4 Ways Your Summer Job can Jumpstart Your Career

Are you making the most of your summer job? Perhaps you’re “just waitressing” or working at the mall or a grocery store. But, did you know that a temporary summer job can help boost your future career?

1) Don’t treat it like “just a summer job.”
2) Be Proactive
3) Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses
4) Find a Mentor

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4 Ways Your Summer Job can Jumpstart Your Career

Why Every Student Should Start a Business

Why Every Student Should Start a Business by Michael Simmons

Why Every Student Should Start a Business 9 reasons to abandon your fear of start-up and launch a business today

With the economic downturn, students in all the major business schools have been dropping out of their entrepreneurship classes and transferring back to classes where they think they have a secure future. Students and professionals who were once planning to start businesses now have decided to go back to their cushy jobs. Everything is going back to normal. Or at least that is how it looks. Below are nine reasons why any student should start a business:

  1. You gain experience. Owning and running your own business is an incredible way to gain experience and credentials regardless of whether you decide to stay in business once you graduate. Jaime Gonzalez of Oklahoma State University received the highest job offer in his entire graduating class. Now, there are two kickers: First, he was the founder of an IT consulting company, and second, he had a 2.4 GPA. Hmmm…I wonder if starting a business helps in getting a better job when you graduate? 2. You have nothing to lose. I think it’s safe to say that most students dip into their parents’ checkbook when it comes time to pay the bills. In general, students aren’t paying child support, rent, utilities and many other expenses. The worst thing that could happen if your business fails is that you get a job, have an incredible credential on your resume, and have experience that will increase your chances of success in the future. The best thing that can happen is that you’ll become the next Microsoft. I don’t know about you, but I think that is better than choosing between no job and jobs that you’re in just for the money. 3. Two-thirds of millionaires are entrepreneurs, according to Thomas Stanley and William Dank, authors of The Millionaire Mind. If it’s the money you want, then consider entrepreneurship. You receive not only a salary, but also a lot of money if you’re lucky enough to sell your company or take it public. Michael Furdyk, a successful young entrepreneur, was able to sell his business, MyDesktop.com, for $1 million when he was 16 years old! 4. You develop networking skills. You’ve likely heard that your network increases your net worth. Consider the fact that by running a business and constantly being in a business community, you will develop excellent contacts. If you choose to get a job after you graduate, you will have a great pool of people who will be more than happy to hire you or send your resume to somebody who wants to. 5. You increase your value. Put simply, starting a business in college increases the value of “the brand called you” and gives you more options. For example, an entrepreneur with a large brand value can publish a book, star in a documentary movie (i.e., Startup.com), or go straight to the top of another company. I recently met one of the founders of Diversity Planet, a job site for minorities. He spent a year working very hard on the company and has since left to take a reporting job with Dateline NBC at the ripe age of 20! People don’t often don’t get an opportunity like that until they are much older. 6. Operating a profitable business in the long term is less risky than being an employee in the long term. For example, just look at the recent economic downturn. Tens of thousands of people have been laid off. I can guarantee the owners of profitable businesses are still with the business. They will be the last people to go down with a ship. Business owners can have multiple streams of incomes from different customers. If you’re an employee, you only have one stream of income and therefore are bearing more risk. 7. You will learn more about yourself and what they don’t teach or prepare you for in school. Furthermore, entrepreneurship is the combination of all the disciplines of business. It includes knowledge of marketing, accounting, management and operations. Already having knowledge of these topics before you take classes on them allows you to see more clearly how everything applies. Also, you will be able to learn early-on what subjects you like so you can make better decisions on what to major in and what industries to target. 8. It is yours. You make the rules, create your own hours, work from wherever you want and choose who you want to work with. You can also pick what interests you the most in the world and then start a business that is related to that topic in some way. If you like art, you can start a design business. If you like marketing, you can create or choose a product and then market it. If you like writing, you can write a book and do your own public relations and marketing. If you like the Internet, you can start a Web development business. 9. You’ll grow. I personally have grown a lot from owning a business. I used to be terrified to speak in front of others. Now I look forward to it. Before owning a business, I had probably read a total of five books outside of school, and I only read them because my mom made me. Since starting my business, I’ve probably read more than 100 books. The business has also allowed me to learn more about myself. I know that I will be an entrepreneur forever in some way, shape or form!

