Tag Archives: Martha Finney

How to Build Passion Literacy at Work


I just had a fantastic experience with a call center rep! I had to call American Express this morning. After going through the dreaded automated menu of multiple options, I heard a cheerful voice saying, “May I help you?”

I could go on forever about how fabulous this person was. No script, patient listening while I ranted in a somewhat disorganized way, she gave me more information than I thought I wanted. When I thanked her profusely for her wonderful service, she rhapsodized about how much she loves taking care of customers’ needs.

But she didn’t want anyone to know about what a great job she does. When I asked her her name (which she shyly gave me one piece at a time), I then asked her, “Who do I talk to about how wonderful you are?” After putting me … Continue Reading

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Five Ways to Beat “No Job/No Job” Discrimination

Welcome front door mat on a white background

No one is a bigger fan of HR (and all that it can do to make the world a better place) than I am.  But sometimes I want to take it by the shoulders and holler, “What can you possibly be thinking?  Waddya nuts?”   In this particular case I’m talking about the prevailing trend of discriminating against people who are out of work in their hiring practices.  I’m not saying that everyone does it. But enough people are doing it for the newspapers to be writing about it…and for an anti-discrimination provision to be written into the new jobs bill.

In this era of unprecedented lay-offs of so many really great people (which might include you), that’s just so wrong.  Oh, and stupid.  Just because that person over there has managed to keep his job is no guarantee that … Continue Reading

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Don’t Fear the Beefer

Curious cow at a farm in Cambridge, UK

There’s this guy I know who had what can only be best described as a Jerry Maguire moment. In a fit of pique he unburdened himself about his job in a blog (but had the presence of mind to show it to his wife first for some serious vetting). I wasn’t there myself, mind you, but I’ve heard from several reliable sources that people actually stood up at their cubes the next morning and applauded. Sounds a little Hollywood to me, maybe it happened. Maybe it didn’t. But it definitely seemed to have happened in everyone’s hearts. Because the story prevails.

This is a company that has blogs galore, but everyone knows what you mean when you’re talking about this guy’s posting. You kind of say “the blog” in a lower, more momentous voice, like you would say, “the blob.”… Continue Reading

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Turn Your Passion Into Your Job Hunt Advantage

Take my heart

I love my job. Why? I interview people who love their work for a living.  I interview all sorts of people (CIA spy, hair stylist, bank chairman, nurse, accountant, airport director, animal shelter worker, secretary, beekeeper, you name it, I love it).  I especially love talking with HR leaders.  There’s something very cool about getting these folks to open up and talk from their hearts! (Don’t believe me? Click here and watch all the video clips you have time for. Then come back and watch the rest.)

Anyway, at the end of each interview I give HR folks a little thank-you present, which is an interview question that they can use while talking to job candidates.  Their eyes light up, they smile at all the possibilities that question holds for them, and they always write it down. I’ve never shared … Continue Reading

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Catching the Wrong Kinds of Candidate? Could Be Your Bait

Drink Beer

Depending on your industry and your geographic location, you spent the last 10 years or so positioning your company as a fun place to work.  Maybe your company isn’t so much fun these days, but it’s still nice to have that reputation that yours is a company where time flies. In fact, maybe that feel is still in your online careers tab.

One company I’ve worked with was so committed to being a tantalizing magnet for high-talent, high-tech resumes that it actually featured a poker game in progress, with one guy looking up into the camera making the L on his forehead. Yeppir, real  fun place to work!  Fun, that is, for people who don’t want to work.   The problem is that over time the early employees grew up. Got married. Had kids. Took their work very seriously, especially as … Continue Reading

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Are You an Accidental Horrible Boss?


Everyone has a story about at least one horrible boss. Oddly, though, there isn’t a commensurate number of people who have stories about being bully bosses themselves. You know the type. You see them on the evening news magazine shows: the folks who brandish guns at work; who discriminate against a race, gender, or religion in their promotion practices and then brag about it; bosses who hang their employees “in effigy” for the rest of the department to ridicule. The brutality of that kind of behavior is just so plain to see — unmistakable and inarguable.

But the most common behaviors that beat down the human spirit aren’t so easy to catch and stop the first time. What is truly unacceptable? The first time the boss pitches a screaming fit? Or the thirtieth time? The insults flung in private behind … Continue Reading

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