Making your life experience pay off

Recently, I have worked with some amazing job seekers by providing them with a free career counseling session, resume edits and cover letters. One question that came up a few times was how to handle career gaps.

I want to thank each of the job seekers for opportunity to travel their career seeking journey with them. It’s been such a pleasure working with them that I would like to offer two more FREE  sessions during the month of June! What’s that about? Click here to check out the details.

OK, so how to deal with career gaps? First, define the reason. Basically there are two types of career gaps:

  • Intentional gap? Did you intentionally take time off work to care for a loved one, start a business, go to school, illness, travel, volunteering, etc.?
  • Unintentional gap? Laid off, company went out of business, could not find a job after school, could not find employment in your field, etc.?

Either gap can seem positive or negative at the time. But even the unintentional lay off or other job loss can have a positive outcome; provide time to add to your skill list or provide time to mentally focus, etc. The important thing is to focus on that positivity for your own well being and when talking to potential employers.

Next explain why. Both types of gaps offer explanations that employers are open to hearing about. Why? is the big question, but can be easily answered and even provide additional experience that the employer may be looking for. For example if you had a child and wanted to take a few years off that is not only understandable, but you also gained certain skills such as time management. And possibly additional experience by joining parenting groups (PTA, coaching, managing a charity drive, etc.), taking some classes during your time off, focusing on advancing your current skills, etc.

Maybe you took time off to start your own business or help someone else start one. There are skills learned with any business start up. Even if the business was not as successful as you had hoped or you found out you didn’t like the hours or type of work, you still have valuable skills to add to your resume. Examples of skills depending on the type of business could include;  budgeting, inventory, scheduling employees, customer service, hiring, meeting deadlines, organizational skills, computer programs, writing, labor skills, and more.

Unintentional gap examples include being laid off or unable to find work in your field. Both are self explanatory and more common than you may think, but you can discuss HOW you handled this time off, how you turned a possible negative time into a positive situation. Did you learn new skills, enhance your current ones, etc.? Did you volunteer, take any classes, teach yourself a valuable skill, find a mentor, realize the career change you wanted, etc.?

A brief statement on your resume with the career goal you have now is an excellent way to highlight your gap. The cover letter will allow you to go into more detail and turn the gap into a positive opportunity to discuss your skills and experiences. Explaining the positive impact the gap had on you will help the employer focus on your skills, positive attitude and how your experiences will fit into the position you are applying for.

Whatever the reason a career gap can be presented as a valuable experience by highlighting your current skills and experiences while explaining your gap in a positive manner. Remember, the main focus of any interview is to discuss how you are the best fit for the current position you are applying for!

Questions about career gaps or other career topics? Please do not hesitate to reach out to me!

Thank you so much for reading! Please share any tips or questions you  may have below or email me at successencourager@gmail.com

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Teach financial tips to toddlers

Of course if you are teaching financial tips to toddlers you are teaching their parents. What is this all about?

This is the latest BIP that I want to share with you for a potential part time business opportunity. If this doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, them please check out the other BIPs posted! There really is something for everyone; whether teaching your skills to others, running errands, or other experience you would like to do for others or teach others…it can be turned into an income opportunity!

Business Idea Prompt (BIP) Toddler financial tips

Details – So what is this idea of teaching toddlers financial tips? Well it’s actually teaching caregivers first then providing them the resources to teach the toddlers as they mature. So, where did this come from? I realize there are other programs out there teaching savings tips for families, etc. but after talking to a few new parents and realizing financial issues/tips/savings, etc. are all hot topics for any age I have put together an Idea Prompt.

This Prompt is to teach anyone who has a new child in their life; parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc. The focus is for parents/caregivers that do not have a fund already established through employment, IRA type funds, etc. This is simple way to show anyone how they can provide a savings fun for the child in their life. The basis is helping caregivers see how significant savings is and how a little bit can really go a long way. It’s structured to be helpful for any budget, especially those that don’t think they can spare any extra money for a savings or believe a little really doesn’t add up. It does! And caregivers need to be encouraged and shown there are options for every income!

