At Faststream Recruitment, we strive to provide our people with the opportunities to establish careers and not just jobs. We love hearing from our employees about their career journeys and what they have done to achieve the successful recruitment careers they have today.
We caught up with Victoria Paterson, Principal Consultant of our Commercial Shipping Division to hear about her recruitment career.
Victoria Paterson - Principal Recruitment Consultant - Faststream Recruitment
When did your recruitment career begin?

When I joined the business in 2013, I knew barely anything about recruitment. I knew that I wanted a career path, more financial stability, and to work in a professional environment. So, I decided the corporate world of recruitment could be interesting.

Why did you choose to join Faststream over other recruitment companies?

When I was job searching, I wasn’t sure about the type of job I wanted but once I was introduced to the world of recruitment, I applied for a job at Faststream and was really impressed.

I decided to join the business because of its positive reputation, career progression opportunities, and the earning potential on offer.

What aspect of your role and the business are you most passionate about?

Honestly, it’s being successful and supporting people to find great jobs. Although the financial reward is a key motivator, I’m not purely money motivated. I’m motivated by the possibility of establishing a successful career for myself.

What misconceptions do you think there are surrounding careers in recruitment?

There is a misconception that recruitment is easy money. The truth is it’s a hard job and you need to work for your money. If you are willing to put in the work and persevere, you’ll see success faster.

People that are new to the industry also think the job involves a lot of in-person interaction, but it’s often the opposite. There are occasional travel opportunities but if like me you are consulting with clients in the Middle East or Europe, it is less likely. There will sometimes be great opportunities to attend industry events and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ones I’ve attended, such as Breakbulk Europe in Rotterdam.

What do you do to ensure that you stay relevant in your specialism?

I make certain that I am knowledgeable about the latest industry trends. I do this through relevant news outlets and social media platforms.

However, much of this knowledge comes from speaking with my clients and candidates daily. They are tremendously valuable and will be your biggest resource for industry intel and business referrals. We can always help each other out and this is key to building long-lasting business relationships.

Have you had any career lessons that have made you a better recruitment consultant?

This is a bit of an oxymoron, but it would be never stop caring but not care too much.

You need to care about your job, clients, candidates and Faststream’s internal values, but you can’t take things personally. If a job falls through or someone doesn’t want to partner with you, you need to have the resilience to pick yourself back up and still want to go again.

Success is always around the corner if you are willing to keep pushing.

What is your proudest career moment?

I am proud that I have built a good career for myself. During my time with the business, I’ve successfully operated across two completely different industries. So, knowing I can be successful across both shows that I am good at what I do.

I’ve also loved managing teams and progressing throughout my career, now working as a Principal Consultant.

What skills do you believe it takes to be a successful recruitment consultant?

Again, resilience is crucial. You also need to be good at building rapport and establishing relationships. You’ll be speaking with people from all over the world, from diverse backgrounds and cultures. So, it is important to enjoy the social and conversational side of the role.

What advice would you give to someone in their first year of recruitment?

The first year is going to be tough but it will get better. Don’t give up. I’ve not met one person working in recruitment who has not found the first year challenging. Make sure that you believe in yourself and your ability to build a career. If you want it enough, you will find the strength to pick yourself up when the going gets tough.

How would you describe Faststream’s business culture?

It is extremely social, friendly, and inclusive. There is always someone to help and offer advice. If you need a mentor, you will find someone that can be your trusted advisor. The local pub on a Friday lunchtime is always a given too.

What is the most valuable advice you have received from one of your peers?

Take a breath and believe in yourself. Doubts will come in but deep down you know you are capable and have the tools to be a successful and respected recruitment consultant.

Looking back, is there anything that you would have done differently?

I would have worked smarter and made it a priority to leave the office on time. Over the years I have come to learn that I am far more successful and valuable to my clients when I’m engaged and energised. That goes for everyone, in any job.

In the past, I have spent far too much time at work, but it only leads to burn out. Work-life balance is strongly encouraged at Faststream, and we have an ultra-flexible working policy. Now I make certain that I leave on time and switch off after work.

Do you have any career goals?

To continue building a successful and lucrative recruitment career, whilst establishing myself in the sector I operate. I work with the largest and most renowned businesses in Shipping, and I plan to expand on that.

What are your goals for the next 12 months and how do you plan to get there?

To continue progressing in my career, whilst growing my financial earnings. I want to pay off my mortgage as soon as possible, so growing my billings each month will be crucial for this. I plan to get there by working smartly, building my business relationships, and continuing to learn.

If you're interested in a career with Faststream, please get in touch by filling out the form below.

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