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!

Over the years when I hosted World Gratitude Day Pittsburgh, I would send along quotes. I was surprised by the positive feedback and how people were sharing them with others. I’ve compiled my favorite quotes and offer them to you as a thank you for reading my news and being willing to stay connected with me. Feel free to copy and use the quotes as well as the slide I created.

“I cannot tell you anything that, in a few minutes, will tell you how to be rich. But I can tell you how to feel rich, which is far better, let me tell you firsthand, than being rich. Be grateful…It’s the only totally reliable get- rich-quick scheme.” Ben Stein

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” Johannes A. Gaertner

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” Denis Waitley

“Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.” Alfred Painter

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” Cicero

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
Albert Schweitzer

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
John F. Kennedy

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” William Faulkner

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” Anthony Robbins

“Change the conversation of the world by dwelling on what’s gone right.” Mary Ann Radmacher

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle

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.

A good job market is a good time to explore a career or job change.  Would you like to be happier?  It’s much easier to make a move when you aren’t worried about just hanging onto a job in a bad market.

Pittsburgh has been in the news multiple times this past year for a top job market. In January of this year WalletHub noted Pittsburgh as #15 in its list of Best Places to Find a Job from research of 180 cities.  In October 2018, Glassdoor put Pittsburgh at #1. Click here for the article.

A May 28, 2019 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article gave highlights of more good news. The Pittsburgh region has seen a record low unemployment at 3.8% in April. The good job market has resulted in overall pay rising at 5.4% compared with 1% in PA and 2.5% nationwide. Top growth industries currently are construction, leisure/hospitality, and to a lesser degree, education.

If you’ve been thinking about a next move….if not now, when? I’d be happy to help!

A way to jumpstart a job search or supplement career coaching is through the four days of programming at four branches of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.  It will include job search strategy sessions, such as tips on LinkedIn and on-line applications, and employer information sessions, including with FedEx, Rivers Casino and Duquesne Light.  The last day of the event is a Career and Community Resource Fair, featuring 20 employers and service agencies.

Registration is not necessary, but recommended.  So even if the registration period ends, you likely can still attend, but you may want to call the branch first to check.

Tuesday, March 20 – Friday, March 23

Click HERE for a link to the four branches and detailed program schedule.

Litzinger Career Consulting can help you use the information with personalized job search and networking coaching, reviews of cover letters and resumes, and video mock interviews.

I’m excited to offer this program at the Downtown and Business Branch at the Carnegie Library. Although oriented to business travel, the information is relevant to any international travel. Please pass the word, especially to people who work downtown.

You Did What? International Business Etiquette

Thursday, April 19, 2018

12:30-1:30 PM, Carnegie Library, 612 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh 15222

Have you ever said or did something in another country and received a look that made it clear you made a mistake? How do you gracefully proceed and better yet avoid that situation in the first place? Etiquette cultural norms vary widely across countries and a business traveler needs to be savvy. Etiquette trainer, Karen Litzinger, will share insights into cultural differences in greetings, body language, corporate culture, business entertainment, dress and gifts.

Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, after all it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly.” -Hasrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A. S.

If we didn’t have darkness we couldn’t experience and appreciate light. Of course, we don’t want stay in the darkness that may come with aspects of career transition, nor would we wish it on anyone.  Yet it is an understandable reality.

Sometimes anxiety or depression can overwhelm us.  Allow yourself to loosen the grip of dark times to enable you to move through it.  See and greet it as a visitor who will eventually leave. Perhaps even ask powerful questions, such as “what can I learn from you” or “how can I lessen your impact?” Listen quietly.

Often energy can be shifted by taking a small step of action.  Perhaps it could be sending a networking email or hitting the apply button on a vacancy.  Equally as important are steps for self-care, such as exercise, an inspirational reading, a favorite song or a warm bath. Or take a small step to bring light to someone, even if simply a caring word to a cashier or a thank you note for a networking meeting.  That may help invite light in and lift some darkness.

If you are in that dark space too long, then consider professional assistance to help shift your heart, mind, and spirit to enable continued healing and career progress.  Eventually the light will shine again and then you can shine your own light to help others. And just maybe your darkness will add depth to allow you to better help others whether in your career or personal life.

 

I accept darkness as part of the human condition and take steps to move forward.

©2017, Karen Litzinger, Pittsburgh, PA. May be reproduced or linked to with this statement and where possible a live link. Litzinger Career Consulting provides career coaching and speaking services. Info at KarensCareerCoaching.com