Girl Talk Career Blog

May 24, 2010

Incredibly Sexist Attitudes Towards Women in the 1950s Workplace

Filed under: All Things Office — lisalahey @ 5:52 pm
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Consider this to be part two of Women in the Workplace: Welcome to the Jungle, Baby! I had so much fun doing my research for that blog that I had to make a brief PowerPoint out of it…couldn’t help myself.  Well one thing led to the other and of course I ended up making another website too (there’s a history behind that one; see my blog I Can’t Get No Site-isfaction)….not to whimper and whine about the unfairness of it all when you’re a woman in the corporate world, tsk, tsk, no. That one has been done to death. I simply love making slideshows and formatting websites is so incredibly easy (mine are through wix.com) that these activities have become a hobby for me. Seriously. They are a hobby. That is why I currently have 6 websites and approximately 14 powerpoint presentations tucked away on my PC. 

I only remain attentive at the moment to 2 of my websites and this blog. That’s because the other websites became so “old” as soon as I built a new one and I cannot stand to revisit old work (even though I made them all within weeks of each other). Bit of a site hopper I admit, but hey it could be worse.  I’m not a job hopper or a husband hopper for instance. Now that would be worse, n’est pas?  But I digress …

At any rate as I was saying I had so much fun doing my homework to put together my last blog that it turned into a presentation which in turn ended up becoming a new website.  So here is the very brief presentation and a link to my new site Girl Talk Career Advice which is an extension of this blog.  Actually the presentation was meant to be a PDF book – a nice little freebie but somehow I converted it into a Ppt instead.  Darn.  Well it will have to suffice as a slideshow until I figure that one out. (I’ve made lots of PDFs in my day – I must be having one of those momentary brain hiccups so to speak).

I would love your input, guest blogs, experiences, links to your blogs and sites etc either here or on girl talk career advice, so please feel free to contact me.  I really like hearing about women’s personal experiences in the work world. I am not naive enough to think sexism doesn’t exist in the modern day work world you understand … I just think it’s a lot more subtle than it used to be.  But hey that’s what you call progress.

I think.

May 22, 2010

Women in the Workplace: Welcome to the Jungle Baby!

Filed under: All Things Office — lisalahey @ 11:58 pm
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Girlfriend before you start grumbling about how much you hate your job, how crappy the pay is, how much overtime you have to work and how much you hate your boss, consider women in the workplace in the mid-20th Century and how tough they had it away back then. In the late 1930’s at the outset of the 2nd World War women were necessary at work, in the office and in factories building armaments and anything war-related. They were trained as mechanics, plumbers, electricians, riveters, assembly line workers, you name it, we did it Girlfriend, truly a first in 20th Century history for women of the middle class. Now this is not to imply that women have never worked in factories or performed laborious back-breaking industrial labour. Consider the Industrial Revolution where women worked alongside men and children for up to 14 hour days for a pitiful wage and few breaks. However that is an entirely different era and not one I’m tackling in this blog.

Back to women in the workplace during the war. They worked hard, made superior weaponry and of course earned lower wages than men doing the exact same work even though women were more productive.  Women and beauty remained a significant focus and women had to be encouraged through media propoganda to protect their own safety by re-styling their long, curled hair into what became known as a Gibson roll.  Factories even installed beauty salons for women to have their hair rolled, then released from its pins and re-styled at the end of the day.

After their men returned from the war women were demoted and fired, making jobs available for men and enslaving women into the suburban housewife myth of the 1950s. Women didn’t want to be forced into suburban submissiveness although the American government, their men and the media worked hard at trying to guilt-trip them into accepting the status quo. Many women rebelled however and over time they were re-hired into assembly line work and other low-paying menial jobs.

When women entered the corporate workplace it was typically in the role of secretary or receptionist.  They may have experienced some triumph by re-entering the workforce but their battle had just begun. Let me interject for a moment. Receptionists and secretaries are as relevant to an organization now as they were last century and always will be (see my post Are Secretaries Doomed to Obscurity?)  I have great respect for them especially since I have worked as both over the years and thoroughly enjoyed the job for the most part, as well as learning how integral this role is to an organization. My point is not that secretaries are inferior, rather that women of this era were not hired for responsible, senior positions. They were offered virtually no powerful corporate opportunities. There were no women CEO’s or Presidents which hardly surprising considering both the sexist view of that time and how few women were encouraged to acquire a post-secondary education.  Many men and even women remained unimpressed by the number of women who insisted on the right to work. Americans and Canadians felt strongly that if a woman was married and her husband was employed she had no right to return to work but instead should embrace her role as a stay-at-home housewife.

