Who should I interview next?
If you have been a reader or subscriber for a while you may have enjoyed getting to know HR professionals through my Q&A interviews. Recently I received a message from one reader that asked if I would do one, with myself! So I did! In video and uploaded to my youtube channel. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoy and find it interesting. If you do have questions comment below and do not forget to share, like and subscribe.
Who should I interview next?
How do we lead successfully during a pandemic? As we are headed into the second month of various levels of isolation around the globe let's pause to remember one of the most critical factors on leading others during a crisis, communication.
Leadership is a choice, nobody is born a competent or effective leader. Often, it is the "small things" we do, sometimes even the easy things that can have the greatest and most powerful impact on those who look to us during a time of crisis.
How would you rate your communication that you are providing your employees? If you are an employee yourself, how would you rate or describe the communication you are receiving from your leadership team. Comment and share in the comments below.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
Career Coaching during COVID-19. Let's talk about resumes, CV's and how we can be ready for career transition process and putting our best foot (application) forward. During this pandemic, many of us with time on our hands I want to share continuing education options to bolster your skills that are 100% FREE!
How are you doing? How has this pandemic situation effected you and your career situation? Comment below and remember, I am here to help.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
I have received a few enquiries on publishing an article related to COVID-19 (AKA the Corona Virus). At first I thought I absolutely would come out with something. I have lived and worked through SARS and H1N1 outbreaks as well as the September 11th terrorist attacks.
This current and on-going global crisis has a lot of attention being paid. The further I meditated on it the more I felt there were enough voices, prognosticators and subject matter experts weighing in. Instead, I started to think about what I could offer instead that could have value for people.
Part of my consultancy business is career coaching and resume development. As I hear every few minutes, more and more people are finding themselves unemployed via furlough, cancellation of contracts or companies ceasing operations.
As my contribution to this crisis I will provide FREE career coaching and resume writing/development services to anyone adversely effected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are three posts that provide self assistance regarding resumes that can be found here;
If you are looking for direct assistance or would like for me to proof read, provide feedback or write your resume for you please submit your request using the contact me function here;
Like disasters and most adversity we face in our lives, this too shall pass. For those of you worrying about your job situation, I am here to help. If you are looking for specific information or updates on the current state of health and protocol I have provided the following links below;
Stay safe, stay healthy and reach out to let me know how I can help you.
All the best,
As I mentioned in a previous article, an HR professional can choose to take a positive approach to their work as a business partner, support and coach or a negative approach such as traffic cop style management.
It should be no surprise then, that the ones who take a positive approach often pay close attention to employee satisfaction, not just the running results but also new ideas or initiatives that could enhance overall employee satisfaction. I have participated in employee BBQ’s, holiday gift giving, raffles, lunch and learns to name a few. Often times, the best ideas come from others, especially those outside of HR.
One such idea came to me a couple years ago, coincidentally the current rampant hoarding of toilet paper in North America reminded me of this example, well intentioned as an initiative yet destined to fail. A senior manager from a guest department approached me with an idea he put in place at a previous work location. He thought it was brilliant! For context, on ships, employees work and live onboard. The majority of whom are responsible to clean and maintain their assigned cabin, this includes retrieving fresh bed linens, towels and toilet paper from a central crew pick up location near the ships main laundry facility.
In the fall term of grade 9 I was sitting in weekly homeroom or as we call it in British Columbia (CAPP or Career and Personal Planning). A once a week 1.5 hour session intended to prepare us teenagers for adult life. I sat there with my classmates as they passed around a massive booklet which appeared to be a multiple choice test (ugh!).
We were soon briefed however that this was a future career profile that, when completed should be able to guide us towards industries or career fields best suited us. While I was completing mine, a teacher passed by and asked me, “so! What are you hoping to be after school?”. I instantly knew my answer “Pilot or Eye Doctor!”. The teacher looked at me as if I was a sad puppy and she said without pause, “oh sweetie, you have to be really good at math for both of those…” (I later learned she was wrong but that is a different story).
In the end, my results indicated I should be an Environmental Technologist or Teacher. I was a bit bummed. My third highest rated career field was Human Resources. I will be honest, to see “HR” there caused my stomach to turn. Why? The field of Human Resources had been vilified to me by so many people within my life. My father, a successful entrepreneur often spoke very negatively about HR people. A close member of my family was an HR professional and she often “celebrated” terminating people and none of her “war stories” were ever positive. So if you told 15 year old me that I would one day end up becoming an HR professional, my answer would have been “HECK NO!”.
