Month: September 2013

US Gov Could Shut Down Today – Whatcha Following To Stay On Top of the News?

A traffic sign is seen near the U.S. Capitol building in Washington March 1, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Today is going to be one of those days that I’m going to glued (or at least semi-glued to twitter — I don’t have cable, otherwise maybe I would have said the tv) trying to find stay on top of what’s going on. What are some of your favorite new sites, apps, or stations (radio or television) that you plan to use to stay abreast of the current situation.

is your workplace such that you have this on in break rooms or mind your employees listening to it in the background at their desks or during their breaks — are you doing any kind of town halls or chats after the fact to help them understand this is what it means to “them” on a micro-level?

We’ll I thought that I’d share a few of the things that were in my feed this AM when I got up to look at the news — feel free to share yours as well in the comments.

You know what I’m gonna say — get out there and get yourself informed — lots of great places to help you do it, but don’t let others make an opinion for you 🙂 I tend to have my go to places, but I try to get a wide net so that i get a variety of angles on the story — because its hard to get anything that is truly un-biased (if you find it tho, send it my way 🙂 )

Have a good Monday morning! Making the HR Connection, yours,




The Girl In HR’s Cool Reads for the Week – Sunday 9/29/2013

Don’t blink or you may have missed it!

Here are a couple of cool articles that I read (and some even inspired me) over the week:

Quick Summary –> Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law on Monday that requires websites to both remove content and provide notice of the removal when a requested by a minor (under age 18). This includes social media sites.

Making the HR Connection –> Its important to stay up to date on the trends and interpretations around social media and its use. Social media is an extension of YOU —  and what people think or say about you online is just as important as what you say and how you portray yourself online. This law impacts teens — could you ever see something being available to everyone. Should there be an option?

  • This next one is more under the header of “The Girl in HR Tries” — THE SKIMM. theSkimm is the daily newsletter that simplifies the headlines for the educated professional who knows enough to know she needs more. We do the reading for you and explain it with fresh editorial content, breaking down what you need to know to start the conversation. I read theSkimm most every day, but was really liked their summary for this past week — especially their summary of the Congress and the impending shut down (Sept 27). Lots of stuff going on from a political, economical, and HR perspective (benefit design has never been SO exciting, but seriously make up your minds, I’m trying to roll out open enrollment options for folks people!!!)  Check out their summary and and consider signing up for the skimm — or at least checking out their archives from time to time.

Works hard for the money?

THE STORY: Congress has still not passed a budget. The government will still shut down on Oct. 1st if it does not reach an agreement. Still. No. Deal.

STOP EXAGGERATING, IT CAN’T JUST SHUT DOWN. Yes, it can. If you’re a federal worker, you may have time off but don’t bother going to a national park or landmark. Because they’ll be closed. And don’t plan on a fancy lunch, because you may not have a paycheck for a while.

LAY IT ON ME. The Senate is expected to vote on a spending bill that the GOP-controlled House passed last week. That bill would keep the government running after Tuesday, while also defunding Obamacare. The Democrat run Senate is expected to send a tweaked version back to the House. It will not have the part about defunding Obamacare. This is not a coincidence; Obamacare rolls out October 1st.

What cool things were you reading this past week?

All Work And No Play Means No Play

I am so lame. This you may have already known if you’ve been a long term reader of my blog 🙂 — but seriously I did the silliest thing ever last week.

About two months ago I brought 2 seats for my and my guy to go see Bill Burr in San Antonio. I was so looking forward to it. We don’t get out much. We haven’t assimilated much into the area and this was something that we would have done from “back home.” I bought our tickets (I even splurged and got ‘the good ones.’ Got excited. And waited for the date to come.

Coincidentally, the last 2 months have been some of the busiest in a long while. You’ve probably noticed that the blog has been a little quieter than normal too right? Its been a lot of late nights and early mornings at the office — long weekends working on projects for work and for other HR projects — but our night out with Bill was coming!

I was working late a couple of Friday nights — I was WAY TOO tired to go out, and figured I would work a bit longer and then go home and crash. And when I got home, I was SO tired that I literally fell asleep with my clothes on. I made it up the stairs, took my shoes off, and feel asleep. Out like a light. I woke up the next morning and checked email and my Facebook. I was greeted by a stream of photos, tweets, and updates from people talking about Bill Burr. Weird. Weird. Weird? What? Wait.. No.. no.. oh no.. seriously.. no way.  Yup. I MISSED the event that I had been looking forward to for months.

I wasn’t mad for the money that I wasted for the event that I didn’t get go to. My sig-o didn’t even remember ( but to be fair, I AM the calendar and he goes where I go). I was annoyed that I was so busy with work that I clearly had not made time for ME! Sounds cliche.  Cue every single work life “out of balance” saying you know out there now.

I’m bummed to have missed Bill Burr. But I’m even more bummed on all those other things that I missed. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my work — but October is gonna be all about bringing “balance” back.

Have you ever been “here” before? Let me here your stories?

Tell me I’m not alone 🙂 Thank goodness I have Netflix and can catch Bill there (its not the same, but its a lesson).

Making the HR connection, and fumbling through Netflix, yours,

Quick Tips for New Grads (or anyone) – How To Negotiate Your Salary

I’ve been doing a lot of work with students and recent grads outside of work. I think it shows a lot in my recent posts :).  I’ve been burning the midnight oil putting together a mentoring program for students and new HR pros for the last 6 weeks. It’s really made me think about the needs of these up and coming HR pros — after all, they are they next gen of HR — its kinda like succession planning.

Negotiation skills is a question that the students, recent grads, and new HR professionals often ask advice on — actually, its a question that LOTS of people, regardless of career level ask about. I’m not sure that anyone is really good at it, but we all know that we should be doing it. I offer up the idea that it may not be something that you HAVE to do, but you should at least arm yourself with the information to find out what the position is worth . Notice I didn’t say what YOU were worth (seriously, who can put a price tag on that, and honestly, who doesn’t want MORE money?) I do think its okay to consider your experience and skills in the analysis — if they are above and beyond what is on the job positioning, in the “desired skills” or skills that you have that positively correlate to the position.

Another IMPORTANT factor to consider is the location of the job, especially if you are relocating. Take a look at sites that take into account the cost of living in the city that you will be working/living in. Do know that even with in the same company the same position may pay different depending on where the person is location to adjust for the COLA (cost of living adjustment). Do a quick Google search for “cost of living calculators” and you’ll find some great ones to choose from. I think that the best ones will let you do a comparison and offer you some basics on tangible things that you can compare, as in literally apples to apples from one city to another. CNN Money has a pretty good calculator.  For giggles, maybe look do an analysis of the city that you’re living in to help give you more data points and living in, even if you do not plan to relocate.

I found this great article from — it has great tips for EVERYONE.

To find out the general range for your position, browse sites like,, and Print out the salary descriptions, as you may want to bring them into your meeting. Also reach out to your professional or alumni network. Find someone who has previously worked at the company and can say, for instance, “‘This company doesn’t give raises except in July,’” said Sethi.

via New Grads, Here’s How To Negotiate Your Salary – Forbes.

Keep in mind – its a negotiation, so don’t just think about negotiating salary. As a new grad, you probably don’t have a whole lot else to consider, but as you get further into your career, you may want to consider looking at education, equity, relocation expenses, sign on bonus, additional training, etc. Its potentially all on the table. It doesn’t hurt to ask, but its still a delicate operation, you don’t want to seem like you’re difficult, greedy, or ‘ungrateful’ — so do your research and negotiate on the right things.  In general, I’d say the more experience and senior you, the more negotiating room you have.

graphic from

Here is where you can get some more information on negotiation — its a start in some of your research — from Tutorials Point.

Making the HR connection, yours,

Big Debt on Campus – Make it Worth It

Its back to school time and so many college students have scrimped and saved to go to college — including taking out some student loans. I knew that college loans was up — but holy smokes — up “310% more than a decade ago.” All I can say is WOW.

I’m an HR person — my degrees are in Biology (I was pre-med — long story, I’ll have to tell you about it another time) and I completed another degree in English and I went back to grad school for a degree in business. My advice — choose your major wisely, work you arse off, get good grades, intern, network. Have fun and know that you don’t have to figure it out — but know that in your 20s (early career) you are laying the foundation for the rest of your life.. err, your working career at least — no pressure right?You can make changes and adjust, but get the foundation right.

The explosion of college tuition and student debt is leaving more grads with big bills and doubts about their futures. Some back-to-school stats:

1. College costs a lot more than it used to.

The good news: College grads earn 84% more than high school grads.

The bad: Getting that sheepskin is getting a lot more expensive.

via Charts: How Big Debt on Campus Is Threatening Higher Ed | Mother Jones.

I love learning, I love the class room setting — just make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck — I’m not saying pick money over passion — I’m saying be strategic and think about short term goals and long term gains.

Making the HR connection, yours

The Girl in HR’s September Wellness Challenge

Well .. August’s challenge was a bust!

I had pretty much failed the goals by the end of the week, so I think I will try to restructure them so that it doesn’t seem like its an “all or nothing” kind of thing because even though I failed I actually made some great strides.

August was a challenging month for me — it as ALL work and NO play. Seriously, I was working some 12-16 hour days at my ‘day’ job — which left little time for anything outside of work (including my blog, I had only a few posts last month) and a couple of side projects that I’m working on with my local SHRM chapter. I’ll catch yall up on those later.

Here is where I landed for August:

  • Only water (fruit infused water is okay) and try to get my recommended daily dose (I live in Texas, its hard to stay hydrated) – FAIL – I had mostly water about 95% of the time and tea and lemonade on a few occasions, but sodas (regular and diet are out)
  • 6 veggies a day (I’m planning juicing and doing green smoothies — YUM) – FAIL – the days I was in the office this worked, I even brought a little fridge to the office for my juices, but the weekends was all about sleep
  • two meatless dinners a week (may be a challenge as my sig-o LOVES meat and expects meat at EVERY meal) – FAIL — I did get one in a week and found some great new recipes
  • two yoga classes a week – FAIL – I didn’t get away not once during the month to a single yoga class
  • run 10 miles a week – FAIL – so close every week, but never made the ten miles.

So September Goals — I want to rollover the August ones 🙂 with some revisions

  • 95% water-only  (fruit infused water is okay)
  • 1 green smoothie/juice a day or eat the equivalent of 6 veggies
  • eight meatless meals over the month
  • get to the yoga class
  • 50 miles during the month

I’ll check in with you at the end of the month! How did your wellness and fitness goals go over the month of August?

Getting my health on! yours,