No Excuses Accepted

I received an email from a guy who wants a new job. Of course, I counseled him on all the things I’ve shared on here about the reverse interview, networking, and Three Steps to Being Employed. And yet, I still received this message:

Basically, I want to work in the engineering field (Power, control or telecommunication) with a little bit of programming.  The major problem with me is, I did not go for a co-op or an intern during my time at college.  Most of the jobs are looking for experience.

I would like to start with a programming field and later switch to the core engineering field.  Or engineering company that do a little bit of software (programming).

For now I feel like my wish may not be fulfilled in this harsh economical times.  Most of the companies that I have applied haven’t replied.  Others are on hire freeze.  I have talked to a few recruiting firm using both email and telephone and they promised to let me know as soon as they get some openings.

Lastly, I want go back to graduate school as I work.

My response:

OK – you are working it the wrong way. You are doing all the things I told you do NOT work and not doing the things I told you that work. And if you want to believe the idea that “ For now I feel like my wish may not be fulfilled in this harsh economical times.”….fine with me… .but what a waste.

People are hiring NOW. Multiple people I know have used what I told them and NOW have jobs- and jobs they want. There is always an excuse for not getting what you want – but the real problem is looking at you in the mirror.

You were told how to do this – and yet you want to go out and talk to recruiting firms and “apply” to companies. If you keep doing this enough — it might get you a job. But there’s only an 8% chance that will pay off.

My suggestion…..

Quit making excuses. Your email is loaded with them.

Bad economy – Excuse. People ARE hiring NOW.

People are getting jobs. No COOP – Excuse.You cannot change the past. Be proactive towards the future.

Companies are looking  for experience  – Excuse.Go and get some experience. Any way you can. Volunteer if you have to. It’s all about priorities.

They have not replied to you – Excuse. You have to get the right people and go after them.

They promised to let you know – Excuse. Do not wait on them – they will likely never call.

No one wants to hire someone with excuses – they want people who get it done. So do it now. In fact, you hate people who make excuses – you want to be the get it done guy.

Figure out WHO you want to be like? Who in this are you want to work in is where you want to be? Don’t know? Sounds like to me leaders with companies like Revere Control, Alabama Power, etc, etc, etc, etc . (Please do not be limited by these names.) Get on linked in and search. See who is connected to who. Search the keywords you mentioned. Keep searching looking for people who sound like they are doing what you would LOVE to be doing. Find how you are connected, get introduced, and seek them out. If you need – start with those I can connect you with.

That stuff I told you in the IEM class was not just for joy – it REALLY works. You are not seeing what I said about people and their careers – if you go our route you will get a job, might be OK, and later you will be looking for another but have no idea how to get there. Your degree might be over – but now is the time to make it work FOR YOU.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Tim Taylor

    Great advice Dale. I like how you tell the truth as you see it and are direct in that approach. More people need to speak from the heart and give folks good solid advice like this. Plus I happen to agree with your suggestions. Life is full of reasons not to do things. I might get in a car wreck if I go to the grocery store so I’ll stay home. I might get turned down if I look for a job. I might risk some cash if I start my own company. I might catch the flu if I go out in public. I might not get a job because the economy is so bad. A person is either finding reasons to do something or finding reasons not to do something. It is just that simple. Granted some things are more challenging than others but if human is looking for reasons for something not to work I will promise you they will find it. If you look where you want to go and apply some energy and passion – you will find it or get real close.

  • Thanks Tim!

  • Here is a comment on Facebook left by Bill Johnson – founder of Alden Systems, Inc. Those hunting jobs should note carefully his comments on resumes!

    “Well said! I spent a lot of time on the other side of the desk, and cannot tell you how many resumes I pitched in the trash can. A slight grammar or punctuation error, a weird gap in employment, even a strange paper choice would be all it would take to get circular filed. (The point is that completely petty reasons can exclude a candidate)

    On the other hand, if someone that I respected gave me a lead, I would work hard to see what the candidate had to offer.

    There are no free lunches and we had a challenging interview process, but the recommended candidates often got into the process where the “front door” candidates rarely did.

    Thanks, Dale for telling it like it is!”