Lifestyle Recipe for Success

Recipe for Success

By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC


With Thanksgiving right around the corner, my mind is pulled to reflect on those special family times that remind me of home, my loving family, and the many strong lessons I learned that I see so clearly now.


Food has always been a big part of my heritage. I especially remember spending time with my grandmother during the holidays, watching her make homemade ravioli, special braided breads, and sauce she made from scratch. She would cook the latter for hours to make sure all the seasonings blended together and the sauce was the proper consistency.


Though I never much cared for some of the holiday dishes, such as baccalà pasta, which is made from dried and salted cod, my grandmother insisted it was an important tradition to help us appreciate the “food aplenty” we had. Such traditions brought all of our family together, and from them I learned about togetherness, being grateful for what we have, working hard to give back to others, and appreciating relationships. These memories have become very dear to me, and I consider those lessons to be recipes for success. Each has produced personal and professional growth in my life with far-reaching applications.


My grandmother never wrote any of her recipes down or used a cookbook. She would go with what felt right in the moment. Similarly, the methods, or recipes, for life and the work world we’ve used in the past may no longer apply. These days, we have to lean more into how we feel and give our best effort to have the successful outcomes we desire.


Today, I give thanks for the past lessons that have given me important ingredients to add to my own recipe for success in my personal and professional life. I am grateful for the “food for the soul” my family provided, and I know these past experiences have given me a full and rich life. These lessons provide far-reaching tips for our personal and professional happiness:


Recipe for Success

A targeted approach to what you want

5 cups positive mindset

2 lbs. research

A calling card, or résumé, that fits the algorithms companies use to screen prospects

An outline of your transferrable skills

Online courses, sliced and diced as appropriate

Mentors, coaches, and/or networking contacts, simmered so as not to burn

A pinch of sugar

A heaping tablespoon of gratitude


In a pot, combine the first four ingredients. Together, these will provide the base that will help you find positions you might be interested in and complete job applications. Define what you want to achieve so you know what to look for. Keep a positive mindset so you don’t lose hope. Research what options are available, even if they may not be in a familiar field. Refine your calling card so company representatives will recognize when you’re a good fit.


Add in the next three ingredients to prepare for an interview. Review your existing skill set to see how it might translate into new positions. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take online courses on unfamiliar subjects. Reach out to mentors, coaches, or other network contacts to help you with mock interviews or to put in a good word for you with the companies to which you are applying.


Sprinkle in a pinch of sugar to counteract the bitterness of recent years. And don’t take the pot off the stove until you’ve added in gratitude by way of a thank-you email to the hiring authority within 24 hours of the interview.


If you receive a rejection letter or a negative comment about what you could have or should have done better, respond in a positive manner. Don’t let it ruin your day or your job search. Look for ways to use your gifts and talents to give to the world. You never know what the universe might provide in return.


Finally, remember that there is no tried-and-true method that fits every situation. As you stand in whatever virtual kitchen you find yourself in now, see what feels right for your current circumstances. Take a closer look at what dishes you once didn’t care for that might be adapted with a tweak of ingredients. Might they make your recipe for success in work and life simply delicious?


Mary Ann Faremouth 

Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze,  Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (

Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business.  Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.

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