LinkedIn is a powerful tool for building your career. I was asked by my clients to create a product in between the Complete Branding Package and the LinkedIn Profile Overhaul and Improvement product. To meet this need, I created the One on One LinkedIn Review and Personalized Guide/Coaching to help more people be "entrepreneur-ING" and be the boss of their own careers. This product even includes a free copy of The Prof's Guide to Entreprenuer-ING book. More about how this new product came about - More on my LinkedIn coaching product offering.
As a way to celebrate my upcoming one-year since launch anniversary, I decided to release an exclusive offer coupon to my followers, readers and subscribers. I am releasing this more broadly but all future offers will only be sent to those who sign up to learn with me - sign up now below:
The coupon code for this special offer for the One on One LinkedIn Review and Personalized Guide/Coaching can be found here Special Savings on LinkedIn One on One Product.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool and when I help clients and students be ready for career or just train them to be entrepreneur-ING in their career, I help them develop and utilize their Elevator Value Pitch with the people in their lives, networks and beyond - most importantly through letting it permeate through social media particularly with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the key to the strategy of finding the next step for most career people - both new professionals and seasoned executives. You will see more conversions or interviews and find that people will seek you out for potential opportunities more so than other social media platforms - for instance, no one is looking to hire you from your Facebook posts, sorry.
I do say in my books and lessons on brand building that Twitter and Instagram are potentials for opportunities but the only sure thing is LinkedIn. So what are some quick tips to using LinkedIn effectively?
1) Make sure your Elevator Value Pitch is weaved in to your profile - include it in your summary (in bullet point form or short paragraph) and make sure your skills are demonstrated through the job description points you include.
2) Keep in mind, although there are no true "space" constraints on LinkedIn, you still should avoid writing a "book" - having too much dense text is a turn off for most readers.
3) Make sure you share what makes you YOU - if you volunteer and/or are passionate about something professional in nature weave it in to your profile. This can be what makes the difference to getting the call for an opportunity.
4) Ensure your contact information is available and easy to find - this is a simple thing that many people forget to make sure is obvious.
5) Learn more lessons with me here -> The Next Step Blog Posts about LinkedIn
If you are truly ready to have a LinkedIn profile that makes waves and gets you noticed, now is a great time to hire me using my special coupon for you for the One on One LinkedIn Review and Personalized Guide/Coaching.
Start to run your career like it is your own business - stay hungry and learn with me how to compete to get to the next step.
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In my workshops on Getting the Job, I spend a lot of time talking about building a brand. The lessons I give to the 16-24 year old students who I am teaching are focused for their age group BUT the ideas behind it are applicable to all.
As a small business owner who specializes in helping people "brand" themselves, I have tons of advice and how-to's on using LinkedIn to get noticed. And it works. It is a different level of lessons though for my students through the Ladders for Leaders program but the basic principles apply. Here are some of my best "rules" to use to get noticed on LinkedIn.
1) Use LinkedIn to share industry related content - do not be "spammy" but do share occasional interesting to you news articles about the industry you want to join. When you are ready to do so, you can and should include a brief description about the article and why you are sharing it but be very careful to make sure your sentence structure is great and all spelling and grammar is perfect, too. Try to do this at least once a month. Beware you do not post the same article twice.
2) Your summary should be on point - it should boil down to your Elevator Value Pitch
about who you are and what you can do. As I mentioned on Instagram recently, I just updated my LinkedIn Summary and it was a true case of the cobbler's kids having no shoes - I do this for a living and yet my LinkedIn summary was lacking. Now, it reads how I want it to read showcasing my company and what I do and as a bonus, it helped me update my About page for this website, too.
3) Consider inviting people to connect with you in a professional way. If you are on an interview or at a networking event and find yourself really connecting well in person, you can and should ask if it would be acceptable for you to connect with them on LinkedIn. You should have tailored "inmails" ready to be used for people you target by industry or role - my book, The Book on Career Readiness - The Prof's Guide on How to Graduate with a Job Offer
has these templates included in my chapter on LinkedIn.
