Jade Page joined Paramount Recruitment in 2011 and, after 5 successful years, she was awarded a sabbatical to allow her to travel and experience the world. She has travelled across India, throughout South East Asia, to Fiji and New Zealand before settling in Australia. She is now working from Perth, WA, on international recruitment within bioinformatics for Paramount before returning to the UK in May. She tells us about her travels and shares how the sabbatical has improved her confidence and awareness.
The Travel Bug
When I finished university in 2011, I went straight into working for Paramount Recruitment. I’ve always worked really hard so, like most people, I thoroughly enjoyed my holidays and travelling to new places. In the past, my partner Dale and I had done a bit of backpacking through France and Croatia which gave us the travel bug and I just knew that I wanted to do it on a bigger scale. So in December 2016, with the agreement of Dan and Eugene, the owners of Paramount Recruitment, I started an international sabbatical.
Travelling was something I had always wanted to do; I wanted to experience new things; I liked the idea and the challenge of backpacking – doing things completely out of my comfort zone and of seeing the world at my own pace.
Wonderful India and Amazing Thailand
We started our trip in Goa, India as Dale’s uncle lives there. It was the perfect place to begin and an added bonus that we could spend time with family over Christmas. After that, we travelled around India for two months on the trains, and whilst we saw some things I hope to never see again, it was an eye-opening experience and I grew to love India. I felt very comfortable there so when when it came to moving on, I really didn’t want to leave. However, we had booked our flights to Thailand and were so pleased we did.
Thailand was just an amazing place – the street food, the temples, the life and the culture. From there we travelled through Malaysia, Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong and then flew to Fiji before then landing in Australia.
Apart from one month spent travelling New Zealand, we’ve been in Australia ever since.
Getting back to work
When we settled in Australia, Dale and I took on some casual work to keep us going, however recently I’ve started working for Paramount again. Working remotely from home in Perth, I’ve been getting stuck in every day from 1pm until 9pm Perth time, working on the 100,000 Genomes Project, finding new talent in Cancer, Bioinformatics and Clinical Bioinformatics.
Over the past year, Paramount has really focussed on the genomics recruitment sector and, as a result, the team has grown and we are recruiting for an increasingly wide range of positions within bioinformatics, data science and statistics. I’m really excited about recruiting within genomics and I’m really looking forward to meeting all our new clients when I get back.
Acquire New Skills
When I was planning my trip, all I ever really expected was to come home recharged and with fresh vision. However, the sabbatical has given me some very valuable new skills with which to return to Paramount. I have experienced new cultures and met lots of people from completely different backgrounds which has definitely improved my communication skills, I have first-hand experience of settling into new places and making new friends which mean I’ll be able to relate my candidates who are relocating and offer them advice where they need it. When I get home I’ll be working with a lot of US and a lot of European candidates who are looking to move over to the US for new positions, I feel well equipped for this challenge. Planning and organisation has played such a huge part in my travels and I am more confident and aware of my own skills and abilities in this area
Preparing for home
With only a few weeks to go until I come home in May, I’ll be making the most of the Aussie weather as the Brummy weather is definitely not something I’ve missed. I am really looking forward to catching up with everyone at home and meeting up with both old and new clients. Paramount has recently undertaken a fascinating Workforce Insight Survey for the genomics sector and I can’t wait to discuss the market impact with businesses and candidates.
My Sabbatical Experience
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my sabbatical and I’m so grateful for the support I received from Paramount Directors Dan and Eugene. They encouraged me to go and gave me the job security for when I got back. It’s allowed me to travel and only have to worry about what’s happening day-to-day rather than having to think about what the future holds when I return.
I’ve learned so much about myself – I’ve learnt to take more chances, take myself less seriously and don’t let things affect me as much as I might have before. Any experience is good experience!
Eugene McDaid, Director, Paramount Recruitment said:
As a small business we need to be flexible to the needs of our staff and, when Jade started talking about wanting to travel, we had no hesitation in creating a positive sabbatical policy for our business. She has contributed so much to Paramount’s success and we were delighted and proud to support her in her travel goals. The sabbatical is now available to all staff with more than five years’ service and we anticipate other members of staff using the policy in the near future.