Why You Need a (Great!) College and Graduate Educational Consultant

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A great educational consultant doesn’t do the work for you. He (or she) pushes you—like a tough athletic coach—to go from good to GREAT in all aspects of your candidacy.

Lebron James has undeniable natural talent. He couldn’t be less than “good” at basketball if he shot the ball from his couch with his other hand wrapped around a Pringles tube. But if you want to be Major League, you need someone outside your own mind and body to push you to a new level.

Sammy’s application to MIT Sloan’s MBA program is an excellent example. I enjoyed Sammy’s optional personal expression essay. It was clever, well-produced, and bold. And yet it was missing something crucial.

MIT Sloan’s optional essay allows the applicant to create something original, something that reveals his or her personality.  Sammy made a video, a clever takeoff of Apple’s “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC” commercials, explaining that he was no typical finance guy in the way that Macs aren’t typical computers. In making good points about who Sammy is, it did exactly what that essay is supposed to do, no more and no less.  AND THAT WAS THE WHOLE PROBLEM.

At Forster-Thomas, we refer to the upper echelon of elite schools as the Major Leagues of Admissions—Harvard College, Columbia Medical School, Haas B-School, Stanford Law, USC Film.  We do that for a reason.  It takes something special to make it to the major leagues.  Talent is a given.  Most people applying to those schools have talent.  Effort matters—a lot—but not all effort is created equal.  Some effort is wasted on things that don’t count.  That’s why major leaguers need COACHES.  You know, that guy on the sidelines in a suit or uniform (or in the case of Bill Belichick, a grungy hoodie) screaming at you to slide or bunt or whatever it is you do in baseball.  You need someone to take your clever essay ideas, your interesting interview responses and your competent resume from “effective” and “polished” to “authentic” and “compelling.”

In Sammy’s case, his optional personal expression essay was missing that one, teeny-tiny, indispensable ingredient: HEART. While the Forster-Thomas crew enjoyed and nodded at the video when we saw it, a day later, none of us could recall a thing about Sammy—other than the fact that he’s not a PC.  And that is a BIG, BIG problem. If I don’t remember Sammy, neither will the adcoms.

While Sammy had worked with us on his applications to other schools, he did MIT Sloan on his own.  Imagine if he had had someone there to push him, to make him sweat the small stuff.  Imagine, if instead of a perfect Mac, we saw a guy who showed off two amazing things about himself like his academic ability and a great club he led. And then imagine Sammy stops. He looks down, and then back up at the camera and says, “Wait. I don’t wanna put anyone else down—not PC or anyone.” And then he reveals something not so great—like his struggle organizing thoughts, a truth about his insecurity about transitioning from law to business. And then he asks MIT for help giving him the life his really wants. And maybe he cuts to this part when he’s “backstage,” setting everything up. See?  It not only takes it past the clever “Mac/PC” commercial, but it humanizes him. Now MIT doesn’t just like Sammy. MIT remembers Sammy. We all do.

That’s what a strong, experienced, savvy educational consultant does. He or she takes you from D-League to Major League—by helping you find and express your HEART, not just your resume.  Odds are, Sammy considered doing something personal and warm—but rejected the idea. Without someone to give him permission to get real, he backed off because admissions is scary. The more your put yourself on the line, the harder it is if you get rejected.

You may be Superman, but you have Kryptonite buried somewhere in your candidacy, and it will suck all the power out of it if you let it.  We all have a blind spot—you, me, everybody.  We all need a coach to be great.

I have a confession to make: I have a bit of an ego.  That is why it is extra hard for me to admit what I’m about to admit: I’m not a Mac.  I’m not slick, or polished.  I wake up every day and ask myself, “Was I a phony yesterday? Does anyone really care what I have to say today?”
That fear is not “slick” or “polished”—it’s just the truth.  My media consultant, Hank, otherwise known as my personal pain-in-the ass, is my secret weapon that never lets me merely be good. He helps me be great. That’s why I hire him.  And that’s why you should hire us, or another educational consultant that is the right fit for your personality and needs.

You worked hard to give yourself a shot at a top program or school.  Why settle for second best in your candidacy and your applications, the final and most telling stage of the entire process?  That’s why you need a GREAT educational consultant.  The good news is, I have a couple suggestions about where to start looking.  HECA, IECA … I’m looking at you!

