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Progressing through the ranks

From door-to-door sales to a successful career in recruitment, Robert Walters has supported Michael every step of the way.

Michael Nolan is a Robert Walters' Dublin Associate Director, where he manages compliance, risk, legal and accounting & finance. ​ He went from door-to-door sales to a successful career in recruitment.

Since joining Robert Walters in 2012, his career has reached new heights and he has risen through the ranks. Michael recounts his journey below.

In 2012, I was attending Maynooth University and working in door-to-door energy sales, a rite of passage for me. After almost a year in that role, I knocked on a door that opened up a career opportunity for me in recruitment. It was the home of a manager at Robert Walters and I returned to their house five times over a two week period. On my last day in the area, they saw me walking by and ran out in their bare feet on to give me their business card, saying I had the right balance of being persistent and respectful and if I ever wanted to explore a career in recruitment, to get in touch. Three months later, after finishing university, I called the number and asked if they would be free to meet and after meeting with the managers and directors in Robert Walters, I was given the opportunity to join the accounting and finance team. ​ 

I joined Robert Walters midway through 2012, recruiting for part qualified accountants and finance operations. I quickly got the opportunity to move into the qualified market and recruit for more senior roles. In 2015 I took on a team lead position and was promoted to Senior Consultant that same year. I recruited for the senior end of the accounting & finance market and enjoyed working with great people throughout the years both internally and externally. In 2017, I decided to make a complete change. I wanted to go back to University with an eye to doing a MSc. in Business Management. The entry requirement was a degree in Mathematics, modules of which I had completed as far as final year in a previous Bachelor of Arts course. Robert Walters created a part time role for me as an international consultant, doing roadshows in Australia and keeping track of the Irish professional registered with Robert Walters globally while I completed the degree. The following year I moved back into recruitment as Manager of the compliance team for financial services and also began a one-year intensive Masters program. With clear goals in mind, I was the top performer in RW that year and received a first-class honours. I took on management of the accounting & finance team in addition to compliance earlier this year and I have since been promoted to Associate Director for Robert Walters from the beginning of 2022, managing compliance, risk, legal and accounting & finance. ​ 

Robert Walters supported me with excellent training, mentorship and a career where I could define my own path. Financially, they supported my academics endeavours and when some personal life circumstances changed, the management team enabled me to achieve my personal goals without sacrificing my career objectives. ​ 

What I enjoy most about my role is without a doubt the people. The mentorship from managers and directors in RW Ireland, many with 20+ years’ experience, has been invaluable towards my own development. However, what I really enjoy now, is providing that same mentorship and training to my own team, enabling them to achieve their own potential within Robert Walters. Also, I love being part of a brand where integrity matters, maintaining the trusted partnership we have with senior professionals and seeing the value we can add to their decision making at key points in their careers. Incentive trips, international office visits and the social platform we enjoy as networkers are all really enjoyable too. Lastly, recruitment isn’t an easy job. Simply put, being good at something which many find difficult and getting to the high performer stage is hugely rewarding both personally and financially.  ​ 

​We all need a “why”. As a recruiter, seeing the feedback from professionals we have helped secure roles that have defined their careers is right up there as my top motivator. I still get phone calls from people I placed all the way back in 2012 looking for advice as they navigate their careers after more than 6 promotions in the companies we first placed them in.  As a manger it all about seeing the people in my team reach new heights, develop their careers and enjoy their roles. Every day here is different, always new challenges, ample opportunities and the people are nothing short of inspiring. 

Robert Walters provides unparalleled learning and career progression opportunities. If like James, you want to thrive in a career in recruitment, then we'd love to hear from you. The opportunities are endless. Click here to learn more.

Since joining Robert Walters in 2012, Michael's career has reached new heights. Hear about how he went from door-to-door sales to having a successful career in recruitment.

James's story starts as a graduate, now he's a Senior Manager at Robert Walters Dublin. Hear how he achieved success with the help of excellent career advancement opportunities. 

Luke joined Robert Walters in 2019, and has received multiple promotions since. Read how his career journey has seen steady progression and what makes the role fulfilling.

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