Discover Pathwaze Blog

Things to consider before you interview.

Glassdoor just announced the Employees’ Choice list of the 100 best places to work.  Here’s the link to the list.,19.htm

This gives great insight into what employees define as a best place to work.  There’s the benefits they provide, the use of your skills and the culture of a company is important to understand.

Here are some things I learned the hard way over my 35+ years working in corporate America of things I should have considered before saying yes:

  1. Do your research before you go to your interview. There’s no reason you can’t spend 15 minutes on-line to find out what information is out there about the company.
  2. Ask simple questions at your interview, like “Where will I sit?” This is one I should have asked at many interviews, even after I didn’t learn my lesson from my first job out of college.  My desk was in a trailer in the Midwest.  It was a special project which was great but this space didn’t have running water and wasn’t ideal during the winter months.
  3. Ask your interviewer about the culture of the company. Every company has a culture — to me it’s the feeling you get when you spend time in a place, about what people say and what they do, and how they and others behave in meetings and with their co-workers.
  4. Don’t hesitate to ask to speak to ‘future’ team members during your interview. If they say no, take this response as a red flag.
  5. Take the on-line reviews you read about a company with a grain of salt. Most people only provide reviews when they are unhappy.
  6. Lastly and I think most importantly, ask yourself if you would feel proud to tell others where you work. If the answer isn’t a resounding yes, think twice about moving forward with an interview or an offer.

Need more ideas for interview questions?  Check out Refinery29’s 9 Best Questions YOU Should Ask In A Job Interview


Growth and Comfort don’t co-exist

If you hadn’t known better, we looked like a choir getting ready to break out in song. Fifty of us stood together nervously waiting for our CEO to join us to take a picture. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a beautiful tall blond woman running towards us. As she ran (yes ran) with her admins close behind, my first thought was “would a male CEO run towards waiting employees”? I think we all know the answer but I prefer not to comment further. Ginni Rometty was smiling ear to ear, and profusely apologizing “I’m so sorry, I was with the President, and when it’s the president, you wait until you’re excused”. It was 2013, and the President was Barack Obama. The meeting was an urgent request to help with the floundering healthcare website another company had created.

I also recall on 9/11, IBM and its team of technology gurus as well as our CEO meeting around the clock with the president, George W Bush. Many people are not aware that our government trusts and depends on the CEOs of technology companies (and others) to keep us safe and secure. In fact, CEOs and their leadership teams spend a lot of time and resources with our government leaders advising, enabling, protecting, monitoring and modernizing systems for our safety and security. These CEOs are our government’s trusted advisors.

I’m a fan of Ginni Rometty. I’ve seen her speak many times, I met her & she forever won my heart (and mind) when she pronounced my last name right and recognized me for doing a good job. I read and listen to almost everything she puts out. It’s just good stuff!

Here’s a few of her recent gems (I’d encourage you to listen to Ginni’s interview with David Rubenstein)

On her first day as CEO, she said “what an honor it was and responsibility”. Leading a 106 year old company is about being a ‘steward’.

“IBM is great but for a reason you didn’t mention” we reinvent ourselves over and over and we will again and again. “The art of reinvention is in our DNA

Sadly, her father left her mother with 4 kids. She was “intent on not letting others define who she was”. She didn’t use that as an excuse to limit herself. Her mom went to college at night and taught Ginni and her three siblings “never let a situation define who you are

The importance of networking. Her husband called an IBM friend and got her an interview.

The value of mentors “Mentor: I’m going for a job (promotion) and you’re going to take my job”

Her view on adaptability: “Growth and comfort don’t co-exist. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable”

On gender bias “IBM is the most inclusive company I know” (I would agree). Ginni does understand the importance in being a female role model on appropriate things. Understands the notion that many women want to SEE what they can Be. It’s hard to dream to be something when you don’t see others like you. She said a lot more… (teaser to listen to it)

There will be another reinvention of IBM. They are champions of business. The gold is in the data & artificial intelligence.

We’ve (IBM) made a conscious effort to keep women in the workforce.

“I’m not retiring, my work is not done….We help society make itself better”

Recently: A series of meetings Ginni has been involved with is focused on “Modernizing the IT (information technology) in our Government, including modernizing the systems….”quite focused on how for our country, we’ve got to work on our skills and prepare not only this current generation but anyone, because all work is going to include technology”

My note: This is our passion at Discover Pathwaze. This is why we do what we do. We want to enable you to your fullest potential. To discover and develop your skills and make sure you’re in the right job/career or path to get there.

Success from an unexpected path!

The other night I was enjoying a lovely dinner on my patio with two friends who have grown sons.  They talked about the struggles their sons encountered in high school with their education and with determining what to do after high school.

My friend’s son was lucky enough to have a teacher who saw how he struggled with in traditional education system.  The teacher suggested they consider enrolling him in a vocational school.  At first my friend was not open to this idea as they ~ like most parents ~ dreamed of college for their son.  His grades and his demeanor convinced them to give it a try.  He enrolled in a vocational school allowing him to attend afternoon classes, after a morning at the high school. They immediately saw his mood improve and he seemed to thrive as well as gain self-confidence.  At his graduation ceremony, her son walked into the auditorium and his grandmother asked her why her grandson had a red rope draped around his neck, my friend replied, somewhat jokingly, it was likely not for his grades.  As it turned out, she was wrong – her son had achieved academic success through his vocational studies. She was pleasantly surprised and pleased they made the unexpected, yet correct, shift in his education plan.  Her son now works as a CNC machinist and is currently enrolled to become a CNC programmer.  He loves the path he chose.

My other friend’s son, is working as a waiter with a degree in public relations after 5 years of paying for courses at an accredited university.  Stay tuned since I know we’ll have a success story about him soon!

Meeting in the Middle

Turn on any news channel, read any article, everything seems to be explosive and polarizing. No one seems to be listening to the other side, or meeting in the middle. Key word ‘listening’, and then shifting.

I was blessed to have a dad who was a moderate, a middle guy, and it was key to his success. He performed ‘land swaps’ between the University, the city, and the ranchers where I grew up in New Mexico. Everyone had a vested interest and he worked hard to make it happen. Notice I didn’t say ‘make everyone happy’. That wasn’t the goal. Nor is it in BUSINESS. Think about the last time you were upset at work. What was the issue? How was it resolved?

Here’s how to stay in the middle and succeed better co-workers (and family and friends)

Remove the emotion! I know it’s hard. But let’s face it, most work issues aren’t life or death. They are NOT worth losing sleep over, and definitely aren’t worth losing relationships over. When you’re feeling frustrated, genuinely shift your perspective to the other person’s view. This will not only help you come to an agreement sooner but it’ll definitely lower your blood pressure. I’m not talking about being a door-mat, but really, save your firm convictions and views for the big decisions. Which are far and few between. And! No one wants to work with someone who is always reacting! read more…

Discover Pathwaze is a career consulting company.

We focus on three areas: Young adults and Career transitioners. We support the college process from selecting the best fit colleges to the application process.

We provide career services from resume creation to preparing for salary discussions.

Listen to a podcast by Discover Pathwaze on “How to Raise a Maverick”