A Reverb Entry: Everything’s Okay

I’ve been thinking about this prompt from the Reverb campaign that I never tackled and I thought today (July 12) would be a great day to post it as it’s the official first birthday of The Opportunities Project, LLC. (Yay!)

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)

Recently, I was open about my personal struggles with getting my business launched on a blog post by Rich DeMatteo of Corn on the Job.  Right now, money is flooding through the door, I have more emails than I can answer and my goal is to keep it that way (knock on wood). But one time this March, I was completely despondent about my finances and the state of my personal life because of my inability to get my business where I needed it to be to survive. Also, someone I’d been loyal to professionally for over ten years had screwed me over without a second thought. I went to a friend’s apartment and just cried for hours in her arms. I’m not a super emotional chick, but I felt like I had nothing left.

Reverb10manifest

When I went to my friend’s apartment, I brought a bottle of wine that I’d received as a thank you for sitting on an education panel a year before in March 2010. The education panel wasn’t just any event, but one where I was asked my opinions about President Obama’s education policies and hosted at the prestigious Yale Club in New York City. On my way to the room where the panel was held, I bumped into George Pataki (literally almost sent him flying) and saw tables of well-known New Yorkers and others dining and making things happen. I’d finally felt like I’d arrived.

I’m not sure why I decided that my friend and I needed to drink that bottle of wine that night- I’d been saving it for something celebratory. But I did and the next day everything picked up.  No, that wine did not have a magic serum. But it reminded me that everything will be okay- no, not perfect, but okay, because I have it into me to change things. Things will be okay because…

– I have loved ones.

– I know valuable stuff and can do valuable things.

– I keep up relationships.

– I put myself out there.

I remembered all those things the next week and I was hired for three major jobs and speaking engagements based on a combination of those four principles.

It’s important to remind ourselves that we can make choices to bring things closer to okay. Another time when I was wondering what was next for me, I attended a wine tasting class that I bought dirt cheap through Groupon one afternoon. I planned to make it a solo pity party, but when I got there, I decided to start conversations with every person at my table. One of those conversations led to my first four figure client. I put myself out there. I know valuable stuff and can do valuable things. Everything will be okay.

What do you do to remind yourself that things will be okay?

Photo courtesy of Mr T in DC on Flickr

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Where in the World is The Opportunities Project?

Hey there. When we posted our Q&A with Salena on June 1, we certainly did not think that we would be taking a month-long break! It was not because of our premature demise, but because June was a super successful month for our business and it pulled us away from the blog. Here is an update on where we’ve been and more importantly where we’re going.

A Birthday

Bday

Tracy celebrated a birthday- 36 years young- at the beginning of June. We were grateful to spend the time with our friends out on Fire Island eating cupcakes, drinking pink beverages, and remotely helping our colleague Steven Francisco from Innovation Teaching win Startup Weekend EDU by providing some key market research for his entry DemoLesson.com- all from my beach blanket. Love the speed of entrepreneurship!

Mashable and Pretty Young Professionals Mentions

At the end of May, we were interviewed for a piece by Mashable on social media resumes and how you must show your results no matter what tools you use to market yourself. We never expected the response that we got! Our internet traffic went up 91% (and keeps going up) and many readers booked us for career coaching for July. It’s the biggest thing that’s happened since we started and we love it.

In June, Pretty Young Professionals also named us to their Top 40 Career Experts on Twitter. We are honored to be on a list that included Forbes Women and best-selling authors Lindsey Pollak and Alexandra Levit. This award ensures we will try even harder to provide Twitter content that is relevant and thought-provoking for young professionals navigating their careers.

New Team Member Lauren Wannermeyer

if you interact with us on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll soon be interacting with our new team member, Lauren Wannermeyer. Yes, I’ve hired yet ANOTHER Syracuse person and in this case a fellow sorority sister because Lauren is also an Alpha Gamma Delta. Even if she wasn’t all those things, I would have hired her anyway because she’s awesome. Lauren joined us in June and will soon start managing our Facebook page and interacting in Twitter chats on behalf of the @oppsproject. Read more about Lauren on our Team page. We’ll also get her Q&A up on the blog this week so you can learn more about her.

