Monthly Archives: January 2014

Real Career Help for Teens

Teens—discover your career path with JobsMadeReal, a site for teens by teens!

Go to: 

Jobs Made Real is a website developed and owned by Chop’s Teen Club, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Santa Rosa, California. Jobs Made Real is part of the Chop’s Teen Club Workforce Program, designed to aid teens in discovering their career path.

The website features videos of people describing and engaged in doing their jobs. The idea for the website was created in response to teens saying they do not know what people really do in their jobs, and therefore find it difficult to decide on a career direction.

“We have taken that information and created a database that links thousands of selected YouTube job/career videos to their respective job title. Filtering of videos can be done based on salary and education goals, personality type and city/zip code.”

Top Contributor: Janet Wall, Career Development Professional/NCDA CDF Instructor/Online Course Author /Trainer /Teacher /Author


“A very good career choice would be to gravitate toward those activities and to embrace those desires that harmonize with your core intentions, which are freedom and growth—and joy. Make a ‘career’ of living a happy life rather than trying to find work that will produce enough income that you can do things with your money that will then make you happy. When feeling happy is of paramount importance to you—and what you do ‘for a living’ makes you happy—you have found the best of all combinations.”

–Abraham-Hicks Paradise Found


Career counselor/coach Halimah Bellows, MA, MS, CCC, CPC has now incorporated her innovative CAREER QUEST CARDS TM© into a convenient format that can be instantly downloaded on any connected iPhone, Kindle Fire or Android device.  The app provides a distillation of 30 key career-coaching exercises in a colorful, fun, easy-to-use package designed to enable busy users to take it with them on the go as they explore possible paths to career success.

To download CAREER QUEST CARDS TM© on your Kindle Fire or Android device, go to:


To download on iPhone or iPad, go to:

For more information about , go to


7 Steps To Living Your Dream Life

Courtesy of   

By Laura Shin

In 2008, Betsy and Warren Talbot were happily employed, living in Seattle with a townhouse and car. When health scares among their loved ones made them face their mortality at age 37, they decided to pursue their dream of living out of their backpacks for the rest of their lives.

Since 2010, they have been to 30-some countries, including Mongolia, Russia and Antarctica, and have traveled by land and sea from Thailand to Miami. These experts in radical transformation, who publish Married With Luggage, have also co-written three books with a fourth on the way this spring, launched a podcast, and amassed 20,000 readers. Here are their tips for chasing — and living — your dream.

1. Imagine a day in the life you want to be living.

“What do you want your life to look like one year from today?” says Betsy. “Imagine yourself getting up in the morning. Are you getting out of the same bed you’re sleeping in right now? Are you having the same thing for breakfast that you’re having right now? Are you spending your day the same way? Are you hanging out with the same people? Are you in the same relationship? Are you in the same health? If you say, ‘I want to be a bestselling author,’ you have to get up, pour your coffee, go to your computer for hours, and write for however many hours. You have to imagine those things a) to make them happen, and b) because sometimes when you imagine a day in the life, it makes you realize you don’t want that thing after all.”

Get out some paper, and as specifically as possible, visualize this future day, from the moment you wake up till the second you fall asleep.

2. Assess where you are now — financially, physically, logistically, socially and career-wise.

Now that you have an idea of where you want to go, take a look at where you are now.

Assess your full financial picture, beginning with where your money is going. Use programs like Mint or Quicken to track and categorize your purchases. “You can’t say, ‘I’m spending $500 a month on my credit card,’” says Betsy. “You have to know where that’s going to know where you’re going to cut back or what you need to do to draw in more income. Is it going to clothes or entertainment —“

“Or is Starbucks opening new stores because of you?” adds Warren.

In addition to analyzing your spending, look at your debts, your savings, your investments, and your income — both from full-time work as well as any side jobs you have.

Don’t beat yourself up if you have negative net worth or high debt. This is just your starting point. And if you don’t like what you see, let it shock you into action.

In your assessment, also include your health — your weight, what you’re eating and your fitness level. “Part of your best year is being healthy enough to appreciate it,” says Betsy.

Then, look at what you already have or lack logistically that can help you reach your goal. For instance, if you want to launch a side business, maybe you already have the laptop you would need.

Also assess whether you have relationships that will support you as you work toward your goals. “You have to know who your friends are and the people who are sucking the life out of you,” says Warren.

Finally, look at whether your career is on a path you desire. “Is your career at the trajectory you want? Are you at the level you want? Are you in the industry you want? Is it the career you want? If you left your job today, would you miss it and what would you miss about it?” says Warren. “You should be asking yourself those questions every year to determine if you need to make a change in your focus and your skill set.”

3. Break down the path to your ideal life into small goals.

Let’s say your dream life includes running marathons, and right now the only marathons you participate in involve sitting on the couch. Break down the path from your current life to your dream life into smaller goals. Betsy, for instance, went from couch potato to a half-marathon by starting with 60-second runs. “I didn’t start on day one with, ‘I have to run a half-marathon.’ I said, ‘I have to run for 60 seconds, and then I get to take a break for three minutes and walk.’ If you want to run that half marathon in one year, it doesn’t mean you’re doing 5 miles the first day,” she says. “We’ve seen this over and over and over again. True change comes about through small daily activities, not big leaps.”

Just as Warren and Betsy broke their initial saving goal down into $100 chunks, they now aim to write 1,000 words a day to complete their books. If you want to change careers, start with a single course in an area where you need to gain skills. Achieving your small goals will also help you see how you can reach your dream — if you could write those 1,000, then of course you can write another 1,000 words.

4. Put your new habits in your calendar.

Whatever dream you have for your future needs to be part of your daily schedule now. Whether your path there involves making automatic transfers to your savings account, regular workouts, taking classes in a new subject or something else, be sure to block out time for it — and the earlier in the day you accomplish these tasks, the better.

“You’ve already said, ‘This is what is most important to me for 2014,’” says Warren. “So if this is your priority #1, everything else has to work around it. If you want to be a writer and write your first book in 2014, you have to schedule two hours a day to writing.”

5. Remove potential roadblocks.

Start saying no to things that will lead you away from your goals — counterproductive habits, toxic relationships, friends whose lifestyles could lead you astray, clutter, environments that lead to bad behaviors. If you want to pay off debt and certain environments lead you to wasteful spending, avoid them. Or, if you want to entertain at home more, but are embarrassed by your household clutter, get rid of it. (Here are the steps the Talbots took to radically declutter.) If you want to learn a foreign language but notice that you spend an hour every night watching TV while your Chinese textbook goes untouched, get rid of the TV. “There are only so many hours in the day — we all have the same number — and you have to decide how you want to spend those,” says Betsy.

6. Broadcast your intention to others.

Also, broadcast your goals to your friends. For instance, if your goal is to pay debt, tell them that you’d prefer to spend time with them not shopping but instead cooking together.

“You can send out a bulk email to your friends saying, ‘Hey, 2014 is going to be a huge year for me. I want to accomplish X, Y, Z,’ and enlist their support,” says Warren. ‘For us, we told people we were no longer going to go out to eat and we would have dinner parties at our house that were BYOB — bring your own bowl — and we were going to have soup nights where we got together and talk about deep subjects, and eat soup, which was going to be cheap, which was important. But we lost friends — friends who had no interest in that type of experience. They loved going out to the latest restaurants and eating the $200-$300 meals, so the relationship just went its own path. Our lives weren’t going the same direction.”

“When you decide to make a change in your life, you have to realize your relationships will change also,” says Betsy, adding that some new friends came out of the woodwork because they were more in tune with the Talbots’ new lifestyle. “People naturally want their friends to succeed and be happy. When you state a goal like this, your friends want to help you make it come true.”

7. Find like-minded people to support and inspire you.

Also, look for new friends who are interested in your dream, whether you’re looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle, start a side business, pursue a career as a writer, or pay down debt.

While some activities lend themselves toward finding activity partners more easily than others — i.e. physical activities like running or career pursuits like writing, you can also use sites like, plain old web searches, social media groups on sites like Facebook and Google Plus to look for people with similar goals. Even if your support network lives halfway around the world, you can still connect with each other online.

The Talbots initially thought they were the only people who had the idea to spend their lives traveling, though a Google search quickly disabused them of that notion. Soon, they found a whole community of like-minded people already living their dream.                                                                                             

Laura Shin is a freelance writer who has published in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and others. 

10 Essential Interview Tips for Job Seekers Who Are 50+

1.  First impressions count – you are being evaluated from the minute you walk into the room. Present yourself as energetic and vibrant – give the impression you can do what it takes to get the job done.

2. Get an up-to-date haircut and if coloring your hair would help, consider it.

3. Wear clothes that look “current”, are comfortable and that fit you well. Dress for the job you want.

4. Be aware of your body language – act alert, interested and enthusiastic – if you aren’t enthusiastic about you, how do you expect anyone else to be.

5. When face-to-face with the interviewer, give a warm smile, a firm handshake and direct eye contact to make a lasting impression.

6. Make sure you are current with the technology and changes within your field.

7. Focus on the employers’ needs, not yours. The main point the employer wants to know is what you can do to help them succeed. To address that, you have to have done your homework so you know what their needs are.

8. Have specific examples of successes and accomplishments that you’ve had in previous jobs that illustrate how you’ve used skills that pertain to the job you are interviewing for.

9. Interviewing is a two-way street. Make sure you have relevant questions to ask the interviewer – again, you will have had to conduct research on the company to decide what these might be.

10. Interviewing is selling and YOU are the product – highlight the benefits you will bring to the position so the Interviewer will see why you are the right person for the job.

I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique – I know what it takes for a resume to get results! Just email your resume to me at  and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you.

Offered by Joyce Fortier-Paxton, Certified Resume Writer and Career Coach


15 Qualities for Becoming the Ideal Job Seeker

Are you the perfect job applicant? When recruiting, there are certain traits employers look for in the ideal job seeker. While we are not born with every desired trait, it is imperative we gain these attributes as we continue in our career and subsequently during our next job search.

You should remember that no job applicant is perfect, though each and every one should strive for consistent improvement. With that being said, recruiters, hiring managers and human resource professionals will prioritize hiring job seekers who can be described as having the following 15 traits:

1. Leadership oriented. Companies like recruiting job seekers who have a future with their organization. Most facets of leadership are learned and thus the most efficient organizations want to mold progressive thinkers rather than have stagnant employees. They want each individual to have room to progress and in time be able to formulate their own winning teams.

2. Resilient. Resilient applicants are amongst the most sought after by hiring managers. These are the individuals who view their problems in an optimistic manner and don’t view hurdles as insurmountable, pervasive and their fault. They can fail and, after a brief demoralization get right back on their feet and continue producing for the company.

3. Candid. Individuals who are candid are among the best communicators around the office. They display a direct, clear manner of speaking which in turn fosters winning and helps eliminate bureaucracy. Moreover, this method of expression promotes new ideas, encourages fast action and engages more people in the conversation.

4. Competitive. Highly successful companies believe in differentiating their top performers from the average employees. These firms recognize the worth of making clear distinctions regarding the output individuals produce when compared to that of their peers. They understand that the people who fare best in the office are those who want to succeed and who are consistently formulating creative, compelling and logical methods to beat competing firms.

5. In control. Hiring managers consider successful people to be in control of their careers. The more knowledgeable employers actively seek out individuals who don’t let outside forces dictate their potential; they recruit employees who don’t fear normal setbacks. Among other things, in control translates to being able to keep calm and perform during times of heightened stress.

6. Friendly. Prior to recruiting, hiring managers seek out individuals who are easy to deal with and can be successfully managed by current staff. Moreover, when employers like you, they are more apt to give you an offer. When staffing new applicants, those who fit in with the current corporate culture are the most seriously considered.

7. Ambitious. Ambitious employees are those who continually drive towards a better way of doing things. They embrace challenges and are able to overcome hurdles. These people are never satisfied with the status quo and drive for better solutions, thus making an organization more competitive.

8. Ability to adapt. Staffing professionals seek job applicants who can change with the business environment. While many people love familiarity and patterns, the best understand that if you want to stay in the game (let alone win), change is a necessary aspect of business.

9. Creative. The most successful companies thrive because of innovation and a consistent improvement on current internal processes. They are consistently looking for those who can not only work autonomously, but who also can formulate fresh ways to complete old tasks.

10. Competent. Managers today are overly worked and have little time to oversee day to day activities. Thus, recruiting employees who can get the job done without being micromanaged are a significant priority these days. Competent job seekers can derive a return on investment for their employer while requiring minimal handholding from the leadership team.

11. Passionate. Although all employees are driven by monetary gain, the most sought after people are the ones who enjoy the work as much as they do the reward. Without passion, employees will utilize only a fraction of their intelligence, achieve only a percentage of what they are able to and will inevitably burn-out. Moreover, they will fail to positively impact both their lives and the lives of their co-workers, clients, managers as well as the firm’s leadership team.

12. Trustworthy. Without integrity, the other 14 qualities listed mean nothing. To be successful, companies need to have a culture that thrives on honesty and doing what is best for both the client and shareholders. Once trust is broken within a corporation, the rest of the positive aspects slowly unravel.

13. Decisive. Companies love hiring employees who can make tough decisions. These are the people who can quickly and efficiently analyze options, potential outcomes and pitfalls of a situation and make a firm call. They are the opposite of “wishy-washy.” HR managers know that indecisiveness can keep organizations from reaching a desired output and, thus actively recruit what former GE CEO Jack Welch refers to as “edge.”

14. Team oriented. Hiring people who “buy into the system” is of the utmost importance when recruiting. They can work effectively in situations that require the cooperation of others, clearly fit into the confines of the firm’s corporate culture and bring a dynamic to meetings that welcomes debate and, ultimately, solves problems.

15. Goal oriented. Employers want to hire job seekers who always escalate their goals, though who still enjoy the journey along the way. They understand that money, power, status and possessions mean little without true passion for their job and, when recruiting seek people who feel the same way.

In the End

In conjunction with the above, intelligence, vision, confidence, knowledge and persuasiveness are additional qualities employers seek out. While hiring mangers, HR representatives and recruiters don’t need 100% of these traits present when staffing, the closer you are to 99%, the better your odds become at receiving a job offer.

Offered by Ken Sundheim,  CEO of KAS Placement Sales and Marketing Recruiters, a sales and marketing recruiting firm specializing in staffing business development and marketing professionals around the U.S. 

You and the New Year

This is the time of year that everyone and everything is abuzz with plans, down-time, and anticipation of what is to unfold in the year ahead. You become aware of the life you have led up until this point and ponder what the future may hold. Even if you don’t subscribe to officially making resolutions for the New Year, you can approach this exercise as a time to anticipate new or renewed beginnings, endings or standstills.

For your New Year’s Resolutions, take a breath and take your time. Think and feel out the overall direction that you want your life to take. Start with one single goal and work it with realism and commitment. Take it one goal at a time and spend some time with each one. This is not a process to be rushed. If the resolutions matter to you and you desire success, proceed accordingly like you would with any smart life plan. It often helps to write down your ideas so as to see them as valid, real and possible (or not) for you.

Decide if your goals are realistic and approachable for where you are in your life right now. The next step is to record a few key points to remind you of the necessary action steps needed to fulfill them. Continue breathing and imagine each goal as being reached, then project how you will feel when each one is accomplished. Mentally and emotionally digest each goal in bite-sized pieces, like the chunk theory. If you see your action steps as comfortable strides walking the path on your journey, they will seem more manageable as you write down, and then enact your visions. You will maintain your enthusiasm and likely not peter out if they are within the scope of your abilities, resources and energy levels.  If you’re aimless & without goals, the road to success takes longer or you may find yourself lost or back at the same starting place again next year.

Take a safe risk and commit to at least one resolution that you will accomplish or strive for with consistency all year long. If you desire to lose weight, become more fit, learn a new skill, create a more fulfilling and lucrative profession, open your heart to true love, be a more patient parent, attentive partner, focused worker, optimistic human or playful friend- make it so! After all, the choice for how you live your life is entirely up to you. No excuses- get on with it and be your very best for you and the new year! Your world and the world around you will delight in your success! Happy, Healthy New Year! Live Inspired!

Offered by Nina Siddell of Nina Sidell Inspiring Lives, LLC.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Career

‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions, so here are a few ideas on things you can do for yourself and your career in 2014

Update your resume – Even if you’re not actively looking for a new job, it’s a good idea to always have a current resume ready to go.  In addition to making sure your work history is up to date, you should also consider replacing your objective with a professional profile, changing the font from Times New Roman to something more current and distinctive, removing “References Upon Request” from the bottom of your resume, and most importantly, replacing any tired, old bullet points with quantifiable, accomplishment-based statements.

Clean up your online presence – Have you Googled yourself recently?  If you’re applying for a job, you can be sure that the HR pro or hiring manager will.  Make sure your Facebook privacy settings are adjusted so that those less flattering pictures are only visible to your close friends and family.  Be aware of any potential red flags that may appear if someone Googles you and be prepared to account for them.

Spend more time networking in person – There is no substitute for good old-fashioned face-to-face networking.  Depending on the source, it is said that 60% of all jobs are not advertised and found through a contact…many reports indicate that it could be as high as 80%.  It’s in a company’s best interest to hire someone recommended by a current employee.  Why do you think they pay cash to employees for referrals?

Be more active on LinkedIn – Your LinkedIn profile is not a “set it and forget it” proposition.  Set aside 30 minutes a week to write updates, join industry groups and participate in their discussions, and keeping your profile fresh and current.  It will be time well spent.  Also, make sure your profile is 100% complete, including a photo.  You can find the requirements for a complete profile at

Learn something new! – Dedicate some time to your personal and professional development.  The options for quality online learning opportunities are growing daily.  Exercise your brain…it’s good for you!  Some good (and free) options are Coursera, Academic Earth, and Khan Academy.

And most of all…commit to taking good care of yourself.  Have a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Offered by Jeffrey Metzger, owner of Your Resume Consultant,