Ain’t it grand! Record low unemployment, tax rates go down this year, real estate prices are up, people are throwing silly money at Silicon Valley phone apps, and stock market at an all-time high. This is awesome!
Reminds me of 2004 when I started my Executive Placement business. And I’ll never forget Kevin Rosenberg (CEO of a boutique Executive Recruiting firm) cautioning me back then, “Everything is great TODAY. But the pendulum always swings. And when it does, all those people that did not return your call will be texting you and and sending you resumes.” In August 2008 Kevin became a Prophet.
I’m not Chicken Little, and I’m not here to tell you the sky is falling. But what goes up always comes down. So here are a few career tips to follow while times are good, so that when this Shangri-La comes to an abrupt end, you will be positioned for success.
Ego is the Enemy – Yep, you are such a rock star…today. But tomorrow is promised to no one. Lose the Ultimate Hubris cologne. I can rattle of a dozen stories of senior level executives that thought they were a big deal…until the day they weren’t. And when you lose that big job, no one will return your calls. They say you are lucky to have five good friends in life, but one CEO told me, “When I lost my CEO job, not a single person returned my call.” Humble and genuine is attractive.
Stay Connected! – Relationships trump talent. How else do you explain all the mediocre executives that get job after job while highly talented people sit on the bench? I’m not telling you to attend the Chamber mixer, however it’s important to stay connected with your peers. They are the ones getting phone calls for the BIG jobs, and they may give you a referral that changes your life. You also want to be friendly with one or two top Executive Recruiters in your industry. When I get a million dollar job, who do I put in the game? Executives I know personally and that are on my radar.
An Attitude of Gratitude – Would it surprise you to learn that half the executives placed by a Recruiter don’t bother to say thank you? I kid you not. And I’m talking $500,000 executives. Yes, we get paid to place executives, however a little gratitude goes a long way.
Be a Giver, Not a Taker – Let’s face it, most people only call you when they want something. Especially in my line of work. If you are a GIVER, people will remember you. Whether that’s doing someone a favor, helping out a friend, giving a referral for a job or donating to charity. To whom much is given…much is required.
Follow the Golden Rule – The House of Blues motto is, “Help ever; hurt never.” Be kind, courteous and professional to EVERYONE. My Dad used to say, “Treat everyone the same, from the CEO to the Janitor. The same people you pass on the way up are the same people you will pass on the way down.” Everyone is on a challenging journey, so be kind.