Thursday, June 28, 2012

5 Tips to Prepare Your Kid for College

By Samantha Peters, Freelance Writer & HR Blogger

Whether your child planning to study Radiography or Russian Literature, going away to college is a scary, exciting time, and no doubt your son or daughter is full of anticipation and a bit of anxiety. Remind your student to keep a healthy balance between work and play by following a few useful bits of advice.
The Importance of Orientation 
Orientations are organized to help freshmen get to know the campus and each other, so encourage your student to attend as many of these events as possible. Orientations are great venues for having fun, exploring campus, meeting new folks, and starting to get accustomed to this brave new world. Events may run one day or several, and lots of schools offer additional programs ranging from wilderness camping trips to urban explorations. Participants are pretty much guaranteed to make a friend, get lots of free stuff, and get answers to last minute questions.
Getting Involved 
A sense of belonging is so important in new situations, and becoming involved in on-campus organizations can go a long way toward helping freshmen feel at home and find a like-minded group of friends. Students participating in on-campus activities are less likely to be homesick and more likely to stay on-campus and take full advantage of all social and cultural activities available. Whether students volunteer, play an intramural sport or pledge a Greek organization, extracurricular activities foster pursuit of established interests and discovery of new ones. Encourage your child to check out on-campus offerings.
Getting Organized 
Though there are plenty of support services available to freshmen, personal organization is so important to collegiate success. Stress the importance of getting to class on time, knowing each professor’s expectations and schedules, and keeping notes and syllabuses in order. On the cash end, teach your child to balance a checkbook, keep track of debit card receipts, and try to stick to a budget.
Getting to Know Classmates 
Encourage your child to get to know people in his class and dorm, a great boon to on-campus happiness and academic success. Though roommate issues can seem a bit overwhelming, learning to talk things out in a non-confrontational way is bound to inspire a peaceful year. Befriending dorm-mates will give your child a great on-campus family and comfy safety net, as they’re all going through the same roller-coaster emotions together. Getting to know at least one person in each academic class is a smart way to stay up-to-speed on academics and find study partners.
Professors and Academic Advisors 
Your child’s academic advisor is a key player in a successful completion of a course of study. This person will assist with class schedules, major selection and resolution of any academic issues, and your student should be encouraged to consult their advisor whenever necessary. Kids should also take advantage of the chance to meet their professors during scheduled office hours, a decision that’s especially helpful if they hit academic snags during the semester.
As they set off on this amazing adventure, remind your child that his or her first priority is getting an education. By staying focused on goals and effectively balancing work and play, college freshmen can achieve their dreams and still have fun along the way.  

About the Author:
This is a guest post written by Samantha Peters, who enjoys blogging on career and HR, covering topics of particular interest to women in the workplace.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2012: Your Best Year Yet

By Gabrielle Loomis, Certified Coach

There has been so much talk (and hype!) about 2012 and what it represents. Yes, it is a big year of change. Yes on an energetic level, much is shifting. Yes, it represents tremendous potential. For many people, it's all a bit esoteric and theoretical which is actually the opposite of what 2012 is all about. This is the year to make theory a reality. What is happening is that we are all being called to be more involved in our own lives. We are being asked to become creators of our reality, not spectators. To actually live what we know to be true. It's time to move out of the mental realm into the realm of actual experience. This is what the 2012 energy shifts are all about.
We are all energy and we all have the power to transform energy. When we harness that power, we can actually influence our experiences in life. We are so much more powerful than we have ever thought possible. 2012 is the time in our evolution to wake up to the power each and every one of us possess and use it deliberately.

Imagine being able to guide your body into balance...
Imagine being able to flow through life with a quality of magical grace...
Imagine being able to connect with people on such a real, deep and transcendental level that your experiences leave you without a shadow of a doubt the existence of the divine...
Imagine being so masterful in the laws of the Universe that you can effortless create opportunities, chance meetings, situations and circumstances that allow you to express your natural talents and gifts...
Imagine becoming a change agent for the planet...

This is what we are all here to do and 2012 is the opening to this consciousness. It is a portal into a reality that we have previously only known in theory. Now is the time to make it real for you. Not to talk about it, but to live it.

You might be saying Yes, Yes, Yes! And....How do I do that? There are many modalities, authors, seminars and books on this topic. And there is no one way or right answer. Each persons experience is unique and different so you find what resonates with you. However, I do have some insight to offer you after working with hundreds of people over the last five years as an Master Intuitive Coach, Healer and Educator.

The single biggest obstacle to living this truth that I have witnessed time and time again are Core Personal Patterns. These are the patterns that are running the show that you don't even know about. These are the patterns that are underneath the surface in the subconscious mind. These are the patterns that create feelings, thoughts, beliefs and behaviors which systematically keep you stuck in a place of safety and unable to break free to your greatest self. These are the patterns that will always be stronger than your will power, your desires or your affirmations. Until these patterns are transformed, then everything is still just theory. Your greatest self is just a concept that over time is harder and harder to reach. You're lost in the place of "I know how it's supposed to be" but "I just can't get there".

Transforming Core Personal Patterns is what I do. It's how I am able to best use my gifts and talents to be of service in the world. If you want to learn more about how you can make this year transformational for you, go to my website at, enter your name and email and you will receive a free gift of my audio program Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet!

I so look forward to celebrating YOU and 2012 as Your Best Year Yet!

About the Author: Named after the great archangel, Gabrielle Marie Loomis is a Messenger for our modern day world. Through her work, she has helped hundreds of women connect with their own power to heal, love and shine brightly in the world.  With over fifteen years of training in energy psychology, manifestation techniques, metaphysics and holistic healing modalities, she has been described as a master coach, healer, medical intuitive, shaman, psychic, counselor and spiritual adviser. Her credentials include Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Certified LifeLine Practitioner and Certified Life Coach.  Gabrielle offers a variety of transformational programs, products and services which can be found at  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bathing Suits & Menopause

By E, Author of Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness

Some people get the chills when they hear nails on a chalkboard. I get chills right around this time every year, when bathing suits makes their way to the forefront of conversation again. Bikinis, one-pieces, tankinis, oh my! Southern California's weather is the most temperate in the country, and even I can tell that it's getting warmer. Time to bust out the old box of bathing suits from last summer. Yikes!
My bathing suits must really love me, because no matter how many times I ask them (and by ask I mean stretch), they won't stop squeezing me! The suits from last summer seem to hit all the wrong places. Does anyone else have this problem? I'm over my old bathing suits, and now it's time to replenish the stash of suits via my computer. Last year I had a light bulb go on in my head; I could order bathing suits online and bypass the annoying horribly-lit and too-close-for-comfort mirrors in the department store fitting rooms. The web and my dimly-lit bathroom are the perfect solution for me!
In my web surfing, I came across an article in Good Housekeeping called Flattering, Figure-Fixing Swimsuits for Every Body Type. It is a great resource. Personally, I've had great luck with Spanx bathing suits. They are very flattering because they are designed with tummy control and a fabulous bra with extra padding for an extra lift. The designers of Spanx must be menopausal women! They are brilliant. With my big hat and sunglasses, these bathing suits make me feel like I've just stepped out of a 1960s beach blanket summer surfing movie. When you're trying on suits for this summer, make sure to keep that ├╝ber critical voice in your head that I call my SUMO at bay. Stuff the sock you just took off in his mouth and have a great time -- no negativity!
Peel off all of those layers (sweaters, leggings, and coats) and take inventory to see if you also need to peel off a few of those extra winter pounds that crept up. Perhaps a tone-up is in order. It is good for your health, which is the most important reason for doing it! While you're toning up for summer, make sure to keep the positive reinforcement coming. Here are some exercises I'm going to try out:

Of all the suits out there to choose from -- one-piece, bikini, tankini... panini? -- there's one you'll always have, and that's your birthday suit. Maybe talking about bathing suits doesn't have to be akin to fat-talking. I'm going to try to push aside that annoying negative voice in my head (my SUMO), alter my opinion and force myself to thank the summer season for making me think about my eating and exercise habits. After all, we know that our
weight and health go hand-in-hand. If you feel that weight has become a recent issue for you, be sure to fill out the Menopause Symptoms Chart and take it to your perimenopause and menopause specialist to talk about your best options in your perimenopause and menopause journey. Keep in mind that symptoms of thyroid disorders are often mistaken for perimenopause symptoms. Keep a close eye on your body and the way you function to ensure that you're always living at 100%.
Let's remember the one suit that really matters this summer. We can do it! Perimenopause and menopause have nothing on us! Be the change you wish to see in the world! To health! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to finish all the ice cream in the freezer (If I get rid of it, I can't eat any more!).
What is your go-to bathing suit season workout?
Ellen Dolgen is the author of Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Developing Your Leadership Skills

By Debbie Hall, Career Coach

Leadership is the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.”   Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen. Also, a leader is able to successfully maximize the resources to attain the goals of the organization. Leaders must pay equal attention to achieving business results and developing people.
Growing your leadership skills is important at any age whether you are employed or not.  By following some of the tips below, you can increase your self-confidence in all the activities you do every day.  Again, growing and becoming leader isn’t just for climbing the corporate ladder.

Take Charge
If you are working, communicate to your immediate supervisor and their supervisor that you want and are ready for more responsibility and gain their commitment to work with you.
Whether you are working or not, it is up to you to take responsibility for your professional development. Keep a log of your successes and create your own vision.
Knowing what you’re working toward allows you to plan your professional development.
Observe the current company leaders
It is important when looking for a new position, paid or unpaid, to choose a workplace with compatible values to your own and one that reflects your principles.
Within the organization observe the company leaders to see what qualities they possess that garnered them the positions they have and look at your position to determine how you can begin to demonstrate some of those qualities.
 If you are applying at a new company, research that company to understand their mission and values and incorporate those skills into your resume.
Be a Leader now
Volunteer to lead a project or a committee while in your current position. This can be at work but also consider doing this for your church, school projects, or any place you volunteer.  This will allow you to demonstrate your leadership competencies and build leadership skills to supervisors and peers.   
 Prove yourself as a person who can get things done by taking initiative. 
Cover for the Boss
Offer to cover for your boss while they are on vacation or out of the office.  This is an excellent way to demonstrate leadership and have it be visible to others.   If your organization requires a peer to sit in, then offer to handle non-personnel tasks.
If you are not working consider stepping in when a committee chairperson or other volunteer leader is not available to lead a meeting or activity. Encourage others toward the goals.

Know what counts
Demonstrate you’re ready for a leadership role by conveying that you are more interested in the role than the title.  You want to demonstrate you are ready for the challenges of the new position and want them regardless of whether this is a paid or volunteer position.
Leadership is not about “power” – this type of leader ends up being despised. 
Coach others & be a Mentor
Offer to coach/mentor new employees joining your department or that are new to the company.  If you enjoy being a mentor, volunteer to mentor a youth or recent college graduate.
Take risks
Set “stretch” goals that enable you to develop new skills.  These stretch goals can be related to a current position but also any other activity you might be interested in.  Take this blog as an example, it’s my first time to write one and is a stretch goal for me.

You need to appear confident meaning a willingness to learn on the job instead of waiting until you know everything before taking on a challenge. Always be decisive and to the point and take authorship of your ideas.
Be a Problem solver
Great leaders are innovative and proactive.  Look at problem areas wherever you are and once you come up with a solution bring that forward in win-win manner.  When part of any group looking to solve a problem, you want to help to create an atmosphere of collaboration and openness.

Find a Champion
It is important to find a champion in the organization who will promote you internally to higher level management. The person you select should be in a secure position within the organization.

Join a professional organization and attend networking events
By joining professional organizations and attending networking events you grow your personal network of professional contacts that share your same interests.  The people you meet can help you secure your next position.  Look for Industry specific groups and check out and LinkedIn.

Volunteer at an organization that can leverage your skills and where you want to go with your career.

Personal Advisory Board
Establishing your own personal advisory board enables you to obtain assistance from several people. Identify the skills you need to acquire or improve in order to achieve the career goals you developed. Tips for selecting your advisory board:
  • Select people you trust.
  • Clarify each person’s expectations for the relationship and communicate how long you expect them to stay involved.
  • Keep in mind that the relationships you form with the advisors are meaningful and strategically important.
  • Understand what your mentors need for the relationship to be mutually rewarding.
It is never too early or too late to improve your leadership skills!

For more tips, check out the FREE course, Developing Your Leadership Style,  on