Guest Blogger: Jerry Joyce
Harvey MacKay has written a book entitled “We Got Fired … And It’s the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us!”
In it, he offers, for people who have been fired, Seven Strategies that have stood the test of time in maintaining a positive attitude and in really improving the odds of finding a job.
I noticed how each of these Seven Strategies also applied to the building of a business, whether a “start-up,” an emerging business or one that is long established.
1 Understand exactly what went wrong in your last job and have a clear explanation of what happened. Don’t blame people. You are trying to find a job, not pin blame on others. Stress the positive things you are doing to make sure the same problem doesn’t happen again. In building a business: When things do go wrong with a customer or a client, and they will, the first order of business is to do all that is reasonable to make it right.
2 Don’t burn bridges unless you’re a good swimmer. There’s little percentage in badmouthing your former employer. The business side: There is no room for badmouthing anyone … it nearly always backfires.
3 Rehearse your job interview pitch with a mentor or friend. This includes your answers to tough questions a new employer might ask you. Business: There are two parallels here. The first is your “elevator speech” or your company’s “infomercial” in which you answer as clearly as possible the question, “What do you do?” The second is the need to practice what you will say when you are in front of a prospective client or customer.
4 Stay healthy and fit. You can’t project a positive attitude if you feel and look like you’ve been through the ringer. Business: Ditto!
5 Network everyday. Keep your references fresh. Stay in touch with people in the industry. Keep contacts alive with people who are working. It’s too easy to commiserate with others who are out of work. Pity parties are the pits … and are surefire attitude killers. Business: All are good things to do and to keep in mind. Developing good, positive relationships is essential to growth.
6 Go out and do volunteer work in the community. You’d be surprised how much talent is spotted by top execs who watch people who take on challenging community projects. Business: There are many reasons for, and many benefits from, becoming involved and really helping in the community.
7 Live your daily life against a well-planned schedule. Remember that getting a job IS a job. The next step is getting a paycheck. Business: The most effective business owners and managers I know are nuts about a well-planned (and well-executed) day.