Rajiv became an Admin Business Partner in Jan 2022. Prior to that, Rajiv worked as a Tech Headhunter & Recruiter for 8.5 years.

rajiv ryan leader assistant podcast

In this episode, Rajiv shares his story of transitioning from working as a headhunter and recruiter for 8.5 years to becoming an admin business partner at Google. I enjoyed talking with Rajiv about how to work with recruiters, having fun at work, and more.


Diamonds are not made overnight.

Rajiv Ryan Leader Assistant PodcastABOUT RAJIV

Rajiv became an Admin Business Partner in Jan 2022. Prior to that, Rajiv worked as a Tech Headhunter & Recruiter for 8.5 years.

Rajiv is from Pondicherry (A union territory in India). Rajiv is a Tri-lingual professional (Fluent in English, French and Tamil)

Outside of work, Rajiv likes to play music (Guitar & Piano), play sports (Basketball, Cricket) and workout.

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Rajiv Ryan 0:00
Hi my name is Rajiv Ryan and diamond are not made overnight

Podcast Intro 0:11
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistants

Jeremy Burrows 0:25
The Leader Assistant Podcast is brought to you by goody. If you’re starting to think about holiday gifts for your team like I am, goody is a game changer. They have amazing gifts that people will really love including brands that give back to charitable causes. As a longtime executive assistant, I’ve always been nervous about holiday gifting season. But thankfully, goody’s platform lets you send one gift or hundreds at the same time without ever worrying about shipping details. Can I get an amen? With goodie your gift recipients provide all their shipping info, and they can even swap out your gift for another option if they prefer. It’s free to start gifting and you can get a $20 credit when you sign up. Oh, and if you mentioned you heard about goody from The Leader Assistant Podcast goody will add an extra $10 credit to your account. Go to leaderassistant.com/goody to start gifting today. Hey friends, welcome to The Leader Assistant Podcast. It’s episode 196 You can check out the show notes at leaderassistant.com/196. Today I have the privilege of speaking with Rajiv Ryan. Rajiv is an admin at Google. And we’re going to talk a little bit about his story and his career. Rajiv, thanks for joining me.

Rajiv Ryan 1:49
Thanks, Jeremy, for having me on the show.

Jeremy Burrows 1:52
What uh, what part of the world are you in?

Rajiv Ryan 1:56
So I live out of a city named Bangalore, which is at the south of India.

Jeremy Burrows 2:02
Awesome. And have you been there for your whole life? Or what’s what’s kind of your story with where you’re from and where you grew up?

Rajiv Ryan 2:12
So I was born and raised in a city named Chennai, which is also at the south of India. And I did my schooling there, I did my college over there as well. My roots are from this city, which is named Pondicherry, which was a bit was a French colony as well. And in 2013, June, like, as soon as I had completed my education, I moved to Bangalore looking for work. It’s probably a six hour drive from Chennai to Bangalore, if you if you if you head down by car or by a bus. Yeah, so so that’s where I’m from?

Jeremy Burrows 2:54
Awesome. Well, I know it’s definitely a little bit of a timezone difference from where I’m at in Kansas City, Missouri. So appreciate you being flexible and hopping on the show. So tell us a little bit about personally like what are your hobbies? Do you have, you know, any pets, cats, dogs, etc? Yeah, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Rajiv Ryan 3:18
Sure. So coming to my hobbies, one of the things which I do consistently, at least I tried to do four times a week is hit the gym. So that is one of the hobbies, and I do enjoy playing sports. So the two sports which I play a lot our cricket, which is our India’s version of baseball, and the other sport, which I do plays basketball. Apart from sports, I also play music. So I play piano and guitar. And my wife and myself, we enjoy baking and cooking together as well. So that’s that’s how I spend my time.

Jeremy Burrows 4:02
Awesome. Love it. How long have you been playing guitar?

Rajiv Ryan 4:06
Um, probably since I was like 14 or 15 years old. Okay.

Jeremy Burrows 4:12
Yeah, I taught myself when I was 1716, I think haven’t played ever since I had kids. I didn’t play as much. But I definitely enjoy it here and there. Well, so tell us about your professional journey. You were looking at your LinkedIn, you were a tech Headhunter and recruiter for eight and eight and a half years. Tell us about how you got into that world.

Rajiv Ryan 4:41
So, so fun fact is by educational qualifications. I’m actually an electronics and instrumentation engineer. But I gotten to I got into it not knowing what it was about. And during my time at university, I wanted to do something which was Not hands on coding, which is not hands on deck, which which you know, which wasn’t your typical engineer kind of role. And I was trying to figure out what I could do with that, right? I kind of realized that one of my strengths right from university or even school was my ability to network, my ability to organize events, my ability to make new connections. So what I was thinking was from either get into something, which is like sales, marketing, or, and while I was doing that research, recruiting was a very thin line between selling and had a job. And so that’s how I joined an agency and moved to Bangalore and started my career as a recruiter, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Like, it’s what made me who I am today as well. So early, but eight years.

Jeremy Burrows 5:58
So you recently made a change, though, and, you know, became an admin at Google? What? What was the? Yeah, what was the push? And did you work with assistance during your recruiting career? Did you kind of see it from a distance and think, oh, maybe that’d be fun. How did you get into, you know, going from a long successful career in recruiting to I want to be an admin?

Rajiv Ryan 6:29
Um, well, yes, I did work with a lot of amazing admins during my journey as a recruiter, in all of my companies, which I worked in, right. So I was totally in for companies in my career. And, like, I must say, like, a lot of the admins did help me a lot when I was ready to, to in terms of getting, let’s say, the exec, or the leader, on a call with a potential candidate to help sell the role help. Now talk more about why they should be taking the role of giving more clarity on on the project, and you know, all of these things. So that is something which I’ve seen. And I’ve also like, even while I was again, like, well, in the recruiting world, like I did partner with a lot of admins on a lot of events, a lot of community building, so on and so forth. So, and I kind of had a lot of friends as well, who were working in the road. So they used to, when we used to talk to each tell me about the impact, the kinds of things they do, like how they spend their day, kind of projects they worked on. And that seemed pretty interesting to me. And like, the another thing is, what I’ve learned is like, what you see on paper, is there’s a there’s a lot more, which actually happens in reality than what is on paper. And I got to learn that from all of my friends who are currently in this. So after looking at it from an overall perspective, like and the impact, and how and how you can contribute. That’s how I decided to take to take up this.

Jeremy Burrows 8:06
So did you have any challenges getting people to take you seriously, when you when you applied for a role that you’ve never done before?

Rajiv Ryan 8:16
I’m not really to be honest. Like because, like what, at least my philosophy, and what I’ve seen is like, there are a lot of roles which have overlap with each other. And as long as your fundamentals are strong, and your core skills are score strong, I feel that you should be able to pick up the other skills which are needed for the job, pretty easy. So I didn’t have I’m lucky enough to say that I didn’t have that, that push back. That’s kind of

Jeremy Burrows 8:48
nice. So the trick so the skills you learned in your recruiting career transferred over very well.

Rajiv Ryan 8:54
Yes, because there’s a lot of things like dealing with ambiguity, which is there in both the worlds recruiter world as well as the ACT creativities on certainty are very important factor in both of the work working with a large set of people in different time zones was again, a part of both of the recruiting world well, and the ad. So there was I was able to leverage that. Oh,

Jeremy Burrows 9:18
that’s great. Rajiv, thanks for sharing. So you’ve really, you’re coming up on almost 11 or 12 months of your admin career what what’s your favorite part about it so far?

Rajiv Ryan 9:35
There are multiple favorite parts of it like it would be very difficult for me to choose something on the spot. But like, my pay, if I have to, like summarize it to one of the favorite aspects is you get to like very similar to the recruiting world where you get to see the result of your work like in the recruiting world. The effort you put in, results in a great candidate joining or organize sensation, and you know, doing well and enjoying work and, you know, scaling up their career. Like, you get to see the same kind of outfit over years. So I would say I enjoy the fact that when your leaders tell you that this is a priority for me, and I need these things to get done, and you help them achieve it, in your in, in, you know, in whatever way you used to help them achieve it. That’s something which I enjoy. Because, like, that’s how we win as a team.

Jeremy Burrows 10:32
Yeah, so that commonality of seeing others succeed and helping others win from your recruiting days, and then now your admin months? Definitely. Something that you enjoy, that’s awesome. Well, what what’s something you do to actually rewind a bit? What’s been the hardest thing about shifting from the recruiting world to the admin assistant world?

Rajiv Ryan 11:11
So it is, I would say the hardest thing is like, you know, like, so there is a saying, in the recruiting world, like, once a recruiter, always the recruiter, recruiter at heart, sometimes need to realize that you’re not playing that role anymore. And, you know, like that, yeah, it’s great to help out and help about other recruiters and all of that stuff. But you also need to realize that you that, you know, like, your job is more to help out from an admin perspective. So I think the hardest thing from my purse, my, my, my, from my perspective was, you know, making like that transition from, because I’ve been doing this for eight years, and then overextended, moving into this role. So just, you know, getting that into like, like, oh, okay, I’m not doing this anymore. And I’m doing this, that was kind of hard. And I’ll give you an example for this, right? An example for this, like, like, I mean, most, the, in any company, the most common relationship between a recruiter and an admin is scheduling a call with the leader to talk to the candidate about the project. So in this case, I’ve been on both sides I’ve been, I mean, I started as a recruiter, and now I help, you know, other recruiters get on a call. So, like, things like, you know, like, like, each recruiter has a different way of functioning, and each recruiter is unique. So I would say like, not like avoiding the temptation of you know, stepping in and, you know, trying to be a recruiting consultant, that time giving your set of advice to the recruiter on, maybe you should have done this, or maybe you should have done that. Stepping away from that was hard initially.

Jeremy Burrows 13:03
Yeah, that’s interesting. So, what do you see for your next, you know, two to four years? Do you? What you just are you all in on the on the admin assistant world? What do you think? And

Rajiv Ryan 13:18
so I’m definitely all in on the admin world. It’s something which is pretty interesting to me. But then again, like what I’ve looked at, as the way world, the world and world and technology evolves, I’m definitely open to whatever comes my way. But if you can, if your question is like, do you see yourself in the admin world for the next two to four years? I would say, why not like it’s an all with growth. And there is a lot of scope if you, you know, if you if you’re unique, and if you try a lot of new things.

Jeremy Burrows 13:56
What’s so give us a little bit of tips on you know, there’s a lot of assistants listening who are either jobless, or they have a job, but they’re looking for a better one. And they’re in the interview process. They’re reaching out to recruiters, they’re getting LinkedIn messages from recruiters. You know, they’re getting ghosted by recruiters, what’s what’s maybe one or two tips for assistants, just based on your experience as a recruiter. And being in that world and knowing how that game is played, if you will, what’s maybe one or two tips you could share with listeners who are really trying to connect with recruiters and get Yeah, get some some momentum and traction on their job.

Rajiv Ryan 14:49
So another thing which I’d like to call out recruiters, you can associate them with, I’m going to associate them and give an analogy with with doctors, right so When you look at doctors, like doctors specialize in maybe like you have, you have doctors who specialize in pediatrics, you have doctors who specialize in gastro, you have to talk to the specialized, who are neurologists, we have doctors who are surgeons. So you have categories of doctors, right. So it’s very similar to recruiters as well, right? When I was a recruiter like I actually spend, I can say that I spent at least five or five and a half years of my career, only doing software engineering hiring for companies, right. So I would say the first thing is you need to reach out to the right person, because most often are not the intent to help someone find a role is there. But you may not have the right context, or the like connections or the right processes to know what to do next. So I would say like, if you’re an admin and looking for a new role, you would need to first connect with the recruiter who is hiring admin, like hiring with the recruiter who was, let’s say, doing tech hiring or finance hiring. And they may be able to send your profile to someone else, as well. But that’s, again, a longer route. And the chances of, and the probability or chances of that happening is that so I would say personally, if connect with the right recruiter, second thing is like, if you’re looking to engage with somebody on LinkedIn, most most folks use the LinkedIn app on on their mobile, versus the laptop. So like, if you minimize it to maybe three to five lines, or even, ideally, three lines of why you would like to connect and how you can add value and be very specific. And, you know, be unique in your message. When I say be unique in your message, like, call out a point about your profile, call out a point about the recruiters profile. And, you know, like, just show the other person that you’ve done your homework, it actually goes a long way. And, and it’s worked. It’s worked wonders for me, personally, like, when, whenever I was looking for a new project, so And the third thing is like, like, yeah, like, like, this is also one of my favorite things is that never put all of your eggs in one basket. It’s a very famous thing, which, which, which I, which I’ve learned, which means that, like you do that you never celebrate until you know, everything is final and written in stone. And like, like, don’t narrow down something only to one project or, you know, one opportunity. So, I mean, keep keep your keep your options open, and something is bound to click. And the last thing I would say is good things do take time. Like if you ask me like, like, there have been times where it taken maybe five months or six months to land a good opportunity. But that opportunity was certainly worth it. So and again, like if you keep like, another tip, I would say is networking really helps. Because there’s so much we can learn from each other, irrespective of profession, right? So I always tell a lot of people this that, apart from the HR world, or the admin world. I’ve learned so much from engineers, like I’ve actually learned a lot of personal finance, from my engineering friends with respect to how do you invest in stocks? Or how do you? How do you handle your tax planning, you know, these kinds of things. So this, these would be my five points to any assistant was looking for that next one?

