Soft Skills Matrix, Take A Look!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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,

Appearing

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  http://www.mass-project.org/attachments/396_MASS%20wp4%20final%20report%20part-1.pdf    Edited in part 12/4/2014

Ever Had a Real Lemon? Customer Service Has to be Peachy!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ever had a real lemon of a car? Ever had horrible customer service regarding it? Let me tell you, recently (original blog date May 18, 2015) two guys representing Teen Challenge and their vehicle donation program hauled away my daughter Arin’s first car….a used green VW Jetta.

Jetta
Jetta

Ooohh, that car >:(

Arin had saved her money from working for a long time at her first job at Okoboji Grill as a host and at age 16 bought it with cash. Pretty impressive that girl is, huh! She, with her dad, “found” the car at Farley’s on the East side which we DO NOT recommend….see below for a nasty review.

Yet for the time she drove her first car (what was yours? mine was a blue Maverick), AJ loved her car and driving! Many an adventure until…..the day the Jetta crapped out; she was returning from a day trip to Lake Red Rock. I had to search for her and her friend stranded on the side of a gravel road (imagine what was going through my motherly head)!

Luckily I came across a group of firefighters close to a town who were gathering ‘fill the boot’ donations and upon my plea for help, one kind firefighter  took charge. (Note: I love and appreciate firefighters ~ recently, Des Moines’ Fire Chief sent my husband Randy a card congratulating him on his educator award…very cool!)

I followed the firefighter’s pick up truck, and he found the young stranded motorists…. then the tow truck and the COSTS that ensued. We got the car fixed temporarily in Pleasantville; then more fixing in Des Moines. Arin drove it for another year, and the cost to “fix it” (read: new engine) cost just as much as she originally paid for it (like $6k).Image result for car engine cartoon

Do the math and gag with me.

Here’s what Randy wrote about it (the auto purchase) nine months ago (~9/14) in a Google business review of Farley’s Wholesale Tires & Autos ~

“Would never do business with this company again.  Bought a used 1999 VW Jetta only to find out that someone had put Radiator Stop Leak in the car.  It did the job on the radiator but it also caused the thermostat housing  and all the other hoses to be so clogged causing the car to overheat and this killed the engine after 1,500 miles. 

When I went to Pat Farley to see what he was willing to do he told me that it was a used car and that he would not and was not willing to do anything.  I had to put a new engine in the car, replace numerous hoses and coolant joints and flush the engine 5 times to clean it out and get it back on the road.  Have had numerous problems with the car. 

Please beware of this individual and his company they are crooks who do not care about their customers, they are just trying to make a buck.” ~ Randy BotkinLemon

Lemon, as in a bad car, or something affected by an unfixable original manufacturing defect.

Anyway, a few weeks ago Arin purchased a new car from name of dealership, a Black Ford Fusion, and being used, hopefully it will not be a lemon like the Jetta. Thank you Teen Challenge for accepting our donation and for helping the youth you serve.

Bye Bye Jetta
Bye Bye Jetta

Jetta LightsBTW, do you have a Jetta 1990-2005 that needs new lights? (Update: sold em on Craig’s List!)

Randy had replaced these headlights (new headlights really make a difference in visibility!), and removed them before the car was towed away. For sale on Craig’s list too!

The point of this blog is about serving your customers well. I will do all I can to take care of my customers and provide quality services!

You can expect me to be professional and caring. I am fully knowledgeable of my role and understand my business objectives completely. This combined with my passion for my work and my company’s offerings make it easy to deliver the best service possible. 

Plus, I’ll treat you like a peach!

Please let me know how my consulting services could help on a litigated case involving disability and work. I’m here to help attorneys help their clients. 

Give me, Amy Botkin, a call at 515-778-0634 or email me at amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to start a discussion about your case. Thank you for reading!

___________________

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

Golfing and Communication, Using Tee Ups Effectively!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Been on the links yet? If not, hopefully very soon! I enjoy golfing and teeing off is my favorite part (not that the ball goes much more than 100 yards or so). I just really like it when my ball flies high and straight! 

Image result for golf course cartoonIt makes it much easier to smack the ball into the air if  the tee is adjusted in the ground just right, not too high or low. Read: Maximize your efficiency either long distance or not as long depending on the goal.

Colorful Tees

Place the tee in the ground at the right height!

However, teeing up may not be such a good thing, especially when not on the golf course. Off the course, a tee up is a phrase to transition to introduce your verbal message. It’s a style of communication that’s often used to soften what’s coming, obscure meaning and, at times, “signal that bad news or dishonesty” is on the horizon.

Image result for golf course cartoonHave you noticed that often, those who are known to lie or bend the truth the most are the ones who say “to be perfectly honest” the most? At least that has been true in my personal experience. If a person has to announce their honesty before they speak, maybe they aren’t always truthful.

Sure, I use tee-ups and I am very conscientious of it. I catch myself and reiterate in my mind how I feel when I use them. A tee-up can be impolite and can also draw less attention to what you really need to say.  When I hear others use a tee-up phrase it makes me think about how they’re communicating and what may be motivating their behavior or thought.

I Hate To Tell YouI Hate To Tell You, But

When a tee-up is used to preface a neutral statement, it can potentially appear to make the speaker sound formal, conscientious, or sophisticated. When used before a negative statement, a tee-up can be condescending.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but all in all” they signal a weakness in communication. Whether you mean it or not, tee-ups make a listener shut down. The best way to circumvent that is for the speaker to stop using tee-ups whenever possible.

Other examples of a tee-up phrase are, “To tell you the truth”, “To be perfectly honest”, “I hate to be the one to tell you this, but” ,“Believe it or not” ,  and “I hear what you’re saying.”  How about this one, “Don’t take this the wrong way!” What are we really saying when we use this phrases? Not much.

My personal favorite is “without a shadow of a doubt”. I’m not really sure if that’s a tee up but I said it the other day to Randy when we were in some sort of philosophical discussion.  (Get the picture?)

Proceed With Caution

Proceed with caution when you hear a tee-up!

There are various reasons for communicating this way. These “tee-ups” are a good way to lie, because it softens the blow a bit by distancing you on an emotional level. The bottom line is when a person uses a tee-up it almost always has to do with emotions.

Tee-ups are yellow lights. If you are about to utter one, slow down. Proceed with caution. Think about what you are about to say or write. And put your communication in the right context from the beginning! You may find this related Wall Street Journal article of interest, It’s titled Why Verbal Tee-Ups Like ‘To Be Honest’ Often Signal Insincerity and can be found at: online.wsj.com/news/articles/

“But then again”, a tee-up may make it easier to say something difficult or buy a few extra seconds to collect your next thought. “Yet all in all”, they can become communication habits that waste time. The person who you are talking to can get stuck on the tee-up and not listen nearly as well as you had well-intended. If you really have something serious to talk about, it will help to use your body language and tone of voice efficiently.

“Okay, don’t freak out, but” if you are feeling a need to use tee-ups a lot, perhaps you’re saying too many unpleasant things to or about other people. Sometimes, the shiny feather (fletching) on an arrow can distract you from the barb; often, it just makes it hurt more. More likely than not, your message will miss the ultimate target.

Precept Golf BallI use this kind of ball! Precept: Noun: a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought.

If you whiff on the first shot, you can tee-up again, but you have to count the stroke and you’ll need to work harder on your game! Ill think of my precept golf balls next time I use a tee-up (or whiff) and will then try to regulate my behavior or thought. The greatest precept is continual awareness. Do you want to do the same? Or would you rather just go golfing with me?

P.S. Congrats Mark Calcavecchia, winner of our 2015 Principal Charity Classic!

Let me know what I can do to help you in a litigated matter involving work and disability. As far as golf, I really can’t help you there much other than to simply motivate you to have fun and don’t worry about whiffing….we all do it! Don’t get all emotional about it!

___________________

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

I Agree, Whatever Makes You Happy You Put in Your World! How About a Chocolate Long John!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As I wrote about last week, Randy received the 2015 Alternative Educator of the Year! At the April 21, 2015 Des Moines Public School District Board Meeting he received recognition. Randy endured quite a bit of silliness and a lot of congratulations from his co-workers at Scavo High School about this “award” but all in all, be proud Mr. Botkin!

Here’s the letter announcing the news: Scavo Teacher Named Alternative Educator of the Year.

2015-04-16 13.10.07

The plaque he received has the wrong year!

I’ve written about this before because it’s exciting! Randy will be engaging much more when school begins again this Fall 2015 (I know I know, school is almost out for this school year, why talk about restarting it already) as Scavo’s work experience coordinator!

This will be great for him, after 22 years in a classroom (not that he’s ditching a classroom nor teaching, this is more of a melding of his skills to help his students). Randy has taught many different subjects, ranging from baking (I remember those yummy strawberry pies), to parenting (he’s a natural!) to history (his cup of tea), and algebra too (ahh, no comment)!  I remember one year he taught wood shop. We still have a bench he made which is ironic because he’s not very good at cutting a straight line! Sorry guy! Just the truth!

Image result for images cup of tea cartoon

I’m a Cup of Tea Alright!

Mr. Botkin’s primary endorsement is in behavioral disorders making him basically a major troubleshooter!  Can a person’s behaviors change? Of course! I’ve learned the key to maintaining  new behaviors…is to be happy! Want some cookies with that cup of tea? I just remembered something……    🙂

Whatever Makes Your Happy You Put In Your World

Whatever Makes You Happy You Put In Your World!

Randy and his students used to take orders twice a month (this was several years ago) for 10 dozen school-baked cookies for the Des Moines School Board meetings. Two dozen a piece he reminds me: of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar, peanut butter and ? oops I forgot! Macaroons? Are macaroons too difficult to teach teens how to bake? I’ve never made them.

During those days Randy and all his fellow BD educators and staff members taught here, at the original Casady building on 16th!

Casady Building 6-12-2013

The Casady Building, built in 1905, was demolished a month or so after I took this shot June 12, 2013! 

Another new source of happiness for our daughter Arin lies in her employment. She is now working at Zombie Burger as a host. She continues at the Des Moines Library, too!

AJ has wanted to work at this popular restaurant (there was a 2 hour wait this Saturday, even in the rain) for a long time! After putting her two weeks’ notice from Walgreen’s in, she started a couple of weeks ago. I am so proud of my daughter’s work ethic! Ah heck, everyone in my families! Arin has said to me about both her jobs “I Really Love What I Do….!” Why Do You Do Your Work? You too may be in love!

A little update on the Botkin boys. Last year, Nick received a promotion at Well’s Fargo. He is doing so well that recently he received an award as well! This award includes a full-ride trip to Miami (he leaves with Derek this Thursday)! Randy got $50 worth of donuts from Highland Park Bakery to share with his fellow educators at work to celebrate his educator of the year award. And he didn’t even bring me home a chocolate long john : (

Related image; ) Long Johns are delicious, yet tooo much sugar for me. It’d take a couple days to eat it all, but I would! Waste Not, Want Not!

Jake continues at Jimmy John’s. He’s been there quite a while now (update: as of 9/2018 he still is). One of JJ’s HR policies is that workers have to cover their tattoos (update as of 5/2016 the company changed that! It made no sense to me to work in a kitchen and delivery in the hot summer wearing long sleeves to customers who can show their tattoos. Ridiculous! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any tattoos yet? ; )  but all three of my kids do (and my mother got a tattoo for her 80th birthday!), my sister Janice does and many other people who are bodily artistic. Jake enjoys designing tattoos and has considered becoming a tattoo artist! He is very talented at drawing!

Back to working on a presentation project for my work! Please let me know what I might do to help you with a sticky employment situation!

Stayed tuned for the future Part 2 of Whatever Makes You Happy Put In Your World!

___________________

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

Congrats to the 2015 Alternative Educator of the Year!

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Randall Botkin wins The IAAE Educator of the Year Award!

Educator of the Year ~ The Educator of the Year is presented annually to the alternative educator who is making a significant contribution to alternative education in Iowa. This award will honor one individual each year who is making an outstanding contribution to his/her students, school and community. Any alternative education teacher, supervisor, administrator, or counselor may be nominated.

IAAE Educator of the Year 2015 Goes to Mr. B!

Randy has taught in the Des Moines Public System for 22 years!

Here’s some of the good words from his nomination letters:

  • During my time as a colleague Randy has exemplified what it means to be a teacher in an alternative setting.
  • Randy has great rapport with students and families.
  • He has the ability to connect with his students and motivate them to do their best.
  • Over the 22 years of his teaching career he has been a major influence in the lives of students in Des Moines.
  • Randy has taught all subject areas and grade levels as a special education teacher to courses such as cooking, parenting and woodshop. 
  • His background and work ethic support a learning environment that all students can learn and achieve at high levels.

~ Richard Blonigan, Principal, Scavo High School. Rich has worked with Randy from 2000-2003 in a teaching role and is currently the high school’s principal.

Here’s more!:

  • Randy is a humble man, but the work he does is amazing.
  • Randy never gave up on any student.
  • He always encouraged and engaged and graduated most of them. He worked with the student who have the “worst” behavior in Des Moines.
  • Randy is the first person to volunteer and support staff and students.
  • The work we do is difficult, but Randy never lets it get him down. 
  • He is consistent and positive in the face of any potential obstacle.

~ Randi Oleson, Principal – District Wide Programs, Des Moines Public Schools, written March 31, 2015. Randi worked directly with Randy for 9 years. 

2015-03-21 13.43.44To A Favorite Educator!

If you recall, I let you know I was saving a secret. Well, now’s the time to share more good news! This January 2015, Randy accepted the position of transition coordinator for Scavo High School (he’ll continue to teach as well.)

With his expertise (ahh, he still needs to take courses through Drake), skills and most importantly knowledge of our educational system (and his love for his career), he will assist me with life care plans that involve school age children and those who are transitioning on into adulthood and into the workforce!

More to come, but here’s Mr. B in action (yes this shot is staged) and was taken over winter break on 1/2/15 in his new classroom at Central Campus!

2015-01-02 12.34.17

Mr. B!

Please let me know if you need a life care plan involving an adult or a child. I promise to provide the most detailed and worthy plan for consideration.

___________________

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

A T on My Finger and Action Green

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Okay, after blogging recently about my forgetfulness when it comes to certain situations, I admit yet another one. Right before Christmas I found my DMACC graduation certificate, with Randy’s Saydel High School diploma (yep, stashed them in a good spot alright.)  I’ve been curious where my DMACC diploma was hiding.

DMACC AA Certificate

Here it is! My DMACC Associate in Arts Degree December, 1992

……together with all rights, honors, privileges and marks of distinction pertaining thereto!  Given this month of December 1992! You’ll have to go on the wall as soon as I find a frame!

Again, blogging about my past helps me organize my stuff, practice creative writing, connect with you and share my talents. Hopefully I have all the dates, etc. correct on my living resume! I get a bit confused about my own past from time to time!

I also recall, let me look for it….a blog about my house and the STUFF. Which I need to find that post…. [update 2 hours later! Here is the link…but it’s really about setting SMART Goals! And I am proud to say my humble abode is MUCH better! Thank you.

Here’s my transcripts too. Worst grades include a C in Chemistry….and a C in Principles of Accounting II…go figure! I started DMACC in 9/2/86 and finally was awarded a LA AA  degree 12/18/1992. Wow, took me six years!

I was pretty busy during this time with working two jobs (at the Department of Education in the Grimes Building as a secretary by day and for Dr. Schwartz transcribing his medical records at his dermatology clinic by moonlight!), had a baby (Nickolas Andrew) in 1989 and got married (Randall Eugene) in 1990. But I persisted!

One strategy I practice TO BE SURE I DON’T FORGET SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT is to put a T on my left index finger. Back 1988-1989 from time to time, my sister Janice asked me to pick up her daughter Taylor Marie from daycare after my work. This is what I did and I continue to do so I didn’t forget T:

 T on L Index FingerA T on My Left Index Finger Helps Me Remember Something Really Important!

Like today Amy, be sure Bella has water in her heated bowl. Brrr. She has enough fur and she loves her house, so I can’t worry too much about her, but she does need accessible water.

Anyway, last weekend I attended a CRHP  Christ Renews His Parish retreat. I am serious about making my life more simple……and focus on what really matters. The retreat helped me realize that even more!

KeepitSimpleStay tuned for a blog about me looking for work!  Or maybe I’ll blog about my faith! Possibly more about my secret…….or my husband!!! Who knows at this time??? Remember, I blog about the present and my future…..and love to write….and work….and play….and pray….and live life fully!

I hope you enjoyed the Super Bowl last night. I wanted the Seahawks to win. I really like their colors, especially the Action Green…..I can see the plays so much better!  Click here for a blog about the skills of a football player!

Brain Workouts

BTW, when it comes to my vocational counseling……I don’t forget! I have a steel trap memory for what transpires on my cases. Test me!

___________________

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

Is Your Glass 1/2 Full or 1/2 Empty Today? Personality Assessments Help Find Out!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Studying personalities is important to me. I’ve reviewed the results of many personality assessments and am a proponent of using assessment results if it helps you or who you are working with move forward in positive ways. One of the main personality dispositions is whether you are optimistic or pessimistic. (Which are you?) You can go to The Big Five Project, where you can take a personality assessment for free.

Half FullMy glass is usually ½ full!

I’ve studied optimism and after reading the March 25, 2012 TIME magazine article titled The Science of Optimism ~ Hope Isn’t Rationale, so why are humans wired for it?” written by Tali Sharot, I’ve learned more. Sharot is a research fellow at University College London’s Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. She searches for the places in the brain where optimism lives!

In her work, she’s interested in how our natural optimism actually shapes what we remember. In one of her studies on optimism, using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) the areas of the brain shown to light up  are found in the prefrontal cortex (responsible for planning and goal setting), hippocampus (crucial to memory), amygalda (my favorite emotional processing almond!), the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (boost the flow of positive emotions) and caudate (processes rewards).

Big BrainAll this brain activity is involved in self-reflection and recollection!

I’ll apply her knowledge that our brains are biased towards optimism. She has a great Ted talk on The Optimism bias that helps me to better understand and work with my clientele, evaluees, referral sources like attorneys, insurance representatives, and the entire array of people encountered in the process of rehabilitation counseling. See the optimists and pessimists lining up?

As part of my ongoing continuing educational pursuits in my beloved career, I promise to continue to study personality and use it to help me to read others and to ultimately help you, my client, with your case.

It definitely helps me in my forensic work to seek information about whether a person is an optimist or a pessimist, and then identify if that person can strike a balance. Why is this important to me? Because it shows the person is flexible! What a great attribute to have as our world constantly changes!

Every time I study others my skills improve!

Every time I study others my skills improve helping me to make more valid and reasonable assessments of persons, places and situations that need to be brought to light. Of course, even the best detective or mind reader is not always right on track each time they do an assessment. It takes continually gathering knowledge of others, practice, practice and more practice (while myself remaining optimistic yet neutral) to effectively and without bias counsel and teach others.

Rosey GlassesToo rosey at times?

I’m told I’m often overly optimistic and overly analytical. Really I’m just sucking up as much information as possible during whatever time is available and I don’t want to miss anything that may make a difference. Therefore, I need to balance my construct of optimism depending on the situation and have an alternative plan to avoid being unrealistic or irrational. A small dose of realism or even pessimism might be the best prescription to achieve my consulting goals.

Sharot writes, “True sometimes we regret our decisions; our choices can turn out to be disappointing. But on balance, when you make a decision ~ even if it is a hypothetical choice ~ you will value it more and expect it to bring you more pleasure.”

I believe this to be part of my mantra when on the stand and knowing my testimony is based on decision making processes that I chose to undertake, and the hope that I am making a difference in the lives of others.

Hope is an emotional state. Optimism is a cognitive process.

Click here for a great short take written by a monsignor on Hope Versus Optimism

I hope you enjoy it. If you’re not able to view it let me know and I’ll send it to you.

My attorney reader I  look forward to helping you help your client! Thank you for reading my post. The links are meant to help you to learn more about me and how I approach my consulting work! Contact me at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com

___________________

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

It Finally Arrived! My Forensic Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Certificate!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’ve been waiting for my graduate certificate in Forensic Rehabilitation Counseling from The George Washington University! It finally arrived in my mail box!

2014-09-29 16.10.51

GWU’s colors are blue & buff!

The Forensic Rehabilitation Counseling program took well over a year, and I’m happy to move forward with new and exciting forensic areas in my consulting practice. Forensic Rehabilitation Counseling is valuable in cases including personal injury, medical malpractice, life care planning, marital dissolution, product liability, and catastrophic injury. Although I’ve had some experience in these areas, I’m ready to take more cases on!

Forensic Rehabilitation Counseling graduate certificate

Forensic Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Certificate, Awarded in Washington, The District of Columbia this fifteenth day of August, two thousand and fourteen

The certificate is printed in portrait orientation and not landscape, like all my other (I need to look up and to my left and count) 6 framed certificates. Okay, the other 6 are (exciting I know, but this helps me document them!) ~

  • High School Equivalency Diploma, State of Iowa, November 10, 1981
  • Ellsworth Community College Certificate of Graduation, One-Year Secretarial Business Program, May 23, 1981  (Yes, the dates are correct. I attended ECC before I graduated from high school. I had to wait to get my GED certificate even though I had already passed the college enrollment test and started college!)
  • Bachelor of Science, Community Health Education, Iowa State University, August 5, 1995
  • Master of Science, Drake University, School of Education, December 17, 2004
  • Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, Number 71256
  • Certified Life Care Planner, International Commission on Health Care Certification, Number 1130
  • There’s also my golf certificate from 1978! (It’s not really on the wall!)

GolfHuh, no coach and no principal signed it!?

I remember a hole-in-one at Highland Country Club in Iowa Falls. (Of course a hole-in-one will be an important part of my memory bank!!!)

I was golfing with Becky Tjaden, in a mother-daughter tourney (and my mom picked my sister Janice to play with!). I miss you Becky and treasure my memories of golfing with you, your level of teaching and mentoring me on the course has helped me in so many ways including in my career. Thank you Becky from the bottom through the top of my heart.

BTW: Do you know there is golf forensics!?

My last hole in one (on a golf course, not a putt-putt) was not that far removed from 1978!

Using my golf game as an analogy, each stroke involves tapping into good judgment more art than science which I’ve blogged on when deciding which club to use! My swing, not nearly as perfect as my mom’s, or Becky’s was!, must involve practice, practice and practice.

Knowing the lay of the course is important along with the weather and the ground conditions. So is knowing who’s in front of you and who’s behind you. Knowing the rules is invaluable as is keeping perfect score. Of course, are you an ethical golfer!?!  Ahemmmm

Have fun with your career and in your golf game!

Yes, the stakes are high in forensic rehabilitation counseling, and yes they can be in a golf game. It may be like getting out of the rough on the last hole of a golf tournament, and you never know if you’ve made the right choice until it’s too late to change your mind. To play to win or at least to beat your opponent by a stroke or 2!, keep certain basic principles in mind, use your best judgment, your best methodology, your best attitude, and have fun!

Let me know how I might help with a litigated case that would benefit from my involvement. I love preparing Life Care Plans. (I can also critique a plan that landed on your desk!) A Life Care Plan can become the hole-in-one to your case!

Contact me at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com  to discuss your legal case. I’m here to help attorneys help their clients! Thank you for reading my post. I love the game of golf! Do you?

___________________

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

Preparing to Graduate…Again!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Just an update to let my readers know I am nearly done with my most recent learning adventure through George Washington University….that lasted well over a year! I certainly learned a lot about forensics rehabilitation consulting, and really appreciate my cohort comprised of really smart rehabilitation counselors across the country!

There are students from the great states of Iowa (me!), Texas, Ohio, Washington, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, the District of Columbia, and who am I missing? Kansas?!

