Pain Letter Success Story March 9, 2015!

Dear Human Workplace,

I resisted sending out a Pain Letter because I thought that if I wanted to get a hiring manager’s attention, I should network my way to meet that person. Unfortunately of thirteen target employers on my list, I couldn’t find anyone who knew any of the hiring managers. That was pretty depressing. Then I sent out two Pain Letters and one of them got me an interview!

I never heard from the other hiring manager I wrote to but I don’t care because I am starting my new job on Monday! Thank you thank you for giving hope to job-seekers who are burned on the Black Hole system.

All my love from Atlanta,


Human Workplace Success Stories January 8, 2015

Here are more stories from folks who have grown their flames with Human Workplace programs, eBooks, articles, podcasts and videos!


Dear Human Workplace Team,

I have re-gained my mojo, thanks to you! I was out of work for over a year and really out of options. I was working a part-time retail job and wondering what happened to my promising career. I dove into the Human Workplace world and remembered why I started working in the first place, so many years ago. I started interviewing six weeks ago and got a great job last week. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for your inspiration and guidance!




I wasn’t sure the Human Workplace approach would be accepted in Europe. I read Liz Ryan’s column “Job-Hunt Like a CEO” and realized that it’s true, this is how almost all CEOs get their jobs. They don’t send a resume in response to a job ad. I started doing the same thing the CEOs do.  I got two responses from in two weeks from the very people who could use my help. Thank you for showing me a new way to run my career.

With gratitude,



Human Workplace Success Stories January 2015

Dear friends,

Here are the latest triumphs shared with us by Human Workplace members and fans! If you’ve got a Human Workplace Success Story to share, please leave it in a comment below. Keep growing your muscles!



Miranda’s Story

Dear Human Workplace Team,

I came across your stories on LinkedIn when I was at my wit’s end. I guess everything happens for a reason! I had been job-searching for ten months with zero success at all and I confess I felt like a complete loser. I worked for seventeen years with very good performance reviews and I was shocked that I couldn’t even get an interview.

After reading your stuff and taking the course Breaking Into the Hidden Job Market I completely changed my job-search approach. I tried to use every Human Workplace idea I could. I sent out my first six Pain Letters and got good responses from two of them! I was completely shocked but incredibly happy too. I took a job that is like a better version of one of the first jobs I held years ago. The people are incredible and for the first time in my career I feel that my colleagues ‘get’ me. Thanks for everything you do!



Rodrigo’s Story

Hi Human Workplace folks,

I have benefited a lot from listening to your podcasts and reading your eBooks. A lot of things you say had been things I had thought about a little over the years but I never linked them together. As an engineer I appreciate the way the Human Workplace pieces make one complete puzzle. It’s all very logical which I like. When I had my first job interview coming out of a Pain Letter I had sent, I handled the interview a hundred and eighty degrees different than I had interviewed before.

It was incredible how well my manager got into the Human Workplace interviewing style. When he hired me he said he had never had a job applicant approach an interview like a consultant before and he really appreciated it. I have a new job but I also feel like I have a new view on my career. Thanks to Liz and all of you –


Fran’s Story

I got a job! I am so excited, and so are my parents who were getting tired of me living in the guest bedroom since I graduated from college in December 2013. I must admit I was losing hope working at the Container Store and looking for my first career job. Thank you so much for teaching me how to write my Human-Voiced Resume! I shared your approach with the Directo of Career Services at my alma mater and she was over the moon excited.

You guys have your finger on the pulse of the changing workplace in a way that I have never seen before. Thanks for putting the human back in work and reminding job seekers they have something valuable to offer. I know it now but it took lot of mojo-building to get here!




bird on nest for story five things you owe your employees and five you dont

Five Things You Owe Your Employees, and Five Things You Don’t

Read this story on LinkedIn about the five things you owe your employees!


sundae on table from story five things you owe your employees and five you dontYou Don’t Owe Them Everything They Want

You know your teammates well. You worked alongside them. You’ve gone up a level in your role and that means that you’re responsible for a bigger piece of the business now. You are not going to be able to say “Yes” to every request you get.

Some requests (for a schedule change, a pay raise or even a move to a different workstation) will be reasonable, and others will be unreasonable in your view. Even some of the reasonable requests won’t work for one reason or another. Rather than offering a flat “No, I can’t do that,” try sharing your thought process with your teammates.

In some cases, you can give them a road map to follow in order to get whatever it is they want. The more you and your teammates are aligned on your goals, the better!

hand with watch on orange background from story five things you owe your employees and five you dontYou Don’t Owe Them Lifetime Employment

There is no lifetime employment any more. As long as you are providing as much visibility into the future as you can, you are doing the best any manager could do. You can’t make guarantees that anyone on your team will have a job for years, or even for the next 12 months. What you can do instead is help your colleagues grow muscles that they’ll need if they find themselves job-hunting in the future.

i hate everything from story five things you owe your employees and five you dontYou Don’t Owe Them Endless Room to Vent

Everybody needs to vent at times. Sometimes when a manager is a willing listener, as I’m sure you will be, a normal work week can devolve into short periods of actual work punctuated by long and loud complaint sessions.

That isn’t productive for anyone. Let your teammates know how to bring up an issue that’s bothering them, and give every issue the attention it deserves. Draw a boundary so that your open door policy doesn’t turn your office into the always-open Complaint Department.

two angry people with thunderbolt from story five things you owe your employees and five you dontYou Don’t Owe Them The Promise That You’ll Take Their Side No Matter What

You already know that you owe your employees the truth. If one of your inside salespeople mistreats a customer on the phone and the customer complains, you’re going to apologize to the customer.

You’re not going to throw your teammate under the bus, but you might tell the customer “Thanks for letting me know about that training opportunity for Janice. I really appreciate it.”

If Janice feels that you should have taken her side, listen to her, and let her know where you feel she’s off base. Being a manager doesn’t mean saying “Our team is always right, and the other team is always wrong.”

five things you owe your employees and five you dont hands not touchingYou Don’t Owe Them The Right  To Let The Team Down

Seven hundred years ago when I was a new supervisor, one of my customer service teammates came back from lunch two hours late. “What the heck happened to you?” I asked James. “I went home for lunch and my roommates needed my help moving a piano that they bought,” said James.

“That’s fantastic,” I said, “but three other people had to take your calls.”

James was miffed that I hadn’t just covered for him and let it go. “Can’t you give me a little slack?” he asked. I never got a straight answer from James when I asked him why he hadn’t called to tell me about the piano. Things didn’t get better and James left the company a few months later.

You don’t do anyone any favors when you pretend that being the nice supervisor or the cool supervisor means letting people fall down in their responsibility to you and their teammates. That won’t endear you to them in any case.

Being a supervisor can be isolating sometimes for that reason, but the muscles you grow in your new role will serve you for the rest of your life.

All the best to you, Roger! I predict a great future for you.



Burning Issue: 3 business day turnaround

Burning Issues: We Answer Your Questions About Careers, Job Search, Branding, Networking and Life at Work

Burning Issue™ Program

Have you got a job-search, career, workplace, leadership or branding question you’d like our help with? Our Burning Issue™ program was designed just for you!

You’ve Got Questions!

We answer your thorniest job-search, career, workplace, networking, leadership and entrepreneurial questions through our email coaching program, called Burning Issue™.

Who is This Program For?

It’s for anyone who has a question about his or her job, branding, entrepreneurial plans or business, network, path, or sticky human topic and wants the help of the Human Workplace coaching team focused on your personal question.

Why Do People Use the Human Workplace Burning Issue™ Program?

Our clients take advantage of our Burning Issue™ program when they run into a career or workplace question that is keeping them from moving forward, or keeping them awake at night.

It might be a question about a situation they ran into at work. It might be a job-search question. It might be a question about their career direction or their branding, or their reinvention process.

It could be a question about an entrepreneurial business they’re planning or have already launched.

It could be a question about an HR situation or how to proceed in a difficult scenario at work.

How Does it Work?

You purchase our Burning Issue™ program for USD $249 on our website. Within one business day, you’ll hear from us via email, asking you to send us your 400-word query. Your query is self-contained, so it doesn’t include links to other materials.

We will confirm receipt of your query and schedule a Coaching Team Discussion and Writing Session and send you that date. When our team meets, we’ll be focused 100% on your question.

We will discuss your issue and then write your Burning Issue™ Response and send it to you. You will receive your 400-to-600-word Burning Issue™ Response, including our recommendations for you, within seven business days of our receipt of your Burning Issue™ query.

Can You Help Me Construct My Resume or a Pain Letter Through the Burning Issue™ Program?

We have different programs for resume and Pain Letter™ creation. Check out our Bronze, silver and gold reinvention programs for that! Burning Issue™ is a question-and-answer coaching service versus a content creation or document review service.

What Can I Expect In My Burning Issue™ Response?

As you know from reading Liz Ryan’s columns and listening to her podcasts, Human Workplace advice tends to be non-traditional and to emphasize the human aspects of any situation.

Keeping in mind that your Burning Issue™ situation is unique, we may begin a Burning Issue™ Response by framing your issue in the context of your life and career.

We may continue our Burning Issue™ Response by sharing several options that you could consider, and advising you on the option we recommend for you, with our reasoning for that recommendation.

We may end your Burning Issue™ Response by sharing several action items for you to take. Your Burning Issue™ response will always include a detailed, personalized answer to the question you posed in your Burning Issue™ query, with our recommendations.

Questions? Reach us here!