Author Archives: Jan Radcliff

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    Education is a philosophical journey

    Education is a philosophical journey

    Category:EducationTags : 

    Education is  a philosophical journey, this was mine 

    My latest educational experience?  HR of course.  Even at my age, education never fully ends.  There are Certificates and ContinuingEducation Credits, and Licensure.

    A few years ago, a friend who I would say is “in the know” suggested I leave off my education on my resume.  If you keep getting overlooked because of your employment qualifications and education, leave that information off.  Huh? $40,000 in student loans and you want me to do what?

    Huh?

    As much as I love my friend, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that. I don’t know why I should have to do that. We are trying to educate women all over the world to stand up and be accountable. What better way to do that – than to list your qualification on a resume? Would you ask your daughter, wife, or granddaughter to leave her education off her resume? Would you hire your own family, male or female? I would if I knew they had the skills. Being accused of Nepotism doesn’t frighten me at all – since most of my kids wouldn’t want to work for me anyways. But I would consider them if they had the skills. So they better list their qualification on their resumes.

    Unfortunately, it still appears that many do find educated woman threatening.  The truth, however, is that they are only threatening until you hire them.  Then you learn how much you need their education and/or their experience. It’s called making your life easier.

    Education is a philosophical journey

    There is a saying “You can’t always teach a “NEW” dog old tricks”.  The younger crowd tends to view experience in a way that isn’t entirely clear even to them. Experienced individuals aren’t necessarily looking to take your job away from you. Actually, if they are applying at your company, and you are interviewing them – you should look at it as a compliment.  After all, they came to you.  But if you don’t feel safe in your own position you could feel some hesitation when it comes to hiring them. STOP IT!

    Those thoughts that you are thinking are not necessarily in synch with reality.  When you add your own personal bias into the interview, you end up running off talent. If possible, interview on days that you feel okay about your job, and give each candidate a fair chance. Let others in the organization have input into the hiring process. It is a team effort after all – or at least it should be.

    I’ve interviewed all types of people of different ages, race, sex, and belief systems. Some had extensive education and skills. I admit I was intimidated by a couple of them.  I am human too.  However, I was glad I wasn’t making the final decision on my own, and that I had a team to help point out the positives. We hired them, and they were fabulous. Others I’ve interviewed were just getting started on their career paths. In our organization, we hired a combination of personalities with many different backgrounds.  We did it as a team.

    When we didn’t hire as a team, that was reflected poorly upon administration. Those people tend to be disliked to this day. People are creatures of habit – if you try to control the outcomes for them, you only lose their trust. STOP IT!

    Truthfully the hiring process is a discriminatory process. I know HR managers cringe when they hear things like that. But it is true. You are only hopeful that you have selected correctly. You are hopeful you didn’t let the best candidate get away, and might have to go through the process again. You are hopeful it will all work out. I am hopeful it will work out for you too. Be hopeful!

    Be Hopeful

    THEY HAVE PEAKED

    To say that someone peaks at a certain age is a myth. How can you know that? You can’t. Maybe once you have retired and you can reflect back on the many career paths you have taken over the years, you might find the peak wasn’t what you thought at all. Maybe you were in your 60’s or 70’s when it happened. The reality is there is no set age when a person peaks. It might have happened to you while you are in your 20s!

    A lot of times it isn’t the money and prestige, but rather the self-satisfaction of a job well done; that is your true personal peak. It is when you know you did it right.  It might even be a volunteer gig that brought you self-satisfaction, and caused your career to peak in reflection.  Everyone has that moment in their career where they are most satisfied. Everything in life, as well as business, has ebbs and flows. You will have a combination of peaks and valleys along your professional career, we all do. Don’t judge.

    OLD DOGS AND PUPS

    If this old dog could teach a New dog, a few old tricks, it would be to go with your heart. Trust your instincts. Don’t let age, gender or qualifications get in your way. If a company is hiring new graduates they are taking on a risk, especially if you haven’t done some type of internship with them. Don’t disappoint them. Many elite companies hire people who have more education and experience than they do for a reason. It’s called being savvy.  Steve Jobs said it best…

    “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do: we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” ~Steve Jobs

    You can be very smart and not have a college education. Education is something you have to apply to get a benefit out of.  If you don’t apply it – it is just a piece of paper. Some like education for the philosophical journey. I fall into that category. I examined my own educational path years ago, and decided I didn’t want to get an MBA, I already had a BS in Business. I never wanted to go into business, I wanted to be a rock and roll singer, or a photojournalist, or just sit and tinker with computers.

