College Students: Are you adding your side-hustle to your resume!?

I got killed a few weeks ago by some trolls on Twitter over posting this tweet:

I get that many people need to work side hustles to make ends meet in today’s world. I wasn’t talking about these folks working their butts off to make ends meet. I myself work side hustles.

In today’s #outrage culture, this tweet was seen as insensitive by some folks who spend way too much time on Twitter and not enough time on their professional role! Also, I’m clearly not Gary Vaynerchuk, the king of hustle porn, who could tweet this exact tweet and get 5 million likes before the end of the day!

Turns out, Recruiters are now encouraging college students to put their side hustles on their resume and profiles. Why? Because employers actually really like candidates who aren’t afraid to work! It’s the #1 thing that executives tell me when we talk about their pain points around hiring. “Tim, we just need people who want to work!”

So, what are the top side hustles you should be adding onto your resume and profiles? The folks at The Knowledge Academy did a survey and found these were the most popular:

  • 85% of US recruiters recommend those college students who buy items from garage sales and then sell them online for a higher price, to include it on their resume/job applications
  • 67% of US recruiters believe college students that create/modify products to sell online, should have it on their resume/job applications
  • 60% of US recruiters think college students who offer photography services for hire, encourage stating it on their resume/job applications

I really think as a candidate, any skill you believe adds to your overall value as an employee should be something you add to your resume and/or profile, but just know that some HR/Talent/Hiring Managers will look at this in different ways. If you’re an engineer and you’re also driving for a ride share service, you probably need to explain why the full-time gig isn’t enough. “I’m also supplementing my income with weekend and evening ride share to help pay off my student loans quicker!”

The survey found that –52% of recruiters feel companies who know an employee has a growing ‘side hustle’ should take an active approach to support them (i.e. offering flexible working hours). Um, what!? So, Mary is our accountant and we love her, but she also has a growing cupcake business on the side and I should give her time off to go do that and not fulfill her duties in a full-time role? I’m not sure I 100% can buy into this philosophy from a business standpoint!

I would probably go back to that employee and ask them if they started their own business, like this side hustle, and had to hire folks, who then wanted to not work their ‘real’ job, but put more time and effort towards their own thing, how would that sit with them? I already know the answer. They want and need workers who are committed and get their jobs done like everyone else.

It’s definitely a different world we live in. Side hustles become full-time hustles for so many folks. I definitely see this when someone is working a full-time gig that they hate, and a side hustle that they love. Like Gary V would say, you need to then adjust your lifestyle to fit your side hustle, and not your full-time gig if that’s what you desire to do. What you can’t do is think just because you love petting puppies, doesn’t mean you can do it full-time without giving up some stuff. It’s hard to make those Tesla payments on a puppy petter salary!

Want to build a community?

I get asked quite often by folks who want to build a community and/or are already starting a community to be apart of their community. My first question is always, “Why do you want to build this community?” It’s pretty straight forward. It should be simple to answer.

Most will go all guru-like about wanting to get like-minded folks together, etc., but in the end, it’s mostly about starting a group so they can sell them something. Almost 99% of the time this is the reason. Which is actually fine, if you follow the steps and don’t actually sell!

Here is really the only way I’ve found to build a successful community:

Step 1 – Find some folks who are like you.

Step 2 – Announce that you are starting a community together.

Step 3 – Draft the purpose and some ground rules around that community.

Step 4 – Show up every day, even Saturday and Sunday.

Step 5 – Never sell your stupid shit.

Step 6 – Give.

Step 7 – Go to Step 6

Step 8 – Eventually the community will give you more than you ever gave it.

It’s super simple, and super hard, to build a community, because it’s all about you giving, and giving, and giving, with absolutely no expectation that you’ll get anything back from the community. Those who go into building a community with this mindset and action, though, almost always get more out of it than they put in it.

 

The Employee Walk of Shame

I’ve lost jobs and I’ve called old employers to see if they would want to hire me back. I’ve usually gotten a response that sounded something like, “Oh, boy would we want you back but we just don’t have anything. Good Luck!”  Many of us in the talent game talk about our employee Alumni and how we should engage our Alumni but very few of us really take true advantage of leveraging this network.

I was reminded of this recently when a friend of mine took a new job.  You know the deal, shorter drive, more money, growing company and oh, boy, just where do I sign!?  The fact was, it was all they said, shorter drive, more money and they were growing, but they forgot to tell him was our operations are broken beyond repair, you will work 7 days a week and probably 12-14 hours per day because of the mess we have, but keep your head up it’s the only way you won’t drown here!

So, now what does he do?

He already had the going away party, bar night out with the work friends with the promises to do lunches and not get disconnected, packed up and unpack the office into the new office.  Let’s face it, big boy, you’re stuck!  Not so fast.  He did the single hardest thing an employee can do he called his old boss after 7 days and said one thing, “I made a mistake, can I come back?”

Luckily for him, his past boss was a forward-thinking leader and so this past Monday he did the 2nd hardest thing an employee can do he made the “Employee Walk of Shame“.

You can imagine the looks from people who didn’t know him well, “Hey, wait a minute, didn’t you leave?” Having to tell the same story over and over, feeling like he failed, like he wasn’t good enough to make it in the new position.

HR plays a huge part in this story because it was HR who can make this walk of shame a little less rough.  Let’s face it, it is different.  You just don’t leave and come back as nothing happened. Something did happen, there was a reason he left and that reason isn’t going away.  A transition back needs to be put into place even though he was gone seven days.  It’s not about just plugging back in, it is about re-engaging again and finding out what we all can do better so it doesn’t happen again.

It’s also about making sure you let those employees who you truly want back, that they are welcome to come back (assuming you have the job) and not just saying that to everyone.  There are employees who leave that you say a small prayer to G*d and you are thankful they left!  There are others where you wish there was a prayer you could say so they wouldn’t leave.

Make it easy for your employees to do the Walk of Shame, it helps the organization, but realize they are hurting, they are embarrassed, but they are also grateful!

Life is better when you have cheerleaders!

I’ve got some great friends in my life. People who support me in my professional field. I’ve got cheerleaders that are on my side hoping I succeed in everything I do.

Do you have cheerleaders? Do you have a cheerleader?

I think if you have one your life is richer. It’s not about who has the most cheerleaders, but I do think it is critical for your success to have a cheerleader or two in your life.

What’s the role of a cheerleader in your life?

  • Support you in the community when you are not present.
  • Support you in your professional and personal positive endeavors. Sometimes in person. Sometimes from afar.
  • Pick you up when you are having a hard time picking yourself up.
  • They believe in you, and they’ve let you know they believe in you through their words and actions.
  • To let you know what you do matters. Maybe only to one other person, but it still matters.

Just because someone is your cheerleader doesn’t mean you need to be their cheerleader. I have people in my life that I cheer for, that they don’t cheer for me. It doesn’t mean they dislike me, it’s just they aren’t one of my cheerleaders, and that’s okay. I also have cheerleaders that I don’t return the favor for, again, not because I don’t cherish them, I just don’t know them enough to return that favor.

I think cheerleaders get a bad rap in our society. Why would someone want to stand on the sidelines and just cheer for someone else? Go do it yourself!

Yeah, I get that, but also what’s wrong with wanting to help someone else succeed? It’s a very selfless and endearing feature to want to help others succeed and cheer them on in their success. I don’t think cheerleaders get enough credit for what they do. When a team loses or an individual loses, people feel bad for them, but no one feels worse than those who cheered them on the most.

Here’s what I know.

I’ve been in places in my life when it felt like I didn’t have any cheerleaders in my life, and I’m in a place where it seems like I’ve got a tremendous amount of cheerleaders in my life cheering me on daily.

Life is way better with cheerleaders.

If Someone Apologizes for Something, You Should Accept it.

Stuff happens. We make bad decisions. We do stupid stuff. Sometimes it all ends with us having to apologize for being dumb or just not thinking straight at that moment.

So, we apologize.

For a while now I’ve been watching people do stupid stuff, apologizing, but those who are receiving the apology are not accepting it. Instead, they refuse to accept the apology and something weird happens. Everything just stops.

I get that you might not feel that an apology is enough. You want more. You want ‘justice’ of some kind. You might feel the apology isn’t authentic. For sure, that’s all possible.

Here’s the thing: Just because you accept an apology, doesn’t mean you are okay with what happened.

Accepting allows you and the other party to actually keep moving in the direction of positive interaction. Closing that down and stopping that movement does nothing for anyone. You’re still upset, the other party is still upset and doesn’t know what to do to help the situation, and we are now moving backward with the relationship.

One problem that happens frequently is that someone tries to apologize too soon. You are upset and not in a position to want to accept it. At the same time the person does want you to know they are apologetic for what happened, and while you might not be ready, it’s good to accept the apology and tell them “thank you for that, I’m not ready to talk about this just yet, can we do this another time?”

99% of the time this will work and buy you the time you need to work through it and get yourself into a better position to actually discuss or determine your course of action.

Every apology we get we have to put into context. Is this about the other person, is this about ourselves, or is it about both? Sometimes someone does something not even thinking about you. They are thinking about themselves and probably someone else, and you get caught in friendly fire that no one thought of. Doesn’t change the ultimate ending and it still sucks, and you still need an apology.

It’s really hard for me, personally, to not apologize if I think I’ve done something wrong. I want to work on fixing it immediately! It drives my wife crazy sometimes. I want immediate fixing and she might just need to digest what happened and determine what she needs. At that moment, it might not be an apology, it might just be some space.

Communication is a two-way street. Both sides have something to say and something they are trying to do. We live in this modern world where people have decided that it’s not okay to screw up, but we “celebrate failure”, and you can apologize, but I won’t accept it. Um, what?

Life is hard. Let people apologize. Accept it. If that’s not enough for you, let them know. If you want to end the relationship, and an apology isn’t enough, let them know that as well.

 

 

Should You Measure a Candidate’s Desire to Work For You in Response Time?

I have expectations as a leader in my organizations for other employees who are in a leadership position in my company. One of those expectations is, if I call or text you on off hours, weekends, vacations, etc., for something that is urgent to the business, I expect a reply in a rather short time frame.

Some people would not like that. I don’t care. You’re a leader, the business needs you, there’s no time clock for that.

That expectation is set for someone at a leadership level in my organization. They know this expectation before taking the job. Also, I’m not an idiot about it. I can probably count on one hand the number of times in the past five years I’ve reached out to someone on weekends or vacations expecting and needing a response.

But, what if you measured candidate quality in the same manner? Seems unreasonable, doesn’t it!?

Well, check this out:

Nardini is the CEO of the sports and men’s lifestyle site Barstool Sports. In a New York Times interview, she detailed her process for vetting job candidates. After saying she was a “horrible interviewer” because of her impatience, she explained a unique process for gauging potential hires’ interest in the job.

“Here’s something I do,” she said. “If you’re in the process of interviewing with us, I’ll text you about something at 9 p.m. or 11 a.m. on a Sunday just to see how fast you’ll respond.”

The maximum response time she’ll allow: three hours.

So, Erika believes if a candidate doesn’t reply back to her on a Sunday at 9 pm within three hours, they are not interested in a job.

This is why recruiting is hard.

You have moron leaders who come up with stupid ideas of what they think is ‘important’ and then they make you live by these dumb rules. This rule is ridiculous. Erika’s assessment of why this works is ridiculous. But, she’ll get a pass.

Why?

She’s a she. If some dumb white dude came up with the same rule the New York Times would write an expose on how this guy is a complete tyrant and out of touch with today’s world, and how crappy this candidate experience is, and how bad leadership this is, etc. But, no one will. She’s just leaning in and doing what the guys do!

Yes, she is. She’s being an idiot.

Now, I’ll say I actually agree with her on her assessment on response time, assuming the roles she is expecting a reply from in three hours are time critical roles. She runs a media site with breaking stories. Twitter has these things up in seconds, media sites need replies to what is happening within minutes and hours. So, there could be some legitimacy to something as arbitrary as measuring candidate desire by response time.

It’s fraught with issues, to be sure, but for certain roles, it might find you some good talent. Should it be a golden rule of hiring for your organization? No, that’s just dumb.

If you really want a silver bullet I ask every candidate if they’re a dog person or cat person. Works every time!

You Can Love America and Not be a Racist

I had a big learning recently.

Might seem like a pretty obvious thing for me, but I really didn’t understand how it was shaping my thought process. Politically, right now in our country, we’re a mess.

You can actually love America and being an American, and you’re not a racist.

I wasn’t sure that was possible, but as we (Kris Dunn, Jessica Lee and I) were taping episodes of our podcast, This is HR, I was taken aback at how much Jessica Lee, my Millennial, female, Korean-American, liberal, podcast partner loved America. She is pro-America. She also, like many of us, very against some political forces in our country right now.

I think it’s a great reminder as we set out to celebrate our great country over this 4th of July holiday. We love our country which is why we are fighting so hard to make this country something everyone can look at and appreciate our place in the world.

Too often, currently, I think we are associating “pro-America” with “pro-right” or conservative. This isn’t the case. Pro-America is why so many people are trying to get into this country, because of the opportunity that is here, even with all of the flaws we struggle with and will continue to struggle with.

While we might not agree with those in charge, this great country of ours allows us to vote. Allows us to fund those we do align with. Allows us to protest and march and campaign. Our melting pot is far from perfect. Inclusion causes friction. Different ideas cause friction. Our country was founded on this friction.

I’m more scared of living in a society with no friction. Where we all believe exactly the same thing or we least believe we need to believe the same thing or there will be consequences.

I have friends and family on every side of the political spectrum.  They are good people on all sides. There are bad people on all sides. This is America and I love it.

The Worst HR Advice I’ve Ever Given to an Employee

A few days ago this thought came to me: “What is the worst advice I’ve ever given anyone?’  Usually, in a case like this the first thing you think of is usually correct!  In my case, I came up with a number of things right away, none of which really seemed like the worst advice, and more of me making fun of what other people think is ‘good’ advice.

Here’s a sample:

1. Don’t be afraid to fail.

2. Follow your passion!

3. Don’t play office politics.

4. Yeah, go get that Masters degree in HR!

5. Just keep it to yourself, I’m sure no one will find out.

See what I’m talking about?!  All of the above statements have been shared as good advice, but I tend to think of them as terrible advice.

Then it came to me. The worst advice I have ever given to an employee in my HR career.

Here it is:

“Just wait and see what happens…”

This advice was given to an employee who really wanted a different position in the company, outside of their department.  It was going to come open because we all knew the person in the position was going to get promoted. I was early in my career, and I believed our ‘process’ would help this person out.  Just wait, I thought, and once this person takes their new position, you can post for their old position.  How naive I was.

The person who got promoted had a ‘plan’.  That plan had nothing to do with my process or the employee who was wanting that position.  The plan did have the old employee putting one of his buddies into his old position, and seemingly everyone knew of this plan except me.  This was the day I learned that everyone has a plan, and in HR it’s really my job to know what those plans are, and manage expectations early.

The person I told to wait, now didn’t trust me, and truly believed I knew what was going to happen.  The reality was, I should have known, so I really couldn’t blame the person for being upset with me.  My own bad advice probably taught me more about HR than almost anything else I have ever learned in the profession.  As soon as you hear of possible moves, you better get involved.  Waiting to see what happens usually ends up with stuff happening, without you knowing!

5 Usable Excuses Not to Attend a Co-worker’s Wedding!

I had one of my Recruiters ask for some advice this week. It wasn’t work advice, it was a little more personal.  She had told a person she would attend the wedding of a family member with them but was having second thoughts. It was one of those Holy Crap moments! I don’t really like this person that much, and I don’t want to go to a family wedding with him and send the wrong message.

So, what was my advice?  It started out pretty straight. Tell them the truth!  “Look, dude, I’m just not that into you, and the last place on earth I want to be on Saturday evening is sitting at a table with your parents and Aunt Betty with them thinking “ours” is next!”

As you can imagine, that wasn’t going to do.  Not that she didn’t want to tell him the truth, but she also didn’t want to hurt him. She was looking for a softer way to cut him loose.  You know! A how-do-I-get-him-to-not-want-me-to-go excuse – like he can’t stand my breath or I have hammer toes, or something!?

Now, she was truly diving into my end of the pool!  You want a “Fake Reason” why you can’t go!  YES! I’m in HR. I’m in Recruiting. I’m the king of fake excuses for why people don’t get the job!  I’m on it!

So, here’s the first 3 I gave her:

  1. You have VD! (Ok, I know this is strong right out of the gate – but let’s face the facts – most dudes will run from this!  Funny Fact: She is a millennial and had no idea what “VD” was! I’m old! Using WWII references like it was cool 2015 slang!)
  2. Your Dog has Cancer! (Sketchy I know, but girls and their pets…this one might work.  Funny Fact: Her dog actually did have Eye Cancer but was cured, so not technically lying…)
  3. You have to Babysit for a Co-worker! (Now this one is fraught with problems, guys have gotten this one before and they might pull a. “Oh, I’ll come and help!” then you’re stuck and have to find some brat to babysit for the night. Funny Fact: She was like “Oh, hell No! I have a Real Job, why would I babysit!”)

