When I participated in a collaborative eBook project recently, I really looked forward to seeing the finished result. However, even though it was a relatively short and to the point guide, I had a hard time focusing on all of the different thoughts. With so many great avenues to pursue, I struggled to do well in any of the areas. So I created a short worksheet and used it to draw some useful, actionable, and personalized takeaways from the guide.

Then I realized how powerful that could be for others.

So I took the eBook (thanks to Chris for using a Creative Commons license that allows me to spread the content to anyone I choose) and chopped a few of my favorite pieces out, formatted them into lessons, and created a few resources to help you get everything you can out of this free (but VERY valuable) content. Interested? Here’s what you have to do: Continue reading

What the Heck is RSS?

And why should I care?

What is RSS?

Good questions. First, here\’s why you should care.

Unlike getting website updates or ezines by email, RSS feeds give you absolute, 100% complete control over the situation.

You don\’t have to reveal your email address. If you want to stop receiving content, you don\’t have to request to be “taken off the list.”

One click, and poof… the subscription is gone. Continue reading

Human resources professionals have the opportunity to do some wonderful things. And in the past few weeks, I was able to be a part of something that is simply amazing. What is it, you ask?

Do Amazing Things

This was a group eBook project organized by Chris Ferdinandi of Renegade HR. To learn more about this project, click here for his post. If you want to skip everything else and leap directly to the free eBook, it can be found at this link. The cool thing about the free guide is that it’s licensed via Creative Commons, so you can share it with anyone you wish. And with the all-star cast that Chris put together, I’m willing to bet that you’ll want to!

The Cast

  • China Miner Gorman from SHRM
  • Michael VanDervort from Human Race Horses
  • Lance Haun from Rehaul
  • Karla Porter from the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber in PA
  • Paul Hebert from I2I
  • Jim D\’Amico, recruiter extraordinaire
  • Victorio Milian of Creative Chaos Consultant
  • (Me!)
  • Steve Boese from Knowledge Infusion
  • Nathaniel Rottenberg from Rypple
  • Trish McFarlane from HR Ringleader
  • Jessica Lee from APCO Worldwide

If you like it, please let Chris know. I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

Something Else Pretty Cool

It’s tough to digest all of the great ideas that are found in an eBook like this one. Pretty soon, I’m going to develop a free training course based on the guide and open it up to the public. Make sure you’re subscribed here so that you don’t miss the announcement!

Download the free “Do Amazing Things” eBook

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.

PHR Exam Tag Cloud

PHR Exam Tag Cloud

Before I begin, I’d like to ask you to add UpstartHR to your feed reader to get free updates to the blog.  I have a great one coming later this week on how entry level HR can be more relevant that you won’t want to miss!

To be completely non-HR and totally geeky for a moment, I’d like to give a few details about traffic for the UpstartHR blog.  It’s only been around for a short while, but the hits from Google are coming fast and furious.  While I would hope that people were Googling “amazing HR guy,” most of it’s actually coming from those pesky PHR exam takers looking for some last-minute study advice.

That’s fine with me!  Let me tell you a short story that some of you may already be familiar with.  When I was studying for the PHR exam last December/January, I was pretty lost in the whole experience.  I met a wonderful young lady who had just completed her SPHR exam, and she was kind enough to give me some assistance.  I promised her that I would do what I could to “pay it forward” to others preparing for the HR certification exam, and I have done so ever since.

I would advise those looking for that information to head over to the Free Resources page (link at the top!) and peruse the free eBook linked there.  It’s been wonderfully helpful to dozens of PHR and SPHR candidates.  Also check out a few more resources on PHR, SPHR, and GPHR Exam Strategy and  SPHR and PHR Certification Exam Study Materials.

And feel free to email me at UpstartHR AT gmail DOT com.  I’d be happy to help! Or click here for email updates.

I love having the opportunity to help people who are studying for the HR certification exam. It’s something that allows me to use my knowledge and love of teaching to help others. Definitely a fun way to spend some time!

I don’t know if any of you realize it, but I got started in writing as I chronicled my PHR exam study sessions online.  I wanted to help others with their own self-study process, motivate myself, and give encouragement to those that were feeling lost amid the practice questions, exam requirements, and study resources.  I’m working on putting the articles together into a free eBook (I have put them together into a free eBook already) because I want people to be able to see the process that I went through.

I, like many people, jumped into HR feet-first. I took the PHR in the 12-month window after college, and that meant I didn’t need the pesky 2 years of exempt experience.  Now, while I’m not technically “certified” without the experience, I have passed the exam, so that hopefully says something about my capabilities.  Self-study. All the way. Rockin’.

To take it further, I later created a great tool called the Rock the PHR study guide. It’s an inexpensive tool to help you stay motivated, learn what to study, and pass the exam once and for all. Check it out!

If you’re working on your own study journey or trying to decide if you should take the HR certification exam plunge, shoot me an email or leave a comment.  I’d love to offer any help I can give.

And if you would like free updates via email (i.e. when another free product comes along), just click here!

My first post is going to be a useful one.  I just completed the first UpstartHR free resource-the PHR Study Guide.  Actually, I had written it a while back, but I have updated it somewhat, added some helpful links, and created a portable document that could be passed out freely to others looking to take the PHR exam.  Check it out on the UpstartHR Free Resources page.

Look for more great info on the horizon from UpstartHR.