The 4th Monkey – “Do No Evil”

I am reissuing, with a few modifications, my most popular blog post, for your consideration. The universal application of these age-old concepts is a tremendous value that should guide our behavior and interactions with each other.

We grew up with the story of the three monkeys. I imagine that many of us have the same interpretation of what they represent. We were exposed to pictures or statues. One monkey had his hands over his eyes, the second monkey with hands over his ears and the third monkey’s hands were over his mouth. They were see no evil (Mizaru), hear no evil (Kikazura) and speak no evil (Iwazura). There were actions and behaviors demanded of us based on the three monkeys, but nothing was said about the fourth monkey. The fourth monkey was do no evil (Shizaru).

four-wise-monkeys

The stories of the four monkeys were popular in Japan in the 17th century. Their origin is between 2 and 4 BC in China. The Storyologer web-site (www.storyologer.com) has this account of Mahatma Gandhi who carried around a small statue of the three monkeys.  “Gandhi had a statue of three monkeys in three different postures. One was shutting his mouth with his hands, the other was shutting his ears similarly and the third one had put hands on his eyes. A visitor to his house became curious and questioned Gandhi about the various postures of the monkeys. Gandhi politely replied, “The one shutting his mouth tells us that we should not speak ill of anybody. The one shutting his ears tells us that we should not hear the ill of anybody. And the one shutting his eyes tells us that we should not see the ills of anybody. If we do so, we will have all goodness and nothing but goodness.”

Travelers will often find local markets with carved depictions or artwork featuring the three monkeys. My wife was able to purchase an angelic model of the same concept. There are three angels; one was covering her eyes, one was covering her ears and the other was covering her mouth. However, the fourth monkey was not shown. The 4th monkey, when pictured, is usually shown folding his arms (the body language of being closed) or covering his crotch to signify inactivity.

The different interpretations of the four monkeys is fascinating. In Buddhist tradition it meant don’t spend your time preoccupied with evil thoughts. In the West it relates to not facing up to our moral responsibility, for example turning a blind eye. But in my household, the monkeys were presented to us as a model of proper behavior. Our parents wanted us to identify with the images, to supplement our moral code.

See no evil (Mizaru)

We were told to pay attention to people and location(s). The idea was that if we were in the right location, we would minimize seeing trouble develop before our eyes. This was applicable in school and at work. We were instructed against being at the wrong place at the wrong time or the wrong place right. We were also told not to look for bad things in people or in certain situations. There are people who see bad things when they don’t exist, which could explain the manifestations of bias, stereotypes and profiling. We were not taught to be naïve, but to be careful and respectful.

Hear no evil (Kikazaru)

We were told to shield ourselves from bad language and bad intentions. We should stay away from people who spoke ill of others and gossiped. If we were not in the wrong place we could minimize hearing things that we should not hear. We were also instructed not to listen to foul or vulgar language. If we heard people language, especially regarding someone’s evil intentions, we could use the evil information to do good or to help others, that would be permissible.

Speak no evil (Iwazura)

Speak no evil was used to discourage gossiping or speaking ill will about someone. We were told to watch our language and to speak kind words. “If you can’t say anything good about someone, don’t say anything” was a part of this same philosophy. Adults told us that spreading bad news or malicious information could come back to haunt us. We should also, apply this same advice to the workplace.

There is a misconception around the concept about someone. This misconception has led people to adopt a code of silence in the workplace when a person is not pulling their own weight. We would rather silently complain or resign, before talking about an employee who was not working. We would not want to be labeled a snitch or a stool pigeon. In the streets people would say, “snitches get stitches”. To speak evil of someone means telling a lie, varying false witness or defaming their reputation. However, it is our responsibility to find a way to report injustice, illegal behavior and practices that undermine people and the organization. Our intention should be to speak the truth in love without malice or premeditated negative objectives.

