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Your Future Calls!
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Changing Lives and Creating New Futures
Changing Lives and Creating New Futures

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Sometimes human nature can be like a millstone around our necks, weighing us down.  When it comes to change, many of us cringe.  Many hate even the smallest change.  We tend to view it as something scary, risky, or uncomfortable.  For example, have you noticed how people always sit in the same chair or on the same side of a room?  Then one day, they arrive at the meeting a tad late.  Their favorite chair is taken!  A look of dread or discomfort spreads across their face.  Reluctantly, they take the remaining open seat on the opposite side of the room.  Uh-oh, they think, this is new.  I don't work with these  people. I don't really know them!  I’ve lost my self-confidence!  I no longer feel in control of my environment.  I don't like this change! 
All that emotion over the location of a chair!
Even when current habits or situations are painful, we still resist beneficial change.  Sadly, it's not until the pain of our current state seems greater than the perceived pain of change do we risk the plunge and undertake some type of change.
Why put up with dead end jobs and careers?  Why deny, rationalize, and suppress long term unhappiness?  Why remain in a state of stress and misery?
We've often heard the cliché "life is too short."  It is indeed!  All of us deserve lives of happiness and purpose.  If any part of your life is causing endless "pain”, don't wait to be happy, fulfilled, and driven by purpose and passion!  The clock is ticking.  Your Future Calls!  
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A lot of people don't like change. It can be uncomfortable, scary, & uncertain, etc.  But, let's face it, whether we like it or not, change is everywhere and it's not going anywhere. In fact,  I think the rate of change is accelerating!
Cheer up!  You can exercise and grow your "change muscles."  By experimenting with small, even tiny, changes, you will get more comfortable with larger ones.  Here are a few change muscle exercises. 
*Find a different way of driving home and do it for a week. 
*The next time you go out to eat, try a different restaurant.
*Vow to try one new restaurant every month.
*If you're eating eat in your customary or favorite place, order something entirely different. Keep doing it.
*Sit in a different part of the meeting room at work, next to people you don't normally work with. Introduce yourself.
*If you attend religious services, sit in a different part of the church or synagogue, etc.
*Speak up when you're normally reserved.
*Remain silent and reflective when you're typically talkative.
*Try a whole new hobby.
*Make a point of saying hello to someone new each week

The list could go on but you get the idea.  The more accustomed to change you become, the easier it will be!  As with physical exercise, start small and work your way up to bigger changes.  As dramatic changes will inevitably occur, you'll feel a lot more comfortable with them.
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The Sorry State of Recruiting & Hiring

Trying economic times like these can teach us many things.  We can learn about the true nature of people and organizations.  How people and organizations respond to adversity reveals much about their character. What we learn may either delight or discourage.  

As a coach and trainer, I have spent a fair amount of time helping wonderful people who lost their jobs during the great recession.  Despite impressive credentials and work histories, they’ve had an extraordinarily difficult time finding work that pays a living wage.  Adding insult to injury, they’ve been subjected to the dysfunctional recruiting and hiring practices of many organizations.

I will never grasp why, otherwise, successful businesses pay so little attention to the way they seek talent.  After all, they invest in research and development.  They allocate resources to train and retain a top flight sales and marketing staffs.  They regularly conduct market compensation surveys to ensure their payrolls are competitive.  This all makes perfect sense.  Why, then, do many employers seemingly exude incompetence, indifference, or rudeness while attracting qualified future employees?  This makes them appear schizophrenic.  Depending on one’s role or status, you’ll experience the different faces of the same organization.  What a way to operate!  Here are just a few specific of this conundrum.
The least seasoned and skilled HR reps too often conduct the critical and initial employment phone screenings.  Imagine you’re a finance professional with 20 years of experience.  You are being screened by someone a year out of college.  They have no clue about the open position’s requirements and your qualifications.  In fact, they barely understand your resume that they are reading for the first time while interviewing you. 
An acquaintance recently told me about an unemployed friend who had applied to a large employer.  After multiple phone screens and in-person interviews, he received a rejection form letter several weeks later.  The letter cited his lack of a college education.  In truth, the man had earned MBA 10 years earlier and had even discussed it with the hiring manager.
Hiring managers with poor or non-existent interviewing skills, much less social skills, can ask irrelevant, trick, or illegal questions.  At a previous employer, a highly accomplished candidate was ultimately rejected over the hiring manager’s wishes.  His boss felt the candidate’s dislike of an obscure elective undergraduate course meant that he wasn’t a serious and professional enough candidate.  It took another 9 months to find another qualified candidate.
Contract recruiters or employment agencies, with no real skin in the game, are the object of other complaints.  Job seekers sometimes regard them as “bottom feeders” or “flesh peddlers” because of their unscrupulous practices.  The single-minded focus on earning commissions over candidates’ needs turns some (not all) contract recruiters and agencies into hustlers and poor advocates for their client company.  
A good friend of mine happens to be an excellent recruiter.  His boss once told him “in this business, everyone lies.”  Some recruiters routinely fib about promising to keep candidates informed of their candidacy status.  Candidates are routinely rejected without ever knowing why.  Hiring managers frequently tell candidates that they are not the “right fit”.  This is often a blanket dodge to conceal the truth of their rejection.  State and federal employment laws, no doubt, are violated more frequently than we think.  Unfortunately, said violations are difficult to prove.  I once sat in a conference room discussing a candidate that I had just interviewed with a colleague.  I was amazed to hear my colleague deem them unsuitable for hire because they were too old.  The candidate appeared to be in their early 50s and the position certainly had no requirements related to age. 
The list of examples goes on but I believe I’ve made my point.  The recruiting and hiring practices are in great need of an overhaul!
To be fair, many recruiters and HR professionals are professional, talented, and ethical people.  Too many, however, are not.  The chief culprit is the system and less the people operating within it.  If the hiring and recruiting system were more transparent and ethical, unscrupulous individuals would find work elsewhere.
The shoddy treatment shown to many job candidates opposes every rule of professionalism and dignity that most of us were taught by our parents and teachers.  Such behavior also runs counter to basic business principles.  No business or individual can afford to create ill will toward anyone.  Today’s mistreated could be tomorrow’s potential customers.  Can you imagine what would happen if a company treated its customers the way they treated their job applicants?
This leads to my final point about values.  It should be common sense that values have a far better chance of sticking if they’re applied universally.  Treating people, according to their perceived worth, is not only moronic it’s immoral.
In a later post, I will offer some suggestions for humanizing the recruiting and hiring process.
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