Perception is reality

This last week my family was given the Titanic of all playground sets. The behemoth had to have weight thousands of pounds and was put together with enough hardware to keep it together during a level 5 hurricane. My family was looking for a playground set for a while and was happy to take this off our friends hands. The take down and set up included several days of kicking, yelling, bruised knuckles and an occasional “Come on” screamed at the various beams of wood.

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Finally, after several days we succeeded in putting the playground together.  I turned around to let the kids jump on the swings and the new slide  only to see my kids lower themselves into animals as they tussled and fought to be the first child down the slide. I thought how crazy their actions were for the situation, had they thought about it for a few seconds, no one ever cares nor remembers who was the first person on the monkey bar, slide or swing. I just had to laugh.

My oldest daughter who was third down the slide sat dejectedly on the slide and sulked about being third not first. I talked to her and told her to get over the slide. I didn’t want it to ruin her whole play experience. Having to wait 7 seconds while the boys went down the slide first should not ruin her moment, life, play time.

I wonder how many time we are blinded by what we feel is unfair or unjust situation and miss many great opportunities. I know my daughter missed about twenty minutes of play time she will never get back because she felt slighted that she was not the first person down the slide. None of that matters now 1 week later.  Though, sometimes it’s easier said than done when we talk about emotions.

No sense in wasting time for things that in the end do not better you or make you happy. I have never met a content happy person who focuses on what didn’t happen as opposed to what did happen that was beneficial. 

I had a day to remember yesterday.  I could focus on: My car got a flat tire and the tire shop took two hours to put on my spare and send me to another tire store. I had to go back into the dentist because the filling they did last week is killing me and they had to redo some work. Perhaps I could talk about  the blood drive I went to that was so backed up it took me two hours to get finished. I finally got home at 9 pm tired and beat.

What I saw was:  Brent Bowen, a good friend, took time to pick me up and drop me off at the tire shop to get my car.  The company where I had to take my flat tire fixed me up and did it all while remembering my name from my recent visit six weeks ago. The blood drive netted 57 pints of blood for the Red Cross and the hospital systems in Atlanta, our goal had been 48. I was able to stay up and spend time with my wife watching a movie.

I guess in the end I was truly blessed to see that yesterday for what it was, good times.

Things you need to know – Part 2

Recently I had blogged about the need to revisit how opportunity seekers can help raise their professionalism through updating their email address and voicemail.

Now let’s talk about some additional friendly advice.

I know you are on  but do you know how to use it other than a resume dump. LinkedIn now boosts over 50 million subscribers and over 150,000 companies using their site.  In my opinion this is the premier site to look for top talent. I do not like to use job boards anymore.

The potential amount of people who can view your profile is enormous so it is time for an update for your profile. I see many profiles that list only the company name and title without any background about their work history or they have 1-2 sentences about their experience. It is not enough. I have a great Product Manager friend who is looking for work and he had two sentences that did not even begin to demonstrate his skills, needless to say we talked.

Now, LinkedIn is not a place to dump your resume and forget about it. LinkedIn is an opportunity to showcase your experience, albeit brief  experience and  any recommendations.  Good rule of  thumb would be 1/3 – 1/2  of your actual resume so usually I see 1-2 paragraphs.

 I  like to update something about my profile every week that will keep my profile in front of people as they login.  You can actually enter into the edit feature change a word and then change it back and save the changes and your profile will show a change in profile. People are curious, if you change it they will read.

Also look at who is looking at your profile in the “Who’s viewed my profile” on the right side of the page.  See if you can find out why.

The next friendly advice I will give you would be to set up some way to see the various job openings while maximizing your time.   There is nothing worse than wasting time going from job board to job board. I use to scan multiple job boards and company websites. On the front page go to the tools section, near the bottom of the page. In the tools section click on “Email Alerts”. The email alerts can be set up by many different factor like companies and position types. Every morning that there are new openings waiting in your inbox.

While we are talking about setting up alerts, Twitter is a place to find job . We recently had success finding candidates out on Twitter.  Here is the post I use Tweet Deck and have set a column(s) that allows me to see things from contract in Atlanta to PHP developers in Atlanta. Great way to make sure there are not passive jobs you have missed.

As a friend I hope this helps. Tell me any success stories you have found.

Good Luck.

What your friends and mom won’t tell you? Part 1

Today, we are going to talk as friends not as deep friends who know each others thoughts but as friends who are strong enough to tell you the truth without you getting offended. It is time to get to change. I know change is scary but as your friend I think it is time to do an intervention. I am willing at the sake of our friendship tell you what your other friends and even your mom won’t discuss.

If you want to be viewed as a professional it is time to start acting in a professional manner. It is time to get move your email address from high school back to just your highschool friends. No more,,, and I It is time to refine all of your touches. If you are out there networking and talking to people, why not set up a specific account just for your job search.

While you are looking at you email address why not take a look at all of the places that potential candidates first touch.

How do you answer the phone? Yo, hey, what’s up? I always like to err on the side of caution so if you wonder who the caller is answer with Hello. I talked to a potential candidate yesterday and he answered the phone Yo.

While you are practicing saying hello, when is the last time you listened to your voicemail message. Listen now and think about how it portray’s you. I recently called a friend who is actively looking for a position. My call went to voicemail. I heard a rather lethargic response. ” Hi you have reached “Chuck” I am not able to talk please leave a message and I will get back in touch with you when I can.” When I can? Really. Try something more professional. You can do it!

I hope I didn’t hurt any feelings but as your friend and hopeful recruiting professional I only want you to present yourself in the best manner possible.

Good luck.

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