In This Issue

Sue Salvesen, Founder & CEO of STRe Solutions, is a former public and private company CFO. Sue presents tips for this difficult time, including how to use this time to prepare for the future.   full article
This quarter we discuss job hunting and hiring in a tough economic time, and a time of high unemployment.
Candidate Tip #106  Hiring Manager Tip #106  full article
Our Toys for Tots holiday drive was a great success. Our community service work continues in 2009 with the Achievekids annual True Colors luncheon.   read more
Have fun without spending a cent... have fun


Survive and Thrive in Today's Turbulent Economy
by: Sue Salvesen, former public and private company CFO
      Founder & CEO, STRe Solutions

In the spirit of sharing some positive ideas for today's challenging environment, I want to provide you with some tips for getting through these difficult times and ways to use this time to your advantage. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. Which will it be?

Let's talk about what you can do to increase the odds that you and your team won't be included on the next RIF list. Here are some positive, simple steps you can take today:

  1. Lead by example. Learn new responsibilities, get trained on new systems and have a breadth of understanding of your function that demonstrates your value to the company. Come up with new ideas that will help the company be successful and offer to pitch in when needed, even if it's "not your job." In tough times there is nothing like someone with a positive attitude who is willing to go above and beyond for the sake of the team! But don't be protective of your responsibilities for fear you'll lose your job, as that can be perceived as isolationist and arrogant.
  2. Recognize that change is often for the better. Remember the cliché survival of the fittest. Participate in, initiate and embrace change. Virtually every company is impacted by our current economic malaise. Lead the change, encourage other team members to embrace change and it won't be as scary.
  3. Be part of the solution. Once you've identified the change that needs to happen, be part of the solution. Don't put up a roadblock, don't resist it. Business process re-engineering is a key focus right now. Be creative, think out of the box, and speak up, make suggestions. Don't be discouraged if every idea isn't implemented, brainstorm a new approach.
  4. Contribute to the top line of the business. Too often I've heard people in accounting say "I can't connect what I do to the company's goals or growth." G&A is a vital part of any organization's success. If sales reps don't get their expense reports processed on time or if their commissions are incorrect that takes time away from their selling time. By helping the customer facing organizations be more efficient and productive you can positively affect your company's bottom line. And there is nothing better than a sales team singing the praises of the accounting organization!
  5. Invest in the future. Now is the time to make sure you and your organization are ready for the inevitable growth that will follow this downturn. Prepare yourself for it. Take a class to improve the skills you need to advance your career. Complete those work projects that are important, but never get done because it is never the right time. Make sure that 12 months from now when you look back on this time you can say "I invested my time wisely." Use this time to build trusted relationships within your organization which will enable you to thrive when the economy comes back.
  6. Be Prepared. Everyone's crystal ball is cloudy right now, and despite your best efforts, your company may be acquired, or be forced to lay some people off. It is important to keep your resume up to date, just in case. A great New Year's resolution is to update your resume every year. This doesn't mean posting it on the job board. It means being prepared and it's easier to remember the significant accomplishments and business contributions you've made when they are fresh in your mind. Additionally this list can be used as input to your annual self-review. You need to toot your own horn.

It is possible to survive and thrive!

Candidates and Hiring Managers: Maximize Your Experience with Recruiters
Our highest priority at STRe Solutions is building long-term relationships with both jobseekers and hiring managers. The Recruiter Relations section of our newsletter offers ongoing tips to help you maximize your experience with a recruiter, regardless of whether you're seeking top talent to seamlessly join your team or searching for the ideal position.

This quarter's focus is on job hunting and hiring in a tough economic time, and a time of high unemployment.

Candidate Tip #106
Looking for a Job in Tight Economic Times. First of all, don't panic! There are many companies hiring, but they now have the luxury of assessing a lot of candidates applying for each opening. The first hiring source a company will go to is its internal resources, with an emphasis on employee referrals. So don't just send your resume in and risk getting lost in the hundreds of resumes that are on someone's desk. Do your homework--research the people that are in your network or extended network who can get you an introduction. And ask for help. In addition, work with a couple of select recruiters that you know and trust to see if they have the job order or can get it. Often a recruiter will have the inside track. Applying online to a job posting can be the same as sending an email to a non-existent address. Even if your background and experience are a perfect fit, you may not be noticed because the company has had so many responses. Bottom line is "network, network, and more networking."

If you are unemployed, redefine your status as 'in transition.' You are truly in transition; think of this as an opportunity to find the next frontier in your career. Most importantly, try to live your life as normally as possible. Take this opportunity of time to volunteer--you never know who you will meet.

Lastly, looking for a job is a job. So...plan your day and be proactive, just don't wait for the phone to ring.

If you would like a copy of our STRe Solutions Job Hunting Tips or would like us to review your resume, please send a request to

Hiring Manager Tip #106
Hiring top talent in today's economic times. You might be breathing a big sigh of relief in this candidate rich marketplace. But don't let the increase in the talent pool fool you. Actually, it can be harder to hire now. Oh yes, it is easy to collect resumes. Except, the problem is, there are too many resumes, and most of them don't meet your needs. In addition, many candidates who are employed are staying put. They do not want to take any unnecessary risk of being on the bottom of the totem pole.

It's a good time to examine your current recruiting strategy and modify it to meet the times. Networking is just as important for hiring managers as for candidates. Hiring someone you know, or who comes highly recommended will be easier to do. And, of course, make your recruiters (both internal and external) work for you. Tell the recruiter what your 'must haves' are and ask them to qualify the candidates before sending you a stack of resumes. Ask them if they've met the candidate in person, and how well they know them. Did they just pull them off the job board and send them over? Many recruiters measure success by the number of resumes they give the hiring manager not the quality. But considering you're already shorthanded, that leaves MORE work for you, not less.

And...lastly this may be a good time to hire temporary professional help. There are many good candidates who can augment your staff and help you meet your business objectives while they look for their ideal career opportunity. If you would like our assistance, please contact us at

STRe News -- STRe in the Community
Many thanks to our STRe friends who participated in our Toys for Tots project. Thanks to your generosity we collected almost 100 toys to make for a better holiday season for those less fortunate.

Achievekids, a multi-service agency with two Non-Public schools for children, adolescents, and young adults with complex developmental and emotional disabilities, will hold its annual True Colors luncheon event on March 4th at the Decathlon Club. This event raises awareness of their services and also serves as a major fund raiser. There is no charge to attend the event. Please contact Marilyn Kanas (, Board co-Vice-President if you would like to attend. For information about Achievekids, visit

STRe Fun -- Free things to do in the Bay Area
  • Cal Sailing Club offers free sailboat rides on selected Sundays, weather permitting. Check for details.
  • Anchor Steam Brewery offers a free tour twice daily. For reservations call 415-863-8350. Check for more information.
  • California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park. Free third Wednesday admission. Normal admission is $24.95.
  • de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park. Free first Tuesday admission.
  • More first Tuesday freebies: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Cartoon Art Museum (655 Mission Street).
  • Complementary tea tastings at Vital Tea Leaf in Chinatown. Check for locations.
  • Free Wifi locations in California:

Some other websites to check out: