Big Miss Steak…Cut Your Meat, Chew A Lot and Eat Slowly!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

We humans make some big mistakes. It’s those misguided or wrong actions or judgments that range from simple to complex that can cause alarm and then when understood and corrected can turn into an unforgettable learning experience.

My family and a couple of the kid’s friends had Florida travel plans last June of 2017 to visit my mom and her new husband Dave; and my sister too. Disney was in the works and a lot of beach time was in mind!

We were ready to board the plane…in fact most passengers had already boarded, when I heard over the intercom something to the effect of “stop boarding.” I then witnessed passengers I watched moving into the plane’s bridge walk back out with their carry-ons in tow; and thought “oh no, no, no, this doesn’t seem right.”

After all passengers were back in the boarding area, the announcement came on that the plane had been hit by the baggage handling cart causing a hole in the fuselage and we would not be flying. I listened to several passengers give their theories…and some actually felt the impact from the baggage cart when it hit the plane on the side. Wow.

The flight was canceled….after being at the airport patiently waiting to board for 3 hours, because no rescue plane could be found.  Did you know rescue planes existed? Many passengers were grumbly and we figured someone at the airport possibly got fired. I watched with fascination through the terminal window as the plane was being inspected, even the pilots were taking pictures! 

Being a Saturday evening, this was the last flight of the week until Thursday, (can you read into what airline I’m referring to if you’re familiar with DSM flights?). Although there were some options for our travel the next week, none would have worked out for each of our schedules. No vacation in Florida. No Disney for the kids. No beach for me…and I even packed four bikinis!, no seeing our friends and family, no nothing…and all the energy involved in the planning of the trip, down the tubes.

I really just wanted to get out of the airport and back home that day. I looked at this experience with the family as practice however, because we’ll be doing it again! Plus I learned how to pack more efficiently and know I can take food on the plane! 

Question: How the heck did a human driver hit a huge airplane with a golf cart and seriously damage it? This was A Big Mistake affecting a lot of people! Of course my mind went into litigation thinking as there could probably be some lawsuit for any reason. Good thing no one was injured; and hopefully those who really needed to get to Florida ASAP got there without too much anguish.

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You’re Fired!! You’re Fired!! You’re Fired!!

When my son Jacob, now 22, was very young, he used to love to repeat You’re Fired! You’re Fired! You’re Fired! over and over.  I really never had any idea who he was firing, but he did a lot of it! Jacob was fond of Charizard, of the Fire/Flying Pokemon species, maybe that’s why he was fond of the phrase? Are you? Have you ever been fired? Have you had to fire someone? Did you learn from it?

Okay, here’s one (of my own mistakes) about me as I was getting ready for the Florida trip. As I considered what to take as a carry-on (free on this airline), I decided upon a smaller purple suitcase with wheels I’ve used before….and as I was packing it I felt something lodged at the bottom.  Upon retrieval, I found a maroon jewelry box and opened it.

Wrapped up in tissue was my diamond tennis bracelet!  Being missing for over a year, I had seriously thought it was lost for good. Okay this Big Miss Steak wasn’t so bad, and I hope I learned my lesson.  There was another time time I was stopped at airport security because a pocket knife was found buried inside an unknown ripped seam inside my little purse. Swiss Army Knife Clip ArtOops. 

I strive to be extremely careful with my work, especially with my writing skills. However typos do arise and I’ve been known to unfortunately miss my own (including having a date wrong on my resume for a couple years before I noticed it!)  BTW, other’s typos glare at me.  But big mistakes, like negligence when it comes to a patient’s health care, is something I can help with.

I’ve recently worked on a medical malpractice case; and in this case the patient died, however my role/goal was to perform a vocational evaluation and assess his earning capacity had he not died in such a short period of time. For more information on my work in this case and how I followed basically the same methodology as other evaluations, please contact me. 

Image result for big miss steakYes everyone makes mistakes and everyone needs to be careful in our roles at work. I don’t know if anyone was fired or if there was any lawsuits over this airport incident, but it got me thinking about mistakes, including the many of my own.  

I’m not saying eating steak is a mistake, but I agree becoming a vegetarian is a big missed steak!  Keep in mind I am a vegetarian and have not eaten steak in well over 6 years (although I can’t deny the great smell!)  To each their own, just be sure you cut your meat carefully, chew a lot, and eat slowly!

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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.

Being Nosey, Opinions and I Make My Point Clear! Job Placement is Hard Work!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

One summer while I was walking around Gray’s Lake, I eaves dropped over a conversation two young women were having about tap water throughout the city. I was right behind them, ready to make a fast pass around…and interested in their subject!

I’m not like Gladys Kravitz all the time!

One thought Urbandale water was good and the other didn’t. They agreed West Des Moines water tastes ucky.  One loved Chicago water (and I thought ewwww ucky, and the strange smell to boot).  Then their conversation turned to a cute guy jogging their way…and I made my pass.

BTW, I remember where I was,  nearly 1/2 way round where I started, not including the everstop at my brother’s plaque on the bridge!

Clearly, people’s opinions vary widely around one subject!

I don’t think I will ever find a person who is adversarial to water – and specifically why water is important to a person. 

However, in my role as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, I routinely find a person (an attorney or two) who is adversarial to my opinion regarding whether or not a person can return to work (over their stance that the same person is permanently and totally disabled.)

I’ve evaluated hundreds of people and I hold firm in my opinion that work is incredibly important to a person. Rarely have I not been able to identify work for a person. In that type of return to work situation, the person’s serious mental health condition (such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder) comes into play more than the person’s physical capacity.

One point I’d like to make clear! And this isn’t an opinion, it’s just the truth! It is easier to state that a person cannot work than to identify what a person can do for work.

“No, can’t work.” That’s it.  “No” “Can’t Do” “No Work is Available”  What a negative attitude.  Is it really just too much work to find work for a person?  VS  “Yes, you can work” “Here’s why, how and what the person can do!” “Yes” “Can do” “I will help you!” This is a positive attitude! Yes, and truly the fact is that it’s a lot of work to find work for a person! That’s what I’m trained to do! And I love it!

A vocational rehabilitation counselor cannot give a person a job – the professional works to define, enhance and channel the placement client’s skills, abilities, and aptitudes into the working world. 

The client is empowered with resources and strategies to perform specific and goal-oriented job seeking activities.  I’ve found the outcome of return-to-work in a workers’ compensation case impacts the placement process just as much during litigation as it does following case settlement.  Keep that in mind when forming any opinion. 

It’s a tragedy when an attorney sabotages any job seeking efforts, whether implied or not. I do not appreciate when any one tries to negatively influence any one else, especially when it comes to work.

I keep my opinion clear, based on fact and grounded in rehabilitation. No one can steal my opinion away!

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Please see a paper I wrote in August 2013 titled (it’s posted on my LinkedIn page) or ask for a copy titled:

WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE RETURN-TO-WORK DURING A LITIGATED WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM?

Let me know what I can do to help you with your legal work regarding your client’s return to work!

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-282-7753  * VocResources@gmail.com

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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.

Why I Got Into Rehab Counseling….I Love Placement and Life, Too! – Part 3

Reading Time: 6 minutes
HERE IS MY STORY, continued oN – Part 3

To understand my passion for job placement (and caring for others!), I’ve blogged about my former jobs and learning experiences.  This helps me (but I do feel kinda old going waaaayy back in time) look at a variety of occupations from a unique advantage.  Thank you for reading….and continue on!

In June of 1983, I enrolled at North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City, Iowa  and took practical nursing coursework.   Here is a list of the coursework along with the everyday tasks in a Licensed Practical Nurse Career.

NIACC, known at times as Tinker Toy College!

While at NIACC, I lived in the dorms. Yes, many interesting stories in my memory bank! I recently visited campus and my room looks exactly the same (read outdated)!  It was cool to walk around the campus and relive some memories : ) .  The dorms are on one side with a path across a lake (read waaaayy  COLD in the winter) leading on to the classroom buildings.  When not taking campus courses, we were doing practicums at the hospital or at a nursing facility.

