Former Deputy Director for the California Department of Social Services where she served in executive level positions for 17 years and had responsibility for program development and administration in a wide variety of areas including strategic planning, succession planning, human resources, risk management, and civil rights with an emphasis on sexual harassment prevention. Her expertise in the area of sexual harassment prevention is further derived from many years as an Equal Employment Officer, senior investigator, trainer and public speaker on topics such as developing effective and legally-sound policies and practices, the impact of sexual harassment on organizational productivity, and how organizations can conduct comprehensive sexual harassment investigations.
As an experienced trainer and educator, she has taught foreign languages in several states in the US and in South America encompassing all levels of students from elementary grades through college. Most recently she was a curriculum developer and head teacher for the English Language Learning Institute which was designed to bring English to elementary school children in China via satellite.
A published author, Jeanne has written numerous articles on career development and leadership. Her latest books entitled, Ready, Set, Work! and Ready, Set, Supervise! were written specifically for our newest generation of workers in order to help them in becoming successful in their careers. Her third book is currently in progress. In addition to writing, Jeanne is a consultant to both private and public sector organizations and provides job coaching and employment counseling on an individual and group basis in areas such as program development, cultural competency, accessibility, discrimination, and organizational development.
Stephanie Changler is the Founder and CEO of Nonfiction Authors Conference, award-winning author numerous non-fiction books and 2012 Small Business Influence Champion. We don’t even have to mention any of that since it was several years ago. I’d like to see it as part of an “Ask the Author” section in the website and also my Facebook authors page which I haven’t developed yet.
What are your books about?
Ready Set Work! and Ready Set Supervise! are books about how to navigate successfully in today's work environment. Specifically, Ready Set Work! is a guide for new workers for conquering job jitters and becoming the employee everyone wants to keep. It covers how to handle hundreds of the most common and most sensitive work situations effectively and confidently. It gives new workers a centralized source of information with a common sense approach that quickly deals with the issues and gets them back on track comfortably. It helps take the fear out of working so people can just concentrate on doing a good job and keep that job in today’s economy. Ready Set Supervise! lays out the most common problems that supervisors run into at work, explains them in a way that makes sense, and enables supervisors to work more confidently all while projecting an air of maturity and dependability. Even if they have to fake it. It helps readers become the supervisor everyone wants to work for. Ready, Set, Supervise! goes a long way towards taking the fear out of supervising. Sane people are afraid of supervision. It can be scary stuff given the number of legal and policy issues supervisors have to deal with. And, once you throw in the need for gigantic heaps of common sense, enormous physical and mental stamina, and the fact that supervision means being responsible for the actions of other people, it’s a wonder anybody ever wants the job.
What inspired you to write them?
Quite honestly, I wrote the books because I constantly saw the need and there was nothing else out there that covered these same topics. I spent over thirty years working as a line-worker, a supervisor, a manager, or an executive, and these were the topics where I most often saw people having difficulty. My overall goal was to produce books full of information that would help people be comfortable in their work environment and succeed in their careers. I wanted them to be a fun, light-hearted approach to real-life topics, easy to read and understand.
How did you come to do what you are doing?
I have been involved in various aspects of human resource management for many years and love the workplace dynamics. People are incredibly complex and endlessly entertaining. As a long-time mentor and career counselor, it became evident over the past several years that with the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, there is a significant gap in knowledge in younger workers regarding how to handle a wide variety or work situations without losing their sanity or going home and kicking the cat. Describe a typical day in your life In the morning, I get up, I suck down a pot of green tea and I write. Sometimes I reverse the order. Some afternoons I teach at the local university or attend business meetings. I spend considerable time talking to folks about their work and their careers. Usually I write again in the evening until I fall face down into my keyboard.
What do you most enjoy about what you are doing?
I love love love sharing true stories about work situations that illustrate a bigger, broader point. Who doesn't love a good story? And, if the story can teach a valuable lesson, so much the better. I also love sharing my insight and experience with younger workers who are just starting their careers and have this, "Holy Moses, what should I do with this situation?"look on their faces.
Who or what books have inspired you?
I have to admit that absolutely everyone inspires me in one way or another. I am a dedicated lifelong learner and watching the way people do things and the results they get is endlessly fascinating. I learn as much from their mistakes as their successes. The mistakes inspire me to do better, and the successes inspire me to replicate their actions.
Can you share some business tips for our readers?
1. Do the job you were hired for. 2. Think critically. 3. Learn to get along with people. 4. Express gratitude and loyalty. 5. Speak so they listen, listen so you understand. Can you share something that people might be surprised to learn about you? I have few surprises. As a child, I attended one of the country’s last one-room schools. It was a blast. Eight rows of kids with eight grades being taught. I still feel sorry for the teacher. What is next for you? I am currently working on a book on leadership which is the third in the Ready Set trilogy. Although there is a ton of stuff out there already on leadership, Ready, Set, Lead! will be somewhat different. My philosophy on leadership is that it should be nurtured at the earliest levels both in school and at work. With the exodus of the Baby Boomers, it became evident that we didn't do a stellar job of building our leadership bench from the ground up. From now on, we need to recruit, hire, and train with leadership in mind. Doing so will result in employees who value their work more, are more accountable, and have greater interest in the organization as a whole. Ready, Set, Lead! should be out by the end of this year.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I have a series of articles published at articlesbase.com that your readers might enjoy as well. Just do a search with "Jeanne Miller Rodriguez" and they pop up. Topics include "Fifteen Ways to Make Your Boss Wish You Worked Someplace Else" and "The Three Things All Employers Want but Never Really Tell You."