Archive for August, 2008

“Want to run NAKED through the sprinklers with me?” – What’s stopping YOU?



I get asked the question “want to run naked through the sprinklers with me?” on a regular basis.  My two year old has no concept that this isn’t appropriate behavior for someone my age.  Though he knows my answer will be always be “NO” he continues to ask me the same question again and again with a glimmer of hope it will change to a “YES”. 

Years ago when I first began my career in recruiting, my manager gave me a great desk paperweight that said:

“What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?”

Recruiting and sales are what I refer to as a “rejection” business.  You hear a lot of “NO’s” before you get the coveted “YES”.  It is very easy to let FEAR of rejection take over and get in the way of our ultimate success.  Making a zillion phone calls and hearing the word “NO” over and over again can get to you after awhile – if you let it.  

I have spoken with a lot of folks that didn’t make it in recruiting or sales because they couldn’t pick themselves up each time and try again.  The fear of rejection was too overwhelming for them and that’s okay, it’s not a career for everyone.

Many of us that are embarking on a new career search can feel the same way.  It’s easy to get down in the dumps when you are on an active job hunt.  Continually feeling rejected by companies, hiring managers and recruiters can be very frustrating and disheartening.  And unfortunately the job hunt can be more of a necessity than a choice.

Let’s be honest here, it’s tough to be told that you aren’t being considered for an opening or that someone else got the job or even worse, not hearing anything at all.  When my husband was actively looking for a new position, he would always say that “radio silence” was the worst for him.  He couldn’t stand it!  Anyway you look at it is easy to take it personally and get down.   The trick is to get back up and try again until you’ve succeeded!

I can’t begin to tell you how many times (and still do), I would get off  the phone from a recruiting cold call and stare at that desk paperweight:

“What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?”

I knew (know) if I didn’t make that next cold call, I would have no chance of hearing a “YES”.   I can’t tell you the specific number of calls I had to first make that ended in a NO, but I can tell you that it felt really great to get my first “YES.”  I will never forget that feeling of “success”!

So let’s run naked through the sprinklers together (figuratively speaking please)!  I’d love to hear from you:

“What would you attempt, if you knew you could not fail?”




August 28, 2008 at 8:26 pm 1 comment

She Sells Seashells by the Seashore – “Virtually”

Yes, she sells seashells by the seashore virtually….

Please don’t expect an e-Card or evite from me in the near future.  I am kind of “old school” in this sense.  I enjoy a hand written card, note or mailed invitation.  In fact, most of the events and parties that I attend sent me an invite in the mail.  For the most part those evites that clutter my inbox generally go unread.
Being “virtual” these days does have its limitations…..
A few months ago, I wanted to send someone in my network a simple “Thank you” card.  You would have thought it would be as simple as:


1. Buy a card

2. Write a note

3. Send it off


There was no physical address for this person.  The company website held a private registration and there was no listed address. 

Yes, I did a reverse telephone look up.  I asked folks in our shared network if they had an office address.  It produced nothing. 

How would I be able to send him a hand written “thank you”?  Was I destined to settle for an email, tweet or LinkedIn Inmail?  I could always write a nice wall-to-wall note on Facebook.

Being a “virtual” allows me to be every where at even given moment.  It’s very convenient, all I need is a working phone line and I can recruit.  Yes, access to the web would help tremendously.

But do you ever wonder where I am?  You may have some idea in your mind.  Does my office match the idea of it? Maybe you see me with a beach front office or overlooking a large Silicon Valley high rise. 

Don’t misunderstand me.  I LOVE social media and online networking.  It’s fast, efficient and a darn right fun way of doing professional tasks. But sometimes, I like to go a little “old school”. 

I just want to send YOU a hand written note once in a while. A token to show you my appreciation or to cheer you up or wish you “happy birthday”. 

As with many careers these days, my recruiting profession is allowing for more of a “virtual” world.  Social media is really beginning to take off in many business verticals. Face to face and phone calls are taking a backseat to IM’s and emails.  Even in other professional roles such as Inside Sales Reps and Marketing professionals are using electronic forms of communication to promote and sell.  Quite frankly, I find email blasts for the most part are just plan annoying. 

In my view, a personal note tells the recipient more about who I am as a professional.  I can send tweets, Facebook IM’s and emails, but aside from a face to face meeting how else can you get to know me better and vice versa? 

This brings me to the purpose of this blog post:

Those of you in my professional network, I wanted to send you a little handwritten note this past week.  Oh, did I had a difficult time finding your business address!  If you receive my note in the near future, I was successful. 

If you didn’t, I ask you… 

At which seashore do you sell your seashells?




August 10, 2008 at 5:35 pm 5 comments

“Love Shack” Social Media style- Web 2.0 cares Baby!

Does your social media network show LOVE via web 2.0 “Baby”?

It’s easy to get caught up in our day to day professional lives without stopping to think about anything other than getting the job at hand complete.  Emails pile up pretty quickly and those voice mails don’t answer themselves when we veer off in a different direction. 

BUT, what if someone in your network needed a helping hand?  Would you help? 

OR, what if it was YOU that was in trouble.  Where would your network be?

