Archive | February, 2009

What We’re Mad About This Week

27 Feb

Airport Nuernberg/GERMANY Sometime to understand the meaning of something it is easier when you have a visual image of it. This is what the photographic dictionary is trying to accomplish. Through this project they are trying to define words through the literal, figurative, and personal meanings found in each photograph.

ring Etsy is an amazing site as I am sure many people are familiar with now. When I was perusing it the other day for some artwork I came across this simple feather ring that is made from brass and just thought it was really sweet. To  check out her other elegant vintage jewelry items go here.

In honor of International Women’s Day, CARE and powerfulnoiseNCM Fathom present A POWERFUL NOISE Live. On Thursday, March 5, more than 450 theatres will feature the acclaimed documentary, “A Powerful Noise,” transporting movie goers into the lives of women in Bosnia, Vietnam, and Mali.

moneyatwork1 Searchable database of how and where tax dollars are spent as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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Maintaining a Healthy Level of Insanity in the Workplace

19 Feb

A friend sent this to me today from here I thought it was pretty ridiculous and funny and wanted to pass it along. Enjoy.

  1. Page yourself over the intercom. Don’t disguise your voice.
  2. Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Wear them one day after your boss does. This is especially effective if your boss is of a different gender than you.
  3. Make up nicknames for all your coworkers and refer to them only by these names. “That’s a good point, Sparky.” “No, I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree with you there, Cha-cha.”
  4. Send e-mail to the rest of the company telling them exactly what you’re doing. For example: “If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the bathroom.”
  5. Hi-Lite your shoes. Tell people you haven’t lost them as much since you did this.
  6. While sitting at your desk, soak your fingers in Palmolive liquid. Call everyone Madge.
  7. Hang mosquito netting around your cubicle. When you emerge to get coffee or a printout or whatever, slap yourself randomly the whole way.
  8. Put a chair facing a printer. Sit there all day and tell people you’re waiting for your document.
  9. Every time someone asks you to do something, anything, ask him or her if they want fries with that.
  10. Send e-mail back and forth to yourself engaging yourself in an intellectual debate. Forward the mail to a co-worker and ask her to settle the disagreement.
  11. Encourage your colleagues to join you in a little synchronized chair-dancing.
  12. Put your trash can on your desk. Label it “IN.”
  13. Feign an unnatural and hysterical fear of staplers.
  14. Send e-mail messages saying there’s free pizza or donuts or cake in the lunchroom. When people drift back to work complaining that they found none, lean back, pat your stomach and say, “Oh you’ve got to be faster than that.”
  15. Put decaf in the coffee maker for three weeks. Once everyone has withdrawn from caffeine addiction, switch to espresso.

What Dating and Interviewing Have in Common

19 Feb

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Let’s face it, interviews and dates have a lot in common. Whether you go on 1, 2 3 or 4 they’re all about getting to know the other person and seeing if you are the right fit for each other. Here’s ten questions I feel you should be prepared to answer for both: 

1. Why are you applying? (Why are you on the date?): When you go on the first date, both people usually try to get a sense of what the other person is there for. Do they just want to hookup? Meet a new friend? Have a long-term relationship? This is similar to a job interview when employers are looking to determine exactly why you are applying for the position. Are you looking for a short-term job, or in it for the long-haul? Either way, make sure that you are honest and clear about your reasoning- this is your chance to reassure them you are there for the right reasons!

2. Why are you/did you leave your last position/relationship?  This might not be something brought up on the first date, but either way both parties want to know it. Were you too needy? Was infidelity involved? Knowing this gives insight into the type of person they are looking for in the next relationship. Similarly, a job wants to know this as well- in fact this was the first question asked in my most recent interviews. If you are leaving because there was too much attention to detail required and multiple projects and deadlines, this might be a red-flag to them if this is what the new position requires. This question can be a deal breaker- you don’t want to give away too much information about yourself and talk poorly about your past relationships/job. You do want to give them just enough detail so that they know you left for the right reasons, and that the other party is missing out.

3. Are you applying other places? (dating other people?) Unless you’re on the Bachelor, no one wants to date someone that is dating a bunch of other people at the same time as you. There’s too many others out there that would be interested in dating only you. This question has also come up in every single one of my interviews to date. Some may advise to be honest, but I personally think your answer should always be no. You wouldn’t want to hire someone that applied to every open position on Craigslist, and either do they.

4. Tell us a little about yourself: When you answer this intro on a date or in a interview, always keep the answer short and sweet. Stick with where you went to school, where you live and current job. On a date you can be a little more creative, but no one likes a rambler.

