Sunday, November 27, 2011


Throughout my career I’ve been on both sided of the rejection table. It’s not fun on either side. The worst is when no feedback can be given or when it can be given the information is so very unhelpful and out of your control, the only saving grace is that you did try your best. I wanted to dedicate a post on proper rejection etiquette when you are the one having to tell bad news to someone.

You’ll find that in your career you’ll have to hire people, a vendor, or ask people to carve out time of their busy lives to create a bid, proposal, or do research for you. And in doing your due diligence, you’ll have to reach out to a minimum of 3 people or businesses if not more. However, you can only pick one in the end.

Although you can’t offer everyone a job or the contract, what you can do is handle the rejection process with a little dignity and humanity. Here are my suggestions that I hope you will find helpful.

1. Do not ignore their emails or calls when they follow up asking about status or the final outcome.

Even if you don’t have an answer yet, tell them that. Encourage them to keep in touch and to ping you every week or give them a time frame of when you may know.

2. When you do know, tell them instead of leaving them in the dark.

It’s only fair that if you’ve put someone through a lengthy interview process, bidding process, or asked them to take your call or meet with you, you tell them what happened. You don’t have to tell them the entire truth, but you should say something to provide closure.

3. Call them, send an email, and speak with them in person.

Call them to try explain very briefly what the final outcome was, to thank them, and to encourage them to keep in touch or that you will also keep them in mind for the future. If they are not there, do not leave a voicemail, email them saying you tried them and then call them again and speak to them on the phone.

4. Warn them of the bad news.

You can preface your email or conversation with, “I wish the news was better.” And give just enough of an explanation on why they couldn’t be picked, but not so much that it would be bad form.

5. When you can afford it, send a thank you gift.

If you or your company can afford a thank you gift for vendors that didn’t land the contract, send a reasonable thank you gift as a gesture of appreciation for working with your deadlines and being so attentive. This can be for the last two or three vendors that gave you the tasting session, walk thru, and met with you 2-3 times or took your calls in the middle of the night.

Overall, you want to own up that you feel terrible that you couldn’t choose them and realize they worked really hard to land the job, account, or deal. You want to honor their efforts and leave the door open for future collaboration and possibility.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Answering Reader Mail: What questions should I ask an interviewer when applying for an Executive Assistant position?

"I'm an avid reader. Your blog is fabulous! I hope more posts are on the way!

What questions should I ask an interviewer when applying for an Executive Assistant position? I do come prepared with questions. However, sometimes during an interview, the interviewer answers all of my questions during the conversation without me even asking. Then at the end of the interview, I'm stumped on what else to ask regarding the Executive Assistant position or their company. I feel as though if I don't ask, I'm not showing interest!"

Friday, September 2, 2011

Your Emotions Hold You Back

It’s always interesting how standing on the outside of a situation gives a vastly different perspective than to be inside or within that given situation. Upon reading and reflection, the defining element is one’s emotional investment or lack thereof to said scenario.
Even in life or death situations, people hold back from doing the right or best thing because an emotion - guilt, pride, sorrow, embarrassment, anger - is holding them back. If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s book where he talks about the pilot communication problem and the resulting crashes, you will know what I mean. Whenever you are confronted with a problem and have to act or change something, when you are not eager to jump in, there’s an emotional barrier you have to overcome.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Be Your Boss For a Day

One of the best ways to become a better assistant is to be your boss for a day. What I mean by this is hire someone to take care of a task for you or be your assistant for a day with anything you need help with. It’s not until you are paying someone money, to help make your life easier, do you realize the challenges of finding someone good, eager. You will learn how time-consuming and difficult it is to train them or communicate to them how you want a task done to your liking and specifications. You essentially want a mini-you. If only there could be two of you! Something that seems so simple and obvious to you, second nature even, will be hard to translate to someone else.

Remember in grade school when you got that assignment to write directions or an essay explaining how to do something step by step, like making a sandwich or whatever you chose? You had to start by saying, “First, open the bag of bread. Second, pull out two slices, not that yucky first end piece, then cut off the crusts. Third, don't forget to close the bread bag or the bread gets stale. Then, get the peanut butter and jelly jars....” You had to explain every little detail as if you were instructing a 5 year old so it taught you to be mindful of sequential order and specifics. Be your boss for a day is the grown up version of that.

What do I have in mind? Hire someone to do any of the following:

Wash, dry, fold and put away your laundry
Clean your room or apartment
Run to the store for you to grocery shop
Help you find a restaurant
Wash your car

The amount of critical thinking, judging what’s important/not, and understanding that people are not mind readers will blow your mind away. Your expectations and what you envision will be vastly different from what is delivered, and not because they are dumb or didn’t pay attention or anything else. It’s more, without specific instruction and constantly changing variables, everyone’s idea of X is different.

For example, let’s take something as basic as getting help finding a restaurant. This is what typically happens.

You ask someone to help you find a restaurant for a birthday celebration and you say something along the lines of something special, but not too expensive and nearby. When your assistant for the day goes off and does some research and comes back with 3 options, you will probably negate them for the following reasons:

-You don’t like X cuisine they chose.
-It’s either too casual or too inexpensive.
-You’ve already been there so it’s not special enough.
-You hate that restaurant.
-The place is too loud or too trendy.
-Parking is difficult or $20 for valet.
-You’ve never heard of the place or it doesn’t have a good reputation.
-The place is closed on Mondays or X day.
-They don’t have a great dessert menu and you can’t bring your own cake.
-You know X goes there a lot and don’t want to run into them.

As someone’s boss, you have to walk the fine line of not coming across as being scatter brained, picky, or indecisive. You have to provide the right amount of encouragement, praise, and feedback so your assistant has high morale and gets what you need in as little as time as possible. You have to be aware how long certain tasks take although to you it seems rather simple.

Practicing this exercise will make you a better assistant, but it will also make you a better boss to your interns, 2nd assistants, and other colleagues. People make the best decision they could at the time with the information they had THEN. However, life is constantly changing and what you know now, most often, wasn’t knowable earlier.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Realities of Job Hunting As A High Level Executive Assistant

If you are an admin assistant who loves your career, you probably envision yourself becoming an assistant to a VP, Director and hopefully a President, CEO, CFO, or Chairman at some point in your career. Perhaps you are already a 2nd or 3rd assistant to someone high profile and you want to run the office of your executive as you get promoted through the years. Here are some tips as your career progresses that will affect how you job hunt.

1. The lower-level admin you are the more jobs there are.

When you first graduate college or switch careers to be an admin assistant you'll find a lot of admin roles out there. Whether you are a department assistant or work for a smaller company, you will be able to find a job more easily. Once you are a high-level assistant there are really only 3-5 people you can work for at any given company because you are overqualified for anything else. Those jobs support the President, CEO, CTO, CFO, and Chairman. However, at some companies, the CEO and Chairman are the same person.

2. Your job hunt will take a lot longer.

The higher up you go on the ladder of admin roles, the longer your job hunt will take. Although your title is Executive Assistant, in reality, your job hunt will reflect that of an executive in years of experience, salary, and specialty. As as Fortune 500 C-Level Executive Assistant, you will find that your job search will probably take a minimum of 6 months. It may be longer if you are picky about your commute, field, direct boss, and if you are willing to relocate or not. It comes down to an issue of timing and a numbers game.

3. Don't get sidetracked from your life and career goals.

As you become more established and learn to network well and brand yourself through social media, you'll find that headhunters and recruiters will call you in hopes of poaching you. Even if you aren't that aggressive in marketing yourself while you have a job, it's likely that previous companies that interviewed you or HR people that you knew will remember you and keep you in their database. They will revisit their files and notes and reach out to you as jobs become available. Your former colleagues will also think of you. You'll find yourself getting calls and emails a couple of times a year if not once a month. While their offers can be enticing, make sure it aligns with your life and career goals. Think of the big picture of the life and career you want and stick with it. Penelope Trunk says the sign of a great career is having great opportunities, and saying no. Don't get sidetracked by working for that Fortune 100 company, the huge pay raise for a company whose product you don't believe in, or moving to a part of the country where you can't stand the weather.

4. Job hunt with focus.

As you are job hunting, think hard about if you want to temp, freelance, do contract work, temp-to-hire, or direct hire roles only and under which circumstance. You will find yourself having to juggle an interview schedule and working to continue networking or to not get bored. Between averaging 5-9 calls a week, doing 30 min -1 hour phone screeners, commuting 2-3 hours roundtrip to interviews all over the city, and getting requests to work for 2-3 weeks at a time or when someone goes on maternity leave, you will have to prioritize your time amidst competing requests. You'll have to debate which is more important - earning and saving money, interviewing, fun creative work and challenging projects, networking, taking time off to regroup, taking a vacation, focusing on family life, or other goals you have for yourself. In this economy, because jobs are scarce, you will have to know by what date you hope to have a job and plan for it wisely.

5. Make a decision.

At some point, you have to call the job hunt quits and make a decision. There will always be that one last call that comes in that will start an entire interview process all over again with a new company. Or you may tell yourself if you just waited until the new fiscal year, after the holidays, or some other meaningful event when more companies would be hiring, you might land your dream job then. While it's good to wait for the right role instead of taking the first job offered to you, it's not worth blowing through your emergency savings or racking up credit card debt for the perfect job.

6. Take really good notes and save them.

As you interview it goes without saying that you should be taking notes in the interview. This comes in handy for three reasons. 1) As you interview around town and get passed over for opportunities, you'll find that after a month or two, the recruiter will call you back to see if you are still interested because the first candidate was not a fit. When recruiters have to hire someone ASAP little things get overlooked - such as the person doesn't know how to use a MAC. Or they were great, but not a right personality match for their boss. 2) Sometimes hiring timelines are 2-3 months long when companies have the luxury of taking as long as they need to fill a role. When you take notes and get the 2nd follow up call a month later, you can refer to those notes to freshen up and still see if you are interested in working there among the current companies you are talking to. 3) Because the entertainment industry or any field is really quite small, in 3-5 years when you are interested in learning more or getting promoted, you can refer to your notes from previous interviews about your HR contact, who else you know that works there, the corporate culture, annual review feedback process, work/life balance, pay range, benefits package, or any other information.

7. Be prepared to have 5-10 meetings for one job.

When you are a high level executive assistant, you will be asked to meet with many different colleagues and HR people. It is not uncommon for you to also meet with some of the people you met with already for a 2nd time. You may do a 30 min phone interview with 3 different HR folks and then will be asked to meet with at least one of them before meeting an array of assistants, senior level management, and your actual boss. And because executives are constantly traveling for weeks at a time, it may take a month or three just to finally meet everyone. This is part of the reason why your job hunt will take so long.

8. Have a large stock of thank you cards, stamps, and pre-printed address labels at all times.

Since you are meeting with so many people, you'll go through a box of thank you cards in no time. And if you come to know the name of the receptionist, security guard or anyone else who helps your job interview process send them a thank you card too. Sometimes, they will indirectly have a say about you as a candidate. It might be a subtle comment after you leave on how nice you were. You can buy inexpensive yet great thank you cards at anywhere from Target to TJ Maxx.

9. Be honest.

Often, you will be asked where you are in your job hunt, how close you are to getting a job offer, and where else or what other roles you are interviewing for. They are asking to gauge the situation and how much time they have to consider you as a front runner. It is wise to be honest, overall, but also be realistic and avoid going into specific details since things always change. Everyone is busy. Just because you have a business trip coming up or other pressing issues or diverging interests, it is highly unlikely they will re-route their travel or business schedule to accommodate your life. If companies really like you, even if you take another job offer, they will always be open to considering you again.

10. Be open.

Although it's great to know who you are and what you are looking for, be open to possibilities. Instead of saying no to an opportunity or believing you know something, ask for more information and details. When you say no, all communication stops. If you say you're willing to negotiate for the right role, at least talks can continue. You can say no at any point of the interviewing and hiring process, but there is only one time to say yes, at that's at the very beginning.

Monday, July 11, 2011

10 Tests Administered During Job Interviews

In my career, it's not often that one is tested during a screening process or for a job interview. However, I have noticed a lot of private companies or companies that value exceptional talent and have a great interview process do test their applicants. Surprisingly, it has only happened to me a handful of times, but I think it's worth mentioning. It may become a stronger trend to narrow down qualified applicants. I'm shocked more companies aren't doing this in general. Here are the 10 types of tests I've encountered during my job hunts. The first five are pretty common, the last five are rather new.

1) Typing

This test is fairly typical for most admin roles. You are seated in a room at a computer and either have one minute or 3 minutes to type. This test is to gauge how fast you type and how accurately you type. You are given the text and you type it as well as you can. It's pretty self explanatory as there are fool proof instructions given before the test starts.

2) Word

This test is usually multiple choice on a computer as well. There are thirty questions that go from easy to hard. It's given to understand how well you know how to use Word. It starts off with a question of opening a document, saving it, printing it, and editing text, enlarging text to doing mail merge, making labels, and inserting a graph. Sometimes, just by the way the question is worded you can figure out which menu to look under to find the answer even if you don't know.

3) Excel

This test is also given on the computer as well. It tests how well you know how to use Excel. There are usually 30 questions. It will ask you to open a document, write a formula, highlight certain columns, how to insert a row, and other tasks.

4) Powerpoint

This test is also given on the computer as well. It will test how well you know how to use Powerpoint. It will ask you 30 questions ranging from starting a presentation, adding a slide, moving the slides around, inserting an image, etc.

5) Behavorial Role Play

Aside from asking behavior questions to gauge how you would act in certain situations relating to office politics, getting along with difficult co-workers, or how to solve problems, I've interviewed at places where I had to role play certain situations. The hiring manager would give me a hypothetical scenario that would be the worst possible incident at work to solve. Then, I would verbalize to the hiring manager as if they were the client/board member/etc on what I would say. The hiring manager would respond with difficult, unfriendly comments to see how I would handle the situation. We went through a handful of different situations and discussed in detail how I would respond, why, and what I would do next. Incidents ranged from a co-worker who was not pulling their weight, a vendor dropping the ball, miscommunications or misunderstandings regarding tasks.

6) Listening

This test was administered on a computer. There were 30 questions that were multiple choice. It was a male voice with an American accent speaking anywhere from a couple sentences to many sentences about a given scenario. Once he stopped speaking, a question would pop up and you had to choose the correct answer. The difficulty of this test was there was so much information to listen to and keep track because you didn't know what the question would be asking you once the voice stopped. There were so many details to remember because the question would gauge how well you take in information, remember it, and then test you on reasoning, inference, deduction, and what to do next. Some of the questions involved basic math and inferring deadlines based on given information. Other questions were about information that was implied but not stated explicitly. Situations related to dress code, how/what to tell customers, phone messages, seniority, office politics, and other typical situations.

7) English Language Usage and Grammar

This test is also administered on the computer in a multiple choice fashion. There were 30 questions and it tested for writing, grammar, comprehension, and the English language. Typical questions were related to definitions, correct sentence structure, and writing styles related to memos, being concise, and non-sexist language. A couple of examples were the difference between disinterested vs uninterested, between you and me or between you and I, define sexism, and find the sentence that is an example of sexist language.

8) LSAT Logic Games

This test is usually administered in writing so you can graph out the correct answer. I've heard of it being administered verbally, as well in front of a group panel without any option of pencil or paper, or on a computer multiple choice style. There are anywhere from a couple of questions to 20 or 30 and you are given anywhere from 30 min to 2 hours to finish the test. Google "LSAT Logic Games" online to get an idea of what these Logic Games are. They are very convoluted, detailed, and intricate games that test your logic, reasoning, deduction, inference, and your stamina/patience. ;) For anyone that knows anything about the LSAT, the logic games are the hardest part of the test and the hardest part to prepare for because there are a few different types of games and strategies to master them. When I took them, I took the paper form where I was given extra blank paper to work out the problems and had to turn in my work.

9) Writing Memos

This test is usually administered on the computer. You are asked to write one or two sample memos with on a given topic, details of information, and the tone of what the memo should be including the various recipients who will be cc'd, etc. Another variation of this test is to write a sample email or letter to a client or vendor. These types of tests look for grammar, sentence structure, proper formatting, tone, and how you structure your writing including what you leave out, how long your writing sample is, and how long you take.

10) Event Planning

This test is usually administered on the computer in a Word document. You are asked to plan an event from scratch. You are only given your budget, who is attending, and why, the rest of the details are up to you. You are to outline a breakdown of your budget, pitch your event, and also write a memo/email inviting everyone. You are tested for writing, creativity, decision-making, and a whole host of parameters based on whatever it is you come up with.

What other types of tests have you come across? And how often were you told up front the type of test you will be given or were allowed to study for it? Do you have any tips?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Answering Reader Mail: How Do I Navigate Terrible Co-Workers Trying To Undermine Me?

"In the past I worked with someone trying to undermine my work and efforts. At first I thought they were trying to be helpful, but overtime it became very clear their intentions were not sincere. When one FIRST enters a new role, how do you stay positive, eager to learn, and NOT even allow this to become an initial issue?"

Sorry to hear about the difficult work situation. I hear about it all too often. Nonetheless, it is NOT fun when it is happening and very disappointing. It seems so unfair. Your question on how to stay positive, eager, and not allow this to be an initial issue is a good question. It seems you have enough self awareness and perhaps already read books about professional growth, etc. While it is in your power to stay positive and eager, I'm not sure how much control you have over it not ever happening again or it not becoming an initial issue. It really is disheartening to be put into situations as such and the only remedy is to learn how to control your reactions, thoughts, behaviors so your productivity, peace of mind, and sanity are not jeopardized. At the heart of it, you can't control other people. You can perhaps engage less with them and learn to understand why they act the way they do (on your own through reading, without consulting them). Their efforts to undermine you could be for a variety of reasons - boredom, they feel threatened, you're their scapegoat, low self esteem, insecurity, gunning for a promotion, inter office politics, a pay raise at stake, etc. My advice to you is to keep your head down, do your work well, be nice to everyone while observing who can help you fulfill your goals at work, get to know your boss really well, get to know your boss' boss really well. It's good to get to know people at work, but they don't have to be your best friends there or outside of work. Also take the time to nurture those below you and help them out. One thing I would caution you against doing is getting other people involved. Although the situations are counterproductive to a great work environment and don't make a lot of business sense, unfortunately, being a mean person at work is not illegal. It's true that terrible people get to keep their jobs because someone higher up likes them. Most people would rather work with someone semi competent that they like than someone stellar that they like less. I think this is an issue we all come across and it's a long learning process. Understanding human behavior, forgiveness, and concentrating on your life goals are the foundation to getting through tough times and scenarios. The better you become at reading people, understanding what makes them tick, how to give them what they want (attention, praise, validation, results, commiseration), and to navigate the business world gracefully, the easier it becomes. I would suggest reading books by Keith Ferrazzi, Covey, and Robert Sutton. I'm glad you have such an open mind and are eager to learn. That's a great first step! Keep me posted on everything and hopefully I can help.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This Journey We Call Life...

(This piece was actually written in mid-May when I decided to buckle down. I’ve also updated it at the end.)

I realize the last time I posted was 6 months ago. Since then, I’ve been regrouping. I’ve been enjoying the process, maybe too much, that I decided I should probably blog again. If you haven’t noticed yet, I alternate each posting between a professional and personal topic. Today’s is about this journey we call life...

I’ve been a lot more introspective as of late. A couple of friends have both moved away and moved on to bigger and better things in adulthood. One lost a family member. I’ve run into people from my past. Babies were born. Someone had a really, really bad day. There has been a lot of worldwide natural disasters and news. And I’ve met some new wonderful people too. In the last few weeks, every conceivable human life experience has touched my friends’ lives or mine. It has made me ask myself - am I spending my time wisely? Am I grateful enough? What do I REALLY, REALLY want out of life?

I have yet to re-answer those questions. Right now, I’m trying to find the time to apply critical thinking skills to evaluate the master plan for my life. I will go into goal-setting mode in the next few weeks as well. As I carve out “me-time,” it strikes me how odd and flummoxed I am with how to fill 40 hours. Although I’m very much a “do-er,” sometimes my doing is too automatic that I’m on this treadmill of short-term productivity without long-term progress.

Next week, some vague goals I have are to meditate every day, to work out a couple of times, to meet with various people, and to find time to ponder and reflect how I want the rest of this year to look. I can’t believe it’s already ½ over. Perhaps I will go so far to structure one year and 5 year plans. Right now, I’m just brainstorming how to wisely spend next week. I’m already seeing it’s a lot of work, but it will make things so much easier in the long run.

To help, I’ve been watching or reading the following. Lately, this is what has captured my interest:

-Soul Surfer, the book and movie
-True You, Janet Jackson’s new book
-Penelope Trunks’ self published book
-The How of Happiness book
-I Am documentary

6/16/2011 Update

I recall looking forward to a week or two of deep self-reflection and planning for the future. I wanted to get through a lot of what if, what next, and strategy so I wouldn’t have to think about it again for another 6 months.

As I was thinking about how to best use the week, an odd thing happened. I had actually cleared my entire schedule for this self-imposed sabbatical and instead, I got flooded with meetings and projects. By the end of it, I was exhausted. I almost wonder if in “letting go" or letting things "be" things began to change.

I was able to tackle some of the books listed above. I certainly got a lot done, even though it wasn’t stuff exactly on my list. I did exercise a couple of times too. I’m somewhat in the same place where I still have to think hard about the next 6 months. I think blogging again is a good start. It forces me to think, to be concise, to be focused. I also took a mini vacation. I’ve implemented some actions that will hopefully pay off in the long run. I'm going to give it about a month to track initial progress. If all the steps from the past couple of weeks don’t lead anywhere at that time, I will definitely have to go back to the drawing board. This time I'll have to make sure to come back with some nice blueprints for life. ;) If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Interview Attire Dilemmas (Again)

A long time ago I blogged about what to wear since I was interviewing for non-corporate roles or companies. As of late, I’ve been headhunted a lot and am running across the same dilemma. All my interviews are at companies that either never existed until recently, aren’t traditional companies, or are cutting-edge leaders that are forging new paths they don’t “obey the rules,” and thus, corporate culture is highly specific to that industry. What throws me off more is when I interview for senior management at a very atypical company. Do I dress as the “gets stuff done” EA or cater to the company ideal of “we’re different because we start trends, we don’t follow them”? Decisions, decisions, decisions!

As you may know, my standard interview outfit for being a CEO’s assistant is an all black suit with pointy heels in black. Since all of my jobs have been pretty corporate and I dress fairly conservative at work anyway, this has worked well for me - until a few things made me start to think...

Because I’ve been meeting with all these companies, I started to notice differences I never had exposure to, coming from mostly a corporate, Fortune 500, all business all the time background. The companies I met with were legitimate, successful, and reputable, but they became that way for not following whatever was mainstream. And how they differed was evident from the first point of contact. The communication was breezy, very casual, peppered with slang, as if we had known each other for years. The meetings were in coffee houses or over meals. They didn’t want to see my resume. They just wanted to sit and chat. Through the grapevine I heard I was complimented for being cute because of my large dimples. I was advised not to wear the suit. It was also suggested to not have my hair up in a clip. I was advised to wear something very trendy and specifically a dress. Because fitting in with a company’s corporate culture is imperative, that also comes across in the way one dresses.

I had difficulty coming across young, hip, and trendy, without it becoming too cute, too green, and not business enough. And how does one wear a dress to an interview without it becoming too feminine and alluring? I finally settled on a speckled black, grey, and white long turtleneck sweater dress that came down to mid-calf, with long sleeves, a wide silver and black belt to give the dress an empire waist, and low red heels. I also wore an oversized ring on each hand to accessorize a bit.

