Celebrating Snakeskin

Snakeskin
The serpent whispered unto Eve:
"Think and feel; don't just believe."
This made the earth's foundations shake.
We are the kindred of that snake…

...We trust no level tones; we ride

The roller-coaster of our pride.

The gonads' rage, and yearning's ache

Speak through the kindred of the snake.
 

I don’t believe that snakeskin ever goes out of style.  The tones within the mosaic of colors the skin allow it to be paired with so many different things!  

I prefer wearing it as accent with other simple classic pieces.  Consider these inspirations:

On your legs…


On your wrists...
Around your home...

To serve...

To wear...








...and walk...







Or (my favourite)...carry...







Wear your snakeskin well!
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Be Confident! How to Prepare For Job Interviews

Be Confident! How to Prepare for Job Interviews
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You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'
~Eleanor Roosevelt
 

Interviews are never easy.  I have conducted many interviews and I have also been interviewed for lots of jobs...I still get nervous when I am in that candidate seat.

In doing interview coaching there are some tried and true things I advise people to do to help reduce the amount of nervousness and stress before a job interview.

Some people may argue that the steps that I have laid out below are a lot of work and create more stress.  However, I always say, "Would you rather be under pressure before the interview when you are preparing and by yourself or, would your rather be an nervous and blabbering idiot in front of an interview panel because you are unprepared?"


Overcoming the anxiety of preparing

I find that the big reasons people don’t prepare ahead of time for interviews are either 1) They don’t know how to (if that’s you…keep reading), or 2) The don’t want to invest the time because it’s a big emotional investment to want it bad enough to prepare for, and if they want it badly and don’t get it - it’s very disappointing.  Then they have to deal with their disappointment.

Well, big investments can reap big returns.  Deal with the disappointment when it is happening.  Don’t dwell on what hasn’t happened yet and read my post on dealing with job rejection.  But for now focus on the task at hand which is preparing for the interview.

So you’ve been contacted by an organization to interview for a job that you’ve applied for.  First thing is first:

Read the job description. - You will need this information to figure out what the key skills are that the company needs for this position.  Many companies will include the skills (or competencies) in their posting, however, if the posting looks sparse or you want to be sure you have the most complete understanding of the job ask the organization for a full job description.

Figure out what the required skills are. - Once you have the job description or the posting in hand, make sure you have the minimum qualifications for the position and are able to prove it e.g. proof of diploma or certification required.  Make copies and have them with you when you go to the interview in case they ask.

Next, read through the description line-by-line. - Figure out what skill they are asking you to demonstrate based on the responsibilities of the job.  For example, if the description says, “This position is responsible for coordinating meetings, booking events and managing the schedule of the VP.”  The skills you might jot down are: organization, time management, technical ability to use scheduling software, ability to work closely with one individual, confidentiality etc.

Once you have gone through the entire job description you will see certain skills repeat themselves.  Most likely the skills that you have zoned in on will be key skills the interviewer will be looking for you to demonstrate in the interview.

How will you demonstrate that you have the skills?

Write down examples in the format of Situation/Action/Result. - Think of examples from your past and present work experiences that demonstrate the key skills that this position requires.

For example if one of the skills for the position is initiative, write as many examples down that you can think of where you thought of some sort of improvement that you brought forward that was accepted and and was successfully implemented.  Then organize your story in the format of Situation/Action/Result.

Using our initiative example.  (You’d want to add more verbiage around the story but your example may sound like this):


Situation - There was a time when I was a new assistant administrator to a small office that took care of the administration of a large manufacturing plant of over 600 employees.  In this office one of the jobs was to collect punch card information for attendance and manually compile the information on paper for the supervisors.
 

Action - Having experience creating databases in Access I asked the manager if it would be ok to devise a system where I could download the punch card information into a database and create a report for the supervisors.
 

Result - The manager agreed that I could give it a try.  I created the database and ran reports on a weekly basis for the supervisors.  As a result a I reduced the amount of time spent on manually transferring  the attendance, increased the accuracy of the attendance records, and reduced the amount of paper being used and wasted in the office.  It is still in effect and my database is now used at 4 other sister plants.

The more recent and related the example, the better.  However, if your only example was 5 or 10 years ago, still write it down.  It is better than having nothing.

Do this for every skill that you identified when you went through the job description.  You may feel this is a bit of overkill, but it will be worth it.  The process of doing this very important step is to begin priming your brain to remember these examples and be able to articulate them when the time comes.

Practice out loud and visualize. - Don’t skip this step!  Often people go through all the work above and then run through the examples in their head.  I advise to practice out loud because sometimes what you plan to say may sound strange to you if you haven’t practiced out loud yet.  You may even want to change the word choice you use.  Word choice between writing and speaking can be different.

Journal. - This should really be the first step.  If you have any inkling that you may be looking to get promoted, change careers or change jobs you should be jotting down outstanding situations that you would want to use as examples in an interview.  Most people do not realize the importance of journaling until they realize how much they could have benefited by capturing their experiences ahead of time. Sometimes it takes going to an interview to kick start oneself into preparing well for an interview.

Get a good nights rest. - Being well rested is always a good idea.

Trust yourself! -
When the time comes don’t get caught up in what might happen.  You are already prepared.  You have gone through your examples.  They are primed in your brain and ready to go.  The more at ease you are in knowing that you prepared, the easier you will be able to access your memory to articulate your answers well.  Trust yourself that you will be able to answer whatever they ask.



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Scarlet for the Senses


Indulge your senses in scarlet red...

Red are the flowers, where my garden grows

Red glossy lips for tasting sweet red wine

Red painted nails and pretty matching toes

Red is the color, making life divine


Red glossy lips for tasting sweet red wine

Red is my heart for giving you my love

Red is the color, making life divine

Red is the sunset, in the sky above


Red is my heart for giving you my love

Red is the rose, such a pretty flower

Red is the sunset, in the sky above

Red is the color with the strongest pow’r


Red is the rose, such a pretty flower

Red painted nails and pretty matching toes

Red is the color with the strongest pow’r

Red are the flowers, where my garden grows

~Amera Anderson









 
 Have a beautiful weekend!
 

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Letting Go and Choosing What to Care About

Letting Go and Choosing What to Care About
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The process of letting go is like taking a journey to the center of your being.
Darren L. Johnson

Occasionally I have “Aha!” moments in my life.  This experience is one of how I let go of caring what people think and learned life lessons from a dear friend on what to value in life…

I sing.  I love singing but I’ve always been a bit self conscious about it.  I am not a professional or anything but I have had the opportunity to be heard here and there.  I have been singing since I was a little girl. In children’s choirs, in my teens I put myself through classical vocal training, in my 20s I sang at parties and weddings, when my dance company toured and we needed live music, I sang.  After getting married I sang in an adult choir but once I started having children, singing as a hobby went on the back burner.

Then, one day during my second maternity leave, I ran into a cheerful lady after working out at the gym.  She was retired and perhaps a little younger than my mother.  I recognized her because she led the choir at the church I occasionally attended and her choir was pretty good.  Her and I got talking about music and she asked me to join the choir. 

It would be a huge time commitment for me because that would mean I’d have to be there every week.  With two young kids, it was really hard for me to make time on weekends.  But, I figured, hey, why not I like singing and it’s probably a good idea that I get out and do something for myself on regular basis.  Plus, going to church is never a bad idea, right?

Once I joined the choir leader gave me a lot of solos and made me the back-up conductor when she was away.   It was fun but the time commitment for practices and masses took me away from my family more than I was used to.

My husband was very supportive and didn't mind that I was away a few hours on weekends but one thing that did bother me was, I noticed many of the choir members showing indifference to me and some being downright nasty.  For example, there’s a part of the mass where you’re supposed to shake each other’s hand and greet each other peace…and get this…they would ignore me!  


After the first few weeks of excusing it as, “Oh, maybe they didn’t see me extending my hand.” It became painfully obvious, they were not interested in being at “peace” with me.  I hadn’t felt so rejected since high school!

Eventually, the high school behaviour towards me worsened and the anti-peace offering became more apparent. Finally, I thought to myself, I didn’t need this.  I could get people who hate me and politics from work!  I didn’t need it at church where I’m supposed to leave feeling at least a little bit better when the service is over.

So, I quit the choir and went to a different mass as a regular attendee with my family.  I did however stay good friends with the choir leader lady.

Even after I quit, she made it a point to call me regularly.  She would make time to have lunch with me.  Visit me at work.  I even got her a job at my organization for a short time.  She always hoped I’d return to help her lead and sing the solos again.  She said she treated me like her daughter.  And I loved her like my mom.  Eventually, I confessed to her that the reason I didn’t enjoy the choir was because of how some of the other members made me feel and I really didn’t need the ridiculous choir politics in addition to the demands of raising my young family and returning to work. 

She told me that she knew this behaviour was going on.  Other members told her about it and she already asked the negative people in the choir to leave.  That it would be different when I returned.  I still didn’t because I had established a routine with my family and didn’t want to change it, yet.

One day, after not hearing from her for a few weeks, she texted me before Christmas to let me know she was going to Florida to visit family for the holidays.  She wished me a Merry Christmas and made plans to get together after she returned.  One thing about this lady, whenever she’d go away, she always remembered me or brought me back a little something from wherever she traveled.  Even if I hadn’t seen her for ages.

This time, after her vacation she returned from her trip, but didn’t call.  Weeks later I got a call from the choir pianist’s wife that upon her return, she caught pneumonia and passed away on her birthday.  My friend had died.

I was devastated.  It was so fast...

They asked me to return to sing with the choir at her memorial and funeral.  I came back and sang.

Funny thing…at the funeral reception someone at my table remembered me from when I was previously with the choir.  She asked me why I left.  I said, because I found that some of the members behaviour didn’t make the choir experience enjoyable.  Then she said she noticed I had sung at the memorial and funeral and asked if I was returning.  I said yes.  She asked, “Did something, change?”  I said, “Yes…now I don’t care.”

I had a wonderful relationship with the choir leader lady.  It has been almost a year since her passing.

At first I carried huge regrets that I didn’t get to spend more time with her.  But I realize now that a lot of the lessons that I needed to learn from her, the things she wanted me to know, still come from her through the way she lived her life.  I’ve learned more from her after her passing as I did when she was around:

  • I care about maintaining strong relationships with a few close people
  • Not burdening myself by judging others
  • Not caring so much about disappointing people I hardly know or being liked by them
  • Using my talents less for the recognition from others and more for the sake of sharing and giving back to the community

She was trying to get me to share my music with the church and community and I was thinking at the micro-level of how I was being treated by a few short-sighted people.  Yet, she never judged me or got upset with me because I didn’t see this yet.  I think she knew I would figure it out.

On the day of her funeral, I was alone at home tidying up before I left and I said out loud, “You know?…You never got to hear  me sing this one…” and I belted out Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro.  When I got into the my car to leave for her funeral I turned on the radio and yes…O Mio Babbino Caro was the first song that I heard playing on the radio.  Shivers and joy ran through me.  She heard me and I’m so thankful she came into my life.
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Persevere Through Job Rejection

Persevere Through Job Rejection
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The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that must precede the victory.
~Ted W. Engstrom

I admire job candidates that take the initiative to sincerely ask for feedback.  Many people simply need improvement finding ways to articulate their abilities in ways appealing to the employer.


It is tough though, because in today’s day and age, everyone is so ready to shout out the “D” word (Shhhh!  It’s “discrimination”) as the reason why they didn’t get a job.  So many HR people don’t tell you anything when they turn you down.  The less you say, the less they can use against you if they file a suit.


I take a more compassionate approach and I try not to say anything misleading but try to consider giving helpful feedback in areas where the candidate might genuinely benefit from.  Sure I've been burned by people that have quoted me out of context and issued a complaint or grievance against me.   I've never let that stop me.  When I'm asked, I won't stop giving requested feedback, because most of the time, people really appreciate the  help...and I like helping.


In truth, there are times when many awesome people are interviewed for a single open position and it’s heart breaking when you know that the second runner up could absolutely do a great job too, but there is only one job to offer.


I always hope that by turning candidates down they don’t lose hope so I always try to be encouraging and sincere when I turn them down.
 

So if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of rejection (and in your heart you know you could have done a great job in that position), consider these thoughts:
 

Don’t dwell on self defeating thoughts of blaming yourself for being inadequate.  In all likelihood, you are completely adequate and there are simply not enough positions to offer. 
 

If you showed a prospective employer everything you’ve got e.g. prepared a strong resume and got good reception in the interview, and they still didn’t select you, then somehow, it’s not the one for you.  Trust that the right decision was made and move on.
 

I have seen situations where hiring managers are hammered into taking a candidate that they didn’t really want.  The outcome is never fun for the applicant or the manager. 
That is why seniority based hiring (often seen in unionized environments) can fail miserably for everyone in the department.  When the manager and the employee don’t work well together, it makes the environment toxic and negative.  Save yourself and let the job go. 
 

Don’t resort to self destructive behavior like over-eating, over-spending, over drinking, bad mouthing, or blaming etc. to make yourself temporarily feel better.  You will only regret it later when you get over the high of binging.
 

Don’t resort to self destructive thoughts like saying to yourself that you’ll never get a job or there is something wrong with you.  I have been in recruitment for years and I honestly believe that when candidates put sincere effort into finding a job, and they are selective about what jobs they apply for, making sure the job is in line with their values and talents; they always find the perfect position for themselves.  It may take a bit of time, but it has always been true.
 

If you weren’t the successful candidate but they gave you positive feedback do stay in touch with them and try again later.  The next time around might be the right time for you.  I have called many 2nd runner ups for contract or permanent positions.  I recall one time I stayed in touch with a candidate for 3 years, calling to find out what he was doing until finally the position he applied for opened up again.  He's with my organization now and he loves it!
 
Do reflect on each job application experience and make note of any improvements you would like to make.
 

Seek out the advice of good mentors and trusted friends for input in areas that they may be knowledgeable.  If you don’t have access to these people, seek out credible sources on the internet, library or related associations for information.
 

Accept the situation, and remember that there really is something perfect out there for you.  It simply hasn’t shown itself to you yet.  If you take a job you’ll hate, you will miss the right opportunity.





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Inspiring Warm Winter Whites

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 You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.
~Deepak Chopra


The new year has barely begun and there are endless possibilities to make this year a wonderful one.  

I don’t know about you but I can somehow feel that there are great things to come.  I can’t wait to see them present themselves.  In the meantime, I’m leaving my mind wide open.

What better time to celebrate with clean slates and new outlooks with warm winter whites. 

Enjoy these inspirations!...











Have a beautiful week!
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Luscious, Luxurious and Feminine: Rouge Lips

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I came out of the womb waving red lipstick. 

~Rose McGowan

As a child I used to rub red lollipop on my lips to get that red lipstick look.  I eventually got to wear real red lipstick for dance and tried different shades of lipstick growing up. 

Then I learned to to pick the most flattering shade when it was a dress code requirement as a flight attendant that's when I learned to wear red with real comfort and confidence.

For me wearing red lipstick embraces femininity, it's flattering and sexy, it's a great pick-me-up for days when I look and feel tired and it acts as a simple accent even if you may be sporting a simple outfit.

Day or night, I still wear the same shade that I've been wearing for the last 12 years; which actually isn't even a lipstick but lipliner and gloss.  I wear MAC Mahogany Lip Liner with MAC Beaux Lustreglass Lipgloss

Sometimes even the ladies at the cosmetic counters compliment me on the shade that the pair make.

Do you have a favourite accessory or look that sparks your inner goddess?  Share it with me!

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy these inspirations!...









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