“You’re evil” spat the woman’s voice, “you should be ashamed of yourself.” I had been half-listening to voice mails while also answering emails, but this one got my full attention.
“How do you live with yourself?” she went on “taking advantage of all those poor job seekers out there while you lie by your swimming pool soaking up the sun.” (Swimming pool?)
After some more angry vitriol, the anonymous caller got to the point. She had signed up for our free resume writing course and was angry to learn that, as well as giving away lots of free information, we had stuff for sale. And that we promoted that stuff in several of the free emails.
I thought of that angry woman today when I received a very different reaction, this time by email. In the email, a young woman explained that she had taken several of our free courses and read the information posted on our blog. She then rewrote her resume following our advice. Her note continued:
I applied for a job as a Community Manager at a company called (name withheld) last week and was offered the job today. I cannot believe it. I am SO HAPPY. They said they were SO impressed with my resume and cover letter. Thank you SO MUCH. I can\’t thank you enough. It is exactly what I wanted […] I have recommended your site to one of my other friends looking for work and will continue to spread the word where I can […] Thanks again.
Two job seekers, both receiving the exact same emails, but with wildly different reactions and outlooks. Is anyone surprised that the writer of the email has been more successful than the nasty phone caller?
Life’s more about attitude than anything else
The older I get, the more I think our attitude drives much of what happens to us. If we believe the world is out to get us, we will ignore all the good free advice we receive, and focus only on the short promotional message contained in some of the emails.
But if we’re open and receptive to learning, we can read those messages without resentment or anger, and without being certain the books are paying for an unearned luxury lifestyle (they’re not!). Instead we can choose to take the free advice, use it and enjoy the results.
(If you’d like to sign up for the course, you can find it here – but no nasty phone calls please!)