My story, not quite Captain Tom but I’m sure it’s unique…
When I started my new career at Finlay James Recruitment on March the 2nd, COVID-19 felt like a distant, vague enemy that plagued foreign lands. I entered the office on my first day, wore a fairly outrageous shirt and I was inducted into the training programme. Soon I was dialling through my first list of client calls, desperate to have the most calls and highest conversion rate. With some relatively low-key success, I felt like I was fitting in nicely. Fast forward two weeks and I was starting to feel under the weather.
Everyone who has had Corona Virus has reported slightly different symptoms. For me, it started like a dreary cold on a Wednesday afternoon, my dials were down and my focus withering. I took the Thursday and Friday off, with reports of Covid in the UK starting to come in thick and fast. By Saturday night I couldn’t move from the sofa. I had no appetite, a high fever and a slight cough but worst of all was the extreme fatigue. Looking at a screen hurt my head too much so no TV or iPhone to distract me. I worried about my job. Less than a few weeks had gone by and I was already taking days off with the illness and knew there would be more to follow.
New measures came in from the UK Government and two weeks of isolation began. At least I finally got to use the spare room. It needs painting. My symptoms improved, the fever slowly disappeared but I remained constantly tired with a lower than normal level of focus. Finlay James couldn’t have been nicer about the situation, offering support, company updates and a considerate ear when needed. I felt assured, but by the time I was cleared to return to work I was 2 weeks behind the other trainee and the entire business was starting to work from home.
I nervously expected a phone-call from HR and when it came I feared the worse – what company would want someone who was untrained, behind the starter-programme and a complete novice in the world of recruitment to continue to work under these conditions.
Fortunately, they still wanted me. They said they saw my potential, my work ethic and my co-workers had bigged me up. I was surprised and thrilled. I worked from home
that first day back, being trained remotely, soaking in the information like a sponge. The furlough announcement changed everything. My trainer, along with most our staff started to go onto the retention scheme. But I had started after the cut-off date and once again I felt my position become vulnerable.
Finlay James kept me on. The Corona newbie with next-to-no training. So, I started to work. Hard. I found a candidate who was 100% perfect for a role through my own
search, passed him onto my manager and he now has an offer from the client. Win. I started working every role I could, blasting through calls and adding value in any way I could, passing over candidates left right and centre. When the second Furlough announcement came with the extension, I felt a sigh of relief – I could help Finlay James bottom line and use what I had learnt when I came back. Once again I didn’t qualify due to the real-time PAYE Ts&Cs. Gutted at first, but my outlook has changed.
Here I am, a newbie, learning as I go, able to speak constantly with Senior Consultants, the Managing Director and I’m getting unparalleled one-on-one time with the most knowledgeable people in the business. The CEO John has had all the time in world for me and I couldn’t be more confident in the business. Including me there’s four consultants left in the UK after furloughing, so I’m now a top 5 billing consultant. That’s a win. Now, I’m starting to pay back the commitment Finlay James made to me. So far this week I have four candidates out for interview, 2 more CVs awaiting feedback and I’m starting feel like I belong. I don’t know of anyone else who’s been treated so well by their company during this time. So to everyone who has placed their faith in me, I thank you and I promise to reward your faith in the coming months.