S4 E122 | CXR Podcast: Elaine Orler on Thankfulness and Gratitude

Chris, Elaine and Gerry talk about why they are truly grateful and the importance of balance.

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Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:23
Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode of CareerXroads podcast. We’re excited to be here today for this Thanksgiving holiday week edition. And I’ve got with us this week, Elaine Orler. Elaine, say hello to everybody.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 0:37
Hello, everybody. How’s it going?

Unknown Speaker 0:43
Elaine, I’m excited to talk turkey with you this week.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 0:45
Right back at you Chris, although yours looks like it’s ready to be.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:48
It does. Actually, I think you won the turkey hat contest if there would have been one.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 0:54
Well, thank you for that. I’ll take the winning.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:56
It’s good to see you, Elaine, for those who don’t know you. I’ve known you for years and years and years and years and years. But for those who don’t know you, why don’t you give us the famous escalator pitch of who Elaine Orler is

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 1:09
Oh, you know how much I love doing those escalator pitches not. So Elaine Orler here I have been in the industry for 20 plus years, I understand. You’re not supposed to say more than 10 anymore. Otherwise, it makes you sound old. So I just say 20 Plus, but we won’t go beyond that I started my career at a little company called Qualcomm back in the days when nobody knew what cellular devices were going to be before pre pre cell phone pre what we have today is our attached device, and have progressed my career through consulting starting in 1999. So founded a couple of different companies. So on the way founded Talent Function as a consulting firm, which we operated for 11 years independent and were acquired by Cielo, honestly a year ago and four days, which is hard to believe, and I’m happy to talk more about that. But it’s already been a year, awesome had opportunity to co found the talent board and the candidate experience awards with several the marquee industry leaders, and then spun up another company called Tela Vista for diversity and inclusion. So if nothing, I’m an entrepreneur that’s ready to start another project.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:17
So you’ve been bored,

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 2:19
Bored? Yeah. I like to do one thing only at a time. No, that’s not true. My two or three are pretty much my my capacity level.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:30
Yeah, I would imagine that you you stay pretty busy. That’s for sure.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 2:33
I do.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:34
So what have you What have you been up to as of late?

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 2:37
As of late, So really, the acquisition by Cielo has been one of the best things and best decisions could ever made Talent Function was doing really well as a standalone company. But one of the things that we’ve really gravitated towards wanting to do was to be able to grow bigger and and also to go global. And the Cielo acquisition gave us that opportunity. And just like runway that we just wouldn’t have had as an as a standalone company. And we’ve doubled in size and resourcing and client engagements where we’re through the moon on where we are with the new work. So I would say everybody is busy, busy busy. I think that that ties well into the rest of what’s going on in town acquisition and recruiting anyway, but have been grateful for the work grateful for the clients that we have, we get to work with some of the fun, some of the best name brand companies out there. Some of them are repeat customers, one of them, you might remember from way days back, has come back around to us. And so we just get to see, we get to see the evolution of these organizations very quickly.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:38
And super great. Well, it’s so it’s funny. It’s a great segue into our topic, because we’re not just talking turkey today. The idea that we are super, super busy, I think it is good for us to sort of just take a breath, right, take a moment to remember over the course of the year, what we are thankful for. And so that was kind of the gist of inviting you on the call for this this holiday week. So why don’t why don’t you start since you have the better hat clearly. Is there one thing you’d you would share with the industry, your industry, family, your industry friends, what you are truly thankful, or truly grateful for over the course of this last year.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 4:19
Oh, definitely. And there’s so many to be thankful for. But I think over this last year, I would just say the relationships that have matured over decades have just continued to become stronger and stronger. I think in this industry, you don’t you don’t burn bridges, because everybody knows everybody. And it’s one great big family and community that has just continued to mature the project work that we get but even just the random calls that I get from clients that we worked with six and seven years ago, they just spun up something new and thought hey, we just wanted to let you know what we what we worked on back then it’s still working today. It’s it’s really a treasure just to see the work gets recognized. But then we just have such a great community overall.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:04
Yeah, I think so mine would sort of in the same vein, there it is directly related to the community. But I am thankful to have. And I think I put this in our forums earlier in the week and one of the other communities, but I’m thankful to have the luxury of being incredibly having an incredibly tough decision as to where to allocate my own time amongst friends amongst family and community members, right, that’s our biggest resources, where we spend our time. And so sometimes having to struggle with where I allocate that is just a testament, I think, to so many of the amazing people that we get to work with and so many amazing people we brought into a trusted circle, to really invest in and who return and invest in us, I find that to be one of the most enriching parts of the of the work that we get to do is just the fun, the fun element of the people we work with.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 5:56
Yeah, absolutely. I think when you brought up something, and I would piggyback on that there, this concept of work life balance that was always perpetuated. Well, I just think it’s just life balance in general, because of the the starting of companies that we did, because of the relationships that had been involved and because of even the way Cielo operates, but I just feel like I’ve always had the opportunity to be balanced. We work really hard, we work, you know, day in and day out on the projects that we do and make sure client success is there. But I feel like I get just as much freedom just took a took a seven day cruise to Belize and Cozumel didn’t didn’t even take my laptop with me. So first time in my whole career,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:35
Who are you? What do you mean, you didn’t take your laptop with you?

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 6:38
There it is. The balance is truly coming forward. And I was really grateful for that time, but just grateful for the way that work just affords us to really be full humans and what we get to do every day.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:51
Yeah, so I think it was Jason Sidon who coined and if I have this wrong, someone feel free to call me out but coined the phrase pro firstonal, years ago, right, trying to find this balance. But I think could it be time to bury that? And could we just be saying life balance? Would that be the new? We’re just trying to put it all together?

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 7:11
I like life balance it just because it goes to every aspect of what we’re trying to do.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 7:17
Yes. Yeah, I think it does. And I think you raise a really good point at a time when there is just so much burnout. And there’s so much video fatigue. Thanks for Thanks for wearing your hat on our video today. There’s so much video resume fatigue. And I think there’s topical fatigue too, that we’re seeing. So we’ve got these big challenges we’ve been trying to solve for for the last 20 months or so. Leaning in leaning and leaning in at some point you lean in too far without that balance you tip over. I think that’s a really good call out.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 7:47
Very true. Very true.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 7:48
Yeah, I still can’t believe you did. You went on vacation. You didn’t take a laptop.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 7:52
It didn’t take a laptop. No, I did. I did pay for the internet on the boat. I could not.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 7:57
So you’re on your phone, you’re on your phone

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 8:00
But not for work for family Facebook post let’s be honest, it was all about the Facebook posting Oh, we were traveling from the Caribbean.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:11
So it’s good stuff, I love the work that you get to do. I’ve always been a big fan, you do a really good job of sort of diversifying I think your efforts to from a balance in that. So giving back to the community as well as sort of, you know, bleeding in and learning and teaching in it. So I’ve always been a big fan of that.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 8:24
Thank you, thank you, I hope to continue to do it and again, the runway that we’ve had with Cielo is only only affording us more opportunities and the opportunity to go global speaking of global you and I’ve been around the world at least once together I think that that just opening up of travel again I’ve got to go to London about this I got to go on a cruise. I’m going to Bermuda next week. So just I can’t even express how grateful I am for international travel starting to open back up again because that was one of the perks and the and the the true balance aspects that I love about our jobs in the past and I’m looking forward to more of that in the future.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 9:02
Yeah, I am too I’m excited to travel starting to open up it’ll be great I think we did Gerry and went to one business trip I guess we went to HR tech are in the year to Vegas, although Vegas does oftentimes feel like another planet it certainly wasn’t another country and we enjoy we enjoy doing a little bit of that travel I don’t think we have any big travel locked in yet. For next year. Everybody still seems so tentative in terms of what what they will allow from being on property to sending their employees to other properties standpoint are you seeing anything differently?

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 9:38
Now I think definitely for for domestic everybody’s still work from home, you know, the partial move back to office or the trend of just, you know what, what will be a hybrid workforce pieces there. I just think there are pockets where there are some definite opportunities where there is just a global nature that needs to happen. So I want to grow our consulting practice around the world which requires some time time on in country to really start to grow those things and to spend with clients. So slow, but sure it’s going to start happening. But I, I’m hopeful for next year. I don’t want to talk about whether vaccinate or not to vaccinate. That’s a whole different different topic. And yeah, regardless travel is, is one of those high points. And one of those things that was grateful for in the past and looking forward to again,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:25
Yeah, I think nothing said I think this is one of one of Gerry’s life lessons that we’ve learned along the way is that there is no better way to really connect with somebody then than in person and sort of breaking bread. That is, you know, the lifeblood of a lot of very successful relationships and communicate communities. And so I’m excited to get back to that.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 10:45

Gerry Crispin, CXR 10:46
And the wine.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:47
And the Wine, oh there’s Gerry.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 10:52
Don’t forget the wine.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:54
So Gerry says, Since you unmuted we’re gonna call on you as well. Give us your one big. What are you grateful for? Over the last year, you got something to be thankful for?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 11:06
Oh, many things, obviously, many of the things that you folks talk about in terms of relationships, that’s critical for me, in the sense that I can’t say 10 years of experience at this point, I have to say 50, which screws up every resume anybody would look at from that perspective, but But 50 is a big number right now. So my one thankful thing that I must say is that in 1971, I was fortunate enough to marry a young lady. And that was on Thanksgiving, because we both had off. So physically, at 10 o’clock in the morning, I got married in 1971. With just family couple, and actually my brother, my sister, and my best man, and that was about it, there’s about eight people, 10 people there. So given the size of my extended family that was very small. And this Thanksgiving, November 25, falls on the same day. And so I will be having Thanksgiving with my bride and ask her for another 50 years if she’ll do it.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 12:24
What do you Gerry, what do you think she’s gonna say?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 12:27
Say, What? Are you kidding me? I decided I’m going to take her to France. And we’re going to take a river cruise through the wine country.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 12:44
Oh, that’ll be wonderful.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 12:46
Don’t take the laptop.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 12:49
I’m going to try not to bring a laptop.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 12:52
So Elaine, if if we’ve got to give if we’ve got to give a nugget of advice to people who may be right now totally springing this on you, who maybe right now are struggling with the balance? What would be something we would tell them? What would be a first step? Or a piece of advice we would give to them to try to maybe help get them in the right space?

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 13:21
Oh, that’s a really big question. Because it took it took some time there is it definitely is one of those things where you can skew based on what you’re most excited about. And you avoid what you’re not. But that that shouldn’t be family that shouldn’t be home, that shouldn’t be the attention of what, what else really makes life fully life. So I think for me when the balance comes in really knowing the hours that I can work, but also being able to know that there are times during those days, where I can take breaks during those days to be part of the rest of what’s going on in my world. Whether it be through the church community that I’m with, whether it be with the kids that I have and their adulting lives that I’m still trying to interfere with or any of the other aspects I’m we’re we’re pushing 29 years of marriage, which is hard to believe, and there’s time spent there to make sure that that’s, that’s still gonna make it to 30. But I think the biggest advice I could give somebody is don’t sacrifice one for the other. Because the long term gain is you can you can have them all if you just practice what is balanced and balance is different to everybody. Maybe 40 hours a week, it may be 35 hours a week, it may be 60 Depending on where you are in your life and the energy that you have to give. The older I get, the more it becomes 40 hours a week that I can balance between things, but I’m being productive in the time that you have is probably the most important piece that I can offer.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 14:48
Love that.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 14:49
Be present. That’s the final wherever whatever you’re doing. Don’t be thinking about the other thing you’re supposed to be doing. Practice being present with where you are.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 14:57
I love that. Oh, I’ll add to that just something very simple. And it is a theme that continues to come up in my life in the last, certainly last few months. And I’m not really sure where I first picked it up at. So I don’t know who to credit it with. But no, is a complete sentence. That and when you’re looking to balance what’s on your plate, and you’re looking to balance the work that you have ahead of you, and you’re looking to decide where you can spend your time and what to invest in you. I think a lot of us get asked a lot of us, we get a lot asked of us and I think it gets hard, especially when it’s people that we love or care about in the space to say no. But we shouldn’t have to qualify that we need time to lean into our own mental wellness and our own headspace. So no is absolutely a complete sentence.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 15:43
That’s a That’s a good one now, man to practice that when going into next year.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 15:47
It’s not an easy thing.

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 15:50
Is not for sure. Like I didn’t say no to wearing a turkey on my practice that you should practice with this call.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 15:56
I’m not sure we’ve I think it just arrived. We didn’t really tell you what it was. Did we

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 16:00
Nope you didn’t need to.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 16:03
Sending you a costume change. Please be ready right on time. Don’t open it. Don’t open until it’s there. All right, well, Elaine, I want to thank you so much for giving us about 15 minutes of your time today just love you to death. And it’s always great to see you, one of our longtime, special friends in the space as well as colleagues love the work that you do. So thank you very much,

Elaine Orler, Talent Function 16:25
Right back at both of you, you and Jerry and the whole clan. So Happy Thanksgiving to everybody there.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 16:30
Thanks. Thanks look like if you ever been to a sourcing or analytics community meeting, next week’s podcast guest on Tuesday the 30th needs no introduction we’re gonna introduce them anyway Brad Cook the VP of talent acquisition at Intuitive Surgical and he’s going to join us we’re going to talk a little bit with him about what’s going on in his face and what he’s what he’s seen when he’s looking at the numbers and until then we hope to see everybody online at CXR.works and if we don’t see you before the next two days whether it’s online or they’re just have a fantastic holiday weekend spend some time with friends and family they deserve you.

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