If you know Michelle Peavy, you know that’s her slogan, her catchphrase, her mantra. She’s passionate about “the ask” because she’s seen it work, in her own career and in the careers of others.
“I am the queen of questions, and I believe how you become successful at doing anything is by questions and curiosity,” Peavy says. “That’s what made me successful at what I do.”
Peavy’s specialty is end-to-end recruiting. She’s been doing it for 25 years, 18 of those years with her own business, Rimi & Company. She works for companies in both Canada and the U.S. and serves as a LinkedIn consultant, teaching individuals and corporations to optimize the functionalities of the social networking site.
Now, she is bringing that expertise to Pink Petro and our sister career site, Experience Energy, in her new role: Director of Cool Careers. Her mission is to connect top energy companies with a powerful and diverse pool of talent.
Peavy met Pink Petro founder & CEO Katie Mehnert three years ago, when she saw Mehnert speak at an event.
“I showed up and I said, ‘I want to work with this woman one day. I didn’t know how it was going to happen,” Peavy recalled. “Here’s the key: We built a relationship with each other before we did anything together.”
Relationships are core to Peavy’s style. Her friends and family call her a “master connector.”
“I get an adrenaline rush. I get such pleasure in making connections,” she said. “It’s not just about who I am in recruiting; it’s who I am as a person.”
The downturn has led to tough times for the energy workforce. Companies are hiring, but their talent needs are becoming much more specific, and the hiring process increasingly digital. That’s created a sweet spot for Experience Energy, Peavy said.
“Women, energy and really powerful talent — they’re all gathering together in one place, and that’s Experience Energy,” she said.
Originally from Canada, Peavy moved to Houston in 1995. She’s been in recruitment ever since, but she’s also established herself as an actor, a professional salsa dancer, an international motivational speaker and a singer. She’s produced her own CD and sings the National Anthem at the occasional Houston Rockets game. She’s written a book, “The Freeway of Life,” and is obsessed with fitness. She’s at the gym six days a week, without fail.
It sounds like a lot to juggle, but Peavy doesn’t feel that way.
“I think when you love something you just make time for it,” she said.
And opportunities come your way when “get off your ask and get specific about what you want," she said.
She uses pizza to illustrate what she means. When you order pizza, the restaurant asks you what kind of pizza you want. And you tell them, in very specific terms: pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms — nothing else. The restaurant, in turn, delivers exactly what you asked for.
“Translate what you want on your pizza to what kind of job you want or what kind of person do I want to hire,” Peavy said. “I think people know what they want in their head. I don’t think they know how to verbalize it and use the right keywords.”
Peavy said women in particular tend to struggle with being specific in asking for what they want. But it works. She’s seen it.
She had one client who wanted to change her hours to work only from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and limit her travel to 20 percent. The woman thought she had no shot at finding a job with such specific requirements. But when she asked a previous employer if they would consider the arrangement, the company said yes.
“She could have that because she was specific,” Peavy said. “So get off your ask.”
Want to talk careers with Michelle? Tune in Nov. 16 for a very special Coach’s Corner, where Michelle will share her tips and tricks for finding great careers and top talent in the energy industry. Open to the public. Register here!
For more about Michelle, check out her website here.