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My Pitch: Why Career Coaching Can Transform Education

Happy Friday! After a somewhat traumatic Thursday that involved a lot of time talking to Chase bank (don’t ask!), I am now writing from Savannah, GA. I am visiting an old friend and doing more planning for our special event on Tuesday, November 9th on Achieving Career Success through Blogging. Tickets go up again on Monday, November 1 so RSVP today!

I’ve planned a four (or is it five?) part series on Why I Do What I Do, but thought I’d start the weekend with a video aligned with the “why” question. In September, I applied for a slot in the first cohort of the Kauffman Education Ventures Program. This program is for 15 entrepreneurs who want to start for-profit, multi-million dollar education ventures, K-20. My hope for The Opportunities Project is that it eventually competes on the level of Kaplan and The Princeton Review- if you graduate and you need help getting to the next step, you would turn to The Opportunities Project for guidance, so I threw my hat in the ring.

I wasn’t ultimately chosen for the Kauffman program, and to be absolutely honest, I was relieved. I was not convinced it was going to be a fit during the pre-application process conference calls, and personally, I need the space in my life to try new things on my own. That is just too important to my personal journey now. Maybe next year. But as part of the application, I had to submit a YouTube video addressing two questions- (1) what inspired me about entrepreneurship, and (2) why I thought my venture could transform education. It was the first YouTube video I ever did and it was not exactly natural or easy filming. Even more difficult was posting it publicly and seeing users named “Maneater” favorite it. Eww. I thought about deleting the video after I found out that I was not selected, but I’ve decided to keep it up for a while. I like the reminder it gives me that it’s okay to be outside your comfort zone, especially when you care about something deeply. The second part also reminds me how passionate I am about fixing the world for our graduates.

Happy Halloween!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

The Question of Why in Career Decisions

You may have noticed lots of stuff going on the website today- moving things around, adding pictures, fixing language. Still a lot of work to do. I apologize if anything is not working and please contact me if you’re looking for something and can’t find it.

One of the topics I’ll be blogging about in the next few weeks is Why. Why I do what I do. It was a huge decision to leave my very stable Director of Recruitment job behind and launch The Opportunities Project and I did it for a lot of different reasons. Some were personal and some were influenced by new beliefs about the world and the way it’s been working the last few years. I hope to roll at least three reasons out in the next week. I am also looking for guest posts from anyone else who wants to talk about the Whys in their life.

In the meantime, here’s a video to get us started thinking about it from TED. Every successful entrepreneur has told me that I need to read the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek. It’s on the list! Here is Simon talking about his research and his findings that the real leaders in our world always know the Why before they know the How and What. I think knowing the Why is critical to all our life decisions and it’s an important lesson to reflect on as we finish the week.

Source: Lifehacker: It’s Not About What You Do, but Why You Do It

I am also looking for guest posts from anyone else who wants to talk about the Whys in their life. All are welcome- just leave a comment and I’ll follow-up!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Personal Career Insights for the Fall

After graduating from the Fast Trac entrepreneurship program, I helped a consulting client with their recruitment and HR issues and took some time. Time, the one great resource we all have! I used my time to plan the fall programs and services for The Opportunities Project, as well as step back and think about how I am doing on my own personal goals.

Careers and InsightsPart of my reflection involved spending the last few days out on Fire Island to do some writing. For those of you unfamiliar with Fire Island, it’s an amazing little island off  Long Island with no cars- you have to take a ferry to get here. I have been coming out here for about seven summers, but never so late in the year. The markets and restaurants are closed so I am enjoying some yummy packaged food from Trader Joe’s, some local red wine, and lots of tea to keep warm. It’s colder in my rented apartment than out on the beach!

So as I finish this period of looking inwards, here is a preview of what to expect in the next few weeks.

· More Cocktails and Careers Happy Hours where you can expand your network and get free career advice

· Special workshops with partners who have a lot of value to add to everyone trying to launch or take the next step in a fabulous career

· More guest blog posts and online interviews with people who have great advice for you

· Insight into why I launched The Opportunities Project, which I still haven’t sufficiently explained

· Rocking career advice from me

· Reflections on education policy. The press over the movie Waiting for Superman has made me realize that my work in that sphere is not done, no matter how successful a career coach I become. Why should you pay attention as a job seeker or someone interested in recruitment? Because of extensive government data, we know more about employee performance than in almost any other industry- and that’s not saying a lot. Still any understandings are helpful, right!

· An updated website, including new service prices now that my October 1 milestone passed.

Another day of walks on the beach and then looking forward to talking more this fall!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Soft Skills Workshop Recap and Resumes Part 3

Where did the week go? It’s nice to be busy with lots of things. At the same time I am running The Opportunities Project and meeting with clients, I am participating in a program called FastTrac NewVenture, which is an initiative of Mayor Bloomberg’s sponsored by the New York City Business Solutions Center, the SUNY Levin Institute, and the Kauffman Foundation. Twenty-nine fellow entrepreneurs and I meet twice a week to fine-tune and revise our business models and plans. It’s a great program and among other things, has me thinking about how some of my rates will change when my first price guarantee comes to an end on October 1. Please keep that in mind if you are considering buying coaching sessions from me!

Also, this week, we hosted our first workshop (woo hoo!) on Building Soft Skills for career and interview success. We started the event with some pre-workshop music from Glee (anyone else excited about Britney vs Brittany?), New Edition, and Eddie Money (?), and then transitioned into discussion and real-life interview practice and coaching. The surveys came back great and I even got an unsolicited testimonial. The Prezi is online for everyone to check out, and we may even have some video coming soon, courtesy of Eve Hyman. I plan on repeating the event in October with a new and exciting partner so more of you can experience it. Thanks to my summer interns who taught me the wonder of Prezi.

A month old…

Wow, it’s hard to believe that The Opportunities Project has been more than a month old.

Things I’m excited about

– Launching a back to school campaign in NYC

– Getting our website finalized- for REAL

– Finishing up some interesting pieces on the NYTimes article on 20somethings and student debt that I have worked on

– Meeting more amazing clients who are ready to take on the world

Things I am not so excited about

– Managing space rentals

– Dealing with my technology problems (How can Gmail, Twitter, and Feedburner all fail at the same time?)

– Uncertainty- as much as I try to embrace it, it still is scary

Onward, and upward… new adventures await in month two.

Thanks for Visiting The Opportunities Project!

Welcome and thanks for visiting! I am excited to announce the launch of The Opportunities Project, my new career coaching and educational consulting company. We’ll be officially opening in July 2010. For some basic information on our company, check out the About page.

Looking forward to our work together!