Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Prep List for Dinner out with a Potential Boss

Get a haircut, polish your shoes and clean up your nails.  Do whatever you need to do to look highly presentable.

Turn your phone to mute.

Remember your table manners.

Smile and relax this is supposed to be a nice social experience.   

When ordering food keep it simple with minimal to no substitutions.

Be polite to the wait staff. Nothing says arrogance like being nasty to the people serving you.

Only order an alcoholic drink if the potential boss orders one. Then keep to one drink max – it is a business meeting.

Let your potential boss lead the conversation but have a few good questions to ask.


Enjoy the experience and get to know your potential boss. Remember you want to find out if you can work with this person as much as they want to find out about you. My theory on dinners is they are making sure that if you all are stuck in an airport for 6 hours you get along well! 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Commuting in SoCal

Commuting here in SoCal is pretty much juggling traffic craziness. Which freeway do I take? What time do I leave before the freeway hits it hits a stand still. Do I take side roads, use Waze the entire way (typically what we do)?  It’s just one option after another to avoid sitting in the car for hours. And, then there are these days – sitting in traffic watching the sunset. This time the traffic was a good thing and my passenger captured the beauty of a California sunset.

*photo credit goes to Holden McLeod  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Spring has Sprung




Spring is here! How do I know this --  our desert tortoise is out and about. Indy, the tortoise is similar to Punxsutawney Phil with Spring predictions but, he’s the Southern California version of him. 

Once Indy is up we know Spring is on its way.  So, get out there and enjoy the weather before it gets crazy hot again! 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The office psychiatrist is IN



Dave is always telling people who he’s talking to on the phone that we have an office psychiatrist.  So here he is, Oso the West Highland Terrier.  He’s a rescue and an amazing dog. (Ok I am a bit biased.)


I brought him one day just for fun. Oso is smart, the next day he was waiting in the garage for me to leave for work and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Now, he waits by the door for me to “go to work”. If I don’t bring him in, all I hear all day long is, “Why didn’t you bring in Oso.” Or “Where’s Oso.”  Oso has met many clients and sits in on meetings and interviews in the board room. It’s a bit unconventional but it works for us and he’s a happy easy going psychiatrist of a dog. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Asking for advice – There is an art in asking for advice and maybe these tips will help.



Call during normal business hours.  Ask if it’s a good time to talk.

Once you’ve got my attention – LISTEN. Stop talking and start listening and write down the advice I’m giving. I can’t tell you how many people don’t take notes and then expect me to repeat myself again when they call back days later. There is nothing wrong with taking notes – take them!

Be humble, gracious and polite.

If you don’t like the advice, don’t argue with me about it. You asked -  I gave you my opinion. Take it and use it or don’t use it. Or just use what works for you – it’s your job search.


Don’t assume I’m a miracle worker – it’s you who must do the hard work finding a job.  Most people don’t get placed by a recruiter -they have to find their own job. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Glass Balls and Sugar Shock

Once again, it’s Christmas time and it’s all about our boys and the family over the holidays. This year, shockingly, we got our Christmas game on early. The tree is up and the house is decorated.  Older kids who can help set up the decorations, make it all easier. Except, when it comes to the glass balls. 

The other night both boys were playing with the snow globes (which are glass) and a bunch of my Great Grandma’s glass antique ornaments. After asking twice to quit playing with it all I caught myself yelling in frustration, “Stop playing with all the balls!”, which was followed by hysterical laughter from all my guys.

This weekend is cookie making, per their request. The last time we tried cookie making too much flour was put in the batter and it was a total mommy fail.  

We’ll try the cookie baking again because it’s Christmas and they love to decorate. OK who am I kidding, they love to eat all the frosting and sneak cookies until they are in sugar shock. Maybe this year we should toast to great memories, glass balls and sugar shock! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Salary Negotiation Tips



Focus on your value, not what you need or greed.

If you don’t have much of a work history, you need to be very flexible with salary. Employers don’t want to pay a lot of money to teach.

Pay attention to your tone. Attitude and tone can convey a lot during negotiations.

Research what the job value is online. Keep in mind the online salary tools are national averages.

Be honest with your salary if asked directly. Also, be honest about your expectations and when people ask salary they are typically asking base salary.

Don’t take the negotiations personally. It’s a business deal.

Consider other perks beyond base salary -- benefits, extra vacation, free meals, flex-time, stock, bonus etc. This only works for small to medium sized companies. Too big of company = little wiggle room. They are harnessed by Human Resources.  

Ask for an offer in writing.

You can counter offer but be prepared to hear no.

Most companies want an answer to an offer within 24 – 48 hours. It’s easy to stretch it over the weekend if the offer comes the end of the week. If you are putting off answering them is it the right job for you?

If you only have one offer and it’s not great but you need to get to work, it is OK to take the job. Some of the best educational experiences are from bad experiences.  Work is work it’s not called play. If you can find a job you can “play” at, you are one of the lucky ones. Most people understand that work only partially fulfills your life. You must find other ways at times to be happy. Work is not always flowers and fairies. You can learn anywhere and then take that knowledge with you when you move later.

Do not take an offer and then not show up because you got a better offer somewhere else. SoCal is smaller than you think and word does get around. Don’t burn bridges.