However once middle-class society got it into its suburban head that women were returning to work propoganda slowly began to encourage the use of women in the workforce, albeit allowing for stereotypes to permeate supposedly women-friendly views. Incredibly office advice for women hasn’t changed much since then. Etiquette is extremely relevant of course but consider this delivery.

Along with women entering the corporate scene the issue of women and men co-mingling over the water cooler became cause for employer and spousal concern.  The notorious office romance began to bloom and along with it corporate problems. Sexual harassment was par for the course and not only was it not considered inappropriate it was blatantly promoted.  Over time the secretary became known as the “office wife” since she managed her male boss’s calendar, often ran personal errands for him such as picking up his dry cleaning and occasionally indulged in an after work drink with him. Uh-oh. For married bosses that arrangement occasionally turned into an office affair although in the 1950’s it was rare that a married man left his wife for his mistress. Divorce was frowned upon , it bore a significant social stigma particularly during the fragile post-war era, hence the higher percentage of lasting marriages.

That gender discrimination continues to exist in the workplace is unmistakable. Unfortunately some women try to overcompensate by working much harder in the same role as men, usually for the same or less money.  Others may behave like office bullies, operating under the mistaken perception that behaving in “tough guy” mode will enable them to maintain job security. That sexual and other harassment continues to plague women is undeniable and although there are many laws in place to counteract this behaviour harassment can be subtle enough or can cause enough jeopardy to a woman’s career that she is reluctant to report it.

However slowly changes are beginning to take place albeit in certain spheres under specific, limited circumstances. Have we come a long way? Undoubtedly. Do we still have a long way to go Girlfriend? You know it.  But next time you’re feeling pissy about getting passed over for a promotion (see my blog How to Be Your Own Change Management Consultant (and a little help from David Bowie)), or feel underpaid and overworked, take a glance back over the workplace history of women and take a little comfort in the opportunities you have educationally, professionally and financially. Had you gone through school and the work force when your mother or grandmother did there is no way you’d be sitting where you are now, and no way you’d be headed down the highly successful corporate path you’re carving out steadily and courageously for yourself now.

Too Much Honesty is a Career-Killer

Authors should save story-telling for their storybooks and keep their private lives to themselves. Very recently Robert Munsch, a well-loved American-born Canadian children’s author came forward to tell his story of drug and alcohol addiction to the public. He also admitted to being diagnosed as obsessive-compulsive and in his own words “manic-depressive” (now known as bipolar affective disorder).  Most people probably weren’t surprised about the mental illness diagnosis. It became public knowledge that Munsch had bipolar disorder several years ago. And it’s hardly a surprise that an author suffers from a mental illness.  There’s something about people gifted in the arts, artists, authors, singers, actors, etc, that seems to coincide with a mental illness of some sort. In fact most of the names on publicized lists of famous people throughout history with bipolar disorder and clinical depression tend to be artists in some capacity. Not all of them of course, but a pretty high percentage.

The fact that Munsch is plagued by obsessive-compulsive behaviour and mental illness is just a genetic mishap, hardly his fault. But did he really have to come forward with the additional information about his cocaine use and alcoholism?  I was quite surprised by that admission and I must admit very put off. I love the man. I am a fan of many of his books and yes I’m still a Munsch fan even though I’m well beyond childhood now. Contemporary children’s literature has always appealed to me and Munsch writes some of the best.  Michael Martchenko has worked for decades as an illustrator of Munsch books and his cartoon-like pics add a distinctive appeal to Munsch’s stories. A brilliant combination.

Now Munsch has truly coloured my impression of him a very grim, grey sort of shade. I was fine with him coming forward to talk about his “manic-depression“. That seems to be a celebrity trend over the past 10 years or so. Consider for instance Ron Ellis, former NHL hockey player who admitted to attending Homewood Institute in Guelph, Ontario for people with mental disorders and addictions, and Margret Trudeau, widow of the late Pierre Elliot Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada. More and more people are coming out of the mental illness closet to disclose this very personal aspect of themselves and in a way it is quite admirable. If successful, attractive people can be dogged with bipolar or schizophrenia, yet live successful lives in the very public eye well that offers quite a ray of hope for ordinary people also afflicted with the disorder, and most likely their families too. 

