Category Archives: Perseverance

One fully preventable way to lose a job offer

Men running across dollars

Are you killing your job search with impatient speed?

When the fit between a candidate and the job seems perfect, and there is a delay, I often hear:

“I’ve been waiting two weeks to hear back from them since my interview.  What is wrong?  They are so rude.  Don’t they realize I am losing any desire I had to work there? Why can’t they make a decision about me?  I wish they’d just call it off.  Look Bryan, tell them no.  Withdraw my name from consideration.  I don’t want to work with wishy-washy know nothings.  Take me out of the job pool.”

Did you notice the focus on “I”?  The whole tirade is about “my needs”.   Not a word in there about what the company needs.  Nothing about due diligence.  No concerns about the company being sure they can keep him on payroll.

A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.  (Harris)

Companies postpone decisions for a lot of valid reasons that they never tell candidates. Some winning candidates can’t take it.  They can do the job.  They’d love the job. They just can’t believe that the company doesn’t love them enough to make an immediate offer.

A while back I took a guy out of the running for a $200,000/year job.  He was perfect for it.  He just couldn’t stand waiting.  The CEO was surprised because he was at the point of making the final decision.  Of course, another guy got the job.

Are you the guy who meets a girl and after an hour says, “Let’s cut to the chase.  I’m hot.  You’re hot.  Baby, if you won’t MARRY me tonight, you must not like me. Let’s just call the whole thing off.”

What does it hurt to wait?  If the company puts you on the backburner to keep you warm, why not just stay warm?  If another great job comes up, take it.  But why get mad?  Is your ego so big that you can’t let a situation gel for a month?  Are you such a hottie that you can’t be ignored?  Get real.  The company you are applying to is not being run just to offer you a job.

Prepare for success.  Be presentably persistent.  Then take all the time you need to win.  That’s how careers are built.

Something To Do Today

Have you ever withdrawn from a job or promotion pool because it took too long to get a decision?  Realistically look back.  What did you gain?

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Next:   Job security – what permanent means

$250,000 too proud

How fast

Daydream

Audible

Down by 20 at halftime

6 things about being persistent in pursuing a single job

Moving a huge log

If you want a job or promotion enough to persist, you may get it.

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.  (Coolidge)

Presentable, not pestilent persistence

True story: Frank’s interview was postponed, no date set.  I wasn’t able to set up the interview.  I couldn’t get him a “yes.”  I couldn’t get him a “no.”  His resume was in limbo.  So Frank said to himself, “What have I got to lose?”  Frank called the VP of HR (Human Resources) at the company every day or two.  For weeks he called.  Usually he left no message.  Frank just called, got voice mail and hung up. Finally the VP picked up his phone.  Frank was enthusiastic about the company and the opportunity on the phone.  No whining.  No complaining.  An interview was set up.  Frank performed a miracle using the power of persistence.

The facts that made it work:

  1. He was excited about this opportunity. This particular one.
  2. Abject failure was given a cost. No new job.
  3. A price was paid. Regular calls.
  4. Presentable persistence, not pestilent persistence, was employed.
  5. Enthusiasm was generated for every call. He knew he’d get through one day.
  6. He sold himself from the VP’s point of view. No whining, just positives.

If you really want a new job or promotion, you often just have to keep trying.  You have to make a positive impact through your persistence. When your opportunity finally comes you have to be ready to pursue it like it is the first time you tried.  You have to be all positive.

One last thing to consider.  While you are being persistent, continue preparing.  Learn something new every day that applies to the job or promotion you want. Win by superior preparation AND persistence.  That’s the sweet spot where home runs are hit.

Something To Do Today

Today is  Opportunity Assessment Day.

What job or promotion are you aiming for?  Do you really want it?  Really?  Do you want to do the work or do you just want the prestige?

If you really want the JOB, the WORK and the opportunity, make a list of things to do every day to prepare. Now do it.

Is there an opportunity you know of?  Now figure out how to be presentably persistent in chasing that opportunity.  Do it.

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Coming up:                                                            Premature withdrawal

Job security – what permanent means

$250,000 too proud

How fast

Daydream

Audible

Down by 20 at halftime

Getting past a glass ceiling

True story: She can’t get a promotion.  Not even a bigger title.  The “Good Old Boys” all admit she is doing a great job.  She saves the company literally 5 to 50 times her salary every year.  She will never be promoted.  It is because she is a woman.  I know her.  I know her company.  There is no way up.  Even shooting her boss will only get a different man promoted ahead of her.

She can make her own life a living hell by suing the company.  She’ll lose even if she wins.  They would figure out a reason to fire her in a few years and then she’d have a hard time finding a job.

There are two ways to deal with a glass ceiling.

  1. Go around it.
  2. Get a new job.

Go around it

To go around the glass ceiling you need a mentor.  It is doubtful that your own boss will really help since he isn’t helping you now.  Invite someone 2 or 3 levels above you to lunch.  At lunch, don’t condemn your boss. Ask for help to grow.  Write down the advice you get.  Set up an appointment to have lunch again in 3 to 6 months.  Go over your progress with the person.  Report on how you have improved.

Scared?  Do you have to go to the owner, CEO or chairman of the board?  Do it anyway.  What have you got to lose?  You may be surprised that the person that far above you really wants to help winners like you succeed.  And if they refuse to help, try method 2.

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read, “President Can’t Swim”.  (Johnson)

Get a new job

Keep your old job as you search for a new one.  Chronicle your accomplishments in a job journal.  Report to your boss every week on your progress at work even if he doesn’t want to see it.  Take the reports and put your greatest accomplishments in your resume.

Network, contact recruiters, apply to good jobs at good companies.  Set criteria for moving and when you find the job, move.

Something To Do Today

Seriously ask yourself, why haven’t I been promoted this week?  Why haven’t I gotten a raise or a bonus this week?

Now write down in your job journal what you can do to get a promotion, raise or bonus as quickly as possible.

Will that make you happy?  Is that what you really want?  If yes, go do it.  If no, better figure out what you really should be doing.  There is no time like the present to change your life.  You get to be happier longer if you change today.

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Later:  The hours game

Confronting your boss

How to leave your job

Use the slings and arrows of outrageous job fortune to win

Goliath was the best thing that ever happened to David. (Weed)

Okay, Goliath tried to kill David.  But it was how David reacted to Goliath that made him famous.

How horribly bad stuff can eventually help you have a great job

Some people claim that the best thing that happened to President George W. Bush, was that terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center towers. There is even an apocryphal account of Bill Clinton saying, “If only that attack had happened on my watch, then I would have been a great president.”

How about these:

  • Not getting a job you really want.
  • Someone else getting the promotion you worked for.
  • Being laid off.
  • A terrible job performance review.
  • A letter of reprimand in your file.

Disasters? Yes.  Setbacks? Yes.

Setbacks make me think of the two richest families in our neighborhood when I was a kid.  One ran a gas station.  The other was a plumber.  They couldn’t get great jobs, so they took opportunities no one else wanted.  The gas station manager now owns 10 car dealerships.  The plumber started his own company and employed a host of people. They took stock of their situation and decided to move forward.

Evaluate why you really suffered a setback.  Ask the easy questions and the hard questions.  What did they do to me?  What did I do to me? Where can I go from here?

One of the oldest books on the subject of success is Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.  Every other book on the subject just steals his material and puts it in different words.  His book can help you gain perspective and focus on what you can do.

Are you dealing with a Goliath?  Then make sure you DECIDE how to react.

Today is always the time to start your future.  Yesterday is past.  Today you can make tomorrow a little better.  Focus on what really caused your current situation.  Then go forward with a plan.  The world will change around you.

Something To Do Today

Get a copy of Think and Grow Rich and read through it.  It’s a classic.

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Later:  The job supermarket

Rigor Mortis – signs of job death

Great and glorious job search!

My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today, I knew it then as purpose.  (Davis)

Can your job search be like General Grant’s assaults on the Confederacy? You certainly can’t start from a worse personal position than he did.

Robert E. Lee said, “We all thought Richmond, protected as it was by our splendid fortifications and defended by our army of veteran, could not be taken.  Yet Grant turned his face to our Capital, and never turned it away until we had surrendered.”

Abraham Lincoln was strongly urged to remove Ulysses S. Grant from command by Grant’s two senior leaders.  Lincoln replied, “I cannot spare this man, he fights.”

Grant’s first army unit as a General had driven away two other Generals in the previous month.  The unit was insubordinate, untrained and outright rebellious.  Yet they followed Grant.

The year before the US Civil War, Grant was an alcohol abusing store clerk who only kept his job because he worked for his father-in-law.

What changed in Grant? Passion, focus, and high purpose.

Do you have a career plan? A job search plan? One that really suits your talents and skills?  If one plan of attack fails are you willing to immediately switch to another?  As the job market changes are you ready to take advantage of previously unseen opportunities?  Are you constantly preparing?

Your passion may be your family, church, job, or club. It is probably a combination of them.  If you take the time you spend on your job, concentrate, plan and execute, you can do wonders.  If you slackly follow orders, give the minimal possible and expect to get a raise before you work harder, you will stagnate.

Where can you go to succeed?  What can you do?  Do you have to relocate your family? Do you need a new job?  A new career path? What can be your great purpose at work?

Acres of Diamonds can give you some directions along that path. You can read it or listen to the author tell it at this link.

Something To Do Today

Read or listen to Acres of Diamonds .  Read it.

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Later: Slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Make your job search 50% more effective

The first step to making your job search 50% more effective, is to really know what is happening.  Yes, get a job in half the time. Let me give you an example that changed my life that applies to your job search.

I was overspending by 20% every month. I had an absolutely fixed income.  So I bought a notepad and kept track of every expense.  In one week it was obvious where the money went.  In a month it was unavoidable.  The truth? 20% of my very limited income was going for lemonade from cozy little shops in Murcia, Spain.

Your time is very limited.  You only get 24 hours a day.  You can’t buy more time. Do you really know how you use it?

Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace. (Sawyer)

Buy a small notebook.  Exert incredible discipline for one day each month.  Every time you shift tasks, write it down.  A phone call is a shifted task.  An internet link can be a shifted task.  Write it down.

It may help to create 15 minute intervals on the paper and write down what you did for each 15 minute period.

Now get out the chainsaw.  What was really REALLY productive?  Do you spend 2 hours daily trying to avoid offending people by chatting amiably or reading their useless emails.  Cut out the unproductive stuff.

Make sure you do what is important.  Education is essential. Networking is critical.  Talk about the NCAA tournament with Larry—don’t kid yourself.  That email of funny things kids do—delete it.

I tried it. I found I was spending hours each day with candidate email that wouldn’t do any good.  I did a 2 month experiment.  I took all my job openings off the internet. Instead I started calling up people.  In the recruiting business that is taking a chainsaw to your daily schedule.  Nothing neat and clean, I just cut 25% of my time wasted.  I have since added back some job ads, but not where everyone else advertises.  Now I get better candidates and less time wasters.

Create the log.  Keep it for a day or a week.  Get your chainsaw out.  Cut off the termite riddled, least productive part of the log.  Use the time you save to get the most useful things possible done.

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Something To Do Today

Create a time log.  Use it for your job or your job hunting.  Keep it. Analyze it.  Chainsaw it.

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Next:      Unbelievable networking facts.

Later:               Take unfair advantage of those networking facts.

How to overcome an employer’s resistance to hiring you

Why won’t they hire you? Do desperate employers resist hiring anyone?  Do they resist change? Or is it something else they resist?

Would you like to win a million dollars tax free?  But isn’t that a change?

If Oprah gave you a new car and money to pay the taxes on it, how hard would you resist? That is also a change.

Did you notice that I added that line about taxes in each question?  I had to add that because you might resist otherwise.  It isn’t the taxes, it is what the taxes represent in your mind that may cause you to resist.

Employers have the same resistance to hiring you that you might have to accepting a new car or even a million dollars.  They are afraid there is a hidden tax, a hook, a hidden problem.  They are afraid they will be forced to do things they don’t have time or energy for.  It can all be boiled down to their fear of losing control. People are afraid of losing control of their million dollars or their new car due to taxes. They are afraid of losing control if they hire you.

They lose control when they make you a job offer

As long as the employer is looking at resumes, interviewing, testing, talking about candidates, doing reference checks, and thinking about making offers, they are in control.  The second they make you an offer, they lose control.

Suddenly it is all up to you.  They get edgy.  To regain some control they will put a time limit on their offer. Usually they will give you overnight.  Sometimes they will give you up to a week.  But they want to have control over the process.

They have even less control when you start working for them

I am sure your new boss has worked with someone who was hired and was an absolute disaster. That person looked like the solution to their problem and was a horrible mistake.

You look like the perfect solution to their problem.  But, if they hire you, they lose control. When you come on board, there will be training, detailed supervision, review of your work, correction, adjustments to team duties, interpersonal conflicts, and a lot of other things that change. They will lose control of all those things the second you start with the team.

You have to help them regain control before you are hired

In order to soothe your potential boss, you have to give them as much control as possible.  If you can prove a few basic things, they will hire you immediately.  You need to prove:

  1. You will take the job and keep it
  2. You can do that job
  3. You won’t take too much training
  4. You will take the initiative to do things within their system
  5. You learn quickly
  6. You get along with all kinds of coworkers – good and bad
  7. You will quickly take other burdens off the boss’s back and give them back control.

How do you prove it?

We’ll talk about that over the next few days.

Networking, referrals, recruiters, and job boards

Even a fox can get a job guarding a henhouse if he has good enough references.

Internet job boards fill 25% of jobs, recruiters fill 16%, and referrals fill 27% of jobs according to one survey.     So where do you want to concentrate your job hunting time?

But there are so many jobs on Indeed, Monster, Dice, and Career Builder, shouldn’t I try to get those jobs?

Absolutely!  But that doesn’t mean you should automatically send a resume through those services.

22% of jobs are found on a company’s own website.  Gotta like that.  Still, don’t even apply at the company’s own website until after you have tried to take advantage of this country’s main job finding system: Networking into referrals.

Print out the jobs you want that you find on the internet.  Make a list of the companies.  Next to each company, make a list of people you know who work there.  Include people who know someone who works there.  Add a list of recruiters who can get your resume past HR (Human Resources) and directly to the hiring manager.  Get into www.linkedin.com and see if you can find someone working at that company.  (Link to bryan@dilts.us to expand your network.) Add the people at companies you are targeting to a list.

Your objective is to find someone who can drop your information on the hiring manager’s desk.  Look at your whole list before you make a move.  Who has the best chance of helping you?  Who is the best connected?  Is it a professional networker or a recruiter?  Is it your friend’s wife?  Get your resume in there and follow up.  If you don’t get a call within a week, try again through another person.

27% of jobs are being filled by networking, 25% by job boards, 16% are being filled by recruiters.  Shouldn’t networking AND job boards AND recruiters be your main job search tools?

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Something To Do Today

Get into www.linkedin.com

List where everyone you know works, their spouses too.  Keep adding to the list whenever you find out where someone works.  Keep track of coworkers who leave.  Start making a list of where everyone who knows you works. It may be worth more than gold to you now or in the future.

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Later              Personality tests

Resume blasting

Certifications –  gold and lead

Job search: what the reality show would look like

There is a natural progression to a job search and how you feel when you have been fired.  Let me give you the key line that would be in the 8 episodes of the reality show, “I Was Fired.”

Episode 1:  Fired?  I’ll have another job before I’m out the door, you slug.

Episode 2: If I call 3 of my friends, I’ll have two job offers by the end of today.

Episode 3: I better file for unemployment checks.  This may take a week or two.

Episode 4: After “Survivor” I’ll try to send out a resume on “CareerBuilder”.

Episode 5: Will the sun ever shine again?  Why don’t the stars twinkle anymore?

Episode 6: The capitalist military industrial complex corrupts and destroys all the slaves forced to toil therein.

Episode 7:  My dog still loves me.  That’s a start.

Episode 8: I can have the job? Really??  The pay is low…but I’ll prove you made a great decision!

The real job search emotional progression includes:

denial,

getting mad,

reconciling with reality,

not knowing what to do next,

getting depressed,

realizing your self worth,

and finding a job.

It’s natural.  Where are you at?

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Later:              What to ask in every interview

How to find out what you want to be, do, or pursue

I went to a Boy Scout camp where a fire company put on a rescue demonstration.  They had 3 cars.  One by one they ripped them apart using hydraulic tools.  Right then I decided that I want to be a fireman when I grow up.  I was 49 and ineligible, but I’m willing to dream.

A friend told me that he was the fastest machine operator at the plant where he worked.  They always put him in the job that would challenge him the most. If there was a bottleneck, he’d clear it up.  He also cried at times because he hated the work so much.  He studied to take up a different profession for 8 years.  He struggled with very low paying jobs, serious health problems, and a wife and kids he solely supported.  Finally he started working as a Mechanical Engineer at a major DOD contractor.

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.  (Aristotle)

Why do people stay in jobs they hate? No one is legally bound as an indentured servant or slave anymore.  Why do people need help finding what they like to do?  There are a lot of reasons.  Fear, money, social pressure and unexplored possibilities can all be reasons.

You are a slave if you believe you cannot change.  You are free when you think about, study for, and work towards a change for the better.  So take a little time today and write down a list of things you always wanted to do.  Make a list of jobs and careers you might enjoy.

Need help? Every university has a department to help students discover what they would like to study. The internet has sites to help you choose a career.  Every state run job center will give you interest and aptitude tests for free.  Friends and family are always happy to tell you where to go and what to do when you get there.

You may want to consult a career coach or a consulting coach.  For example, I work with people who want to be consultants to help them have a viable business without worrying about where the next client is coming from. Others help you figure out and pursue your best and happiest career.

It is worth taking time to find out if you really want to be a fireman, mechanic, professor or plumber.  If you start working towards a career goal you can always turn back later and be better off for trying.  However, you will never get anywhere without taking the first steps to think about, study for and work towards a change.

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Something To Do Today

Make a list of every hobby you have attempted.  List every subject you have studied.  Rank them all as “liked”, “don’t care” and “disliked.”  Look for a pattern.  You may be surprised.  Take an interest test or two.  They’re actually fun.  Many are free.  Contact me.  I can help too.

Next:  Mortal combat: win every time