I love that so many alternatives to New Year’s resolutions are emerging. For decades I have done a yearly reflection and set intentions and a theme.  This year I am writing a full page of an affirmation daily in a special notebook (inspired by Louise Hay) relating to my theme. Since manifesting involves feeling and faith, I verbally say the affirmations with emotion as I write; if I need help believing it, I recall a time in the past when I was in that space. My theme for 2020 is Manifesting Abundance and Joy Joyfully.

Three of my affirmations this year have been:

-I serve people with authentic love and prosper.

-I welcome financial abundance from Infinite Source.

-I am already prosperous and create more.

This notebook exercise is a self-designed 10-week course related to financial prosperity, though, abundance means more, of course, than money: good health, love, friendships, etc. My home equity loan for a $10,000 roof last year has been a personal motivator!

A few years ago, I created an affirmation from a five-step process that was quite helpful when I said it daily with emotion and belief. I share it with you as an example in case prosperity is on your intention list this year:

“I attract financial abundance of all types, including work that is of service to others, effortless, and deeply meaningful to me and uses my gifts optimally.”

It has been invigorating to read prosperity wisdom from many sources, which come from deep spiritual and psychological perspectives.  It is also exciting to think about how I can use more of my prosperity to bring joy to others as well as me.

I wish you inspiration and insight as you create and manifest intentions that bring you joy this year!

P.S. If you know anyone who wants to be happier in their career/job or more successful their job search, I am grateful for referrals.

My October newsletter featured a favorite inspirational musician, Eddie Watkins Jr. In the New Year’s spirit, I’d like to share his catchy, energizing song from his Heartsongs CD that is in the form of an affirmation; click here to hear “Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, Whole”. The song also includes meaningful words of gratitude. In case you missed the song I shared earlier, click here for “I’m Saying Yes to Life.” Sounds like another good way to start the year and new decade!

Consider starting the New Year by supporting artists. Click here for Eddie’s web page and here for additional music.

Another alternative to setting resolutions and goals came to my inbox from Robert Holden. He shared this sentence from A Course in Miracles: “A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plan that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own.”  These are the four spiritually oriented-questions, he suggests to ask:

-How shall I follow my heart?

-What does God wish for me this year?

-What does my Angel (Angel Guides) was me to focus on this year?

-What does my Soul most want for me this year?

If this spiritual language does not fit your orientation, consider using “heart” in each sentence…or inner wisdom, inner guidance, intuition.

Set aside some quiet time, then listen.

Is there a co-worker or client who treated you poorly? Or a supervisor who passed you over for a promotion?  Or perhaps you were terminated from your job and still feeling resentment or anger? Whether in work or personal life, the act of forgiveness is for you, to set you free of resentment and bondage. Not forgiving someone or an institution gives them power over you. It can affect you emotionally, mentally and physically.  In the job search, the emotions of resentment or victimhood can seep out, including during networking attempts.  On your job, the negative emotions may contaminate the good work you do and impact your progress as well as your happiness.

Forgiving isn’t excusing poor behavior or seeing it as acceptable. Ask yourself if reliving or holding on to the past is helpful to you.  You can choose to forgive someone directly or within your heart.

If you feel a barrier to forgiveness, consider this alternative affirmation (by Anthony Diaz from the December 2018 Guide for Spiritual Living) to release your pain and open space for more positive things in your life:

“I release and move through this experience and the power it has over me easily and effortlessly. I let go of any pain or hurt I felt, knowing it no longer serves me or my life. I am open to those experiences that serve and support me on my journey.”

May this season of Light bring you insight to forgive and begin the year with more Lightness.

Give yourself the gift of inspiration this season with A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood movie. With so much incivility in society and in the workplace, Fred Rogers provides a muchneeded model of kindness. This drama has meaning and depth, eliciting both laughter and tears. It is based on the true story of Fred Rogers helping a jaded magazine writer overcome his skepticism and learn about kindness and forgiveness.  Don’t just take it from me; Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a 95% positive rating.

A friend of mine initially thought she didn’t want to see it since she already saw the documentary and didn’t want to see anyone but Fred play Fred. But Tom Hanks did a masterful job once he mastered slowing down his fast-paced style to Rogers almost overly thoughtful and slow-paced style.  It is a chance to see how Fred Rogers was in real life with adults, including a behind the scene view of comedy and conflict on the studio set.  Plus there are some clever artistic elements thrown in.

