Showing posts from September, 2012

Notes from Transition: Permission to Take Time Off

Note: This series is written for others who are in career transition, either from the same company I left or elsewhere. Having been fortunate to have transitional benefits, and a great network of HR pros,  these posts are written for the benefit of those who don't have as much time or the good advice available to me.   __________ Usually people in transition fall into two categories; those who aren't active enough in their search and those who do nothing else.  I fall into the latter category.  People who don't search enough are usually overwhelmed with the enormity of the task, easily distracted, or feel hopeless.  Rather than look they find other things to do.  For those of us who are focused on the search, the state of being that is transition is unacceptable and must be worked diligently until resolved.  At times that resolve and focus can become so intense that we don't do anything else and that is not a healthy state. Just as you can't work at any job day

The Video Interview

One of the advantages of modern technology is the ability for remote, face-to-face conversations.  In HR I haven't done a telephone screen in over a year, opting instead for Skype interviews.  Now as a candidate I am being interviewed through this technology and the shoe is on the other foot.  There is a technique to looking your best during a video interview, and here are a few tips for those of you may be in or considering a career transition. The first things I notice as an interviewer are lighting and background .  So often there is something distracting in the background such as a window with open drapes or blinds blinding the camera to where I can't see the interviewee.  Another common mistake is something distracting and unprofessional in the background like dirty laundry in the floor or general clutter.  It makes no sense to put on a jacket and tie and then have an unprofessional presentation behind you.  You can also focus the camera in to where you are just showing


I told Vonnie about a week into transition that the kind words said and sent to us were almost worth the anxiety of these changes.  I wasn't entirely kidding. Of course nobody, or at least very few people, want to go into career transition. You would always prefer to make your own exit on your own terms, but that doesn't always happen for you.  When you do find out that your time has come there are waves of emotions that come with that news, from euphoria to terror and almost everything in between.  When the mood turns dark or the night gets scary the kindnesses and encouragements carry you through. I say this for two reasons. First I want to give a sincere and heartfelt "thank you" to all of you who dropped by the office, sent a card or note, and for so many of you who sent emails.  The "you won't be out there longs" and "you'll do fines" and "you are great at what you dos" are the things that help when you need it most. Se

My Transition: First Installment

A little over two weeks ago I received the news that I wouldn't go forward with the new Harper Collins Christian Publishing Division. As of Wednesday the 19th I'm off the payroll and will receive my lump sum severance on the 9/28 pay date. Although I now have a full-time job, finding another job, that process inevitably leaves me with time on my hands.  The question that immediately comes to mind is how best to spend it. I spent most of yesterday helping Soles4Souls which is in the midst of a significant leadership transition.  I also spent time reading and preparing for a video interview next Tuesday.  This weekend I'm helping my dad with a recording project.  I very much believe that all things work for good, and that significant change points in your life happen for a reason.  The difference between a negative experience and a blessing is often what you do with the hand you're played. Part of what I want to do is chronicle my transition.  Being a Human Resources

Down the Road I Go: A Personal Reflection on Leaving

Friends and Colleagues, Today is my last day in the office; I will depart Thomas Nelson a little later in the month but will office from home for the rest of my tenure.  My departments need to focus on their respective new leadership and figure out how they will work together: that won't happen with me still in the office and available.  If you are in the office today feel free to come by if you like; I'll be finishing up a few odds and ends and should have time for farewells. As for leaving Thomas Nelson after almost 12 years I am excited, and a little sad, but mostly excited.  To paraphrase Reagan, I didn't leave Thomas Nelson, Thomas Nelson left me as it becomes a Harper Collins brand name.  My role was to develop and uphold the Nelson culture although I was not alone in that duty. My departure at this moment in the integration with Zondervan beckons in the new Harper Collins Christian division and culture.  I came in a change agent and am leaving the same way I came