Matthew Gravelle IWD2021
Disclaimer: Please note that all commentary and opinions provided in this interview are those of the individual and not the organisation/company they are employed by.
What does ‘choose to challenge’ mean to you?
‘Choose to challenge’ means a huge amount to me on both a personal and professional level. It’s about having the confidence to voice your opinion and question the status quo, even if it means that others might not agree or want to listen. This comes naturally to some people and is more challenging for others. Personally, it’s something I’ve had to build on over time.
Throughout my career, I’ve always looked to take advantage of any opportunities available to do different things and challenge myself as I believe by doing this, you can broaden your perspective. You’re never going to be able to actually put yourself in someone else’s shoes (if only!) however I believe passionately that one way to gain a greater understanding of others and their experiences, is by challenging and having different experiences yourself.
As a recruiter, I’ve been afforded the chance to work a variety of desks and lead different teams during my career. Whilst this hasn’t always been easy (far from it in some cases) or even financially lucrative, it’s enabled me to learn a huge amount, gain a greater understanding of the challenges others might face and ultimately, helped me to progress my career. I’m fortunate to work in an environment now where I believe it’s possible to ‘choose to challenge’ and as a manager, I hope to create a culture for my team where they can too.
What new thing have you discovered about yourself during COVID-19?
Where do I start?! I returned from maternity leave just as the word COVID-19 was making headline news and a few months later I was in lockdown trying to juggle work with a very clingy one year old who couldn’t believe her luck that she was back with mummy 24/7! As well as all this, I came back to a promotion and a job twice the size of the one I had been doing before on less hours a week. Did I mention above that I love a challenge?!
The pandemic has taught me to never take anything for granted. As a self-professed forward planner and someone who likes to be in control, I’ve realised I’m more resilient and adaptable to change than I thought. I’ve learnt to make quick (and tough) decisions on imperfect information, despite previously always wanting to know all the facts and consider every scenario. I’ve further discovered how important it is to me to work as part of a team with people I respect, who support each other and are passionate about what they do.
COVID-19 has without a doubt been one of the hardest periods I’ve experienced since I started work in recruitment however I will be taking away a lot of positive learnings and I am eternally grateful to have been leading a team of such fantastic individuals for the past year!
Click below to read the full edition of IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Female Leaders Across The Globe.