Hiring the Seasoned Workforce: Plan for Weathering Unemployment for the Older Worker

If unemployed and approaching 50, it may be more difficult finding employment but not impossible. The trick? Establish a plan and stick to it.

Having a plan to follow during the no job slump can help to decrease fears of the unknown. Here’s an easy survival plan anyone can follow.

Employment Agencies

Sign up at all available employment agencies. Many jobs are not necessarily advertised on the web or in the newspapers. Check in regularly with them. Sometimes a new job can be snagged working through an agency.

Utilize Career Centers

Locate local career or employment centers. Utilize their services. Those that are government (state) sponsored offer free employment counseling as well as free use of equipment such as computers, fax, copy machines and telephones. The counselors may also know of training programs, and depending upon funding resources, they may be able to pay or partially pay for training.

Learn or Update Computer Skills

Having some computer savvy increases job marketability. Adult education courses generally offer a range of levels from beginner to advanced. There are free online computer courses as well.

Being older doesn’t mean that computer literacy is impossible – may take a little longer, but, again, increasing marketability should increase the chances of finding work.

Practice Re-Inventing

Itemize skills. What might those be? Think about all the activities normally executed during the course of past regular employment days. Write them down. While reading the current job descriptions, think about how all the skills learned might be transferred to the present day requirements.

List the skills that are strong and find ways to improve the ones that need sprucing up.

Think Positive

It may take a while to find new employment. Depression, anger, anxiety, remorse, frustration and grief are not uncommon emotions. However, it is important to maintain a positive outlook and demeanor when approaching potentially new employers.

Eating healthy foods, exercising, networking (family, friends, community agencies, job fairs, volunteering, etc.) and utilizing a support system can help fight off discouragement and worry. Learning new skills and having an open, flexible attitude, especially towards new experiences helps, also.

Find out which employers within the community are hiring-friendly towards seasoned workers. Place applications there.

Be patient and persistent. Finding employment should become a full-time endeavor until a suitable position is found.

Contact Community Service Agencies

It is no shame to apply for food stamps or fuel assistance or whatever other services may be available during this time of searching. There may be income limits. If by chance qualification, say, for food stamps is possible, this resource may relieve some stress for a period of time, thus conserving energy needed to invest in the job hunt.

The Benefits to Hiring Seasoned Workers

The seasoned workforce is more dependable and more likely to execute their employment responsibilities, carefully. Additionally, seasoned workers have already developed an experiential background that the new comers to the workforce have yet to develop and refine; they understand concepts that years of experience have created, which, a younger work force has not had time to develop.

Finally, the seasoned workforce has been an invaluable resource towards the building of their communities and on a broader scope, their countries.

Creating an Islamic Themed Home

In the , the home is considered a sanctuary where followers can relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. While not every home can have an extra room dedicated to prayer, there are a few things you can do to create an Islamic themed home. Cleaning up clutter and airing out the home can help free you up to focus solely on your prayer time. Choosing Islamic music or verses from the Koran will also add to the religious atmosphere in the home.

Creating an Islamic themed home: Clean up

An Islamic home is usually clean and well-ventilated. Cleanliness is especially important to the Islamic faith because the prayers are performed on the floor. You would not want dirt or dust to prevent you or your family from being able to concentrate on your prayers. Start decorating your Islamic themed house by thoroughly cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming the entire home. If you have throw rugs in your prayer room, take them outside and beat them with a large stick to get all of the dust out before vacuuming. Whenever possible, use natural cleansers like baking soda, vinegar, and warm water instead of chemical products. Try to remove as much clutter as possible from the home. Seeing physical clutter laying around can lead to a cluttered mental state as well, interfering with your ability to pray and commune with Allah.

Creating an Islamic themed home: Air it out

Nature and air are also very important to faith in an Islamic themed home. Place potted houseplants or flowers around your house, especially in the prayer room. Adding a specific area dedicated to nature, such as a rock garden, can also help you stay grounded and connected to nature whenever you are in your Islamic home. To improve ventilation, open the windows whenever possible and air out the home. Light can also give the appearance of a more airy house, so look for areas where you can open curtains or even add a skylight and brighten up your rooms.

