Seize Every Opportunity-Skinnygirl Cocktails

As I sat by the window, sipping on my SkinnyGirl Pina Colada (because it was almost 1pm on a Saturday and I deserved it after cleaning the house), I was wondering what I should write about.  Now doesn’t that all sound magical?  In truth, and I hope you don’t mind coming along on this journey through my thoughts, as I was Swiffering the floor I thought, “Whoohoo, I’m almost done and the house smells wonderful.  Task 1 complete, and now I won’t feel bad about siting in front of the computer typing away.  I know what will make this better, a Skinnygirl cocktail!  Hot dang, that’s what I’ll write about, Bethenny Frankel’s success…” And that folks, is how this blog post came about.

Now my husband is a huge, how shall I put this, hater of all things reality tv and new age.  So you can imagine that he will not be a huge fan of the post but, it’s my blog and I will cry if I wanna.

We’ve all heard of the Real Housewives shows on Bravo TV. It all started with the Orange County ones and how can you not love them?  Then Atlanta and New York trickled in, as did Beverly Hills, New Jersey and so it goes.  Some of the housewives had jobs, but others were, and are, just what the word implies.  On the New York version of the show we met a woman named Bethenny Frankel.  Regardless of whether you love her, hate her, or are indifferent, you have to give her a little bit of credit.  She was truly the first to use this show as a personal platform to kick start her business.  Others soon followed in her footsteps by coming out with songs and wine clubs but the idea that a mass promoted low calorie cocktail had never been truly thought of, or at least heavily promoted, sounds pretty crazy.

In a society where beauty and health, and wealth, are everything, you’d think that this type of product would have saturated the market by the time Bethenny Frankel rolled into town.  This woman totally used the Real Housewives to promote her product by donning apparel with the Skinnygirl logo on it, and why not? She even had one of the housewives, with graphic design knowledge, help her fine tune it a bit on the show.  She drank her own cocktails and brought them to outings and events.  So you have to give her some credit for being a savvy business woman.

You may be asking, so what?  The point of this posting isn’t to further idolize anyone in particular, the point is to seize every opportunity.  In honor of the Olympics, go for the gold!  Do everything you can to succeed, and if you fail, at least you can say you tried.   Take extra training courses so you’re better at whatever it is you do.  Do you want to qualify for a race?  Then run, bike, or swim your little heart out until you can’t anymore.  Do everything you can to succeed, seize every opportunity and use each opportunity to in turn work towards your personal success.

Have a happy and safe Labor day.  I’m taking a week off from blogging next week but I’ve got two fun posts already planned out for when I return.

What did you do today?

P.S. Have you read my newest blog post for the Bullhorn Reach blog, titled Working with Recruiter’s-the Job Seeker’s Perspective?  I encourage you to get in on the conversation.

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Exercising at Your Desk

I’ve been wanting to write a posting about this topic.  Who else out there ends up sitting all day and then by the time you get home, your lower back is killing you from having your vertebrae compressed all day? You can stretch it out by doing some late night yoga but what should you do during the day?

Some folks sit on an exercise ball.  From what I have heard though, you shouldn’t do that all day everyday.  You can also get up regularly, but what if you are in customer service and are tied to your desk and phone?

Well, TIME Magazine recently released a great online article about just this topic.  They suggest you do things like, maintain your posture instead of just being slumped over staring at your computer screen.  You should also not just strain your spine by keeping it super straight but instead draw your chin back.

These and many other tips are decribed in infographic form in TIME Magazine’s article titled, The Ultimate guide to Good Posture: Office Edition.

Read the article and put these great tips to work!

What did you do today?

Refresh Your Resume

Now this is going to be a short, but I think informative, post.  A while back I guided you all to an article about how recruiters look at a resume and which sections you should spend more time fine tuning.  You can find the post, Your Resume Through the Recruiter’s Eyes, and other useful tips that I’ve posted by searching in the “Recruiters” category from the choices to the right of this posting.

Since a bit of time has passed since that article was written, I thought I’d share a new article written by the folks at Career Builder.  The article/blog post is titled, How to Make a Resume Shine and is done in an infographic format.  I can’t say that I disagree with any of the changes that are highlighted in this infographic.  You have to make sure to tell your concise and compelling story but leave the recruiter wanting to find out more.

