Friday, December 31, 2010

Ideas to stop sabotaging ourselves

Happy New Year! For those of us who found jobs, 2010 was a good year.

For others, 2011 will bring more interviewing, resume writing and rewriting, and networking to find employment.

The start of a decade is also a good time for all of us to consider our bad habits, such as putting off exercising, putting off healthier eating, putting off sending in that job application and putting off a myriad of other things we should be doing.

As a regular procrastinator, I didn’t realize how it could affect my health, my sleep and my everyday life.

According to one study, just over the course of a single academic term, procrastinating college students developed compromised immune systems that led to more colds and flu and more gastrointestinal problems, as well as insomnia.

The column below from Psychology Today magazine provides some good suggestions on how to stop sabotaging ourselves and move forward into the new year. Posted by Suzy Kridner

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ideas for New Year's Resolution

Posted by: Darlene Duncan. CWDP. JSS, CCC
Training Coordinator for
Training Initiatives, Inc.
It’s that time of year where everyone is making New Year’s Resolutions. My last post touched on this topic. Just yesterday a colleague of mine sent me this link to a wonderful article on New Year’s Resolutions. The article is short and to the point. Give it a read and see if you agree that the advice is worth your time. By the way, thanks for the link Jamie.

New Year's Resolution Ideas

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Job Hunting Tips for your New Years Resolutions

This is an awesome article to help with your job search in the new year. I especially like #3 "Be pleasantly persistent".

New Year's Job Search

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolution

Posted by: Darlene Duncan. CWDP. JSS, CCC
Training Coordinator for
Training Initiatives, Inc.

The New Year is just around the corner. Have you thought about your New Year’s Resolution? We all make them every year and most of the time we don’t follow through on them.

Three reasons we don’t follow through with New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Loss of interest in resolution
2. Lack of confidence in ourselves
3. It’s something beyond our control

Why not make this year different? Choose a resolution that you really want to achieve, make it something you’re capable of achieving and believe in yourself.

If you’re looking for a job it would be great if you could just resolve to have a job that pays you $50,000 annually by the end of January and that because you resolved to have that job it would happen. The problem with that resolution is that it’s not realistic.

However, toward achieving that goal you could make a resolution to send out a specific number of résumés and fill out a specific number of applications every day. You could resolve to acquire at least one new skill to increase your employability. You could make a resolution to sharpen your interviewing skills and polish your résumé.

Since I’m a writer I could make a resolution to have a novel on the New York Times Best Seller list, however, that’s would be rather unrealistic. Not because my book isn’t good enough to be a bestseller but because of the way the publishing industry works. A book accepted for publication today, doesn’t usually end up in a bookstore for a year or two.

Instead, my resolution is going to be that I will complete the rough draft I’m working on by the end of May. By the end of May I will have a manuscript ready to go to an editor for polishing.

Since I am making this resolution such a public one I will have many friends holding me accountable for following through with this New Year’s Resolution. Make your friends and family aware of your resolution and ask them for their support and assistance. We all need encouragement now and then.

Make this year different. Make a New Year’s Resolution that you’ll actually achieve. Remember, it needs to be something you’re really interested in doing, something you’re capable of doing and create yourself a support system for its completion by telling friends and relatives about it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Celebrate Me Home

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications

Center for Business Excellence

This holiday season can be difficult for many of us. Whether economic situations have kept us apart from family and friends or the spirit of the season has been especially hard to come by, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and despair. In times like these,

I make an effort to remind myself that home truly is where the heart is. New people we encounter through job search, work, volunteering, etc., can also prove to be family of sorts.
That’s why I really like this non-traditional holiday song. It’s truly “evergreen” throughout the whole year. Have a good one, folks!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Where Will the Jobs Be In 2011?

While the unemployment rate will remain high, some professions will have more openings than others. The jobs require higher education, skills and proper training. A college degree is always an advantage.
To see which fields will continue to grow, read the column below:
Posted by Suzy Kridner

Forecasters see an upswing in hiring for skilled and qualified workers in 2011...and beyond.
By Tony Moton
Looking ahead to 2011, you may be wondering: Does the job market have brighter days in its forecast?
While not all the news is good news (the unemployment rate is expected to remain high), there are employment experts who believe things are looking up in certain industries.
Usually, these fields with growing job openings require higher education, career-focused skills, and proper training.
"It would definitely put someone at an advantage to have a college degree," says Andre Koncz, employment information manager for the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). "The chances of getting a job for graduates are positive for 2011," Koncz adds.
"An education is still very important, more so than ever," says Laurence Shatkin, author of 2011 Career Plan: The Best Moves Now for a Solid Future.
"The skill from [a] bachelor's degree is learning how to learn," Shatkin adds. "You need to keep on learning new products, new processes, and new business conditions in your industry."
Employment experts Koncz and Shatkin share their analyses of top industries projected to experience job growth in 2011 and the years following.

