Robert Godden’s musings and rants

I muse. I rant. This is my outlet!

Posts Tagged ‘perspective

What was that? That was your life, mate!*

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I’m sure many people in my industry hear the question as often as I do: “So, why do you work in recruitment?”

The glib answer that falls off of my tongue is: “because you can change people’s lives”.

There’s no more satisfying feeling than when you ring that superb candidate to tell them they have the role that they really wanted – as a matchmaker, you’ve consummated a successful relationship: one that may last many years, if not virtually forever.

But like matchmaking, that’s not always the case.

Nevertheless, if you’ve done your job well, you feel the world is a better place.

It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in our own self-importance. “Thanks to me, that company has gone from strength to strength since I appointed the new General Manager/ CEO/ Chauffeur/ Accountant/ Washroom Attendant” is a pretty comfortable thought pattern.

You have a lovely smug feeling about the great job you did for your client. But for me, it’s always about the candidate. I like to think that a brand new, better paying, challenging role; particularly for a nice candidate, is a massive life-changing event.

I fell into recruitment after spending the early part of my career in PC sales, primarily to families. I loved the feeling that the PC was for many people (and we’re talking late ‘80s, early 90’s) one of the most significant and expensive purchases they would make. I loved being part of that commitment.

So, that paints a picture. I wonder how many out there are like me. 43, happy with life, feel like you’re making a difference.

At 17, I had different ideas. I was about to conquer the rock world and explode onto the world stage. I was sure of it! As part of a three-part post-punk band who were almost certainly the best or, at worst, second best band in the country town I grew up in; myself, Paul and Charlie were destined for big things. But unbelievably; something slipped ‘twixt cup and lip. Perhaps it was my overwhelming lack of talent.

The other two guys were very important to me, but after high school we scattered across Australia, and until last year, I had not much idea where they were. Then Facebook happened.

Thanks to Facebook, I’m now in semi-regular contact with various people I knew 20, 30 or more years ago.

That’s how I know that Charlie – my best mate in the world for maybe 2 years in the early ‘80s – graduated with two degrees from university a week or so ago – at the same time as being diagnosed with a condition that the words “life-threatening” hardly do justice.

In another hour I’ll be in the office, struggling to tell myself that the sourcing exercise I’ll be working on is as important today as it was on Friday.

I’ve often heard people use the phrase “Get some perspective”. But to quote the late and great Douglas Adams “if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion”

*(The title for this blog post is a quote from Monty Python’s meaning of life. I was tossing up between that and “Vale of Tears”; but if you’re looking for a quote, Monty Python wins every time.)

Written by robertgodden

May 12, 2008 at 7:00 am