KAYAKING BEHIND CASCADE WOOLEN MILL, OAKLAND, ME

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

We went kayaking on the Upper Messlonskee Stream in Oakland, Maine today.  It was gorgeous, we drifted, fished a bit, but mostly just relaxed a bit.P8300009
The boat launch, you have to carry down about 100 yards to get here.
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The backside of the old Cascade Woolen Mill in Oakland
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the falls upstream from the mill
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9 Ducks all in a row
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Showing no respect 🙂
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Mary goofing around in her ‘Zep shirt 🙂

It was a fantastic day for this and a lot better than the weather forecast.  Guess time to get the work done that I have to look at for this week.

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BLOGGING WHILE JOB SEARCHING

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

The Long Walk

Image by ecstaticist via Flickr

Earlier today I responded to a post about someone setting up another blog, because they were going to begin looking for another job, The Blogger’s Bulletin.  I thought pretty hard about that entry, while doing my Saturday morning chores.

After a lot thinking about this issue, I question the validity of creating a new blog for a job search, (unless you have questionable content in your blog or things that you can’t have a prospective employer see about your past), why start a new one, simply because you are job searching?

To me my blog is a reflection of who I am and have been.  Have my views and ideals changed over the course of time I have had my blog(s) – absolutely.  I really believe that the person I am in 2009 is different than the person I was when I started blogging in 2007 and my blog does show that growth.  But the person that I was two years ago is the basis for who I am now and provides pertinent information to potential employers and might provide them with questions to ask me.

I look at my blog as my online resume that can tell potential employers and others a lot more about me, than the traditional resumes that everyone sends out and no one really reads.  To me today’s application and interview process is so fake and contrived, that most of the time we really don’t know who we are applying to, what the position will actually entail and organizations usually don’t know the applicants – it has become a crap shoot.  A strong blog is one way to help organizations get to know an applicant far better than the current application process ever will.

I would much rather have a potential employer ask me about things from my blog (if I have gotten to the interview stage, it shows due diligence on the part of the organization to look at who I am – and it means that they are actually interested in me possibly joining their team), than answering stock interview questions.

I also see my blog as another way to screen potential employers, if they take the time to review my blog, it might be a place that I would be a good fit, it shows they are somewhat technologically savvy, which honestly is pretty important to me.  It shows an openness to using technology within the organization, especially if after reading it, they decide to interview me.  I would rather not be contacted then go through the interview process needlessly or worse yet find out after the fact that I don’t fit the organization’s culture and be miserable until I find a way to leave.

So I will continue to post honestly to my blog about my opinions and direction my life’s journey is taking me.  That way if my dream job does open up to me, my prospective employer will know exactly what they will be getting in hiring me.

A hard-working, thoughtful person who has a moderately liberal view of the world, who likes the outdoors and is physically active.

There won’t be any guessing or surprises about where I stand on things and if I am not what they are looking for, they will quickly throw my resume or application in the trash and will not waste anymore of their or my time.  In that situation we both win and false expectations are avoided.

I guess I will modify the age old adage to:  “What you read is what you  get with me”

So here’s to honest blogging and showing who I really am and keeping my old blog.  It has all that wonderful information that I have written, not necessarily for prospective employers, but for those who wish to read it.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours? Please leave a comment below, so I will know your thoughts.

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MBTI SCORE – QUITE A SURPRISE

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

fancy logo/writing for use in MBTI articles

Image via Wikipedia

As part of my preparation to be ready for my dream job, I have been taking FEMA Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Courses.  I have completed several of them, but the one that I am taking right now Decision Making and Problem Solving (IS-241) is very interesting because one of the activities was taking the The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®.  I have taken this “test” several times before and usually come up as ENFP or ENFJ, as far as I can tell this is the first time that I have this result.
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From: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes3.asp

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From:  http://keirsey.com/handler.aspx?s=keirsey&f=fourtemps&tab=3&c=counselor

This generic personality type that is described above, is a pretty remarkable view of how I view myself.  This is one of the most accurate descriptions of how I see myself or think that I am.  I wonder what my wife would score me as?  It would be an interesting exercise, maybe I will have her try, she knows me better than anyone else.

Another link that provides more information on INFJ character typing is http://typelogic.com/infj.html.  Again interesting information and pretty much spot on about how I regard myself.  It is interesting to have a simple 70 odd questionnaire provide so much information about yourself.

I recommend that everyone do this just to validate or learn more about yourself.

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MY DREAM JOB – WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

Dream Job

Image via Wikipedia

Going through all of these steps has given me a very good idea of what to look for in my Dream Job.

My first choice of a dream job would be to hit the lottery and retire to doing what I want to do instead of the 9-5 routine.

Second would be working for ESPN as some kind of behind the scenes guy, because I always have loved sports.

Now to get back to reality.

Below are the posts leading up to this realization:

  • IF OPPORTUNITY KNOCKs–I AM NOT READY
  • WHERE HAVE I BEEN? WHERE AM I GOING?
  • FINDING YOUR DREAM JOB – WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP?
  • FINDING A DREAM JOB–CAREER INTEREST SURVEYS
  • MY DREAM JOB – PART 4
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 5
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 6
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 7 JOB SKILL SUMMARY
  • MY DREAM JOB – WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?

My dream job will not be one where I make lots and lots of money (money is important, but it is not the driving force in my life and as long as I make enough to be comfortable that is enough for me) or one where I am necessarily the boss, I can lead and do a good job, but don’t have that overriding need to be in charge.

It is much more important to me that I have the opportunity to help others and make a difference beyond just doing work for the sake of working.  I guess I want to be there when things happen instead of being so far removed that I don’t actually know what is going on to the people “on the ground”.

My dream job is probably going to be a position in either a training/education or emergency management setting.

01_0 1.  Training/Education.  I loved teaching and I realized this summer that I really do miss it.  I miss the “aha” moments from the students and being able to watch the growth that occurs in the classroom.  I have had a couple opportunities to provide training this summer and I really enjoyed it, it just felt right.  Does that mean I will be looking to my dream job in teaching…not necessarily, there might be a training position that really appeals to me, but I would like to teach/train at some level.

A graphic representation of the four phases in...Image via Wikipedia

2.  Emergency Management is something that has been a part of my life since I was a teenager.  I was in the Coast Guard for almost 21 years and even though I was mostly a paper pusher, I had many opportunities to get involved and now working with MEMA as my office’s Emergency Response Coordinator has really shown me that I would be a good fit in that environment.
I know that my dream job will be one where I will be interacting and collaborating with small groups of people to get projects done or teach others certain skills.

I will probably get to use my case and program management skills on occasion, and of course I will have to manage a budget of some sort.  High level writing skills are going to be necessary to  process the information and my knowledge and ability to use technology will be an asset in being able to communicate with others.

So based on looking back on my experience, preferences and looking forward my dream job will probably be something to do with Emergency Management, but that allows me to train, collaborate and interact with others.
As much as I would like to work with computers and think I would be very good at it, I have chosen to not learn the hardware repair/build skills and have little interest in coding.  There are not too many careers out there for a non-marketer in the Computer world.

Writing professionally as a freelance writer also really interests me a lot, but I am not ready for that – yet.  I will continue to blog and see where that leads me, who knows maybe something I write will go viral or this blog will just take off.  I can dream can’t I.  Maybe I just need to get a job where it is an strictly 8-4 job with no requirements outside of work to enable me to focus on growing my freelance writer opportunities.  My present position leaves me too tired or I have work that needs to be finished because of deadlines and have to put in a lot of extra hours.

Now I have some more work to-do.

I need to research different positions in the Emergency Management or Training fields, to see what skills are necessary and where I need to improve my skills so that I am better  prepared if the position presents itself.  This will include discussing this with my mentors (yeah – us old guys still have mentors), talking with people in the emergency management and training professions to get their birdseye view of things.

I need to go to the FEMA Institute and see what online courses are available to prepare me for my dream job if an opportunity arises in Emergency Management.

I also need to update my training skills to ensure that I am using current methods, not things that don’t work.  One of the biggest that I need to improve is the online course development, I started this development when I was teaching (learningMoodle and taking most of my teacher certification classes online), but haven’t had time to do more than use GOTO MEETING for a few webcasts during the past year.

I will have to update my resume, but I plan to prepare two styles, one that emphasizes my Emergency Management Skills and one that emphasizes my education/trainer skills.  After they are updated, update my LinkedIn Profile and start putting the word out about what I would consider to be my perfect job.

But until then I plan to enjoy my present position which is a pretty darn good job, continue to improve my skills and to do the best I can everyday until that golden opportunity arises which could be 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years.

At least now I will know what my dream job looks like and be ready to submit a quality application that accurately reflect who I am and what kind of an asset I could be to a potential employer.

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DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 7 JOB SKILL SUMMARY

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com) on 10/29/10

From 8/24/09

Previous posts in this series:

Below are the posts leading up to this realization:

There I have completed the background work to see what my qualifications/skills are and where I have been professionally.  It was an interesting exercise that brought back a lot of memories good and bad.  This exercise really clarified in my mind what I am good at and enjoy doing when I am working.

I am going to put them into broad categories:

imageWriting:  I have been a technical writer for several years.  During my Coast Guard career I updated unit/local, district-wide and headquarters level instructions, policy and manuals that provided guidance on human resources, training or administrative procedures.  I have continued technical writing in most of the positions I have had since then and most recently have been updating/writing the State’s AmeriCorps Program Director and Program Officer Handbooks, in addition to assisting in the writing of the Volunteer and donations Annex to the State’s Emergency Operations Plan.  I taught English and writing while teaching and I have maintained several blogs for the past two years and have really enjoyed writing for them.  I don’t know if I am ready to try freelancing and around here a technical writing position is difficult to find.

Emergency Management/Crisis Management:  Ever since I was a teenager in Newport, ME  as a member of the Fire Dept and Sheriff’s Dept Explorer scouts, my career in the Coast Guard, working at Good Will-Hinckley where I had to use and hone my abilities in crisis situations to remain calm and being able to think fast to de-escalate situations, to my present position where I am the MCCS Emergency Response Coordinator.  It seems as though I have been involved in some facet of Emergency Management.  This is one of those areas where you are making a difference in people’s lives when they need it most.  I have no illusions regarding the “political” issues and agendas (who is responsible for what) that can be involved in this kind of position, but I have successfully navigated similar waters before.

  Halloween 006Training/Education:  During my Coast Guard career I have always been part of the training administration staff at my unit or job and provided training at the local level.  I was designated as a District Training & Education Officer with a $500K budget and provided training to district level units.  Then I was a Special Education Teacher providing differentiated instruction to students who hadn’t been successful in mainstream education classes.  So I have been involved with training/education on both the administrative and classroom ends.  I had the opportunity to get in front of the classroom last week, it was totally unexpected, but my subordinate was struggling and I stepped into help him out.  I enjoyed the give and take, and remembered how much fun teaching others can be.  I also have been told I am pretty darn good at teaching others, when I did it for a living.

