Internet Inspirations: Last Gasp for Winter

March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Winter's last gasp!

Winter’s last gasp!

Enjoy these interesting reads from around the internet as we wait for spring to evict winter from Maryland!

Here’s some great tips over at PT Money about checking out a potential employer’s approach to work/life balance. Even in this tight job market, it is still important to align jobs with your values.

We’ve written about how Craig’s List can be a great source for job listings, but as we mentioned, do your due dilligence. The Job Bait scam is described in this Wise Bread article. Use common sense and be careful about what personal information you share.

This article is part of a series on Women and Money over at and includes some good ways to keep your professional life moving forward even when you’re out of the traditional 9 to 5.

I loved, loved this article at the Jane Dough weighing in on the whole women and working debate that has been raging lately. The title alone is fantastic: “Why We Don’t Need Any More Female Billionaires Telling Us How To Have It All”. I really like the point Colette McIntyre makes that not all women have the same advantages as billionaire CEO’s and where are the men in this conversation?

And for something completely different…

I thoroughly enjoyed this guest post over at Mr. Money Mustache from David Cain entitled, “How To Walk Across A Parking Lot.” No, really. Read it and think about it.

Posted by: Heather C.


Internet Inspirations: Spring is Coming Edition

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Get inspired to spring into March! Photo (c) Heather Comstock 2013.

Get inspired to spring into March! Photo (c) Heather Comstock 2013.

It is the end of February. The groundhog predicted an early spring. The daffodils are up and the grackles are cackling in the trees of my neighborhood. As the weather turns warmer, here’s some inspiration to kickstart your March from around the internet!

Over on Jon Acuff’s blog, he’s got a great piece of the power of finding 30 minutes a day to move forward on fulfilling your dreams! John notes that “rescuing the first 30 minutes” is the hardest.

On the Harvard Business Review blog, Peter Bergman gives you “Nine Practices to Help You Say No”. When you say no, you create space to allow yourself to “Yes” to something more important.

While this advice may seem counter-intuitive when job searching, Learnvest has a great rundown on Signs You Shouldn’t Take That Job. Employment situations should be a good fit for both you and the employer for long-term success!

PEC Boardmember Cheryl Pullins has a great post on her blog about how to pry your ego out of the driver’s seat so you can move forward fulfilling your dreams. Plus, bonus Kool Moe Dee reference!




A Recruiter’s Perspective: Staying Ahead in 2013 with LinkedIn

February 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

This is a guest post from local recruiter Stuart TenHoor, who provides some valuable insight on how he uses LinkedIn to evaluate potential candidates with some tips on how you can harness LinkedIn for your Job Search!

Are you using online resources to maximum benefit for your job search?

Are you using online resources to maximum benefit for your job search? Learn more here.

Today’s everyday technological advances are head spinning, and that applies in the job finding and career building arena as well. Who would have looked for a job without a resume in past years? Today, the question is who would look for a job without being on LinkedIn? As a legal search consultant (recruiter/headhunter others might call me), when I look for talent to help my law firm or corporate clients, I do it in multiple ways. One way I always use is to check a candidate’s resume against LinkedIn. Essentially LinkedIn is making advances toward replacing the resume as the most important job finding and career building tool.

LinkedIn does three things for you. First, it establishes a certain aura of “being with it.” Some employers would see you as being behind the times or not taking yourself seriously if you lack a well written and informative summary of your career on line. Further, most entries have a photo with them. Ten years ago I frowned on candidates with photos on their resumes; today, the savvy entries all include a photo. If you don’t have one, probably someone you know has a digital camera or smart phone that can produce quality photos. You don’t have to look like a movie star to produce a confident looking photo.

Second, you control entirely what goes in your LinkedIn profile so, as in writing a resume, put your best foot forward. The rules for a LinkedIn entry are much looser. Not everything should go it your entry–just the highlights. So spend some time thinking about how you want to present yourself on LinkedIn; in other words, those things that show you headed in a clear direction. I will uniformly ask a candidate to rewrite her resume if it tries to be “all things to all people.” When I work with a Supreme Court law clerk looking for a position, their resume is invariably one page with a lot of white space. So do your best to project how your abilities will meet an employer’s need, as succinctly as possible. The more your confidence oozes out of your resume/LinkedIn entry, the greater your chance of landing an interview for a job you want.

Finally use LinkedIn in searching for information about employers that interest you. Find out who the President and key officers or the person interviewing you is by first using the employer’s website. Your next step is to then look up the individuals on LinkedIn and see their career paths. You might find out that a prospective interviewer went to your high school or college, or they are active in a civic association of which you are also a member. Remember employers want to hire people that “fit in” and learning about potential commonality that you share with a prospective employer’s key people can help you win big bonus points.

LinkedIn is an excellent tool which should be in the “toolbox” of every job seeker and career builder. I am sure there are many uses I have not even begun to tap into even with my years of experience with it! There are many low-cost seminars and how to use it for your career advancement purposes. Explore all tools to help you find that next good job but be sure that LinkedIn is one of them!

Stuart TenHoor is President of TenHoor Legal Search Services, Inc. and has over two decades of experience matching candidates with the right employers. You can learn more about him at

Want help with updating your LinkedIn profile? Contact us at410-782-3002 xt 501 to schedule an appointment!

Taking A Financial Road-trip….

February 1, 2013 § 1 Comment

What is your financial road trip style?

Your road trip style can be a guide for planning your financial goals! (photo (c) 2012 Heather Comstock)

Just a few weeks ago, we marked the start of 2013.   There was the usual excitement about the New Year and enthusiasm for reforming habits.  Each year, commitments around improving personal finances make up more than 1/3 of all resolutions. As the weeks wear on though, the holiday bills come due, the heating bill soars and sticking to your goal seems impossible.   You are not alone. Nearly 1/2 of resolution-makers abandon their plans before January closes.  But, getting back on track may not be as tough as it seems. Reflecting on how you navigate through life may help you adjust your money management habits and increase your chances of success.

Remember, life is one big road trip…and that includes your financial life.   The way you plan for getting to your destination behind the wheel tells a lot about your personality.   Are you lost without your GPS, or do your prefer plot your route with your trusty-map and highlighter in hand?  Think about how you travel the road and apply it to your finances.

GPS’ers:  Plug in your destination, decide on a catchy name for your computer generated voice (Gertrude is mine) and do EXACTLY what she tells you.  Autopilot all the way!  She’ll get you there for sure (although you may be routed through Canada along the way from Chicago to Boston).  Never fear though, you WILL arrive at your destination in time to enjoy a cup of “chowdah”.

If you are a GPS traveler when it comes to money, you need to find tools to automate your financial life. To control your budget, use your bank’s automatic bill-paying service.   Take advantage of retirement plans offered by your employer and sign up for the automatic paycheck deductions into the plan.  Ask your employer if you can split your paycheck into two bank accounts.  Use one for your monthly expenses, and allocate the remainder to a second account earmarked just for saving.

Map-Maven:  Do you love to gaze at the crisscrossing patterns of the roads?  When someone mentions a legend, do you instinctively look for the little box at the bottom of a page, rather than Tony Bennett? Does the feel of damp paper soaked with yellow highlighter ink bring a smile to your face?

If you answered yes, you definitely prefer hands-on control of your road trip, and will probably enjoy taking personal control of your financial life as well.   For you, a program like Mint ( will allow you to analyze exactly how you spend your money so you can improve and track your progress each month.   A program like StickK ( incentivizes you to reach your goals (financial and otherwise).  Most people who use StickK select a financial penalty (although it’s not required) for wavering from their goals. But, the program allows you to pay your penalty to a loved one or donate it to one of 8 selected charities. (For instance, if dining out is what derails your budget, set a StickK goal to spend less than $100 a month on eating out or pay a $10 penalty.) Programs like Smarty Pig ( and Payoff ( offer a game-like atmosphere for setting and achieving your saving and debt-reduction goals.

Start by knowing the type of road-trip navigator you are, and apply the same style to your financial life. But most of all, don’t quit.   February is almost here! Even if you have had a detour in your financial plans in the past couple of weeks, find the tools that work for you and get back on the road to financial success.

This guest-post is by long-time friend of Pinnacle,  Michelle B. Glassburn.  Michelle is a non-profit executive, financial education advocate, and mother of two based outside of Boston, Massachusetts.  You can follow Michelle on Twitter @M_Glassburn.

The Right Tool for the Job

January 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

PEC Board member Cheryl Pullins shared this piece with us from her own blog which is chock full of great information and inspiration!  Cheryl works with women entrepreneurs to elevate their businesses to new levels.

The right tools can showcase the fabulous gem! (Photo by Mauro Cateb via

The right tools create interest and highlight positive attributes! (Photo by Mauro Cateb via

In years past tools for a job search included the help wanted section of the Sunday edition of the local newspaper, a red ink pen and your resume. You could spend hours on a Sunday afternoon combing through the help wanted section to identify jobs within your industry and/or skill set.

How have things changed.

With the onset and growth of social media, the job search has progressed to a whole new level. The development of the internet created an opportunity for job seekers to do some detailed research on a prospective employer. However, if we fast forward, job seekers can not only do research about the company they can now interact and connect with potential employers on a deeper level. With access to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn individuals can now experience the prospective employer’s culture, become exposed to the organization’s corporate values and engage with key staff.

Facebook and Twitter ranked number one and number three in social media popularity, but LinkedIn is a robust social media site where job seekers can find enormous value. With over 75 million members and executive level representation from all of the Fortune 500 organizations, LinkedIn has created a platform for job seekers to showcase their skill and experience, in addition to building and connecting with those who can provide value to the job search.

For more information about LinkedIn visit  Don’t forget to join the Pinnacle Empowerment Center group to stay up to date on the latest from PEC!

Photo by Mauro Cateb of a diamond measuring tool via

New Year’s Inspiration Around the Web

January 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

Has your 2013 started off with a bang or do you need some inspiration?

Has your 2013 started off with a bang or do you need some inspiration? (Photo by: Neurovelho via WikiMedia Commons.)

Happy 2013! We’re ten days into the new year! How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Or are you in the no-resolutions camp? Has the time just slipped away and you’re still writing 2012 when you write the date?  We’ve collected some interesting and inspirational posts from bloggers around the interwebs!

Over at Zen Habits, Guest Writer Craig Ballantyne writes about his “Twelve Rules to Live By”. It is an interesting approach. Could you articulate your rules like this or how would you react to utilizing a few of Craig’s?

Time Management Ninja Craig Jarrow has a great post entitled “10 Things Wrong With Your New Year’s Resolutions” with some great tips about realistic goal setting.

Dumb Little Man writer Sumitha sums up the “8 Mistakes that are Sabotaging Your Resolution To Change Your Life”. I know I am guilty of a few of these.

Found this via J.D. Roth’s More than Money Blog. It has a great how-to on how to review your previous year as the basis for planning your new year.

My perspective is that the start of the new school is the best time to embark with January being a good time to check in on my progress. This year I am trying to integrate Gamification to help me stay motivated toward my goals.

So where do you fall? Are you a Resolver or do you think Resolutions are a waste of time? Got any big plans for 2013? What tricks do you have for staying motivated?  Don’t worry, there’s always Chinese New Year!

Posted by: Heather Comstock

Photo credit:  Blue Fireworks.  The Finnish fireworks championship 2007 in Helsinki.  By: Neurovelho.  Sourced from WikiMedia Commons.


Possibilities and Opportunity: Where your talents and the needs of the world intersect

January 3, 2013 § 2 Comments

By Lisa Dolce

New Year’s Day has always been a day of reflection for me for as long as I can remember.

Find the intersection where your talents meet the needs of the world!

Find the intersection where your talents meet the needs of the world!

I celebrate the successes as well as the learning that came from the challenges of the past year. I take a deep breath in and exhale anything that may be holding me back and then breathe in all the possibilities of the coming new year.

The last few years have been tough for many of us personally and professionally. There seemed to be much that was out of our control. The good news is that not everything is out of our control. One of my favorite quotes comes from Aristotle, he said, “Ones purpose is knowing where your talents intersect with the needs of the world”.

The job market may still be tight but it is not without it’s needs, possibility and opportunity. So the big question is where do your talents intersect?

For some of us it may be the perfect time to reinvent ourselves. You have probably known for a long time that it was time to do something else, but it never seemed to be the “right” time to do it.

It may be a career change, going back for that degree or finally starting that business you’ve been talking about. Now is the time.

For others it might be time to find more meaning or balance in their work and in their lives. What are we chasing after and why? What beliefs or dreams are we holding onto that no longer serve us?

So as we enter 2013, breathe in all the possibilities this new year has to offer, and take the time to clarify what your talents are and how you can share them to fill a need in this new economy. Make a list of your top skills that you already have and ways you can reconfigure them to meet the opportunities that the new job market will yield–then go out and explore, network with others and learn what new jobs will emerge as government bail-out plans unfold, companies restructure and new leadership takes over.

And to help get you started, and as a New Year’s gift to you, the Pinnacle Empowerment Center is offering free monthly career clubs, empowerment circles.Come join us and other career seekers for inspiration, motivation and strategies for matching your talents with the needs of our community.

Wishing you a new year filled with exciting possibilities and opportunity!