Volunteer work that leads to a new career

By Avery Baxter

volunteer work sign picture

Volunteer work could open the door to a new paying job. There is no shortage of volunteer opportunities that you could step into. In fact, the National Center for Charitable Statistics reports that there are more than 1.5 million registered non-profit organizations in the United States.

Volunteer work that leads to full-time jobs

Forget getting bored. Jobs that you could perform while volunteering range from English teacher, counselor, grant writer and youth ambassador to marketing manager, fund raiser, tutor, consultant, legal advisor, tax agent or web developer. These jobs rely on your existing work experience.

But, there could be a chance to stretch the jobs and grow your skill set. As an example, volunteering as a counselor could lead to a paying job as a learning and development trainer at a corporation. You could also volunteer as a counselor, deepen your development and coaching skills and use the experience to start your own consulting firm.

Similar to how it’s important to be assertive during an internship, to get the most out of volunteer work, take on projects. If you see needs at the organization where you perform volunteer work, ask how you could help to fill the need. Be prepared to discuss in what specific ways you could use your skills to fill the needs.

Exposure counts with volunteer work

By attending networking, team building and other social events that are sponsored by the organization where you perform volunteer work, you could gain exposure. Other ways to gain exposure include asking questions at the end of webinars and conference calls. You could also lead group discussions. You may be surprised at how open managers are to having someone lead a meeting or a project discussion.

Great organizations are not intimidated by people who want to continue to develop and grow their career. They welcome vision and assertiveness. You may even find a mentor where you volunteer work, someone who could advise and support you, telling you about opportunities that you may not otherwise have become aware of.

Places to find volunteer work

If you want to get started with volunteer work, connecting with large organizations like Volunteer.gov and Volunteer Match may be a good start. Local volunteer directories also list opportunities that you could take advantage of. Your current employer may also have a list of volunteer or non-profit organizations that you could learn more about.

Make sure that you add your volunteer work to your professional resume. Doing so, could lead to a paying job. But, you could also get hired by the nonprofit organization that you perform volunteer work for. Don’t overlook that opportunity if you love the work that you do at a non-profit.

Posted in Employment and Finding Jobs | Tagged | 2 Comments

eBusiness ideas that work

By Rhonda Campbell

ebusiness ideas work



















If you’re a serial entrepreneur, eBusiness ideas that you could turn into full-time jobs probably pop into your head regularly. But, ideas alone are not enough. If you don’t know this now, you’ll discover this fact soon enough.

Lackluster eBusiness ideas simply won’t work

To succeed as an industrialist, you have to pursue the right ebusiness ideas before you can step away from traditional jobs. When cash flows aren’t positive, when it’s tough to attract and retain the talents of skilled contractors and freelancers and you get tired of working 12 to 14 hour days, passion and purpose (not to mention an iron will) can keep you going.

So, a first step to picking the right eBusiness ideas is to consider your passions, your beliefs and your purpose for taking on your physical expression. Align the business that you pursue with what you believe in most. It’s these beliefs that you’ll need during hard times.

Other things to consider are:

• Your specific job experience as well as your industry and market experience
• Professional and job connections that you have and the areas that these connects specialize in
• Resources to manifest your ideas, bringing them outside your mind into the physical realm
• Legal knowledge that you have as it relates to the eBusiness ideas
• You’re ability to market eBusiness ideas

eBusiness ideas that work

These eBusiness ideas have helped make entrepreneurs thousands, some millions while working jobs they absolutely love. Operating the businesses online and offline could increase your brand exposure, putting you in contact with more consumers.

• Consultancy firm – Establish competitive rates and advise business leaders on practical ways to push up their profits, retain top talent and gain an edge on the competition.
• Marketing agency – Use your strong writing and marketing skills to create an agency that develops the very copy that strengthens other brands. If you’re good, you’ll need to hire other writers to take on client growth.
• Editorial agency – Add proofreading services to your company offerings to gain more customers.
• Web designing firm – Graphic arts and web design certifications add validity to your business. Showcase web designs (i.e. mobile websites, social media pages, brochures, catalogs) that you have created to gain clients.
• Wedding planning – You’ll need relationships with photographers, DJs, caterers and designers to implement this idea.
• Virtual psychology – Offering therapy to clients virtually has grown. Regardless of the state you live in, you’ll need to a degree and licensing to start this business. A deep care for people is also needed. People absolutely need to be able to trust you for this job to pay off.
• eCampus training – If you have a teaching degree, you could teach online college courses. You could also offer customized training (i.e. sales strategies) independently.
• Personal coaching – Firsthand experience equips you with the knowledge and the abilities to pass what you have learned to others. Succeed at a job (the bigger your success, the better) and you could coach others, offering them practical steps to achieve their short and long range goals.
• Financial advising – Series 7, Series 66 and other approved licenses are needed to offer professional financial advice. Earn your chops working as a financial advisor for an established firm. This is one of the ebusiness ideas that you need credentials for before you get started.
• Career counseling – Similar to personal coaching, career counseling gives you opportunities to give practical/actionable steps to adults, including college students, that will shorten the time it takes them to find jobs that they love, jobs that pays well.
• Online retail store – Ebay is just the beginning when it comes to the type of online retail store that you could profit from. Bookstores, jewelry shops, shoe stores, fashion boutiques and print companies are other online retail stores that you could earn a full-time income operating.
• Dietician / nutritionist services – A nursing degree and/or weight loss experience are backgrounds that could enable you to help people avoid diseases like diabetes, hypertension and other food related illnesses.
• Virtual assistant company – Administrative, data entry, time management, organizational and communication (both written and oral) skills are a must to run a successful virtual assistant company. Offer jobs to the best assistants, people who have worked for demanding start-ups and/or C-suite level executives.
• Call center – Start a call center and you could respond to customer inquiries, technical issues, etc. Adults who you hire into call center jobs need strong customer service experience, not to mention loads of patience.
• Bookkeeping / accounting firm – Software makes it possible for you to manage small business payrolls, taxes and other bookkeeping and accounting deliverables for individuals and companies.
• Employment verification firm – Many businesses conduct background investigations on new hires. This involves reviewing credit, employment and criminal reports on each new hire. Contracts with a few large firms could keep your verification company in the black for several years.

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Build an innovation team

By Avery Baxter

innovation teamInnovation, as a term, appears to be new. There’s hardly a business that doesn’t plug the word into its messaging, particularly messaging that comes from leadership. Yet, innovation is not new. Seeing an innovation team identify the right idea, then effectively take that idea to implementation, measurement and advancing implementation is not so common.

Why build an innovation team?

Which idea is best?

Every idea is not worth acting on. Every idea isn’t even worth devoting an hour to vet. An innovation team should bring incredibly strong organization, decision making, smart risks taking appetites, visionary, communication and technological skills to the table.

Each member of the team doesn’t need to be strong in each of these areas. For example, one innovation team member may be organized and a talented writer, but not be as strong when it comes to making decisions and taking risks.

But, the innovation team as a whole needs to come with all of the skills. A desire to help your organization and/or to further develop product, services or project skills should also be a key motive that each team member has for examining new ideas, fully vetting the ideas and designing a written implementation strategy.

Measuring idea sustainabiltiy

Stay away from developing budgets and setting deliverable timelines until after ideas have been fully vetted and organized into workable action steps. Parts of the plan that are to be measured should also be identified.

The latter is a must. The last thing that you want is to have a new product or service be measured by the public when the product or service falls flat and doesn’t receive the sales (public support) that it needs to be sustainable.

For example, your innovation team should measure current market saturation for the idea that you are considering turning into a product or service. To you, the product or service may be new. But, conduct market search and you may find out that there are at least three dozens of similar products or services already on the market.

This alone wouldn’t mean that you should abandon the idea. Your innovation team may find ways to build unique advantages and unique benefits into the idea that they are exploring.

Innovation team needs what it needs

Give the innovation team time to examine different levels of a new idea. During the idea vetting stage, money is generally not a needed resource. It is good if innovation team members get together in person to thoroughly vet an idea.

As tempting as it may be, avoid pushing the team to green light an idea that you like. Again, this could blow up later, costing you thousands or millions of dollars, after you take your organization through the other stages of the development process and take the product or service to market.

Also, identify all resources needed to bring the new product or service to market. Vet out these resources (i.e. time involvement, money amounts, people skills). Do any of the people who will work on bringing the idea to fruition need training? What type of training do they need and how much? What is the best way to deliver the training — a classroom setting, via webinar or virtual training session?

Which types of training should be delivered online versus in a face-to-face setting. How long should each training be? Will certifications and exams be required to complete the training, which ones?

This is just one example of the vetting that’s needed before a new idea is green lighted. In fact, a huge advantage to building an innovation team and encouraging the team to thoroughly vet an idea, process and each stage of product or service implementation (in advance of investing a single cent into the idea) is clarity. Vet an idea thoroughly enough and you could save your organization millions of dollars. You could also save employees frustration, anger and long work hours.

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How to get more links

By Avery get more linksBaxter

Great content is the best way to get more links. Think data rich content like academic papers, high definition images, static free videos, powerful quotes, statistic rich infographics, slideshows and comedic write-ups.

Images Explode Links and Traffic

Written, audio, video and image (graphics and pictures) content apply. Social Media Today shares that written content with images grabs 94% more attention than content missing images, whether you are trying to get more links or simply want to share a picturesque story. HubSpot says that color goes a long way when it comes to images. In fact, color images increase a person’s interest in reading content by a whopping 80%.

Original pictures get the best traction. Getting your  hands on original pictures is as easy as capturing images using your cell phone. If you have basic photography skills, you could capture the emotion, style and texture of trees, animals, sporting events, festivals and people. If your budget permits, you can also get pictures from companies like iStock Photo and ThinkStock Photos.

Other photo libraries require acknowledgement in a byline. Some of these places are Free Digital Photos and Flickr. Wikimedia Commons is another place where you can get free photos. However, I think Wikimedia Commons is limited in the range of high quality photos.

Tell a Story to Get More Links

To use the images at Wikimedia Commons, all you generally need is to acknowledge the name of the photographer, which you can do by simply adding the photographer’s name in the image caption box of the content management system that you use to publish content. Speaking of images, to get more links, add a story to images.

A little girl and her mother weren’t out to get more links when they posted a picture of the girl wearing glasses to social media. it was the story that attracted millions of viewers, readers and supporters. At the heart of the story was bullying. Huffington Post wrote a story about the girl and how her photo got more than four million shares. Last I heard, more than six million people have gotten behind the story.

It’s these types of stories that capture people’s hearts and interest, that help you to get more links. In this case, a personal, emotional appeal went a long way, continues to go a long way.

Data rich written content  could also help you to get more links. Remember when you were in school? How many times did you add information from scientific, well researched and stat driven documents into your school papers? The more footnotes, firsthand interviews and statistics there were in the documents, the more reliable you may have believed that the documents were.

“If I add this content to my school paper, my school paper will be better,” you likely thought. Add relevant facts, stats images and firsthand interviews to your content and other people could think that adding your content to their websites, blogs and direct email will make their content better. Outcome – you get more links.

Posted in Growing Business | Tagged | 1 Comment

Your life calling

By life calling changeRhonda Campbell

The way to reach your destiny is to accept change. You can resist, but you cannot stop it. You are not going to stay where you are right now. Even if you are pursuing your life calling, change will occur.

George Bernard Shaw said that, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” At first glance, change that you experience appears to take place outside of you.

Change as part of your life calling

Perhaps you move to a new residence, possibly even relocating across the country or abroad. You may start working at a new company or let go of a relationship that is no longer serving you and the other person’s best interest. Or maybe your adult child leaves home to attend college out-of-state or moves out of your house into his own place.

It does seem that these changes are not orchestrated by inner shifts that you are experiencing. Yet, when you consider that not everyone starts a new job, moves across country or even has an adult child move into his own place, it’s obvious that routine and coincidence are not the cause of the changes.

Inner change is what helps you to fulfill your life calling. The sooner that you accept that inner change is a key part of your life calling, the less challenging different experiences may become. Resist change and you may start to feel stuck, as if, regardless of how much you do or how hard you try, you’re not going anywhere.

Accept change and keep advancing

Some refer to this as treadmill living. You can sweat all that you want, but you don’t seem to move forward. I’ve been there. It leads to painful, frustration, the kind of frustration that can find you doubting your ability to succeed, your ability to fulfill your life calling.

You might even start to doubt your life calling.

Burying or running away from your authentic thoughts or feelings are signs that you are resisting change. Procrastination, self-medicating and disassociation are other signs that you may be resisting change.

After awhile, the painful emotions associated with the resistance may start to wear on you. The smart choice is to let go and stop fighting change. Ask for guidance if you’re feeling afraid. Your Higher Self knows the way.

Change is coming

Now, here’s the thing. Even after you achieve certain levels of success and fulfill goals, more change is coming. There’s not a place in this world where you can avoid change. Why? You’re still awaking.

During hard times, experiences that you want to avoid most, change is the thing that you want. You may demand change then. During the good times, change may be the last thing that you want. Yet, it’s still coming.

This may be why change feels unsafe. It certainly signals that we are not in control of the universe. The good news is that, when we follow our Higher Self, change leads us to our core. It’s a journey worth taking, the journey that leads to your life calling.

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Staring Down Small Business Reality

By Rhonda Campbell

realities of running a small businessSmall business reality may not always be a pretty picture. Talk with a small business owner, especially if they’ve only been operating their small business for a few weeks or months, and you might think running a company is the easiest way to get rich. You also might think by owning a business you can work fewer hours, perhaps put less effort into your work than you’ve done while working any other job.

If you don’t do your research into small business reality, you could start a small business with your eyes wide shut. Should this happen, when you experience your first small business sales slump you might spend needless dollars to rev up customer sales or you might contemplate throwing in the towel.

The facts are that most, if not all, businesses experience sales slumps. It’s a reason entrepreneurs learn about and manage their cash flows. It’s also a reason smart entrepreneurs who own a small business refuse to practice self-delusion, a leading cause for getting harpooned by small business reality.

Instead of burying their heads in the sand and telling themselves sales will magically pick up, smart entrepreneurs face small business reality head on and take steps to turn the tide. For example, they might survey customers to discover what they like most and least about their business or they might survey employees to see if their company has developed silos or is experiencing employee engagement or management issues.

To discover why sales have slumped entrepreneurs might also implement market and industry research to learn about growth trends and new products and services they can develop, patent and put on the market to stimulate sales. What they won’t do is act as if what’s taking place right in front of their eyes isn’t happening.

What they won’t do is let their business die a slow death because they deceived themselves into believing magic was going to sprinkle stardust on their business, magically sending people rushing to purchase their small business products without their having to make any inner and/or outer changes.

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Finding Teens Summer Jobs

By Rhonda Campbell

finding teens summer jobs that they will loveFinding teens summer jobs may best be left in the hands of teens themselves. After all,, teens are responsible. Proof is in the numbers. A whopping 97% of young adults between their teens and early twenties has worked a job, according to Child Trends. Due to child labor laws, many of these employment opportunities come in the form of summer jobs.

Fortunately, finding teens summer jobs has improved over the last several years. The challenge comes when teens apply to the same few summer jobs. Restaurants accounted for 32.5% of teens summer jobs, while retailers accounted for another 22.5% of the jobs, according to Pew Research.

Finding Teens Summer Jobs that Reward Beyond a Paycheck

Finding teens summer jobs takes innovation, especially if teens want to work jobs that stretch their abilities, give them a real feel for the adult working work, align with their passions and put them in contact with employers they may want to work for after they graduate from high school or college. Teens should consider the type of career they want to work. By working summer jobs that allow them to use their passions and talents, they could reap rewards that extend beyond a paycheck.

In addition to local restaurants, hotels, youth centers, beaches and retail stores, other places to find rewarding summer jobs for teens include museums, law offices and grocery stores. Teens who are in college can land summer jobs with major corporations, including Fortune 100 firms, by applying for internships. Many corporations start recruiting for these spots as early as December and January.

Great Contacts for Finding Teens Summer Jobs

Parents can search their firm’s human resources internship criteria. If their child fits the criteria, they can reach out to a college recruiter and find out what they need to do to submit their teen’s application for an internship. College career counselors are another great resource that students can contact to find out about internships that their school is participating in during summer months.

More places to search while in the process of finding teens summer jobs are:

• Golf courses or country clubs
• Summer camps (may be a good fit for teens who are interested in entering training, leadership or coaching careers)
• Landscaping companies
• City government agencies (Local TV stations may have details on some of these jobs)
• Libraries
• Amusement parks
• Airports
• Zoos
• Charities
• Designers
• Magazines and newspapers (could be great to teens who want to enter writing, journalism and editing careers)
• Radio stations (any future DJs or talk radio hosts out there?)
• Florist shops
• Photography studies
• Flea markets
• Event planning companies
• Book publishers
• Tutoring companies
• Dance studios
• Content marketing companies
• Web designers
• Animal training organizations
• Horse stables
• Churches and other worship centers
• Construction companies
• National parks
• Movie theaters
• Insurance companies
• Recording studios
• Pet farms
• Staffing agencies
• Fishing organizations
• Local tourist organizations

Places that list summer jobs for teens include:

• Hire Teen (www.hireteen.com)
• Camp Resource (www.campresource.com)
• Summer Jobs (www.summerjobs.com)
• Snag a Job (www.snagajob.com)
• Groove Job (www.groovejob.com)
• Teens for Hire (http://www.teens4hire.org)
• Summer Camp Jobs (http://mysummers.com)
• Job Monkey (http://www.jobmonkey.com)
• Local online newspapers job listings sections
• Employment agencies

Finding teens summer jobs is only the start. At the end of summer jobs, teens can ask their employers for their contact information and if they would be agreeable to serving as a reference when teens apply for other summer jobs or full-time jobs in the future. By volunteering for projects, they could also increase the chances that they will stand out in employers’ memories, a great plus should teens want to return and work for certain employers after they finish school.

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