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 Bargaineering.com 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!

 

 

 

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 (www.mint.com) 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 (www.stickK.com) 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 (www.smartypig.com) and Payoff (www.payoff.com) 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.

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!

Believe in Yourself

December 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is a post from Job Coach Cindy Virtue who encourages us to make the most of the holiday break and to BELIEVE in ourselves!

bokk cover

Believe in yourself and your dreams!

Today my calendar was marked to sit down and write the blog for Pinnacle Empowerment Center this morning. It was on my to-do-list for 9:00am to hold me accountable or Heather may not be too jolly with me come our Wednesday Open House Celebration. Well it is now 4:00pm a little later than anticipated, but as everyone knows little bumps in the road sometimes comes up. Here is my bump:

I have a good friend who wrote a book 8-years ago, which had sat on her bookshelf just getting dusty. While reflecting over the last holiday season and with the encouragement of her friends and family she decided to submit it for publication. She found three possible publishers in March and submitted her transcript. To her surprise two-weeks later she was sitting with a contract with a target publishing date for October 2012 in time for the holiday sales. Since this was a book about the meaning of Christmas timing was an issue. She worked very hard over the summer, meeting demanding deadlines for rewrites.  Unfortunately, due to factors out of her control, the book was finally printed mid-November missing the shelves in major book store, but it is now available online.

As we were catching up last week and she was filling me in with all the details of what the publisher will do to promote her book they also encouraged her to reach out to her network. Well, this is my area!   I could see she felt so overwhelmed so I helped her come up with a promotional plan- which is very similar to what I do when I help job seekers.

We sat and brainstormed on how to best use the limited time left before the holiday to market her holiday book. Helping her understand how to reach out to her network, making phone calls asking her friends for help to spread the word, identifying upcoming events to attend and possibly ask if she could setup a table for a book signing  such as the Dec, 20th Girls Night Out Even in Downtown Ellicott City. Finally, why not create a FREE website through wordpress.com which will make it easier for her network to spread the word. This was my BUMP since I only have created one several months ago this took longer than anticipated, but was well worth it. I am much better or should I say faster in helping job seekers with Linkedin profiles then I am in creating a website, so I may need to keep my day job. In the end, she took a leap of faith and she is now a published author!

With the holiday upon us and as you may be job searching you need to believe in yourself. Take this time to regroup, take a fresh look at your resume and Linked profile, come up with a game plan on how you can reach out to your network, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Pull out your calendar now and start setting deadlines and goals for the New Year. Attend PEC FREE Job Club or Empowerment Circle for help. The year 2013 will be your time but you need to make it happen!

Note: January Job Club has been moved to Tuesday, January 8th due to the holiday. Please contact me for times and location at cindy@empowerctr.org or (410) 799-1097 ext. 300

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

Want to learn more about Ellicott City newest author? www.missmarybelieves.wordpress.com

Need a Holiday Time Out?

December 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

giftcircle1new

Ready for a break from the holidays? Join us on 12/12/12 for an informal evening of delicious nibbles and great company to refocus, re-center, and re-energize yourself!

The holiday music and commercials started the day after Halloween.  Christmas trees and Halloween costumes and candy were side by side in stores.  The holidays seem to arrive earlier and earlier each year.  Everywhere you turn there are commercials exhorting us to buy and cook our way into the hearts and minds of those around us!  Can the holidays live up to they hype?

 

  • Would you like to not just SURVIVE the holidays but THRIVE?
  • Want to figure out ways to protect your time and energy for things that are truly important?
  • Need help setting boundaries with difficult people?

Join the coaches of the Pinnacle Empowerment Center on Wednesday, December 12 at 6:00 p.m. and spend some time with other like-minded ladies for a time out from the holiday madness!  Come eat, drink, and mingle with us as we discuss and share ways to keep from getting overwhelmed and reconnect with the purpose of the season.  Here’s a taste of what we came up with just informally discussing how to survive the holidays:

  • Not everything has to be perfect!
  • Take a few minutes every day to bring joy to someone.
  • View the holiday festivities as “optional” rather than “required”. You can’t be everywhere.
  • Make sure you make time to get together with people who inspire you – surround yourself positive energy.
  • Don’t take it personally – realize that others around you are stressed and reacting to the holiday drama themselves, its not you. Don’t get drawn into it.
  • Don’t discuss politics, education or money. If these come up, excuse yourself and indulge in another piece of pie!
  • Keep it simple – don’t let the holiday momentum overtake you or allow others to push you into things or events you don’t want to do.
  • Refocus the holiday away from the material and on sharing the traditions with those you love. Even starting a new tradition can bring joy.
  • Let others help . Delegate or hire out tasks you don’t enjoy or don’t have time to do.

Take a holiday time out for yourself and join us for a wonderful evening to help you re-focus, re-center, and re-energize yourself for the holidays!  Complimentary coaching sessions are available so bring a friend! For more information visit our website or contact us at 410-799-1097 or info (at) empowerctr.org!

Posted by:  Heather C.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Life category at Pinnacle Empowerment Center.