Category Archives: Human Resouces

Which Mask Are You Wearing?

Happy Halloween! While I have pumpkins in my entry way and will take the child out for treat-or-treating, I can’t say I’m a person who’s really into Halloween. There are some who goes “all out” for this holiday. However, coming up on Halloween made me think about masks and the ones we wear daily – and we all wear them. I don’t mean to imply that we are not always attempting to be our authentic selves, but there are definitely times when I feel like I’m wearing a mask – especially at work.

I don’t think that in wearing a mask, you’re completely inauthentic or fake. However, I do feel that when you don’t work for yourself and are representing someone else’s brand/image/product, you are wearing a mask of sorts. Also, let’s face it, these masks are often required if we want to sustain our livelihood. For many people, donning this mask is why they often branch out on their own and do things such as consult, open their own business or switch professions altogether.

Wearing a mask at work may simply involve selling a product that you don’t believe in, or the more extreme, not being able to be who you truly are. Some people are closeted at work or, some individuals feel that they cannot celebrate their cultural heritage and identity at work. These are more extreme cases of mask wearing, but you would be surprised how many people are wearing such a disguise.

In honor of Halloween (or maybe reverse Halloween ☺), I’d like to recommend that we take the masks off! Can you imagine how awesome our work environment would be if instead of wearing the masks we think are required, we were our true selves? What a culture of diversity and truthfulness it could bring?!

Are you wearing a mask? What mask are you putting on each day? What’s your scariest professional story? Feel free to share in the comment below!


Photo Copyright: tatyanagl / 123RF Stock Photo

Can’t Knock the Hustle

Today’s post is a short one. However, I had a bit of inspiration that I couldn’t ignore. If you’re familiar with this blog, I’m sure you know that I can find a Jay Z or Beyoncé song that’s relevant to just about any situation in life. Today is no different. I’ve been looking for a vendor to do some work for me, and I have been interviewing various people. Yesterday, I spoke with a young woman who impressed the boots off of me. What was so impressive was that she was the wrong fit for what I was searching, however, everything from her presentation to her passion, drive, professionalism, and style was great! Although this opportunity was not a match for us to work together, I’m sure we’ll connect on a future project. After I met with her, I just kept hearing Mary J. Blige singing the hook to Jay Z’s, “Can’t Knock the Hustle” in the back of my mind. I’m rooting for her success, and I don’t even know her.

We often allow ourselves to let rejection or a denial influence how we operate. The truth is, sometimes constructive criticism is helpful, and we often need to take a personal inventory to see if we’re heading in the right or wrong direction. However, there are other times when we’re rejected or denied simply because the objecting body is not a match. When this is the case, there’s no need to alter our style. Eventually, there will be a vessel large enough to handle all that you have to offer. This young lady was a great reminder that sometimes your wattage is too much for some lamps, but that’s no reason to dim your light.

Photo Copyright: <a href=’’>idspopd / 123RF Stock Photo

Freedom Friday: Where’s your Gold?

Happy Friday! What better way to end the week than with a little non-HR related post (we can’t be all HR all of the time). Today’s post is completely off topic. In fact, each Friday, I’ll break away, and we will have a little Freedom Friday.

Like the rest of the world, I have spent the past two weeks in awe of the world’s greatest athletes. I am not a huge sports fan. I will watch a Sunday football game now and then (not the during the week Monday/Thursday games). And of course, I watched the Beyoncé concert this past February when she allowed two football teams (Panthers and Broncos) to open and close the show ☺. However, the Olympics are different; they’re special.

I, like many others, am partial to the Women’s Gymnastics portion. I love it! Every time one of those young ladies hits the floor, my heart beats like I am up for a medal. Since I am a native Marylander, and a fan of super athletes, I’ve also been obsessed with Michael Phelps and Katy Ledecky’s swimming performances. Also, don’t get me started with this year’s Track and Field Events. When the U.S. Women’s Relay team dropped the baton during the qualifying race, my heart fell onto the floor. Track and Field overall has me more pumped than usual. Usain Bolt. Enough said.

