Job-Transitioning Gracefully(HR)

I am feeling compelled to share a recent experience with everyone. Although this post is especially geared towards Job-Seekers, it is information everyone can benefit from. I have been on-assignment through an staffing company  as an Admin/Client Specialist for a private consulting firm. It was a very nice opportunity, and the people were great.  Several weeks ago, I sent my resume in for consideration  for an HR opportunity I really wanted.  After all HR, Recruiting,and Training are my passions. I followed up, and waited patiently.  A few more weeks, went by, and then a call for an interview, and background check.  WOW.. I thought.  Then another 2 weeks came and went.  Last week, I got the call I had been hoping for. Job Offer! I accepted, and I start Monday.

The reason behind this post, is to illustrate how to transition from one position to another gracefully.  I first called the agency, and explained about my new job opportunity, I thanked the recruiter, and the company for being so kind to me, and giving me such a nice assignment. I also spoke to the owners at my assignment. I thanked them very much for the opportunity. What “surprised” me the most, I think is that they were excited and happy for me! She said you are following your career aspirations, how can I be upset about that? I was wished the best, and they asked that I keep in touch.   She also said she would be willing to write a professional recommendation.  The takeaways from this experience are: Always leave on a good note, Never, ever, burn your bridges, Be polite, and professional, and be graceful. It’s a small world, after all………………..


What is Really Important..

I was en route to South Carolina last week. While waiting for my flight, I browsed in the bookstore at the airport. I was looking for a book that was positive, and insightful. I was drawn to Michael J. Fox’s newest book “A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Future” Well, the book is fantastic! I read all 100 pages, before I arrived. I then gave it to the gentleman sitting next to me on the plane, and said, you must read this, and he read it before we landed as well! The moral of the story, is that Life is a ride, and an adventure, but focus on the important things, and clarity will come.

So, My visit was to see my Grandmother, Joan. From the day I was born, My parents told me, I called her “Bebop” and the name stuck..  My grandmother is 78 years old, and has health challenges. It really puts things in perspective when the caretaking roles are reversed. Family is so important to me, I would do anything to help her. I am worried about her though. Mobility is an issue, simple things are hard, but she is fiercely independent. She still drives her beloved Cadillac, and her mind is sharp as a tack.

I just wanted to share my story of family, priorities, and finding balance in life. Your Family, Your Work, Your Career, Your Passions These are the simple ingredients in Life.

I would love to hear your personal insights on what you think is Most Important! Looking Forward………………………….


Drum Roll Please…………. This is a BONUS post to the Blog Series I just wrapped. It is from someone I really admire.  Paul Smith is a HR Professional from Philadelphia, PA.  Paul messaged me about submitting a guest post about a topic that is so important to HR and Paul. I was honored to be asked, and I was thrilled to include it.   He has 10+ years of experience. He is a music enthusiast, bicycle advocate, and host of the HR blog  “Welcome to the Occupation”.  Paul can be contacted through: AND or I met Paul first at an HR event in DC, and again at HREvolution in Chicago, IL.  It was a pleasure to meet such a kind and generous person. I look forward to a continued friendship.

Without further adieu. Here is the post:


The use of the word diversity has been a great concept.  Many people, over the course of many years, have taken exception to those who are of a different gender, race, religion, color, sexual orientation, age, etc. To curtail these exceptions, the workplace has been provided with legal guidelines and restrictions through various civil rights legislation and concepts such as affirmative action.  Despite the legal ramifications, people don’t change their minds overnight about their prejudices .  Change comes from within.  But to swallow that change, requires a less than bitter pill.  Thus along comes the word diversity.

Diversity is a word that means different.  Everyone is different.  No two people are alike.  And everyone believes that.  Or at least I believe that everyone wants to believe that. So what better way to tackle prejudice than to appeal to the population’s sense for personal autonomy and uniqueness?

Yet let’s not break out the lawn chairs and watch the parade march through town quite so quick.  There is still a great deal of prejudice in the workplace and a great deal of work to be done to equalize the perceived differences. If you are in HR, you know it’s a problem.  If you’re new to HR, or if you’ve been doing this for a while and you need to improve the state of diversity in your workplace, consider this:

Appoint an EEO officer in your HR office

Make sure your policy and procedures cover every aspect of protected classes, including genetic information.  Go to the Department of Labor’s website.

Train your managers and remind them, when they have choices to make to be sure those choices are based only on job related criteria.

Remember even though everyone is different, they still deserve equal treatment, even the people who are exhibiting traits of prejudice.

Let’s get the comments started… What are YOUR thoughts on Diversity? And how does it affect your personal/professional world?

Employment Branding (HR)

This is the Final post in my Blog Series “Top 10 Issues”.  I am very proud of the information we have learned and the great contributors I have worked with. For the Finale post, I am so thrilled to have met and worked with Amanda Hite.

Amanda is CEO of Talent Revolution, The Relevant Talent and Brand Consulting Agency.  She is  forward thinking, innovative, and is bringing “sexy back” to corporate thinking and people performance. She is a highly  sought after speaker, and trainer.  You can connect with Amanda via:




When I spoke with Amanda last week, I asked her to share her thoughts and opinions on the subject of Employment Branding. Here are her insights:

What attracts people to an Employment Brand?

AUTHENTICITY: Humanize your brand.  Be transparent. Show real testimonials from people who work there.  Be honest about what’s great, and what’s not.  Most importantly, be yourself.  Also, your Employment Brand will be more attractive if you’re a place where they can come and be themselves!

LIFESTYLE: Focus on Lifestyle vs. its culture.  People want to know what their lives are going to be like at work.  TELL THEM! In some instances, lifestyle and culture may be the same thing, but people will be more attracted to “This is how great your lifestyle will be while working….” rather than “We have such a cool culture”  An attractive employment brand offers lifestyle perks, autonomy, and a chance to grow personally and professionally.

PURPOSE:  We all want to do work that makes a difference.  Something that makes or creates meaning.  How is your company doing this? More importantly, how can your employees do this? Everyone wants to be a part of something that makes and creates meaning.

Now, I want to know your thoughts on Employment Branding.  Let’s get the comments started!

HREvolution Revelations…….

I attended HREvolution in Chicago last weekend. Dubbed  as a Unconference, it takes all things traditional, and turns them upside down, and inside out.  From the moment I arrived, and met my fellow 130 twitter avatars in person, I felt welcomed. Since I did not attend the first HRevolution, I arrived with an open mind and no pre-unconference expectations.  The agenda offered the attendee to move about and participate in insightful, thought-provoking conversations about everything from Branding to Blogging.

There were great sidebar conversations, networking, and new friendships being formed. It was a wonderful mix of HR practitioners, consultants, generalists, recruiters, sourcers.  Also, there were many stellar job-seekers who contributed.  To me, the Unconference experience is really not much different from a Conference. You only get out of it, what you put into it.  My initial ROI from the event was watching how the stories played out, the friendships being formed, and having conversations that really mattered.

I want to thank the entire HRevolution Planning Committee. You really did a great job!  Mark Stelzner, Jason Seiden, Trish Mcfarlane,Crystal Peterson, Steve Bose, Ben Eubanks, and Joan Ginsberg I also want to thank Beth Carvin of Nobscot Corporation for awarding me a scholarship opportunity to attend. Words can not express the gratitude I am feeling. So blessed.

I am looking forward to seeing how the next HRevolution evolves. Until we meet again…………….

Disaster Preparedness(HR)

In continuing with this blog series about Top Ten Issues, I thought it was crucial to discuss Disaster Preparedness.  No one really likes to talk about the What if? I had an opportunity to talk with someone very well versed in this area. Tim Puyleart.  Tim is founder/organizer of  MN Safety, Health, and Environmental Professionals Group.  He brings 17 years of experience in worldwide and manufacturing industries.  Tim can be reached at  Here are Tim’s thoughts on Disaster Preparedness:

Emergency Planning and Management – The Basics

Tim Puyleart MPH, CSP

An emergency is defined as an unplanned event that can cause severe injuries, disrupt or shut down operations, cause physical or environmental damage, or threaten the facilities financial status or public image. Emergencies come in many forms, have many potential causes and can have little or a drastic impact on an organization. Preparing for these emergencies is a critical process, vital to minimizing the effect of the emergency and allowing everyone involved to return to business as normal as quickly as possible. In addition to keeping the business up and running and the prevention of injuries; a solid emergency management process helps an organization maintain compliance with applicable regulations and reduces the overall exposure to liability.

Emergency planning and management is a process, and as with any process, there are four key steps that should be taken in planning for an emergency and developing the management plan.

Establish a planning team.  The first step in the process it to put a team together to develop and implement the emergency plan. In looking at the facility, who should be involved in the planning process? Does it make sense to include employees, or tenants in the process? What about security? Engineering and maintenance? As you develop your planning team, think about the roles and responsibilities of the team. In order to be an effective team, it will need the authority to make decisions, a timeline to develop and implement the plan, and lastly a budget to begin the process.

Analyze capabilities and hazards. The second step is about understanding the potential hazards and emergencies, capabilities of the building occupants  as well as the community resources available.  To begin this process, review internal plans and policies regarding evacuations, fire protection, safety and health, environmental, security, insurance, and hazardous materials. Are these plans consistent across the facility? Are occupants in one area putting other occupants at risk? Compare these plans with the applicable requirements of the regulations. Next, meet with outside agencies to understand their capabilities as well as what if any potential emergencies exist in the community. If the business next door is a chemical plant and it has major fire, how will that impact the facility you own or manage?

As you are reviewing and understanding the current programs in place, start making a list of potential emergencies that could occur in the facility itself or in the local community. To gain an idea of what those emergencies might be, look at the historical data – what emergencies have happened in the past? Geographically, what are the threats: floods, dams, proximity to airports, and power plants? What technological issues could happen?  Review the building for evacuation routes and exits, emergency shelters, and hazardous materials. Is there anything in the building design or construction that could create an emergency?

Understanding the potential threats leads directly into impact assessments. If any of these potential emergencies happen, what would the impact be to occupants, to the property, to the businesses involved?  Finally, start identifying resources, internal and external that can help with emergencies. Will the external resources be able to help, or will other priorities garner their attention? Going through this resource analysis will determine procedures required, training, mutual aid agreements and any specialized contractors that may be required.   

Develop the plan.  The emergency management plan needs to contain core elements such as: who will provide direction and control if something happens, how emergencies will be communicated, life safety, property protection, community outreach, recovery and restoration and logistics.  The plan will include the emergency response procedures for the potential hazards identified in the assessment process. In the end, the occupants of the building should know two key things: their role in the process and where do I go in response. Finally, the plan should include supporting documents that could be needed in an emergency. Examples of these documents would be emergency call lists, site maps, resource lists, and key contractors. The plan should be written in coordination with the tenants, outside organizations and the property owners and or managers.

Implementation of the plan starts by communicating and training.  Conduct drills that simulate appropriate emergencies and work with those in attendance to identify gaps in the plan that may need to be improved upon. When possible, include outside resources in the drills and the debrief process.

The development of an Emergency Management Plan is a process that will take an investment of time and energy. However, laying the groundwork for a solid plan now, will reduce the damage to the overall organization later.

I think it is critical that organizations large and small have a solid Disaster Plan in place. I want to know how you and your organizations are prepared? Let’s get the conversation started…………………..

Economy (HR)


I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Dingee at Connect HR. She is a talented, passionate HR Professional. Kelly and I spoke recently about the Economy and how it is affecting human resources and the job market.  Kelly can be found on  she is a Sourcing Researcher and Trainer for AIRS Here is Kelly’s take on the economy in HR at the present…  

The Economy. Are we on the mend? Truly? Living in the DC Metro area, and having felt the impact of the recession not quite as severe as Michigan.  Belt tightening had begun as early as 2007, and atypical housing prices in 2008.   I like many are looking for positive signs here. First off, who’s hiring, and better yet, who are they hiring?  I am seeing a lot more recruiting related job openings than I was a year ago.   I am also noticing a trend towards more contract, and temp workers and it reminds me of the 90’s.  Employers were much more willing to take on temp staff knowing they could end their contracts when they needed to.  I’ve been delighted to see 401k matches are being reinstated as well as the ending of pay freezes.  I’ve appreciated employers that have made an effort to “think outside of the box” to incentivize and engage their employees.  Whether it be extra days off, more flexible work schedules, career development training, it’s all good.    I want to pay my bills on time, don’t get me wrong, but I want flex time and I like to work from home.  In addition, I like the out of box perks, and employers are investing in education. Training has become very important, especially if firms are hiring “green” recruiters.  So I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I don’t think we will get there tomorrow, but perhaps by the end of 2011.  

Personally, I am hopeful that things are improving.  I see a move towards mean, and lean manufacturing, and working smarter, and harder.  What concerns me is that the job losses, are really taking their toll on employees who must  “pick up the slack” and now assume the jobs of 2-3 others, for no monetary incentive.  Employee retention could be another huge problem on the horizon.    I know I speak for myself and many others when I say this has been a difficult time to be out of work. One thing is for sure: We need to get Americans back to work!

I want to know your thoughts…