Posts

Sad Sacked: A Memoir

Image
In 2013, I received a phone call that temporarily derailed my life.   It was days before Thanksgiving, and prior to this my biggest concerns were things like: "Is brining my bird really worth it?" and "Do I have enough matching wine glasses?"  So when my husband called to tell me he’d been laid off, I was in shock. He’d been with that company for 18 years. What made matters worse was that my job was also in jeopardy. Six weeks later, I was let go too. In a short span of time, we went from a two-income household to a no-income household with three kids and a mortgage.  As weeks bled into months, we sent out resumes but heard nothing. I felt embarrassed whenever I saw friends and family who knew we were both out of work. I was certain people must’ve thought we were  either  incredibly lazy or there was something seriously wrong with us.  How could I cope?  I started this blog. To be honest,  I didn’t really expect anyone to read it, but I felt like it was im

10 Tough Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

Image
  Credit: Pixabay: Dean Moriarty In September, I posted a piece about something I typically dread during the interview process—that painful moment near the end (by which point I've pushed past the boundaries of my deodorant and just want the meeting to wrap up ASAP) when the interviewer asks, "So, what questions do you have for me ?" The one that always tops my list is: "Why didn't I prepare some #$&@! questions???" Followed by "Can we just be done?" If you've found yourself in the uncomfortable situation, you are not alone. Fortunately, expert career coaches at FlexJobs shared the 10 hardest questions you should ask during an interview and the reasons why you want these answered: 1. Why is this position available? Why to ask it: The answer from this question can tell you a few helpful things: whether this is a new position (which comes with its own challenges), or whether someone left the position because they were promoted, moved latera

4 Inspiring Takeaways from Dorie Clark's 'The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World'

Image
In 2014,  networking guru   Susan RoAne , author of  How to Work a Room ,  introduced me to Duke University  professor and author  Dorie Clark , recently  named one of the Top 50 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50. Both of these powerhouses generously served as sources for me when I wrote for The Muse , and each is full of wisdom and insight that's delightfully straightforward and actionable.  The  New York Times  describes Dorie as an “expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives,” and she's done that for me—referring me for jobs and including me in her fantastic networking dinners. So, when she asked if I'd like to read an advance copy of her new book,   The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World, I eagerly said yes . Unlike many business and career-focused books, once I started it, I found myself inspired (as opposed to overwhelmed). I looked forward to getting back to it (rather than returning it to the lib

13 Questions to Ask During Your Pandemic Job Interview

Image
Landing a job interview can feel like a feat in itself. One of the parts I enjoy least about the process is the old, "So, what questions do you have for ME?" portion that typically comes at the end. When I was in the thick of interviewing back in 2014 and burned out from in-person meetings that went nowhere, I came up with a few choice questions I wanted to ask. But mainly, I found myself f ighting the temptation to say, "Nah, man, I'm good!" — especially when it came to the jobs that didn't really seem like a great fit. During the past year when I interviewed via Zoom, my top questions shifted toward:  "Can you move your laptop closer to your bookshelves? Is that A Gentleman in Moscow?  I want to read that!" "Where'd your cat go?" "Are we cool if I start a Slack channel devoted to  Real Housewives'  discourse?" and  "How many more hoops will you make me jump through before you tell me you've decided to go wit

Beginnings & Endings

Image
I’ve started this blog entry at least three times between late April and today and never quite had the will to finish it. As my husband said when he called to tell me about his first layoff back in 2013 , “I have some good news and I have some bad news.” Good news first: I accepted a full-time job and started on my 50th birthday in mid-April. Because I like to think of this blog as a transparent look at the hiring process, I’ll share a bit about how it all came to be. I was contacted by a hiring manager at the company via LinkedIn in late February. At the time, I’d grown weary of people who reached out only to disappear as well as those who put me through the wringer with 90-minute interviews that left me wanting to shout, "I've been in long-term relationships with people who know less about me!” Then there was the place that wanted me to write a 4,000-word test article complete with an interactive map of the U.S. (No, thank you!)  So, initially, I was reluctant to respond to