Monday, June 9, 2014

That Pink Lipstick!!!

That Bright Pink Lipstick!!

When is that pink lipstick appropriate? well the technical answer is not for work in most cases. Some work places are liberal and you can wear whatever;however, depending on the position you hold and meetings that you plan to attend, you do not want to wear that pink lipstick. 

The worst place to wear that bright pink lipstick is to an interview. Here is why I am talking about that bright pink lipstick. I too love that lipstick, but it is very distracting and can be sexually alluring to men.When I use to wear that particular color lipstick to work, a lot of women would compliment me (which is a positive thing) and it means that it is really outstanding and men will struggle to say "that's a nice color" (they are extremely uncomfortable because I am the HR Director), but the point is, that pink lipstick pulls attention to you even if you do not want it.

On a regular day, wearing that pink lipstick it is fine(providing you dont mind the attention), but if you are a manager in a meeting or an interviewee on an interview, you want the people in the room to pay attention to the substance that is coming out of your mouth and not so much attention to the shape or color of your lips.

So for interviews or meetings, use lip gloss or very light color lipstick, you would be surprised at how much better people will focus.
I cant tell you how many times, i am interviewing a candidate and my eyes are on their lipstick because it is distracting. Since I have noticed how distracting it is to me, I too have stopped wearing that pink lipstick to work.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Surviving the Workplace Jungle

By Debbie A. Duran
July 19/2013

 Cultivate and foster positive relationships in your work environment. Do not respond to everything that displeases you, learn when to hold em and when to fold em.

 Do not immediately respond to emails that really upsets you. Wait for a day, and when you do, asks someone (preferably outside the company) to read the contents and evaluate the tone of your response.

 Trust no-one, keep your personal affairs to yourself, most people are not your friends in the work environment (This is most common downfall of employees). Consistently sharing your personal information with a supervisor as well, can have a negative psychological effect. For example, if you call out of work, all the things you told the supervisor, will possibly begin to play back in their heads.

 If you are planning to sue your workplace (for whatever reason your heart desires), tell NO-ONE in the work place. If you tell someone and change your mind, that stigma will forever stay with you and your supervisor will never like you.

 Keep your business (especially the ones that can damage you) to yourself.

 Whatever you tell someone at work, should be something you don’t mind everyone knowing about. Don’t get mad if your business gets told, because frankly, if you can’t keep your own secret, why should anyone else keep it for you?

 Always remember who is in charge and respect who is in charge, even if you do not like them.

 Do not go to work with the expectation that everyone should like you, some will, some won’t; the focus should be that the majority respects you. If no one respects you, then you really need to start evaluating yourself. Popularity doesn’t help you to keep your job; it is hard work and respect that out weighs popularity

 If a supervisor is nice to you, do not perceive it as weakness, nor should take the kindness for weakness. Remember your supervisor also has a supervisor

 Work on complimenting your supervisor at times, play into their egos, some call it ass kissing or brown nosing; I call it laying a foundation for building the skyscraper. So while you are busy building your skyscraper let the by-standers snicker, laugh and criticize you. Later in the years, they will be outside the office of your skyscraper, asking you for a job or a favor.

 Your supervisor may not like you, but you should work on the respect they have for you.

 If you are supervisor, do not engage in gossip as this ruins your credibility and lowers employees’ respect of you. Employees still like to feel a sense of trust whenever they speak to a supervisor. Therefore, if an employee tells you they are taking off work to for cancer treatment...etc...They should not be greeted by fellow coworkers saying" Are you ok"? This is not what a supervisor should be doing.

 Do not get tunnel vision in your career and only live for the moment, always think about the future, look at the big picture. All the people you will encounter as you changes jobs, are all stepping stones you will need to get you to the top.

 Even if you and your supervisor are not the best of friends, they should be willing to write you a reference. Ask them to their faces, if they would be willing to give you a reference, and if possible, could they put it in writing. This way, you will get them to put their feelings on paper, so if a job then calls them and they say negative about you, then they would be contradicting what they have already put on paper

 If you have had at least 3 jobs and you can’t get at least one good reference, it is time to do some soul searching and self evaluation.

 In order to grow in your career, you have to learned the rules of engagement and how to function in workplace jungle

 If you have been trying to leave your job for a while or trying to get promoted and nothing has happened, you really need to take a look in the mirror and then contact GTJ Consulting.

Ph: 443-908-3280, Email:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013







Saturday, June 2, 2012

How the Recession Has Reshaped the Job Market: The Skills Employers Are Looking For
Written by: Debbie A. Duran, MBA.
November 11th, 2010

The recession has significantly impacted the job market and has reshaped it.  The total number of job openings remains low at 3.2 million; however, prior to the recession, it was 4.4 million.  The number of job openings has surged to 37% in the past year and yet the unemployment rate has risen.  It probably does not make much sense, but companies are finding it hard to fill some vacancies that do exist (Rugaber, 2010).
One of the reasons the above mentioned problem exists is simply because employees are now expected to have more skill set in order to do more work.  For example, a supervisor may now have to deal with his/her own conflict among employees, oppose to sending the employees to sending an employee to the HR department to see the HR manager.  Layoffs may have caused the HR manager to assume more responsibilities; consequently, certain minor HR functions are delegated to the department managers and supervisors.  In this scenario, a typical supervisor or manager now needs to have conflict resolution skills.
The Society for Human Resources Management has recently released some post recession job statistics, indicating that the Manufacturing and Construction industries are the two hardest hit industries during the recession.  The industries that are currently hiring full-time employees at a high percentage are: The Federal Gov; High Technology; State & Local Government; and the highest are the Health Industry.  (SHRM, 2010)
There are not may specialize jobs or a great Division of Labor in the workforce anymore.  A single person is now tasked with doing the work of two or three people, and if you refuse, there is always at least ten people, willing and able to take your place in this economic climate.  The bottom line, there are jobs available (not as many as before) however; higher skill levels are needed to assume these rolls.  For example, if you are a File Clerk, you may want to go back to school to learn to type and use the computer more effectively and efficiently.  If you are a Supervisor, you may want to learn how to effectively learn how to resolve conflict, lead and motivate employees as well as your usage of technology.
Have you ever looked at a job Description and say “I am not even going to bother apply”, the truth is, if you realistically meet some components of the criteria, then by all means, you should apply for the job.  A Job Description is merely the minimum qualifications, skills, and ability to do the job, but as a candidate, you may have some other “transferable skills” that can be substituted.  For example, you may have been working as an Accountant for years, and you were laid off, and you now are having a tough time getting a job in your area of expertise.  Sometimes you have to think and go outside the box, and this means that you can transfer your number crunching, analytical skills in another field.  For instance, you could look for employment in the Federal government or State/Local government as a Policy Analyst or any type of analytical position that requires high analysis of data or numbers.  Who knows, you may like this new area and choose to stay after the economy rebounds or you may choose to return to your field.
According to Quintcareers (2010) most of the skills we acquire over careers are transferable and can be placed into five broad skill areas, which are then sub-divided into more specific job skills:
1.     Communication covers  skillful expression, transmission and interpretation of knowledge and ideas:
Þ    Speaking effectively
Þ    Writing concisely
Þ    Listening attentively
Þ    Providing feedback
Þ    Negotiating
Þ    Interviewing
2.     Research and Planning covers the search for specific knowledge and the ability to conceptualize future needs and solutions for meeting said needs:
Þ    Forecasting ,predicting
Þ    Indentifying problems
Þ    Identifying resources
Þ    Gathering information
Þ    Solving problems
Þ    Analyzing
Þ    Developing strategies

3.     Human Relations covers the use of interpersonal skills for resolving conflict, relating to people:
Þ    Listening effectively
Þ    Being Sensitive
Þ    Motivating
Þ    Giving credit and acknowledgement

4.     Management and Leadership covers the ability to supervise, direct and guide individuals and groups in the completion of task and fulfillment of goals:
Þ    Being proactive and taking the initiative
Þ    Managing groups
Þ    Delegation responsibilities
Þ    Teaching/ Coaching
Þ    Promoting and facilitating change
Þ    Managing conflict

5.     Work Survival- covers the day-to-day skills that assist in promoting productivity and work satisfaction:
Þ    Being punctual and managing time
Þ    Organizing and prioritizing
Þ    Meeting goals
Þ    Accepting responsibility
Þ    Cooperating with others

With all the above mentioned skill set, you are bound to have acquired a few along your job/career.  While you may not fit perfectly into a particular position, you can transfer your skills to new positions.
So, you are classified as “over qualified”, I think being in categorized as this is like not having qualifications at all.  Because of the economic climate, the job market is may not be filled with jobs that requires a Doctorate or Masters degree, so what should you do?  The answer is quiet simple, have two versions of your resume.  You need a version of your resume with your bachelor’s degree and may need to taper down some of your experiences (if necessary).  However, you still need your original version of your resume where you can show of your PH.D or Masters degree.  Unfortunately, there are more people than there are jobs and employers will sometimes select the candidate that they can get more from for less.  (Although, this is not always the case).
In summation, the job market is not what is used to be where we could march out there with qualifications and get a job.  We have to be innovative and be prepared to reinvent ourselves repeatedly in order to get a job.  Technology has revolutionized how we live our lives and the recession has reshaped our workforce and to remain competitive, we have to think outside the box to stay in the employment game.

Works Cited

Rugaber, C. S. (2010, October 10). New Job Skills Required: Unemploymed Find Old Jobs Now Require More Skills. Retrieved November 8, 2010, from Huffington Post:
SHRM (2010, March 29).  Post- Recession Hiring SHRM Poll.  Retrieved November 8, 2010 from SHRM:
Quintessentialcareers (nd).  Marketable Job Skills Can Be Broken Down Into Five basic Categories, That Job-Seekers Can Use In Showing  Applicable Skills From One Job/Career To The Next.  Retrieved November 11, 2010 from Quintcareers:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Butter up your boss — without being obvious

Jay Bower, CEO of a Connecticut marketing company, says he favors employees who do what they're paid to do. "Do your work consistently," he says. "Boring but true."
Even better, go above and beyond your basic job description. "Figure out what your boss wants and do it," says Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, a Colorado-based workplace coach.

Make your boss look good.

Never forget that your boss also has to do a bit of brown-nosing to his or her supervisors.
"The bottom line in any employer/employee relationship is that the manager wants to look good," says Linda Pophal, author of Human Resource Essentials. "If you can make your manager look good, you'll look good. That can be done in subtle ways so you don't look like an obvious 'brown-noser.'"
"Never criticize your manager to others, no matter how incompetent he or she may be. The consequences could be more negative to you than your boss," she says.
And never show up or correct your boss when others are around. Do not strive to look good at the expense of your supervisor.

Be a resource.

Make yourself indispensable by collecting pertinent knowledge. Research more than you need to so you will have information when it is needed. Keep him or her updated on industry events and other news.
Figure out what projects are making your boss' life more difficult and volunteer to help, says Tricia Nickel, an executive recruiter in Chicago. "Pay attention to time-consuming projects that aggravate your boss, and come up with creative solutions to those projects," she says.
When extra projects come around, volunteer if you have the time. "Be useful," Pophal says. "Volunteer to take on projects to lessen your boss's load." Your boss will appreciate your efforts.

Ask intelligent questions.
If you are interested in your work, your supervisor probably will catch on to your enthusiasm.
"Ask questions following meetings — let them know you are interested and, more importantly, that you were listening," says Mary Wong, president of a Houston-based human resources strategy firm.
But before you start firing at random, make sure your questions add something to the discussion.
"Ask questions, but only those that have meaning for you, or you risk seeming inauthentic," says Janice Calnan, a workplace coach in Canada.

Seek advice and feedback.
Make sure your boss knows you're willing to improve and are interested in the intricacies of your job. Key questions for your boss: How can I improve? How can I get ahead? What can I do to make your job easier?
Ask for advice on your daily duties or the long-term projects you're tackling. Your boss can be a good resource; he or she probably has encountered a similar situation. If you listen to your boss, you might learn something from his or her experiences.
"The ultimate compliment is to ask for your boss' advice," says Terri Levine, author ofWork Yourself Happy.

Be nice to everyone in the office.
Less experienced brown-nosers may be nice to the VIPs and ignore the little people, but that's the worst way to go about ingratiating yourself within the office.
Always give credit where credit is due. If you're contributing to the company's goodwill, you're going beyond just brown-nosing. Everyone wants to feel as if the job he is doing is important. Keeping up morale around the office by getting to know everyone in the office will help you in the long run.
"Never put others down, because you never know who your next boss will be," Disbennett-Lee says.

Keep in touch.
Communication is one of the most important factors in establishing a good relationship with your supervisor.
"Let your boss know what you are doing," Pophal says. "Many people make the false assumption that they know what you are doing. Copy them on e-mails, and make sure they get copies of your work."
Writing a brief weekly summary of the projects you're working on and what you've accomplished can be a great way to showcase your successes.
If you stay on your boss' radar, you'll be difficult to forget.
"Leave brief and insightful messages on their voice mail early in the morning or after the day is over," Wong says. "You will be the first person on their mind each day that you do."

Hold on to your integrity.
When it comes to lauding your boss, keep it specific and sincere, says Patti Hathaway, who wrote Managing Upward: Strategies for Succeeding With Your Boss.
"You don't want to tell your boss: 'You are the best boss a person could ever have.' It makes everyone want to gag because it's not believable," she says.
"Doing something with the sole purpose of inflating the boss's ego will backfire; most people see through those who are insincere," Disbennett-Lee says.
Though there's nothing wrong with a healthy dose of seeking favor with your boss, how you curry that favor can determine whether you move ahead in the company — and whether you've earned the respect of your boss and co-workers.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Can you get fired for cursing at work?

By Alina Dizik,
July 25, 2011 9:07 a.m. EDT
Even if you do great work, cursing can have an impact on your 
ability to get promoted.
Even if you do great work, cursing can have an impact on your ability to get promoted.
  • Swearing can affect the way you're perceived by others in the workplace
  • Just because no one comments on your use of foul language, doesn't mean it's going unnoticed
  • Be careful, cursing could get you fired
( -- If you're cursing at work, be careful. While it's commonplace to curse once in a while and may even help you build a bond with co-workers, there's a fine line to when and how you curse.
"We are being judged constantly by our co-workers for how we do our work and how we interact with them," says etiquette expert Cynthia Lett. "Cursing is an aggressive and hostile way of expressing oneself."
Companies where employees are constantly in front of customers are especially harsh when it comes to foul language -- employees caught cursing can be in trouble. Not sure where you stand when it comes to cursing? Here's how foul language at work can impact your career:
Reveal an unprofessional attitude
In some professions cursing is accepted and can even help you fit in to an environment, perhaps in high-pressure jobs where everyone needs to let off some steam. Constantly using foul language, however, can make it difficult to fit into a professional environment, says Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of "The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength."
"Perceptions are important in shaping your career -- you don't want to be seen as that foul-mouthed person," she says. Be especially careful about your language when surrounded by several co-workers at once -- such as during meetings or when working in teams.
Prevent real communication
Using curse words over and over again can prevent you from truly communicating what you're trying to say. Instead of cursing, take the time to figure out how to let your co-workers understand what you're really thinking. Even if you're angry or upset, take time to develop a professional communication strategy. "Cursing is an aggressive and hostile way of expressing one's self," Lett says.
Furthermore it can create a distance between you and the others in your department because it makes others uncomfortable. "When people are uncomfortable around someone they avoid them whenever possible," she explains.
Hamper your image
Similar to a disheveled appearance or tardiness, foul language can impact the way you're perceived by others in the workplace. Even if you do great work, cursing can have an impact on your ability to get promoted or get better job responsibilities.
"You need to be aware of how you present yourself to your co-workers, superiors and clients," says Suzanne Lucas, a writer and human resources expert. "Swearing when books get dropped on your toes or the copier dies on you is one thing, peppering your daily conversation with expletives is another."
Repercussions from human resources
Just because no one in your department comments on your use of foul language, doesn't mean it's going unnoticed. In some instances it can be reported to human resources with an official warning.
Sometimes it can even get you fired. "Someone who works customer facing [roles] -- such as retail or sales or call centers -- would be fired for swearing, as it's not appropriate with a customer," Lucas says.
Of course not everyone gets fired. And as you evaluate your behavior, cursing once in a while is no cause for alarm. "We all get angry and frustrated and using a curse word can be the best release available," says Kahnweiler. "Just be aware that this language shouldn't become your M.O. or you could be seen as lacking self control."

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can You Keep Your Job as a Loan Officer in Illinois if You File Bankruptcy?

There are things that can happen in people's lives over which they have no control. Things like job loss, divorce, illness or lawsuit can have serious financial and economical impact for individuals as well as their immediate and extended families. In such a case, bankruptcy often appears to be the only recourse. Filing bankruptcy can help to heal immediate financial wounds, but it does have other repercussions. When you're considering bankruptcy as a solution to your issues, look upon what filing for the financial relief means in its entirety.
  1. Background Checks

    • The Fair Credit Report Act(FCRA) governs how background checks are conducted and it gives employers the right to conduct background checks on its employees. Some jobs are mandated by state and federal government regulations to require background checks for applicants. Such jobs can include, but not limited to, jobs that deal with the elderly, the disabled or children.

    Loan Officers

    • The Bureau of Labor Statistic explains that Loan officers are responsible for sourcing potential clients and assisting them to apply for loans. Loan officers are responsible for gathering pertinent information from customers to determine the likelihood of a customer's repayment. Officers also analyzes and verifies the information on an application to determine the client's creditworthiness.

    Money Handling

    • When a job involves finance, accounting, cash or valuable merchandise, and when a position requires a security clearance, a background check is a routine part of the hiring process. Hiring firms conduct comprehensive background checks on people who are in one of the above job fields. Employees who handle money or make credit-worthiness decisions on people are expected to be more fiscally responsible. While a background check and credit report do not totally define a person, they give a plausible outlook of a person's lifestyle.

    Considerations and Implications

    • Under Section 525 of the US Bankruptcy Code, a person should not be discriminated against on the job simply because she has filed bankruptcy. Therefore, if a Loan Officer in Illinois is eligible to file bankruptcy, then he surely can. However; though an employer cannot fire someone simply for filing bankruptcy, it can make an employee's work life difficult, by such means as denying promotions or limiting the employee's access to information. If someone with a bad credit history is trying to become a loan officer, oftentimes she will not be selected from the very beginning.

Read more: Can You Keep Your Job as a Loan Officer in Illinois if You File Bankruptcy? |