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10 July, 2019 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, Career Transition/Outplacement, Job Search
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Doing What It Takes to Succeed In Your Job Search

Posted July 10th, 2019 | Author: John G. Self

EDITOR’s NOTE: Technical problems with WordPress, our blog host site, prevented us from posting the actual video. WordPress would not accept the YouTube link to embed the video in this post this morning, a frequent problem. They have no technical support to help us resolve the issue. To watch today’s video blog, click the video link. We apologize for any inconvenience


Today’s video blog is all about doing what it takes to succeed in a job search even when the necessary steps to success include actions that, all things considered, you would just as soon not think about, much less do it.

YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/eMU4E5ZNOmg

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Let me share Doug’s story to make my point.

  • Executive Vice President of a regional health system
  • He was the CEO’s COO, his go-to executive and confidant
  • Everything was great until the CEO decided to merge with a competing regional system, a long-held goal
  • That system had stumbled with EHR.  News stories reflected discord between leadership and the board 
  • The CEO was nearing retirement.  A chance to go out on top
  • A two-year golden parachute and a blended board to save face
  • At the end of the negotiation, at the last minute, the other system’s CEO threw a curveball. He wanted his COO to be the number 2 and take over as CEO when Doug’s boss retired in three more years.  His board supported the request 
  • Doug’s boss caved at the urging of his Chairman and Doug’s successful 12-year tenure came to an unceremonious close 
  • He was stunned, extremely angry at what he felt was a blatant betrayal after years of loyal and successful service   
  • His boss provided a generous guilt package – two years severance with salary and full benefits, a liberal outplacement allowance, and an additional one-time change of ownership bonus of $400,000.  Doug was surprised by the generosity but that did little to assuage his anger

After taking off a couple of months to deal with his grief and to relocate to a metropolitan city three hours away to begin his job search, Doug received another rude shock:  the job market had changed, dramatically so. 

Another Unwelcome Shock

And that is when he received yet another unwelcome shock to his system.  Everything he thought he knew about searching for a job was out of date.  His ego took a real hit when his career coach told him he was woefully unprepared to succeed in today’s job search market.

He was resistant when he was told that he would have to spend 30 to 40 hours each week in his office making new connections and posting on LinkedIn.  “People like me do not post on that silly social media thing.  I have a great track record.  I shouldn’t have to do those kinds of things.”

Doug’s frustration grew when he was told he needed to make 30 to 50 calls to expand his network and schedule four or five coffees, lunches or networking meetings each week.

Frustration Turned to Anger

His frustration bubbled into full-throated anger when his coach provided him weekly report forms that he would be expected to complete detailing the number of calls he made and to whom.  That was beneath him and he informed his coach in no uncertain terms that he was not a dog on a leash.

So the coach diplomatically gave Doug some space and Doug resorted to form – he sat back and waited for the recruiters to call.  A few did and he had a couple of interviews, but no offers.

Sixteen months into his search, with no real leads in sight, Doug’s transition coach arranged a reality luncheon. “Doug, you need to pay attention to the clock. It is running and if you do not land a job by the 20th month, finding a job will only become that much harder.   You are going to be seen as damaged goods and no one will want to touch you. “

“You are asking me to do things that are just not me,” Doug argued.  “I am just not comfortable doing these things,” he claimed.

Whether you want to work is up to you

“No, Doug,” came the career coach’s replay, “I am only asking you to do what it takes to succeed.  Whether you want to work is up to you.”

Of course, there is more to finding a job than executing on a digital and strategic networking plan but in this highly competitive market, those candidates who sit back and wait to be discovered probably will not. 

© 2019 John Gregory Self

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