Salary Negotiation Series – Part 3: Playing Russian Roulette

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Read Part 1

Read Part 2

negotThanks to a Negotiation class taken in college and the book, “How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job,” I am automatically programmed to attempt to negotiate salary for every position offered to me.  After receiving a job order, I go on auto-pilot and immediately go into salary negotiation-mode. Last year, I received an employment offer from a well-known company with full benefits and a competitive salary. Regardless of the offer, I still attempted to negotiate salary with the recruiter—however, this time, it nearly backfired on me. Check out this telephone conversation about my Russian Roulette game.

Recruiter: Congratulations! You have been hired by our company. We offer full benefits and your salary will be $X per year.

Aceey: Thank you! I am excited about this new position, however, is the current salary negotiable?

Recruiter: Well, I would need to speak with Corporate and your manager to determine that. Let me give you a call back.

————–

Recruiter: Aceey, I spoke with Corporate and they gave me a mouthful. You have three choices:

1. You can choose to keep your current salary offered. This amount is guaranteed if you do not attempt the negotiation process.

2. You may choose to begin a negotiation process and there could be two outcomes:

a.) You may be awarded the salary amount requested.

b.)You will not be awarded the salary amount requested, AND the job offer will be forfeited.

TIMEOUT! At this moment I had already received one other offer from another company and was awaiting an offer from a 3rd company. You need to have 3-5 simultaneous offers from companies so that you can pick which one is best for you (salary, culture, location, etc.,).

Another reason why you want so many job offers at one time is when you run into situations like the one above! Always negotiate salary. If they recant the job offer, NO WORRIES!

I chose to not negotiate this time, not because I was scared, but because I planned on negotiating salary for another position. Plus I knew my other offers would guarantee a higher salary. I gave this company a break (something that I actually do not recommend but I was tired that day, lol)….

Aceey:  Thank you. I am choosing to recant my request for salary negotiation and will accept the salary amount previously provided.

A couple of days later, the third company gave me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. What happened after I recanted my offer for the particular position above is a WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY!

This ends the Salary Negotiation Series! Read books on salary negotiation and talk with recruiters and employers in your chosen fields! It will advance not only increase your pay, but may also enhance your career! Be blessed!

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SILK DREAMS HAIR CARE PRODUCTS 20% OFF SALE – VALENTINE’S DAY ONLY!!!

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We interrupt this “Salary Negotiation Series” to bring to you a special announcement…

Silk Dreams Hair Care is having a Valentine’s Day Sale!!!! Yes!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!

Silk Dreams 20% off sale on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2012 ONLY!

Use the coupon code: ” THANKSACEEY ” to take 20% off your entire purchase from Silk Dreams Hair Care on February 14, 2013 only! (No quotations, no spaces, in Caps Lock).

For those that don’t know about this amazing product line, I use Silk Dreams exclusively on my hair to maintain its health, shine, and manageability. I can go months without a relaxer with these products. You can check for my hair regimen by going here:  Aceey’s Hair Regimen.  I absolutely love the way my hair looks and feels after using the line. Treat yourself to dreaming in silk! All hair types can use this line! Whether you are natural, color-treated, permed, relaxed, or just want to indulge your hair in spa treatments from the best online hair care boutique ever. This is also a great line for people who are transitioning from relaxed/permed hair to natural hair.

atwork

I believe my hair was 3 months post-relaxer in this photo.

And if you are a person who loves their products to smell good, get these products! The products smell like:

  • Chocolate
  • Mocha Latte
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • Lemongrass
  • Mixed Fruit 
  • Cafe au Lait
  • Pecan Pie
  • White Chocolate
  • Vanilla/Oatmeal Cookies
  • Caramel Mocha

You can see my posts on LongHairCareForum.com reviewing many of the Silk Dreams Product line by clicking here. 

I am very excited that Silk Dreams Hair Care has chosen my blog to help share their amazing hair care line!  So MARK YOUR CALENDARS for February 14, 2013 for this sale!

Enjoy this wonderful line… I know I do!

Love,

Aceey Emme (Angelicus)

I Can’t Run Away From Russia – Part 1 – Childhood

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St. Basil's Cathedral

Saint Basil's Cathedral – The most recognizable building of Russia.

Aceey’s preface: Want to finally know why 1 out of 10 posts I make on Facebook has to do with Russia? This was originally meant to be a complete blog post about my fascination with Russian culture and history from childhood to adulthood. Unfortunately, the original post was somehow deleted. Also the drafts of the work were mysteriously deleted from my computer and in my email.  I don’t want to call it a conspiracy so I am slowly rewriting them.  *Looks at my own skin color* Wait, I’m black. Why in the world has Russian culture invaded my life? Find out in this series!

