{Random Encounters} Discovering a Fulfilling Career

I have always been the type of person that wants to get the most out of every experience in my life. A large part of personal fulfillment comes through interactions with others. If you are open to it, there are always “random encounters” that can make your life more fulfilling and enriched.  By opening myself up to random encounters, I discovered a fulfilling career in human resources with a progressive, inspiring company.

One of my early random encounters as a young professional was with a recruiter who piqued my interest in the profession.  He allowed me to see how my passion of helping others could be fulfilled through recruiting. I obtained a position at a small staffing agency when I first relocated to Atlanta.  Working at that staffing agency left me wanting more. I simply did not feel fulfilled through the brief interactions and placement of talent, where many placements were the goal. There was a misalignment of goals between me and the company. My goal was to truly get to know each and every person’s passions and goals both professionally and personally and help them fulfill these even after placement.

Luckily, I was working at a staffing agency in an office building that also housed Response Mine Interactive (RMI), a company that truly valued its talent and wanted to see them grow. I discovered a unique opportunity with this forward-thinking company through another “random encounter” that I had in the building with two of RMI’s passionate employees. RMI was in dire need of a corporate recruiter and who better to fill this role than me?

The appreciation for this role that had not previously existed was felt immediately and expressed from the intern to executive level.  After all, being in a services industry, talent is what we sell.  Without talented people who had a passion for contribution, RMI could not prosper. Growing the business became a side effect of finding talent that wanted to grow with us and had goals that aligned with Response Mine Interactive’s mission.

After working just a few years at RMI, I began to realize that one of the most fulfilling aspects of my role was participating in panels at local colleges and acting as an ongoing mentor for students. I wanted to expand this fulfillment into my daily life at RMI. Thus, I began to take a more prominent role in developing these hires once they became a part of our agency.  Although, RMI was an environment that encouraged growth, initiative, and an entrepreneurial spirit, simply bringing them into our environment wasn’t enough. I wanted to lead them down the path of professional and personal growth.

I slowly began taking more time with each of the hires; spending time answering their questions and concerns, educating them, and providing insight. Sure it was great to receive flowers and “Thank You” notes; however, the most rewarding aspect was being able to leave every night feeling as if I made a difference in someone’s life.  In turn, they had made a difference in mine. They fulfilled my desire to interact on a more intimate level with each and every person in my company as they all had something to give that led to my personal growth. I could then pay this growth forward to others.

I couldn’t get enough of this fulfilling feeling and began to work with Ken Robbins, President, to construct a role that enabled me to focus on making a difference in our employees’ lives every day. I joined the Society of Human Resources and attended their annual conference.  At this point, I knew there was no turning back for me. I met and interacted with so many amazing people.  Random encounters, we’ll call them. They had a passion for making an impact on their employees’ lives and introduced me to many ways of ensuring that this impact permeated not only the work place but people’s personal lives as well.

Every day I am so thankful for my interactions with people and my ability to see what each person has and wants to give. This in depth understanding of what makes them tick allows me to form a deeper bond with them and have a greater impact on their growth. It wasn’t through self-reflection that I was able to find fulfillment, but through valuing the unique random encounters with people that taught me more about myself, and how to make a lasting positive impact on all those I work with.

About the author: Amanda Papini, Recruiting Director at Response Mine Interactive started her career in recruiting at Medical Staffing Network in 2005, and moved over to a corporate recruiting role at BKV and Response Mine Interactive in 2007, where she built an internal recruiting practice for both companies.  Amanda has since staffed over 250 full-time employees within both companies; an average of 50 hires per year.  After assisting with RMI and BKV’s growth over the last 5 years, Amanda decided to move over to focus solely on RMI’s talent acquisition and take on a role more dedicated to employee development.

Photo credit: iStockPhoto

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