“People feeding” resumes

I’m sure at sometime in your life you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Sometime you need to just stop and watch the grass grow” or something similar. This phrase speaks of the nature of human beings being in so much of a rush and caught up in the monotony of life that they don’t stop and just breathe it in. A long time I learned that I was totally burning myself out on the way to success. I had my first child at 19 and the second at 21 but that was not going to stop me on the course that I had planned out. With children and mother in tow I set on a course with an unbreakable spirit.

This spirit can become your greatest ally in your battle but as I got older I realized it can be your greatest weakness. I was hell-bent on becoming the IT director of a company since I was inspired by one early on. My focus was too narrow though. Like a racehorse my rider (in this case my wife and children) could see that I could definitely still win the race in a landslide victory. The only problem was that my rider was falling off the horse and in a state of peril. Needless to say, I slowed down to spend more time with family and still won the race under my time limit.

In slowing down to watch the grass grow I devised a game that help pass the time. I would sometimes sit with people and instead of throwing popcorn to the pigeons I’d throw nickels and dimes to the humans. I called it “people feeding”. You just sit and watch all the people going by in a crowded walkway and toss out a coin and see who’ll pick it up. I found a perverse amusement in the person that showed their desperation in order to get the coin even though they probably had a pocket full of dollars.

A practice that I’ve adopted and I think that you should adopt also is doing the same with resumes. Well, at least the ones solicited to you for assistance from family, friends, or subordinates.  The delight will still come from the same source.  The desperation of the individual that really aspires to reach their goals and will do the work to get there.  Long gone are the days when people give me their resume and I end up editing it all night out of the kindness of my heart.  Soon I find the person isn’t giving 110% or trying to better themselves for more opportunities.  This can make you look bad in the long run.

Learn to devise a strategy with them for success.  If they really want it and have an unbreakable spirit to achieve they will be all for it.  You tell them what you think needs to be changed and only offer further assistance if they are prompt in returning for more corrections or approval.  Lastly, never (and I mean never) refer someone who doesn’t meet these criteria.

It’s not just about your reputation.  It’s a lesson in life.  When you really want something, you’ll go after it with a little encouragement.  If you don’t really want it you’re wasting everyone’s time.

If you’re that person that wants to get ahead then find that unbreakable spirit and look for good mentors if you can find them.  If not, still remember not to pick up the shiny nickel on the ground.  I may be watching.

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