Follow Your Passion

A few months back, I woke up with an odd feeling. Something wasn’t right.  Ok, it wasn’t just one morning, it had been coming on for a while.  But I finally figured out what it was.

I was missing my passion.  Now I’m passionate about a bunch of things.  My family, music and photography to name a few.  I’ve always been lucky enough to work for companies where I’ve been passionate about my customers and the products I marketed.   As much as I enjoyed working at Bullhorn, I knew I no longer had that passion.

Now don’t get me wrong, working at Bullhorn has been great.  I’ve enjoyed learning about and marketing cloud computing, applicant tracking, CRM, helping the company grow 40%, and get acquired by a private equity firm. I’ve enjoyed learning about the complexities and nuances of recruitment firms and this niche industry.  Agency recruiters can sometimes have a bad rep, but I’ve met many of them over the past 3 years that are truly invested in helping companies find great people and people find great jobs.  In my time at Bullhorn, the recruiters using the Bullhorn platform have placed ~2.4 million people in jobs.   That’s amazing, and I’m thrilled to have been a part of it.

But when I woke up and realized that the passion for recruitment wasn’t there, the fire had gone out, I knew exactly why I woke up with an odd feeling.  It was my gut instinct.  It was reaching up from inside, and socking me in the stomach.  There it was.  It was telling it me that it was time to find something new, something that would rekindle that fire, something where I’d jump out of bed in the morning and couldn’t wait to get to work.

So I set out on the path.  I realized that I’ve had that passion in the past, working for companies that provide technologies 1 or 2 layers down in the stack, something that helps an organization build or deliver an app or experience, as opposed to a technology that is used almost exclusively by business users.  Working for companies like that was where I learned about how software works. Selling and marketing to customers that fit that profile was where I had that passion.  My end goal was clear.  Find a great opportunity at a company that provides software to that enables their customers to build something awesome.

Now that that journey is coming to a close, I want to reflect for a bit.  I had the pleasure of getting reconnected with some of the great folks I’ve worked with in the past, to share the advice and guidance.  I was able to learn about a bunch of exciting companies that I didn’t know a lot about before, and meet some great people working at those companies.  That has been a wonderful part of the past few months.  I was also able to meet and work some great recruiters both on the corporate and agency side of things.  That also has been a great part of the past few months.

Now I did go through a few odd interviews, where it was very clear that the organization culture didn’t align with what I was looking for or that the company had no idea how to manage a hiring process.  I also had a number of candidate experiences that, if you are a recruiter reading this, let me digress from the point of this post for a bit, to give you one piece of advice as someone who has been engaged in a job search for a bit – invest in candidate experience.

If you aren’t a recruiter, you can skip the next two paragraphs — It doesn’t matter if you work in corporate HR or for a firm, I really think that those that have jobs to fill need to do a much better job following up with people that apply to work at your company. Take the time to let them know that you did in fact, receive your resume, that you did in fact at least scan it, and what the status of that person’s candidacy was.  I would say that a great majority of the jobs I applied for, even when a recruiter sought me out, simply went dark.  Even if the role has been filled, or if the applicant is not a fit, find a way to follow up.

No response at all is not a way to respect a potential future employee, as well as someone who could someday become a customer.  If I’m presented with an opportunity to buy some of the software for firms that couldn’t take the time to actually follow up with me, I’ll certainly apply that experience to how I think about the company, and assume that same lack of consideration might apply elsewhere, perhaps in the sales or suppor process.

But back to the point of this post – passion.  As I went down this path, to find that passion again, I found a number of opportunities where I knew I could be passionate about the company, the team, the products and the customers.  All of these opportunities had a few common threads –  they are technologies that are adopted across industries and make the creation of online experiences faster and/or better.     I’m very pleased that I’ve found one opportunity that connects what I’ve been passionate about in the past with some new areas that I know I’ll be passionate about going forward.   I can’t wait to get started.  I’ll be jumping out of bed to start my first day, and I fully expect every morning after that.  I’ll tell you a bit more about it in my next post.

I’ll end this post with a sincere thank you to everyone at Bullhorn and all the customers that I interacted with over the past 3 years.  I learned a ton from you, and I hope you learned even just a fraction as much from me.  It was a pleasure and honor.  I’ll be rooting for all of you, just from a far.

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One thought on “Follow Your Passion

  1. Pingback: 21,000 miles later – Where I’m headed | jonwall.org

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