|Careers & Employment Information|
Creating Your Own Luck
Losing my job in the last recession of the last century, I discovered first hand the power of creating your own luck. A week later, I decided to locate an interim position while I looked for a "real" one. Accepting a temporary position at minimum wage in an industry I knew little about, I decided the way to enjoy the position was to learn everything I could and contribution all that I could. I poured over manuals in my down time, developed processes to expedite the work, trained new employees, volunteered for additional assignments, and did anything that needed to be done. Four weeks into a ten week job, I was unexpectedly offered my first management position.
If I had listened to my friends cautioning me that taking a minimum wage position was career suicide, if I had been concerned about accepting a job "beneath" my education or experience level, or if I had only done what was expected, I would have missed an opportunity that led to five promotions in the next seven years.
It has been my experience over the years, while climbing the corporate ladder to Vice President of a multi-billion dollar company, that opportunity is everywhere and anywhere. Often, it's in unexpected places for those who differentiate themselves in the workplace. People who do what is expected of them, do it very well, "and then some" have opportunities arise that others never do. And people who set their ego aside, contributing everything they can to the task at hand, often create their own luck. That's because initiative is a powerful commodity in the workplace.
People offering to do extra work only if they get paid for it, or take on extra responsibility only if their salary is increased first, have it backwards in my book. My advice: do the work, do it well, and then do it even better. Higher pay, greater responsibilities and increased opportunities follow individuals who are contributors. Anytime I looked to hire people, offer permanent positions to temporary employees or interns, start up new departments or businesses, or promote individuals, I looked for people doing their job well ..."and then some."
(c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Sign up to receive Nan's free biweekly eColumn at www.winningatworking.com. Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a writer, columnist, small business owner, and on-line instructor. Contact Nan at email@example.com.
Career Transitions: Creating Complementary Careers in a Day
Down-sized? Outsourced? Burned-out? Wizened up? That's what I said. Wizened up! Now is not the time to be depressed. Now, is the perfect time to assess your life and what you want to do with the rest of it. One easy way is to explore career options that are complementary to you. Whether you are leaving by choice or have been asked to leave, you probably have more courses of action then you think.
When Should You Update Your Job Skills?
With the U.S. economy still slumping and unemployment numbers barely moving forward, many workers may be considering what their employment future could be like if they were to lose their job. If you're in a healthcare field, or possess computer skills, you don't have much to worry about, except explaining why you left your last job. On the other hand, if you're employed in production or manufacturing, you may be asking yourself, "when should I update my job skills?"
The 10 Second Window of Opportunity, Resume Hour Glass
Do you know that a hiring manager just spends 10 second with your resume before deciding to forward or junk it? Ten seconds is all you got, to impress that person to get to the next step of the hiring process - "interviews". I have seen many folks who can easily market themselves in person but they are poor at condensing them in a piece of electronic paper. This article helps you focus on beating the "Resume Hour Glass".
Always Have a Current Resume
What is the biggest mistake people make with resumes?
Pair Your Powerful Resume with a Great Cover Letter
Every great resume deserves a great cover letter.
Resurrecting the Perfect Resume, Part One
Is your resume dead? Don't be so quick to say, "No way!" Of the hundreds of resumes I've seen written by job seekers of all backgrounds and educational levels, easily 95% qualify to be labelled as dead-but-not-yet-buried.
Hot Business Trends for 2006? And Beyond: Maybe One Will Turn Into a Creative Business Idea for You
I always look forward to the December issue of Entrepreneur magazine. That's the issue that features the publisher's annual pick of hot businesses, markets, and trends for smart entrepreneurs ? or those who aspire to be. Some of the high tech businesses cited like mobile gaming or online learning tend to require six and seven figure start up costs. This can seem daunting (although not impossible) for the person just venturing into self-employment. So I've decided to focus on the markets, trends, and businesses that speak to someone operating on a somewhat more limited budget. Let's start with hot markets: HOT MARKET: Middle-Aged Women Since I've recently entered my last year in my 40s, I thought it only appropriate to start with this group (although like most boomers, I still have a hard time thinking of myself as anything close to "middle aged"). Not surprisingly, products and services for women in their 40s and 50s that center around anti-aging and menopause are hot. The magazine cites such promising areas as counseling, exercise spas, yoga, smoking cessation programs? any product or service that helps women stay healthy and feel good about themselves ? both inside and out. The reference to smoking cessation got me thinking? Residential treatment facilities for other forms of substance abuse are common- place, but I've personally never seen a retreat, spa, or other residential-type place specifically aimed at people who need help quitting smoking, and who would benefit from doing so outside their home environment. I'm picturing morning walks, meditation, massage, support groups, good food, and of course, lots and lots of punching bags! HOT MARKET: Toddlers/Tweens/Teens According to market research firm Packaged Facts, last year 5 to 14 year olds spent $10 billion on food and beverages. Other favorite product areas for kids are sports, fashion, music, and technology. And apparently home décor and remodeling isn't just for adults anymore (who knew?). Stores like IKEA and Pottery Barn are starting to selling home furnishing products aimed at teens. With baby boomers having more discretionary income with which to spoil their grandchildren, babies and toddlers have also become hot markets. Online start-up ELittle Luxuries offers designer baby furniture and more than 600 other upscale baby items. (http://www.eLittleLuxuries.com) HOT MARKET: Overweight People After reading how much kids spend on food and beverages, it's no surprise that 15% of children and teens are overweight. But we adults have them beat. A whopping 64% of Americans are considered obese or overweight. Businesses that offer products and services to help people slim down and develop more healthy habits are the most obvious. But entrepreneurs willing to think outside the "solve the problem" box by looking for ways to make overweight people's lives easier verses trying to fix them, will also do well. HOT MARKET: Metrosexuals With the enormous appeal of stylish soccer super star David Beckham and shows like Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy where gay men help straight men with fashion, grooming, home décor, and social skills, a growing number of heterosexual men are allowing themselves to tap into their fashionable side. One enterprising guy who jumped into the metrosexual market early has seen phenomenal growth. With $20,000 and a dream, Tom Granese launched Regiments, an online store that sells high-end grooming products for men. Less than two years later, Tom opened his first storefront in Dallas with a projected $210,000 in first year in-store sales. HOT MARKET: Hispanics The Hispanic market is certainly nothing new ? in fact it's made Entrepreneur's list for many years now. The magazine cites opportunities in anything from food and entertainment, to financial services and Web services. Now let's look at two of Entrepreneur's picks for hot trends in 2004? HOT TREND: Outdoor Living Spaces Into gardening or design? According to Joanne Kostecky of the American Nursery & Landscape Association, and president of her own garden design company, the concept of outdoor living rooms that is so popular in the south and some urban areas is beginning to reach the rest of the country. The fact that more consumers are investing in courtyards and elaborate gardens means the gardening and outdoor design businesses are bound to grow! HOT TREND: Fast-Casual Food Health and taste conscious consumers on the go are turning to fast- casual restaurants and chains. In my own small town of Northampton, two of the more popular joints are benefiting from the fast-casual boom. One serves upscale burritos (my favorite is the Thai burritos) and the other is a hip soup, salad, and sandwich joint that opened in a greatly remodeled former Taco Bell restaurant. Idea: Back in my old softball days I always wished someone would cater to all those hungry players and fans by starting a high quality food wagon. Other Hot Trends? Boating and water sports, the hunger for low- carb foods (a trend being taken seriously by restaurants, grocery stores, and food manufacturers), oils and sauces, and multiculturalism which includes the gay and lesbian markets. Hot markets and hot trends lead to hot businesses. Here are some of Entrepreneur's picks? HOT BUSINESS: Children's Enrichment Programs With so many parents in the workforce, more kids than ever before are engaged in extracurricular and after school activities. If you like the idea of working with kids, you can opt to open a physical location like a gym, dance or art studio, or camp, take your program into the schools, or provide private lessons. If you think opening your own place is financially out of reach, think again. While $12,000 is no small sum of money, it's a lot less than a lot of people might expect they'd need to shell out to start their own dance studio. But that's how much former dance student turned instructor Archer Alstaettter dug up in cash and credit cards to found Dance Emotion in Irvine, California. That was five years ago. Today Archer's studio has 500 clients and expects 600-plus to be enrolled by spring. You go Archer! HOT BUSINESS: Home Improvement Remodeling, refurbishing, and redecorating are all the rage. There are some 30 cable shows on home improvement alone. And home improvement isn't all about décor. Worth noting are businesses that help home owners maximize the space they have as well as those making homes more accessible to an aging population. (To read about a unique, highly successful, and legitimate home business opportunity that matches home owners with reputable home repair contractors go to http://www.ChangingCourse.com/hrnsuccess.htm) HOT BUSINESS: Yoga & Pilates According to Entrepreneur, companies are bending over backwards to cater to the growing market of people practicing yoga. Clothes, mats, DVDs, music, and classes aimed at seniors, pregnant women and children as young as three are just a few products and services aimed at this growing market. And with a reported 47 million Americans taking Pilates, a work out that builds abdominal muscles, opportunities abound for gym owners and instructors alike. If you like the idea of teaching Pilates, studio owner Maria Leone recommends starting out by keeping overhead low. She suggests renting space for one-on-one sessions from a small gym or chiropractic office. Fees for a typical Pilates session range from $50 to $70 an hour. Meditate on that! HOT BUSINESS: Upscale Pet Services According to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association, Americans spent an estimated $31 billion on pets in 2003. A few of the luxury services cited include pet hotels complete with heated floors, limousine rides, day cruises, and personal shoppers. And apparently the spa trend has extended to the pet world with exfoliating treatments, aromatherapy, liposuction (I kid you not), and chiropractic services. HOT BUSINESS: Outsourcing Outsourcing is one of those good new-bad news things. If your job is being eliminated because it's cheaper for your company to outsource functions like HR, accounting, and network security, then outsourcing is a bad thing. Outsourcing is particularly hot in IT ? and when it comes to outsourcing jobs overseas, it's also controversial. The good news for freelancers is the federal government plans to open 850,000 jobs to outsourcing, with $85 billion in federal IT contracts to be awarded