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Monday, October 31, 2005

"It's Time To Profit From Your Pastimes"

by Jackie Headland (c) Jackie Headland. All Rights Reserved. http://www.BookShaker.com

Do you exist from payday to payday? Do frequently you find yourself saying, "There has to be more to life than this?"

It's very natural for people to seek the security that a job using their professional knowledge and skills offers. They spend most of their lives doing something they're good at but don't necessarily love.

What an awful way to live our lives. Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, cautions us, "Shop for security over happiness and we buy it at that price."

The reality is that prosperity and security come from using our gifts and talents fully. We frequently invest our talents and passion into hobbies and rarely give thought to turning these into income generators.

Using your favourite hobby or pastime to create an income has many benefits. Why? Because any business you decide to become involved in should be doing something you love - something you believe in - something that you would work at no matter what income it generated.

By working at something you believe passionately in you will find the energy, drive, and stamina to see your business through the tough start up phase and the times when there is more work to do than you can handle.

Do you like cooking? Create a cookery website that offers recipes, hints and tips to readers. Start a subscription newsletter for others who like cookery and sell your recipes by publishing a simple booklet. Do you enjoy making things? Sell them at markets and boot sales and through mail order (be sure and mark up the price for shipping and handling).

Do you enjoy DIY? Print and distribute flyers in your neighbourhood listing your services. Do you enjoy travel? Write a small tour guide about the places you visit and sell it through your website and to tourist operators to give to customers who visit those areas.

Almost anything you love doing can be magically transformed into a business opportunity for you.

Start educating yourself by reading and researching other home-based businesses. The Internet is crammed with information and much of it is free. Read magazines like "Small Business Opportunities," and "Entrepreneur," many of their articles are excellent. Read books on starting a business.

Attend meetings for Small Business Owners in your area. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce, Business Link or Enterprise Trust about these meetings. The insights you will gain from people who are already in business is priceless.

When you turn your favourite hobbies into income sources there's no telling where you'll be in a couple of years time. You may even be able to resign from your 'secure' job and pursue your passions full time. Wouldn't that be great?

What are you waiting for? It may take time to realise a profit but you will be living with joy and passion that will enrich your life in hundreds of ways.

Creating an abundant life is that easy. Start creating yours now!


Learn How You Can Boost Your Income And Create A More Fulfilling Life with Jackie's book, "Be Happy, Make Money: How To Turn Your Skills, Talents, Hobbies & Ideas Into Multiple Income Streams" http://www.bookshaker.com/product_info.php?products_id=114

Friday, October 28, 2005

Are you a weekend warrior?

Some say weekends are for relaxing, sleeping in or traveling. But if you're a full-time employee and you dream of entrepreneurship, weekends can be for that, too. Take those 48 weekend hours (and, let's be honest, those precious weekday evening hours, too), maximize your efficiency, and build your startup.

Brian Eddy and Chad Ronnebaum did that very thing when they built Q3 Innovations, a product design, development and distribution company that specializes in the personal safety market. These Eagan, Minnesota, entrepreneurs started in 1999 when both had full-time jobs--in fact, Eddy, 30, a lawyer, just recently left his law firm to work on the business full time, while Ronnebaum, 30, still works full time in the pharmaceutical industry. Friends since the sixth grade, the pair decided that even though they both had successful careers, they wanted to own a business and bring products like the Alcohawk, a digital breath alcohol screener, to consumers.

During their six-year startup phase, says Eddy, "We worked about 50 hours a week at our careers and about 40 to 50 hours a week at our business." A typical weekday for Eddy was getting up at 7 a.m., doing business activities until 8:30 or 9 a.m., then heading to the office. After getting off work at 6 p.m., he spent about an hour with family and went into entrepreneur mode for the evening and most of the weekend.

How can weekend entrepreneurs ensure startup success?

READ: Weekenders

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Big Payback! Courtesy of Uncle Sam...

Thousands of people have money sitting at the Internal Revenue Service that could be claimed if they would just tell the tax collectors where they live.