That something more might be them really wanting to see what kind of portfolio you might have, and THAT will hopefully get you through the door to the hiring manager.

Good luck!  What did you do today?
P.S. Click through to the rest of the blog posts on the workbuzz site for more information!
P.P.S. Have you read my blog post on Unemployment that I did for the Bullhorn Reach blog?  Read it and then follow Bullhorn on Twitter!

5 Pieces of Advice to New Graduates/Other Working Adults

Here is my short list of the pieces of advice I wished someone had shared with me when I was graduating.  Then again, it’s quite possible that someone did and it just didn’t resonate with me.  So here I am again, sharing the things I have learned since I entered the work force, first as a co-op student and then as a regular working adult.

1. Always own up to whatever you do – good, bad, or indifferent.  People don’t like liars and they certainly don’t like it when some project gets derailed simply because you didn’t own up to a mistake earlier in the project that could have been corrected by someone else.  That being said, if you make a mistake, try to fix things, for all you know, you’ll figure out the answer yourself.  But if you don’t own up to it.

2. Keep a to do list – This in my opinion is a must.  You may think you can keep all of your projects straight, but I will guarantee that you won’t be able to remember *everything* someone said to you in a meeting.  You don’t want to be that guy or gal who doesn’t complete a project or does it wrong simply because you forgot about a key piece of information you received.

3. Always be ready to give a status update – You may be heading into a meeting that has nothing to do with what you are working on but you better have an idea of what is going on with the things you are working on.  You never know what turn the meeting might take.

4. Always carry a pen and paper – This piece of advice comes from one of my first managers.  She always told me to carry something to write with and on.  This has stuck with me and no matter who I am going to talk to, I always make sure to bring a pen and paper.  You don’t want to miss add something to your to do list or scribbling down a thought that may never come back again.

5. Keep a paper/e-mail trail – I cannot tell you how many times I have had to cover my own @ss and the only way that was possible was because I kept the e-mails that would go back and forth between myself and someone else.  They may not be of great importance at the time but save them.  You *never* know when they might come in handy.

Good luck out there co-op students and new grads!

What did you do today?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Sima Dahl, who spoke at a social media conference I wrote about, posed a question on LinkedIn answers recently.  She asked, “Recruiters, how do you advise candidates to answer the question “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
There were numerous answers from recruiters but the one I truly liked was from someone by the name of Dan who stated, “…I am here to do the best job I can TODAY.”
I love that answer!  As someone else wrote in the responses, the question above is really a rather silly one.  5 years is a huge amount of time in any corporation and anything at all can happen.  You department could expand, or be eliminated.  The company could be bought out, or close down.  There really isn’t anything, in my opinion, that you could say that doesn’t actually sound like BS.  Of course you’d say that you want to see yourself growing a department, or being in expert in such and thus, or better yet contributing to the bottom line.  Who WOULDN’T want those things for a company?  Now if you happen to ask the question and get an answer completely out of left field, you may be successful in easily eliminating a candidate, but more likely than none you’re just killing several minutes of an interview.
None the less, you should always prepare for this kind of question.  But here is why I like Dan’s response.  It allows you to show your knowledge of the company so far.  You can talk about how you fit in to the position and why as well as highlighting some things that perhaps as a pair of fresh eyes you see yourself working on, such as marketing collateral, or how a certain product is made.  You can tell the hiring manager or HR manager what you would do in the short term based on what you know. 
This is why I LOVE the 30-60-90 plan.  As I’ve previously mentioned, one of the key take away’s I left with my  manager when interviewing for my current job was a 30-60-90 plan that I had created based on what I knew from the job description and my own skill set.  I outlined what I planned to achieve in the first three months, making my managers life that much easier.  She didn’t have to guess if I was going to be forward thinking or if I could get the job done, because my first 90 days, the most critical 90 days, were already goal oriented and if I wasn’t able to meet those goals, unless there were extraordinary circumstances, I could in all honesty be asked to leave.
So, answer the question in what you can do for the company TODAY and take it a step at a time.  Anything can happen in five years but make it clear that you are an asset that shouldn’t be passed up on to get the company to its five year goal, whatever that might be!
What did you do today?