Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Visiting or having out-of-town people? Need a gift? Look HERE!

Are you going out of town to visit family or friends?  Expecting anyone out of state?  To be a good guest or a good host, you need gifts for them.  I suggest going to Lighthouse Gallery and Gifts located in Downtown Racine 306 Main Street where you can find original photos of the Lighthouse, local wildlife, and Lake Michigan.

They also have items such as cracked glass art, wood carvings, the Great Lakes with the water's depth graduated, coffee mugs, coasters, shot glasses, and things that say Racine, WI.  There are so many neat items, there will be something there for even the most difficult people to get gifts for!  It's a one-stop for souvenir shopping for sure.  Check them out!


For more, please visit their website:  www.lighthousegalleryandgifts.com

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Beautification & Upcoming Accomplishments


As many of you know, I've been on the job hunt for a while, and am looking for just the right one, to land it and stay there.  With the opportunities that are coming up, interviews coming in, I stopped in at Beaute on the Square to get my hair done by Krissy.  She does such a nice job with my hair and prides herself on pampering others.

Beaute on the Square
222 - 5th Street
Racine, WI 53403
(262)619-4150

Go ahead, make your appointment.  She does full-service everything and has other stylists as well who also do awesome work.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Unique & Practical Items!

I went to visit Refined Salvage & Pallet Designs because they have such interesting things, and plus, I live in the neighborhood.  I love what they have in the store.  Located in "West Racine" 1137 Hayes Avenue, they have some antiques as well as unique items in there.


Not only do they have a couple of antiques like what is located behind me, they also take old pallets, window shutters, rod iron, closed factory tool boxes, etc. and turn them into other things, such as end tables, potters, kitchen islands, and more.  They're really neat.

The hours are Fridays & Saturdays from 10 am - 4 pm.  Go check out the store, you never know what you want until you see what they have inside of the store!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Things we love...


I'm here at Malicki's Piggly Wiggly on Washington Ave. in Racine, and I find these fresh, handmade, ready to bake pizza. It comes in thin crust or rising crust. I did get to try a sample, and it's super good! In case you can't tell, the pepperoni is placed in the shape of a heart because we know that everyone loves themselves some good pizza. There's cheese, sausage, pepperoni, & chicken. You can even bring them home and freeze them!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Brats, Sausages & Good Things to Eat.


On Saturdays, I help an elderly lady who is 102 years old with some of her cares, and grocery shopping is one of them.

Here, I am at Malicki's Piggly Wiggly on Washington Avenue in Racine, at the family brand brat/sausage case. I will tell you something.  I have NEVER been a fan of brats and sausages. Most of them are full of preservatives that I can taste, and super duper greasy. The Malicki Bros. brand is really indeed premium. I actually like & eat these. I've had various flavors, from the Hungarian to the Door County. Today, I got to sample the Fiesta Cheddar brat, and I think this one is my favorite! I must get people to try these.  You won't be sorry.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

How I deal w/ daily turmoil


Life often gives us rotten lemons. May we learn to use them as compost. It isn't easy to stay positive or focused when we are dealing with unemployment, underemployment, underpayment, just starting new jobs/careers or needing to switch gears to find our forever jobs or the life we want, which always costs money. It doesn't have to cost a lot. But things aren't free, and no one else is going to give us an open-ended check to complete our bucket lists.

For as long as I've been searching, right now I am not even going to worry about that "dream job". I am going for one that I will like, that has what I consider fair compensation, and figure that with the right combination of the work environment and professional growth potential, I will fall in love with that position, after I land it. It could happen. I've seen it happen with others, that they ended up in a different place than what they originally expected for themselves, and just went with it, so that is my plan.

Fact is, I know that I can do the jobs I apply for. I never apply for a position that I don't think I can handle, nor something that I will dislike. Even if it is in a different industry than what I've received my experience and education in, if I apply, it's because I'm interested. This is why I am always questioning the suggestions of going through a temporary agency, because they see my healthcare background, and want to push that direction, without giving me the chance to explore other avenues. The problem with this is that I've never been interested in pursuing a professional career in healthcare. Often, the types of positions I'm qualified for either are dead-end type positions that have little growth opportunities with pay that is too low to pay the bills or, pay less than the equivalent positions in other industries.

So many things can drag us down. Some of us don't have the support we need from people. Others may not be in an economic spot and could use the financial support. Even more may feel lost or out of the loop. Stress isn't something we can always deal with, easily. But, here are some things that have helped me.

On Facebook, I have been doing a daily log of my continued journey in my recent years of my goals, hopes, and inspiration, whether I'm giving or getting the inspiration. This has been helpful in assessing what I may need to work on for myself, because on days that I may be feeling the stress more, I see that I could use a pep talk, somehow. That might come in form of taking a walk, meditating somewhere near Lake Michigan, or actually digging in to be more positive. I try to add value for others who are struggling in any way, shape or form with every post, no matter how down I am feeling myself.

Another time, I'd posted a random survey asking my friends to post something they like or notice about me. Of course, the usual came up such as my advocacy, positivity, etc. My college friend Boyd, who is a Kenosha County Board member, commented that I am "often underestimated yet never quit". I had to pause. Really think about this one. He is right. I can't recall how often I have been and often VERY underestimated in my knowledge and skills. I am smarter than I present and more capable than that. I am not looking for a handout, just an opportunity. This observation gave me some substance to chew on, and I am grateful. It has helped me focus on how to improve my own image, in hopes that an opportunity will land in my direction.

To help reduce stress though, first, breathe. Take a big breath. Take another one. Do it again. Take 4 seconds to breathe in deep. 4 seconds to exhale. Keep doing this until you feel your pulse slow down. I promise you, your blood pressure is going down with it. Every time you feel it rising, remember to breathe. In this calmer state, you will find focus. Drive. Solutions, or the ability to form solutions. I found my unique sense of humor. There are a lot of good qualities about yourself that live in that calmer state, and I want you to find them. This is how I am learning to find mine.

I also want to share a tidbit that a newer contact, Fay, who is skilled in instructional media design and learning development, shared this article, and I did find some inspiration in there, today. Here it is: Could this be Why you Aren't Finding a Job?

There IS someone that I want to give an extra special thank you to, also. I met my friend, Kevin through the networking sessions I attend at the local Workforce Development Center. He is an architect, who is very smart and is one of the most genuine people you could ever meet. Kevin has this really low gear, a steady personality who gives solid advice, and his words of wisdom always brought a bit of warmth to the whole group. In talking one on one, I honestly appreciated the encouragement I'd received, since I don't remember the last time I'd gotten any, especially from someone I'd only known a short time. He found what sounds like a decent gig, and I am happy for him that it sounds like a good fit, although I'm sure I'm not just speaking for myself when I say that he will be seriously missed. Kevin is definitely someone who can be learned from, by a lot of people. His new gig is lucky to have him on their team.

Life goes on, strangely. Just remember, lurking is, well, just lurking. To comment, divine! Please add your thoughts, ideas, questions, or anything.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Digital Job Market & The Mature Worker

I am in a few networking groups that I am active with. A couple are professional, one, in particular, is specifically for those of us searching for employment, and the other is one that people may have other barriers to finding employment, aside from just needing one. Other groups I belong to are social, some specifically just to connect casually, others are for social causes.

One main theme I seem to run into is the fact that a large number of us who are searching for meaningful and gainful employment is that we are who are considered to be "the mature worker". The majority of the people in the professional job seeking network group are probably over 40. Each and every single one of these participants are awesome people, who have so many positive talents to share with their potential employers. Here is a short list:
  • Experience & Knowledge
  • Wisdom & Insight
  • Dedication to what they do
  • Willing and able to get the job done
While it may seem as if those of us who are "slightly older" may come across as not being as up-to-date on our technical skills, I'd have to say that with the people in my networking group, this is a false assumption. All of us have the technical skills needed to get the jobs done, and if there is a program to be learned, the basis to learn that program is already built in, being ready to learn. The supposition that older workers will take longer to learn new things would also be something to forget about, also. So many of us are at a place in life where personal enrichment and growth is important to us, so we are open to learning new information.

Yet, it seems as if everywhere I look, the number of older workers in need of finding employment is higher than the younger job seekers. Don't get me wrong, I am very glad that our younger people in their 20s and 30s are getting hired. That is excellent! The difficult thing is, according to some studies, ageism does exist to a point. Here is an article talking about how some online job boards have ageism built right into their site:

https://www.npr.org/2017/03/28/521771515/older-workers-find-age-discrimination-built-right-into-some-job-sites

Another thing that seems to work against us, is the fact that so many have been at a position for the last 20 years or longer, and what used to happen in person with pen and paper is now done online, where e-bots chop up your resume. While I understand that this saves a lot of time for employers, robots cannot understand personality, and often, these robots do not understand the verbal nuances properly in a resume. It is not easy to change direction in this manner since so many things have changed, yet, each and every single one of the people I've talked to has updated their computer skills, learned to create professional profiles on job boards, LinkedIn, and sign up for the alerts to get the proper job notifications, and still goes in, to regularly test their skills to ensure that their office and computer savvy is intact. Even with this, so many are not getting the interviews, and when getting the interviews, don't get the job.

For example, I have education for medical unit clerk and experience as a nursing assistant. The robots will send me job alerts for medical assistant. While both words are on my resume, I am not qualified to be a medical assistant, so these alerts are pretty useless for me. This where it would help, if an actual person was looking at my resume, but, for whatever reason, if the e-bot kicks out my resume because it thinks I am a medical assistant, not a unit secretary, my application and resume never got to the correct people.

Myself, personally, I have decided to back off from the healthcare field, since my original passion is all about people and diversity. I love working with people from different cultures, and with governmental type agencies. It is why I pursued an International Relations degree, along with Political Science. While this may seem as it would "over qualify me" as an administrative assistant or office manager, I actually see this as a piece of marketable education, because this helped me get to know those from not just fellow natural born Americans whose native language is English, but those who are naturalized, permanent/long-term residents, and not all of them are native English speakers, and often, American English is their 3rd or 4th language. It has helped me understand the different word choices that other people may use, and able to understand the reference or nuance of why they chose that word rather than another one.

Back on track... Many older workers have taken classes casually or have read books, articles, and more about various interests, and because we tend to understand what we want, we are willing to explore the different topics to research on our own, making us candidates of broader talents to bring to a company. Even with that, when I look into applying for an office manager position, say with a shipping company, they want someone who has had 5 years office experience with another shipping company or warehouse, or preferably a combination of both. Same with the job description with working in an energy company. They want someone who understands the industry. I understand, although so many of us are willing to learn, and it's another welcoming challenge to learn this industry.

It would also be nice, if on the other hand, if these online job boards could allow one to narrow the search, so say if someone is looking to work in Human Resources, rather than sending just anything, if the individual could target the industry they want, that would make it better for everyone, also. This way, the employer also gets the idea that this person wants to work in that type of field, though I might be asking too much.

Another suggestion also is to better target the types of jobs, because often, the titles are becoming more fluid. For example, when dealing with IT, Engineering, Architecture, and Construction, so many of the terms used to describe the job title overlap, it's difficult to sort through some of these jobs. So a System Architect would not be looking for someone who designs buildings. As a person who tries to help other people find their forever jobs while searching for mine, this gets to be a trying task, since I would have to dig into the details that I may not quite understand, not being an IT or an Architect.

A suggestion to potential employers looking at those of us who are on the more mature end to hire... Just remember, many of us have children in college or grandchildren we'd like to help. We are smarter than we appear and more able than that. We show up, with the attitude to get the job done, no matter what. My personal approach is to make my supervisor or boss look like a genius and to take care of the problems before it gets to the big desk. It is also our mission, as a more mature adult, to handle the situations that come up, and be professional, courteous, and go above the call of duty.

I'd really love to work with our Native people in any setting, whether it's a liaison between Tribal and State governments, or to help international students succeed in school somehow, since I also have experience in social services and education, although if the right opportunity comes up in a different industry, I would LOVE to take that challenge to explore a new venture. Sometimes, you don't know what you want until you find it, and I hope that our 40+ workers start finding our careers because we are at a place in life where we do not want to job hop. I know I will be happy to land that position, and I think many of my fellow mature job seekers feel the same.