The IRS said Tuesday that $73 million in tax refunds that were sent to taxpayers this year did not reach the destination. In most cases, the post office returned the checks as undeliverable because the taxpayers had moved.

The money belongs to more than 84,000 taxpayers, some of whom have more than one check waiting to be claimed.

Checking on the status of a refund — by calling 1-800-829-4477 or visiting IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov — could be worth $871 to the average taxpayer due an unclaimed refund.

READ:IRS Says Unclaimed Tax Refunds Total $73M

Is It Time To Update Your Resume?

The motto “Be prepared,” isn’t just great advice for Boy Scouts; it’s also great career advice. You never know when the perfect career opportunity will present itself. If a recruiter called you today with your dream job, would you be prepared to send out an up-to-date resume right away?

There are four critical times to update your resume:

· At least once a year · Any time your career focus changes · When you anticipate layoffs with your company · When you begin to feel dissatisfied with your current position

1. Update your resume every year.

This is where many people fall short. When that recruiter calls with the perfect job, you may suddenly find your resume is years out of date, and you’ll have to scramble to catch up.

Keep your resume current by including your best accomplishments each year. Don’t count on your memory to recall everything you achieved in years past! You are likely to overlook critical achievements and contributions. If you need assistance, a resume coach may be able to help you through the process with some targeted questions on your most recent jobs.

2. Update your resume when your career focus changes.

If you want to change your career path, then you also need to change your resume. There are several ways to shift the focus away from your current job and toward your new career.

By focusing on the skills that will be useful in your new career, you can position yourself as a stronger candidate for the job. Highlight those transferable skills in your new resume, bringing them front and center.

In addition to highlighting your transferable skills, shift your list of accomplishments to support those skills. Accomplishment statements give credibility to transferable skills and prove your ability to cross industry or occupational lines. Well-crafted accomplishments make a big difference in whether you win the interview or are passed over.

Finally, be sure you understand your audience. As you shift career focus, it is critical to understand the hiring motives of your target market. Use your resume as an effective selling tool by correctly anticipating the recruiter’s “wish list” for great job candidates.

3. Update your resume when you anticipate layoffs within your company.

A harsh reality of today’s economy is the need for corporate downsizing. Layoffs and losses are becoming more and more common. But you can prepare for any worst-case scenario by keeping your resume up-to-date.

Don’t make the mistake of being overly optimistic. It’s safer to assume that you are on the “out” list. Most people who get caught unexpectedly in a layoff thought they were indispensable to their employers. You might be important or well-liked, but remember that the bottom line always has a louder voice than you do. Get your resume ready as soon as you see any indications that downsizing is on the way.

Don’t mistake company loyalty for a fear of change. Often employees would rather take their chances with a potential layoff than make proactive steps toward finding a new job. Once they’re laid off, it’s already too late. Remember, as a candidate, you are always more marketable while still employed. Avoid this trap and start your job search early with self-marketing tools (resume and cover letter) that are up-to-date and top quality.

4. Update your resume when you are dissatisfied with your current position.

Job dissatisfaction leads to feelings of frustration, worthlessness, and often hopelessness. But there is no reason to stay in a job you hate. Being prepared with an updated resume can help you feel better in your current job. When you have a really terrible day at work, you can respond to job opportunities that same evening with confidence in your up-to-the-minute resume. Taking proactive steps toward a new career will give you back your optimism and self worth.

If it’s time for you to update your resume, first decide whether your resume requires a simple update or a complete rewrite. If you have been using the same resume format throughout your career, it’s possible that you have outgrown the old look. What your resume promoted ten years ago may not be appropriate or significant for your career choices today. And if you’ve simply been “tacking on” to your old resume, it may start to resemble a house with too many additions, with little sense or direction.

A professional resume critique can help you decide exactly what you need to move forward. A well-written resume can make an incredible difference in:

* The length of time it takes to make your career move * The quality of your next position * The income potential of your next position

Your resume is your best sales tool in finding a new job, and it deserves the investment of your time and commitment. With a little extra effort now, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way—and be well on the path to your next great job.

Deborah Walker, CCMC Career Coach ~ Resume Writer www.AlphaAdvantage.com Email Deb@AlphaAdvantage.com

Monday, October 24, 2005

Dr. Tony Evans: Your Career And Your Calling

LISTEN TO: Your Career and Your Calling by Dr. Tony Evans

The Urban Alternative (TUA) is a Christian ministry that seeks to equip, empower and unite Christians to impact individuals, families, churches and communities for the rebuilding of lives from the inside out by means of Radio, Television, Rallies/Crusades and Resources.

Click here for more info on Dr. Tony Evans

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Kill the cubicles!!!

What would happen if you allowed the workers to design their own workspaces? Would you get more comfortable motivated workers who refuse to go home? Could be... Just ask the guys at Pixar who flat out refused to allow cubicles to confine their creative imaginaries. Ain't it Cool News toured the Pixar facilities and (among other things) posted pictures of their workspaces. Below is a clip from an AICN blogpost. Ahhh... feel the envy.
Instead of cubicles, each of the animators has a customized space. There was one guy who had this groovy corner office that was open on two sides, and he had no chair at all. He had the entire office set up so that he could work standing, like so:
That was a pretty extreme example of what someone could do with their space. A lot of the animators decided early on that they didn’t want cubicles, so instead, Pixar found these groovy little cottages that they bought for them. Walking through the animation department is like walking through a neighborhood for dwarves. Lots of little houses laid out along “streets,” each one with an address on the door.

The animators also have lounges set up so they can congregate and relax, including a jungle-themed lounge with piñatas hanging overhead.

Want more? Click here...

Friday, October 21, 2005

Chill out man!

Men with stressful jobs may already be at risk of early artery disease by their early 30s, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Finland found that among the more than 1,000 young adults they studied, men who reported high levels of job strain were more likely than their peers to show signs of early artery narrowing. The same was not true of young women, however.

A number of studies have found a link between job strain and heart disease, but it's not clear that work demands are the cause of the higher risk.

The new findings, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, point to a possible connection between job strain and the beginnings of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque in the arteries that eventually impairs blood flow and can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

The study included 1,020 men and women taking part in an ongoing project looking at cardiovascular risk factors in young adults. Participants, who were 32 years old, on average, answered questionnaires about their work conditions and underwent ultrasound scans of the carotid arteries in the neck.

The researchers defined high job strain as work that puts high demands on employees but offers them little independence or leeway in how to accomplish their tasks. Past studies have suggested that such jobs can be particularly stressful.

READ: Job strain may be hard on young men's arteries

Winning the Game of Retirement

Copyright © 2005 Kemberly Wardlaw
Tools 2 Invest
http://www.tools2invest.com

Consider yourself an athlete in the sport of investing. Physical endurance is important when it comes to the sprint, however mental poise will see you through the long run. An investor can have the most reliable information available, but with the absence of emotional control, you may fail to reach the goal.

You should strive to be the Tiger Woods of investing and when you reach the eighteenth hole, your score is based on the portfolio's value. Upon retirement, you will know your ranking. At this time, the more desirable position would be that of team owner, not peanut-tosser.

It is in the world of sports, you may find relevant ideas for retirement planning. There are no guarantees when it comes to investing in stocks, yet you may want to consider the following attributes shared by champions.

The first step in developing your portfolio is to put together a team of all-stars. Forget the minor league players, you need the Sammy Sosa's and Randy Johnson's to fill your roster.

Relieve the players with weak relative strength versus the index and keep the ones with strong relative strength. If you are unaware of these changing numbers, contact an investment professional knowledgeable in this area.

Next, limit yourself to the number of players allowed on the field. In football, for example, your team may only have eleven players on the field while the play is live. Your team is penalized for too many players. This seems to be a difficult rule for many investors. As a coach, you may have drafted a college superstar who turns out to be a professional dud.

