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What’s Hot in 2009: Questions

hto_2009 This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’re discussing opportunities and threats in 2009. Today, we continue the five-part series by looking at some important questions to ask.

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marylynnEarlier this week, we discussed continued outsourcing as a threat to our careers. We also talked about the opportunity to be a free agent – to start your own micro-business to which large businesses can outsource. So a threat to one person may be an opportunity for another.

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That’s why it is so important to look at the opportunities and threats holistically. We wrote an article recently with five questions which help you do just that.

Is there a cheaper substitute?

This is one of the questions we suggested you consider in light of today’s economy. We discussed in a previous show this week that consumers are repairing instead of replacing. And when they do replace, they’re often looking for used items instead of buying new ones.

Substitute: Store brands for name brands

In other words, they’re substituting down and it goes beyond lower priced alternatives to a product or service. In other words, it doesn’t just mean they’re buying store brands instead of name brands.

Substitute: Do-it-myself for do-it-for-me

As an example of that, we’re coming out of an era where more and more consumers were willing to pay for more and more services. They wanted someone to do-it-for-me. Now they’re substituting with do-it-myself more often.

Prove the lifetime value
It’s not just about price, although that is a more important consideration. Consumers are looking at lifetime costs, not just upfront costs. They’re willing to pay for value, but you need to be able to prove it to them.

Your business, your career
If you’re in business already or considering starting a business, think about what your product or service could be a substitute for. That’s where you’ll find opportunity. Also consider what products or services might be a substitute for what you offer. Those are your threats.

What about your job? If your company offers a cheaper substitute, there should be opportunity right now. If not, can you help them find ways to reduce costs? Or prove to customers that what you offer will pay them back in the long run?

Personal considerations

So far in this series we’ve only looked at the external environment, but that doesn’t paint the whole picture. You also have to think internally.

The best opportunity for you will match a market need to your personal considerations. So as you consider a career or a business, it’s important to consider your own wants and needs.

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georgeI wish I had heard that advice a long time ago. I tended to be very opportunistic. I got into businesses that looked promising without thinking enough about how I really wanted to spend my time. I enjoyed being a business owner, but I’m having even more fun these days!

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Find your passion
We hear it all the time, “Do what you love.” That’s the ideal. However, what if you can’t get paid to do what you love? What if there are no job opportunities? Then do something that lets you do what you love when you leave work.

Consider your preferences

Also think about your preferences when it comes to the environment in which you’ll work. Some people prefer to work at a desk; others can’t stand it. Some people prefer to work in a group; others like to work alone.

The best opportunity in the world isn’t a good opportunity for you if you don’t enjoy working at it.

Contemplate your proficiencies
What are you really good at? What do other people compliment you on? What do you find really easy to do? Chances are that is a skill you can exploit.

Now take another look
With your passion, preferences, and proficiencies – we’ll call these “the three P’s – in mind, consider your career and/or business opportunities again.

What can you help people do? What can you teach them to do? How can you save them money? What skills do you have that are transferable from one business industry to another?

Match your 3 P’s to a market need to find your bigg opportunity.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success when you
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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Join us next time when we look at some fun trends for 2009. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00304-010809.mp3

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What's Hot in 2009: Careers

maple_leaf_foods_logo This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’re taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. We begin the five-part series today by looking at careers.

We recently posted an article on hot careers for 2009. On today’s show, we want to share some more thoughts. It’s a tough market if you’re looking for a job or changing careers right now. However, rest assured, there will be opportunities in 2009.

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Opportunities in 2009

In the near future, we think the best opportunities will be “pockets”. As we define this term, “pockets” are niches within a larger job category. To find the pockets of opportunity in 2009, think about what’s been in the news and what opportunities in your area of expertise may benefit from that news. 

For example, while foreclosures and bankruptcies are wreaking havoc on many, they are also creating opportunities for others. The finance profession has probably been hit as hard, or harder, than most fields.

However, opportunity still exists for certain specialists. A friend of ours is employed by a major bank’s workout department. In the last month-and-a-half, they’ve gone from our friend and one other employee to a department with about forty employees.

Some of these opportunities may be really hot in the next year or two. Then it will be time to move to a different specialty.

Opportunities in 2009 and beyond

For the long-term, think trends. In the article we mentioned previously, we looked at careers that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to be in high demand for the next eight years or so. Then we refined it by looking at expectations for 2009, industry by industry. 

If a downturn was expected in an industry, we excluded careers in that field from the list. For example, it’s expected that the casino industry will be hiring people at an above-average rate in the coming years. However, the industry isn’t expected to do well in 2009 so we removed jobs in that sector.

One trend we’re all familiar with is the aging of the baby boomers. As they reach retirement age, many career fields are expanding to serve them. One is the health-care arena where demand for workers isn’t expected to be saturated for some time to come.

Another field that plays into this trend is financial services. Especially in light of what we experienced in 2008, people are being more diligent with their investments. In particular, the baby boomers are looking for professionals who can advise them on crucial financial decisions.

These are just a couple of examples that play off this one trend. The full article has over fifty occupations with a bright outlook in 2009 and beyond.

Even if you’re not currently in the market for a job, you might find it valuable to take a look at this information. You may just discover your bigg opportunity.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success
when you subscribe to our weekly newsletter
the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE

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Thanks so much for checking in with us today. Again, be sure to check out our extensive article on hot careers for 2009, you'll find over 50 professions listed. Next in our series of what’s hot in 2009, we’ll focus on business opportunities. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00301-010508.mp3

Related posts

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(Image in today's post by MISHA)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

What’s Hot in 2009: Careers

maple_leaf_foods_logo This week on The Bigg Success Show, we’re taking a look at opportunities and threats in 2009. We begin the five-part series today by looking at careers.

We recently posted an article on hot careers for 2009. On today’s show, we want to share some more thoughts. It’s a tough market if you’re looking for a job or changing careers right now. However, rest assured, there will be opportunities in 2009.

___

___

Opportunities in 2009

In the near future, we think the best opportunities will be “pockets”. As we define this term, “pockets” are niches within a larger job category. To find the pockets of opportunity in 2009, think about what’s been in the news and what opportunities in your area of expertise may benefit from that news. 

For example, while foreclosures and bankruptcies are wreaking havoc on many, they are also creating opportunities for others. The finance profession has probably been hit as hard, or harder, than most fields.

However, opportunity still exists for certain specialists. A friend of ours is employed by a major bank’s workout department. In the last month-and-a-half, they’ve gone from our friend and one other employee to a department with about forty employees.

Some of these opportunities may be really hot in the next year or two. Then it will be time to move to a different specialty.

Opportunities in 2009 and beyond

For the long-term, think trends. In the article we mentioned previously, we looked at careers that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to be in high demand for the next eight years or so. Then we refined it by looking at expectations for 2009, industry by industry. 

If a downturn was expected in an industry, we excluded careers in that field from the list. For example, it’s expected that the casino industry will be hiring people at an above-average rate in the coming years. However, the industry isn’t expected to do well in 2009 so we removed jobs in that sector.

One trend we’re all familiar with is the aging of the baby boomers. As they reach retirement age, many career fields are expanding to serve them. One is the health-care arena where demand for workers isn’t expected to be saturated for some time to come.

Another field that plays into this trend is financial services. Especially in light of what we experienced in 2008, people are being more diligent with their investments. In particular, the baby boomers are looking for professionals who can advise them on crucial financial decisions.

These are just a couple of examples that play off this one trend. The full article has over fifty occupations with a bright outlook in 2009 and beyond.

Even if you’re not currently in the market for a job, you might find it valuable to take a look at this information. You may just discover your bigg opportunity.

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success
when you subscribe to our weekly newsletter
the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE

___

Thanks so much for checking in with us today. Again, be sure to check out our extensive article on hot careers for 2009, you'll find over 50 professions listed. Next in our series of what’s hot in 2009, we’ll focus on business opportunities. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00301-010508.mp3

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(Image in today's post by MISHA)

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3 Questions for a Brighter Future

questions You and you alone create your future. You are the only person, place or thing with that power. With that being the case, it's up to you to create the future of your dreams.

One way to do that is to look back so you can look forward. Reflecting upon the past and pulling lessons away so your future is bigger and brighter. With the New Year upon us, now is a great time to review last year so next year lives up to its promise for you.

There's a simple three-stage framework for performing this exercise. It involves asking yourself three questions:

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What?

Start with the actual events of this year. What happened? Describe major events in your life. As you record your answers, test your perceptions to make sure they reflect the reality of the situation. If it helps, pretend that you are a reporter objectively recording the facts of the event.

So what?

