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A “No Regrets” Job Search

“I have no regrets.”

photo via godslovereal.com

These words were spoken by a friend of mine when I was 26 years old. He was four years older than me at the time, and as I sat sipping on a cool drink in the screened enclosure of his pool area that was attached to his 5,000 square foot home that overlooked the Indian River in Florida, I naively believed that was very possible.

After all, the pictures that adorned every wall in this home told of a very successful life. There were pictures of him and his family standing on majestic stretches of exotic beaches, photographs of expensive boats and cars they had owned. In addition to these, the home was decorated with extravagant souvenirs from all corners of the planet. The walls of his large office were plastered with certificates of achievements large and small. Trophies and other awards filled every nook and cranny of this palatial manor.

From where I was sitting, I could see the boat that cost more than most people’s homes tied to his dock, His wife, a beauty who could have easily adorned any fashion magazine, seemed to round out the dream life he had created for himself.

No regrets? Sure, I could believe that quite readily.

It’s been 20 years since that sun-drenched afternoon. And in those 20 years, I’ve come to realize what a preposterous comment that was. Since that time I’ve had the honor of sitting across the desk of several titans of industry, as well as the front porches of people who weren’t sure how the rent was going to get paid that month.

And in all of these people, regret was present. Not all regret is monumental, I will concede. Some regrets were as trivial as choosing the wrong tie. Some were as devastating as watching a business empire crumble because of poor decisions.

My old friend doesn’t know it to this day, but that one comment left an indelible impression on me. That’s not to say I myself have lived a life with no regrets since those words were uttered, but I do allow them to help me make decisions in a much more deliberate way. When at a crossroads, whether it be financial, personal, or business, I try to make decisions that will cause the least amount of regret.

Chocolate or vanilla? That’s an easy one.

Dark blue suit or something a little lighter? Let’s look at today’s forecast.

Dessert? No thanks, the 10 pounds of turkey I just inhaled still hasn’t quite settled.

For my next vacation, should I pack mukluks or flip-flops? I’ve yet to rue my decision on this one.

Not all decisions are this elementary and for those of us in the business world, most decisions require great amounts of thought and planning to prevent the wrong decision from devastating, not only our lives and careers, but those lives and careers of others that depend on the right decision being made.

According to an article I read recently, 82,000 jobs are being created per month in this country by people who are making good decisions. Unfortunately, over 8 million jobs have been lost during this recession. At that rate, it will take over 8 years to recoup the lost jobs.

Based on these figures, can you imagine a better time to make the decision to connect with a career professional? You won’t have to regret turning in a sub par resume or showing up unprepared at your next interview when you make the choice to employ the services of those whose only goal is giving their customers an edge in today’s job market.

When times are lean, even folks who have usually made the right decisions in their career path tend to be willing to pull back at a time when they most need to be pushing forward. At the bottom of a hill one is preparing to drive over, no one decides to hit the brakes. No, they increase the throttle to be sure they make it to the top. Resolve will almost always reduce regret.

By Rob Poindexter

When the Keys Rattle, Will You Be Ready?

I’ve always found the Japanese culture somewhat interesting, so when I ran

photo: originalprop.com

across an article recently about the way capital punishment is doled out, morbid curiosity found me reading the story.

It seems in Japan, all those charged with murder are tried by jury, and 99% are found guilty. The only means they employ as punishment is hanging. There is no other way to be put to death by the government in this country. You are not given a choice in the matter once you have been convicted. You are taken away from the court and led to your cell and wait your turn.

The gallows are located in a room that is rectangular in shape. One end of the rectangle is glassed off. This is where the few witnesses in attendance watch the condemned receive their punishment. Halfway between this room and the wall at the back of the death chamber are two blue squares, a larger one surrounding a smaller one. The smaller blue square is the trap door. Directly above the trap door is a recessed area in the ceiling where the noose hangs from a sturdy block.

The witness chamber as well as the ceiling are painted stark white, while the remaining walls are wood paneling. No one outside those who are members of the judicial system know where this room is located, including the country’s press.

The prisoner’s families are not notified of the execution until after it has been carried out.The nation’s press is not informed until the sentence has been carried out either. In fact, and what I found to be the most interesting aspect of this secrecy, the inmate is not told of his impending doom until just moments before he is led to the gallows.

I can only imagine the anxiety one must feel every time keys are jangled outside the cell door.

“Is today the day?” they must ask themselves any time a shadow darkens the space below the cell door.

“Are they here to change my linen or just to check on me? Are they bringing my meal or some message of hope? Or perhaps it’s the doctor come to give me an exam of some sort.”

The point is, they simply do not know what the next visit means.

As I read this article it occurred to me that many employees are in a similar condition, with the possible outcome being every bit as disconcerting as it is with these Japanese convicts. And while the odds are pretty good that their manager is not there to lead them to the gallows, losing one’s position can feel like death’s beckoning call. Not a mortal death per se, but certainly the end of one’s career future.

If you presently shudder every time you hear the clickety-clack of the heels attached to a highly polished pair of dress shoes, it may be time to get your affairs in order. One of the best ways to escape the career hangman’s noose is to make sure you have a resume that will help make your journey into the great unknown a little less frightful.

By Rob Poindexter, CareerTrend Pontificator

Wanderlust: Discover Your Career Path

By Rob Poindexter

by rse75/Flickr

Wanderlust, a loan word from German that came to English sometime between 1875 and 1902, depending on whom you ask. In German, the term has become somewhat obsolete. A more contemporary equivalent for the English wanderlust in the sense of “love of travel” would be Fernweh (literally “an ache for distance”).

Since the term is a noun, its initial letter is always capitalized in German (“Wanderlust”).

For me, the whole word is always capitalized (“WANDERLUST”).

It is, for me, and for those like me, a disease for which there is no cure other than the dirt nap we all have an appointment with, and even then I can’t be sure that I will be healed. It can however, like many diseases, be controlled to some degree. I can usually “scratch” the “itch” by reading a few lines in a well written adventure book, or travel magazine. But it is a temporary fix at best, and soon enough my feet will start to itch again.

It is also, at times, an evil taskmaster demanding my entire being and existence. At other times, it is a gentle friend bidding me to come sit for awhile in a foreign land.

Of course the biggest benefit for those of us afflicted by this malady is the great opportunity for discovery. The long list of noted adventurers can and do attest to this absolute fact.

Lewis and Clark, Christopher Columbus, Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Juan Ponce de Leon, Ferdinand Magellan, Galileo, just to name a few. These great discoverers changed the face of this world. They have changed history by introducing new ideas, and they have influenced the world order by claiming land for their respective countries.

In essence, discoverers continue to change the world even today.

One thing all discoverers, old and new, have in common, besides incurable wanderlust, is the need to record these discoveries and have on staff someone to do the writing.

I mean, think about it. If Juan Ponce de Leon had checked into the Hilton in Miami, and he and his crew just laid around on the beach for a few days before sailing back to Spain, and no one wrote any of it down, retirees and snowbirds might have had to settle on wintering in Atlanta instead.

Get the point?

And so it is for the job-seeker. Your career so far is wrought with discovery, albeit on a much more personal level. With each new challenge you have discovered your unique ability to rise to the occasion, and each of those occasions should duly and professionally be noted.

Is your own wanderlust forcing you to look to the horizon as far as your career path is concerned? Are you getting the proper credit for discoveries you’ve made so far? Is your current resume a map drawn on the back of a napkin or is it a professionally drawn chart with all the detail necessary for you to be become the next great discovery for your new company ?

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