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An Inward Journey…Finding your Path to a Fulfilling Life by Risё Kasmirski

Lake Harriett Minneapolis MNThis evening I walked around Lake Harriett – a three mile path I have walked 1,000+ time in the past 20 odd years.

It’s where I go when I need to feel grounded – to remember who I am, what I care about, what I am here to do. As I walked, I thought about how easy it is to feel insignificant, unfocused, like a boat bobbing on the water – when we are not doing work that is alignment with who we really are. And that our greatest joy comes when we show up wholly and authentically in our life doing the work that is ours to do each day – through our interactions and in the work we do to lift up ourselves and others.

Sometimes we lose our way. We get caught up in others’ expectations of who we are and what we should do. Or we rely on that old career path that worked in the past but no longer fulfills us. So we find ourselves in a place of inertia or fear or confusion about how we should proceed. What we might really need to do is to take some time for ourselves…. go to that secret place where we reconnect with nature, play some drums, listen to waterfalls, or get very quiet and inward focused…until we hear that still voice within guiding us back on our path.

I am grateful. Each day I have compelling conversations with “self”-explorers… those who are determining where they are going in their work…how that impacts the rest of their life…what they think their gifts are, and how they want to express them. I ask them to sit with questions like these…

  • What brings you alive?
  • What is your dream work?
  • What comes so easily and effortlessly to you that you would do it every day if you could?
  • Is there a yearning inside you that you might express through your work?
  • How are you called to serve the needs of the world while filling yourself up?

Maybe for you it is to tend the garden, prepare the food, create a clean and safe place. Or perhaps the creative realm calls to you…drawing great art, expressing through movement or communication, creating new products, launching a new business. Or maybe you are here to lead…take the helm, create the vision, lead others forward to bring newness into the world. All are fine gifts. All contributions are an important and a necessary part of the whole.

Maybe you can find some answers on a simple walk. If you listen closely, the heart always knows and can be your guide. All you need to know is on YOUR path…you will be fine, you can always start again.

At Meaningful Connections we bring personal brands to life inspiring hope and belief that dreams can come true. Join us at our Lifting Up Leadership Retreat on an inward journey to get inspired.

Get a New Job, Life and Love with Match.com + LinkedIn

How to get a great job + life leveraging Match.com and LinkedIn

Match and LinkedIn logo

A client called me seeking my coaching help for a new life. She had been divorced for over a year, her job was only okay, and the cold weather and lack of sunshine was bumming her out. She was ready for a new life. Have you ever felt that way?

Below is the real life case study of how my client found a dream life, new love, and great job in Hawaii.

4 STEPS TO A NEW LIFE:

GET READY :: READINESS ASSESSMENT – after answering a series of questions, she realized that she really wanted to create a new life. Can you answer these questions?

  1. Are you self-aware?
  2. What are people coming to you for?
  3. Who are you?
  4. Where do you want to go?
  5. What three things do you desire to be known for? (Kathleen Crandall’s question)
  6. What happens because of you? (Kathleen Crandall’s question)
  7. Who do you want to find?
  8. Who do you want to find you?
  9. How do you want to be found?

LOOK GREAT :: BUILD YOUR MARKETING TOOLS

  • Build a great resume – I restructured my client’s resume, as she wanted to move into a palliative care, hospice position, from nursing.
  • Build online profiles – I created her www.LinkedIn.com profile, she got a beautiful new headshot, researched, and connected with HR and Palliative Care and Hospice Directors in Hawaii.
  • Leverge www.Match.com – I created a targeted profile, researched ‘partner’ options in Oahu and Maui, and started conversations with six kind and compassionate people in her respective areas.
  • Build ‘lifestyle online profiles’ – a created a www.About.me website, this is a personal portal where we showed photos of her with her dog providing Emotional Therapy support at nursing homes, gardening images, and my client running – all photos representing her hobbies, and showing her love of the outdoors.

MAKE THE MOVE :: DO YOUR RESEARCH, VISIT THE LOCATION

  • My client booked the trip to Hawaii, at a targeted time, and began preparing and researching options.
  • We visited www.LinkedIn.com and www.meetup.com and looked up Hawaii Palliative Care Groups, Hospice Groups, Hospice Associations and she joined some of these groups.

  • She researched the Group owners and connected with them on LinkedIn and on Match.com. (She got referrals from people that she knew who were connected to them. She did thorough research on the people before meeting them)

  • She researched LinkedIn Companies and found 13 Hospice companies in Oahu and three in Maui and she researched their company pages and found the hiring managers and HR representatives.