All of this brainstorming got me thinking of how I’ve personally gotten out of going to Co-workers Weddings that I didn’t want to go to.  Here is my Top 5 Excuses to  Miss a Co-worker’s Wedding:

  1. I’ll be on Vacation! This is good because you usually find out about the wedding of a co-worker way ahead of time. All you have to do is actually plan for this and take your vacation during the weekend of the wedding. Far, far away from the actual wedding.
  2. My kid has a sports tournament out of town that weekend.  A little sketchy, but it is really hard for them to verify you really didn’t have a sports tournament, and let’s face it, I’m going to my kid’s sports game (the 127th of this year) vs. your once in a lifetime moment.
  3. I came down with the “Flu”!This one nobody believes, but it’s the go-to excuse because everyone uses it and it has been internationally certified as an acceptable lie to get out of anything.
  4. My Mom/Dad/Grandma/Grandpa/Great Aunt Betty/etc. fell and are at the hospital. I needed to go see them. They needed my help. It was serious.  Let’s face old people fall. In fact, it might be the only thing they have left to do. You hear about old people falling every day. This is a very usable excuse in a pinch because it’s somewhat believable and old people don’t remember later on when someone asks “How are you doing after your fall?”, and they’ll go “better” and then complain about their aches and pains.
  5. I’ve got another Wedding that same day! Again, believable, but what you’re really saying to the person is “I’ve ranked you lower than someone else in my life. I hope you understand, but I didn’t buy you a place setting off your registry!”

What is your top excuse for not going to a co-worker’s wedding?

8 Types of Recognition that Suck!

I run a small business.  When I need to know something, I usually reach out to my employees and find out what they think.  It’s not some big fancy ‘research’ survey with thousands of responses, but it’s real.

Recently, I wanted to know what people might want in terms of a recognition award.  Ironically, what I found goes against some big fancy research done by recognition companies who are in the business of selling the crap on the list below, crazy how that works in the research game! Anywho, what I found wasn’t surprising to me.

Here’s the list of the Top 8 things my employees don’t want when it comes to Recognition Awards:

1. Anniversary Pins! If you give me one of these I will stick it back in your eye! “Hey, Tim, Thanks for 10 years! Buddy, here’s a pin!” A What!?!? I’ve given you ten great years and you’re giving me a pin. Is this 1955?

2. A Plaque. Or any other kind of trophy thing. If I wanted a trophy to show me that I’m a salesperson of the year, you hired the wrong person. JayZ said it best “we can talk, but money talks, so talk more bucks”.

3. Corporate logo wear. Giving out corporate logo wear as a form of recognition screams you have executives that haven’t actually spoken to an employee in the last twenty years!

4. A watch. Wait, if it’s a Rolex, I’ll take a watch. If it’s a Timex you better ‘watch’ out, I’m throwing it at someone! Nothing says we don’t really care about you like a $50 watch with it engraved on the back ‘You Matter! 2019!’

5. Luggage. The ‘experts’ would like you to believe that your employees would really ‘appreciate’ luggage because it’s an item they don’t normally like to spend their money on. The reason why people don’t like to spend their money on luggage is that it gets destroyed after one trip through O’Hare! That’s just what you want to see coming around the luggage carousel – “Hey, look, honey, it’s your employee of the year award all ripped up and stained”. Sign and symbols.

6. Fruit Baskets. First, most people don’t want to be healthy or we wouldn’t have the obesity problem we have in our society. Second, people like chocolate, candy, salty snacks, and diet soda. If you want to send food, send food they’ll actually eat!

7. A Parking Spot with Their Name On It. This goes bad two ways: 1. I drive a $100K Mercedes and you don’t, now you know I drive a better car than you and it’s awkward; 2. I drive a beater and I’m embarrassed to let everyone know I make so little I can even afford a 2014 Chevy Cobalt.

8. A Hug! Wait! I totally want a hug! Just not a creepy hug. You know what a creepy hug feels like when you’re about 13 seconds into it and the other person won’t let go! But nothing says “we recognize you” in the totally wrong way, like inappropriate hugs at work!

What do employees want?

Well, that’s an entire another post, but my 20 years of HR ‘research’/experience shows people want for their peers and leaders to appreciate their efforts. Nothing says ‘we truly care about you’ like having one of your peers tell you in some sort of way. When teams can do that, they become special! It might be a quick handwritten note, a face to face meeting in the hall, etc. It really doesn’t matter the avenue of how it comes, it just matters that you have the culture that it does come and it’s encouraged to keep coming.