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When she finished her anthropology degree back in 2010, Laura Hayward had never had what she calls a ‘proper job’. After graduating, she gained some sales experience in a call centre before taking time out of work to go travelling, with no intention of moving into recruitment when she returned.
Landing back in the UK, Laura headed for Manchester and posted her CV on a job board. That’s when she was contacted by Sellick Partnership and decided to explore the opportunities on offer.
She explained: “I was looking for something different to the rules I’d had before. My career with Sellick Partnership came out of the blue, but I’m so glad that it did.”
Laura started as a Resourcing Consultant in 2011 and remembers her first impressions: “The office was buzzing,” she said, adding: “It was definitely a change of pace and environment from what I was used to, but I settled into my new role quickly and felt very excited to take on this new challenge… even if it was a bit overwhelming at first.”
Laura was offered exceptional support and daily training on the desk which boosted her confidence, helped her to become more in tune with the role and taught her ‘not to sweat the small stuff’ too much.
After 15 months at Sellick Partnership, Laura was promoted to a Recruitment Consultant and then to Senior Consultant, followed by Principal Consultant. Then, in February 2018, she moved up again and took on a position as Manager of the Legal Public Sector. During this time, she started to take on more responsibility and had a team that she managed on a daily basis.
Taking her career one step at a time, Laura – who admits she has never been a ‘long-term planner’ – said: “It goes without saying that my number one priority is to maintain our reputation as a market leader of expert legal recruitment service within the public sector.
“However, I am particularly keen to look at how we can continue to expand our offering into other areas. For example, we have gone from strength to strength over the last few years, building strong relationships with universities and higher education establishments.
“There’s a lot of competition between universities, so it’s important to ensure that we provide them with the right resources to promote growth.”
"Over the years, I have learned to trust my instincts and be confident in my abilities. Since the early days at Sellick Partnership, I have always looked forward to the future and have been excited to see where the experience and knowledge I gain would take me.
With over 10 years’ experience in legal recruitment behind me, I can proudly look back on how I have helped grow our reputation as a leading provider of expert recruitment services whilst also confidently looking forward to what the future brings."
Nine months after becoming a Manager, Laura was promoted again to Senior Manager and then became an Associate Director.
Two years later, Laura was then offered the opportunity to step up to the Board of Directors – alongside Managing Director, Jo Sellick, and Group Directors: Hannah Cottam, Ray Wareing, Nikki Kinsey, Mark Bailey and Finance Director Mike Hoyle.
She will now work closely with the rest of the team to make strategic decisions about the company’s future and said: “I really enjoy managing and my role as a Recruitment Consultant, but I’m very much looking forward to contributing to the commercial decisions that make Sellick Partnership so successful.
“I’m really hoping that I can bring a different dynamic and perspective at Board level, and really push the boundaries of what I am capable of.
“I love that my new role will allow me to continue to support the legal teams, but also allow me to work with the wider company as a whole. I think the skills I have gained during my 10 years with Sellick Partnership will be very valuable to others."
Offering advice to those looking to progress in their career, Laura explained: “Ultimately, you don’t have to always rely on your employer to tell you how to progress. If you feel ready for the next challenge, or that you might be soon, start mapping out your ideal progression plan and discussing your options with them.
“With your progression plan behind you, think about ways that you can make yourself the very best candidate for your dream position, identifying what you can do to set yourself apart from your peers.
“Finally, trust the process – these things don’t happen overnight. You will go through the motions, and you may even find yourself at a crossroads at times. But understanding the difference between your current role and the next step will be crucial in tackling the challenge head-on and seeing yourself to success.”