Area of Expertise
After college, the only thing I knew for certain is that I wanted to travel. I was not ready for a traditional office environment. I felt a strong need to satisfy my wanderlust before settling into the corporate world.
My dad, a Delta Pilot at the time, suggested I apply with Delta. Back then, the airline had a strict nepotism policy so I could never become a permanent employee, but I'd still receive flight privilege's as an associate. This was the deciding factor to apply. Within a week, I was hired. My job was primarily checking in VIP travelers into Delta's private lounge. I wasted no time taking advantage of flying virtually for free to see the world.
Some trips were just a night or two, others a week, staying in hostels when overseas as I had very little money. I kept a journal to document all my daily experiences, thoughts, ideas, and future plans. I would pause my entries occasionally to draw inspiration from the landscape around me. Many times I got lost just watching people hustle along the streets, as they shared conversations in their native tongue. I made the absolute most of that year, but felt it was time to move on. I knew I needed to find direction and transition into a responsible adult.
Sales appealed to me at the time because of my natural ability to connect with people from various backgrounds and personalities. It just seemed like a natural progression for me. I have always been able to read people well and fairly quickly upon meeting.. This has allowed me to understand what makes them tick and what sales approach would appeal most to them. So I decided to take a gamble and accepted a straight commission sales role in the hotel industry. This was back in the mid nineties. Sales tactics were pretty brutal, extremely competitive and included a lot of Gorilla Marketing. I didn't love it, but I embraced the challenge and was determined to put everything into the role in hopes it would lead to better opportunities in the future. About 3 months in, it literally paid off. I lead in sales not just in Georgia, but all of our markets throughout the US. I was in my mid twenties and finding my financial footing.
My success in sales eventually led to an opportunity as a Director of Sales for a Benefit's Company, handling employee benefits and financial services. I had no experience but my boss believed in me and took a chance. My team consisted of 8 recent college graduates, who were eager to take on the world. My job was to set them up for success through coaching, mentoring and assisting them in any way I could. As I became more confident in my abilities, I started to work on improving and organizing our sales tragedies. I joined a networking group. Through those efforts, I was referred to a very well known private school in Georgia. They were unhappy with their current Broker, so it was an opportunity to really show them that I could not only meet their expectations, but exceed them by truly listening to their concerns. Listening and asking questions assisted me in providing the right solution by suggesting a different approach to achieve their desired results. Within 24 hours I closed the deal and cut their benefit costs by 20%. This was the only time they changed brokers since opening 15 years prior. It was an exciting time! This success opened additional opportunities within the private school sector. WIthin a year, I cornered the market by closing on a total of 9 private schools throughout Georgia.
The money was rolling in but I was never home. I had young daughters at this time in my life and made the decision to step back. I was completely burned out and missed a lot of "firsts" during their younger years. This was also a time of major changes in my personal life. I just knew I did not have the focus or energy to continue capitalizing on my sales successes. So I completely pivoted and decided to get my Paralegal Certificate and was hired on at a Family and Criminal Law office. This allowed me to have a set schedule so I could be at home every day with my daughters. Parenthood changes your priorities.
It was during this time that a friend who was a Recruiter reached out and asked if I ever considered recruiting as a career. She mentioned my sales background and how it would be very useful as a Recruiter. What sealed the deal was when she informed me I would no longer have to cold call and travel. The timing could not have been more perfect. I was starting to realize I was not cut out to work in an environment surrounded by broken families, attorneys, and children stuck in the middle of the chaos divorce brings. I was emotionally drained by the end of the day. It was unhealthy and depressing..
Eager to move on, I accepted the role of Onsite Account Manager for a Staffing Firm handling their largest account, at around 800 employees. I loved (and still love), the idea of being a Career Matchmaker, helping people find their passion or ideal role. I felt I was giving something back to the world that was positive, useful and I felt good about that. My office sat directly onsite at our clients massive warehouse. .My mostly 10 + hour days were spent filling temporary staffing roles, conducting new hire orientation and all onboarding, terminations, and counseling of employees as needed. Staffing for the Manufacturing Industry is HIGH volume, low margins, constant turnover, failed drug tests and A LOT of no-shows. Understanding I had to start somewhere, I worked hard and eventually became an expert within the industry, but my goal was to make my way into the professional recruiting world.
Through networking with other recruiters, I interviewed for a Professional Recruiting Manager role and received an offer. I had three recruiters on my team and we focused on small, lower end accounting roles. My goal was to really cultivate and nurture the relationships with the Hiring Managers. I had to prove my worth and value by making their jobs easier. For three months I worked hard to earn their trust by consistently delivering top notch service. I then decided to reach out to each Hiring Manager asking for just 30 minutes of their time. This provided me the opportunity to finally make my case as to why I should be entrusted to handle their higher end, more complex financial roles. The meetings were a success and within a month, they signed a contract to work exclusively with my team and I. We went from working on temp accounting roles to hiring their new CFO. Then after almost 2 years, my best Recruiter resigned and accepted a position as a Technical Recruiter. A few weeks into his new role, he contacted and convinced me to apply for a Technical Recruiter position that just opened up. Always wanting to grow and expand my knowledge, I agreed and two weeks later was offered the position.
I was really excited to dive into the tech world. I studied the various roles/acronyms to ensure I understood their primary function. I also reached out to family and friends who are in the industry as they were full of useful information to share. Once I started to interview potential candidates, I found it was also a great way to gain more knowledge. I became like a sponge, just absorbing it all. I continued to gained confidence by successfully placing great candidates throughout the US for our top clients. Then the unexpected happened. Covid. By April 2020, all recent new hires were laid off and 6 months later, offered our jobs back but on a part time basis for an undermined amount of time. I declined and used the time to slow down and enjoy my kids.
The pandemic left me with a different perspective. My next move would be with a company that inspired me. It would be more about the culture, the people behind the big name. I was fortunate to connect with some really great recruiters and received several offers. After weighing my options, I went with Hub because I believed in the people and just wanted to be a part of what they were all about. I am grateful and excited to grow in my role and become part of Hub Recruiting's success!