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“How my Anxiety helped me to carve out a career in the Recruitment industry”​!

When thinking about writing this article, I was acutely aware that Anxiety affects different people in different ways. On numerous occasions, I had decided not to go ahead with this article and then changed my mind again. In the end, it was too important for me not to share this content, as it’s been an-ever present part of me for so many years now at this point. So this is my own experience of living with Anxiety!

Living with Anxiety or having an Anxious deposition can very easily become an instant negative if you so let it. For most of us, the word inevitably brings about negative connotations and for many people Anxiety can certainly have a stifling effect on their lives.

They tell us that ‘someone with no Anxiety would have no motivation’, so for me, I used my Anxiety as an aid to self-motivation, once I became aware of it and built a sense of familiarity with it.

Anxiety drove me on at certain times when it may have been easier to sit on the couch for the day. I never really had to egg it on too much because inevitably if I got lazy tendencies this relentless Anxiety part would swoop in and tip me on the shoulder to say ‘come on we’re not quite there yet – more work to be done’. In truth, Anxiety applies itself in a relentless way and isn’t one to sit in the background of your life. I found this relentless aspect to it very tiring.

There are so many times when you just want to go ‘please just sod off’ but unfortunately it doesn’t work like that and if it’s part of you then it’s always there. So you need to find a way to manage it. In essence, one needs to build a relationship with your Anxious part and eek out a way that gets it to work positively for you in your life, rather than it having a stifling effect on your energy, outlook and positivity. Luckily, somewhere along the way I managed to do this to some notable degree.

In the Recruitment industry, I always felt that there were a number of human traits which one required in order to be consistent in this very challenging specialism. Included amongst these traits would be – Resilience, Relentless, Self-motivation, Hard-work amongst others. Anxiety by its nature is ever-present and is relentless. So, this link got me thinking about how I could potentially use it to my advantage.

I found out early on in my Recruitment career, that celebrating success or giving myself a ‘pat on the back’ came very unnaturally to me. It was always the next deal and the next deal and the next month’s target and so on. This was the same whether I had the job title ‘Junior Consultant’ or ‘Senior Manager’ on my back.

Each Sunday night I would await that feeling of uncertainty to come along – ‘could I deliver again this week’?, ‘would I ever again deliver’? The week ahead looked uncertain, so I best roll up my sleeves and prepare for battle.

This would be the same at the start of each new Month or Quarter, the usual mental statements cropping up – ‘could I reach my targets again’?, ‘could I ever have a month like I had last month again’?

My Anxiety drove this myriad of feelings and it was solely responsible for me feeling like that. I had built my awareness of this quite early and rather than letting it be a negative, I found that it kept me honest – it never let me get ahead of myself or rest on my laurels. Truthfully, I feel it drove me to most of the successes I’ve had in Recruitment!

For instance, Anxiety would cause me to visualise myself at the bottom of the stack (of recruiters) at the beginning of each new month, I almost questioned if I could really do the job, even when the month previously might have been my best billing month in ages.

Anxiety just does that to you. It’s a part of you that never goes away, so you best start learning to use it to your benefit, or it will impact your life in other ways.

Suffering from Anxiety ensures that a thin veil of confidence persists in your makeup as a person and the slightest mistake or bad month can throw you off track. I found myself constantly looking over my shoulder to see if I’d be the one next to be getting the ‘curly finger’ from the MD. But yet it’s what has allowed me to remain someway consistent and effective as a recruiter for close to Ten years.

To finish, I found the energy management around Anxiety being vital if you are to overcome it. You need to watch for the triggers and be aware. For me those triggers were that constant voice to say I wasn’t good enough, that my work was never ever going to be enough. But strangely, I feel a small bit blessed to be someone who must deal with Anxiety on a daily basis. It’s the part of me that keeps me ‘Fired-up’.

So Anxiety is not always insurmountable, we all need to build our awareness around our Anxious parts and find a positive role for it in your life. Take control of it. That is how I approached it. It was either that or let it take over and rule my life.

Thanks for reading folks – Onwards & Upwards.