Posts tagged: fun

Stuck in the Middle with Me

Do you know when you’re stuck?

Sometimes it takes me a while. But when I’m crankier (than usual), finding fault in the people I love over small things, am afraid to try new things and so on… I realize that I’m stuck. Here are a few things to think about…   You’re not the only person who is stuck, you just need to be brave and reach out to someone else.

Remember, ” When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Symptoms of being stuck include, thinking you’re…

  • always right
  • always wrong
  • the only person who has money troubles (really you lived below your means? … hmmm)
  • married to/in partnership with the wrong person (without fully examining your part in it)
  • in a job that you’re too good for (but you haven’t kept up your skills or networking)
  • in a job you hate (but you don’t haven’t even looked for a new job in years)
  • unemployed for several months (and still scoff at… social media, networking, building skills) unable to  remember the last time you learned something new that took real effort not helping other people
  • a drip… you don’t even want to be around yourself

I understand. The reason this post was so easy to write… this is me. But I’ll tell you this…I stopped doing it as soon as I could.

Please tell me, what are you afraid of… go on, explain it to me or someone else.  Get unstuck. It feels so good. Take one little step.  You can do it!

Photo credit:

(Other) Stuff to Do While You Look for Work… You Lucky Dog

When I was on unemployment, I was really happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my own business but getting paid to meet people, learn new things, think about my potential, help people and so on was great.

If you are unemployed, do you see yourself as lucky? Are you having fun? Are you showing your children how to thrive in times of change? (Believe me, whatever changes you have seen in your life will be child’s play compared to what they will go through.)

I found this  terrific article written by Tim Tyrell-Smith titled, “101 (Other) Things You Can Do While Looking for a Job.”  Here are a few of Tim’s suggestions

  • Pick one person in your network and find them a job
  • Put on an elaborate puppet show for your kids (fun, colorful socks work great)
  • Join (or start) a book club and actually read the assigned books
  • Write a thank you note to an inspirational high school or college teacher

You may or may be surprised at all the “yes buts” I hear everyday. “I would join a book club but when I go back to work I won’t have time.” ” Why should I help someone else,  I need help!)” blah, blah, blah. Just do it, you lucky, lucky dog.

Are you a 21st Century Leader?

I came across this excellent article called 20 Questions Determine a Brain’s Leadership Fate. The questions made me stop and think about my own leadership and whether I am adapting. Check these out:

1. What solution did you rock lately?

2. When did you last thank a bloke? (Yes, written by someone who’s English is not American!)

3. Do you cultivate curiosity? (Good job, you’re reading blogs!)

4. Are you outsourcing brainpower? (List key facts that allow others to build on what you and they know)

5. Do you collaborate to find stellar solutions?

6. What innovations mix up your day?

7. Do others deem you quaint?

8. Can you celebrate gender proclivities?

While this post talks about how these ‘exercises’ actually change and improve brain function (cool), it’s also a reminder that regardless of whether we’re employed or not, we have the opportunity to hone our skills. Reaching out and participating in group activities, appreciating others, teaching, learning and collaborating improve our mood and challenge our ideas. Pick one of the above and work on it, even a little. Your brain and your mood will thank you.

One of my favorite sayings is “Would you rather be right or happy?” Many of us get stuck in being right because our brains have ruts, literal ruts. Expand your mind, be wrong, laugh and while your at it, thank a bloke.

Surprise? Find Yourself Online

I consider myself moderately savvy when it comes to social media. Several months ago, I went to check my name online to see what potential employers would find. I put my name into Google and guess what I found, one of my daughter’s pages. She had named it after me thinking that no one would ever look for me online. Surprise, surprise.

To look for your potential surprises, go to Google and type in your name. Try a couple of different iterations, full first and full last, first initial and full last. Click through the entries (all the pages). You want to see everything that is found. No surprises, thank you.

If you have a common name, that can be a good or a bad thing. A potential employer may not be able to find you (good or bad?) If you WANT the employer to find you, you are going to need to make it easy for them. Include all your contact links on your resume and in the signature line of your emails.

In addition, I think it is good to think carefully about what information you want to show. Not only can employers find you but so can spammers and sales people of all sorts. Protect yourself. My next blog will talk more about security.

My contact links:

Other place to look for yourself.
• Facebook
• Zoominfo
• Spoke
• Pipl

If you know other places to research your online presence, please comment.

Fun and Interesting Free/Inexpensive Things to Do In Rochester
I love public art. Remember “Horses on Parade”? Rochester was alive with public art. If you like graffiti, sculpture, stained glass and more. Look at this site. Some of our own local talent, many of whom have world wide reputations, are represented. See Wendell Castle, Albert Paley, Paul Knoblauch and many others.

Twitter for Job Hunters

What the heck is twitter? Twitter is a way to talk and listen to a variety of people online. Think of it as a cocktail party. You talk to one person, and then move on to someone else. Ok, but how does this help the person looking for a job? Let’s take a look.

1) I started on twitter by signing up for an account (use your real name) and then I started following a few people. This gave me a feel for how people use the allotted 140 characters to make others interested in the ‘tweet’.
2) I decided to start posting but first I determined why I wanted to post. It is important to remember that ANYTHING you post is searchable by an employer. If you think they won’t look or won’t care you are mistaken.
3) There is no need to tweet anything or to follow anything. You can simply search for a company you are interested in or look for people in your industry.
4) Here are resources: an eBook to help you get started, information about #hashtags (search twitter by subject), and 50 twitter tips for job seekers.
5) Twitter is a more sophisticated tool than people realize. The tools for researching companies and people, establishing yourself as an expert and building your network are available to you. If you begin…

 Twitter for Beginners – EBook

 50 Twitter Tips for Job Seekers tips-for-job- seekers

 How to Get the Most Out of Twitter #Hashtags

Fun and Interesting Free/Inexpensive Things to Do in Rochester

If you haven’t driven by Vince Massaro house on the eastside of Rochester (not far from Park Ave.) to see his yard; you are in for a treat. I saw him out working the other day and stopped to say hello and thank him for keeping his yard so interesting. He’s always changing it.

Twitter page

Twitter page

Joyfully Jobless

To love what you do and feel that it matters, how could anything else be more fun? Katherine Graham

What would it take for you to be joyfully jobless? Think about it for a minute. Would $500,000 do it? Have you thought about being an entrepreneur? Have you wondered what it would be like to have your own business?

I have not only thought about it, I had a marketing consulting practice. I did a lot of research, wrote a business plan, rented an office and created a web site. It was harder than I thought. Finding the work, doing the work and running the business (legal, accounting, etc.) proved a good challenge. September 11, 2001 squashed my dreams. The good news is I learned a lot. The experience makes me a better employee.

There are so many options for self employment. Where should you start?
These books that help you begin to think about doing it differently.
• Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways For Creating Work That You Love (learn more about the author at:
• Caught Between A Dream and A Job – D. MacNeall II
• Feel the Fear…and Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers
• Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It – Henriette Klauser

Today, I volunteer as a SCORE volunteer. SCORE is a national volunteer organization of experienced business professionals offering free, confidential counseling to new and existing businesses. If you are considering starting your own business, including franchising, service businesses, etc.; I suggest you visit or contact me and I can help you get started with them.

Fun and Interesting Inexpensive/Free Things to Do in Rochester
If you haven’t explored the High Falls area downtown, I recommend it.
At the very least you will see the 96 foot drop waterfall and the bridge, Pont de Rennes which is dedicated to our sister city in France. The Triphammer Forge and, if you plan it right, a laser light show across the falls, make this worthwhile.
For more information:

High Falls Rochester, NY

High Falls Rochester, NY

Best Career Strategies 2009 – 26 Ways To a More Effective Job Search

A few years ago, standard advice for a job seeker would have included: get a degree or spiff up your resume. I found a report that is a compilation of suggestions from various individuals about the NEW job search and how to really take a new approach to landing in this hyper-competitive job market.

Their suggestions range from, “Be the CEO of YOU, Inc.” to “See Yourself in 3 Dimensions”. I particularly liked, “Get very, very clear on the type of work you truly want,” describing that this market will not tolerate the, “I can do anything you need” attitude. For each job there are many individuals with the specific skills to that job. It’s an employers market.

Being the CEO of you suggests these strategies:
1. Develop a mission/vision statement. Understand who you are/where you’re going.
2. Develop a plan. Include having the right relationships (vendors, customers, etc.).
3. Developing a strategic board of directors.
4. Ensuring your product is up to date, up to par, get training, learn, and grow.
I would add the standard “network”, with the caveat to use as many of the social media tools as possible. Use of these tools demonstrates an ability to adapt and pay attention to trends. If visibility = opportunity, then the more visible you are, the more likely you are to get noticed for positions. Keep the funnel open

There is something here for everyone. I would add involve your family in a positive way. You are showing them how to cope in difficult circumstances. Also, have fun. Do something everyday that you might not be able to do if you were working.

Fun and Interesting Inexpensive/Free Things To Do in Rochester
Visit the Rochester Public Library Downtown. If you have small children and you haven’t yet taken them to the children’s room, you are in for a treat. Not only is the room delightful but they have a chance to explore the ‘secret doorway’. For events go to:
The Business section has an abundance of information to help learn about potential employers. The librarians are patient and helpful. How about Rochester history? Job hunting help?

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Confidence…. 7 Ways to Help Yourself Get Hired

Confidence – most of us have it in varying degrees. What qualities make you appear self-assured and confident? The adjectives vary, but “resourceful” and “accomplished” come to mind. How you present yourself matters: your posture, clothes and the way you speak. Here are some things to think about:

1. See yourself as the answer to an employer’s prayers. Not cocky, but believe in yourself.
2. Figure out how to communicate trustworthiness. Anyone hiring is taking a chance and they want to hire well. Give them every reason to think you will make them look good.
3. Speak positively. No waffling or being negative, about anything.
4. Ask for the job. Tell the hiring manager the job interests you and you’d like to contribute to the continuing success of the organization. Decide before you go in you’ll keep an open mind no matter what the employer presents. Mid-interview negativity shows.
5. Find a creative way to get introduced. Send an employer a coffee cup with a $5 swipe card and a little note:”I’d like to get together and talk with you over coffee. I’ll be calling soon.”
6. Consider using a ‘Visual Resume’ or other creative ways to demonstrate your credentials and skills.
7. Shake hands firmly. Smile. will video you in a mock interview. I did this and even though I was conscious of trying not to say ‘um,’ I still said it several times. There’s nothing like actually seeing yourself to highlight your strengths and weaknesses.

Check out these online resources:
Day-of-interview tips:

Laugh out loud examples of what not to do.

Enjoying Your Life – Free or Inexpensive FUN Things to Do
The Lilac Festival starts May 8th. See all the free events (events with a charge say “ticketed”)