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Recruitment company CEO Amy Golding reveals secrets to success



From start-up to millionaire in 36 months: Woman CEO, 33, reveals how she built her own company with a £17m turnover in just three years (and says the key is seeing EVERY social event as a chance to network)

  • Amy Golding, 33, from London has networked her way to the top of her field  
  • Passionate about her career she is currently CEO at talent consultancy Opus
  • Believes the line between work/life balance is blurred if you love what you do 

By Sarah Finley For Mailonline

Published: 08:07 EDT, 17 March 2019 | Updated: 08:16 EDT, 17 March 2019

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A 33-year-old businesswoman revealed how she built her own company with a £17million turnover in just three years.

Amy Golding, 33, from London, started her own recruitment company in 2014 and within three years had built it to an operation with 130 employees. 

The entrepreneur, who lives in Notting Hill with her husband, then left to join talent consultancy Opus as CEO. 

Speaking to FEMAIL, Amy said anyone can achieve their career goals if they blur the lines between business and pleasure and treat social events as a chance to network.

Amy Golding, 33, pictured at her wedding in July last year, started her own recruitment company in 2014 and within three years had built it to an operation with 130 employees
Amy Golding, 33, pictured at her wedding in July last year, started her own recruitment company in 2014 and within three years had built it to an operation with 130 employees

Amy Golding, 33, pictured at her wedding in July last year, started her own recruitment company in 2014 and within three years had built it to an operation with 130 employees 

Amy, pictured in her finery, said anyone can achieve their career goals if they blur the lines between business and pleasure and treat social events as a chance to network
Amy, pictured in her finery, said anyone can achieve their career goals if they blur the lines between business and pleasure and treat social events as a chance to network

Amy, pictured in her finery, said anyone can achieve their career goals if they blur the lines between business and pleasure and treat social events as a chance to network 

'If you are passionate about what you do, the line between what is work and life becomes very blurred,' she said.

'If I'm at a tech event after work - is that work or life? I see every opportunity as a way to make new contacts and carve out a career that you enjoy.'

After graduating from Cambridge with a degree in English in 2008, Amy had her sights on a career in journalism. But she found herself on a different path. 

'The recession had just hit and all my friends were struggling to find jobs in the UK,' she said.

'I knew that the job market in Shanghai was booming, so moved there for work instead.'

Amy, right, on BBC Woman's Hour earlier this year where she spoke about business
Amy, right, on BBC Woman's Hour earlier this year where she spoke about business

Amy, right, on BBC Woman's Hour earlier this year where she spoke about business

The following year she landed a job at Deloitte as a strategy consultant. While she loved the fast paced environment, she knew she didn't want a traditional career path.  

She continued: 'One of the things I've realised is that the concept of a career ladder is very old fashioned. It doesn't have to be a ladder, and you don't have to follow the same path as everyone else.'

Stepping off the metaphorical ladder Amy travelled to Asia in 2013 to do a three month yoga course. 

'I needed the head space to find out what I really wanted to do,' she admitted. 'In your late 20's you get anxious about your career and where it is leading. 

After graduating from Cambridge with a degree in English in 2008, Amy, pictured, had her sights on a career in journalism. But she found herself on a different path
After graduating from Cambridge with a degree in English in 2008, Amy, pictured, had her sights on a career in journalism. But she found herself on a different path

After graduating from Cambridge with a degree in English in 2008, Amy, pictured, had her sights on a career in journalism. But she found herself on a different path 

'You have a real assumption of what your life looks like to everyone else, but most of us aren't thinking about what we actually want.'

Knowing that she wanted to end up in business and recruitment she returned home and took a huge pay cut to work as a personal business adviser to entrepreneur and former Dragons' Den star James Caan at his Private Equity company.

'I took the job as it gave me a chance to network with the right people and share my ideas with them,' she said. 'Within three months they had invested in my start up.'

Amy with her business award and Jo Fairley (right) at the Women of the Year Awards last April
Amy with her business award and Jo Fairley (right) at the Women of the Year Awards last April

Amy with her business award and Jo Fairley (right) at the Women of the Year Awards last April 

Appearing on Talk Radio last year with Tania Bryer and Eamonnholmes on A-level results day about the opportunities for young people today
Appearing on Talk Radio last year with Tania Bryer and Eamonnholmes on A-level results day about the opportunities for young people today

Appearing on Talk Radio last year with Tania Bryer and Eamonnholmes on A-level results day about the opportunities for young people today

Launching her company Recruitment Entrepreneur, a venture capital fund for recruitment start-ups, with £4 million of seed funding, she worked hard at making it a success.

She grew her company from just her to 130 staff and a £17 million turnover in three years. But after those three years knew she had to move on. 

Amy loves to socialise when she's not at work and still has some of the same friends from school and university
Amy loves to socialise when she's not at work and still has some of the same friends from school and university

Amy loves to socialise when she's not at work and still has some of the same friends from school and university 

Amy continued: 'You always need to make sure you put yourself in the right place for you, going with your gut. A lot of people fear change and but I fear things not changing.'

Using her networking skills she secured her present job, as CEO of Opus, when she met the owner of the business in France. 

She said: 'We met in a social/work situation and were really impressed by each others careers. I didn't interview the traditional way, in fact I haven’t interviewed for a job since I was 20.

'I believe that if you throw yourself into stuff and you see every interaction, whether it's personal or professional, as something that could progress your career, then opportunities happen.

'It's about gaining peoples trust, rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty.  When I started up my own business I came in and painted the walls and put all the furniture together - its about not believing that anything is beneath you.' 

Amy out with work colleagues - she believes the line between work/ life balance is blurred if you love what you do
Amy out with work colleagues - she believes the line between work/ life balance is blurred if you love what you do

Amy out with work colleagues - she believes the line between work/ life balance is blurred if you love what you do

Amy (second right) loves to socialise and has kept many of the same friends  from school and university
Amy (second right) loves to socialise and has kept many of the same friends  from school and university

Amy (second right) loves to socialise and has kept many of the same friends  from school and university

Stepping off the metaphorical ladder Amy went to Asia in 2013 to do a three month yoga course
Stepping off the metaphorical ladder Amy went to Asia in 2013 to do a three month yoga course

Stepping off the metaphorical ladder Amy went to Asia in 2013 to do a three month yoga course

In her spare time Amy and her husband love to socialise with friends and watch TV shows on the sofa
In her spare time Amy and her husband love to socialise with friends and watch TV shows on the sofa

In her spare time Amy and her husband love to socialise with friends and watch TV shows on the sofa

In addition to her CEO duties, Amy's latest project is _nology, a 12-week hands-on tech skills course for individuals and businesses, busting the myth that careers in tech are for tech specialists only. 

Amy reveals that she's never had to change to be successful: 'I’ve never had to conform to what someone may think a CEO is like. I’m always open when I’m not sure what I’m doing – I always ask questions. 

But that doesn't mean to say she is always confident in herself, she admitted: 'I have days when I feel like I’m not good enough – sometimes in theory it seems like everything is going well but you feel anxious.   

'But if your always if your comfort zone then you're not learning.' 

Living with her husband in London, who she met at her time at Delottie, yoga enthusiast Amy said that it helps that they are both very independent and have the same work ethic. 

But admits their favourite thing to do together in her spare time is 'lie on the sofa and watch reruns of Grey's Anatomy.'

Launching her company Recruitment Entrepreneur, a venture capital fund for recruitment start-ups, with £4 million of seed funding, Amy worked hard at making it a success
Launching her company Recruitment Entrepreneur, a venture capital fund for recruitment start-ups, with £4 million of seed funding, Amy worked hard at making it a success

Launching her company Recruitment Entrepreneur, a venture capital fund for recruitment start-ups, with £4 million of seed funding, Amy worked hard at making it a success

In addition to her CEO duties, Amy's latest project is _nology, a 12-week hands-on tech skills course for individuals and businesses, busting the myth that careers in tech are for tech specialists only
In addition to her CEO duties, Amy's latest project is _nology, a 12-week hands-on tech skills course for individuals and businesses, busting the myth that careers in tech are for tech specialists only

In addition to her CEO duties, Amy's latest project is _nology, a 12-week hands-on tech skills course for individuals and businesses, busting the myth that careers in tech are for tech specialists only

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