I’m passionate about what I do and feel like my message is awesome for everyone. But it isn’t. And yours isn’t either – sometimes when you network (or interview) with people you will click, and sometimes you won’t. Here are two contrasting e-mails that I got this last week:
I just wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know the impact your blog has had on me. Although I havenâ€™t commented on any of your posts, I wanted you to know that I have been reading your outstanding blog entries and they have opened up a whole new world to me. Iâ€™ve begun to see the importance of personal branding and career management from reading your blog. This has also introduced me to the blogosphere, and Iâ€™m starting to think about ways that I can begin to work towards using this critical medium.
That’s very cool Rik – when I got this it made not just my day but my whole week. Here is the contrast (I’m leaving all the text as she wrote it)…
Subject: Good For You
I have not read your article and don’t know if I will or not. Have you lost your job lately? and how old are you? My S.O. lost his job a year ago and turns 57 today, he worked for an organizationfor 11 years that housed the homeless they told him his job was done away with but within a week put someone else (someones friend with no experience) in his position . UE has run out with no extensions. There are no jobs for someone over 50 other than meeters and greeters that barely pay minimum wage. Employers treat our age bracket like common garbage. I don’t recall our parents being treated the way we are treated today. So don’t say this is a good thing as everything we have struggled to work for will be taken from us as the piddly money I work for doesnt stretch that far. I have been also caught in quaterly layoffs 3 times in a row so I won’t say it is a good thing. 20 years experience in anything means nothing.
Angry in Minnesota
I’ve already responded to “Angry in Minnesota.” I’m not sure how she got my e-mail address (it’s not the JibberJobber e-mail), or what article she is referring to… but man can I feel her pain. I haven’t connected with her emotionally but I can certainly feel her pain. Those of you that are older than me might disagree with where I’m coming from, since I don’t have as many years in the workforce, but I’ll tell you what, I feel like I’m as passionate about my mission as she comes across in her e-mail. Here’s a little more about me:
- I’m 33. And a half. I’m not Gen-Y but obviously not as experienced as some (many) of you.
- I have 2 cars and a mortgage. In fact, I went from about 14 years of house payments to 29 years, since I moved from a very affordable house in a small town for the company. And then I got screwed. And guess what – the car and house bills did not stop coming in – even though my income did.
- I have four kids. I had three when I got laid off. My wife was pregnant. Think it’s fun to get laid off when you are pregnant? Guess what folks – NO ONE will pick you up on insurnance, even if you get a new job. That’s enough to scare anyone (especially me).
- I did “all the right stuff” and still couldn’t get a job. In a big city, and in a job seeker’s market. I have an MBA and have been CIO, VP, GM, Programmer … titles that should have carried weight – but didn’t.
- I neglected my career management thinking that a degree and experience would do the job – it didn’t.
- I didn’t even think about networking or personal branding.
- My kids prayed for many months that “dad would get a job” … except my 3 year old prayed that I would get to work safely (even though I didn’t have a job :p)
So is it about age? Education? Job level?
I don’t think so. I’m sorry that we haven’t been able to connect. I hope that you are not prejudging me, saying that I’m too young, nieve or inexperienced to know the HELL of getting kicked out on your butt with nothing and nobody to help. I’m sure this would have been harder and worse had I been older – I don’t discount that.
But please don’t discount me. I’m passionate about my mission and my message. Whether you are just getting out of school and can’t get a job, or 30-something and going through your first layoff or 50/60-something and been through this a few times before but now facing age discrimination – my message applies.
I’m not PollyAnna – I know this is HELL. I’ve been there. I’ve lived through it. And my only hope is that I can help one person through a change, like what you see in Rik’s e-mail. That’s all I’m here for – to just help one person say “Iâ€™ve begun to see the importance of personal branding and career management” — that’s what drives me to blog each day.
So there you go – I’m pleasing some and not others.
By the way, does anyone know what’s so special about tomorrow? It’s a HUGE day for me!