How to have a formula reference a blank report?

(FYI I do not have summary sheet access)

I have a sheet that has a list of open Job opportunities. Of course sometimes that sheet is blank because there are no openings. I created a second sheet for metrics that I could use to put a counter-widget in my dashboard. That is, in my dashboard there would be a metric widget showing the number of open opportunities. However, in my "metrics" sheet, where i put in the formula "Countif" and was simply going to select a column in my opporutnity sheet to count if anything was in those rows, I get the error that says "this sheet is blank, you can't use it"... Yeah I know it's blank, but 0 is valid data.....

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