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Posts Tagged ‘career’

Life Events

August 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Today is a big day for me. Later in the afternoon, I will be saying “I do” to a very special woman. Yes, that’s right, I’m getting married.

This past week has really given me an opportunity to think about my life events; the ones that have already occurred and the ones that are yet to come. So what I’d like to do is share with you some of my past life events:

  • First day of Kindergarten.
  • First kiss.
  • First day of Middle School.
  • Making the basketball team.
  • Winning the 15-Year-Old All Star State Championship.
  • First day of high school.
  • Making the baseball team.
  • First paycheck.
  • First car.
  • Going undefeated in league play during my senior year baseball season.
  • High school graduation.
  • Acceptance into the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • First internship.
  • College graduation.
  • First “real job”.
  • Acceptance into the MBA program at UNR.
  • Buying our first house.
As well as past life events, we all have future life events that we all get to look forward to, like:
  • Getting married.
  • First promotion.
  • Having children.
  • Retirement.
I know my list is short and I left it that way for a reason. I want you to share any others that you’re looking forward to in your future in the comments section below!
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Professional Diversification Online: Using Twitter to Promote Yourself

July 29, 2011 2 comments

eric chaump twitter profile professional diversificationNext on the list of social networking sites to promote yourself on is Twitter.  I know what you’re saying.  Twitter is for celebs who want to share what they’re eating for lunch in New York City and those who actually care enough to read what they’re tweeting.  Yes, but no.  Trust me, I thought the same thing before I actually started using Twitter.  There are people on Twitter who post stupid things that nobody cares about like where they’re going with their BFF or how they feel about the last episode of the Real Housewives.  Stupid, I know.  But, there are people who are using Twitter the right way.  The right way?  Okay, I don’t know if it’s the right way to use Twitter, but it is how I was taught to use Twitter (thank you @drbret).

The proper way to use Twitter, especially if you want to promote yourself, is to do a little thing called content curation.  Content curation is basically the act of finding good, relevant content and sharing it with others.  For example, you’re looking for a good article on how to invest in stocks.  You find a few people on Twitter who specialize in investing and you read their content.  Once you find one you like, you share, or retweet it, with your own followers in case they were looking for the same thing.  That is the proper way to use Twitter.

With that in mind, let’s discuss how you can get your Twitter profile up and running:

1. Grab Your Vanity URL.

Just like LinkedIn, you want to make sure you get your vanity URL on Twitter to make it easier for people to find you.  You do this by ensuring you use your full name as the username when signing up.  Try to make it the same as your LinkedIn profile.  Since I used EricChaump on LinkedIn, my Twitter handle is also @EricChaump.

2. Fill In Your Profile Information.

You’re profile information will be the first thing you do after creating your account.  You will be asked for your full name (use your full first and last name here), your location (provide the city and state), a link to your website (if you have a blog, put it here, if not, we’ll talk about starting a blog in a couple weeks), and finally your bio (similar to a 15 second elevator speech, but in 140 characters or less).  When creating your bio, make sure to include what you’re good at and what you are interested in.  This will give others an idea if you can help them or they can help you.

3. Choose A Professional Profile Picture.

Choosing a profile picture is very important.  People like to connect with faces so they can visualize the person they are connecting with.  You’re profile picture should look professional and be focused on your face.  You want your face to be bright and clear because that’s what people are going to see in that little tiny square next to each of your tweets.  And always remember to keep your profile picture the same across all your social networking sites.

4. Start Following People.

Start searching for people who have similar interests as you and follow them.  If you’re interested in fishing, start following people who are also interested in fishing.  Chances are they will follow you back.

5. Create A List.

The best way to segregate people who provide content value to you on a particular topic is to add them to a list.  Try creating a list for your main value stream, the one thing you really want to learn more about.  Then start adding people you’ve followed to that list.  Once you have that list compiled, you can choose to view only those tweets from those people.  My main Twitter list is called Professional Diversification.

6. Engage In A Conversation With Someone.

One way to really show people you care is to actually engage in a conversation.  If you retweet someones blog post, ask them how their day is going.  I’m sure they’d be happy to chat.

7. Join A Twitter Chat.

Speaking of chatting, keep an eye out for the hash tag #TChat.  This is the hash tag used during a large group chat on Twitter where people ask questions and have them answered.  It’s a great way to find valuable people on Twitter and gain more followers for yourself.

8. Go Mobile.

eric chaump twitter mobile app iphone smartphoneJust like any other social networking site, it’s important to stay up to date on all the information flowing through Twitter.  The best way to do that is to download the free Twitter app for smartphones.  You can stay up to date on your Twitter stream, reply to messages, and retweet other people’s posts.

Now if you follow these eight steps, you’re on your way to creating a successful Twitter profile and a successful online presence.  In the next few weeks, I’ll be doing the same thing for Facebook, Google+, and the most important one of them all: A BLOG!

