• Hired!

    Good first Monday of October!

    After you’ve learned to overcome your job hunt frustrations, had a professional write your resume, and remembered my gold star question, the next step in your job search is… getting hired!

    At least, that’s been our experience hundreds of thousands of times here at TheLadders!

    And while we don’t have the space to share all of them, here are just fifty of the positions filled at TheLadders in the month of September. I’d match up the pay with the location with the title for you, but this week, I’m going to make that your challenge… Can you match the title in Column A with the pay in Column B and the location in Column C? *Answer key at the bottom…

    Column A   Column B   Column C
    Marketing and Brand Strategy VP   $240K   Charlotte, NC
    Global Sourcing VP   $280K   Chicago, IL
    Project Manager   $140K   New York, NY
    Human Resources VP   $175K   New Jersey
    Vice President of Sales   $175K   Dallas, TX
    Global Marketing SVP   $195K   New York, NY
    Senior Director   $175K   Houston, TX
    Systems Director   $170K   Dallas, TX
    Vice President   $165K   Birmingham, AL
    User Experience Senior Manager   $155K   San Francisco
    Finance Director   $165K   San Francisco
    Manager of Brand Communications   $150K   Chicago, IL
    Operations VP   $150K   Los Angeles, CA
    Product Manager   $140K   Cleveland, OH
    Application Director   $150K   Miami, FL
    Sales and Marketing Director   $150K   NJ
    Agile Consultant   $150K   Redmond, WA
    Marketing Vice President   $140K   Cincinnati, OH
    Senior Manager   $145K   NYC
    Plant Manager   $140K   Texas
    VP Development   $130K   Virginia Beach
    Director of Sales   $140K   California
    Sales Director   $130K   Fort Lauderdale
    Assistant Vice President   $130K   New Jersey
    Director of Manufacturing   $125K   Cleveland, OH
    Director of Finance   $126K   Atlanta, GA
    Account Sales Executive   $120K   Baton Rouge, LA
    Senior Manager   $119K   Denver, CO
    Senior Project Manager   $120K   Los Angeles, CA
    Sales Manager   $120K   Schaumburg, IL
    Senior Business Architect   $119K   Hartford, CT
    Member Benefits Supervisor   $115K   Herndon, VA
    Senior Software Engineer   $120K   New Hampshire
    Solution Specialist   $120K   Pittsburgh, PA
    Sales Representative   $115K   New Jersey
    Manager of Marketing Operations   $115K   Pennsylvania
    Contracts Administration Manager   $110K   New Jersey
    Director of Retirement Benefits   $112K   Brentwood, TN
    Regional Sales Manager   $110K   New Jersey
    Technical Projects Manager   $110K   Virginia
    Marketing Director   $105K   Texas
    Sales Vice President   $100K   Los Angeles
    Production Quality Director   $100K   New York
    IT Senior Engineer   $105K   New York, NY
    Lead Project Manager   $109K   Chicago, IL
    Marketing Director   $100K   New York, NY
    Regional Sales Manager   $100K   Oakland, CA
    Area Sales Manager   $100K   San Antonio, TX
    Ent. Cloud Services Asst. Director   $115K   Denver, CO
    Quality and Compliance Manager   $115K   Salt Lake City, UT

    Every day and every hour, somebody is landing their new role at TheLadders. Your time will arrive if you keep working at it daily, and stay focused on the right jobs for your experience and skills…

    Good luck in the search this week!

    I’ll be rooting for you!

  • Job Search 102, expensive articles we wrote for professionals like you

    Last week I told you about the importance of getting your resume professionally written.

    And this week I want to talk to you about Job Search 102.

    Why “102″?

    Because over the years, we’ve discovered that a lot of the canned advice out there doesn’t apply to higher-end professionals. The job search 101 stuff is focused on recent grads, or people looking to get out of corporate America entirely, or stuff that just doesn’t apply.

    So we’ve commissioned writers, hired experts, and crafted our own pieces that match up with what professionals like you need. It’s expensive to do, but it’s important in preparing you for your search.

