The Causey Consulting Podcast

Ways to Not Fudge Up Your Job Search

September 28, 2023
The Causey Consulting Podcast
Ways to Not Fudge Up Your Job Search
Show Notes Transcript

Has The Great Backlash led to bad behavior on both sides, i.e., employers and job seekers behaving in crass ways towards each other? I say yes. 

Key topics:

✔️ Don't cut your own throat. The one who has to live with it is you.
✔️ Transactional ≠ no one will remember a rude jerk. This is true for both hiring managers and job seekers. 
✔️If you mistreat the person on the frontlines, upper management will hear about it. I guarantee it.
✔️ Job hunting is tough. Don't make it worse by ruining your chances through crummy behavior. 


Links where I can be found:

Need more? Email me: 

Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at And now, here's your host, Sara Causey.


Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today's episode, I want to contemplate ways to not eff up your job search. I feel like we're in a weird, transitional period of time, I was on the leading edge of telling you that the great resignation for white collar work was over and done with I was reporting on that last year. You're only just now hearing that in mainstream media news sources, but I was giving you the heads up on that well over a year ago. And I think it would be like if you visualized, two teams having a tug of war. On one side, you have employers and on the other side, you have employees. On one side, you have hiring managers. And on the other side, you have job seekers, I think we've gone back into this us versus them mentality, maybe it never even left. But we're in this us versus them mentality. And each side is having this tug of war for the balance of power. Each side wants to make sure that they come out the winner in this game that's being played. And the way that the game is being played, in my opinion, is not leading to good outcomes for anybody. Some of the behavior that I have seen firsthand, as well as things that I see influencers and cuckoo birds on the internet telling people to do. It's maddening. And I think for me, one of the things that is the most headache inducing about it is this is not helping anyone. It's not helping the hiring managers and the employers, neither isn't helping the job seekers. And the employees themselves mean if you're listening to some influencer on social media, that's like just mass apply rage apply. Don't even read what you're applying for. If a recruiter calls you or somebody from the HR department in the company calls you to talk to you about the role act like a stuck up butthole be super rude to them. I mean, do you really think that that's going to help you land a job, there also seems to be this wave of advice that's going out about ignore whatever salary range is posted. So if the manager post, the role is going to be 70 to 85k. Based on experience, just go ahead and apply for that job. And then whenever you get them on the phone demand 100k. Because they should just like do that, because you asked for it. Yeah, I don't know about that. Some of these things that might have been acceptable during the Great resignation when it actually was going strong. And there actually were companies that were struggling to hire people, maybe that would have flown, maybe you could have applied for a job that was posted at 85. And then demanded 100k, just to walk through the door. Maybe that would work out. But what I'm telling you is right now, based on what I'm seeing in real time in the job market, as well as what I'm seeing in real time in the broader economy, know, if you are behaving in that way. And then you're sitting there struggling to find a job, you're struggling to get callbacks, you go to the first interview, and then you never get called in for a second one or offered the job. I mean, hello. You kind of have to look in the mirror on that situation and say, am I effing myself over? Have I been listening to influencers and so-called experts on the internet that are giving me toxic positivity, they're giving me toxic optimism. They're puffing me up, they're blowing my ego up because they want likes, comments and shares online. But then when I actually go to apply their advice in a real world situation, it's not working out very well for me. The system is not fair. I have gotten on this broadcast and on my blogs many times and told you, in my opinion, we're in crony capitalism. The system is not rigged in favor of John and Jane Q Public. It's not rigged in our favor. It's going to be rigged in favor all the time of the Wall Street bankers, the fat cats, the politicians, the Uber wealthy, the corporate CEOs, etc. But not for you and me. And I feel like that really puts the own As on average