Do not allow your self- esteem to keep the player in the game. Analyze your back-up players and be aware of the time remaining on your retirement clock.

Although it may be emotionally difficult to pull the stock, keeping it may limit your overall score.

You should always focus on long-term fundamentals without neglecting short-term reviews (ie: annual updates). This does not mean you become a speculator of stocks; you just position yourself as the number one draft picker.

If resources do not allow for adequate diversification, or if you are new to investing, consider hiring a manager. In other words, find mutual funds suitable for your investment risks, time horizons, and goals.

Your batting average is no better when you hit a home run versus a single. It may be more exciting to post a high slugging average, but even Babe Ruth struck out now and then.

Another point worth noting is to keep your winners. Unless you can find a better player for that position, let your winners carry you to a championship. John Elway did it for the Denver Broncos in 1999 at age thirty-eight. Remember, we pick our starters because we believe in their abilities to outperform. Still, it is vitally important to monitor your holdings. You may one day decide to retire a player who does not fit into you overall game plan. Until that time, remain focused on the goal line and block out the noise of the market.

In the game of rugby, players advance the ball forward while pitching it back to another player. The idea here is to look forward, but never forget what the past teaches us.

Players may come and go, but victory never loses its appeal. We all look for success in our investment portfolios and a time to take home the gold. Keep a positive attitude and dedicate your resources to winning the game of retirement.

About the Author: Wardlaw's belief is that familiar life elements best illustrate practical investment strategies; not typical investment jargon. With that philosophy, the author assists financial planners/advisors, brokerage firms, periodicals, and other investment information syndicates create informative and entertaining articles. For comments and questions, please contact the author at www.tools2invest.com or tools2invest@yahoo.com.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Never too old to learn something new

Lloyd Huck, a retired chairman of the board of Merck & Co., could afford to retire anywhere in the world, but two years ago he chose to live near his beloved alma mater: Pennsylvania State University.

Huck, 83, is now living out his golden years as vigorously as he did on campus 60 years ago: He's taking an astronomy class, attends football games, enjoys theater and opera, and chats with students as he strolls the elm-shaded campus.

''We didn't want to go to Florida, and our friends were dying off in Morristown, N.J., so we decided we needed younger friends," Huck said.

Like Huck and his wife, Dottie, nearly 70 percent of the 200 residents at The Village at Penn State, an 80-acre retirement community that overlooks Beaver Stadium, are either alumni or retired faculty. They are also part of a growing trend of seniors paying tens of thousands of dollars to live their twilight years near a university campus.

Spurred by growing research suggesting that mental activity fights off dementia, college-affiliated retirement communities have sprung up in 50 college towns across the country, linking the retired set with schools such as Notre Dame, the University of Florida at Gainesville, the University of Michigan, and Lasell College in Newton, according to Leon A. Pastalan, professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Michigan.

''If you look at traditional retirement communities, they do not provide much for personal growth," said Pastalan, who studies housing issues for older adults. ''They provide you with a nice place to live, but there is really nothing for the soul or for self-enrichment. I view this as an extremely important movement that is really just beginning."

For seniors, returning to their college campus brings back old memories of a seemingly care-free time when they met classmates and were just beginning to think seriously about their careers.

READ: Seniors opting to retire with a touch of class

Monday, October 17, 2005

I am mother, hear me roar...

This is an interesting blog! Its all about Working Mothers who prefer to stay in the game of 9-to5.

From their blog...

The Mom Corps provides flexible contract opportunities with some of the nation’s most prestigious firms to highly educated and experienced professionals. These firms, motivated to outsource projects as business expands and contracts, have difficulty reaching the large resource of professionals who are capable and willing to work in the same manner. For both the firms and the professionals, The Mom Corps is the solution.

READ: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WORKING MOM

Good news for Elena and Victor

Elena and Victor Kulick were given keys to a small Jerusalem apartment on Sunday, after living in a field behind a downtown cemetery for four months. They have been granted use of the apartment, in the student housing owned by Jewish Agency housing company Amigur, for two months. Meanwhile, an effort was launched Sunday to find the couple a permanent housing solution.

Victor, a doctor and psychotherapist, and Elena, a musician and piano teacher, were thrown out of a rented apartment in the city's Kiryat Yovel neighborhood on June 7, when they were three months in arrears on the rent. The landlord changed the locks without even allowing the couple to retrieve their belongings.

The couple got in financial trouble after the temp agency through which Victor worked forced him to resign, and Elena's income from housecleaning didn't cover the rent.

READ: Homeless couple gets apartment

Friday, October 14, 2005

Eulogy for a turkey...

What do you do when tragedy hits home? No one wants to think about it, but it happens to us all. An unfortunate incident happened recently and it is with regret that I inform you (dear reader) that “Tom The Turkey” is dead. Tom was making his daily patrol when he was struck by a car earlier this week. There were rumors of conspiracy and malicious intent, but at this writing no formal charges have been made.

In case you are unaware of the unofficial mascot of the Atlanta Microsoft office, I suggest that you read an old entry of mine - "The Happy, Sad Tale of Tom The Turkey."

Tom was a beloved and misunderstood figure who was hero and villain, scourge and protector and an anti-hero of mythic proportions. When I last encountered Tom The Turkey, he was as we all remembered him – feathers outstretched and stiff-necked in his resolution to guard the parking lot from would-be predators. He… He… (sniff-sniff) Forgive me dear reader, but this is all so sudden. (Deep breath) Tom, you will be missed. Tom… you are missed.

-Jim

P.S. On a lighter note, there are turkey sandwiches in the cafeteria for all MS-Atlanta employees. (Free while supplies last!!!)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

How To Be A Freelancer In Demand: Become A Busy Client’s Best Friend

By: Shelley Wake

The best clients are the busy clients. Why? Because they're the ones with successful businesses, so they have enough money to pay you. They're also the ones who are busy enough that they really need you. And they’re the ones who are likely to have ongoing work for you.

They’re also the ones who are the easiest to keep because you know exactly what you need to do to keep them. It’s simple – just make their life easier and save them as much time as possible and they’ll come back.

It may seem like a simple thing, but it will make a big difference to clients. I know because I've spoken to hundreds of clients and have constantly been told how busy they are.

Here's what three clients had to say.

“The Best Freelancer” –Emma, Editor

“The difference between the freelancer I never call again and the freelancer I call on month after month has nothing to do with writing skill. The difference is that the great freelancer gets done exactly what I need done without any hassle. If I can give her the job, forget about it, and know it’ll get done right, it will always go to her first.”

“Make it Easy for Me” -Josef, Business Manager

“I contracted someone to do an ad campaign a few months ago. They started emailing me pictures all the time. “What do you think of this for the ad?” “Could this work?” “Do you like this one?” “Hey, here’s one you’ll like.”

I don’t have time for these constant interruptions. I’m sort of glad they wanted my opinion, but do it right. Research and choose a small selection of suitable ones. Then send me those at the end of the week and ask for me to choose which one will work best. That would have been a good (and business-like) approach.”

“No Time to Waste” -George, Project Manager

“I work with some people who seem to think that the whole thing is fun and games. I sort of understand that to them it might be. They’re sitting at home and maybe time isn’t precious to them. But it is to me.

I don’t have time for long phone calls. I don’t have time to read long and detailed emails. I definitely don’t have time to read long emails where you describe how you approached the project and why you liked completing it. If it’s not on topic, I don’t need to hear it. And if it is on topic, it’s still best to keep it short and to the point.”

Making it Easy for Clients

Making a client's life easy is simple to do. All you have to do is remember that the client is busy every time you contact them and think about how you can make it easier for them. Here's a good example for a freelancer who was asked to send a brief overview stating the angle and content of the article.

First Example of Brief to Client

After a lot of thought and research, I have decided that the angle of the article will focus on effective ways of trading shares on a budget. I plan to cover three main topics. These will be new floats, low-cost shares, and how to reduce trading costs.

