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Today’s Housekeeping Post: Updates, Events, News

Happy Monday! I wanted to start the week with some housekeeping updates. There’s a lot happening at The Opportunities Project and you should all know the latest.

Website Updates

After almost six months in business, I took some time to look at my data, which included looking at my website analytics and my sales and lead data that I record in my Batchbook CRM (thanks to my friend Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach, for inspiring me). Based on my analysis, I am making some structural changes to my website so that certain pages convert better (damn you, About page!) and reflect The Opportunities Project’s values and new programs. Here is an overview of some of the changes I’m making.

– Changing and streamlining blog categories

– Adding new coaching programs and solidifying my pricing now that I have a better sense of the market

– Focusing back on events, my biggest sales lead

– Redesigning the home page with content being moved to new versions of the About and Services pages

– Experimenting with some color on the home page

– Increasing focus on my recruitment consulting services (just a little)

– Introducing a store with guides and e-courses for purchase (including some freebies!)

While I’m making these changes, you may see the same photo or content on more than one page while things get moved around. Thanks for understanding. Hopefully, all maintenance will be completed within the next ten days.

Promotion Updates

One of the changes that I have already made is an updated Promotions page. Here are some quick updates on our current promotions.

– Due to popular demand, I’m bringing back Pay What You Can Coaching (PWYCC) sessions on the 20th and 21st of every month. Apply for one of these slots before they fill up!

– I am officially launching my Referral Program for friends, readers and fans who know people who need a pragmatic and affordable career coach. Join to get 20% of the coaching sale back in your pocket and get your referral a discount.

– I’ve given away three scholarships since I started my business, all to initiatives for charity, and they’ve all been great experiences. I’ve decided I wanted to do my own scholarship program and am launching three of my own on Valentines Day…. because I love you. Awww. Details coming next Monday.

Speaking of scholarships, I also want to take a moment to give a shout-out to the client I’ve been working with through the Hired for the Holidays scholarship, Alexandra Patterson. Alexandra is an aspiring writer and is going to knock the socks off the organization that is lucky enough to land her as a summer intern. Her article Everything You Need to Know about Virtual Internships was published last week in USA TODAY College. Go Alexandra!

Events, Events, Events

I’ve posted some great events on our News and Events page. I’ll write blog posts on each as they get closer, but here are some very quick highlights.

– Two events I’m attending: NYC Social Media Week, Teach for America 20th Anniversary Summit

– Three Events I’m actively participating in: Second Brazen Careerist Speed Mentoring Event, Reach Out Job Search Radio, American Educational Research Association Conference

– Six (!) Events I’m hosting: #TFA20 Tweetup at the Teach for America 20th Anniversary Summit, 12 Career Assessment Steps for 2011 (webinar), a NYC Cocktails and Careers Networking event, a LinkedIn workshop, a Building Soft Skills/Interviews workshop, a social media webinar for schools and school districts

I expect to add three more virtual events and two possible in-person events in March.

Press Appearances

I updated our Press page to include a shiny media kit I’ve been working on since November. You can view it on SlideShare or download a PDF version. I also added two really great January 2011 press mentions that made me very proud and happy about the career choices I’ve made this year.

– I was named one of the top five career coaches for serious job seekers by YouTern, a company that commits to matching organizations with talented interns. I was honored to be in such good company.

– The Ladders ran a story on best practices for using Applicant Tracking Systems to improve quality of hire and the system I developed as the Director of Teacher Recruitment for the NYC Public Schools was featured. Kind of awesome.

Questions about these changes and updates? Leave them in the comments.

 

Are you in New York City and want to be the first to hear about our events? Join our Strategic Career Starts Meetup group!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Be a Sponsored Coaching Candidate with Hired for Holidays

Pardon the #Reverb10 interruption, but I have exciting news to announce. I have joined the Hired for the Holidays team as a sponsor! I am honored to work with the hosts of some of my favorite career related Twitter chats, including Heather Huhman, Mark Babbitt, Chanelle Schneider, and Rich DeMatteo. As a sponsor, I will give 8 weeks of free 45-minute career coaching sessions via phone or Skype to someone who is actively in the job search at the beginning of 2011. I want you be that candidate!

