In the End It Doesn’t Even Matter – dealing with yourself

We all have different faces. There’s the face you keep only to yourself. You  have a special face for your loved ones. There’s is your working face, worried face, smiley face, crying face. Sometimes you put the wrong face on. Ever happened to you? Happened to me on more than one occasion. I couldn’t cope with my personal life, and I came to work wearing my sad face. That day everything went wrong because I let my emotions take control over me. My performance was so bad, and I was ashamed of myself. I was stressed out about everything, I couldn’t sleep, and the next wasn’t any better. It is hard to leave your emotions and personal problems outside of the office but certainly not possible. Here, I would like to share some of my best practices on how to deal with stress, emotions, and in general, how to wear that proper face to work.


  1. Before you open the door to your office, count to 10. Take deep breathes. Focus on your daily tasks. Don’t think about him/her, your bank account balance being on its knees… Don’t. Try to motivate yourself. Say “it’s only 8 long hours, and then I’ll go home. I CAN DO IT.”
  2. While at work, organize your day. Think what is the most important thing you need to do? Eat that nasty frog first… and reward yourself! Either eat sweets, listen to music for 5 minutes, or have a chat with a colleague. These little things might slightly improve your mood! 40-Eat-the-frog(credit: Noisli)

  3. And since we are talking about organizing your day – stick to your usual routine. In my case, I spent 2 hours in the morning, and 2 hours in the late afternoon on screening the candidates (either their CVs or via phone). I also blocked my calendar to work on my personal development, i.e. catching up with latest news related to pharma and UK. On top of that, I’m trying to be active on Linkedin. I always have spare time in case of emergencies. If a nasty frog comes way, I’m ready!
    It is important that even if you are feeling down, your routine should stay the same. Your current mood isn’t an excuse!
  4. Listen to inspiring music! I personally like to listen movie soundtracks. Whenever my mood is down, and I have to go over 100s of CVs, I like to play Transformers’ soundtrack. Occasionally, I imagine that I’m a superhero, and the fate of the world depend on me and these CVs!
  5. When stressed out… listen to music! This time my go to choice are piano covers. Soothing music is what you need to calm your nerves.
  6. Received a feedback request from a candidate? Feeling like responding “Don’t have any, FU”? Yeah… I’ve been there. Basically, as a rule, you do not want to reply to an email when you are mad. Trust me, you will regret it. Remember that a candidate is your external client , and you do want to treat him nicely. Take a short walk around the office, talk to someone, and calm down. Only then you can reply.
  7. Not feeling like talking with your colleagues? It’s fine, happened to me too. Just let them know that you would rather be left alone today. After all, we are only humans.
  8. Too late for that? A colleague pissed you off? Once you are back to your normal self just apologize. I had to apologize for a being a total b*tch couple of times during our weekly team meetings. Again, we are only humans. We are not perfect. We make mistakes.
  9. A candidate upsets you on the phone? Yup, happened to me too. You will deal with loads of different people. Scientific people may come across as so full of themselves. Sales people may sound like complete douchebags. Others will annoy you with their answers… Hey, it’s cool. Don’t reject people just because you have a bad mood, and they made it even worse. Review their profiles and your notes once again when you feel better.
  10. Whatever happened… Trust me “In the end, it doesn’t even matter”. Each and every experience will make you stronger –  keep that in mind. The storm in your life will pass. Your life is too precious and too short to worry about everything. You have to learn to let go. Don’t dwell on something you have no control over.
  11. Last but not least… Try to stay positive. My former colleague had a saying that one day ladybirds will come to you. At first, I thought the saying to make no sense. Then the ladybirds came to me, and guess what happened next? Positive things.

Highway to Hell – first weeks of being a junior recruiter

“Induction is over. You think you know the processes by heart but then as you go, you realize you know less than Jon Snow. Soon you realize that you are indeed on the highway to hell, and there are no stop signs. Is recruitment really for you?”


That’s what my brain was telling me back in February when I started working as Associate Recruiter. Overall, I have now almost 2 years of experience in recruitment. I thought I know a lot but it turned out I was wrong. I know SOMETHING but there’s definitely room for improvement. Let’s talk about that later on. Time to focus on February.

After 2 weeks of intensive training, it was the time to call the candidates. I have my requisitions assigned to me, I’ve started to build a working relationship with senior recruiters. I’m excited to start a new journey and gain experience along the way but at the same time I’m nervous. What if someone makes fun of my accent? What if I won’t do well? What if I reject a good candidate? I remember my voice was trembling when I spoke with the first candidate. She applied for a global marketing role, and thank God for that! Marketing people tend to talk a lot, and I find them usually very friendly. Her warm tone of voice was soothing. No wonder why I thought she is the best candidate in the world! (yes, I was biased, and yes I do want to talk about bias later) I was lucky because actually the lady was good, and she made it to the next stages! But hey, I screwed up one thing – my notes were all written in my notebook. I was supposed to fill out a template but typing, talking and active listening seemed too much at that time. Yet, I had to send my notes to the senior recruiter. After a while I figured everything out, and now my notes are 10/10 but back then I felt overwhelmed.

Next day, I got a request from another senior recruiter to short list 60 candidates for a scientific advisor role. Oh boy.. 60?! I thought it will take me forever to go through their CVs and cover letters. I gave him my list, he gave me his. No matches. Great. His advice? Don’t read cover letters, they tend to be misleading. Gotcha, okay.. Cover letters are no no. Any advice was welcomed.

4 days of the journey, and I got a positive feedback which reach every major stakeholder! I was over the moon! I felt so motivated, I wanted to do so good.. and somewhere I failed. Let me tell you about my another screw up.

I have scheduled a call between myself, and a candidate. Global marketing role, again. I thought the lady looked good on CV. Senior recruiter for this role comes back to me to stay I should not be speaking with her because she is not good. Without thinking, I’m going back to the candidate to say that the call won’t happen because X person reviewed your profile, and she thinks you are not a good fit for the role. That was a huge mistake. Candidate was not pleased with my “feedback”. She got in touch with whoever she could. It was bad. Someone who is way above me had to take care of this. It was definitely a lesson for me, and I tell you this – I’ve learned from that. Now I’m making sure that this will never happened again.

Next screw up happened with a candidate who was not eligible to work in X country, and we just could not offer him visa sponsorship. I recommended him for the next stage, and the senior recruiter came back to me saying “hey, thank you for the X candidate, experience-wise he is good but unfortunately we cannot proceed him due to his lack of work eligibility”. Then, we had an intensive training on work eligibility which was extremely useful. I thought work eligibility is a sensitive topic to discuss with the candidates – I was not feeling 100% comfortable discussing it with anyone but I realized that this is part of my job. I think I will talk about it somewhere later on? Let’s see.

Enough screw ups! I had some placements, and good reviews coming from both senior recruiters, and my line manager. I read a lot about current affairs in Europe, UK, making sure I know what’s going on in the pharma world. I am enjoying my work, and I do believe that recruitment is for me. First weeks were like a roller-coaster – things went from 0 to 100 in a blink of an eye. It was good, bad and ugly. Point is – never doubt yourself. Even if something is telling you it might not be for you, do not listen to it. JUST DON’T. Think what you can improve. Talk to more experienced people. Find yourself a mentor. If you work hard, you will see great results. If you screw up at the beginning, please do not be discouraged. Without screw ups you won’t learn, trust me on that one. You will feel like you on the highway to hell but then you will find yourself a way to the paradise city.