You Had me at Hello

Well, it’s that time of year again. The recruiting season. Recruiters, I hope your conversations for that IB Physics teacher go a lot more like this rather than this

Sweaty palms, checking your texts 300 times a minute, darting glances around the room for someone to catch your eye and smile. High school dance or recruiting fair? Recruiting fair.

You nervously walk down the hotel corridor, the number of the room in your hand, shaking, excited with nervous anticipation, fixing your shirt at the last minute, wondering if this moment is going to change your life. You knock, she opens and smiles. After high school dance or recruiting fair? Recruiting fair.

You rip open the envelope, your eyes absorbing every word in the message, reading between and through the lines. “Nice to meet you,” he wrote. What did he mean by “nice?” Is it a sign?

You walk the room, beverage in one hand, hoping to catch that sparkle in his eye, that moment of truth. There he is, you approach, but ever so carefully as not to seem too eager. He looks up. He sees you. You smile. He looks away and pretends not to notice. You are crushed. You wonder why. You look down at the patterns in the carpet, the noise around you hushed. It wasn’t meant to be after all. High school dance or recruiting fair?

You get the drift.

Yes, it’s that time of year, where professionals from international schools around the world gather in a multitude of meeting places to put their best foot forward in hopes for the future and a career path that could take their lives in a totally new direction. Or not. As a recruiter, you feel the hopeful anticipation of the unknown, the many options in front of you, the competitive juices flowing as you think of the other suitors. And the candidates? You are filled with dread, hoping you will be chosen against all others, and that the leap of faith you took is somehow rewarded. The stakes are so high. The dreams are so crushed or fulfilled.

Just like high school.

I have been on both sides of “the table” and can assure the candidates that it’s no more fun being the suitor than it is being the…suited? We get dumped. Our phone calls are not returned. The one we really don’t want chases us down on the dance floor. We look for messages, for hope, any sign at all that you want us. Yes, it’s high school. So, if you’ve ever had one of those moments, years later, when you looked back and said, “If I could do it all over this is what I would do differently in high school..” listen to that voice. It will serve you well at a recruiting fair. Have confidence, faith in yourself, the ability to say no, and most of all, the perspective things happen for a reason.

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