Caution: Speed Bump Ahead

Putting on a happy face at mile three in the heat and humidity.

I found this beautiful trail on my run. It’s been fun discovering the area through running!

In life you will encounter little speed bumps along the way. I am thinking primarily of minor setbacks that cause you to change course and/or get creative. They may cause you to rethink your strategy or just get creative. This past weekend I was going to run the Walleye Weekend five mile race. My son had other plans for the weekend and since he decided he was going to be sick I wasn’t able to make it to Walleye Weekend. Instead, I had to get creative with my run in my own neighborhood.

My plan for last week’s distance run said I had to run five miles. Since I couldn’t run the Walleye Weekend race I had planned on doing, I decided to create a race of my own. I usually train in run/walk intervals but over time I had been able to utilize that method for distances of over six miles. I had become so accustomed to running with very little oxygen in Denver that the abundance of oxygen and the humidity here in WI seem to almost suffocate me. Therefore, I have been using the run/ walk method more frequently. So for my “race” I decided I would challenge myself to run the five miles continuously and take no walk breaks. I also wanted to stay below ten minutes per mile (I already warned you all that I am not fast!).

I wasn’t able to get out for my run until around 9 AM on Saturday and by that time it was already brutally hot, very sunny and a bit humid. Regardless, my competitive nature made me power through. Although it nearly killed me, or at least it felt that way, I only took a few walk breaks and they were extremely short. I also ended up being just seconds over ten minutes per mile but there were times when my current pace was seven minutes and some seconds. That’s pretty good for me!

In comparison, there have been times in my career that I felt I had the “perfect” candidate for a position. A candidate that I was really excited about and in most cases built a very strong rapport with. Inevitably I would encounter a speed bump in the recruiting process with those perfect candidates forcing me to challenge myself and get creative. Whether it was compensation, location, benefits or even something more intangible, there was almost always a way to come up with a creative solution. Many times getting creative was successful and others, not so much. Regardless, if the candidate was worth fighting for, I did everything I could to close the deal favorably for both the potential employee and the employer. There is nothing like the satisfaction of putting the perfect candidate in their perfect job. The thrill along the way isn’t so bad either. Figuring out what I am after, deriving a plan, changing course, successes and failures along the way, finding and utilizing a support system and finally reaching your goal.

As a result of believing in a really great candidate and doing my best to find creative solutions I have been able to match people to great jobs. In instances that I wasn’t able to find a creative solution to close the deal with a candidate I believe I was still able to make great connections and provide a good candidate experience. If you don’t experience failure you won’t have success and I think if you don’t have small challenges along the way you will get bored and forget the purpose of your task. I believe this is true in professional and personal life and therefore I will continue to welcome challenges that require creativity. I will regard those challenges as great opportunity to be a better recruiter and a better runner.

What creative solution have you used to overcome a challenge in either recruiting or running?

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