Friday night we went out with our neighbors to shoot pool and play pinball.  At some point during the evening, the conversation turned to how we’d met our partners.  My husband, Paul, is from Perth, Australia, one of the most remote cities in the world, and we met while he was working on a short-term project in Chicago.  Since neither of us was available or looking for a relationship at the time, we have often marveled that the statistical odds of us ever meeting, let alone ending up … [Read more...]

Let’s face it, if you know me even a little bit, you probably know about the swearing. Yes, mine. Not proud of it, and not making excuses. Growing up in a working class town near Chicago was a little like "The Sound of Music" where the hills (which are nonexistent), were alive with the sound of f-bombs!  As well as s-bombs, h-bombs, and the like.  Yet, girls weren’t even allowed to consider using those words. Midwestern girls get thorough helpings of “oh shucky darn, make sure … [Read more...]

Tis the Season to Get Real About 2018 Recently someone asked me to facilitate a multi-day innovation workshop for a large company. Those of you who know me, would probably say that sounds like a fun, creative project that is right in your wheelhouse!  And it was, except when it wasn’t. In PDX where Santa Rampages and Naked Bike Rides are the norm, there are plenty of ideas to draw from. But partway in, it became clear that although the client used the words "wild and crazy" we had … [Read more...]

Some Changes Feel Bad, Pure and Simple "Change is an event; it’s neither good nor bad."  As soon as someone tells you that, you know they are full of BS! Last month we talked about reorgs and how to survive one.  But what happens when you are the one who gets laid off, or it’s your parent who needs help with long term care?  Change like this doesn’t feel like a neutral event – it feels bad! Just a couple months ago my 84-year-old mom was completely independent.  She now … [Read more...]

How to Survive a Re-org A few years ago, I worked for large, global company near Portland, that is well-known for its products and ubiquitous logo. One day, we were told that headwinds in the economy (remember 2009, everyone?) meant there would be a company-wide reorganization soon. For several months we watched as our leaders went missing in all manner of secret meetings. Meanwhile, the rest of us were left to speculate about who would still have jobs when this was all over. . Fast … [Read more...]

Owning Your Career - Part 2 Last month we started our conversation on career mapping so that you can ave the career and life of your dreams!  We use a simple 4-step process - Reflect - Assess - Define - Engage - that makes it easier than ever.  Since we tackled the Reflect process already, let's move on to Assess, Define, and Engage and get you on your way. Think about the jobs or roles you have had, even if they have been unpaid.  Consider the skills that were called on in those … [Read more...]

DIY: Live the Life You Love with a Career Map The job market has been HOT the last year or so and yet many people feel edgy, like we are living in uncertain times. Maybe it's the summer heat or the crazy politics in Washington. who knows!  Whatever the reason, there is one thing you can do NOW to take charge and feel confident about your future. Build your own career map. Let's begin with two simple truths... 1) Only You Can Own Your Career. No one can do it for you, nor should … [Read more...]

Power to the People - It's Not A Generational Gap “To Give Anything Less Than Your Best is to Sacrifice the Gift.” – Steve Prefontaine Last month we talked about Millennials in the workplace and debunked a few myths.  I also promised to continue the theme and focus on the other workplace generations this month. Since then, I realized that it's less about generational gaps and more about making ALL employees a central focus because most people want the same thing from work: to be … [Read more...]

Recently I went to Vegas to speak at an HR Strategy a conference. I was so zero chill about this trip because: Well, it’s Vegas of course, YOLO (You Only Live Once) If I hadn’t accepted the gig it would have led to a major FOMO (Fear of MIssing Out) Okay, okay, some of you probably have no idea what I just said and others of you are probably laughing your ass off because I’m totaling destroying your slang. For a short glossary of terms, scroll to the end of this … [Read more...]

“Hey, do you have a minute? I want to run something by you.  But, it’s really important that you keep this confidential.” “Can I talk to you about something? I’ve got this situation going on but this has got to stay between you and me.” People tell me things. All the time.  Despite the double dog dare secrecy, most of the things people tell me aren’t gossip or trade secrets. It’s way worse than that because they share their grisly details of conflict, miscommunication, … [Read more...]