    You can read all of our advice online, free, at TheLadders Career Advice, but I’ve pulled out 49 of the best pieces below, ranked in order of interest to readers on our site:

    What to Do if a Company Asks for Your Facebook Password in a Job Interview
    Salary Negotiation Tips: Disclosure Sabotage
    Truth, Lies and Resumes
    Researching Companies Online: Do Your Homework
    Hot Topics — Age and Your Job Search
    How to Answer the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ Question
    The 24-Step Modern Resume
    Salary Negotiation Tips: Thou Shalt Not Speak Too Soon
    10 Questions to Ask a Recruiter (And 1 to Avoid)
    How to Write a Great Cover Letter
    How to Handle ‘You’re Overqualified’ in Interviews
    Gracefully Decline a Job Offer
    Hot Topics — Interview Questions and Answers
    Prep Your 30-, 60-, 90-day Business Plan for the Job Interview
    Facing 50 Questions for Every Job Interview
    How Not to Follow Up After a Job Interview
    13 Ways Your Resume Can Say ‘I’m Unprofessional’
    Your Resume Shouldn’t Play Games
    Hot Topics — Cover Letters
    5 Ways to Boost Your Earning Potential
    Walk Out of Your Job Interview in a Blaze of Glory
    What Do CEOs Look for in Interviews?
    10 Good Ways to ‘Tell Me About Yourself’
    Acing the Phone Interview: Talk Time
    Interview Questions Candidates Should Ask
    How to Explain Transferable Skills
    How to Send a Resume by E-mail
    The Math Behind a Move
    Interviewing — Preparation Is Key
    What to Expect on a Second and Third Interview
    Job Search in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s
    What Employers Really Think About Functional Resumes
    10 Ways to Tell if You’re Confident — or Arrogant
    Hot Topics – Anxiety, Depression and the Job Search
    How to Force Feedback Following a Job Interview
    Acing the Behavioral Interview
    Creating a Winning Resume
    How to Reapply After a Rejection
    Interview Preparation Wins Candidate Competitions
    The Interview was Awesome. Now What?
    10 Things Your Career Counselor Isn’t Telling You
    Hot Topics — Working With Recruiters
    Salary Negotiation Tips: Making the Right Decision on Your Bottom-Line Number
    Making Your Pitch Perfect
    5 Reasons to Send Thank You Letters
    An Introvert’s Guide to Resume Self-Promotion
    3 Steps to a Successful 90-Day Performance Review
    Setting the Right Social Media Strategy for Your Job Search
    ‘How Are You Today’ — The Top 7 Interview Answers

    Hope that’s helpful to you this week in the search, Readers!

  • Is it the economy or is it my resume?

    The economy’s not getting better.

    In the most recent jobs report only 96,000 jobs were created nationwide while over 300,000 people were forced to give up even looking for work by the bleak prospects in the economy.

    So if you’re thinking about getting into a new role, there’s just no sense in simply hoping that things are going to get better, because it’s clear that demand for new employees is down.

    Now, in any market, when demand is down, there are smart ways to adjust, and there are bad ways to adjust, to the new realities.

    And one of the bad ways to adjust is to cut down on your advertising budget.

    Inevitably, every recession that comes around, some companies try to make ends meet by slicing the number of dollars they allocate to getting the word out.

    And just as inevitably, every time somebody tries that gimmick, it works out poorly. Cutting your ad budget when there’s lower demand leads to even lower demand, not higher revenues.

    It’s the same thing with your job search.

    When demand for new employees is down, the wrong move is to cut your ad budget.

    You need to make sure that you get your name and message out there more, not less. That it’s more effective, not less. That you present yourself more professionally, not less. That your name, and your resume, and your message are better crafted, not just a best guess.

    All of which underscores why I recommend that professionals get their resumes professionally written. It’s also why we’ve offered resume writing services to our subscribers since 2004.

    I’ll spare you the pitch, but with TheLadders Resume Service, you get:
    - 1-1 communication with a writer that will understand your background.
    - Each of our in-house writers is certified by nationally accredited bodies, and receives additional training here at TheLadders.
    - Proven and tested results. Subscribers with professionally-written resumes are 38% more likely to be contacted by recruiters.
    - At $395, we offer the chance for you to get it right the first time and get your new resume completed, after getting your comments and feedback, within the next seven business days.

    Look, employers make a first decision on “go” / “no go” in the first few seconds of seeing your resume. So it’s important to know what are the most important points you’ll need to make. And usually, what’s more important or interesting to you is not the same thing that is most important or interesting to an employer. An experienced outsider can help you by framing your background and talents in the right way.

    So if you’re looking for a sharp, well-written resume done by professionals that have specialized in this market for almost a decade, visit us online or give us a call at 1-800-235-1170.

    And we’ll help you get the word out in the most attractive way…

    I’ll be rooting for you!

  • TheLadders featured in USA Today… ask us anything!

    Here at TheLadders, we don’t just bring the best jobs and professionally-written resumes for you, we also try to look at the lighter side of the job search, and answer your questions directly.

    This year, we’ve been working with our friends at USA Today to create clever graphics for the Money section.

    Every few weeks, we survey hundreds of thousands of our Readers and collect their responses to generate insights that end up on the front page of MONEY in USA Today’s inimitable Snapshots style:

    USA Today Snapshots

    Also, did you know that we’ll answer any question you ask on the job search? Our Job Search Expert, Amanda Augustine, fields your questions and offers great job search advice.

    It’s a great way to get things in gear this fall!

    Have a productive week in the search, Readers!

  • It’s 75% physical and 75% mental

    You know I like heroes. They inspire, they thrill, they teach us how to be better people.

    And I’ve come across an extraordinary hero quite close to home: my co-founder Alex Douzet, who recently completed his first Ironman.

    Now he’s had to suffer, and work hard, and deal with exhaustion and injuries and unfavorable conditions for years. But… that’s enough talk about what it’s like to work with me…

    What I really want to share with you is Alex’s story of how he trained for, and finished, the Ironman, and how to apply what he learned to your job hunt.

    Alex, over to you:

    “At the beginning of August, I completed my first Ironman triathlon. From that experience, I’d like to share with you “Ironman’s Seven Rules of Job Searching”:

    1. Have a Map

    The Ironman is the most challenging endurance race in the world.

    You’ll spend a beautiful Saturday swimming 2.4 miles, riding a bicycle for 112 miles, and then running a 26.2 mile marathon.

    All within 17 hours, Ironman’s notorious cutoff time.

    So it’s kind of like running three marathons in a row, one after the other.

    You can’t run an Ironman unless you have a map of how you’re going to get to the end. Which is just like the job search: you’re not going be productive and successful and happy with the outcome unless you know where you’re going.

    In Ironman training, it’s thirty weeks: ten weeks baseline, ten weeks building, and ten weeks in the “peak phase”.

    In your job search, it’s six months: research, apply & follow-up, interviews & negotiation.

    Do you have a plan in advance for winning your race? I had one for mine.

    2. Celebrate the Wins

    It’s a long road full of ups and downs. It can be a lonely, frustrating process.

    To improve on my weaknesses before I ran the Ironman, I scheduled races to just, you know, get the kinks out and get some wins under my belt.

    You should consider the same when you’re looking for a job.

    Schedule interviews and get networking early in your hunt so that you build confidence, fix weaknesses, and have small wins to celebrate.

    Sharing the glow of a great interview with your family over dinner is a great way to keep motivated.

    3. Get back in that pool!

    Unfortunately, that great interview, callback, or salary negotiation that you’re celebrating can also lead you to ruin.

    It’s so easy to get distracted on the long, long bike race (112 miles!) to victory.

    Actually, when I’m thinking about my own abilities, swimming is my weakest sport when it comes to the triathlon. So I had to work harder at it.

    I did not enjoy getting in the pool, though, so I had a “48 hour” rule.

    After one of my little wins, I allowed myself to celebrate for 48 hours, and then…

    Get back in the pool!

    4. It’s 75% Physical and 75% Mental

    You might think that swimming two-and-a-half miles, biking 112 miles and running a marathon is all about becoming Ironman-style “fit”.