working class people even more to caveat mTOR and to use good judgment. Earlier this week on the job market journal, I published a blog post titled a sad reality, but not really news. And it refers to this article that appeared on both and Yahoo Finance. That stated nearly half of workers regret taking a job within a week of starting it. Many of them have cried about it. And I'm sitting here, you know, like the shrugging emoji going well, yeah, well, anybody who's involved in the job market on a regular basis could tell you that anybody who's been a job seeker within the past couple of years could have told you that I mean, that's not really news, per se. And at the conclusion of the article, one of the things that I'm probing here is, what those types of articles don't really cover is why, why are all of these freaking workplaces so toxic? Why do so many jobs suck? Like, how come we don't ever get to the real questions here? Why are these work environments? Freaking awful? I mean, it sucks to go home at night and cry because of how miserable you are at work. And I know I can already feel the old timers giving me the energy here of people just need to suck it up. They just need to toughen up. I'm thinking of Larry winglets book is called work for a reason. Because I think that I'm gonna try to be careful here. But you know, I think that plays in very well to the neocon narrative of things. On the Neo lib side, we get everybody is a victim all the time. And you should go into a cry closet at work and cry all the time. But then on the neocon side of things, it's like we should just suck it up, you should lick the boots of your corporate overlords and be damn grateful for the opportunity to lick those boots. And I'm like, common sense is telling me that surely the truth is somewhere in the middle, surely, surely the truth is divorced itself from those two very partisan lines of thinking. We're not from a mainstream media news source going to get these contemplations though. They're not going to come out in a mainstream media article and say, Hey, let's talk about why work sucks so effing bad. And if they did, they would figure out a way to blame it on the job seekers themselves. But they're not going to actually say, What is wrong with corporate America? Why does corporate America run itself like a giant cult? Why is it like you must be one of us, you better go along to get along, pal, and you better not be a problem. When we say jump, you say how high and if you don't sell your soul to this place, there's the freaking door. We don't get to talk about that. And I think part of that is what we're seeing now. I had an interview going all the way back to June 6 of this year with the Washington mail where I talked about the idea of a great backlash. They asked me in your opinion, the great resignation is finished. And I replied, Oh, yes. And it has been for quite some time now for white collar workers. Quite frankly, corporate America has not been shy in saying that it wants to hold the balance of power again, when you have collusion between corporate America, Central bankers and Capitol Hill, who do you think is going to ultimately prevail? John and Jane Q Public are the rich and powerful. And they asked me, Is there a backlash against it? To which I reply? I definitely believe so. I think we can say there was a great resignation. And now there's a great backlash against it. The economy has boom and bust cycle. Sure. But I think at this point, we see some CEOs really taking a sort of impish Glee in punishing employees with RTL mandates, and conditioning job seekers by putting them through the wringer during the interview process. It's terrible. I stand by that. I do. This is another situation where I'm not telling you that it's right. I'm not telling you that it's fair. I'm not telling you that it's good. I'm just the person writing out on the battlefield at the risk of getting a bunch of arrows stuck in my chest. I'm the person writing out on the battlefield to tell you this is the here and the now this is what's going on. If you thought that the great resignation would last forever, if you thought that remote work would last forever. If you thought that these corporate fat cats and CEOs and Wall Street bankers really cared about you. I am sorry that you believed a lie. But in my opinion, if you believed any of that nonsense, you did believe a lie. And there are plenty of people who have been steamrolled by the fact that they believed a lie. Whether it was well done, see Oh, who told us we'd be remote friendly forever and now we've got Go back, or we got all of these pay raises to keep us here during the Great resignation. But now that it's over when they want to cut our pay, I'm sorry, if you believe the lie,


the onus is on us to look out for ourselves, because the bailouts and the golden parachutes are not coming. For us, we're expected to act with moral hazard, whereas people on Wall Street are not. That's just the rules of this crony capitalist game. I think that the great backlash has led to bad behavior on both sides of that tug of war. I think you have hiring managers and job seekers both that are just acting in ways that are crass, and inhumane and unnecessary. I'm hearing more managers make the type of comments that just would just make my skin crawl. They're frustrating, and they're gross, or it's just like, Well, I mean, talk to John, we wasn't super impressed with John Doe, because it was clear that he hadn't been to our website, and he couldn't recite our mission statement back to us. And so we just don't think he was enthusiastic, kind of, and you're like, Oh, my God, you know, is John qualified or not? Or is, is this going to always be about? Did somebody go to your website and read your mission statement and then vomit your own corporate propaganda back to you? We've gone I think now from you know, during during the Great resignation, those extreme hiring events where it's like one and done interview, if John Doe is willing to show up on time, and he says he wants the job, we'll offer it to him on the spot. We've gone from that very, like fast paced, which which, by the way is largely unsustainable, unless you're talking about retail or short term temp job work today, get paid today, that kind of thing. For a lot of corporate level positions. Yeah, that kind of breakneck pace for hiring is is unsustainable, both people both both sides need to know, is this a good match? Or is it not? It's like, we've gone away from that breakneck, crazy pace that we saw during the Great resignation. And now it's, well, I just want to be stuck up. And I want to put John and Jane Doe through their paces, and I want them to lick my boots. That is really where I think this has gone. I think the pendulum has swung away from the insane breakneck pace on hiring over to lick my boots. It's not even in a middle ground that might be more sensible and might be more sustainable, where it's like we've trimmed the fat from our interview process. We're not asking John and Jane Doe to come in for eight interviews, or you need to have two interviews with the manager. And then you need to come in for a round robin and be interviewed by 15 people that you'll never even work with. We've trimmed the fat from that. And now we're in a middle ground when you just have two interviews. If things go well, you get an offer. No, no, it's like it's gone way over to the opposite side. If you didn't come in, and I'm thinking again, of the housing market, right, because it's like, during the FOMO, in the YOLO, you had home sellers that felt like their poopoo didn't stink, you either show up with a bouquet of red roses and a steak dinner with all the trimmings and 100 grand over asking price, or you get the eff out. We don't even want to talk to you, you're dead to us. Now you're seeing that kind of mentality with hiring managers. Like okay, we were subverted during the Great resignation. So now we want to make the general public pay for the fact that we were subverted. We want to come roaring back. It's like that article from the intercept that I have linked to umpteen million times, Bank of America leaked memo, we want the balance of power to come back. We hope things get worse for the average worker. The thesis is not very people. And that is exactly what I'm saying. Did John Doe show up with a bouquet of red roses a steak dinner with all the trimmings and then get in here and lick our boots? Could he tell us our corporate values? Could he recite our mission statement? Are we the only job he's going for? Doesn't he see how lucky he would be if he worked here? That's the attitude. In my mind, again, just thinking about the Buddhist concept of the middle path. Don't cut your own throat. Because it's easy to look at this as a job seeker and think okay, well, if that's the attitude that's coming out of corporate America, I will match that attitude plus some. If you miss treat the person on the front lines, whether that is an HR generalist who's calling you A corporate recruiter, an outside recruiter, whomever it is, that's been tapped to be that frontline person to make the initial phone calls, and follow up on resumes. If you are rude to that person, if you miss treat that person, if you act like, well, you're just the recruiter, or you're just an HR person, you're not really important to me. If you get very stuck up and snotty with the person on the front lines of our management, we'll hear about it, I can guarantee you that, I can guarantee you that. Probably some of y'all out there that have been rude jerks to people and thought it was funny. It would really be enlightening to you to read whatever notes are in the ATS system at that place about how poorly you treated someone. There is nothing to be gained by acting like a complete a-hole to somebody that's just calling you about an application. They're calling you to find out are you still interested? Do you want to come in and meet with us? What is the justification to be rude to that person? I don't get it. If you're doing that, that is one way that you're effing up your own job search. You don't have to go tit for tat with corporate America. Again, I'm not telling you it's right. I'm not telling you it's fair. I'm just saying some innocent person that's trying to work their job and follow up with applicants. Why would you be rude to that person, I do not get it. Job Hunting itself is tough enough. It's not fun. There's really not anything I can think of what's fun about going through a job hunt. Do not make it worse, by acting like a turd. Don't do it. And really, that's for everybody in the equation, hiring managers and job seekers alike. Don't act like a jerk. Don't miss treat people. If you no longer want the job, bow out gracefully and go on with your life. If you're no longer interested in the candidate, bow out gracefully and let them go on with their lives. But we need to quit with the game playing and the mind games and the mind effing and the rude behavior in my opinion, there's nothing to be gained. There's nothing that's going to be helped from acting that way. We do live in a much more transactional society than ever before. And I think the technological tools things like Slack and zoom and teams and these people that want to do everything over some kind of electronic phone call, you know, my opinion on those video calls, it gets stabbed them that has made things even more transactional because you're not even in the room with that person. And so I think sometimes job seekers have the tendency to think if I get on a zoom or a team's with somebody, within 10 minutes, they're not even going to remember who I am. If I acted like a rude jerk. I acted snotty and stuck up and better than everybody in the room. Within 10 minutes, they're not even going to remember my name and I'll never face any consequences for it. Wrong. Don't bet the farm on that. No, there have been people over the years who were absolutely diabolical. And it's like those people have the tendency to stick out in your mind more than people who were absolutely great. So don't ever make the assumption that Oh, I was rude to somebody on a teams meeting but it doesn't even matter. Haha, who cares? You might have burned a bridge there without even realizing it. thinking again about influencers and social media commentators, I know there are still people who are pushing for a Let's all sit it out let's all sit at home whether it's to rebel against our to mandates or just rebel against corporate America in general, asking for higher wages, whatever the case may be. There are people that think there will be a nationwide strike. So not an industry specific strike, which we have seen. But just a nationwide strike where everybody sits it out and says no, we won't go back to the office, we won't accept the pay rates that we've been given inflation is eating our lunch. I that's another area that I would not bet the farm on that. I just have a hard time believing that people living paycheck to paycheck, struggling with personal debt, people that have children are going to tell their kids, you're going to go without food, I'm going to let the electricity cut off, we're gonna get thrown out of the apartment or thrown out of our house because I want to be an ideologue. I just don't see that happening. I mean, how many folks in America now? Would you say fall into that grand firebrand idealist category? It seems to me and this is you know, highly, highly editorial comment.


It seems to me that most people are just armchair quarterbacks and social media warriors. They want to get online and hide behind a phone or an app and do all of their social justice thing from there. It's like when all the turmoil started with Russia and Ukraine and people putting up Ukrainian flags, probably people don't even know where the hell the Ukraine was, had never even thought about it before. I will somehow defeat Putin. If I put a Ukrainian flag on Facebook, okay. Has that worked? I just don't see the masses of people all over America saying we're going to set it out. We're going to demand better conditions, we're going to have a riot against RTO. I am a contrarian, you know that I just don't see it happening. And so I think hanging your hopes on something like that I can act like a goofball and go all over the job market being rude to people, being tacky, ruining my reputation within my industry, and it just won't matter. I won't have any consequences for that. One of these days, everybody is just going to rebel and then the workers will permanently have the upper hand, we will somehow all subvert corporate America permanently. And that will just be that I, I'm sorry, I don't see that happening. I think most people need a jlb in order to survive. That's the way that this feudalistic system is set up. So I have a hard time believing that people living paycheck to paycheck and dealing with a lot of personal debt are just gonna sit it out and starve and live on the streets and what dumpster dive be Freegans everybody's gonna be a friggin now. I don't see that happening. So if you're in that category of wanting, needing, enjoying whatever the working world, don't fudge up your job search. Don't act like a rude jerk. If somebody calls you about an opportunity. If you're not prepared to take that phone call, let it go to voicemail. Let them follow up with the text message, return the phone call later. This is another way that people can screw up their job search. If they answer the phone, and they're rude. And they're hateful, obviously, or they start making all kinds of financial demands outside of the salary range that was posted. If that offends you. I'm sorry. I'm just being real with you. Also, can you remind me what this was? Again? I've applied for like everything I saw on Indeed, can you like, tell me what this was? Again, I don't even remember. There was a woman that I talked to not long ago, I'm gonna be necessarily vague. But it was like she had not read the job description I posted at all, not at all, didn't know the pay range, didn't know the job title didn't know the location, nothing. And I'm like, this is such an utter waste of time. Yes, it's a waste of my time, which made me mad. But it's also a waste of her time, too. Because it's like, do you even want this? I mean, what how? I'm flabbergasted because I just don't understand how people do that. I don't know how you don't read a job description before you hit the Apply button. I don't know. You know, those of us in genetics, we grew up in a different time used to have to look for jobs in the newspaper classifieds, and mail a resume in or faxing. Oh, that was a big deal when you can fax it. So I just it's beyond me how somebody would just be like, apply, apply, apply, apply, apply. Like that and not even know what they're doing. But that is a way that you can screw up your job search, if you're just mass applying. And then people are calling you and trying to set up a time and you don't even know what you've applied for. Nor do you care. Can you really blame that one on everybody else? Or might you take some personal responsibility for the way you're going about your job search? If nothing else, please be kind be a decent human being as you're going through the process because the other people that are contacting you, more than likely are not hyper elites. It's more than likely not somebody who sits on the web or the Bilderberg Group, it's more than likely not the CEO of some fortune 50 company that's rolling in bucks. It's probably a lower level person than I meant by that. I mean, you know, lower level in terms of pay scale, not lower level as a human being but lower level in terms of their pay scale. It's somebody that's just working for a living like you is somebody that is trying their best to keep food on the table. Keep the lights on keep their kids closed and happy. Finally a jerk won to them. You know, like what what is there to be gained by that? Don't eff up your job search. Be a nice human being At least that can be a starting point. Stay safe, stay sane, and I will see you in the next episode.


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