How to know if its time for a Career Change

There comes a point in every working person’s life when you look at the mirror before going to work and you feel burned out.  You mind starts going at a 100 mph and you start to sum up reason why you don’t want to go to work.  You drag your feet when you get there and do what is necessary to get the job done.  But at the end of the day while doing your sleeping ritual before heading to bed, you know deep down that you are not happy or not passionate about what you are doing.


The following are some signals are normally a good indication that it’s time to move towards another venture by Jayne Mattson from her article “8 Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Job:

1. Your relationship with your boss changed. For years you’ve had a fabulous working and personal relationship with your boss, but you begin to sense a shift in the organization’s culture and your boss’s leadership. You are being asked to take on more responsibility and do more with fewer resources. The relationship is deteriorating, and you feel like you are losing your support system within the organization.

2. Work and life values are no longer being met. When you were hired, you knew the organization and role were a good fit that met your work and life values. However, with the changes in the organization you’ve noticed you are no longer feeling satisfied with your work. Or maybe the culture shifted, and you are not able to perform at your fullest potential. Ask yourself: If you interviewed at the company today, would you want to work there?

3. You are left out of decision-making meetings. A business decision was made without your input and you don’t agree with the direction. You’re losing influence with upper management and are no longer “in the know.” Your subordinates begin to ask others for input and decisions, which further diminishes your authority.

4. You are not being asked to take on high-visibility assignments. What about me? You begin to notice that your subordinates are now in the spotlight and asked to lead a major project working directly with your manager. Your high-performing team is being broken apart and moved onto other teams to maximize their strengths. Not only are you not being put on highly visible assignments — your team is being broken apart.

5. You are frustrated with the direction of the company and are more vocal than usual.The company is changing its focus, and you do not support the decision. You are becoming more vocal about your disagreement. You are feeling frustrated; your input is not being heard because management is hearing undertones of dissent in your voice, as opposed to the content of what you are saying.

6. You find yourself awake at night with an anxious feeling, replaying conversations. The pressures of work assignments, tight deadlines or disagreements with your manager resulted in not getting a solid night’s sleep. The anxiety over work is increased, and the lack of sleep has prevents you from performing at your best.

7. You are managing the political arena more than performing your job. There are rumors the company may be bought and “every person for himself” seems to be the mode of operation, which doesn’t allow time to do the work. At the end of the week, you have spent more time managing the politics than accomplishing something on your to-do list.

8. You are no longer passionate about your work and dread going to the office each day.Do you wake up in the morning energized and look forward to your day, or do you dread it? If getting out of bed each morning is becoming a challenge, then you need to listen to your instincts and ask yourself, “Why?” We spend a majority our lives working, so don’t ignore the signs that are telling you, “It’s time to move on.” You will find another job in which you look forward to going to work each day.

If you are still not sure, here are some additional tips from Amy Gallo and her article “Is It Time to Quit Your Job?”

  1. Assess your dissatisfaction. Start by figuring out whether you lack excitement about the bigger picture or the day-to-day activities. You may be able to change the latter but it’s hard to do anything about the former.
  2. Look at other options. Don’t leave on an emotional whim. Even if you’re unhappy, take time to see what else is out there. Compared to realistic alternatives, maybe your situation isn’t so bad.
  3. Test your assumptions. Run a few experiments to assess whether your perception is reality. For example, put your hat in the ring the next time your boss has a high-profile piece of work to be done. If you’re overlooked, he might not appreciate your skills and it may be time to move on.

From the words of Hunter Walk in his article “You Are Not Your LDAP: Why Leaving Your Job Doesn’t Mean Losing Your Identity”

Careers are sets of decisions where you have the chance to emerge from the chrysalis every so often and show the world, show yourself, how you’ve evolved. You are not your org chart, your department budget or your title. Don’t let success at a company prevent you from pursuing scary and wonderful new opportunities to build.”


Summer Date Ideas


So it’s officially summer time and you’ve run out of ideas to take your significant other to.  On top of that you’re (almost) broke.  So what do you do? Staying home may not always be an option, and sometimes you just need to get out of the house.  But let’s face it, were not made of money and depending on your lifestyle, the dollar signs are limited.

Well have no fear ladies and gentlemen, below are a list of simple solutions for a date night that is little to no cost (depending on your location of course).

Play Tourist – It may seem a bit tacky, but it’s a great way to expand your knowledge of your city or other cities nearby.  You also get a healthy dose of Vitamin D.

Karaoke Night- have a friend that has one? Set up a double date and swing by their house for a night of laughs and fun times.

Outdoor Sport – If singing or walking around the city is not your thing, bring your date to an outdoor event like volleyball, basketball, tennis etc.  It’s a great way to burn a few calories and share a sweat with someone you like outside of the bedroom.

Scavenger Hunt through Memory Lane – Great for couples that have been together for a bit.  Put together lists of things that you shared and have them guess or vise versa.  This is a great way to let them know that you remember the great things that jump started your rockin’ relationship.

Good Ol’ Picnic at the Park – Nothing beats a romantic date under a shady tree.  You can even bring an instrument and serenade your other have to put icing on the cake.

Volunteer – If you want to show your caring side, set up a date volunteering.  It shows that you are the kind of person that helps the community which is a big plus in a lot of people’s check list.

Partner Massage – Want to keep it indoors? No one says you need to be perfect at it.  *Warning* this can often lead to other activities which may or may not go in your favor.

The key thing to remember is have a great time.  Showing that you are fun, smart, active, compassionate and romantic is a great way to maintain that your brownie points is topped off.  All relationships start out as dates, and dates are essential to maintain a great relationship.


Simplify your L.I.F.E

It would be an understatement to say that we are all not busy.  From the busy mom who takes her kids to school and picks them up every afternoon.  Helping the kids with their homework while still making time to do her studies.  The Father who wakes up at 4am to prep all his stuff for his weekly business trip.  The grandparents who work after retiring from a long and meaningful career, decides to take on a small business that works them 7 days a week.

Its easy for all of us to get side tracked because we are trying to define meaning to our surroundings.  These are a few things you can do for yourself to help simplify life so it doesn’t cause you to break down.


  • Exercising – It’s been said that exercising with decreased weight, not only reduces stress and improve better overall health, but it can help you clear your mind, sharpen your brain and decrease health problems in later years.
  • Clean the Clutter – The last thing we want to do when we are dead beat tired is to trip on something in our house and get injured.  Take a few afternoons to clean up your house (in sections if needed) to ensure that you minimize any potential hazard zones.
  • Grow a simple garden – Start small, like lettuce or tomatoes.  This will not only divert your energy to something positive but also the sense of accomplishment you get without the worries of being over burden with growing a full garden at the early stages.
  • Get Help – If you’re the type of person who runs the world around you at the speed of 200 mph, then its time to get an assistant.  Getting help is a great way to ensure that you don’t shoulder all the work on your own.  Or at least have someone spot check and pick up things you may have dropped or forgotten along the way.
  • Make use of technology – I’ve said this over and over. Technology allows our lives to be a bit simpler by tracking, alerting, notifying us on different stages of our day to day lives.  Take a small amount of time to have someone teach you so you can be more efficient with your day.
    • Focus on the positives aspects of your life – Stay away from negative people and environments. They will only further put you down and prolong your happiness. The positive people can benefit your outlook and health, and keep life in the right mindset.


We Live because We Choose To Live

I would be lying if I told myself that I have not been affected emotionally about the recent natural and man-made disasters in the past few weeks.  What we are used to seeing in television happens right in our backyard, streets, and neighborhood every day. And while I am not the type to always give my 2 cents, I felt that in my re-introduction blog this week, I will do that.

I’ve had the pleasure of reading a few books from a great author by the name of “Paulo Coelho”.  Regardless of which faith we all believe in, life’s learning lessons apply to all of us. Below is a list of phrases I took away from this man:


  • Listen to your heart – Follow your dreams… don’t get old and wonder about the “What ifs”
  • Taking the good with the bad – We experience both because strive to move forward and keep living
  • There are many sides of yourself to love – If one aspect of life is painful or feeling empty, remember that there are many sides of your personality to look at.  Look at the things that make you happy and build on it
  • We all have 2 voices that whispers to us (good & evil) – it is up to us to decide which one we will listen to and which one we will ignore
  • All of us are a part of something bigger, something great – it may take years for us to find it, but if you pay attention to the signs happening all around you, open your mind and your heart
  • It’s ok to be a little crazy as long as you don’t hurt anyone else – Don’t hold yourself back just because society states it’s the norm.  People will think the things you say or do is just related to you being a little crazy.  But what they don’t realize is that you are doing what you want to do, where and when you want to do it.  Living life a little bit more than everyone else since you’re removing your restrictions

Assuming that bad things will never happen is unrealistic, however each and every one of us should never stop moving, never stop learning, never stop dreaming, never stop loving yourself and others, and lastly just living life.  There are those who strive their whole lives to take something that is not theirs.  But what they will never take away the one thing that makes us all special, our ability to take the damage and keep rising to the stars.

What Motivates You?


Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself this question? A few days ago I was asked this question in a group discussion regarding “Work & Life Balance”.  The instructor asked us to scale on a paper what were the factors that took up most of our time.  The typical answers were work at 40%, personal time 15%, family time 15% and misc being 30%.  When asked how we would like to spend our time most were in agreement that they wanted a larger percentage for family (40%-50%) 30% for work and 20% for personal time.

During this time, I thought about all the things I am currently engaged in on a daily, weekly, monthly basis:

  • Work
  • School
  • Exercise
  • Clean House
  • Blog
  • Rec. Time i.e. sports, reading, pc gaming, playing with the kids etc.

Then I thought about all the things I would like to do or add to my list:

  • Play and instrument (Guitar/Piano)
  • Learn another language
  • Read more books
  • Go on vacation

So what can we do to help keep us motivated enough to do what we like to do vs. what we have to do?

Get Support – My prior articles related to the average guy states that the best way to get into something is to join a group doing the same thing you are doing.  A few examples of this is workout classes, or hobby groups like a reading group or social gathering.  Look towards those friends and family who are there to listen and help.

Don’t talk negative about yourself – instead use productive self talk to overcome the challenges.  For example instead of saying “my life is crazy. It’s out of control.”  Say “Things are really hectic right now.  But I know I can cope.  I’ve done it before.”

Reduce Unproductive Guilt – To help with this, surround yourself with encouraging friends and family members.

If it helps try to think about all the things your grateful for.  For me it’s:

Finally, think about your support wheel.  These are individuals that you are comfortable to sharing your feelings and concerns.  Think about what makes them good for support.  Do they provide service that you can’t do on your own? Are they good listeners because they understand your concerns? Are they good at making you laugh? Write down or keep these individuals in mind as well as how they make you feel.  So the next time you need motivation and support you already know who to call.

Rumors of Apple’s Newest Inventions the “iTV” with “iRing” motion controller


“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One ring to bring them all…” taken straight from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.  That is exactly what Apple is doing with their new “iRing” that acts as a motion controller to watch television on their “iTV”.  Rumor has it that this new accessory will allow their users the ability to control the TV set by just pointing at the television.

Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets believed that the “iTV” will come with a “mini iTV” screen that will allow users to view content on a smaller 9.7-inch display — the same diagonal screen size as a full-size iPad.  Though this 2 for the price of 1 may seem unrealistic, as a consumer I would definitely be interested in getting these devices.  Imagine never having to pick up the remote since it’s on your finger.  The days of misplacing the remote or the battery dying out will be a thing of the past.

Stay tuned my technology friends….


Happy Anniversary to your Cell Phone!

Who remembers the show Saved by the Bell? If you’ve been fortunate enough to be around in the late 80s’s and early 90s, you probably also remember the multiple episodes where Zack Morris made calls on his infamous brick cell phone.  What you may not be aware of is that this is the 40th anniversary of the invention of the 1st cell phone by Motorola.  In 1983, the first version of the mobile phone was invented.  These bad boys cost about $4,000.


Then in 1989, Motorola came out with the smaller, lighter MicroTAC flip phone, shortly followed by the 3.1-ounce StarTAC in 1996, the first cell phone with the clamshell design.

This technology was then re evolved in 2002. Phones now had the ability to send email and text messaging. Sanyo brought out the first cell phone with a built-in camera, the SCP-5300, released in the U.S. by Sprint.

In 2007, the iPhone added various built-in sensors and a large touch screen.  Apple was the first cell phone to have its own operating system, iOS, which offered multitasking and graphics.

Since then, the technology giants are looking to solve other smart phone issues such as battery issues and faster network speeds.  It’s just really cool to look back and see how far we have come and what our brilliant minds of this decade will do to expand our communications with the world.



Hotel Room Workout Routines

To follow up on my post “Getting fit for the busy person”, we understand that life requires us to travel.  Regardless if it’s for business or pleasure, hitting the road means that your routine workout may be thrown off a bit.  Below is a list of things you can do in the hotel room, and its surrounding areas to keep you in shape while being on the go.


These workouts are designed for both Guys & Gals.  It just depends on your intensity level

2hand suitcase squat – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bear-hug your suitcase to your chest. Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.  3 sets of 8-10 reps

Pushup/Mountain Climbers/Suicide Drill – 4-6 standard pushups / knee pushups then get on the plank position with your hands parallel to your shoulders.  Drive your knee to your chest and return it to the starting position.  Alternate legs and pretend you are trying to climb a mountain.  8-10 total counts.  Then move your lets to where your hands are and either jump up or stand up with you arms over your head.  When you get back down, get on a push up position and repeat the steps again.  3-4 times

2hand suitcase hammer curls – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold each side of the suitcase with your palms.  Curl the suitcase up towards your face until your biceps contract.  Hold for 1 sec and let it drop slowly and repeat.  Depending on the weight of the suitcase, do 3 sets 8-12 repetitions.

V Pushups – Start with your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart. The main difference between with V push up is you are going to place your hands in front of your head instead of below your chest. You will also bring your feet closer in so that your body is in a “V” position—similar to the “downward facing dog” pose in yoga.

Once in the start position, slowly lower your upper body down to floor keeping your head between your arms. Lower your head just before it touches the ground the push back up as your breath out. Try to keep your back and feet as straight as possible. 3 sets 8-12 reps

Alternating Lunges – Start with your hands on your hips with your feet shoulder width apart.  Take a step forward and slowly drop with your back knee getting as low to the ground as possible while your front knee bending down to a 90 degree angle.  Step back and do a reverse lunge, this time your back knee (which is now your front knee) bends to a 90 degree while your other knee tries to get as low to the ground as possible.  2-3 sets -8-10 repetitions.

Jumping Jacks – Stand with your arms at your sides. Be sure your feet are straight and close together. Hold your head straight, but in a comfortable position to avoid strain. Bend your knees. Jump up while spreading your arms and legs at the same time. Lift your arms to your ears and open your feet to a little wider than shoulder width. This should all be done in a fast fluid movement. Clap or touch your hands above your head. As you return from jumping up bring your arms back down to your sides and at the same time bring your feet back together. 40-50 repetitions

Abs and Core workouts

Bridge on elbows – lie flat on the floor face down in a starting push up position. Support your body on your elbows and feet. Hold this position keeping your body rigid like a board and flexing your abs tight. Beginners hold for 30 seconds working up to a minute as you become stronger

Bridge on hands – lie flat on the floor face down in a starting push up position. Support your body on your hands and feet. Hold this position keeping your body rigid like a board flexing your abs tight. Beginners hold for 30 seconds working up to a minute as you become stronger

Side Plank – lie in on the floor on your side. Support your body with one hand and on your feet keeping your body rigid like a plank. Do this on both sides for an equal length of time. Beginners hold for 30 seconds working up to a minute as you become stronger.

Lying leg raise – lie on your back with your hands underneath your lower back. With our legs extended raise them a 3-4 inches off the ground, hold this position for a 10 count and repeat 4 times.

Seated leg raises – sitting on a couch or chair slide your butt to the edge and support yourself with your hands at your sides, legs straight feet on the ground. Raise them off the ground until they are parallel with the ground. Do 20 reps for 4 sets.


Date Night Ideas

Is it that time of the year? If you’re in a relationship or courting someone with the goal of being in a relationship, we know the importance of having a great “Date Night” experience.  It’s like playing a video game or crossword puzzle where the objective is to put it altogether or accomplish the stage for another opportunity.  If you run out of ideas, use any or all of the ones below to help you create a fun experience that your partner will remember you for.


  • Take a Dance Lesson together – If you’re the spontaneous type, show them what skills you may or may not have
  • Triathloning Activities – This doesn’t mean go swim, bike and run.  Instead do 3 events that you both feel your good at and compete such as basketball shootout, target shooting, dance dance revolution, etc.
  • Eat at home – Save $$$ by dumping out the going out and eating idea.  Instead, make the date night more relaxing by making your date dinner at home.
  • Getting Physical – No don’t hit your partner, I meant doing physical exercises together.  Things like Zumba, P90X or even Crossfit is a good way to see the athletic side of your partner.
  • Go Sight Seeing – Dates don’t have to be expensive.  Take them for a stroll around the city or park.  Enjoy the scene and take your time.  You might be amazed to see how romantic this may be.
  • Take them to Open Water – Ever had the chance to watch the Sunset by a Lake, River or Ocean? It’s a beautiful scene.  Great way to end a date or start one.
  • Watch an Improv or Comedy Show – No idea on what to do to make the night memorable, well have someone else do it.  Making a person laugh, they become more relaxed and willing to enjoy the date.
  • Take them to a wine or beer tour – Not only will you learn something, but you can remove the guilt trip of drinking earlier in the day.
  • Grab a tale at the book store – Sure you already have a Nook, Kindle or IPAD that does that.  But having an actual book and starting a conversation about what you and your partner have read is a great way to ignite past memories and create new ones.
  • Cuddle by the fire – If your house has a fireplace, this is the time to use it.  Talk about how you guys first met or past horror stories that are funny to talk about now while being in a dark place with just the fire burning out.
  • Instagram your date – If you see something funny snap a picture of it.  Been somewhere cool or new, snap a picture.  Post it and Whalla!! Instant album of your date night.
  • Drive In Movie Night – Back in the days these were the way to go when you want to do something romantic.  A little bit of old school tactics are never a bad thing when trying to impress your date.
  • Check out the Carnival – Win them a prize or beat them to get one.  End your night with some cotton candy and a ride on the Ferris wheel.
  • Check out the Nightclub – Show off your MC Hammer or Lord of the Dance.
  • Serenade them – If you can play an instrument or sing well enough. Sing them their favorite song or album to show how much you care and pay attention.
  • Check out something New – If you have never been to a museum or gallery, def go and see one.  It’s a great way to learn new things about artist, history or anatomy.
  • Check off your list of “Always wanted to dos” – If you’re the type of person who has made a list of things to do before you die, get married, etc.  Take your partner on a few of them to share a memory.
  • Hit the Road – Go on a mini road trip to see neighboring cities and states.  That way you will always remember that you were there along with the things you did.
  • Morning Movie Date – It’s cheaper, and allows you to do more things throughout your day.
  • Picnic at the park – great way to keep it casual and romantic
  • Join an event together – Try a 5k, Mud Run or even a Color run to bring out the sporty side of your partner
  • Hit the board games – If you’re tired of going out and spending a ton of cash, get a board game together and play like you were kids
  • Conquer a mountain – Go for a hike or camp overnight.  Great way to enjoy each other’s company with Mother Nature.
  • Go to a Spa – Nothing’s wrong with getting some TLC once in a while.. or twice in a while.. or even 3 times in a while.. if that makes any sense
  • Last Minute Surprise – Take your mate on an unscheduled vacation anywhere.  It’s a wonderful way of showing your on the fly personality.


The 60% Solution to Saving & Spending your $$$


Unless you’re born into money, society has taught us as adult that the name of the game is spending within your budget.  However the hardest part is figuring out how to set your finances to allow you to use just 60% vs. the full amount. Below are the committed expenses that is unavoidable; if the 40% is unrealistic, then you can raise it to 70%-80% to better fit your lifestyle.

  • Basic food and clothing needs.
  • Essential household expenses.
  • Insurance premiums.
  • Charitable contributions.
  • All of our bills — even such nonessentials as our satellite TV service.
  • All of our taxes.

So now depending on if you chose 60% as your median, there are 4 sections that you can use disperse your savings.

401 K – This can/should be automatically pulled out.  Remember that this is your retirement savings plan so unless it’s an emergency, don’t pull the money out early (i.e. before 59 ½).  Most companies does offer a matching program from at least 1%-5% with some matching at a higher percentage.

IRA/Roth IRA/Mutual Funds – Like our SSN funds, it’s hard to just rely on one asset when you retire.  Setting another form of investment that gains decent interest in the next 20-30 years can essentially give you the better than average lifestyle.  If you are not an expert at managing any of the 3, then I would recommend seeking a professional through your bank, or financial experts from a well known organization in your area.

Emergency/Vacation Plan – While saving for the long term is very important, don’t forget that things around your house may need repairs or replacement.  Going on vacation is also a great way to save your sanity.  All work and no play makes for a very long year, and treating yourself and your loved ones is a good way to strengthen your bonds.  Just have this pulled directly to another account from your check so you don’t see it until the monthly balance after 30-90 days.

Spending Money – The great part about this last one is you can spend it on anything as long as it doesn’t go past the 10% you set (depending on the amount you are setting this can vary).

Now if you’re asking yourself the question “Well I can’t just put away 40% of my check, we won’t be able to survive.” Below are potentially some factors that may hold you back:

  • You have a more expensive home than you can afford.
  • You’ve committed to car or boat payments that are larger than you can afford.
  • Your children are in a private school that you can’t really afford.
  • There’s just a big, ugly gap between your income and your lifestyle.

My recommendation is to try it at 70%-80% (Giving yourself 20%30 savings money to start) at first until you are able to lower your expenses.  It may not seem easy at first, but by making the necessary adjustments it will pay off in the long run.  Making the necessary adjustments will allow you to put a cap on your unnecessary expenses.

The real secret to building a budget that works isn’t tracking what you spend, but creating a sustainable structure for your finances. Balancing your spending and income and that leaves enough room to handle the unexpected things that life throws our way.