In recent months, I have seen some pretty amazing care and concern toward others in my own professional social media network.  This feels like the right time to share a snippet of what folks in my network are doing to help others in need – showing care and concern in pure web 2.0 style.

Back in May, Jason Alba posted a blog post that brought me to absolute tears.  It was about Phil Burns (Phil801) whose 22 month old daughter Serenity had just been diagnosed with cancer. Jason’s post surrounded Phil’s insurance problem and he added the “Chip-In” widget for donations. He added a link to Phil801’s blog post that detailed the story and you can read it here.

What struck me most was that Jason took the time out to write up a post to help a fellow blogger in need.  This post had nothing to do with JibberJobber or any of the “Now What???” books Jason has authored, it was purely to help Phil801 in the time of need.  Outstanding support! 

I immediately donated on the Serenity page.  What will you do?

On a lighter note, a few weeks ago I posted a blog post entitled “The Marriage is Over, He dumped me on Twitter.”  Yes, I knew the title would grab a some readers, but I didn’t know how they’d react to it.  

To my amazement I received the most sincere and caring email from one of my connections that I met on LinkedIn Q&A.  At his/her request he/she will remain anonymous.  This person is very caring and sincere.  They took the time to send me a quick note to say that if I need someone to talk with, they would be available to lend an ear.

How nice is that to know the connections we nurture are there to steady our fall?

Most of you know already that I am a big fan of Dave Mendoza.  He is a generous networker AND has a strong social conscious for helping others in need.

A few months ago Dave mentioned to me that he had an idea to raise money within the recruiting community for worthy causes.  A lot of people “talk” about helping others, but few put the call to action in place.  Dave Mendoza did! 

Dave did a great blog post regarding Jerry’s Kids.  You can read it here.  Dave also set up a Chip-In widget to raise money directly from his site pledging $6,000 by the end of the year.  You can donate here.  Again, another example of a busy professional helping out others.

I could go on and on with little stories like how posted a Tweet on Twitter regarding WordPress blog set up issues.  Both Karen Swim and Ken Burbary immediately tweeted me back with offers to lend me a hand.  Or during the busy week that I went offline to bury myself in the desk and the Recruiting Animal sent me a quick note to make sure I was okay.

The examples of care and concern are really endless as many are created every day.  I love my social media network. Knowing first hand that your social network is full of great people is an amazing feeling and afterall, isn’t that what forming relationships are really?

And yours?  Is your professional Social Media network a “Love Shack, Baby?”


August 3, 2008 at 11:20 pm 2 comments

Oh for Peet’s sake, NOT my Starbucks!

Anyone that knows me professionally understands that there are three critial components to my business success that I am truly passionate about:

1. My customer

2. My candidate

3. My morning Starbucks Venti Latte

So, you can imagine the heartbreak when I heard the news… 

600 planned Starbucks closures!!!!!

“In January, we committed to transforming the company through a series of critical and strategic initiatives to improve the current state of our U.S. business and build the business for the long term,” stated Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO.


In shock I googled for more….  

I read:

“Howard D. Schultz, has retaken the reins in an effort to revive it. Mr. Schultz said he wants to refocus on the ‘customer experience,’ recapturing some of the magic of the chain’s early years, when employees — who had heard the term barista before Starbucks came along? — made the drinks by hand and customers were excited by top-notch coffee.”

“Customer experience” stood out in my mind.

Companies don’t talk as much about the “customer experience” lately.  Profits, profit margins, revenue, cost cuts, consolidations seem to be foremost on agendas… not many are talking about the “customer experience”. 

During a visit to “my” Starbucks, I asked the barista about the status of the store.  I was assured that this would not affect this location.  Relieved that my “customer experience” would be okay, but it got me thinking about it about what the “customer experience” really means.

I came from the school of  “the customer is always right.  And when the customer is wrong, the customer is always right.”  Customer satisfaction has always been a key part of my business success.

Years ago, I worked for a not so typical software services company. The most remarkable thing about the company was it’s leader Berni Jubb.

Berni Jubb insisted on the importance of “breaking a rule in order to make the customer happy.”  Customer satisfaction was #1 in his business vision regardless of what the rules told us employees to do. 

Berni Jubb currently owns the Pura Vida hotel in Costa Rica.  His little hotel is almost always full year round. If you ask his employees they will all tell you that he insists they do whatever it takes to ensure a happy customer.  Even breaking the rules.  

Berni Jubb’s staff is mystified by his demand, but this “customer experience”  shows with Pura Vida’s consisten and thriving clientele.

So tell me, what does the “customer experience” mean to you?  Is it an important part of the way you run your business?

I’d love to hear….

August 1, 2008 at 9:29 pm 3 comments


My Facebook

Heather Skomsvold Gardner's Facebook profile

Join My Community at MyBloglog!

Manage Your Career Search – FREE here

Free Personal Relationship Manager for the Job Seeker and the Professional Networker FreePersonal Relationship Manager for the Job Seeker.
Finally, a tool designed specifically for the job seeker!

Heather Recommends:


Blog Stats

  • 18,601 hits

Recent Readers

View My Profile View My Profile View My Profile View My Profile View My Profile


Add to Technorati Favorites


Tweet this blog:

recruiting blogs