Tagged: resume

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v35

Not quite back to regular programming since Congress has another week of recess/district work period so we’re still easing our way back to reality. It was lovely to get out of DC and the crazy that constantly tells you that life is not normal. I got to visit with family and relish in nature’s beauty. I feel a little more energized and am looking forward to the rest of the year. Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I’m back to thinking about productivity and how I can best use my time. As we careen to the end of the calendar year, I’m always looking for ways to really maximize my efficiency to do more. I’ve used two of the apps that was listed in this article (Trello & Rescuetime) and they’ve certainly helped to free my mind of clutter so that I can keep my to do lists in one place without having to mentally worry about it. Do you have any other tools to add?



  • When you’re stepping into a leadership role that is attached to a myriad of problems that were created prior to you start working for an organization, how you manage expectations as well as how you effectively work with the existing infrastructure can help to build trust so that you can have positive results. Transparency is also equally important so that people aren’t waiting for other shoe to drop. Having a plan on how you plan to make changes and when will help people understand how these changes will improve the organization.





Thanks for reading/sharing – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v46

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In the recent weeks, I’ve been asked to do a ton of informational interviews and as much as I try to impart some helpful advice, I want to be sure that people who talk with me understand that there are lots more “in the know” people than me who can provide insight and if they came to their informational interview as unprepared as they were with me, they would never grant another coffee again. I just don’t have the time to sit with people who don’t bother to do some basic research about my work or about me. It’s as simple as doing a Google/pick your favorite search engine inquiry. My electronic profile isn’t crazy but you get the gist of my work as well as my biography. So when I walk into a coffee because I’m doing a favor for a friend, I’m not the one getting anything out of it except knowing that I’m helping someone. I may find your narrative interesting as you tell me your career goals but the basic questions of “what I do” can be easily found on the internet(s). I’m not puffing my ego just to be one of those people but I hope people asking for information do a better job in asking more researched questions. Just to prove that I’m not crazy about having an attitude about it, this week’s edition of Tuesday Truths is directed solely to informational interviews:

Take these articles seriously. Every single person who I met with were extremely intelligent people and it saddens me when people aren’t doing the basics. Whether you’re learning about breaking into a field or trying to connect with people to get more information about working in a particular organization, people will remember those who went beyond the basics during these coffees. As one of the articles mentioned, you’re not interviewing for a job but you’re still “on”. If you know your colleagues are making these mistakes, please help them correct their behavior.

Consider this my Public Service Announcement for the week 🙂

Thanks for reading/sharing and don’t forget to subscribe!

— Madalene


Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v36

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Welcome back from the 3 day weekend! I’ve gone from a leisurely pace at work to warp speed as we count down to the September 30th fundraising filing. As a Board Member for Democratic GAIN, we’re dedicated to increasing diversity within the progressive movement in our operatives and candidates. Join me on September 10th as we honor Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid and Rep. John Lewis for their commitment to workforce diversity. Tickets can be purchased here. If you attend, I’d enjoy saying “hi”!

As we start a new season, what goals do YOU want to accomplish before the end of the year?  I’ve been mulling a video project so I’m determined to get that going.  Let me know what you’re working on and how I can help! You can share in the comments or just email me.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

Thinking about pursuing a new professional opportunity? That means reviewing your resume and getting it into tip top shape. Here’s a few tips to get that resume polished and ready to go. What if you decide that your current career isn’t for you and want to make a mid-career change or maybe you were like me and had a quarter life crisis (remember when I talked a little about my going into the hospitality industry after working in politics??). How about reaching out to your network to let them know that you’re looking for a change? It helps to be specific so that they can help you get from point A to point B. I would also recommend doing individual follow-ups so that you can talk more with those who may have more insight. What else have you done to let your network know about your search for new professional opportunities?

Now that you’ve got the resume out the door and your first interview scheduled, here are great questions that you can ask the interviewer. With all things, doing your research certainly helps to make you look like you cared enough to look into the company and its mission.