Creating an Islamic themed home: Add some music

The right music or audio can help give your home more of an Islamic feel. Music from Muslim artists will add to the religious atmosphere of the home, along with providing musical entertainment for you and your family. To display your faith even more, you can buy audiobook versions of verses from the Koran and let those play throughout the day. Installing a home stereo system with speakers that run through the entire house will allow you to hear your Islamic audio choices in any room of your home.

Don’t Panic over Meltdown: Are Market Declines a Good Time to Buy?

Around the world, investors are wringing their hands, perhaps even losing sleep, over the recent downturn in the stock markets. It’s a natural reaction – no-one likes to lose money, even if it’s only on paper.

The credit crisis being blamed for the current slump shows no so signs of abating, with some pundits forecasting that we may not see a recovery until 2009. You may be frustrated and wondering what it all means. That’s OK, you’re not alone: even the world’s most preeminent financial thinkers are scratching their heads over how this crisis was allowed to happen, why an apparently short-term problem is now entering its second year and what the eventual fix will look like.

But you have to ask yourself the all-important question: Are you investing for the long term? Most investors are and experts have some simple advice: Don’t worry, for this too shall pass.

Remember when?

If you’ve been in the markets for a while, you probably remember the dot-com crash in the early 2000s or the very short-term stock collapse post-September 11, 2001. Those with longer memories can probably cite other similar examples, such as 1987’s infamous “Black Monday” when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 22%.

It’s really the same old story: markets go down, but eventually recover. Charts dating back to the 1950s show a steady rise in stock markets worldwide, with the occasional blip.

Market volatility is a reality and selling when things get a bit choppy will mean missing out on future returns. Studies have shown that investors who jump in and jump out of the markets, depending on how things are going, will inevitably lose out on the performance side.

If you use a financial advisor, pick up the phone and ask questions if you have concerns. That’s their job. “The handholding that we did between 2000 and 2003, it’s here again,” says Manulife Securities advisor Neil Bocking.

Time to buy?

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, many believe market “troughs” are in fact a good time to increase your stock or mutual fund holdings.

“There are good buying opportunities in a market like this because some people have to sell because they don’t have the cash, and they are facing redemptions,” says fund manager Anne Gudefin of Franklin Mutual Advisors.

Even if you’re not comfortable buying at this point (and that’s understandable), doing nothing is also a good option. Assuming you a diversified mix of stocks, bonds and cash, your portfolio will be fine, just be patient.

A New Way to look at the New Year.

First I’d like to say “Happy New Year” to you all. Around this time every year TV and magazines start sending out their list of the best and worst of our culture. It is always fun to look back upon our year and see what happened. Often they remind us of events we forgot about or they reinforce our personal beliefs of what we considered to be the highs and lows of the year. Everyone gets ready for New Year’s Eve and starts making their resolutions for the new coming year. I am not a personal believer in resolutions because they often inspire us to fail. We sit down and write a few goals for ourselves. We want to start on January 1st because that is the first day of the New Year and the first day of our New Life! That is what we tell ourselves. And then we go to our annual New Year’s Eve party and have a little champagne and then a little chocolate. What the heck, right? We are starting a new life tomorrow! Soon the chocolate and the champagne are flowing, and you wake up the next morning feeling like instead of having consumed a dozen champagne bottles, you were beaten with them. You resolve to start the next day, and then the next day slips away and then another day goes by until several weeks have passed. Guilt overruns us and we give up on our resolutions before we even start. It is too easy to get caught up into the whole spirit of the New Year without really thinking about the dedication that is involved in having to change your life. That is what we want after all isn’t it? To change the things we don’t like about ourselves. I think we are going about it all wrong. Resolutions tend to focus on the negative parts of ourselves like to stop smoking, to stop overeating, to stop losing your temper so quickly. Resolutions play into our guilt about ourselves. My solution to these resolution guilt traps is to do what these TV and magazine year end reviews do and write up a list for you. List all the accomplishments you achieved this year. If you can’t think of any ask your spouse, friends and family. Look around your home, in your closet, or reflect on your job. Christmas time usually brings a lot of cards your way. Look them over and see who thinks you are a special person in their life. Did you finally read that book you meant to read over the summer? Or did you finally clean out the closet of all your old clothes and give them to good will? It doesn’t even have to be something big. How about all the times you cleaned the kitchen or did a favor for a friend? You need to give the little accomplishments just as much attention and praise as the big ones. Make your list a moment of reflection on the good things you did over the year and want to continue to do.

Use Toys to Inspire Imaginative Short Stories: Language Arts Lesson Using Creativity and Favorite Childhood Item

Need a creative idea for a writing assignment? Ask students to find their favorite childhood toys to help them write interesting stories. They will need to create an imaginative setting, a task or conflict that the main character needs to complete or resolve and a happy ending or resolution before they write the first draft.

Fun Homework: Find Old Toys

Assign students to go through their old toys. They must bring a well-loved one to school. It should be an item that brings back positive childhood memories. It could be a stuffed animal, a doll, a truck, a ball, a blanket, etc.

Brainstorming Descriptive Ideas

Ask students to place their toys on their desks. Tell students to write down the following in a brainstorming list:

  1. descriptive words that describe the item
  2. memories of the item
  3. where the item currently is stored or placed

The brainstormed list can help students think of ideas for their story elements before they begin writing the story draft.

Choosing Story Elements

Now that students have a brainstormed list for the toy, they need to choose story elements that use the item in a creative way. The story elements can be written on the same paper as the brainstormed list.

Students need to choose a setting. It could be in the present day, fifty years ago or an imaginary place. The important thing is that the students describe the setting well.

Characters need to be developed. The toy could come alive magically and become a main character in a short story. It is best if students keep the number of characters to two-or-three. Generally, middle school students cannot develop more than three characters in a story.

Choose a Great Conflict

Ideas for a conflict are as follows:

  • journeying to a destination
  • fighting an evil foe
  • surviving a storm, hurricane, volcanic eruption, or blizzard
  • growing up or becoming an adult
  • relationship conflict — friend or family
  • fighting a supernatural foe

Once students choose a conflict, they need to write it down and tell how it will be used in their story.

Putting it All Together

When the students have made decisions about the setting, characters and conflict, they need to decide how the story will end. Choosing the resolution before writing a draft will help the students not to ramble on for pages.

Writing a Draft

After all of the story elements has been decided, students can write their short story based on their favorite childhood toy. They should share their draft with a peer. After the draft is peer edited, the student should write a final copy.

Assess the story with a rubric. Criteria for the rubric could be content, use of the favorite item, organization, creativity and writing conventions. The stories should be imaginative. The best part is that the students’ childhood toys inspired the stories. These stories will hopefully be loved as much as the toys the students brought to class.

What is Hyperthyroidism? Features and Treatment of Thyroid Hyperfunction

Because of their widespread effects on body function, excessive production of thyroid hormones gives rise to symptoms in almost all body systems.

The problem affects around 1% of the UK population and women are ten times more likely to suffer from it than men.

Like many endocrine glands the thyroid gland can produce too much hormone or too little. Through its hormones thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine the thyroid plays a major role in body metabolism. It pretty much controls the rate at which energy is used in processes such as utilisation of glucose, fats and proteins and much else. Adequate dietary iodine is a requirement for the manufacture of these hormones.

Both hyperthyroidism – too much hormone and hypothyroidism – too little, are characterised by different but widespread effects on the body.

The thyroid is controlled by the pituitary gland which lies just under the brain. This gland controls all the body’s endocrine glands. The pituitary secretes thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which regulates the amount of thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine produced.

Signs and Symptoms of Hyperthyroid Function

Most of the features of hyperthyroidism result from an increase in metabolic rate.

Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can result in swelling of the thyroid which produces a goitre – a visible swelling in the front of the neck.

