Career Planning: Step by Step

Career Planning: Step by Step

Career planning includes numerous steps that assist us with gathering data about ourselves, the distinctive alternatives available, matching up our interests and after that taking action.

Step One: The Self

Keeping in mind the end goal to define the best objectives and career path to think towards, it should first originate from yourself. You must evaluate the accompanying things about yourself to start the career planning process:

Skills (What skills have I got so far? Do any come naturally for me?)

Knowledge (What have I learned? What knowledge would I be able to impart to others?)

Values (Your belief system, what do you value in life?)

Limits (What are you not willing to surrender, what constraints may you have?)

Interests (What do you decide to involve yourself with in your extra time?)

To go more in-depth, something which you may need to accomplish for those long-term career objectives, here are some more perspectives to survey about yourself.

Roles (what roles do you normally play in group dynamics? In your own power?)

Realities (what do you have set in your life at this time?)


Step Two: Self Development

Now that you’ve evaluated yourself, what have you found? Are there any skills you as of now have, yet you know they could get more stronger with all the more educating, or mentorship? Distinguish parts of what you’ve already surveyed that you might want to develop or increase. Perhaps this implies that you have a great enthusiasm for World Religions, but you don’t know a lot about the way of life in Japan. On the other hand perhaps you see that you have genuinely great cooking abilities, however you haven’t discovered your enthusiasm for culinary endeavors right now.

Step Three: Research

Now that you have a record of your interests, you should have a fair idea of what interests can join with professions. Look for the occupations that you think you may have enthusiasm for. Research about the industry this job is a part of. Does it appear like the sort of occupation you’d enjoy? How does the business sector look? Is there space for development? Is there an outburst of need as far as jobs go.

Step Four: Form an Action Plan

From this research you can start to figure an action plan in order how to accomplish that career. Set little objectives, small stepping-stones that will lead to big ventures. These stepping-stones may be ones to say get your foot in the door, or begin the networking process. The action plan doesn’t need to be point by point, however you should have some kind of a road map as to what you might want to seek after.

For instance, one of your stepping-stones may some of the following:

Consult a Temp (temporary work) Agency, go over with them what you need in a job

Look for part-time work or internships

Find a mentor, somebody from your field that you can get tips from, and in addition they can assist you with discovering the right way to where they are

Volunteer opportunities, don’t rebate elective ways that you can meet others

Continue to research

Approach others for advice, or who they may know that can assist you with your network

Step Five: Formulate Goals and Matches

Assess the employments and opportunities you’ve sought out so far. How are they looking? Are there different distinct options for investigate? From this, fashion out your short-term as well as long-term goals. On the basis of the self-assessment, things that you are willing to enhance and develop about yourself and additionally what you are really going after at this moment.

Step Six: Action!

Putting your goals into a plan of action that will assist you with staying informed concerning your advancement and what you are accomplishing day by day. Building up these steps will require some time and the amount of goals and steps you take to get to them will get more definite as you go along. Here are a few illustrations of action that you may need to include into your career plan:

Education and Training (research into what you require, what further improvement you may be interested in)

Methodology for job searching (may be started from your self-appraisal into what is essential to you, using these to find the best job feasible for you)

Company information searches

Resume and Cover Letter Writing

Planning for Interviews and Meetings

These actions lead to another objective or milestone to remember. Action is the thing that assembles it all, so by taking the planning and applying it to reality and beginning to really finish and work at these things will make your career planning an active process.

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How To Make Money Using A Money Matrix

How To Make Money Using A Money Matrix

Making money can be sort of a haphazard process or it can be organized, driven and automated. In this article we will look at how the Money Matrix can be used to change your income process from haphazard and stagnant to methodical, regular and dependable.

How Money Is Made

If you are familiar with my work you know that I teach how money is made by exchange. One person has a product or service they are willing to exchange for money and the other person has the money they are willing to exchange for the product or service. When the two people or parties come to an agreement on terms, such as price, delivery and warranty, then the exchange is made. That is wonderful when it happens, but often it doesn’t happen and no money is made. What can we do then? We can take specific actions to drive the process instead of waiting on the process to happen by chance.

The Two Models For Exchange

When it comes to sales or money exchanges, there are two basic ways for an exchange or sale to happen and in the real world a sale is often the result of a combination of these two ways. Money exchanges can be either passive or active, those are the two models. When I do consulting work with people and businesses I always look to see if their business model is mostly passive or mostly active. Knowing that is crucial to understanding where the leverage points are for improvement.

For an example of the passive model suppose a store is built, the shelves are stocked and the doors are opened. Now we wait until someone comes in, looks around, finds something they want, decides they are willing to part with their money for it and makes the purchase. If we are fortunate there is even someone there to accept the money. It is a wonder anyone makes a living with this model, but if the natural traffic in the store is high enough, the products are attractive to the shoppers, the pricing is acceptable and the sales clerks are a little helpful the store will survive and the owners or investors might even make money after expenses.

The second model is the active model. Think of the active model as driving sales instead of building a “sales trap” (which in business is what we sometimes call stores) and waiting for someone to wander into it. The passive model is a bit like a mouse trap where you bait it and wait (the term in business for this is “bait and wait”) for someone to wander in and trip the trap by biting on the merchandise for a sale. In the active model we take steps to “bring them in” to see the bait or merchandise instead of waiting for the prospect to find it on their own.

You may think of this as just advertising, but bear with me and I think you will see it goes far beyond advertising. This is more of a matching process.

An example of the active model would be an art dealer that has obtained a new painting by a moderately well known artist. The dealer might go to their book of clients and prospects to see if any are collecting art by this artist or have shown interest in the artist’s work. We will suppose as they review their notes they find four clients that have either bought art by the artist or have shown interest in the artist’s work and the art dealer one by one gets them on the phone, inviting them to a private showing of the new work of art.