  • She researched jobs on Linkedin, www.indeed.com and www.hospicejobs.com and she set up Google alerts. She noticed keywords in the job descriptions and each week updated her LinkedIn profile and resume, prior to applying for jobs.
  • She began conversations with six people through LinkedIn and Match.com and let them know that she would be visiting Hawaii. She set up coffee meetings with them. She even asked them if they might know ‘hiring managers’, which they did.
  • Prior to leaving for Hawaii, she set up four interviews, three on Oahu, and one on Maui. She also found out that the Hospice Association was meeting on the Thursday, when she would be there, so she planned to attend with one of the people she had met through Match.com. One of the www.Match.com friends even invited to on an afternoon whale-watching event in Maui.

A TRIP OF A LIFETIME :: BE PREPARED

  • During the trip, her new friends met her for coffee and decided to drive her to the hospice companies for her interviews. The new friend even sat in on the interviews. (I would not have recommended this but it turned out to be a real blessing).

After the last interview, she was offered the job. The hiring manager said that many people from the Mainland that want to come to Hawaii do not stay because they do not have a support system. Bringing a friend, from the Island, to the interview showed that she had a support system and it made her a better candidate.

When my client returned home, she began preparing for her move to Hawaii. She even got her dog ready by getting him certified as a Service Therapy Dog so that he could fly on the airplane with her.

My client and her dog are loving the good life in Hawaii.

Everything is possible!  What are you waiting for, my friends?

Anne

anne@meaningfulconnections.net

@annepryor

Anne Pryor is know as a Universal Connector (she creates strategies to and faciliates connections for anyone to connect with anything or anyone that they desire in the Universe), LinkedIn Trainer, Certified Online Brand Specialist, Future Mapper, Career Coach, and Co-founder of Meaningful Connections, a national leader in personal branding, online visibility using LinkedIn, and career and new world of work strategies. Meaningful Connections is a collaborative partner of the Collaborative Leadership Center at Sugar Lake Lodge, Grand Rapids, MN. See her other blog posts at: www.MeaningfulConnections.com.

 

 

7 Tips to Networking for a Great Job Now

coffeeThis is a great time of year to look for a job. I was hired for all four of my corporate jobs in December for a January start.

I know that companies are hiring for Q1 – they have new budgets and projects. It is a slower time in the office and employees have more time to network. In addition, holiday parties are frequent and you can meet new people.

I would like to share 7 proven tips to getting your online presence ready, putting your best smile forward and getting that fabulous job for 2015:

1. BE MINDFUL – I have networked with over 78,333 people and I can quickly assess their intent. I have an assessment I call TUGS: I have found that people are usually in one of 4 areas: Takers, Users, Givers or Sharers. You know what I mean, don’t you? You have encountered each type, I’m sure.

Make sure that you are clear about your intention while you are networking. I make sure to set goals, such as who I want to meet, what advice I desire, and how I can help others. When I was in the employee engagement practice at Carlson, my team and I did work on the importance of emotional targets or “how do you want people to feel after they meet you?”

There are 4 emotional targets – after you meet someone, you want people to feel that you’re warm, authentic (genuine), empathetic and positive. My business partnerRisë Kasmirski helps people in job search become more mindful. She asks them ‘who are you?’ and ‘where do you want to go?’

TIP: Do a self-assessment, which type of a TUGS are you? Consider how you want people to think of you and feel about you after you meet with them, both in person and online.

2. BE CLEAR – before you begin to network, while in job search, be clear on what you desire: the job title that you want, why a company would hire you, and what your values are. My business partner and personal brand strategist, Kathleen Crandall,has 2 questions she asks our clients: 1) ‘what happens because of you?’ and 2)‘what 3 things do you aspire to be known for?’ These are foundational questions that you should be able to answer before you network especially with employees in the company that you are targeting, with recruiters or people that could refer you to hiring managers.

TIP: Reflect on Kathleen’s questions. Read The 20 Minute Networking Meeting byMarcia Ballinger, a highly regarded national recruiter who has created a step by step process for networking for success.

3. BE TRUSTWORTHY – say what you mean, mean what you say, and do what you say you are going to do. This means to be sure to follow up in a timely manner – and with thank you notes. I have a strategy when someone invites me to connect on LinkedIn where I ask myself:

  • can they help me once?
  • will they help me twice?
  • will they help my network?

When I invite someone to LinkedIn I ask myself:

  • can I help them once?
  • will I help them twice?
  • can I help their network?

