Checklist: 3 ways to survive your first year in recruiting

2019-03-15 | BY Vivian Na | IN Recruiting

Checklist: 3 ways to survive your first year in recruiting

If you’re in your final year of college and you have no idea where your life is headed – consider this your survival guide.

During my final year of studies, I was unexpectedly forced to graduate early. I wasn’t mentally prepared to start job searching and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do, or even could do. While I enjoyed my major, my main interests were in co-curriculars. I never excelled at any one subject, and I never felt pressured to adopt a definite path. All I knew was that being around people and helping others reach their goals made my life feel purposeful.

I’m sure many of you are or have been in a similar boat – unsure of where you should go to start or pivot your career. While recruiting isn’t for everyone, this profession does allow anyone to succeed if they are eager to learn and willing to work hard.

It can be difficult at times – especially when you’re just starting out – but if you enjoy talking to others, have an intrinsic sense of self-discipline, and are motivated by money and success, recruiting should definitely be on your radar. I’m only 3 months in, but I’ve learned a lot. Here are my top 3 insights for any of you considering recruiting as the next step in your career.

Ask questions like your career depends on it

There’s no shame in being new; you’re not supposed to have all of the of the answers. What you do have, though, is the power to question. Use curiosity to your advantage – speak to everyone you can, from rookies to veterans, in order to gather intel and gain perspective on your new career.

Learning from each person’s mistakes, understanding their motivations, and simply connecting with people in your organization is so important as a new worker starting out, regardless of industry. More than anything, speaking with different people will help you feel connected to your work culture as you try to find your place in a new – often demanding – environment. It’s not enough to work harder, you have to work smarter; and that means gaining knowledge whenever and from whomever you can.

Sometimes, you just have to dive in

This is going to be true regardless of career path. In recruiting though, your salary is directly tied to your ability to learn quickly and start placing candidates right away.

What seems like a harmless phone call becomes daunting when it’s with a high-level executive of a huge biotechnology company and you’re in your early twenties just getting your feet wet in the corporate world. I’ve turned red in the face at my desk as I stuttered through my pitch, and nearly hung up on someone when they asked a question that deviated from my script. Those moments were undoubtedly awkward, painful even, but I’m actually grateful for them now; there is no better way to learn than to have that uncomfortable situation seared into your memory forever. Sometimes, we need to make mistakes in order to finally understand the lesson we’re meant to learn. You’re never going to succeed if you don’t try at all. Dive in, even if you expect to fail every time, because it becomes less scary each time you do it. And at some point, you stop failing.

It doesn’t get easier; you get better

I know this sounds like a cliché, but most clichés are based in fact. There are definitely days when I don’t know if I’m cut out for this job in the long run. Nonetheless, you have to have faith that as long as you work hard, and I mean work tirelessly hard, then over time you will see progress.

If there’s anything I’ve learned about recruiting, it’s that it is made up of so many moving parts – general business acumen, knowledge of the recruiting cycle, industry-specific insights, schedule coordination and an extreme attention to detail are all requisites of the job. It’s a lot to learn in a short period of time, and that doesn’t even take into account the necessary evils of starting a new job, like finding your voice within a well-established company, claiming your place in your specific team, and adjusting to a new environment in general.

And yet, if you asked me – or anyone working at Proven Recruiting, for that matter – if they like their job, you’d be met with a resounding yes. To see recruiting as a sales position is to ignore half the equation; what you’re doing is bringing meaning and structure to peoples’ lives. You’re allowing them to find a workplace where they feel valued and challenged; you’re negotiating for them the salaries that will support their families and passions.

It’s not the kind of job that you know you’ll love until you try it. And what the worst that could happen – you help some people find their dream job? Send me your information at and I’ll guide you through the process.

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