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I’m not a recruiter…

I fret all the time about what people think of my career. I think our space is small, I think I move too much, I worry I’m not clear enough about what I do, I worry I’m too passionate about too many things to be effective. I also own stock in Tums.

Anyway, it turns out that I shouldn’t and/or it doesn’t matter because everyone in the HR/Recruiting world thinks I’m a community manager/blogger and everyone in the “civilian” world thinks I’m a recruiter. Both are wrong. And today I figured out…that’s okay.

It’s okay because despite the fact that I am a marketing professional:

I can build communities, so people call to ask about that.

I do have a blog and people remember when not that many people did in this space, and call me to ask my opinion.

I was a recruiter and even then folks assumed I was a job search coach, and that’s okay because people call when they’re having a career crisis.

Notice a thread of continuity there? People call me. Today that came together in the coolest of ways. It started out the same way they all do…

I get an urgent email, facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter message asking if I have five minutes. I call the person (usually someone I haven’t seen in months, years) and they attempt small talk for about 30 seconds. I usually preempt them with:

“I’m fine. Good to hear from you. Looking for a job?” to which they always respond with a guilty laugh. It’s cool. I get it.

People pay attention to the thing you say the longest, the loudest. The itty bitty details of your precious career are lost on them. And the moment they call me, they feel like they’re drowning and need rope. Never mind that I sell rope making tools to lifeguards (messy analogy alert)…

But here’s the coolest part about this latest story. After talking with this guy for a few minutes, I immediately identified that while he’d been routinely placed in sales gigs, he was definitely more of a marketing operations guy. And could be a great one with the right job. I checked our local job board and clicked on a Marketing Operations Director position and then laughed my head off. Because the hiring contact at the company was someone who I’d coached five months ago!

I’m not a recruiter…but sometimes I think I should be.