Archive for April, 2014

26 apr

Three Common Types of Addiction: Spotting the Signs and Getting Help

JennaSmithAddiction is a touchy subject; even though most people have been affected by it in some form, open communication about this disease is rare. And while discussing substance abuse and addiction can be uncomfortable, an honest approach can help in both the treatment and prevention of this all-encompassing illness. As someone who has suffered the secondhand effects of addiction, I think communication, honesty and awareness are key in addressing the issue. Below, I’ve outlined three common types of addiction in the United States. With the information provided, you can spot the signs of addiction, and encourage your friend or loved one to seek the help they so desperately need and deserve.

Addiction to Prescription Drugs

Sadly, many drugs deemed safe are associated with dependence and addiction. Of these medications, the most commonly abused include prescription pain-relievers like Vicodin and OxyContin, and anti-anxiety drugs like Valium and Xanax. And while symptoms of abuse and addiction may vary, they usually include the following signs:

  • Constricted pupils.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Falling asleep or “nodding” at odd times.
  • Depression, anxiety and aggression.
  • Obtaining multiple prescriptions from different doctors, also known as “doctor shopping.”
  • Using illegal or immoral methods to obtain prescription drugs, e.g., lying about pain or other symptoms, theft, forgery, etc.
  • The onset of withdrawal symptoms when use is discontinued. These typically include nausea, vomiting, chills, aches and other flu-like symptoms.

If you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs, failure to seek immediate treatment can result in complications like prolonged addiction, overdose, organ damage, an increased risk of hepatitis and other diseases, relationship problems, legal and financial difficulties and other harmful effects. Treatment for prescription drug abuse usually entails intensive psychological counseling, as well as supervised detox, aftercare and more.

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction, also known as hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior, is associated with obsessive sexual thoughts or behaviors, to the extent that it affects one’s relationships, professional life and more. In individuals with compulsive sexual behaviors, multiple partners are common, as is the habitual use of pornography and an inability to feel satisfied from normal sexual encounters. What’s more, these individuals often engage in risky sex acts, as well as fantasies and behaviors that may be considered inappropriate, immoral or even illegal.

Even given the extreme nature of sex addiction, spotting the symptoms isn’t always easy. If you suspect a loved one of compulsive sexual behavior, approaching the subject is crucial to their health and well-being. Without treatment, individuals with this disease are prone to complications like the transmission of disease, relationship difficulties, problems at work, unwanted pregnancies and more. Treating sex addiction typically involves psychotherapy, couples counseling, behavior modification and other psychological approaches. What’s more, sex addiction therapy for men and women is typically the same, and is designed to promote healthy sexual behaviors and improved quality of life.

Alcoholism

Alcoholism may not be a new problem, but it’s one that still permeates our society and affects individuals of all ages. What’s more, in addition to prolonged alcoholism, binge-drinking among teens and young adults is also an important issue. Indeed, binge-drinking can lead to effects like organ failure and death, as well as risky sexual behaviors and an increased risk of physical injury.

Like other addictions, spotting the signs of alcohol abuse can be tricky. If you notice that a friend or loved one is drinking too frequently or too heavily, uses alcohol as a means to deal with other problems, drinks alone, or allows alcohol to affect other areas of his or life, suggesting treatment is recommended. And while treatment measures can vary, they usually include a detox from alcohol and other addictive substances, intensive counseling, behavior modification techniques and more.

Having close friends and family members who have suffered the from substance abuse and addiction, I know how hard it can be to cope with the effects and complications of this disease. Hopefully, with the information provided here, you’re better equipped to seek help, recover from addiction, and lead a healthy life, free from the terrible effects of substance abuse.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on April 26th, 2014 in Family, Health, New Directions, Personal Stories | 1 comment

24 apr

5 Ways to Remodel Yourself (without Plastic Surgery)

JennaSmithA total-self-remodel differs from reinventing yourself, in that it’s about both the inside and the outside. It’s about changing your appearance for the better, as well as improving your attitude and outlook on life. Remodeling yourself takes some work, but if you’re willing to go the extra mile the results will be life affirming.

The following are some steps to take to remodel you. You don’t have to follow this guide to a T, but rather are encouraged to use it as a base guide for the work you want to do on yourself. Please, keep in mind that change requires action. In order to remodel yourself, you’ll need to make a conscious effort that is both thought out and deliberate. You must be serious about transformation, in order for transformation to occur.

1. Define Your Career Goals

It’s a harsh truth to face, but luck isn’t going to rescue you from your dead end job. Do you truly believe that someone, someday, is going to recognize all your hard work, pluck you from the crowd, and promote you? If so, you’re not being honest with yourself. The harsh reality is that no one recognizes your skills until you point them out. Part of remodeling yourself is remodeling your life’s aspirations.

Now is the time to define your career goals.

Ask yourself where you’d like to be career-wise in 5, 10, and even 20 years. Brainstorm your childhood hopes and dreams, as well as what you’re good at. Come to a conclusion about your aspirations, and then identify your goals. Even if you’re not sure what you want to do with your career, at least you’ll have defined what you’re good at.

2. Change Your “Look”

Changing how you look on the outside can have a really positive impact on how you feel on the inside. Although shopping for new clothes and a hairstyle will get this activity in motion, the real reinvention comes from long-term commitments to health, exercise, and beauty. It’s time to define what you want from your appearance.

You don’t need cosmetic surgery to change your face or body. Instead, you can opt for healthier, less-invasive procedures, such as body wraps, facials, and skin rejuvenations. These procedures will help you feel younger, as well as they can help jumpstart weight loss or improve skin quality.

“We believe that everyone has the right to go through the world with confidence,” says leading skin rejuvenators, americanlaser.com. “So whether it’s about looking better in a bathing suit, seeing a younger version of an “old friend” in the mirror, or whisking away unwanted hair, we’ll help make it happen. So you can love what’s looking back at you.”

3. Keep a Schedule

Transformation isn’t going to happen overnight, so schedule in your changes. Keep a list of the changes you want to see in yourself, as well as journal about your progress. Set reminders for yourself, so you don’t forget important activities, such as trips to the gym and daily affirmations. Keeping a schedule will ensure you stay on track while you’re redesigning a whole new you. Plus, a schedule oriented person is more successful in all areas of life.

4. Meet New People

Forging connections can help you in both your career and your personal life. It’s time to fill your life with positive people who support the new you. These people can be met in a variety of places, which should add some interesting experiences to your new lifestyle. Make sure to only frequent places wherein you’ll find like-minded supportive individuals.

For example, if part of your reinvention is spiritual, try introducing yourself to some friendly new faces at church. If your reinvention is focusing on the physical, look to meet active people on nature walks and hikes, as well as at the gym. Finally, if your reinvention is primarily about work, look for connections on LinkedIn, or ask your boss to refer you to some new clients.

5. Put the Past Behind You and Follow Your Dreams

You can’t move forward with a new life if you’re being held back by your old one. It’s time to put away the past and embrace the future, which is full of promise.

If you need to, seek therapy for this part of your remodel. Dealing with your personal and professional issues will help prepare you for dealing with any new issues that may arise. Your past could be holding you back from a happier, more productive future, so embrace and face the pain, deal with it, and move on.

Finally, follow your dreams. Your dreams are as unique as you are, and following them will bring untold joy and happiness into your life. Staying positive and never giving up are important to keeping a commitment to your dreams. Commit to a positive attitude, to working hard, and to redefining yourself and everyone will adore the new you!

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on April 24th, 2014 in Career, Diet and Fitness, New Directions, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in ,

18 apr

Life After Retirement: How to Make the Most of Your Golden Years

RobertCordrayYou’ve put in decades of hard work and dedication and the big day has arrived. You’ve finally retired. Many years of freedom are now in front of you, ripe for the taking.

So, now what?


It’s a question many retirees struggle with. After a lifetime of working every weekday, having so much free time on your hands requires a big adjustment. Many people simply don’t know what to do with themselves. Here are just a few suggestions that can help make your retirement years happy and rewarding.

Keep a Budget

Hopefully you’ve saved up for these years. Even if you have, the best way to make the money last is by keeping a budget. You’ll no longer have the steady stream of income flowing from a full-time career, so budgeting your expenses is a must. Once you have everything planned out, you’ll know how much you can spend on recreational activities.

Travel

Now that you don’t answer to a job, you’re free to travel the world. Think about all the countries you’ve never been to or the famous sites you’ve never seen. You can take big trips around the world or keep things a little closer to home. Either way, now is the time to get out and explore. If you have the finances for it, buying a motorhome isn’t a bad investment if you plan to be on the road for long periods of time.

Volunteer

If you have a passion for making a difference, your post-retirement years can be spent giving back to your community. Volunteering for a non-profit organization will not only keep you busy, it will help you be productive during a time when many people kick back and relax.

Read or Write

With so many hours of free time each day, you can finally get around to reading those books you’ve always wanted to check out. Or you can look into genres you’ve never really read before. Reading can also be a good way to generate new ideas for what to do with your time. As personal care company NuSkin says, “reading frequently will keep your brain engaged and open to new ideas.” In addition to reading, you can also take up writing that novel that’s always been on your mind, or you might start a blog to share your years of experience with the world.

Find a Hobby

Here’s your chance to really dedicate yourself to your life’s passions. It might also be the perfect opportunity to try out new things. Hobbies will help occupy your time and give you something to look forward to each day. Whether it’s hiking, gardenings, golf, knitting, playing cards, or music, you no longer have an excuse for putting off what you truly like to do.

Get a Part-Time Job

Yes, you may have retired from your career, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Having a part-time job doing something you really enjoy can be very fulfilling while also bringing in some extra income. It’s also a great way to meet new people and get out of the house more.

These tips are just the start of an almost endless list of possibilities for post-retirement life. Don’t let anything hold you back from pursuing what you want to do. You’ve earned these years of freedom, so make the most of them.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on April 18th, 2014 in New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

18 apr

Shoes Made from What?

RobertCordraySince early man first strapped cowhide to his feet with leather strings 8,000 years ago, the design of shoes has been evolving. As men and women have changed, so, too have the materials of which their shoes are made. Now, you can find shoes made from almost anything: animal parts, computer components, plastic grocery bags, even grass. But, that doesn’t mean you’re going to wear them.

Taxidermy for the Feet

Just as the early shoemakers began with the leather hides of animals, designer, Iris Schieferstein decided to see what kind of shoes she could design using more of the animal’s parts. Using taxidermy methods, she creates shoes made of entire doves and snakes. These shoes are both interesting and a little unsettling. They are not very popular since most people find them impractical or object on the basis of animal cruelty. Her most attention-getting shoes have been ones using horse’s hooves. These strange “Centaur-like” boots are reported to be uncomfortable and can only be worn for a very short time.

Go-Go Gadget Shoes

With today’s obsession with all things electronic and technologically advanced, it is no surprise that shoe designers have entered into the virtual world. Shoes with the capability to hold small portable devices in the shoe’s heel, such as an MP3 player or cell phone, are now on the market. These designs may seem practical, for all intents and purposes, but can also mean taking the chance of losing your device. It could also be damaged during daily wear, getting wet or becoming lodged with dirt.

“Smart shoe” technology can be seen at its most creative with Google’s “Shoogle,” an Adidas athletic shoe that incorporates “smart phone” technology. This shoe is able to track the wearer’s physical activity, voice 250 phrases of encouragement and information and talk to the contact list in the wearer’s cell phone, now that is good user experience. Unfortunately, these shoes were created by Google as an example of their capabilities and not for sale to the general public so the users won’t be able to have the experience.

Eco-Friendly Attempts

As the cry for reduce, reuse, recycle becomes louder by environmentalists everywhere, the quest to create shoes from eco-friendly products continues. Using recycled corrugated cardboard beer cartons, designer and sculptor, Mark O’Brien, creates men’s athletic and dress shoes. Although these shoes are exact replicas of designer shoes, they are intended to be used as art pieces and are impractical for wearing. Other designers are using recycled paper to make shoes, but with little luck in making ones that are durable enough for daily wear.

The “Sod Sandals” created by Yashu Kusa take going green to a new level. These flip flops include a sod insole that grows actual grass. Although you get the comfort of walking on a fresh lawn, if you’re not a plant person, take heed. They require regular plant maintenance.

Probably one of the best ideas in recycled footwear comes from Emily Bergin, who takes plastic grocery bags and creates “plarn,” plastic yarn. She uses the plarn to crochet sandals. But, although an inventive use for grocery bags, these sandals do not provide much support.

Wire shoes are also being tried by inventive footwear designers. Polly Vertity uses galvanized wire to create ladies shoes. The shoes are lightweight, but are reported to be very uncomfortable.

Fabric Seemed Like a Good Idea

With the interest in shoes such as TOMS, using fabric for shoemaking has gotten increasingly popular. The staple fabric for shoemaking has been heavy canvas, which is strong enough to withstand wear. But, there are designers trying their hand at making shoes of felt and fleece fabric. The trouble with these softer, more pliable fabrics is they cannot stand the everyday wear and tear shoes get. Fleece also makes the feet hot and stretches with wear. Primarily used for infant and baby shoes, when it comes to adult footwear, fleece is a flop.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on April 18th, 2014 in General, New Directions, Technology | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

15 apr

Mobility in the Workplace

RobertCordrayMobility in the workplace is imperative. Companies need to have physicality and technologically that makes the office fully accessible to as many individuals as possible. The culture needs to be attitudinally accessible as well. More and more companies are seeing that with planning for improved mobility, they get the best talent. Employees with disabilities have abilities, skills, and experiences that add great value to the workplace. Creating mobility in the workplace greatly enhances productivity and eliminates the barriers that can make employees feel under-appreciated.

Benefits of Workplace Mobility

  • Unified productivity between all workers.
  • Broadening the talent pool by creating environment for exceptional candidates that happen to have a disability.
  • Promoting an all-inclusive workplace culture.
  • By removing obstacles to the disabled, expand customer base to include individuals that might not have been able to access products and services.

It can also be beneficial to the brand to demonstrate an effort to include everyone in your workplace culture.

Physical Accessibility

Employers are legally bound “to provide access for an individual applicant to participate in the job application process, and for an individual employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of his/her job, including access to a building, to the work site, to needed equipment, and to all facilities used by employees.” 

This accessibility refers to common areas, work spaces that are generally used by all employees. These areas include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Handicapped spaces in parking lots
  • Entrances and exits
  • Emergency exits and fire alarms
  • Conference rooms, break rooms, kitchens and other shared spaces
  • Desks and personal work spaces
  • Hallways, stairwells, and elevators
  • Restrooms
  • Cafeterias

Technological and Electronic Accessibility

This is actually a significant aspect of mobility in the workplace that many don’t consider. Adjusting one’s information and electronic technology to accommodate the disabled is not really expensive or difficult if approached carefully with affordable solutions.

Here are areas where companies are creating accessibility for all employees:

  • Intranet and Internet information and applications
  • Electronic correspondence such as email
  • Software applications and operating systems
  • Telecommunications solutions
  • All multimedia applications
  • Desktop and portable computers
  • Any self-contained, closed products like copy machines, calculators and printers
  • Online job applications

When looking at physical, technological, and electronic mobility in the workplace, it would be a good idea to partner with consultants in accessibility. There are also resources that work with IT accessibility that will focus on technological modifications.

