Take that call!

A C-level executive was terminated after 28 years of progressive senior leadership positions in one of America’s leading tech companies.  As she left, she said her only regret was not taking phone calls from recruiters.  She had never taken their calls. She landed well and she landed high and her career has continued to prosper.

A lesson is obvious.  Recruiters usually phone individuals purposefully and selectively, rarely randomly.  These calls are placed with the obvious intention of speaking with you.  The recruiter may want to speak to you about a number of possible items.

1.      They might be presenting you with a new opportunity-this is most likely.

2.      The recruiter may want to ask you for any suggestions for a search, one that clearly would not apply to you, for  any reason.

3.      The recruiter may be seeking some intelligence on the field of your career.

4.      OR they may want to do a search for your organization.

You may well count yourself among those folks who never take calls from headhunters.

This decision might be based on your experience with a particular recruiter or any recruiter.  You may have formed opinions a specific search firm, all search firms, types of search practices, and/or individual recruiters.  Whatever your reason, that decision might narrow your career opportunities.

A colleague in the health care industry once shared with me that her career took a dramatic turn for the best when she took a cold call from a recruiter that she knew and she disliked-really disliked.   It turned out he presented her with an opportunity that the job was singularly appealing and it put her on the fast track to a CEO position in that company and, subsequently, in her employer’s parent company.

The moral of the story is evident.  Each of us can choose on a daily basis whether we will take a call or not take a call.  That choice might be more important than any one of us could ever foresee.

Note:  These two stories are based on facts.  Only the names are omitted, for obvious reasons.

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