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Nobody told me there’d be days like these

woman_burying_her_head_in_her_handsIt’s been a bear of a week. One of those weeks for me, as a recruiter that comes along every few months that makes you want to bury your head in your hands, crawl under your desk, and curl into the fetal position. 

It happens to the best of us, especially in an industry and profession that works with the most unpredictable and uncontrollable product. People are always going to present a greater challenge than widgets. People can’t be fixed by following simple bug tracking procedures. People can’t be re-set, powered down, control-alt-deleted, or replicated. People can’t uniformly fit into the same algorithm, nor can their problems be solved by the same equations.

Over the years, I’ve learned to take weeks like this in stride – to remember some of the best advice for this career that also applies to life. Change is constant. Sometimes you need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and focus on something different. Because throughout the days, years and months, it’s easy to lose sight of why we do what we do, or stay focused on what gives us meaning.

Today I got a note from a past candidate that I feel forever changed by. This was an individual I worked with on and off for years, that I never actually placed. He was a quirky guy, in a good way, funny, reserved but friendly, always respectful, and appreciative of my efforts. In a conversation a couple of years back, he shared with me that he was autistic, and that it contributed to his “quirkiness,” which made it difficult for him to do well in interviews. 

He’d been laid off a few years back after a long career with an insurance company as a designer. His work was good, he was a loyal employee, and we talked throughout the years as I tried to help him get into another company. The stars never aligned, and I never was able to do so, and after a couple of years, his confidence was shaken.

We talked a bit about this, I shared some articles with him about companies targeting to hire autistic workforce, and I continued to try to find him the right place to land.

This morning he reached out to me. His note was to tell me how happy he was in his new job, with his life, and to thank me for believing in him. His note said that I

“Renewed his belief in himself, gave him his voice back, and he would never forget me for that.”

I’ve written similar posts before, about how our actions impact people in ways we don’t always realize. I honestly have no idea what I said, or did that made such an impact, but to learn that I helped someone believe in themselves, especially during a week where I wasn’t so much believing in myself, has given me my own voice back. I won’t forget that note, and on weeks like this week, (and there will be more,) when I’m reaching to pull out my hair, I’ll reach for this note, and remember what matters most, in my life and in my job.

Have a great and meaningful week, everyone, and if all else fails, remember stranger days indeed may lie ahead

This blog was written by Mindy Fineout. Mindy is a Senior Technical Recruiter for Yoh and has been supporting the Gaming and IT industry for the past 10 years. She lives in Seattle, and enjoys spending time with her family, writing, cycling and guitar.

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