Career Strategy 101: Three Critical Errors that Hurt Your Career in the Long-Term

My name is Mark Wayman, and I'm an Executive Recruiter focused on gaming and high tech. Or as some people call me: a Headhunter. Don’t care what you call me, as long as you call me for dinner. Over the last thirteen years I have placed 800+ executives. Compensation starts at $100,000, average placement is $200,000+, and last year I placed several executives north of $1,000,000. Most of my work is at the high end, however these tips are a good review for executives at all levels.

Disclaimer: I only represent executives I know personally, or that are referred to me by friends and clients. And there is good reason for that. At senior levels, my clients expect me to vouch personally for the candidates. Additionally, the executives in my network have supported me for the last 20 years, and if nothing else, I'm the most loyal person you will ever meet.

Today’s topic is three situations that can have a dramatic long-term effect on your career. You may not see it now, however down the road it could knock your train off the tracks. So here comes $20,000 of career advice...pro bono.

Attracting Bad Karma - Either you believe there is a God and a plan, or you don't believe there is a God and everything is random. I happen to believe we are all connected, and everything happens for a reason. This year I had two "C" level candidates use my written offer to sweeten a competitive offer...and leave me twisting in the wind. Well, there's three months of interview I won't get paid for. More importantly, they wasted hours and hour of my clients valuable time. We seem to live in a culture of "me, me, me". Candidates don't realize the repercussions of treating people poorly. But my Dad was spot on when he said, "They will get what's coming to 'em son. You don't need to help." There was an executive that did me wrong two years ago. A year later he was promoted. A total head shaker for me. Whaaaat? This week he was terminated after all his direct reports quit. Walt Disney once said, "It's a small, small world." When you treat people poorly, it always, always catches up to you. Do what your Mom told you - always play nice.

You Gotta Show Up - I hosted a client mixer in Los Angeles last month. There were four CIOs on the guest list; none showed up. The next day two of the no shows asked me for a job. Are you with me on this? Another good example is candidates that are "too busy" to interview. I'm always amazed how many candidates think jobs will fall into their laps. Bahahahaha! Not the good ones anyway. And if you are in the job market, you have to make yourself available to interview. If you show up and TRY, you will be ahead of 90% of the people.

An Attitude of Gratitude - Everyone likes to be appreciated. My parents taught me to always be gracious, grateful and to say THANK YOU. When you are a candidate, be gracious with the Executive Recruiters, internal company Recruiters, and hiring company managers. Be grateful for the opportunity, even if you don't get the job. No sour grapes, "That company was no good anyway." That is the sign of a "B" player, and the Executive Recruiter will cross you off his/her list. Those with an attitude of gratitude are ALWAYS remembered fondly.

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