This week we celebrate the 15th work-anniversary of Eliza Deang, Operations Manager here at Mee Derby. Eliza is our most international team member. Born in the Philippines, she has lived on three continents. Her global perspective is grounded by a deep understanding of how to connect with people.
You were born and raised in Manila, Philippines. How did your career emerge from graduating at University of Santo Thomas?
My degree was Bachelor of Science in Psychology, major in Behavioral and General Psychology. A few months after I graduated, I worked as a guidance assistant and psychometrician for an exclusive girls school. I gave psychological tests to students to analyze their behavioral pattern, determine general problems and provide recommendations and group dynamics to optimize their unique learning processes and help them cope with adolescence.
And how did that lead to your fruitful career in staffing?
Even before I got into recruitment, the theme has been people. The behavioral side of it. After five years as a counselor and psychometrician, I chose to leave the educational sector and move to industrial. That’s where my staffing experience first began. I worked for a recruitment firm in the Philippines sending IT talent to Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia. Later we began sending nurses to the US. I did that for eight years until I decided to try my luck in the USA.
What brought you to to Virginia at the time? How was the transition?
At the the time we lived in Sydney, Australia. I came in to visit my family in 1999. My mother, brother and sisters all live here. It was the Clinton years, and the unemployment rate was very low… a great time for the job market. I was encouraged to look for an opportunity. I saw an ad on The Washington Post for a Technical Recruiter so I submitted my resume. It was a job opening that Mee Derby was working on for one their clients but it did not materialize. The next thing I know, Robin Mee and her team was interviewing me for a job at Mee Derby. It was a long, complicated and unique process because it involved sponsorship for me to live and work here, but it ended well. Transition was smooth because I am in the same industry and personally, I had the support of my family.
This week marks your 15th year here at Mee Derby. Congratulations!
15 years is a long time. It may sound cliche but it is true for me – time flies when you are having fun. I love what I do, the people I work for and work with. Mee Derby’s set up of teleworking 3 times a week has given me the opportunity to be an effective working mother. I was able to grow personally and professionally.
And a successfully working mom! How have you felt the company evolve over the years?
The virtual set-up is the greatest evolution. Mee Derby must have been one of the first search firms with a virtual set up. Also, the company has become more specialized in upper level management searches which we did not have the luxury of doing during the recession. It took a while for Mee Derby to find the right people for this set up and I can say that over the last 3 years, we have found our best and strongest team. I think one of the reasons for Mee Derby’s longevity is its ability to embrace change. We try to evolve according to what time dictates without losing our core.
Speak to those considering entering the staffing industry: what kind of qualities should they cultivate?
Passion to help people. Money is one of the motivations but it is not the main factor that will lead you to success. If you have the passion to do something, most of the time, things will just fall into place and lead to financial rewards. A successful recruiter finds fulfillment in making a good placement – that the client is happy and the candidate loves their new job.
Resilience is a helpful quality in this business. There are so many ups and downs, and often the problems occur at the end of the hiring process. You can’t say you’ve won the game until the final bell has rung. The placement has not been made until the person starts the job. Anything can happen in between. You will invest your time in candidates and clients, and it can drain your energy if you don’t build resilience.
How do you spend your time off?
I live a simple life. I love watching movies, especially action and suspense films, as well as the occasional chick-flick and feel-good movie.
Travelling is my passion. I have a bucketlist. We go on vacation every year with my family and friends. Our most recent get-away was to Sydney, Australia, where we attended the wedding of a very close niece.
Favorite words of wisdom?
Learn from the past, manage the present and prepare for the future.
What matters most is not the number of times you fail but the number of times you bounce back.
I always refer to these words of wisdom when things go wrong.
Who inspires you?
Mother Teresa. I believe that giving up all the good things in life to serve other people is a very difficult act of love and selflessness. She inspires me to be a better person.
What can’t you do without?
Cell phone, for obvious reasons. My family. My world revolves around them but of course I always give time for myself and other people.
Connect with Eliza on LinkedIn or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
interview written and conducted by:
Social Media & Marketing Coordinator