It takes guts to admit to having a mental disease. Most of us still feel uncomfortable around people who have a mental illness. We don’t treat it like it’s a physical disease such as cancer or diabetes even though having a mental illness is every bit as debilitating as a disease of the body. Yet still people with mental illness are often persecuted and the stigma affects every aspect of their lives, hence the reason they usually keep their silence on the matter. And that is where Munsch should have left his disclose to the public about his private life.  Very good of him to come forward and reveal his mental illness but very questionable about the drug use.

He writes kids’ books. He visits schools and local theatres to tell his children’s stories to groups of very young children. And now everyone knows he is a recovering cocaine addict and alcoholic. Do I judge him for that? Yes I guess I do. He operates within a children’s sphere and coming forward with an admission of that nature was highly questionable on his part.

He stated that his mental illness caused him to develop a cocaine habit. Rubbish. It’s a lifestyle and a personal choice. How does a person get access to illicit drugs? Perhaps they go looking for them. Why does a person try an illicit drug at all?  Curiosity?  Depression?  Maybe.  But what about after that first exposure in terms of repeating the behaviour? One experiment and a mentally ill person is hooked?  Highly doubtful. In order to develop a habit it is a fact that a person has to repeat the behaviour to develop the addiction and become dependent upon the chemical. Whose choice is that?

Are mentally ill people more likely to develop addictions?  Hard to say. The vast majority of people who attend AA every year are not known to have a mental illness. Same with people who attend CA (cocaine anonymous) or NA (narcotics anonymous) or GA (gambling anonymous). If mentally ill people frequently experienced long term drug and alcohol addictions I do believe the percentage of these people in AA and other similar groups would be considerably higher. Mental illness is a lot more common in people than you might think.

One thing I cannot abide is a person who uses their personal problems, whether they are emotional or mental in nature to defend anti-social or highly irresponsible behaviour.  It’s just wrong. It’s side-stepping the issue of personal responsibility for one’s own actions and decisions. I have a friend who has bipolar affective disorder.  For a time she got caught up in cocaine use herself. I asked her straight out if she felt her illness contributed to her drug use and she snorted. “It was a personal choice and I was stupid to do it. If I blamed my illness on all my shortcomings I’d never leave the house again,” was her very honest answer. I believe her.

However let’s give Munsch the benefit of the addictive doubt here and agree with him that it is his illness that drove him into addiction.  Did he have to tell the world about it?  Isn’t that also a choice? More than anything else I wish Robert Munsch hadn’t told us about his addictions. I wish the only thing I knew about one of my favourite children’s authors is that he has bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I wish the only thing I knew was that he is a great author and loves kids and is doing the best he can to tackle his mental illness. I wish I didn’t have to know how much he has burdened his family and friends with his addictions.  But all the story-writing in the world can’t re-write his public persona now.

5 Steps to Building and Using a Resume Toolkit

Filed under: Resumes — lisalahey @ 4:44 am
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A resume toolkit is NOT a work portfolio although it can include one. You’ve heard the old resume advice to tailor your resume to the job description but have you ever written out a resume, submitted it and then realized you forgot something vital? That happens to a lot of people and its no wonder. You’re always re-writing and tailoring your resume (if you have resume savvy Girlfriend and I’m sure you do) but what about building a resume toolkit that lists absolutely everything you have going on in the way of learning, academia, skills and personal and professional experience? Try this experiment:

Step One

  1. List absolutely everything you have ever learned academically including institutions, years, your focus or major etc.
  2. Include additional certification and ongoing education or training.
  3. Include every employer you’ve ever had from the time you were in your teens and possibly baby-sitting for your week’s wages. That means even the bosses you hated and the ones who pink-slipped you. Why? You can list what you learned from the situation and even from that boss.
  4. Your hobbies, interests, talents, involvement in sports or theatre and so on.
  5. Add samples of your work and start creating a work portfolio.
  6. Scan diplomas, certificates, artwork, news articles, and anything else to do with you or that was done by you for your portfolio.
  7. Scan references, thank you letters that are related to both your work tasks and personal involvement so long as its appropriate.
  8. Volunteer work.
  9. Transferable skills.
  10. Anything else personal and/or professional is fair game.

Clearly this isn’t going out to any HR Manager under the sun. This is for your eyes only Girlfriend and it’s a fabulous resume toolkit when you’re stumped about how to describe awesome you when you’re going after a job you really want. If you take the time to sit in quiet and write out your all inclusive resume you will likely be astounded by how many positives you have to put in there. Then after you’ve done that include your family and BFF to add more information, including your attitude, times you have helped other people just because, your point of view on the world, things that you are impassioned about. These things matter.  Why?

Employers in all spheres, non-profit, corporate and public want people who have significant experience in their industries and they want people who are passionate about their work, not just looking for a job. Understandable. People who simply want a job get bored soon after they are hired. They aren’t creative or enthusiastic. They don’t look for projects or inititate anything useful to their employer. People who simply want a job take that job for granted and live for the weekend. People with jobs as opposed to careers show up, do their exact work within their precise job description and clock out at the end of the day, happy to have the evening to go home and veg in front of the television set.  They can take or leave their current employer. Those are people with jobs and without passion for what they do.

Girlfriend that is not you. You are a career-driven, cosmopolitan girl and you need to make sure your resume stands out from the crowd as much as you do.  By listing every unique aspect of you and your life both personally and professionally, as well as creating a work portfolio you have some serious leverage to start including into your portfolio. Of course you know that once you have gathered as much You information as you can that is only the first step in building your resume toolkit. Now you’re ready for:

 Step Two

Pick and choose what you need for the position you are currently interested in. Either you have found it on a job board, heard it from the grapevine or even been referred for it (awesome). Make a table or a chart if you like. List all of the qualifications required for that position on one side and your qualifications (no matter how far back in your personal history you demonstrated them) on the other. Do the same with the skills required for the position and all responsibilities. I can guarantee you if you’re drawn time and again to a specific job position you are going to have a plethora of matching qualifications and skills

Add additional skills and qualifications underneath the same category. For instance if the job calls for logistics management skills you will list all of your independent and managerial logistics experience and skills. You don’t have to just match one line for one line. 

Step Three

Time to bring up your qualifications and work history to as current a time period as you can. If the majority of your experiences and skills were developed earlier in your history but they are precise and relevant, leave them in. Anything that is not current and not as job specific, remove it. Once you’ve completed this step it’s time for:

Step Four

Have a friend look it over for you and see if you have included enough relevant material from your resume toolkit yet not an overwhelming amount. Be sure that any personal information you have added is strictly relevant to the industry, organization or job position. For instance if you are applying to a non-profit organization that works with volunteers you should include volunteer experience even if it isn’t the same type of volunteer experience your prospective employer offers. Why? Because you are demonstrating a passion for the industry and an understanding of the organization’s perspective. 

Part Five

Selecting pieces for your work portfolio is the final step in tailoring your brand new resume with the use of your resume toolkit. You may not need to include a work portfolio, sometimes it isn’t called for. Fine. But anyone in the sports and entertainment, fashion or modelling industry for instance should have a portfolio even if it only includes news articles boasting their achievements

It takes a lot of work to build a resume toolkit and a work portfolio but then again anything about you is bound to be time-consuming, introspective and more than worthwhile. You go Girlfriend!

Hired! The Old-Fashioned Way

Filed under: career worthy — lisalahey @ 1:16 am

To give the devil his (her?) due there are several pieces of fairly modern advice a friend of mine (we’ll call her Cassie) used in order to secure herself a new job as a sales rep in an IT company.  You’ve heard them before:

  1. Tailor your resume to appeal to the position.
  2. Do your homework. Research the organization and make sure you go into the interview as fully informed about “them” as you can.
  3. Ask questions about the position you are looking for at the start of the interview before the interviewer begins querying you (interview the interviewer).
  4. Dress for success. Wear a pantsuit in a neutral colour, rather than a skirt suit and don’t wear a dress.
  5. Arrive 10 – 15 minutes early.
  6. Bring a copy of your resume preferably in a briefcase or another professional bag, a notebook and a pen. Nix the purse.
  7. Know and rehearse answers to tough interview questions such as “what is your greatest strength?”
  8. Follow up with a thank you card or an email.

Now this was the scenario that followed:

Cassie admits to using some of this advice and she said it gave her a lot of confidence and seemed to work in her favour (obviously because she’s the one who got hired). However she didn’t use or need the majority of it. Interestingly she happened to have the chance to check out her competition before she went into the interview. Here is a post-mortem of how Cassie found and landed her dream job:

  1. Cassie she dressed in a navy, 2-piece pantsuit with very conservative jewellery. She was also early. The other young woman interviewing for the position before her seemed to have arrived either early or at least on time for her interview. However she wore a skirt and blouse and carried a purse, no resume in hand and no notebook in sight.
  2. Cassie felt a little nervous going in but she also knew she had done all she could do to prepare for her interview. She made sure she got the 2 interviewers names and used them occasionally during the interview (good for business).  When the interviewer asked her if she knew anything about the company Cassie was able to sing out “yes I looked you up on the internet,” saving the interviewer a fair amount of time explaining the organization to her. Later that evening she emailed the interviewers thanking them for their time. It was obvious Cassie had done her homework since she had a chance to show off her knowledge of the corporation during the interview.
  3. She followed up with a thank you email.

Apparently her research, business attire, additional copy of her resume, note-taking, and questioning along with her own personal and professional qualifications must have made an impression because within 2 weeks she was hired. She admits to feeling a little sorry for the other woman later.

“It’s crazy. I wanted the job but I felt bad when she was passed over for it. Does that make any sense?” Well yes it does because Cassie is a nice person but to be sure she would have felt worse if she didn’t get it, I’m quite convinced of that. Now that is the advice Cassie followed to get herself an interview and a job. Here is some additional advice Cassie didn’t follow or didn’t need to get herself the job:

  1. Network.  Cassie didn’t know a soul connected to this position.
  2. Forget about classified ads. Only 5% of people are hired this way. Cassie should run out and buy a lotto ticket then because apparently she is in that 5%.
  3. Make sure you are the last person interviewed because hiring managers remember the last interviewee. Cassie was 3rd on the list. There were more interviews to be held after lunch. She knows that for a fact because the interviewers let that one slip as they walked her out.
  4. Study while you wait. In other words look around the office walls for certificates the company has earned or check out their literature. There were no certificates posted on the walls and the only literature in sight was Chatelaine magazine, not exactly corporate reading material.
  5. Debrief. After the interview write down your thoughts and impressions, where you thought you could have improved and where you did especially well. Cassie debrief mentally but she didn’t write anything down. She turned it over enough times in her head that she already knew where she was a little weaker than she would like to have been but overall she had a very good interview.
  6. She asked a couple of questions up front before the interview got underway in order to glean information about the position. However she didn’t find the information especially helpful and she didn’t emphasize any of it during the rest of the interview. Interesting.
  7. Cassie studied 7 tough interview questions and memorized answers, preparing to frame her answers around the interview questions she asked at the start of the interview but those tough questions weren’t forthcoming. Not one. 

Let’s see now out of 15 pieces of job hunting/interviewing advice Cassie only found herself needing 4 (research the company, dress professionally, carry a copy of your resume in a briefcase and arrive early). Yet she landed the job. The one piece of advice that really staggers me is in regard to networking. Network is the primary word on everybody’s lips today when it comes to job hunting yet Cassie answered this ad and was hired within 2 weeks without knowing a soul. Who knew?

Sometimes you just have to take the plunge. Defy the odds where you have to, follow sensible advice when you can and hope for the best. In the end you might prove a lot of the HR gurus all wrong and land that dream job anyway Girlfriend.

May 20, 2010

Social Media Savvy and Elevator Etiquette are Soulmates

Filed under: social media — lisalahey @ 5:44 pm
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Watch this link if you will:  http://jasonseiden.com/elevator-etiquette/ 

Wow.  Pretty straightforward guy about elevator etiquette.  What he is saying is both sensible and bizarre.  Think of it: someone jets from who knows how far away, ends up in an elevator with a business acquaintance and gossips about a client in the building. Lo and behold, a friend of said client is standing right beside the gossip listening and seething.  Who woulda thunk it?  What were the odds?

Well it appears that business travel is closing the geographical gap big time these days, more than ever perhaps since we’ve gone so global. Interestingly people are the same way everywhere: no one can resist a good story and a chance to diss someone. Sad isn’t it?

Now what does social media have to do with elevator chat?  For starters, consider my previous post Anti-Social Media will Cost You Your Job. Remember the girl who dissed her boss and her job on Facebook, forgetting her boss was in her network of friends?  Needless to say he emailed her and advised her not to come in to work the next day.  Duh.

You might think this is a recent development in social media history. It isn’t. Click this link for a blog about a 2007 firing incident via Facebook Foolishness.  It’s starting to cause a little worry amoung people who use social media to blog about their professional and personal lives and that may be a good thing. If employees get the heads up about potential termination for dissing their organization online or revealing information that is supposed to be confidential then perhaps there will be less of this firing phenonmenon happening in the first place.

The connection between social media common sense and elevator etiquette isn’t vague. Anything you say on an elevator falls on the ears of people you don’t know; at some point in time the CEO of your company may be one of them. Unless you have something terrific to say about your company, the people who work there, and how much you love your job you’d best keep your lip zipped. Or as Jason Seiden so blatantly states in his emotional youtube rant “keep your mouth shut“.

Best business advice ever given.

May 19, 2010

The Value of You in Your Organization

Filed under: career worthy — lisalahey @ 6:54 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m a fan of the written word, especially when it’s arranged into checklists (you can tell by reading some of my previous posts). Lists just seem to help everything come together visually and you don’t miss any vital information that way. What could be more vital to you than you?  That’s what you need to convince your company so you can remain employed.

You may also wish to get a promotion (more money, more status, more interesting projects, who doesn’t want that)?  If you’re going to get a promotion or even remain in the seat you’ve got now without worrying about being replaced you need to start a checklist of things you currently contribute to your organization that are above and beyond your general job description.  Here is a sample checklist you might wish to work with:

http://www.authorstream.com/PresentLive/lisalahey-395526-sample-work-value-checklist-chart-others-misc-ppt-powerpoint

Now that you have accounted for your accomplishments thus far, use the sample template to create another list of ways to add even more value to your work performance. There are a plethora of ways to do this. Consider:

  1. Look for ways to cut costs.
  2. Increase efficiency in your department in some manner.
  3. Troubleshoot for any potential conflicts with clients, co-workers, software systems etc.
  4. Learn much-needed computer hardware skills and put them to use.
  5. Communicate in writing and verbally with co-workers and higher ups so everyone is on the same page.
  6. Initiate employee morale boosters. Once I interviewed with an organization where the floor manager brought in a gorgeous vase of flowers every Monday. Employees voluntarily signed up to bring in some sort of treat for the staff during the week, for instance a coffee for everyone, and by the end of the week the gorgeous flowers went home with him or her.
  7. Check your bad attitude at the door!
  8. Make a long-term career plan and work towards it in short steps every month.
  9. Become the “birthday rep” for your department. When it’s someone’s birthday, get the staff to pitch in a buck or two and go buy your colleague something.
  10. Don’t use company computers for personal use. Keep your emailing and googling for after hours or do so on your Blackberry during your lunch break.

There are lots of other ways you can brainstorm to add to the list. The list is endless. Have a look at these links:
http://www.ehow.com/how_2112716_be-great-supervisor.html – for managers
http://www.howtodothings.com/careers/how-to-be-a-valuable-senior-employee  – for senior employees
http://www.squidoo.com/How-To-Be-A-Better-SalesMan-Or-SalesPerson – for sales reps
http://careeradvice.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_be_a_better_employee – for any employee

Here is an example of what NOT to do in order to add value to your organization. Certainly maintaining PR for your organization is significant.  Here is how NOT to achieve this goal.

You’re valuable Girlfriend, so make sure the company knows it.  Document, document, document! Your notes will come in handy during your annual review (think salary increase). They will also increase your odds for a promotion when one opens up. And your efforts and proof of your efforts will increase your odds of staying off the unemployment line, definitely a place where a savvy woman like you doesn’t need to be.

Yes You Should Post Your Picture on Social Media

Filed under: social media — lisalahey @ 5:09 am
Tags: ,

Okay here’s the irony in me advising you to post your pic online Girlfriend. I don’t have my pic on my blog. That’s because I wanted to establish a kinda up-lifting feel-good image for my blog. And I think the logo is cute.  However I do have my pic on my website(s) and it’s not the best pic I have ever taken. I could take another one but hey when it becomes a big enough priority I will get to it.

