a wandering woman writes

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A headhunter, a blip and a whim

I opened Outlook this morning to find an e-mail from a headhunter in Florida. A headhunter who I genuinely respect, actually, which isn't a common occurrence for me and heavy hitter headhunters.

The poor woman had called every phone number she ever had for me, all to no avail, obviously, since I've moved to Spain since last we spoke, in 2003. In desperation she dug up a US-based e-mail address I still maintain, and sent out one last desperate plea: With the title "How are you?", she asked where she could call me "to catch up."

And I faced that blip I sometimes face, when I help a former colleague update his resume, or serve as a reference for someone who once worked for me...or make a business phone call in English and hear my slick "corporate voice" slide out.

It's a somebody pinch me blip. A wait am I really here now?...and dear lord, did I use to be there? blip. You know, there. In "the mode". Running 100 miles an hour, talking on my cell phone until the stewardess orders me to stop, then picking it up again the moment we land. Planning social engagements a month in advance with a quick "Hmm, How's the 25th for you? Around 3? I have a 5, but we'll be fine."

I'm even laughing aloud as I write this. I use to appear in annual reports, all dressed up in my newest Anne Klein suit and power scarf. I mean read this blog and tell me you even believe that. I'm not sure I believe it, til someone from that world calls me and pulls me back.

What makes me smile most every time I enter that Twilight Zone is the sheer incredulity I hear on the other end of the line. The headhunter's e-mail reponse today, for example: What brought you to Spain?

I have this image of her sitting at her desk, shaking her head, thinking, "Darn, I knew there was a commission in that chick. How good of an offer did she get that took her to Spain??"

As though anything else would be treason to the tribe.

How could I tell her what brought me was a whim, then a head-over-heels romance with a language, and finally a dream? Shall I tell her all of that, this woman who wants to tempt me with a Senior Sales Executive you'll-only-go-after-the- largest-of-the-largest-accounts "hunter" job? I don't mean to fault the corporate world; I have friends who thrive there, who do ethical business and manage to thrive as human beings, too.

It's just no place for me. (I'm laughing out loud again.) And it took me a lot of seemingly successful years to figure that out.

Shall I tell her I now have time to walk by the lavender growing along the old city wall on Calle San Pablo, sniff deeply and snap a photo for my blog?

Anyway, my perplexed headhunter, who by now is undoubtedly convinced I am CEO of something or other in Spain (well, I moved, didn't I?), quickly wished me well in my new life.

And asked if I knew anybody for the super sales gig.

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  • I laughed too ... congratulations!

    By Blogger woman wandering, at 9:49 AM  

  • I don't blame you for leaving the ratrace behind. I'm about to do it as well...

    While there are a lot of people I care about in the corporate world, the people who seem to succeed are the political toadies, and the bigots, and the incompetents... rather than the people who should be succeeding based on their merits and skills. That was one of the major reasons I decided to leave.

    When the Pretty Gee is ready, I will try to see what happens when the sunsets. :D

    By Anonymous Adrift At Sea, at 3:16 PM  

  • Congratulations, w-w? On being poor but interesting? Why thank you! I tell my old corporate friends I'll now be their poor, interesting friend. (And let me add, yes, I know I am hardly poor, no complaints, just a moment's poetic license there..)

    OOH! When the Pretty Gee be ready? I have been to booked to read my favorite blogs and need to go check on her progress.
    Sounds like you had a far worse experience, than me. I did well, and fit none of your categories 8 I hope :)), and have some wonderful friends who have done well and are good, kind, generous thinking people. I was lucky to work in a performance oriented, entrepreneurial, largely female :) company (and industry). It just sucked the soul out of me. :)

    I'm so excited for your next adventures, Dan! Thanks for stopping by here and chatting as you do.

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 6:34 PM  

  • This is great! I think only people who have experienced living in another country and totally changing one's lifestyle can understand the continental shift of thinking; of being. And it would be very difficult to go home again!

    By Blogger paris parfait, at 12:31 AM  

  • Hi
    I did it too! ,less than 3 months ago. I was really at the TOP ! and I understood that following the corporate carrot was not enough for me. I believe we can build soemthing better and not so constrained by male corporate figures.....still a "boy's club" no matter how far you go , we sacrifize much more . I wish you all the best!

    By Blogger Anna Domingo, at 11:09 AM  

  • Thanks, Ana! I wish you the same! You know I keep reading that Spanish women are opening businesses like crazy (leading women in the EU in fact) and finding websites and organizations for empresarias as I find a way to support myself and live the life I want....and I wonder if it isn't a GOOD reaction to the boy's club in Spanish corp culture.

    Thanks for the comment - And three cheers from me for making the move you wanted to!

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 4:24 PM  

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