5. What do you know about the person/company? I reference the Bachelor again here, but nothing made me cringe more than hearing one contestant spout off everything on his Myspace page. There is one word for that and the police like to call it stalking. If you are introduced from a mutual friend or family member it doesn’t hurt to know one or two things about them like a common friend or where they went to school- great conversation starter. With a job, you should have researched extensively. You don’t have to memorize their whole web site- anyone can do that. But you should read articles in the news (be sure they are credible sources) and info that proves you went above and beyond what is expected. They don’t want someone that read the “About us section” but they do want someone who has a deep understanding of the company.

6. What are your salary (lifestyle) requirements? I doubt anyone on a first date is going to ask what the other person makes. But I can guarantee that both people are trying to figure out what the other persons lifestyle requirements are. Are you someone that is high maintenance, likes everything bought for you and only settles for steak dinners? Or are you perfectly happy renting a movie and making dinner? Always be prepared to answer this in an interview as well. Look up the base amount for the job you are applying for and let them know you understand it is dependent on your experience and the job requirements. You don’t want to sound greedy, but you also don’t want to underestimate your worth and ask for less than they’d pay.

7. Do you have any questions for us? This the deal breaker for dates and interviews. The worst date you’ve been on probably goes like this: guy/girl talks about themselves for hours while you think of exit strategies and filing taxes. It shows they are more interested in themselves than you. In an interview, if you ask questions it shows you are paying attention. I wouldn’t even come with questions prepared, just listen attentively to what they say and ask them to expand on them in the end. One question I would recommend asking is, “What qualities are you looking for in someone to fill this position?”

8. What are your future goals? What was that? You want to be the world greatest Wii champion and live off of your spouse? Enter text from friend here, that needs my help in an undisclosed location immediately. Also, If your goals are completely off, say if you see yourself traveling the world in 10 years with no children and the other wants to be married with children, that is also a red-flag. Showing that you have ambition, passions and goals that are somewhat in common with the other person is a good sign. In an interview, they also want to know you have goals that are in line with the company’s. If you “have no idea where you want to be in ten years” or “see yourself working as a stewardess if you are applying for a finance job”, you probably won’t get the position. If you see yourself working at their company, let them know that! They’d love to hear it and it proves you would be dedicated to the company and position.

9. What experience do you have that may help at the current position/relationship? If you haven’t had any longterm relationships this may be a sign that you are not good at commitment. If you’ve never done research you may not be the best match for a marketing research position. Make sure to relate past experiences in the best way possible to the prospect. For example, ” I haven’t had any long-term relationships because I haven’t found the right person” or, ” I dont’ have experience in this specific program, but I am a fast learner and have taught myself how to use other complicated programs such as x.”

10. What are your strengths and weaknesses? In this situation my best advice is to “Avoid the cliche.” Any guy that says, ” I’m really romantic, love to take long walks on the beach and hand you the remote even when I’m watching football” clearly Googled “perfect lines to say at a date.” Similarly anyone that says “proactive, reliable and creative” can expect the interviewers to sigh in their heads of boredom. Instead, be honest about both and tailor them to the position you are applying for. Saying you can ” Effectively handle multiple projects and deadlines” at an administrative or project management position would be better than just saying “creative.” On both dates and interviews you want to get to know the other person first before you say your weakness. If you say ” I’m really messy” when they’ve announced several times they are obsessively clean may send the other person running. Saying ” I’m really bad at math” at a position that requires formulas and data entry might not be a great choice as well. No matter what you say, end on a positive with how you are working on it. After, you can reevaluate if you are the best fit for the position.

What We’re Mad About This Week

13 Feb

jibber_jobber-use1JibberJobber: When I graduated from college, I applied to hundreds of places on a variety of different sites. It can be hard to keep track of the places you apply, how you found them, the status of your applications, interviews etc. This is a great tool for keeping track of your job search and managing your network for future use.  The founder, Jason Alba has a great blog with some excellent career advice to check out as well.

presidentsday-w1Presidents Day: This President’s Day especially, we should take a moment amidst our skiing, shopping, reading, partying or for those poor souls- working, and reflect upon those who have held the highest office in our nation.  We have come so far as a nation, and would not be where we are today without the decisions made by Washington, Lincoln and the earliest Presidents in Office.

15918422391Guy Kawasaki’s Reality check: I’d recommend this book for all ages, from a college student to a experienced CEO. He gives great advice on a number of issues, from applying to jobs, hiring, public speaking, improving your business skills, pitching, and much more. It’s advice that will not only improve your personal brand or business but your life skills in general- yes it’s that awesome. This isn’t a book you can read in a night. To get the best out of it have a pencil or stickies in hand and take notes- there’s far too much great information in this book to skim over. Check out his blog “how to change the world.”

smittens3Smittens: The Snuggies are soooo yesterday. I’d tell you what this is but it would ruin the fun of visiting the site for the first time and seeing the couple on the homepage. I’d rather go mitten-less in the snow, but I’ve got to give it to them- like true entrepreneurs they saw a common problem, and solved it.

 

97800617099991How to talk to Girls by Alec Greven: If you are a guy and looking for some romantic advice this Valentines Day, you might want to purchase this book by 9 year old Alec Greven. His tips are hilarious from, ” Your goal is to make sure she does most of the talking so then you can’t mess up” (very wise 9 year old), and my personal favorite ” control your hyperness- cut down on the sugar if you have to.” Go out and buy it!

25781_logoMedia Bistro: This site is an excellent online source for finding a media job. They have everything from media news, freelance marketplace, job board, courses and seminars, events and blog links.

Pick Yourself Up

5 Feb

 

This is one of my favorite songs of all time, and always brightens my spirits. I thought this was pretty fitting given the current economic situation and with the tough times everyone is going through. Sometimes it is necessary to ” Take a Deep Breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.”

New Series: Strategic Job Searching Online

5 Feb

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If you are like many of my friends, or the large percentage of people in the U.S. right now, then you are looking for a job. The most common resource today is to turn online to begin you job hunt, but with the thousands of online job resources today this can be quite overwhelming. I am sure many of you, like me have dealt with Craigslist  especially in the Bay Area but sometimes it is better expand your search to find targeted job sites for the role you are looking for.We are beginning a new series once a week where will highlight a sought after type of job and the best specific resources online to enable you to find and get that job. 

We are definitely open to suggestions, so feel free to chime in!

Starting off on the right foot

5 Feb

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As you may have noticed I have been slacking with my posts recently.

The reason for this is that I recently started a new job. As this is always an intimidating experience there are some important things to remember so that you aren’t in over you head on the first day.

1. Show up early. Probably the most important thing is showing up on time, my roommate Jon reminded me of the saying “If you are ten minutes early you are on time, if you are on time you are late, and if you are late you are dead!” Yes, a bit exteme but nothing shows like you are not serious about a job like showing up late, so be early and ready to work!

2. Do your homework. Yes you know you already got the job but when you go in on your first day and have a one on one with the CEO you will probably want to know a little history about the origin of the company and come with questions so you can get any immediate questions you may have answered and out of the way.

3. Come over dressed. At the job I just started they told me jeans are not an uncommon site, nevertheless I plan on being dressed up for a while. It never hurts to step up your professionalism and let your co-workers know that you take the job seriously.

4. Take initiative. The first few days of a new job are very much a transition time and your boss needs to continue their job while figuring out how to train you and make you become self -efficient. If you find yourself with some empty time it never hurts to shoot an email to you boss asking how you can help them, or begin working on a project you know needs to get done eventually. They will appreciate and recognize this initiative.

5. Don’t be shy. You are going to meet everyone at some point whether your boss introduces you to someone or not. While making your way through your new office your first day remember to say hi to everyone you encounter and make an effort of understanding their role in the company, for all you know you could be working with them on a daily basis.

6. Be Inquisitive. Do not be afraid of asking questions about anything and everything. Not only will this benefit you but it will also reiterate the fact that you are very interested in getting to know the company inside out.

Remember transitioning into a new job and role takes time. By using these tips and demonstrating a strong work ethic you will be on the right path to a prosperous new career!

Internship and PR opportunity with MWW Group

2 Feb

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The MWW Group, an award winning public relations agency, is hosting an incredible opportunity for new students, graduates, or anyone who owns a business. With the recent inauguration of President Obama, there is no doubt that he will be expected to bring change within his first 100 days of Presidency. 

They are asking for written and verbal submissions, of 100 words or less, that answer the questions: “What change are you ready for in the first 100 days?” and “What can YOU do to bring about this change?” The winning entry, will receive 3 months of pro bono support worth $30,000 for your business, or a $5,000 internship at any of their ten offices to learn the necessary pr skills to implement the change described. 

I think this opportunity is pretty  awesome, because it not only gets people thinking about what they would like to see changed, but provides the tools for how to make that change happen! And in this economy, what better prize than an internship or free consulting with a top PR company? 

Click here to learn more about this opportunity and submit your entry before February 20th.