Chose Your Own Path Through Emotional Intelligence!

Happy Turkey-less Day to those who won’t be gobbling a gobbler (original post date November 24, 2015)!  I continue as a pescatarian! My two younger adult children continue their vegetarian lifestyle…(not my son Nick for he’s an incredible meat eater!) and although the no meat eating rubbed off on me many moons ago, I still enjoy eating fish.

Thank you Jake and Arin for showing me a lifestyle I probably wouldn’t have gone for had it not been for you two. But then again, I may have become really fantastic at grilling steaks (no, that’s Randy’s area.)

I love the taste of turkey and found a delicious vegetarian roast that tastes just the same! 

For this post, I want to write about a way to chose your own path……and I’ll start with a link to a post when my daughter Arin started a new job at Walgreen’s.

Over the two years she worked at Walgreen’s (she resigned earlier in 2014 to move on in different ways with her lifestyle), Arin had many customer experiences (including her days working as a hostess at Okoboji Grill). She’s shared many interesting retail shopper stories from her Walgreen’s days.

Some shoppers are kind with good intentions…get in the store, find what you need, pay and get out of the store…all while being grateful and appreciative. Then there are other shoppers who seem to float around in a bubble without realizing their bubble is more of a brick! Some shoppers are demanding, have no regard for other shoppers or the retail clerk, and are even down right rude. Yuk!

We all are continuously affected by the energy of other people in both positive and negative ways. My daughter learned quickly that the less you respond to rude, critical, argumentative people, the more peaceful your life will become and the more productive you’ll be on the job! AJ’s goal at work: Help customers find, buy, and get out of the store with minimal distraction…along with an idea or two of how to get the customer to spend more money (especially with products within her own department because of incentives!) This knowledge, my dear daughter, takes a certain level of emotional intelligence. Good for you!

Emotional intelligence is a huge factor in my work as an expert witness.

A very helpful and proactive way to limit how much we are affected in many settings and situations by where others are is a simple technique called being in your bubble.

Using your bubble when you need to, or realizing others are using their own bubble, takes a level of emotional intelligence, kindness and grace.

Bubble Me Up    Bubble

I can’t find the source for what follows, but I’m sure whoever it is would be happy to share! Being in your bubble goes as follows:

1.) Spend a few moments with your eyes closed, quieting your thoughts.

2.)  In your imagination create a big clear soap bubble all around you that is about a foot out from your body.

3.)  Notice yourself within this bubble, and acknowledge that any type of energy you don’t want to experience in your own body will be unable to get through the bubble, and will just bounce off.

4.)  Walk through your day within your bubble. Take a look at the bubble periodically just to affirm that it is there, and recreate it whenever you want to.

             Bubble Me Down Bubble

There’s great reasons to use this tool to manage the energy that bounces around us all of the time. It frees you up to create the experience(s) the way you choose, while leaving others free to their own expression. You won’t need to get into the struggle and discomfort of resisting what others are doing or thinking, because it happens outside of your bubble and doesn’t need to affect you.

I hope your work week is productive, and you enjoy experiencing the energy that surrounds your work and home environments. If I can help you with expert testimony, please don’t hesitate to call me.

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-282-7753  * VocResources@msn.com

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Don’t Be a Dumb Bunny, Use Your Soft Skills to Your Advantage

I pay close attention to transferable skills when assessing employability, especially those skills we have come to call “soft”. Soft skills refer to interpersonal abilities that enhance an individual’s interactions with others, career prospects and performance on the job.

Soft skills are comprised of personality attributes or habits (no not rabbits >-=], social graces, communication, language style, interpersonal skills, managing others, leadership ability, self-motivation, time management etc., and the rules change depending on the culture of where you work and the people you work with. It’s because soft skills characterize personal relationships with other people.

Image result for rules

Rules Change, Which is a Good Thing!

In contrast, “hard” skills (the ability to perform specific tasks or functions with technical components, like using math or software programs, typing, operating specific machines and tools, driving truck, compiling research, data entry, measuring, calculating and recording; editing and writing, etc.) that tap into left brain functioning where the rules for performance stay the same regardless of where you work

To me, what is most valuable about a soft skill is that it brings value to any job/career. Although soft skills maybe can be “mastered” new situations or people will also test them (and push you to learn more about yourself.)

Mollie
Mollie

Mollie is not a “dumb bunny”. Her intelligence surprises me. And her personality makes her so lovable (rabbits are good office mates, and she lets me know when she is in need of something……apple please!)

Soft Skills Puzzle

Scrambled Words Answer Pattern Clues
nilinbaegt ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ not made of physical substance
hetics ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ rules of behavior
lcpanutu ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ on time
jaequnsesoi ___ ___      ___ ___      ___ ___ ___ ___      ___ ___ ___ “I know not what.”
hdadlveeele ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ cool under pressure
aobitnim ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ a desire to be successful
vmietiepcot ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ able to compete
lixbeefl ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ adaptable

Did you solve them all? 

