Soft Skills Matrix, Take A Look!

I’ve blogged about Soft Skills  in my writing about Don’t Be a Dumb Bunny; and just wanted to add this soft skills matrix to help.


Soft Skill Other words that mean the same Examples when soft skill is used
Manners Politeness, consideration, courtesy Saying thank you, holding doors open for others, asking permission to do things etc.
Ownership of tasks Responsibility, duty, dependability Making sure tasks are done properly, turning up on time for meetings, working in partnership with others and doing your role so they can do theirs etc.
Attendance Turning up, coming in,


Arriving on time for meetings and for work. Making sure you keep people informed regarding your attendance or availability.
Motivation Incentive, inspiration, drive, impulse Taking on new challenges, working hard to achieve goals, thinking of new ways to do things.
Professionalism Competent, skillful, dedicated Working to a high standard, being consistent in attitude (not allowing emotions or personalities to influence you)
Work Output Activity, productivity, production Meeting deadlines and standards for work. Producing products to target.
 Conduct in Workplace  Behavior, attitude, maturity Respecting others, not playing games when you should be working etc.
 Timekeeping On time, not late Arriving for work or meetings on time, leaving at the right time.
Verbal Communication Talking, consulting, meeting, discussing  Using the right tone of voice and words when speaking with colleagues, etc.
Organization / Planning Preparation, scheduling, arranging Having all required resources to hand, thinking jobs through, arriving on time, meeting deadlines etc.
Team-Work/Respect Esteem, valuing others, helping others, consideration Working well together on a task, making best use of your skills and the skills of others. Acknowledge the status of others and act accordingly.
 Helping Others Supporting, offering, training Giving up some of your time to support those who are struggling or need help to meet a deadline,
Conscientiousness Careful, meticulous, thorough, hard working Paying attention to detail, accurate work, making sure you do what you are paid to do.
Ability to Ask for Help Admitting own limitations, confidence, courage Asking colleagues to show you how to do something or to help you complete a task on time etc.
Adaptability / Flexibility Compliance, accepting change Taking on new challenges, accepting changes to rules and conditions, staying late to finish urgent tasks etc.

Source: Teaching and Assessing Soft Skills K. Kechagias (ed.), MASS Measuring & Assessing Soft Skills 2011, Lifelong Learning Programme  Table 1 page 82-83 Included in MASS Materials    Edited in part 12/4/2014

Felix…One Cool Cat!

I miss my Felix….he had to be euthanized late afternoon on Friday, September 11, 2015. He was not eating and had lost way too much weight. It was so sad and I felt so bad that I couldn’t help him other than loving him and petting him. Dr. Michael Forret, our outstanding vet since 1994) diagnosed Felix with a stomach tumor. Felix didn’t have a temperature and his vitals were okay, indicating thank goodness that he wasn’t in too much pain.

Felix showed up in our neighbor’s garden in June or so 2002. Jacob heard meowing and checked it out, bringing a completely black fluff ball back with him. I remember the first night….just holding this black kitten out in the garage. He pretty much was a garage/outdoor cat, but certainly loved coming inside and hanging out in the mondo, sleeping on the futon, or just chillin’ wherever suited his liking!

2013-12-31 13.18.23Fluff Man. At his glory he was over 15 pounds, all claws and one incredible meow!

I heard once that good cats get petted as much as they want in heaven. They get whatever they loved here on earth… their pawtips! Felix had a great life and yes, he had his share of injuries (broken paw, chipped ear) and vet procedures (one front incisor had to be removed). He always smelled like he was wearing leather and had recently been at a (smoke-free) bar. He had a beautiful wart under his left eye. He was downright cool.

God I miss him. Pets are so important to people’s lives. I keep on thinking I see him out in the backyard, or under the house where he had a special spot to sleep.  I will never forget the sound of his meow. Or how he would bump your arm just enough so more cat food would land in his bowl (he taught that to our white cat Alaska…) Oh, and he taught our dog Bella how to jump the backyard chain link gate (booh).

Felix was also known by me as cafe’ kitty, as he would lay non-chalantly on the curb of our driveway with one paw either crossed or draped over the edge. And when one of us would make the drive up our driveway, we’d have to go very slow because Felix was leading us up (like a sheep dog) and at times would just plop down in front of the car. You simply had to stop. Silly cat.

I also remember one time many, many moons ago….when Felix was missing for 10 days. I thought he was gone for good…and prayed he wasn’t. But returning from church one early, crispy cold winter morning (back over 10-11 years ago when we celebrated Mass at St. Ambrose), there he was down the street. I yelled stop the car, opened the door and ran through the snow to him, picked him up and hugged him sooo long, then carried him home. For the next 10 days following the “rescue” he slept with me, snuggling right up. We figured he was stuck in someone’s garage or house…as he had gotten really thin. Then Fluff Man returned to his normal acting feline nature and back to his hunting escapades (oh the critters he brought him and left right outside the back door….!)

Image result for black cat with green eyes cartoon in heaven

I love you Felix, AKA Fluff Man and am heart broken.

One way to say I love you to a cat is to gaze into their eyes and slowly close your own! I love you! Our neighbors liked Felix all and all, and people would comment how huge he was! I know Felix’s feline sisters Samantha Josephine (who also came into my life in March 2002…an Aqualand store bought from the kitty window) and Alaska (who also showed up…followed Jacob down the street) back in 2012 misses you too. Cats that are “a find” are the best!

Oh, and BTW, Jacob is getting a tattoo of Felix here shortly…..based on his drawing of Fluffman. Maybe I should too?!? (Maybe a henna one!)

Image result for black cat with green eyes cartoon in heaven

“Righty-O” Felix the Cat, the Wonderful, Wonderful Cat….Whenever he gets in a fix, he reaches into his bag of tricks!

Take time to love your pets…..unconditional love is all they know! Prrrrrrr. Here’s a link to a post titled People and Their Pets…Got Cat? where I write about vocational assessment and psycho-social factors, such as pet ownership.


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.


Happy Labor Day 2015 to All of Iowa’s Workers!

Iowa has a great reputation for strong work ethic (from what I heard, ask most any Floridian employer and if you’re from Iowa….you’re hired!)! Click here for a free online Occupational Work Ethic Inventory (OWEI).

Personally, I am proud of my children (and my husband’s) work ethic. Recently, my son Jake covered for a person who called in sick; resulting in working 11 hours in one shift. The next day, his boss from Jimmy John’s offered him a raise!

Image result for zombie burger

Jake is a fan of Zombies!

Arin, although at this time she still works her two jobs at the Des Moines Public Library (Library Aid at the Franklin branch) and Zombie Burger as a host; is dropping down to only one day a week at the library through September. She will then be working only one job….as she needs time to be a 19 year old! Working 60 hours a week takes its’ toil on a person. Plus Arin’s considering going to college! (She has strong interest and entry level skills in sign language.) Psssst:  Arin, check this out about DMACC’s program in ASL.

Workers Monument, by Artist Michael Stutz, State Capitol Grounds, Corner of East 9th Street and East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa

As you know, I’ve written many times about my husband’s work ethic….he’s amazing! And now, I’d like to write a bit about Randy’s father, James C. Botkin. Jim worked for over 30 years for AT&T. He was a union member.

2002-12-30 AJ with Gpa Jim

AJ and Grandpa Jimmy, Christmas Eve, 2004

James Botkin Union CardJames Botkin’s Union Card, Communication Workers of America

I am pretty convinced we learn work ethic from our parents. Here’s 2 more plaques/awards G’pa Jimmy received for his dedication to his work…they read:

AT&T Jim Botkin 30 YearsTELEGRAPH SERVICE 1887 – 1991 JIM BOTKIN In Recognition of Your Invaluable Contribution. (I’m thinking 1887 is when American Telephone and Telegraph Company was a start-up!)

Happy Retirement G'a Jimmy!

HAPPY RETIREMENT JAMES C. BOTKIN     ~ 30 Years Service With AT&T   1961 – 1991

A fond memory I have of my very loving and silly father-in-law is how is always answered his home phone so professionally and succinctly: “Botkin Residence”.  My dad on the other hand would say before he picked up the receiver, “it’s your nickel.” And Dick raised it to  .10 Cents…and up…as time progressed. (Need to do that with the minimum wage here in Iowa…….$7.25 is one of the lowest states.)

To all workers out there, THANK YOU  for each and every day you work. All workers deserve dignity and fair wage.

And to all those workers who are no longer able to work, BLESS YOU. Be sure to take some time to be grateful for how our workforce operates.

Statistics for You: As of July 21, 2015, Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in June from 3.8 percent in May. The state’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent one year ago.  The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent in June.  Source:

Please let me know how I can help your client return to work. And if the client cannot return to work, I can help with that too! A life care plan that incorporates vocational rehabilitation or a loss of earnings evaluation become valuable tools to help resolve complex matters of employment.

Enjoy a Safe & Memory Filled Labor Day 2015!


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Happy Adoption Anniversary Nick and Randy!

Today (original posting date June 9, 2016) is the 22nd anniversary of Nickolas Andrews’ adoption day by Randy! I remember it well, June 9, 1993. One funny memory is when the judge asked the barely 4-year-old Nick if his “new” dad played with him. Nick paused quite awhile, thought, and then said no. Yes he did! Ever since Randy cut the cord of our 9 pound 4 ounce boy they have been great friends. Nick you are one lucky man to have Randy as your father. Happy Adoption Anniversary Day!

Nick Google PictureHere’s Nick today! (BTW, I found this picture on Google Images)

I am so proud of Nick, in many ways. He has progressed in his career at Wells Fargo and is currently a Collections Supervisor. Recently (in April), Nick won a trip to Miami through work.  It was all expenses paid! And he took his man Derek (pictured to the right of Taylor below). Talk about fun and inexpensive! I wanted to go….but I wasn’t invited. I do enjoy the Florida sunshine!

Right now my parents are in Ft. Lauderdale….I wanted to go again…but couldn’t! Mom and dad visit Florida once a year to see Janice and her younger children Jordan and Rustin. My maternal grandparents had a condo in Fort Walton Beach that was well loved, and I did get to visit and remember the fun times!

But Janice was here this year for a short Iowa trip…and I really have to let you know who I ran into at the Boat Club in Iowa Falls…  And if you’ve read my earlier blogs, my brother Steven was living in Kissimmee and working at Disney World when he died.

2014-12-27 14
12-27 14 Botanical Gardens

Nick’s really getting squished!

Just thinking about how it all came about (well, that is the adoption), I’ll tell you a bit more. Randy and I were at a Hal Ketchum concert at the Civic Center on New Year’s Eve bringing in the year 1993 and we met a very nice couple seated at our table. We partied with them and within our discussions and champagne and music they recommended an attorney for adoption. His name was Mike Manno. I wrote the name down.

When I returned to work at CorVel that Monday, I walked by the same attorney’s office I had for several months as I was working temporary in an office building in West Des Moines. I realized why the name Mike Manno was familiar, and sure enough it was the attorney whose office was right next door to CorVel’s. I stopped in and said hello. Mr. Manno helped right away and within 5 months, Nickolas Andrew Prochnow became Nickolas Andrew Botkin! ~ Thank you Mr. Manno!

I just realized who Mr. Manno is through recent research. I have heard Faith on Trial on Iowa Catholic Radio and likely seen you (or been with you without knowing, at Mass at St. Augustin…update: yes, on 6/12/16 I handed you an envelope with a contribution for a special collection) many times since those early 1993 winter months. In actuality, it was an easy adoption, me being the biological mother and all and the biological father not in the picture who signed off his rights without hesitation (we found out he – Jeff – died on a motorcycle last Labor Day…..); and Randy being there with me from ~ week 6 in baby’s fetal development!

Week 6

Baby has tripled in size and now has a regular heartbeat–and it’s about twice as fast as the average adult heart rate! His brainwaves can also be recorded at six weeks. 

What’s also interesting (to me at least!) is the fact that I bought Mr. Manno’s big wooden desk for my home office and I used it for about 20 years, until it was smashed apart in order to remove it from the basement during a renovation!Image result for wooden desk

One well used desk!

The purpose of sharing this story with you is I truly believe God works in mysterious, exciting and incredibly fun and funny ways!!  Another tidbit, one of Nick’s close friends Jeska Reese Dean (owner of my beloved Fat Amy the Bulldog!), knows Randy is an excellent father. She also believes he should teach a course on “how to be the best husband.” Kinda silly, I know, but true. Randy is the best at being my husband and Nick’s father. Jake’s and Arin’s too. We love you. And one more thing:

Champagne GlassesCongratulations AGAIN Mr. Botkin!

Randy interviewed last Monday for the  2015-2016 school leadership team at Scavo Alternative High School and received a call on Friday that he was chosen to be on it! I helped him with his interviewing skills (STAR Method), and low and behold it worked.

Have a grateful week! If I could help you or your clients with a family law case, or any other legal case involving work and life, please let me know!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

1st Bug Bite, 1st Sunburn & 1st Boat Ride!

Living through my 1st Bug Bite, 1st Sunburn & 1st Boat Ride means summer 2015 is near!


“Summer” by Walfrido

The bite (thinking bee) sure made my right arm swell up and hurt. At the onset I thought, gee, all my workouts have produced hefty triceps (wouldn’t happen on only one side silly), but NO my arm for about a week looked like a football player’s arms.

The boat ride (thank you so much Ted & Beth Erickson!) Sunday on Lake Panorama was wonderful! Good thing the one (of a select few) plants I can really grow well is readily available at my house. My burn wasn’t bad, but I will prepare for sunnier days to come with my aloe vera plants.

2015-06-02 13.48.07

Here’s a Quick Juicing Recipe: 

Light and Lemony Aloe Vera
1 cucumber 
1 apple
1 lemon
2 tablespoons of aloe vera pulp

And click here for 30 Uses for Aloe Vera.

My love of coconut oil and essential oil is great for sunburn and other skin issues. Prepare for June, July and beyond. August will be really special this  year for more reasons than one! Okay, the big one is that Randy and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. What should we do?! Here’s a shot of us in 2012 celebrating August 4, 1990. You can take your own bottle of wine to DJango (yummy!)

Raspberry Wine for the Meal DJango
Raspberry Wine for the Meal DJango

We both look silly!

This week my sister Janice is flying in from Fort Lauderdale. We’ll be having some fun! And some sadness, as Katy, a friend Janice spent a lot of time with in high school committed suicide and there’s a memorial for her this weekend in Iowa Falls. I had a friend, Sally, who I too spent a lot of time with growing up, who did the same, that is commit suicide last year. It’s horrible. I love life so much, I am so incredibly saddened that mental health and hatred can really ruin the world for some.

Whatever Makes Your Happy You Put In Your World

Whatever Makes You Happy You Put Into Your World

Stay safe this summer, have fun and relax. And be grateful for each day of your life! I personally have to really watch out for bugs, especially spiders, bees and yellow jackets, wasps and hornets; and poison ivy. There’s  a whole story or three on what bugs and poison ivy have known to do to my body…..NOT GOOD.

I need to be sure to keep an epi-pen near, or at least be sure people who I’m with know (if we’re outside) to help me to be cautious about what’s floating around…. And I have to make a new poison ivy kit for thhis summer (read: glass jar with vinegar, and small towel)….just in case.

I’m going to read my homework for tonight’s CRHP session now…’s beautiful outside! If you are curious, Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP, pronounced “Chirp”) is a spiritual renewal weekend designed to help individuals grow in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ and with others in their faith community. It is an excellent opportunity for Catholics to renew their understanding of the basic beliefs and traditions of their faith. And I’m helping to prepare the next women’s retreat in August for my parish, All Saints Catholic Church. That’s my next big event planned for this August, hosting a CRHP retreat!

Please let me know how I might help with life care planning and/or vocational consulting. I’m here for you!

Note: I changed my byline  as of 5/22/15


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Empty Nest = Freedom! Good Job Parental Units!

Okay, my readers, curious why I didn’t post anything in awhile? Here’s why….the kids moved out last weekend! (So I’ve been busy, busy!)  Jake and Arin moved into a furnished house by Grand View University with their friend Bridget and her mother. Although I already miss them incredibly, the job we set out to do is complete – and we did it well!

Good Job Parental Units!

When kids are on their own they’ll learn to do a lot more for themselves, allowing them to be strong and experience life on their own terms. Plus, they will be better people and believe more in themselves.

Jake took his Hedgehog Sandslash, but the rabbit Mollie and the hamster (update: Aphrodite went to hamster heaven in August 2015) are still here (they will probably be moving out shortly!) And Alaska the white puddy tat stays stays put!

 Image result for marvin k mooney will you please go now

All  are all welcome to visit, but Marvin K. Mooney maybe not yet!

I’ve been going through, organizing and ditching stuff galore, of course! Not done yet, but wowsa! It is odd to have so much room, although my house didn’t grow from it’s 900 square foot of living space!

Found this behind Arin’s dresser: 2015-05-07 12.06.17

And no more of this (waahh) commonly found in the fridge:

JJ Bread
JJ Bread

My goal is to focus more on work with an organized mind! Ahh, I still need to organize my electronic files in a more [fun]ctional way! And my bike, my bike! More time to ride!!!!!! I am so excited about my future!

Empty Nest = Freedom!

The birds have flown and will be just fine, thank you! Please let me know how I can help with a case involving the vocational aspects of a litigated family law, personal injury or workers’ compensation case. I feel “a bit more” credible knowing that I (we, yes Randy!) reached this stage of maturity in life! It is truly a blessing to serve as a parent. I have learned so much from my children….stay safe my loved ones!

You Go Botkin!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

Got Motivation?? Let’s See!!

Did you take the Why Do You Do Your Work assessment? Read on and at the bottom of my blog, you’ll find a key with detail on your results!

Motivation describes why a person does something. According to current psychology, motivation involves biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that initiate, guide, and maintain goal-oriented behaviors requiring endurance to keep going and the ability to persist through obstacles in spite of difficulties.

As part of my work, I’m commonly asked to give my opinion of a person’s motivation to find work or keep work (in the realm of job search or job retention). This x-factor of success is extremely difficult to determine. Yes, I can easily uncover a match in skills, education, and experience. And I have motivation scales available which help.

However, creativity in interviewing that generates specific examples from a person’s work history provides further evidence coupled with the best and most reliable method of assessing a person’s level of self-motivation, which is talking with the person’s previous or current supervisors.

interviewI love to interview and gather detail!

Motivation can be used to explain behavior, and in general intrinsic motivations (driven by an interest or enjoyment in a task) arise from within while extrinsic motivations arise from outside the person (and often involve rewards such as money, trophies, social recognition or praise.)

Favorite trophy

I got these swimming trophies when I was young!

There are 3 major components to motivation: activation, persistence, and intensity. Activation involves the decision to initiate a behavior. Persistence is the continued effort toward a goal even though obstacles may exist. Intensity can be seen in the concentration and vigor that goes into pursuing a goal. Each of these components can be assessed and described in detail.

A few signs of self-motivation in a job search (considering obstacles) that I can report on and/or testify to include:

  • Applying to numerous businesses each week.
  • Performing informational interviewing as well as direct interviewing.
  • Scheduling time to research companies and using results to benefit job seeking “marketing” campaign.
  • Critiquing one’s own job search and learning from efforts.
  • Participating in short term skill building activities while in job search mode.
  • Volunteering in a useful and purposeful area.

If currently employed, I have also been asked to provide my opinion of a worker’s motivation to do their best at work (again, considering obstacles). A few signs of self-motivation on the job that I can report on and/or testify to include:

  • A history of doing more than just what is required.
  • Consistently exceeding performance expectations.
  • A history of working the amount of time/hours necessary to get the job/project done, not just the “required” hours.
  • Participating in activities that will benefit the bottom line of the business.
  • Helping and supporting co-workers and supervisors
  • Sharing talents and information openly, in an optimistic manner

In summary, success in a job search or success on-the-job requires self-motivation. If there is proof of high achievement that can be duplicated (once again, considering obstacles), strong self-motivation is suggested.

Why Do You Do Your Work?

2015-02-06 Red Rose I DestroyedThe key along with information on your results:

Motivation Results and Descriptions

Intrinsic motivation: 4,8,15;

Integrated regulation: 5,10,18;

Identified regulation: 1,7,14;

Introjected regulation: 6,11,13;

External regulation: 2,9,16;

Amotivation: 3,12,17.


Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards and is inspired solely from the interest and enjoyment a person finds in an activity.

Integrated regulation arises when a person has fully integrated a motivation within, and behavior is influenced after undergoing self-examination and then internalizes and assimilates the reasons behind an action. S/he has carefully explored external motivations and decided that they’re congruent with his or her other personal beliefs and values.  An example of integrated regulation as motivation would be a person who attends church through the belief the act aligns with a personal belief system, even if the person doesn’t attend for the sheer enjoyment of it. The person doesn’t feel guilt or shame if s/he doesn’t attend, s/he attends because it feels right and suitable.

Identified regulation is when a person has personally identified with the importance of a behavior and accepted it as a regulation of her own because it benefits her in achieving a goal, she’s motivated by identified regulation. With this form of motivation, the individual doesn’t have to find enjoyment in the behavior, and there doesn’t have to be an immediate reward. The person also isn’t motivated by guilt or shame: She simply recognizes that a behavior is beneficial toward her development and adopts that behavior as her own. For instance, a person may recognize that studying grammar for English class is an important means to the end of becoming a successful writer. This is a subcategory of external motivation that’s more self-determined and personal than external regulation: External regulation may be for a more immediate positive reward, while identified regulation is used to achieve an end that affects an individual’s personal well-being and desires.

Introjected regulation is motivation from an internalized, pressuring voice. The source of motivation for a behavior is guilt, worry or shame. Introjected regulation inspires an individual to enact a behavior not because s/he wants to, but because s/he fears not to out of a sense of obligation. An example of introjected regulation is a person who goes to church every Sunday because s/he fears a negative effect in the afterlife or the negative reaction of peers at a church event — s/he doesn’t necessarily find enjoyment in the service itself. Avoid this form of motivation if at all possible, as it fosters anxiety. When succumbing to this form of motivation, it’s difficult for individuals to feel positive and confident about their actions.

External regulation. People are motivated by external regulation due to an external acting influence. If an individual exhibits a behavior to obtain an externally provided reward, then her behavior is externally regulated. For example, if a person enters the science fair because she wants to win a gift certificate for a restaurant, she’s not acting out of what interests her personally but out of a desire to obtain the reward. External motivation is often used to encourage employees or students to take part in a behavior that they must complete but may not be genuinely interested in — that way, even if they don’t otherwise wish to engage in the behavior, they do so to obtain the reward.

Amotivation is a state of lacking in any motivation to engage in any activity, characterized by a lack of perceived competence and/or a failure to value the activity or its outcomes.

Sources for above are taken in part from

Do you want more assessment information or want to read more! Here’s an earlier blog about motivation? And here’s one about Randy and his work ethic. Read on! Call me! 515-282-7753


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Why Do You Do Your Work? You May Be in Love!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Are you happy to be back at work?! I hope so. Do you love your job? I hope so. What motivates you toward your job? Is there a match, or a mismatch?

love my job mutuallyPersonally I am in Love with my Job!

Recently I met with Lin Phillips, a career counselor who is very skilled and talented at helping people “see the light” regarding what makes them tick at work…and in life. If you love your work, your life feels so natural. Not sure if you’re really in love yet?

Using the Why Do You Do Your Work? self-assessment scale below (or download a copy), indicate to what extent each of the following items corresponds to the reasons why you are presently involved in your work. Then ask yourself why. Send the scale and any of your notes if you’d like back to me and I’ll let you in on your own motivation!

[Please note I do not know the origins or where I found this scale and have made edits and additions for my blog. If anyone knows of its source, please let me know.]

2015-02-06 Red Rose I DestroyedWhy Do You Do Your Work?

Does not correspond              Corresponds moderately         Corresponds exactly

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because this is the type of work I chose to do to attain a certain lifestyle.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. For the income it provides me.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7

  1. I ask myself this question, I don’t seem to be able to manage the important tasks related to this work.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because I derive much pleasure from learning new things.

 1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because it has become a fundamental part of who I am.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because I want to succeed at this job, if not I would be very ashamed of myself.

 1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because I chose this type of work to attain my career goals.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. For the satisfaction I experience from taking on interesting challenges.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because it allows me to earn money.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because it is part of the way in which I have chosen to live my life.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because I want to be very good at this work, otherwise I would be very disappointed.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. I don’t know why, we are provided with unrealistic working conditions.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because I want to be a “winner” in life.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because it is the type of work I have chosen to attain certain important objectives.

 1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. For the satisfaction I experience when I am successful at doing difficult tasks.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because this type of work provides me with security.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. I don’t know, too much is expected of me.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7


  1. Because this job is a part of my life.

1                 2                 3                 4                 5                6                 7

 Your Notes: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­


Image result for motivation

It’s an Organic Carrot!

Stay tuned for test results and descriptions of motivators based on this scale. Are you motivated to continue to read my blog! I hope so!



My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce


Creative Cover Letters Entice Your Reader

I decided from my last blog (so many choices!) to write about me looking for temporary work….

