Friday, November 11, 2011

Freedom is never free

In case you haven't seen the millions of advertisements out there looking to sell you crap for cheap in honor of Veterans Day, then allow me to be the is Veterans Day. 

Veterans Day has been around for a number of years but I don't know that we have always done a good job of honoring our Vets on today or any other day.  So as the very proud wife of a veteran, allow me to do my little tiny part today and ask you to find a Veteran (chances are you know one even if you don't realize it) and say thank you.  That's it for today.

Thank you and God bless our Veterans!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Is my recruiter a zero or a hero?

In facilitating my webinar around Working with Recruiters this morning, I had a question come in from a participant.  He wanted to know at what point would you figure if a recruiter was good or not.  Great question with no easy answer.  However, it made me think that there has to be a more scientific way of determining this answer than "beats the heck out of me!"  So, with that in mind, this would be what I would encourage you to consider when determining whether you have entered into a relationship with a good recruiter:

1) Memory game: When you call your recruiter, does she remember who you are?  I don't mean when you call her after a 34 year hiatus...I mean if you interview with her on Monday and talk to her again on Wednesday, do you have to completely reintroduce yourself?  If you really have time to do this every day? 

2) Booty calls:  Ok, so maybe my description here is a little off-color but we all know those people who only call us when they want something.  Some recruiters are no different.  There is one that I am thinking of who has me in his files from way back.  I wrote him off fairly quickly but it's cracked me up to get his calls from time to time asking me to come interview for these oddball positions.  It's obvious that he wants to use me as a filler candidate and I always tell him no.  It's one thing to get this call every once in a while, but if this is the only contact you have from a recruiter, it's time to find someone else.  He's just not that into you.

3) The dog ate my phone: This one is simple. Does the recruiter call when she says she will?  If so, awesome.  If not, it will happen from time to time.  As long as it's not a pattern, I think you are good to keep on keepin on with that person.

4) Who's who and some info too:  Channelling my momness here, let me say if I've said it once, I've said it a million times: a good recruiter has his/her ear to the ground.  I'm not saying that they know everyone and everything in the market.  But chances are if they are established in the industry/function/geography and are as good as they promise, they know a lot more than you Mr. Average Jobseeker.  And if said established recruiter looks at you like you grew a second head when you ask them about the world's largest employer that moved into town a year ago, there's also a good chance that his ear doesn't reach the ground like it used to.

5) Two cents is worth a million:  Do you find yourself wishing you got more feedback from Ms Recruiter or is she giving you a detailed prep and debrief around every presentation/interview?  It's in a recruiter's best interest that you look gooood at an interview, so one that fails to prep you leaves me wondering why...and frankly-it should leave you feeling the same.

So, what's the bottom line here?  Even the very best recruiter may fail to get you a job in this economy.  Remember that recruiters find people for jobs, not the other way around, so be fair when grading your recruiter and make sure that you gave him or her enough to work on in marketing you to potential employers.  Create a relationship that grows over time and pay it forward with some leads, tips and other candidates and I promise, you will not be sorry.  And if you do it all right and you are still left with a dud, well baby...there are plenty of fish in the sea.  Good luck and happy hunting!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Relo on the go: Is there an app for that?

As a total foodie, one of the first things I want to know when I go into a new city is restaurant related.  I really don't care what chains are in town or who has the swankiest place.  Instead, I want to know what Bobby Joe and Billy Sue of 123 Main Street have been eating for 10 years aka local eats.  Well, until you know the locals it is a little hard to eat like a local.  Until you are officially a local yokel, be adventurous in your new home city and just start trying out restaurants.  Not sure what is out there?  Of course, you can use your research resources to help you pull restaurants...or you can use the apps available on your smart phone to help you figure out what is near you from restaurants, shopping, deals and events.  While there are too many out there (with too many features) for me to list my favorites, try checking out:

Whats Near Me

Zagat To Go


MSN Onit

Good luck and happy hunting!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sometimes life gets in the way

So, I realized that it's been 2 months since I last blogged.  While many bloggers experience peaks and valleys with their online musings, I must say that I have found my rants blogs to be a cathartic experience where hopefully I can drop a little knowledge that helps others. 

However, the purpose of today's blog is to just data dump.  The last 2-3 months have been insane for my family.  We started off in August with my husband accepting his dream job.  With that new job came an out of state relocation and everything involved in that.  When is it a bad time to sell a house?  In a recession, duh!  Then in September, we unexpectedly lost my MIL to a car accident.   And finally in October, with current house renovations under way, we finally secured a place to live in our new city and got up there the last weekend of the month.  All of this while trying to maintain a family life with a 3 year old, consulting roles that I absolutely adore, clients that need me and haven't always gotten my best these last few months, and also finding time to do the little things like shower and pay the mortgage.  So folks...sometimes life just gets in the way.  But as I always like to figure out what the big Coach in the sky wanted me to learn, here is what my 3 months of insanity have taught me:

1) Keep your support networking going.  Without the people that I counted on in my husband's absence, I don't know that I could have gotten as much done as I did.  Sometimes I had to pay these folks, sometimes they showed up just because they loved me, but there are times where it takes a village.

2) Keep up your routines, especially with kids.  Find time for both the fun and the necessary stuff.  And if it means that your kids have to watch an extra hour of tv while you job/house search, it's not the end of the world.

3) Keep the lines of communication open.  My poor husband was alone in his new city dealing with his grief and the demands of his new role.  The worst thing we did was limit our talks to 2 minutes a day at our daughter's bedtime.  Getting to connect and talk through concerns helped a bunch.

4) Keep a little kitty of cash for all of the unexpected issues/tips/pizza runs.  Life gets in the way and sometimes it costs a boatload too.  Be prepared with non-plastic money and it will help grease the necessary wheels of life.

5) Keep the faith.  While I am a proud Christian, I know that there are plenty of others who subscribe to a different faith/value system and that's ok.  So, whatever your faith may be-hold on to it and try to surround yourself with others who subscribe to the same values.  Fellowship helps.

And while it may not be worth it's own bullet, can I say that I would like to thank the inventor of zip top bags as I am convinced that I would not be anywhere without the ability to shove all of my crap into these genius inventions.  When planning for a relocation, plan to have a zillion of these on hand.  It will be money well spent!

So, why did I share all of this with you?  Because I think whether you are in job transition, location transition or a combo of the two, there is some stuff here that may help.  And if you have other ways that you have navigated your own transition, would love to hear about them.  Until then will go back to helping you make the leap from looking to landed.  Cheers!