My first brush with Russian culture came to me on Christmas Day at age four. My mother bought me a record player complete with “See-and-Say” style books and their respective recordings. There were also several music recordings. The one that I listened to over and over again was “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” by Tchaikovsky. The sound of the chimes and another instrument that I didn’t know the name of intrigued me—I became addicted to the song. I didn’t know at the time that the other instrument played in that song was the celesta. Was it a coincidence that my middle name is Celeste?

One year later, my kindergarten class took a field trip to see a ballet called The Nutcracker.  I began to hear that familiar celesta again. My eyes grew big and my heart melted to hear my favorite song again, and the dancing to it… there’s a dance to it? I wasn’t a dancer but whenever I heard that song, I pretended that I could.

Jasmine from "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in The Nutcracker

Jasmine from "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in The Nutcracker. Photo from MTV.com.

Was it a coincidence that one of my favorite actors of all time was Yul Brynner? And it had nothing to do with “The Ten Commandments” either! When I was little, my mother and I would watch Cinema 12 together (WYES Channel 12 – New Orleans) when they would show silver screen and movies in Technicolor at 11:00 am and 11:00 pm. My favorite one to watch by age 9 (that I still watch) was Anastasia, featuring Brynner. He made me fall in love with him over and over—supreme acting, the perfect body, the showcasing of his skills on the guitar and ukulele. At the time, I had no idea he was Russian—I just thought he was good at playing Russian people.

Cast members of "Anastasia"

(Left) Yul Brynner in "Anastasia" with his FINE self.

The movie about the ill-fated faux grand dutchess sparked my desire to learn about the political climate of pre-revolutionary Russia. I read books and searched pictures of what it was like to be a Romanov. I was enchanted in imperialism, but not the common people, unfortunately.

Reading Rainbow, a television show hosted by Levar Burton, had an episode on the Shavuot (Passover). A little old lady of Russian descent was teaching how to make challah bread, latkes (potato pancakes), and matzo ball soup. Who knew that I would be making delicious challah bread for loved ones years to come!

Mrs. Katz

A cover of the book read on the television show, Reading Rainbow. The episode featured Passover. Wait, I just noticed that little boy is black... just like me! Yay! I don't feel like an anomaly anymore!

I couldn’t run away from Russian music for some reason. While still in elementary school, my brother had a cassette tape of classical music and I learned of Stravinsky—I couldn’t really pick a favorite between Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. They were two different styles in two different periods. Listening to their waltzes made me appreciate anything in 6/8 and 12/8 time signature, though. In general, I loved the use of several minor chords in the beginning, followed by a bridge in a major key, and going back to a minor key. By age 10, I was already reading music with two years under my belt, learning music theory, and understanding how composers could make a statement without saying a word:

From "Inside Overture 1812" Website by Adam Sebire.

"Overture of 1812" Photo Taken from the "Inside Overture 1812" Website by Adam Sebire.

For example, Tchaikovsky boasted the retreat of France at the Battle of Borodino in The Overture of 1812 (click to listen) by adding pieces of the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise, in major and minor keys. What a genius way to say “Nanny-Nannie Boo-Boo” to the enemy! I laugh every time I heard this song when I was little… I still laugh today (This actually, shouldn’t be funny, as I am from New Orleans, a French colony. Or maybe I should continue to laugh, as France was always trying to dominate somebody. Shoot, finally the underdog got to hold down the fort, hahaha! 😉  Whose side am I on anyway?).

The song would eventually haunt me after the movie, V for Vendetta, was released.

One day, Momma brought home a VHS cassette of a movie called “No Way Out.” In it, Kevin Costner plays a hero and at the end there was a shocking twist—he turned out to be a Russian Sleeper Agent! I became a Russian fortune’s fool again.

No Way Out - Featuring Kevin Costner

No Way Out - Featuring Kevin Costner. My first movie regarding Russian Spies.

All of this happened to me before the age of 12. The spiral down the rabbit hole became deeper as I got older…

To Be Continued…

Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!

How to Make the Job Interviewer Love You! Preparing For Your Job Interviews

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After sending in those awesome resumes that you learned how to make by visiting my first blog post on getting the job interview, it’s time to start preparing for your interviews, regardless if you have an interview scheduled or not. Before they call you for your interview (and they will call, because you are fabulous), I wanted to provide some tips that are often overlooked by most job-hunting assistance websites. These are honest, straight-forward tips to put you in the point-of-view of the interviewer.

When an interviewer calls to set up and interview with you there are a couple of assertive things that you should do so that you are not being set up for failure.