4) Be professional always on LinkedIn - your profile picture should be of just you in professional attire. Do not post things that would better be kept to Facebook or just off social media entirely.
Look for a post soon about my specific social media strategy for all career professionals to be noticed and hired quickly! Also, if you follow these quick 4 tips for LinkedIn, you will be noticed and contacted - and find yourself having a high conversion rate of clicks to interviews! If you are not sure how best to execute this plan, you can consider hiring me for the $150 LinkedIn Overhaul package in which I provide you with a personalized career plan, one on one coaching and personalized instructions on how YOU should use LinkedIn - click here to learn more.
Happy Hunting and please sign up to get exclusive offers and content here: Sign Up Here for The Next Step Exclusive Content and Offers
There is a way to be ready to bounce back strategically and to be in control of all of the pieces you can be to be ready for your next step.
I am a huge believer in preparing and being ready – and this includes how to set things up in the event of potential career shipwrecks such as being fired, laid off or demoted – or just realizing your career is not going the way you want it to go. This can be just as demoralizing as the other 3 things; if you have an idea or a dream of where you want to be and find that you just cannot get there, it can be disheartening. I have some solutions for you, though to use to combat these potential career disasters.
I have said it before but it bears repeating, continually learn to improve your career; if you have not read that post already, you really should – join the over 6000+ people who read it in March. These are some key ways you can build out your skill set, refocus and transfer skill sets to your next role and by doing this, you can transition to something “bigger” and “better” for your next step!
Stay “hungry” and manage your career like it is your own business – this is THE POST that led to my first book (click here to learn more All About Entrepreneur-ING Books). Hire people to help you be ready for that next step – it does not have to be me but if you are in the tri-state area and transitioning back to the workforce after taking time off or being unemployed OR if you are someone who is focused on being competitive and ahead of the pack, look into what I provide my clients and the value-added of having an author, executive, entrepreneur and educator build your content to make you shine in terms of branding yourself and more – oh and remember, it would all be tax deductible expenses for 2016 tax filings!
Consider hiring me for your next step.
If you do not hire me, then hire someone reputable who is invested in helping you get to your next step or use your skills and talents and network to help you prepare your documents for your next step. At a minimum, you must have stellar resumes, cover letters AND LinkedIn profiles to be “ready”. I say resumeS and cover letterS because there is possibilities in changing industries and showcasing different skills and talents for segmented job searches. As part of all of my packages, I provide the career plan, up to 2 resumes 3 cover letters to showcase different expertise for you. The LinkedIn profile really should be focused on one “industry” segment but can be highlighting multiple skill sets and pieces of your personality to help you hit the right people with your awesomeness.
You also need to have a social media presence that is both professional and focused on showcasing your skills and talents and not what you ate last night! I talk a lot about this in my books and my blog and look for future posts about it, too.
Most important of all though is to have built a network as focused and invested in you as you are in them – that means having the give and take and being present and available to “help” as much as you want to be helped.
What do you think of my advice on bouncing back strategically? DO you have these things in order for your career? Happy Hunting!
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As promised in yesterday’s blog post all about my recent excitement around entrepreneurial press and promotion (read more about that here) I wanted to draft out my advice on building this type of momentum as a career person.
When you are building your own business, you are going to be more “out there” about getting in the press and building buzz around your company. For your career, you ALSO need to be “out there” to build your brand but maybe not to the extent of say, my social media policy as a small business (learn more about that by reading about my social media secrets here.
As I write about in my books (such as my Entreprenuer-ING Book on using entrepreneurial skills to launch your own business or be the boss of your career), you MUST be entrepreneurial when building your career and I wrote a whole book on it. However, there is a difference of nuance in executing these strategies for the career person.
For instance, since I launched my own business and branded it with ME – my words, my speaking events, my photos – I am out there almost 24/7 in terms of promotion. I use social media and tools such as SocialOomph to continually share my content (now up to over 196 blog posts AND other media items such as videos, photos and now newspaper articles). For your brand building, it is best to pick and choose what works best for YOU and your industry.
For instance, for your own brand, consider using social media to:
If you can utilize the media for perhaps a volunteer event you helped organize through your community or company, do so. If you are "allowed" to be a source for articles or reporters, do so but please check with your company first in terms of IF you are allowed to speak to the media and how. If you have a hobby or a blog that you can highlight to showcase your writing skills and if it is something you are comfortable with sharing, do so.
Any time you are in the media or writing something, share that media clip or article on your LinkedIn and other social media. You might think this does not apply but as someone recently said at one of the networking events I was asked to participate in, if you volunteer with bulldogs because YOU are passionate about that, include it on your LinkedIn profile because it might be something that forges a true connection in a networking way with other people who share that passion.
Also, it goes without saying (I hope) that you should beware what you share. Yes, we are in an election year but shy away from promoting a candidate too much or focusing on anything "too much". Make your social media more nuanced and share things in a professional way as best you can. I am writing so much about this in the next installment of my College and Career Readiness Series for book 2 How to Graduate with a Job Offer that it is fresh on my mind. Be professional at all times, even in your personal social media accounts especially if you can no longer use "youth" as an excuse if you do go viral for something unfortunate. Always do a Google search of your name and image to make sure you know what is out there because hiring managers, employers and more will do that before meeting with you or hiring you, too. More on that in a future post!
What do you think about my quick advice on how to use press and promotion to build your brand as a career person? Have you ever tried any of these? Happy Hunting!
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Getting fired does happen sometimes because you do not fit in with a company OR you are last one in, first one out when things get tough and sometimes you made a mistake or a misstep that led to you being fired.
These are all very different stories and lead to very different options for you to pick up the pieces. Being fired is traumatic. I am lucky in that the last time I was “fired”, I was 15 and working at Roy Rogers. In my defense, it was SO hard to make those chicken packages I just could not deal – and Roy Rogers was hella busy and hey, I was only 15 – and you get the idea – this was over 25 (almost) years ago and it still can be something to be defensive over!
I am lucky, honestly. I led my career with focus (mostly) and never found myself on the chopped block again but that does not mean I did not have issues. For those of you unlucky enough to have been fired more recently, it is not the end of the world. In fact, there are tons of examples of people who have been fired and it was the catalyst that led to bigger and better things.
Being “laid off” is often considered not being fired – but ultimately it is similar to being fired in that you have no job. I was laid off in early 2000 from a dot-com (who wasn’t) but it still left me scrambling. I learned some lessons in early 2000 and I have built on these lessons as I help clients and students alike recover from being fired or “let go” or “separated” from their companies and careers.
What do you do when you are fired? Sometimes, it comes out of left field so it does not leave you time to be prepared but most people can sense something is going to happen. It is rare that you walk into the office thinking today is the day you get promoted and then wind up being escorted out by security with your belongings in a box. I mean, it is rare – unless you are delusional or at a crazy company that likes to torture employees.
For some people above a certain level, being fired leads to a negotiation process with the ability to ask for career counseling and a severance package but for the rank and file, this is just a goodbye without anything. How can you be ready for this without thinking negatively for no reason?
I am huge about not thinking negatively – not to sound all granola and crunchy but I do think if you put out negative thoughts, negative things come back (see a future post about Meditation that I have in the works for more on that). It is important to always be ready for anything and a good way to be ready for your career is to always have a great resume and LinkedIn profile.
If you cannot maintain both, please keep the LinkedIn up to date and active. You can find out more of my advice on LinkedIn here Blog Category LinkedIn Advice. If you just cannot fathom LinkedIn and how it works, please consider either my do it yourself LinkedIn product OR my LinkedIn Improvement Package on improving and instructing you how to use LinkedIn – this takes me over 10 hours of work on my part and it leaves you with an excellent noticeable profile and the game plan on how to use it.
