Welcome to the Thanksgiving season in America where businesses and charities share one goal: to separate you from your money.

For the next 40 days, you’ll be bombarded with ads that make you feel like you’re not doing enough as a person. The only way you can make amends for your personality deficiencies? Buy something glitzy for your loved ones or donate to charity. That’s the ticket!

Rather than make you feel like an impostor to obtain a donation for a cause that’s important to my heart, I’m going to take a few days and tell you where I’ve spent my cash to make the world a better place. Hopefully, you’ll follow suit.

So stay tuned for Monday’s post on where to spend your holiday dollar bills in 2018. In a noisy market that wants your attention, I promise to make recommendations that change lives and alleviate your guilt for being a piece of crap throughout the year.

You gotta love the psychology of American capitalism.


I’ll go anywhere for good tacos.

It’s not a great business strategy, but, when it comes to eating Tex-Mex, I’ll organize my business calendar around speaking opportunities. That’s how I wound up in Austin, last week, at the Texas Conference for Women speaking to an overflow room about managing up with an author named Mary Abajay and a panel of smart women who had smart advice to offer on the topic of “managing up.”

To my right was Christy Schumann, a technology leader and fabulous woman who isn’t on the speaking circuit but should be asked to speak at your next women’s leadership conference. To her right is Alice Rutkowski, a fearless and funny body language expert. At the far right is badass leader Mary Abajay. To my left was Chelsie Baugh, a corporate communications manager and wonderful emcee.

I was there because Alison Green, also known as Ask a Manager, couldn’t make it and needed a friend to step into her spot on the dais. Since tacos and loyalty motivate me, and Torchy’s has an excellent version of migas on a flour tortilla, I said yes.

Nothing about the trip disappointed me, including lunch.

Mary asked me, “How do you manage disagreement or conflict with your boss?”

I said, wow, you can write a Ph.D. dissertation on that one. Here’s where I stand on conflict: You are the chief relationship officer of your life. It’s up to you to find common ground and offer solutions. Adulthood requires developing negotiation skills and salesmanship skills. That’s code for maturity, mindfulness, and the ability to de-escalate. When it comes to disagreements, I have always followed the Obama doctrine, which is that if neither person gets exactly what they want, you’re probably doing okay.

Mary also asked, “How do you know when the relationship isn’t going to work?”

There are so many warning signs that people ignore until it’s become too late. You get to tell people how they treat you, and it’s over if someone undermines you just once, berates you just once, lies to you just once, harasses you just once, throws you under the bus just once, disrespects your identity just once, bargains in bad faith just once.

If any of those things happen just once, your company is telling you the price of employment includes your supervisor’s crappy behavior. And you can’t manage up when the climate of your company is toxic. Get out. HR is not swooping in to do anything. And as the chief relationship officer of your life, it’s time to ask yourself — why am I working in a place that doesn’t value my dignity?

Of course, some HR ladies in the crowd didn’t like that answer. They stood up and assured me that, in their company, they lead with a culture of accountability and respect and dignity. I can neither confirm nor deny that one of those HR ladies works for a company that recently employed Robert Scoble, but what I can say is that very few HR professionals in America should feel comfortable talking about leadership and respect, right now. Yes, front-line HR managers care about values and ethics. But executive HR leaders still struggle with getting business done while employing leaders who don’t always behave with integrity.

So, anyway, that was an awkward exchange with an HR lady, and I tried to be respectful. “Great that you have such a good experience in HR. Thanks for sharing.”

Moving on, I was asked for best practices on managing multiple bosses.

I was like — good luck with all that. People are stuck in heavily matrixed organizations, or they’re in the gig economy and have fifteen bosses. That’s no fun.

But, remember, you’re the chief relationship officer. When you have multiple stakeholders, slow down. Nobody gets fired for asking questions twice. When you communicate important information, you can ask the question, “How does what I just shared make you feel? What am I missing?”

And document everything, which is the ultimate HR answer, but correct.

Then we took questions.

That’s when things always get depressing because people say they love their jobs but stand up at microphones and tell the most depressing stories about work.

“My boss is a micromanager.”
“I’m on a team where nobody listens to me.”
“How do you repair a relationship when you’ve let down your boss.”
“My VP told me — you get a paycheck, why are you complaining?”

I’m not an empath, but my heart breaks whenever I hear these stories. One woman was told to pay her dues. When you work for an asshole like that, you’ve got a choice: you pay those dues or you leave. If you stay, you keep that memory close and, when you finally get promoted, you remember how you felt and never ask anybody who works for you to pay their dues.

For every unkind action at work, you make a memory. Do the opposite when you’re in charge. But the key is to stick it out, not opt-out, and fix work.

I left the audience with one final message: There is nobody who is going to fix work for you. Not to steal from Obama one more time, but you are the change that you’ve been waiting for. Want to fix work? Fix yourself. Live a remarkable life that transcends petty bullshit with your boss, be a leader, and fix work for the next generation of individuals who will rise up the corporate ladder after you.

Then the panel ended and I high-tailed it over to Torchy’s. Not a bad trip to Texas, right? Wish all my speaking engagements offered good conversation and delicious food!


I’m redoing my website.

Like, I’m spending money on it. This isn’t a small decision because redoing a website is a serious investment that will either improve your business or make you look like an AOL knockoff. I don’t want my brand to scream ‘you’ve got mail’.

My team — and it’s truly a team because I paid for it — is doing research on competitors, collaborators, and customers. You see, the website isn’t just design and logos. It’s all about what I say, how I say it, and how much Google juice I can create. So, there’s some thought that will go into creating my positioning statements and messaging.

Whenever I tell people that I’m working on a new website, people say, “You should do more YouTubes and mobile videos.”

Yeah, okay, lemme do more YouTubes.

I know why my friends and colleagues are encouraging me to craft a video strategy. Everybody under the age of 30 is mobile-first and video-friendly. However, I can’t help but look at my computer and think, “I’m too fucking old and tired for video.”

First of all, I can’t see the screen without readers. Who wants to watch me squinting at myself? Nobody and my Google analytics will prove that. Second of all, it’s undignified to watch a grown-ass lady have a conversation with herself about shit that is not very important.

“Why is this old lady talking to herself on the screen? She needs therapy.”

And, honestly, recording a video is hard work and doesn’t come naturally to a Gen Xer like me. Just yesterday, I tried to make a video about my coaching course and tell the story of how I took a simple risk on myself in 2004 that keeps paying off today. But I couldn’t get through the video without suffering from gallbladder-surgery-related heartburn.

Heartburn! On video! Holy hell!

I’m known for taking risks and doing fun things with my career, but I’m going to pass on crafting a video strategy for my new brand and website. And you know what? Nobody will notice. The world is fine with my decision. And I can keep my dignity.



HRCI Recertification

Is HRCI recertification worth it?

I’m no longer a human resources consultant or leader. The last time anybody asked for my HR advice, Obama was in office. Everybody agreed that it was wrong to be rude, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist and ageist in the workforce.

We’re definitely in the upside down.

It’s my goal to stay current in HR even though I no longer practice my trade. But my SPHR certification is about to expire, and I’m not sure if I should recertify. What would you do?

• I have enough credits.
• I speak at HR conferences.
• My life is HR-adjacent.
• But I’m not an HR lady, anymore.

Would you recertify? Does the HRCI certification mean anything to event planners, conference organizers or even journalists who want me to prove my HR bona fides? Is there a reason to recertify?


I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

PS – Wish you knew how to put yourself first, take risks and explore entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship? Wish you dared to try something new? I’m teaching a five-week coaching program to help you take a chance in 2019 and bet on yourself. Check it out for more information!


Next Year is Finally Now.

It’s November 5th. The year is almost over. Have you achieved your goals? Want to take a risk in January but are afraid of getting fired? Are you looking to shake up your career in 2019? Well, you don’t have to be Mark Zuckerberg or Brené Brown to try new things and put yourself first. It’s time to fix your career.

Starting on December 3rd, I’m offering private group coaching with realistic lessons and advice on risk-taking and entrepreneurship (and intrapreneurship) to make 2019 your best year ever. Here’s what you’ll get if you sign up for my group coaching:

1. Five weeks of coaching in a small group via ZoomThere are four group lessons and a private coaching session with me. You’ll listen to good advice about how to take risks in 2019 without getting fired, you’ll learn from the best, and we’ll work together to implement your new career plans for 2019. Need to miss a session? It’s recorded for you.

2. A special Facebook group to network with like-minded peers and gain support. Nobody needs another FB group, so we’ll make this one better with practical advice and input from guests who will inspire you daily.

3. An “AMA” (ask me anything) session. More than just a lazy Q&A, I’ll answer your questions about what it really takes to start your new journey, and I’ll dispell myths about a side hustle.

4. Access to an entrepreneurial guest speaker and a free book. I’ll write more about this tomorrow.

5. A wrap-up session to cover the next steps and where you go from here. You fix work by fixing yourself. After five weeks together, you’ll walk away with a new attitude and an action plan.

Want more for yourself in 2019?

If you have career dreams — going back to school, opening an ice cream store, submitting a patent, getting promoted — we’ll have five weeks together where we cover how to put yourself first, take risks, and explore entrepreneurship (or intrapreneurship) in 2019.

The class is capped at 12 participants, we meet every Monday night in December, and the sessions are recorded if you miss one. The rate is $479, which includes an hour of private coaching, and there’s a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Sign up now with the blue button below or in the sidebar. I’ll be back tomorrow with more news about the class. ⤵️⤵️

candidate is lying

Good eye contact is crucial in interview situations

How can you tell when a candidate is lying?

If you’ve worked in HR for more than a few weeks, chances are that you’ve encountered lies from candidates. Whether it’s a little lie about an ancient exam grade or a big lie about relevant experience, almost every candidate embellishes the truth at some point. I should know, I’ve interviewed my fair share of applicants and all I can say is that it is a goddamned minefield out there.

So, why is it that so many of them feel the need to be dishonest when they are trying to bag a job? Surely honesty is the best policy, right? Wrong. In fact, according to a CareerBuilder survey, as many as 58% of employers have said that they have discovered lies on a resume.

For recruiters and HR professionals, these stats provide something of a challenge. After all, dealing with the uncertainty of hiring a potentially unsuitable candidate is not straightforward. We like to work with logic and make selections based on accurate assessments and candidate criteria. So, when a lie throws all of those systems out of whack, it can cause something of a headache. The candidate proves themselves to be untrustworthy, dishonest, and deceitful and they haven’t even stepped foot in the office door yet.

In my view, there is only one question you need to ask potential candidates so that you can gauge their reliability and suitability for the role, but in case you decide to proceed with a full interview (more fool you), then here are some pointers on how to spot those sneaky little lies falling through the cracks.

candidate is lying

Body language is another giveaway when it comes to the interview


A surefire giveaway of any lie is the inability to be specific on the details. As soon as a candidate becomes ambiguous or vague, red flags should be raised. When a qualified interviewee responds to a question, they will be fluent with specifics and details about their accomplishments, whereas someone who is being less than honest will find it very hard to fill the gaps in a convincing way.


When asking about previous experiences, keep an ear out for the pronouns the candidate uses in response. An experienced candidate is far more likely to use first-person pronouns that demonstrate ownership of the experience and indicate that the event really happened. They will usually describe how they felt or how the experience impacted on them personally. However, someone who did not have the experience but is attempting to portray that they did is much more likely to use second- and third-person pronouns. This is likely to be because the use of this language absolves them of the responsibility of owning the experience.


We all know that eyes are the windows to the soul, but this is especially true when it comes to telling lies. When a candidate cannot easily make eye contact or is making too much eye contact, they might just be telling a lie. Rather than trying to decipher a candidate’s eye movements by paying attention to which way they are looking and when instead watch out for sudden deviations in their eye movements that could alert you to a falsehood. It is worth remembering, however, that this technique is not going to turn you into a foolproof human lie detector, but it is good to have a grasp of the basics so that you can identify when you need to probe with trickier questions. You will come up against candidates who are extremely well-practiced at a poker face, and while there are a few situations when this skill comes in handy it is never a good sign if a candidate is using it during their interview. If you spot any red flags, start asking those difficult questions, fast.


The pressure of an interview situation means that body language can be a tricky way of determining a lie. Often people can fidget and squirm in stressful situations without even realizing they are doing it. Watch out for sudden changes in fidgeting, such as going from still to fidgety or fidgety to still. Also, pay attention to the feet. Lots of shuffling can indicate that the candidate subconsciously wants to run away. Lip biting, hand-wringing, face touching, and head movements are all signs that you need to probe further.

