This was the sign that greeted me on July 1st, 2010, as I reached one the crown jewels of my vacation. I was headed to a family reunion, that would propel me through Yosemite, and onward to Lake Tahoe. It was in Yosemite I had a chance to remember when as a young man, of 10, that visit that had changed my life. I had at that time had the privilege of a Memorial Day weekend trip with my family. On this day, I was on a journey to greet my wife in Reno, having departed the Silicon Valley the Day before. The economic journey of 2007-2010 had been one of interesting growth and power in my career. It had had it's moments of greatness, it's days of frustration, and a culminating yearning for success, that the economy had buffetted me to a place I would have never forseen. In 2008, I wrote one of my first blogs here, about how overlooking a mighty lake in Tahoe I had found my place in staffing once again.
I had made a key placement at Solutions Partners, that marked a day of greatness, closing a fee of $11,000. I was so determined to find my success. And I had. Then in May of 2009, the rumblings of an unstable economy took me away, with 2 temporary jobs, and a long commute, it was as though my world had come to a crossroads. The economic powers that be, pushed me on my way. So 2009 came and went, and my contract with a start up ended in December 2009. On that day, one could only surmise that the place I belonged would find me, and find me it did, in April of 2010, I visited a key seminar on sourcing, meeting my new boss, and getting introduced to netPolarity. I had found my home again. As I left to journey towards Yosemite, Reno, and then finally onwards to Tahoe, I couldn't help but think of my blessings. Though challenge and a boulder of economic proportions had hit, I had had a tremendous month in June, becoming the top sourcer at netPolarity, for that month, and receiving accolades from my colleagues in the process. A love of staffing had gotten me to my joy of filling jobs once again. Along the way I gave people hope, leading Linkedin Seminars, helping job seekers find their career path once again, and moving firmly along my life's journey. In June, my wife and I learned that we would have a baby in January, of next year, and to my joy in August, learned the baby would be a boy. I have always wanted a son, and as I journeyed to my place of peace and thought provoking scenes that are so common in Yosemite, spotting the sign, I couldn't help but think, here I stood in a place where history was made. And in my life I can make a history that leads to greatness.
Yosemite is full of waterfalls....which to me felt so significant, as my life is like a waterfall, flowing forward, falling at times, and then finding my way back up again somehow into the sky. There could be no doubt on this bright, crisp summer day, that I had found some semblance of peace:
And so as I journeyed forward, I saw some of God's most priceless gifts on earth. A Garden of Eden type place, a valley so rich in heritage and history.
As I finished my tour of the valley, knowing I had but hours to get to my destination in Reno, to make sure I was on time, I headed forward. On my way I came across the back part and front parts of Half Dome:
As I passed this place where hikers scale the dome, I was able to see like little ants folks pressing forward to the top of a landmark that challenges folks to accomplish something they may be afraid to do. In so many words they press forward, up cables and rocks, fear must penetrate some at times.
I thought of my life's journey....of recruiting and here is what I gathered from my journey and I took a mental note of the applicability to me. There are several areas that lend to success in recruiting and life and they are:
>Persistance - in recruiting we have to persevere at times when the road seems windy and the cables are all that stand between us and letting down the client we value, or to a larger extent the family we serve. The cable represents to me, a lifeline of learning, of applying best practices borne of experience, of moving onward when others say something is not possible, of commitment even when all seems to high, or too steep to climb. As the hikers ascend, they see a beautiful vista that opens the view of greatness/success in having achieved something they set their hearts on doing and meeting the goal.
>Worthwhile goals are like looking at the long view, seeing the top of the mountain or waterfall, and knowing that you must flow with the punches. The view you see is where you imagine you can be, and then applying the energy to achieve. It may not happen all at once but once achieved the goal gives you purpose, and a clear path to the direction you want to be.
>As you set goals, whether it be fills, coming home at a certain time, for exercise, greater love for family, or more time, remember to clearly plot out the steps you propose you may take, just like a hiker in Yosemite sees a mountain, he may need a map to plot the steps. So being clear about the "means to the end" and establishing a timeline for follow through is so key.
>Know how you can stretch yourself, and know your capacities. If you have an injury would you hike the dome? No.
>Knowing what skills you must hone through training and individual effort to arrive at greatness. Do you need to learn to climb more? I am sure several half dome scalers may have had to train for a while to become fit to do the feat.
>Jerry Rice used to train hard in the off season even when he did not have to, he was always working, and that made him great. See his regimen: http://www.jerryricefootball.com/content/page-139.html
This regimen strengthened him as an athlete, and just like Yosemite hikers we may have to train, to be ready to face our life's mountains, getting education, attending sourcing workshops, etc.
>Envision success. The best among us envision where they want to be and then let nothing stop them on the ascent.
These were but some of the lessons I garnered on my journey. As I pondered what had propelled me forward, these thoughts came to mind. It is what it will take in a very tough labor market, to find work, put others back to work, and make a difference in our communities, homes, and affairs.
The apex of recruiting is reached through a patient work ethic, and a drive to find what the hiring manager wants in talent, and letting your pride go out the window. In a few short months, I again found my Apex, helping in placing upwards of 20 people in a 3 month time frame. Even though the challenges exist, well, like a waterfall and some incredible Yosemite hikers I found what was my Apex, and a greater appreciation for what it takes to succeed in life, business, HR, and staffing.