The other day, I was thinking back to a factory job I held from 1987 until 1995..I worked the afternoon shift at an aluminum casting foundry, where we made parts for things like autos, fighter jets, and tanks..

Anyway, my job was to take the rough edges off of the castings, done by holding the casting "just right" on a rotating belt of very coarse sandpaper..the belt moved fast enough that if one was careless or in a hurry, a casting could be destroyed in seconds, or worse yet, one's fingers could be badly damaged.

Since this job paid a rate based on the amount of castings I could churn out in a day, it was imperative that I didn't dawdle, or spend too much time on one casting...yet, since the other aspect of the job was acting as an inspector, I had to keep an eye on quality, and be aware of castings I could bring back into spec with a deft flick of the wrist..

As the years went by, I became very adept at this process, and ended up training the fellow who took over the position when I left to be a full time recruiter.

A quick note as to how I found the profession I love, so this all makes sense:

I had been spending my mornings at my brothers office, who had just set up shop as an independent recruiter, after working for one of the big franchises for a long time..it was in his basement office where I learned to cold call for business. Every morning I'd work on his positions, and then try and get my own, before it was time to head out to the foundry for a ten hour shift..once I closed a few things, I took a layoff so I could work a desk full time, and didn't look back.

Ok, back to cold calling:

cold calling was a struggle at first, but then it dawned on me..with the exception of the heat, filth, and atmosphere of hopelessness, this was just like grinding castings at the foundry.

The most important thing was the call I was on NOW, at that moment.. making sure I stayed on the phone long enough to ask the right questions, and to give good answers to those asked of me. Of course, learning to PLAN the calls beforehand helped a lot too. :)

Note I said "ask the right questions"..by that, I don't mean "inflicting canned and scripted leading questions and responses"..That's what makes cold calling suck, and it's why hiring authorities hate taking your calls..callers spend too much time looking for ways to use their memorized scripts, rather than asking value driven open ended questions that might lead to real discussion..I learned that the hard way too..

Anyway..back to the most important thing..

Thinking ahead to the next call while I was still on the first one just made me hurry and got me into trouble, just like at the foundry - being concerned about going fast and making rate would lead to sacrificing quality, where If I disciplined myself to do things the right way each time every time, speed and productivity would happen naturally.

So live in the moment, and make the most of what you are doing right now.. you only get one chance sometimes, so make it count.

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