—Auntie Evan

WAR AND PEACE: FIXING EMPLOYEE CONFLICTS THE RIGHT WAY

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SHOW DATE: AUGUST 6, 2014

The Israeli-Palestinian debate is one of the most polarizing issues we’ve EVER come across. And this only caps the tower of hot-button issues that have accreted and grown in the past year: gay marriage, Obamacare, abortion, and—yes, once again—contraception, along with myriad other topics.

Inevitably these create strong opinions and opinions often bleed over into work. It’s true that you should not have to forfeit your values because you’re worried it will piss off management. But how do so without submitting to the beliefs of others?

Soothe your nerves… Auntie Evan and Uncle David are here to explain all.

It all start with Auntie Evan at the fledgling age of 23, teaching his first aerobics lesson.

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This is NOT an accurate representation of Auntie Evan at 23.

There he was instructing his class in a Beverly Hills club. Five Jewish women across from him started discussing the situation in the Middle East (yeah, there was one back then as well).

Auntie Evan will never forget this. One of the women turned around and said: “The only good Palestinian is a dead Palestinian.”

Auntie Evan FREAKED OUT (in his mind). He retorted: “What are you talking about? Palestinians deserve the same rights as everybody!”

The Beverly Hills aerobics student replied: “Either you’re out of this club, or I’m out of this club.” It was five to one. Auntie Evan was fired from his job at the club for standing up for his values.

Was that a smart move on his part? Probably not. But here is how he got a PROMOTION right after. That same woman later called up Auntie Evan, apologized, and hired him back as a private trainer. (She didn’t change her mind by the way.)

Now that we have a nice running start into the topic, let’s dive in and get PRACTICAL. This is how to manage the WAR in your office.

The BIGGEST problem you have when you’re expressing your views is the blatant “dueling” stance you take every time you get passionate, angry, whatever at another employee or higher-up.

What happens when you keep your mouth shut? Uncle David had a client, a republican politician, running for office. This guy opposed to gay marriage, something Uncle David was passionate about. Guess what? Had to do everything in his power to get the politician elected. It was DIFFICULT. In the end, David kept the job, but he did feel bad about it.

How can you keep your values and beliefs without turning the office into a WARZONE?

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Here’s how:

Swallow your ego. Let go of wanting to make the other person wrong. If your goal is just to right? Do you want to be right or do you want to be EFFECTIVE.

Take the first step. That’s what LEADERS do. If both of you are in the “right,” apologize first. If they’re raging, explain it rationally to them FIRST.

Put a day in between what happened and your response. Tom says something absurd. You’re raging. Wait a day and cool down and see how it plays out then. You’re not the REASON for this war (it takes two), but don’t let your emotions get all carpe diem and make them a catalyst.

Get behind your apology and MEAN IT. Even if they say “F*ck off” and hang up on you. Put yourself on the line.

Call your crew off. We know you’ve got supporters. But back them off before they start up the war again.

There you have it.

Quitting Without Notice

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Dear Job Talk Daily Readers,

I read that stupid blog Auntie Evan wrote about quitting gracefully. Whatever.

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In case you do want the door to hit you in the ass on your way out, below are a few exit lines I have compiled for you, organized by various scenarios. And trust me, I’ve used a few of these on Auntie Evan. No, seriously—I’ve quit like four times. Now, understand, if you do this you need to have all of your sh-t boxed up and you have to be ready to go—and never come back. Not everyone is as forgiving as my dear Auntie.

Be warned: What you’re about to read gets increasingly offensive depending upon how hard you want that door to slam shut.

  • For when everyone in the office is meeting you for drinks later: “PEACE OUT, BITCHEZ!” (with three snaps up).
  • What everyone wishes they could say to their boss, and your coworkers are buying your drinks later: “It’s a good thing you can’t have any more children.”
  • To make sure that everyone actually gets to the bar later, to hear the story: “By the way, I slept with the boss’s husband (or wife).”
  • No one knew you were gay, and you want to find out who else is gay at the going-away party later: “By the way, Boss, your husband’s gay. I know. I sleep with him.”
  • You just really hate your boss, and you want everyone else to hate him too: “You know this is sexual harassment!” (delivered so even the mailroom hears you)
  • If you wanna be escorted out by security and your coworkers are not going to the bar with you later: “I KILL YOU!!”
  • If you want the police called (and you are okay with being behind bars): “I KILL YOU!” (with weapon in hand—#FloridaStyle.)
  • And as an absolute last resort—one that you can never come back from and you will simply lose all of your friends at the office (and never get your last check): “Damn Hebrews!”

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In closing, I leave you with the woman who is now my “Quitting Idol!”

 

Love,

Cousin Katie

How to Quit Your Job Without Shooting Yourself in the Foot

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A few weeks ago, Harry—an eight-year member of the Forster-Thomas team and one of our lead consultants who we depended on to run so much and guide so many subordinates—quit with no warning. So why do we still love him? Why is the door always open for him to return? Why would we always give him a great reference?

It’s the way he did it that counts: with complete authenticity, grace, and appreciation.

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He made sure to send a resignation letter that explained his struggle openly—a desire to go after a career change and take an offer that utilized skills he felt he had but could never be applied to in his role at our company. In his heart, he’s a filmmaker. Truth is, he’s a damn good one, and we always knew that. He was also open about the fact that he wanted to take a risk and go after an opportunity to really be one. Can you blame a guy for that? Nope. Opportunity knocked. Do I think it was a mistake financially? Yup. But life is not always about a paycheck. And that’s what he basically said in his resignation letter, plus the fact that he loved working with us and gave us eight, count ’em eight, great years!

And to make matters better, he made sure to complete all of his work before he left. He met with my partner and me in person, went over what was done, what was unfinished—and how and when he’d be available even after he left to answer any questions.

So you’re definitely quitting? And they haven’t made you an offer you can’t refuse? Here’s what you can do to make sure the door doesn’t hit you on the ass on your way out:

*Spill it! Be honest when you take a job—especially one that pays well and requires training. Let them know after you get the offer, up front (that means before you formally accept), that you have this “other thing” you’ve always wanted to do and that you’re doing it on the side. Then it’s really no big shock if the side gig becomes your day job and you do leave down the line. Ah…honesty. Works every time.

*Were you raised by wolves?! You know your mother taught you to say thank you. Don’t be like our former employee Katie. Hopefully you grew in that job you’re leaving and it helped you get the next gig. Let your bosses know in that exit interview, letter, or before your last day, what you learned. Skills you didn’t have before. And let your boss or supervisor know how she helped you grow—even if he or she was an ass (always take the higher ground). Be specific. Make your growth something big picture like you learned how to manage during a deadline and include something on-the-ground like how you were given an opportunity to master Windows 8 or taught to value a property.

*Pour some sugar on me. Even if it wasn’t the best place to work or your boss wasn’t that lovely, always take the high road and make it a personal thanks. Stop by, handwrite a note or, at the very least, send an email from your personal account and let them know how difficult the decision was to leave him or her. Supervisors and bosses are people too. Doesn’t matter if they don’t respond the way you want them to.  Remember, you represent you. It’s just who you are.

*Clean your room and put away your toys. That means make every attempt to finish what you started before you leave. A client meeting. A filing system. A report. Make sure you let your coworkers and your boss know where everything is, what you’ve completed, and what’s ongoing. Leave them with the tools to get it done and make it easy for the next guy or gal to come in and hit the ground running.

After all, its what your Auntie Evan always says: leave people and things better than you found them. That’s how you don’t burn bridges.

 

–Auntie Evan

Follow me on Twitter: @AuntieEvanSays

Happy Cabby! Or: Shut The F*ck Up and Listen to the Experts!

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The following is a completely true story.

So I walked out of CBS after a great Job Talk radio show and hailed a taxi to Grand Central. After I got in, the driver asked, “You want I take sixty-five street over the Central Park?”

To Grand Central? Now, if you know NYC geography, you get that we’re on 10th and 57th. So, why would he head uptown to go down to 42nd & Vanderbilt? “Why wouldn’t we just go across 57th and take a right on Broadway?” He looks at me like I’m crazy and I realize he’s right—it’s 1pm, and traffic will be insane on 57th.

So I do something you’ll never believe your Auntie Evan did: I let go of my inner control freak. “You’re the professional here, you go the way you want to,” I say as my phone lights up with texts—everyone knows I’m out of our radio show now.

So, off we go. Cabbie driving. Auntie Evan texting.

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Ten minutes later I look up and there’s no trees, there’s no Tavern on the Green, there’s just a billboard for some musical that everybody from LA wants to see called “If/Then,” and a lot of white people in sweatpants and Ohio State jerseys. So I’m confused. Why are we on Broadway? I told him to go the way he wanted! Did I get the one taxi driver in New York City actually afraid to disagree with me? But what’s done is done.

Then Arif casually makes a left onto 46th. And a baaaaaaaad feeling descends upon me. You know what I’m talking about if you live here. It’s illegal to turn left onto 46th from practically anywhere midtown–midday!

