Monthly Archives: August 2014

Thin blog line between career and motherhood

Hello People,

Trust your day is going great.

So I erroneously posted something here yesterday and I am certain that a lot of people would have been wondering what happened to the link.

The post was meant for one of my other blogs and so as soon as I realised what I had done, I deleted the post.

So for those who read the opening lines and were wondering what it was all about, you can view the complete post here:


These are blogs written for my two daughters. Kinda like memoirs that they should hopefully enjoy when they grow up.


Apologies for the mix-up though I cannot promise that it would not happen again.



Applicants gone wild: Top 10 blunders by interviewees

Hi people,

I found the following article while surfing the web and I found it very interesting. Some were downright hilarious.

Please read on and afterwards you can also add to the list in the comments box below. Let us share stories on interviewee blunders…Someone may learn and do better.

Read on:

  1. You tell ’em, Mom!
    “Nothing’s more fun than a two-for-one! I’ve had candidates show up for interviews with their significant others wondering if we’d hire them, too! Another fun interview is when candidates bring a parent along. It’s especially disconcerting when the candidate is clearly an adult in their mid-20s!”— Cindy

    2. Candidate, phone home
    “I interviewed a woman who showed up to the interview with a Bluetooth attached to her ear. After a few minutes into the interview, she said, ‘Oh, just a minute. I have a call.’” — J.J.

    3. The late stripper 
    “I once had a candidate show up late and apologize because she had been busy stripping … and not wood either. Who admits that in a job interview?” — Mary Anne    

    4. The fashion police
    “I had a candidate arrive to the interview an hour late, she blamed it on ‘traffic.’ Then, she looked at me and said, ‘Wow, I clearly overdressed for this.’” — J.S.

    5. Bring me a man!
    “A gentleman from the Middle East told me that he refused to be interviewed by a woman and then refused to talk further until I presented a man to him … ah, no thanks. 

    “But the worst was an applicant who tried to explain why his credit report was bad. He said his car had been repossessed because a family member had shot himself in the head in it and they couldn’t get the smell of blood out of the car so they couldn’t sell it. Yuck!” — Jo

    6. And the résumé stunk, too
    “We had an applicant whose bodily essence left a trail from the front door to the interview room and lingered so bad that the applicant’s chair needed to be replaced!”— Fran 

    7. Matchmaker, matchmaker
    “One candidate (about 23 or 24 years old) proceeded to ask me about the hiring manager’s extremely handsome son and asked me to find out if he had a girlfriend.” — D.M. 

    8. No means no … usually

    “I interviewed a young lady and she was not picked. I sent her a ‘no’ letter, but she continued to call almost every day to explain why she should be hired. She would swear and yell at me over the phone. This went on for two months. Finally, we had to send her a certified letter from the labor attorney to stop contacting us or we were going to pursue legal action.

    “I had another guy interview once who kept telling me after the interview that he would report on Monday for work, but he was never offered the job and I reminded him of that.  He showed up that Monday and I told him to leave.” — Janelle 

    9. Sweaty palms
    “A candidate who was perspiring profusely reached into his shirt under his armpits and then wiped his hands on his pants. As the interview wrapped up, I prayed he wouldn’t offer a handshake … he did! Gross!!” — Kellie

    10. Beer … the ultimate motivator!
    “When I asked a candidate for a customer service supervisor position how he motivates his staff, he told me that he takes them out for happy hour and gets them drunk.” — Suzanne 

Click here to view original article and don’t forget to share blunders below.

Manage Yourself

In the workplace, employees are always charged to manage their bosses. But has anyone ever asked the employees if they have been able to manage themselves?

Chances are, that question has seldom been asked.

What does it mean to manage oneself?

Let’s do some dictionary research together, shall we?



  1. Be in charge of (a business, organization, or undertaking); run.
  1. Succeed in surviving or in achieving something despite difficult circumstances; cope.

I actually like both meanings and so we are going to explore both, a bit more.

Manage – Be in charge of. Run.

An example would be: The young man managed his business properly.

Other synonyms that can replace managed in this sentence include: Ran, Directed, Administered, Supervised, Governed, Operated.

This young man took charge of his business. He oversaw all that pertained to it. He ensured that the business survived and blossomed. He nurtured his business, making certain that he took the right decisions to ensure success.

Now let’s interchange the word business for person.

Now we have:

The young man managed his person (himself) properly.

What does this mean?

He took charge of his life. He oversaw all that concerned him. He took responsibility for his actions (Wow…a big one). He didn’t blame society, his employers or his parents. He ensured that his career blossomed. He nurtured his ideas, making certain that he took the right decisions to ensure success.