Second Example of Brief to Client

Angle: Trading Shares on a Budget

Content:

  • New floats
  • Low-cost shares
  • Reducing trading costs

Both examples communicate the same meaning. But the example with headings and bullets is much easier to read. The busy client can learn exactly what they need to know with little more than a glance. It also has a more professional and organized look and so creates a better impression of you.

And as a final added bonus, the easiest way for the client is also the easiest and quickest way for you. So, you win a little extra time and quite possibly a long-term client.

A Final Tip

Remember that if clients seem rushed, they probably are. If clients seem stressed, they probably are. Don’t think of it as a bad thing – think of it as a great opportunity.

If you can be one of the people that makes life easier and takes away some of the stress, you’ve got yourself a client that is likely to pay you well and pay you often. And that’s what a successful freelancer needs to succeed.

About The Author: Shelley Wake is the editor of Winning Freelance Work, What Clients Want, and Where’s My Whale? The Complete Guide to Catching Killer Clients. Shelley and her team of researchers interviewed hundreds of clients for these books and found out exactly what it takes to win great projects and great clients. Link: http://www.writingstuff.com/books1.html

Monday, October 10, 2005

How to help me, help you...

Dear prospective job hunters.

Thank you for taking the time to look at our site, and thank you for being interested in working with us.

Most applications I receive go straight to the deleted-items folder because of a few simple mistakes. I'm beginning to feel bad, so if you are going to make the effort to apply for a job here, or anywhere else, I'd like to offer you some advice.

To successfully interest me in hiring you, you need understand what we as business owners face on the other side of the fence. Hiring is the most important task I face, but it is also 76th on my list of a hundred other things to do today. When we put a posting on Craigslist, we usually get around 100 responses within 48 hours. They flood into my inbox, and I have to push them aside until I have time to give them the attention they deserve. In the meantime, I have phones ringing, deadlines to meet, problems with our systems, employees with questions, and much more to compete for the limited capacity of my brain.

But, don't let this put you off. It doesn't take much to distinguish yourself. Here's how...

1. YOUR COVER LETTER MUST ANSWER OUR NEEDS.

When I do get round to your email, I do not have time to look at every detail. I make quick and rapid decisions about whether I will call you or not. I don't even get to most resume's because the cover letter is so drab. If you want to stand a chance at getting a response, you ABSOLUTLY MUST spend some time on this.

So, how should you write a cover letter? - Simple, read our post, and tell me quickly how you can meet the needs we have listed. Use examples wherever possible. Take a look at these two different letters....

READ: Tips for applying to a job from Craigslist

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bosses' top 10 pet peeves

We've all heard employees complain about their bosses. But the manager/employee relationship is just that, a relationship. That means there are two sides to the story, and employees are not the only ones who may have a beef about fellow office denizens.

Author John Putzier, who was a recruiter for 10 years, talked to employers and employees at various companies to compile information for his new book, "Weirdos in the Workplace: The New Normal -- Thriving in the Age of the Individual." Here are some choice gripes bosses had about difficult employees:

1. Abuse of sick leave: This is a hot button for many bosses. According to Putzier, recent studies cite that one out of three employees who calls in sick really isn't. That sure makes it hard for the boss to plan when and how the work will get done.

2. Poor hygiene: A bar of soap and tube of toothpaste can go a long way in improving relationships at the office. If you wonder how people know it's you before you've even rounded the corner, you may want to kick your personal hygiene routine up a notch.

3. Out-of-control cubicles: It's great that you have a thing for troll dolls, but when your decorative enhancements spill over and out of your cube, it's time to tone things down a bit.

Read: Bosses' top 10 pet peeves

Thursday, October 06, 2005

6 Steps To Ensure You Always Have A Job

Copyright © 2005 Deborah Brown-Volkman, All Rights Reserved Surpass Your Dreams

Did you ever notice that there are certain people who have great jobs? They are always working on a consistent basis even in shaky industries and uncertain times? And then there are those who are either constantly unhappy in their careers, or go for long periods of time without work. They blame the world and wonder why bad luck always seems to “happen” to them.

You make your own luck. Your career is great when you focus on making it great. This means not waiting for things to happen; but making things happen instead. It means being pro-active instead of reactive. Rather than aming others for past mistakes, you are passionate about new possibilities. You are not afraid. Instead, you are excited about what you do, and what you contribute everyday. And, if you are excited about your job, you will find that other people will be committed to having you stay on as a member of the team. So How So You Make Sure You Are Never Without A Job? Follow These 6 Steps Below.

1. Tell Yourself That You Will Always Be Employed

What you say matters. Your words have power, meaning, and intention. When you tell yourself something bad will happen to your job, this will probably happen. If you tell yourself that you are marketable and confident that you will always be working, your words can make this true.

2. Anticipate Trends In Your Industry

If your job is being eliminated or outsourced, you want to know about it before you are in the room with human resources telling you that your job is going away. Research your industry. Know what’s happening and what the experts say will happen. This way you can make informed decisions. Look for trends. When you find them, start to train yourself in these areas. Knowledge is power. Having the right skills at the right time ensures that, no matter what is happening around you, you will be needed and employable.

3. Have An Updated Resume

Your resume showcases your skills and abilities to the world. It is a selling tool that outlines your unique qualifications so an employer can see, at a glance, how you can contribute to the employer's workplace. When you are looking for work, prospective employers know immediately whether you are a fit for a position. If you are not looking for work, your resume reminds you of the contributions you make on a regular basis, something you can easily forget when you are immersed in the day-to-day. Whether you are looking for a job,or you have one, an updated resume is essential for your career.

4. Create A 30 Second Introduction

Whether you are looking for a new position now or sometime in the future, your 30-second introduction is an important tool for your job search. It creates an impression, and you want the impression to be a good one. Information to include in your introduction is: 1) Your name, 2) Type of position you seek specifically, 3) Your skills and strengths, 4) Background or accomplishments. Where job seekers go awry in the 30-second introduction is they are not specific enough. Without a few brief and clear details, the listener cannot understand what they want and won’t refer them because they do not know what they are looking for. Example: “I have a background in finance and can do pretty much anything in this area.” Versus “I am looking for a CFO job in a large manufacturing company located in the NYC area.” The more specific you are in your 30-second introduction the better results you will achieve.

5. Network On A Regular Basis

If you start to network only when you need something, you will have a lot of catching up to do. Therefore, network every day. Wherever there are people, there is an opportunity to network. You do not always have to go somewhere to network successfully. You can network within your own company. Are there opportunities for you? Ask people and find out. They are your best resource for information. Invite co-workers to lunch. Take the time to walk by someone’s office to say hello.

In addition, who can you tap into outside of where you work? Every industry has an association. When is your industry’s association meeting in your area? Check the date and go. Get involved in this group so more people can get to know you. So, if something happens to your job, you’ll have people to reach out to. Lastly, send e-mail or call people you know already on a regular basis. If you are always keeping in touch, then you will not feel bad that you are bothering someone when it’s time to reach out and ask for help.

6. Always Be On The Look Out For New Opportunities Read trade publications. Read memo’s not only from your area, but others. Think about what you could be doing differently. Get your creative juices flowing. Think positively. Rather than “it cannot happen,” believe that what you want is possible and is within your reach. Then, make it happen.

So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!


Deborah Brown-Volkman is the creator and founder of the Career Escape Program, a 4 week program that helps participants find their dream job. Deborah be reached at http://www.career-escape-program.com, or at http://www.surpassyourdreams.com

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Meet Jim Stroud TODAY @ Carrers and Coffee

Want to hang out and talk about your job search? I will be presenting "Jobhunting Is A Team Sport" today at Careers and Coffee. Be there or be square... Here are the details: Careers and Coffee®.is a faith-based employment ministry designed to meet the unemployed or underemployed at a time of brokenness due to job loss.

