1608157205656

Advanced Career Reflection; Avarah Careers Founder & CEO Sarah Baker Andrus

Sarah Baker AndrusAvarah Careers Founder & CEO

Sarah offers some useful strategies for determining the type of position you’ll thrive in, like reflecting on high points in your career to identify your most valuable skills and asking yourself “Do I want to work here?” instead of “Will they hire me?”

Episode Transcript

EPISODE 185

 

[INTRODUCTION]

 

[0:00:06.1] RS: Welcome to Talk Talent to Me. A podcast featuring the most elite talent leaders on the frontline’s modern recruitment.

 

[0:00:12.8] FEMALE: We actually want to understand the themes of someone’s life, we want to understand how they make decisions. Where are they willing to take risks and what it looks like when they fail?

 

[0:00:22.7] RS: No hold’s barred, completely off the cuff interviews with directors of recruitment, VPs of global talent, CHROs, and everyone in between.

 

[0:00:31.1] FEMALE: Once I went through the classes and the trainings got the certifications through diversity and inclusion, I still felt like something was missing.

 

[0:00:39.7] MALE: Talent acquisition, it’s a fantastic career, you are trusted by the organization, you get to work with the C-Suite and the security at the front desk and everybody in between and everybody knows you.

 

[0:00:53.0] RS: I’m your host, Rob Stevenson and you’re about to hear the best in the biz, Talk Talent to Me.

 

[INTERVIEW]

 

[0:01:00.3] RS: I am very excited about today’s guest here on Talk Talent to Me, a little outside the norm of your standard, VP of TA, SVP talent, what have you. Joining me today is career coach, advisor extraordinaire, Sarah Andrus. Sarah, welcome to the podcast, how are you?

 

[0:01:16.4] SA: I’m great Rob, thank you so much, I’m thrilled to be here.

 

[0:01:19.8] RS: I have so many things I want to talk to you about, this is such an exciting time for really, anyone, but especially for recruiters to be changing jobs, thinking about what’s important to them about a career, that’s why I’m so excited to chat with you. You have spent some time in recruiting yourself, is that right?

 

[0:01:38.4] SA: Absolutely, I’ve spent the bulk of my career so more than 20 years as a recruiter myself, leading recruitment teams, thinking about recruitment marketing and recruitment strategy and I have really spent my whole career immersed in everybody else’s career, whether it’s from the high rank perspective or as a career coach on the job search perspective and having been a hiring manager myself, I have some instincts about what happens when we start to look at talent.

 

[0:02:11.2] RS: Yes, having spent 20 years, 20 plus years in recruitment, being in talent is a great career, I’m sure you agree, that’s why you spend so long doing it. At what point did you make the decision, “You know what? I want to be on the other side of the interview table a little bit and I want to help folks who are going out to make these decisions about what their next job is.” What about your experience led you to be like, “I want to shift focus to that?”

 

[0:02:33.6] SA: It’s such an interesting question because I think, like most people, when it comes to our career choices, I fell in it a bit randomly. I actually started on the career counseling side and have all the requisite degrees and went to school to do this and in grad school, my first – I guess it was like the grad assistant job you get in college was actually providing adult students who were returning to the university with guidance on how to find co-ops and internships and that was the job they plunked me in.

 

It turned out to be the beginning of a lifetime fascination with how people choose careers, how careers choose us, which is what happened to me, just random happenstance and I fell in love. When I was beginning to look at – we can talk more about this. When I was beginning to look at a change more recently in my career, I really went back and reflected on the aspects of what I’d done so far that I enjoyed the most and it kept coming back, even to when I was in those talent roles, people coming to me and saying, “Hey Sarah, I could really use your help, I’d really like your insight.” 

 

“How would you advise me to handle this conversation?” That was really where I was getting the good feelings and those were the days that lit me up. It was pretty clear to me that I wanted to move back into that direction.

 

[0:03:58.9] RS: Yes, I love that – it sounds like that approach for you, which was, “What do I really like, what is a part of this job that warms me up, fills me up?” however you want to say it that you ran towards that, right? Because that seems to be how you advice curtain folks, right? To sort of reflect on their own journeys.

 

[0:04:17.2] SA: 100%. I was very geeky about and intentional about documenting what was working for me at that stage, I thought it was interesting to sort of be the guinea pig in my own adventure. One thing that I think I knew instinctively and I’m sure you’d agree is that when we think about the high point moments in our careers, there were certain skills, abilities, talents, that we brought to those achievements. We all want more of that. It’s not like it’s rocket science, it just made sense to me.

 

[0:04:51.3] RS: I’m just reflecting on my own career as you say that and they say, as a host, you’re not supposed to talk about yourself but it’s my podcast so here we are. Just to confirm your point, I’m thinking about this high point where I served as the podcast of record for HR tech in 2015.

 

It was such a blast, we podcasted all day for three days, we got 38 episodes and I met all these amazing people and we had sort of hacked the conference because they’re the sponsors, IBM, Facebook a hundred-by-hundred booth, millions of dollars and then right in front of them, next to the registration, which was our little rinky-dink podcast setup. 

 

When I think of the things I brought to that which was like the energy to continue meeting folks and bringing excitement to every conversation and thinking outside the box in terms of a marketing campaign.

 

[0:05:35.5] SA: Right.

 

[0:05:36.1] RS: My favorite things about my job were at play in the highlight of my career, which is what you just said. Running through that, it just makes so much sense.

 

[0:05:43.2] SA: It does make sense. When I talk to a client who comes to me, normally, a mid career professional who is just feeling like, “Oh something’s not working here, I could be doing more, I could be earning more” whatever the trigger is, you know, when we dig into, well, when have you been most satisfied at work, then we really tease out the skills that you’re using, for you and sitting in that podcast booth, you were using some really specific skills that you’re still using today.

 

Then the other thing that a lot of people neglect and they poo-poo a little bit, which I think is a mistake is, what are the personal traits, what are the work attributes that everyone counts on you for? Maybe it’s dedication, maybe it’s your incredible perseverance, maybe it’s your raw intellect and it’s equally important to identify those aspects so that if we’ve got these two things going.

 

Skills being what we do and those personal characteristics being who we are, then we’re really much better prepared to make an argument for ourselves when we’re talking about what we potentially bring to an employer and when I think of a client too, as I mentioned, she was sort of sitting there, wondering what she should do and what’s next. 

 

Actually, going through the exercise of, “Tell me more about that experience and what made that really satisfying for you?” and listening carefully. “You know what I hear? I hear project planning” and it wasn’t even on a resume. “I hear, you are really good at helping other people restate things more clearly” right? Just the examination that we can go through, not only clearly articulated her skillset and what she brought to the table, it also made her feel great. 

 

In the process of looking for a job, we get so many hits, so many dings, so many rejections, it doesn’t feel good but with this type of process, you can really work on sustaining the energy through those inevitable obstacles.

 

[0:07:54.3] RS: Yes. Once you identify some of those things that you really enjoy, that you realize that you’re good at and that it was enjoyable for you to perform that specific task, even if it’s not something you list in a resume for example, how do you turn that into a job search?

 

[0:08:11.7] SA: What a great question, Rob. It really helps to turn the job search on its head a bit because most of us, when we’re looking for work are asking the question, “Will they hire me?” I suggest, “Do I want to work here?” instead. It’s really about targeting employers that are doing things that you want to be a part of to begin with.

 

Then looking at the kinds of roles those employers are hiring for. Then, being really intentional about talking to people in those organizations, before you even apply for a job, reach out. We’ve got so many tools today, people sometimes argue, well, it’s really who you know but with social media, LinkedIn especially, it’s who you choose to meet, who do you introduce yourself to?

 

Have those meaningful conversations to learn about the job titles. I don’t know about you but job titles crack me up because they change from one organization to another and especially in the startup space and in the tech space, everybody’s coming up with their own job title. It means nothing when you see a job title. Let’s look at the description of the actual day-to-day activities and does your skillset fit those?

 

[0:09:25.8] RS: Yes.

 

[0:09:26.7] SA: I know that was a lot.

 

[0:09:28.4] RS: No, that’s such a great answer. It’s interesting that people tend to reject themselves from a job, like when you said, people think of it in terms of “I couldn’t get that job” right?

 

[0:09:41.4] SA: Right.

 

[0:09:41.7] RS: You’re going to face a lot of rejection, right? A lot of dings as you said. Why reject yourself, let them do it, right? You would be surprised. 

 

[0:09:48.5] SA: 100%. In fact, there’s a gender difference here and I wish I could quote where this came from but the research that I’ve seen has said that men in particular, tend to apply if they’re 65% qualified and women want to be 95% qualified and neither is the right approach, you know? 

 

[0:10:08.0] RS: Yeah.

 

[0:10:08.7] SA: I think it’s really about, can you see yourself in the role and paying less attention to these specific qualifications and more attention to, is this a company you’re interested in. For example, if we rule ourselves out before we even get started, we’re just back to square one and back to whatever misery or whatever environment that you were in that wasn’t working for you in the first place. It’s also why I don’t think that job boards are a great place to start. Candidly, it’s not my favorite thing.

 

[0:10:39.9] RS: Is that because job descriptions are not indicative of roles or why you shy away from job boards?

 

[0:10:45.8] SA: Yeah, I think job descriptions are nonindicative of most roles, unless it’s a really good talent organization, right? That does a good job of that. I also encourage people to shy away because we know that the vast majority of jobs never even get on to the boards and it’s far more effective to target your list of employers and then go on their careers page and monitor that and create your own job board, whether you use an Excel spreadsheet or some notes, whatever your organizational system is. 

 

Go to the list of companies that you decided you want to work for and monitor them because that job’s going to be posted on the internal website first or the company website first before any recruiter is going to spend a dime posting it on LinkedIn because that costs money. It’s also strategic to use the job boards in a very specific way. In fact, what I recommend, the job boards are great for is a gut check.

 

For example, we can test job titles on a job board and you could go look at a specific job board, say you’re looking for an account manager role. Well, that is going to be widely different things at different companies but as you go to look at the description of the duties and the description of the company as they choose to describe themselves, which is a branding message. You can do a gut check, does this feel good to me? 

 

Never mind am I going to apply, does this feel good to me? Then you can really learn about the kind of roles that are resonating with you, what’s scaring you, where are you perhaps underestimating yourself and that’s where a good career coach comes in is to sort of hold up a mirror and say, “Hey, wait a second, I think you can do that.” or perhaps, I think that’s not going to be a good use of your time. 

 

Then we can collect some job titles, we can identify some companies and build our own job board which I think is some more effective approach because it also allows for that intentional networking, which is so crucial. If you’ve got your target companies then you basically know where you want to talk to people.

 

[0:12:58.7] RS: It’s such a good point that by the time a job has hit a job board, that recruiting funnel is already in full swing, that hiring manager has asked themselves and their entire team and probably their whole company, who do you know, right? Who have I spoken to in the last year, that might be a good fit for this? It’s never your first port of call, right?

 

[0:13:19.1] SA: Never 

 

[0:13:20.1] RS: If you’re a thoughtful hiring manager, thoughtful recruiter, you’re not like “Okay, job description done, post it tomorrow and let’s see what we get” right? You’re going to be a little more strategic.

 

[0:13:28.4] SA: Exactly. Not only that but I just got a message yesterday from somebody I know saying, “Hey, who do you know who could fill this role?” A text message, right? We’re likely going to be able to make a match. That’s how people are finding jobs and that’s how hiring managers are filling positions.

 

[0:13:45.6] RS: Can we beat up another common career move, the strategy too?

 

[0:13:49.0] SA: Yes please.

 

[0:13:51.0] RS: I’m on this – vendetta is too strong a word but I am mindful of the folks who choose to work somewhere because a recruiter or hiring manager or whomever landed in their LinkedIn DM’s or landed in their email. I don’t want to beat up too bad, I know it works and I know that a lot of people listening to this use that strategy and if they believe that their company, that they love their company and that’s a world to, I don’t knock it as an approach and I know it works. However, there’s a finite amount of companies that will reach out to you in your career and that will land in your LinkedIn DMs, that will land in your inbox.

 

If you make your choice based on those companies, haven’t you just limited yourself? When you look at your tree of destiny and what sort of branches you could go down, aren’t you looking at a tiny subset of those branches if you make your next career move based on who decided to reach out to you?

 

[0:14:46.2] SA: Yeah, not my favorite thing and I actually think it’s not great for recruiters either so I could make a good argument for that.

 

[0:14:52.3] RS: Let’s beat up both sides then, why not?

 

[0:14:55.6] SA: Okay. On the recruiting side, I would love to know what the ROI is on those people and how long they stay, what is the retention rate? I don’t know but my own anecdotal information shows that people who are reactive in their job search leave more quickly because they didn’t thoroughly consider their opportunities and because they were so excited not to have to look anymore that they didn’t ask important questions about the opportunity.

 

So many people who come to me say, “I started my job 18 months ago.” In fact, I just started working with a guy who started his job, I think it was last May, I had helped him with some interview prep. I asked him at the time, I said, “You’re pretty intent on this company.” He said, “Yeah, yeah, they’re great, they absolutely fit my needs” and I said, “Are you sure you don’t want to do a little bit more exploring?” He says, “Nope, nope, just interview prep” and it’s like, “Great, got you, okay, we’re on it.”

 

He came back to me saying, “The job was a poor fit” he hadn’t fully explored the nature of the organization and whether or not it fit his particular preferences and values and he actually was – I don’t’ want to – demoted I will say because he hadn’t examined himself enough and therefore, he couldn’t perform well in the role.

 

He had been so intent on getting the job that he didn’t really question, is this the right job for me and because it was the wrong management style and because it was the wrong balance of particular kinds of duties where he thought, well, maybe only that one piece that I feel 100% about, maybe that will only be about 15% of my job and it wound up being 75% of your job and what are you going to do?

 

Now, we’re beginning the process and starting with, do I want to work here? Which is a better place to start. It’s very tempting, it’s seductive, isn’t it? To get an email from somebody saying, “I want you” it’s like someone swiped.

 

[0:17:00.9] RS: It’s flattering, yeah.

 

[0:17:01.2] SA: It’s like swiping right, yeah, sure, love to talk to you.

 

[0:17:05.1] RS: Yeah, it’s such a good point too that it’s reactionary, I love that you use that word because you weren’t actively applying maybe in a lot of cases, you weren’t thinking like, “Oh man, I hope this one particular company emails me tomorrow” right? Probably what happened was you were just a little unfulfilled and uncertain about your current role and they came along at the right time and you’re like, you know what? Maybe it’s better than what I got now, right?

 

[0:17:32.8] SA: Right. Grass is greener type of attitude. You know, the other thing that I think comes into play here is that there is a persistent belief among recruiters that somehow the person who isn’t looking is the best candidate. I’m not sure I understand where that comes from, I know it’s really entrenched, I think we all do ourselves a disservice with that particular perspective. I’m sure there are some niche opportunities where it may be true. I don’t think it’s universally true.

 

[0:18:04.1] RS: I think you’re right. That bias exists that the passive candidate is better because they’re doing a good job so their company values them and they’re happy, right? Your job is to come in and they’d be happier perhaps but again, I’m sure even in your client base, you meet with some really impressive people. Everyone at some point is reaching out being like, “I’m on the market right now, hire me” right? I don’t care how talented that person is, not everyone just like jumps from awesome job to awesome job seamlessly. I don’t know if that is anyone’s real journey. 

 

[0:18:34.7] SA: It’s not and the other thing that is really coming through loudly to me right now is that extremely talented people are caught in untenable situations because of circumstances that have nothing to do with them, which might involve a merger. It might involve a purchase, it might involve a toxic environment, a transition in leadership, any one of a number of things and that doesn’t make them any less qualified, capable, interesting, good candidate, right? 

 

[0:19:09.4] RS: Yes. Digging into the reactionary part again, I think there is an interesting psychological state at play there, which is the right place, right time, “I’m a little unfulfilled, I’m willing to indulge this” as you said, seductive sort of outreach. What is that compulsion and is it indicative that you should be making a career move, whether it’s the person who DMed you or something else? 

 

[0:19:33.7] SA: I think people who are serious about finding a new job, something has to be really off because initiating a job search is difficult. The search process itself can be a real trauma and who would volunteer for that but the amazing talent of recruiters to paint a picture that looks so rosy, that can get my attention and the other thing that I think is at play Rob is that as soon as we begin to look somewhere else, where we are takes on – we begin to notice everything that is the matter with it. 

 

These might have been things we accepted willingly a week ago and we thought, “Those are good tradeoffs and I’m doing well and I’m essentially happy here and this is all working out for me” but when we take our eyes and put them somewhere else, we begin to put our own story on that and how much better it might be. That’s all it is, it’s a story but it’s effective. 

 

[0:20:32.3] RS: That framing of the challenges of an existing role that belief that maybe they’d do better somewhere else, do you think there is reality to it? Do you think that those things that you suddenly reassess in a new light are legitimate reasons to leave a job or is it just a matter of perspective? 

 

[0:20:48.4] SA: I think there are lots of legitimate reasons to leave a job. I think it’s smarter to be intentional about it, so even if you are contacted by a recruiter, it still makes sense to go through a process of considering what I call the ideal job. What does the ideal job look like? It makes sense to go through that process whether you were looking or you weren’t looking because you will identify six things basically, we’ll run through them quickly. 

 

What’s the skillset that you want to be executing on a daily basis that you want to learn more about? What skills are going to light you up and get you up of bed every morning if you know you’re going to get to do that on most days? We’re not talking about passion, we’re talking about general satisfaction. What does those skills look like and can I use those in this job? Another consideration obviously is paying benefits but we generally weigh that higher in this decision making process than we would if everything were static, right? 

 

All of a sudden, that takes on kind of a nice shiny quality. What if you really thought about what you needed, that can be a good thing to do. Location is really important and not just geographic location but now of course, am I working at home? Do I have some ability to be flexible? Do I want to be working in a high rise in the city or do I prefer a short commute where I can get to work within a reasonable amount of time and then there’s the people I’m going to be working with, do I know anything about these people? 

 

Do I know anything about who they are? Do they share my values? Am I going to learn from there? Are there going to be chances for me to collaborate and grow not just professionally but how about personally and culture of course is a critical component that has to be examined and the last one is purpose. Can I get behind what this company is all about and what the purpose of the organization is, is that the area where I want to contribute all of these skills and everything that I bring to the table? 

 

I think that even if you are recruited, even if somebody contacts you and it is more reactive, it’s really useful to go through this examination and ask yourself these questions because you may find that you’ve undervalued something about where you are now. You may also find you’ve really overvalued something about where you are now. 

 

[0:23:18.4] RS: Yes. I was about to add on that these questions that you use to assess a new role, you ought to be leveling them at your current one all the time too. 

 

[0:23:26.3] SA: A hundred percent, at least once a year. 

 

[0:23:28.4] RS: Yes. I’m curious, the job search, we’re unsure about the DM-ing, we’re unsure about job boards or you are not unsure about job boards. You feel very strongly about job boards. 

 

[0:23:39.0] SA: I do. 

 

[0:23:39.6] RS: But say you reflect on what it is you truly want your output to look like, what is the actual work task you want to be accomplishing? Who are the people you want to be around? All of the location aspects, all of these things, in a world where job descriptions are not necessarily good indicators of roles. How do you begin a job search when what you have really is a sense of internal motivations? Because I can’t search internal motivations on LinkedIn. 

 

[0:24:07.1] SA: No, so I think where we start is looking at the type of environment we want to work in, who hires people to do what I do. Google is great at that. Google is our friend. Who hires electrical engineers, you know, put some general terms around it, who hires marketing people? They’re the top marketing companies in my area. We can get all kinds of lists and then you begin to reach out to people at those organizations. 

 

It is the personal conversations right now that are leading to these job offers. Every single client of mine who has gotten a role in 2021 has done it with the process that included really extensive conversations with people who work at that organizations and those conversations actually get them the interview because they’ve already talked to those people perhaps even before a job was posted. This is a process and a lot of people say, “Oh my gosh, this could take months because I talk to people but there is no job opening. Isn’t that a waste of my time?” 

 

No, because if you are continuing to target this organization and stay in touch with those people, when there is an opening, you will already be at the front of the list. You may even be the candidate, the hiring manager already wants to hire and by the way, how’s your regular spray and pray click and apply approach working? How long is that been taking you? It’s really far more efficient to start your job search with a list of companies, begin meeting people at those organizations. 

 

A great place to start is to target people who went to the same university as you did and reach out to them and email them at work for heaven’s sakes. Nobody answers their LinkedIn messages, you know? But if you send somebody a message at work and it says I’m in Delaware, so I’ll say it’s this fellow blue hen, you know question about hired, right? You would answer that if you went to the university at Delaware. 

 

[0:26:11.4] RS: Totally. 

 

[0:26:12.1] SA: You’d be curious and this is what’s working right now is these one-on-one conversations, asking questions like what do you like best about the company? What do you wish you knew before you started there? What kind of skills are you using every day? Here is a little bit about me, does that trigger any ideas for you and who else should I be talking to? I’m really doing research and that’s the other thing is that instead of approaching this first part as your job search because it is really not yet, it’s just research and that takes off a lot of pressure, a lot of anxiety. 

 

[0:26:48.7] RS: Yes, I’ve taken a similar approach. I try and network with other podcasters, less for jobs but more for like I need peers and other people in my space to try and you know, as iron sharpens iron. One man sharpens another, so they say but when I network with people who are way cooler than me, who have way better podcast and way more downloads and they’ve been doing it longer, I like to reach out and say something about, “Hey, I like how you did “blank” no ask here, I just wanted to give props.” 

 

[0:27:18.0] SA: Exactly. 

 

[0:27:19.7] RS: There is an ask but the ask comes later. I’m just wanting to like, “I’m landing in your inbox and I don’t need anything from you but just to say you’re killing it. Nice to meet you” and that has resulted in more positive relationships than any other approach I’ve ever tried. 

 

[0:27:33.3] SA: It’s a brilliant approach. I’m not at all surprised that it works for you and nobody is beneath being flattered, that’s terrific and in this situation with the job search, it is really easy to translate into, “I found you on LinkedIn, I looked at your background. I’m so impressed with what you’ve been able to accomplish and I would love to just chat with you” and the person will either say yes or no. They’re either the kind of person who pays it forward or they’re not but that says nothing about you and everything about them. 

 

[0:28:04.4] RS: Right and if they say yes, all your dreams might come true and if they say no, then your situation is the exact same.

 

[0:28:11.6] SA: Precisely, exactly. 

 

[0:28:14.7] RS: I like also, you said a moment ago, you will say to clients, “By the way, how is your spray and pray have been going” right? If someone is skeptical of this approach, right? I love that because say you’re not super happy at your current role, well, how did you get this current role and are you going to replicate that job search for your next role? What do you think is going to happen? What’s that Einstein quote about the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results? If you want your career to get better, you make to mx it up a little bit, right?

 

[0:28:44.0] SA: A hundred percent. 

 

[0:28:45.2] RS: We cover this a little earlier but I really want to hear more of your thoughts on someone’s compulsion to for example indulge the DM or to just begin thinking about their next role, whether it’s responding to an add or whether it’s just like, “You know what? This role has been good for a long time” or “It’s really bad I need to move” whatever the reason is, what is someone’s mindset? How does this start in your experience? How does someone come to the point where they say, “You know what? Maybe it’s time to stick my head up and start considering other offers?” 

 

[0:29:16.9] SA: There is always a trigger Rob. There is always something, it could be that you just heard that one of your peers got a raise and you didn’t or you don’t like the reasons why they got a raise and you didn’t. It could be a new boss, it could be something’s happening at home where the pressures of work are just too much and you know, we’ve been hearing a lot about the great resignation. People are coming up with a lot of really legitimate reasons for walking out. 

 

[0:29:47.5] RS: Yeah, mandatory back to work, right? All right, I quit. 

 

[0:29:51.0] SA: Exactly and also, 60, 70, 80 hour work weeks being expected as the norm, I love the fact that people who are early in their career is saying, “That’s not for me. I’m not playing that game. I saw what that did to my parents. I saw the pressures that that put on me as a kid in that family. I’m not doing that” and so I think one of the most significant things that will play out here in the next maybe three to five years is a big shift on what’s reasonable to expect because people are pushing back and good for us for doing that. 

 

Good for us, it must be done and so that trigger though is hard to sustain. We get that energy and we’re like, “I got to get out of here, I’m done with this.” When we put that energy into a job board because it’s the easiest quickest thing and it comes right up, we leave ourselves sitting and waiting and that’s when the fears and the doubts and the self-talk, “Oh, maybe I am not as skilled as I thought I was” or “Maybe the top market isn’t as good in my area” or “I guess I thought people were hiring but maybe I’m applying for the wrong jobs.” 

 

All these doubts, these fears, our brain has to answer that question for us. It has to do something while we’re waiting and it generally does nothing good and so then we stall until the next trigger so that by the time somebody comes to me as a career coach, they’ve been through the cycle numerous times and they might look back and say, “Wow, there is a pattern here. Obviously, I don’t know how to do this. “That’s the other thing I wanted to share is we put so much value, identity on what we do for a living and what’s the first question we always get asked at a party? 

 

You know, “Well, what do you do?” but we do nothing to teach people how to answer the question for themselves and how to navigate a really complex process of job hunting that is fraught with obstacles and all kinds of opportunities to sort of poke at your normal insecurities and that’s I think why it doesn’t work for so many people and they have to go through this a few times even before they finally get the impetus to make a leap and then there are the sadder stories. 

 

Where people just stay too long and their skills do get stale and that just breaks my heart because I really want to pull the curtain back on all of this and say, “There is a way to get this done, let’s just do it.”

 

[0:32:34.3] RS: Yes. Sarah, I’m so glad you shared all of this and this is exactly why I wanted to have you on the show because now is a great time to get hired, right? 

 

[0:32:45.6] SA: It is. 

 

[0:32:45.6] RS: Especially for recruiters, I’ve never seen demand like this and granted, I’ve only been monitoring this industry for the last eight years or so but I’ve never seen demand like this before and there’s privilege in quitting your job and up and moving things, right? It is challenging, it’s traumatic but I will say, life is too short to work at a job you don’t love especially in a market like this one, especially when there are so many places that are hiring like they are right now. 

 

[0:33:12.8] SA: So many great places that are starting from a different premise that have a new way of doing things and that’s what I find really exciting and if you’re at a place that isn’t keeping up, then you become identified with that place and I just want to say that a lot of people think a lot about the risk of leaving. They think about their security. They worry about how that might be perceived. They’re not sure if this other job is going to be great. We need to give equal consideration to the risk of staying and what that can do to your career over the long haul. 

 

[0:33:50.8] RS: What is the risk? 

 

[0:33:51.8] SA: The risk is that if you’re at a place that isn’t keeping up with technology. If you are in an environment for example where you might say, “I really recommend that we move to this new software” and they say not in the budget or you might say, “I’d love to go to this conference because I could really use the professional development” and they say, “Well, you’re not at that level yet to go to this conference” you begin to then be impacted by the decisions of your employer and your career will be impacted by the decisions of your employer because technology and staying up on that is going to be key to what you put on your resume next. 

 

Going to a professional conference is critical to your own development, your networking abilities and by the way, the connections that you can bring to an employer. If you are not doing those things and your employer doesn’t support you doing those things, they’re basically saying, “No, we’re happy right where you are.” Right there, if you are not happy there, it’s on you to move.

 

[0:34:54.1] RS: Yes and all of those questions that one can ask themselves, you mentioned them earlier in the episode so somebody can go back and check those but I just love to that you prescribe this yearly reflection, right? About your existing role, ask yourself all the things that are important to you, “Are my needs being met?” and if not, then you start to make moves but this is like I said, such an exciting time to be a candidate, to be a recruiter. 

 

That’s why I knew now is a perfect time to have you on Sarah and you really brought the ruckus today. I’m so glad that you joined me and thank you for being here. Thank you for being yourself and for your candor. I really loved chatting with you today.

 

[0:35:29.8] SA: It’s been a blast. This is my favorite thing to talk about, so thanks so much for the opportunity and I think we’re going to see some big changes. I’m glad to be a part of it and I’m sure you are too. 

 

[0:35:40.5] RS: Yep, absolutely. Thank you so much Sarah. 

 

[0:35:42.6] SA: Thank you. 

 

[END OF INTERVIEW]

 

[0:35:46.8] RS: Talk Talent to Me is brought to you by Hired. Hired empowers connections by matching the world’s most innovative companies with ambitious tech and sales candidates. With Hired, candidates and the companies have visibility into salary offers, competing opportunities and job details. Hired’s unique offering includes customized assessments and salary bias alerts to help remove unconscious bias when hiring. By combining technology and human touch, our goal is to provide transparency in the recruiting process and empower each of our partners to employ their potential and keep their talent pipeline full. 

 

To learn more about how we can help you find your next great hire, head to hired.com/tt2m. 

 

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