And there he is. A handsome NYC cop (ah, uniforms) pulls us over.  Oh crap. It is 1pm on a Wednesday in Times Square and I am with a Muslim man who has just broken the law—I am never making the train. So I calmly tell Arif I need to pay and walk the rest of the way.

Then Officer Handsome knocks on my window. I roll it down and he asks me what time my train’s at. (Apparently Arif had told him we were headed to Grand Central). I tell the officer, and ask “I’m not making that train, am I?”

“Probably not,” he replies.

So, with a blank look, I calmly say to Officer Handsome, “He’s getting a ticket, right?”

“Yep.”

We were all calm, and in the ensuing silence, Arif and I knew what Officer Handsome knew: He was going to run the cabbie’s license, something like an unpaid parking ticket would set off an umber flag, the closest precinct is going to be somewhere not near 46th Street, and Handsome is going to be responsible for taking Arif there.

So I have to ask—while what is probably the entire Big Ten fanbase races past toward Jersey Boys–“For real, Officer? Do you really want to go through all of this?”

Something in my doe eyes must have gotten through, because Handsome returns to Arif, points his license at him and says, “Your passenger just got you out of a ticket. I’m giving you a warning.”

Arif begins to explain himself to the cop, and I reach through the partition and gently place my hand on his shoulder. “No,” I stage whisper. “Don’t speak.” Officer Handsome giggles, and I announce, “We are going to leave now, and this young man is going to take me to Grand Central….” Arif looks at me, and I finish my sentence: “for free.”

I glance at both men and ask “Are we good, boys?”

Officer Handsome looks at Arif and says, “It would be a good time for you to leave.”

Arif is the happiest cabbie in New York City. “How do you want me to go to Grand Central?” he asks.

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“It’s all up to you!” I say—making damn sure he heard me this time. “You’re the expert.”

Moral of the story:

Always listen to the professional, be he a cabbie, a tragically not-yet-famous radio show host, a lawyer–or anyone who has or does spend more time than you doing something, anything you rarely, if ever, do. If you hire an adviser or a consultant, if you are a numbers guy and you find yourself working with the PR department, or if you are a parent hiring a college admissions consultant, shut the f*ck up and let the expert do his job! And if you get in his way, it is your responsibility to get him out of a jam.

And also, at the risk of using an overused phrase that originated with people who we shook off like dandruff across the pond in 1776, “Keep calm and carry on.”

Because today, I went from 46th Street and Broadway to Grand Central for free.

–Auntie Evan

Why You Were Rejected from Your Dream Job–And How to Buck up Before You F*CK up

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John (not his real name), a 28-year-old law school graduate, was beyond pissed off when he walked into my psychotherapy office in Brooklyn. He had just been turned down for an analyst position at AIG after his fourth interview in the reinsurance industry this year. His Facebook fantasy, the one in which he shares the grand news “I’m hired,” was demolished—along with his ego.

John just couldn’t understand why he wasn’t chosen for the job: The interviewers seemed to like him a lot. He was fully qualified. He had connections at the firm and, most importantly, when we met for our initial session, John said, “It was a rough year.” He felt he “really deserved a break.”

Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. The bottom line is: getting dumped sucks. Getting dumped by a potential employer is demoralizing with a twist of financial impact (#bittercocktail). John, however, was too busy licking his wounds to constructively understand where he was responsible for the rejection and how to deal with it, and how to face it the way the candidate who got the job would.

You have to be living under a rock if you don’t agree that the job market is competitive. But let’s not focus on the economy, your parents, the “unique” stress of the millennial generation, or Mercury in retrograde. Whatever the reason, you didn’t get the offer. Here’s the thing: the best place to look—when things don’t go according to plan—is at yourself.

All of the justifications you have for why you weren’t the “chosen one” are probably true. It sucks to be a millenial. And yes, the guy who did get the job is sleeping with the hiring manager. So what? You’re not looking at your responsibility in the matter. As a result, you feel defeated and cannot move forward. You can’t get back on the job- search horse. Wanna be successful? Or wanna give up? The choice is yours—not AIG’s, the reinsurance industry’s, the hiring manager’s, or Mom’s.

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Stop playing the blame game because it’s only going to screw you up, especially in this case, where the “Oh, cruel world!” anger is only going to stop you from being the best version of yourself—the person they want to hire.

Here’s my advice on how to take responsibility, move forward and get the job:

1. After age 26, stop blaming Mom for your bad luck.

2. Recognize that there is no master plan against you being devised by the universe.

3. It’s not fair. But the truth is, it never was. Not in the 60s, the 80s, or the 00s. Not for you, not for me.

4. You are allowed to feel upset when things don’t go your way.  So, go ahead and wallow in self-pity.   But, put a time limit on it. (Actually choose a date and time).  Only then can you move on and be your most powerful self—and land the next job.