As a bit of a Fred Rogers geek, I loved reading the articles and seeing the interviews leading up to the movie.  Here is a link to the original 1998 Esquire Magazine article written by Tom Junod, which is the inspiration of the story.  Significant parts of the article are reflected in the movie, including a scene where adults and children of all ages on a subway broke out into spontaneously singing It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

More interesting background is this University of Pittsburgh article about how Fred Rogers was influenced and mentored by child psychologist and Pitt faculty member, Margaret McFarland.  

Here is a link to Fred Rogers quotes from my last article about him: What Would Mister Rogers Do?

I was graced with the creative gifts of my church friends at my 60th birthday dance party. They crowned me Dancing Queen and serenaded me with personalized lyrics to that song, preceded by a memorable poem about me.

What creativity might be in you to be manifested, whether in your career or personal life?

After their gift, I shared a favorite song by Motown artist, Eddie Watkins, Jr. that speaks to creativity and enthusiasm for life.

“What are we gonna create today?

The universe is ready to play.

Spirit surely will lead the way.

Just say Yes.”

The lyrics are from his song, “I’m going to Say Yes to Life.” Eddie has recorded with Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Diana Ross, the Pointer Sisters, among others.

What might you be ready to say Yes to?  If you would like to explore more career enthusiasm and creativity, I’d love to help.

I enjoyed creating my birthday party, “Dancing through the Decades with Karen.” From Dancing in the Moonlight on the back deck to a grand finale of Katy Perry Firework with sparklers, creativity sparked my energy.

Inspired treats were a Buy Local theme, featuring products from the Swissvale Farmers Market and four Swissvale restaurants.

Related to the buy local theme of my party, I stumbled on beautiful mandala products the week before at a Mind Body Spirit Fair, and purchased four lovely coasters with quotes on the back.  Artist, Mara Carlini, shared that her art came from creating a mandala for her wedding for guests to sign.  From experiencing the powerful energy of the messages in her home, she was inspired to create pieces infusing them with specific intentions during the creation process.

I met another inspiring artist during my 60th birthday vacation retreat on Lake Erie in Cleveland. Walking into the warehouse-sized Waterloo 7 Studio/Gallery, I felt I was in another world. Jerry Schmidt takes used materials and recycles them into mind blowing, often larger than life sculptures.  Jerry told me he was drawn to this work from seeing his father only be happy when he was in his artist studio.  He shared that instead of going to bed concerned about troubles, he drifts off thinking about creative art possibilities.

My Air BnB vacation spot was hosted by Cindy Barber, owner of Beachland Ballroom in the Waterloo Arts District of Cleveland. Another creative visionary.  After big unhappy changes at her employment, Cindy purchased an old Croatian club in 2000 where she cofounded this music venue that hosts performers from across the country on a daily basis.  This was the cornerstone of rejuvenating a section of Cleveland, creating this arts district.  It was during a monthly Walk All Over Waterloo that I met Jerry Schmidt and many other artists.  Cindy’s made a real difference in her community.

What might you like to create in your career, your community, your life?  I’d love to help you explore your passions and talents.

As for me….I’m excited about the next decade and saying YES to life!

There’s no magic crystal ball showing the jobs of the future. However, my respected colleague, Jim Peacock, wrote an excellent newsletter in July about the future of work with fascinating links I want to share.

My favorite is from the World Economic Forum even though it is 18 months old. The article, 4 Predictions for the Future of Work, shares this (in the article’s exact words):

  1. AI and robotics will create more jobs, not mass unemployment — as long as we responsibly guide innovation
  2. Cities will compete against other cities in the war for top talent
  3. The majority of the US workforce will freelance by 2027
  4. Education breaks out of the silo

Click HERE for the complete article.

The other three articles that are worth a read are:

It’s all a reminder that no jobs are secure, and we need to be doing career planning on an ongoing basis.

Introducing yourself to new people or making an introduction to someone new doesn’t have to be awkward.  A few simple steps and phrases will serve you in any circumstance, whether socially, at the office, or at a networking event. Also read on for help when you forget someone’s name.

To introduce someone to someone else:

  1. Start with the name of the most important person.  In business, this would be the person at the highest seniority level for internal introductions.  If one of the people is a customer, client or guest, that person is the most important, so start with their name.  Socially, importance is often based on age.
  2. Use introducing phrases. Examples would be “I’d like to introduce _______” Or “please meet___.”   More common language may be “I’d like to introduce you to ______” Or I’d like you to meet _____. “
  3. Share brief, relevant background of each. This might include job titles or role, business at hand, or a segue into a conversation.

Example: Ms. Client, I’d like to introduce you to Sam Smith who is Vice President of Sales.  Ms. Client, is Supply Chain Manager at ABC company and is here for a meeting about our new XYZ product line.

Example: Mayor Jones, I’d like to introduce you to my colleague, Sally Singh, who is Director of Community Relations for our bank.  We were just talking about what a nice event your town is hosting.

Proper etiquette is to not use first names until invited to do so.  Norms can vary by industry and organizational culture.  Public officials and religious leaders should always be addressed by their title until invited otherwise.

Introducing yourself:

You may need to do this at a meeting, networking event or if someone is not making the introduction:

Example: Hello, my name is Hello, my name is Nora Numbers, a staff accountant. Welcome to ABC&D. (or How do you do or It’s nice to meet you)

Example: Hi my name is Fred Fundraiser from ABC agency.  I don’t believe we’ve met yet.

If you forget names:

Do something rather than hope the person hovering will go away or that someone will save you.

Example: I’d like to introduce you to Markita, who is one of our staff attorneys. (Markita will likely then extend a handshake and the guest whose name you forgot will introduce him/herself by name.)

Example: Mr. Client, I’d like to introduce you to one of our sales team members.  I’m so sorry, but I blanked on your name even though I remember we worked together on the ABC rollout. (And that person will then introduce him/herself.)

For more help in negotiating business etiquette in social situations, consider engaging me for my workshop: Power Mingling: Network with Ease and Effectiveness.  It is highly interactive and includes mock reception exercises. Click HERE for a small excerpt that is more in keynote format.

Is the local economy starting to slow down?  A Pittsburgh Business Times study reported in its most recent issue that there was an 18% decline in job vacancies posted by the 50 largest Pittsburgh region employers, comparing this July to last July. Keep in mind it’s always better to explore a career or job change in a good market than a tight one.

According to the analysis, 26 employers had fewer openings and 21 had more. The decrease is in multiple industries, including banking, manufacturing, hospitality, and retail. Healthcare postings are still up. Elsewhere in the article, a report by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development noted that data science and IT roles continue to be the region’s fastest growing occupations in addition to healthcare. Artificial intelligence, operations, civil engineering, and personal financial advising were also cited as in demand in this issue of the PBT.

Despite some news of a slow-down, data from the PA Department of Labor and Industry show that the Pennsylvania unemployment rate was just 3.8 percent in June 2019, down from 4.2 percent in June 2018.  The Allegheny Conference on Community Development’s “2017-18 Inflections Point” report shows projections of a shortage of up to 80,000 workers by 2025 due to Baby Boomer retirements.

For help in navigating education, career, or job choices, consider career coaching to help save time and energy and avoid mistakes.

A January 2019 article by SUCCESS Magazine referenced a study that found that simply the presence of a smartphone reduces “available cognitive capacity and impairs cognitive functioning, even though people feel they’re giving their full attention and focus to the task at hand.” Get smart about your smartphone!

Keep reading for a link to the article and complimentary handout.  Since the article gave the 3 C’s of Smartphone Etiquette at the office, I thought I would briefly share my Top 10 Digital Etiquette Best Practices from a tips sheet I give out during my business etiquette and professional training sessions:

  1. Refrain from texting during a meeting or dinner
  2. Test texting waters
  3. Text primarily when response time is important
  4. Safer to avoid abbreviations
  5. Proofread
  6. Include a clear, direct subject line
  7. Keep emails short
  8. Refrain from Reply All
  9. Participate and give feedback on social media
  10. Use a personal, customized message for invitations

If you would like the complete one-page handout I am happy to share it with you. Just reply back with the subject line: Digital Etiquette Tips Sheet Please.  If you know of an organization that would benefit from increased professionalism (often sales teams, leadership programs, associations, and accounting and law firms), I would love to hear from you about that too. My most popular programs are:

  • Power Mingling: Network with Ease and Effectiveness
  • Dining Etiquette: Command New Confidence at Your Next Business Lunch
  • You Did What? Cultural Social Graces for International Travel

Click HERE for a link to the SUCCESS Magazine article.