Breaking Bad: Mobile Networking Mistakes

There was a powerful scene in the fifth season of AMC’s award winning show, “Breaking Bad”. In it, Walter White (a.k.a. Heisenberg, a high school chemistry teacher turned master meth cook and drug lord) offers a potential drug distributor a percent of his risky business. What unfolds is a highly unconventional business dialogue, with far more tension than your typical distribution agreement or salary negotiation.

The episode is entitled “Say My Name”. It’s worth taking the two minutes to watch the scene included above but for our purposes, I’ll summarize. After offering to cut the drug distributor in for a mere 35% of Walter’s growing enterprise, the scene unfolds as follows:

Drug distributor: “Who the hell are you?”
Walter White: “You know… you all know exactly who I am.”
Drug distributor: “Do what… I, I don’t have a damn clue who the hell you are.”
Walter gives the distributor some background of his nefarious activities and the distributor realizes who he’s dealing with.
Walter White: “That’s right… now, say my name. “

I thought of this episode when I was speaking with a client who had texted a former colleague and received a curt text reply along the lines of, “Who the hell are you?” The former colleague went on to say “I’m not in the habit of memorizing phone numbers.”

We’ve all done this before. I know I have, texted someone forgetting that you might not be in their contact list and the recipient had no clue who you were. In fact, this just happened to me this past week with a dear friend, my name wasn’t listed among his contacts and he didn’t recognize my phone number. Once he knew who I was, our communication improved dramatically.

This is important to remember as you’re reaching out to people and networking in your efforts to make a career transition or build relationships. Remember to identify yourself in the text, in other words, “Say your name!”

~Linda

Two Reasons Hiring May Be Up This Season

HiredThere are several factors to take into account when entering into the job market. These include internal considerations that require introspection, things like whether you are being challenged at work; whether there is room for growth in the future; and how your organization is performing.

There are also external elements that come into play. One significant factor, especially in recent years, is the economy. So far, the economic news has been improving: the stock market has been surging, the housing market is also on the rise, and unemployment figures are on the decline, so too are gas prices. An improved economy generally means more movement on the hiring front.

But another significant trend to take into consideration is the season. Traditionally hiring increases in the spring of each year. Companies flush with their new budgets and ready to grow, particularly after stagnating during our recent tumultuous times, are looking to bring on new talent to make a fresh start or to jump start their performance.

Now that you’ve had time to relax, refresh and revitalize over the holiday season, this could be the perfect time for you to resolve to take on that new challenge and pursue a more prosperous 2014.

~Linda

Delegating An Executive Job Search Or Manning Up

blogYou’re an executive, a visionary leader who develops big picture operating plans and strategic roadmaps then delegates different roles to your teams to carryout as you spearhead the implementation. That’s been your M.O. for success throughout your career, so why not do the same with your job search?

First, let me say that no one likes looking for a job. Even executives who voluntarily elect to change positions in an effort to find a new, more challenging role or to advance their careers. Why? Because it takes time, commitment and some hard work. It actually goes against human nature, which is to take the path of least resistance. But these are people who consistently push themselves out of the box, who are not satisfied with the status quo and have the drive to excel.

Even so, there are times when these high fliers and hard workers believe they can delegate a job search or career transition to someone else. I’m here to tell you that while you should work with coaches and experts who will absolutely make your job search more effective and successful, you still have to do some heavy lifting.

For an apt analogy, let’s take a look at fitness and weight loss.  Here’s a multi-billion dollar industry, capitalizing on human nature and our desire to find the path of least resistance. Instead of putting in the hours at the gym and/or the self-restraint and discipline of dieting, people want an easy alternative, the magic fad diet, the revolutionary weight loss pill, or the weight loss without working out; this when we all know what it takes, diet and exercise.

For a specific example of someone willing to put in the time, let’s take a look at quarterback great Peyton Manning. The future hall of famer had to sit out the entire 2011 season enduring numerous neck surgeries. He was written off by many for lack of arm strength due to the surgeries and time off, yet Peyton put in the work and came back in a big way. It took time, effort, thousands of throws, drive and determination. And yes, work with some great coaches.

As is often quoted, “anything worth having is worth fighting for.” People who are successful put in the time. You can’t delegate someone to run, cycle or workout for you, but you can hire a trainer that will make you more effective and help you achieve outstanding results. The same is true of a job search. A great resume writer and career transition coach can make you more marketable and a far better competitor in the challenging job market, but at the end of the day, it’s you who has to take the field in order to be a winner.

~Linda