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Archive for August, 2008


photo by kraemer

So, it’s been a rough week in our house. It all started on Monday. I got home from work, and The Boy was napping. When he woke up, he was crying and coughing and I kinda thought he was going to throw up, but thankfully he did not. Anyway, he told me that it felt like something was stuck in his throat, and that it hurt. Well, The Girl had a sore throat last week, so I figured he caught it. I got him all snuggled up on the couch and about 20 minutes later, he bursts into tears and tells me that he swallowed a penny! So, I called Brian and made him come home from work, and we took him to urgent care. By the time we got the X-ray taken, it had passed through to his lower intestine, so we have spent the rest of the weekwaiting for him to poop a penny…so far, we have not seen the penny…although he’s a quick flusher, so we could have missed it.

The rest of the week was just spent with me driving all over LA county to my various programs, so not too excitig, but hectic just the same.

Now, we all have a cold, which means that we are all prett cranky. And I can’t stop falling asleep. I’ve taken more naps this week (3) than I have in quite a while. I’m hoping it’s just the cold. I suppose it could be stress too, but I guess we’ll see once the cold passes. EIther way, I need to get motivated because my house needs to get clean before the Moms come on Wednesday.

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Photo by arcanegazebo

I have written a lot of resumes. If I had to guess, I would say that it’s probably near the 1,000 mark. In previous jobs, it was my responsibility to write killer resumes for people with less than stellar work histories….for example, maybe they had never worked in their career of choice, maybe they were job jumpers, or maybe they just got out of prison…..yes, that really happened. More than once. In fact, we had a whole program devoted to people who had mental illness and/or substance abuse issues who were involved in the legal system. But I digress…

My point is, that most of the job seekers in the world rely on your standard, chronological resume. This is fine, great even, IF you have a knock-out work history. If, however, you have moved a lot, switched careers, are thinking about switching careers, or had some unconventional jobs (for example, making license plates in the state penitentiary), than a functional resume is likely to be more your style.

So, what does a functional resume look like?

A functional resume highlights skills and attributes instead of work experience. Don’t get me wrong, you probably still need some experience, but your former jobs may not be as important as the skills you learned there.

The way I typically write a functional resume is a little bit different than most people, but I have found that it helps the resume to stand out from the crowd. One thing that is important to remember is that, while chronological resumes can sometimes break the “one-page” rule, I believe that functional resumes should really be only one page. Otherwise, it looks like you are just listing a bunch of stuff on the page with no real focus.

So, the headings that I use on a functional resume are as follows:

Name and Contact Information – (Obviously, just put your name at the top…no need to title the section)

Summary of Qualifications – 2 or three sentences explaining why you are qualified for the position you are applying to – looks better if you change this for every job you apply to. You can also call this an Objective, or you can simply write the statement with no heading.

Qualifications (or Skills) – I then break this section down into 3 separate categories, based on the job. For example, on my own resume I would break it down into Interpersonal Skills, Computer Skills, and Management Skills. I would then add 5 or 6 bullet points under each sub-heading. Be sure to list any relevant accomplishments in this section (saving or making money for a company is ALWAYS an accomplishment!)

Education – List your education.

Work Experience – List only the name of your employer and your job title. If your work history is pretty solid, you can add dates, but if you have jumped around a lot or haven’t worked in a while, I would leave them off. They’ll ask for them at the interview, but get your foot in the door first.

The Education and Work Experience sections are interchangeable. Put whichever is more impressive first. For example, if you have an MBA, but have only ever worked in fast-food because you just graduated, list your education first. But, if you have worked at GM for twenty years and only have a high school diploma, put your work experience first.

One Last Thing

I went through a period recently when I thought I wanted to change careers, but I was more motivated to relocate. Instead of having one resume and sending it out to everyone, I had 2 functional resumes (one for Marketing, and one for Consulting – neither of which I had ever done) and 2 chronological resumes (one for non-profits, and one for business management). I was very selective in who got which resume. Granted, they all had basically the same information on them, but they were worded and formatted specifically for the job to which I applied. I would highly recommend having at least 2 resumes (I may have gone overboard, I admit) for the purpose of sending appropriate material to your selected audience.

