This is the hard part of my job. I have to, very often, tell people what they don't want to hear. Well, I don't absolutely have to but I feel like I have to. And I personally have to because I think it's important to be honest with people. So I really have to.
It seems that a lot of people were thinking about making career changes over the weekend. Weird how it happens...I got 3 e-mails over the weekend seeking advice on making a move...into marketing at Microsoft from another type of role in another company. As much as I want to encourage people and say "go! go! go!" and "you can do it!", I also don't want to lead people on. I end up telling them that very few people make drastic career changes into marketing at Microsoft because the roles we focus on hiring for require several years previous marketing experience (advice: make the change at your current employer to get some experience...or consider a role at Microsoft similar to your current role and then think about how to transition into marketing down the road). Or that to work in XBox, you have to have a ton of gaming all over your resume (seems people really want to work in XBox). Or that we hire for "entry-level" roles via campus recruiting.
So this morning, I feel like I rained all over a bunch of peoples' enthusiasm. I know there are many recruiters out there that would say "we'll call you if we have something" or they don't respond at all. Is there a chance the person could be considered? Yes, but it sometimes is very slim and I would rather tell people up front and/or explain what other options I could have available (considering other types of roles, other groups). I just think back to time when I felt like someone was humoring me. That's probably the most insulting thing someone can do and I refuse to do it to anyone. So unfortunately, I have to sometimes feel like I just ruined someone's day. I think I may have done that today.
On the flip side, the more flexible people are in the type of work that they want to do and/or the more open they are to doing work that is in line with their prior experience, the more likely that we will be able to find a match. We've done a lot of work to match marketing and finance people and I hear feedback often when someone that has contacted me ends up having a great conversation with a recruiter or gets hired (yay!). But it's still hard when I have to tell people something that could be discouraging.