COVID Career Pivots – The One Thing You Need to Know!

Figures showing a pivot or change indirection

On a daily basis, I get messages from folks who are ready to make a pivot in their career, and with so many folks losing their job because of COVID the amount looking to pivot seems to be increasing. Career pivots aren’t a new thing. On average people change jobs like 358 times during their career or something like that.

Here’s how that conversation normally goes when I have a conversation with a friend who’s deciding on a pivot:

Friend of the Project: Tim! So, I lost my job (or I hate my job) and I’ve always wanted to be a Professional Puppy Petter!

Me: OMG! Me Too! I love puppies! So awesome!

FOP: Okay, so I’m currently making low six figures, like $127,350. And while I know I won’t make that same amount in my pivot profession, I still need to make $127,300. What advice do you have for me to become a Professional Puppy Petter?

Me: Don’t.

FOP: Haha! No seriously, petty puppies are my passion! I’ll do whatever it takes!

Me: You have to be prepared to take a pay cut of at least 99% (in reality, for most career pivots, it’s probably 30-40%).

The reality is, most of the actual examples are people asking me how to get into HR. They are usually coming from a sales job or management job where they are making $65-85K. Some even have an HR degree, but little or no experience.

That’s awesome. I love HR! But, you have to be ready and prepared for an offer around $40-45K for your first HR job, depending on the market. That means you need to adjust your lifestyle to make that career pivot. I find about 1 out of 25 people are willing to make that adjustment.

When I first jumped from agency recruiting to HR I took a 65% cut in pay to move into straight corporate HR. I actually lied about how much I was making because it was probably double what my new corporate boss was making. They never would have hired me knowing they were making me an offer so low from I was currently at. But, I truly wanted to make that pivot!

Career pivots take major sacrifice, but often they are worth it if you find a career doing something you truly care about. It’s easier to pivot at the beginning or end of your career. You have less to lose. When you are mid-career with a house payment and kids and a dog, career pivots are almost impossible, without major adjustments to lifestyle.

The one thing you need to know…

Career pivots have less to do with your ability to do the new job and everything to do with your willingness to take a major step back in life comforts.

Good luck out there my friends!

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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5 Tips to Strengthen Your Organization’s Diversity Representation!

5 Tips to Strengthen Your Organization’s Diversity Representation!

We’ve been talking about Diversity and Inclusion in talent acquisition for decades. Yet, the vast majority of organizations and leaders still believe they are behind the curve when it comes to D&I representation in their organizations.

Industry-leading HR expert Tim Sackett discusses 5 tips to strengthen your organization’s diversity representation and change the way your company performs in diversity and inclusion!

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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5 Traits That Make Your HR Business Partner Great!

By Tim Sackett

I use to think the title ‘HR Partner’ was played out and it probably was for a time.  There was a point a few years ago when every HR Pro had to change their title from HR Manager, HR Director, etc., to HR Partner.  It always made me feel like we were all apart of a bad cowboy movie, ‘Giddy up, Partner!’

I’ve actually grown to really like the “Partner” in the title of an HR Professional.  While many HR Pros just changed their title, I’ve met some great ‘Partners’ in HR who have changed their game, to match their title change.

What makes a Great HR Partner Great?  Here are 5 things I think makes them game-changers:

1. Great HR Partners know your business.  Now, wait.  I didn’t say they ‘knew their own business’, they know the business of who they support. But wait, there’s more!  They know the business of who they support, the way the person or team they support knows it. Say what?!  It’s not good enough to know the business of your organization.  You have to know how those you support know and support the business.

That could be different, based on the leader.  One leader might be ultra-conservative in their business practices, another risky. A great HR Partner knows how to support them in the way those they support, want to be supported – while still being able to do the HR part of their job.

2.  Great HR Partners have a short-term memory. Great baseball pitchers don’t remember one pitch to the next.  Each pitch is new. Each pitch has the potential for success.  If they remembered each pitch, the last one, that was hit for a home run, would cloud their judgment about the next pitch.

Great HR Partners are willing to change their mind and try new things.  They don’t carry around their experiences like a suitcase, pulling them out and throwing them on the table each time those they support want to try something new.  Don’t forget about your failures, but also don’t let your failures stop you from trying again.

