Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Name That Product

Herban Lifestyle, innovative natural beauty products products company and friend to Momentum Resources, is having a super-fun contest to name their new line of baby products. This is more timely than, after a recent report showed toxins in baby "cosmetics." So put on your creative thinking cap, click here to submit your idea, and good luck!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Do's and Don'ts for Returning to the Workforce

At our first Washington area Candidate Coffee Break last week we were delighted to have Christine Fruehwirth of Flex Careers Consulting share with us Top 5 Do's and Don'ts for women returning to the workforce after a "break" for child rearing.
  • Do figure out what you want to do first, Don't just jump at the first thing that comes along. Have your "story" down, update your resume and devote some time to self-exploration.
  • Do remember George Eliot's saying "It's never too late to be what you could have been." Take short-term steps towards your long-term goals. Don't assume you have to go back into your prior career field. Identify transferable skills from your former career life and determine if it's possible to incorporate new or rediscovered interests.
  • Do use technology, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, to reignite your network (just make sure your online self is cleaned up and presentable!) Don't think major job sites, such as, replace networking.
  • Do address your resume gap. Replace it with volunteer activities, schooling and other activities during this time period. Don't hide the date gap, above all do not apologize for the gap. Be matter of fact: you were happy with the time out of the workforce, you're excited to jump back in!
  • Do practice interview skills with mock questions from a friend or spouse, contact your alumni career services to see if they offer interview help. Don't go into interviews unprepared! Do research on the organization, recent industry trends and use your re-energized network to find someone at that organization or within the industry for the "inside scoop."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

First Washington, DC area Candidate Coffee a Huge Success

Today's first Candidate Coffee Break in the Washington region was a huge success! The lovely Donna and Mario Memmo hosted us at Spill the Beans in Alexandria, treating us with delicious bagels and pastries, coffees and teas. We heard from Christine Fruehwirth at FlexCareers Consulting on the Top 5 Do's and Don'ts of re-entering the workforce and were schooled on the latest and greatest office styles by Wendy Pilch of Spendalla. All brilliant ideas were jotted down on the very stylish pens and notebooks from Carolina Pad, check them out at a Target or Wal-mart near you! In case you missed it, let's get you started with What TO wear Back to Work from Wendy:
  • Do use cardigans instead of formal suit jackets
  • Mix and match formal suit panks with less formal jackets (Old Navy has great ones!)
  • Do buy one nice, crisp white shirt
  • Add colorful jewelry to an otherwise plain work outfit
  • Look for versatile A-line skirts (Wendy had a great moderate A-line from Banana Republic, $40)
  • Have older pants tailored....get rid of pleated pants (who needs the added pounds?)
  • Invest in a few new pairs of work shoes, she loves peep toes for spring and summer
  • Don't wear any shirt under a suit that you would wear out for a night on the town
  • Try a jacket over versatile dresses, like Wendy's fab black shift with cap sleeves
  • Try belting an old suit jacket to bring it up to date, Wendy loves a wide black patent leather one
  • Invest in a nice trench coat, great for spring and fall

Don't forget that Momentum Resources referrals get 10% off Spendalla's personal shopping services. Stay tuned for Christine's tips tomorrow!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Put Down the Phone!

I try to "live the model," maintaining my own positive work-life balance, by not working between the hours of 3-6:30 pm. Instead I pick up where I left off after the boys are in bed. From 3-3:45 Anderson, our 1 1/2 year old, gets my undivided attention. Sometimes we go on a walk, other times we just roll around and play. 3:45 pick up the twins from the bus stop, then it's fast and furious through homework/dinner/bath/bedtime.
Wednesday, because my husband was home early enough for dinner and had things under control, I decided to break my cardinal rule of not answering the phone during dinner when I heard the tell-tale ring ring.
But it was my work line. And a new client. In a recession. What did I do? I picked up the phone.
I was in the middle of finalizing a great deal when I hear one of the twins screaming, from the shower, "fire emergency! Evacuate to our meeting place!" Wow, I think, he remembered what the firefighters taught him about a family meeting point, in our case, a neighbor's oak tree, in case of a fire evacuation. Then I think, wait, what's he talking about? Then I smell it, the unmistakable scent of burning plastic and metal. Next I hear my husband swooping in, running down the stairs, and at that point I say to the client, "I'm going to have to call you back."
Turns out I put the high chair tray on a stove top that was still on, causing a minor house fire. All went according to plan, the boys knew their role, Ben got the dripping burning plastic out the front door without having to use the fire extinguisher, and we commenced clean up right away.
Lesson learned? The client can wait 2 hours for a returned call, it wasn't life or death. Picking up the phone during dinner? That could've been.
Tell me your working mother horror stories. Come on, I know you've got 'em.