ALC Consulting

October 24, 2009

Some Serious Self-Care Here

Filed under: LIfe Balance — Anne Cloward @ 9:27 am
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Many of us job seekers do our best to avoid medical bills, but there are some things we cannot skip. Women, please take care of yourselves.

I am calling today. How about you?

Free Mammogram Guide: Mammograms for Underserved Women

OCTOBER 2009:

PJ Hamel is happy to be alive. As always.

Been Through It

Author, breast cancer survivor

Q. I don’t have health insurance, and I just can’t afford the cost of a mammogram. What can I do?

A. There are a number of resources you can access to receive a mammogram at no cost. Try any of these:

The American Cancer Society. Go to cancer.org, find the blue box on the upper right (“Find ACS in Your Community”), enter your zip code, and it’ll direct you to your local ACS office. They can tell you what resources are available in your area. Or call the ACS toll-free: 1-800-ACS-2345.

The United States Government’s National Cancer Institute can direct you to a local resource for free mammograms. Call them toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). Be ready with your zip code.

The United States Center for Disease Control’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides access to critical breast and cervical cancer screening services for underserved women in the United States. Their Web site lets you click to your state to find a local health care facility that offers free mammograms for women meeting the income guidelines.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure provides information on free or low-cost mammograms and other sources of financial assistance. Call toll-free, 800-IM-AWARE (800-462-9273).

Breast Cancer Network of Strength offers peer support, educational programs, local resources, and advocacy initiatives in selected areas across the country. For more information and to take advantage of BCNS’s free-of-charge programs and services, call 1-800-221-2141.

The American Breast Cancer Foundation‘s Key to Life Breast Cancer Screening Assistance Program provides financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured women and men of all ages for breast cancer testing. Call their toll-free enrollment hotline, 877-Key-2-Life (877-539-2543).

Finally, try calling your local hospital. Ask to speak to a social worker. He or she will be the one who’ll know about the availability of free or low-cost cancer screening in your community.

Whatever you do, don’t give up! A regular mammogram is your best defense against breast cancer.

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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.

September 29, 2009

What I Learned from My Grandchildren

Filed under: LIfe Balance — Anne Cloward @ 11:10 pm
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I have four grandchildren, three girls and one boy, and ranging in age from seven to almost 2. For their safety, I will not use their full names here.

But they have taught me lessons that can be applied to a job search. In no special order, here they are:

Go after things that you are passionate about

Granddaughter #1 puts her whole heart into everything she does. Do you bring that same enthusiasm to your search?

Support your family and friends when they are in need

If you are there for them, they will be there for you. This is a time when you need each other. It’s a time to strengthen relationships. (Granddaughter #1 and her brother).

Be true to yourself

Know who you are and what you want. If you don’t know, find out. (Granddaughter #2 who has known who she is from the beginning)

Begin each day with enthusiasm

Be open to opportunities, to help, to learn and to do things that you have not done before. Don’t use the fact that you have never done it, therefore it must not be good. (Granddaughter #3 is always ready to tackle the new day)

What can you learn from your children?

September 25, 2009

Everyone Back in the Pool!

Filed under: job search — Anne Cloward @ 12:46 pm
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One of my favorite memories from my summer is spending time with the grandchildren at the beach. They love the ocean, as I do. We will be returning again throughout the fall. This picture was taken on the most glorious day, just before Labor Day. It was 94 degrees in Portland, and about 80 this Saturday afternoon.

I know that it has been a while since I posted, but it’s time to get back to work here.

To me, this is really the beginning of a new year. The beginning of the school year has always stirred excitement in me with dreams of new adventures and opportunities, much more than any old party in the end of December. One of my favorite memories of this time was buying new school supplies, pencils, pens, notebooks. And then there were the books. A new book full of information and stories that I hadn’t read yet. This is my idea of pure heaven.

So, for all of you job seekers, get back into the search mode. Though my evidence is anecdotal, the landscape is changing. Recruiters are calling again. Jobs are suddenly popping out of the woodwork. Even though there are still more applicants than positions, this is a change in the air, and not just the falling of leaves, either.

July 30, 2009

Taking a Break

Filed under: LIfe Balance — Anne Cloward @ 9:25 pm
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Sometimes I get too serious for my own good. I get weighed down with all the negative stuff that comes over the Internet and the airways and I start believing it. That is when I need to pull back.

The temperature in Portland this week has been hot, very hot. We reached 107 degrees yesterday, and 105 on Monday. So, even though the air conditioning has been on, I have taken advantage of the pool. You know, you can have a very nice business meeting just treading water. I talked with an associate for two hours while hanging out in the pool.

And to counteract so much of the bad vibes, I have been enjoying this video posted on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0

There is such much happy energy here. Check it out and just enjoy yourself.

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