I think we are beginning to get the picture. (Remember that I am also learning as I type, so I am getting the picture too 😉 )

Manage – Succeed in surviving. Cope

An example here would be:

The young lady managed the little money she had on her, quite well.

We could replace managed here with: Coped with. Fared on, Survived on. Got by on. Made do with.

This young lady coped with what she had. She didn’t complain but tried her best to get by on the little funds she had. She must have calculated to figure out how she will survive and she stuck to her calculations and budget. She remained resilient in the face of her current challenges and we see that she never gave up.

Interchanging once again, we have:

The young lady managed herself quite well.

She got on by. She survived. She didn’t cave in or give in to despair. She struggled and achieved her aim. She found and implemented a coping strategy that worked well for her. She was resilient in the face of challenges.

What does this mean to employees?

Whatever your current situation or challenge may be, the first thing you have to do, before you try to manage anyone else, is to manage yourself. Take charge. Take responsibility. Nurture your dreams and ideas. Make better decisions. Endure. Persist. Be resilient. Do not cave in. Struggle to rise above your challenges.

Today I urge you to be a better manager. Not just of others, but of yourself.

Be a better you!

10 ways to help employees feel less overwhelmed……By JoAnn Corley

No matter where your organization is located, which field it specializes in, or what its product or service is, your employees are feeling overwhelmed.

Employees who survived the downturn have absorbed work left behind by laid-off co-workers. Most employers are still riding the brakes on hiring. Job descriptions have ex­­panded to the breaking point. “Overwhelmed” is here to stay.

As an HR pro, you might not be able to help employees embrace that sad fact, but you definitely can help them manage it. Here’s how:

1. Look inward. Before you can help employees cope, deal with your own feelings. Most of the HR pros I know are overwhelmed themselves. Especially if you work for a small company, your HR department might be woefully understaffed. Maybe it’s just you! That makes it hard to keep up in the best of times.

2. Don’t deny the fact that employees are overwhelmed. Admit it. Acknowledge it with respect. Tell them: “I know you’re swamped. We’ve got a lot going on.”

3. Express appreciation. A simple “thank you” for going the extra mile can defuse a lot of the feelings that work is overwhelming. Someone who feels appreciated might be less resentful, and more willing to make personal sacrifices to help the company get through a hard time.

4. Build a more collaborative environment. Nudge managers to talk about working together to get stuff done. Encourage offers to help one another. Build a “we’re all in this together” culture.

Example: Walmart employees often huddle for a few minutes at the beginning of a shift to talk about their plans and goals for the day. They even clap and sing together. At a company where I once worked, we had a similar stand-up meeting to share what was on our plates for the day and the outcomes we expected. We also asked for our peers’ support and encouragement. Those activities help employees under­­stand that all of the pressure for the work isn’t on one person. It helps them feel less alienated and more supported.

5. Be consistently clear about priorities. Employees have so much to do that they can’t figure out what to do first. Encourage regular instructions from managers to staff.

6. Know the priorities. Perhaps employees can’t prioritize because their overwhelmed managers don’t know what’s most important, either. Coach bosses to divide department-wide to-do lists into “A,” “B” and “C” tasks. Train employees the basic time-management skill of plugging the “A” tasks into their calendars with a reasonable time estimate. That way, everyone will be clear about how much they can get done.

Tip: To determine which are “A” tasks, ask: What are the consequences if it does not get done? Is someone waiting for it? How important is that person? Who gave it to me to do? How important is that person?

7. Lighten the load. Teasing out the “A” tasks also forces managers to examine whether the “B” and “C” tasks are im­­portant enough to devote staff time to at all. Those chores will either percolate to the top and become “A” tasks, or they won’t. If they’re not priorities, why are they on your list?

 8. Watch for the breaking point. The recession showed us that people can be way more productive than we thought. Still, everyone has a breaking point. At some time, you’ll need to hire more staff.

9. Make time management a core competency for all employees. Incorporate time-management instruction and coaching into employee orientation. Every employee needs it, yet too many organizations leave it to the wind.

10. Listen and coach. Allow employees to honestly ex­­press their feelings. Give them time to vent, and then help them develop a plan. That will go a long way to defusing hard feelings and low productivity caused by feeling overwhelmed. It will help employees gain control of their own work.

Managers can help by setting priorities. Employees will feel less like it’s all up to them—and less guilty when they can’t get it all done by themselves. Honor and respect the fact that people are feeling overwhelmed, and those employees will more likely accept it as the new normal—and acknowledge that they can get important work done.

See link to original post here


JoAnn Corley is an Atlanta-based speaker, management and career coach, and author of the book Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed. Contact her at (630) 926-5323 or via her website: