Now or Never
Shin Mathews, Consultant, Technology Practice
Now or Never
Shin Mathews, Consultant, Technology Practice
As many of his colleagues, Shin started his career in a call center.
“For the first year I worked in a domestic call center. From there I moved to a BPO service provider that was running an international operation. I enjoyed the job and was quickly promoted from Caller to Quality Executive. Unfortunately, after 4 years the company shut the operation down and I had to move into their domestic section.
That’s where I started to look for other opportunities. I hadn’t interviewed for a while and was quite nervous, but I didn’t want to work domestically again, so I had no choice.”
While hunting for a new job, Shin stumbled over a company that fit his expectations.
“Back then the BMIC (Boyd & Moore Intelligence Center) was still running under the name Circa Systems and was operating out of a small office in an apartment building. I didn’t know anything about recruiting but they were one of the very few internationally active companies at the time. I also really liked the Management and that they were a small company working with Japan. You know, I am quite introverted, so big UK and US focused call centers didn’t match my personality. I also felt that they were doing something different from other call centers. I wasn’t quite sure what, but I was curious enough to give it a shot and join.”
That was in 2006.
“It was a scrappy operation. I was hired as a Quality Analyst which means that I had to monitor the calls and research my colleagues were doing and provide feedback and reports to the Management. I had done a similar job before, so the work came easy to me.”
After moving into a new and fancier office and spending several months as an Analyst, Shin got promoted to Team Lead managing the quality department including 5 Analysts. Life and work were good….
“The Lehman Shock had a terrible impact on the industry. Circa Systems was one of the few companies that wasn’t hit as hard but still we had to reduce cost. My department got resolved and most of the people on my team moved to the research side. I continued to do quality. And, I took on additional new responsibilities. I helped out with sending emails to candidates our talent development team had engaged with.
When the economy started to recover, I began building up both functions again and added more people over time until I had 2 rather big departments under me.”
After having created 2 successful back-office teams, Shin decided to try something new and moved into the Talent Development department as a Talent Scout – the first step to becoming a Consultant in Japan.
“I worked as a Talent Scout for around 2 years. I got really good. I supported different Consultants in Tokyo with their searches. First Professional Services, then Industrial. In 2016 I was named Talent Scout of the year. I was very proud but at the same time I wanted more.
Some of my colleagues had gone to our Headquarters in Tokyo to become Consultants themselves. Being in this industry for 8+ years, I knew the recruitment business well and I was thinking that I should try that as well. Jonas (Vice President APAC, BMES) had told me that there’s no age limit for Consultants and that I could earn good money until retirement which sounded rather attractive to me (laughs).
The same year I was at the top of the researchers’ board, Jon (Managing Director & Co-Founder, Boyd & Moore Executive Search) visited the India office. My motto has always been ‘Now or Never!’ so I decided to take the chance to talk about my ambitions with him. Jon listened and invited me to come to Japan for 2 weeks so that I could see how things work over there. In addition, he set goals for me and asked me to support the Tech team which I would join if I had achieved my targets.”
In 2017 Shin transferred to Japan.
“It’s great. Japan is a completely different culture which is very exciting. Of course, the language is a problem but the lifestyle here is great – everything’s organized and clean. No honking just peace and quiet (laughs).
In addition, BMES feels very much like family to me which helps being hundreds of miles away from home. Everyone including the Management is very supportive and I am learning a lot about what it actually means to be a Consultant and how to be successful in the job.”
… a job that isn’t always easy.
“I wasn’t lucky last year. For example, there was this one candidate that had signed the contract with my client and was supposed to join the company in a week’s time. But then a week before the starting date he suddenly contacted me and said he wanted to withdraw. It turned out that he had been interviewing somewhere else as well and that he had only signed with my client in case the other company wouldn’t extend an offer to him.”
While this was a ‘big blow’ to Shin he had wins to celebrate as well since joining the Tokyo office.
“My second placement was a big one. It was a niche role at a tech company. It took me a while to find a qualified candidate. Eventually, I found the perfect person – a lady, 51 years old. She was extremely undecided, and I had to work very hard to convince her to take the job. She was afraid to make a choice since this would be most likely her last position before retirement. I remember that she was sending me pictures of her garden. I told her that like her plants and flowers she had to grow and bloom too, and that this opportunity would help her to (laughs). Finally, she signed. It was a big placement and I was very proud that I could close it.”
Getting asked what he wants for his future, Shin has a clear answer.
Avi (Director, Technology Practice) is my role model. It’s great to see somebody from the India office become Director in Japan. And it’s not just him. There are so many people who motivate me.
The last year wasn’t as good as expected. But this year will be great!”
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I realized that I would be able to go to Tokyo if I’d just work hard enough. Compared to the company I had worked in as an engineer the career chances and the speed in which I could reach my goals were so much better at BMES…
I thought BMES would be similar to all the other recruiting firms in India. I kind of knew that they were an international executive search firm, but I had no idea what that actually meant.
Together with me, 10 other people joined. And, over the next 6 months we grew to over 100 people who filled up the whole floor of the new office. I started to see the potential of the business and that I had made the right decision.
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