Sunday, December 4, 2011


To continue on with the theme of the last blog-post...and to impart more of the wisdom from Danny Cahill's book, "Harper's Rules" are some of Harper's thoughts...and my own...on how to end the relationship.  In other to quit your job gracefully and professionally.  Remember last month's post....if it's time to go, then there is no time like the present to start a new adventure.

How to terminate a relationship...(quit a job).

1. Use direct, simple language. (Deliver the bad news in one sentence. Don’t say, “This is really hard for me, but…” or “I think” or “I don’t know how to say this…”.)

     *I know that you think you are softening the blow, but's time to just make a clean break.  Your boss will appreciate it, and it's just the best way to handle a difficult situation.  Be decisive...don't give them any reason to try to counter and talk you into staying....even though they will try.

2. Realize that this is not an exit interview. (This is not the time to tell them what went wrong. There are two kinds of breakups….the kind where you don’t really want to break up, but are trying to change the other person’s behavior…or the kind where you just want out. You just want out.)

     *The time for changing the relationship has passed...that should've happened during your periodic reviews.  You can't change a company's either adapt to it, or leave.

3. Never burn a bridge. (Offer 2 weeks' notice and let them know that you’ll work hard and not disparage the company.)

     *Depending on your industry, many company's just walk you out the door.  Don't take it personally, they are just doing what is standard for protecting their company intellectual property.  Even if you think that they will "walk you out" immediately....offer to stay on and transition your replacement or knowledge to whomever it needs to go.

4. Ask for a commitment to give a verbal reference.

     *Some companies have a policy in place that won't allow this.  Most employees will give you a good reference anyway - assuming that you don't burn a bridge and that  you've earned their respect.  Don't assume anything.  Ask for a cell phone and email address if they give you their commitment.

5. Offer to submit, for documentation, a written letter of resignation.

     *Again, this is not an exit interview or a "tell-all" magazine headline.  Just keep to the specifics of your last day, your offer to stay for 2 weeks from the date of verbal resignation, etc. 

I'd also like to suggest that if you do have an exit interview, you should make sure to use the time to discuss any business that needs to be taken care of before you leave the premises.  For example - get a copy of any documentation that you've signed (non-compete agreements, severance packages, etc.).  Also, here is the time to make sure to discuss and get in writing any compensation, bonuses, etc. that you are owed.  Make sure you know the company's policy on payments and the laws governing the workforce in your state.  Also, make sure to get any HR questions you may have answered - like benefits, cobra, etc.  Make sure you also return any company property and equipment. 

Surely every break-up doesn't go easily.  Follow these suggestions and at least you'll know how to act when a "wrench" get's thrown into the works.  Remember...never....never...never ever...accept a counter offer.  More on why not to come.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Harper's Rules - a great book by Danny Cahill

I recently finished a great book for all recruiters and job seekers alike. Danny Cahill is one of the best recruiter and sales trainers that I've had the chance to listen to/read. You can check out his work at:

So, I found it easier for me to pick some of his techniques up by summarizing his character (Sr. Recruiter) Harper's Rules for job seekers. Here is a small slice for anyone thinking that it might be time to change jobs....or "get some feelers out".

Should you leave or should you stay?

1. If you are acting like you are leaving your job…then you are leaving your job. (taking calls/emails from recruiters, looking at job boards, posting resume, etc.)

2. If you were unemployed and had a chance to interview for the job you are already in…would you? Would you be interested in looking at other opportunities? (If you are staying at your job just because you are already in it, then you should leave.)

3. Was it ever what you really wanted? (Did you compromise when you took this job?)

4. If you didn’t have bills or obligations, would you stay at your job? (“Money is how adults keep score…it counts, but it doesn’t keep us happy.”)

5. Do you believe what they tell you at work? (Has your boss or employer lost your trust? If so, that is an obstacle you cannot overcome.)

6. Do you love your job, but feel uncomfortable in your company culture? (Cultures do not change…you either assimilate or leave.)

7. Are you staying because they “need you right now” or because you “can’t do that to your colleagues”? (Get over yourself…your company will not only survive, but thrive with someone in your seat who is happy at work.)

8. Has your body already told you to leave, but you are hard of hearing? (Pain is the way of demanding change.)

By a copy of the book here:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The One Minute thoughts...

The One Minute Manager - my thoughts.......

So I just finished the book by Kenneth Blanchard, The One Minute Manager. What an easy read and insightful book. I have heard this referred to as a "must read" for every manager. The book is about 40 minutes of reading and full of insightful and simple tips on how to be effective leading people, leading businesses, and ultimately...leading yourself.

The book basically boils down to 3 "secrets" of being a One Minute Manager. Namely:
  1. One Minute Goal Setting
  2. One minute praising
  3. One minute reprimands

SECRET ONE: One Minute Goal Setting

Employee submits one-minute, one-page set of goals

  1. Agree on your goals
  2. See what good behavior looks like
  3. Write out each of your goals on a single piece of paper using less
    than 250 words
  4. Read and re-read each goal, which requires only a minute or so each
    time you do it.
  5. Take a minute every once and a while out of your day to look at your
    performance, and
  6. See whether or not your behavior matches you goal

SECRET TWO: One Minute Praising

When an employee does something right they are immediately praised for a minute.

