Job Search Insanity Part 1


I had been rejected again. Bob told me to leave and that I wouldn’t need to finish out my two weeks notice. I was jobless. Apart of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics blah blah blah.

Then I suddenly became deranged and actually thought about owning a fleet of 18 wheelers because I thought I was good at logistics. What does logistics even mean?

I went to truck driving school for Swift to get my CDL. Because in order to own a fleet of 18 wheelers you need to know how to drive one. My flawed logic.  I had to take a Greyhound bus from Northern Michigan to Memphis. Worst trip of my life. I cried.

I was there for 3 weeks. I think. I barely graduated. My truck driver trainer called me “Nervous” in this strange down home brother like accent. I was nervous and now it was my nickname.

I was sent back to Detroit to await my driving assignments while living in a motel. All I did was eat fast food and watch TV for 10-12 hours a day. I gained weight.

My 18 wheeler business dream ended in 3 months. I couldn’t hang living in rest stops and sleeping in the back of trucks. You take showers in scary places and eat out of vending machines. There are no Whole Foods for truck drivers. Great business idea!

I told Swift that they could have their truck back but they wanted thousands of dollars for teaching me how to drive their truck. I disagreed with them.

I was now jobless. I use to sell cars and was pretty good at it. I had a reputation for selling the shit out of cars. Every dealer I called gave me the runaround. I was doomed. I was freaking out.

I went to Manpower and got a factory job. Yes a job a robot could do ten times faster and more efficient. I would pick up plastic parts off of a conveyer belt and put them into a box for 8 hours a day and I would do it at night.

I was a professional salesman who couldn’t get back in the game. I was blacklisted. I would beg car guys to hire me. I would cry. I would dream about selling cars again. I was insane.

Then Robin, one of the best men I know, called back. He got me a gig selling cars. I cried. I finally get to check out of the insane asylum.

Ideas for coping with the insanity of a job search.

It really isn’t you it’s us

When any business is hiring somebody they get spooked out. They overthink the process. They don’t want to hire the wrong person and waste time and money firing them and then replacing them.

The boss loves to have as many resume options as possible for the job they need done. There is this belief that there is an over abundance of qualified people for the job and if you’re patient the right resume may come along.

Education doesn’t equal opportunity

Colleges don’t see their job as preparing you for finding a job. Their goal is to educate you and that’s it. Sure they have a career advisor you can talk to.

A college’s goal is to teach you to think critically. Your livelihood isn’t their problem. I’ve worked with recruiters with Masters Degrees that didn’t know how to recruit.

The best recruiter I know is a Marine. I don’t think he has a degree. Semper Fi baby!

Amateur Hour

I went to a networking event and interviewed some college kids who are all brilliant and smarter than me. But most of them were amateurs. They know how to study and do class projects. They also know how to party.

You and I live the real world. There are no As and Bs. It is get the job done or don’t pay the bills. Cars get repossessed and houses goes into foreclosure. We don’t have much margin for error.

Amateur hour in a job search is applying to jobs online blindly without knowing how to get through a window.

Find a window

A pro doesn’t need to go through the front door of a company. They don’t want to because they know that there are a 1000 guards ready to smash you.

Submitting your resume with a cover letter to HR, blah blah blah puke I’m getting sick, is how an amatuer searches for a job.

Our applicant tracking system hates your resume and it will get lost. I’m sorry but your resume is one of a 1000 that company received this month.

Finding a window means knowing someone on the inside. Crawl through the window and stop the madness.

I’ll follow up with a part two with more job search strategies that helps me keep my sanity.



A boss’s recommendation

A businessman sat on a rocking horse

I was constantly avoiding my boss. I didn’t want to return his calls or acknowledge his existence. I had been offered a contract recruiting gig that was going to be a more interesting job than the one I had.

I didn’t know how to tell him that I was leaving him. I can’t use him as a reference. Maybe I can use him but I feel bad for leaving him.

When I worked for Dennis I did the same thing. I was lured away by another dealership that promised me the world. I was dreaming big and didn’t appreciate how good I had it.

Dennis did write me a good reference. You can see it on my LinkedIn profile.

Here are a few options for getting your boss to give you a reference for a new job.

Tell her it’s for a promotional opportunity. If you’re good at what you do, they will have no problem giving you a strong recommendation.

Another field
Jumping from the nonprofit world into recruiting made getting a recommendation from my boss easy since I wasn’t jumping ship to another competing non profit. Nonprofits compete for donations and charity. It’s weird but it is true.

Demoting yourself
Maybe you want to move out of a position that isn’t as high stressed or allows you more free time to work on a few side ventures. Your boss will most likely envy your situation.

I’ve recruited a ton of engineering managers who wanted to go back into the trenches and not have to worry about being the boss.

Tell your boss that this new job is much closer to your house and you will be saving time and gas going to work everyday.

Negotiate this benefit in the job you’re looking to get even if it means one day a week you can work from home. Either way, your boss will be understanding of this added benefit if you don’t currently have it.

Work life balance blah….blah….blah….
This term is all the rage right now. Every company thinks they give great work life balance but most don’t. Again, tread lightly your boss may love all of these options and want to come to this new job with you.

Paying for school
This new company is going to pay you to go back to school and get some fancy graduate degree. Maybe your current company offer this, but whatever the case, you’re trying to convince your boss to give you a great recommendation and getting a better education is a good option.

This new company is going to be the next Google
Be careful because again your boss my want to follow you along to this next company. Talk about the innovative business you are about to embark on. Yeah, talk it up. Don’t be surprised if your boss doesn’t ask you to push their resume through.

When I left the nonprofit world I actually had that happen to me. Colleagues and bosses wanted me to “hook them up” because I was going into the recruiting world.

They have a fitness program
You want to get in shape and taking this job will allow that for you. You need this reference to score this sweet gig with a fitness program.

Figure out what the best option is for you and let your boss in on your game plan to jump ship. Good bosses will want the best for you.

If your boss thinks you stink at your job then the ideas presented above may not be very helpful.

Lying to your boss

angry boss

I use to lie all of the time. Mainly to avoid the wrath of my father and getting my ass whooped by him. I didn’t know that they called it child abuse. He really wasn’t abusing me. But I lied to his face a lot and I had the ass whooping coming.

You have lied to your boss about missing work and you made up a story about your fake cousin’s death……

Now your boss wants proof.

You may be in a pickle, my friend.

Option 1:

Take the high road and let your family shame you. Lose your job and slowly work toward rebuilding your life.

Option 2:

Have create a obiturary of your fake cousin’s death. I doubt that getting a copy of a death certificate for a random cousin is necessary. An obituary is much easier.

Option 3:

Avoid your manager. Keep blowing him off. Tell him you’re ridden with guilt about this whole situation. Take the lie even deeper if you want. Tell him that you some-how feel responsible for your cousin’s death.

Option 4:

Appear absolutely delusional about the entire situation. Go to a psychiatrist and tell them that you hear the voices of your parents in your head telling you you aren’t good enough. You need meds to calm the voices down. You may not have access to this option. I don’t know.

Option 5:

Be over dramatic. Bosses hate drama. Go into a long diatribe about the drama in your family over your cousin’s death and how it impacted the family dynamic. When my employees go on about their drama I shut down and stop listening. Maybe that’s why I’m a terrible boss. I don’t mean to, I just do.

Option 6:

Tell him that your cousin was so poor that the family didn’t have a funeral. You couldn’t even find a priest or whatever appropriate religious figure to perform the ceremony. Go on about him being homeless and how he was a shame to your family but you were the only one who stood by him. The bigger the story the better.

Option 7:

Most of the people on this post want you to buck up and tell the truth. Well you probably should but who am I to judge. I’m guilty of telling lies. I would be a hypocrite. We all lie to ourselves everyday.

Option 8:

Keep insisting that you gave the information to your boss over and over. Then accuse him of sabotaging your ability to follow the bereavement process.

Option 9:

Tell him, I’m assuming your boss is a him, that you need even more time off and that you need time to clear your head about this whole situation.

Option 10:

This is the most absurd and craziest option. Beware as this might piss some readers off. Tell your boss that you think you were in love with your cousin and that he or she was your soulmate.

Falling in love with a cousin is common. He will most likely understand since he almost certainly had a cousin back in the day that he had a crush on.

9 of these options are really bad. Only 1 is true and noble. Tell the truth and start the journey to restore your character. In my experience, it has been worth it for me.

How to get a raise

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My VP of sales told me they were cutting our pay because the economy was bad. All of the churches we were sending invoices to weren’t paying their bills.


It was 2008 and I was pedaling video based bible studies over the phone. I had just moved from Michigan to Texas and I need a job. I left a pretty lucrative job in the car biz. I needed any gig that would get me to Texas to win over this woman I was pretty crazy over.


This Non-profit ministry was a bit shady. I didn’t care at the time because I needed to get paid. Not only did I need to get paid, they wanted to cut our pay.


Within six months I got a 50% raise.


How to get a 50% raise?


This VP of sales guy had a “bleeding neck problem” that I could help solve. He wanted to pedal a subscription to churches. The subscription would be very expensive and lucrative for our “non-profit” ministry. Even though the economy was in rough shape.


This isn’t advice since different things work for different people. Figure out the “bleeding neck problem” and solve it. Preferably on the revenue-generating side of the business.


Learn to create a product or service


When I was selling used cars. Yes, I sold used cars and I loved it! I helped create a finance product for us and my income grew by 40% in two years.


Do work that adds to the bottom line


If you cannot connect the dots where you work impacts the bottom line of the biz then forget about getting a raise. Your company is trying to figure out ways to outsource your job to people who are willing to do it cheaper. I know that hurts. You may even be pissed that I’m telling you this. I’m sorry, I’ve done work that has been outsourced and it sucks.


Make your boss look like a rockstar


My boss is a rockstar. My job is to make her look more and more like a rockstar. Help your boss get a raise. She will go to bat for you. Figure out their bleeding neck problem and work day and night to solve it. Add to her bottom line and she will add to yours.


Get promoted to another department


Take another exec from another department to coffee. Pick their brain and ask them what you can do on the side to help them. Make them look like a rockstar. You make them look good and they will take care of you I promise.


Give away ideas for free


Check out idea guru James Altucher’s blog about idea generation it works. Always be creating and spreading ideas and giving them away to your boss. Again focus on ideas the help add revenue or decrease cost.


Give yourself a raise


Let’s say 30% of your current salary is $1000 per month. Find a supplement income stream that brings in the extra money.


Shana and I are going to make designer chalkboards that moms use to decorate play rooms. We sell 10 per month and we are making an $1000 per month. Rinse and repeat and then maybe you have a business of your own.


Who knows, your boss may one day ask you for a job!