Smartphone for a Dumbperson? Setting SMART Goals!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

(Original post date Aug 6, 2012) Last week I wrote about my assessment prowess, ad to move on, I’d like to share with you that…  Finally, I assessed cell phone technology, made a “smart” decision and got a smartphone, aSamsung Galaxy S III!

Jacob, the almost 18-year-old says, “Answer your smartphone, or are you too dumb to know how?”

Nice. Okay, I admit, I have a lot to learn about my smartphone, as it truly is amazing.  My dear young man, the term “smart” may be of interest to you in other circumstances.

Have you ever watched the show from the tv series airing in the late 60s, early 70s called Get Smart? I thought it was funny! The star, Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, battles the forces of KAOS with the more-competent Agent 99 at his side.

Don Adams, as Maxwell Smart, holding the famous shoe phone

I wonder if Maxwell ever used his last name in its acronym form to set goals? To me, the letters can stand for:  

Specific   Measurable   Attainable   Relevant   Timely

For example, I’m setting a goal to be more organized. I tend to save and store stuff thinking I may need it someday. “Stuff” in this regard can be described as articles, old reports and homework, and a lot of misc documents and research projects,…found in folders, bins, piles of paper and on my computers; clothes that no longer fit (even though I wore a sun dress the other day, having stored it for about five years thinking it would fit me again and it did!); and food in my pantry, cupboards, fridge and freezer that really needs to be eaten up or donated. Do I dare mention the garage?

Okay, let’s relook at my goal as I need to make it SMART.

Specific – I want to re-organize my office and my home environment to allow myself more time and space to be highly efficient. (Wow!)

Measurable – My goal will be measured in two ways 1) the time it takes to do weekly cleaning and 2) how well I function on a day to day basis without losing something important or getting ticked off because too much crap is in my space.

Attainable – My goal is something I have needed and wanted to do for many years (environments change when kids get older and move out.) It is clearly attainable and will be a process that takes time and energy and focus.

Relevant – My goal is very relevant to my life as I do a good majority of work from home, and I live in a 900 square foot house, so therefore clearing out and organizing my spaces so I know what I have and I use what I got is relevant in my life. Use what you got is my motto (read the DMR article from July 2011)

Timely – I would like to meet my goal and have “efficient spaces” by this time next year! *(but then again, it may take more time!)

Sounds like I’m a real pig, snort snort!

Okay in conclusion, my smartphone has somewhat helped me to clean out my spaces and become more organized as I now have instant internet access, my calendar, to buy list, to do list and stuff have list, my email accounts and of course, games which I may want to play, and the general surfing that comes from being interested in life, society and the everyday happenings in the world!

Why so many decks of cards!!??

However the phone has already become a spot for storing applications I may or may not use, contacts of people who I haven’t communicated with in a long time, and by using the phone at times mindlessly, I just end up wasting time, reading news which is disturbing, or entertaining myself with reading useless email messages when I should or could be doing something more constructive (yawn.)

Back to my ISU days and how the heck did one get about without laptops and cell phones? Wow, is it easier to be in school now a days because of technology at our fingertips? The terminology (how the heck, now a days, at our fingertips) I used in this paragraph dates me huh?!

On the 7th day of August 1994 I expected to deliver a baby…

I was working at CorVel in West Des Moines, attending Iowa State on campus in Ames, and raising a 6 year old in between it all. However, the baby within didn’t want to come out yet…although I tried! (Jacob was 12 days overdue and finally made his worldly appearance on the 19th day of August 1994!)

Stay tuned for more blogging, and thank you for reading.

Call me at 515-778-0634 if you’d like my help to set SMART Goals.


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

Keep it Between the White Lines and Hit Hard! Career Counseling & Outsmarting Your Competitor.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Original post dated: July 9, 2012

I watched on tv Agnieszka Radwanska and Serena Williams play in the Women’s Singles Wimbledon Championship on Saturday. The players exhibit incredible physical power, strength, balance and stamina.

Their eye-hand-footwork coordination is just as incredible.  However, the concentration involved and a deliberate and well thought approach to each move are very important skills to play tennis. Outsmarting your competitor and/or working intelligently with your partner if you’re playing doubles is just as important if you want to win!

I enjoy the game of tennis and would like to start lessons. Although I know how to play (my mom was always a favorite rival on the courts growing up in Iowa Falls!), I want to relearn the rules, practice, and improve my game. And of course have fun and get some sun!

My new can of tennis balls is ready to be popped open!

I recommend doing the same in other areas of life – those recommendations being to relearn the rules, practice, and improve your game. And of course have fun!

Take for example, the game of interviewing. When you have an opportunity to interview, never turn it down. Specifically, the time you spend to strengthen your skills to perform well during a job interview will help you even if you don’t get offered the job.

One of the best ways to improve how you interview is to practice. There are numerous resources to learn how to interview, like on the internet, in books/class format and through trial and error.

My favorite acronym to help ace the game of interviewing is STAR – T. When asked a behavioral based interview questions, answer the question completely by detailing the Situation, Task, Action, Result that were involved…..and then tie it all Together.

Here’s a link to a great website to read more about this technique:

Again, be sure to Tie it all Together.

My son Nick interviewed recently and was offered a job at Wells Fargo. He starts in a few weeks.  Good job selling your skills during the interview game and outsmarting the other people who wanted the job too!

Keep it Between the White Lines and Hit Hard!

Let me know if you’d like to play tennis or you’d like me to help you with practicing interview questions. I’d be happy to do both! 



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

Graduations, Birthdays, Holidays, Weddings, and Career Counseling, Oh My!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Originally Published on: May 28, 2012

This is such a busy time of the year for everyone! Yesterday my family celebrated Jacob’s high school graduation. It was a very nice ceremony held at the Knapp Center on Drake’s campus. So much diversity at North High!  So many happy families! And the band and chorus were fantastic!

A Happy Grad

I’m looking at some of Jake’s school paperwork, which includes his report card and transcript. Wow! That’s a lot of work!  Jake did really well in Aquarium Science, Psychology, and Economics.  Okay, being a vocational counselor that I am, I honestly can’t figure out where those three courses could tie together.  Let me think…..

One Spoiled Clown Fish

Career counseling the owner of a clown fish who spent too much on the aquarium set up. Sure.

That aside, where can Jake find a like he likes that includes fish, studying the mind and behavior of said fish, and using goods and resources efficiently?

How about animal caretaker? Where can a position like this be found in Jake’s labor market? What are some titles of a job like this? What are some of the employers in the market who hire for jobs likes this? What are the physical requirements of a job like this? Can a job potentially be accommodated if need be? How much does the work pay? What does the future look like for this job? ….. on and on Me and My Questions! 

I’d have to do a labor market survey, question workers in the field, look up statistics and perform other research related to accommodations and more. Sounds fun to me! Oh, and then write a report about my findings, results and recommendations for Jake (if that’s really what he wanted to do for work at this time in his life.) 

And next up, my beautiful daughter Arin is celebrating a big day today!  Happy Birthday Sweet 16!  She’s been car shopping!

Nice Ride, and I just noticed Texas Plates!

Happy Memorial Day.  Have a great day and be safe! I have some weddings to go to next month!  I love going to weddings…free food!

What have you been up to? Would you like my help in helping your client with their vocational future? Contact me to discuss your case! Thank you for reading my blog!


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

Childhood Interests Can Help You Find the Right Career

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Take a little time to think about your early interests in life while watching this eye opening You Tube video ~ Childhood Interests Can Help You Find the Right Career which portrays a powerful connection between childhood interests and your career.


The first business I started in my youth was a baby sitting service (not just being a sitter, it was a service)!  I recruited help from my neighborhood friends and we worked as a team to provide “having fun while caring for your children” services to customers.  We called our team “The Sheiks” but I can’t remember why we used that name. Could be because we played a lot of dress up and had a lot of shows, mostly in the street for all to come and watch us perform!

Basically, I have been an entrepreneur ever since!

Let me know how I might help you or your client find the right career.



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




What is Job Placement? It’s a Professional Procedure!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Job Placement Can Be Viewed as a Professional Procedure

The goal of the procedure is to facilitate the job search to locate a position that matches the person’s knowledge base, skill set, attributes, work capacities, interests, aptitudes and physical abilities. Location, work scheduling, level of earnings, benefits, opportunities for growth plus more are identified.

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Job placement also involves career counseling, job seeking skills training,  and processing best methods for the client to connect with jobs found within his/her labor market and take appropriate and meaningful steps towards finding and securing a job.

Placement may also include vocational consulting for employers with hiring needs to find adequate profiles of persons to meet the requirements of their job openings.

The aim of job placement is to ensure the right person gets the right job!

Caveat:  Not all rehabilitation counselors are trained in job placement.

But I am!

I’m trained and certified in rehabilitation counseling AND in  job placement AND in forensics.  My expertise allows me to be very effective at placement!

I, Amy E. Botkin, have developed a certain resourcefulness and a placement orientation to things….and love providing placement services!

email me at of call me at 515-778-0634 for help with your placement needs.


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


Client or Customer? Both are Equally Valuable!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I consider the job seeker as my client, and the business entity (eg: an employer or a service provider or a law firm) as the customer. Job placement services are available for the client and typically this is a person who has already worked for a number of years in the workforce and is now on a path looking for new work opportunities that the person can and wants to do.

Matching People With Their World of WorkMatching People With Their World of Work

My philosophy regarding placement is to individualize services to match the job seeker within his or her own world of work. Although we all comprise the working world, we each have our own niche that can be as far and wide or narrow and slim as our talent can go.

I focus in on which job search tools my placement client can use to benefit their own natural style of communication. Being able to describe yourself in a way that answers questions during an interview while showing your personality is valuable.

Understanding your transferable skills and where you can apply them in many different settings and situations (and make $$$ to boot!) is instrumental during job placement. Believe in yourself first, and then build a market profile of yourself. And start the sale!

It’s a matter of expression to picture your skills as valuable, marketable and on sale to the best buyer!

On the other consulting side of my business, I have services available for the customer. One such service is job analysis.  A job analysis is a process to identify and determine in detail the particular functional duties and requirements and the relative importance of them for a given job. An important concept of a job analysis is that the analysis is conducted of the job, not the person.

While job analysis data may be collected from incumbents through interviews or questionnaires, the product of the analysis is a description or specifications of the job, and again, not a description of the person.

A job analysis that includes accommodation options has helped when the client is already an employee (and has an illness or injury leading to questions about ability to do the job) and a decision needs to made whether the best option is to retain or release the employee from permanent employment.

Judgments are made using data collected regarding the job and / or a variety of jobs with similar components. And then I can provide expert testimony based on the data and my opinion of the person’s place within his or her own working world.

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I like customers and clients equally and promise to serve all people to the best of my ability.

Call me, Amy, at 515-282-7753 or email should you want me to help you with your clients. Thank you for reading!


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

Vocational Case Management Services

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Vocational case management is an integral component of the rehabilitation process to return the injured worker to suitable, gainful employment.

Services are available to evaluate the rehabilitation potential of the claimant, to provide counseling for disability-related concerns, and when appropriate, to access the labor market and identify job placement opportunities are available.

The variety of services available are useful for insurance carriers, employers and attorneys to evaluate the rehabilitation potential of the claimant, to provide counseling for disability-related concerns, and when appropriate, to access the labor market and identify job placement opportunities.
Comprehensive private vocational rehabilitation concentrates on attainment of pre-injury wage considering the worker’s skills, aptitudes, interests and physical capabilities.

The benefits of utilizing vocational case management are numerous:
• Claim dollars for both medical and vocational payment decrease
• Relevant medical and vocational issues of the claim are identified and solved in a timely fashion
• Problems associated with return-to-work are identified and solved in a timely fashion
• Creates a positive relationship between the insurance company, the claimant and the attorney
• Documents all case activity, to include objective detail of medical issues, vocational goals, behavioral interactions, and financial aspects of the situation
• Assists in decision making based on specific recommendations
• Controls the direction of the file, lowers industrial disability loss, and reduces long-term financial responsibility
• Encourages and supports the injured worker to seek and obtain suitable work
• Proves employment options and permanent job opportunities are available

Vocational Case Management

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Vocational case management is an integral component of the rehabilitation process to return the injured worker to suitable, gainful employment. For the best efficiency and efficacy, services should begin as soon as possible. Early intervention is a good practice, especially for small businesses.

If early intervention wasn’t established, once the physician releases the individual for return-to-work or rules out return-to-work with the same job and same employer, case management should kick into gear.

Make early intervention simple….once a worker files a claim, call a vocational case manager into action.

Here’s to help!      515-778-0634