Globe-trotting Opportunities: Dan Jackson, Robert Walters San Francisco

Changing careers is no easy feat, especially when relocating to a different country. Starting his marketing career back home in New Zealand, Dan Jackson has made quite the journey to get to where he is now as a Manager at our San Francisco office. And there’s two things he credits his success to: the support and drive of his Robert Walters colleagues, and his ambition to succeed.

Having started off as a consultant at our London office seven years ago, Dan’s career has grown immensely over the years and shows that hard work really does pay off. Read all about his story at Robert Walters and the great tips he has for anyone looking to make the switch to recruitment:

Where did you work before joining Robert Walters?

Before Robert Walters I was doing business development and sales for a company called New Zealand Post. I provided website and advertising solutions to SMBs for their umbrella company, The Localist. Which I compared to a yellow pages guide that lists all the best things to do in the area etc.

What attracted you to working in recruitment?

Back in 2014 I went in for an interview with Robert Walters for a marketing role and during the interview they saw a potential recruiter in me. I wasn’t looking for a role in recruitment, I was introduced to it. I then took time to interview with many teams in the London office where I worked before moving to the SF office.

Why did you want to work for Robert Walters?

I was impressed with the friendless of the consultants and their honesty. Recruitment is not an easy role, but there’s a lot of support and it’s easy to get adjusted and get into it, especially if you’re hungry to make money like I was (and still am). I admired their ambition to win and be successful. The company seemed like a great fit for me.

What do you like best about your role? 

The people I work with and seeing their success on Robert Walters side, but also seeing my candidates and clients reach a goal. I invest a lot into the relationships I make, what we do impacts so many lives, and that’s what makes recruiting such a great career choice. I also simply love the reward you get for the effort you put in. Earning quarterly bonuses that reflect the work you put in is a great perk and reminder that hard work pays off.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

There are many achievements I’m proud of. Growing from a consultant in London to my current manager role in San Francisco where I’m leading a team of top billers is a big one. However, I’m proud of my fundraising efforts within the company. I achieved the highest amount raised for Robert Walters’ Global Charity Day this last year. I was also one of the top billers for North America in 2021, and I recently earned a spot for this year’s upcoming global incentive trip.

How would you describe the culture at Robert Walters?

We aim for a professional yet fun culture. I joined the San Francisco office during the pandemic, so it’s been a mixture of remote, hybrid, and in-office work, but I love being interactive with my colleague’s face-to-face, so I enjoy the office time when we all get together. When we get to catch up in person, we all have a lot of fun together and I think it’s also great that we all have similar paths for success. Similar goals that resonate with our team-oriented culture. We have each other’s backs when someone needs support, which is very important.

What advice would you give to someone considering a move into recruitment? 

I would say to learn the market first, especially for the California offices you should, and read up on tech news such as Crunchbase, Built in SF, etc. I also recommend you get emersed into how a VC (Venture Capital) backs a startup and why. Learn the discipline you’re going to recruit for. You're continuously learning in this role, so read up as much as you can. And once you're in the role, soak it up and make initiatives to keep learning. Ask Managers questions that can help give you a boost and get you up to speed.

How did the company support your move from New Zealand to San Francisco?

I was based in the UK for six years before moving to the US, but I had a short stint in New Zealand waiting for my Visa to be approved. So, it was great getting to spend time with family before the move. The San Francisco business was very supportive with my move with working different hours/days to fit in with the US time zone, development trainings, book clubs, etc. I found it very productive when the office was open, where I could get to know my colleagues better and be able to shoot quires (“around the water cooler”) at any time of the day instead of having to organize a meeting to discuss.

What attracted you to working in SF?

Professionally, the opportunity to grow within the company was huge. It was an opportunity to grow my knowledge outside of the London market, as well as gain exposure to VC’s and founders of some of the world’s most successful startups. But personally, after three trips out to SF and wider California, I quickly learned that I loved the weather, the city vibe, restaurants, bars, and the travel aspect. It’s great for hiking, skiing, and wineries also. You can travel five hours and be in a completely different atmosphere. I love travelling and it’s closer for my family to visit here.

How did you find adapting to working in a different market?

It was a learning curve for me, and I wished I had taken more time to learn the market before moving here. Like I said earlier, do as much learning as you can about the market and discipline you’re going to work in when starting your recruitment career or relocating to a different country.

Get in touch with our Talent Acquisition team to find out more about exciting opportunities in the US.

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