Ten Tips to Help African American Women Succeed in Entrepreneurship

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By Dr. Lisa Newton, Ph.D. Graduate of Union Institute & University

1. Know Thy Self. Have honest on-going evaluations of yourself that focuses on your needs, skills, goals and expectations.

Are you willing to consistently and persistently take the necessary steps to become an entrepreneur or to grow your business as an entrepreneur? Will you develop a business plan (that includes 1, 2 and 5 year activities as well as day to day activities), work the plan and if need be make the necessary adjustments along the way? Will you find experts to manage areas that you are not as strong in as others, areas that are necessary for successful business achievement? Briefly analyze your life patterns and experiences to see if you can apply your awareness of self to future growth and business solutions.

2. Plan regular business meetings with your family, friends, partners, sponsors, team players and mentors all of whom are willing in some way to take part in the creation of a business legacy not just for you or themselves but also for future generations.

Wealth and the knowledge of how to create wealth is often passed through the generations. Rarely does someone create business success overnight. Business success is often based on the knowledge and a repertoire of skills and talents. Therefore, when our youth grow up learning about business growth and success from their parents or mentors they are more likely to become entrepreneurs.

3. Know your Business Market.

Unless you have extensive resources, starting a new business may be more challenging than finding your niche in markets that have already begun to flourish. Identifying flaws and/or inconsistencies to fulfill unmet and untapped needs in the market place provides a great formula for success. Take the well needed time to study your market before starting your business and continue to provide ongoing data analysis once you are in business.

4. Don’t Just Talk About Your Passion and Life’s Purpose, Live It.

You are passionate about something for a reason and only you can live out your desire and enthusiasm for life. Ask yourself am I fulfilling my dreams and desires and/or am I doing my life’s work? If not, why or why not? How can I align my business plans with my visions and wishes? Even if you have done something totally opposite in your past, knowledge and experience are transferrable, use them in some way to follow your life dreams.

5. Access All Tools Available to You.

There are many funding sources, and support organizations for both startup and current businesses. They often require business plans, financial, banking and tax statements. These records are in many ways like money in the bank so treat them as such. You can also host several fund raiser and business campaigns to drive additional income. Consider using your online forums to create passive income streams with e-commerce and/or affiliate marketing. Once your business begins to grow you should highly consider becoming a public corporation by openly trading the stock of your business in the market place.

6. Know Your Business Processes and Health.

Understand your customers, services and operations. What are costs of doing business and the returns on your investments? What is your break-even point? Usually if your expenses are more than a third of your total return than you may decide to reconsider your profit loss strategy. Always collect potential customer and customer/sales data as often as possible. The information gathered will eventually fuel your business intelligence used to project sales/income and market strategies.

7. Your Word is as Good as Gold.

Be a business woman of your word. If you announce an opening date or operating hour do your best to fulfill your verbal obligation. If you give one price to your customer do your best to honor your word. If you say that a product is this or that make sure that you have determined that that is so. If you make a mistake or need to retract your word, try to do so in a professional manner without blaming others for your responsibilities.

8. Do not live out of the Gross Earnings.

Add your salary to the budget, save for the future and plan beyond month to month. Pay your taxes and expenses as you go. All the money made is not your profit. You cannot determine your profit before you have paid all your bills which must include your savings and salaries.

9. Take good care of yourself with good planning and follow through, you don’t have to sweat the small stuff.

If you are going into business be sure to add Exit and Contingency procedures as part of your business plan especially if you have partners or associates. If you are in business and you don’t have such plans make sure you develop them. This will minimize all kinds of stress in your business life. You want to make sure you take good care of yourself and that means always having a reserve. Therefore you should never use all your personal resources because when we begin to, we run on over load. When we encounter stressful situations never act unprofessionally, document your issues and give that information to the necessary people or organizations to handle.

10. Don’t limit Your Success!

The best time to start a business is when you are working and the best time to grow the business is when you have achieved some business success. Always look for opportunities to make passive and residual income while you are doing business. It is also a great idea to have some non-profit or heartfelt cause that you are passionate about to support and grow with. The relationship will incentivize your relationships, life goals and associations while helping others. Believe that you can be extremely successful in your business. Don’t think that because you are an African American woman people won’t do business with you. Go into each business situation and relationship with the mindset that most people are all in some way generally good. If you find they are otherwise make note of the experience, sometimes the reason is not always what we may perceive. Find joy and inspiration as you move forward to find your next customer and take good care of the customers you already have! The sky does not have to be your limit.

About Dr. Newton

Dr. Newton’s goal is for more African American women to soar and prosper as entrepreneurs. She is a 2016 Union Institute & University graduate with a Ph.D. in Ethical and Creative Leadership and a native of Cincinnati. Her dissertation, “An Investigation of Cultural Intergenerational Trauma or Collective Traumatic Memory as a Social, Economic Barrier for African American Women Entrepreneurs in Cincinnati, Ohio” examined the social cultural behaviors that may keep some African American women from the entrepreneur path. She is hopeful that her work may become one of the tracks that will improve the poverty rates in Cincinnati and around the country. Dr. Newton is the CEO of Illume Business Development.

MBEs: Get Certified Today

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diverse business group walking and talking

Why certify? Businesses that are certified as minority owned are subject to different laws and regulations than other businesses and as such are very different entities from typical enterprises. Unlike a standard business license or registration, a minority-owned business enterprise certification is not required to run a minority-owned business, although certification can provide many benefits for a company—especially in regards to government contracting.

Below are some of the certification processes your company can expect to navigate when seeking minority-owned business enterprise certification. Also listed are the requirements that must be met by businesses that are seeking certification.

  • Manufacturers – Maximum number of employees must not surpass 500 or 1500, depending on the product being manufactured.
  • Wholesalers – Maximum number of employees must not surpass 100 or 500, depending on the product being provided.
  • Service providers – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $2.5 or $21.5 million, depending on the service being provided.
  • Retailers – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $5.0 or $21.0 million, depending on the product being provided.
  • General and Heavy Construction businesses – Annual sales receipts must not exceed $13.5 or $17 million, depending on the type of construction the company is engaged in.
  • Special Trade Construction businesses – Annual receipts must not be higher than $7 million.
  • Agricultural businesses – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $0.5 to $9.0 million, depending on the agricultural product being produced.

Business Requirements

1) The company applying for certification must have a racial minority owner who owns at least 51 percent of the company.

2) The same owner must hold the highest position in the company.

3) The company must pay a fee based on company annual gross sales and also file an application that details basic company information, such as what year the business was founded.

4) The company’s primary business locations must be available for site visits.

Getting Bids

Build Relationships. When it comes to winning bids in the government contracting marketplace, contacts are everything. Business owners are advised to take the time to make connections, build relationships and network extensively. The contacts a business develops are often the key to furthering their success in government contracting. Proactively networking with larger companies, agencies and even competitors can lead to subcontracting opportunities while also showing agencies that you are a trustworthy and reliable business partner.

Subcontract. Building a reputation as a professional enterprise is crucial to the success of any business. Winning a government bid isn’t only about the monetary aspects involved with a contract; other factors are evaluated, too. An agency will often look at company financials, work history and reputation before selecting a winning organization. It helps to have contacts who can vouch for your company and the work that you do. By subcontracting, you build your reputation and gain valuable experience.

You never know when the contacts you develop will come in handy. Therefore, you should make each and every relationship meaningful because in the long run, these are the relationships that will further your company’s success.

Government RFPs are a great way for minority-owned business enterprises (MBE) to win spot and term contracts. Every year, the U.S. federal government spends more than $200 billion on goods and services, all of which are provided by private companies and many of which are minority-owned businesses. From federal to state, local and special districts, all levels of government have programs in place to increase their involvement with certified minority-owned business enterprises. Only companies who have gone through the MBE certification process are eligible for the money that is made available through such programs.

Source: BidNet

How To Calm Your Nerves Before Public Speaking At Work

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professional woman standing behind podium at work giving a speech

No other everyday office opportunity can strike terror in employees quite like public speaking. Giving a presentation can be a chance to get your voice heard, but 1 in 4 Americans fear it.

It scares more of us than snakes, hell, walking alone at night and insects, according to a 2018 survey by Chapman University.

But research shows there are ways to calm your jitters and not feel overwhelmed. Here are some that tips psychologists and experts have for the nervous public speaker:

1) Reframe those nerves as excitement.

Don’t listen to the advice of those “Keep calm and carry on” posters if you’re anxious about public speaking. Instead, try embracing your sweaty palms and racing heartbeat as signs of excitement. This reappraisal of anxiety can actually help stop nerves from overwhelming you, a 2014 Harvard Business School study found. How you think about your anxiety can change how you perform under it.

In the study, business professor Alison Wood Brooks recruited participants to sing the Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin’” in front of a group. Before they belted their hearts out, they were told to say, “I am anxious,” “I am excited,” or nothing. A video game measured how well they performed. The group that declared their excitement improved their singing performance more than the “anxious” and say-nothing groups.

Similarly, in a separate experiment, participants were asked to give a short public speech after being told to say “I am calm” or “I am excited.” The “excited” group gave better speeches, independent raters judged. Brooks suggested that this works because encouraging excitement can prime you to see the task as an opportunity, whereas trying to calm down can make you see the challenge as a threat.

2) Make it about the ideas you want to share; don’t make it all about you.

Yes, being asked to speak in front of your peers can be an honor.

But don’t make the opportunity about more than it is if you’re worried about your boss’ approval or what the audience will think.

Amanda Hennessey, founder of Boston Public Speaking, has coached people for more than a decade. She advises taking the focus off of yourself and putting it instead onto the valuable information you are going to deliver. That way, the speech becomes “an exchange of ideas rather than a referendum of our self-worth,” she said.

Hennessey said public speakers in the office can focus on why the public speaking matters for their team or client and “what’s at stake for the people.”

“That brings us to that place of passion and purpose, where our bodies feel very alive,” Hennessey said.

If your mind starts to narrate a horror story about how your talk will go, Hennessey suggests a physically grounding technique to help you stay continually present. “Feel your feet on the earth and start to notice things around you, look at something on your desk that makes you happy and really look at it,” Hennessey said. “We want to get back to the present, instead of projecting about the future.”

3) Don’t obsess over each word.

If you have done the necessary preparation, don’t monitor what you are about to say right before the public speaking opportunity, advises Sian Beilock, a psychologist who authored “Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To.” Looking at famous examples of people “choking” under pressure, she found that high-achieving people can underperform when they are struck by “paralysis analysis” and try to control every part of their performance by paying too much attention to step-by-step details.

“Oftentimes, the reason that we mess up, especially something that’s well-learned or practiced, is that we start paying too much attention to the details,” Beilock said. “When you’re focusing on every step of what you’re going to say right before you go in, that can be problematic.“

Beilock says a public speaker can distract themselves with an activity that takes their mind off what they are about to do. “One way that research has found to get rid of that monitoring is to focus on something at a higher level,” Beilock said. “In golf, they talk about one swing thought, or a mantra that encapsulates the entire putting stroke. When you’re speaking and you’re trying to get the point across, think about the three points you want to get across. What are the three goals?”

With those in mind, when you do open your mouth, you can focus on the outcome of what you’re trying to say rather than “every word coming out of your mouth,” Beilock said.

Hennessey suggests carrying positive self-affirmations that speak to you, such as “I got this,” “I release the need to prove my worth,” “I am excited to share what I care about,” or “I am enough.”

Continue on to HuffingtonPost to read the complete article.

The BEYA STEM Conference is coming to Washington, D.C.

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group of people arriving at diversity hiring fair

Each year, the BEYA STEM Conference brings professionals and students together for three days to share their experiences and career information.

This year’s event will be held in Washington, D.C., February 13-15 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Did you know that science, technology, engineering and mathematics career opportunities, referred to as “STEM” industries, are growing rapidly? Employers cannot fill job postings quickly enough, and there are a wide variety of openings for diverse candidates with the STEM skills necessary to succeed.

You can network with attendees from around the country while participating in seminars and workshops that explore every facet of STEM career paths.

The goal of the BEYA Conference is to create connections between students, educators and STEM professionals while facilitating partnerships with individuals and their local STEM resources.

Make the most of the free career fair! Plan your visit before your arrival and get the most out of your experience. Easily search exhibitors by name. You can create a list of exhibitors your must see.

Watch video from the BEYA STEM 2017 Conference:

Standard registration is by January 31, 2020. Late Registration is by February 1, 2020.

Get all the details about the three-day conference here.

Former Memphis Firefighter Launches New Career With America’s Top-Rated Home Inspection Company

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Former firefighter Byron Matthews in his Pillar to Post uniform

When Byron Matthews says he has a thorough understanding of building structure, he is not exaggerating. Recently, the 46-year-old Matthews became a franchise owner with the No. 1 home inspection company in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®. Matthews serves clients throughout Shelby County and west Tennessee.

But prior to joining Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, Matthews spent 15 years as a firefighter and EMT for the city of Memphis. A Memphis resident, Matthews says his prior career gave him the perfect foundation for his new one. “Being a firefighter for 15 years and having an understanding of home structures, foundations and fire inspections make a great fit for being a home inspector,” Matthews said.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for over 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise 500® for 23 years in a row, and the past 8 years they landed the top spot in their category.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service.

“I always wanted to be a business owner, so this was a great match for me,” Matthews said. “My goal is to expand my business and be a role model in my community.”

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are more than 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® for 23 years in a row, the past 8 years as No.1 in Category. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise, go to www.pillartopostfranchise.com.

Hospitality: the Top Four Careers in Hospitality

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Female chef wearing her uniform holding fresh vegetables

Hospitality Career does not only pertain to a single job. It is mainly a field in which you can choose from a vast variety of specialties. It is a fact that learning about these different fields could be fun.

However, a person can only do much to a limited extent, which is why having a specialization is a must.

With all the possibilities in this career, there are those that top the list. So to help you out, here are the top four careers in hospitality that you may want to consider venturing into.

Hotel Staff
It is undeniable that hotels are rampant nowadays. You could see high rise hotels being built almost anywhere as long as there is a site to see or place to visit. This is true not only for the United Sates, but other countries as well. Whether it be a five-star hotel or a not so glamorous hotel, a hotel is a hotel and one thing’s for sure: they need people to work for them.

Positions in this kind of career could also vary and they are numerous too. You can be the front desk person who assigns rooms for guests or you could be the lifeguard at the pool area who watches over the kid’s pool—there are abundant numbers of hotel staff positions that you could consider. Other than the number of positions, the number of establishments you can work for is also high. There are small bed and breakfasts and there are 5-star accommodations. How high your compensation would be would depend on your job title. This factor would also decide how you will be paid; whether by hour or in a yearly basis.

Event And Meeting Planner
This position includes responsibilities of being in charge of the features regarding vital business meetings or wedding receptions held in hotels. You basically have to act out as an event planner or organizer so that your client would have a smooth program flow for their event. Also, it is part of your responsibility to take care the accommodations and amenities of a facility of site. Thus, you need to have some knowledge on contract negotiations.

For this kind of specialization, you would need to have a bachelor’s degree in a particular area, along with 2-4 years of experience in the field are necessary. The usual salary would be anything from $39,355 to $74,268.

Executive Chef
This career would generally involve managing the flow and direction of a kitchen. You would be responsible for arranging menus and tables on hotels, cruise ships, and other hot spots that tourists go to. You also keep track of inventory and try to keep costs down. You decide which supplies and food items are necessary to purchase. As time passes by, you will establish and modify the menus so that there is an increase in profits and decrease in monetary loss. You are also the one who is in charge of overseeing the overall satisfaction of your customers.

A comprehensive understanding of local food sanitation regulations and rules, along with federal state laws are vital. Generally, you should have a bachelor’s degree in a field of specialty and at least 7 years of experience for you to anything from $45,562 to $101,865.

Travel Coordinator
A travel coordinator is the one who takes control whenever companies need coordination for their travel plans. The typical responsibilities you may encounter would be scheduling flights and hotel stays, as well as assisting travelers obtain their passports, visas, and other required travel documents. The usual salary would be somewhere in between $29,879 to $53,482.

Source: ArticlesBase

The No. 1 job of 2019 pays $140,000 — and its hiring growth has exploded 74%

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human hand touching robotic hand

Career and job site LinkedIn released its annual “Emerging Jobs” list, which identifies the roles that have seen the largest rate of hiring growth from 2015 through 2019. No. 1 on the list: Artificial Intelligence Specialist — typically an engineer, researcher or other specialty that focuses on machine learning and artificial intelligence, figuring out things like where it makes sense to implement AI or building AI systems. Hiring for this role has been tremendous, growing 74% annually in the past 4 years alone.

Hiring for this role has been tremendous, growing 74% annually in the past 4 years alone. “AI has infiltrated every industry, and right now the demand for people skilled in AI is outpacing the supply for it,” Guy Berger, the principal economist at LinkedIn, tells MarketWatch. “This is the third year in a row a role related to machine learning or artificial intelligence has topped the list, and we can only expect demand to increase.”

The pay is impressive too, with AI roles often commanding six figures. Jobs site Indeed notes that artificial intelligence engineers in San Francisco, for example, rake in $120,000 to upwards of $160,000. Sometimes AI roles can garner pay of $250,000 or more.

LinkedIn isn’t the only company to highlight an AI specialty role as a job to watch. Indeed’s annual list of the “25 best jobs of 2019” named machine learning engineer as No. 1, citing a 344% increase in job postings in the past few years and an annual base salaries of $146,000, among other perks.

So what’s behind this rapid growth in AI jobs? Berger says that “almost everyone” is hiring for these roles from the obvious (tech and automotive) to the more surprising (higher education and sports).

And these offer a real opportunity even for people who aren’t currently in AI: “We’re in an extremely tight labor market so companies are really looking to hire whoever can get the job done,” says Berger — who notes that learning skills like TensorFlow and Python, as well as diving into machine learning and natural language processing, could help you land the role. You can often take these kinds of classes as certificate programs from local universities, coding schools and more.

Rounding out the top 5 jobs on LinkedIn’s emerging jobs report are robotics engineers (40% annual hiring growth), data scientist (37%), full stack engineer (35%) and site reliability engineer (34%). “While many of these jobs are tech roles, they’re not necessarily in the tech industry. Every company has had to embrace tech at some level and we’re seeing that reflected in these high-growth jobs,” adds Berger.

