Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How Do You Define Yourself? I Am Unemployed Because:

Author:  David Steinberg, IWA
              Poet, Management & Administrative Expert

(-)    I am a loser
(+)   I am a winner, not a whiner

(-)    I am a deadbeat
(+)   I meet my obligations to my company and myself

(-)    I am worthless
(+)   I create value and value what I create

(-)    I am willing to take any job at low wages
(+)   I will take a position at reasonable compensation

(-)    I am unwilling to change
(+)   I am flexible

(-)    I am too fixed in my beliefs
(+)   I have fixed values, but my beliefs can change

(-)    I am too old and companies don’t hire older people
(+)   My experience taught me how to figure out to get the job done

(-)    I am unemployed therefore there is something wrong with me
(+)   This is my golden opportunity to do what I really want to do

(-)     I have too much experience that the company can’t afford to pay me what I am worth.
(+)     I am willing to be flexible in my salary expectations because I know how to create value to my company

(-)     I am too slow
(+)     When I take my time, I do it right the first time so it doesn’t have to be done over.

(-)     I won’t be in the workforce very long because I will retire soon
(+)     I accept the fact that I have many more years of accomplishment ahead of me.

(-)     Only the employed need to apply.
(+)     Don’t need to answer that one. or, as Groucho Marx said, “Any club that would have me as a member isn’t worth joining.”

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Don't Count Your Chickens

Author:  Andrew Gelfand
              Manager of Marketing and Business Development

Unfortunately the following is a true story taken from my own experience. And it’s a good case study on doing almost all of the right things, except for landing the job.

It all started about three weeks ago, when I saw a job posting on Craigslist for a Manager in Training. The ad was fairly extensive and the company was looking for a variety of experiences and skill sets. One was Marketing and Business Development, another was experience selling internationally. There were a few other “requirements” posted and the advertisement basically said hiring will last until all needs have been met. And clearly there was a need for a clerical support position in addition to the Manager in Training functions.  And in the bottom of the post, it asked for a cover letter and salary requirements or history

I was very excited about the whole thing and sent a resume with a very strong cover letter. A few days go by and I get no response. Then I send a brief email stating that normally at this part of the process I do not discuss salary requirements but thought in this instance, it may make a difference. So I gave a range with a spread of $20,000 between an acceptable minimum and maximum.

One of the interesting tidbits about the posting was that it also listed the company name which allowed me to start doing research about the company in terms of its size, annual revenues, products it made as well as competition.  It turns out the company was involved in the making of a product which I would broadly classify as an Office and or Business product which literally every company and industry has use and or needs for. I discover the company is related to a second company and between the two of them their annual revenues are $6 Million, and that they have an incredibly large and well-known competitor with $1.7 Billion in annual revenue selling product through Office Max, Staples, Office Depot etc.

So now I am in the interview and have prepared and brought with me some examples of some previous marketing and public relations experience (a printed article about a business I had been previously involved in, as well as a newspaper picture of me standing before an Exhibit display booth with the company name on the booth in the picture. I even discuss the competition, showing I have done my homework. Everything is going extremely well and I have been at the interview for about an hour and twenty minutes and they ask if I can stay to meet the Owner of the business.  He comes in to meet with me after about 10 minutes and asks me some questions about my background and experience. I can get a sense that he is not impressed and has already made some type of judgement about me. He tells me that they have taken a number of other actions recently (moving into a new building and having it renovated, hiring an admin assistant) etc. and that they are not going to be able to afford to hire me.  After I had already told them up front what my salary expectations were and after they reached out to have me come in for an interview.

What I learned from this experience was that sometimes the hiring process has many players in the mix. And while sometimes, decision making is done on a shared and or consensus basis, sometimes one person “the head honcho” holds sway over the whole process. I also learned that communication and delegation in that company were apparently more fantasy than fact. And while I tried to overcome the objections by discussing the true definition of “value”, and even suggesting a potential hook up with Crayola to connect with their products, the owner was dismissive and unmoved. So ultimately I wound up leaving the interview feeling I had done everything right and having nothing to show for it. So a cautionary tale-it all has to go right till the offer is in hand.