I really enjoy recruitment. I love finding out about people, and I love finding out what companies do and how they function. Though not a great people person, I like the mix of people and administration that is recruitment.
I unfortunately am unable to sell. Cold calling is more painful to me than that time I lost a tampon and had to go to my male GP to retrieve it.
I would rather do that every day than pick up a phone and try to convince someone to use my services.
I misjudged how uncomfortable cold calling would be, and how much of a loathing I would feel for it.
I would spend hours staring at the phone. Just staring at it. I was physically unable to pick it up and call someone to try to convince them to use me as a recruiter.
I tried various techniques. I contacted a trainer who had worked as a recruiter, and asked her to do a one on one training programme with me. I figured, this was a skill I could learn. Right?
It appears no. I am not comfortable in social situations with new people. I have severe issues when it comes to trying to sell anyone anything.
Which I may possibly overcome if it is a small part of my day.
Starting a new desk, with no history, unfortunately means that selling is a large part of my day. Every day was painful and made me feel physically sick.
I was forcing myself to do something I hated doing, that I could not do, that used to make me feel sick — I would freeze and do nothing, because I was so scared.
This had gone on for a while, and it was not getting better. My boss and I had spoken about “my alarming inability to make cold calls” and time was not making it any better.
I believed in the beginning I could do it. I was wrong. I can’t.
I am fantastic as an account manager – I am great with clients. I am efficient, organised, and anal retentive about detail. Great account manager material.
Shitty/Hopeless/really should be doing something else sales person.
My boss spoke to me and said that he would need to give me a “poor performance letter” which I understood. I got this letter.
There was nothing in it that was not true, or inaccurate. It was however quite alarming to see it in black and white on 80grm bond.
He set some targets and gave me four more months to get myself organised.
I was stunned he was giving me another four months. I had been sitting at a desk that was not generating any money, and was costing him money each month. If I was him, I would have escorted me to the door with a thank you note, and a swift kick.
When I read the letter again later in the day — after another painful day — I realised how much this “failing” was affecting me. How much it was starting to erode my “sense of accomplishment” in all other things.
I had been making cold calls – I was forcing myself to make 10 each day come hell or high water. I reflected on the day and how much I was hating it, and that tomorrow I would get to do it all over again. And I was not going to hate it any less.
I thought about the situation and what the options were.
1. Continue forcing myself to do something that I was physically unable to do. I had a physical reaction to it and hated each day.
2. Stop forcing myself to do something that I was not good at, hated, and was starting to flow over into other areas of my life and find something else to do.
I chose option two.
I received the letter on Monday morning. By Monday evening I knew I needed to resign. I did not want to do something rash. I cannot afford to be unemployed.
I do not have a mystery benefactor who is funding my lavish lifestyle of white break and peanut butter.
Even with the fear of facing financial uncertainty could not deter me from the path of what was so obvious. Necessary. Vital.
I sat with it for a few days. By Wednesday afternoon I went along to my boss and explained I was going to resign. He was pleasant and supportive.
I stayed for two weeks — but here was the twist. I was given a project which required a lot of calling and sourcing people. I was on the phone pretty much all day – but that did not scare me. I wasn’t having to sell, and I actually really enjoyed the last two weeks, because this I could do, this I enjoyed.
My last day was Friday before last — I have opted to return to my little recruitment business which I started nearly four years ago, and which has been running really well.
I continued to run whilst I returned back to the formal recruitment position, and for that I am very thankful.
I have some ideas about how I am going to grow it and make it have some other revenue streams.
I am so glad to be back doing something that I enjoy, where I am not consumed by anxiety and fear of impending poor performance, and where every day hangs over me like a guillotine.
I know I made the right decision, but as with all things I am nervous, scared and panicky about how this is going to pan out. And whether I can get and keep my shit together to do it.