Sunday, May 27, 2012

Moving for Love

Football coaching is almost a culture unto itself- special allegiances, rules and regulations, holy days, and wives and families who travel whenever are wherever the coach needs to be. But [SPOILER ALERT] I moved for a coach and found my happily ever after. See my story on the Daily Muse

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Now?

Along the lines of "wanting what you can't have", haven't we all found that while we dream of days off of work, if we're ever unemployed, we just start feeling bored? Feelings about the amount of work we have can be the same. On the days when the phone won't stop ringing and you have four unread emails to every one you send, all you want is a lunch break. But the days when you don't feel you have enough to do are by far the slowest. If time flies when you're having fun, and disappears when you have a deadline, it just sits and waits on a slow day - an eight hour work day can feel like an eternity. 

So, for my latest Daily Muse post, I've written about ways to be productive when work is slow: I hope it will help you not only pass the time, but get some good work done.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

That's The Worst (Or is it?)

Getting your car fixed after a [minor] accident, moving, being sick, looking for a new job, isolating yourself, overextending yourself- isn't there always something you could post as your Facebook status that will make friends and acquaintances sympathetically say "that's the worst!"and sometimes you think a la Monica Geller, "I know!"
But isn't that a terrible way to present (and view your life). Are you Misery Lady? If we decide the happy occurrences (reruns of a favorite show, great workout, good phone call, fast moving line at Starbucks, Us Weekly arriving) are too mundane to post on Facebook (who cares that my oatmeal was delicious?), and begin to post universally understood frustrations, what are we really saying?

The opportunity to  commiserate (even over too little sleep or too much work or not enough work) is always there. Let's look at it through the other side of the looking glass, or what I like to think of as the "It's always somebody's birthday" theory of baked goods. Even if you say, I'll only eat cake on special occasions, it's always somebody's 'birthday/ new Pinterest recipe//running late/ running early' reason for why there is always cake or doughnuts (or both) in the break room. You just have to ask yourself, 'do I want a piece of cake today?' (because there will always be one there tomorrow, and even if not, you're an adult, so no one is going to tell you you can't buy a rainbow M&M cookie with your latte later).

Some days it is really hard being an grownup. I remember being little (and precocious) and saying, "When I grow up, I won't mind getting bills, because at least I'll get mail addressed to me so much more often!" (As Dr. Phil would say, "how's that workin for ya?") I hit another car. I'm trying to transfer our cable. Yes, I got sick. But I do I really want to story of my life (because they are the stories I'm choosing to tell) to land somewhere between A Day From Seinfeld and Alarm moments? Do I want one blog to read like a female Larry David and the other to be all about gossip?

I don't think so. I don't think I want to write only to laugh at or mark the absurd and "the worst!". I want to celebrate gift baskets, and communities, and  achievements. Maybe they're not "the best" or the most noteworthy, but if you're going to take the time to grab a latte with me, I might as well limit my kvetching.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Interviewing Insights

Interviewing over 70 and referring around 150 candidates annually, I have observed the spectrum of interview skills. I would hope that candidates who interview on the extremes- exceptionally poorly or exceptionally well- should, when telling a friend about their interview later, be able to identify why.

The candidate who faces the most frustrations on the job search is the average candidate. She’s on time. She wears a suit. She speaks well and makes good eye contact. She remembers to ask at least one question and always sends a thank you note. So why is she consistently the back-up choice? 
It’s because she is not memorable. While checking all the boxes, she does not inspire the interviewer to champion her candidacy. To move up and out of the average column, candidates need to think less about how to “ace” the question and more about what the interviewer is really asking. They need to think less about demonstrating that they can interview and more about content. 
This idea was the impetus for my second The Daily Muse post: Interview Translation: What 4 Common Questions Really Mean.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What is My Shark Tank Idea?

One of my favorite shows this year is ABC's Shark Tank. Potential entrepreneurs ask investors such as Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban to back their products. I love hearing the contestants' ideas, how they pitch the ideas, and how the Sharks value products (and often the contestants themselves). Good luck if you value your company too high: "10% for $200,000- so you are saying your company is worth 2 million dollars, what are your sales?"

But, whenever the show is over, I find myself thinking, "What is my Shark Tank idea?" Or what unique opportunity would/could I identify and sell? And suddenly I'm thinking less about what I may discover and more about what about makes me unique- what insights or experiences would lead me to learn about a certain niche?

We all have those moments where we say, "wouldn't this or that be good or useful", or wonder if a product exists. And while I don't doubt that the entrepreneurial spirit exists within us all, must we have a Sara Blakely  Spanx moment to discover it? Mustn't we believe in our product to our core to dedicate ourselves and ask others to dedicate their funds? So from where does that inspiration come? Where does the ultimate ah-ha moment live and will our circumstances or attitude affect if we can find it?

While I have no road-map for discovery, I think the first step must be allowing ourselves to think creatively. To grab a latte and think about what we want to do or be or create when we grow up (no matter how old we are) and, of course, how we would value it.