How I got here...
I started off my white collar career by talking my way into an office job, I had been a waitress. I didn’t know how to type, and all I knew was a program called Cricket Draw. But there is something to be said for enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn. A few years later I found myself wanting to learn sales. The company I was working for told me to go learn how to sell photocopiers, or find a place with a good sales training program, and come back in two years. That’s how I found recruiting.
I called on construction professionals. It was a true smile and dial type job. Long ago where the male dominated field rendered quite a few flirts, and there were plenty of men with inappropriate questions about my age and dating life. But I loved it, sorta. I loved the rush of placing people, I hated the need to keep employer details super confidential until a meeting time was confirmed.
Around 2000, or 2001, there was an amazing study that came out of Dartmouth or Vanderbilt, I forget which (and trying to find this specific white paper has proved daunting). The school was experimenting with Palm devices, this was the days before text messaging, and email was so new, few people knew what it was, and fewer knew how an @ sign functioned. But I digress. The study showed that the end of Gen X and the upcoming not yet named Millennials didn’t use the phone. They used email. They didn’t know each others phone numbers. They were becoming more involved in classes with off the wall theories, because they could send anonymous messages to the professors about their conclusions. Suddenly, other students would chime in and state their matching or opposing opinions. This was a new way of communicating, and I brought up to my recruiting team (where I was merely a plebe) that we needed to be ready to recruit via non phone ways. l was quickly shut down, and told I didn’t know what I was talking about. But here we are now, and if a recruiter reaches out to you, likely they will do it over email first. And nobody answers their phone, unless they are expecting a call.
When I left the executive recruiter job after almost 5 years, I had to ride out a vicious year long non-compete. I worked as a housekeeper, auction car mover, barista, and temp service receptionist. I kept busy. Then one of my coffee customers told me about a great opportunity with a local manufacturer, and the next part of my journey began.
Working in manufacturing I quickly got involved in business problem solving. Working with managers to set up processes, and how to train their people. I loved that job, until the housing bust. We were building residential windows. But while I was there, I started toying around with a concept called Emotional Capital. More on this later.
Over the next few years I found myself working for a technology company, an environmental company, then a shipyard / industrial construction conglomerate. I stayed at the latter for over five years. I can still talk welding with fair ease, and I know what color the wild leg on a delta circuit is coded. It’s Orange, in case you wanted to know. I worked with veterans from every service, and every background. Being that I am a military brat, I had a keen understanding of the stresses and transitions to civilian life. I am so glad for my experience working with so many veterans, their passion, commitment, and perseverance. It’s really second to none.
After the shipyard ended, I worked as a temp recruiter for a recycling and waste management company for 10 months, while I was looking for an HR Generalist job.
I finally landed at a small conglomerate, handling food and properties, as an HR manager. There I put together a plan to brand the hiring company that paid the payroll, and did all the things HR. When I branded the employment company, something interesting happened. People actually read the website. They would repeat back phrases from the site in the interview, the most common thing was “mango blob.” That’s when I realized that we were building something special with candidates, the concept of Emotional Capital was brought back to the forefront.
I managed HR until I was asked to take on operations. Operations was fun, but we shut a business unit down, and my position ended.
Which leads me to now. I had this idea, it was forming, and when my job ending was announced, I realized it was a great time to leap into my own thing. And that’s when The Mills Group was formed.
I’m building tools around the concept of Emotional Capital. And I am bringing them out to the world.
So what is Emotional Capital? According to the Cambridge Dictionary it’s:
the feelings and beliefs that help an organization's employees to form successful relationships with each other, which is good for the organization.
I’d like to write my own definition, but that sums it up rather nicely.
So, in a case you were wondering. That’s the how I got here.
Thanks for reading.