Jumping into the Pond.
Dating sites. I haven’t decided whether they are a good thing or a bad thing. I guess the continued research will tell.
CharisOnLife as you know does relationship coaching which includes dating. It’s scary stuff for most people, never mind trying to navigate the garbage that is happening out there in the dating world. With the clients I coach, I hear many of the same stories, and in the end, the frustration is paramount.
Let’s be serious for a second or two. What is it that you are doing on these websites? Are you seriously looking for a partner? Or just a hook up. If you’re just in this for a hook up, I don’t have much to say on this, it doesn’t interest me personally. I’m interested in the men and woman on dating sites that are truly and seriously looking to find someone to be in a serious relationship with.
Fake pictures, bad pictures, HORRIBLE selfies, pictures with fish, pictures with dead animals (hunters) pictures with motorcycles, car pictures, flowers and scenery, dogs and the best, other men or women, oh … don’t forget the kid pictures. (Not that kids are bad, they are fantastic, it’s just they just shouldn’t be included on these sites. Once you get to know someone, then share but not until then) I could go on. This is by far the BIGGEST faux pas of anyone on any dating site, not paying attention to the image that you are throwing out there to prospects. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but what you portray is exactly the kind of feedback that you are going to get. Here’s some free advice:
1. When examining a picture full of women or men, you sit there trying to figure out which is the right person, then you start comparing them all. Not only that, are you friends cool with the fact that they too are now on a dating site? Do they know you’ve included them in your quest for LOVE?
2. Scenery, flowers are pretty, but what the hell does it have to do with dating? Travel destinations perhaps? Magazine photos? Completely irrelevant. It’s nice you enjoy those things, but unless you are actually in those pictures, get rid of them. If you want to share interests at a later date, then do so via email.
3. SELFIES. Seriously, if you cannot afford to go and get professional pictures done (which I am advising that you do) then get someone else to take the photos. The bathroom selfies are the most ridiculous. Wait, not true, the skimpy clothes, or for guys, the posed pictures with no shirt, they might top the list. No shirt pictures are fine if you’re actively doing something in the picture other than standing in front of your mirror. And gals, boob shots? Seriously? Have you not learnt anything in the last thousand years? If you want guys to only be interested in your boobs, then by all means, post more boob shots. Can’t see anything fabulous coming out of those connections.
4. Car shots: if anyone is choosing you because of the vehicle you drive or if you think that posting yourself in a certain type of car is going to get you more dates, that is totally superficial. You post superficial, you will get superficial.
5. The fish and dead animal photos. Guys, seriously. It’s great that you like to be a man’s man but you are more than the fish you catch and the animals that you kill. Truthfully, you are narrowing your market share by posting these, not a ton of women are turned on by either, if they are more power to you and them. If this is a means of weeding out, then I imagine its working.
6. Old girlfriend, boyfriend, ex’s or just friends of the opposite sex. My faves are the ones that cut out the other half. OMG in this day and age, you can take a new photo in 3 milliseconds, there is no excuse for this. All it is telling those looking at your photo is that it’s an old photo and you think that you probably look better than you do now.
7. Fake pictures. If you don’t like how you look and are not projecting a positive self-image, your chances of having a serious relationship that is lasting is going to be slim to none. Here’s the old truth, you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. If this is your category, I would say start working on yourself, like yourself, no, love yourself and the rest will come naturally. Besides, when you hook someone into meeting you using a fake photo, what do you really expect is going to happen when your blind date meets the real thing?
8. Old photos. Be real. Again, in lying about your age or your current looks, what do you think will come of that in the end. The person you meet is going to be not only pissed off that you lied, but will write you off in terms of any sort of serious relationship. Is it worth it? Be yourself.
9. I don’t mind the pet pictures; just make sure that all your photos are not of your cat or dog only and that least have you in the photos with them.
10. Last but not least. NO PICTURES. If you haven’t figured this out yet, any of these dating sites and the people on them are instantly rated on their photos, that’s the basis of it. It’s the nature of the beast, if you don’t like it, then you shouldn’t be on these sites. Here’s what having no picture makes the fishermen or women think:
a. You’re hiding something
b. You don’t want people to know you’re on a dating site
c. You’re unattractive in every way shape or form
d. You’re married or in a relationship, trying to cheat
e. You are not secure in who you are and how you look
f. All RED FLAGS. None of these things might be true, but it's what people think. Truth. Put it out there.
11. Get a decent set of photos posted. In nice clothes, in casual clothes, posed, action, athletic. MORE THAN ONE.
I will tell anyone that I coach, your pictures are your BILLBOARD! Increase your chances of success instead of sabotaging them in one glance. Let me reiterate that this does NOT mean that you have to look like Ryan Reynolds, Brad Pitt or Sean Connery on the men’s side or Scarlett Johannson, Sandra Bullock or Catherine Zeta-Jones on the women’s side … but it does mean that you have to make yourself look and present confidently and professionally. You do want people to be attracted to you, don’t you?
I will tell you the same thing that I tell my other dating client but career clients as well, your image is what gets you in the door. A professional and tasteful series of photos, in decent clothes … this is the most important interview and recruiting session of your life, ESPECIALLY if you are looking for a life partner. So why aren’t the fishermen and fisherwomen putting their best foot forward? Is dating that easy that it really is like shooting fish in a pond? I think not. Competition for the good ones that are left is FIERCE.
Daters should be thinking about first who they are and before they post online, know what they are looking for, know what you want and what they are looking for in their life. Write it down. Focus. There should be a few key points that you need to look at carefully.
1. The first point to consider in this self-analysis … is this, are you really ready to date? Have you done all you can do to be completely happy with yourself and your own life? Finding a partner should not be about filling a hole, but enhancing your already great life. Many people skip this step and just keep bouncing from one person to the next because they aren’t FULFILLED, or they aren’t HAPPY and so it goes. Truth is you should be happy and fulfilled PRIOR to bringing another person into your life. Other people cannot do those things for you; you have to do that all on your own. A new partner can add happiness and fulfillment into your life in that they add to fabulousness of your already great life. YOU have to do the dirty work and get your life in order, YOURSELF in order BEFORE getting into another relationship. If you are one of those people that believes everyone else is to blame for the dysfunctional relationships in your life, here’s a new flash, you will continue to have dysfunctional relationships because you are not taking into consideration your own accountability in the failings of your previous relationships. Own it, fix it. To blunt? It’s better than letting you go through another disastrous relationship. So figure out your next steps.
2. What do I want? Write down all the traits that you are looking for in a partner. EVERYTHING, don’t leave anything out. This is important to go back to when you start compromising your wants and needs just to get someone in your life. Include in this, what you want out of the next years of your life as well, this will determine what kind of person can fit into those plans.
3. Where do I plan to go from here? What are you future plans and how do you want this new person to fit into those plans.
4. How do I do this? Be authentic. Leave all the bullshit, lies and innuendo behind. Let’s face it, what if you actually do meet the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with online? Do you really think starting it off this way is going to end well? Anything that starts in a lie will always be a lie. Any relationship needs to start on a basis of trust, without that, you have nothing. If you don’t want people to know where you work, how much you make or where you live initially, then just say so.
5. Be honest with yourself. Both about who you are and what kind of person you can expect to date. Don’t set yourself up for failure, disappointment or humiliation. Maybe I will be able to help some of you bypass those awful feelings and find that someone amazing. Is that what you are looking for?
Yes? Was your answer yes? Then put the elbow grease and invest into this process and quit being a cop out.
So … I’m going to test the waters out. Both for the blog, CharisOnLife clients and perhaps myself. Yes, the M.O.B. has decided that she might actually consider dating.
Anyhow, we will throw a profile up on all of the dating sites and let the fishing begin. The thing I want to accomplish the most, is to help both men and women put their best foot forward on these sites, help them improve their chances of hooking that special fish. We will see how serious they really are about finding a relationship. They might not be receptive at all, but I am curious to find out. Just call me The Dating Doc … lol.
I started off with a profile on POF, Plenty of Fish for those that don’t know the term, didn’t add any information and NO photos. Still had 10 messages in my inbox within an hour. That just makes me laugh. These guys are connecting with me without knowing a thing at all about me. What does that tell me? New blood? Desperation? Not sure. One guy already asked me to cough up my name. No dice buddy. I will add my profile to the other sites and see what kind of things happen on there as well. I will keep you posted.
