Meet Doireann O'Riordan, Talent Consultant, Fastnet

Changing career is a significant decision, and it's becoming increasingly common in today's workforce. According to a survey by LinkedIn, the average person changes careers five to seven times in their lifetime. This trend is driven by a variety of factors, including the desire for new challenges, better work-life balance, or the pursuit of a more meaningful career. Additionally, a survey by Indeed found that 85% of workers who have made a career change reported being happier with their new job. Doireann O'Riordan joined Fastnet - The Talent Group in November 2022 after initially pursuing a career in the insurance industry. 

Interview with Doireann

5th April 2023

Tell us a little bit about your career before joining Fastnet

I had spent 4 years pursuing a career in insurance while also doing my degree, which involved multiple exams and a lot of hard work. I began in dispute resolution which involved assisting people whose insurance providers were disputing their claims. The aim was to manage the process for the claimant and the insurance company to resolving a dispute quickly and cost-effectively. I then began a role as a claim’s specialist. I worked on a diverse portfolio of Employers, Public and Products Liability claims with developing an all-encompassing market knowledge of the industry. I worked with several insurance clients developing my skills in communication, problem solving and attention to detail.

Was it a hard decision for you to choose to pursue a new career?

Insurance is a relationship business. Everything starts and ends with relationships. I began to realise that my passion was not with the insurance aspect itself but more for connecting with a variety of people daily. I knew I wanted a change, but it needed to be an opportunity where I could transfer the skills I had developed into a new industry. I was not only looking for a change, but also looking for balance and room to grow.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in recruitment?

I had always thought about pursuing a career in recruitment but I bought into the stereotyped misconception that recruitment is an ordinary sales job for people with 'the gift of the gab' and not much else. Further research led me to realise that this is just not the case. Recruitment is an important aspect of every business ensuring that the workforce has the necessary skills for the organisation's present and upcoming needs. I am a people person and recruitment is a people business. I have always enjoyed working with different personalities. To gain an opportunity to positively influence a big area of someone’s life, their career, I felt it would be extremely fulfilling.

What skills from your previous work do you feel translate the most to recruitment?

I think the skills that have stood to me most in making the transition  have to be my confidence in dealing with people; building relationships, listening to and understanding their needs. I developed good patience from the insurance industry and “big picture” thinking and that has really stood to me. I enjoy building relationships with people and ensuring a positive experience for client and the candidates. The main thing I would highlight is that I had a natural curiosity about recruitment and specifically for the life science industry, so I believe that curiosity is the main element that is continuing to help me grow in my position. I am committed to researching the industry and learning as much as I can on the roles I am working on so I can provide a good service for clients and candidates.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned?

The number one thing so far is learning to be even more resilient and accept rejection as part of the job. Previous jobs taught me the importance of brushing things off and picking myself up again. For recruitment this is on a deeper level all together. Staying motivated and enthusiastic can be hard when things aren’t going right but being able to get back on the horse and have the confidence in yourself is essential.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of a career change?

For me, the change has 100% been the right one. I have already gained a huge amount of knowledge on how different organisations work, different work cultures/business structures and hiring practices. Every day is different, and I absolutely love talking to a variety of candidates - it is great to hear their personal stories and gain insight into their career journey to date. Having an opportunity to engage with people on this intimate level is both interesting and exciting. People’s situations are constantly changing so there is almost a thrill to the unpredictable nature of the business. There is something extremely rewarding about having an opportunity to support people in important career decisions which are so impactful on the quality of their lives and wonderful to see talented candidates developing their careers with progressive organisations. 

After 5 months with Fastnet I can safely say that I am happy I was selective in who I decided to work for when it came to choosing a recruitment role. Fastnet as an employer make going to work rewarding and challenging. The positive company culture and the knowledge I am gaining from everyone in the organisation solidifies my decision in changing career. I am at ease working for a company whose attitude and values align with my own. There has no doubt been some very difficult days over the last 5 months and I have no doubt there will be many more, but I feel recruitment as an industry is one where I will learn, grow and advance in my career.

Interested in finding more about a career in Fastnet?

Please get in touch with us to explore more.

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