To apply, please fill out the application form. It’s embedded below, but you can also access it on its own page. If you are selected, you must commit to the terms of the Hired for Holiday Initiative, including blogging and providing social media updates about your experience.  Here are the other requirements:

1.   A professional quality head shot (JPG, GIF or PNG)

2.   Be “coachable”; the advice you’ll receive from your mentor will be practical, honest  and – most important – will help you find employment

3.   Be the “CEO” of your job search; the mentor’s role is to help you – your role is to find work!

4.   Agree to the “Pay it Forward” nature of Hired for the Holidays – this time next year, you agree to sponsor a candidate yourself, and help them find work

For information on all the requirements and great services you’ll receive, please visit http://hiredfortheholidays.com/how-do-i-become-a-candidate/. You do not have to apply separately through their website to get me as a sponsor.

I am open to all types of candidates for this initiative, but would especially love to work with a college student, recent graduate, or young professional interested in public service, entrepreneurship, or a non-traditional industry.

Happy holidays and new year!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Five Days of Career Coach Christmas: HOBY Resume Review Drive

And we move on to our next promotion in the Five Days of Career Coach Christmas Week!

Since May, I have been doing a resume review drive for my favorite charity, the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Foundation (HOBY). I participated in the program when I was in high school and it was very influential on my development as a young adult. I have been supporting the New York Metro Chapter informally for the last two years and now that I am no longer a full-time employee of the education department (conflict of interest rules), I hope to take a bigger role and have a bigger impact in 2011.

For your tax deductible donation to the New York Metro Chapter of HOBY, I will review your resume with critical feedback and suggestions. I have done dozens of resumes all year and am closing the drive on December 31, 2010. Please read my page with detailed instructions on how to submit your resume and your donation directly to HOBY.  This is a great way to meet your last charity goals of 2010 and get help at the same time.

For more information on the other promotions featured this week, visit our Promotions page!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Five Days of Career Coach Christmas: Vajradhara Meditation Center Auction

It’s 22 degrees outside my Brooklyn apartment window. Brrr. Christmas is definitely coming.

On the third day of our Career Coach Christmas promotion week, let’s talk about our participation in a charity auction. Through December 16th, my career coaching package is part of the Vajradhara Meditation Center online benefit auction. It’s one of many items that were donated by local Brooklyn businesses with 100% of the proceeds going to the center. While I encourage you to bid on my coaching package, there are lots of other great services and products in the auction. In fact, even though I am one of the people who donated, I am considering making a last-ditch bid on one of the rings. I won’t tell you which one because I want less competition!

I discovered the Vajradhara Meditation Center this August. In my 2010 journey to find my calling, the subject of meditation constantly came up in conversations with everyone. If I was truly going to quit my job and become an entrepreneur, how was I going to quiet my mind to handle the stress? Also, meditation has been proven to help with creativity and productivity– things I desperately wanted. I tried meditation on my own and failed miserably. Every time I sat quiet, my mind would race, thinking of all the things that I needed to do to get my business to the next level. I did find that I was able to get into a meditative state when I (1) did guided meditation, and (2) when I was with other people. Once I came to those findings, I hopped onto Google to find other Brooklynites who I could meditate with and that’s how I found this wonderful center.

Recently, I did a four-hour workshop at the Vajradhara Meditation Center and it was amazing. I really knew very little about Buddhism, though this center’s programs are really for people of all faiths. It was very interesting to learn about the four truths. The workshop was amazing- both the meditations and the teachings- and I have used what I learned at least three times in the week and a half since I attended. One time does not make me a master and I am beginning to have some struggles with stress and the meditation process again so after the holidays, I plan to visit their center more frequently.

Even if you’re not into meditation, the Center also does great programs for their community and kids so bid on something anyway! And lastly, if you are a non-profit looking for donated services for your fundraiser, please contact us. This is our third this year and I get great joy when I get to help a good cause.

In case you missed our other promotions this week, Day One was our Barnes & Noble discounts and Day Two was our Pay What You Can Coaching Days. You can also view all the promotions on our Promotions page.

Time for warm gingerbread tea!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Five Days of Career Coach Christmas: Pay What You Can Days

It’s certainly cold enough out there in New York City to feel like Christmas!

And we’re on to day two of our Holiday Promotion week. Today’s promotion: our first ever Pay What You Can Coaching Days on Monday, December 20, 2010 and Tuesday, December 21, 2010.

In the spirit of good holiday cheer, I am offering ten 45-minute career coaching sessions to college students, young professionals, and others who are short on funds this season, but need some immediate career development and job search help. At the end of the session, I’ll send you an invoice and you can pay me a combination of what you can, and what you think the session was worth.

Applications are due Friday, December 17, 2010 so that I can email your scheduled time over the weekend. If appointments are filled, I will notify you and include you on a list for future opportunities. I’ve embedded the application form to get you started. You can also complete the form for career coaching services on the Google Docs page.

