“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Children face this question frequently on the path to adulthood, and it never fails to spark an inferno of imagination, even as the answer matures from the fantastic to the realistic. The future is a blank canvas upon which we have all at some point painted our wildest dreams and fantasies. Reflecting on my own childhood, I believe my earliest career ambition was to become a knight. Eventually, I decided to be a Jedi instead. Thinking back to my first real-world aspiration, though, I am reminded of late nights alone with my father spent admiring the culinary prowess of television chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Masaharu Morimoto. These knives-for-hire emit an enigmatic romance, working night after night to hone their craft and perfect their art. As a child, it was my dream to work in a real kitchen. This dream eventually materialized as a part-time job in college as a cook at a local Greek restaurant. By this point in my life, I knew that I did not want to pursue a career in food service, but I was still excited for the brief opportunity to live out one of my childhood dreams while I worked on figuring out what my future would hold. Last year, though, I was given the opportunity to scratch that dream off of my bucket list for good and take my first steps into the world of corporate America as a talent sourcing specialist with Antony International Solutions.
I am a chronic daydreamer, so as I transitioned from slicing tomatoes and temping steaks to LinkedIn-surfing and resume-diving, I often found myself pondering the topics of career ambition and childhood wonder. Every candidate I have reviewed assuredly has their own set of dreams, values, and goals. Now, I am the gatekeeper that stands between application and ambition. Perhaps I would be the catalyst that launched some of these people forward towards fulfilling their dreams, or maybe my involvement would completely shake up their plans and set them down a new path altogether. This is the power of the recruiter. It is not a role that I had ever thought much about before my time with AIS, but I have come to realize that recruiters are the lifeblood of a company. No, that’s not quite right. Recruiters are the bone-marrow of a company. Bone-marrow provides the lifeblood to the body, and likewise, recruiters work tirelessly to provide companies with the right talent to thrive.
Thinking back to when I was a kid, I never would have thought about the possibility of holding this sort of position, mostly because I never considered the need for this sort of position. That can be said for any number of roles, though. No child that I know of aspires to become a senior product manager for a software startup. For the right candidate, though, their entire career has led up to that position. Some kid that wanted to be an astronaut has been shaped by a lifetime’s worth of experience to become a great product manager. It really makes me realize that I’m still not entirely sure what my future has in store for me, but I know that my work with AIS is actively changing the way that I will think about my career for the rest of my life.