Finding My Groove

via She Takes on the World

I’m feeling a lot of pressure these days to figure out my life.

What do I want to be in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years? What do I want to do?

What’s weird about this is that I am NOT that person who plans her future. Yes, I plan my week, my month and next 6 months. I’ve always been the employee (and maybe girlfriend actually) who gets anxiety over talking about anything past 12 months. It’s not that I can’t commit or don’t want to — it’s that I want to live in the present. From a career perspective, I’ve always considered opportunities as they have been presented and then decided my game plan. I follow both my company and my best interest. From a relationship perspective, I’m 27 years old and the last thing I want right now is marriage and babies. Life constantly changes and no one can predict someone’s next move. By centering myself on the present, I have less expectation of others and push myself to live a fulfilled life. I’m committed to my future — but  I don’t define that as a job title, tall dark and handsome Italian husband or a white picket fence. ;)

So then what on earth is my issue with wanting to figure out my life?

I don’t know, but I feel that I’m not making progress. Yep, I quit my corporate company, joined a startup, moved cities, feel like I’m in a good head space — and yep, in my brain, I haven’t made enough progress. I probably need to think about how I define ‘progress’ but for now I will associate it with growth.

Last week I was blessed to have a serious chat with a peer I totally respect. He understands me. He doesn’t look at the high expectations I have for myself as a negative. He challenges me to be better. He offered fresh perspective. He challenged me to start thinking about what drives me, to get back on the path I was on in 2010.

If I were to identify what is different from late mid 2010 to current… what’s missing is goals. Well, yes, of course I have goals. I want to visit Australia, complete a Masters Degree and start a non-profit. BUT I don’t have goals on a weekly, quarterly or annual basis.

And perhaps ‘forgetting’ to set goals (being too busy, excuse, excuse, excuse) is making it hard for me to measure (and potentially make) progress. By the way, I have always set my goals as business, personal, health, travel — well rounded SMART goals are the only way to go.

I’ve been doing some major self-reflection. I’ve been taking that moment to re-confirm my values, identify my passion and think about what could be. How will the future look? What will it take for me to be fulfilled?

Strengths Finder 2.0 is a tool we use at Elevated HR and also something I have found huge value in. My strengths are: Achiever, Learner, Focus, Command, Futuristic.

So Strengths Finder offers the following ‘facts’ about me:

  • I have a great deal of stamina and work hard. I take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
  • I have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites me.
  • I can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. I prioritize, then act.
  • I have presence. I can take control of a situation and make decisions.
  • I am inspired by the future and what could be. I inspire others with my visions of the future.

Couple that with being classified as a Yellow-Red-Green-Blue with Insights Discovery and ENFJ with Meyers Briggs… I’m both clear and confused. :)

I look at all these incredible men and women in my life (whether I know them or not, they are still in my life) and think they have figured it out… when will I? And more importantly, do I need to?

I read an inspiring post tonight: 26 Lessons from a 26 Year Old CEO by Shama Kabani. Great tips for any CEO, Entrepreneur and dreamer. You can follow Shama on Twitter and/or check out the  Young Entrepreneur Council too!

Shama and fellow bright lights motivate me to keep pushing forward.

Relevant advice I was recently given:

Do everything possible to hold yourself accountable.

For me this means setting goals, measuring goals and reporting back to my personal Board of Directors. Find that group of people who want to see you grow and be great. It could be a support group, a non-profit organization or a mentor. Whatever it is, find it. Ensure growth.

The big question tonight is… why am I on this planet?

Anyone know the answer?

[… currently writing my goals.] :)

recruiting done differently

I wrote this for Elevated HR’s blog but thought some of my job searching and HR readers might enjoy this too!

Recruiting Done Differently

By Jillian Walker, Vice President Client Experience, Elevated HR Solutions

In my past life, recruiting meant activating a job posting on recruitment software, filtering through applicants based on points, looking at 10 resumes out of 200-500, formal phone screening, structured competency based interviews, ranking employees against each other with points and putting out a formal offer about 8 weeks later. It was fairly mindless and no stress. We often hired multiple applicants for the same job and if someone didn’t last – oh well!

Nowadays I’m leading a recruitment process that is highly personable and culture-driven.

The goal is always to find a rockstar candidate for one of our exceptional clients. It’s about finding the right fit for the candidate AND the right fit for the company — not one or the other.

The process begins with writing a job description that is actually interesting and reflective of the company’s culture. In my words, we write them straight up. Here is what you need, here is what we would love and here is the nitty gritty. They are written in a way that intrigues a candidate — but would also scare off the wrong candidate.

As the candidates come in, we review each and every application. We respond back to candidates with questions about their education and experience. We pull out applications that may not be a right fit for this company, but could be a right fit for another one. After a quick phone screen, we ask each short-listed candidate to complete a culture-fit questionnaire. It further determines if the candidate and the company are a match.

Throughout this experience, we continually learn about the candidate and the company. The focus is on building relationships, while achieving results. Sometimes the candidate opts out of the process, sometimes the company changes the title or job duties. We adapt as we go along.

Once the candidate has passed all the paper work and brief phone calls — we meet them either in person or via Skype video [we are recruiting for multiple cities these days!]. Candidates have an opportunity to showcase their personality and explain their passions.

Eventually we make it to the point where the candidate gets to meet the client in person. By this time, they know the company inside and out and we have worked with them to shine on their resume and questionnaire. We provide them tips on how to be successful and do our best to ensure minimal surprises!

We usually hear back from the candidate immediately after the interview. They provide feedback on the company and the process — and it’s in their court to send thank you’s to those involved! The company gets in touch with us to discuss the final candidates and determine if an offer will be made. Often last minute questions come up and we go back to the candidates if needed. If the company decides to do a second round of interviews with a different level of management, we book them. It’s important to keep momentum in the process [A-player candidates are often interviewing at multiple companies!].

Lastly we check references, complete skills testing if required (computer skills etc) and ask the candidate to complete Strengths Finder 2.0. We utilize Strengths Finder with of our clients. Why? Because we totally believe in it and think that it is an effective way to assess employees. Strengths Finder showcases an employees strengths and further determines if they are the right fit for the role and the company. It is a reflective exercise for the candidate and a refreshing perspective for the company.

This type of recruiting isn’t necessarily a long process – it’s just thorough. Our process creates so many touch points with the candidate that you truly start to understand who they are — strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, etc. We invest a lot of time in the process to ensure we have truly found the right fit.

Does it backfire? Sometimes. People change, plans change… but we wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t work the strong majority of the time.

All the time we place candidates at our clients and they say things like “I’ve never been happier. This is the perfect job for me.” Would I have heard that in my last life? Absolutely not. Perhaps once in a blue moon if a candidate got lucky.

The candidates that I’ve had the opportunity to meet have truly been a breath of fresh air. I’m impressed by their honesty, drive and commitment. When I give a candidate a call, they are expecting me to be a no personality Recruiter wanting them to enter into a structured archaic process. Instead, I explain how we do things differently at Elevated HR and look for them to be adaptable. Sometimes they’re caught off guard, but often they laugh and immediately turn casual. When people interact with each other casually, you generally see true colors. Matching for fit just got easier. :)

All the time people ask me “What is your favourite HR function?”  I used to say Organizational Development and Effectiveness. Now though? Recruitment is growing on me. Matchmaking A-players with fabulous companies makes my heart smile.