Archive for November, 2009

The Outdoor Shower

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It seems like every where you look these days its doom & gloom….

… foreclosures, jobless reports, retail sales down, property values decline, bailouts, unemployment rates, divorce, plant closures, tax increases, politics, crime rates…..

Feel yourself getting consumed?  Over whelmed with bad news & forecasts?   

STOP for minute. 

It’s far to  easy to let all the bad news get to you & this will only show during that important interview.   Or it will come out in your job performance or worse yet your personal life.  

Sometimes it helps to go back to your roots.  Something that grounds you, gets you out of the bad news rut.   This takes me back to the VERY old farmhouse where I grew up.    A farmhouse with the shower outside.  Rain or shine.

As primitive this shower is, there is nothing more liberating & refreshing than warm water hitting the chill of your skin under the moonlight.   It takes you back to a simpler time. 

Reaching for shampoo, you pray that thing you just brushed off the bottle was just a leaf….. you may have seen a huge garden spider earlier in the day. 

My point is simple; if YOU let stress rule your life it will control YOUR situation. 

It’s up to YOU to get it back.

I realize that things might not be going your way.  It’s really bad for a lot of people right now, but what YOU can do today will ultimately dictate a good outcome.    You might not be able to make that perfect job materialize but you can control your attitude & action plan.

Go to YOUR outdoor shower.

What YOU can do is take a step back, clear your head & regain your professional and/or personal footing.

Sometimes this means taking a “job” that’s not your “career”.   It pays those monthly bills so that you can take a financial breath while you continue your “career” hunt.   Or maybe it’s taking a trip back to mom & dad’s house for an emotional break & some good home cooking. 

OR It’s a great time to have coffee with that old friend you haven’t had time for in years.  That old friend takes you back to a simpler time & place which helps you regroup with a little inflection.

Maybe YOUR outdoor shower is an art class that you’ve been too busy to take.  Art can be an excellent form of expression & it may just provide you with that sense of accomplishment you need right now in your life.  OR you could find a new career path develop out of a hobby.

I’m thankful my mother finally put a door up.

What does your outdoor shower look like?

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November 1, 2009 at 7:14 pm 3 comments

Is it just me or is it Halloween already?


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Trick or Treating is a lot like job hunting.

It’s already Halloween time and I haven’t written my usual blog postings for the past two weeks. I’ve been busy planning for the infamous BOO holiday. All Hallow’s Eve is my absolute favorite time of year and it takes a lot hard work and time getting the festivities ready to go….

You’re wondering what the heck this has to do with job hunting.   The analogy’s coming…..

…. Kids costumes, trick or treat candy, holiday décor, Halloween crafts with the kids, treats for the kids teachers, gathering pumpkins, making the Jack O Lanterns….. and at the last minute volunteering a decorated minivan for the school’s “Trunk or Treat”…… BOO!

….. Glitter is strewn from top to bottom, a dozen trips for more glue sticks, skeleton heads, plastic spiders….. extra candy cause you might not have enough…. And now Halloween is finally here so I’m sitting here writing this blog post in between door bell rings.

Here it is!

We spend so much time and energy preparing for the holidays or our vacations or whatever in life consuming our time, but we don’t always do the same in the job hunt and/or interview.

You have to step it up a notch. Do your homework. Are you looking up the hiring manager(s) on LinkedIn? Are you reading all the company and/or product information BEFORE your interview date? Did you prepare a 30/60/90 action plan? Are you as ready as possible for the big face to face?

Have you called your friend or former co-worker that works there now to find out a little more about the company culture and what to best prepare for? Have you done a “bing” or “google” search on the folks you’ll be meeting with or the company – get over feeling like it’s stalking!  Preparing as much as possible and gathering backgrounds on whom you are meeting with could give you the upper hand over your interview competition.

Did you read the company’s annual report?  If I asked you what the stock price is, can you answer me?  Have you figured out what backgrounds they might be looking to hire? Who are their biggest competitors? Do you understand their greatest business challenge(s)?

And the list of information to gather goes on and on….

The more prepared you are, the better you’ll be on your interview. The better you are on the interview the better impression you’ll leave the hiring manager. And you want that good impression on the hiring manager in order to take the next step.

Look, kids ALWAYS know the good neighborhoods to Trick or Treat. There’s always that ONE house that stands out because they give out the BEST candy or goodie bag.  It’s the house the kids insist on going back to it year after year – they REMEMBER it well.

You want to be “that” good Trick or Treat house.

….. to this day, I remember that one house in my grandmother’s neighborhood that handed out these giant lollipops from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  They were AMAZING treats that year …. it’s been 25+ years and I haven’t forgotten.

Same goes for that interview you just had. Which means even if you don’t get the job, make sure to send a “thank you” follow-up. Maybe you made a great impression on the hiring manager, but lost the job to an internal candidate – this happens and it happens even when we best prepare.   Do the smart thing and leave them with a lasting good impression ….. just like the good Trick or Treat house.

The next time the hiring manager has an opening, they may think of you!

I leave you with a side Trick or Treat note; Trader Joe’s has the BEST little chocolate bars this year! They are in the cutest little carnival style packaging and taste amazing dipped in fresh peanut butter…

…. how about we do a little Trick or Treating together?

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November 1, 2009 at 3:47 am Leave a comment


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