• What I’ve Learned About Recruitment – Nostalgia & Comparing Stagnate Growth
      By Zofia Sharman, Recruiter for HR
      1 July 2015 

      What I've learned about recruitmentIn my job of recruitment, one of the things I’ve noted which often prevents many great candidates in securing a job or furthering their career, is holding onto the past. Nostalgia. Good or bad thing? Well, from my experience I’ve seen it’s not so great, and in fact rather like an illness, prevents otherwise full flowing movement. Movement forth that is. Getting on with things. Agreed and yes, we all like to remember the great times, deals or jobs, but there’s a difference between appreciating what was and letting that go or pass by, as opposed to otherwise getting stuck in the mud, hanging, even hankering on to the past ‘for what once was’ or ‘used to be’, not able to move on…

      What I’ve learned about recruitment through the people I meet and interview, is that nostalgia tends to be about oneself in relation to another, and has a cousin called comparison. Both hurt. Because the pain of comparison is just the pain of judgment we have first made about ourselves for example, about the (great) job, position, company we joined, salary, or title we once had and no longer have…and then twists itself attaching ‘all this’ in relation to someone else, like an alumni, sibling, ex colleague, neighbour or friend, who we can even feel a jealousy towards. A double hurt, one to them, and one to us. And how constricting too. But also how very convenient because projection or direction towards another conveniently directs attention and focus away from oneself. Avoiding having to (responsibly) take a good look at ourselves. Which brings forward another point, acceptance. Frequently many of the candidates I meet are stressed out, or depressed about things like -

      • Having a round of ‘bad moves’ on their CV
      • Having to take a lower salary than what they once had
      • Being fired (again) for the difficult relationship between their boss or colleague
      • Culture fit
      • Time taken out for travel, education, sabbatical, or parenting/motherhood

      Of course each situation is different, but the essence is such that whilst logical, perhaps our reasons are being used more as excuses for why we say we feel ‘held back in our career’, leaving us either with a knocked confidence, low self-worth, back on our heels, opting out, as opposed to balls of the feet forwards, this-is-who-i-am-and-this-is-what-i-offer, committing to the next move, whatever that is. Difficult when nostalgia’s hanging around, no?

      What I’ve learned through my work of Recruitment, is that comparing ourselves to ourselves and so to someone else, and feeling not good enough in the process, perhaps is just an unwillingness to accept the fact that we’ve made choices we think have not advanced us in some way and seemingly ‘held us back’.

      But that when there is a willingness to accept our choices, we create space. We see that there is in fact no ‘wrong choice’ – only choice. With this, space to see that –

      • We are where we are, or experience the things we experience at work or in our career, by our choices alone, (good and not so good – they all contribute towards our growth)
      • That it’s our choices alone which create the work or job we enjoy and love (or not), the life we have and live

      Put differently, if we can say that we’ve had a past, then we can say that we’ve made choices, good and not so good. Those gazillion of choices are ours and all belong to us, not our alumni’s or any other’s. OK, so we might see that a person has made more wise choices than us, but nonetheless is it really worth spending time or energy obsessing, hurting, comparing and stagnating? When instead through acceptance we can create space for there to be a movement towards our own evolving that’s beautifully unique to us, because it’s designed by us. Choices shape the life we live. Comparison creates unnecessary tension. Acceptance develops self-responsibility. This allows for harmony and space for different or perhaps wiser choices to be made next time round, where we can let go of the past and not only enjoy, but appreciate what we have, and the learning ALL our choices gracefully furnish.


      Zofia Sharman is forever inspired by people and truth, and is based in Singapore working as a Recruiter for HR at VOLT, an international recruitment consultancy that supports people to secure jobs and careers they love. It’s that simple. For more information see http://voltasia.com.sg/home.aspx