Archives for March, 2019

The Best 3 Books to Read if You Get Laid Off!

I remember getting laid off many years ago. Actually, I was terminated for being a whistle blower. Company and knucklehead Boss omitted to protect the guilty. Because I was in a carpool, I had to sit out on the curb with a box of my personal belongings until I could get a ride home. But I learned three important lessons from that experience.

Never Work a Day in a Job You Don’t Like – I absolutely hated that job. And as I sat on the curb humiliated I decided to never work for a company or in a role that was not enjoyable. It’s true: If you love your job you will never work a day in your life. A friend called me one day complaining about his job. I inquired, “Are you unhappy?” He said, “I am.” My advice was to walk directly over to the CEOs office and work out a “walk away” package (resignation with severance). He did, and he is light years ahead with his career now. And…happy!

Everything Happens for a Reason – Mostly I don’t understand God’s plan or timing, however I have come to the conclusion that everything does indeed happen for a reason. You are right where you need to be, and there is a reason you lost your job. You may not see it today or tomorrow, however years from now you will say, “That was one of the best things that ever happened to me – it changed my life.” Don’t try to make sense of everything!

Losing Your Job is a Phenomenal Opportunity – You WILL get another job! It’s challenging. It’s depressing. It’s stressful. Bu it’s not the end of the world. There are plenty of jobs for smart, hard-working people. Being laid off is the perfect time to examine your life. AND…detox and decompress. Recently a senior executive asked for my counsel on taking an early out retirement package. Call it what you will, but it’s a RIF (reduction in force). My response was, “Oh my God, take the package! Use your one year non-compete to travel the world. Or spend time with your grand-kids. Or volunteer at the Women’s Shelter. Live life!” Anything but working 80 hours for a company that does not care about you. You think your Boss is going to give your eulogy? You think your peers will be at your funeral? The company always takes care of…THE COMPANY. Don’t ever forget it.

And since you have some time on your hands, I’d like to recommend three great books for the RIF. Other than the Bible, probably my favorite three books on the shelf.

  • Half Time by Bob Buford – When we sold our software company 15 years ago someone gave me this book. It literally changed my life. Most executives spend the first half of their life on houses and cars and jobs, however at “half time” they ask the big questions. Why am I here? What is my legacy? How will I be remembered? Am I leaving the world a better place? The book highlighted something that was quite embarrassing: I was a “taker.” So I made a commitment to be a “giver” the second half of my life. My way of giving back is to help people get jobs, then donate a portion of each placement to a dozen local and national charities. THANK YOU Bob Buford!
  • Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday – This is a major challenge for executives laid off or in the RIF. Ego, arrogance and hubris. Bitter, disgruntled executives obsessed with their former employer or Boss. Guess what folks? He/she could care less about you. They forgot your name the day you left! Let go and let God. Lose the ego. Move on.
  • Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen – Ah yes, the Pastor of Hope! You don’t have to be a religious type to enjoy Joel’s books. He has this amazing, positive, hopeful approach to life. It’s hard to be depressed when you are reading Joel!

God, family and friends. Everything beyond that is a bonus. Do you have a place to live? Food on the table? Your health? Yes? Then you are ahead of 98% of the people on this planet. Jobs and careers are important, however don’t sacrifice God, family and friends for them. And always remember this, if God is for us, who can be against us!

Stop Yelling at the Recruiter, Part 2

Thank you to everyone that read Part 1: 40,000 views in two days.

Here is a second major issue for Executive Recruiters: Candidates that ask for feedback, but don’t really want to hear it. As Jack Nicholson said, “You can’t handle the truth!”

The most surprising part of this particular story is that the candidate, we’ll call him Joe, is a Human Resources executive. HR folks are in the business of hiring and firing, so they really should understand the mechanics of how the process works. Joe sends me a resume and I ask him the requisite questions about compensation, relocation and compliance (background). Joe has already applied to several jobs online. Translation to Recruiter: He is highly motivated to move. Some might say…desperate. For round numbers he is making $100,000 and is seeking $200,000, Translation to Recruiter: Not a reasonable expectation. Joe, you are IN Human Resources, have you ever doubled someone’s salary?

Finally, Joe has boundaries around relocation. “I would go to Tucson, but not LA. I like Sacramento, but not Reno.” Translation to Recruiter: I am never, ever, ever, ever going to get this guy a job. Joe asked for my feedback, so I was candid, “I can’t represent you to any company you have applied to in the last 12 months, so all the those companies you applied to online…are out. And given your compensation and specific geographical boundaries, your career opportunities will be limited. My recommendation would be to take a job at $110,000 at large organization and work your way up.” And of course the response from Joe was the standard, “Mark, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Look, you asked for my professional opinion and I gave it to you. Joe…I’ll be rooting for you!

Stop Yelling at the Recruiter, Part 1

My name is Mark Wayman, and for the last 15 years I have owned an Executive Recruiting firm focused on gaming and high tech. Compensation starts at $100,000, average placement is $250,000, and over the years I have placed a number of executives north of a million dollars.

Disclaimer: I only represent candidates I know personally, or by referral. No disrespect intended. I’m a one man show – no Recruiters, no Employees. As such, I’m laser focused on my client searches and representing my candidates.  Executives I have known for many years that have supported my business and charity work. If nothing else, I’m the most loyal person you ever met!  Two most important points to remember about any Executive Recruiter. First, the wrong time to meet a Recruiter is when you are unemployed. Second, they have jockeys (candidates); they are looking for horses (clients).

Any and all comments on this article are welcome, provided they are professional and respectful. That’s what I love about America, we can agree to disagree and still be friends.

Layoffs, Acquisitions and Consolidation: The Odd Man Out – This month a CFO sent me his resume. His company was acquired, and he is odd man out. Not unusual. New Captain, new Sailors. When a company is acquired, it is a common practice to instill “their executives” to run the show.

Angry and Bitter is NOT Attractive – From my first interaction with the CFO, I could tell he was angry and bitter. And I get that. He is being pushed out through no fault of his own. Let me be crystal clear: I have compassion and empathy for his situation. But after 15 years and 900+ executive placements I know one thing for certain – unhappy, bitter people are just too challenging to deal with and to sell. I asked him a few basic questions about compensation, relocation and compliance (background). When asked about compensation he said, “I don’t play that game! You just bring me jobs!” Huh? As an Executive Recruiter, it’s important that I understand your expectations, including compensation and relocation. It allows me to gauge which career opportunities are a good fit.

Companies Hire Smiley, Happy People – Long story short, I declined to represent this CFO. His resume is great, however he needs to decompress and get his head on straight prior to pursuing a new career opportunity. Companies hire happy, smiley people. Not angry, bitter trolls. The last thing you want to do during an interview is make a negative comment about a former employer or Boss. Quite possibly the biggest career deal breaker…ever. Hiring companies are looking for employees that have moved on in life and are ready for a new challenge. As my Dad used to say, “If you are looking for revenge, dig two holes.” I literally know “C” level executives that never worked again because they refused to get over being terminated or laid off.

Stop Yelling at the Recruiter! – Riddle me this. If you lose your job, who is mostly likely to help you? Well, 85% of new jobs come from your professional network and 10% come from Executive Recruiters. How does alienating a Recruiter help improve your situation. First, it is not their fault that you were terminated or laid off. Second, they might be the resource mostly likely to find you that new career opportunity. Like your Mom always said, “Be nice and play well with others.”.

#jobs #careers #hiring #recruiting #executiverecruiting #headhunter #careeradvice #interview #jobtips #humanresources #layoff

Terminations: How They Should Be Conducted

I rarely forward articles, however this one on Termination Procedures is a MUST READ.

The Author is Ron Williams, my close personal friend for the last 20 years. He was career Secret Service (protected 5 Presidents) and owns Talon, a security and risk management firm. As you may know, I spent three years in counter-terrorism working with the CIA/FBI after 9/11, which is how Ron and I met. This article on the right way to handle terminations really hit a nerve.

The article discusses the right protocol for terminating employees, especially those with a violent temper or a propensity for violence. Highly relevant given the current industry consolidation and layoffs. We hear about workplace violence on a daily basis these days. There have been several “incidents” in the casino industry, so don’t take this subject lightly.

And THIS is why I don’t believe in online job postings or cold calling candidates on LinkedIn. No matter how good the resume looks, it’s critical that you understand their background and why they were terminated over the past few years. Alcohol and/or drug abuse? Sexual harassment? Embezzlement? Workplace violence? That won’t be listed on the CV. With further ado, with full credit to Talon CEO Ron Williams (

Terminations: How They Should Be Conducted

A day after Illinois State Police inquired about Gary Martin’s criminal history in 2014, two court clerks in Mississippi discussed whether to send authorities a chilling psychiatric evaluation in which the future mass killer described himself as “an abuser” and admitted to anger issues. “I have a problem controlling my temper … when I get real upset,” Martin told a psychiatrist in 1995, according to court records.

Martin, then 22, underwent the court-ordered psychiatric examination after he was sentenced to five years in prison for beating his then-girlfriend with an aluminum baseball bat and then stabbing her. He was released after serving less than three years, despite his former girlfriend having objected to his release.

The evaluating psychiatrist detailed Martin’s violent nature, especially when he felt sad or abandoned. The psychiatrist also raised concerns that Martin could harm his ex-girlfriend again, but he wrote that Martin did not pose a threat to the general public at that time. The report ends with an unsettling passage, as the doctor refused to rule out future violence and eerily foreshadowed last week’s deadly shooting in Aurora, Illinois.

On February 20, 2019, Gary Martin reported to the Director of Human Resources at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois. Upon learning that he was being terminated, Gary Martin pulled out a handgun that was registered to him, and shot and killed the Director of Human Resources, the plant manager, and an intern from Northern Illinois University in the HR office. Martin then killed two more employees outside the office in the warehouse and wounded a sixth person. Martin then proceeded to wound five police officers arriving on the scene before being shot and killed by police officers.

Based on Martin’s previous conviction in Mississippi, he was not authorized to own a gun. In fact, he had been instructed to turn the weapon into the police, but no follow up was conducted to ascertain if the weapon was ever relinquished. A review of this chilling case reveals protocols and procedures that should have been in place before the termination process.

First, based on Martin’s past behaviors, it can be assumed that he was being terminated for displaying aberrant and dysfunctional behaviors that gave an indication of a propensity for violence. The company should have consulted with a threat assessment professional or forensic psychologist to determine Martin’s threat level.

Second, a thorough background check should have been conducted before the termination process to determine if Martin had any issues since he was hired 15 years prior to his termination. A background check should have alerted HR that Martin had a criminal record for beating his girlfriend and had been incarcerated in prison. The initial background check when Martin was hired failed to disclose his conviction, but a second more thorough check probably would have disclosed this valuable information.

Third, HR should have hired two armed security officers, with police experience, to be present and alert in the room or immediate vicinity, knowing he had a violent temper.

Fourth, the room should have been set up to have an escape route for the victims in the event Martin became violent.

The personal property of the terminated employee should be given to him/her after termination, and he/she should be escorted off the property by security personnel. A termination is a stressful event, and based on Martin’s past behavior, it should have been anticipated he would react. This is not a newsletter to criticize the folks who lost their lives, but rather a critique for future terminations. When people who have anger management issues and a history of violent behavior are put into stressful situations, they will react to the event in a violent manner.

This sad incident should teach us to be prepared.

Ron Williams

United States Secret Service-Retired


Talon Companies

5 More Issues When Dealing with Layoffs, Part 2

DISCLAIMER: Only represent executives I know personally or by referral. No online job postings, no candidate databases, no unsolicited resumes or cold calls. No disrespect intended!

My name is Mark Wayman, and my day job is Executive Recruiter specializing in gaming/casinos and high tech. Over the last 15 years I have placed 900+ executives between $100,000 and $2,000,000 with the average being $250,000 base salary.

This is the second part of my article layoffs. You can find the first part here:

Due to industry consolidation and the slowing economy, the layoffs have begun. In 2019, interest rates will continue to rise and Wall Street will continue to fall. What goes up, always comes down. It’s been a great 10 year ride of prosperity, however the party is over. That means more layoffs. The days of IBM, 30 years and a gold watch are over.

Ego is the Enemy – This is the #1 challenge I experience with executives that were laid off. They are so busy cussing out their former employer and obsessing about their former Boss that they can’t move forward. Let me tell you something very important: THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU. Stop caring about them. Economies fail; people get laid off. Want to know the right attitude? Try this, “I am a consulting company of one that just happens to be on someone’s payroll.” The days of IBM, 30 years and a gold watch are over.

I’m Retired! – A reward for a career well done. I could not be any happier for you, but don’t tell anyone that will listen, “I’m retired” unless you really are. Once your peers and Executive Recruiters here that, they won’t send you career opportunities. Years ago an executive in his 70s that told me he was retired. Given his age, that made sense. Then he asked to meet for breakfast. Well, I know what that means. The only time this guy asks me to breakfast is to ask for a job. Long story short, I didn’t represent him because he told everybody he was retired. If I submit him as a candidate the client will respond, “He told me he is retired.” If you are retired, great. If not, keep your trap shut.

I’m Retired, Part 2 – Many years ago we sold our software company to IBM. And I retired. For real. I didn’t call everyone and post it all over social media. Simply went to Del Mar, bought a race horse and called it a day. Two weeks later a CEO called and asked for my help with talent. Hmmm…I can help my friends get jobs, support my charity work, and work when and with who I want? OK, I’m not retired.

It’s OK to Decompress – You worked like a sled dog for the last 10 years, so take a month or two off. If you have a one year non-compete, take a year off! You can’t work anyway, so why not spend time with the family or travel the world? What you DON’T want to do is take six to twelve months off because you are looking for a job that does not exist. BAD CAREER STRATEGY. You have to take compensation, relocation and market conditions into consideration during your job search. If you put half a dozen boundaries on it, and ask for way too much money, that is not decompressing. That is called being unreasonable, so get comfortable with unemployment because you will be drawing it for a long time.

The Godfather on Non-Competes – Yeah, I know, your Brother is an Attorney and says they can’t enforce it. Bahahahahaha! Technically he may be right, but your former employer will send a fleet of Attorneys to tie you up in court for a year. At which time…your non-compete will expire. If your non-compete is geographical to Nevada, you have two choices – relocate out of state or sit it out. Anyone that tells me “they can’t enforce my non-compete” is a non-starter for me.

Follow the Golden Rule – I’m amazed at how many people treat me poorly, then send a resume when they get laid off. Behavior goes to character, and I don’t have an interest in representing executives that treat everyone badly until they are unemployed and need help. Always remember this: It’s a short walk from Park Place to the park bench. And one more great lesion: Relationships trump talent. You can be the smartest guy in the room, but when you get laid off, no one returns your call. You are just one more unemployed person. Lose the ego and play nice.

Laid Off? These 5 Things Will Keep You Unemployed for Years

DISCLAIMER: Only represent executives I know personally or by referral. No online job postings, no candidate databases, no unsolicited resumes or cold calls.  No disrespect intended!

My name is Mark Wayman, and my day job is Executive Recruiter specializing in gaming/casinos and high tech. Over the last 15 years I have placed 900+ executives between $100,000 and $2,000,000 with the average being $250,000 base salary.

Today’s topic, unfortunately, is layoffs. They are back like a bad habit. Having lived through Depression 2.0 in 2008, I am intimately familiar with how this movie ends. The good news is I can also give you a few tips that will optimize your ability to find a new career opportunity. Hear are five things that will keep you finding a new job.

Bitterness Towards Your Previous Employer – Let it go! This is my number one piece of advice to candidates that were laid off. There is nothing that ends an interview quicker than bitterness and hostility towards your former employer. Or boss. You MUST let it go! I know good executives that just can’t get past their bitterness. They never worked again. Happy, smiley candidates are far more attractive. Trust me, your old company and boss are not obsessing about you.

Unreasonable Compensation Demands – Super important! If you are gainfully employed, asking for a 10% to 20% bump in compensation is reasonable. When you are unemployed, all jobs are good jobs. Had a candidate this morning that was $200,000 at his last job; however he got laid off and is now seeking $250,000. What? You have a better chance of hitting the lottery. Companies want gainfully employed candidates. The right number is a lateral from your previous compensation. That guy may want $250,000, however if he is unemployed for a year, $150,000 will sound great. You are laughing, however back in 2008 everyone was laughing too. Until they weren’t.

A Lack of Executive Recruiter Relationship – Recruiting 101: Executive Recruiters get people for jobs, NOT jobs for people. If they don’t fill their existing roles…they don’t eat. It’s unfair to ask an Executive Recruiter to drop everything they are doing to handle your job crisis. Recruiting 101: The wrong time to meet an Executive Recruiter is when you are unemployed. Make sure you have a strong relationship with one or two while you are gainfully employed. If you don’t know a good Executive Recruiter, ask your peers for a referral.

Don’t Stay on the Beach Too Long – The most attractive candidates are gainfully employed. After that, candidates that were laid off this week. Once an executive is on the beach (unemployed) for three months their market value drops dramatically. At six months on the beach you will no longer be getting interviews. Which leads us to…

Putting Too Many Boundaries on Your Job Search – One of the big challenges with Las Vegas for 2018 was a lack of senior level jobs. There are roughly a dozen good employers. Then you have the “B” players, and there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone can’t work at MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment. So here is the challenge – if most of the companies are laying off, where are you going to work? If you are going to move your career forward, you will most likely need to relocate. I get candidates on regular basis that say, “I want A, B, C, D, E.” By putting several boundaries around your job search you are minimizing your changes of finding a new career opportunity.