Overcoming Job Title Identity Theft

March 9, 2010

Do You Feel Erased?
By Janet Walgren

One of the challenges unemployed workers are facing in today’s job market is trying to find a new work identity after their old identity was erased. In my former position as Student Success Manager for EWI, I spent four years helping seasoned professionals and novices alike identify, utilize and monetize their transferable skills to create new careers as entrepreneurs.

In this capacity, I was able to help hundreds of people stay positive in the face of adversity, create new dreams and gain the courage to fulfill their dreams. I was also able to help entrepreneurs identify their needs and suggest resources to help them meet their business challenges.

I believe the current economy presents an unprecedented opportunity for both employers and prospective employees alike because of the incredible pool of talented candidates that was unavailable for employers to choose from in older more stable economies. Non-traditional crossover candidates bring with them a wealth of training and a diversity of experiences that can enrich and rejuvenate a stale corporate environment while fulfilling staffing needs.

A title isn’t who you are. A title doesn’t even necessarily tell what you did. You are a valuable person regardless of the titles others might bestow on you or take from you. If you have been downsized and feel like your identity has been erased, make a list of your skills, talents and experiences. Then, as you read job announcements, ask yourself, “How can my skill set fit in with [this] employer’s needs?”

You don’t have to be desperate and settle for a bad employer or a bad job. Remember, you were looking for a job when you found your last one so, don’t forget to make it a two way interview.

It’s not what you have been but what you are becoming that determines your future.

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Make a Joyful Noise

April 13, 2009

By Janet Walgren
Unemployed 47 year old Susan Boyle lives alone with her cat. She confesses that she’s never been married, never been kissed, and has always wanted to be a professional singer. She decided to pursue her dream by appearing on Britain’s Got Talent. Simon greeted her with his usual cynicism… this will put a smile on your face. Enjoy!

I wish more folks had the courage to follow their dreams.

I think we could fix the world if we were more like Susan Boyle or the Belgium’s in Antwerp’s Central Station.

I think I’ll go outside and dance in the street:)


No child left behind?

March 18, 2009

My grand-child’s cousin tested poorly and had to repeat kindergarten when he moved to Denver. He is a smart boy. Unfortunately, there were only three English speaking children in his 25 pupil kindergarten class and the teacher, a native Spanish speaker, taught the class in Spanish.

This wasn’t in Mexico. It was in central Colorado on the I-70 corridor.


The American Busybody

February 15, 2009

By Janet Walgren

Have you ever wondered what is really wrong with America? Well I think I have the answer. It’s the American busybody. We call what they have say NEWS! We buy their newspapers, books and magazines. We listen to them on the radio and watch them on television. We absorb their propaganda in the movies. We elect them to Congress. And, we spend most of our spare-time everyday discussing the disgusting diet of misinformation they put before us.

We are like the proverbial kid holding a basket of valuables full of – time, money, talent, skills, morals… and did I mention liberty? Oh yeah, I almost forgot… That’s probably because most of it is missing. Anyway, the American busybodies approach us kids and say, “LOOK OVER THERE!!!” And, when we look, they steal something of value out of our basket and replace it with junk.

Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be informed. We should be very informed. The problem is that the American Busybody keeps us so occupied with getting informed about disgusting, trivial, irrelevant things that we forget to pay attention to the really important things. And, that’s the way the American Busybodies want it.

I wonder, when will we get it? When will we grow up and take charge of our information input, our destiny? And, when and if we do finally get it, will there still be some liberty, some freedom, something… anything worth keeping left in our baskets?


Who’s on First – the Madoff Debacle

January 6, 2009

By Janet Walgren

Many years ago, almost before my time – and I’m sixty-two, there was a comedy sketch that became quite famous called “Who’s on First?” It consisted of a funny dialog between a person trying to get information about the location of players in a baseball game and a frustrated person trying to inform the bewildered questioner. Confusion ensued because the questioner didn’t know the players had unusual names like “Who”.

 

Silly? Totally… even ridiculous! At least I thought so until I watched a Congressional hearing about the Madoff scandal last night. At first I thought the man being grilled was rather cavalier in his responses.  I thought to myself, “Why don’t they nail that incompetent turkey to the wall? After all, he’s the one that heads the agency that is supposed to be watching over the S.E.C. and he has no clue why this whole debacle happened…” Who saw what, why? Why were the many warnings that were received by his agency ignored? Why were the red flags that were apparent to so many invisible to his agency? He had no answers – NONE AT ALL! But, he was going to get to the bottom of it… “Isn’t that what you were supposed to be doing all along? What do we pay your for?” I thought.

 

Then, FINALLY, one bewildered congressman tried to set him up for the kill only to find out that they had the wrong guy. It was pathetically funny, in a morbid sort of way, to realize the committee, our Congressmen ‘who get paid to create bureaucracies to protect us’, had no idea who they were questioning or what they did. They actually had not only the wrong guys, but the wrong agency! They were questioning men from the external watchdog rather than the internal watchdog that watches over the watchdog.

 

So WHO’s ON FIRST – the runner, the first baseman or both??? Actually the correct answer is probably no one.


New Year’s Business Logic

January 1, 2009

By Janet Walgren

I went to the grocery store and spent $87.50. The cashier told me I saved $6.75… You would have thought I had just made a deposit. Did she forget to thank me for spending money or did she think she was working in a bank?

I got an advertisement from an insurance company in the mail. The only BOLD ALL CAP TEXT in the advertisement told me that I could get a “FREE QUOTE” if I called a phone number. I’m not sure if they were going to tell me how much it would cost me to buy insurance, or if it was a poetry hot-line.

I passed an apartment complex on the way to the store. They had lots of colored flags out front and a humongous “Now Leasing” banner hanging on their building. I wonder what they did for the last thirty years they were in business… manufacture flags???

At least the apartment industry doesn’t disguise itself in camouflage. Have you ever wondered what ADP, USANA, BRG, or BILCO do? Rhino and Stallion are not in the animal business. Would you have guessed they are locksmiths? Rhino also sells flooring.

Perhaps the insurance company would get more business if they hung out a banner that read, “Now Selling Insurance.” Surely it would be more effective than FREE QUOTE.

I’ve been thinking about developing another stream of income in 2009 ~ perhaps I could start a consulting firm. I could advise businesses to advertise what they do and to be sure to charge their potential customers to find out the price… no more FREE QUOTES!

Or, perhaps I could become a consumer consultant and teach potential customers how to start a bidding war… AT&T said they would charge me $89.95. “Hi AT&T, I have a quote from Comcast for $63.95… What? You say I can have it for $55.00. Great! Would you put that in writing?”

I think that 2009 ought to be dubbed “The Year for Honest Advertising!” and we should all demand that businesses, especially BIG BUSINESSES, tells us exactly what they do and how much it will cost us. Then, if we decide to do business with them, we should demand a “thank you!”

To make this idea a success, I think we should all get together and target one big business to set a precedent. Let’s start with CONGRESS!!! It could be our New Year’s Resolution.


Memories, Attitude & Happiness

June 3, 2008

By Janet Walgren 

I think that every mother knows how to count to ten. In fact I heard a frustrated neighbor counting uno, dos, tres… just the other day. And, when I went to the Asian grocery store last week there was a mother counting ichi, ni, san… Some things seem to be universal when a child is misbehaving. One of those things is, mothers count to ten. Ah, the memories, the stories about ten. Tales about ten continue for generations and shape the course of history.

 

Being the second oldest of ten children, I have done my share of reminiscing with my siblings and I have noticed something very interesting. Everyone tells stories about the number ten differently. I’m not talking about the details of an incident; they are pretty much the same. I’m talking about attitude, the spirit in which the stories are remembered and told. I’ve noticed that attitude makes an amazing difference in the life of the subject of the story, and more interestingly, the teller of the story.

 

There is an excellent example of what I’m talking about in the book, Love is a Verbby Mary Ellen Edmunds. Mary shared a bedroom with her sister Charlotte. Mary and Charlotte were very different personalities which is not all that uncommon among siblings. Charlotte was a compliant child and Mary was the adventurous one. At bed time, when the sisters didn’t settle in and go to sleep right away, it was not at all uncommon for Mary’s mother to count to ten. And, Mary’s mother instinctively knew whose fault it was so she would march in the bedroom, go straight to Mary Ellen’s bed and give her a spanking.

 

On one particular night, Mary was trying to talk Charlotte into to jumping out the second story bedroom window.  She had a theory that if you bend your knees on impact, it would absorb the shock and your legs wouldn’t break. Charlotte was reluctant and refused to try the experiment. As the conversation progressed, Mary’s mother started to count, one, two, three… When she got to ten Mary knew she had to act fast, what to do… Then she had a brilliant idea.

 

“Charlotte lets see if we can trick mommy! Lets trade beds and see if she notices.” They exchanged beds in the nick of time. Her mother entered the bedroom, marched over to Mary’s bed and gave Charlotte a sound spanking. Then she marched out of the room saying that she didn’t want to hear another peep and told them to go to sleep.

 

As Charlotte lay sobbing, Mary exclaimed jubilantly, “Charlotte we did it, we tricked mommy!” Both girls were pleased and excited that they had tricked their mommy.

 

Imagine yourself as Charlotte. What would you say as you reminisced about that incident? What emotion would you attach to the memory? How would you paint your sibling? Would you be kind, charitable? When you told the story, would it be funny? Or, would you be the victim of a bad sibling who made your life miserable?

 

Happy adults find the fun and the funny in their memories. They are great story tellers and everybody love to listen to them. They discover the lessons in life and paint their associates in charitable ways as they impart their wisdom and sage advice.  People love to be around these happy folks. They make life pleasant. They even make work pleasant- even when the task seems as unpleasant as testing a theory by jumping out a second story window to see if bending your knees on impact will keep your legs from breaking.

 

I think almost everybody has been a Charlotte who got the undeserved spanking at sometime in their life. And, most people have found it necessary to be a Mary who needed to find a quick solution to an unpleasant problem on occasion. Regardless of the situations that you have faced, or that you are currently facing, your approach, your attitude will make all the difference. And, only you can choose what that attitude will be.

 

What makes the difference in people’s attitudes? I believe that it is love. As you go about your life, remember Love is a Verb.