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The Clueless at The Work Podcast

Anthony Garone talks with several experts in his network about how to navigate the complexities of professional work.

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Episode 8: Discomfort, Failure, and Cluelessness with Sharon Bondurant

Sharon Bondurant headshot photo

Sharon Bondurant is the Founder/CEO of The Finders (#1 tech recruiting firm in 2018 and 2019, Best Places To Work winner) and a professional body builder. Hear her story and her relationship with cluelessness, or as she puts it, “clueless every day.”

Sharon Bondurant on LinkedIn

Automated Episode Transcript

Published on: Sat, Jan 11, 2020

[00:00:03] Anthony: Welcome to the Clueless at the work podcast, where we talk through a framework for being successful in your job. My name is Anthony Garone, and I’ll be hosting this show with some friends who are experts in helping people grow. Content is based on my book Clueless at the work Advice from a Corporate Tyrant, which is published by Stairway Press. You can find out more at clueless at the work dot com. Welcome back to the Clueless at The work Podcast. I’m very happy to have a special guest in the studio today. Sharon Bondurant, CEO and founder of The Finders. Sharon, thank you very much for joining today.

[00:00:44] Sharon: Thanks, Anthony, to talk with you.

[00:00:47] Anthony: Excellent. I really appreciate you driving all the way out here and thank you for a wonderful lunch. You’re cool. So, um, for our new listeners, can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do for work?

[00:01:01] Sharon: Of course. So I founded The Finders. It’s actually been 22 years ago, and we are recruiting firm. We started in the technology space, and I always profits by saying, you know, when I first launched the company, I didn’t own a computer I didn’t own. You know, cell phones were not, Um uh really, We didn’t even have cell phones. I think we had just I think I had my first cell phone, maybe four or five months after I founded my company. So no computers, no cell phones. And I really started just right from my spare bedroom on the floor with a phone book and a fax machine and accorded phone doing recruiting. So things have changed dramatically over the past 22 years. So it’s been a really fun ride. It’s been just so amazing. We’ve stayed local here in Arizona.

[00:01:56] Anthony: Well, I don’t think you mentioned what exactly you’re doing.

[00:01:58] Sharon: Yeah. So we specialize in technology. That’s where it all began. Um, and now we’ve also branched out into HR. So we placed technology and HR professionals locally here in Arizona. Thio start up companies, all the wayto you know, Fortune 100 companies.

[00:02:17] Anthony: So, um, we had Alan Plunkett on a few episodes ago. Who is also a recruiter. Started around the same time, but later I think he’s hitting 17 years. But in 22 years, how many thousands or tens of thousands of rest of resumes. Have you resumes? Oh,

[00:02:35] Sharon: wow. Gosh, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question. We’ve placed over 3000 people here over the years. So as faras resumes, Oh, gosh, I mean multiple. Probably close to 500,000 or more.

[00:02:52] Anthony: That’s amazing.

[00:02:53] Sharon: Easily, Yeah, between my myself and my team. So a lot of people,

[00:02:57] Anthony: that’s a lot of people. And, ah, we cover a lot of different topics in the book. Clueless at the work, Um, that irrelevant to your industry. And the book is really targeting, um, younger professionals or even more seasoned professionals who just don’t have any sort of framework for success. And ah, true to what the book says you found me on lengthen.

[00:03:23] Sharon: I did. I know. I remember reading part of your book when you talked about Lincoln and the connections that you can make And

[00:03:31] Anthony: yeah, and here we are. And, ah, you found an excerpt from my book about making mistakes and being okay with failure. So, um, why don’t you talk a little about what resonated with you with respect to that excerpt

[00:03:48] Sharon: as faras failure? I mean, I think that’s how we all learn and grow. I think the biggest thing is we have to always remember that. So I know for me personally, um, I have to push myself out of my comfort zone because otherwise you stay safe and you don’t want to make mistakes or make failures. Um, and you want to keep doing what you’ve always done before, And I think at some time, if you stay in that space, even if you want to play it safe, you actually do yourself a disservice because things change. And if you if you stay in that same place, you’re gonna actually fail anyway because things are gonna change. So you have to, you know, keep failing forward, you know, and learning and being able to apply and say All right, the next time you know I’m gonna do this differently or in an approach, the situation differently. And really keep yourself, you know, fresh and, you know, out of your comfort zone.

[00:04:44] Anthony: And you had said in your initial message to me that, um, you were glad to see someone embracing mistakes and failures. So can you share a little about why you felt that was a special or different message? and what it means to you to embrace mistakes and failure.

[00:05:03] Sharon: Yes, I think it’s an overall mindset where you have to practice failing because failing. Let’s face it, it’s not fun to fail, right? Especially, I think, for some people who are more competitive, like I’m very competitive in nature. But I’m more competitive with myself than with other people. So I always like to help other people and make themselves better. But for me personally, you know, I always want to do a little bit better than I did the last time. And so I think by practicing failure, you have to practice feeling that you know that bad feeling when you when you do something and it’s not up to your expectations. Um, I think that that’s really what fuels you and you also. Then no one improvements are being made

[00:05:49] Anthony: when you start

[00:05:49] Sharon: to feel more confident and you know can see yourself accomplish something and see progress. I think that’s I know for me speaking and you know about that specifically, I think seeing progress even if it’s not quote perfect, as long as you can see that what you’re doing is making a difference and you’re getting better at it. Then you can see failure in a positive light.

[00:06:13] Anthony: So another area that’s important in your life is competitive bodybuilding. And I would imagine between when you started and when you were competing, you saw a lot of changes physically. But I’m sure you went through mental transformation. You learned, you know, ways that you were doing things wrong. Can you talk a little about your journey through bodybuilding as well? And how mistakes failure have played into that?

[00:06:41] Sharon: Yeah. So for me, when I first started competing, it was nine years ago. So this has already been in a really long time, Um, that I’ve been in that in that space. But when I first started out, I was mentioning to you, You know, over our lunch, I used to start and stop things very quickly. I would get discouraged and I would quit. And so I always think of myself as this some, you know, someone that’s overcome that quitting mentality, and it’s all because of fitness. So when I first started out competing, I had my trainer approached me and he said, You know, have you ever thought about competing because I would I would go in consistently and I would work out. I would do a lot of cardio. Um, and I would just if they told me to do something as faras weightlifting, I would do it. But I really need someone just to tell me what to deal. If as long as I showed up, you know, it’s gonna be okay. So, um, you know, when he asked me that I, you know, I had said, Well, I have thought about it, but I never wanted to do it because I never thought I could be one of those people that could, you know, be consistent and work out that hard and have the body, you know, in the physique of that. But he caught me at a moment in time where I had just turned 40 and I was really kind of complacent where I was like everything was good, but it wasn’t great. And it wasn’t super exciting. So really, the day before, he had asked me about that. I was looking for something that was gonna get me out of my comfort zone and kind of get me excited about something I really didn’t have any hobbies. I never really worked out that that hard. And so when he said that to me, something disc licked in me and I thought, Okay, this was the thing that I was looking for and and this is it. So I just picked it. I decided that I was going to do this, and I really that was the first time. It was just kind of like he came up. He asked me and it’s something clicked. So when I first started competing in my mind because I had always been that quitter like, that’s how I kind of thought of myself that way, even though, you know, my work life, people wouldn’t think of me like that. But that’s kind of a mental thing that I I kind of had in my head. So really, my My whole goal was I was gonna follow the process. I was going to do what they told me to dio because they had my diet, my workouts, and I just wasn’t gonna quit. That was the only I wasn’t thinking. I wanna win the show and, you know, it was just I don’t want to quit, and I don’t wanna be the last one. I don’t wantto you know, I just don’t want to be last. And so I went through. It was about four months of really, really intense training. And during that time, what was really surprising to me was the mental mindset that transformed not only the physical part, but just the mental. Because I always had this little voice in my head That was like, You’re not good enough. You can’t do this. It’s easier just to quit. What are you doing? People are gonna laugh at you. I mean, the whole thing. And so during that whole four months, it was just every time I would think that, Which is very mean many times during the day. Really? Um, I would have to stop, and I would say no, I’d have to replace that thought with something positive. Like, I’m gonna do this. I’m going to get up there. And so, over a four month period of time, Um, you know that my mental mindset completely changed, and even the day before the show, I just all of a sudden had this breakdown where I just got very fearful and I started that little voice inside my head crept up and I thought, I cannot do this. I’m not gonna go out there. There’s no way. Way What?

[00:10:28] Anthony: The Inner Hitler.

[00:10:29] Sharon: Yeah, I called. Yeah, I called my husband at the time. I said, I I’m not doing it. I’m not going. I’m gonna call my trainer. I’m not going. I mean, it was really bad. I was crying just

[00:10:41] Anthony: like it was fear. Or was it like, just being down on yourself? A

[00:10:46] Sharon: little fear total total fear and mind Your mind will do tricks, you know, with you. So I just started. Really? Just having doubts like this is people are gonna laugh. I’m gonna, you know, the worst case scenario, right? And so after about 1/2 hour, he walked me off the ledge, and I had let so much emotion out that day that it was really a blessing because there was nothing left. I had no fear left. After that. I had there was just nothing else I could bring out. So I said, You know what? I’m just gonna go out there, and I’m just gonna show up because that’s that was my goal. I wasn’t gonna quit. I was going to show up. And if I do that, then that’s good enough, right? And so the very next day, when the show happened, I I was so calm. I just went out there and I really enjoyed it. Like I paid attention to every single moment. Just really took everything in. And I just felt really super proud of myself in that moment, but was what was really, really, um, game changing for me was even though I thought, Okay, this is gonna be the most horrendous thing if I’m gonna show up and go out anyway. Well, I ended up winning the show. That was like the cherry on top, right? Because it really wasn’t about that. But it also showed me I almost didn’t go. I always did not show up. And so at the time, you know, that was a huge accomplishment for me because I had never won anything in my life. I wasn’t an athlete. Um, never did sports in high school didn’t start working out till I was 40. And so the, um, the segment that I won was not only my age, but the whole show, like the whole show for my height was competing with 20 year olds, you know, which is pretty good back then, you know, um, so anyway, afterwards, that really showed me that one used to show up, you know, and and be present and not quit. And so, you know, I tried to apply that feeling and that attitude really into everything, including my work. Um, because I think I mentioned to you during that time because I was training so much, I really had to make adjustments of my business life, one of them being I wasn’t gonna be in the office as much. So I had to delegate more. I had to give, um, my team more ownership. I promoted my think her think she was 10. Remember her title? My right hand. Um, woman, you know, she’s now my c e o Christie. But at the time, I promoted her and I gave her the keys to my office, and I was like, I really like here. You go like you’re leading our team. I know you have it in you and your She’s amazing what she does. But I really had never given up that control before, so that to me was a really big thing back then. And, um, my business ended up growing like 500% during that that year. So again, it showed me I just learned a lot of life lessons. You know that you have to kind of get out of your own way and get out of your own head. And big things can happen in a very small amount of time.

[00:13:57] Anthony: It’s amazing. Sorry. It’s amazing. I I’m very encouraged to hear you use so much of the same language from the book. Not intentionally.

