By Dale Dauten and Jeanine J.T. O’Donnell / Syndicated Columnists •There’s no way for it always to be a win-win

There’s no way for it always to be a win-win

Put career first in the post-loyalty economy


Dale Dauten and Jeanine J.T. O’Donnell / Syndicated Columnists

Monday, November 5th, 2018 at 12:02am

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Dear J.T. & Dale: My daughter, after searching for a job in her art field for a year, accepted a good tech sales job two weeks ago. Then she was asked to interview for her “dream job,” which has turned into a request for a second interview. She is completely torn as to how to proceed … with either firm. She doesn’t want to lie to her current employer, but also doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to use her degree and do the work she really loves. Any suggestions? She is desperate! – Emily

J.T.: Your daughter should definitely go on the interview for her dream job. She’ll simply have to make up some excuse to leave work, or perhaps the prospective employer will schedule an interview time to accommodate her schedule.

DALE: Agreed. This is the post-loyalty economy, and your daughter needs to put her career first. Tell her to think of it this way: If her current company’s owners got a “dream” offer, say to be bought out by a larger corporation, do you think they’d refuse just because some newer employees like your daughter would get laid off? Maybe in a TV movie, but no, not in real life.

J.T.: If she gets the newer job, then she’ll just have to go to the current employer and resign. Yes, they will be mad. But remember, this is business. Dale’s right: If the company were bought out, or if they weren’t meeting their goals and needed to lay her off, they wouldn’t think twice. I would have her be as sincere as she can be and apologize but explain that it fell in her lap and she can’t miss out on this opportunity. Sometimes things are messy. There’s no way for it always to be a win-win. But if she is respectful, apologizes and accepts that they have the right to be disappointed, then it will be OK. Life isn’t always fair, but it’s how we handle it that counts!

DALE: You know what would be horribly unfair? If your daughter went by the old loyalty rules and believed she needed to stay in a not-art job for at least a couple of years just so she wouldn’t look like a “job-hopper” (EEEK! A JOB HOPPER!! LOOK AWAY!). She’d lose two years because she was two weeks into a job. And then she might never pursue a career in art because by then she’d have a couple of raises and she’d take a cut in pay to start over. My point is that the post-loyalty economy has its advantages, and the ability to pursue opportunities whenever they come along is a critical one.

Dear J.T. & Dale: What do recruiters think of “creative” resumes? – Autumn

J.T.: In my experience, for every one that likes it, there are 10 that don’t. Recruiters are supposed to provide the best candidate, not the most creative. As you pointed out, it can come across as trying too hard. Or even worse, that you could be over-the-top and high-maintenance as a professional. It’s best to keep it in the format that works best for recruiters.


DALE: Agreed. Plus, there’s a larger issue with creativity in the workplace. I would say J.T.’s ratio – 10 against versus one for – applies to managers’ views of employees who say, “I have an idea!” In fact, I’ve even heard creative workers mocked as “Idea Hamsters.” The truth is that most managers don’t really want creativity, they just want to see more of the same old work. That makes sense, because most managers are overworked and an idea just looks like another problem. That’s why I urge my creative clients to make sure the idea doesn’t look like a problem but like a solution. Instead of saying, “I have an idea,” you ask, “Would this help our client?” That’s a very different conversation. Or, better yet, you suggest an experiment. Just remember: That’s not an idea; it’s a way to help.

Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site

. Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab. Please visit them at

, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Fl, New York, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

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