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The Human Being – Not The Human Doing

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Mar 7, 2014 in Executive Coaching, Lessons Learned, Self Improvement

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Lisa Nirell of Energize Growth LLC writes in her blog, The Wealthy Business, about her experience at the Febraury Washington Women’s PhoneLeadership Initiative ( Luncheon where Arianna Huffington presented the Third Metric to attendees. Lisa uses Arianna’s message and urges her readers to build a lifestyle around frequent moments of being “unplugged” from technology to improve health and quality of life. “It takes a leap of faith to unplug. Several senior marketing leaders and CEOs whom I have met think of their lives as an “either/or” proposition where they are either relaxed and unplugged, OR overworked and hyper-connected. Today, I believe it’s about living a “both/and” life. We are human beings, not human doings.”

Read the rest of Lisa’s article “How Successful Marketing Leaders (Like Arianna Huffington) Unplug” on her blog.

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The Breeze – Cool Summer Job Tips For Students

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jun 22, 2010 in Career Path, Self Improvement

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No one wants their kids to grow up too quickly. We can never have time back from when we were younger, but let’s face it; our kids ARE growing up more quickly. They are more technologically savvy, they have larger vocabularies and many have traveled the world before they even leave high school breezing through a more connected world.

The generations that have wanted to make their kids lives easier have succeeded. But this is actually making job searches tougher for these young people as competition for entry level jobs has dramatically increased.

Consider these tips for high school and college students-

High school summer jobs introduce us to a hard day’s work. That’s how you make money- you go to work, do a good job, and they pay you. High school is a great time for fun summer jobs where extra help is needed like camp counselors, lifeguarding, babysitting, caddying, amusement park work, landscaping, pet sitting, waiting tables, or catering.

As the college students arrive home this summer, our inclination is to let them cool off and have a break from their studies and enjoy their “free” summers (before they have to work full time.) Unfortunately, they will be at a huge disadvantage if they haven’t had a college sponsored internship or some other position giving them the chance to try out professional work before they have to work full time.

It’s easy for college students to revisit their old high school summer jobs for some extra cash, but 3 or 4 summers later, those skills aren’t going to be the ones employers are seeking. Sure, they will have shown dependability by being on time and they’ll have learned to be individually accountable for their actions, but unless they have assumed responsibility for managing, scheduling, preparing correspondence for the company, and doing some basic bookkeeping or payroll using Microsoft office including word and excel, it’s possible the skills they’re building won’t be suitable for a professional entry level job after graduation. College students should have one or two internships under their belt or in the bag by their sophomore and junior years.

Many colleges have companies that solicit interns for formalized programs. Motorola, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ebay, Microsoft and many other large corporations have formalized internship programs. If your student is interested in pursuing that type of work you can research the company websites and call human resources for information on the educational requirements for admission. These programs are very competitive but often yield job offers for participants.

Remember, over 80% of employers are small businesses. Ask the merchants you patronize as well as people you know personally if your student could interview for a 6 or 8 week assignment while they are home from college. Your local business journal or chamber of commerce are great resources to use when researching small businesses in your area.

Support your students by planning your summer vacations so they can work a meaningful 6 or 8 week program. Help them prepare their resume but show them how to research information to follow up on themselves and set up their own interviews. If they are juniors or seniors you could enlist a few sessions with an executive coach to help them hone their interview skills before sending them out to apply.

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The Ape – Jungle Moms

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 28, 2009 in Building Confidence, Career Path

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The human’s closest relative in the animal kingdom is the Chimpanzee. Like humans, during the first months of life chimp infants are completely dependent on their mothers for food and care and stick close to their mothers until they are mature. It’s a tough job to raise a family and a tough decision when mothers need or want to go back to work.  Whether it’s because your family needs the income or because you’re ready to take on corporate challenges again, you feel torn between the responsibility you have to your family and the obligations you accept with your new employer. Here are a few things to consider as you re-enter the work force:

·         Be confident in explaining that you took time off to start a family. When you organize your resume, make sure the work experience that you intend to carry forward figures most prominently on the first page. It’s ok to have a gap in employment and you should feel free to explain that you took time off to start a family.  There’s no need to pull out the family photo album in the interview, though. 

·         Be flexible and willing to negotiate. Many people leave behind high powered careers and want to return exactly where they left off, or even at a higher level.  In many cases employers may not be willing to pay for someone lacking the most recent, up to date experience.  You can prove yourself over time and get back to where you want to be, but be open to the fact that no matter how smart and hard working you are, there will be a learning curve.  Consider ten years ago many people didn’t have Internet access at their desks; ITunes and text messaging weren’t even in the dictionary as a quick reminder of how technology alone has changed in a short period of time.  

·         When you do land your job, get up to speed as quickly as you can. Read appropriate trade publications and obtain necessary computer training.  Be pleasant and personable, but professional.  Don’t make your water cooler talk about your family until you know more about everyone you work with and avoid overcrowding your workspace with excessive amounts of photos . A few nicely framed ones will keep you focused on why you’re there and keep you from getting too homesick.

·         Have a back-up plan and alternative help for the unexpected things that might pop up.  Most employers will have a 90 day to 6 month probationary period where you may not be eligible for personal leave or sick time.  Obviously emergencies occur, but your new employer will not look favorably on you taking unplanned days off before you have accrued leave.

·         Keep one calendar for work and personal so things don’t slip through the cracks.  Do your best to schedule doctor’s appointments and necessary personal meetings on one day a month that you have set aside and requested off well in advance, for example, the last Wednesday of the month.  That way, you always know if you need to schedule a service appointment you can use that day.

·         Consider starting a home-based business. If the thought of going back to an office and giving up the joy of raising children is just too much for you, consider starting a licensed day care service.  There is a large need for qualified, caring, daycare providers in many areas.  It’s possible that you could earn as much as or more than you would by getting an office job.  It’s your own business, too.  Licensing, insurance, supplies and advertising cost money, but the bookkeeping alone is great experience you can carry forward into an office later as well.  

So, Monkey Mamas! Get out there! Good Luck!

If you have specific questions or need assistance in polishing your resume, finding a job or preparing for interviews, we have on demand webinars, publications and other resources on my website


Carolyn Thompson

Author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME…available on!

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