Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life came with a personal navigation system?*

December 08, 2009 – For most of us, the economy has been a real challenge over the past year, but for recently minted college grads, it has been particularly hard to transition from school to the world of full time work. I know this because it hits close to home. Our daughter Ali, graduated Louisiana State University (LSU) in August, and is one of those folks trying to kick start her career land her first meaningful job. She came home for Thanksgiving and we worked on her resume and cover letter and talked about moving from Baton Rouge to a city like Dallas where the job prospects would be better for someone with a BS in Psychology.

I wanted to give her the best advice I could. I found no shortage of online resources including articles, podcasts, videos and other reference items offering tips and techniques for the job seeker. But I wanted to give her more than that – I wanted to help her realize her passion, figure out a strategy, and come up with a game plan to make it happen. That is something you can’t find on any web site I’ve ever been to. While it is natural for a parent to want to provide “all the answers”, the journey she is about to embark upon is personal, and everyone is different. What I was hoping to do was to provide her with some tools she could use to draw a road map that is uniquely her own.

In August of this year, our client CB&I asked us to video tape a workshop they had for their employees. Our work included filming a presentation given by Dondi Scumaci an expert in professional and personal development. Dondi has two bestselling books - Designed for Success and her newest release, Ready, Set…Grow. Dondi is a natural storyteller, and made each of her points through relevant and thought provoking stories. CB&I had provided the attendees with copies of Ready, Set…Grow, and the questions and comments from the audience were deep and profound.

The most popular topic that day was “Creating Your Personal Brand”. Dondi also talked about finding and being a mentor – and about seeking out the people and relationships that energize us, inspire us, and encourage us. She talked about the importance of keeping a daily journal and the networking with traditional and new media tools. As I sat there listening, I wished Ali could have been in the audience to hear Dondi speak.

Fast forward three months to the Friday before Thanksgiving, when I get a call from the Marketing Manager at CB&I asking me for some of the hi-res photos I shot at Dondi’s workshop. The company was planning to do a feature on Dondi and her wisdom in the CB&I newsletter.

And then the light bulb went off – I needed to get Dondi’s books for Ali. Since I had met Dondi at the workshop, I was hoping she might remember me. I sent her an email asking if she would be kind enough to personally sign copies of each book so I could give them to Ali for Christmas. She graciously agreed, and two days later, the books arrived.

I took them home and started thumbing through Ready Set...Grow.  I came across some things I felt were relevant for Ali, so I got a pad of Post-it notes to place on those pages with information I thought Ali would find of value. After going through the first chapter I realized this was futile, since just about every page had a little yellow tab on it.

Both books were wrapped and now sit under our tree – and I can’t wait to give them to her on Christmas morning. Thanks Dondi – you have a special gift – and I really appreciate you sharing it with us.

*The title of this Blog entry comes directly from the first line in Dondi's Scumaci's online Blog which is well worth a bookmark.

January 2, 2010 - I have added a photo of Ali opening her books on Christmas morning.


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