Finally, after getting cleared and some technical issues out of the way, I can finally make the big announcement. Okay, some have known about this for a long time, but for the others, I have started a recruiting firm called Tran Recruiting, LLC. Before I discuss what my business and if you’ve been to a networking event the past few weeks with me, I gave a shortened version of the story. Let me give you the long, detailed version why I started my own business.
It actually started back in the spring of 2007 when I was still working for Counterpart International. At the time, I was going 16 months into my job. In my mind, that gave me the green light to find a good job for myself. Counterpart was okay, but I knew that the job was not for the long-term because I was not interested in international development. What I really wanted to do is work in a human resources position for a media company. My philosophy is know your knowledge, skills, and abilities and put it to an industry or company you really care or loved. In my case, it was the media. As a broadcaster and DJ, I really love what I did in the media. My best overall working experience was an intern at NPR, where not only I was an HR intern, but have done some side work like producing and cut audio. Add to that I’m still very close of most of the summer interns of 2005; it was something I never forget.
I know in my interviews with media companies that the questions will be HR-related, but a couple of interviews, I have mentioned that I love to work in HR and integrate my knowledge of HR and media to the job. The last part I think scared a lot of HR folks since I think they wanted an HR-centric minded person, which is fine, but getting swayed by the other aspects of the job would lead to me not going further. The first few interviews I did during the spring went well but never got a call back. Then, the summer set me back a bit because I had a terrible ankle injury and couldn’t do that much. The pain, plus the summer heat, plus a little frustration with myself and other co-workers did not set me in the right place. After the summer and my ankle healed, I went back to the job market to find HR positions in the media.
The fall of 2007 was very critical as I was still searching for a job and now Counterpart was moving their offices from Washington D.C. to Crystal City, Virginia. I knew then I need to find a job before the move. There were a couple of interviews I did, but the most important one was at the end of October, where this company had two key HR positions need to be filled and I interviewed for both positions. From my perspective, the interview went well and was the best interview I did since Counterpart. I was very confident that I would get a call back with my HR background and previous experience with a media company. However, two weeks later, one day before the move, I got an email with this company stating I was rejected for both positions. That was the dagger and I sunk to a new low on a personal level. I never felt that sad that I did not blog from October to December because let’s face it, I was depressed. It did affect my work and my relations with co-workers and my emotions got the best of me. I had other interviews at the end of the year, but the same result came up during the interviews: rejected. To this date, I like the company and their mission and history, but their business side is on my Death Star list.
At the beginning of 2008, it began as it continues during the end of 2007: demoralized. I had other interviews but it became the same story. I had no place to go but to be stuck on a job that I was really lucky I got a job. Then in March 2008, I had this weird idea of starting up a recruiting firm. The thought of it came out of the blue and was off the cuff. So, I research the recruiting industry and I said to myself “I want to do this.” The decision really solidify when I attended a conference about the open workplace and like a motivational speaker trying to sell their products, it did hit me that I need to move on. If I were to known that Counterpart was an open workplace, I would of told my co-workers about my future and that was my only regret throughout this process. Just to side track, I don’t mind an open workplace where you tell your feelings, but I hope the company hires a person that knows and loves what they’re doing, and not throwing replacements just to fill the position. If I have to work and quit, I would hire someone who has not only HR skills, but really loves the international environment. The person might not stay for 10-15 years, but will give the best 5 years the company needs.
Anyway, all summer long, I was preparing to start up my business and continue working with Counterpart until the end of summer. Today, the company is officially starting with the launch of my company’s website and a new beginning.
Now you’re wondering why I started my own recruiting firm. The answer is from the tagline of my company, “Be Your Job.” What it means is an individual knows his/her KSA’s but also has a passion or mission of an area a person really wants to focus on. For example, in my case, my expertise is in HR, but my passion is in the media business. I believe in integrating your skills into a company that would fit. It would make companies function better. Of course, the main variables of any job are money and career growth. However, my belief is if you believe in something; go for it, no matter the cost. If you get something that you wanted, you will be rewarded down the line. Now with economic hard times, you would think it be very hard for any employer to reward their employees. However, if you have competent employees who actually give a damn about their company and/or industry, they would find creative ways to get keep your company rolling. It might be naive, but with proper hiring, your company could be from good to great or mediocre to a solid business down the line. That is my objective for starting a recruiting firm.
What is Tran Recruiting?
It is a recruiting firm that deals with permanent, part-time, and contracting positions for non-profits, trade associations, and small businesses. I have been working for non-profits for 4 years and have worked in different sectors of non-profits from advocacy groups, international development, and large non-profit firms. I also dealt with trade associations for almost a year and as a small business owner myself, I want to help small companies grow and reach their potential. Tran Recruiting has one employee…me. The reason I wanted to go solo because I want to control my own destiny and I want to be the person who will make it a success or failure, not the company or anyone else. Also, being an individual recruiter has its advantages that you are committed to the company and will do all the recruiting work for them. The downside is the long hours and the process of recruiting, but hey, I need somebody to give me work and not be distracted by the Doodlebops or Yo Gabba Gabba every day.
Is this a gamble of starting my own company at this time? I would say it’s a HUGE gamble for me. From the story I told, you would be iffy of me owning and running a business and have second reservations. I will say that at approaching 25, I made this decision of a lot of factors. Money will always be a factor and amazingly, it’s one of the answers on the big board at number 2. The number one factor is family. I want to do something to help them out and be financially secure down the line and be relaxed just once. The other factors are I want to control my own destiny and call the shots. Yes, recruiting is a lot of hours, but as crazy as this sound, I really love doing the full-cycle recruiting stuff. I love to look at resumes long and hard and interview people what they really want. It’s like feeling your opponent out at a poker table. That sounds a lot of fun when you break it down. The sad part is I can’t pull any Norman Chad jokes to my clients.
For the people who have supported me, thank you for your kind words and generosity. However, I am only on phase one, which is attention and support. Now, I’m on phase two for that I want job seekers and employers select me to help find their match and hopefully anyone I contact can pay it forward. I hope everyone see this post (especially the Tony Kornheiser, Liz Clarke, and Punk Rock HR fans (BTW, thanks Laurie on putting my blog in your blogroll) and spread the word about my company. Now there is one aspect I will miss going to work: not seeing the hot, blonde, curly hair woman going to the Orange Line Metro, then transfers to the Blue Line at Rosslyn and exits at the Crystal City Metro, carrying 3-5 bags, and works at Crystal Drive. I missed my every day motivation.
Here’s the company information:
Tran Recruiting, LLC
P.O. Box 65
Fairfax, VA 22038
Phone/Fax (703) 334-8454