The four clients come in to see the work of art, refreshments are served, background on the artist is presented and the highlights of the painting featured are discussed. It is made known that the artist would like to see this piece sold before their next exhibition to create interest and publicity for the exhibition and that you are accepting sealed bids tonight on this work of art. Three clients make a sealed bid, they all come in above the reserve price, the highest one wins and this piece of art is sold. No waiting for someone to wander in to the art gallery is involved.

More Than One Way To Use A Trap

In our story with the painting and the art dealer we have a structure in place to facilitate sales or a “sales trap” much like the store where we stocked the shelves and waited, but in this case we are driving clients to the facility for sales and not waiting for someone to wander into it. We are actually inviting them, but when the art dealer touches on benefits that peak human drives you could say from a physiological view they are driven to come to the art gallery by their human drives. They feel special for being invited and who doesn’t like to feel special?

I don’t want you to think I am disrespecting the client or our prospects when I use the term sales “trap,” I am just saying when we find an interest in our product we need to capture that interest for our benefit and the benefit of our prospect or client. If the products and services you are offering have true benefits, then anyone that buys them are well served and better off having purchased them.

Don’t let the terms products and services confuse you, if you have services you offer, then your services are your products. If your products are of value your clients benefit from your sales efforts and owning or receiving the products. If not, then don’t expect repeat business or referrals and those two things are the foundation of almost any profitable business.

A Book That Makes Money

One of the necessary elements for our little story about the art dealer is they had a book of clients and prospects. Many years ago when I sold insurance I had one of these books I had compiled. Before computers were as popular as they are now and a tablet was likely to be an aspirin, I used a three ring binder and had a separate sheet for the information I had gathered on each of my clients and prospects. Clients were the people that had bought from me and prospects were people that were prospective buyers or people I hoped would buy from me.

My first goal with these sheets was to move the prospects in the front of the binder to the back of the binder behind the divider that separated my prospects from my clients and I did that by converting them to buyers. When I sold something to a prospect they became a client and were moved from the front section to the client section. The second goal was to sell more to my clients based on events that created new needs in their lives or after an interval of time had passed that we called the “sales cycle.”

If you don’t have such a book or record of clients and prospects you probably are not driving your business, you are probably waiting for someone to wander in and buy something. It doesn’t have to be a book, but you need some way to capture the name, contact information and all other available information about everyone you know. You want to put on record what they do for a living, their spouse and children if they have them, their interests, hobbies and resources available to them.

You have to know your prospects and clients if you are going to help them and helping people is what this is all about. Are you planning to make your living by providing service to people through your products and services or by doing a disservice to people? While we are on the subject, who are your prospects? We can go to the bible for that answer to where the lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” The answer in the bible was a man in need, not someone that lived nearby, not even someone the man knew, but it was a person in need.

And who is your prospect? A prospect is a person in need that you can help.

At times we all need something, even many different things. That makes pretty much everyone a prospect and worth knowing a few things about them. If they never buy anything from you they still may be able to help you with a sale or project and if not, then help them anyway. You can’t help people without in the long run it helping you.

This information on your prospects and clients is the first part of the money matrix.

The Definition Of A Matrix

There are several definitions for the word matrix, but this one serves our purposes: “A gathering or array of things that in combination are the origin of something new or result in an outcome created by ordering and connecting elements.” It is almost like someone said, “Let’s write a definition that no one can use!” That is a bit vague and not something you would talk about at parties, but it is a start, let’s find an example that helps us understand the definition.

In math we often see a column of numbers that are arrayed or arraigned in a way they can be more easily added together to show us the total of the numbers. This column is a matrix made of individual items that create a new result when arrayed or arraigned to be easily combined into a total.

Scott’s useable definition of a matrix: “A matrix is a way of moving things around until they are in some sort of order where they make sense or are actually useful.”

For the Money Matrix we record information and move it around until it is useful for us and we see a sensible way to use it to make money.

I can give you a dozen numbers to add together with each number on a separate sheet of paper and the total won’t be obvious or easy to determine, but write them down in a column and you can easily see how they add up and where to carry over numbers into the ten’s and even hundred’s or thousand’s columns. Arrange a few small, single digit numbers so that they form a column and you can often tell the total at a glance. In this case the total is the answer. Getting the answer at a glance is the power of the matrix.

The Money Matrix

Think of a Money Matrix as being like a spreadsheet or a checkerboard. In either of those there is a place, little boxes or squares, where you can put something. In our matrix we have an entire column for the names of our clients and our prospects, with separate boxes or places in that column for each of them. We also have little boxes to put all of the information we have collected about them. We have their contact information, their spouse’s name and employment if applicable, their occupation, their interests, their hobbies and any resources they have. It wouldn’t hurt to know the names of any children, all of the birthdays, anniversaries and any other social bit of information we can reasonably find.

I don’t stalk people, I chat them up. That means I ask questions and I listen. I pay attention to what they are saying. Ask a man what he did for the weekend and if he spends the next ten minutes talking about fly fishing you can be pretty sure he is interested in fly fishing. Ask a woman what she does in her spare time and if she proceeds to explain the intricate points of scrap booking or making custom cakes you can be pretty sure she is interested in those things.

Don’t prejudge people, women may be computer programmers and engineers these days and men can be participants in cupcake competitions. Listen and let them tell you their interests. Ask a few questions and most people will be glad to talk to you if the two of you were properly introduced and you aren’t following them around with a recorder and a clipboard in hand as you ask questions.

Using The Matrix

Now the fun begins, you are going to play matrix match maker. Your friend Bill at work has been trying to sell his old car that he didn’t trade in when he bought his new one and it isn’t going well. The wife wants the thing out of the yard by the weekend. So you say, “Hey Bill, if I could help you out by selling that car for you would it be worth a couple hundred dollars?” Bill says it is worth that and more.

You get out your matrix and it jogs your memory to remember that you know three people that have children about driving age and just might be needing a good used car. You get them on the phone, one mother says she is interested and come Saturday her daughter has her first car, your friend has a few extra greenbacks in his pocket and a happy wife. You? Well you have an extra three hundred in your pocket out of appreciation from Bill and for playing matrix match maker. Not bad for a few phone calls.

The car story is just a fun little example, but it teaches you the basic process. This is just the start. What if you substituted companies for people? Your company has a new product to offer, but you don’t have an existing market. Get out the matrix and see what lines up. You may have to make a few phone calls to find that one of your existing customers has a branch that just might could use your new product and that the people that do your document storage has a division that markets new product lines to key buyers in your field. If you had not done a little small talking with people and made a few notes on the conversations you probably wouldn’t have remembered that the sales manager from the document company just came from his company’s marketing division for this job.

I know a man that makes a living by playing “matrix match maker” with odds and ends. He matches people up with everything from cars and furniture to land and boats. He doesn’t have what most people would call a job anymore, but he makes more now than when he was working in a professional career. After a few years of doing this type of thing people now ask him to find things they want to buy, but they can’t find or just when they don’t care to spend the time looking for them. Matrix? He has lists and lists and is putting them into the matrix format all of the time.

One Matrix, But Many Uses

I hope you can see how anyone can use a Money Matrix. If you are a store owner that wants to sell old stock to make way for new merchandise and uses the matrix to find and invite their special customers to a private sale or a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company that is looking for a way to get an appointment with the director of a new medical center and uses the matrix to find someone that can provide the introduction, you can use your own matrix for your own purposes and profit as you help others. If you want to make money by exchanging products and services the Money Matrix is a tool you can use to drive sales and create income in an active business model.

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Should Your Salary Be On Your Resume

Should Your Salary Be On Your Resume?

One of the most uncomfortable parts of a job search is the discussion of salary. Most of us do not really like negotiations over salary and fear that putting our current wage on paper might doom us to repeat it or not get the job we are searching for. For the most part, you really do not need to put salary history on your resume. At the same time, if a job posting asks you to include salary history or requirements when applying, they will be looking for that information when you apply. Skipping that part of the application process can automatically eliminate you from the running.

Employers have various reasons for requesting salary information but, regardless of those reasons, if they request it be sure to include it within your application. They may want to screen out those who expect more than they are willing to offer or find someone who is qualified and willing to take the least amount of compensation. They certainly want to know you will follow instructions. You could comply with a request for salary history in several ways:

- attach a salary history to your resume on a separate page
- include it in your cover letter
- use a salary range rather than the specific amounts

It should go without saying that your salary history should be accurate and up to date. You will be jeopardizing your career when they check with former employers and discover the truth, which is a very real possibility. At the same time, if you think you were underpaid, there is no reason to avoid saying so. You want to be sure that it can be said diplomatically and appropriately to avoid any misunderstandings. Be sure to not get discouraged if you don’t get the job — there are various reasons that these things happen and your salary requirements may not be why.

Salary requirements can be handled with statements that show your flexibility and willingness to negotiate the overall compensation package including benefits. Here, too, a range can be helpful as long as it is within reasonable limits. Putting “negotiable” is not always the answer that employers are looking for so be sure to be open and honest about your expectations. Tools like a salary calculator help you figure out what the range for those expectations should be. Salary may not be on your resume, but it is definitely at the top of everybody’s priority list, and you need to be prepared to discuss it.

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How to Find Work at Home Opportunities

How to Find Work at Home Opportunities

How do you work from home? How can you improve your income when you have so little?

These are common questions of an individual who is suffering from financial turmoil. You are not alone. Have you tried to wake up in the morning and felt like you’re trapped in a life that you have little control of and feel like there’s more to life than this?; When you feel like you deserve more and can have so much more; a life of freedom and the liberty to do what you desire; the freedom to spend more time with your family and the feeling that you are meant for bigger things.

The statements above are words that usually come from people who are unsatisfied with his/her career and are not happy with the compensation he/she receives. These complaints are real. This situation is happening and is a reality in the world we live in today.

You can do more than you can ever imagine. Explore and exhaust your talents and skills. If the work environment is killing you then STOP. Do not be hesitant, you deserve so much more. The office is not the only place to earn. You can work from the comforts of your own home, earn more and be happier.

How can you work from home? Follow the simple steps below.

1.) Scan and Search – The internet is the best place where opportunities are waiting for you. Scan through the net.. You will find thousands of available jobs. These jobs are categorized and arranged online in different sites and companies so it will be easier for you to choose from many opportunities. Just scan through and read through the jobs. Read the job reviews and descriptions.

2.) Choose a job – The next thing you will have to do is to pick a job. A smart way to choose a job is to select the career of your choice and interest. It is always true that you become successful when you venture on your passion and interest. If you also go for a job of your interest, work will not feel like work. Every day you will feel fulfilled and happy. The productivity and satisfaction will be felt.

3.) Create Your Resume and Application – Your resume must be transparent without any hidden facts about you. This will serve as the first test of trust and credibility. If you lie about your skills, then most likely, your employer will notice. So be honest.

4.) Apply for jobs – Apply for jobs. Yes, you heard that right. Apply for more than three jobs. Since the online market is the widest hub for opportunities, so many other applicants might be aiming for the same job you are also applying for. With this in mind, not all of your applications might be successful so apply for many jobs.

5.) The Interview – If you pass through the first step of the application process and reach the interview portion then give it your best. Answer questions directly without many explanation and discussion. Employers will also be smart enough to notice if you are telling the truth or not so be very honest.

There you have it, the steps to getting a work from home opportunity. Working at home will also allow you to have more than one job for as long as you finish your tasks in the given schedule and with quality, your employers will not have a problem with that.

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Career Change Myths

Career Change Myths

If you dream about having a different career, but don’t act on that dream, you may be operating under the assumption of a career myth. In this article, I expose 10 myths, sayings you’ve heard before that simply are not true. Let’s explore them.

Career Myth #1: You can’t make a living doing something you really, truly love

This is the grand-daddy of career myths, the belief that you can’t have a “practical” career doing something that you were passionate about. It has to be one or the other.

This myth is rooted in fear. Fear that we have to sacrifice our happiness to make a living. Don’t buy the myth that you can’t earn a living by doing what you love.

When I first started coaching, I heard from plenty of people that it would be very difficult to make a living doing this work. I just decided to find coaches who were successful, and to learn from them (simple, eh?).

If you find yourself buying into this myth, consider this question – As you look back on your life, what will you regret more? Following your passion or following your fears?

Career Myth #2: It’s a tough job market/economy

Even when the newspapers and other news sources say that unemployment numbers remain steady, that job growth is at a standstill, or that we’re experiencing slow economic recovery, not to mention downsizing and outsourcing, don’t believe it.

It’s a myth because it doesn’t reflect the whole story, the fact that that it’s a different job market today. It’s a changing economy. How we transition from job-to-job is different. Hiring practices have shifted. So the job market has changed, but that doesn’t necessarily make it tougher. What makes it tougher is that we’ve been slower to change. We’ve held on to old practices and old behaviors. That’s not to say that old ways still don’t work, but they’re just not as effective.

So I challenge you to just believe that it’s a perfect job market for you to find work. I’ve had my college students try this, just for a week, and, more times than not, several of them find job leads or make important connections during the week.

Career Myth #3: Changing careers is risky

What’s riskier than leaving what you know to pursue the unknown? Changing careers means leaving behind a piece of your identity – your “I’m a lawyer” response to the “what-do-you-do?” question. It might mean admitting to yourself that you made a mistake with an initial career choice. Or it might mean acknowledging that you’re unsure of what’s next. And smart people always know what’s next, right?

Nope. Successful career changers often don’t have a plan. In Working Identity: How Successful Career Changers Turn Fantasy into Reality by Herminia Ibarra, she provided evidence that waiting until you have a plan is actually riskier than just doing and experimenting.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is riskier than not changing careers if you’re longing to do so. Here’s why: The longing won’t go away. It will always be there, under the surface, waiting for you to do something about it.

Career Myth #4: Always have a back-up plan

Sometimes having a back-up plan is the smart and prudent course of action. Back-up plans are so grown-up and responsible. But what happens when you’re standing with one foot in and one foot out? In my experience, we usually close the door and retreat. We are reluctant to commit to ourselves, and we end up denying ourselves the satisfaction of playing full-out, getting dirty and sweaty. We end up with feelings of regret and the nagging “What if?” question.

Back-up plans diffuse our energy. Diffused energy equals diffused results. Give all that you’ve got to your dream/passion/risk and you’ve got a better chance of being successful.

Career Myth #5: There’s a perfect job out there for everyone

How long have you been searching for yours? You just know, deep inside, that there’s an ideal job that’s perfect for you out there. It matches your personality, skills, and interests to a tee. And it pays well. If only you could figure it out. If only you knew what it was.

Is there a perfect job out there for you? No. And here’s the good news – there are more jobs than you can imagine that would be “perfect” for you. Chances are you’ve even come very, very close to a few of those perfect jobs already. So what happened? And how do you recognize one of these so-called “perfect jobs”?

Ever see the perfect gift for someone, but it was months till his or her birthday? Then when you go to find the item later, you can’t. Another lost opportunity and you, once again, berate yourself for not buying it when you first saw it.

So maybe you’ve run into a perfect job in the past, but because of the timing, you passed by the opportunity. Or maybe you were so focused on something else, that you missed an obvious clue. Instead of dwelling on the past, which you can’t change, vow to keep your eyes open and to look beyond the obvious.

Career Myth #6: Asking “What’s the best thing for me to do?” is the right question

This is one of the most common questions asked when considering a career change or a career move. It seems like a logical analysis – weigh the pros and cons and evaluate the balance.

Do not ask yourself this question!! It rarely leads you to the answers you’re seeking. It will lead you to feeling overwhelmed with options (sound familiar?), or feeling like you have to choose what’s practical over what seems to be impractical.

The question that will lead you to answers is simple (but not easy!!) It is “What do I really want to do?” This is a very different question than “what’s best?”

Career Myth #7: If you don’t like your job, you’re probably in the wrong career

Cause and effect, right? One way to tell if you’re in the right career is whether or not you like your job. If you’re dissatisfied with your job, it’s probably a sign that you need to re-examine your whole career choice. This is frequently what I hear from new clients who have decided to work with a career coach. They know something isn’t right because they don’t like their jobs. Their natural assumption is that their dissatisfaction is a symptom of a larger underlying issue – their career choice.

This is an example of false logic. Not liking your job might be telling you you’re in the wrong job. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the wrong career. It doesn’t even mean you’re in the wrong job. You could just be working for the wrong person or the wrong company. It takes a skillful approach to discern the source of discontent, and I think it’s very hard to do it on your own (shameless plug for career coaches here!)

Career Myth #8: Everyone needs a mission statement

Do you know what your mission is? Mission statements are supposed to guide us, keep us on track, and help us move forward. But what if you don’t have one? Does that mean you’re destined to never fulfill your potential career-wise?

A client who was a successful professional contacted me because she was at a career crossroads. She felt that if only she could find her mission in life, she would know which career path to take.

She had a clear goal for coaching – find her mission! Instead, the most amazing thing happened. She decided that she didn’t need a mission. She chose to trust that she was already fulfilling her mission statement, even though she didn’t know what it was. After the client shifted her focus from finding her mission to living her life, an amazing opportunity came her way and she pursued it.

Here’s a little tip: If your mission statement is elusive, stop chasing it. Be still and let it find you. And in the meantime, keep living your life and see what happens.

Career Myth #9: Expect a career epiphany

When you see a link to “Find Your Dream Job,” do you immediately click on it to see what’s there? Do you look at every “Top Ten Career” list out there to see if anything catches your interest? Do you know your MBTI type? If you do, you might be falling prey to the career epiphany myth.

I’d love, love, love it if most of my clients had a career epiphany that indicated to them, in crystal-clear terms, their next step. Instead, I see career “unfoldings” or a journey of discovery much more regularly. That is, being willing to not ignore the obvious, the pokes, the prods, and listen carefully to the whisper within. Yep, forget harp music and angels, for most of us, the career epiphany is a quiet whisper.

Career Myth #10: Ignoring your career dissatisfaction will make it go away

Oh, if only this worked in the long run!! Granted, it does work at first. When you find yourself beginning to question your career, you’ll find it’s rather easy to push the thoughts aside and pretend they aren’t there. You know what I’m talking about: the “what ifs” and the list of regrets.

Over time, the random thoughts become nagging thoughts. You spend more and more time daydreaming about options. You build your list of reasons to ignore your growing career dissatisfaction:

You’re too old.
You don’t want to take a pay cut.
You don’t want to go back to school.
You missed your opportunity 5, 10, 15 years ago.

With clients in this situation, we work on identifying and challenging these fears. Sometimes the fear of change remains, but there becomes a greater commitment to living than to feeling the fear.

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What Is Your Career

What Is Your Career?

What is your career? Forget about how you define this to others for now, and just think for a bit about how you define your career to yourself. What does it mean to you to have a career? Is it just your job? Is it something you do to make a living? Is it what you do for money? Is it your work?

Most people would define a career as more than a job. Above and beyond a job, a career is a long-term pattern of work, usually across multiple jobs. A career implies professional development to build skill over a period of time, where one moves from novice to expert within a particular field. And lastly, I would argue that a career must be consciously chosen; even if others exert influence over you, you must still ultimately choose to become a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant. If you didn’t make a conscious choice at some point, I would then say you have a job but not a career.

One of the difficulties I see a lot of people experiencing lately is that they spend the bulk of their days working at a job that isn’t part of a consciously chosen career. Once you graduate from school and enter the work force, you don’t suddenly gain the knowledge of what kind of career to build. Most likely you just focus on getting a job as your first step after school. And you probably have to make this choice in your early 20s. After a decade or two, you’ve established a pattern of work and built up some expertise. But at what point did you stop and say, what is my career going to be?

Sometimes when you ask people what their career is (instead of asking what their job is), the question makes them uncomfortable. Why? Because they think of a career as something intentionally chosen, purposeful, and meaningful, and they don’t see those qualities in their job. Another possibility is that they feel deep down that their real career lies elsewhere.

Just because you’ve been working in a field for many years doesn’t mean you have to turn that pattern of work into your career. The past is the past. You can continue to run the same pattern and follow that same path into the future, but at any time you’re also free to make a total break with the past and turn yourself onto an entirely new career path in the future. Ask yourself if you were starting over from scratch today, fresh out of school, would you still choose the same line of work? If the answer is no, then you only have a job right now, not a career. Your career lies elsewhere.

I went through this process myself last year when I asked myself, “What is my career?” I’ve been developing and publishing computer games since 1994. And that was exactly what I wanted to do when I was 22 years old. Game development was the career I had consciously chosen; I didn’t just fall into it. It took a lot of work to start my own company and build it into a successful business. But at age 33, I had to stop and say that I no longer wanted game development to be my career. I still enjoy it, and I may continue doing a little on the side as a hobby for many years, but I no longer think of it as my career.

And yet, when I looked around for what else I might define as my new career, I was in a quandary. I saw all the assets I’d built in my game development career… and a long list of goals yet to be accomplished. Of course, the real problem was that I was looking to the past and projecting it onto the future. So all I could see on the road ahead was a continuation of the road behind. My solution was to use zero-based thinking… imagining I was starting from scratch again, forgetting the past for a moment, seeing the present moment as something fresh and new that didn’t already have a directional vector assigned to it — it could point in any new direction I gave it.

At the same time I started thinking like this, I also decided to broaden my definition of career. While running my games business, I had been operating with a very 3rd-dimensional view of a career. It was about success, achievement, accomplishment, making a good living, sales, serving customers, etc. At different times my career was that I was a game programmer, a game developer, or a game publisher. Those were the labels I used.

But whereas these kinds of objectives were very motivating to me when I was in my 20s, years later I found them to be far less motivating. Achieving more and succeeding more just wasn’t enough of a motivator by itself. And I’ve seen others fall into the same situation too — the things that motivated them greatly at one point no longer seem all that motivating years later. The motivational strategies that work in your 20s don’t necessarily keep working in your 30s.

The solution I found was to look behind the labels and discover the core of my career. When I looked behind the labels of game programmer, game developer, and game publisher, I saw that the core of my career was entertaining people. That was the real purpose behind what I was doing. And that’s when it made sense to me that this was a very motivating purpose for me in my 20s, but that in my 30s it lost its edge because I had grown to the point in my own life where I felt that entertaining people was no longer the BEST way for me to contribute.

Think about this for a moment. What is the core of your career? What do you contribute? What is the big picture of what you do? If you work for a large company, then how do your actions contribute to some larger purpose? Be honest with yourself. And don’t ignore the role your company plays in your career; your career depends heavily on what you’re contributing down the line. If you truly assign a noble purpose to what you do, that’s great. For example, if you work at a grocery store, you might be inspired by the fact that you help feed people. But don’t force it if you don’t actually believe it. If you feel your contribution is weak or even negative, then admit that to yourself, even if you don’t immediately plan to do anything about it.

Go behind the labels. Don’t stop at defining your career as computer programmer or lawyer or doctor. What are you contributing as a computer programmer? How does your career make a difference in other people’s lives? Is it nothing more than a way for you to make money? As a lawyer do you resolve disputes and spread peace, or do you milk conflict for money? As a doctor do you heal people, or are you just a legal drug pusher? What is the essence of your career right now?

Now when you have your answer, you next have to ask yourself, is this you? Is this truly a career that reflects the best of who you are as a person?

For example, if you see the real purpose behind your current line of work as making a handful of investors wealthier… nothing more noble than that… then is that an accurate reflection of your best contribution? Is that you?

If you already have a career that accurately reflects the best of who you are, that’s wonderful. But if you don’t, then realize that you’re free to change it. If your career as a regional distributor for a major soda manufacturer basically boils down to pushing sugar water to make people fatter, you don’t have to keep it that way.

I think if you realize that your current work doesn’t fit who you are, then you have to make a choice. You have to decide if you deserve having a career that truly suits you. If you don’t feel you deserve it, then you will settle for defining your career in such narrow terms as job, money, paycheck, promotion, boss, coworkers, etc. No one is forcing you to accept that as your definition of career.

On the other hand, you can choose to embrace another definition of career that uses terms like purpose, calling, contribution, meaning, abundance, happiness, fulfillment, etc. This requires a top-down approach. You first think hard about what your purpose here is… what kind of contribution do you want to make with your life? Once you figure that out, then you work down to the level of how to manifest that in terms of the work you do.

And for many people, the seeming impossibility of that manifesting part is paralyzing. This is especially true for men, who usually take their responsibility as breadwinners very seriously. You see yourself logically having two choices: I could stay in my current job, which pays the bills and earns me a good living, or I could go jump into something that fits me better, but I just can’t see how to make money at it. I have a mortgage to pay and a family who depends on me; I can’t do that to them.

The problem though is thinking that these are the only alternatives… thinking that you have to make a choice between money and happiness. That assumption is what causes the paralysis against action. You can also envision the third alternative of having money and happiness together. In fact, that’s actually the most likely outcome. If you don’t currently have a career that is deeply fulfilling to you in the sense that you know you’re contributing in a way that matters, then deep down, you will sabotage yourself from going too far with it. You will always know that you’re on the wrong path for you, and this is going to slap a demotivating slump over everything you try to do in that line of work. You’ll do your job, but you’ll never feel that you’re really living up to your potential. You’ll always have problems with procrastination and weak motivation, and they’ll never be resolved no matter how many time management strategies you attempt. Your job will never feel like a truly satisfying career — it just can’t grow into that because you’ve planted your career tree in bad soil. You’ll always be stuck with a bonsai.

But when you get your career aligned from top to bottom, such that what you’re ultimately contributing is an expression of the best of yourself, the money will come too. You’ll be enjoying what you do so much, and you’ll find your work so fulfilling, that turning it into an income stream won’t be that hard. You’ll find a way to do it. Making money is not at odds with your greater purpose; they can lie on the same path. The more money you make, the greater your ability to contribute.

But most importantly you’ll feel you really deserve all the money you earn. When your career is aligned with the best of who you are, you won’t secretly feel that your continued career success means going farther down the wrong path. You won’t hold back anymore. You’ll want to take your career as far as you can because it’s an expression of who you are. And this will make you far more receptive to all the opportunities that are all around you, financial or otherwise.

But how do you make this transition? Is a leap of faith required? Not really. I don’t think of it as a leap of faith. It’s more of a leap of courage, and it’s a logical kind of courage, not an emotional one. It comes down to making a decision about how important your own happiness and fulfillment are to you. Really, how important is it for you to have meaningful, fulfilling work? Is it OK for you to continue working at a job that doesn’t allow you to contribute the very best of who you are? If you find yourself in such a situation, then your answer is yes — you’ve made it OK for you to tolerate this situation.

But you see… self-actualizing people who successfully make this leap will at some point conclude that it’s definitely not OK. In fact, it’s intolerable. They wake up and say, “Wait a minute here. This is absolutely, totally unacceptable for me to be spending the bulk of my time at a job that isn’t a deeply fulfilling career. I can’t keep doing this. This ends now.”

These people “wake up” by realizing that what’s most important about a career is the high-level view that includes happiness, fulfillment, and living on purpose. Things like money, success, and achievement are a very distant second. But when you work from within the first category, the second category takes care of itself.

Before you’ve had this awakening, you most likely don’t see how that last sentence is possible. And that’s because you don’t understand that it is nothing more than a choice. You have probably chosen to put money above fulfillment in your current line of work. That choice means that you won’t have fulfillment. But it’s not that you can’t have fulfillment — you can choose to change your priorities and act on them at any time. The real choice you made was not to be fulfilled in your current line of work. You bought into the illusion that money is at odds with fulfillment, and that money is the more important of the two, so that is all you see. No matter what job you take, you find this assumption proves true for you.

But once you go through the “waking up” experience and firmly decide to put fulfillment first, you suddenly realize that being fulfilled AND having plenty of money is also a choice that’s available to you. There are countless ways for you to do both; you simply have to permit yourself to see them. You realize that you were the one who chose EITHER-OR instead of AND, while all the time you were totally free to choose AND whenever you wanted.

You set the standards for your career choices. Most likely your current standard ranks fulfillment and meaningful contribution very low in comparison to working on interesting tasks and making sufficient money. But those standards are yours to set. At any point you’re free to say, “Having a deeply meaningful and fulfilling career is an absolute MUST for me. Working for money alone is simply not an option.” And once you make this conscious choice, you WILL begin seeing the opportunities that fit this new standard. But you’ll never even recognize those opportunities as long as it remains OK for you to spend all your work time being unfulfilled.

I want to drive home this point. Having a fulfilling career that earns you plenty of money doesn’t require a leap of faith. It only requires a choice. You just have to wake up one day and tell yourself that you deserve both, and that you won’t settle for anything less. It’s not about finding the right job. A career isn’t something you find; it doesn’t require someone to give you something. You aren’t at the mercy of circumstances. A career is something you create, something you build. It means that the work you do each day is aligned with what you feel to be your purpose. Once you start doing this kind of work, even if for no pay initially, your self-esteem will grow to the point where you’ll become so resourceful and open to new opportunities that you’ll have no trouble making plenty of money from it. However, when you do so, the money won’t be that important. It will just be a resource for you to do more of what you love.

Your life is too precious to waste working only for money or for a purpose that doesn’t inspire you. No one can hold you back from making this decision but you. Especially don’t hide behind your family’s needs. If your family truly loves you, then they need you to be fulfilled and living on purpose far more than anything else. And if you love them, then isn’t your greatest role to serve as a model to them of how to be happy? What would you want for your own children for their careers? And do you want the same for yourself?

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Starting a Business

Starting a Business
OK, it’s time to start your own business – way to go! It’s a big decision working for someone else who takes care of everything; accounting, payroll, taxes, inventory, and most likely, a huge bunch of other departments and necessary to control their own company. But, running your own business has its benefits, as well.

Now, I must mention, please keep in mind, one can be fully fulfilled aresponsibilities nd inspired while having the job of their dreams also. It all comes down to attitude and personal motivation. If you are working in a field that you are fully inspired by, congrats and be sure to appreciate it as going your own way also has its risks. But, having said that:

The main train of thought is you are your own boss, work the hours you choose and which days to work, and, unfortunately or fortunately, you are purely responsible for the entire success. It’s a wonderful way to release yourself from the rat race of 9-5, if you choose, as well as being involved in doing what you love, what you might have a passion for, but you have to begin by asking just a few things:

1. Do you love what you are doing or is it something you are good at? A dream of escaping the normal way the world works can be very inspiring to work for yourself, but you must be motivated to work every morning to do what you have chosen to do for a living.

2. What is it that you believe you would like to do? What interests, area or industry is it going to be? Do you believe there is a market for what you can provide? Have you thought whether the area can handle another entry?

3. Do you have the talent or technical skills required? Just because you feel you are able to do a skill that you consider special, it could possibly not be a strong item to convince customers or investors that it is a valuable purchase or a strong financial investment.

4. What, where and who are the competitors in this area and what separates you from the rest? Why should investors or potential prospect customers choose you? What differentiates you from what everyone else does?

OK, When you’re finally satisfied that your answers to these questions are solid, it’s decision time, of what business structure works best for you. Is it a sole proprietor, responsible for every area and the entire authority to run the business? Will you have a partner, share the cost, workload and responsibility but also the ideas, profits and every business decision from the get go? Or maybe your decision is to incorporate, including all the financial safety’s and securities but way more involved, complex and a costly structure?

This is when you must seek legal advice! Seriously, it is strongly recommended, mainly because it is for you to completely understand all the advantages, disadvantages and to be sue the setup is proper and that you are fully aware of your chosen structuring plan. Most attorneys will offer a complimentary or a discounted-rate initial consultation. Once the decision and plan is decided, a formal name for your new company should be chosen. Make sure it is easy to remember – be sure to not use initials or single letters (A & B & C Limited could be challenging to remember for clients or associates). Also, make it say something about what the business does or what it offers (“Joe’s Shoe Specialists” is much easier to spell and remember).

Now comes the real sweat equity work, a business plan. This is the real beginning of your baby, it is the most important part in creating all these topics and proposals in a modernized and easy to follow format; fancy designs do not help your future baby succeed. A strong business plan acts as a formal statement for the financing needs and plans, goals, overall structure and all the initial legal considerations. Think of this as a corporate “resume” to potential lenders or investors and is the main documentation that will be used to calculate if your business could be a worthwhile investment. It also offers the proprietor(s) a opportunity to evaluate and see the operational details of your new company on paper.

A basic business plan should contain a balance sheet, income statement (also known as a Profit & Loss) and a statement of cash flow. Adding in a proposed financial budget for the first year, or as long a period as necessary if a year is impractical is a highly recommended course of action also. There are many formats and structures for business plans and many templates are available online or through formal providers who can assist or guide you along the way.

If you follow these quick tips, and the outcome looks promising you might be able to plan for success. Just remember, as much as this dance of being your own boss and owning your own company sounds exciting and positive, always remember, it will take work and dedication. Not only will you need a strong commitment but it will also serve you well to have a support community around you. Your family and friends can be a huge part of your success. So be sure to evaluate who you have around you and how to involve them and motivate them to join your team and become cheerleaders.

Also, as mentioned earlier, be sure to not discount employment for a solid company that offers future potential and is in the area or industry that fulfills you and connects with your beliefs and passion.

Satisfaction starts with an attitude and a responsibility of commitment to being your best you can be, what ever situation you find yourself in.

I want to wish you good luck in your potential and new professional endeavour, for yourself or as a new redefined employee!

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Quick Start Guide To Email Marketing

Quick Start Guide To Email Marketing
I frequently hear the question, “Could you share your blueprint for success with email marketing?”

I will demonstrate it with a short story, but first you should get a feeling for the opportunities available to anyone with access to an internet connection.

Remember this:

Certainly, the World Wide Web brings the largest market that has ever existed to your house. There are no admission fees and your only cost need be your internet connection. The Internet is like Aladdin’s lamp for you if you are willing to stretch your mind a bit and willing to work to make your dreams come true. How sweet is that?

Unfortunately, the web is crawling with vermin that promise you instant wealth if you will buy their instant success product. These people give me the same feeling I get when I put my foot into a shoe that I haven’t worn for a while and I feel something inside. If you haven’t succeeded the way you want to online, it is not your fault.

Contrary to what some people want you to believe, success on the web does not depend on being a rocket scientist or having a movie star body. If you have had a sneaking suspicion that you have all the requirements to make your dreams come true online, you’ve got it right. If your internet connection was a hamburger, your ambition is the ketchup.

Possibly, all the hype and shell games out there have left you anxious, fearful and wary, you have good reason to be exhausted. Right now, just relax, take a deep breath and imagine yourself sinking into a nice warm tub of soapy, scented water.

We are definitely going to blow away the smoke screens and take a sniper’s aim at the things causing you grief, uncertainty and anxiety.

You might ask, “Why bother with email marketing at all? Why not just sell stuff online?”

The simple answer is that very few people buy.

FACT: Google did some research and the findings shocked everyone who saw the results. The average visitor to the average website comes back an average of 7 times to that site before buying anything, even if the site offers exactly what they want at a fantastic price.

Instinctively, people don’t trust someone they can’t see and touch.

Let me show you what you can do about this with a short story.

Barb in Montana has a little Chihauhua dog named Mokie. He is the love of her life and she takes better care of her little pooch than she does of herself. It is getting onto fall and Montana gets really cold in winter so it is time for her to shop online to get Mokie a new cold weather jacket and some cute snow booties.

She enters “Chihuahua clothes” as a search term in Google and her screen fills with the first 10 search engine results. These top 10 are not there by accident. They truly are the best of the best of the millions of results. That’s what the search engines focus on.

She clicks on the topmost site (which, statistically speaking, gets 42% of all traffic) and she finds herself on a great Chihuahua site. The search engine has taken her to a fabulous page on outfits for her precious Mokie. She also sees there are many other sections on the site dedicated to all things Chihuahua.

A truly great site covers all facets of the main theme of the site.

Before she knows it, a half hour has passed. She has chosen the perfect outfit and matching booties for Mokie The Wonder Dog. She has also read several pages on Chihuahua nutrition and she dwelt quite a while on a page dealing with peoples’ tributes to their beloved little Chihuahuas that have crossed the great rainbow bridge.

Wiping a tear from her eye, she bookmarks the page on dog outfits and goes back to the results page without buying anything.

People just instinctively don’t trust.

My Easy, 3 Step, Quick Start Guide To Email Marketing:

Barb clicks on the second site link down and finds herself on another excellent Chihuahua site. Again, she lingers over all the great content on it’s different sections and again, is about to hit the back button when a small box catches her attention.

Step 1: It offers her a trade. They will give her an instant download of a video and free eBook on how to keep her Chihuahua in perfect health and happy as a clam if she is willing to sign up for their free weekly newsletter. All they ask for is her email address.

Step 2: The offer is too tempting for her to pass over. She gives her email address and is whisked away to the instant download area. True to their word, the site’s eBook and video are truly a marvel and she will keep looking them over and over again.

The second website has just been given the key to her heart and wallet. She has given them permission to visit her through her inbox every week. How sweet can it get?

The first site she visited will never see her again.

Step 3: The second site will have a chance every week to give her more good information on Chihuahuas that she will cherish. When they mention special offers and so on, she will buy often from them.

These newsletters build an incredible amount of trust in a very short time. It doesn’t matter if your site is about little dogs or private jets. People buy from people they trust.

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Globalization of Business Has Created New Online Work

Now that the world is the marketplace, many new jobs have been created based on increased needs for people to bridge the previous cultural, monetary and language divisions, and the limitations this dividedness formerly imposed. If you are bilingual or multicultural, your employment possibilities abound.

Companies like abGlobal hire bilingual translators to serve hundreds of clients, from large government agencies and law firms to nonprofit organizations and private individuals. There are many other agencies that enlist expert freelance translators to handle the deluge of translation needs the Internet has generated.

Without a doubt, the ability to speak English is also a significant asset for finding work in this global world of business. Because the Internet is primarily an English-speaking medium, small businesses, as well as mega-corporations, realize that they need to acquire or improve their English writing and speaking ability. In order to compete, they need to be able to communicate clearly and precisely in English. Moreover, their Webpages, emails, articles, sales materials and customer support documents must reflect mastery of standard English.

Companies like ISpeakUSpeak hire native English speakers to work one-on-one as English language trainers with students worldwide through a series of English conversations with their trainers, and then receive immediate feedback in order to improve. This language-related example is just one of the many job functions that have emerged because the Web has globalized business.

Trend #3: Glocalization of Business also Has Created New Online Work

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Transforming Trends Shifting Work Opportunities Online

The Internet has affected and altered the world of work as we once knew it. Seven important trends have both resulted from and fueled the penetration of the Internet into every corner of the world.

To understand these trends will significantly increase your awareness of what new kinds of online and telecommuting work have come into existence as a result. These trends have produced whole new work categories-jobs that did not exist ten, or even two, years ago-some of which were not even possible before.

Trend #1: The Changing Economy Has Caused Increased Outsourcing

Given the challenges of the current economy, many companies have determined that online outsourcing some portion of their work leads to significant savings and better performance, while allowing them to focus on their “core business.” Through online outsourcing, businesses can gain access to skills, knowledge and expertise that would be expensive or time-consuming to develop in-house.

Additionally, companies have found that by taking advantage of the added capabilities of online talent that are available to them through online outsourcing, they are able to increase their innovation and reduce their time-to-market. This can significantly accelerate their market responsiveness through the design, development and production of new products.

The movement towards ever-increasing outsourcing by businesses has created a flood of new online work opportunities. There are many types of online outsourcing services-call centers, customer support providers, customer relation management firms, data processing services, virtual assistant agencies, and telesales specialists, to list a few. This trend has resulted in the need for and the proliferation of increasingly large contractor databases offering online outsourcing services.

Trend #2: Globalization of Business Has Created New Online Work

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