Picture this. Like most people in the career coaching biz I get asked for favours by friends, family and friends of family.
Being a nice guy I normally agree.
A friend of my wife has been going through the sausage machine of a high price outplacement agency and is getting nowhere at all. She asked for my advice.
The details of her case matter less than the “help” she was getting from one of the biggest outplacement companies there is. Her “consultant”, who was about 25, had advised her to pick 5 local companies, identify the HR department lead, and write to them asking for a job.
OK. This is a friend of my wife and she’s in trouble so I didn’t start ranting. I just bottled up my fury and tried to coach away the damage.
In addition to telling her to throw away the functional CV she’s written under their orders (they made her write her own CV!), what did I say?
“Great advice. Sort of. Put a naught on the end and that would be a good start. Then double it”.
I told her a whole lot more than that as well, but I’m afraid she wasn’t listening. She wanted it to be easy and this “premier” brand consultancy had played to wishes. Don’t worry. All will be well. And it won’t hurt at all….
Guess whose advice she preferred.
Sure, this is an extreme case, and I suspect she’s a bit lazy anyway. But the attraction of what I nickname “Slow, Soft, Comfortable Failure” is pretty widespread. It’s not a job hunt. It’s an excuse for a job hunt. And because there is so little work involved there is very little emotional investment, and consequently it doesn’t hurt at all.
It’s rooted in the belief that for you it will be different. That St. George will turn up on a white charger and carry you off to the C-suite. That your rifle really does have a magic bullet. That your aura is so intense you barely need a CV to communicate it. That online is for other people.
Slow soft comfortable failure is easy, painless, and when it all goes wrong you can normally blame it on other people.
I’d probably make more money if I told lies like my wife’s friend was told, if I promised painless remedies for career success. But I’m a nice guy, so I won’t.
On the other hand, we are here to help. And we charge a lot less than the snow merchants with the big brands. What’s more, we’ve got a 96% satisfaction rate. And I’ll give you all the references you’d want.