It’s not too early to apply for that summer job

by Evil HR Lady on April 23, 2014

High school and college students, take note: Summer job hiring has already begun and the jobs may be gone before your school lets out. Snagajob did the researchand it turns out that 74 percent of companies that plan to hire summer workers intend to have that hiring done by the end of May and 7 percent have already filled their summer job slots.

But, summer jobs won’t be limited to the people off school. High unemployment rates mean that you’ll be competing against older and more experienced job candidates as well. Forty four percent of employers say that the more experienced crowd will be stiff competition for the students on summer break. This doesn’t mean students don’t stand a chance, though. They do. In fact, summer job hiring managers expect 78 percent of their hires to be inexperienced.


5 Signs You’re The Problem at Work

by Evil HR Lady on April 22, 2014

One of the reasons launching a startup appeals to a lot of people is that being your own boss–and the boss of others–is a lot more appealing than than being an employee.

But just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean the problems go away. In fact, there seem to be more–clients, employees, investors, regulations–and sometimes, the biggest problem is you. Here are a few ways to tell if some of your so-called problems could easily be fixed bychanging your behavior and attitude.

To keep reading, click here: 5 Signs You’re The Problem at Work


A new study out of the Technical University of Munich shows that women are less likely to apply for jobs that include words like “assertive”, “independent”, “aggressive” and “analytical,” opting instead for job postings that use words like “dedicated”, “responsible”, “conscientious” and “sociable.” Men, on the other hand, were happy to apply for jobs in both categories.

The complete study has not yet been released, but the preliminary results show that while female job applicants feel that they don’t qualify for jobs that require assertiveness or independence, everyone else thinks they do. The study’s authors found that Americans of both genders considered women and men to be equally competent, productive and efficient. However, women believed that they, themselves, as well as other women, had less capability when it came to leadership skills.

This is something women can and should fix. Stop underestimating your own skills. Stop underestimating the skills of other women. Here are some things to keep in mind:


Newsflash: Motherhood is not the world’s hardest job

by Evil HR Lady on April 17, 2014

Mother’s Day is coming up, which means once again we get to hear about how valiant and wonderful mothers are. Super. I agree. My mom is great. Hopefully yours is too. And, as I tell my children, they are lucky to have me as their mom, even though they don’t have iPads like EVERY OTHER KID AT SCHOOL. (We are in the exaggeration and life is unfair stage of life at the Evil household.) Motherhood can be hard. It can be disgusting. It involves bodily fluids, screaming, conferences with teachers and the constant fear that when you get up in the middle of the night you’ll step on an unknown substance in the dark. If you’re lucky it will just be a spilled cup of apple juice and not a Lego brick, which I believe should be banished under the Geneva Convention. And when you reach the teenage years, you’ll have new things to worry about.

But, what motherhood is not, is the hardest job ever. And it doesn’t require a PhD in psychology or anything else. There are breaks. There is down time. A lot of it is fun. And when people try to proclaim it as the hardest job, ever, what they are doing is saying, “Hey ladies! Taking care of those kids is so difficult we wouldn’t want you to hurt your pretty little brain by doing anything else! And can you get me a sandwich while you’re up?”

Normally, this is done by the annual’s “What’s a mom worth survey?” which breaks down all the “tasks” that moms do and assigns a dollar value–as if the mom was a trained medical doctor for every time she slaps on a bandaid or forces some acetaminophen down a kid’s throat. It’s not equivalent and it’s insulting to women (and men) who actually went to medical school to imply otherwise.

