Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category
New Year, New Job: Possibility In Every Direction
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
As a forty-something myself, I know plenty of people who have led successful careers only to find themselves yearning to try something new, to do something completely different than anything they have ever endeavored before. Be it a new industry or line of business, or even starting a business, there’s no time like the present to pursue your passion.
This is a very personal topic for me as I am living proof that it’s possible. In 2008, after a successful 20-year career in corporate marketing, I stepped out of my comfort zone to start my own business. And it seems that my husband has been bitten by a similar bug. He’s decided to hit the pause button his his technology career and open a commercial brewery.
David and I were both casualties of corporate reorganizations, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to wait for a pink slip to pursue your passion! What better time than the start of a shiny New Year to chase down your dreams? For more inspiration, check out this article on Oprah.com entitled, “The Art of the Detour: See Possibility Around Every Bend.” In it you’ll find practical tips on how to keep setbacks in perspective and remain open to possibility.
PS. If you were downsized or rightsized or otherwise ousted, you might want to read “6 Things To Do When The Axe Falls” in the MarketMyCareer.com library.
A Different Way To Find A Job – And It Works!
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
Anyone who has ever looked for a job knows how frustrating the process can be. However, most would agree that the most exasperating aspect is the “black hole” your resume seems to disappear into once you’ve applied to a position online.
My friend Kristin Vadas, Senior Strategic Project Manager of Carlson Wagonlit Travel felt the same way. After three months of applying to jobs that she was qualified for, she came to the conclusion that her resume was easily overlooked among the thousands of other submissions.
Trying a new approach, she emailed around 200 friends and former colleagues that knew of her experience, could speak to her qualifications, and would vouch for her work ethic. In just one week she had not one – not two – but FOUR promising prospects! One of those led to her current job, where she’s been happily employed for the past two and a half years. Kristin was kind enough to share a sample of an email she sent to her contacts (each individually tailored):
How have you been? Are you still working at XYZ COMPANY? I was reaching out to you to see if you knew of any opportunities, for Project Management or Change Management, at your company or within your network.
I left Accenture in October to start my own non-profit volunteer organization and now that the organization is off the ground, I would like to return to work and find a company I can grow with over the next few years. I am looking for full-time roles in Chicago and am also open to contracting positions.
Please keep me in mind if you hear of anything. Many thanks and I hope all is well!”
That’s it! By writing an email of just over 100 words, she was able to get in front of decision makers at four different companies. If you’re job search has stalled give this method a shot. What have you got to lose?
Photo Credit: “Jumping Girl” by Mattox
Jobs With 30%+ Growth
Monday, September 17th, 2012
Though it seems like we’re always hearing negative news about the economy – jobs are becoming obsolete, getting outsourced, or just not considered vital to organizations with a tight budget – CareerBuilder.com recently shared some encouraging news. Their article, 10 jobs that have grown more than 30% over the past year, lists some of the hottest careers out there.
Even more good news? The job at the bottom of the list (chef/cook) still had 34% growth. The top position (software engineer) experienced an astounding 74% increase in jobs over the last year! Though the industries vary, I did notice a couple trends unlikely to go away anytime soon:
Technology: No surprise here. In fact, STEM jobs (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are known for having a lack of qualified candidates. While you may not start out as a hot commodity, taking steps to transition into one of these fields (through classes, volunteering, interning, entry-level jobs) could help you get on a career path projected to be on the upswing for years to come.
Sales & Service: Without customers, companies don’t exist. That’s why strong salespeople are, and will always be, in demand. True, this might mean a commission-based job, but the potential for rewards is high. On the flip side, customer satisfaction is important, because it helps retain business. Though pay and opportunities vary within service jobs (from representative to director-level), companies will always need employees who can keep their clients happy.
Of course, don’t immediately change careers because an industry is growing. While it’s certainly important to consider, don’t forget to think about your skills, salary needs, and also – your interests!
Photo Credit: Up! by rore_d
How Do You Battle The Job Search Blues?
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
This morning I had a little difficulty getting my get-up-and-go to get going! So I spent a few minutes scanning the Lollapalooza music festival line-up, and then I checked out the roster for the Chicago Blues Festival. These are two of my very favorite summer events and I look forward to them much like a child anticipates a family trip to Disneyland. Just thinking about all that live music puts a smile on my face. Then I found myself cranking up the iTunes and before too long, my get-up-and-go was going full throttle. Music always makes my heart sing and when I’m feeling a bit blue, sometimes listening to the blues really does cheer me up!
What do you do when you’re mojo just won’t go? We’ve started a list of ways job seekers can cheer up on the cheap, but we’d love to hear your ideas too – won’t you chime in?
To Find Your Dream Job, Be A Remarkable Candidate
Monday, April 9th, 2012
In a crowded job market it can be tough to find relevant ways to make yourself stand out from other candidates. You may find yourself competing against candidates with equal credentials and similar experience who are willing to work for less. That’s why I found this article from Inc. Magazine so fascinating. In “8 Qualities of Remarkable Employees” author Jeff Haden outlines eight characteristics that make great employees truly remarkable. If you often feel like a fish-out-of-water, you’ll be glad to know that eccentricity makes his list. So too does knowing when to speak up, and when to stifle it.
Whether you’re writing a cover letter or seated across the table from the final decision-maker, consider what makes you remarkable, and make sure the other person knows it too.
Inspiration: Why Not Be Great?
Thursday, January 5th, 2012
I enjoy writing this blog, and I hope you enjoy reading it. But sometimes I stumble upon a post from another blogger, writer or pundit that is just too good not to share, and this is precisely one of those moments.
Many of you have probably heard of Seth Godin and if not, I highly recommend you check him out. He’s a writer, speaker, consultant… Part prognosticator, part ruckus-maker, he doesn’t pull any punches. Last week, as we waved goodbye to 2011 and watched the shiny New Year unfurl, Seth wrote a post entitled, “The Chance of a Lifetime.” And it rocked me. Here’s an excerpt:
“The thing is, we still live in a world that’s filled with opportunity. In fact, we have more than an opportunity — we have an obligation. An obligation to spend our time doing great things. To find ideas that matter and to share them. To push ourselves and the people around us to demonstrate gratitude, insight, and inspiration. To take risks and to make the world better by being amazing.”
I’m going to ask you to do yourself a favor and read it now. Right now. You won’t get any tips on updating your resume, finding hidden job leads, or working with recruiters. But I think you’ll find it worth your time just the same.
Let me know what you think. Better yet, let me know what you’re going to do in 2012 to make it great.
Finding Joy At The Holidays
Friday, December 23rd, 2011
This is a rough time of year to be under-employed or out of work. You may be short on cash and not able to buy the gifts you’d like to buy, travel to see family and friends, or take time-off your temp job to get some rest.
I know, I’ve been there. And I’m not going to lie, it sucks. Big time.
If you’re feeling blue*, acknowledge it. It’s a real, honest human reaction to tough times, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. We all get blue sometimes. When I get blue I find writing helps. I might start a Wish List of my dreams and goals. Just realizing I still have some fire in my belly perks me up. Or I might write a Gratitude List where I jot down every thing, person, and place that I’m grateful for – once I start writing, I often can’t stop! Another trick up my sleeve when I’m feeling down is to listen to music. LOUDLY. Meditation works for some, exercise works for others.
The point is, take action. Do something to flip the switch from down to delighted! If you have a trick that helps you get your jolly back, take a minute and share it here – you just may help someone else find their smile.
As the New Year approaches I find yourself reflecting on the year just past and also the year ahead. I encourage you to focus on what went well, and paint a vivid picture for an even better 2012.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or simply the onset of winter, may you feel peace, joy and hope at this very special time of year.
* If you’re feeling seriously blue, please know that help is available; you must be brave and ask for it.