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December 20, 2014

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Social Media + Networking = Career Moves

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By Trish Freshwater

When I first joined LinkedIn, it was a little known web site where a Sodexo social networkingfew of us “geeks” posted a brief resume and hoped to connect with former college classmates and maybe find a professional contact through the whole three degrees of separation theory. It was the first attempt to connect with others online outside of e-mail. And to us, the LinkedIn of 2004 was way cool. Until Facebook came along and showed us how we could really keep up with old friends …

Today, social media has many roles in our lives — not the least of which is creating our own personal-professional brand, and providing a platform to connect with professionals in our industries. But, if you’re not using social media in a meaningful way, you could actually hurt your chances of landing that great job you recently discovered.

Step 1: Build Your Brand

You. The image you want a prospective employer to have of you. Your brand. Do you know what it is? Do you know what it looks like? Collectively, all of your social media profiles create an image of you — but without proper care, you might be leaking too many details about your personal life into your professional image. So, take a few moments to decide what, exactly, you want your brand to look like. Read More

Mentors Are All Around You

By Elizabeth Ghaffari

Looking for a mentor?big_change2

They’re all around you: at home,  school, play, work and in the media.

They’re our mothers, fathers, siblings and other relatives who have traveled these paths before us and can teach us simple truths: the joy of reading, how words are put together, teasing, different cultures, and different life experiences.  Our choice is to listen to their examples or ignore them. Gather those lessons and you can gain great wisdom and insight. Ignore and you’ll walk away empty-handed.

Mentors at school are the many teachers from elementary to graduate school who help us negotiate our awkward years.  It may take years for their lessons to sink in.

Mentors at play are coaches who, after four decades of equal access to sports funding, literally have a lifetime of team-building, coaching, training, conditioning and competitive experiences to guide us.

Mentors at work teach us that no job is too small or undignified. Every work opportunity brings a host of teachers, advisors, and role models and the “first” women in many lines of work guide us by having dared to be outstanding.

All these mentors provide the foundation for what we read, view or hear.  And in many ways we are defined by the media choices we make. If we focus on a lack of women in certain workplace sectors, we risk ignoring all the women role models and mentors.

The wisdom of mentors is everywhere—in your memories, the stories you tell yourself and each other, the pages you read, and the people you meet. How you tap that wisdom and make it your very own is the gift of mentorship.

Elizabeth Ghaffari is author of Tapping The Wisdom That Surrounds You: Mentorship and Women.

Consider Relocating for Your Next Job

MYou many improve your chances of finding a job by taking your search on the road, Money magazine says. Three out of four hiring managers say their organizations struggle with a lack of local talent.

Voicemail Can Help You Be A Better Job Seeker

iStock_000003177524XXLarge-copy-300x250Suspect you’re not as strong in interviews as you could be? Practice for the next one by leaving yourself a voicemail and playing it back. Listening to how you sound could make all the difference, says Money magazine’s Caroline Ceniza-Levine.

Discover Why a Work-From-Home Business is Started Every 11 Seconds

Women for Hire November Sponsored Post 1105

There’s a movement sweeping the nation — women who are choosing to become home-based business owners in order to create the life they want, or that they need. While there are plenty of entrepreneurs whose only motivation is to make money, today more people are choosing to start a business primarily to fit their lifestyle; to bring more harmony to their work and personal lives.

How do these work-at-home businesses bring about work/life bliss? Simply put, they offer more free time for personal and family matters while still providing financial success and stability. Changes in job situations often cause people to re-examine their lives and open up new opportunities that better fit their lifestyle. Becoming a work-at-home business owner offers a viable and desirable alternative to the daily grind. You may have spent hours sitting at a desk job thinking that while the money may be good, the lifestyle is not.

Running your own business provides opportunities to make more money than if you were employed by someone else. You are in control of your income and how much, or little, you work. Working from home can also save you a lot of money. According to HuffingtonPost.com, the average American spends $2,000 on gas, $500 on dry cleaning, $2,000 on lunch, $1,000 on coffee and $7,436 on childcare.

When you work for yourself, and at home, your overhead is limited. You don’t have big office space you have to rent or buy. Your salary and benefits are all up to you. Work-at-home businesses are great to start due to their lower-than-average start-up costs, which usually total a few hundred versus a few thousand dollars. In fact, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation puts the average cost of starting a new business from scratch at just over $30,000.

If you choose to own and operate a work-at-home business, you won’t be alone. Not by a long shot. In fact, a recent survey of U.S. businesses indicates the majority of owners start their businesses at home. The number of home-based businesses in the U.S. nearly doubled in the last decade, reaching 18.3 million in 2010. If you’ve considered starting your own business but the idea seemed complicated or terrifying, remember that not all start-ups are the same.

Owning a business doesn’t have to mean searching for venture capital funding, or spending 70 hours a week trying to get your company off the ground — on the contrary, these are the minority. You can join the millions of women who have started a home-based business, with small investments in time and money, for the sole purpose of creating a lifestyle that fits their needs or desires. It’s possible to earn a rewarding living while caring for your aging parents, or working four hours a day so you can attend your child’s school play. Take the step today to the lifestyle you want to live. Whether that’s spending more time with family, reducing stress, or traveling — with a work-at-home business, you get to decide.

Read the whole article on the Arise Work From Home Blog.

Job Hopping Loses Stigma

A new survey finds that 41% of baby boomers believe that people should stay in their jobs for at least five years before looking for a new role. Another 21% say between four and five years. Job hopping early in your career has lost its stigma, says Laura Vanderkam, as people now recognize that it is an efficient way to find the right job and get paid what you’re worth. Read more on Fast Company.

Holiday Success for Jobseekers

iStock_000005250604XLarge-951x1024One of the biggest drags of the holiday season is being asked, “Have you found a job yet?”

Don’t shy away from holiday events because you dread the admission that you’re out of work or hate your job. Instead, use this time to put on a happy face and get fresh new leads.

1) The holidays are an ideal time to attend parties and network with people you don’t often (or ever) see.

2) Use the opportunity to refine your pitch and casually discuss your job search and the companies in which you’re interested.

3) Keep the conversation positive.

4) Discuss how you’re staying up-to-date on industry changes or boosting in-demand skills. Share volunteer accomplishments.

5) Even at family gatherings, you may find someone who can advise in your search or make an introduction to an helpful contact. Read More