Is The Advice in that Article Really for You?

You’re in the job market and you’re looking for a position as a cake decorator for a small mom-and-pop neighborhood bakery. You spot an article on the internet regarding interviewing techniques or what to put on your resume and how to say it. The article is on a reputable career guidance website. The article mentions all kinds of things like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and “Keywords” for your resume. Or how you should walk in a certain way, make or not make certain gestures, and try to read the interviewer’s state of mind by how he or she acts.

How good is this advice for you? 

Well, the problem is that much advice is often centered on a target audience that usually fits a certain criteria. I’ve found that most career advice centers around getting that mid to upper level office job in a well-known non-manufacturing firm. This is where your resume would be scanned by the HR department, where they will often be looking for keywords,  and where the interviewer may not be the person you would be working for and where the decision to hire you or not is almost entirely subjective and often made by those not even connected to the department you would be working in!

The bakery owner is probably not interested in SEO or keyword on your resume and is also the person who would be looking it over, and interviewing you. And, should you be called in for an interview, he or she is probably going to base the decision to hire on whether you can decorate a cake to their liking or not, and doesn’t care that your tie or earrings may not be the best color. He or she is just looking for someone who can decorate a cake, period.

Can the advice you get from articles like this help you even if it doesn’t addresses your case to a T? The answer is, in most cases, yes! If you use the things that the article focuses on and modify them to fit your situation.

On your resume, for instance, while you may not know what keywords a corporate recruiter would look for, you would know what a bakery owner is looking for in a cake decorator and what terms the bakery owner might use and recognize. Having these on your resume, and using the words in the interview will tell the bakery owner that you are at least familiar with baking terms and that he or she can give you instructions using those terms knowing you won’t need to have them explained to you.

And it’s not just articles about job hunting that can help. An article about saving money may  talk about a “latte factor’, saying that one can save a lot of money over the course of a year if they just give up having that $3.50 latte on the way to work each morning. You may not have a latte factor, but you can use, and give up, that morning donut or Friday night beer or that 3rd movie you go to see each month in order to save money in the same way the article talks about.

Sometimes an article that looks like it may have advice that, while it may be good advice, may have nothing for you no matter how much you think about it and read it. But before you toss an article’s advice out of your head completely, do think about how it may apply to you if you mentally modify things to fit your situation. You may be surprised!

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Disconnect a Little!

You may have noticed that many people today have things plugged into them, or they’re plugged into things, as the case may be. You’ve seen them. The guy crossing the street with earplugs in his ears, and maybe texting at the same time. You may even notice that when you get together with friends or family, that one or more of them may have a smart phone and a tablet or small laptop with them, and, in some cases, they may insist on texting or typing away on the tablet while they’re talking to you!

And of course, we’ve seen the commercials showing the dangers of texting while driving and the foolishness that can result when texting and walking, like the person shown falling into the fountain.

And, I’ve heard at least two commentators say that, in essence, we should not let technology take over our lives completely and stop us from interacting with one another. And they’re right.

Now, this is not completely new. It may have started somewhat with the invention of the telegraph, then was made significantly more so with the invention of the telephone, which brought ‘non-face-to-face’ communication to the masses. But, with the advent of cell phones and computers, and related software and hardware it is getting more obvious today.

I’m not saying that all of the new technology is bad and I could never be a technophobe. But I do believe in taking a look at both edges of the double edge sword that technology, as well as just about everything else, is, before jumping in. Also, there is the fact that new technology in general is at its most bug ridden, expensive, and least capable, when it first comes out and everybody ‘wants one’. But that is a different subject.

For me, while I like new technology in general, especially for what it can do for me, I do hold off in many cases, for a number of reasons. When cell phones came out, they were big and just added another thing I would have to carry on me. And, in addition, I didn’t always want to be reachable. (Read, “bothered”).

But, with my dad’s urging, we both got cell phones. And, I’ve come to see where they can be helpful. And, they’ve gotten a lot smaller and lighter and their battery life has greatly improved. I now feel naked if I go out without my phone. However, regarding cell phones, some things I haven’t felt a need to jump into or add. For instance, while my phone can do a lot more than my first phone could, it’s not a smart phone, and I don’t feel the need for one. I can text with my phone, but I really see no need to use texting, when I can call and leave a voice message, or talk directly to a person. So, I’m not a ‘texter’. As a matter of fact, if someone I know sends me a text, I often call them instead of replying to the text. It’s just faster and easier for me. Also, I do take safety into account. If I’m driving, I don’t answer the phone without a bluetooth hands free device, and even then, I will pull over first to a safe area. If I can’t answer the call, my voice mail will pick it up. After all, that’s what it’s for!

And of course, I don’t make calls when I’m with other people unless it’s for the whole group, such as calling to see why one of our group is late or checking on the time that a movie is going to start that we all want to go to. And I will often turn my phone off during these occasions, only turning it on to check my voice mail later on. And of course, my phone is always off during movies, plays, performances, or interviews and similar situations.

If you want to get another opinion supporting the idea of not upgrading to a Smart Phone, click on this link here below:

As for always being connected? Well, I do distribute flyers door to door and I’m by myself most of this time, so I do use my mp3 player, which is filled with music of my choosing, as well as having an fm radio. But, I’m alone during this time, so no one else could be offended because I’m not paying attention to them. Also, my headphones are not the noise cancelling type so I do hear things around me, including cars and my cell phone ringing.

And even then, I will often turn off my mp3 player and take the headphones off, just to hear the world around me, which I do think is vital from time to time.

My computers? I have two of them. And I’m not on them all the time, nor do I feel the need to check my e-mail every 15 minutes.

So, I guess the message here is, disconnect a little! When you’re with friends or family at dinner, take off those headphones and stop texting! Interact with the people who are with you! And by all means, make sure your kids do the same! They won’t die if they are disconnected from their smartphones for an hour. Trust me. Real life is worth it!

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Go Ahead and Experiment! You may Like Those New Foods!

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with different foods. You may have read about my earlier post about eggs with bacon bits and pimentos. Well, I’ve also tried some things with pasta recently.

Here’s what I’ve tried:

Spaghetti and chili. Combine spaghetti with Hormel chili without beans. It was different, certainly not as Italian tasting, but good nevertheless, especially when shredded mozzarella cheese is put on top. It does taste good, but I’ve only tried it once, and more can be added, such as spices or garlic salt.

Spaghetti and lentils. I used a packet of Tasty-Bite brand lentils in a tomato like sauce and poured this over spaghetti. It also was different, giving an Indian taste to the spaghetti. Again, I’ve only tried this once and more can be added.

Lastly so far, I’ve made capellini, a very thin spaghetti, with Trader Joe’s brand roasted garlic blend sauce. It does taste very garlicky, and the capellini tends to bunch together a lot more than thicker angel hair, spaghettini, or spaghetti. But it does taste good, especially the leftovers.

I do plan more culinary experiments, so stay tuned!

Bon Appetit, and thanks for reading!

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