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Update on my Wife’s Surgery

August 10th, 2009

I tweeted that I was going to the hospital with my wife for surgery – it was not anything big or unplanned – we’ve known about it since a little before the baby was born.  Thanks for all of the well-wishes, prayers, thoughts, emails, etc.

The surgery was necessary (and successful) – we went in on Thursday around 11am and came home from the hospital on Saturday.  My wife is walking around (she has to four times a day to prevent blood clots), but has good medication and is resting a lot.  It’s not easy to do this with a three month old baby, but we’re doing it.

My schedule has consisted of helping with the family during the day and my wife and baby at night.  Ugh. It’s amazing how hard it is to function without having a good night’s sleep!

Luckily we have a fantastic support team around us, including a cousin who’s family was with us for a few days, my in-laws who live an hour away, and a neighbor who has taken our four oldest for most of this week.  We’ve also had friends and family who have helped with meals, etc.

My wife should feel fully recovered by around Halloween.

Thanks to everyone for your concern – tomorrow I’ll share some thoughts on how to pay for this stuff without health insurance.  We’ve learned some tricks that hopefully we won’t have to use very often :p

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My Upcoming Trip to Washington D.C. (Maryland, Virginia)

August 7th, 2009

Updated Sept 16.

I finally bought tickets for my D.C. trip.  I don’t have much scheduled now but will over the next few weeks.  Here’s what I know now:

Friday, Sept 18:

Fly in late (9:30pm).  Grab rental car and stay with friends in Maryland.

Saturday, Sept 19:

sightseeing with my oldest daughter in D.C.  Any suggestions?  I think all the Smithsonian museums are closed on Saturday?

Sunday, Sept 20:

Running around Woodbridge, VA showing her were I met her mom – and dinner with a buddy and my sister.

Monday, Sept 21:

1:30 – 3:30 – Private presentation in Hunt Valley, MD (outplacement firm)

7pm – Bel Air, MD – Grace Career Networking Group.  Free – come if you can!

Tuesday, Sept 22:

11:00 – 12:30 – Private corporate presentation in D.C.

1:30 – 3:30 – Private presentation in Fairfax, VA (outplacement firm)

6:30 – 8:30 – socStardom at Johns Hopkins University Montgomery Campus, Rockville, MD.  This is for entrepreneurs and businesses and will focus on how to use social media to grow your business.  Register here. Free.

Wednesday, Sept 23:

1:00 – 3:00 – Human Resources Association – National Capital Area on job search/career management in Washington, D.C.  Location and registration info here.  Not sure if you have to be a member, but this event is… Free.

4:00 – 5:30 – LinkedIn for Executives ($50 or $60) – register here.  Note times are Eastern … you’ll have to do the math to figure out what time that is for YOU.

6:00 – 8:00 – State of Maryland Professional Outplacement Assistance Center (POAC) presentation (location here).  Already booked solid.

Drive to Annapolis for Conference

Thursday, Sept 24:

conference in Annapolis

Friday, Sept 25:

conference in Annapolis

Dinner with my sister, her man, and my daugter in MD or D.C.

Saturday, Sept 26:

conference in Annapolis, then fly home around lunch (oops, I thought I had this scheduled on Sunday)

If you know of any job clubs, etc. that I can speak at, let me know – I’d love to fill my schedule (up to 4 presentations per day). Anything IN Annapolis would be great for Wed – Saturday.

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Why Resumes are Relevant (and will be for a long time)

August 6th, 2009

So much debate about whether resumes are dying… is LinkedIn (or farily-newcomer VisualCV) going to replace the boring old resume?

No.

I’m not much of a visionary, and I don’t have a crystal ball, but I cannot imagine that resumes will ever go away.  Maybe some day, in a hundred years… but in my foreseeable future, I can’t imagine they will go away.

Why?

Simple: because when you apply to a job, in general, you have to have a resume. (perhaps not true with startups, but I’d guess this is true in most companies)

HR and hiring managers and recruiters need your resume so they can evaluate you and compare you to other candidates.

Until the hiring process/system changes, resumes will be an essential component.

What do you think?  Can technology make resumes irrelevant?

(thanks to David Spinks’ post 3 Reasons Why Resumes Should Be Irrelevant – and no, I’m not necessarily promoting Brazen Careerist stuff, I just found two different posts that made me want to react here :))

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Vomit: What’s (not) Great About Unemployment Insurance

August 5th, 2009

I was surfing around looking at stuff when I came across Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist website.  This is a site where all kinds of people blog about Gen Y job search and career management issues.  I found a post called 10 Things To Do When You Are Unemployed, and thought “I’ll check that out, I’ve written about that stuff before.”

