“I found my career by accident. It was one of those things that naturally fell into place yet was a million miles away from what I thought my career path was going to look like only a few years prior. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Born and educated in Exeter, Jo Caine, Owner and Managing Director of local specialist recruitment firm, Cathedral Appointments, always had an adventurous side to her and had dreams to travel the world. Working as a holiday rep in her early twenties gave her a real taste of the international party life, while spending her down time exploring the nooks and crannies of countries like Spain and Greece.
While her love of travelling never truly left, along with the fabulous late-night parties, it became clear to Jo that routine was certainly something she craved. On her return to the UK, she began working as a consultant for a marketing agency but couldn’t quite leave the excitement behind, so she also ran her own side-hustle, a fitness class business.
However, there came a time where Jo needed to take a step back from being ‘always-on’. Jo’s mum, who was originally from Manchester but had come to Devon with the Land Army in the 1940s, needed support at home and Jo now needed to look for flexible work that enabled her to care for her.
Jo says: “Once Mum required more support than my two sisters and I could provide, we decided to get full-time carers and I made the decision to find a job with more structure. I joined Cathedral Appointments to cover a maternity leave and from there, I was taken on permanently.”
Jo’s success within recruitment was a pure fluke, she says that finding her way onto such an amazing career path happened purely by accident. Nevertheless, she worked hard and soon climbed the career ladder to a managerial position, followed by a directorship, ultimately ending up as full owner of the agency in 2018.
When asked, ‘Why Cathedral Appointments?’, Jo replied, “I love my job, I love my team, I love helping people and I love working with the business community in Exeter. There is a real entrepreneurial spirit here. Some of our clients are amazing companies that have started from somebody’s front room and are now valuable employers in the city.”
She encourages others to explore the world of recruitment too; “If anyone is considering a career within recruitment – I would wholeheartedly recommend it. No two days are the same and the reward comes from being able to find individuals their ideal job as well as helping companies identify great talent! It’s like a jigsaw puzzle – you put all the pieces together and watch a brilliant picture come to life.
As a recruitment consultant, you also have brilliant autonomy over how your career progresses. You can choose to specialise in a sector, such as accountancy or IT, or work as a generalist and cover a wide range of vacancies for a multitude of businesses. Your career and your passions can be combined in recruitment, something not many jobs can boast.”
Of course, the past year has been incredibly difficult for the recruitment sector, especially the initial months of the COVID-19 crisis. However, as the country heads onto a path of recovery and vacancies are opening at rapid speed, Jo and the team at Cathedral Appointments are so excited to help candidates back on their feet after such a turbulent time.
She gives away some of her key advice to budding job-seekers; “Building a relationship with a recruitment consultant can be key to finding your next job. Be open and honest about your expectations and provide as much information about your job search as possible. That way your consultant can match you to the best jobs.
Also, ensure you have an open mind. Often candidates have a fixed idea of what type of job they want, and I’d encourage anybody to work with their recruitment consultant to consider other roles, especially because of the shape of the current market. We get to know our candidates over time, and we build up a really good picture of the type of job and organisation that would suit them.”
Jo recognises that her own career path wasn’t straightforward, but the lessons she’s learned along the way have made her the incredibly successful businesswoman and recruiter that she is today. And this knowledge and wisdom is something she imparts on all that she works with.