By Daiana Vazquez
“Be Comfortable – Being Uncomfortable” These words changed my life. In less than 2 years, I went from a young, naive, junior recruiter to leading a team of recruiters for a hyper-growth FinTech company, all thanks to jumping into an ocean without a life raft!
Joining a startup is risky and takes a lot of faith, but thankfully, I took that risk and it really accelerated my career; additionally, I’ve learned a lot the past 2 years that I never would have learned working for a big company.
Here are just a few interesting skills I’ve learned while working here at True North, a fast-growing startup:
- Working with the US market
- Delivering presentations in multiple languages
- Interacting with company executives on a daily basis
- Social media sourcing & talent marketing
- Solving complicated and global challenges
After getting a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources I started my career as a Junior Technical Recruiter for a recruiting agency. This was my first step into the deep sea of HR, learning basic skills around sourcing, negotiation, and time management I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of a team. Although I enjoyed working for the agency, it became large, so large I wasn’t learning or growing my career as quickly as I once hoped and was no longer able to make as much of an impact due to company size. As much as I tried to drive change, it wasn’t an environment that could be changed from one day to another.
I started to search for new opportunities which led me to True North. At the time, it was a small startup I had never heard of and seemed like I was taking a risk to join.
What attracted me to the company was the incredible benefits, my 3 favorite are:
- Vacation Bonus – I couldn’t believe it, but they offered employees $1,000 USD each year to take a holiday!
- It was a small company and it seemed to have an opportunity to make an impact
- They really care about growth, and everyone had a growth plan
As luck would have it, I received an email regarding my application and the interview process started. The recruiters made this process quite smooth starting with a phone screen then they followed up with a challenging onsite interview. I received an offer to join the company and I jumped at the chance to be part of the growth.
Since the first day, I’ve really enjoyed the environment. I joined in September, 2016, we were working from La Maquinita co-working space in Palermo, CABA. We were around 20 people, all crowded around a few big tables, with my manager next to me. It was exhilarating but difficult to focus as there were so many other companies nearby, all trying to grow and evolve. It was fun, although, long hours and hard work, I learned a lot helping to grow the engineering team. Not long after landing a big client, we moved into a larger co-working area and finally had the entire floor and room to spread out!
As the case when working in a startup, it’s unpredictable and as we moved into a larger office space, the company was still trying to find its way. True North added some clients, but also lost a few others. We would have good days and tough days, but we experienced this all together and it made us stronger. Thanks to my colleagues and managers we became closer going through some difficult challenges, but the key thing was, that we went through them together. One thing I enjoyed was that even during the difficult times, I had a big impact on the company, and knew that the work I was doing mattered.
The company experimented quite a bit in the market, trying to find the best strategy, and it wasn’t easy. I have to say, by taking the difficult road, just as the company, I’m now more prepared to take on hard problems that come my way and I have more confidence. I learned how to deal with these sort of things I didn’t know I was able to, which is an amazing feeling.
One of the co-founders, Brian Samson, told me once: “Be comfortable being uncomfortable”
During 2017 I felt uncomfortable a lot of times and that’s why I grew up so much as a Technical Recruiter.
To sum it up, 2016 was a great year to learn new things; on the other hand, 2017 was a transition, and then 2018 was an amazing year of growth and maturity, as my responsibilities increased.
On The first week of January 2018, I was promoted to Sr Technical Recruiter, which meant having more responsibilities, bigger goals, and more challenging problems to solve.
Six months later I became a Lead Recruiter, with an excellent group working next to me.
Recruiting and Engineering work together as partners, as we collaborate on how to grow the company.
Since the first day, I’ve really enjoyed the environment. One of the companies major strategic goal is to be a great place to work, they go out of their way to treat the employees well. Speaking daily with the company Co-Founders and other executives has really helped me practice my English and better understand not only our recruiting strategy but also our overall company strategy. It has been two years since I joined the company and I still love the people and the culture. It feels like a big family working towards the same goals.
IF YOU CONTINUE READING, IT’S BECAUSE I CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION, please keep reading, here comes the best part.
When you work in a startup, it’s unpredictable from day to day, so there are a lot of risks; however, you know what? The real lesson I learned from growing up in the company is about taking risks. This led me to join True North and that is what makes me incredibly happy to continue working here. True North makes me feel that every day is a new challenge for me and my professional career; consequently, I’m excited because I know that the harder the challenge, the more exciting it is to overcome and the overwhelming accomplishment we feel together as a team!
If I stayed at the agency I would have had more stability, but I definitely wouldn’t have learned as much, accomplished the results, or had the impact I did. I believe that over the past 2 years I have grown professionally and personally.
If you are an Assistant or a Jr Recruiter I would recommend a few things:
- Don’t be afraid to take a risk.
- Never ever give up.
- You’re dealing with people. That means that perfection doesn’t exist.
- You have to learn how to deal with frustration.
- Teamwork is critical to success.
- And most importantly, if you aren’t being challenged, you probably aren’t growing. Don’t be afraid of the unknown! I know that learning never stops, and this is the fun part. So…let’s continue being positively uncomfortable.
Daiana Vazquez is a lead recruiter for True North where she manages a small team and focuses on attracting the best talent possible for the company. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of Buenos Aires.