Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ba humbug!

Ba humbug! 

I am in such a Scrooge mood this year. I’m over all the holiday madness and in need of a Christmas intervention from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Or maybe I’m need of a vacation? Good thing is I’m going to get a bit of a vacation this holiday season. I’m hoping to arrive back to work with my good attitude intact again. So in the spirit of holiday sarcasm and snarky behavior here are a few fun quotes for you.

"Next to the circus there ain’t nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit."
– Kin Hubbard

"The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husbands."
 – Joan Rivers

"In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it “Hanukkah” and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'"
 - Dave Berry, Christmas Shopping: A Survivor’s Guide.

"Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year."
 – P.J. O’Rourke

And an Irish Man’s Life Philosophy: 
"In life, there are only two things to worry about, either you are well, or you are sick. If you are well, there is noting to worry about, but if you are sick, you have two things to worry about; either you will live, or you will die. If you live, there is nothing to worry about, if you die you have two things to worry about; either you will go to heaven or to hell. If you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about, but if you go to hell, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with your friends, you won’t have time to worry!"

Have a happy Christmas and a very merry New Year –


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Arrogance is so outdated!

Webster’s definition – Arrogance n. the quality of state of being arrogant; overbearing pride or self-importance. Also arrogance. Arrogant. Adj. full of or due to unwarranted pride and self importance; overbearing pride or self-importance.

No one likes an arrogant person especially an arrogant job searching person. It’s time to drop the attitude and humble yourself. Haughty, overbearing, self promoting and obnoxiousness is not flattering. Tone it down.

Yes, show what you've done, yes promote yourself, but don't act like you are on reality TV. Stop the talk and the false TV show glam and show us who you are and what you can do with sincerity, honesty and integrity. Those traits will take you a lot further when searching for a job than self importance, over-bearing pride, and narcissism.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tapped Out!

A sick kid on Friday, the Dad off at football commitments all weekend, a football award celebration leading to a trip to Chuck E. Cheese (or as we fondly call it Chuck E Sleaze), a long hike through a nature preserve has found me on Monday morning, pretty darn tired. When my co-worker actually told me I need to eat more chocolate, you know I’m dragging.

So, I’m sitting here looking out my window at the mountains (yes, I have a great view here) thinking what should I do to combat being tired? I’m not in the mood to chat - which is what I do for a living – and just plain cranky. I went on Facebook for a few minutes – stalling my day - and now I thought why not write about it. We all have cranky days, days that we need to spend recovering and re-energizing ourselves. Sometimes it’s best to embrace the crankiness and run with it. It’s like yelling a good old expletive when I hurt myself – it just makes me feel good to whine a bit when I’m this tapped out!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Q&A for Job Seekers

So a leader of a  group on LinkedIn sent me a request to answer a few questions. In the interest of providing a diverse set of viewpoints, he wanted feedback/responses/advice from me for those in transition. No idea if he’ll use my stuff but I thought I’d provide his questions and my answers.

1. Question - Facing unemployment in today’s world is complex. Can you give us perspective from different points of view, say a college grad versus someone at mid-career, a woman or Veteran re-entering the workforce, or a degreed versus non-degreed job seeker?

Answer: College grads vs. mid-career. I’m volunteering right now as a Mentor for the Chapman MBA program. I actually think the college grads will have an easier time finding work. They can intern for free and prove to their employers that they are worth bringing on. A mid-career person has to slug through the resume, interview hiring process without the help of a career placement office to push them in. Both types of people need to get aggressive to get a job. You must show why they should hire you. Don’t expect whoever is hiring you to fish it out you must sell yourself.

2. Question - What is unusual about our current economic situation that makes the job of getting a job completely different than in past decades?

Answer - Unusual about current economic situation – companies are cutting back and expecting you to do three jobs not one. So when they decided to replace, rehire or create a new job they combo skills. Quite frequently during our searches the combo is almost unheard of and we’re out seeking that needle in the haystack. Also normally in harsh times companies still need accounting/finance types but not as much now. As accounting/operations gets more automated it takes less people to manage the systems.

3. Question - Other than the economy, what is the number one barrier that prevents people from gainful employment?
Answer - Not demonstrating why they fit the job, not explaining what they bring to the table to help the company and not asking for the job.

4. Question - What does one do if they have been historically employed in an industry that is showing no signs of growth or is in fact diminishing altogether?

Answer - What to do when you are becoming extinct – like mammals did, you need to adapt. Think out of the box, figure out what skill sets are transferable and market yourself to companies that can use those skills. People have a tendency to see what they can’t do instead of what they CAN do.

