Archive | December 6, 2014

The Ultimate Gift-Organ Donation

Do you have the organ donor box checked off on your driver’s license?  According to organdonor.gov in 2013, 28,953 people received organ transplants. As I write this article there are currently 123,495 on the donor list in the United States.  Each day 79 people receive organ transplants, while sadly 18 people die every day waiting for transplants.

This topic is important to me as I approach the twelfth anniversary of my dear sister in-law’s death.  Joanne was killed by a drunk driver on December 29, 2002 on her way to work as a nurse.  She left behind two small children, along with my brother.  The person who killed her spent less than four years in prison.

Her death left a gaping hole in everyone’s hearts who knew her. She was loved and respected by many.  Joanne was an organ donor.  Her death benefited over 200 people, which I didn’t even know was possible until after she died.

Here are some facts from the organdonor.gov’s website regarding organ donation:

These facts may help you better understand organ, eye, and tissue donation:

Fact: Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor. The transplant team will determine at an individual’s time of death whether donation is possible.

Fact: Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider donation as the final act of love and generosity toward others.

Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the number one priority is to save your life.

Fact: When matching donor organs to recipients, the computerized matching system considers issues such as the severity of illness, blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information, and geographic location. The recipient’s financial or celebrity status or race does not figure in.

Fact: An open casket funeral is usually possible for organ, eye, and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process, the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity.

Fact: There is no cost to donors or their families for organ or tissue donation.

Fact: Every state provides access to a donor registry where its residents can indicate their donation decision.

Fact: Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the U.S. Violators are punishable by prison sentences and fines.

Fact: People can recover from comas, but not brain death. Coma and brain death are not the same. Brain death is final.

I had signed up to be an organ donor years before Joanne died, but I encourage everyone to sign up when they renew their driver’s license.

In 2010, (the most recent data) there were almost 2.5 million deaths in the U.S.  Imagine if every one of those persons had donated.

Be a hero and sign up to be an organ donor today at http://www.organdonor.gov/becomingdonor/index.htmlOrgan Donation photo

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Holiday Tips for Job Seekers

I just read an article on job hunting in December.  The article said how December is a great time to look for a new job.  I was surprised by this information; as I always thought the end of the year was a bad time to look for a new job.  Here is what I gleaned from the article.

  1. Many companies are finalizing their budgets for the upcoming year, and will be adding staff. Now is a good time to get your resume in front of a hiring manager for the New Year.  Most companies work on a calendar year basis, as opposed to a fiscal year.
  2. Get out and socialize. Parties, industry events and gatherings provide a great opportunity to mix and mingle with potential employers.
  3. Your completion level drops off in December. Most job seekers don’t want to bother with their job search during the holidays.  You will more likely get noticed when the competition thins out.
  4. Reconnect with old contacts. I have a list of recruiters who I have dealt with in the past.  I have shared this list with many others, and suggest they reconnect with them now.  In my opinion, during a job search you can never have too many recruiters working for you.  You have to take the initiative, and call them regularly.  New opportunities come in all the time, and now is a great time to let them know you are in the market for a new job.

Here are several of my own suggestions for a successful job search.

Reach out to former employers.  I recently read that nearly 50% of jobs are found through networking.  Be actively engaged on LinkedIn.  If you are interested in working for a particular company, sign up on their website for job opening notifications.

In mid-2013, I found out my position was being eliminated.  I was bummed out because this was my dream job.  The employer asked me to stay on for two months to help out with the transition.  I was happy to oblige.  During those two months I sent out LinkedIn invitations to every one of my co-workers who were on LinkedIn.  I also asked if any of my current co-workers knew of any employers looking for people.  I got very positive feedback, and doubled the amount of my LinkedIn connections.  I also asked people to endorse my skills.  Some of these wonderful folks wrote nice recommendations for me.   We live in a digital age, and having a good LinkedIn profile is crucial.

If you are currently unemployed, do volunteer work.  Having large gaps on your resume will hurt you.  You will be helping others in your community, and this may lead to potential jobs.  I work full time and volunteer with two local organizations.  I visit with an elderly gentleman every week, and teach financial literacy to high school students.   Being unemployed can be depressing, helping others makes you feel good.

Last but not least, try and help others who are looking for work if you can.  If you see that one of your LinkedIn connections knows a person at a company you are interested in, ask for an introduction.

Sitting on the couch eating Christmas cookies and drinking eggnog is great during the holidays, but don’t let that be the only thing you do.