An Ode to Mollie and All High School Graduates: Seek Joy

It’s that time of year. The cusp of summer means high school and college graduations. The end of something and the start of another. A time of transition. Mollie, a high school Co-Op student who has worked with us, graduates today.  She’s been a sheer joy to work with because of her sweet spirit and willingness to do anything and everything without a question or complaint even when I’ve dumped mind-numbing spreadsheet work on her.   She has done an outstanding job writing most of our Thursday blogs this spring, giving great advice to students and parents about career and college

I May Have Adult ADD But I Wouldn’t Trade It For Anything: Refusing to Choose Between Work and Life

At an HR conference this week with a focus on wellness, the topic of work-life balance is bound to come up. It is and continues to be a buzz phrase in the field. How do we as individuals balance work and “life” and how do companies and HR professionals help employees find and gain balance in order to promote wellness and avoid stress and burnout which ultimately hurts company performance? As I sit here writing this at the conference, my eight week old is with me. So is my mom who is here to help and also hear some key

Everyone Gets a Trophy and The Skills Gap

At a lunch meeting yesterday, one topic of discussion was the “everyone gets a trophy” generation. The millennial generation – of which I am barely a part of based on my date of birth, but rarely admit to being – seems to have a problem with feeling entitled. And the negative outcomes this creates in schools and int he workplace is a hot topic. A couple of issues cited in this discussion were: Lack of respect for consequences of one’s actions. For example, a star pitcher not getting to pitch in a game when scouts were there because he missed

6 Steps and Tools for Better Networking

Last week, we discussed the importance of networking because Computers Don’t Give People Jobs- People Do. If you still aren’t convinced of this based on the data presented last week, then here is another tid-bit of data for you: According to this chart, networking encompasses almost half of the way that companies fill job openings. So the proof is there. If you want to get a job, the best way to do it is to network. But how do you do it? Here are some steps along with a Networking Log to help you track this process: Set a networking

Computers Don’t Give People Jobs- People Do.

A recent LinkedIn group posting by a job seeker asked the question, “Tons of  applications vs. networking (in a new place) – Which might work best?” While applying online for openings is a necessary component to job search, I think this chart and table answers the job seeker’s question clearly: Mark S. Granovetter, a sociologist at Harvard, investigated how people get jobs. His study included professional, technical, and managerial workers who recently found jobs, and the chart shows the methods by which jobs were obtained. Granovetter’s data also indicated that of the people who found jobs through personal contacts, 43.8%

5 Steps for Managing Upward

In my first “real” job out of college, I had no idea what managing upward was and had no idea how to do it. More importantly, I didn’t know why it was necessary. In hindsight, I got passed over for a job opening in the department that I wanted because I didn’t manage upward, I got more work than any other person in the department thrown on me because I didn’t manage upward, and I ended up being pretty miserable because I didn’t manage upward. In my personal experiences and in coaching middle managers, I’ve learned that the topic of

6 Reasons NOT to Strive for Perfection

I used to get so frustrated as a recruiter when I asked the question “What are your weaknesses?” in an interview and I would get the response “I’m a perfectionist.” It seemed to me to be a way to state a “weakness” when in reality striving for perfection, I thought, was a characteristic that is desired in the working world and in fact classified as a strength. I’d turn around and probe the applicant in a way that made them tell me what bad behaviors or results arose because of their perfectionism. Most people just stared at me after asking

Dream Job

After finishing my senior year, I will start the next four years deciding what I want to do for the rest of my life. I will have to consider the economy and job markets when deciding on a major and future career, but I don’t want to neglect what I might be best at doing and what I would enjoy. If money and unemployment didn’t matter my choice would be a lot easier. I would rule out any job that has anything to do with blood, makes me work with spreadsheets, or forces me to understand chemistry. With those jobs

Lessons from CO-OP

I was nervous about giving up my time in school to be in the Co-Op program. I wanted to be involved in as many things as I could. I didn’t want to have any regrets. The choice to Co-Op was not easy. I had to give up a few activities like soccer and chorus, but I made the right choice to do Co-Op. It was always hard for me to focus in school. I was always pretty much brain dead by 4th block. Now I only have two classes to focus on a day. My grades have improved because I

Are You A Free Agent By Nature?

Do these characteristics describe you and your work/life values?: I desire flexibility in my work (work hours, days, etc.). This is more important to me than the stability of a consistent check or the stable benefits a company can provide. I desire autonomy or control in how work gets done (when, where, etc.) Or to more bluntly sum up the above two bullets, quiet frankly I don’t like other people telling me what to do! I’d rather decide how things get done and be rewarded (or not rewarded) according to the outcomes I decide to achieve. I don’t mind taking risks