Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Perception = Reality

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

Some people disagree that someone’s perception of you is reality. However, each person’s perception of the world around them is THEIR reality. I agree that my perception of the world is not, necessarily, your reality. It is definitely my reality. Therefore, someone’s perception of you is their reality.

Think about your perception of the world. Are you a negative individual? Then it’s very likely the world is a very negative place, for you. Give this idea a try – for one month work at having a positive attitude. Every time you catch yourself being negative about anything. Stop and try to find a positive aspect of the issue. Find some part of the situation for which you can be thankful.

Even something as simple as getting caught by a red light can have its positive aspects. You’re sitting at a red light idling away the liquid gold your car runs on, so what is there to be thankful about? If your car has air conditioning, you could be thankful for that. If the air conditioning is broken or just non-existent, you could be thankful you have a car and you’re not walking.

I’m not saying that life will improve overnight. At the same time, being positive isn’t going to make matters worse and it might make things better. An old phrase I’ve heard many times comes to mind. I don’t know who said it first so I have no idea to whom I should give credit. “Fake it till you make it.”

Maybe you don’t really feel positive but if you fake it long enough, you may find that you’ve become a positive kind of person. And let’s face it no one wants to hire someone who’s always down, grumpy and just plain negative all the time.

Give it try. What have you got to lose?

Monday, August 29, 2011

The differences between Gen X and Gen Y

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

Center for Business Excellence

Today’s blog focuses on the differences between Gen X and Gen Y, two of the largest groups in today’s workforce as well as budding and current leadership. This topic has been bubbling around in my Gen X mind for the past few weeks.

I was recently at a gathering primarily dominated by Gen Yers. We were having a nice time, and then I noticed something happening…name-dropping, conversation domination and flashiness.

One young person came up to me and introduced herself (for the fifth time), then went on her merry way. Nice! It was as if I were invisible.

Over the years, I’ve learned taking it down a few notches is really a better tactic. I don’t try to put on airs or act self-important. Keeping it real is what I try to do. I guess that comes from being knocked down a peg or two a few times on the road of life. It’s too bad for that young person. I am someone in our community she really should get to know better.

That all said, I ask you, is it really any different than it was 15 or 20 years ago? Funny how things come full circle. Here’s what I mean.

I moved back to the Daytona Beach area in my late 20s to take a highly visible fund raising position. A huge gala was part of my responsibility. Seasoned Baby Boomer volunteers were already in place upon my arrival.

I was given a directive to grow the event and thought I was approaching the task with enthusiasm and expertise. Looking back on it, I probably came in like a know-it-all battering ram! For that, I apologize to the many of you out there who handled it gracefully!

Bottom line, coming to a better understanding of different generations can only help us get along better, respect each other more and allow us to complement each other’s efforts to make meaningful change in the world.

So, check out this link regarding Gen X and Gen Y, then check out my other link to keep in your mind as a mantra:



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Clearing the Clutter Can Open New Paths

By Suzy Kridner
Career Specialist
I'm always looking for ways to clear the clutter.
Just ask my husband who gazes at the piles of magazines I haven't read, or the newspaper articles I want to pass on, with that look that says, "They've been here since 1998." And don't even mention the garage.
A kind friend and co-worker brought boxes of stuff from my desk at work when I was laid off after 28 years of working for the same employer. The boxes are still in the garage more than three years later. It's either too hot or too cold or there are more fun things to do. But I do plan to go through them. No, the garage shown isn't mine, but it's close.
Then I ran across an article by Tricia Smith about Gail Blanke, founder, president and CEO of Lifedesigns, an executive coaching company. Blanke's newest book is called “Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life.” Blanke was one of the youngest female senior vice presidents of Avon Products and was chosen as a keynote speaker for the National Association of Women Business Owners 2011 Women’s Business Conference. Smith interviewed Blanke about her leadership philosophy and why organization is essential to a successful life.
While it's written with business owners in mind, the ideas can apply to anyone.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Detective Work

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

In the workshops at the One-Stop where I work, we often tell job seekers that they need to research the company for which they want to work. Some people look at us as if we have suddenly grown a second head. Sometimes I feel like I should find a mirror to see if maybe I’ve sprouted another noggin.