Remember, the most important factor in determining a lie is usually your intuition. Use the indicators above as a guide, but always go with your gut instinct if you feel something is right or wrong. Good luck!


Are we ready for change? Are we prepared to do what it takes to make the American dream come alive again? It would take some drastic reforms to get those much-needed results. Something’s got to give, and this administration has to go. Today’s guest is Andrew Yang. He’s Asian-American, a 2020 Presidential Candidate, a serial entrepreneur, and a man who actually understands people, numbers, and technology. In other words, the complete opposite of Trump. Laurie and Andrew talk about progressive platforms that will spark the change we need to get us back into shape.

  • Andrew agrees that work is broken. The times are changing and we need to transform how we think about work to get any real benefit from it. We’re going through the greatest economic and technological transition in human history. The problem, now, is that our government doesn’t understand this shift. They are stuck working with obsolete concepts that will eventually break the economy – and not in a good way.
  • When change isn’t happening, you’ve got to make change happen yourself. Capitalism has worked effectively for corporations but often crushes human welfare. Capitalism prioritizes efficiency and profits over everything else. How do we fix this? Andrew proposes a new form of capitalism that gets the market to work for us and not against us. He calls it “Human Capitalism,” which focuses on maximizing human well-being and fulfillment. Andrew further explains the tenets of human-centered capitalism.
  • Laurie and Andrew talk about the “Freedom Dividend.” A proposed policy wherein every American adult gets $1,000 per month – no questions asked. Andrew believes that if we were to remove the existential threat of poverty, people could focus on finding jobs that better fit their skill sets. The Freedom Dividend is actually an old idea, but a similar policy has been effective in Alaska for almost four decades. Andrew talks about the value of revisiting this idea and how it will benefit US citizens.
  • How do we get Value Added Tax into the dividend equation without people worrying about the deficits? Andrew shares how the present mismanagement must not lead us to believe that we lack the resources to progress. Our economy is on a record high, so the fear is based on the current mess the government is in. By using VAT funds to invest in our citizens, several other issues will start toppling down.
  • Laurie and Andrew talk about the problems in the work environment. If our economy is doing so well, why can’t we do justice to make our citizens’ quality of life better? We’re not living in the dark ages, and yet, most of the same issues are present. Seriously, how can the world’s richest country be so anti-women, anti-family, and anti-poor? It’s time we take into consideration what’s good for the people versus what makes the most money for companies. After all, since this country’s greatest asset is its people, it should be a no-brainer to invest in making their lives more meaningful.

The DIY HR Handbook

Wouldn’t you love to get your hands on Laurie’s no-holds-barred, honest DIY HR Handbook for employees and pros alike? Download it for free!

Andrew Yang






Hi, everybody, I’m on medical leave. Nobody get any big ideas about asking me for anything. I’m milking this time off for every stinkin’ minute away from PR pitches and email messages about machine learning and cryptocurrency.

But, since I have some free time on my hands while I heal, let me tell you about what it’s like to have gallbladder surgery. Wait, let’s back up, and I’ll tell you what it’s like to have a dodgy gallbladder.

It sucks.

For the past seventeen months, I’ve been telling myself that I had digestive issues because I’m an unattractive perimenopausal middle-aged woman with shoddy DNA who deserves to suffer because she failed at launching a tech startup and stopped running marathons.

Broken gallbladder? No, I’ve got a broken brain.

I told myself—this pain is what happens when you lose your competitive edge in life. I’m doomed to be miserable and unhealthy. Isn’t it natural to have hot flashes when you eat bread? Isn’t it normal to feel like someone is punching you in the rib cage when you eat a grilled cheese? Get used to your 40s, Laurie. This is what it’s like to get older.

It turns out, I’m an idiot.

Didn’t help that my doctors weren’t in much of a rush to diagnose me with anything. Even though I had all the hallmarks of a failing gallbladder and gallstones—including a fever, hot flashes, shakes, cramping — I got diagnosed in the emergency room with an “abdominal muscle strain.”

By the time I saw a gastroenterologist worth a damn and had an ultrasound, I was in severe pain. That’s when I found out that I had some gallstones — one of which was 1.3 cm big.

(How big is that? Who knows, I’m not metric. But it was big enough to bring me to my knees in the kitchen when drinking coffee.)

So, I scheduled my gallbladder surgery for last week. And, honestly, it was the easiest thing I’ve done in ages compared to being kicked in the gut by cholecystitis. Once I got over my fear of anesthesia, things went smoothly. They yanked out my mushy gallbladder, and I’m currently rocking a bloated abdomen with glued-up holes. But I’m not even on pain medicine. I was up and walking around the next day.

Sounds great, right? Well, it’s not all wine and roses in the Ruettimann household. I had to drink three servings of Miralax to start pooping. I didn’t wash my hair for five days. And I’m on light duty and can’t lift more than a jug of milk for six weeks, which sucks because I don’t know how much a jug of milk weighs but I’m pretty sure my cat Emma is two jugs and likes to be carted around like a princess. It’s hard to explain to her that mommy doesn’t want a hernia.


So, yeah, I have to take it slow, which means that I’m not going to answer your email message right away, but I’m feeling fine under the circumstances. Gallbladder surgery was a relief, and already I’m feeling better and have moved on from soup to solid foods. I’m digesting meals like a champion, and I’m not breaking into a sweat from Ritz crackers. Life is good.

Here’s what I thought I knew: I’m an athlete. When people tell you to take it easy and listen to your body, they are mostly wrong. The body wants you to avoid pain and achieve homeostasis, and your mind will trick you into quitting before it’s necessary. And I’m here to tell you that you can physically push yourself at least 30% harder without any athletic training and achieve exponentially higher results in this world.

However, if you feel like you’re going to die when you eat a taco, it’s probably time to see a good doctor who knows a thing or two about how the body works. Otherwise, you’ll end up like me — having gallbladder surgery 17 months after your initial symptoms, tormenting yourself for no goddamn reason. You don’t want gallbladder surgery, or any medical procedure, under those stressful conditions.


Check out our latest podcast episode here:


The world is changing, and us with it. We are living our lives 50% in the real world, and the other half in the virtual world. With the internet connecting the two, it’s harder than ever to imagine one without the other. While it seems like we’re more connected than ever, in truth, our communication has become LESS personal. We’re joined today by Dr. Nick Morgan, who discusses the pros and cons of how we connect with people, despite the limitations of virtual communication.

  • Dr. Nick Morgan recently wrote a book titled, “Can You Hear Me? How To Connect With People In A Virtual World.” He tells us the story that inspired him to write this book, and how it can change your perception of unconscious communication.
  • How is technology making communication worse? Believe it or not, it’s not auto-correct. Nick reveals one of the biggest problems with online communication: people use the same language pattern they use face-to-face, and due to the lack of emotional subtext, we often misunderstand people’s intent. We go on a default “nasty” setting because our brain has filled the gap with negative information to anticipate danger and ‘protect’ ourselves. This is why we’re likely to be less trusting online than we are in the real world.
  • What makes for effective virtual communication? Nick talks about how our reaction depends on how we’re perceiving the other person – if we default to distrust, our reaction mirrors that. Fortunately, we’re becoming more aware of our behavior online. By extending more empathy and understanding, we’re becoming better adults.
  • What’s the benefit of communicating in person? When we meet people in person, it is easier to establish a meaningful connection than we can do online – this takes a lot longer virtually. Nick shares how this is especially useful for first meetings.
  • It would seem that despite the ease of communicating online, we are more alone and our relationships have become much harder to maintain. How do we fix this and be better at labeling the emotional undertones in our virtual conversations? It comes down to one thing at a time – a whole bunch of little fixes that focus on being more understanding and a little bit more connected.
  • Nick and Laurie talk about how the power of well-placed humor can strengthen online relationships, and the importance of understanding where the overlap lies between the real world and the online world.

The DIY HR Handbook

Wouldn’t you love to get your hands on Laurie’s no-holds-barred, honest DIY HR Handbook for employees and pros alike? Download it for free!

Dr. Nick Morgan

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Can You Hear Me?






Let’s Fix Work is wrapping up its first season at the end of the month. After six months, I can honestly say that I have a podcast to meet cool people. One of those people is Bob Sutton. Consider me a fangirl. He wrote The No Asshole Rule, and there’s nothing else on the market quite like it. It’s the kind of book that made me consider going to graduate school and becoming a management theorist.

I haven’t transcribed the episode because you should listen to it.

Hope you enjoy it!

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