A classic definition of insanity is attributed to Albert Einstein. It was also attributed to Ben Franklin, and the author Rita Mae Brown. I'm paraphrasing, but odds are you've heard it before. The classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.
In a market like this, it's easy to attribute a lack of results to the economy. No matter how many "Positive Mental Attitude" pills (metaphorically speaking, of course) you pop, its easy to feel nauseous because we take them on empty stomachs.
I have been in the recruiting industry for the better part of ten years. Some years have been enormously successful, others have caused me to tend bar(self medicate) on weekends. Yet I always come back to the one thing the President of my firm has preached: we should use money to help people, rather than using people to make money. What an incredible responsibility we have, not just helping our clients find the best talent, but helping candidates grow further personally and in their own careers.
Sometimes people have difficulty getting their heads around what I do for a living, and how it truly benefits people. Their arguments may be that we are merely making the rich "richer". How could anyone possibly know the rush, the excitement, the incredible level of fulfillment I feel everytime I help someone to do things a little bit differently than they had in the past, to give them that little nudge. Not a push over the cliff, but grabbing someone by the hand and jumping with them. Letting them know, "hey, it's scary, but I've done this thousands of times and haven't lost one yet...".
On a good day, I meet one person that is top 10%. They may not know it, but with a little help, a little coaching, I can get them there.
Now its time to help ourselves. We have spent the last four to six months in a state of flux. Not overtly blaming the economy for a lack of results, but somewhere deep, it's turned into a crutch. "They're laying off" or "not paying fees" or "we're not adding to the vendor list"... Same question, always a variation of the same answer. It's time to self-author. You don't like the results you're getting? Do a little regression testing. Is it because we're doing the same things over and over again?
We are Executive Recruiters by trade. We are coaches by nature. We love helping people. We love the thrill of the hunt. We love doing things that people think are impossible. We love it when people tell us no. We may even be a little narcissistic...
Alright, Einstein. Get to it. As Steve Finkel said, "...just push the stupid buttons on the phone..."