Don’t burn it down…

When you decide to jump ship…

So you’ve decided to quit. Maybe for more money, work-life balance, family, career change, etc. but your next step shows who you are a person to your old employer and yourself. I get it, don’t think if someone offered me seven figures and a basket of puppies that I wouldn’t fly to wherever they needed me.

Give your two weeks, even if you know they may let you go right away. Don’t sit in your seat with a very big secret. Your company will also find out where you went to, even before LinkedIn, people talked. Do not give them something to talk about.

Don’t be a dick about it. Whomever you report to will respect you more if you’re straight up and honest. (If your company ends up countering, that’s a win-win!) Just tell them that you received an offer and you think it would be a great opportunity, yeah they may try to talk you out of it, but listen politely and still submit your two weeks.

If you don’t have two weeks. Still, talk to the person you report to but also explain you want to give them two weeks as is custom but that’s not an option for this opportunity. (If moving is involved you may need to cut your time shorter than expected)

DO NOT become a YouTube sensation with balls to the walls, you all suck meltdown. This will not work out for you. Remember how I said people talk? If you are staying in the same industry, there is a very good chance you are 3 degrees away from your new boss without even knowing it. Isn’t that how LinkedIn got so successful in the first place?

DO NOT wipe your laptop and walk out. Could you be more suspicious? Also if you think most companies still can’t retrieve some of that data after a “free downloadable” wiping service…. sorry where was I, I was laughing too hard.

Lastly, you never know where you will end up in the future. You may end up at a company that does business with your ex-company, you may hate your new job and wish to come back (The grass isn’t always greener), or even you may need a reference in the future.

Don’t set the bridge on fire.

 

Image result for dilbert quitting

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“Cold Calls”

Why I don’t believe in cold calls…

Before my fellow sales professionals jump down my throat, please allow me to explain. I don’t believe in TRADITIONAL 1950’s cold calling that still goes on today.

“Hey, Bob, bobby, bob-man! This is Fred, I’m from so-and-so, LLC wanted to hit you up about my services…”

First of all, Bob already hates you.  Second, do your F-ing research!!!

It’s the year 2017, picture the world with computers in our pockets, endless information about publically traded companies and a pretty good amount of private companies on the internet to assist your calls. One step further, the person you wish to connect with probably has a LinkedIn, this profile tells a story, where they came from, interests, it may give away their DiSC (you’ve seen this corporate training right?). Endless amounts of info at your disposal to assist you in your connection.

Networking is great because you get pieces of people at these events and this assists you in your calls. The internet can do the same. Information is out there for the taking, that’s the whole point of LinkedIn. Of course, don’t start a call with “I love pineapple upside down cake too!” (Maybe this could work for a bakery, depending on what your service is.) With that being said if you sell recruiting services and Glassdoor has poor reviews of the company, this could also be your way in. You should be there to assist and help solve a problem, build a lasting relationship.

By all means, if you are in a pyramid scheme please keep cold calling, real sales professionals are judging you anyway, and you make us look better. For the real professionals, it’s time to come into the 21st century. There’s no reason we are still making blind calls, but it happens every day. It also may be why you aren’t successful.

Some companies still have outcall requirements… So Fred gets to keep his job because he gets hung up on 50 times a day but Megan gets her hand slapped (metaphorically) because she had 5 calls, but were all an hour long and is in the process of closing 3 contracts. Which is better for your business?

Why your startup may fail before you begin…

I like to go on interviews for fun especially if I’m sought out. I don’t see it as wasting anyone’s time, valuable information gets shared in these meetings behind closed doors. Market strategy and ideas are very valuable. I recently decided to meet with a startup, and politely declined moving forward in the process before they could even think about moving forward with me. Let me tell you what I learned:

  • Have a strategy: ANY strategy and if your strategy is “warm bodies in seats” this is not a very well thought out strategy. I always ask what the company’s strategy is for whatever year it is and their five-year plan. It’s only fair, I am expected to answer the same question, and it shows you’re interested. When the answer is “We’ll do any thing to fill seats”… STOP! RUNAWAY!
    • First of all that raises flags for me on ethics.
    • You do not have a market strategy? Do you want to be successful?
    • This is also usually a flag for “We’re hoping we get purchased by a larger company.”
  • To truly grow your company you will need top management and sales department recruits. Unless someone is personally invested in your business they probably aren’t going to take the job for less than they make. No matter how much “unlimited commission” you offer. If a person doesn’t negotiate or takes what you are offering:
    • They hate their current job.
    • They lied.
    • They are about to be fired.
    • They are not nearly as good as their resume says.
  • Speaking of pay, your management and sales team is where you need to invest. You already have the product or service now it’s time to convince others they do too. If you expect to offer an entry level salary, you are going to get entry level people.

I salute your endeavors to begin your own company and move out into the world. There are many consulting firms that assist with these projects, I suggest you hire one. You may not have a strategy at first or how you want to introduce your sales cycle but their are people out there, veterans of the marketplace, who are for hire to assist your goals.

Worklife

I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection and mindfulness recently to counter my anxiety. Along with reading blogs and articles about what could be the root of my problem. I’ve been at my company for over five years. At first, I was getting my feet wet, and then I was promoted to a position I didn’t love, I felt underpaid and under apprciated. I was promoted again and it was better for awhile and then the rut started again this more quickly than the last. I realized it’s not the job itself, it’s the culture.

I then found this article on Forbes.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2016/03/03/hate-your-job-heres-what-its-costing-you/#589b73476630

Hating your job has negative health effects.

  • Weight Gain
  • Illness
  • Mental Health
  • Stress
  • Losing Sleep
  • It will hinder your personal life
  • Lower motivation and passion
  • It can kill your confidence and self-worth
  • It’s holding you back from what you really want to do

Everything I have been feeling in one article. I’ve never been the person who needs constant praise but a “Nice presentation” wouldn’t be too much to ask. My clients love me more than my company does. I have had some call to say “hi” and ask how my day is going, I’ve never had a manager ask how my day is going…

After much self-reflection the realization that it isn’t me or the particular job I am doing, it’s the company and the culture. The churn and burn, stay until it’s done, have a quota worth millions but yet make less than $40K. The truth of the matter is, I’m just horribly unhappy and need to start looking outside my company. Some of this realization came from when I applied for a promotion and received a robo e-mail from my own company, they chose someone else. I didn’t even deserve a “thanks for applying, we had some great candidates” (There were only ten candidates they chose four). Yes, I could ask for feedback which would be proper, but I’m just done the last straw situation. I’m just a warm body in a seat, I’ve made the company over a billion dollars in my tenure but I’m just a number. (Fun story, this is why I dropped out of the first University I went to. It was large and 500 people in my class, I couldn’t learn that way.)

So now the job hunt starts, but where to start…

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AWS

The release of the Technostress post couldn’t have been timed better if I had tried. (I swear I didn’t take downAmazon)

If you don’t know what’s going on check out TechCrunch first: https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/28/amazon-aws-s3-outage-is-breaking-things-for-a-lot-of-websites-and-apps/

Although the exact cause has not been released the error is clearly coming out of one of Amazon’s server farms taking down the East Coast. I tell my customers Hardware before Software. Crazy idea, I know, in the era of apps and everything you could ever know at your fingertips, the software will not fix a hardware issue. The software can assist in load balances to a point, but servers are strained every day depending on what you are running.

For years the technology industry has gone crazy over “cloud”. The cloud isn’t a cloud and a horrible term but highly marketable. Your information is just hosted somewhere else and the host gets to bill you per license. Hooray for overcharging! Honestly, it isn’t that bad of a system for small companies getting off the ground but these have been marketed as a long-term solution. If you depend on your own server(s) you could still go down, but Amazon currently has most of the East Coast down; overpromising and under delivering. Most server farms have a failover plan. If a server goes down it will disconnect and go to the backup server. This brings me back to my point. This is the reason why server farms exist. Load balancing and backup failover precautions cost money upfront. Take whatever technology quote you have and immediately multiply it by two. $$$$$

Amazon is one of the biggest customers for cloud as a service. When something like this happens to the largest supplier it will most likely disrupt the market. I’ll be watching this intently to see what the cause was and what marketing spin comes out of this.

As for any of you using AWS, take some vitamin D, mediate, and hope your cortisol levels don’t get too bad. (See the previous post)

Technostress

What really happens to your body during technostress? I’m going to briefly tell you about a study done in 2012 in Australia and then pull some conclusions.

  • 20 male students participated
  • 10 in the experimental group
  • 10 in the control group
  • each participant chewed a cotton ball before and after the study to measure the cortisol levels in the body

Each participant was told to put items in a shopping cart online. (Simple enough task) Nothing happened to the control group after two minutes they were told they were done and could be on their way. The experimental group was given an error message preventing them from their task two minutes in. Researchers told the group there was an error and apologized.

The experimental group showed an increased level cortisol. Even after such a mundane task with no real urgency.

The stress hormone, cortisol, is public health enemy number one. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease… The list goes on and on.

How many times have you been at the office or in a hotel and your internet goes out? Dropped call? (I really can’t hear you right now) Tried to send an email but the file size was too large? The list can go on.

Every time this happens cortisol goes to work, trying to balance out your stress level. Maybe you were talking to a client or had to get your homework emailed in by a certain time/date. Take for instance you are using old equipment at school or work and these types of occurrences happen on a regular basis. Cortisol levels will stay elevated, you may become sicker after being exposed to a cold, your memory may not be as good, and of course the stress on your heart and body in general.

Technostress is real and can be measured, more companies should take these studies into consideration when putting off a system upgrade or software roll-out without proper training. We are only doing ourselves a disservice continuing the way we are.

What is the biggest technostress you deal with? How could it be addressed and by whom?

References:

Riedl, R., Kindermann, H., Auinger, A., & Javor, A. (2012). Technostress from a Neurobiological Perspective. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 4(2), 61-69.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1

 

Technostress

Stay tuned for tomorrow when I discuss technostress and a great physiological study from 2012.

“Michelle Weil and Larry Rosen, who defined it (technostress) as ‘any negative impact on attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, or body physiology that is caused either directly or indirectly by technology.’” (Riedl, R., Kindermann, H., Auinger, A., & Javor, A, 2012, p.61-62)