Soft skills are not as easily measurable as hard skills because they are less tangible. Perhaps the best way for me to measure or assess soft skills is to ask two or three people who have a good understanding of the evaluee’s work performance and personality to subjectively assess the person; then have the person do a self-assessment on the same set of skills; then evaluate how the information from the assessments coincide / match.

You can use Mind tool http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/get-started.htm  to help.

It is also to your advantage to understand which skill set your career relies on to be successful. For example, there are jobs / careers that need:

  • Specific technical/hard skills and little soft skills (where you don’t necessarily have to work well with others). Examples include: physicist, chemist, scientist, production machine operator, assembly line worker, cook, carpenter, electrician, computer programmer, etc…
  • Both hard and soft skills (where you need to use the rules of your learned skills and also depend on cooperating, selling or collaborating with others.) Examples include: accountant, lawyer, teacher, counselor, coach, truck driver, dispatcher, cashier, administrative assistant, etc…
  • Mostly soft skills and little hard skills (where your work is more dependent on “reading” others). Examples include: sales ~ the person needs to know more than the average consumer, but really needs to know how to communicate, persuade and close a deal. Other examples include security officer, food server, host, merchandiser, etc…

I’ll add to the etc… listing of workers as I think of them! : )

Rabbits are Soft and Smart

Be a smart rabbit, use your soft skills to your advantage!

(Source: A national survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 10 to March 4, 2014 that included a representative sample of 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.)

In general, soft skills are more important in most business careers than hard skills. Click here for a blog containing a soft skills matrixEmployers like outgoing, friendly, and cooperative employees.  To many employers, this is more important than any other qualification.  In addition, because most employers look for a person who can “break the ice” at the workplace and bring valuable dynamics to their business without causing conflict, soft skills are key to being successful at work.

Image result for smart rabbit

Rabbits have fine-tuned senses that make these small mammals some of nature’s most excellent survivors!

Keep in mind, if you don’t feel you have the soft skills you’d like, they are somewhat teachable. Here’s an idea that will help you to do so http://academy.justjobs.com/improve-your-people-skills-and-emotional-intelligence/

Let me know how I can help. My vocational counseling services are available!

__________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work

Happy Labor Day 2015 to All of Iowa’s Workers!

Iowa has a great reputation for strong work ethic (from what I heard, ask most any Floridian employer and if you’re from Iowa….you’re hired!)! Click here for a free online Occupational Work Ethic Inventory (OWEI).

Personally, I am proud of my children (and my husband’s) work ethic. Recently, my son Jake covered for a person who called in sick; resulting in working 11 hours in one shift. The next day, his boss from Jimmy John’s offered him a raise!

Image result for zombie burger

Jake is a fan of Zombies!

Arin, although at this time she still works her two jobs at the Des Moines Public Library (Library Aid at the Franklin branch) and Zombie Burger as a host; is dropping down to only one day a week at the library through September. She will then be working only one job….as she needs time to be a 19 year old! Working 60 hours a week takes its’ toil on a person. Plus Arin’s considering going to college! (She has strong interest and entry level skills in sign language.) Psssst:  Arin, check this out about DMACC’s program in ASL.

Workers Monument, by Artist Michael Stutz, State Capitol Grounds, Corner of East 9th Street and East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa

As you know, I’ve written many times about my husband’s work ethic….he’s amazing! And now, I’d like to write a bit about Randy’s father, James C. Botkin. Jim worked for over 30 years for AT&T. He was a union member.

2002-12-30 AJ with Gpa Jim

AJ and Grandpa Jimmy, Christmas Eve, 2004

James Botkin Union CardJames Botkin’s Union Card, Communication Workers of America

I am pretty convinced we learn work ethic from our parents. Here’s 2 more plaques/awards G’pa Jimmy received for his dedication to his work…they read:

AT&T Jim Botkin 30 YearsTELEGRAPH SERVICE 1887 – 1991 JIM BOTKIN In Recognition of Your Invaluable Contribution. (I’m thinking 1887 is when American Telephone and Telegraph Company was a start-up!)

Happy Retirement G'a Jimmy!

HAPPY RETIREMENT JAMES C. BOTKIN     ~ 30 Years Service With AT&T   1961 – 1991

A fond memory I have of my very loving and silly father-in-law is how is always answered his home phone so professionally and succinctly: “Botkin Residence”.  My dad on the other hand would say before he picked up the receiver, “it’s your nickel.” And Dick raised it to  .10 Cents…and up…as time progressed. (Need to do that with the minimum wage here in Iowa…….$7.25 is one of the lowest states.)

To all workers out there, THANK YOU  for each and every day you work. All workers deserve dignity and fair wage.

And to all those workers who are no longer able to work, BLESS YOU. Be sure to take some time to be grateful for how our workforce operates.

Statistics for You: As of July 21, 2015, Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in June from 3.8 percent in May. The state’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent one year ago.  The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent in June.  Source:  https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/

Please let me know how I can help your client return to work. And if the client cannot return to work, I can help with that too! A life care plan that incorporates vocational rehabilitation or a loss of earnings evaluation become valuable tools to help resolve complex matters of employment.

Enjoy a Safe & Memory Filled Labor Day 2015!

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

The Peacock: Poem, Feathers and Symbolism in My Life

The Peacock

Peacock at Blank Park Zoo 05/21/2006
Peacock at Blank Park Zoo 05/21/2006

written by Amy E. Botkin 1/24/15 CRHP Retreat

Look past the strutting and into the beauty. As the morning begins, we praise. The sun shines through the multicolored stained glass. We reflect on our journey through life. Our hearts flutter at joy in such holy surroundings. The mixing of colors, teal, green, yellow, blue….they glow, spread, encompass….our hearts, our faith.

Peacock at Full Glory!
Peacock at Full Glory!

Today We Renew!

 

 

 

 

 

The symbolic meaning of the peacock From Wiki Answers.com: Peacock feathers have been used for healing for tens of thousands of years in every culture throughout time. They are said to carry Spiritual healing energy that can be used to assist people seeking balance and harmony in their lives. In Hinduism the peacock is associated with Lakshmi, who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck.

I read a writer’s analogy of why she is so drawn to the peacock: ‘It’s because of its dichotomy. On one hand, the peacock is this beautiful bird, with connections to the divine. On the other, the peacock can be a terribly obnoxious bird – they emit horrible screeches and can be awfully aggressive. She believes in a theory that the peacock is a perfect symbol of humanity itself…’

Another PeacockThe peacock naturally replaces his feathers annually and is therefore a symbol of renewal.

I have peacock feathers in my office. They were found at my in law’s house in Creston when we were preparing it to sell back in 2005. The “multitude of eyes” upon the peacock’s stunningly beautiful fan tail feathers watch over me while I work! I strive for being true to my own colors and simply being myself.

Learn from the peacock, spread your feathers embrace your spiritual nature, walk tall, and display your talents with confidence and grace. Be beautiful and an open minded person ~ the one that looks at the world with eyes wide open, the one that is not afraid of challenges!

To Thine Own Self Be True“To Thine Own Self Be true” ~ William Shakespeare

The Peacock is a reminder to all of us to show our true colors. The peacock can help us shed the old feathers of the past and to take back the true beauty of our individuality. This increases self-respect and confidence. Here you’ll come to a True Colors Personality Quiz. Please take it and enjoy! I found out my strongest is orange, then green, blue and gold!

In performing more research I found that Peacock energy can help you on your spiritual path and breathe new life into your walk of faith. And that’s another reason I am so blessed that the women at our table during my CRHP ~ Christ Renews His Parish ~ retreat in January 2015 chose to be called the Peacocks. Our choice was based on the inspiration from a picture we saw in our parish’s (All Saints Parish) gathering space of Father Bob Harris saying mass on his recent trip (helped to sponsor the trip for many people in our community) to the Holy Land (Boy that would’ve been awesome!). The Peacock is often found in Catholic Churches, and above his head (Father Bob’s in the picture) there was one!

The Peacock has a boisterous cry that holds a touch of laughter, as if to imply that nothing, including beauty, should be taken too seriously. When I am centered and grateful for all I have, I feel a more light-hearted approach to all things that come my way. Laughter is really the best medicine and helps to keep us healthy!

Peacock FeathersLook Upon the Peacock With New Eyes and Reflect on What Its Eyes Say to You!

Looking around my office, I have all sorts of eyes watching me! Not only the eyes on the peacock feathers, but my daughter, my son’s, nieces and nephews, husband, mom and dad, grandparents, in laws, cats and dog and rabbit, etc., …..and some old guy with a long white beard I have no idea who he is, but I think he has wisdom to share!

Eyes are the entry into the soul! And they are protecting me, encouraging me and telling me to continuously strive to make my work and my life pure of heart. A symbol of peacock in many cultures is of eternal life; the link between heaven and earth. And to have faith that we never truly die.

Peacocks mate for life, just like the two of us, Randy, making this a perfect theme for our vow renewal (25 years quickly approaching old man!).  Peacocks are pure of heart.  They pair with a mate and are loyal and faithful to their partners. My peacock feathers are now more meaningful. Thank you!

In closing, I share this tapestry and detail about it ~

Tree of Life

Tree of Life Peacock

Source: http://www.exoticindiaart.com/product/paintings/tree-of-life-PB77/

BEGIN: Kalamkari began as the temple art of Andhra Pradesh and slowly occupied an important place in the arts and crafts of India. The artisan uses a pen-like brush called ‘kalam’, giving the technique its name.

The tree is one of the most potent of symbols. Its roots delve into the underworld; its trunk links the earth to the heavens – it transcends all three spheres. It symbolizes birth, maturity, death and rebirth embodied in leaf, bud and fruit. The tree of life is one of the most common motifs used by the artisans. Versions of the tree of life are manifold.

Here, the tree of life is transposed as a vase containing flowers and a variety of leaves. The flowers are those associated with fertility. Generally, a tree of life is flanked by worshippers, birds or animals, which could vary locally. Here the tree is flanked by a couple of peacocks. It is relevant to note that in Indian mythology, peacocks occupy a prominent place. They symbolize immortality, love, courtship, fertility, regal pomp and protection. When the auspicious tree of life and the important motif of a peacock come together, this painting’s worth is doubly elevated.

Colors like blue, yellow and green are more commonly used. Red is liberally used in the border giving a bright frame to a sober, meaningful painting promising prosperity and good luck. – END

In closing of this blog, I offer more from YouTube: Enjoy again!

Get ahold of me so I can help with matters of work and disability. Thank you for reading!

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

I Agree Whatever Makes You Happy You Put in Your Own World! Chocolate Long John!

As I wrote about last week, Randy received the 2015 Alternative Educator of the Year! At the April 21, 2015 Des Moines Public School District Board Meeting he gets recognized. Randy endured quite a bit of silliness and a lot of congratulations from his co-workers at Scavo High School about this “award” but all in all, be proud Mr. Botkin! Here’s the letter announcing the news: Scavo Teacher Named Alternative Educator of the Year.

2015-04-16 13.10.07

The plaque he received has the wrong year!

I’ve written about this before…..because it’s exciting! Randy will be engaging much more when school begins again this Fall 2015 (I know I know, school is almost out for this school year, why talk about restarting it already) as Scavo’s work experience coordinator!

This will be great for him…..after 22 years in a classroom (not that he’s ditching a classroom nor teaching, this is more of a melding of his skills to help his students). Randy has taught many different subjects, ranging from baking (I remember those yummy strawberry pies), to parenting (he’s a natural!) to history (his cup of tea), and algebra too (ahh, no comment)!  I remember one year he taught wood shop. We still have a bench he made which is ironic because he’s not very good at cutting a straight line! Sorry guy! Just the truth!

Image result for images cup of tea cartoon

I’m a Cup of Tea Alright!

Mr. Botkin’s primary endorsement is in behavioral disorders making him basically a major troubleshooter!  Can a person’s behaviors change? Of course! I’ve learned the key to maintaining  new behaviors…is to be happy! Want some cookies with that cup of tea? I just remembered something……    🙂

Whatever Makes Your Happy You Put In Your World

Whatever Makes You Happy You Put In Your World!

Randy and his students used to take orders twice a month (this was several years ago) for 10 dozen school-baked cookies for the Des Moines School Board meetings. Two dozen a piece he reminds me: of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar, peanut butter and ? oops I forgot! Maybe macaroons? Are macaroons too difficult to teach teens how to bake? I’ve never made them.

During those days Randy (and all his fellow BD educators and staff members) taught here, at the original Casady building on 16th!

Casady Building 6-12-2013

The Casady Building, built in 1905, was demolished a month or so after I took this shot June 12, 2013! 

Another new source of happiness for our daughter Arin lies in her employment. She is now working at Zombie Burger as a host. (She continues at the Des Moines Library, too!) AJ has wanted to work at this popular restaurant (there was a 2 hour wait this Saturday, even in the rain) for a long time! After putting her two weeks’ notice from Walgreen’s in, she started a couple of weeks ago. I am so proud of my daughter’s work ethic! Ah heck, everyone in my families! Arin has said to me about both her jobs “I Really Love What I Do….!” Why Do You Do Your Work? You too may be in love!

A little update on the Botkin boys. Last year, Nick received a promotion at Well’s Fargo. He is doing so well that recently he received an award as well! This award includes a full-ride trip to Miami (he leaves with Derek this Thursday)! Randy got $50 worth of donuts from Highland Park Bakery to share with his fellow educators at work….and he didn’t even bring me home a chocolate long john.

Related imageYum! ; ) tooo much sugar for me though, it’d take a couple days to eat it all! Waste Not, Want Not!

Jake continues at Jimmy John’s. He’s been there quite a while now (update: as of 9/2016 he still is). I think it is interesting that one of this establishment’s HR policies is that workers have to cover their tatoos (update as of 5/2016 the company changed their policy!). Yes, long sleeves in the hot summer to deliver food to people who just might be showing their tattoos. I think it is ridiculous! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any tatoos yet? ; )  but all three of our kids sure do (update: my mother got a tatoo for her 80th birthday!). It’s body art alright! Jake actually designs them! As I’ve written about, he is very talented at drawing!

Back to working on a presentation project for my work! Please let me know what I might do to help you with a sticky employment situation!

Stayed tuned for the future Part 2 of Whatever Makes You Happy Put In Your World!

___________________

 

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Got Motivation?? Let’s See!!

Did you take the Why Do You Do Your Work assessment? Read on and at the bottom of my blog, you’ll find a key with detail on your results!

Motivation describes why a person does something. According to current psychology, motivation involves biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that initiate, guide, and maintain goal-oriented behaviors requiring endurance to keep going and the ability to persist through obstacles in spite of difficulties.

As part of my work, I’m commonly asked to give my opinion of a person’s motivation to find work or keep work (in the realm of job search or job retention). This x-factor of success is extremely difficult to determine. Yes, I can easily uncover a match in skills, education, and experience. And I have motivation scales available which help.

However, creativity in interviewing that generates specific examples from a person’s work history provides further evidence coupled with the best and most reliable method of assessing a person’s level of self-motivation, which is talking with the person’s previous or current supervisors.

interviewI love to interview and gather detail!

Motivation can be used to explain behavior, and in general intrinsic motivations (driven by an interest or enjoyment in a task) arise from within while extrinsic motivations arise from outside the person (and often involve rewards such as money, trophies, social recognition or praise.)

Favorite trophy

I got these swimming trophies when I was young!

There are 3 major components to motivation: activation, persistence, and intensity. Activation involves the decision to initiate a behavior. Persistence is the continued effort toward a goal even though obstacles may exist. Intensity can be seen in the concentration and vigor that goes into pursuing a goal. Each of these components can be assessed and described in detail.

A few signs of self-motivation in a job search (considering obstacles) that I can report on and/or testify to include:

  • Applying to numerous businesses each week.
  • Performing informational interviewing as well as direct interviewing.
  • Scheduling time to research companies and using results to benefit job seeking “marketing” campaign.
  • Critiquing one’s own job search and learning from efforts.
  • Participating in short term skill building activities while in job search mode.
  • Volunteering in a useful and purposeful area.

If currently employed, I have also been asked to provide my opinion of a worker’s motivation to do their best at work (again, considering obstacles). A few signs of self-motivation on the job that I can report on and/or testify to include:

  • A history of doing more than just what is required.
  • Consistently exceeding performance expectations.
  • A history of working the amount of time/hours necessary to get the job/project done, not just the “required” hours.
  • Participating in activities that will benefit the bottom line of the business.
  • Helping and supporting co-workers and supervisors
  • Sharing talents and information openly, in an optimistic manner

In summary, success in a job search or success on-the-job requires self-motivation. If there is proof of high achievement that can be duplicated (once again, considering obstacles), strong self-motivation is suggested.

Why Do You Do Your Work?

2015-02-06 Red Rose I DestroyedThe key along with information on your results:

Motivation Results and Descriptions

Intrinsic motivation: 4,8,15;

Integrated regulation: 5,10,18;

Identified regulation: 1,7,14;

Introjected regulation: 6,11,13;

External regulation: 2,9,16;

Amotivation: 3,12,17.

***

Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards and is inspired solely from the interest and enjoyment a person finds in an activity.

Integrated regulation arises when a person has fully integrated a motivation within, and behavior is influenced after undergoing self-examination and then internalizes and assimilates the reasons behind an action. S/he has carefully explored external motivations and decided that they’re congruent with his or her other personal beliefs and values.  An example of integrated regulation as motivation would be a person who attends church through the belief the act aligns with a personal belief system, even if the person doesn’t attend for the sheer enjoyment of it. The person doesn’t feel guilt or shame if s/he doesn’t attend, s/he attends because it feels right and suitable.

Identified regulation is when a person has personally identified with the importance of a behavior and accepted it as a regulation of her own because it benefits her in achieving a goal, she’s motivated by identified regulation. With this form of motivation, the individual doesn’t have to find enjoyment in the behavior, and there doesn’t have to be an immediate reward. The person also isn’t motivated by guilt or shame: She simply recognizes that a behavior is beneficial toward her development and adopts that behavior as her own. For instance, a person may recognize that studying grammar for English class is an important means to the end of becoming a successful writer. This is a subcategory of external motivation that’s more self-determined and personal than external regulation: External regulation may be for a more immediate positive reward, while identified regulation is used to achieve an end that affects an individual’s personal well-being and desires.

Introjected regulation is motivation from an internalized, pressuring voice. The source of motivation for a behavior is guilt, worry or shame. Introjected regulation inspires an individual to enact a behavior not because s/he wants to, but because s/he fears not to out of a sense of obligation. An example of introjected regulation is a person who goes to church every Sunday because s/he fears a negative effect in the afterlife or the negative reaction of peers at a church event — s/he doesn’t necessarily find enjoyment in the service itself. Avoid this form of motivation if at all possible, as it fosters anxiety. When succumbing to this form of motivation, it’s difficult for individuals to feel positive and confident about their actions.

External regulation. People are motivated by external regulation due to an external acting influence. If an individual exhibits a behavior to obtain an externally provided reward, then her behavior is externally regulated. For example, if a person enters the science fair because she wants to win a gift certificate for a restaurant, she’s not acting out of what interests her personally but out of a desire to obtain the reward. External motivation is often used to encourage employees or students to take part in a behavior that they must complete but may not be genuinely interested in — that way, even if they don’t otherwise wish to engage in the behavior, they do so to obtain the reward.

Amotivation is a state of lacking in any motivation to engage in any activity, characterized by a lack of perceived competence and/or a failure to value the activity or its outcomes.

Sources for above are taken in part from http://www.ehow.com/info_12153839_5-different-types-motivation.html

Do you want more assessment information or want to read more! Here’s an earlier blog about motivation? And here’s one about Randy and his work ethic. Read on! Call me! 515-282-7753

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Happy Birthday to Agatha Christie! Here’s Your Gift!

My birthday always corresponds with the ISU / UI rivalry! Good Job Clones! I personally hope the annual game continues into the future, cuz it allows the fans of these teams to be mean to each other! Ahem, boo Nick, my own son thinks Hawk.

ISU Baloon
ISU Balloon

Today, my daughter left me a gift before flying off to her job at the library.

2014-09-15 09.37.27And my parents sent me a card.

2014-09-15 09.39.50

Okay, now what am I going to do? Obey the parents. Wait for the daughter. I have patience. And perseverance and ohhh pooopy again. The temptation continues…..arggh.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to Agatha Christie. I love the fact that we share this day in common.  Agatha would’ve been 85! and Me, okay, 51! I can make a typo and say 15!

What I did so far for my birthday: I read this short story written by the Grand Dame of Mystery. I found The Witness for the Prosecution online (and for free!) from a K-12 New York school district! And I’m offering you a gift of reading for my birthday!!

Here’s your own copy to download if you’d like!

the Witness_for_the_Prosecution

It’s a great read, especially for us witness-like minded people! You won’t be able to stop reading it once you start!

Hope your week is great and take care!

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

 

 

My Purpose to Serve Others Continues to Ring True!

(Original post date 9/10/13) As I mentioned last week, I’m moving into round 2 of my studies at GWU. I came across the statement of purpose I wrote in April 2013 and wanted to post it as it continues to ring true for me!

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE written by Amy E. Botkin

My purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University is to learn about the intricacies and efficiencies of serving as an expert witness in my area of expertise. As a rehabilitation counselor, life care planner and placement specialist, my focus is often on facilitating healthy return to work outcomes.

Prior to my current career, I worked as a marketing representative for a staffing agency that placed people into clerical and light industrial jobs. This work experience offered me a base on how to match people with the world of work. I understand the concept of incorporating the needs of employers with the needs of job seekers.

My background as the leader of a diverse group of placement specialists afforded me additional insight into challenges affecting job seekers. In my practice, as well as with the experiences within our group, I visit employers and find that personalities and fitting in, as well as proof of skills, may be the strongest indicator of a successful placement.

However, in perspective the job seeker may not believe he or she has the capacity to meet the employer’s expectations. Therefore, the job seeker is not successful in the initial stages of a job search, leading to feelings that may further disintegrate their role and performance as a qualified job seeker. Therefore, my career goal is to continue with my consulting practice and incorporate specific work-life identity skills training.

Ringing True!

As a freelance writer on a part-time basis, I develop stories about locally owned businesses, mostly from a personality perspective by interviewing business owners to learn about their background and what brought them to this particular business. I gain much insight and detail into what brings a person to their career.

My ability to draw out a person’s background information is also useful to guide a person who has lost their job due to illness, injury or disability into a new or similar job that continues to use their assets, albeit in a new form.

My research interests are in the areas of vocational rehabilitation, specifically how personalities, lifestyles and cultures form a person’s work identity. When taking into consideration a serious injury or accident that leads to disability or functional limitations, I would like to identify and assess unique methods to adjust the factors related to essential functions of a job that may be beyond a person’s capacities (either physically, emotionally or intellectually).

I would like to learn how to Box!

Using the skills gained from this program, I’d expand my research methodology for my client, evaluee or customer. Presenting novel material in front of a jury will allow me to separate from the common counselor and be viewed as a credible source of unique material that is specific to the needs of the case. With this new knowledge and skill, I would feel even more confident expressing my opinions. I look forward to my studies.

Thank you,

Amy E. Botkin

Amy E. Botkin, MS, CRC, CLCP

 

 

P.S. ~

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Randy’s Jobs…Work Ethic…and How About a Nap?

Last week I started writing about work ethic. Oh yea, and about my husband. There’s a reason or two for my post. But first, a little story about Randy.

As a teenager, one of Randy’s first jobs was newspaper boy. Okay, newspaper carrier. He tells me his mother, Marylin, ousted him out of bed at 4 AM, when she got home from her data processing job at a downtown Des Moines bank.

hit the hayMarylin Would Then Hit The Hay

Randy donned his bag, left home, and waited patiently at the corner for the newspapers to arrive. He then walked all round Saylorville (the little town not the lake!) to deliver the news for the Des Moines Register.

Big NewsHere Comes Big News!

When Randy’s route was done and he got back home he would return the favor and try to get his father Jim up out of bed. [Jim worked at AT&T in downtown Des Moines for 40 years.] Then Randy got ready for school. Randy delivered the newspapers on his route for 3 years. [I don’t know how many times we’ve had to revisit his route….by auto.]

Maybe that’s why he still likes to read the hard copy of the paper, or at least the sports section? Could it also be another reason he and my dad have this special bond? Click here for a blog about my dad’s work, including his Sunday morning Des Moines Register newspaper motor route delivery days.

Bottom line here, I believe that you develop your work ethic through the example set by your parents. Ahh, observation of the parental units! I sure miss Marylin and Jim. Both were very hard workers. And very caring people!

Botkin FamilyThe Botkin Family ~ Randy, Kyl, Marylin & Jim

 I have plans to blog about my oldest sister, Julie. She has a very strong work ethic. And Kyl does as well. Employers rank a strong work ethic as one of the top qualities they seek in the employees they hire or move up in the organizations. Okay, what is work ethic?

noun
  1. the principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading. Now how about a lil nappie poo? especially after the Super Bowl last night?!

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

Workaholism is Really No Good.

Transcript of Amy E. Botkin’s training and development presentation on Workaholism for Business Communications  ISU – Fall 1992.

WORKAHOLISM

I’m here to discuss something we all do, or will do sometime in the near future.  I’ll give you a clue to see if you can guess.  It’s a 4 letter word, ends in k, it can be very good for some people and it can turn boring, monotonous and simply not challenging for others.  You’re right – work.  Soon everyone in this room will enter the working world.  The engineers, educators, journalists, managers, artists and so on in this room will all have demanding positions.  How is it that some people are able to handle the workload while others adopt bad habits and unhealthy work styles to cope with their job?

In this training and development session, I will discuss what workaholism is, compare the work style of a healthy worker with that of a workaholic, the significance of workaholism on the individual and the workplace, and general guidelines which may help you work with a workaholic.

Workaholism is a progressive disease in which a person is addicted to the process of working.  In a nutshell:  a workaholic’s life is dominated by his or her job.  How many of you know a workaholic?  I have a friend who works all the time. Please help me to welcome my helpers.

My visuals were Barbie….

Action:  Following an interview with a prospective client, Barbie blacked out in her office and was forced to spend a few days in the hospital. The doctors told her she had a minor heart problem and she should take a vacation to relax, yet she blew the doctor’s orders off.  Barbie’s life revolves around her work. Barbie does not know how to relax, as she is a workaholic. A definite symptom of a workaholic is the denial.  Barbie flatly denies she has a problem with work. She submitted her proposal the next morning, after working well into the evening.

Action:  Following an interview with a prospective client, Ken powered walked to his office and left work early so he could head to the beach with his family.  He recently had his annual physical from this regular doctor, which showed he continues to maintain great health.  The doctor recommended that Ken may want to do more walking, just to keep his heart healthy.  Ken’s life revolves around his work and his family.  Ken loves to relax and hang out with his friends.  Ken is looking forward to working with his new client and has plans to submit his proposal next week.

and Ken dolls….

The main difference in work styles between Barbie and Ken is that Barbie’s work is out of control.  She is unable to relax, take time for herself or give time to her family.  Her work is her identity. Ken, on the other hand, goes to work to provide for his family and to pay his bills.  Ken enjoys working and he loves his profession.  He fills discretionary time with recreation, volunteering, attending community functions or with his family and friends.

Workaholism can lead to personal health problems as well as inefficiencies in the workplace. Workaholics get burned out and tired from their frantic pace.  Tired workers make mistakes, spend extra time redoing the mistakes and have a higher incidence of accidents and illnesses.  Studies reveal that 40 hour work week often brings higher productivity than a 60 hour work week.

Chronic fatigue, headaches, backaches, difficulty sleeping, stomach problems and heart problems are all symptoms common in workaholics.  There are often merely disregarded as stress-related.  The fact is a workaholic’s body and mind are on overload and compounded with the inability to relax, devastating results are destined to happen.  Workaholism can be fatal if not prevented or treated timely.

A workaholic’s work style can create obstacles throughout the company.  There is a good possibility that communication problems with co-workers and clients will occur.  For example, since workaholics often exhibit peaks and valleys in job performance, co-workers can get mixed messages.  When a workaholic is “up” it is good for other co-workers.  When she is “down” confusion and miscommunication occur.  A healthy worker has strong communication skills.

A workaholic becomes obsessed about their job while not taking into account the whole picture behind their work.  This can be very dysfunctional in the workplace as the worker simply cannot be obsessive about a client or a particular account for example.  A healthy worker is able to focus on more than one project at a time.

A workaholic may constantly want to revise something in an attempt to make it perfect.  A perfectionist is often inconsistent in his or her productivity. They fluctuate between intense working and procrastination.  A healthy worker finds it best to level or balance out performance.

Often a workaholic needs to be in control in individual work as well as group work.  Since many companies rely on innovative teamwork, the workaholic is not a good team player and can hamper the group’s goals.  Teamwork is an essential component of today’s modern workforce. Problems related to workaholism can lead to inefficiencies in a company.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A WORKAHOLIC

  • Prefer jobs with important titles and the opportunity to control others
  • Has an obsessive nature about work
  • Needs to be in control
  • Makes endless lists of things to do
  • Exaggerates achievements and rarely mention failures
  • Are often perfectionists
  • Appear to work twice as hard as everyone else
  • May have other addictions to money, food or relationships
  • Cannot say “no” to excessive demands for fear of disapproval
  • Constantly seeks approval which they receive through work (needs to please others)
  • Has either overinflated or under inflated perception of self
  • Has a hard time seeing themselves honestly and accepting who they are
  • Operates in constant crisis mode, usually because their schedule is more than they can handle
  • Inability to relax, workaholics cannot just sit and be
  • Puts in endless hours, foregoes vacations and puts everything else on hold for the sake of work
  • Loses touch with families and friends
  • Denies the problem / disease

HOW TO WORK WITH A WORKAHOLIC

  • Learn your company’s mission statement.  Understand the objectives related to achieving it and stay focused.
  • Gain co-workers’ trusts from the beginning.  Take charge of your work and get it done promptly.
  • Do just the opposite of what a workaholic does.  Arrive at work on time and leave when the time is right.
  • Don’t get caught up in the “frantic” mode of work.  Make order out of the chaos.
  • Creatively adapt to the workaholic’s work patterns.  Study the person’s style and habits, and learn what triggers affect their pace of work.
  • Be respectful and helpful to all co-workers ~ Be a Team Player
  • Solve problems with flexibility and learn from the situation

 

”When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” ~ Henry J. Kaiser

In conclusion, workaholism is damaging to individuals, their relationships and their workplaces.  It leads to inefficiencies in the work place and can cost employers time and money.  The most valuable asset a worker carries is that of serenity of mind and a healthy physical presence.  If we work ourselves to death at the expense of health and mental well-being, we will ultimately fail.  A healthy company encourages their workers to get the rest, recreation, exercise and self-reflective time necessary in order to be effective and productive players.

I wish you all good luck in the future and encourage you to take your work seriously, yet at the same time enjoy your life to its fullest.

CALCULATE YOUR WORKAHOLISM RISK FACTOR

If you suspect you may be a workaholic, your responses to the following 20 statements will help you determine what course of action to take.  How often do each of the following statements apply to you? Give yourself:  0 points for never;  1 point for rarely;  2 points for occasionally;  3 points for often.  Then add your points and refer to the scoring ranges at the bottom.

  1. I find myself irritated or frustrated by situations I think I should be able to handle
  2. I get overly involved emotionally with my clients
  3. I overschedule appointments
  4. I have chronic physical ailments
  5. My spouse/partner, children and friends complain that I’m never home or able to do things with them
  6. I feel I have so much to do that I’ll never get to all of it
  7. I feel successful but not happy
  8. The costs of putting all my energy into my work outweigh the benefits
  9. I get anxious and depressed and wish I could leave the business, but I know I can’t
  10. I must keep driving myself to avoid disaster
  11. I feel edgy, anxious, or guilty when I’m not working
  12. I believe that if I don’t keep up the pace, I won’t survive
  13. I feel tire—nearly exhausted—all the time
  14. Anything less than perfection is failure
  15. I work more than ten hours per day, six or seven days a week
  16. I’m preoccupied with work-related concerns
  17. I keep telling myself that I’ll slow down and take some time off
  18. Work comes first in my life
  19. I feel as if something is wrong, but I don’t know what it is
  20. I have trouble falling asleep at night because I’m thinking about work

Scores:  1-20:  workaholism may not be a problem for you, but you may want to ask the people who know you well whether they agree with you assessments.  21-50:  you could be in the beginning or even the middle stages of workaholism.  Get a physical checkup and implement some changes.  51-60:  You’re most likely under a great deal of stress and have several physical, mental, and emotional symptoms.  Take immediate steps to get professional help.