See the significance the amounts below add up to! (data you can teach your clients)

  • .50 cents a day saved for 365 days (1 year) = $182.50 per year, if you choose to do this for say 18 years and give the child in your life this amount on their birthday, they’d receive $3,285! This may not seem like a lot to some, but imagine getting this money handed to you at 18 or any age, it’s a nice chunk to continue adding money to or put towards a car or education…house, or other high priced item!
  • $5 a week = $260 per year, in 18 years that amount is $4,680!
  • $25 per month is $300 per year, in 18 years that is $5,400!
  • $15 a week =$780 per year, in 18 years that amount is $14,040!!
  • $100 per month = $1200 per year, in 18 years that amount is $21,600!!
  • ( I could go on and on with scenarios!)

Again, some of the total amounts may seem insignificant, but can make a huge difference, especially to a young person just starting out.

Some community colleges average credit cost per year total $4,500, so a two year degree would be around $9,000…for just $15 dollars saved a week, a child could receive a degree and have a little left over for books, living expenses, auto expenses, etc. Or even the smallest amount mentioned above could provide almost a full year of tuition at some community colleges, through in a possible scholarship and again, this is a gift of education with no loans to pay back.

There are some tiny homes that cost less than $20,000 to build…Can you imagine giving someone the gift of a home when they 18?! The freedom either of these scenarios would provide is actually priceless in my opinion!

If the amounts are easily achieved then imagine a few dollars more each week or month, adding even half of any birthday or holiday money given to the savings, teaching the child about the possibilities the savings can provide them when they turn a certain age, and encourage them to add to that amount, encourage family and friends to add to the fund as they are comfortably able to do. Easily the amounts above could double or even triple.

Experience/Skill Needed – I think a passion for helping others, especially new caregivers, is essential. Simple math skills required, knowing some local bank interests amounts would be helpful to share with clients, basic computer skills and form development skills so you can provide check lists, savings breakdown forms, etc. to clients attending the courses. Customer service skills are important to communicate with clients. This can be offered to individuals with an emphasis on their own personal budget, or in a larger group setting with general guidelines and budget information.

Marketing – Advertise with flyers and print up some reasonably priced business cards. Handing them out to pretty much anyone you know. You can create a web site, share your services via social media and even advertise via a sign on your vehicle and/or yard signs. Your web page should include price range, contact information and customer reviews (as you get them). Even free sites and a unique business email are great resources to help your business grow professionally. Reach out to local day care centers and other organizations to see if you can provide classes to caregivers or leave flyers and/or business cards. You can charge a fee per guest or provide a free class and sell an ebook or handout with more details on savings, worksheets and other products. Online video tutorials can also be an added marketing tool or downloadable forms for a small fee.

Research – The only research that may be needed is to find an average price for services and to see how many competitors are out there. Some financial research would be very helpful, the more you know, the more you can teach! Taking an online course through your local library (many offer financial courses, small business courses, and more) will help your credibility and experience.

Obviously, this is a basic outline/start to a potentially very in demand type of business!

If you aren’t interested in this topic, please read over it and brainstorm your own skills and interests. Ask yourself would someone pay money for this skill? Then turn that thought into action!

Thank you for reading and please share any tips or questions you have!

As with any business please check local and state guidelines to see what licenses, name registering, and other requirements may be needed before starting your business.

 

Get the job!

There are so many cover letter samples out there; most of them really well organized and ideal to use. But the main question I receive is how to personalize the letter. I really enjoy finding skills and the perfect wording to personalize a cover letter for job seekers – yes BRAGGING!

I created a cover letter sample by using an actual job posting I recently found in the Kansas City area. I hope this helps answer some questions you may have, but as always please reach out to me if you have any questions at all. Have some additional tips? Please share them!

I still have a couple free career packages to give away. What is that about you ask? Please see my other post titled Free advice.

 

2017 Sample job posting and cover letter PDF

 

 

 

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Free advice!! Career, resume, and more

It was so much fun getting to know a few of you and providing this free opportunity! I want to extend my offer to another four (4) individuals that would like to receive FREE job hunting assistance with the free career package (during the month of May). More information below from my last post offering this!

As you may know, I’ve just added an exciting package deal to my list of services. I am still offering free basic resume edits! And now I’d like to provide four (4) people job hunting assistance by providing a FREE career package to each of them! Why? Because I want you to succeed and I find it fun, simple as that!

What does this mean exactly? I’d like to provide some basic edits to your current resume, discuss what type of job you are searching for and help you find a few possible options you can apply for! Let’s work together and find your next career, whether you are looking for a long or short term position.

Interested? Send me an email at successencourager@gmail.com with:

  • Why you would like to be provided this free service
  • The type of job you are looking for
  • Your current resume
  • A brief description of your past job experience
  • Up to three locations you would like to work in (city, state, etc)
  • Please note – I can only offer this to people located and searching in the United States (my skills are limited to knowledge of US job searches for now, but that may expand in the future!)

I will provide this service to four people for FREE! If you choose to purchase services in the future or share my blog with others, then wonderful, but if not, I will still enjoy this opportunity to provide my professional services! Questions? Just ask!

If you or anyone you know may be interested in any other services please see the price list or contact me and I’m always happy to answer general career questions free of charge! (Limited time only offer!)

I look forward to hearing from you!

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Find your next career – Free advice

Are you thinking of a job change, needing to find your first job or looking to change careers? Would you like FREE career consulting? Then please read on!

A career doesn’t have to be a lifetime commitment. Your next job search could end up with a career you keep until you retire or it could be a step toward your next career choice! Each employment opportunity is a chance to gain experience.

Even if you leave an office job, working primarily indoors to  begin an outdoor landscaping career, you have skills that transfer. Maybe you gained advanced customer service skills at your past job(s) or can assist with scheduling, or maybe you discovered time management skills to help you create a more efficient process to complete your new projects!

Some of my previous posts focus on resumes, discovering your strengths and weaknesses, practicing interview questions and more, so please check those out. Even with all of that information it can still be difficult to change careers or find a job in a competitive market. You may decide to start your own business, but if you need or want to find work immediately or gain more experience, I’d like to help!

I’ve just added an exciting package deal to my list of services. I am still offering free basic resume edits! And now I’d like to provide four (4) people job hunting assistance by providing a FREE career package to each of them (thru April 30th)! Why? Because I want you to succeed and I find it fun, simple as that!

What does this mean exactly? I’d like to provide some basic edits to your current resume, discuss what type of job you are searching for and help you find a few possible options you can apply for! Let’s work together and find your next career, whether you are looking for a long or short term position.

Interested? Send me an email at successencourager@gmail.com with:

  • Why you would like to be provided this free service
  • The type of job you are looking for
  • Your current resume
  • A brief description of your past job experience
  • Up to three locations you would like to work in (city, state, etc)
  • Please note – I can only offer this to people located and searching in the United States (my skills are limited to knowledge of US job searches for now, but that may expand in the future!)

I will provide this service to four people for FREE! If you choose to purchase services in the future or share my blog with others, then wonderful, but if not, I will still enjoy this opportunity to provide my professional services! Questions? Just ask!

If you or anyone you know may be interested in any other services please see the price list or contact me and I’m always happy to answer general career questions free of charge!

I look forward to hearing from you!

 

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Connecting to grow

Connection is important for personal and professional growth. From connecting with those closest to you to complete strangers. Connecting is a way to learn. Recently, life has been so busy I have lost some amazing connections. My day job is rewarding, but has been more demanding and I miss the connections I have made through my blog, through professional services and even spending less time with personal friends!

It’s difficult to balance everything at times isn’t it? As difficult as it may be, it’s necessary. Everyone has their own process for balancing or a renewal ritual. Maybe it’s coffee with a friend, a weekend getaway, reading a new or favorite book, binge watching, or a number of other options. I need my friend time, but I also need my creative time; my personal learning time. What is that?

I need to learn to thrive and I encourage others to learn as well, whether it’s learning a new hobby or something more advanced like learning a new web design program. I’ve mentioned in other posts examples of self-learning (tutorial post here) for personal enrichment or even extra income opportunities

Recently, I’ve focused on providing free business support. This not only helps me learn by connecting with others and hearing about their dreams and goals, but also allows me to help others achieve them. Which is something I truly enjoy!

I have been providing free resume edits, sample interview questions, providing business ideas and answering general questions as often as I can. This has not only helped recharge me, but reminded me how important connections are to learning!

I know others offer free general advice as well on various topics. You just have to ask!

  • Inquire to local business owners about how they got started or specific questions about the type of business they own
  • Reach out to local or online groups discussing topics of interest to you whether business or personal interests. Ask questions, share your knowledge, make some connections
  • Research online tutorials and books on the subjects that interests you. Learn something new or enhance a skill you already know. My local library offers online learning resources for free, I’m sure other cities and states have similar programs!
  • Offer possible bartering to exchange your knowledge with others. For example a jewelry maker may teach you some beginning skills in exchange for writing some of their web content or sharing other knowledge
  • If you can’t find a group of like minded and interested learners then create one! Most libraries are open to hosting such groups or coffee shops are a great meeting place too
  • Mostly importantly keep learning, find balance and recharge yourself often!

Do you have knowledge you want to exchange with someone else? Do you have other ideas? Please share them!!

Do you have questions I can help answer? Please ask them!

Thanks for reading!

 

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Making this year different; encouragement and more

Sometimes the best way for me to focus on goals, no matter what time of year, is to recap what I’ve already accomplished. I’m doing just that with this post. My goal is to encourage others during career changes, starting a side business, full time business, or simply in day to day life…sharing my experience and ‘two cents’ with others to encourage and inspire.

As I mentioned, I’m not the ideal resolution maker, but the New Year is a great excuse to reflect on the past months and focus on goals for the upcoming months. I appreciate the feedback I have received this past year so very much! THANK YOU for reading and following my blog. Thank you for contacting me, sharing your support and tips; I appreciate you all! You are all certainly helping me focus and I hope I can return that inspiration! Here’s to a New Year, new energy, great health, organized focus and goal success.

If you are interested in starting your own business or side job please read through my posts for ideas, marketing tips, and more! I’ve recapped my BIPs (Business Idea Prompts) below. I will be adding more very soon! What is a BIP? Visit my intro page here

The first BIP – Love canning (as in food canning)? Want to make it a side job/extra income opportunity? You can! Click on the BIP link to see how!

Teach your talent – Most likely someone else wants to learn about a skill or talent you have; knitting, painting, paper making, welding art, gardening, gift basket arrangement, dancing, writing, foreign language, computer program training, poetry writing, jewelry making, etc. there is a countless number of talents needing to be shared in the world! So, why not teach yours?

Love finding a bargain and reselling it? Purchase and sell bargain items as a ‘yard/garage sale professional’. Items to sell can be found by attending auctions, sales, and consignment or thrift stores then reselling the items for a profit, but instead of just a one-time summer event, it can be done every weekend or a few times a month.

Enjoy events, having fun, and have a talent for entertaining? There is a growing demand for entertainment at children’s parties, family gatherings, and other events. Party planning can be costly and time consuming to start up, but focusing on entertaining alone, can be a very profitable business and fun.

Have a talent for organizing, love to run errands, or are you detailed oriented? Side jobs and full or part time businesses rely on finding customers willing to pay for their service(s). A major need, any time of year, is finding time for errands, chores, and other time demanding tasks while still balancing a regular life routine.

If you don’t find any of those BIPs an option and you are open to learning a new skill or enhancing an existing hobby/skill check out tutorial ideas and suggested learning here

Thank you again for reading and let me know if you have any questions, tips or ideas to share!

Have a great week!!!!

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