Perhaps the word ‘research’ is the problem, or at least part of it. Don’t let the word put you off. All it means is to gather information. In this case, gather information about a company or organization. Make it into a game, where you’re a detective and you need to know as much about this company as you can discover.

In regards to your résumé, the information you collect about the company helps you aim your résumé at the company’s interests and needs. The same applies to the interview. The greater your knowledge of the organization the better your answers will be to interview questions.

Collecting information (aka research) is a skill that everyone should learn. It’s a great tool for job hunting and you never know when it might just be a skill you need on the job. To help you get started I’ve provided a link to an article about researching for job seekers. In the article are many links to different sites to assist with your information gathering.

Research Companies

Monday, August 22, 2011

Avoid being annoying on Facebook and Twitter

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

Center for Business Excellence

Today’s blog focuses on our use of Facebook and Twitter. I have to admit I don’t regularly tweet, so Facebook use or misuse is more what comes to mind.

When we first get on the “Facebook train,” it seems either one of two things occur. Either little activity happens because some people are unsure and treat it almost like kryptonite. The second action is posting too often and in a very non-relevant way. I was guilty of that. Then, most of us become seasoned pros.

Although Facebook is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, it can get quite annoying to see nearly your entire news feed page filled up by the same person posting every 15 minutes. What’s even worse is when they post unwanted requests, hugs, teddy bears, etc., on your wall. It smacks of adolescence. Sure, we can hide and block certain actions, but that won’t solve the real problem.

This annoyed feeling shared by many is especially something to consider when you are looking for work. After all, Facebook is a networking and unofficial personal public relations tool.

Check out these good tips on keeping activity subtle and meaningful:


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Personality – What’s Yours?

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

There was a time when filling out an application was a simple thing. You listed your contact information and your previous work experience along with your education. The application process is now a bit more complex. In today’s world many job applications can only be completed online using a computer. On top of that, many employers are requiring that as part of the application process you complete a personality test.

A colleague of mine came across an article about these personality tests. It was an interesting read so I thought I’d pass it on to you.

Click here to read article.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Is Your Past Getting In The Way of Your Future?

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

The other day I was trying to figure out what I was going to post for the blog. Surfing the internet I came across an article that I found inspiring. The news is filled with so much doom and gloom that it’s nice to find a story about someone turning their life around and being successful, instead of the standard ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ news story.

Did this young man do it all on his own? No, he had a mentor, a step father who was able to open doors for him. Regardless, of that he could still have very easily ended up as another gang statistic.

Maybe you have a past you’re trying to escape or maybe you know someone with a past they need to escape, either way, the reality is that those with a past will have to work harder than the average bear to prove themselves. As with all problems the first step is recognizing that there is a problem.

So click here and read the article about a young man who went from being a gang member to becoming a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. Perhaps it will inspire you to change your own life for the better.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Feeling rough around the edges and too low on funds for a spa beauty treatment? Check out what’s in your kitchen!

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

Nearly everyone I know is on a tight budget. Many of us are feeling like we’re missing the energy and glow in our appearance we once possessed pre-recession.

Usually on Sunday afternoons at home, I do my best to polish myself up for the next work week. It’s important to take a little time for yourself to replenish the proverbial well. I found this pretty cool information on natural, home beauty treatments and thought I’d pass it along:


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nine Survival Tips From a New Champion

