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 NewslettersAugust 2007

"Human Credentials™"

They're heeeeere . . . the lazy, hazy dog days of summer. I hope wherever you are, the weather is treating you kindly!

I'm back from Chicago. My speech was a big success and the train ride was just the mini vacation I needed! I'm ready to get back into the thick of things!

Are you a caregiver ready to get back into the thick of work? As the demands of caregiving intensified, did you have to put your career on hold, reduce your work hours, turn down promotions, or quit your job all together? As you reenter the workforce and/or refocus on your career, are you finding that, unless people have been through similar experiences, they have no clue what you have been through or how much added value you now bring? Do you know how much value you bring?

Sadly, these are issues with which many caregivers struggle. That's why this month I'm so delighted to present an interview with Jean Callaci, a career development specialist and principle of the JM Group ( Known for her straight forward manner, Jean uses a distinctly personal and holistic approach to bring out the best in individuals. Jean will share with us what she calls "human credentials" and tell us how to use them to increase our value and bolster confidence. By the way, this information is really valuable for non-caregivers too!

Enjoy your August and I'll "see" you in September!


ARTICLE: Interview with Jean Callaci about Human Credentials™

BEF> What are "Human Credentials" and why are they so important for caregivers re-entering the workplace or getting back onto the fast lane?

JC> In its simplest terms, human credentials are each person's own, unique life experiences. What makes them so important for caregivers reentering the workplace or getting back onto the fast track is when we reengage, we have something others don't have - the human credentials gained from our caregiving experience. Appreciating our own human credentials improves our confidence in both our work and personal life. When used properly, they help us lead the way for those around us, including our bosses, who may only recognize degrees and certificates.

BEF> Give me an example.

JC> Human credentials can be anything from the trials and triumphs of renovating a home, coaching your kid's Little League, planning and carrying out an anniversary party, or as it relates to your readers, dealing with doctors, lawyers - even their aging loved ones.

For example, when I was a kid, I held the school bully in a headlock until he promised to stop picking on the little kids. After getting detention, I realized I had to find a better way. I learned how to be a shrewd strategist so I could be an effective advocate for the little kids and stay out of trouble! The key is to tap into your human credentials, integrate them into your life and leverage them in a productive way.

BEF> What is the biggest problem people have regarding their own human credentials?

JC> The biggest problem is most people don't value their human credentials. They go about their lives, doing what they do without realizing how amazing they are and the value of all they do. For example, when we successfully deal with our aging loved one's doctors and lawyers - it's not because we lucked into success. It's because we unconsciously tapped into the human credentials we earned earlier in our lives. It's critical each one of us values who we are and what we do; as a result others will value us too. We will have to show them the way, but it starts with us.

BEF> What are the steps to effectively using human credentials?


  1. Make a list of experiences that stand out (those are your human credentials); go as far back as you can; they're all telling. Making this list is a confidence builder in itself.
  2. Think about what you want - whether it's a raise, a management position, or whatever - and identify how your experiences qualify you.
  3. Connect the dots - While the connection may be obvious to you, you will probably have to make the connection obvious to others. For example, you'll have to describe how what you learned from dealing with you aging loved one directly relates to dealing with a difficult employee or participating in difficult negotiations. Or how the human credentials you gained from coordinating your aging loved one's care directly relates to managing a team.
  4. Go back to your list when you feel the doubts rising (and they will rise), when you start feeling less confident, see yourself using less powerful body language or hear yourself using less powerful words. Checking that list reconnects you with your power.
  5. Harness your emotions and use them to your advantage. For example, you're readers are bound to feel angry during reentry, especially when those around them "don't get it". They may resent having to connect the dots. Rather that put anyone in a headlock, I recommend they re-channel that anger, use what's been learned through the caregiving experience, exercise those credentials and parlay both the anger and the credentials into something productive and personally beneficial.

JC> If I had to sum it up; I would say: regardless what you've been through or are going through, when you begin to get bogged down by the difficulties, especially when they erode your confidence, take a moment to step back and take in the gift that is you, believe it, live it, spell it out to others.

Upcoming Seminars

For lots more information about this and many other important eldercare issues, attend an AgeWiseLiving seminar. For upcoming dates and locations, please go to Seminars.



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