After 10 Years on the Job, What Next?

In answer to the question of what one should do after 10 years in your field, leave or find ways to advance, Dr. North writes this:

Once you’ve hit the 7-10 year mark in your field, should you keep on getting those hours of experience for master status or should you switch to another field touching yours and start that experience clock over?”

If you quit 100%, you will get rusty. The new field should be complementary to your main field. Alternative: become a consultant. You will then be forced to learn marketing. Or become a writer/consultant. Inside the firm, become a teacher.

“On the other side of the table, if you hire for a job that needs a journeyman but not a master, would you rather offer a master a journeyman salary assuming an excess of masters or look only for journeyman candidates?”

Go for the journeyman. You may get a hot shot. The master has seen his day. But if the master could be a teacher or mentor, hire the master at a wage in between. A good teacher is worth paying for. He will get journeymen up to speed.

“I am sure you have a range in mind.”

Chris Voss, ex-FBI hostage negotiator, gives excellent advice on how to ask for a raise without getting demoted or fired.  Watch this short video.

What follows are my transcripted notes of his presentation:

You want to push your opponent to the highest limit of a negotiation range without taking them out of the comfort of that range.  People respond to ranges where they won’t respond to specific numbers.  When they ask you how much you’re looking for, your first response to that should be “Are you making me an offer or are you just fishing?” Give them an opportunity to respond to that.  Again, when they ask you about salary expectations, say, “I am sure you have a range in mind.”  Take the end of it that favors you.  They’ll actually feel somewhat relieved that you’ll want to stay at that number.

If they’ve given you a number that doesn’t work for you, the first response is the world-class way of saying “No” and keeping the conversation going, “How am I supposed to accept that?”  which let’s them know that it’s really a problem for you.  You’ve empowered them by giving them the opportunity to make it better.  Always important in any negotiation to be able to say “No” pleasantly.  So be pleasant. They’re going to evaluate you in a job negotiation about how well you can represent them!  and represent their interests and be pleasant while you’re doing it.

Gary North has good insight on how to deal with employers and raises.  Check this out . . .

Do not expect to be appreciated. If they are not giving regular raises, you are not appreciated. If they are loading on extra hours, you are not appreciated. You are simply a pack mule. You will be exploited, not appreciated.

This is why you have to be working systematically to develop your reputation outside the business. You have to let them know that they do not have their clamps on you. If they think that you have no alternatives for employment, they will treat you unmercifully. Expect this. It is standard operating procedure in business today. They don’t expect loyalty on any basis except this: fear. They don’t offer loyalty, and they don’t expect it. This was not true a generation ago, but it is true today.

When the bean counters from the business schools began to take over American business in the 1970’s, that ended loyalty downward. On this point, you would be wise to read The Puritan Gift. It shows the world we have lost. I don’t think we’re going to get it back. We may get it back in small, upstart businesses, but not in a business that has been operating for more than 40 years.


Free Resume Templates?

The reason why so many people don’t opt for FREE resume templates is because they don’t inspire. Have you seen these stark concoctions?  It feels like some kind of Soviet beauty pageant.

Not a big fan of Wendy’s either.

But you get the point.  Templates don’t get you a call to interview.  It’s readability. And placement.  It’s the specific content of your resume that matter and where it gets placed. And after looking at the different free templates, I have to say I do not see solutions to my problems of representing myself in print.  Nothing reflects my uniqueness.  And if it does, it is often too far out.

There are things to consider when it comes to a resume format.  One, who is your audience?  In every attempt at communicating in print, your audience is the first consideration.  Are you writing to the President of the United States or to the head of Sun MicroSystems or your local city councilman or to a teacher in East Los Angeles?  Audience determines your tone.  Now if you’re unsure of what you’re writing about, then first need to take some time to gather your thoughts and the points you want to cover, but even the points you want to cover are greatly influenced by your audience.  You’re not going to include talk about condoms to daycare board members.  Does this make sense?


