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Embarking on an adventure & your reading list

Happy Monday, everyone.

As i write this, I’m sitting at the airport getting ready to board one of many planes on which I’ll spend the better part of the next two days traveling.

the_right_candidate_alaska_737

Am I excited about that? Not really. I don’t particularly enjoy flying. The state of domestic passenger airline travel today is just utter misery from the moment you arrive at the airport to the moment your luggage is (or is not) disgorged from luggage claim at your destination. Airports are filled with poorly paid, marginally trained, overworked, stressed out employees. TSA security checkpoints are a minefield of potential time sinks (on one of my recent flights, the woman directly ahead of me spent 10 minutes arguing with the TSA screener about why she wasn’t allowed to bring quart-size containers full of soup through security). Flights are almost always overbooked. Everyone rushes to board, trying to claim as much of the precious overhead bin space as they can. Seat space has been reduced to the point that, on a 9.5hr international flight last year, I dropped my Chapstick on the floor–and no matter how I attempted to contort myself I could not pick it up. (Clearly I need to start taking yoga.)

A majority of this itinerary is on a carrier that is ranked #6 in the world. I’m hoping that means it won’t be quite as much of a flying cattle car as all domestic US carriers have become.

There’s still the issue of what to do with all of that time, though. I’ve never been able to sleep on planes, no matter how long the flight, for more than about an hour. One of our legs is 14 hours, so here’s hoping I can get more than an hour of shuteye. The iPad was kept busy this past weekend downloading a couple of TV series I’ve not yet watched and books I’ve been meaning to read.

Speaking of reading, I told you that I’d be giving some alternate reading during my sabbatical. Here it is:

  • The Cynical Girl: Laurie Ruettimann is an extremely smart, articulate, non-PC former HR professional who rose very quickly through the ranks of corporate HR leadership–and then realized that she had to get the hell out. She started blogging many years ago as Punk Rock HR, then retired that brand for her current blog. She’s funny, political, unafraid to be controversial, but always has an extraordinarily big heart and a ton of empathy. Always my first blog read.
  • The Tim Sackett Project: Tim is a smart, funny guy who also tends to be very right on about HR a great deal of the time.
  • China Gorman: China isn’t as regular a blogger as Tim or Laurie, but she presents very interesting data-driven blog posts. Search through the archives; I guarantee you will learn something.
  • LinkedIn Blog: Some of this is a thinly veiled sales pitch for LinkedIn products. But LinkedIn has a phenomenal data warehouse thanks to their 238,000,000+ worldwide members. The analytics they pull from this data can be very eye opening. Check out the 100 most in demand employers of 2013, for instance.
  • WANTED Analytics: WANTED is a company that compiles a lot of data sources to provide market competition insight to companies. Their blog can provide some very interesting analytics to both recruiters and job seekers alike.
  • ERE.netWant to learn about recruiting? Or learn how recruiters and sourcers work? ERE posts new articles each day by some of the best minds in the recruiting and sourcing community.

That should be enough to start you off. There might be a quiz later, so you best get to reading.

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