Trapping Knowledge is a key to Success

“The library is the temple of knowledge, the Internet is the universe of knowledge. Only those who apply the knowledge will achieve. Applied knowledge is the new currency. If you can solve problems in the market place you can write your own pay check. Innovate and add value to the world be brilliant, display your expertise and your knowledge.” Coach Tony Brace

#trapknowlegde @CoachTonyBrace 

Invest in yourself 2-1-30 

Focus on gaining a new knowledge skill at least every 90 days 

2New Skills 1New Habit Every 30 Days 

In just year that 24 new skills and 12 new habits 

Create Your Own Opportunity

Originally posted on Build Brand You:

Courtesy of SundaySchoolLeader.com Courtesy of SundaySchoolLeader.com

Do you have an interest  in a particular profession or industry and you are unsure of  exactly how to gain exposure to this area?  I would like to suggest that you create an externship.  An externship  usually lasts between 1 day and 1 week.  It’s  an opportunity to shadow a business professional and/ or observe their work environment. It is also a way for employers to get a preview of  how you would function within their company while providing you some exposure to a particular field of interest. Some times companies offer structured externship programs and other times they don’t.  If you are interested in a particular company or industry I’d like to invite you to create your own externship, don’t wait for an employer to offer one to you.  Determine the industry that you would like to work. Research companies in that field.  Locate the appropriate…

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5 Top LinkedIn Features for Personal Brands

Posted on August 29, 2014 by Susan Gilbert

LinkedIn has been building an effective career networking tool online for connecting with the right people. The first step towards building your personal brand is have a presence there. The second step is to tap into all that it has to offer. Having the knowledge about what is available will help you create a more effective experience.

linkedin

So what are you missing on LinkedIn? There are several key areas that should not be overlooked. It’s time to get your personal brand’s profile up to speed!

5 ways to get the most out of LinkedIn

Here are several ways you can take your personal brand to the next level and get noticed by taking into account these key features.

• Fix that headline – Many profiles on LinkedIn approach their headline as a job title or even leave it out altogether. Put your headline to work for you with a title that entices your visitors and makes them want to find out more about your personal brand.

• Create more connections with groups – LinkedIn provides a great way to connect with others, but the real value is found in joining active groups in your niche. Your personal brand can belong to as many as 50 different groups, any of which can have over a thousand members. Through active engagement you are exposing yourself to influencers and potential employers or leads.

• Include video and images – Like other social networks LinkedIn profiles are enhanced when they include multimedia, which is simple to add to your summary. What a great way to make your personal brand stand out and project a message visually. These will also attract more visitors and network requests.

• Make endorsements more meaningful – You may have noticed other professionals endorsing your personal brand’s skills. While this is an important element to building your network, create a lasting impression by leaving endorsements for others when they have demonstrated a skill or accomplishment. Weed out the endorsements on your profile that don’t pertain to your niche, and showcase the top skills that best reflect your brand.

• Get noticed with a great headshot – Before anyone reads through your LinkedIn profile they are looking for who is behind the title. Not only does this need to add a credible persona, but should also accurately reflect your personal brand.

These LinkedIn features are a powerful way to successfully strengthen your personal brand and create more opportunities for job offers and leads for business.

About Susan Gilbert

Susan Gilbert uses her laser focus knowledge to coach and provide online marketing and social sharing programs for authors, speaker, experts and small businesses. She is the author and publisher of several books including “The Land of I Can,” and “KLOUT SCORE: Social Media Influence, How to Gain Exposure and Increase Your Klout,” Susan combines online marketing with strategic thinking to create successful programs. Working most often with authors and entrepreneurs, she understands promotion at a personal level as a regularly quoted resource in USA Today, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine and many more. Follow her Digital Marketing Tips at her blog: http://www.SusanGilbert.com

The Interview is In- House: Should I Wear a Suit?

Originally posted on Build Brand You:

Skirt or Pant suits are acceptable for women Macy.com

Absolutely!  Don’t assume because  the individuals with whom you have been working are familiar with your performance that you should treat the interview as anything but a formal meeting.  The goal of the interview is to position yourself in the best possible light and demonstrate to your colleagues that  you possess the greatest level of professional acumen and decorum. When you interview for a position internally you should treat is it as if you are interviewing for a brand new position.  You want to showcase that of all the internal candidates you are the “best suited” to take on this role (pun intended).

In addition the suit will command a distinct response from your coworkers who may be more accustomed to seeing you in more casual attire. It also demonstrates to them that you take the new role seriously.   You know the saying goes “Dress for the position that you want.”   The worst case…

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Handling difficult Interview Questions

Posted on July 1, 2014 by Heather R. Huhman

When preparing for job interviews, many job seekers focus on crafting answers to hard questions.

“What is your greatest weakness?”

“If you were an emoji, which one would you be?”

Although preparing for these tough questions is good practice, it can be easy to overlook some of the more tricky interview questions hiring managers ask.

The following three questions might seem very simple to answer; but they often catch job seekers off guard:

1. Tell me about yourself.

What they’re really asking: Who are you? Interviewers want to learn about your professional experience, as well as your personality. This question helps hiring managers gauge whether or not a candidate will be a good cultural fit.

Why it’s tricky: Although this seems like a simple question, it’s one that often stumps candidates. For most people, it’s difficult to talk about oneself and share information about interests, strengths, and weaknesses.

How to answer: You’ve already explained your experience and hard skills through your resume and cover letter. The job interview is your opportunity to share real-life stories from your experience that illustrate your best qualities.

When the interviewer asks you to introduce yourself, talk about some of your past experience, your unique interests relevant to your career, and even some of your interests outside of work.

For instance, let’s say you’re applying for a teaching position. You can talk about your passion for teaching and mention that, in your free time, you enjoy blogging about the experiences you gain in the classroom. This gives you something unique to talk about during the interview, yet keeps the discussion relevant to the position you’re applying for.

2. What do you have to offer?

What they’re really asking: What makes you the ideal candidate for this position? Again, this is another question interviewers ask to discover whether or not your skills, experience, and personality make a good match for their organization.

Why it’s tricky: This is a tricky question because it challenges candidates to think about their best qualities and illustrate them as an accomplishment story for the interviewer.

How to answer: To successfully answer this question, you need to understand the position you’re applying for. Hopefully, before the interview, you spent time studying the job description.

Once you understand the qualifications and responsibilities for the position, explain how your experience and skills make you the best candidate for the position. Touch upon some of your soft skills, such as communication or leadership, to show the employer what you have to offer outside of your hard skills and experience.

3. Where do you see yourself in five years?

What they’re really asking: What are you looking to gain from this job? Employers want to know if you’re solely applying for the position for personal gain or if you’re truly passionate about the organization.

Why it’s tricky: A huge challenge employers face is finding talent who will stay with their organization. Employers often ask this question to learn what the candidate expects to gain from the job and whether or not they plan to create a career with their organization.

How to answer: A good way to answer this question is to express the types of skills and experience you hope the job will provide you with. You might also want to add some of your goals, if you were to be hired for the position, and how you’d help the employer be successful.

Keep in mind that the best way to answer these three questions is to be confident, honest, and concise. The key to a successful job interview is to be yourself and allow the interviewer to see your best attributes.

How would you answer these three interview questions?

About Heather R. Huhman
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.