• So if not me, who did get the job?

    When two candidates are equally experienced, equally credentialed, and equally capable, who gets the job?

    Well, when two companies have similar products, with similar ratings, and similar prices, which do you pick?

    If you think about it, you might say: “the one that wants my business more.” The saleswoman made an extra effort, or the people at the store went out of their way to be kind, or it’s as simple as they just smiled back and said “we’d like your business.”

    It’s no surprise: we prefer to buy from companies that make us feel like we’re a welcome part of their community.

    And who gets the job if the applicants are equals?

    The candidate with a passion for the business. A zeal for the industry. An excitement, an enthusiasm, a zest for the art, and the craft, and the science of what makes a company in the field succeed.

    I drove up to Yale last week to speak to student groups about entrepreneurship, the technology industry, and their careers. They do a great job of bringing alumni back, and it’s energizing and inspiring for me when I go.

    And what I shared with them is what I’ll share with you.

    In today’s economy — a sophisticated economy increasingly based on design, thinking work, proprietary creativity, and the ability to grasp and apply complex intellectual abstractions — the need is greater than ever for those who can… think.

    And thinking work is different from the typical jobs of even a generation or two past. A steel mill manager, a radio set salesman, or a train operator could have their success measured in physical quantities: how much steel poured, sets sold, or tons shipped.

    In an information economy, on the other hand, the measures of success are increasingly intangible. The iPod was better than other MP3 players not because it had more, but because it had fewer buttons and features — the right buttons and features for music on the go. A restaurant chain displaces a competitor because it feels more (or less) like home. A shoe company thrives because it gives away half the pairs that you buy. Even vacuum cleaners, cars, and backyard grills are made, marketed and sold in ways that were inconceivable in the last century.

    Producing these products and services, consequently, is less a function of the volume of resources that are put in. In generations past, more raw materials, capital equipment, or men punching your time clock meant more finished products or services coming out the other side. Today, it’s often more important how little you put in, or how artfully you arrange the features.

    Finding people who can make those decisions well, and then execute on those decisions, is difficult for bosses.

    They have to figure out who is going to understand the customer better, the manufacturing process better, the marketing better, the interface better, and so on.

    What’s more, bosses need to determine who’s going to stick with it — there are a lot more forks in the road, and bumps along the way, in this intangible world. Perseverance through the inevitable fumbles and fiascos is needed because without perseverance there are no victories.

    And what bosses have discovered is that somebody who is passionate about the business tends to be a better employee and a better professional to work with.

    Because somebody who is passionate is inherently motivated, and internally driven to succeed, they try harder to find answers. They think up clever stuff on their own. They enjoy the business, and the customers, and the industry so much that they’re always discovering new things or perceiving additional ways that the business could succeed.

    In short, passionate people are better employees because they care more than dispassionate people. Passionate people care more than the average employee, they care more than the average applicant, and they care more than you.

    And that’s why you didn’t get the job.

    That’s why you got passed over, turned down, put in the “nice to have” pile or kicked to the curb the way the Tigers booted my beloved Yankees from the playoffs.

    If you truly want success in this business climate, you need to do what you’re actually passionate about. Otherwise, you’re just unfairly stacking the deck in some other applicant’s favor.

    Have a great search this week!

  • Three Ways You’re Sabotaging Yourself

    There’s only so much I can do to help you.

    I can have my team collect and screen almost 200,000 great, professional jobs and publish them on our site for you. I can have them find you over 20,000 HR people, employers and recruiters to connect with. And I can have them make it easy for you to search through and connect with them all.

    But we can’t do everything for you, so here are three ways you just might be sabotaging your own job search (without realizing it)!

    1. E-mail address

    What e-mail address do you use professionally?

    If you’re using AOL, or your local cable provider, you could be inadvertently shooting yourself in the foot.

    Only 5% of new users at TheLadders sign up with AOL e-mail addresses these days. If you’re still using AOL to represent yourself professionally, it could be sending a signal that you’re uncomfortable with new technology and that you haven’t prioritized keeping your skills up-to-date.

    Using your local cable provider’s default e-mail — whether it’s bellsouth.net, optonline.net, or tampabay.rr.com — increases the chances of a typo leading to a missed connection. Because people don’t pay as much attention, or care, to what they’re typing after the ‘@’ sign, using less-familiar domains in your e-mail should be avoided.

    More than 45% of new users at TheLadders use gmail.com. Because gmail is well-known for its utility, ease-of-use, and power, using gmail as your address is a smart move that also sends the message that you’re up-to-date with the times.

    What’s before the’@’ sign is important too.

    Common ‘household’ or ‘joint’ email strategies such as ‘jimandnancy@’, ‘smithhousehold@’, or ‘huxtablefamily@’ are not good e-mail addresses to use for your professional job search. Professionals are accustomed to writing directly to other professionals. Requesting that they e-mail your spouse & kids when contacting you is awkward.

    The best email address is your first name, followed by a dot, followed by your last name, at gmail.com:


    If that’s taken, then for the purposes of your job search, add next year’s number to your address:


    You’re probably going to be using this e-mail address into the New Year anyway and starting now makes you seem ahead of the times. And everybody wants to hire somebody from the future, right?

    2. Can a stranger read your resume?

    Print out your resume. Take the top third and rip it off. Hand it to somebody you don’t know.

    Can they tell you, without asking you any additional questions, what you want to do next?

    For too many of my subscribers, the answer is no. The reason is that you’re trying to do the wrong thing with the top third of your resume. You’re trying to tell people about your character and your abilities and your many, many different skills and your flexibility and too many things!

    You know what the person who is reading your resume is trying to find out?

    “Does this gal, or guy, want this job that I have to fill?”

    Obviously, given that you’ve spent the time to create a resume and send it to them, they know you want a job. But do you want this particular job?

    Is it something that you’ve done before? If so, did you like it? If so, do you want to do it again?

    Because you spend all of your time with yourself, it seems so very obvious that you want the type of job that you’re looking for.

    But strangers don’t know that. And, chances are, you’ll most likely be hired by a stranger.

    So it’s important that you make it easy for people who don’t know you.

    Show them, at the very top of your resume, what job you want.

    If they can’t tell, by reading the top-third of your resume, what you want to do next, then you’re never going to get to the next step.

    3. Did you talk to a live person today?

    The internet delivers you news, information, funny cat videos, electronic books, fashionable shopping, and, via TheLadders.com, the latest and greatest job listings at the professional level.

    So… “hooray!” for the internet.

    But here’s the truth — the internet is not going to hire you.

    No, you’ll be hired by a living, breathing, thinking, smiling person.

    So the question is: did you talk to that person today? Did you try to?

    It’s important, while you’re searching, looking, peeking and applying to all those great jobs you find at TheLadders, that you also realize that you need to make talking to people, live, in person or on the phone, a priority.

    Have you called your old contacts? Returned the call from the company that perhaps you’re only mildly interested in? Have you taken a former colleague to lunch? Did you go to a Meetup? Did you call back the recruiters you’ve met over the past six months? Drop by a conference?

    Connecting with people, live, in person or on the phone, is essential to getting hired. Too often, we fool ourselves into believing that self-directed activity is the best way to get hired. It’s not. Connecting with others is.

    If you’re more of an introvert, more comfortable communicating by writing than by speaking, you can still connect with others. I’m not going to mislead you and say that it’s better, but it’s still sufficient if you write thoughtful, sensible blog posts, comments, e-mails and contributions on industry-related topics and threads. But it’s important that you’re connecting with others, not just yourself.

    When it comes to getting hired, you need to ensure that every day is a “talk to a person who could potentially hire me” day.

    Because eventually… they will.

    So those are the three things you might be doing to sabotage your own efforts in the job search, Readers.

  • The New York Times Endorses Willkie Over FDR

    I was curious as to whether the New York Times had ever endorsed a Republican for President, and indeed they have, Eisenhower (twice!), and many others in the early 20th century.  But perhaps most interesting is the tone and tenor with which the Old Gray Lady came out against FDR in 1940, after supporting him the first two go-rounds.

    The New York Times endorsed Wendell Willkie over FDR, writing “we believe that the fiscal policies of Mr. Roosevelt have failed disastrously.”

    The detail of the endorsement is revealing:

    “We believe that while Mr. Roosevelt has helped enormously to awaken the social conscience of this country, and that while he deserves lasting credit for this leadership, Mr. Roosevelt has also put his own reforms in peril.  He has put them in peril by ignoring or by failing to understand the fundamental problem of increased production; by encouraging great numbers of Americans to believe that it is possible to grow richer by working less and producing less; by fostering the idea that there exists somewhere a great fund of wealth which has only to be divided more equitably in order to make everybody prosperous; by permitting important members of his Administration to preach the doctrines of class jealousy and class hatred.”

    Would but the present denizens of Times Square take note.



  • These companies are hiring. Please help out.

    Are companies still hiring when times are tough?

    We all know the past few years have been tough: tough for the economy, tough for the job markets, and, maybe, tough for you.

    The important thing in tough markets, though, is to keep moving forward. Regardless of the overall level of activity in our economy, companies are always hiring professionals like you to replace those who’ve moved on. Companies like the 50 listed below who have posted their great jobs on TheLadders this month.

    Every time we’ve studied your job search here at TheLadders, the biggest predictor of success is “effective action”. I’ll share with you what that means, after you take a look at the great jobs from these great companies hiring here on TheLadders this month:

    Visiting Nurse Service
    Xylem Inc.
    Thomson Reuters
    Pitney Bowes
    Life Technologies
    Arrow Electronics
    Aon Hewitt
    Novo Nordisk
    Georgia Pacific
    Paychex, Inc.
    General Electric
    Quest Software
    Health Net
    Farmers Insurance
    Kellogg Company
    Bausch + Lomb
    Owens Corning
    F5 Networks
    Trane Commercial Systems
    Kaplan, Inc.

    Now, about getting that next job… it takes “effective action.”

    “Effective” means focusing on jobs you could actually do, that you’ve actually done, and for which you’re an obvious candidate. With so many qualified applicants on the market, you need to be obvious to get noticed.

    That means cutting the waste out of your job search time. And you know what I mean by “waste”…

    It means not applying for that great job at the NBA that’s two rungs over your head. It means not surfing the web and clicking “apply now” randomly two-hundred thirty-two times. It means not applying for VP, Logistics jobs when all your experience is in finance or sales or something else.

    In short, it means being sensible and respectful, because the people on the other side of your applications are sensible, respectful adults.

    It also means focusing your effort on those roles that you’d love and in which you’d thrive. When you’re able to come to work and be your best self, that is going to make you more successful.

    “Action” means doing.

    Too many people in the job search don’t do anything to get a job. The employed plead hectic life, the unemployed, an absence of opportunity.

    Both excuses feel real. Both make sense and get head nods from understanding relatives.

    But neither will actually get you employed.

    In 99.9% of the cases, effective action leads to a new job. Except for those unfortunate situations where mental illness, substance dependency, or another truly crippling external factor prevents it, effective action works.

    Action means you need to speak with real, live human beings. You need to network and reach out to former friends, colleagues, and peers. You need to apply. And you need to apply yourself to applying. Not just hitting “send application”, but doing the follow-up and the legwork, and the grunt work that will set you apart from the competition.

    You need to do the reputation building activities that will help you build your name in your industry and community. It could be talks, or blogs, or even just great questions on somebody else’s blog, but you need to care and to have passion and to be somebody that others want to work with.

    And the most important thing is this:

    Every day, for a few defined hours per day, you need to take “effective action” towards getting yourself ahead.

    Regardless of the economy being down, up, sideways or otherwise, “effective action” is the best, only, solution to your feeling in control of, and having control over, your destiny.

    So apply “effective action” to the great companies hiring this week and this month at TheLadders, and I’ll hope to hear good things from you soon!

  • 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!