Posts Tagged 'Design Resumes'

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.

Pinkslipparty and Stone Soup!

Photo BY Hypernaut
Photo BY Hypernaut

Social media has really been an adventure for me in the past couple of years. I spent much of my free time in the fall reading and commenting on blogs that I found through Twitter. I love technology! But that is a post for another day.

This post is cutting it very close because the latest pinkslipparty in Boston will start in 15 minutes from this writing. But it will be there for the future, for all the potential pinkslipparty questions people may have in the future.

My adventure with pinkslipparty began when I saw a post by @Pistachio (aka Laura Fitton) on Twitter on the afternoon of January 9. She was announcing a pinkslipparty for the Boston area which she was putting together for that evening. She had found someone to donate a place and food and was looking for help from career services for both resources and prizes. I’ve given resume packages to church auctions and other projects before so I sent @Pistachio an e-mail volunteering to help with a donation of a resume package if she wanted. She replied that it would be great and there I was, a distant helper to a pinkslipparty half a continent away. I pointed her to the package on my very new web site www.designresumes.com and she was set.

Laura said on Twitter that it was like Stone Soup and that made me smile. I knew what she meant. She was referencing one of my favorite children’s stories, one I had seen over and over on Captain Kangaroo. Soldiers enter a village whose inhabitants don’t want to share anything with them. They suggest that they will make stone soup and then ask for one ingredient at a time. I don’t remember the order anymore but it was a carrot, a potato, an onion, until they had all they needed for the soup. The townspeople became more generous as the story went on and more trusting. I have used the analogy for Stone Soup which transcends beyond soup ingredients when I am organizing an event and want things to come together. I ask for just one thing and it expands until I have exactly what I need.

In Laura’s case, the pinkslipparty designed to help unemployed people gather to exchange ideas and just get past the feelings that come upon you when you are out of work. The pink slip party concept is explained here by Galen Moore of www.masshightech.com “Like those festivities held after the dot-com bubble burst the last time the economy crashed, 2009’s pink-slip parties are popping up to provide a jump start for networking job seekers and a petri dish for growing new startups. Perhaps more importantly, they offer shoulders to lean on for the newly laid off.”

By later in the evening @Pistachio had sent me a DM letting me know that @JamesonBull had won the package. Even before that I caught Jameson Bull’s Tweet that the pinkslipparty was awesome and he was the winner! You can see the shorter web version of the resume I created for Jameson in his portfolio.

Tonight another Initial Launch Package will be given away in Boston. I told Laura that I would be happy to help out with another donation. This afternoon I e-mailed my Career Directors International colleagues to give them a heads up on what I am doing and open the door to other donations for other pinkslipparties. On March 6, one more Initial Launch package will be given away in Chicago at the pinkslipparty that Brendan Murphy, @dendari on Twitter, is planning.

I think that this is the time that the country needs to pull together, all of us need to work together. I’m a resume writer and make my living by writing resumes but I can contribute in a small way with a few packages to help someone move forward in their career. If you are unemployed, check for pinkslipparty on Twitter or Google and you will find yourself with others who share your concerns. At the same time, people like Laura Fitton are trying to find ways to pull in the career services industry, the hiring companies, and help people move forward. Together, we will survive the economic challenges, perhaps by making our own version of Stone Soup!

I wandered away, but I wasn’t lost

Photo by Ted Bratton

Photo by Ted Bratton

If you had been following this blog, you might wonder why I have been so silent for more than two months. You might think I abandoned the blog or that something happened to me but really neither of those would be right. I had plenty of blogging ideas and overall I’m fine. I did get amazingly busy though because of multiple factors.

I must have mentioned Wausau Whitewater somewhere in this blog before. I play so many roles that sometimes I lose track. As the Operations Coordinator for Wausau Whitewater, I am very involved in almost every aspect of the non-profit. The month of December was filled with budget item reviews and bids for vendor services and calculating how we will survive in this economy. But though the new President, Mike Schroeder, and I worked very hard, we now feel very positive about the upcoming season. Though Wausau Whitewater has its own blog  that I have also been absent from, I will from time to time report on the Wausau Whitewater happenings because it represents a huge part of my life. We’ve been working steadily for the last few months to get ready to launch the season. I have spent incredible amounts of time creating brochures, fliers, and handouts. It won’t go quiet on the whitewater front until at least October but some things are in place and I can see daylight again.

Then there was the website. I planned to do a blog post about Design Resumes website launching. There’s a story there too. I was so stuck trying to figure out how to write the pricing page that I stalled that project until it made me so uncomfortable that it showed. In between whitewater assignments, Mike wondered why I was uptight. Once I admitted that I was stuck, he challenged me to finish up that project so I would be able to move forward on others. In three days, I wrote the rest of the missing pieces to www.designresumes.com and my awesome web designer, LB Whaples, let the site go live. It launched on January 6 and started another amazing journey that has changed so much about how I do business.

After we launched the site, I got this bright idea that I wanted this blog to be part of the site. I enlisted the help of Kim Woodbridge from her Anti-Social Development, http://www.kimwoodbridge.com/ to help me port the blog to the site. I found Kim sometime ago when I was reading someone else’s blog, I think it was Kristen King with Inkthinker, http://inkthinkerblog.com/ I liked Kim’s communication style and I learned so much from her WordPress blog posts that I knew that she was the one to move the blog. Kim is all done with her part of the project and I love the fact that she rethemed the blog to match the site but at the moment, LB is both buried in work and having an issue with my server that seems to not want to make the blog porting project work right now. Kim told me I could keep blogging but I just had so much going on that I keep putting writing my posts as the last thing on my list. Kim is awesome and if anyone needs a WordPress blog assist or tips, you should contact Kim!

This post is simply a catch-up post for anyone following this blog and wondering and then I shall begin with a more dedicated posting schedule and the articles that are still in my head waiting to come out.

If you haven’t visited www.designresumes.com to see what it lo0ks like, head over there now and let me know what you think. I finally figured out that you can edit a website and you don’t have to be perfect to launch one. Thinking you have to do things perfectly really slows your progress. So from now on, you will hear from me, it might not be perfect, but I will not wander away… at least for awhile. 🙂

Tested but not crushed

Andrew Plath, Wildlight Photography

Photo Credit: Andrew Plath, Wildlight Photography

Tested but not crushed… I’ll explain where that phrase comes from in a bit.

 

 

As you get to know me, you will find that I become very passionate about people or things that help me grow. In about 2003, a friend e-mailed me and her group of friends a link to Flylady (www.flylady.net) and said, someone might find this helpful. That was an understatement for sure! You’ll have to check out Flylady for yourself but she has definitely changed my life. A life coach could probably describe her. Yes, she’s a life coach to about 500,000 people around the world right now.

 

A brave woman, also known as Marla Cilley, she has steadily expanded her network of helpers to include a wide range of individuals specialized in areas that can help anyone. She teaches babysteps and connects you with her base of contacts. You can find all about Flylady’s friends by going to her website but the one that got me started on this blog topic today was her virtual personal trainer, Jonathon Roche, who has become my virtual personal trainer too.

I waffled about getting Jonathan’s Momentum Weight Loss System and have now found it to be right up on one of the best decisions I ever made. His heart rate monitor and the encouraging DVDs make me realize why I reached a plateau with my fitness goals. I wasn’t working hard enough! My target heart rate this morning was 153. Jonathan teaches how to use intervals (working for 3 to 5 minutes to get to a specific heart rate and building those incrementally through a 30 minute workout with recovery time between each 3 – 5 minute build up). On non-interval days, he advises you to do his No Excuses Workout which works on strengthening your muscle groups. Throughout the workout he is coaching and encouraging. His pet phrase is “We want to test you but not crush you.” He encourages you to work to meeting the goals of each session but not to the point of hurting yourself.

 

As I think about those words, “test you but not crush you”, it reminds me too of a Bible passage which talks about not giving you more burdens than you can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13).  “He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to see you through it,” is how my Message version of the Bible puts it.

 

With the challenges of the economy, Wall Street, election, and everything else happening on the news these days, I think many of us relate to feeling crushed. I’ve been in business for 25 years as a résumé writer and never have I seen my new résumé client numbers for Design Resumes drop as low as it has for the past month or so. I have to cling to both Jonathan’s advice and the Bible’s advice and know that I am being tested but I am not meant to be crushed.

 

I pull all my resources together at times like these. I read the Word more, I network with friends both to stay positive and let them know I am looking for business, I work on learning new marketing strategies, and I catch up on all the projects that got stuck while I was so busy for years. I use strategies Flylady has taught me, like using her timer, “You can do anything for 15 minutes” to keep working toward goals. Don’t forget to check her out on www.flylady.net!

 

My business contracts with Wausau Whitewater so my résumé writing side is not my only source of income. As the non-profit’s Operations Coordinator, I stay busy working on marketing and planning for the next whitewater season on the downtown whitewater course in Wausau, Wisconsin.

 

Again, all of my resources get pulled together and I remind myself that I am being tested but not crushed and I think this is critical for all of us these days. What about you? Are you being tested?

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