Real Career Girls: Meet Director of Sales Recruiting, Maggie Hughes

There comes a time in one’s life when you need a serious recruiter.  You don’t want just anyone.  You want the BEST!  I knew I met the BEST when I met Maggie Hughes.  I wasn’t even looking for a job!  I simply wanted to know Maggie because of her sweet sales skills, extensive Chicago network in IT, and her power-chick personality.  Not only will Maggie help you find a new gig, she will give honest advice based on years of experience.  I HAD to feature her this week in Real Career Girls.  And here she is…

Maggie, tell me about your gig… what do you do?

I am a partner at BottomLine Recruiting in Chicago, a National Sales Recruitment Firm. We specialize in full service sales and business development recruiting for several industries including technology, digital marketing, advertising, software, market research, managed services, creative, manufacturing, distribution and professional services. I both recruit and develop new clients.

How did this path open up to you?

I started in sales recruiting in 2007 for a small boutique firm in Chicago where I developed a niche and passion for finding great sales reps! A  great friend, and now business partner, recruited me to come work there as a I had a background in real estate sales, which is heavily focused on personal network and also 100% commission. It was a natural fit, requiring all new business development, self-generated leads and compensation based on performance.

What is your advice to career chicks out there who want to ROCK in 2013?

BE. ASSERTIVE. –The best opportunities are the ones you go and GET! My experiences are mostly relevant to career transition, but really the approach I recommend is transferrable to anything in life.

ASSERTIVENESS-the ability to take action and drive results. Don’t be too shy to approach your boss about how you can become a better sales person, attorney, nurse, teacher, etc! Why not ask about the potential for promotion, a new territory, better hours, more responsibilities or the option to work from home? Having the audacity to go for what we want is the biggest step, after that it’s about proving WHY we should get what we so desperately deserve! Don’t approach your superiors for change unless you can back it up! Have proof and facts that can accompany your request.

NETWORK. “God, you know everyone!” I can’t tell you how many times I hear that. For one, I’m a stalker by nature for my line of work, but, in general, I have always really tried to get to know everyone in the room. Talking to people, have great conversation, finding out what they do, why they do it, how it can possibly relate to what you do and making connections is SO important in any industry. The person you meet at a street fair or a house warming party might be your next client or perhaps someone who can help you build a website for a new company you have in mind? And if not, maybe they have a guy for you? I’ve “gotta guy” for almost everything because I make connections every day all day with people because you never know when that connection might turn into an opportunity.

How does a chick like you keep it all together? 

Do you have a routine or trick to keep balance? Does wine count? Ok…my three “musts” are Goals, Balance, and Hockey.

Goals-Good Days, Bad Days. No matter how things are going I set professional and personal goals every day/week/month to keep myself accountable. I write them on a giant neon sticky tab and plaster them above my desk. “WORK OUT!” “HIT THE PHONES! “CALL YOUR MOM!” I scream at myself using post it notes but it works because every month I pull them down, and one by one I evaluate myself based on my goals. I really take pride on being my biggest competitor which I think helps in evaluating [myself] when things [go] wrong, what could I have done better? What was missing?

Balance- I have a lot of fun. Chicago being a fabulous city offers great dining, events, sports, etc. When it’s time, I’m pretty able to shut it down to allow some personal time to enjoy myself with great friends and family. No one likes the girl at the party who talks about her job the whole time, right? This one is harder with having my own business but it’s something I strive hard to keep.

Hockey-How I would love to throw some pads on and pile drive into my opponents on ice?! I’m a diehard sports fan and was once an athlete so sports, mainly hockey are a big factor in blowing off some steam. I try to work out regularly and hit up a few games a week when the Hawks and Sox are in town. I think sports, or any other hobbies and interests are important to keep in our busy lives. You’ll never hear me say that I’m too busy for a game…not to mention the Hawks are on fire!

Who is your role model?  Famous or not?

My older brother, Brian. We are eight years apart and in very different industries but he has been a common thread in all my success, personally and professionally. He worked his way up from being an intern at an ad agency in Portland to now being the Creative Director at one of the largest retail manufacturers in the US. Brian is a creative genius and is successful because of his assertiveness, no fear mentality and old school drive to get to the top. He has friends in almost every capacity from white collar C level executives to the mail room attendant at his last two companies. He basically engrained in me that being successful is about being great to people, going the extra mile, having great personal conversations, and, most importantly, “winning”. He coined that long before Charlie Sheen…whether it’s a race to the front seat or slam dunking a presentation, Brian taught me to WIN at everything you do in life.

When you feel your absolute BEST, what are you wearing?

Dark skinny pants/jeans with a great top (probably Vince Camuto from Nordstrom sale rack) with a matching blazer and the biggest heels I can find! I also wear a watch, always have…Michael Kors in any color

Do you have a personal mantra or motto you live by?

Write thank you notes and read the newspaper”


Nadene is an adopted Chicagoan who graduated from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business. She is a sales woman who specializes in technology solutions for business. Nadene is also a mentor, speaker and sales coach. You can find some of her amazing tips and tricks on her blog - Fresh On the Job and every Wednesday on Ms. Career Girl!