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Riding Waves

Assuming you're reading this on your computer or smart phone, I'd like for you to Google "surfing quotes." Go on, key in "surfing quotes" or something similar like "surfing mottos". What you will find is a wide range of different quotes and beliefs. You'll find ones from world-class professionals and known personalities like these:

"Surfing's one of the few sports that you look ahead to see what's behind" Laird Hamilton "If in doubt, paddle out" Nat Young "I try changing my surfing, which is the absolute worst thing you can do. Everyone surfs their own way. If I try to surf like someone else I look like a dork" Andy Irons You'll also find some unattributed and anonymous ones like these: "Just one more" "Choose your waves wisely" "Surfing is like life. Every wave and every day are different" As you go through many more quotes and sayings, a picture starts to form. An image of the surfers, their beliefs, an image of life. Of course how you picture surfing is influenced by your own experiences and perceptions. As for me I have long envied surfers - how they deftly ride on waves, some seemingly without a care, others as if the water adopted them - or did they adopt the ocean? I had the pleasure of learning to surf last month. A newbie, I contacted a guide in Bali and arranged for a 3-day trip. My guide has been surfing for 12 years and competed professionally. He brought me to a beach and we went through the theory and safety rules. I was excited and just couldn't wait to head for the water. Soon as we walked into the seas I started to feel adrenaline pumping. Even sooner I was tasting salty seawater as I was reminded of the power of the waves. At varying times I thought "oh wow - I could actually die out here..." Surfing is a sport, and as with all sports there's an element of risk. And like all sports, with preparation and practice you get better at it. Sure I fell off balance, I misread the timing, or sometimes the wave just didn't carry me through. But I also kept putting myself back out there. With encouragement and instructions from my guide, I paddled further and followed his lead. I soon grasped the basics and had one of the best times of my life. Surfing is also a lifestyle - a belief system of what it means to put oneself out there. Life is all about that, and work as an integral part of our life is about that too. As a career that is about careers, recruitment is in many ways similar. As we help talents with their personal development and with hiring organisation with their growth, all the quotes above apply in some way. Some quotes contradict others - but such is the recruiting life too. I scan the horizon, I pick the waves, I make judgement calls, I fall at times, and other times I coast. When I need a break I sit up and enjoy the view and when I see an opportunity I paddle furiously to catch the wave. As with the continued search for personal career growth, I'll leave you with one of my favourite quotes: the best wave of your life is still out there.