Posts Tagged 'Careers'

Ask Me Why?

Photo by Jhayne

Photo by Jhayne

People have told me I was born with a helping heart. I am not so sure I was born with a business heart. If I see a need I can help with, I am so there. I don’t do it for attention, though by blogging about it, someone is sure to say that.

I am implusive and complusive. Right now I am trying to help @dendari who I met on Twitter with his Chicago Pinkslipparty for Friday. He doesn’t have a place for it. My two hat personality jumps right in there and says who do I know? I’m reaching out on Twitter, by e-mail, and to e-lists… I am an event organizer at heart who has put things together and been amazed when they worked.

I work long hours for my non-profit, Wausau Whitewater, because I believe in the gem of a whitewater course in downtown Wausau and want others to know and I also believe in the power of the whitewater community’s mindset. I don’t paddle (and for the last three years, I’ve added the word, yet!) But I love the goal-setting mentality. They set their mind to getting better at a skill and they do it. I see it expand to their lives. See this except from an article that Ben Peters from Hudson, Minnesota, a now 16 year old competitor wrote with me for the 2008 issue of Wausau Whitewater:

“Paddling has taught Ben so many things that affect him in everyday life. Paddling has taught him determination, concentration, maturity, wisdom, respect and how to wake up in the morning and keep on going no matter how wet and smelly his river booties are. Asked how paddling relates to the rest of his life, Ben said, “Paddling helps me in all of my others sports like ski racing, pole vaulting, running, road biking, weight lifting and soccer. I always give every sport that I am in everything that I have to offer both physically and mentally.  It also plays into my education in high school. Paddling stories are my main topic for English assignments and discussions because of the life lessons I have learned in my paddling excursions. It also give me drive to get above a 3.8 GPA because if I don’t meet those standards, no paddling for me.” Ben realizes it is important to have an education because if his future job doesn’t have to do with kayaking, he needs something to fall back on. Though his teachers might think otherwise, Ben says “Paddling also helps me in class when a topic is a bit dull, I can always daydream about sticking that perfect air loop or pivot turn. 
“Ben’s current goal for paddling is to compete in the 2012 Olympics in London for slalom and maybe freestyle if it becomes an Olympic sport.”

Yet, of course, it is really my Design Resumes side that pays the bills, the contract with Wausau Whitewater is a great base but only covers about 1/4 of our monthly expenses. This economy has affected many of the resume writers across the country as people delay buying decisions. Everyone thinks I should have clients pounding on the doors but it hasn’t been that way at all. I am busy but more busy with Wausau Whitewater projects and the “helping” projects that catch my heart and move me into trying to see if I can make a difference.

In the past, I really was frightened about finances and in order to keep my credit report pristine, I borrowed from Peter to pay Paul. But since then I have been working on trusting God more so I don’t panic and borrow and been coached to look at every expense very critically. As I started writing this post, the phone rang with a new client who will be here at 2pm. Back to trusting that God will provide. I focus on the goal setting of the paddling community and continue to strive to reach my goals while following my heart to the next project that needs my help.

A Business Study – The Filling Station

Phot from http://www.dawnsrecipes.com/cinnamon-rolls-374.htm

Photo from Dawn's Recipes

One of my goals with this blog is to highlight people who are successful in their careers in these challenging times as well as post about things that make me think. In the past, I have focused on my friend, Michael Schroeder’s new music CD in the post, Postcards on the Road, I talked about my connection with Jason Alba in My Journey with LinkedIn, and today, I will share one of the businesses in Wausau that I frequent.

On the last Wednesday of every month, I meet with a group of Christian Business Leaders to discuss things that affect our Christian witness in the workplace. The group was originally started by Coy Sawyer, from 89Q radio. We meet pretty early in the morning for breakfast at The Sixth Street Filling Station, located at 1314 North Sixth Street in Wausau.

I met the owner, Joan Schnitzler, when I’ve paid my bill and chatted a bit. Joan bought the restaurant from the original owners in March of 2008. I asked her how it felt to have just bought a new business in this economy. She said that though it is challenging, by encouraging more groups like our group to meet at the restaurant, she has been able to sustain business.

It is a smart strategy but one that many restaurants don’t go out of their way to encourage. Groups like ours of 20+ people meeting can disrupt other customers but we have found that most people still come in for coffee during our breakfast and some even stay and have their own breakfasts. Our group has an open session when we  discuss the topic at hand and respond to the questions by the leader or spin off of each other’s comments. We’ve become a very bonded group even though I didn’t know many of the participants when I started.

We all enjoy the Filling Station, in January, we had their Cinnamon Roll French Toast and it was delicious! The Filling Station has great prices, the unique french toast is only $3.79 unless you want bacon, sausage, or ham with it for $5.69. I had their 5oz Grilled Chicken Breast for $4.74 on a visit with a friend. They serve breakfast and lunch, opening at 6am on Tuesday through Sunday. I never tried their Flurries (M&M, Cookie Dough, Oreo, Snickers and more ) but I bet they would be yummy.

They make all the breads there … with my February breakfast, I had a cracked wheat roll and a sample of the carmel pecan rolls… very yummy!

The decor is really fun. It has all these very old gas station related signs and decorations. It fits the theme of Sixth Street Filling Station. Joan seems to be doing okay in this economy but I think that is because she focuses on giving great food at great prices. I’ve never gotten the Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls for $1.89 or the Jumbe Caramel Roll for $3.32 but I have watched them walk out the door. My favorite word, yummy!

If you are in the Wausau area, I think you would have fun at the Filling Station. Tell Joan I sent you!

Proactive or Reactive?

Proactive or Reactive?

Proactive or Reactive?

The other day I had a client call for an appointment. In the process of setting his appointment, we talked about how the economy is affecting people’s choices for everything they do. Investing, purchasing, or scheduling appointments, it seems like people are holding back right now. He said that he believed that could change on November 5 (the day after the election) but at this point, he was going to be proactive. He wanted to get his résumé updated so that when the tide turns; he is ready for whatever opportunities materialize.

 

 

His strategy is one that I have shared with clients for years. If you continuously update your résumé so that the content is fresh and reflects your newest and strongest accomplishments, then you will be ready when that networking opportunity surfaces and you find a potential opportunity that matches your skills. Many people wait until something catastrophic happens, either they are terminated from a position, permanently laid off, or the company goes out of business. At that point, the emotions are running so high, a range of being angry, depressed, lost, or sad that you are not in the frame of mind to think of accomplishments. My client’s strategy of being proactive meant that he could clearly assess what he wanted to talk about on a résumé and share with the next potential employer.

 

Clients that take this proactive strategy are able to use the tools I and other professional résumé writers provide to select keywords that match their skills and remember stories about their accomplishments that can be transformed into “résumé speak” for them. They are better able to retrieve testimonials or endorsements from their employee evaluations or client thank you letters which can be incorporated into the résumé to demonstrate their value to future companies.

 

In addition, clients who are proactive are also generally better networkers. They maintain a presence on LinkedIn and are actively building their contacts and connections. They may be using a tool like Jason Alba’s JibberJobber,  www.jibberjobber.com to track their network connections and start building a list of companies that they might like to approach for their next career move. Jason has labeled the difference career management versus job search. Today in his blog, Jason invites you to play fill in the sentence comparing the two. Check out www.jibberjobber.com/blog to see if you can find more comparisons than he did.

 

In this entertaining exercise, Jason is pointing out how career management is critical in today’s world. It is increasingly obvious that nothing is forever these days. You can’t expect to have a job for 20 or 30 years the way that prior generations did. You can expect that you will transition to new jobs and possibly new careers multiple times in your working lifetime.

 

A professional résumé writer can certainly work with clients who are pushed into action by sudden job loss but clients who are proactive in their career management will be able to feel more in control if they suddenly find themselves in the job search mode. Which would you prefer to be? Proactive or reactive? If you want to be proactive, email me at design@dwave.net to schedule your appointment to get your resume ready for your next career move.

A Long Time Coming

Once upon a time, way back in 1983, I entered into the world of resume writing. It was so long ago and such a very different world than it is today. The journey continued with me building an understanding of what was needed to create a strong resume bit by bit.

The love of writing anything has been a part of my make-up for as long as I can remember. I stumbled on writing resumes in the beginning on a whim and found a market. I started finding out that it was a much bigger world than I thought. In the 1990’s, I started getting invites to a group called PARW and was curious but not enough to actually join the group. Professional Association of Resume Writers sounded impressive but what if they just took my money? It took until 1999 for me to take the chance. What a world that opened up! Instead of being a lonely resume writer in Central Wisconsin, I found that there were many people just like me. They were all over the United States, but even better, they were all over the world. The Internet opened up so many new opportunities. I could talk to those writers on the e-list. I could see how they were managing their businesses. I could make friends! I didn’t take long to join a second group in 2000. Now Career Management Alliance (CMA), it was then the Career Masters Institute.

In 2003, with the encouragement of a resume writer and career coach, Susan Guarneri, who moved briefly to Wausau, I took the exam to become a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). It was another move I should have done long ago.

This journey now has placed amazing resources at my fingertips from the greatest career management specialists in the world. My career friends are amazingly generous and willing to share their knowledge.

I’m not anywhere close to the end of my journey. I suspect that my journey is not unlike many peoples. You make choices, you hold back, you take a chance, and often you find that in taking that chance, you are blessed.

I will be sharing my knowledge and pointing my readers to knowledge from the masters in the career field and together I hope we can make your career and life journey better.


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