July 2009


Laid off? Burned out in your job? Then come to a Career Change Coffee Klatch if you’re a New Yorker or visiting the Big Apple this weekend!

I thought it’d be fun to do something a bit non-traditional and gather for a very casual “coffee klatch” in Central Park at 10am this Saturday, July 25.

If you are in a career transition and looking to reinvent yourself, then this will be a great, casual way to take the first step. I’ll chat a bit about the 8 Steps of a Successful Career Transition, the crux of which is based on creating a career mentorship for yourself and creating a professional brand

When:
Sat, July 25 @ 10am

Where:
At the “Imagine” ground sign at Strawberry Fields in Central Park:
http://www.centralpark.com/pages/attractions/strawberry-fields.html

Bring:
Yourself
Pen, Notepad or Journal
Coffee
Blanket to sit on

If there’s rain in the prediction, we’ll figure out a Plan B (any suggestions of a large enough coffee house as a back-up?)

Let me know if you can make it….and spread the word to friends and family members in NYC or may be visiting NYC who you think might like to have a fun career transition coffee klatch.

Cheers!
Brian

www.briankurth.com

www.vocationvacations.com

Hi Friends,

One of the coolest things about what I do is that my career coaching clients and speaking engagement audiences are so diverse. This includes age diversity.  I will speak with a GenX client one hour…then give a speech to a Boomers audience….and then conduct a workshop with GenY recent university alumni.  Additionally, I get to partner with a lot of really cool experts across all three generational groups.

One of my favorite Generation Y experts is best-selling author and speaker, Lindsey Pollak.  I asked Lindsey to guest blog for me today.  She has provided us with some excellent tips on how GenY’ers can compete for jobs in this ever-challenging marketplace.  Enjoy and learn!

Cheers,
Brian 

www.briankurth.com

www.vocationvacations.com

Author of “Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love” – Hachette, 2008.

 

It’s Not Easy Being Green:

5 Tips for Young Job Seekers in a Competitive Market

It used to be so easy: entry-level professionals applied for entry-level jobs; mid-level professionals applied for mid-level jobs and senior-level people eventually retired.

Ah, the good old days.

Today, due to the economic recession, it feels as though everyone is competing with everyone for a limited number of positions. When this happens, the lowest ones on the totem pole are particularly vulnerable. According to a survey from Qvisory and the Rockefeller Foundation, nearly 19 percent of young adults are unemployed or looking for work.

What can you do if you’re a recent grad competing with experienced professionals who are willing to take a step back? Here are some suggestions:

1.  Seek out honest feedback. Find someone you trust—a former colleague, relative, career services professional, etc.—who will be candid. Do you say “like” or “you know” too much when you talk? Should you dress less “slacker”? Are you applying for jobs you’re really not qualified for? Take this feedback seriously and address any areas where you’re getting in your own way.

2.  Become an active user of LinkedIn.com. LinkedIn is the largest and most active professional social network, but many young professionals are unaware of it. Don’t miss out on this resource! (Full disclosure: I am a global campus spokesperson for LinkedIn.) First, set up a profile that includes keywords an employer might use to find someone with your skills. Include all experience you have, including unpaid internships, volunteer gigs and extra curriculars. Next, scour other profiles to uncover potential employers and professionals who might agree to an informational interview (alums from your college are ideal). Finally, use LinkedIn to help others with suggestions, job leads and recommendations—the more people you help, the more people will offer to help you.

 3.  Network face-to-face. While online networking is very important, still the best way to make a strong impression is in person. Make sure you are networking across generations to maximize your chances of finding out about opportunities. Don’t feel intimidated if you are the youngest person at a networking event, say at a Rotary Club meeting or a college alumni gathering. Sometimes you have the best chance of making a memorable impression when you’re different from everyone else.

 4.  Play up your assets. Sure, older professionals have an advantage in the experience department. Let that go and focus on what you do bring to the table as a young person. In cover letters, networking conversations and interviews, place emphasis on characteristics and life experiences you can offer, such as enthusiasm, knowledge of the youth market and technical savvy.

 5.  Don’t ever put yourself—or your age—down. No matter what, don’t make fun of your age, joke that you’ll be working for someone as old as your grandfather or laugh about how “clueless” you are. If you’re comfortable with your experience level, others are likely to respond in kind.

Overall, be confident, be willing to learn and maintain a positive attitude. That’s appealing at any age.

Lindsey Pollak is a Generation Y Career & Workplace Expert and the author of Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World. Visit her career advice blog at http://www.lindseypollak.com/blog.

Hi Folks,

Well, do I have some exciting news, or what?

I am thrilled to announce the opportunity to win any currently available VocationVacation career mentorship experience of your choice!

We have partnered up with Sony Pictures for the release of the movie, Julie & Julia.  The movie is a wonderful depiction of a woman caught up in change (Amy Adams) who decides to create a blog about her recreations of Julia Child’s (Meryl Streep) recipes.  But in doing so, her life takes on more than Julia’s culinary recipes.   It becomes a recipe for change.  Julie & Julia is a wonderful movie about career and life reinvention.  

Hence, the connection to VocationVacations since we are ALL about life and career reinvention and transition.  We are happy to provide a VocationVacation to a lucky winner and it’s an honor to partner with the fine folks at SONY, Gather.com and Hilton HHonors on this sweepstakes.  Spread the word about the movie….the sweepstakes…and about VocationVacations.

Sign up to win here!

Cheers,
Brian

www.briankurth.com

www.vocationvacations.com

I’ve been chatting with my career consulting clients who are going through a tough time during this recession.  I invite them to take a deep breath and say the following sentence outloud:  Survival is the new definition of success!

I believe these words. 

Whether you’re a corporate person who’s been laid off or an entrepreneur barely holding onto your business during these tough times, this one little sentence can make a world of difference each and every day.  Appreciate every day’s small successes.  The small successses add up over time. 

Once the recovery occurs (and it WILL happen), you will be able to look back with pride that you SURVIVED the worst recession since the Great Depression.  That alone is success.  Be proud.  You’re getting there.  One step and day at a time.

Again, say it outload:  SURVIVAL IS THE NEW DEFINITION OF SUCCESS!

Go Get ‘Em,

Brian

www.briankurth.com

www.vocationvacations.com

I love my job but, like everyone, I have my ups and downs.  Especially as an entrepreneur who does not have in-house tech support.

I have had one helluva week, to be honest.  My beloved iPhone and MacBook were stolen while in New Orleans at a conference; we had some serious IT issues with our main computers back here in Portland; and for the first time in a long time I weighed myself at the gym two mornings ago and I realized I’ve put on 15 pounds in the last year.  I’m ready for a low-cal Friday happy hour with my pals Sean and Carolyn. 

But….just as I am coming off a bad week, I am going to end it on an inspirational HIGH note. 

I am so proud that Black Enterprise Magazine covered the story of our VocationVacations alumni, Charles Turner, and our phenomenal mentor, Mercedes Gonzalez, in their July issue.  BEM’s editor, Sonia Alleyne, nailed the spirit of VocationVacations and Brian Kurth + Company.  What she doesn’t realize is that her story raised MY spirit during an otherwise challenging week. 

Her writing exudes the passion behind not only those of us here at VocationVacations but also that of our mentors.  And, most importantly, vocationer alum Charles Turner exemplifies how one can make a serious career transition one step at a time.  For him, he is going from being a finance professional to becoming quite the successful SHOE DESIGNER

I hope you find this story as inspirationl as I do.  After reading it, my troubles of this past week simply slip away and I once again check into what’s most important in life:  Being happy in my homelife and worklife and helping others find the same balance. 

Please enjoy Sonia’s wonderful article:

http://www.blackenterprise.com/magazine/2009/07/01/a-perfect-fit

Cheers!
Brian

http://www.briankurth.com/

http://vocationvacations.com/