I spend far too much time either at work, on the train, or somewhere in between which leaves very little time left for anything else, and yes, I am just another person living in London that suffers with this situation. Yet whenever I do have a moment, often when I am struggling to find that sweet spot on the sofa with a cushion behind my head, I find myself wondering what I can do with my time. Something that is fairly low energy requirement after a long day’s work, nearby and accessible by foot wherever I am, cheap or, even better, free and is something that my family and friends can enjoy too! So, I decided to do something about it.
Recently I have spent time getting to know the ins and outs of ‘Geocaching’; a concept which has allowed me to familiarise myself with my local area (beyond both my desk and my couch), discover new places, all whilst connecting with others across the entire world!
That’s when I started to think about the hunt I go through to locate and find a geocache, and how strangely similar it is to the search I undergo every day: working as a property management recruitment consultant looking for new candidates!
What is Geocaching?
There is a chance that many of you may have never heard of this concept before so, to put it simply (thank you Google), Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (usually a small container) hidden at that location.
Although I realise the candidates I recruit do not come with a GPS coordinate (tracking a candidate’s every movement may be a step too far) nor are they buried or camouflaged behind a lamppost, shrub or park bench. However, they are often waiting to be found, just like these geocaches. They don't always come to you and sometimes the ones you search that extra little bit harder for, are a lot more rewarding when found. They have also often been influenced by others – not just by passers-by but maybe by someone who set out to find them previously; in this case another recruiter or previous employer or manager.
These geocaches eventually end up being a little source of data: memories, names and dates of visitors who have been before and these visitors can leave things behind, swap items for their own possessions as well as register their location on the app. So, just like people, these geocaches are part of a much wider network. They can change. And the removal or movement of one to another location, like someone moving jobs, will not go unnoticed.
Now, how do you find them? That depends on how well they have marketed themselves! It all depends on how much information the original geocache’s owner has provided to appeal to its audience. Just like a candidate, they have a profile and there are 4 main categories (GPS coordinates, clue, picture and accessibility) which decipher their overall difficulty rating. The more information available, the more obliged you are to go and find it. There is no point having a well written CV if it can’t be found, right? Finally – people can comment, like, share and recommend once it has been found Just like you can build your testimonial and referral network!
Now I am not suggesting you spend your days geocaching to find the right answers, but find yourself the time to reflect on what you do; find the time to do things outside of work and the activities that bring you happiness and maybe make you that little bit better at your day job, even if it is a subconscious effort. Reflect on the similarities between your work and your hobbies and realise there is more time to do both equally.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” – Helen Keller.
If you are looking for a new role, ask yourself – are you a ‘good find?’ Have you given yourself the best chances of being found? Have you marketed yourself effectively?
Finally, when you are found, are you prepared to adapt? Are you prepared to allow others to influence your next move? Do you have any testimonials already?
Think about it and, if you are interested, I’ll also see you out there geocaching!