    And yet, fitness is only 75% of the battle.

    The other 75% is mental.

    During my race, after the swim and the bike, I was making great time in the run. I was feeling good, on pace to finish within twelve hours, and quite happy with how well everything was going.

    Which, of course, is when my body gave up.

    Both legs froze at Mile 16 in the marathon — my quads, my calves — I was paralyzed.

    Stretching didn’t help. “Walking it off” didn’t help.

    The body, being sensible, decided that it had had enough and was ready to quit.

    Which, honestly, would have been the rational thing for me to do. Nobody really blames or criticizes you if you “DNF” your first Ironman.

    But in my mind, I told myself that I came to finish Ironman. As long as that clock did not say 17 hours, I was going to keep moving forward.

    That is when my brain took over and showed the body who runs the show!

    Your job search is no different!

    To be successful in the search, you have to invest a lot of time. As you go through the emotional roller coaster of the hunt, sometimes you, too, will just want to quit.

    The big interview… bombed. The callback… didn’t. The offer.. offended.

    You’ll want to freeze, curl up on the couch with Fritos, and quit.

    Nobody can blame you or criticize you for quitting, but you need to keep going and focus your mind on your objective.

    Landing the job is the goal. Don’t give up until you get there…

    5. The most important line isn’t the finish line

    Sure you’ve got 17 hours to complete your IRONMAN (and I finished mine in 12 hours, 12 minutes and 21 seconds… who’s counting?) but in reality, those are not the most important hours of your Ironman.

    Everyone is focused on the 17 hours of “race day”, but the real secret is the 17 hours you put in last week. And the 17 hours you put in the week before that. And the 17 hours you put in the week before that, and so on, and so on…

    In truth, the Ironman is not about crossing the finish line, it’s about showing up at the starting line. And the hardest part is committing to the boring, dragging, grinding, exhausting work that makes those 17 hours (or, perhaps I mentioned it to you… 12:12:21 in my case) go by fast…

    6. Taper down before race day

    There is only one thing worse than showing up on race day under-trained. And that is showing up over-trained.

    Training for Ironman is intense: 16, 20, sometimes 22 hours per week.

    It’s grueling on the body.

    So the last three weeks are “tapering” weeks. You decrease your training hours down to 14, then 11, and then just 5 hours per week. Enough to keep up your fitness level, while giving your body much needed rest.

    Think about “race day” as the first day of your new job. If you show up at your new company tired and overworked, you’ll make a bad first impression.

    You want to show up relaxed, happy and smiling; ready to tackle your new challenge.

    So make sure you take at least a few days off before the new adventure…

    7. There are only two kinds of days

    “Now I only have two kinds of days…good days and great days.” ~ Lance Armstrong

    Congratulations. Now that you have learned to overcome adversity to achieve your goal, you should only have two kinds of days ahead.

    Enjoy them both.

    - Alex ”


    Well, many thanks to my co-founder, friend, and hero, Alex, for sharing his Ironman insights with all of us.

    And good luck to you, as you run your search to success!

    I’ll be rooting for you.

  • I know what you did last summer…

    Well it’s the last week of summer, which means it’s getting time to put the boat away, send the kids back to school, get the grill ready for tailgating, and get ready for football season!

    It also means that it is time to Google yourself.

    You see, with the Web being the first place that people go to search for things to buy, places to fly, or new things to try, it’s also where recruiters and hiring managers go to learn about you “on the sly.”

    And it’s important to Google more than just your full name. When companies are trying to poke around in your history, they’ll search out all of your past experiences. Check it out, each of these searches yield different results:

    Marc Cenedella

    Marc Cenedella TheLadders

    Marc Cenedella New York

    Marc Cenedella 10013

    Marc Cenedella Harvard Business School

    It’s the first page of results that’s most important, so it’s the first page of results that you really want to focus on and understand.

    Go through each of these searches and check, carefully, each of the links on the first page to understand how you are being presented or referenced on the Web.

    If all you find is glowing praise and adulation, fantastic for you and congratulations!

    But if you find material that might put you in the wrong light, it’s important to try and do something about it:

    Patch up: If you control the site or page that has the troubling information or photos, patch up your online reputation quickly by removing or deleting the questionable material.

    Push it down: If you do not control the site, another way to improve your online reputation is to push the offending material down in the results. By expanding your presence on social networks, blogs, and community forums, you can generate new web content that could get ranked higher in the search results than the bad information.

    This means making sure you have a presence on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, Quora, Meetup, About.me, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Each of these sites allows you to have a public presence on a highly ranked website that count toward your appearance on the Web. By creating a consistent presence across multiple properties, you improve your chances of controlling the first page of results.

    Petition: It’s a long shot, but if you’re unable to remove the offending information, you can petition the site owner or webmaster to remove it. You are asking for a favor, so never approach a website proprietor with outrage, incredulity, or legal posturing. I can guarantee that won’t work, and it usually backfires when said proprietor posts your communications for future visitors to read and ridicule.

    Your best bet is to humbly seek their help… “I’m looking to clean up my online reputation so that my family, friends, and business colleagues won’t get the wrong idea about me. There is some unfortunate information on your website, and I’d really appreciate it if you would consider removing this particular bit. I know you have the right to have whatever you want on your site, and perhaps you didn’t even put everything up there yourself. So I would really appreciate it if you could help out a guy who is in a little bit of a jam.”

    Again, the anonymous Internet seems to make e-mail arguments much easier, and many website operators can be very prickly about preserving their independence, so never, ever take a high-handed or aggressive approach.

    Prepare: If patching, pushing and petitioning don’t work, that means you’ll have to prepare for the question in your job interview. Simply and clearly state the circumstances that led to the bad information and then stop. Don’t go into a long or tortured conversation about implications, how it makes you feel, or how unfair it is. By being open, honest and sensible, you may actually be able to come out ahead…

    “Yes, during the downturn I was required to let go over 650 people in my division. Unfortunately, several of the impacted people shared their negative viewpoints of my performance in that role online. I can understand and sympathize with their anger, but I thought that preserving the ability of our company to survive very difficult economic times was in our best interests.”

    “Is there anything specific I can address for you?”

    If you forthrightly answer the question, show an openness to further inquiry (the appetite for digging through dirty laundry is actually much smaller than you’d imagine), and then move on, you’ll be doing the best to put a positive spin on an unfortunate situation.

    OK, Readers, I hope you have a great last week of the summer, and let’s “get back” to work next week!

  • Who did you become?

    It’s a Monday in August and I want to share three stories with you.

    They’re stories of the sad, the dispossessed, the over-the-hill:

    The 12-year-old child of a single mom, a washed-up milkshake-maker salesman, and a rock critic. (Tell me truly… is there anything sadder than a rock critic?)

    And I’m sharing these losers’ tales with you because you need to understand something about yourself.

    On this Monday morning in a humid August when you might not be particularly optimistic or positive about the future… or the present… or the past for that matter… I need you to understand this:

    You get to choose.

    Whatever you want, you get to choose.

    The stories?…

    A 12-year-old girl was watching the Summer Olympics and saw something she liked. We all see something we like in the Olympics, don’t we? But this little girl saw the way a coach did his coaching, and the little girl made a decision: she’s going to be a star.

    And this 57-year-old sad-sack travelling salesman dude got too many orders for one of his milkshake machines from a burger joint. Now look, he’s not going to look a gift horse in the mouth (he made quota!), but he couldn’t quite believe his good luck and wanted to see the place for himself. And man, was he surprised when he decided to go and visit the burger flippers extraordinaire in person.

    And you might know that Bruce Springsteen is back on tour and played Boston last week. A rock “critic” (stop laughing) wrote:

    “It’s four in the morning and raining. I’m 27 today, feeling old, listening to my records, and remembering that things were different a decade ago… Last Thursday, at the Harvard Square theatre, I saw my rock’n'roll past flash before my eyes. And I saw something else: I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen. And on a night when I needed to feel young, he made me feel like I was hearing music for the very first time.”

    Who are these beautiful losers?

    The little girl who found her coach is Gabby Douglas. She left home (still hasn’t been back in two years!) to go live with strange people of another race in another state and become a champion.

