Tag archive for "unemployment"

by Bill, by Richard, Motivation

Harvey MacKay’s Got a New Book

No Comments 25 March 2010

We all know someone who’s looking for work or has stayed in a career that doesn’t fuel his or her work life. Harvey Mackay, the #1 New York Times Best Selling Author has just come out with a new book titled Use Your Head To Get Your Foot In The Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You. He thinks it’s his best work in two decades since Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, a lifetime business classicand we agree!

In fact, Harvey’s so confident in this book he personally guarantees that if you buy this book, and do what it says, if you don’t have a job in six months he’ll give you your money back!

The book captures Harvey’s pragmatic, yet humorous style and shares easy to apply methods to:

· Rebuild personal confidence in the face of rejection

· Create a daily “recovery” program and job search plan

· Take advantage of the way firms and recruiters make hiring decisions

· Use state-of-the art networking strategies

· Learn the best questions to ask in interviews

A recent review by the prestigious Library Journal Review says:

“….this is a very useful book. The short chapters with descriptive titles make it easy to navigate, and Mackay offers tips—from changing your attitude to getting hired—both for those currently employed but wishing to position themselves better in their current companies and for those who are out of work. Highly recommended for job seekers and career changers at all experience levels.”

P.S. Go directly to www.harveymackay.com/jobsecrets or buy the book from a bookseller and visit the www.harveymackay.com/job secrets site with the book in hand.

Here’s where you can buy the book online (click on the link to go directly to Harvey’s book at the bookseller’s site):

Barnes and Noble




Indie booksellers

We think you’ll personally enjoy it and hope you’ll pass this offer along to a friend who needs a dose of Harvey Mackay’s clever wisdom and secrets to jumpstart their career and the economy.

by Richard, Leadership, Management

Hire the Best…They’re Out There

No Comments 19 January 2010

The US Census Bureau is witnessing, firsthand, one of the consequences of the bad economy. Very much unlike the last time it was in heavy recruiting mode (1989-90), the supply of talented, qualified, educated, and eager workers for the decennial project is plentiful.

USA Today quotes US Census Bureau Director Robert Groves (not to be confused with Defense Secy Robert Gates or Press Secy Robert Gibbs), as saying “The horrible recession has benefited us in an indirect way — our applicant pool contains a set of people with experience and background and training that is unprecedentedly rich”.

And so does yours… if you’re recruiting. And smart employers are ALWAYS recruiting, whether they’re hiring or not.

Here’s what those same smart employers know, are learning, or will learn from this:

  • Just because there are more people in the pool doesn’t mean it’s easier to spot the best swimmers. In fact, in many cases, an oversupply of labor makes the job of hiring – and hiring well – even harder. Whenever you hear the words “inundated” and “applications” in the same sentence, you can be pretty sure of hearing the words “it was just a bad fit” being uttered not too far down the road.
  • This is a case where hi-tech has to be paired with hi-touch. If you over-delegate this core leadership function to so-called smart selection systems, or to HR (whose job it is to help, not do it for you) – or if you don’t – you’ll get what you deserve.
  • These days, making the right choice is as important as ever, because making the wrong choice shows up more than when the economy is on a firmer footing. Prosperity insulates against lots of bad decisions, including bad hires.
  • Relying on (hoping for?) an “any port in a storm” mentality on the part of the unemployed workforce is a great way to miss the recovery. Pre-recovery is precisely the time you don’t want to foul the gene pool with “just anyone”. The best applicants will still discriminate with respect to employer reputation. Don’t let your competitors get the good ones – and they’re out there.

Richard Hadden (twitter at http://twitter.com/ContentedCows) is a leadership speaker, author, and consultant who helps organizations improve their business results by creating a great place to work. He and Bill are the authors of the acclaimed business classic Contented Cows Give Better Milk, and the followup Contented Cows MOOve Faster. Learn more about them and their work at ContentedCows.com.

by Bill, Think About It...

One More Time – Appearances Can Be Deceiving: Thank You Susan Boyle

1 Comment 17 April 2009

People who have had the pleasure of meeting Wal-Mart founder, Sam Walton, or blind mountain climber, Erik Weihenmayer have quickly come to grips with the fact that appearances can be deceiving – very deceiving. In neither case do initial appearances suggest their respective incredible talents and accomplishments.

Though you’d think that sooner or later we’d get it, many of us seem destined to learn the same lesson over and over again. It is as though we’re “stuck on stupid” to use an expression borrowed from Lt. Gen. Russel Honore (US Army, ret.). We’re constantly “amazed” when someone who has had every conceivable advantage (name your favorite Hollywood pop-tart) steps on their crank, and, when someone who has not enjoyed the genetic blessings, plastic surgery, private lessons, or 1st rate education hits it out of the park. Go figure.

Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer with a rather plain-Jane appearance seems to have taught the most recent lesson. Her wonderfully performed rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables in the first round of the third series of Britain’s Got Talent on April 11 left Simon Cowell and lots of others speechless. Good for her. And, whereas Mr. Cowell may play a bully on TV, he’s smart enough to recognize talent when he sees it, and will likely attempt to sign her to a recording contract.

As for the rest of us, let’s try to get beyond our learning disabilities on this one. That is particularly the case for those of us who are talent scouts for the organizations we work for. An 8.5% unemployment rate notwithstanding, the war for talent isn’t over! You will find talent in both likely and unlikely places, in traditional and non-standard packages, in people who look the part and those who don’t. You’ve simply got to be looking for it, all the time, with eyes, ears, and mind wide open. Got it?

A thought leader in the arena of leadership and employee engagement, Bill Catlette is a seminar leader, keynote speaker, and executive coach. He helps individuals and organizations improve business outcomes by having a focused, engaged, capably led workforce. For more information about Bill, his partner Richard Hadden, and their work, please visit their website at www.contentedcows.com

by Bill, Think About It...

Be Choosy When Picking Your Next Boss

1 Comment 01 April 2009

bozobossIt seems like everything is up for the month of March, including the month itself. During the month, the market was up impressively: Dow (DJIA) + 7.7% (hooray), the Nasdaq + 10.9%, and the S&P finished the month +8.5%. That’s not all. According to the Conference Board, the  important Consumer Confidence Index edged up to 26.0 in March from a record low of 25.3 in February. That’s significant, as we’ve maintained all along that improving confidence is as important to dealing with the current financial mess as the implementation of systemic support measures.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Dow Jones reports that the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) expects the U.S. to undergo an even deeper recession than expected, with GDP now expected to contract 4% this year vs. 2008. It follows, then, that the unemployment rate (jobs report due out Friday) is also likely to go up for March, and beyond. Indeed the ADP jobs report released this morning suggests that March job losses may exceed the currently expected 656,000 level.

Into the teeth of this blizzard of numbers, I’m going to offer some advice learned from decades of working with employers and job seekers alike. Here goes: If you’re looking for a job, and who isn’t these days, be careful, very careful in choosing who you go to work for. I’m not referring so much to the entity named on the paycheck as the human being to whom you would answer. That person is in a position to make a bad job with a mediocre organization palatable, or a great job with a first rate organization miserable. It’s that important.

Unfortunately, if you’ve been out of work for a while and resources are getting low, you’re under the gun to get something going.  All I’m suggesting is that a poor choice of supervisors (I really dislike that word) can put you even further behind the 8-ball in a very short time. If you think things are tough now, imagine having to re-start your job search on a cold trail in three months. Here are some things you can do to improve your odds:

1. Develop a list of three questions you can use (at the appropriate time) in a job interview that will smoke out what kind of person this individual is to work for. Questions like…

  • What’s your proudest moment thus far as a manager? Listen carefully for “I answers” as opposed to “we answers.” Is this person a narcissist (a legend in their own mind), or someone who is more likely to be considerate of others (you)?
  • What kind of workers do best on your team? Turn your listening devices up on this one, as the response can suggest whether this person is willing to be challenged, willing to be wrong, apt to listen to others’ points of view, and whether they’ve even taken any interest in the folks on their team.
  • What’s the turnover rate like on your team? Whereas a high rate (> 40% annually) might suggest that the person is a poor recruiter, a jerk, or just personally inconsiderate, an abnormally low rate might suggest something even worse – a complete lack of standards.

2. Check references, even before you interview. Google them. Visit the person’s blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social network page (they’ll be looking at yours). If you go deep in the interview process with them, ask for the names and contact information of three former employees who worked for them, 2 who worked out, and 1 who didn’t. Ask about their employee survey scores if the organization does such surveys. (If they don’t, be a little wary.)

3. With regard to your own networking, ask people in your network for the names and contact information of the best bosses they’ve ever worked for or known. Sort out the ones who are likely to be in the same arena you’re interested in/qualified for, and call them. Tell them how you got their name (it’ll make their day), and see if they can help you.

While admittedly you’re choosing a boss, not a spouse, you’ll likely spend more time with this person than you do your spouse or significant other, so it pays to look them over good. Happy hunting!

A thought leader in the arena of leadership and employee engagement, Bill Catlette is a seminar leader, keynote speaker, and executive coach. He helps individuals and organizations improve business outcomes by having a focused, engaged, capably led workforce. For more information about Bill, his partner Richard Hadden, and their work, please visit their website at www.contentedcows.com

by Bill, Leadership, Management

Employees… If You Love Them, Let Them Know

1 Comment 08 November 2008

I Quit ImageAs chronicled extensively in our 2007 book for managers,  Contented Cows MOOve Faster, the workplace social contract has been radically reworked over the last decade, virtually eliminating in the process any semblance of job security, and loyalty between employees and the organization.

In a down economy, this plays out with daily layoff announcements such as the ones this week at financial services giant, Fidelity Investments, and toymaker, Mattel, and a surging national unemployment rate, as reported yesterday. In the process, many organizations engage in the corporate version of binge-purge syndrome not unlike that described in a recent Reuters article about the employment roller coaster at Fidelity.

One thing we don’t hear so much about is the steps taken by workers to minimize the impact of this threat. But the fact that we don’t hear much about it doesn’t mean it isn’t going on. The very instant that we start sounding the alarm bells, everyone goes into self-protection mode, most particularly the very folks you least want to lose. Resumes and Outlook files are updated, and all hands on deck suddenly divert one eye to looking out for selfish interests.

While I will save the sermon about how how short-sighted and destructive this process is, if you as a business manager or owner want to exit the current rough patch with your very best people still on your payroll, there are some very specific things you ought to be doing. Here’s one suggestion:

Make sure you are letting special people know that they are special… not extra-privileged, but valued and appreciated. Here’s how:

1. Make a list of the three best people in your organization.

2. For each person, list the reasons why you think they stay with your organization.

3. Call them in one at a time, tell them what you think of them, and see if their reasons for staying at your place match your predictions. My bet is you’ll wind up having good conversations with them, and your chances of hanging onto a top performer will go up about 50%.


A thought leader in the arena of leadership and employee engagement, Bill Catlette is a seminar leader, keynote speaker, and executive coach. He helps individuals and organizations improve business outcomes by having a focused, engaged, capably led workforce. For more information about Bill, his partner Richard, and their work, please visit their website at www.contentedcows.com


Considered thought leaders in the arena of leadership and employee engagement, Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden speak to, train, and coach managers on leadership practices for better business outcomes.

OUR PREMISE: Having a focused, engaged, and capably led workforce is one of the best things any organization can do for its bottom line.


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