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Danielle Rapaport

Danielle Rapaport

Danielle Rapaport is a Partner and Director of William Blake Group - a recruitment agency

  • Location: London, UK 

  • Title: Partner and Director 

  • Company: William Blake Group 

  • Sector: Recruitment/Search Consultancy 

  • Degree: MA English Literature and Arabic at the University of Edinburgh

How does your usual day look like?

My day kicks off at around 6:30am when I’m woken either by my alarm or my young kids. After a momentarily quiet cuppa followed by the chaotic morning routine, we eventually make it out at 7:45am – I head to the station and my husband tends to do the nursery and school run. A podcast is the usual go-to entertainment on the tube. I enjoy anything business-related (particularly founder led), and I’m a sucker for anything about health and wellness too.

Work starts by 8:20am fuelled by coffee and a meticulous to-do list - without which I’m certain no task would be completed! Tuesdays are great because the whole team is in the office and I love the feel of everyone being together, chatting and sharing information on work and life. Wednesdays and Thursdays are for client interactions - I’m hugely grateful that people are interested in meeting up again post-Covid and that we’ve regained one of the most important and enjoyable parts of our job.

Every day is different – I co-run the company with my business partner and the responsibilities are broad. My role spans team management, overseeing our Private Markets practice, client projects, marketing strategy, and daily surprises that keep me on my toes.

Networking is a daily joy and necessity, connecting with people and discussing market trends. I have regular calls and VCs with candidates in our specialist areas, often first thing, over lunchtime and on Fridays when most people are working from home. Currently, I am growing our Private Markets presence, an exciting challenge within this impactful part of the investment industry.

It’s around this time when we start planning and strategizing for the coming year in terms of headcount growth, potential new markets, new projects to strengthen our brand, employee proposition, CSR strategy, MarTech – whatever needs to be addressed. No winding down at all during the festive period.

My day wraps up at 4:30pm and it's a race to pick up the kids. Home time, dinner, bath, stories and bedtime is a bit of a whirlwind, but I love being able to do it. Around 8pm, it's dinner with my husband, checking over any end-of-day emails, and then an attempt to watch an episode of whatever series we’re ploughing through, or I’ll speak to friends and family. If I have enough brain power, I’ll try and tackle some life admin. I’m usually in bed by 11pm – my efforts to have an earlier bedtime have never materialised.

I’m officially part-time and try to achieve ‘balance’ by having Mondays off work with my young daughter. It works well at the moment and I only sometimes check my emails!

What are the things you like the most about your job?

Speaking to people every day. My job allows me to find out what drives people, what frustrates them, and ultimately, what their aspirations and goals are. I find this interesting because fundamentally, everyone is different.

I also love being an employer and knowing that we are supporting people and families.

What are some of the skills you utilise the most in your day-to-day at work?

Empathy, patience and perseverance, every day.

What was one of your happiest days in your career and why?

Returning to central London after Covid, seeing my colleagues in person and getting out of my house!

What was the toughest career decision you ever made?

I haven't faced anything really tough in my personal career, but deciding on the duration of my maternity leave was a tricky decision for me.

What is something you had to learn to become better at your work?

How to delegate and manage people and teams properly, allowing me to do other things of greater benefit to the company.

How did you get to become a Director and co-Founder of the business?

I worked hard as a recruitment consultant. Working smart is key, but also sometimes sheer effort is required. I also met a business partner who I fundamentally felt I could work with for the long-term; someone who complimented my skillset, someone who believed in my ability, and most importantly, someone who I enjoyed working with and talking to every day! I’m an extrovert who takes comfort in speaking to people, so I could never think of setting up something solo.

What's the one piece of career advice you have for anyone interested in following your footsteps?

Have a long-term goal but be adaptable enough to flex to the journey along the way.

Life is long (hopefully) – take the time to learn and explore new things at every opportunity.

What's your number one productivity hack / when or how are you most effective?

I am most efficient in the morning, so I try to tackle bigger tasks first thing. Recognise when you feel procrastination creeping in and address it quickly!

What makes you gracefullyBOLD?

Feeling confident in my knowledge, accepting what I’m good at and what my limitations are. This boosts my honesty and curiosity in every interaction.

How do you spend your weekend or downtimes?

I want to spend every spare minute when not working with my children. So it’s a revolving carousel of child-friendly activities. On Monday evenings after their bedtime, I go running with a friend. We started the tradition during lockdown and it became a much-appreciated calorie-burning counselling session. We recently completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon raising money for charity.

How do you deal with stress and build resilience?

Having perspective is an important part of my coping strategy. I also always try to tackle the route of an issue head-on and quickly. It’s easy to try and ignore things for a while, but it certainly doesn’t help.

What would have been your alternative career path or alternative University degree?

I always wanted to go into Publishing as it meant reading lots of books! Turned out I had a rather romanticized view of the industry which was quickly dispelled after an internship.

Who is a female professional that inspired you along your career journey? What did she do / say / or what are the character traits and professional skills she uses.

During my first job in PR I worked with an impressive female leader on a few projects. I was fascinated by how she conducted herself within a group of senior peers and clients. She was great at pushing back, probing for detail and framing conclusions with intelligence and grace – skills I still try to practice today.

What's the last thing you learnt?

That the NHS is one of the biggest employers globally. Mind-blowing!

If you could time-travel and meet any leader, who/where would that be?

More of a leader in his field, I’d love to meet Shakespeare and just speak to the person who has become such a phenomenal part of the global literary canon.

The one question we didn't ask you but you'd like to answer?

  • Question: Where would you live if you could be anywhere?

  • Answer: Istanbul – I haven’t been for years, but I loved its buzz, culture, history and food. Second choice would be Amsterdam.

One word answers & quick fire round. Let's go!

  • Your superpower: Perspective

  • Favourite restaurant: ROKA

  • Favourite fashion brand: Not a brand, but I love my mum’s clothes from the 80s and 90s

  • Favourite beauty product: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid

  • Favourite perfume: Perfume makes me sneeze

  • Book recommendation: a bit obvious but 'Lean in' from Sheryl Sandberg

  • Next holiday destination: Scotland

  • Your hobby: Hoping to pick one up in retirement

  • Who inspires you: I take inspiration from all my friends and family rather than from a public figure who I don’t really know.

  • Tea or Coffee: Tea

  • Red wine or White wine: no wine!

  • Morning bird or Night owl: Morning bird

  • Cat person or Dog person: Dog person

Thank you Danielle for sharing your journey & wisdom with us!

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