You may not know this about me but, immediately pre-Reuben, I used to be a recruitment consultant. It was fun for a while and – I realised while cooking dinner – just the perfect preparation for parenthood. I’ll explain:
1) Recruitment and parenthood are both hideously competitive. In recruitment, it’s colleagues selling each other out to get a good candidate…in parenthood, it’s neighbours selling each other out to get a good school place.
2) In both cases, the outcome of the competition depends on a third party who is prone to behave unpredictably and generally do the very last thing you want them to. Back then, we called them “candidates”. Now I call them “toddlers”
3) One of these jobs involves 5:30am starts, midnight finishes, weekend and Christmas work and an end to ever having a holiday to really call your own. Then there’s parenthood, which is remarkably similar.
4) After a few months in recruitment, you’ll be able to telephone interview one candidate while writing the CV of a different one entirely. This multi-tasking is good practice for working from home with a toddler on your knee asking for stories and the “Sarah & Duck” DVD on repeat.
5) You know how new mothers find themselves waiting till mid-afternoon before they find time to have lunch? Recruiters are used to that already. And eating with an audience. And the copious amounts of caffeine.
6) Headhunting is all about convincing someone to leave their job. Useful skills for getting a 3-year-old to leave the park.
7) You spend the whole day asking the same few questions over and over again. It used to be “What kind of role are you looking for?”. Now it’s “Have you put your shoes on?”
Not convinced? How about these similarities between life in a recruitment office and life with kids?:
8) Bodily functions are an acceptable topic of conversation.
9) The parties always involve dressing up.
10) You definitely need a drink by Friday night
So, are you a nervous young 20-something considering taking the plunge into parenthood? Take the plunge into recruiting first. Just don’t get used to the money…