Case Management:  I was a Case Manager for Catholic Charities and as a Special Education Teacher that is one of the most important parts of the position.  I have a lot of experience at completing support plans, creating reasonable goals and objectives, working, coordinating, collaborating and providing services to clients from a variety of sources.  One part of being a successfulcase manager is sitting down and reading the laws/regulation and policies so that you know the limitations or what the client is actually eligible for versus what people “think” they are entitled to.

imageTechnology:  This has always been a “love” of mine.  I started out on the Vic20 and used M/S Windows 1.0, so I have been “playing” with personal computers since the early 80’s.  I have always been one of the “go to” people where ever I have worked, when it comes to technology related information or how those things work.  More recently I have been heavily involved with Web2.0 & Social Media applications.  I have tried many of the cloud computing applications to see which ones work for me and have used the major social media applications like Twitter, Facebook, Blogging (WordPress & Blogger) and many other less well known.  Surprisingly, I have never been much of a one to actually program, use HTML/CSS (very basic skills), I am more of an end user and finding a position that is technology related with those skills are few and far between.  I guess people would call me a bit of a geek.

imageFinance/Contract Management/Grants Management:  I can do this type of work very well, as I have shown by successfully working primarily in this type of job for the past year.  I have been part of large contracting offices and contracts while in the Coast Guard and have managed budgets successfully.    During this past year, I have found that my priorities and interests have changed with my experiences over the past 13 years.  My experiences in teaching and being in social services for the most part put a lot of distance in both work related and personal priorities for this type of work.  I no longer really enjoy the challenges that financial and contract management requires.

I understand that most positions have financial or contract management (I include Grants Management into this arena due to the amount of financial and contracting that are required) functions and have prepared myself to be able to do this if it turns out to be a part of my “dream job”.  However, my dream job will not be built around these functions and would in my view be 25% or less of the position.

Summary
I could have included Office Manager or Human Resources/Personnel Officer, but my experience in those fields are outdated and not really what I am looking for in a “dream job”.

This is a great review of my current skills and knowledge and has given me a great idea of what my dream job is starting to look like.  Actually, my dream job is probably several opportunities and a combination of several of these skills.

In my next post I will talk about what my dream job will look like.

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DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 6

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

Below are the posts leading up to this realization:
  • IF OPPORTUNITY KNOCKs–I AM NOT READY
  • WHERE HAVE I BEEN? WHERE AM I GOING?
  • FINDING YOUR DREAM JOB – WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP?
  • FINDING A DREAM JOB–CAREER INTEREST SURVEYS
  • MY DREAM JOB – PART 4
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 5
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 6
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 7 JOB SKILL SUMMARY
  • MY DREAM JOB – WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?

This is the last of my efforts to look back in my past work history to see what my work experience has been.  I believe that I am getting a really good idea of what my experience is and what I enjoyed or disliked about the more recent ones.  should be looking for if I decide to look for a new position or if out of the blue an opportunity arises.

I am going to focus more on job titles and general position responsibilities, because I spent over 20 years in the Coast Guard and had a couple other jobs besides the ones I have listed in previous posts.  There are just too many different job responsibilities to list everything that I accomplished during those time frames – just going to hit the highlights.imageOffice Manager – OmniCare Pharmacy, Augusta, Maine

  • Analyzed and organized office operations and procedures such as preparation of payrolls, personnel accounting systems, information management, filing systems, requisition of supplies and other clerical services as needed.
  • Training of company personnel in all mandatory Human Resource trainings, i.e. Sexual Harassment preventions, OSHA, MSDS, etc.
  • Coordinated orientation of new employees of company
  • Maximized office productivity though proficient use of appropriate software applications.
  • Researched and developed resources that created timely and efficient workflow. Performed work studies and office efficiency programs that reduced timelines for work completion.
  • Established uniform correspondence procedures throughout office.
  • Prepared a weekly newsletter to help inform employees of important events in the company.

imageCase Management – Catholic Charities – St. Michael’s Center,
Bangor, Maine

  • Performed agency intake interviews with client’s who were diagnosed with mental illnesses from the ages of 6-18, to learn their history, needs, barriers, goals, strengths and prepared initial service agreements.
  • After reviewing case and determining which needs were greatest prepared Individual Support Plans to assist youth and family to achieve the plan’s goals. Monitored progress, assisted and advocated as necessary.
  • Prepared detailed progress notes on clients progress towards goals and to document different agencies contacted on behalf of the client.
  • Prepared client files according to organizational and statutory requirements. Advocated for clients rights or coordinated services with client schools (PET and 504b process meetings), mental health providers, state and federal agencies,Medicaid, medical, dental and find unique solutions to families problems such as finding a source to replace a families car windshield at no cost to the family so they could have transportation available.
  • Contacting emergency services: therapists, courts, or parole officers when clients were in a crisis situation such as attempting suicide, involvement with law enforcement or probation and parole.
  • Represented agency at interagency trainings, weekly meetings to determine case severity levels and which agency would service that client.
  • Member of search committee that was responsible for researching and making a recommendation on a clinical software package that would be utilized throughout the agency.

image First Coast Guard District, Boston, MA – Section Chief — Awards and Special Assignments, Military Personnel Services Branch, District Training Officer, 
General description. Served as a technical specialist in general administration procedures and personnel administration; provided technical advice and information concerning officer and enlisted personnel regulations and administration; supervised staff in preparing and processing correspondence, reports, personnel records, and accounts; used computer data base for records administration; administered funds for travel and procurement, and the allocation of billeting materials and equipment, drafted successful office re-organization, provided work flow, and layout charts; conducted performance analysis and prescribes procedures and techniques for work improvement; prepared official correspondence, administrative directives, regulations, and orders.

Awards Board Secretary: Responsible for oversight of the First Coast Guard District’s awards program, including tracking, editing, presenting to the awards board and preparing for signature and mailing awards back for presentation. Team Leader of natural work group that reviewed awards process, made presentation to District Executive Steering Committee on potential improvements to system, after approval made several changes to standardize and streamline workflow, trained 10 offices on new procedures, which ultimately reduced turnaround time from 42 days to under 23 with a special process for short fuse awards that could be processed in under 10 days. Initiated EMAIL newsletter to give field offices new information regarding improving the recommendation process and how to’s on getting awards approved at the desired levels. Initiated proposal to design database to manage awards process, assisted programmer in developing working database in under 2 weeks, wrote documentation and debugged data base with programmer.

Special Assignments Coordinator for District staff personnel: assigned staff personnel to interview boards, court martial membership, investigations and representing Coast Guard at special events in an equitable manner throughout the District staff offices.

District Educational Officer: Responsible for counseling District Staff personnel on education programs, required courses for advancement, administering end of course tests and proctoring service-wide examinations. Coordinated first-ever District (NJ to Maine) wide education officer training to help them assist their clients better.

Defense Activity for Non Traditional Educational Services (DANTES) Test Control Officer: Counseled members on available programs, ordered tests, inventoried and secured test materials until administered, administered the examinations in accordance with current policies and procedures and returned. Counseled members on test results and how they applied towards college degree or certificate programs.

Member, Exercise Working Group: Part of District team that reviewed district units ability to perform in emergency situations such as major storms or other disasters, or how units performed during high visibility operations such as the Special Olympics World Games.

Member Integrated Support Command Boston Planning and Implementation Team: That planned and reorganized all personnel and administrative support functions for the Coast Guard in the Greater Boston Area. Team had two month time frame to accomplish a complete review of all staffing requirements and rewrite job descriptions for all military and civilian positions and then organize the structure of a new Integrated Support Command for personnel and administrative support functions. This organizational structure became the model that the Coast Guard used for subsequent Integrated Support Commands.

Principle member of First District Area Housing Strategic Plan Study: Collaborated with District Housing Officer to visit each district unit to determine family and bachelor housing needs. Prepared detailed report to carry district-wide housing needs into the year 2005. Plan was first of it’s kind for any Coast Guard Housing Program and as a result of the study, the District Housing Manager addressed many areas that were potential problems.

District Training Officer: Successfully managed $500,000 training account. Prepared detailed budget request justifying increases where needed, coordinated with district controller regarding tracking and balances on hand, trouble shot issues of nonpayment to colleges and learned that many did not understand the Coast Guard’s billing process. I worked with them on the correct procedures, to ensure proper payment, and had virtually no issues regarding billing from colleges that I had worked with after that. After taking over the training account, realized that manual ledger system was not adequate and personally developed spreadsheet program using Multiplan to track the account. The when the new Fiscal Year began, integrated the account into the Coast Guard’s Large Unit Financial system making it easier for the District Comptroller to help manage the account. I also included program managers in the allocation of funds decision making process, which lead to better utilization of funds.

Acting Branch Chief, Military Personnel Branch: Supervised 42 person branch during multiple and prolonged absences of supervisor. Performed all functions of a much senior manager in addition to continuing to perform primary duties. The Division continued to make all of its quotas and management goals and this was noted on several occasions by other senior management personnel.

Investigating Officer: Performed investigation into a possible entitlement to an award for something that occurred in 1956 and was never acted upon. During the investigation I interviewed surviving witness, investigated details and made the recommendation to award the Silver Lifesaving Medal. The individual requested that I not the District Commander make the presentation which I felt was quite an honor. At a small private ceremony at his home, I presented him the Coast Guard Silver Lifesaving Medal.

I performed several other investigations, including: possible drug use, discharge from the Coast Guard for incompetence, and worked with the District Legal Office to ensure the investigations were accomplished appropriately.

Special Projects Problem Solver: I received a case that had been ongoing for five years, a member had been sentenced to prison for homicide and was still listed on the unit’s personnel allocation. I reviewed the appropriate regulations, contacted the prison where the individual was being held, arranged to visit and have the individual sign the appropriate papers. Though there were several other sticking points, within seven working days, I had gone over 600 miles by vehicle and had processed the paperwork to discharge the individual from the Coast Guard in accordance with regulations.

These kinds of assignments were given to me on numerous occasions; ones that didn’t have a lot of guidance, that others had attempted to resolve and were for various reasons unable to resolve the issue and that I was able to perform the necessary research to bring the issue to a resolution.

imageCoast Guard Group Sandy Hook, Highlands, New Jersey – Administrative Officer/Human Resources Officer: Responsible for Personnel Reporting Unit with 220 records and all administrative actions.

Responsible for orientation interviews of newly arriving personnel, counseling on potential work and future goals and putting together plans to help the individual get to their goals. Worked with U. S. Postal Service to change delivery system to the unit, previously my staff had been receiving and sorting incoming and outgoing mail, this initiative freed up 8-10 hours a week for staff to devote to primary human resource and administrative duties.

Coordinated between supervisors and employees on pay related matters, trouble shooting personal and professional issues, disciplinary actions, promotion information, and social services available to families. Provided counseling on educational opportunities, college or other training available, wrote or re-wrote local instructions, prepared discharge or retention recommendations, documented personnel performance, and during four natural disasters was focal liaison with the National Park Service to provide emergency services, Setup personal home as an emergency shelter and utilized personal four wheel drive vehicle to check on safety of other persons when location became cut off due to flooding.

