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Practical Insight: Overcoming Discouragement

by Tim Saumier, President of TYGES 

I get my inspiration on what to write from a number of places but my favorite is God’s Word – the Bible.  People look at this book as it is written in some strange language that is hard to understand or is not really relevant to them.  In fact, it is the story of the Good News (aka the Gospel) written by God himself through ordinary men.  Yes, this book talks about the Good News but it also offers up very practical tools on how to live your life.  I want to talk about what the bible talks says about how to deal with discouragement (I’m borrowing from Rick Warren’s daily devotional).

Rick says that discouragement is curable and when he gets discouraged, he heads to the book of Nehemiah for practical counsel on how to cure his state of discouragement.

“Then the people of Judah said, ‘The work crews are worn out, and there is too much rubble.  We can’t continue to rebuild the wall.'” (Nehemiah 4:10 GWT)

sleep-18First, we get tired.  We are human and we flat out get tired.  To deal with this you need to recharge yourself with sleep or even a vacation.  When I get to this phase, I take a nap, go for a walk, or go to the movies by myself.  It’s a time to get away and get my batteries charged up again.

Second, we get frustrated.  You have so much going on in life that is stopping you from getting on track.  It’s time to stop, clean up, and get organized.  When we get overwhelmed, it feels like we are spinning our wheels and getting nowhere in life.  This is the time to take stock and organize what’s in front of you, get rid of the things that don’t matter, and focus on the things that do.  Then prioritize your actions and start executing.

Third, we think we have failed.  Because we are a mess, we don’t always hit our goals or timelines, thus this means failure to each of us.  The reality of it is we fail daily – get used to it.  Failure is nothing but an opportunity to learn and course correct.  Don’t accept this fate.  Don’t give in to self-pity.  Don’t start blaming others.  Don’t complain and claim that the task is impossible.  Instead, refocus, plan, prioritize and start moving forward.

Finally, if we give in to fear, we get discouraged.  In Nehemiah it suggests that people most affected by fear are those that hang around negative people.  One thing to say about that:  turn and run from these people.  Don’t buy in to what they are projecting.  Don’t let fear discourage you.  If you let it, fear will ruin your life.  Instead of being afraid, focus on what you can learn from your circumstances and how you can use these lessons to move forward.

The bible is full of very practical tools and advice on how to make it in this life.  Make it part of your daily read.


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Waiting on Perfection

by Tim Saumier, President of TYGES

I took both macro & micro economics in college and while I don’t remember much from the classes, as I think I got a C in one and a B in the other, the one thing that I do remember is the law of diminishing returns.  The law of diminishing returns (also law of diminishing marginal returns or law of increasing relative cost) states that in all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production while holding all others constant will at some point yield lower per-unit returns.

200906_11_perfection-1While working in corporate America I remember working with design engineers who just wanted to keep designing for what they believed was best for the customer when in fact, it seemed to be for the pursuit of perfection.  We would constantly discuss when enough was enough.  I translate this to the world that I live in today – recruiting.  It’s a very interesting time sitting in my chair as a recruiter watching clients pursue perfection when hiring and watching individuals pursue perfection in their next opportunity.

Companies think that it is a client-centric market where they can have the pick of the litter and individuals think it’s an individual-centric market where they can have the pick of the jobs. 

Well they are both right.  If you’re a client and your specifications are truly wide open you can have your pick.  But if you have very tight specifications you will be pursing these people forever and not filling the hole in your bench.  If you’re an individual pursuing the ideal company with top tier pay and ultimate flexibility, you will also be looking for a long time.

Perfect JobReality is there is no such thing as perfection in this world.  Stop looking for it.

If you’re a client, find a talented athlete who fits your culture and meets 80% of your desires and hire them. If you’re an individual and you find a company that meets 80% of your desires go to work for them.  On the client side, the cost of not having a hole filled is very high while you pursue perfection.  Stop looking for the person who has “been there done that” because they don’t want to work for you.  They want more.  Focus on finding an athlete you can develop, teach, mentor, and mold in to your culture.  If you’re in a hiring capacity you have to act like a leader.

