94 episodes

Seasoned HR and recruiting consultants Liz and Kat help you navigate your career and get through your work day. Go beyond the employee manual for some real job talk!

Real Job Talk Liz Bronson & Kathleen Nelson Troyer

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 24 Ratings

Seasoned HR and recruiting consultants Liz and Kat help you navigate your career and get through your work day. Go beyond the employee manual for some real job talk!

    Episode 94: Golden Handcuffs- What Do I Do?

    Episode 94: Golden Handcuffs- What Do I Do?

    We have a letter! One of our listeners wrote to us with a question. They are stuck with what to do with their golden hancuffs. Their current employer was acquired by a larger company. The company wants them to stay, and has given them a year-long series of bonuses and severance if they stay long enough. But they'd also like to look around to see if there are other opportunities. They don’t know what to do about their bonus package in the job search: can they disclose it? Can they use it as leverage it as part of a job negotiation?


    It’s a great question, and while we counseled them separately, we share our advice with each of you.


    What ARE golden handcuffs? They’re a way that a company incentivizes you to stay with them vs leave after a major change. For example, our listener’s company was acquired and they have golden handcuffs that pay them over the next 6 months to stay with the company vs leave for another job.


    For our listener, they get bonuses every 3 months and then another payment if you stay through the pre-determined transition period.


    Because our listener is early career, we advised them to stay and get experience with acquisitions and use the bonus package to accumulate a nest egg (assuming they can tolerate it). And we also advised them to not start looking for a new job right away, and instead to take time to make a must-have list, and then start searching 3 months before their last day.


    Can our listener use their package to get more money? If YOU are applying for jobs, you can’t use a retention program as leverage, but once someone is interested, or if you are being recruited, you may be able to use it. You can say “I’d love to be considered, but I have this retention package and am planning on staying through the end. Can you help keep me whole?” They likely won’t pay it all out, but maybe it will get you a sign-on bonus.


    Deciding what’s right to do? Look at your must-have list, look at what you want to learn, and as opportunities come your way, make lists of pros and cons guided by your must-have list to balance learning, opportunity, stability, and happiness.


    Another interesting opportunity may come from the new company, so doing your best post-acquisition and learning about the new company, new ways to do things, and meeting a new network of people is a huge opportunity.


    Post-acquisition retention is an incredible learning opportunity. You have the opportunity to see how a new company does things and also see new groups and meet new people. Use the opportunity to learn and grow.


    If you do get approached for a new job, tell them right away that you’re planning on staying through the period of your retention bonus and let them know what it looks like to see if they can help move you earlier. Stress that you’re most interested in learning, growth, and opportunity, and you’re willing to give up money for the right opportunity.


    If you know you’re talking with a recruiter, write notes and make sure you’re ready for a clear and open conversation. Be confident in who you are, what you’re looking for, and what’s important to you.

    • 17 min
    Episode 93: How to Handle Your Company Card

    Episode 93: How to Handle Your Company Card

    Today we’re talking about all things Company-Paid. We're here to help you understand and navigate the world of expenses. Here are the Real Job Talk guidelines for using your company credit card.


    Guideline 1: Look at your company handbook/rulebook and familiarize yourself with the company’s policies around expenses. There may be limits on hotels, guidelines around flights, and per diems for meals and drinks.


    If you see friends during time in a new city, that needs to be on your dime - just like when you see friends at home. Your per diem is to cover you because you’re there for work, not for your cocktails with friends.


    Guideline 2: If it isn’t told to you, ASK! Can you buy yourself a mouse, monitor, or new desk? Ask the recruiter or hiring manager what will be covered by the company.


    Guideline 3: Convenience is key. You are traveling for WORK, so any bookings you do (hotel, office etc) need to be close to the work you are doing, not to the nearby city you’ve always wanted to visit.


