The Story of Amy, Graduation to Career
Amy is a new graduate from the Public Policy Program. She has been in school full time until last April. She wanted to brush up on business etiquette, socializing in the workplace, soft skills of leadership and collaboration. Regarding business attire: Amy had NO idea of what was acceptable or advisable.
Hello Amy! We started with a list and role-playing of business situations, including introductions, conversation and interview preparation skills. As Amy lived in another province, we worked exclusively on-line and over the telephone. We did some great Zoom consultations to set our goals and review them along the way. When Amy went shopping, she was able to use her cell phone to photograph herself right at the clothing store while trying on clothing she had been targeting! When she was in the big city near her hometown, we arranged a time that we could do live photo calls so that she could confidently make purchases right on the spot! We had spent some time with local shopping photo sharing to discover what elements were on the “highly recommended” list for her basic workplace clothing choices. Her mom was very impressed at how economical it was to know what you are looking for and how it can be used in multiple ways. Amy is still taking some of my virtual classroom soft skills programs on Interpersonal Skills, Business Functions Tips, and Communication formulae that make you the first person on the invitation list! The courses are short and memorable. She liked this format because she could “tune in” whenever she was available at her time in the world. These “lessons” are always entertaining as well as educational.
Of course, Amy has a terrific job surrounded by people who appreciate her gentle energy and keen attention to detail.
As an experienced school teacher, I know there are many things to learn beyond the designed curriculum of the certification courses. My consistent advice is “Never stop learning!”
The Story of Catherine, Back to Work Makeover
Catherine. All her children are in school. She up-dated her skills. She’s ready for the workplace. "Please up-date my jeans and t-shirts and get me into a different size!” “Then,” she said, “I’ll go shopping for my business outfits!”
Catherine is in her early 40’s. She worked in corporate banking before she had her family and decided to get them launched into school before returning to work. Last year, she took on-line courses and attended night school at the University to refresh her skills. Planning to prepare for interviews in the fall, she came to me in mid-June. Cathy wanted to get in shape and spend a little time on herself. Like most people in her position, weight loss is always a confidence-boosting goal. When reviewing her food journal, we discovered a few elements that needed tweaking to accelerate her plan. We changed the amount and quality of her protein components. (She had been eating lots of chicken which is laden with hormones that not only plump up the chicken, but also plump up the diner). We added more fiber-dense carb choices like sweet potato, sweet kale and wild rice or quinoa. The big thing that was totally missing was a regular nutritional fasting. The system we used provided an alkaline environment that helped rid the body of visceral fat (you know the kind around the tummy). Revitalized and motivated, Cathy lost 2 dress sizes before we went shopping! She loved finding her waist again and enjoying the energy of stronger muscles. (Protein timing is important too).
Cathy felt great, getting into the right colours for her skin tone. We updated the cut and tone of her hair colour! As Cathy was only 5 feet, 3 inches, we made sure the clothing fit at the waist and the hips, then we adjusted the length. Pointed toe shoes either flat or low heels made her legs look longer. She discovered some details about the size of the fabric print and the power of accessorizing – and Cathy was ready for the job offers from the interviews she attended in September! Of course, she is brilliant and well-qualified. Was it the added confidence that got the job?
The Story of Chris, Dress for the Interview
Chris was the delivery expediter for a local company with out-of-town clients. He spent much of his time driving. Chris was a talented resource teacher and occasionally was invited to present workshops. This occasion called for some added attention. Important people would be in the audience. He had a job delivering supplies and meeting with people in the shipping department. Jeans and a golf shirt with casual footwear were just fine. Chris, however, became the guy in the jeans. This happens often; you become what you wear. When I worked with Chris, to prepare for an upcoming presentation, he learned about the colours he looked best in. We decided to upgrade the jeans to dark casual dress pants with a good quality belt. He even opted for a co-ordinated tie. Yes, we tied it so it just topped the belt buckle. He wore socks that matched his dark pants and lace-up wingtips. When Chris felt like the clothes he was wearing, he felt a little taller and more important. Within a few weeks, Chris applied for a new job and wore his power clothing to the interview. Of course, he got the job!
The Story of Lynn and Neil, Families on the Go
Lynn and Neil are parents of a fabulous pair of twins. Thomas, the 12-year old boy is on two travelling sports teams: hockey/lacrosse. Samantha, his twin sister, is a dedicated Equitation performer.
Welcome to the life of most busy parents. After working, the sports' schedule is on the fridge and the van barely cools down before they are off and running! Lynn was concerned with even the nutritionists' suggestion for chicken and eggs as primary protein. Lynn works in animal biology at the University. She knows how much estrogen and steroid goes into even the most reputable sources of these. She admits that most of the time, they have to hit the drive-thru on the way to or from the activities. Both kids were always craving carbs to "fill them up." What. Lynn knew was that the carbs were like a “bandaid” for the lack of nutrition going into the kid's "tanks“. Of course, school concentration was low and they even tried sugar bursts for energy, which always lead to that predictable "low" - almost needing a nap--or worse... a questionable energy drink! When Lynn and Neil met with me, they were very impressed with the ease of truly healthy options. Getting the right kind of protein at the right time and balancing it with brain boosting healthy carbs and fats made such a difference.
Neil thought it was a miracle! It's the body that is the miracle when you fuel it (most of the time) with trustworthy choices. Samantha couldn't believe the difference in her concentration in riding. She jokes that she actually puts left leg on when the coach says "left"! Looking where you are leading is a lot easier when your brain is firing properly. You should see her going over fences on her horse. The confidence doesn't stop there. Thomas actually was chosen to go to the Vancouver games as his lacrosse performance improved with his increased muscle mass and endurance.
Knowing what is in the foods they give their kids and seeing the changes has given Lynn and Neil comfort few parents have. Fast food without the guilt! Samantha does notice that her mom and dad are dipping into her cupboard but she just laughs. Sometimes, the kids have to teach the parents!
The Story of Phil, Skills That Get You Noticed for Promotion and Advancement
Phil was a professional being targeted for internal promotion. He would be working in a position of authority and still collaborating with his co-workers. It was time to re-evaluate his business casual and move in the direction of Executive. He just needed a few details! Phil had worked as a professional in a large corporation for several years. He was clever and responsible. His skills at quick learning and positive personality got him noticed! When he was invited to an interview to head up an entirely new program, Phil was thrilled. All he needed was help in selecting his Power Suit. It had to be the right colour and style while maintaining a conservative professional balance. Deep blue brought out the intensity of his eyes which is where you want your interviewer to look! His shirt was subtly textured in blue colour 3 tones lighter than the suit. His tie a classic diagonal stripe pattern with both blues and a thin line of sable to match his narrow leather belt and wingtip dress shoes. Insert a polished chrome and blue enamel pen into his inside pocket and Phil is now designing and leading a whole new program! What he found, however, was that when he wears his power suit, he garners more attention and respect from everyone. The polish is in the details. We have now designed a “power” capsule wardrobe with the addition of two suits and their interchangeable components. Phil’s signature pens have polished chrome tops and enamelled barrels that match his suit.
The Story of Susan, Great Looks for New Moms
Susan had just had a beautiful daughter 2 months ago. She had to attend a dressy-casual summer party. She was NOT going to wear maternity clothes. She contacted me! Like any woman who has just become a mom, Susan wasn’t happy to wear her comfy maternity dresses—no matter how dressy they were! Of course, the pre-pregnancy collection she had really didn’t match her current curves. Her mother contacted me to avoid another shopping experience ending in tears. All that Susan needed was to know what to accentuate and how to camouflage. With a scarf-hemline long skirt and a deep V flowing blouse with slit-capped sleeves tied in a diagonal knot to match the long side of the skirt—and worn over a co-ordinating u-neck tank top for a “colour pop”—she looked stunning! The earrings just long enough to meet her jawline and the drop pendant necklace pulled it all together. Easy slip-on open toe sandals to show off her “colour-pop” matching toes and matching clutch purse with a long strap—bringing it just to the knot on the blouse. (Not adding extra width to tummy or waist area). Susan took tons of pictures, walked with a power rhythm in her step and felt BEAUTIFUL! -- all from a well-stocked outlet mall with left over $ for lunch!