011f22cIf you’re an individual looking for a job, get real.

Stop listening to your friends or classmates telling you lies about their inflated salaries.

Stop reading about their ideal career they flaunt about in social media.  They just want to put on the facade for their friends and family.  Focus on what you need and desire, then plan on getting 80% of that.

The point of diminishing returns highlights the fact that it’s not worth it.  A time is a coming when 80 million baby boomers exit the work force and while you are pursuing perfection, your competition is going to pass you buy.  It may be time to rethink some things.

I welcome your feedback.  You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog. Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.


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Everything Must Change: What Keeps Me Up At Night

by Tim Saumier, President of TYGES International

iStock_000016875648Small1What keeps me up at night?

There are many things in life that can keep you up at night wondering, worrying, thinking leaving you with nothing less than another night of sleeplessness. Many people worry about their jobs, businesses, money, marriages, children, and other tangible things in life.  It may sound a bit crazy but I’ve turned all of these things over to the Lord and generally speaking I don’t spend much time worrying about them.  I tend to stay the course in these areas because He is in control. But I confess, I do want to be a part of something special and leave a legacy long after I’m gone that will serve the greater good. I do not desire to be put on a pedestal. Nor do I desire great wealth. I just want to serve others and be great at what God has entrusted me with – being a husband and father, being a friend, and being a business owner.

So what keeps me up at night? It is how we at TYGES International are going to Reinvent Recruiting with Resolve. We believe this is our path, our destiny at TYGES. And all of this is grounded in a deeper conviction that keeps me up at night: I want to disrupt the Art of Recruiting.

Sure, we get accolades from our clients (both companies & individuals) about how we are different from other recruiters. Often we are told,

We do our best to close loops with everyone.

We can deliver both good & bad news.

We leave people better off after we speak to them even if we cannot help them personally.

We are honest and transparent in a business that is typically labeled as nothing but “used car sales.”

We enjoy helping & being part of our communities.

We offer a secure place to work for our associates.

illuminated bulbBut is that enough? For some, maybe it is. For us, we believe we can be better and do more. In order for us to be great we must continually challenge the status quo. Most companies that are cited as “great companies” did not become great overnight. They unwaveringly focused on providing a quality product/service and refining their processes/systems in a steady way until that momentum takes over and helps carry the business forward to it’s vision.

As our team at TYGES continues to strive toward our vision of Reinventing Recruiting with Resolve, I am excited about the promise of this vision and truly how it can be impactful to our customers, our clients, our communities, our associates, and our families.  As I aspire to walk by faith and not by sight, I am up at night excitedly thinking about this future.

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Practical Insight: How To Manage My Career

By Tim Saumier, President – TYGES International

As the New Year is in full swing, many people take the time for personal reflection, making commitments to lose weight, change their attitude, stop wasting money, improve themselves, or change jobs. I get more calls from people regarding career advancement at the start of a new year and having had several of these conversations this year, I felt it appropriate to give my perspective.

imagesFrankly, you – and no one else – are responsible for your career. Do not depend on your spouse, boss, professor, human resources, a recruiter, or anyone else to drive your career. Sure, each may assist you along the way, but in the end, your success depends on how well you plan and manage it. With this in mind, here are some things to consider:

Have a documented personal career plan that you actively review and edit. I am not referring to a resume. I am referring to a document structured like a business plan and centered around you as an individual. Most people are so busy with their current role that they are ineffective at managing their own career. From my own experience, if you start a new business or product line, the entity that controls the purse strings (banks, financial executives, etc.) expects you to put a business plan together that outlines your game plan. So, let me translate a similar game plan to your career:

Executive Summary – This is your personal elevator speech. Think of it as a summary of content you would share about yourself in twenty to thirty seconds while in an elevator speaking to a potential hiring authority.

Market Analysis – This is where you realistically and honestly assess your value against your competitors in the market. There are many variables in play here including competitive landscape (internal and external to your company), location, supply versus demand, education, experience, etc. Be careful as most people tend to overvalue themselves based on the market. You need to do the homework and put together a true market analysis.

Company Overview – This is where you assess the company and its position in the marketplace. Are you with a company/industry that is growing, flat, or contracting? Who are the movers and shakers in your company/industry? Take an active role in learning where the company plans to go from here.

Organizational Structure – This is where you look at the company’s organization structure and seek out your own opportunity. Are there positions for you to grow into within the timeframe you are looking to move? Are you with a company where people are moving up or out in order to provide a natural path for you? Are you realistic about your timeframe and skill set? Is your role in this company beneficial to your career plan? These answers will help you outline the path(s) and compare potential (internal and external) opportunities.

Sales & Marketing Strategy – This is where you outline how and where you will market yourself. A short list may include colleagues, ex-colleagues, trade shows, recruiters, online applications, LinkedIn, alumni networks, door to door — yes, I know this is old school but it still works. Consider how you will differentiate yourself from everyone else out there.

Service / Product – This is where you list what is truly unique and special about you. Points that are specific and measurable speak more than flowery descriptors. You can deliver real impact when you demonstrate the value or benefit you bring to the organization through your achievement and past performance.

Funding Required – This is your cost to execute your personal career plan: time, energy, money. You may be early enough in your career to leave the workforce and advance your education. Do you have enough in savings to carry you through? You may be mid-career with designs on living closer to aging parents. Are you ready to allocate the time to research opportunities and living costs in the target area? You may be late career and driven to make a lasting impression with another company. Are you willing to put in the energy to earn your keep? One very strong consideration here is what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve your career goals as there will be tradeoffs and sacrifices along the way.

Financials – This is where you assess your current pay, itemize all elements of your total package (base, bonus, long term, medical benefits, 401k, pension, flexibility, proximity to family, etc.) and set your financial goals. It is natural to want to make more money than you make today. Educate yourself about market rates for your expertise by industry and geography. In many cases, location will carry different market rates for your function. In your research, you may find the markets in some appealing locations actually pay less than where you find yourself today.

Maintain a professional resume and keep your public information up to date. As a recruiter, I see more poorly written resumes from people you would never expect. Most issues fall into resume length, fonts, format, content, or flat out grammar. Have your friends or a recruiter critique your resume. Mirror your resume on LinkedIn and keep the two up-to-date and synchronized. From there, build your connections. Be open to phone calls from other companies or recruiters and compare what they are offering to your career plan and, if it lines up, go for the ride. If it does not, graciously back out and help them by referring people in your network.

tv-show-best-boss-michael-scottSet up quarterly meetings on your boss’s calendar and share your career plan. Give them permission to give you candid feedback so that you can work on development plans for yourself – whether it is advancing your education, getting executive coaching, fixing a character flaw, etc. Listen and be receptive to what they are sharing and choose not to be frustrated by their feedback (I know this can be difficult). Then close the gap.

Note: for those of you who have an unsupportive boss, find another executive in the organization who you can meet with quarterly and share your career plan. If there is no one in the organization you can turn to, it is time to leave or give up on your career plan and accept your circumstances (something I would not recommend).

Locate a recruiter or executive coach and build a strong relationship. Share your career plan with this person and set up quarterly or semi-annual calls to talk about how you can achieve your career aspirations. Some organizations will extend executive coaching to their professional workforce. If you lean on a recruiter, make sure this person specializes in your location, market, vertical, or function and can help you move forward in your career; there are many generalist recruiters out there and that is not what you are looking for.

In summary, take responsibility for your career. Put the time and effort into preparing for your future. Be honest and realistic with yourself. Find people who will be honest with you. Forge ahead and drive your future.