Careers and Coffee®.provides job leads, resume reviews, job search strategies, target company contacts, and the opportunity to be linked in with other professionals who have access to organizations around the world.

Careers and Coffee®.meets every 1st Tuesday of the month from 6-8 pm at Mocha Match Coffee House located at 627 East Decatur Ave, Suite F, Decatur, GA 30030 (2 blocks fromthe Avondale Train Station)

For more info about Careers and Coffee®. contact the offices of Stephanie C. Harper at 404.299.8757, by email at careersandcoffee@stephanieharper.com or visit the website www.stephanieharper.com

The Human Side: Debt Stress

By: Angie Noack

In all the technical discussion you hear about credit card debt, the best ways to manage it and pay it off and all the rest, one thing goes largely ignored. Credit card debt is extremely stressful, and can have a very negative effect on your life, if you let it. It’s as bad as an addiction, always hanging over you, bringing you down, making it hard to life your life the way you want to. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can recognise debt stress, and what you can do about it.

The Symptoms of Debt Stress.

There are an awful lot of symptoms that can be caused by stress. Some of the most common ones are: headaches, not being able to sleep, feeling depressed and irritable, and being forgetful and unable to concentrate on what you’re doing. If you’re not sure whether your symptoms are related to stress or something else, you should go and see a doctor.

Who Gets It?

Almost everyone who has debts is stressed about them. Debt is blamed for millions of days off work every year, and is one of the leading causes of suicide – it seems like most times you read about someone who has committed suicide, their name is followed by “who owed [a very large amount] in debts”. Students and graduates are especially vulnerable, as debt is growing amongst them faster than in any other group.

The average adult owes many thousands in debts – and since that’s the average, it means that many people must owe much more. Never forget that you’re not alone, and there’s always someone worse off than you.

How to Deal With It.

Stress caused by debts is often considered to be embarrassing, or shameful. People with lots of debts don’t want to talk about it, even with their family, for fear of upsetting people or looking like a failure. It is very important, though, that you do talk about your problems, as keeping it all inside yourself will make you much, much more stressed. It is especially important that you talk to your partner – they are the number one person who can support you.

The best thing to do then is to find two people: one who can advise you, and one who can be a counsellor. That means a professional who knows what they’re doing in financial matters, as well as a psychologist or psychiatrist, or some other kind of counsellor. Don’t let stigmas put you off – this is about your health.

The next thing to do is to have a good think about how you got that debt to begin with. See if you can find old credit card statements. What did you spend the money on? You need to sit down, work out a budget, cut unnecessary expenses and try to free up as much money as you can to pay back debts. Even if it’ll be a long time before you get everything paid off, knowing that your debt is gradually going downwards can be an excellent cure for debt stress.

About the author: Angie Noack is a finance and debt consultant. Her blog can be found online at http://www.creditcardinfoonline.com.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I know what you did last night...

When was the last time you looked yourself up online? Been awhile? Okay, when was the last time a potential employer looked you up online? If you do not know the answer to that, then perhaps such is the reason why the other guy got the job and not you. Now are you sufficiently paranoid? Good... With so much easily-accesible information on the web, a recruiter can visit a few search engines (the poor man's background check) and discover embarrassing data on you or worse, someone with the same name as you.

When deep into a jobsearch (or in general for that matter), it never hurts to have all of your bases covered. Here is what I suggest you do to keep your virtual identity embarassment free.

1. Search on your name in the big 3 searchengines (MSN, Google and Yahoo) and see what comes up.

2. If something comes up that you rather potential employers not know about, email the owner of the website and ask them to remove it.

3. If the webmaster will not remove it, or if you can not contact that person at all, prepare a statement and file it in your mental rolodex. If you are ever questioned about it, at least you have the advantage of being prepared ahead of time.

Hope this helps...

Unbe-freakin'-lievable!!!

A college student who hopes to graduate without debt by selling $1m dollars worth of internet advertising space has already made $74,000. (Can you believe that?!!)

Read about it here: Student's cash-raising net scheme

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