Accounting is one job that's projected to make strong gains. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants will see a 22 percent jump in new hires between 2008 and 2018. Other business services expected to make substantial increases in job totals include human resources managers (12,900 new jobs) and personal financial advisors (62,800).
Expert Analysis:
"For the last six or seven years, when we ask our employer members which majors they plan to hire, accounting has always been number one," says Koncz. "Those graduates have always had luck when it comes to finding positions."
Average Salaries:
Accountant: $67,430
Human Resources Manager: $105,510
Personal Financial Advisor: $94,180

The BLS reports some 581,500 registered nurses (RNs) will be added to the labor force during the 10-year period from 2008-2018. Medical assistants, too, will find their value increase as a rise in medical services will necessitate more administrative and clinical duties.
Expert Analysis:
"Nursing is a huge field and the opportunities are going to get better," Shatkin says. "There is a fair amount of turnover because the baby boomers are getting too old to do the work and nurses are now doing some of the work done by doctors."
Average Salaries:
Registered Nurses: $66,530
Medical Assistants: $29,450

The BLS projects the health care industry, in response to a spike in the elderly population, will create 3.2 million new jobs between 2008 and 2018. Nearly 105,600 dental assistants will be hired over the decade, joining medical and health services managers (45,400 new jobs) and medical and health information technicians (35,100 new jobs) as fields with tremendous growth in health care.
Expert Analysis:
People skills are definitely required in this field. "With health care jobs, you have to be in the same room with the patient and have your hands on the patient," Shatkin says.
Average Salaries:
Dental Assistants: $34,000
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians: $33,880
Medical and Health Services Managers: $90,970

Paralegals, also known as legal assistants, will find more job openings in 2011 and well into the future. In fact, jobs for paralegals will expand by 28 percent, adding more than 74,000 jobs during the 10-year span between 2008 and 2018, the BLS reports.
Expert Analysis:
"We live in a litigious society," Shatkin says. "People are always filing lawsuits; contracts have to be reviewed; and laws have to be complied with. More is getting done by paralegals as people try to offload some of the expense of lawyers."
Average Salary:
Paralegals: $50,080

An ever-increasing reliance on computers and online services will spur growth in information technology and network administration jobs, according to Shatkin. Based on studies conducted by the BLS, job prospects for computer network administrators and their counterparts will be excellent heading into 2011 and the years thereafter.
Expert Analysis:
"It's a huge area of growth because every time you buy something from a store online, you're going into a database," Shatkin says. "Computer networks and network database administration require [workers with] high levels of skill."
Average Salaries:
Computer Network Administrators: $70,930
Computer Programmers: $74,690
Computer Support Specialists: $47,360
Average annual salaries as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2009.
From Yahoo, Inc.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Hello all, my name is Darlene Duncan. Currently I’m the Training Coordinator for Training Initiatives, Inc., however, I’ve done many other things in my short life. The one I want to briefly touch on today is the lawn service I owned. After more than a decade mowing lawns I decided it was time to do something else and I wanted to sell my lawn business. I set a deadline and worked on mentally picturing that it would sell by then. Did it work? You better believe it. The day of the deadline was the exact day the sale took place.
I was reminded of this recently when I read an article on becoming successful just by thinking about it. In his article, Will Craig, related the story of Liu Chi Kung, a world-class pianist in the late 1950’s. He was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution in China. The article goes on to tell how after seven years without a piano he immediately returned to his concert tour. His fans said he played better than ever and wondered how this was possible, Kung said, “I rehearsed every piece I had ever played, note by note, in my mind.”
I know some of you are shaking your head in disbelief and you’re thinking that it’s all a bunch of nonsense. You don’t believe that thinking about being successful will make you successful. Maybe you’re right but maybe you’re wrong. But let me ask you this, what have you got to lose by thinking of yourself as a capable, successful individual and having a positive outlook on your future? The answer to that question is easy, nothing to lose and everything to gain.
So believe in yourself and picture the future you want.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Are you over 40 and invisible? Tips to bring you to the forefront in your job search

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

Let’s face it, having the invisible touch may have worked for Genesis, but it won’t get you very far in your job search at any age -- especially over 40.

Here are some tips to assist you in showing you still have the desired energy, charisma, drive and knowhow to run circles around any other potential candidate:

Friday, December 17, 2010

How to Cope with Being Unemployed During the Holidays

The holidays should be joyous and fun. But for the unemployed, they are often stressful, especially when we think about gifts for family and friends.

I told everyone last year, when I was unemployed, that there would be no gifts, except for the grandchildren. After all, what did we need?

Of course, by the time Christmas Eve came, I broke down and purchased gifts, albeit not expensive ones, for immediate family and a few friends.

While money is still tight for most of us, some gifts don’t take a lot of moolah, only time and creativity. I’m not crafty, but I can bake, especially cookies from Swedish recipes handed down for generations. Other ideas are cupcakes, bread and brownies made from a store-bought mix. Homemade gifts are appreciated by everyone this time of year.

If you’re not working, home baked cookies and candy are a most welcome gift. And the smile on the recipient’s face makes you feel better.

For the health conscious, homemade granola wrapped in a cellophane bag with a pretty ribbon hits the spot after the gym.

One of my favorites is homemade spiced tea mix that keeps throughout the year. While you’re online job hunting, take a break and look for the thousands of inexpensive recipes available.

The column below gives other tips for enjoying the holidays this year.

Posted by Suzy Kridner

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Create Your Own Job

Click on the link below to learn about others who have created their own jobs. You might get some ideas about how you can create your own job.

Create Your Own Job


Monday, December 13, 2010

No Wings, No Wand, No Excuses…The Fairy Jobmother is all about the business of getting people back to work

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon an interesting television series on Lifetime called, “The Fairy Jobmother.” Host and employment expert Hayley Taylor has a very no-nonsense, yet supportive approach to getting the featured unemployed person back into the workforce.

In the episode I viewed taking place in a suburb of Philadelphia, a 35-year-old woman with the dream house and dream family lost her dream job as a news anchor when Comcast cut the division.

This job was her passion and truly defined her as a person. Without it, she was lost and could not see other possibilities through transferring her skills into a different career path.

As she neared the end of her Unemployment Compensation benefits, the Fairy Jobmother stepped in with her British charm to help get her on the right path. I’ll leave off there because I don’t want to give the ending away.

To learn more about the series, check out the link below. On thie Web site, you will also find career tips, recent episodes and more:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reach out with holiday cards.

The holiday season is an ideal time to remember those who have helped you in your job search throughout the year. They may include friends who gave you a lead or referral; employers who granted you an interview; and those you met at networking meetings. You don’t want to specifically mention the job interview, just extend holiday greetings.

And don’t forget your references, who may be contacted to give you a good word.

A personalized note lets family, friends and others know how much you appreciated their efforts.

See “How Holiday Cards Can Help You Network” in the link below.

Posted by Suzy Kridner

Green Training in the New Year

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blue Christmas

Are the holidays truly "the most wonderful time of the year"??? I am sorry, they are not always.

The holidays seem to magnify everything. They can make folks feel very, very good. They can also make them feel very, very bad. Below is a helpful article if you are finding the holiday season just a little overwhelming.

Holiday Blues

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


We’ve all made mistakes in life. Some of us have just made more serious mistakes than others. For those with the more serious mistakes in their past, job hunting has some added difficulties.
If you have a criminal record the article linked here has some great tips for interviewing.

Friday, December 3, 2010

“The DOW and the Jobseeker”

On Wednesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 200 points. If you are an unemployed individual looking for a job in today’s job market economic indicators such as the DOW Jones Industrial Average matter tremendously to you. It is part of the greater stock market, or the securities market in aggregate where people, institutions, and governments come to buy and sell their stakes in companies, based on their beliefs of the value of those companies and the greater economy’s prospects for growth. In essence, it is an aggregate gauge of perception of the greater economy today and tomorrow. This brings tremendous value to the jobseeker. To clearly articulate this value we need to start with a brief explanation of the DOW Jones Industrial Average.

The Index was created by Wall Street Journal Editor Charles Dow and statistician Edward Jones in 1883. The DOW Jones Industrial Average is composed of 30 large publicly traded U.S. companies that have a significant effect on and are significantly affected by the American economy. These companies are chosen as members of the index for the reason stated- the effect they have on the greater US economy. The average number shown daily is determined by a statistical technique called price weighting. In a nut shell this means that the value of the index is deduced by adding the prices of each of the stocks within the index and dividing the sum by the total number of stocks. The number of a company’s stocks held within the index is determined by the stock price. The greater the price, the greater the stock’s weight within the index. This means that if a company has a stock price of $100.00 per share it will make up 10 times more than a company trading with a stock price of $10 per share. This allows for giving each company a relative weight within the index proportional to its value in the eyes of its stockholders. So if the company is valued greater because it plays a greater role in the economy and is presumed to possess greater growth prospects its share price should reflect these assumptions. Many academics, analysts, economist, and consumers of indexes view this method of calculation and the DOW as poor indicators and instead rely more heavily on the Standard & Poor’s 500.

That having been said, let’s get back to the value of this information for the jobseeker. This information is important because historical analysis of the greater economy and the DOW has shown that the DOW can lead the economy as an indicator by as much as six months. It also encapsulates the feeling of millions of economic participants’ thoughts about the economy on a daily some say hourly basis. In the short run there tends to be an overshot of sentiment either way, but over the long run, it has proven to provide significant evidence that supports it as a somewhat reliable economic barometer.

So the next time, as a jobseeker, you see “Market Rallies” 200 points, just remember that some of the smartest people in our county and the world, motivated by greed, aversion to lost, or a myriad of other reasons see something good on the economic horizon and you too in your job search should be able to capitalize on that positive outlook.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

10 Reasons to Step Up Your Job Search Over the Holidays

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause and he may be hiring. An awesome article on uping your job search efforts over the holidays.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If men were angels, no government would be necessary

The title of this post is a quote from James Madison, 4th President of the United States. A slight modification of the statement for today’s world might be, if people were angels, no security settings for Facebook would be necessary. Unfortunately, people aren’t angels and security settings are definitely necessary. Social media is a fun and useful tool, if used wisely. Not everyone is your friend. Take a look at the video below for an example of a romance destroyed because of a Facebook hijacking and think about other disasters that could occur if you're not paying attention to your security settings.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Do you dare to be authentic? Life lessons learned from The Breakfast Club

By: Lori McMullin, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

I had another blog post ready to go this morning, but decided to re-post this on in honor of my 25th high school reunion this past weekend. Hope you like it:

They were five students with nothing in common, faced with spending a Saturday detention together in their high school library. At 7 a.m., they had nothing to say, but by 4 p.m., they had bared their souls to each other and become good friends. To the outside world they were simply the Jock, the Brain, the Criminal, the Princess and the Basket Case, but to each other, they would always be the Breakfast Club.

You have to love a good John Hughes movie, and “The Breakfast Club” captivated audiences while delivering a powerful message about being authentic. Check out a great article on the first link, and then take a walk down memory lane for most of us on the second link. Coincidentally, “The Breakfast Club’s” theme song is my high school graduating class song.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Job Search always in season

Job hunting during the holidays poses special challenges. Or so I was told when I was laid off from a job I loved after 28 years. I was constantly hearing that companies don't hire during the Christmas season? Well, don’t believe it.
Although it’s tempting to slack off, the holidays are a good time to step up your job search. One executive coach says in fact this time of year provides some distinct advantages and special opportunities for proactive job seekers.
Read the following article for some tips from Monster+HotJobs on looking for that perfect job while others are out shopping or partying.

Posted by Suzy Kridner.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The 2010 Annual Report is now available!

Check out our annual report to learn about the different services that we offer at the One-Stops, and also to have a better understanding of the employment situation in the region.

(Click on the cover to view the annual report.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You’re Fired!

