From the very beginning of my recruitment career, I chose not to think of myself as a headhunter. Instead, I view myself as a relationship builder. Regardless of industry or specialty, I enjoy the chase. I like seeking out talented people and getting to know them. Once I understand motivators and requirements, I can identify opportunities specific to the individual. Clearly, I’m candidate-centric. I want candidates to not only be qualified for the positions they’re interviewing for, but to also be engaged and interested.
I think a lot about my “people passion.” Where does it come from? Why is connecting with people on a human level so enriching for me? Why do I get so much satisfaction from matching candidates with great career opportunities?
The simple answer, I think, is that it’s in my blood.
My Grandmother was a passionate, people person. (How’s that for alliteration? Try saying that 3 times fast.) She could command attention whenever she wanted, and even when she didn’t. She had an inner drive that can’t be taught.
Grandma used to be so interested in people that she’d often strike up conversations with strangers, and somehow manage to do so without any awkward moments. It was common for her, while in a restaurant, to stop at a table (of people she didn’t know, mind you) and comment on the food presentation or aroma or portion.
“Doesn’t that look beautiful?” Or, “Oh my, that smells fantastic.” Or, my favorite, “Look at how much food is there. I hope they have doggy bags here.”
Back then, I was humiliated. Cowering in the corner of the farthest red Naugahyde booth I could find, I would lay low and pretend that I didn’t know her.
It’s funny now, though, reflecting on that time. She was the person solely responsible for introducing me to food and service. She had such a passion for providing a great dining experience. She was a phenomenal cook. She was interested in how flavors came together, and by how beautiful a plate could look with just the right color and height.
She developed her passion for entertaining as a child while helping her mother run a boarding house. She furthered her knowledge of diverse cuisine and preparation techniques by reading cookbooks and by watching cooking shows. She became the life of the party. She could tell a good story, mix a few drinks and perform a couple of magic tricks. At one point, she considered leaving for Las Vegas for a one-woman show. But, I digress.
What made Grandma so remarkable was her passion. It could easily have been flowers or music or literature. She was drawn to food and service because the power of bringing people together to share an experience and to be taken care of, even if it was for just a short period of time, was what gave her joy.
I’d invite you to consider your passion. What is it that gets you out of bed everyday? Are you casting your passion aside or are you letting your passion drive you?
When you answer those questions, you’ll be able to focus on how to achieve your goals, and I’d bet you’ll be a lot happier for it.