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10 Year Retrospective - Peter Baker

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Adam Director, Peter Baker, takes stock of the past ten years working at Adam and how his experiences during this time have shaped him.

 “To Not Dare is to Lose Oneself”

Twelve years ago, I was working at an enormous blue-chip recruitment firm and was on a solid career path with the company. So, when the founders of Adam asked me to join their small startup, I knew that making the move would be a huge risk.

My friends and family agreed. They urged me not to gamble my career - but the idea of helping grow a business from scratch was just too good to pass up. Fortunately, taking that leap of faith turned out to be a brilliant decision.

Developing Adam from Its Infancy

When I joined Adam, the team was very familiar.  We all worked together at the same blue-chip business so I knew there would be a great culture.  But I had a lot to learn, quickly! Slightly out of my depth, and well out my comfort zone I knew there was a mountain of work ahead. Growth was our priority and we all worked around-the-clock to build the business from the ground up.

I was exposed to every aspect of running the company, from developing the brand and productising our services to dealing with legal matters and grappling with finance and terms. I learnt so many new things about how a business was built and developed in those first few years and continue to do so.

Climbing the Mountain of Milestones

The business grew at an incredible pace. The core team was extremely motivated to see Adam succeed, and we put all of our energy into harvesting funds for further growth.

Adam’s headcount increased as did our client base. However, when you’re in growth mode, it’s hard to appreciate how much you’ve progressed since you’re always focusing on the future. Saying that, there was a great moment where we were able to take stock of all we’d achieved.

When Adam launched we had a company sign created and installed in our first office. This came with us when we moved to a bigger office in Manchester city centre (and grew in size itself to reflect our expanding team!).

Putting the sign up in our new digs was a proud moment for everyone - a reminder of how far we had come. But it wasn’t always smooth sailing.

Falling on Hard Times

When the recession hit in 2009, it was truly a do or die situation (our CEO, Richard Gahagan, recently surmised how we weathered these tough times in his blog).

We had to dramatically change the direction of the business to survive. We had been concentrating too much on growth when we should have been focusing on bringing in the right people.

At the time, I had recently been promoted to Team Leader. So, it was my responsibility to ensure we were hiring, developing and retaining talent who fit in with our culture perfectly. Our team became smaller but much more committed and the business flourished as a result.

Many recruitment companies failed where we succeeded. They maintained their mission for rapid growth without a solid cash base to support them. We could have easily been among them but we learnt from our mistakes. Thanks to this, we now have a fantastic team that really makes Adam stand out of the crowd. This hasbeen the key to our success.

The Best Reward

After surviving the recession, my main task was to grow the digital and tech team. I was able to take on a mentoring role, helping our incredible talent exceed in their careers so they could smash their own personal goals.

Watching each team member grow in their own unique way has been unbelievably rewarding. My coaching helped them not only in their careers but in improving their standard of living - like getting on the property ladder. I would never have been able to have this kind of impact back at the large recruitment firm.

Fulfilling My Life Goals

I myself experienced many life-changing developments thanks to the business’ success. Helping grow the business enabled me to buy my first house, and recently the second, as well as travelling to new parts of the world.

In 2017, I became a director at Adam too. It’s so gratifying to know that ten years ago, taking that huge risk would pay off so well. Adam now has 20 consultants and we’ve just had our best year ever. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the business and our expanding team.

Stand By For More

Stay tuned for new reflections on the past decade from the rest of the Adam team - just keep your eyes peeled on our blog!

Have you got an awesome business or career story? We’d love to hear it - share it with us on Twitter!