It's All About Me... Who am I?

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I'm in my mid thirties, I love what I do and I love my family. This blog is essentially me morphing my life into Recruiting. Expect the odd long bow to be drawn. I'm a passionate career Recruiter with more than a decade's experience in the IT Recruitment world, I have things to say.. and with this I will

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5 Lessons learned

So.... I'm now ten months into this job with Peerlo now, time flies huh?

It's been an interesting journey, it's been a fun journey, but I tell you what.... I feel like I've learned a lot, about a lot of things, even myself! So far some of the interesting discoveries have been

1) I broke a promise to myself over the last couple of years. Almost 10 years ago I promised myself that I wouldn't out stay my welcome in a company again (after doing that) However, I think I stayed too long in my last role. Nothing against the company, this is a me thing. I got stuck in a rut, I saw the world through "What it could be" glasses as opposed to those indispensable "Reality glasses". I kept thinking things would change, that when common sense prevailed, my role would evolve. Bottom line: Pollyanna 0 Reality 1. I see it now, deep down I probably knew it then, but knowing it and doing something about it is a completely different thing.

I can see now, how my mental stimulation has changed. Just check out my blogs (or lack thereof) of late. I used to write until all hours of the morning. I had to expire my mental energy before I could sleep... Now days, I can barely stay up passed 11 (OK I am getting old). I miss it as I really enjoy writing, but a lot of the time, once I get home, help my wife get the kids off to bed, I"m mentally stuffed.

2) I was way too nice in my last role. Not saying I'm an out and out bastard now, however, in helping to build this business I've found some leads, nay potential clients, I've known for a while, try to take advantage of me. Assuming I'd take the bottom of the barrel deal being offered and be thankful. Nope... I'm all about mutual professional respect now. Don't want to respect me and what I do? Think you can do it better? Cheaper? Better value? By all means be my guest. My Brand, My Companies Brand won't be placed in a subservient position. To quote Patrick Swayze "Nobody puts Baby in the Corner"

3) I don't have to wear a suit every day to the office to be a professional or to be productive! (I actually had it in my mind that I did, this was a tough paradigm to shake!)

4) I respect myself and the industry I am in. Discussions I've been able to have with perspective clients, who are now real clients have been great for reaffirmation. Not that I am shy on self belief, however when your message has gotten old and stale and no-one really listens after you've been in a place for an eternity, it is heartening to rekindle the confidence in you do know your stuff.

5) Work life balance is achievable without the guilt. I work in an environment where maturity is expected. Families are respected. You deliver, what you say you're going to deliver, when you say you're going to deliver it, and you can be anywhere, doing anything (within reason)

It's interesting. How all my roles to date have led me to this role. How everything I've learned about Recruiting, business, respect and fun can be encapsulated in conversations I have daily with the owner of the business. They have been the building blocks to where I am now both personally and professionally. I'm really looking forward to stacking up more of these blocks and seeing where it will take us. I have grand plans, Peerlo has grand plans.... Watch this space the boy is growing up!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hmmmm Recruiting Dilemma.... or not

Wow... it's been a while since I've blogged on here. It's not that I haven't been writing, it's just that I've had some other outlets, which make the something's Dan says a little quiet.. not my normal style. October 2010 it tells me... oops

So today it is... a quiet house, a busy mind and the need to write something has made this happen.

I've been Recruiting for a number of years now... maybe too many, but I heard something the other day which I hadn't heard before. Basically I'm writing to see if anyone else has had this before.

I had a new Recruiter pose a question to me, a moral question, which I've never thought about (and probably won't again). His moral dilemma stemmed from the idea or perception that we were stealing people from employers. We were without any remorse, calling employed people and talking to them about other jobs, putting the their current employers at risk. "don't you have a moral issue with that Dan?"

Huh? My response was basically, I would feel bad if there was ever a day I walked into a work place, picked someone up, against their will, walked them out the door and took them to my clients site, tied them to the desk and collected a fee. Dog the Bounty hunter style!

So I put myself in the Employers, Managers shoes. Nope still no issue! Good or bad, people come and go from your business, and you life for a mixed bag of reasons. Sure at times, I'll be pissed off, maybe disappointed (sometimes really really happy!) when people leave, but you know what... it's life. Now, if someone is enticed to leave, what does that really say? It says they weren't getting everything they needed in the first place. You weren't (as am employer) able or willing to give them what they needed in an employer, leaving them open to be enticed away by these canny Recruiters! So be it!