It started me thinking, where’s my gold medal? Of course not my literal medal, but at least a gold star or something. Let’s be clear; I’m no athlete – unless you count the Elliptical – I’m like this lady on the elliptical, lol. As I was saying, it started me thinking of what types of activities could I compete in where I could earn a medal? No one is great at everything; however, I do pride myself on a few outstanding accomplishments each day. I present to you my Top 3 Gold medal events…

1) The DODGE – The amount of people I manage to be pleasant to before obtaining my morning latte. I seriously feel like I’m running hurdles and dodging balls trying to get to the first sip before the next person who speaks feels the entire wrath of my commute.
2) The COMMUTE – Speaking of commuting, I definitely deserve a Gold medal for making it around the beltway without honking my horn, cursing someone out, or giving any hand gestures. It is a real talent, and if you have ever been on I-495 circling Washington, DC, you will appreciate what an accomplishment this is.
3) TARGETING – Finally, and I have little competition in this event. Going to Target with a list of 3 items and coming out with 37 additional things. Just call me the Simone Biles of extra spending at Target.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, my top three gold medal events! What daily activities would earn you a gold medal? I cannot wait to hear them all!

It’s Never Too Late

I am the queen of saying “In my next life, I’m going to do…”. Recently, I’ve found myself saying it more often. Whether it refers to some small choice I’ve made related to the type of vehicle I drive, or, city living vs. suburbia. However, mostly when I say this, I’m referring to my career choices. I love what I do, but I often wish there was a different way for me to apply my experience. That’s part of the reason why I started this blog. I wanted to mesh my knowledge and passion about Human Resources (yes, I have a passion for HR) to my love of giving advice and helping people solve their personal problems.

Recently, I’ve received several signs from the universe that I simply can no longer ignore. I stumbled across an old Business Insider article which detailed several famous individuals; artists, authors, actors and many other known successful people who achieved success or switched careers later in life. Warning: later in life often refers to life after 30 (yikes).  Then, I ran across this quote: It is never too late to be what you might have been – George Eliot.

It finally occurred to me that while I had been saying it jokingly, the reality is that there isn’t another life (as far as I know). I only have one. I am not super-young, but, hopefully, have plenty of years ahead of me. Moreover, while I did not necessarily start the process when I wanted, there’s no reason why my goals must disappear, simply because I’m starting 15 years later.

It was not my intention to share this personal epiphany with the blogosphere. However, there are so many of us who stop short of our dreams because we got married, got divorced, had children, didn’t finish school, ran out of money, the task seemed too daunting, and countless other reasons why our goals may have been deferred. Contrary to what Drake told us, if you’re reading this it’s NOT too late. There are a million other mantras and clichés that say some form of the same thing. The point is, we only have one life. I’ve decided that instead of talking about what I could have done, I’m just going to do it – or die trying. I recommend you do the same.

— Andrea

New Overtime Regulations: What’s it to you?

Overnight, you may have seen in the news that President Obama will be signing into law new Overtime Regulations under the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) today. The FLSA, in addition to many other things, outlines overtime regulations.

What does this mean for you? If you are currently exempt from earning overtime payments – which is typically 1.5 times your hourly rate for any hours worked over 40 hours per week, you may now be eligible – if your current salary is less than $47,476.

But before you head out to buy those new Louboutins with your extra overtime dollars, please note that this law is not effective until December 1, 2016. This time gives your employer the opportunity to assess their current compensation strategy. Maybe they don’t need you to work those extra hours you’ve been putting in over 40 per week, and they’ll implement a no overtime rule, or perhaps they’ll bump your salary up to the $47,476 threshold, or pay the overtime. This change may have an enormous impact on your employer, and they will have to make adjustments.

This brief post details only a portion of the FLSA and the key provisions of the final rule.  If you are interested in learning more about the new FLSA Overtime Regulations, pop over to the DOL website for more information. overtime-rule-explanation

Number of workers impacted per state. 

Overtime updates will extend protections to 4.2 million workers across the country. *Infographic courtesy of

It’s Been a Long Time, I Shouldn’t Have Left You

Hello…again. I took a brief hiatus from the blog; however, I’m back with a new focus on you, the readers. I’ve returned with great information and a new format that I hope you’ll enjoy.

For those of you who may be new to HR Trendster, it’s a blog for YOU. As an HR Consultant, I usually work with business leaders, CEOs, and other executives to provide human resource advice and consultation for their organization. Yet, I find that my passion lies in working with individuals who are seeking advice and guidance for their personal career goals. I often meet or am connected with people who need professional help. It may be counsel on how to handle a difficult co-worker, employee, or boss to questions regarding interoffice romance (don’t worry I’ll address that soon) or interviewing techniques. I find that’s the work I enjoy most.   And that’s what I mean when I say, “this blog is for YOU.” It’s your opportunity to ask questions, get advice and read posts that relate to what matters to you.

I’m looking forward to a great conversation with you all.

Stay tuned. An exciting new addition to the HRTrendster site is coming, and you can join in the fun!