Getting (Or Staying) Creative

Creativity is like soap. Just when you’ve got it in your hands and it feels good – it slips away. Many people don’t understand that creativity needs to be nurtured; others think that creativity is just for “artists.”

Creativity is an important component of a happy life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the kitchen, the garden, the classroom, the boardroom or the cocktail party. It’s really more of an attitude and a skill combined.

How does a creative person behave? How do they think?

Who do you think is creative? Watch them, listen to them, support them.

Not sure how nurture your creative side? Try this – 29 Ways to Stay Creative.

Photo credit:  Funky Downtown (Fascinating Fashion)

One Last (Excellent) Interview Question

People in transition are at different stops along the “finding work again” route. What stage are you: denial, anger, why me, who cares, yikes I need money, holy smokes why didn’t keep up my network, this is cool, etc. Do you think of this as an opportunity or are you fighting it? You have a chance to learn many new things, so go for it!

Interviewing is a skill, like cooking or swinging a golf club. To be good at it you need to practice. So whether you’re in an active search or not, you need to practice interviewing.

At your next interview think about:

Asking, ‘why this is a great place to work?’  Watching body language for signs of discomfort from the interviewer? Asking about culture?  technology?

Are you leading the conversation in a way that is to your advantage or are you letting the HR person/hiring manager set the agenda?

Here’s another great question to ask:

“Are there any skills that you would have liked for me to have but we haven’t discussed yet?” (Seems a little risky right?)  When my contact (thanks Jason!) asked this question in a recent interview… the person mentioned business writing skills.  He had a chance to send a writing sample along with the thank you note. By the way, they scheduled his next interview before he left the first. How’s that for results?

Image credit: http://www.mailboxesoncamelback.com/funny-of-the-month.html

Got A Role Model? I Do… My Aunt Dorothy

I had the good luck of being born into the family of Dorothy Fitzgerald. She was my great aunt but I considered her my grandmother. She lived at home until 3 months before she passed away at the age of 99.

Here she is in Gloucester, Mass. in 1929. She was a working woman (she worked for the IRS) and was the single finest human being I have ever known. Let me tell you a bit about her.

– She was kind to everyone.  No exceptions. Race, age, economic status– everyone was treated the same. With respect.

– She never passed judgment.  Dorothy was intelligent and well read and if asked, she would give a thoughtful, considered opinion but more often than not,  she’d say she really didn’t know much about x or y (even if she did).  She was open to hearing what others had to say.

– She was fiscally responsible. She had money and spent it wisely but she was also generous. She had impeccable taste. Her home was beautiful and welcoming. We often shared holidays with people from other countries who found themselves in the US.  She knew that the best gifts were time and love.

– She was helpful when she could be and knew when to keep her mouth shut.

It was my privilege to know her and be part of her family. She was gracious without being phony and always generous of spirit . If I can be half of the person she was, I will consider myself a success.

Will you tell me about your role model? I am looking forward to the inspiration!

Pay Me To Interview, Pay Me to Work.

Oh my but the world of job search is changing in so many ways, I feel like my head is going to explode.  This article, “How Real Time Web Changes Job Search,”is jammed full of ideas, websites and concepts relating to job search.

If you are in HR or looking for work; you need to read this article. Here are just few of the highlights:

On Twitter alone “more than a million tweets about job openings go out every month from 6,000+ employers and 7,700+ job channels via TweetMyJOBS.com

- The traditional job board is disappearing and being replaced by ‘direct sourcing’ which is when hiring decision-makers “identify, reach out to, engage, and convert” only the highly desirable candidates. Passive candidates become the new gold. The better your digital footprint, the easier you’ll be to find.

- Job sites are adding “Who do I know”? buttons to their sites so you can see who you know at a company without going to Linked In.

And one of my favorites… Paid Interviews.com. It actually pays candidates when they successfully interview (read: get hired) and has a virtual water cooler feature which is “a place for candidates to talk about their past employment experiences, it’s like Amazon product ratings, but for companies. It’s a place where you can get unbiased answers about employers around the world.”

If you’re a company with a lousy culture… the good old days might be evaporating before your very eyes. Between sites like paidinterviews.com and glassdoor.com and social networking; hiding is going to get tougher. Ahhh, transparency. Welcome.

Photo credit: http://itaysworld.com/blog/2009/03/03/funny-money-but-of-the-real-kind/

What the CEO Would Ask You In An Interview…

CEO’s aren’t always the smartest people in the room but they have earned the right to be heard. I recently read an interview with Barry Salzberg, the CEO of Deloitte and liked his comments about hiring.  People who are looking for work or want to successfully interview for their next position may benefit from his advice.

Mr. Salzberg asks potential employees:

– What values that are most important to you?

– How have you demonstrated your commitment to those values in the last 2 years?

– Tell me about something recently that didn’t go well and what did you do about it.

His advice:

1)  “Pay it forward and take care of people.” When was the last time you mentored someone? If the CEO asks you that question, would you have a great answer? One that would make him/her proud to know you?

2) ” Brand yourself.” Do you know what your digital footprint looks like? What does it say about you? Do you actively manage it or do you passively hope that your digital information is ‘good enough’?

3) “Get out of your comfort zone.” I consider this the most important. We get so busy with our daily lives that we forget to take calculated risks or all the risk-taking behavior has been “corporatized” out of us. “It’ s ok to be uncomfortable. Don’t resist change …or a different way of looking at things.”

I would go one step further. Look for opportunities to change and then go for it. Early in my career I heard, “the best way to cope with change is to create it.” I have worked hard to figure out how to keep reinventing myself. It’s not easy but I am happy that I kept at it. Not sure how or what to change? Ask someone you respect and then listen with an open mind. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit:  ilgiraresole