This week is my four-year anniversary with Peridot. If someone asked me five years ago: ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’, I could never have imagined the position I now find myself in and probably thought it would’ve been impossible. It’s only when I reflect on the last five years of my life, I realise just how far I’ve come, how many of my life goals I’ve smashed, and how much I’ve evolved as a person.

Five years ago, I was a second term Sabbatical Officer at Abertay Students’ Association and in deep consideration about what I’d do when my role – which is linked to a term limit – would no longer be possible.

‘I was introduced to Peridot Partners when Grant supported Abertay SA to lead a brilliant recruitment campaign.’

Whilst a Sabbatical Officer, I was introduced to Peridot Partners when Grant supported Abertay SA to lead a brilliant recruitment campaign. He gave the Officer team the tools and skills to make an informed decision about the people we needed to take us forward, and the encouragement to take ownership of key parts of the assessment. Seeing the difference that Grant and other consultants we worked with (shout outs to Antony Blackshaw, Al Powell and Steve Coole) made me realise I wanted to pursue a career in consulting.

However, there was one massive problem hurdle. I was, and to some extent still am, a massive introvert. My fellow Sabbatical Officers and staff team worked hard to build my confidence whilst I also studied for a specialist PG Certificate course which was designed for public and third sector consultants.

When the opportunity to join Peridot came up in 2016, the hard work in building my confidence proved invaluable and allowed me to take the leap of faith by getting in touch with Grant, applying for the role and then the rest is history as they say!

It was not all plain sailing, though. Initially, I had no idea how I would find candidates, develop business or be able to advise clients – I felt that I was battling imposter syndrome every day. For the first six months, I found myself replaying every voicemail I left to clients and candidates over and over, deleting it and re-recording it to analyse every word – it is a miracle I got anything done!

‘The shift in mentality has been life changing. It has enabled me to secure, lead and deliver over 20 CEO and Senior Leadership Team appointments and countless Board appointments.’

Around two years in, I had my first “pinch myself” moment when pitching to a Students’ Union and trying to justify why I might be a credible recruitment partner. Before the pitch, my colleague, Drew Richardson-Walsh, highlighted that I was now the leading consultant for SUs in the whole sector – it’d not even dawned on me to check. From that moment on I started to believe that I might be good at what I do.

I’ve used that confidence to dispel most of the negative energy I was wasting around my competence and now focus on what I can offer, what skills I have and in leading my areas of work in ways which are authentic. The shift in mentality has been life changing. It has enabled me to secure, lead and deliver over 20 CEO and Senior Leadership Team appointments and countless Board appointments.

In a strange way, events of 2020 have enabled me to reflect more on my four years and it is only just sinking in about how much I love what I do. Like most other businesses, we were faced with uncertainty, but having worked so hard to learn, grow and build up Peridot’s practice, and benefiting from such a wonderful team, I knew I was going to fight with every fibre to help pull us through.

Supporting organisations to find the right leaders has never been more important than it is right now. With so many charities at risk, having the right leaders in place will be essential to them being able to lead through this pandemic and support an ever-growing number of benefactors, members, and services users.

It is an honour and a privilege to know that I am playing a role in helping charities emerge from this crisis. My ambition to support charities has never been higher, and I am fortunate enough to have found a team that empowers me, believes in me, and supports my ambitions.

Talk to Bill about Students’ Union Recruitment>