I hear a lot about the Myers Briggs test and its ability to help determine what type of job is suited with your personality. Have you tried the Enneagram personality test? I discovered that I’m an “3”, the Achiever. There is an abbreviated test that takes about 10 minutes and when I was going through it, I realized that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more nuanced. I started questioning the scenarios because I could imagine the questions as situations which made me recall actual memories of specific situations related to the questions. With more experience, I was a combination of the extremes so trying to remember my initial reaction was something where I needed to focus. Let me know if you were surprised with your results!

We only have a few more months before we start 2016 so we can still achieve a better work life balance for 2015 by incorporating a few of these exercises. Doing a little bit at a time can help get you onto a more balanced path. I was so excited that I put a rather concise out of office email while I took a few days off which let people know that if it’s not on fire, it’s really not an emergency so it can wait. Sometimes we all get a little self absorbed about how important our work lives can be and there are definitely times when that’s the case, but life will go on without answering that email.

We haven’t touched on branding for a while so I’m sharing a great infographic that has the ABC’s to help you get on your way to creating your own version of Beyoncé/Sasha Fierce.

Everyone has room for growth and I try to not let too much time pass doing nothing. I like my alone time but I also know that it’s important to cultivate my relationships with friends who have stood by me and those who are new to my world. Being open to new situations can open up so many new opportunities/experiences and that kind of openness can attract success.

As I asked earlier in the post, what goal(s) do YOU want to accomplish before the end of the year and how can I help you ACHIEVE that success? Drop me a line in the comments or send me an email!

Thanks for reading/sharing and please don’t forget to subscribe!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v25

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We’re in the final stretch of a full week before June 30th – really putting the follow-up techniques for fundraising into full affect. I’ll be in Seattle later this week to do a fundraiser and training so I’ll have a limited amount of time to get my commitments in the door so BGM (BUSY. GETTING. MONEY) is on blast!

Let’s get to it!

  • So you did a major belly flop with an assignment or you faced a major career disaster head on with lots of collateral damage – how do you recover and make adjustments? It’s bound to happen! I always say that I’ve been yelled at by the best in the business and it has ingrained in me how much I do not ever want to repeat that kind of F-up so that it doesn’t happen again. At the end of the day, it’s embarrassing but I find that embracing it and owning up to it paves the way for resolution. The Harvard Business Review says that there are 3 ways you can react so share with me how you’ve recovered!
  • Working in politics, I see people who are always striving towards goals, mainly dedicated to obtaining a better title (which in most cases requires more responsibilities!) but there are times when people talk about becoming elected officials and ambition seems to be the driving force. As a person who assesses risk on a constant basis for when we need to find a a path to victory, it can be challenging to encourage people to do something as risky as run for office. With that in mind, if you can make the dream into your reality against all odds, screw what others say and go for it. You have to inspire your own work, whether that be in politics or some other field. People might say that I’m an example of being out of the box because it’s certainly not normal to have a Vietnamese American female work in politics (ask my mom – she’ll definitely tell you that it’s weird but yet still be proud of my accomplishments). So even if you don’t have external cheerleaders, you’ll always have your inner voice to move you forward.
  • Sometimes it’s the simple questions that really drill down to our values and as a result, help us to become better at our jobs or find ways to improve our lives. These 2 questions can help in your reflection, but since I work in politics my career certainly addresses these questions everyday.
  • If you’ve read my blog long enough, you’ll know that I’m a big believer in making your own luck and making a real effort to defining success on my terms and not someone else’s. If you feel like you’re stuck although you have ambition and have been putting in the time, these reasons may help you find out why you’re not as successful as you want to be. While you’re at it, if you’ve been wanting to do something in a broader context of a goal, here’s how you can get started to achieving “how to build a better network” or anything else you’re working towards. Small changes everyday will build a habit that leads to substantial changes.

Give me examples of things you’ve done to help make improvements in your career/life! It would be great to hear from you!

Thanks for reading/sharing and if this post or any of the previous ones have been helpful, please subscribe!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v23

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It’s a busy week filled with more events and the start of a new intern. Any advice you want to give them for working in my office 😉 How are you getting on with your interns this season?

  • If you’re new to Washington, DC & the insane hierarchy of Capitol Hill offices, you may want to re-consider your social media presence, at least when it comes to how you decide to share your adventures.
  • I’m working on a project for the long haul. There are some immediate results (hello, fundraising!) but there are other points that will take time to piece together to see a broader result. As a consequence there are moments when I wonder, “why exactly am I doing this project? what did I sign up for?” so I have to dial it back and stop looking at the things that I hate about the project and see that there is a future where once the project is successful, it will be worth all of the frustration. So when you start to think that your goals are out of reach, these suggestions can help you get over the rough patch.
  • There was a time in my life when I ditched politics and went into a different industry to pursue an interest and see if I enjoyed it enough to start a new career. I was extremely privileged to be able to switch careers but I probably wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t feel the burn out of fundraising. It was a great learning experience for me but it also taught me how to manage my stress so that I could continue in politics without allowing stress to control my life. Here are some ways that you can manage your stress to prevent burnout. Tell me what else you do to give yourself some peace!
  • If you need to have a brainstorming session, recognize that you have introverts and extroverts as well as ambiverts who can bring their A game to the session as long as you give them the right environment to propose ideas. Set your team up for a successful session by taking these approaches – you’ll find that you’re getting better results!

Thanks for reading/sharing and if this post or any of the others have been helpful, please subscribe!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths


In the past few weeks since the election, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been doing informational interviews for those interested in getting into politics or at the very least, political fundraising. We’ve got a lot of people who have come off of losing campaigns, the Hill where their members of Congress lost their re-elections, and just overall job fatigue. So it got me to thinking about how we make New Year’s resolutions to improve our job skills or to take a fresh perspective on how to wrangle the time we spend at work. I’ve taken a step back from my own fundraising firm to brew up a little something different (still under wraps but soon to be revealed) so I totally get wanting to be challenged in the work front. So it’s just not the millennials who get a little antsy about job satisfaction!

In the meantime, let’s get to a short exercise and to reading!

I am

  • When I first saw this on Pinterest, I thought about how I would finish this sentence so here’s my first draft:

I am wickedly strategic in finding ways to expend my energy.

This was never going to be about a job title but more of a mantra. What say you? Drop me your I am ______ in the comments section!

  • In the vein of doing informational interviews, here’s a Millennial’s take on how to get the job you want. I’m also going to include that a majority of the points apply to those who don’t fall into that age category.
  • I’m a HUGE believer in knowing as much as possible about my prospects and knowing the pressure points for how to create rapport. How does that apply to when you have to charge your way through the masses to get a cover letter written to accompany your resume? Start thinking about it as a pain letter vs a cover letter.
  • I’ve been a mentor for a few years and I’ve always come into the relationship with the realization that I’m a reference point for those who are asking me questions. If you’re looking for a mentor, you should be looking to create this type of environment and mentors can also learn quite a few things from you too.
  • So you’ve got the job you want and now you gotta make an impression. Here are ways you can learn on the job so that you can get the job done!

Got any comments? Let me know!

Thanks for reading/sharing. Feel free to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on a post!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths

 Little Girls with Big Dreams Become Women with Vision — Unknown

We’re rolling into the last month of 2014 and it’s really all about getting ready for the 1st QTR of 2015. The glamorous life of a fundraiser!! In all seriousness, I’m going through closing reports and reviewing what was raised, where it was raised, and who it was raised from – my life is about analyzing numbers and seeing the sources of income. Basically looking at the “sales history” and predicting how this will unfold for the 2015 finance plan.

So in the meantime, enjoy the Tuesday Truths!

  • Guilty as charged with the messy desk but it’s weird since I’m a little OCD.
  • Looking to answer the interview question of “Tell me about how you solved a work problem”? Here’s how Elon Musk evaluates your ability. (video)
  • I’ve been fortunate to mentor individuals in their career paths so if you’re not an entry level professional but want ideas to find a mentor, here are a few ways that you can start your search.

As always, hit me up on your comments and feel free to share with your networks! Thanks for reading.

– Madalene

Tuesday Truths

thing worse than being blind

Photo credit: The Only Thing Worse Than Being Blind is Having Sight and No Vision

We’re heading into a short work week so it might be a good time to brush up on your resume, start making new goals for the new year (I’m too much of a planner) or maybe just bail out of work early to get in some holiday cocktails (is that more your speed??)? In the meantime, all you politicos looking for a new gig, you can read up!

  • Post election funk? It’s a good time as any to be reminded about an older post I wrote around this time last year (here). The day after Election Day, I put away about 8 weeks of dry cleaning that was sitting in my closet so laundry gets a lot of play post election! If you’re looking for the next opportunity and haven’t joined Democratic GAIN, then you should do so immediately. Looking to set yourself up for 2016? Then take the time to read this article from Democratic GAIN COO @lucyMWhall for Campaigns & Elections.
  • For those who are still nomadic political hacks, it’s the start of the Off Year election cycle and prepping for the crazy that is 2016. Have you ever wondered if our industry has gotten better in pay during the off years? If so, this article is just for you!
  • My friends over at the Campaign Workshop shared with me a fantastic info graphic on call time. As a person who lives and breathes call time all the time, this is really great to help those who need additional help to stay on track or just to get on track. Committing to call time is half the battle (right, fellow fundraisers?). Thanks so much to @joefuld for sharing & bringing it to my attention!
  • I remember the days when people would look at me and wonder if I was old enough to manage staff (the benefits of having good genes that make me look youthful!) and having to combat those questions by my actions. If you’re ever in want of respect and building good will then use these techniques because if you do it consistently then you would have earned it.
  • Everyone talks about will power or habits that successful people utilize or don’t participate in but how about some exercises to help improve your mental strength? @AmyMorinLCSW has a few tips to exercise the most important muscle you can ever have in life.

Alright folks, hit me up in the comments section or tweet at me @madalenemielke. If you found the articles interesting, please feel free to subscribe so that you don’t miss a post and share the post with your network! Thanks for reading!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths

Expect the BS

  • With the situation in Ferguson, it reminds me that People of Color (POC) are in this together so although I have never lived the life of an African American fe(male), I do understand how the color of your skin can sway people’s perceptions/prejudices. As a member of the Asian American community, I am a fierce advocate of creating opportunities for all of us to have a seat at the table but it’s also necessary that those who have privilege, use their advantages. Do I think that my own upbringing with a white German American father and a Vietnamese mother shaped my attitudes? Absolutely! NPR’s Michel Martin captured this concept beautifully in her piece about white women using their privilege to help with women of color.
  • So I’ve been enthralled with Makers. They’ve been providing great content via twitter & this video was terrific in talking about the next generation of women using our differences as females to become leaders. Check them out and give them a follow @MAKERSwomen!
  • Learning a new word in productivity: triage.

Thanks for reading and drop me your comments!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths


I often get asked for career advice and I always say that I’m not a career counselor but I can usually help with getting you from Point A to Point B. Here are great tips for people who are starting out in their preferred industry.

The dreaded word: networking. How you can overcome the forced feeling of making a connection.

What if you’re already established in your career and want to move to the next level? Check out these resume tips for the mid-level employee.

No matter what stage you are in your career, a mentor can certainly help you up your game as well as provide an objective view of your future. Don’t know what a relationship with a mentor entails? Well we got that covered.

I had a young woman of color ask my opinion on this piece and while I’ve not worked in a highly corporate arena, I’ve been fortunate to work in an industry that values diversity. I hope that others see that having a variety of perspectives provides a deeper understanding of your community and helps to educate your opinions.

With so much talk about who is going to be the nominees for the Ds & Rs, it’s funny (or not) to know that Darth Vader is pretty popular!

Photo: By Mary Ann Reitano (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks for reading! Enjoy getting your comments below!

— Madalene