The first line just about made me puke:

I am lucky enough to be able to survive quite comfortably with the unemployment checks that come in every week.

Oh my gosh.  Did Joshua really just admit that he is thrilled to be living on the dole???  He goes on to say that he had a tough job at a hotel, and needed to take a break.  His words: “I have taken the time off to do the things I love to do.

You have taken time off?  Dude, you are about to lay out 10 things that you are doing while the Government (I mean, my) tax dollars pay you to just chill out.

Fortunately, in the comments there are a number of people who say “shouldn’t GET A JOB! be #1 on your list?

Disgusting.

But you know what?  This is the system, and it’s easy to find loopholes and opportunities for abuse.

Later, in one of his comments Joshua writes:

I was lucky enough to be prepared for lay-off and saved enough money throughout my jobs. I was always told by my parents, “jobs are never secure. Always be prepared for downsizing or a lay-off. Save as much as you can and you won’t regret it.” I am not trying to brag, but why am I being faulted for being financially responsible?

Seriously?

Because you said “I am lucky enough to be able to survive quite comfortably with the unemployment checks that come in every week.

What that says to me is “I’m living off of your (tax) money. Have fun, sucka!”

Viva la dole!

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Gen Y Grad Sues College Because She Can’t Get Job

August 4th, 2009

This cracks me up.  An article on NYC NBC site says College Grad Can’t Find Job, Wants $$$ Back. Check out the image from the site (ouch!):

OMG, where to even begin on this one.

In summary, this person went to school, apparently got a BA degree in something to do with “information technology,” and I guess couldn’t land a job.  So she is suing saying her career services office “didn’t [live] up to its end of the deal [by] offering her the leads and employment advice it promised.”

This recent grad has lived at home with her mom, who is a substitute teacher and is “the only one of the two who makes any money.”

I know school is hard, but I also know that thousands of people work during the time they went to school.  You gotta do what you gotta do… living off of $70k in student loans is not a way to finance your education.

In my post Letter to University Professors: Stop Failing Us, I said that I went to school to position myself for my career (well, I was looking for (cough cough) job security).  NOT for learning. I definitely got learning-loving-people who beat me up for that, but I don’t care.  I think they are the exception (and I respect them for wanting to learn, blah blah blah).  Apparently this new graduate agrees – suing the school because they didn’t land her a job is like saying “I don’t give a crap about any of the junk I learned in this program! I paid you $70k to land me a job, and that didn’t happen, so give it all back!

I think that’s taking my point a little too far (:)), but I still think that our educational system is set up to help us become more career-worthy, not to fill our heads with all kinds of goodness (we have Google for that :p).

Here are some misc. thoughts:

  • If I knew about this lawsuit when I got a resume from her, or before an interview, I would NEVER, EVER, EVER hire her.  EVER.
  • Gen Y – I’d love to hear you weigh in on this.  The NBC site has over 400 comments, and the NY Post article has a bunch (I can’t figure out how many)… how many of you feel this way?  Does the word “entitlement” have any negative meaning anymore?  I hope the Brazen Careerist, who seems to be the spokesblog for Gen Y picks up and opines on this.
  • Career centers are not to blame, really, for any of this.  I’ve seen a number of career centers throughout the country.  Some are so underfunded they are only there so the school can say “yep, we have one!”  Others are very well-funded and have overqualified (read: awesome) staff, I’m surprised they aren’t losing the staff.  But most of them (99%) have a singular problem: A MAJOR DISCONNECT BETWEEN THE CAREER SERVICES AND THE PROFESSORS.  There is a wall that has to come down between career services and the professors who should be promoting them. This is not a wall that was put up by career services – this is a wall that professors built and honor.  It’s crazy, and it does a gross disservice to the students.

Update: here’s an interesting thing, from an anonymous person… Monroe College’s Career Center has a Platinum Club… which is invitation only.  It “strives to provide selected students with career planning privileges at the Office of Career Advancement.”  I doubt that this person’s 2.7 GPA would have qualified her to be in the Platinum club…

What do you think?

(hat tip to my Allan T. Young who sent me the link to the NBC post)

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Career Management Interview with Liz Lynch

August 3rd, 2009

I was on a radio show last week where I thought we were going to talk about LinkedIn (for the umpteenth time)… but Liz asked some great questions and the conversation went in a totally different direction.  We spent more time on Career Management than I normally get to… this was a fun interview – spend 30 or so minutes and listen to it here :)

Liz is a pretty awesome person with a lot of networking advice… you can learn more about her here.

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