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  1. Can You Always Trust Glassdoor Reviews?

    April 13, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

    I tend to monitor my company’s glassdoor page. Mostly because it shows the evolving personality of the company and how happy my coworkers really are. From my point of view, I can spot right away the people who were fired and left a negative review. I can also spot the people who are management’s favorites and would never say a bad thing about the company. Some people do see things honestly, but for the most part, I feel like the reviews are split between people who left on bad terms and people who were asked by management to leave a good review.

    So this left me with the question, can you trust Glassdoor?

    I do think you can sometimes. Just because a company has one five star review, it doesn’t mean they are perfect. It does give you a good idea of what to expect, though. You can pretty much bank on the fact that it isn’t a horrid place to work. I think when a company begins to accumulate reviews is when the honesty levels start to skew.

    I dug around and found this post about Glassdoor. The honesty behind these anonymous Glassdoor reviews are questioned by this blogger, Ask the Headhunter.  He says, “Any disgruntled employee or job applicant can trash a company publicly. An HR department can spam Glassdoor, singing its own praises..” He continues by questioning the anonymous reviews and wonders the truth to them.

    I don’t question the need for anonymity on Glassdoor (hey, I’m anonymous, so I won’t judge). But my questioning comes from the fact that just because someone had an awful experience somewhere, doesn’t mean you will too. But like somew people who commented on the above mentioned article said, if you see a common thread, that’s where the truth is.

    But like this other article says, “When you fix the underlying problems, your Glassdoor reviews will change all on their own.” A sudden turn around in reviews, though, probably isn’t a sign that the company has changed. I noticed a surge in positive reviews once I spotted that my employer’s rating started to drop. It’s plunged again thanks to the latest one star review.

    All of this still leaves me wondering though how much you can trust Glassdoor and what it says about companies. I don’t think you can really trust the all-good-nothing-bad reviews. But is it just me, or do you trust the mostly-negative review? If a company has 75 reviews and teeters towards a one star, I’ll stay away from it like the plague. If it has 5, 5-star reviews, I’ll also stay away from it. Me, I like a good healthy 3 star, 3 and a half star review. It’s reasonable and you can usually weed out the really honest ones.

    Have you ever written a Glassdoor review? Has Glassdoor ever influenced you to take a job or reject a job offer? I want to know your thoughts.

     


  2. 5 Interview questions that should be asked, but aren’t

    November 25, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I’ve recently found myself on ‘that’ side of the table.  You know the one.  The side where you sit alone and face a panel of inquisitors who hold crisp, white sheets of paper with questions that require you to summarize your career in two minute intervals.

    It’s been over 10 years since I’ve had to go through the interview process and I can confidently say the interview questions I’ve been asked are nearly the same ones I answered 10 years ago.

    Questions like:

    – ‘Tell me/us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation and how did you handle it?’

    -‘What has been your biggest success?’

    – ‘Have you worked with a difficult coworker? How did you you manage your relationship while working with them?’

    The last one makes me want to grin and shout out, ‘Nope.  In 16 years, I’ve never worked with a single person I didn’t like!  Next question, please.’

    These questions have become so standardized that if you Google, ‘interview questions’ you’ll find hundreds of sites offering you the latest, greatest way to answer THE interview question(s) that have been around for 15-20 years.  To put that into perspective, August marked the 10th year since Google’s initial public offering (IPO).  

    Driving home from a recent interview, I wondered why we continue to recycle the same, stale questions; why we are using questions that predate the Blackberry or even the wide use of cellular phones.  Perhaps it’s a human resources best practice thing; perhaps these questions are really informative for some people, or perhaps it’s simply because we have too many emails, too many phone calls, too many everything that precludes us from rethinking the whole interview process.  So it gets pushed off.

    Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it … right?

    Well, it’s broke.

    Interviews are meant to act as the gatekeepers to your organization.  If the art, and importance, of the interview is going to remain a useful tool, then questions need to be updated for the 21st Century.  Here’s an example of what I mean: during the numerous interviews I’ve been on, not once have I been asked about my knowledge of social media and how I used it for a successful campaign (which is necessary for almost every field these days).  I was, however, asked about the jobs I held in the early aughts.

    With these experiences in mind, I thought I’d take a stab at five questions that I feel interviewers should be asking, but aren’t:

    1. Over the last few years social media has rapidly changed.  How have these changes impacted your work?
    2. Which would you rather have, XX work from home days or an extra week of vacation.  Why?
    3. Where do you see our industry going in 2-3 years?  How are you preparing for those changes?
    4. Where do see a need for improvement in our organization?
    5. What’s the next step in technology and how do you think we can get in front of it now?

    You’ll notice all of these questions focus on today’s technological world and how they are working with/in it.  The questions are also diverse enough to get a better understanding of the interviewee.  Take the work from home question.  The answer may indicate better productivity and less stress on an employee if they work from home, or someone may want an extra week of vacation to take a longer break from work to recharge.  See how easy and fun this is!

    Now, like all interviews, it’s time to wrap things up and ask you if you have any questions.  In this case, what questions do you think employers should be asking their recruits?  Is there a particularly painful question you’ve been asked that you’d like to share?

     


  3. More Hiring, Less Work ­ Does That Make Sense?

    March 21, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    Lately at work there has been quite a lot of hiring done!

    Usually when it comes to hiring more people, it’s directly related to there being a lot of work to do.
    Let me tell you this that I could easily leave my job at four o’clock instead of six if I could leave based on when my work was done.

    So why are they hiring new people?

    In all honesty? I have no idea. The management didn’t even speak to the entry level people to find out if they need help and after speaking with a few of my coworkers, no one knows why this was done.

    On another note, I’m getting a lot done when it comes to writing and blogging these days. You gotta love a job with downtime, I guess.


  4. I’m Not Moving Up at Work (And Why)

    March 10, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    Lately at work I seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. The rock represents my desire to move up but the hard place represents the fact that I don’t want to move up in my department. The bottom line is – I’m not moving up at work and it’s (partially) my own fault.

    This has resulted in a laborious feeling of continue to try and do a good job yet feeling stuck at the same time. I’ve already expressed to my boss(es) that I don’t want to advance in the career track my role represents, but I don’t want to stay in my current position. I’ve been in this role about a year and a half now and I am not learning anything new nor am I taking on new responsibility. I’m restless and unhappy with what I do.

    What do I want to do instead, though?

    I want to work with social media, blogging, and writing. Tragically, social media jobs right now pay minimum wage (a sign of their value, I think). And the only well paying job that deals with this type of work has a title of “management” slapped to it with the requirement you need five to ten years experience or more (has social media been around ten years by the way?).

    I do look around, but I’m not finding anything. Plus, I’m left with this awful feeling of being disappointed I’m not getting recognized at work and yet hoping I can move on into a better suitable position, more than likely outside of this company.

    And yes, I have told them the areas I want to work in – and it wouldn’t be that far off the company would have work in those three areas – but they stare at me with a blank look like I’ve asked to lick their shoes clean. It obviously won’t happen and I’ve told them twice now the areas I want to move into and how I feel about this current job.

    so, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know I’m not alone and a lot of people are stuck these days – this blog is proof of that – but I just needed to vent about it.


  5. A Billion Entrepreneuers – A Crowd Funded Film

    February 24, 2014 by Lady Unemployed


    This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

    Recently I talked about the ways we can get ourselves out of this economic, joblessness and underemployed rut. One of the ways we can do this is by helping people start their own business.

    When I found out about this opportunity to talk about a movie that believes in exactly this same solution, I jumped at the chance to share this with my readers. I hope in same way you find this as inspiring as I do.

    Before I get into further details, take a look at this video –

    What I love about this movie and this project is that it follows a variety of people who have ideas that they want to turn into a business. If we start making “entrepreneurship” attainable and not so out of reach for the everyday, regular person, I think more of us would get in line for that.

    I truly believe this movie falls right in line with my idea of “teaching people to fish.” We need to learn how to fish to get by these days. The regular jobs that pay well and hire people regularly don’t exist anymore. It seems like you are either underemployed, low paid, or not employed at all.

    I really believe in this movie and in this cause I highly recommend you check this film out and see how you can become a part of this movement.

    To fund this movie, go to their IndieGoGo page at –

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/abethemovie

    To subscribe to their cause and join the movement, visit this website and subscribe – http://www.abillionentrepreneurs.com/join-the-movement/

    Thank you to A Billion Entrepreneurs for sponsoring this post.


  6. What You Can Gain from an Entry-Level Job

    January 18, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I’ve been at my current job for about a year and a half now and I’ve realized there is something to be gained in an entry-level job like this.And I think every college graduate can learn something from their right-out-of-college type of role. When we graduate, we all expect to enter a company or organization at the top of our game, just as we feel we left college. We do start at the bottom and it sucks.

    But what can you gain from this type of entry level job?

    1) Learning how to speak up.

    Maybe everyone has this ability by high school. But based on what I’ve seen so far, since I started working out of high school, I don’t think everyone does. It wasn’t until this company in particular that I started gaining more confidence in myself to speak up, voice my opinion and start drawing boundaries on what is expected of me and what I can actually give.

    It wasn’t really because I was so inspired by some “mentor” who “guided” me in this company. It was because I wanted my voice heard and the speaking up started to happen. It isn’t like I didn’t do it before, but I am beginning to do it with much more ease now and it is starting to come much more naturally than it ever has before.

    2) Your opinions and ideas matter. But you need to own them.

    You know that moment where you have a brilliant idea, but you are too nervous to share it with the department, so you share it with a coworker? Who then ends up sharing your idea with the department and taking all the credit?

    Yup, I’ve been there and I’m still trying to figure out who is safe to share my ideas and opinions with. I’ve learned though that the best person to share ideas with is your supervisor, but best of all, share them in a department meeting. It takes a lot of guts to speak up in a meeting, but I’ve learned how to do this, too. And I don’t even have a loud voice. You may think it’s better off not to speak up or it’s too nerve-wracking too, but I can promise you at least one other person in the room will appreciate it.

    3) You get to know what you want.

    One of the things I’ve gained from my current position is knowing the type of career I want and staying focused on that career path. It may seem like you are taking a job that moves you away from what you want to do, but sometimes it’s the side roads that get you closer to where you want to be.

    What have you gained from entry level work? What advice can you give about what you learned?

     


  7. Standing Up For Myself at Work (& My True Passion)

    December 7, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    On Tuesday, I spoke with the lady I assist at work and she accused me of being a doormat. This is right after I had apologized to a company for emailing them too much (after she had just told me they had complained to her about me emailing them too much). There’s a lot of things I am, but being a doormat, is not one of them.

    This was the final straw. This was on top of crying at least twice a week and my whole Thanksgiving being ruined because she had reamed me out over a mistake I made. She has no understanding or patience and the expectation for perfection has made me want to tear my hair out.

    On December 4th (my birthday), I decided to stand up for myself. I spoke to my boss and told her I wasn’t interested in being an assistant anymore. She asked whether I felt this way in general about the job duties or whether or not I wanted to assist this one lady. I explained it was a mix of both. She asked what career path I would be interested in.

    That’s when I said it…

    I said my true passion is writing and if I could somehow find a position in the creative department, that would be more in line with what I want to do.

    So, long story short, I will no longer be working in a department I don’t have any feelings for and I won’t be assisting a woman that has made my work experience a living hell. (And I’m not the only one, she went through four assistants before me).

    I don’t know what will happen on Monday (I have worked from home Thursday and Friday because I was “sick.” Although mostly, because I wanted to avoid going in when they told her). But no matter what, I am proud of myself.


  8. Would You ­ Could You ­ Work From Home?

    November 1, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    I am in the state of decision making. You know, that thing you have to do as a grown up that can change the course of things for you. The little decisions that can become big decisions. The big decisions that can turn into even bigger decisions.

    Okay, I’m rambling.

    I am considering a job that allows me to work from home. In fact, everyone who works for this particular company, works from home. It is a permanent, full time job with benefits. The pay is about the same (a little more, in fact) than what I’m making now, too.

    The big thing is ­ do I want to work from home?

    To be honest, I’m not sure.

    I wrote out the positives and negatives. The negative is the isolation and the potential for stir crazy. Not to mention, I’d get sick of my apartment.

    The positives? Well, no commute. I commute right now about an hour and forty five minutes to work all total each day. I’d be giving myself….nearly 9 to 10 hours more of my life back.

    Also, no office politics. I deal with the regular back­biting, snarky, misunderstandings that go on
    in the office day in and day out. Some days it makes me want to tear my hair out, other days I enjoy the comaradarie. This, by the way, inspires a lot of this blog’s content.

    Other benefits? Creative energy. Working from home will alow me to relax a little bit and not feel the pressure of not doing enough for my job (right now I get a lot of pressure to work overtime and a lot of my coworkers work up to 45 to 50 hours a week). I can’t say I will ever be willing to devote that many hours to a company, because my real dream and goal is to write and be published. In terms of my career, that will come first. If I can get some of my creative energy back that I lost after taking my current job, I will be much happier.

    Another downside that I forgot to mention ­ less exposure to potential guys to date. But here’s the thing, I’ve never dated someone from work. I got close once, but it sort of fell apart, and I really wanted to leave the company soon after. My lack of a dating life though may or may not be extremely affected by working from home because aside from going to work, I’m not really a social butterfly type of girl.

    Oh, and another downside is lack of a reason to go shopping. The thing is though I don’t go shopping now because my credit sucks and I’m in debt. So, no real love lost there. The thing is though I may feel silly getting dressy to go sit in my bedroom.

    Another downside is that the person I’m assisting right now at work has finally gotten comfortable with me and happy with my work for the first time since I started. She has struggled getting an assistant (went through four before me) and knows she can work with me. If I take this new job, I’ll be disappointing her. I know I shouldn’t make a decision based on whether or not I will make someone feel bad, but that is a factor I’m weighing here.

    Another positive? Moveability. I’m a restless spirit and I hate the idea of staying in one place for any lengthy period. If I do have a work at home job, this will allow me to consider moving out of the state or city I’m in, without the worry of needing a job first.

    To throw in one final positive, I think I’d like what I’d be doing there more than what I’m doing now. I’d be doing a job involving talking with customers throughout the day and I like that type of work. No, it isn’t the flashy title I have now, but I do love customer service related jobs and I’m good at it too.

    With all of that swirling around in my head, I want to get feedback from you guys. Do you work from home or know someone who does? I’d love feedback and insight into this decision.


  9. What, No Bagels? (And Cutting Back on Costs)

    October 27, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Bagels &

    My company holds weekly meetings to go over account reviews and other updates. It’s usually boring and I daydream throughout the entire hour.

    And yet, this past week I noticed something missing in the meeting room.

    Bagels.

    Bagels were a regular part of the meetings and something that probably sweetened the pot a little bit for many of my coworkers. I never indulged too much so their absence didn’t affect me so bad.

    I asked and someone said, “Oh they’re cutting them out. Trying to cut back on costs.”

    Hmm. Really? No meeting bagels really makes that much of a difference?

    This leaves me wondering – what will be next? No coffee?


  10. Does Lack of Software Skills Reduce Your Chances for Employment?

    July 1, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

     

    How I Feel When Taking Software Classes

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Because I wonder how many job seekers want to apply for a job, but tragically –

    YOU DON’T HAVE THE SOFTWARE SKILLS REQUIRED.

    You know that sentence is like farting in an elevator. It can just ruin a hopeful feeling you have about a job.

    The thing is how exactly do you gain software skills? Sure, I know, go take a class. But the truth is, in my particular area I’m living there isn’t a lot of opportunities to take classes. There is a community college nearby, but here are the two options I have found:

    • Take a class that is a “noncredit” option (YAY) that only has class times in the middle of the day (BOO!) and I work for an employer who has low patience for me taking time off (BOO!)
    • Take a credit class (BOO!) that costs way too much (BOO! And yes, right now, $300 for a software class is a lot for me). I also don’t learn software well when it’s an online format. If I’m taking an online class on how to use a software, I may as well learn from a book which would cost less, but I don’t learn software from just a book.

    My mom, who is looking for work right now, is coming across the same thing. Jobs that require software skills and those software skills aren’t easy to come by. I also have some trepidation about taking a class in general, because unless it is something I will use regularly, how will I come to feel like I really know it?

    Take excel for example. I don’t have any reason to use it at my current job. Sure, I open excel files during the day, but I don’t create charts and use the formulas in excel. I have no reason for that. So if I take a class on excel, when will I use it during the day? If you don’t use it, don’t you lose it?

    I’d love to know Adobe Photoshop. Yet, unless I’m using it at work, or have it at home, how much of that class will I retain? Not to mention how expensive it actually is to buy that software (again, the no extra money thing is holding me back lately).

    Anyways, ranting aside, how do you increase your software skills to be eligible for more opportunities? Is it as simple as taking a class? How have you gained those skills?