I was walking my daughter into her Pre-K classroom and noticed the cutest thing: the kids had posed for pictures with signs saying what they wanted to be when they grew up. There among doctors, lawyers, policemen, and super heroes my daughter was beaming with a sign that said “HR Consultant”. Yes, that’s her on this post (I couldn’t resist). It got me thinking about my career journey and the fact that it most certainly was not on my mind at four years old. In case you’re curious, I wanted to be in the Air Force like my Dad at four.
Late in high school I started gravitating to psychology, even though I had spent three years learning drafting in preparation to study architecture. By the time I was accepted to Florida State I had read The Interpretation of Dreams and Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy by Sigmund Freud and Synchronicity by Carl Jung. They made me want to become a psychologist without question. I was a terrible student and had taken a psychology class previously, but Freud and Jung somehow put a fire in me.
My first psychology professor was a German fellow with an accent and demeanor that only confirmed my choice was fate. Unfortunately, over the course of four years I learned something very important: crazy people drive me crazy. In a nutshell, I learned my tendency to overdo empathy would not be helpful in what I thought was my chosen career. Besides, I still hadn’t quite become the best student. So, I happily finished my studies and armed with my degree went to work for…Target. In a town full of newly minted degrees managing at Target wasn’t bad gig (and they treated me extremely well), but it was far what I wanted to do. After six months a friend of mine asked if I was interested in becoming a recruiter. I had no idea what that meant, but it paid double what I was making so I made the change.
After three interviews, I was offered a job at Maxim Group (which was later folded into Tek Systems). I immediately fell in love recruiting and just enjoyed the interactions with candidates and peers. It didn’t require any heavy duty thought, but it was a great group of people to work with. That job started my HR career journey and I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity to build my recruiting chops. In my HR career I found the perfect blend between applied psychology and the need to understand theoretical constructs. It has allowed me to indulge my curiosity and empathy to solve some very interesting business problems over the years.
What is your career origin story?Read more