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Career Transition

It's a time of transition for many of us. Some like myself made the decision to change how we make our living and others were told it's time to make some changes. Either way that you came to this point in your life you can rejoice and have fun. This is a time to figure out how you can make your work feel more like living instead of working for a living.

Think about what you like to do in your free time and see how it can fit into a new career.
Answer these questions
1. What makes you happy?
2. What activity do you enjoy?
3. What are you searching on the internet?
4. What job at work did you most enjoy?
5. What are your hobbies?
Now, search for clues. Keep an open mind. Think outside the box. And be flexible, your dream job may come in a different package for instance let's say you like to cook but a job in a restaurant would not allow for the hours you need to be the Mom that you desire.  Consider opening a Bread and Breakfast.  Maybe you want to become a fashion designer how about a fashion buyer for a local retailer. If you enjoy volunteering how about working for a non-profit. If you made the decision to stay home with your children but still need an income what about a day care in your home?
Once you figure out where you can go in your professional life you'll need to know make a list of your skills, education and experience.  When you start writing your resume make sure that it matches up with your LinkedIn profile. If you're thinking of changing industries you'll want to make sure your social media represents your interest in the new industry.
Social media will play a small part in whether or not you get an interview and you should know that it is not illegal for a company to ask you to log into your social media accounts during an interview. So take care to update your sites with positive posts and images that show you at your best.
Your resume will still be the most important item when applying for a new job. You'll want to upload it to the many job search sites, Print it and send it to prospective employers along with a persuasive cover letter.  Friends and associates are great resources but don't leave them in the dark about the type of job you are looking for or the business that you want to be employed by, you never know who they may know.
Here are some experts that can help you in this time of change.


Is Motivation a Myth?

Have you ever tried to motivate yourself to start a task?  Did you conjure up all sorts of means, but after all the conjuring, nothing changed?  You were still stuck.  Except, you were also feeling guilty about having wasted more time without getting any closer to the accomplishment you were after.

If you can relate to the experience, you’re not alone.  Everyone has been in that situation at some time in their life…perhaps many times.  And like others, you, too, discovered that waiting for the wave of motivation to wash over you and get you moving was futile.

So, what is the secret to creating real, meaningful, and lasting motivation?  The secret is…  

Well, there is no secret.  Motivation is not some external force that can be switched on or off at will.  It’s not some magical feeling that comes over you, energizes you, and propels you into action.  And, it doesn’t come in pill form with a “take as needed” prescription.

So, what is motivation and where does it come from?

Motivation comes from the goals you truly desire to accomplish AND your commitment to do whatever is necessary to accomplish the goals. N
ow is a good time to review the goals you set last year and plan for the coming year. Making note of the goals that weren't meet, were they not really important or did they lack your focus? If they are important set them again but this time with a plan to complete. Set realistic goals with stepping stones that will keep you focused and succesful.
Dress to Impress

power_woman1. Dress in a way that makes your role credible
People we meet will automatically accept the role we have packed ourselves for. The first step in gaining a credible professional Image is realizing that we can control the opinion of others, especially concerning what they think we are capable of. Remember people make snap judgments about us within the first 20 seconds of meeting us.

2. Dress for your body shape
Understanding your body shape is going to help you save time and money when it comes to shopping. Not to mention that wearing the clothes that complement your body shape are going to make you look amazing and most important feeling confident and comfortable all day long

3. Find out which colors enhance your complexion
Each one of us has a specific complexion, our skin, hair and eye color combination will determine which colors are going to make us look healthy, younger and more energetic.
A quick tip, wear a top that is the same color of your hair, it will look great on you! Take some risk, and some colors to your wardrobe today

4. Understand the silent signals of the dress code
The way we dress send lots of silent signals to our potential clients and people we come in contact with everyday. They will make assumptions on our profession, level within the company, even your socioeconomic background. As an example solid colors would portrait more power that patterns. Lower contrast in the outfits we wear might make others feel you are trying to not being noticed.

5.  Your extended image
Your work area is a direct reflection on you. If it is unkempt and disorganized, people will assume you are too. Keep in mind the perfect condition of your handbag,  your shoes and your car

6. Smile
We all love to be around positive, vibrant people. Smile as many times as you can during the day and keep a positive attitude even when the times are not easy

6. Breath
Breathing properly is the number one way to getting your body functioning properly because it strengthens both the mind and body from the inside out. It allows you to strengthen every bit about you with maximum speed and with the best result. It also gives you the clarity you need to focus on what you want in life, on how you wish to get there

Networking During the Holidays

_MG_5905What do holiday parties mean to you? For me, they mean more than just free food and fun, but it can also bring entrepreneurs a multitude of new opportunities to build relationships and network.

When thinking about networking, most people think of it as traditional venues, whether Chamber of Commerce events, online sites such as LinkedIn, contact referral groups, but holiday parties, including professional and industry social events where you can network with people outside your business, can be an even better time to introduce yourself to a new contact or share a friendly conversation with someone you already know.

To make the most of holiday party networking, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Be prepared. Try to learn in advance the names of people you will likely chat with, their jobs and their recent accomplishments. You will need to do a little homework, perhaps a Google search and a look at their LinkedIn or Facebook pages. Use the information you glean to break the ice.
  • Ask good questions. From the CEO to intern level, people love to talk about themselves. Here are some suggested conversation starters: How did you get started? What were some of the challenges with. . . ? Have you read any good books lately? My favorite is: How can I help you?
  • Have a "teaser” topic ready. Approaching the end of the year, every business executive is thinking about how to increase profits and performance in the New Year. Have an idea ready that describes the steps you'd take to improve your networking contact's business. Make this research part of the homework you do ahead of time. But don't give away the goose; save the details for a later conversation.

JonnaJoanneBy: Joanne Jonna

8 Ways to Make Customers Love a Local Business

By Daniel Kehrer

Founder, BizBest.com

Many local businesses are content if their customers seem “generally satisfied” overall. Others aspire to something more -- they seek the kind of passionate customer satisfaction that inspires glowing thank you letters and backyard fence comments like “My plumber (or dry cleaner, pet groomer, dentist, insurance agent, hair salon, etc.) is really great! I highly recommend them.”

If you suspect customers aren’t quite feeling that kind of love for your business, you’ve probably got some work to do. In a sense, customers who aren’t wholeheartedly with you might as well be against you. Customers who lack the love factor can actually be more damaging to your business than those who do business with your competitors.

That’s because people who aren’t yet customers of yours might at least try you out in the future. But those who are blasé about your business have already tried out your product or service and found you lacking in some respect. That’s not good.

Earning true customer loyalty – the kind that translates into recommendations and referrals – takes commitment, innovative ideas, energy and a little old-fashioned elbow grease. You, as business owner, must clarify for everyone else just what it is you want to accomplish with customers. This includes partners, employees, vendors and others who support what your business does.

And lest we forget, customer “love” also translates into a better bottom line. A recent American Express survey found that 75% of small business customers are willing to spend more with businesses that provide great service – up from just 58% two years ago.

And here’s the kicker: A hefty 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of poor service.

Here are eight things that will help customers find the love:

1.  End the obstacle course. Take the initiative to find out when customers need (or will soon need) service or help – before they have to ask. The magical customer service moment is when your call, email or postcard offering help arrives as the precise moment the customer needs it.  Meanwhile, make it clear to each and every customer exactly how they can get service or help from your business when they need it – including a name and contact information.

2.  Avoid customer hot potato. Whenever possible, the person who speaks to a customer first should “own” that customer for the duration of their visit. Companies send signals of disrespect by passing off a customer to “someone who can better help you with your problem.”  Yeah, right.

3.  Streamline your website. Many small business websites seem cobbled together – a collection of different areas with different terminology and logic for getting around. Figure out one look and message you want to send, and stick with that.

4.  Fix (for real) the big issues bugging your customers. Millions of businesses ask, ever so thoughtfully, “How can we improve?” That’s good. But how many really listen and act on what they hear? Customers read inaction as lack of caring and won’t bother to respond the next time you ask. A business that makes changes based on what it hears from customers earns more love.

5.  Invest in customer loyalty. Customers have had it with loyalty programs that are just too much work or offer skimpy benefits. Try offering customers something without them having to ask or pay extra for it.

6.  Offer customers real choices. Don’t bind customers into the fake choice of letting them “opt out” of something. Let them know up front that they can decide to get emails, offers or whatever from you and give them a choice.

7.  Make someone responsible. Maybe it’s you. Or perhaps you make it part of someone else’s responsibilities. Either way, you call attention to your company’s passionate and persistent commitment to customer care. Be sure to reward employees publicly for exceptional customer care performance.

8.  Put your money where your mouth is. Define specific customer care objectives that are right for your business, put some resources behind them, and figure out how you will measure the results.

Thank you to Score for this information

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