I love recruiting. I mean, I really, really love recruiting. I enjoy the opportunity to match aviation professionals with their prospective career advancements. It’s beyond rewarding.

Here at API, we delve deep into the backgrounds of candidates and employers alike. We learn about them in an authentic, honest and transparent ways. And this ultimately leads us to professional “matches.” In fact, one our clients recently described his new API placement as fitting “like the glass slipper.”

But it’s not only because I find my work fulfilling that I love it so much. It’s also because it affords me a unique vantage point. I get to witness candidates “land” their dream job. And, I get to help others accept that fact that they haven’t made it this time. For that, I’m grateful.

It’s true: every candidate we place joins the ranks of all those talented candidates who got the job. And I have the distinct privilege of informing them that they did. On the other hand, though, I have to find the right words to inform the runners up that they weren’t selected.

All these career-based celebrations and consolations have taught me a lot about life. And quite honestly what happens in life after the “no” is as important as what happens after the “yes.”

After recruiting for six years, the adage, “Everything happens for a reason,” rings true. Often, there’s a silver lining at play.


The ‘Silver Lining’

Not too ago, I heard from a runner-up candidate with whom we worked with several years before. Out of the blue, he wrote to me explaining his devastation for not clenching the role he interviewed for.

Despite feeling the “sting of the no,” he went back to work and did his best to focus on the job at hand. Soon, his respect and appreciation for his flight department grew. He adopted a growth mindset and leaned into new responsibilities. What’s more, he worked with great fervor and demonstrated a renewed focus. And this led him to accept a leadership role with his employer.

In hindsight, not landing his “dream job” opened his eyes to the fact that his ideal job was right in front of him. It turns out that his perfect fit was there all along! Hooray! A silver lining!


A Teachable Moment

Another candidate we worked with was a very close second for one of our clients’ leadership roles. Already a leader in his own right, this individual had his sights set on joining a new flight department.

Following his disappointment, I gave him a few months to decompress and re-adjust to life. And when I called to check in with him, to my surprise, he too had experienced a positive outcome.

Upon his return to “life as it was,” he decided to tweak his leadership style. This leader started to engage every team member in any activity that could offer them growth. Although he had always been empowering, he did so now with more focus. He felt very good about this change. And he knew it was the interview experience that afforded him this new insight.

As the saying goes, “We all need to sharpen our axe from time to time.” And the interview experience had done just that. It helped him to figuratively “sharpen his axe.”


The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

So the message here is that, sometimes, not getting the nod for a job you’ve sought out can become a life lesson. A “teachable moment.”

A silver lining.

Maybe the experience has the power to help you learn something about yourself. To see yourself more objectively.

Perhaps, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Maybe realizing that can help you trigger a shift in your mindset, and move you to grow right where you are.

I’ve mentioned a few anonymous adages in this blog. But here’s one more to wrap it up: “Trust that when the answer is ‘no,’ there is a better ‘yes’ down the road.”


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