Water under the bridge PT 1

I moved to Minneapolis in 1996.  I had always been in love with the area ever since riding through it on my family’s way to Iowa or Wisconsin from South Dakota to see my grandparents a few times a year.  When I moved, it was after my first year of college and just past the Midway point of the 90s.  I had found an apartment in St Paul, a dirty building, just off of Larpenteur and I was happy to be in the Twin Cities, even though most of my family was in Iowa, and my brother and closest friends were in South Dakota. 

I moved to St Paul for a girl I was dating, and it took moving there to make me realize she was just a girl…not THE girl.  We split up and I quickly realized I was just one person, living in a city that, while captivating and amazing, wasn’t an adventure I could share with anyone.  I rarely went anywhere but work, I didn’t really get to know many people, and I eventually got scared by the complexities of life, and I moved back to South Dakota after 9 months of living in St Paul.  It rained as I left St Paul that May, and it was almost as if the city was crying at the fact I was giving up.

For awhile, it was good to be back in South Dakota with my friend Kris and my brother, but I soon realized I missed the Twin Cities more than I could imagine…

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Falling off of the ladder

Anonymous wrote:

Sean,
I recently lost my job after 12 years at the same employer.  What makes matters worse is this was my ONLY job since college and I fear I have lost the ability to interview well.  I read your books on Amazon, so I am curious what kind of pointers you have for me.  Can you help?

Anonymous

Anonymous,
I am currently interviewing to fill a space on my team at my day job, so I will be happy to help with a few pointers though as well as share what I am currently seeing as growing issues.

1.  Dress professionally.  Don’t come in in khakis with a members’ only jacket and expect to be taken seriously.  Wear dress clothes and present yourself professionally, including the way you speak.  Make eye contact when speaking, don’t swear, use excessive slang, or speak rudely about previous employers.

2.  Spend some time on your resume, but not too much.  List experiences and tailor the resume to include relevant experience toward the job for which you’re applying.  Leave the objectives off and don’t write a three page narrative.

3.  Know your worth.  Don’t take a lowball offer just to get a job.  If you have skills and certifications, use those as negotiating tools unless the offer is non-negotiable.

4.  Take pay AND perks into account when considering offers.  Many people jump at pay, only to later realize that benefits are more costly than they can afford.  Ask for benefits information if you’re made an offer so you can consider the whole package.

5.  Be able to speak to your skills and abilities.  Learn to sell yourself and don’t feel ashamed explaining skills and accomplishments as they come up in conversation.  Just don’t get carried away and get negative about past employers or spend the interview bragging.

The two biggest issues I see are the lack of professionalism and an inability to interview.  While the fault may at times lie with an inexperienced interviewer, you should avoid the Q&A session type of interview and turn it into a conversational experience for the both of you.  If you’re nervous going in, think of chewing gummy bears.  Trust me, it works to calm nerves.

I hope you find something in whatever field you’re in.  If nothing comes along, learn a new skill and try something new.  Good luck!

Sean

Nailed it

One thing that is becoming increasingly frustrating is the “headline speak” that is taking over Internet news and social media.

“Hillary Clinton decimates Bernie Sanders in…”

“With one word, homeless man obliterates views of…”

“Morgan Freeman annihilates disbelievers with…”

“No one saw it coming when…”

“Bearded hipster destroys views of being the hippest hipster with bearded IPhone”

“Woman completely loses it when she found out she was addicted to pie..”

Okay, I made the last two up. 

It’s just really annoying that articles have to have the “one-up” headline. What’s a one-up headline?  It’s the headline that tries to outdo the others by making the content seem like the most important thing you have ever seen…virtually the print equivalent of TYPING IN ALL CAPS ALL OF THE TIME.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather see something less final…no obliteration, no destruction, and no decimation.  Just tell me it is important or interesting and I will read it if it appeals to me.  I just ignore the “one-up” headlines. Typing in caps can be useful, but not if that’s all there is.

We live in the age of content.  We also live in the age where everyone wants everyone to believe what they believe.  Stop believing in everything and believe in something important to you (don’t put too much value in messages everyone else feels you should believe).  I hope you can see through the crap and find value in what actually makes sense to you.  IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER.

🙂

Sean

Here I sit.

I am sitting on a hill just north of Dysart Iowa, looking over rolling hills of green grass and fields ready for the start of farming season.  I would have never come here, had I not met the woman I would eventually marry just over 4 years ago.  It’s her birthday today, and while the years ticking by is usually something women aren’t quick to celebrate, I will gladly celebrate them for her…for every year more is another year I am lucky to be a part of her life.  Just over 2 more months and we open a new chapter of parenting a teen and a newborn.  A happy birthday indeed.

Sean

Resume landing

Sean,

You said you moved up professionally.  I am just entering the professional world and I am wondering what I need to do to move up.  I am three weeks into an office job and I want to know what it takes to get into management so I can make more money and have more vacation time.  I have a degree, so I think it’s odd that my Bachelor’s Degree in Art isn’t making me more money.  I’d hate to think it was all for nothing.  Any tips? I hate my cube.

Unknown

Unknown,
Three weeks in and you want to move up?  You want more money and more vacation?  Well, my advice is learn the job inside and out…put in some effort…learn new things and learn to find efficiencies in processes.  Show your employer that every year you’re working there you can save them at least twice what you’re paid and you will move up.  It won’t be in weeks, but maybe months or years.

I don’t know your age, but I am guessing you’re young and feeling ambitious.  That’s good.  You also seem like you’re owed something in life.  That’s bad.  An employer doesn’t owe you anything but respect.  Now, it’s true some people have things handed to them, but most of us have to earn success in life.  Don’t expect anything to be given to you and work hard for everything you want.  It will pay off.  It may not always be glamorous or fun, but it will end up being more rewarding than the alternative.

Your success is up to you.  Earn it every step of the way.

Sean

A little break from the norm

So I let Minnesodad.com expire.  It isn’t that I don’t care about my readers, it’s not that I am bored with the site, it’s just that I started Minnesodad 7 years ago when I was single, struggling to make a living, and a father to a 5 year old.  I had just started dating again, so in between work and parenting (and dating), I blogged.  Not everything was genius caliber publishing, but the blog took off and I kept rising in popularity. I published a few short books on Amazon along the way and eventually found the woman I now call my wife.  Soon after, I moved up professionally and now, with a child due in June, life is as busy as it can be. 

Over the past year, my advice requests had decreased and there was a flood of requests from people wanting me to review products.  Supplements, phones, tech stuff… it was exciting and fun for awhile, but then it just became too much and I found myself saying “no” to some opportunities that came along with pages of agreements rather than a simple request to give my honest opinion on a product.  It had just become something that was more encompassing than I wanted.

I will keep going with Minnesodad, but it’s on my own terms.  I am sure I will find some time in between diaper changing and parenting a teen (and being a good hubby) to post some words of wisdom from time to time, and if the right opportunity comes, and I may post another review or two.  My Twitter page is still hopping as well. 

I will post when I feel inspired to do so and I won’t disappear without a proper goodbye.  It’s just not time for goodbye yet.  Hell, I am just starting a new chapter…

Sean

Drive me crazy

@nonymous wrote:
Help!

My girlfriend doesn’t like driving.  At first, I thought it was cute when she didn’t drive and I could pick her up, but after 6 months, I see what a hassle it is.  She also revealed she never even got her license 6 years ago, so she couldn’t drive if she wanted. She said at first, she was helping the planet.  I probed a little and she said she just didn’t like to drive.  Who doesn’t like driving??

I live 20 minutes away on a good traffic day.  It’d be nice to meet in the middle and not have to drive her home once in awhile.  We don’t live in a gigantic city either so its not like I have an option that I am overlooking. How do I tell my girlfriend her not driving drives me crazy?

@nonymous

@nonymous,
In my past, I have dated women that don’t drive or don’t own cars and it sucked. I imagine it may be easier in a city like NYC or Chicago, but in MN, its no good.  Public transportation sucks here for the most part (it takes our Green Line light rail an hour to go between Minneapolis and Saint Paul…I can drive that in under 15 minutes) so I like driving.  When people reveal to me they don’t like to drive, it boggles my mind.

To those that would argue its for the benefit of our planet, I call BS.  Your plastic food wrappers, rubber soled shoes, and your Netflix binge watching are harming the planet more than an occasional drive.

I’d recommend telling her you don’t like driving all of the time and see what she says.  Hopefully she can see your side and you can understand hers.  If she reveals why she really doesn’t like driving, maybe that will lead to further discussion.  If she says it won’t work, move on…or I should say, drive on.

Sean

So this is Christmas.

It’s been awhile folks.  I apologize for the delay.  Life has overwhelmed me in the past, but it truly took the cake this time.

Don’t worry though…it has all been good things.  I got promoted, we put our house on the market, and we have a little one due this summer.  That’s right, I’ll be Minnesodad to two at that point.  It has been a wonderful year indeed.

There is more to come before year end.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Danger to her son..?

“A” wrote:

Sean, can you lend advice to my friend Amber?  She seems to jump from relationship to relationship, introducing guy after guy to her young child without any concern for what she is teaching the child about relationships.  She is basically going from friendly to serious in a matter of days and even stays at these guys houses with her child!  I am scared for her.  She has been in several situations in the past that have been relatively dangerous, and I worry she will eventually endanger her child.

I have tried talking to her.  She just gets upset.  How do I approach this topic with her to let her know her friends and I are all concerned for her wellbeing?

“A”

Well “A”,

I am sure you’ve made your viewpoint known.  If she chooses not to listen, there isn’t anything you can do for her.  That said, if you feel your friend’s behavior is presenting a true danger to her child, I recommend calling child protective services and letting them investigate the matter.  Seriously.

She is an adult and she can make her own decisions, but if her decisions are putting this child in potentially harmful situations, she may need some help and her child definitely needs some help to get into a safer situation.

I hope you can bring your friend, but especially her child, some help.

Also, where is the dad? 

Sean

Not complimentary

Jean wrote:

Hi there.  Glad you’re back.  I have a dilemma.  My husband never compliments me…not on how I look, not on things I do, not on how I am.  There is no complimenting me at all.  We are newly married after two years of dating and I really thought this would change.  It hasn’t, and now I am wondering why I married him.

What do you think?

Jean

Jean,

This is definitely odd, but have you asked him WHY he doesn’t give compliments?  I’d love to know…you didn’t mention talking with him about it.

Start there.  If he gives you a reason why and it doesn’t work with you, communicate that to him as well and try to work through it.  If he won’t talk about it, there may be a larger issue.

I asked a few guys and most said they try to compliment their mate.  Two said they’d never even thought about it and would try to think about it more.  While I think there are guys that don’t think about giving compliments, I don’t know of one that absolutely doesn’t give them.

Sean