Quote of the Day: Khalil Gibran


“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

-Khalil Gibran

It is important to realize just how great an impact the mind has in our daily decisions, interactions, and undertakings. In keeping with the theme of channeling our inner Tom Haverford (Parks & Recreation), remember to always approach life with an optimistic attitude, even in the face of defeat. Ask yourself how you can improve something the second time around rather than stewing on all the things that went wrong.
Today’s quote brought to you by Thoughtful Mind.
Photo: retrieved from Pixabay, available under the public domain.


Lessons from the Greatest Innovators


The world would be an utterly dull and uninteresting place without a constant exchange of new ideas. As humans, we constantly evolve and adapt to an ever-changing landscape; innovation never stops, but getting to the end goal of an innovative idea or project can really test one’s limits. Although we overall inhabit a world which craves change, we tend to be a bit resistant at first– remember when computers were first introduced? Nobody thought they would last. Now we can barely make it throughout the day without laying eyes on one (phone, car, cash register at the store, etc…)

In his article “4 Lessons From History’s Great Innovators That You Should Never Forget,” Adam Naor explains how we can learn and implement lessons from past innovators. Here are our favorite two points:

  • Nothing Works the First Time. It’s easy to become discouraged when something doesn’t work the way you want it to the first time around. That’s why it’s so important to remember this first point– nothing becomes a success overnight, especially when it’s a first attempt. Be patient, give it time, and always ask yourself how you can make something better the second time around, or the third time. Real innovation occurs on the path to success.
  • The Whole can be Greater than the Sum of its Parts. Naor says it best, “Many innovators flourish in partnerships. Take the partnership of Wozniak and Jobs at Apple. Or the partnership of Ida and William Rosenthal at Maidenform. Then there’s Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark at Netscape. The Wright brothers, and Sergey Brin and Larry Page at Google, the list goes on.” The best innovations are often collaborative– don’t be afraid to reach out to others.

So what’s the real message? Channel your best Tom Haverford (Parks & Recreation)! Tom’s character in the show has an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit– remember his cologne “Tommy Fresh”? Or Entertainment 720? And who could forget the clothing rental store for kids, Rent-a-Swag? All these enterprises were a struggle to get off the ground, all failed in one way or another, but Tom did not give up. Finally, Tom’s entrepreneurial spirit found a place to set up camp with the creation of Tom’s Bistro, which, many people seem to forget, almost failed during its opening night. It was only with the help and support of all his friends (i.e. collaboration) that Tom’s latest project became a booming success.

Photo: “Innovation” by thinkpublic, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

Quote of the Day: Vince Lombardi


The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.

-Vince Lombardi

Think of your proudest achievement. How much work went into making it a success? How many times did you want to throw in the towel? The best things in life aren’t free, and the successes that will be most rewarding are those which require a determined perseverance in the face of perceived obstacles.

Today’s quote brought to you by Thoughtful Mind.

Photo: retrieved from Pexels, available under the public domain.

Staying Positive


Blog written by recruiter Koreena Geisler-Wagner

When it comes to maintaining positive thoughts about our projects, our progress, our achievements, our failures, we often fall short. For some reason it seems easier to focus on the things that could have gone wrong rather than focusing on the things that could have gone right. In his article “Three Powerful Ways to Stay Positive,” Dr Travis Bradberry provides three great tips on staying positive:

  1. Separate fact from fiction. It is quite easy to downward spiral through negative thoughts when they have only a kernel of truth to them– as humans we have a tendency to dramatize fact. Bradberry recommends pausing to physically write out your bad thoughts; seeing the words on paper helps the brain flesh out reason and rationale from our perceived shortcomings.
  2. Identify a positive. No matter how much you may want to dwell in your negative thoughts and perspective, another important step in maintaining a more positive state of being is consciously thinking positively. It is all the more important to actively concentrate on this when the negative thoughts start spiraling.
  3. Cultivate and attitude of gratitude. One easy way to identify positives is by running through your mental checklist of things you’re grateful for. It’s a quick way to stop the onslaught of negativity and give you something positive to focus on.

Photo: retrieved from Pixabay, available under the public domain.

Body Language 101


Blog written by recruiter Koreena Geisler-Wagner.

Time and time again this blog has referenced the importance of both reading and displaying body language when communicating with others. In his article “8 Great Tricks for Reading People’s Body Language,” Dr Travis Bradberry points out that “only 7% of communication is based on the actual words we say. As for the rest, 38% comes from tone of voice and the remaining 55% comes from body language.” Exactly how does one read another’s bodily communication cues? Bradberry discusses exactly this in the article. Here are our favorite points:

  • Crossed arms and legs signal a closed off resistance to the conversation at hand. Bradberry mentions that a person might be smiling and appear to be engaged in the discussion, but this body language (unconscious in nature) actually reveals a person who is both physically and mentally blocking your words.
  • Real smiles crinkle at the eyes. It’s easy to smile in an attempt to hide what we may really think or feel about a situation, but you can tell a fake smile simply by observing the crinkles (or lack thereof) around one’s eyes. A genuine smile is accompanied by eye crinkles.
  • Good posture conveys power. Bradberry notes that “the brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up.” Standing straight, shoulders back, with feet slightly spread is a very basic and effective power position that immediately communicates leadership and command. Slouching, therefore, conveys just the opposite.

Today’s message for utilizing and understanding body language is brought to you by Contemporaries.

Photo: retrieved from Pixabay, available under the public domain.

Quote of the Day: Brian Tracy


Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.

-Brian Tracy

Being grateful, having an “attitude of gratitude,” is both one of the most difficult and one of the most rewarding traits an individual can develop. Not only does it change your perspective on life’s happenings, it also demonstrates resilience and sense of character to those around you.

Today’s quote is brought to you by Thoughtful Mind, and today’s message for an attitude of gratitude is brought to you by Contemporaries.

Photo: retrieved from Pixabay, available under the public domain.

Sharing the Credit


Blog written by recruiter Koreena Geisler-Wagner.

Thoughts and ideas, once extrapolated and implemented, can be worth a new promotion, a raise, and could even be a career-launcher given the right circumstances. This is why we tend to focus so heavily on the concept of “credit”; we need to know who is responsible for great ideas so we can reward them appropriately. Remember those dreaded group projects in school? They were dreaded by those who wound up doing all the work while having to share all the credit. This sentiment of receiving due reward for our ideas and accomplishments sticks with us as we transition to the workforce, where a professional atmosphere must be maintained. Monica Torres discusses the most professional ways to deal with misplaced or stolen credit in her article “How Smart People React When Others Take Credit for Their Work.” Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Don’t leap to anger. This is a knee-jerk reaction ruled completely by emotion and selfish motivations– nothing good ever comes from leading with anger. Instead, take a few moments to assess the situation and formulate a plan to respond calmly.
  • Don’t accuse; ask questions. Relating back to the previous point, it is never a good idea to accuse someone of credit stealing right off the bat. Asking questions about the perceived credit stealing situation is the best way to determine whether a person intentionally or accidentally took credit for one of your ideas.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Above all, and perhaps most importantly, if you want to ensure that others don’t steal credit for you ideas, actively give credit for theirs! People tend to respond in kind when they are treated well and fairly.

Today’s message for sharing credit is brought to you by Contemporaries.

Photo: “IDEAS for Genius Hour” by Denise Krebs, available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Quote of the Day: Hans Selye


Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.

-Hans Selye

A situation is meaningless until your thoughts and outlook give it meaning. The world is what you make of it, and  approaching life with a positive lens will tint all life’s happenings accordingly.

Today’s quote is brought to you by Thoughtful Mind, and today’s message for the right attitude is brought to you by Contemporaries.

Photo: “Positivity” by MartaZ, available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

5 Behaviors to Avoid When Job Searching


Blog written by recruiter Koreena Geisler-Wagner.

The job-search process can be drawn-out and utterly draining, but it is important to always keep your end-goal in mind and continuing  trekking toward it. In her article “Five Things A Job-Seeker Absolutely Must Not Do,” Liz Ryan, in answer to an anecdotal letter from one of her followers, lists five behaviors/actions that will only hamper you in pursuit of your next job:

  1. Adding a person to your list of references without asking them first. I can’t tell you how many references I have called who either won’t return my call/email, or who simply won’t give the glowing remarks the candidate is probably expecting. Ask for either a written recommendation before leaving a position, or maintain the relationship with that reference so you can ask to give their name each time you apply.
  2. Contacting a stranger  out of the blue to ask  for help with your job-search. Expanding your network can be tricky, but one should  never reach out to a someone they’ve never met to ask for a favor as large as finding a job. Asking for general information about particular industries and fields is one thing, asking for specific advice is quite another. For more networking tips, read our post on networking do’s and don’ts.
  3. Stealing introductions. Do not piggyback off the hard-earned network of your friends by looking through their online collection of contacts and connecting with those you aren’t currently connected with. In addition to upsetting your actual friend, it’s not likely that a potential contact will respond warmly to a request along the lines of “My friend Sally is friends with you, and I thought we could connect as well.”
  4. End-running a recruiter who is representing you with a particular employer. When an employer is working with a recruiter or a recruiting firm, it is generally because they don’t want to interact with a larger pool of candidates directly. Going behind the recruiter’s back to contact their client is not only unprofessional, it will likely annoy the client, strain relations between the recruiter and the client, and cost you the job the recruiter was trying to secure for you.
  5. Trashing your former employer in an interview. This is always a red flag  with interviewers– it is generally an indication of someone who lacks agreeableness.

Today’s message for smarter job search tactics is brought to you by Contemporaries.

Photo: “Jobsearch” by Julie Walraven, available under the Creative Commons Attribution  2.0 Generic license.

Networking Emails: Do’s and Don’ts

Business Communication Duplicate model

Blog written by recruiter Koreena Geisler-Wagner

In today’s world of algorithms and computer-based application review processes, “networking” is more important than ever in landing a job. Networking is without a doubt the most important step in one’s job search, but how where does one start? Many of you have probably tried the “cold-email” or “cold-LinkedIn-message” method of expanding your network; the question is whether your messages are receiving responses. In her article “4 Mistakes Smart People Avoid in a Networking Email,” Monica Torres discusses four tips on crafting better networking emails that are more likely to elicit a response from intended recipients.

  1. Avoid the phrase “pick your brain.” It’s best to be very specific and to the point when requesting information from a person you don’t already know– do not waste their time with unnecessary words and phrases (filler material).
  2. Do not point out the fact that you are a stranger. This just brings us back to being specific and to the point; rather than writing “you may not remember me, but we met at the convention last month,” simply stating “we met at the convention last month” already gives the email a different tone that is more  likely to receive a response.
  3. Do not overshare. It is simply not beneficial, nor timely, to include sections about your career journey or reasons behind your current passions and inquiries. Again, be specific and to the point in your initial emails. It is better to share this type of anecdote AFTER you’ve established a base relationship with an individual.
  4. Use a clear, not clever, subject line. Here’s another plug for specificity in initial networking attempts. Don’t try to cloak your request for networking/information behind witty phrases and filler sentences/anecdotes. Direct, no-nonsense messages receive the highest rate of response, and the subject line (which people read first) is perhaps most important in terms of specificity and directness.

Today’s message for better networking is brought to you by Contemporaries.

Photo: retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.

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