Thursday, October 01, 2015

Whatever Happened to Dress to Impress

For those of you who are regular readers of my blog you know that I have been in and out of the workforce for the past 10 years. As much as I love having my own business and calling the shots, I still have to keep a roof over my head and food on the table, without solely passing the buck onto my "I've got your back" husband.

In August of this year, I started training for a position in a Company I prefer not to mention.  From Day One, I was shocked to see how my Millennial co-workers chose to come to work.  Some looked as though they had just gotten out of bed and threw the first thing on they could find.  Others wore clothes so tight I thought for sure they would split something somewhere.

The icing on the cake was a dress down day called Wacky Wednesday, where you were invited to wear the most outlandish outfit you could find.  I decided to participate to show I could be a team player.  I wore a T-shirt with a copy of the cover of my book on the front (shameless advertising), some blue jean capris, mix-match tennis shoes and socks.  For me, it was totally wacky because I would never been seen dressing like that for work or anywhere else for that matter.  

As I looked around to see who else was participating and who wasn't, I had a hard time figuring it out so I didn't dare say anything to anyone for fear of insulting them.  

It's obvious business attire has changed significantly over the years, especially in the last 20 years. Too many people have forgotten why proper business attire is important. It seems as though the younger you are, the less you care about the idea of "dressing to impress" in the workplace. The philosophy could be, "As long as I do my job, what I choose to wear should be no big deal." 

I do believe there are dress codes in place in the workplace for a reason and there should be a difference between the way you dress for work and the way you dress at home or when you go to the club.

But on the other hand, maybe these are Millennials who are just starting out and really don't know what dressing to impress means.  They don't know how their attire brands them.  Maybe they don't have the money to afford what is classified as real business attire or maybe they just can't invest because they have other obligations like "family."

Perhaps being an aging baby boomer has turned me into an old-fashioned, judgmental cynic who is trying to raise everyone else's dress code standards based on my own.  After all, I've been in the workforce more nearly 40 years so I ought to know a thing or two about dressing to impress, right?  

Whatever else we think about dressing for success, we need to be reminded that first impressions are everything, and we only get one chance to make a positive first impression. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Do Baby Boomer Women Need a Drug to Improve their Sex Life

Baby boomer men have viagra and now it looks as though baby boomer women could have their own little pill for making magic happen in the bedroom.

The Federal Drug Administration recently approved a prescription drug, called Addyi, for women who suffer from low libido.  The F.D.A. says the drug was approved "for women whose loss of sexual desire causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty and is not the result of illness, relationship problems or side effects of other medicines."  

So now the question is just how many women will take advantage of having a "little pink pill" to help them "get it on" when the time is right?  According to the manufacturer, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, "approximately one in three women in the United States has low sexual desire, and about one in 10 women feels distressed about it. That translates to 16 million ladies who potentially have Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder or HSDD, and Addyi could potentially help the 4.8 million of those women who are premenopausal."

For the record, I am not on the bandwagon for this pill.  Based on what I've read, the pill will stimulate something in the brain to activate the mind into having the desire for sex.  

The truth of the matter is more than 30 percent of baby boomer women are single.  Perhaps the Company is banking on the fact that these single women will create their own version of "Looking for Mr.Goodbar." 

But there are also other factors that could result in a low sex drive----like aging, lack of sleep, work-related stress and dissatisfaction with one's partner.  

I will say I applaud the Raleigh, NC based Company's initiative in trying to create a remedy for the sexual woes of middle aged women but I already take enough pills for one thing or another and I don't personally see the need since my sex life with my husband is just fine.

Perhaps you just need the RIGHT partner!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The South Offers More than a Place to Retire for Baby Boomers

What do Abilene, TX, Asheville, NC, Athens, GA, Blacksburg, VA and Cape Coral, FL all have in common?  Forbes has named these cities among the Top Ten Best Places to Retire in 2015.  And, in case you don't now your geography, all of these cities are located in the South.

But there's even more good news about the South according to the results of a newly released Harris Poll. More people below the Mason-Dixon line have a positive attitude about the future of the job market.

Here's how it breaks down according to the Harris Poll:

·  Positive attitudes toward regional job markets are strongest in the South and the West (34% each, vs. 29% in the Midwest and 23% in the East).
·  Easterners are the most pessimistic about the job market in their region, with 46% describing it as bad (vs. 38% each in the Midwest and South, and 33% in the West).

Additionally, men (35%) are more likely than women (27%) to rate the job market in their region positively.

Millennials are more likely than their elders to anticipate that the job market will improve in their region (31%, vs. 24% Gen Xers, 22% baby Boomers and 25% Matures).

Meanwhile, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier this year, the African American unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, compared to the white unemployment rate of 4.7 percent and national average of 5.5 percent.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Why Do Republicans Have to Be Asked to Embrace Diversity

As a veteran journalist, I try real hard not to get caught up into the political arena but, the truth of the matter is, no matter how objective we tell you we are about the subject, we all still have OPINIONS.  And  those opinions come shining through in some form or fashion.  No one---and let me repeat that---no one is purely objective when it comes to anything.