The Fine Print

All coaching will be delivered online or by phone. You must be a new client to take advantage of this offer. People who have attended The Opportunities Project events or received email advice from me are also not eligible. Participants must complete a coaching agreement and pay at least something- sessions are not 100% free.

For more information on our other holiday specials, visit our Promotions site. Stay warm!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Five Days of Career Coach Christmas: Discounts at Barnes and Noble

It’s getting close to Christmas and I am getting in the holiday spirit!  I’ll be featuring a new promotion from The Opportunities Project every day this week to help you with your holiday shopping and your goals for the new year. I’ll also be throwing in some career coaching advice here and there, as well.

(I have been away for the blog for a good reason, I swear. More on this another day.)

TFA Career Management Workshop

Monday, Day One: Books!

I am posting this late in the day (construction next door cut out my internet for three hours… grrr), but until midnight tonight, take advantage of our Barnes & Noble promotion of 16% off one item. To get the discount, click on this link and use coupon code BNGANQ4.

I am a big reader, so I am biased, but books make awesome gifts. If you’re not sure what to get for people on your list, check out my recommendations in my Barnes & Noble store. I have books for college students getting ready for their next move, anyone looking to make positive changes in their lives, or those of you lucky enough to be just looking for a beach read.

I am always looking for good recommendations to add to my store. Last night, I finished Club Dead, Book Three in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Series, which I enjoyed, but not enough to  deem “store-worthy” for The Opportunities Project. (After reading it, I think the writers of True Blood would have created a better season three if they had stuck more closely to the original story in this book, though.) Because of my business, I try to read two non-fiction books for every fiction book. My next read is going to be either Basic Black by Cathie Black, Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das, or The Dip by Seth Godin, which I started reading on my nook the last time I was in Barnes & Noble and loved.

What is your next read? What books do you want to get for Christmas? Let me know in the comments.

In case you are reading this too late and don’t get the discount before midnight, no worries. As a Barnes & Noble Affiliate, I offer coupons regularly. Just check Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Day Two’s promotion coming tomorrow!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Announcements: NYC Career Events, Press, and Holiday Shopping

It’s been a crazy week- lots of blog posts in the queue that didn’t quite make it. Just means more content to share later!

I have a few assorted announcements to make, so I’ll end the week with those.

New Event: Twitter Workshop and #nycjobsearch Tweetup

We have an exciting special event on Wednesday, December 8 at 6PM. Keith Petri of eBranding.me and I will be co-facilitating the last seminar in The Art of Pull Series: How to Achieve Career Success with Twitter. At the workshop, we’ll be doing an overview of how to best use Twitter with a special emphasis on using it for your job search. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about how to use Twitter for any reason, this is a great event.

The most exciting part of the event is that immediately after the workshop, we’ll be co-hosting a Tweetup of NYC-based people who regularly participate in Twitter chats about job search and career related issues, including #jobhuntchat and #hfchat, among others. These Twitter chats are usually comprised of 50% recruiters and career experts and 50% jobseekers so it’s a great mix of people to add to your network. If you can’t make it, use the #nycjobsearch hashtag to follow the event on Twitter between 6PM and 8PM on December 8th.

Both parts of the event are free. You can RSVP here, or if you want to make sure you receive a regular list of our events, join our Meetup.

Confused by all the terms? That’s okay, you’ll be an expert after our event. Promise.

The Opportunities Project in the Press

With the excitement of the holidays, I forgot to post our recent press appearances. If you didn’t see them in your Facebook or Twitter feed, here are two stories that I was recently interviewed for and that feature my advice on online applications and setting career goals for the new year.

When applying for jobs online, be a standout in The Star Ledger (November 21, 2010)

5 New Year’s Career Resolutions for 2011 on Monster and HotJobs (November 22, 1010)

Barnes and Noble Store Updates and Holiday Specials

Tis the season to shop for your loved ones, and maybe a little bit for yourself. This past week, I updated my Barnes & Noble store. If you were looking for great book recommendations (career related or a beach read), I have multiple lists. And on Monday, December 13, I will have a special coupon for my readers that can be used on any Barnes & Noble purchase.

I am also eager to announce the details of my two holiday specials next week.

– Pay What You Can Coaching Day on Monday, December 20, 2010

– Referral Program- get 10% commission through Amazon.com on all referrals for any of our coaching programs through December 31, 2010. You can also offer discounts to your referrals with a minimum purchase.

Stay tuned for more information starting Monday, December 6th!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog