Tag Archives: Bad Behavior

Bridge Burning: A Matter of Trust

No doubt you’ve heard the cliché “don’t burn bridges,” but what does it mean in relation to professional development and does it really matter?

Blog 03-31-15 long pierGiven the vast digital networking system, what one does (or doesn’t do) often will find its way to the curious observer and/or potential hiring manager. In other words, YES, it does matter.

Burning bridges can be as simple as not giving a courteous two-week notice, to acting in a nonprofessional manner, and to searching for a job while on a current one (literally). To clarify reasons for the crumble, we’ll review each of the three paths mentioned.

  • Not giving a professional two-week notice. If employed and accepting another offer, professionalism dictates you give the current employer adequate notice to find a replacement or proactively train an existing peer. By not giving proper notice, the company could suffer financial loss, peer hardship, and/or customer disapproval.
  • Acting in a nonprofessional manner. If you’ve been in the workforce for any time at all, you’ve seen fellow (ex) employees do some rather unusual things during separation. Yelling, cursing, throwing things or bouts of anger will automatically drive an immovable chasm.
  • Searching for a job while on a current one. I’ve seen this more times than I wish to admit but for any employee not satisfied with their employment situation, this is fast-pass ticket out. Taking advantage of company equipment (computer, phone, and time) to search for and inquire about another job is downright unethical. Do yourself a favor and don’t rationalize by claiming the search has been done during breaks, that’s not going to fly.

If you are not happy with your current situation, do the professional thing, give proper notice and promote the transition for both parties (you and company). Most employers know if their workers are glad to be part of the organization so you’re not fooling anyone via covert actions. What you have done is break the bonds of trust.

Should you care if trust is broken? Yes.

Planning on mentioning the job you just violated on the resume or for reference purposes? Plan again… and if you don’t think the job will come up in searches, you may want to think again on that one too.

On a side note, if you happen to be in an industry-specific sector, many hiring managers and executives network at the most inopportune times. It is not uncommon for these individuals to discuss employee occurrences such as terminations, promotions, and bridges. Thus, after burning one or two bridges, there may be no more bridges to cross and finding a new job may be more difficult than expected.

Fair or not, people talk, people search, and people gossip. The manner in which you depart a company is fodder during networking events.

Truth about bridges, a strong foundation leads to many wonderful adventures while a crumbled foundation leads nowhere.

Seeking employment insight and career collateral, visit www.edu-cs.com or if you are seeking material designed for those transitioning out of prison, check out www.CareerBreakOut.com and consider the most powerful book that will change your life: Walls, Bars, and Razor Wire… You Choose.”

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
dhuffman@edu-cs.com 321-972-8919
Education Career Services: http://www.edu-cs.com
Career Break Out: http://www.CareerBreakOut.com


NUMBS the Word

Beyond the opinionated rhetoric and political manipulation catering to personal agendas to the point of complete detachment, I am finding it hard pressed for the current controlling party and leader to claim our career landscape to be petals and roses. More than that, I find it personally revolting to believe the America’s masses are satisfied with the solvent green approach to career number manipulation.

Getting back to social normalcy (but only for a moment) let’s take a forged path and review recent fodder from the “Career Thought Leaders” findings of the 2011 Global Career Brainstorming Day. Adding credibility to this column, the following represents a sampling of the employability challenges we are facing.

* The ongoing recession impacts employment, producing these trends:

1. More competition at lower-level jobs. Job seekers are applying for lower-paying/lower-status jobs in an effort to find work after long periods of unemployment.

2. Increasing competition from foreign workers, most notably for jobs requiring specific skills or offering very low pay.

3. Lack of relevant experience. There is a growing trend for recent grads to take unpaid internships to gain experience.

4. Underemployment. Educated workers have taken jobs outside their area of expertise, therefore making less money and usually experiencing less job satisfaction.

5. Ageism. Older workers may not be hired unless they can prove they are capable of keeping up and are up to date with current practices and technologies.

* Reinvention and transition are not new, but are growing. Career professionals have always seen people who needed to reinvent themselves in the wake of the death of a dream. But the growing number of reinvention cases may correlate with broader shifts in the external environment.

* Challenges with long-term unemployed may exceed the expertise of career professionals. Job seekers facing issues such as depression and shame that accompany long-term unemployment may require assistance from qualified mental health professionals.

* Volunteer and part-time work can build valuable experience and open opportunities. Although not a solution to unemployment, such experience can be extremely helpful in keeping the job seeker’s “worker mindset,” can add valuable content to the resume, and may lead to a full-time opportunity.

With the above “NOW” trends actually happening, what does it mean for the lower- and middle-wage earner who happens to be underemployed or unemployed?

Here’s a hint: Nothing is going to change in the immediate future but that does mean the television and radio paid advertisements won’t assure us to the contrary. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but listening without hearing the power elite’s schema conveniently hiding just below the paid words serving to deceive the Jerry Springer watchers simply will not satisfy any more.

For those fortunate to have a full-time position and are not under the influence of “who’s my baby’s daddy,” keep up the good work and if you ever think about complaining, think again. For those seeking employment, maybe it is time to roll up your sleeves, forget about the DNA test, and do whatever it takes to survive. That would include seeking volunteer or community efforts, undergoing professional development workshops into a field less elastic to economic sways, and a redefinition of sorts.

While on the subject: Does anybody really believe the crap portrayed so brilliantly on Jerry?

Being an election year, many will be hearing about an economic upswing and how holding on for four more years will push us “forward.” Not sure where this “forward’ will take us but the term has been used on other political platforms… anybody remember what happened to those? I don’t claim to know what will happen tomorrow but I do know what is happening now… and I’m not impressed.

The career challenges we are facing today will not go away until we recognize the political agendas fueling cultural numbness. Go ahead, pinch yourself… have we become cultural zombies lacking the capacity to feel or has that vanished too.

Perhaps NOW is the time to wake up, recognize the mess we are in, and actually do something about it. Being unemployed is ugly… no matter which leader tells us otherwise.

Hoping you listen to what has yet to be said,

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: To Bump or NOT to Bump

Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking part in a mock interview workshop. Students from a local college had the opportunity to engage in a real-life setting as they prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation in June. Not to worry, what I have to say will hit home, student or not.

Though there are many issues needing attention, for the sake of time, I am going to address two common interview pet-peeves: shoes and the fist bump.

The topic of shoes was not openly discussed or appeared to be on anyone’s mind. Actually this was rather obvious as most of the students seemed to misplace the importance of what goes on the foot. To be blunt, shoes do play an important role in your appearance and can be a factor in NOT getting a second interview invite.

For the ladies, shoes should be professional and conservative in nature. There are hiring executives who will not look favorably on five-inch heels sporting poorly painted nails. As one who has interviewed many over the years, one of the first things I notice happens to be what covers the feet.

Make sure the shoes match the outfit and if you are wearing open-ended shoes, complete the package with a nice pedicure. You definitely don’t want dirty toes to leave a dusty impression.

Career tip: If you don’t want the job, wear slides or tennis shoes.

For the fellas, you have no choice. Business shoesnothing else will do. Don’t even think about loafers, tennis shoes, or boots. Your business shoes must match the suit (yes, you will be wearing a suit). Wearing brown shoes with a dark blue suit will not do. Speaking from experience, those who bear dusty or non-polished shoes may be axed before three steps in the door.

At the end of several mock interviews, the topic of a hand shake or fist bump was brought up. I have one word for those considering a fist bump: Really?

At the conclusion of any formal meeting, the appropriate gesture remains a formal hand shake. The hand shake should be firm (not overly aggressive unless you are interviewing to be a wrestler and not too loose unless you are interviewing to work in a carnival as the person handing out creepy feelings).

Make sure the firm hand shake is not laced with sweat and lasts about two seconds. You definitely don’t want to make the other person uncomfortable with a sloppy five second shake that seems to last an hour.

Career tip: If you bump, you lose.

The mock interview session confirmed that many people simply do not know how to interview effectively. Unfortunately for those qualified, simple mistakes can ruin the chance of a job offer. Ultimately if you have questions and must make a choice, choose on the side of conservatism. Always be professional in what you do, what you say, and what you wear. Nothing could be simpler, yet few follow.

If you have questions and would like career-related insight, including how to ace the interview, ECS offers cutting-edge books and workbooks designed to give you a competitive edge. Throughout the pages, prepare yourself with hard hitting questions, truths, activities, samples, and proven strategies to improve your career station. For additional information, go to our storefront page on our website (www.edu-cs.com) or go to Amazon (simply search Danny at ECS).

For additional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section or email me directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Standing Out From the Crowd

In response to a common concern, Dianne Irene, college instructor, business owner, professional writer, and career expert, offers the following:

“More and more people are graduating with degrees. How can I stand out from the crowd when I have the same education as many others?”

Education is important, but remember that there are other factors to consider when marketing yourself for a position to a company. Considerations include experience, soft skills, attitude, overall presence, and how well you are prepared. Let’s break down the elements forming your total package.

Career Tip: Think of yourself a complete package of information and performance.


Experience represents a facet of your assets offering great benefits to a company. True enough, there are still some specializations that value experience over education, but don’t get discouraged if you lack years of industry-specific training. Rather than giving up, highlight your education and experience as a sign of your success with a certain skill or practice. The employer will then know you can indeed perform this skill again.

If you lack experience in a certain area, creating opportunities for your portfolio can be easier than some realize. For instance, internships allow you to practice skills and they can be completed in a short amount of time. Some internship opportunities are measured in hours or a matter of weeks. Also, volunteer work is a great way to practice skills AND put into practice soft skills that are essential to being a part of a team.

Soft Skills

Remember the last time you dealt with a business where the representative lacked soft skills. This probably left you with a negative feeling and may have also left a poor impression on that particular company. To ensure a positive impression, always conduct yourself in a professional manner.

Career Tip: Pay attention to the small details about others that you are interacting with. Watch their facial expressions, their body language, and the tone of their voice.


A great attitude does have an effect on those who are exposed to it. Projecting a positive attitude is an essential part of presenting yourself to a company. Maintaining a positive attitude will also allow you to make yourself available to more opportunities.


Make sure that the obvious parts of how you present yourself are in order. Your hair and clothing should be professional and not distracting. However, you will want to remember the less obvious parts of your presence. Be sure to make eye contact, stand in good posture, and do not forget to smile at the appropriate times.


Being prepared for your introduction to a company can be the difference between standing out from other candidates and blending in. When a company is required to interview many candidates, you will want to be memorable.

Do your research on the company. Know who the key people are and what the company has accomplished in the last 5 years. Be sure to research some of the areas of growth potential for the market that your company of interest is in.

Career Tip: If you are up to date on technology, market trends, and company culture then you will have the edge needed to make a memorable impression.


Remember that you are a complete package with many dimensions. Just having a strong education background will not be enough to compete in today’s highly competitive market. You will need to hone in on all of the aspects of what makes a great employee. Highlight your strengths and consider sharpening the things you lack before trying to make that first impression that may last an entire career.

Dianne, thank you for your career insight. The high level of knowledge is appreciated and will be taken advantage of by many of our readers. We look forward to more.

For additional information or assistance in any career-related manner, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section or email us directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com. Cutting edge single topic career workbooks and complete career lifecycle books are available at our website (www.edu-cs.com) or visit us at Amazon.com (search Danny at ECS).

Contributed by Dianne Irene

You said what? No you didn’t!

I was sitting in the lunch room, minding my own business when one of my employees decided to make an entrance. The first thing out of his lips was how anxious he was for the weekend. Granted, this weekend is a three-day event for many (though not for me or my writing staff) so I can appreciate his zealous expression. Unfortunately, I don’t think it career sound to talk to the person signing the paycheck that his mind, heart, and soul are two days from now (and work).

As a result, I began to wonder what other inappropriate things are stated to bosses (or fellow employees within earshot of their boss) without realizing the consequences. With this, I began a quick list and welcome your input beefing it up (think of the benefit an extended list would do for our children and their career aspirations).

Here you go; the “you said what?” list follows:

  • I can’t believe the wild night last night, I got so wasted I can hardly function with this splitting head ache (how many times have you made such statements? I’ve heard this way too many times and in several ways)
  • I checked salary.com and I think we need to have a chat later this afternoon (as an employer, I hate it when this happens as each company is different—as are employees’ salaries)
  • Just got my period and have the worst PMS (no additional comment required)
  • Does anyone have any Visine?
  • Hope I don’t have to do a drug test today
  • (when speaking to a peer at the next cubicle) Hey, check out this job on Monster.com
  • Let’s shut down, it’s 15 minutes before quitting time and it takes 15 minutes to get ready to leave
  • I was not late… I was sitting in the parking lot for the last ten minutes so I was technically here (I actually had a receptionist use this excuse twice… second time she was let go)

No doubt you can think of many more. Who know, perhaps you even “accidently” said too much at the wrong place and time. My words of advice: put yourself in your employers shoes… think about what you say BEFORE you say it.

If you would like additional information or assistance in any other career-related manner, don’t hesitate to reach out and send your request through the comment section. If preferred, email us directly at dhuffman@edu-cs.com or visit us at Amazon.com (search Danny at ECS).

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Got Twitter? Follow me @DannyatECS

Dwight Howard, Baby Mo, and Binky Throwing

When my toddling granddaughter doesn’t get what she wants, her natural reaction (or is it a learnt behavior?) is to throw her binky to the ground and test her lungs in a manner she knows will attract attention to her satisfaction. No doubt Baby Mo will one day learn she is not at the center of the universe and her methods of attaining satisfaction will change… after all, she just turned two. But what if Baby Mo’s parents allowed, expected, and encouraged bad behavior. As an unbiased grandparent, should I fault my granddaughter or should the blame be placed upon those directly responsible for NOT teaching her right from wrong?

Thought this would be an effective transition to the core topic of the sports day: Dwight Howard’s threats and temper tantrum… then again, is this truly fair as Dwight is well beyond the chronological age of two and is a polished product of a culture known for misplacing priorities. Raising the next topic, is Dwight’s binky throwing really his fault? If not, who or what are the influencing factors?

I’ll throw out the first line… the media, fans, owners, and coaches should be receiving the finger-pointing, scrutiny, and fury. On a private note, think about what you have done to propagate bad behavior (not just in sports but in the manner and method we live) before smashing a reflection scarcely reviewed without aid of makeup, pretend, or denial. What have you done lately to promote and progress society and/or cultural advancement? I thought so.

Due to an imperfect social education buffered by fear of sudden departure, Dwight acted out in the only way he knows. Quite bluntly, WE have become his enabler. This is part of the lecture where the class gets into human nature and social conditioning but we will forego that part and go directly to the advanced chapter. Then again, being a grandparent, I know we (as in ALL of us) turn our heads or cover our eyes, defending our simplicity by blaming the consequence, not the cause.

I’ve had the pleasure to write for WONO for the past few years and watched Dwight mature into the man he is today. During this time I have taken a front row seat to witness how his growth, as a player and as a person, has become stunted and tarnished by the very people claiming to be his friends, his fans, his coaches, and his agents (go ahead and throw the media in the lot too).

This brings up the real question: Should Dwight Howard’s and Baby Mo’s binky throwing be the target of blame or are they both simply the result of misguided reinforcements? Think about it for a few minutes before denying that faint voice lurking behind your eyes. For superstars and grandbabies, the word “NO” rarely reaches their ears, mostly because culture seldom takes the chance of saying that two-letter word. It’s so much easier, don’t you think? But are we doing ourselves and the other a disservice?

For growth and an eventual championship, as a society, as parents, as fans, as media agents, and even as business owners, we all need to say no once in a while. With a message of tough love, let the binky’s fly and let progress take place in its natural course. Each time we reinforce negative behavior, a piece of our mirror cracks, ultimately shattering culture all together or, as we are bearing witness, a “Chosen One” packs up and departs to where the sun sets and ultra-cuddling defines the day.

Time has come to say no to Dwight, no to binky-throwing children, no to coaches who allow their players to control the court, and no to anyone or anything going against the principle of right. For the past seven years Orlando has acted as an enabler, cuddling athletes with bloated salaries (I’m not just talking about Dwight) and an open invitation to throw their binky or lay limp on a grocery floor without consequence.

Okay, I get what you’re thinking; laziness via acceptance and social complacency is so much easier. Besides, how can one person or single act change the world? History will tell you, one act cannot, but multiple single acts from multiple single causes can. Or for the vast majority, we can live today as we did yesterday, rationalizing and blaming the consequence until the end of time and doing nothing about the cause. In the end, each one of us can refuse to look into that mirror. I say no to numbness! Each one of us each day should seek deeply into the reflection and realize the person looking back has the power to craft without fearing the creation.

Look into the mirror; examine who you are and how your action (or inaction) enables bad behavior. Then look at Dwight and see the situation as it really is and not how we comfortably want rationalize it to be.

No doubt Dwight could have handled the business aspect of his life a bit differently but if one has never been taught, should that person be blamed and held accountable? His reaction to blaming the Orlando Magic coaches and owners to not listening to him is a symptom of being immature; really that’s about it.

For so many reasons, the way we are processing his trade request and childish knee-jerk manner of resolving conflict is taking precedence over the real issue. You guessed it, WE bottle-fed, snuggled, permitted, and exposed this to be acceptable behavior.

Dwight Howard is the consequence, not the cause.

As for my little angel Baby Mo, I have a feeling this grandfather will allow her to do anything she wants. Don’t’ worry though, to better prepare myself in this hypocritical stance, I plan on covering all mirrors.

Next time you enable anyone (Dwight included) by supporting binky throwing, think twice about the cause and the consequence… I believe you may be surprised.

See you at the game,

Danny Huffman
http://www.Education Career Services.com
twitter: dannyatecs.com