On a recent flight I took on Southwest Airlines, the cover story in their in-flight magazine was about Dan McLaughlin and his experiment to become a professional golfer. At the age of 30, Dan quit his job to pursue a career as a professional golfer. The interesting twist is that he had never played golf before but was motivated by the thought of being a professional golfer. He committed to 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to mastering the game. The 10,000 hour experiment was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell the author of Outliers. 

The magazine covers Dan’s story over the past five years and his 5,700 hours of golf practice. His history of quitting the pursuits he started was a motivating factor for Dan. Even his family members felt like this was just the flavor of the day for Dan and he would quit the experiment before completion. His girlfriend told him that she would not continue her relationship with him because this was crazy in her mind. His golf club sponsors have come and gone and he continues his pursuit. Good for him!  I was proud of him and glad he had some funds to pursue this goal even though it was taking him much longer than he expected.  He only has 4,300 hours to go and is blogging about the experience and hopes to write a book. Should be an interesting read.


The reason this article stuck me so deeply is that it reminded me of employees that are released from their employers and the hours it takes to become a professional job searcher.  People do not have 10,000 hours to become experts in job search. Take the example of Dan, in the Southwest story, who is into his 6th year of the experiment. He has hit within two strokes of par once and is golfing much better each year.  However, there has still not been any invites to join the PGA Tour as a professional golfer and not any prospects of this happening for some time to come.  

Job search is important not only for a way to financially support oneself, but for the well-being of the person, their family, their community and their future employers. For companies that have reductions and offer assistance to their employees, unemployment claim time is reduced, risk of liability is reduced and contributions to society is accelerated.

The professionalism of Career Development Partners’ transition team is over 70,000 accumulated hours of training our participants in job search. An unemployed person does not have 10,000 hours to become a professional expert in job search.

Companies that have reductions and provide career transition assistance to their employees are getting our experience in helping their people not only land faster, but a better fit for their skills and abilities. Better fit means moving into the role of active contributors vs. consumers. Harvard Business Review September 2015 said that “employees offered career transition assistance land 2.7 times faster.”

I commend those companies that provide assistance to employees that are propelled out into the job market as job seekers.  Career transition assistance launches our participants forward in a powerful way for success and contribution to society.

Recently we provided career assistance for a company that experienced a reduction of workforce with customized programs for professional level employees all the way to the shop personal. I was visiting with a number of their employees in the shop foreman’s office as the notifications were coming to an end and heard some encouraging conversations. One of the supervisors were sharing about the compassion of their company for providing assistance to all their employees throughout the plant. Another person said it sent a strong message to those that were not impacted that “our company cares about all their employees.” He said he was proud to work for a company like that.

Job search takes 10,000 hours to become an expert if Malcolm Gladwell’s theory is true.  With assistance, Career Development Partners makes expertise happen with 70,000 hours of accumulated experience plus from our team of professional career coaches.

Feedback from our customers commonly state, “not only do we protect their brand in the marketplace, but we enhance their brand.”

When we meet a person on the day of their release, we have the opportunity to brag on their employer because their company has invested in their future and we have been selected to assist them in the job search process.  What a great honor we have every day to impact lives.