How I found a career that matched my ambition

David Rocha

David Rocha works as a recruitment consultant, specialising in recruiting engineering roles in Lisbon. Prior to joining Robert Walters, David worked in the automotive sector. He shares his career switch, what he loves about his new role and why recruitment is a great career choice for anyone with big ambitions.

Why did you want to join Robert Walters?

I was working as a warranty manager in the automotive sector when a friend that worked for Robert Walters told me that the company was looking for consultants to recruit in the engineering field. They thought that my industry experience made me a good match for the role and recommended that I apply. With my interest piqued, I carried out some further research into the company and quickly grew excited by the opportunities available. In Portugal career progression is typically linked to your experience. However, I was hungry to develop and didn’t want to wait a decade or more to reach a management position. After hearing about Robert Walters’ strong global reputation and meritocratic culture, I felt confident that the opportunities at Robert Walters would keep pace with my ambition.

How were your skills transferable?

In my previous role as a warranty manager, I worked closely with car manufacturers which enabled me to develop a good technical understanding of the engineering process. This knowledge has been invaluable to my role as a recruitment consultant. I recruit a number of highly specialised roles in the engineering sector and being able to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the more technical aspects of a role and how it fits within the wider business really adds to my credibility, particularly if the client isn’t familiar with a certain specialism. Being able to use my industry expertise to add value has also helped me to quickly build trust with clients and candidates as it gives them that added confidence that I can deliver the result they’re looking for.

How would you describe a typical work week?

Every day is different. Typically, we start the week with a team meeting to discuss our current roles and candidates and identify where we can help each other progress with our projects. One of the best things about working at Robert Walters is the strong team-based culture which extends across departments. For example, we regularly catch up with our onsite marketing team to discuss our current objectives and how they can be supported from a marketing perspective. Not only does this help us to add value to our clients and candidates, but it creates a great working environment, where people feel comfortable to strike up conversations with people outside of their immediate team.

A typical week will also involve me attending several client meetings as well as meeting new candidates, arranging interviews and sharing feedback with candidates. In addition to the day-to-day activities, it’s crucial to keep one step ahead of the market trends so I’m always looking at how I can build new relationships with prospective talent.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love the consultative element of my role. It’s incredibly rewarding to add value – whether it’s by sharing my industry expertise with a client or offering tips to a candidate to help them make a great impression.

I also love that I’m never stuck at my desk. In recruitment, you’re always on the move, strengthening existing relationships and building new ones. Additionally, working with people also means that no two days are the same – there are always new challenges to keep your mind active.

How would you describe the culture in the Lisbon office?

We’re a really close office, strong relationships have been established across the teams which has created a positive and friendly culture. We all work hard during the week and then reward our efforts on Friday by going out for lunch or drinks after work. The company has also helped to foster the team-based culture by offering incentives such as a monthly lunch for teams that have achieved their targets. For me, the emphasis on teamwork has really helped me to transition into my new role. Working in recruitment is a real roller-coaster ride of emotions and having that strong support from my colleagues helps me to stay motivated and keep a smile on my face during the tougher days.

Why would you recommend a career at Robert Walters?

If you’re ambitious and driven to succeed, there’s plenty of opportunities for you to progress at Robert Walters. Whether you want to work abroad or reach senior management, you will receive the support and tools you need to achieve your goals. In addition, there are no limits to how quickly you can progress – your attitude and results are what determine your success.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in recruitment?

Recruitment is a great fit for anyone who gets satisfaction from helping people. In recruitment, you can make a real difference to someone’s life. While this makes the job incredibly rewarding, it can also be tough, especially when you don’t achieve the result you were aiming for. Therefore, you need to be resilient and prepared to adapt.

Finally, if you’re considering a career in recruitment, just go for it! Give yourself the chance to develop a rewarding career.

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