When connecting on LinkedIn, I coach my clients to always write a personalized LinkedIn invitation. If I receive an invitation without a personal message I always review their profile to see who we have in common, then I click Reply Don’t Acceptand I write them a message; “Hi X, Thanks for the invitation to connect. I see that we are both connected to X. What did you have in mind that I can support you with today?” I wait 3 weeks and if they don’t respond then I click Ignore. I assume that they won’t be as likely to help my connections if they don’t reply back to me.

TIP: Be someone people want to help twice – this is a small town (where ever you live). Always personalize your LinkedIn invitations.

4. BE FOUND – look good, update your LinkedIn and other online profiles. Make sure that you have a great photo, targeted headline, current job title and company information, a summary that tells a story about who you are and what you can do for others, in addition to what you desire. Use many key words, check job descriptions that you’re applying for and company websites.

I add a new key word to my LinkedIn profile every Sunday at 3:30 pm. My clients know that I call this process ‘changing my oil’. I get ‘under the hood’ of my LinkedIn profile check the Settings, add new keywords or publications, projects, interests and maybe a keyword to the Summary (Premium account holders see a new feature which shows you keywords that LinkedIn suggests you add). This keeps my profile fresh and coming up in searches. See the blog from William Arruda for additional summary tips.

TIP: Look good, research your keywords, and get a professional headshot. I recommend social media certificated photographer Jennifer Kelly,Jennnifer@kelicomm.com. (Below is example of a great headshot by Jennifer of John Goodrich, one of my ‘board of advisors’ and an amazing CEO and connector.)

5. BE CONNECTED – to the right kinds of people; you’re judged by the company you keep. When we build my clients’ connection strategy, I have my them think about their HUBS.

These are groups, associations, organizations, and meet-up groups – places that are common connection points where many of their influencers ‘hang out’. These include college or company employee alumni groups, industry associations, specialty groups, hobby clubs, or community volunteer organizations. I ask my clients to join, get known and volunteer in at least 5 hubs. These are the easiest places to begin networking because there is already a common connection point.

In addition, I ask my clients think about their TOP 11 people that have helped them in the past. Think about people that have helped you get that past job, introduced you to your spouse, helped you with your first house financing, etc. This could be former bosses, friends, colleagues, alumni, pastors, hair dressers, don’t forget accountants, lawyers, realtors as they are wonderful resources and connectors.

Then they make a list of the TOP 11 people that they have helped most. These are the people that we begin connecting with. This is a list of 22 people who have an average of 150 connections each – that’s 3,300 connections that can help.Statistics show that it’s the 2nd degree connection that will help you get that next job.

TIP: Ask 5 of your top people if they would be on your ‘board of advisors’. I have 5 and they are my ‘go to’ people to run by ideas, get advice and share new ideas. They are the people that refer 80% of all my business and I’m grateful to them. Join my Meaningful Connections group on LinkedIn and other appropriate groups where your HUBS and advisors are in.

6. BE CREDIBLE – what is the area of expertise that you want to be believed for? It’s important to stay top of mind, on LinkedIn, for your expertise. LinkedIn statistics show that your profile is 12X more likely to be clicked on if your photo shows up on the Home Page, Publishers area or in the Like, Comment or Share areas.

This is a part of the strategy that I teach my clients – how to create their meaningful marketing communications plan. We start by asking that question “what 3 things that they want to be known for or what 3 things would they blog about?”

Next we begin curating content, collecting and organizing information from Google Alerts, Newsle, blogs, experts, trade publications, Google+, Twitter, etc. Then we develop or create their point of view and begin to share it in the appropriate media. With the new Publishers pencil on LinkedIn this is much easier to do, however, only 1% of my clients do it, it is hard, I’ll be the first to admit. It took me 2 years to even post on LinkedIn.

TIP: Begin thinking about what 3 things that you desire to be known and believed for. Try the Publishers tool on LinkedIn (it’s the pencil in the Share an Update box next to your photo on the Home page).

7. BE KIND, HELPFUL and GRATEFUL – are you? As a ENFJ on the MBTI profile, I’m a giver profile. As a career coach, online brand strategist, LinkedIn trainer and consummate connector, I need a process to be available to help people. So I have created a variety of options to connect and network with people easily. Here are some of my meaningful connections practical ideas that I’ve started to ensure that I’m easy to connect with:

  • ‘Meaningful Connections Meet + Greet’ sessions – every M-F between 7:44-8:33 am central I am easy to reach via phone at 952.484.6854 to make a meaningful connection (no need schedule an appointment). This is usually a quick 10 minute touch base call to see how my ‘new friend’ and I can support each other.
  • Meaningful Connections LinkedIn Parties each Friday where I invite 5-7 clients and people who want to network to the local library, my office or the coffee shop where there is free internet. Everyone brings their computers and opens their LinkedIn network where I teach them how to do a Meaningful Connections Gold Mine Dive into our connections. We then make Introductions on the spot. Click here to read my blog for step by step details. Many of my clients have hosted their own LinkedIn Parties. Try it.
  • Introductions – I make 2 meaningful introductions from my LinkedIn network for each client that I meet with. The goal is to get 2 coffee meetings and then get 2 more, then 2 more. LinkedIn says that for every 300 views of a profile job seekers get a job offer. I translate these to 150 coffee meetings (since the face to face meetings speed up the process).
  • Group networking meetings, I attend 2x per month (I check out the MSP Business Journal and Star Tribune Business Sections for a listing of events and pick 2), I make it a habit to approach someone first with a genuine smile, a warm introduction (my first and last name, nametag on top right near my smile) a firm handshake and a sincere open ended question such as – “what brings you here today?” or “where are you coming from?” or “who do you hope to meet today?” or “what do you desire today?” – that one really throws them, as most people don’t know what they desire.
  • I start my day giving away HUGS, it’s my coffee time (see the blog) – every M-F between 7:00-7:15 am I’m on my LinkedIn. I have a set process where I provide 10 Endorsements, thank Endorsers, invite 4 new people to my network, Like, Comment, Share, reach back to people who have viewed my profile and post on the Home page and in Groups, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
  • Each morning, I read the MSP Business Journal app, my Google Alerts and the Star Tribune and send an article to someone that I think would benefit. In addition, I will make meaningful connections to people that I think would profit by knowing each other.

TIP: Be the first to approach someone at an upcoming networking event. If you’re in a group or at a table have an open heart, a warm smile and an outreached hand. Invite that lone person to your table. You know how it feels.

I thank you for sharing your smile and for making meaningful connections. What can I be on the look-out for you today?

Be well, my new friends,

Anne

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Anne Pryor is a Universal Connector, LinkedIn Trainer, Certified Online Brand Specialist, Future Mapper and Co-founder of Meaningful Connections, a national leader in personal branding, online visibility using LinkedIn, and career and new world of work strategies. Meaningful Connections is a collaborative partner of theCollaborative Leadership Center at Sugar Lake Lodge, Grand Rapids, MN. See her other blog posts at: www.MeaningfulConnections.com

Tips to Use Pinterest for Job Search: A Great Resume Tool for Multiple Career Paths

Pinterest Resume for Multiple Career Paths

Pinterest Resume for Multiple Career Paths

I teach LinkedIn and Online Branding for Job Seekers for dislocated workers in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.  I noticed that many of my ‘students’ are in their mid career and they have diverse interests.  They could go in a number of career directions.  When I introduced Pinterest as an online site 90% of the class lit up.  Both men and women appreciated the tool.

Pinterest is a great tool for ideation.  I’m encouraging my clients to create a ‘vision board’, a dream board where they can pin great ideas of jobs, environments, industries, products and services and companies that they would like to work for.

Below is an article adapted from a Brie Weiler Reynolds,  the content and social media manager at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings, and a former career advisor. At FlexJobs, Brie offers job seekers career and work-life balance advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media, including Pinterest.

1. Pin Your Resume

Search for “my resume” on Pinterest, and you’ll get thousands of hits. Be more specific with your search terms (writer resume, business resume, graphic design resume) and more results pop up. Some are basic resumes with standard information and layout. Others are stylized pieces with creative layouts and catchy graphics. Most fall somewhere in between. The goal of pinning your resume to Pinterest is to get it shared throughout the site, so make sure it’s somewhat eye catching, error-free and compelling — wouldn’t you want those qualities in your resume, anyway?

2. Create a Resume Pinboard

 

Rather than pinning your full resume as one pin, create an entire board that represents the different parts of your resume with different pins. Pin pictures of the companies you’ve worked for, schools you’ve attended, places you’ve volunteered and hobbies you enjoy. Because Pinterest is a visual medium, it can provide a multi-dimensional representation of your two-dimensional resume. And, utilize the text box given with each pin to describe the image, how it relates to your career and why it’s important to you.

3. Follow Career Experts

If you’re in the market for some job search advice, Pinterest has a lot to offer. Sites like CareerBliss use pinboards to showcase inspiring ideas and items related to finding work that makes people happy. 

