping you determine the job you want to do and the environment you want to spend your working time.
I’m a real-life example of this although I’m not sure I would have believed you back then if you had told me just how large a role recruitment, and TMM, would come to play in my professional and personal life.
I was fresh out of university in 2003, having graduated with a degree in Business Studies, and was looking for my first proper job. When I saw there was a vacancy at TMM for a recruitment consultant I didn’t have to think twice. My previous experience with the company made applying for the role a very easy decision.
I initially joined the company for a year before taking time out to travel around the world, for 12 months before returning to the business. Fast forward to 2023 and I’m now a senior business manager and member of the leadership team.
I guess you could say I was a “boomerang” employee long before that phrase was adopted!
I left TMM to pursue a dream of travelling but I always knew I’d return to a career in recruitment because I am a people person through and through.
Quite simply, I enjoy spending time with people. Finding out what makes them tick in terms of work, developing relationships, and working to get the best result, whether that is the right outcome for a candidate, an employer, or my own team.
Professionally, I’m a product of the TMM ethos to “grow our own talent”.
Over the years my role has changed and evolved significantly, I have been given the opportunity and space to lead initiatives and develop my skills, professional network, and team. In turn, this has enabled me to become the best I can be in a supportive environment.
Working through the ranks in the business makes me a better manager too. I’ve done the work asked of my line reports, I really do understand their challenges and I hope I provide the support they need having previously experienced the situations they encounter.
I also found a niche that suited me from the get-go.
The profession of accountancy and finance is incredibly varied and, of course, it is a business-critical function so many of the assignments I work on require interesting due diligence and candidate sourcing work.
Digital and tech adoption is shifting the traditional skill set that employers look for and that keeps recruiters like me on our toes. The most rewarding part of the job though is making connections with people which stand the test of time.
I’ve worked with hundreds of finance professionals during my career but the connections are not limited to matches between candidates and employers.
Understandably, having been with TMM for so long, it is probably not a surprise that my personal life is closely linked to my professional one.
It’s fair to say I have made some great friendships over the years too, but I also met my husband at the office. We have now been married for seven years and have two young children.
We both still work for TMM and, while I get that wouldn’t suit everyone, it works for us. I think we both benefit from working in the same field. As with any job, there are definite highs and lows, and it is good for both of us to have someone at home who can easily relate to what is going on at work.
I’m not the only long-term employee at TMM. Almost a third of the people in the team have over 10 years' of service.
It is a testament to TMM that so many of us have been there for significant periods of time. The formula must be right if so many of us have stayed for so long!