Friday, May 29, 2009

Are You My New “Kicker?" - Thanks!

When a baby giraffe comes into the world it falls 10 feet from its mother’s womb and lands on it’s back – ouch!

As it struggles to get up, its mother kicks it repeatedly until it places one hoof in one place and another hoof joins it in a struggle to gain its footing. Once the baby giraffe gains it’s footing – the mother giraffe kicks its hoofs from underneath it causing the baby giraffe to fall again – double ouch!

The mother giraffe does this so that the baby giraffe will remember how it got up the first time and learn to get up quickly the next time.

Why would a mother do this to its newborn? To save its life.

You see, all the jungle wants to eat the young giraffe. But each kick strengthens the young giraffe and when the young giraffe learns to get up quickly and run away quickly, it will be safe.

In Your Job Search, You Will Have A Lot Of “Kickers”
The job search is stressful, hard, frustrating, filled with rejection and sometimes you may feel like sitting down. Sometimes you may feel like a young baby giraffe – as soon as you have your “mental” footing, you have the hang of this “job search thing”, or you think you are going to finally get that long awaited job offer – bang - someone or something kicks you and you fall back down again. The “kicker” can be anyone or anything – family, friends, prospective hiring managers, receptionists – even your thoughts.

Thank Your “Kicker”
Next time you are “kicked” – silently thank your kicker. You see, all successful people in life never had it easy. They didn’t make it there by luck. Everyone that has achieved some goal in life has had a few “kicks” along the way. These “kickers” strengthened that person’s resolve and sharpened that person’s skills so that they could reach their goals.

If you look at the person or situation you are in as a “kicker” instead of viewing them as an immovable force preventing you from reaching your goals (or just someone/something that just doesn’t like you) then you will succeed!
Thank you for reading this posting, feel free to share your "kickers" in the comment section below.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Creating Your Own Job Opportunity: Corporate Blogger

I'm a huge fan of creating your own career opportunities. Why? Because when you create your own career opportunities, in the end, you never work a day in your life because it doesn't feel like work.

Now, before you stop reading because you are asking yourself "Create opportunity, I need money and a job now! I don't have the time for this line of wishful thinking" Hear me out....

Creating Your Own Job Opportunity By Creating A Blog....

What do you want to be known for? When a person needs help in subject "xyz" how do you establish yourself as that person? How do you even get in the running for consideration? What would your first thought be? Submit a resume? That's a start, but a well done resume is a summary of your relevant accomplishments. It gives a snapshot, but doesn't give someone the "whole picture" of how wonderful you really are. But a blog does!

What Is A Blog?

Write articles and post them online. That's the "quick and dirty" definition of what a blog is. A person can blog about anything. One could even comment on other people's blogs and news articles online and make that into a blog. Blogging doesn't take a significant time investment. One could start a blog by taking an hour per week to write a simple and short post. It also doesn't cost anything to create a blog (unless you want to pay), one could start with the user friendly application by Google called "Blogger" (this is what this blog uses).

How Your Blog Opens Up Career Opportunities For You

Establishes You As A Subject Matter Expert In Your Field....

Find your "niche", your "thing", your "passion", the thing that you would love to do - all day long. Then dedicate yourself to featuring nothing but information related to that topic only. Start by posting blog entries once per week on your topic. An example might be someone that's interested in trends for legal opportunities in the "Green Energy" industry. Therefore, anything that person finds related to that subject. Any thought that person has that is related to trends in the legal field as it relates to the "Green Energy" industry they would want to "file away" as great material that could be featured on their blog and write about it. By consistently writing about a specific area and dedicating yourself to staying on top of movements and innovations in your field you building up your reputation and "personal brand" as an expert over time. If a potential employer comes across your blog they will see your dedication and consider you when an opportunity opens up featuring your topic.

Shows How You Add Value - You Are Interesting...
Writing content for your blog and having a niche focus is one thing - a very important thing. However, don't loose sight of the fact that you are still marketing yourself. This is a living, breathing, and ever evolving professional portfolio of your capabilities. Therefore, keep in mind that you want to keep your content interesting to your readers. Not sure if what you've written is interesting? Post it and ask someone's opinion that's in the industry. Then ask someone that's not in the industry to give theirs. It's a great start to learning what works and what doesn't.

Show's That You Have "Stick To "Ittiveness"...."
Consistency is key. If you want someone to consider you as reliable for a job, you should show - reliability! Stick to your blog by posting regular updates. Don't abandon it. There will be times you feel as if you are "posting in the dark" and that no one is reading your posts. But there is always someone that will have read your post and may be trying to make the decision to come back and read again (or tell their friends about you). Also, consistent updates to your blog help improve your blog's search rankings.

Gives You A Reason To Network - You Have Something To Offer....
Think of yourself as a news reporter working for your own publication. You have a legitimate reason to speak to and to contact people now. You have something to offer - your past and future blog postings. You have an audience to share and inform. Therefore, don't be afraid to approach people. If you would like to be featured in someone else's blog as a guest poster or would like to interview someone because you would like material for your blog - go for it! If you see an article or a book that you like and would like to write a blog entry about it, try contacting the author. You never know, they may like the idea of you writing about them and may refer you to other opportunities - there's your networking! The "news reporter" in you has an obligation to share information with the world!

In Conclusion....
As the old expression goes "If you do what you love, then you will never work a day in your life." Taking this approach takes time to work. But all we have is time. We can choose to spend our days and years counting the calender towards retirement. If you are doing what you don't like or aren't excited about doing every day, then that calender seems like "the watched pot that never boils". Your days will feel loooong. If you use the above approach, then you take steps to change your employment situation for the better and wind up creating your own opportunities. You will use your time wisely and end up with opportunities that make you happy for the long term - and when looking at that same calender - time will just fly by!

Thank you for reading! Feel free to comment below!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Work From Home Jobs

Frequently I receive questions from our Kaplan University adult learners about how to obtain work from home jobs. First, let's talk about what a work from home job is and what it is not. I will also share a few work from home websites to help with your job search.

What A Work From Home Job Is:
A work from home job (also known as telecommuting job) is a great opportunity for someone that is independent, a self starter, and very disciplined.

Work from home jobs allow the person to accomplish more in the course of an 8 hour day than sometimes working from the office. This is due to the ability to control your environment and minimize distractions that can reduce productivity

A work from home job cuts down on commuting costs - a great plus.

In addition, a work from home job increases the chances of working longer hours. It's hard to "put the brakes on" when you know you can work "just a little longer" to finish (or get ahead) on a project.
What A Work From Home Job Is Not:
A work from home job is not easy. Employees that work from home are really WORKING. They do not have a chance to perform household chores and "mix in" a little work. Often, household chores become neglected because of how absorbing work can be.

A chance to cut down on childcare costs. Often, I've spoken to people that state they would like to work from home because they have children that require constant attention. If you have children or circumstances that require constant attention, it is best to consider hiring someone instead. Working from home requires a lot of attention and concentration.

How To Find Work From Home Opportunities:
Not all work from home websites are scams. There are some legitimate work from home sites out there. Here are a few listed below:

When Applying To Work From Home Positions:
Make sure you can talk "numbers". Some employers are hesitant to allow employees to work from home. They have visions of the employee relaxing and not finishing work related tasks. To offset this concern, keep regular notes on your productivity. List projects that are on the "docket" to complete and when you expect to complete them. If you complete the project ahead of schedule, then make a note of this as well. You want to prove that you are capable of being a responsible and trustworthy person.

Hope this helps - feel free to comment below!