One way to break the code of silence is by offering incentives to whistleblowers. These individuals are people who step forward and report unlawful activities in an organization. They are generally paid a 10% bounty if the measure goes to court and fines are levied against the lawbreakers. In neighborhoods where people know the perpetrators of violence, but fail to come forward, there are no such incentives. Residents may be afraid of retribution, as the rationale for their silence. We must also realize that justice requires telling the truth and this should not be regarded as speaking evil of someone.

Do no evil (Shizaru)

The fourth monkey’s actions are truly related to the others. The workplace is a common place for the four monkeys to be used as an operating system. Employee bullying and intimidation, sexual-harassment claims, the presence of racial discrimination, unconscious bias and sexually charged language and actions exists in many organizations. Where improprieties and liberties are taken with people’s rights in the form of disrespectful words and actions, there are laws in place to prevent and punish these actions. Employees, who adopt a see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil mindset are not helping to develop a positive company culture or a respectful workplace

Do no evil is a perfect monkey to enforce the values of character and integrity. He reminds us of proper behavior and etiquette. Our choices have consequences and the more we can emphasize a positive corporate culture and a respectful workplace the more effective our organizations will be become. There is conduct and behavior norms which must be identified, emphasized and enforced vigorously. Character will minimize stress in the workplace and reduce the number of lawsuits and discipline related to improper behavior.

The do no evil mindset would influence our participation in the political process. Our dialogue in conversations around those who are different from us or have different opinions would be positively affected. If we operated each day thinking in terms of do no evil, we would be more empathetic in understanding of each other. We would put ourselves in the shoes of our neighbors and seek to understand their point of, listen to their words and lay the foundation for greater chemistry instead of conflict.

How can we create an environment in our workplaces, families and communities, where people are held accountable for their own unlawful actions and the private citizens who come forward can feel safe and protected? If the fourth monkey was modeled, we would have less of a cause to talk about Mizaru (see no evil) and Kikazuru (hear no evil).

Do no evil and speak no evil should be magnified and connected to many of our guiding principles of behavior.  The Golden Rule and its equivalent in many cultures advise us to treat people the way we want to be treated. The Platinum Rule which asks us to treat people the way they want to be treated. The 10 Commandments implores us not to do a series of acts which could be seen as evil, such as murder, stealing, etc. you are instructed to love your neighbor as yourself. If we began from a position of love it is easier to think in terms of speak and do no evil.

We must clearly outline expectations of behavior and the judgment related to them to improve the climate in our organizations, homes and places where people meet. Correct action is essential to achieving healthy results in our relationships.

The imagery and practices espoused by the 4th monkey holds the key to making this possible. I am hopeful that by emphasizing the fourth monkey, we can improve our behaviors, connections, interactions and relationships with everyone.

 

Copyright © 2016 Orlando Ceaser

 

 

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Protectionism in a competitive marketplace

Protectionism is designed to discourage others from competing for your talent or resources. Barriers are put in place to keep markets, company, or department restricted from outside forces. People try to artificially maintain or mandate the status quo, because it is a beneficial, but questionable policy.

Insecure organizations who are afraid to lose top talent will institute external mean to keep their people, which may deny their people freedom, benefits and promotional opportunities.

Protectionism is a preemptive strike aimed at discouraging others from hiring or tampering with your personnel. Countries try to control their markets by setting up impediments to prevent others from fairly competing with their industries and companies.

Protectionism is at work inside organizations. A regional manager was constantly near the top of the organization in sales. He experienced very little turnover in his sales organization, through promotions or resignations. Many in the organization were puzzled to learn that stellar results were not accompanied by promotions. Conversations with the regional manager revealed that the top performers, in his estimation, were somehow flawed and not ready to receive more responsibility. This manager’s protectionism policies were personally beneficial, yet detrimental to the career growth of many hard-working employees. He did not want to go through interviewing to replace them and training a new crew. Careers were inhibited because he had labeled them as insufficient to assume greater responsibility.

