Learning by Doing

About 4 years ago, I started a blog. I’d been hanging out for a year in the recruiting “blogging” community and finally decided to quit lurking and take the dive. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing (some would argue I still don’t – and they’re probably right). But, hey, that’s the beauty of blogging.

Aristotle said, “What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.”

And whether we’re talking about blogging or recruiting, Aristotle was certainly on to something. I’m no deep-thinker, but I’m smart enough to realize that when I “go beyond myself” and do something I’m not fully prepared to do (at least in my mind), at least two things are going to happen:

  1. I succeed or fail.
  2. I learn.

Now, fast forward – 335 B.C. (Aristotle) to 1996 (when I got my first agency recruiting gig). I’d already been in the workforce eight years, having survived my first corporate job at EDS. I’m not sure what possessed me to give up my non-recruiting career, but I was determined to be a recruiter (whatever that meant).

Ultimately, it meant a pay cut (initially), and the best training money can buy:

“Here’s a phone, here’s a desk, good luck.”

Wow. I was stunned. And, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. But I learned. It was the hardest 12 months of my career. But it stuck.

After one year of agency recruiting, I got an offer to join AT&T Wireless (corporate role in Dallas). Somehow it was deja vu all over again. While I did have a year of agency recruiting under my belt, everything was different. And, strangely enough, it seemed the hiring managers had more respect for the agency recruiters.

But I learned by doing.

One more fast-forward…this time 12 years.

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Having spent the bulk of my career recruiting telecom / wireless engineers, I find myself back in unfamiliar territory, where, strangely enough, I’m leading a handful of recruiters in the “way” of recruiting. Obviously, I’m much better equipped now then when I took my first shot at this thing. But, in reality, I’m a newbie in a world of experienced headhunters.

As before, I’m at least smart enough to realize that when I “go beyond myself” and do something I’m not fully prepared to do, at least two things are going to happen (and this time, maybe three):

  1. I will succeed or fail.
  2. I will learn.
  3. I will have fun.

I look forward to being part of something here that is much larger than all of us combined.

And I look forward to learning something from each of you.

Here’s to learning by doing,


Humble seeker of wireless executives and passionate community-builder behind the curtains of WirelessJobs.com


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