The Desk

September 10, 2018

Recommended Reading Name Change

Filed under: Books and Papers,Education and Training,Newsletter — Yvonne LaRose @ 10:02 PM
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A Wealth of Resources

A Wealth of Resources

When do we become bored with uninspired titles? It seems the author, who is supposed to be creative and engaging, lost the Creativity Muse and strove to muddle through without her. (So sad. Clio is a wonderful muse.)

How many of you yawn when you see the heading for each new installment of the reading list? I’ll admit it; I do. That’s why I embarked on a campaign to collect suggestions for a more catchy, engaging name for the publication. None were received.

Not to be daunted, there was fallback to the title used several years ago. Hearing no objections, nor alternative suggestions, the next installment of “Recommended Reading” intended for September-October will become

Worth a Read

The list is being aggregated on my Facebook editing services page In a Word – CCJP where recommendations for the next publication can be posted (without the need to register to do so).

Inclusion of a brief reason why the items is exceptional is requested. The name of the author or publisher (or both) can be extremely helpful.

The September-October issue of “Worth a Read” is in process and will be published within a few days. That doesn’t preclude recommending future items, whether fiction, poetry, essay, business, print, audio, visual, or just some good food for the brain.


Useful Links:

July 14, 2018

Recommended Reading – July

Filed under: Books and Papers,Education and Training — Yvonne LaRose @ 10:48 PM
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A Wealth of Resources

A Wealth of Resources

It’s July. It’s Summer. Life is supposed to be lived at a slower pace so that we don’t get overheated and burned to a spent match. Hey. There’s too much to be aware of and consumed. But let’s find some of the really good nuggets to keep our minds fresh and focused on the better side of the issues – and help us be wary of omens and trends.

With all that being said, Here’s the list of reading morsels recommended and found in various environs.

The Los Angeles Public Library offers a place where job seekers can access tools to aid in their career transitions. These tools are essentially universal (not limited to Los Angeles nor to California) so feel free to learn about and start using them (ahem, in addition to staying up to date with the knowledge available on Career Coach Corner

Offered by Ron from Starbucks Reserve (July 3) are

NACD Directorship Magazine offers Tools for Being an Effective Director download

HR pros Franny Oxford and Jessica DeFeo have formed a White women’s discussion group that has a recommended reading list you’ll want to have under your belt (no matter what your ethnicity). Too extensive to enumerate each title, here’s the post that provides the list.

In conjunction with the leaning toward affirmative action items, be certain you get your hands on Flora Davis’ Moving the Mountain either to read it or re-read it.

Pinterest offers some especially interesting and useful items related to the subject of Strategic Planning.

Many of us are aware that 82-year-old Associate Justice Kennedy retired two weeks ago. He is far from over the hill and he is definitely not useless. But for those who are threatened with being put into a persistent vegetative state, consider reading the study Can Volunteering Fight Dementia?

The Christian Science Monitor provided an interesting investigation of the issues confronting the Supreme Court on the matters of travel and Executive privilege in their article “As Supreme Court hears travel ban, questions of presidential authority also on docket.”


June 6, 2018

Recommended Reading – May

A Wealth of Resources

A Wealth of Resources

Yes, this is supposed to be the May-June Recommended Reading. Would you believe I was held hostage by a savage group of recruiters? How about a mob of HR pros? Oh well, can’t say I didn’t try to come up with an excuse.

Nevertheless, the contributions were sparse but very good. This revival is so new that not many are aware of where or how to submit recommendations nor what the criteria for submissions is.

What to Submit

Submissions can be anything you believe is worthwhile reading, print, digital, or audio. It can be a white paper, journal article, a blog post or article. It can be fiction or non-fiction, and any genre in that space. Humor is good to balance out enlightenment. Even sports and recreation is worth inclusion.

When to Submit

The cutoff date for the bi-monthly post is the 25th of the month. (Shame faced: This post was supposed to be published at the end of May.)

Where to Submit

The best place to lodge a submission is to post the title, a brief summary, and link in the “Books & Publications” folder at Entrances Bulletins. In order to post in the Bulletins, it’s necessary to register with the site. There’s no fee unless you want more advanced features and search capabilities. The registration will also allow you to respond, comment, or share information of your own that’s either a bulletin board item or a conversation starter. Please post your recommendations to the thread for the next issue.

If that’s a pain in the neck, you can also email your recommendation to me. Please include the information requested – title, summary, link. Include in the Subject Line: “Recommended Reading – [Month]”.

May – June Reading Suggestions

Now that the preamble is done, let’s get into what showed up on the reading radar. In no particular order nor grouping, here’s what came across The Desk:

  • Doug Shaw recommended The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry as well as The Will to Change by bell hooks.
  • Nikki Dee wondered where to find some titles and resources re 1820s – 1850s regarding the English working poor. She received over 30 recommendations.
  • Annie Petersen shared an inspiring quote from Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now by Maya Angelou. The excerpt says,

    Each one of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well.

    Is there a portion of this title that inspires you?

  • Susanne Dunlap questioned her writing styles for young adult audiences. Sample one of her 4+ star titles, In the Shadow of the Lamp or try Emilie’s Voice.
  • Easily with which many can relate in light of our current domestic affairs, Marcia Fine tells the story of life during turmoil via Hidden Ones: A Life of Memories. It won its seventh award from Jewish Arts & Culture.
  • Just where do you think the story of life is evolving in Maria Gibb’s shares a snippet from Sins of the Father: Children from the Streets Book 2 . The interesting thing about this stolen glance into the story is that the reader is made acutely aware of the peril about our protagonist yet the excerpt is poignant. Is this in Allepo, somewhere in Nicaragua, or one of our domestic neighborhoods?
  • Aside from the fact that she is the author, it was obvious what motivated Suzi Stembridge to share her enthusiasm for The Scorpion’s Last Tale. The thoughts that went through my mind after considering her words related to the work that went into creating those captivating and complicated stories. How much attention to detail and research went into the work so that the reader didn’t feel bogged down by the details but driven to continue reading in order to learn more and discover what was coming to the end while yearning for more of the tale.

    Likewise, it would be interesting to learn how others feel about writing for business and how a report can be turned into a captivating story for the sake of the stakeholders. The two forms of communication are very parallel.

  • Being a researcher for an author resulted in a fan who wrote a wonderful review. That’s the difficulty with learning new things and getting into the undercover story. You get hooked! Just look what happened to poor Jacqueline Reiter who said, “I finished Lynn Bryant’s An Unwilling Alliance this morning, and can’t really do full justice to it in a review, but it’s a book I wholeheartedly recommend (and not just because helping with some of the author’s research questions brought me a valuable new friendship).”
  • And just for the sake of fun, consider an award-winning time travel, Summer of Love by Lisa Mason seems to be one candidate.

Business and Nonfiction

It seems a good time to compare and contrast conditions prior to the current administration to now. Especially significant are the changes in attitudes toward opioids and the impact previously illicit drugs have on the workplace. To the headache of managers and HR professionals is means of reducing workers comp claims as well as better methods of screening for responsible hiring.

To see the other items curated in the folder, go to Reading Recommendations-May ’18.

Remember to submit your own recommendations for the next publication by simply clicking “Reply”, inserting the item along with a URL, and then click “Post”.


Additional Resources:

March 30, 2018

Recommended Reading – March 2018

Filed under: Books and Papers,Education and Training — Yvonne LaRose @ 8:15 PM
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A Wealth of Resources

A Wealth of Resources

There’s no two ways about it. I love books. They hold information. They tell stories. They provide Life lessons in various ways. They entertain. They bring comfort. They provide distraction from the tedious two-hour (or more) commute.

These days, they can be consumed in a whole array of media. There’s the traditional hard back, succeeded and supplemented with the paperback. Then came audio books for those who are visually impaired or like to read on the go. And now we have digital books that can be read on any type of mobile device. In fact, because of mobile devices, we can now have a vast library contained in the compact dimensions of a cell phone or tablet.

During my law school days, I commuted for an hour to get to school on the BART. During those rides, I challenged myself to read The New Yorker from cover to cover. Trying to get in last minute studying on the BART just wasn’t realistic, although I encountered a classmate who appeared to be successful at doing so.

When the hours away from BART were part of my life, there was the need to read and understand the text and case books. That led to an intensified addiction to reading. It didn’t matter what the content was, just so there was content to read. When classes weren’t in session, I busied myself with visiting the local library to borrow hard bound or paperback books along with several audiotapes to keep me satisfied while commuting on the bus or just walking from one destination to another. And then there was the filler reading done while doing housework or gardening.

