Recruiters are undoubtedly some of the most resilient and motivated people in the working world. In simple terms, their job is to help companies source and hire the most qualified candidates – a delicate process that engenders an abundance of wins, losses, and setbacks.
As I write comfortably from my two-screen desktop surrounded by the larger-than-life world of Michael Page recruiters, their plot twist becomes clear: their selling product, people, are unpredictable. As a result, a recruiter needs to develop a special kind of mental strength to prove successful.
I reached out to hundreds of recruiters across my business on how they stay motivated, and their responses were profound. Here is what they shared that can benefit you too:
1) Keep a Folder of All Your “Wins”
Create your own personal portfolio of success that you update throughout your career. Refer to it whenever you want an energy or confidence boost – you’ve accomplished more than you often remember. Remember why you started in the first place, and know that your company hired you because they believe in you and still do. This folder is your proof that you are completely capable of success; you wouldn’t be where you are today if you weren’t. Keep the momentum going!
“I have a folder in my inbox titled ‘Feel Goods’ with emails that represent wins from my career. It’s a reminder that even if the hard work isn’t noticed, the accomplishments will be.” – Brittany Daunno, Talent Acquisition Manager
2) Remember What You Won’t Have If You Don’t Try
What is the goal you are moving towards? Closing a big business deal? Getting a promotion? Finding more interesting work? Imagining how gratified you’ll feel is in itself very motivating. But if you don’t take the necessary steps towards your goal, then what will you be left with? What will you be lacking? Explore this in-depth and use it to inspire your progress. You don’t want to stay in the same place, or even worse, regress. The only cure for inaction is action.
“Never forget how it feels to have no activity happening. This motivates me to keep a consistent pipeline.” – Sara Hagey, Senior Manager
3) Break Down Your Big Goals into Small Steps
Once you identify your long-term goal, the next step is to zoom in and write down the specific actions you must take to get there. Having realistic goals that you can commit yourself to will make the bigger picture seem less daunting, and help you keep track of where you are in the process. Small wins add up to big ones!
“If you have a long-term goal, you won’t feel as though you’re just treading water. Work back and make small steps towards it.” – Russ Kikkert, Manager
4) Surround Yourself with Positive, Encouraging People and Content
Neuroplasticity proves that your mind is extremely malleable, reorganizing itself by forming new neural pathways to adapt as needed. In other words, you can teach your old brain new tricks, and as you receive messages on a daily basis, your mind begins to own the same mode of thinking. So skip the fear-inducing news and negative people and subscribe to more uplifting channels. Curate a supportive network of friends and colleagues who are passionate and growth-oriented. Sign up for a daily email that sends you motivational material first thing in the morning. Work with people who are on the same mission as you. Your environment is a huge part of setting yourself up for success, so create one that inspires you.
“I entrench myself with optimistic people, videos, and reading material. The smallest story or saying could be the needed motivational tool to get me through a tough day” – Andrew Youssef, Senior Manager
5) Empower Yourself by Making Exercise a Top Priority
Mental fitness and physical fitness go hand in hand. Part of the motivation is endurance, which you develop as your body experiences stamina breakthroughs at the gym, dancing, or whatever medium works for you. If you work with people, then you have to deal with a lot of emotions (that aren’t necessarily your own). Allowing yourself an outlet to release those will help you stay sane. Plus, if you are under a lot of pressure, you’ll likely experience shallow breathing, which you can reset in intense physical activity. Make time for this every day and you’ll have the fresh energy you need to be successful.
“My absolute #1 way to stay motivated is through exercise. It clears my mind and gives me a sense of accomplishment. I always come out feeling better about everything.” – Deena Toukan, Associate Director
6) Understand What Is and Is Not in Your Control
All you can do is what is within your power to do. When faced with a problem or difficult situation, ask yourself: have I done everything I possibly can to make this work? What external factors have shaped this outcome and what is within my locus of control to make it better? In the professional world and the world-at-large, you should always be adding value in some form. You are uniquely talented, uniquely persuasive, and uniquely able to provide something important. If you are doing your true best, then the rest will unfold naturally.
“There is a lot in recruitment we can’t make the decision on. But for those we can, don’t just try to make them happen – do everything you can to. If it still doesn’t work out, trust the process and trust that you will be successful, because you will.” – Jay Tan, Director