W.W.Y.D? (What would Yale do?)

I’m angry right now. Yes, whole wide world, I’m going to admit that.  Angry and fired up.

Why?  I’ll explain in a minute.

Yesterday I was walking around the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.  I was there waiting to pick someone up from an appointment.  It was a nice fall day and students, purportedly some of the the best and brightest in the world, walked and wheeled around me.  The streets are for the most part clean, the architecture comes from old Europe replicated here.  I enjoyed it yet my mind was elsewhere.

The night before I had received an email with a scanned attachment that showed red and a lot of cross outs and scribble.  Underneath all of that was the resume I had put together for a business class for a client of mine.  My client has been self-employed for the past 10 years after being laid off and has been slowly working their way through classes for a college degree.  It has not been easy for them.

The professor, and later another gentleman in career services, took off her self-employment and put her down as a “professional” student.  They left them with a 10 year gap.   Why?  I was yelling at the computer, because in the eyes of these professional academics self-employment is a crime? They took away their databases that she used for classes and that transfer over to the real world and left them with general “database management”.  There were a few other things as well, including not giving hard numbers and adding in “fluff” that anyone can add in.  Good customer service?  Even drug dealers can say that.  Show your hard numbers.  They took those out and left in the good customer service.

As I walked around Yale I know Yale would never leave their students or graduates with a resume that I was reading.  They would have every little specific thing the student has ever done, every computer program, every database, every class, every internship, and they would surely play up the fact that this person is self-sufficient, self-employed, and gets out there and hustles for their living.

I’m still furious thinking about this.  I can only imagine how many other students this has happened to over the years and now feel down and out, frustrated, upset, and wonder why they can’t find work.  Yale would never do this to their students, why are other schools allowed ot make a mockery of their students’ lives?

 

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30 Day Challenge: The Tide is High

A relative of mine has a favorite saying that “water finds its own level”.

Find your tribe and they will find you.  This is true in life and with running a business as well.

I had a 20 minute conversation a few months ago where a potential client wanted to know why they should choose me over one of my competitors.  It was one of the toughest phone calls I’ve ever had as a business person.  Yet in the end, they paid me for the time I spent with them which was above and beyond what I normally do and I was grateful and the 20 minutes was well worth it.

Quick aside: people will call you when you are least ready.  So, always be ready.

One piece of advice I give to business newbies, and I received this as well in the beginning, is don’t feel you have to take every client.  Yes, I made that mistake in the beginning and learned the hard way.  Everyone wants overnight but even after doing this for over 20 years, there are still people out there who don’t know about you and your best friend is word-of-mouth.

And yes, the people who will want to work with you will respond.  So be yourself because phony is exposed really fast.

Beginning Tips: Stay-at-home (SAHM)

As promised, this is for you who are looking for work and have been at home.  This includes Moms, Dads, grandparents, and parents who homeschool.

This is a very slippery slope.  Some people feel comfortable talking about it and some people don’t.  We are told that employers can’t discriminate if you are or did stay-at-home.  Yet from both personal experience and others I have spoken with, this is not always true.

A wise woman once told me to say: “I have/ I had other obligations” when the illegal question is asked, or if you work part-time, why don’t you work full-time?  I have my business.  When not meeting with clients, it is full-time with marketing and trying to stay on top of things and keep up with clients.

Resumes and job applications are even tougher.  I filled out one job application recently that asked you to explain a month or more of no work.

I have learned in life to always be doing something: volunteer work, direct selling, something.  This keeps you in contact with people and possible future references and job opportunities.  I have also learned to get out of the house for a couple of hours each day unless snowed in during a blizzard.  Even then, go out and shovel.

Running a household and taking care of children is no joke.  Doing this is like earning a crash course degree in economics and psychology all in one.  (I wish all colleges would count this experience as life learning.)  Yet the question: how to dodge the question and answer the question at the same time?

Two words: “Private caregiver.”

Two other possible words: “Family caregiver.” (If you feel so inclined and so comfortable.)

When listing tasks and responsibilities:

  1. Day-to-day upkeep and maintenance of private household
  2. Day-to-day accounting of given  budget/ allowance
  3. Day-to-day daily and personal care of private individuals

What else?

Years of hard work can be difficult to sum up in a few short words.  Everyone’s experience is similar but different.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.  Also, you can contact me at 203-414-5176 or email yourmindinbloom@yahoo.com

Group Discussion, or not?

Again, from a prompt….the ideal conversation….

First, we all talk to ourselves.  It helps us figure things out, settle us.

Second, it depends on the situation.  I may personally prefer one-to-one in order to get to know someone.  Yet sometimes putting people in with a third, or fourth, or in a large group totally changes dynamics and may reveal a lot about someone.

Some people like to be in control of group situations and some people will only talk when with one or two other people.

Having been in many different types of classrooms over the years, I can instantly tell you who my talkers will be and who my silent ones will be.  Trying to get the silent ones to talk is a challenge I relish.  Yet, if the talkers aren’t around, the silent ones immediately open up and they always know so much more than they give themselves credit for.

This is why I like one-on-one and small groups when given the opportunity.

This is also why coffee shops are popular.  They give the opportunity for one-on-one and small group discussion.

What is your favorite type of conversation?

Beginning Tips: Part One

Hello!

Welcome to Your Mind in Bloom’s Beginning Tips.  You’ve asked for this.

We are going to begin today with one of our most asked for topics: resumes.

We all need resumes, known in some circles as CVs.

Before you even begin writing your resume, sit down in a quiet spot, no social media, with a notepad/ notebook and pen or pencil.

Use one sheet of paper for every work experience you have had in the last five years, both paid and volunteer.  (Yes! Volunteering does count!) (And yes! Homemaker/ stay-at-home counts! More on that later….)

Write down everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you did.  No matter how small, no matter how insignificant.

Some questions to ponder:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What did you do on a daily basis?
  3. What daily routines did you have?
  4. Any major responsibilities?
  5. Any minor responsibilities?
  6. Any successes? Improvements? Positive changes?
  7. Who were your customers/ clients?
  8. How did you help your customers/ clients?
  9. What specific skills did you use?
  10. What specific skills did you learn?
  11. Write a quick summary, two to three sentences, of your typical day/ shift/ experience.

Need help? Questions? : Contact us: 1 (203) 414-5176 or email: yourmindinbloom@yahoo.com