With that being said, I recently read an interesting article in the Tampa Bay Times, where GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush is quoted as asking his fellow republicans to embrace diversity if they expect to win the Presidency.

Here's my question:  why does anyone from either party have to make such a plea?  If you are running for President of the United States of America, you should automatically be thinking "diversity" and "inclusiveness."  The President doesn't represent some of the people---although Donald Trump might have you believe that.

The major problem with the republican party is they have been so focused of appeasing their constituents (and donors) only.  They have blinders on and refuse to see the entire country--the good, bad, ugly, sexism, classism and racism that exists, along with homophobia.  But republicans weren't always like that.  In my history class I learned that southern Democrats (or Dixicrats) were the true racist political party so perhaps BOTH parties need a lesson or two on diversity.  Or perhaps, we need to revamp the entire two-party political system which, in this journalist's opinion, is a joke.

I do think Jeb makes a great point when he says, "Republicans will never win the presidency if they don't campaign in every nook and cranny of the country."  That means going into the inner cities, addressing the police shootings, showing empathy for poverty and having a PLAN to deal with those issues.

But I can't help but question the irony here:  When Jeb was making his remarks, he was speaking to a predominately older white audience in North New Hampshire.

Where's the diversity Jeb?

To read the entire article about Jeb Bush asking the GOP to embrace diversity click here:  GOP Diversity?

Sunday, July 05, 2015

And the Survey Says Blacks are Living the American Dream

There's a new survey out that says:


The poll was conducted by Burson-Marsteller and and Penn Schoen Berland.

Wow!  Really?  All I can say is I was NOT polled and neither were any of my friends.  You would think that with 80 percent making this kind of statement that someone I know would've been a part of this survey.

Oh, but wait a minute.  Asians and Latinos are also included in this 80 percent so who knows how many of "us" were actually polled.  If you ask 10 blacks and 8 say YES---that means 80 percent agree.  In this case, less than 2000 people (including whites) were surveyed in a country that has a population of more than 300 million. Of course, they don't tell you exactly how many of each race were polled so the numbers can't truly reflect the overall attitude of any one race.

That's the problem with polling.  Surveys can be slanted any way to make a point.  This poll certainly gives the impression that minorities in this country are so "darn-tootin' happy" that they live in the land of milk and honey where opportunity flows freely and there's no discrimination. Funny, that question wasn't asked in the polling.  

Other parts of the survey revealed:

  • Only 51 percent of white Americans say they are living the American dream or believe they still can. 
  • Americans age 51-64, especially white Americans, say they are feeling more negative than any other age group.
Now THAT part of the survey is what I do believe!

Meanwhile click here to read more about the survey:  AMERICAN DREAM

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Jump Start Your Job Search on Monday

Mondays are the worst days for many people who have jobs. They insist the weekend wasn't long enough or they wake up with the Monday morning "blahs" and then they muddle through the week waiting for Friday to return.

But did you know Monday is actually a great day for people who are unemployed? According to a survey by, 30 percent of job applicants who apply on a Monday have a good chance of making it to the next stage in the hiring process. Getting your application in at the beginning of the week gives it the best opportunity to be seen by a fresh pair of eyes and ahead of all of those other applicants who wait until the latter part of the week to submit theirs. Applications that come in later may have a higher chance of falling between the cracks or getting pushed aside.

Anyone who hopes to get a job today must have access to the Internet. Many employers only post their jobs online, and a large percentage only allow people to apply through their web-based application. The good thing about getting your application in on Monday is you can do it right from home--provided you have a computer. Job sites like and make it easy for us to job search and apply wearing our pajamas if we want to.

One final point: Make sure you tailor your resume to fit the specific job you're applying for. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all anymore. Your resume is marketing document and you want to make sure it's marketing you properly to each job. Don't make it too long, focus on achievements, and leave off the objective. Remember the average person looks at a resume for less than a minute, so bullet points are better than paragraphs. Remember to check your spelling and grammar.

Happy job hunting and good luck!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Your Address on Your Resume Can Lead to Discrimination

As a Job Counselor working with adults 55-years-old and above, one of the first things I tell them after reviewing their resume is to REMOVE THEIR ADDRESS.

Putting your address on your resume is a good way to be discriminated against when it comes to being considered for a job you've applied for. Why? Because an employer may have a preconceived notion about where you live and how that might impact their Company.

Say it ain't so Joe!

Oh, but it is. They call it Economic Profiling: Let's say you live in or very close to an area that is known for having a high crime rate and you're applying for a bank job. That potential employer may fear that you will bring a certain "element" to their business because of that street address. You could be applying for ANY job for that matter and an employer may exclude simply because of your geography.

When you include your street address on your resume, employers can use online search engines (like to determine the value of your property, the median income in your neighborhood or how much you paid for your home. If you live in a lower income area, companies can assume that you will accept a lower salary offer. The same holds true if you live in an a very upscale community. They might overlook you thinking they can’t afford your salary requirements.

