Thank you! This will be my last post, forever. #ProjectEnd

It comes with great pride and a bit of sorrow that I tell you that today will be the last time I’ll be posting on my blog. For the past decade, I’ve been posting each workday my thoughts and ideas about work, technology, and life.

As I looked back on over three thousand posts, well over a million words written, I came to realize something – you a$$holes don’t pay me anything!

I mean, the dude with a sign on off-ramp makes more than I do, and he wrote like 5 words on that damn sign! Not once, have you sent me a note and said, “Hey, Tim, what’s your Venmo, I want to send you $5!”

To be honest, I do have a super sweet collection of HR and TA Tech vendor t-shirts. But, the ROI of this little “Project” I started a decade ago, a labor of love and sometimes hate, just doesn’t fill my closet with limited-edition Nikes.

So, I’ve decided to say Goodbye…until I wake up tomorrow in a panic that I don’t have any content up and think wait, what about Joe, that poor TA leader in East Omaha who has no idea how he’s going to find twenty call center reps this month! Poor Joe. I got you, buddy!

The Rules for Office Romances

Valentine’s Day is coming up in a couple of weeks. As HR pros we know what this means, which is usually a lot of unwanted advances by horny dudes who think they have a shot at the hot co-worker, who has absolutely no interest in them at all.

Welcome to the show, kids!

I’ve given out some rules in the past. Everyone on the planet has read my Rules for Hugging at the Office, but Office Romances are a little more complicated than the simple side-hug in the hallway. So, I thought I would lay out some easy to follow, simple rules for Office Romances for you to pass out to your employees on Valentine’s Day:

Rule #1 – Don’t fall for someone you supervise. If you do fall for someone you supervise, which you probably will because this is how office romances work. In that case, get ready to quit, be fired, be moved to another department, and or get the person you’re having an office romance with fired, moved, etc.

Rule #2 – Don’t fall for anyone in Payroll. When it ends, so will your paycheck. At least temporarily, and even then it will be filled with errors from now until eternity. It’s a good rule of thumb to never mess with payroll for any reason.

Rule #3 – Don’t mess around in the office, or on office grounds. Look I get it. You’re crazy in love and just can’t wait until you get home. The problem is the security footage never dies. It will live long past your tenure with us, and we’ll laugh for a long time at you. So, please don’t.

Rule #4 – Don’t send explicit emails to each other at work. It’s not that I won’t enjoy reading them, it’s that I get embarrassed when I have to read them aloud to the unemployment judge at your hearing. Okay, I lied, I actually don’t get embarrassed, but you will.

Rule #5 – Don’t pick a married one. Look I get it, you’re the work-spouse. He/She tells you everything. You get so close, you really think it’s real, but it’s not. You’ll actually see this when the real spouse shows up and keys your car in the parking lot.

Rule #6 – Don’t pick someone who has crappy performance. Oh, great, you’re in love! Now I’m firing your boyfriend and you’ll have to pick between him and us, which you’ll pick him, and now I’m out two employees. Pick the great performers, it’s easier for all of us.

Rule #7 – Inform the appropriate parties as soon as possible. Okay, you went to a movie together, not a big deal. Okay, you went to the movie together and woke up in a different bed than your own. It might be time to mention this to someone in HR if there is at anyway a conflict of some sort. If you don’t know if there’s a conflict of some sort, let someone in HR help you out with that.

Rule #8 – If it seems wrong, it probably is.  If you find yourself saying things in your head like, “I’m not sure if this is right”, you probably shouldn’t be having that relationship. If you find yourself saying things like, “If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right”, you definitely shouldn’t be having this relationship.

Rule #9 – If you find yourself hiding your relationship at work, it might be time to talk to HR. We’re all adults, we shouldn’t be hiding normal adult relationships. If you feel the need to hide it, something isn’t normal about it.

Rule #10 – Everyone already knows about your relationship. People having an office romance are the worst at hiding it. You think you’re so sneaky and clever, but we see you stopping at her desk 13,000 times a day ‘asking for help’ on your expense report. We see you. We’re adults. We know what happened when you both went into the stairwell 7 seconds apart. Stop it.

There you go. Hope that helps as you prepare for Valentine’s Day!

I hear you…

It’s what you hearing…Listen!

It’s what you hearing…Listen!

It’s what you hearing…LISTEN! (DMX – X Gon’ Give It To Ya)

I hear you…

2020 was not what you expected or what you wanted. I hear you.

You aren’t where you want to be in life. I hear you.

You didn’t accomplish all you wanted this year. I hear you.

You lost more than you won this year. I hear you.

You took some big losses in 2020. I hear you.

You felt like the world has turned upside down. I hear you.

You’re afraid that 2021 might not be much better. I hear you.

You’re not sure your career is on pace for where it should be. I hear you.

I hear you.

What I love about New Years’ is we are given this freedom, once per year, to start over or continue, or do just make a decision to move in another direction and go, “yeah, in 2021 I’m going to do “X”!”

We are congratulated on this announcement. Good for you! I can’t wait to see how that turns out!

So, I hear you, and now is the time for you to make a decision. You can continue being your version of 2020 or you can try and be something else in 2021. Quite frankly, this has worked really great for me in some years, and not at all in other years. Still, I like the exercise.

If I could be “X” in 2021, what would that be and how would I get there, and am I willing to put in that work or change to get there? 

This isn’t about anyone or anything else. It’s just you. We love to believe it’s about other things. If I just had another job. If I just had a different significant other. If I just lived someplace else. If I just wasn’t so unmotivated. Then, my entire life would be better!

I hear you.

Now, write down what you want to do in 2021 and email it to me at sackett.tim@gmail.com. Let’s get to work on that.

Guest Bloggers Wanted! #Rant

Can I be real a second?
For just a millisecond?
Let down my guard and tell the people how I feel a second?

No! I don’t want your stupid Guest Blog Post! 

Several times a day I have “writers” reach out to me and ask me if they can submit a guest blog post to my blog. Anyone who blogs, in any industry, has this happen to them. The more traffic your blog gets, the more requests for “guest blogs” you get.

The problem is, all of these guest blogs aren’t what they seem. But, these folks pitching their guest blogs act like the people who own blogs have no idea what they are really trying to do.

The seedy underbelly of the blogger world! 

You didn’t know I was going to open up the kimono today and let out all the secrets, did you!? Here’s the real deal, 99.9% of folks who request to write a guest blog are only doing it so they can put up marginal content that is loaded with links that go back to a client site they are getting paid by.

They don’t care about the content.

They don’t care about my audience.

They only care about getting paid and getting their below-average content on as many blogs as possible.

Welcome to the show, kids!

I don’t want your guest blog, I want to punch you in the face! 

Look, I get it. We all need to make a buck. I’m not trying to stop you from that. I’m trying to stop you from having to lie to people all day, every day. I think the better ‘sales” strategy for pitching me a blog, should be:

“Hey Tim” (No, not just “Hi” so I know 100% you have no idea who I am) 

“I’ve got a piece pre-written with 7 link backs to my client. I’m getting paid $X for this piece if I can get it on your blog and promote the crap out of it. I’ll Venmo you $X if you work with me and getting this posted.” 

“Here is the Title and what it’s about. Are you game?” 

Here’s why you suck, super hard! 

  1. You contact me and ask to use some of the most valuable real estate I own, but you only give me your Gmail address and your first name. No company name. No LinkedIn profile link. No phone number. Why is that? Because the vast majority of you are frauds and you don’t want me to know who you really are.
  2. Your content, at its best, is vanilla. While your client loves it because you blew hot air up their asses, everyone else thinks it’s crap.
  3. See #1

Guest Blogs that I Accept

Rule #1– I don’t accept guest blogs.

Rule #2 – When I do accept a guest blog there are personal reasons for me doing so. I had my son guest blog to help him find a job. I had friends in the industry guest blog for me while I was on vacation because I love their voices in our industry and I want more people to meet them and hear them.

Rule #3 – You can’t sell my audience a bunch of crap disguised as content with a ton of link backs, where you are getting paid and me and my audience are getting your lame content!

Rule #4 – Pay the dude who owns the blog! I’m like all the kids – I have PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, etc. You can pay me in U.S. Currency, BitCoin, Gin, Puppies, etc. but if you’re getting paid, I want to get paid. It’s a fairness thing. Why should you get to put up your work for free on my blog and get paid, and I’m not? Does that seem fair to you?

