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Surprise!: Or, what are you going to be when you grow up?

when you grow upThe world of online recruiting should be eye-opening. It should expose us to the multitudes of ways that anyone can earn money, make a living, or even have a career. Hey folks, we’re in the thick of it, surrounded by thousands of job titles and descriptions! We should feel the way I first felt when I walked into the public library and realized I could read anything on the shelves. Anything. The choices were overwhelming.

Instead, for most of us, online recruiting is a job. The job titles we parse and manipulate are just so much text. The deals we cut are, well, just deals. And even if we don’t do the dumb things our colleague at Gigats did, we sometimes get a little too focused on making bucks instead of solving problems.

That’s ok. Life isn’t supposed to be a peak experience every minute of every day – some things are just boring (like waiting on hold while trying to close a phone account – I’m talking to you, AT&T!). It’s not exactly like being a spaceman, or whatever you thought you’d be when you grow up. But…

What if you decided to apply a piece of every week to being amazed and open and (just for a few minutes) not too rational or predictable? What if you did this as part of your job? What if you threw some of your childlike wonder at the online recruiting biz?

Who knows – you might come up with something amazing. Or entertaining. Or off-kilter.

But you know, even if you don’t come up with a single productive thing, you are giving yourself a chance to go back to that point in your life when you asked yourself, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”.

I’ll end this non-Doctorish meditation by sharing a conversation I once had with my trombone teacher. I was a junior in high school; my teacher was a professor at a nearby college. I was freaking out because I didn’t know what I wanted to be. He smiled at me – he was about fifty at the time – and said, “I’ve been teaching here for ten years. I will probably keep teaching for another fifteen before I retire. This is my third career. Don’t you think 25 years is long enough in any career?” I nodded. “Good,” he said. “So quit worrying and go do something interesting.”

Which I did. 

P.S. JobBoardDoctor is my fifth career. 🙂 What are you going to be when you grow up?

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jeff, this is a refreshing post. We are a niche board so we have the luxury of staying close to both our clients and our candidates.
    The work we do to amplify our clients’ roles as far and wide as possible is important and we bring them the most relevant new recruitment technology, but what is important are the amazing, fascinating, awesome roles we post at universities worldwide. Venomous snake or birdflight research, Quantum Optics and low cost solar cells.

    We are amazed daily by the work being done at universities. Our clients and our candidates are working to change the world and we are here to help 🙂

  2. Something that’s always been a cornerstone of our innovation strategy at Madgex is rooted in our annual HackDay – to give our hugely talented and creative staff the chance to down tools for the day to work on their own ideas and projects.

    We’ve seen some incredible ideas come to fruition throughout the years, it really is amazing what you can achieve by giving people the opportunity to (even briefly) step away from their daily responsibilities and give them complete creative freedom. Some of our most innovative developments with our job board platform have been championed through this process and it’s something I would encourage every business to take up.

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