This week is going quite quickly. Tomorrow's already Thursday which means it'll soon be Friday.
You'll hear no complaints here. This has been a better week at work. I've learned there's an ebb and flow to the recruiting business. Somedays, it's like spending the day fishing without getting a single bite. Even when you think the fish is biting, it turns out that your hook is actually caught on a week or you've caught a leaf. In my case, it tends to be that the weeds and leaves in the analogy are job seekers who, sadly, aren't really authorized to work in the U.S. even though they indicated on their resume that they were. It's frustrating for both sides- it's not that we don't want to sponsor anyone's visa but we simply aren't in a position to really do that.
Sometimes the weeds that masquerade as fish are people who simply don't want to accept the realities of the world. For example, I contacted a woman today about a potential job. She's been out of work for a while but not desperate for a job yet. She wants $100K for a position. The position I offered her was $85K and she pretty much snorted into the phone with derision. I have to admit, I have no tolerance for that attitude. I deal with enough desperate professionals each day who are victims of the economy that people like this woman make me cringe. I suppose it shows my middle-class upbringing but I can't help but think of all the people who take jobs as fast food employees, cleaners or shelf stockers just because their unemployment has run out and they have to feed a family. The economy is improving but it's still not great. There are still a lot of unemployed folk out there. I get irritated at people like this woman who don't understand that to the average, middle-class or lower worker, $85K is a pipe dream. In all honesty, she was on the third tier of people I contacted anyway so it's not like she's top of the line. Still, it's a lesson to me that not everyone really wants a job, even when they advertise online that they do.
It's all a learning experience. I'm learning that, as a recruiter, sometimes you have to sell your candidate to the account manager. So far, my instincts aren't proving too badly. My first placement was someone my boss didn't think was fabulous and yet he managed to get the job. I have another candidate who I knew could do a job but my account manager on that one didn't believe me. He's going into the second round of interviews so he's definitely not doing too badly.
It's all rather fun at times even though the days when you don't get a single bite are frustrating. They make me feel a bit like a failure. I've been told that it's a silly way to feel because then I'll have a day like today where I get three candidates for submittal. It's all just a big old circle. What I'm learning is that talking to people and getting to know them is the best way for them to want to work with you. Today, I helped a woman who's reuniting with her ex-husband from 30 years ago get a job interview up near Dayton. I helped another woman who's been job seeking for months and wants to live anywhere she can find a job get an interview. I found out she's been having a lot of bad hair days and so it's only natural she gets the interview during a period like this.
It's fun to get to know people. There are some rude ones- the guy who decided that he needed to send a rather long email correcting my grammar in response to a bulk email I'd been told to send, for example- but there are some really fun ones too. There's nothing better than talking to someone who's dejected and tired of job seeking and offering them a lifeline in the form of hope. It's satisfying. It's also fun to reach out to them as a human, to find out that they're having a bad hair week and they're wondering if it would be bad to wear a hat to an interview or to find out that they're reuniting with their ex-husband after 30 years.
It's not all like that but I'm quickly learning that the nice people make up for the rude people. It's one of the reasons I wanted a job like this. It's much more rewarding to get a message on your voicemail first thing in the morning from someone you placed in a job that tells you how happy they already are and how much they love thier new job. They say thank you. It's what I missed about my old job. There was no instant feedback like that. There was really no feedback at all though I'll blame that on the bad politics/human resource efforts of my former company rather on the nature of the software industry in general.
It's nice to be told thanks. It's nice to hear "good job" from your boss when you do something right. It's addicting because it makes you want to keep doing it. Granted, I get a commission for every placement I do but it's not about the commission, it's about the feeling of satisfaction and success I get when I do my job well.
It's been a while since I've had this feeling. It feels nice. It's nice to come into an environment like this from an environment where not getting fired seemed like a good reward, even if you had no reason to even get fired. You don't realize how paranoid you are that you might just get axed until after you've seen a company fire three people at different times, seemingly out of the blue. I'm sure it wasn't completely out of the blue but that's how it seemed to me and to the rest of the minions at my old company.
In addition, it's a pleasure to work for a stable company. I confess, given the rocky transition of my old company from being a university-owned company to being a private company to being a merged company, it never made me feel very secure. I'm hoping for the sake of my former coworkers/friends that the company sticks around but, honestly, I don't think anyone will be astounded if things don't go so well in the future.
So, four weeks in to the new job and I can safely say that I'm glad I made the decision to try something new, to leave behind the safe but crazy world of my old office. Having a day like today where I feel like I did my job well almost makes up for the bad breakup I had to endure with my old boss.
Almost, at least. It's going to take some time to get over that one.