Also, always cultivate your network. You do not need to spend 20 hours a week on this – that is insane. You can just always be “available” and at times, out there with meetings and events. If you see something that would apply to someone’s life, job search or more, take the few minutes to send it over to them just as a way to “water” your relationships. There are some people that might expect more but almost everyone is so busy, just occasionally hearing from you is enough to help the relationship for when you have to send the “Help, I have been fired” message.
And you should never send a “help, I have been fired” message anyway. It should read more like,
“Hi, Joe. I hope the email I sent you about XYZ helped with your project. I wanted to also let you know that I am looking for new opportunities in my field (or another field or x or y). If you know of anyone looking for [INSERT YOUR EVP HERE – find out more here Using Your Elevator Pitch as a Value Statement] please keep me in mind. Looking forward to seeing you again! Warmest regards, Jane”
You do not have to say you have been fired BUT if you are interviewing for a new role, you do have to be transparent. Resist the urge to bad mouth the company or otherwise make it seem like you have been betrayed or abused. These are all massive red flags for hiring managers and everyone, really. Make it as professional as possible. Do not bring emotions into it. When asked your reason for leaving your last job (it is right there on every job application and definitely brought up in any interview), “The company and I decided to part ways” or “The company made some changes that led to my position being no longer necessary” or “I was fired because [INSERT PROFESSIONAL SOUNDING REASON HERE].
If you were fired for gross misconduct or something very negative, this will come out when your references are called. As much as companies are tied up into what they CAN and CANNOT say (such as basic information confirming employment dates), a savvy hiring manager (on either side) can figure out the real story without too many words. If you have done something extremely unethical or borderline criminal, be honest and beware when / if you can pick up the pieces of your career.
This is in very rare cases; most people are fired due to poor performance which can often be brought back into the culture/fit discussion in terms of how your mesh with a company. And this is hard to identify until you are in the trenches of said company but you can use some of my advice here The Next Step Blog Posts on Culture and Fit.
What do you think of my in case of firing advice? Have you been fired before? Why? Was it something that allowed you to change your career for the better? Is it something that still causes you anger and/or other emotion? How did you mask the emotional aspect? Happy Hunting!
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LinkedIn, despite the recent trouble with the stock value (for more on this, see my LinkedIn Post on Stock Valuation) is the place to be to make connections and to build your career.
I have a very labor intensive product to overhaul my client’s LinkedIn account (see more here LinkedIn Overhaul Product) that takes approximately 7-10 hours of work on my part. I redesign the content, prepare built in searches for careers, contacts and groups and create a plan on how to use LinkedIn all based off of my 14-point proprietary questionnaire.
Recently, I was thinking about this product and considering raising the price because of the time involved in the process but before I do that I decided I would launch a new product in the thinking of my Resume Do It Yourself Kit Product for entry level professionals. This would, too, be for entry level folk and not my executive clientele who need the full product offering from me.
The LinkedIn Do It Yourself Kit would also come with a free copy of my Entrepreneur-ING book and the research and how-to guide created exclusively by me along with some extras (there are always extras) for $50. I think this product can be positioned for more people and can help put the powerful tool of LinkedIn into the hands of the individuals who need it most - the entry-level professional. The use of this tool, LinkedIn, can put the focus on using motivation and entrepreneur-ING to get grow your career by being more visible and apparent.
In my opinion, people who would buy this product are entrepreneurial and focused on being competitive as new career entrants and that is inspiring to me! I have been doing some speaking engagements recently with both my College and Career Readiness Seminars and other professional focused speeches and for each 30-60 people I speak in front of, a handful reach out afterwards to make a connection and I am always impressed with that as being the "professor" and having people respond to and react to that to build a networking relationship is wonderful. It is the same for this type of product - by learning how to use LinkedIn with my unique lessons and product, you can be the one making these types of relationships across the board for your career.
LinkedIn is something quite powerful in that no one else is using it right. It is like my
Old School Networking advice from 2000-2002; the stuff I did to network to my position after the dot-com explosion was unique and got my actual job offers because not everyone was doing it - this is how LinkedIn is right now. I am basically at expert status on reviewing, helping and moving others to use LinkedIn the right way. I have done some other posts on LinkedIn already with free advice (more here LinkedIn Blog Category) but thought I would go over a few quick new tips I have been thinking about and implementing for others.
