Remembering Mama’s Handshake Lesson on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a time to say thanks…whether recalling a special memory of your mother or, for the fortunate ones, thanking your mother in person. My mother’s career was taking care of her six children. My career has ranged from secretary to social worker to HR director to newspaper publisher to business owner. I was one of the fortunate daughters whose mother always not only encouraged, but assumed, that I would have a professional career. A lesson my mother taught me when I was around 12 has served me well for my entire career. She had me practice shaking hands with her. Her instructions included not only technique but an emphasis on a firm handshake. When I was a freshman at Radford College, the Dean had each freshman shake hands with her. After the handshake, she directed each of us to one of two groups. We had no idea why we were being separated into groups. After she shook hands with each of us, she announced that one group (my group) had shaken hands properly. The other group had not and had to practice until they learned the art of a firm handshake. Thank you, Mama Ruth! Through my working years, I have taught women who worked for me to shake hands properly. To this day, I compliment applicants who have a firm handshake and instruct our staff to teach the firm handshake to those applicants who use the gentle half handshake. I haven’t written about my mother in a number of years, so as Mother’s Day arrives, it’s the perfect time to again recall the handshaking lesson of so many years ago. It has served me well! Julie Aguilar

#interviewtip #MothersDay #properhandshake


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