There was a definite point when things started turning around for me in this whole process.
It was the day I met Cathy Lim.
For those who aren’t familiar with either the city of Vancouver or the marketing industry within it, there is a universal truth you need to know: there is always more talent than opportunities. I heard this message time and time again from Marketing Consultants, Marketing Managers, HR Managers, Entrepreneurs and other people employed in the field. It’s a tough slog to get the right opportunity – and even after feeling like it had been positively for-EVER since ‘d last been working, when I announced my newfound job to some others in the industry, they were surprised it happened as fast as it did.
So you see why networking for me was essential, and Cathy is one of the best networkers I know. She has fully embraced the true spirit of networking, and approaches everyone and every situation with kindness and generosity.
After connecting with her, she agreed with my initial assessment that being brushed off, ignored, belittled, left hanging and outright lied to was a sad truth in recruiting these days. Especially when there is a surplus of candidates.
In fact, her disillusionment with the practices and policies in the HR departments of some of the places she’d worked, combined with her drive to run her own company is what led Cathy to start up her own recruitment and career coaching business: performance personnel inc.
Taking from her generous spirit and passion to help people and companies find the right fit, Cathy agreed that blind applications would do me no good, and worked tirelessly to get my resume in the door at various employers around town. She saw me as more than another “slot in an empty hole” and much more than a paycheque from a potential client, and actually took interest in me as a person. Without that kind of attitude, there’s no way Cathy would maintain her current 0% bounce-back rate.
Instead of either complaining about the ways the system is broken, or passing the buck to either higher-ups or incoming candidates, Ms. Lim just bucked the system entirely and became part of the solution.
If it sounds like I’m gushing, it’s because I am. I really don’t have enough good things to say about her.
When you’re going through a trying transition, sometimes being treated like an actual, valuable person is all it takes to boost the ol’ self-esteem and re-engage the power of positive thought and having an optimistic outlook.
There is actually a part of me that really wishes I’d gotten to work with Cathy longer – the fresh perspective and improved outlook I found through working with her is (I firmly believe) what led to the position I ultimately ended up accepting – something that had been initiated before we’d met.
Now I must include the caveat that I was a unique case for her – she generally doesn’t work with people who are unemployed. She prefers (and I can see why) to deal with those who are looking for a change, and can afford (both mentally and financially) to hold out for something that’s truly the right fit. Because that was my objective with this job search from the start, it worked out.
So in the spirit of generosity and the belief that “a higher tide lifts all the boats,” I’ve been pimping Cathy out to anyone who’ll listen. If I know of anyone looking for candidates these days, I’ve mentioned her name. If I know of anyone not satisfied with their job right now, they get an email directing them her way and the offer of an introduction.
And THAT, my friends, is how HR and recruitment should be run.
So if it wasn’t through Cathy I got my job, who was it? That’s coming up in the next entry. I promise!