This great question was asked of me when I first started out in the work world. Twenty two years old and right out of college I was working my first job at a staffing and recruitment firm doing business development and recruiting. One morning while drinking my coffee and getting ready to start the day, my sales manager comes up to me and asked, “Brad, are you a lark or an owl?” I was a little confused by his question to say the least. Truthfully not knowing what a lark was (in mythology and literature, a lark stands for a bird flying at daybreak) and unsure how I could relate to an owl I really had no idea how to respond. My manager looked at me and laughed at my uncertainty, and then asked, “Are you a morning person (a lark) or more of an afternoon/night person (an owl)? I take it he meant, was I more lively and full of energy in the morning or more like that later in the day? Relieved at the simplicity of his question I responded quickly that I was definitely a morning person. I have always been the type of person who could wake up at 5am and feel like I can run a marathon while juggling chainsaws at the same time (as I write this, I wonder if that has actually ever been done). In the morning I am ready to take on the world but when the clock hits 3pm I am chugging coffee and blasting Pearl Jam out of my speakers trying not to let the long day take over my body and mind.
After I responded my manager told me to start scheduling important meetings and phone calls for the morning as he was certain I’d get a better reaction from my clients and candidates. The advice was so great because I wanted my energy and passion to translate to my clients and candidates so they were as equally excited to work with me. Clearly this can work the other way around too – if you are the type of person who doesn’t even want to communicate with the outside world until its 11am use that knowledge about yourself to your advantage. Schedule your important calls or meetings for later in the day – that’s when you’ll be your sharpest and truly connecting with your clients.
Now at 40 years old and the owner of my own NYC staffing agency and recruitment firm, I make sure to ask all my new employees this valuable question which I now am asking you:
“Are you an owl or a lark?”