Posted in Blog, Business Inspiration, Leadership Inspiration, Personal Inspiration

Making a Career Journal



What is a Career Journal?

A Career Journal is keeping track of career goals, action steps, certifications, accomplishments, achievements, and references all in one area.

What’s the Purpose of a Career Journal:

A career journal is a great way to be organized and focused with a career path in mind.

What’s in a Career Journal:

  • To brainstorm career goals and ideas
  • Keep track of career progress
  • Lessons learned
  • Coaching strategies
  • Advice from mentors
  • A private place to vent career disappointments
  • To keep positive affirmations and quotes
  • To gain a new perspective
  • Resume, cover letters, interview tips, interview questions, thank you letters, recommendations, references and certifications
  • Mission statement and values
  • Develop a career action plan
  • To keep motivated and inspired
  • To celebrate the small successes

How to Get Started:

  • Get a larger binder; put all your career paperwork and ideas into it
  • Then decide if you want to put all your information into a computer document, on-line journal, a book journal, or a binder
  • Organize by categories
  • Add to your career journal regularly
  • Keep it in a secure place

Self-Reflection Questions for Career Journal:

  • What did I learn?
  • What did I accomplish?
  • Did I receive any compliments?  If so, what was it and who said it?
  • How did I make a difference?
  • Did I have any setbacks and how did it affect me?

Take Away:

Having a career journal will keep you organized and focused on your career goals as well as helping you be ready for the next career opportunity.

When are you going to start a career journal?  

Comments are always welcome and please share this post with your colleagues, friends, family and on your social networks!

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Posted in Blog, Leadership Inspiration

My Learning Experience at the Next Generation Leadership Conference 2016 Recap


on November 3, 2016 I attended the Next Generation Leadership Conference.  This conference was held in Tucson, Arizona at the Tucson Convention Center.  Walking from the parking garage to the Tucson Convention Center was breath-taking.  There were beautiful bright-colored buildings on the way.  It was an unusual day because it was raining and I saw lightning during my drive to Tucson.  I love to watch lightning light up the morning sky.

The conference was hosted by Arizona City/County Management Association (ACMA) and Alliance for Innovation Transforming Local Government.

The key note speaker was Darin Atteberry, City Manager, Fort Collins, Colorado

His presentation was about Changing Headwinds.  Here are some of the take aways from his presentation:

  • What do we want to do better?
  • Do we agree we want to do better?
  • Do we care about our work?
  • What’s one thing you believe that no one else believes?  This is an opportunity?
  • Let’s get things done!

We all need to start changing systems and the way we do things.  Connect socially and ask the tough questions “Why would people want to live in our community?” People want to see data and results.  As a leader, you need to ask hard questions.  You need to ask even harder questions.  Shift your thinking to collaboration.  When someone deeply cares they are committed.  Clarify the vision.  Lower the fences, let staff move around in different jobs and committees.

Here are some questions and statements I heard during the conference:

  • Do you genuinely love the people you work with?
  • Does your work give you goosebumps?
  • Don’t do stupid stuff?
  • Don’t take your job for granted.
  • Don’t forget you work with others.
  • Don’t forget to make time for you.
  • Don’t be a jerk at work.

The next leadership topic was Leading with Emotion.  Here are some of the take aways:

  • Nothing goes as planned.
  • Bad work exists.  Learn to recognize it and avoid it.
  • People are more important than work.
  • Some Managers are too nice to be effective.
  • Leadership is about doing what is needed and to stand up to people.
  • Some managers are too crazy.
  • You can’t do it all!
  • Be careful what you say.  Train yourself to stop when angry and not say it!
  • Take a positive attitude at work.
  • Building the right team makes teamwork better, life easier and be in tuned with others.

Leading with empathy is stepping out of ourselves.  Our views are not the only views. Start at a place of honesty and understand others perspectives.  Great managers are adept at managing finances, the budget and operations.  But managers who can do all that, plus effectively deal with emotions in the workplace become great leaders.

The next leadership topic was Rogue to Vogue: Perfecting Your Professional Image.  Here are some of the take aways:

  • Everything you do speaks.
  • Dress for the position you want to be in.   How are you dressing?
  • Present yourself where you want to be.  Watch your demeanor.  Be confident!  Attend Toastmaster to polish your speaking skills.
  • When writing emails – no smiley faces and proof read before publishing.
  • Keep your desk clutter free.
  • Have a good resume.

Creating the appropriate professional image in the workplace, from what you wear, to appropriate email behavior, to networking at a conference, this may make or break your professional image.  Everything you do creates your professional image.

The next leadership topic was Mistakes That Made Us Stronger.  Here are some of the take aways:

  • Be yourself and don’t forget who you are.
  • Stick to your code of ethics and have integrity.
  • Failure of leadership is liking titles/positions instead of being respectful no matter what the person’s position is.
  • Mistakes are learning opportunities.
  • Say thank you and mean it to 3 people each day.

As a leader, we all make mistakes.  It is important to learn from them and they do make us stronger.  The important question is “What is the culture you want to create in your leadership?”

My favorite part of the conference was at the end with the opportunity to speed coach with a variety of Government Leaders for five minutes.  The speed coaching included talking about career goals, career issues or feedback about a particular career path.  I really enjoyed the conference and took away a lot of information from it.  I am glad I had an opportunity to attend.  My hope is with me sharing my experience you learned a lot as well. ~ Patti

Comments are always welcome and please share this post with your colleagues, friends, family and on your social networks!

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Posted in Blog, Business Inspiration, Leadership Inspiration, Vision Statement

2017 Vision Statement (How to Write One for Your Business)


With the New Year coming soon, this is a great time to start thinking about the upcoming year and your business strategic goals.  A “Vision Statement” is a great way to get the planning started.

What is a Vision Statement?

According to ~ the definition of a “Vision Statement” means:
An aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serves as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.

A Vision Statement helps keep a business on track.  It is to inspire, encourage, and energize your business.  It is a visual reminder of why you are in business.

How to create a Vision Statement:

  1. The statement should be within one or two sentences and about ten to thirty words.
  2. It needs to be specific to your business and aligned to the business values.
    a.   What do you believe?
    b.   Why do you do it?
    c.   What is the purpose?
    d.   What does the business do?
    e.   What does the business want to be known for?
    f.   What problems or services does the business want to solve?
  3. Keep it simple. Do not use jargon or abbreviation.
  4. Make the Vision Statement with emotion.  Be passionate, unique, different, dream big and focus on business success.
  5. Write the Vision Statement in present tense.
  6. Describe your business outcome in five to ten years as if it was now.
  7. After composing the draft for the Vision Statement seek out truthful honest feedback and review from others.
  8. From the feedback responses, if needed, rewrite the Vision Statement to perfection.

Why does a Business Need a Vision Statement?

A Vision Statement is a clear vision of desired outcomes that inspires your business.  It defines the direction and strategy of the business and supports a continual focus on where the business wants to be.  If your business doesn’t have a Vision Statement the business is without direction and inspiration.

The Take Away:

A Vision Statement keeps the business moving in the right direction.  It is a constant reminder of where the business wants to be.  It motivates, inspires and guides the business on what it wants to achieve.

Comments are always welcome and please share this post with your colleagues, friends, family and on your social networks!

Become a Better Leader [e-Book] Click here to download your copy.

Quiz – Is Your Job Too Stressful?