Discovering that I wanted to find the perfect job role for someone else was a long time coming. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I had to go on a journey before I ended up at my chosen destination – a journey that started in a coffee shop in London’s West End.
It was a chain of cafés rather than a cute independent coffee shop – my teammates were fun, and senior management were 100% focused on making the customer experience memorable. Do you remember getting your coffee for free just because you were ‘nice’? Well, I’ll let you into a little secret: all team members were given a quota of free coffees to give away, so it was actually a bit more random than the company let on. But who wouldn’t leave the café beaming when given a freebie? I enjoyed that boost as much as the customer did.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” Lucius Annaeus Seneca
One day, I must have made a particular impression on an operations director of a local business as we chatted more than usual and he asked (quietly) if I fancied a career change – working in his accounts department, and I did want a change. Although I enjoyed my job, I fancied a change so much that I started two careers simultaneously – one in accounts and another in the movie business! Helping out on a film set was fun but I knew it wasn’t the career for me.
So I got reel (sorry, real), interviewed successfully for the accounts position in the operation director’s property maintenance company – which was based almost next door to the coffeeshop so I could pop in and see the old gang. I assisted the FD on nearly every accountancy aspect of the business – it gave me an amazing insight into running a business and sparked my interest in the property sector.
I volunteered to extend the remit of my accountancy role, as I wanted to interact with people as well as numbers. I became the company’s HR administrator and I learned a lot about people’s behaviour patterns, how they expressed contentment (or otherwise) about their role, their attitude to the company and colleagues, and what really mattered to them inside and outside of work. I saw just how important internal relationships were to an individual’s wellbeing at work and how that impacted on their performance as much as their experience and technical knowledge. Most interesting of all, I interviewed numerous accountancy and finance people for the company and the variety of wants and needs fascinated me.
Darwus was conceived as a realisation that whilst I loved my accountancy job, having a major effect on someone’s career was more important. There are thousands of accountancy and finance people working in the property sector and if I can help some of them find the right role and the right company for them, that’s what motivates me.