The hospital training was at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa.  Keep in mind it’s a bit of a driving trek from the NIACC side of Mason to the hospital. I remember one extra cold morning (aren’t they all!).  I went out to the parking lot carefully, it’s dark, windy, icey and cold. Brrr. There’s my little blue car (a Plymouth Champ – fondly called Chump). The Chump was frozen solid in the dorm parking lot. Originally Chump was my mom‘s car, and I eventually acquired her and drove many a trip back and forth from Iowa Falls to Mason City, mostly on Highway 65.

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The Chump, she had a 5 speed stick shift and a sun/moon roof!

I had to go back into the dorms and locate help! Hey, don’t forgot how butt cold I would’ve been, and am right now just thinking about the cold. BTW, I have Raynaud’s syndrome, probably related to this day!?! No, there have been many many times growing up in Northern Iowa for a young lady to freeze her arss off!

I found help from a maintenance worker to unfreeze the locks, and ultimately I ended up going through the hatchback of the care (not the first time this would happen in my lifetime!)  I was wearing my light weight nursing uniform (coat too of course) and it wouldn’t been either a dress or top with linen pants). BTW: The average temperature in Mason City (population 28,000) is like 15°F in January! I’m pretty sure I had a fellow nursing student with me and we made it to the hospital for our clinical practicum on time which was 6:30 AM, or close to it! Our class had two males in it; and I’m curious what they’re up to so many years later.

Another update from Amy and hey, this is a great result from my decision to revise/repost some older writing material!  FYI: Mason City, Iowa, boasts the largest collection of Prairie School architecture outside Chicago.  A local non-profit organization, Wright on the Park, Inc. has information for me to share with you! I love architecture. Her’s an idea leading me to plan another trip to Mason in the future!

As an LPN student I wore a little white hat!

Another portion of the LPN clinical practicum was work at a nursing home (yes in Mason City….can’t recall the name of it at this point in time).  I recall caring for a man deep in the throes of Alzheimer’s disease.  When his wife came to visit, their interactions were …. well it’s hard to find the right words.

But it’s something I will not forget, as were many other experiences in the hospital and in the nursing home during my nurse training days.

Image result for nurse training cartoonI’ve always had a strong desire to care for all life!

Back to my nurse training days. During my clinicals, I learned the importance of being aware of other’s reactions and understanding why they react the way the do (Social Perceptiveness).

Nursing requires talking to others to effectively convey information (Speaking Skills), actively looking for ways to help people (Service Orientation), knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services including needs assessment techniques, quality service standards, alternative delivery systems, and customer satisfaction evaluation techniques (Customer and Personal Service Skills).

Nursing definitely requires the ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem (Problem Sensitivity) and using logic and analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches (Critical Thinking).

Image result for valueI value my nurse training immensely!

And of course, I also value my nursing career that followed! : )

Please note that Our country has a critical nursing shortage that is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows.  This four page document titled Nursing Faculty Shortage Fact  was last updated: March 16, 2015 reveals many facts.

The value of positive clinical learning experiences is invaluable if we as a society want to attract, and retain good nursing students.  Click here for a article to reinforce the statement I just made. And we need to support our students and existing nurses. Here’s a link for information on the importance of nurse mentoring.

Image result for nurse cartoonI admire and respect nurses considerably.  

When hospitalized myself a few years ago in the summer at Iowa Lutheran Hospital from a severe reaction to poison ivy I paid a lot of attention to the staff. I was sent by ambulance from my doctor’s office to the ER, where I was treated and watched for a few hours, to be released home.  …Only to have to return hours later to the ER after calling out in the middle of the night [to my husband] that I really needed help!

I was full of poison from inhalation of smoke from burning logs / sticks in a firepit out at Cottonwood (Saylorville Lake). The sticks (I collected the sticks from my own back yard……..and made the fire) had the nasty nasty resin that I’m highly allergic to. I was an inpatient for about a week recovering from severe allergic contact dermatitis. And I made sure to give thanks and praise for such good nursing care.

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Be sure you do the same when you encounter a nurse!

Again, back to my nurse training days. I remember my initial CPR training with the full size dummy’s (Annie)! And I’ve received training ever since (oops Amy, update 12/16/2015: I need to recertify in First Aid, CPR and AED and I know my instructor training certificate has expired.)

Some training for you:  : ) Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure which is performed in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest. The source for your training is through wikipedia : )

Anyway, I have been trained through the American Heart Association and through the American Red Cross.  In later days I would become more involved in both these agencies through the progression of my career. Ahh, time to link you to my resume….it’s in the download section of my website.

I’ve been wanting to design an interactive resume, as it will help me pronounce what’s most important in my background for a specific case where I may be called upon to serve as a vocational expert!

CPR is hands-only (no breaths) nowadays.

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On with my story… At some point, hard to pin that exact time in history at this moment, I traveled to and stayed in Irving, Texas for a month and a half or so, to help a friend with her growing family (play with babies and have fun). Right Tammy & Tony (RIP) Silvey!  I had one job interview, but never worked anywhere during my visit and returned to Iowa. Then I moved to Des Moines, Iowa in 1984 and stayed with my sister Janice who had an apartment on the Southside near the airport! I eventually moved in after her roommate moved out!

More to write about next week! Stay tuned for Part 4

Original publication date: December 5, 2011

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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.

Nice Talking to You Randy! Never Stop Using Your Soft Skills!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I just got off the phone after a gentleman named Randy called my business inquiring on my needs regarding this website. I responded after listening to the purpose for his call… I’m it as far as who’s in charge of this site! He had good verbal communication skills, so our discussion continued. It was unusual I answered this call, as I was right in the middle of something, but I liked Randy’s soft skills!

After explaining the meaning of lcpresourcesplus.com being mainly a creative writing blog about work and life; written solely by me as a relationship builder, he asked what I do.

My response “As a life care planner and a vocational rehabilitation counselor I help people with acquired disabilities move on with their lives”, Randy thought that was a good concept. And he thanked me for my work!

Our phone conversation continued,  and I explained I write for the people I mentioned and also for the attorneys who help the people.

Image result for attorney love cartoonRandy said, yes attorneys need the love too.

Randy told me he has a couple of attorney buddies who are not happy with their legal  careers. He told me they’re frustrated, stressed out, and quite depressed.

I realize many attorneys are disenchanted with their work and are in remarkably poor mental health, having serious problems with depression. If I can help you through vocational counseling, please, please let me know.

Randy, please have your buddies fill this questionnaire out!  It’s titled Why Do You Do Your Work? The results of this assessment may help decipher what is missing from their current work.

Please take a serious look at your work, gather all you can about why you do it. Understand your personality, build up your choices and make an informed decision. Do you want to be happy and productive where you’re at in your legal career or do you need to make a move?

Image result for attorney love cartoon

Happiness is….being a lawyer and loving it!

Then stick with your decision, get help and support in every way you can, and most importantly enjoy life while you’re here on Earth and prepare your way to what lies ahead.

I hope reading my blogs will help you unwind a tad and you also find useful information that can help you to help your clients.

Let me know what I can do to help you on a case or even with your practice. It may help to take some time out and assess your career. Any recommendations you agree with and changes that’ll transpire will only serve you better, as long as you trust your instincts and never give up on yourself!

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-282-7753  VocResources@msn.com

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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.

The Skills of a Football Player and a Fantasy!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

[Original Post Date: Oct 8, 2012] Randy and I got back from Kansas City last night, after spending the weekend in Missouri. Once again, in comparison to the people we encountered in Chicago a few weeks ago, I found locals clad in red to be quite friendly!

We went to yesterday’s Chiefs game.  It was fun to go, but alas they did not win.  And yet, believe it or not, the incredible fans around us were well behaved!

Chiefs! A goal is to watch ’em play at Arrowhead once a year!

Have you ever considered the skills other than physical, of a football player? I have! 

Here’s a sample of five…

1.  Meeting the challenge

2.  Determination

3.  Communication skills

4.  Performing under pressure

5.  Goal setting

…read on for more transferable skills of a NFL player. The skills are quite similar to what most employers look for in a good employee!

I’ve always wanted to help out a professional, or a semi-professional athlete find work upon retirement, or following an injury. Someday!   I’ve also always wanted to (one of my many fantasies), kick one right through the uprights!