I will document and blog as the process wears on and hope that I gather some serious clients that want to change their profiles, and therefore their chances of landing one. It will be entertainment value if nothing else, for all of us. I have been on a dating site two other times in my life and the experiences were similar and short lived. The first time I was inundated with interest, every mammal on two feet it seemed. I think a lot of people just throw crap up on the wall to see what actually sticks. It was ridiculous. I thought at the time, for those 3 days I was on the site, that it was a nice thing to reply personally to all interest, whether it was a polite yes or no. I won’t do that again. First of all, I physically could not keep up. Secondly, no matter how nice I was, the rejected ones were still awful and abusive. However, two great things did come from this experience. The first (and only date I went on with this fellow) was this really nice guy, as we drank our glass of wine I kept thinking that he was actually a great match for one of my friends. Long story short, they started dating 4 months later and married the next year. They are still happily married and I love them both dearly, they are both lifelong friends. The second date was a bust; the pictures were of this nice looking athletic fellow and what turned up for lunch was this hot mess in a shirt that had never been ironed. He complained about his ex the entire lunch. The third date was a success and I ended up in a relationship with a very nice man with a nice family and we happily dated for several years.
The second time I tried this process was a couple of years for about one month. Then … I got the hell out of dodge. I met one very nice guy that I have remained friends with over the years and over the border. I guess that’s the thing to remember, not everyone is going to be your soul mate, but it sure doesn’t mean that you can’t be great friends. The rest, it was worse than before when it came to the BS that was floating around online, ages were blown out of proportion, body shapes, pictures were old and even though there was a five year difference in fishing online, some of same people were on there. I remembered them because they were seemingly off or rude the first time around. One fella showed up and he was about 75, my dad’s age, he said that he was 55. Yup, not joking. WHAT WAS HE THINKING? That perhaps I wouldn’t figure it out when I met him?
The stories go on and on, my clients have many an entertaining online dating story which is how this all began.
I’m here to tell you that I can help you or your friends that you know online, increase their chances on getting noticed. It is really part career coaching, part style coaching and part marketing/branding. If you have no intention of helping yourself and investing in the process of finding a mate, then by all means don’t connect. However, if you seriously want to find a decent prospect, then let me help you along the process and present the best you possible.
Some other free advice, use your sense of humour, which will gain you more mileage than your bathroom chest shot. Be creative, there’s a lot of fish in the pond, make yourself stand out over and above the others. Put in some effort. And last but definitely not least, be truthful, be yourself, the right person will love you for exactly that, take a chance that the one you’re trying to find might be out there.
PS. Since I started writing this, I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. There were many nice looking fellas on the sites, with not bad profiles and decent photographs, many still need my help, but some are well on their way. The inbox was crazy. Funny thing, all I did was post pictures, nothing in my profile at all. I will fill that in when I have time. Exchanged messages with some really nice guys so for the first couple of hours on the online dating thing, I give it a 8 out of 10. We'll see how that progresses. I gotta work, real work, so I have to sign out. A fishing we will go.
I know that you all have been waiting for pictures from my daughter's wedding and the events both M.O.B. and otherwise. I've been waiting to collect some pictures as I truthfully didn't take any photos which I know is hard to believe. So ... I've been scrounging from everyone for some photographic evidence ... mostly smartphone photos. Thank you to everyone that sent me pictures and I promise once I get hold of the professional photos, I will post those. This rendition is from the M.O.B. perspective and I hope can do it justice.
All I can say, the wedding was the most thoughtful and sweet wedding, I have ever been to, barring that they are my own kids. You could tell that each little inch had been very carefully organized, created and built by the loving hands of Miss Steph, Ian and family. Steph literally worked her fingers to the bone with DIY projects. She had her fill by the time the wedding ... I'm pretty sure that she won't be doing much in the way of crafty projects for some time. The fun part was we did some of these as a family. One night we all sat around the dining room table and cut up the streamers for the backdrop, all 6 of us. It makes for fast work when you have an assembly line going. It was so much fun and yet another bonding time as a big fantastic family. Once again, I cannot say how thrilled I am that my children have chosen such amazing partners.
