Monday, February 21, 2011


It seems like our winners are getting ready to interview or already have.  Here are a few things to think about when putting together your outfit for an interview.


1.  Nothing too colorful or patterned
2.  Moderate looking shoes, no open toe sandals or heels that are really high
3.  Limited jewelry
4.  Neat hairstyle
5.  Sparse make-up
6.  Manicured nails - short and neutral is best
7.  Nice accessories - good watch, handbag, briefcase, belt
8.  Long sleeves are better than sleeveless
9.  Suits or a tailored jacket or sweater
10.  Everything in top condition


1.  Too many colors
2.  Bright colors
3.  Trendy items
4.  Outdated items
5.  Ill-fitting pieces
6.  Dirty or torn pieces
7.  Jewelry that gets in your way - long earrings, bracelets that jangle
8.  Look like you are going to an office not a party
9. Nothing too bare, don't show too much skin or cleavage

Good luck.

Updates on Fitness for All Three Women

This is Andrew Duffy, signing in. 

First off, Congrats to EVA!  Eva is our first success story, having landed not only interviews but a lovely job at a Marriott hotel in Oakland. 

Eva has lost almost ten pounds in just over a month.  With all the time she's been spending working that used to be free, she's had to adjust to her schedule to incorporate exercise. 

This week, Eva and I set new goals for exercise to accommodate her busier schedule: workout twice during the week, and twice on the weekends.

Her diet has been consistently good, which is why she continues to lose weight.  Eva is able to manage her portions well, especially when she's in situations where she can't control the content of the food she's having.  That skill alone is worth so much not only for weight loss but also for overall health.  So Eva is doing well. 

Pam is ALSO doing well.  Despite hamstring concerns that she had coming into the makeover, Pam is moving forward with her overall strength and balance.  Some of the balance exercises proved challenging for Pam at first, but she is making progress and becoming more aware of her already capable body.   Most recently, we spent some time outdoors working on some lateral running movements that would de-emphasize her hamstrings.  Here are some examples of what we did:

The Grapevine (carioca)
Side Shuffle

We also incorporated some PNF stretching (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) to help strengthen her right hamstring, which Pam felt helped her.  I'm looking forward to more of the PNF stretching next time!

Marilyn also continues to lose weight, despite a busy private schedule and a week of what she called "not so good with food". 

At her son's diabetes "camp" weekend, she stayed active with her son through sports and a variety of activities.  Past major injuries are always a concern when I work with Marilyn - we want to avoid aggravating anything.  I'm always cautious, but Marilyn is so ambitious and ready to progress to new and challenging things.  She's all about getting healthier!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Eva Shinn's Update

Wow  . . . last week was a whirl wind!  My week started out just like any other . . . with the very long mental list of things to do; maintaining my household inside and out, job hunting, my workouts, apartment/storage research, EDD workshops, and helping a cousin with her ill mother.  Sometimes life seems so very overwhelming, and hopeless. 

My meeting with Andrew Duffy this week focused on being committed to myself.  He has helped me to realize that no matter what is going on in my life, I need to fit in at least 45 minutes of exercise and stretches, four days a week and that by doing so, it will help me both physically and mentally (relieving stress).  Andrew made some additional suggestions to help me find time in my day to do my stretches and encouraged me to keep up the good work.  The eight pound weight loss is feeling great!
Working with Cynthia Fassler we also discovered I was very overwhelmed with the process of finding a job and we discussed ways to improve on making time during my busy days to focus on the job searching and rewriting my resume so that it better represented me.  At Cynthia’s suggestions, I cleaned up my resume, rearranged it to flow better, and added some very key information that would “pop” when read by a potential employer.  We also did some role playing and discussed ways to improve my interviews; asking myself some of the questions that would be asked of me and practicing with my responses. 
Then there’s the issue of my overall self-esteem. Russel Thompson and Tania Aragon with the Carmichael Salon have worked with me by changing my hair style to better frame my face and have added highlights and color to compliment my overall look; Tania helped me by showing me different ways to work with my hair and to see that all I needed to do is give it a bit more effort and my hair could look really great!   
Well, with all that said, I am very happy to announce that I have accepted a job offer!  I began my job over a week ago and am so very excited to be back to work.  As you can read in the previous posting, Cynthia was very instrumental in guiding me with the process of finding a job.  Her years of experience and knowledge in pursuing a job, helped me to organize my job search so that I could be more efficient and productive in looking instead of feeling frazzled and frustrated.  When you are competing with hundreds of potential applicants, being prepared and doing your research is very important.   
Winning this makeover has been a wonderful experience; working with Andrew, Russel and Cynthia has been so rewarding.  We have been given the tools to work with by all and it has been a fun and exciting experience, but it didn’t come without being committed and getting through a little homework with each visit.  Having wonderful professionals to stand by us, cheer us on and see the potential in each and every one of us has given us the strength to stand on our feet and to push forward.  

A simple “thank you” in my eyes is not enough to express the gratitude I have in my heart for making this possible. I look forward to completing this journey and meeting with the rest of the ORC team to complete my makeover.    

Eva's Job Hunting Plan

Eva has not worked a full time regular position since 2002. She has worked seasonal retail and part time accounting and administrative jobs to keep her going.  She realized that it was time for her to fully re-enter the work force after a family tragedy. When she started the process, she realized that looking for a job is a full time job in and of itself. She needed to plan out her strategy.

Eva sat down and started working with Cindy Fassler of TSS Total Staffing Solutions on her plan of attack.

It all starts with…..

1) Review your skills and assess your core strengths. Compile your core strengths list

2) Write at least 3 compelling resumes with 3 separate career objectives.

3) Set up your Job Hunting Journal.

4) Create your Job Seeking Plan

For Eva, she wanted to work in hospitality. She was doing her job search mostly at home on the internet. Eva would have multiple distractions with her kids calling and coming home while she was searching and responding to job postings.

To help her in her search, Cindy suggested that Eva set up the following 4 day a week job seeking plan. 

First thing every day of the plan is to eat a healthy breakfast and to get dressed in a nice pair of slacks and a shirt and to put on makeup. Don’t start your search in your sweats or jeans. You need to feel good about yourself.


- From home, research the companies that you are interested in working for. Go directly to their website to see if they have any openings.
- Check the posting boards.

- Go to the nearest library or coffee shop and write your cover letter, tailored to the posting you are responding too.
- Select 2 to 3 of the companies that you have researched that have openings on their Web site.
- Set up your drop offs geographically for your Tuesday morning personal resume drop offs.
- Finish your computer work; responding to online postings, printing any ads you responded to place in your journal.

- Prepare yourself for your personal resume drop offs.

Once that is done, head home and enjoys time with your family.


-Dress in interview attire
-Prepare for your personal resume drop off by putting your personal cover sheet and resume into an envelope arranged geographically
-Conduct your drop off between 9:30 and 11:00
- Head to the library and research new companies that you may not have thought of within your target industry.

- Follow up with a phone call or email on the resumes that you sent out last week.
Wednesday is just like Monday. Follow the same plan of attack only with new target companies.


-Dress in interview attire
-Prepare for your personal resume drop off by putting your personal cover sheet and resume into an envelope arranged geographically.
- Send personal notes regarding the resumes that were dropped off on Tuesday.

- Respond to any new job postings via email.

The goal here is to get out from behind the computer, by mixing up your job search with personal drop offs you stay engaged in your search.

You’re meeting new people

Remember to record all jobs you have responded to as well as personally dropped off your resume into your “Job Hunting Journal”. Also, note down the specific postings sites that you found the job listing on.

Once you’re invited in for an interview, be sure you do thorough research on the company and prepare your list of interviewing questions to bring with you to the physical interview. Be sure that you dress appropriately according to the industry. Print out and bring multiple copies of your resume. Make sure that they are not folded and on nice paper. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Marilyn Chelini

Greeting! My name is Sandy Hinojosa and I am a stylist at Carmichael Salon. I recently had the privilege of working with Marilyn Chelini on updating her hairstyle.

When I first met her, I was most impressed with her tenacious spirit and love of life. I knew exactly what I wanted to do! But I also wanted to hear her ideas and challenges about her hair. We agreed to bring up the length to just below the shoulders and lighten up her layers. This would create softness and movement on Marilyn's thick, wavy hair. We also wanted to grow her fringe into a sexy, side swept style. So I trimmed the fringe and removed some of the bulk in the front.

The first thing I did was to give Marilyn a mask at the shampoo bowl. I used Two Boys and A Girl Intensive Treatment Hair Mask which gave her hair resilience and shine while inparting strength. She also took this product home, along with a shampoo and conditioner that would allow her to continue the regime of strengthening her hair.

During the cut, we talked about about her challenges with styling. She said she wanted to recreate what I did.  I explained part of achieving and maintaining a great style was a good product and a great blow out. I used Redken's Align 12.  One of my favorite blow out lotions! It helps protect and adds smoothness to wavy texture. Perfect for her!

Marilyn's blow dry lesson. After drying 3/4 of her hair, I had Marilyn dry one side of her hair. As I watched, I coached her on the proper way to style and blow dry. When we were all done, I put on the finishing touches with Redken's Fashionworks 12, a versatile working spray and finisher. All our hard work paid off. Marliyn looked and felt fabulous! Plus...she could do this herself at home.

Marilyn's homework. I wanted her to practice styling her hair so that she could recreate this style for job interviews and special occasions.

I'm happy to say she came in a few weeks ago with nicely styled hair! She got an A+!

Good job Marilyn! :)

Pamela's Day of Beauty

Hello everyone, this is Tania Aragon, one of the stylists at Carmichael Salon, and I've been working with Pamela Mulvey. During our first consultation I discovered that she is very easy going and is a free spirit, and with that information I wanted to match her hair to her personality.

First, I started with her haircut, keeping the length and spicing up the layers, framing her face just right and then giving her some fringe which looks amazing on her. I also gave her some new styling tips so she can look professional for the business world, or "edgy" when she wants to go out for a night on the town.

When coloring Pamela's hair I deepened her all over color, giving it more tone and shine. I then gave her some subtle highlights, framing and complimented her face and her new haircut.

And to help give her eyes a further glow, I shaped and tinted her eyebrows. Beautiful!

I had so much fun working with Pamela and giving her a refreshing new look to help relauch her career, and look forward to seeing her again soon.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pam's job search

Hi Everyone.

It's Pam with an update on my progress with Operation Relaunch Career. Since my meeting with Cynthia Fassler, I have spent the majority of my scheduled career search time honing my resume. When I emailed a copy to Cindy, she informed me that the formatting was pretty off (it made her eyes hurt!). Maybe this is at the root of why I haven't gotten any call backs for interviews. I'd been using text edit and I needed more word processing power so I downloaded some free software and resubmitted my resume to her, hopefully I am up to speed on this now! I have to laugh at myself for this one, but it really does demonstrate how critical feedback from others in the work force can be, especially seasoned professionals who know the competitive market.

I'm realizing that I need to improve how I present my self professionally on many levels (not something I spent a lot of time thinking about in my former life as a stay-at-home mom). Cindy is very helpful in this regard, and will coach me in preparation for interviews, etc.

I spoke with Andrew Duffy on the phone, regarding my workouts and we are going to focus on adding more cardio and cross-training next session. Getting the heart rate up and the endorphins flowing sounds great, and I intend to take advantage of the longer days as spring approaches.

As far as keeping to the schedule, honestly, I'd give myself a B-, and that's primarily because I had a task to do (ie - working on the resume), which I'm better at, than forcing myself to do the hard stuff, like cold calling people and dropping off resumes. Breaking my schedule down into smaller manageable units, setting smaller daily/weekly goals, and following daily to do lists is the next step.

So far, my experience with this Operation Relaunch Career makeover is different from the typical makeover one sees on TV, where there's this big "Ta-da" moment and voila the makeover contestant is exquisitely transformed. For me, it's a more subtle process.

Sure, changing things on the outside does add to one's confidence, but I'm noticing my confidence is growing more from the inside. It's amazing how the generous guidance of others we respect, who hold us accountable, can push us to accomplish more than we would on our own.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Week Three with Eva Shinn

I can’t believe it has been three weeks now working with the Operation Relaunch Career team.  My hair is looking great, my confidence level is building, and my pants are starting to feel a bit loose!  
I met with Russel Thompson of the Carmichael Salon, to have some color treatments added to my hair and I have to say . . . . I LOVE IT!  Russel took great care in making sure that it turned out exactly as we had discussed and I was very impressed by the way he knew exactly how to achieve this.  He is a true master when it comes to hair color.  After processing, Tania Aragon worked her magic once again and had me looking great by the time I left. 
Wednesday, I met with Andrew Duffy, reviewed my diet, discussed areas to improve on and worked through my assigned stretches from the previous week to ensure that I was doing them correctly.   I did not lose much weight this week,  but instead gained some stamina as I mixed up my walking routine with some jogging along with some core strengthening exercises and stretches. 

It was a very exhausting week, but well worth it.  I continue to work on self discipline and budgeting time to get my workouts in each and every day.   Having battled my weight most of my life I am determined to find some inner strength and energy to do this for me to improve on my overall self image.  After loosing 6 ½ pounds,  which at first didn’t seem like much until Russel compared it to a bag of dog food, I find myself standing taller and feeling more confident in my skin. 

Marilyn's 3rd week by MEC

Hi, Marilyn here. I will be turning 52 on Super Bowl Sunday - woooo hooo!!! I still think I'm 35 and can do anything. Working with Andrew has shown me I can get there (maybe not 35 but not 52!!!) again. I am so used to doing what ever I wanted, but I had let injuries and other life's challenges get the best of me. No More, I degree!!

My youngest son just turned 9. I am a "Football Mom." Maybe I'll never have the flexibility I had as a gymnast, but I can have a stronger core. After having 4 kids by c-section, my abs still have muscle under to excess flab. I am determined to get back to health, despite parts of my body ( chronic arthritis in my hands ) saying "nay." I really FEEL much younger and that is where I am most comfortable.

Thank you Andrew and the entire Operation Relaunch Career Team. I'm doing this for ME!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Marilyn's Fitness Progress, Week 3

This is Andrew Duffy, signing in. 

This week's personal training session with Marilyn started emotional and finished strong.  Marilyn is a strong woman and often has a sassy attitude.  She has acknowledged that she wants to be more fit and lose some weight.  (Flashback to a previous blog entry: our goal weight loss is twenty to twenty-five pounds). But today, we tapped into the stream of emotions related to her body image that revealed a deeper discontent and concern for her health and well-being. 

Early in the session, Marilyn woefully compared her lack of fitness now to her hay day years ago.  She was a gymnast, and her metabolism was high.  She had a physical foundation and youth working for her.  Her recent injuries and physical obstacles have stifled her confidence about her body and physical abilities.

As she wiped the mascara away from her tearing eyes, I reassured her that positive change is coming. I thought, even though she's sustained some tough major injuries and surgeries in the last few years, even though she was sick and inactive last week, even though she's not at her goal...she's already lost close to five pounds.  
I just have to make sure that she sees what I see: that the effort she's putting in is already paying dividends, and her goal is achievable within months!  

Marilyn and I resumed training after an emotional start, and she jumped into it full force.  One of Marilyn's strength is her upper body ability.  One of her weaknesses is core strength and lower back posture.  So, after working on her strength, we worked on her core stability and posture with a plank.

With audio to help educate on her movement, here's a video on how to properly perform a plank, starring Marilyn:

She aced it, and we finished the session strong.

Andrew, Over and out.