—Aimee Barr

SIMPLE FACT WHY YOUR JOB IS EXACTLY LIKE MARRIAGE

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When you work with people long enough, there are things you should just know and adjust to accordingly. Your boss is a neat freak? Then don’t leave half a sandwich out in your cubicle. And yes, your co-worker Sue is always ten minutes late. So, when she says 2pm, know that she means 2:15pm. Wrong or right, you know who she is. Style, procedures, practices, and personalities: if you’ve been there a year and still don’t have all of these down? #ForReal? Fire yourself.

If you’ve been there a year and still can’t anticipate your boss’s and co-workers’ needs, likes, and dislikes, you don’t deserve to be there. Jobs are like marriage: after a year, there are no surprises.

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I had a client who wrote an algorithm to figure out when his boss would need a latte each day. He didn’t have to ask, his boss didn’t have to tell him, and everyone knew where he was from 11:15 until 11:33 each morning. Anyone who didn’t wasn’t at that company for long, and guess what? That client got promoted, and now he has an assistant who’s (hopefully) figuring out his algorithm.

One of the reasons you got hired is because you’re really good at what you do. Therefore, it shouldn’t be hard for you to anticipate what your boss or co-worker wants, because you already know. You just don’t know you know. Here’s how you find out. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask yourself: “What would I want in this situation?” (Example situation: your pants are down around your ankles and there is no toilet paper.)

Some things to remember:

  1. Know where everything is
  2. Know what’s missing
  3. Know what’s needed
  4. Make sure you can answer any question asked
  5. Be one step ahead of everyone

The bottom line: just get things done.

#BLADOWWWW

P.S. This blog is by Katherine Kennedy, who has worked with Auntie Evan for eight years. (There’s always toilet paper.)

Rachel Lefort Tells You How to Look Good, Even if You’re Not Good Looking

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We brought Rachel Lefort on the show, a former Ann Taylor designer, to talk about looking good on the job. Check out her amazing style tips below:

Job Talk Daily: What’s your definition of looking good?

Rachel: It’s not what you’re born with, it’s how you package and carry yourself.

Job Talk Daily: What is the one item in your closet that you have to have no matter what job you’re at?

Rachel: The number one staple for men and women is a jacket. For guys a fantastic sports coat, and for women a fitted jacket or blazer. It always elevates your style and makes you look professional.

Job Talk Daily: Can the jacket be more eccentric, like a herringbone? Or stick to solid colors?

Rachel: If you have to choose one, go with the more traditional solid-colored jacket, so people won’t recognize that you’re wearing the same thing all the time. A navy blazer with muted buttons (not gold) is a great choice.

Job Talk Daily: Any other important points?

Rachel: The most important thing is the fit. The clothing item should be tailored to your body, not too tight and not too loose. That’s why your tailor is your best friend.

Job Talk Daily: What about bigger people? Are they hopeless?

Rachel: When you dress for your proportions it can look like you lost weight. Say a woman wants to minimize her hips. She would want to dress in a way that would bring someone’s eyes up rather than down. Bring attention to her neckline. A jacket with a light v-neck blouse and a dark skirt that minimizes the hips would be a great choice.

Job Talk Daily: Any advice for the person who a the fear of shopping?

Rachel: That’s a good question. Start with wardrobe basics. Make a small list of things you need: your basic black trousers, your basic jacket, your basic blouse or shirt. It’s work to find the right things, it can be hard, and it might take a while, but it’s necessary. It’s a commitment you have to take.

Email Snafu: Fixing Errors When Emailing Foreigners

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My secretary, Todd, recently copied me on an email he sent to a potential client in Beijing. (Let’s call her “Emma,” since every Chinese person I know seems to give themselves a Tweedy English name).

Here’s how the email read:

“Hi Emma,
I’m a rittle confused. Did you mean 10 am or 10 pm EST for the Skype call with Evan and David?
Best,
Todd.”

Rittle?!?!? When I saw it, I was, of course, mortified. (Maybe I giggled a little). Was Todd mocking Emma? Was it just an honest typo? Or is Todd a big racist? (I can imagine him thinking “rittle,” not intending to actually type it…and then OOPS).

So what do I do? Fire Todd? That goes without saying. I do it twice a week. But what do I do about Emma? What’s the business etiquette reboot? Is there one? How could we, well, save face?

Do I:

A) Make Todd send an apology?

B) Correct the mistake and send the apology myself?

C) Ignore it and hope that Emma doesn’t catch the mistake? I mean it’s not as if I don’t often have to guess what she means in her emails: Just the other day she wrote: 并把相应的航班行程和价格发给您,如果没有问题咱们就出票. Translated by Google, this means: “And the corresponding flight itinerary and prices sent to you, we would have no problem if the ticket…” That was clearly meant for somone else, but it was later followed up by another email—in English—that read: “China is limited but his leaves all of us working for the Chinese families. A room to have the families well informed of the US education.”

WTF?

It took a few minutes of going through old emails for me to figure out what the f*ck she was talking about, but I eventually got it.

Now, I want to be clear: This is not just a Chinese issue. I have had some of the strangest emails come from France, Portugal, and Germany—not to mention Scarsdale—that have been completely unintelligible. And I am sure my attempts at responses in Spanish et al haven’t been much better. Still, this email from Todd—unintentional though it was—bordered on racism. I think.

To that end, I have this to say: Slow down when writing emails. And always reread them—no matter what. But you didn’t this time, so here are some possible ways to fix the tres raciale mistake:

1)     Arriba, Arriba! Andale, Andale! (To quote Speedy Gonzalez):  The second you realize the faux pas (or slip-up, en Français), just send the exact email with the correction. Don’t bring any attention to it. Sometimes menos is mejor.

2)    Short and Sweet: Still worried? Ok. Ok. So, you’re too worried to say nothing. So, make a joke out of it. By this I mean, Make fun of yourself for the error—followed by an apology—in front of everyone copied on the email: “Oops, I meant to write ‘little’! Damn carpal tunnel.”

3)     WWJD?: You’ve dealt with this colleague (Emma) before and she’s not forgiving. In fact, she’s a real asshole. Well, you’re just going to have to bend over and—as Jesus would say—“turn the other cheek.” Don’t even wait until she realizes the error. Preempt her anger with an apology…plus the corrected version.

Of course, there’s always lying. Send out a BCC email that looks like an apology form letter. Lead with “During this very busy season [even though it’s mid August], a small number of emails may have been sent to you with misspellings. They were in no way intended to offend the recipient…” You get the point, but this is really a last resort, and should only be implemented if you receive an angry response to the original email—and/or you’re a damn coward.

–Auntie Evan

Top 10 Mom Habits That Translate To Stellar Job Skills

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Motherhood gives you all the skills you need to lead (or get a job).

Today one of my best friends told me that she does not have a job. I’ll call her Olivia. For recognize-ability’s sake. Each day, this single mum (she’s a Brit) wakes up at dawn, makes sure her two boys are up, makes their lunch, organizes their after-school schedule, makes sure they are clean and pressed (well maybe not) and heads them off to the subway, like the postman neither snow, nor sleet, nor—you get the point—she gets the job done.

Then Olivia returns home to make sure their finances are in order by running an in-home office so she can greet them in the afternoon and make their dinner, help them with something called Algebra and Earth Science, make their dinner, order them off the TV—six times—and wrestle them to bed, teeth cleaned, bodies scrubbed. But she says she doesn’t have a job.

Here are some other things Olivia does:

  1. Negotiates. They are always trying to manipulate bed time, play time and homework.
  2. Teaches communication skills: Please and thank you, say hello to your neighbors and write thank-you notes. (I think that’s called employee development.)
  3. Admits when she is wrong. “Maybe slapping him across the face was a bad idea. I will go and apologize.” (I did not claim she was perfect) And sometimes, as Auntie Evan always says: “Sometimes ya gotta be a bitch.” All top leaders know this.
  4. Responsibility: Admitting to who, when, and where he lost his retainer and makes sure he’s the one to find it.
  5. Is willing to be “the bad guy.” No, you may not stay up past 10.
  6. Is a role model: Shows up on time and also hangs out with cool, gay people like me.
  7. Takes them to foreign countries to understand and interact with other cultures. (Again, I think that’s called employee development.)
  8. Does her best not to speak ill of bizarre family members—like their father.
  9. Talks about them behind their backs (lot’s of bosses do that to let off steam)
  10. Asks for advice on childrearing from friends and professionals like teachers. (Sometimes she even listens)

So, in short, I’d say she has a job that teaches her all of the skills a leader needs to have. I wonder if we can hire her at Forster-Thomas Inc.? Why—because above all else, she is passionate about what she does!

–Uncle David

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