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My first job: Danielle-Jade’s story

16th October 2019

I got my first job at 18 after my A levels, as I didn’t go straight to University. I was a Medical Secretary/Practice Manager for a physiotherapy and musculoskeletal clinic just outside of Chichester called The Oving Clinic.

I was responsible for managing a small office, booking appointments and managing diaries of 5 practitioners, including a renowned musculoskeletal doctor called John Tanner. He ran clinics in Guildford and the Barbican in London, so I regularly had to liaise with them about his diary/schedule. I was with the business for 4 years and over time my role grew to include finance (accounts up to trial balance), responsibility for reporting to the care quality commission and dealing with other medical bodies to obtain scans and X-rays for clients.

Due to Dr Tanner’s reputation we regularly had high profile athletes visiting the clinic which was very exciting. This role is also the reason that, at age 19, my scoliosis was diagnosed. My boss is who originally referred me to have my spinal surgery to straighten my spine (Harrison Rods). At age 22 I chose to leave to start my studies at the University in Portsmouth, and upon graduating at age 25 I had my aforementioned surgery.

I moved to London at 26, and this is where I fell into recruitment. My original plan was to join the Probation Graduate Scheme after achieving my Criminology & Forensics degree, but the scheme was put on hold due to funding cuts so I took a role as a Charity Recruitment Specialist as a bit of a stop gap. Unfortunately, after 15 months of waiting, the scheme still wasn’t running. This, coupled with homesickness, led me to making the decision to move back to the South Coast, where I joined a smaller recruitment agency that had an Accounting and Finance arm. I quickly realised CMA Recruitment Group was my biggest competitor, and you know what they say – if you can’t beat them, join them!

I have been working on the transactional team, recruiting salaries of up to £30,000 in Southampton for 2 ½ years now and I love it. I enjoy being a specialist in my field, knowing all my candidates really well and, most importantly, I love the team at CMA and my job in general!


What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to be a taxi driver so my mum wouldn’t need to pay for them, because she didn’t drive! Then I wanted to be a lawyer, but work experience in a firm of solicitors swiftly me put off this idea! I did an evening HND in Beauty Therapy when I was 21, and one of the lecturers also taught forensic science so gave us a tester lecture at the end of the term. I had a lightbulb moment that I wanted to do Criminology and Forensics, which is how I decided to go to Uni. Recruitment is completely different to what I expected to be doing as a job, but I do really enjoy it and I think it plays to my strengths.

What advice would you give your 13 year old self?

I would tell myself to carry on exactly as I am. I loved school (except maths which is ironic as I recruit accountants), spent every weekend with my horse and just really enjoyed myself…

What about your 18 year old self?

I would tell myself to not worry so much – life will work out you just need to trust your instincts. I firmly believe not going to Uni straight from A Levels was the best choice for me, as it gave me a much better chance to do well in my degree – I achieved a 2:1.


Are you looking for your next role in recruitment, or seeking an entirely new challenge altogether? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us today for a confidential chat.