How I got where I am today: Sasha Jaypalan
Published: 16 Jan 2015
What did you want to be when you were young?
As a youngster I played a lot of cricket and I always fancied walking out bat in hand for the opening day of a test series. In reality, if this didn’t work out I felt that I would work with people in some capacity.
What are the main career stepping stones you have taken?
After completing a degree in business studies I entered the world of banking and worked for a couple of fund and asset managers in London. This gave me a real taste for client and account management. Working in the city was great, there was a real buzz and it was a great learning curve.
After a bit more time with my head in the books I qualified as a financial adviser and enjoyed the personal service and relationship building the role offered. I have always pushed myself out of my comfort zones and in 2008 I completed a commercial helicopter licence and accepted a job as a pilot which brought me to Aberdeen. Timing was not great as a dip in the oil price in 2009 resulted in a change in market conditions and I found myself out of work.
A meeting with Gus Porter, the MD at AAA, led to a number of further meetings. The company liked my background and I liked the vision of where AAA was going. Recruitment can be fast-paced and impersonal but it has been my aim to take the pace off and really get to know my clients and candidates. It’s a great job where you get to meet some fascinating people and get to the heart of some amazing businesses.
This may seem ironic but I don’t believe in judging people by what their occupation is. It is obviously key to our business and a major part of any conversation I have. I love getting to know what individuals enjoy and what drives them.
Anything you would do differently?
No. I try not to regret things. Things don’t always go to plan but there are always good things round the corner.
Are you scared of making mistakes?
No, you rarely achieve things consistently without making mistakes; we just have to learn from them.
Best achievement so far?
I am proud of where I am in a growing business. Having moved to Aberdeen a few years ago not knowing a single person, it’s great to reflect on the journey, the relationships developed and what can be achieved.
What’s your idea of the perfect retirement?
I love travelling and visiting other cultures. Combining this with watching a bit of cricket in the Caribbean or Australia with my wife, that would be the way forward.
Is the “career for life” a thing of the past?
It is rare mainly due to options available in hot spots like Aberdeen and also the competitive streamlining nature businesses go through. If a candidate approaches me and is not sure of their next step I will often ask them if they are happy. If they say yes, I advise them to stay put. This may seem counterproductive, but trust is key and it strengthens long-term relationships.
What has motivated you?
I am motivated by people with strong vision and values. The opportunity to be the best at what I do is a constant driver.
What’s the best way to motivate others?
Honesty and communication are key. I believe in empowering those around me and giving them the platform to succeed.
Your favourite stress-buster?
I have three young kids all under the age of nine; they keep me grounded when I walk in the door.
I need to remember that – the little people are stress busters. I try and swim, run or use the gym before work. It has to be first thing as I have no chance after.
What’s your best career advice?
I have had some good career advice from others, but for me, I would
say the best way to get ahead is to be solid and consistent in what you do, treating others in your path well will earn you a great reputation as someone people want to work with. Think about long-term relationships – not short-term gain.