Many people expect their boss and company culture will bring them along and help them integrate well into the inner workings of their new organization. Not so fast.
I run into so many people who complain how they can't find a job, or get a promotion, or find new, great clients (Group 'A'). I also run into people who find a job quickly, get that promotion, and regularly find great clients (Group 'B').
What is the difference between Groups 'A' & 'B'?
- Group 'A' has developed the most perfectly formed excuse structure holding them back from success.
- Group 'B' fights their big fears every day, dismisses the weak ones, and gets shit done.
What do they do?
- Group 'A' blames their weaknesses, the market, their age, other people, and how customers demand so much more. They moan about their bad luck, how no one wants them, and how other forces are impacting their success.
- Group 'B' doesn't play that game. There is no time for blaming. They figure out what needs to be done and they do it. They realize it's going to be hard, they will be tested, and they will have to push themselves harder than ever before.
What happens in the end?
- Group 'A' plays the same broken record every day and suddenly find that half of 2017 has passed them by. They're still without a job, with no promotional opportunities (and their current position on the chopping block), and clients disappearing at an alarming rate.
- Group 'B' gets the interview and offer. They get the promotion and raise they asked about. They go after and get even bigger clients - bigger than they ever dreamed.
Which group are you currently in? What group do you want to be in?
Extra Credit . . . How To Be In Group 'B':
- Stop looking and finding excuses for your situation. You're a smart boy/girl — you know exactly what the problem is. Get out there and take action.
- Be Bold In Life - Start taking chances — not wild-ass ones, think about your next steps and then move!
- Ask for forgiveness, not permission — this is my mantra — reach out to that unreachable person, ask for that raise, go after that affluent client.
- Do It NOW - Don't wait for 'the right time'. There's no time like the present. "Action expresses priorities." - Gandhi
- Stop procrastinating because you're 'afraid'. This is a No Whining Zone — no one is going to change your diaper.
Frequently, I am asked questions from people within the website Quora — I try my best to answer most — but candidly, there are too many. Here are some of my best answers to great questions concerning people's careers:
What is more difficult in the long run, working for a company or running your own business?
Both are difficult and rewarding in their own ways:
- Company - you have a boss to keep happy, you have set work hours, you get a regular paycheck, you get a paid location to work at, you get benefits, and you also get jerk bosses, the chance to lose your job instantly, cancelled projects, and frequently depressed coworkers.
- Business - you have a clients to keep happy, you have flexible work hours, your paycheck is based on how hard your work and hustle, you get to work at home, you get to pay for your own benefits, and you also get no jerk bosses (but jerk clients), the chance to lose your clients at the drop of a hat, cancelled projects, and you might be frequently depressed.
All kidding aside (but I was telling the truth) - both have their ups and downs, sometimes you feel in control with both, and sometimes you feel out of control with both.
I've done both - 20 years in corporate - 14 years coaching - and both are hard/easy, rewarding/frustrating, but all in all - it's a great ride.
My suggestion? Start a company.
How long does it take to settle in at a new job?
On average - 3-6 months. Not only do you need to meet, develop and hone relationships with key people, you need to learn the whole business - how it works, what are the levers/movers, what are the clients like, etc.
You also need to see how the company reacts to emergencies, slow-time, reactive decisions from management, and industry shifts.
I hate to say 'settle in', because when I'm settled, I'm bored. You need to constantly challenge yourself - do new things, meet new people, etc.
Where on their resumes might long-term unemployed job candidates address their current career gaps?
Are you not getting traction with your current résumé? (a lot of opportunities/recruiters/
If not, don't do anything. If so, and if the gaps are frequent and wide, you might want to fill in those gaps. Some suggestions:
- You didn't sit on the couch all day and watch Jerry Springer. You probably did something - volunteered, side job, etc. Let them know.
- Did you try to start a business? Did you do side work (consulting) that you were paid for? Let them know.
- If you really didn't do anything for a LONG time and your résumé isn't getting traction, you might say you helped out a sick family member at home - most of the time recruiters might ask a small question, but it's happening more and more every day as our population ages. I know this might be a 'white lie' and a fireable offense - but if you are consistently striking out, you have to do something to change the dynamic.
#3 might rankle some readers — but there are a lot of people who are lost right now looking for a replacement job and they've gone YEARS without employment.
What kind of advice would you give to a 40-something starting a new job where she'll be working alongside 20-somethings?
- Listen more than preach. You are not their 'sensei' right now, you just work with them. Also, be patient.
- Ask questions. They might know more than you do. And they probably do.
- Don't talk about your kids, your injuries, your parents, or any other 40+ year-old concern. 20 year-olds don't care.
- Don't try to 'be cool'. Be yourself. Be interested, but be yourself.
- Let them make their own mistakes. If they ask you for advice, then you give it to them. Ultimately, they will look to you as their 'sensei' if you do it right.
- Try to do things that they do. If they invite you out for drinks, go. If they mention a band, listen to them. If they talk about a movie, check it out.
- Compliment them. We tend to forget to do that with our younger counterparts.
- Work out, stay in shape, eat healthy, and keep a close eye on your wardrobe style. You don't want to dress like Lou in MadMen. Also keep an eye on your hairstyle.
- Look at your glasses style. Too many guys and gals wear really old frames they wore in high school. Get with the program and style up.
- Grow an interest in some of the things they might be interested in - music, movies, books, theater, etc. If you show a sincere interest in their passions, they might ask you about yours.
Extra-Credit: Keep up with TECHNOLOGY. I'm 52 and get so angry at people my age who have problems, disregard or disparage simple technology I use easily. YOU LOOK OLD immediately if you have frequent problems with email, the web, your phone (get a smartphone), etc.
I work with a broad spectrum of clients. All the way from the CEO to the college graduate, I help people overcome obstacles and better understand what's holding them back. One recurring area I encounter is the fear of 'more work'. What do I mean by 'more work'?