This is the best picture of the bunch ... two fabulous people, ridiculously happy and so in love. When the ceremony is over, there is always such an unbelievable joy. I think in my wedding photos it was the same ... jumping into the car, couple beaming. This beautiful couple hand cut all of these colourful hearts of confetti.
I have to say, the flowers were outstanding, A shout out to Tessa at Academy Florists on Corydon...they were exactly what my daughter had imagined and that is all that you can ask for. BEAUTIFUL!
Let's start at the beginning. The kid's really wanted a relaxed and fun wedding, back in a little town that both had meaning for both of them. When Steph was a little girl, we spent 10 years living here and had a fantastic life living by the lake and the harbour, lots of great times. Ian's family has a cottage here that that his grandparents, parents and all of his cousins spent their summers enjoying. They could think of nothing more fitting than going back to the lake to get married. They wanted the quaintness of the Farmer's Hall and the Retro look of the old dance hall for the reception. I want to shout out here to Elaine and Darryl as the Farmer's Hall renovation is AMAZING. In fact it was beautiful. The refinished hardwood floors gleamed, the antiques that are set thoughtfully around the hall added the touching finish of total country charm. We all loved it. The doors stayed wide open and from the inside, you could see acres and acres of lush farm land. It really was magical.
The ceremony was like none I have witnessed before and the joy in the room was overflowing to say the least. The kids, wrote their own vows which were a mix of sweet exchanges and promises of love and affection, humour and fun. We all laughed and we all cried, it was amazing. They had three readings from one teary eyed dad, a lovely aunt and a new addition to our family. The most special was a reading by Ian's grandma and his uncle Max, it was a beautiful Jewish blessing. The kids wanted to add a different part of each of the cultures and families that brought us all together, which was such a wonderful touch. They had a fabulous officiant, Jeanette Brigit of Turning Point Ceremonies, that embrace all of their wishes with delight. They included an Icelandic tradition in which the groom gives the bride's parents a rose which of course made me cry. They had the blessing by Ian's grandma. Last but not least the Jewish tradition of the breaking of the glass at the end of the ceremony. This symbolizes the breaking down of barriers between people of different cultures and faiths. The fragility of the glass suggests the frailty of human relationships. The glass is broken to protect this marriage with the implied prayer: "As this glass shatters, so may your marriage never break." After the glass is broken everyone yells "Mazel Tov," which means good luck. Let me tell you the rafters rocked with the loudest Mazel Tov ever!
I loved the set up as the bride and groom were elevated above the crowd so that everyone could see all that was going on. Steph painted the backdrop and her dear old dad made the stand for it to hang upon, the effect was perfect, colourful and fun. There were actually seven bridesmaids and groomsmen, so the front was FULL and gloriously festive.
The treat of the day was the most creative celebration of their vows with gourmet pops by PopCart. Loved those ladies, they were so much fun to have there and in the heat, the guests were thrilled to have something cold and yummy to eat! It was a frozen pops cheers fest! i believe the choices were the Arnold Palmer and the Strawberry margarita! The kids decided that instead of champagne, these delicious frozen goodies would be an original and tasty addition to the ceremony!
Welcome to the Pavilion ... a historical dance hall that was built in 1911, it was chosen for it's ambiance and character and did not disappoint. (well except maybe the no air conditioning part) I think this MOB lost a few pounds sweating off the 35+ degrees in there, never mind dancing all night long. Again, Steph and Ian had a vision as to what they wanted the hall to look like and I have to say, they accomplished that in perfection. Below is our blood, sweat and tears in our backdrop creation, yes those are all of the streamers we painstakingly cut out of plastic coloured table cloths. They wanted the hall to look bright, and festive, which it most certainly did, it was really gorgeous. Steph handmade all of the table numbers, and colourful flags for each flower arrangement.
The food theme was as original as our couple and it was delicious! Bety from BMC Market catered the most fantastic Mexican food which included this adorable Taco Bar for all of the guests to snack on cones of taco chips,guacamole and pico de gallo. The menu included homemade corn tortillas, with three choices of fillings, pepper and mushroom, chicken tinga and a delicious beef mixture. Bety's famous Pazole (Mexican soup) was featured with all of the fixings including the radishes, onions, lettuce and hot peppers. There were several choices of salads, and there was food a plenty. I love these gals, as they worked their fingers to the bone, and it was HOT in the kitchen.
The dainty table and the gorgeous wedding cake by LaughLove cakes added a sweet and tantalizing addition to the decorations and the delicious food!
And then ... the festivities began! Notice the groom in exhibit A, this is before the M.O.B. Viking welcome to the family.
A wedding couple selfie and an M.O.B. shot, as I realized I hadn't been taking any pictures! Again ... note groom pre-MOB speech. Below, note post-MOB speech after our new Viking member was formally brought into the clan with his own head gear. I did mention that after all of these years pining to become part of the Viking clan, it was only fitting that the Mama Viking (me aka MOB) gave him his first set of viking horns. Let me note, that in any picture after this moment, my dear son in law embraced his inner Viking and donned his hat all night long, and on their honeymoon and it will be as my daughter said one of the best wedding gifts ever! LOL!
After many dances and a few celebratory viking shots of Brennevin, this extremely happy couple danced the night away with the rest of the die hards, including this MOB. I'm glad I brought flip flops, because we danced, we sang, we enjoyed every last minute of the evening.
Many Thanks from this M.O.B.
Especially to Ian's parents, Barry and Carol ...For EVERYTHING. You rock. We pinned, we hauled, we sat patiently and I could not be more thankful that it was with the both of you. None of this would have been possible without you.
Bety at BMC Market and Catering: Great food is always essential at a celebration
Academy Florists: Flowers make everything beautiful
LaughLove Cakes: Delicious!
Jeanette Brigit of Turning Point Ceremonies
The Farmer's Hall and especially Elaine and Darryl.
The staff at Gimli Rec Center for getting us our tables. Thanks for the help!
The bartenders: Dana and Dakota for persevering in the face of adversity. xo
My mom and aunts for putting out all of the dainties, and making sure everyone's sweet tooth was satisfied
Devon and Britt for doing an emergency mix run
Graham for the emergency eyelash run
Ian's folks for helping us shut it down along with the groomsmen.
Barry and Carol for the most appreciated ride home ever.
Michelle from Kamp photography for being amazing, I just want to hang out with her.
Sean Philips from A Moving Picture Studio I can't wait to see his creation, as he spent the entire day with us!
The countless friends and family that attended the wedding from near and far, those that helped us in the set up and take down, my heart is thankful. Love you all, thanks for joining us on such a wonderful day for our families.
If I have forgotten anyone, my apologies as the list is long.
Photograph courtesy of www.mbusa.com
ALIGNMENT … RETENTION … PROFITABILITY
With all of the talk out there in regards to “Talent”, finding “Talent”, being the “Talent” and defining “Talent”, I question what is it exactly that companies are looking for. I can locate a hundred articles written on any of topics, they all sound the same. Are we suffering from a skills shortage? Yes. As a manager in several different industries, I can tell you first hand, it’s hard to find both skilled AND unskilled labor. We all, as management professionals, deal with those realities every day. Throw into the mix the ideals and expectations of the people we want in the teams that we build. It doesn’t sound like anyone has figured it out to date, I speak with CEO’s, President’s, VP’s, HR managers and yes candidates, the people we are hiring. No one is on the same page. No one.
What have I learned? We are all idealists, both as candidates and as employers. It is truthfully the age old story of romance, falling in love with your soul mate. We all want the perfect employees that match our job descriptions, company mission statements and core values; we want to fall in love. I know it sounds ridiculous but seriously I’ve heard it all. Companies trying to redefine what they are looking for in a perfect employee based on the fact that they need to sometimes look outside of their given skills to find a match. The caveat here is, we say that initially then … inevitably at decision or crunch time, it still comes down to education, experience and what impression that candidate leaves with us.
I’ve read many articles and have heard from HR professionals, try and look at the big picture and “forget about this “GUT” thing”. Well, I challenge you to find someone who wouldn’t tell you that trusting their “GUT” is what has made them successful. “GUT” plus common sense, no romance involved just plain old good judgement. No one seems to write about that anymore. In life and in business, my money is still on “GUT”. It hasn’t steered me wrong yet. It’s the times that I have ignored my precious old friend, inevitably I stumbled into trouble.
CHOOSING … It kind of feels like desperation in no uncertain terms, on everyone’s part. Desperation in companies to build high functioning, performing teams with the dream characteristics of the super human employee. Here’s a note to consider, they don’t exist. There are some candidates out there that might come really close, but they are few and far between. When they do come along, companies aren’t willing to pay what they are worth; companies still want a Mercedes Benz for the price of a Chevy Cavalier.
You’re asking how I know this. Years of management for companies that don’t understand that they have to align their actions and their ‘REAL’ environments to what they are actually portraying in their job descriptions in attempting to find that “diamond” when searching for new employees. The latest thing is slapping an MBA on their qualifications but then wanting to pay them $35,000 for what is realistically a junior role. Again … align your actual roles with realistic expectations of what you can afford and what your company and environment can actually deliver. A company has little chance of success long term in hiring an MBA for a junior role, because trust me; they will be looking for a more lucrative role the minute they sit down at their new desk in your company. The minute they sit down. You are really just a temporary parking place. You may have fallen in love at first sight and won the prize, but divorce is impending, and it’s not going to be a long marriage. Your retention rate of holding onto “A” game employees in a “D” game environment is going to continue to rise, because you CANNOT provide what they really need. Note here: Don’t pout when they walk out the door, you are actually responsible for your own demise. Yes be accountable for the message that you are putting out there and make sure that you can live up to the image that you’ve sold yourself as.
This is going to sound harsh, but wake up. If it is your HR manager or recruiter that is creatively weaving a story for your job descriptions and job advertisements, keep it real. Sure sell yourself, but make sure you can deliver.
If your company wants the “A” team, then it’s time to get into the game. Old school compensation plans, company culture, old boys club, and minimalistic cultures and work environments are out the door. It’s time to pull your socks up, roll your sleeves up … and any other cliché that applies. I still find it humourous that there are companies that are still sticking to two weeks of holidays when you start with a company, no matter how much experience you are bringing to the table. This is never more important than if you do not have the available cash to pay your star employees the going rate or a higher rate for their brilliance. You better start getting creative with your compensation plans, your work culture and your praise.
People, employees, employers, we are all the same at the end of the day; we want to enjoy our lives which includes work, and family. Heard of work-life balance? You can ignore that phrase all you want, but that phrase is not only here to stay but it’s going to become even more paramount in retention strategies, recruitment strategies and candidate expectations than ever before. Why? The working world is making a shift, employees are standing up and saying, “No, I cannot work 16 hour days and use my weekends, I have a spouse and children and I not only NEED to see them, I WANT to see them!”
Sure there are many people that don’t care, family life isn’t as important as work, or the almighty dollar, some have just followed along in their parents work shoes and figured that it’s just the way that it’s done. More people are striking out on their own because many companies are not in alignment with today’s needs of society or their employees. There are company’s out there that exceed everyone’s expectations of going over and beyond in the way of maximizing their production in the way of employee satisfaction. Why? Because … they have aligned themselves with the new market requirements.
ALIGNMENT. I think alignment comes hand in hand with a realistic look at who you are as a leader, who you are as a company and who you are as an employee. If you don’t really know who you are on any of these levels, you better start to find out.
ALIGNMENT, one of the reasons why there is a rift between C-Suite, management and the underlings. Figure out why that is hurting your bottom line. You cannot succeed as a company if parts of your train are all trying to go in different directions. Think of it this way, if you hook the train up, all the cars going in the same direction and you put a big strong engine in the very front of that train, YOU WILL SUCCEED. I guess yes, it does come back to that old saying from that children’s book, the name is escaping me, but all I can hear in my head is, “I think I can, I think I can”. EVERYONE needs to get on the train, find a seat with a view and enjoy the ride. Working 16 hour days and not seeing your families, whether you are the CEO or working the mail room, is NOT how people want to live anymore.
