How mentoring helped my career progression

Scott Fitzgerald

Scott Fitzgerald manages the infrastructure and security recruitment team in our Melbourne office. He discusses his move into recruitment, the culture in our Melbourne office and how mentoring helped him progress in his career at Robert Walters.

How did you get into IT recruitment?

After four years working for a banking technology company in Ireland, I was keen to broaden my knowledge of the technology sector. I decided to seek new opportunities abroad and moved to Melbourne in search of a new technology role.

The tech market is very competitive in Australia, particularly in Melbourne, so I took a role as a project coordinator shortly after arriving in Australia to gain some local experience. A few months later, I met an associate director at Robert Walters through an acquaintance. He introduced the idea of working in recruitment and explained how my industry experience would add value to a recruitment role. I was intrigued, so I attended an interview at Robert Walters and very quickly realised that working in IT recruitment would be a great opportunity to work with an exciting range of technology clients.

Why did you want to work for Robert Walters?  

The opportunities to progress my career were a major attraction for me. I’d taken a side-step in my career and I was determined to start moving up the career ladder. I was impressed by the company’s focus on progressing its people and the opportunities available both nationally and internationally.

How were your skills transferrable?

My industry experience has given me a great grounding for the role. Being able to demonstrate a clear understanding of my clients’ requirements, pain points and confidently discuss trends in the industry really adds to my credibility and helps build trust with my clients.

How has mentoring helped your career progression?

From the very beginning, the management team have been excellent in acknowledging my personal career goals and providing me with the tools and support I need to achieve them. As a result, I’ve been able to move up the career ladder very quickly. Within 18 months of joining the company, I was promoted to senior consultant. Shortly after, I met with the leadership team to develop a road map to reach manager level which I achieved in six months.

My associate director was incredibly supportive in helping me achieve my career aspirations. He acted as a mentor and showed me how to achieve my goals by breaking them down into a series of smaller targets. It was really encouraging to have an experienced member of the leadership team sharing their knowledge and celebrating my small victories as well as my bigger accomplishments. It was also an incredibly effective way to maintain my focus and motivation.

In addition, as someone who is naturally more introverted, having this guidance really helped me to develop my communication skills and build my confidence as a recruitment professional.

What do you like best about your role?

Working as a recruiter guarantees variety; you never have the same conversation twice as you’re working with so many different clients and candidates. I really enjoy the diversity of the role – it means there’s never a dull day!

In addition, having had the opportunity to be mentored by a senior member of the team, I am passionate about passing this on and helping my team to develop in their careers. Each week, I meet my team members on a one-to-one basis to discuss their week’s activities and achievements as well as helping them to build a strategy to achieve their long-term career goals. It’s an incredibly rewarding element of my job and I feel immensely proud of how my team has grown. 

Why join the Melbourne office?

While it may sound cliché, we are truly like a big family. We have a lot of expats, so it’s a very diverse office with a great mix of personalities. However, everyone is united in their effort and dedication to delivering the best results possible. As a result, there are many firm friendships in the office - we share each other’s successes and seek to take the positives from any negative situation. 

What advice would you give to someone considering a move into recruitment?

Don’t be afraid that you’re not the ‘right type of person’. Recruitment is an incredibly diverse industry and enriched by people from a variety of backgrounds. At Robert Walters, you have the opportunity to learn from a wide range of professionals and shape your own style of working. It’s a very innovative environment, so if you’re a problem-solver with the drive to succeed, there are ample opportunities for you to grow your career. 


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