5. Question - What are the first steps you recommend for a job seeker to prevent feeling overwhelmed?

Answer - Take a deep breath and call a recruiter friend.

6. Question -. What are some of the key pitfalls job seekers face when looking for a new position?

Answers – Their ego – lose it. You won’t be making as much money as before and you’ll be working harder than before.

7. Question - Many unemployed workers start to focus on their passion and look to turn hobbies or dreams into entrepreneurial companies. At what point in the unemployment process do you recommend people begin to look at this as the best or worst option?

Answer - It all depends on the person and how entrepreneurial they are. Running your own business is not easy - you have to market your company constantly and work. Many people don’t understand that or are capable of doing that. Before you launch on something new I’d suggest finding a mentor/coach to talk with. Also do lots and lots of research on your new industry. The more you know the better off you are.

8. Question - What is your most memorable story or experience of a job seeker overcoming obstacles and realizing successful employment?

Answer - No idea - I work mainly with people who have jobs currently and I’m recruiting directly.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Box of Chocolates

Some days I just love my job! This week I was cranky because one of my clients keeps on changing the job description of what they need. It makes me crazy – when I keep on having to change my search. I’m like a lion out for the kill. If you tell me what to go get – I’m on it. But I need to know what I’m after. Changing the job as the search progresses is part of the recruiting game, but it’s a part I don’t particularly like.

So, one of our favori
te Marketing VP’s, Michelle, called in – if you need a good VP she's available – and I started ranting - OK it really was complaining about my day. I admit it was totally unprofessional but she is a good friend of the firm and she gets my sense of humor. I went on about how I’m being sent all over kingdom come to find a specific type of person only to find out my client changed up the job AND…. I ran out of CHOCOLATE. This was bad.

To the rescue! About an hour later Michelle showed up with a 2 lb. box of See’s candy. Happiness!!!!! What a fabulous person to take time out of her day to go out of the way and be nice. So I got my chocolate and got back on my search.

Interesting side note - the box is hidden because the men over hear eat more chocolate than me!!! Boys leave my box of chocolate alone! My gawd, the box is almost empty and seriously - I’ve only had 3 pieces.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The internet is blessing and a curse!

We love the net, we use it daily to find candidates, research companies, check the news. It’s quick, easy and often times incredibly accurate. But it can also work against us. Often candidates develop their expectations of what we can do for them, how much money they can make and who they should be working for by doing a quick internet search. They hit one or two sites and consider their research done! Give them an A for effort but there is lots of information on the net that can get you into trouble - trouble a good recruiter can get you out of. We know our clients, we know our market we know if you’ll have to take a cut in pay or get a fantastic increase. We know because we keep tabs on the market and close tabs on our clients.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bug Smasher

Today I was interviewing with a Director of Sales and a bug was flying around. It was a tiny moth type of bug and it was bugging me. (Couldn't resist, sorry.) Without thinking, I smashed it. Pow, right out of the air. I think the Director will always remember me as the recruiter/bug smasher. He was nice enough to give me some Purell so I didn’t have to go down the hall to wash hands. Thanks Director! Sometimes we do things without thinking. Smashing a little bug is funny and I don’t think too harmful. Other things I’ve seen people do during and interview can turn people off. 

Other stuff not to do:
  • Chew gum
  • Cackle at the interviewer, laughing good, cackling not so good
  • Eat candy
  • Answer your cell phone or office phone
  • Tell too many personal stories – what will we talk about later?
  • Adjust your clothing
  • Pick at body parts – eyebrows, nails, noses – gross.
  • Apply lipstick
  • Putt your feet up on the table/desk
  • Spill coffee all over the person interviewing you
  • Smash bugs

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Customer Service???

Customer Service. I Wiki’d it: Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.

My customer satisfaction got tested today. I had a bunch of charges on my credit card from Snapfish for a service/product??? So, I called customer service last night and after over 20 minutes stuck on hold, I hung up – had to go get the kid.

Today, I was on hold for 10 minutes, got transferred 4 or 5 times. I lost track off all the people I was talking to and finally got to someone named Monica. I suggest if you ever need help at Snapfish just call her at the Consumer Affairs department - 1-866-829-8484 instead of the main customer service number – that number was a nightmare. Go straight to Monica and avoid all the middle men who seem to be some where in a call center far, far away.

