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. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork. – Pearl Bailey

What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork. – Pearl Bailey

Paper work is what I keep hearing is the most horrible aspect about looking for a job. That and the lack of “love” you get from the hiring managers and many recruiters. Quite a few people I’ve talked to say that they submit resumes, write letters, email and call and never hear back from anyone. They get dead air.

I realize that people are busy however, I think common courtesy has been thrown out the window. Please get back to the people who are interested in your company. If you are a recruiter, please remember the long term ramifications of being rude and not calling back or following up after you’ve interviewed people. We all mess up and forget to call or put it on the back burner for too long. Let’s make the time to develop relationships and make the time to show respect and courtesy to the people that are trying to work for you and/or your clients. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stand Up Desk Excitement!!

I'm SUPER excited about my stand up desk!!!  My work is interesting and there is never a dull moment but the sitting all day, after all these years, was driving me nuts. A few weeks ago  I totally whined and complained to my sister and she said, "Get a stand up desk." So, I did. 

My desk was delivered yesterday and I felt just like a kid at Christmas!  I am so happy with my new stand up desk!!   

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mail the Resume!

In this electronic world of submitting your resume online, filling out endless applications and being treated like a number, it’s time to take a stand. Go old school and mail your resume. Yes, print it out on good paper, write a handwritten short cover letter and hand write the address on the envelope. Get ahead of the fray and dig through Google, LinkedIn, Glassdoor etc. to figure out who you need to send the letter too – the hiring manger AND then – do it.  

It works, when is the last time you actually got a real letter? Never - right? The mail you get is just junk mail and the occasional bill that you forgot to have emailed to you.

Mail it – go old school – United States Postal Service old school! You might actually get a response from a real live person. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Checking Out: Maui Style

I totally checked out for two weeks. I haven’t done that in 20 years – seriously 20 years. In this business it’s hard to totally walk away but this time I did - I ignored work completely. I focused on my family, our friends in Maui, playing in the water in Maui and totally enjoying life. It was fabulous! I came back re-energized - I was happy to be back recruiting! After 24 years recruiting - I was reminded of that via LinkedIn – ugh! - I think I needed a few weeks off to just fall off the work wagon and get refreshed. If you have the time to take, I highly recommend it! Go plan a vacation!!! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Art of Listening

I have a friend who loves to talk and offer advice and often very unsolicited advice.  It poses a problem because often she’s not listening so the advice, as much as it is heartfelt, doesn’t always work because she wasn’t listening to begin with, so the response is off. I have another acquaintance who doesn’t listen at all she just talks and talks AND talks. I can’t get a word in.The art of listening is lost on both of these people. I think they both mean well and are kind but actually listening and having a two-way conversation seems to be missed in most of their communications. I think listening is an art and here a few tips:

Eye contact is necessary – look the person in the eyes 

Be aware and attentive – show interest. Nod your head, lean in, show some interest. 

Don’t interrupt – wait for a pause before you jump into the conversation.

It might not be your idea, opinion or even a fact but relax and take it in.  It’s OK to disagree just do it graciously. 

Don’t try to think ahead about your response because you’ll miss half of what they say.

If everyone tried to actively listen to each other I think there would be less communication problems. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What to Wear?

The questions we get a lot is: what do I wear to my interview?  Companies run the gambit from super casual, shorts and t-shirts (surf companies) to formality in full blown suits, ties and spit polished shoes (investment firms/private equity) to jeans and hardhats on construction sites. It can be confusing and hugely annoying to try to figure it out but, it’s all about knowing your audience. Here are a few tips on how to find out what to wear - 
  • Check their website to get a feel for their formality or lack of formality.
  • If you are working with a recruiter, ask them for clarification. We always ask our clients what their dress code is.
  • Check their Facebook and LinkedIn pages to see what people are wearing.
  • If it’s an athletic/sportswear company, professional casual is usually best. If you’re going to a bank, CPA firm, or investment firm get the suit, polish your shoes, and get a haircut. 
  • If you are still not sure what to wear do a “drive by” in the morning, at lunch, or after work to check out what the people are wearing as they go to and from work.
  • If you are still not sure, the best bet is a suit. If you are too formal, it’s easy to take the jacket off and tone it down a bit. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

I already sent it.

I had two people in two days’ time ask me for help with their job searches after they’d sent their resume to a company. They wanted me to call the company directly to pitch them because they didn’t get a response from sending in their resume. This happens often, the black-hole of resumes - no response from emailing a resume. It goes into a virtual pile of paperless resumes. 

Sadly, I can’t help. Once you send a resume you are considered a "prior" by human resources. This means that I basically have no claim to your resume anymore as my candidate; you become the company's. Occasionally, if they are a client we’ve been working with for years and if they’ve over looked you, they are fine with us presenting you. However, if we don’t have that relationship and you are in their system – they don’t want to talk to me let alone pay a commission.

Recruiters work for our clients. As much as we try here at TAG to help every candidate possible (the person applying for the job) we can’t. Our client, the company, their needs come first. We find and fill what they need. It’s one of the rough edges of recruiting. I’d love to start a candidate coaching/teaching division one of these days so we can help out people a bit more, but Dave prefers to stay focused on recruiting – which is fine. He’s still here working daily so we try to stick to what works for him.  

So, we recruit and work to find the proper candidates for our clients. If you do need help on your own, this blog is a good place to start! 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cringe worthy pictures on LinkedIn

Ugh – what is happening to LinkedIn? Lately when I go on it, I cringe, waiting for whatever tasteless picture pops up in my feed. Being a recruiter, I am connected to a lot of people, professional people, but, I’m starting to worry about some of these "professional" people.

Last week the first picture that popped up was an XX, a larger guy with without a shirt. Right after that, a cow jumping on a trampoline and then a silly math problem to answer. Today, it was a dead dog – I saw that horrible image twice, then a girl in a bikini and the final straw that sent me complaining to customer service was a girl in a top that was showing her nipples. Really, is that image okay at work?  If that was put up in the break room would that be acceptable? Maybe at a bra or lingerie company, but not at most professional establishments.  

There is a lack of professionalism happening on LinkedIn. Getting a point across can still be tasteful and professional. I don’t want a bloody, dead dog picture to interrupt my day at work. I see enough bikini clad gals and topless guys at the beach when we go surfing. Can we please keep it a bit more professional? I wonder what will be up there next? 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Mom Fail

My son asked me to bake some cookies for his half birthday at elementary school. He has a summer birthday so being able to have a half birthday is a big deal. He was excited and asked me to make my “famous” chocolate chip cookies. I’ve been baking these cookies since I was a kid so it’s not rocket science – normally not rocket science. It turned out it was rocket science! It was way too much for me to do after work, dinner, laundry, homework assistance etc. It was a complete debacle- total loss - a big FAIL. Give the mommy an F.

Somehow during the process and all the help I was getting, we ended up putting an extra cup of flour into the mix. The cookie dough was more like a hockey puck then a cookie. Sadly, the big batch of dough went in the trash.

I ended up at the local bakery at 7:45 a.m. before school started to pick up sugar cookies for his party. It all ended up being OK and my son entertained his teacher with our antics – I got a funny email from her today telling me that we are hilarious. I have to agree. It just goes to show that that work life balance everyone is always talking about is never easy – for me it doesn’t exist. It’s the 60/40 or 70/30 or the 90/10 days that I have accepted. There is no 50/50 and no chance of perfection. There are just days where you attempt a cookie and make a hockey puck! But those days are great memories.