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  • Banking & Insurance
  • Biotechnology & I.T.
  • Construction Trades
  • Manufacturing
  • Municipalities & Schools
  • Non-profits
  • Veterinary & Health


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 Testamonial:  Georgian's workshop, "Advice to Your Younger Self:  Celebrate Your Story" at the 2015 Connecticut Women's Conference was very well received.  Each attendee came away with newly discovered energy and courage to take on life's transitions.  Her workshop was the perfect follow-up to our morning program, "Unleash Your Inner Hero!" 

Joanne Gustafson, President, Connecticut Women's Alliance.


Workshop Offerings Include: 

Your Next 20 Years - A Workshop for Midlife Career Women

Develop realistic hope for earning as we age; address 'what if' scenarios; catalog transferable skills and talents; explore opportunities to do what you always wanted!





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My Website for Adult Caregivers:



Mister Ed, Lucy, Mom & Me is a booklet that shares how watching '60s sitcoms with my Mom helped lighten the caregiving experience.  Available on Amazon. 

Here is the Amazon book link:


Insights & Observations

 Welcome! Note the tabs on top -- Trades Success showcases Handbooks I co-authored that celebrates careers in the trades. The "Working Women" section offers services and ideas to help summon our creativity in every phase of our careers.  In the "Ponder That" section I comment on current news items and emerging trends.  In the "Tips" section I offer workplace advice and reminders. "About Me" is just that. "Mid LIFE Matters" has segments from my public tv show.   "The Ryan Group" tab offers access to an astounding set of organizational improvement services.

2019 career advice for success in the trades:



Available on Amazon  

Special Edition Building Success in the Trades


Manufacturing Trades Success: 



Below are two managment e-books I authored for retaining talent:


Read these E-Books  in 2 hours at Work!

Printable Workbook Format



Below are shots of inspiration for experienced working women: 


 Available at Amazon - paperback & ebook




 "Mid LIFE Matters" - Wallingford Public TV

 I host a half-hour show on WPAA-TV celebrating women's wisdom and wit.  Fascinating women share their stories and growth mindsets:  Segments are under the MidLIFE Matters tab on this site and on You Tube, under my name.

I am honored to win the 2016 Community Media Rika Welch leadership award for community impact; a testimony to the Guests who shared their stories on MidLIFE Matters



Management Training:

E-Book Webinars & Workshops

Thank you to Joan Lahti, Ph.D., of Get To The Point Books for sponsoring a 45-minute webinar on my e-book, Are Your Star Performers Packing Their Bags?  How to Persuade Them to Stay.  Participants from across the country (and globe) reflected on their own retention tactics, and saw how to navigate this user-friendly workbook approach.   I offer similar sessions -- in person, online, or using blended technology, for any size group.  Contact Joan for a reference:







Will the Dogs Bark?

Recent economic data points and opinions clamor and compete for our attention.  Adam Posen, an American economist who's currently with the Bank of England, thinks inflation will decline and "Wages ... will be the the dog that doesn't bark." Seems that when workers lack leverage to demand substantial raises, it helps companies keep prices down, suppressing inflationary trends(David Leonhardt, NYT -- 03/30/11).

The head of Wal-Mart's U.S. unit says consumers face 'serious' inflation, due to increases in raw materials, labor costs in China and fuel costs for retailers. (Jayne O'Donnell, USA TODAY, 03/31/11)

OK, so far, its the workers in China that are barking.  But another USA TODAY article describles a Silicon Valley hiring frenzy that "is beginning to resemble an economic Nirvana" -- the article's subtitle is "Meals, iPads used to lure workers."  (Jon Swartz, 3/30/11)  Economic reports also describe a "strengthening job market ... with smaller businesses doing the heavy lifting."  (Paul Davidson, USA today 3/30/11)

More provocatively, MetLife's  annual report on employee trends produced results that USA TODAY characterized as "Workers antsy as morale plunges ...but employers think everything is fine."  (Laura Petrecca, 3/28/11)  Surprise! Employee loyalty is low, and recruiters report an uptick in job choices, with clients more willing to negotiate offers.  But employers are blissfully unaware, as the dogs are not barking?

I'd be remiss if I did not, a la Abagail Adams, 'remember the ladies.'  Women ages 55+ face the dual challenge of age and gender in competing for those jobs that, a la Bruce Springsteen, some think 'ain't never coming back to our town.'

As I described in an earlier posting, talented, burned-out employees, of any age or gender, always have one foot out the door  -- "FOD", for short.  My advice to employers is to learn from the past and reinvest in workers.  Hiring and basic training is more expensive than rewards  and recognition.





Apolitical Veterans Advocate

Linda Schwartz -- a Vietnam-era Air Force nurse, Yale nurse educator and "disabled survivor of a 1983 midair training mishap" was recently reappointed as the Commissioner of the CT Dept of Veterans Affairs.  Her eight year tenure had a shaky start, but she jumped through a narrow window to gain much needed funds to better serve 280,000 Connecticut vets.  She advocates for vets of multiple generations, and wants her legacy to be the outreach to the women who served.  Her fans include legislators from both parties.  (Hartford Courant, 3/6/11)

My dad and brother both benefited from CT VA medical services, and my ex-helicopter pilot husand, who flew during Vietnam, may also need their help one day.  While I was the first to challenge the system when we bumped into barriers, I was always impressed with the compassion people brought to their jobs.  Walk down a hall  at the West Haven VA Hospital, and everyone says hello -- you are instantly installed into a special club.

Putting political persuasions aside, Linda Schwartz offers many leadership lessons -- fight for those you serve, don't let past practices determine the future, and make things happen.  This 65-year old woman, who is also the president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs, shines a light on Connecticut, and shows that age, gender or disability can't stop a good leader.




Something's Gotta Give

With over $900 billion in stockpiled cash, the biggest companies in the S&P 500 have a good problem -- how to spend it.  Sure, there's the tried and true -- boost dividends, buy back their own stock, or buy other companies.  But as a USA TODAYarticle states, "the moola just keeps mounting."  (01/04/11)

That's the good news -- the bad news is for the nearly 10% of workers who are unemployed:  Roughly two thirds of companies surveyed by USA TODAY and Careerbuilder say they do not plan to change the number of permanent employees in the first quarter, 2011 (USA TODAY 01/18/11)

So we have a jobless recovery to contemplate.  While affluent people are starting to feel less self-conscious about splurging on vanity items, many families are losing their homes, their hope, their happiness.

Maybe some of the creative thinking that goes into the development of  technology gadgets can be redirected towards getting people back to work.  Or companies can be acknowledged for hiring people who have been out of work for extended periods of time -- how about employer awards for patriotism on the job front?

I was astonished last July when my daughter got a decent job two months after graduating from college -- right in her own backyard.  I only wish more families could celebrate a similar experience.


Mixing Irreverence & Tradition

"If American consumers get any more casual, they're going to be wearing pajamas to work" -- Marshal Cohen, the chief industry analyst at NPD, a fashion research firm, weighed in on the new ads for a 150+ year old men's footwear company.  Johnston & Murphy have made upscale shoes since 1850 -- wingtips and tassled loafers sell for about $375.

Mr. Cohen compared their branding challenge to Cadillac's in the mid 90's -- how to capture the young market without alienating the establishment.   Johnston & Murphy's new campaign includes a contest about people's most uncomfortable moment, which is then linked with comfortable shoes.  This web-only campaign is a great example of 'talking' to the new wave of business people -- one shoe is called an XC4, to appeal to men's preference for  techie-sounding products with alpha-numeric names.  (NYT 12/23/10)

This 'not-your-father's wingtip' approach seems clever to me, and I won't be looking for the ad in the NYT style magazine.  Using interactive web-based ads creates an experience that shouts out to the future masters-of-the-universe. 

But they, too, need to watch their backs.  A recent survey shows high school students getting about 300 text messages a day.  One twenty-something sibling said he can't even understand his younger brother's jargon, as it is extremely abbreviated and does not conform to general language rules.  For the teenage set, email is way too much work, and social websites are adapting -- subject boxes are being cut, as they are rarely used.

It's probably going to be easier for a company to create a comfortable business-appropriate shoe than learn how to adapt to a generation that sees full sentences as so yesterday.



Break-Through Thinking

Knowing you are stuck in a rut is the first step to breaking out.  While our brains can get better at solving complex problems and creating novel solutions as we age, they often need a "nudge".  Intuitive leaps can spring from novel experiences as well as a good dose of comedy.

Dr. Kathleen Taylor, a professor at St. Mary's College of California, says adult learners should "jiggle their synapses a bit" by "bumping up against people and ideas" that can challenge our world views.  She suggests 'cracking the cognitive egg and scrambling it up a bit' to escape from our comfort zones.  That's when new information and insights can grow.

Jack Mezirow of Columbia Teachers  College adds to this school of thought -- he says adults can keep sharp when presented with a "disorienting dilemma" -- something that causes you to critically reflect on your acquired assumptions.  (Both from NYT Education Today - 01/03/10)

Today's special issue of Science Times (NYT 11/07/10) is devoted to puzzles and creative problem solving.  It references research that supports approaching problem solving in a positive state of mind.  Brains whose anterior cingulate cortex are strongly activated (!) are more prone to solving puzzles with sudden insight -- in one study, this 'resting state' of preparation in the brain was sharpened by watching a short video of a stand-up comedy routine by Robin Williams.  Other studies also show that positive moods are linked to better creative problem solving.

So letting the gloomy economy sour our outlook, or cause us to hang on to the tried-and-true, is likely to keep us stuck where we are.  That's a real threat for older brains with entrenched pathways -- 'cracking the cognitive egg' may be essential to staying vigorous in the workplace.