This year, the “poor mom!” comes from Mullen, an advertising agency in Boston. They posted this fake job description and then conducted what appeared to be “real” interviews. I contacted Mullen and they informed me that the people thought they were part of a focus group, and were given a small amount of money for their time. This is a good thing because if these people had thought they were interviewing, I would be extra ticked, because that’s mean.  The job description includes (but is not limited to):

  • Must be able to work 135+ hours a week
  • Ability to work overnight, associate needs pending
  • Willingness to forgo any breaks
  • Work mostly standing up and/or bending down
  • Must be able to lift up to 75 lbs. on a regular basis
  • Ph.D. in psychology or real-life equivalent
  • Unlimited patience
  • Understanding of finance
  • Understanding of medicine
  • Selflessly driven
  • Valid driver’s license, CPR certification and Red Cross membership

In the “interviews” (found here on a YouTube Video) the interviewer informs the candidates that you can never sit down, you’ll be working 135 plus hours a week and there are no breaks. The poor candidate asks, “is this even legal?” The interviewer assures her that it is.

Moms, if you never get to sit down, you are a failure as a mother. Yep. I’m coming right out and saying it. You are doing it wrong if you never get to sit down, never get to eat lunch, and never get a break of any kind. You are not teaching your child to become an adult, you are teaching them to remain in perpetual toddler hood. This is bad parenting. I don’t know any mothers — even mothers of special needs kids — that don’t get a break. (And I will concede that some special needs kids require a tremendous amount of care from their parents–dad too!–and that may qualify as the most difficult job. But most moms have just regular kids–with problems here and there, and difficulties in different areas, but nothing requiring 24 hour nursing level care.)

Lifting 75 pounds on a regular basis? My 5 year old, who is the size of a 7 or 8 year old (started out at 10 pounds 7 ounces and hasn’t stopped growing–or eating–since) is a mere 55 pounds. Who are these women who are lifting 75 pound kids all the time? Stop it. Your poor kid is being smothered by you. Let the darn kid walk and climb into his own bed.

Ph.D. in psychology? Hmmm, I have a master’s degree in political science, yet the hospital social workers didn’t snatch my babies away and hand them off to a “qualified” person. Psychology is a demanding and good field, but it’s not required for motherhood.

Understandings of finance and medicine are helpful, but their list implies that this goes beyond what a non-mom would need. It’s a ridiculous proposition that these vastly specialized skills are necessary to raise a normal kid. Remember, for most of history, motherhood started in the teen years, and some pretty great people were raised during these periods.

Motherhood is one of the most important two jobs — fatherhood being the other. (And why don’t we get cheesy videos about the importance of fathers?) But important doesn’t equal difficult. When parents get woken up in the middle of the night, it’s likely for vomit, bad dreams or because baby is hungry. When a trauma surgeon is woken up in the middle of the night, someone’s life is on the line, and regardless of how much sleep she (even a mom can be a trauma surgeon!) has had, she has to rush in and do complicated procedures that require years and years of training to do. Feeding a baby? Not in the same category at all.

The world’s toughest jobs? Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the deadliest jobs are as follows:

1. Logging workers

2. Fishers and related fishing workers

3. Aircraft pilot and flight engineers

4. Roofers

5. Structural iron and steel workers

6. Refuse and recyclable material collectors

7. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

8. Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers

9. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

10. Construction laborers

Motherhood doesn’t make the list.

Let’s honor mothers because what they do is important. Raising children has a profound effect on society as a whole. But, trying to say that it’s so difficult teaches our rising generation (and current mothers of young children) that there is no joy to be found in motherhood. Simply work. And that it is grueling and terrible and requires skills that no one actually has. It perpetuates the idea that if you’re not suffering you’re not doing it right. This is false. There are hard times to be found in motherhood, absolutely. But the most difficult job? Nope.



Job hunters, don’t overlook your “soft skills”

by Evil HR Lady on April 17, 2014

When you’re interviewing for a job, it’s critical to show you have the hard skills the employer is asking for. After all, who’s going to hire an accountant who doesn’t know accounting? But a new survey by CareerBuilder finds that hiring managers and human resources people are looking just as closely at your “soft skills.”

According to CareerBuilder, here are the top 10 soft skills that managers want to see in candidates:


Some companies see opportunity in autism

by Evil HR Lady on April 16, 2014

“I am fairly convinced that America is not really aware of the pending tsunami of burden that the current autistic rate will put on our workforce and adult support services in the next 10 to 20 years,” said one father of a 14-year-old autistic son.

He’s not alone in his concerns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 American children lie along the Autism spectrum. That number is far higher than in years past, likely reflecting greater awareness of the condition and changing diagnostic standards. Still, the overall number of autistic children has increased. And autism is not simply a disorder of childhood — it follows people into adulthood and into the workforce.

Some companies see this as an opportunity. German software giant SAP wants to have 1 percent of its workforce be autistic by the year 2020. This is not altruism. The company believes autistic employees will benefit their business, according to The Wall Street Journal. According to Jose Valasco, head of the autism initiative for SAP, people with autism have characteristics that SAP needs in software testers or debuggers.

To keep reading, click here: Some companies see opportunity in Autism


Step Away From the Text Messages

by Evil HR Lady on April 11, 2014

I got two emails in a row yesterday in which the employee texted obnoxious things to a manager and former manager. In the first scenario, the employee thought it was unfair that the manager was writing her up for insubordination because she texted on her private phone to his private phone when neither of them were at work. In the second case, the employee was fired for not showing up, but then heard the manager was telling lies about her so proceeded to text her repeatedly telling her how awful she was for lying. Surprisingly, this manager now gives out horrible references.

Look, life is sometimes unfair. Sometimes bosses are jerks, but they are still bosses. And if you don’t want to be written up, or given a bad reference you have to play nice.

For some reason, people think that texting is not like real communication. It is. And yes, it can be held against you. You shouldn’t be texting your boss after hours for anything that is not work related. You don’t need to “confront” your boss because you “heard” that she said something about you. If it is that concerning, this is something you discuss face to face, “Jane, I was told that you said I did x. I’m pretty sure that’s not the case, but I wanted to double check with you to make sure there’s no misunderstanding.” Sending a text that says, “Stop talking trash about me!” is not going over well.

Put down the phone. Walk away.


Did Steve Jobs Lower Your Salary?

by Evil HR Lady on April 10, 2014

For years, Google and Apple had a gentlemen’s agreement not to poach one another’s employees. But now that a class action lawsuit has been filed claiming affected tech workers deserve $9 billion in total–that’s billion with a B, not an M–it’s clear this wasn’t just a Google and Apple thing but something much bigger. Tech companies like Intuit and Pixar were also named in the suit, and now everyone is panicked, as they should be.

Yes, high salaries are a concern for any business, especially startups. And if the free market had been functioning, Silicon Valley salaries may have soared higher than they already have, making it even harder to secure top-notch talent. But it’s also likely higher Silicon Valley salaries would have had another result: talent moving to other regions.

To keep reading, click here: Did Steve Jobs Lower Your Salary?


Uncle Bubba’s Seafood & Oyster House, which is owned by Paula Deen and her younger brother, Earl W. “Bubba” Hiers Jr., recently announced that it’s closing via Facebook. And nothing wrong with that — social media is a great way to communicate with people, including customers.

Except that in this case this was also how Bubba’s informed the restaurant’s employees that it was going out of business and that they were out of a job.

At this point let us pause to make an obvious point: Workers should never be told they’ve been fired over Facebook. In fact, in all but extreme circumstances, employees should be told face to face. Worst case scenario? Phone calls from their direct supervisors.

To keep reading, click here: Paula Deen’s restaurant closes — without telling employees


In entrepreneurship, as in life, you have to walk before you can run. The right mentor can help.

I’m in the jogging phase of life. For those who haven’t entered this phase yet, I’ll explain. It starts with your metabolism slowing down and your weight gain speeding up, and you realize that if you don’t want to have to buy new pants and still want to eat dinner, you have to do something about this, so you start jogging. And inevitably, you want to run a 5k to show how awesome it is that you’re not sitting on the couch eating Twinkies.

A friend who is also in the jogging phase of life sent me this list from Competitor magazine. It’s supposed to be tips for running your first 5k race. Here they go:

To keep reading, click here: Your Best Mentor Isn’t Always the Most Successful Guy in the Room