Looking Ahead and Planning Today

Fashion dictates planning for the upcoming year on New Year’s Eve—that’s if your fashion sense tends towards procrastination. But, is the second week of November, especially a month dead set on maximizing the mildness of the season, the time to begin thinking about 2016?

If you’ve played the resolutions game with a fresh new calendar staring you in the face, then you know that the first six weeks of any new year is the duration of most people’s plan for success, and their implementation phase. How do I know this? Past experience. Also, I used to be a member of Planet Fitness in Auburn for a couple of years while working out of the CareerCenter on the other side of the river. I got to see firsthand that six-week spike played out with a flurry of new members crowding the gym during some New Year’s promotion. By the middle of February, however, people were falling by the wayside and by the end of the month, there was no more waiting for machines. Come March, it was the same old regulars grunting and sweating at 5:30 in the morning, another great anecdotal example that the wait-until-the-start-of-the-year approach has serious shortcomings.

In considering the past year, I now realize how often and mistakenly have characterized it as an unsuccessful year in my own perception. I’m now recognizing that this hasn’t been an accurate frame. A better way of looking at the past 11 months might be one of gaining valuable experience and some new perspective. The key to maintaining a success mindset involves building on a foundation set on these essential learnings.

Seeking out the signpost of success.

Seeking out the signpost of success.

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Ahead of the Curve?

A year ago, my life was filled with uncertainty. The nonprofit where I’d been for six years laid me off—not for performance issues or anything related to not doing my job—but because they no longer had the money to support someone who was really good at business development, partnership-building, and managing multiple projects. Continue reading

Sometimes validation takes time

I’ve been blogging for more than 10 years. My maiden blog launch occurred when I was sitting in a cubicle at a large insurance giant. At the time I was plotting my eventual escape and writing for a blog—or ranting as so much of my early blogging tended towards—offered me a venue to craft thoughts and ideas and set them down in a narrative for a growing assortment of readers. And yes, sometimes I just let it fly.

That first blog, one I recall with fondness, was developed by a co-worker named Chris. Chris was a great guy and someone with HTML and design skills. He recognized the budding writer/blogger in me—someone with a desire to communicate, especially communicate using words—so he designed my very first website and blog. Continue reading

Setting goals–hitting the mark

Success requires hitting some goals (and missing a few).

I keep notebooks. They’re scattered across shelves and tucked in cubbyholes in my office. Sometimes I like to take stock by taking a look back.

Yesterday, I found this notebook I was using in 2008. The date indicates I’d just started working on Moxietown, and WorkReady was still a fledgling program.

Some of you know the rest of the story.

Small town growth and vitality

Boothbay Harbor: One of Maine’s 10 prettiest villages.

Last week I gave a talk on community branding. My presentation touched on economic growth and vitality in small town Maine, and I also managed to wax semi-poetic (coherent?) on workforce development, something I’ve acquired a fairly extensive knowledge base about. More than mere knowledge, I have developed initiatives and programming that have been successful. Continue reading

The state of Maine’s workforce

Tomorrow morning, I’m delivering a presentation to the Kennebec Valley Human Resources Association—in essence, my own “state of the state” on workforce development; it’s titled, “The State of Maine’s Workforce: An Update from the Trenches.”

For the past six years, I’ve been employed by the Central/Western Maine Workforce Investment Board. The Local Workforce Investment Boards, or LWIBs as they’re often referred to, channel the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds, appropriating them for training and aligning them where each regional LWIB thinks they will be the most effective. A large percentage of those funds support Maine’s One-Stop Career Centers, the bricks and mortar centers where job seekers and the unemployed access employment and career resources. There are 12 One-Stop Career Centers scattered across the state. Continue reading