After much discussion about this “Value Pass”, which I never ordered, asking them for proof that I ordered the service, which they did not have, I got my refund.

Am I satisfied with the result? Yes. Would I use them again? I’m not so sure. I didn’t like being signed up by them for something I never would use. I order cards once a year at Christmas and being signed up for a monthly "value pass" for product that I use yearly, not so cool. Do the pictures look cute that I’ve ordered? Darn right they do because my kids are cute. I know, I’m biased about that. So, in December will I use them again despite the customer service nightmare? We’ll see? Check back with me then.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ankenbrandt Group Trivia

Browsing through The Ankenbrandt Groups' old TAGBits newsletter I found out some fun and interesting stuff about the firm -
  • Our logo is over 10 years old and we still think it looks good – thanks Rikki!
  • We’ve been preaching tech solutions to recruiting for over 15 years. We still love technology.
  • We have shared loads of Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving trivia.
  • We are continuing re-inventing ourselves. We have recruited in almost all industries – the only industry I know we have not placed people in is hospitality. Anyone want to change that?
  • We have found fantastic quotes over the years which are posted on this blog.
  • We have been through recessions, earthquakes, fires, floods, huge periods of growth, a relocation to a new office etc.
  • Dave “retiring” and then coming back - it’s hard not to work when you don’t have a hobby.
  • Dave won’t quit – ever.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Caller ID

I’m annoyed, agitated and needing to vent. I’m on the phone recruiting for a Customer Care person (I have a great job open if you know anyone) and sometimes I get a wrong number. When I know it’s a wrong number I do not leave a message – I hang up. Leaving a message wastes time.

It’s amazing to me that I get so many calls back from people demanding to know who called them and why. When I ask if a message was left they say, “No” and I tell them it must have been a wrong number. Seriously - do you really have that much time on your hands to go through your caller ID to phone everyone back????

Please call back the people who leave you a message, but if a message was not left, why are you calling? Ugh!

I feel much better now. Thanks.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

House Rules

At my home we have house rules posted on the wall. These rules are simple but work and I thought they might apply in the work place too. So here is the home version and the work version:


Play don‘t hurt – not hitting, pinching, body slamming, tripping, etc.
Do as you are told.
No complaining/whining.
No name calling.
No foul language.
Be friendly and thoughtful.
Respect is earned, not given.

Play well for the team - don’t hurt the team.
Do what your boss asks you to do unless it’s illegal and unethical.
Find solutions to problems don’t complain about them.
No name calling. Has calling your co-worker a nasty name actually furthered your career?
No foul language – we all have better vocabulary than that. Do you really need to let out a f-bomb all the time?
Be friendly and thoughtful – works at the office too. It never hurts to be good to your team.
Respect is earned not given.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Running under the yellow flag

While chatting today with a great CFO, Bruce R., he mentioned how companies are holding back during this depression/recession. During his search process he’s been offered several jobs but with no monetary incentive to push the company forward and drive revenue. He’s been seeing employers cautiously, cutting salaries, and thinking short term by undercutting salaries, which does lead to resentment and people leaving for more money when they can.

He had an interesting analogy revolving around NASCAR. During NASCAR racing when there is an accident the official yellow flags the race – the cars are under caution and need to be careful while driving the track. Bruce thinks there are lots of companies running under caution and believes it’s the wrong time to be cautious.

It’s time to crank up the business and take an aggressive posture. Don’t let the recession dictate how you run your company.

Go to green and come home first under the checkered flag!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Snooze Button

Today is flying by and I keep on getting all these notices popping up – “post to your blog” and I keep on hitting snooze. Ever have one of those days where you keep on hitting snooze because you’re so swamped? I’ve found that if I just stop for a second, quit hitting snooze and just get whatever I need to get done, and then my day goes a lot better. 

So stop hitting snooze and just get it done!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Best of TAGBit’s Quotable Quotes

"Be at war with your voices,
At peace with your neighbors,
And let every new year
Find you a better man."
- Benjamin Franklin

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on it." – Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The secret of success:
1. Get a job.
2. Get a better job.
3. Get an even better job.
4. Repeat as often as necessary."
- Matt Groening

"It is well for people who think to change their minds occasionally in order to keep them clean. For those who do not think, it is best at least to rearrange their prejudices once in awhile."

 – Luther Burbank, scientist.

"There are three types of people. People who make things happen. People who watch things happen. And people who don’t know what’s happening." – John Madden

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can somehow become great." – Mark Twain

"Being tolerant dos not mean that I share another’s belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another one’s right to believe, and obey his own conscience." – Victor Frankl

"Good leadership must be for the future, not for the past or present." – J. Arthur Urciuoli

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." – Aristotle

** My favorite quote!!!!! **

"May the most you wish for be the least you get." – Unknown

"Minutes are worth more than dollars, spend them wisely." –Thomas P. Murphy

"Whatever you are, be a good one." – Abraham Lincoln

"Character is a by-product; it is produced in the great manufacture of daily duty." – Woodrow Wilson

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." – Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Change It Up

What fun! Today, I revamped my blog with a new format, added our company logo and a link to YouTube. It was great to change up the look of my blog to be similar to my company. I like it - it's clean and easy to read.

Dave has been on YouTube for a while and this week I joined him asking questions. It was totally off the cuff, no rehersal and no script - you'll see that is very evident! So check us out on the daveankenbrandt channel on YouTube. Dave has lots to say on career, how to find a job, what jobs are hot etc.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Handshake

What’s in a handshake? Should it be wet noodle, limp fish, or an iron grip? Is there a happy medium for a good handshake? Of course there is. When shaking hands, you are portraying your self-confidence, friendship, power, status, and self-worth. Your handshake says a lot about you. Make it firm but don’t squeeze the life out of the hand you are shaking. A good handshake bridges the gap between you and the other person. It should be a warm greeting, not a power play or an intimidation factor.
  • Your handshake should be firm but gentle. Men -- firm does not mean squeeze the hand like it’s in a vice grip.
  • Palms should touch, but not be compressed together. Again, don’t flatten out their hand until they are saying ouch.
  • If you have sweaty palm syndrome, wipe your palms in your suit jacket/pants pockets, casually, before you shake hands. You can keep a dry Kleenex in your pockets to help dry your hands.
  • The encounter should be long enough to make contact but not too long, usually two or three quick shakes or a quick count to three.
Shaking hands is a salutation, treat it as such. First impressions do matter – the handshake, the polished shoes, the clean shirt, well groomed hands. Make sure your handshake is part of the package that makes a great first impression.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Combo Pak

Interesting coincidence happened to me this week. I ran into two different people with very similar backgrounds. Both of these people, “Fred and Ted”, had finance and operations experience and also their JD’s. They each have a combination of finance, strategy, marketing, operations and law.

Fred made a career out of his finance/JD background by assisting running companies as the COO/CFO. Ted did a lot of VP Marketing/Operations work and just got his JD. It was nice to be able to tell Ted he doesn’t have to pick one thing. You just might be able to “combo pak” it.

If you are out there searching for something to do to make work more interesting why not be more like Fred and Ted and combine some of your skills in order to venture into new areas? I think it is very viable way to jump out of the preverbal “box” and take another direction.

Oh, and also Fred and Ted, it was nice to meet you this week. I always enjoy talking to very bright and interesting people who are doing what they love but are also pushing the envelope. And yes, I think I’ve been reading way too much Dr. Seuss.

(The Fred and Ted stories by Dr. Seuss.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Internet Black Hole

Today while talking to a terrific, very smart USC MBA (he has a MS in engineering too), he mentioned the black holes of the internet: job/resume portals. He said they don’t work, on line networking doesn’t work and emailing resumes directly to HR doesn’t work. For the most part, he’s right. Our world of instant emails, instant gratification doesn’t always work for finding a job. So, note to job hunters – finding a job is very hard work and sometimes you have to go the extra mile. Finding a job is harder work than having a job. In order to not end up in the black hole you need to go the extra mile .

Create - a list of companies that interest you. Then find out who is in charge of what you want to do. Example, if you are a marketing person, find out who is the Marketing Director or Marketing Vice President. Then, send your resume directly to that person – after you customize your resume – see below for more on that. You can also send it to HR.

Tailor - your resume to fit the job you are applying for. Do not lie, do not embellish but do highlight those skills that are applicable to the job you are applying for. Your resume is a marketing tool. It helps you get the job but you need to get in the door to sell yourself.

Follow - always follow up a resume with a phone call. You can call twice and send one email, after that you become a stalker. You do not want to become a stalker.

Interview - When you get the interview remember your elevator pitch, know your resume and sell yourself. Know enough about the company to be able to explain why your skill set fits their needs.

Thank you – write a thank you note, don’t just email it. Personal well written notes are still a nice touch.

Got the job – great! Now get ready to work. Didn’t get the job – make sure you tell the people you interviewed with that they can forward your resume to anyone they think might be able to use your skill sets. Always stay on good terms with anyone you’ve interviewed with – you never know who they know. It’s best not to end up in the black hole of a burned bridge.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

An idle mind is the devil's workshop.

An idle mind is the devil's workshop. --- Lately I’ve been getting very irritated with people who have too much time on their hands. Idleness typically means you have no particular goal in mind and can be easily distracted, or in the case of a few, fixated. I’ve been finding these easily distracted or highly fixated people annoying.

First off, why do you have time to go through missed calls and actually call back those people who did not leave messages? It was probably a miss-dialed number. If they didn’t leave a message don’t worry about it. 

Second, don’t call people multiple times and not leave a voice mail. You might have the time to constantly phone me, but once I’ve seen you’ve called three times without leaving a message you become a stalker. Yes, our receptionist remembers you’ve called three times. Just leave me a message. Stalking people is not OK. Finally, story telling, when you keep telling the same people the same story over, and over, I think you need to find something else to do or someone new to talk to.

Retired – Great, good for you, go find a charity group and volunteer. 

Not working – you should be on the net, on the phone networking all day. You should not be fixated on one person – branch out, meet lots of people. If you are one of those people who think they need to check their PDA constantly and be in constant communication – get over it. 

Seriously, how narcissistic can we be these days?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Laugh it up, fuzz ball

You know those times where you get writers block. I mean really stuck. Usually I can come up with something, anything. Today all I was thinking about is my son repeating a line from Star Wars, “Laugh it up, fuzz ball.” I had to know who said the line so off I go to the net to find out. It was Han Solo. So today all I’ve got it is, “Laugh it up, fuzz ball."  

Maybe I need a day to laugh it up instead of sitting here stuck like a fuzz ball.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fake it til you make it.

The calls we are getting from some of our candidates can break your heart. People are stressed, not working, frustrated, scared and desperate -- but those traits won’t get you hired. When you talk to a potential employer be confident, happy, smart, sensible, and strong. And if you don’t feel that way, fake it til you make it.

Seriously, fake the happy, sensible and strong. Fake the confidence. Don’t give into fear and insecurity no matter how you really feel. If you need to vent, dump your frustrations and fears on your family, friends and your shrink, not on a potential employer. Then, sit down and put together an employment plan and work the plan.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Volunteer your time.

Not working? Have you finished "The Honey-Do" list? Need something to do while you are searching for a job? Work for a Non-profit. Yes, volunteer your time. What volunteering does for you?

1. Makes you feel good. You are helping those who need help while you are helping yourself.

2. How are you helping yourself? By expanding your network. You are meeting people you might not normally meet.

3. Develops new skills or refines skills you already have.

4. Keeps you busy. Idyll hands, idyll mind. Keep yourself sharp by keeping busy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Working hard and in need of a raise?

There are many successful companies today, companies that are showing a profit. If you work for one of these companies and are thinking you deserve a raise - it’s OK to ask for one, but do it in the right way.

You are not entitled to a raise. You must earn one and demonstrate why you deserve one. Especially in this tough economic climate where cutbacks are the norm, you need to make sure you have all your preverbal “ducks in a row” when you go talk to your boss. Show, preferably using positive examples, why you deserve a raise. Your credit card bills, your stock market loss and your kids’ tuition increasing are not reasons to get a raise. Saving the company money, increasing the bottom line, and turning around a difficult situation to the benefit of your company – those are all reasons to receive a raise.

So, get your pitch together with all the facts, be genuine, and state your case. If they say no, at least your boss learned all the good you’ve done. If they say yes, celebrate!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Plug & Play

Part of an easy job search is to develop a document to use with your resume. This “plug and play list” will have all your accomplishments and all of your skill sets. You list all of them out separately. When you are applying for a job and re-writing your resume you can “plug and play” what is appropriate to the job.

Keep in mind, this is a working document, not one you will share when taking in your resume. If you have a web site you formalize the list and post it. Mostly, this document is strictly for convenience when you are styling your resume for your next job.

A few rules:

• No stodgy boiler plate phrases.

• No exaggerating the truth. If it was a team effort that is OK. You were part of a successful team.

• Write in your own voice. Writing like you are someone else shows up in the interview. When we drill you down and get the – who, what, where, why and when (5W’s) we can pick out all the truths and falsehoods.

• Be prepared to go into detail about all your accomplishments. Again the 5W’s.

• We like numbers -- Increased sales by 200%. Saved $71 million. Reduced over due balances by 25%.

