It is September 2022, and I am sharing this personal story to raise awareness that this is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. When a diagnosis happened in our family, it hit us hard, but we are hopeful for our daughter and grateful that recruiting allowed me the opportunity to be present as a father and continue supporting our family during the most difficult times.
When our daughter, Ruby, was three years old, she was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of pediatric cancer. She was given a 60% probability of survival. At the time, I was the general manager of a popular and very busy restaurant and the main breadwinner in our family. Our health insurance was provided by my employer.
A month before Ruby’s diagnosis, my wife, after years of toiling away at other companies, had just landed her dream job with a software start-up. She had finally made it to where she wanted to be.
Our lives immediately changed
We made what seemed the obvious decision. My wife would leave her new job to focus on Ruby and her treatment schedule while I continued to work and maintain our insurance and income so we didn’t lose our house.
I split my time between work and the hospital, sleeping at the hospital at night and running back to the restaurant in the morning. I realize now that I wasn’t doing either very well. Running a busy restaurant with 70 employees, doing $150k a week in sales, and being present for a sick child was not easy or sustainable…at least not for long.
I tried to manage both situations as best I could for more than three years and three different jobs, but ultimately, I realized that I was no longer able to be the father I needed to be while living the life of a hospitality operations manager.
Fortunately, I applied for a position I found online. I knew I wasn’t qualified for the role, but a recruiter from Goodwin Recruiting contacted me to discuss the position and other opportunities. One of those opportunities was to become a recruiter myself for Goodwin.
That call changed everything for my family
Within a few weeks, I was training to become a Goodwin recruiting partner. I was finally able to leverage my operational experience in leadership roles in a way that not only allowed me to continue working with hospitality professionals but also provided the freedom to work from home full-time and still be at the hospital when Ruby needed me most.
I am coming up on one year of recruiting with Goodwin this November and am incredibly grateful for this opportunity, the support and training, the mentorship, and the camaraderie of the partners – some with whom I work closely and even those I do not. We share a collaborative and meaningful career path, enhancing our clients’ businesses and changing our candidates’ lives, one day at a time.
Here is some career advice for others who work in the restaurant or hotel industry. As a hospitality recruiter, I highly recommend this career transition and this recruiting firm to any professional who loves the industry but is not able to make the hours work with their personal life.
Like anything else in life and work, you get out of talent recruiting what you put into it. I am putting my whole heart into this work as I have never done before and reaping the rewards, and my professional development and skill set grow by the day.
Time, grace, and the right jobs have blessed our family
Ruby is now eight and a half years old (that half is so important!) – and she is cancer-FREE! While she will deal with complications from chemotherapy and radiation for the rest of her life, she is still here fighting, and I am so grateful that I can be there for every single milestone along her path of recovery.
There is also great news for my wife. Remember that dream job she landed at the beginning of all this? Her employer made a vow that when she was able to return to work, her position would be there no matter what. And he kept his word! She returned to work for the company and has been promoted. In fact, she has done so well that she earned a trip for her and me to Hawaii!
My family has had a lot to be grateful for over the past five years, and we still do. Joining Goodwin Recruiting as a talent recruiting partner was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself and my family. The organization’s core values, company culture, and leadership make a difference in people’s lives and in the important work we perform for our clients.