Wednesday, September 2, 2020

How are you doing?

 


So, I get asked often, “How are you doing?” It’s a loaded question and one I have a standard answer for. I say, “We have good days and bad.” 

Grief is complicated. It’s made for some very awkward moments with our candidates and clients.  It’s also made for some amazing moments of kindness and offers of prayers.  So, we are doing the best we can. Our days can be sad, awkward, bittersweet, happy and sometimes joyous. 

Some people ask how they can help? My answer to that, “Support our businesses.”  Hire us for recruiting, - we’re really good at it! Call me when you need new clothes and I’ll do a pop-up shop at your house or an online fashion show! Hire my son for his mowing service – he’s such a hard worker.  Keeping us busy and productive is one of our corner stones to getting through our grief.

Faith, Hope, Work and Family.

Have a great three-day weekend with your family!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


My blog over the years has been a combination of my personal life and my work life. They’ve always collided. In February they blew up. My husband and business partner, Scott, passed away. It was sudden, unexpected, and fast.  He left a hole in our hearts and at our firm. He’s been greatly missed.  


Right after Scott died, we went into this Covid-19 madness and lock down. There was no celebration of his life with family flying in – everything got cancelled.   I have teens in mourning unable to do normal stuff, like going to school or a movie or a theme park. All this, on top of us grieving their dad’s death it’s too much. Daily I hear from the media and read in the paper we’re all in this together.

We’re not.

We all might be in one big storm but the ships we are sailing in are all different. Our ship is running but very battered. Why bring this up? Even as we are opening up the economy for business, I’m seeing, and hearing people get angry. Store clerks lashing out, people are yelling at each other about masks and standing too close, people giving total strangers unsolicited Covid-19 medical advice -  it’s gotten nutty. I’d like to remind everyone that some of us have had more than a Covid-19 strike. 

Be kind. Be patient. Be forgiving. As my Dad always says, “This too shall pass.”


Monday, November 25, 2019

Thanksgiving Tips to make your day easier!


Thanksgiving tips for a great dinner!

A week before
Plan your menu and work out what time to start the turkey, stuffing, veggies etc. I work backward from the time I want dinner to be served. A schedule for the food prep and cooking makes the day easy!

Wash all your serving dishes and glasses if they’ve been in storage.

Buy everything except for fresh produce. Our new town sells out of specialty items quickly, so we learned to plan ahead instead of scrambling for last minute substitutions.

Two days before
Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator if you bought a frozen one. We usually buy a frozen 
Butterball turkey because they always taste great.

Empty your ice machine ice into Ziplock bags. The machine will make more ice over the next few days and you shouldn’t need to buy ice.

Make the cranberry sauce  and pies.  

Day before
Buy all vegetables and any last-minute fresh ingredients you need.

Brine your turkey – it makes the best turkey!

Make your mashed potatoes. They can be warmed up in a Crockpot on Thanksgiving day. Start them Thanksgiving a.m. on warm they’ll be good to go by dinner.  They taste the same and it’s less work on a hectic day.

Make all dips for appetizers and cut up all your veggies. Go light on appetizers so they eat the turkey! 

Set the table and put out all the serving dishes and utensils you’ll be using. Label the serving dishes so when guests help, they know what food to put in what bowl/platter.

If you are lucky to have an extra refrigerator use it to start cooling down all your beverages.


With enough forward planning it makes Thanksgiving Day easy and relaxing!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Grass is Greener


Wow what a difference 10 years makes.

10 years ago, most of my blog posts were about how to survive the Great Recession.  Those blog posts include advice from my Grandfather and how he survived the Great Depression, which is still an interesting read.  They also included how difficult it was for me to talk to friends on the kid’s school playground about their layoffs but, times have changed and for the best!

Right now, unemployment rates are crazy low --   Los Angeles, CA is at a 4.4. Orange County, CA is at a 2.4 and Tampa Bay FL area at 3.3. Times are good and shockingly some of our clients are still very conservative with salaries and pulling the trigger with hiring. They learned a big lesson and a good one from the past, but we do caution them on taking too much time and offering too little money.  Good people are getting hired quickly and if our client finds someone they want to hire, it’s like the crazy housing market, you need to jump on it and make an offer! A start date can always be contingent on background checks and references so if someone is that great fit – make the offer! 

The grass is greener right now – go for it.


*Amazing lawn care and photo credit go to Holden McLeod

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Smash it. Break it. Crush it.


Dinner out with business associates, potential clients and co-workers is quite common in the corporate world. In fact, extending an invite to the persons spouse is also normal.  I was shocked when a candidate who was going to become a potential manager/partner, in the interview process and close to an offer, got offended by our client asking if he and his spouse would like to, “Go to dinner?”

He acted indignant and shocked. I was told it was inappropriate and asked, “Is my spouse interviewing for the job?” No it was just dinner and then it got WEIRD. Really WEIRD.  

My client was just extending a friendly offer for them to all get to know each other better. It was a small firm and they get together often.  It had nothing to do with the spouse’s race, sex, education, looks, gender, interviewing the spouse, etc. It was just dinner. A basic civil small talk dinner to meet and see if a future partnership could be made.  Dinner. 

The offer was pulled, the hope of a new employee was smashed and I was relieved. Can you imagine the dinner conversation had they met?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Networking - getting those new connects


Online networking can be daunting. It’s reaching out to someone you don’t know, attempting to make a business connection, and hoping that you get it right. I don’t accept everyone connects and it’s often because they don’t bother to introduce themselves. 

I like an introduction – the 15 second elevator pitch  - but a softer version. Give a reason why you want to be connected.  It can be as simple as I’m interested learning more about your industry or I’m new to the industry/area/profession and I thought I’d introduce myself.  Be genuine and once they connect to you thank them with another short note. Most people are friendly and appreciate increasing their network too.

Monday, April 1, 2019

East Coast for Ankenbrandt


We did it! After talking for so many years about moving we made the jump. SoCal is a great place but we’ve been hankering for a change and new digs. Scott and I relocated and now Ankenbrandt has both West Coast and East Coast offices.  Dave and Deanna are still in West while Scott and I have settled down in the East  -- where we are lucky enough to still enjoy West Coast sunsets! We continue to recruit out of CA but we are more easily available to our East Coast clients. We’ll pop into CA as needed but right now we are enjoying laying down new roots in Florida.