Structure, or lack thereof

Tomorrow marks my three-month anniversary at my job, and I am in need of some serious venting.

This job is so different than anything I have ever done. The people I work with are incredible (they feel like my family, already), the office has some amazing amenities (free gym in the basement? check. partners that often buy us lunch? check. free coffee and snacks? check), and there is potential to make a lot of money at the next level up.  Most importantly, the work I do is cool – I find people to do really cool jobs at some pretty major companies.

There is an incredible amount of flexibility (in schedule, day-to-day work, etc). I have no direct boss. This could be such a cool environment, but I feel like I’m failing.

Even though my boss (and coworkers) say I’m doing a great job, I feel a bit disappointed in myself inside because I know I could be doing so much more.

I used to be a motivated person. There was no one holding my hand through college yet I had the inner drive to get crazy shit done. Lately, that inner drive has been hard to cultivate and I find myself slacking on company time, which is just not like me.

I think this downward turn in my ambition happened when I worked in finance at the bank. I hated what I was doing, so I did whatever I could to avoid doing any work. Unfortunately those habits have stuck with me and I find myself spending way too much time reading blogs or otherwise occupying my day.  I am learning, but it’s not necessarily productive to my current role.

The thing that is confusing to me is: I do have the ability to influence my income if I bust ass. I mean, I won’t be able to make a significant difference in my salary since I only earn 3% on the fees we earn, but 3% of $1,00,000 is $30,000 so it’s not nothing.

I think something I struggle with right now is the lack of deliverables I have to produce. At the end of the day there is no one asking me for updates or reports. My job is to find good candidates for our open roles. It’s so loose and unstructured that I am losing focus and motivation.

I want to succeed in this job. My coworker is in the office 20 hours a week and she earns $250,000 per year. I don’t even desire to obtain that level of compensation, I would be more than happy to contribute $100,000 to our family income. But unless I get out of this funk, I’m never going to be able to do that.

As with most personal “issues” the first step is admitting there is a problem.

Ok, got it: there is definitely a problem.

Now I need to tackle it. And I think the solution is creating my own structure for my day.

My day needs to consist of the following:

  • research for open jobs (what are good companies to look at, etc)
  • sourcing qualified candidates for open jobs
  • connecting with said candidates
  • sending qualified and interested candidates to hiring managers
  • new business research
  • data entry for holly & rachel
  • social media management (posting new positions on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc)
  • understanding industry trends and techniques (reading industry blogs)

Seeing as I have 40 open jobs at any given time, the above tasks can easily fill a 40 hour work week. I think I get sidetracked by the data entry portion of the job and let that consume 80% of my time when it really should be consuming 20%.  I also want my email checking to only happen three times a day – I have read in numerous places that this is very effective for reducing distraction.

Every time we get a new open job, I could spend 2 hours doing research (companies to source from etc) and creating a “sourcing plan spreadsheet” with keywords, search strings, companies to look at, etc. Then on that spreadsheet I could keep track of all the candidates I reach out to (forcing myself to reach out to at least 10 per day) with contact info so follow-up is easier. I also want to create an “Accounts Receivable” spreadsheet so I can keep track of how much commission I should be planning to get each period, hopefully this will also create more of an outer sense of motivation since I will be able to see that I can in fact influence my income by finding more candidates.

A hypothetical day could go like this… (each day I will pick two jobs to focus on):

  • 9am-10am – read emails, follow up/take action on important things, file/delete as actioned on (data entry will happen here), set 2 priority jobs for the day
  • 10am-11:30am – follow sourcing plan for priority job #1, finding at least 5 qualified candidates and sending Linkedin message, email, and phone call
  • 11:30am-12pm – email check, follow up/take action, file/delete as actioned on (data entry will happen here)
  • 12pm-1pm – lunch break
  • 1pm-2pm – industry blog time, plus social media postings for priority openings
  • 2pm-3:30pm – follow sourcing plan for priority job #2, finding at least 5 qualified candidates and sending Linkedin message, email, and phone call
  • 3:30pm-4pm – new business research
  • 4pm-5pm – read emails, follow up/take action, file/delete as actioned on (data entry)