Posts By Tory Johnson
Yesterday I hung out backstage with Suze Orman after each of us spoke at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Conference for Women to a packed house of 5,000 in Philly.
I had never met her, but in just a few minutes she felt like my BFF! (A girl can dream, right?)
Suze and KT, her manager/partner, told me they were driving back to New York to catch up with their pals from the Oprah show who are in the city for a huge live show in Central Park this afternoon.
But before they took off, we talked about money and morning shows.
She’s getting a big kick out of watching the results of a TVNewser poll that names her as the leading contender to replace Diane in January on Good Morning America. Suze took me for a walk outside to find just the right spot to tell me how she really feels about the possibility of sitting next to Robin.
I whipped out my Flipcam to capture her campaign excitement.
By Jennifer Zach
There are plenty of concerns about legitimate work from home opportunities.You can’t be too careful out there. Scams playing on people’s emotions are plenty. Discernment is a must. While I can’t speak to what are legitimate opportunities, and what are not, I can share the resources I am comfortable with or have been pointed to by people I trust.
If you have not already, please consider Tory Johnson’s Work From Home Webinar. For the price it is packed full of information related to work from home opportunities. Another site I like to keep an eye on is Work-at-Home.org. Kelly Temporary Services is also a resource at http://www.kellyworkathome.com/web/us/customers/kellyathome/en/pages/home.html.
These are but a few thoughts and ideas. Above all, trust your instincts and don’t underestimate the gifts and talents you already have. Maybe self-employment is an option for you. Or, perhaps current circumstances have something to offer. Is your employer open to job sharing, telecommuting a few or more days a week, a reduced schedule of some sort?
In my own first experience obtaining a flexible schedule, my employer and I met in the middle around a 27.5-hour in-office schedule. This was in 2003 when the idea of flexible schedules and work from home were less widely accepted than they are today.
The 13-month road to this arrangement was not an easy one. I heard “no” more than I heard “yes.” I persisted though, kept pitching ideas, and most of all kept my employers interest in mind as much as my own. Collaboration, patience, and thinking outside the box were key.
If you want a flexible schedule or want to work from home, I encourage you to pursue your interest and consider all options.
For anyone who has a success story about achieving a flexible schedule or work from home arrangement, please share with a post. The more ideas and encouragement going around the better!
Anyone interested or could benefit from one-on-one coaching on this topic, please feel free to reach out to me at Jennifer@zachcoaching.com or www.zachcoaching.com.
I’m no stickpin, and I don’t need any reminders of that, thank you very much. But the point was driven home the other day when I was forced to follow gorgeous TV star Wendy Williams at a live, on-stage radio interview in front of 300 women in New Jersey. (Click to see shaky cell photo of us.)
That would be the blunt, LOL funny, surgically-enhanced double DD Wendy Williams, who stands 6-4 in four-inch Gucci slides and has a surgically-tucked and taut tummy — details that she offered during a hysterical, 15-minute interview with radio legend Joan Hamburg.
What to do?
The answer, I decided, was NOT to schlep up there like a loser with my head hanging low. When my turn came, after Hamburg’s gracious introduction about my new book Fired to Hired, I blurted out to her that she had forgotten the most important part.
Hamburg looked stunned. The audience got oh-so-quiet.
“What you forgot to say,” I told Hamburg straight-faced, “is that your next guest faces the unenviable task of diving into a downer (unemployment) to a roomful of women who have been wowed by an outrageously funny gal who batted her oh-so-long eyelashes, flipped her long locks and talked non-stop about her gigantic boobs and flashy high heels.”
The crowd roared.
Then, they listened — and laughed — as I talked for my 15 minutes about job searching in a dismal economy. We managed to find plenty of humor in what it takes to get hired today – and plenty of similarities between Wendy’s words and my own.
You don’t need big boobs, big hair, or big heels to get hired, but you definitely have to find ways to stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Tell us what YOU’RE doing to get noticed in a big way — and to separate yourself from the pack.
For a jobseeker there’s nothing more demoralizing than submitting resume after resume — and never getting a response.
Except perhaps this: to have a great interview in person and then never hear a thing back. Not even the courtesy of: Sorry, uh, we hated you.
We get riled up when we receive smart, articulate emails like this one today from a WomenForHire.com reader.
I have been on two interviews that went exceptionally well. I sent a note of thanks, followed up accordingly, and never received a response.
These were both in-person interviews after initial phone screens. I was told I made it to the next level. I was extremely flexible in scheduling and went to great lengths to attend with short notice.
I understand the volume of resumes that employers receive, and I could even understand not receiving a response after an initial phone screen, but to physically attend an interview, give it your all, and be ignored afterward, is very hurtful.
I would much rather receive a decline form letter than to be ignored.
Forgive the analogy, but emotionally it feels like going too far on a great date and having the guy never call you again. Then you wonder, ‘What the heck did I do? What went wrong?’
How hard and fast are you nodding in agreement because the same thing has happened more times than you care to count?
This writer went on to ask if the basic “rules of consideration, decency, and general etiquette still apply” when you’re a recruiter who holds all the cards? What is it that makes some aspects of human resources so inhuman?
Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone: plenty of recruiters are gracious and many jobseekers are jerks.
Yet just as irate customers take to the blogosphere to complain about poor service, so too will dissed applicants when they’re repeatedly ignored even after interviewing.
Some small sweet justice: Our office also often hears from recruiters who’ve lost their jobs in this economy and are stunned at “how rough it is” out there. Gee, really? When one told us she can’t even get people to return her calls, we thought: Welcome to your world.
Take a moment to vent your frustrations and to share your “cut-through-the-clutter” tactics here.
By Jennifer Zach
Do you work from home? Do you want to work from home? If either is true, there is one thing you must know: working from home requires a strong set of boundaries.
When you work from home, you are working from the home front. That means staying focused amidst surrounding daily home life and not giving in to the idea that just because you work from home you are available for this, that and the other thing.
Lines of limits are a must in the work-at-home environment. They define and clarify expectations. Set them and you and those around you will be glad you did.
In the traditional office setting, the responsibility of setting limits typically falls on someone else. If you work from home, it falls on you. So where do you begin?
First, tune in by reflecting upon what’s working in your work-at-home environment and what’s not working. Is your workspace comfortable and inviting – perhaps too inviting? Are constant interruptions causing you to lose focus and your head to spin?
What about hours? Is there a flow to your day or are you constantly shifting between personal and professional life and losing valuable energy in between?
Decide where you need to draw a line.
In my own home office, I have invisible lines drawn around my space, time and accessibility. For example, my office, not the kitchen table or living room floor, is the base for my professional endeavors.
As for time, I have defined working hours. If someone calls for a favor during that time, I can politely decline and share what my hours are.
Maintaining separate phone lines, one for home and one for business, has also proven to save a lot of angst and reinforces the lines of limits around personal and professional life.
Above all, be patient with yourself. Boundary setting is an ever-evolving process, but an important one. Boundaries are foundational to having a positive work at home experience.
Do you have a method for setting boundaries that works especially well for you in your home office? Share it here. If you could benefit from coaching around this topic, please feel free to reach out to me at Jennifer@zachcoaching.com or www.zachcoaching.com.
By Jennifer Zach
Working from home has often been the object of misplaced humor.
How else to explain teasing comments about us who do it eating bonbons all day in our bunny slippers?
Or the assumption that we are not really working – which is why we must have loads of free time to do someone else’s errands?
I don’t think people who say these things or make these assumptions are mean or insensitive, they have simply never experienced a work from home arrangement or discovered what it entails.
Without a sense of the drive and tenacity it takes to work from home, jokes come into play.
The truth is that working from home is both rewarding and challenging – in some ways even more challenging than working in a traditional office environment.
I have worked from home for the past six years and have learned along the way how to describe what I do.
For one thing, I no longer refer to my working hours as “part-time.” I choose the word “flexible,” because for me working from home invariably means factoring in family responsibilities and community service.
With the freedom of working from home comes responsibility, and so a strong sense of self-discipline is a must.
Successful work-at-home professionals stick to schedules, are accountable and stay focused no matter how loud or crazy it is just feet away from them at home.
I value my work and my time. People can kid me about bonbons and bunny slippers. I may not be working in an office, but I’m still working.
Jennifer Zach is a writer and life coach from Ely, Iowa.