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Check Out These 25 Tips Before You Change Your Job or Your Career

By Bigg Success Staff
05-14-08

Life Changes

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The decision to change jobs is a bigg one. The decision to change careers is even bigger. You’ll find our summary below of five tips from five articles to help you with these important decisions. You’ll also find a link to the full article in each case so you can get all the details.

5 Tips if You’re Considering a Career Change

#1 – Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

#2 – Focus on your talents and strengths.

#3 – Highlight your transferable skills.

#4 – Know the requirements.

#5 – Network and do your research.

Kate Lorenz with CareerBuilder wrote this incredible article. Check out all the advice she offered in her five tips for career changers.

 

5 Ways to Find a New Job

#1 – Don’t count on job boards.

#2 – Tap your network.

#3 – Offer to help others.

#4 – Leverage the blogosphere.

#5 – Promote your brand.

In uncertain times, you may need to go the extra mile to get the job you want. Katy Marquardt wrote this awesome article for U.S. News & World Report. Get the full details on her five tips on finding a new job.


5 Pointers for Writing a Better Resume

#1 – Avoid the first person pronoun.

#2 – Keep your sentences short and don’t worry about fragments.

#3 – Use plain English.

#4 – Use bullet points when appropriate.

#5 – Go from general to specific.

These tips were adapted from the book, Job Hunting for Dummies. We even understood them! Check out all the details on writing a better resume.


5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Recruiter to Find Your Next Job

#1 – Do they have a niche?

#2 – Do they listen effectively?

#3 – Are they too busy?

#4 – How’s their follow-through?

#5 – Will you work with them beyond this current search?

These pointers come from a great article written by Mark Krajnik for CareerBuilder. Mark is the CEO of Next Level Solutions, a human resources consulting firm. Get his full explanation of these five questions to ask any prospective recruiter.


5 Tips on References for Executives Seeking a Job

#1 – Include one superior, one peer, and one subordinate.

#2 – Limit your references to people you’ve worked with in the last seven years.

#3 – References checks tend to focus on “soft” skills.

#4 – Prepare references to speak on your behalf.

#5 – Honest references go further than good references.

Paul W. Barada, author of Reference Checking for Everyone, wrote this fantastic piece for ExecutiveAgent.com. Read the five tips on references by a professional reference checker.

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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Answer These 4 Questions For A Smooth Career Change

By Bigg Success Staff
02-13-08

Life Changes

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When you’re considering changing careers, you can quickly become overwhelmed with the abundance of information. But we have some good news for you!

You can boil it all down to these four simple questions:

What do you want and need?
Describe your ideal job. Picture this clearly in your mind. Here are a few things you should consider:

Do you see yourself working at a desk?
What does your workplace look like?
Do you like to work with a lot of people?
When do you work? 
What type of work are you doing?

As part of your ideal job, also consider how much you need to make. Think about your other commitments. What is required of you outside your work? For example, you may need to drop the kids off at school at a certain time.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?
You can do certain things better than most other people. What are those things? Drill deep and really think about this. Don’t be shy – admit that you are really good at doing certain things. If you have trouble, ask your friends and co-workers for help.

Don’t be delusional, either – we all have things we don’t do as well as others. What are yours? There’s nothing wrong with admitting them. In fact, it’s liberating! You know what you need to work on or stay away from.

What opportunities match my personal criteria?
Now you’re ready to move beyond your wants, needs, strengths, and weaknesses. You’re ready to look at the external world. There are a lot of opportunities. You want to find that perfect match with your personal criteria.

You want to find an industry that is growing. You want to find a business whose mission and culture fits with your skills and desires. Do your research to determine likely targets.

How will you get the word out?
You need to think of yourself as a brand. How will you market your brand? Just like any other brand, you are communicating your message all the time – even when you’re not looking for a job.

Develop a plan to get the word out. Make new friends. Reconnect with old ones. Redesign your resume. In fact, don’t think of it as your resume … it’s your brochure. Update your online profiles on any and all relevant social networking sites. There are many more – decide what’s best for you and then get started! 

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Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Facing Off Against Faceless Competitors

By Bigg Success Staff
01-24-08

Career Builders

faceless_mannequin_jpgAs time has progressed, we humans have moved from small, close-knit communities to large metropolitan areas. Now, we’re becoming a global village, thanks in large part to the internet.

Tyler Cowen recently wrote an excellent article for the Wilson Center called The New Invisible Competitors.

He explains the turmoil that many of us are facing as we move to competition that is faceless. We now compete with someone behind a computer in another part of the world instead of the person down the street. Since we can’t see our competition, it is harder to view them as real. But they are!

Here are the personality traits that will fare well with these faceless competitors:

Methodical planners
These people view their work as a game. They plan their strategies like a world champion chess player. They are self-motivated because they focus on their end game. They are not necessarily that competitive; they’re in it for the psychic rewards.

Early adopters
We all know them … perhaps you’re one of them. People who have to be first. First in line. First to try a new product. First to test a new idea. They are thought leaders. Influencers. Innovators. They create an advantage for themselves by being first. They are highly creative people who worry more about their own activities than their competitors.

Introverts
This faceless competition plays well for those who aren’t “people-persons”. They will thrive in this new environment where you’re only visible through your computer.

Dreamers
Creativity will be more valued than ever. Dreamers develop new products and services or they find creative new ways to market these ideas. Entrepreneurs will continue to thrive in this new era. Young entrepreneurs may have a particular advantage, since they often see the need for new products and services first.

Self-managers
People who can reinvent themselves by interpreting market signals and opportunities will also do well in the coming years. They’ll spot trends and get in before the crowd.

We live in an increasingly competitive world. Match your strengths to this list and then decide on your strategy to face off against the new faceless competition. The opportunities are greater than they ever have been. Imagine that!

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Use Your Strengths To Balance Your Life

By Bigg Success Staff
01-23-08

Work-Life Balance

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Like most professionals, you probably feel pulled almost constantly. Work demands spill over to home and vice versa. You often feel pulled in several directions at once. You try to sort things out by priority, but what do you do when everything is a high priority?

There’s a great article at the Business Week site called Custom Building a Life.
Jeff Weinstein tells his story to Nick Leiber. We give a “bigg salute” to them both! We’ll give you a summary here, but you should definitely read the article.

Jeff started The Counter, a restaurant that serves custom-made burgers at a great price, in 2003. He mentions three goals for his business at that time:

  • To earn a good income
  • To satisfy his customers by serving quality food at an affordable price.
  • To have a place to have dinner with his wife

Things didn’t turn out the way Jeff planned – they turned out much better!

He attracted attention because customers loved his place so much. Soon he started franchising. Last year, sales topped the $3.5 million mark from his seven stores. Now with 125 more stores on the table, he projects $9 million in revenue this year!

Obviously, Jeff is still focused on his growing business. However, he also wants a satisfying life outside his career. That desire is not unique. It’s HOW he’s trying to fulfill it that’s interesting.

He gives his customers what they want, when they want it. Why couldn’t he apply that to his life?

He wouldn’t segment his life anymore; that was a recipe for failure.

Instead he would flow like soda from one area of his life to the other. His wife may say something that helps him at work. His co-workers may give him insight for things at home. He would pay attention to all the important people and priorities in his life all the time!

What about your work? Is there something that works in your professional life that you can use to balance your world? Your solution may be different than Jeff’s. He’s doing what he understands … what works for him.

That’s the real lesson – use YOUR strengths to find the balance you desire.
Share your solution with us! Leave a comment below.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Your Personal SWOT Analysis (Part II)

Yesterday, we began this discussion of SWOT analysis. Today we want to continue it by talking about the last half of SWOT: Opportunities and Threats.

So far, everything we’ve discussed has been internal – focused just on you. Your strengths. Your weaknesses. Now we’re ready to bring in the external forces.

Take a tip from entrepreneurs when you’re trying to find your opportunity. Entrepreneurs know:

Where there’s change, there’s likely to be growth.
And where there’s growth, there’s opportunity.

So look for change to find your opportunity. For instance, the baby boom has been changing markets in the United States for years. Now they’re starting to retire. This is creating huge opportunities in health care, travel, and home services, among others.

In fact, many of the hottest careers in the coming years are centered on the needs of the baby boomers as they retire. Many new businesses will succeed bigg by serving them as well.

This is just one example of changes that occur that create opportunities. But opportunities are only half the picture. You also need to consider the threats.

Ask yourself, “What could happen that would significantly affect you if you choose this career?” Because here’s a little tip about change:

Change creates opportunities in new fields while destroying existing ones.

Let’s look at a famous example from early last century. If your chosen career involved nearly anything to do with carriages, you were in trouble with the advent of the automobile. Technological change is probably the main driver of changes like this. However, changes in industries also occur due to things like consolidation, outsourcing, and more.

Mary-Lynn shared her career experience. She loves radio, but with the internet and consolidation in the industry, it’s harder to find good opportunities than it used to be. Change is creating destruction.

At the same time, the internet and new media are presenting opportunities for people with skills like hers – opportunities to build your own content and brand. Change is creating growth.

Mary-Lynn found her path to peace of mind. She started with finding her passion. Then, with her core values in mind, she did a SWOT analysis, which prompted her to change careers, while still using all of her talents and experience.

Putting it all together
When you’re done with your SWOT analysis, you should have a number of possible fits. Don’t make the mistake of only looking at compensation. That’s part of the picture, but certainly not the only thing.

We have a friend who accepted a job because it paid so much. She told us that she knew it didn’t fit her passion; it was in an industry that she wasn’t particularly excited about. But it was so much money! Soon, she found she hated her job. She was unhappy all the time – even at home. Money isn’t everything!

You know where you are now. You’ve visualized your dream life so you know where you want to be. All you have to do is choose the best path to get there!

The Bigg Goal-Setters Workbook will help you do just that!
It’s free when you sign up for our free weekly newsletter!

Our Bigg Quote today comes from Douglas Everett.

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some
who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”

The world needs more dreamers, but even more … the world needs more doers that make their dreams come true.

Next time, we’ll discuss freedom and security. Experts say that you can’t have both; you have to choose one or the other. We’ll ask the question … why can’t you have both?

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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