I recently made a decision to pursue a new opportunity. I want to share my story to, perhaps, inspire you to challenge yourself to take chances and to never stop taking chances.
As a recruiter, I always tell candidates that I headhunt, “It’s just conversation until an offer is in your hands. It’s always good to see what’s out there.” When the time came when someone headhunted ME, I was not a hypocrite. I took the call, and I listened. I answered genuinely. I am honest when I say that I actually got very nervous because I had the chance to interview with many of the C-level execs with whom I’d be working very closely with – something that has yet to happen to me in my career.
Don’t get me wrong. I was not looking for a new position. I loved the company I was working for. I loved my team, and my manager. In fact, I had never worked for a better company, team, or manager EVER in my career.
Why did I take the call?
Because I don’t like the feeling of regret. How would I know this new company wasn’t the perfect chance for me to showcase my skills? The simple answer is: I wouldn’t. Not unless I took the time to learn about it.
Just as much as they were interviewing me for the role, I was interviewing them for a personal fit. I’m a firm believer that culture drives a company. I have been in situations where I “dulled” my personality to fit the culture of the company I was interviewing at, for those interviewers who would never get my humor or my personality. The outcome of that was dismal. I did not enjoy my time there, and that was no one’s fault but my own. It wasn’t a fit for me.
So, in this interview process, I was myself. I asked about things that were important to me. I joked around with them to see how well I’d be able to work with them. How much were they engaging with me, and me with them? In the end, I realized it was a good fit all around – job duties, growth, culture, opportunity.
This new venture will be a different one for me. This new company is a start-up. I will be one of two recruiters during this company’s hypergrowth mode. I will be staffing this amazing start-up with some of the best talent out there. Where before I was following policies and procedures already set in place before me, I now will be helping to develop these policies and procedures for those following me. It’s exciting, nerve wrecking, and motivating all at the same time.
My challenge for you is to never close any doors because you never know when opportunity will come knocking (cliche much?). Any decision you make today will help develop you for tomorrow.
Things to take away:
- Network. Always. And never stop.
- Answer recruiters’ emails, every time, even if it is just to tell them you are not interested.
- Be yourself. I find that so many people try to be someone else come interview time. I get why you do that. But don’t. You are who you are, and many companies will hire for culture fit. And if it isn’t the right culture for YOU, in the long run, you probably won’t be happy.
- Take chances. Put yourself out there, and do not fear being rejected. Each “no” is one step closer to the “yes”.
- Be honest. With yourself and with anyone you talk to. Talk about your dreams and your desires, your strengths and your weaknesses. Don’t ever be afraid to confront your weaknesses to make them your strengths.