  • Heart: palpitation, fast pulse, cardiac failure in the elderly
  • Muscles: weakness and wasting
  • Digestive system: diarrhoea
  • Nervous system: anxiety, tremor
  • Eyes: bulging or staring appearance
  • General: heat intolerance, sweating, weight loss
  • Reproductive system: menstrual disturbance

Causes of Hyperthyroid Function

  • Grave’s disease: the most common reason for hyperthyroidism. Autoimmune in nature, the body produces antibodies which mimic thyroid stimulating hormone.
  • Toxic nodular goitre: much more common in the elderly usually due to long-standing low-level malfunction of the thyroid. Occasionally due to a (normally) benign thyroid tumour. The characteristic bulging eyes of hyperthyroidism are not usually seen in this condition.
  • Thyroiditis: inflammation of the thyroid, probably due to a virus. Also known as De Quervain’s thyroiditis

Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

  • Anti-thyroid drugs: there are several drugs which block the production of thyroid hormones, carbimazole is an example.
  • Surgery: a large part of the thyroid is removed. It’s generally very successful. Occasionally patients will develop an under active thyroid.
  • Radioiodine: this treatment is possible because of the thyroid’s need for iodine to make its hormones. Patients are given a drink containing radioactive iodine which is taken up by the thyroid where the radioactivity sets about destroying the gland’s cells. As with surgery some patients will later develop hypothyroidism.

This article is for information only. If you have any health concerns you should consult your doctor.

Soul-Nourishing Islamic Books Should Be Part of Every Home Library

Book reading is a hobby and passion for many people. For some, these are collections that they display in their houses. Not everybody is into the reading hobby though. Some don’t even have the urge to even scan the pages. This is a proof that we all have different interests, but what exactly is really in books which makes these people so connected to it especially Soul-Nourishing Islamic books? Is there anything special in it that causes people become so engrossed and compassionate about?

Many said that the best wealth a person can own is knowledge and wisdom. It is the only treasure that can never be taken away from anyone. And books play a fundamental role in acquiring that knowledge and wisdom. The kind of books one reads depends on a number of factors such as your interest, mood and your environment. Some loves to read fictitious stories, whereas there are those who prefer to read real-life story books. There are also those who choose to read informative subject matters among them politics, science, philosophy and history while of course religious folks love to read religious books such as Christianity, Judaism, or Islamic books. Whichever people choose, they are surely available in libraries and bookstores.

Nowadays, if you’re planning to put up a library room within your home or build a small library in your place then be sure that you know the things needed to be considered when building or putting up your own library.

‘¢ Choose the perfect place to create your library. It is very obvious that the library should be a quite place. In picking the library space, remember to consider the people around you. A decent, quiet, and cool place is what you need to have for a more effective study area.

‘¢ A small but jam-packed library is often enjoyed. Any library, even if it is small but well maintained with a variety of book categories is well enjoyed by people or any loved one. Set it up with a variety and not just one type of book, unless you plan to use it just for your own.

‘¢A very good ambiance needless to say, is important. A lot of people come to the library not just to learn but also to relax. A relaxing and peaceful surroundings is recommended to experience a good reading moment that everyone desires. You can set up lights suitable for reading, air conditioning unit or effective electric fans as well as some soothing accessories for a more relaxing learning experience.

These are only some simple things that you need to be aware of when planning to build or set-up a library. Be sure to have some commitment in piling those books. Bear in mind to produce a complete category of books and include soul-nourishing Islamic books that will surely give you more knowledge on the rich cultures of Islam. Bring out your serious desire in reading books and let everyone have a share!

Financial Terms into Words of Wisdom: Finance Jargons and Phrases in Simple Layman’s Business View

Tough times are ahead and money matters. A better way to survive financial stress is to be prepared. are always available. Even so, it’s handy to come prepared with basic knowledge making it easier for discussions.

Credit Cards. They may be convenient but they only delay more expenses and also encourage cardholders to overspend. Paying $150 seems painful unlike the card machine-swiped card with the same amount. The difference is when the card statement arrives with the charge fees. They should be eliminated.

Credit Risk. This is the risk of loss due to a debtor’s non-payment of any line of credit or loan. Be warned that the higher the return, the higher the risk.

Debit Cards. They are better alternative to credit cards since money used is available in one’s account. This makes cardholders able to manage their purchases.

Debt Consolidation. Managing debt is equally important as managing savings. Consolidating it into home-equity loan, for example, should be considered for other unsecured debt or a $5,000 or more in a credit card with the assumption that the loan can be paid. It’s best to talk to a finance adviser for different options relevant to the situation.

Financial Banking. Some people have a range of savings and transactions with a bank. Each transaction has a level of fee charges. All accounts should be assessed as these fees can build up over time. The important thing is to be aware of the rules involving these transactions, including savings and checking accounts, to minimize bank charges.

Financial Budget. The only certainty is change – changing tax laws, economic crisis, changing markets, investment products. It doesn’t have to be as complicated like a professional financial analysis seasoned with ratios from financial statements and other reports. By reviewing and completing down where money comes and goes, hard-earned financial resources can best be used and tracked.

Financial Buffers. The world has become a place of increasing uncertainty. This is why smart financial investors build safety buffers. These include being way ahead in loan repayments, having adequate financial insurance, and reinventing all dividends and distributions to build equity faster.

Insurance. Nobody likes paying insurance, but it’s a protection from financial calamities, natural and otherwise, such as accident, sickness, fire and theft. There are always available options to choose from. Others incorporate insurance with superannuation. Annual financial check-up should always include a review of insurance.

Managed Fund. When money is invested in managed fund, it’s pooled with many other investors, managed by experienced fund managers.

Net Worth. This is the difference between financial assets and debts. Smart money managers try to increase their net worth by acquiring more assets and by reducing debts.

Net Worth Statement. This is an assessment where one is at in his/her financial situation. It is a blueprint for future strategies, including a list of current financial assets and debts.

Life is not all about money, however, it’s important to keep it in perspective.

Procter & Gamble Release Sustainability Overview: Designed To Matter- Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

Worldwide pharmaceutical company Procter & Gamble have released their 2009 Sustainability Overview – Designed to Matter. The company focuses on five strategic sustainability concepts, including:

  • Products;
  • Operations;
  • Social Responsibility;
  • Employees; and
  • Stakeholders.

Product Innovation Leads to Sustainability Improvements

Procter and Gamble’s commitment to sustainability is shown in the development of new products. Product development is aimed at the majority of consumers who would like to improve sustainability outcomes without necessarily comprising value or quality.

During 2008, Procter and Gamble was able to reduce packaging waste in Turkey via changing the standard carton packaging to a fully recyclable seal tight plastic material packaging for its Ariel granule detergent product. The change in packaging has resulted in an 80% decrease in the amount of packaging used comparative to carton packaging.

Reducing the Environmental Impacts of Manufacturing Operations

Environmental impacts disclosed by Procter and Gamble include water usage, energy usage, carbon emissions and total waste. The company reports that energy use at its household care plant in Canada has decreased by 20% through upgrades to plant equipment. However the sustainability overview does not disclose the cost of the upgrades and what, if any, financial savings have been made in energy expenditures.

Procter and Gamble also highlight the seemingly impressive 86% decrease in waste achieved at their Bangkok beauty care plant, which resulted from a waste de-watering process reducing the volume of waste material. It is not disclosed in the overview whether this procedure will be replicated at other Procter and Gamble manufacturing operations throughout the world.


Social Responsibility, Employee Engagement and Stakeholders

Many projects in the developing world have benefited from the assistance of Procter and Gamble. In conjunction with the United Nations, vaccinations to protect against maternal and neo-natal tetanus have been made available for mothers and babies in developing countries. Consumers of the Pampers brand of nappies have assisted Procter and Gamble’s efforts with the purchase of one pack of Pampers nappies providing one vaccination.

Safe drinking water and hygiene campaigns have also been funded with the assistance of consumer purchases of selected Procter and Gamble products. Projects to increase access to education, including Protecting Futures: Keeping Girls in Education which provides sanitary protection products so that girls can remain in school, are highlighted in the sustainability overview.

Employee engagement initiatives including encouraging employees to take personal responsibility for sustainability matters by reducing waste, travel and energy use and the Live, Learn and Thrive program which provides opportunities for employees to participate in volunteering. Other employee engagement practices used include an idea challenge in India and sustainability educational presentations from senior management members.

Procter and Gamble states in the Sustainability Overview that it is “committed to being part of the solution” in relation to sustainability. To that end, the company has taken part in a variety of stakeholder and industry collaborative projects including product safety, climate change and assisting the developing world.

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Are Similar to Other Organisations

Similar to other large and multi-national organisations, Procter and Gamble’s corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives are comprised of a mixture of waste minimisation and reducing use of natural resources, assistance to communities in the developing world through increasing access to the organisation’s products and increasing employee engagement through projects including employee volunteering schemes.

The Procter and Gamble Sustainability Overview is an interesting snapshot of the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts. However, the release of the full sustainability report, due in the near future, will provide an opportunity to undertake a full review of Procter and Gamble’s corporate social responsibility performance.

Rev it Up: World’s Largest Performance Driving School and National Racing Competition

With a helmet on and my seat belt tight across my chest, I clenched the door handle of a Z06 Chevrolet Corvette as I flew down the auto cross track in the FedEx Field parking lot in Washington, DC. I sat in the passenger’s seat while driving professional and instructor, Bill Cooper, whipped us around the track.

We flew to the end of the course and then skidded from one side to the other, peeling wheels the entire time. In any other car, this scene could only mean one thing – a bad accident causing fear to nip at you. But that wasn’t the case here. I was part of Corvette Z06 Time Attack at Rev It Up, the largest performance driving school and national racing competition, sponsored by Chevrolet, in its fourth season.

Rev It Up traveled the country for a three month time frame, June through August, visiting: San Francisco, CA, Orlando, FL, Orange County, CA, Houston, TX, Washington, DC, and Englishtown, NJ, just outside of New York. Their purpose is to help people enhance their driving skills and market Chevrolet products, while offering great prizes.

One winner from each city with the highest score was awarded two days of driving instruction for two at the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. It got even better for the person with the highest score in all six cities combined though – they drove off into the sunset in a new 430-horsepower 2008 Chevrolet Corvette.

The minimal $25 entrance fee for Rev-It Up was worth it. And although the thrill ride I took with with Cooper was an additional $10, it was more exciting than any roller coaster ride an amusement park could offer. I could have repeated it all day. I didn’t, however, because there were so many other attractions to par take in.

Starting in Performance Driving 101, an educational session that all participants must take, Nick and I learned things to watch for on and off the course, how to sit properly, and even how to grip the steering wheel. We were given warnings on what would be acceptable and what would get us “grounded” during the event and then were told to go “Rev It Up.” They provide the cars, the cones, the instructors, and all necessary equipment. Pounding on someone else’s cars and tires for the entire day? Can’t beat that.

Unlimited laps in Corvettes, several test drives on the Chevy Performance Course in eight different Chevrolet vehicles, food, music, laps down drag strips, test races in Chevrolet Cobalts, and drooling over the new Camaro concept car at the Chevy Pavilion, were all part of our fun-filled day. For an additional fee, we could have went spent some time doing laps in go-karts, but we choose to drive the real cars instead.

After practicing on several courses, my husband showed up at the competition track during his two scheduled times (you have to be there on time or you don’t get a chance to make it up since there are so many people competing.) Unfortunately, we didn’t win the Corvette, but Nick did rather well. What can you say? There was some pretty stiff competition. Some of these guys have won the vehicle a few years in a row.

Now that’s a little tough to beat! Watching the competitors race around the track, some knocking over cones, was fun in itself. Caroline Wright, the first woman to win a Grand Am Cup Series and former broadcaster, provided interesting commentary, revealing what driver’s to keep our eyes on. Larger than life screens revealed each competitor’s score almost immediately after they raced. Driver’s scores were penalized if they knocked over any cones.

What was really great about Rev It Up besides its uniqueness, was the fact that all of the staff and the instructors were professionals with years of experience. In addition to Bill Cooper and Caroline Wright, here are a few of the talented individuals that lent their expertise to the event:

Andrew Jackson Alsup

Nipper Alsup

Zac Anderson
Kim Brower
Rick Dilorio
Raymond Dorpfeld
Renee Dupuis
Loren Elimer
Ron Fieni
Roger Foo
C. Chris Mitchum
Garret M. Napier
Jim Ourand
Greg Thek

What else do you need to know if you plan on going next year during the 2008 season?

Admission is free to spectators
Don’t miss your competition time because you will not be able to make it up.
Wear a lot of sunscreen! It gets hot and there are very few indoor activities to hide from the sun.
You must be 18 years or older to compete.
You need a valid driver’s license to participate.
Refunds will not be given to those who show up without a valid driver’s license.
You can sign up at the event, but preregistration is recommended.
The event