So, here’s the deal! 

There are about 13,000 ghostwriters, link-back, guest blogger types right now that have bots set up reading this title “Guest Bloggers Wanted” who will start emailing me constantly, without ever reading this post believing I truly want their shitty content. I don’t. But, like everyone in the world, I’ve got a price. If you pick the right price, we can probably do business. The odd of you picking the right price, are not in your favor!

Guest Blog Inquiries Can Be Sent To: 

YourParentsDontEvenLikeYou@Gmail.com

Tomorrow I’m Talking for 9 Minutes! Check it Out! #InnovateWork #FindGreatness

My buddy, Chris Bailey, from the Cayman Islands called me and said, “Hey, I’m helping out with this HR thing called InnovateWork. Will you come on the event and do a talk?” I ask, “How long?” He says, “9 minutes.” I say, “9 minutes! I can definitely talk for 9 minutes!”

The event is Tuesday, November 10th at 1 pm ET. You can register here, the entire event takes like an hour or so – besides my 9-minute talk, you can also see Chris, our friend William Tincup, Simmone L. Bowe from the Bahamas, and Dr. Cassida Jones Johnson from Jamaica

Also, hosting the event are some more friends, Julie Turney, Bill Banham, Rob Catalano (Bill and Rob co-Founded InnovateWork).

What will I be talking about for 9 minutes? 

Great question, but I have a way that I think we can discover who is great in your organization! Yep, in 9 minutes I’m going to teach every single person on the webcast how they can discover who is great in your organization No technology needed. I’m not selling anything. Well, I’m selling you a great idea and an exercise that your leadership teams will love!

In 9 minutes I’m going to actually walk you through the exercise that you can then take back to your own organization and use! It’s simple but powerful, I’ve literally done this in organizations and had people crying!

Come check it out! It’s an hour or so out of your week, and I guarantee you it will be worth it!

REGISTER HERE! 

Recruiting Brainfood Tribune: 20 Questions with @TimSackett by @HungLee

One of the great things that blogging about recruiting and HR topics over the past decade has given me is a bunch of international friends and contacts. One of those friends is the founder of Recruiting Brainfood, out of the UK, Hung Lee.

You won’t find a nicer dude, doing great work for the recruiting space around the world. If you haven’t heard of the Player’s Tribune, it’s a sports website where instead of journalist writing, it’s the athletes themselves. You hear very personal stories from the athletes in their own voice.

Hung had the idea to do this for our industry (The Recruiting Brainfood Tribune) and he asked me to do this for his site through answer a series of twenty questions. I hope you like it, and make sure you subscribe to Hung Lee’s weekly Recruiting Brainfood newsletter – it’s exceptional!

  1. Who was your favourite teacher at school? What did you learn from that person?

Ruth Kemp, high school English teacher. She forced us to journal, and this was in the 1980s! So, each day we had to just write for 20 minutes a day. Write about anything, but you had to write even if you just copied text from a book or magazine. The cool part is she would read everything you wrote and respond with comments. So, even though I didn’t want to write, I loved her reactions to what I wrote! For me, it became a game to try and make her laugh or be shocked. She was smart and playful and always played along with my creativity. She taught me that I actually loved to write, I just didn’t know it. I ended up being her teacher’s aide for my junior and senior years. We would talk for hours about anything and everything.

She retired years ago, but when I wrote my book, The Talent Fix, I wanted to send her a copy because she was really the reason that it happened. I found out, through the school, that she was doing some volunteer work at the local airport assistance desk with some other senior citizens. I fly a lot, so I thought eventually I would run into her. One night on a last flight of the night coming into the airport at almost midnight, I finally ran into her on her very last day of volunteering ever. It had been 30 years since we had seen each other (she totally looked the same!). I walked up to the counter, and she asked me if she could help me. I said, “I’m Tim Sackett!” and she replied, “Of course you are!” We hugged and shared stories, and it brings tears to my eyes as I write this that I could see her one last time and let her know what a dramatic impact she had on my life.

  1. At what age did you become an adult? What happened, and how did you know?

I don’t think my wife thinks I’m an adult yet! I tell people I was raised by all women. My Grandmother was the matriarch of our family. She had five daughters, my mother being the oldest. The first grandchild in our family was my sister. I was the second. My parents divorced when I was four, and my grandparents help raise me a lot, being that my Mom was a single parent working a ton launching her business that I currently run. My grandfather passed away when I was twelve. At his funeral, I was sitting between my Mom and my Grandmother. My Grandmother leans over during the service, puts her hand on my knee, and whispers into my ear, “You are the man of the family now.” I’m quite sure I wasn’t an adult at that moment, but it definitely shaped so much of my life moving forward! To this day, I still hold the title as the senior-most “blood” male of our family, and my 90-year-old Grandmother still expects me to be the man of the family.

  1. What do you think is true that most people think is false? What do you think is false, that most people think is true?

I think if you fail a lot, you are more likely to keep failing. Our society tends to believe the opposite. Fail more! Fail faster! It’s all bullshit. I coached baseball, and if I had a…

Read the rest of the twenty questions over at Recruiting Brainfood – it’s all about me and stuff, but I think it’s pretty good. Hung asked some great questions! 

 

Dream Gigantic!

I love this concept. It feels hopeful and aspirational.

I don’t do this enough. I don’t count myself as a dreamer, but I encourage my children to do this.  I want them to be the MLB Shortstop, the famous Fashion Designer, and world-renowned Environmentalist.  They have Gigantic dreams.

I will do everything I can in my power to help them reach those dreams.  I tell myself I won’t be the parent who tells them they are unrealistic.  I won’t be the parent to tell them they are far-fetched.  I will not be the parent to tell them that their dream is out of reach. I have to keep telling myself this because as a parent it’s hard.

I have a career that has taught me to be pragmatic.  I’ve seen the best and worst of people, sometimes all in the same day. When people ask me for career advice I give them the safe answer because I know the reality of life, their dreams are longshots and most people are not willing to come close to the effort they need to exert to reach their dreams.

So, I give them options I think they are willing to work for which are usually less than Gigantic.

Every day I have to consciously turn this off as I drive home.  You see the reason we have dreams is that we have a belief that there is something more, something better.  Dreams can be Gigantic and you reach them through Gigantic effort.

Are You Struggling to Find Happiness at Work?

In 1942 Viktor Frankl, a prominent Jewish psychiatrist, was taken to a Nazi concentration camp with his wife and parents.  Three years later, when his camp was liberated, his pregnant wife and parents had already been killed by the Nazis. He survived and in 1946 went on to write the book, “Man’s Search For Meaning“.  In this great book, Frankl writes:

“It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.”

What Frankl knew was that you can’t make happiness out of something outside yourself.  Riding the Waverunner doesn’t make you happy. You decide to be happy while doing that activity, but you could as easily decide to be angry or sad while doing this activity (although Daniel Tosh would disagree!).  Frankl also wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

I get asked frequently by HR Pros about how they can make their employees or workplace happier.  I want to tell them about Frankl’s research and what he learned in the concentration camps.  I want to tell them that you can’t make your employees happy.  They have to decide they want to be happy, first. But, I don’t, people don’t want to hear the truth.

Coming up with ‘things’ isn’t going to make your employees happy. You might provide free lunch, which some will really like, but it also might make someone struggling with their weight, very depressed.  You might give extra time off and most of your employees will love it, but those who define themselves by their work will find this a burden.

Ultimately, I think people tend to swing a certain way on the emotional scale.  Some are usually happier than others.  Some relish in being angry or depressed, it’s their comfort zone.  They don’t know how to be any other way.  Instead of working to ‘make’ people happy, spend your time selecting happy people to come work for you.

In the middle of a concentration camp, the most horrific experiences imaginable, Frankl witnessed people who made the decision to be happy. Maybe they were happy to have one more day on earth. Maybe they were happy because, like Frankl, they discovered that the Nazis could take everything from them except their mind.

Provide the best work environment that you can.  Continue to try and make it better with the resources you have.  Give meaning to the work and the things you do.  Every organization has this, no matter what you do at your company.  Don’t pursue happiness, it’s a fleeting emotion that is impossible to maintain.  Pursue being the best organization you can be.  It doesn’t mean you have to be someone you’re not.  Just be ‘you’, and find others that like ‘you.’

Happy Thoughts by Tim Sackett

My local news station is doing just positive news for one of their half-hour shows on Thursday early evenings. I’m a cynic, I suspect it’s a play to grab ratings on a low ratings time, but you know what? We could all use some good news!

So, I sat down to think about all the Happy things that are going on that I could share. It’s not easy! There’s so much negative, I can’t even with the news anymore, but here goes:

The All-In Challenge!

Have you heard about this? A bunch of celebrities are auctioning off stuff and they’ve tried to make it inexpensive so everyone can have a chance, not just rich folks. So, you can be in Kevin Hart’s next movie and get the chance for $10 to put your name in the hat! Or Justin Beiber will come to your house and sing a song! You can play in the NBA Celebrity All-star game, etc. The entry fee for each is just $10 with all proceeds going to provide food for those affected by the pandemic. I’m obsessed with this, I want to do half of the stuff!

Hourly Workers Getting their Do! 

To be honest, I’m not a giant fan of everyone calling themselves heroes. I like to save the “H” word for those who really put their lives on the line for my freedom and safety on a regular basis. All that said, hourly workers usually just get dumped on with crappy pay and crappy jobs, and right now many of those folks are holding this country together. I was in a gas station today and the lady in front of me was running a laundry mat and she said, “I’m an essential worker! I’m needed right now!” Yes, you are my dear! Get all the feels you need right now!

Family Tik Tok Videos! 

They are corny. Some funny. Some not. All of them are families doing stuff together and I quite frankly think it’s awesome. Even those where they are just having their Mom or Dad hold the camera. At least you are finally doing something with your teenage kids! Family Tik Toks and Puppy Tik Toks, keep them coming. If you haven’t downloaded Tik Tok, it’s 99.9% stupid short videos and every once in a while some pure gold.

Conversations at the Dinner Table! 

Yep, we are all sick of each other by this point, but in a couple of months, I have had more real conversation at my dinner table than the combined past two years! That is awesome and makes me smile! My wife and I are actually getting tired of cleaning up after dinner because it’s happening every single night! I have boys so you usually don’t get a lot of conversation anyway, but it turns out if you actually sit down every night, they start talking.

The Return of Civility! 

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like everyone is a nicer right now. I mean I guess any of us could kick the bucket at any moment so we tend to just be a little nicer to each other. Of course, early on we were all fighting each other for toilet paper, but once we got settled in I think people are truly caring about their neighbors and community. Even in my work interactions, everyone seems to be really concerned for each other’s safety.

I like thinking Happy Thoughts. I’m reminded of a great quote by Viktor Frankl:

 

Zoom Bombs! Let’s have some fun!

Okay, if you’ve been working at home for the last month or so, you’re getting bored with video conferences with your team! You’ve also probably heard of some Zoom meetings getting “Zoom Bombed” by folks outside of your organization that figured out your public link and come in cause all kinds of havoc.

I want to Zoom Bomb your weekly team meeting! But not to cause havoc, but to just have some fun and talk shop!

Most of us set up weekly meetings with our teams. The same day, same time, same meeting link. It doesn’t have to be Zoom, could be Web-ex, Bluejeans, Google Hangout, Microsoft Teams, etc. The key being you have a normal meeting where you talk shop with your team.

I think it would be fun to drop in on some of your meetings and shake things up! So, let’s play! Here’s my promise to all those leaders out there that might have interest:

  1. I’ll be fully dressed.
  2. I’ll be as professional as I am on this blog. That means no porno images or hate language! I might bash the University of Michigan if you consider that hate language please don’t invite me! 😉
  3. We’ll have some fun and learn some things, and I’ll try to help you out.
  4. I will not tell you if I’m coming on or not!

Are you interested in having me Zoom Bomb your Team? 

All you need to do is send me a quick email to sackett.tim@hrutech.com and let me know you have an interest. Give me the day, the time, and the link for your meeting. Also, tell me who’s on the call and what you guys usually get on the call for.

I mean what could go wrong!?!

Like, please don’t send me a link to your meeting and then decide to use that meeting to lay off your entire team! I mean, while I would have a great story to share, I’m not sure your team would really appreciate that! Or maybe they would, no judgment!

I hope to see a bunch of you by surprise over the next coming weeks!