Episode 70 Rejection Closes Loops

June 12, 2023

Good morning from New York City. What I have on my mind this morning is rejection. I think I told you in a past episode that I dusted off my resume because I feel inspired to get back into the workforce. It’s interesting. This decision to give it a try was born of two incidents. One is my sheer excitement over the convergence of technologies and the exponential growth I expect to happen over the next five years. And of  not wanting to be left behind, not wanting to sit on the sidelines, not wanting to feel like, oh, the world is happening so fast. I’m getting older. It’s going to pass me by. And just giving up. I don’t want to be that person, and that thought has inspired me to get back in the game and to see what happens. The other piece of that story is about the sheer cost of living in New York City, looking at the drain on my bank account and saying, Hey, something’s got to give here. Either you have to get outta dodge or step up to the plate and generate some income. So it’s these two things that have me sort of out in the world and throwing my hat in the ring.

It is very interesting to be on the other side because I was always sitting in the executive search chair. In that role I was perceived as the person who was saying yes or no or had some sort of power, which of course I didn’t have. Yes, I presented candidates. Yes, it was up to me to discern the suitability of a candidate, and I’ll admit sometimes it was difficult to be perceived as the person who had all this power because I was not the one doing the hiring. I was doing the filtering. I was a gatekeeper of sorts, but it was in my interest to get someone hired and people often don’t understand the role of the executive recruiter. Oftentimes, I think an undue amount of candidate frustration can be directed at the recruiter when in fact, one, the recruiter represents the company. Two, the recruiter always wants to create a win-win because that’s how they generate their own income. And three, as I said before, it is the discernment of the recruiter which candidates are seen by the client, but the recruiter also has information and insight into the strategic goals and direction of the company that the candidate may not be privy to. So, the candidate jumps to conclusions that they’re the perfect fit for the role, but they don’t have all the information.

Anyway, that’s not what this is about. What I want to say is that as hard as we, me and my team, tried to keep candidates informed – let them know of the status, inform them when the search was closed – the sheer volume of people coming through our inbox made it impossible to be perfect, right? It was our intention to acknowledge people and to follow up and to close loops, but sometimes people fell through the cracks, right.

So, back to what I said at the beginning, I’m thinking about rejection because having switched sides and started to throw my hat into the ring, I see how great it feels to receive communication, even and including rejections. Now of course in executive search there’s a person on the other side, but when you’re sending your resume into a black box that can be LinkedIn or a company website, any sort of communication feels like either a validation of sorts. They are closing the circle. It’s so important to close open loops. So, on the one hand I took the rejection as progress, meaning wow I identified a job, threw my hat in the ring, got rejected and it felt like progress of sorts. I was showing up to do the work. It makes me think of Seth Godin. He is one of the many people who talk about the importance of coming up with bad ideas or bad copy. Whatever it is you’re doing, it shows that you’re putting your butt in the seat and doing the work. right?

I guess what I want to say to end here is that closing loops is important on both sides. You know when you haven’t followed up? It is kind of hanging out there, just like you know what it feels to be the person who’s been left hanging. What I like to say is that it’s never too late to close those loops. Just yesterday, I received a beautiful email from a gentleman I met at an event at Christie’s, probably two months ago. I actually even made a podcast about it. We had had a very interesting conversation. I followed up to see if we could have a coffee, and I never heard back. Never got any acknowledgement or anything like that. But yesterday, some six to eight weeks later, I got a beautiful message from him apologizing for the late reply and inviting me to coffee, and quite frankly, it felt great. I’m sure it felt great to him to close that loop. So, where have you left open loops? Where have you left people hanging? Or what is nagging in the back of your mind that you didn’t do? That thank you note. That condolence note. That congratulations note. Even while the other person may not be expecting that, for you that is an open loop. I’d like to end by saying it feels really good to take the five or 10 minutes to close those open loops.

I’ll leave you with that thought today. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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