Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day ~ Thank Our City Workers!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A few years back, Des Moines Public Schools had planned to use Martin Luther King, Jr day as a snow make up day, but it was overturned by the school board based on good speaking and listening skills of many people. However since then, this Monday is not in session, not even virtually on this MLK Day 2021.

MLKDr. King  would be proud of the process involving our community and his holiday!

I also think he would appreciate students being in the classroom on the 3rd Monday in January learning and growing!  (What would students think of virtually learning back in the early 1960s??!!) The doctor obviously had a passion for education, as did his wife Coretta, and knew how important learning is at every age. I totally agree! Dr. King’s teachings continue to evolve throughout communities across our country. 

At the end of July of 2019, my husband and I visited the Martin Luther King National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. We found it to be a special place filled with thoughtful, soulful and educational experiences. 

You may know that on the evening before he was assassinated, Dr. King was preparing to lead a protest march to help support striking sanitation workers.  Dr. King was hard at work doing his job to help others do their hard jobs.

Green garbage truckThankfully, every Tuesday morning the garbage in my hood gets picked up!

Thank you to the city sanitation workers and thank you to the city street sweepers. I appreciate your work. Des Moines is a beautiful city filled with people who care about our community and I’m proud to live here.

Street sweeperI hear the sweeper on my street quite a few times throughout the year and rush to watch it pass by my house!

Thank you Dr. King for your call to service helping working people across the nation. I’m particularly fond of this quote:  

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” ~ by Dr. Martin Luther King.

Be the best you can be at what you do as an attorney. Let me know if you’d like my help to help you help your client on a case involving work and disability! I’ll strive to be of valued service to your case. Contact me at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com  to learn more about each other and our work for others!

Thank you for reading my post and please be cognizant of what you throw away!

___________________

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

 

Vocational Evaluators: 3 Roles in 1. Germs, Competitors, and a Shredder Help!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In my Iowa State Days and into the Fall of 1994, one course I recall quite well was Microbiology. Here I am, a new mother, messing around in a laboratory with germs. Okay, microbiology is better defined as “The branch of biology that deals with microorganisms and their effects on other living organisms.” Luckily I had a smart lab partner who knew what needed to be done with the microscopes, dyes, stains, aseptic procedures, identification, etc.. My partner helped me to learn and helped me to keep myself and my new baby at home safe from bad germs!

My Grade for the Microbiology Course ~ B+

I believe my grade proves I took the course seriously and I tried my hardest! This leads me to discuss the topic of the serious nature of my role and function as a vocational evaluator.

Because there is a need for vocational evaluation services to persons with or without disabilities, I continually expand my professional capacities in these areas:

1)   Vocational/Career Expert     2)   Disability Specialist     3)   Educator

A Vocational Evaluator has 3 roles in 1!

I work with a wide variety of people and provide a mix of services to improve and expand my 3 in 1 role as a vocational evaluator.

I’ve come across several “competitors” vocational evaluation reports and found they served the best role shredded in the bottom of a recycling bin. Of course, I learn from reading them and can apply data from them, only if it makes sense to me!

In fact I’ve read two reports on two separate people by one vocational evaluator. Boy they read similarly! These reports were canned, used computer generated data, laced with irrelevant statistics, tossed with strange jargon, citing outdated sources, sprinkled with wording that all sounded the same.  Both reports concluded the same thing: this person is totally and permanently disabled from all work. Wow! Was I missing something? Were there germs lurking?

The “competitor” reports I’m referring to did not contain important information (that I include in my individualized reports) such as:

  • detailed information about the workers’ vocational background
  • an analysis of the person’s transferable skills
  • what type of work the person is interested in
  • a look into current employment opportunities that match those interests and skills
  • a review of reasonable accommodations and/or other ways to perform work efficiently
  • real life job placement perspectives and actual comments from local employers
  • recommendations for skill enhancement or ways to learn a new skill
  • offering of job placement or referral to community sources for help!

The information I include is based on the context surrounding the individual and the goal of the evaluation.

Poorly written reports get shredded!

I’ve performed hundreds of vocational evaluations (and have shredded many, too)! When I combine my educational abilities and career counseling expertise while providing disability specific resources when needed, my goal as a good rehabilitation counselor is fulfilled!

I’ve posted several times on the subject of vocational evaluations ~ which happens to be one of my favorites! ~ Please take a look around my blog and let me know how I can help you.

Contact me at 515-282-7753 or vocresources@gmail.com

___________________

 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: 3 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 ever stop 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 (actually 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 an open 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!

Image result for grounded

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! Thank you for reading my post!

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-778-0634  * VocResources@gmail.com

___________________

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

Transferable Skills! Where to Apply Them Today?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

In the context of careers and employment, “skills” are broadly defined to include a broad range of abilities and talents, as well as technological expertise.

One could focus on skills related to communication skills (writing, presentation, etc.), computer skills, analytical skills, and any number of other attributes – some easily measurable and some more a case of perceptions.

Transferable skills are competencies learned in one environment that can easily be employed in other settings.  These are all good things to offer a prospective employer; and one does not so much “transfer” these qualities as one “applies” them.

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I perform transferable skills analyses by hand. I do not use a computer program because I can use my own brain power!

Amy’s Methodology for Transferable Skills Analysis

For a multifaceted manual, primarily paper-based transferable skills analysis, it makes good sense to use a person-centered-approach (rather than relying on procedural-based computerized software that offers only quick suggestions based on input).

Allowing for the person’s background, there are many valuable transferable skills checklists to draw out detail on past work skills that provide data for vocational consideration. Here’s one >  TRANSFERABLE SKILLS CHECKLIST

I find it useful to access Occupational Information Network referred to as O*Net  along with other vocationally specific career resources.  In addition, a good source of desirable transferable skills can be found in job postings. These research activities to collect and process all relevant, reasonable and appropriate skills that comprise the person’s capacity set the stage to justify results.

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 Setting the Stage is Just as Important as the Production

To connect the person’s transferable skills with real occupations that actually exist, I research the person’s labor market and connect with those local employers using a search strategy over time. I find this is the best medium to achieve results.

5 Steps to Take Include:

  • Examine complete work and volunteer history and any other vocationally significant background
  • Compile skill set represented by general work requirements (aptitudes, knowledge, and capacities)
  • Analyze and translate skills relative to specific occupational areas of work, which could be broad or narrow in range
  • Research other work to identify new jobs with same general work requirements and similar skills
  • Match the jobs within the data and group according to what skill is needed in various work settings/situations

But that’s not the end!

Keep in mind a job seeker wants to “fit in” with the company culturally, and this is where work style and personalities come into play. I find at times that using a personality assessment (which is concerned with the process of qualifying or describing a person’s behavior in specific circumstances) is helpful.

Linus van Pelt has Many Transferable Skills…at such a young age!

Linus is highly intelligent, so much that he totally has faith and anticipation in his own legendary being, the Great Pumpkin, and with good reason….because he refuses to be defeated.  Linus is also skilled at baseball (2nd baseman and pitcher when Charlie Brown is nonfunctional; but not so much boxing (Lucy knocks him out!)

I am fully cognizant of the fact that every industry believes that there are certain skills that apply only to their industry, but in fact it has been proven over and over again that skills are transferable across industry lines.

I have good reason to believe that Linus van Pelt would make a good construction manager! He might also be successful at being a counselor, considering he knows what it’s like to feel insecure and take action to overcome his feelings.

Image result for blue blanket snapping

Linus Would Also Make a Great Security Guard!

Here’s another Transferable Skills Worksheet (it’s pasted below as well) you can download. This one helps with interviewing for a job where you plan to apply your skills!

Transferable Skills ~ are those versatile skills that you can apply and make use of in many job situations. Below is a list of common transferable skills. Think about your own past experiences at work, school, while volunteering and through leisure activities.

Describe the experiences using the STAR * Method to demonstrate you have the skill.

               * Situation        * Task you were involved in        * Action you then took                     * Result of your efforts

Work Ethic

Being punctual:

Meeting goals:

Setting high standards for self :

Produce quality projects/work:

Communication

Speaking effectively:

Writing concisely:

Listening attentively:

Perceiving non-verbal messages:

Facilitating group discussion:

 Teamwork

Willing to share credit/power:

Collaborating with others:

Including others:

Empowering others:

Managing conflict:

Representing others:

Initiative

Initiating new ideas:

Promoting change:

Accepting responsibility:

Interpersonal

Cultivating relationships:

Conveying feelings:

Perceiving feelings, situations:

 Problem-Solving

Identifying problems:

Developing evaluation strategies:

Demonstrates web-like thinking: 

Analytical

Forecasting, predicting:

Extracting important information:

Constantly learning and reflecting:

Flexibility/Adaptability

Cooperating:

Enlisting help:

Open to difference:

Detail-Oriented

Follows directions:

Gathering information:

Managing details:

Organization

Reporting information:

Coordinating tasks:

Managing time:

Setting and meeting deadlines:

Leadership

Finding a common purpose/goal:

Articulating a vision:

Motivating:

Delegating with respect:

Managing groups:

Coaching: 

 Self-Confidence

Expressing ideas:

Asserting one’s self appropriately:

Defining needs:

 Friendly/Outgoing

Being sensitive:

Providing support for others:

Counseling:

 Tactfulness

Providing appropriate feedback:

Enforcing policies:

 Creativity

Suggesting ideas:

Imagining alternatives:

Initiating new ideas:

 Strategic Planning

Identifying resources:

Setting goals:

 Entrepreneurial/Risk-Taking

Negotiating:

Persuading:

Selling ideas or products:

 Attitude/Sense of Humor

Has a positive attitude:

Optimistic:

Acting appropriately in workplace:

 

Note: The above Transferable Skills Worksheet Revised in part using information from The University of Iowa Pomerantz Career Center Career Guide 2010

Identifying Transferable Skills is a Fun Process. It Sets The Stage and Allow Your Production to Shine! Let me know how I can help you with on a litigated case involving work and disability!

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-778-0634  * VocResources@gmail.com

___________________

 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

___________________

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

I Retired from Writing for Women’s Edition…Skills Gain!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

[Repost 10/22/2015] I retired from my stint as a freelance magazine story writer for Women’s Edition after enjoying monthly job assignments from January 2012 through September 2013. Shortly afterwards, the magazine’s owner and founder left our Des Moines, market. They continue to publish from Omaha, Lincoln, Denver and Colorado Springs.

I gained many skills, read on after reviewing this brief summary of the business owners and associates of companies throughout Des Moines, Iowa I interviewed about their business and wrote creative stories:

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Summary of My Writing Stories for Women’s Edition

By Amy E. Botkin

  • LuGene Isleman & Heidi Wilson “Your Center for Wellness, Rejuvenation and Body Balancing”, for a Healthy Living Story
  • PrimeSource Mortgage “Meet the Ladies that Walk You Home” a Business Style Story
  • Attorney Diane Dornberg “Passionate About Helping Families”, for an Out & About Story
  • Burgin Drapery Workroom “We Do It All!”, a Business Style Story
  • Things On Douglas An eccletic blend of new and consigned furniture and home décor”, for an Out & About Story
  • Douglas Dental, “A Dental Clinic With Experienced Staff At Your Service”, for a Healthy Living Story
  • Dr. BJ Foust, Foust Family Dental Care, for an Out & About Story
  • Noelle Carroll at Simply Organized, “Organizing Clutter and Chaos”, for a Business Style story
  • Dale Carnegie, “Turning Potential Into Performance”, for a Business Style Story
  • The Funky Zebras an Out and About story
  • Anderson Animal Hospital, We Care for ALL Critters” a Business Style Story
  • Barb Diment Law Office for A Business Style story
  • Dan Bishop owner of A-1 Concrete Leveling for a Business Style Story
  • Ann Hartz, CPA for a View From The Top story
  • Applebee’s, a Healthy Living Story

After participating in an overnight murder mystery back in 2001, I had an incredible story to tell. But I didn’t do it! I swear. I was too busy. Not me! I did not do it. I’m the maid here, how could I find time? Maybe I’ll post it someday if I can find it!

[Another update as of 10/22/2015, I just found pictures from that evening  (going through pictures & stuff)! As sneaky killer suspects, we (each guest) were particularly odd looking.  I may scan 1 or 2 pictures in someday for this post.]

Have you ever participated in a murder mystery package? It was fun to travel to Bellevue, Iowa for this work assignment, spend the night in a beautiful mansion, be involved in a murder, write, and get paid! I remember meeting a white cat with secrets near the river….

I love to read and I love to write!

I hope to write for publications in the future. At this time, with my business rocking (tons of reading, research and report writing); bloggin’; the need to study, research and write out responses to discussion questions, prepare term papers and projects for my current rehabilitation counseling forensic coursework through GWU….it would be way too beastly wild for me to do it all. [Update from original post Oct 7, 2013…Yep! Completed that goal!…no not becoming a wild beast, but receiving a post graduate degree!]

Image result for wild beast cartoon red

Wild Beast Amy

Seriously however, I benefited in numerous ways during this time of writing for publication. My interview, research, creativity and writing skills improved! I met many professionals in my community and made great business connections. Interviewing business owners provided me indepth insight into self employment and small business ownership. I knew quite a bit about this subject, being in this same boat since 1999!)

I personally give thumbs up recommendations for several of the  businesses from other than my angle of writing their story because I became a customer of their establishment/business (if you need your driveway raised, Dan Bishop owner of A-1 Concrete Leveling does an excellent job); became a business connection of their services…and yes even gathered new friendships! (Ann Hartz, CPA, she and I were in boot camp together!)

Thumbs Up:  Attorney Diane Dornberg, The Funky Zebras, Anderson Animal Hospital, Dan Bishop, Ann Hartz, CPA, Dale Carnegie and of course Applebee’s!

Making a smart move after the decision was made to retire, I requested a recommendation letter, which Kelcie Warren the publisher of the magazine kindly wrote. Thank you Kelcie! Of note, Women’s Edition left the Des Moines market, however, the magazine still has operations in Omaha, Lincoln and Colorado Springs. You can find the reference letter on my website over yonder under documents for download.

If I can help you tell your client’s story, do not hesitate to contact me. I love to write about others! 

___________________

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 : (

 ___________________

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!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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

Good Job Parental Units!

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

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

 Image result for marvin k mooney will you please go now

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

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

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

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

JJ Bread
JJ Bread

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

Empty Nest = Freedom!

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

You Go Botkin!

___________________

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

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!

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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!

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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.

Got Motivation?? Let’s Just See!!

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Did you take the Why Do You Do Your Work assessment? Read on and at the bottom of my blog post, you’ll find a key with detail on your results!Image result for motivationMotivation describes why a person does something. According to current psychology, motivation involves biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that initiate, guide, and maintain goal-oriented behaviors requiring endurance to keep going and the ability to persist through obstacles in spite of difficulties.

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

However, creative interviewing that generates specific examples from a person’s work history provides further evidence. Couple this with contacting the person’s previous or current supervisor, which I believe to be the best and most reliable method of assessing a person’s level of self-motivation, to get their input.

For example questions to ask a supervisor / former employer could include (all questions would be tailored to the worker, and focused on productivity): Is the person capable of following through consistently without supervision? Does the person handle customer complaints independently? Does the person show up on time as scheduled? Would you say this person is motivated to learn new skills? You get the idea I hope, as answers to specific questions help form opinions. 

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

Favorite trophy

When young and in swim club, I received these swimming trophies! I was motivated to swim, swim, swim but really don’t know why because I certainly didn’t think of trophies when I was competing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Do You Do Your Work?

The key along with information on your results:

Motivation Results and Descriptions

Intrinsic motivation: 4,8,15;

Integrated regulation: 5,10,18;

Identified regulation: 1,7,14;

Introjected regulation: 6,11,13;

External regulation: 2,9,16;

Amotivation: 3,12,17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources for above are taken in part from http://www.ehow.com/info_12153839_5-different-types-motivation.html

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

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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.