For those that follow my blog, I have interviewed several people here who have all offered their own unique perspectives on what they do, how they got there and how they set themselves and others up for success when pursuing their dreams. One career in particular has been a popular request for me to highlight, Flight Attendant. One of my industry friends George Yandle agreed to sit down with me and share his experiences and perspective on the process of going through the very competitive recruitment process. George lives and works in the United States and you will find differences in the process from one country to the next so we will keep things a bit general. Regardless of where you come from, I am sure there are helpful points below we could all learn from. Let's get to know George a bit more.
Jeff - Working in the airline industry, from my experience has always been held in very high regard and has also been very competitive to get those coveted positions. Where did your interest in becoming a Flight Attendant come from?
George - My interest in becoming a Flight Attendant sparked at a young age. I remember my mom taking me to the airport overlook, a place where you can watch airplanes take off and land. I always found airplanes to be fascinating and loved every time I got to see them. I used to have a toy collection of airplanes that I would play with when I was a kid. I always had a fear of heights and flying on an airplane. This made me put being a Flight Attendant on hold until I signed up for a study abroad class in College. My first plane ride was taken on May 9th, 2016 from Charlotte North Carolina to Toronto Canada on a CRJ 200. I remember feeling overwhelmed and scared to fly. I cried during takeoff but once airborne that’s when the passion to be a Flight Attendant sparked. I loved every second of the flight and watched the Flight Attendant do service and all from my seat. After that moment and flying four times I knew I wanted to pursue becoming a Flight Attendant. I have kept track of every flight I have flown on since and the total is now at 571 flights taken. To be someone that was once afraid to fly, I find it to be amazing. My passion for aviation has grown so much, I look to Flight Attendants as my heroes every day. They mean a lot to me and to carry that title myself means the world to me. I also would like to say, after my first training with my first regional airline in the fall of 2017 I got to fly over my house I used to live in 10 years ago. I remember looking up while outside and thinking someday I will fly over this very same spot. I did that, I flew over that same spot and looked out the window and said, “I did it! I made a dream and vision come alive.”
Jeff - When you did decide to pursue a career as a Flight Attendant, what were the first steps you took?
George - The first steps I took when I pursued the Flight Attendant position was research and find what airlines were hiring at the time. After I completed my research I was so motivated I decided to apply to all of them. I didn’t care at the time about the pay. I just wanted to fly and make a dream come alive. I applied to over 9 Airlines and only got accepted to one in the Fall of 2017. It was a regional airline that flew for United Express and American Eagle.
It is my pleasure to introduce you to another human resources professional and learn more about working within this immense field.
Meet my fellow HR friend Alex, currently an HR Business Partner for a large American health care organization.
Jeff - Alex, tell us a little bit about you first. Your career history and experience.
Alex – Boy, this is a tough question! Where do I start? My name is Alex Roberson, and I reside in Arlington, Texas. A fun fact about me is I LOVE cruising. I am 28 years old and “living the dream” as they say. It all started when I was in college. My professor asked us to interview someone we wanted to be when we grew up. My dream job was to be in radio, working for the legendary Kidd Kraddick. I ended up meeting one of his co-hosts on the morning show and was offered an internship which opened many doors for me. Having the internship on my resume definitely helped as everyone recognized the Kidd Kraddick name. I’ve worked in the hospitality industry for many years as head doorman, then moving into healthcare marketing where I was introduced to the lovely life of HR. I worked for a smaller hospital in Fort Worth, Texas in a smaller office with a few different department leaders. My main position was marketing but we worked as a team and I was able to learn a lot about the field of HR. after three years of working with the company in marketing, I decided to check out the HR world full-time. I am now the HR Business Partner for a sister hospital in Arlington, Texas and I am loving every minute of it.
Jeff - What brought you into the field of HR?
Alex - Since we shared the same office as HR, I would always to my best to answer the phones before the HR staff and I learned as much as I possibly could. I am almost always trying to learn other positions and help out when I have free time. The VP of HR noticed my willingness to help and the rest is history.
Jeff - What are some of the challenges you face day to day in your role?
Alex – I wouldn’t necessarily call this a challenge, but more of a major sense of urgency. In healthcare, many positions require different licensure and certifications in order for them to be compliant. With over 1,500 employees working at any given time, we are required to run daily audits to see if each employee is compliant. This is always an urgent matter that needs to be addressed immediately with their leader if the employee is not compliant. I would say that a challenge I run into is that I need a clone. Managing time is something everyone has difficulty with. The first thing I so each morning is look at my calendar for the day and figure out what my priorities are and then make a “laundry” list of my duties for the day.