 

BeautifulOur Beautiful Country is so Colorful!

I’ve been in all our states but Washington, Hawaii and Alaska. This was traveling done mostly as a youngster, in the back of a station wagon with the entire family (oh, the memories!).

Back to the current times Amy….! During the forensic rehabilitation coursework, I placed heavy emphasis on the study of ethics. Because I feel comfortable with my own ethics, in turn I feel comfortable with forming my own opinions (and expert ones at that!)

One ethics paper I prepared in October, 2013 for the course Foundations of Forensics Rehabilitation Counseling II (COUN 6396) emphasized Ethics, Values and Character Surrounding My Career in Private Practice.

In another ethics paper I submitted in Spring 2014 for the course Law and the Rehabilitation Counseling II (COUN 6396), I analyzed Ethics and Vocational Reports. Specifically, I critiqued a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and his USE OF TESTING INSTRUMENTS in VOCATIONAL EVALUATIONS.

Along with submitting my paper to GWU, I also submitted it to a professor from the great State of Washington who teaches ASSESSMENTS to master’s level rehabilitation counseling students. I received powerful feedback from her.

 Knowledge

I am happy to share what I’ve learned and how it can be best applied to meet your litigation needs. My papers are available, just ask and I’ll see if you really want to read all about it! Call me at 515-282-7753 or email vocresources@gmail.com.   Or easier yet, connect with me on LinkedIn. I’ve posted them there!

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

My Purpose to Serve Others Continues to Ring True!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

(Original post date 9/10/13 and updated 11/5/2019) As I mentioned last week, I’m moving into round 2 of my studies at GWU. I came across the statement of purpose I wrote in April 2013 and wanted to post it here as it continues to ring true for me!

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE written by Amy E. Botkin

My purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University is to learn about the intricacies and efficiencies of serving as an expert witness in my area of expertise. As a rehabilitation counselor, life care planner and placement specialist, my focus is often on facilitating healthy return to work outcomes.

Prior to my current career, I worked as a marketing representative for a staffing agency that placed people into clerical and light industrial jobs. This work experience offered me a base on how to match people with the world of work. I understand the concept of incorporating the needs of employers with the needs of job seekers.

My background as the leader of a diverse group of placement specialists afforded me additional insight into challenges affecting job seekers. In my practice, as well as with the experiences within our group, I visit employers and find that personalities and fitting in, as well as proof of skills, may be the strongest indicator of a successful placement.

However, in perspective the job seeker may not believe he or she has the capacity to meet the employer’s expectations. Therefore, the job seeker is not successful in the initial stages of a job search, leading to feelings that may further disintegrate their role and performance as a qualified job seeker. Therefore, my career goal is to continue with my consulting practice and incorporate specific work-life identity skills training.

Ringing True!

As a freelance writer on a part-time basis, I develop stories about locally owned businesses, mostly from a personality perspective by interviewing business owners to learn about their background and what brought them to this particular business. I gain much insight and detail into what brings a person to their career.

My ability to draw out a person’s background information is also useful to guide a person who has lost their job due to illness, injury or disability into a new or similar job that continues to use their assets, albeit in a new form.

My research interests are in the areas of vocational rehabilitation, specifically how personalities, lifestyles and cultures form a person’s work identity. When taking into consideration a serious injury or accident that leads to disability or functional limitations, I would like to identify and assess unique methods to adjust the factors related to essential functions of a job that may be beyond a person’s capacities (either physically, emotionally or intellectually).

I would like to learn how to (Shadow) Box!

Using the skills gained from this program, I’d expand my research methodology for my client, evaluee or customer. Presenting novel material in front of a jury will allow me to separate from the common counselor and be viewed as a credible source of unique material that is specific to the needs of the case. With this new knowledge and skill, I would feel even more confident expressing my opinions. I look forward to my studies.

Thank you for reading my blog post. Contact me ~ Amy E. Botkin, MS, CRC, CLCP, FRC ~ Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Life Care Planner, Forensic Rehabilitation Consultant to discuss your how I can help you help your client.

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