But interestingly, there are also a number of client-facing roles that are experiencing rapid hiring growth, such as customer success specialist and sales development representative. Many roles like this “are heavily reliant on relationships, so being skilled in things like communication, problem-solving and collaboration are key,” Berger notes, adding that for these kinds of gigs companies “will rely on people skills that can’t be automated, successfully complementing new technologies.”

LinkedIn’s Top 10 Emerging Jobs
1. Artificial Intelligence Specialist
2. Robotics Engineer
3. Data Scientist
4. Full Stack Engineer
5. Site Reliability Engineer
6. Customer Success Specialist
7. Sales Development Representative
8. Data Engineer
9. Behavioral Health Technician
10. Cyber Security Specialist

Continue on to MarketWatch to read the complete article.

How Black Girls Code transformed from basement experiment to international movement

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Kimberly Bryant stands behind a podium wearing a shirt that read Phenomenal Woman

By Halley Bondy

Throughout her biotech engineering career, Kimberly Bryant was the only black female in the room most of the time. And as Bryant rose the ranks to become manager at companies like DuPont, Phillip Morris and Genentech, she yearned for a more inclusive world for her daughter Kai.

Kai had developed a knack for gaming and coding, which is a very male, white and Asian-dominated business.

“It happened that I stumbled into this issue of diversity of inclusion and tech,” said Bryant in an interview with Know Your Value. “My daughter was about to go to middle school and was interested in tech and video gaming and gaming in general…I found that there wasn’t a strong program that would focus on girls of color and getting them prepared in the skills they’d need to move into this career field.”

Women of color earn less than 10 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computing, according to the Kapor Center. And black women make up less than 0.5 percent of leadership roles in tech. Even in women-led small tech businesses, women of color only comprise 4 percent of the workforce.

With Kai’s help, Bryant called upon colleagues at Genentech to put together a six-week coding curriculum for girls of color in 2011. She conducted the first educational series in a basement of a college prep institution in San Francisco, which was loaned to Bryant for free. Bryant expected about six students, but the class attracted about a dozen girls, including of course, Kai.

Bryant’s small community effort attracted the attention of ThoughtWorks, a global tech consultancy company. ThoughtWorks invested in Bryant in January 2012 and gave her access to space and resources across the country, as well as in Johannesburg, South Africa. In a few years, the operation transformed from a basement experiment into a global non-profit with 15 chapters. They called themselves Black Girls Code.

The more mature chapters might boast up to 1,000 students a year, according to Bryant, who runs the organization full-time.

“I didn’t know it would be a nonprofit,” said Bryant. “This was us just trying to test the waters and make something locally where I could bring my daughter, so she could find a tribe of girls interested in the same thing, but it took off from humble beginnings.”

The Black Girls Code curriculum teaches everything from web development to robotics to Artificial Intelligence. Many of the first-year students are now in college, including Kai, who is in her sophomore year studying computer science.

Bryant wants to expand Black Girls Code into a life-long support network to help retention rates in tech.

“One of the things that I’m really excited about is building out this alumni network that we’ve grown over the last eight years,” said Bryant. “Many of the girls…are about to go to college, and they have a need for support as they continue their career and collegiate journeys.”

Bryant said she was never interested in coding — that was all her daughter. Instead, Bryant studied engineering at Vanderbilt University. She said she met only one other African American female engineering student in her four years there, and that none of her professors were even female, let alone black.

“I didn’t have any role models,” said Bryant.

Still, she excelled. Bryant was only 25 when she became a manager at DuPont in Tennessee. She said her manager there—whom she otherwise adored—jokingly introduced her to the team as a “twofer,” because she was black and a woman.

The Black Girls Code curriculum teaches everything from web development to robotics to Artificial IntelligenceCourtesy of Black Girls Code.

“I’m positive those men had never worked for a black woman as their manager,” she said. “It was a learning experience. I spent most of my career in these types of positions. There were always these implicit and explicit biases that I had to deal with as I tried to establish authority as a black woman.”

Continue on to NBC News read the complete article.

Why December is the perfect time to update your CV and LinkedIn

LinkedIn
woman working on her computer

It’s January and you’ve just returned to work after the Christmas break. It’s cold, bleak and the festive fun is over – and like many others, you begin to think about changing jobs.

The New Year is when employees are most likely to think about quitting and starting somewhere new, with almost one in five citing January as the most popular month to make a move, according to a survey by Glassdoor.

In fact, so many people think about moving jobs that the first Monday back at work in January has been dubbed “Massive Monday” in the world of recruitment – the day when record numbers of jobseekers apply for new positions.

So why is January so popular for job seekers – and how can you prepare yourself for applications beforehand?

The old cliché ‘‘New year, new job’ is still going strong,” says Graeme Jordan, a CV writer and interview coach. “I know from my business that I have seen an uptick in demand the past few years during the month of January. On one occasion I received a brand new enquiry on January 2nd, from someone very quick off the mark. It goes with the idea of a fresh start and ‘If not now, when?’”

In the New Year, employers may be feeling motivated and eager to attract skilled workers. With a clearer schedule at the start of the year, they may be less likely to be tied down with deadlines and projects, making them more responsive to job applications. Job seekers are also more likely to see a wave of new job roles opening up.

Many employers are also given a new budget at the start of every year which can give candidates a better chance at finding a new job and being hired. If salary is a key reason for moving jobs, you may have better luck finding a higher-paid job in January.

With all this in mind, December is a great time to polish up your CV and update your LinkedIn. Not only will you be ready to send applications to recruiters as soon as a position opens up, but it also allows you to assess your achievements, skills and career progress so far – and decide how you want to move forwards.

“Taking time in December to update your CV can be good, if you are in the mindset of reviewing how things have gone during the year, and everything is fresh in your mind prior to the significant break,” Jordan explains.

“There is something about the time of year that lends itself to a consideration of our purpose: I find Christmas break the most substantial of the year,” he adds. “Unlike the summer holidays, when you may be checking emails and are likely to be busy in the run-up and aftermath of your holiday, Christmas has a different feel. You wind down to it. Then everything stops. Fewer emails to check, because no-one else is at work either.”

And when you return to the office, work might not be as hectic as other times. This can help bring clarity of mind and give you more time to review what you want from your job.

“Whatever time of year you update your CV, there is no mystery to it,” Jordan explains. “Find out what your target audience – future employer – wants and give it to them. But give it to them credibly, and with examples. I call it the marketing approach to CV writing.”

Continue on to Yahoo news to read the complete article.

How To Ace Your Annual Review

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confident young black man

The holidays are great, but there’s one last bit of stress remaining—the annual review. While it’s a relatively strong job market, there are plenty of things that companies are concerned about. Corporate executives are worried about the ramifications of tariffs and trade wars with China, nonstop political bickering and the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming presidential elections.

There are concerns that the stock market is due for a sell-off or correction and a recession is long overdue. As an employee, you’re afraid of all of the new trends of nearshoring and offshoring jobs to lower-cost places, the cost-cutting of people with the nexus of being over 40 years of age and earning a nice income and the push for technology to take over the jobs of workers.

With these real fears in mind, you’re forced to face your boss at the end of the year to have the annual review and discuss dollars and cents.

There are many employees who are in the right job in the right sector and feel really good about this time of year. They know that they have killed it at work and exceeded all expectations. Their skills are highly sought after and it would be easy to find another job with a competitor for more money. These types of employees hold all of the best cards in their hands.

You believe that you have worked hard, did a great job and deserve a raise and bonus. It sounds simple in your head. When it’s time to actually sit across the desk from your boss, it’s not so easy. It’s an uncomfortable conversation filled with potential landmines.

Let’s start with what you should never do in your annual review. Oftentimes, employees believe that they must get a promotion, raise and large bonus for just showing up. Their attitude and demeanor are turn-offs to the manager.

Here’s what you shouldn’t say:

  • “If I don’t get the money I have asked for, I’m quitting!”
  • “Jane earns a base salary of $123,612. I’m so much better than Jane, so I should get a raise to $150,000.”
  • “I have bills, tuition payments and car payments!”
  • “I’ve been here for over 15 years!”
  • “I’ve Googled how much people with my job title earn, so you should pay me what Google says they earn too.”
  • “I’m the only one who really works around here!”
  • “I do your job for you!”
  • “I don’t care if the company is not doing well, It’s not my fault.”
  • “Well, if you don’t pay me more, I won’t work as hard.”

Here’s what you should do instead. You want to enter the manager’s office armed with indisputable data, facts and information that highlight everything you’ve accomplished over the last year. Explain what was expected of you and validate how you have met and exceeded those expectations. You need to cite your achievements, including how you have helped your boss succeed, and made sizable contributions to the company.

The key is to start working on the annual review at the beginning of the year. On a daily basis, ensure that your boss and other important decision makers recognize your Herculean efforts and accomplishments. Be careful, as you don’t want to come across too obvious about it. Otherwise, they’ll think you are just trying to curry favor and gaming the system.

Your pitch is based upon tangible results. You are not asking for any favors nor are you petulantly demanding something you don’t deserve. You are politely, but firmly, presenting your case in a calm and deliberate manner that sets forth all of the reasons and rationale as to why the company should want to pay you more money.

Try to sound confident, upbeat and enthusiastic. If you drone on with just data points, you will lose your audience. You want your boss to view you as a superstar performer who is excited to come into the office everyday and shine.

The goal is to have your manager recognize that you are a valuable and irreplaceable asset to her and the organization. She’ll understand that it’s necessary to offer you more money, a larger bonus and promotion. If she doesn’t, your manager knows that there is a risk that you’ll leave to join a competitor or lose your enthusiasm and not perform as well in the future.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Da Lucky Spot: Meet the Charlotte Man Behind Walmart’s First Black-Owned Barbershop

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Entrepreneur Shaun Corbett cuts the ribbon on Da Lucky Spot, Walmart’s first Black-owned barbershop.

The philosopher Seneca said luck is where opportunity meets preparation. For Charlotte, North Carolina, barber Shaun “Lucky” Corbett, his golden opportunity paved the way for what would become Walmart‘s first Black-owned and operated barbershop.

On Sept. 26, Corbett was joined by dozens of community supporters eager to witness the moment he opened the doors of Da Lucky Spot Barbershop at the Walmart on Wilkinson Boulevard. The grand opening festivities were replete with balloons, laughter and plenty of smiles as folks gathered to celebrate the accomplished businessman.

Corbett, 40, has established himself as a leader in the local community over the last several years with his charitable give-back programs. As a licensed barber, he envisioned his shop as a space offering fellowship and suppport, especially for the neighborhood’s youth.

The road hasn’t always been smooth, however, and like most business owners, Corbett relied on his faith to get him through the rough spots.

“How I landed it was never giving up, seeing the vision [and] just working diligently,” he told Atlanta Black Star via phone. “Development is the main thing … understanding and being intentional about conversations I have when I have the opportunity to help.”

Corbett got his start in 2005 after enrolling in the No Grease barber school, the Charlotte Agenda reported. He spent his weekends cutting heads at the barber shop and served up slices at a local pizzeria to cover his hefty tuition — $10,000 to be exact.

By the next year, he was a full-time barber with his own chair. Corbett was eventually able to open his first Lucky Spot shop on North Tyrone Street in 2010.

The space quickly became more than just a barbershop. Corbett hosted a number of community programs, including his handing out of turkeys to families in need each Thanksgiving, after-school tutoring sessions for the kids and a backpack drive for students headed back to school in the fall. The local leader is perhaps best known for his acclaimed Cops & Barbers program, which aims to build trust between police and the communities they serve.

Continue on the Atlanta Black Star to read the complete article.

Power Couple: Soldier Recruits Wife to Join Army

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U.S. Military wife and husband in uniform standing side by side with arms folded

By Alexandra Shea, IMCOM

Staff Sgt. Joshua Mitchell is used to talking with various people about military careers and the benefits that are offered to those who choose to wear the uniform and serve their country as a Soldier. As a recruiter in the Malden, Massachusetts, area, he is constantly talking to strangers, even off-duty, according to his wife, Eunjee.

“The first year after I moved to America, I knew I needed a car,” Eunjee said. “We went to the car dealership, and he recruited the car dealer.”

The couple met in Korea while Staff Sgt. Mitchell was stationed there. They originally met online and met face-to-face for the first time on New Year’s Day. They married shortly after, and Eunjee Mitchell immigrated to the United States, where her husband became a recruiter. She often would hear the conversations he had about joining the military. After two years of listening to Staff Sgt. Mitchell, she decided enlisting was the right choice for her.

“He was interviewing other recruiters, and one was Korean like me. She told me how the Army helps her a lot to speak (better) English and get her involved in the community,” said Eunjee. “The conversation with her gave me the thought that I could try.”

She enlisted as a 92A – Automated Logistical Specialist in the Army Reserves.

“I knew hanging around with me she would be interested in the Army, but I didn’t think she would (join),” said Staff Sgt. Mitchell. “I definitely wrote her contract.”

After 10 weeks of South Carolina’s famously hot summer weather, Eunjee Mitchell walked across Fort Jackson’s Hilton Field with the rest of her company as they graduated Basic Combat Training. With three bachelor’s degrees, she graduated with the rank of specialist.

While she knew her husband would be attending her ceremony, Staff Sgt. Mitchell was able to arrive to the installation early and surprise his wife during the Family Day dress rehearsal.

“While I was waiting behind the trees, I was trying to stay calm. I was very emotional,” said Spc. Mitchell.

She instantly recognized her husband on the parade field and knew “my recruiter is here.”

“I saw him, and he was in uniform, so I recognized him because he’s so tall,” she said.

Standing at six-feet, five-inches, Staff Sgt. Mitchell is not easily missed. Since immigrating to a new country and culture, Spc. Mitchell has never been separated from her husband, until attending Basic Combat Training.

“I didn’t see her until she was walking out,” said Staff Sgt. Mitchell. “She’s a tough little lady. I’m crazy proud of her.”

The couple were allowed to speak for a short time before Spc. Mitchell had to return to her daily duties. The following day, they were reunited for Family Day, where they were able to spend an entire day together visiting various parts of the installation and get lunch together.

After the graduation ceremony, Spc. Mitchell traveled back to her home state with her husband. Once there, Spc. Mitchell will rejoin her Reserve unit and attend Advanced Individual Training in the coming months.

When asked what her future might look like now that BCT is complete, Spc. Mitchell said she is excited to begin her new career and possibly a family. She also explained how her experience on Fort Jackson has helped her to understand her husband and brings them closer as a couple.

“The first year we were married I didn’t understand the little things like why he didn’t want to take his boots off in the house,” said Spc. Mitchell. “I understand him more now.”

Source: army.mil

To Write a Successful Resume, Follow These Do’s and Don’ts

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Resume beign written on a clipboard by a young woman

A great résumé is still one of the most important contributing factors to landing a good job. After all, it offers recruiters and potential employers a quick and clear overview of your relevant skills, experience, and education so they can decide whether to invite you for an interview or not. And if successful, it helps sway the first of many decisions you want to go your way through any job search process.

However, no matter how good your credentials, if you don’t put them all together in a polished résumé with the right elements, chances are your application will get tossed on the “reject” pile the next time you apply for a job. According to a study by The Ladders, recruiters spend a mere six seconds reviewing a résumé. That means you have a tiny window of opportunity to make an impression! In other words, you need a résumé that stands out for all the right reasons. The following do’s and don’ts will help you prepare a résumé that shows you to your best advantage.

  • Do make your résumé scannable.Recruiters and hiring managers will scan your résumé for relevant information, so deliver your information in short statements instead of longer paragraphs. Use keywords that are relevant to your profession and experience throughout. For example, if you’re a project manager, use keywords such as “project management,” “supervision,” and “leadership.”
  • Don’t let your résumé exceed two pages. Few recruiters or hiring managers have time to review overly long résumés. Distill your information down to the most relevant data. Slash words and consider omitting one or two of your earliest jobs or condense your descriptions of your responsibilities in each role.
  • Don’t stray too far from the conventional résumé format.Nearly all job applications go through applicant tracking systems (ATS) nowadays. That means that your résumé will first be checked by a computer before it’s even seen by a live person. Applicant tracking systems are designed to determine certain data, including identifying information, career objective, skills, experience, and education, so make sure you clearly list all of those sections. Further information such as professional memberships, awards, and publications is optional. Only include it if you strongly feel that it will support your candidacy.
  • Do provide a concise overview of your career objective.In the USA Today article “5 do’s and don’ts for building a winning résumé,” Patrick O’Brien advises describing what you want to accomplish professionally in a manner that illustrates what you can do for an employer. For example, if you’re a manager looking to gain international experience, you could state something such as, “Highly capable manager with outstanding leadership capabilities and a global understanding of the industry.”
  • Don’t include too much personal information. In the CBS article “How to Write a Résumé: Dos and Don’ts,” Suzanne Lucas cautions against including information such as your religion, birthdate, relationship status, hobbies, or links to your social media pages.
  • Do list quantifiable results. Potential employers want to see accomplishments on your résumé, and the clearest way to communicate those is by using numbers whenever possible. For example, instead of saying you managed a team and a budget, you could state more precisely that you’d managed a team of 25 employees and a budget of $50,000.
  • Do list your experience in reverse chronological order, with your most recent employment first. List your current or most recent job first, then work backwards. If you don’t have enough space to list all the jobs you held, list as far back as 10 years and be prepared to speak about earlier jobs in an in-person interview.
  • Don’t exaggerate job titles, responsibilities, or outcomes. State all information correctly, without exaggerations or embellishments. Remember: most employers check references and will inquire about your performance in earlier roles.
  • Do make sure to have both electronic and print versions of your résumé.It’s a good idea to have your résumé in a number of different formats, including a printable pdf, an interactive pdf, a Word document, and a text file in case you need to autofill online applications.
  • Don’t forget to update your résumé regularly. Even if you’re not actively looking for a new job, you never know when somebody might request your résumé, so make sure to keep it up to date at all times. That way, when you hear about an interesting job at a networking event, you’ll be ready to apply immediately.

Writing an effective résumé takes some time and preparation. But with these tips in mind, you’ll enhance your chances of standing out from other applicants and landing an interview on the way to a job offer that thrills.

Source: Kelly Services

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