Cheating on Tumblr

Tracy launched her own Tumblr a few months ago and posted “quick takes” on education, jobs, and the economy in June. It’s a work in progress, and the verdict is still out on whether Tumblr is for us. The community aspect seems hyper-inclusive and there are too many Tumblrs that belong on a private platform like OhLife. So far, my favorite use has been to follow a woman who has inside knowledge about The Hunger Games movie and runs some type of role-playing game about it that I can’t seem to follow but still find absolutely fascinating. #Nerd. Anyway, please check out our Tumblr and let us know what you think and follow us if you’re part of the community. We’ll be implementing some theme changes throughout the month and making it resemble our style more.

Launch of Teach Newark and Social Recruiting Work

And the real reason we’ve been MIA from the blog is because we launched a new social recruiting project for Newark Public Schools and Startup Education in June. Startup: Education is the foundation started by Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook. You know… that itty bitty project that was announced on The Oprah Winfrey Show (link brings you to the full announcement on Oprah.com; the AP video from YouTube that features clips is embedded below). When I left my job to start The Opportunities Project about a year ago, I didn’t expect that my company would be commissioned to work on such a high-profile project so soon, but I’ll take it.

 

We’re one of the first vendors hired by Startup: Education to help improve Newark’s work with teachers and we are committed to showing what you can do when you frame your recruiting right so the ROI is in marketing to the right people. And with four weeks under our belt, we’ve been rocking it with over 1,200 applications started, a shiny new website, and a social media presence where we’re providing a high level of engagement and transparency to every high quality teacher who wants to join Newark’s team. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and if you’re a teacher ready for a big opportunity, apply via our website at TeachNewark.com.

 

Teach in Newark Public Schools

 

Launching Teach Newark has been a complex operation so a big thanks to Justin Mathews, Alisha Miranda, Felicia Ramirez, Tanisha Christie, and Dana Leavy, and Shannon Firth for their contributions this far. We’ll still be bringing on two new members in July. While The Opportunities Project’s mission to build capital in people includes recruiting the best for organizations, I believe that we will be bringing our social recruiting work under a new umbrella and brand. The thinking cap is on and emails are going out to our business advisors for their opinions. Stay tuned.

Enroll in our New eCourse

And now let’s talk about the future. Our big July announcement is that we’re giving away a FREE eCourse called Avoid a Cruel Summer: 22 Career Lessons to Take to the Beach. That’s right, we said FREE!

As part of the eCourse, you’ll receive 22 career lessons in your inbox every 1 to 2 days. Each lesson will offer advice and suggested next actions for you to take so when September rolls around, you’re won’t have missed out any opportunities and can start getting the results you want in your career. Since we want you to participate from your favorite mobile device while you’re taking in the rays and waves, we’ve designed each step to take about 30 minutes. Every lesson is also accompanied by a song suggestion to inspire you to take action.  This course is perfect for the recent graduate navigating the job market, the young professional looking to make a change, or anyone who wants a career tuneup. You can check out the playlist below!

We’re still working out a few kinks, but we welcome you to subscribe now.

Our blog posting may still be infrequent for a while, but we’re excited to be back!

 

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

 

Q&A with Team Member Salena Moore

We were excited to welcome another team member recently, virtual intern Salena Moore. Salena is a student at Syracuse University and is helping us this summer with updating the systems we use to manage our database for clients and partners where we store contact information and communications.This also includes helping to improve the performance of our email marketing systems, which then helps our sales cycle. We grew so fast in 2011, we’ve had a hard time keeping it together and are grateful for another insightful perspective. Here is Salena’s Q&A.

Salena

Q: What interests you about working in education?

