How To Get Promoted Part 2

How To Get Promoted Part 2

Career Development – Get that Promotion; Part 2

How To Get Promoted – are you doing well in your present role but feel ready Get Promotedfor the next step up? Even in this tough economic climate some people are still managing to get promotion. But how do you make yourself part of that élite group? This is the second in a two post series.  Here is a link to Part 1 – link

How To Get Promoted – Last week I suggested that you should;

  • Create a portfolio of work you have done, showing your value to the organization,
  • Volunteer for more responsibility,
  • Create your own opportunity,
  • Let your ambition show but with discretion,
  • Ask for a private meeting to discuss properly how you are doing.
  • Now here are a further six tips to help you on your way.

Take a deep breath and blow your own trumpet

It is OK to do so if you know the notes to play. You can afford to brag a little, but with care. It doesn’t hurt to remind your boss of your accomplishments. Bosses are human and they do forget things; it helps if you can prompt and do it with facts and figures. Saying you are the Greatest may raise some laughs but that kind of bragging won’t make the kind of impression you want. If you have reduced costs or made some other improvement – quote the numbers. Make sure you concentrate on what is good about your performance, putting down someone else’s performance to make you look good isn’t impressive.

Blackmail doesn’t usually work

Avoid threats and demands. Making your boss squirm is not going to make them want to go out of their way to help you. Threatening to leave will not make your boss think better of you. Using it as blackmail can rebound and lead to doubts about your loyalty. Stay calm and if you feel frustrated, try not to show it.

Have friends in high places

Mentors further up the line are always valuable. If you can get someone on your side before you ask for promotion, it offers great benefits. You will be better informed about what life is like higher up. And it will show your boss you are serious about getting on. It gives you informal influence (outside the organization chart) and it will give you a friendly ear if things get a little tough.

Shine in your present post

Your present role gives you the opportunity to show what you can do. Push it as far as you can – go the extra mile. Work out what excellence really means in the job you do and make that the standard! Beat the deadlines and make a reputation for solving problems. That way you become someone who everyone wants on their team and they can see what an asset you will be at a more senior level. But don’t be personally indispensable. Build a structure that means the your team can function well without you, but make sure people know that it is your team. That way your boss won’t be so scared of losing you that they block your promotion.

Model more senior behaviour

Note how senior people in your organization behave. How do they talk, behave and think? Pick someone you admire and respect. Now use them as a role model. Start to behave in the way that you would like to be perceived.

Keep learning

Take every opportunity to learn more about your field, your profession and the organization in which you work. It will better equip you for a more senior role and it will also impress your boss. It will show that you are serious. About promotion. You will find lots of self-study material on-line which makes it a little easier to combine study with full-time work. No, it isn’t easy to study when you are working but if it is a real investment in you.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

How To Get Promoted

How To Get Promoted

Career Development – Get that Promotion; Part 1

How To Get Promoted – are you doing well in your present role but feel ready How To Get Promotedfor the next step up? Even in this tough economic climate some people are still managing to get promotion. But how do you make yourself part of that élite group? This is the first in a two post series – here is the link to the second post – link.

Create Your Portfolio

Lots of people simply work away at the job – just getting on with it. They deliver lots of good things but they keep a very low profile and no one notices. Make sure you can prove the results you have achieved and make sure the right people know about them. Put together a portfolio of the work you have done, showing your value to the organization.

Put in the numbers. Show how, and by how much, you have helped the organization. Prepare a presentation based on your portfolio and ask your boss for the opportunity to show it to them. This is particularly useful when you want your boss to sponsor you for a promotion – you need to give your boss the facts they need to support your case. If you want them to fight for you, you need to give them the ammunition.

Volunteer for more responsibility

Tell your boss you are ready, willing and able to take on more responsibility. Show how you would set about dealing with a more diverse workload. Make clear that it isn’t the status you will relish, but the work itself. Give your boss the opportunity to give you new and different tasks. Then, when you have built your tasks up to well exceed your job specification, prove it and show your boss what you are achieving. Now, ask for recognition in terms of your boss supporting your bid for promotion.

Create your own opportunity

Can you see an opportunity in your organization;  a potential role that no one else has thought about.  Can you show how it could help the organization and pay for itself. Is it a role that you can fill? Put the case together and have the confidence to ask to present it. Even if they don’t follow-up your ideas, you will win points for ingenuity and creativity, plus you will have demonstrated loyalty to the organization.

Let your ambition show, but with discretion

Don’t be afraid to let them know you are ambitious but do it with care. Here is an example. Do your team meet up with the boss outside the workplace? This can give you an opportunity to let your boss know about your ambitions. But you need to do it with sensitivity. People are more receptive over a drink or a meal, particularly if they are very task focussed in the office. Use this time with discretion. If you press too hard, you could make your boss and yourself feel uncomfortable. And don’t make your boss themselves feel threatened. Make it light and back off if you sense what you are saying isn’t going down well.

Ask for a private meeting

If you and your boss are really busy then trying to talk about promotion while you are working isn’t going to have the effect you want. And you need time to set out your case. Ask to set a block of time to one side to talk but don’t say specifically that you want to talk about promotion. Don’t make it too mysterious though – it is reasonable to ask for some time to talk properly about how you are doing. If you can, do your best to make sure all goes well at work in the hours before your meeting.

You can find Part 2 of Get That Promotion at this link

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Taking A Career Break: Quotes and Resources

Taking a Career Break

Taking A Career Break: Quotes and Resources

Taking a career break! Lots of us think and may be dream about the idea of taking some time out from the daily grind. Here are some quotes on the experience. Plus I’ve included below details of two books to  help you on your way. And now the quotes…

  1.  It is energizing and liberating to turn down a road you have not traveled before. To reach toward what you cannot yet touch brings new passion and strength to your life. Ralph Marston
  2. Disconnect with your work self on a sabbatical, and you’ll reconnect with who you really are.  Corbett Barr
  3. It’s a time to immerse yourself in a different environment, try new things, reassess your priorities, and look at your life from a different perspectiveMarelisa Fabrega
  4. Give yourself the priceless gifts of new experiences, new skills, new knowledge and the confidence of knowing how quickly you can grow. Expand your horizons, again and again, and discover that every limit is there to be transcended.  Ralph Marston
  5. Getting away from it all might be the only way you can really reset or change course. If you continue around the day-to-day, making significant changes is tough. Taking a few months off will give you the space you need to figure things out. Corbett Barr
  6. Taking a sabbatical is the first step towards discovering whether or not I can take the leap of faith and do something fully on my own.  Do anything for a while, and it becomes increasingly harder to cut the cord. Sam Dogen
  7. Of Fortune’s best 100 companies to work for in America, 21 of them have paid-for, formal sabbatical programs. It’s a competitive advantage with regard to recruiting talent. Jaye Smith
  8. Almost everybody got back to some form of better eating and exercise, and they keep that up. And they say, “I didn’t realize what stress I was under. Now I can go back for my next five years with some balance” Rita Foley
  9. My sabbatical didn’t really recharge my batteries as I hoped it would.  Instead, the sabbatical helped realize my preference for freedom over a steady paycheck at this point in my life.  I’ve experienced what life could be like if I worked for myself and I must say that I’m extremely excited about the prospects. Sam Dogen
  10. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed in the things that you didn’t do than in the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Mark Twain

Books on Taking A Career Break

Escape 101: The Four Secrets to Taking a Sabbatical or Career Break Without Losing Your Money or Your Mind by Dan Clements and Tara Gignac  

“What’s your dream escape? Relaxing on a palm-studded beach? A year off to write your novel? Missionary work with the needy? Exploring ancient ruins or saving the rainforest?

Whether you’re an adventurer, a poet, a volunteer or you just need a break, Escape 101 provides you with a step-by-step system to take as much time as you need from your job, career or business, without losing ground.”

A Gap Year for Grown Ups by Susan Griffith

“A guide for grown ups wanting to take the trip of a lifetime, containing information on specialist schemes and opportunities for professionals and mature travellers. Covers everything from what to pack to paying the mortgage when away, as well as advice from adult gappers who have been there and done it.”

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Checklist for Career Change

Checklist for Career Change

Changing Careers – Part 1 Where To Start! A Checklist for Career Change

Is it time for you to make career change?

Checklist for Career Change – changing careers isn’t easy. But nor is it as hard as you might imagine. I’ve done it four times in my life successfully. I’ve enjoyed the different careers at the time and I really was successful in each one. For me, there came a time to move on. Changing in this way has allowed me to come to terms with a changing economic environment and each new direction has built upon the experience and knowledge gained in the last one.

Checklist for Career Change is Part 1 of a three part series; In Part 2 (Link below) we consider how you can start building up a picture of your ideal job and find out which careers match it most closely. In Part 3 (Link below) we have a check list to help you decide whether you really should make the change

If you think a career change could benefit you, answering the following questions might help you to be clearer about your decision.

Are you actually enjoying your job, day by day?

If you’ve recently stopped enjoying the day-to-day activities in your job, consider why this may be. You may just be bored and need a new challenge in your present organization. You might think about moving to a different department. Or perhaps a change of employer might be the answer.

If you actively dislike parts of your day-to-day job, ask yourself whether what you do is typical for someone in your type of work. Do you dislike the job because you don’t get the chance to use all of your talents? If you’re dissatisfied with the job itself, changing department or employer may not improve things. You may want to consider a more radical change.

Do you feel motivated by the people you work with?

How do you get on with colleagues, managers, clients and others in your workplace? Are any problems due to personality clashes with particular people or is it the culture of your workplace or the nature of the job itself? Do you like the people you work with but are frustrated by the actual work? If so, you may want to look at changing your role within the organisation or looking for a different role with a similar employer.

Are you satisfied with your work-life balance?

If you’re looking for a better fit with your family life, a change of job isn’t always necessary.

Technology is making it possible for more people to spend time working from home. You may have the right to ask your employer to make arrangements for flexible working. Your employer can refuse if there’s a good business reason to do so. But employers are becoming much more willing to consider flexible working?

Is the time right for you to take the risk?

If you have, for example, family responsibilities and others economically dependent on you, then changing now may mean putting others at risk. Also, are you prepared to risk what you have invested in your present role and possible loss of status, perhaps only temporary, in moving into a new field? You need to be very honest with yourself and with other people who may be effected by the change you want to make. In changing careers, timing is all; when you are dealing with lots of other changes in your life, this change may not be right for you at this time.

Changing Careers – Part 2 Finding the right career to suit you

Changing Careers – Part 3 Deciding Whether To Make The Change – A Checklist

Help with career planning

If you need support form a coach in making a decision about a career change, please get in touch. I wish you every success in making your decision and, if it is right for you, making your career change.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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New Career Directions – A New Interview With Mariam Kobras – Award Winning Author Of The Stone Trilogy

New Career Directions – A New Interview With Mariam Kobras – Award Winning Author Of The Stone Trilogy

Today on WiseWolf Talking we have the great pleasure of presenting another interview with award-winning novelist, Mariam Kobras.  Mariam is the author of the Stone Trilogy and the first book in the series, “The Distant Shore”, won the 2012 IPPY Bronze Medal for Romance. Guess what? She won a silver IPPY medal with her second novel, “Under the Same Sun”  in 2013.  The third book, “Song of the Storm”, has just been published! You can find our earlier interview at this link.

Hi Mariam

Since our last interview with you in October 2012 things seem to have moved on a lot for you – can you give us a quick up-date please.

Oh gosh, let me think for a moment.

In October 2012 my second book, Under the Same Sun was released and I began writing The Rosewood Guitar, which I finished this March. It will be published in spring 2014. It’s the story of young Jon (before Naomi) and his way to fame.

In April this year, Under the Same Sun won the Silver Ippy Medal, and I began working on Waiting for a Song, the companion book to The Rosewood Guitar. It’s Naomi’s journal of the months before she meets Jon for the first time.

Now we’re releasing Song of the Storm, the  conclusion of  the Stone Trilogy.

I know – a lot of book titles, and maybe a bit confusing. But we’re moving very fast, my publisher and I. With a bit of luck there will be six Stone Series books published  by the end of 2014. Which means, six books in three years.

I clearly don’t do a lot  except write books.

You are now publishing the third book in your Stone Trilogy – would you like to tell us a little about it please?

Song of the Storm was, at least so far, the most difficult book for me to write.

The main part of the story revolves around Jon and Naomi finally finding calm waters. They have just finished a world tour with Jon’s band and are settling into the house in Brooklyn that Naomi gave Jon as a wedding present. They are busy staging a Broadway musical they wrote together, are expecting a baby, and Naomi has begun writing a novel. So there’s a lot going on, but all of it is really good, and feels like they are seeing their dreams for their life together coming true.

But looks can be deceiving, and life has another twist in the road for the Stone’s, but this one they will share with thousands of other New Yorkers.

When I was in New York City two years ago, visiting friends, we drove all over Manhattan. You can see the new Freedom Tower from nearly everywhere. It’s huge, and at that time, it was like a tall, black finger reaching for the clouds.

One day, driving down to Battery Park, I asked my friends where they’d been when the World Trade Center was attacked. Their answers were shocking, painful, startling. These were people I love, and they’d been there. I could see the memories and the pain on their faces as they talked to me.

I have my own memories of that day. Everyone has a memory of that day. It’s one of those days   you will never forget. Ask anyone and they’ll be able to tell you where they were that day,  who they were with, and what they were doing.

When I first told my publisher that I wanted to include  9/11 in the conclusion of the trilogy, she wasn’t  crazy about the idea but we talked for a while, and then she said, “Do it. I trust you.”

So I made the Stones and their friends and families live through that day: some watch from far away, some are there, and others see it happen from Brooklyn.

My friends’ stories are the stories my characters tell. Some of them  almost verbatim.

Many congratulations on your second Independent Publisher’s Book Award. What difference do you think winning such an award makes to your career as a writer?

Thank you! I love those heavy medals, they have spots of honor over my desk.

The IPPY Award is an important award, a big thing if you’re published by a relatively small house. For the publisher, it means prestige and the confirmation that they’ve signed the right author, I think.

For me as an author, on a very personal level, it means security. Winning those two awards for my first two books means I’m on the right path. I can go on writing the way I do. It’s a kind of validation I guess you’d say.

And it made my publisher very happy!

How is life different now to how it was, say, two years ago before you published your first book?

The one thing that’s very important to me is that my own attitude toward my writing has changed. Back then I was working on my first novel, The Distant Shore, and I felt like a thief: I was stealing time from my family, my household, from what I felt I should be doing. I kept apologizing to my family for not having lunch ready on time, or not having ironed their shirts. My husband was actually very relaxed and cool about it. He never doubted for one moment that I’d find a publisher.

Now that I do have a publisher (Buddhapuss Ink) and see my books wining awards,it’s a lot easier to take that time to write. I’ve made it my job. It’s what I do: I’m an author. Life here at home has subtly changed: chores are more evenly distributed, and I don’t feel guilty anymore if lunch is late now and then.

That’s the most important change for me: I’ve accepted that I’m a professional at what I do.

Outside of writing what do you really enjoy doing? Do you have any non-writing ambitions?

Goodness, no. I’ve written three books in two years. Actually, three and a half, besides doing everything else that comes with this job, like guest blogging, promoting, marketing, blog hopping, tweeting and so on. There’s not a lot of room for anything else.

I like to knit, and I love watching some TV shows, like Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Bones. I’m also an avid Trekkie, and we own the Battlestar Galactica complete seasons box.

And I love traveling! The past two years I’ve been to the US twice, to visit my publisher and Facebook and twitter friends. It’s a great experience, traveling on my own. I never knew I was capable of doing that.

Your writing is loved by many different kinds of people all over the world but who do think your typical reader might be?

My typical reader is female, between twenty-five and ninety (or older), and generally well read. There are some men who really enjoy my books. A male friend from NYC said the other day that he’d “rather read Kobras than Tolkien” which is a staggering compliment.

I know I’ve disappointed some readers who bought my books and expected more steaminess, since they are labeled as “Contemporary Romance”.

Do you remember the movie “Sleepless in Seattle”? It was called one of the most romantic movies of all times, and there wasn’t even a kiss in it, let alone naked skin.

So yes, it’s possible to write romance and leave the bedroom to the reader’s imagination.

Do you keep your readers in mind when you write and what difference does that make to your writing?

I do keep my readers in mind, but I write where the stories take me.

There’s an old writers’ rule: write to please yourself. If you start writing to please readers you’re lost. I believe that to be true. To write your best you need to write with passion, make your own blood sing. If you can do that, readers will feel it.

I know I write best when I’m very happy, when my world is at peace.

When I’ve just had a lovely chat with my publisher, or listened to an inspiring piece of music. Twice now I have started writing novels on the couch in living rooms of friends, once in Washington DC and once in Jersey City.

You hear lots of writers talk about writer’s block. What keeps your creative juices flowing – what is your secret?

Writer’s block. There’s no such thing as writer’s block.

Let me rephrase that: I believe when you get stuck, your instinct is trying to tell you something. Either the story is going in a wrong direction, you picked the wrong format – whatever. Writer’s block is when you get bored with your own writing, and that’s a sure sign that others will find it boring, too. Go back two steps. Have the guts to delete a paragraph, a chapter, or all that you’ve written, and start again.

It’s only words. There are more where those came from.

When I get to that spot, I step away from the writing. Let it stew for a couple of days. I don’t even actively think about it. Sometimes I talk to my editor about it, and she often comes up with questions or ideas that will solve the problem for me.

The most important thing is to trust your instincts. Your subconscious knows better than your brain.

I suspect many of your female readers may feel just a little in love with your hero, Jon Stone, can you tell us a little about how you came to create him?

No, I won’t. That is one secret I’ll keep forever and ever. Not even my publisher and editor know about that.

That is disappointing but I understand!  Now that your trilogy is complete, what are your future plans as a writer and how would you like things to develop?

As I mentioned before I’ve finished a new Stone Series book, called The Rosewood Guitar, Jon’s Story. Right now I’m working on Naomi’s story—Waiting for a Song.

After that, I’ll return to the older Stones and continue their story. After living through 9/11 they retreat to Canada, where Naomi’s family lives.

Each of them has their own demon to battle:

where does the music and inspiration go when the soul is shattered?

I plan to write seven books about the Stones. What will happen after that I don’t know. One thing is certain though: I’m definitely not done with the Stones just yet, and I’m not thinking of switching publishers. I’m very happy where I am.

I want to thank you, Wendy, for hosting me today. I’ve enjoyed doing this interview with you. Thanks too to my readers, I hope we can share many more happy hours together in the future.

Thank you Mariam – you are a great subject for an interview and I love your books

This was the fourth stop on Mariam’s Blog Hop. For a chance to win a copy of her book, or other great prizes, please check the Buddhapus Ink blog

Tomorrow Mariam’s book, Song of the Storm, will be reviewed by Daria di Giovanni. We hope we see you there!

How You Can Make Studying Suit You With Distance Learning

 How You Can Make Studying Suit You With Distance Learning

The current financial upheaval has caused no end of headaches for millions of people across the country. Unemployment and underemployment have remained stubbornly high, with the number of vacancies far lower than the number of people out of work or looking for a full-time role. With the situation in the Eurozone still causing many concerns and consumer demand sluggish at home, it seems as if there’s little prospect of a rapid turnaround in economic conditions. However hopeless things might appear, though, there is an alternative. A change of career could be just the answer you’ve been looking for, helping you get out of your own personal cul-de-sac. The question, of course, is how to go about taking up a new profession.

The ability to learn new skills is a valuable trait and can help you keep pushing on to new heights in your working life. Not only does it show employers that you’re willing to push yourself if you feel you need to, but it can also be rewarding for you – both financially and otherwise. However, the recent increase in student fees are likely to act as a major deterrent to those thinking of taking up a campus-based course. What’s more, full-time university or college courses simply aren’t an option for a lot of people. Many of us have existing work and family commitments to consider. Simply quitting your job to go into full-time education comes with a lot of risks attached, and if you have children to look after, you may find that this kind of arrangement simply isn’t flexible enough.

There is, fortunately, another way. Distance learning courses provide you with the opportunity to boost your knowledge and learn new skills, without disrupting the rest of your routine. You can learn in your own time, so you needn’t worry about your studying commitments conflicting with your job. Home learning has proven very popular over the last few years, and it isn’t hard to see why. The convenience and affordability offered by these courses makes them a great choice for anyone considering a change of career, but wary of taking the risks and incurring the costs associated with full-time, campus-based education.

By choosing to take a distance learning course, you can choose how and when you want to study. You can learn over the weekend instead of having to cram it in after work through the week, or whenever else happens to suit you. The key to home learning is that it puts you in control. There are no tutors breathing down your neck, and you don’t have to worry about having to stick to a rigid timetable of seminars and lectures.

Furthermore, distance learning can be particularly useful for those students who are perhaps a little socially anxious and feel they don’t work as well in face-to-face tutorials. There’s less social pressure involved – on campus-based courses, it’s easy to feel somewhat intimidated by other students who you perceive to be more comfortable than you when it comes to learning a particular subject. Distance learning courses also provide you with all the assistance you’ll need to get the right results.

If you’re thinking of distance learning, then consider NCC Home Learning where you’ll find an extensive list of courses suitable for your needs.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Book a free trial/consultation to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

Career development – Moving Home Part 1 – Lofty Goals: Key Considerations Before Moving To A Big-City Apartment

Moving home, what to consider

Moving Home Part 1 – Lofty Goals: Key Considerations Before Moving To A Big-City Apartment

Moving home – today we have the first article in a two part series from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac, on finding a new place to live when you have to move for career development. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.  Come back next week for Article 2. You can find links to some of her earlier posts at the end of this article.

Article 1 of 2 part series

Lofty goals: Key considerations before moving to a big-city apartment

It’s dusk and a purplish sky is the backdrop behind buildings dotted with a few remaining office-lights, workers still at their computers. You like this city. Maybe you’re just visiting before moving here for your new job, but you’ve already come to think of it as a buzzing hub, a place to start your future. You know all about the growth the city has seen over the last ten years – the improvements made, the business attracted here, the rankings of “best cities to live in” – and you’re excited to call it your home.

But cities are big places. It’s easy to look at the skyline at dusk and believe you know everything about your city –where to eat, where to go on dates, that great hidden shoe-repair place – and you might think you could live in any neighborhood and be happy, safe. But you should be wise about where you decide to live.

Crime

Every city, no matter how big or small or well respected, will have problems. And you won’t be able to avoid some of these problems – like bad traffic if you live away from your workplace – but you can choose where to live, for the most part. Before settling on an apartment, investigate the crime rate. You can even compare crime rates for two different cities.

If you’re already determined to move to a particular city, you’ll still need to know which neighborhoods are best for you. You can ask your employer for suggestions, if you’re moving to a new city for work.

Transportation

These days, you can find extensive information about public transportation. If you’re moving to a large city and plan to get around primarily by bus, taxi or train, check out the schedules and stops in advance. Determine whether you can safely travel from one place to another, and that you won’t end up stranded somewhere, simply because the buses stop running at midnight.

Renters insurance

Regardless of where you live, accidents and disasters can happen. Even if you’re moving to a city with a low crime rate, you can’t predict the risk of fire or a strong storm destroying your apartment. Make sure you protect your belongings with renters insurance, because your landlord’s policy probably covers only the building in which you live.

When you purchase that new laptop or violin or gaming console, create three prices in your mind:

(1) The price the store assigns to the product

(2) How much you have in your budget for renter’s insurance

(3) How much the product would cost to replace if and when it were damaged or stolen

There are many factors to consider when moving to your first big-city apartment. By taking the time to do a little research in advance, you can ensure that this next chapter in your life is safe, stress-free and rewarding.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Career development – Moving Home Part 2 – Prepping for the big move!

Career Development – More IT jobs are in the cloud – Getting ready for the job you want in 2013

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

New Career Directions – An Interview With Mariam Kobras – Award Winning Author Of The Stone Trilogy

New Career Directions – An Interview With Mariam Kobras – Award Winning Author Of The Stone Trilogy

Today on WiseWolf Talking we have the great pleasure of presenting an interview with award-winning novelist, Mariam Kobras.  Mariam is the author of the Stone Trilogy and the first book in the series, “The Distant Shore”, won the 2012 IPPY Bronze Medal for Romance and rose to No 10 on the Amazon Bestseller List.  The second book, “Under Same Sun” has just been published! 

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Mariam lived in Brazil and Saudi Arabia with her parents as a child before they decided to settle in Germany. She attended school there and studied American Literature and Psychology at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, where she met her husband. She lives in Hamburg, Germany, with her husband, two sons and  two cats.

Mariam is the author of Under the Same Sun and the IPPY Bronze Medal winning novel The Distant Shore, which was also released by Buddhapuss Ink.

I believe Mariam’s story will inspire all who dream of writing a book and having it published successfully.

Hi Mariam.

Q1 Can you tell us a little about your life before you became a published author please?

Before the elusive book deal came through, I was working at a middle grade school in our neighborhood. I taught theater and musicals there, and supervised the detention room. It was a great job, and I loved every minute, but when school politics changed I decided to quit.

Before that, I managed an American Football team in Hamburg. That was really great, too. Learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and I got to organize the National Championship game day.

Before that, I was a housewife and mom. Oh, and head of PTA, and a member of our city council, and a lay judge at juvenile court.

And before that, I was at university and majored in American Literature. So, as you can see, my career path has taken some wild twists and turns before I decided to become a novelist.

Q2 How did you come to write the Distant Shore?

That’s easy. The idea of writing a book had been simmering for a long time. But the one thing that bugged me was the setting. I never wanted to write a book set in Germany (don’t ask; I have no idea why not. Just a gut feeling) so I had to do some traveling to see other places before I could find the right spot.

Then again, I didn’t really have an idea for an entire novel. There was this one scene that kept running around in my head, the one where Jon and Naomi meet again after their long separation. That was the one scene I wanted to write very badly. But I had to get them to that place and time, somehow. So the story of their son Joshua developed, and how he writes this letter to his father, and how Jon discovers he has a son he never knew about. The rest fell into place. Really.

Q3 Lots of people start writing, what kept you going until you had finished the novel?

Truth?

The waiting publisher. We’d been connected on Twitter for a while, chatting about puppies and coffee and cupcakes. Then one day someone posted a blog with tips on how to promote your novel on your blog. One of those tips was, “Post page 99 of your novel on your blog!”

So I took a look at my page 99 and thought, “I can do that!” and posted it. Then I tweeted the link to the blog, like I always do. Minutes later, said publisher had commented, “Well done! If you keep this up I may have to sign you!”

Now that alone is enough to make any writer’s heart beat in a fast staccato. Mine did! But they went even further and sent me a direct message on Twitter asking when they could have the entire book. I had to tell them that it needed some more work, and they replied they’d wait. Patiently.

So I got down to work. The Distant Shore needed to be finished, and it needed to be whittled down from its original 400K words to a more manageable 135K. It took me three weeks of intense writing and editing, but I got it done and sent it off.

Q4 How did you find a publisher and what is it like to work with a publisher?

I didn’t find my publisher, they found me, even though it’s still not entirely clear why they decided to follow me, of all writers out there. I mean, at that time I was not even an “aspiring” writer. All I did was fool around on Twitter and scribble a bit. But that’s really how it happened: I woke up one day to find the black cat following me: Buddhapuss Ink. I remember I kept looking at that avatar and thinking that if I ever decided to submit and wanted a publisher, I wanted it to be them. Again, no idea why. It was just a very strong gut feeling. As it turns out, my gut was right.

What’s it like to work with a publisher? It’s a lot of work. Writing a book is only the beginning. After that comes the editing process, the promoting, the launch. There’s a lot more involved than I ever knew. It’s fun! I haven’t had one bad moment working with my publisher, not a single one. I don’t have an agent, so I deal with my publisher directly, and I think that’s a blessing.

The thing that strikes me most though, that in fact was utterly bewildering at first, is that someone “up there” takes my writing seriously. That they talk to me about scenes or characters as if they really matter. And I stand there, totally embarrassed, and I’m like, “Uh, guys…I have no idea. It just, you know, felt right to write it like that?” And they nod gravely, say something like, “Gorgeous!” and pat my shoulder. And offer coffee.

Q5 What do you think helped to make the Distant Shore so successful?

I want to say, “Because it’s a brilliant book!” But of course that’s not the truth.

The thing people who read The Distant Shore say most often is that it’s lyrical, poetic, and that the descriptions are so vivid, they feel like they’re in the scene with the characters. They tell me they love my characters because they seem like “real people”, and that it’s easy to worry about them. So I’m guessing that if you can make your readers feel empathy you’ve written a good book. I hope!

With the immense number of books released every year, I believe it’s vital that, as an author, you have an internet presence, a platform, even before your first book gets published. In fact I’ve been told that publishers look for that, they want to see what you’ve done to promote yourself before they take you on. It shows them that you’re willing to do your part with the promoting.

Of course, a good network on, let’s say, Twitter and Facebook, will help you sell those copies of your first book. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth!

My publisher is very clever at marketing. And winning the award helped, too. That shiny sticker does draw buyers.

Q6 Tell us about your new book, “Under the Same Sun” please.

Under the Same Sun  is Book Two in the Stone Trilogy, the sequel to The Distant Shore.

We’ll find out if Naomi returns to Jon and how she deals with the aftermath of the shooting and her injuries. We’ll go on tour across Europe to see Jon perform, and we travel to Positano in Italy to visit Naomi’s maternal family, and see her clash with her father again. Naomi is pining for a new baby, but things aren’t going the way she wants them to. Her marriage is threatening to crumble…

It’s a book about a woman finding her own way, finding out what she wants in life, which is not always easy if there’s a lot of family pressure around you. Naomi dealt with that by hiding herself away in rural Norway for many years, but now, with Jon’s support, she realizes she does not have to give in to her father’s demands.

That’s it, I’m not going to spill any more beans! You’ll have to read it and find out yourself.

Q7 What plans do you have for Book 3 of the Stone Trilogy?

Book 3 is actually written. I submitted it to the publisher in June, and the release is scheduled for 2013. This one is close to my heart. I’ve always wanted to express my feelings about 9/11, especially after a very painful discussion with someone on Twitter a year ago. At that time, they told me that I as a European don’t have any right to have feelings about 9/11. I disagree. I think everyone has a right to feelings about that day.

Book 3 is not about 9/11, but that day is part of the story. We see it happening through the eyes of three women, none of them American, who are standing on the terrace of a Brooklyn house—removed from the site, distanced, for all it matters, as we over here in Europe were. Their feelings and reactions are what mattered to me. In addition to that, I’ve woven in the narrations of my friends who really were in lower Manhattan that day and experienced everything first hand. Of course my fictional characters tell their stories in the book. But everything that happens to them, happened to someone real.

The important thing for me was to show that day, September 11th, as a day that changed many things for so many people. It’s not the main part of the story. That is Sal’s love affair first with Maya, and then later his falling in love with Gemma. And of course, Jon and Naomi will be there, too.

The title of the book is Song of the Storm

Many things end in this book, and many things find a new beginning.

Q8 Can you tell us a little about the highs and lows of real life as a writer?

There are no lows.

I say this as I sit here, working on blog post #14 or #15 for the blog hop to celebrate the launch of Under the Same Sun. So if there’s a low it’s having to do things other than actually write books.

Just a moment ago I had this fascinating conversation on Twitter, with a German author friend, Friederike Schmöe. We were talking about success and when it is that you start feeling you’re actually an author. I said, probably not until I have at least twenty books published. Two books, what I have now, don’t feel like a big achievement. And Friederike replied that in her experience satisfaction comes for a writer while we are writing, not from seeing a published book on a bookstore shelf.

And she’s right. The real satisfaction comes with the creative process, with the writing.  Once the book is published it becomes totally uninteresting for the writer. The empty page is calling! Let’s write another one!

Q9 For those of us who would like to follow in your footsteps, do you have some tips for other aspiring writers?

My publisher likes to say, “Butt in chair, write!” It’s the only advice they give to aspiring writers (by the way, I hate that phrase. If you write—you’re a writer. If you don’t—you aren’t. Getting to be an author, that’s a  totally different story.)

So what my publisher says is  really the only valid advice. You want to be a writer? Write. Of course I’m assuming you’ve done your reading, right? You’ve read extensively, many different authors, many different genres. You know what you want to write. You do? Then do it! Don’t talk about it, don’t blog about it, don’t tweet about it, write. Oh: and finish the book. Don’t start a new project before the other one is finished, or you’ll never get anywhere. Forget about writers’ conferences, workshops, chatrooms. No one can write your book for you, and there as many ways to write a novel as there are writers.

Do you really think Hemingway or Jane Austen ever attended a writers’ conference? They didn’t have them back then!

Q10 Just one final question, Mariam, can you tell us what is the nicest thing that has happened to you as a writer during the last 12 months?

Totally, utterly, the visit with my publisher.

Hmm…Maybe I should have said, winning the IPPY Award?

But that wouldn’t be true. It was the visit with the publisher. Going there makes me feel “real” as an author. Living in Germany and publishing in the US makes me feel very isolated at times, but when I go to New York and step into the publisher’s place I know it’s real indeed. They spoil me: I get a great Chinese lunch and Red Velvet cake, and I can watch how my books are being worked with: editing, marketing, designing the covers—it’s all there. And the awesome part is: they are really my books! The books I wrote, sitting on my couch or at my desk, while tweeting with you and all my other friends!

Well thanks to Mariam Kobras.  We are very grateful for your time.

Thanks so much for this Mariam

You can find a link Mariam’s books below

This was the final stop in Mariam’s Blog Hop celebrating the launch of her latest book, Under the Same Sun (Book II in the Stone Trilogy) which hit the Amazon.com bestseller list on its first day on sale!

We hope you enjoyed her guest posts, and invite you to write a comment below about this blog post for a chance to WIN one of three copies of Under the Same Sun (plus some pretty gosh, darn, yummy chocolate)!

You can get additional chances by following Mariam at every stop on her hop and leaving comments after each post. And hey, while you’re here, why not follow this blog—you won’t regret it. 

Check the Buddhapuss blog for the full calendar and more details about Mariam and her books!

Find Out More About Mariam

https://www.facebook.com/MariamKobrasAuthor 

http://mariamkobras.blogspot.de/ 

http://www.buddhapussink.com/index.html

 

 

Career Development – More IT jobs are in the cloud – Getting ready for the job you want in 2013

Today we have another post from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to some of her earlier posts at the end of the article.

Career Development – More IT jobs are in the cloud – Getting ready for the job you want in 2013

More IT jobs are in the cloud! Unless you’ve lived in a box the past year or so, you’re probably aware that cloud services are becoming more and more important in the computing world. It seems nearly all the major, and not so major, companies are working at building their cloud computing departments. Because of that, those IT professionals that have learned what it takes to work with applications and services in the cloud are considered highly desirable by human resources departments today. According to Bill Snyder from Infoworld, “Times are good for those with the right skills.”

The Possibilities

There’s not exactly hard data out there—there’s a lot of blurriness between the lines of cloud computing, SaaS and other architectures—but it is clear that there’s a lot of recent growth in cloud related fields. For instance, stats by Wanted Analytics (an employment statistics firm) show that there is a huge increase in these jobs. For instance, the company noted that in April 2012, there were over 12,000 cloud-related job postings, which was a 50 percent increase over the year before and a 275 percent increase from two years before.

Because of this staggering growth, there are actually more positions open than there are people to fill them, causing a bit of a labor shortage. In Seattle, for instance, cloud-related jobs are taking an average of seven weeks to fill—a very long time when compared to the quick fill rate of most IT positions. A company like Amazon has hundreds of current openings in cloud service jobs.

Knowledge

Since cloud computing is such a new and rapidly growing field,  it’s actually a good time for novices to get involved, even if they don’t have extensive experience with cloud-based services. For instance, at Amazon, someone with basic software and IT knowledge who has the interest in understanding how cloud computing works, is a highly-desirable candidate.

Many different languages are used in the cloud computing world and that makes  it more is difficult to work in, than in regular IT positions. Those with knowledge of Linux, Python, Ruby, C++ and even some other languages are finding new possibilities. Those who know multiple languages, or are willing to learn them, are the ones who find the jobs the easiest. Recruiters encourage a broader skill set in today’s workforce.

Getting Hired

So, what does it take to get hired in these positions other than the basic IT knowledge and a desire to learn? It’s not necessarily a résumé full of certifications. Certifications are lagging behind the current skills used in the marketplace today, so they’re becoming less relevant. According to Mark E. Russinovich of Microsoft, when developing for cloud-related applications, the background and skills of the candidate are what is more important.

Only time will tell whether we’re in for another tech boom, or if this is just a brief growth in an interesting aspect of the overall IT field. Many in the industry, expect that soon qualified candidates will catch up to the needs of the companies and the current glut of IT jobs in cloud computing will not be at the same levels they are now. Because of this, anyone interested in making the move to cloud computing, may wish to get started honing their skills and building their résumé now.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

 

Serial Career Changers

Serial Career Changers

History’s Most Famous Serial Career Changers

Serial Career Changers – I thought you would enjoy this entertaining post today. It appeared first on the OnlineCollege.org site at this link  (http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/10/10/historys-most-famous-serial-career-changers/)

Serial Career Changers – the average worker today will change jobs about seven times over the course of their career, but few will go so far as to change their line of work entirely. Historically, people have been even less inclined to take the risk of a complete career revamp, often working one job their entire lives. But some of history’s boldest and most dynamic figures shared a common willingness to abandon one career after another, either in the search for their true calling or a simple inability to focus their interests on one particular area. Such famous people are proof that there’s no shame in being a perpetual career changer.

  1. LEONARDO DA VINCI:

    The original Renaissance Man, da Vinci was one of the most inquisitive, brilliant humans to ever live and he had a resume to prove it. Engineer, painter, architect, geographer, paleontologist, biologist, zoologist, and writer were all hats he wore during his 67 years of life.

  2. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN:

    Printer. Writer. Book store manager. General store owner. Journalist. Newspaper owner. Inventor. Scientist. Congressman. Ambassador. Ben Franklin never stood still and did more in a dozen different careers than most people could hope to do in one.

  3. HERMAN MELVILLE:

    Both before and after achieving literary success, Melville carved out a number of different careers, trying to make ends meet. He starting working at 18 as a surveyor, served as a hand on a number of whaling vessels, taught school, tried his hand at banking, lectured, and became a customs inspector later in life after being overlooked for a diplomatic post by Abraham Lincoln.

  4. THOMAS JEFFERSON:

    As a wealthy landowner, the line between the third president’s various interests and his career works was a thin one. Nevertheless, besides his career in politics, Jefferson was an accomplished architect (designing the University of Virginia campus), a lawyer, and a magistrate.

  5. VINCENT VAN GOGH:

    His works are so influential and so recognizable it is hard to believe van Gogh really only had about 10 years of life that he devoted to painting before he died. He spent many (often unhappy) years working as an art dealer, a teacher at a boarding school, a minister’s assistant, a bookstore employee, and a missionary before another artist convinced him to go to art school.

  6. WYATT EARP:

    The Old West’s most legendary lawman was not always a peace officer, nor even a man on the right side of the law. Throughout his life, Earp moved from one job to the next, always seeking his fortune. He worked as a farmer, a buffalo hunter, a bet-taker at boxing matches, a race-horse owner, a teamster, a miner, possibly a pimp, and a boxing ref.

  7. MARK TWAIN:

    The famous writer went through several different career shakeups and even a name change in his lifetime. He started out as a typesetter and printer before becoming a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi (where he gained the inspiration for the name Mark Twain). After that came an unsuccessful stint at gold mining, followed by a switch to journalism and ultimately to novelist, speaker, and investor.

  8. JOHN STEINBECK:

    Failure to become a published writer spurred a young Steinbeck to try his hand as a sugar factory worker, a tour guide, a fish hatchery manager, a mill laborer, and a ranch hand. He would also work as a war correspondent in WWII before breaking out as an author.

  9. L. RON HUBBARD:

    Hubbard is notorious for founding the controversial religion of Scientology, but that was just one branch of his winding career path. He started out as a pulp fiction writer, then spent time as a gold prospector in Puerto Rico, a Hollywood screenwriter, an expeditioner in Alaska, a lieutenant in the Navy, an occultist (which probably didn’t pay very well), and a yacht-sitter.

  10. ABRAHAM LINCOLN:

    The man from the log cabin had his share of defeats while trying to break into politics. Before taking up residence on Pennsylvania Avenue, Lincoln was a general store owner, the captain of a state militia, a postmaster, a county surveyor, and a self-taught lawyer with his own practice.

  11. FREDERICK DOUGLAS:

    The definition of a self-made man, Frederick Douglas worked his way up from slavery to careers as an abolitionist, an author, a bank president, an ambassador to the Dominican Republic, a U.S. Marshall, a recorder of deeds in Washington, D.C., consul-general to Haiti, and a house builder.

  12. RAY KROC:

    Kroc’s working life began at the tender age of 15, when he lied about his age in order to gain admittance to the military during World War I. Careers as a piano player, a jazz musician, a paper cup salesman, and a radio DJ that followed didn’t take. It wasn’t until he worked in a restaurant and began a relationship with the McDonald brothers while selling milkshake machines that he found his calling in fast food.

  13. GEORGE W. BUSH:

    Here’s one from the “recent history” file. The eldest son of our 41st president did not have a straight shot to his old man’s seat in the Oval Office. Dubya spent time in Big Oil before and after an unsuccessful run at Congress, then jumped back into politics to serve as a campaign advisor to his dad. After that came a stint as managing partner of the Texas Rangers, then campaign advisor again, and finally he broke through as governor of Texas. It was all politics from there on out, except for that one time he pretended to be a fighter pilot.

  14. HARLAND SANDERS:

    We defy you to name a more famous person in fried chickendom. Before starting KFC, The Colonel bounced around from a railroad worker, to lawyer, to barber, back to railroad worker, to insurance salesman, to Chamber of Commerce secretary, to tire salesman. The first iteration of his fried chicken business came at a gas station he opened at age 40.

    Serial Career Changers -this post appeared originally on the OnlineCollege.org site at this link  (http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/10/10/historys-most-famous-serial-career-changers/)

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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