Scott Stallings, a professional golfer, recently won his first PGA tournament.
He writes a blog from “Chief Executive Golfer” with such titles as "The Obstacle Between You and Success? Excuses."
It’s funny the excuses that we come up with to not do the things necessary to get better at our jobs, Scott says.
That also applies to getting a job. What excuses do you tell yourself? I'm too old. I don't have the skills. There's too much competition.
Watching Stallings win in a three-man playoff recently, you know the adrenaline was pumping.
Scott says maybe it was his new workout regimen that contributed to his victory at the Greenbrier Classic.
Scott says, "What a wild day. It definitely didn’t start out right. For the first nine holes, I was having trouble just finding the fairways. At every hole my caddie kept telling me I could do it — I had a shot at winning the tournament."
"I had more control on the back nine — I was just grinding it out. But then on No. 17, I had a bad swing, hit a tree and drove it into the water. If I was going to make it into the play-off I needed a birdie on No. 18.
"And that was exactly what I did. I sunk a five-footer, signed my scorecard, and literally sprinted back to the tee to do the whole thing over again. (My trainer would have been proud.)"
He moved up from 88th to 26th in the rankings.
"I’m more excited about that than the money. (But obviously the money is a huge bonus — I earned $1.08 million for finishing first.), Stallings said.
Despite his many obstacles, he never gave up. And neither should you.

Read Scott's nine survial tips that can apply to both golf and the business world.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Interview Bait

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

You’re looking for a job and you need to update your résumé. What do you include and what do you leave out? How long can it be? These are valid questions. I will attempt to answer these questions in this blog.

What do you include and what do you leave out? You include the information about your abilities, skills and experience that are relevant to the job for which you are applying. For instance, if you’re a Teacher and you have worked some summers as a Bartender, should you include the bartending jobs on your résumé? No! In spite of your belief that there is little difference between dealing with a group of inebriated adults and dealing with a bunch of kids on a sugar high, don’t include the information. It will only muddy the waters. Instead, put in the information about your previous teaching positions. Things like, created lesson plans for class of up to 30 students and maintained order in classroom.

How long should your résumé be? Remember, your résumé is the bait you use to fish for an interview. It needs to give enough information to get the reader interested so they call you for an interview. If you can do this in one page, wonderful. If you need a second page, okay. No more than two pages.

Remember, your résumé also needs to be pleasing to look at and easy to read. So if you have a one page résumé with almost no margin and everything is font size 10, increase your margin to an inch and bring your font size up to 12 and go to that second page.

If you’ve been doing your research on résumés I’m sure you’ve discovered many conflicting opinions. Writing a résumé is not a science; it’s an art form. So what does that mean? It means that there are aspects of résumé writing that are strictly a matter of opinion.

If you live in Volusia or Flagler County contact your local One-Stop for the dates and times of their Résumé Writing workshops.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Office attire horror stories

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

Center for Business Excellence

We’ve all seen it, and we’ve definitely contributed to it at some point...bad fashion choices in the workplace. In fact, as I am writing this blog post, I have to wonder what I was thinking this morning when I dressed myself.

Let’s just say, the 80’s called and wanted my Michael Jackson-style jacket back! Yikes! Guessing it will go in my Junior League Thrift Store donation pile for someone to buy as part of a Halloween costume this fall.

Check out this link for more fashion faux pas:


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Youth vs. Maturity

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS, CCC, JCTC, JCDC
Training Coordinator

First of all let me say, yes, age discrimination does exist, in spite of it being against the law. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can move on.

The truth is that if you concentrate more on your qualifications, experience, and abilities and worry less about how your age will be viewed you’ll stand a better chance.

You worrying about your age comes through in many subtle ways. Eroding your self-confidence is the most obvious way it damages your job search. Instead of thinking about how old you are, think about the experience, skills and know how you bring to an employer.

A friend of mine brought an article to my attention that goes into more detail on this issue and offers suggestions on how to use your age to your advantage. Click here to read the article.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Not enough hours in the day? Tips on becoming more productive

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

Center for Business Excellence

Do you ever feel like time slips away before you put a dent into tackling daily tasks? Life seems to have a way of making everything top priority at once.

This notion brings me to today’s blog topic – becoming more productive on a daily basis. I know I certainly can benefit from some tips and thought you might as well. Check out this link to learn more about how to save one hour a day: