Tag Archives: New Job

My Mother; The Blogging “Expert”

Acquiring blog readers is hard.  Simple as that.  At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for.  However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience.  When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure.  I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.

I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog.  Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though.  During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since.  I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.

Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques.  Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others?  Oh yes, that’s right…my mother!  Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right.  See what I did there with the “almost” part?  I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.

It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own.  I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer.  Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof.  Anything and everything has the potential of being funny.  I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.

Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me.  Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh.  She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting.  Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly.  For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit.  There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.

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Filed under Blogging, Culture, Dance, Dating, Fashion, Female Management Skills, Friends, Parenting, Sewing, Taking Charge of One's Health

What A Bright Idea!

SkillCloud?  No, I didn’t just slam my head on my keyboard and have auto-correct decide my opening line.  I meant to write exactly that.  I thought iCloud was awesome until I heard about SkillCloud.  For those of us who wish there was a platform for companies to appreciate us beyond our resumes, our ramblings have been heard by a team who competed in a two-day “hackathon.”  I didn’t even know there was such a thing, but thank goodness there is as it has produced this awesome creation.

SkillCloud is similar to a social network platform, but it’s reason for existence is so that employees can broadcast their talents to their employer.  I’ll use my last job in the theme park world as an example.  I was hired as a Stage Manager.  Three months after I began with the theme park a perfect storm occurred and we were without a performer for the show that I had been managing each day.  The problem in this situation was that the show could not be performed without someone in this role.  Immediately I stepped up and said I would do it as I could be replaced as the manager, but no one else who was available knew the role that was empty that day.  My suggestion was faced by three of my senior managers staring at me like I had three heads.

When I was hired my dance ability was never really discussed and my performance background wasn’t elaborated upon.  As someone who had been present at every rehearsal since the show was created and then watched it every day for a living, I knew the show like the back of my hand.  It was true I had never been on that stage and or even done the show, but I was confident that with a run through I could make it happen as that is what needed to happen so we didn’t have to cancel a whole day of shows.  Three minutes into the on-stage run through my management realized I had more than just a loose knowledge of dance.

It was only three months after this that my Supervisor realized that we were going to have to re-mount the first show I worked on for a temporary two-week run.  However, since the show was new we never had anyone else stage it except for the choreographer who created it.  As I sat in a meeting watching people scratch their heads about how to pull things together so quickly I stepped up and said I would do it.  You would have thought I grew those extra heads again as it hadn’t even been a consideration of the team that I would be able to do it.  My background in choreography and show staging didn’t exactly come up in my interview, so I’m not surprised they didn’t know about it.

Once my secrets were out in the open my choreography and staging talents were put to use for our shows on a regular basis.  It was the best way to combine my management and performance experience into one fun-filled position that I so passionately enjoyed day in and day out.  However, my hidden talents were only put to use because I was bold enough to step forward and offer up my services.  I know I tend to be more daring to do things like this than most are and that is where SkillCloud comes in handy.  If your company utilized SkillCloud would you admit your hidden skills and talents?  There is always the chance that you’re opening a door which makes you more valuable to your company.

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Filed under Dance, Female Management Skills

These Candidates Are Fresh For The Picking

A good friend of mine was just let go from his job this week and he’s one of many people I know going through this.  The unfortunate part is that those who keep getting let go seem to be the best employees that any company would be happy to have on staff, so I’m going to take the time to focus on two of them in hopes that maybe someone will see that their past employer’s mistake can be their gain.

 
Alexandra is an amazingly articulate writer who can tackle even the most serious of subjects and somehow make you laugh so hard you’ll have tears streaming down your face.  She frequently tackles the subject of cancer on her blog and I don’t know too many people who can get me laughing about something like that but her.  She’s one of the most well-rounded workers an employer could ever hope for.  He background runs the gamut from theatrical scenic work and professional stand-up comedian to detail oriented office manager and design consultant.  To be honest, I’m convinced that she can do anything that comes her way.  Alexandra’s amazing ability to adapt to change in an organization is only outdone by her stellar ability to turn customer service into an art form.  If you need someone to re-write all your training material into an SOP booklet people will be fighting each other to get their hands on then she’s your gal.  This wordsmith can make even the driest of materials insightful and humorous.  Check out her blog, her LinkedIn, and scoop her up before someone else does.

 
Ken is the go-to guy you want on your team if you have a live event to coordinate or manage.  His guest service skills were perfected over his many years of experience with Disney and have left him with the ability to make fast-paced decisions to keep your event running successfully.  He has theme park and hotel experience that keeps him well rooted in the hospitality industry and will ensure he can work in any type of office atmosphere he would be needed in.  Most recently he was responsible for the implementing the logistics for special events, coordinating donor relations activities, and evaluating budgets with a fine tooth comb.  Ken is one of the most determined and passionate employees any company could hope for.  Once on your staff his goal is to always look out for the best of the organization in all ways possible.  Check out his LinkedIn profile and let him lead your next live event project towards the applause of your CEO or President.

 
Being let go from a job is hard enough, but in today’s economy it is definitely more difficult to turn around and find a new job when your experiences are so broad.  Over the years I always thought it was good to stay well-rounded, until my resume became so versatile that no one could figure out exactly how I would best fit into their company.  Now I understand that there is a very fine line between being well-rounded and an enigma that employers are confused by.  I like to relate it to my performance days.  Sometimes casting directors can’t see that the best performer to cast is the one right in front of them unless they are handed an opportunity to see them already fulfilling the role they are auditioning for.  Obviously in performing arts, and even in the traditional job world, most people don’t get a chance to actual fill the role they are auditioning or applying for before being hired.  Therefore, we’ve all got to get a bit creative to make sure the casting director or HR representative can see what is right in front of them.

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Filed under Female Management Skills

A 21st Century Approach to Human Resources

I am thankful that I have a job.  Really I am.  I am watching people I love trying to find a job and seeing the struggle of participating in the process without having current employment.  However, I still find myself frustrated with the fact that my one year anniversary with my current company is 2 days away and that will also mark my ten month anniversary of looking for a job that gets me back to where my passion remains.  After about two months in my current position I realized that the gripes of the last employee here were less based on his bitterness for being fired, but more accurately based upon the lacking structure coming from our superior.  If only I realized that before I accepted the job.  C’est la vie.  I can’t turn back the clock so I’ve been trying to keep looking towards the future.

After ten months of in-depth searching, I’m starting to realize that it’s less of whether I am actually equipped to do the jobs that I’m applying for and more about beating the computer that scans my resume before it makes it to an actual human.  If you background is in something clear-cut such as accounting then I would think it would be easier to guess the key words you need within your resume to get past the scan.  However, if your pursuing  job in entertainment with a vast and varied background then guessing which are the most important key words is like flipping through the dictionary and randomly stopping on any given word.

I’m exhausted from trying to play the word game and beat the scanning systems.  What happened to the days when you could talk to actual people and put your resume in their hand?  I’m applying for jobs in the arts and entertainment which most will agree is an outgoing industry based upon talent and creativity.  With that being said, it just boggles my mind how in such a creative industry I’m given one opportunity to submit a very structured and rigid resume of my background and ruled out based upon that before I’m given the chance to demonstrate my actual talents.  Just for fun I decided to submit a resume that was more creative than my normal one and yet included all the same information.  I formatted it slightly different, changed the font and reorganized the order of items listed.  By no shock of my own it was returned to me with a denial email faster than my traditional resume.

Here I sit, frustrated and creatively stifled awaiting a company to take a chance on me so that I can once again surpass their expectations.  Since most places won’t let you even drop things off in person any more I’ve given up on the idea of sneaking into a decision maker’s office and performing a grand performance of my qualifications.  Therefore, I’m going to attempt what my loved one did on her blog since it caused a small stir within her job search…

Good afternoon internet visitors!  I’m well educated in two very different, and yet very similar, industries in a standard higher educated sense as well as with many years of hands on experience.  The flexibility and adaptability skills I possess are only surpassed by my dedication to creatively inspire others to action to get to common goals with a little style along the way.  Give me the chance to bring my talents to your company and I promise to exceed any projections you set for me while keeping a smile on my face all the while.  My creativity is screaming to be let loose from its current cubicle and I would like to put it to work for you instead of the HR computer scanner that won’t let me get through to you.  Therefore, for your viewing pleasure and random perusal you’ll find my complete resume below.

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Filed under Female Management Skills, Uncategorized

What’s That Smell?

During my years as a dancer and performer I spent more than my fair share of time in auditions.  After all, that’s what you do if you want to get a gig.  You prepare the best that you can and going into the room to battle your nerves, the views of the audition panel and the looks you’ll get from those auditioning with you.  It’s a lot like interviewing but with more movement.  In interviews you still have to battle your nerves, the views of the panel and the looks you’ll get from those who just interviewed as they pass you in the hall.  Both situations spark memories of sweaty palms, extreme smiling and strategic clothing choices.  Why on earth do we put ourselves through this torture?  Oh yeah, to get a job.

Another similarity I have found over the years between auditions and interviews is that in both situations you rarely find out why you didn’t get the job.  That makes it tough to work on weaknesses before you go out for another opportunity, but you can’t let it keep you from walking through the door and trying it all over again.  In the last 5 years I have begun to see interviews as a positive challenge and it all came from an audition experience I had back in my teenage years.

As a teenager I was fixated on attending the Broadway Theater Project summer intensive if it killed me.  The first time I auditioned I signed in, gave them my paperwork and received a number that put me all the way at the bottom of the list.  I was there all day just waiting, listening to the other auditionees, and panicking about my turn.  When my chance finally came I did the best that I could for a kid with desperation oozing out of every pore.  To my amazement I didn’t get accepted that first year.  I huffed and puffed and sobbed when the letter came announcing that I would spend another summer without BTP in my life.

A year later, and several more auditions under my belt, I went back to audition again.  This time I was the first person to arrive at the audition and I actually waited for another attendee to arrive and sign in before me just so I wouldn’t be the very first.  Before I even walked in the door I decided that the audition wasn’t going to be the end of my world.  I auditioned the year before and my getting in was their loss.  Although it was cocky at the time, my plan of attack was to go in there and show them what they missed out on.  They laughed at my comedic monologue, smiled at my song and passed my resume along during the dance portion.  In my mind I had decided that I wouldn’t have another audition where I left the smell of desperation behind me when I exited the room.

Years later I did the same thing when I interviewed for a job.  I already had a job at the time, so in my mind I told myself it would be their loss if they went with a different candidate.  I landed the job.  Now I know many people who would walk into a room with this thought pattern and come off as a disrespectfully self-indulgent applicant.  However for someone like me, who tends to be a bit more reserved and less confident in some situations, this is just the push I need.  It is my own mental reminder that I am an amazing candidate that has so much to offer.  If you’re oozing desperation at your next interview, feel free to pull this page right out of my book and see how it works for you.  This tactic keeps me cool, calm and collected so my game face is on when I need it the most.  Give it a try and see how it works for you.

Here’s a sneak peek at what dancers and other performers go through when we step into auditions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Position

and Smash.

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Filed under Dance, Female Management Skills

The End Is Near…

2011 was another year of rebuilding myself after the divorce and I think I did a fair job at keeping my resolutions to pay off my debt, get control over my health and make an effort to reconnect with my friends.  I can check 2.5 off of my list and that’s pretty good in my book.  I didn’t quite completely finish the first item, but I did make one heck of a dent and I’m just months away from accomplishing that goal despite the fact that I learned how to live a little this year.

Reconnecting with my friends reminded me why we all became friends in the first place.  I forgot how awesome it is to have people who truly understand you to laugh with.  Last night I was with one of my friends and she declared that she was going to help me start off 2012 on the right foot.  I thought I was about to get a calendar with all the dates we were going to hang out penciled into it, but instead her surprise was just proof of how well she knows me.

My early 2012 gift was a choice between two beautiful, designer purses that I have come to learn are classified as “hobo” bags.  I learned this not by reading fashion magazines, but instead when I was looking for a picture of the bag this morning.  That should tell you that I’m not the best at being all that girly.  The few things that I tend to pamper myself with once in a while are all items I picked for very specific reasons, but I’ve come to learn that my reasons are a bit odd compared to most ladies.  It seems as if my days wearing baseball caps and overalls left me a bit skewed on how to really be girly when I’m not at work and that’s a whole other subject we’ll get into.

For example, I like to get pedicures because I spend many years dancing and know that cramming my dancer feet into heels at work all day equals some gnarly looking digits if I don’t do something about it.  Apparently most girls like to do it so their toes look pretty and so they can enjoy a day getting pampered.  Who knew?  My trip to the nail salon includes acrylic nails so that I stop my bad habit of picking at the side of my fingers until they bleed.  I’ve been informed that other gals go for the nail polish choices and to bond with friends.  Clearly I missed the boat on this stuff somewhere.

In my personal life I tend to pick items for functionality and just recently began to learn how to accessorize.  Past jobs I’ve had always declared how long necklaces could be, how big earrings could be, how many bracelets you could wear.  That’s all fine and dandy but it caused me to pick out one necklace, one bracelet, one ring for each hand and a very functional watch and wear them all year so I didn’t have to mess with making any choice in the morning.  Then I started this new job and learned that with each outfit I needed to pick out accessories that would enhance my fashion choice each morning.  This is a world completely foreign to me, but luckily those around me are trying to break me into this theory.

While my mother any boyfriend have headed up the earring, necklace, and bracelet front my friend from last night decided that she would throw her hand into the game and start on the purse front.  I have a few purses, messenger bags and a briefcase for work.  Each that I selected was based upon function and not style.  Each that someone picked for me was based upon style and not functionality.  Laying them all side by side it is clear to see which ones I picked for myself in my sad attempt to be cutting edge.

2011 was the year I learned how to accessorize with jewelry and I guess 2012 is the year I complete the outfit with a proper purse.  After almost 20 minutes of her trying to explain to me the redeeming qualities of each bag, how you don’t lose items in bags that large and the fact that either of them would go with anything I wear; I made my decision.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet my newest (and largest) purse!

I don’t think I would have made this step on my own, but it looks as if I might just learn how to be a real gal after all.  Readers of my blog who’ve read my past posts about fashion (It’s Bootsy Its Got To Be A GoorinAlright Pooch Cough Up The Goods, Don’t Forget To Stretch Before Trying Those On, It’s A Matter Of Jacket Equality, or Is Ke$ha Her Fashion Icon) might find it odd that I don’t know how to pull that into my personal life, but my close friends know it’s possible to still teach this old dog new tricks.  Tomorrow night I will be meeting Miss Megan at my very first live basketball game.  It will be the maiden voyage of my new purse and my chance to thank her for being such an amazing friend through the years!  Now I have between now and then to figure out how on earth I’m going to organize things in this new bag so I can find it all later.

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Filed under Fashion, Uncategorized

SOPs Aren’t “Someone’s Other Position”

Do you work in a place with strict rules that need to be followed for efficiency, safety or productivity?  Most people do.  However, I am coming to learn that my current job has an obscure list of rules that seems to change on an almost daily occasion and it is making it a bit hard to figure out my role.  I’ve been in my current job for almost 6 months as just last week attended my very first job training that helped me to better understand, in theory, the way my job is supposed to work.  This might be the first time in history that I’ve worked for a company that didn’t have any form of an orientation or training when I started.

I will say that as a hands on type learner I have enjoyed teaching myself the ins and outs of my position, but I will follow that up by adding that it would be a bit easier to move forward if I knew exactly what I could and couldn’t do.  In my past I remember rolling my eyes at companies that had a multiple day orientation, but now I actually find myself longing for it so that I can feel as if I am informed.  My last company cut their 8 hour orientation down to 4 in hopes of saving costs.  In my past I worked for a company whose 8 hour orientation was the downsized version of something that used to last almost a week.

Although there is a list of standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for my specific role, they are generally not upheld by my direct superior who tend to make rules up as situations arise and believes that is how this industry is intended to operate.  Maybe I think differently because I came from a different subset of hospitality prior to this or maybe it’s because I have two business degrees and think that there is a good reason that SOPs exist.  Either could be a likely reason that I’m having trouble understanding by boss’s way of doing things.  It doesn’t really matter what the root of the cause is.  The challenge is figuring out how to handle this difference each and every work day.

Thus far my solution has been to run every large decision by my supervisor to see what he would prefer I do.  I have found this to be very effective in ensuring that I do what he would want, but it also has made me feel as if I am not empowered to make decisions on my own.  The times that I’ve made a decision and moved forward without any assistance have usually resulted in backtracked changes made by my boss in the end.  I thought taking past situations into account would lead me in the right direction, but in this instance I have learned that precedence don’t exist.  It looks like I’ll have to find another plan to decode my boss’s cryptic decisions so that I can truly master this position.

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Filed under Female Management Skills