Links MD joins the counselling crew
My career path has had many twists and turns. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in industrial and labour relations, but at the time there were very few related job opportunities. A few months after graduation, I landed a job as an intern in the Political Action Department of a public employees’ labour union in New York. I worked on everything from a New York state governor race to the labour union’s position on employee health benefits.
I moved to Israel for two years and worked in sales in the semiconductor industry. I then returned to Cornell for my MBA and worked in commercial banking at the Bank of Boston. As a lender, I marketed to new potential clients, analysed the credit-worthiness of borrowers and maintained existing banking relationships. It was a great training ground.
Eight years later, I read in the newspaper about an investor who was operating one of the first venture-capital firms to invest in Israeli medical technology. I sent him a letter and a few weeks later we met and I joined his company. Working with entrepreneurs at a very early stage of their development was a new and wonderful opportunity for me. The job required me to learn about new fields and technologies every week.
In 1999, my life took a new turn and my family moved to Malaysia and then to Hong Kong. I decided to pursue additional education and worked on my accounting credentials through online courses. After also working on several large charity functions, I met the directors of Links Recruitment and became the managing director. I have never looked back.
Working at Links is the culmination of my previous experiences. We work to understand the needs of our clients and to help candidates as they consider their options, their interests and their skills. We also help new entrants settle into the market. We answer their questions, help them set up payrolls, get visas and sometimes even find them tailors.
Recently, I completed a programme in executive coaching from Columbia University. As a coach, I try to listen more and talk less. Often, candidates and clients need a chance to sift through their priorities and identify their agendas and action plans. As a recruiter, a manager and a coach, I work every day to assist, advise and help people in the very important task of improving their careers.
Debbie Matson is managing director of Links International. With a strong regional presence in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau, Links International provides recruitment, payroll and HR services.