Build Your Career HERE – Learning New Skills
Mar02

Build Your Career HERE – Learning New Skills

Part of securing yourself in a job is having the skills to go all the way. Yes, you need to know the essential functions of a job before you sign on the dotted line, but if you really want to succeed, you should also know how to communicate, how to be a leader, and how to fail gracefully. Depending on your comfort zone and your age, there are a variety of different ways for you to go out and find a little leadership coaching. Age has been on my side, and I have been afforded the opportunity to be a part of the Emerging Leaders Alliance through the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. This group’s mission is to develop a community of future leaders in Northeast Indiana and create opportunities for action, growth, and regional pride. We do this through working on Vision 2030 committees, hosting social and professional development events, working on strengths training, connecting with our community leaders with professional development book clubs, and of course, supporting our entire region however we can. Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI) similarly affords this to me. While it is meant for a larger audience and a broader age range, it has different focus areas and many leadership roles for those who are interested. The opportunities to be vice chair of Living Fort Wayne (part of YLNI) and secretary of the ELA were only because I stepped out of my comfort zone and went out and looked to make myself and my community better. Luckily, many people were there to hold my hand, figuratively. Not everyone is in their 30s and able to dance between the kids and the adults. Some of us have more to lose and need to get the skills and networking now. I went back to the same experts I talked to last week and asked them about where you need to go in order to go far.   What are the best networking groups in the area? I will tell you this now because three people said it, but First Fridays is the place to be. According to Karl LaPan of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center(NIIC), Theresa Steele of Steele Business Coaching and Jim Johnson of 3 Rivers (also one of the founders), it is the best networking experience in town. According to Karl LaPan, “it is more than a networking group, it is also solid leadership development, so First Fridays is exceptional. This monthly meeting is a high return on investment. On one of my visits, I had five meetings and lunches as a result of attending and participating in the monthly event. The content and...

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Build Your Career HERE – Changing Paths
Feb20

Build Your Career HERE – Changing Paths

How many of you feel like leaving your current job will be a job in itself? Your resume may be solid if you are staying in your current field. The problem is that jobs are limited in many fields and require people to leave the region if they want to advance in your industry. If you want to stay close to your friends or family, sometimes you have to think outside of the employment box. Even if you are ready to do this, your resume can be more of a curse. You work your whole life to make that piece of paper seem exciting and important, but when you decide to take a chance and make a change, it hurts you more than it helps you because your employer only sees your employment history and not your valuable talents. We all get it. Finding a job can be hard. Even if unemployment is low, one line on a resume can make someone else look just a little bit better. So what exactly do you do if you are wanting to make that change? Well, it isn’t quite as difficult as it feels. I talked to some industry experts in business consulting, economic development, management, professional development and entrepreneurial development. Unsurprisingly, these people had some of the same advice.   So how exactly do you find a career that is out of your normal work scope? Even the experts have made big career changes and have found successes. Sonya Snellenberger-Holm, Project Manager for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership told me, “I made a big shift in jobs when I started at the Regional Partnership. Before starting my job in economic development, I had only worked in the restaurant industry. While the two aren’t related I do think that being a bartender/server helped shape what I really wanted in a career. I knew I wanted a job where I could talk to people and build relationships with them. I also knew that I wanted a job that the result would make people feel happy. People like to go out to eat to socialize and have a good experience; people also like when their personal per capita income is raised, and they have more access to jobs. It takes very different steps to get to the result, but the outcome is the same. I like to make people happy. For anyone switching careers to something that is out of their norm, I would suggest going back to the basics. What makes you happy? Trust in the process and welcome the new change in your life, you never know what new stories you’ll...

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