ALIGNMENT. As the CEO, do not assume that your employees don’t want to go home and see their families and forget about their jobs at 6 pm. The more you take family and home-life away from your employees, the less productive and happy they become. Then … yes they become resentful. Then … in comes dissension … little black clouds start floating around your office and everything becomes a dark shade of gray.
ALIGNMENT. As a company, figure out who you are. Be authentic. Yes, companies have to be authentic as well. Think carefully about that jacked up job advertisement that your recruiter or HR person wrote for you. You better be able to deliver. The promises that you made in those interviews stating that although it’s not in the contract, your company believes in training and professional development, be true to your word. Be authentic, have integrity and first and foremost, remember that when you are true to your word, you are rewarded with loyalty and productivity. It’s at this point, and yes I have heard this many times, “we can’t afford training for our staff” I’m here to tell you that you can’t afford not to invest in your employees. Contrary to popular belief, people in all shapes and sizes want to be challenged and they want to grow on some level, it keeps them alive and ENGAGED. Yes, you need to have engagement in your workforce. What’s your thermometer test in your own company for ENGAGEMENT? It’s not an overdone word because companies generally still haven’t figured this out. The one’s that have are wildly successful.
ALIGNMENT. Figure out who you are, then live it. If you want engaged employees, then figure out how to do that, quit ignoring the issue, and figure it out. The secret here is once you’ve done that piece of homework, not only have you given yourself and your company clear expectations of what you really want for your employees and your company, the rest will follow. You exude your goals and expectations; you will attract and RETAIN the same kind of people, employees that truly are engaged.
ALIGNMENT. That old saying, that’s becoming a new saying again, “Put out to the universe exactly what you want, align yourself with that, that the rest will come to you” If you believe it, you live it, then you become it. Be authentic. BE ALIGNED.
Am I passionate about this? Absolutely. I don’t want to see company’s fail miserably at employee retention and happiness, I want the CEO to go home happy knowing that their company is thriving, cutting edge and is aligned in all ways. Think out of the box. Create a work culture and environment that oozes alignment in company and employee satisfaction. Create compensation packages that prove to your employees that their life at work and at home does matter to you. If it doesn’t, it should. Here is your wake up call.
I heard companies actually say to me in recruiting meetings, “And… when you’re interviewing candidates, make sure you weed anyone that starts spewing that work-life bullshit, we don’t want any of THOSE types here. We don’t believe in that garbage”. Truth. I’ve heard it over and over and over again. Get you heads out of the sand. If you don’t start doing your homework on that “garbage” and how you can start initiating it into your work culture, you will be left far behind in the game of prime employees and are setting yourself up for the “D” grade employees. Anyone else is going to find a better landing place. The other thing I might say as a life coach, to that owner, VP, Pres, manager or HR person whose mouth that came out of … better take a hard look at their own life and what they are sacrificing for their job. My guess is they gave up their work-life balance and their families a long time ago.
ALIGNMENT. If you want happy and productive employees, then value what they bring to the table. Value that your employees have a life outside your office. Happy employees are productive employees and productive employees mean efficiency and profits for the company. See … there are many positive results to paying attention to some of these seemingly small details. Note to those companies that don’t value a child’s school concert or presentation to your employee that is a parent, it matters to them. Figure out at way.
ALIGNMENT means that you speak your own truth. If you are a company that doesn’t care about any of these values, then you will attract the same. In the end, you will be building just a workforce, punching a clock. Trust me, those types of employees do not care, they will toss you aside when the something better comes along without hesitation. You can’t seriously expect that if you invest nothing into your employees that they should give anything in return? Really? Again, give your head a shake.
That’s what I’m here to do, help you and your company on all levels of ALIGNMENT.
ALIGNMENT = GOALS = CREATIVITY =ENGAGEMENT =PRODUCTIVITY = RETENTION = PROFITABILITY
It’s a real and raw process. In becoming ALIGNED, it means digging deep into WHOM you REALLY are looking at some really ugly truths as to WHAT you are, nothing a little organizational analysis can’t find out quite quickly. An unhappy work force is only too happy to chat about it. As all else, crap flows downhill, crap coming down from the top, creates crap at the bottom. So if the changes in alignment come from the top, everyone on the mountain will follow suit, let go of your EGO and make a change.
Maybe your C-Suite is ready for an ALIGNMENT … a reality check … it’s time to get your act together. If you want to know what’s wrong with your work culture … look into yourselves and then let’s fix it. Maybe your workforce is ready for and ALIGNMENT as well … maybe it’s time to clean house, get rid of the dirt, the gray clouds, the obstructing mess and start building new. However the alignment in your company needs to happen, get it done, sooner rather than later. Your lack of retention of your employees is COSTING YOU MONEY, costing you money in continually recruiting new employees, terminations and resignations, HR issues and grievances, in training and development. The key point is, those of you that say they don’t have the money for training and professional development for their existing employees, start calculating how much it’s costing you in lost time, and revenue in continually training new employees. Let’s be straight, it’s not their learning curve that’s steep but your own. Be accountable for your own short comings and stop the bleeding.
In my years in management in the business world and wearing the hat of a recruiter, I have seen hundreds of resumes. Stacks and stacks of resumes, most of them, really bad resumes. I guess that's why I decided to include in my career counselling, a spot just for developing a really good resume. There are books out there, they are a dime a dozen. Some that are worth the read, some not.
The thing to remember here is the resume is a constantly changing product. Dependent on the role that you are applying for ... Adapt and change, adapt and change. This is of course is dependent on your skill set, and the type of work you're seeking.
Being a recruiter was a rude awakening, when it comes to reviewing resumes. You get hundreds a day sometime, you have to be good at scanning the material in such a way that you're make a judgement call on a resume in less than a minute. I used to think that recruiters guide you and help you create the best resume to win the job. Not. They don't have time. They are driven by numbers, quantity over quality. It's not necessarily about finding the right person for the job, it's about finding a warm body to fill the vacant space. If you are using a head hunting company ( and I actually recommend not just choosing one, but use them all, the more your resume is out there getting promoted, the better your chance of getting a job. Like everything else, their are some really great recruiting companies, and some that aren't.) Find a recruiting company and a recruiter that is aligned with your job skills.
When it comes to the almighty resume, find someone, that knows what they are talking about, do your research. I've seen some that were professionally paid resume writers that created a sub-standard product at the end of the day, not worth it's weight in gold. You also need to be sure that the government agencies that are supposed to be helping you are actually doing you a favour. Some of the worst resumes I've seen to date are coming out of those places, do your own homework.
I will give you five tips to remember when you're re-writing your resume that as a recruiter, I looked for constantly.
1. Keep it succinct, The one page rule only applies when your work history is short. Nowadays people are changing jobs frequently and have a wide variety of skills and experience.
2. Spelling and grammar check along with proper formatting
3. Tailor your resume to the job that you are applying for. (yes, even if you have to change it every time) Transferrable skills can be different and worded differently to accommodate different job descriptions.
4. MAKE IT LOOK GOOD. (again with the formatting, if your resume is all crunched together, no one wants to read it, it's like an assault on the eyes and brain)
5. Decide what kind of resume you want to create, many times, I go with skill based as I think they give a better picture of your talent. You can still chronologically list your positions, just not with a lengthy description beneath.
CV's are a different matter altogether as the positions that applicants are applying for are usually high end, large responsibility roles. CV's also should be succinct but I don't believe length is as much of an issue.
Spend as much time as you can creating your resume as you have got one chance to catch someone's eye in the vast pool of applicants. Be diligent, be prepared, use the tools the employer has provided: a good job description, that job description is your best friend. Use it to create your cover letter, and the basis of our resume. Cover off as many of the points as they have asked for with your own transferrable skill. SELL YOURSELF.
Last but not least, believe in yourself, have confidence. You NEED to have CONFIDENCE to write that great resume, THEN sell yourself to both the recruiter and the employer. Keep posted for the next instalment in regards to the part everyone hates...THE INTERVIEW.
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Let me not be judged by what I have and have not accomplished but by the remarkable children I have raised. Mother, Business Consultant, Entrepreneur, Designer, Artist.
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