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There was a guilty tone in the resolute “no” that my four year old son exclaimed as I asked him if he ate a cookie before dinner. The chocolate on his cheeks did not help build his case. He is a very honest kid and respects authority, but I knew we were stepping into an essential teaching moment. This was the first blatant lie my son had told me to my face. I gave him a few more chances to fess up, then got right into the reality that I knew the truth and he was not telling it.

He broke down in shame and after his punishment, we gathered to learn our lesson. Your words and the honesty you have is more important than almost anything. I explained to him more about trust by using the “peter cried wolf” story and gave him an example of when I had been dishonest and how it hurt someone I loved. At the end of this scenario, he understood the ramifications of not being honest and the importance of doing what you say you are going to do.

As recruiters, we are on the front line with folks seeking to portray themselves as well as possible. This portrayal is not always genuinely truthful and we must be aware of how candidates twist their words. We are grateful for the opportunity to help others in their major life decisions, but are not naïve to believe everything we hear. Way too often people we do business with do not do what they say they will do and often have no remorse for dishonesty. I believe this has come about due to the realities we face in communication.

It is commonplace to never meet the people we do business with face to face anymore. In fact, we do a fair bit of business via email and text message as opposed to the old fashion phone calls or personal get togethers. These less personal forms of communication lead to a psychological shift.

This psychological shift reduces communication from a relational experience to a transactional experience. The factor of the persons emotions, their feelings or their self-worth lessen when communication becomes transactional. I believe one is less likely to have concern over the feelings of another when they cannot see them. Nonverbal communication is said to make up over 90% of communication. If this is true, then we are missing a lot of realities by not doing business in a more personalized manner.

I am not venting (well maybe a little), but with this psychological shift comes a duty for those of us that are on the front line to counteract this trend. We must be intentional about not just what we communicate, but how we communicate. We need to discern when a text message is not appropriate. We need to realize that tough conversations will only lead to growth if had in the right manner. We need to understand that hollow promises conveyed will lead to lack of trust and sustainable relationships.

If I say yes to something, I want to live out that yes. If I say no to something I want to live out that commitment. Loyalty and deeper relationships will be the product of honesty and deliberate communication. So, let’s join together and create another shift… a shift towards honesty, integrity and commitment with those we communicate with.

Thank you for your vulnerability and letting us in your intimate space.

As I grow older and life teaches me, I have learned that the experiences I have on relationally intimate ground are the experiences that impact my life the most.

I have a fresh 7 week old baby girl at home. Lydia has been a gem. As the third child in our family, my wife and I have had less stress and more joy throughout the whole process of raising her thus far. It has been an abundant season of reflection, working through adversity, and constant focus on being the team we need to be to surround Lydia with love. As I rocked Lydia back to sleep this morning, before the birds were awake, I had such peace and joy in my heart. When reflecting in gratitude, on this joy and peace, it became clear that, in my life, the areas I had grown the most were in the new births of my children, the death and dying process of those that I loved and the times when vulnerability of others or myself led to greater self-awareness.

Birth and death are obviously intimate space. These two life realities cause one to ask a lot of questions that will define belief and drive behavior. Beyond these, I am grateful for those intimate opportunities to do life with others. Among these intimate grounds are the many people who have opened up their life story as we walk with them through the process of selecting a better career path. Navigating through the process of career transition is very uncomfortable to most. It requires deep reflection, intentionality and a process. Through a time tested process, we have the privilege to watch the progression towards greater career fit awareness. This is a true blessing for us!

The career seeking process also carries many emotions, especially when the individual has already left a role or been let go. It is said that the most common grieving takes place during death, divorce or loss of job. We get to experience this often in our workplace and do not take for granted the feelings of grieving needed when job loss occurs. It is not rare that an individual will try to sweep the feelings of job loss under the rug and move on.  It is those sweet moments and sweet people that allow us to speak into their lives by ask probing questions that will lead them to greater self-awareness and the vulnerability that follows that is mutually impactful.

Brene Brown is a leader in the space of research and conclusion regarding vulnerability. She concludes that vulnerability takes courage. There is no doubt. We see this every day and are the benefactors of many career seekers courage to open up and better themselves. Doing so benefits our lives more than you can imagine. Thank you for serving us through your courage, truth and trust. This intimate ground is not taken for granted and has forever changed who we are!

Neon Night ClubChicago, IL

The specific vernacular a candidate seeking a new opportunity uses tells a lot about them. Often candidates interchange the words “career” and “job” when speaking to employers. There is a big difference between the aspects of a career versus the aspects of a job so it is imperative that candidates are aware of how to use each word in the interview process.

The word career connotes long term dedication to a certain field or industry; whereas a job has much more of a temporal or even seasonal duration usually for short term provision. A career is often comprised of different jobs that have a common denominator for a specific purpose. A career typically is pursued by one that wants a higher degree of achievement and advancement of skills, abilities or knowledge.

I was recently trying to help a manager obtain a new career path within the restaurant industry. I interviewed him and I liked him. I thought he brought a good work ethic, seemed very honest and had a good mindset as to how to accomplish measurable results with both people and profit within a restaurant. A few years ago there was a year gap in his employment as a manager where he had claimed that he delivered pizza during that time. I asked him why he took the break from management because that can sometimes be a concern as to a manager’s commitment to a management career. He told me he just wanted to take on less responsibility and take a break. This answer initially threw up a red flag for me, but it puzzled me because the rest of our interview revealed a deeper passion and commitment for a career in management. Something did not line up, so I sought clarity. When digging a bit deeper he let me know his mother came down with a very awful disease that required her to move in with his family and for them to be her major care giver. He adamantly expressed his faith in family and desire to help her through this tough time. This was why he had stepped out of his management career temporarily. He needed a bit more flexibility to care for his mother. This is very noble and very few employers will penalize a candidate based on the life circumstance he faced. Truth is, he had a passion for a management career, but the season of life he was in required he step away from his career to focus on his family and get a job. The job, pizza delivery, still kept him active in the industry and helped him provide for short term needs. After I explained to him how he could market himself to let employers know about the temporary season of his life where he needed to take a break from his career and get a job there was a major difference in the way he would explain that period of time. He was relieved and much better equipped to sell himself to potential employers. The difference could open many doors for him. The awareness of your career path in relation to the different seasons of life is a consciousness I see few candidates express well. If you are a career seeker but there was a period of your career where you had to focus on something else and get a job, make sure you explain this in a way that will not turn employers off or concern them that you are not dedicated to a career.

Understanding the difference between a job and a career is pivotal to find the right path for you. As a recruiter I get to speak to many individuals who are seeking transition. Whether the individual refers to their transition as a job or a career tells me a lot about their mindset, goals and how they are applying themselves. I am continually trying to train leaders that they are not job seeking, they are career seeking. This is a small change in language that can have a large impact on the way one thinks of the work that they do on a daily basis.

Be aware of your target audience when you are interviewing. If you are trying to obtain a career, don’t talk about your desire for the job. Show the interviewer your commitment through the vernacular you use. Choose your words wisely and ace the interview!

The Conscious Candidate: Understanding the Trilogy of Time

One of the greatest ways a candidate can convey self-awareness in an interview is to be able to understand and clearly communicate all the aspects of their past, what has made them who they are and their vision, for where they want to go.

This relationship of the past, the present and the future is what I call the trilogy of time.

PAST: The conscious candidate can speak clearly about their past failures and their past successes in their work. In regards to mistakes made, the conscious candidate will be able to pinpoint the details of what they would do differently. They will not pass the buck and they will show willingness to learn from the experience. They will, essentially, be able to make lemonade out of lemons. The conscious candidate will also be able to talk about their success. They will able to articulate the importance of those who have mentored them and made them a better leader. They will be able to pinpoint the types of environments that they are most successful in and the essence of a job that they find most rewarding. Ultimately, the conscious candidate will be able to communicate exactly what of their past career highs and lows have taught them about who they are in the present moment.

PRESENT: The conscious candidate is highly aware of who they are in the current season of life. They must be able to speak to their specific motives of career change. They must have consciousness and intentionality about why they are seeking a specific company they are interviewing for. They must be aware of the aspects of the organization they are trying to join and connect the dots as to how that organization and themselves are a great fit. To do so, the conscious candidate must have done their homework on the organization they are interviewing with and have taken the time to retreat and reflect on who they have become through the journey of their career.

FUTURE: The conscious candidate must have vision for the future and be equipped to clearly communicate where they want to be in their career in the future. There is a fine line between realistic ambition and over ambition. Just the right level of ambition can be a great selling point to a prospective employer, while over ambition will concern the hiring manager that the candidate might be a flight risk and will minimize offers. Patience and desire to absorb as much as possible are traits that are highly desired. The conscious candidate will have thought out how they want to convey the vision of growth for themselves and their future. They should do so in light of the research they have done on the organization so that their growth plan is feasible for the organization.

The conscious candidate is prepared, intentional, and aware. Understanding your past work experiences, your skill set that has been derived from these experiences, who you are today because of these experiences and detailing a vision that is consistent with the structure of an organization will help you ACE that interview and increase great opportunity.

Connect with AGI Hospitality so we can help you gain better awareness around who you are and how you can better your opportunities today!


It is always fascinating to look on how our rapid pace of change in life is changing even the smallest details of finding a new career. Among these changes are the realities facing career seekers that are looking to relocate or make themselves available to do so. I surely don’t claim to be an expert on all relocation details in all industries, but I am involved in at least 10 relocation placements per year and have been for many years. I have watched these become more difficult since the housing crisis so can draw some generalities about best practices.  It is important for career seekers to understand how to best market themselves if relocation is their reality. For that purpose, let’s define the two type of candidates seeking relocation and unpack some perceptions hiring managers have in both instances:


+ The first type of relocating candidate is one that seeks to relocate to a certain city for a specific purpose. Usually this is to get closer to family or their roots. In this case the candidate should ensure that they make it clear as to why they are seeking to move to that area.  In this instance, it should be noted on resumes exactly where the candidate is seeking to move. If a living location has already been determined in that city, it is appropriate to put that on the resume during submittal. Candidates should make sure they communicate their knowledge of the market they are moving to. More than ever, companies desire that candidates are very knowledgeable of local trends and demographics of the market they are hiring for so this knowledge is imperative for the relocating candidate to be able to communicate

+The other type of relocating candidate is one that seeks the best opportunity for the growth of their career and is willing to go most anywhere to do so. Most companies have become apprehensive to even interview these types of candidates, but if candidates in this category can market themselves correctly they can have a huge advantage in gaining great opportunity; however, without intentionality they will find themselves spinning their wheels. The best way for candidates in this category to gain traction with this strategy is to specify and take aim the top 3 companies they would want a career with, apply to a local area or an area with a vested interest if possible and then communicate their relocatability. In this instance the candidate is seen as more marketable.

Most importantly and relevant to both types of candidates, relocating candidates must have thought out their relocation strategy in depth. If a relocating candidate is not able to explain specifics of getting out of a lease, selling or renting a current home and family plans they will not convince a hiring manager that they are serious about a move.

Advancing in our career is important and relocation can certainly help, but without being conscious of relevant hiring trends candidates will not be moving forward. If I can draw one safe conclusion across all industries is that candidates that are seeking to relocate usually do not have a good blueprint to learn from to market themselves. Please chime in and share your experience whether you are a hiring manager, employer or candidate who has relocated. Together we can help those that are serious about growing their careers in a different geography.