Don’t Bad Mouth – Ever – You Never Know Who You Are Talking To…

I love hearing stories of six degrees of separation aka Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. It is fascinating to me how we are all connected. And it isn’t just across boardrooms or cubicle farms.

This just happened and it is one of the most fun ones I’ve come across. Let me plot it out….

  • Chief worked with Rizzo in a small town in Tennessee before Rizzo was transferred to Virginia.
  • Chief’s daughter, her husband and their kids live far south in Florida.
  • Chief’s granddaughter’s soccer team played in a tournament in California.
  • Rizzo messaged Chief that he just met Chief’s daughter and family pool side in California.

You just never know who you are going to run into and how you will do it. This is why it is just best that you do not speak harshly or badmouth anyone or any company. It could damage your career, or future opportunities.

I know we all have a bad experience now and then. A company you may have hated working for is the exact same company that someone else’s father built or that they are very proud to work for that company.

You can’t be bitter about a past and taste the sweet success of the future at the same time. Just can’t happen. Those are two extremes. Decide which is most important to you and go with it.

If you want to be mad, you have every right – go for it. Just don’t be surprised when you stay stuck in that mad space or things don’t move forward for you. You’re going to get what you radiate.

It’s like being bitter at that person for dumping you. You get a bit of time to do so. But after a while there is no way a decent person is gong to be interested or interested for long. That bitterness oozes out and repels people.

Not throwing stones, I’ve been there, done this. But I finally woke up and was able to find something I could appreciate out of that relationship. I had to dig deep to rise above and find it. I about dug to China for that one. But I did and shortly after doing so, I healed and amazing people started to enter my life.

Some might think it hard to find the six degrees of connectivity when they meet a stranger. I challenge you to take it a step further and do so from a completely positive perspective. That’s when you’ll really find some awesome connections!

As a triple certified as a Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach and Social Media Brand Analyst I help amazing professionals get career happy.
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How 3 Men Determine What I Post & The Importance of Social Media Yardsticks

three generations of men

My dad gave me one of the greatest pieces of advice when I went to college: if you are ever unsure what to do or say, just imagine me standing next to you.

I found this to be invaluable, so much so, that I still hear this in my head and subscribe to it to this day.  My dad has been gone for over 20 years and yet I often imagine him standing right next to me.

My dad was one of my biggest supporters and grounders.  He kept me grounded instilling a foundation of treating others with respect, honesty, working hard, taking care of family and friends.  He supported me by never letting me settle for less than I deserve or want.

Imagining him next to me has helped me stand up for myself, go after bigger goals and maybe a time or two keeping me out of trouble.  Okay, lots of times.

I told my son this same advice.  He has yet to see the wisdom in it.  *sigh*

My son was an athlete.  There were many times I had to imagine my dad standing next to me at his games.  My son would sometimes comment that he was surprised at my restraint. I explained that as his mom, my behavior reflects on him.  This he listened to and understood my perspective on image.

There is one thing about my son – he is a very protective boy.  He grew up with a single mother who scared the crap out of his friends, yet he is still very protective.  He is also very proud of my company and very alert to anything that could look detrimental to my image, career or person.

The point of this little family reminiscing is this – I have two yardsticks to measure against before I put anything out there.  Not only do they always have my back – I also represent them.

I represent my company, my son, my parents and family.  How does what I say reflect on them?

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and any medium in which you can freely express your opinion or thoughts that are instantly accessible does not come with yardsticks.  How often have we read stories of someone who whipped out a tweet that they instantly regretted – yet haunted them and caused major destruction?

My boyfriend is an officer in the military.  I now add him to the mix.  As his partner, I am a reflection of him, too.

Just a gentle reminder for the day and suggestion: before you hit submit – ask yourself this question: would you dad, mom, child or significant other be okay with what you are putting out there?

Would you be representing them well?

I am absolutely dedicated to my profession and clients; yet my family – that is a whole new level. I would be devastated if I were to do anything that would embarrass or disrespect them.  My brand is not just about me, my company or my profession.  It is about the person that I am and my core values. Staying true and respectful to those things translates to my company and profession.



As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.

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It’s Just Business Baby

I had couple interesting conversations yesterday about perception.  This is something I have written about, spoken to and coach on several times – especially regarding women in the workforce.  It is also something I have been keenly aware of for almost two decades.


The site touches on this topic among others, here is the article I contributed to on their site regarding women in the financial industry:


Back to point – misconceptions.  I was telling my best friend yesterday about a conversation I had earlier in which someone had pretty much said their perception of me was equivalent to the Ice Queen.  Hey, at least I was queen of something I guess.


She reminded me that when we worked together I also had a very tough reputation, and my boys all knew me as one tough cookie as well.  I seemed to be having a stellar day.


That is when she reminded me of my entire reputation.  We worked together for several years for the same company within different divisions and often worked with the same people so she could speak to this professionally and not as my best friend.


Yes, I was tough, but that was in sticking to my guns in making sure that I was doing everything that I could for my brokers, assistants, office, our clients and the company.  It was business and it was my job.


And the fact that as my son was growing up I often had a house full of teenage boys, all of whom were much, much bigger than me being a tough cookie was a matter of survival against teenage testosterone.  I’m still “momma” to all those boys, each with their own story of my “meanness” and every time I see them there are lots of hugs, respect and love.


She then got on a bit of a rant about how it is unfair that I was considered so tough whereas a it would not have been given a second thought if a man took the actions or said what I did.  Eh, it is what it is.


