A look back on my first year in recruitment
An interview with James Chichester, Consultant
At Trident Search we’ve created an environment for thought leaders where innovation and collaboration are at the forefront of our success. When the business launched in 2020, our two founders Charlee Ryman and Josh Keeley made the decision to steer a course away from the classic recruitment model and focus instead on building a business based on the values of trust, honesty and integrity – an approach we still stand by.
Our people are the key to our success, and every Consultant shares the same passion and drive that has made the business what it is. This month one of our team members, James Chichester, passed an important career milestone, his first anniversary in the job! We caught up with him to discuss the highs and lows of the last 12 months, and what it takes to transition into a new career.
Hi James, thanks for talking to us today. I understand you came into recruitment from a very different career route. Can you tell me more about that?
Before I joined Trident Search I’d spent 15 years as a Detective Constable in the Kent police force. I loved the job, but it takes its toll on you after a while and I knew I was ready to take on a new challenge. While considering what the next step would be, I realised that I really wanted to do something with the people skills I had developed whilst on the force. Once I prioritized that, recruitment seemed like the natural move.
How did you go about finding a job once you’d decided that was what you wanted to do?
I was drawn to cyber recruitment as it’s such an interesting field, and one that is likely to keep growing due to its relevance in the world today.
Soon after I’d made the decision to move into this area, a friend and I attended a recruitment event for police officers and military personnel. By chance we started talking to Charlee at the Trident Search stand, and I really enjoyed hearing about the company, its values and position in the market. It was also reassuring to hear that both founders had come from military backgrounds and so understood the process of changing careers. From there it was just a case of acing the interview! I’m glad I found Trident so early on, but networking and attending these kinds of events was crucial to getting my foot in the door.
And when you started the job, how did you go about understanding the cyber sector? Have you found yourself focusing on a specific area within this space?
It was a lot to take in! I really had to build up my technical knowledge to be able to meet the needs of the clients and candidates I was responsible for. After a few weeks I realised that within the cyber jobs we were recruiting for there was a niche for Sales Engineers, and my manager encouraged me to take ownership of it and build out the desk. I now recruit predominantly for Sales Engineers and most days I’ll be working with cyber vendors and MSSPs to help build out their teams and generate growth. As far as I know, I am the only dedicated cyber Pre-Sales Engineer recruiter in the UK.
That’s amazing! Has the whole of the last year been such plain sailing or have there been challenges along the way?
The last year has been incredible, and I’ve been particularly lucky in joining a company where I’ve been supported to grow in my career and take ownership for my work. I’ve developed my skills in all areas of the job, been nominated as Trident Values Champion and received a promotion. Oh, and my wife and I welcomed a new baby as well! But the biggest thing was becoming more and more confident within the role, building out the Pre-Sales desk within the company, and meeting so many great people through my work.
That’s not to say it hasn’t been challenging. Succeeding as a recruiter takes dedication and a lot of hard work – it’s a real craft and although I had a basic understanding of what it would be like, I’ve had to learn a lot. Recruitment is much more than simply finding someone a job, you really have to listen, understand and support the candidates you are working with, as the decision to move jobs is a major one.
And how have you found the experience of changing careers?
Changing careers later in life can be really daunting, especially when moving from a vocation like the police force into the private sector. But the company have been incredibly supportive, and with Josh and Charlee both coming from military backgrounds there is a real understanding of the time that it can take to learn a new craft, and the processes needed to develop your skills in this industry.
As a parting note, what advice would you give to anyone looking to do the same?
I’d say that when you’ve made the decision to change careers or join another company, the best thing to do is to surround yourself with good people and work as hard as you can to make it a success. It’s a real learning curve, so be resilient, be open about what you want to do moving forwards and be patient with yourself as it may take time to get to where you want to be.
For more information, or to find out about our Pre-Sales desk, contact:
Consultant, Trident Search
T: +44 (0)7803350235