As someone who has worked in Talent Acquisition and Human Resources for 20 years, I have had thousands of conversations about career choices. Conversations about career plans, ambitions, fears, financial concerns, family goals and personal goals – all and many more concerns have been touched on in these discussions I have had with people in various stages of their careers. I feel that over that time I have been able to dispense as good and as impartial advice as I could have possibly done in these conversations. Sure – there are some I wish I could take back over the years and no one bats .1000, but on the whole I feel very proud of my body of work in this regard. So, it is not lost on me that I had the tables turned on me over these past few months as I sought out various different opinions of people I trusted in my career to help me with a major career decision.
What was causing me to seek out this advice? Certainly not my job and the company I worked for. Without a doubt, I could not have been prouder to have been a part of such a great company with a truly incredible culture. I worked with some of the best people I have known in my career. My job itself was also great – I was challenged, given opportunity, compensated very well and was making a difference. No – the need to seek counsel was around the desire to do even more. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and for some time had been thinking about branching out on my own to give that itch a scratch. In full disclosure, what had always stopped me over the years was fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of risk. One of the very cool things about my former employer was that they have a core set of values that they measured their employees against – a great way to get the whole employee base aligned and working in unison towards the bigger goals. One of them is “Disciplined Risk Taking” – and if I am being completely honest this was one I was good with when I had the support of a team and company behind me – but personally not nearly as bold as I could have been over my career.
I had always advised people in their careers to above all else follow their passions. Here I was, with an idea that I am incredibly passionate about, and not following my own advice. So I sought the advice of others – family, friends, former colleagues, business partners – and truly listened to what they had to say. And while their versions were all different – the theme was basically the same. Follow your passion – my own advice – but for whatever reason I needed to hear it from people I trusted, admired and respected. So I have taken the plunge – embracing any fears I have had and following my passion to do what I have done over my career – but now not just for one company, but for several. For those who know me, whether through work, personally, family or even through social media connections or random Star Wars tweets, I am a massive movie and music nerd. When thinking of my mission and the passion I have around it, I thought of the scenario given to Neo in “The Matrix” when he was offered the blue pill or the red pill. If he took the blue pill, he would accept reality as it was. If he took the Red Pill, he would see how deep the rabbit hole goes and what can be possible. I want to help companies break out of the fog of what is “accepted as the norm” in Talent Acquisition and show them how it can be done differently, faster and less expensive while creating a vibrant employment brand and effective recruitment practices, methods and processes that speaks to their own unique cultures, goals and objectives. As of today, I am with great personal excitement launching my venture, Red Pill Talent, LLC – www.redpilltalent.com.
I am planning to blog moving forward on Talent Acquisition related issues – and promise not to be shilling my company too much :). I want to use this blog as place to share ideas, comment on industry trends, and expand on cool things I see other companies or individuals doing in the industry. Of course, If a geeky film or music reference makes its way in consider yourself warned.
I am taking the Red Pill.
Great news on your plunge. It must be scary as hell, but you are so right. A focus on talent is key, especially in this marketplace where local talent is being diluted.