“Five wasted years due to a liar. I was promised equity, part ownership, and then they sold the company without giving it to me. I was robbed. I’ll never trust anyone again. Now I’m in it for the money. I’m in it for me.”
He has the skills to succeed, but who would hire him for an honest corporate level job now? He broods on wrongs done to him. His attitude and morals are shot. He is sure everyone lies and cheats. Every time he sends me a resume, it has incredible lies on it. He only remembers the bad, never savoring the good.
Some places will hire him for sales or sales management because of an undeniable track record. But will he cheat the customers or help them? Will he ever be a customer centered salesman again? He will be fired soon.
I have kept in contact with him for years and he has never recovered. He refuses to move on mentally. Morally he remains disfigured, brooding, and unreliable.
The inability to forget is infinitely more devastating than the inability to remember. (Twain)
Grabbing offenses tightly only pushes needles through your hand.
There are a lot of people like him. I ask these scarred souls, “How soon did you figure out your boss was lying?” Usually the answer is, “I found out 3 months (or 3 days) after I started. But then it was too late to take another job.” I ask, “Why didn’t you get the promises in writing?” The answer is always, “I didn’t think I needed to. He kept telling me he would do it.” By then you knew your boss was a liar, so you trusted him??
Time to forget that you were cheated. You made two mistakes: 1. You decided to keep working for a liar, and 2. You decided you didn’t need promises in writing from the liar.
What you should do is learn from the two lessons above and move on. Refuse to work for a liar again. Get promises in writing. And now start remembering all the good people you have known.
Good people attract good people. You will find that people who tell the truth in business don’t mind putting their promises in writing. As a matter of fact, they prefer putting promises in writing so that there is no dispute later about what they promised.
Now forget how you were robbed. That was one bad boss. No need to tell the story over and over. Frankly forgive him. If you are suing him, let your lawyer worry about it. If you aren’t taking him to court, drop it completely.
Learn from your mistakes. Continue trusting people. Get promises in writing. Learn the right lessons and forget the pain. You’ll be happier.
Something To Do Today
Liar research day. Who do you know who says they were robbed in a job or business? Come on. You probably know a few. Ask them 2 1/2 questions:
How soon did you figure out he was lying and why did you stick with him so long?
Rewriting a resume so that it gets results, instead of getting deleted, is an art. Here is a 15 minute video of taking a resume for someone changing fields, with ancient experience, and a good attitude, and making the resume into an attention grabber with no visual negatives.
It ends a little abruptly, but all the changes are made and you just missed my final 15 seconds bragging about how good it looks.
I got a furtive phone call from a candidate more than a decade ago, “Bryan, this idea can make you a fortune. I don’t want to tell it to you unless you promise me half the money you make from it. This will make you rich.”
A great idea can be a life changer
I answered, “You want half of my business for an idea? Great ideas are wonderful. I have them all the time. What I need are people who can execute great ideas. Will you quit your job and risk everything to make your idea work? Will you be content to be rewarded only after your idea is making money?”
“Well, no. Listen Bryan, if you do it, you’ll make a fortune. You only have to give me half.”
Unable to keep the idea to himself, he eventually told me that his idea was to bring cheap programmers from India to the United States. It was a great idea. One I was approached with literally every day by phone or email. And many people made their fortune doing it. I just needed someone daring enough to take the idea and run with it. I needed someone to execute the idea.
The most powerful factors in the world are clear ideas in the minds of energetic men of good will. (Thomson)
Do you have a great idea? If you have the guts and energy to gather supporters around you and execute that great idea, you will have the ride of your life. It can be done in your present company, a new company or your own company. Make sure the idea and your plans are big enough. As many companies fail from a big idea executed in a small way as from a small idea executed in a big way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. (Goethe)
Write down your plans. Get people to critique the idea. Use criticizers to figure out how to do things better. When someone says, “It can’t be done,” consider the source. Go out and make things happen. Life will never be the same for you.
Something To Do Today
In your job journal write down all the great ideas you have. Do it in a separate section. Discuss your ideas with people who can help you make them happen.
Do you need a job now? Then use the best job search plan ever created.
Come on! How could it possibly be the best EVER created? Because it was created for only one person. You.
I have seen it happen over and over.
One guy is out of work for less than a month, and he gets a job offer with a raise.
Find a job in 5 weeks – that is freedom
It takes 6 months to get a job for the guy who sat next to him. This poor guy was doing exactly the same job, got better performance ratings, and would get rehired first if the job was re-opened. To make things worse, the guy who took six months accepts a huge pay cut.
It isn’t fair, but it happens every day.
It isn’t luck. The guy who finds a job quickly did things differently. He may have instinctively done the few most critical steps within the first days of losing his job. He may also have mapped out a strategy and executed it. Either way, he got the critical steps executed. He got the job.
The critical steps most often screwed up by the guys who take 6 months to find a job.
