What a rough few weeks. You've probably heard a couple of things about me lately – I lost a friend / colleague, and I changed jobs. After nearly two years as a corporate recruiter for Zones, responsible for just about every department outside of sales, I left. Coming on the heels of a death in our department, it was especially hard to say goodbye.
The past month has been full of difficult conversations. I was not actively looking for a new role. Some might even call me a passive candidate. In fact, the only reason I even considered making a change is because a good friend and former colleague from my agency days works on the team I joined at Microsoft. We had talked off and on for months, but never really pursued anything. Then… I got a call.
The call that flipped my "passive candidate" switch actually came from a completely different organization. Another well-known Seattle area company. I WAS NOT LOOKING FOR A JOB – but when one of the big guys call, well, you answer. I agreed to a phone screen, then a phone interview with the hiring manager. I was somewhat bemused by the whole process. I wasn't even sure I wanted a new job, but there was something intriguing about this team, and the more I learned the more I liked. I was the textbook definition of passive candidate. Not looking elsewhere, in regular contact with my recruiter, totally open about my (lack of) other interviews. I was only seriously considering this opportunity. The ONLY reason I would leave my safe and warm Zones cocoon where people knew me and I knew what I was doing, was to tackle the giant in front of me. I was ALL IN. Then… I got another call.
My good friend at Microsoft called me up. "Oh my gosh – we need you! We finally have an opening and I told the hiring manager that he HAS to talk to you!" I was flattered and of course happy that my friend still, after all these years, thought so highly of me. I told her I was already pretty far in the process with another company and would definitely accept if they made an offer following my interview scheduled for the next week. The thing is, my mind was already open to a change. So agreeing to talk to her manager was not as foreign an idea as it had been before. The process moved fairly quickly – I had an offer in hand before I even had my final loop with the first company. I went through with the interview the next day, because I was genuinely interested and had spent the previous couple of weeks fully invested in landing this job. The interview went well, and I received a verbal offer. Now I had to have some tough conversations.
Yes to Microsoft. Yes to working remotely, supporting a great team, working with a dear friend. Yes to finally, after so many years recruiting in Seattle, working for Microsoft. (A lot of people are surprised it took me this long to get here. It's like a recruiting rite of passage or something.) YES to a position that I never thought I would find myself in. There was a risk for sure, taking a contract role. I left a perfectly good, full-time "safe" role for a contract that might not last six months. Or it could last for years, as I've seen some do. It was a difficult, scary, and exciting thing to do, but I said YES to Microsoft.
Oh boy. That means I had to turn down the other offer. The offer that had been my singular focus for weeks. The position I thought I'd been waiting for, working with a team I never expected to like as much as I did. It's one of the hardest "no's" I've ever given. The recruiter, who has since become a good pal, was understanding but definitely tried to close me her way. Of course she did. I was a passive candidate for pete's sake. I wasn't supposed to be a risk to go elsewhere! I had to turn it down, wondering if I would ever have this opportunity again. Only time will tell.
Well, there's still the little part about resigning my current job. I really hate that part. We had recently lost a couple of other key players, including a recruiter who DIED. To say that our team was falling apart was a bit of an understatement. And I was about to drop a bomb on my boss. Not to mention all the people I had brought to the organization. That has been the most rewarding part of corporate recruiting – I'm often working alongside and even in the same building as my recruits. My recruits become hiring managers, coffee buddies, people who become my extended work family. On my last day I walked around the building to each department I supported, saying goodbye to everyone I'd worked with and recruited. It took 2 hours. That is not an exaggeration.
I've only been with Microsoft for about 2 ½ weeks, but it feels like so much longer. I'm finally turning that corner where I feel like I'm getting a good handle on my requisitions, have had a couple of productive meetings with hiring managers, sourcing sessions with the team. I know I made the right choice. Still didn't make those three little words any easier to say.