Jeremy Burrows 18:41
Wow, those are great, great tips. Raji, thanks for sharing. Definitely. I can see people taking notes as they’re listening. That’s some great tips from your experience as a recruiter. Well, Raji, thank you so much for you know, reaching out and taking a risk and being courageous and being on the show. What’s what’s to kind of wrap things up? What’s the one thing that you would like to say to assistants listening today? After now, you’ve been in the in the role for several months, and you’re excited about it. And, you know, as we’ve discussed, it’s a career shift for you. What’s one thing you’d like to tell the assistance of the world?

Rajiv Ryan 19:34
I would say that, you need to have as much as fun as you can while at work. So this is what I follow, like, tight since I started working, right, the more fun you have at work and the more you enjoy your work, the better the output is going to be independent, more happier you’re going to be and the second point is like especially in our world, there is a lot of ambiguity and there are going to be ups and downs. So on your highs, celebrate your highs, enjoy it, but don’t let it get to your head. And during your lows as well, like, learn to embrace it. And, you know, like, know that what goes down has to go up as well. So you will have these you will take Monday will be an amazing day, Tuesday will be a bad day, Wednesday will be a bad day, Thursday will again be a bad day and Friday will be a really a basic thing. So this is just a random pattern which I came out. So you have these cycles and in the long run like you would make it you would definitely wins. So don’t let like if you have a bad day, personally, my what? Honestly, what I do is I I kind of just like so I’m a fan of Arabian food and burgers as well. So I would just order a burger or shawarma and, you know, just chill out. So, that will be

Jeremy Burrows 20:59
nice. So, you know, I liked your point about having fun at work, what’s one way that you try to try to abide by that? How do you have fun at work?

Rajiv Ryan 21:11
So I come up with a lot of late a lot of a lot of a lot of tech tech fun, a lot of lot of jokes, you know, related to engineering or related to technology or related to anything like I joke with my peers and with my execs and with a lot of people who I work with. The second thing is, you know, using themes like you’d like you can we just had Halloween right? So I mean, like do something have a Halloween Week or you know, keep keep the spirit alive using that. And the third thing what I would say is the way to have fun is like if you can actually pre plan it like so, like assuming like what I did for this podcast is like actually sat up last night and thought that okay, I would do this podcast and after that I would I would I would have this done in that time when you have stuff pre planned it’s a lot easier to have fun at work

Jeremy Burrows 22:12
yeah, well said well you know, I would love to end the episode with you know, you are fluent in a couple of different languages and I would love for you if you’re up for it. I’m going to put you on the spot I would love for you to say a little something maybe something like thanks for listening to the podcast or best of luck to you in your assistant career or something like that in one of the languages one of the non English languages would you be up for that?

Rajiv Ryan 22:48
Yeah, so I can do that in Tamil and I can do that and in French so um I’m gonna go with Tamil first and then French Yeah, so this is just like got it so you just want me to like say a couple of lines or so right like conclude

Jeremy Burrows 23:05
Yeah, yeah, whatever you want. Just tell us what what you said afterwards

Rajiv Ryan 23:11
God got a lot of Kumarakom in the podcast on the same side of the curve Megan Andrey Allah Asst. Welcome. Vertical Nadia Erica, Saudi Saudi Kira Lifelab and in the role one the number definite Malecon to go next one to do French Fortunato Lemond a sir all day. Trade Janelle Illya beaucoup. The opportunity is see a two shoe combo augmente avec service role. A Ilia. Poker the poker the person calm. If you feel See, a jujitsu had to lays that mean inborn chance a basic layer carrier? Me. So I mean, it was pretty generic what I said I just said that. This role is really nice. And you can have a lot of impact. Please do have fun. And all the very best you. Wow.

Jeremy Burrows 24:28
That’s amazing. And very impressive. Thank you Rajiv for doing that. That’s fun. I know there are definitely assistants listening that will probably be able to understand that. So yeah, that was kind of a fun little little way to end. I appreciate you being on the show. And definitely stay in touch. And I’ll put your LinkedIn if you’re up for people reaching out and saying hi, I’ll put your LinkedIn and your Instagram and your Twitter links in the show notes. Leaderassistant.com/196 Leaderassistant.com/196 If you’d like to reach out and say hi to Rajiv, and connect offline so yeah, thanks again and really appreciate you taking time to be on the show.

Rajiv Ryan 25:18
Thanks for the opportunity, Jeremy for having me. I’m really honored to be on your show. And yeah, had a great time chatting with you and looking forward to more

Unknown Speaker 25:38
please review on Apple podcasts.

Unknown Speaker 25:47


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