Time travels: Scorpion delicasies, African beaches and whiny tourists

Photo: Bishop Laurent Mbanda; his wife Chantal Mbanda; very successful businesswoman and me in Rwanda during his installation celebration

When I give myself time to travel to ‘far away’ places around the globe, I rest and observe and learn. It is my time to research and to be at peace.
No matter how hectic it is to operate in other countries via lacking infrastructure and free media offerings, I find the experiences along the Rio Dulce River in central America or rugged bus ride between Musanze and Kigali, Rwanda in Africa, far outweigh my so-called inconveniences. No surprise here: U.S. folk are spoiled and do not fully appreciate how good we have it with modern roads and emergency services.
In other countries, I am not quite as confident about my surroundings, its people and decisions I make to carry on with my day. I love that. Being “off” a bit is refreshing as I am out of the comfort zone and open to hearing and seeing things that I otherwise would not do in my comfortable surroundings known as the United States. I bring those things back home and I wear my life with more knowledge, grace, gratefulness and dignity.
In other countries, I easily meet people. They keep me safe and energized. They are not as rude, abrupt, entitled and whiny as U.S. tourists.
In other countries, I am respected and not under surveillance. In the U.S., I am still followed in retail stores and often questioned by strangers about the most trivial things such as my height, career, knowledge, awards and relationships. Whether in Canada or Bangkok, the interactions are straight-forward and with appreciation for sharing time with an “American.”
In other countries, I am not afraid to risk “safe” things like trying new foods. I love avocado pudding, which was first introduced to me at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. However, scorpion delicacies as enjoyed by the Malaysian folk on a recent airplane trip, are not among my favorite foods.
In other countries, I see truth and dispel all of the general myths that others have of certain geographical areas. In Africa, there are so many natural beauties such as the wisest minds, beautiful beaches, healthy foods, fabulous dwellings and smartest global investments. In Vietnam, there is a country of people who are overcomers. The country has amazing, natural beauty. It’s quite a turnaround from the country once devastated by the too-long Vietnam War.
In other countries, I experience a sincere appreciation for education. In Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the elementary through high school children brave heavy rains and scorching heat as they travel up and down narrow trails to reach one-room school houses that are typically in one room and are naturally cooled. Yet, their zest for learning and even laughter by the littlest ones of my awkward Spanish that they are happy to correct in its context, are the warmest moments in my life.
In this country, I travel with former students, friends and family through their personal journeys. Although, my U.S.-based travels with the aforementioned require my time, listening, some advice and patience, the visits are equally exhilarating and worthy as my airport and boat travel with my passport.
As a humorist, I find the “happy” and laughter in everything including the Malaysian airline flight attendants who warned us just ahead of spraying the airplane that if we “didn’t like it … cover your face.” That was their way of cleaning the air just prior to landing. My dead stop in the middle of a Kowloon, Hong Kong street and being overrun by a dirty looks and grunts from a bunch of natives, was mind-blowing as the Chinese believe in ‘keeping it moving’ along its crowded streets.
All of my travels add joy and interest to my short visit on this planet. For that, I am grateful. Join me.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve

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How to live through lies, flies and other workplace nuisances

Mack was a good employee. He was the number two man in the entrepreneurial organization where he believed that he was co-building a great future for his family and himself.

What happened over the next few years is nothing short of tragic for the life and times of a rising star. He was dismissed without comment from the organization. All of his creative work went with the company. He was stuck.

He lost his family because of the wild mood swings, the depression and crazy actions exhibited in this southwestern US region.

Over the years, he also took in the rumors and innuendos about his work performance and lots of things that he did not say or do. It hurt him because the unfortunate gossip had no basis.

Today, however, he is a new man with a new family and a great career. It took some doing, yet this true story could have had a different outcome. He is not alone when it comes to workplace mishaps.
I have spoken to countless new and mid-career individuals who are aghast and hurt after bad episodes involving colleagues and supervisors in the very workplaces the young career folk had hoped would be their happy places.
Workplaces are the cesspools of gossip.

Yet, ’ve found that all gossip is not bad. In fact, as a manager, I’ve used gossip to learn what my subordinates were thinking about me and it allowed me to correct matters that I did not see from their perspectives. That same gossip trail also allowed me to know which employees bitch, moan and complain about everything and anything. For those folk, what a sad existence it must be to live in that entitled mindset.

What happens when gossip is vicious and full of lies to benefit the organization and/or individuals spreading the untruths?
The experts’ advice ranges from ‘hands-off; let God do the work’ to legal action.

As a new employee in the job market, it is important to know that gossip and lies are often masked by the offenders as ‘telling the truth’ or ‘just politics’ or pushing the words based on the victim with descriptives like ‘he has thin skin.’ Sometimes the gossip or lies result in severe action taken against the victim and one’s reputation is sullied because of the fear mongers ravaging workplaces much like bullies on K-12 playgrounds.

Here’s what the experts observed and recommend:

• 8 Ways to Stop a Coworker From Sabotaging Your Reputation on cbsinteractive.com https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi-5Ir8-qLcAhXj6IMKHXKSB_EQFghEMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2Fnews%2F8-ways-to-stop-a-coworker-from-sabotaging-your-reputation%2F&usg=AOvVaw1EgFchyQFLI1QXiSIohHMv

‘I’m working on it right now’ and other workplace white lies we’re all guilty of telling http://www.businessinsider.com/lies-everyone-tells-at-work-2018-4?r=UK&IR=T• How and Why We Lie … https://hbr.org/2015/01/how-and-why-we-lie-at-work
• Office Mean Girl: Memories of a Workplace Bully https://toughnickel.com/business/Office-Mean-Girl-Memories-of-a-Workplace-Bully

The remedies?

• 10 Tips for Better Karma at Work https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/10-tips-better-karma-work/
• 4 Ways to Stay Sane in a Toxic Office
https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-ways-to-stay-sane-in-a-toxic-office

There are many more. Research. Listen. Learn. Reach out to those who can be a great listening ear for you and offer solid advice.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve

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Scholarships for career professionals: Get them while they’re hot! (My fav’s next deadline is July 15)

Photo: Hospitality and vehicle manufacturing industries offer scholarships to employees and students

How to land a job and how to win scholarships remain top queries to me by everyone from Quora answer seekers to parents to mid-career professionals.

Unlike college scholarships, industry scholarships are awarded year-round. However, like college scholarships, industry applicants should observe deadlines and submit complete packages. The rewards have multiple benefits for those who can land scholarships for career advancements and also receive a place in line for promotions.

Also, be sure to check with your current employer to learn of free or scholarship-based professional development opportunities.

Here are a few industry scholarship opportunities:

  • A new application was launched the second week of July. Application deadlines are January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.
  • This is a great scholarship for student employees of the music association’s member companies. Application process closes in August. The Impact Maker scholarships have three scholarship deadlines with an immediate one due July 15. I love this award because it is open to college students pursuing any industry.
  • This is a great scholarship for student employees of the music association’s member companies. Application process closes in August. The Impact Maker scholarships have three scholarship deadlines with an immediate one due July 15. I love this award because it is open to college students pursuing any industry.
  • You have to live in Texas and have an interest as undergraduate or adult skills (returning to workforce) in the auto industry. NASCAR is a sponsor. Several types of scholarships are available including housing assistance.
  • This sampling is intended to garner your interest in pursuing dollars to aid you in your career growth. Check within your state for scholarships that are open to Nebraskans, for instance. Every industry is willing to offer a helping hand for professional development. It takes some work, yet you will be rewarded for the effort to help yourself financially to progress in your chosen fields.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

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Look within; Work abroad

Mixture of expats and Chinese natives enjoy harbor park

Malaysia is a popular location for expat workers

Our thoughts and experiences are sometimes limited by our physical boundaries. If we are born and have lived in the same country, it is highly likely that we will spend our working years in the same area.

Yet, there are endless opportunities for US educated professionals in the worldwide job market. The offerings often include benefits.

In one job announcement at a Malaysian location, the HR specs include the requirement for the applicant to have a Master’s degree, and in turn, housing and transportation expenses are provided in the hiring package.

I met a former US citizen in Central America who works there for a company that deposits his wages into his Massachussets USA checking account. He uses his debit card to collect his wages, yet at a much better rate of exchange because he can access Guatemalan ‘Qs.”

Military men and women and their families who are stationed abroad, know well the advantages of living in most countries with valued benefits.

Working abroad is not for everyone. I recommend that you consult with loved ones and others who are knowledgeable about work and personal lives outside of the USA.

For those who are open to an expanded career space, consider the factor of enhanced marketability. Most employers are keen on you if global jobs are part of your reportorie.

Your opportunities for quality overseas work assognments increase if you know the native language of the country you will reside in as what’s known as an “expat” or US citizen working and living abroad.

One new expat told me she is beginning a new career in Vietnam, teaching English. Another individual is saving money based on his move to an Asian country where his living expenses are more favorable than his former US costs.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

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Best careers are blooming everywhere: Do The Workh

Too many times, I’ve listened to folk who complain about their current job or assignments, and how bad they’ve been treated by co-workers and their supervisors. Yet, those same folk are not willing to do what it takes to improve their status.

I used to be “those people.” I was trapped in that space with plenty of excuses to justify my temporary misery.

My evidence is found in my musings that I am sharing from my private journals (between 1990 and 2001):

“I can’t wait to get out of here. ____ is no place for me but I have to keep working to pay for health insurance for my kids.”

