Archive for January, 2014

Shameless plug for art

January 27, 2014

Readers of this blog know that I don’t often plug a commercial product.  In fact, I can’t remember doing so, unless it is my own book or other career products.

Here’s an exception.  My very talented brother, Pete Simcox, has opened a shop on Etsy for his paintings, and I’m inviting you to visit the online gallery and take a look.

You can go to and search for SimcoxFineArt.  If large-scale landscapes or bold abstracts interest you, you will love his works.  Yes, I’m prejudiced, and yes, I’m hoping you will help spread the word of this talented guy and his paintings.

Pete, thanks for sharing with the world.  Here’s a salute to the family member who got ALL the artistic ability. You’re a role model for other retirees, who now have the opportunity to go back to previously-undeveloped passions and skills.

Quitting by text – you be the judge

January 20, 2014

I was shocked to hear that there is now an app that helps you quit your job via text.  Available on the site of The Ladders, a highly respectable job search site, it evidently helps you identify your reasons for leaving, then helps you craft an appropriate message and send it to you boss.

I haven’t actually seen this app.  But I have REALLY strong feelings about it.

First, the very few reasons why this is an acceptable idea:

  • Personal emergencies,
  • Something unethical or illegal is happening in the workplace,
  • You were hired by text, you accepted by text, and that’s the way your workplace communicates,
  • It’s home-based employment and your workplace is centered far away.

And if any of these are true, please follow up that very day with a polite, more extensive real letter (or at least email) that is the equivalent in quality of the cover letter you once sent to get this job.

Now, why this is a bad idea for most of us:

  • It looks petty,
  • It gives a hostile feel, which may or may not be what you want to convey,
  • The app is described as humorous;  what if someone doesn’t get the humor?

Humorous? I don’t see what’s funny. I’m old-fashioned enough to think that courtesy and professionalism should rule any transaction at work.

Unless it is an emergency, please don’t do this.  I’d love a story or two on this – have you seen it?  Have you done it?  Is it in fact funny?

The shock of the text will live long after your departure.  Is this how you want to shape your legacy?

Where would you be in Downton Abbey?

January 12, 2014

Or rather, who are you in that world?  Do you suppose that’s an interview question waiting to happen?

There’s a quiz you can take to find the character you are most like.  Wow!  I’m (the late) Lady Sybil – caring about social change, the first to wear pants to a party instead of a fancy dress.  True.  I’m married to a Robert, Earl of Grantham type – loyal to tradition and family. That explains a lot!

Would you like to know whom you most resemble?  Try the Downtown Abbey quiz for yourself.  It’s fun, somewhat provocative, and a great preparation for your next interview.

You are invited…

January 5, 2014

Happy New Year!  If your resolutions include keeping yourself up to date in the latest job hunting techniques, I can help you meet that goal for January. Times are still tough, competition remains stiff for good positions, and you need contemporary ideas for your resume.

On January 16, 2014, I’ll be at the Prince Frederick library (Calvert County, MD) for an afternoon of exploring resumes for the digital age.  From 2:00 to 3:30, you can pose a question or two, share a concern, and learn a few tips about bringing your resume into the 21st century. I’ll share strategies that are featured in my e-book, Reflections on Resumes: Taking a Second Look.

I’m putting together some information for the workshop, so if you are planning to attend and you have a concern about your resume, let me know in advance and I will address it.

If you have a question about location or directions, you can contact the library at (410) 535-0291 or (301) 855-1862.

More on this later…