My name is Mark Wayman, and for the last 16 years I have owned an Executive Recruiting company in Las Vegas, Nevada where I’m focused on the gaming/casino and high tech industries. The business funds my true passion: Charity and Community. A portion of each placement is donated to a dozen national and local charities. To whom much is given…much is required. 

Disclaimer #1: Only Represent Candidates I Know Personally or by Referral – My clients expect me to personally vouch for each and every candidate. Can’t do that with people I don’t know and have never met. No disrespect intended!

 Disclaimer #2: I’m Not Here to Judge – That’s God’s job. My purpose is to provide career counsel based on 16 years of executive recruiting and 1,000+ placements. Hopefully it adds value for a few people.

 Disclaimer #3: Why I Love America – We can agree to disagree and still be friends! I welcome all opinions and viewpoints provided they are professional and respectful. Trolls will be deleted and blocked.

The plague has made for unprecedented times, especially in the hospitality industry. Last year was amazing, and then everything came to a grinding halt in February 2020 and stayed that way for months. When the economy reopened, hiring was brisk for three months…then leveled off as round two of the Pandemic arrived in October. 

When the country was shut down, millions of executives were furloughed and humbled. The plague does not differentiate between the CEO and the $10 an hour employee. For a short time, it felt like people were kinder and wanted to help each other. Like we are all in this together. Many of my executive friends reconsidered their priorities. Maybe my job is not the most important thing in the world? Possibly I should spend more time with my family? Is that former life really worth rushing back to? Unfortunately, once business resumed, most folks went right back to their bad behavior. Interesting how differently people act once the crisis is over and they get called back from furlough.

We are entering a very dangerous phase of the Pandemic. Much worse than the last time around. A small number of people that refused to participate in safety protocols have ruined it for the rest of us. In Nevada, we are under our second “stay at home” order. There is a 50/50 chance the country will be shut down completely in 2021. So I put a few of thoughts on paper about career lessons to consider…when the pendulum swings.

The Pendulum Always Swings – The best advice I ever received about executive recruiting came from the Founder/CEO of a successful boutique recruiting company in 2004. He said, “Mark, the pendulum always swings. Right now (2004) we have 5% unemployment. Everyone has a job. No one returns your calls. People treat you poorly…because they can. They don’t need anything from you. But one day, my friend, that pendulum will swing! Those same people that kicked dirt on you will be the lighting up your cell phone.” In 2008 the pendulum swung (financial crash). In 2020 the pendulum swung (plague).  Lesson: It’s a small world. The same people you pass on the way up are the same people you will see on the way down. As my Dad used to say, “Treat the Janitor the saw as you treat the CEO. It’s the right thing to do.” Kindness is FREE.

Build the Bridge Before You Need to Cross the River – There are two rules in Executive Recruiting. First, Recruiters get people for jobs…not jobs for people. If we don’t fill our executive searches, we don’t eat. Second, the wrong time to meet a Recruiter is when you are unemployed. Make sure you have a professional relationship with one or two Executive Recruiters. If you don’t know any, ask your peers for referrals. Stay in touch with your peers and help when you can. If you see a career opportunity, forward it to someone that is on furlough. Not saying you have to be a Master Networker, but don’t be the person that only calls to ask for a favor. Lesson: Your professional network is your lifeline. Stay in touch with your peers.

Lose the Entitlement Attitude – Here is a comprehensive list of what you are entitled to in life: NOTHING! You are not entitled to a job. This is not Russia, China or North Korea. In 2019, unemployment was 4% and pretty much everyone that wanted to work…got a job. This is 2020 and the world has dramatically changed. My #1 issue with candidates is an expectation they will are entitled to 2019 compensation. Not happening. An expectation that, despite the fact they are unemployed, they are entitled to a 25% pay increase. Not happening. If you are gainfully employed, you are exceedingly blessed. There are millions of people that would love to be in your position. Lesson: Lose the attitude of privilege and entitlement.

Have an Attitude of Gratitude – You would be surprised how many people I place in high paying jobs that never offer a thank you or a cup of coffee. Yes, I am paid to get people jobs, however a little gratitude is always appreciated (and remembered!). In some cases I don’t hear from an executive that I placed for years…until the next time they are unemployed. Goes to character. The secret to happiness? Being grateful and happy right here, right now, regardless of your circumstances. Is your family healthy? Do you have a roof over your head and food on the table? Everything else is a bonus. Lesson: Be generous with your praise and gratitude in all aspects of life. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way in this world.

Relationships Trump Talent – How else do you explain the knuckleheads that keep getting jobs over and over?  Some have alcohol and drug abuse issues. Others have a history of #MeToo problems, yet they get CEO jobs at publicly traded companies. Names withheld to protect the guilty. Eventually their Karma Bus arrives. My point is this: They keep getting those jobs because they have a buddy that hired them. Typically someone from the Board of Directors. Regardless of how incompetent they are, relationships trump talent. Lesson: Always play well with others. There is no upside to burning bridges. There is no upside to leaving a job on bad terms. It may feed your ego, however it’s a poor long-term career strategy.

Help When You Can – When asked why Paul McCartney was his opening band, Ringo Starr once said, “He wasn’t working. You have to help when you can.” He was kidding; however the same goes for helping your friends and peers. Today I sent out four new executive jobs to 500 people with the message, “If you know of someone that would be a good fit, kindly point them my way. Maybe you know someone on furlough or someone that lost their job completely.” I’ll be lucky to get two referrals. But let me tell you what I will get: Two dozen, “I make more money than that” and “I’m not interested” messages. You didn’t even read the email! Life is not always about YOU. Let’s be clear – my million dollar jobs go to those that that provide referrals and help their friends. Why? Goes to character. Lesson: Help out a friend. One day that friend may be you.