I’ve actually tried a similar resume style.  These don’t work.  In fact, they put the resource manager off because it is such a shameless attempt at being frou-frou.  Oh, stylistically, yes, they are quite interesting, quite out of the box, quite disappointing too. If a manager is reading a score to a hundred of these a day, do you really think that a tw0-column resume is going to make him stand up and shout?  Obscenities, maybe.  But no, it will only be received with some annoyance, because he’ll have to adjust his whole frame of mind and eyes to your arrangement when after an hour or two he’s seen only the standard one-column format.  I would not try these.  In fact, the resume I wrote with the two-column was better looking than the one above.  Mine had colored logos of the places I’d worked.  So there.  I had two resource managers tell me gently, “Ah, Sir, this format doesn’t work.”  One reason why is that you actually create a more narrow space for relevant information and elaboration on your achievements.

Here is another.



Two column resume formats don’t work, I’m tellin’ ya.  This splits the reader’s attention initially until he finds information relevant to the position he’s hiring for.

Write Code or Learn Excel? For Business, It’s Excel

Gary North  (his site is behind a paywall but is an immeasurable wealth of resources) had a subscriber write in to his forum. The subscriber wrote,

I’m 37. Should I learn how to code? Is this the lingua franca of the day irrespective of my field?

North’s full response is here behind a paywall.  But let me cite a two points of the many that were covered.

The ability to write code is more genetic than technical. Some people have an innate talent. Most do not.

. . .

If there is a lingua franca, it is spreadsheet development. It is used in every business setting. I recommend mastering Microsoft’s Excel. It is like learning a foreign language. Become fluent in this language.

Database management is another basic skill. Again, you might as well learn Microsoft’s Access. This is the program most used in business settings.

Coding places your career on the chopping block. One mistake, and the program can come crashing down . . . on you. Shooting a video is not dependent on digits.

A spreadsheet had better be accurate. So should a database. But these are normally not so crucial to an operation that a misplaced digit can collapse the project.

Simple video production is applicable in business and education. The software is cheap: under $75. Start here:

Looking for Work: It’s a Job In and of Itself

Here’s what’s required.

1)  Resume.  You’ve heard of these, yeah?

2)  Cover letter.

3)  Thank you letter.

Letters of reference are fine.  Though people often mean one for the other.  However, there is a significant difference.  Letters of Recommendation zero in on your strengths citing specific examples of them, including your demeanor, your poise, and leadership.  Letters of Reference are a lot more general and can be written by anyone whom you might have worked with.  Also, these are often courtesy letters, meaning that they are written for free.

Is that it?  Not so fast.

You’ll need to know how to present your resume.  Do you bring it in a colored manila folder?  That might pass.  It is definitely mediocre and does not send any kind of distinctive message.  But maybe you’re okay with being non-distinctive.  Remember what you’re dealing with here.  You’re dealing with your career, whether it’s just starting or whether you’re in its middle years.

And in any position, it doesn’t hurt to pretend an executive level of competency.  To that end, put your resume inside a resume portfolio. This guy makes a good case for doing just that.

What else do you need to consider when submitting these job letters to companies you want to work with?

Use a professional email address, something that begins to brand you as a professional. You’ll no longer want to rely on  That’s not going to fly.  Oh, no one will say anything to your face, but behind your back they will be rolling their eyes, laughing, or discounting you from the start.  That’s not good.  Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe the world is made of cotton candy and marshmallows and Skittles.  I have my doubts.  So protect yourself.  Be professional with every piece of paper. What goes on paper is a reflection of you.  Do not forget that.  It makes it harder for people to attack you in print if your printed paper trail is as close to immaculate and impressive as possible.  A stronger email address would be  All it has is your name.  Nothing else.  It doesn’t reveal anything about you.  It doesn’t get readers curious or suspicious or giggling. You want to manage your career, your reputation, your name, like I said, in print as best you can.