Here’s the thing: I believe experience can change us. That we’re just lumps of rock, and time is the wind, the water, washing over us. We are eroded as we go. I chose to control my shaping, as much as I could, early in my career. Not the minutia, the fine lines, but the broader strokes. To seize the wind and the water, and point it’s power at sections of me that I wanted to change. If I was shy, stuttered, talked too fast, and had a hard time talking, wrote poetry and read sci-fi? I was going to go into a role with that required me to be chatty, charismatic, etc: recruitment. Full commission. No draw. No food if I failed.
That’s the origin story – there’s tons of stupid detail behind that, and we can talk over beers about it someday, but I want to move forward and justify both my blog title, and my career. Because I stuck with it. I made this happen, and I’m proud of that.
I still talk way too fast. I still love sci fi. I’m still shy (I have managed to mask that last bit beautifully, but know this, when we’re talking, that I’m not 100% sure you give a crap – you’re still the coach, and I’m that kid you just kind hadda deal with). But… I found a lever. And I want to change the world. Because that’s important, in life. I don’t want to die without making change. My legacy will not be “he was that nice, quiet kid who wrote poem, wonder what ever happened to him…” No. Since I’m not a person of faith, my view is that this is my one shot, and I want it to count. To move the world.
Archimedes once wrote: “give me a lever long enough, and I will move the world”. I can get behind that. I need a lever, before I go.
The economy matters – goods, commerce, food, all of it. It’s the engine. It impacts how we eat, sleep, grow, meet, date, survive. Affect the economy? That’s a lever. But… how?
Recruitment. Mother-effing-recruitment. Think about it: the economy is about money. The transfer of goods, via symbols. The way to collect those symbols is via a job (yes, yes: “welfare, blah blah blah” – fuck you, by the way: study after study shows that most people want to work, it’s just part of our DNA). Jobs bring us money, we spend money, the wheel is lubricated, etc etc. If you can impact the speed at which people get hired, their carer arc, job satisfaction, etc, you are greasing the wheel. And, on the other side of the table, the faster companies can hire the right people (that last bit is huge, and making mistakes there is always why companies fail), the better they can grow, hire more, etc. It’s that whole virtuous circle thing.
Most of the people in my industry are clueless about how important they are in this equation. And, to be fair: a some of them are terrible at it. There’s a whole ‘nother blog post coming on that.
I think I get it – and it’s why, despite my wandering eye for a career as dime-store poet, I stay in the game: I’m holding that lever. What I’m doing effing matters. There are hardly any other careers out there that have this level of impact. Each time I make a positive change to my profession, it means somebody’s job search got better. They found work faster. Their kids are less hungry, they’re less stressed out, they’re reinvesting in the economy via Wegmans, funding the PTA, flying the friendly skies again, etc etc. They’re tickling the economy. And, my work powered that – it mattered. And, at an enterprise level, working with huge brands, it really matters. It scales. By being active in my industry, the blog, my speaking engagements (huge irony there), etc etc, I move my industry. The lever moves, and the world moves with it.
I will always be that kid who didn’t get picked – but screw that: I decided to captain my own fate. I found a lever, and I’m am putting my weight on it. I encourage you to do the same…