ALC Consulting

October 16, 2009

A Radical Suggestion

Filed under: LIfe Balance,Passions,vision — Anne Cloward @ 8:03 am
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Several weeks ago, while teaching at the library, I made a radical suggestion to the job seekers. I am going to repeat it to my readers here now.

Remember when you were a little kid while watching TV on a sunny day and your mother would come in and turn off the set?

The conversation would go something like this:

“It’s a lovely day outside. Why are you sitting here watching TV?”

You would give all sorts of excuses, but the bottom line was that you were mesmerized watching the images dance across the screen.

Well, it’s many years later, and you are still sitting there watching the images on the screen. Now they are bigger, flashier and louder, but you are still sitting there passively. I am not going to debate the value of the programs you watch, but I am going to suggest that the activity of watching TV all day is harmful to your mental health. I even worked for one of the big three networks at one time, and learned that the industry was all about ratings and numbers of eyeballs that were watching. The more you watched, they more they could sell to you. Quality of programming was second to earning money for the network. They do not care about you as a person, only as a person who has a wallet with money in it.

Eleven years ago, I moved from one city to another and was only able to bring as many personal belongings with me as I could fit into a 8′ x12″ trailer (that’s all my car could safely carry). There was no room for a TV, and besides all of them in the house belonged to other people who lived with me. So I decided to see if I could live without it, and it was much easier than I thought it would be to give it up. When I moved from Minnesota to Oregon, I moved in with my son, who had also chosen to live without TV. Our household is really a lot more peaceful because of it.

What does that have to do with you and your job search? Right now all of the news coming across the ether is negative. Unemployment is up. This is a “jobless recovery,” foreclosures are up, and conditions are the worst they have been in years. It’s as though we are addicted to the next awful headline that comes down the pike and pretty soon we can be wallowing in it. We can throw ourselves and feel as though we can justify it, one big pity party. It won’t help you get a job, but you can enjoy your misery for a while and feel connected to everyone else who is out of work.

The challenge is to get out there in the sunshine and interact with the world, and not let all that negative energy engulf you. There is not much you can do about the national picture, or even the global one. Right now you are struggling to keep yourself going, to continue your job search in spite of all of the odds that you are told that are against your finding one.

So don’t listen to the news. You need to take a break and fill your environment with more pleasant thoughts. It is up to you to decide what you want to have occupy yourself instead. Whatever gets you going and keeps you finding joy is what I vote for. . For a while there will be an empty hole in you and you keep feeling something is missing. You start to wake up, and sometimes it takes getting used to.

How about trying to find creative ways to meet new people, market yourself, go out into the community and help others?

The national news is not about you, so don’t buy into the group think. Go out into the sunshine and discover the world. You just might find a whole new world to explore and enjoy.


October 6, 2009

Any Way You Say It

Filed under: Passions — Anne Cloward @ 9:34 pm


I ushered at a Prairie Home Companion for six years. The stories I could tell you about the show!

Anyway, here is a ditty from the host, listing many of the ways you can get excited about something.


“Whatever Floats Your Boat” lyrics

I think the world of you

You know I wish you well

Whatever tightens your screw

Or rings your bell

Whatever floats your boat

Or greases your pan

And if solo guitar is what starts your car

Here comes the guitar man.




Well I don’t know

What lights up your eyes

What makes your ketchup flow

What makes your elevator rise

But whatever it is

It’s all right with me

And if solo bass can bring a smile to your face

He’ll play it basically.




Some people do the marathon, put their shorts and on, and take a run.

Some people go back to sleep and dream about sheep running by one by one


Whatever thickens your bisque

Or answers your prayer

Downloads your disc

Whatever loads your software

Whatever pulls your cork

Whatever ripens your cheese

And if solo piana peels your banana

He’ll tinkle the keys.




I hope your needs are met

Your desires fulfilled

Whatever fires your jets

Whatever lifts your kilt

Whatever grinds your beans

Whatever milks your cow

If a little drum break can bake your cake

Well, here’s one right now.




Some people go to parties, love the hubbub, the clamor, the roar

Some people sit and listen to the moths beating gently on the old screen door


Whatever gives you a thrill,

Whatever makes your light shine,

That is your free will,

It’s no business of mine.

Whatever chills your beer,

Or fills your cup.

And if a moment of silence puts your heart in the highlands,

We will shut up.




Whatever swabs your decks

Whatever fills your pies

Builds your pecs

Whatever shapes up your thighs

What magnetizes your strip

What smokes your salmon

And if B-3 makes you feel free

Then here’s the Hammond




Some people love Puccini, they could listen to his operas night

and day

Some people love hip hop and never stop with the sound turned up all the way

Whatever tunes your lute

Whatever upgrades your file

Whatever opens your chute

Whatever grouts your tile

Whatever tailors your suit

Whatever styles your hair

And if a radio show can make your garden grow

We’re on the air.

October 4, 2009

Enjoying Life

Filed under: LIfe Balance,Passions,Professionalism — Anne Cloward @ 11:49 pm
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My sons bought tickets several weeks ago to see an award winning flamenco guitarist named Jesse Cook. I had heard several of his albums before, but had never really listened to him. My mistake, for sure. I had no idea what an accomplished artist he is how enjoyable the evening would be.

Last night changed my mind. After struggling to find a parking spot (I declare that can be as difficult a task as it was in St Paul), and walking two blocks on bumpy sidewalks, we made it to the theater, which has seen better days. Inside, though, there was nothing but excitement. Ardent fans assured me I was in for a treat. As the band quickly entered, they picked up their instruments and began to play. Within 30 seconds, I knew something special was happening. Those in the know were already cheering. Jesse’s pictures all look like this, which is misleading, because most of the time he is performing, he is smiling and enjoying himself.

For the next two hours, they played to a most appreciative crowd. They were having fun, lots of it. We bought CDs, grateful they had them there for us. After the show was over, the band members started to pack up their gear, but they were stopped by ardent fans (including me and my son) who wanted to express appreciation and have them sign their CDs. Brief conversations followed, as they got ready to go on to their next stop. They are just regular guys with extraordinary talent doing what they do best, giving of their talents to an appreciative audience.

For more information on this remarkable artist, go to his website,

What has this to do with a job search?

  • Jesse knew at a young age what he wanted to do with his life. He got training and learning his craft. He still does. This tour is in support of his 7th album, which has just been released.
  • He surrounds himself with equally as talented and passionate artists who go out on stage and give all they have to their customers.
  • What do you do with such passion in your life? How can you create that kind of joy for yourself and others in your work?

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