In 2016, I was like many other fresh graduates. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in foreign languages, I was not quite sure of what I wanted to do in life. I was not immediately ready to pursue a master’s degree, so I did what many people in my position do: I took a sabbatical for one year.
During that one year, I took up different jobs. I worked as an assistant in a shop selling ice-cream; then, because I was fluent in English, Italian and Spanish, I became a customer service assistant for a British company that organized tours. As a private tutor, I taught children Spanish and Italian. By the end of my sabbatical, I had decided to pursue a master’s degree in human resources management, which I successfully completed in 2018.
As I look back at those two years, I vividly recall a lot of frustration. I was working some jobs that had very little connection with what I had studied. Given my proficiency in three languages, I also found that many of my friends sought my help in writing and polishing their CVs and helping them prepare for job interviews. I also helped some friends read through their employment contracts to make sure they were in order. Although these were not formal or paid assignments, I found that doing this kind of work gave me a lot of joy.
Through my experiences of helping friends, I got introduced to the world of HR and executive search. When I realized how much I enjoyed that space, I started exploring formal options and landed my first job in executive search. Interacting with different people to understand their experiences and aspirations was itself exhilarating. On top of that, there was the added high I got from being able to successfully match candidates with roles and helping them get selected.
That is when I realized that I could be of even greater value to companies and candidates if I actively leverage my knowledge of multiple European languages; after all, being able to converse in a familiar language makes it easier for people to articulate their expectations and concerns. And getting to know such information enables head hunters to better match candidates with roles and companies. This mindset helped me switch to LS International, which works with top consumer companies in Europe, USA, Latin America and Asia to find the best talent.
Working in an international environment with LS International allowed me to combine my passion for meeting people from different cultures with my passion for helping people realize their career aspirations. The joy I get from the opportunity to interact with people with diverse backgrounds has served to strengthen my love for executive search as a field of work. Every interaction gives me more insights and helps me understand organization cultures, personal and professional growth motivations and trends in the consumer industry.
Perhaps my biggest learning from the last 3-4 years has been that there is something of value to learn from every experience life throws us. Some of these experiences can seem tough and unfair- but nothing is insignificant. If we have the right attitude and an open mind, we can learn something useful from every knock or period of uncertainty in life. Doing so will help us become better as humans and professionals and guide us towards the path of motivation. And when we are motivated, we do even better work, and that leads to happiness.
To those couple of years of my life- thank you so much for everything! Fabiana Fregni