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Are you one of those people who judges someone who gets diabetes or cancer?

“Oh, they’re fat. Oh, they’re a smoker. They wouldn’t be sick if they took better care of themselves.”

Man, I hope you’re not one of those people. While it’s true that some health-related conditions are due to lifestyle choices, it’s also true that everybody gets sick and dies. Being alive is expensive, and, if you have your health, you are lucky.

I’m especially appalled when I hear people judge smokers and vapers. Most people start smoking before they’re adults, and they get hooked because of hegemonic corporate interests and super-slick marketing campaigns. If you don’t start smoking by the age of 21, it’s 95% unlikely that you’ll ever start.

Once you start smoking, studies have found that it’s harder to quit than heroin. And, unlike heroin, nobody gives you 21 days in a rehab facility to put down the e-cigarette or pack of Marlboros and get your shit together. No mindfulness, no meditation, no respite for the weary former smoker whose nerves are frazzled. We only allow wellness in our lives when we’re in deep crisis, and maybe not even then.

This holiday season, imma make another big ask of you: please donate to Hustle Chicago 2019 to help me fight lung diseases. Far too many people in my life are smokers who can’t quit. Some suffer from asthma and COPD and are struggling with air quality problems in California. And my elementary school friend, Jenny Stein, was a half-marathoner and badass mom who died of lung cancer just a few years ago.

You might be like — Laurie, this holiday season left me drained. I have no money to donate.

Listen, I feel you. Budgets are choices, and right now I’m going eight weeks between hair coloring appointments because I want to be more philanthropic in 2018. One of my priorities is fighting lung disease. Plus nobody thinks I’m a real blonde, so let’s put my money to better use.

Furthermore, I’m going back to Chicago and running up a skyscraper for the 7th time because my sister hasn’t stopped smoking. Not only am I a donor who puts her money where her mouth is, but I’m also a warrior.

And I can’t do this without you. Any amount will make a difference.

Please donate to Hustle Chicago 2019, this Thanksgiving, and make a difference in the lives of children who have asthma, caregivers who are taking care of family members with COPD, and everybody who is at risk from second-hand smoke.

I’m running up 94 floors to help improve lung health and fight disease. I’ve got your back when it comes to these issues. I hope you’ve got mine.

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Sometimes it seems like tragedy is so far away.

Tsunamis? Earthquakes? Wildfires? Those are crazy events that happen on the other side of the country or planet. Nothing like will ever touch your family. And while it’s easy to donate $10 to the Red Cross, you’re probably not gonna do it because everybody hits you up for cash during the holiday season.

Well, dammit, I thought the same thing until my friend’s house burned down in a wildfire.

Ita Olsen is an ordinary person — not a celebrity or a Hollywood star — who lived in a quiet condominium in Malibu. Two weeks ago, she lost everything in those crazy fires burning throughout that entire state. Here are two photos of her condo:

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Ita’s immediate family and her community sprang into action, but she lost everything — escaping only with her son’s baby book and her father’s ashes. And it’s an especially tragic story because Ita worked from home as a public speaking coach and, also, as a mom who homeschooled her nine-year-old son. They lost much more than furniture and clothing. They lost rituals, routines, and stability. Literally, everything about their old way of life is over. My heart crumbled when Ita shared that her son misses his stuffed animals.

So, I did what a friend does: I donated to Ita’s Go Fund Me Page. And you should, too.

But she’s not just looking for charity. Ita wants to get back to work. Want a consultant who can train your team on public speaking skills? Know someone in your industry who could benefit from accent reduction courses? Do you need a personal tune-up with your presentation skills?

This is America, and the way we help Ita’s family is by donating to her Go Fund Me Page and getting her back to work. That $10 you’re going to send to the Red Cross? That’s great, but send it to Ita where there’s no administrative overhead, and the funds can be applied to stuffed animals and toys over the holidays.

And, while you’re having Thanksgiving dinner and fighting with your dumb cousin about whether or not it would help to rake the forest floor, spare a moment for Ita’s family and think about what they’re enduring over the holiday season. As a good Irish Catholic, Ita will take your thoughts and prayers. However, she’d love to take you up on the opportunity to improve your public speaking skills so you can calmly and eloquently tell your dumb cousin how you feel about his political views at your next holiday gathering.

I promised you, earlier this week, that I’d only tell you about charities where I’ve donated. Well, I’ve given to Ita. Please consider doing the same, and let’s get Ita back to work.

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hurricane florence animals

We had a few days of lovely weather here in North Carolina.

That’s why I don’t live anywhere else at this point in my life. I want sunshine, blue skies and no humidity in November. This year’s weather has been weird, but, yesterday, we finally eeked out a gorgeous day. So, I did what comes naturally to me: I went to the beach.

I haven’t driven down to the coast since Hurricane Florence because, well, it’s a goddamn mess.

I take the back roads to the beach, and the damage from the Cape Fear River was staggering. Everything from trailer homes to hog farms to the cotton crop was destroyed. Several months later, garbage (i.e., people’s lives, pink insulation, bags of wet clothing, toys, chairs, mattresses) were piled up on the roadside waiting to be picked up.

Once I got to the coast, the scene wasn’t much better. The extremely windy conditions made me grateful that I was nowhere near the beach during the hurricane. There were boarded up windows, ripped off rooftops, and shit piled everywhere waiting to be collected. Some neighborhoods were better than others, but even the beach showed signs or wear and tear.

There’s been progress, but it’s not enough. People’s lives are still in disarray. And if you weren’t wealthy to begin with, this storm kicked your ass.

In response to the storm, I did three things: donated items, my time and money.

The animal shelters in Carteret, Pender and Onslow counties were overwhelmed by the storms. They brought their animals to the fairgrounds in Raleigh and asked for blankets, rags, food, and litterboxes. They also needed bleach and other cleaning supplies. I keep a fair amount of that stuff around the house, so we drove over a big load of animal-related products to the staging area.

I poked my head into the buildings to visit the dogs and cats, and it took my breath away. So incredibly heartwarming to see all those animals who were saved by citizens of North Carolina; so very sad to think about how breeders in North Carolina thoughtlessly cost the taxpayers all that time and money.

Then I donated my time. The more belongings you can recover, the more money you can keep from FEMA and the insurance companies to rebuild your life. That’s why I volunteered with a family in Wallace right after the storm. I stood in the sun and worked a disinfection line. We cleaned moldy but salvageable items from a home.

Finally, I donated money. My preferred charity is Safe Haven for Cats, which sheltered cats from the storm and found them forever homes. Don’t like cats? Donate to RebuildNC.

TL;DR Hurricane Florence is still a thing, and North Carolinians with two paws and four paws need your help. Give up a cup of coffee or a pack of cigarettes and donate something today. Or, better yet, go volunteer in your local community in the name of those who were affected by the hurricane.

This is the season of giving. Don’t roll over and give to big charities with splashy marketing campaigns. Find a way for your time and money to have the most significant impact by doing your research, or by following my advice, and giving to those organizations who need it most.

Tomorrow, I’ll have another set of charitable recommendations for you.

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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.

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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!

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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.

(burp)

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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?

WWYD?

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!

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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. ⤵️⤵️

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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

Ambiguity

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.

Pronouns 

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.

Eyes

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.

Body

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!

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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!

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