Career Warrior Podcast #274) The Future of Work for Job Seekers | Jennifer McClure
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We’ll look ahead to the future and discuss the most important things that you should consider when applying for jobs and moving forward in your career.
To cover that topic, I brought on the legendary Jennifer McClure – CEO of Unbridled Talent & DisruptHR!
Jennifer McClure is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and high-performance coach who works with leaders to leverage their influence, increase their impact, and accelerate results.
Frequently recognized as a global influencer and expert on the future of work, Jennifer has decades of in-the-trenches leadership and executive experience working in and with startups, privately held companies, and Fortune 500 organizations in a variety of industries. As a top-rated keynote speaker, Jennifer has shared her insights with thousands of leaders at conferences and corporate events around the world with a long list of clients including Procter & Gamble, General Electric, IBM, and many more.
Jennifer is also the Chief Excitement Officer of DisruptHR, a global community designed to move collective thinking forward when it comes to talent in the workplace, and she hosts a weekly podcast – Impact Makers with Jennifer McClure.
So as you can see, Jennifer is going to be awesome. I’m really grateful to have her on, because we’re going to stir up a fun and hopefully inspirational episode to get you thinking about your future.
Chris Villanueva 0:04
Welcome to the Let’s Eat, Grandma Career Warrior Podcast.
And welcome to the Let’s Eat, Grandma Career Warrior Podcast where our goal is not only to help you land your dream job, but to help you live your best life. Today we’re going to talk about the future of work and how it pertains to your job search. We’ll look ahead to the future and discuss the most important things that you should consider when applying for jobs and moving forward in your career. To cover that topic, I brought on the legendary Jennifer McClure, CEO of unbridled talent in disrupt HR. Jennifer is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker and high performance coach who works with leaders to leverage their influence, increase their impact, and accelerate results. Frequently recognized as a global influencer and expert on the future of work. Jennifer has decades of in the trenches, leadership and executive experience working in and with startups, privately held companies in Fortune 500 organizations in a variety of industries. As a top rated and keynote speaker Jennifer has shared her insights with 1000s of leaders at conferences and corporate events around the world with a long list of clients including Procter and Gamble, General Electric, IBM, and so many more to count. Jennifer is also the Chief Excitement Officer of DisruptHR a global community designed to move the collective thinking forward when it comes to talent in the workplace. And she hosts a weekly podcast Impact Makers with Jennifer McClure. So as you can see, Jennifer’s going to be amazing. And I’m really grateful to have her on because we’re going to stir up the fun here, and hopefully an inspirational episode to get you thinking about your future. So let’s launch right into it with episode 274 of the career warrior podcast. Jennifer, thanks so much for joining us on the show.
Jennifer McClure 1:57
Well, thank you for having me. I can’t help but sit here with a smile on my face that I’m on the Let’s Eat, Grandma podcast. Never never imagined that would be my career trajectory. But here I am.
Chris Villanueva 2:10
You know, and I never thought I would be a part or start a company called Let’s Eat, Grandma. And so these are the things that you don’t think about when you are in college planning out your majors. But it’s funny where life takes you. That’s true. So first of all, just want to thank you for coming on the show. And for listeners right now, Jennifer and I have a really fun story in that I met her at the Sherm conference this year, and it was seven o’clock in the morning, and I had not had my cup of coffee, Jennifer introduced herself to me. And she was like, you know what, I’m also a speaker here. I was blown away when I actually attended her talk and just got so many key insights. So Jennifer, it’s serendipitous that you’re here on this podcast. And thank you so much for shaking my hand that day, I’ll say as a speaker, you got to recruit one audience member at a time.
Exactly. So I’d love to open up just generally here and talk about the future of work and the future of HR. So I think that there are a lot of things going on to the world right now. And it seems like every month that something new is happening, but I think generally when we look back at this time over like the last few years, we’ll think of things like inflation, layoffs, you know, remote work, and those types of buzzwords that we constantly are hearing in the news. So I just open up this episode and just ask what are your thoughts about what is going on right now with the labor market? And where are we headed? So what are some considerations about the future of work and things that HR and job seekers alike really should be thinking about?
Jennifer McClure 3:40
Sure, I think it’s a confusing time in the world of work, at least for the people who like myself are kind of always looking for what are the trends? And what do we need to kind of be talking about because there’s, you know, since early 2020, we’ve been through a global pandemic, and a lot of trauma and crisis and changes related to that. And now we’ve been in this last like year, year and a half type period where everyone’s talking about the great resignation, and you know, low unemployment numbers in this huge competition for talent. But then the next day, you’ll see all these notices about layoffs at leading companies and people that are now available for work. So I think it’s confusing. I follow several economists on Twitter to try to keep up when they do all their tweets about the monthly jobs, reports, etc. And I find by leaving today, I was like, I go, yay, the economy is getting better. And then the next day somebody tweets something, I’m like, no, no, it’s not. So it’s I think, for job seekers, people in the workforce, and even those that are, you know, looking at what’s happening in the workforce, it’s a really good metaphor or a good reminder that I think the future of work is just going to be constantly changing, evolving that earlier this week, I think on a podcast that I don’t know that we’ll ever get back to a time period where people are kind of like, okay, either it’s high unemployment. then you can get good talent pretty easily, or is low unemployment. And you can be with everybody else kind of competing in the fray. But it’s a challenge. And it will be
Chris Villanueva 5:09
right. Absolutely. And I look a lot at just the competition that we have for for job seekers, more companies more, we’re looking to find the right talent, it seems like things have shifted into a, we’ll call it like a job seekers market, what a lot of people are saying here where, you know, it seems like job seekers have a little bit of the edge in the power when it comes to negotiating and looking for these jobs. Yet at the same time, we’re still seeing people getting laid off. I don’t know if you’ve seen this too. But you know, there are people who come to our company who are looking to apply for jobs and are still having a tough time finding the right job and getting employment, at least at the companies they want. So I’ll ask is What do you see that HR leaders are focusing on that may be different from the past? And if you have any commentary on any of that?
Jennifer McClure 5:55
Yeah, I think HR leaders are tired, they’re exhausted. And they’re not alone. A lot of other people are as well. So you know, if they are leading the recruitment function, or they’re working to get talent in the organization, there probably is some of the bodies and seats kind of mentality going on build positions, you know, people are applying, get the jobs filled, move on to the next and like think the smart and all HR leaders are smart. But I mean, the ones who are truly thinking strategically, though, are reminding themselves that even though there is tough competition for talent out there, it’s still important to make good hiring decisions on both sides of the equation, you know, both that the company gets the person with the skills and the talents that they need to do the job, but also that the person is the right fit for the job. You know, we’re seeing a lot of that now with people who have made jobs switches or who maybe have taken a job, that wasn’t their ideal, or maybe they’re underemployed because they were in the mindset of I just need to get something after the pandemic to have some stability in my life. So there’s a lot of kind of dissatisfaction out there, I think, on maybe both sides of the equation, because we haven’t done the hard work to make sure that not only am I applying for positions that I believe I have the skills and abilities to do or to learn, and I’m a good fit with the culture of the company, even though that can be problematic. But the same on the company side, that we’re making sure that we’re hiring people that when I say long term will be here long term, I’m not thinking 2530 years, but that will be here for at least enough time to get effective in the job to learn something and to progress in their career.
Chris Villanueva 7:30
Right, exactly. So looking ahead to the future, what skills should job seekers and you know, specifically, those rising professionals and leaders watch those folks be learning today, in order to keep up with the future of work?
