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Michael has a way with words. He crafts the "thank you letter" beautifully, addressing three key issues:
The people. He says, in effect, "I like you and I like your people. We'd work well together."
The employer's objections: (a) the job's not big enough, and (b) not enough "hands-on."
The close. He says "I want to work here," and asks for the job. As a bonus, he keeps it short. I-really-want-this-job letters can drag on for three or four pages if you let them. Be sure you don't.

Two Thousand Oaks Towers | 2000 W. Federal St. | Boston, MA 02110
H: (617) 765-9898 | C: (617) 722-9822 | mburns@yahoo.com

November 9, 20—

Mr. Larry Anderson
Petroleum Waste, Inc.
2701 Patton Way
Bakersfield, California 93308

Dear Larry:

Just a brief note to thank you and your group for the time you spent with me last Thursday and Friday. I appreciate the detail that was provided and candor that was evident. You have an excellent group of people in your operation and it would be a pleasure to work with you and them.

Expanding a few points that we discussed:

Yes, I am interested in the job of Site Manager. You are apparently concerned that this job does not have the scope of some of my previous positions, but I know that it has plenty of challenge and problems and it will give me a great deal of satisfaction to be allowed to handle them. You can see from my resume that once I take a job I stick with it. I have only worked for three companies; my shortest time with any one was more than four years, and I worked nearly 20 years for Amoco.

Another concern seemed to be whether I feel I can handle a job that requires "hands-on" management, and also an ability to cope with a frustrating corporate environment. My time spent managing start-up and turnaround situations has given me considerable OJT in both these areas. I enjoy "hands-on," and I have always been able to achieve efficiency regardless of the environment.

Larry, I would appreciate a shot at the job.

Best regards,

Michael D. Burns


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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.