I've seen companies specifically target people from set organisations, it happens daily across the world I promise. Most work places are full of people that have worked somewhere else, so I am still lost on the issue.

Needless to say this person has now left the industry, but I'm wondering if I'm on my own here and not getting the issue? Help.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So, You've got a new job.... COOL... now what?

Forgive me blog, for it has been quite a while since my last blog.

Over a month! That is unheard of since I started writing this. I'm not even sure what I'm going to write about tonight, but Dan needs to say something.

Life have been extremely hectic and I have been experiencing life as the new guy, for the first time in many years. Being this newbie, got me thinking. We write lots about finding a job, ie identifying the opening, approaching the company, cover letters v resumes, how to structure the resume, interviewing techniques etc etc etc. But the advice you read from the Recruitment experts or at least the blogoshpere that I read stops there. With the amount of people I've seen changing jobs in 2010 (for a variety of reasons), I've noticed very little information about how to approach the new job, first days, what to expect from yourself, what to expect from the company etc....

So I thought I'd give it a go, albeit from a relatively high level.

Here's some things you should think about when starting a new job...

Set realistic expectations for yourself, for your company and for your clients.

I know you're excited, you're going to change the world! You're going to show these people a few things on how this is done. Targets? Smargets! You'll do the whole year's worth of work in the first quarter! Whoa cowboy (cowgirl), the game has changed a bit. All good things are built on strong foundations. Take the time to lay them (and let them dry) and then build steadily.

Be open to change and flexible in your outlook

Sometimes things don't go to plan, things change in life and in business, be open to it, go with it and see where it takes you. Being too rigid will cause you issues.

Be calm, listen more than you talk

No matter the research you've done, nothing compares to being there, "find" the culture yourself, or even better let it find you. Engage people and get to know your new environment well. Then you can be a proper ambassador for your new employer.

Keep smiling, and don't look back

You'll have your good and bad days, that's supposed to happen. Remember you changed jobs for a reason. Maybe write those reasons down to remind you. Don't be tempted to see the world through the infamous "rose coloured glasses"

Take your breaks

Get to know your surrounding environment, clear your head, reload and then go hard again. Coffee is for closers remember, earn it :)

Don't forget to inform your network

You have to keep these things up-to-date, you never know when it will come in handy.

Stop saying "we" when talking about your old company

Enough said. But remember don't burn those bridges, you never know when those old connections will come in handy.

Communicate honestly

With your partner (if you have one) with your manager/employer and with yourself. Use them to keep you sane and on track.

Have Fun and enjoy yourself

You spend the most of your waking hours at work, make it fun.

I'd love to add some more tips to this, feel free to add comments to make this list useful to people

I've been lucky since the change. But it hasn't been all smooth sailing, things deviated from my original plans when moving on, which required a paradigm (OK, OK cliche time) shift. But these shifts I think in the end, will make this relationship something strong and sustainable. The time is just flying past me, and being part of building something exciting, well that just rocks!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Passion..... you gotta love it

Hi, my name's Dan, and I'm quickly becoming an addict for certain varieties of Reality TV shows. No, not the grab the spotlight, Big brother wankfests of the worlds. But the talent show ones. Maybe I'm getting softer as I'm getting older, but how can you watch people hunting and catching their dreams, their passions and not be moved by it.

Sure there is the "look at me, look at me" contestants who just want their heads on TV, and yes, everyone in line will say that, that particular skill is their passion. BUT, those that seriously have that passion, those that can't do anything else, those that are working at their craft even when it isn't paying for them... now that is passion.

I was lucky enough to go to a show the other night. I saw someone I've known for almost 20 years, Gary Pinto someone my wife grew up with (and yes she even had a crush on this guy as a teenager, I am a dead man for writing that) launch his first solo album. It was an amazing night, firstly my wife and I don't get out a lot since bub number 3 came along, so a grown up night out together was a blessing, but then to see him on stage. It took me back in my mind to 1993, it was one of my now wife's and my first dates, we went (with a whole lot of her family and friends) to see Gary, his brother and 2 other best friends (CDB for those old enough to remember) perform at a local Dandenong pool. All of us fresh faced skinny 18 year olds or younger. And here we are 17 years later, and he is still following his passion and loving it. I felt humbled to witness it.

It's an easy thing to say, you know, "yes, doing this is my passion" It is a widely over used term in my humble opinion. I'm not convinced that everyone can find their passion, their calling. It changes sometimes with circumstances, with time and with maturing. I know many people still searching for it. So it is so great to see people who obviously have found it, and see them persevere, through everything that life throws at them (as it does with everyone) and make things happen.

However, it rarely happens on their own, in the majority of cases I've truly seen this there is a strong support network behind, no... around the individual. The families, friends, business associates, mentors, confidants, and just great people, these people share in the journey, share the pride in the success, but stay in the background.

I may regret writing this later, but kids, Zach, Talia, Lexie, I'm saying this now, if/when you can find your passion, your calling, whether that be in the Arts, sports, academia, business, or just plain life, raising a family, your mum and I... well, we have your back. Know you have that support base, not just us, your parents, but our families, our friends, they'll all be there for you. We're packed now and ready for the journey.

As a Recruiter, or someone who works in the field of employing people, we have a honoured role in sometimes making dreams come true. Have you ever hired a grad? It's their first every job, seen the look on their face? oh that's the good stuff. even better, ever been there when they have told their parents? Seen the tears of pride well in the parents eyes. Oh yeah.. gimme some of that everyday please. Have you ever hired someone, or placed someone who had been out of work for ages, seen their savings whittle down, seen their eyes when you tell them you have an offer for them? To see the pride restored, Oh I love that. Sometimes you get the other side, breaking them down a bit with relaying a rejection, yes I've also had parents ring me up begging almost on behalf of their kids (that does break your heart). Don't take this role lightly people, it has a real effect on lives.

Not many people I know chose to get into Recruiting, and I've known hundreds who have gotten into Recruiting and couldn't wait to get out. I think Recruiting chooses you. You can see the ones who are in the industry, not just those who hold jobs in the industry, those that are IN the industry. You know who they are, when you talk to them, there is nothing in the world better than Recruiting, they live it, they breathe it, they talk about it out of office hours, and yes there are even silly ones, who blog, add content, join forums, run radio shows etc, all in their own time. I'm not convinced all this effort makes money for them, but they love it.

I hope, if your reading this, you get to find and live your passion too. Please share with me if you are, I am getting soft in my middle age..

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back to the dark side or my report from my first two weeks away from an in-house role

Wow.... Just a quick check in to my first two week or so at Peerlo. To quote Usher... "OMGosh"

Firstly everyone was so welcoming, this wasn't surprising, I'd known Riges and Kelly and had communicated with Andrea previously, so luckily enough it wasn't a huge culture shock.

Well that was just the "hello's". Then the technology opened up... I mean toys, no.. sorry productivity tools. Dan has finally entered the current day technically. I am now armed with an iPhone4 a new iMac and access to a great Talent tool. Building on top of this is some of the more amazing Boolean strong I've seen, and some little tips have just made my mind spin. Although I thought I'd broken Google, when it stopped displaying my searches!

I"m not shy in my abilities, but, wow, I'm not sure I thought I would be learning this much. It is very busy at the moment, so I have to catch on quickly (fingers crossed).

I've struggled to get used to the not so corporate attire requirements, but I"m settling in well. That said, I suited up for the first two days, on the third I went a little more casual, and that day, everyone else was suited up. ahhhh a conspiracy I tells you.

It's been interesting leaving the in-house world after so many years, the reaction I've received from people has definitely given me pause to think. Most of it has been positive, I've been lucky enough to work with some amazing people over the years and the support and encouragement I've receive is something I have been really thankful for. There was however one interesting email which gave me pause to think. The whole email was around the "fact" that apparently over the years I had been publicly mean to this one agency guy, and that now I've left DWS I should atone for my apparent sins. uuummmm OK, not. I don't publicly insult, undermine or insult anyone, never seen the point. More of a case of guilt by association I think. But oh well, I won't be joining your LinkedIn group anyways.

I"m really interested to see how the market pans out. There is so much on, just focusing on the core needs is keeping me more than busy. I"m also really interested at the movement rate of the IT industry. Seriously a lot of the profiles I looked at (of which there were HEAPS) most had moved jobs in 2010, this astounded me. Well, we hypothesised that is would happen, and well, we were definitely right.

Exploring the Social media scene in a more fuller way has really opened my eyes as to how things could and should be done. The strategy and focus behind it, sounds straight forward, common sense, but to actually work with people who live and breathe it, wow, just takes it up a whole other level. I spoke to a former colleague of mine who has stepped into a new role recently, about the use of Social media and sourcing in their organisation. She tole me that there was someone there who she called a guru in the area, and then added "like you". "Lots of room for improvement there then" I though

That'll do me for now. Just checking in, in short, having fun, learning lots, now to make it really successful. The potential is there, I can see it, now to reach it.

Giddy up explorers.