Comfort. Some things in life are more comfortable than others. It can be a bit disconcerting to receive a phone call from a client who expected more from your relationship or be summoned to your superior’s office to hear the dreaded words, “I don’t like anything you have suggested.” Or how about that time when you submitted your resignation and your supervisor looked at you as if to say, “How can you leave me on this sinking ship?” Been there, regrettably, done that. We all have to face uncomfortable situations in our work lives.
Human Resource Professionals and Recruiters tend to meet those moments more often than other professionals. The Sign-Off: telling a candidate they aren’t getting invited to the show. The Collection: having to call a client, former or otherwise, to ask for the final installment for a placement you made two, three, or four months ago. The Lost Friend: when a hiring manager comes to you with a confidential recruitment that will replace a friend of yours within the company, and you have to keep it confidential. The HR Function: having to address hirings, firings, lay-offs, complaints, sexual harassment issues, evaluation time, changes in policy, promotions, non-promotions, and demotions.
Understand that Life in HR is not always easy. As a matter of fact, it often is not. And finding your comfort level, as an HR Professional, Corporate Recruiter or Third-Party Recruiter can be a challenge. Some of us are cut out to make cold calls, some of us are not. Some are cut out to stand in an Exhibitor’s Booth all day, some are not. Some of us are cut out to attend conferences and sit in session upon session for two days straight, some are not. Some of us are cut out to tweet about anything and everything, some are not. Some of us are cut out to bring the right placement to the table, in a timely manner – some are not.
The zone to be in is the one that feels right, the one that runs smoothly and efficiently. However, should that zone become too stagnant or too easy, we risk the opportunity for development and growth, for learning new skills, or challenging our own understandings of the job, any job. Finding the right combination of further excelling at what we are already good and getting better at what is necessary but uncomfortable is a formidable task. Formidable, but not impossible.
Cats are good at running away from discomfort. They dart through halls or along fences and under cars, in an effort to dodge everything and anything that isn’t for their own benefit. Dogs will endure an incredible amount of discomfort to simply to please their owners, to get a pat on the head or a treat. Somewhere in between lies another animal, the HR Professional or Recruiter. Knowing that sometimes discomfort comes with the gig, but also a great deal of satisfaction is part of their makeup.
Gloria Steinem said, “The only thing I can’t stand is discomfort.”
Somehow, I think avoidance and complacency trump discomfort.