Categories
Health

Rethinking Traditional Thanksgiving

Do you and your family and friends gather for a traditional Thanksgiving?  What does traditional mean these days during the holidays? Here are some traditions the media provides and how to rethink what “tradition” means this year for our planet.

Turkey at Thanksgiving

We have all endured high food prices with inflation this year. We are paying 30, 40 and sometimes 50% more for the same products this year!  The average turkey this year will cost about $1.99 per pound, up 73% from last year. Instead of turkey, does your family enjoy other main courses?

Consider lower cost cuts of meat or vegan options which also help the environment and our climate crisis. Have you considered enjoying vegetarian sides without a main dish protein?  A recent study in the United Kingdom states every meal without meat you save about 30% on your grocery bill. The ethical reasons to eat vegan are also important. Just consider the lasting effect for our children and grandchildren when you pass on turkey this year.

Black Friday

Shopping has changed over the years. I remember standing in line to buy a coveted gaming system or the “must have” toy for my kids.  Deals for the holidays now start as early as October and feeds into society’s need for consumption.

I do not stand in line for anything anymore, especially for retailers to take my money. I think before I purchase. Again, consider the environment and the actual usefulness of a product before you buy it. Think about upcycling items to prolong their use. Finally, think about the money you save when you stop overspending and buying needlessly every holiday.

Time with Family

The holidays, especially Thanksgiving, is a time to be with your family. I’m thinking the Hallmark movie with the happy ending. But, like real life, families are complicated on so many levels. You should never feel pressured to be with someone you don’t feel comfortable with, family or not.

You need to enjoy your holiday while still having boundaries especially from those who love you. So, what I’m saying is, it’s okay if you shake things up and try something new this year.  Have Thanksgiving dinner at lunch time this year.

If the weather permits have your meal outside on the patio or better yet at a close friend’s home.  If there is a neighbor that is alone this year, invite them to enjoy your celebration. The holidays should bring peace and comfort to you, not stress and chaos.

Reach out and enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!

Categories
career Health

Major Life Changes

The pandemic has forced some people to re-evaluate not only their life but their livelihoods, and values as well. Would you like to change careers or just make a major adjustment in your life? Read on for tips on how to ease into making major changes and how to recognize signs to start now.

How Important Is It?

According to James Clear, major changes in life are determined by your attitude and the importance placed on the change. For some people having a child or changing jobs is a huge decision. While others don’t put as much importance on those factors in life.  It really depends on you, your partner, and your unique circumstances.

How that change will affect you and your family is also another overriding factor influencing the decision to make a change.  A child in the family is not only a time and energy commitment but it’s also very expensive. You’ll need a safe home, financial security, and a means to raise the child. All these factors when examined might scare some would-be parents. For others, having a new baby is more of an emotional decision.

When is the Right Time

How do you know if change needs to happen in your life?  There are a few red flags to look out for especially when others are affected in your circle. Is your mental and physical health in decline, due to work life balance?  Do you feel “stuck” with no place to go?  Are you picking up detrimental habits that are damaging your health? Excessive alcohol use, overeating, or overspending are a few habits that come to mind.

If you answer “Yes,” to one of these questions, it might be time to re-evaluate what’s causing the negative patterns.   Normally, if a two-week, relaxing vacation or change of scenery does not help, a major shift needs to occur.

How to Start

Start off by acknowledging your feelings, good and bad. Talk with your partner, parent, or a trusted person to discuss your situation. Break down what’s happening in more manageable objectives. Always remain positive, even if the situation looks bleak. Staying calm, working on a solution, and having a goal starts the process. Working towards the solution and outcome will gradually help you feel more in control and better about the situation.

But understand, major changes take time and energy to work through the entire process. Sometimes just acknowledging you need “something” different is enough for some folks to feel better. Hope this finds you well!

Check out my personal website for more living well articles.

Categories
career Librarian & Entrepreneurship Library Leadership

Resumes

The first step in any new job hunt or career change is to freshen up or create a new resume. Here are proven tips from Jenny Foss to make your resume stand out for that next interview.

Skills and Value

Highlighting your unique skills and the value you bring the company is the first step in creating a resume. Use a resume template that is easy to read and uses all the real estate on the page.  That said, make sure your resume is no more than two pages in length. Be sure to use an 11 or 12 size font for easy reading by the reviewer. Only include “technology proficiencies” if you can fit it easily on the second page.

Depending on your industry, it is usually understood that the average applicant is knowledgeable in Microsoft applications, etc. However, if you are a whiz with WordPress then absolutely include this in your “Skills Section.” Your value and job skills need to be near the beginning of your first page and highlighted.

Employment Gaps

With the recent pandemic, many job seekers will have gaps in employment for various reasons. Handling gaps depends upon your specific situation, such as childcare, relocation for a spouse, or being laid off. Explaining the gap depends upon the amount of time that has elapsed, the industry, and if you’re changing careers. There are many ways to address gaps on a resume. Be prepared to tell your story at the interview in a succinct manner.

Grammar and Organization

Finally, proofread your resume very carefully. Have another person review and proofread for typos and continuity. A recent poll on LinkedIn stated that hiring managers felt that zero mistakes or typos should appear on resumes. Be sure your organization follows the template so the most prominent skills in the job description match the skills on your resume. Don’t lie. Rather, match words that will help the resume scanning software place you in the “A” pile to interview.

Review the job description carefully and be sure to tailor your resume for each job. The ATS or applicant tracking system will thank you, and you will land that coveted interview. Include the keywords that are used in the job posting on your resume for best results.

Finally, save your resume as a PDF and word document.  Different companies use different formatting when resumes are submitted online. Always double check your download before you click submit for the cleanest and most reader-friendly resume.   Good Luck!

Follow my personal website for more living well articles.

Categories
career Librarian & Entrepreneurship

Halloween Costumes

Halloween is right around the corner, and that means dressing up in costume for some people. Check out some ideas to make your Halloween costume for 2022 easy, fun, and friendly for all work environments.

Traditional Halloween

When you think Halloween you think, pumpkins, witches, zombies, and monsters.  These costumes will work, but what if you work in a school, nursing home, or other public setting? You need to be mindful of toy weapons, fake blood, and scary costumes. These props don’t always translate well for all crowds.

If you decide to dress up in a traditional costume, make sure your clothing is modest without toy knives or guns.  Keep blood and gore to a minimum too. Finally, make sure your costume (including hats and shoes) allows you to move freely. You need to be comfortable and still be able to do your job Halloween day. Have fun, but also think of others.

Pop Culture

Another idea for a fun Halloween costume is what’s trending on Instagram or Tik Tok. Usually popular streaming shows, like “Stranger Things” or classic television like the “Flintstones” or the “Grinch” are hits.  These costumes are popular with families and large groups to coordinate with a theme.

Be mindful of the time involved to gather props, even if you’re dressing up like a simple TV character.  Begin your search now, so come October 31st, you’ve got all the items you need to complete your costume.

The NO Costume, Costume

I’m referring to folks that don’t like dressing up, but still want to participate in work or school costume contests. You either didn’t give yourself enough time or decided last minute to dress up.  Here is a list of easy to throw together DIY costume ideas to try last minute:

  1. Tourist – Hawaiian shirt, camera or lei, shorts, sandals, and a straw hat
  2. Pirate – White shirt, black pants, red bandana, and a stuffed parrot if you’ve got it
  3. Ghost – Come on, do I have to tell you about the sheet with holes?
  4. Librarian – Pants or skirt, cardigan sweater with a broach or bow tie, glasses if you’ve got them, carrying a stack of books. Don’t forget to “shush” people all day if you must.

These are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Check out Pinterest for more Halloween costume ideas and have a ball this year dressing up!

For more living well inspiration check out my website: KathyHusserTempe.com

Categories
career

Benefits of Pets

Working and learning a new job have changed dramatically for some industries. If you are fortunate enough to work from home, how do you maintain a healthy work life balance? I’ve found caring for a pet, especially a dog has many advantages. Below are a few tips to consider if you’d like to be a pet owner.

Cat or Dog, Ferret?

Remembering why you are getting a new pet is the first step. Is it for company while working remotely?  Do you need something to care for to help you deal with remote working and the culture change?

Knowing that a cat is much more independent than a dog is your first lesson. Most cats don’t seek out your attention and don’t require daily maintenance. Furthermore, cats do not need to be let out for potty breaks.  Hello kitty litter and a different way of living.

Dogs, on the other hand, require a great deal more individualized care and attention. As a puppy, you have an infant dog for two to nine months. You will need to teach them about walking, playing safely and potty training. Living with a yard, is also much more ideal for a dog than a cat.

Think about your home, lifestyle, and reasons for a pet, before deciding on a cat or dog.  You might even consider a more unconventional pet, such a gerbil or ferret. Please do your research on these pets before making a trip to PetsMart.

Lifetime commitment

Committing to a pet is for their lifetime. This could be anywhere from 10-20 years depending upon the animal and breed. There is a cost involved with that commitment. Not only a monetary cost but a huge time commitment on your part. Think about your flexibility and ability to care for a pet, even when your life and job need attention.

Do you have someone to care for your pet while on vacation or the resources to board them? Are you willing to forgo vacations in lieu of having a four-legged family member?

Think long and hard of the benefits and your expectations before you commit to a pet long term. Consider pet sitting before you adopt or contact pet agencies.

A pet is a great stress reliever as research has shown us. However, you need to be prepared to welcome your pet into your family with open arms and sound expectations.

Follow my personal website for more living your best life ideas: KathyHusserTempe.com

Categories
Health Travel

Best Fall Hikes

As the leaves change and temperatures get cooler, what better way to celebrate than with a weekend fall hike. Here are the best areas for fall hikes to suit any experience level.  Give yourself a boost of autumn spirit and enjoy the great outdoors this autumn.

New England 

New England has such diverse landscape, starting in Maine (one of my “bucket list” vacations) and running the length of Connecticut. The four states in between are Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Every state offers up moderate to strenuous hikes near water or wilderness depending on your endurance.

An easy to moderate hike in Massachusetts loved by artists and nature lovers is Bish Bash Falls. Two miles to enjoy scenery and the biggest waterfall in the state! For a more challenging hike, Mount Mansfield in Vermont will give you breathtaking views near Lake Chaplain. The 6-mile roundtrip hike has been known to have the very best views in the state. With the elevation change be prepared with warmer clothes as you reach the summit and colder temperatures.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains have an abundance of wilderness trails mixed with amenities to make your fall excursion perfect for any age. Trails range from level walking paths to bike and board trails for all ages. There are also nature walks, to help you and your family identify plants and the surrounding wildlife easily. Finally, due to the elevation of the park, your hike can show you some of the best fall foliage near the East Cost of the United States.

Southwest Arizona

If you live in the southwestern region of the United States, you have many choices to experience the changing leaves. Enjoying the crisp fall weather is only a short drive away to northern Arizona. Sedona, Flagstaff and along the Mogollon Rim all have the advantage of being close the urban center of Phoenix. These towns offer some of the best nature walks with only a two-hour drive north.

Humphrey’s Peak Trail is considered an easy 4.5-mile hike reaching an elevation gain of about 3500 feet.  The highest point of the peak is 12,000 feet, so be aware of the elevation change and plan accordingly. Temperatures will also be much cooler when you reach the summit so for all hikes pack warm clothing and the appropriate amount of water and food.

Categories
Travel

Fall Foliage

If you’re like me, I love the cooler weather that autumn brings. A quick weekend trip to refocus and rejuvenate is a healthy stress reliever too.  Finding the changing leaves and fall foliage are always a beautiful travel getaway, and you should plan now. Here are the best locations to see fall colors and the changing leaves near you. Be sure to enjoy those crisp, cool nights too!

Northeast United States

The most colorful spots to view the changing fall colors are listed on this map.  New England with its higher altitudes and much lower temperatures, compared to the rest of the United States, will bring out the reds, yellow and oranges in the hillside landscapes. Why do the leaves change? The chlorophyll breaks down in trees  due to the cooler weather. The green color in a leaf fades to make way for the bright autumn colors like orange, red, and yellow.

Be sure to plan your getaway between September 20th and October 11th for the very best viewing of colors changing near you.   Remember, the colors are at peak during early October and will vary by elevation and tree type. As you progress South, colors will be vibrant through mid-October.

State by State

A more comprehensive map by the Farmers’ Almanac encompasses all the states, for you to narrow down your travel plans. Even in my home state of Arizona, the leaves change in the Northern part of the state of Sedona and Flagstaff. These higher elevations are prime locations to view fall colors not seen on the desert floor of Phoenix.

National Parks

Our National Parks are also a terrific way to sneak in a fall break vacation with the kids and enjoy the changing seasons. 15 of the top locations for fall foliage are in National Parks.  Roads and amenities are still easily accessible for the most part, during the September and October timeframe. Take advantage of less crowded accommodations and campsites this autumn and make your trip to see Mother Nature in action!

Categories
career Health

Happiness Hacks

After the past two years, we are all looking for happiness and contentment in our “post pandemic” lives. Read on for simple happiness hacks that are proven to work to bring joy into your life.

Social Connections

Creating social connections and other positive habits, research has shown, rewires your brain toward positivity and success.  Known as positive intelligence, the research points to the happiness and consistent habits leading you toward successful outcomes.

It can be as simple as journaling three happy thoughts of gratitude daily. In addition, reaching out to your friends and family to find support has shown to improve happiness levels. Give it a try for a few weeks and see the results. Think what you could gain.

Gratitude

This leads to the next hack and that is showing gratitude daily. No matter your circumstances, you have reasons to be grateful. After reading, Thank and Grow Rich from an article I read in Elephant Journal, my life was changed. This simple exercise of looking for the positive and being grateful every day is easy to make a habit.

The book is filled with funny, well-written, real-life examples of the world opening up when you show gratitude. Just like the saying goes, “Open yourself up and the world provides.” (Or something like that.) But you get the idea.

In addition, the book, “The Secret” is also written along those same lines. While this book is more spiritual in nature, the message is the same. You need to be grateful and present by asking for what you want, and it comes to you. The opportunities present themselves to you to fulfill those needs.

Resilience

Finally, another common aspect of happiness is resilience. If nothing else, the pandemic has given us skills to succeed in the face of uncertainty. These skills build a resilient mind, body, and drive you to keep moving forward. Finally, resilient people are happier, more confident and see the positive even during difficult challenges.

Furthermore, it has been proven, no matter your social standing or economic means. It’s like your muscles, to build them up, you need to use them daily! You need to build a resilient attitude, then you will lead a happier and more content life.

Give a few of the happiness hacks a try and practice them daily. You will be glad you did!

More living well tips at be found on my personal website: KathyHusserTempe.com

Categories
career Library Jobs

Work Balance

With the pandemic came a greater need to understand work life balance and how it affects families. Read on for ideas to keep your career on track and a healthy balance at home.

Stop Multitasking

Women are more prone to multitask more than men. However, none of us can complete two tasks at once. You end up doing two tasks, half-way or having to redo something else. In other words, focus on one thing at a time. Whether it’s answering email, phone calls, or watching your kid’s soccer game. Do one and only one thing at a time.

You’d be amazed how much you can accomplish if you concentrate on one task, complete it, and move on.  I’m a mom too, so I understand the feelings.  Stop multitasking now for a healthier lifestyle.

Lists Are Your Friends

Write down what you need to do. Whether it’s in your google calendar, a paper list, or in Notes; write it down. When you write something down, it gives your brain permission to move on. You are not “holding on” to the item in your head. You can clear the way for other tasks that come up.

It might be important to pick up dog food or prepare for a work meeting but don’t give each task equal importance. Write it down and cross it off when completed.  Have a work list and home list to keep things simple or color code your task list.

Plan Time to Relax

Just as you would plan for your work meeting, block off down time at home. As a super achiever this is important, so you don’t burn out. Self-care and taking time for yourself is the most important task you can do for your family and you.

Your immune system will thank you and your gratitude level will increase with self-care. If you find it difficult to “unwind” check out some reaffirming daily reminders to help.  Having reminders of what you have, (not what you don’t) is the very best method to find peace in life.

Pets

Finally, get a dog or cat for companionship. Research has shown that petting a dog or cat reduces a human’s anxiety level immediately. Pets are relaxing and allow you to focus on something other than work or other distractions. Taking care of an animal opens up empathy for other creatures and nurturing skills.

For more living well ideas check my personal website: KathyHusserTempe.com

 

Categories
Librarian & Entrepreneurship Library Jobs Library Leadership

Goalsetting for Your Career


Goalsetting is a useful tool to guide your career in any industry, especially in libraries. Read on for tools to help in setting goals and developing your career plan for future growth. With work- place cultures changing due to COVID, realigning your goals now might be right for you.

Gap Analysis

A standard gap analysis determines your current status, and where you’d like to end up. The gap or what’s missing is in the middle. Does this gap need to be filled with education, another job, increased salary, or a new geographic asset? Only you can determine what is the most important factor and how to obtain your goal. Having your plan benchmarked with SMART goals and establishing a plan to close gaps will get you there. Smaller goals should build upon one another to fill the gaps and ultimately help you achieve your main career objective.

Mentors

Finding a trusted mentor you can rely on will help in your career plan. Finding more than one will help even more, especially if a few are outside of your industry. Jobs and careers are made with relationships and connections. Networking and finding mentors might be a little more difficult with more industries working remotely. However, volunteering for service events, attending conferences, and adding value in your current job, position you as a leader. Mentors are drawn to natural leaders, so just ask if you feel a connection with a colleague. The more genuine connections you make with people, the more likely you will find someone to help you.

Use LinkedIn

Finally, use LinkedIn and use it a lot. If your partner’s career dictates your geographic location and possibly your career goals now, then pivot. What I mean is, what smaller achievements can you accomplish which will help you get toward that larger career goal. Think about teaching, volunteering, or shadowing someone in your desired industry or job. Anything to make yourself more valuable to a future employer will help you in the long run. To overcome a geographic obstacle be sure to link with colleagues in your desired location. You never know what opportunities might open or when you might make a physical move.

Having a career plan is a way to keep your goals on track, yet flexible for life. Especially with the pandemic having families rethink priorities, having a career plan in place will make you feel more in control of your future. Best of luck!