Appointment Time and Date

Refrain from appointment dates on Mondays and Fridays and afternoon appointment times . Why? Because, on Monday, interviewers are groggy and swamped with work that accumulated over the past week. They were probably having a blast on Saturday and Sunday, and probably aren’t thinking coherently (think about how you are on a Monday, BAM). They want the interview to be done– over with—so that they can actually do whatever it is that they do when they are not interviewing you. Also, I don’t recommend setting an appointment on a Friday. On Fridays, we all have that nonchalant “Whateverrr” attitude. On a Friday, the interviewer is not listening to you—they are thinking what they have to do after they leave from interviewing you—like going to the ATM and picking up the kids from school. They just got paid and want to go shopping!

The best appointment days are Tuesdays through Thursdays. The interviewer is most focused on those days. That way they can pay more attention to you so that you can make your awesome impression on the company. 😀

The time chosen for your interview is equally important. I strongly suggest agreeing to a morning interview. Why?  Because of something we call “The Itis!”

Dave Chappelle's diagram of what "The Itis" does to the body. “The Itis (pronounced “eye-tiss“) is something that is rarely talked about in the business world and I am unsure why, because it affects everything that we do after lunchtime. What’s “The Itis?” It’s that feeling you get after eating a meal filled with refined carbs, fried foods, and rich pastries. You feel full, sluggish, lethargic, sleepy. They can’t think well enough to actually take you seriously if they have “The Itis” so be wary of accepting an interview time after 12:00 p.m. (Youtube Link: Dave Chappelle actually gave the world a wonderful explanation of “The Itis” on his television show).

After negotiating appointment times, make sure that you ask them for more information about the location of the interview. Here are some of the questions I like to ask so that I can be prepared:

– What color is the building that I should be looking for? Are there any landmarks that can help me find the building quickly?

– What floor should I go to?

– Is there anything I need to know about parking?

– Who should I contact if I have any other questions or if I get lost?

It’s also a good idea go to your interview site the day before to be aware of any construction, delays, parking fees, etc.

Attire and Appearance

Note: This is for interviewees who will be in an office type setting. Dress like you already have the job. Dress as if you were doing the interview.

Macy's Kasper Suit, Notched Collar Three Piece Pencil Skirt Suit

Retail price of this suit is about $280.00-- I paid $7.99 for a brand new, similar suit at Goodwill.

The suit: The business suit is an investment. I do what I can to be sure I have quality business suits for interviewing. I’ve noticed that a lot of clothing stores don’t even have business suits, let alone business casual wear! Because of this, I’ve seen a lot of interviewees come to their interviews wearing just about anything (i.e., low-cut blouses with tight low-rise rayon pants).

If you have the funds, go to your nearest department store and invest in a business suit. Some stores like Burlington Coat Factory will even provide alterations for your suit for a nominal fee! If you don’t have a lot of money to purchase one retail, be of good cheer: I have found the best business suits at thrift stores—sometimes brand new, with the original price tags still on. I recently purchased a brand new business suit at Goodwill with a retail value of $178.00 for only $7.99! After purchasing my bargains, all I have to do is dry clean them and I am in “hiring mode!”

Ladies, please be sure to not have a high skirt—when in doubt, wear slacks. Gentlemen, a three-piece suit is not necessary but a tie is. The internet is awesome because they have websites available such as “How to tie a tie for your job interview.”

The "blazer" trick worked for Marge!

The "blazer" trick worked for Marge!

Wear a blazer. The blazer invokes authority… walk in it by always having your blazer on. This is a trick that I learned from the real estate industry and a guest speaker at a management honors fraternity meeting.  (Side note, notice that a lot of guys are wearing blazers with their tee-shirts and jeans at clubs, outings, music videos? They’re trying to boost themselves and look “authoritative.” lol).

Ladies: I totally recommend wearing makeup if you already wear it! I have read so many business news articles reporting that women that wear make-up end up making more money than the ladies that do not. I do not recommend the over-the-top items like shimmer lip gloss or full-false eyelashes. If you have long hair, put it in a ponytail or half-ponytail because you don’t want your hair to distract. Pantyhose or airbrush hose is a must, especially if you are wearing a skirt. Nails should not be long, and not be in outrageous colors or designs. I recommend wear closed toe heels/pumps for your footwear.

Always shine your shoes the night before, being sure that the heels are not worn and not in need of repair.

Everybody: wear no pierced jewelry other than ones in the ear, ladies (sorry, Gentlemen, no earrings please). Discreetly cover your tattoos. It is requested that perfume not be worn to the interview. We interviewers have sensitive noses. Chances are, we are going to be in a small room with you, closed off, and we need all the fresh air we can get because we’re nervous (see below). Don’t forget to use dental floss before going to the interview. It makes such a difference for your breath when you floss daily. If you smoke, try not to smoke before your interview.

Clean your car before your interview. This is especially important for someone interviewing for a position that requires travel. Put yourselves in the interviewer’s shoes again: “Why would I want to hire someone for a traveling job if they don’t have their personal items and lives in order in their own vehicle?” Get your car washed, clean it out, and put in a new air freshener the day before your interview. Little things like this boost up your confidence and have you walking to the interviewer’s door with the assertive demeanor guaranteed to get you the position.

Make the Interviewer’s Job Easier!

"The Scream" by Edward Munch

Interviewers are terrified at the thought of interviewing!

Interviewers are afraid of you! They’re scared—they don’t know what to expect. They don’t know what the acronym of their company name stands for. They don’t know who’s getting the next promotion. Interviewers are nervous too! So do your interviewer a favor by coming to the interview prepared. Search for website titles “Questions to ask during a job interview” and be sure to do your homework about the company, including a search for recent news articles about the company. Then tie all that in to how you can make the company even better (that’s what you’re going to be there for, right? 😉  ) You’ll be so comfortable and assertive that your interviewer will remember you. You just won’t be another resume on the desk. Congratulations, you’ve made your interviewer’s job easier by giving them what they want.

What to bring with you to the interview so that you can make your scared interviewer feel at ease:

MEAD CAMBRIDGE CITY TRIFOLD PADFOLIO, BLACK

Retail value this portfolio is $18.99. I purchased a similar portfolio for about $7.00 at my nearest Big Lots!

– Professional-looking portfolio to carry your documents 

– Pen & paper to take notes during the interview

– Hard copies of previous successes (certificates, transcripts, statistics of goals accomplished, etc)

– A list of references

Southworth Business Paper

Ask your local printing service to use "Resume Paper" or "Business Paper" to print out your resumes so that it can stand out from other resumes on your interviewer's desk.

– …and a few copies of your resume printed on heavy resume paper. Be sure to have one for yourself and least three additional copies (sometimes during the interview, they fail to mention that a panel will meet with you). This is how you can have your resume stand out from everyone else. Most of the time we interviewers see a dot matrix or non-formatted copy of your resume because it usually screened online first. Printing out your resume in a readable format, on heavier paper helps us know that you are taking the interview seriously! This is especially important for  federal job interviews. Make sure your resume has been proofread and revised to meet the objectives of the job.

Last, be sure to get a good night’s sleep before your interview. We can tell if you didn’t by looking at your bloodshot eyes, lol. Again, be confident, be assertive, and know pretend that you have the job before you have the job. You got this! God bless!

Phil 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Aceey’s Hair Regimen

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Remember Jesse from "Full House?" Yep, that's me!

I love my hair! The best part about healthy hair is that even if you cut it, it grows right back to the same lushness and length as before.

My hair has been featured on many hair care websites over the years and I get weave-checked on a daily, even with short hair! I didn’t always have healthy hair, though. It took me 14 months to go from damaged, chin length hair, to gorgeous hair that almost touched my waist. I keep my hair short now (armpit length) but it’s still healthy as ever! This is only a regimen page, looks like a mouthful but it really isn’t, I promise 😀 — I will post hair care tips in another blog post.

Having damaged, short hair was no fun.

My hair regimen, 1x a week:
1. Part hair in 6 sections.

2. Apply pre-shampoo treatment to each section and let sit for an hour before rinsing – I do a pre-treatment because shampoos can be so harsh, plus it provides extra conditioning.
Favorite pre-shampoo treatments:

  • Mayonnaise (you know, the stuff in a jar? Any non-salad dressing brand will do). I apply as if I am applying a relaxer. I consider this my protein treatment.
  • Oil (Grapeseed, Olive, Coconut, Dabur Vatika Coconut Hair Oil)
  • Silk Dreams PRE

3. Apply shampoo to sectioned hair, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse. Repeat if necessary.
Favorite shampoos:

4. Apply deep conditioner to each section of hair. Leave on for 10-20 minutes, then rinse.
Favorite deep conditioners:

4. Apply leave-in conditioner before roller setting. After my hair dries on the rollers, I flat iron the new growth only. I rarely apply direct heat to my ends (maybe 4 times a year, TOPS!).
Favorite leave-ins:

Daily Moisturizing/Sealing:

*Relaxing – Every three months
Linenage Shea Butter Relaxer (this is the only brand of relaxer that straightens my hair).

*Coloring – Every three months with Henna then Indigo powders. I do not use artificial dyes.
Favorite Brands:

  • Nupur
  • Karishma
  • Indigo from Ayurnatural Beauty
  • Jamila
  • Mumtaz

Aww, I miss having long hair.