When one is only 5ft tall and petite, it’s sometimes hard to be taken seriously. I’ve had colleagues see me out in LA and not recognize me at all in casual clothes, or mistake me for a junior high kid in jeans and a shirt. In the past, I would have rather erred on the side of being taken too seriously in a corporate suit rather than too lax in something a bit more casual. However, knowing that most people would rather work for someone they like that they have things in common with that is a pretty good employee versus someone stellar and they like less, I should probably tone down the corporate attire and let my resume (hopefully) speak for itself...

Have you had similar dilemmas? And what are your suggestions for dressing for various types of companies - technology, advertising, architecture, music, and other industries that are not typcial business, law, real estate, or finance companies? And do you wear different types of outfits for the head of HR, the assistant, and the CEO or other executives that you interview with? What have you found that works or doesn’t work?

Monday, June 13, 2011

3 More Tools for Self-Branding and Job Hunting

Lately I've been poking around online trying to see what else is out there for self-branding and job hunting.  I enjoy doing this and it helps when I volunteer or make suggestions to those I'm mentoring or friends who ask me questions.  I'm by no means an expert in social media at all.   But amongst my circle of friends and colleagues, since I love learning they usually figure I've read something about it or maybe came across it.  

Here are 3 more tools you may want to check out.

1) Tweet My Jobs - I know most of us may roll our eyes or not believe that people have found jobs through Twitter or Facebook because it seems so far-fetched and unlikely.  While it may not happen for everyone, those that genuinely care about others, helping them, and connecting with people will find themselves forging connections with strangers online.  You know how sometimes you have that random question that you wish you could find an expert or someone in the exact same boat as you to ask, but none of your immediate circle has any clue?  This is when social media plays a large role.  I had a wonderful chat with a new online friend this past weekend.  We swapped stories about interview attire.  Hi, @AllyRae!   A friend of mine got her job via a Facebook status update when she ranted "I need a job!" out of frustration.  Someone saw it and passed that along and the rest is history.  So I was skeptical too and started to Google how people used Twitter to find jobs and I came across Tweet My Jobs.  It is a site and free service to tweet out your full resume.  They also notify you of jobs in your area.  Pretty cool, eh?  Technology moves at such a fast pace it's hard to keep up with what's out there.  So maybe you'll get a job and tell me how you did it!  Is there a new telepathic message service now?

2) Snail Mail - This isn't a new program or site.  I'm actually referring to regular old snail  mail, USPS mail.  I've actually sent in my resume and cover letter to companies with open positions whenever their site was down or when a post had expired.  On a whim, I figured I would only have 44 cents to lose.  It has paid off where I got a phone call or an interview.  One HR rep actually said to me, "I wouldn't normally call, but because you mailed in your resume specifically to us, I wanted to reward that."  So believe it or not, sometimes going old school does work.  Nothing pays off like a more personal touch and reaching out in unconventional ways when everyone is updating their FB status, tweeting, emailing, and filling out online applications.  

3) About.Me - This is also a free site where in three steps you build a visually elegant splash page that points visitors to your content from around the web.  Upload a photo, write a couple of sentences, and input links to your FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Vimeo, and etc.  It is a central site so you can pull into one place where everyone can see and connect with you.  In a word, brilliant.  So brilliant, AOL bought it in a heart beat.   

Relationships and networking will always be about one on one connections.  Nurturing them takes time, but it is so fun and rewarding.  Technology only helps facilitate that process along, but it also serves as a jumping off point too.  Otherwise, how else can you meet so many different types of people while eating a late night snack, in your PJs, vegging out on your couch?    

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Can I Follow You On Twitter?

Although I have been MIA from this blog for several months, I'm always thinking of blog topics to write about and tips to share with my fellow readers. I usually have 2-3 half written blogs I'm waiting to flesh out and finalize between reading your fan mail, mentoring other assistants, and answering any of your direct questions. I do read all mail that is sent to me and try to personally respond when advice is sought. However, a faster way to communicate would be to Twitter! I would love to follow you and see what issues are coming up in your every day lives at work or at home. Work life balance is something we all struggle with, me in particular. So please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter so I can follow you back! Let me know it's because you read my blog and how I can help you! Talk soon!