4. Link to Your Pinterest Resume

Once you’ve created a board for your resume, you need to tell people about it. Add it to your LinkedIn portfolio, your Facebook and Twitter profiles and your other online resumes.  Include it in your email signature, and add it to business or calling cards if you have them. The more places you show off your Pinterest page, the more it can help your job search. Just be sure to keep all your boards clean and professional because they’re all viewable by anyone, at any time.

5. Be Inspired in Your Job Search

If you’re not ready to pin your life’s work experience to Pinterest, use it for its original purpose — for personal inspiration. Job searching can be disappointing and stressful. If you’ve just come back from a particularly bad job interview, or sent 10 applications with no response, head to your Pinterest board for images that help you smile, laugh and cheer up. Hilarious comics, adorable kittens inspirational quotes — whatever boosts your mood is fair game for pinning.

If you’re a visual person who enjoys creative outlets, Pinterest can be a great way to let off some creative steam while winding your way through a job search. And it just might help you on your way.

Pinterest can be an effective resume. Share your stories.

Enjoy being creative, my friends,

Anne

 

How to Write a Meaningful LinkedIn Introduction at LinkedIn Networking Parties

New LinkedIn Party Make New Meaningful Connections

How to Write a LinkedIn Introduction at a LinkedIn Networking Party, by Anne Pryor

How many really meaningful networking meetings do you have in a month? Do you know how you can help others by sharing your connections? Do you get stumped on what to say in the connection email?

As a Executive Career Coach and LinkedIn Sales Trainer, I have coached more than 55,000 people to be found for great jobs and profitable business opportunities leveraging LinkedIn. I find that all people appreciate being around people and they genuinely want to help others but sometimes don’t know how.

As a former job seeker and sales person, I liked to be with others, brainstorm, share ideas and connections. I have noticed that job seekers are often isolated, especially my introverted clients. In addition, my sales rep clients sometimes get stumped on who to contact next.

Because I have am a connector and my 1st degree connections know me, like me and trust me they are willing to help me and my friends (or 2nd degree connections). In order to help each other more meaningful, quickly and honestly in more fun way, I have created LinkedIn Parties.

Here’s how a Meaningful Connections LinkedIn Party works:

  • Invite: 3 to 5 people who have different but complimentary networks to a ‘LinkedIn Party’.
  • Meet up: at a location with internet access for instance a coffee shop community room, local community center, library room, virtual office location, the outplacement companies meeting room. In Minneapolis / St. some of our grocery stores have free community rooms .
  • Bring: computers, cords, business cards, calendars, and an open mind
  • Check settings: everyone has their connections open (check the Settings to open connections to Everyone).
  • Prepare: a list of 10 people that they’d like to meet: titles, industries, companies, specialties, location, size of company, (their target audience).
  • Take turns: each person gets 10 minutes to ask the other members to search for his / her targeted people.
  • Search: friends all go to the “Advanced” area located next to the white Search box at the top of the profile page and type in the targeted keywords, titles, industries, companies, locations, etc. and click search.
  • Make meaningful connections: when the member finds a good connection they send a message, inside of LinkedIn, they include the friend and create a message such as:

“Hi Nate,

I would like to introduce you to my friend Max. He’s on my softball team and he is a seasoned product manager who is interested in your advice and expertise around medical device manufacturing as he is seeking to transition from Company X. I am including him on this message and will invite him to reach out to you.

Please let me know what I can be on the look-out for you. I know that when good people meet good things happen.

Be well, my thoughtful friend,

Anne

Nate Nelson: nate.nelson@abc.com

Max Smith: maxsmith2@abc.com”

TIP: I always include the email addresses for each person in the introduction email, I get an 80% response rate with this template.

  • Goals: each person is targeting 10 introductions. After the initial message is sent the person connected follows up and sets up a networking meeting or call.
  • Thank, celebrate + measure: finally, each person reports back to the group at the end of the week and share their successes.

LinkedIn Party Successes:

  • Financial planner client scheduled a LinkedIn Party with a CPA and an attorney friend and he secured 14 coffee meetings with good prospective clients. Two turned into clients. They are now scheduling monthly meetings and inviting additional members.
  • Executive job seeker client is scheduling Friday LinkedIn Parties at the outplacement center with different executives from industries he is targeting. This client set up 11 networking meetings in 2 hours.

Do you think that you can host a LinkedIn Party? Try it and let me know how it works.

We’re all connected!

Anne

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Anne Pryor is a LinkedIn Trainer, Certified Online Brand Specialist, Future Mapper and Co-founder of Meaningful Connections, a national leader in personal branding, online visibility using LinkedIn, and career and new world of work strategies. She is the creator of LinkedIn Parties.