    I wanted to build programs for people to learn from, an MBA wasn’t going to get me there.  I wanted to understand how people learn; so I went into instructional technology and learning sciences. I didn’t regret it. Besides, I already had 30 years of working in the business environment. I wanted to invest my time into something that I could enjoy. I wanted to be happy while learning.   There is nothing wrong with an MBA, it just isn’t for everyone. Many businesses have been built without one. When I tell people I have a Masters in ITLS – they get this look on their face that says “what the hell is that?” I love to tell them, you have an MBA, go look it up – good-naturedly of course.

    Be happy while learning

    SUPER STAR EMPLOYEES

    I recall having two gentlemen under me whose qualifications far outmatched my own. They were the best employees I have ever had; they were 20 to 30 years my senior. They were kind, generous, understanding, dedicated, loyal, and smart. They were just glad to be there, and I was glad to have them there. I am also glad they didn’t judge me for being young and educated. Come to find out, they were my biggest fans. Now I am theirs!

    LIST IT ALL

    For women and men alike, list what you have on your resume that is a true reflection of who you are, your talents, and strengths. That is all you have to offer anyways. If that is not good enough then, by all means, you didn’t need to be there in the first place.  Any place that would ask you to lessen your qualifications is not the place for you. It is not the place for your spouse, your son, or your grandson either. Nor is it the place for you daughter or granddaughter. Don’t dummy down who you are.

    Celebrate your education. When you walk down that isle and they hand you your diploma, by all means, show them you earned it. Good luck to all those who may be graduating in the next couple months. You have my respect; both male and female.

    Celebrate your education

    To the employers, all one can ask is that you give a fair assessment of the talent that will present to your organization, and then make your decisions. Decisions based on need and not fear. If you fear education, then education is done.

     

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    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAoUAAAAJDc3NThiOTViLWFhZWEtNGM3Yi1hZDg1LThjZDhiNTBlZDY3Mg Education is a philosophical journey

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

     


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    Creative and Inspirational People

    Creative and Inspirational People

    Category:LifestyleTags : 

    Creative and Inspirational People 

    Creative people have a deep respect for the very essence of everything around them.  It is as if they have a thirst for all things new and exciting.  Who wouldn’t want to be around a creative and inspirational person?  They are uplifting, kind, and filled with a wonder for life.  They can light up a room by just walking in with a smile on their face. They are usually highly intelligent in their own right and  don’t flaunt it unless challenged in a negative way.

    They will bring you strawberries in winter, and sprinkle glitter on your papers just to make you smile.  They draw you out of your head and make you think about things in a different way.  A way that has light to it.  A way that seems easy to follow. Go there!

    Creative people aren’t obsessed with who they are, or what they may or may not have done in the past.  They are comfortable in the moment. They engage others in a willingness to be open and fair;  listening and absorbing every spoonful of what you have to say.  They are excellent listeners!  They are interested in you, and they want to explore a friendly relationship.

    They are comfortable in the moment

    They can have an open dialogue with you and not come across as pompous and unfair, nor self-conceited.  They live life in the moment!

    1.They are really interested in you!

    2. They seek to know you as a person  in the moment! Your past is irrelevant.

    3. They aren’t interested in long  stories about themselves. They live in the moment and can talk about subject ranging from rocket science to hopscotch, arts to football.  As long as it is in the moment they are with you.

    4. They won’t lecture you, nor drill you with facts, or try to control you with words, actions or deeds.  They keep their emotions in check and keep that part of their life private where it needs to be.  They are greeters, not whiners.

    It may be a little over -whelming to meet and greet with these types of creative and inspirational people at first.  Especially if you aren’t used to that upbeat type of personality. They are rare and well sought after – for a good reason.  They are so refreshing – you will be looking for ways to incorporate  them into your lifeimmediately.  But how?

    How do you keep the attention of a highly creative and inspirational person or group of people?

    1. Listen to them, not the thoughts in your head.

    2.  Do not lecture them.  The worst thing you can do to a creative and inspirational person is to lose their respect.  Lecturing on your “know it all” issues  is a deal killer.

    Because they are so loved  and respected by  so many, I would hesitate before I spoke badly in certain circles about them.  Many carry clout you are unaware of. They are the darlings of society.  It’s not about money or education, it’s about truthfulness, kindness, and a mutual respect for others.  These people thrive on fairness.  Many are community volunteers.  They genuinely love people and want to help everywhere they can.

    They genuinely love people and want to help everywhere they can.  

    If you have an inferiority complex, creative and inspirational people are not  who you want to take your complex out upon.  Save those talented folks from your momentary lapse of good judgement, and instead learn to mimic what they do.  Pretty soon you may find out you have something in common with these inspiring people.  Once you learn to keep your own feelings in check (and your mouth shut), you will find you have plenty of positive things to talk about. These folks really do have their stuff together.   Learn from them.

    -Be creative and learn to listen and hear more than the thoughts in your head.

    -Be inspirational and allow others to know you on a different scale, a scale filled with meaningful thoughts and actions.

    -Be prepared to hear positive solutions, and positive reinforcement on concrete ideas based on sound intellect, working knowledge and experience. The term precise comes to mind, or in-eight.  It’s just natural for them.  Don’t judge, rather follow their lead.

    These people can be  addictive to others who haven’t experienced first hand what it is like to explore life to the fullest.  They can shape and mold an organization with just a smile and a friendly chat. They love to wrap people in a PEACE bubble and make them feel appreciated and excepted for who and what they are.  People have value just living in the moment.  Remember to keep negativity from creeping its ugly head into your new found PEACE bubble.  Learn to hold your tongue and avoid your own mind talk. Crawl out of your own head and live in the moment.  Be creative and inspirational!

    Crawl out of your own head and live in the moment

    __________________________

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


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    PHOTO: MYRIAMS-FOTOS

    Charity Begins At Home – When the Last Horn Blows

    Category:HumanitarianTags : 

    Charity Begins At Home – When the Last Horn Blows

    There is an old saying, that Charity Begins At Home. This proverb was originally documented in English, in somewhat different format, in John Wycliffe’s Of Prelates (c. 1380); “Charity should begin at himself.” It was later quoted as “Charity begins at home” by Terence.

    Charity begins at home ~ Terence

    There are many ways to give right inside your own company, organization, religious or educational institution, and your own home.   Yet, I understand that there are also situations in other countries that do require much-needed aid.

    From time to time charity will not involve money. Sometimes it is the opening of oneself and the giving of respect, honor, and occasionally a fond farewell. Best described with examples:

    When the Last Horn Blows

    Looking out the window of the guard shack, an older gentleman, whom we will call RC, sits and awaits the next train leaving the site, “The Train of Pain”. Twice a week the 8800-horsepower diesel-electric engine moves along a 30 mile stretch of track, taking its payload to a dump site. Back and forth, trudging along, giving it’s all, it will continue until its last load is complete.

    Surrounded by nothing more than the still night desert air and an occasional coyote, the desert calm is broken with the distance hum of an engine on the track. In that moment, RC feels a deep appreciation for the work he’s done. Be that watching the site, doing the rounds, radioing the conditions, and checking the U.P.R. train crew in and out each night at the end of the shift, somewhere before midnight.

    Every week, for many years, RC watched as the train came to the switch on the track, and listened as the mighty engines horn-blast filled the air, then slowly it would disappear into the night.

    The Midnight Shift

    The end of RC’s guard had come, tonight would be his last. RC was preparing for the next journey in his life – retirement.  Unknown to RC, right before he was to depart to his solitary guard shack, a radio announcement came over the airwaves. It was the project manager and he radioed for RC to step outside, and then relayed to all around to blow their horns one last time in RC’s honor.

    RC stood on the steps outside and he listened as the horn blast from semi’s, trucks, and train, could be heard all over the project. In this moment of honor – a smile crossed his face, and a solitary tear escaped, and slide down the side of his face.

    Later that evening while finishing his final midnight shift, he reminiscences. He will forever recall that first train blast from an old 1996 GE C44AC pusher engine as it slowly meandered down the track. He then thoughtfully stared at a framed image of that same train, a gift which was presented to him, from everyone on the project that day. He had a purpose!

    Charity is a thankful heart

    Charity does begin at home, and from time to time it doesn’t involve money. Charity in its most basic form is that substance that all humans need; respect, honor, integrity, a purpose, a horn blast. If you begin there, giving money is easy after that. Learning how to give of ‘himself’, is the first lesson.

    Charity begins at home, but should not end there. ~ Thomas Fuller

    _________________________

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

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    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training

    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    Leadership, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research and Training  

     Leadership, social media, community outreach, research, and training, they all mean very different things to different people.  What I  have learned is that you need to be able to show your work.  In a job interview, that can become a very interesting prospect to have thrown at you – unaware.  It’s those little questions….

    1. Show your work
    2. Show me leadership.
    3. Tell me how you perform community outreach.
    4. How many hours a day do you work in social media?
    5. How many social media applications can you link?
    6. What is content marketing for social media?
    7. While doing research did you actively engage in experimentation that provided you with factual data that could be useful to your organization or business?
    8. Training usually has some long-term benefit, plus you provide your learners with material or backup data, where do you store your assessment data?

    Have we reached the end of sensibility?  The honest answer is – maybe.  We can’t all be social media managers.  Nor can we thrive in a  constant research environment without some form of monetary benefit keeping us afloat.  Researching a paper is not the same as research that has value leading toward the benefit of society, or changing guiding principles for an overall operation.

    Back to my initial statement, leadership, social media, community outreach, research, and training, they all mean very different things to different people.Words DO matter.  Depending on the words you use, they may ultimately define your role in the working environment.  They may also generate feelings, good or bad.   I have learned the meaning of stress, and words that I associate with that stress are called project management and strategic planning.  I’m  not saying they are bad positions, but anyone who has ever been in a position where a large chunk of your daily role was finding yourself buried under a deadline – you’ll understand. They can be fun roles also; if you like the fast and furious pace that they often take.   Yea…I live for that crap!

    Yea…I live for that crap!

    Leadership verbiage is probably way over-used by many.  Leadership has to deal with taking a lead role in a project or endeavor. Leadership is not teaching someone how to turn on a computer or find information, that’s training or guidance.  It’s not leading a meeting where all you do is discuss the same thing over and over again – that’s training.  Leadership is more about directing others and assuming a role of authority and taking responsibility for that position.  When you do community outreach, that generally entails that you have many contacts and work through those contacts to form some sort of alliance that has a similar goal.  It is a bringing together of large circles of people, businesses, and community leaders for the common good.

    When you do community outreach, that generally entails that you have many contacts and work through those contacts to form some sort of alliance that has a similar goal.  It is  bringing together  large circles of people, businesses, and  community leaders for the common good

    Some people may have a completely different ideology about what constitutes some of the above skill sets.  I have an aversion to those who claim certain skill sets that are not unique to them.  On-the-other-hand, I  enjoy those professionals who put Microsoft Word or Excel on your list of skills.  Basically, unless I know you personally, the only thing I  can pretty much assume is that you can type.  I can probably glean a fair amount of information from your writings, but there has to be more.  Details tend to matter.

    Here are some fun little tools to test your skills.  It’s all hypothetical, it won’t determine your life work.  You might be a master in your craft, and end up with a weak score.  It’s a reality check, but a fun one.  What are you really good at?  Are you too good? Can you laugh at yourself and with others when you look at your own scores?

    Have fun with these freebie tests  

    When you go into an interview it is always handy to have first done a little research about the job you are applying for.  True there are some professional interviewers who can buffalo their way through just about any interview scenario  – but those individuals are rare.  Generally, they do tend to be older and probably come over-qualified, and they know it.  I hope you are not one of the ones who will discriminate against them due to age or fear they are after your job.  You might be turning away your companies next Einstein.  Okay, maybe not.   But let’s just say your training curve will be lower if you hire them, and we know how training affects your bottom line, not to mention your stress levels.

    Have fun learning what you are good at.  Take a good hard look at your resume.  If you have done the skills, and actually understand the meaning of the skill, leave it on there.  If you have tinkered with a skill, be very cautious about misrepresenting who you are and what you do.

    I’m to the point where I would like to see more companies go back to a just detailed application and lose the cover letter.   I’ve seen too many cover letters that don’t necessarily represent the true individual or give me enough information that would be beneficial to my company.   Another issue that clogs the process involves the use of resumes. Who really reads the resume all the way through?  The federal government has a computer that reads resumes for them. You have to take a class just to know how to design a federal resume.  It’s comprehensive and labor intensive.

    When we did our interviews with our staff, one of us was selected to develop questions based on potential candidate resumes.  A lot of companies do not do that. They read a few lines and put it back into the stack with the other resumes.  I read all of ours.  I was better able to gauge the sincerity of many of the candidates that we interviewed.   Read those resumes, and use them to develop your questions.

    I’m not a fan of traditional interviews either.  I dislike the questions that immediately tell me a lot about the person holding the interview.  Some really do not put a lot of thought into the interview process, and probably are just as unsure as the candidate, about what is needed. I am also not a big fan of the behavioral questionnaires either.   The one question that should be banned from all interviews is, “where do you want to be in five years?”  ALIVE!

    Where do you want to be in five years?  ALIVE!

    I understand the need to ask those questions that are burning in your bosom, but geez whiz, lighten up on those older folks – okay?  You gotta have a sense of lightness in an interview.  If I like you and your environment – I’m going to make sure you know before I leave your office – I will be paying you a compliment.  Ask people “how do you feel about this working environment”?  People don’t think about the environment they are stepping into very often.  That is the first thing I would look into – because you are going to be spending a lot of time there!

    For the younger generation who hasn’t yet learned to respond or develop their own questions,  there is a lot of feeling or emotion that determines their selections.    It’s humorous to hear them talk about “I like that one”, or “I think he would be a perfect match”.   Even if their skills are below the standard, they will select that person, based on emotion.  Skills be damned.  It is kind of a slap in the face to higher education and those with experience who are up against a younger touchy-feely kind of interviewer. Okay, to be honest, some of the older and more seasoned interviewers get emotional as well – but not as much.  Still doesn’t make it right.  You do want the right fit, but what are you really gaining?  Tough questions that we often have to ask ourselves after the storm has settled and new staff are learning their places.

    Age matters as well in some organizations.  Seventy-Five percent of the staff that I hired were all older than I was.   I wasn’t biased at all – the younger individual’s I interviewed did not have the qualifications for the job.  I had people who were in their 60’s and even a couple in their 80’s that worked for me.  I didn’t feel threatened at all.  The age myth is just that – a myth.  The real threat is hiring people who are NOT qualified regardless of the age.

    Take your tests, rewrite your resumes, and re-evaluate your skills that you list.  Your endorsements might be all smoke and mirrors if you can’t back them up in an interview.  You will come away looking really bad.

    I am a professional who looks for those out of the ordinary individuals who just want to work.  They don’t have anything to prove, their education and experience shine through.  Now that makes me all emotional in a touchy-feely kind of way; because I’ve just hired the best!

    geralt / 10127 images

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    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.


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    What went right

    The Way Forward Starts Here – What Went Right

    Category:BusinessTags : 

    The Way Forward Starts Here – What Went Right

    The title would better read “the way forward starts with you”.  We often find ourselves bewitched with words.  As Sigmund Freud once stated in a lecture in psychoanalysis in 1915 “Words were originally magic and to this day words have retained much of their ancient magical power”.

    With just a simple twist of words, we can motivate or provoke a person or group of people into action.  If you add a list of positives words into your speech, over a short amount of time you will begin to see the subtle hints of change in the attitudes and behavior of others around you. When people no longer think you are out to get them, they will feel more at ease with you when discussing matters.     As an example, you might consider changing references to individuals or groups by applying a few of the following:

    Positive Affirmation   (Empathy)                 Negative Affirmation (Sympathy)

    • I am glad you told me                                      At least you had….
    • Look for a solution                                           Talk about the problem
    • Your input is valuable                                      Yes, but…..
    • Everything is a process up                              Failed again I see
    • Working together                                              Not open to change
    • Allow others to have an opinion                    Discredit the opinions of others

    Using words to gain cooperation from others is the opposite of expecting opposition.  Even though some people may have repressed feelings or thoughts due to prior experiences – you can begin to implement change by breaking through with positive reinforcement statements.   Those reinforcement statements need to be sincere in their delivery.

    Just saying nice things isn’t the same as the meaning and context behind those words.  Were the words earned, were they just, did they pivot one group over the other?  There is a lot to think about. Immediate solutions start with acknowledging the positive.  What went right.

    Immediate solutions start with acknowledging the positive.  What went right.

    The way forward depends on your ability to get started. It also depends on your ability to want positive change.  You need to seek out solutions and focus a lot less on the problems.  Chances are everyone knows the problem – but does everyone know what went right?

    Learn to focus on the positives that you know work.  Make sure you document thoroughly what went right.  Don’t lose your best resources while searching for problems that may never be resolved, or even existed.  Sometimes you have to build cooperation by helping others learn to change. Change doesn’t have to be hard if you explain what went right.

    What went right.   

     

    __________________________

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.