Blogs and Opinions

BloggingI started writing Life at the Helm with an inaugural post about how I came about naming the blog in the first place.  At the time, I had no idea if I would be writing one post a year let alone more frequently.  For some, writing is a lot like public speaking especially if they know it has a chance of being read by others.  Why write a blog if you are afraid of someone reading it?  That is likely another post entirely.  Blogs exist for different reasons; if you research it even a little you will find that there are hundreds of reasons – fun, education, sales, marketing and even griping.  As a recruiter by profession, I talk with thousands of people every year in the course of doing my work and with the onset of the Internet Age and the accessibility to information about nearly everything you ever wanted to know about at your fingertips, people expect to be able to go onto the Internet and find out more about me.

I can’t blame them, as for every time I look to buy something, travel somewhere or eat at a new restaurant, I conduct some quick research on the Internet and read reviews and other information about it.  It is a bit odd when you find nothing – almost an indication that you should wait on that one.  When you do find it, there is always a predominance of information that would have you leaning one way or another – kind of like asking the audience for assistance on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and as you know, the majority always falls on the “final answer”.

So, as I develop relationships with the individuals through my work, they will conduct some research on me.  They will find me a variety of locations from LinkedIn to this blog.   Ironically, I never really aspired to do public speaking, but I have stood in front of hundreds and even thousands and presented, and as a musician I have performed in front of tens of thousands – all of the experiences as a part of my role in an organization, company or performing group.  With the blog, my goal has not been to reach the world, or millions, or even tens of thousands, but instead provide an opportunity for those that wanted to learn a bit more about me and what makes me tick.

Recruiting, in many ways, is about trust.  For people to start telling me about their personal, professional and financial goals and objectives – the primary reasons they may decide to make a change in their lives, many will want to know that I sincerely have their best interests at heart.  Just like the overwhelmingly positive comments about a great sushi restaurant that will have me comfortable in trying it, it is important for people to see that I am a fairly normal guy with a long and positive and successful track record in recruiting.

Does it end here?  Probably not, and if you asked me what my bottom line is to this post I would have to tell you that like trying the sushi restaurant that had the predominance of positive reviews and an enticing menu – it is still just that, a try.  I will not be able to personally comment on it until I actually go there and try their fish.  When it comes to determining an opinion about a person, the only way you can truly comment on them is to try them as well.  Call them up.  Have a conversation.  Meet them face to face.  Do you feel like they are in tune to your needs and there is a mutual exchange of information?  Did they provide any value or point you in a direction that was helpful?  This would be the true test.  As with any situation, you get to have the final answer – but only after you have personally checked them out can you speak from actual experience.

John F. Kennedy said once “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”  Now that is something to think about.

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