It’s Good!

As far as football injuries, I did a little research:  The Top 5 (with the research saying that most injuries occur during competition and not during practice):

1. Hamstring Strain

2. Sprained Ankle

3. Knee Cartilage Tear

4. Hernia

5. Anterior  Cruciate Ligament (ACL)*

*  [Update to this…..oh, NO Jamaal Charles, what are the Chiefs going to do without you???? On Sunday’s 10-11-15 game against the Bears …… who won 18-17 : ), he sustained this type of injury (right knee) and is out for the rest of the season. I love watching him play! Charles missed all but two games of the 2011 season because of a torn ACL in his left knee.

We’ve all had, correction, I know I have had #2 referred to above more than once. Randy has had #4 more than once. We’ve all heard of a football player tearing #5. Thankfully, we don’t see back injury or brain injury on this list although I’m sure they happen.  Here’s a link to NFL players currently on the injury list….and on the mend … makes ya think.

Oh, and how much $ does the average professional football player make? About $1.1 million. So that means some players make $10+ million and some make $100,000. Think about it! Would it be worth it? Especially if your career lasts about 3 years and your life can be shorted maybe what 20-30 years? Source: Randy Botkin!

Here’s your pay for the day Mr. Manning

BTW, you may recall Peyton as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos missed the entire 2011 season due to a neck injury requiring him to have neck surgery twice. Rehabilitation counseling was incredibly important to him, I’m sure.

I often work with clients (ones who experienced an injury while at work) with some type of back injury and are no longer able to do the work they did previously.

Have you ever thought about what you do now for a living and if something were to change, what you could do in the future to make money?  Something I help people to think about all the time….makes you think once last time I hope.

More to come … and the final.    Chiefs: 6   Ravens: 9 Booo

 

Another update: 10/14/18: Chiefs who are 1st in AFC West and 5-1, we’re going to watch them at Arrowhead hopefully beat the Bengals this Sunday!

10/21/18  42-10 it was a night game and apparently I got lost in the stadium (according to my husband) Actually I was just talking away with a friendly staff member and my phone was off.  Go figure. It always happens! 

Update: 11/21/2018: Chiefs are 9-2.  Can you believe they scored 51 points -, 1st NFL team to lose a game after scoring 50 points  / 6 TD yet 5 TU Patrick     – (Rams 54 boooh).    

 

Ohh my, my, my QB Alex Smith who on 11/18/18 suffered compound fracture (broken tibia and fibula) which left bone protuding through his skin. He had emergency surgery and his recovery is expected to take six to eight months. Dang, got sacked. If you need help with a new job Alex, let me know, even though I don’t care much for the Redskins, I’ll be neutral. And I really hope your career  in football is not, well you know, plttt : (

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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.

Don’t Be a Dumb Bunny, Use Your Soft Skills to Your Advantage

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I pay close attention to transferable skills when assessing employability, especially those skills we have come to call “soft”. Soft skills refer to interpersonal abilities that enhance an individual’s interactions with others, career prospects and performance on the job.

Soft skills are comprised of personality attributes or habits (no not rabbits >-=], social graces, communication, language style, interpersonal skills, managing others, leadership ability, self-motivation, time management etc., and the rules change depending on the culture of where you work and the people you work with. It’s because soft skills characterize personal relationships with other people.

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Rules Change, Which is a Good Thing!

In contrast, “hard” skills (the ability to perform specific tasks or functions with technical components, like using math or software programs, typing, operating specific machines and tools, driving truck, compiling research, data entry, measuring, calculating and recording; editing and writing, etc.) that tap into left brain functioning where the rules for performance stay the same regardless of where you work

To me, what is most valuable about a soft skill is that it brings value to any job/career. Although soft skills maybe can be “mastered” new situations or people will also test them (and push you to learn more about yourself.)

Mollie
Mollie

Mollie is not a “dumb bunny”. Her intelligence surprises me. And her personality makes her so lovable (rabbits are good office mates, and she lets me know when she is in need of something……apple please!)

Soft Skills Puzzle

Scrambled Words Answer Pattern Clues
nilinbaegt ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ not made of physical substance
hetics ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ rules of behavior
lcpanutu ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ on time
jaequnsesoi ___ ___      ___ ___      ___ ___ ___ ___      ___ ___ ___ “I know not what.”
hdadlveeele ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ cool under pressure
aobitnim ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ a desire to be successful
vmietiepcot ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ able to compete
lixbeefl ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ adaptable

Did you solve them all? 

Soft skills are not as easily measurable as hard skills because they are less tangible. Perhaps the best way for me to measure or assess soft skills is to ask two or three people who have a good understanding of the evaluee’s work performance and personality to subjectively assess the person; then have the person do a self-assessment on the same set of skills; then evaluate how the information from the assessments coincide / match.

You can use Mind tool http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/get-started.htm  to help.

It is also to your advantage to understand which skill set your career relies on to be successful. For example, there are jobs / careers that need:

  • Specific technical/hard skills and little soft skills (where you don’t necessarily have to work well with others). Examples include: physicist, chemist, scientist, production machine operator, assembly line worker, cook, carpenter, electrician, computer programmer, etc…
  • Both hard and soft skills (where you need to use the rules of your learned skills and also depend on cooperating, selling or collaborating with others.) Examples include: accountant, lawyer, teacher, counselor, coach, truck driver, dispatcher, cashier, administrative assistant, etc…
  • Mostly soft skills and little hard skills (where your work is more dependent on “reading” others). Examples include: sales ~ the person needs to know more than the average consumer, but really needs to know how to communicate, persuade and close a deal. Other examples include security officer, food server, host, merchandiser, etc…

I’ll add to the etc… listing of workers as I think of them! : )

Rabbits are Soft and Smart

Be a smart rabbit, use your soft skills to your advantage!

(Source: A national survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 10 to March 4, 2014 that included a representative sample of 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.)

In general, soft skills are more important in most business careers than hard skills. Click here for a blog containing a soft skills matrixEmployers like outgoing, friendly, and cooperative employees.  To many employers, this is more important than any other qualification.  In addition, because most employers look for a person who can “break the ice” at the workplace and bring valuable dynamics to their business without causing conflict, soft skills are key to being successful at work.

Image result for smart rabbit

Rabbits have fine-tuned senses that make these small mammals some of nature’s most excellent survivors!

Keep in mind, if you don’t feel you have the soft skills you’d like, they are somewhat teachable. Here’s an idea that will help you to do so https://academy.justjobs.com/improve-your-people-skills-and-emotional-intelligence/

Let me know how I can help. My vocational counseling services are available!

__________________

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

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

The Peacock: Poem, Feathers and Symbolism in My Life

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Peacock

Peacock at Blank Park Zoo 05/21/2006
Peacock at Blank Park Zoo 05/21/2006

written by Amy E. Botkin 1/24/15 CRHP Retreat

Look past the strutting and into the beauty. As the morning begins, we praise. The sun shines through the multicolored stained glass. We reflect on our journey through life. Our hearts flutter at joy in such holy surroundings. The mixing of colors, teal, green, yellow, blue….they glow, spread, encompass….our hearts, our faith.

Peacock at Full Glory!
Peacock at Full Glory!

Today We Renew!

 

 

 

 

 

The symbolic meaning of the peacock From Wiki Answers.com: Peacock feathers have been used for healing for tens of thousands of years in every culture throughout time. They are said to carry Spiritual healing energy that can be used to assist people seeking balance and harmony in their lives. In Hinduism the peacock is associated with Lakshmi, who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck.

I read a writer’s analogy of why she is so drawn to the peacock: ‘It’s because of its dichotomy. On one hand, the peacock is this beautiful bird, with connections to the divine. On the other, the peacock can be a terribly obnoxious bird – they emit horrible screeches and can be awfully aggressive. She believes in a theory that the peacock is a perfect symbol of humanity itself…’

Another PeacockThe peacock naturally replaces his feathers annually and is therefore a symbol of renewal.

I have peacock feathers in my office. They were found at my in law’s house in Creston when we were preparing it to sell back in 2005. The “multitude of eyes” upon the peacock’s stunningly beautiful fan tail feathers watch over me while I work! I strive for being true to my own colors and simply being myself.

Learn from the peacock, spread your feathers embrace your spiritual nature, walk tall, and display your talents with confidence and grace. Be beautiful and an open minded person ~ the one that looks at the world with eyes wide open, the one that is not afraid of challenges!

To Thine Own Self Be True“To Thine Own Self Be true” ~ William Shakespeare

The Peacock is a reminder to all of us to show our true colors. The peacock can help us shed the old feathers of the past and to take back the true beauty of our individuality. This increases self-respect and confidence. Here you’ll come to a True Colors Personality Quiz. Please take it and enjoy! I found out my strongest is orange, then green, blue and gold!

In performing more research I found that Peacock energy can help you on your spiritual path and breathe new life into your walk of faith. And that’s another reason I am so blessed that the women at our table during my CRHP ~ Christ Renews His Parish ~ retreat in January 2015 chose to be called the Peacocks. Our choice was based on the inspiration from a picture we saw in our parish’s (All Saints Parish) gathering space of Father Bob Harris saying mass on his recent trip (helped to sponsor the trip for many people in our community) to the Holy Land (Boy that would’ve been awesome!). The Peacock is often found in Catholic Churches, and above his head (Father Bob’s in the picture) there was one!

The Peacock has a boisterous cry that holds a touch of laughter, as if to imply that nothing, including beauty, should be taken too seriously. When I am centered and grateful for all I have, I feel a more light-hearted approach to all things that come my way. Laughter is really the best medicine and helps to keep us healthy!

Peacock FeathersLook Upon the Peacock With New Eyes and Reflect on What Its Eyes Say to You!

Looking around my office, I have all sorts of eyes watching me! Not only the eyes on the peacock feathers, but my daughter, my son’s, nieces and nephews, husband, mom and dad, grandparents, in laws, cats and dog and rabbit, etc., …..and some old guy with a long white beard I have no idea who he is, but I think he has wisdom to share!

Eyes are the entry into the soul! And they are protecting me, encouraging me and telling me to continuously strive to make my work and my life pure of heart. A symbol of peacock in many cultures is of eternal life; the link between heaven and earth. And to have faith that we never truly die.

Peacocks mate for life, just like the two of us, Randy, making this a perfect theme for our vow renewal (25 years quickly approaching old man!).  Peacocks are pure of heart.  They pair with a mate and are loyal and faithful to their partners. My peacock feathers are now more meaningful. Thank you!

In closing, I share this tapestry and detail about it ~

Tree of Life

Tree of Life Peacock

Source: https://www.exoticindiaart.com/product/paintings/tree-of-life-PB77/

BEGIN: Kalamkari began as the temple art of Andhra Pradesh and slowly occupied an important place in the arts and crafts of India. The artisan uses a pen-like brush called ‘kalam’, giving the technique its name.

The tree is one of the most potent of symbols. Its roots delve into the underworld; its trunk links the earth to the heavens – it transcends all three spheres. It symbolizes birth, maturity, death and rebirth embodied in leaf, bud and fruit. The tree of life is one of the most common motifs used by the artisans. Versions of the tree of life are manifold.

Here, the tree of life is transposed as a vase containing flowers and a variety of leaves. The flowers are those associated with fertility. Generally, a tree of life is flanked by worshippers, birds or animals, which could vary locally. Here the tree is flanked by a couple of peacocks. It is relevant to note that in Indian mythology, peacocks occupy a prominent place. They symbolize immortality, love, courtship, fertility, regal pomp and protection. When the auspicious tree of life and the important motif of a peacock come together, this painting’s worth is doubly elevated.

Colors like blue, yellow and green are more commonly used. Red is liberally used in the border giving a bright frame to a sober, meaningful painting promising prosperity and good luck. – END

In closing of this blog, I offer more from YouTube: Enjoy again!

Get ahold of me so I can help with matters of work and disability. Thank you for reading!

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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.

Happy Adoption Anniversary Nick and Randy!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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!

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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.

Empty Nest = Freedom! Good Job Parental Units!

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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!

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