Consultants can help assemble a long term plan for assessing, planning and implementing accessibility solutions for persons with disabilities. This will require determining the company’s immediate and forecasted needs for current and prospective employees.

Attitudinal Accessibility

The greatest detriment to mobility in the workplace is always going to be attitudes and misconceptions. Whether intentional or not, we are all capable of creating the type of barriers that leave the disabled on the outskirts. Everything from seeing these individuals as inferior to treating them too special because of their disabilities are hindrances in many workplaces.

Employers need to engage employees. There should be forums and honest discussion about disability issues. There can also be training that maximizes understanding of disabilities. These solutions help break down misconceptions and dispel harmful stereotypes. Overall, this is going to require adept leadership skills. Supervisors and managers will be instrumental in creating the culture that supports the company goal of mobility. You can again refer to specialists in the field that know how to create environments that deal with these types of workplace barriers.

Conclusion

The disabled have plenty to offer, but only if their potential is maximized in an environment with accessibility. With workplace accommodations modified for all employees, you are guaranteed to always have the right person in the right job. Whether it’s putting in a wheelchair lift or making adjustments to workstations, creating mobility in the workplace adds value to the entire company. The Mobility Resource highlighted some of the best mobility companies to work for some include, Bank of America, Walgreens and Comcast to name a few.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on April 15th, 2014 in Career | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

08 apr

How Social Media Can Help You Start Exercising

RobertCordrayWhen it comes to fitness, social media may not immediately come to mind. After all, most people are visiting social networks while sitting at their computer or using their smartphone. Nothing about social media immediately screams “physically active,” but it’s quickly becoming a potent force in helping people lose weight and exercise. If you’re looking for a way to start your own exercise regimen, here are some tips to get you on the right path.

Motivation and Reminders

No doubt you’re already well connected to friends and family on social media. Sites like Twitter and Facebook are now regular destinations for people looking to keep up to date with what others are doing. Those same friends and family have the potential to help you set and work toward your fitness goals. If you have a goal to get out and run a mile every other day, your friends can help remind you of that fact, helping you stick with it. Social media can also be used to look for others outside of your Facebook friends. There are communities out there specifically dedicated to working out. These communities can offer consistent motivation when you lack the drive to exercise.

Instruction and Advice

Social media can also be an effective tool if you’re not sure what kind of workout you should adopt. YouTube in particular is a massive resource for finding instructional videos of workout routines or getting tips and advice on how to meet your goals. YouTube is also the home of numerous video blogs put on by regular people as they strive toward a fitter lifestyle. Like friends and communities on Facebook, these video blogs can be a motivating factor that help you understand your goals are achievable no matter how difficult things may get.

Companies on Social Media

Many companies are seeing the effect social media is having. As a result, they’re increasing their own social media presence. These include health companies, who have it in their interest to help people get healthy through weight loss and exercise. Many of these companies will send out motivational posts on Facebook or Twitter. They may also give diet and exercise advice, while providing example of workouts you could use for your routine. Personal care company Nu Skin’s Facebook page is a good example of this.

Social Exercise Networks

Some social media networks you might want to check out have been specifically built for exercise communities. They provide added motivation while also giving you a way to track your progress. Fitocracy gives out awards like badges and props whenever you reach certain goals. Traineo not only helps you track how many calories you’re burning, it puts you in touch with four other members who will serve as your motivators. MBodyment allows you to join specific workout groups while giving you access to fitness videos.

Social Media Apps

There are plenty of social media apps you can use as well. When downloaded on a smartphone or tablet, they give you daily and weekly reminders that help you keep pace with your fitness goals. In addition to giving you another way to track your progress, they also give you the chance to write your own motivational messages to save for later.

Social media is used or almost everything, so it should come as no surprise it can be quite effective when promoting fitness and exercise. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals. All it takes is for you to get started.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on April 8th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness | No comments Read related posts in , ,

08 apr

Machines Replacing Humans

RobertCordrayStarting in 1962 in the automotive industry and every decade since, machines have taken over the jobs of humans. The manufacturing process has been computerized with robotic machines that can handle repetitive tasks much quicker and more efficiently than humans. Some of the jobs that have been taken over by machinery are:

Factory Jobs

Factory jobs employed about one-third of the workforce in the United States in the 1950s. The factories produced packaged foods, refrigerators, light bulbs and hundreds of other items that were used every day. Computerized machines have boosted production allowing the factories to function around the clock while still reducing production costs. The people who were the most affected were the workers at the end of the line and the sorters. These people worked along the conveyor system and packaged the finished product.

Auto Plant Workers

The jobs men and woman did along the assembly line in an auto plant have been taken on by robots. The robots can work around the clock and not bet bored or tired. They do the work of four humans, which increases productivity and reduces costs. In Japan, and later in Detroit, 600,000 workers do the job of 2.5 million workers producing 12 million cars per year.

Farms

Technology has replaced millions of farmworkers with machines that can sense where the seeds should be planted and when the crops are ready to be harvested. Technology has also affected the food that is grown with genetically engineered plants to make it possible to get larger and larger yields.

Dairy farms also require fewer laborers because of automated milking and cleaning machines. The robots milk the cows, push feed into their pens and clean the barns. The cows are brushed and make comfortable with special lighting. These machines work every day all day and night. One person can oversee the whole operation. This type of automation is not common, but it is available and working in dairies in Holland, Denmark and France. It will eventually put hundreds of dairy workers out of a job.

Telephone Operators

Automated communication systems have replaced humans in many areas including reception, customer service and help desks. It is becoming less and less likely that consumers need to speak to a human to get the service they need, and these jobs are becoming scarce. Cell phones also do the job of taking messages, transferring calls and maintaining databases. Operators and other administrative help is no longer required. Clerical workers who wrote up and typed bills became redundant while data entry operators were employed. When a system upgrades to a digital system, the data entry employees also become redundant.

Tollbooth Collectors

Automated tollbooth collection is much more convenient and better for traffic jams during peak times. No longer do people need to sit in a booth while each car stops to pay their toll. There are now stickers that are put on windshields that are read by an overhead monitor, and the toll is taken from the car owner’s credit card. When the last tool booth collector left the job on the San Francisco, California, Golden Gate Bridge, it made national news. About 30 jobs were terminated on this bridge alone when the city made the switch to all-electronic toll collection. The systems not only collect tolls, they also alert enforcers of cars that are not enrolled or try to avoid the toll.

Cashiers

Computerized, self-checkout cashiers have not yet taken over all retail stores, but in some of the large department stores, about half of the checkout stands are automated. This trend is expected to continue, reducing the number of human cashiers. Computerized checkout not only expedites check stand operations, it also encompasses inventory control, sales analysis, pricing, labor scheduling, promotions, advertising and customer relations. The system is able to do all these things because it scans and stores information that is code marked or tagged on the merchandise.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on April 8th, 2014 in Career, Global/Social Change, Technology | No comments Read related posts in , , , , ,

03 apr

Blurring the Gender Line in the Workplace

RobertCordrayBefore the mid-twentieth century, the inclusion of women in the workforce was limited to rudimentary jobs that stereotypically depict women has house cleaners, secretaries, nurses, or roles that are otherwise secondary to the primary roles being held by men. Times have indeed changed and those lines are being blurred. Many jobs that even by today’s standards are generally taken up by men are now being tackled, with great vigor, by women.

Military

In an industry that focuses primarily on the benefits of being a man, the face of the military is changing drastically. Many women are finding the opportunities that serving in the military provides to be an asset to their education and experience. This influx has opened many new career opportunities to women that were otherwise unavailable to them not even 20 years ago. While it isn’t likely that we’ll be seeing women carrying a rifle for a Special Operations Unit in the near future, they do over many support roles that are performed dangerously close to combat.

Marketing Managers

Stereotypically, when people think of marketing managers, they will think of men that are likely to resemble that of the hit television show Mad Men. With the cocky and arrogant swagger of advertising and media giants as their role model, many women have found that adding a feminine touch to the industry is what is needed. Businesses have responded with positive results as there are many women that are now filling the role as advertising executives and marketing managers. It’s this image of the strong and independent female that many companies are looking to employ as their leaders in the new millennium and leaving those mad men images long behind them.

CEO

While a great deal of women executives move on to become the “boss lady” of the company, this role is still primarily filled by men. Where women excel in becoming the boss is that they take the reins on their own. They go head-to-head with their male counterparts as not only chief executive officers but as business owners themselves. The industries and businesses in which these women become the owners of are vast and depend on their personal training. Many simply find a niche market in an industry that they have experience in. Others will find themselves sparking their entrepreneurial spirit and developing a business from the ground up in an area that shows a demand for such things. No matter which role she takes on, it is sure to turn heads when the boss lady walks down the halls.

Information Systems Management

If there was ever an industry that has opened itself up to women, it’s those dealing with information systems. The reason for this is uncanny as working with information systems doesn’t require attributes or skills that are typically dominate in either gender. This allows for the role to be fulfilled by generally whoever fits the need. In earlier years, working with computers was extremely scientific and quite a logical process. These were two traits that were often considered uncommon among women. This stereotype has quickly been busted as more and more women become interested in computer information science and exceedingly excel in the field.

Software Developer

Along the same lines as working in the information systems management field, many women are finding software development as place to work. This especially holds true in the UX design and application development realms. Software design and development requires greater threshold for repetitive work which is part of what makes this type of work ideal for women to fulfill. Typically, women have the capabilities to be able to work with these kinds of conditions. User experience design also requires a great deal of creativity and innovative thinking. This is another character trait that women tend to carry well. Where software development was once a male dominated job, it is proving to be an ideal outlet for women to do well in.

There are several jobs that are typically dominated by men and the ones listed are surely only a short example. Overall, the number of women in the workforce has gradually increased over the decades and will continue to do so.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on April 3rd, 2014 in Career, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,

03 apr

5 Things You Need to Do When Starting a New Job

Kerrigan2So—you’ve gotten through all the interviews and you’ve landed a new job! Congratulations!

Now, you show up on your first day. Here are 5 things to do once you arrive:

#1. Touch base with your new boss. Hopefully, by now, you’ve had a conversation or two with your new boss about what is required of you, and you have a meeting scheduled for your first day. This is important not only for the obvious reasons, but also for the fact that things change fairly rapidly today. It’s important to touch base on a regular basis because the landscape can shift quite quickly, and you’ll need to adapt.

#2. Introduce yourself. Make it a point to meet as many co-workers as possible. I have spoken at colleges, and students always ask me “What’s one of the first things I should do?” This is it.

Reach out your hand, make eye contact, and say “Hi, I’m [insert your name], it’s a pleasure to meet you.” It’s that simple. There’s no better way to get to know your new team, and for them to get to know you.

#3. Ask what people do, and how you’ll be working together. First—it demonstrates interest. Second, it helps you get your bearings–the people and processes around you. Most of all, it builds your confidence because you are doing one the most important things you will ever need to do throughout your career: Ask questions.

#4. Listen—actively! People love to talk about themselves and their expertise—let them. In fact, encourage them. Listening actively means you’re focused the other person, and are validating what they are saying by making sure you understand them. Using phrases such as, “Let me see if I have this straight in my mind,” helps the process.

Often we’re so busy thinking about the next thing we’re going to say that we miss important information. By actively listening, you not only show respect, you learn. And, you begin to build important working relationships and knowledge that improve your confidence and performance.

And finally…

#5. Be sure you understand the main purpose of your company. It’s odd how often businesses and employees miss this, and yet, it’s so important because it impacts everything you do. You need to know the promises your company makes in order to understand your part in keeping them. It connects you to something higher than just “a job,” and gives your new position meaning. It all falls into place when you understand the goal.

Copyright 2014 Michelle Kerrigan

Michelle Kerrigan is an expert in workplace confidence and performance who has been helping businesses and professionals grow strong and successful for over three decades. More at www.michellekerriganinc.com and www.workplaceconfidence.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Michelle Kerrigan on April 3rd, 2014 in Career, General, Global/Social Change, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,

02 apr

The Rights of the Physically Disabled in America: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

RobertCordrayNot all that long ago in America, people with physical disabilities were seen as second-class citizens. While the non-disabled sympathized with their plight, the main consensus was that if physically “handicapped” people wanted to function in the real world, it was they who would need to adjust. Society was not going to go out of its way to accommodate their special needs.

Fortunately, circumstances for those with physically disabilities have improved dramatically over the past several decades. Societal adaptation and technological advancements have empowered the physically challenged to live more normal and fulfilling lives through greater mobility and access. But that change didn’t happen overnight. Here’s a brief look at where we’ve been and hopefully where we’re headed in terms of the rights of disabled people in America.

Smith-Fess Vocational Rehabilitation Act

In the early part of the 20th century, people with physical disabilities lived lives of social and physical isolation, not only due to their inability to get around on their own but also out of fear of public ridicule. Then came the end of World War I, and the return of soldiers who faced dire futures due to physically incapacitating war injuries. Congress came to the aid of disabled soldiers by enacting the Smith-Fess Vocational Rehabilitation Act, an act that was amended after each successive war to better reflect changes in public perceptions of people with disabilities and to encompass new treatments and rehabilitation protocols. Although initially designed to come to the aid of veterans, civilians also came to benefit from the act as well.

The FDR administration

With Franklin Roosevelt’s election to the presidency in 1932, physical disability gained a prominent new address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. At a time when most Americans looked down on the disabled, Roosevelt, who despite being crippled by polio, helped to change public perceptions by showing that those with disabilities can lead full and productive lives despite their limitations.

Polio and the D.H.E.W.

Through Roosevelt, Americans came face-to-face with polio. And the great polio epidemics of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s also made physical disability of civilians more visible to the public as people from all walks of life fell victim to the crippling disease. In 1954, the new Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was created to better address and meet the rehabilitative needs of all Americans. Although no legislation had yet been enacted to make buildings more accessible to the disabled, clearly the public’s attitudes and perceptions towards those with disabilities were changing for the better .

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

In 1961, the American National Standards Institute published and distributed a new standard for “Making Building Accessible to and Useable by the Physically Handicapped.” Hailed for setting standards that builders could look to for making buildings friendlier to disabled people, the ANSI standard failed to be adopted, as doing so by builders was strictly voluntary. Four years later, the government got serious by establishing the National Commission on Architectural Barriers, an organization that after three years of study issued a report directing attention to the prevalence of physical barriers and called for their removal. It was the commission’s conclusion that, “the greatest single obstacle to employment for the handicapped is the physical design of buildings and facilities they must use.”

1960’s Civil Rights Movement

During the period of racial unrest that gave rise to the civil rights movement, the movement to recognize the rights of other minorities, such as those with physical disabilities, was also born. Gaining momentum over the years, the movement gave rise to other legislation, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973—which finally gained teeth in terms of government enforcement through a 1978 amendment—and has helped steer America towards present-day practices and policies, such as the Americans With Disabilities Act. That landmark legislation has at last given those with physical disabilities the hope of leading full and productive lives.

With advances in technology, the future is looking even brighter for the physically challenged. New discoveries in prosthetics, robotics and other related fields are allowing people with disabilities to walk, run, drive automobiles, join the workforce, and participate in other normal tasks that were once considered impossible. Perhaps someday in the not too distant future, words like “disabled” and “physically-disadvantaged” will fall out of favor, as the subset of people they once described will no longer exist in the real world.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on April 2nd, 2014 in Career, Health, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , , , ,