Okay, so I have been working for an executive search consulting firm. I work for research and I really like it. It looks like any day now a promotion for me to become a recruiter/headhunter might happen. Mind you I have only been here for 4.5 months so I must be doing something right and they really like me.

However, recruiting/headhunting is not really the area I want to get into. Basically I really don't like sales, cold calling or having to be on the phone all day long which the position would require. There is some room that I would do very little interviewing prepping/coaching but I don't believe it would lead to the path I want which is in Training and Development.

Now, our company's president just started doing executive coaching as a service, in which she is the only person that does that. I am leaning towards not accepting the promotion, however, I at least want to give the company an alternative. I was actually thinking countering the promotion with offering to maybe help her develop and help expand the executive coaching services. Be it helping do Business Dev. or research, but to be involved in that line of work.

So would a recruiter/headhunter position provide me a path to Training and Development? If it does, is working a few years in something one might potentially hate worth it? Is my counter offer of helping expand the executive coaching services a good idea and sound feasible?

justcallmefrank's picture

You may be setting yourself up for poor performance if it is something you do not want to do. A counter offer on the promotion, I think, could be a good idea, but know that it may not be what she is looking for and you may be showing yourself to be someone who will not do the job necessary. 

I also think, doing something you don't want to do to attain what you want is worth it. Just be sure you don't let you "hate" get in your way.


- Frank

Urbanist's picture

Thanks for the reply. What you said is what I am afraid of. Like most people if I have to do something that I hate (ie., sales and cold calling) my performance starts to decline and I become misearable. I am obviously doing a good job and I don't want to ruin it. 

The problem with headhunting isn't that I am not interested in it, it's just I really hate cold calling and I also hate sales. My passions lie in research, teaching, creativity, coaching, analyzing, problem solving and consulting. If cold calling and sales was something that I was just ok with, I coudl go with it,  but I have ZERO interest in it. I mean it makes up like 80% of the days activities.

I guess that then leads to another question, would this position really lead to Training and Development?

Smacquarrie's picture

Keep in mind that this experience may give to the tools you need to be successful in the training environment. I just went back and listened to the cast about internal offers. This may be an area where they think you need some development prior to going to that next level. On the flip side, do your managers know if your interest and passion for training? Discuss it with them and see what their opinions are for your developmental needs.

GlennR's picture

If I remember correctly, the "Ben Franklin Close" is where you take a sheet of paper and write down the positives in one column and the negatives in another. The column with the most points wins.

Smacquarrie raises a good point, that this experience may be invaluable to you in a future position in training and development. Questions you may want to ask:

  • How likely is it that a T & D position will open one year after I move to sales?
  • What if I fail as a salesperson? Do I risk being terminated for nonperformance?
  • Can I do something I dislike for an entire year and be good at it?
  • Is it possible that my aversion to cold-calling is based upon "attitude," and that I might actually come to tolerate it enough to be a successful sales person?

This sort of reminds me of the "nature vs. nuture," argument. Is your aversion to cold-calling rooted in your DNA and there is little chance you will be successful, or are you capable of learning a new skill and becoming successful at it.

I suspect your aversion isn't to cold-calling but to rejection. Is there a way you could shadow someone in sales for a week or so and get an idea of whether or not you could handle the day to day work?

Finally, have you taken Myers-Briggs? That profile might contain clues to whether or not you'd be successful in sales.