Serendipity at Starbucks

By Jennifer Brownell, Managing Director, Q4B

Serendipity – an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident, good fortune, luck. Also a function of how compelling your story is and how many times you repeat it to people.

I think of myself as a hard worker, diligent, focused, goal oriented, persistent, organized, competitive, driven, creative and motivated. In other words someone with just about every success attribute that all great recruiters, or for that matter, all great sales people possess.

And it is not just me saying this. Throughout my career I have been told that I possess most, if not all of these qualities, on numerous occasions, and not just by my family and close friends. The results of numerous assessment surveys that I have participated in seem to come to the same conclusion.

However, possessing all of these qualities, these success attributes does not necessarily guarantee success. You still have to go out there and deliver results. And you also have to be ready for, and accepting of a little bit of good fortune, some good luck.

A case in point. I was visiting my local Starbucks last week, picking up my daily fix of double decaf, double latte, triple shot espresso (hold the cream) Grande. While standing in line and quietly listening to the smooth sounds of Adele, my ears picked up a conversation that the guy in front of me was having on his cell. Very quickly based on a few keys words and phrases, I knew that he was talking to a recruiter, that he was asking questions and giving information that only a hiring manager would have, that his situation was not good and that there was a sense of urgency.

When his call ended I very professionally introduced myself, saying that I could not help but overhear his conversation (thanks to Adele’s quiet voice), that I was a recruiter and suggested that my company could provide recruiting services to his company.

While waiting for our orders (his, a Grande coffee of the day with room for cream and a slice of lemon pound cake) we exchanged business cards, each giving the other a brief description of our respective companies etc and by the time our names were called we had agreed that he needed better recruiting support than he was getting and that our company could indeed provide that support.

I left with a verbal agreement that later that day turned into a signed contract to help fill multiple positions in one of our targeted markets, along with a statement of work agreement. By the next day we had job requisitions and by the end of last week we were sourcing and interviewing candidates for two of the positions.

Chance? Luck? Being at the right place at the right time? Yes, to all three. But I would rather call it Serendipity. For one reason it sounds better and for another by definition, it adds a dimension being rewarded because you are very good at what you do.

Good recruiters don’t just work nine to five Monday thru Friday.  We are always on, always aware of opportunities for business, for candidates for partnerships.  And when something happens, like my Starbucks encounter, we appreciate it, we accept it but we never expect it.

That is Serendipity and that is why I am now making two runs to my local Starbucks, one in the morning and one late (not latte) in the afternoon.

Who knows, on one of my next visits I might get a similar opportunity for more business. At the very least I can listen to more Adele.



One response to “Serendipity at Starbucks

  1. Such an awesome lesson! They say it’s about being in the right place at the right time, but it’s also about being prepared! Thx!

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