Finding Self Confidence


I was working with a student recently who was questioning her value to the world & I remembered once feeling the very same way.

When we lack self confidence, many times our thoughts go to, “I don’t deserve that.  I have made too many mistakes in my life….made too many bad choices.”  And sometimes it is too hard to change that negative thinking into positive thinking.  We simply don’t have the energy.

I remember being so shy and quiet that I am certain folks thought I would never go anywhere with my life.  I remember refusing to speak to groups – claiming that I “just couldn’t do it.”  I remember questioning whether I could do a good enough job to keep my job!  These thoughts and feelings come from being young, inexperienced, and in a place where you have no positive role models or people that are supportive of your efforts.

What I have discovered since those days of negative thinking is this:

  • You have control over your thinking – you can change how you think.
  • It took several years, but I was able (with the help of some awesome self help books), to change my negative thinking into more positive thinking.
  • If you surround yourself with positive thinking & supportive people, the road you travel begins to go much smoother.  (you can choose not to spend time with people that drag you down).
  • I discovered the importance of “stepping outside of my comfort zone” – of choosing to do things that are challenging and require some responsibility.  When we choose to step outside of our comfort zone and do something a bit scary, and then succeed at it, THAT is how we manage to increase our self confidence.
  • When you need help, ask for it.  You can pray for strength from the Big Guy upstairs.  You can recite, “I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me” Philippians 4:13.  You can also turn to your support group that you have developed.

It takes some time and patience, but if you set a goal and take steps to improve your self confidence, it WILL happen.  Yes, I still struggle with negative thinking on a daily basis, but my self confidence has improved big time over the years.  And no, you never get done working on yourself – it is called “continuous self improvement.”  You can do it.


Career Services and Community Engagement


A year ago or so Career Services and Community Engagement here at Western Technical College co-located.  Today I want to share information about Community Engagement.  The biggest connection I see is the fact that our students need experience in their fields and community engagement can be a way to add an impressive section to their resumes.  Career Services is all about helping students create an awesome resume.

As a student at Western Technical College, you can find volunteer opportunities in our community by going to:  UWL and Viterbo students are partners in this effort as well.  Those students have another way to sign in.

After you graduate and find employment (and any alumni or general public folks that are reading this post), you can stay connected by going to the main ugetconnected site at:

The best way to use the website is to look at (click on) the “agencies” tab or the “needs” tab.  You can also click on your profile settings in the top right corner and click on “View Profile” to indicate the type of interests you have. Once you are on your profile page, click on “manage causes” and “manage interests” to add your passion areas.  Choose interests that you know you will be good at and agencies that you are a fan of.

Doing volunteer work is part of community engagement.  Volunteering not only adds good information and skills to your resume, it provides a chance to make new friends, do some networking in your career path area and most of all, when we give, we always gain.  We gain spiritually.  We discover how rewarding it can be to help others, to believe that “yes!” we have made a difference in the lives of others.

By volunteering students can gain valuable soft skills such as:  problem solving, teamwork, communication and time management skills.

So get out and do things with your knowledge.

Click here to watch an in-depth video on how to use the Ugetconnected website.  The first part of this video is all about volunteering and it’s benefits.  To go directly to where you can learn how to use the ugetconnected website, the time stamp is 9.45 seconds.


Job Seeking is a process of rejection – How to look at it positively


You have applied for several jobs.  You are either not hearing a thing back, OR you have landed a few interviews and still not landed the job.  Perhaps you are beginning to think that there is something wrong with you.  STOP!

Every person has skills and abilities, every employer needs to hire folks that meet their needs.  Remember that it is simply a matter of matching skills and abilities with needs.  This takes time.  You are going to experience many “No’s” before that final “YES” comes along.  You must mentally prepare yourself for that.

Instead of thinking, “I will never get hired in my field,” you must think, “I am one “NO” closer to that “Yes,” and I know it is coming, I just need to be patient and apply for more opportunities while I am waiting for the right one to come along.”

Remember that it really is an odds kind of thing.  The more jobs you apply for, the greater your chances for an interview, and the more interviews you go through, the greater your chance for the job offer!  You need to be applying for so many positions that you have to have a system to keep track of them all.  I recommend saving each resume and cover letter you send with your name (to help the employer) and an abbreviation of the job or company you are applying with. That way, you can take a look at what you told them (sent them) before you go to the job interview, and refresh your memory on the position applied for.  You could save each posting that you apply for as well – matching the file titles to help you with the organization of your job search.

Source:  What Color is your Parachute?  2018, By Richard N Bolles; A practical manual for job-hunters and career-changers, Ten Speed Press.

Career Services – What we can do for you


One of my followers asked me to refresh everyone’s memory on what a Career Services office does for their students.  Most colleges have a career services department. The purpose is to assist students with their job search. That means providing whatever type of service is needed in order to help a student be successful at finding employment. Here at Western Technical College we provide the following services to students, potential students and alumni:

  • Teach students HOW to do a resume, cover letter and reference page
  • Provide each person who comes in with a free “Resume Handbook”
  • Critique their resume, cover letter and reference page once they have created one
  • Coach students in how to do an effective job search
  • Coach students in the art of interviewing for a job through a wide variety of methods (mock and phone interviews)(using an online program called, “Perfect Interview”
  • Remind students to let Wisconsin TechConnect help them connect to openings
  • Remind students to use the resources at:
  • Help students understand that conducting a job search is a lot of work and how that work pays off

We also:

  • Provide an effective career assessment called Typefocus that measures a students personality type, interests and values
  • Coach a potential student on how to use Typefocus to do research on the careers they are thinking about
  • Support that research by providing instructions on how to do an informational interview and/or set up a program or job shadow (yes, you can sit in on a class).  Annually our “Program Shadow List” is updated and our instructor’s are very attentive to responding to potential student requests.
  • Host Several Career Specific Job Fairs
  • Sponsor speakers and events for our students
  • Present on job and career topics in our classrooms

To schedule an appointment, call:  608-785-9440 or 608-785-9257

Make it a GREAT day!

How to get referred for a job


Sharing another great article written by Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa.  If you do not follow her yet, you might want to consider following her.  She provides a lot of GREAT job seeking advice.  This new article, posted on May 22, 2018 does an excellent job of describing how to do some networking and ask for a referral to a company that you want to work for.


It is a mistake to praise yourself during an interview without proving your accomplishments


When asked, “Why should we hire you?”  It is a mistake to answer, “Because I am the best candidate!”  At this point, you are not in a position to say whether you are the best candidate or not.  You have not even met the other candidates.

You need to say something more substantial.  You need to cover your accomplishments and you need to state your accomplishments in a “prove it” statement kind of way.  By that I mean, state your accomplishments with statements that prove that you have the skill and ability it takes to get the job done.

In order to do that, you need to have done your research ahead of time. If the job posting is not very descriptive, ask for a job description.  Research the company by taking a look at the company website.  Do some deep thinking about how you can state your skills and abilities with examples and use the words of a third party.  For example:  “My current supervisor, Mark Browne, has stated that I am the best employer he has ever had in the position that I currently hold.”  Or, “A co-worker of mine tells me that its been a long time since she has seen anyone relate to the customers as positively has I have.”  Or, “My supervisor complimented me just the other day for my problem solving abilities.”

On top of that suggestion, have stories ready to tell that prove your capabilities in three key areas:  1) Your ambition on the job, 2) Your ability to get along with others on the job, and 3) Your ability to problem solve on the job.

If you have stories ready that prove you have those capabilities, you’ve come a long way towards preparing for the job interview.