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Friday, February 6, 2015

A Young Man With What It Takes To Succeed

Yesterday, I wrote about some of my thoughts when applying for a new position.  It was maybe a bit too blunt for some people.  I really want to apologize for offending anyone, but this is one of those times I am not going to.  I'm not going to because it was meant as something helpful, especially for a lot of younger people out there that just don't seem to have a clue.

This morning when I woke up, I perused the normal social media sites to see if there was anything interesting today that really spoke to me. I found it in an article on CNN entitled "Teen Goes to Target Looking For A Tie, And Gets That And More".

This is what I'm talking about!

It's right on the nose.  Here is this young man going to what is probably his very first interview ever.  He takes it seriously.  He makes sure he's dressed professionally, he listens to advice of others on how to handle himself.

But, that's not what really spoke to me the most.

He was interviewing at Chik-fil-A.  Yes, you read that correctly.  He was getting dressed professionally for a job interview for fast food.  I can't even put into words how impressed I am.  With too many of the people I've seen come and go for interviews, this young man is the exception, and I work in a professional office!

This young man is going to go somewhere in life.  He is going to make it and I don't doubt he is going to make it big.  He has that drive to do the job and take pride in it, even if it's considered to be one of the lower jobs in the country.

Best of luck to you young man whoever you are!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

So You Want A Job?

It's crazy busy at work.  We have so much to do that the day finally came that we need some help.  I must say that I was excited... yeah! 

My boss put an ad on Craigslist.  It was a pretty standard ad.  We just need a part-time receptionist to begin with.  Ideally, this is someone that we can train to do more and really help with our clients in the future.

We received around 400 responses to our ad.  So, how does someone make themselves stand out to get that call. 

1.   This is a professional office, please do not use hot pink lettering on your resume.  Yes, it will make you stand out, but not in the way you were hoping.

2.   If the ad asks for a cover letter, and you do not include one, the chances of you being considered are pretty nil.

3.  Check your grammar!  I received literally dozens of resumes and cover letters that had horrific grammar.  These were not instances of spell check or grammar check going wrong.  I even saw some that did not include any capitalization or punctuation.  

4.  Keep the cover letter short and sweet.  A couple paragraphs should do the trick.  I really have a lot of them to go over so if you cover letter is a full page and single spaced, I probably won't read the whole thing.

5.  Different font sizes may be okay in some situations, but please don't use multiple fonts and font sizes in the same paragraph.  All that this shows me is that you are not detailed and don't care about how something looks.

Okay, now you made it past the resume stage.  You have received that call to possibly set up an interview.  What should you or should you not do?

1.  Do not talk with your mouth full.

2.  I understand that I may be calling you at home or out and about.  I understand that there may be kids hollering in the background.  I'm a mom, I get it.  If this happens, ask if you can call me back, and then call back as soon as you can.  If you wait a day or two, I will probably have moved on and scheduled someone else already for that interview.

3.  Be friendly.  I am not saying act as if you are my best friend, but be pleasant.  This is for a receptionist position.  If your phone mannerisms are not good, then you won't be coming in for that in-person interview.  

Yeah!  The interview is scheduled, it's time to meet your potential employer or supervisor.  Here are a few tips for you.

1.  Do not drown yourself in perfume.  I already know that you were sitting in your car for a half hour chain smoking, I would rather you take a moment and go to the ladies room to freshen up first then douse yourself in cologne right before you walk in.  I'd rather know you are a smoker from the get go then you try to hide it.  

2.  This is an interview, do not come dressed to go out to the mall or a night out.  Corduroys are not fine.  Skin-tight latex pants are not fine.  I do not expect that you will be coming dressed in a three piece suit, but please take some time to think about how you should dress for the type of work environment you are applying for.

3.  Do some homework.  It may be for only a receptionist position, but find out what type of business you are interviewing at.  You have our name, our address and I told you a little about us during the telephone interview, Google us.  I want to see some initiative, I especially want to see if you will take that extra step before you come in.  If you do, then you are more likely to take the extra step with our clients.

4.  Take off your outside jacket.  I know that it's chilly outside, but I want to know that you can make yourself comfortable.  If you look like you are ready to run for the door, you probably don't belong sitting in that chair across from me.

5.  Absolutely follow-up.  Write a short e-mail saying thank you would be great.  I want the feedback as much as you do.  I want to know that you are really interested in this position.

*    *    * 

Now, good luck in that job hunt.  I know it's not easy out there right now, so it is more important than ever to put your best foot forward. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Becoming Self-Reliant

Recently I was visiting a new church and self reliance came up.

Such an interesting topic if you really think about it.  When most people think of self reliance they think solely of what it means to simply take care of themselves and their own needs without assistance of anything outside of their own bubble.

When I think of self reliance the same thing comes to mind, but it really goes so much further.

You see, I've been there, done that.  I've experienced too many things that really shot down my own confidence in being self reliant.  Still, I kept kicking.  If it wasn't for my children, I don't know if I could have accomplished all I have been able to.

I became dependent upon my children.  Not dependent upon them providing for me, they are too young for that.  But, they became my inspiration.  I could have laid back and taken the pity road, allowed myself to join the circle of poverty that is so prevelant.  I simply couldn't accept that.  I am greedy.  I wanted more.  I especially wanted more for my children.

I know that I'm not fully on my feet again.  I know that I will be.  I've had to take a helping hand through the "System".  That didn't mean that I did so lightly.

One of the first parts of becoming self reliant meant swallowing my ego and asking for help.  I had to look at myself, my situation, my surroundings.  I had to evaluate them.  Was I truly doing the best I could do?

My children became my inspiration.  I wanted better for them.  I wanted to be able to spoil them with kisses and love, but also I wanted to provide everything that they needed plus some.   I became dependent upon my children.  If I thought I could do no more, I'd take a look at them.  I'd listen to their stories, their dreams, their everything.

The more I depended upon those little inspirations, those smiles and kisses, the more I was able to to do.

When I was at this new church the other day, someone said (to paraphrase) that the more they came to depend on God to help them through the more self reliant they became.   As I think about that discussion, especially in retrospect, I have to smile and nod.  I can see that, and I can understand that.  You see, I think that God has been acting through my children to give me the inspiration I needed.