Motivational Assessments…Right on Baby!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Back in February 2012 I wrote about motivation….and am continuing with this psychological feature of life.  Sometimes I look back and say to myself, gee Amy you must be a pretty darn motivated person huh? So is my husband for that matter. We’ve both accomplished quite a bit at this point in life. But boy, isn’t it nice to hang out at a pool (which we did recently at Embassy Suites) and do, well, nothing!

Ahhhhh, don’t I wish!

Anyway, back to the point of this blog. I’ve taken a motivational assessment and because I am pleased with it, I offer it to interested clients. It’s called the Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential ~ MAPP.

The MAPP is a self-discovery tool used in career exploration. After entering data, I was provided with a confidential document and I was pretty surprised by the results! I’ll point out just a few discoveries about me from the assessment, indicating you may receive results that are valuable to you as well.

The first section focuses on interest in job content (those vocational tasks you want to perform), temperament for the job (how you prefer to perform tasks), and aptitude for the job (expression of performing tasks). Other sections cover how you relate to people, things, data, reasoning, and applied usage of math and language.

The vocational analysis section ranked my highest potential is in Writing and Journalism; and Counseling, Guidance. Right on baby!

Right On Baby!

There’s a graphical summary that uses Worker Trait Code Charts to represent the breakdown of your personal scores into numbers and percentiles. This information determines the person’s level of motivation for specific traits. The higher [or lower] the number/percentile allows you to view your capacity to succeed or compete with the general population in the trait area of activity.  Traits in Level 1 are compulsive; Level 2 is highly motivated; Level 3 is moderately motivated, and so on.

The MAPP results (along with helpful interpretation of it from a vocational counselor like me) aids you (the job seeker or career changer) to identify your motivations and learn how to use them to be successful in your career and life plan. It’s important to keep in mind that this assessment, like all assessments, is not a sole determinant for whatever you set out to measure.  The MAPP does not determine whether you can or cannot perform in a job, it rather indicates if you will perform.

My results reveal I am compulsively (yikes, that can be a scary word…so let’s use the word driven as its synonym) interested in being concerned with people and for providing service dedicated to the interest of others. I am driven to literacy and/or communication tasks. I relate to others with a service communication style and voluntarily inform others.

I am not that particularly motivated by things, but I have a high level of motivation to compile (gather, classify, store information) and copy (duplicate, transcribe, record and send) data. My language capacity is highly systematic, with a logical explanation and education orientation.  I am literary creative with a strong communicative ability. I am moderately motivated with reasoning concepts, and applying math.  Again, right on baby!

There’s so much more to this assessment….  That’s just some of what arose to the surface for me.  I’d be happy to discuss how assessments are useful when planning your next steps in life.  Or to evaluate where you are and how you got there….which I’ve been doing while I blog about my past and how it’s brought me to the present.

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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.

Interview Motivation & My Daughter The Hulk!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Original Post dated: 11-2-2012

In this week’s writing, I’m enhancing my blog from last week about job interviewing  and encourage you, if you are seeking a job, to study certain traits to create a positive image during an interview (or for any type of communication with a human)!

But first, I want to congratulate my daughter Arin for landing a new job. She clearly presented herself and interviewed well! She starts tomorrow, after school, at Walgreens.

You’ll find Arin working in the cosmetics department!

It is true the key to landing a job is how well you present yourself during an interview. But did you also know there are secrets to getting jazzed about the interview? I found a nice article on the internet titled Job Interview Motivation. It lists five secrets to help you get motivated. In summary, they are:

1. The interviewer might be as nervous as you are.

2. The interviewer has more to do than you do.

3. Find a way to keep the negative thoughts out.

4. Realize you are only human.

5. Get outside help.

Click here for the entire article titled Job Interview Motivation. It is really good and will really help you! I added a bit to it, so please take some time and read it!

Using outside tools and techniques for job interview motivation can really help. Realize that many times nervousness comes from being selfish. I know that sounds a little crazy but typically we get ourselves all jazzed up about something because we are worried about how we are going to look or how we are going to act.

Those are selfish thoughts. Work on the selfishness you might have inside and watch your nervousness go away! I love to help people prepare for an interview. Placement is my specialty! If you have a client, or need help with interviewing, please let me know how I might assist.

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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.

 

 

 

Chicagoland….My Birthday….and the Riot Fest! What a weekend!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We returned from Chicago early this morning, say like 2AM… and I suppose Randy is a bit tired from driving, basically, since Friday morning when we left our hotel at 6AM for other activities! But I’m sure he’s enjoying teaching today!

We went to Downtown Chicago on Friday and checked out the sites.

I always love to hang out on the beach!

The main reason for our trip was to take Arin and Xavier to the Riot Fest. Riot Fest is a 2 day outdoor music fest in Humboldt Park. Sound fun to you?

 The official drop off/pick spot for the kids

On Saturday, (my birthday!) after picnicking and dropping the kids off in the park, we hung out in a forest preserve, listened to the Cubs on the car’s radio and watched the jets fly into O’Hare.

Then we went to church, hung out again, drank beer, and ate in the hotel room, and drove back to get the kids.  Exciting huh?! And on Sunday after dropping the kids off again at  Humboldt Park, we went to a Chicago Cubs game….and they won!!! Then we picked up the kids and drove home, leaving about 8PM.

 My type of fun!

 My parents are from the Chicago area as I’ve talked about in past blogs. I was born in Libertyville, Illinois. During our trip we witnessed some truly nice people, and yes some rude driving. But that’s all expected. Randy does not like Chicago, but I do.

I think about all the people who work in Chicagoland every day. They get around in many different ways, bike, bus, train, bicycles, scooters, their own vehicles. There are commuters galore!  And I think of all the different jobs, and the different ways of doing so many different jobs.  We’re talking diversity galore, too!

The Bean!

 According to the US Census Bureau, July, 2011, the population of Chicago is 2,707,120. The largest employers are the U.S. Government, Chicago Public Schools, City of Chicago, Cook County, Advocate Health Care – that’s a lot of workers!

The Chicago teachers remain on strike. And with Randy being a Des Moines Public School teacher, he was quite interested in what is going on. The kids would love not being in school!  But all days will need to be made up.

In an upcoming blog I’m going to write about my husband and his work ethic. You’d be impressed!

Thank you for reading! Go Cubbies! (Randy wore a Cincinnati Reds shirt to the game…)  Can you believe it?   HOLY COW! 

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

 


* Vocational Resources Plus, LLC  *   lcpresourcesplus.com *

VocResourcesPlus@msn.com

 

How My Past has Brought Me to The Present! The Student with 2 Brains ~ Part 17

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In Spring of 1994 I took 19 credits, and I did really well academically. I like to relate it to the fact that at that time in my life, I had two brains! Yes you read that right!

I was pregnant with my second child!

 Ahhh, the beautiful brain. FYI:  Your brain weighs 2 to 4 pounds and is comprised of at least 60% fat. It is the fattest system in your body. It’s a compliment when you get called a fat head!

I happen to be quite fond of the amygalda (uh mig’ dull uh).  The amygalda (aka the “emotional brain) is a set of subcortical nuclei that is important for perceiving in others and having in oneself emotional or affective behaviors and feelings (eg: fear, anger). It’s a component of the limbic system. Emotions convey a lot useful information. In a future blog, I will write about emotional intelligence, but for this week’s writing I want to focus on brain health.

The amygalda – the name, comes from ‘like an almond’

I’ve been attending Brain Health Seminars hosted by Emeritus Senior Living in Urbandale, Iowa. The topics are very interesting and revolve around Paul David Nussbaum Ph.D’s research.  Dr. Nussbaum is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Adjunct Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  Website for  Paul David Nussbaum, Ph.D.  

Dr. Nussbaum is an International Leader on Brain Health Lifestyle and has recently written a book titled SAVE YOUR BRAIN The 5 Things You Must Do to Keep Your Mind Young and Sharp”

Yes, there are six slices, but who could resist?

The five critical areas of brain health, or the “slices to the brain health pie,” include:

Socialization, Physical Activity, Mental Stimulation*, Spirituality and Nutrition

One of the Brain Health Seminars focused on *Mental & Cognitive Stimulation.  The featured speaker was Polly Johnston, Program Specialist, Iowa Alzheimer’s Association.  Polly explains Dr. Nussbaum focuses on the mind’s five main cognitive functions:

~  Language Skills  ~  Memory  ~  Concentration & Attention  ~ Visual & Spatial  ~ Executive Functions (Logic & Reasoning) ~

 Polly taught our group how to come up with ideas to cognitively stimulate our brain.  She recommends we try something new and challenging each day.  Here is one I love: If you are right handed, (I am), use your left hand to eat, write or use your car keys. I personally like to shoot pool positioning the cue stick in my left hand (not that it helps my game, but I do it anyway!)

Many years ago, when I broke my right wrist in a car accident,  I had to use my left hand quite a bit for the six weeks it was in a cast. For example, I wrote, ate, brushed my teeth and washed my hair left handed (covering cast with a bread bag so it wouldn’t get as wet!) Using my left hand/arm helped me conceptualize how important it is to try to be ambidextrous. My husband claims to be….maybe to some degree, luckily for him his mother was a lefty!

Other ideas to exercise your brain include get yourself a Brain Games/Puzzle Book (there are plenty on line to do). 

Plan for exciting travel!

 Learn a new musical instrument (this engages different parts of your brain and why our DMPS schools need to never ever rid our students of the opportunities for band, choir, symphony…..).

Additionally, listen to wonderful classical music!

In his high school days, my son Nick played:  alto sax, bari sax, flute, baritone, and piano.  My daughter Arin takes band lessons (thank you Mr. Most Talented Craig Swartz, Instrumental Music Director of Des Moines Public Schools) and plays the flute for her school. She also self-taught in a number of instruments, and plays the guitar, bass, ukulele and piano. As an aside, my 15 year old beauty also self-taught in sign language! I am in awe when she signs songs. Absolutely beautiful.

I blog…..which really helps my brain! I receive the online Word of the Day (I love this). And, well I work! Think brain, think, how else do I exercise my brain? Does golf count (without getting pissed off?) I really want to play the piano again (I took lessons from Ms. Schweiger for many years as a youngster while growing up in Iowa Falls.)

What do you do to exercise your brain?

I started this blog with the baby inside topic….but never did mention Jacob…..next week young man! Read on!

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How My Past Has Brought Me to The Present! Max the Manx, Something New and The Flood! Part 10

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Original blog publication Jan 23, 2012 @ 06:00

January 1993.  All is going well, traveling back and forth to ISU, learning, raising a child, enjoying married life and having my lovable cat Max (the Manx at my side.)  

Max

Then once upon a time, Randy and I started to get an idea and started to explore our options. All seemed to be the right time (trust your instincts people!)  We were both employed (he at DMPS and me at CorVel).  We both felt as we needed a change.  Something new, different, and exciting, so we decided to look around…at houses!

We placed our mobile home “aka trailer #47” (Southridge Estates, behind Southridge Mall) up for sale.  We planned to sell it on our own.  But (and a big but), the owners of the trailer court – one woman in particular, caused all sorts of heart, time and money aches for us. She was money hungry, greedy, selfish, and had an unethical business style. Whatever her problem was, her wicked personality was revealed…and

she was one bad apple.  

I’ve always been a “good guesser” of a person’s personality, which is that person’s particular combination of emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral response patterns.  I prefer to use personality assessments when working directly with placement clients as it provides information that is useful for discussion purposes allowing a counseling relationship to grow.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is popular to find out your “type“.  The MBTI is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.  It is valuable to use when making career decisions.   If you haven’t taken it for yourself, please do!  (It costs, and my link above just gives an overview of it.)

Any guesses on what “type” I am?  You are right!

I am an ENTP – Extraverted Intuition with Thinking

Quick, ingenious, stimulating, alert, and outspoken. Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems.  Adept at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing them strategically.  Good at reading other people.  Bored by routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt to turn to one new interest after another.

Click here for a great free personality assessment.  This test is based on Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers typological approach to personality.

Anywhoo, we looked at many houses.  Thanks to our realtor DeAnn Lee of Iowa Realty, we found the perfect home, and during the Floods of 1993.  We had just put in a bid for the house, and well, our great city of Des Moines, Iowa came to a standstill.

I just paused from writing to locate the paperback book I own titled Iowa’s Lost Summer:  The Flood of 1993 published by The Des Moines Register.  The book was dedicated to the memory of Spc. Steven M. West, 30, a National Guard soldier from Ogden, Iowa, who was electrocuted July 16, 1993, while on duty in Des Moines.  He was erecting an antenna to allow communications with water trucks when the antenna touched a high-power line.  This book has incredible stories and vivid pictures.   

 

Iowa’s Lost Summer – The Flood of 1993

My boy Nick, age 3, loved to swim/lounge/splash about in the plastic swimming pool on the back deck.  Luckily, I had not emptied it lately for a refill.  It intensely rained cats and dogs for like 15+ days straight and when Water Works was submerged by flood waters (July 11, 1993), the water went out into the City.  My little family of 3 were among 250,000 people without running water for 12 days.

Pools & Accessories at Ace HardwareThank goodness it was completely full of rain water.

I used the rain water from our blue plastic pool for many purposes – a biggie was to flush the toilet, and even to take a bath.  It was boiled and used to wash dishes, and to clean up.  Looking back, I remember taking a bath with about a gallon of water.  Pretty impressive thinking how much water one can use daily under “normal” circumstances.

Remember the cans of drinking water distributed by Budweiser?  

Looking back, I witnessed a lot of people helping a lot of people. Randy did a lot of volunteering – can anyone say sandbagging is fun? I volunteered some, but not nearly as much as he did.  (BTW, during the summer of 93, Randy was taking courses up at ISU – getting on track for his master’s degree!….I’ll get to him in a post soon!

Randy forfeited going to class to sandbag

After all settled down, to some degree, and life returned to normal to some degree (what’s normal life??!!), the mobile home sold.  I’m glad I have pictures of my canary yellow 1970 Champion home for over four years.  We moved into our first house.  (Well, we had our stuff stored and stayed with Randy’s parents in Saylorville for a while due to timing issues.)  We have a 3 bedroom ranch with a full basement. And OMG a garage and a fenced in backyard!  It was October 1993.

Stay tuned, I hope you are enjoying my posts!  Comments are welcome.  On to Part 11 of How My Past Has Brought Me to The Present!

___________________

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

 

How My Past has Brought Me to The Present! Part 5

Reading Time: 3 minutesContinuing on from my post titled How My Past has Brought Me to The Present – as a Rehab Counselor! Part 4

I started working for the State of Iowa as a Clerk Typist III-IV at the Disability Determination Services Bureau (DDSB) in 1987. Disability Determination Services are state agencies funded by the United States Federal Government.  Their purpose is to make disability findings for the Social Security Administration.  Applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) file applications for disability benefits at local Social Security field offices.  (Taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia…this was the most simple explanation I’ve located so far).

DDSB is located at 535 SW 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309-4535, 515-725-0700  To apply for disability, you can call to make an appointment or apply online.  “Disability” is defined in different contexts using different methods for specific programs. This Social Security Administration website may help you – What We Mean By Disability.

At DDSB, I performed clerical/secretarial work for disability examiners (Hi Paul Kreger!)  Examiners evaluate initial and reconsideration claims for disability benefits under the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs, determines eligibility according to Social Security regulations, policies and procedures.

I had a green IBM Selectric

My job involved typing up (yep with use of good old typewriters) and mailing out a variety of forms, memos and  documents, correspondence and decisions to people who have applied for disability.  I also transcribed reports from dictation (and some handwritten notes) using transcription machines.

Transcriptionist

I worked around several ladies (no males in our pool) and we transcribed every day! 

Head set on, foot operating the transcription pedal, furiously typing away.  Such cacophony!  We always had to makes duplicates, and even triplicate forms….which means if you made a typo, the first page, upon hitting the correction key may get “fixed” but the carbon copies – oh my it took the fabulous smelling, wonderful whiteout!

Towards the lend of my days at DDSB we got – drum roll please, word processors.  The mainframe of our computer took two entire office spaces!  

I learned a lot about the ins/outs of applying for disability.  It takes patience and perseverance (completeness and accuracy to your application as well) if your disability is not “cut and dry”…. and can be frustrating considering it can take a LONG time to know the status of your claim.

Don’t give up the process of applying for disability if you sincerely realize you cannot work anywhere. I have experience helping others successfully with their permanent and total disability claims.

Stay tuned for Part 6!

___________________

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solutions for People With Disabilities

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Solutions for People With Disabilities


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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.