Personal Passions


Job search is hard.  And it can get expensive.  Times are tough enough right now so the last thing you should do is incur debt, or more debt, in your job search.

So, here are my 5 Tips To Keep Your Job Search On A Budget:

1.  Join a networking organization

Join a networking organization (or two, if your budget allows) that does not cost an arm and a leg.  Now is NOT the time to join that expensive business or athletic club in the spirit of networking.  No.  Pace yourself.  Instead, this is the time that you should join or renew membership with your university alumni association.  And/or, it’s the time to join a trade organization such as PRSA, AMA or ITAA.  Join one organization.  Two if you can afford it.  Prioritize your purchase (it IS a purchase so think of it in those terms!) based on which organization will give you the most bang for your buck.  How many members does the group have?  How often do they meet face-to-face?  How close to your home (include travel, gas, parking costs into your equation)?  What’s their online presence and level of activity?  You want to join an active organization – both “offline” face-to-face and online via the Internet.

2.  Upgrade your LinkedIn account for $50

Upgrade your LinkedIn account for $50 (yes, their prices have gone up…but I still feel it’s worth it).  In doing so, you will be able to directly contact ten people you have targeted in your desired field regarding networking, meeting for an informational coffee and/or establishing a mentorship relationship with them.  These are people you’ve found via researching on LinkedIn by company name, city or vocation type…but to whom you have no direct linkage.  The $50 gives you that direct connection to them.  You know me, I stress the value of mentorship every chance I get and this is an ample time to stress MTR: Mentorship > Transition > Reinvention!  That extra $50 may change your life by linking you with exactly the right person who may help you network and may mentor you – all the way to the point you land your dream job.  MTR is the crux to the proven 8-Step Process for a Successful Career Transition I use day-in and day-out with my clients.

3.  Go to the library.

Sorry, Barnes & Noble, Borders and my beloved Powell’s here in Portland and Strand Books in NYC (let alone, my own publisher).  But you’ll be back shopping there when you’ve landed the job and have more money!  For now, check out the latest career search and business-related books from your local library.  They’ll be happy to see you and you’ll be happy to have just saved some money.  That being said, IF you find a book or two of great value after checking them out at the library, then go to the bookstore and buy them so you have them for long-term reference and you can mark it up all you want.

4.  Write Your Personal Biography

In addition to updating your resume, write a biography of where you’ve been, where you are today and most importantly where you want to go.  This is YOUR brand you’re creating.  It tells a story that a resume simply cannot.  Then have a graphics person create a nicely formatted one-page PDF for you including the content you’ve written.  The formatted PDF should not cost more than $50.  For more on how this fits into the mix of your career search, checking out Step #6, Branding, in the 8-Step Process.

5.  Negotiate Your Terms.

Get a career coach or consultant.  BUT….negotiate with them.  They may not negotiate on their price, but they will (should) work with you on establishing a payment plan.  To be honest, I find it frustrating to hear that some of my career-consulting colleagues insist upon a client signing a one-year agreement and/or a minimum of ten or twelve sessions.  That’s overkill.  A lot can be accomplished in as little as five sessions, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Once you’ve found the right consultant or coach, ask them to establish a payment plan.  For example, I offer my clients the ability to split their payments in two.  They also can either pay by check or by debit card (Avoid using your credit card unless you know you can pay it off in the next payment cycle).

One last point:

Talk to an accountant and save your receipts for everything mentioned in all five tips.  Most, if not all, should be tax deductible.

Now, get out there and find that job….AND STAY ON BUDGET!

Cheers,

Brian

Career Consultations:  www.briankurth.com

Career Mentorship Programs:  www.vocationvacations.com

Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step-by-Step Process To Finding And Creating The Work You Love – Hachette, 2008

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I was on a flight back to Portland from NYC last week and reading the NY Times and found two articles that really intrigued me.

The first was about a former NFL football player, Keith Miller, turned opera singer:

For an Ex-Fullback, Big Plays in a New Game

The second was about, Michelle Nihei, a former neuroscience researcher at Johns Hopkins who became a horse trainer (unfortunately, the article isn’t on the Times’ website).

At first you might think, “Oh, these folks had natural talents that made such huge career shifts possible.”  Not completely true when you read both of the brief articles.

Instead, in addition to their inherent strengths, Keith and Michelle also utilized three key characteristics for their successful career changes:

1.  Allow Your Passions to Lead the Path – Despite what some of their friends, family and colleagues may have said to them upon their decision to forge ahead with their drastic career changes, they followed their natural passions.  They thought with their HEARTS and GUTS versus just their brains.

2.  You Cannot Do It Alone – Keith and Michelle reached out to mentors to learn how to make the transition.  They did not make their decisions or take their first steps in a vacuum.  Instead, they reached out to experts in the field to better understand if and how they could make the switch.

3.  Stay Positive – Despite the obstacles and naysayers, Michelle and Keith were driven by their dreams — some days with blind faith.  They battled their own “chatterboxes” (the negative voice in one’s head according to author and psychologist, Susan Jeffers:  “Feel The Fear….and Do It Anyway“) pounding out the “Are you serious???” thoughts in their minds.  But they stuck to it.  Part of it is simply SHOVING negative thoughts out of one’s mind in order to stay true to the positive, passionate path.

I love Michelle and Keith’s stories.  I hope you do too.  We can all learn from their examples.

What is YOUR unfilled dream that is being held back by YOU and your chatterbox?  Time to take Michelle’s and Keith’s lead….

Cheers!
Brian 

THE 8-Steps To A Successful Career Transitionwww.briankurth.com

Test-Drive Your Dream Jobwww.vocationvacations.com

THE DIY Book On Creating Your Own Career Mentorship In Your Career Transition

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 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/