Boomerang Workers

I am seeing an interesting phenomenon as unemployment is very low (4.4%) and companies are scrambling to find great employees.  Many companies are looking at tried and true employees. They are re-hiring old employees that were let go in leaner times.  Hiring experts call these people “boomerang workers.” “It’s a very smart, enlightened policy,” said Joyce Gioia, president of The Herman Group, a workforce consulting business in Greensboro, North Carolina. “It means that you have taken advantage of the knowledge capital that was built up and you’ve lost in the past.” Some companies actively encourage the process. Pittsburgh-based advertising company, … Read More

Are you self-employed?

In live seminars I often ask, “How many of you are self-employed?”  Typically, about 30% of the audience will raise their hands.  Then I ask, “How many of you are working for yourselves?”  A few more hands go up.  Then I may ask, “How many of you currently have only one customer for the services you provide?”  Eventually, everyone realizes that no matter what the situation, we are all really “self-employed.” The company is not going to pay your mortgage or choose the private school you want for your children.  You must do that based on your ability to provide … Read More

Don’t lose your cow!

There’s an old Texas saying that goes:  “It doesn’t matter how much milk you spill as long as you don’t lose your cow.”  In other words, what we see as “failure” may not really have diminished our ability to contribute, produce or earn an income. Is losing your job the milk or the cow?  If your business bombs, have you lost some milk, or is your cow gone?  If you have an accident and can no longer hammer nails, is your cow really gone? General Douglas MacArthur once said, “Security is your ability to produce.” Security does not come from … Read More

Unemployed – or ready to launch?

Losing a job can lead to anger, resentment, guilt and depression.  I once worked with a gentleman who lost his job and tried to reposition himself and do a job search. He quickly became discouraged after just a few days with no success.  Then he started hiding out from his wife, pretending to be doing a job search, while in reality he was going to the library to surf the Internet and read magazines.  He consoled himself in fast food and high sugar snacks and quickly added about 25 pounds.  This, in turn, made him self-conscious about his weight and … Read More

I’m a box of parts and nothing fits together

This is actually a quotation from one of my workshop attendees.  The young man went on to describe how he had the ability to do a lot of things but had never found a clear focus for his career.  This time of year we always see a great number of college graduates who present the same feeling.  “Now that I have this degree, what am I supposed to do?”  Having a degree does not necessarily lead a person in a clear direction.  That’s why we know that 10 years after graduation, 80% of college graduates are working in something totally … Read More

You keep your F – I’m keeping my dream

When Monty Roberts was in high school, his teacher gave the class the assignment of writing about what they wanted to do when they grew up.  Monty wrote that he wanted to own a ranch and raise thoroughbred racehorses.  His teacher gave him an “F” and explained that the dream was unrealistic for a boy living in a camper in the back of a pickup truck.  He would never be able to make this a reality.  When he offered Monty the chance to rewrite his paper for a higher grade, Monty told him, “You keep your F; I’m keeping my … Read More

100% College Admission – how sad I am

I wrote this post 4 years ago, but was reminded once again, as at this time of year we’re seeing schools scrambling to brag about how many of their brilliant students are being admitted to fine colleges and universities.  And my feelings are stronger now than 4 years ago. ********************************************* Last Sunday on a leisure drive back from lunch, Joanne and I passed one of the most prestigious private high schools in our area.  A big 10ft banner was proudly posted at the front entrance stating: “100% College Admission for our Seniors – again.” I’ll have to admit I cringed upon seeing that.  … Read More

Is your house a safe place?

I went to lunch with my neighbor Bill yesterday and we started talking about the gentleman who used to live in the house next door. I told Bill about talking with my previous neighbor (Bob) on a bright Sunday morning and how he had spent the day planting watermelons – although the doctors had just told him he had 3-6 weeks to live.  Well, that turned out to be pretty accurate.  Bob died on another Sunday, just 41 days after that conversation and just one day short of six weeks. The picture here is of the beautiful floral display at his memorial service.  Notice the … Read More

I got on the wrong boat

Recently I received the pre-coaching information profile from a 40-yr-old teacher.  He wrote, “I feel like I got on the wrong boat, and now my life is half over.”   Wow – what a painful statement about moving along in this journey called life.  Are you clear on where you are going?  Or on what your purpose here is?  If not, why not?  How can we find fulfillment, peace and meaning without being clear on our “mission” in life? In sharing this with my wife, Joanne, she paused and then related her absolute confidence in knowing what she was sent here … Read More

No degrees – just a Mom

As we are headed into Mother’s Day I was reminiscing about my own mother.  At 88, her death was sudden, but not unexpected.  She and Dad were sitting quietly together on Friday evening after a day of activities together.  They were married for 62 years.  For most of those years, Dad was the pastor of the little Mennonite church in Johnsville, Ohio. Mom never had a job title outside our home. VP, CFO, and CEO were not attractive to her.  Her formal education ended with the 8th grade.  But her life touched thousands.  At her funeral we displayed a few … Read More