Here is an oldie but goody that seems especially relevant given the Pandemic. This is an excerpt from my book, “The Godfather’s Career Guide: What to Do if You Get Whacked!” Here are the first five of my top ten career secrets, in no particular order. The second half will appear next week. 

1.    Life is not Always Fair – There are many times when life does not seem fair. You get fired, someone else gets your promotion, you don’t get the job interview. There are only two alternatives to life; you believe that God has a master plan, or you believe there is no God and life is a string of random coincidences. I choose to believe in God and that everything happens for a reason. Your current situation is typically determined by your previous choices and decisions, however there will be times when life just does not seem fair. You can’t always control your circumstances, only how you react to them. Focus on what you have, and don’t obsess about things that can’t be changed. Life is not always fair, but it is always worth living!

2.    Don’t Waste People’s Time – The number one fear of executives in America today is having their time wasted. If you are going to email or call, have something important to communicate. Add value! If your calls are not getting returned it’s because your value proposition is not strong enough, whether you think so or not. When you call or email someone, get to the point; be concise and focused. Remember that landing a new career opportunity is a HIGH priority. Make yourself available to interview. Time is the great leveler. Don’t waste people’s time!

3.    Be Tigger, not Eeyore –  Are you a complainer? Whining is for kids, and it’s not attractive then either! Do you tell everyone it’s not your fault that you lost your job? My boss was a jerk, the company was screwed up, my wife was on my case, and I had an awful childhood. Your circumstances do not ruin you; your response to your circumstances ruins you. Step up and take personal responsibility for your career and your life decisions. It’s not your bosses fault or the company’s fault or your spouse’s fault. Quit complaining and move forward. As we say in Oklahoma – saddle up and ride! Be Tigger, not Eeyore!

4.    Don’t Be a Carpet Bagger – One of my least favorite phone calls goes something like this, “Yada, yada, yada, can you get me free tickets, discounted hotel rooms, introductions to important people and a new job?” Mostly from people I met once for 15 minutes at a mixer. When it comes to tickets and rooms, I don’t ask my clients for free stuff. Period. That is how they make their living, and I would not want them asking me for free Recruiting. When acquaintances ask for favors they are not entitled to, it is fairly offensive. Remember this; life is like a bank account. You have to make deposits before you can ask for withdrawals. Don’t go around asking people for things you are not entitled to, and that includes jobs. You need to foster long-term relationships so that when you need to call in a favor, it’s there for you. Don’t be a carpetbagger!

5.    It Only Takes One Phone Call – One phone call can change your life! Don’t get discouraged thinking you’ll never find a new job. You only need one job, so you only need to get one phone call. That call may come today or next week or next month. The timing is in God’s plan; not yours. The call typically comes when you are at the end of your rope and can’t take one more step. But remember this – that call WILL happen. You only need ONE phone call! 

Mark Wayman is The Godfather of Las Vegas. He owns an Executive Recruiting company focused on gaming and high tech. Over the last 15 years he has placed 1,000+ executives in $100,000 to multi-million dollar jobs.