The Desk

January 26, 2008

Recruiter Tip: Importance of Circulation

This week’s tip is specifically for those of you who are independent recruiters. You may be an early start-up or have been a one-person shop for years. No matter which, that little alcove in the garage or in the corner of your bedroom is your office. When you wake up in the morning, you can see your office and the place where you’ll start your cold calling. In fact, there’s almost no time that you’re not “in your office” because you’re so there. There are some who have a really cushy life. The home office is in the kitchen. So the real conveniences are literally just an arm’s length away.

You’d think this type of life would be ideal. The day can start at whatever hour you decide and it can end as early or as late as is necessary. The trouble is, things start to get staid and stale. There are days when it’s hard to get the engines running or to get excited about doing the same routine today as you did for the past 18. And if you’re one of those who doesn’t know the definition of “weekend,” then Life (and the calendar) is becoming one huge blur.

Yes, keeping a home office is very economical, convenient, sensible, and a lot of other adjectives. But it can lead to stagnation if you’re not careful. One of an independent’s mainstays is creativity and the best way to keep creativity at its height is to carefully feed it each day with exposure to a variety of situations so that you have a different perspective. Therefore, one of the things you need to do in order to keep that flow of variety is make certain you’re circulating.

While it’s a good thing to have everything at your fingertips at your home office, have you considered setting up a virtual office presence at an executive business setting? Some offer mail service only for a very reasonable monthly fee. If strategically chosen, this mail service can keep you up to date on services available to other businesses in the suite, conferences and trainings, and potential contacts. It’s also good exposure for you and you may have a class that’s waiting for you to teach with the right development.

If the mail service idea doesn’t work for you but you’re still dying on the vine from the sameness syndrome, try doing some of your work at a Kinko’s where you literally can put your presentation together, have it printed, bound, and shipped while in your office. The beauty is that if you use the same center on a regular basis, in no time you’ll have established a rapport with the staff who will be willing to help you with bits of this or that to make life better.

Finally, there’s the local wi-fi coffee shop. Stop in to read the morning paper with a cuppa Joe and a bagel. Once you’ve noted which way Wall Street is headed, scan for those “must-find” business names in the news. The great thing about the coffee bars is that you’re welcome to stay as long as you want and come as often as you want. There are few restrictions and these are also great places to hold first meetings while still maintaining a professional presence.

The most important underlying thing about all of these suggestions is that availing yourself of some outside resources also allows you to stay fresh, aware of what’s going on currently, and still circulating.

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