3. Great HR Partners allow risk.  A great HR Partner is able and willing to accept that organizations have risk.  It is not the job of HR to eliminate risk, it is the job of HR to advise of risk, then find ways to help those they support, their partners, to achieve the optimal results in spite of those risks.  Far too many HR Partners attempt to eliminate risk and become the ‘No’ police.  Great HR Partners know when to say “No” and when to say “Yes”.

4. Great HR Partners don’t pass blame.  If you are a great HR partner and you work with great partners, you will all support each other in the decision making process.  A great HR Partner will never pass blame but will accept their share as being one of those who supported the decision to move forward.

This doesn’t mean you become a doormat.  Behind closed doors, with your partners, you hash out what there is to hash out.  When the doors open – all partners support the final decision that is made.  A Great HR Partner will have the influence to ensure they can, and will, support that decision when those doors open up.

5. Great HR Partners don’t wait to be asked.  A great partner in any capacity is going to support those they support with every skill they have available to them.  In HR we have people skills – so when those who we support have issues, we offer up our ideas on what we can do to help the team.  Great HR Partners don’t stop at HR advice!  In a time of brainstorming and problem solving the idea that goes unshared, is the worst kind of idea.

I might not know operations, and I will say that up front, but I’m going to put myself out there and tell my partners that eliminating the rubber grommets on the bottom of the widget is a bad idea because while it saves us $.13 per unit, it also makes our product slide around and that ultimately will piss off the customer.

Being an ‘HR Partner’ has very little to do with HR.  Those you support expect you have the HR expertise. What they don’t expect is how great of a ‘partner’ you can be.  Great HR Partners focus on the partnership, not on the HR.

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The Single Biggest Factor in Finding Your Dream Job!

Dream Job - This Way!

By Tim Sackett

I’ve been given the opportunity to speak to a number of high school and college graduating seniors. The one common question from both groups, I get frequently, is “how can I get my dream job?”  It’s a simple question, with about one million possible answers.  Which makes it a tough question to answer in front of a group.

I think I might have found the perfect answer to this question.  From Penn State football coach, James Franklin, when asked at a conference how does a graduate assistant move up in the college football coaching ranks:

“It comes down to people and opportunities for growth. I always tell people to stay broke for as long as possible.  When you have a car payment and other things like that, it becomes a factor. Keeping money out of it allows you to chase your dreams longer.”

Stay broke as long as possible.

Internet personality, Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee), says basically the same thing when people ask him how they work at something they just love to do. He will tell them you need to then live the lifestyle that affords you the ability to do what you love. If you love to pet puppies all day, you can’t live in a mansion! You’ll probably live in a box.

But, if that’s truly your passion in life, then that’s what you need to do to make it happen. What he finds is people who are willing to lower their lifestyle to do what they love are usually the ones who end up making money doing what they love. The theory being they found a way to live doing what they love, and little by little, they’ll find a way to make money doing what they love. Most people are unwilling to change their lifestyle to do what they love.

I remember back to when I first got out of college and was making $20,000 at my first job.  The reality was, I could have gone almost anywhere and made $20,000.  The money wasn’t the draw of the position, the opportunity was.  If it wasn’t for me, I could go and try something else. I had a crappy car and a $400 per month apartment. I didn’t have life obligations that were going to stop me from chasing a dream.

Fast forward five years and now I have a new car, a new house, and a new kid.  Chasing a dream would be much more difficult.

You hear it all the time, chasing dreams is for the young. Not because the young necessarily have better dreams or are better equipped at chasing dreams, it’s because the young can ‘afford’ to chase their dreams.  They, usually, have little holding them back, financially.  The older you get, the more responsibilities you have and the larger tax bracket you’re usually in.

Leaving a $20,000 job to chase my dream wasn’t going to be a problem. Leaving a $100,000 job to chase my dream was going to be a problem.

No one really wants to tell you this in their ultra-motivational writings and speakings.  “Go chase your dream! Don’t let anything or anyone stop you!… Just be prepared to have nothing for a while!”

We never get to hear that last part.

Want to be an NFL Referee? It’s a great gig! You just have to put about 15-20 years in at being a referee at every other level where you make peanuts and have to work other jobs to make ends meet. Yes, you can get there.  No, you won’t get rich getting there.

You can definitely go out and work towards getting your dream job.   Being broke will help you with that.  It takes away the fear of failure and losing what you have.  If you have very little, losing it doesn’t seem as bad.  If you have a nice life, giving it all up, seems extremely hard.

Being broke, in a very ironic way, gives you more options, when it comes to a dream job!

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4 Tips for Hiring Candidates with Grit!

By Tim Sackett

In our ever-constant struggle to find the secret sauce of finding the best talent, many organizations are looking to hire candidates who have grit. What the heck is grit? Candidates who have grit tend to have better resolve, tenacity, and endurance.

Ultimately, executives are looking for employees who will get after it and get stuff done. Employees who aren’t waiting around to be told what to do, but those who will find out what it is we should be doing and go make it happen. Grit.

In tough economic times, our organizations need more employees with grit!

It seems so easy until you sit down in front of a candidate and try and figure out if the person actually has grit or not! You take a look at that guy from 127 Hours, the one who cut his own arm off to save his life. That’s easy, he has grit! Susy, the gal sitting across from you, who went to a great state school, and worked at a Fortune 500 company for five years, it’s hard to tell if she has grit or not!

I haven’t found a grit test on the market, so we get back to being really good at questioning and interviewing to raise our odds we’ll make the right choices of those with grit over those who tell us they have grit but really don’t!

When questioning candidates about their grit, focus on these four things:

  1. Passion. People with grit are passionate about something. I always feel that if someone has passion it’s way easier to get them to be passionate about my business and my industry. If they don’t have a true passion for anything, it’s hard to get them passionate about my organization.
  2. Doer. When they tell you what they’re passionate about, are they backing it up by actually doing something with it? I can’t tell you how many times I’ll ask someone what their passion is and then ask them how they’re pursuing their passion and they’ve done nothing!
  3. What matters to them. Different from a passion that you need to find out what matters to these people in a work setting. Candidates with grit will answer this precisely and quickly. Others will search for an answer and feel you out for what you’re looking for. I want a workplace that allows me to… the rest doesn’t matter, they know, many have no idea.
  4. Hope. To have grit, to be able to keep going when the going gets tough, you must have hope that things will work out. The glass might be half full or half empty, it doesn’t matter, because if I have a glass, I’ll find something to put in it!

I’ve said this often, but I believe individuals can acquire grit by going through bad work situations. We tend to want to hire perfect unscarred candidates from the best brands who haven’t had to show if they have grit or not.

I love those candidates with battle wounds and scars from companies that were falling apart, but didn’t. I know those people had to have grit to make it out alive!  I want those employees by my side when we go to battle.

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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The New Normal for Hiring Hourly Employees!

The New Normal for Hiring Hourly Employees!

Not many of us are actually doing a ton of hiring right now. How do I know? There are 25 million people who applied for unemployment! That means there’s probably another 75 million that are currently under-employed or utilized.

This means that when we all get back to the ‘new normal’ of working, a bunch of stuff is going to change! How we attract, select, onboard, etc. can not be the same as what we did only sixty to ninety days ago.

Hourly hiring has always been a very “hands-on” endeavor and we must change that! My good friend and Recruiting Expert, Madeline Laurano has done a major research project looking specifically at hourly hiring. I’ve been spending time interviewing TA and HR leaders on the changes they are planning moving forward, and we are going to share with you all of those ideas and strategies!

Join us for a free Webinar on Tuesday, May 12th at 1pm ESTThe New Normal for Hourly Hiring: 5 Strategies TA Leaders Must Consider Moving Forward! 

I’m so excited to have this conversation and share the information that Madeline and I have found! It’s always a great time just talking shop with her, and this is a topic we are both passionate about.

Thank you to the great folks over at Get.Fountain.com for sponsoring this and allowing us to present this information. Fountain is an easy to use Hiring Software trusted by the world’s leading companies. Source, screen, and onboard your hourly workers, giving them a great experience without all of the physical high-touch!

Your Hosts with the Most!

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The Tim Sackett CoronaDiaries: Return to Work Protocols and Your MVPs!

This week on the Corona Diaries I dig into what the heck it’s going to be like when we finally all come back to work, from our Work from Home sentences! At least for the extroverts who can’t wait to get back to work, or those parents who have been locked in with their crazy kids!

I also talk about the concept of those employees who contract and get better from COVID (should we call them “Covivors” – shout out to Mary Kaylor at SHRM as we were discussing what we might tag someone who is on the backside of the virus) and now have a special place in society.

Are you working on your RTW Protocols – if so, share a tip you’ve discovered while talking through this and strategizing at your organization in the comments below!

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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The Tim Sackett Corona Diaries – Stupid Facts about Tim and HR Tech Marketing!

The weekly video series Corona Diaries is back and this week Tim talks stupid facts about himself and the good and bad of HR Tech Marketing during a pandemic crisis. It’s been a hot topic on the social channels this past week, with folks in both camps.

Camp 1 – we have products and services that can help organizations right now and we need to let them know, or just simply, the world hasn’t stopped and we need to sell this stuff to keep our employees employed.

Camp 2 – You’re all evil for spamming everyone in the middle of a once in a lifetime crisis!

Hit me in the comments – Should HR Tech companies be marketing their product right now today, or when is it appropriate for them to start again? Do you have a problem with this, or do you think it’s fine?

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The Tim Sackett Corona Diaries: Work From Home Advice!

Hey gang! How are we all doing today!?!

Since so much of the audience is impacted by COVID-19 I thought it would be a good time to talk shop and do some videos that I’m going to call the CoronaDiaries!

I hope you enjoy – make sure to hit me up in the comments with your best advice, tips, and tricks for all of us working from home!

One additional tip: Don’t neglect your exercise and diet! For me, I’m a big workout at lunch person, so moving into a work from home situation totally throws me off my routine and I have to make sure I figure that out!

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

Add your ideas in the comments!

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From Trendy to the “New Norm” — Remote Work is Here is Stay

Telecommuting, virtual teams, remote roundtables…… what does all this mean and what does it mean for your organization?  Exploring remote work can be daunting and the data around this topic is overwhelming. Here are a few things that we’d like to share from our own research.

Summary of Telecommuting Trends:

  • Regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 173% since 2005, 11% faster than the rest of the workforce and nearly 47x faster than the self-employed population.
  • 4.7 million employees (3.4% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.

From 2005 to 2018:

  • The employee population (not including work-at-home or the self-employed) grew by 15.3%
  • The self-employed population as a whole grew by only 3.7%, but growth within this group varied greatly. The large majority of the self-employed operate unincorporated businesses (63%). This segment hardly grew at all (.8%). The incorporated portion of the self-employed population grew by 48.2% for home-based businesses, and 11.8% for non-home-based businesses.
  • Forty percent more U.S. employers offered flexible workplace options than they did five years ago. Still, only 7% make it available to most of their employees.
  • Larger companies are most likely to offer telecommuting options to most of their employees.
  • New England and Mid-Atlantic region employers are the most likely to offer telecommuting options.
  • Full-time employees are four times more likely to have work-at-home options than part-time workers.
  • Non-union workers are twice as likely to have access to telecommuting, but union access is growing rapidly.


For more information or to read the entire article please click here GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com.


If your considering this option for your organization, you’ll want to set clear expectations such as:

  • Internet Connection Suitable and Reliable– sounds silly right?   However, some rural areas throughout the country are a little behind metropolitan and big city life.  
  • No Public WIFI – will you allow public wifi connection? 
  • Data Protection Requirement/Policy – will you provide equipment such as laptops or tablets or will employees use their own equipment?   If employees are allowed to use their own equipment what protection will be in place to secure and protect the company and its employees.
  • Anti-Virus Software – Employers should ensure that employees personal equipment has adequate virus protection.
  • Collaborative Working Options and Document Storage  — DropBox, SharePoint, Skype, Zoom, Webex, GoToMeetings…. (Promote Face to Face interaction)
  • Phone Service — Direct Lines transferred to Cell Phone, use of cell phones, or land lines – Is the company or employee paying for phone service.
  • Monitor Progress and Productivity — It’s good practice to monitor progress on projects by remote workers so you can foresee any issues that need extra support or to just check on the status of your remote staff.

Are you ready to embrace the remoters, telecommuters, virtual circles?   For more information check out this article https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/mobile-workforce/future-of-remote-work-tips-for-hr/

Article by Teresa Carper and Jacki Rieder of HRU Technical Resources

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