Related Content:

What is Content Curation? – Michiel Gaasterland

Professional Diversification Online: Using LinkedIn to Promote Yourself – Eric Chaump

Professional Diversification Online: Using LinkedIn to Promote Yourself

July 22, 2011 4 comments

linkedin eric chaump profile summary

If you don’t know what LinkedIn is, then you better listen up.  LinkedIn is an all business-related social networking site.  It allows professionals to connect with other professionals and share information.  The unique thing about LinkedIn is that it’s like an online resume, a very versatile online resume.  You fill out your profile, which includes information like your work history, education, honors and awards.  Sounds like a resume, doesn’t it?  What’s unique about LinkedIn is that you can recommend people you’ve worked with and they can recommend you.  Now here’s the most important part of LinkedIn that relates to Professional Diversification: your skills.  LinkedIn recently added a skills section to your profile that allows you to choose what you’re good at and share it with the world.  You get to pick your skill level and how many years you’ve been doing that particular thing.

Now that we all know what LinkedIn is, I’m going to give you a few tips to get your profile up and running:

1. Grab Your Vanity URL.

The first thing you want to do is, obviously, sign up for an account.  Go to http://www.linkedin.com/ and click the “Join Today” link.  The first and most important thing you want to do is grab your vanity URL.  What the heck is a vanity URL, you ask?  A vanity URL is what makes your profile unique to you.  Most social networking sites allow you to pick your own and I advise you choose your own full name, like I’ve done below.  Why is this the most important part of your profile?  Because when people search for your name in Google, they can find you!  DUH!

linkedin eric chaump vanity url

 

2. Fill In Your Resume Information.

The next step is to fill in the bulk of your information.  It’s all that boring resume information, like where have you worked, how long did you work there and where did you go school and when.  Obviously, this is the most essential part of your profile, just as it is your resume.  The nice thing is you can copy it straight from your resume, so you better dust that thing off.

3. Fill In Your Skills.

Now we get to some of the fun stuff.  If you read my post on Interests, Skills and Inexperiences, and actually took my advice, you should have a nice list of skills that you can put in this section.  If you don’t have a list like that, please take a look at that post to help you get started.

4. Fill In Your Profile Summary.

This is something you really don’t get to do on a resume.  It’s where you get to talk about yourself!  Everyone’s favorite thing to do.  Some people are really good at talking about themselves, but me on the other hand, can’t stand it.  I have such a hard time talking about myself, which is one thing I have to get over if I want to be successful.  There are a number of great resources online that teach you how to write great summaries.  If you can’t find any, you could use mine as a template.  Your summary should include who you are and what you want to accomplish, a little something about your education and where you excelled, and where you’re at in your professional career and where you’d like to go.

5. Interests = Potential Careers.

In addition to your hobby interests that you’ve identified from above, I encourage you to list your potential careers as interests on your profile.  If employers are looking for people who want to be stock brokers, they can see that you’re interested in the stock market and investing.  There’s really no other place to put it on your profile, because it’s not necessarily something you studied in school and its not something you’ve done as a profession.

6. Join A Couple Groups.

Groups allow you to get together with other people who are interested in the same things.  You can learn a lot from the people in these groups, so I encourage you to join a few that might interest you.

7. Ask A Question.

LinkedIn has an interesting feature that allows you to ask any questions you might have.  Let’s say you want to know everyone’s opinion on Bank of America’s stock price.  You could ask a question on LinkedIn Answers and have highly qualified people answer your question in minutes.  Make sure you give credit to the person who provides the best answer though.  It’s common courtesy on LinkedIn.

8. Answer A Question.

Once you’ve put your own question out there, it’s time to show people what you’re made of.  Find a topic that you believe to be an expert on and answer someone’s question.  If your answer is the best, you’ll be credited with badges that show you are an expert in certain fields.

9. Ask For A Few Recommendations.

Now that you have your profile all up and running, the last thing to do is to ask for a couple recommendations.  Some people are against asking for recommendations.  They think recommendations should not be asked for.  I disagree with this thought though, because I find people won’t recommend you if you don’t ask for it.  So don’t be afraid.  Find some coworkers, classmates, or bosses that you think would be willing to write nice things about you and send them a request for a recommendation.

10. Go Mobile.

linkedin mobile iphone droid app

If you didn’t know, we’re living in what’s called the “Instant Generation.”  We now live in a world where waiting for information is unacceptable.  That’s why I encourage the use of mobile apps, and LinkedIn has a great one.  When you’re on the go, it gives you the opportunity to respond to messages and check out what your connections are up to.

If you follow these 10 steps, you’ll have a fully functioning LinkedIn profile where people can find you, connect with you, and could help you get a job.  If you have any additional thoughts you’d like to add, feel free to comment below.

4 Benefits of Picking a Job and Sticking With It

May 7, 2011 2 comments

Many people believe the best way to “rise to the top” is to switch jobs often.  You start with a small company, get promoted once or twice, then move on to the next company, with better compensation and benefits.  Sounds good enough, but switching jobs can often be stressful and non-beneficial.  Here are some reasons why you should find a good job when you’re young and stick with the company throughout your career.

1. No Starting Over

Don’t you hate that new job anxiety?  Going to work the first day not knowing anyone, not knowing the processes, and not knowing what do to.  When you pick a job and stick with it, you don’t have to worry about starting over.  Don’t worry, you’ll still get promoted throughout your career, but it will be the same people, same processes and systems, and same culture that you’re used to working with.

2. Early Retirement

I’d like to share with you my story of Bob and John (that’s not their real names, by the way).  Bob is nearing 50 years old.  He was hired by a company when he was fresh out of high school.  He stuck with the company all these years, moved up the ranks, and has been quite successful throughout his career.  Bob plans on retiring within the next year or so.  On the other hand, John is in his early 50’s.  He’s had a number of careers throughout his life and has been successful without a doubt.  But John isn’t planning on retiring any time soon.

Part of starting over with every new job involves your retirement benefits.  Let’s say you worked for a company for 2 years and you’re ready to move on the the next.  You’ve contributed $5,000 to a 401(k) and your employer matches 150% of your contributions, which means the total value of your retirement is $12,500.  Unfortunately, you aren’t fully vested until you’ve completed 5 years of service, you’re only 1/4 vested.  If you quit, you only get to carry over $6,875 instead of $12,500.  That’s like free retirement money that you’re throwing away by switching jobs.

3. More Likely To Get Promoted

Companies like to look internally for possible promotion candidates before they post the job on the website.  The nice thing about current employees is there’s no surprises.  When you’ve worked for a company for 5, 10, or 15 years, they know exactly what you’re capable.  Sometimes, they know you’re capabilities better than you do and they know what path is best for you.  At least that’s what a good company would do.

4. Gets Easier As You Go

Similar to not having to start over, the more time you spend in a job or with a company, the easier it gets.  You learn more about the people, processes, systems, and culture, and the more you know, the easier the job gets.

So what are your opinions?  Did you pick a job and stick with it or did you move around throughout your career?  What are the benefits of each?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Image Credit

Related Articles:

Pros and Cons of Sticking With One Job for Years

Identifying Potential Careers by Leveraging Your Skills and Interests

April 14, 2011 5 comments

careers next exit blue sky clouds sign highwayJob searching can be a stressful process.  Think about how hard it would be to find a job if you didn’t know what you were looking for.  Imagine logging on to a job search website, selecting “Browse All Jobs,” and searching through pages and pages of jobs, of which you might find one or two reasonable offers.  Now, think about how much easier it would be if you knew exactly what kind of job you wanted.

What I’d like to discuss today is leveraging your skills (and interests) from your Professional Portfolio and learning how to turn them into potential money making opportunities.  Identifying and analyzing potential careers is the most important aspect of your Professional Portfolio.  Yes, it’s great that you know what you’re good at or what motivates you, but all that stuff is useless if you don’t know how to use it.  Following the guidelines below, you can put together a list of potential careers that will help you prepare for uncertain times.  It’s as easy as answering the following questions.

1. What?

What is the career you have identified?  What types of job titles are associated with this career?

2. Why?

Why would you want this career?  Why would you be good at this career?

3. Where?

Is this a career you would have to move for?  Or is this something you could do from home?

4. When?

When would you be prepared to start this career?  Do you need additional training or experience before you would be qualified?

5. Who?

Who can you talk to about this career?  Who can help you get into a career like this?

6. How?

If you were to lose your job this week, how would you go about getting into this career?  This is the most important question because it identifies your plan.

Now that we have the guidelines under our belts, I’m going to start blogging three times per week.  Starting this week, I will be adding a new category of posts called Potential Careers.  These posts will provide you with my own personal examples of how to properly use the guidelines above to prepare for uncertain times by engaging in Professional Diversification.

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Go Back to School? You’re Joking Right? 10 Reasons Why Continuing Education is Good for Your Career

March 15, 2011 6 comments

study books desk stress man encyclopedia library school graduate undergraduate MBA PhDWhether you’re currently an undergraduate student or you graduated years ago, I’m sure we can all agree that education is important. When I was nearing completion of my undergraduate degree and everyone around me was celebrating the last few weeks of their educational lives, I was applying for the MBA program. I knew that if I let myself even think for a minute about being done with school, I would never want to go back. I’ve spoken with a number of people who encountered this very dilemma. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard say, “I wanted to take a year off and enjoy not having to worry about homework, tests, studying, and actually going to class at night.” I’m sure you can imagine what I’m going to say next. One year, five years, ten years later, those people still never went back to school like they said they would. So for those of you who are nearing completion of your undergraduate degree, take my first piece of advice, DO NOT WAIT!

For those of you who did wait and never went back, take my second piece of advice, GO BACK! To give you some encouragement, here are 10 reasons why you should go back to school:

    1. Fancy Letters

    You can’t tell me it’s not cool to be able to put MBA, MD, JD, or Ph.D. after your name.

    2. Resume Booster

    If you’re looking for a job, having additional education on your resume makes you look more desirable (on paper) and shows ambition and diligence.

    3. Instant Salary Increase

    Sometimes employers pay their employees more simply because they have more education. Companies will pay employees based on experience tiers (i.e. Production Manager III) and will often take related education into account.

    4. You Will Actually Learn Something

    That’s why we go to school isn’t it? To learn. You will actually learn things that will make you more valuable in the workplace.

    5. It Truly Makes You Smarter

    All those lectures, reading assignments, projects, papers, and exams help you think about things in a different light. This intensifies the learning process and makes you smarter in more ways than one by encouraging your brain to think.

    6. Internal Professional Opportunities

    Having a Master’s or Doctorate level degree can open up opportunities within your company that you couldn’t qualify for without. I’ve seen a number of job descriptions that require a Master’s degree and if you don’t have that, they won’t even consider your application.

    7. External Professional Opportunities

    This goes along with #5, but applies to job opportunities outside the company you work for. Maybe you’ve hit a ceiling with your current company and it’s time to start looking elsewhere for opportunities.

    8. Unemployment Gap Filler

    If you’ve been laid off and just can’t seem to get hired, going back to school can fill the gap until you find someone to hire you. Employer’s do not like to see long periods of unemployment on a resume, but if you throw in an MBA during that time, they are more likely to hire you (and pay you more).

    9. Networking

    Universities are an amazing place to meet students, professors, and local business people who share similar interests. Often times, Universities will host networking events where local recruiters come to campus looking for people like you. Take advantage of these opportunities.

    10. Because Your Boss Said So

    Sometimes your employer will ask you to go back to school. Maybe they have big plans for you as an executive level manager, but want you to gain additional knowledge outside of the work environment first. It’s also not uncommon for companies to pay for your education with tuition reimbursement. If you have an opportunity like this, you better jump on it.

As you can tell, I am a strong believer in continuing education. I enjoyed my undergraduate studies, but I’m finding that I’m enjoying my MBA even more. Continuing education isn’t always right for everyone, though. I’ve referenced some related articles below that will help you decide if continuing education is even right for you.

Image Credit

Related Articles:

10 Reasons Adults Should Go Back to School

8 Questions to Consider Before Going Back to School

Where Are You Going? 9 Goal Setting Categories You Need to Address

March 1, 2011 6 comments

everest aim high goalsIf you don’t know where you want to end up in 5, 10, or 25 years, how are you supposed to get there?  Goal setting is one of the most important aspects of one’s life, both personal and professional.  Wikipedia.com defines a goal as “a desired result a person envisions, plans, and commits to achieve.”

I recently decided that goals should be the next topic under our Professional Portfolio’s.  I’ll be honest, I had trouble defining my goals at first, so I searched the Internet to help me define a structure for goal setting.  I came across MindTools.com that had a webpage on Personal Goal Setting.  They identified 9 categories that helped me (and will help you) define my goals:

    1. Career

    To be the Chief Operating Officer of a large corporation or a business administration professor at our local university.

    2. Financial

    To earn enough money throughout my life to be financially comfortable and be able to buy the luxuries in life.

    3. Education

    To earn my MBA, acquire advanced certifications, and later earn a Ph.D. to help achieve my career goals.

    4. Family

    To get married to the woman I love, start a family, respect my parents, and be there for my younger siblings.

    5. Artistic

    To dig deeper into my passion for photography and digital media.

    6. Attitude

    To live life positively, be respectful of others, and attempt to help others achieve their goals.

    7. Physical

    To choose lower sodium food alternatives and exercise regularly to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

    8. Pleasure

    To take time to experience the joys in life, take vacations, and do the things I love to do.

    9. Public Service

    To be mindful of the environment and preserve this world so future generations can enjoy life the way I have.

Please remember that this list is not all inclusive.  You can add categories to it if you prefer and I encourage you to do so.  You may also think that some of these categories don’t apply to you.  I know I had trouble setting an artistic goal, since I don’t find myself to be very artistic.  I advise you to dig deep and really try to solidify some kind of goal for each of these categories.  Don’t forget, goals can change over time and, in fact, they should.

So what are your goals?  Take some time to think about that and then add them to your Professional Portfolio like I did.

Image Credit

Webpage Credit:

Goal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Personal Goal Setting – Goal Setting Tools from MindTools.com