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.


Random Stuff on a Summer Friday

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photo credit: Baxter Bedell (c) 2010

It’s been hot and the pool beckons so here’s a roundup of random musings and pieces of information to finish off a hot summer week!

First, we are very excited to announce the addition of our Virtual Career Center which will be available next week!  The VCC provides career develop information and research tools all in one place online available 24/7.  All of us at PEC know that schedules can be challenging and when you finally get some time to yourself, it may be 6 a.m. or 10:30 at night.


  • Company & Industry Research
  • Job Postings that are continuously authenticated for currency and accuracy
  • Self-evaluation tools & assessments
  • Create professional resumes and cover loetters
  • Interview preparation
  • Networking and Social media integration

I have volunteered to be the office guinea pig in the system and will be posting about my experiences working with the system in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

As I have been playing around a bit more on our Twitter account, I ran across Cheryl Wood’s Fearless Jump Day.  On August 17th she’s asking women to do something they fear whether it is jumping out of a plane or writing a novel or making that call to the client you’ve been wanting to land.  It got me thinking and I love the idea of taking a day to be fearless.  I signed up.  Want to join me?  What are you going to do?  Find the discussion on Twitter at #FearlessJump and see what other women are pondering for their fearless jump!

The debate continues surrounding the Atlantic Monthly article by Anne Marie Slaughter and the whole issue of work/life balance, or integration, or whatever you want to call it.  Staff writer Sarah Gilbert shares her version of the story over at Get Rich Slowly today. I liked that Ms. Gilbert also frames it beyond just moms and kids but also adults with other family responsibilities such as aging parents. How has this issue affected you?

Another Get Rich Slowly post I enjoyed this week was “Finding Balance in an Imbalanced World” by guest writer Megan Van.  While the post was about how our parents and family impress our own values on work and money, I wondered about the same influence on how we view work and life.  Are there people in your life that you wouldn’t want to be or those you admire?

Be sure to like us on Facebook. There’s been some great stuff we’ve been passing along!  You can also watch me bumble along on our Twitter account!

Tell us what you’ve been reading and thinking about during these hot summer days!

Who’s there?

January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

By: Heather Comstock

Attendees at the 2011 Women's Empowerment Conference. Photo by Nancy Arseneault.

When the Empowerment Center was being formed in 2010, an implementation team was recruited to develop a map of who we were, who we would serve, and how we would improve our community through our work with women. We had an amazing group from all backgrounds representing everything from the nonprofit sector, government, consulting, and business owners. It was an interesting, opinionated, and informed group.  The one thing we all agreed on:  Women don’t fit into nice one size fits all packages and assistance should be tailored to each specific client, filling a gap in services that existed in our area.

I bring this up because last week we took a look at the information on the clients we have served since we opened our doors for clients in early 2011.  It was very interesting and somewhat surprising (though it shouldn’t have been).  I was reminded that you can’t run a nonprofit, or a business for that matter, thinking you know who you’re serving and what they want from you.  You need to keep your eye on who is walking through your door and be responsive.

So, who did come through the doors in 2011?  We served about 60 women through our free job clubs and empowerment circles, group classes, individual coaching sessions, and phone referrals to other services in Howard County.  Our sample isn’t particularly scientific and we don’t have data on everyone we helped, but in looking at the information we do have, trends began to emerge.

The majority of the clients were 50 or older and most were unemployed.  These women had college degrees – bachelors and masters degrees.   Anecdotally, our data matched what I saw in our office.  These were professional women who were at a crossroads and trying to figure out where they wanted to go.  Some of the women were trying to get back into the workforce after years of caring for their families (including elderly relatives).  We had clients who had been laid off and were actively seeking employment.  There were also women who were restless in their careers and wanted something different: a more challenging position, a career change, or to pursue their passion or start their own business.

I am happy that that our clients came to us and that they found us helpful and our programs and services useful.  While I don’t know the specifics of each case, I do know what each woman got when she called or walked through the door.  She was treated as an individual – because that was our vision from the start and what sets us apart.

Getting Started on Your Job Search

January 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Posted by:  Heather Comstock

As many people have discovered in today’s economy, the rules for job searching have changed.  Today’s job search is all about the network. Pinnacle Empowerment Center’s Career Coach Cindy Virtue explains what has changed.

Be comfortable with computers Almost every job application today involves submission via computers, even entry level positions.  Be sure you have an email address and check it regularly.  Free email accounts are available from Yahoo, Hotmail, or Google.  Cindy told me that employers have more applicants than jobs.  If you’re not responding to emails, they’re moving on to the next candidate.  Keep your account name is professional – save “catlover27” for something else!  All public libraries in the area offer free access to computers and the internet at their branches.  Anne Arundel County Library offers some basic tutorials.

Linked In is the ubiquitous tool of job seekers and the currently employed alike.  According to Cindy, Linked In gives you networking leverage because it allows recruiters to find you and employers are now reviewing Linked In profiles of potential interviewees.  Cindy recommends that no matter your employment status, keep your profile up to date and use key words that employers are searching. For moms and caregivers thinking of returning to the workforce, a Linked In profile is a great way to get started organizing your skills and experiences, particularly volunteer work.  In the event of an unexpected layoff, having a current profile is one less thing you have to pull together to get started job searching.  Linked In allows you to join discussion groups and companies enhancing your networking and providing great information.

Other Social Media While Linked In can be your Professional Image, understand that your other social media profiles reflect upon you as well.  If your Facebook account is more personal, use your privacy settings and Groups to keep your information restricted.  Do use a good profile picture as you don’t want a potential employer to stumble across you looking irresponsible. Twitter is a great way to follow leaders and companies in your industry and watch for trends and patterns.

Resumes No longer are you randomly distributing scads of paper resumes.  You need to tailor your resume for each position.  Employers are looking for demonstrated performance in areas that match the position description.  Cindy notes that you don’t need to include your full street address – a phone number and email address are enough and objective statements just create clutter.

Volunteer Accomplishments Don’t forget your volunteer work!  Think about the skills and experiences you have from chairing the local PTA or your fundraising or special events committee service for the local homeless shelter.  Cindy notes that volunteering is a great way to fill resume gaps and a good networking tool.  For opportunities check out Volunteer Howard or volunteer with us!

For more information on Job Searching, join Cindy on Friday, January 27th at 10:00 for “Successful Job Search Strategies for 2012”.  For more information and registration, click here.

The Hillary Factor: Leadership and Communication Skills

June 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Communication skills of women leaders and how they potentially effect their success… 



Suze Orman: Women and Money!

June 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Women & Money: Forget Diamonds

June 12, 2011 § Leave a comment


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