JOB SEARCH TIP: Guidance from Dr. Jung– Improve your job search by listening to even to the people who drive you crazy.

4 Dec

The psychologist Carl Jung said: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

There will be people you meet in your job search that might even have tested the great Dr. Jung, but his admonition rings.

Along the way you will meet networking contacts, recruiters, hiring managers and others who will say or do things that will irritate you.

Lean in, just for a bit, into the irritation.

~ Is there a certain topic, perhaps of your work history, that makes you uncomfortable?

~ Is it something about the person? Is there a bias you have for which you are not aware?

~ Is it something about the setting? There are some work environments, for example, I’ve found to be less comfortable for me.

Early in my career I learned that I wasn’t comfortable with conflict. It irritated me. But over the years as I’ve come to appreciate and see the value in conflict, it is a bit easier for me to understand that the irritation I’m feeling might take me and others to a better place of understanding and action.

Don’t immediately dismiss some of those irritating moments. Reflect on them. Learn from them. Help them strengthen and inform you on your job search and beyond.

There are free training videos on the web site of my faith community: 

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

It turns out Kramer, not Seinfeld, knows what inspires.

2 Dec

Do you remember this Seinfeld episode: Elaine has a birthday, and Seinfeld gives her as a gift… an envelope of cash.

She is completely underwhelmed, and Seinfeld is befuddled.

Kramer enters, sees Elaine, and returns with a package for her.

He got her a wooden bench, one that she was eyeing and for which Kramer had made a mental note.

Kramer is the hero and Seinfeld is the goat.

But why?

According to the academics, Seinfeld was caught unawares of “preference reversal”, where we SAY we want a certain thing (cash) but are ACTUALLY INSPIRED by the non-cash gift.

As you think about inspiring employees, don’t get caught in the same Seinfeld trap. Seek out non-cash awards, particularly “luxury” merchandise or experiences, where you get a far more inspired response.

#ThankYouThursday #recognition  #appreciation #gratitude #grateful #inspiration

JOB SEARCH TIP: My dad closed a door and changed his mind. So can you.

2 Dec

My dad was a fan of one car company when I was growing up, so he was a bit disturbed when I brought home another brand.

He walked all the way around the car. I asked him if he wanted to go for a drive. He opened the door of the car, and then shut it.

It shut easily and firmly, something that his brand of car was not known for.

“Hmm,” he said.

He eventually realized I made a good purchase.

Lenny closed and door and changed his mind.

When you’re in the job search, you too may need to close a door or two. Those doors, metaphorically, speaking, are mindsets that will get in the way of you moving on.

There are some self-limiting doors that need to be shut, such as “there are absolutely no jobs in the midst of the pandemic.”

There are some self-defeating doors, such as “I am so angry at my former boss that I will never trust another leader again.”

There are some self-destructive doors, such as “there isn’t anyone out there who can understand me or would be willing to help.”

Take a page from Lenny. Take a good look. Close the door if you need to. Chart a different path.

There are free training videos on the web site of my faith community:  You can find all the posts at

#careercoach #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

JOB SEARCH TIP: A healthy diet has a diversity of healthy foods. Your network would benefit from more diversity.

1 Dec

It’s the week after Thanksgiving and I’m posting about food! Here’s my story:

A former colleague, Dr. Kenneth Liggett, had a wonderful metaphor about healthy relationships:

“Mark, let’s say you want to eat healthier. You know apples are healthy, so you create a diet where you only eat apples. But that wouldn’t be healthy, would it? To have a healthy diet you need a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables and proteins.”

He continued: “The same thing is true with your network of relationships. If you only have “apples” you don’t have a healthy network. You need different, healthy relationships in order to have a truly healthy network.”

Think about your current network—do you have diversity, or do you only have “apples”?

As a job seeker, having a more diverse network can help you in so many ways. A more diverse network can “see” things about you that a more homogeneous network can’t. They may have insights about job opportunities that you wouldn’t be aware of otherwise.

Over the last several months I’ve been intentional about expanding my network. I’ve met some wonderful folks and learned a lot.

To expand your opportunities, diversify your network.

#career #careercoach  #openforwork #jobsearch

You can find all my posts at


30 Nov

From October to the end of the first semester at Colgate University, with over 3,000 folks on campus, there were no reported COVID cases.


Their success was attributed to an evidence-based plan that was passionately communicated, but one action that set the tone early in the semester was President Brian Casey living in a dorm in quarantine for fourteen days, the same action each student had to endure.

He acknowledged to the campus that this was going to be difficult, but it could be done.

I’m sure Dr. Casey didn’t want to live in a dorm, but in doing so he exhibited a sense of empathy and presence. He led.

The campus responded accordingly, and a semester of school is safely in the books.

My friend and collaborator @bradshuck has carefully studied leaders who behave this way, who are leading in these challenging times and achieving remarkable results.

He calls this approach “Compassionate Leadership”, and his research clearly shows six behaviors that more effectively engage and inspire.

You might not need to quarantine in a dorm for two weeks to make your point, but take a page from Dr. Casey—leading with compassion can make all the difference.

#leadership #engagement #compassionateleadership

I have a Shawshank Redemption joke…

28 Nov

But Red is at the Buxton wall.

I have a Casablanca joke…

28 Nov

… but Rick didn’t make the flight.

I have a Mandalorian joke…

28 Nov

… but I’ve lost the way.

Thought for the day…

28 Nov

Asserting your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom. It’s adolescence.

I have a tryptophan joke…

28 Nov

… but in the middle of the punch line I keep nodding off.

For those of you in the U.S., I hope you had a nice holiday!