A: I would have to attribute my initial interest in education to my mother’s involvement within the field.  She has been an educator in the Milwaukee education system for over 25 years.  In fact, she opened up a school when my brother and I were young because she felt that we were not receiving a proper education. Because of this, I grew up understanding the importance of good schools and how there was a lack of a quality education where I lived and in the entire nation.  Education is important and given the fact that the job market is even more competitive, children need to be more prepared for that environment.  Making sure everyone has the proper education for succeeding is what most interests me.

Q: What are the worst and best things about college?

A: That is a good question! I think that best thing about college is that I am able to explore a number of interests through different majors/minors and I am also able to meet people from different places around the world.  It is a good place to “find yourself.” One of the worst things in college is going there and getting lost in the hype of it all. Many kids go to college and forget what they came for.  College is what you make it; you just have to make sure you use it to your advantage.

Q: What do you think is going to be the be the most important education issue in the next decade?

A: I believe the most important issue in education in the next decade will be the financial challenges placed on schools.  As we all have seen, America has experienced big budget cuts and there might even be more threats to cutting funds in the future.

Q: What is the most important thing you hope to learn from interning with The Opportunities Project?

A: I hope to improve my data analysis skills and to improve my understanding of exactly what career path I should pursue!  Being that I am still in college, I believe that working with The Opportunities Project will allow me to explore more of my interests and it will open up a world of opportunities for me in the future.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

 

7 Lessons on Entrepreneurship: An Anniversary Reflection

Like other entrepreneurs, I launched my business in stages so I have multiple anniversary dates. It’s hard to believe, but I posted my first blog post a year ago. This anniversary is special because it’s also a few days before my birthday which is a natural point for reflection. It inspired me to think about the little things I wish someone would have told me a year ago about entrepreneurship, that having a great idea, business plan, and nine months of savings is not all you need. Here are seven pieces of advice for budding entrepreneurs based on my experience.

The Opportunities Project reflects on one year of entrepreneurship. 1. Content is really king and you should bank it like cash. I belong to a mastermind group with other NYC coaches and when we talk about things that are working for us, everyone can cite examples where our blog has directly landed us a client. I’ve received business from the stodgiest of corporate clients through some very specific blog posts. Like you wouldn’t quit your job without a certain amount of money in the bank, I’d recommend having at least 20 blog posts ready to go before you set up shop. Writing is a process and as you blog more, you’ll get better, you’ll find your voice and discover what structure works for you- just start where you are.

When you get clients, you’ll get busy- I haven’t put anything up in the last two weeks and I’m annoyed at myself because I know better! That content bank will be essential if you want to achieve success faster.

(Image Source: DGDW Blog)

2. If you want to change the world, it’s happening online. When I started building my business plan, I met with all sorts of people across New York City. Many of them told me that social media was a slow climb- after all, did I think because I tweeted something that everyone was suddenly going to start following me or that I was going to become the next YouTube star? People advised me to start doing in-person events to get my name out. I would have been better off spending that time online in Twitter chats and doing research on who to engage with and follow. I am not sure why, but the relationships with people I have met online have been more valuable than those I’ve met at NYC events. I think if you’re a grown-up and you decide to spend precious time online, you’re intentional and strategic and those people are worth knowing.

I also received bad advice about my website. It’s important to have it ready to go on Day One and have a call to action on the first page.

3. Your business plan needs a section on building capital. When you get going, you’re focused on earning money and marketing, but you also need to focus on building capital and worth. Some of that will come through your blog, but if someone was going to buy your business tomorrow, what else would they get besides the cash you have in the bank? I constantly mind-map this. If someone would buy my business, they’d get engaged fans and enough free and private content to publish a book, a recognized leader with national press appearances, and innovative ideas that haven’t even seen the light of day… yet. This type of capital won’t immediately pay the rent, but building it up brings a steadier cash flow over time. If you’re in this for the long-haul, you have to pay attention to this.

4. Don’t stress about pricing. It’s your business and when you first start out, you can do what you want with pricing and no matter what anyone tells you, yes, you can change it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t completely ignore the market- make sure your prices are not too different from what other people charge. But if you think a price drop would bring more clients, have a sale and then decide to make it permanent because you love your audience. If you have too many clients and want to raise your prices, explain it to your customer base and give them a date for when it’s increasing. The average person understands market changes.

Also, don’t believe what people tell you about hiding the price, etc. When I put my PayPal buttons on my services page, my sales tripled. It depends on you, what you feel comfortable with and who you attract. My tribe likes transparency.

5. You’ll need new friends. When I told my friends I was going to leave my high paying job and start my business, I couldn’t believe how ecstatic they were. Hugs, cheers and free dinners all around! That being said, as I’ve traveled deeper into entrepreneurship, the support they’ve offered me has been limiting. They mean well, but most have 9-5 jobs and work with an office of other people and can’t relate to what I am going through and the utter loneliness I feel at times. That’s not their fault, so you’ll have to make new friends who can relate to that aspect of your life. I wrote a blog post for Brett Kunsch and Reverb about how to build these types of communities. This support system has made all the difference in what I can get done.

That being said, I have done a piss-poor job of engaging my friends so they know exactly what they could do to be supportive of The Opportunities Project. This anniversary is a good time to change that so if you consider yourself a friend of mine, expect to get a list of 8-10 very easy things you could do to help me make things happen. A point will come when you’ll have to explicitly train your friends that instead of replying to your latest newsletter telling you how proud they are of you, they know that pressing the Share buttons will make you feel 100% more supported.

6.  You can’t do it alone. If you want to run a business, you need to get help. That might come through consultants, virtual assistants, or interns. Be smart about who you hire and invest your money so these people are working on things that you can use after they move on to bigger and better clients. Give those people referrals and they’ll help you over and over. It occurs to me I should write a post with the names of all the vendors and team members who’ve contributed to taking this company to where it is in its first year. I hope you’ll give them your business if you need that type of service.

7. You need a real sales cycle. When you start building your website, you’ll tell yourself that you have really great products and services, and a winning personality so you’ll NEVER need to be spammy and capture people’s email addresses, etc. Get over yourself- you will. And no one is going to give you a dime unless they have about seven interactions with you and you need to plan what those interactions are. One of those interactions may be a newsletter or a personal tweet, but they still need to learn to like and trust you. One of the best resources I’ve used as an entrepreneur is Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port. I read it six times before I got the sales cycle chapter. Now I have a defined process where I convert someone from a website visitor to a prospect to a customer. It’s still a work in progress and I have a lot to improve on follow-through, but it’s more than I had when I started. What will your cycle look like?

If you’re an entrepreneur, I’d love your advice in the comments. Likewise, if you’re a budding entrepreneur, what questions do you have?

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Q&A with Team Member Alisha Miranda

We are super excited to feature a question and answer post our new team member Alisha Miranda. Alisha is helping us build our business in new ways, and in particular by tapping into new young professional communities across the digital world so we can help even more people achieve their professional dreams.

For those of you who don’t know the background, Alisha and I met on Twitter through Job Hunt Chat. It’s been a social media success story for both of us! Here is Alisha’s Q&A.

Q: Why did you decide to go freelance instead of find a corporate job when you graduated from college?
A: I graduated college and quickly (and luckily) found a full-time job in the music industry, as I wanted. But a few months into that job, I realized it was not what I truly wanted. It was a typical 9-5 setting with bosses who declined open ideas from their employees and were manipulative with tasks, so after six months I quit and moved on to a new opportunity. It wasn’t until I started working in marketing for a travel start-up that I learned what was really conducive to a productive working environment for me, and that my work style is very different from what corporate America expects and demands. Having the freedom to manage my own projects, at my own pace, and pitch ideas to an enthusiastic team was what really got me excited. I was able to develop my own network from there and begin freelancing projects on the side. Once I was able to experience my own independent success, I refused to go back to a corporate job.

