Family is Crucial for the Unemployed

The Daily Juggle, Simplified

Golf: Business Tool

Taming the Time Thieves

Chamber Seeks Young Professionals

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

These articles were prepared for the July 28, 2004 issue of U.S. 1

Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Survival Guide

Top Of Page
Family is Crucial for the Unemployed

If you haven’t been there, spare me your condolences. Unemployment is

a world all its own, separate and apart. It is not about finances,

resumes, or making the mortgage payment. Unemployment is a crisis of

rejection, where you, and your society, call your entire character

into question – every day.

"Nothing tears at the fabric of the family as being suddenly

unemployed," says Tom Brophy. He should know. In his 14 years as

supervisor of claims for the New Jersey State Unemployment Office, he

has interviewed more than 50,000 unemployed people who want to get

back to work.

He shares his observations in "The Effect of Unemployment on the

Family" on Tuesday, August 3, at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Church. There is

no cost; for directions, call 609-924-2277. The talk is presented by

JobSeekers, a non-profit employment networking and counseling group,

founded in l982 by Niels Nielsen, principal in Princeton Management


If you wander around the bronze tiger guarding the mouth of

Princeton’s Palmer Square, you will notice a small brick at the base

that memorializes "Brophy’s Shoe Store – the oldest continuous

retailer in Princeton." From 1896 to l984 a Brophy presided over the

store until the renovation of Palmer Square forced Brophy to close the

store’s doors for good. At that point, Brophy faced unemployment from

the only job he had held since graduating from New York’s Niagara

University with a business degree in l963.

Yet for him it was a swift, if not easy, step over to the state’s

unemployment office, where he has been deciding claims and training

out-of-work individuals ever since. His book, "TLC for the Unemployed

Professional," sums up his experiences and is available on his


"The trauma of having one’s job vanish is something that everybody

knows, but nobody wants to talk about," says Brophy. The unemployed

person smiles bravely to his friends, grinds out reams of resumes,

brushes and shines himself for the endless round of interviews, and

may appear busier than when he was going off to work. Yet all the

while, he is like a man at a roulette table, trying to take control of

the wheel, while not knowing how. "That’s the number one secret of all

unemployed," notes Brophy. "Through all the positive facade, they

really don’t have a clue as to what to do." And through it all, the

support of society begins to ebb away.

Career Stature. Fair or not: In most people’s eyes, you are what you

do. And what you do is your gainful employment. When a stranger at a

cocktail party asks ". . . and what do you do?" she is not inquiring

about about your hobbies or daily schedule. She wants to get at your

job – that thing that defines you and measures your worth along

society’s competitive yardstick. If you have no response, you are

nothing. She knows it, you know it, and you are dismissed.

Family support. They are your last refuge. Thus from them, the new

disrespect stabs sharpest. It comes subtly at first. Your children

seem to be giving you a bit more lip lately. They sit at the breakfast

table, all dressed for school, looking at this adult in the bathrobe,

and tacitly question, "Who’s in charge here?" Your spouse explains the

situation to them and how they have to be more careful in spending.

All the while, you are smiling bravely, sending out resumes, listening

to their excuses about you: "Jim is examining his options." No one is

fooled, least of all you.

Change the picture. All isn’t lost. Family members have more influence

than they think and can take productive steps to help an unemployed

member get back on his feet. Here are some suggestions that can work:

Don’t forget that the enemy is invisible. When a patient is

hospitalized in critical condition, the damage is evident by his

physical appearance. Unemployed people can be in critical shape, but

you can’t see the damage because their outward appearance hasn’t


Don’t make trite, shallow remarks. Perhaps a wife says: "Honey, I know

how you feel, and everything is going to work out." If she knew how he

feels, she wouldn’t say that. Try saying something that shows

unconditional support, like: "There’s no way that I can experience the

tremendous pain that you’re in, but because I love you, if there is

anything, and I mean anything, I can do to ease your pain, please let

me do it." Such loving statements may encourage the unemployed person

to begin sharing bottled-up feelings.

Use actions and body language to convey support. You may not have to

say anything. Simply convey love in the way you look at the jobless

family member. Perhaps you have a special look or way of holding hands

that says "I’m with you all the way."

Don’t expect the unemployed person to tell you much. To acknowledge

they don’t know what they’re doing is too great a leap. However,

unemployed professionals should try to sit down with the family early

on and lay their cards on the table. Help them to know what to do by

saying, "This is all new to me, and I am going to need your love and

support more than ever."

Brophy is fond of citing his man/automobile analogy. "Think of a man

as a car who needs 10 gallons of emotional gas to make it through the

week. He gets five from his job and five from home and friends." The

math is simple. The job goes, leaving you five gallons short.

Meanwhile, unemployment’s inherent pinhole leaks slowly, siphoning

away the other five gallons normally supplied by family and friends.

"A person survives on victories," says Brophy. "Unemployment is a

world of ceaseless rejection. Without some victories blended into

life, the person will die. Literally – not metaphorically." Brophy

keeps hammering home this grim vision of the culture of joblessness

because he feels alone. Whole forests have been sacrificed to those

smiley-face, how-to articles about job finding. As joblessness

explodes across our nation, articles on "How to Interview," "How to

Network," "Writing Your Resume," and "The 10 Best Job-Hunting Tips"

swamp periodicals with the frequency of weight-loss features.

But this is not the message of unemployment. Experience has taught

Brophy that no one can get a job if he does not feel good about

himself. The victories and self-esteem must first be reinstated to

make the hunting process of use. Bringing people back to strength is

Brophy’s main goal. "People’s gratitude and loyalty for just a little

advice is mind-boggling," says Brophy. It makes one realize just how

important getting back to work really is.

– Bart Jackson

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The Daily Juggle, Simplified

How many roles do you fill each day? Business person, spouse, errand

runner, parent, friend – every day each of us juggles a variety of

roles in both our business and our personal lives. "Our business and

our personal lives are becoming more and more integrated these days,"

says Grazina Crisman, a productivity coach and organizer. "When people

try to resist integration they are fighting an uphill battle that they

will eventually lose."

"Business vs. Personal Time: The Daily Juggling Act" is the topic of

the breakfast meeting hosted by NJAWBO (New Jersey Association of

Women Business Owners) on Thursday, August 5, at 8 a.m. at the

Americana Diner on Route 130 in East Windsor. Crisman facilitates the

free meeting. For reservations call Amanda Puppo at 609-448-6364.

Crisman, whose coaching business is called the Productivity Shoppe,

says that guilt is often the biggest problem people face in

integrating their business and their personal lives. "At end of day,

if I’ve accomplished a lot of small business things to the detriment

of some important personal things, I’ll feel guilty and distracted and

vice versa." The balancing act between business and personal life is

often a big problem for the growing number of people who work out of

their homes, but it is also an issue for anyone who works long hours

and commutes, which, in this area, is just about everyone.

"Not everyone works at home, but everyone still has doctors’

appointments and other personal errands that have to take place during

the day. We can’t be expected to only take care of certain types of

things between noon and 1 p.m.," says Crisman. "All of it is

important, and unless you work on a production line, you are going to

integrate it."

Most good business managers understand the need for their employees to

have a personal life. "It all takes time and if a person is

productive, a good manager will understand," says Crisman.

As a productivity coach, Crisman works with individuals, small groups,

and companies to do whatever it takes for them to have a more

productive day. "I help them organize their time and organize their

files," she says. "If I’m working with a team I teach them to support

one another to increase their productivity."

Crisman holds an MBA in operations research and began her business

after spending more than 20 years in management for a variety of

companies, including several high tech companies. "After the third

high tech company I worked for was bought out, I wanted to do

something on my own," she explains. "I’ve always enjoyed organizing

things, but I didn’t see how that could translate into a business." On

the Internet she came across the National Association of Professional

Organizers and went to a meeting in Philadelphia. Her reaction: "I

found my people!"

Crisman has several tips to help business people become better


Combine your calendar. One of the quickest ways to organize both your

personal and professional lives is to keep only one calendar. "A lot

of people have one for the office and one for home. This is

confusing," Crisman says. "Figure out a system that works for you,

maybe keep part of a page for work and part for home, but keep it all

on one page. That way it is a lot harder to kid yourself about exactly

what it is you have to do."

Focus on what you are doing. What you are doing at any given time will

be done better if it receives your full attention. One good way to do

this, Crisman says, is to create blocks of time for various

activities, instead of constantly shifting from one thing to another.

"If you are making phone calls, do several at a time, then move on to

something else," she suggests.

Create a space to work. Uncluttered work space will help you focus on

your job. This is particularly important if you work at home, says

Crisman. "It is very rude to have dogs barking and babies crying in

the background when you are making a conference call. The first time

your child interrupts you during business is cute, but it is never

cute again."

If you work at home, be professional. This is particularly important,

Crisman says, if the rest of your team works out of an office. "The

way to get people to accept that you work at home is to be

professional. Make believe you are in the office next door. Never be

late. People don’t care where you work from if the work gets done."

Create a routine. If you work at home a routine is even more important

than it is if you work in an office building. "Some people get up at

whatever their regular time used to be. Then, instead of commuting,

they use that time to read the paper or exercise or do something for

themselves." That’s fine, in fact it is an important health and morale

booster. But no matter what time you decide to sit down at your desk,

keep it consistent. Be at your desk at a regular time everyday.

"That doesn’t mean you can’t stop and throw in a load of laundry. But,

don’t get into bad habits like turning on the boob tube for the news

at noon and sticking around to watch a movie," says Crisman. "That’s

the kiss of death."

Business is still business. "The more integrated your life is the more

painstaking you must be about giving the right business perception,"

Crisman advises. For example, don’t bring your children along when you

are going to meet a business prospect.

Finally, says Crisman, we must all learn to think through our lives

and find out where each part of it fits in. Everyone has his own

formula for making the many parts of life fit together and everyone

needs to blend and integrate those parts. "Don’t resist it and don’t

feel guilty about it," says Crisman. "Instead, think through what

blending means to you."

– Karen Miller

Top Of Page
Golf: Business Tool

Whether you own your own business, or you’re in management in a

corporation; if you’re a man or a woman; if you’re networking,

cultivating a new client, or nurturing a connection with an existing

one, a great way to do it is on the golf course. Not just for doctors

on their day off anymore, the game has become such an important

networking tool that without it you’re likely to miss out on some

golden business opportunities.

But it’s never too late to learn. Joe Caggiano, director of golf

instruction for Hamilton Golf Center, is seeing more and more adult

beginners. "Golf is a networking tool, without a doubt. You go out for

four hours or so with a client – they get to know you, you get to know

them – it’s a great setting to conduct business."

Caggiano will be helping beginners get ready for the green by teaching

the art and etiquette of golf in "Intro to Golf" at Mercer County

Community College, in four consecutive sessions on Thursday evenings

at 5:30 p.m. or Saturday mornings at 11 a.m., Thursday, August 5,

through Saturday, August 28. Cost: $150. Call 609-586-9446.

Originally from the Bronx, Caggiano started out as a stock trader "on

the New York and American stock exchanges; it was a ball. Almost like

a game," he says. He’d been an avid golfer, and experienced the

benefits of golf as a business skill, but he didn’t think that it was

in the cards as his profession. However, when a car accident sidelined

him, he began studying techniques to get stronger. He started teaching

friends what he was learning and found it more fun than his job on the

Exchange. "When it stops being fun, you get out. I retired from the

floor in 1990." Currently living in East Windsor ("We moved to New

Jersey for better family surroundings and a better way of life for our

kids") Caggiano now finds himself teaching people he might have met on

the floor years ago.

"A large majority of the people learning golf now see their companies

holding golf outings, and they don’t want to be sidelined," he says.

And if they’re in sales, Caggiano says, golf is almost a necessity.

It’s a more relaxed way to build relationships than the standard

meeting or networking function.

Golf is also a great place to learn about the people you’re playing

with. "If you’re out with someone and they’re always cheating, what do

you think they’ll be like in business?" True, Caggiano says, "When

you’re playing you’re trying to beat each other. But when you’re done

you shake hands and respect each other’s effort." It’s also a self

regulated game "there’s no umpire calling a foul," he points out, "so

there’s personal responsibility involved."

With the MCCC "Intro to Golf" course "we’re not looking to put them on

tour," Caggiano says, but participants will "get the basics. Golf

isn’t learned in a week or a month or even a year." But, he promises,

if you learn the basics, you won’t be intimidated by the game and

you’ll be able to join in the 18-hole networking. And, he says,

"You’ll be able to have fun – our program stresses fun." Golf,

Caggiano says, can be enjoyable even if you’re not really good at it.

