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How It All Started...


Where should I start? Was it the horrible Folgers coffee with the weird chemical skim and powdered creamer that accompanied it (which only worked when the so-called “coffee” was McDonald’s-style hot) which made me rethink my career in an office environment? Or maybe it was the 8-5 rule, insisting that I have my rear in my seat, accomplishing the whims of my boss? Honestly, it was a mixture of many things I disliked and couldn’t change … even if it improved my productivity, or the company overall. I think I just came to the conclusion that I could do things better, but I would have to work for myself in order to make that happen.

After school, I started off my career in the HR world. Payroll and employee benefits – yippee! Sounds exciting, right? I actually enjoyed it, though. I liked listening to people, answering questions, resolving problems, etc. The only issue I had was that I kept seeing things that needed to be changed. Day in and day out, I would see negative things happen with little power to change it. I would gather data, put together spreadsheets, and come up with ideas about how to make a positive change for the employees. These changes would better the company as well … but that always seemed to fall on deaf ears, unless it helped the bottom line.

I felt that, in order to see any progress, an investment needed to me made. I was constantly trying to be the voice for the people who helped make the company their profits, but I still wasn’t being heard. That's when I decided: If I wanted to feel good about what I was doing, and be able to make a change, I needed to move on in my career.

Now, this is where is gets exciting … seriously! I took a leap during my divorce and accepted a job that only paid commission for my work. You’re thinking I’m crazy, right? Now, I usually am a careful person with my finances, but this seemed like the motivation I needed. I only got paid if I could make the change happen – it’s exactly what I was lacking.

For the next nine months, I recruited my little heart out and changed a lot of people’s lives in the process. I was helping people like me find better careers and I was helping good companies become better by finding them solid people. I was like the career cupid. Things were great until I started getting some push-back from my bosses about how I was handling things. I liked meeting people face to face, listening to client’s needs before offering advice, not forcing someone to make a decision; even if that meant a paycheck for me. I wanted to feel honest and good about my work.

My way was working, but my bosses wanted more. Now, keep in mind … they thought it was a numbers game. The logic was that the more people you call, the more likely you’ll get a yes, right? But, along the way, I was burning 99 bridges to get to one that I might be able to cross. It was time-consuming and the luster wore off quickly. I felt like I was doing a disservice to the clients I worked with and was just shoving candidates into openings, while waiting with my fingers crossed that one pairing would actually work.

Around the time I started hating my job, I got an offer from one of my clients to come work for them. They liked my approach to people and thought it would make a difference for their relationships with others in the industry. I packed my belongings and said bon voyage to my recruiting cubicle.

But was this the calling I had been seeking? Ah, I wish it was … but this was the last step before going out on my own. The job I took was a large family-owned firm that wanted to make some big changes to keep up with the times. At first it was great! I felt like I was being heard, I had the flexibility to work with clients the way I wanted to, and I felt like I was making a difference.

But, soon after the one-year mark, the honeymoon came to a crashing end. I was getting asked to have more meetings with clients in our office or theirs instead of taking them out for coffee or lunch. I was also being asked why I wasn’t in the office much. I was in sales … I’m not sure what good sitting in my desk was doing, but I did it because I was told to.

The realization struck me that I was being put back into the box I just got out of … and I did not like it. So, after trying to make it work and realizing it wasn’t going to, I left.

Now, (yes we are at the NOW part) I’m sitting at my home office desk with my four dogs at my feet typing this blog entry. I work from home to pass the savings onto my clients and, also, because it is where I feel like I do my best work. I even make a habit of making a donation to the Humane Society every time I help someone find a new job … what other company does that?? Working for myself allows me to work the way that is best for me and I feel like that is how everyone should feel.

Wow! In real life, this is a much better story. Maybe I can liven it up in person over coffee or a good bourbon if you ever want to learn more about recruiting! If so, feel free to reach out to me to set something up!

Mandi Welch

559.240.1459

mwelchhr@gmail.com

Business Owner, Super Recruiter, Coffee Enjoyer, Bourbon Lover, Dog Spoiler, and Oxford Comma User

(Note: I wonder if all of that could fit on a business card?)


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A portion of our fee is donated to help the Indianapolis Humane Society.

Visit www.indyhumane.org to learn more.