    The milkshake man is Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s. He saw his future at the burger flippers’ roadside stand, and decided that what he wanted to be was an ex-salesman and the progenitor of the world’s most famous restaurant chain. His life is immortalized in this quirky, catchy Mark Knopfler tune.

    And the rock critic is Jon Landau, who wrote that bitty ditty to youthful ennui back in 1974. He eventually left his pen behind to become part of rock and roll’s future as Bruce Springsteen’s manager and co-producer, and is rolling along with the Boss now almost forty years later.

    What do all of these people have in common?

    They had none of your advantages in life.

    None of your training, none of your position, or privilege, or luck, or good fortune. They had none of the advantages that you currently enjoy.

    And yet.

    They decided to change.

    They decided to become something different.

    They decided, it’s true, to become themselves.

    You see, that’s sometimes the most difficult thing we can decide to do in our lives.

    Because becoming yourself means giving up other things. A home. A story you tell yourself. A respectable bland career. An excuse you’ve cherished and nourished and cultivated for years and years and years.

    Deciding to become who you were meant to be, agreeing to the hardships, accepting the pain, taking the ridicule that oftentimes goes with it…

    That’s the most difficult thing you can do.

    My namesake, Marcus Aurelius, said two millennia ago:

    “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

    What you think is who you become.

    Now, you can’t tell me that that little girl had it better than you.

    Or that your position is more hopeless than an over-the-hill guy who peddles dairy drink stirrers.

    Or that you’ll ever be in quite so desperate a position in your life as to write rock-and-roll criticism for cash.

    So if you ain’t got it half as bad as they had it, what’s stopping you from becoming…


    Now I bet you probably have an answer to that question. And I’m sure you think it’s a good one.

    But after you get through your whatever list that you use to keep track of your excuses: it’s your spouse, your parents, your dog, your boss, your children, your industry, your company, your politicians, your car, your weather, or your ever-lovin’ sign of the zodiac…

    After you get through all those excuses, ask yourself:

    What are you thinking?

    Who did you become?

    And who will you decide to be tomorrow?

    Because on this hot humid August dawn, I know you can’t possibly be telling yourself that you’ve got it worse than Gabby or Ray or Jon.

    But you could take this opportunity today to learn from Gabby and Ray and Jon.

    Just as they decided to become something different, just as they decided to become the heroes of their own future, you get to choose. You get to take your thoughts and make the life you want with them.

    So I hope you’ll take this opportunity, in these fading days of summer, two-thousand-twelve, to become who you were always meant to be…

    Your own best hero.



  • Hired!

    Last month, I told you about the employers and recruiters that were hiring here at TheLadders, and asked for your help in filling their open jobs. And you responded!

    And you know what the outcome of all that activity is?

    Hires! Loads and loads of hires.

    Here are just fifty of the successful landings, out of the thousands hired here at TheLadders in the past month:

    Job Title Salary
    Account Director $110K
    Analyst, Lead Business $120K
    Branch Manager $132K
    Brand Manager $100K
    Business Development Director $90K
    Client Executive $100K
    Digital Marketing Manager $116K
    Director of Marketing $135K
    Director of Marketing $165K
    Education Consultant $105K
    Engineering Manager $121K
    Executive Director $105K
    Foodservice Director $90K
    General Manager $124K
    Global Director $169K
    HR Manager $110K
    HR Technology Operations Director $140K
    IT Director $300K
    Manager $90K
    Manager Business Development and Sales $110K
    Manager Global Operations $145K
    Manager, Patient Care $130K
    Operations Director $115K
    Operations Manager $100K
    Partner $140K
    Patent Agent $135K
    Plant Superintendent $100K
    Principal Engineer $175K
    Product Manager $115K
    Quality Assurance Director $146K
    Quality Manager $90K
    Regional Manager $120K
    Sales Director $115K
    Sales Engineer $95K
    Sales Manager $155K
    Senior Manager $135K
    Senior Manager, Product Marketing $165K
    Senior Product Manager $125K
    Senior Project Manager $100K
    Senior Solution Architect $250K
    Senior User Experience Designer $105K
    Supply Chain Advisor $120K
    Supply Chain Director $135K
    Supply Chain Manager $107K
    Supply Chain Manager $155K
    Territory Account Manager $95K
    Vice President, Operations $180K
    Vice President, Operations $200K
    Vice President, Sales $175K
    Vice President, Sales $225K

    Don’t let the “dog days of summer” fool you… HR folks, hiring managers, and recruiters are going to work, every day, and trying to hire professionals like you to fill their open positions. Make the most of your competition taking it easy!

