Archive for October, 2011

Back to Work (slowly)

October 29, 2011

The French call it La Rentree, the return to normal activity after vacation.  So here I am, declaring myself ready to work, to think, and to blog, at least part-time.

The past month has been a time of recuperation from a fractured pelvis, and the previous weeks were in Belgium and France having a darned good time.  It has been too long since immersing myself in work. It’s time to get back into reading, studying, critiquing resumes, reviewing books, and meeting with interesting people making changes in their lives.

I return to career counseling with an enhanced appreciation of life in its goodness.  I rarely gave thanks for the ability to swing two legs out of bed in the morning, but now I do.  I knew I was blessed with caring family and friends, but did not know how much they are willing to do when called upon.

Cards matter.  So do emails, phone messages, casseroles, salads, sandwiches, desserts, prayers, books, and plants.  You know what else really matters?  A person who summons the courage to say “you matter to me”.

I’m not ready to declare that a fall on a slippery floor was worth it.  I’d still choose to have my last week of vacation back.  Still, I learned things. And as my recovery moves into its next phase (walker instead of wheel chair!  anticipating a cane!), I’ll still be learning patience and gratitude.

Enough.  Let’s get back to work.

The extended vacation

October 11, 2011

I’m choosing my blog to announce a leave of absence from my work.  I just returned from a (mostly) glorious trip to Belgium and France.  However, I slipped and fell, breaking my pelvis.  (all together now:  OUCH!)

I know I’ll be out of commission for about a month.  It hurts to type, I’m too groggy to talk on the phone.  And I certainly don’t make any sense.

I’ll re-enter the world of work around the first week of November.  Send prayers and positive thoughts, please!

Steve Jobs

October 9, 2011

I share the pang of sadness with other Apple fans at the passing of Steve Jobs.  Newspapers are filled with tributes, and there’s absolutely nothing I can add to the discussion.  Oh wait, maybe there is.  I do not like technology – I fear it, I’m not clever at it, I certainly don’t understand it.  I don’t want to pay for it.

And yet, I love to play.  We’ve been a mac family since the 1980s, and I’m quite happy with my imac.  So thank you, Steve, for making this new world palatable to me.  Rest in peace.

Your job search: practice, practice, practice

October 5, 2011

As my readers know, I’ve been exploring a wonderful article in a recent section of Newsweek called The 10 Commandments of Steve, by Leander Kahney. I’ve been wondering if the traits of a legendery CEO could parallel the traits of a successful job seeker.

We come to the tenth commandment in the article:  Prototype to the extreme.

Evidently, he tested everything, including not only products but the layout of Apple retail stores themselves.

And your job search?  What can you move from prototype to production?

There are obvious products:

  • your resume.  Draft, edit, consult others, re-do, consult others, etc.
  • your LinkedIn profile (process as above),
  • your portfolio (work samples, thank you letters, performance evaluations, etc.),
  • your online reputation (what happens when someone does a search on your name? You need to know this.).
All these products can be polished and made more usable.  Try it.  Test it.  Tweak it.
We have come to the end of exploring the Ten Commandments of Steve.  My deep gratitude is offered to Newsweek and to Leander Kahney, the wonderfully creative writer who developed this idea.

The 10 Commandments of Steve: Carrot before Stick

October 3, 2011

Enthusiasm is contagious.  It’s also highly attractive.  According to Leander Kahney in Newsweek, Steve Jobs must have observed that people want to be on a team with a charismatic leader.

Job hunters, might this work for you?

There’s much discussion these days about whether an unemployed person suffers discrimination just for being unemployed.  Isn’t that stupid? Who would be better motivated to say “yes” to a job offer, to be able to start as soon as possible?

Maybe the stereotype of the unemployed person is that of being depressed, discouraged, and in general, a malcontent. Not charismatic.

Please help debunk that myth.  Summon your charisma, remember that you have something wonderful to offer, remind potential employers of a success or two, and expect to be taken seriously.

Be the kind of person they want on their team.  Carrot, not stick, please. That’s what winners respond to.