Career Choices

by The Red Recruiter on July 8, 2010

Help Wanted SignBefore entering the recruiting profession, I had a bunch of ideas about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Looking back, it’s kind of funny to think about all the different careers I thought I would dedicate to.

Here are some of the various options I considered before landing in recruiting:

  • Inventor – My family environment as a child was very creative. Dad loved to create contraptions to deal with common problems (gophers, speeding cars… this is a whole blog post unto itself).
  • Police Officer – I applied and was hired to be a Police Officer after college. I figured out pretty quickly that the structure of the job was too much for me – the lie detector test sure was fun!
  • CIA Agent – This is a long story… but, I didn’t go this route.
  • Military – I was about to finalize the process, while in college, to join the Marines as an Officer after graduation. An administrative error on their part made the process complex and frustrating, so I declined. I think the structure would have been tough.
  • Professional Video Game Player – I’ve gamed since I first had access to computers. In fact, while in college, I helped pay the bills by buying and selling virtual items from Everquest (a MMORPG) on EBay. Virtual sword anyone?
  • Cartoonist – I started to draw when I was little. By the 4th grade, I started taking cartooning classes at the local community college in Oregon. Drawing is still a release, just not a profession.
  • Musician – When I moved to Argentina at 18, I started playing guitar… fell in love with music and, at one point, considered dedicating myself fully to the craft.
  • Photographer – This was a Jr. High hobby that I still really enjoy! When I was an exchange student to Guatemala at 16, a local photo shop sponsored my photography for the year – which totally helped on my teenager budget.
  • Think Tank Member – Hard to explain, but I just thought it would be cool to sit in a room with a bunch of creative folks and come up with random ideas all day.

Yep! Quite an eclectic mix of career choices.

Why Recruiting?

Recruiting kind of fell into my lap. In fact, it was about two weeks after leaving the Police Academy in Arizona when I received a call from Randstad. To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t really thought about Recruiting as a profession.

As it ended up, Recruiting was a great match for my wants, needs and desires at that point in my career.

  • Financial Potential
  • Helping Others
  • Career Path
  • Outgoing Co-Workers

It just kind of hit me – “Wow, this Recruiting thing is pretty cool… I can do this!”

The next 6 years were filled with professional adventures and lots of lessons.

Enter “Social”

Then, after launching my own business in 2008, I started to contemplate how social media could compliment my recruiting practice. Instead of using all of these fancy tools as sourcing methods, why

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couldn’t we use these channels to share best practices, help candidates and perhaps improve the profession? Made sense.

Early on in this process, Alicia Arenas and I headed up to Austin in order to spend a day at a Chris Brogan training. By the time we left the event, I was dead set on embarking down this path. Chris flung the doors open for both Alicia and I – it was quite a day!

For the next few months, I didn’t sleep much – 3-4 hours a night max!

I found myself rekindling dormant passions for photography, technology and creativity. Simultaneously, I started learning about areas I had never previously explored… website development (WordPress, CSS, HTML, etc…), video, and social networking tools in all their various forms.

It was an exhilarating time filled with possibilities and new adventures.

What made it all that much more fulfilling was the community I started to encounter… people who had an equal level of passion for the topic.

Before I knew it, the tools had become the topic and different opportunities popped up everywhere. Speaking, training, collaboration with amazing forward thinkers – just a crazy roller coaster ride!

I remember sitting at Disney Institute thinking, “How the hell did I get here?” and “Is this real?”

As the months progressed, I started to realize that I had somehow merged many of my childhood passions with the professional interests I pursued after college. Creativity meets Recruiting. Think Tanks, Photography, Design, Game-Like Social Engines – full circle. Professionally, I had never felt so fulfilled.

So, blah, blah, blah, I feel happy… now to my point.

Merge Your Career

I’m not going to pretend that this journey has been seamless or easy – it hasn’t been. It’s required more work than I’ve ever put on my plate at one time. The good news is, I

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love it! And, if that weren’t enough, I pay my bills performing work that unites my passions. Creativity + Being Social + Travel + Talent Acquisition = 😉

A few weeks ago, I watched a video from Gary Vaynerchuk that made me reflect on my path and what’s happened. But, it also made me want to jump on a soapbox and yell “Amen!!!” Gary shares his thoughts on merging your passions with your professional pursuits. He did it, others are doing it and you (YES, YOU!) can venture down this road too!

So, here you go – check him out! WARNING: Language in the video is not work-friendly… so, watch it away from the office.

Just think about it – hopefully do something about it. Either way, imagine what’s possible and remain open to opportunities. You never know!

Have you pursued your passions and made a career out of it? How did it change your life?

Photo Credit, bgottsab

  • Alicia Arenas (@Alicia Sanera)

    Michael, how awesome to be at a place where you can see all your dreams and ideas coming together! I'll never forget that day hearing Chris Brogan and all the times we sat at Starbucks figuring out this new world. Thanks for your friendship and inspiration MIchael. I wouldn't be here without you!

  • Bob Tarver

    Great Post Mike, I can relate to a few of your career choices…Having Been in Law Enforcement, Teaching/Coaching ( Public School) Retail Management, Now Human Resources. I enjoy performing the services/function that we provide to our fellow employees. Keep up the good work on your Blog

  • Bob Tarver

    Great Post Mike, I can relate to a few of your career choices…Having Been in Law Enforcement, Teaching/Coaching ( Public School) Retail Management, Now Human Resources. I enjoy performing the services/function that we provide to our fellow employees. Keep up the good work on your Blog

  • theredrecruiter

    What an amazing time! All the ideas were just nuts – a whole new world. Thanks for always being there Alicia! 😉

  • theredrecruiter

    Thank you Bob! Life is a journey! 😉

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