Many of my clients, friends, and acquaintances ask how the hiring process works over the holidays. Of course many hiring managers are off and away during the holiday season, and some (but very few) companies close their doors between Christmas and New Years. So, do you search for a job among the hustle and bustle, candle lighting, tree trimming, heavy travel time of year?

Absolutely! I had many candidates pass on interviews and lose out on jobs because they had family in town, and guess what? The candidates who were available got the job! Companies are looking at budgets and headcounts for the following year. People resign around the clock. Companies assess how they are doing and realize that they are looking for more people the following calendar year. If you really want to stand out and make a difference, leave Uncle Johnny and Aunt Susie at home for a few (or better yet, drop them at the mall), and go spend an hour in an interview. It will set you apart from the competition and really make a strong impact! Be the one who is available. Your competition is traveling, shopping, and baking!

As an aside, temporary help is at an all time high during the holidays, and is great for a little extra cash!

Ladies, you know we are working as hard (sometimes harder) than our male counterparts. Many of us have completed college with advanced degrees. Some of us support corporate executives. Others are corporate executives. So, why are we compensated so differently?

This is not about history, sociology, or a glass ceiling! I was working with a fantastic client of mine and we spent over 90 minutes discussing HOW TO ASK FOR YOUR SALARY TO BE INCREASED TO FAIR MARKET VALUE. I am not saying ask for more, nor settle for less. 

We, as women, are trained not to be argumentative, not to negotiate, and not to fight. It's time we learn what we are worth, through research, and identify ways to ask in a professional and positive way for what we deserve. Is it enough to have a job? NO! You should be getting compensated fairly and appropriately for the work you do. I teach many techniques based on individual situations, and there is no reason you should be underpaid. It is time to ask for what you are worth. (Now, if you are a stay at home mom or a working mom, you cannot be compensated enough in money for the work you do!) If you are looking for strategies on the wording to present your value to your employer, please contact Jessica at Get Hired and Beyond at 561-573-3500. There is an art to negotiation and I can help you with how best to present your value to your employer. (This applies to my male readers as well!)
Ok, so... January is almost over and you are struggling with continuing to get in shape and pay off the holiday credit. (You're in good company! I'm right there with you!) Have you taken a few moments to figure out how to make yourself a better candidate for a new job opportunity in 2014?

Whether or not you are currently employed, take a moment to think about self improvement. What did you do in 2013 in order to make yourself more valuable to the company you work for, your manager, or your future employer?

Many people expect that they have the right to be promoted/hired while doing nothing out of the ordinary. Those individuals getting promoted are doing quite a bit out of the ordinary of their everyday job. Some ideas may be:

-Take a class in your field. Better, enroll towards a higher level degree than what you currently have! In my years of recruiting, I have never heard someone being passed over on a promotion for having too much education. It's never too late, and there are many online courses to assist older students with families and careers in completing collegiate degrees.

-Start a blog. Get intricately familiar with your subject of choice! Your writing and communication skills are sure to improve! Talk to them. Maybe even help them too! You can start a local networking event if you know enough people from various industries.

-Get involved in your community. Becoming a more well-rounded person makes you a better employee.

-Most importantly, make sure your attendance is impeccable! Nobody likes a pilot who cancels at 3 am before a flight! Stay until the job gets done. Put in 100%, consistently, every day.

Let's set the bar higher for 2014! No more mediocrity. Let's show the world how it's done and all get promoted!!!
I am proud to share that within the last month, 3 clients of Get Hired and Beyond have been offered gainful employment, and I am pleased to have been a catalyst in assisting in their resume design, interview training, cover letter development, networking skills training, and other areas!

Congratulations to all of you, and wishing luck to those in the interviewing process!

If you are currently employed and seeking a better opportunity, or if you are unemployed and looking for assistance in your search, why are you waiting? Reach out to today!!!

I have posed a question on my Facebook page, as well as on a professional group on LinkedIn, where I am very active: What is the most prevalent area of discrimination in hiring today?

The overwhelming answer across the board is age, and you want to know something? That pisses me off!!! Let me explain.

For starters, discrimination is unacceptable. I don't care if you are green with no arms, 3 legs, and like your dog in a very questionable way. (If that is the case, please do not come near Sulley, our mascot!) If there is something about you that has not been a choice (aka: race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.), this should have absolutely zero indication of your previous performance or future ability to perform a job. So long as you are capable of performing your role with reasonable accommodation, you should be considered for the role and interviewed. From there, if you fit in with the corporate culture and demonstrate the best skill set (and attitude), you should be hired. Plain and simple.

But in today's hiring culture, things are not so cut and dry. Older people are being told they are "overqualified". What the hell does that even mean? If they are capable of, and interested in, doing a job, will accept competitive pay, utilize the knowledge they own. 

Are managers afraid that someone will retire? One of their employees can get hit by a bus or approached by a recruiter tomorrow. Stop being ridiculous! Give experienced people a change. Many of these candidates have excellent, stable work histories, a wealth of knowledge, the capability to train, lead, and encourage younger employees, and what they lack may be a sick, young child at home, needing a lot of days off. (Don't get me started on how many days schools are closed!) 

Companies are afraid of paying higher health care costs? Young employees get seriously ill sometimes too. Many people in their 50's want to work 15+ years before retirement. Let's give them a chance. If we are lucky, we will be there someday too!
5. Your resume isn't getting you noticed for a new job or promotion. The definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the exact same thing with a different result. We all know that.

4. You are too nervous in an interview to let your true self shine. You don't feel confident in interviews. Or perhaps, you are just unsure of what the interviewer is looking for.

3. You aren't sure of the next step in your career path, or you are looking to identify some transferable skills to switch fields.

2. You have been at your job for a long time and want to know your fair market value. (Or you haven't interviewed in a long time.)

And the NUMBER ONE reason to hire a career coach:

1. Your competition is working with me or someone like me! Don't you want the upper hand?

Call or email today!

Don't worry: I didn't put a picture on this blog article!

A few weeks ago, a dear friend posed a metaphorical question: How much douche could a douchebag douche if a douchebag could douche douche? And I texted her immediately, asking if she was responding to an email from our prior head honcho.

So...I posed the question to my loyal facebook fans: How do you know your manager is a "big fizzy douche" (to coin a musical number in Chuck Lorre's ingenious and always entertaining show, "Two and a Half Men"? The response was overwhelming, and emails are still coming in.

So, with no further ado, are you, or do you have, a DOUCHE BOSS? Here is a Top 10 Get Hired and Beyond Exclusive List!

10. You take no accountability for your team, point fingers, and blame others for your disinterest and inadequacy.
9. You treat your employees as objects, rather than humans. This is especially true and especially disgusting at termination time. 
8. You lie or make false promises, including (but not limited to): promises of raises and promotions which the company cannot back up (and you are well aware of the carrot you dangle.)
7. Instead of focusing on employee accomplishments, you nitpick the 3 minutes someone is late because they are stuck in traffic, commuting half an hour or more, to get to your stress-filled crap zone of despair. (Ok, maybe that's one of my personal contributions.)
6. You speak to your subordinates as though they were minions. Or small, stupid children. Or small, stupid minions. Being demeaning and demoralizing is a very douche way to talk to individuals you personally hired for skill and expertise.
5. You don't delegate work appropriate for the staff you hired because nobody will do it as well as you do, thereby making very intelligent people fixate on mediocre crap.
4. You devalue anything in your employees' lives besides work and expect them at your beck and call, at minimum wage, around the clock. (Right, Boss from #7?)
3. You are too self absorbed to notice that morale has gone down the toilet, faster than your team can say "Douche!"
2. You rule through a culture of intimidation, rather than a culture of respect. Yeah, that sucks on the receiving end!
1. You ask a minimum wage employee for a personal loan, then threaten to penalize the person since they did not provide you with said loan. (I actually heard that from someone this week, and think that takes the KING DOUCHE CROWN!)

Sorry to have offended anyone with the repeated usage of the word "douche'. Please feel free to take creative license when sharing with others, and change to ass-hat, crap-nozzle, jerkoff, or any other term that truly encompasses the ultimate douche-ness of a prior (or current) boss. 

Feel free to share in comments or privately how your boss has been a huge douche to you! Your anonymous quote may make it into an upcoming blog!

I shall now go burst into the musical number made famous by Walden Schmidt and Alan Harper! And...I can't sing!
How does someone doing their job turn into a hero? Does something of pure evil have to occur in order to make an everyday job into a heroic situation?

I am convinced that 9/11/2011 started out as a normal day for the NYPD and NYFD employees who kissed their spouses goodbye and went off to work. Nobody could have foreseen what that day would bring! These were not people preparing to be heroes, just people headed to a day on the job! Many did not know they would not return home. 