  • Don’t ask for a job

    Here’s an easy way to turn dreaded employment networking into deadly effective bonding:

    When you’re networking, ask for a reference, not a job.

    Whether you’re doing catch-up drinks or grabbing lunch to reconnect, your main goal is to get an ally, not a tally of job listings. Recruiting a helping hand to your search is your aim.

    So don’t ask your college buddy if he knows of any jobs for people like you. How would he?

    And don’t ask your boss from two jobs ago if she has the names of any people who are currently looking to hire somebody like you. It puts her on the spot.

    No, instead, ask for a reference. Mention that you’re going to be moving on, or you’re already looking, or that you’re actively out on the street. Let them know the type of positions you are and are not suited for, and what you’re hoping to achieve in your next opportunity.

    And then ask them if — when it gets to that happy place in your search — it would be OK to use them as a reference.

    By not putting them on the spot about specific job openings, you reduce the awkwardness inherent in the networking conversation.

    And by letting them know that you hold them in high enough esteem to potentially use them as a reference, you’re actually paying them a compliment.

    You’re also making it easier for them to say “yes”, and to feel good about themselves for being a good friend and helping you out with this little favor.

    All of which means that you have a new buddy in your search — one who’s going to be thinking about keeping an eye out for new opportunities and an ear open for fresh possibilities for their reference-able friend: you.

    It’s wins and grins all around.

    Now, this doesn’t work for just any old person you meet on the street. There’s probably a pretty good match between people you’d take to lunch and those you could ask to be a reference. So my advice would be to stick to asking those you know well enough.

    Being realistic, the widely offered and deeply wrong advice from the past decade that you should try to extract favors, concessions, names, jobs, and career assistance from people you’ve only met over the phone is not only useless, it can be counterproductive to your aims by antagonizing your broader network.

    By making your networking about compliments, you’ll find it pays dividends.

    Good luck in the search this week!

  • Enthusiasm… “the spirit of god within”

    Readers, I’m a big fan of words.

    Whether it’s the fact that Shakespeare coined the words “manager”, “employer”, and “investment”; or the fact that fine, finance and finite all come from the same beginnings (“fin” meaning to end: originally as “fine”, a way to end an obligation, and eventually as “finance”, taking on the meaning of ending debts, and subsequently, all monetary matters).

    Here’s another one for you to consider this week:


    “En-” means “inside” or “within”.

    “-iasm”, like any “ism” makes a word into a noun.

    And “-thus-”? That comes from the Greek word “theos” meaning “god”, from which we also get monotheism and theocracy.

    So one way of interpreting the meaning of “enthusiasm” would be “the spirit of god within”.

    And I think that’s just about right, Readers. When we show enthusiasm, we’re showing the proper appreciation for the wonderful world in which we live.

    Whether it’s the technology that really works like magic (FaceTime with the grandparents from your vacation in China? wow!), or the beauty of competition that infuses the Olympics this week, or even something as simple as your kids’ Little League game, this world is an amazing place, and we should be thankful for all we’ve achieved here in this great land of ours.

    “The spirit of god within”, indeed.

    So, Readers, I’d like to ask you to dig deep this week and find a way to be enthusiastic about your job hunt.

    Yes, I know it’s not easy. A job search is about as inspiring as a trip to the dentist or paying your taxes. But if you focus on the outcome, and your excitement for the future, and the fact that you’ll soon be in a new job that you love and stretching and growing yourself in ways that your current or past position did not allow…

    If you focus on that, isn’t that worth being enthusiastic about?

    Have a wonderful week, Readers.