Seek and You Shall Find

People often ask me about my career. The details are not as important as my attitude towards work. I believed I could shape my career to what I wanted and what my family needed. The “rules” were meant to be bent…

Background — started out as a French and German teacher, earned an MLS (yes, I’m a librarian), moved to Rochester, worked 17 years at Kodak. I’ve had jobs in government, non profits, small business and I’ve started 2 companies.

I never had a job that someone had before me. I am good at making order out of chaos.

I was a single parent and raised my children alone from when they two and four, so money and time were equally important to me. This meant that I needed to find part time work that paid well.

I was one of the few part time managers at Kodak in the early 1980’s. My approach was to find something I wanted to do, find a place in the organization to do it, convince the person to hire me and THEN talk about doing the job on a part time schedule. No boss ever said no because I made it a “no brainer” for them. I said, “I will do the job… you can pay me less.”  In return I got the flexibility that was so important to me.

The last time I took a ‘regular’ job — as part of the hiring negotiations — I told my employer I would work there for one year and then I’d leave. I ended up staying almost two, but I had planned my exit and it worked out great for me.

In case you’re wondering,  my gig today is part time college professor (grad school), speaker, consultant and oh yeah, a blogger.

Are you getting what you want? Do not be afraid. Go for it.


Guerrilla Hiring (Not Hiring Guerillas)

I often talk with job hunters, HR folks and recruiters about how hiring continues to evolve; think mobile/social recruiting.

When I read this post about a woman who recently applied to,  interviewed for and landed a job in less than a week; I was amazed (job on east coast and she lived on the west coast!)

Here’s her story…

“So, on a fluke, I emailed them my resume. By the next afternoon, I had already done a Skype™ interview with HR and they assigned me a project so they could see my work. I emailed my project, they loved it and offered me a job. I was on an airplane that Sunday and started work on Monday!” What’s on Karen’s Plate

Let’s examine this. She…

1) Wasn’t even looking for a job., she ‘stumbled’ across this posting and decided it was her dream job

2) Sent a resume and someone actually looked at it (wow)

3) Interviewed via Skype™  (candidate and hiring manager actually saw each other, felt the mutual energy, etc.)

4) Completed an assignment (wow again). (So this means that the company actually knew enough about the job to have an assignment that an interviewee could complete and then they made it easy for her to submit it.)

5) Evaluated the organization – I wonder what they did to help her understand their culture? (Made interviewing completely painless!)

Of course all interviews can’t happen like this but imagine streamlining the process to even vaguely resemble something like this. What if you Skype interviewed several candidates? If they don’t know how to use Skype — do you want to hire them? and… can you use Skype?

As a hiring manager, do you have an ‘assignment’ for your short list of candidates?

As someone how waited months for a job to — ‘get approved’, ‘open up’, have a new ‘description/classification written’, etc., this whole thing blows me away. In a good way!

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Under the Influence

Choices, do you have too many or not enough?

People without food, homes, jobs, health. self-respect, family, etc.  don’t have many choices. Most of us have a ton of choices (like the cereal aisle – 100 kinds of cereal – really?)

We’re so invested in our comfort and conformity that we literally say… we have no choice but to… work a job we hate, stay in relationships with people who harm us, believe things that make us hate other people.

Here’s a little inspiration by Liz Strauss. I don’t know Liz except for her twitter posts. but I really loved this.

Be a treasure.
Start a quest. Create and conspire.
Be a mentor, a leader, a teacher. Inspire.
Be a beginner, a learner, an adventurer. Aspire.
Shine at being you.
Shine because being brilliant is what you do.
Do it because YOU have decided you’re living up to being a treasure.

Influence yourself.

Be irresistible.
– ME “Liz” Strauss

Do you understand that you are a treasure? Do you know how much you can influence the world? Start with yourself. If you’re not sure where to begin– try being quiet; the answers will come to you– I promise.

Photo credit: Nightgaunt Graphics

Stuck in the Middle with Me

Do you know when you’re stuck?

Sometimes it takes me a while. But when I’m crankier (than usual), finding fault in the people I love over small things, am afraid to try new things and so on… I realize that I’m stuck. Here are a few things to think about…   You’re not the only person who is stuck, you just need to be brave and reach out to someone else.

Remember, ” When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Symptoms of being stuck include, thinking you’re…

  • always right
  • always wrong
  • the only person who has money troubles (really you lived below your means? … hmmm)
  • married to/in partnership with the wrong person (without fully examining your part in it)
  • in a job that you’re too good for (but you haven’t kept up your skills or networking)
  • in a job you hate (but you don’t haven’t even looked for a new job in years)
  • unemployed for several months (and still scoff at… social media, networking, building skills) unable to  remember the last time you learned something new that took real effort not helping other people
  • a drip… you don’t even want to be around yourself

I understand. The reason this post was so easy to write… this is me. But I’ll tell you this…I stopped doing it as soon as I could.

Please tell me, what are you afraid of… go on, explain it to me or someone else.  Get unstuck. It feels so good. Take one little step.  You can do it!

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