  1. Tell people right from the start that you are going to let them know
    they are doing well.
  2. Praise people immediately
  3. Tell people what they did right, be specific.
  4. Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it
    helps the organization and other people that work there.
  5. Stop for a moment of silence to let them feel how good you feel.
  6. Encourage them to do more of the same
  7. Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear that you
    support their success in the organization

SECRET THREE: One minute reprimands

When an employee does something wrong they are to be reprimanded for a minute.

  1. Tell people beforehand that you are going to let them know what they are
    doing and in no uncertain terms.
  2. The first half of the reprimand: Reprimand people immediately
  3. Tell people why they did wrong, be specific.
  4. Tell people how you feel about what they did wrong - and in no
    uncertain terms
  5. Stop for a few seconds of uncomfortable silence and let them feel how
    you feel.
  6. The second half of the reprimand:
    Shake hands, or touch them in a way that lets them know you are
    honestly on their side
  7. Remind them how much you value them
  8. Reaffirm that you think well of them but not of their performance in
    this situation
  9. Realize that when the reprimand is over, it's over.

In addition to the easy to understand goal breakdown, one of my favorite quotes from the book was actually a story about Albert Einstein:

"When someone asked Einstein what his telephone number was - he had to look it up in a book. He never cluttered his mind with information he could find somewhere else."

I also loved the book in don't have to fully understand the "why's" of being a One Minute Manager to put it into practice. In fact, putting it into practice immediately and being able to laugh at your own mistakes will make you a better One Minute Manager.

Great book.....great concepts.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This is an EXCELLENT article from Judith Aquino at Business Insider that I just had to share! Here is the original link:

Check it out! It is called:

Headhunters Reveal 11 Ways To Ruin Your Chances Of Getting A Job

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I was able to participate in a great training today as part of my company’s weekly recruiter huddle/training session. The training subject matter today dealt with “Referrals” – specifically, how to obtain more referrals and make our jobs as recruiters easier. The training – though a few years old – was by a wonderful trainer in the recruiting industry named Danny Cahill ( On a side note, I find his trainings not only useful, but also entertaining. Of few of the concepts and examples of the Cahill training were definitely worth discussion, along with a few points I’ve considered important as well.

How many of you know what the Erdos number is? Ok…then how about the Bacon number? Yes…yes…as in the popular 90’s game “Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon”. Well, the Bacon number is actually a play on the original “Erdos number”. Paul Erdos (1913-1996) was a Hungarian mathematician who spent many of his later years living in a suitcase and writing/co-authoring mathematical papers with any colleague that would provide him room and board….at least 1525 of them. As a tongue-in-cheek tribute by fellow mathematicians, the Erdos number was a measure of the “collaborative distance” between any mathematician and their link to Erdos via other writers, and a humorous measure of their “mathematical prowess” based on how close the association was. In modern terms…how close you are to Kevin Bacon determines your “prowess” as an actor/actress.

Most mathematicians are connected to Erdos with a number of 8 or less…the average number being 4. Now, there is a point to referencing the Erdos number and the Bacon number or degrees of separation. My point…the world is a small place….and getting smaller every day. As either people looking for a new job or companies/hiring managers looking for the right person, we are not far from the perfect person!!! Our separation from what we are looking for is only a matter of finding the right person to help us out. And here is the best part….you never fully exhaust a network…people meet new people and open new gates every single day!

As a recruiter for the past few years, I’ve found that sometimes the best candidates are referrals from other candidates. Not only do Java developers hang out with other Java developers, but they also know database administrators, and QA Engineers, and sales people, and accountants, and managers, and receptionists, and buyers, and etc. etc. etc. Think about your own job and circle of friends…do you only talk to the people that do the exact same thing as you do? Of course you don’t…in fact, if you are anything like me, you probably spend more time talking to people that don’t do what you do for a living – because you are interested in learning more about the world around you.

So here are a few things that I think prevent us (whether as job seekers, hiring managers, or recruiters) from maximizing our ability to obtain referrals.

1. Ask. That’s right…just ask. Sometimes the simplest solution solves our most difficult problem. I am a believer that people for the most part WANT to help others. Especially if you have some type of a connection to them. I don’t have any empirical evidence, but as a recruiter for over 10 years, I’ve seen plenty of people willing to help others get a job – for no other reason than they “just wanted to help”.

2. Be honest when you ask. Nobody wants to fill tricked or mislead. Be very upfront when you ask someone for help finding a job, finding a person, or whatever. Again, people want to help…they don’t want to be tricked into helping! I have made many calls or sent many emails over the years to people that didn’t fit any job I was currently trying to fill, but simply to ask them who they know that might be a good fit. I believe people respect you for being direct, and it has kept me in the industry for many years.

3. Give referrals. Maybe another way to look at this is to “add value”. It’s much easier to ask for something important if you are also willing and able to give something important back. I’ve often been given the “what are you doing?” look by managers when telling candidates about jobs that I’m not recruiting on or won’t make any money on….only to receive the benefits down the road when they refer me great candidates.

4. Join groups. There are networking groups out there for just about every profession, all you have to do is look, ask, join, and then contribute. There are networking groups for people looking for work – through government, professional organizations, and non-profit groups like churches. Join, go to the meetings, exchange ideas, learn something new…and most importantly – go back to suggestions #1, 2, and 3….ask, be honest, add value.

5. Technology is your friend. Some of the best ways to build your network include Social Media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. LinkedIn has groups with job postings, discussions, people looking for work, idea exchanges, professional seminars, everything you can think of to help build your network. Facebook is a great place to exchange ideas and ask for help from friends and family. You’d be surprised about how many people will go out of their way to help you.

Looking for connections? Check my network and link to me at or