What better time than now to step out of your comfort zone, refresh your skills and start rebranding yourself? That’s right, I want you to read this article then start planning your escape from the status quo and challenge yourself to make some improvements to your capabilities. If you’re in a rut and simply need a boost to refocus your energy or motivate you, create a new you and begin 2010 with a positive outlook.
3 Steps to get you moving in a winning direction
Step 1. Acquire new skills. The Maryland Higher Education Commission provides resources for FREE training via the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) training program. There are over 750 occupational training courses that are on the state list of Occupational Training Providers eligible for funding through WIA. Once you’ve located training of interest, locate a Career One-Stop Center for a referral. Not in Maryland? No worries, locate your states Higher Education Commission and follow up at a Career One-Stop Center. One-Stops operate in all 50 states offering training referrals, career counseling, job listings, and similar employment-related services.
Step 2. Put your new skills to work. You don’t have to necessarily complete the program to start contributing your new skills. Make time to volunteer in the community. There are several organizations searching for enthusiastic people willing to contribute what they’ve learned or have an interest in. My favorite site to visit is volunteermatch.org. This site allows you to locate volunteering opportunities with nonprofit organizations by location and interest area. In 2004, while working in sales and client relations I visited this website because I had an interest in Job Readiness Training. Six years later, I changed careers and I am currently a Certified Professional Resume Writer, 360JobInterviewCoach , and officially consider myself a Chief Career Information Specialist. If you’re still not convinced, tune in to an episode of blogtalkradio to hear Marleen Graham discuss the Value of Volunteering to Accelerate Your Job Search and Your Career.
Step 3. Network. Now that you’ve acquired new skills, started volunteering, don’t forget to network. I define networking as the process of developing strong relationships over time with people who can help you locate information, resources, and other people, to help you locate information, resources, and other people. Talk to your classmates, fellow volunteer members, exchange contact information and keep in touch. Social networking is great! Don’t get me wrong, I continue to engage in social networking, but what better way to make a great impression than meeting someone live and in person.
Focus on the new you, it’s guaranteed to yield first place results. A definite win-win in 2010!
Featured New Year Tip: Create a profile and browse idealist for internships, volunteer opportunities and events in your area. Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.