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:


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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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Well, it is apparent that if I do not step up and write a blog here, well, it isn’t going to write itself.  So when I think of what to write about on our blog I honestly am not sure what to go with.  I don’t want to just ramble off a lot of witless rhetoric, which is most fun for me, for that may take away from Shawna’s expertise.  No, instead I will dabble in many categories at once, all the while, trying to maintain some semblance of a theme.  This will, more than likely, appease both my ADD and my slight OCD tendencies.  That being said, today I have chosen to introduce more of me, and what it is I have done, currently do, and intend to do. 

It has already been acknowledged, if I remember correctly, that I am indeed a stay-at-home dad.  This is true, and until recently, it was all I did.  But, to be honest… it doesn’t pay well, and I now have 2 side jobs.  I will say this, for ANY man out there who thinks it is less than “manly” to be a stay-at-home dad and take care of house duties i.e. feed, bathe and raise the kids daily, clean and cook, I tell him that is precisely one of the major problems today.  The most manly thing a man can do is simple… be a man.  When a man passes off work on his “woman” he not only belittles her worth, but shows the low value of himself.  At the risk of sounding like an angry man who thinks all men are idiots, let me say that I believe most men agree with that statement, thankfully.  The days of “women’s and men’s duties” are long past ladies and gentlemen, we can look to the future with a less linear road to follow.  How great is that?  I would also like to say it has been a true God send being able to see my kids from when they wake up until their mom gets back and getting to know them has been the greatest gift I have ever been given.  They are, in a word, hilarious.  We will have more blogs about them, be sure of that.  Through the challenges I have faced here alone, “Dad I peed!”  “Awesome buddy!”  “No!  In my face!!!  HELP!!!”  I have also thoroughly enjoyed myself and have learned much more than my two amazing kids have.  But, I digress…

What else have I to offer a blog that is to be centered on, not just family but also Jobs, and job hunting?  Well, I am really not sure.  I know it will become more clear what I can write about in that area, but for now I can only say that of the many jobs I have had, several were offered in a time when the economy was down and I was up against hundreds of others seeking employment.  I know the biggest thing that helped me was confidence.  Part of that has to do with presenting yourself well on paper.  If you are reading Shawna’s information, this will be easier for you.  When I know I have honestly, and properly represented myself on paper, and the employer has extended the offer to interview there is one thing I tell myself, “They are already interested.”  What this does for me is, allow me to feel more comfortable and less like I have to still “impress” someone.  That way, I feel more comfortable in front of them, and most importantly, I can be myself.  It is easy for anyone to see when someone is putting you on, and who wants to hire someone who is trying to sell something that isn’t there. 

What else?  Grammar.  Yes, I am saying grammar is important.  I have found that when expressing yourself, constantly making a simple error will overshadow your qualifications in most cases.  I taught German to high school kids for 2.5 years.  The first time I noticed I was in the middle of a crisis was when a very intelligent young man in the 10th grade did not know what an adjective was… seriously?  I was to teach them another language, complete with new and different grammar rules, to students who didn’t know proper English grammar?  Impossible.  So, I taught them English grammar as we went.  Whether they know it or not, nearly all of them sounded much more intelligent when they properly used our language.  Did it make them more intelligent?  Absolutely not.  They were some of the brightest kids I have ever met, but some of them in writing sounded slightly less than educated.  Much of it was due to another key lifepoint, effort.  Something I always told students was, “You get out what you put in.”  What I mean is, make a plan, if you want 70% return for something, put 70% into it.  In seeking a job, I think it translates well.  If you want a great impression to be 100% felt, put 100% effort into it.  If you only bring a portion of your possible effort, how can you honestly expect anything more than a portion of their interest?  Effort and grammar can easily go together, because it actually takes some effort to speak and write in a grammatically correct manner.  This means… you will actually have to think about what you are saying… yikes.  When we get nervous, we tend to not think about what we are saying.  Maybe this is a subconcious effort for us to be able to seperate ourselves from the situation, I don’t know.  I only know that when I stop thinking and keep talking… I get into trouble. 

Well, I always feel inadequate when writing about things of this nature.  The reason for this, and my title questioning my legitimacy is something I once joked about on stage.  “So, what do you do with a Bachelor’s degree in the German language?  Become a stand-up comedian.”  True?  Not really, but my point is we all have the ability to feel inadequate, especially when jobless.  It is important to remember that we are NOT a degree.  We are NOT grade point averages.  We are NOT the flashy cover letter.  We are absolutely NOT a piece of paper.  Those are simply the tools to get us in the first door.  And, it isn’t our transcripts or resumes or cover letters that sit in the chair before a hiring manager to answer questions.  It is US.  We have always been, and always will be people.  And, as such each of us offer unique and wonderful traits to bring to a team in any company.  Unfortunately, those traits and abilities are sometimes easily overlooked, forgotten or simply illegitimized by the people who most need to see and believe them… ourselves. 

I leave with quotes as I often like to:  I often told my students, “Who are you?  Honestly.  Know yourself.  Truly know yourself, and always be yourself.  And, know with 100% certainty you are the only one that is just like you.”

And a quote from Wild at Heart, a series for men by John Eldridge as he quotes another author, “Don’t ask what you can do for the world, but ask what it is that makes you come alive and go there.  Because, what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

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Photo by geminicomplex


As I sit here trying to decide if I feel like buying a Sunday paper, I thought I would post my opinion on the use of classifieds for finding employment. I think the consensus among most professional is that newspaper classifieds are definitely old school, and the big job boards, or online classifieds (like Monster and Careerbuilder) are so huge that there is little chance of snagging a decent job from them. To a point, I do agree with that (I use the newspaper for coupons and for lining the guinea pig cage), but on the other hand, I have had great success with the job boards.

My Story

I have personally found my last 4 jobs on Monster and Careerbuilder. I think that the problem many people have with these boards is lack of follow up. Most people that I know post their resume, send it to a few employers, and then sit back and wait for the job offer. It doesn’t work like that, folks. Let me tell you about my last two job hunts, and how I managed to land the jobs.

I’ll start with the job that I had previous to the one I have now. I was attempting the stay-at-home-mom life, and found that it was not for me. I love my kids to death, but I am a much better parent when I am working. Anyway, I looked at the job boards, and only applied to those positions that I was qualified for AND interested in. Once I found a few, I then called the organizations and requested an interview. Lucky for me, I got in, made a great impression, and was hired. To be honest, I really believe there was some divine intervention involved, because I ended up with an ideal job and the best boss I had ever had, up to that point.

My second job was a little bit more difficult and more involved. Brian and I had decided to relocate from Michigan to somewhere with better weather (i.e., NO SNOW!). So, I started perusing the job boards once again. I happened to find out that the non-profit agency I worked for had offices in Southern California, and was hiring for a position that was a step up from what I was doing at the time. So, I applied via Careerbuilder (where I found the job), and then I immediately called the office and spoke directly to the Human Resources manager to let him know that I was interested, and that yes, I was currently out of state, but would love to schedule a phone interview. The phone interview was scheduled for a few days later, and that went quite well. I also asked the CEO of the Michigan office to send a letter on my behalf, which he did. Then, I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks.

During those few weeks, it became obvious that I needed to leave my current employer. The environment was toxic, and I was at a crossroads. I chose to put in my 5 week notice (4 weeks was mandatory, but I gave 5 for an extra safety net). I told everyone that I was moving to California, despite the fact that I didn’t have a job yet. I started praying….hard.

About 2 weeks later, I still hadn’t found a job. So I called the Human Resources manager back and said that I was still interested, and that I was going to be flying out to California that week (I actually wasn’t planning that, it just slipped out), and requested another interview. He agreed, and I literally flew out the following morning. He picked me up at the airport, I interviewed with him and my new boss, then they took me out to dinner and offered me the job. Then, 7 hours after I had arrived, I was back on a plane to snowy Detroit. Less than a month later, I was driving across the country with my family and belongings in tow (more on that story another time).

So, as you can see, I did not just send my resume out blindly and wait for it to be noticed. I took extra steps to get myself noticed, including multiple (but not annoying) phone calls and emails, and asking for someone with clout to vouch for me. I have been told that had it not been for those steps, they would not have taken the chance on me.

The Moral of the Story: If you want to use a job board, you’re going to have to put in the extra mile.

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Scrambled eggs

Originally uploaded by Big Al davies

I hate to cook. There is not one chore that I loathe more than cooking. Ok, that’s an exaggeration…I loathe most chores. But cooking has to happen every day. And I especially hate cooking on days when Brian is working in the evening, like tonight. My kids are so picky that they barely eat anything, especially if I cook it, so it’s basically like I’m just cooking for myself. And to be honest, if I lived alone, I would never cook. I would live off of microwavable paninis and pizza. But, with two little ones, I have to at least try to get them to eat a healthy meal now and then.

When Brian is home, it’s a lot easier. The kids will usually eat when he grills. But I don’t know how to use the grill. In fact, I refuse to learn. If I knew how to use the grill, I would never get a break from cooking! And if the kids don’t eat, at least he does, so stuff doesn’t go to waste. And yes, if I did cook when he was at work, I would make him a plate for when he gets home, but that is not the point of my little story, and in fact negates my point completely, so I don’t wanna hear it!

So, why am I telling you this? Because I’m procrastinating, that’s why. It’s almost dinner time, nothing has been thawed, and I really don’t want pizza, which is odd in itself because I love pizza, but I digress. Looks like we’ll be having what we call “Fend For Yourself NIght”. Of course, the kids are too little to actually fend for themselves, but on these nights we usually end up with sandwiches or Kraft Mac’n’Cheese, or maybe scrambled eggs and toast.

What do you do when you don’t want to cook? Leave us a message! Give me some ideas!!!! 🙂

Update:  I ordered pizza.  It’s not even here yet, and already I feel guilty.  Oh well, at least I was smart and ordered enough for leftovers so that we can have it for dinner tomorrow, when Brian is working again!  🙂

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