Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On Safari - An Employment Seeker's Fable

It's a "jungle" out there when it comes to job hunting! I can't decide which side I feel more sorry for -- the job hunters or the employers. If you are one of the "hunters," you have to mail or email your resume and an enticing cover letter along with a vast number of other fellow hunters all on the same safari, pursuing the same prey -- that perfect job held by the elusive employer! 

The employer is seeking the best hunter but in the process, still has the task of protecting and growing his/her jungle territory. Busy as they are, they are now plagued with a daily inbox full of emails from eager hunters, each determined to win that prized position. Then comes the tidal wave of phone calls (if the employer has not gone completely undercover) and more emails requesting a confirmation on receipt of information, inquiring if they've made a decision or if the hunter is still being considered as a viable candidate. This onslaught includes all the legitimate, "qualified hunters" and all of the other "posers" who aren't a good match for your prize job at all. But what exactly is a "good" match and how is it qualified? It all hinges on the employer's perspective or their gatekeeper's perspective. Please get your binoculars out and we'll explore this theory a bit further...

Employers have come up with a variety of efficient strategies to sort out the hunters. The hiring manager is sometimes buffeted by a band of talented employer gatekeepers --the human resources department, office administrator, employment headhunter or a version of HAL (2001: Space Odyssey), the computer that scans and spits out the hunters who don't have the secret words embedded in their hunting license (resume). Crafty to be sure! 

This is a big frustration to this particular hunter because sometimes great employers miss the hunter that would do the best job for them! Why? Simply because the hunter has never been given an opportunity to show them their hunting skills and prowess! Consider a hunter that has expertise in the fields of marketing, management, business administration, communications or public relations. These are all fields that have a broad functioning foundation. If a hunter is experienced in one industry, then in most cases, that experience can be easily transferred to many other industries. A hunter that has multiple industry experience? All the better! This may not be true, however, for hunters in professions such as engineering, legal or financial services which require special licenses. They generally do not roam outside of their specific industry's hunting territories. But if a hunter never ventures out of their original territory, think of all the wonders, knowledge and experiences that might be missed?

The moral of the story is: If you want the best hunter to find you, don't spit out the hunters that are not current residents of your territory (industry). It's a big jungle out there and sometimes the hunter with the broadest view has the experience and know-how to catch you the greatest prize! So please consider opening the gate a little wider and expand your territory. This "hunter" wants to catch YOU and deliver the gold! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Decorating Diva - Above Your Kitchen Cabinets!

Whether you are a new homebuyer decorating your house, apartment or condo for the first time or simply just in the mood for a little home “facelift,” one of the overlooked spaces in your abode you might consider playing with is the space above your kitchen cabinets! Everyone spends a tremendous amount of time in the kitchen. I can never remember a party or a gathering of friends and family that did not at some point end up with everyone in the kitchen! You know it’s true!  The kitchen is a prime location to unleash your personal style and have some fun!
I am an “accessory junkie” by nature, so I’m always on the prowl for some “new treasure” from my favorite haunts: Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross, Pier One or Dockside. Suffice it to say, I often find something I just cannot live without, so it winds up as my new possession looking for a space. Now I don’t like a cluttered look, although some of my interior designer friends may critique my photo examples as being too much (depending on their own personal design preferences which range from minimalist to opulence extraordinaire). Nonetheless, I am happy with my results and delighted to have found the perfect place for some of my “treasures” perched artistically above my kitchen cabinets!
Here are my “little secrets” from years of doing this! First of all, collect all the items that you consider using. These can range from baskets to ceramic figures, silk flower arrangements, wreaths, vases, photos, paintings, signs and more. It’s all up to you and your personal preferences and style. Don’t be afraid to try something different…you may just surprise yourself and everyone else when you discover the latent decorator within you!
Next, collect some old Tupperware, small boxes, metal or wooden hinged stands if you are using paintings, photos or signs (unless you plan to hang them on the wall above the cabinets), and a good sturdy ladder. Don’t forget to clear off your counters because chances are you’ll be standing on them.  These items will all be used to “stage” your accessories and act as a base for some to give height or stability.
Now you’re ready to start the “magic.” My taste tends to be eclectic, so I like to combine a variety of materials and textures above my cabinets. One decorating principle you may already be familiar with is using an odd number of items when creating groupings.  So start combining your accessories with an odd number of items in each group and please don’t space the items too far apart. This concept is based on the items being placed relatively close to each other to achieve a cohesive look.
 The other principal is varying the height of items. This is where your Tupperware (wow, I’m dating myself), boxes and hinged stands come in.  When the accessory item is placed on top of the cabinet with the other items in the grouping, you should vary the height of some items to create a pleasing look instead of placing every accessory at the same height. This will add interest, showcase certain items and add some drama!
Depending on the size of your kitchen and the amount of above cabinet space you have will dictate the number of groupings to use. Keep in mind -- you do not have to fill all of the space. In fact, it’s probably going to look more appealing if you do not.  This is where “eyeballing” the groupings and tweaking the groupings come in. I have often been up and down the ladder too many times to count until I feel as though it looks just right – even if it’s just – to me!
Just have fun with it! I usually change a few items in my “groupings” during the holidays to add some Christmas fun to the collection, but you may decide to change it with the seasons or not at all! The only limit is your imagination. Send me your D├ęcor Diva results! I’d love to see your handiwork and if you have other suggestions, please leave a comment! Below are my photos to give you some ideas and to illustrate the groupings and height variation process. Happy Decorating!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle;  The other is as though everything is a miracle.
~ Albert Einstein