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  • 5 May 2021Career, Confidence, Inspiration, Job Search Skills • Susan Rietano Davey

    The Alexa Problem

    Alexa doesn’t live at our house. When we installed our Sonos sound system, we purposefully decided we could handle the ‘inconvenience’ of having to select a playlist on our phones rather than barking at a smart speaker.

    I’m so glad we did. Alexa, I’ve learned, is annoyingly contrite.

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  • 6 February 2019Inspiration, Job Search Skills • Susan Rietano Davey

    Living Out Your Option B

    Published in 2017 and widely promoted last year, Sheryl Sanberg and Adam Grant’s book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, has a pretty bold title. Heck, any one of those things in the tag line can be singularly daunting, and they think I can accomplish all three?!

    But that’s not really the point. The point is, and it’s a good one, that we have fuller, richer and, yes, more joyful lives if we can face our challenges head on and smiling.

    Of course, that’s easier said than done.

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  • 24 January 2019Job Search Skills, Management • Susan Rietano Davey

    Aptitudes and the Accidental Businessperson

    I have often called myself an “accidental businessperson”. I majored in Literature and planned to go to law school. Despite taking full advantage of my school’s liberal arts curriculum and studying everything from Biology to Middle Eastern Relations to Computer Science (in addition to the full canon of essential American and British Lit), I didn’t take one business class.

    Between undergrad and law school, I planned to bike cross-country with my roommate Gail. Unfortunately (much more so for Gail), our travel plans were thwarted by the broken femur she sustained in a car crash just weeks before graduation. Unprepared to apply to law school and still hopeful Gail would recover in time to resume our trip, I set out to find an interim job to occupy me for the six months of Gail’s recovery.

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  • 14 November 2018Confidence, Job Search Skills • Susan Rietano Davey

    Resilience: the Antidote to Rejection

    It’s Girl Scout cookie “close-out” season and I’m all in. Outside polling stations around the country last week, boxes of last year’s cookies were selling like hotcakes. And they taste as good as they did back in January! I know this because, yesterday, I polished off the remainder of a nearly full box of Samoas in Kelley’s pantry. Gross, I know, but is the Samoa not cookie perfection? Shortbread, caramel, toasted coconut, dark chocolate. I am weak in its presence.

    The scouts are marketing geniuses. Whatever doesn’t’ sell in spring, they pull back out during the dark days between Halloween (which primes our sweet tooths) and the holidays (where sweets are abundant), when the days are darker and our clothes are baggier.

    For years, I looked forward to the arrival of adorable clipboard-carrying girls dressed in their green uniforms, badges aplenty, towing their red wagons of ‘samples’ and cheerily asking for my order. I didn’t disappoint; over the years I even noticed an asterisk next to my address on the order form suggesting that my generous orders were well documented.

    Not every homeowner was generous or even friendly. My neighborhood girl scout, now 21, reports that she had doors closed in her face, angry admonishments for disturbing the peace, and even raging dogs released in protest of her visits.

    “It was all good training,” she says now with the wisdom of a young adult. “Rejection stings, but we deal with it and get stronger from it.” How true.

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  • 31 October 2018Husbands & Wives, Job Search Skills • Susan Rietano Davey

    In Praise of the Cavewoman and her many ‘Hats’

    When we were newly married, Bob and I saw the play “Defending the Caveman” with some friends. Caveman is a one-man comedy that explores the innate differences between men and women with hilarious clarity.

    Its premise is simply that we have been primally wired since pre-Neanderthal days in gender-specific ways that have stood the test of time.

    Men descend from hunters who spent the better part of their days hiding in trees, focused on the singular task of finding an unsuspecting mammal that might become dinner.

    Women descend from gatherers, who spent the better part of their days watching over children and completing any number of concurrent tasks like planting and harvesting vegetables, collecting water, preparing food, cleaning huts, building fires, whittling, sewing, cooking.

    In short: Men are wired to do one thing at a time. Women are wired to multi-task.

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  • 10 October 2018Hiring, Job Search Skills • Susan Rietano Davey

    How to Find a Mentor

    Seeking to be more fully and objectively informed, Kelley and I invited randomly selected new Prepare to Launch U students to participate in small video chat focus groups about the course last week. And we learned a lot.

    First off, the nagging idiosyncrasies that are all we see and hear when we watch ourselves on film, are barely noticed by our students. That’s a relief. Secondly, the content that we have worked tirelessly for two years to pull together (based on decades of professional experience before that) is accessible, easily understood, and valued by our students. Phew.

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  • 26 September 2018Hiring, Job Search Skills • Susan Rietano Davey

    How To Conquer Workplace Ageism

    As any astute observer of, or participant in, the American workplace will acknowledge, employers and hiring managers have some degree of age bias. We all do, and it runs both ways: “The millennial is lazy; the baby boomer is tech illiterate” – sometimes these statements are cliché; other times legit.

    That said, although the digitally native millennial may face skepticism or bias, her résumé will still be picked up, and she won’t likely be overlooked because she’s young.

    But that’s not true of her mother or aunt because the cost of ageism is born much more by older candidates. And, according to a rather disconcerting (to this over 50 mom) study conducted at Tulane University, it occurs earlier (age 50 vs. age 65) and more frequently, with women.

    So, what can an older female candidate do to remain relevant and employable?

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  • 12 September 2018Job Search Skills, Resumés • Susan Rietano Davey

    Your Resumé Questions Answered

    Back in the day when writing a résumé required thoughtful precision (no spell check), a trip to the library (no company Google searches), expensive “bond” paper and envelopes – plus postage – the economics of time and money begot frugality. We sent résumés selectively and infrequently. My, how things have changed.

    A hiring manager’s job back then was to read (yes, actually read) each submitted résumé to determine a candidate’s fitness for a position. Not any more.

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  • 15 August 2018Job Search Skills • Susan Rietano Davey

    You CAN return to work. Here’s what it takes.

    One of my earliest and all-time favorite clients is a woman named Carol.

    Carol left her job as a senior corporate trainer for a national retailer to stay home and raise three sons. Her youngest was just entering kindergarten when we met.

    Warm, animated and excited about going back to work, Carol impressed me instantly. But she’d been out for over ten years, her company no longer existed, and the only recent job on her résumé was part-time spritzer – the person who indiscriminately “samples” perfume on you as you enter a large department store. (I don’t think stores employ them anymore, but they were big in the ‘80s and ‘90s).

    I was new to the coaching and placement world, Carol’s skills were narrow and dated, her experience didn’t align with the industries in our area, and that spritzing job she’d taken just to get out of the house was no asset. I wasn’t optimistic.


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  • 8 August 2018Inspiration, Interviewing • Kelley Biskupiak

    Get Pumped! The 5 Essential Tips for Getting Your Mindset Right for an Interview

    I love coaching a woman right before she heads off for an interview. There is just something about the vulnerable excitement that fills my office when prepping and pumping a woman up to go rock an interview.

    I believe there is a very distinct difference between the prepping and the pumping when it comes to being interview-ready. The prepping is about rehearsing what you can DO on the interview to be memorable and unforgettable. It is so very important to be clear, articulate and well rehearsed on the content you will deliver. Susan wrote a great blog about this a few weeks ago; you must check it out! However, the pumping is equally important and places a focus on who you want to BE on the interview. It is about your mindset and getting that mindset right and ready to show those interviewers the amazing powerhouse they would be lucky to land.

    There are 5 key components that are foundational in creating an empowered mindset for interviewing, and I have them here to share with you.

    Read »

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