Why do so few people post their pics?  It seems to me that paranoia is a good reason for the digitally gun-shy. There are a lot of reasons for that and they may not all be invalid. Consider:

  1. Identity Theft. People worry their picture will be scanned and used in some devastating manner perhaps for a passport or some such thing.
  2. Discrimination. Minority people in particular have concerns here and that sounds reasonable. However if you are online as part of a job search your potential employer will want to meet with you anyway. 
  3. Self-Esteem. Not everyone is picture pretty and they may also take poor pictures. True, attractive people seem more eager to hop in front of a camera than the less attractive amoung us but consider that most careers require expertise, education and experience rather than a great smile.
  4. Loss of Privacy. There is something scary about letting everyone see the real you online especially when that image reaches millions of people around the globe. Add your blog to that and your personal/professional perspectives are attached to you, the person not just your blog.
  5.  My Employer Will Find Out that I Am Job Hunting. Now this is a valid one if any reason is on this list but there’s a reasonable way around it. You can list your skills and job description in a subtle manner online without saying you are actively job hunting. If you have the stuff recruiters and corporations want they will contact you.
  6. I Don’t Want People I Know to Know About Me.  In other words you want them to mind their own business. Well it’s not likely that people who know you are going to google you for no good reason and if you’re thinking back to high school or college, get over yourself Girlfriend. No one remembers you.
  7. I Haven’t Been Entirely Consistent with My Resume. What you mean is that a potential employer has contacted you based on your online information but since you didn’t save a copy of it (and may have embellished it a tad) you can’t remember what it was you posted. If it’s a blog check your archives. If it’s on Facebook etc go back over your entries until you find it. If you can’t bring your un-embellished resume with you to the job interview and tell them you have updated it.
  8. I Don’t Want People to Know I Am Job-Hunting. Huh? Then why are you posting your resume online? If you are worried that people you know or knew once will find your entries and point and laugh, don’t. Only professionals who are recruiting are likely to pursue you and that’s because you came up on a keyword search.

I say post. It’s your call Girlfriend but you have nothing to lose so long as what you are posting is sophisticated and doesn’t jeopardize your personal or professional image including the one in the frame.

May 17, 2010

Why You Should Work for Google

Filed under: career worthy — lisalahey @ 6:47 am

Aside from the money, Girlfriend, there are lots of reasons why Google is a seriously work-friendly place for women.  Of course the majority of employees (but not all) are 20-somethings but there is a fair number of 30-somethings. The Google atmosphere is often likened to a “college campus“. Why so young?  Nope not age discrimination. As you are keenly aware by now, the young Gen Y set is all about, you got it, Information Technology. They practically built Google. So if you’re a seriously IT kinda girl (no not the “it” girl of Hollywood, I know you’re one of those)  then you should give it some thought.

Let’s scroll down the incredible list of reasons of why you should be working for Google, Girlfriend.

  1. I am so not kidding you when I say they are nothing but a luxurious and fun environment that encourages rest, relaxation, recreation and esthetically beautiful surroundings. Why? Because the Google powers that be are savvy enough to know that people who can’t wait to get up and get to work where they have time to work hard and play hard are probably amoung the most productive people on the planet.  Seriously is it one of their corporate statements:  Work and play are not mutually exclusive (their quote not mine). Imagine going to work where you can take an hour’s nap and then make it up at the end of the day without getting fired?  You can probably even schedule it into your work day, unless something urgent or a meeting comes up. Wow. Sign me up.
  2. Google spoils its employees rotten with benefits and perks that everyone should have but alas, only few people in the work place do.Think you could handle a day’s work at Google? Check this out
  3. Google is included in the list of the 100 Best Companies for Women to Work for 2007
  4. Women are included in all of the corporate experiences as men, from social activities to serious administrative decision-making.
  5. Don’t even worry about re-location. Google has offices worldwide but if you need to relocate I’ve heard it said that Google will pay all your expenses to get you to where they are.
  6. Alternatively it wouldn’t surprise me if Google was pretty flexible about allowing its employees to work from home.
  7. Google has a professional group for women only aptly named Women @ Google   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWL841Mqsus.  Cool.
  8. People bring their dogs, pets, and kids into work. No joke.
  9. Casual dress environment. You know all those rules I outlined for you about how to dress for a job interview and to go to work?  Toss them out.
  10. Great maternity and paternity leave benefits. Paternity leave. Need I say more?
  11. The number one reason to work at Google: they truly respect women. You deserve that respect, Girlfriend.

Don’t all women?

May 16, 2010

Interview with Style … Literally

Filed under: The Stylish Businesswoman — lisalahey @ 12:16 pm

Alright Girlfriend I’ve talked about Dress Codes and Job Inteviews in a previous post. But I don’t believe I provided a visual tour about the sort of business appropriate and inappropriate clothing I’m referring to.  I actually made a powerpoint presentation all by my little self just for you.

Enjoy the show!

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