Yes, I was addicted to books. I literally read about ten books per week. In fact, it got to the point that I began to fret that I would borrow nearly all of the adult reading content from the library and would be left with nothing more than the children’s section.

Those were wonderful days. I miss them – a lot. So AARP’s newsletter arrived a few days ago. The header was like pheromones to my eyes. “12 of the Best New Books for Spring” was what it promised to discuss and list. Although not on my business reading list, all of the titles are tempting in some way. With that statement, the practice of sharing book recommendations is being revived.

Reading Recommendations:

Recommended from

January 20, 2007

You Want to Ace the Personality Test?

Filed under: Books and Papers,Job Search — Yvonne LaRose @ 3:08 PM

I’m at the library searching for some books that needed to be returned. I’d like to make the notes from selected pages that I didn’t have time to make. I’d like to read some sections that I didn’t have time to read. I’d like to copy a few pages for the sake of reference and back-up bibliography.

The books aren’t back on the shelves yet. However, there are some other valuable gems just begging me to take them home and read (in order to reinforce some conclusions already reached) and build a knowledge of additional arguments both pro and con on the subjects.

But there’s this one title that makes you stop and say, “What?!?” It’s called Ace the Corporate Personality Test by Edward Hoffman, Ph.D. (2001). One of McGraw-Hill’s reviewers tells the potential reader/purchaser that they have succeeded in putting forth their best foot in every respect. Their resume is so polished you can pick your teeth with it. Your skills are exactly what’s needed. Now they want to help you make your personality a fit for the company — at least on paper.

There’s a problem with this in several respects. Job search is a two-way street. It’s a matter of the employer looking for the right person for the job. It’s a case of the job seeker (whether passive or active) who is motivated to take the job with the right company. And that’s where many job seekers fall down. They forget that this is a joining for mutual benefit. They forget that there needs to be mutuality in many respects before there is a good match.

Ace the Corporate personality Test anticipates helping the job seeker pass a test. The results will be a profile that lives on paper. It doesn’t walk, talk, breathe, eat, or sleep. It doesn’t make friends nor have relationships. It’s simply a profile that lives on a sheet of paper. The fact that the book proposes to help a person pass the test means the personality is manufactured. It isn’t real. It’s a fiction.

What is real is the culture that is found in this employer’s environment. It may be a hard-working, fun-loving culture that accepts anyone and everyone. It may be a hotbed of competitiveness; no prisoners (friends) are taken. Then again, the corporate culture may be extremely clinical. People only talk with one another when necessary and even that is kept to a minimum. All of these possible cultures could exist in the company and the job seeker is the complete opposite of any one of them. While the job seeker could potentially pass the personality test and prove to be the best fit on paper, the reality is they are not that profile and will soon become miserable because of the misfit.

The back cover talks about useful content in the book. The thing I see that should prove most beneficial is “What questions an employer can and cannot ask under the law.”

Another useful thing I see in this book is the Glossary. It contains four pages of personality and measurement terms unique to the testing and personality assessment realm. To know and understand these terms is to have an appreciation of yourself compared with where you want to go.

Let me shift back to this “make yourself fit” mindset promulgated by Hoffman’s title. It was published shortly after the Internet bubble burst. People were desperate for a job. People were being laid off in droves. People wanted to fit in somewhere, anywhere, just so they would still have a paycheck and not become destitute and bankrupt. We’re sort of out of the woods, sort of. That mindset is behind us. Even then, it should not have existed.

There’s something known as fitting the square peg into the round  hole. Boning up on how to master a personality test so that you pass that portion of the employment screening is just such a concept. If you do not match the corporate culture, having a test say that you do is to invite yourself into a working Hell.

You know yourself. As you search for your right fit, you should also be doing research on the company and reading as many articles about people in the company or about the company as possible. From your reading and research, you should be able to formulate an opinion of the place.

Be true to yourself. On the first interview, make certain that as you weave your way through halls and cubicles that you keep your antennae up to catch as much of the corporate “waves” as possible. Then you’ll know whether there’s a match and whether it makes sense to have Interview Two or not.

Do you really want to ace the personality test? How well do you know yourself?

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Aptitude Tests, Personality Tests, Occupational Interest assessments.

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