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Effectively Working with a Recruiter

The key to building a long term partnership with a recruiter is to establish open communication and set proper expectations from the start. As the Division Director for SNI Financial in Dallas for nearly 10 years, I’ve helped hundreds of candidates make positive career changes and continue to follow their path. There are some key things I’ve seen that make the interview and hiring process much smoother all around. If you’re brand new to working with a recruiter, or just feel like you need to improve your working relationship with your current recruiter, here are some suggestions to help you during this process:

Clearly Explain Your Career Goals

It’s important to clarify what is happening in your career so your recruiter can better understand how to help you achieve your goals. I’ve seen that there is typically both a “push and pull” that compels someone to explore new opportunities.

  • What is pushing you away from your current situation (long commute, leadership/staff turnover, company instability)

  • What would pull you towards something new (accelerated career path, broader responsibility, more reasonable hours)

Define Your Priorities

Motivation is different for each candidate and it’s best to be transparent about what drives your career decisions. Career priorities can change over time depending on your personal situation. Here are ideas for factors to discuss with your recruiter:

  • What type of role are you targeting? How important is title?

  • What is your desired career path? What skills would you like to gain?

  • What is your ideal salary range? How important are bonus & benefits in the compensation package?

  • How important is work/life balance? Are you willing to put in more hours short term for your long term advancement?

Set Proper Expectations

Keep open communication with your recruiter throughout the entire process so there are no surprises. Our goal is to help you secure an attractive job offer and we need to work together to make that happen! Be candid with your recruiter about the following issues so they don’t become a roadblock in landing a new role:

  • Is there anything that would keep you from leaving your current company? Would you consider a counteroffer if your current company matched your new offer?

  • Is there anything that would prevent you from giving a standard 2-week notice? Are you waiting on a bonus or promotion? Any upcoming trips or time off already planned?

  • Is there anything that could be a red flag if the new employer requires a background check or drug test?

  • Are you currently in the interview process with any other companies? How does that opportunity compare?

Let the Recruiters Do Their Job

Once you’ve established open dialogue with your recruiter, it’s critical to trust their process and timeline. Getting candidates through the interview process and into an attractive new role is what recruiters do best. We also ask our clients for the same type of transparent communication so we can understand their priorities and timing. It’s always our goal to balance the interests of both sides to bring you together. Sometimes things can change with either the hiring process or your job search so we’ll do our best to keep you informed and ask that you do the same. The most effective way to build a long term relationship with your recruiter is to maintain open communication!

Effectively Working with a Recruiter

Moving on After a Career Setback

Moving on after a career setback or mistake is a necessary skill to learn in today’s workplace. The more quickly you can bounce back and figuratively get back on the saddle, the better. Below we outline a couple of skills and mentalities to adopt to help you through this process.

Accept that mistakes happen, and take the good with the bad

The first step to moving on is accepting the situation and forgiving yourself. Many people fall into the pattern of beating themselves up after a mistake or setback; instead of blaming and judging yourself, shift your mindset and accept that mistakes are part of the process for growth. It can be helpful to think of such sayings as, “mistakes are the steppingstones to wisdom” when you’ve hit a bump in the road. Failure is an opportunity to learn something new, and if you truly learn from your mistakes you will likely not  continue to make them.

Another way to think about this is through the work of Brené Brown. Brené is a professor, lecturer, and author whose work centers around shame and vulnerability. In her Netflix special she spoke about how creating a work culture that accepts and encourages mistakes is necessary for growth, creativity and innovation:

“When we build cultures at work where there is zero tolerance for vulnerability, where perfectionism and armor are rewarded and necessary, you can’t have these conversations,” she said. “If you’re not willing to fail, you can’t innovate. If you’re not willing to build a vulnerable culture, you can’t create.”

Listen and learn from constructive feedback

Most people don’t like negative feedback and find it difficult to hear any type of criticism. These individuals have a tendency to take the criticism personally and it can stifle their creativity or willingness to take chances. However if you are always chasing positive feedback, and aren’t open to hearing criticism, you can remain stagnant in your personal development. Having difficult conversations at work is critical for growth and success. While harsh criticism and unjustified anger towards you is not ok in the workplace, having conversations about what you can do to improve and grow is essential and beneficial. Instead of fearing negative feedback, seek out those conversations and ask what you can do to improve.

Moving on After a Career Setback

Reflecting on 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, you may be taking this time to reflect upon the past year and asking yourself what you accomplished. At the start of a new year, especially the heightened excitement at the beginning of the new decade when the calendar was marked January 1, 2020, many touted phrases like “new year, new you” only to find out within a couple of months that 2020 was not the year anyone expected. So, if at the moment you are comparing yourself to others, regretting not having accomplished more in your personal and professional life, take a step back and re-evaluate what you did learn and how you’ve grown during this past year.

Looking Back

If you’re looking at the resolutions and goals you set back in January 2020, disappointed and frustrated with yourself that you didn’t tick off many of those listed, cut yourself some slack and acknowledge what a strange and hard year it was for everyone. Perhaps you didn’t get that promotion you wanted, but are you able to reflect upon the past year and see if there were any new endeavors or projects you did get accomplished? Perhaps you were one of the many who learned how to bake sourdough bread at home, or you maintained a routine workout regime, or you grew closer to your family. While these examples may not have been your original intentions for the year, it still demonstrates that you’ve grown and improved during this past year and may have actually showed you what you do truly value.

Moving Forward

While we still don’t know how the next year will look, if you’re one to set resolutions you can evaluate whether the ones you set for 2020 (that you haven’t yet accomplished) are still relevant for you. If they aren’t, perhaps thinking of setting resolutions that are based on overall outcomes instead of one set goal and think about what is really important to you. For many, this year has taught us the importance of connection, health, and family so set resolutions that reflect the values that are most important to you.

Reflecting on 2020

Staying Optimistic and Resilient During COVID-19

In the midst of the second wave of COVID-19 during the fall and winter months, many are having a hard time staying positive and hopeful when faced with the uncertainties of the future. During, what for many is usually a very happy holiday season, this year’s festivities have been either altered or put off entirely, further leading to feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. Thrive Global, which is a site that focuses on “people’s mental resilience, health, and productivity”, recently published an article on what their community is doing to stay optimistic and resilient during these challenging times. Here are some of their key takeaways…

Go Day by Day

Instead of future projecting, take each day as it comes and focus on what is right in front of you. With so much uncertainty around job security, social lives, and just day-to-day living, try your best to stay in the present moment and let go of the things you can’t control. There is only so much within your control, so focus and deal with things as they come, and not as you fear.

Spend Time in Nature

A member of the Thrive Global community also recommended time in nature and we couldn’t agree more. In fact, many may already be aware, but there is a Japanese practice called “Forest Bathing” which is where you mindfully immerse yourself in nature which is said to have a profound impact on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Time in nature is calming and grounding and can offer a mini escape for those who are spending a lot more time indoors this year.

Practice Gratitude
We’ve spoken on our blog about gratitude before, and it was another key factor referenced in the article. While this is undoubtedly a very challenging time in most people’s lives, focusing on what you do have and being grateful for all the good in your life, can help you shift your mindset to be more positive.

Try Something New
It can be helpful to think about starting a new project or regime during this time and breaking the monotony of quarantine life. Perhaps there was a hobby you always wanted to take up, a home project you’ve long needed to finish, or adopting a healthier and more active lifestyle. Don’t wait until January 1st to begin your New Year’s Resolutions, now is the perfect time to work towards bettering yourself and taking charge of something positive in your life.

Staying Optimistic and Resilient During COVID-19