Posts Tagged 'economy'

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!

My Journey with LinkedIn

onlinkedin_midDo you ever think you are going to do something and get partially into it and then back out? This was my experience with LinkedIn. I thought I would share that journey in case you too struggle with the same questions or fears.

As a member of the career management community, I have the inside track on all sorts of new initiatives and endeavors. I’ve mentioned before that I highly respect my career colleagues. However, even that inside information doesn’t propel me into motion. In 2006, my career industry friends from Career Management Alliance and Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches were starting to talk about LinkedIn. I’m not afraid of new software so I went to the site and set myself up in LinkedIn. Next it asked me who I would like to connect with? Oh-oh, this meant I would have to ask someone… scary! My profile was up there but I didn’t want to take a chance and invite someone. So I left the site and LinkedIn left my mind.

The other side of me as I have mentioned is Wausau Whitewater. As the Operations Coordinator, I have contacts with paddling enthusiasts from all over the world, many of whom I have met in person. Wausau has a reputation as a world class whitewater course and has hosted numerous national and international events, including World Cups. Bob Campbell, who coached the US Slalom Team in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics and Joe Jacobi, who won Olympic gold in C2 in 1992, had come to Wausau in to coach during Junior Slalom Team Trials in May 2007, the event that selects the US Junior Team which competes in Europe. We visited once again and promised to keep in touch. In October 2007, first Bob then Joe invited me into LinkedIn. I said yes. I knew them and was honored that these Olympic connected people wanted me in their network. I told them both I didn’t know a lot about how LinkedIn worked.

I got busy and forgot about LinkedIn until January 2008 and then Jimmy Blakeney asked me into his LinkedIn network. I knew Jimmy too also from Wausau Whitewater. Jimmy was a premier freestyle competitor who had been to a number of the major freestyle events in Wausau. I told him too that I didn’t know much about Linkedin.

But those encounters with Jimmy, Bob and Joe started me thinking. I went back to my career groups and started watching for information about LinkedIn. I reviewed my LinkedIn profile and revised it

In the dialogues that were coming out then on the e-lists, I noted that Jason Alba seemed to have the most information about what LinkedIn was all about. I started talking with Jason by e-mail and he talked back to me! This always amazes me when people go out of their way to talk to me. Jason is also the founder of JibberJobber.com which is a career management tool that helps you keep track of your job searches.

I learned that Jason had authored the book, “I’m on LinkedIn, Now What?” and decided that I would order the e-book and check it out. As I said, I’m not afraid of new software and I am pretty intuitive and have taught myself many different software applications. Jason’s book gave me all kinds of tips in very easy to understand terms. I had a lot of it right and he confirmed that but he also taught me many other aspects of LinkedIn that I hadn’t yet figured out. Jason gives you a great concept of both what LinkedIn is and what it isn’t. He’s just developed the second edition of I’m on LinkedIn, Now What which reflects Jason’s own growth in knowledge of networking, technologies in social networking, and LinkedIn itself.

Since I bought the first edition, I have been recommending Jason’s book to my clients, my own LinkedIn network, and to others I meet who want to learn more about LinkedIn.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, I would highly recommend it as a way to promote yourself professionally whether or not you are on a job search right now.  If you have a profile but were confused as to how to use LinkedIn, you should buy the book so that you don’t do what I did and sit up there without any friends for a year plus. If your profile doesn’t say what you would like it to say, contact me and that’s another service I provide as part of Design Resumes. In this economic climate, we all need to be proactive and make sure that we are using every tool possible.

You can now also find me on Twitter (another social network) @JulieWalraven

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?

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.


Subscribe to Feedburner

Follow Me on Twitter

http://twitter.com/JulieWalraven

12for12K

12for12k-banner-234x60-3-animated