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Meatloaf Recipe Team Activity

Learning to Learn: Meatloaf Recipe Team Activity

Use these Levels of Reference to Obtain Needed Information:

Your own personal knowledge.

  1. The knowledge of the person next to you.
  2. The knowledge of someone you know somewhere.
  3. Information found in books you own.
  4. Information found at the library.
  5. Information found on the internet.


Your team has 12 minutes to complete the task.


  1. Provide a list from each team members own knowledge of what goes into a meatloaf recipe.
  2. Provide a combined list from the group as to your idea of what goes into a meatloaf receipt using some of the information from #1 above.
  3. Provide a combined final receipt from steps 1 and 2 above and from any other sources of information including the internet.
  4. Write your final receipt in your receipt book for future reference.
  5. Your team has 12 minutes to complete the task. Choose a team leader and a person to compile the information. Start Now.
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Learning to Learn

For the Original Source of this article Click Here 

I’m not good at many things.  Let me rephrase that.  I’m not naturally good at many things.

There are many people who are smarter than me, process things quicker and overall just have a better aptitude for almost everything I do.

I’ll freely admit, I’ve been pretty successful in my field and in life in general.  (At least according to my own measures of success.)

You might wonder how I can be so untalented, yet accomplish so much?

I must be doing something right.

The Key

I believe the key thing that has helped me to become successful and will continue to do so, is my ability to learn how to learn about a subject, self education.


I’ve found that it is only when you take ownership for the learning process and its result that you actually are able to accomplish the true goal of learning, which is the ability to put knowledge into action.

So what is learning to learn?

Basically, it is figuring out the best way to learn about a particular subject.  You can contrast this to the default mode of education, which is relying on someone else to teach you a subject.

As a society in general we have adopted the idea that attending institutions of education is the correct way to learn about a subject.  And while schooling can be important and good, it is often not the best method of acquiring useful actionable knowledge.


A wise man by the name of Herbert Spencer, who as an English philosopher in the mid to late 1800s, once said

“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”

Now obviously I’m not knocking the idea of learning a subject matter through someone else’s teaching.  I make part of my living teaching, and perhaps the reason why you are reading this blog is because you expect to learn something.

My point is simply that the most efficient way to learn something that you will actually put into action is to decide what must be learned and how to learn it yourself, rather than taking a complete prescription from someone else.  Someone else may be able to break down subject matter and assist in your learning, but you ultimately are responsible for your own education.

Take a moment and say that with me, because I think it is so important.

“I am responsible for my own education.”

It is quite an empowering phrase.  When you really let it sink in, you begin to realize that no one can give you a grade, but yourself.  (And I don’t mean this in the “all kids are special and everyone tries so it is not fair to give some kids As and Fs and lower their self esteem” kind of way.)

I mean this in the sense that it doesn’t matter if you got straight As and a perfect 4.0 GPA in college, you ultimately have to decide if you learned something, or if you just did the work.

It is only when you take ownership for the learning process and its result that you actually are able to accomplish the true goal of learning, which is the ability to put knowledge into action.

Why learning to learn is important

Have you ever considered how expensive education is?  Is there some magic formula that a college or university has that gives them the ability to define and bestow an education better than you could do yourself?

When you consider the amount of money and time that is spent on traditional classroom education, you really have to ask the question of whether or not you are getting the maximum benefit for your precious resources.

I think you’ll find that most of the time, the answer is “no.”

The problem with systematic education is that it isn’t very efficient.  The process of learning something is very tailored to an individual.  It is not something that is easily distilled and applied like a balm or an ointment to the foreheads of eager young students.


Not only do different people have different learning styles, but what is important for them to actually learn varies as well.

Let’s be completely honest here, in most formal educational systems the majority of what you do is read and regurgitate things, but not really learn them.  Perhaps you remember them for long enough to take a test, or to graduate to the next level of that subject area, but do you really learn most of the things that are taught in a textbook?  Do you really need to?

Overall, with traditional spoon-fed education, you are typically not really getting your value’s worth for your money or your time.

Still, I hope we can all agree that education is important.

And because education is so important and we don’t want to waste our money or our time acquiring it, it is essential to learn how to learn.

Equipped with the ability to teach yourself anything you need to know, you suddenly lose the constraints that are binding you to a particular area of knowledge or skillset.

When you can teach yourself more efficiently about a subject than any institution can, you have given yourself perhaps one of the most valuable gifts a human being can receive to be successful in life.

You have given yourself the ability to do just about anything you want.  (Within the constraints of time-space and physical reality of course.)

And once you have this ability yourself, you will also find that you will be in a great position to teach others what you know.

Since most of the world is not very good at this skill, you have a genuine value that is in short supply.  If you can take a subject matter, figure out a path to learn that subject matter, and be successful in doing so, you can help others along the way who may not yet have mastered that ability as well as you have.

How to do it

All this talk about the value of learning to learn is worthless if we don’t actually learn how to learn how to learn.  (Say that three times fast.)

Rather than title this subject as accurately as I could put it, which would be to learn how to learn how to learn, I decided “how to do it” approximates closely enough my point.

Enough blabber, let’s get down to it.

Scoping the subject

The first step in learning about a subject and perhaps the most critical is to determine the scope of the subject you want to learn about.


So many people skip this step and wander aimlessly though the vast halls of knowledge never really knowing what they are looking for.

In determining the scope of the subject you want to learn about it is very important to consider first the granularity.  The granularity at which you wish to learn a subject will very greatly influence the size or overall scope of the subject matter to be digested.

Speaking plainly…  you can’t lean a lot about a large subject in detail. (At least not in a practical amount of time.)

You basically have to balance the details of the subject to the overall size of what you want to learn.

For example, since this is a programming blog, let’s say you want to learn about a particular technology.  Let’s say C#.

You could learn about the topic with a broad brush and learn the basics of the language and how to generally construct logical statements and write programs in that language.

You could also decide that you want to learn exactly how C# works and how exactly each keyword behaves under certain circumstances.  This level of detail can of course be found in the C# language specification.  (If you didn’t actually click that link, it takes you to a 505 page book with almost all of the technical details of the C# language.)

And while you could of course learn the language at this level of detail, it would probably be a lot more beneficial to pick a particular aspect of the C# language to learn about at this detail based on why you want to learn it rather than attempt to understand every aspect of every situation of the C# language.

Taking another simpler example.  If you wanted to learn about world history, you are either going to want to learn about the entire history of the world at a very high and summarized level, or you are going to want to pick a particular era and location.

Having a goal

The next thing you need is a goal.  There is no point in learning something just for the sake of learning it.


Your goal might be to build something with the new technology or to be able to write about it competently or even just to be able to speak fluently on the subject matter.

I’d encourage you though, in choosing a goal, to make sure that your goal is something that can be measured and qualified in no uncertain terms.  If you are learning a new technology, make a goal of building something with it.  Even if it is something that will be thrown away after it is built.  It will both serve to reinforce what you have learned and to validate the subject matter and scope you have chosen.

Another important goal I always try to have is to teach whatever I am learning.  I have found that the only way to truly learn something (and by this I mean to have that true in-depth knowledge of a subject, one that does not fade with time) is to teach it.

Present at a local user group, write a blog post, tell your spouse about it.  (My wife loves hearing about programming languages and technology.  Sometimes she’ll even drop what she is doing just to make sure she is paying full attention and not missing one intricate little detail about all the exciting things I am telling her.)

When you define a goal, it is also important to define a deadline.  Doing this will help you refine the goal and recheck the scope of your subject.

It does no good to learn something without the ability to practically apply it.  By having an actual deadline, you ensure that what you are trying to accomplish will fit into the timeline which will be required to make it useful to you.

The important point is to have at least some goal for your learning endeavor.

Finding resources

After you know what you are going to learn and you have a good idea of how you will measure your achievement of the learning, you will undoubtedly need to find some resources for proceeding with your plan.

Pile of Books

At this step, you’ll also want to start creating an outline or mind map or some other way of organizing exactly what things you decided to learn about when you defined your scope.  I’ll talk more on that in a moment.

Depending on the subject matter you are trying to learn there may be a large amount of resources available or very few.

Usually, the best way to get started on finding resources is a search on the internet.

Often we are trained to only turn to one type of medium as a resource for learning when there are so many more.  Consider all the types of resources that may be available on a subject:

  • Books
  • Videos
  • Magazine articles
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Webpages
  • Field experts
  • Other who are also looking to learn the subject and may have already gathered resources together

As you are compiling the resources you may draw upon, you should also be looking to figure out how others have taught the subject you are attempting to learn.

I often will look through the tables of contents of three to four books on a subject I am trying to learn and draw my own outline of how I will cover the material from the overall picture I get from how others have broken down the topic before.

Another great source is to look at actual college courses or other courses on the subject and see how the material is broken down there.

Sometimes you’ll find though that just asking someone knowledgeable about the subject will be your best avenue.

The end of this step should result in an actionable plan that outlines what you are going to cover and how you are going to cover it along with a general idea of the resources you will use to do so.

Putting it into practice

I’ve found the most effective way to actually learn something once I know what I am going to learn and where I am going to get the information from is to study and do at almost the same time.


Now “do” can be a very broad term when it comes to learning, so you’ll have to decide for yourself what exactly this constitutes.

If I am learning a new programming language, or framework, I’ll try to actually creating demos of what I am learning, by working through my own examples.

At the same time, I may be “doing” by reorganizing information either to prepare a talk or course on the subject that I will be teaching.  By attempting to take the information I am getting and restructure it in a simpler way that I can explain to someone else, I am forcing myself to undergo the process of learning instead of just reading.

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

So if you want to understand something “well enough,” work from the goal of being to explain it simply.

So much more

In a short blog post, I can’t cover everything there is to know or that I have found to be true about learning to learn.

A whole volume of books could easily be written on the subject, but what I have outlined are the basics of what I generally do to learn something quickly and effectively.

I wanted to touch on very briefly some other aspects of this subject that I have thought about, but not covered as thoroughly in this post.


One excellent technique for learning something is to immerse yourself in it.  If you really want to learn a programming language, start doing everything in that language.

If you want to learn to use keyboard shortcuts instead of mouse clicks, try taking away or limiting your mouse use for some period of time.

Immersion is a somewhat painful, but effective and fast way to learn new material.

Pair programming with newbies is an excellent example of immersion.  Let them jump right in and start coding with someone who knows about the system.

Many foreign language classes also use this technique by forcing students to only speak in the language they are learning when in class.

Try and fail

While I think your aim should not be to learn knowledge by trying and failing, it is a great source of wisdom.

Let me clearly define the difference between the two, before I move on.

Knowledge is what you know that can be put into words and consists primarily of facts.

Wisdom is akin to common sense.  It is often not able to be put into words and cannot be fact checked for accuracy because it is a set of principles that rule your behavior and thinking.

You really shouldn’t try to learn something the painful way if you can just find out the answer to something by asking someone or looking up the information.

(Don’t try and pass a multiple choice test by try and fail.)

On the other hand, go ahead with the imperfect knowledge that you have and try to apply it to something; if you fail figure out why.  This process will produce valuable learning.

In short, learning through try and fail can be good, but only when it teaches us lessons that we couldn’t learn otherwise.   There is a big difference between educated failing and fumbling your way through life unprepared.

It is not necessary to learn that a stove is hot by touching it, but the best way to learn to start a business is probably to fail at one first.

Skills mastery

Everything I’ve outlined so far, has been on the basis of acquiring general knowledge on a subject, not about becoming better at an art or skill.

What I mean by this is there is a difference between being an expert golfer and knowing a great deal about the proper golf technique.

Often a prerequisite for skills mastery is the acquisition of a large amount of knowledge on a subject, but having a large amount of knowledge on a subject does not an expert make.

The same goes for being a better programmer.

You could learn 10 different programming languages and 20 different technologies and frameworks, but simply having all this knowledge doesn’t mean you are good at applying it.

The old adage that practice makes perfect is appropriate in this situation.

There simply is no substitute for experience.  And experience is obtained through practice over time.  (Although, at the same time practicing without the proper knowledge in place can put you in a worse position than not practicing at all.  Ever heard of someone having to un-learn their golf swing?)

For more on this topic check out the Dryfus model of skill acquisition.

Changing your thinking

The key to self educating is to be able to change the way you think about learning.  You should no longer see yourself as a student to be taught, but rather as a researcher gathering together information on a subject.


This way of thinking about education tends to go against what many of us have been taught by formalized education systems.

It takes a bit of courage to step forward and proclaim yourself as your own best educator, but the rewards of doing so are immense.

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Getting Your GED in Colorado

Start the process by checking out

This website will be the place where you can start learning about the GED and how it works. You can also learn about the GED from talking to others who have taken it, or by checking out books at the library. Some students who can afford it will buy their own books about the GED.  It is up to you to start and maintain and good list of resources and information about the GED. It is ok to let others help you, but you must put together your own list.

What is on the GED test?

The GED consists of four subjects:

  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies

We’ve collected some of our favorite resources to help you prepare for the GED.  Chick here for the list from

How is the GED test given?

As of January 2014, all GED testing is computer based (you must go to a designated testing site to take the computer-based test).

You will need the following computer skills:

  • Mouse skills (click, double-click, drag-and-drop)
  • Keyboard and typing skills to type answers
  • Copy and paste
  • Use a scroll bar
  • Undo/redo edits
  • Use an online calculator

Learn to type and use the computer for Free for the GED at the following:


Study on your own and Tutors
  • Books: Search the Library for study books, go a book store, or try one of the best selling books on . Ask people you know if they have taken the GED and if they have any old books that might help you.
  • Online: Use the Learning Express Library from your local library. Here is how to sign up for the Jefferson County Colorado Library Learning Express: Tutorial: How to sign up for GED practice test and help at the Jefferson County Library.
  • The GED Testing Service site also offers free online GED practice tests for each subject
  • Computer tutorials:  the computer tutorials listed here will help you prepare for the computer-based GED test. Thanks to the Mesa Public Library for this information.
  • Get Help from Tutors at the Arvada Community Food Bank: Make an appointment at the food bank with a tutor. When you meet with the tutor, come ready with questions from problems you have already tried to work on. Some items you will not have any trouble with at all, you don’t need a tutor for those items. Only bring items that you need help with. Time with your tutor is not the correct time to be working on items for the first try.


Calculator for the 2014 GED® test (all United States test-takers)

Texas Instruments TI-30XS on-screen calculator will automatically be available when you sit for the GED® test on computer after January 2nd, 2014 for all but five Mathematical Reasoning questions, and some Social Studies and Science questions.


One of the best ways to prepare for the GED is to take a practice test. This will give you a good idea of which subjects you need to study for, and it will also familiarize you with how the real test will work. All of the practice tests below are free and can be accessed through your web browser.


Levels of Reference to Obtain Needed Information:


  1. Your own personal knowledge.
  2. The knowledge of the person next to you.
  3. The knowledge of someone you know somewere.
  4. Information found in books you own.
  5. Information found at the library.
  6. Information found on the internet.


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Job Networking Tips

Great tips: for the an original article click here. meljr

Job Networking Tips

How to Find a Job By Building Relationships

Job Networking Tips

Finding a job in today’s economy can be tough, but there are opportunities if you know where to look. The best way to find these opportunities is not through online job boards, the classifieds, or employment agencies—it’s by talking to people around you. Your network of friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances is a valuable job search resource. Networking may sound intimidating, but it can be rewarding and fun, even if you’re shy or feel like you don’t know many people

What is networking?

The vast majority of job openings are never advertised; they’re filled by word of mouth. That’s why networking is the best way to find a job. Unfortunately, many job seekers are hesitant to take advantage of networking because they’re afraid of being seen as pushy, annoying, or self-serving. But networking isn’t about using other people or aggressively promoting yourself—it’s about building relationships.

You already know how to network

Networking is nothing more than getting to know people. Whether you realize it or not, you’re already networking every day and everywhere you go. You are networking when you strike up a conversation with the person next to you in line, introduce yourself to other parents at your child’s school, meet a friend of a friend, catch up with a former co-worker, or stop to chat with your neighbor. Everyone you meet can help you move your job search forward.

Tapping the hidden job market may take more planning and nerve than searching online, but it’s much more effective. Adopting a networking lifestyle—a lifestyle of connecting and helping others in good times and bad—will help you find the right job, make valuable connections in your chosen field, and stay focused and motivated during your job search.

Networking is the best way to find a job because:

  • People do business primarily with people they know and like. Resumes and cover letters alone are often too impersonal to convince employers to hire you.
  • Job listings tend to draw piles of applicants, which puts you in intense competition with many others. Networking makes you a recommended member of a much smaller pool.
  • The job you want may not be advertised at all. Networking leads to information and job leads, often before a formal job description is created or a job announced.

Job networking tip 1: You know more people than you think

You may think that you don’t know anyone who can help you with your job search. But you know more people than you think, and there’s a very good chance that at least a few of these people know someone who can give you career advice or point you to a job opening. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!

Make a list of the people in your network

Your network is bigger than you think it is. It includes all of your family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues, and even casual acquaintances. Start writing down names, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly the list grows.

Think about people you know from former jobs, high school and college, church, your child’s school, the gym, social media, or your neighborhood. Also think about people you’ve met through your close connections: your sister’s co-worker; your best friend’s boss; your college roommate’s spouse; friends of your parents; your uncle’s business partner. Don’t forget to include people like your doctor, landlord, accountant, dry cleaner, or yoga instructor.

Yes, you do have a job network, and it’s more powerful than you think:

  • You already belong to many networks (family, friends, colleagues, fellow civic club members, etc.) and your job search network can be natural outgrowth of these primary contacts.
  • Each network connects you to another network (e.g., your child’s teacher can connect you with other parents, schools, and school suppliers).
  • Each member of a network may know of an available job or a connection to someone who will know of one.

If you’re nervous about making contact—either because you’re uncomfortable asking for favors or embarrassed about your employment situation—try to keep the following things in mind:

  • It feels good to help others. Most people will gladly assist you if they can.
  • People like to give advice and be recognized for their expertise.
  • Almost everyone knows what it’s like to be out of work or looking for a job. They’ll sympathize with your situation.
  • Unemployment can be isolating and stressful. By connecting with others, you’re sure to get some much needed encouragement, fellowship, and moral support.
  • Reconnecting with the people in your network should be fun—even if you have an agenda. The more this feels like a chore the more tedious and anxiety-ridden the process will be.

Job networking tip 2: Reach out to your network

All the connections in the world won’t help you find a job if no one knows about your situation. Once you’ve drawn up your list, start making contact with the people in your network. Let them know that you’re looking for a job. Be specific about what kind of work you’re looking for and ask them if they have any information or know anyone in a relevant field. Don’t assume that certain people won’t be able to help. You may be surprised by who they know.

Figure out what you want before you start networking

Networking is most effective when you have specific employer targets and career goals. It’s hard to get leads with a generic “Let me know if you hear of anything” request. You may think that you’ll have better job luck if you leave yourself open to all the possibilities, but the reality is this “openness” creates a black hole that sucks all of the networking potential out of the connection.

A generic networking request for a job is worse than no request at all, because you can lose that networking contact and opportunity. Asking for specific information, leads, or an interview is much more focused and easier for the networking source. If you’re having trouble focusing your job search, you can turn to close friends and family members for help, but avoid contacting more distant people in your network until you’ve set clear goals.

Start with your references

When you are looking for a job, start with your references. Your best references—the people who like you and can endorse your abilities, track record, and character—are major networking hubs.

  • Contact each one of your references to network about your possibilities and affirm their agreement to be your reference.
  • Describe your goals and seek their assistance.
  • Keep them informed on your job search progress.
  • Prepare them for any calls from potential employers.
  • Let them know what happened and thank them for their help regardless of the outcome.

Job networking tip 3: Improve your communication skills

Effective communication is a cornerstone of job networking. As simple as communication may seem, much of what we try to communicate—and others try to communicate to us—gets misunderstood.

Effective communication combines a set of learned skills: attentive listening, recognizing and using nonverbal cues, managing stress in the moment, and understanding your own emotions and those of the person you’re communicating with.

Attentive listening

Effective listening means not just understanding the words or the information being communicated, but also understanding how the speaker feels about what they’re communicating. To listen effectively:

  • Focus fully on the speaker and his or her body language, rather than daydreaming, texting, or doodling. If you find it hard to concentrate, try repeating the speaker’s words over in your head.
  • Avoid interrupting or trying to redirect the conversation to your concerns. Listening is not the same as waiting for your turn to talk. You can’t concentrate on what someone’s saying if you’re forming what you’re going to say next.
  • Show your interest in what’s being said. Nod occasionally, smile at the person, and make sure your posture is open and inviting.

Nonverbal communication

Wordless communication, or body language, includes facial expressions, body movement and gestures, eye contact, posture, and the tone of your voice. The way you look, listen, move, and react to another person tells them more about how you’re feeling than words alone ever can.

  • You can enhance effective communication by using open body language—arms uncrossed, standing with an open stance or sitting on the edge of your seat, and maintaining eye contact with the person you’re talking to.
  • Body language can emphasize or enhance your verbal message—patting a friend on the back while complimenting him on his success, for example, or pounding your fists to underline your message.

Managing stress

Overwhelming stress can hamper effective communication by disrupting your capacity to think clearly and creatively, and act appropriately. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to misread other people and send confusing or off-putting nonverbal signals.

To quickly deal with stress while communicating:

  • Recognize when you’re becoming stressed. Are your muscles tight? Are your hands clenched? Is your breath shallow?
  • Take a moment to calm down. Take a few deep breaths, clench and relax your muscles, or take a break if possible. Stroll outside or spend a few minutes in a quiet place to regain your balance.
  • Bring your senses to the rescue. The best way to rapidly and reliably relieve stress is through your senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Wearing a favorite perfume or cologne, or keeping a photo of your family at hand may help to calm you.
  • Find the humor. When used appropriately, humor is a great way to diffuse stress. Lighten the mood by sharing a joke or amusing story.

Emotional awareness

Developing Emotional AwarenessDeveloping emotional awareness provides you the tools for understanding both yourself and other people, and the real messages they are communicating to you. Although knowing your own feelings may seem simple, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear. But your ability to communicate effectively depends on being connected to these feelings. If you’re afraid of strong emotions or insist on communicating only on a rational level, it will impair your ability to fully understand others and build strong connections.

Job networking tip 4: Focus on building relationships

Networking is a give-and-take process that involves making connections, sharing information, and asking questions. It’s a way of relating to others, not a technique for getting a job or a favor. You don’t have to hand out your business cards on street corners, cold call everyone on your contact list, or work a room of strangers. All you have to do is reach out.

  • Be authentic. In any job search or networking situation, being you—the real you—should be your goal. Hiding who you are or suppressing your true interests and goals will only hurt you in the long run. Pursuing what you want and not what you think others will like, will always be more fulfilling and ultimately more successful.
  • Be considerate. If you’re reconnecting with an old friend or colleague, take the time to get through the catching-up phase before you blurt out your need. On the other hand, if this person is a busy professional you don’t know well, be respectful of his or her time and come straight out with your request.
  • Ask for advice, not a job. Don’t ask for a job, a request comes with a lot of pressure. You want your contacts to become allies in your job search, not make them feel ambushed, so ask for information or insight instead. If they’re able to hire you or refer you to someone who can, they will. If not, you haven’t put them in the uncomfortable position of turning you down or telling you they can’t help.
  • Be specific in your request. Before you go off and reconnect with everyone you’ve ever known, get your act together and do a little homework. Be prepared to articulate what you’re looking for. Is it a reference? An insider’s take on the industry? A referral? An introduction to someone in the field? Also make sure to provide an update on your qualifications and recent professional experience.

Slow down and enjoy the job networking process

The best racecar drivers are masters of slowing down. They know that the fastest way around the track is by slowing down going into the turns, so they can accelerate sooner as they’re heading into the straightaway. As you’re networking, keep this “Slow in, fast out” racing mantra in mind.

Effective networking is not something that should be rushed. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to be efficient and focused, but hurried, emergency networking is not conducive to building relationships for mutual support and benefit. When you network, you should slow down, be present, and try to enjoy the process. This will speed up your chances for success in the job-hunting race. Just because you have an agenda doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy reconnecting.

Don’t be a hit-and-run networker

Don’t be a hit-and-run networker: connecting, getting what you want, and then disappearing, never to be heard from until the next time you need something. Invest in your network by following up and providing feedback to those who were kind of enough to offer their help. Thank them for their referral and assistance. Let them know whether you got the interview or the job. Or use the opportunity to report on the lack of success or the need for additional help.

Job networking tip 5: Evaluate the quality of your network

If your networking efforts don’t seem to be going anywhere, you may need to evaluate the quality of your network. Take some time to think about your network’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Without such an evaluation, there is little chance your network will adapt to your needs and your future goals. You may not notice how bound you are to history, or how certain connections are holding you back. And you may miss opportunities to branch out and forge new ties that will help you move forward.

Taking inventory of your network and where it is lacking is time well spent. If you feel your network is out of date, then it’s time to upgrade! Your mere awareness of your needs will help you connect you with new and more relevant contacts and networks.

Rate your network

Give yourself 1 point for each question you answer yes.

  • Do you trust your network to give you the truth about the real you?
  • Does your network challenge you as much as it supports you?
  • Does your network feel vibrant and dynamic?
  • Does your network represent your future goals as much as your past?
  • Are the networks connected to your network strong?

5 pts – Your network is in great shape!

3-4 pts – You need to enhance your network.

0-2 pts – Your network needs a makeover.

Job networking tip 6: Take advantage of both “strong” and “weak” ties

Everyone has both “strong” and “weak” ties. Strong ties occupy that inner circle and weak ties are less established. Adding people to networks is time consuming, especially strong ties. It requires an investment of time and energy to have multiple “best friends.” Trying to stay in touch with new acquaintances is just as challenging.

But adding new “weak tie” members gives your network vitality and even more cognitive flexibility—the ability to consider new ideas and options. New relationships invigorate the network by providing a connection to new networks, viewpoints, and opportunities.

Tips for strengthening your job network

  • Tap into your strong ties. Your strong ties will logically and trustingly lead to new weak ties that build a stronger network. Use your existing network to add members and reconnect with people. Start by engaging the people in your trusted inner circle to help you fill in the gaps in your network.
  • Think about where you want to go. Your network should reflect where you’re going, not just where you’ve been. Adding people to your network who reflect issues, jobs, industries, and areas of interest is essential. If you are a new graduate or a career changer, join the professional associations that represent your desired career path. Attending conferences, reading journals, and keeping up with the lingo of your desired field can prepare you for where you want to go.
  • Make the process of connecting a priority. Make connecting a habit—part of your lifestyle. Connecting is just as important as your exercise routine. It breathes life into you and gives you confidence. Find out how your network is doing in this environment, what steps they are taking, and how you can help. As you connect, the world will feel smaller and a small world is much easier to manage.

Job networking tip 7: Take the time to maintain your network

Maintaining your job network is just as important as building it. Accumulating new contacts can be beneficial, but only if you have the time to nurture the relationships. Avoid the irrational impulse to meet as many new people as possible. The key is quality, rather than quantity. Focus on cultivating and maintaining your existing network. You’re sure to discover an incredible array of information, knowledge, expertise, and opportunities.

Schedule time with your key contacts

List the people who are crucial to your network—people you know who can and have been very important to you. Invariably, there will be some you have lost touch with. Reconnect and then schedule a regular meeting or phone call. You don’t need a reason to get in touch. It will always make you feel good and provide you with an insight or two.

Prioritize the rest of your contacts

Keep a running list of people you need to reconnect with. People whose view of the world you value. People you’d like to get to know better or whose company you enjoy. Prioritize these contacts and then schedule time into your regular routine so you can make your way down the list.

Take notes on the people in your network

Take notes on the people in your networkCollecting cards and filing them is a start. But maintaining your contacts, new and old, requires updates. Add notes about their families, their jobs, their interests, and their needs. Unless you have a photographic memory, you won’t remember all of this information unless you write it down. Put these updates and notes on the back of their business cards or input them into your contact database.

Find ways to reciprocate

Always remember that successful networking is a two-way street. Your ultimate goal is to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships. That means giving as well as receiving. Send a thank-you note, ask them about their family, email an article you think they might be interested in, and check in periodically to see how they’re doing. By nurturing the relationship through your job search and beyond, you’ll establish a strong network of people you can count on for ideas, advice, feedback, and support.

Helpguide thanks John E. Kobara, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the California Community Foundation. This article is adapted from his blog, Adopting the Mentoring and Networking Lifestyle.

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To get a job, talk to people face to face.

Too many people see the job search as a passive process. They spend each day at home on the computer, trolling job sites, submitting their resumes, and then waiting to get a call requesting an interview. And waiting. And waiting.

The job you want is very unlikely to land in your lap this way. Instead, the job will go to the man hitting the pavement and talking to real humans face to face.  Read on:  Click here for original source of this article


Looking for a Job? Take the Initiative!


This month, nearly 2 million students left colleges and universities around the country with a bachelor’s degree in hand. Some will be headed to graduate school, while others will be entering the job market, many hoping to land their first “real” job. At the same time, 3 million high school graduates have started looking for a summer gig–perhaps their first job ever. Joining them in the job hunt are the millions of Americans who have been laid off, are unemployed, and have been looking to get hired for weeks, months, even years.

