Archive for Lifestyle


Life Versus Lifestyle

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There is a difference but what constitutes a life and what constitutes a lifestyle is pretty ambiguous. One thing that seems pretty clear to me is the lifestyle is observable while a life can have many internal aspects to it. A lifestyle can include people, material things, environments, how we spend our time, energy, and money. A life includes things like our beliefs, our values, our commitments, our soul’s dream, and our vision. If you choose a lifestyle first you could wind up with an empty fortress. If you choose the life first, you will design your lifestyle to support the life.

Since most of us already have a lifestyle, and a default life, we usually have to do some redesign work. Choose a life and then redesign our lifestyle. It is possible that the lifestyle you currently have will never support the life you truly want to live. It is possible the lifestyle you currently have has many supporting structures and only minor renovations need to occur. It is possible that you are a highly intuitive person and your lifestyle is in perfect alignment. I know very few people who fall into that category. My dad does but what I notice about him, is he and my mother made a conscious decision to structure their lives around their spiritual values. They made that decision early in their marriage and lived true to it. Now it’s interesting that my parents are actually old enough to be my grandparents, (my mother is no long living) and I noticed that many earlier generations were not given to having transformational conversations so learning was a very different process then than it is now. The fact that we have e-courses and teleclasses and magazines and tons of books that are created to help people learn to live more meaningful and personally fulfilling lives represents a shift from how things use to be. Read More→


Fall 2007 Celebration

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Next Step Class of Fall 2007

By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

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By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

For many older workers today, retirement is not part of the immediate future. Rising healthcare costs and living expenses combined with inadequate financial planning are giving many people a reason to go on working longer. Some may retire and then rejoin the workforce, while others may change careers mid-way. Either way, a change in career can be the cause of much anguish, and frustration.

There are however, many organizations that offer counseling and networking opportunities for retired mature job seekers. A lot of people in their golden years are dealing with an entirely new set of life challenges. Most experts agree on the following advice:

Rediscover other passions that may have been sidelined in your first job for one reason or another. Finding a job or career path that fulfills you and interests you should be the prime focus, instead of just identifying the next paycheck. Searching for work in the field you spent years in may not work. Don’t assume that you are too old to change direction at this stage in life. In fact, it is a great idea to prepare to step into a new career after retirement. This is the best time to look for a new career, doing what you have always dreamt of doing.

There are generally supposed to be three stages in your life, the learning stage, the working stage and the retirement stage. However, in the age of technology, we have moved into a time when those stages need to merge, and learning, work and play, all become lifelong activities. If you feel the need, for whatever reason, to go back to work after retirement, it is probably a great thing to do for yourself. It will keep you active and younger, for much longer

Find the right motivation to go back to work. Prepare yourself well to step into a new career after retirement. It can be hard for retirement-aged workers to find the motivation to change careers, and to go on working, especially if they have been looking forward to leisure, or feel underappreciated. You may begin to feel that you are no longer contributing in a meaningful way and may envy those peers who are able to enjoy retirement. However, it is important that you learn to make the most of your situation and your activity. Overcome the mental barriers, first and foremost, and become more receptive to the idea of work as a factor that can coexist with learning and playing. A new career after retirement can:

• Give you the opportunity to find a more meaningful working life
• Allow you to achieve accomplishments more compatible with your values
• Give you a community base and the opportunity to give back to society
• Can keep isolation at bay as you age
• Keep your mind and body as active as in youth
• Keep you socially connected with peers
• Fight stereotypes of the loss of creativity and productivity with age
• Keep you engaged and increase your lifespan
• Shift your perspective and begin a new and rewarding career.

ANNA D. BANKS, GCDF is an adjunct professor at Essex County College, career development and marketing coach, speaker, and author. Anna helps individuals design a game plan for an extraordinary career or business. Since 1996, Anna has helped hundreds of job-seekers, managers, business owners, and sales professionals achieve career success. For more information send an email to

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By: Frank J Giudice, Adjunct

There are always obstacles on the path to a new job. Writing a cover letter that stands out is one. Next, the resume that features skills and accomplishments instead of duties and responsibilities needs to be crafted. Then comes the research part of our trip, finding those companies we want to work for, contacting our network to find out about industries and potential careers and sending our information to the right person. The waiting by the phone for the interview call is usually a fun time. But still and all, we successfully navigate these potholes and on a bright, sunny morning, we how up to meet with our perspective place of employment. We have practiced answering the interview questions we anticipate, and then WHAM, the receptionist hands us an application and tells us to fill it out completely.

Now, the real adventure begins. And career dreams and opportunities begin to fade. Here are a few helpful hints to remember before the sun does down on our dream job.

Resumes Are Different From Applications:

You control the content of a resume. It’s your employment story and you can tell it anyway you want. The application is a different story, as it is asking for specific information. Here is where you write the addresses, phone numbers and supervisors of past employers. Here is where you write the duties and responsibilities of your past jobs go. Here is where you have to be accurate and honest. Since this is the information that can be verified during a background check.

Read The Questions Carefully

Are they asking for an employment history or work experience? Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Do you have a valid driver’s license?

There are examples of questions that cause us the most difficulty. We have an employment gap of 7 months, how does it get filled? Well, if they are asking for Work Experience, volunteering can fill the gap honestly. After all, it is work; you used your skills or developed new ones. But for Employment History, if you didn’t draw a paycheck, it doesn’t count.

If you have a criminal background, know all the charges and the disposition of each. Accused is different from arrested, which is different from convicted. And some companies will tell you not to include traffic arrests. Make sure you read the question carefully and only answer the question. You can put, “Will discuss in detail during the interview”, but make sure you know what you’re going to say. (Do not shift blame, it is what it is, take responsibility and move on.)

The Driver’s License answer is a simple one. If it is suspended or revoked, it’s not valid. Period, end of discussion. (But make sure you have a plan in place to get it back!)

Honesty Is The Best Policy

Be truthful with dates of employment, job titles, why you left your previous places of employment, gaps, certificates held and degrees earned. Ever since 9-11, companies have gotten more and more security conscious and spend time doing background checks, including credit histories (to check up on your ideas about personal responsibility and cash handling abilities). They WILL look into your past. They will do a google search to see if anything comes up about you. They will check out your schools, asking for certified copies of certificates, transcripts, and degrees. If you received a degree from Fly By Night College, know it’s as worthless as a $3 bill.

Listing Relatives As References

It says right about the table, do not list relatives. But we do it anyway and lie about the relationship we have. We’ll use in-laws, cousins, or our sister (provided she uses her married name), because, hey, they’ll say nice things about us. And we think we’re slick; until the person conducting the reference check asks how they know up. Then the cat’s out of the bag and everything we said is open for examination. Plus, our personal integrity and/or comprehension is questioned because we did what we were told not to do.

If you want to keep up with the latest resources for workforce development professionals…

Download this NEW SEPTEMBER 2007 EDITION today at This edition includes the following articles, a vendor directory, important tips, upcoming conferences and events, and more!

Are We There Yet?
Collaborate t Advocate t Innovate – Helping America Work
Local Workforce Coalition – Strength in Numbers
Cost Allocation: Correcting Common Deficiencies
Strengthen Your One-Stop Career Centers – Resource Management is a Must!

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