There are heroes everywhere. The teacher who helps an underachieving student work up to grade level. The therapist who reaches out a hand to a troubled teen and prevents a potential suicide. The founder of a no-kill animal shelter who gives a dog or cat a new lease on life. The friend who is there to listen.

Look for the heroes. Thank someone. Be a hero to someone who needs you. The best way to remember is through action. Let those who landed the plane in the field in Arlington and hijacked the vehicle from the hijackers inspire you to do something good for others. In that way, we can spread love and hope, and keep the evil at bay!

No, my loyal readers, this is not a pornographic post! Your cover letter should be no more than 3 paragraphs. 3 short paragraphs! You really don't want to lose your audience before he/she opens your resume.

And speaking of resumes, there is various discussion of whether a resume should span 1 or 2 pages. Based on your level of experience, I am fine with a resume spanning 2 pages, going back no longer than 10 years. Please, any longer than that, and you are not going to captivate your audience in the 20 seconds or less it takes to scan said resume. A full CV is not required for most positions, but is helpful to have on your hard drive to discuss talking points which may be over 10 years old but remain relevant. 

When to follow up after an interview? More than a day is too long! A brief thank you email, including an opening to have the interviewer contact you with questions should be in his/her inbox no later than the morning after you interviewed. Too much time goes by, and your follow up skills may be questioned, especially if a competing candidate emailed sooner! 

Good luck and happy hunting!

Many of you may be wondering: what’s the deal with Sulley, the job search bulldog? Let me explain his back story, as well as why he is so relevant to job searching. His expertise and will resonate with many, and he already seems to be developing quite the fan club, wiggling his way into the hearts of many, as he did with our family.

We had recently lost my beloved pug, Cheechee, who I adopted at 5. He was 13, kicked cancer twice, and passed away of a variety of health complications, coupled with old age. Our house seemed very quiet without the old guy around, even though we have a few other animals. So, we began looking online to see who was available for adoption, and even started looking at breeders.

My heart was set on another pug (of course), and my husband wanted another bulldog to keep our elderly bully company. So, we looked and looked… and out of the blue found an ad for “This Dog” at Animal Control. They could have branded him better, making up any name as many shelters do, and chose not to. The photo was blurry and sad. The brief summary had explained that he was picked up as a stray, and gave no information about his personality or health condition.

Off we endeavor, on an hour journey, to meet this nameless English Bulldog. When we get to Animal Control, we find a sweet, loving bully, in quarantine for multiple health issues. His ears have terrible red wounds, the fur on his back is balding, he has an eye infection, and is on 2 antibiotics! This poor dog was wandering the streets, but was licking my husband and son through the jail cell, while I was on a line to prequalify to adopt him.

The guys fell in love right away, and I didn’t want another puppy, so he seemed like a good compromise. I agreed, and we were told that if nobody claimed him in 3 days, he was ours. I was cautiously excited, and ran down there again when I got the call that he was ready to come home. This mangy bulldog nearly bowled me over, never mind hugging my son. He was so happy to have owners again and couldn’t stop hugging us.      

We bought him a new collar with a bow tie on it and he was very proud, prancing in circles. When we brought him to the lobby, he hugged every single person there! (The lady in white slacks was the only one not pleased to formally meet him.) He jumped in the car, demanded pets, and kissed me the entire hour home! My son was cracking up, and by the time we got home, I was head over heels in love with this fat, farting dog!

Since he has been a member of the family, we found out he knows “sit” and “paw”. We feel terrible for the family who clearly lost this beautiful dog. After quite a bit of ointments, eye drops, and other medicines, his fur has grown in beautifully, and he is show dog quality! All for $20 and a lifetime commitment to the little guy. He is eternally grateful, and gives hugs and kisses all day. We affectionately call Sulley our shadow, since he follows us everywhere!

How many times has a manager looked over a resume because it was missing a minute detail, instead of seeing the incredible potential a candidate has, if “groomed” a little? How many candidates have passed on sending a resume because they didn’t have one little detail in the job description?

We have a lot to learn from Sulley, the bulldog with the worst presentation at the pound, but with the best attitude out there! Sulley will be sharing tips on Get Hired and Beyond’s facebook page regularly at He may even help me guest blog from time to time.

The moral of the story: there’s a home for every dog and a dog for every home! Don’t get down if you haven’t found the right next career move for yourself. It’s out there! Don’t think of yourself as the dog no one wants because then you really won’t find a home!!!