New Train of Thought: Holistic Learning, Working & Being

Greetings and salutations readers,

There has been a lot that has conspired since the last time I have written to you. I’ve gone through a career change, I’ve changed my eating habits, I have decided to face financial items head on that should’ve been addressed a long time ago, and I have a completely different view on life. Being a holistic teacher has taught me a lot about myself and about those that I educate. I realize it is not only my responsibility to enlighten you with knowledge of business and human resources, but with actual, practical, tactical life skills to help you get to where you need to be in life.

I have been doing a lot of research on the need for understanding the basics. Without the basics of anything, we have a foundation for nothing. The basics provide us with the understanding of why we are doing what we’re doing and where we need to go with what we’re doing. If you’ve been following me or reading my articles for a while, you know that my life mantra is “more being, less doing.” By that I mean we need to decide to be more and stop thinking that just because we say we’re “busy” means that we’re doing something of meaning. In actuality, we are doing nothing if we are not deciding to be more in every moment for the purpose for our own lives.

It is time to think more, challenge more, understand more, realize more, interact more, empathize more and be more. I know firsthand that many of you are going through many different struggles, we all have things and situations that we’re currently dealing with on top of finding our purpose in life. What you must ask yourself in every moment is “Who am I being and what are my doing?” Einstein said something that resonates with me since I have been researching and studying holistic thinking. He said “If you can’t explain something in the simplest terms, in the lowest common denominator then you don’t have a true understanding of it.”

These are the times that we are currently in. We must understand and acknowledge things from the lowest common denominator to get to solutions for the big problems. These are my thoughts, and this is how I will continue to research, think, grow and learn. I thank you for your support, and I hope that you would provide your feedback and input on different topics that you would like me to research, discover and share with you.

Peace and blessings to you and all of your endeavors,

Dr. Armstead

Client Business Information & Solutions

Smarter Not Harder, LLC
Dr. Jenice Armstead
Client Business Information & Solutions

Easiest way to market and advertise your goods/services

Use other Social Media outlets with Twitter to maximize your social presence
• Upload photos and dates of events
• Show Products
• Use # to advertise on other “hot topics”

Groupon Merchant Services – Free Advertising
https://merchants.groupon.com
https://www.groupon.com/merchant/resources

• Create a Groupon Campaign
• Submit/Approve Campaign (Cost, Point of Contact Info, etc.)
• Use bullets for Campaign keep potential client’s attention
• Receive payments easily
• Use your social security to number for sole proprietary businesses
• Use Groupon Merchant App to quickly redeem vouchers
• Groupon supplies itemized lists of payments

Create customized business cards and marketing materials (reasonable cost)

Create Business Plan – http://www.va.gov/osdbu/docs/vepbusinessplanoutline.pdf

• Use business plan template
• Outline services and fees
• Detail customized packages for clients
• Offer a “free” gift” or “discount” for referrers/returning clients

O*net – http://www.onetonline.org

• Outline Tasks, Duties, KSAs
• Create job descriptions for employees
• Knowledge
• Skills
• Abilities
• Work Activities
• Median Hourly/Salary
• Review Market and Advertising

Available for consultations

Dr. Jenice Armstead

Dr. Jenice Armstead

How to Answer Key Interview Questions: Future Plans

When you are interviewing you will be asked about your future and what your plans are.  This is a tool that selecting officials use to see where you plan on “being” in a determined amount of time.

You will be asked:  What are your long-term goals?  What are your long-term career objectives?  This is not an opportunity for you to “spill your guts” keep it professional and stay focused.  Think about this question before you interview, you shouldn’t take more than 5 – 7 minutes.  Talk about your professional goals and what educational aspirations you have.  DON’T talk about your personal life or what personal projects you are working on.

Selecting officials want to know: How do you plan to achieve your career goals?  They don’t want details, this is a rhetorical question that is meant for them to see if you know how to lay out goals and patterns on how to achieve goals.  This is actually a tactic to see how you focus on objects and how you plan to achieve objects.  Again, keep it professional not personal – stay focused.

The final future plan questions the selecting official will ask:  What do you see yourself doing in five years from now?  and What plans do you have for continuing your education?  These questions help selecting officials to determine what kind of professional “drive” and motivation you actually have.  It is my personal advice to answer all interview questions, keep in mind you can “respectfully” decline to answer any interview questions that you don’t feel comfortable asking.   If you don’t plan on continuing your education or haven’t thought about what your goals are for the next five years, it’s okay – use your imagination and stay focused on the professional conversation.

Dr. Jaye

How to Know If You Are Eligible for Special Government Hiring Programs

Government agencies are able to hire in all career categories and using Special Hiring Authority (SHA), and many agencies are taking full advantage of this hiring ability.
Government agencies have the ability to use Special Hiring Authority for recruiting people – outright. The key is to research the agency’s SHA options.
Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to received consideration for special priority selection.

Federal employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit proof that they meet the requirement of 5 CFR330.605 (a) for CTAP and 5 CFR330.704 for ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent Performance Rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.
To see if you feel you meet the requirements of one of these programs on Office of Personnel Management: click Here for information on – Employee Guides

Individuals who have Veteran’s preference, and submit a DD214 Member 4 copy (VEOA Employment Opportunity Act, Veteran’s Recruitment Appointment) To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be honorably separated and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed three or more years of continuous active service. Under the Veteran’s Guide, vets that have a disability of 30% or more can be hired – out right for the position they would qualify for if they were to submit their resumes. For example, if a 30% vet qualified as an information technician – a hiring official could hire them straight into the position.

If you feel you meet the requirements on veteran’s preference see Vet Guide Website:
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-employment-initiative/vet-guide/
Then there are the student programs. These programs include but are not limited to the Student Career Employment Program (SCEP) and the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

The government is being “forced” to hire more students; this is an easy way to gain federal experience and utilized great benefits. This is a great way to get your “foot into the door” and the programs have great benefits to include but not limited to retirement, leave, flexi-work schedules, and more. In some hiring cases, they will even pay for your relocation to the hiring area that you are selected for. The government needs to “replace” the workforce that is currently retiring and these programs work to provide YOU stability. See the websites for requirements and more information.

Click here for Information on: Student Educational Employment Program

Dr. Jaye

How to Know How Long It Takes to Get a Government Job

The government has a set process – for the most part. Most applicants apply for either Merit (Status) announcements or DEU (Delegating Unit) announcements. I have said it over and over in previous articles I have written before MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHICH ANNOUCEMENT YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR. Don’t waste your time or energy if you know that you are not eligible for a job announcement. You will only become frustrated when you get an email letter or letter in the mail that says “You were found ineligible because you do not meet the minimum eligibility factors or qualifications for the job announcement which you applied.”

REMEMBER – Merit is for Status applicants, this means former, current, displaced, eligible veterans or other special hiring authority applicants.

DEU is for public to apply for – anyone.

Now that we have covered that, once an announcement closes (the close date on the announcement) go back to www.USAJOBS.GOV and check to see if the announcement was Extended, Cancelled or has any Cut Off Dates (Cut Off Dates that are used to create job applicant listings and sometimes a job announcement can be filled from a Cut Off Date – so ensure your resume is updated and you get your application in before any Cut Off Date).

The closing of an job announcement, starts your “count- down clock – until hire ticking”, once it closes it takes the Human Resources Departments about 30 – 45 days to review and process all applicants and make a determination on whom is actually qualified and whom isn’t.

After the qualification process is completed, a list of Competitive or Non-Competitive applicants is sent to the selecting official. Competitive applicants are applicants whom have status, and Non-Competitive applicants are those who don’t have status. The selecting official normally has a 30 day time period to review all the applicants whom are found qualified by HR Dept. If the selecting official needs to conduct interviews, they will do so at this time period. Sometimes selecting officials request a 30 day extension to ensure they are hiring the right person for the position.

Once the hiring official has selected a person(s) for the position(s) the announcement point of contact will make a job offer to the selected applicant and the selected will be given a time period to “think” about accepting the job offer. If the job is rejected, the process of “going down the list” of second and third choices will follow, per the selecting official decision.

When a job offer is accepted, all other applicants are notified either by email or mail of the selection and why they were not selected. You are entitled to know why you were not selected, I suggest phoning the point of contact for more clarification on how you could improve your hiring changes in the future.

The total process can take up to 90 days from the closing of the announcement, all things being constant and going within the time periods accordingly. Any change can increase or decrease the time of selection by a fluctuation of 30 – 60 day, plus or minus the 90 days.

Dr. Jaye

Not Taking on Others Fears and Anxieties

Fears and anxieties arise from a lack of control of the situation or event. When others have a fear of change, unforeseen circumstances and other things out of their control – fear and anxiety start to fester. Today’s Wisdom Wednesday focuses on not taking on others fears and anxieties. When you realize who you are, how to get things done and the purpose of things – your fears and anxieties will turn into motivational driven abilities towards a goal. Goals are great ways to keep track of what you want to do, where you want to be and how you want to get there. We are all human, and fear and anxieties come with the human experience. The growth and understanding comes from understanding that fears and anxieties out of your control may get out a hand when not dealt with face on. One way to deal with fears and anxieties – for example in the workplace, is to gain a better clarification through communication with others. Although communicating with others may not provide absolute clarity, it can provide enough clarity to gain an understanding of how to handle the situation. Make a point to pay attention when you have fears and anxieties come from you by the way of others emotions and reactions to situations. This is a great way to gain understanding and provide yourself the ability to stay cool, calm and collective in any given situation.

Jenice

Thank You Barnes and Noble: Local Book Author Event 2016

Thank you to everyone for coming out to the Barnes & Noble Local Author Event this past Saturday, May 21. I was overjoyed and excited to be apart of the Barnes & Noble 2016 Local Author event. It was a day filled with reconnecting with fellow friends & authors, interacting with amazing people and sharing the knowledge of the books I have written. Thank you so much to Barnes & Noble for inviting me to be one of the local authors featured in this years’ WireGrass at the Shops Barnes & Noble Local author event for 2016. I look forward to next year.

All the Best,
Dr. Jenice Armstead

Dr. Jenice Armstead  Barnes and Noble Book Signing 2016  Photo by: Flex Casiano

Dr. Jenice Armstead
Barnes & Noble Local Author Event 2016
Photo by: Flex Casiano

Dr. Jenice Armstead Barnes and Noble Book Signing 2016  Photo by: Flex Casiano

Dr. Jenice Armstead
Barnes and Noble Book Signing 2016
Photo by: Flex Casiano

Happy 6th Birthday to Lesbians Have to Eat, Too!

Happy sixth birthday to my very first published book “Lesbians Have to Eat, Too!” Six years ago today, I self-published my very first book – cookbook to be exact. Not only was this a huge accomplishment, but it was the edification of my ability to grow myself as a brand and share my ideas with the entire world. Many people don’t know how “Lesbians Have to Eat, Too!” came about as the concept for my first book. Being that I have sporadically shared the story with people that have asked me about the title and the stories of the recipes – you would learn I did not know how to cook. Which is what made this accomplishment all the more rewarding. For those of you that have not read my first book, “Lesbians Have to Eat, Too!” it is all about how I self taught myself how to cook. In “Lesbians Have to Eat, Too!” I wanted to be super transparent. Mission accomplished! “Lesbians Have to Eat, Too!” was birthed with the idea of sharing amusingly and comical stories about myself, my life and ultimately my family. The feedback over the years from those who have read the”Lesbians Have to Eat, Too!” has been enlightening and exciting. Many people have said that they purchased “Lesbians Have to Eat, Too!” for coffee table conversations, for their significant others, for those who need the basics on how to cook simple and healthy meals and overall for the pure fact that the title made them explode with laughter. Truth be told, the book took me three years to actually write, it was born of sticky notes and recipes gone bad. I want to thank my wonderful supportive wife who ate every meal whether it looked bad, tasted bad or even smelled bad. Through all of it, I realized it was ultimately necessary that I publish not just a cookbook, but a cookbook where I was intrinsically embedded in each individual page.  Thank you all for all of your love and support.  You are very much appreciated.

Happy sixth birthday to my very first edification of self transparency, “Lesbians Have to Eat, Too!”

Lesbians Have to Eat, Too! By: Dr. Jenice Armstead Professor & Author

Lesbians Have to Eat, Too! By:            Dr. Jenice Armstead

Dr. Jenice Armstead
Professor & Author
United States Navy Veteran

Amazon Purchase Information Click Here: Lesbians Have to Eat, Too!

How to Know If You Are Eligible for Special Government Hiring Programs

Government agencies are able to hire in all career categories and using Special Hiring Authority (SHA), and many agencies are taking full advantage of this hiring ability.  Government agencies have the ability to use Special Hiring Authority for recruiting people – outright. The key is to research the agency’s SHA options.

Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to received consideration for special priority selection.

Federal employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit proof that they meet the requirement of 5 CFR330.605 (a) for CTAP and 5 CFR330.704 for ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent Performance Rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.
To see if you feel you meet the requirements of one of these programs on Office of

Personnel Management:
http://www.opm.gov/rif/employee_guides/career_transition.asp

Individuals who have Veteran’s preference, and submit a DD214 Member 4 copy (VEOA Employment Opportunity Act, Veteran’s Recruitment Appointment) To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be honorably separated and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed three or more years of continuous active service. Under the Veteran’s Guide, vets that have a disability of 30% or more can be hired – out right for the position they would qualify for if they were to submit their resumes. For example, if a 30% vet qualified as an information technician – a hiring official could hire them straight into the position.

If you feel you meet the requirements on veteran’s preference see Vet Guide Website:
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-employment-initiative/vet-guide/
Then there are the student programs. These programs include but are not limited to the Student Career Employment Program (SCEP) and the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

The government is being “forced” to hire more students; this is an easy way to gain federal experience and utilized great benefits. This is a great way to get your “foot into the door” and the programs have great benefits to include but not limited to retirement, leave, flexi-work schedules, and more. In some hiring cases, they will even pay for your relocation to the hiring area that you are selected for. The government needs to “replace” the workforce that is currently retiring and these programs work to provide YOU stability. See the websites for requirements and more information.

Student Educational Employment Program Link:
https://www.opm.gov/FAQS/topic/employment/index.aspx?cid=b28f1568-41df-455d-b5d7-3053c8cfef0b&page=3

Jenice

How to Know What Documents to Use When Applying to Government Jobs

Merit Promotion (See How to Know the Difference between Which Government Job to Apply for article)

There are many documents that are required by government agencies for applications. It is important you understand the difference in required documents for a Merit announcement you are applying to, and a DEU announcement.

I have listed the required documents:
– If you are applying for consideration as a Veteran under the Veterans’ Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) or Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA), you MUST submit evidence of eligibility, such as: DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or Standard Form 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and the proof requested on the form.
– If you are applying for consideration under a special hiring authority such as a person with a disability, Peace Corp or Vista volunteer, you MUST submit the appropriate supporting documentation to be considered by the closing date of this vacancy announcement; e.g. “certification” statement (contact your Vocational Rehabilitation Office) that identifies you as a person with a disability and that describes your ability to perform the essential duties of this position, Standard Form-50, etc.
– If you applying for consideration as a Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) eligible, you MUST submit the appropriate supporting documentation as proof of program eligibility.
– If you are applying and are a current or former federal employee with Career or Career-Conditional status, submit your most recent SF-50, “Notification of Personnel Action”, (NOT an award SF-50) which shows your status.
– If you are qualifying with education, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts.
– If the position you are applying for requires specific NWCG red card qualifications or training, you must provide a copy of your IQCS report.

Delegating Examining Unit: (See How to Know the Difference between Which Government Job to Apply for article)
– If you are applying for Veteran Preference, you MUST submit evidence of eligibility, such as; DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or Standard Form 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and the proof requested on the form. You must clearly identify your claim for veterans preference on your application. For more information on Veteran Preference, please go to OPMs website at: http://www.opm.gov/veterans/index.asp
– If you are qualifying with education, you must submit your college transcripts.

KEEP IN MIND: ANSWERS TO YOUR JOB QUESTIONS MUST BE SUPPORTED IN YOUR RESUME. If your answer(s) are not supported in your resume, or you fail to follow the instructions for the question(s), agencies will lower your answer(s) to reflect what was provided, for failure to follow instructions. Stay motivated and GO GET YOUR GOVERNMENT JOB.
Dr. Jaye