Pv

Q. What do you think is the biggest challenge today’s young professionals struggle with when looking for work?
A. I find a few big challenges for young professionals on the job hunt today. Personally, I’ve seen and experienced discouraging employment opportunities due to the economy. For example, some companies are taking advantage of free labor and blaming it on a bad recession, encouraging an uber-competitive market for internships where young professionals are basically doing all the work for little or no compensation, or even credit. There’s also a sense of devalued work and confidence in young professionals these days because of a lack of full-time employment: fair salary, vacation days, benefits, etc and high turnover and downsizing among companies. So the challenge is to remain positive, know your worth, and pitch yourself as a “customized package” to fit into different employment opportunities.

Q. Can you recommend a book that everyone should read?
A. Though its related to the restaurant industry, I’d say “Medium Raw” by Anthony Bourdain. It’s a book that I think young people should read because he discusses all the highs and lows, the struggles, the drama, the crappy pay and gigs, and sometimes dream-crushing moments you’ll have to endure to become a person you’ve always wanted – but if you manage to get through all of it, the results are rewarding and priceless. It’s the same with any other profession that people dream to own – if you can put on your realism hat and get through all the bumps along the way, you’ll end up a winner.

Q. Best. Twitter. Story.
A. I don’t have one best story about my Twitter experiences but I will say that to enter a room and have people come up to me shouting “Hey, makeshiftalisha! I love your work!” on a regular basis is pretty fantastic. It’s not about the number of followers or web stats to me, it’s about the connections I’ve made and the brand I’ve been creating that keeps people remembering and supporting me.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

 

May 16 Announcements, Music Monday

Hope everyone in New York City is surviving the gray and rainy weather. I am not sure about everyone else, but graphics like this for my zip code never make me feel good. Blech. But like you, I have a ton to accomplish this week and we can’t let this get in our way! Some coaching tips for the week? Don’t skimp on artificial light and add some selenium to your diet if it’s not already included. Also, pick up some great books to read while hanging out inside!

 

Weather

 

Here are some quick announcements from The Opportunities Project for this week.

Group Coaching Start Moved to May 23rd

Due to great demand (graduation and work demands in particular), we’ve moved our spring coaching program start back to May 23rd. That means we are pushing back the course back and will end the week of July Fourth. We’re super excited to get started. Make sure you reserve your spot today or contact us with questions.

Our Guest Blog Post is up on Job Hunt Chat!

We’re excited that our guest post on how we hired Alisha Miranda for our Business Development position is up on Job Hunt Chat’s website for everyone to see as a successful case study in social media job searching. I tried to cover both the small business/recruiter/hiring manager side, as well as the job seeker take. I hope it helps more people understand the power of these tools and how you can use them to make things happen for yourself and your organization.

We’re Included in Marty McDonald’s Awesome New eBook!

We were honored to provide some interview tips for our colleague Marty McDonald’s new eBook Don’t be Scared… Be Prepared. We share our favorite tips and one of our favorite BAD interview stories. Many of you know, I have dozens to pick from, but the one I chose is a personal favorite. Download and read all the other great stories from my fellow contributors, including these good friends of The Opportunities Project- Rich DeMatteo, Steve Levy, Mark Babbitt, and Kate-Madonna Hinds!

Go See Bridesmaids: Music Monday

Seriously, Bridesmaids was fantastic on its own, but it’s also an important movie for women so go see it. Even though it’s 2011, it’s not easy to make a comedy written by women that also features an almost all female cast. The Change The Ratio blog has covered the importance of this movie and here’s a quote they posted on their Tumblr:

“Here’s why it’s actually important to see Bridesmaids. On opening weekend. I don’t know a female screenwriter, TV writer, actor or comedienne who hasn’t heard this statement in the past few months with regards to future projects: “Well, we’ll see how Bridesmaids does…” That sentence means that every creative, brilliant, funny woman in Hollywood is (unfairly) being held hostage to a single film’s opening weekend box office.”
Why Bridesmaids Is Important, by Jamie Denbo

So go see it if you care about sexism in the film industry- you won’t be disappointed.. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know why I chose this song. If you haven’t seen it YET (emphasis on YET), just enjoy a great retro hit.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIbXvaE39wM&feature=player_embedded

 

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

 

Three Tips to Not Trip Up Your Teacher Job Search

What a busy week- webinars with SchoolSpring and YouTern and launching our group coaching program (you’ve enrolled so I can get you your dream job, right?). And let’s not forget about the Life After College Party with the awesome NYC coaching community, NY Creative Interns, and Jenny Blake. Thanks to everyone who participated in these events and reminded me that I am living my dream as a career coach!

Yesterday, I took some time to listen to the recording for the SchoolSpring webinar which focused on using your competitive advantage to find a teaching job and re-read the chat. I pulled out three things I spoke about where people on the webinar weren’t quite convinced. I thought I’d address them today on the blog.

Apple-0031. Have a great digital portfolio. A digital portfolio is used to market your unique strengths before you even get the interview. A physical portfolio is limiting because it can only realistically be used in the interview.  Someone asked if a principal or recruiter will actually spend time online looking at your online materials. Absolutely. No one gets hired today without being Googled so why not point them to the an online space where you want them to look? Also, as online learning becomes more important in today’s schools, having a digital portfolio can demonstrate that you are onboard.

2. Use a GMail address for your job search. For some reason, this was one of the most talked about pieces of advice on the webinar! Trust me. There is data that shows that resumes with GMail addresses get looked at more often. Think about your brand and check out this piece from The Oatmeal on What Your Email Address Says About You if you still need to be convinced. As for university-based email addresses, recruiters don’t want to see them for two reasons. One, student email addresses quickly expire so I am going to assume that after May, it’s only a 50/50 chance I’ll actually get you so I’ll just contact someone else than potentially be aggravated with a bounced back email. Second, I want to hire someone who has already transitioned to adulthood and not a student.

This is just an example of what we talk about around mindset and branding in coaching.

3. Include your non-teaching experience on your resume. Every person interviewing for a teaching position in 2011 knows lesson planning and loves kids. When principals are interviewing you, they are thinking about the value you are going to add to the classroom beyond your basic training and what makes you unique. Any way that you can show you are well-rounded, do it. Think about some stories from your experiences outside student teaching and conclude them with how those lessons and skills are going to make you an amazing teacher.

There were also questions about how to teach in different states than the one where you earned your certification. I’m all for this, but ut’s not easy. In fact, this mobility issue is  very likely going to be related to my dissertation topic that I am taking on for the fall. I am planning to crowdsource my topic on my blog, so check back here throughout May for that post and give me your thoughts if this is something that makes you emotional or riled up.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

 

My Spring Group Coaching Program Starts Monday

UPDATED: Due to popular demand, we have moved our Group Coaching to July 11th. Everything on the FAQ holds true, except the new dates which are on the featured on our coaching registration page. Contact us for more information.

I’m excited to blog about our inaugural Spring Group Coaching Program that starts THIS coming Monday, May 16th! I have wanted to do group coaching since I started The Opportunities Project. I think that group coaching is a great way for young professionals to learn how to advance their careers. It doesn’t matter if you’re nervous about the job search, or a go-getter who wants to solidify his or her career management know-how for now or the future. Group coaching is affordable and convenient and has benefits that individual coaching doesn’t have. Some of these benefits include multiple perspectives from your fellow coachees and an expanded community that can help you long after coaching ends. You can also do group coaching with a friend which can be fun.  Finally, if you happen to be a parent who is looking for a great graduation gift for you, this program is a great choice, if we do say so ourselves.

When you decide to become a coach, one of the first things you do is hire your own coach. A little over a year ago, when I was making my choices among coaches, I decided to hire one that offered group coaching. Fifteen months later, I am still happy with my choice. Hearing about other people’s experiences and learning from them made me work through my own decisions much more effectively. Even though coaching stopped last July, I am still close to half a dozen of the other participants, personally and professionally. In addition to emails and brunches, one person I met through coaching is my resident photographer and another has helped me with media relations. Likewise, I’ve helped them with their goal setting and productivity systems.

Intrigued and almost convinced that group coaching is for you? Here are answers to some questions you might have.

1. So how does your group coaching work logistically?

The Spring 20011 coaching program consists of seven group sessions, and one individual targeted coaching session with me, if you choose that option (discussed in question 4). Each session is 90 minutes and will be conducted via Skype. During each session, we’ll tackle the topic via audio conference and a shared desktop. We’ll also use video conference when appropriate. Each group will have between four to eight people in it so everyone has the opportunity to be coached.

Unlike traditional webinars, participants in our group coaching program are required to participate via microphone every session. For example, in our group coaching program, you will practice telling stories about your work and student experiences and answer situational and behavior-based interview questions. You’ll also have an opportunity to discuss your goals with the group and receive feedback and encouragement from your group members. I’ll switch back and forth between coaching and facilitating.

There will be two coaching groups each Monday. One group will meet at 4PM and the other at 7PM. During the week of Memorial Day, we’ll meet on Tuesday the 31st.

2. May 16th is just a few days away… what if I can’t start May 16th?

May 16th is coming quickly. We’re starting on May 16th because of the holidays and we want to accommodate people who want to take advantage of the summer job market, which is the hottest time of the year to find a job. If you cannot make May 16th, you can start on May 23rd without missing a beat. We will schedule a makeup session for the material covered on May 16 for anyone who can’t make that date once we have everyone’s schedules.

3. So what will be doing in our coaching program?

Here’s the schedule:
1. The “soft stuff” – mindset, vision, goals and fear (May 16th)

2. Presenting your authentic brand: resumes, online portfolios and social media (May 23)

3. Acing the interview: Part I (May 31- a Tuesday)

4. Acing the interview: Part II (June 6)

5. Networking your way to success- online and off (June 13)

6. The 15 Hour Job Search Plan (June 20)


7. More “soft stuff” – Success on the job (June 27)

8. One-on-one with Tracy (scheduled second half of June/early July, Option One only)

You’ll also be assigned homework between each session to make sure that you become an expert on that topic.

4. How much does it cost?

The costs are broken down on the registration page and you have two payment options. Depending on which option you pick, each session will cost between $25 and $30 a session.

Option One: Pay for program in full. With this option, you will get
•    a $35 discount on the seven group sessions
•    a one-on-one targeted coaching session with me
•    recordings of all the sessions
•    no Eventbrite fees

Option Two: Pay 50% down. We get that not everyone has the cash to pay in full. We still absolutely want you in our program! With this option, you can have more flexibility. You will get
•    flexibility to pay for only four of the seven sessions up front
•    receive a recorded copy of each session for free

If you want one of the last slots in our program, register now. If you have any questions, contact us. We’ll be available all day Friday and over the weekend to take your calls and emails.

We look forward to helping you get the career you want throughout May and June!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

 

Guest Post: Why I Chose Energy by Megan Atkinson

I am happy to feature a guest post from Megan Atkinson today. Megan blogs at The Life and Times of an Energy Careerist. I loved this post and thought it would be a good edition to the Why We Do What We Do series.

Here’s Megan’s post!


When people ask me why I chose to get into energy, I have a quick answer and a not-so-quick answer:

Quick answer: It’s my passion. Because I would eat, sleep, and breathe the energy industry for free if I were independently wealthy.

Not-so-quick answer: I blame my dad.

Dear old Dad. It’s all his fault.

I grew up in a household where my mother would do her motherly thing after work and run around the house doing whatever it was she needed to do – turning the lights on in every room, at every stop. Then my father would run around after her griping about the electric bills and turning them off. I came to understand the economic value of energy efficiency at a very early age but was generally disinterested.

First I wanted to be a super model, then a forensic scientist (before all the CSI, Law and Order, and NCIS shows), then a teacher. Eventually I got into high school and actually had to assess my abilities and interests before choosing a career. Because really… I couldn’t even model rubber gloves let alone clothing.

 
MeganatkinsonThis is when my dad really started harping on me about finding a career I love. He would always tell me, “If you can find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’m sure he stole the mantra from some super wise famous guy, but it stuck with me.

First I majored in fine art. That was idiotic. I had the skill and enjoyed creating but had zero interest in having the word “starving” as part of my job title later in life.

Then it was political science and economics. That was fine and dandy, but who wants to have their financial security hang on the re-electability of some skeezy politician? Not me.

So I took a hard look at what I loved about public policy and economic theory – energy issues, how we power (literally) our economy. So I took a wind power class and it was all over from there. I knew I was made for an energy job.

I eventually decided that though I love renewable energy, energy efficiency is where I needed to be. It was recession-proof (recession-friendly, even), an emerging industry with cutting edge technology, I understood the industry jargon much more fluently than I did Spanish, and I had so much fun learning about it.

So I pursued it. The more I kept learning and doing and experiencing, the more I couldn’t wait to get a jump start on my big energy career.
My dad was right. Turning off the lights DOES save money – and having a job you love really DOES make your job feel a lot less like work and lot more like “holy crap, you mean I get paid to learn all this stuff and talk to strangers and nerd it out?!“

Why do you do what you do?


If you’d like to guest post for The Opportunities Project about Why You Do What You Do, contact us.


Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

You CAN Network Yourself to a Job Online

I am getting excited for tomorrow’s free webinar that I am doing with YouTern called Balance: The Social Networking Job Search – Build, Engage, Find. In this webinar, I’m going to review tips and strategies for building your social credibility, engaging in new communities, and putting it altogether to help you in find new professional opportunities. I’ll also have some successful case studies on how companies and candidates have matched on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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If you listen to the mainstream media, you would think that every young adult is using social media tools to broadcast their life and find jobs. The more I coach, the more I realize that is definitely not true. In fact, I’ve recently participated in a discussion on the About.Com Job Search Group on LinkedIn about social media with some deeply skeptical Generation Y job seekers. I’m hoping my webinar can  convince people that if they use it right, social media can make amazing things happen. We’re going into depth on May 10th, but here are three things to keep in mind that might help convince you that social networking is something you should add to your career management and job search toolbox.

1.You create and direct your own story. Seth Godin talks about how we give up our personal power through constant self-sabotage, that it’s easier to not get involved or take charge of our own brand than potentially fail at it. When you take that stance, you also forego any opportunities that would come from putting yourself out there and engaging with new communities. By creating and building your own social credibility based on your value, you end up with more choices. I recently hired a business development consultant, Alisha Miranda, through social media. She consistently put herself out there through Twitter, LinkedIn, and multiple blogs which opened her up to opportunities like mine. You can do the same.

2. You increase your chances of meeting like-minded people who can help you. One of the greatest gifts I’ve found through social media is the ability to connect with people who I never would have in New York City through in-person networking. All of the people I have met are tremendously talented and mission-driven about changing career trajectories for Americans. In fact, I met Mark Babbitt, Jennie Mustafa-Julock, and Brett Kunsch, the other team members involved in the webinar, through Twitter, LinkedIn, and Brazen Careerist, respectively. As a team, we’re now creating professional opportunities for each other to make the change we want in the world.

3. You enhance all aspects of your professional life. Networking online is one aspect of a bigger strategy to build better relationships and expand your network even further. Last month, I wrote a blog post on how I used online networking to help me land a plum leadership spot at a conference. Many people can’t get into social networking because they can’t see beyond exchanging a few tweets or emails with people over a month or so. Of course that isn’t going to lead anywhere! It’s about seeing past those tweets and having the imagination to think about how it will take you somewhere great.

Have I convinced you? Register today for the webinar on Wednesday, May 11 at 8PM E.T. so we can talk more!

PS: Please note that this webinar is not for people who are trying to learn how to use Twitter or LinkedIn for the first time, but for job seekers who are already using the tools. If you’d like the basics on Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging, check out the free presentations that are available on my website. If you review those before the webinar, you’ll be good to go!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog