Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sit Up

I have the privilege of speaking at our new hire orientation every two weeks. I introduce myself, the creative department and talk about the importance of brand consistency both within and outside our four walls.

Not only do these new hires get to hear from me, they hear about benefits, perks, our charity causes, our parent company, they get a tour, they see demonstrations of our proprietary technology, they get to shop in the employee store, and they have safety training. A big, long day filled with everything to get someone started off on the right foot. I myself found the day fascinating when I was a new hire.

Now of all places to sit up and show interest, I would imagine new hire orientation is probably one of the most important.

Cut to two weeks ago. I am doing my section, which is all of 10 minutes. There is a young women a few rows up that is slouched so far down her seat that her head was resting on the back of the chair. Not only was she slouched to oblivion, her eyes were half mast. It is 10:15 in the morning.

Call me ADD but I get easily distracted when I am speaking to an audience. It comes from my teaching days when I literally would ban students from their phones and computers when I was lecturing. All eyes on me.

This young woman was killing me. It was one of those times when I was thinking about saying something when all of a sudden I realized I was saying something. "You may want to sit up," I tell her. "Huh?" she answers. "If you sit up, it will be easier to keep your eyes open," I say back. She seems confused when I finally say, a bit forcefully, "Sit up."

Folks! It is your first day. At a new company. You should be EXCITED. You should be oozing interest and passion from your pores. Sit up and pay attention. Sit up and participate. Sit up and be grateful that you were chosen over others to have a place in that orientation. You must remember you reflect outward how you feel and if you are feeling slouchy half-mast on your first day at a new job, man, things will only get worse every day forward.

Friday, April 26, 2013

My F'ing Front Door

Let me tell you about the front door of where I work: It's pretty f'ing cool!

Seriously, the first time you walk up to my building you'll mutter, "holy shit" under your breath. The building is cool, the lobby is cool, the reception chairs are cool. Cool-o-rama all around.

There are plenty of other doors to get into my building. The back door, a couple of side doors. Just regular ones, nothing cool about them.

So here's the choice I have daily: enter through the f'ing cool one or enter one of the regular ones. Every day I get to decide where I walk in. A basic, elementary decision. One most people don't even consciously make.

I will tell you (as I tell every person who reports to me) walk in the front door folks! Every. Single. Day.

Even if your building or lobby isn't an oozing temple of coolness, walk in the front door. It will remind you of why you came to work at your company in the first place; it gives you the same rush that others get when they walk in for the first time (by the way, most every ad agency or design firm is pretty cool); and is a thoughtful choice on how to start your day. It is you doing your small part to validate your company, your job and the utter coolness of this creative industry we all get to work in.

Shirking in the side door just doesn't feel the same.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

More About: About Me

People seem to have a hard time knowing what to write in the "About Me" section of their resume. Not sure why. I guess people just struggle with identifying what is truly unique and interesting about themselves.

The About Me part of someone's resume is always my first stop. The most important stop in my opinion (especially, especially for juniors!). I am dying to know what somebody is about - what they do in their free time, interesting hobbies, weird travels, whatever. These interests are what differentiate one candidate from the next. Oftentimes it is the deal breaker.

Here is are two simple, good examples:

Sean O'Connor, student at Massachusetts Art & Design:

Marc J Fisher, Art Director:

Take a moment and reflect on yourself. What makes you, you? Certainly anything is more interesting than this: