Category Archives: fear

Dan on Dan

Can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written on here. I must have been busy, but here I am sitting down, renewing my relationship with my old friend… the BLOG… It’s literally been years.

It’s a great release though, so here I am.

Redundant again. My “job for life” didn’t really live up to the hype. Just like the “Never ending story” it came to an end. Sad, frustrating, scary, disappointed, helpless, angry, numb, thirsty, hungry, grateful, hopeful and resolute. All the emotions I felt after I had the conversation with my old business when I was informed via MS teams and a script that my position was redundant. (mental note… THE POSITION… must remember that Dan)

This won’t be a “woe is me” type blog, not will it be an uplifting “all the things you can do once laid off” blog. This will be a little more real.

Like everything challenging in life, you tend to think this won’t happen to you. Watching the news, reading all the reports, people getting sick, losing jobs, care packages, stimulus packages from the government, industries crippled, confusion about rules, risks of people our parents age, travel bans (from even your house). I mean how is this crap happening? Did I flip onto a movie channel?

How can you feel sorry for yourself when there is so much worse happening in the world than losing a job? Thousands are being killed by this invisible bitch. You’re above the grass (as my Dad would say) You’re stuck in lock down (or what ever it is officially called in Australia) with your wife and kids, there’s no wallowing. You need to be an example. Right?

“It’s business, not personal” I wonder how many times that little idiom has been said over the last few weeks. That’s BULLSHIT though. It’s personal to the person hearing it. The person who’s the primary bread winner, the provider, the protector. It’s earth shattering. I’ve been on both ends of this conversation, telling people their position isn’t required (in the business’ opinion) sucks, I know. BUT, I guarantee you that hearing it and facing that stark reality of being unemployed is WAY worse.

My process for this? Firstly, disbelief, I mean “what the f*$#”??? Looking the family in the eye and telling them, that their Dad and husband is a statistic now. He’s not the first or the last that this will happen too, but we need to adjust our life for a while whilst he gets his shit together. Reality check. No one is sure how long this will take. You could say I was a stoic mess. Worse case scenarios ran through my head all night, it was a long night. I hit solution mode. Man I scrambled over job boards, updated my LinkedIn, started doing my resume, looked at CentreLink (it was down at 2.30am ??? not a great sign), I was on fire.

I decided in those wee hours that the next day had to be one of action. Once I awoke, after falling asleep on the laptop in some weird angle on the couch. I showered, shaved, put product in my hair and decided to get back to work. This was BIG as I’d already been working from home for almost two weeks so I was a little scruffy and the hair on my face and top of my head had been sadly neglected. See, ACTION! SOLUTION MODE!

I was humbled and a little emotional from the response my LinkedIn change of status delivered. The messages and calls I received from our Recruitment community, and people I’ve worked with or dealt with over the years was amazing. Thanks to all those who did this. I truly am blessed.

That said, whilst uplifting and beautiful, the wind got sucked from my sails fairly quickly. The dark cloud resettled over me like they did in those cartoons we watched as kids.

It’s an interesting battle between the intellectual me and the feeling me (yes there is both). The intellectual me understands the global situation, knows it isn’t just me, and (something that is really hard for me to believe) knows it isn’t just about him. He will begrudgingly accept the umpires decision and will get on with life. Breathing in and out, one step after the other, watching the sun come up and go down as we know it will every single day. The feeling me however, plays a little different. He’s enjoying the time with the family, getting to spend time in the garden, happy to finally get to those little jobs which always get pushed to the bottom of the list in our busy lives. This is a fulfilling thing to do. But, he battles the darkness, those thoughts of “why me?”, those impostor voices that get a hearing in the quiet hours, and the black-hole of emptiness when there isn’t a job or purpose to really invest yourself in.

It’s a battle, daily. Don’t think it isn’t. Switching between positive and negative mindset, almost hourly at times. It’s exhausting. And yet, Nanna naps are not an option for me. They feel like they’re a sign of giving up. So that won’t happen.

It’s already been almost 2 weeks. I mean holy crap how did that happen? The world hasn’t stopped. Everyone has their own shit they’re dealing with. Kids are still on school holidays (god help us) and life goes on.

I’m pretty lucky I have a wonderful driven wife to give me focus (or to do lists, call it what you will), and keep the dark clouds at bay. Whilst the days are melting by we’re working through stuff. We’ve actioned the banks, the government, other creditors to ensure some breathing space. The resume is re written and we’ve registered on a range of different job boards and have begun working the network. I’m a realist. I’m not convinced this will change quickly, so I need to not focus purely on the job hunt. I’m not convinced this is a recipe for mental happiness.

There are jobs to do around the house, I’ve gardened, attacking long neglected areas, I’ve tried to fix a leak in the roof (ie I’ve tried, but need another downpour to really see if I succeeded or not), I’ve even washed windows. Desperate times people.

I’ve given myself time to think. I’ve always wanted to write something of substance, so I have given myself permission to have a crack at that. The allowance of thinking is a blessing, I’ve had other ideas which I’ll work on fleshing out. This is all really exciting.

I’m working on giving back and helping others in similar boats, more on that another time. However, it must be noted that the demons are fighting themselves in my head. How can I give advice and a sense of calm for people when I’m in the same boat? I know my experience can help others, fingers crossed it can.

There you go, Co-vid 19 sucks. A popular thought i’m sure. It’s tough on most people. I don’t think any one is immune to this.

You do you. What is best for you and your family, is best for you and your family. Help others if you can. Don’t be too hard on yourself, this is shit. But the sun will keep rising (yes even in Melbourne) and one day I know my kids will be able to use this time as a “when I was a kid story” . I was worried that their worse story would be the day in 2019 when the wifi went off for an entire day.

You have nothing to fear but the PHONE itself


Has the Internet killed phone skills?

Does social networking limit the need for actual contact?

In short… NO!

I have been sitting on this for a while, brief communication with Michael Specht and a recent article by Maren Hogan really did push a few buttons for me, and made me feel a little guilty.

Social Networking, those magical sites that everyone is talking about.. you know.. the Facebook.com’s, the Linkedin.com’s, the MySpaces, great for recruiting right? How can you not make a bucket load of money just by using those sites alone… (if you believe all the hype)… Passive candidates found on these sites are way better that those that end up in your inbox from ad response.. in fact why bother posting ads to these job boards? it’s all about the candidates found in these sites. Isn’t it? (please detect tongue in cheek here). If you spend enough money on the right tool, spend enough time trawling these sites, In-mailing, IMing, DMing people will fill all your vacancies! Woo hoo… what have we been doing all this time? How did this world turn pre social networking?

What has happened to the phone?
I think this little bit of technology, which has been around forever, well long enough to not be considered new, is still the KEY to successful recruiting. I recruited pre email, pre websites, pre job boards, and you know what? I was able to do my job and make money… truly! serious! I may sound it, but I’m actually not that old! not even 35 yet, and yes I have recruited without these tools.

I got on the phone! I face to face networked, spoke to anyone and everyone… had a bucket load of business cards and kept a database (not a CRM, an ATS or any other acronym).

I mentioned at the start I was feeling guilty about things.. what you may ask? I find myself at times being seduced by this new technology, (iphones, blackberries etc don’t help, bringing all your Internet, email etc with you everywhere you go) and ignoring the phone. Sending inmails on Linkedin, or just dropping emails to people… I sometimes placate myself with the idea that this is passive headhunting.. you know.. “if they aren’t interested then they just delete the email”, but basically it is lazy, and honestly doesn’t have the best results.

The best results have come from finding names, picking up the phone and finding a way to have a conversation with someone. It’s scary for people I know! When I was selling I had to really work myself up to it at the start.. lots of caffeine, hold my breathe and dial… (kind of sounds like when I was in high school, trying to ask a girl out)

However I went to a training course, from “sales guru” back in 1997, and whilst most of the session didn’t do much for me and I couldn’t find the interest to buy his audio tapes (remember them kids?) there was one bit that stuck in my mind about picking up the phone to strangers. What’s the worse they can say? “NO!” yeah and……….? If it takes you 4 phone calls to make a dollar, then every time someone says no, you smile think to yourself “Thanks for the 25 cents!”. Man that was powerful for me. This ideal, kept me on the phone. (in fact in my latest role, when I first started, I got questioned about the spike in the phone bill! That was great validation, especially when I could point at the record number of new hires.)

Now you may not have to do what I’ve heard of people doing in days gone by… I heard of people taping the phone received to their hand and wouldn’t let themselves be undone until X amount of calls were made, and no I don’t believe in boiler room style calling.

Confidence comes in the preparation (but don’t use doing lots and lots of research and excuse not to get on the phone. Yes that’s easy enough to do! Guilty your honour) You do need to do your research, qualify, whether it be for client or candidates, know what you want to say, or what message you need to get across. I don’t believe in scripts, as you have to engage in the conversation, however you need something to gain their interest nice and early, just like at the start of an advertisement. You need to have knowledge about the subject, and a compelling reason for them to talk to you. Once the conversation is started, all the fear will disappear.. trust me… 🙂 I twittered someone on this recently, my comment “just like getting into a cold pool. A deep breath and dive on in.. once done, it can’t be undone, gets easier from there. promise”

Just in case you are still scared of picking up that phone… in the dozen years or so, I can count on 1 hand the amount of times people have been truly rude to me.

It could be your differentiator, “WOW you’re a real person, not just an email address.”