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Job Hunting and Poker

Jack Dog Welch

It seems like at least weekly (maybe more often) I read about a grinder posting whether to go pro or not. Often the pondering involves quitting college or not even bothering to matriculate. Some poker enthusiasts talk about quitting their jobs in today's economy to play poker full-time. No really, it's true. As we endure The Great Recession and with the UIGEA rearing its ugly head, a professional poker career certainly sings a siren song. Hell, to many millions, any income-producing endeavor would seem like sweet success at the moment.

The last I looked in the United States, there were 6.4 people unemployed for every available opening. The unemployment where I live is currently 15% and climbing. Unemployment is understandably a major topic of conversation. Every day, I read an article in the newspaper about finding a job. I'm retired; I don't actually need a job and I don't particularly want one. But I find myself reading these articles only to glean excellent LifeRoll Management advice. However, I believe that if we follow the advice of job hunting counselors, we can improve our poker games as well.

Summarizing several concepts from these job-hunting articles, I offer some thoughts to improve your game. Or your life, for that matter.

Try Fresh Approaches

Get back to basics. Seek help from experts. Adjust your attitude. No 'woe is me' talk. (Bad beat whiners - please note.) Develop your personal brand (use the same screen name on all sites).

Job Search Tips For 2010

Focus on your assets, not your liabilities. Identify your personal and professional strengths. Develop a strategic plan, write it down and stick to it. Keep your network strong or build one; your contacts improve your ability to leverage your career in a positive direction. Embrace your full-range of options. Update your skill set (learn new games). Keep a positive outlook. Be as resilient as possible.

Laid-off Execs Get Real

A lot of people are just waiting out there with false hope. Moving down the ladder a few rungs is usually necessary before finding a more efficient elevator to replace the ladder entirely (no shame moving down in stakes). Necessity is the mother of reinvention. There has never been a better time to test the uncommon. You have to be willing to set your ego aside. What's the cost of failure when almost everyone is failing? Next to zero.

Live Today, Plan Tomorrow

Go above and beyond concerning learning whenever you can. Teaching others is a great way to help with learning. Keep track of everything you are doing. Identify your barriers to success. Dangerous internal barriers may include negative messages about how much success you deserve, your ability level or whether you'll fall short. To keep any negative thinking from holding you back, start by noticing these thoughts when they arise and replacing them with positive thoughts. This may feel phony at first, but your brain will eventually acquire the new and improved habit.

Even a blind squirrel can find a nugget or two there to improve his poker game and his life. But of particular interest - to those who contemplate derailing their careers - might be an article entitled Start-ups That Dream of Salaries. In the article, the entrepreneur who created the Founder Institute stated they "don't encourage people to quit their jobs" and that a "job is a legitimate funding vehicle in this financial market."

I will conclude with two meaningful thoughts: If you look everywhere for valuable information to improve your game, you will be amazed at the lessons available. Also, more often than not, the best way to build your bankroll is with a job.

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