If you have a resume that you would like to have reviewed, feel free to email it to me. I’ll be happy to take a look. Please do not send attachments, though, because I won’t open them! Just copy it into the body of your email.

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Photo by a mere excursion

Wow, have I neglected the blog this week! I apologize. It’s just that, despite being a very busy week, it’s been rather boring around these parts. We haven’t had to deal with Fay, though we do have family and friends in the region that have. There have been no new developments with the kids, and frankly, I’ve been rather cranky this week. Oh, and our main computer died. But, I think I’m feeling better now, so I’m going to work on a little something related to job hunting to post later today or tomorrow. Until then, I’ll share what we are looking forward to in the next couple of weeks.

Yesterday, I spent 4 hours…that’s right 4 hours…cleaning the kids room. Normally, I just throw all the toys in toyboxes or bins and call it a day, but yesterday I dumped everything in the middle of the floor and started over. The picture above is not their room, but it’s a pretty good depiction of what it looked like. “Why ever would you do such a thing?” you may be asking…well, because we are having house guests in a week and a half, and I would like for them to be able to see the place at it’s best. Which leads us to our upcoming plans…My mom and Brian’s mom are coming to visit! Yay!

Now, my kids really miss my mom. Prior to our move to SoCal, she was their primary babysitter when Brian and I were working. Now, of course, Brian works nights and weekends, so we don’t really use a babysitter, but the kids are really Jonesin’ for some TeTe time (that’s my mom’s Grandma Name – TeTe). On the other hand, We typically only see Brian’s mom a few times a year, so they get very excited when Oma Lubs comes to visit…also, she has never been to California (or to our new place) so they are excited to show her around.

They are staying for 2 weeks. The worst part of that will be where to put them. We live in a 2 bedroom apartment, and we do not have a sofa bed. We have several blow up mattresses, but after 2 weeks, I’m going to be very tired of looking at them.

So, the next few weeks it looks like we are going to be living like resident tourists, taking The Moms to Hollywood, the Beach, and hopefully, we’ll get to see some famous people. Because, that is my goal. Since moving out here, all I have wanted is to see someone famous…anyone famous. And that has not happened yet. So, I’m going to go trolling with the moms to the paparazzi hangouts…the Ivy, Mr Chow, Malibu…..Yep, I’m going to be “that guy”…or girl, as the case may be. I just hope The Moms are on board for such an adventure!

Oh, tonight we are going to Ikea for some much needed organizational and lighting paraphanalia. I’m very excited about this because, 1) I love Ikea and 2) The Boy is finally potty trainined, meaning that the kids can go in the supervised playroom, and Brian and I can look at stuff that we actually want to look at. Yay!

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This will be an odd post, as I am never sure what to write here.  Honestly, it’s hard to post here for me.  I don’t want to drag the professionalism down at all… I feel my posts will be few, and requested.  This, however is one I thought of that may be, at the very least, an interesting read and possibly an uplifting one if not a tad bit entertaining, that all depends on your outlook. 

If there is one thing we learn as parents, it’s that our kids teach us possibly more than we will ever teach them, or at the very least, more important teachings that we will take and keep forever.  So, that being said, there are things that, as a new dad, and as a repeat father I learned that have helped me and will continue to help me deal with “life”. 

I was young, and my baby girl was coming soon.  I was more excited and scared than I had ever been, in any situation, at any age, EVER.  When the day arrived and I was helping in the delivery room, recovering from my wife’s proposal to her anesthesiologist (I don’t think she was serious…) the moment came.  My daughter entered the world.  Now, of course it was not that simple, nor in any way easy, but that story becomes too graphic as I describe it, and isn’t necessary to this post.  (You’re welcome Shawna)  My wife summed up the horrific event (yeah, it’s quite horrific for the most part) with a statement that rings true to this day.  Despite her pain, fear and utter and complete pain… did I mention pain?  Despite the exhaustion and what appeared to be, by all accounts a failure until The Girl entered the world, my wife uttered the words, “I love her so much already.”  The triumph overcame and overshadowed everything else.  In that moment we were whole.  In that moment, despite how difficult the journey was, despite the pain and weakness and all of that, there was the victory that surpassed it all.  And, although we certainly won’t forget the incredible journey pain and all, what we will hold hard and fast to is the triumph, the love.  The humility and the utter admiration I hold for what my wife had done, and who my daughter was. 

Touching?  I know.  Well, it can’t last forever.  Here is my take on more “learnings” in this area.  We had moved to my mom’s (mother-in-law, but I don’t call her that) and I was walking downstairs with The Girl in arm.  I missed the second of around 12 steps.  We went down. Fatherly instincts kicked in, and I gathered her into me, and took the full grunt of the fall on my back.  At the bottom I sprang up as if there were springs loaded inside my backside triggered to go off at impact.  ARISE young father and what next!?  I handed off my daughter to my mom, as I was in no shape to hold her any longer, the pain was growing.  So, this was a tough situation.  The triumph was not only in the obvious, The Girl was completely fine, and I wasn’t injured badly, but also in another moment; a moment that will no doubt be repeated throughout our lives.  While I held fast to my little bundle, my wife (and possibly her mom, I don’t remember) dropped EVERYTHING she was carrying.  I mean, she dropped everything.  Victory was, in the wise words of Stewie, mine.  I see triumph all over that story.  -Another, I was changing The Girl’s diaper in the same house, upstairs on the dresser changing table.  First was the day of the ‘powder fart’ yeah, it happens and did, and that in itself was a triumph.  But, this is a slightly darker story.  As I leaned down to be sure I had cleared all the… miscreants… is that the right word?  Works for me.  I leaned ever so slightly down and right, and upon rising with a triumphant smile I felt that the right side of my head was heavier than previously… the shout rang out.  “Help!  I have poop in my hair!”  The triumph?  Not sure, it might belong to The Girl, but it’s funny. 

Recently, potty training is fun.  (If you are an outsider watching from a safe distance who can leave at any time.)  Honestly though, one major thing I have learned is that my kids, despite all their failures and all the accidents that you thought may cause permanent damage, always see the triumphs and ignore the rest.  The Girl, after a long and horrible time on the pot, emerged triumphant with a wonderful thought.  “If you use your imagination, your poop can be anything you want it to be.”  Ahhhh, wise words spoken clearly and thoughtfully, a certain victory in my book.  And, more recently, The Boy, who is certainly coming into his own as a wonderful addition to our family, gave me a mixed message.  “Dad!”  “Yeah?”  “I peed!!!”  “Awesome buddy!  That’s gr…”  “In my face!!!”  “What!!??  Oh my gosh!  Hold on!”  Again, do you see the triumph?  Maybe not, but he was on the potty.  He made it there and his pants were dry, even if his face wasn’t.  And, he learned that it’s not worth it to watch how things work through that crack beneath the seat. 

I know this may not ‘truly’ be a grouping of triumphant tales, but amidst it all, triumph is evident, and it is what we will take with us, and why we remember these moments.  In life, as in parenthood, there will be failures, utter failures, unreadable failures, unforeseen and inexplicable failures, but be reassured readers, amidst them are most certainly triumphs.  I promise.  In losing my teaching job, a job I honestly with 100% certainty loved like no other (aside from entertaining, which I did there also :)) I felt miserable.  I felt like a failure.  But, the triumph was realizing I had been there.  My students loved me.  Most parents and staff loved me.  I had made an impact.  I could move on, head held high and learn from it.  My next job was filled with annoyance, liars and bad management.  I did not skate by as I would have, I stood up, and I said what I thought, what everyone thought, and things began to change.  Too slowly perhaps, as many left, but the point is, I did not like the place, but took hold of triumph and I triumphed in the face of most managers there, including the VP.  We will never be measured by failures, but rather by the victories, great or small.  So why let those failures, great or small, take you down.  Gather yourself and remember that no matter how bad things seem; if you use your imagination, your poop can be anything you want it to be. 