What all these folks have in common is that they’re searching for a job in a tough economy. While experts debate whether things are looking up or whether we’re headed for even worse times, the reality for job seekers out there is that competition is tight. The plumb jobs will go to the bright, to those who are well-connected and know how to network, and, most of all…to those who know how to hustle.

Too many men see the job search as a passive process. They spend each day at home on the computer, trolling and other job sites, submitting their resumes, and then waiting to get a call requesting an interview. And waiting. And waiting.

The job you want is very unlikely to land in your lap this way. Instead, the job will go to the man hitting the pavement–the man who takes the initiative. Here are some tips on how to grab the bull by the horns when you’re looking for a job.

Note: Obviously, one of the best ways to take the initiative in finding work is to start your own biz. But the focus of this article will be landing a job with someone else.

Hand in Your Resume in Person

The surest way to remain unemployed is to be like the guy mentioned above—submitting your resumes online and then sitting on your hands waiting for a call. HR departments are like employment Bermuda Triangles—your resume gets sent to who knows where to be read by who knows who, if at all. And even if your resume does get read, what will differentiate it from the hundreds of others in the stack?

Instead, if it’s possible, print out your resume/cover letter/application, and go in person to hand it to whomever is responsible for hiring (the hiring manager, your potential supervisor, the head of the department, etc.) for the job you want. Figuring out who is responsible for hiring can be difficult at large, faceless corporations, but often can be done by looking online and making some calls.

This is how I have gotten most of the jobs I’ve had in my life. In each instance, the person was pleased with my initiative, interviewed me right on the spot, and, in some cases, offered me the job right then and there.

Obviously, handing in your resume in person works better for lower-level jobs than more professional ones, but it can be effective in a variety of situations. Awhile back, AoM Community member Ben D. posted an awesome little article on the Community blog about how he landed a job as a respiratory therapist by using this method:

“When my wife and I moved to Chicago, we had no connections here. No jobs, no family, and minimal money. The assumption was that I would be able to find a job in short order. Before we moved, I updated my resume, applied online to many jobs, and then sat back and waited.

When the move was over and we had settled in, I still did not have a job. I had a couple of leads, but they were at companies that are considered resume stains in my profession. Still, a crappy job beats no job, so I bit the bullet, called the hiring manager, and got hired at the Resume Stain.

After one shift I had had enough. While the people were nice, the job and the company were crap. I began formulating plans for my escape. I applied to more jobs online and then waited. That is how one applies for a job, right?

Wrong. I was listening to public radio and a story came on about how people seeking work would fill out online applications, post their resume to Monster, and then just wait for a job to fall into their laps. Listening to this it struck me how absurd and un-manly that was. Unless you can poop golden eggs, you are just one faceless resume in a sea of thousands. I decided to get my job the manly way: with hard work, initiative, and elbow grease.

I printed my resume, wrote a custom cover letter for the company I was applying to, and signed it in pen. I folded these items up into an envelope and addressed it to the hiring manager, put on my good suit and tie, and drove down to the company.

It struck me that what I was about to do–to cold-call a hiring manager–was risky. He could be in a bad mood or out of the office. Any number of bad things could happen. But I wanted this job, and I had nothing to lose.

I choked down my nerves, straightened my tie, put on a big confident smile, and strode through the doors. A little sniffing around brought me to the manager’s office. I knocked on the door, introduced myself with a big smile and a handshake, and before he knew it he had my resume and cover letter in his hands. I explained myself. “Just didn’t want to be another face in the crowd, thought I’d take a little initiative and stop by in person.” He sat me down for an interview, and an hour later I left with a promise from him that he’d be in touch.

A few days later I got a phone call and a job offer. Soon, I will be employed at a company that I respect and that has a great reputation. I got the job I actually wanted, not just one I was randomly hired for from the internet. I got a good job at a good company, and I got to make that critical first impression a good one, all by eschewing the trappings of the internet job hunt for the old-fashioned manly way of getting a job. Another victory for manliness!”

Another victory for manliness, indeed, Ben. And to the victor go the spoils.

Follow Up!

Whether you submit your resume online or hand it over in person, your job is not yet done. Now you must follow up! Hiring managers have a lot on their plate, as do department heads and supervisors for whom hiring is just one small part of what they do. So show your sincere interest in the job by following up with an email or phone call.

If a job posting gave a deadline for the application window, then follow up a couple of days after the deadline passes–following up before then will make you seem impatient. When you follow up, say something like, “Because the deadline for x job closed on June 11, I assume that applications have begun to be reviewed. I just wanted to express my sincere interest in the position. My [couple of key qualities] would make me a great fit for the job.” If you can find out something about the company’s culture or the kind of people the hiring manager likes to hire, then mention your connection to those things.

If the job posting didn’t have a deadline, then wait a week to ten days after you submit your application to follow up. Then give the hiring manager a call, and say something like, “My name is Bob Smith and I submitted my resume on June 11 for X job, and I was wondering if the position had been filled yet. No? Well, [express interest in job + a couple of things that make you well qualified for it].

If you’ve done an interview with the company, but haven’t heard back from them within the time frame they gave you (and make sure to ask for a timeline at the end of the interview if they don’t tell you), then the day after the original time frame expires, follow up with a phone call or email reaffirming your interest in the job, saying politely that you realize the hiring process can take awhile, and inquiring if they could give you an updated timeline on when they will be making a decision.

If the company didn’t give you a timeline to begin with, then wait a week and a half after your interview before following up.

Whether you’re following up on a submitted application or on an interview, keep it to two attempts. If you don’t get an answer on the first follow-up, send an email a week later. Still no answer? Move on.

“Apply” for Unadvertised Jobs and Jobs That Don’t Yet Exist

Many of the very best jobs out there will never show up in the classifieds. The company doesn’t advertise the positions publicly and instead hires friends, internal employees, or folks they have worked with or heard about in other capacities. So you’ll never get these gigs by waiting around for a job posting to show up. Instead, you have to take the initiative!

If there’s some place you want to work, and some position you’re hoping to get, send an email with your resume to the person you think would be in charge of hiring for that position. Tell them that if the job opens up, you’d love to be considered and why you’re qualified for the position.

You should put yourself out there even if a position or job you want doesn’t yet exist, or if you’re a freelancer hoping to pick up a new client who doesn’t even know he needs your services yet. Get a feel for what the company does currently, and where they could use help or could potentially expand, and then contact them and offer your services, giving them a specific idea of something you could do for them. Tell them you’re a big fan of what they do (hopefully this is actually true) and that you would be willing to do a project for them free of charge or at a discount to give back; doing something new is a risky proposition for the potential client, so they’ll be much more willing to give you a go if it won’t cost them much. Now they might not be able to use you at that moment, but down the road a need for your services may arise, and when it does, they’ll think of you first.

Let me give you some examples from running the Art of Manliness. Back in 2009, Ted Slampyak contacted me saying how much he liked AoM, and volunteering to take part in our SWYMJ series. Three years passed (three years!), but this year, the site was finally generating enough revenue to do something I had wanted to do since starting AoM: hire an illustrator to do illustrations for some of our posts. When we were thinking about how to find someone who could do illustrations with an AoM feel, Kate said, “Hey, how about that guy who did the SYWMJ interview? He does really cool stuff.” And so now Ted is our go-to guy for all our illustration needs.

Second case in point:

When I originally started AoM in January 2008, I did all the design work myself. For a law student with no web or graphic design experience, I did okay, but I knew the site could look a whole lot better if a professional applied their talents to it. Enter Eric Granata. Eric has been reading AoM since the beginning and was an active participant in our first version of the AoM forums. In early 2008, Eric reached out in an email introducing himself as a fellow Okie, AoM fan, and web designer. He volunteered his services for any graphic and web design needs that we might have. I had a small project that I needed done, and Eric did it completely gratis as a way to say thanks for the content on AoM.

We were so impressed with Eric’s work, we kept going back to him for other projects, but this time as a paying customer. In 2009, we hired Eric to do a complete redesign of AoM. The site you’re looking at today is Eric’s handiwork. We’ve become a regular paying client of Eric’s, and it all started with him taking the initiative and volunteering his services.

I could go on with more examples, but I think you get the idea. Start offering your services to people, and planting as many seeds as you can. They may not sprout immediately, but could very well bear fruit down the road.

And, it should go without saying, but even if you do that first thing for a potential client for free or at a discount, knock it out of the park! It’s basically your interview for a job. Wow the client with what you can do, and he’ll wonder what he ever did without you and eagerly start throwing more fully paid work your way. Half-ass it and your window of opportunity will close.

Take the Initiative!

So why do these initiative-taking methods work so well? Well, believe or not, companies have just as hard a time finding good people, as good people do finding good jobs. Put yourself in the shoes of the person doing the hiring—they’ve got stacks of applications to look through and it’s hard to distinguish on paper who might be worth calling in for an interview. It takes a lot of work to make that decision. By showing some initiative, you help do some of the work for them, as it shows you have moxie and ambition and that you really want this job: qualities that represent a big percentage of what they’re looking for in an employee.

Now taking the initiative in your job search doesn’t mean you’ll land your dream job tomorrow. But it is guaranteed to get you hired faster than waiting around for your next job to land in your lap.


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LDS Ward Employment Specialist: Checklist for Helping Job Seekers

Source: Denver LDS employment center 9/18/2014 – meljr

LDS Ward Employment Specialist: Checklist for Helping Job Seekers


  • Get to know the Job Seeker
  • Employment situation
  • Education
  • Goals: long term and short term
  • Special circumstances


  • Assist job seekers with registering on
  • Fill out goals section
  • Profile can be filled out later in the assistance process


  • Participate with priesthood and Relief Society leaders in their creating of a Ward Assistance Plan (WAP) for each member in need. An effective plan, as a minimum, should include the following:
  • Temporal circumstances and welfare needs
  • Short and long term goals of the job seeker
  • Training and educational needs
  • Defined action steps with specific time frames for accomplishment
  • Ward involvement


  • Seek direction from and report back to priesthood and Relief Society leaders.


