Get Off Your Duff
One of my pet peeves is the individual who loses his job, receives a big severance deal, and then doesn't really look for a job until the severance pay runs out. This scenario has happened so many times in health care employment, that many of us in the recruiting and outplacement fields have begun to look upon excessive severance (longer than one year) as a potential hindrance to a candidate's getting a job. Some candidates with a cushy severance income seem to think they can take their time about looking for a job. They goof off around the house, play golf, take extended vacations, and tend the vegetable garden when they should be out making things happen. I have often heard these types say that they are taking their time, waiting for the "right thing" to come along.
I cannot emphasize how foolish this attitude of waiting for the "right thing" is. Ironically, the longer a person is out of work, the more difficult it is for that person to get any job, much less the "right thing." After a year's unemployment, they have to consider accepting the very jobs that they turned down earlier in their search for the "right thing"-if the potential employers will even talk to them. Employers tend to ask themselves if there is something wrong with the candidate who has been unemployed for an extended period of time. After a year, candidates can start to appear desperate and talk about all the times they came in number two in a search. All of these things add up to a negative impression of the out-of-work candidate. The job market for health care executives is very volatile. Many qualified and experienced people are out of work, and few new positions are being created because health care organizations are flattening their management ranks and consolidating their ventures. My advice: Get off your duff and start to work immediately to find your next job.
Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about the search process is the number of times that one gets bad news or has hopes dashed. After a number of setbacks, it is hard for a job seeker to pick himself or herself up, dial a new telephone number, talk to another stranger, and maintain an upbeat, positive attitude. This chapter was written for those periods in your job search when you are discouraged and need a pick-me-up. Whenever you feel that you can't win for losing in your job search, return to these pages for inspiration.
Persistence and Perseverance
In conducting a job search, like any other major endeavor, one cannot overestimate the need for perseverance and persistence. To get the right number of contacts to form an effective network and find a new position requires hard work. Dogged determination is what separates the successful job search from the unsuccessful ones. I personally learned perseverance early on in my life when I started college at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. With my small-town upbringing, I had no idea of the amount of hard work necessary to succeed at this school. I was totally unprepared, intellectually and emotionally, both for the academic work and for the college professors who did not care as much about me personally as the high school teachers in my hometown. My first year nearly broke my spirit as I struggled from class to class, trying to grasp the material and keep my grade point average high enough to stay in school. As the quarters rolled on, I improved somewhat, but it was not until my junior year that I earned my first A in a class. As I look back now, the experience at Georgia Tech was my first exposure to the fundamental role played by persistence and perseverance in reaching our goals.
The lessons of persistence and perseverance have stayed with me all my life. I went on to earn my master's degree in accounting at Georgia State University and was named to Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honors society. What makes these accomplishments especially noteworthy is that I earned my master's degree while also working 40 hours a week over the two years I was in school. Not bad for someone who barely squeaked through his first year of college. If I can do it, anyone can. All it takes is persistence and perseverance. Not long after founding Tyler & Company, I came across the saying in. This quotation was originally attributed to Ray Kroc, who built the McDonald's Corporation, and was known as McDonald's Creed. I called McDonald's when I first saw the saying in order to get permission to reprint it. The public relations people at McDonald's told me that, although the quotation had been attributed to Kroc, he had picked it up from somewhere else. In fact, recently I have seen it attributed to Calvin Coolidge. Because I admire Ray Kroc more than Calvin Coolidge, I am still content to call it McDonald's Creed. You have our permission to reproduce it and put it on your desk to remind you always to persevere. I hope it gives you as much inspiration and drive as it has given me.