SHOW DATE: MAY 29, 2013

The word “but” is a bad word—at least when it follows a compliment. Far too often, people use a compliment as a prelude to criticism, and that just makes the recipient of your comments feel worse. They begin to question if the compliment was genuine or just the spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. So when you give feedback, just give feedback. And when you have compliments to give, give them out separately—and often.


If you’re a twenty-something, you’ve benefited greatly by being part of a tech-savvy generation. However, there are a few bad habits you’ve picked up along the way, and they could be hurting your professional life. Here, Auntie Even tells you two habits you need to give up right away.



SHOW DATE: MAY 29, 2013

Cockroaches are generally regarded as the spawn of Satan.  They’re creepy.  They’re crawly. They spread germs and disease.  And even when you’re armed with a hefty shoe, they’re virtually impossible to squish.

So why would we want you to model your behavior after these pests?  Because, as a species, they are virtually indestructible. And that’s how you need to be if you plan on surviving in today’s workplace.

A recent study published by Science found that cockroaches are actually evolving to avoid and become immune to the toxins and poisons that harm them. Every time we come up with a new chemical to kill cockroaches, they simply adapt. Every time a new threat comes along, the cockroaches come up with an antidote. You know that old saying that cockroaches will be the only thing standing after the apocalypse? Looks like it’s true.

While it’s unlikely that your employers are trying to kill you off with poison, traps, or a giant shoe, your job security is still under constant threat. Computers and robots are replacing people. Jobs are being outsourced to China. New, complex software is constantly being introduced into your industry. Change is all around you, and it never waits to make sure you’re ready for it. It just keeps coming, and if you don’t keep up, you’re history.

While it’s easy to feel powerless in such uncertain times. But you’re not. You can survive it.  You just need to become a cockroach.  Here’s how:

Be open to change. Stop resisting. Accept that change happens whether you like it or not. This isn’t about giving in—it’s about developing as mindset that accepts the way things are.  Once you do that, you’ll stop passively cowering whenever change rears its ugly head, and begin to embrace change in a proactive way. Just as vinyl was replaced by cassettes, cassettes were replaced by CDs, and CDs are being replaced by MP3 files, the tools you use at work are going to replaced by new ones. Get over it.

Reinvent yourself constantly. This means learning new technology, software, and skills—not when you absolutely have to, but when they’re still new.  If that means taking a class or doing some research on your own, do it. You can become the person who can train others instead of the person who “needs to get trained”.  In other words, you go from being a liability to being an asset.  And when you learn a new technology, you are creating a new job.

Embrace new people. Don’t just embrace the new technology—embrace the people who come with it. Too often, people distance themselves from the “newbies” and the “kids”.  They see them as the enemy. But that’s a sure-fire way to set yourself up for being replaced. Instead, reach out to the new people. They’ll be eager to gain from your wisdom and experience, and they’ll be happy to teach you what they know. This also means that you should ask for help if you’re struggling to learn new things. You probably shouldn’t ask your boss, but you can ask a co-worker or someone else you trust. Don’t avoid what’s scary—the best defense is a good offense!

Recognize crossover skills. Be aware of what skills you have that are universally applicable to any job.  These days, more and more people have to change industries. Your hard skills might not be able to transcend that gap, but you likely have many great soft skills that can—such as writing, creating consensus, or being a good negotiator. Knowing what they are will allow you to showcase your greatest strengths in your resume and in interviews.

If you’re looking for something more immediate and tangible than the above, here are three things you can start doing right now to adapt within the workplace:

  1. Understand social networking.  If you’re not using it, you’re going to get left behind. And having a Facebook account is not enough. You need to be on Twitter and LinkedIn—and actively managing your online profile!
  2. Keep your Microsoft office skills current. Do you know how to use all the new bells and whistles?
  3. Be willing to toss out #1 and #2.  Remember, it’s about adapting!  In 10 years, there may be no Facebook or Microsoft, so master them while they’re here, but be willing to jump ship to the next technology when it’s time!




SHOW DATE: MAY 22, 2013

America is the country of come-backs—even among the disgraced and reviled. This month alone saw two politicians embroiled in scandals revive their careers: weiner-sexting Rep Anthony Weiner announced he’s running for mayor of NYC less than two years after stepping down, and South Carolina Rep Mark Sanford got his old job back after having to drop out of office for having an affair with a woman in Argentina—and paying for it with taxpayer dollars.

The lesson here is NOT “engage in whatever promiscuous behavior you want, because you will be forgiven. Rather, the lesson is to remember that there are always second acts in your life. If you screwed up big time in your last job, or if you were fired or disgraced in your own way, stop letting that hold you back. You can re-write your own story and own your history. Once you’ve taken responsibility for whatever you’ve done wrong, it’s never too late to start over—on your own terms.  The world will forgive and forget your past.  Now it’s time for you to do the same.



Every week, Auntie Evan and Uncle David scour the news to find a Hire or Fire of the Week. Hires display impeccable aplomb and go above and beyond what they’re expected to do on the job. Fires do the opposite. Tune in every week to see who’s getting Hired or Fired next.

SHOW DATE: MAY 22, 2013

When a massive tornado tore through the Oklahoma City area, Becky Jo Evans didn’t become a victim; she became a hero. The first-grade teacher rounded up six students, brought them into a bathroom at the center of the school building, and used her body as a shield to protect them as the school was torn apart by the storm. She has been widely hailed as a hero for her bravery, and should also be lauded for taking responsibility and never once saying: “That’s not one of my job duties.”



SHOW DATE: MAY 22, 2013

Are you proud of your resume? Have you spent lost of time and effort perfecting it, proofreading it, and ensuring it contains accomplishments and metrics? Great. But if it’s your only resume, you’re only halfway there.

You should always have two resumes. The first should be an industry-specific resume, where that you can use jargon and lingo unique to your industry. It is the resume you’d use for getting a job just like the one you have, but with another company.

The second resume you should have is a more general resume designed for changing industries.  It’s a great tool to have when you happen to meet someone in another industry who is looking for employees. And in this resume, you kill the jargon and lingo and instead talks about the skill sets you can bring (and how they would translate into another position in a different industry).



SHOW DATE: MAY 22, 2013

We get it. You’re young.  You’re hip.  You have your own unique style, and you don’t want to compromise that.  Good for you.  But there’s one item of clothing that is non-negotiable: SOCKS. It’s not just about being and looking professional. It’s about what happens to your shoes over time if you don’t wear socks: they begin to smell—no matter how “clean” you are. But back to professionalism: not wearing socks basically says, “I don’t care.” It’s like a big F-U to the world.  It’s like wearing a pair of sweatpants on a first date, or playing golf topless: It just sends a disrespectful message. So buy yourself a pair—or preferably a few pairs—and start wearing ‘em on the job…hopefully with shoes.




SHOW DATE: MAY 15, 2013

On Facebook, there’s no way to know who’s viewing your photos and how often (bad news if you want to know who’s checking you out, good news for stalkers). But that’s not the case on LinkedIn.  Very few people know that LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to see who has been looking at your profile.

This is a gold mine for you! Why? Because recruiters frequently use LinkedIn like Google; they do searches on job title, functions, companies, etc.  So if a recruiter finds you on LinkedIn, chances are you have something they want! Therefore, do some research on the people viewing your LinkedIn page. If you discover that one of them is a recruiter, that’s an invitation for you to reach out to him/her and let them know you’re looking for a job!  It’s what the experts call “Passive recruiting” and what we call “being smart and proactive.”