1) LinkedIn is NOT FacebookThis means do not save memes or other “quirky” things on this platform.
2) Keep your profile picture professional and of just YOU. Be dressed for the job you want not the job you have.
3) If you are employed but looking for other opportunities, make this known subtly so that your current coworkers/managers/etc are not made aware of it. For instance, craft your summary and information so it is so appealing that people call you based on your expertise OR subtly make reference to being open to opportunities (key word: SUBTLY).
4) If you are not currently employed, get some volunteer work and/or short term engagements to highlight on your profile. Also, think about how you can diversify yourself with schooling, training or some other skills based training to have that updated on your LinkedIn.
5) Do engage professionally on LinkedIn; make new connections, bring discussion and thoughtful points to other discussions (as applicable) and share some informative content and lessons to the platform.
Ideally, write something yourself that can help make you “shine” via the LinkedIn Pulse function.
What do you think about this LinkedIn advice and new product? I can tell you that many people do not use LinkedIn appropriately or effectively; I hope you take this advice and consider my products for this category for your next step. Happy Hunting!
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Mini-lesson On Stock Valuations
I hope everyone who had boxes for Super Bowl Sunday won some money! Also, that everyone is on time for work this morning (apparently millions of Americans are late or call out on the Monday after Super Bowl…)
LinkedIn got hit in the pocketbook this Friday after not meeting expectations. This led to their stock dropping more than 40%. It was a bad day for LinkedIn but what does this mean in the long term? In my opinion, I do not think there is another service / web site community that can replace LinkedIn. I know there are other platforms out there but none that really provide the depth and breadth of content, job focused professionals like LinkedIn. (Blogger’s note: I am not a LinkedIn investor or spokesperson.)
I do think the company will find its footing and its value – the market does not allow any bad news to pass by without making a dent. As I discuss in my managerial finance courses, valuation of a public company and the idea that stock prices should be at "equilibrium" representing the true value of the company is basically an impossibility. Everything is based on expectations, perceptions and the version of the spin we get from various companies. Like with Yahoo right now there is so much being discussed around corporate decisions, parties and layoffs – but the true idea of what goes on in a large company behind its doors and in every cubicle is a mystery at times to even those inside said company.
To help demonstrate this, I like to tell my students the story about my experiences at a large multinational corporation (MNC). (I tell stories a lot as part of my teaching style; it helps keep the textbook information interesting by relating it to real-life experiences and it has served me well for my lesson-based seminars, speaking engagements and training sessions.)
My story is from when I was part of one division with a large MNC and thought the division was its own company. I mean, I was young and stupid but not that young and stupid I did realize there were other “parts” of the company but really thought we were a stand-alone entity. I thought this way until I was promoted up the ranks into another division of said company and began to meet with the actual CEO and CFO of the whole corporation. All of a sudden, I became aware of the fact that we all were one company and yet no one and I mean no one really knew what the other sides were doing. We had projects being replicated across divisions and corporate was trying to uncover these instances so that we could negotiate corporate pricing and not division 1 pays so much and division 2 pays an additional so much. It was like being a detective or a spy. So many things were done in so many ways and some of it sneakily to avoid full reporting. For example, project over $5m had to go through hoops and ladders to be approved so many projects were $4.9m.
The point is that as much as everyone tried to get a full picture at the C-suite and below, it was very hard. So when it came to reviewing financials, every sector / department rolled up their numbers until it got to the top – did any one person understand every one thing going on in this huge company? It would be an impossible feat to even know a fraction of everything that was going on in said company and yet this is how all large companies are – it is the nature of the beast. In fact, I would argue any company over 20-100 people will potentially also now have an absolute 100% clear picture into what every person is doing/working on. Multiply that by orders of magnitude with a company with thousands of people and the fact that some people are disingenuous and you can have disaster and/or hidden minefields everywhere. We were told by the CFO that every time we launched a project and mis-spent x amount of dollars that it would take x amount of cents off earnings per share (EPS) and this would be disastrous for the stock price. It really was a powerful statement and whenever I tell my students about it we ruminate on how these dollar amounts really impact stock price and what that means to a corporation.
