Friday, August 11, 2017

The Advice Chief: How to get the exact career position you desire by Jeff “Chief” Urbaniak

Are you stuck in a job you don’t like? Do you feel the desire to change careers? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do for a living? 

Sometimes a job or career change, or even the pursuit of your ideal job or way of life, is necessary or desired. It is extremely rare when someone finds a job or profession they truly love every hour of every day. That concept is basically a pipe dream. Nonetheless, a job or career that is personally and professionally rewarding is much better than one that makes you miserable most of the time.

First of all, it is important to have a job or source of income to pay your bills and debts, as well as provide shelter, clothing and food for you and your family. So, quitting a job because you don’t like, it is not always the practical dive to take, unless it has become truly harmful to your sanity, safety or well-being.

Ideally, you want to transition to a new job or career with as little of a gap as possible between employment or income generating activities. Here’s what you can do, even if your actions have to be gradual and discreet, to make that transition efficiently:

1. Truly learn what talents and traits you have and need.
Is there a skill you need to develop to put a talent into action? If so, get trained and/or educated so you can have that skill. Or do you have a unique personality trait that can be of great value in certain jobs or careers? In some way you are gifted or can become gifted, so get to the point where you can use your gift to your advantage as well as for the benefit of others.

2. Do some research.
Which type of companies, organizations or people can benefit from your talents or skills? Where are they located? Read trade magazines, newspapers and books and scan corporate websites (your local public library is a great resource to access these sources for free).

3. Study prospective employers so you are knowledgeable or aware of policies, personnel and chances for advancement.
Are these things a good fit for you? If so, determine how your talents or skills can benefit them and/or their customers or clients. Forget about “a job.” Forget whether or not there is an opening. Forget the usual routine of “have you got a job for me?” Concentrate on what you can give.

4. Once you have your plan in mind, arrange with an experienced writer, to help you put it in writing--neat form and in full detail.
Usually this is in a résumé and cover letter format, but perhaps you can be creative and maybe make a PowerPoint presentation, a brochure or maybe even a website. After all, you’re selling yourself as someone who can give something of value; whether it is ideas, services or connections, so you want your message on a medium that will grab someone’s attention and make them interested in you. Every company or organization has room for the person who has a definite plan of action it can value from--so make it obvious to them that they have room for you!

5. Be sure your message is delivered to the right person who has the authority to make the decision to bring you on board.
(The pencil pusher in human resources IS NOT that person!) Find a way to cross paths with this person even if you have to slip in the back door to do it. Or maybe you can make an appointment by contacting their administrative assistant. If their assistant is reluctant in accommodating your request, don’t say it’s a job interview rather, emphasize the importance of the appointment being to present a tremendous opportunity for the company or organization.

6. Lastly, you can look within your own company or organization to create an opportunity for yourself.
My daughter, who has been slowly working her way up in her company, emailed this message to the company president after she completed numerous marketing projects for him per his request (tasks/duties outside of her job description): “[Our company] could use a marketing/communications coordinator to work cross-departmentally, maybe someone who has worked in most of the departments and knows our products very well. I have a résumé if you’re interested.” To which he replied, “Okay, bring me your résumé.” She immediately walked down the hallway and handed it to him. So now what do you think her chances are of getting this position if he actually creates it? (And probably with an accompanying pay raise!) So don’t be afraid to go after what you want. Use these strategies and always demand to be paid what you’re worth. If you do, your chances of getting the exact position you desire become bigger and better than you ever thought possible.

The Love Canal – A reminder that actions can have devastating consequences by Michelle Libby

Sometimes on vacation learning opportunities fall in your lap and you have to just go with it. This was the case on our college tour/Niagara Falls trip. Every time I said Niagara Falls, my 17-year-old would say “and the Love Canal.” 
Eventually the question had to be asked . . . “What is the Love canal?”
“It’s the site of one of the worst environmental disasters in America”, I was informed.
“Why do we have to go there?” I asked. 

Trash and chemical dump at the Love Canal (now just a grassy area)
I’ve never considered myself an environmentalist. I like nature, but I never wanted to hug trees. I guess I’ve taken for granted what we have here in Maine. Things like the Love Canal have happened all over the country. People have made decisions without thinking of the ramifications. 

After a quick run to Walmart and Sam’s Club, I was informed that we were only a short distance from the site. Not sure what we were going to find, I drove us to a neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York. It looked like any suburban neighborhood with small houses, a senior center and a senior housing facility all in use. Across the street was a fenced off area, acres of green grass; but what still is just below the surface is terrifying to think about even 40 years after the problems began. 

On the far side of the fence was the ghost town of what was supposed to be a model community, but it turned into a nightmare for over 220 families. We drove the eerily quiet streets with the sidewalks, driveways and street lights, but no homes or children were on these streets. As we drove my husband read to us about the history of the area. 

The Love Canal was named after William T. Love, who bought the land to build his model community where water from the upper Niagara River would flow through his canal into the lower Niagara River to generate power. However, Love ran out of money in 1907, when investors had to pull out due to an economic downturn years before. 

In the 1920s, it became a dumpsite for industrial waste from the booming city of Niagara Falls. In the 1940s, Hooker Chemical Company began using the site as a place to dispose of its chemical waste until the early 1950s. Hooker Chemical bought the canal and surrounding area in 1947. After lining the canal with clay, it disposed a total of 21,800 tons of chemicals. In 1948, Hooker Chemical became sole owner of the land.

In the fifties, it became obvious that Niagara needed more land for the population explosion that was taking place. When Hooker Chemical decided not to use the site anymore, it sealed the chemicals under clay and sold the property to the city for $1 with the clause that no one could sue them because of the chemicals stored underground. 

The site was used for two elementary schools. For me, the kicker was that the children that attended those schools were my age. If I had lived in Niagara Falls, I would have attended one of those schools. I might be dealing with health issues to this day and the chemicals could have affected my children.

The land adjacent to the schools was sold to developers who wanted to use the land to put in a neighborhood. Because the land being developed was not part of the original transaction with Hooker Chemical it wasn’t disclosed to the families, who were purchasing the homes, that the site was once a 16-acre chemical disposal. When they were building the houses the clay seal was breached repeatedly, according to reports. The chemicals really began leaking after a particularly heavy snow fall and snow melt, raising the water table.

We drove the streets where the neighborhood once stood. The houses were demolished and the over 400 families were relocated. Over 200 homes closest to the site were taken down. The families were given money for their homes to the tune of $15 million from state and federal funds. This was the first emergency money ever paid for something other than a natural disaster. However, the damage was more than chemical-filled water in basements. It was in the emotional scars and birth defects that plagued that generation and the next. The area is still being monitored today and families that moved back into the area are concerned that their health issues are related to the chemicals.

It wasn’t until 1977, that an official investigation was conducted. Reporters uncovered the story and pushed until something was done for the families in the area. There are so many more details to this story, so many that we might never hear about, so many that remain covered up. I am horrified that no one stood up and said, “Hey, this might be a bad idea.” Or “Maybe we should listen to those families over on 100th Street.”

The rest of our trip was spent doing research and talking about what happened in this corner of New York. How could something like that happen? Could something like that happen in Windham? We never know what the impact of our decisions could be later in life. 

We never would have known that a place like the Love Canal existed, if it wasn’t for my son hearing about it on a podcast. Someone decided that it was a story that shouldn’t be buried. Things that are swept under the rug are destined to be repeated. We need to learn from what has happened in the past, so it won’t happen again. 

You may not be a “tree hugger” or care about the environment, but we all care about what could happen if we are not responsible with our actions. Every time I think about these families and what they must have gone through, I cringe. The Love Canal isn’t some sweet, romantic ride at an amusement park. It is a reminder that our actions have lasting consequence. I had to drive to upstate New York and be forced by my teenager to learn what happened there. Maybe it’s time to listen.

Raymond Village Library assists in hosting an “Evening Star Party at Hacker’s Hill”

Loon Echo Land Trust and Southworth Planetarium, along with Casco and Raymond Libraries invite you to a relaxing evening under the summer sky, and if conditions allow - shooting stars! The Perseids Meteor Shower is always a favorite due to the warm summer temperatures.

At its peak, this shower seems to originate from the constellation Perseus, giving rise to the name
Perseids. In between shooting stars, gaze through telescopes, high powered binoculars and get familiar with “apps” for smart phones and tablets which make learning about the night sky even more fun! Make sure to bring a comfortable chair, bug spray, drinks and snacks.

“Raymond Village Library will provide some of the telescopes to make sure there will be enough for everyone to have a chance to look into the night sky,” stated Allison Griffin, Library Director.

Meet at the summit at 9 p.m. Come earlier if you want to view the sunset. Please park in the “Event Parking” area to the right of the summit. The Evening Star Party event will last approximately 3 hours and is considered an easy walk.

For more information, contact Allison Griffin at 207-655-4283 or email at:

For more information about the Loon Echo Land Trust, go to their website at: or call 207- 647-4352.

Loon Echo offers a monthly event at one of our preserves. All outdoor hikes and walks are subject to weather conditions and/or date changes. Always wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather conditions and varied terrain. Bring water and snacks with you on the trail.

Jewish Shabbat Service Friday at Seeds of Peace Camp

A Friday evening Shabbat Service will be held at the Seeds of Peace Camp, 183 Powhattan Road, in Otisfield on Friday, August 18, beginning at 6 p.m.  The service will be held out-of- doors on the lake shore, weather permitting. People of all faiths in the Windham and Raymond communities and surrounding areas who are interested, are invited to attend this service.
A reception (“oneg”) will be held after the service.

The Jewish Day of Rest begins Friday evening at sunset and ends Saturday evening. Typically there is a service on Friday evening in Hebrew and English. A short prayer book based on Reform and Conservative Jewish Practice will be used.

Summer residents living around Pleasant Lake (“Kehilat” Casco) organize services of this kind from time to time every summer.  

For more information, contact Larry Wolff at 207-627-3838.

Rick Charette rocks Dundee Park despite the thunder and lightning threat by Michelle Libby

Dundee Park saw record attendance at the third concert of the season, despite the rumbles of thunder and lightning in the distance. The Dundee Park Concert Series is in its second year and has caught on as a place to see live music, cool off and visit with friends. Last week featured local musician Rick Charette and his pint-sized fans. 
“We’ve had good support,” said Parks and Recreation Director, Linda Brooks. The four week concert series is the ideal length according to Brooks, who added that Wednesday nights are perfect, too. In August there isn’t as much evening light and people start getting ready to go back to school, she said. 

Non-profits provided snacks, water, hotdogs and popcorn during the concerts. This year the organizations were: the Lions Club, Windham Rec campers, a 4-H group and the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 148. The final concert was August 9. At Charette’s concert, the Auxiliary unit and Gorham Savings Bank’s Windham branch were there to do glitter tattoos and Mulberry Farms sold organic produce. 

Charette was the only performer who also performed last year. “It was fun last year. It’s unique. A show by the water with a lot of swimming and splashing in the water,” he said. He even planned his song “Popcorn” to interact with the swimmers however the storm had everyone out of the water early.
From Windham, Charette has spent 40 years performing around the country and in the Windham community. “Some parents are bringing their kids because they grew up with the music. It overwhelms me,” Charette said. While he is performing he hears the adults in the crowd singing as loud as the children.  

The concert had a rushed feel, with Charette playing most of his most requested songs at the beginning as he raced the impending storm that held off until after the concert.
Charette put on an interactive and fun show, and he showed no sign of slowing down. “It’s still fun and I still feel like I’m connecting with audiences,” he said.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Three Easy Ways to Monitor for Brand Mentions, Phrases, and Feedback Online by David Pride

No one likes it when someone talks negatively behind their back. It's even worse now since it is so easy to trash talk someone or something on social media - and half the time the brands don't respond anyhow. According to a recent study by Sprout Social, only 1 in 10 brands respond to messages received via social media. Those numbers are way worse if the message was just a random comment thrown out onto the internet.
Here are 3 easy ways to monitor for brand mentions, phrases, and feedback online.

Google Alerts: A popular free tool that is super easy to set up. Simply navigate to From there you can choose to be alerted by email when certain words are mentioned online, or even certain phrases. Wouldn't it be great to be alerted daily whenever someone mentions your brand or industry? Did I mention this tool is FREE?

How you could benefit: Set an alert so you are notified whenever someone mentions your name, brand or industry. Use those alerts for fresh content within your social media calendar and grow your presence as an industry leader by sharing content that is totally fresh.

A Social Management Tool: Using a tool like Sprout Social ( allows you to not only manage all your social media profiles in one place but it also allows you to monitor social media for mentions, all from one easy dashboard. Google Alerts will limit you to what's being said on websites and within blogs, Sprout Social (or most other social media management tools) will display alerts from all your social networks also! With Sprout, you can even respond to people who didn't tag your brand (based on their privacy settings) but did mention you in a status, tweet, post etc.

How you could benefit: Think of a list of short phrases that may be buying signals that your community may say online or on Twitter. Add those phrases to your social media management tool and look for ways to add value - without being a pushy salesman. 

For instance, one of our clients is a firearms manufacturer so instead of just depending on customers tagging us with their questions we are constantly monitoring for buying indications that don't even mention the client, such as "Looking for a new rifle." We also monitor our competitions’ mentions so we can look for ways to answer questions about their products - ultimately showcasing our expertise in the field and exposing us to new potential customers.

BuzzSumo: This website is an awesome tool for finding trending content and the most shared content across the web. You can sort by topic or search by phrase. The free version will limit you to about 10 searches a day but the paid version is unlimited and offers a plethora of additional tools to analyze your social media content, Facebook page performance, and even help you find influencers. Check it out at 

How you could benefit: I have found the ability to see the most popular articles from around the world for the industries that my clients serve, to be extremely helpful. Not only for the never ending search for curated content but also for my own blog idea inspiration. Try out the search tool and you’ll have instant access to the trending and the most shared articles around whatever phrase or word you want to search.

Knowing when someone is talking about you, your brand or your industry is extremely helpful when trying to grow your business and showcase your expertise. Give these tools a try and never miss a mention or news item again!

The Advice Chief: A janitor's lesson in leadership by Jeff "Chief" Urbaniak

William Crawford was the janitor at the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1970 to 1997. For years cadets barely spoke to him as he quietly and diligently cleaned their dormitories to an impeccable standard. He was practically invisible until one day in 1976, when one of the cadets came across his story while conducting research for a term paper about World War II.
The Advice Chief

It turns out William Crawford was a Medal of Honor recipient who risked his life to single-handedly take out two German machine-gun nests to save the lives of his squad. He was eventually captured during another military operation and was held as a prisoner of war until liberated in 1945.

After the cadets realized their janitor was a Medal of Honor winner, their attitude toward him changed. They tried to get to know him better and invited him to their formal functions.

They also learned a lot about leadership from his performance as a janitor and personal character. One such cadet, James Moschgat, while serving as the 12th Operations Group Commander in 2001, decided to share the unforgettable leadership lessons he learned from William “Bill” Crawford. He wrote:

1. Be Cautious of Labels.
Labels you place on people may define your relationship to them and bound their potential. Sadly, and for a long time, we labeled Bill as just a janitor, but he was so much more. Therefore, be cautious of a leader who callously says, “Hey, he’s just an Airman.”  Likewise, don’t tolerate the O-1 who says, “I can’t do that, I’m just a lieutenant.”

2. Everyone Deserves Respect.
Because we hung the “janitor” label on Mr. Crawford, we often wrongly treated him with less respect than others around us. He deserved much more, and not just because he was a Medal of Honor winner. Bill deserved respect because he was a janitor, walked among us, and was a part of our team.

3. Courtesy Makes a Difference.
Be courteous to all around you, regardless of rank or position. Military customs, as well as common courtesies, help bond a team. When our daily words to Mr. Crawford turned from perfunctory hellos to heartfelt greetings, his demeanor and personality outwardly changed. It made a difference for all of us.

4. Take Time to Know Your People.
Life in the military is hectic, but that’s no excuse for not knowing the people you work for and with. For years a hero walked among us at the Academy and we never knew it. Who are the heroes that walk in your midst?

5. Anyone Can Be a Hero.
Mr. Crawford certainly didn’t fit anyone’s standard definition of a hero. Moreover, he was just a private on the day he won his Medal. Don’t sell your people short, for any one of them may be the hero who rises to the occasion when duty calls. On the other hand, it’s easy to turn to your proven performers when the chips are down, but don’t ignore the rest of the team. Today’s rookie could and should be tomorrow’s superstar.

6. Leaders Should Be Humble.
Most modern-day heroes and some leaders are anything but humble, especially if you calibrate your hero meter on today’s athletic fields. End zone celebrations and self-aggrandizement are what we’ve come to expect from sports greats. Not Mr. Crawford--he was too busy working to celebrate his past heroics. Leaders would be well served to do the same.

7. Life Won’t Always Hand You What You Think You Deserve.
 We in the military work hard and, dang it, we deserve recognition, right? However, sometimes you just have to persevere, even when accolades don’t come your way. Perhaps you weren’t nominated for junior officer or airman of the quarter as you thought you should--don’t let that stop you.

8. Don’t Pursue Glory; Pursue Excellence.
Private Bill Crawford didn’t pursue glory; he did his duty and then swept floors for a living.

9. No Job is Beneath a Leader.
If Bill Crawford, a Medal of Honor winner, could clean latrines and smile, is there a job beneath your dignity? Think about it.

10. Pursue Excellence.
No matter what task life hands you, do it well. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “If life makes you a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper you can be.”  Mr. Crawford modeled that philosophy and helped make our dormitory area a home.