Zen: Perception really is everything

There are 10 guys with washboard stomachs and python like arms making $1,000,000 a year teaching others to exercise.  Each year a hundred men and women get PhD’s in exercise physiology and they will only become high school gym teachers. The guys making the big money work hard every day on how the world sees them. Perception really is everything in their world.

Actresses?  They have personal trainers, chefs and makeup artists who make more than most business executives.  They won’t leave their house without 2 hours of working on how you and I will perceive them. Perception is everything to them.

In every job there are people who, “Don’t care what others think.”  They are rarely the best paid person in the shop.  The ones who do care about “what others think” either succeed wonderfully or alienate others beyond belief.  The ones who succeed make sure their bosses know what they have accomplished and what their team did.  The ones who fail try to grab all the credit for everyone’s work, not just their own.  They fail because the perception becomes that they are conniving, scheming and untrustworthy.

Who do you respect?  Did they earn that honor?  If you respect a computer programmer because he “never sold out”, hasn’t he sold that perception?  A musician who is famous for “never going commercial” cultivated that precise image.  They all care for their image as carefully as Hulk Hogan of pro-wrestling fame.  A great salesman who never counts his commissions carefully implants that perception in his customers. That is what he sells: perception of himself as only interested in the customer’s success.

Figure out how you want to be perceived. Be that person.  Prove to your boss that you are that person with weekly reports that show it.  That same proof can be applied to your resume.  Show what you have caused to happen in the past and you’ll get the chance to do more in your next job. Perception will be reality.

About Today          

This series is about what makes or breaks a job hunt.  Reality and the real world.  My list of the reasons people get a new job or struggle includes:

  1. Nothing beats a positive unstoppable Helium II attitude.
  2. People who are hurting are terrible employees and everyone knows it.
  3. You have to know your advantages and ruthlessly exploit them.
  4. The people competing against you must be known, measured, and either beaten, eliminated or enticed elsewhere.
  5. You can’t make a silk purse out of a buggy whip.
  6. You have to be worth more than you are being paid
  7. A man dying of thirst will still want a bargain on a bottle of water
  8. Perception isn’t important, it is everything
  9. Character really counts
  10. Diamonds in the rough don’t stay that way
  11. Relax and get cleat marks up your back

Think about your job search. Just think.  And then take notes about your conclusions.


For 1 week:         Zen and the art of getting a job

Tomorrow:           Character counts

Later:                    Diamonds in the rough

Cleat marks up your back

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