National Women’s Health Week

The Office on Women’s Health (OWH), part of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, focuses on improving the health of women and girls through information, education and support. With topics from Anxiety to Cancer to Pregnancy, the OWH covers it all.  And every year beginning on Mother’s Day (don’t forget that is THIS Sunday!), the OWH sponsors National Women’s Health Week which runs May 8 – 14 this year.

No matter what your age, take the pledge to live healthy. Find out what kind of screenings, tests and vaccines are suggested at various ages, get tips on fitness and nutrition, or focus your mental health. It’s never too late to change your life.

Spruce Up Your Resume

Whether you have a job or not, or love your job or not, you should keep your resume updated. You never know what opportunities might fall into your lap. With an updated resume, you’ll be able to jump at those opportunities when they knock.

One place to go is the US Dept. of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook. I know, it’s a mouthful. But this is a very valuable tool when it comes to making career decisions and planning for the future. At the OOH online, you can browse different occupations and find out what the jobs are about, what requirements you have to have going into them, and what you can expect to get paid.

For example, you want to be a teacher. You look up the Education, Training, and Library category. You browse through the list of related occupations and pick one. Say you’d like to either work with preschoolers or kindergarteners. You can click on Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers and immediately see that the median annual salary is $54,550 per year and you have to have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. There is a great deal of detailed information about the job so you can decide whether or not it’s right for you.

To compare, you back up to the jobs list again and this time click on Preschool Teachers. Right away you can see that preschool teachers earn a median $28,570 a year and only require an Associate’s degree to get started. This is important information when thinking about choosing a career path.

You’ll find not only teaching job information, but you’ll find occupations like Pest Control Workers, Electricians, Bartenders, Economists, and Firefighters.

So let’s say you already have a field that you have experience in, and want to keep working in it. What would you need the OOH for? Along with introductory information about the occupations, the OOH also lists the duties for each job. These are KEYWORDS that you should be using on your resumes! Compare your resume to the list of duties for your occupation. Are you using similar ones? If you’re not, you should be, because these are the strengths potential employers are looking for.

And as a side tip from someone who has taught numerous sessions about resumes–use action verbs to list your skills, and keep them in the present tense. Potential employers don’t want to know what you used to do, they want to know what you can do now.

So take a stroll through the Occupational Outlook Handbook and see how your job stacks up, or browse for a new career. Either way, you’ll find some interesting and useful information!

Nourishing Our Culture

Are you artistic? Do you paint, write, or dance? You probably don’t associate anything government with your love of the arts. Well, you’d be wrong! The National Endowment for the Arts (www.arts.gov) is a federal agency that promotes, strengthens, and funds community opportunities to participate and enjoy the arts. Recently celebrating 50 years of supporting the arts, the NEA is sharing its milestones with video clips, fun facts, and stories from around the country.

At the NEA website, you can apply for grants to further the art of you or your organization or you can read blogs that keep you up-to-date on happenings in the artistic communities, related news or personal opinions. You can listen to podcasts, watch videos, or learn from online webinars.

So take a break from work, school and the day-to-day doldrums and visit the NEA website and get inspired!

Where’s the Money?

Where’s the Money? What’s going on with presidential campaign finances?

Here in the U.S. we are deep into the presidential primaries and candidates for president are in the news every day. But do you believe everything that the candidates say or that is said in the news? At the Federal Election Commission ( http://www.fec.gov ), you can check some of the facts yourself.

In the Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal, you can track where the money comes from and how much is being spent in each state.

You can look up financial statistics for this year’s campaign season, or years past in the archives at the Campaign Finance Statistics page.

And if you think you might be interested in running for an office, you can go to the Quick Answers menu and click on Candidates, where you’ll get information and instructions about how to become a candidate.

Road Trip!

As spring transitions its way into summer, students of all ages are wrapping up the end of their classes, and adults everywhere are counting down the days left until their vacation, the question is: What are you going to do? And the answer should be—ROAD TRIP!

The National Park Service (www.nps.gov) has the answer to your vacation plans. A service of the U.S. Department of the Interior, The National Park Service, for the last 100 years (2016 is their anniversary!) has preserved the cultural and natural resources in the U.S. There are national parks in every state and there is something for everyone.

If you’re a motor head, you can visit the MotorCities National Heritage Area in Michigan and view automotive history where it originated.

If you’re more of an adventurer, maybe spelunking is more your style. At Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, you can explore the longest known cave system in the world, canoe the rivers, or just camp out and enjoy the great outdoors.

If history is more your thing, head to South Dakota to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial to learn about the birth and growth of our country or to Bandlands National Park where you will see the world’s richest fossil beds.

The National Park Service really does have something for everyone! Plan your vacation, or just a weekend road trip to a national park or memorial this year.