Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Holly, jolly tips and tricks for the holidays!

Food -
Don’t make everything from scratch – cheat a little with quality premade delicious treats and sides.
If you decide to cook everything get most of your side dishes and desserts done ahead of time.
You don’t need 6 side dishes - pick 2 or 3.  
Put out a bar so people can make their own drinks.
Say yes to help in the kitchen!

Travel -
Ship gifts ahead of time.  
At the airport pack your food and toiletries in their own separate zip lock bags so you clear security easily.
Pack fun toys or candy for the kids.  
Load up your iPhone or tablet with lots of games, music and books.

Day of the party -

If politics are too much to talk about - plan an activity. Make ornaments, decorate cookies, play a game or grab the old photo books and go through them. Create something to do to avoid the discourse.

Set the table ahead of time and set out the serving dishes too.

 If the standard gift exchange is getting old – go with a theme – white elephant, flip flop exchange (I’d say socks but we are here in SoCal and we are in flip flops more than socks!), cooking spice exchange, snack/cookie exchange, favorite Christmas movie or favorite candy!  There are lots of fun possibilities – get creative.

Again, if people ask to help clean up just say YES!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Our Kids at Work

We are a family run company so sometimes our kids end up at the office. For instance my son after hitting a few balls walked over from the local golf course near our office. He is now practicing putting into a cup down the hallway. He was supposed to be reading but the hallway is just too perfect for putting.  Having them be able to come in occasionally is convenient but other days it’s hugely distracting.  It’s a balance of fun vs. productivity.  Good thing I got most of what I need done because the fun is out weighing productivity. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Leaving San Diego

No one leaves San Diego. It’s just a rule here at our firm – don’t even try to recruit out of San Diego.  It never works – NEVER. You’d need a pirate to go kidnap the candidate to move them. It’s a lifestyle down there that they won’t quit.  You can move them around San Diego but they won’t leave. You can promise them more money, moving costs covered, 100% paid insurance, a huge bonus and you know what -  99% of the time we still get a NO.  Can you blame them? Seriously, it’s amazing down there. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Climb

Some weeks it’s all about the climb. It’s the insurmountable odds, the failures and the frustration.  It’s about the people who ignore your calls, the unreturned emails, the lack of communication and trying to work around it.   Eventually I’ll get to the top of the wall. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Annoying Words

Organic growth. Culture of Engagement. Disruption. 

Ugh. Stupid phrases that are driving us nuts here at work – organic growth, culture of engagement and disruption. We keep on hearing the same catch phrases over and over and over.  It’s like the bad joke that your Uncle can’t quit telling at every party.  For instance, “We are going to organically grow our staff.”  Do you mean you are finally going to start train people like all companies should?  How about just start using the term training or maybe teaching? Organically growing needs to be left for farmers. 

Engagement – the culture of engagement. Seriously? What happened to showing up at work and doing a good job. I understand welcoming them on their first day, training and treating them well but it seems like it’s a bit more hand holding. Get to work – dig in and be thankful that you have a job.

The worst word is disruptors! Everyone wants to be a disruptor. Now a new idea is a “disruptor” instead of just a cool new innovative idea. Industries transition constantly. New innovative business is where we all want to be why call it disruption. I think people just get bored with the English language and choose to be disruptive!  

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 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.