Posts Tagged ‘job market’

Giving Back and Paying Ourselves

August 2, 2013

Businesswoman giving thumbs upI recently moved here and joined the Center for Women. I meet so many great, mature women who are at a “crossroads” in their lives and career and they don’t see much opportunity ahead on the horizon.  When we talk about what they really want to do, going forward, many say that they would love a new career, in the non-profit sector, helping people in some way, giving back to their community.

This is a wonderful ambition.

But let me play “devil’s advocate” for a minute.

Today, what do most, if not all non-profits need? Regardless of the cause they support, what is most lacking?

Think for a minute? What are they crying out for?


Government funding has been cut, contributions are harder to come by and to do what they need to do, they need additional CASH.  Usually, they have enough talent. They need financial resources.

What do most women, looking into or changing a career need?


We need to make enough money to pay our expenses, educate our children, and retire-or at least have the choice to retire- someday.

So, how can we as women serve both purposes?

We need to find work in growing fields that pay a living wage and give us opportunities for the future. Then with some of the money we earn, we can give back to the non-profits we want to support through cash contributions and volunteering our time. Just imagine for a moment that you had the opportunity to work for a non-profit, earning $3000 a month or a for-profit company earning $4000. You could decide to give 10% of your income to your non-profit ($4800 a year) and still have an additional $7000 or so to invest for your future.

So, right now, where can we go to earn more money and how can we prepare to get there?  Where are some of the opportunities?

I am going to highlight 3.

  1. Coding/Web Design/ SEO: Many people think this is a “young persons” career but it is not. Many people have come to this later in life and are doing well.  Where do you get training?  Here in Charleston, one place is Trident Tech and if you want to do this online, there are some excellent courses. A new one I heard about today is  One Month Rails but there are many others.
  2. Nursing: There is a growing need for nurses and, based on our aging population, probably no end in sight. It does take longer to become a nurse and/or going into other health related fields and you may need some financing or scholarships. And you don’t earn money while attending school so it is not a choice for everyone.
  3. Your Own Business: Become an Entrepreneur. You won’t make a lot of money right off the bat, but becoming your own boss can have long term financial benefits. You might want to start with some free-lancing along with other work. At first, on the free-lancing sites, you don’t make much money because you need to build your reputation.  But look at sites like taskrabbit, elance and odesk. And Google is trying to help us with some free support for building and hosting websites for our businesses.

The story of John Templeton always inspired me. Templeton considered becoming a missionary in China, but he found he was ill-suited for it. So he came back here and grew his fortune in the stock market with the Templeton Funds.  With that fortune, he was able to help many people who needed his contributions.

Maybe not at his level, but maybe some of us can do the same and help those who need us.

BarbaraFowlerBarbara Fowler is a CMO and Partner with Chief Outsiders in the Charleston, SC area.
Follow her on twitter at @barbfow50 or contact Barbara at 908-956-4529 or email at


Dealing with discouragement in the job-search process

September 9, 2010

By Barbara Poole, a master-certified coach and president of Success Builders Inc.

Q: I’m so discouraged. I’ve been looking for a job for months, but I can’t seem to get past first base with the employers I’m submitting applications to. Help!

A: Being in the job search process these days can definitely feel more like a marathon than a sprint. It’s an employer’s market right now and they can afford to be choosy and take their time filling positions. With an ample supply of applicants who have vast experience and are willing to take a cut in both salary and job level in order to land a position, it can be very discouraging to feel like you a swimming in a vast sea of competitors. Couple this with the very real economic pressures posed by being between jobs, and the impact on self-esteem that comes with transition, and you have all the ingredients for an emotionally challenging period of time – this, when you most feel the pressure to be upbeat and on top of your game.

While it is important to consider how you might redirect your job search, it is just as critical to deal with the psychological impact of a prolonged quest for employment. In fact, taking steps to ensure your own well-being may just be the most important element of your strategy right now, since you want to appear capable and confident for employers. Try these approaches to keeping your energy and your spirits up during this period of time:

1. Don’t take what happens in your job search personally. It can be very discouraging to be on the receiving end of what feels like an endless string of “no’s”, or worse yet, the lack of any kind of response to your applications. This is not about you; it’s largely about the circumstances of the job market right now. It’s important to remember that the search process is in many ways like the numbers game of sales. Rejection is just a part of the process, so don’t allow yourself to get too attached to any one opportunity. Give the application your best shot and then move on.

2. Build in rewards for yourself for the right activity as opposed to outcome. This is about identifying what you CAN control and letting go of what you can’t. In a tough market, it’s important to submit a sufficient number of applications and well-crafted resumes to harness the power of volume in your search. That’s the part you have control over. So acknowledge yourself for generating that activity and build in affordable little rewards for yourself like a bouquet of flowers from the market or the occasional Starbuck’s.

3. Take a time-out to do something playful and light. It’s difficult to make a full time enterprise of something that feels discouraging. Another way to reward yourself for generating sufficient job-search activity is to take a day off from the process now and then. Leave it all behind and go to the beach for the day, or take a bike ride to the park.

4. Step up your self-care. None of us runs well on empty, and it’s easy to feel depleted in the midst of a prolonged job search. It is really important during this period f time to eat well, get plenty of rest, and get good exercise and fresh air to protect your immune system and keep yourself in top form.

5. Lean into friends and loved ones.
There is nothing like the boost that community provides to lift your spirits when you’re feeling sad or frustrated. This is the time to lean into others for support, for a shoulder, or for a good belly laugh. Chances are you know someone else who shares your circumstances, so use this time as an opportunity to connect and be reminded that you are not alone.

Despite how discouraged you might feel, remember that slow and steady wins the race. Stay focused on what you can control, take very good care of yourself, and know that somewhere out there is a job with your name on it. In due time, you will find your way to it, and the frustrations of the job search process will be nothing more than a distant memory.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, October 9, 2009.

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