For 22 years I’ve been watching people get jobs in days, or wait a year to find a job. The steps most often screwed up are:
The resume stunk, and he never found out.
He burned his best leads before he was prepared.
Monster became his momma.
HR (Human Resources Department) was his master.
He never expanded his network, but he talked to a zillion people.
Interviews never seemed to go right.
He waited for a phone call back.
He thought recruiters were his friends
Give me a call or research these topics on my blog.
Here is how I guerilla gardened and how you can guerilla job search. Forget the box, just think.
I was down to 5 blueberry plants. I had more in the past. I love blueberries. Because of the varieties I have, I get to pick them for 2 months each year.
I decided to plant. I didn’t have the $200 in my budget for the plants I wanted. So I looked up how to grow my own blueberry plants. The instructions included mist boxes, planting medium, hormones, infections, mold and other horrible things. I wasn’t about to grow them that way.
Guerilla gardening was the only real possibility. I spent a couple of months thinking about the problem. I looked up some things about houseplants and roses. That spring I gave some fresh ideas a try.
Guerrilla job search, work project, or gardening.
I cut 22 budding branches from blueberry plants of 6 different varieties. I dug holes in the deep leaf compost of the blueberry garden and planted them. Then I covered the cuttings with jars. The jars keep the moisture level high around the cutting. It gives the twig a chance to develop roots.
I took off the bottles a month after planting the twigs. 18 of the 22 blueberry cuttings looked like they would survive. Alas, they didn’t. I took the jars off too early. But guess what? I’m going to try again. This time I will leave the jars on another month or two.
Guerilla gardening triumphs again. Not only will we save $200, the new plants will grow just as well as mail order plants. Mine won’t be yanked out of the ground and sent by mail to us. They will just keep on growing where they are.
Guerilla job search ideas
Can’t get a reply on your resume? Why not come up with a guerilla campaign. A series of things you can do to get a job. Something more than just sending a resume. Pick a company or 3 that you really want to get into. Now figure out how to get to know the people who would be your coworkers and hiring managers. Emails, phone calls, mailing them a bag of M&M’s or inviting them to lunch can all be a part of the campaign.
Projects at your current job to boost your job search
Unable to get the resources you need at work? It could be an opportunity to shine. Think of ways to get the job done at low cost. What resources can be diverted for your project? Study alternate ways of getting the job done. In Spanish “guerilla” means little war. Figure out how to win each project as a little war of its own.
If your project succeeds, tell your boss in your weekly report. If it fails, tell him all the alternate approaches you considered. Let him know you are trying to get essential tasks done with less resources. He will appreciate it.
If you are job hunting, the guerilla projects that succeed go on your resume. The companies you apply to will want to know how you can make projects succeed without a budget. Those projects are eye catching advertisements for your intiative.
Something To Do Today
Take a project you want to do, but don’t have resources for. List 10 possible ways to make it a guerilla project. Do some research and list 5 more ways. Is the result worth the effort if it works? Then make the effort. Succeed or fail, you will learn something.
Your “eureka” moment
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka” (I found it!) but “That’s funny.” (Asimov)
Is there something you do that is critical? How many are there? Do you get credit for them? A raise? When the kids were all home, I wrote this.
I make the milk
With up to 9 kids (we have 10) and 2 adults at home, we drink a lot of milk. There isn’t enough room in our 2 refrigerators to keep enough fresh milk. We use powdered milk instead.
Me, in the morning, getting ready to make the milk.
Every morning I get up early and write. When I am done I make breakfast for myself. The milk is usually gone. Sometimes I grumble a little. Why is it always me? Everyone uses it. Can’t they make it too? Then I go ahead and make the milk. Occasionally I remind my wife that I made the milk. She can’t leave me for another man. He might not make the milk in the morning. (Truth be told: she makes it more than I do, but I can’t have her believing I am totally useless.)
Do you “make the milk” at work? Are there indispensable chores you do? Then you need to remind your boss of them every week or at least quarterly. Put them in your weekly, monthly or quarterly reports to your boss. He needs to be reminded.
Since you are reporting what you do as routine every week, you’d better add what the extra things are that you do every week. Write how you saved money, speeded things up, or made a customer happy. Don’t forget to include training you gave or received.
There is no way that your boss can possibly know all the important things you do. He has his own job. Giving him a weekly, monthly and quarterly report reminds him. It also gives him a weekly opportunity to think of new projects to give you. It forces him to think of your career.
Make the milk. Then make sure you get the credit. It really will help your career.
Something To Do Today
In your job journal make a list of the things you do every day, week and month. What do you take care of so your boss doesn’t have to worry? Keep adding to the list. Friday, write up the list and give it to your boss. You may just surprise him with how much you did this week.
Experts are hired quickly. They rarely look for a job very long. An expert knows all the answers – if you ask the right questions. You can become an expert, just like Jim Fixx.
The guy who invented running died
Runners were either late to an interview or just weird before Jim Fixx.
Jim Fixx passed away in 1984. Some obituaries said, “The man who invented running died.” Before his book, The Complete Book of Running, jogging and running were not sports. They were just weird. Jim Fixx didn’t revolutionize running, he just brought it acceptance. In 1977 his book was the best selling non-fiction hardcover book ever. He is a legend in the running world.
Every month I run across at least one or two people whose names are synonymous with excellence in their field. Hailed as legends and gurus, they aren’t necessarily the brightest people, but they are smart. What they have done is study extensively, had a few successful projects and published a few articles or a book. If the field is broader, they get involved writing the certification tests in their discipline. They all command a 30% to 100% earnings premium compared to people who are merely better than they are.
Hiring managers feel embarrassed to admit they don’t know who these people are. It is obvious from their resumes that they are the “go to” guys in their narrow field. I have to emphasize, these guys are smart, but not geniuses. They have figured out how to be impressive. They have psyched out managers, consultants and experts. They have become the gurus in their field.
Can you become the legend or guru in your field? How about in your company? In your team? Your name can become synonymous with a particular subject. You may have to teach a few classes, write an article or a training course. What can you do to become a legend?
Something To Do Today
Who are the gurus in your field? Ask them how they built their reputation. Scared to call them because they wrote a book? Truth to tell, authors are human too. They will succumb to the rapt attention of an informed audience. Call them, email them or write to them.
A very short email was sent out by a candidate after a brief phone screening for a top level job. I got a copy. It helped set that candidate apart from all the others in a quiet way. The next day that email was replied to with an invitation for an in-person interview. That’s a successful email. That email said, “Thank you for the chance to talk with you about your company and that opening.”
I admit it. The email did NOT get him the interview. His phone presence, background, cheerfulness and “can do” attitude got him the reply. Still, the “thank you” email helped.
100 applicants for a job is not unusual. Phone interviews with 10 solid candidates is common. Often the choice between the top 3 candidates is only based on chemistry, the feelings of the moment. So what can you do?
Send a thank you by email after every interview.
Also send a paper thank you.
Dwell on the positive.
Never complain about a previous job, boss or coworker.
Tell interviewers what you like about the job.
Ask for the next interview or for the job.
In the interview be the type of person you most like working with. After the interview, be thankful. That’s an unbeatable combination.
There’s no secret about success. Did you ever know a successful man who didn’t tell you about it? (Hubbard)
The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn. (Russell)
“Take this job and shove it” – can really hurt YOU
Every week I hear, “I know that candidate from a previous job. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole. He was not a team player.”
Sometimes that comes from the way the person left a previous team. Often the comment arises from an incident a decade or more before the comment. Someone burned bridges as they left a job. They were rude, bitter, destructive or insufferable.
Your boss may be getting ready to quit too. He could be your new boss again at your next job, or in 10 years. A current teammate may be on your future interview team. Leaving in a professional manner makes it possible to work together with members from your old team in the future.
Professionals leave relationships intact. I have heard it put: “Be wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove.” Don’t let people take advantage of you, and don’t purposely hurt anyone.
We are back to the right way to quit. Hand your boss a simple letter that states:
“I have appreciated the opportunity to work for XYZ company. I am resigning with my last day of work on -date-.”
Then keep your mouth shut. Say only positive things. Never brag about where you are going. Cooperate with your boss and coworkers. Avoid all questions about where you are going geographically or with which company.
Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.
Something To Do Today
Have you got a network list? People who you are actively cultivating to help your career should be in that network. How many of them would like to work for the same type of company you find ideal? Count it up. Really. Count it up. Doesn’t it make sense to have them as future allies?
Tomorrow: A successful email
Later: The guy who invented running died
I make the milk every morning, my wife will keep me
“The non compete clause is never enforced. I’m not worried if they find out where I am going.”
A very real guy I know said that to his new boss. He went back and bragged to his old coworkers about the new job. He got a phone call from his old company’s lawyer. Guess what? They are enforcing the non compete clause. If he fought it, he very well might beat it. But during the ensuing battle he couldn’t work. So he is staying. What do you think his career path looks like now?
Resignation should always be done with a simple letter stating:
I appreciate the opportunity I have had to work for XYZ Company. I am resigning my position effective <date>.
Don’t say where you are going. Don’t brag to your coworkers. Don’t even admit which state or industry you will be in.
What if there is not a non compete clause in your contract? You should resign the same way.
You may be accused of bringing trade secrets to the new employer. They may not be able to stop you, but they can still cause you and your new company pain in the courts.
Resigning should always be done the same way. Simply and quietly. Gloating is never a good idea.
Something To Do Today
Don’t quit today unless you already have a new job. Then quit in a short professional letter of resignation. Practice avoiding questions about where you are going to work.
Suicidal glory is the luxury of the irresponsible. We’re not giving up. We’re waiting for a better opportunity. (Bujold)