THE BLOG
12/02/2014 04:11 pm ET Updated Feb 01, 2015

New Year's Resolutions: 10 Secrets of an Executive Recruiter

My name is Mark Wayman and for the last 10 years I have owned an executive recruiting company focused on gaming and high tech. Over 600 successful placements with an average base salary of $200,000+. This year I placed six executives north of a million dollars. The last 10 years taught me many things, however this is my list of "big ticket" secrets for those in career transition.

Life Is Not Always Fair -- There are many times when life does not seem fair. You get fired, someone else gets your promotion, you don't get the job interview. Believe me, I see it regularly. A mediocre candidate beats out an outstanding candidate. People that make terrible business decisions just keep on finding jobs. Your current situation is typically determined by your previous choices and decisions, however there will be times when life just does not seem fair. You can't always control your circumstances, but you can control how you react to them. Focus on what you have, and don't obsess about things that can't be changed. Life is not always fair, but it is always worth living!

Don't Waste People's Time -- The number one fear of executives in America today is having their time wasted. If you are going to email or call, have something important to communicate. If your calls are not getting returned it's because you are not adding value. Remember that landing a new career opportunity is a high priority for YOU, not them. If you work with an executive recruiter, make yourself available. If a company calls you for an interview, juggle your schedule and make it happen. Translation: Make your job search a top priority. Don't waste people's time!

Be Tigger, Not Eeyore -- Whining is for kids... and it's not attractive even then. Of the thousands of executives I have interfaced with, do you know how many told me they got fired? Zero. The boss was a jerk, the company was screwed up, their wife was on my case, and/or they had a bad childhood. Step up and take personal responsibility for your career. It's not your bosses fault or the company's fault or anyone else's. Sometimes things just don't work out. Quit complaining and move on. Bitter is not attractive, and it one of the top issues I see in unemployed executives. As we say in Oklahoma -- saddle up and ride! Be Tigger, not Eeyore!

Don't Be a Carpet Bagger -- One of my least favorite phone calls goes something like this, "Yada, yada, yada, sorry I have not called you in five years, but can you get me a job?" Remember this; life is like a bank account. You have to make deposits before you can ask for withdrawals. And 80 percent of the top jobs will be found in your professional network, NOT through an online job posting. You need to foster long-term relationships so that when you need to call in a favor, it's there for you. Nobody likes a carpetbagger!

It Only Takes One Phone Call -- One phone call can change your life! Don't get discouraged thinking you'll never find a new job. You only need one job, so you only need to get one phone call. That call may come today or next week or next month. The timing is in God's plan; not yours. The call typically comes when you are at the end of your rope and can't take one more step. But remember this -- that call always happens. You only need ONE phone call!

Life Is Not One, Long Air Raid Siren -- Most people are on the treadmill of life. Go, go, go! Sun up to sun down. Bring home the latest work project and work until midnight, then double back to work at 6:00 AM the next morning. God gives us the freedom to choose what is right over what is pressing. If you are out of work, maybe this is a good time to slow down and reevaluate your priorities. There is no reason to live your life in the eye of a tornado. Get off the treadmill!

Run Your Own Race -- Don't measure your self-worth against other people's net worth. This is the primary source of stress in most people's lives. Getting that next promotion. Moving to a nicer neighborhood. Buying a new car. The stress to keep up appearances. Everyone does it, but remember that enlightened people never seek to be like others. Self-worth is not based on achievements or "stuff." Not by your $100,000 car or your multi-million dollar house. Let me know when they start putting luggage racks on the Hearse. Abundance is not defined by money or possessions; it's defined by your blessings. Health, family friends. Successful people don't need to prove anything. Run your own race!

Everything in Life is Relative -- When I was 18 I went on the Pro Bowlers Tour. In California, I was one of the top players. On the National Tour I was not in the top one hundred. No matter how good you are, someone else will always be better. When you get up in the morning remember that you live in America, the greatest country in the world. If you have your health and your family, everything else is a bonus. I am not trying to minimize the importance of your job search; just reminding you that unemployment is a temporary situation. Everything in life is relative -- this too shall pass!

Entitlement is an Illusion -- The number one cause of America's economic woes is the mistaken impression that someone owes us a living. Nobody owes you anything in this life. Want to know the secret? HARD WORK. Hard work and perseverance lead to success. Don't believe me? Number one answer of wealthy people when asked about their success -- hard work. I was the first person in my family to graduate college. No scholarship -- just eight long years of night classes. Then 20 years of busting my hum in corporate America. And last, but not least, 10 years of hard work building by business. Because when you own the company, if you don't sell... you don't eat. Entitlement is an illusion!

The Happiest People on Earth Know their Purpose -- The happiest people in the world are those that have found their passion, and get up every morning to pursue it. They understand that significance is not about status or money or material possessions; it's about having a positive impact on the people around them. Serving others as opposed to serving self. The quality of your life comes down to the quality of your contribution. Givers are the most content, peaceful and happy people on the planet. Your life moves to a higher plane when you strive to make the world a better place. Live each day as though it were your last!

Let me leave you with my favorite quotation. This is from Mother Teresa, and it sums up the best way for us to live our lives.

People are often unreasonable and self centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.