Last year, I applied for a temporary part-time academic counselor position at DMACC. The position was focused on young “at-risk” students. I share my cover letter (which wanted the applicant to address certain characteristics or skills in the cover letter). I added side comments and graphics to illustrate!:

November 25, 2014

DMACC Human Resources

2006 S. Ankeny Blvd., Building 1

Ankeny, IA 50023-8995

ATTN: Susan Bernard or 515-964-6487

Dear Susan:

I am hopeful my master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling will be put to good use at DMACC as the college’s newest part-time temporary career counselor. I am a DMACC graduate and if it weren’t for my experiences with many of the college’s instructors (for special reasons I recall Robin Orr; and many other great teachers!), and the time in class I spent learning on the Ankeny and Urban campus, I would have never gone on to get a bachelors, let alone a master’s degree!

HSDOI had the lovely label “high school dropout”

As a person with a colorful educational background, including being labeled a “high school dropout” I fully acknowledge the importance of a great community college. I value DMACC highly. This is where I found how much I love to learn, and better yet, I found out I wasn’t so dumb after all!

Happiness is Finding Out

 “Happiness is finding out you’re not so dumb after all.”

I love to help others, and people absorb information if it is presented in a number of different ways, in one sitting, or through several meetings and follow-through activities. My experience also tells me that as the “teacher” such knowledge has to be facilitated in a holistic manner, encompassing what the learner has offered about their background.

I’ve delivered presentations to many audiences, including youth at church, high school age learners, adults (colleagues, clients or potential customers), health-educational programs (smoking cessation, CPR/First Aid), including an entire room full of attorneys (for their continuing legal education needs). I see presentations as a way for me to become a better counselor. I re-learn the topic for the presentation, gather updated information, and focus on how to present in a creative way that makes sense for my audience.

The timing for your needs and the interest in this opportunity is coming at a great time for me. As this counselor position is temporary and part-time, it works well with my current work load as a self-employed person. I hope you read the answers to the supplemental questions I prepared for more information on the required and desirable qualifications you seek.

DiversityI believe diversity surrounds us, and without embracing this limitless concept we’d all be boring! I however do not know a second language, although I do know and utilize methods for taking notes, including Gregg shorthand and medical terminology shorthand, all in order to gather and absorb valuable data.

Thank you Susan. You can reach me at 515-282-7753 or Please feel free to look at my LinkedIn page, and connect with me for more information. I also blog and maintain my own website at  You can find a lot about me on these two platforms. Or better yet, call me soon and we can interview!


Amy E. Botkin

BTW, I’ve followed up on my application with Susan four times since, and haven’t heard back….but I am persistent and I want to know the status of the application. I’ll keep trying…however now the timing may not be so perfect for me!

Image result for time cartoon

Timing is Everything!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

Be Honest, Save A Purse!

Recently, I freaked out…..the adrenalin spiked quickly the moment I fully realized it was gone. This was a wild mind body stressful experience!  You know what I mean (I hope, if not, and you don’t carry a purse, well, read no further..!) Ever lost your wallet? Anything realllly important?

You look everywhere, and then your brain remembers. I made a call. Yes! Gateway Market Café found a black purse. Four hours earlier, we had been out and about….in the bitter cold….and stopped to get some soup, sat down to wait, but then decided to change the food order to go. Guess who left something important behind?

Good Thing It's Not a Coach!
Good Thing It’s Not a Coach!

Good Thing It’s Not a Coach!

Bottom line for this blog besides keeping track of your things is that I truly believe people want to be honest. A pleasant employee of Gateway Market (I love the place!) answered the phone after only a couple rings, and after confirming and racing back, the nice guy with the long pony was quick to return it to me. Silly me [bonk self on side of head, harder….] But Whewwwwwww.

I did the same thing a few days earlier at the Botanical Gardens…left my purse at the top of the steps overlooking the beauty of the conservatory. There’s a better reason for my forgetfulness that time and it has to do with the excitement during this picture.

2014-12-27 14
2014-12-27 14

Part of My Fam! Randy, me, ArinJune, Nick, Taylor, and Derek! 

I ran right back up the steps to retrieve it…..and it was gone! OMG.  I ran back down the stairs (thank goodness I do step aerobics!) and searched for my family, who had gone on to view more beautiful plants.

There she was, the woman with the two little girls who had taken the pictures from my phone. Ahh, there’s the fam too, and one of my lovely children had my phone. Phone and purse saved! Geez, don’t mess with a 51 year old!

Saving what you found and returning it to its rightful owners is right. Be Honest. It’s also a good idea to play more Lumosity brain training games!?!

During a vocational evaluation to help with the placement process, I assess the individual on his or her take of honesty at work. Stay tuned for a sharing success story about job placement!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce