Archive for February, 2011

One of the things I hated early on was asking for permission (for anything). Asking for permission to use the john in grade school.

We had a girl in my second grade class who asked to go pee and the teacher wisely told her to hold it until class was over. Suddenly she bolted from her seat, tried to make it to the door, peed down her leg and onto the floor.

“Can I go out and play,” instead of “I am going out to play.”

Anyway, it is starts early and is endless.

By the time we reach adulthood we’re asking permission for everything. Waiting for that approving nod of the head from our duly appointed master and commander.

Asking girls out. Yes, no, maybe (which is really a no). How did that ever happen? How did we give away that much power?


Do you think this dress makes my butt look too big?

Then we’re searching for work and once again we go into the asking for permission format. Submitting resumes blindly these days via computer. Getting that silly auto response. Hoping for a reply when the chances are heavily against you ever hearing from them.

The only way I could find a way out was to stop working and stop asking girls out. This didn’t mean I would go hide in some hole. I would still have women friends, get laid now and then and even find another job once I was ready to work again. But the relief was from having to ask permission. I hated that part.

Having to ask permission.

The answer lay in accepting that rejection was just part of the game. Not minding or personalizing it and moving on. So if 10 companies rejected me (or ten girls) I just kept hunting. The cheetah doesn’t take it personally if the gazelle outruns it or if it kills the gazelle only to have the lion steal the meat. The cheetah has to qucikly slough it off and go hunt again. The cheetah’s that shrug it off, die off from starvation.

At 29 I ran into a gal who I went to high school with.After we chatted for a while she asked me why I had never asked her out back in school.

Well you were very pretty, very popular and a varsity cheerleader. I was an outlander at best.

Her retort. I thought you were cute and if you had asked me out, I would have said yes.



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Okay, I think I have done this one before but I can see it needs doing again.

In the Olympian heights of job hunting, no single element is as overrated as the resume.

Once, years ago I was doing a local cable TV show. I was being interviewed by the show’s host who wanted me to answer questions  she posed to me, using a teleprompter. She used a teleprompter and I would use one too.

Anyway, long story short. I refused.

Once the show got rolling, she asked me about the importance of the resume in the job search process.

She wanted me to say it was the most single important thing. I told her it was important and certainly was in the top ten.

“What are the other nine?” she asked, her voice quavering because we were drifting away from her script.

Networking, Networking, Networking, Networking, Networking….

Well, you get the idea.

Resume are easy. How often have you heard your friends, family members and associates say, “I am working on my resume.” A really good, in your back pocket, excuse not to begin a job search.

So, as a man of many jobs (remember, I am better at getting jobs than staying at jobs) I can tell you that 60-70% of all jobs filled in most industries are through referral. Someone knows someone. So it makes sense that you, the job hunter, should focus most of your efforts of expanding your network which means connecting with people.

These are the type of people who believe resumes get them the job.


I don’t look like these folks.

I look like this.


So it really does come down to who I know because when I show up people see wild animal, danger Will Robinson!

But then, I am a hunter. A rare beast who does not do well in captivity.

Now back to the resume. Do you really need one? Well, the answer is yes most of the time even though I got many jobs without one. But leading with the resume is archaic and ineffective. You should lead with your network so the resume becomes unimportant. The resume hurts the job searcher more than the job poster. It gives the job hunter a reason to put off networking which is the real heavy lifting of job search.

We will review your resume and get back to you if there is a fit.

Ever get one of those? In the old days they would send you a card in the mail. Now it can launched as an automated computerized response. Absolutely no pain for the company.

And what does it tell ya?;

It just means that you sent the resume to someone who didn’t know you (or didn’t know someone who knows you).

I have a hard rule. I never send a resume to someone who I haven’t talked to first. Almost all the good jobs I have gotten over the years were ones where I was referred into the company. Given that 60-70 % of jobs are filled through referral, I am being much more effective in time management. I hunt where there herd is, not where it ain’t.

Recently a friend of mine, who has been out of work for well over 4 years told me that he hated networking.

I thought to myself, you are doomed. Of course being out work for 4 years had already damned him.

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I think that I have mentioned the fact that I was fired right out of college. My very first job. That was 1967. I was 22 years old, single, still living at home and had no bills to speak of. Yeah, it hurt a bit but I saw it coming and frankly shrugged it off pretty quickly.

Sixteen years later I was laid off from Atari. Zapped might be the correct word. That was really the first time I tasted what it felt like to be jettisoned from the so-called mother ship. An ugly taste.  Two month severance, unemployment, our bills weren’t very high and besides my wife worked. It was more emotional than anything else. Maybe if I had not told my boss he was an idiot, I would have survived longer but in the end Atari was the Valley’s version of the Titanic. It was going down and most of the employees would eventually be laid off.

The smart ones fled early and often. I started out smart and went out and found another job but then was convinced that I should stay at Atari by my bosses boss (who meant well). Then a month later I was tossed.

Lesson learned.

Zoo animal behavior does not save your job.

A beast of prey can feel it coming and listens to the message. Zoo animals will stay and “hope”.

I learned a big lesson.

Don’t ever abdicate your career to anyone. You have skills and they are portable. The company can leave you or you can leave the company.

Once you are out, own your job search. Generally HR departments are there to cock-block you. They relish their role of keeping you OUT.

Yes, they are like the fat girl who keeps you from hitting on the pretty girl that you have in your cross hairs. Okay, or the sloppy room-mate that keeps you gals from ensnaring that high value guy you’ve been after.


One day you come to realize that the only things you have are your skills, your network and your ability to hunt. Give those away and you are relegated to the petting zoo of life.


I have known more than a few tigers that became tame kittens…..Of course after that they were no longer considered tigers.

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Network or die


LinkedIn Groups

  • Group: Coach-onthego
  • Subject: Networking Group ::: Coach-onthego from Jerry McCreary

I started a group called Coach-onthego to focus on networking. This is an online group to share networking content, discuss ideas, connect with people professionally, and share your job-seeking experience in a positive way. It would be great if you would consider joining. Jerry


Jerry “the Jackal”. A supreme networker. A true BEAST OF PREY. Jerry knows how to get jobs.

He helps others.

He knows what is going on in the valley.

I don’t normally join groups but then Jerry isn’t normal….Okay, maybe that didn’t come out right.

Maybe this explains it….

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”


In our world this is a job lead…


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My annual cold/flu came buzzing in low and fast cutting me up for the past week and a half. I feel better now but the cough is still there. There’s nothing for beasts or prey or zoo animals to learn from this. We all get colds. We all get sick. The difference this year was that there was no place I had to be.

I wasn’t missing work.

There was no work.

I think that true retirement may be the creation of a habitat. Food shows up and you begin to lose your hunting skills especially if you are a true beast of prey.

Zoo animals just have to look mean, adorable or throw shit at other animals.

Truly I feel like I am on the edge of a great escarpment. A place I have never been before. I once said that I would stop working when people stopped calling. Especially now that I have enough food in the habitat to live without hunting.

In other words retirement.

Well, people stopped calling and I am not out there drumming up new business.


Today, as I sat at home recuperating (I can take a long time to recuperate because I don’t have to be anywhere) I watched an old movie and just enjoyed feeling some other emotion than “I have a big list of things to do and I had better get back to work!”

As it is I am getting out of sync with work and people who work and their troubles, which used to be my troubles. We all got troubles but mine are more my asking myself  “What is next?” Not someone else telling me what is next.

I am losing my empathy but that may be a passage rite to whatever is next.

No one pitied me on my journey (nor did I want pity). People helped and I have helped others.

But we’re not all in this together.

It was a very lonely journey.

When you are working and everything is good, then others are all around you. When you get fired, YOU ARE ALONE!

So at the end of that journey you realize that it made you all the stronger.

People say, you’re not retired. Not really.

I am not so sure. I think I am done.

The beast of prey-zoo animal-habitat journey is very clear now.

I was all of the above at one time or the other. I was whatever I needed to be at the time to put food on the table. Freedom is not needing to be any of those things. Just cutting the anchor cables and casting free.

But you have to give yourself that permission.

Because something new is waiting out there for you.

Maybe even a pepperoni pizza or two.

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Had a zoo animal discussion with a zoo animal friend of mine (he fully understands the concept). He was peeved at the his company policy that stated if your performance fully met expectations (aka: “meets”) you would get no salary increase, bonus or stock at review time.

“So what does that mean?” he asked.

Fair question.

At Sun we had a letter grading system. A “G” was “meets” or as on of our V.P’s once said, “G means glad to have you.”

It means, Mr. Zoo Animal, that the raises are going to go to those who exceed performance standards or are in good with the boss, or both. They tend to be mutually exclusive though. Cocksuckers don’t tend to perform above expectations but they make the boss feel good and as a result get good raises, bonuses and stock.

After finished explaining this he looked at me and said, “This is a zoo animal conversation, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” I answered. “We’re just discussing the size of your cage.”

I went on to tell him that they way I handled this sort of thing was either to raise my level of performance or move companies (which I did on quite a few occasions….move companies that is).

Hey, Zoo Man, here is your annual raise…… (Actually they ain’t half bad…seriously).


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The last card. The Egyptian Army told Mubarak to go.

Now Egypt has a chance to have a democracy.

Not the Iranian Theocracy but a true parliamentary democracy.

It is the people of Iran who blink but they are blinking away tears of shame. Had they not gone home perhaps they would be free too. Free to choose their own form of government.

The game still has to be played out. Egypt has never had a democratic form of government…ever. This their chance. I hope they don’t blow it.

Megyn “the Fox” Kelly kept trying to make this a intelligence failure of the Obama administration and a victory for the Bush administration. Bush the paradigm leader of the democracy in the Middle East. One guest simply reminded her that Bush had authorized the invasion of Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9-11) but tolerated the absolute ruler of Saudi Arabia.

There is enough praise for both  President. What President doesn’t truly believe in democracy? Bush? Obama? Yes we are friends with dictators and yes, we are not at war with democracies (funny how that works).

Frankly, it was stupid, out-of-place and even her expert guests told she was off base but she get kept ramming it home. The great moment of history was there and she trivialized it over and over by making this about political parties in the US.

She of the long narrowed and unlighted eyes. A stone fox and just as monolithic

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