This is a random list of five quotes that are catalysts for career and job search advice.
“Always have bail money.” — 50 Cent, rapper, actor, entrepreneur
While possibly not as good as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, having a cushion can mitigate problems.
- Reputation: If you build up goodwill and respect based on successes, you can survive a few mistakes, especially if your intent is perceived as positive.
- Finances: If you have bail money, you can get out of a terrible job and cut your suffering short while moving on to the next phase.
- Since the axe can fall anytime, you need to have sufficient resources for an extended job search.
“Sometimes the sanest thing to do is walk away.” — Jessica Berger Gross, author of Estranged
No one wants to be a quitter…but there are times that quitting is smart and necessary.
Careers: Consider quitting if…
- The job is not what you want to do.
- The company/department is toxic.
- The boss is unstable.
- The industry/company/project/job is going no place but down. After all, some dead horses really are dead.
Job Search: After 8 months of only lukewarm responses, walk away from…
- The industry you’re targeting.
- The job title you’re targeting.
- Your positioning. (See my earlier “Eight Is Enough” blog to see other examples of why I think 8 is a magic number for job search.)
“Enabling the future.” — John Donahoe, eBay CEO
“The overarching idea I took away is that people are “enabling the future” for themselves as well as their company/industry/society.
- Hopefully, most of us are working in a meritocracy where a body of good work enables us to do even better work at a higher more rewarding level in the future.
- “Square-peg” headhunters are looking for specific companies, titles, progression, skills, and successes. Therefore, everything you have done sets a course that enables the next opportunity.
“Who Made That?” — Pagan Kennedy
This headline is about Duane Pearsall, who invented the first smoke alarm, one of the major reasons that deaths from fires have declined by about two-thirds in the past 30 years.
- Broadly speaking, people become known for what they already have done, whether a positive or negative.
- Careers can be built based on a single success and the resulting “fame” as the person who conceived… invented… developed… launched…
- Obviously, careers can be sidelined by being identified with the same litany when the result was a failure.
- The person recognized as responsible for (even on the team) a success is often sought out by companies and recruiters looking for the next iteration.
“The people that are gonna love you will love you, and the people that won’t, won’t.” — Sylvia Browne, psychic
This quote is taken from an obituary that discussed both her popularity as one of America’s most famous psychics AND her critics.
- It’s critical to assess your bosses, clients and other influentials to determine how solid you are in your current situation.
- It’s important to understand how difficult it is to turn around your critics
- There may be “hidden” supporters who can be important, if you can find them.
- The good news here is if you have built up goodwill (remember from above?), you can spend some of that career capital and still retain the “love.”
- Once the “love” is gone, however, the job tends to go, too.
- No matter if you can do the job better than anyone else, if the hiring manager doesn’t “love” you, you won’t get the offer.
People get hired because they convince the hiring manager they:
- Can do the job
- Want to do the job, and…
- Will be good to work with. (This final judgment is the emotional connection that must be made before a job offer is made. The hiring manager must feel the love.)
Ideas to improve your career and job search can come from anyplace. These quotes are from recent issues of This Week and the New York Times magazines.