leaders have followersOn Tuesday I had the pleasure of hearing Laura  Huckabee-Jennings speak to my local SHRM chapter. She did a fantastic presentation titled Leaders Have Followers, and I took a page full of great notes. I had to laugh though. I was thinking to myself that my manager should have attended, because there were some things in there that she would be interested in implementing. Then I looked up and she was sitting two tables away looking right at me! Be careful what you wish for!

Below you’ll find my tweets/notes from the event. Because they’re chronologically ordered, you’ll have to start at the bottom and read up to get them in the right sequence. If you see one that stands out for you, mention it in a comment below. I’d like to know which ones really resonate with you. Continue reading

local shrm chapterNote: this post is not encouraging anyone to spam a group of people. It’s only a recount of my own experience. If you spam your local HR pros, you could get booted from the SHRM chapter. Fair warning!

Back in the spring of 2009, I started looking for my first HR job. While I graduated college a year earlier than that, I had to work for my employer for a year since they paid for my final semester of college. I knew that it was time to step out of the small pond and jump into the world of HR with both feet. At that time, I was working with Andrew at Jobacle as a staff writer. In a fortunate coincidence, I had interviewed JT O’Donnell for a story on the Jobacle blog, and after a brief mention that I was job searching, we began to work together. JT is a great career coach, and her company, CAREEREALISM, is the place to go if you’re a job seeker looking for help.

Within a week, an entry level HR position with a local nonprofit opened up. I went for it. I wrote a cover letter, attached my resume, and sent it to their in-house recruiter. The only problem is that I knew that everyone else who applied for the job would do that exact same thing. I had to make it better. Continue reading

criticize coach employeesYou have employees out there who seem to continually mess up. It doesn’t really matter what the project is, because they will find a way to flub it.  It is incredibly frustrating for you, so what’s your natural reaction? Criticize.

I’ve done it myself, so don’t make me think I’m the only one out here. Someone can’t fill out form A correctly? Well, they are just careless. Procedure X is out of whack? That employee is too lazy to do it right. Sure, you can criticize them (we all do), but what does that really change? Nothing. But there is something you can do that might actually make a difference. Continue reading

It’s October. That means Halloween is just around the corner. And I’ve got a Halloween business strategy that employers will be dying to get their hands on. Okay, I’ll let you in on my secret. Zombies. What if your HR reps could reanimate dead flesh and bring those zombies into the workplace? The potential benefits more than outweigh the occasional brain-eating frenzy. Here are 10 reasons to hire zombies in your workplace…

  1. Use them to cull the bad employees from the herd. That should discourage the ‘ole quit-and-stay mentality.
  2. While they\’re not great at complex tasks, you can use them as motivators for the people who do those types of work. Bob in accounting wouldn\’t screw up the numbers with a zombie hanging over his shoulder!
  3. Since they don\’t get diseases or sickness, you won\’t have to waste any more time with FMLA.
  4. The benefits package would be cheap. They don\’t even need vacation pay!
  5. Zombies don\’t get tired, and they never waste time on Twitter (although Zombiebook is growing in popularity from what I hear).
  6. Everyone loves zombies. They\’re so cuddly. There have been dozens of movies dedicated to their antics.
  7. There is a drastically simplified recruiting/hiring process associated with zombies, and it\’s actually just a single question. Are you a zombie? [grunt] Great! You\’re hired.
  8. In case #7 worries you, don\’t freak out too much. Zombies aren\’t a protected EEOC class. I checked.
  9. You can train them to recognize and attack union organizers, IRS agents, or OSHA inspectors.
  10. With all of the recent employee engagement talk, you really don\’t have to worry. Zombies stay 100% engaged until a shotgun blast pulverizes their skull.

But, as always, I’m not covering something. What are we missing? Is there another great reason to hire zombies that I’m not covering? Drop it in the comments below! And if you enjoyed this list, then you might want to check out the Batman list as well!

Update: I posted a sequel list (more reasons to hire zombies). Check it out!

I frequented the multitude of career blogs when I was job hunting, and while I could find dozens of posts on how to get a job, I really didn\’t see anything that helped with how to leave a job. What\’s okay and what\’s not? Is it a problem if I email some people and not others? Should we have a going-away party or celebration? And that\’s just what I can pull from the top of my head. I\’m willing to bet that many of you have experienced the same questions when you want to leave your job and don\’t know the “how” that is involved. Don\’t worry, though, I\’ve found something that is going to help. It’s “The Exit Guide” from Jobacle.

Before I created UpstartHR, I wrote for a career site called Jobacle. I developed a great relationship with Andrew, the owner, and we still chat pretty often. When I found out that he was releasing a guide on how to leave your job, I knew it was something I needed to share.

Jobacle is a blog written by the worker, for the worker, and it\’s just one part of the Jobacle brand. In addition to the 5+ years of articles and posts on the blog, Andrew has also build a library of dozens of career podcasts that are completely free for the taking. In other words, he has proven himself to be a trustworthy source for thousands of job seekers over the years. Now he has developed his first guide, and I couldn\’t be happier for him.

If you\’d like to get your own copy of “The Exit Guide,” just click the link and see for yourself what he has put together to help you with how to leave your job. I think you\’ll be thrilled with the result!

tweet1This isn\’t going to appeal to everyone, but I\’m putting it out there just the same. I get questions often from my many blogging friends. They usually center on finding new ideas to write about and keeping the spark of creativity alive. Even though I\’m technically an HR newbie, I pride myself in creativity. I wrote a lot of fiction before I started writing the kind of stuff that I do now, and I\’ve always been able to cobble together a story from a single thought fragment. So here are some ideas for you to inspire your own creativity. If you\’re a blogger, you\’ll be using these ideas for that. If you\’re not, then they might help you with something else. Trying to solve a problem at work? #6 has helped me with that dozens of times. I\’ve also included these as a free PDF for your downloading pleasure! Put it up by your computer and check it when you\’re stuck. 20+ Ideas to Inspire Creativity

1. Take an old post and explore it from a different angle.

2. What do you read? Watch? Listen to? Enjoy? Each is a source of inspiration!

3. Open your RSS reader. Find a post you starred/enjoyed. Write a corollary or a counterpoint.

4. Use Google Alerts to show you news on a given topic.

5. Use Google Trends to find something “hot” to write about.

6. Turn off the radio in the car. You’d be surprised what happens when you don’t have music drowning out your “voice.”

7. Make a funny top 10 list.

8. Find a calendar of holidays and pick one to write about.

9. Find a quote that hits you a particular way and expand it into a paragraph or two.

10. Take a well-known phrase and apply it to your blog’s focus to develop a topic.

11. Review an item that you’ve used recently (book, movie, service, etc.)

12. Take two or more blog posts from other bloggers and tie them together with some of your own thoughts.

13. Predict something. It can be funny or serious, but it should stimulate readers.

14. Take an opposing stance to your normal ideas and try to make it convincing.

15. Force yourself to come up with 25 ideas for something. Anything. Twenty four of them might be horrible, but one could be a gem! 50 is better.

16. Write from a different point of view. Maybe try to demonstrate the POV from the VP level, manager level, and entry level.

17. Find someone to talk with about your blog. It can give you ideas, get you motivated, and help you propel yourself to a new level.

18. Find a new place to write. Even if that means lying in the closet floor with a laptop (Hey, whatever works!).

19. Comment on other blogs and use that as the basis for a new post. Similar to #3, but you give the other blogger a little comment love as well.

20. Go back and pick one of your first dozen posts to update.

21. Save your drafts. Even if it’s not looking like a good post, you never know when inspiration will strike and help you turn that puppy around.

22. Have a conversation in person with someone. Let that stimulate your brain. Quote the person in the post (people love that!).

23. Revisit your blog’s purpose and what you want to accomplish. Just refreshing yourself on that should give you some ideas, especially if you can think back to why you started it in the first place.