But to be fair, men are judged in the same way.  My boss had a reputation as well.  He was the best at what he did, in our office he didn’t give the warm and fuzzies and came across as aloof or cold or sometimes just a downright bastard.  But outside the office he was a loving, family-oriented kinda kooky guy.


Here is the thing – if you looked, you could see those aspects of him in the office; but because we are so quick to judge many overlooked them or immediately dismissed them.  Is it fair, no; does it happen, absolutely!


So if you are the one who is being judged as the mean sonofabitch or “bitch” at work take a step back before you let it get to you.  Look at your actions and your motivations.


In that position it was my job to make sure things were done the right way for everyone involved in a moral and ethical manner.  If that meant I had to be a so called bitch then I would assume that because it was for the better of whom I served.


People could call me mean or Ice Queen, but they also knew that I was there 110% for them doing everything I could to help them succeed.  So if I get tagged with a label, so be it; but the reputation was that I was damn good at what I did and I got the job done for everyone.  It was business.


The ironic thing was having a reputation of not wanting to be crossed if something was wrong actually helped ensure that things were done the right way before they got to me or anyone that I worked with or for.  If I did have to call on something then it was also know that the first thing out of my mouth is “What do you need from me to make this right?”  I was willing to cooperate and do what I needed to help them correct the situation.  Then it would get done.  Big, bad, mean me.


If you have to stand up for the right thing and people want to call you names, let them – you are following a higher road.  Also, keep in mind that often people make those judgments and name calling because of their own insecurity.


I had several female co-workers ask me how I dealt with the perception, and then add they wished they could be more like that.


If you are the one making the judgment –first of all shame on you!  Look down at that finger pointing at someone else and see there are three more pointing right back.  If the person you are labeling is creating conflict to just create conflict then yes, they are a poophead.


However if they are doing it for a greater purpose or to help save your little hinny then perhaps you should rethink your assessment.  Also, do you really have all the facts?  Do you really know all the players in the game and what they are having to deal with in order to accomplish their tasks?


If you are not completely in the know then you are being judgmental and petty.  Stop it and start concentrating on your job so someone doesn’t have to battle for you.


Are you really giving them a fair shake?  Is there really nothing there that has shown or hinted at the rest of the whole person?  This is just one side you know.


I had a friend of mine years ago laugh at me when he came over to help me fix something one night in my house.  We met through work and he knew the reputation.  When he showed up at my door he literally laughed and said, “I wonder how many people who think you are so tough realize you wear Eeyore jammies?”


Yes, you can manage your reputation; however be careful in doing so that you do not loose site of your ultimate goals.  Sometimes I have to remind myself to dial it back a little, it is a process.  Name calling hurts – it doesn’t matter if it is in the schoolyard or the boardroom, it hurts.  If you are doing the right things for the right reasons then don’t you worry about what others call you, especially if they haven’t a clue as to the whole story.


As one former corporate bitch to any others I raise my Dew to you: you give it your all, you get the job done, you are damn good at what you do and you get labeled.  I know it hurts, but don’t sweat it – stay true to yourself.  Those that choose to see you as a whole will appreciate it and those that don’t can bow to the Ice Queen.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


How Will You Be Remembered?

As morbid as this sounds there has been a lot of talk about death this week with my family. My step-dad’s mother passed Monday and the services were this week; which reminded me of a friend who lost his mother in September and her services; which then prompted my son’s dad and me to talk about how we would like our services to be performed when it is our time.

Just for the record – there will be no hymns or scriptures read at my funeral, no somber minister offering words of comfort. Nope. My son will lead it and my best friend will be there to make sure he gets it right. I want it to be a celebration of the people in my life, not my death. I want laughter and no potted plants.

Potted plants means someone has to take them home, then they have to take care of them and maybe think about they got them at a funeral. No thanks. Any flowers I would prefer my favorite – yellow roses, and after the service I want them all taken to a retirement home and given to the women there. Women love getting roses. Afterwards I want everyone to go get food, drink and be merry. I want dancing – lots of dancing. Women love dancing too.

I would be perfectly content if my friends told my son that I was a pain in the butt, but I cared. It’s honest and he would appreciate it. Heck, he would probably one up them on pain-in-the-butt stories! I think this is how anyone I’ve worked with would describe me – I care.

I care about doing things the right way, I care about making sure everyone on the team feels and performs like a valuable member, I care about my clients, my co-workers and bosses. I care about people’s feelings and helping them achieve their goals. I care about making sure I practice what I preach and that I give everything I do everything I’ve got.

Sometimes I say too much, am too outspoken, too stubborn – sometimes I am argumentative or like a dog with a bone – I don’t give up, I don’t back down and I don’t like to hear “no”. Like the saying goes – the question isn’t who is going to let me – it is who is going to stop me. My ex-husband told me once that I thought I was as big as he was – I’m 5’ tall, he is 6’4.

I’ve talked to plenty of former co-workers to know how I am remembered at my former positions. There is a consistency and that is something I am proud of – it is important to me that who I am is reflected in what I do.

Take a minute to think about what your co-workers, bosses and others would describe you. Is this what you would prefer them to think – or pass along to the next employer? If there is any doubt about that, take heart, you have plenty of time to adjust how you are perceived. You just need to start – today.

You may hate your job or even your boss, but do not let that be what you are known or remembered for – perform each task with purpose and grace. People talk, it is truly a small world. You never know who someone knows. Given this, wouldn’t it be nice if someone affiliated with a company that you are targeting has heard great things about you from a completely unrelated source? Reputation is a powerful thing.

Make sure your work and actions speak for themselves and they will speak volumes on your behalf without you even knowing it.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach-Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.