At this stage, you move from reporting to understanding, from logic to emotion. That's why it was so important to get the facts right in the first step. What did this experience mean to you? How did it make you feel? Why did you feel that way? What have you learned?

Now what?

The previous two questions lead to this one. How will you apply the lessons you learned? What specific actions will you take as a result of the events you've outlined?

These three simple questions serve as a great outline to review major events in your life and develop forward-thinking plans to be a bigg success.

Let’s look at a couple of examples, using events from 2008.

Example: Volatile stocks

What?
The stock market can be very volatile.

So what?
I can lose money if I don’t understand the risk and how to manage it.

Now what?
I will learn more about investing and asset allocation. I won’t invest money in stocks that I will need in the next ten years. I will pay closer attention to my quarterly reports to make sure I maintain the proper asset allocation given my age and goals.

Example: Layoffs

What?
Times are tough at work; layoffs are possible.

So what?
It makes me nervous. I think I could lose my job.

Now what?
I will look for ways to help my company save money. I will make sure my boss is aware of the projects I complete successfully. I will look for opportunities to add additional skills so I’m more competitive.

Solid goals

In our examples, the “Now what’s” are a little bit fuzzy. You really want to refine them to turn them into solid goals. For instance, looking at the second example, instead of saying “I will look for ways to help my company save money,” turn that into “I will find one way to save my company $X (you pick a relevant amount) in the next 30 days.”

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Would you like more help turning your thoughts into concrete goals? Get our FREE Goal-Setting Workbook when you subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE too!

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We really appreciate you taking the time to read our post today. Join us next time when we look at the most important people of 2008. We think you’ll be surprised at our choices! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00297-123008.mp3

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Top Threats to Your Career and Finances in 2009

By Bigg Success Staff
12-17-08

caution

We’ve all heard plenty of bad news recently, but the bad news now is that there is more bad news to come. While we must think about the opportunities in front of us, it’s also important to consider the threats to our careers and our finances so we can prepare appropriately.

Recession

Consumers, businesses, non-profits, and governments, all over the developed world, are learning a hard lesson about leverage. We will climb our way out of this recession but it will take some time. Before it’s through, it will be one of the, if not the most, severe recession since the Great Depression. 

Layoffs will continue. In most recessions, layoffs occur mostly at the bottom of the earnings / education spectrum. Expect this recession to be more evenly distributed, if not hitting higher end jobs harder.

Outsourcing

Companies will continue outsourcing, but here’s the difference. Manufacturing jobs have been getting shipped overseas for some time now. As fuel prices rose, there actually seemed to be a resurgence in companies bringing manufacturing jobs back on shore.

Now more white-collar jobs are at risk thanks in part to technology that allows information to be shared instantly from any place in the world with internet access. We found a great article that discusses the characteristics of jobs that can now be easily outsourced and jobs that can’t. It also lists what you can do to make yourself less vulnerable and provides a list of jobs by their level of risk to offshoring.

Deflation

Expect deflation to continue as everybody keeps a tight lid on spending, the credit markets remain relatively tight, and inventories of everything from housing to cars remain comparatively high. The good news is lower prices will remain, but …

Inflation

Governments in the developed countries have poured money into the world economy at unprecedented rates. At some point, once the credit markets loosen up and demand returns, inflation could become a problem.

We’ve just witnessed prices on everything from gas to groceries rising quickly. We could see it again. It will take wise leadership to know when to slam on the brakes on economic stimulus without tightening so much that another recession ensues.

If this happens, that cash stash will quickly lose its value. Investments in hard assets have typically performed well in times of inflation.

Delayed retirement

A number of retirees are being forced to look for work after the freefall of their portfolios. Even more people who planned to retire soon are putting those plans on hold because they need to bulk up their assets again before they stop working. This will create even more competition in already tight job markets.

Benefits

Employers are under intense pressure to cut costs. It’s reasonable to expect them to cut benefits. Even if it’s promised now, don’t count on having health insurance provided to you as a retiree. Even while you’re working, expect to cover a greater share of the premiums.

Also don’t be surprised if your employer cuts back or eliminates the matches on your 401(k). These aren’t the only benefits at risk, but they’re two of the most significant ones.

Access to credit

It won’t show up on your personal balance sheet, but your credit score will be an incredible asset. Cash will be king as long as prices remain in a deflationary state. At some point, cash along with the ability to access credit will open doors for opportunities that most of us will never see again in our lifetimes. 

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