4 Signs You’re a Career Free-Loader

4 Signs You’re a Career Free-Loader

I’m pretty sure this article is going to result in some hate-mail, but after what I’ve seen in the last week, I don’t care! First off, let me explain... The first week of the New Year is always filled with people chock-full of gusto in their effort to fulfill their, “new job in the new year,” resolution. Given my line of work, it’s no surprise I get inundated with friendly requests via phone, through LinkedIn, and by e-mail, asking me if I can, “take a quick peek at my resume,” and “grab a coffee to discuss my career.” This year was particularly overwhelming. And, at this point in my career, if I said "yes" to all of these requests, my full-time job fFor the next month would be helping these folks – I just can’t do that. I have a career advice site to run, as well as my own career coaching clients to support. There isn’t time to do that much pro bono work. Well, some people showed their true colors to me this week! I started responding to all the requests as politely, but as honestly as I could. I shared with each person this year I’m just too busy to be able to assist. I made some suggestions of free resources they could check out online, but if they wanted a coach’s guidance, then I encouraged them to invest in a coaching program. Some folks completely understood. Several immediately signed up to work with me. And then, there were the career free-loaders. The career free-loaders all responded to me with one of the following:

  1. Nobody says “no” to me.
  2. I’m doing you a favor.
  3. You weren’t my first pick anyways.
  4. I’m broke when it comes to you.
One person sent me a nasty e-mail about how mean I was not to help her and she had never said "no" to any request I had made. I actually racked my brain for 10 minutes trying to think of the last thing I had asked her for. I even checked my e-mail and that’s when I realized we hadn’t spoken in three years – and that time she asked me to look over her resume! Another simply said, “Oh. Good to hear you are busy. I just figured you might want someone with my executive-level contacts as a reference.” Really? Wow. I think I’m okay – especially, since you mentioned when contacting me you got fired from your last job 11 months ago for not getting along with senior management. Yet another told me I was actually his second pick. His college buddy is a recruiter and he tried him first, but he was still on vacation. So, he figured he’d just run it by me until he got back in town. Gee, thanks! And then, there is the most popular one. I got three people who told me they were so broke they couldn’t afford me. The best one went like this, “Ugg. I wish I could pay you J.T., but I’m so poor! I just got back from an amazing vacation over the holidays and I spent way more than I planned. I totally needed the rest and relaxation. I’ve been on unemployment for seven months and it’s running out soon. So, this was my last big spend before I really buckle down and find a job. I was just hoping you could help me out.” She even had the nerve to send me links to her vacation pictures on Facebook! You want to be paid fairly for your expertise, right? Well, so do career coaches! If you are reading this, then I’m pleading with you to remember you get what you pay for – especially, when it comes to career coaching. Getting professional career coaching is a smart idea. Trust me when I say while well-intended, your family and friends aren’t qualified to help you with your career. In fact, given how many people approach job search all wrong, it’s like the blind leading the blind. Did you know executives pay as much as $3,500 for a single career coaching session? In fact, most organizations encourage their senior staff work with a coach. Why? Studies show executive performance and company productivity increases. So, why wouldn’t you take a page from the executive success playbook and invest in some career coaching that can get you the kind of results you want and deserve? Just promise me you’ll choose a great coach and respect the fact they are earning a living by coaching you!

Your Next Step

School teaches you everything except how to get the job. You must invest time in learning the right way to job search. I just finished four new training videos for you - they're all about executing an easier job search in this economy. My videos are completely free and I'm confident you're going to find them useful. The link to access the first one is below. WATCH VIDEO NOW ►Image Credit: Shutterstock
Get Some Leverage
Sign up for The Work It Daily Newsletter
PowerPoint on phone

PowerPoint – the “stirrups” of presentations

Some people say that stirrups took the skill out of horse riding. Stirrups made it too easy for riders to stay on their horses.

PowerPoint is thought to have done the same for presentations. By organizing your ideas, thoughts, and information in a series of slides, meetings start to look the same.

Read moreShow less