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Photo by movingcompanies

First of all, please allow me to apologize for neglecting the blog this week. It’s been a rough one. Please forgive me!

Now, on to the subject at hand. I’ve noticed a lot of articles recently about whether or not one should relocate for employment. Being a person who just relocated, and because I promised you this story a while back, I thought I’d give it to you now. Be forewarned…this is not a pleasant story, but it does have a happy ending.

Ok, so, I mentioned before that we recently moved to California after spending our lives in Michigan. I have already told you how I got my job in California, so if I won’t be redundant now. I do highly recommend obtaining a job in your desired location BEFORE moving, unless you have quite a bit of cash saved up for a few months of living expenses.

So, I got the job offer on February 29th, 2008. I was scheduled to start work on April 7th, 2008. Brian was scheduled to be out of the state for work for the entire month of March. What the hell was I thinking??? About a week after I got the job offer, I called to request that I not start until April 14th, 2008. Still rough, but it gave me a week of breathing room.

After researching moving companies, we decided that it would just be better (less expensive, no worries about where on earth our stuff was, no surprise costs) to rent a truck and move ourselves…..across the country…..with 2 kids and a dog…..and 3 other people………

So, I packed the entire house with the help of my family and friends, but not the help of my husband. He came home 3 days before we were set to move. He loaded up the truck and packed all of the outdoor/garage things. But, before all of that happened, our basement flooded….not once…..not twice…….but THREE TIMES!!! That resulted in a lot less stuff we had to move, which I guess was good, but I really did not need that stress.

Then, Brian did not get paid. We were expecting a $3000 check, and he didn’t get it. So, the day before we were supposed to leave, we had to refinance my car in order to have enough money to get there. Awesome.

Ok, so, we get the truck packed, have our going away party, and we are on our way. Here is what our convoy entailed: Me, driving our SUV, with our 2 kids and my mother, who is legally blind. She came with us to help with the kids. Bless her. In our sedan, was my cousin Tara, who drove, and my 73 year old grandmother, who came because she loves a good road trip and had never been to California.

Things went along swimmingly through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. Then we hit a big thunderstorm in Oklahoma, but that was ok too, because we left that state before it got pummeled by tornadoes, so we were very lucky. Texas was boring, but short, so that was fine too. It was Albuquerque, New Mexico, where all hell broke loose. First, The Girl got sick. She was barfing. I do NOT do barf, so I went into an instant panic attack. We stayed in a hotel that night, and when we were getting ready to leave, a very heavy door at the hotel slammed on my wrist, resulting in a trip to the hospital. I spent 5 hours in the ER waiting room, while people were having seizures across the aisle from me. I left without being seen. (Luckily, the hotel paid for all of our expenses, including both night’s stays, an extra day of truck rental, the hospital bills, and meals). We finally get out of New Mexico and into Arizona (meanwhile, the girl is still not feeling well…..we switched cars and my grandma and I had just The Boy). Almost as soon as we crossed that border, The Boy choked on a pretzel and barfed all over the backseat. We (well, my mom and Tara) changed his clothes on the side of the road, and he rode in the big truck with Daddy for the rest of the day. Then we got lost, almost ended up in Vegas, and almost didn’t make it to our new apartment before the leasing office closed. Thankfully, they were nice enough to stay late for us, and we didn’t have to pay for yet another night in a hotel.

Total cost of the trip, including the truck, gas, meals, hotels, etc, probably totaled about $5000. Oh yeah, and it wasn’t covered by my new employer.

So, was it worth it? TOTALLY! Brian and I have never been happier. We fit in much better out here than we ever did in Michigan. And who doesn’t love SoCal weather? So, as we celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary, we have entered a new, exciting, and fabulous time in our life.

I don’t know if this will help you with your decision on whether or not to relocate, but it was fun sharing it with you!

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I don’t know how this post fits into our little blog here, but it’s so exciting that I just have to fill you in!  The Girl is entering first grade next week, and so we’ve been doing the whole school-shopping thing.  Well, she’s so little that it’s next to impossible to find pants to fit her, with jeans being the hardest.  To give you a clue how tiny she is, she tried on a pair of 4 Slim at JC Penney the other day, and they were too big!  That is, the waist and backside were huge, but they were also about 2 inches too short!

Well, after much hunting and about a million stores, we finally found jeans that fit her!  So, thank you, Old Navy and your slim fit jeans, with the adjustable waistband!  And they were on sale!  Bonus!  Now The Girl doesn’t have to live in dresses and skirts all year round!

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Photo by Leo Reynolds

Well, it’s been a little over a week since Brian started his second job, and it’s been rough. I forgot how hard it is to coordinate schedules when we are both working. Here is what last week looked like:

Monday

8-4 (approximately) – I worked
4:30 – I got home

Correction:  I had that day off.  I completely forgot.  That’s bad when you can’t even remember a day off!  I think we went to the library that day…..anyway….

 4:40 – Brian left for his first day on the job.
4:42 – The Boy started crying because he missed Daddy
4:43 – I put in a movie for the kids to watch
4:51 – The Boy decided he didn’t like the movie and went to play in the bedroom…PEACE
5:30ish – I started dinner (Yep, I cooked that day…don’t get used to it). The Boy helped. The Girl continued to watch the movie.
6:30 – We ate dinner.
7:30 – I did the dishes while the kids played
8:00 – Bath
8:30 – Bedtime for the kids
8:35 – I collapse on the couch and watch John and Kate Plus 8 until Brian got home
Midnight – Bed

Tuesday

This was my birthday, and Brian didn’t work, so we went to the mall, out to dinner, and out for ice cream after I got home from work. It was a good day. Except for that pesky little earthquake thing.

Wednesday

See Monday, except I am fairly certain that I did not cook dinner…..I have no clue what we ate that day.  Also,I know that I actually did work that day.

Thursday

I have no recollection of this day, except that Mark and Chelsey went home on So You Think You Can Dance, and I was pretty mad at how Last Comic Standing is going this year.

Friday

See Monday, except that Brian had to be to work at 3pm and our babysitter had to go to a wedding or something, so I had to go home from work early. I did not cook that day…I think we had pizza.

Saturday

10-3ish – Brian worked his beach job. The kids and I did NOTHING.
3:05 – Brian got in the shower, I got the kids ready to go to The Girl’s friends house.
315 – Leave for said friend’s house
330ish – Brian left for job number 2
6ish – get home from friend’s house, realize there is nothing in the house for dinner. Decide to make Mac n Cheese…from a box
630 – Eat Mac N Cheese, with canned pears on the side.
7 – Take the kids to the playground before they die of boredom
8 – get home from the playground and throw the filthy children in the tub
8:30 – Brian’s home! Yay!
9 – Bedtime for the kids.
9:05 – Collapse on the couch and do nothing for a while, then went to bed

Sunday

8 – I went to Walmart and the grocery store. I did not know that people are actually up this early on the weekend.
10-330ish – Brian worked his beach job. The kids and I picked up the house a little and did a miniscule amount of laundry
330 – Brian and I shower (individually), and start getting ready for our date night.
530ish – Hurray for the babysitter!!!!
6is – Brian and I left for a nice dinner
930 – get a phone call from the babysitter’s mom (The babysitter is only 16 years old) asking why the babysitter isn’t home yet…she was expecting her home at 8…..what???)
935 – We get home and send the babysitter home to her mommy. Kids are already in bed…Yay!
Midnight or so – Bed

Monday

Start over!

Ok, so this was hard enough, but now The Girl has to go and start school next week. So, the rest of this week will be spent trying to get the back-to-school shopping done, and next week, the hell that is school schedules will begin. I am so not looking forward to it….especially since we will lose our babysitter due to her school schedule as well. I can only hope that Brian’s second job continues to have him come in at 5pm, so that we don’t have to worry about the kids in the 2 hour window that would occur if he had to be to work at 3.

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