Jeff - What do you find is the most rewarding part of working in HR.
Alex – This is my favorite question! The most rewarding part of my position is seeing the smile on our employees faces when we reward them for going above and beyond. I am in charge of the rewards and recognition program, planning the annual holiday party, and all employee appreciation week activities. As a leader in HR, I always place myself in their shoes. I take a step back and say “what would they want?” I’ve been planning our annual employee appreciation week over the last few months and we have so many great things planned for our employees! I think one of the most popular activities will be the massage company that will come in and provide a 15 minute chair massage to each employee. Another rewarding part of my job would be meeting all of our new hires. New hires have a special place in my heart. I remember when I was younger and starting my career in healthcare and how intimidating everything was. I do my absolute best to get on their level and speak to them in a friendly way instead of abusing my power and intimidate them. If you provide a smile and a positive attitude to everyone you come across in your life, they will hopefully reciprocate.
Jeff - What do you feel makes your role in healthcare/HR different than say what I do in the travel industry?
Alex - Absolutely nothing. We are all professionals and are here to take care of our employees. Working in the travel industry and healthcare are similar as far as diversity. Many of our employees have traveled here from overseas to pursue their dream of providing cost-effective healthcare. Now there are differences, of course, but I believe we are all here to serve a purpose. My purpose is to make sure our employees are providing compassionate care and working in a safe environment.
Jeff – What advice would you give to perspective candidates or students considering a career in HR?
Alex – Do anything you can to be seen by others. Never be comfortable! One thing that worked for me is to say “yes” to everything early on in my career. Whether that be offering to run a presentation for the CEO or my VP, I always made myself available to help. Make connections and network as much as you can.
Jeff - What changes to our industry do you foresee in the next 5-10 years?
Alex - Unfortunately, I’ve already seen a lot of HR initiatives being centralized at a corporate level. If an employee calls us for certain questions, we are asked to have them call the HR call center. I always answer their questions for them, but we do have a team of HR professionals working at a call center at our corporate office. The centralization of HR is taking over I think.
Jeff - What are your additional thoughts?
Alex – Being comfortable is something I’ve never been. I am always keeping an eye out for what is next. I am a huge fan of traveling and I’ve been looking at other types of HR work in a different field. I would like to broaden my horizon and push myself even more to learn as much as possible.
As you can see, Alex has great insight into the human resources practices within healthcare. Alex can be contacted directly; firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time,
What did they just say? What on earth does that mean? These are thoughts or statements that may take place if you have ever cruised on a ship as a passenger or worked as a fresh “newbie” onboard. I actually wrote about this back in 2015 but feel I really only scratched the surface when it comes to shiplife language. I keep it light hearted, for obvious reasons I will not entertain or discuss anything that would be rude, crude or socially unattractive.
On every ship around the world, just like any airplane that is expected to meet a global regulatory standard must follow the international aviation, or in my case maritime language of English. Crew will and do speak other languages especially with foreign guests, yet must be fully competent and capable of fluently communicate in English. This way, in the event of an emergency the ships crew are all speaking the same language.
English though, is actually a very “muddy” language as far as language goes. Ask anyone that is multilingual and English is not their first language they will tell you that English is one of the hardest languages to learn. My personal example, I am a born native english speaker from the west coast of Canada and yet I have travelled to Cardiff Wales and trying to order a hamburger at Burger King was laughingly impossible…
This happens because English is prone to adopt a lot of local slang or regional specific words. Did you see the size of that Lorry? or did you see the size of that truck? Just place it in the boot or just place it in the trunk.
So here they are, my TOP 10! words used in English by ships crew that are very commonly used onboard and perhaps never used back home.
Well, there you have it. My Top Ten behind the scenes ship english terms spoken by the crew.
I will also admit that my spoken english has actually morphed a lot over the last 4.5 years. I have by osmosis, adopted a lot more of the proper British vernacular as Canadian slang seems to have drifted further afield from her Majesty’s english. Is it “TOE-MOT-O”? or TOE-MATE-O”? or even, if I am really being literal “Tomato Sauce” (Ketchup). Another big one for me, I like my greens and enjoy Rocket… Nobody in North America knows what that means. In Canada or the US it is “Arugula”, for me though I have totally shifted to not even thinking about it and just saying “Rocket”, my poor local produce girl...
I wonder what you will notice on your next cruise? Let me know if you ave noticed other words that should have been included in the list by commenting below.