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Friday, May 27, 2011

Let the music do the talking!

I love music... it is a huge part of my life... anyone that follows this blog with any regularity knows that I have made reference to groups from the Dixie Chicks to Motorhead... So ya, my tastes are pretty broad.

I know this blog is primarily about HR, jobs, and career-related topics... but it's my blog so I'm gonna do what I want  :)

There are 2 albums coming out this summer that I can't wait to get my hands on:

1. The Head Cat - Walk the Walk... Talk the Talk

2. Whiskey Devils - The Mahones Tribute Album

The Head Cat, for those who haven't heard, is a Rockabilly side project of Lemmy (Motorhead), Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats), and Danny B. Harvey (Rockats).

Anyone that loves the great rockabilly music of the 50's and 60's should definitely check out The Head Cat... it is a great return to rockabilly roots, with the gravel sandstorm that is the voice of Lemmy Kilmister... The album comes out July 5, 2011 - can't wait to crank it this summer!

Two other genres that I love are Irish/celtic music and punk... it works... And a Canadian-based group called The Mahones do it very well.

For their 20th Anniversary, Whiskey Devils was produced as a tribute to The Mahones and contains covers of classic Mahones tunes from The Bloody Irish Boys to The Gobshites.  The album comes out June 28, 2011.

If you know of any other great bands I should check out I would love to hear about them!

Happy Listening!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Are MBA's Worth the Investment?

Many people have asked me whether or not they should do an MBA... I don't know, I don't have one.

That being said, are they worth the investment?

In looking at any investment you need to first ask - What is my expected return? How will I be better when the degree is complete?

If you were considering any other investment you might ask:

1. How many competitors are in the market?
2. What is the annual return for the past 3 years?
3. Is the growth sustainable?

One thing is for sure, the amount of people pursuing post-secondary education is increasing so the value of a diploma or undergraduate degree does not hold the same weight it used to - look at your graduating class... that long line up going across the stage is applying to the same jobs you are.

That being said, the number of MBA's aren't exactly slowing down either: In 1965, fewer than 10,000 MBAs were granted to U.S. students. In 1977, the number rose to 48,000 and in 1998, it was 94,000.

So is an MBA rare? No.

Is an MBA valuable? Depends who you ask.

If you look into it, there are plenty examples of people who have found that there is an ROI in terms of career and salary growth, and others who have done okay with out one.

I'm not going to tell you what to do, but simply ask that you weigh your options and don't blindly sign a cheque to a business school thinking your salary will be triple the cost of tuition upon graduating - this may not be the reality.

In weighing your options you need to ask yourself:

1. How much am I willing to spend?

2. Is there evidence in my company that an MBA is the only way to grow my career?

2.a. Do I want to be with my current company for at least the next 3-5 years (this can be a stipulation in tuition assistance).

3. Am I willing to put forth the effort and time this will take? It will be a lot... could be 1 year full-time, or 3 years part-time.

4. Have my current qualifications held me back from growing in my career?

5. Do I want to open my own business? Lots of MBAs do.

These aren't all the questions to consider, but are important questions to ask yourself none the less.

So before you do your GMAT review, consider these questions and what you would expect from an MBA.

Do you have an MBA? Are you considering one?

I would love to have some more perspective on this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Casual Fridays... What do I wear? How do you decide?

For those of you that know me, you know that I am not a fashion expert and I don't want this blog to seem like I am pretending to be otherwise.

However, casual Friday's continue to present a challenge to most folks.

Through out college and university, my collection of awesome t-shirts grew (and continues) to include some pretty cool pieces... However, outside of maybe an advertising/creative workplace I don't think that anyone would expect a co-worker (let alone HR) to show up in a Dropkick Murphy's T-shirt on Friday.

So what do we do?

I have worked at some companies where formal (descriptive) policies outline what can and cannot be worn (i.e. no t-shirts with big logos, no ripped jeans, no skirts above the knee, etc)

It's casual Friday's that make me think that working in a hospital might be easier; unfortunately we can't all just wear medical scrubs.

Since most of the people reading this blog are probably not medical professionals, I would like to hear what you think the best policy is when it comes to casual days/casual fridays.

Personally, I try and follow what I refer to as the 'first date rule' which means: if I think it looks to sloppy, or it is not the image I would want to project on a first date then I won't do it.

Pretty simple... works for me... could probably work for you too.
This being said, what is your process/ideology?

Or better yet, hilarious examples of casual fridays having gone wrong :)

Or if you are a medical professional and want some great scrubs, check out: