My first job after college was “Executive Recruiter” – Here’s why I’ll never change careers

By Tim Burkhart, Co-Founder & COO

Like most of my peers, I entered college without a real idea of what I wanted to be “when I grew up”. I knew that I was willing to work hard in any career path that I took, had a passion for value-add solution selling, and I knew I was up for a challenge. Ultimately, I graduated from a respectable University with a shiny degree in Communications (and a minor in English Literature).

I had always considered myself to be an entrepreneur. From the outset, I thought it was important to have that extra control and accountability over the outcome of my future. I began my job search with just a few short months until my early graduation date.

I landed on an opportunity as an Executive Recruiter with a reputable, specialized Recruiting Agency for an Industry I knew absolutely nothing about. After finding early success in recruiting, learning the ins-and-outs of an ever-evolving industry, and one huge leap of faith, I now own my own successful recruiting firm. It was never about the money, or having to report to others, or having to be at work on time—it was simply about the opportunity to “build my own house”. There are countless reasons why this career path has become both a rewarding challenge and lifelong passion. And if you’re wondering whether or not recruiting could be the right path for you, here are a few reasons why I love my job:

1. Network Building

There is no exact formula for what makes a great recruiter. However, there are some key traits that stand out amongst those who go the distance. I’ve seen the most success in individuals who are self-starters and have the desire to put themselves out there to build a network—never feel like a call is a wasted call. A great network can serve you for the rest of your life, no matter where your career takes you. Building long-term relationships is invaluable and there are few other career paths that provide the network opportunities that come with recruiting.

2. Flexibility

With most career paths, you have (or should have) the ability to control your own destiny. That’s especially true for a career in recruiting, where your level of success is strictly correlated to the activity, effort and attention you place on your career. It takes an entrepreneurial mindset to be successful in this field and it’s an understatement to say, “it’s a grind”. Recruiting is not a 9–5 job, which requires discipline, but in the end, allows for an unmatched level of flexibility that offers the ultimate work-life balance.

3. Access to Training

With any career that is worthwhile and meaningful, a purposeful training period, not only in the beginning, but on-going, is necessary to build a baseline of conduct and best practices. In the field of recruiting, this aspect should not be taken lightly. If you have been offered a position in this field of work, your very first question should be to evaluate the training process of the firm. The effort placed on training will directly correlate to the success rate of its recruiters.

I always say, it’s nearly impossible to sell a car your first day on the lot, so your success is critically correlated to the training programs and ways in which a firm has teed you up for success.  The good news is that if training and professional development is fostered by the firm, then this career comes with tons of training and education opportunities. And you don’t need a specific degree (or a degree at all for that matter!) to be successful.

4. Growth Potential

Although some recruiting firms offer generous base salaries, the beauty of this field is the unlimited potential for high earnings—starting at an early point in your career primarily through commissions or bonuses. Forget the days of paying your dues and navigating company politics to climb the corporate ladder. Expect your pay at the end of the year to be commensurate with the effort you’ve put in, regardless of how long you’ve been with the firm. There is no reason why one cannot reach the six-figure mark by their second or third year in the industry.

Additionally, recruiting is multi-faceted in your approach and the upside potential is unlimited—either on the client side or the candidate side—and that’s not just pertaining to compensation, but the pride and accomplishment of building a specialized practice. It’s simple: the harder you work, the larger the return on career growth.  

5. Making an Impact

No matter how you slice it, our jobs take up a huge portion of our lives. There’s no sense in wasting precious hours on something you aren’t passionate about. Recruiting allows you to make a real impact—not just on your bank account—but on your clients’ businesses and in the lives of the candidates you place. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a business grow as a result of the talented employees you’ve recruited or seeing a candidate excel professionally because of an offer you’ve helped them receive. As recruiter, we constantly strive to better the industry’s workforce while enhancing and advancing the careers of our candidates.

Interested in exploring a job in recruiting? Reach out to us today to Join the Odyssey through our contact page.


About Odyssey Pursuit Enterprises

OPE provides a custom-fit experience for our clients and candidates because we listen and respond to the individual needs of our partners. You speak, we listen, and produce results. Odyssey Pursuit is small enough to give one-on-one attention to each of our clients, while large enough to have an amazing network of cutting edge technology firms and the top talent serving this Industry. Our goal is to know all the top talent personally. Our strength is in our relationships!

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