Don’t Look a Job-Lead Gift Horse in the Mouth!

As the holiday season approaches, there is a lot of talk about the etiquette of gift-giving, and any lessons learned can actually have a powerful impact on your job search. To see the relevance, first consider this story that illustrates the old adage about not looking a gift horse in the mouth. Once when I was on the way to my college dining hall, I saw a man holding a sign saying that he was homeless, had not eaten in days, and was desperate to feed his wife and two children. An hour later, as I exited the dining hall, I packed three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, three apples, and three cookies into a lunch bag and delivered them to the man. When I handed him the bag, he asked what was inside. “Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, and cookies,” I said. To my surprise, he said that … Continue reading

Be Careful When Regifting Job Search Advice!

As Thanksgiving approaches, this is an ideal time to remember the importance of thanks within the context of your job-search process. When someone provides you with job-related advice, or someone in your network puts you in touch with the recruiter leading the search for a position for which you applied, what you are receiving is, in fact, a gift. And because of this, traditional gift-giving rules apply. Job seekers should be sure to thank everyone who provides them with job search advice. This is not only the polite thing to do, but it is an important strategic move. Many successful companies recognize the power of a thank you and expend significant resources because they recognize its benefits. For example, eBay tells its top sellers that “sending your buyers a thank you note after a purchase can be a great way to strengthen your seller-buyer bond. But besides that, it can … Continue reading

Employers want to share in your gain, not your pain

Employers want to share in your gain, not your pain. As we embark on the holiday season, remember that this is a great time to focus on your job search since you will be meeting a lot of prospective employers at holiday gatherings. Remember when you are discussing potential employment opportunities, employers wants to share in your gain, not your pain. Consider the man who walks into a party with a beautiful woman on his arm. If you’re the woman, perhaps you engaged in grueling workouts during the six weeks leading up to the event and did a juice cleanse in order to squeeze into that dress. If you’re the man, while you may appreciate all the hard work your partner did to achieve that look, you probably don’t want to hear about it. You’d rather just bask in the moment (and watch the others gaze at you with envy) … Continue reading

Start of Holiday Season To-Do List: Go Public!

If you really really really want a job, you are going to have to pound the pavement and tell everyone about it.   I once attended a panel discussion for aspiring script writers. Near the end of the discussion, one of the attendees asked the moderator, an established script writer, how to 100-percent guarantee that no one in Hollywood would steal his script, which he was certain would eventually become the next blockbuster. The moderator asked if the script had been written and printed out. The answer was yes to both. “Perfect,” said the moderator. “When you get home, erase any digital copies, place the printed copy carefully under your bedroom mattress, and keep it there forever. This is your 100-percent guarantee your idea will not be stolen by anyone in Hollywood. Unfortunately, this is also the only 100-percent guarantee that your script will never be made into a movie.” … Continue reading

You Make Your Own Sandwiches (….for lunch and for life)

I spend a lot of time talking to people about the status of their job search process. Many job seekers find it depressing because of the amount of time they spend setting up and attending meetings that produce no results. Because networking is a numbers game (or so they’ve been told), they engage in the same process over and over and over again:     Set up three meetings. Check. Have those meetings. Check. Get the names of three other people to meet. Check. Set up those meetings. Check. Those meetings produce more names. Check.   In other words, job seekers repeat the same process, without getting anywhere. (Or, as I like to put it: Lather. Rinse. Repeat.) No wonder they feel depressed! The fact is that some traditional job search techniques are not as effective today because circumstances have changed. The job search process is a brand new game—but … Continue reading

Hot Summer Sale and Lazy Days are for the Beach

  As summer winds down, you may be tempted to slow down at work. Remember lazy days are for your well-deserved beach vacation and are not for the days you are expected to be at work—this is especially true if you are supposed to be covering for your boss. And, because I know it’s a challenge to remain focused on your job, I have two things to keep you motivated.   First, I’m excited to announce a hot summer sale! For a limited time, you can purchase The Perpetual Paycheck Ebook for only $1.99! That’s more than 75% off its original price. So, if you are thinking of purchasing The Perpetual Paycheck or recommending it to others, now is the time to CLICK HERE and take advantage of the sale. Second, to be sure you remember the importance of keeping your boss pleased with your performance, I have a joke … Continue reading

The Ultimate Inspiration is a Deadline

The end of an employment relationship is likely daunting and unsettling, but as I explain in The Perpetual Paycheck there is a bright side: Countless others with much less experience and lesser skills than you have been in this same position and prevailed. Currently there are four million open jobs in the United States. You only need one. The odds are certainly in your favor! Second, regardless of how dire your circumstances may be, there is a job for you. You just have to find it. And, as the entrepreneur and founder of both Atari and the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theaters chain Nolan Key Bushnell has said “the ultimate inspiration is a deadline.” This is of particular relevance to the ending of the employment relationship. If you were looking for the motivation to move your career to the next level, now you have it. It is easy for a … Continue reading

Commit to Seeing Troubles as Triumphs

In The Perpetual Paycheck, I am fairly honest about the fact that things will not always go well at work. However, even when faced with a less than ideal situation, with the right mindset you can still turn a trouble into a triumph and pave the way for future success. Consider the classic story of two shoe salesmen who traveled to an underdeveloped area in Africa and found that no one in the area was wearing any shoes. The salesman immediately sent simultaneous emails back to their corporate headquarters. The first man wrote, “This trip is a waste of time—no one wears shoes!” The second man wrote, “Double the original order. The demand will be at least twice what we originally expected!” Keep in mind that how you characterize something impacts how you respond to it. Labeling an event as a problem compels you to adopt a negative approach, whereas … Continue reading