over the next three years Other Hot Businesses: Spas, organic foods, online matchmaking, senior care, wireless, tech security, and voiceover IP (VoIP). If you believe as I do that it's better to be the boss, than to have one, why not make 2004 the year you start putting your entrepreneurial plans into action? You don't have to quit your job or mortgage your home to get the ball rolling. You might resolve to do some research, start putting together a business plan, take a course on marketing, glass blowing, woodworking, web design, or whatever sparks your fancy, get certified to teach yoga, buy a book on how to launch a successful on-line business, start a Barbara Sher style Success Team? or just order a subscription to Entrepreneur. If you don't already subscribe to Entrepreneur you can do so at http://www.Entrepreneur.com. The site also features a ton of free resources for anyone who already is ? or dreams of ? working for themselves. For other free resources for people who want to start their own businesses visit http://www.ChangingCourse.com/newbiz.htm Okay, but what if you don't see a trend, market, or business here that speaks to you? Then find the one that does! I had a client who is crazy for horses and photography. It took me all of 30 seconds on Google.com to find a group called the Equine Photographers Network. In addition to their conference this February in Florida, the group offers a free public online discussion group with over 700 members who range from top-of-their-field working pros to amateur photographers to magazine editors and writers to horse owners, all interested in improving their equine photography skill and knowledge. Learn all about the Equine Photographers Network at http://www.EquinePhotographers.net. The way to find the "hottest" business idea for you is to get in touch with the passion that burns the brightest in your heart. Then make 2004 the year resolve to you take those first bold steps on behalf of your dream!
Listening for Interview Success
Yes I know that we usually think of interviews as us doing all the talking, but the reality is different. At least 40% of the time we should be listening, and what we hear will have an enormous effect on what we say.
The Computer-Friendly Resume
The evolution of technology is changing the traditional methods for job searching and recruiting. More and more companies are now relying on computers to initiate the process of hiring and are filling their database with candidates with skills that are easily searchable. Traditionally, submitted resumes were first received and sorted by humans. What else, right? But now, for many firms, this step has been handed over to their computers.
TMI: The Resume Destroyer
"They say my résumé should be only one page long. Is that correct?"
How to Pick the Best Career for You: Part 3
Marketing-with-Intent precisely drives you to your target and with greater speed because you are using the right mode of transportation, an accurate compass and a clear vision of where you're headed. You'll differentiate yourself from your competition by using the right vehicle to uncover the best career for you. Finding a job is easy. Locating a meaningful career is much harder but well worth the sweat.
Networking - A Key Factor in a Successful Job Search
In today's economy, job seekers need an edge beyond their experience, education and specific industry and job-related skills, in order to find and secure a position. Regardless if you are looking for an opportunity as CEO, Vice President, IT Manager or Customer Service Representative, you need effective tools to compete within a market that is job-poor and candidate rich.
How To Find A Telecommute Job
The answer may be easier than you think, but there's a catch.
Salary, Raises, & Perks: Negotiate to Get Paid What Youre Worth!
Salary negotiation requires preparation and good timing. It's important to determine your salary needs and research the market value for the job you want. Timing is critical for negotiation. Discussing salary requirements too early in the interview process can jeopardize your chances of getting the salary you deserve. Failure to negotiate could result in losing money.
7 Secrets of a Highly-Effective Resume Cover Letter
Just like the late, great Rodney Dangerfield, the "humble" cover letter gets no respect.
Just a Series of Choices
Steve's a pretty regular guy ? wife, 4 kids in their blended family, 12+ years of engineering experience, a degree, mortgage, car payments, some debt? and feeling depressed because he waited to look till the end. Last time he transitioned was 5 years ago for more money and he liked some of the people and it was simple?this time he's heard some in his professional association have been looking for almost a year...and they weren't lightweights. No wonder he's sweating.
Continuing Professional Development
Continuing professional development (CPD) is promoted by the CIPD to support the systematic development and accreditation of its members. The aim is that the continuing search to improve knowledge and skills through exposure to new experiences benefits both the individual and the business. The CIPD actively encourages CPD along with other bodies for professionals such as lawyers, accountants and surveyors.
Focus On White-Collar Crime: Accounting Fraud and Computer Crimes Creates Need; Qualified Investing
An epidemic of white-collar financial crime has resulted in the development of specialized education programs focused on economic crime investigation and fraud management. These college-level degree programs attract students who are interested in law enforcement and are attracted by the very unique nature of these types of crimes and the special investigative techniques required to solve them.
Rewriting Your Resume? 7 Easy Ways To Give Yourself An Upgrade
In today's competitive job market, a first class resume is an essential tool for winning an interview. The way in which you present your skills, achievements and experience on paper will profoundly affect the way in which a hiring company considers your application.
How to Give Job-Winning Answers at Interviews
Human Resources personnel, professional recruiters and various other career experts all agree: one of the best ways to prepare yourself for a job interview is to anticipate questions, develop your answers, and practice, practice, practice.
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