Pandemic or no pandemic. Recession or no recession. Wherever you are in your career and life, you have goals. It’s part of how we’re wired as human beings. We need to go, see and achieve. Truth be told, during challenging times, it’s especially helpful to have clear goals. Putting your focus into achieving those goals is, in my opinion, a much better use of resources than worrying about things you can’t control!
To that end, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit on my path here at Matlen Silver. Where I began, and where I am now — plus of course, looking forward. I’ve been asked recently about my career journey to this point, and I’ve put a lot of thought into what has helped me achieve my goals and build a successful career.
I realized that the fundamentals I have leaned on throughout my career to this point are traits that just about anyone can build, nurture and ultimately employ in order to reach their goals. It’s not a formula, per se, but more a framework or guide to help you identify where you can put time and effort in order to achieve what you put your mind to, now and in the future.
Where I started off
To understand where I’ve been and how I’ve gotten there, I thought it would be valuable to talk about where and how I started off my career.
Before I began at Matlen Silver, I was a college student who had been working since the age of 14. My dad was a business owner, and I helped him from a young age — this was invaluable to me, as I developed a strong work ethic from the get-go!
I wasn’t sure where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do when I graduated from college, but I did have a VERY clear goal (one that I imagine is shared by many college graduates): I wanted to make money, and do it quickly.
Seems simple enough, right?
As a psych major, I really enjoyed counseling and helping people, which drove me toward a recruiting career. I had interviewed with several companies before coming to Matlen Silver. From the very beginning, I felt welcomed and supported. It was unlike any interviewing experience I ever had to that point! I trusted the people I met implicitly.
When Amanda (who is still here and amazing today!) called me to follow up on the interview, she acknowledged my upcoming interviews to which I responded, “Actually, I’ve canceled them. I want to work for Matlen Silver.”
I was THAT sure this was the place for me.
Thankfully, the feeling was mutual, and I was a member of the recruiting team in short order.
One critical trait that helped me achieve my goals
Now that you have an idea how I started, it’s time to look at my path here at Matlen and what has helped me grow to reach my very clear goal. I’m not going to tease you — it’s tenacity.
Technically defined as the ability to grip something firmly, it’s often interchangeably used with determination or persistence.
I look at it both ways. I had a firm grip on what I wanted to achieve, and I was determined to work hard in order to achieve it. Here are some examples:
Moving away from recruiting
Although I LOVED (and still love) helping candidates and providing that counsel to help them reach their goals, I am most definitely not a desk person! I was constantly up and pacing the office while on calls — it drove my colleagues nuts!
I was drawn toward sales because it would help me meet that need to help people (helping client companies and the talent we would ultimately place there), while also contributing directly to my primary goal of quickly increasing my earnings.
There was just one problem: There wasn’t an opening in sales! At the time, our office here in Charlotte had one anchor account and wasn’t interested in other industries. But, I knew I wanted to work in sales, and I wanted to help the company grow.
So, I just DID it. I offered to single handedly diversify our client portfolio for the office. We had no framework or processes to do this, but I was determined to make it happen. In due time, we added clients in three new verticals. I documented all the processes and work, aiming to pave the way for the next team members to step up and into these areas.
My tenacity helped us grow business significantly for our branch and also helped me increase my own income in accordance with my goal. It was a win-win!
And equally as essential to this win for myself and the company is the way that we work here at Matlen Silver. When I approached leadership with a clearly defined plan and goals, I was not laughed at or pushed away. I was encouraged to explore and define my path.
This is an incredibly empowering differentiator from what you’d probably find in most organizations. I’m spoiled in that I started with Matlen right out of college. But when I talk to my colleagues or friends about how supportive our company is for new ideas and opportunities, I hear MANY tales from other companies.
A second critical trait for reaching my goals
Tenacity is so important, as a clear grasp of goals and opportunities is required in order to move forward and reach your goals. But there was another core trait that has been essential for me as I continue to grow and define my path here at Matlen Silver.
That trait is grit. You could also call it courage or resolve. Knowing what you want to do and why you want to do it.
Here at Matlen Silver, our “what” and “why” is understood and embraced by every member of the team. We follow the credo “Company > Branch > Individual.” New ideas should benefit the company before the branch, before the individual. When we adhere to this formula, we understand that we ALL win. Focusing on the growth and health of the company first puts us all in a position to grow and benefit as branches and individuals.
It’s a powerful mindset shift of the “me first” mentality you find in other organizations. Particularly in sales or recruiting. And we all live it here. It’s incredibly powerful!
Taking that formula and applying grit to see it through and make the company successful has empowered me to create new opportunities and set new, higher goals. And it also means that the company has supported me as I continue to grow and achieve them.
It’s important to understand and even embrace that staffing is a roller coaster. There are new challenges you’ll face every day, week or month. When you work and succeed in this industry, you understand that some days, you just have to pick yourself up and know there’s another opportunity coming up right behind the one that may not have worked out.
When you combine the right traits with the right culture — like the one we have here at Matlen Silver — you trust that the hard work you put in will better the company, and better us all. You don’t dwell on the losses, but look ahead to the next opportunity.
And with leaders who recognize core traits in their team, and encourage their development, you end up with a formula that helps clients achieve their goals, talent find amazing opportunities and ultimately helps your company grow and improve.
How could you help nurture your grit and tenacity? What skills are lying dormant in your team that you can nurture? Unlocking them could be essential to your sales, recruiting and retention success!
Do you want to join a team that’s looking for tenacity and grit?
We are ALWAYS looking for great people who understand and align with our values, and who demonstrate those qualities that set us (and you!) up for success. Send us an email if you’re interested in joining our team!