You see the lists all the time in newspapers, trade publications, online…the supposed “Best Companies to Work for”.
Given the economy’s continued woes, I decided to put on my job seeker hat and see what it would be like to try to contact these supposed best of breed companies, as a potential employee.
Nothing speaks to greatness like having someone express a tremendous interest in joining your company…or so I thought. I wanted to see what it would take to establish a dialog with them. The results would make your head spin.
I used as my list the 2009 Society of Human Resource Management “Best Companies to Work for in New York State” in the Small/Medium Category (15-249 Employees.) Since most jobs are created by companies categorized as small companies and you would obviously assume that a “Best Company to Work for” would be worth targeting, these are the companies I decided to pursue.
Of the list of 20 companies in NY State, I excluded those that were outside of the NY Metro area (my target area.) That left me with nine companies. I then researched these company’s core businesses, including their products and services, competitors, management, recent financial performance, competitors, etc.
Then I developed a VERY targeted cover letter to each of them, in which I addressed their specific business challenges. I offered my twenty plus years of strategic planning, marketing management, and new business development experience in B2B business environments. I also spoke of my expertise in providing solutions as a consultant to small and mid-sized businesses.
The results were disappointing TO SAY THE LEAST! Not ONE of those nine companies responded to my initial inquiry seeking an audience with that member of the management team. Nor did they respond to any of my subsequent voicemails and email follow-ups.
These are the Best Companies to Work For”? Welcome to today’s lack of professional courtesy workplace, as evidenced by the best of the best.
No wonder so many disgruntled professionals are leaving Corporate America to start their own business ventures or are checking out of the workforce completely.
Next, build a rolodex of client / boss references – these are your testimonials. Have them handy, and keep up contact with these folks. Identify your personal FEATURES and BENEFITS. When you develop your own personal brand, it requires you to think about yourself as a product. and your personal PRODUCT features and benefits consist of such things as: the degrees you obtained, the academic institutions you attended (stay active through their alumni organizations), your certifications, continuing professional development, software skills, professional accreditations, industry Association memberships, volunteer work, the charitable organizations you are affiliated – any and everything that define and contribute to your personal BRAND.
Participate on industry panel discussions.
That got me to thinking…what does it look like when people give 100%? If there was a magical “checklist” to show you what 100% looked like, what would it include?
Well, that’s my list. How many of these can you check off on your “GREATNESS” chart? What other criteria do you set for yourself to measure your own greatness?
I got into a totally unanticipated discussion the other night with folks at a networking event in which I was the guest speaker, talking about ways that entrepreneurs can launch a successful start up in this Depression.
Our jovial conversation turned suddenly to the topic that is on EVERYONE’S mind these days – the awful state of our economy.
We started talking about the fact that none of the captains of our business and industry, namely the CEOs and Senior Management (C Suite) of our banks, financial, and insurance institutions have been punished for their crimes against humanity.
One of the women in attendance asked me why I thought none of the people in these organizations that have ben most responsible for the damage inflicted upon our economy and most American’s short and long-term financial stability, have been convicted of crimes (except for Bernard Madoff.)
I said that our Administration won’t/can’t let that happen. Most of the folks in Treasuray, the Federal Reserve, Senate Finance Committee, etc. have strong personal ties with those in positions of power that caused most of the damage done.
Then I jokingly said: “Too bad we don’t subscribe to public executions in this country.” After a VERY awkward moment of silence, one man in our group said: “I’m glad you said that. I’ve been thinking it for a year now.”
That got me to thinking. What if…
…we arrested the people that we knew were at the heart of all this pain and suffering? After a brief albeit entirely legal trial with due process and all, we found them guilty, sentenced them on the spot, and took only 1-2 weeks to schedule the public execution via beheading?
I have the perfect venue. You set up a guillotine in front of the charging bull at the south entrance to Wall Street.
You would want to schedule the beheadings a week or two in advance, to give the employees who work in these convicted leader’s organizations and the investors whose lives they ruined, ample time to plan on being their. Of course you would want to broadcast it live over the Net in REAL time, so people in other parts of the country (or world) or people away on vacation can take time out to dial in, to observe our justice system at work.
It would serve a two-fold purpose of sending a STRONG message to those in other organizations to begin flying straight…plus it serves as entertainment, to get people away from their IDIOT box (the TV) and all that reality TV programming.
Am I being facetious? Yes. Is this the sort of thing that CIVILIZED society does…of course NOT? But I ask, do YOU have an explanation why those at the heart of creating so much destruction in so many people’s lives get of scott free, while WE have all lost most of our retirement funds, 401ks, child college savings? Is it fair that our children, and their children, and perhaps THEIR children, will have to foot the bill for this mess for decades to come?
Is our current financial mess a natural manifestation of the GREED associated with our chosen capitalist society? Digging even deeper, why have ALL our institutions – FINANCIAL, BUSINESS, ACADEMIC AND GOVERNMENT failed us these past 30-40 years?
How did we allow this to happen? What would YOU do to turn things around?