October 2008

Join me for a free teleclass, “Don’t Wait For The Pink Slip Like I Did” tomorrow at 8pm ET / 5pm PT.  More details follows:

Does this economy make you feel like it’s 2002, 1992 or 1987 all over again? You know you should do something to save your current job or find a new dream job….BUT…you don’t know where to start?

Brian Kurth, founder of VocationVacations, recognized dream job expert and author, has the tools to get you started on your journey to the career and lifestyle of your dreams. 

Brian is not an outsider to what you are feeling. He doesn’t just “talk the talk” but truly has “walked the walk” and draws on his own experiences (good and bad!) to help others find the career and lifestyle of their dreams. 

Like so many, Brian did all the right and “expected” things. Completed college and graduate school and then grabbed for the brass ring in the corporate world, working himself up the ladder. His climb was successful, but in the process he realized he was turning into a proverbial Dilbert trapped in a cubicle! Although unfulfilled, he didn’t know what to do about it and, at that point, didn’t have to do anything about it. The “I’ll think about that tomorrow” philosophy set in.

In 2001, “tomorrow” became “today” when he was laid off. No more putting it off, he needed a plan of action now. He:

  • moved to Portland, Oregon from Chicago for a lifestyle change;
  • took a temporary job related to his dream job goal (in the wine industry!) to tide him over and reduce his burn;
  • realized his dream job was to actually help others find theirs and started working part-time to create a business to do just that;
  • founded VocationVacations in 2004.

On October 30 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT, you are invited to join Brian for a free, call-in teleconference ,“DON’T WAIT FOR THE PINK SLIP LIKE I DID!” Brian will offer sound advice, a proven plan of action strategy, resources, and insights from his own experiences that will help you plan for and realize the job and lifestyle of your dreams – even in these uncertain economic times.

Tomorrow, October 30 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT. Space is limited! 

RSVP and receive the call-in number and pass code, please submit here.

People say that a downturn in the markets also open up opportunity.  Just ask Donald Trump, Warren Buffet and others, right?  They are BUYING stocks these days.  There is opportunity out there.  You just need an action plan to go get it.

Likewise, as the markets downturn, this is the perfect time to put stock in yourself and consider dream job opportunities.  Do you have a fear of financial insecurity?  I  hear you.  Join the masses.  Talk to the thousands of people who are being laid off all across the US and fear of financial insecurity is obviously their #1 issue.  But you can prepare in advance of any direct hit to you…and it takes time, hard work and an action plan.  So start NOW!

I was at one of my favorite coffee places, Urban Grind, this morning here in Portland and ran into my friend Steve who’s an architect.  I asked how things were going.  He replied “tenuous”.  Come to find out that his firm has made lay-offs and he is obviously very worried.  One person impacted by the layoff is a mutual friend of ours.  I just saw this friend last weekend and asked if he was nervous about the economy.  He said “no”.  Well, he should have been nervous.  He got laid off along with others from the firm last Monday.  As for Steve, he’s keeping a great open-mind and sees this as a “scary time of potential opportunity”.  Sounds oxymoronic and it is.  But he’s considering other types of work beyond being an architect as the markets may simply not allow him to work in that industry for years to come.  

What’s the moral of my story?  You just never know.  There is NO such thing as job security in so many sectors these days so it’d be foolish not to spend time researching and getting mentored in your dream job….NOW!  WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE!?  

“But I won’t make as much money in my dream job as I am today”, you may say.  True enough.  But being prepared for finding or creating your dream job or a dream business beats the hell out of eating up all of your savings after being laid off from your current job.  Lay-offs happen to the best of us.  Be prepared.  Being financially responsible includes swallowing your pride by potentially taking a pay cut in the short-term to pursue a dream job.  What you’ll find is that although you may not be making as much money as you once did in your old job, you’ll be happier….and you’ll be employed and getting new experience to add to the resume.  So, don’t do what I did back in 2001.  Don’t wait for the pink slip!  Take action now, my friends.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how to set an action plan in place, join me for a free teleclass, “Don’t Wait For The Pink Slip Like I Did” next Thurs Oct 30 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT.  More details here.

Are you looking for a new job in this economy?  Well, don’t do what I did back in 2001.  Don’t wait for the pink slip!  Join me for a free Teleclass on Wed Oct 30 to get a few tips on how to job search for the dream job in what may feel like the worst of times.  

 Sign up here!

I’ve been there.  You’re scared of a possible lay-off.  Or you’ve been laid off.  Or perhaps you’re just so miserable in your job that a lay-off, EVEN in this economy, sounds good right now.  Yeah, boy, I’ve been there.  I was miserable and unfulfilled in my telecom job in Chicago.  Went to a dot.com thinking that’d be my saving grace.  But you know the story.  My lay-off occurred less than two years later.  I wasn’t prepared.

I didn’t know what my dream job was.  I didn’t know what my path should be.  I had no idea what I was going to do.  I should have been better prepared.  But how?

Well there are a lot of ways.  Certainly doing online research is critical.  Read some career planning books.  But one very important, affordable thing to do is to get a career coach.  I say this with a couple of caveats, however.  

1. There are far too many career coaches out there today who have received credentials from coaching institutions but they do not have any prior career development or mentoring experience.  You want to work with someone who, prior to becoming a career coach, worked their way up the corporate, not-for-profit, academic or association ladder.  You need someone who has led a team of employees.  Unfortunately, people without these qualifications can slip through the cracks of some of the coaching institutions.  You never hear of someone “flunking out” of coaching school, do you?  SO…..with that, I really want to stress that you owe it to yourself to research, vet and “approve” your coach before hiring them.  Do they have pragmatic and direct experience of effectively working as part of a team and managing people in the “real world” prior to hanging their shingle as a career coach?  In my opinion, they must.

2.  Additionally, I’m also a strong believer in life coaching.  But if you hire a life coach (which we have on board at VocationVacations as well), DO make sure they are ALSO skilled and qualified to include career coaching in their practice.  Life and career are not mutually exclusive and a coach needs to be skilled in both.

Who do I recommend?  Obviously VocationVacations-approved coaches.  And, hopefully I’m not being too bold here to say that I also do a pretty good job of consulting individuals on how to find and create the work they love.  The VocationVacations coaching team focusing on helping people create their action plan to their dream job day-in and day-out.  Give us a whirl!    

One-On-One with Brian

Dream Job Coaching Team

Although everything our new Archaeologist mentor, Dr. D. Clark Wernecke, works with day-to-day is long dead, the new VocationVacation is very much alive!  Ha.  OK, OK.  I haven’t had any caffeine yet today.  And I won’t become a comedian anytime soon.

We are SO thrilled to have Dr. D. Clark Wernecke of the Gault School of Archaeological Research in Austin, Texas…..check it out!

Much more to follow, folks, but I’m SO thrilled to announce that we’ve launched the VocationVacations University/College Alumni Affinity Program!  What is it?  Well, in a nutshell, university/college alumni associations communicate their relationship with VocationVacations to their alumni to encourage their alums to pursue becoming a VV mentor if they meet our qualifications.  In return, for those alums that we bring on as mentors, we then provide the association a percentage of the retail price of every VocationVacation that is mentored by their alums.

I am THRILLED to say that the Cal Aggie Alumni Association for UC-Davis has signed as has the WIsconsin Alumni Association with several more exciting university alumni associations coming on board soon.  Check out our Wisconsin affinity program here:  http://www.uwalumni.com/careers_vocationvacation.aspx

Want your alumni association to become part of our affinity program?  Do you work for a university or college alumni association and think it’s a great idea?  Let me know!



5 Tips to Starting a Green Business

VocationVacations mentors, John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist, with their green (we’re talkin’ eco-friendly & sustainable here folks) getaway destination of Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast in bucolic Monroe, Wisconsin, have come out with the ultimate guide to launching your dream, green business or greening the one you already own.  ECOpreneuring: Putting Purpose and the Planet before Profits is a wonderfully dangerous read if you’re fed up with working at a job for someone else’s dream and financial benefit and want to start giving back to the planet while feeling good about how you make a living.  
Based on their book, John and Lisa have provided me with 5 great tips to share with you about how to start a green business:
(1)  Follow your Earth Mission.
Wealth without purpose is poverty. Who wants to be the richest person in the cemetery? Turn your passions and sense of purpose into an enterprise. Ecopreneurs craft an “Earth Mission” to use their business as a catalyst make the world a better place, often defining success qualitatively, not quantitatively.
(2)  Operate your green business with a triple bottom line: people, planet and (some) profits.
Rather than the purpose of business to simply generate profits, sustainable businesses thrive in a restoration ECOnomy based on restoring or enhancing the planet, providing fair and equitable relationships amongst all stakeholders, and generate profits to sustain the business and its mission (in various ways, to make the world a better place).
(3)  Thrive in abundance, not dwell on scarcity — or fear. 
Ecopreneurs create enterprises that prosper by focusing on the abundance in our world, like solar energy.  Many businesses are completely powered with renewable energy and seek to harvest and share the surplus, whether from their agricultural operation or when restoring ecological services once provided for free by nature.  Decisions are made because of opportunities, not out of fear.
(4)  Be place-based and local.
The ultimate competitive advantage is to feature what other globally-minded businesses cannot: the unique resources, attributes or qualities of your local community.  By staying local, enterprising ecopreneurs help revitalize their community and foster greater cohesion, economic cooperation, and stability not beholden to global financial fantasies or fossil fuel price gyrations based on fickle energy intelligence.
(5)  Understand the difference between “good debt” and “bad debt.”
While the American obsession with a growth economy fueled by debt continues to rage, many ecopreneurs have discovered the immense freedom, control and satisfaction that comes from minding your own business.  Creating a quality of life through a business that seeks to maximize happiness and meaningfulness for its owner often translates to creative and frugal approaches to operating a business that doesn’t demand piles of debt, the extension of credit, or federal bailouts to survive.


Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko offer a VocationVacation experience at Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast, completely powered by the wind and sun….and a lot of eco-passion; for details, see:


To order ECOpreneuring or to share your own ecopreneur story, visit www.ecopreneuring.biz.

Check out John and Lisa's new book!

Next Page »