This video always make me think of my life with my wife.

Hit the nail on the head

 

I was cleaning out the trunk of my car a few weeks ago and I noticed a box full of papers. Instead of quickly discarding the papers in the garbage i decided to rifle through them to see what papers had value. Most of the papers were about work and information about some of my various clients from 2007 up until 2010. These papers were out of date and quickly tossed into the trash. at the bottom of the pile of paperwork was an old personality test I had taken during my time with Rollins.

I quickly straighten the smashed and folded to pages to read the words the Psychologist had written about me more than 10 years ago. I laughed when my mind drifted back to my time in his office and the battery of test that i was submitted to. I remember my conversation with him as we had a few minutes of short talk before I started to control the conversation before he abruptly stopped me and took control of the conversation. I remember distinctly thinking at the time that i have never had anyone take the conversation away from me like that.

As I skipped the pages with their fancy charts and graphs the words leaped of off the page to me. High levels of Outgoing, competitive nature, dominate, less patience and conformity.  Well I am pleased or displeased, depending on how you look at it, to see that not much has changed in the last 10 years. I sell for a living and the attributes that help to make me successful at my work career are the same attributes that i rank as high in my personality. That make sense, whether by push or pull you tend to gravitate towards things that suit your ability and skill level.

The page that has made the most impact was the recommendation by the Psychologist that I am bored easily after I feel that I have learned a topic or skill. The company, whose report this was made to, would need to put constant new opportunity in front of me to keep me. Little more than 18 months later those words would ring true as I left the company for a new opportunity.

As I sit and reflect over the last several weeks since reading the report I wonder where I put myself on the chart nowadays in my life. I like the fact that most of the attributes or personality traits have remained the same but I would hope after the previous 10 years I would have progressed and improved.

In 2011 I started my company with Craig and now I look at the calendar I see we have just completed 18 months and I feel that my life is one constant 30 day cycle making sure that I hit the sales numbers each month so we can hit the projected numbers we need to be profitable. The months seem to drone on and it gets tough to discern them from each other. I find myself working so hard on the now is hard to make sure that I can focus on the future all the while telling myself that the future has many new and great opportunities, which it does, to keep myself sane and somewhat focused.

Arghhh… Focus is the key things that I think really separate those who do and do not. So I guess for the next 10 years I want to improve my personality with focus and some patience. I feel you can’t have one without the other. I think with patience you can achieve some focus they are not mutually exclusive but there is a definite correlation. Check back with me in 10 and we can have a chat and see if I have focused a little more in my life.

Now back to making sales calls it only Friday at 4:19 pm.

Happiness

Happiness is spending time with those you love and enjoy

It’s in my DNA

I am an entrepreneur at heart. I guess I got the bug, maybe it’s part of my DNA or i was born to this end but i suppose i learned it from my father. I think he always wanted to have his own company. He owned a landscape and nursery company growing up and has done odd things through out the years to see about the possibility of striking out on his own.

So I have heard imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. My dad must be very flattered because I have embarked down the path of ownership and have more than once take the leap.  I have owned part of a landscape company, pest control company, an online e-commerce company to benefit non profit organizations. To help control which thought or impulse I think about I have a book that I use from time to time to write in when I have a thought, impression  and or gut feeling about a new potential business. I have  found  that writing my thoughts in the book help me see them differently and to be able to work out the kinks or feel confident they are safe to work, tinker on another day.

So through the years of recruiting I have always wanted to own my own recruiting company and now I have the chance. I have just a couple of thoughts. 

1. The job is tougher than I thought it would be

2. The job is more rewarding that I thought it would be.

3. I am working on the assumption it will all be worth it.

So over the next few weeks I will am going to put words to paper (or WordPress) as way to get out of some of my thoughts as a person who is a small business owner/ entrepreneur as a way to digest what goes on around me.

 

My Blog

I started this blog in an effort to help my recruiting effort and to push the the social media agenda for Matrix Resources. I no longer work at Matrix Resources but I have decided I will remake this blog into my own person blog. So….. I may post industry pieces on here and i may post things about my life. Take it all with a grain of salt.

Do’s and Don’ts

I have four kids and have spent many hours reading books at night to my kids. One of the book, handed down by my parents, that has lasted throughout (the kids) is “Do’s and Don’ts” by Todd Parr.

The directions and advice offered from a children’s book offers parallels and advice that may be applied in various circumstances of day-to-day adulthood.

Amazon writes Do’s and Don’ts could be called an etiquette primer–sort of. “Do change your socks every day,” he tells us. “Don’t make anyone smell them,” he adds. “Do have lunch with a monkey,” but “don’t eat his bananas.” “Do brush your teeth after every meal,” but “don’t brush with peanut butter.” You get the idea.

 

 

 

 

I thought it would be appropriate to give you the “Do’s and Dont’s of Interviewing

Do arrive on-time to all interviews – including phone.

You want your first impression to be a great one! Tardiness may reflect upon you adversely.

Don’t be late so you feel you have to constantly apologize. Do wear appropriate attire for the interview. (If you do not know the environment call the day before and ask.)

Do not wear Tennis shoes with a suit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do bring a copy of your resume.

Do not bring a wrinkled or stained copy. Make sure it is up to date.

Do look at their website before interviewing.

Do not look at your phone while interviewing. Be sure that your phone is either off or on a silent setting. Do NOT answer your phone while in an interview

Do have a positive attitude

Don’t bad mouth your past employer, boss and or anyone else related to previous employment.

Do answer questions honestly

Don’t lie on your resume or in the interview. Lies will reflect someone you aren’t. Even if they help you get the your foot in the door, most transgressions will be brought to light and will affect you and your employer adversely eventually.

Do enjoy yourself

Don’t act needy or overzealous

Do explain your past employment experiences in as much detail as possible.

Don’t ramble on with stories that do not pertain to the position. Try not to exceed 45 seconds per answer unless asked

Do accept a great opportunity

Don’t waffle between jobs based on a difference of a few thousand dollars.

 Do think about YOUR career goals.

Don’t jump at the first opportunity just because it is offered.

Do read all of my blog post so I can use Google ads and I can retire. :)

Matt

Special thanks to Lindsey for the helping editing the post. Yeah Lindsey..

 

 

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New hire- ready set wait

A used pencil holder, pens with ink that’s dried up like the Mojave desert, a waste basket with someone’s leftovers from last month…year…who knows?  I think we have all started off jobs moving into less than ideal cubicles or offices. I moved into a cubicle and found cans of chunky beef stew in the drawers. Nothing says “I want you here” like the last person’s leftover can of chunky beef stew in your new drawer.

I think one of the most overlooked steps in the hiring process is the on-boarding of new hires.  Companies spend a lot of time being thorough in the hiring process to ensure they have the right candidates-personality interviews, relevant technical interviews, drug testing, credit check, signing over your first-born child.

Once they have decided on a candidate, the process is turned over to HR. Human Resources makes sure that the new hire procedure is followed. The new candidates get a tidal wave of information that is meant to inform, not overwhelm. Some companies try to cram as much knowledge as they can into a short amount of time to make certain that the new hire understands the company way and to cover them against anything bad.

Most new hires leave with a card in hand and tons of potential questions but they will need to let their ears stop ringing and their head stop spinning before they can articulate anything.

The hiring manager takes the new employee to his/her new domain (cubicle and office). Nothing screams “welcome” like a thick coat of office dust and a dated can of tuna from 2004. The manager shakes their hand and says “this is your cubicle, I will let you get acclimated, and then I will come check on you in a few minutes”. Minutes turn into hours. Then someone stops by and introduces themselves and asks you to help by jumping right in. Training by fire to commence in T minus 10, 9 , 8 , 7…. I think you get the picture.

Recently I had a consultant start a new position after having given a two-week notice at their prior employer only to find nothing ready for them when they arrived for their first day of work.

Pay attention to the details. Make a list of the things this person will need to be successful to perform their expected duties.   If it takes a company two days to get a security badge, three days to get their laptop for IT, and finally five days to access the system by my count, that first week amounted to very little work and a lot of waiting.  If as a consultant/new hire you see this happening, talk to your manager.

Above all, as a new hire DO NOT go to sleep at your desk as you wait for your access or laptop, yep that actually happened.

Managers, remind yourself of all the things you need to accomplish for the new hire to help them “hit the ground running” as opposed to “hit the snooze button”. You will reap the rewards of a faster ROI and an overall better perception of  you and the company.

Pick me, I can play..

I have started to see the job market change. I am seeing more jobs than qualified candidates.  Surprise!  In the blink of an eye,  how quickly the tide has changed from a saturation of candidates, to actively searching for “A” candidates again.

I have even seen some backlash against those candidates who have been without a job for over 6 months. Here are a couple of questions I am receiving from clients.

What have they done in the past six months?

What are they doing now to keep up their skills?

Were they part of a large downsize or were they let go for performance reasons?

Why haven’t they found a position? Are they too picky? Are they not technically strong enough?

Realizing that those questions are starting to enter into the mindset of interviewers can help you be aware and give you talking points about your skills and recent history.

If you are out of work, now is a good time to update your certifications. Certifications are a great way to show you are still actively engaged in your knowledge and ability to work. Participating in user groups and working on projects in your area of expertise can help ease the transition.

Look for different way to be actively engaged. Volunteer once a week at an organization. You would be surprised the benefits you will receive-from the work to the increased chance of networking.  The more you do, the more visible you are.

Don’t forget to ask the question in the end of the  interview. ” Is there anything in your estimation that you feel makes me unfit for this position.”  You can clarify from there but if you do not address this, you may miss your opportunity to explain your activity.

Diving into Social Media

Twitter via Tweetdeck, Facebook, Linkedin, and WordPress. My chosen tools in my endeavor into  the realm of Social Media. Coworkers, clients and friends ask me for progress reports on my dive into the deep end of the Social Media pool. All of the talk started me pondering on the benefits I have received from Social Media. So like all good blogs :) I put together a list.

1. I have been able to connect with people in my industry worldwide to see different points of view. I have been sent articles that directly correspond to my current position. I have connected with people like Stephanie Lloyd, Craig Fischer, Ozzie Saunds who have great recruiting knowledge.

2. I like to consider myself an entrepreneur. I like to follow on Twitter the strong start-up community here in Atlanta. I started following John Melonakos and his company Accelereyes. That led me to follow many people involved with TAG and the ATDC. I followed, just to name a few, @Sanjay,@Startupriot, @lance, @keithmcgreggor, @melaniebrandt, @billcutts, @jbmcconnell, @smrosenberg, @pfreet and enjoyed a view from the cheap seats. 

3.  I have met new friends that have allowed me to connect with them in a more personal setting.  I have learned more information about topics I am interested in like Business Intelligence from Justin Honaman and Silverlight from Jeremy Likness. I use Twitter to go out and expand my net of contacts locally and worldwide and those who I feel I have a good connection I invite to Linkedin to me.

4. On the wall of my wrestling room in high school my coach used to put motivational posters and sayings. I remember one them said “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” .  I have found several new clients that have engaged me for their companies. I had a recent new client call me up after I found their blog and we started a dialogue. We Linkedin to each other and now follow through Twitter.  I am now working on 1 opportunity with them with a possibility of a 2nd.

5. I have been able to talk to many different people through my blog. The blog has allowed me to get out some of the things I have learned for the past several years in recruiting in the hopes my experiences can be of benefit to someone. It has also made me very aware that I wish I had taken a typing class my sophomore year of high school.

6. Facebook has allowed  me to connect to old classmates and friends far away and feel that there is still a twinge of friendship even though we haven’t spoken in years. Nothing better than seeing who is bald, who has kids and relive great memories through old picture of games and activities.

 

I have enjoyed my current foray into Social Media. I think I will continue working at it but if big sales and a huge corner office do not come because of my blog, or Twitter I am okay.

So I pose this question to you, how have you benefited from Social Media?

Perception is reality

This last week my family was given the Titanic of all playground sets. The behemoth had to have weight thousands of pounds and was put together with enough hardware to keep it together during a level 5 hurricane. My family was looking for a playground set for a while and was happy to take this off our friends hands. The take down and set up included several days of kicking, yelling, bruised knuckles and an occasional “Come on” screamed at the various beams of wood.

See full size image

Finally, after several days we succeeded in putting the playground together.  I turned around to let the kids jump on the swings and the new slide  only to see my kids lower themselves into animals as they tussled and fought to be the first child down the slide. I thought how crazy their actions were for the situation, had they thought about it for a few seconds, no one ever cares nor remembers who was the first person on the monkey bar, slide or swing. I just had to laugh.

My oldest daughter who was third down the slide sat dejectedly on the slide and sulked about being third not first. I talked to her and told her to get over the slide. I didn’t want it to ruin her whole play experience. Having to wait 7 seconds while the boys went down the slide first should not ruin her moment, life, play time.

I wonder how many time we are blinded by what we feel is unfair or unjust situation and miss many great opportunities. I know my daughter missed about twenty minutes of play time she will never get back because she felt slighted that she was not the first person down the slide. None of that matters now 1 week later.  Though, sometimes it’s easier said than done when we talk about emotions.

No sense in wasting time for things that in the end do not better you or make you happy. I have never met a content happy person who focuses on what didn’t happen as opposed to what did happen that was beneficial. 

I had a day to remember yesterday.  I could focus on: My car got a flat tire and the tire shop took two hours to put on my spare and send me to another tire store. I had to go back into the dentist because the filling they did last week is killing me and they had to redo some work. Perhaps I could talk about  the blood drive I went to that was so backed up it took me two hours to get finished. I finally got home at 9 pm tired and beat.

What I saw was:  Brent Bowen, a good friend, took time to pick me up and drop me off at the tire shop to get my car.  The company where I had to take my flat tire fixed me up and did it all while remembering my name from my recent visit six weeks ago. The blood drive netted 57 pints of blood for the Red Cross and the hospital systems in Atlanta, our goal had been 48. I was able to stay up and spend time with my wife watching a movie.

I guess in the end I was truly blessed to see that yesterday for what it was, good times.

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