So, get going on your plug and play and make it easy to change up your resume as needed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Droid

"One pound of learning requires ten pounds of common sense to apply it." - Persian Proverb.

I’m taking that proverb to heart and have read my instruction book on my new cell phone. Now I need some common sense!

I am having the hardest time getting used to my Droid’s touch screen. I feel like a child having to learn how to tie their shoes and I’m getting really frustrated. I got the Droid because I was told that in about 2 years we won’t be able to get key pads anymore. Cell phones are going completely over to touch pads. So, I embrace the change.

Well, yippee on the totally cool technology but my fingers don’t want to do it. So, for the next week if you text me or email me, you just might be getting some very interesting messages back. Be patient with me as I attempt to learn how to use my phone! This is so ridiculously my life.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I did not call Dave a dinosaur last week. He’s been on the phone all day Tuesday and now Wednesday, today, insisting I said he’s a dinosaur. Dinosaurs are the creatures my son is fascinated with - they are cold blooded, larger than life, ancient and quite interesting. 

OK, maybe I should be calling Dave a dino...

Dave can be cold blooded, especially when he turns the air conditioner down so low my feet go numb, he is always larger than life and lets us know that! Dave, by some standards, could be considered ancient in the recruiting industry. However, in our family, where people live into their late 90’s, he’s still considered young and quite, of course, interesting – it’s never a dull moment around here.

Way to go, “Dave the Dino” you got yourself written into my blog – again.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Think 3

Think 3.

My three year old doesn’t know he can’t do stuff; he doesn’t know he’s too young, inexperienced or small to try. He rips it up on his razor every morning going to school chasing after my 6 year old and our 7 year old neighbor. He can jump the curb, do “babies” which is sitting on the razor while flying down the sidewalk and then hopping back up again; he can balance on one foot. It’s amazing and we get stopped daily about his skills. So, why am I talking about this?
Think like 3. 

Quit telling yourself you’re too old, too tired, too slow, and too embarrassed to try. Go for it – act like my three year old and just go for it. Attack that project you think you can’t do, jump in with enthusiasm and go for it, quit holding back and just try it. As any kid will tell you, sometimes you fall down, sometimes you skin your knee, but eventually you do get up and do it again and do it right.

Be 3.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How to Interview a Candidate for your Job Opening

1. Remember this is not a social event. This person is not your friend.

2. Remove your ego from the equation. Be genuine.

3. Especially in this economy, do not assume the unemployed person you are interviewing is second class. In fact, don’t treat anyone like they are second class.

4. Start with a plan. Write down the important questions you need answered and ask them. If you need to make a check list of your questions do it and then check them off as they are answered.

5. If they don’t answer directly ask the question again in a different way. Candidates are trying to avoid difficult questions as much as possible. They like to talk around things. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get a real answer out of them. Yes, this speaks to their character.
6. Take notes – write all over their resume.

7. Be real about your needs and wants. Understand the job you are hiring for.

8. Listen. Quit talking so much. Ask your questions and wait for an answer. Stop the chatter.

9. If you don’t like the person at all be gracious and kind when you exit the interview. That person could know the perfect person for your job and will refer them – if you are cordial to them.

10. If you think the person is fantastic don’t over sell the job or the company – again, be real.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

No one will call me back!

I am hearing a lot these days, “No one will call me back.” The internet has become the go-to place for recruiting and hiring. The net is great, it makes things easy, but the “people" part sometimes gets forgotten. It’s easy to avoid people with email. So while you are searching for a job – pick up the phone and follow up. Yes, email is great but we are finding that those who spend more time on the phone creating relationships with people are finding jobs faster. 

Pick up the phone and use those great communication skills you've developed over the years.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Friends who need help.

Juggling time is such the dilemma these days at work. What to do? We have recruiting work we need to get done but we also have friends of the firm who need help. These friends have given us business in the past but are out of work now. So, I've been doing a lot of career/life counseling which I enjoy, but we have clients who need our help and I hate to say it but, our clients pay the bills. So my dilemma is how do I split my time?

I think managing my time has always been a problem –well, it has been for me, but when people need assistance with their lives it truly is a dilemma. We have people in crisis. How do you say, “I can’t talk to you now" to people in crisis? You don’t. So I guess why I’m writing this is if you friends of the firm call us for help, we’ll help but just remember, we also have work to do so - be patient – we might not be able to call you right back but we will call you back. We do remember the people who help us out, we do remember who is loyal to us – just be patient.