If the above phrase is something you’ve heard outside of television, this article can help you deal with the situation. Click here to read the article.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Over 50 and Looking for a Job?

Finding a job is challenging for anyone in the current job market but it’s harder if you’re over age 50. It’s illegal for employers to discriminate based on age, but many will tell you it happens every day.

That reality is converging with the baby boomer generation, many of whom are finding that they need to keep working past the traditional retirement age.

So, what are the best strategies for landing a job when you’re over 50? Well, I searched the internet for just these kinds of hints and this is what I found.

It’s not all about you. The most important thing in getting a job after 50 is to understand why anyone would hire you. There’s one common reason people get hired—when the hiring manager sees the candidate as the solution to their problems. Don’t spend all your time talking about yourself. Instead, spend the time talking about how you can be of value to the company.

Leave the attitude at the door. Instead, go into interviews prepared to listen and understand your prospective employer’s current situation and issues. Research the company thoroughly in advance. You’re there to find a way to match up the employer’s problems with specific areas of your experience that make you the obvious solution. When you whine about your previous employer, your health or other things, most employers will take note of your attitude and sort you to the bottom of the pile. As a manager myself, I can tell you that I would rather not have a whiner on my staff.

Connect with the Culture. Show your prospective employer that you’re not stuck in the past. Try to understand how you are perceived by others—the way you look, the words you use, the attitudes you hold. Clean up your act before you enter the market. But don’t go overboard! Whenever I spot a do-rag or baggy pants on someone over 45, I want to shoot them and put them out of their kid’s misery.

Technology is Important! I have a quote on my office wall – It is not the technology, it’s what you do with it that counts. Pencil, paper and calculators have been replaced by software and computers. We live in a high tech world. A working knowledge of technology is essential. Most baby boomers are comfortable with basic business technology—computers, the web, e-mail and mobile technology. If you are not comfortable with these technologies, take a class. We offer lots of them through the One-Stop Employment Centers.

Experience and Wisdom are Valuable! Now here is the most important thing you need to know. While you may be competing with younger, more tech savvy candidates, your age can be an advantage to most employers. Experience and wisdom come with age. As long as you are not stuck in the past, you upgrade your skills and embrace the current culture, you are more valuable because of your age! Your ability to make sound business decisions and react to out of the ordinary circumstances should be strengthened because of your experience. But, you need to show your future employer that you can get off the porch and run with the big dogs.

A pastor said to me today, “Do the Next Right Thing!” I like that. So I say to you, “Do the Next Right Thing”, upgrade your skills, change your attitude and show them that you can add value to their organization.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Job Forecasting Tool

I was recently given a link to a tool forecasting job growth within the United States. You are able to view forecasted job growth by state and/or metropolitan area.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Looking For A Change? Look To The O’Net

Are you one of those people whose job has been automated? Or maybe you’re just bored with the work you’ve been doing and would like to explore some other careers. If for any reason, you’re interested in getting in to a different line of work than what you’ve been doing, the O’net Center can be a great help to you.
Type in the name of the job you’ve been thinking about moving to and study all the information about that position, including the working conditions, the amount of training needed, and the pay scale just to name a few. O’net will even list related fields of work that you can explore.
O’net is also a place to help you find the words you’re looking for to help describe what you did in a previous job. This can be a wonderful resource to aid you in writing your résumé.
Whether you’re looking for your next career or seeking assistance in writing about a past one, the O’net is a great tool. To go to O’net click here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Huh? What did you just say???

Several years ago I was working as a Project Manager for a large employment and training company. My V.P. was the KING of the annoying phrases. Sometimes he would string so many of them together in a sentence, that I would find myself baffled. I would think to myself "Huh? What did you just say?".

Of course my more savvy peers would smile at him as if he were the wise Yoda of the business world. I walked out of many meetings saying to myself, that if "at the end of day" I don't jump out of a conference room window it will be a miracle.

Do you have phrases that just make you crazy??? Ones that make you just shutter??? This article contains most of mine. If you have one that is not in this article, please share it with the rest of us in the comment section. I have a great book, Attitude is Everything by Jeff Keller, as a prize for the most annoying business phrase posted.

Annoying Business Phrases

Monday, November 15, 2010

And if I should falter, would you open your arms out to me?

Even the strongest of individuals need emotional support and encouragement

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

To say searching for a job or fighting to keep your job in the current economic climate takes all of your sheer will and energy is a huge understatement. The holiday season is upon us and what may have once been purely a time of joy and hope can often magnify the issues we face.

Still, even the strongest of individuals need support every now and then. Yes, this includes you!

Here is a link to helpful tips on what to do when you need someone to lean on:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Career Expo to the North

There is an upcoming fall career expo that has been put together via our friends to the north. Take a look.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to Identify 5 Key Topics for a Youth's Success

How to Identify 5 Key Topics for a Youth's Success
By YouthServices, eHow Member
Reposted by Christine Sikora
User-Submitted Article

Some of you are still in high school, some in college, some working full time jobs, part time jobs, working in a career, sitting at home bumming out, etc. You live in a very competitive world when it comes to the workforce arena, employers have dozens, if not hundreds of candidates to choose from when attempting to fulfill their labor needs. That's why we teach so much about how you dress, talk, completing an application, the importance of volunteering, being a super employee and all that. We're trying to prepare you for the reality of life that's before.

Here are some major key items that I've learned from working (34 years) and working with youth (20 years).

Things You'll Need:

•A youth that wants to succeed in life.
•One adult who'll invest in the youth's life.
•A community that will offer real assistance to our young people.


