I completely lost my stuff at a client recently. I am not proud of this. He triggered me and I absolutely lost it. Readers of this blog seem to love it when I throw myself under the bus, so get yourself a beverage and settle in because this is juicy.

Our first conversation was lovely. Nice guy. I understood his situation and knew I could help him. He was very respectful, had a clear goal, and seemed coachable.

The first place I start with most entrepreneur to employee clients is their resume. He had been in his own business for 10 years so we took what he had from his old corporate resume and added in his experience with his business through the lens of what he would be looking for, basically trying to retrofit his entrepreneur experience to look like the ideal candidate for the job he wanted. As with most IT project manager resumes, it was a little dense, but having done multiple project manager resumes recently, I thought it would work well for him.

He didn’t respond when I sent it to him so I reached out and we jumped on a call. I could hear in his voice that he didn’t know what to say. I thought the reality of leaving his business had set in, as it often does with my entrepreneur to employee clients. The real issue was he didn’t like the document but didn’t know why. So, I asked him to sit with it for a day or two and then we would make edits together.

I made myself available during my much-needed vacation because I wanted to be responsible and responsive. He missed our call and sent a vague apology a few hours later. I was pissed.

When we finally talked, he stumbled over his words, telling me I had added no value. He didn’t know what he wanted but this wasn’t it. I have been doing resumes for almost 30 years and one of my areas of expertise is doing resumes for IT project managers. We went back and forth. I walked him through why I thought it would work and told him he would get interviews if he sent it out. He kept disagreeing with me even though he hadn’t looked for work in years so had no idea what the market was like.

I lost it. I started screaming into the phone, “How much money does it take for you go away because you are not a nice person and I don’t want to work with you!” I offered him a substantial refund and he said it wasn’t enough. He finally offered to pay me $150.

I hung up on him.

After going for a walk and resetting, I refunded what he had requested and I tried to clean up my mess by sending a nice note:

Hi <name>, I issued a refund for $xxx through PayPal. You should receive notification from them shortly. Please know that it can take up to a week to process.

Just yesterday, this article in Corporate Vision magazine was sent to 155,000 global business leaders. I am truly the ranking expert in the entrepreneur to employee transition and I specialize in working with people in professional services, technology, and financial services. We should have been a good fit to work together, but clearly we have different ideas about what the job search process for you should look like.

Best of luck to you in your search.


Because the Universe has a strange sense of humor, later in the week I got a text from a project manager client that made me jump up and down:

Hey Catherine, I am getting a promotion at work! I will be making $xxK. My job title will be Finance Analyst / Project Manager.

Why was I jumping up and down? Because our coaching and resume had gotten him the job he wanted at his current company and a huge bump in salary!

Opinions on resumes are like noses – everyone has one and they’re all different. I have so many recommendations on LinkedIn about doing resumes, but at the moment, I am seriously considering taking that service down.