[00:14:11] Sharon: Not intentionally. It all

[00:14:12] Anthony: show up, be on time. Don’t quit. Um, we just learned what you don’t know. Deal with the mistakes and things will work out, you know, and delegate find indispensable people become someone who is able to delegate to an indispensable team. It’s funny how we think we’re the most indispensable people in our lives, our own lives. But then, when you find a good person or a good team, it’s like your business can grow 500%. If you just hand it over to the right people. You know it’s a wonderful thing. They become indispensable, and then they raise up people that also become indispensable. So I think there’s there’s just so much power in it. So I’m really glad to hear you’d share. These stories have so much overlap,

[00:15:04] Sharon: Absolutely. And I remember reading about this show up on time because that specifically, we coach our candidates when they go out to an interview, and that’s really one of the We still use it today because I think it is so important, right, that people show up on time for an interview and really for everything, but especially, you know, I know when I’m interviewing internal candidates and I know my clients do this. A lot of them do this to I mean, you’re really you’re looking at your watch. If someone’s even a minute late for an interview, that can cost them the job right? And sometimes people don’t realize that they shouldn’t You know that one minute can make a big difference in school mindset of that interview and that that interviewer. So when I read that, I thought that’s so so important, and a lot of times people just don’t don’t realize it,

[00:15:58] Anthony: huh? Speaking of not realizing it, um, you said a couple of great things to me earlier, one of which was ah, clueless every day. I love that phrase. So this podcast has a goal of sharing stories of people going from clueless cluelessness to known cluelessness. And the idea of clueless every day is like I know my limitations, and I’m aware of them every single day of my life. So can you share something? Ah, in your life, in your work or whatever where you’ve realized you went from clueless cluelessness to known cluelessness?

[00:16:39] Sharon: Yes, there’s many things that come to mind and yeah, we were talking. I feel like I am clueless every single day, but I think you almost have to be like what we were saying about You have to be comfortable with failure and getting out of your comfort zone. So they think if you are put in situations where you are out of your comfort zone, you are gonna be clueless in the beginning. So it’s a matter how you use that information and turn it into something else where you’re actually learning. So for me, you know, one of the things there’s actually a couple things like big rocks that come to mind when I think about cluelessness. And ah, lot of it stems from in my business. I was They call it the technician. Meaning I was the duer. Yeah, I was the recruiter, and I loved what I did. And it made me want to go out, um, and create a company, and I won’t go into a lot of detail. But really, the main reason was because I was working for another firm and became pregnant. And I thought at the time I loved what I did, and I wanted to go right back, you know, And after I had the baby, my son go right back into recruiting and go back to my job. And so sometimes you don’t know until you talk about, like, cluelessness. When when I had my first son the moment I I looked at him, I thought, there is no way I am going back to the office leaving him right. So that’s how my company started. At least are the day that my son was born. May 1st 1998. Um, because I thought Okay, how can I do this? You know, how can I, um, still do what I love, but also be a mom. And so that’s you know how I started my company every time he would go down for a nap, you know, I’d go. Okay. I think I could do this a little bit differently from home because back then, we didn’t have telecommuting and remote work and such. So I was the recruiter Back to your question. I was the recruiter. I was the duer. And there’s this great book by Michael E. Gerber called the e meth. And it really talks about how most people start out as the Duer and then they get this. Um, you know that he calls it an entrepreneurial seizure. For all of a sudden, you want to create your own company because you’re good at what you d’oh. And so you start your own company, but you don’t realize that it’s very different. Skill sets right to be the the technician, the duer versus being the manager or, you know, the leader of ah corporation or company. And there’s a big disconnect of skills that you have to learn going from the technician to the leader, right?

[00:19:27] Anthony: It’s so funny. And people are like, you’re so good at programming, you should manage the group of programmers like Like it’s a promotion, but it is. It’s a totally different job. It’s like you’re so good at sweeping the floor. You should play the bassoon in the orchestra. Like what? Okay, technically, they’re you know, it’s the same group of people, but management. Once you start managing, I mean, you realize this has nothing to do with what I was doing. Like, yeah, I get to do some of that, but not with these people and not for these people. It’s more like I I become the the administrative, you know, lead for them. It’s a support role, and it’s totally different from being good at what you were doing

[00:20:09] Sharon: right. And then you’re having to train and coats to hire and fire and do all the operational tasks that have really nothing to do with the kill. Right? And so you know that in itself has been always a huge learning curve of going from that technician two to leader. But within that, you know, there’s also that whole philosophy of its better to work on your business than in it. So a lot of the business books that I’ve read over the years and all the speakers and, you know, mentors and coaches. People always say, you know, to get Thio, um two full success. You have to work on your business, not in it.

[00:20:51] Anthony: So can you help us, like, understand the difference between on and in, like, how are you working on your business? And there’s how versus in it.

[00:21:00] Sharon: So working in it would be being like doing the job, doing it and doing it and doing it kind of foot. That’s what Michael Gruber always relates to. So the technician working on it would be how to grow it. So developing systems and processes and documentation so that you can replicate that and in essence, have other people that are doing that job and you’re starting toe not only lead and manage them, but also work on your businesses faras, glowing clients and, you know, having ah, larger footprint in your industry.

[00:21:38] Anthony: So a lot of this comes from Michael Gerber’s E myth book.

[00:21:41] Sharon: Yes, yeah, so as faras, you know the question that you were asking me I over the years have always thought, OK, I really need to get to that place right where you’re working on your business and not in it. But I think that there can be a point, you know, back to your question about being clueless. What I found really over the last 3 to 5 years is that for me, I can only speak for myself in my experience. But for me, I have found that if I get too far removed and I’m working on the bait, the business in the big picture, I can lose sight of what we really need. You need to be focused on working in the business and so the industry can change. The market can change. Um, our clients can change. And if you don’t have a good pulse, which I feel like I had kind of lost the pulse a little bit of really what we where we should be going as a company. So I think that for me, what I realized was that, you know, it’s it’s not, um, ideal toe. Just be working on it,

[00:22:55] Anthony: right,

[00:22:56] Sharon: for a couple reasons those that I just mentioned, but also because what I really liked is doing the job like that’s what I was. Really. I was really good at working with clients and candidates and matchmaking and coaching. And that’s what I really loved. And so sometimes people get so far removed out of that that they lose that sense of joy because they’re not doing what they really love doing. They’re working on the reporting and all the operational tasks and getting insurance and working with accountants and all that other stuff. Then, um, needs to be done. But it’s really not the favorite thing to do. It’s not my favorite thing, So I

[00:23:38] Anthony: have business into, like, a commodity type thing, right?

[00:23:42] Sharon: It

[00:23:43] Anthony: was like it might as well be a bakery or a taco shop or something. You’re just It’s a thing that you’re managing. It’s easy to to become that clueless manager who’s totally out of touch with the work being done and the people doing the work

[00:23:56] Sharon: right And what our clients air needing is what candidates really appreciate appreciate about our business. So, um, I found that, you know, I need that balance. I need to have a good pulse on what’s going on, but I still need to be ableto um, you know, be in there kind of in the trenches to because that’s what I like.

[00:24:17] Anthony: So you said this was in the last 3 to 5 years. When did the ah when did the known cluelessness hit?

[00:24:24] Sharon: I would say there came a point, especially as my company grew because we have, you know, 13 recruiters now in the office. And so a lot of my day is spent, um, with my account managers with my recruiters with my c 00 And so I think it came about, you know, 3 to 5 years ago, probably closer to probably three years where I realized, you know, the market’s really changing. The competition is a lot more fierce than it was before. The way that clients are doing business is different, especially within technology. Mean things happening and grow and change so quickly that you always have to have a little bit up, you know, like your eye on the ball and not feel like, Oh, I can go kind of going on autopilot. Yeah, I kind of felt like things were on autopilot. Um, but at some point, you have to make sure that you go and, you know, put your hands back on the wheel and make sure that you’re going in the right direction.

[00:25:29] Anthony: Yeah, you had a couple of big rocks. Is that one of the big rocks or did that?

[00:25:34] Sharon: Yeah, that was one of them. And the other one was, you know, as a smaller company. And really, this is probably with a lot of companies. Um, a lot of the goal is to grow. You know, people always ask me. Well, what are you doing? Are you going to grow into different, different states or you’re gonna go national? That’s kind of the question. How much you guys gonna grow this year? And that’s always the way that people determine your success. Right? And sometimes I think we do that ourselves, like, Okay, now what? Like how? How much bigger is my company gonna get? How much revenue are we gonna increase this year? It’s all about those numbers, because their objective numbers, you know, um and so one of the things that I had decided where was that? We weren’t gonna grow nationwide because I felt like we’ve been in this industry for so long, and we’ve been here in Arizona. We know the market. We’ve got a lot of, you know, our network is big. We know a lot of people here. So rather than grow across the country, my my goal was, Well, what else to our clients need? Because that’s kind of ah, kind of a natural question that we can ask your clients. You know, we’ve helped you in technology. We launched HR finders, which has been very successful. Um, and that was in 2012. So the next thing in my mind was Okay, well, what else can we offer our clients? What else are they needing? And so, at the time, it was, um, you know, finance and accounting. So I thought, Well, we can just do another division and it all sounds very doable. But when you’re a really small company and you have three different brands, you know, having to it is a lot. But when you’re adding a whole other brand, it’s a lot. It’s a lot for a small company. And so what I found. Even though the concept was good, I found that we were trying to be everything to everyone and diluting the brand significantly. And it’s kind of it’s a hard scenario when you look at that and go Now what do we just keep going

[00:27:47] Anthony: right

[00:27:47] Sharon: and try to make it? We’ve invested a lot of money in, um growing our website and doing all of these things. But is it making business sense? Right, Right. So I think that what I learned is that you know, you shouldn’t try to be everything to everyone or even everything to your specific client, But just do what you do really well and aim to do it even better. So we’ve decided over the past religious recently that it’s not that we’re not going to do our finance and accounting, but we’re not gonna market it. We’re gonna let it just simmer and and set for a moment while we really focus back on our brands. You are attacking our HR because that’s where we’ve seen the most progress. And we’ve got the business and the clients. Um, but it’s difficult to be like that Didn’t really work out the way we thought it would be, how we thought it would work out. So rather than

[00:28:51] Anthony: but if it did work out, you would be like, Oh, well, it was great in this. Like,

[00:28:55] Sharon: I think

[00:28:56] Anthony: it’s just important to realize nothing is predictable, Like you can’t predict the future. You can try and you get good at certain things. But like that, just it could be the wrong time. You know, like with your weight lifting story. What if it was a year earlier? You know, and that trainer came to you and you be like, maybe not. And then this this current situation you’re in, it wouldn’t be a reality. So I think, like, you never know. But if you’re in the right place and you have the right energy, you know, it’s and you and you can tolerate the risk. Go for it. Otherwise, like, you don’t have to sell a 1,000,000 widgets or do $20 million in business to be successful. You know, it’s such a open ended word success. So, yeah. What? What does that even mean to you actually like it? Is it growth at this point, or is it allowing your two main brands to be a certain number or what? What does that look like for you?

[00:29:59] Sharon: I think success to me personally is, um, feeling like the effort is paying off and you’re getting the result that you’re looking for.

[00:30:11] Anthony: So it’s like a subjective and emotional kind of thing.

[00:30:15] Sharon: Yeah. Now, when it comes to business, I mean, we have set goals for the year, and we definitely you know, every year we want to do a little bit better than we did last year, you know, um but I think it’s also important to set realistic goals that are stretch goals, but very obtainable and then back, you know, back out and determined. Okay, this is what we need to do monthly, you know, to really end up at the end of the year for the successful year. So I think, you know, successes hit, establishing good goals and then hitting those goals from a business standpoint.

[00:30:53] Anthony: Interesting. OK, what about in other areas of your life, like with the competitive bodybuilding, Or, you know, anything else like, Is that how you look at it? Is there just something that it’s satisfying? You know, that doesn’t necessarily have a metric.

[00:31:08] Sharon: Yeah, I think it’s again just about expectation and what that goal is. So when I first sorry competing, it was I just didn’t want to quit After I did that with my next show, it was like, Okay, now I want to be in the top two for the top five and then in body building. The goal is to get your pro card. And so my ultimate goal was to get my pro card. Um,

[00:31:35] Anthony: that’s just like, uh, you’re a little. It’s a license to compete professionally.

[00:31:38] Sharon: I mean it, really. It’s like nothing. It’s like a piece of paper that says, You know, you’ve earned your pro status, but in in the competition world, it means a lot that you’ve been able to progress. You got that designation, and you have to win your you know, when your show. Right. Um, so for me right now, my goal is just to be able to compete at the pro level and again kind of not quit. So I’m kind of back to to that, because it’s been a long time since I’ve competed. It’ll have been five years. Okay, so it’s it’s a while. Um, and now about the 50 mark can just turned 50 in October. So now I’m like, Okay, let’s try toe. You know, never my wildest dreams would I think that I would be able to compete at that. You know what this age. So I’m like, Okay, so my expectations are different, but I think all in all, yeah, whatever. That expectation is to be ableto have that goal in and he hit it, then you know that’s that success. Um, just that feeling of accomplishment that you were ableto overcome a lot of challenges to hit something that was important.

[00:32:49] Anthony: So is someone who has looked at, you know, we’re had access to 1/2 a 1,000,000 resumes. You’ve placed 3000 people. Probably, I would say at least 2000 of those you feel good about, you know,

[00:33:04] Sharon: every single one,

[00:33:05] Anthony: every single one. Okay, uh, what what do you see? Ah, for Let’s let’s start with younger people. Like, what are a couple of nuggets of wisdom? Um, whether they’re in the book or not. Like, what are some pieces of wisdom you would offer to younger people in their first? I don’t know, 3 to 5 years of their career.

[00:33:29] Sharon: I would say to really, before you go out and find your your job that you think you want to go after, um, to really assess what type of environment is going to be something that’s going thio and you might not. I mean, still might not know this. I’m thinking of my son. You know who’s graduating and he might not know. And you’re really just looking for opportunity at that at that point. But to just kind of assess, you know, if it’s something that as faras the environment, the culture, what type of environment is going to pique your interest, like what your interest is and the energy that you’re looking for in the type of career that you want. For example, there’s some positions where you have to sit at a desk right all day long. Um, and then there’s other positions where you’re up in a bow in your meeting, lots of people, and you’re always on the go. And I think that, um, some people will excel in one area, you know, one type of environment versus another. And so if they know even just that, to begin with, they can start to, um, kind of eliminate different opportunities that might come up. You know, when they’re when they’re first starting out. Um, but just, you know, overall, just to be a sponge when you’re first starting, I think that’s the most important thing

[00:34:54] Anthony: to just

[00:34:54] Sharon: really, um, be around people that can give them knowledge and try to find good mentors and and leaders that they can just be a sponge and and learn, and then look at things and then decide. Okay. Do I like this or do I not? Because I think when you’re first starting out, I know from my own experience before I found recruiting, it was almost a process of elimination. You just have to try certain things and then decide. Okay. Do I like this? Does this make me feel good? You know, am I excited to go to work or is that something? Thats that’s not of interest. And if it’s not, it’s okay. Like you said to fail and to keep moving on, you know,

[00:35:38] Anthony: What about people? What what are, like, you know, cognitive dissonance, moments that you see for people that are more seasoned, maybe 10 15 even 20 years into their career. What are people? Ah, you know. Is there something that comes up regularly where you’re like, I can’t believe how many people don’t realize this about themselves or, you know, from a recruitment standpoint, whatever.

[00:36:02] Sharon: Give me a little bit more context.

[00:36:04] Anthony: Okay, So, uh, let’s say someone comes in and says their expectations were just out of line. Whether with the market or their experience or something like that, they’re they’re exhibiting cluelessness. I’ve been doing this for 10 years. I should be. I should be vice president. I should be making 250,000 year. And you see someone who’s, like, maybe made Cem study incremental progress. Probably might be good as a senior manager or something. Like what? How do you respond to gaps from, you know, the candidate perspective versus where you think I can place this person in a in a good job,

[00:36:46] Sharon: right? Well, I think it all depends on what they’re looking for. So I think you know when when we’re talking with candidates, the first thing is we just want a lesson. You wanna listen, Thio? What? What? They’re interested in what? What’s gonna make them? You know, in simple and simplest terms, what’s gonna make them happy in their work, right? And then be able to offer suggestions because we might not know exactly, you know the right scenario for them. We like to be consultants and coaches. Um, but it just depends so we can give them a bird’s eye view of the market. You know, let’s say, for example, they’re looking for a really high salary based on their experience. What we can do is show them okay, we’ll hear some opportunities that are available right now with this salary range, you know, and just try to show them by examples because it’s, you know, it’s each person’s individual preference. It’s just we might not be able to help them.

[00:37:50] Anthony: Interesting. So you never want to get, like, a a mallet and box someone on the head or

[00:37:55] Sharon: No, no, because you never know that right opportunity might come around me. There’s gonna be something that’s a perfect fit. So on the candidate side, it’s just about really learning about them, their experience and then being able to determine if we have an opportunity, that’s gonna be a good so you know, good fit. Um, there’s some candidates we worked with for years, and we’ve kept in touch. We just don’t have anything that would be viable for them, and then all of a sudden will see an opportunity, and it’s miraculously, it’s It’s a really great fit for them. So I’ve learned You just never know.

[00:38:31] Anthony: Interesting. Is there any advice that you wouldn’t give yourself 10 years ago? Or so? Like, is there any key lesson that you feel like? If I had known this so many years ago, it really would have made I would have saved myself so much time

[00:38:48] Sharon: in my business. Sure. I would say, you know, kind of back to what we were talking about. Just, you know, never lose sight of your your client and you’re in your candidate and recruiting and just, you know, really stay close to, you know, kind of stay close to that technician roll to keep doing the parts that you really love while still having that bigger picture mindset.

[00:39:18] Anthony: I think

[00:39:18] Sharon: that that’s really key. That would be, like, my biggest takeaway right now.

[00:39:23] Anthony: Interesting. All right. So, um, before we go, can you share how two people find out more about you and your work and your company and that kind of thing and feel free to plug your upcoming podcast?

[00:39:38] Sharon: Yeah, of course. So a ce faras You know where we can, um, where we can help? You can just go to the dash finders dot com and we have three different divisions, but primarily we have tech and HR, so you can definitely find us there. And then as far as the podcast, I’m launching that within the next month, Month and 1/2. So 4 to 6 weeks and it’s called messy in the middle. And so we’re gonna be talking Thio leaders and entrepreneurs that are gonna share some messiness of of, of their success. So something I definitely want to have you on.

[00:40:19] Anthony: Thank you.

[00:40:19] Sharon: I appreciate you inviting me scores. Come on to your podcast.

[00:40:23] Anthony: You were, uh, extremely eloquence. It was ah, really a pleasure to listen to. You speak, Noah? No pauses, no looking for words. Just mums. The Oh, you’re great. Thank you for coming over and making the drive and being a guest.

[00:40:43] Sharon: Of course. Thank you so much for having me on.

[00:40:47] Anthony: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Clueless at the work podcast. You can pick up a copy of the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at Clueless at the work dot com, where you’ll also find book excerpts, podcast transcriptions and more related content. please consider subscribing to the podcast and check out our previous episodes as we walk through the book content together.

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About the Author

Anthony Garone headshot

Anthony Garone is a creative technology leader with a heart for helping people understand who they are, where they excel, and what they can offer the world. He has co-founded and advised several startups, runs Make Weird Music, and leads software and technology teams at an identity theft protection firm, InfoArmor, which was acquired by Allstate in October 2018.

Anthony lives in Mesa, Arizona with his wife and three children.