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!

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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
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
career Librarian & Entrepreneurship

Stress Free Work

The last two years has changed the way we work, learn, and interact with friends and colleagues. Read on for easy habits to help you develop resilience when working remotely.

Mindfulness

Working remotely can be lonely and even isolating if you work from another state or country. Develop a habit of clearing your mind every morning before work begins. It’s as simple as writing a To Do list and clearing your brain.

Furthermore, when you clear your mind, you are physically ready to meet challenges from work. I’m thinking examples such as, technology issues, connectivity hiccups or a very long  Zoom meeting.  Making room for these challenges enables your mind to tackle extra problems easier and be more efficient.

Get a Pet

Having a pet at your remote working location has many health benefits. Research has shown that dogs and cats reduce your heart rate, provide companionship, and alleviates feelings of isolation.

Having a cat is easier if your schedule is not as rigid. Cats can be left alone for a day or two with food and water. While dogs, require more one on one care, especially during the puppy years. Walks, playtime, and regular meals are what dogs need to thrive. The love and attention pets provide you will outweigh the time needed to provide for a healthy work companion.

Make a Major Change

With the Great Resignation a reality, consider living your dream.  What career would make you happy?  What home or lifestyle change would fulfill an unmet need in you? This is a personal, more introspective step to take, but very beneficial especially if you feel “stuck.”

Making a major change in your life, to fulfill something burning inside is a bold step. To fulfill the life you envision is life changing, to say the least. If you are not a risk taker, this can be scary. Make sure your family is on board and you have a support system in place. Finally, having a financial plan is especially important for a major change to occur and be successful.

Working remotely will not solve all your problems or make some people happier. It’s up to you understand your individual needs and live the life you desire. We all have responsibilities, but if there’s a will there’s a way.  Best of luck living your dream!

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Categories
career Health

Improving Your Growth Mindset

The term “growth mindset” is a term leaders and entrepreneurs use to discuss learning, success, and a way toward achieving goals. What is growth mindset and how can you improve it?

Flexible Thinking

The opposite of growth mindset is a fixed mindset. According to Gemma Leigh Roberts, life coach and psychologist, building mental agility and resilience is necessary to learn from life’s challenges. In other words, turning obstacles into learning opportunities, no matter how small, is growth mindset.  This flexible way of thinking and looking at life is a growth mindset.  Like any skill, growth mindset can be learned with practice.

This new perspective allows you to explore and test new ideas creating innovation and internal confidence to achieve just about anything. Whether it’s long-term goals in your career or life, the first step is being able to stretch your thinking. Knowing you can continue to develop skills, learn new ideas, and change your perspective. This will enable you to reach your potential and create cohesive teams as a leader. The first step is to develop a plan.

Develop a Plan and Practice

To cultivate your new mindset of growth and learning, you need to practice. Practice switching your perspective to take in new experiences and draw from those lessons. Being optimistic and taking risks to discover new concepts is crucial to adapting life-long learning behaviors.

To develop a personal mindset plan you will need to:

  • be flexible in your thinking
  • stretch your current abilities for achievable goals
  • establish objectives which are measurable toward those goals
  • ask for feedback along the way

Asking for feedback is so important to realize if real growth has happened, since as human beings, we have unconscious bias.

Clear and Measurable  

Being very clear in your objectives, making them quantifiable and detailed. This will provide a roadmap for your growth plan. If things don’t work out, then you must take those lessons and apply them to the next project or plan. The key to success for true evolution as a leader is taking those “disappointments” and learning from them.

Being truly resilient will lead you down a happier life path. Pivoting with the information learned is what makes us happier, healthier, and more successful the next time around. Our mindset really does matter every single day!

For more career and living well tips follow me at: KathyHusserTempe.com

Categories
career Library Leadership

Library Metrics

If your library runs on a fiscal year, June through July, have you prepared your annual report? What library metrics should you provide the Board?  Read on for tips to create an informative report full of the most impactful information.

Digital Checkouts

With the pandemic, digital checkouts have surged in libraries across the country. Provide your stakeholders statistics on eBook, DVD and music downloads. These items along with magazines are the four most popular circulating digital items. Don’t forget to add the new vendors from 2020 or other anomalies to explain large data swings.

Door Count

The number of people coming through the doors has decreased due to the public health situation. Including this number is totally up to you, but it might not be pretty. You could include new partnerships or other outreach metrics in place of the door count. Safe to say, physical visits to the library might never recover if we need to live with Covid long term.

As a leader, you need to begin to get creative about bringing folks back in. Will large public events or annual festivals drive library traffic post pandemic?  Each community is different and finding the sweet spot for public engagement is your job as library director.

Collections

What new vendors did the library add or delete?  Please include all the collections to provide an accurate overview of your library’s offerings and impact on the community. I’ve worked in library where DVDs were the number one circulating item. Other libraries had a large children’s picture book collection that drove the checkouts due to higher family populations. Tailor the report and metrics to highlight the collections’ strengths while acknowledging possible gaps.

Programs

Programming will be your library’s time to shine. Despite closures, virtual programming has taken off at most libraries nationwide and globally. Edit a bit from a virtual storytime to present during the Board meeting and share how the library was successful.

Be sure to collect data regarding re-shares along with audience size in the initial posting.  Keep a digital archive of the library programs to improve next year. Consider regular promotions of  library programs on social media platforms to reach your potential audience. This will drive customers to the building too.

Format

If you have a choice of format, I’d recommend a simple infographic. Keeping the library information to one page will keep it simple, easy to read, and easy to explain.  Finally, a variety of pictures and statistics also keeps the eye interested and readers engaged.

However, whatever format you choose, keep the report relatable to the average person by avoiding library jargon (like “circs.”) Be sure to have fun reviewing your year. You are the best person to tell the library’s story and advocate in the community. Best of luck!

For more leadership tips check out: KathyHusserTempe.com

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career

Remote Work

 

After the two-year long pandemic, we saw society change. Work cultures have changed. Many companies see advantages to remote work. However, many employers also see the disadvantages of not being in the office along with their employees. Read on for the advantages and disadvantages for working remotely.

Pros of a Home Office

If you’re a working mom or dad, you can skip this section! Having more time was the number one reason parents gave for working from home. I’m talking about parents of small children, care givers to elderly family members, and having more time for yourself. No commuting to work or dressing up, gives you more time in the morning. Remote work saves us all time since we are on Zoom meetings all day from home.

Time and energy are saved by working remotely for most employees. They love the convenience and life-work balance it’s created.  Meta has even taken it to the extreme, but results have not been fully evaluated as of this publication date. But, I’d love to work from a laptop in Hawaii or Europe!

Cons of Remote Work

However, with saving time does come a downside to never returning to the office. The lack of in person networking has seen some workers questioning promotions. The day-to-day social interaction is not there at home. Finally, the isolation you feel being along all day, even with a pet, is real for many workers. So is there a compromise?

Hybrid Working

A work model that’s popular is the hybrid model or splitting your time between your home office and the company’s location.  Hybrid work solves the issue of being in the office to socialize and network. However, depending upon the company’s culture, employees might never see one another due to the days selected in the office.

To help ease the transition, many employers are allowing the employee to determine days of the week or total days monthly in the office. If the organization is large, the times, days and hours of work can vary. Leading us back to the issue of no more birthday celebrations, victory lunches or water cooler chats with our colleagues.

What is the answer?  The jury is out on this one. Workers and employers are still dealing with this even today as Covid cases are lower and masks disappeared. Everyone agrees that when you provide a perk to workers, it’s very hard to back track and take it away.  This is a dilemma we will be talking about for a while. Let me know your thoughts on remote working and your situation.

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