Got Baggage?

Have you been passed up for a job, not made the cut for the next round of interviews, lied to by the company that hired you regarding the nature of the job or situation of the company?

man-with-baggageAny or all these situations can leave us with unwanted baggage. This baggage is emotional but nevertheless, there will be a price to pay for bringing the baggage on board.

How is There a Price to Pay?

Whether you consciously see it or not, it will stand in the way of opportunities. Emotional baggage can be obvious to the listener but not usually to the speaker.


The interviewer asks, “Why did you leave XYZ company?”

The interviewee responds with a 5-minute explanation as to why it was not his fault.

In a one-hour executive consultation, it is not uncommon to listen to 20 minutes of baggage before the executive even answers the question I asked. Many times, they forgot the question entirely.

What Can You Do?

Remember this chain of events that happens in our brain:

You cannot change the event, but you can break the cycle in the MEANING that assign to it.

Is there an event causing you some emotional baggage?

  • EVENT: I did not get the call back.
  • MEANING: I was not good enough.

Try Assigning a New Meaning

Here are a few real reasons that I have observed over the past 25 years of working with executives as a Headhunter and an Executive Job Search Strategist.

  • They lost their funding and are not going to fill the position.
  • The CFO is being investigated and the company is about to be delisted.
  • The job is waaaay more junior than they led you to believe because they were living in dreamland and hired an individual contributor.
  • The hiring manager was quarantined in Aruba, and you will get the call back and get the job.
  • They have no idea what they need, did hire the wrong person and the job will be open again in six months.


Saundra Botts

Saundra Botts

Saundra is known for “opening doors” and has also facilitated Job Search and Transition Workshops for universities, FENG (Financial Executive Networking Group), and various executive leadership groups. Her depth of experience includes has over 15 years in Retained Search and contingency placement within corporate accounting and finance sector with First Call Search, Dubin & Lee and WinterWyman Search. Saundra has consulted with clients, ranging from start-ups to multi-billion-dollar conglomerates. She has worked with $12 billion companies building accounting and finance teams, succession planning, and hiring, as well as filling key positions at many medium-sized, publicly-traded companies; non-profits; and universities in Boston, Miami and Los Angeles.

Saundra provides strategic guidance and coaching to help ExecuNet members land their next opportunity. This includes uncovering their unique personal value proposition and defining competitive differentiators to advance their careers. This also includes providing detailed feedback for improving a member’s personal marketing collateral—well beyond their résumé.

Saundra Botts is an ex-Headhunter turned executive candidate advocate who shares the behind-the-scenes truths on how executives really get their next job. Mrs. Botts has recruited through three recessions and has researched and documented why some people remain in demand, despite the economic climate, and others are not. In 2008, during an economic downturn, she noticed that executives get hired for different reasons than the other 97% of the org chart and began to educate her executive clientele to get them working again quickly.

After working for the top search firm in Boston, WinterWyman Search, and running her own Retained Search Agency, Saundra decided to take the inside information she’d acquired and use it to help executive professionals, most of whom are embarking of their first-ever job search, understand the differences in job search strategy when you make over $200K annually to avoid wasting time, avoid exploiting valuable network connections, and land their ideal role.

Saundra’s passion is to open doors and educate, to help everyone make the career of their dreams a reality.

2 Replies to "Got Baggage?"

  • trevor Thera
    March 18, 2023 (2:01 pm)

    Great article Sandra

  • Robert Morgan
    February 27, 2023 (10:50 pm)

    Good advice. Thanks. Bob Morgan