  • Work with ward leaders to assign a suitable job coach


  • Provide training per the established Ward Assistance Plan, including:
  • Interviewing
  • Resume writing
  • Social Media
  • Job search


  • Seek inspiration. You have been called of God and set apart for this work!


  • Seek Assistance as needed from the Stake Employment Specialist, the Regional Employment Resource Center (if available) and Community employment resources in accordance with the Ward Assistance Plan


  • Assist members in completing their profile to 100% and making it visible to employers


  • Help ward leaders and the job seeker maintain a record of progress and accomplishments on


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Duties of an LDS Ward Employment Specialist

Source: Denver LDS employment center 9/18/2014 – meljr

Duties of an LDS Ward Employment Specialist


DUTIES                                                         ACTIONS

Study and Learn
  1. Receive initial training from the Stake Employment Specialist.
  2. Learn and understand the Ward Employment Process
  3. Attend ongoing training meetings and Stake Employment Nights, as established by the Stake Employment Specialist.
  4. Devote 4-6 hours a week to master:
  • Resume writing
  • Interviewing
  • Job Search Skills to include social media
  • org
  1. Periodically review available articles on
Teach and Apply
  1. Teach job skills to ward members as requested by:
  • Relief Society leaders
  • Priesthood leaders
  • YM/YW leaders
  • Individual job seekers
  1. Provide 5th Sunday and fireside presentations as requested.
Know and utilize resources
  1. Ward Resources:
  • Individual members
  • Priesthood and Relief Society committees
  • Ward Bulletins
  • Ward Council
  • Stake Employment Nights
  • Stake Employment Specialist
  • Stake Job Listings
  • Stake job fairs and workshops
  • Work Force Centers
  • Small Business Administration
  • Community welfare organizations
  • Local employers
  • Workshops
  • One on one Counseling
  • org
  1. Stake Resources:
  1. Community Resources:
  1. Regional Resources:





Know All Ward Employment Needs
  1. Conduct periodic Needs Survey to determine ward employment, education and training needs
  2. Work with priesthood quorums, Relief Society and YM/YW to determine the needs within their specific organizations
  3. Maintain updated employment status and notes for all members on
  4. Work with ward leaders to identify and remove barriers that prevent members from identifying their employment needs.
Resource to Ward Council
  1. Attend Ward councils
  2. Be prepared to provide input on:
  • Education and training
  • Job market to include self-employment, etc.
  • Survey results and identified needs.
  1. Report on status and progress of unemployed and underemployed in the ward (use content).
  1. Assist all members in creating and updating their profile
  2. Update the current status weekly of those registered on
  3. Add notes detailing members status, progress, and next steps on
  4. Train ward leaders on functionality and use of


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Dudies of an LDS Stake Employment Specialist

Source is Denver LDS Employment Center 9/18/2014 – meljr

Stake Employment Specialist



DUTIES                                                         ACTIONS

Acquire the knowledge and skills to find job openings and help members find suitable employment.
  1. Receive initial training from Regional Employment center
  2. Devote sufficient time to master
  3. Devote several hours a week to professional reading on job search skills: interviewing, networking, resume writing, cold calling, INTERNET search skills, etc.
  4. Get to know the members of the stake who work for key companies, are employers or who work in human resource management
  5. Attend the monthly training meetings held on line or at the Regional Employment Center


Provide Instruction and Training to Ward Employment Specialists
  1. Provide detailed instruction on to all ward employment specialists.
  2. Provide individual one on one training/orientation to all ward employment specialists after their initial call.
  3. Provide group training on a regular basis in a forum that allows the SES to address day to day challenges and needs of the ward employment specialists.
  4. Meet individually with ward employment specialists once a quarter to discuss calling, offer assistance, address concerns and evaluate progress.


Provide Instruction and Training to priesthood and Relief Society leaders at the ward level throughout the stake.
  1. Meet with ward priesthood and Relief Society leaders annually to provide joint training on employment.
  2. Work with ward employment specialists to provide individual training for R.S. and priesthood leaders as needed, to include YM/YW.


Know All Stake Employment Needs
  1. Insure Needs Surveys are conducted at the ward level to determine employment, education and training needs to include underemployment.
  2. Work with Stake R.S. and YM/YW presidencies to determine needs within their specific organizations to include inactive members.
  3. Work with Stake councils to identify employment needs stake wide.


Resource to Stake Welfare Committee
  1. Attend the quarterly Stake Welfare Committee meeting.
  2. Work with the committee to establish employment welfare goals.
  3. Be prepared to provide input on education, training, the current job market, employment opportunities, to include self-employment, etc.
  4. Report on status and progress of stake employment goals and monthly reports
  5. Report survey results and identified needs.
  6. Report on large scale job market issues affecting more than one ward.
  7. Accept new assignments and report on previous assignments.
  8. Assist individual members of the committee as requested.


Know Economic and Business Opportunities Within the Community
  1. Read the daily and Sunday business sections of the newspaper to become familiar with community employment opportunities and issues.
  2. Review monthly the local business journal or other available publications.
  3. Review monthly state/local government websites that detail latest economic conditions and trends.
  4. Periodically contact key members who have positions of economic responsibility in the community to receive updates and perspectives.


  1. Have stake and Regional employment activities placed in the Stake Directory
  2. Assist ward employment specialists in placing announcements in ward sacrament bulletins.
  3. Regularly advertise stake employment nights.


Help Place Members in Suitable Employment or Training, to Include Self Employment
  1. Establish stake employment nights where members can receive assistance on a regular basis and ongoing training can be provided to ward employment specialists.
  2. Help priesthood and Relief Society leaders understand that they shout take the lead in all employment efforts for their perspective members.
  3. Work with ward employment specialists to insure that members have a suitable job coach.
  4. Work with ward employment specialists to identify job openings that match needs of members with employment concerns.
  5. Seek inspiration.
  6. Seek Assistance as needed from the Employment Resource Center (if available) on employment opportunities within the community.
Meet with Stake President or assigned Stake Presidency member on a regular basis.
  1. Set Welfare goals.
  2. Outline plan for achieving stake goals.
  3. Discuss training stake wide.
  4. Discuss current state of unemployment and underemployment.
  5. Seek direction.
  6. Discuss any other issues that affect the temporal welfare of the stake members.



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Me in 30 Seconds for job hunters



Your “Me in 30 Seconds”,

Email to my best Friend, 

or Elevator Speech

Keep your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement brief. People generally listen effectively only 30 to 60 seconds, and they appreciate concise responses to questions. This indicates that you are clearly focused and waste no time getting to the point.

  • Speak in the present tense to show that your skills are current and applicable in today’s market.
  • Remember your audience. Adjust the level of detail and industry jargon you use according to the interest and experience of the person you are addressing.
  • Avoid common claims such as: “I’m trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous, kind,” and so on. Not only are these claims made by most job seekers, but without detailed examples, they don’t convey your value to a potential employer.
  • Make your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement natural.

It is a genuine form of communication that will help you organize everything you are into brief, coherent thoughts.

Adapted from an article at to ad information on elevator speech. Thanks- meljr

  1. Your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement is a simple way to present to employers, friends, or people you meet, a balanced understanding of who you are. It is a brief but compelling answer to the question “Why should I hire you?” It is also a simple way to tell everyone you meet that you are looking for a job and what kind.
  1. Your “Me in 30 Seconds” has three main elements.
    • Prove your value
    • Indicate the type of work you are seeking
    • Ask for help or a referral
  1. “Prove your value” by addressing the following elements:
    • Education/Certifications
    • Years of  or amount of Experience
    • Validation and/or quantifiable results
    • Passions; what you’re good at/what you like to do within your profession
    • Ask for help or a referral
  2. Indicate the type of work you are seeking
    • Keep it short; one sentence
    • Say it at the end of your “Me in 30 Seconds”
    • Give the reader/listener a specific job title to remember
  3. The following “Me in 30 Seconds” examples have been color coded to match up with the color
    coded elements used above under number 3, “Prove your value”:

    • I have a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, with fifteen years experience in the manufacturing industry. My passion is in solving problems and improving processes to streamline business, eliminate waste, and cut costs. I once saved my company $10 million through a single capacity analysis. I’ve been an integral part of certifying the Boeing 747, 767 and 777 for safety and FAA compliance. I’m looking for a position in the manufacturing industry as an Industrial Engineer. Do you know anyone looking for someone like this?
    • I’m an effective leader and mentor with a passion for counseling job seekers to make sure they have the right tools in place for success. I have an MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources Management, and ten years experience in the industry. My main expertise lies in resume writing, job interviewing methods, and networking techniques. I have a proven track record of success in placing people in positions to succeed in their job searches and through my counseling, my clients have consistently found desirable positions 53% faster than through other agencies. I’m seeking a position as an Executive Recruiter. Who do you know that works in your Human Resource department?
    • I’m a skilled driver with a Class A CDL with both Hazmat and doubles endorsments. I have over ten years experience, with a perfect safety record, logging more than 750,000 miles and over 13,000 hours behind the wheel. I love to drive and enjoy being on the road doing long distance hauls. I’ve hauled many different kinds of loads, including auto parts, perishable foods, cars and furniture. I know all the elements of
      the transportation industry, having co-owned a successful trucking company for five years; hiring, training and managing the operations.
      I’m looking for a position within the trucking industry as an operations manager. Who do you know who works in the trucking business?
  1. This is your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement. You need to know this well enough to present at any time to any person. Also this can be part of your “Email to my Best Friend”. Sent it or give it to as many people you can think of.

Some other examples of “Me in 30 Seconds” statements:

“My name is Randy Patterson, and I’m currently looking for a job in youth services. I have 10 years of experience working with youth agencies. I have a bachelor’s degree in outdoor education. I raise money, train leaders, and organize units. I have raised over $100,000 each of the last six years. I consider myself a good public speaker, and I have a good sense of humor. “Who do you know who works with youth?”

“My name is Lucas Martin, and I enjoy meeting new people and finding ways to help them have an uplifting experience. I have had a variety of customer service opportunities, through which I was able to have fewer returned products and increased repeat customers, when compared with co-workers. I am dedicated, outgoing, and a team player. Who could I speak with in your customer service department about your organization’s customer service needs?”

“My name is Stephen Rioux, and I am currently looking for a job in Human Resource Management.  I have 12 years of experience in managing and leading others.  I am currently working on my Bachelors degree at DeVry University in Human Resource Management.  I have managed stores ranging from $300,000 to over a million dollars.  I have hired, recruited and trained top sales performers in various types of environments and have mentored several people into managerial careers.  I consider myself to have great people skills and have a good sense of humor.”  “Who do you know that works in Human Resource?”




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Guerrilla Job Search Secrets of the Homeless Man with the Golden Voice

This is how I feel about job hunting. meljr

See Original Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing

Maybe you’ve heard the “golden voice” of YouTube sensation, Ted Williams. He’s the formerly homeless, formerly unemployed man who was hired — literally off the street — by the Cleveland Cavaliers for his dream job as an announcer. Other job offers are still pouring in from around the country. If you’re unemployed, you can learn a lot from Ted Williams’ Guerrilla Job Search.

Here’s why …

No social worker on earth would say to a homeless person, “You know what you need to do? Go stand in traffic with a sign and talk like a radio DJ to every person you meet.” Ted could have followed conventional advice — gone to his local workforce center or library, waited to use the free computers, and applied online for advertised jobs. And he would still be unemployed.

Luckily, Ted Williams is a natural born Guerrilla Job Hunter. He did four simple things, which you can do, too …

 1) Ted got out of the house and met people

If there’s one advantage to being homeless in a job search, it’s this: You can’t avoid meeting people. By contrast, unemployed people with homes often go to great lengths to avoid people. They sit at home, in front of the computer, zapping out resumes by email and feeling productive. But that’s usually a pointless waste of time.

Instead, Ted was out in the game, every day, meeting and telling people about the job he wanted. And he met just the right person — a reporter who told his story. The rest is history. You never know who you will meet on the street. That person ahead of you in line at 7-Eleven, or sitting next to you at Starbucks, may be a VP at your dream employer. Of course the chances of meeting your dream employer on the street this week are small. But your chances are ZERO if you stay at home and never get out.

Burning questions:
* Do you know EXACTLY what job you want to do? There are plenty of homeless (and “homed”) people looking for “any job” … and they struggle for months.
* How many people have you talked to this week about your job? How do you know? What is your quota?

2) Ted didn’t use an ordinary resume
You can’t get much less ordinary than Ted’s “resume” — it was handwritten, in magic marker … on a piece of cardboard. The first line read, “I have a God given gift of voice.” That’s … extraordinary. Not recommended for most people, who should print their resume on paper and hand-deliver it to hiring managers, if possible. But a great idea starter. More importantly, Ted didn’t waste weeks revising his resume until it was “perfect.”

Burning questions:

* How many ordinary resumes have you sent to employers?
* If you’re not yet ready, how much longer will you wait for your resume to be “perfect” before sending it out? And how many jobs have you missed out on in the meantime?

3) Ted didn’t interview, he performed

When most job seekers get an interview, they retell success stories from their past, hoping employers will take a leap of faith and hire them. Bleh. Ted performed for anyone who would listen. His first “interview” — the YouTube video that made him famous overnight — didn’t feature him begging for a job. No, he was DOING THE JOB in that video interview. Big difference.

Burning questions:
* How can you perform your most-employable skills at a moment’s notice?
* If you’re in sales, you can pick up a phone book and make cold calls.
* If you’re a designer, you can draw on napkin.
* A teacher can deliver a memorable 5-minute lesson.
* A customer service manager can pose as a customer, call his target employer, and analyze their phone service.

You get the idea — there is NO job that cannot be performed in an interview. Because, if you’re hired you will have to perform anyway. Why wait?

4) Ted kept a positive outlook

Yes, your situation may be dire. You may have been jobless for months or years. You may have troubles with your finances, family, or health. But you probably won’t be sleeping under a highway overpass tonight. So do what it takes to greet the world with a smile. It’s the fastest way to make the best impression on anyone. And it doesn’t cost a dime.

If Ted, a homeless, recovering alcoholic/addict, can be unfailingly polite and positive in his dealings with others, so can you. Just watch his video on YouTube, if you haven’t already. Still not able to stay positive? Fine — fake it for just 30 minutes tomorrow. Get out of the house. Meet one person. Talk to them about your job. Perform your skill. Do it with a smile.

After that, you can go home and scowl for the rest of the day. At least you’ll have a home to go to.

Bottom line: If you get out, meet people, send an extraordinary resume, and “perform” in a positive way — like Ted Williams — you may find a job, too. Or the job may find you.

That’s the Guerrilla way.

Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0.” Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free Guerrilla Job Search audio CD, visit

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Three Lessons from the Streets

Three Lessons from the Streets

Click here to see the original article: I like these ideas, meljr.

June 9, 2014 by

Telephone-Booth-City-LightsThis week Annmarie and I headed out of state to explore a few “opportunities” for our future, so I am handing over guest posting duties to my friend Jeff Echols.

If you are interested in writing for Entrepreneur Architect, click here for information on how to submit your work for consideration. Until next week, please enjoy Jeff’s story of life on the streets as an intern architect.

Full of Hope and Confidence

In December of 1991, I completed my finals and headed home to Chicago. I had completed three-and-a-half years of my architectural education in Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning and was heading into my required Internship semester. I was full of hope and confidence, vim and vigor and all that.

The next few months would be some of the most formative of my life; but not for the reasons you might expect.

The economy in 1991 and 1992 was in a shambles. Students don’t understand that. Unemployment numbers were high, construction starts were almost non-existent and I had just unleashed a resume mailing campaign the likes of which will never be replicated.

As the respondent volley of rejections began to intensify I realized that there must be a better way. After all, printing and postage for resumes and follow-up letters was putting a strain on this student’s budget in both time and money.

Not a single class I had taken so far had prepared me for this. All I knew was that you were supposed to compose a professional looking resume, send it to the best contact you could find and follow up a few days later. This obviously wasn’t working.

For some reason as the rejections rolled in I began collecting them in a shoe box. That shoe box was getting full. I wear size 12.

I knew it was time to go off-script; to improvise. The thing that bothered me the most was that I was essentially sending a couple pieces of paper to a name and never having any direct contact with the person that name belonged to. What’s worse, sometimes that name was Sir or Madame. I had no idea if that person read my cover letter or reviewed my resume. I didn’t have the opportunity to introduce myself, much less explain myself. I didn’t even know if that person even worked there any more.

LinkedIn wouldn’t be founded for 10 more years.

I decided that I had to head directly to the front lines.

Taking It To The Streets

Let me set the stage for you. It was January, 1992. Cell phones hadn’t been widely adopted. Smartphones hadn’t been invented. No one was walking down Michigan Avenue staring at their iPhone. We used pay phones, in phone booths and Yellow Pages.

Tuesday, January 14th 1992 was the day that changed everything. Actually I made that up. I have no idea what the actual date was. So there I was; freezing, with a pocket full of quarters, in a phone booth, on a street corner, in Chicago, in January.

I was burning through my list of firms, calling, stopping in and following up. At least now I was having actual conversations with human beings. One of those conversations went like this:

Firm Principal: “Yes, we received your resume but unfortunately we don’t have any work” (I’d heard that line about 12,000 times by now). “In fact, we’ve been reducing staff lately.”

Me: “I understand. I’m hearing that a lot. I’m sure you have a lot of friends around the City. Do you know of anyone that I should call that may have work?”

Firm Principal: “No, there isn’t much work out there right now.”

Me: “I know. Well, I’ve got to complete an Internship before I can graduate. Do you have any advice that you’d be willing to share with me?”

There was an exaggerated pause. That gave me hope. The thought that was going through my head was “I’m about to receive the single-best piece of advice I’ve ever heard.”

Firm Principal: “What year did you say you were in school?”


I have the well-known Principal of a prominent, award-winning Chicago architectural firm on the telephone and they’re putting a lot of thought into a golden piece of advice just for me.


Me: “I just completed my third year. I’m in a five year, professional degree program at Ball State.”
Firm Principal: “Well …”


Firm Principal: “I guess the best thing I can tell you is it’s not too late to change your major.”


Talk about exaggerated pauses. That’s what you came up with? Change my major? I grew up surrounded by Frank Lloyd Wright. I’ve watched This Old House every Saturday morning with my Dad since it first hit the air waves. Almost all my cousins and uncles are Engineers or are somehow tied to the construction industry. I was meant to do this. Change my major?

Firm Principal: “I mean, it really has nothing to do with you, it’s just that the economy is terrible and I don’t see it turning around any time soon. I think you’d be smart to look at another field.”

I didn’t know what to say. I have no idea what I said after that. It’s entirely possible that I just hung the phone up. I don’t know.

That was the last call I made that day. In fact, not long after I made the decision to give up on working in Chicago.

I headed to Indianapolis. I knew nothing about Indianapolis but it was a major city and it wasn’t far from Ball State. Maybe there would be work there.

I didn’t give up. I couldn’t give up. I didn’t even understand that as an option but I didn’t send out a single resume, at least not until I’d talked to someone at the firm first. This time my strategy was simple … and desperate. I opened the Yellow Pages to “Architects” and started calling. I worked my way all the way from ‘A’ down to ‘R’ before I finally found someone who actually needed an Intern.

In February of 1992 I went to work for Richardson, Munson and Weir. In March, I took the stub from my first pay check, placed it on top of the hundreds of rejection letters in that shoe box. I put the top back on the box. I never opened it again, but that shoe box remained on the shelf in the top of my closet in whatever apartment or house I was living in for the next 15 years.

3 Lessons for Finding Your First Job

Even though the box and the letters and the pay stub are gone now, the memory reminds me of a few lessons that have served me well over my career:

Take Permission. Seth Godin is probably credited with the popularization of the term. I went from sending letters and cover letters, hoping someone would invite me to come in and talk to them to calling, or just stopping in to talk. I didn’t wait, I took permission.

Communication. Social Media as we know it didn’t exist in 1992 but a lot of people try to market their firms with Social Media the same way I sent out cover letters and resumes back then. Not focusing on a singular conversation is ineffective. We are human beings. We want to communicate with other human beings. We aren’t interested in an anonymous broadcast message whether it’s an email or a cover letter from a hopeful intern.

Get Uncomfortable. For me, January 1992 was uncomfortable for a number of reasons. I was cold. I was tired. I was broke. I was desperate. More importantly, I was way outside my comfort zone. I’m naturally shy. Walking through the front door of a firm unannounced or even “cold calling” was completely unnatural to me. Do something every day that makes you uncomfortable. That’s how you grow.

That’s how I found my first job in Architecture.

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The Secrets To Career Contentment: Don’t Follow Your Passion

Wow! this is really interesting. meljr
By Sebastian Klein

“Follow your passion,” might be the most common career guidance, but it is actually bad advice.

The theory that following your passion leads to success first surfaced in the ’70s, and in the intervening decades it’s taken on the character of indisputable fact. The catch? Most people’s passions have little connection to work or education, meaning passionate skiers, dancers, and readers run into problems. In a culture that tells people to transform their passions into lucrative careers via will-driven alchemy, it’s no wonder so much of today’s workforce suffers from endless job swapping and professional discontent.

In his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport exposes the Passion Trap and offers up advice about how not following your passions will ultimately lead to satisfaction. The following four tips will help you put yourself on the path to professional fulfillment.

Don’t do what you love. Learn to love what you do.

It seems that one of the most important factors in career contentment is simply experience. In a job satisfaction survey of college administrative assistants–work traditionally considered repetitive or “boring”–a third of respondents considered their position a “job,” merely a way to pay the bills. Another third deemed it a “career,” or a path towards something better. The final third, though–incidentally, also those who’d spent the most time doing this type of work–considered it their calling or an integral part of their life and identity.

The takeaway: Be patient. Passion comes with mastery and time.

Adopt a craftsman’s mindset.

People with the passion mindset ask “What do I really want?” which breeds an obsession with whether or not a job is “right” for them. They become minutely aware of everything they dislike about their work and their job satisfaction and happiness plummets. By contrast, the craftsman’s mindset acknowledges that no matter what field you’re in, success is always about quality. Once you’re focused on the quality of the work you’re doing now rather than whether or not it’s right for you, you won’t hesitate to do what is necessary to improve it.

The takeaway: Make the quality of what you do your primary focus.

Practice hard and get out of your comfort zone.

So, how do you become the craftsman? You practice.

A chess player must devote roughly 10,000 hours to becoming a master. Once that level has been reached, however, the real pros continue not just to practice, but to do it smarter. They study seriously and engage in what Newport terms deliberate practice. In the case of the chess player, deliberate practice might mean studying difficult theoretical chess problems well out of the established comfort zone.

The takeaway: Although deliberate practice is often strenuous and uncomfortable, it’s the only path to true mastery.

Acquiring rare and valuable skills.

The craftsman mindset drives you to acquire and refine special skills. People with rare skills are more likely to get great jobs in which they’re allowed creativity and control. Also known as career capital, they’re what help set you apart.

For example: A new app company hires two product designers. Ned’s a bit of a newbie to digital and has a background in illustration and print design; he was hired for his great eye. Dan, however, seriously studied app design and, realizing its importance a few years back, worked to become a whizkid at code. When the company hits a rough financial patch and someone needs to go, it’s Ned who gets let go. Why? Dan had the rare and valuable skill.

The takeaway: Improve the quality of whatever you do–and if that means acquiring a valuable compatible skill, do it. All the more career capital for you.

Though following your passion is today’s ideal, it often won’t get you anywhere but frustrated. Focus instead on acquiring unique skills and refining the quality of what you do with the focus of a devoted craftsman. You’ll be well on your way to cultivating not only a satisfying career, but a new, rarer kind of practical passion built on commitment, mastery, and pride.

Sebastian Klein is cofounder at Blinkist, a service that feeds curious minds key insights from non-fiction books. As Blinkist’s Editor-in-Chief, he specializes in distilling complex concepts from great books into smart, beautiful language. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Using Numbers to Enhance Your Bullet Point Content

Use Numbers to Highlight Your Accomplishments

By Peter Vogt, Monster Senior Contributing Writer: Click here for original article
Suppose you’re a hiring manager looking at resumes. Which of the following statements would impress you more?Wrote news releases.

  • Wrote 25 news releases in a three-week period under daily deadlines.

Clearly, the second statement carries more weight. Why? Because it uses numbers to quantify the writer’s accomplishment, giving it a context that helps the interviewer understand the degree of difficulty involved in the task.

Numbers are powerful resume tools that will help your accomplishments get the attention they deserve from prospective employers. With just a little thought, you can find effective ways to quantify your successes on your resume. Here are a few suggestions:

Think Money

Organizations are and always will be concerned about money. So as you contemplate your accomplishments and prepare to present them on your resume, think about ways you’ve saved, earned or managed money in your internships, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities so far. A few possibilities that might appear on a typical resume:

  • Identified, researched and recommended a new Internet service provider, cutting the company’s online costs by 15 percent.
  • Wrote prospect letter that has brought in more than $25,000 in donations so far.
  • Managed a student organization budget of more than $7,000.

Think Time

You’ve heard the old saying, “Time is money,” and it’s true. Companies and organizations are constantly looking for ways to save time and do things more efficiently. They’re also necessarily concerned about meeting deadlines, both internal and external. So whatever you can do on your resume to show that you can save time, make time or manage time will grab your reader’s immediate attention. Here are some time-oriented entries that might appear on a typical resume:

  • Assisted with twice-monthly payroll activities, ensuring employees were paid as expected and on time.
  • Suggested procedures that decreased average order-processing time from 10 minutes to five minutes.

Think Amounts

It’s very easy to neglect mentioning how much or how many of something you’ve produced or overseen. There’s a tendency instead to simply pluralize your accomplishments — e.g., “wrote news releases” or “developed lesson plans” -– without including important specifics — e.g., “wrote 25 news releases” or “developed lesson plans for two classes of 20 students each.”

Don’t fall into the trap of excluding numbers. Instead, include amounts, like these:

  • Recruited 25 members for a new student environmental organization.
  • Trained five new employees on restaurant operations procedures.
  • Created process that bolstered production 25 percent

The more you focus on money, time and amounts in relation to your accomplishments, the better you’ll present your successes and highlight your potential — and the more you’ll realize just how much you really have to offer prospective employers. Add it all up, and you’ll see that playing the numbers game is yet another way to convince employers that you should be a part of their equation for success.

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Writing better bullet points

Ready to write a “bullet plus”?

bullet points

The bullet plus is: what you did plus

  • HOW you performed your duties or,
  • WHY the task was important or
  • The IMPACT of the task within the organization


  • Basic bullet: Enhanced interpersonal skills
  • Bullet plus: Enhanced interpersonal skills by facilitating cross-cultural conversations with Malawian teens and community members. (how)
  • Basic bullet: Created real interest monitoring tool
  • Bullet plus: Created real interest monitoring tool to study the effect of rate changes on foreign exchange levels (why)
  • Basic bullet: Directed actors in productions
  • Bullet plus: Directed 5-10 student actors and managed technical team in both short and full-length productions attracting audiences of 100+ (impact)

Want some help getting started?

  • List 3 skills you want to highlight (e.g., writing, leadership, attention to detail).
  • What are 2-3 experiences that demonstrate each skill (think broadly: classes, volunteer positions, internships, jobs)?
  • What did you do in each of the experiences? How did you use the skill?

Start Each Bullet Point with an Resume Action Word:


Achieved                     Adapted                      Addressed                   Administered

Advised                      Analyzed                     Arranged                     Assembled

Assessed                     Assisted                      Attained                      Audited

Budgeted                    Calculated                   Classified                    Coached

Collected                     Communicated            Compiled                    Composed

Computed                   Conducted                  Consolidated               Constructed

Consulted                    Coordinated                Counseled                   Created

Critiqued                     Defined                       Designed                     Detected

Determined                 Devised                       Diagnosed                   Directed

Discovered                  Displayed                    Earned                         Edited

Eliminated                   Enforced                     Established                  Estimated

Evaluated                    Examined                    Expanded                    Explained

Experimented              Financed                     Formulated                  Gathered

Generated                   Grossed                       Guided                                    Handled

Hypothesized              Identified                    Illustrated                    Implemented

Improved                    Increased                     Influenced                   Initiated

Inspected                    Installed                      Instituted                    Instructed

Interpreted                  Interviewed                 Invented                      Investigated

Lectured                      Managed                     Marketed                     Mediated

Modeled                      Monitored                   Motivated                   Negotiated

Obtained                     Operated                       Ordered                       Organized

Oversaw                      Performed                   Persuaded                   Photographed

Planned                       Prepared                      Presented                    Printed

Processed                    Produced                     Projected                     Promoted

Proofread                    Provided                     Publicized                   Purchased

Received                     Recommended                        Reconciled                  Recorded

Recruited                    Reduced                      Referred                      Refined

Rehabilitated               Repaired                      Reported                     Represented

Researched                  Resolved                     Responded                  Restored

Retrieved                    Reviewed                    Scheduled                   Selected

Solved                         Sorted                         Studied                       Summarized

Supervised                  Supplied                      Surveyed                     Tested

Trained                        Transcribed                 Translated                   Traveled

Tutored                       Upgraded                    Utilized                       Wrote

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How to have a Missionary 100 Taco Party

100 taco party gif

How to have a Missionary 100 Taco Party

People are asking me what a 100 Taco Party is and how to have one.

How this all got started:

I use to drive the missionaries around a lot a couple of summers ago. I always told them that for every gallon of gas I used to drive them around the Lord would send me 10 gallons of gas. Later we had the missionaries living in our home for awhile. Some times we would take them out for burritos and they would tell me that I shouldn’t be buying burritos for them all the time. So I would have to remind them that for every burrito I bought for a missionary, the Lord would send me 10 burritos. This got to be the standing joke between us and the missionaries.

The time came when one of our favorite missionaries was going home and we wanted to have a party for him and the other missionaries. So I was kidding the missionaries and ask them what would happen if we had a party and the missionaries ate 100 tacos. They said “Then the Lord would send Bro. Conley 1000 tacos”. They had finally learned the lesson about giving, and I had a lot of fun imaging what it would really be like to get 1000 tacos from the Lord. So we decided to have the first of our 100 taco party.

At our first party we had about 12 missionaries who easily at over 100 tacos. We left it up to the missionaries to decide exactly what they would count as an official taco and to come up with any prizes they wanted to have. The second party was even more fun. We had 18 missionaries and they ate 183 tacos total.

From the two 100 taco parties we had they averaged about 10 tacos per missionary. Some at more and some ate less. At our first party the winner ate 17 tacos. At our second taco party the winner at 27 tacos. Some missionaries only ate 3 or 4 each.

So to date Bro. Conley has to his credit 283 tacos given to the missionaries. That’s 2830 tacos I might have coming if I behave myself. I am sure these all will be waiting for me at the pearly gates.

The next thing that happened was missionaries from our two parties got transferred and ran into people we knew in other parts of the city. Now we have others asking us how to have a 100 Taco Party. So that’s the story and here is what you need for the party.

The next one I am hearing about is to be for 27 missionaries. If they ate their average of 10 each that would be 270 tacos and would land some lucky couple 2700 tacos. Wow, don’t you wish that could be you!!

Melvin Conley

Below is what we used for 100 tacos or for about 10-12 missionaries.

96 taco shells (2 boxes of 48 each from Sam’s Club)
24 7 inch thin flour tortillas
9 pounds ground beef (Three 3 pound rolls)
Powered taco mix ¼ cup per pound
1 big bottle salsa
3 lbs grated cheese
5 diced tomatoes
1 1/2 head lettuce, shredded
1 pint sour cream
1 can chopped olives
1 diced onion
3 cans refried beans

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Some of My Poems from FaceBook

Winter Wonderland
By Melvin Conley

I left the exercise bike out in the snow.
Did you leave it out there again?
I didn’t not, it’s not going to snow tonight, so it’s ok.
I hope.
And it snowed, so then it wasn’t me, then was it?
Can’t you make some space in the living room next to the Christmas tree?
How much space?
Just move a couple of chairs.
Should I put the chairs out in the snow?
Only if you want someone to kill you.
So now it’s dry and inside.
So how about a quick ride?
I can’t ride it because it’s outside in the snow.
No, it’s inside and dry.
Who did that stupid thing?
Somebody ought to use that exercise bike.
So then, if there was a chair outside in the snow, would that be about the same as an exercise bike?
I could wear a big coat or something.
It would be close to being the same.
It would be close!
Well that’s it then, the bike is in the house safe and dry.
The chair is outside.
Somebody ought to use that chair.


In Front of Me
by Melvin Conley

I have fallen sad,
not a hip fracture,
not my very own cancer,
not blind in one eye.
I didn’t fall on my ice,
or trip on the stair.
But I have fallen sad.
A kind of poetry type of sad,
when I finally thought I knew what it meant to be sad,
but didn’t,
And thought I could explain it all,
but I couldn’t.
I couldn’t remember their name some how.
Looking right at them,
standing there in front of me.
I know that face, but what’s the name.
They’re thin now.
and have a small limp.
Thin in the face.
Thin in fleeing days.
Thin arms.
Thin fingers.
Thin voice.
I have fallen sad.
And my friend standing there in front of me saying,
“You’re loosing a little weight, aren’t you?”


By Melvin Conley

Other than being,
I’m not sleeping,
Right now.

Sleeping, Sleeping.
Not now!

Am I awake now?

It can’t be 2 AM.
It can’t be 3 AM.
It can’t be, did I doze off?
I can hear a train miles away.
No I don’t need you to wake me at 6.

Good morning sunshine.
Welcome to a new day.


My Last Hit Song
by Melvin Conley

Heaven without a harp.
No hot coals in the music room.
Leave your shovels by the door.

No singing out of turn.
No more silent movies.
No room at the inn.
No passing on the right.
Don’t sleep until noon,
and be home before 10.

Where have you gone?
My first transistor radio.
AM only.


2014 Ball Drop
By Melvin Conley

Pappy Boo Year
Sappy Who Year
Mappy No Year
Happy New Beer
Wrappy Too Near
Crappy Poo Year
Next to Your Ear
No Fear
King Lear
Goo Year
Two Year
Yes Dear
Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
I’m so happy but I miss my pappy (year)
Nappy True Year
It is through year
Oh Dear
Another New Year


Posting Bond with Little Kate
by Melvin Conley

I am dancing in my slippers
Dance across the floor
Waiting for Jesse at the buzzing door

Mommy gave the lady
Twenty bucks or more
Watching for Jesse at the buzzing door

I got to stay up late
Just like before
Looking for Jesse at the buzzing door

Mommy got real quiet
Staring at the floor
Listening for Jesse at the buzzing door

I’ll do a dance for Jesse
Dance across the floor
Praying for Jesse at the buzzing door


Ship of Chips
By Melvin Conley

Was once there a ship of chips?
Without dips?

Floating toward my tongue,
Battling the bulwarks,
My teeth.

Crunching over the waves,
Crashing through the bean dip,
Past the billows of puffing cheeks,
Rushing skyward, fragile but bold.

I sail thee oh thou sea salted,
Thou wrinkled,
Thou of a might crunch.

Not slashed against the rocky shore,
Not discarded, a mere crumb falling to the earth.
But safe,
Safe once again,
In the gated harbor of my mouth.

The final refuge,
A cargo at last at a friendly port.


The night I Ate a Grinch
By Melvin Conley

The bells where half frozen when I ate the Grinch,
Christmas Eve, down and down inches by inch.
Down, down, down, curling my toes.
Down over the red rush of a reindeer nose.
Down the chimney, down that wood stair,
Where I wait as a child for Santa some where.

Both before and after the taste of a Grinch,
Like stale old Chinese food in you eat in a pinch.

Eaten both ends from the head to the foot.
From the grouch to the grump,
From the old humbug pie,
I ate him for lunch.
I ate him and cried.
I ate him half baked.
I ate him half fried.

I rhymed him,
And timed him to sound like a song.
And wrote him so hard in my head,
That my thinker by midnight was almost half dead.

So think now old wizards before you last dine,
Grinch humble pie, old Grinches half worn,
You eat them and wonder when you where once one,
If Christmas be over,
And Grinching be done.


Just One Away
a poem by Melvin Conley

Now the surplus is exhausting.
The curtain lifted.
around the gale force winds.
Drifting off course,
All is still
How can nines ever be tens?
Just one away from tens.
Everything seems to crumble.
Just one away.
All is still.


Mrs. Wiggins Hair
A children’s poem by Melvin Conley

Mrs. Wiggins had 10 giant boxes
Full of ribbons, strings, and foxes.

So many items to short through.
She stored a dozen in her shoe.

With far too many for her purse
She gave some extras to her nurse.

With cats and candles, bricks and bows
She lined them up in endless rows.

Then finally in sad despair
She stashed some pencils in her hair.

Since other items seemed to fit
Her hair grew larger bit bit.

For want of cash for a storage shed
She tucked some flowers round her head.

Then day by day her hair-do grew
She stuffed in rings and elemer’s glue.

Then at the airport late one day
Her hair would cause a slight delay.

Security could not but wonder
If within was hid a bomb or plunder.

But when they loosed the bundles knot
The hardly found what they had sought.

For when her hair came whirling down
Ninety things upon fell on the ground.

A pair of gloves, a silver spoon, a porcelain figure of the moon.
Three movie tickets, a golden cricket, a hedge hog from the neighbors thicket.

And to the cops and crowds despair
Not one bomb was hidden there.

Not a gun or billy club
Not a dagger, not a thug
Not a knife or firecracker
Not brass knuckles from a bicker.

But at last it ended well
She put all back
No one could tell.


Both Sides of Yesterday
Poetry by Melvin Conley

Thee lost.
Old words children called poetry
Worn away by the wind.
Lost in epic computer crashes.
Lost in folders in dry boxes.
Lost in memories on both sides of yesterday

I touch the dry sand with my lips,
no scent of moisture,
no grains left,
slipping past my hands,
crooked, twisted,
blown away by the wind

Pop bottles in the grass,
left for dead.
But thee I redeem.
Thee I cherish for a day.
Laughing at the candy store.

Tell me then when will we walk again,
on the wet sand,
not caring,
when the tide,
will wash away our footprints from both sides of yesterday.



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Things To Do with a Sprouted Wheat Berry

Things To Do with a Sprouted Wheat Berry

Thanks to for this info

  • Dehydrate and mill it into “sprouted” flour for baking (or anywhere you would use “regular” flour)
  • Add the sprouts to your favorite cereal, sandwich, yogurt or salad
  • Add (chopped or whole) to baked goods like muffins and cookies or pancakes and waffles
  • “Hide” in casseroles, meatloaves or pasta sauces
  • Plant them in well drained (preferably organic) soil to grow wheat grass for juicing or just for fun!

Early Wheat Berry Roots