A successful sales representative accepted a promotion to the human resources department. She wanted to return to the field as a manager. After several years, she had lunch with a sales manager. He lamented the fact that she wanted to stay in HR. She was shocked at his opinion and asked why he felt she did not want to return to the sales force. He said he had been told by an HR director that she was happy with her new career path and it did not want to leave. Needless to say, she was stunned by the misinformation and the inaccurate portrayal of her career objectives. The protectionist policies of her department backfired and she subsequently resumed her sales career.

Protectionism leads to the creation of policies to restrict the penetration of their borders by competing companies. One company raided another company and hired some of their best sales people, when they started a new division. The losing CEO was angry by their practice. He instructed his lawyers to write a letter to the company stating his displeasure and threatened legal action. The response he received was carefully worded. The acquiring CEO defended his hiring practices. He asked the other CEO to see his actions as the risk of doing business. He suggested the people were leaving on their own volition. If the people were happy they would not have been so anxious to leave. Needless to say, the other company continued to hire his representatives, but at a slower pace.

People will gravitate to top talent. In the era of social media, networking events, savvy recruiters and employee referral fees, the best performers will be identified. There is an incentive to keep people happy and there is an incentive to recruit them to other organizations.

The hiring CEO delivered a very powerful message. What can be done to minimize employee’s propensity to jump ship? What can be done to the culture to make them want to stay with your organization longer term?

Organizations can change managerial mindsets to mandate mutual benefits for all parties involved. This philosophical shift is initiated and enforced by senior leadership. Intuitively, it is difficult to pour a lot of effort and time into someone, only to see them walk away to a perceived better opportunity. As stated earlier, there are risks involved in developing people. At some point, you will have more people than you have promotable positions. This may cause some people to be patient and wait for better jobs internally; however others may be impatient and look for greener pastures outside of the organization. You have to chalk this up to the price of doing business and wish them well.

There are tremendous advantages short and long term for a full scale long term development program. This may ultimately lead to future business alliances and collaborations with companies who have hired your people. It may also be a recruiting tool for prospective employees. A reputation for hiring and developing talent can lead to an influx of extraordinarily qualified candidates. Higher employee engagement levels and productivity is currently seen as a positive benefit of a stronger culture.

If you constantly assess and provide opportunities for personal and career growth, you minimize employee flight. Today, Millennials are subject to career impatience, if you do not sufficiently reward and challenge them, your organization will constantly be under pressure due to rapid turnover.

Sensors can be put in place in the form of stronger leaders and mentors to assess and regulate career development. Employees will gain an up-to-date, real world view of their skills and abilities and prospects for career development. Organizations have established career academies, equipped with resources, such as class room work and online training programs to help employees can grow their technical and life skills.

Protectionism in theory is about holding on to your talent against unfair pilferage, but it will work against you in the long run. You must update your training and development practices to create stronger leaders. Additionally, you must:

  • Pay attention to the company culture to treat people with respect and harness their skills and abilities.
  • Provide an honest assessment of performance through clear cut performance objectives and regular evaluations
  • Career discussions should be held to understand and to share employer and employee expectations
  • Develop confidence in your training and development program to rapidly replace people who leave the organization or leave the team
  • Strong managers and leaders are necessary to ward off protectionist tendencies, as they strive to develop the best teams imaginable

Organizations have been known to offer retention bonuses during a time of uncertainty, such as during mergers and acquisition, to keep their top talent. A variation of this practice is to ensure that the best performers receive the best rewards, whether financial, special projects or greater career opportunities.

Protectionism is usually a policy instituted when an organization fails to put a coherent people strategy in place. In their haste to prevent people from leaving, they  blame outside forces for problems in their culture. Protectionism practices that strikeout at the employee or toward outside forces are rarely successful. Organizations should look internally at their leadership practices and career development strategies, to see if they can be more conducive to creating a culture where leaving the organization is to difficult for an employee to imagine or implement.

Copyright © 2014 Orlando Ceaser 

Free e-book, Leadership Greatness through High Performance Poetry at http://www.orlandoceaser.com

6 Ways to Cope with Irreconcilable Differences at Work

There are relationships where both parties decide that it is pointless to continue. They do not and probably will not ever understand each other. They are constantly in a state of disagreement whether verbalized or not. Some type of discontinuance, whether separation or divorce is contemplated to dissolve their partnership. They have reached the boiling point of irreconcilable differences.

