Posted by: Patrick | March 2, 2010 Career Banks – Are You Invested Or Overdrawn?

Posted by Jeff Hunter • March 1st, 2010 


How’s your Career Bank? Are you borrowing from it or investing in it? Are you starting to bounce career checks? It’s always the right time to make a deposit.

Your Career Bank is like any other bank: you put stuff into it during the good times so that you can take stuff out during the rough times. When you are looking for a job you are going to make a lot of withdrawals from your Career Bank. For instance:

  • Connections – We have all heard it a thousand times: the best way to get a job is through your network.
  • Advice – Looking for a job is tough. Having a mentor or trusted guide can be invaluable.
  • Access – You know that you could get the job if you could just get to the right person.
  • Information – You are about to walk into an interview and need some quick information about the company. Your friends are often the best source.

When you go to make a withdrawal you usually can’t provide something in return. That’s why you have a “Career Bank” and not a “Career Pawnshop” or a “Career Loan.” When you are really in need you usually don’t have something that other people want bad enough to exchange.

And you are always withdrawing against what you have already deposited. You don’t get too many career credit lines. You have a Career Bank, not a “Career Credit Card.”

What happens when your Career Bank balance is low? Your withdrawal requests get denied. Your career checks bounce. You reach out to a friend for advice and they say they are too busy. Your old mentor can’t afford to have lunch with you. When you reach out to your network to find a way into a job all you hear are crickets.

You can never be overdrawn on your Career Bank. When you requests are denied you have that “taker brand” (LINK) we talked about last week. You are always filling out withdrawal slips and writing checks without thinking about the deposits needed to cover those checks.

So regardless of whether you are in the middle of a job search or comfortably employed, making career bank deposits is one the wisest things you can do. Here are some pointers on how to make easy deposits:

  • Help – I got the greatest email yesterday. A person was applying for a job that I have open. They admitted they weren’t a fit, even though they want the job badly. So did they just beg and hope for the best? No! They recommended three of their friends who they thought would be a good fit. Talk about a great deposit (with both me and their friends).
  • Teach – Do you know something that would help others? Take some time to teach them. Offer to spend some time on the phone giving them advice or information. Someday you may be asking for the same favor in return.
  • Connect – Think of all the people you know. Anybody you should be introducing to each other? Have a friend who you know hates their job and may be looking for one soon? Then connect them with someone who can help them.
  • Gratitude – The simplest thing to do is to thank people for the withdrawals you have made in the past! Expressing gratitude makes huge deposits in your Career Bank.

Looking for a new job is hard. But if aren’t making regular deposits into your career bank you will definitely be bouncing checks at the worst possible time. Take the time to make some deposits today.

Guest Blogger Jeff Hunter is a member of the Clearview Collection and is an award-winning technologist, strategist, author and entrepreneur. He currently serves as the Vice President of HR Solutions at Dolby Laboratories. Prior to joining Dolby, Jeff served as Sr. Director of EA University at Electronic Arts, the world’s largest digital entertainment company. In 2007, Jeff launched the “Talent Unconference” a meeting of the top minds in HR, business and technology to discuss new methods for developing and driving talent-centric businesses.


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