Subtle Changes

Experts of every kind will tell us that subtle positive changes are better than no changes at all: health, finance, relationships, etc. So, in my plight to learn how I can improve upon the frustrations and adjustments of my shared co-existence with my rescue dog, Daisy, of the past nine months, I recently subscribed to a pet health blog featuring ex-bodybuilder, Texan, christian and tax guru, Ty Bollinger. This week he is featuring an entire series on how we can make subtle adjustments to our pets’ environment to improve their health, reduce cancers and by effect, our own …and yes, he is using this as a foundation to make money.

As I contemplated how small things are an easy place to start, I moved around my kitchen searching for something to eat, with Ty’s podcast playing. I skipped the leftover pasta casserole in exchange for a fresh tossed salad with a homemade vinaigrette, tossed a few bits of finely-chopped broccoli into my dog’s bowl, to which she turned up her nose, and poured us both a glass of filtered water, not from the tap. What’s motivated me to share this with you is that while I was going about my day, there was a migraine brewing (the bright stars and fading vision, pressure in the temples). In the podcast Ty interviewed a well-known musician, Michael Tyrrell, who seems to be the re-igniter of wholetones –a blurry sort of classical music that has apparently proven to heal …dogs, cats, peeps with its precise frequency levels that create a physiological soothing effect upon us and thus drastically reduce our stress levels, and apparently even taking away what may have manifested into a monster migraine.

This past week has been one of my busiest weeks ever (as a freelancer) as the economic landscape in my city (Calgary) transitions itself slowly into a new frontier of hopefulness and out of the ashes of what was the past four years of the fall of the energy industry. I’ve been constructing resumes, bios, articles, presentations and even completed the first draft of my erotic novel, all at a rabbit’s rate and smiling all the while. The stress of it all, nonetheless, prevails, causing muscle tension, irritability, poor diet, minimal sleep.

While I write this post, I’ve issued a subtle change in my habits: I’m sampling the offerings of Ty Bollinger’s recommendations to integrate wholetones (and whole grains) into my (and Daisy’s) lifestyle by listening to a free YouTube version of wholetones.  It seems to be working: Daisy has folded herself contentedly at my feet, my headache is long gone, thus allowing clarity of message and productivity as I share my findings with you …and pour myself a glass of wine …subtle changes, remember?

Wishing you all the positive benefits of subtle change,


Resisting Negative Thoughts

As I construct this blog post, outside the snow is falling; it’s been falling non-stop for twenty-four hours now. Just days ago, the sun was making a slush pile of what little snow was left, but you know what they say about the month of March ~~ With no option otherwise, we must re-don the cold gear and shovel ourselves out again, if we simply wish to leave the house, or let the dog outside. Having no choice in matters forces us to accomplish the necessities. It seems that when we have the option to consider a selection, we will most often take the easy route or the most pleasurable one. Not so, in the notions of how our memories work when we encounter a negative experience. Quite the opposite, actually! According to many neurological and sociology experts, our knee-jerk tendency is to side with the negative and stay that way. Our natural tendency is to linger in negative thoughts, much more so than positive ones.

Many individuals I deal with in my line of resume construction are moving in negative spaces, since many of them are out of work, actively seeking work, too depressed to get out of bed or, quite frankly, angry about their circumstances. I don’t have to tell you that these levels of negativity are unhealthy and refute the necessity at hand, which (in these cases) is to establish positive changes. According to Dr. Rick Hanson, a psychologist and expert of well-being, our bodies are wired to pick up on and retain negative experiences and impressions much more effectively than positive ones. He explains in his blog that the neural substrates of the mind are fully capable of being retrained to counter this effect, but we are genetically positioned this way so that we can deal with threats quickly (ie: fight or flight).

So, when we are let go of our job, or our boss gives us ‘positive criticism’ what resonates loudest is the negativity of the experience, rather than the potential that may evolve from the circumstances that are out of our control. Dr. Hanson’s blog explains the science of this theory, but for the sake of this sharing, the point I’m trying to enhance is that although we may not always be able to contro

l the circumstances we are forced into (ie: snowstorms or sh*tstorms), we actually do possess the ability to control our emotions, especially if we are aware of how we are wired by nature.

I challenge you to embrace a new strategy of positive thinking, if for no other reason than to reduce stress and alter how it suppresses progress. If knowledge is power then together we are already two steps ahead of negativity. For me, it’s time for to go skiing.

In a positive light,


11 things to remove from your resume

I read the following on a career support website (, written by John Krautzel.

I do not necessarily believe that all of these are ‘gospel’ per se, as every resume must be approached in a customized manner. I.E.: there are no templates, but there are guidelines.

These may help some of you who are doing some house cleaning of your document or prepping it for a resume specialist like me:


“When preparing your cover letter and professional resume during your job search, it’s important to stay on top of industry trends. Employers usually look for something different in resumes and application materials that go beyond what a general template includes. Craft a resume that captures the attention of hiring managers by removing these 11 things from your document.

1. Non-Industry Jobs

When crafting your professional resume, only list jobs and duties that are relevant to the position for which you’re applying. Include detailed achievements and skills directly related to the job to keep the employer’s interest.

2. Clichés

Stand out from other candidates by eliminating clichés or overused phrases, such as “team player” or “enthusiastic worker,” from your resume. These phrases don’t mean anything to the employer and take up space you can use to provide more detailed examples of your work.

3. Abbreviations

Avoid using acronyms or abbreviations that are not well-known within the industry so that your professional resume is concise and clear.

4. Bulky Paragraphs

Offer information about your qualifications and experience in a format that is easy to absorb. Instead of writing lengthy paragraphs, use bullet points so the key information is easy to identify.

5. False Information

Employers do check references and perform background checks, so make sure your professional resume and cover letter includes details that are accurate, honest and free from exaggerations.

6. Complex Words

There’s no need to impress an employer with an expansive vocabulary. Keep your wording concise, and avoid words that are complex, especially if you can use simpler words.

7. Objectives

The days of including an objective on your professional resume are long gone. Clearly, if you are applying for a position, your objective is to get the job. Use this space to expand more on your qualifications.

8. Unprofessional Profile Names

Prior to crafting your resume, change your email and web addresses to names and domains that are professional. Try reserving your first and last name versus including an odd-sounding email on your application materials that could taint your credibility.

9. Hobbies

Stick to professional skills and experience when submitting application materials versus including personal information, such as hobbies. Unless the hobby is relevant to your ability to complete the job duties, leave it off of your resume.

10. Salary Information

Discussions about salary requirements should be reserved for after you are offered or a job or at the end of an interview. Avoid including your current or former salaries on your resume, as this might disqualify you for consideration.

11. Job Loss Details

Never include details or explanations about why you left a previous position on your professional resume. An interview is the appropriate time to offer such explanations.

Concise application materials help to increase your employment opportunities. Refrain from including irrelevant information on your professional resume, and stick to concrete examples of your success in the industry.”


Good luck and reach out with any comments or indicate how my services may benefit your efforts.




Changing our ways

Several months ago, I adopted a three-year old dog from the Humane Society. Well, they told me she was three years old … she’d been seized by the police from her previous home and kept in protection for a month prior to her adoption. The past five months have been a real challenge for both of us, adjusting to each other and trying to harmoniously mesh our patterns to share a living space. I needed help.

My research led me to a national breeder and head of the Chinese Crested Club of Canada, who happens to be a judge and has many CKC championships to her name and her dogs. She has helped me immensely to shed my previous methods of house training, obedience and cohab-ing with my new addition. I had viewed myself as a confident, loving and life-long pet owner, but this dog had suddenly robbed me of all my confidence and replaced it with incredible frustraIMG_4453tion and despair. I’ve agreed to surrender all my earlier beliefs about crating, pee pads, house training and resist my engrained ‘instincts’ to embrace some hard-nosed approaches to making this dog not only more comfortable, but providing her the parameters that I had not realized she was missing. If this new relationship was going to work, it would be me who needed to change my ways.

It’s a real grind, but I’m hopeful that with my new ideologies and methodologies, we will find a way to grow and value our mutual existence for a long time to come. My goal is to evolve my dog into a wonderful pet, rather than this animal she currently seems to be. This analogy made me contemplate how many of us go through our lives as an expert in our professional field, always having done certain things a certain way, because that’s how we were trained, or that’s what’s always worked …this goes for our personal relationships also. Often we force what might be best left alone, or fail to see other means of reaching successes. There may come a time when we may be forced to examine just how good (or expert) we really are, when the factors around us shift wildly and our ways no longer work.




Why Does Your Resume Get Rejected?

While no two resumes are identical, there are some general guidelines or ‘rules’ that will increase attraction and impact of the document. I found this recent blog post, on, that I wish to share with you. I may not agree completely with all the points, but there is much value to be gained for those considering why their resumes are not being read.

Who Gets Called for the Interviews?

It seems that no matter what type of job posting, there are usually hundreds of people applying. I thought this was a very interesting article publish by Harvard Business School, in light of all the rhetoric regarding immigrants, multi-cultural issues and corporations striving hard to hire ethic candidates:

I’d love to hear your thoughts.




Shifting Landscapes

I’ve spent the past year or so collaborating on a global career handbook, teamed with a global recruiter based in Canada. Much of our content applies to local career landscapes and industry professionals as it does on a global perspective.

The biggest factor I can attest to when adjusting your skills and abilities to align with a new or foreign environment is ensure you research the differences from what you may expect are normal. Quite often what is normal to you in your current environment or industry is offensive or detrimental in another location.

I recommend Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands by Terri Morrison as a tool if you are planning to do business or attract opportunities in other countries. The essence of this book is “When in Rome …”

Stayed tuned for the announcement of my next publication due out this summer.



Mentoring generates huge profits

One of the highlights of my past year has been mentoring a second-year journalism student from Mount Royal University. There is pure joy in experiencing the thrill of a very publication, even if the writer never received payment for it. Such is the typical path of most new writers.

This article just happens to see me as the subject, but the pride for the writer surpasses my own pride at being featured for the second time in the Calgary Journal; the first time following the release of my first novel in 2007.

As Monique LaBossiere quotes my words, ” …to be really fulfilled as a writer, I’ll have to write that thriller.”



Strategy …the name of the game

……any game, really.

I’m a huge futball fan, of most varieties: English Premiere, Scottish League, Euro, Calgary Women’s …..

No matter the game, soccer, football, hockey or corporate politics ….strategy is the underpinnings to the Big Win. I sat with a client today, who decided at a late stage in career (inside an extremely competitive timing of both job and economic market) to completely alter his entry back into the job market. He’d already convinced himself, so I was an easy sell: an engineer cum sales profiteer!

What does it take to re-enter into a space that no one in your knowing circles would attach to your past abilities, or (worse yet) align to your new ones? The answer is Strategy. And why the heck not?

We tell our kids they can be anything. Do anything. We remind them they are only limited by their inability to believe in themselves. Okay. So now what?

All I can attest to this notion of somewhat (seeming) impossibility is ….why the heck not? If you can pull from your past the proof of your ability to fly, then display the feathers and be ready to make them flap. If you claim to hold the secret to the best tasting salsa, then build on that dream and your ability to make palates dance. But before you lay the claim or show your glory, do yourself a flavour and take the care to strategize your moment:

plan your unveiling

build up the anticipation

take measures to mitigate the risks

be prepare to answer the awkward questions

surround yourself with safe catches

underscore your desire

….then jump in!