    If you travel to a city and you want to go sightseeing and learn about it, that's totally fine, but the time you spend as a tourist is on you -- because the company doesn’t need you doing it and it's not part of your job. That said, you can extend your trip with a later flight after your personal travel (the company owes you a round trip ticket, the dates are less important), but the hotels and food during your tourism are on you.


    Guideline 4: Treat the company’s money like your own. Want an upgrade for extra leg room, but that’s not in company policy? That’s on your dime. Think about saving up your per diem to buy your family dinner on your way home from the airport? The company doesn’t owe your family dinner -- and they could fire you or at least lose trust in you if they find out.


    Bottom line: it’s not smart to abuse expenses. You could get fired. Don’t be fired for something so avoidable.


    Guideline 5: If it’s not for work, it’s not expensable. If you’re not sure, ASK. If you choose to work at a coffee shop instead of home one day, it’s not expensable. If you’re having lunch with friends and they say “How’s work?”, that’s not expensable. If you take your team out, it probably IS expensable.


    And when you can expense something, don’t bust the budget or order the most expensive thing you can. Don’t take advantage.


    Guideline 6: Use the systems you’re told to use. Follow Finance’s guidelines. Keep receipts. Stay on top of it so that your expenses are up to date.


    If you pay attention to these guidelines - and to the guidelines of your company - you won't get into trouble with expenses at work.

    • 21 min
    Episode 92: This Was All An Accident with Kat Kibben

    Episode 92: This Was All An Accident with Kat Kibben

    Welcome back to Real Job Talk, Kat Kibben! Kat (pronouns they/them) is the founder of Three Ears Media, a speaker, advocate, and leader in the HR space around inclusivity and job descriptions. We're really pleased to have Kat join us for a second time on the podcast. (Check out their first appearance, Episode 38: Write a Resume that Gets Past the Screeners with Katrina Kibben)


    Every week, Kat writes a letter with their thoughts from that week. They started writing their letters as a marketing exercise, but found the letters got more personal and they eventually evolved to being about... life. Those letters are now a collection of stories titled This Was All An Accident focusing on their year of living in a van and traveling around the United States.


    According to Kat, the first step of accepting yourself is learning what it feels like to be happy. Kat started writing a list of what they were doing when they felt happy and then read the list every day and whenever they were feeling low.


    We unpack the word “should” and redefining boundaries in a way that works for us. Can a CEO live in a van and work 4 days a week? How did Kat redefine their norms to adjust to van life? Scheduling in van life has to be flexible, and not only did Kat have to adjust their idea of what work looked like, but their team had to adjust and refine their set up.


    Kat inspired Kat and John to take their own van trip. We discuss the planning of a van trip and how it’s a metaphor for life in that you can plan and plan, but you often run into and need things you don’t plan for. Both Kats learned that lesson in their van trips. Our lessons? Bring duct tape and an ax!


    We dive into vulnerability. Kat felt most vulnerable when they learned that their estranged father was reading their book. They wrote it for teenagers and people who could use the lessons they’ve learned in their life. What they found was that it felt most vulnerable when they knew people who they know in their personal life were reading it. They’re more used to people they work with knowing more about them from their work.


    Kat talks in their letters about hard things, but has very clear boundaries. Their rule is to not write about anything they aren’t certain about in their life. We talk more about boundaries and how they determine what to share and how to handle people who ask questions they aren’t ready to answer.


    Lastly we talked about staying realistically positive without being toxic. Kat’s answer is to focus on now vs the huge picture so that life isn’t overwhelming.


    One of Kat’s motivations is around helping kids, specifically queer and trans kids, feel comfortable and safe in their bodies. They mentor adults about being queer in the workplace and tell us some stories about how they help people live authentically.


    Get Kat's book, This Was All An Accident: Letters and Life Lessons on Amazon
    Kat's blog and personal site: katrinakibben.com
    Linkedin: katrinakibben
    Twitter/X: @KatrinaKibben
    Facebook: katrina.kibben
    Instagram: @katrinakibben

    • 39 min
    Episode 91: Networking with a Purpose with Robert Gilbreath

    Episode 91: Networking with a Purpose with Robert Gilbreath

    Welcome to Real Job Talk Robert Gilbreath! Robert talks to us about his career journey as a solopreneur, entrepreneur, and an employee and how he treats each role like he’s the owner of the company.


    Robert Gilbreath is an experienced solopreneur and entrepreneur, and joins the show to share his insights on work mindset, ownership of roles, networking, and evaluating side gigs. He has a diverse background that spans SaaS, ecommerce, partnerships, marketplaces, and product, with experience on both sides of the table across all those areas.


    Tune in as he delves into the importance of networking, being positive, and helping others. Robert shares his approach to evaluating new opportunities and emphasises finding purpose in what he does. We also touc


    “Act as if….” every company you work at is your own. Is a mantra (one of many) Robert Gilbreath brings into each role he has. It helps to guide him in making each organization better in some way from before he was there.


    Marketing is an interesting discipline because people throughout the company will have opinions on the work you are doing. The best marketers can switch industries- the academic side and the creative side and it’s about understanding your audience and how to connect with them.


    Success is often tied to taking ownership - of your role, your career, and your journey. That means saying “yes” in early career, trying new things, and owning both success and learning.


    We talked with Robert about side gigs and his approach to networking as a way to make sure he always has something interesting going on. Robert’s goal is to know everyone in Austin doing ecommerce so that he is always touching what’s happening in his space.


    Connect with Robert Gibreath
    Twitter/X: @robertgatx
    Website: robertgilbreath.com
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertgilbreath/

    • 32 min
    Episode 90: Advance Your Career with Kelli Thompson

    Episode 90: Advance Your Career with Kelli Thompson

    Welcome to Kelli Thompson! Kelli is a speaker, coach, author, and HR executive who left the corporate world to pursue her passion for helping women advance their careers. She is driven to help more women make it to the board room, advance their careers, and bring their best, most authentic selves to the office. Today we’re going to be focusing on talking with Kelli about the very important topic of salary negotiation.


    Kelli’s career started in banking, where in her journey in HR and leadership development she noticed that most of leadership were men. She found joy as an HR executive in helping people figure out paths to develop their careers. She then worked for a tech company where once again she found joy in helping with career development. She liked that so much so that she worked for a consultant who specialized in career development and broke out on her own to do one-on-one leadership coaching -- which also included less travel.


    We asked Kelli her thoughts on Lean In and how she feels about women’s journey into the boardroom. Kelli agreed with us that the “do it all” idea can burn women out -- especially since women tend to take on more unpaid and unpromotable administrative work at work and take on more at home. We all agreed that being an executive of any gender requires a ton of support at home and in life so that you can dump what’s not necessary, doesn’t give joy, and you need to delegate and create boundaries.


    In order to grow in the executive ranks, Kelli asks us how can we show up and do what we want to do without feeling resentful.


    We ask Kelli how she coaches a burned out person who wants to get ahead. She said they usually are ahead -- but that it’s not sustainable. She first asks where in their life they feel most resentful. They eliminate just that and focus on what needs to be addressed so they can focus.


    We ask about when salary should be discussed in the job search -- up front as early as possible. And salary transparency helps! The issue with salary transparency in the remote first world is that the range is inclusive of all areas, which means that the range can include the salary in Omaha and NYC, which won't be the same. What that does is encourage transparency in the conversation, but also, Kelli says to look up jobs listed locally to know what your range is. And if the range is less than you want, there’s no harm in having an initial conversation and seeing if there is any flexibility. That said, if the job is being upleveled, you want to know where that “lower level” work will go -- it may still sit with you.


    To get the most out of salary negotiation, you want to talk about what you bring to the company (not your personal needs), the skills you bring, and what the company can get from your skills (increase revenue, lower expense, reduce risk, lead change) in order to demonstrate what you’re asking for. And if the range is more than you were expecting, keep that poker face! Just say, “sounds good” and remember, that initial number is still negotiable. Get what you’re worth!


    What’s negotiable in a job offer? Probably not the benefits plan, but sometimes you can adjust the boundaries of hybrid/remote situations and often learning and development opportunities. By understanding the benefits packages you’ll know what you can/can’t negotiate.


    Usually that first offer isn’t the ceiling. You can try for more. The worst thing they can say is no.


    Good people get hired, promoted, and raises even in a bad economy. Good people also get let go. Show your value and make sure your skills are what your company and other companies need.


    The best negotiators, even in a down economy, acknowledge the environment and showed what they can bring. The best negotiators are kind, direct, and show their value. Also, don’t forget that we learn a lot about you during the negotiation process, but also you learn a lot about the company by how they behave during the o

    • 38 min
    Episode 89: Feedback Conversations at Work

    Episode 89: Feedback Conversations at Work

    Today we're talking about giving feedback at work.


    In talking with managers at work, Liz encouraged people to ask their people how they wanted to get feedback and how to deliver news positive and negative.


    Feedback, when given in a timely and kind manner, can be a gift. But often we forget key steps like finding out how someone likes to receive feedback or framing it in a way that makes sure your point is conveyed.


    Feedback tip #1 is to make it as timely as possible. When you finish something, talk about what went well and what could do better. When you’re in a team reflect as a team and as a manager give feedback fairly and in a timely manner so the person can learn in the moment.


    With performance reviews, if a manager doesn’t ask how you’d like to receive your review, for you to ask to see it up front (if that’s your preference). Ask for what you want/need in order to have the feedback discussion be as helpful as possible. Most managers will say yes, but if they don’t, you can say that you may not be as responsive or talkative because you need time to digest feedback to have the most impactful conversation.


    How do you respond to a review that is a surprise? Ask for some time to digest and ask for a follow up meeting. Then take a minute to reflect and write down your responses. You can write an emotional response as long as you throw it away and write a fact-based response. You don’t want to come across as emotional or reactive.


    Sometimes, if you believe a review is wrong or unfair, you need to consider the source and how much you respect their opinion on your performance. You thank them, respect their opinion, but then share your viewpoint and facts that back it up. Make your point with facts and evidence- be factual but not accusatory. The goal is to get closer aligned and share perception and meet in the middle.


    What if your manager refuses to talk about your review? The answer is “ok, I was hoping we could talk about it.” and then you need to make a career decision….When you realize there won’t be a conversation, you get out of the conversation as quickly and calmly as possible. You can give the rebuttal to your HR person to make sure your viewpoint is filed.


    What about less formal feedback? We talk about a friend whose boss unknowingly gave them really insulting feedback in front of peers. Our friend was LIVID and wanted to know what to do. We advised them to use the “When EVENT A happened I thought B and felt C” and to talk it though in the next 1:1. To then say that you know that’s not what they meant to do, and ask for them to give constructive feedback privately.


    Tell people how you want to communicate in real time. If you like Slack, say so. Same w email. Saying something like “I’m most organized in email, so please communicate with me there” doesn’t put them on guard but helps them know how to work with you. Ask people their preferences and honor them and that will help you build relationships.


    Your goal is to build real, authentic, kind working relationships and our communication style is on us to communicate.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

Gay&Sweaty ,

Your New Favorite Podcast!

This is a five-star podcast! Liz and Kat bring a vibrant energy to every episode, making it a delightful and engaging listen. The interactions between the hosts and their guests adds to the charm of this show. Don't miss it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

SyTh007 ,

Possibly the best Podcast Ever

Adam gives an excellent perspective as a Gig employee. The ability to balance a portfolio of gigs and separate interests is THE pathway to success in the knowledge economy‼️

Vince Wood ,

Lively and Fun informational podcast

Kat and Liz make this podcast an easy and great listen. Voices are easily heard and full of life.

Content is long term relevant and explored from multiple points of view.

Guests fit in well with the personality of the hosts.

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