Editor’s note: This is the second of a three-part interview.People looking for a new job in this tough economy need a different kind of HOPE.

That is, having Honesty, displaying Ownership, being People oriented, and having Energy.

The HOPE acronym is used by Barrett Joyner, a former executive at SAS, when he talks with people who are out of work or seeking to change jobs. In this the second of a three-part Q&A, Joyner talks about revitalizing a career, building off a recent presentation he made to Tech Engage, a program designed to help retrain workers seeking new jobs or to re-launch careers.

In a “buyer’s market” why is HOPE as you defined it so important?

I talked about “HOPE” as the currency that keeps us all going. Hope that gets us out of bed in the morning. Hope that gets us to make that one more phone call. Hope that makes us buy that treadmill because that is just what we need to get rid of those last 5 pounds. But when Hope is lacking in a person, it changes a person–and not for the better. When you are looking for a job, you need to be at your best to maximize the opportunities and HOPE will keep you at your best. – Life can put us in some pretty tight places–but you can generate your own hope and you need to generate that HOPE in a buyers market because it IS tough out there. But by being Honest, taking Ownership, relating to People in the right way and demonstrating leadership “energy” A person can generate that HOPE.

Why isn’t this what some people might call “New Age” baloney? I know a lot of people who have given up.

I did mention that this was not new age BS because I didn’t say “get in touch with your inner child”, or get in touch with your “bad self” or “tune into the biorhythms of the universe”–of course I know how to do all these things because I went to school at UNC and you can actually major in all these subjects at Carolina!

What I mostly talked about is how people, including employers, would react to people who didn’t have hope or showed that they were desperate. You mention that a lot of people you know have given up but what have they given up on? I have given up on being the lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones because Keith Richards has proven that no matter how much he abuses his body, he is never going to die and give me an opening!

That is an acceptable thing for me to give up on. It is an honest thing for me to give up on. Have these folks you mentioned given up on getting a job–well that’s not a problem if they have some other way to have a full and rewarding life–everyone doesn’t have to work in the traditional sense to have a fulfilled life.

But if the folks who you know that need to work for fulfillment and responsibility have given up looking for work and doing things they could do to find work, do you like spending time with these people?

You could help someone find a job–you know lots of people and you know what’s going on in the Triangle–but I bet you don’t like spending time with folks who are “downers” or folks that have no hope unless they are your true friends–and each of us has just a few true friends.

Please walk us through in your own words the four steps of generating HOPE.

A person can generate HOPE by simply being Honest, taking Ownership, relating to People in the right way and demonstrating leadership “Energy.”

First step, Honesty. Know yourself and be honest with yourself regarding what is important–your dreams and desires and what you want and unfortunately what you will be happy “settling” for. No false bravado here–just an honest assessment of what lies ahead and what you are dealing with.

Second, Ownership–or as I often say “control the controllable”. The economy ain’t grand these days, but unless you are Alan Greenspan there isn’t much you can do about it. So read about it, whine about it with a “true friend” and then forget about it–don’t own what you can’t control. What you can own is making the next phone call–own that and forget about the stuff that isn’t in your sphere of influence.

Number three: People. I have fun with this one because I divide the world into three groups of people: True Friends, Friends, And the Rest of the World.:

  • True Friends. A true friend is that close personal friend that is not judgmental or as the old saying goes “A friend will come bail you out of jail but a true friend will be sitting beside you saying “Man, we really screwed up!” These are very important people when you are looking for a job for long periods of time because these are the folks that you can whine, scream, laugh and cry with–for many people these true friends are family, sisters and brothers.. Crazy Dave is my true friend and he is better than a shrink. I can call him and he will take my call at 2 am, listen to me and make me laugh. But I don’t expect him to help me find a job–he is one of the few people in the world who know how messed up I can really be and he is way too smart to hire me! But he is a true friend and tries to keep my major inadequacies from my other friends.

  • Friends. Now, your friends as opposed to your one or two “true friends”, can really help you because they will provide you with both general information (Anyone you know hiring?) as well as responding to specific questions ( Do you know anyone at Enron I can talk to?–OK, poor choice but you get the idea.

  • The Rest of the World. Often, the most important “friends” are those who represent the rest of the world–because they are the ones that do the most hiring! These are folks you build a relationship with and they are your extended network. You see a job and you can ask them if they know anyone at a particular company you can talk with or you ask if they are hiring or planning to hire at their company or you ask them about organizations they belong to that you should participate in…specific questions to specific people and most individuals will take a few minutes out of their day to respond.. This is the network of “friends” you need to cultivate and have at your side to fight the good fight in a buyer’s market.
  • And finally, the “E” in HOPE. I really like the book by Noel Tichy entitled “The Leadership Engine”. One of the concepts discussed in the book is” leadership Energy.” The bottom line on this is simple as well: Every human interaction can “energize” or deplete energy. To put it bluntly, people like to spend time with others who energize and add energy to a situation. We all know people who come into a room and suck the energy out of the room and basically whine about life. These are people the rest of us avoid and certainly wouldn’t help find a job. But people respond to “energizers” so make sure you aren’t constantly telling folks how bad your hernia operation was–tell that to your “true friend” and spare the rest of us!.

    Generating HOPE with these steps will keep you engaged with people who will want to help you.

    You really believe in leveraging our individual assets and controlling things we can take ownership over. Why? How does that matter?

    Because when you are not leveraging your own assets, you are completely faking it! Now faking it can be fun but completely faking it can be disastrous! Jeff Babcock at SAS used to quote Clint Eastwood characters all the time and one of the lines he uses is “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Jeff continues to teach folks to push beyond their own limitations and grow as people and employees but people need a solid understanding of the assets they bring to the table. I have a good friend, Ken, who is the greatest rock and roll singer in the world–as long as he defines the “world” as the space in his car when he is completely alone. He can quietly sing all he wants when he is alone in the car. But Ken knows his limitations and rarely sings in public because of the distinct possibility of getting arrested as a public nuisance.

    Controlling the controllable is the only “semi-rational” way of going through life. Trying to control the uncontrollable is like getting a drink of water from a fire hose…it can be done, but you will get knocked down by the force and get soaked in the process!

    Coming Thursday: Part Three discusses True Friend, Good Friends

    Part One: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=5429