So it’s been since the middle of January since I had a job. Most days are still great. I know I am blessed to have this time in my life where I can regroup and start again.
Weeks like last week can be discouraging, though. Monday I found out that they had decided to not add the position I interviewed for the week before. It was one that I not only thought I would enjoy, but I thought I could make a positive contribution quickly. But at least for now that door is closed.
The rest of the week felt like I was in a hallway of closed doors. I just couldn’t find jobs to apply for that interested me. These are the discouraging times.
But as life’s roller coaster proves, down comes up. This week has seemed better. I applied for a job over the weekend and the recruiter called me on Monday.
A bit about recruiters, for those who have never worked with them. You have internal and external recruiters. Some large companies have people on staff who are their employees that actively look our for people to fill their internal positions. This seems to have increased in recent years. If I am applying for a job within an insurance company or a large consulting firm, for example, typically my first point of contact is with their internal recruiter.
External recruiters typically recruit for more than one employer and are employees of their search firm. In my world, they are usually the people who are going to be working with smaller insurance consulting firms or local brokers. They may also work with specialty vendors. Some work across industries, but most specialize in one.
Recruiters can be paid by the candidate or the company hiring the candidate. The majority that most of us use are paid by the hiring company, often at a percentage of salary for the person they place.
Anyway, the recruiter for that job called me and the interaction was atypical from those I have had with recruiters in the past. After a phone interview, she asked if I could come into the office to meet with her and possibly some of the other members of their team. Why, of course! I went the next afternoon.
Before I went I had to fill an application out for them (they had my resume, and while this duplicated some of that, it added depth.) I also had to do a personality test. I’m slightly fascinated by these, so was interested in how I would score. The test they asked me to do was the Hartman Color Code personality test. I’m a White. From color code.com, they say “White are the peacekeepers. Peace: the ability to stay calm and balanced even in the midst of conflict, is what motivates and drives these people. They bring great gifts of clarity and tolerance and are generally kind, adaptable, and good-listeners.”
I was a Blue for a free one I found online. Both descriptions seem to fit. I’m haven’t read enough to decide which one I really think I am. You have secondary colors that can impact. I hope they give me more information on my results. I think you can learn a lot about yourself and other people through these things.
The in-person interview was very comprehensive. The recruiter explained many employers want to know if they have met the candidate. Since I had never met a recruiter in person in my career (from what I recall), I am sure this differentiates them in their marketplace. They only work local.,…they specialize working for insurance related-employers in NC and SC only. The process was quite painless, mostly because everyone I met was so nice. I felt even though they are paid by the employer, they are very invested in helping me find a job. Believe me, that’s a good feeling at this point. Especially since I would prefer not to move (though working in Charlotte is good possibility and I have opened myself up to that probability.)
One interesting dilemma. I was working with another recruiter on a job that sounded to be a good fit, but my initial phone interview was postponed to a later date, yet to be named. I did follow up with that recruiter the next week and he said they would keep me updated on what was going on. It has been a month since I heard from him.
This new firm also has a relationship with that company with the open job, but because of professional courtesy don’t want to step on the toes of the first consultant. I’ve told them if they could get me a meeting, I would appreciate it. A tip to recruiters and those who work with people in this situation. We need progress reports. We need attention. It is a vulnerable time. A month of inattention is interminable. I’m about as loyal as they come, but don’t have the luxury of unlimited time here.
So now I wait to see what these new recruiters can do. I hope they are successful for me, not just because I’m ready to find something (I am) but they are nice people who seem to appreciate that I have a lot of experience to offer. Hopefully they can sell that.
As for me, I continue to apply for jobs I find online and procrastinate on putting the other info recommended by my career counselor online. The rebellious procrastinator. But that will happen soon. I will try anything that can help. Within reason.
Many thanks to my encouragers. You’re helping making this time a good one. And those in my industry who have sent my resume to people hiring in their companies or mentioned my name to people hiring, or who did those darned Linked In recommendations they said I needed…thank you for supporting me during this important time. While I appear to be good at being unemployed, I have have more years of work to put in until retirement. I am praying those years are productive, let me exercise my purpose, and keep me challenged and growing. I also want to work with straight-shooter folks I respect, admire, learn from, and celebrate mutual success. That makes Mondays fun.