"You go out and play and do the best you can." Perfectionists, he

says, will learn quickly that they will not master the game overnight.

Caggiano knows from experience "you could play a lifetime and there

will still be something to learn."

If you want to play, you need to have some basic skills, as well as

some inside scoops on golfing etiquette under your belt. Caggiano

offers these points to know before you go:

Dress. "It’s hard to enforce dress at public courses; most private

clubs enforce a dress code, but I would never play in a un-collared

shirt, un-tucked, or in shorts," Caggiano says. "You should look neat

and clean."

Be early. "Most people start work at 8:30 or 9 a.m., but if they don’t

want to be rushed, they arrive early," says Caggiano. Same goes for

the golf course. "Don’t be in a rush. Give yourself enough time to

check in. A half hour to 45 minutes is good."

Be prepared. Some golf courses rent golf clubs, some don’t. "Know in

advance if you need to bring your own." Bring lots of extra balls,

too. You don’t want to find yourself on the fifth hole with all five

of your balls gone missing in water hazards, woods, or thigh-high


Keep up the pace. "If you’re playing at a slow pace and people are

moving quickly around you, let them play through," Caggiano says. This

will eliminate the stress on your group. However, he notes that with

the abundance of people on the courses these days, you may have to

adjust the game. "If you can’t see the group in front of you, and the

group behind you is always waiting, pick up the ball, bring it on the

green and play from there. Or you may have to skip a hole or two."

Mix it up. In a group consisting of players of varying skills, try a

"scramble," where "everybody hits the ball, and you go to the person

whose ball is in the best position and play from there. That way all

of the pressure is taken off of performing."

Prizes. Lots of company tournaments and charity golf outings include

prizes. "If you win something that has a value of more than $500, make

sure that you’re not going to lose your amateur status," Caggiano

warns. Someone at the outing can tell you this, or, Caggiano says,

check with the United States Golf Association. By accepting a prize,

you’ll be considered a "pro" and in the future when you play, your

score can’t count.

If you try to slip it by, your team can be disqualified. However, if

you don’t care about tournaments, by all means, Caggiano says, take

the prize. "I knew a woman who hadn’t been playing for very long, but

she hit a hole in one, and she won a new car," he says of one golfer

who didn’t think twice about giving up her amateur standing. The pro

status doesn’t last forever, so check with the USGA for more

information about that, says Caggiano.

Above all, have fun – "Do the best you can, but make sure it’s fun,"

Caggiano says. "If you’re out there and you don’t like it, why do it?"

Then again, Caggiano finds it hard to believe that people won’t.

"What’s not to like? You’re outside, you’re playing golf! As the old

saying goes: A bad day on the golf course is better than a day at


Perhaps combining the two is the next best thing. – Deb


Top Of Page
Taming the Time Thieves

How do you deal with the little things that interfere with your work?

Joanne White calls them "time and power snatchers." A professor of

education at Temple University, she teaches busy people to find out

what zaps their power and energy and how to better deal with the

distractions of daily life.

"Many people think that telephone calls or interruptions from

co-workers are what take away from their time and power," White says,

"but in reality, we need to think more about what is really meaningful

to us."

"Getting Rid of Time and Power Snatchers" is the title of a seminar

White gives on Wednesday, August 5, at 9 a.m. at the Enterprise Center

on the Mt. Laurel Campus of Burlington County College. Cost: $135.

Call 609-877-4520, ext. 3021.

A teacher, speaker, author, and therapist, White lives in Cherry Hill.

She received both her master’s and Ph.D. from Temple University. Her

website,, offers advice and insight into a

variety of topics, from parenting to self-improvement, to dealing with

job and life changes and stress. Her work, she says, "helps people get

to a place of personal satisfaction and growth."

White says that she sees herself as a catalyst for change. "I truly

believe that every person has everything he or she needs inside of

them to live a more satisfying, successful and balanced life," she

says. A key to doing so is to "take a look at identifying what in life

detracts from their time and personal power."

We all realize that time is a limited resource but many people, White

says, lose concentration and worry about the small "time snatchers,"

while losing sight of more important things. "Everyone needs to think

about how they structure their time," she says. "Making lists and

other time management skills are important, but most of us still seem

to find ourselves in a crunch for more time. We really need to figure

out what is truly meaningful in life. We tend to do what is urgent,

rather than what is important."

For example, many people get bogged down in the chores of everyday

life, taking care of their business and family, while forgetting that

taking care of their bodies, which should be a top priority. "A person

might say, ‘I need to be physically active and I need to take care of

my kids,’" says White, who suggests trying to find an activity that

can be shared with children and that takes care of both needs. This,

she says, is efficiently using both time and energy.

"We talk about time, when what we are really talking about is energy,

the ability to use our time more effectively by looking at what gives

us both energy and vitality in all facets of our lives," White says.

"What gives value to our lives: some things are emotional, some are

physical, some are spiritual."

What drains our power, she adds, is the way in which we react to

things and our thought processes. "We often see power snatchers as

things that are external, but in reality they’re often what we do to

ourselves: indecision, worry, distraction, moving too quickly from

this thing to that thing. And what interferes with our power

interferes with time."

White calls her method of looking at time management a new paradigm.

"The old model, she says, "was about managing time. I look at it

differently. It is not just about managing time, but about taking a

personal leadership approach to life."

She asks people to identify what is important in the workplace and in

their personal lives. "Take a look at your core values: honesty,

integrity, family. It is about recognizing what values are important

to you. Ask what your partner’s values are, your co-workers’ values,

your family’s values. If those values aren’t present in your job, you

don’t change jobs. You build what is worthwhile into your current

job," she explains.

White suggests several ways in which people can bring her philosophy

into their lives.

Think about your decisions. "Fill your life with balance. Fill your

life with what is important to you," she says. "When you take life

back to what is really meaningful to you, you feel in charge of your

decisions and your actions."

Create blocks of time. Don’t ignore the things in life that are

meaningful to you. By creating special blocks of time for those

activities, says White, you will increase your energy. If you feel you

can’t find time for everything you need or want to do, try tracking

your time for several days to see exactly how you are spending it.

Then it will be easier to find ways to rearrange your schedule to fit

in those special activities.

Time is not the culprit. "Remember," says White, "that you have

control over how you choose to spend your time. If our values are in

sync with how we live our lives and how we spend time our time, we

will have a sense of accomplishment and joy."

– Karen Miller

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Chamber Seeks Young Professionals

Young Professionals of Middlesex County (YP), part of the Middlesex

County Regional Chamber of Commerce (MCRCC), has sent out a call for

new members and announced its summer event series.

"Networking can sometimes be daunting for professionals who are

relatively new to the workforce. We want to create a relaxed

atmosphere where young professionals and entrepreneurs can discuss

issues that directly impact them," Mike Loftus of Snelling Personnel,

co-founder and co-chairperson of the group, said in a prepared

statement. The mission of YP is to connect young professionals to each

other and to the community through social, civic and charitable

endeavors. At the events, young professionals can make new business

contacts in a friendly, social environment.

The program is the first of its kind offered by MCRCC. Co-chairs

Loftus, Kristen Farrar of Mendlowitz Weitsen, LLP, and Raj Narayanan

of Emerald Financial Resources approached Chamber president,

Christopher Phelan, about the possibility of launching a young

professionals group. "Chris shared our enthusiasm and provided us with

the support needed to launch the program," said Narayanan, "YP helps

us to further enhance our professional development and introduce a new

member community to the Chamber."

"We encourage young professionals to bring colleagues and friends, as

this is shaping up to be an exciting event," says Farrar, who is also

the recent recipient of MCRCC’s Women in Business Award. A late summer

trip to a Somerset Patriots game is also planned. Says Farrar, "We

wish to offer a variety of activities, so young professionals with all

different types of interests will get involved."

To register for the upcoming events or join YP, visit or

call 732-821-1700.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

Northwestern Mutual Financial Network Savino Financial Group of

Princeton has donated funds for an interview room in Rider

University’s Career Services Center. Joseph M. Savino, the managing

partner, is a long-time member of Rider’s College of Business

Administration Business Advisory Board.

Petco Animal Supplies Inc. is sponsoring a Round-Up/Spay Today

Fundraiser from July 25 to August 15. Funds raised by customers who

"round-up" their purchases to the nearest dollar will be donated to

the Petco Foundation, which supports animal welfare groups.

Corrections or additions?

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