There are similar circumstances on the job. There is a cold, but cordial work environment. The job may even be hostile, intimidating and dead end without opportunities for advancement. People cannot get along with their coworkers or their supervisor. The tension in the air becomes unbearable but resignation is out of the question. Quitting for a variety of reasons would not be in their best interests. The economy is treacherous and finding a new job is risky. They have a family to feed and financial obligations.

Let’s bring the situation closer to home and make it more relevant. Your manager may be a jerk. She is making life unbearable. She cannot get rid of you because you are doing your job and have not broken any laws. She would rather have her person working in your position. She cannot remove you for fear of a lawsuit.
Additionally, you may have a skill set that the organization values and the manager cannot afford to get rid of you, but you no longer find the job challenging. You want to be promoted to another position, but they cannot see you doing any job other than your current assignment. You are stuck in corporate cement as opposed to career quick sand.
You are at an impasse. You can’t live with her and you can’t live without her. You have to cope with irreconcilable differences.

A manager for a small company inherited an employee who was a powerful, persuasive salesperson, but ultimately could be a liability to the organization. Management loved this individual and viewed him as a sales representative for life. However, the sales person had aspirations to be promoted. The more he was held to corporate standards, the more frustrated he became. One day in frustration, he stood up in a restaurant, pointed his finger at his boss and said these words; “I understand that you don’t like me and have never liked. If it was up to you I would’ve never been hired. If we can’t get along, we might as well get it on” (a reference to physical confrontation). The rep was at his wits end and surely felt he was coping with irreconcilable differences.

How do you cope with irreconcilable differences, when you cannot walk away from the job? What do you do when you have no place to go and are unable to leave your position? You must first acknowledge that the situation is toxic. A negative state of mind could damage your health and other areas of your life. Conduct an accurate assessment of your performance and career aspirations. Recognize that you may have played a small role in the bad relationship. The six tactics below may help you cope with irreconcilable differences at work. You may wish to debate these suggestions with co-workers and friends in order to arrive at a strategy that will work for you.

1. Make the most of the situation
2. Work hard and try to get transferred?
3. Work hard and try to get your boss transferred?
4. Seek counseling through the Human Resources Department
5. Recruit advocates – mentors, coaches or allies
6. Schedule a meeting with your boss

Make the most of the situation

This is generally seen as a grin and bears it approach. This does not necessarily mean for you to suffer in silence. You may look on the brighter side of things, such as being grateful that you have a job. You may display a positive attitude and devote yourself to the quality and quantity of work needed to excel. Through this entire process you must throw yourself into doing your best work, although you may not be fully engaged.

Beware of persistent anger. If you are constantly angry, you may develop ulcers, headaches and an overall feeling of grumpiness at work and at home. People around you will suffer with you; work performance will be stunted by your low level of engagement, because you are not happy. You can be patient and tolerate your plight. Your boss may leave the department through resignation, termination or promotion.

Work hard and try to get transferred

People have been known to put their nose and shoulder to the grindstone in hopes of working their way out of their circumstances. The prevailing philosophy is to work as hard as you can and be rewarded for your diligence and discipline. This strategy can work, unless your manager is working to undermine and missed represent your effectiveness. You can be driven to succeed, even in a toxic environment when you are growing your skills and working toward a goal.

Another manager, through networking with other departments, may request your services. They may become aware of new skills you required. Obtaining additional education and training may work in your favor and increase your value in the eyes of others.

Work hard and try to get your boss transferred

The same methods used above may catapult your manager into a new position. You may breathe a sigh of relief, but if the underlying problems have not been solved, this individual can harm your career aspirations from a distance. If there are misunderstandings that need to be addressed, you may have to face them courageously alone or have a trusted mentor intercede on your behalf. It may seem insincere, but you may have to act as if things are not as bad as they are, in order to survive. You may have to use your acting skills to minimize friction and give the illusion of a harmonious working relationship.

Seek counseling through Human Resources

Many people are reluctant to go to the Human Resources Department to complain about their manager or the environment on their team. They fear HR is working as the right arm of leadership and will sabotage their employment. Some companies have an Ombudsman who is present to hear employee complaints, which makes disclosure easier. If individual courage is viewed as foolhardy, the power of a group may be necessary to add additional credibility to your complaints. This is often the last resort when the person feels they cannot take it any longer; when the benefit outweighs the risks.

You have heard manager say,” you don’t have to like me or love me, but you must get the job done.” The same applies. Your manager or coworkers do not have to like you or love you but they must respect you, as you get the job done.

Recruit advocates – mentors, coaches or allies

You may have a mentor, coach or ally on speed dial or retainer to help you plan your strategy for coping with a manager who is out of control. They can advise you on the next steps take in dealing with your predicament. If the manager goes beyond acceptable rules and regulations, they can advise you on the approach to HR. They may also be helpful in calming you down and allowing you to see your role in any of the difficulties. It is always good to have consultants to bounce ideas off of to learn from their seasoned perspective.
You may have a trusted friend in higher places who can hear your tales of woe and help craft a strategy to make your life easier. They may talk to the guilty offending party or help you get reassigned.

Schedule a meeting with your boss

You can call a meeting to discuss your feelings and job performance. This will enable you to clear the air of all misunderstandings, so that your boss knows how you feel. Ask for their assistance in helping you achieve your goals for the betterment of the organization. Solicit feedback on the things you can do better to help them in their job.

If you try this approach before and it did not work, be careful. If you heard others try the same tactic and suffered, scratch this suggestion from your list.
A good leader would take your information and check the perceptions of others in your group. The appropriate corrective actions will strengthen the leader’s ability to achieve personal and team objectives.

It is important to strengthen the relationships with people at work. Invariably, difficult relationships will exist in the workplace. You may have to address the problem head-on, because walking away may not be an option. As uncomfortable as it may seem, coping with irreconcilable differences may be the only course of action.

Copyright © 2014 Orlando Ceaser

A leader should stand by, with and for their team

Stand by your team

A manager felt his people would go through a brick wall for him. He based this on their belief that he would do anything for them. They knew he had their backs. This dedication and loyalty led to higher sales results and productivity. He created a culture of excellence, enthusiasm and trust.

The manager was known to stand by his team. When they are in need of guidance and resources to compete in difficult situations, he was known to stand by them. In today’s marketplace, there is a fair amount of angst about the future and employees role in it. Standing by your team allows you to detect any anxiety and address it with encouragement and skill development.
You can quickly squash rumors that are not true, before they become a morale problem. Immediately provide whatever information you can, within your leadership obligations, to ensure they are focused on the things they can control.

If the team misses the mark and fall short of achieving a goal, they are not thrown under the bus. They are held accountable, but you as their leader, takes them through a rational analysis of what went wrong. You are on the front line developing strategy and corrective measures. Your aim is to exceed the goal, so that the shortfall does not happen again.
You want your team to be a well performing unit, exceeding objectives. This is the best way you can diminish adverse situations. Being focused on excellence and driving productivity will build their confidence on the current job and prepare them to confidently answer interview questions for the next assignment.
Stand by your team as a strong role model who is authentic and committed to their development. This will enhance their performance loyalty and trust.
Stand with your team

It is critical to also stand with your team in skirmishes to drive market share. You have a history with them. Your relationships were strengthened in the trenches. You made sure they were informed about every major decision and the reasons for those decisions. You felt that if they were more informed about the intricacies involving the decisions, it would build trust in your leadership. Patrick Lynn Lencioni in his book, “Three signs of a miserable job,” speaks about each individual’s need to be known, to feel important and able to gauge their progress and level of contribution to the organization. When they feel connected, this has a positive influence on engagement and results.

If you stand with your team, your praise and proximity will indicate that you care about them and they are not just a means to an end. You value them as individuals and are committed to their success. You stand shoulder to shoulder with them in the day-to-day struggles in the marketplace. You are not afraid to roll up your sleeves and help them do the work. You are willing to ask them their opinions and implement their suggestions. Where there suggestions have merited, they are implemented and they are given the credit. They know that you are the boss, but you do not hesitate to show that you are so committed to getting the job done. This leading by example sends a powerful message.

When you stand with your team, you make sure that each individual knows their job and does their job. You are not a micro-manager. You are always open and committed to their development. You want them to be more efficient and effective and willing to offer suggestions to improve their performance while living up to their responsibilities.

Stand for your team

Thirdly, you should stand for your team. Be the proud representative or your team, department or organization. You are aware of the hard work they put into excelling on the job and you want to promote their excellence to anyone who will listen. You want to represent each member and the entire group to people who can have an influence on their career.
When you stand for your team, you openly and willingly engage in conversations about their talents, gifts and skills. You expose your team to knowledge, individuals and other resources that expand their experiences and expertise. Additionally, you are not timid about challenging them to higher levels of achievement. Your expectations are high, because you know they can do more.
There are times when your team will seem to take your performance personally. They want you to stand out among your peers when there is any competition. They watched with pride as you make a presentation on the agenda with other managers. You are their boss. You are representing the team and they are bursting with pride.

When you stand for your people you are loyal and not always looking to change teams for your personal benefit. You are committed to the productivity of the group. You select and develop a strong core of hard-working, ambitious people who crave recognition and rewards for their excellent performance. This strong core is being groomed to work as a team. They have the complementary skills necessary to exceed aggressive team objectives. They enjoy their jobs. They are fully engaged. They look forward to going into battle every day with everyone on their team. They are looking to you as their leader. They see you as their ally, an advocate against any adversary who stands in their path.
To maximize your effectiveness as a leader it is essential that you stand by your people, stand with your people and stand for your people. The results will be amazing and will enable everyone involved to reach levels of performance that are personally beneficial and a windfall to the team and the organization.

Copyright © 2014 Orlando Ceaser

8 Ways to Rebound and Get the Next Job

You were just given the news.  The boss called you into their office or you received a telephone call.  Someone else was given the job you wanted. How will you handle the disappointment?

Much has been written about getting the right job.  There are books, seminars and counselors who specialize in helping you attain the job of your dreams. This article will focus on what to do immediately after the event.  

Your reaction to bad news may surprise you, especially if you did not consider not getting the job.  This became clear in our Presidential elections. The objective is to prepare for getting the job, but you should have a Plan B or Plan C, just in case the unthinkable happens.

It is important to anticipate bad news and respond with professionalism.  How you respond may put you in a better position to land the next job.  Many times the way you handle disappointment will demonstrate your character and impress someone enough to keep you in mind for another assignment.

1.    Ask for specific feedback

If you are to be more competitive in the next interview you need constructive feedback. This feedback should be able to be converted into goals.  Ask for more tangible feedback than, “You did a good job.” “Just hang in there” and “Something will come your way, it is a matter of time.” 

Many people are reluctant to give solid feedback because they are afraid of being sued or causing ill will by hurting someone’s feelings.  They do a grave disservice to the applicant if they have specific information and decide not to give it.  Additionally, some people may not have developed the expertise to give quality feedback. You will have to press them for specifics and guide them by asking for feedback is specific areas with specific examples.  

2.    Be open to the truth

If you ask a question you must be able to live with the answer.  Feedback that is factual and delivered in a truthful and caring manner is invaluable to your growth and development.  Jack Nicholson in the movie A Few Good Men hurls the phrase while under cross-examination that “you can’t handle the truth.”  This must not apply to you.  Self-examination and honest introspection may help you anticipate the words of the interviewer.  Sincere feedback must be accepted graciously and implemented.  It must not be viewed as vicious criticism given in a defensive environment.

3.    Search for reasons you can control

Be careful not to rush to or land on a reason that you can’t control.  There is nothing worse than being denied a job and feeling helpless to improve your chances.  Be patient and don’t rush to play the age card, race card or the gender card or any other card that you can’t change.  If you are denied a job because of discrimination you have a right to pursue legal recourse, but let’s not rush to that assumption when there are other reasons that may preclude you from getting the job. 

4.    Be open to growth assignments

Do not be so narrow in your perspectives that you eliminate other assignments that could strengthen your portfolio and therefore your chances of getting your desired job.  Oftentimes, companies may not want to take a risk on a candidate, but if that person has a breadth of experience in other jobs, it minimizes the risk.  Another advantage of additional assignments is that they increase your knowledge of the company and increases the number of people who can validate the quality of your work.

Analyze other assignments not from the viewpoint of can you do them, but what can they do for your future.  It may be just the job you need to convince management that you have what it takes to get the job you want. 

5.    Increase your contacts through networking

People rise in their careers in part, due to the number of people familiar with my work.  In many conference rooms across the nation succession planning committees gather to determine who will move up the corporate ladder.  The more votes you have around the table, the better your chances for advancement.  Contacts made at company functions or industry meetings may be invaluable.  Inter – departmental teams are an excellent place to volunteer because in today’s matrix organization you need to learn to work with others who may not be reporting to you.  There are networking events on social media sites and organizations you can join to help you meet people who may become helpful in your career. 

6.    Don’t make impulsive decisions and burn bridges

Control your emotions.  Don’t make a hasty decision to quit or say something destructive. You must thoroughly analyze your situation.  There is an abundance of quality talent on the open market. As with any relationship, take the time to reflect on what transpired. 

A rash decision may hamper career development.  If it doesn’t work out, rather than stay to work on their skills, people leave and go to another company.  They may get more money, which makes their decision look good.  However, if there is any area needing improvement, it really should be addressed as soon as possible or it will come back to haunt them, as history repeats itself.

The worst time to look for a job is when you are upset. Your judgment may be impaired.  You may strike out with an I-will-show-them attitude and not evaluate all of the particulars of the new offer.  As in a relationship, you should not evaluate options when you are angry or disappointed.  You do not want to look back regretting an employment decision made without the benefit of a reasonable cooling-off period.

The corporate world is shrinking.  One cannot afford to leave under bad conditions, because the bad blood shown to an employer can come back to haunt you. 

7.   Accept losing to a better candidate

Sometimes the level of competition is so steep that management is in the enviable position of having more talent than it can use.  This is no consolation for someone who has worked hard for the job, but it is a fact of life.  The timing may not have been right or someone had a better relationship with the decision maker, which served as the tiebreaker.  There is also the possibility that you had a bad interview.  An interview is like an audition.  Academy Award winners and those possessing a Tony Award for the stage have lost out on key roles because they had a bad audition.  You may do your best and still not get the job.  The important take away is that you did your best.  It is important to accumulate a variety of experiences and interests, because you never know what will be the tiebreaker in intense interviewing scenarios. You will be the better candidate in the next round of interviews. 

8.    Model the right behavior

Your employer is not the only person observing your behavior.  Colleagues and others within the organization will want to know how you handle the pressure of not gaining an assignment.  This is a perfect opportunity to model the characteristics of a team player and someone patiently awaiting an opportunity by striving to improve every aspect of their performance – a model not a martyr.  If you are persistently passed over with little or no feedback or receive insincere contradictory commentary, you may have to make a decision to go where they may appreciate your talents.

Accepting bad news is never easy.  We don’t like rejection.  This fact is wired into our genes.  There are factors in acquiring a job that may be beyond your control and the timing may not be right.  You should, however, do everything within your power to ensure that you are ready for interviews, from the standpoint of skills and experience.  If you do not get the job, the answer may not be “no,” it may be read as “not now.”  The moments immediately after this discovery may lead you toward landing the job that you really want.

Copyright © 2012 Orlando Ceaser