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Simplify Your Life, One Sock at a Time

This is what zen looks like.

There was a time, not too long ago, when I was traveling for business every week. That meant packing for three or four days on the road at a time, and it used to take me forever to decide which suits and shirts and ties I was going to wear. Once I got through all of that, I still had to choose the appropriate socks to match each of my outfits.

This may seem trivial, but I had about 30 different varieties of black or navy dress socks in my drawer, each with different designs, patterns, stripes, shapes, thread colors, etc. It began to take a toll on me. I stared deep into the drawer and questioned my decisions in life. Something had to change.    Read More →

The Debates Are Rigged. Your Job Interviews Can Be, Too.

Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images

Yesterday, we tweeted that you should watch the #debates from a hiring perspective. @dbenk replied: “Well, yeah, that’s what we’re doing, right?”

Totally right. Americans are in the process of hiring the next president. And instead of being the job hunter, we get to play the role of the hiring manager. But I had an epiphany during last night’s debate: in America, presidential candidates definitely have it easier than job candidates.

A Must-Have You Probably Don’t Have
In a debate, the candidates get to stop answering questions and then turn to the audience and offer their closing remarks. They’re saying, in essence: “Here’s why you should hire me.” In the real world of getting hired, most candidates never do this. And that’s a mistake that I’d like to correct.    Read More →

How the VP Debates Can Make You Better In Job Interviews

AP Photo Pool/Michael Reynolds

Last week, I wrote about what the first presidential debate can teach public speakers. This time around, I decided to switch gears a bit and consider the vice presidential debate with an eye toward those in Guns-land who are currently (or hoping to be) interviewing for gigs. Because I found myself traveling home via NJ Transit during the debate itself, I was forced to follow the whole thing on Twitter using a CNN hash tag. But being left to my devices gave me a great perspective on what TV audiences found most affecting, effective, distracting, and annoying – much of it focusing on Joe Biden and Paul Ryan’s presentational styles. When it was all said and done, I came away with four themes interviewees can learn from.    Read More →

The Recovery is Here, Part I: Here’s How We Know

In the first of a three-part series, The Hired Guns’ Top Gun Allison Hemming discusses the signs of recovery and the new rules of the road.

Working in the talent and hiring business means you have no choice but to learn to read the economy’s tea leaves. Just before the dark days of 2008, we were the scary canary squawking about the imminent doom headed our way. You might say that it wasn’t well-received. I got hate mail by the score. Nobody wanted to hear it, but that didn’t make it any less true. No one knew how long that disastrous roller-coaster ride would last. And no one expected it to get remotely as bad as it did. We all went through rough patches and almost no one’s career got through unscathed.

But just as we felt the weight of the recession before others, we’re now beginning to see a genuine recovery taking shape. As we noted last week, the September jobs report looked good. On the surface, it’s clear that unemployment is starting to edge down and the private sector is hiring. But what looks like simple green shoots is actually much more complex and vastly more exciting.    Read More →

Community Profile | Jeremy Goren: Marketing Gun, Director of You Will Make A Difference

To kick off our Community Profile series, we caught up with Jeremy Goren, a longtime Gun who’s made a daring foray into theater direction. In his professional life, Jeremy was a market research specialist for a number of big-name Wall Street firms. But before we get into the interview, here’s the skinny on his directorial debut:

Drawing on material as diverse as Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, medieval pageant plays, ’90s suburbia, My So-Called Life, and the performers’ own stories, You Will Make a Difference explores our current moment – career, love, babies and success. An ensemble leads its audience through various spaces on several floors of the beautiful West Park Presbyterian Church. Formed over an atypical, six-month process, this collaboratively devised performance invites the audience on a journey to discover where they really are. The communal ending of You Will Make a Difference includes a small, shared meal, along with music and a hoedown or some other happening, to create an experience unlike any other. Artist/chef Anne Apparu will also create full meals as part of extended performances on October 20th and November 11th. Tickets and further information are available here.    Read More →

Social Doesn’t Stand Alone: Q&A with Pivot’s Mike Edelhart

Pivot 2012 is fast approaching. So fast, in fact, that there’s less than a week left to register for the premier conference for those working at the intersection of Social and commerce. It’s going to be a hotbed of innovative ideas and prescient glimpses of the future. It’s also a great opportunity to rub elbows with all those decision makers and visionaries that you read about in Fast Company. That’s why we jumped at the chance to sit down with Pivot President Mike Edelhart to talk about the conference, the future of Social, and the changing face of business.    Read More →

Promising Job Numbers and Resume Advice from an Unlikely Source, Plus What We’re Reading

Happy Friday, Guns. ADP and the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their monthly job numbers for September this week, and the overall outlook continues to improve:

BLS: “The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care and in transportation and warehousing but changed little in most other major industries.”

ADP: “Employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 162,000 from August to September, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The estimated gains in previous months were revised lower: The July increase was reduced by 17,000 to an increase of 156,000, while the August increase was reduced by 12,000 to an increase of 189,000.”

In sum, growth is happening, if slowly. We’re seeing the first green shoots emerging from the soil after the spring thaw here. ADP’s hedging on their previous numbers makes this month’s performance all the more noteworthy. It’s also worth noting here that as we move into Q4, we’re likely to see sharp spikes in hiring due to temporary, seasonal jobs being added. That’s why September’s numbers are so crucial: it’s the last true measure of employment statistics that we’ll get for the rest of the year. And it looks promising.    Read More →

What You Can Learn About Public Speaking from the Presidential Debates

Whatever else you thought about the performances turned in by President Obama and Governor Romney’s during Wednesday night’s presidential debate (as well as that of Jim Lehrer, who had the nerve to keep interrupting them with questions!), the occasion was generally a study in good public speaking tactics. Though President Obama and Governor Romney shared a number of similar presentational techniques, the two did take some divergent approaches. Here’s a quick review of things they did right and not-so-right, as well as a few key takeaways that can help make you a better public speaker.    Read More →

There’s Still Time! Submit Your #Presentastrophe and Win a Free Seat at This Week’s Academy Course

Last Friday, we sounded the call for your worst presentation horror stories. While we certainly don’t take any pleasure in your pain (okay, maybe one of us does), we do want you to keep submitting them! The winner of our #presentastrophe contest gets to be the Guest of Honor (and Guests of Honor attend for free) at Joel Schwartzberg’s Nail That Presentation! class this Wednesday, October 3. Submit your #presentastrophe by midnight tonight for a chance to win! You can leave it in the comments below or tweet @TheHiredGuns if you can fit your tale into a tweet-sized nugget of presentation horror.

Tomorrow, we’ll ask Joel to pick the winner and we’ll post it, along with the best of the rest, here on the blog.

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