Thursday, July 14, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

I've been reading the book "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns.  Stearns is the president of World Vision U.S.  Stearns believes that American Christians are not putting their faith into action.  There are billions of people living in extreme poverty.  26,575 children a day die from preventable causes (pg 114).  But American Christians basically do nothing about these situations.  Near the end of the book Stearns has a section of suggested actions people can take.  One of them was to pray for people living in poverty as we go about our day.

This morning I was led by God to do just that.  This came to mind as I was preparing my breakfast.  I like to have tea in the morning so I filled up the kettle with water from the sink (clean water, indoor plumbing) and put it on the gas range to heat (modern appliance).  I went to the pantry and got a couple of Irish Breakfast tea bags (I caught a sale) and put them in my favorite mug.  When the water boiled I poured it into the mug to brew my tea.  While it was brewing I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (I had a craving).  I then took out the tea bags, added some honey (I like honey more than sugar), and a little bit of French Vanilla soy creamer (I'm lactose intolerant).  Afterwards I mindlessly said said grace for my meal.  And that's when it struck me.  I should be more grateful and truly give thanks.

You see, I complain, mentally about my situation.  I haven't had a full time job in over a year.  I've had to give up my apartment and move in with my sister and brother-in-law.  So as not to be too much of a financial burden I'm responsible for purchasing my own food.  Because my income is limited I use food stamps to buy my food.  I complain to the Lord because I think "How can I do ministry in this situation?"  Perhaps if I stopped complaining long enough I'd find out.

This is a hard time for me but I'm still very blessed.  I'm writing this in the peace and safety of my family's home.  That I can read and write is a blessing.  Millions of women cannot.  I have access to a computer and the Internet.  Many Americans don't have that.  These blessings are in addition to the ones listed when I wrote about making breakfast.

So today I will be grateful.  I will give thanks for what I have and truly pray for the one's who do not have.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review of Facebook's BranchOut app

Image by Royalty Free/Corbis

The June jobs report came out last week and the news was not good.  Only 18,000 new jobs were added.  Unemployment is at 9.2%.  What that means is that job seekers must use every tool they can in their search.  Facebook's BranchOut app is one of those tools

BranchOut Tree

I found BranchOut fairly easy to use.  It took the basic data (picture, company, education, contact info) from my personal profile.  I was able to fill in the rest of the profile from my resume.  I just cut and pasted the data in the appropriate sections.  If you want to use a different picture you can just upload a new one.  It would be good if you could take data from a Linkedin profile but it seems access has been blocked.

What I didn't like were the requirements to complete the profile.  After I entered all the pertinent data I had to "like" the fanpage, answer a survey, then give an endorsement (this one isn't so bad).  I think these are shameless promotional tactics.  I felt like I was being shilled.

Some of the benefits I see are:
  1. More online exposure thus making it easier for recruiters to find you.
  2. Job listings are from  I think the listings are better quality.  They're more likely to be legitimate and current.
  4. BranchOut lists the companies from your friends profiles so you may discover that you have an inside connection.
Well...If you're already on Facebook then I don't think it's much of a problem to maintain a BranchOut profile.  If you're not then I'm not sure how much benefit it would be to have a BranchOut profile.  Seems there are new networking sites popping up every day.  If you're not careful you could spend more time updating profiles than looking for jobs.  That's not helpful.

What has been your experience with BranchOut?

Do you have a BranchOut and a Linkedin profile?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Resigned from

partial screen shot of website
Hello everybody and happy weekend.  Just wanted to write and let you know I have resigned from  Between job searching and working temp gigs I don't have the time to maintain two writing platforms.

I'm not sorry I took the opportunity.  I think my writing has improved and I learned a lot about job searching.  I think that experience has given me the confidence to start this blog.  There are other benefits I've gained. 
  • I had a source of writing samples. 
  • I've gained more experience in "writing tight".  I was limited to 300 words per article.  That means I had to get to the point and not meander around.
  • I was inspired to learn about writing for the Internet and providing good content.
Well, that's all for now.  Enjoy your weekend.  See you Monday.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Follow-up to "A review of the Beknown app"

This morning I received a comment from Shell Fruscione, a Community Manager with Beknown on Facebook (I'm glad to know they're listening).   I learned that a few days after Monster launched Beknown, Linkedin cut off API access.  So in the interest fairness, here is the link to the blog post on "MonsterThinking".

"Monster Response to Linkedin API Shut Down"

If you missed the review here is a link to the post "A review of the Beknown app".

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A review of the Beknown app promised I did try out Beknown, Monster's professional networking Facebook app.  I'm sorry to say I was underwhelmed. 

I started building my profile by giving permission for Beknown to access my personal Facebook profile.  The app used data from the employment, name, location, education, and contact fields to begin building the professional profile.  The result was sketchy but I wasn't concerned yet.

Beknown supposedly allows you to import data from your Linkedin and Monster profiles.  I was unable to import any data from Linkedin.  The error message I received was that Linkedin had blocked access.  It seems to me this would have been worked out before launch.  I signed on to Monster,com.  I was able to access that profile but not all of the data came over.  The Beknown profile was still incomplete.

I then tried to update the profile manually.  I like using bullet points in my resume.  I think they help with readability.  For many online applications I use asterisks as bullets.  I usually don't have a lot of trouble getting bulleted lists lined up.  I did with the Beknown application.

Once your profile is complete the Beknown app suggests jobs that you may be interested in.  Most of the jobs are ones that are listed on  I have had little success with this job site.  When I have applied to jobs I never heard from the potential employers.  I did hear from scammers and insurance companies.

When job hunting it is important to have an online presence.  Some time has to be put in maintaining a professional social profile.  But it shouldn't be the main online activity.  Linkedin is a good site for professional networking.  Use that site and forget about Beknown.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Monster has networking app on Facebook

Hello and Happy Independence Day weekend!  I learned on Twitter that Monster has a professional networking app.  Its called Beknown.  I did a preliminary check of the app and it looks interesting.  I'm going to sign-up and check it out.  I'll write a review of it next week.  In the meantime, here is a link to the article which appeared on  "Employment Site Monster Starting a Network on Facebook"

My writing project is nearly complete so on Tuesday July 5 I'll be back to writing original posts.  Until then enjoy your holiday.