Do Your Research.
Know what careers are "hot". Go through the "Choices" or "Bridges" computer assessment, or whatever program your school is utilizing and see which matches for your interest and careers are available. Which college/vocational school/military field do you pursue? Dig and keep digging to get all the facts. Don't be pressured to come up with the MAIN job title that is your goal; rather, think about which career cluster you're interested in: medical, tech, construction, etc. There's a web link I can send you that discusses clusters. Look for job shadowing opportunities and interview some people who are working in the career you want to pursue.


Make a Plan.
Which classes in high school do you need to take? Is it a two year vocational school? Which college offers the degree you need? Lay out a one year, 3 year, 5 year plan. Sure it will change and need to be adjusted. However, I've found that youth who have a plan, seem to make less mistakes that hinder them from obtaining their goals. Go deep on your planning, sub-points, etc. Identify obstacles to overcome and each step that is needed to ensure success. START NOW in developing your "life picture". There will be several pieces of the puzzle...start identifying what will describe your life. I actually have blank puzzles that I give students to help them start this concept.


Make Good Decisions.
One split second decision to participate in some activity can not only affect your immediate future, but your whole life. Not that making mistakes deems you hopeless, it just adds more barriers that have to be overcome. Unexpected children, criminal activities, drug use, an act of anger...I've counseled with youth and adults who wished they could go back and adjust one decision they made. When faced with a decision, consider, "how will this affect my plan?"


Take Advantage of Opportunities.
Examine all the opportunities within your school and others in your community (church, scouts, 4-H, volunteer, etc.) We live in the richest country, with the most resources than any other country in the whole world...yet many youth do not access the resources available to them. The college funding, the alternative education choices, etc. There are dozens of resources for youth to tap into today.

Whatever you're doing (school, job, etc.)...excel, exceed the job description, pursue excellence! It's going to pay off considering so many in the workforce settle for average or some mediocre standard. I started at the bottom at several locations, within months, I was promoted above others due to my dedication to excel.

Tips & Warnings
•Success Comes. Not necessarily to those who have great upbringings, but to those people who do the above steps.
•When success comes: celebrate! But also use your successes to help others achieve. It's not what you gain that counts, it how you benefit those around you that real success is measured. Then you begin to experience a life of significance (future article to be written about this).
•Or, hey, you can do nothing, make no-brainer mistakes and in five years wonder why things are not working out.
•It takes less to prepare, than repair your'll do one or the other!

To see this article in full:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Willing to commute?

The Central Florida Employment Council will be hosting a job fair from noon to 4 p.m. at the Central Florida Fairgrounds today.

Job Fair Info

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Be A Purple Squirrel

So what is a Purple Squirrel? A purple squirrel is an employee with just the right set of skills that the employer is looking for. Employers are increasingly looking for a broader array of skills than ever before. You may no longer qualify for your old job. Because employers are combining jobs and now the job you had before requires skills you don’t have because you didn’t used to need them to do your job. Does that mean you should give up? NO! it means you may need to take some classes. No money for school? Don’t despair. Learn on your own. Almost everything is taught on the internet, a great deal of it is offered at no cost to you.
To read the article click here, then decide what classes you might need to bring you up to speed.
Click here to start your search into expanding your knowledge.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Reducing anger before Towanda appears

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

Towanda! This Mantra of sorts flashed through my head the other day when I witnessed two angry women trying to simultaneously back out of opposing parking spaces at a major retail establishment.

The two women relentlessly honked and shouted obscenities at each other until one either brave or insane woman stood between the two cars shouting, “Stop it, both of you! Just go home!”

This scene was very much reminiscent of the 1991 “Fried Green Tomatoes” movie parking lot scene when Evelyn (Kathy Bates) loses her Winn Dixie parking lot spot she patiently waited for to two rude young ladies. They snidely proclaim, “Face it lady, we’re younger and faster!”

Towanda, Evelyn’s alter-ego, kicks in and she, ahem, let’s just say exhibits a little road rage. She tells the appalled young ladies, “Face it, girls. I’m older and I have more insurance!”

Although this movie scene is very entertaining, no one in their right mind would recommend doing this. For that matter, the women I witnessed should have known better, especially because they did this in front of a mother with her impressionable little girl.

Anger management tactics would have served these ladies well. Check out these 10 anger management tips before Towanda emerges in you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Success vs. Failure

“One who fears limits his activities”

Henry Ford

“I have not failed.

I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

Thomas Edison

Most decisions in the average individual’s day are driven by the simple avoidance of failure. Ask yourself, am I more likely to pursue a task, agenda, or goal if there is a greater probability of success vs. failure. This type of decision making methodology is used every day to make from the simplest mundane choices to critical life altering decisions. Of course the successes and failures are weighted, but generally where we anticipate the most success, we tend to gravitate.

Like most, I too have based many of my decisions on the possibility of success vs. failure. At these times I aggregated all of the relevant data and made a prudent decision. This process moved me up and down the Eastern Seaboard of the United States several times in my adult life based on the assumptions of life being better somewhere else(success vs. failure). I chose my college education based on the fact that there is greater demand for one subject/skillset hence I’m more likely to get a job vs. another subject/skillset that held intrigue and passion, but low demand hence limited job possibilities (success vs. failure). Heck, I purchased my house and married my spouse utilizing some aspect of this methodology (success vs. failure). And why not, this is the way many of us are taught to make decisions.

I myself feel this way, and have proof that supports this methodology as a sound decision making apparatus. I get up every day thinking that most of my decisions were very prudent and I am bearing the fruit of those good choices. Today I love the work I do, I get to work with brilliant fun people, and I have the honor of performing a duty that is relevant to my community and gives me a sense of satisfaction. I can also see at the end of the day where I may have actually helped someone. So my decision making methodology was good-right?

I say right-but like most people I pay a penance everyday for those “Greater Probability of success /Failure Avoidance Decisions”. Every day at some point I think about how fabulous if would have been to have gone with that other option. Albeit I have no regrets, in my mind regrets are obvious lapses in good judgment based on all of the information given at the time. I have more of the Robert Frost-“The Road Not Taken” types of questions (In this case the opposing view of course). A copy of the poem is provided at the bottom of this posting for those of you thinking what poem is he rambling on about.

But then it hits me, most of the current happiness and richness in my life is not a result of the successes in my life, but of the failures. Case in point, every time I moved along the East Coast it was because at some point there was a failure (failure).This forced me to look at career choices that did not have high probability of success but made me abundantly happier in other ways (success). My decision to educate myself in a particular field, which then underwent what some deemed a global catastrophe back in 2008 (failure) .These events, forced me to reevaluate "the sure thing/greater success" assumptions that I made about my prior years’ choices(success). I suspect that many of you will find similar experiences in your lives. All of this blah, blah, blah is to say that failure is necessary. It allows us to take a moment and reevaluate. And every now and then we should make a decision not based on chances of the success or failure decision making model, but on what we really want.

There is a saying in the business world-only through failure can radical innovations occur. This is also relevant to the individual jobseeker. Only through failure can we reevaluate our course of action and reconsider those other options. I’m living proof of that.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

...Robert Frost

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How to Help

More and more, I am being contacted by friends and family of people that are looking for jobs. Most often they are looking on advice on how to best help that person. This article gives awesome advice.

How to help

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Working The Holidays

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS
Training Coordinator for
Training Initiatives, Inc.

The holiday season is gearing up and lots of places are looking for temporary help. Yes, I know you’re looking for a full time permanent job. The reality is that temp jobs can often turn into permanent and full time positions. How do I know this? Because virtually every temp job I’ve taken either turned into a full time permanent job or it could have, if I’d been interested. I believe attitude has a great deal to do with this. An example, I showed up at a temporary assignment and was being shown around by the woman I would be working under, when she asked me how well I knew Lotus 1, 2, 3. At the time I wasn’t sure, but I thought Lotus 1, 2, 3 was a spreadsheet software. And that’s exactly what I told her. Then she wanted to know how much Spanish I knew. I told her I could say, yes, hello, goodbye and friend in Spanish. Doris told me she had requested someone who knew Lotus 1, 2, 3 and Spanish. We finished the tour and I was thinking that she was probably going to send me packing, since I didn’t have either of the skill sets she was looking for. However, I kept smiling, showed an interest in the business and tried to get across to her that I was a fast learner. When we got back to the woman who was going out on maternity leave and who would be training me, Doris said, “Let’s see how you do over the next couple of days.” I filled in for the mother-to-be until her maternity leave was finished. She came back to work and I was scheduled to stay on for a couple of weeks to transition her back in to a full workload. At the end of her first week back, she quit to be a stay-at-home mother. I was offered her job.
The job I have today started out as filling in for someone going out on sick leave. The individual decided to retire and I was offered the position.
I could go on; however, I think you get the idea. In addition to the possibility of the temp assignment becoming permanent, being out in the workforce gives you opportunities to keep your skills up to date and to network.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Job hunt horror stories

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

Halloween was yesterday, but that doesn’t mean horror happens on just one day a year. Check out this link to read about the unbelievable experiences of six job hunters.
Unfortunately, I had a similar experience many years ago to the first scenario given. Ghastly!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Housing and jobs

Recently, I heard this statement made by a jobseeker” I need a job, what does housing have to do with me getting a job?’ The short answer to that question is-a lot! In an economy such as ours everything is somewhat related to job demand and housing plays a crucial role.

To explain, there are three main ways in which housing demand affects job creation. The first is directly though the demand for individuals in the construction trade. In Volusia County, at its peak, 15,000 individuals or 6.1% of our workforce were employed in the housing industry. Today 8,100, that is 3.2% of our local economy is directly affected by housing. These numbers become even more staggering when we look to our sister county to the north. Flagler County’s slice of the housing pie at its peak was 2,400 or 8%, today it is 890 or 2.7%.

The second way that housing affects jobs is through a slightly more complex chain. This chain is based on the fact that a significant amount of our consumption is based on the value that is encased in our homes.

This value was utilized in a number of ways. The main method that we all read and hear about, but struggle to understand, is through financial engineering. This is when those values associated with our homes, or better yet the mortgages attached to the homes themselves were pooled, bundled, and then sold at a discount to investors nationwide and worldwide. These products were structured many different ways, but the main products involved selling slices of our mortgage payments called tranches to investors. These products were viewed as fairly safe investments and as a result they sold like hotcakes. This product in a nutshell is the Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) also called CMOs (Collateralized Mortgage Obligations) or Mortgage Backed Certificates (MBC) that we have read some much about in the past 2-3 years. These financial products helped facilitate the rise in the perceived value of homes, drove paper profits, and fueled consumption and demand. Thus the demand for employment followed.

The third and no less important way is through value extraction of your home in the form of a loan to fuel your personal consumption. That personal consumption drives demand, which then drives the need for production of goods and services to meet this demand. This is the same drive that forces an employer to place an ad on EFM, Monster, Career Builder, or your local newspaper’s want ads to hire you the jobseeker.

As is obvious, both processes are prone to the opposite effect when the reverse occurs. This is what we had experienced in the past 2-3 years. This is not to say that an economy cannot grow and create jobs without this process occurring, but at this current time, the way our economy is structured, at the very least we will need to see some stabilization in the housing market before we would expect significant consistent improvement on the jobs front.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Employ Florida

Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is still an awesome place to look for job openings! Now EFM is like many other things in life, you get from it what you put into it. Take the time post your resume and to enter all of your skills. Remember not only can you use it to look for a job but employers can use it to find you!
We even have a workshop that you can attend if you need help with this, Take Control of Your Job Search. Days and times for your area can be found on our webite

Below are some of the jobs I found on EFM today.

Manager of Benefits and Wellness $50K
Contract Administrator $38K to $63K
Substance Abuse Counselor $30.00 per hour
Financial Paralegal $50K
Field Mechanic $22.00 per hour
Technical Manager $80K

This is just a tiny sample of jobs that have posted by our preferred employers. Do a search on EFM for yourself. I think you will be surpised at what you find!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Do most people really know how they are generally perceived by others?

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

“Just for a moment, I was back at school and felt that old, familiar pain…” Do you ever have something happen that brings you back to that insecure place we all have deep inside? You know the feeling – like when you had a stream of toilet paper stuck on your shoe trailing behind as you made your oblivious way down a crowded high school hallway.

Or, maybe, it was the time a high school science teacher strongly suggested to you in front of your classmates (all boys) that you really should be down the hall in Home Ec learning how to bake cookies instead of the rationale behind Newton’s laws of motion. True story.

Well, I had that feeling a few weeks ago during a meeting. A gentleman entered the room, shook every man’s hand and walked right past me like I was vapor.

Perhaps, he was tired. Maybe, he was in a bad mood. Better yet, my suit may have blended in with the wallpaper and he couldn’t detect me.

Nonetheless, his dismissive behavior made me feel like shouting out, “Hey Mister, I can’t believe it’s 2010 and that just actually happened! Hello, my name is Lori Stone, someone YOU (yes, you) should know!”

Of course, I didn’t do that. My point is, his actions created my perception which became my reality in that moment. And yes, I admit, I stewed over it longer than I should have.

So, I did a little research and found an interesting exercise to help us put our best foot forward when interacting with others. I hope you find it useful:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Overcoming Defeat

If you are looking for work and have not been successful you could probably describe the 50 different ways you have been turned down for a job. "You are over qualified." "You don't have enough experience in this field." "We have already filled that position." And so on. You may have come to think that there is no way a great job is going to happen to you. Don't get defeated, it will happen. Here are a few situations where rejection didn't end in defeat:

  • Babe Ruth is remembered as the “Home Run King.” He was also the “Strike-Out Champion,” having failed at bat 1,330 times, more than any other player in the major leagues at that time.
  • In 1962, an executive of Decca Records made the following statement about a singing group: “We don’t like their sound. Besides, groups playing guitars are on the way out anyway.” He was talking about the Beatles.
  • Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, co-authors of the world renowned Chicken Soup for the Soul® book series, were turned down by 33 of New York's biggest publishing houses in the first month of their efforts to promote their labor of love! They heard, "Anthologies don't sell." "We don't think there is a market for this book." "We just don't get it." "The book is too positive." "It's not topical enough." All totaled, they were rejected by 140 publishers. To top it off, their agent said, "I can't sell this book - I'm giving it back to you guys." They finally found someone willing to take a risk on their project, Peter Vegso, President of Health Communications, Inc. The first books were published on June 28, 1993, and had become a Christmas favorite by the end of December. Word of mouth soon led to a groundswell of popularity. To meet the demand, the publisher had to subcontract printing. With over 60 million copies sold to date, 48 titles in print in the United States and translations in over 30 languages, Chicken Soup for the Soul® has made international publishing history. At one time or another there have been at least eight Chicken Soup for the Soul® titles simultaneously in the top fifty on the USA Today best-selling books list. Jack and Mark hold the record in The Guinness Book of World Records for having the most books on the New York Times bestseller list at one time; seven books on May 24, 1998.

It may seem that you have heard "no" too often and will never get a "yes", but keep your faith. It will come and soon you can add your name to this list.

For more inspirational stories you can go to:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Robin Ryan Rocks!

60 Seconds and You're Hired! is in my opinion the best book on interviewing that has ever been written. Everyone I have recommended this book has had nothing but great things to say about it . You can purchase it from for less that $4.00 or if you e-mail me at I will let you borrow one of my copies. Just promise me you will bring it back!

Also, you can visit her website daily for her job search tip of the day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

7 Spending Cuts You Might Not Even Notice

Even those who are employed can benefit from cutting costs. No matter how much money we make, it never seems to be enough. Click here to read an article with seven ideas on cutting costs.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Charm School for Your Career

“You talk too much. You never shut up!” Good Monday morning! It’s Lori Stone, CBE’s director of business operations and communications. Yep, Run dmc may have been on to something with these simple lyrics. Unless you are in the middle of a filibuster on the U.S. Senate floor, you may need to check yourself and determine if you could use “charm school” for your career.

I know I’ve been guilty of using the wrong tactics to get noticed in my career, especially when I was just starting out. Hard to believe people didn’t find me as charming and hilarious as I thought I was – LOL! I still have to watch myself when I’m anxious or overtired and “slap happy.”

So, join me and check out these great tips/refreshers on the subject:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cyclical vs. Structural Recession: Why does it matter?

Years ago as a student in economics I learned all the usual economics jargon; markets info, production, costs and efficiency, supply and demand, inflation and monetary policy, etc, etc, etc, but one of the lessons that stuck with me without having to review my text time and time again was the difference between a cyclical recession versus a structural recession. This lesson in particular stuck with me because it could be applied in many different ways. For the purpose of this discussion I choose to apply it to the individual unemployed jobseeker. But first I will try to explain what cyclical and structural recessions are.

The quick and dirty definition of a cyclical recession is; the regular downturn in the business cycle caused by reactions to periods of out of control confidence or to quote our Fed predecessor Chairman Greenspan “irrational overexhuberance”. This type of cycle usually rights itself when confidence returns and investment and spending begin to ramp up again.

The second and more serious type of recession, structural, is defined as a disconnect between the supply and demand components of an economy. In our case, an example of this would be the skills of a worker not matching the needs of an employer. It could also be that the products and or services produced by business are not what a market demands, thus stagnation and no growth occurs. Please remember that these definitions are as stated “quick and dirty” and are designed to give you the reader a general understanding of the concepts, not to make you an economist.

When applying these principles to that of an unemployed jobseeker. A jobseeker should ask her or himself; Is my unemployment cyclical- meaning that it is part of the usual downturn and as confidence builds so will my opportunities for reemployment, or is it structural- meaning that there is an obvious mismatch of the skills I possess and the skills required for employment in today’s job market.

This leads me back to title of this discussion Cyclical vs. Structural Recession: Why does it matter? The answer to this question is critical to you the individual jobseeker because it tells you if your unemployment situation will resolve itself via the function of time and waiting it out, or if your unemployment will be long and you will need to reinvent yourself in terms of the skills that you possess if your unemployment situation is to improve.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Super Mario! The Best Reality TV Ever

Driving to work today the DJ on the radio said that the coverage of the miners is the best Reality TV that has ever been on. It is hard to argue with that or to come up with anything more inspiring than the happenings down in Chile over the past 70 days, especially the finale over the past 72 hours. At some point I think most everyone has seen a clip of some moment or heard of the painstaking efforts to return the 33 miners to safety. I tried to think of a way to tie in what they have coordinated and accomplished to something that will help you or me overcome our daily trials and tribulations. Everything seems to come up too short. So I have decided to share my favorite part and hope that in a way it can inspire you.

Mario Sepulveda was the second miner to emerge from the tunnel and upon his arrival, well, he was inspirational. In his high spirits and gratitude, the joy of life he showed still stays with me. I hope that you enjoy watching his ascent as much I did. Christine Sikora

Celebrate and Share Love

So many people around the world are jobless. Trying to figure out what their next move might be. Thinking, when will I be employed? Will I be able to pay my bills? Will I be able to feed myself and my family? Constantly beating themselves up on a daily basis, not realizing that they have that special four letter word in their lives, that can make things better.
I know this feeling. I was there 4 months ago. I wondered if the Money Tree really existed. And if it did, I would bury it in my back yard and all my financial worries would cease to exist. After searching the nurseries and the Internet for several days, I realized the Money Tree was non-existent. So I started thinking, I don't have much money, but what I do have, is the Love of my wife, my kids, my siblings, my parents, my neighbors and my pets.
At that precise moment, a wide smile fell upon my face. I realized that no matter how bad it may have seemed to be unemployed or how bad I felt not being able to pay my bills on time, the fact that I was filled with Love and had many that Loved me, gave me hope. Suddenly, the world was not a gloomy place. Instead, it was a bright, shiny place. With all the Love I have in my life and with all the Love I can give to others, I can let people know that if they just realized how much Love they have in their lives, they too would be smiling. We may not be rich as Rockefeller, but we have what no amount of money can buy, LOVE!
Those that know me, always say that I am a positive, upbeat, caring and Loving person. I am for the most part. The reason for my happy, upbeat and Loving attitude is because of my wife, my wonderful 4 angels that are my children and the many people I have in my life. No matter how bad things may get or be, all I have to think about, is the Love that I have for my family and the Love I receive from them, takes everything away.
Love can make a bad situation better. Love can make someone sad, suddenly happy. Just sit back and forget about your worries for just a moment. Think about those you Love and Love you. Within moments, your face and soul will light up and make things better. Celebrate and share Love! Imagine, if every single person on this planet, decided to celebrate and share Love with one another. How great would that be?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pro-Net Meeting-- Join us!!!!!!

If you are profesional seeking employment please join us for our upcoming networking meetings.

Meeting dates and times are October 15th and 29th at 10 a.m. at the Daytona One Stop Career Center and October 19th at 10 a.m. at the DeLand One Stop Career Center. Please contact Donna Runge at to R.S.V.P.

If you are not familiar with our Pro-Net meetings please read the article below.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lose the Expensive Gym Fees and Get in Shape

Tired of paying a monthly fee to a gym you hardly ever use? Or maybe things have just reached the point that regardless of how much you use the gym you simply can’t afford it any longer. Click here to read an article with 9 suggestions on free and easy ways to get some exercise.

Monday, October 11, 2010

True Success: Finding Your Perfect Wave

By: Lori McMullin, APR, Director of Business Operations & Communications

Center for Business Excellence

Here's to a very tripendicular Monday! “What,” you say?

Well, I must confess I was watching a movie on LMN last week and it gave me the idea for this week’s blog post. Yes, it was a mushy romance, but that’s beside the point.

One of the characters said, “You’ve got to swim out of your comfort zone to catch the wave that will change your life,” and it rang true with me.

I most definitely did this during the past year and discovered who I really am, what truly matters and, most important, love once lost and now returned. The ride has been filled with joy and, sometimes, pain. Nonetheless, it has been an incredible journey of self discovery.

Check out the first link for tips on how to find your perfect wave. Then, check out the second link just for fun!

P.S., seems like the perfect wave is perfectly imperfect. Wouldn’t you agree? Fer Sure!