Here’s a confession: I’ve never had a 401k.

Why? Well, when I got my first professional job out of grad school, I had a lot of debt. My then fiance, now husband, had a lot of debt, and we wanted to pay off that debt. So, we opted to forgo contributing to 401ks in order to pay down that debt.

Here’s the stupid part: As a grad student, I earned $12,000 a year. Not bad for a grad student in 1998, but obviously not enough to live a lavish lifestyle. My first professional job paid $40,000. What part of me didn’t think that was more than enough to live on when my rent was $435 a month? The part of me that was financially responsible and did really want to get out of debt and the part of me that thought “Woo-hoo! Real money!”

To keep reading, click here: 30 Million Americans Don’t Have Access to a Retirement Plan (Why That’s a Problem Only You Can Fix)

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Why My Child Is Better off Than Your Child

by Evil HR Lady on January 5, 2017

My 8-year-old son entered kindergarten at the ripe old age of 4 and 3 months. That’s a bit early, for US standards. We’d consider that pre-school age in the US, but it’s when Kindergarten starts in Switzerland. Now, granted, he’s the youngest in his class (cut off date was one day before his birthday and we successfully petitioned to have him enter early), but there are lots of other four-year-olds who cross the threshold of the Swiss kindergarten.

You know what he did there? Pounded nails. Went into the forest. Painted. Learned two new languages. Mostly, however, he played. The teachers are loath to intervene in a kindergarten squabble. Unless there is blood, the kids work most things out themselves. A teacher will step in to stop ongoing bullying, but when a child is being picked on, they encourage that child to fight back.

There was no discussion of the alphabet. The kindergarten classroom had no alphabet around the wall, like most kindergarten classrooms. While the teachers read to the students daily, there’s zero expectation that the kids will learn to read themselves.

To keep reading, click here: Why My Child Is Better off Than Your Child

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Goat Trees Are Totally Real

by Evil HR Lady on January 2, 2017

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We just got back from vacation in Morocco. My husband took this picture. Yes, we actually saw goats climbing trees. It was like a life-long dream had been fulfilled when we saw this.

This has nothing to do with HR, but isn’t it the coolest thing ever?

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I’m currently on vacation, so I’m posting this oldie but goodie.

What would happen if job candidates treated you the way you treat them? You might be receiving letters such as this one?

Dear Hiring Manager,

Thank you so much for your interest in me for the position of Senior Technical Analyst for your company. Before we commence with the interview, you will need to do the following:

1. Fill out the application, You’ll find it at my website under the “potential employers tab.” It’s critical that you fill out all the fields, including your personal job history as well as the company’s history. Pay special attention to the government investigations tab. If you’ve ever lost a lawsuit or settled one, I need you to list the details.

2. Complete criminal background. Before I decide if I can work for you, I need to know what my potential coworkers have been up to. Please fill out the form and list all felony convictions. Please make special note, if I will be driving with anyone in the firm, I’ll need to see their driver’s history. This can be obtained by contacting your local Department of Motor Vehicles. (DMV)

To keep reading, click here: Think Your Interview Process Is Fair? Read This Letter.

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10 Types of Employees That HR Secretly Hates

by Evil HR Lady on December 30, 2016

I’m currently on vacation and not writing anything, so here’s a throw back.

People generally go into Human Resources because they like people. After a few years of dealing with these humans, HR people can become cynical. You would too if you had to deal with these types below. If you see yourself in one, stop it.

1. Special snowflakes.

These employees feel like they aren’t subject to any of the rules. Showing up on time? Forget it. Always on his phone? You bet. The worst thing about special snowflakes isn’t the snowflakes themselves, but that their bosses allow the bad behavior to continue. HR can’t fire people directly (generally), they can only recommend it. It’s up to the manager to make the final decision. And managers who fall into this special snowflake category? You’re the reason we have so many lawsuits.

To read about the other 9, click here: 10 Types of Employees That HR Secretly Hates

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It Takes a Village to Boost Employee Job Satisfaction

by Evil HR Lady on December 29, 2016

Job satisfaction is critical to keeping your workforce happy and productive. If people are satisfied with their jobs, they are more engaged, work harder and are less likely to leave for another job. One of any HR leader’s top priorities should be increasing job satisfaction across all business units and locations.

But how can you do that? Even the best HR person can’t be at all places at all times. When your business has multiple locations, it can be difficult to have consistent policies and happiness across the board.

Here are a few ways you can help make sure all of your employees are happy with their jobs.

To keep reading, click here: It Takes a Village to Boost Employee Job Satisfaction

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The year is ending in about five minutes (maybe an exaggeration there), but there are things every manager wishes their employees would do before the year ends. If you haven’t taken the time to come up with a list of last minute tasks for your employees, you can use mine. Adjust as needed for your situation.

Travel expenses/other expenses in!

Nothing is more obnoxious than trying to credit things back to a previous year, so please, for the love of Pete, get your receipts in. They really should have been in sooner, because the person in charge of processing and paying these out really wanted it done sooner, but we’ll take what we can get.

To continue reading, click here: Things You Wish Your Employees Would Do Before the End of the Year

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Don’t Fall for These 5 Workplace Myths

by Evil HR Lady on December 26, 2016

There are many misconceptions about the workplace that, sensible as they might be, simply aren’t true. Some actions, while undoubtedly a bad idea, won’t necessarily get you fired. Below are five common myths that are good to know — whether you’re the boss or the newest hire in the field.

Myth 1: You Can’t Be Fired If You’re Not Guilty

In all states but Montana, employment is at-will. That means your boss can fire you for any reason, without having to prove “just cause.” Technically, your boss can say, “I don’t like Joe’s shoes,” and you’re out the door. Most companies don’t operate that way, of course. But if you’re accused of violating a workplace rule, you don’t have the same rights you’d have in a criminal court. There is a catch, though: Employers must demonstrate that the termination wasn’t due to race, gender or other protected category.

To keep reading, click here: Don’t Fall for These 5 Workplace Myths

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Wonder Woman can do just about anything, from fly an invisible jet to deflecting bullets with her wristbands, but she can no longer be an Ambassador for the United Nations. While the UN says that her stint as an Ambassador was meant to be short, it also comes in response to a petition asking that she be removed. Here is an excerpt from the petition. The bold is in the original.

At a time when issues such as gender parity in senior roles and the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls is at the top of the United Nation’s agenda, including the “He for She” campaign, this appointment is more than surprising. It is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualized image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls. The image that Wonder Woman projects (life-size cut outs of which have already appeared at UNHQ) is not culturally encompassing or sensitive -attributes the United Nations expects all its staff members to embody in the core value of respect for diversity.

To keep reading, click here: Why Wonder Woman Was the Best (If Flawed) Spokesperson for Women’s Rights

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3 Conversations You Must Have Before Year-End

by Evil HR Lady on December 22, 2016

We are almost to the end of 2016 and everything you’ve been putting off has to be done now, or you’ll start 2017 with a cloud hanging over your head. While putting some things off does cause the problem to just go away, other things just need to happen.

Everybody should have the following three conversations before year-end. Get these done and you’ll start your new year off on a high and productive note.

The Boss

If your company doesn’t do year-end performance appraisals already, make an appointment to sit down with your boss for a one-on-one discussion. If you are the boss, sit down with your mentor, or your board. You need this conversation. What things do you need to talk about?

To keep reading, click here: 3 Conversations You Must Have Before Year-End

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