Jennifer McClure 7:44
The world is your oyster, if you’re looking to figure out what skills that you need to develop, uh, certainly, the soft skills are going to be more important, I think, in the future of work than ever before, because many of us will be working remotely or in hybrid situations. And so the ability to communicate effectively to listen and care for and have empathy for others is important. So those soft skills are often hard, though, to demonstrate in terms of a qualification for a job. But how can you show that you know, whether that’s taking volunteer positions or you know, leadership positions in organizations so that you can demonstrate leadership, that you have opportunities to present your ideas, whether that’s going to something like Toastmasters, or again, being in a leadership role, where you’re having to sell your ideas to others, those are the things that you can talk about in an interview, or even show on your resume to show that you have those soft skills. It’s funny, you’ll see surveys from, you know, HR leaders or employers about what are the desired skills for talent in the future. And they say things like ability to work as a team and communication skills, but then they’re not measuring that in the interview. So I don’t know, you know, this desire to have it. We’re not trying to identify how to get it. So if you’re the job seeker, do the work to do that. Certainly, any technical skills are going to be valuable, not just in the STEM career field. You know, we’re all using technology now. So the more that you can learn about technical skills, data analysis, predictive analytics, any of those skills are going to be helpful. I think, in most any job that you have. I look back again, I started as a professional speaker 12 years ago, talking in some ways about the future of work, although we weren’t calling it that. And I have many a presentation with slides about robots taking jobs. And you know, don’t be worried about that. Let’s look get today, you know, the robots have taken a lot of jobs, but we still need people. And we will always need people because yes, the AI and the robots can do a lot of the data crunching, etc. But it still takes humans to analyze that data and then make decisions. You know, the robots can recommend things, but humans are still needed. And we need more robots now. Because we have a lot of jobs that can be automated. So think about skills that will keep you relevant even as you are continuously learning in the future which we will all have to do.
Chris Villanueva 10:00
But I’m so glad you said what you did in the beginning, which is that communication is that it’s such an important universal skill that you need for any job. And I have found even in my own career, that communication is the thing that moves things forward. And it’s needed everywhere, it doesn’t matter what you do. And I always laugh with our team, because communication is one of the really, really things like the soft skills like being a good team player, or being able to communicate well, that’s tough to show on your resume. You can’t just say I’m a team player, because these are the types of things that everyone else puts, and it doesn’t really show anything. But I do think the interview is a good opportunity to show that and there are some other ways you can illustrate that as a job seeker. And the other thing that I joke about is that this idea of being able to communicate well, virtually, or through zoom or meets teams, whatever it is, is a skill that I never would have expected to need to learn, I think not even like five years ago. So I would actually like to transition this into the topic of remote work. Everyone knows that we’ve made this huge dynamic shift to either remote or half remote. And it seems like we’re almost in this honeymoon phase to where everyone is enjoying working it. But we’re starting to see some pressure now from companies to ask their employees to come back to work. And I saw on my LinkedIn feed that Malcolm Gladwell actually had posted something along the lines of saying that it’s not your best interest to work from home. He says, I know it’s a hassle to come into the office. But if you’re just sitting in your pajamas in your bedroom, is that the work life you want to live. And he had a lot of angry reactions. And some people were chiming in, and they really felt it. But I want to hear your take on this. Our employees feeling the pressure to come back? And what should people be looking out for during this transition time? Yeah, I
Jennifer McClure 11:45
love it when people like Malcolm Gladwell put their thoughts out there in the world for people to throw rocks at them. You know, he got a lot of comments about being a privileged white male and saying that, and I think some of that is justified. But I also think there is some truth to everything we disagree with. There’s offensive truth, and I am uncertain generation, probably same age or similar to Malcolm Gladwell, I bet he’s younger than me, even though he looks older. I should look that up. So I realize I’m also coming from, you know, my own experience and trying to equate that to what everyone else should do. I think there’s certainly some challenges on both sides, again, of the equation for the employee, I do think there is the possibility to miss that relationship building ability that you had, in the in office experience, the ability to be mentored, whether formally or informally, to watch someone else to see how they handle themselves in meetings to learn from other people in the organization to have those hallway conversations, the conversations after the meeting is over. Those are important. Now, the argument against that is that that’s favoritism, and you know, etc, etc. And there is some of that. So I’ll acknowledge that. So there’s the danger that it will be harder for people to get seen to get noticed to get opportunities. If already women and underrepresented groups, we’re not getting the same opportunities for mentorship and career development in organizations as white males, how is that going to get better in a virtual environment where we don’t have as many opportunities to put those people in positions where they can get those things on the flip side of that it is the world that we live in now. So I and Malcolm Gladwell and others, I think, have to start thinking differently about how we manage and lead people at work. So if it’s probably more difficult for people to build those relationships, to get the mentorship to get the things that we benefited from by being in person in a workplace, then how can we as leaders restructure work, you know, whether that is more frequent zoom communications, or making sure that I’m checking in with my people, I’m assigning them mentors, we have to be much more intentional about replacing some of those things that happened by chance in the in person work experience, and not use it as an excuse to say everyone has to come back into the office, because that’s the way it’s always been done. If it’s working productivity wise people are hitting their goals, they’re also getting to have a life outside of work and have more flexibility to be with their families to pursue their hobbies, which ultimately should make them I would think more productive in their work. If those things are happening, then our goal should be to figure out how to facilitate that for everyone. So I think there’s work to be done on both sides. If you’re the employee, you’ve got to figure out how to get noticed to move your career ahead to make sure that you’re getting the interactions and the relationships that you need. If you’re the leader, you’ve got to figure out how to provide that to your people.
Chris Villanueva 14:41
Thank you so much for saying that. And that’s probably one of the best tips I’ve heard on remote work and how people should be thinking of things because I think a lot of it is very surface level. You know, I look at the LinkedIn comments to what people were saying about Malcolm Gladwell, and it was very surface level I think, and on the flip side, it’s the same thing you Hear employees, you know, saying things like, I think everyone should come back from work are taking these strong opinions, but it is a two way street exactly like you’re saying, and people need to examine it, I think 360 to know what the best possible solution is going forward. So I love that.
Jennifer McClure 15:16
It’s interesting. I saw on the news last night I just inside, they were doing a hit about, you know, the shortage of teachers, and that some of the school systems have gone to a four day school week because of the shortage of teachers. And they’re talking to this mom afterward. You know, she’s like, I love it. We can spend more time together as a family and do fun things. I’m like, she doesn’t work. What has happened. You know, when everybody say, and this is a great time for me, you know, that was the reason why you get to spend more time with your family. I’m like, Does this mean the family is also on a four day workweek? So you know, I think we have to, we always need to look at things. And that’s where again, empathy and thinking about your privilege and thinking about, you know, putting yourself in the position of others asking people, is this actually working for everyone? Or do I just think it’s a great idea? Because it works for me.
Chris Villanueva 16:04
Right, exactly. And so I feel like we really flipped this on its head. I mean, it seemed like revisiting this book that I read a long time ago. It’s like The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, which he proposed the idea of working virtually, and it was this radical thing almost to be able to go to your boss and say, Hey, can I work remotely like one day, and how much has changed really over like the last couple of years now, but I think employees are feeling some of that pressure to come back. And I would ask you, it’s like if, as a job seeker, I see a company that is requiring me to come into work for, you know, four days, five days a week, should I be at least a little bit more open to it? Or should I try to negotiate and say, Hey, is there a way that I could work a little bit more remotely? Versus what you’re offering me? I think that’s a question I get a lot from job seekers. And people just want to know, like, how flexible should I be moving forward?
Jennifer McClure 16:55
It’s a good question, I think you have to look at what the company is advertising as the opportunity and say, is that what I want? You know, if it’s 80% of what I want, do I go in and negotiate for the other 20% depends on what kind of position that you’re in. If you have leverage, I mean, if you have the skills and talent that is rare, and you know, desired by the company, it’s possible that you could likely, you know, negotiate some pieces of your job offer, but there may be some bitterness, you know, if that’s what they said they wanted, you know, you do see a lot of people saying, well, I want to see if I can negotiate work, remote work. But I also talked to a lot of business owners, especially small business owners, who they’re very frustrated, because they’re very clear in their job requirements. So you know, when I talked to was they assemble, you know, conference booth materials, you know, so it’s manual work in a factory assembly, and they clearly put on their job postings. This is not a remote work opportunity. And she said, I’m so frustrating, because 90% of the people that we interview want to work remotely. Now, that’s where again, I think you have to say, have they been clear what the opportunity is, Is this their culture, if you want to go work at JP Morgan, it’s not going to really work out for you, if you’re trying to negotiate remote work, their CEO has been very clear, he wants people back in the office, if you work at Apple, and you’re that software developer that everybody in Silicon Valley is trying to recruit, maybe, you know, you can say, hey, take it or leave it, you get me or not. So I think it depends about your leverage. But I just be really clear, when I’m looking for a job, be clear on what the opportunity is determine if that’s what I want, make a decision. If this fits what I want, it’s like, you know, we got to do the inevitable comparison to dating into marriage, don’t marry someone thinking you’re going to change them into what you want them to be married person that they are today, if that makes you happy. If that person doesn’t make you happy, then that’s probably not a wise decision. I think it’s the same for job opportunities. If you’re accepting a role, saying, you know, I’m going to come out, I’m going to do a really good job for three or four months. And then I’m going to ask my boss if I can work remotely. And he or she says, No, who’s to blame for that? Not them, you’ll resent them. And they’ll resent you for asking. So now we’ve got, you know, muddy water situation,
Chris Villanueva 19:09
right. I love that. And I love the dating analogy. And I’ll continue the dating analogy and talk about how commonly people when they’re looking to find their future spouse, they’ll go pick up an app, they’ll go on, you know, Tinder, bumble, those things like that, and look to find that ideal person. Now for a job. We hear kind of similar things that people are looking to network to find their dream job online. And again, continuing with this remote theme, it’s really hard to establish connections when we are online behind a screen and connecting with people. And in so many ways, it’s the norm. It’s how a lot of people are applying. So I wanted to hear a little bit about your advice on how to properly network your way into the ideal job scenario, because it’s really tough, I think to meet people in person now more than ever.
Jennifer McClure 19:58
Yeah, I think that’s one of the challenges last few years especially and post pandemic, we’re not post pandemic, whatever this is endemic, whatever ongoing. The reluctance of people to connect more and more if they don’t know you and or to meet you to have those, what do we call them? networking meetings, I guess, you know, everybody gets invited out for coffee, even though I don’t drink coffee, and people still invite me to coffee. So I think that’s a challenge that again, just like I was saying earlier, leaders have to think differently about how to help people continue with their career growth and development in a remote and hybrid situation, we have to think differently about relationships and connecting some of the principles that have always been helpful in that regard, though, I think, are still applicable here. Don’t just invite someone to connect on LinkedIn. And then when they, you know, hopefully connect with you send them a message saying, Hey, will you be my mentor? Or I’m looking for a job at your company? Can you introduce me to the hiring manager, you’ve put nothing into that relationship, you’ve built no value. So find ways that first do your research, who do you really need to be connected with your network doesn’t need to be 2000 connections on LinkedIn mean, you can have that many. But in terms of the people that you pay attention to that you are trying to grow a relationship with, pick five to 10, some smaller number, and really invest your time and learning about those people. If you do follow them on LinkedIn, of course, you can follow people without connecting them. If they are a thought leader that’s speaking at events or has a YouTube channel or even on other social media, then find ways to learn from them for a period of time and then respond to what they’re putting out there. You know, thanks for sharing comment on their LinkedIn posts. add to the conversation. Don’t just comment, say great post thanks for sharing want to connect with you? Can we have coffee? No response? Yeah, respond and say I really liked when you said this, it made me think about that, or have you ever considered this or here’s a resource that you might find helpful. While you’re thinking about this situation, find ways so that they’re regularly seeing you as a person who adds value to them that you know, regardless if they’re, you know, a CEO and you’re an entry level employee, you can add value because you’re seeing and learning things that can also benefit them. Find ways to get noticed, before you ever ask for anything, give give give watch Gary Vaynerchuk book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. So that’s jab, jab, jab, three jabs before your right hook, you know, yeah, do a lot of giving, invest in the person, show them that you’re learning from them. And then find ways to, you know, see if you can actually do more connection to learn from them. And again, I think that applies even for introductions into companies. See, when LinkedIn first started, I was on there in the beginning. And the whole purpose was, you could have a network of 100 people that we are connected with, you could see who they were connected with. And then you could ask them for an introduction, because everybody knew everybody. Well, now, I have almost 30,000 connections on LinkedIn. So if you send me an in message that says, hey, number one, I don’t know you more than likely. Hey, Jennifer, I see you’re connected to XYZ hiring manager at ABC Company, would you mind introducing me? That’s never gonna happen? I don’t know you. I don’t know the person you’re asking. You didn’t do any research. You don’t know that. You’re asked. Yeah. Don’t do it. Don’t ever do that.
Chris Villanueva 23:14
Okay. I love that it takes a whole mentality shift to go from that, how can I take in how can I you know, get that job or get that interview? And you’re just thinking about yourself, versus how can I offer value first. And I think it’s a really powerful mentality switch that not only makes you more effective when you’re seeking a job, but it also just makes the rejection a little bit easier to bear in a way as you could kind of let that ego down a little bit. And just come from the perspective of I’m trying to help people, I’m trying to offer value to the world. So I think that’s really good advice. And I don’t think it can be said enough. So thank you for that.
Jennifer McClure 23:49
It’s also important if you do get the time or the attention of someone that you want to build a relationship with or that you admire, be grateful. Let them know that you appreciate that. I can’t tell you long before, you know, we entered the post pre pandemic phase or whatever we for years when I was an executive recruiter, even in HR, if I took the time to send someone a very detailed reply to their question out of the blue, or I did make a referral or offer them support in some way. I’d say 70% of the time, people don’t even reply. And that’s so frustrating. Or maybe I am looking for Pat’s on the back. But if I took the time to really address your question to me, then tell me, thank you. This is a figure that I chatted a couple of weeks ago about you and I had someone messaged me on LinkedIn who we just connected. So I don’t know her. And she asked she said would you be willing to coach me and she was an HR person. And so I took the time I took probably half an hour to go to a friend of mines website, Julie attorney who does specifically HR coaching, both individually and with cohorts and she has some online learning opportunities and a lot Got a great resource. I linked to all of those. I recommended Julie, I offered to connect her and she replied back to me. She said, I don’t need an HR coach. I was like, Well, I don’t know what you want for me. What is it this you, you asked me to coach you when you didn’t even ask what kind of coaching? I do.
Chris Villanueva 25:17
Right? Right. Gosh, yeah, people need to do the research. And that’s incredible. I can’t believe that happened. And that’s a good reminder, I’m going to ask you in a second, how not to annoy your HR manager. I think that’s a fun one that people need to hear it. But just career change, I think is a big thing that a lot of people are dealing with. It’s like, I majored in hospitality. And I’m looking around at all my cohorts who graduated with me 10 years ago, and it seems like none of them are doing hospitality anymore. And I worked as a restaurant manager, you know, for several years, and then transition to a resume writing business. But the name let’s see, grandma, it seems like a complete 180. That is that is not it just doesn’t make sense. But when I look at my career, you know, I never would have planned to be doing what I do on a daily basis. I love every moment of it. I think this is exactly where I need to be. But I never would have planned it, I think. And I think that’s where a lot of people are, especially now more than ever, with people deciding, like, I don’t want to do this thing anymore. I’d rather move on over to something that I’m much more interested in, and something that I think I would do a better job at. But that’s also really hard to do. Because we often feel stuck in whatever position or job that we’re doing right now. It’s like I still get requests to this day for restaurant manager jobs on LinkedIn, I’m still getting pushed that in. And so we’re almost sucked into doing what we’ve been doing in the past. So I’ll ask what are some considerations for career changers, if people really feel strongly about making that next move, and that step board, in another job or even another industry,
Jennifer McClure 26:50
I recommend a really good experiment. When I started my podcast a few years ago, I wanted to have interesting conversations with interesting people. And I know a lot of interesting people. So I invited my friends to be my guest in the beginning. And I almost thought at one point, I need to chart this because we’d start talking about their early career and how they ended up in HR or recruiting or wherever they were today, zero of them were working in what they had a degree in. And it was always an interesting story, both how they realized that what they had gone to school for was not what they wanted to do, and how they kind of evolved into what they were today. And almost all of them and you know, whether it’s my friends or our people, you know, you start realizing what you really enjoy. And hopefully you can pursue that and don’t get involved in the sunk costs of well, I got a law degree. So now I guess I have to be a lawyer, even though I hate my life, and I’m only 28 years old, no, don’t do that. Where can those skills be applied? So I say talk to 10 of the most successful people that you know, ask them what they went to school for, ask them what they’re doing today. And then ask them to tell you the journey about how that happened, that they’re likely not doing what they went to school for. It’s no different than when I decided I wanted to potentially start my own business. I was working with a coach. He said, I want you to go out and back then we could get people to meet with us in person for the cup of coffee. And he said, I want you to go out and just spend a couple of months meeting with people. And he said, ideally, meet with people who have started their own business, ask them how that happened. I learned so much in those conversations, you know, what were you doing? When did you decide to start your own business? How did you make that transition? It gave me so many helpful things that I could think about doing or not doing in my own journey. So all that being said, you know, with a lot of people who are either finding out that what they thought they wanted to be isn’t what they want to be. And I always say that’s probably going to happen multiple times. You know, I’ve stayed in the same lane, I guess. But I mean, I’ve gone from an HR manager, Department of one to an HR executive to an executive recruiter, which I never would have thought I would do. I hated recruiters. But through those networking meetings, so many of those smart people told me, Jennifer, you are not ready to start your own business girl. Don’t do it. What you should do is I think you’d be good at executive search. Because number one, you’ve done recruiting sounds like you’ve been successful, you are personable, but you don’t know how to do business development, you don’t know how to build relationships that you’ll need to understand how to do if you start your own business, so why not take an interim step and go into executive search. And oh, by the way, there’s a firm here in town where they are more relationship focused. I didn’t like recruiters because of the transactional nature, I felt as an HR leader. They said this firm is executive search. It’s more relationship focused, they get business off the relationships that they build, they stay with people for a long time, you can go there and learn how to develop business to build relationships. And that will help you when you decide to start your own company in the future. So that’s exactly what I did. And the owner of the firm was so amazing. He taught me everything I know about relationship building for the purpose of business development, so not to make it spammy, scammy and transactional. And that was such amazing advice that I learned again, through talking to people who were in the field that I want Need to pursue. So if you’re an accountant, and I saw this so many times when I was both in HR and recruiting, been an accountant for my whole career, and I’ve decided I’m applying for your HR manager job, Jennifer, because I like people, and I’ve worked with people, so therefore I am qualified. No, you’re not. No, no, no, no, you are not. Have you talked to an HR person? Do you know they don’t like people? That is the first piece, the first thing you learned as an HR person, people are terrible. But the work needs to be done in talking to people who have done the roles that you’re interested in or that you think you’re interested in so that you can start to say, what skills do I bring to the table? What do I need to develop what made them successful and making the transitions that they made, and you’ll be like me, probably, you’ll find something like I did, I would have never in a million years, gone from being a VP of HR to an executive search consultant, because I didn’t think that was something I would ever want to do. It took people telling me how that could help me grow and that I would be good at it potentially, with the skills that I brought to the table for me to even consider that as an interim step to what I thought I ultimately wanted to do. And it was the right decision for
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