Monday, April 4, 2011


As I made my way into the city today, I found myself flashing back to when I first started recruiting. It was May 2001, and boy was that a shitty time. Besides the bubble bursting, four months later, our city, country and world would forever be changed. After 9/11, the candidates were coming to see me in droves and the jobs had all but dried up. Companies were folding left and right; 1.3 million square feet of office space had disappeared in a matter of hours and most people were reevaluating their professions and next steps in life. But most of all, I remember the stories of the boss perished; I was late for work that day; I had to walk down 88 flights of stairs; I was supposed to start at Cantor on September 12...However, the story that is forever embedded in my mind was not TOLD by a candidate; rather it was ABOUT a candidate.

My boyfriend and I were walking near St. Vincent's Hospital and we came upon all the missing ads for the people who were in the towers that day. As we perused the faces, I saw one that looked familiar. Jill, a candidate that had been referred to me only a few months earlier, was missing. My heart sank in that moment because up until that point, I did not know anyone personally who was involved. But it wasn't until a few months after 9/11 that I learned what REALLY happened. Jill and a few of her colleagues were working for AON in one of the towers. When the plane hit, a group of them packed up their things and left. But a few did not. It said that they, including Jill, were paralyzed with fear and decided to stay at their desks until someone came to get them...sadly, you know how the story ends.

I've never forgotten that story, or Jill for that matter. Her face is forever ingrained in my memory and I've always wondered what if??? "Sliding Doors" with Gwyneth Paltrow is about this very subject. The WHAT IFs in life. What if you didn't go to the bar that night for your friend's 25th birthday? Maybe you wouldn't have met your husband. What if you missed your bus to work? Maybe you would've avoided that three hour back up in the Lincoln Tunnel. What if I was the recruiter who placed Jill at AON? For selfish reasons, I'm so glad I wasn't. I don't think I could've continued doing what I do. And on the other side, what if I had found Jill a different job...chances are she might not have been in the towers on that tragic day. But then again, the opportunity she got at AON was a GREAT one and at the time, she was looking to get out of her job so anything I presented may have paled in comparison.

This experience really changed the way I do my business. As most of my candidates will profess, I'm not the recruiter who pushes you to take a position. I want my candidates to be happy and I want my clients to be happy. It's important that a relationship is established between both parties and that they can commit long term. Now while this doesn't work in my favor as turnover = more business, it does give me a reputation of being committed to the cause as opposed to the result.

I've worked for NINE different companies since graduating (two of them my own), and from this I realize that it's much better to find a home as opposed to a just a job. And I always recommend thinking about the "what ifs" every now and then...don't obsess over them, rather consider them before making a move. Because when one door closes, a new one's opening right about the corner...

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

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