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It’s Not Fair

When you’re a little kid, everything is unfair.

The fact that I had to go to bed before the end of a basketball game on TV. Or that my sister got birthday presents on her birthday but not me. Or that I couldn’t ride my bike out to the lake with my friends.

It wasn’t fair. So because it was unfair, I gave myself a license to throw a fit and act like a little jerk.

So when we did an internal promotion a couple of years ago, I heard the same refrain again. Only this time it was from a sales rep who thought he should have got the job. He berated the process, the people involved and the person chosen all because, in his mind at least, the process was completely unfair.

No hiring process is 100% fair. I don’t know about anyone else in our industry but I do my best to try to make the process as fair as possible. To take any non-job determining factors out of the equation is a minimum. To take active steps to ensure fairness throughout is just a good practice.

And that’s exactly what we did.

So what was unfair?

Our sales representative wasn’t prepared. He bad mouthed another co-worker. He inadvertently advertised that he lacked judgment and leadership we were looking for. We needed a person who could step into the role with minimum training. I knew from looking at everything in his background that he could do the job. He had the right skills. But by not showing up for the interview, he didn’t inspire the confidence of our group. We had several qualified candidates too so it wasn’t worth the risk.

It was totally unfair.

It was unfair that he wasn’t prepared. That he made it difficult for us to evaluate his fit for the position. That he didn’t give it 100%.

Organizations should concern themselves with fairness. They should make sure their human facing processes take advantage of that. But when employees and job candidates use fairness as a way to excuse poor performance, bad behavior and major mistakes, that’s not fair. Not to their employer. Not to the company they applied at. Not to themselves.

Fairness can be a real issue in business but it is never a reason to give less than your best.

My Posts

How Having A Blog Landed Me A New Job

If you’re a blogger, you know the feeling. You just sat down at your computer and you are a paragraph into a blog post when it suddenly hits you: apathy. “Why am I doing this?” you ask yourself. It may be the worst paying job in the world (most people do it for free or nearly free) and you question the real value of the people you end up making connections with. It can be a lonely existence if you make it that way and the blog is the ultimate one person company. If you don’t make it move, no one else will.

If you’re not a blogger and you’ve wondered why we do what we do, you’re not alone. My wife was in the same boat. She could often be found telling me to go to bed, to not spend as much time on it and thought it may be a nice hobby but that’s it. She was supportive of my “hobby” but we didn’t agree on the value of it.

What’s The Value Of Blogging?

The real value of blogging isn’t the content I create. That is nice and that gets my foot in the door. The real value are the connections I make and the things I learn and apply to make myself better.

We talk about what a game changer social networking and social media is all of the time. The only real game changer is where the conversations are happening and what limitations there are on who you can connect with. The principles that people use to get ahead are the same now as they have been for the last half century (if not longer). Sharing good ideas, helping people around you succeed, being a decent person and doing what you say you’ll do? That still works in social media and its impact is bigger than ever because the amount of people you can connect with is… well… a lot.

What Happened? How Did You Get A Job?

After my employment ended with my last company, I reached out to my network (both the one I built here locally and the one I built through blogging and other social media stuffs). I posted on my blog. I posted on Twitter. So did a ton of other people. I was flattered, humbled and feeling a little bit egotistical about the attention. What can I say, I am human! The conflicts of emotion were interesting.

I received many e-mails from people saying that if I was open for relocation, there would be several positions open. My wife and I talked about it already and we weren’t willing to leave Portland so those options were off the table.

Last week, I received a message from someone that wanted to talk about how I could work with their company. They were going to be launching a big time product upgrade and they were targeting the niche I have been working in for the past six years (HR pros). They commented on my blog in January (this is why longevity counts) and saw the overwhelming response after I was back on the market.

We talked by phone and sent e-mails back and forth (none of those e-mails or conversations included a resume or application or formal interview questions). It was truly a conversation. After we hammered out some details, I agreed to start immediately.

What About The Company? What Will You Do?

The company is MeritBuilder. I will help them reach out to you HR/Corporate types in a variety of ways.

So what does that mean, right? In the next couple of weeks I’ll be talking more about my role especially as we look to re-launch the platform in mid-August. What I will tell you is that this blog will not change. Maybe a few more posts but the tone and the content is going to be the same. They were adamant on that. Insistent even. They get it and that’s what made it so easy.

So If I Start A Blog, I Will Get A Job?

Not exactly. Especially if you plan on starting one when you start a job search.

Sure, you might strike on something and see success. But more likely, you’re going to be turning your wheels and getting frustrated. It will be disheartening in most cases.

If you think of blogging like you do networking, you need to start a blog, contribute and become a part of the community before you can leverage it to help you find a great job (either by your choice or the company’s).

I will say that after the thousands of hours I’ve spent blogging, when I told my wife this story, she felt a little bit differently about this whole blogging business.