“I don’t have enough money saved for me to pursue my dream … I am going to forget about my life and be grateful for what I have.”

“I have to stay here at ____ because ___needs to go to ______camp and ____needs new shoes. School is about to start and I have to pay for their band dues … new clothes and supplies.”

“I barely have enough money to live here and now I must commute between two states so that my ___ can attend school?”

Fear of lack, self-doubt in my born and gained abilities, children, anger, shame, guilt, sadness, confusion and pity party excuses are among my top reasons for not fully pursuing my life’s greatest career work. Yet, I had a splendid career in journalism and other writing genres, public affairs, large event management and higher education. Splendid and award-winning, yes. Not earning enough money to cover my investments otherwise known as bills, yes.

That way of thinking, writing and behaving stopped once I really heard and applied the truth about me and this great universe. I began to do the real work of absorbing spiritual truths and applying them. I sought help from clergy, family and three friends during that turbulent period in my life. If it were not for my children, I would have caved into the junk of untruth.

I changed my narrative.

I thought my new narrative would be with me for a lifetine. Then, I ‘got shook’ again. It was during those years, I met a faithful collection of great “teachers” in my Mom and Dad’s separate families state of Arkansas! They are amazing in their love, and leadership-by-examples and strength during my short workn stint in Little Rock, Arkansas.

I refined my narrative.

Yet. I did not realize that I was still holding onto remnants of that former narrative of overall lack. Thanks to a great grouping of folk, I cast that nonsense into Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan. I remember the day: January 31, 2018, the day of the Blue Moon.

This isn’t hocus pocus. It’s about being in truth, first. Then, you are able to get your desired career, one job or assignment at a time.

There are lots of dirty rats who will seek to stop you. Be an eagle. Thank them and focus on your respectful — not nasty — self work before seeking meaningful work.

It works.

I can show you better than I can tell you that it works. Watch me!

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

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Open letter to parents, advisors and ‘first time in college’ students: Your career begins with your college choice

Begin with the end in mind.
Who wishes for her/his prospective college or university student to enroll in academic programs that produce results on the road to nowhere? I don’t. That is why I have spent a few decades helping to educate parents, academic advisors and on-their-own students about thinking through their decisions on which colleges and universities are a match for the students’ overall goals and objectives.
There are also economic reasons why it is important to get it right. The sad statistics about the college drop outs remains at an alarming high. https://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickhess/2018/06/06/the-college-dropout-problem/#2d73a60a5fd2

If financial aid loans are involved in the drop outs’ matriculation, repayment is a problem and that adds up on the default rate of loans. Ask CEOs like Ce Cole Dillon whose company, Student Loan 411, is helping countless numbers of ex-college students to wade out of their debt. https://vimeo.com/258723383

My focus in this blog is on the importance of ‘looking before leaping’ to achieve ‘happily ever after’ results.
Why you should care what happens after college graduation
Going to college is no longer a cheap buy: The average 2017-18 price tag was $25,290 for public and $50,900 for private higher education institutions, according to the College Board. https://www.collegedata.com/cs/content/content_payarticle_tmpl.jhtml?articleId=10064

With that annual figure growing each year, an increasing number of parental and foundation funders are asking the ROI or return on investment questions about universities and colleges’ tuition, housing and food expenses.
As one who believes in the value and lasting benefits of attaining a well-rounded higher education degree and socialization, I sought the same questions when my children were preparing to attend college. I also learned that my recommendations were not always in line with what my children wanted to achieve. My bottom line is and remains: What will a college and university do to enhance one’s career opportunities?

1. Despite the pressure of parents and others for a student to become a “legacy” college entrant, if that student is unsure about her/his academic interests and career goals, consider a two-year program at a community college. It is a cheaper buy. While I served as a dean at a university in Florida, I actively recruited and welcomed students who wished to transfer into our bachelor’s degrees’ programs. Graduation and other success rates at four-year institutions by associate degree graduates is impressive. https://thesubtimes.com/2018/05/25/community-and-technical-college-transfer-students-shine-at-universities/

2. It’s okay to choose a four-year program. It’s even smarter to graduate in four years. I chose a historically black college in Atlanta, Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University). Many in my family chose larger, majority institutions. We all meet at the finish line as my siblings and cousins, aunts, uncles and parents graduated and are happily engaged in various careers. Please make sure that the program’s results match the preparation expectations of the students and hopefully, her/his supporters.

3. Asking for the right data and getting answers to queries involving curricula vis a vis careers, are vital components in the degree selection process. I always make myself available for parents and students and others to ask questions of me about academic programs, career choices and graduate school. At a recent gathering of prospective graduate students of the Medill School of Journalism, a family member pulled me out of a small circle and quizzed me on whether the “expensive cost of attending this school is worth it.” I responded with a resounding “yes” with my story combined with career placement data that I could recall. I also matched him with our websites and included the names of famous alums who would aid in his pursuit of one of the most legitimate queries. Note that most public universities are required to report similar data. Also, accreditation agencies of university and college degree programs are also requiring graduation, matriculation rates, and career placement rates. Some academics “hate” the phrase “placement rates” yet will answer your queries another way.

4. Check the walls — the virtual and on-site. In most specialized programs, there are regular postings about career and internship preparation, announcements about alumni visiting campus, career and graduate school recruitment visits and more. Do this during the academic school year because the summer months and holidays may not yield as much content.

5. Email, text and call alumni to ask about their career choices and how your desired university or college program helped those alums along the career paths. In the majority of situations involving prospective students, alumni LOVE talking about their college days.

6. Talk to employers about the post-graduation and entry-level preparation and expectations of college and university graduates. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/10/the-role-of-higher-education-in-the-changing-world-of-work

7. Read the ‘fine print’ that is right before each of on a daily basis. Listen and read and learn from the general and specialized media stories, marketplace trends and global developments regarding career choices for the college bound or university enrolled student. When I arrived for my first day of work as a dean of journalism and graphic communication, I was provided with a “gift” from our mass media funders. They wrote a collective letter to university presidents, provosts and deans to inform us that they would no longer support out-of-step programs. https://knightfoundation.org/articles/open-letter-americas-university-presidents.
https://knightfoundation.org/articles/journalism-funders-call-teaching-hospital-model-education.

8. It’s okay to change your mind. I did. My oldest son did the same. He did chose Florida A&M University over other options that included the Georgia Institute of Technology. During the hot summer days when I was 17 years old, I debated on which university or college to attend. I was accepted to three colleges. I paid my housing deposit to Howard University. Yet, just before I booked my travel from Chicago to Washington, D.C., a Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) alumna informed me that there was an equally strong communication program at Clark. When I placed both programs side-by-side, I chose Clark and became a “legacy” graduate. It led to my next important career preparation and that was at the Medill School of Journalism @Northwestern University. With my degree specialization in financial journalism, my career and later my doctorate in international business, have provided me with an outstanding the journey.

9. When final choices are made, consider the financial investment of travel to and from home to the college and university, the fees and tuition, location and whether the “helicopter” or “drone” parent syndrome is also involved in the decision-making.

It is not easy selecting which is the best college or university to advantage one’s career choice, yet it is worth the early investment.
If you are still unsure, request a year extension on attending a college or university also known as a “gap year.” Make sure your college or university offers such a program. You save your place in line while exploring a career, educational experience or a related adventure and perhaps gain some more research on whether the university will fill your career and life’s desires and needs. https://studentloanhero.com/featured/gap-year-disadvantages-important-pros-before-college/.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

Posted in Communications careers, How to find great jobs, How to select best college or university, Job search, Job seekers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Need a job? Try the low-hanging “fruit.” Job seekers apply here …

Here’s a well-known secret: The best jobs are found on the websites of professional associations. If you are still looking for work, check out the professional associations in the field(s) of your intended career. It’s the low-hanging fruit for your labors.

For example, if your major was journalism, communications, graphic communication, publishing, documentary or digital journalism, check out the Society of Professional Journalists’ website. Currently, I live and work in Region 5 and here’s what I found by reading news highlights:

1. The weekly newspaper Planet Jackson Hole in Jackson, Wyoming, is looking for a Staff Reporter to join its “small but scrappy newsroom.” The publication is looking for a versatile journalist who can report on multiple beats.

2. The Northwest Signal, a daily newspaper in Napoleon, Ohio, is searching for an energetic sports writer who is eager to grow and develop within the sports department.

3. The Free Press in Kinston, (correct spelling) North Carolina, seeks an experienced multimedia reporter willing to jump head-first into delivering breaking and developing news in the community.

For my job seekers who may be a part of the “non-believers” that there are thousands of job opportunities for you, or for parents and other loved ones of those recent grads and perpetual career changers, here is my sample “proof in the pudding” listing of professional associations that allow anyone to browse for work … at zero cost:

http://www.nasda.org/about/careers
http://www.collegeart.org/jobs-and-opportunities
https://www.higheredjobs.com
https://www.nspe.org/resources/career-center/job-board/job-board
https://jobs.shrm.org/jobs/
http://www.nationaltechnologiesassociates.com/careers.html

(All fields searchable by job type, location, etc.) searchhttps://workforcenow.adp.com/mascsr/default/mdf/recruitment/recruitment.html?cid=94c49b92-4ebf-4202-bd27-7c12598fc8c4&ccId=19000101_000001&type=MP&lang=en_US

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annlineve/

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