So valuation of corporations is a challenge but missing a profit number or an EPS amount is something that will send stock price falling especially in an economy that is struggling. I am assuming LinkedIn will get back into the right track as they overall had an awesome 2015. More and more professionals, hiring managers and more are using LinkedIn as a way to find talent and to recruit future employees. Having an awesome profile on LinkedIn can get you in the door at many companies for an interview faster than any other way. I will say that I have been sought after as a service provider by clients who see what I am doing on LinkedIn AND I have been sought after by other professional organizations for my content and training programs and more via my work on LinkedIn – or just by sharing the work I am doing via my blog and YouTube to LinkedIn.
There is a lot of value in this website and this community, if you know how to use it. It is NOT Facebook as the popular meme going around LinkedIn says – but just posting that meme kind of shows you are not sure that LinkedIn is NOT Facebook (oh the irony). If you try to apply some of my tips, you can find yourself being sought after on LinkedIn, too.
For more help and information, check out my product page I over a complete LinkedIn profile overhaul along with detailed personalized lessons and instructions on how you can implement your new Next Step profile for $150 or I am now doing value bundle of resume, cover letters and LinkedIn overhaul for $300. I put in at least 8-10 hours of work into every LinkedIn profile I redesign and I do redesign and recreate it to the point that it becomes a better version of your resume, it is interactive, available and always online for recruiters and potential hiring managers to see – order yours today here: http://www.thenextstep1234.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html
If you want more information, chat with me via my Website or any of my social media channels! Happy Hunting!
You need to be ready to present yourself anywhere and anytime to be ready for your next step which is why my seminars in March at Wagner College Office for Lifelong Learning are including “media training” on the agenda. As a public speaker and now, in some ways, a public person sharing so much on my blog and vlog (youtube channel is here, please subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1JteHStt5UNE3buyBhLvMA) I want to revisit this with a quick video (or two) see below and also my lessons learned as I create and build my business presence like, everywhere.
The idea is that we all should be working on building our online "brand" - this is more than just our personal social media world of Facebook and Twitter and Instagram but adding a layer of professionalism or having a version of these tools for our professional goals. I can tell you right now that almost no one uses LinkedIn the way they should and a huge seller is my product to overhaul and improve LinkedIn profiles along with teaching people how to use their profile to help them get their next step. I will be doing this in my seminars for only the $99 cost as opposed to the product I sell, which is more money. So think about the value pricing there. A recent article said that hiring managers look first to LinkedIn to find candidates for open positions so do not miss out on using this to help build your brand.
Some of my lessons learned have actually been quite funny. As much as I talk about media training and what it means to job seekers, I recently made a mistake. Despite “teaching” the lessons to media training including being fully dressed even if the meeting is only of your face and I shot a whole video for my YouTube channel in full top professional attire and PAJAMA BOTTOMS – my family is still hysterical laughing over it. Thankfully, it was not a live shoot and I was able to crop the shot in editing to release it to my unsuspecting YouTube channel watchers but it was hysterical and ironic given how much time I spend preparing people for these types of things – even the prof can make mistakes! Obviously…
Another lesson I have been learning is what equipment works best and how to make better quality videos. I have been doing this only a short while and am definitely still learning how to do the best produced videos. I recently found an editing program that works with my Canon camera for my videos and I am pleased with that accomplishment but I am definitely still a learner in this area.
What do you think about social media and also the idea of being "media ready" for interviews and more? What are your plans for building your brand online? Will you be joining me at Wagner College Office for Lifelong Learning in March; register here: http://wagner.edu/lifelong-learning/career-management-seminar/.Happy Hunting!
Simply check out your LinkedIn profile and follow these quick steps. If you would like to do more, contact me about my 14-step improvement process for LinkedIn Profiles here: http://www.thenextstep1234.com/store/p5/LinkedIn_Review_and_Edit_.html
My quick advice:
What do you think of these quick tips? Have you tried any of them? Happy Hunting!
The new rule of thumb is to have an active and hire-ready LinkedIn profile while still in college. LinkedIn can be used for many things – not just networking and meeting people but also can be used to find your next step (or your first step for those of you preparing to graduate).
When I am hired to review and improve a LinkedIn profile, I use a proprietary 14-point system to improve the existing profile and to teach the individual how to use their new profile – like teaching a person to fish… I show them how to use that LinkedIn profile to become known either in their industry or in the new industry they would like to join.
My advice for all the college students who need to have a LinkedIn profile in order to fully be ready for life after school is, as follows.
If you are interested in finding out more about how I can “pimp” your LinkedIn profile for you to stand out and be ready for your next step (or first step), contact me below via comments section or via chat. Happy Hunting!
I think everyone knows what Black Friday is but I have gotten a few questions regarding what it means so I figured it would be an easy day after Thanksgiving blog post when I have eaten so much turkey I still feel tired after sleeping two hours later than normal (7am vs 5am)…
Black Friday was always historically known as such because it was the day many retailers went into the black. Meaning that up until this day, they were operating in the red (or having more expenses than income). Being in the black means you have more sales than expenses. (Just explaining it simply, here.)
There are grumblings that Black Friday will become irrelevant sometime soon but given my Facebook feed and the amount of people lined up via news broadcasts outside of stores last night before they opened on Thanksgiving, no less, I do not think this Black Friday phenomena will be ending anytime soon.
I do not go shopping on Black Friday. I never did. But, when I owned a small retail store on Staten Island in 2005-2008, I did open on Black Friday and was always astounded at the amount of customers I would see on that day (and that amount would never replicate again at any day of the year). And everyone who walked in my store, left with something they purchased. That was also something that was not replicated on any other day of the year.
So Black Friday is something that is a powerful force in our economy. It spurs spending but maybe the type of spending that cannot be replicated on any other day or time. Maybe it does mean we are a mercenary culture dictated by things and purchases instead of warmth and home given how many store employees had to leave / miss Thanksgiving dinner to be at work (though according to reports and friends who work in retail, for double time pay). I do not know. I do know that spending spurs economic growth and that having a store open for Black Friday can make the whole year for that store.
I have always done the bulk of my shopping on Cyber Monday but to be honest, I am usually done with my holiday shopping before this because I am super early on everything (note in point; my holiday cards are already out – which you saw if you follow me on Instagram).
As a web based business owner, now, I do hope Black Friday and the upcoming holidays spur people to make the investment in themselves and their futures either through one on one consulting work from me on resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters or application essays. I also hope people register for my upcoming seminars and courses at Wagner College Office for Lifelong Learning. But I think for a business like mine, New Year’s and its resolutions would be more of my busiest time in getting new clients. Hey, if a business in Brooklyn can be highlighted on news’ sites for a woman offering to rent herself out as a “mom” for $30/hour, I am sure many people need a career guru (who also happens to be a mom – lol) for my low rates given how many hours of work I put in to helping people achieve their next step dreams…
What do you think about Black Friday? Were you out shopping today? Have a great day of leftovers!! Happy Hunting!
In November I am giving my all to my upcoming seminars on how to take the next step in your career. I will be standing in front of a group of new people (aka “students”) who I have never met before and giving my #profadvice and keeping everyone excited, energized and on their toes. It is going to be an intimate event with actual work happening during the session - I am including a picture of my initial planning "to do" list. As someone who pulls triple duty, I take time where I can find it to plan and manage my business. Sometimes, I use my iPhone notes section to begin to brainstorm about new ideas and events. This is an inside look on how this entrepreneur begins the planning process. Of course, I drafted this a few weeks ago and have much more behind it for the event, but this is just a teaser post after all.
The act of getting up in front of a group of "students" or seminar attendees is something I could not do if I did not have extensive experience with public speaking and with the ability to teach – when I first started teaching in 2003, I was terrified. This despite the fact that I was the go-to person to give presentations in undergrad and grad school and was the Speech and Debate team captain at St John’s University [blogger note: I was state and north east champion in 1998 for my Prose rendition of Sandra Cisneros Bien Pretty - check it out what a great short story and I was told by the judges that I really made them laugh and cry when I did it...] and I even gave the commencement address at my graduation in front of at least 1,000+ people. Despite that, it was not until I became an adjunct professor that I realized how to make content come alive – how to create content to teach and how to help my students find joy in learning. Yes, that sounds corny but finding joy in learning is how to grow, how to become a better person and just how to continually get better at life, career and more. If you stop learning, you are not living.
So for these upcoming seminars, I am bringing my A-game. I am starting off with resumes and cover letters (again, check out the image below for a teaser). This is the basic building block to finding your next step. Without as close to a perfect resume as possible for you that represents you and your strengths, skills and accomplishments, you cannot get to your next step. The seminar is from 7pm-9pm and when you leave you will be ready to take your next step with your resume and cover letter that reflect the best YOU and that can get you the next step in your industry you are interested in most. I am also doing bonus material in thank you notes - you can read my blog post about thank you notes to understand what I think about how they should be done - and then you can come to the seminar to have me show you and make it meaningful in person. You can also get a sense for what I will share if you have been reading my blog interview tips, resume advice categories - amplify those posts with real in person training and one on one time between me and you and you will see why the $99 price tag is a huge bargain!
For the next seminar, we will focus on using social media to build your brand. For some of us, this does not even make sense as a sentence but it is what is setting apart “meh” candidates from “WOW” candidates for hiring managers and hr folks. Using social media effectively and “smart-ly” can mean the difference between looking for your next step and having your next step find you. It really is that powerful. As a relative “newbie” to the world of social media to brand myself as an "expert", I still can teach you a lot about it and my knowledge is latest and greatest because I have been learning this right now - not ten years ago, not five years ago but right now. Using social media has unlocked so many opportunities for me that I do not think I would have had without using the tools I use to brand myself as #profisin and #profadvice to really convey my insights and advice to the masses. It is scary and not for the faint of heart but done right with my rules and advice can lead you to the career path for you.
For the third seminar, we will tackle interviewing skills and media training. If you have been following my blog, you know a little of what I think about interviewing and media skills but I have so much more to share in person with tips and techniques to make you stand out for any type of interview. Having media skills along with interviewing skills are a necessity today. Everyone needs to know how to be camera ready in addition to being able to discuss their strengths and abilities using the bragalogue – telling stories is how to achieve a positive interview experience.
Check out my VLOG (coming soon) for a teaser on what we will be covering in these seminars. Let me know in the comments or via chat what you would want to see addressed to make your resume and cover letter perfect. Happy Hunting!
I saw this article from Forbes that is an excerpt from Laura Shin's book The Millennial Game Plan: Career and Money Secrets to Succeed in Today's World and had to make a post out of it. It is geared towards millennials but it can help all of us. I was one of those people - someone who set up a LinkedIn and then forgot about it. As I have recently relaunched this company, The Next Step, I have found LinkedIn to be so important to my company - keeping people thinking about my services and (hopefully) reading my blog posts and maybe even learning something new from me...
It is important to make LinkedIn really represent you - what does not fit on your resume can fit here. Also, you can strategically find people to connect to that can help you find your next step. Make sure LinkedIn represents who you are and what you can do.
I would be remiss if I did not mention my newly launched service called the LinkedIn Review and Edit - I use a proprietary 14-point query document to get the information you need to have on your LinkedIn profile there and then I also help craft your connection emails so you can use LinkedIn to the best of its ability. Check it out on my Order Your Next Step Here page today and let me know what you think.
What do you think of LinkedIn? Is your profile dormant? Or do you use it for networking to your next step and beyond?
How To Use LinkedIn 5 Smart Steps to Career Success
Lisa Vento Nielsen