Another reason you shouldn't put your address on your resume: The employer may think it's too far for you to commute, especially if you have to rely on others to get you to and from work.

The bottom line is that you control your contact information. All an potential employer needs is your phone number, city, and state, and email address.

Good luck and happy job hunting!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Are You As Old and Outdated As Your Resume Looks

After spending the past few years in and out of the job market, I am now in a position where I am working to help others find a new job or career.

As a Job Counselor (trainee) with NCBA, I work exclusively with people 55 years old and older who have been unemployed for a period of time. What I have discovered, in a relatively short period of time, is I am definitely in the MINORITY when it comes to being up to date on the latest trends in job hunting. Yes, I admit I struggled 10 years ago when I was first introduced to the concept of online networking and social media. I spent many frustrating days and nights trying to understand my computer but today,I am proud to say I have reached the ADVANCED LEVEL can hang with the best of the Millennials and GenXers.

This particular post is about the importance of making yourself look your very best for the job you are seeking----and it all starts with a resume. That piece of paper can put you in the over-the-hill category or make you shine like a superstar.

Here are some tips on how to update your resume:

1. Make sure you are up to date on your industry's technology.
Be aware that technology terms are often used as keywords to filter out the best resumes from electronic databases. If your resume doesn't have them, it may never be seen. Check multiple job descriptions within your industry to see what technologies employers really want. Determine which technologies are missing from your resume. Then decide what you need to learn or do to fill that technology gap. Consider adult-education classes, college classes, or online learning.

2. Make sure your resume is using current terminology.
If you have just been adding to the same old resume over the years, your early entries may be using outdated terms. One way to bring your resume up to date is through publications from your industry's professional associations. If you don't belong to any professional associations, you might be missing out on the latest lingo.

3. Make sure your resume reflects today's trends in resume format and style.
Some of the old resume rules just don't apply any more. For example:

Old Rule: Limit your resume to one page. New Approach: This is a really old idea that limits your ability to show all of your skills and expertise.

Old Rule: End your resume with References Available Upon Request. New Approach: You don't need to say that; it's assumed.

Old Rule: You should show every job you have ever held and give each equal importance. New Approach: The main portion of your employment history should only go back as far as it related to your current employment objectives. Think of your resume as a marketing piece that highlights the best parts rather than as a tell-all. For some years, experts have recommended that your resume should go back no more than 10 years. Because of background checks, however, it's best to include your full employment history, placing older experience in a section title "Previous Professional Experience," in which dates of employment are optional.

Don't let your resume make you look old and outdated and good luck in your job search.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

HIV & AIDS Appears to be an Epidemic Among Black Baby Boomers

When my husband and I decided to get married back in 2005, we both felt it was important to be tested for HIV/AIDS. This was only logical since both of us had been around the block a time or two or three. Although we had no reason to believe either of us were infected, We had no problem doing it and are glad we did.

Sadly, that's not the case nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 43 percent of blacks between the ages of 50-55 are living with HIV/AIDS and 51 percent among those 65 and older. That's the equivalent of 1 in 4 baby boomers living with the disease.


Many don't find out about the disease until they have to go in for some type of ailment and then you have those who never find out because they refuse to get tested. According to a study conducted at UCLA, researchers found several barriers that may be preventing our generation: a mistrust of the government and conspiracy theories about AIDS. The study, which looked at a small group of people recruited from public health venues, found that 72 percent of the participants did not trust government, and they believe the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves. Another 30 percent believe in AIDS-related conspiracy theories, including that the virus is man-made and was created to kill certain groups of people. Forty-five percent of the study's participants had not had an HIV test in the previous 12 months.

What the survey doesn't address is the stigma attached to the disease. The old school church communities identify HIV & AIDS with shame and damnation to hell. It's past time for older blacks to take the blinders off and deal with important health matters and know that God forgives you for whatever sin you may have, knowingly or unknowingly committed.

To read more about the story go to: Black Health Matters

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Boomers and Retirement Worries

High medical expenses are Americans' biggest financial worry about retirement, according to a new (NYSE: RATE) report. 28% of Americans gave this response; the highest-income households (over $75,000 per year) are actually more concerned about high medical expenses than the overall population. Running out of money is the biggest fear for millennials (18-29 year-olds) and a close second overall.

One-third of Americans say they can't save more for retirement because they have just enough money for their day-to-day expenses. 14% blame other family obligations and 10% lay fault with their student loan debt (millennials were more than twice as likely to give this answer than other age groups). 29% are satisfied with the amount they are currently saving.

Working Americans are realistic about Social Security's role in their eventual retirements: just 13% expect it to account for all or most of their retirement income, while another 14% expect it to account for half their retirement income. About one in four believe they won't get anything.

"The average Social Security payout is only around $15,000 per year, so people are realistic to think they'll need to supplement that income," said Sheyna Steiner, senior investing analyst at "But despite all the gloom and doom about the future of Social Security, most Americans are optimistic that they'll get at least something from the program. That even includes millennials – 63% of them think Social Security will fund at least some of their retirement several decades from now."

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here: