Throughout my life there have been so many times that I have "wanted" to do something or "thought" about doing something, but I just never followed through with or completed. There have been lots of things actually, like going back to school, becoming a police officer, writing a book, and the list goes on and on. I'm almost certain that I am not alone in this category either. Things always seemed to come up or I just never took the initiative to get something started as it related to my desire or dream. Even worse are the times that I did actually get myself in action around whatever it was I intended to do, but then I never completed the steps necessary to see it finalized. I found myself with a large trail of incomplete dreams and goals which didn't exactly empower me, and I was sick of feeling like a failure. Failure might actually be too severe to label myself back then, but it sure sums up how I felt. If you were to ask my friends and family they would say I was doing well. I owned my own home, was a successful recruiter, and had great health. Still it felt as if there was something missing. The missing in my life was soon to be exposed however, and it was actually made crystal clear to me while I was on a call with a student who wanted to break into the Games Industry. By all means this prospective candidate was way too junior for me to assist. The kid had just graduated college and hadn't had any real experience in the industry yet, but there was something in his voice that kept me talking to him, and I am glad that I did!
The kid speaking to me on the phone was typical of most college grads that I had grown accustomed to speaking to. He described his studies to me and he was sure to go into great detail about the projects that he had worked on. By trade he was an animator, and I will admit that the animation that he did for his class projects looked pretty good. After listening to him speak for a few minutes I began to steer the call toward a conclusion so that I could get on with my day. At this point in my career as a recruiter I had a standard closing line that I almost always used when trying to end a call with a candidate that I thought was too junior to present to one of our clients. The line went something like... "I will keep your resume on file and update you if any of our clients are looking for good entry level talent". Just as I began to speak the first few words of that sentence the kid interrupted me. He said something that I will never forget, which was "I need someone to believe in me enough, if only once, just long enough for me to show them how good I am" "That being said, I am asking you to give me a shot and believe in me." I was stopped dead in my tracks and speechless! What was I to say to THAT! Reluctantly I agreed to see what I could do for him. My suggestion was that he create a new demo reel with his best recent work and supply me with the link within 5 days. I promised to review his work and get back to him with my thoughts in one week's time. The kid agreed and I got back to work cold calling the "seasoned" candidates on my list in hopes of making a placement happen soon. To be honest I figured that he would forget to send me the demo I requested and that I could just forget about him. In fact, after a hour or so I had completely forgot about him and his call all together. That is until the fourth day came and I received the link to the demo that I had requested.
Honestly I had mixed emotions when the link to his demo arrived in my inbox. My Client Manager was a veteran recruiter and she scrutinized my candidates very closely before submitting them to the client. She was good at what she did, and there was no arguing her decisions. One of the main rules was no entry level or fresh graduates. I was told over and over that our clients did not want kids out of school. So, with those thoughts running through my head, I clicked the link to the demo site. Had I not known this demo was sent from a newly graduated student, I would have guessed it to be that of an industry veteran! It was GOOD! The demo was so good that I actually picked up the phone right then and called the kid! I really didn't fully believe that I was looking at his work. Really...it was that good. The kid picked up the phone on the second ring and his voice sounded just as confident and assured as the first time we spoke. He chuckled when I asked him if what I was watching was really his work. I honestly couldn't figure out why someone hadn't already hired this kid! In fact, that was my next question actually...what has been the outcome of his interviews or resumes. With his usual confidence, the kid explained to me that he has yet to be called back, never mind an interview. Before I could stop myself I said to him "that's a shame because you have such great talent and you must get really down and out about the lack of response". My statement was quickly corrected with his response. "NO...I am not discouraged at all". "I know that I am good and soon enough I will have my turn". I wasn't so sure he was right though, and I told him that sometimes things just don't work out.
Weeks went by and the kid would continue to check in with me. By this point is was just over a month since I received his demo, and there wasn't a single requisition that allowed for less than 7 years experience. I never presented his resume anywhere because I didn't want to look bad or get chewed out by my client manager, and I kind of hoped that he would eventually just give up. Then came the call that I had been anticipating but dreading...his call. He was calling to check in and to ask me if there was anything new to share with him. While he was on the phone I looked over our open requisitions and I was prepared to deliver my standard "NO" when I remembered a client who was willing to "look at" someone with as little as 3 years experience. With skepticism and caution I shared the details about the position with him and I warned him that even though they stated they would "look at" recent grads they still would rather have someone with at least three years of industry experience. Even after my warnings and words of caution, together we decided to submit him for the role. To say I was nervous would be an understatement! I could almost hear the call that would be coming from my client manager screaming at me about his lack of work experience. The joke was on me however, when less than 24 hours after submitting him to the client we had a request for a telephone interview. Excitedly I called him to tell him the news, and I was shocked to find myself more excited than he was. As I coached him through what to expect on the call he seemed to be absent on the other end of the line. When I questioned whether he was still there he answered affirmatively and thanked me for the coaching and for believing in him enough to submit. Just before we ended the call he told me not to worry because everything would be just fine. I was a bit dumbfounded as I hung up the phone, but I went on with my day. I couldn't believe the drive this kid had!
The telephone interview went perfectly and the client then arranged for a face-to-face interview. Again I called him to coach him through the process and ended the call by letting him know that he should not worry as he was just perfect for the job. He answered by saying "I know I am" and "everything will work out perfect Matt". After his face-to-face the client called our offices with an offer of employment to extend to the kid. I couldn't wait to call him and share the news! When we finally connected on the phone and I told him the great news he was absolutely elated. I congratulated him on a job well done and decided to share with him how I wasn't always so sure it would happen this way. The kid listened to me tell him how I was at first hesitant to submit him for our opening due to his lack of experience etc. After my long story he had a simple response which was "I know".
While I thought that I was being "slick" at putting the kid on the back burner, he knew all along that I was a bit skeptical and frightened to put him in front of a client. When I asked him why he tolerated my behavior if he knew what I was doing he simply stated "I believed in myself and knew that eventually you would believe in me too". The call ended with me having learned a valuable lesson from the kid with no experience, and it was a lesson of a lifetime.
What I learned is that somewhere along the way I stopped believing in myself and I became afraid of change. There have been things in my life that I have wanted to do but somehow never followed through with because of any one of a million excuses. Eventually I had forgotten these things or decided that I just wasn't good enough to make them happen. I could create a story or reason to justify all of the things that I wanted to do but never accomplished. My stories were what stopped me in my life and kept me wondering what could have been or should have been. It became easy to be a victim of circumstances or fault another for my dreams that were unrealized, and by doing so I didn't have to be the one responsible for the inaction that left me feeling this way. In essence I was a victim of myself. The kid helped me to realize that I was the creator of my own destiny, and through hard work and perseverance, along with the help of others, I could achieve anything that I wanted. There was no need to give up and there is no such thing as defeat. The word "fail" just doesn't exist and change is byproduct of growth and success. My perceived failures were in reality nothing more than a temporary setback that would eventually lead to my success.
The kid went on to accept the position at the game company that I was afraid to submit him to, and to this day he continues to be employed there and he is a huge success. After I learned my valuable lesson from this kid I decided to follow his lead and begin to take action in seeing my own dreams come true. I was determined to succeed regardless of any setbacks, and this time I was not going to give up! Because of the lessons I learned from this kid, RecruiterBuddy was born, and since its birth I have not looked back! I often ask myself what else there is to learn from all of these kids with no real life experience?? What do you think?
RecruiterBuddy is a fully web-based software designed to maximize your potential and allow your dreams to come true! We specialize in creating solutions unique to each customer that will increase profitability and cut back administrative tasks. The RecruiterBuddy package comes complete with a Parsing feature as well as our proprietary Sleuth Tool that will source new talent outside of your database and find hard to locate talent. RecruiterBuddy offers the best value at only $50 per user monthly and requires no long-term commitments. I encourage you to take the next step in following your dreams, no matter what they may be, and give us a call if you need a helping hand to see them become reality!