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

Don’t hide what feeds your soul

As I was listening to my friend Chris McCluskey’s podcast on Worship, Work and Play, I heard him reference this old adage: “If I had but two loaves of bread I would sell one of them and buy White Hyacinths to feed my soul.” – Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) Why does that capture us so?  And why does it even make any sense?  Surely if you were down to only two loaves of bread the responsible thing to do would be to guard them carefully and ration them out as food for your family. And yet a life without beauty is not … Read More

Don’t chase the snake

When I was 10 years old, one of my best friends was Bob Queen.  One afternoon while exploring the back acreage of our farms, a snake bit Bob. Seeing the snake slither off, my immediate response was to run after the snake, track him down and repay the scoundrel for what he had done to my friend.  Bob, however, being a much wiser hunter and outdoorsman, quickly pulled out his knife, lanced the bite, sucked the blood out and spit out the poison.  The focus for him was on his own well being, not on repaying the snake.  How often … Read More

Is it okay to lie on a resume?

We’ve all heard the stories about how a taxi driver was a “transportation logistics manager” on his resume and the greeter at WalMart becomes a “human relations director” in the next job search.  Now some people are contending that lying on a resume is so common that it’s necessary to get the better jobs.  In a new study, results show that after six months of checking out job titles, dates of employment and educational backgrounds of applicants, major misrepresentations were found in 42.7 percent of resumes they reviewed.  Lying has become so common, there’s even a website to help people … Read More

Work harder to kill your marriage

Here’s a frightening statement.  I read this week where a sales manager was berating his staff for missing their sales quotas.  He screamed at them, “If your marriage is not in trouble, it’s probably because you are not spending enough time on the road doing your job!”  Okay, now we’ve identified the idiot in the room.  How would you respond to that comment from your boss?  Is that the price to pay for “success” at work?  I hope not!  If you’re not making deposits for success in your personal relationships, physical health, and spiritual well-being, no amount of work success … Read More

My myopic pursuit of the almighty dollar

The lead-in question on the information requested when I coach with someone personally is this:  “Briefly describe your current work situation.”  Here is a classic response I received from a 28-yr-old:  “Antithetical to my personal and professional expectations.  And unfulfilling on multiple levels:  Lack of meaning and purpose; a myopic pursuit of the almighty dollar; a parasitic and never ending voyage into the shallow waters of avarice.”  Wow – this is a powerful and eloquent statement of being off track.  And of the understanding that money is never enough compensation for investing one’s time and energy. This young man continued:  “Because of the … Read More

Does the 48 Days Job Search process really work?

I received this note two days ago: Hi, Dan, I have read your book, 48 days, and I wanted to know does your job search process really work? I have been told that approach, mailing through the mail is old school, takes too long, people toss letters like that in the trash, email is faster, people keep emails as oppose to paper, etc. I have been out of work for 4 months now. I am totally petrified. I have tried networking, passing out my resume to family and friends, etc., and still nothing. I am not a fan of picking … Read More

Artist or employee – maybe not an either or

In preparation for Innovate, we are hearing from lots of “starving artists.”  You know the routine – you do a demo for your next album and hope to get a $100 gig at a local restaurant to buy groceries tomorrow.  Sell one painting for $300 then wonder how you’ll pay the rent this month.  Get your book published but then wonder how the $1.50 royalty is just compensation for all the work involved.  Not everyone tries to make a living from their “art.” The Story of T.S. Eliot T S Eliot was a British essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social … Read More

I Quit!

Being April 1st, getting spring fever, seeing friends who have gone on to better things – these can all give you the urge to just turn in your resignation letter and just say “I Quit!”  Well, here’s help.  This site makes it very easy to play out that fantasy.  You can identify all the unique characteristics of your job, pinpoint your feelings about your boss, list your next career (aroma therapist) and in general, vent your job frustration.  Then hit “Write it” and you will see your instant customized Resignation Letter. Just make sure your current boss isn’t looking over your … Read More

You seem overqualified – why do you want this job?

I hear this as a frequent interview response – “You are overqualified.”  One legitimate concern is that right now a lot of people are settling for “survival” jobs, where any job is better than nothing.  A firm in St. Louis advertised for attorneys at $25,000/yr and was flooded with responses.  And then the legitimate concern is that you will keep looking and move on at the first better opportunity. Job Applicant Beware But be aware that being told you are “overqualified” may simply be a very nice way of telling you they simply don’t want you.  It’s hard to be upset … Read More