Performed several investigations regarding personnel matters. Civil Right Officer: Conducted 6 investigations of alleged sexual harassment, provided superior sexual harassment awareness training in 6 sessions to over 400 employees, Chaired the Human Relations Council. Educational Services Officer, Family Advocacy Representative, Member of Northern New Jersey Military Committee that reviewed and monitored incidents of child or spouse abuse. Drug/Alcohol Abuse Prevention, Voting Officer, Child Care Coordinator. Member: Safety Committee, Audit Board, Wellness Council

Housing Officer: Town Manager for over 300 person community. Responsible for 34 government owned homes, 20 pad trailer park and 62 leases that cost over $790,000 annually. Managed complex housing waiting lists for incoming personnel, coordinated list to ensure maximum occupancy of units. For leases, negotiated with landlord or realtor for lowest possible price, the benefits of leasing to the military and to have property ready for occupancy when needed. Performed check-in inspections using check-in sheets that I had developed and video taped the lease conditions prior to occupancy and residency inspections on a scheduled basis to ensure that the tenants and landlords were living up to the lease agreement and for the protection of the governments interests. Performed detailed move-out inspections with video camera and if damage claims arose from tenant negligence, negotiated and recommended settlements with landlords on behalf of the District Housing Officer.

Due to the high costs of housing in northern New Jersey and the Rockaways in New York City, performed a comprehensive rental market survey that justified a budget increase from under $360,000 to over $790,000 – an unprecedented increase for one fiscal year. Due to the background information provided with the request, the budget request was approved.

Was asked by district housing manager to train other housing officers in leased housing negotiations at the Area Housing Conference and became a resource for assisting other housing officers that had questions regarding the leased housing program.

Prepared proposal to close 20 pad trailer park that was being under-utilized (only 9 pads were being used) and was not cost effective to the government, due to thorough supporting data, a comprehensive plan and 2 year closure schedule; when congressional inquiries were made, they supported our decision to close the trailer park.
Acted as mediator between families to resolve several episodes of inter-family disputes within the housing areas. Resolved these disputes at a relatively low level and with minimal management involvement.

imageCoast Guard Resident Inspector Office, Bath Ironworks, Bath, Maine – Office Manager


General Duties: Summary: Performed general clerical administrative and secretarial duties including typing, filing, records management, office publications maintenance, and office equipment operation; maintained personnel service and accounting records; served as reporter and fact finding body in investigations. Office Manager for multi-million dollar contract to rehabilitate six Coast Guard vessels with Bath Iron Works. Composed correspondence directives; ensured proper office management concepts and techniques; prepared recommendations for administrative discharges and handling classified matter; demonstrated knowledge of military justice system; administered training programs for clerical staff; supervises and trained office staff. Coordinated records disposal program; composed and typed office correspondence; transcribes recorded dictation; demonstrated knowledge of forms management; prepared preliminary papers for general courts martial; prepared security and legal correspondence; assisted in supervising and training office staff in military entitlements and procedures; assisted in the supervision of records maintenance; performed advanced functions of word processing equipment.

Office Manager:
Responsible for routing/tracking correspondence for major ship renovation project with Bath Iron Works. Studied and reorganized work flow of incoming and outgoing correspondence to better respond to contractor inquiries and requests for equitable adjustment. Reduced processing time on routine inquiries to under 3 days and special inquiries were answered within a 6 hour window. Coordinated with offices to ensure they met these deadlines and negotiated with contractor representatives if these guidelines could not be kept. Military Personnel Officer for over 75 officer or enlisted personnel. Responsible for all pay, medical, career counseling, training, administrative or other personnel actions. Primary point of contact with First District Offices for personnel actions and pay problems. Point of Contact between Naval Air Station Brunswick, Martins Point Health Facility for medical issues. Member, Human Relations Council, Mutual Assistance Representative, helped assist personnel having financial difficulties either receive counseling and/or an emergency loan to carry them over until the situation was resolved.

Unit Career Counselor: Responsibilities. Counseled personnel on U.S. Coast Guard , Department of Defense, Veterans Administration and other Government agencies’ policies and programs that impacted their lives.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Representative (D&ARep): Responsibilities. Provided orientation concerning the Coast Guard’s alcohol prevention program; provided personal services to military drug and alcohol abusers and their dependents; provided initial screening services and recommendations to assist command in evaluating individuals identified as having substance abuse problems; provided a contact and evaluation point for persons seeking help, who may require referral to a therapeutic community and/or medical assistance; assisted military sponsors in locating appropriate assistance programs for dependents with drug and alcohol abuse problems.

imageCoast Guard Research & Development Center, Groton, CT. – Office Manager


Military Personnel Office Supervisor: Supervised team of 4; acted as systems administrator for Personnel Management Information System; responsible for team’s data entry into computer system; counseled individuals for personnel management functions and processed members for re-enlistment, discharge or retirement from the Coast Guard. Coordinated with the Coast Guard Academy personnel office, First Coast Guard District Office and Headquarters to ensure proper processing of military personnel actions.

Unit Career Counselor: Responsibilities. Counseled personnel on U.S. Coast Guard , Department of Defense, Veterans Administration and other Government agencies’ policies and programs that impacted their lives.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Representative (D&ARep): Responsibilities. Provided orientation concerning the Coast Guard’s alcohol prevention program; provides personal services to military drug and alcohol abusers and their dependents; provided initial screening services and recommendations to assist command in evaluating individuals identified as having substance abuse problems; provided a contact and evaluation point for persons seeking help, who may require referral to a therapeutic community and/or medical assistance; assisted military sponsors in locating appropriate assistance programs for dependents with drug and alcohol abuse problems.
Yeoman – General Duties : Performed general clerical administrative and secretarial duties including typing, filing, records management, office publications maintenance, and office equipment operation; maintains personnel service and accounting records. I served in three different offices during my tour in Washington, D.C.

imageCoast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Coast Guard International Affairs Division: Secretary for U.S. delegation for the International Maritime Organization (IMO); responsible for setting up meetings to evaluate U.S. positions on international maritime initiatives; preparing mailings, taking meeting minutes and publishing U.S. positions. Setup all Coast Guard vessel visits to foreign countries by contacting Department of State and American Embassies in the countries to be visited.

Coast Guard Headquarters Personnel Office: Supervised evening shift of 4; acted as systems administrator for Personnel Management Information System; responsible for team’s data entry into computer system; counseled individuals for personnel management functions and processed members for re-enlistment, discharge or retirement from the Coast Guard.

Office of the Commandant of the Coast Guard: Duties Performed general clerical administrative and secretarial duties including typing, filing, records management, office publications maintenance, and office equipment operation; responsible for tracking and answering Congressional inquiries to the Coast Guard on behalf of their constituents. Prepared official correspondence for signature for the Commandant and Vice-Commandant of the Coast Guard. Setup daily Flag Officer staff meetings.


Yeoman – Performed general clerical administrative and secretarial duties including typing, filing, records management, office publications maintenance, and office equipment operation; maintained personnel service records; served as office manager.

Office Manager: Coordinated records disposal program; composes and typed office correspondence; transcribed recorded dictation; demonstrated knowledge of forms management; prepared preliminary papers for maritime investigations; prepared security and legal correspondence; performed advanced functions of word processing equipment; prepared, routed, and forwarded office correspondence; established, maintains, and disposed of office files; prepared, interpreted, and transcribed messages; prepared and distributed mail; performed receptionist duties; prepared applications, statistical reports, and personnel management information entries; prepared benefits and entitlements forms; familiar with basic word processing concepts. Ordered publications and forms; originated correspondence; prepared personnel papers relating to enlistment, discharge, transfer, financial records; provided counsel regarding rights, benefits, and pay systems.

imageCoast Guard Marine Inspection Office, St. Ignace, MI
Assistant Hull Inspector: Responsibilities. Conducted required lifesaving and firefighting equipment inspections on board vessels subject to U.S. vessel inspection laws, certificates, and licenses. Examined vessel documents for compliance with regulations; examined visible components of tank ship cargo transfer, venting, containment, and inerting systems. Demonstrated knowledge of pertinent. Federal Regulations. Exhibited mature judgment in contacts with members of the marine industry.

License and Document Evaluator: Responsibilities. Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of applicable regulations and policy concerning the documentation and licensing of merchant seamen. Answered more involved public inquiries concerning Seaman documents and licenses. Evaluated applications with supporting documentation for seaman documents and licenses. Performed correct security procedures for Merchant Marine examinations, blank licenses and Merchant Mariner Documents.

Description of Duties: General: Performed general clerical administrative and secretarial duties including typing, filing, records management, office publications maintenance, and office equipment operation; maintained personnel service and accounting records. Ordered publications and forms; originated correspondence; prepared personnel papers relating to enlistment, discharge, transfer, rating change, financial records, and courts martial; provided counsel regarding rights, benefits, and pay systems; performed basic functions on word processing equipment; monitored filing and record maintenance, retention, and disposal. Prepared, interpreted, and transcribed messages; prepared and distributed mail; performed receptionist duties; prepared applications, statistical reports, and personnel management information entries; prepared benefits and entitlements forms; familiar with basic word processing concepts.

imageCoast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Otis ANGB, MASS.
Educational Services Yeoman: Responsible for assisting Educational Services Officer with administering Coast Guard Educational programs at the Unit. Personally coordinated satellite classes from Cape Cod Community College to be taught at the unit.

Unit Career Counselor: Responsibilities. Counseled personnel on U.S. Coast Guard , Department of Defense, Veterans Administration and other Government agencies’ policies and programs that impacted their lives.
Clerical assistant to Aircraft Mishap board that investigated a helicopter crash that involved loss of four active duty personnel. During the investigation, I performed all the administrative functions for the Mishap Board. During the investigation I was called upon to inventory personal effects of one of the deceased and with two others, we completed a detailed record of inventory. I was also called upon to assist counseling the enlisted men’s families on Veterans Administration benefits and Coast Guard death benefits.

image
I just thought that I would add in the SPAR as it was my first duty station after boot camp.  learned a lot about life on this ship,
There this completes my history lesson on what I have for skills that could be transferred towards my dream job.  There was still a lot there to read about.   This has been a great exercise to look back, to see where I want to go forward to.  Things are getting much clearer about what directions that I plan to go and where I need to look for that potential dream job.

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This work by Harold L. Shaw, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 5

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

Below are the posts leading up to this realization:
  • IF OPPORTUNITY KNOCKs–I AM NOT READY
  • WHERE HAVE I BEEN? WHERE AM I GOING?
  • FINDING YOUR DREAM JOB – WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP?
  • FINDING A DREAM JOB–CAREER INTEREST SURVEYS
  • MY DREAM JOB – PART 4
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 5
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 6
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 7 JOB SKILL SUMMARY
  • MY DREAM JOB – WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?

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I spent a total of over 10 years at Good Will-Hinckley as a Behavior Technician (Coach), Education Technician III and a Special Education Teacher.  During this time I learned many skills and gained a great deal of knowledge about human behavior, case management and teaching.  Below are the main skill areas.

Teaching

  • Certified Maine Special Education Teacher – 282
  • Created and customized educational programs for students, using strength based approach to meet the student’s Individual Education Plan.
  • Trained, supervised and collaborated with assigned Education Technicians as needed
  • Integrated Technology into the classroom to prepare students for life beyond school. Examples of this were: teaching basic computer skills, word processing, mind mapping, use of Email, blogging, wikis, collaborating using online software such as Google Docs, preparing slide presentations, and preparing students to use online classes such as Moodle Learning Management System.
  • Planned and taught middle school Social studies course – 5 years
  • Planned and taught high school U.S. History – 3 years
  • Planned and taught high school World History – 1 year
  • Planned and taught remedial reading program (FAME) – 4 years
  • Collaborated on and co-taught middle school English – 2 years
  • Collaborated on and co-taught high school U.S. History – 2 years
  • Collaborated on and co-taught high school English – 1 year

Case Management

  • Facilitated Individual Education Planning team meetings for students on caseload (15-27) annually. Completed specialeducation paperwork in compliance with state and federal regulations. Submitted all paperwork with a 99% on-time rate, over six years.
  • Screened education records of all incoming students to establish documented eligibility for Special Education services or if not previously identified to made the appropriate referrals for services if warranted.
  • Consulted with teachers, behavior staff, funding sources and other outside agencies as necessary regarding students needs and progress.
  • Collaborated in a professional and positive manner with area Augusta, Fairfield, Messalonskee, Winslow and other school districts, state agency personnel and all persons involved in the student’s Pupil Education Team.

Software Applications Skill Level

  • Word Intermediate to Advanced
  • Excel Intermediate
  • Powerpoint Intermediate
  • Outlook Intermediate to Advanced
  • Internet Explorer 7 Intermediate
  • Inspiration8 Intermediate to Advanced
  • Digital Video/Camera Intermediate
  • Firefox Intermediate to Advanced
  • Thunderbird Intermediate to Advanced
  • Moodle Learning Management System: Beginner
  • Video Conferencing Beginner

Web 2.0 Applications

  • Facebook Beginner
  • Twitter Beginner
  • Igoogle Intermediate
  • Google.docs Intermediate
  • Blogs Beginner – Intermediate
  • Wiki Beginner – Intermediate
  • Ning Beginner
  • Zoho Office Suites Intermediate
  • Base Camp Intermediate
  • Gaggle.net Assistant Administrator
  • RSS Feeds Beginner

Committees Served on:
Maine Department of Education:

  • Maine Education Assessment Item Bias Review Committee,

Averill High School:

  • Personal Learning Plans (Portfolio Development)/Student Led Conference Committee
  • Technology Committee
    School-Wide Database System search committee
  • Special Education Committee.

Soft Skills:
Working collaboratively with others, being able to work with youth who are in crisis and maintain control of situations to ensure everyone’s safety is maintained, informal counseling or just talking to students openly and honestly.

During the time I was at Good Will-Hinckley one skill that I learned that is not part of a typical position is the ability to stay calm and rational during times when a student is in crisis.  That was simply part of the job in this position, we served students who had not been successful in the public schools and were often very verbally abusive, threatening and at times physically abusive.  So I would add crisis management to my list of skills learned.

Things I liked about this position.  I really enjoyed the “aha” moments when students “got” what I was attempting teach, using the internet to develop Personal Learning Networks, using technology in the classroom, seeing the growth of students over the course of their schooling (I had one student from 7th grad to 12th, it was so satisfying to see her growth and development).  Working as part of a team to help students grow.

Things I didn’t like about this position.  The verbal and physical abuse that was provided by students who were trying to see if you would abandon them too, other teachers who were there only for a pay check or didn’t have patience for the students.  Having to get students to meet grade level standards when they were several grade levels below actual grade level.

I am starting to see some trends just in the last two positions that I have had:  working well in collaboration with people, I like to train/teach, do well in stressful/emergency situations, good with paperwork, like to use technology and problem solving.

I will probably go through the remainder of my work history in the next post as a compilation more for trend analysis than what my duties actually were.

Looking back and writing out what I did in my previous position has been invaluable so far, I have been able to see things that I enjoyed doing and things that I can do, but that I have found that I don’t want to do anymore.
The journey continues towards finding out what my dream job looks like, I know that I have a much clearer picture, now than I did a few weeks ago.  So progress is being made.

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This work by Harold L. Shaw, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

HIKING TRAIL AT THOMAS COLLEGE

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

Mary saw a new sign for a hiking trail at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine on the way home from there on Thursday night.  It stopped raining long enough today, so we tried it out.  It was a very short trail about 0.5 miles long, but it ran along the lower part of Messalonskee Stream.
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Overlooking the Kennebec River at the beginning of the trail
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For such a short trail, it had several technical features and was enjoyable to walk on.  Great job to the builders and planners, it appears that someday it will connect all the way to Waterville Junior High, which will make it a nice walk.

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This work by Harold L. Shaw, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

MY DREAM JOB – PART 4

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

Below are the posts leading up to this realization:
  • IF OPPORTUNITY KNOCKs–I AM NOT READY
  • WHERE HAVE I BEEN? WHERE AM I GOING?
  • FINDING YOUR DREAM JOB – WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP?
  • FINDING A DREAM JOB–CAREER INTEREST SURVEYS
  • MY DREAM JOB – PART 4
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 5
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 6
  • DREAM JOB PREPARATION – PART 7 JOB SKILL SUMMARY
  • MY DREAM JOB – WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?
The fourth part of my being prepared for my dream job series.

As I discussed in previous entries, if my dream job were to become suddenly available, I am not ready to do anything about it right now.  I would be in scramble mode, which does not lead to a quality application.  I still don’t know what my dream job will look like, but I have a better understanding than I did a week ago. However, I still have quite a bit more work to be totally sure of what it would actually consist of.

This post is more of the preparation work that is necessary to be ready to prepare a quality application if I need to.   I have to answer the questions what skills do I have, what did I like about this position and what I disliked.

I need to look at my present position’s skill set and some of the things I have done over the past year:

AmeriCorps Grants & Programs Officer

  • Managed two state-wide AmeriCorps Grant Competitions, coordinating Grant review and selection process and completing a technical review of each applications.
  • Had the lead on re-writing AmeriCorps State*Formula Request for Proposal (RFP).
  • Commission staff liaison to Grants Task Force.
  • Responsible for the preparation, submission, negotiation and administration of grant contracts, and federal community service programs agreements.
  • Reviewed and approved purchase of services, contracts, and other cooperative agreements
  • Monitored grantee budgets, expenditures, reviewed and approved requests for distribution of grant funds
  • Compiled and submitted reports as required to other State agencies and Federal funding source
  • Trained grantees and partners on regulatory requirements and best practices for establishing compliance
  • Analyzed data from evaluations and grant reports to assess quality of performance
  • Completed 3 Compliance visits with Grantees to ensure adherence to Provisions and Federal Regulations
  • Negotiated replacement database at a 50% discount
  • OnCorps Reports database local administrator
  • eGrants/My AmeriCorps portal local database administrator
  • Volunteer Maine database user and Disaster Module Coordination

MCCS Emergency Response Coordinator

  • Member of Statewide Volunteer & Donations Management Team
  • Part of team that collaborated in draft State Emergency Plan Volunteer & Donations Management Annex
  • Statewide System Administrator Maine AidMatrix Portal
  • Provided user training on AidMatrix Portal
  • Supervisor AmeriCorps VISTA for Emergency Management System Improvement
  • Monitoring progress of Volunteer Solutions disaster/volunteer modules and AidMatrix  integration.
  • Completed several online FEMA Institute Courses

Soft Skills

  • Collaborate and communicate with a variety of offices:  CNCS Federal on program and grant funding, MCCS Commissioners, other State Offices (Purchases, Maine Emergency Management Agency, State Planning Office, DFAS and others), Grantees, Nonprofits and other public and private organizations.
  • Interpretation of Regulations, Rules and Provisions
  • Problem solving or resolving situations that don’t have easy by the book answers 

Computer Skills

  • Microsoft Word 2007/2003:  advanced user
  • Microsoft Excel 2007/2003:  intermediate user
  • Microsoft Powerpoint 2007/2003:  intermediate user
  • Microsoft Outlook 2007/2003: intermediate to advanced user
  • Notes: Microsoft OneNote: Intermediate User
  • Email Clients:  Thunderbird, Zimbra
  • Blogging:  Blogger, WordPress, Opera
  • Microblog: Twitter
  • Social Networking: Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Browsers:  IE8, Firefox, Opera, Flock, Chrome
  • Photo Imaging: Windows Photo Gallery and Google Picassa
  • Mind Mapping: Inspiration 8
  • VOIP: Skype

What are the things that I really, really love on this list? 
Looking back at the past year, I would have to say that my involvement in the Emergency Management , working with the various COADS/VOADS, training and use of social media (I do like to work on the computer), coordinating/collaborating with others in smaller groups.

What are the things that I am not too crazy about?

Doing financial and contract management, I can do them both, but I don’t enjoy or look forward to the days I have to do nothing but this type of work, with little interpersonal interaction.

These are a few of the skills that I have developed, improved or maintained over the last year. This is just a data dump to provide me with a recent job skills inventory.  I can see that have to do the same thing for my previous position at Good Will-Hinckley and other pertinent skills from my past.  Then I have to compare skills, likes, dislikes and see what is where, so I have a better idea of what I believe that I am good at and what I like to do for work.

I hope that these skill reviews will provide me a reality based view of what my skills actually are, what ones I enjoyed doing and which ones I don’t like to do.  Just because I can do something well doesn’t mean that I enjoy doing it and if that is the case, then that shouldn’t be a major part of a potential dream job.

If you are following along, with this series has it provided you with any ideas to help you find your dream job?  Do you have any suggestions for me on something I might have missed?  Please let me know.

Those are my thoughts, what are yours? Please leave a comment below, so I will know your thoughts.

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This work by Harold L. Shaw, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

HIKING AT FORE RIVER SANCTUARY – PORTLAND, ME

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

We went to Porltand today and hiked the Fore River Sanctuary, I have lived there a couple of times and never realized that there were hiking trails out there.  Actually if we lived closer this would be a great place to do the kind of easy trail running that I love to do.
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For some reason this was about a 1/2 mile into the hike instead of at the start?
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At the start of the trail
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Golden Rod can even be artsy-fartsy 🙂
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A turkey roosting in a tree (right by the trunk)
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My least favorite of critters, especially when they startle me.
It is amazing that there is this kind of “country” and wildlife within 10 minutes of downtown.  I would love to have this kind of trail in my backyard, but love where I live and wouldn’t want to live back in the city.

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