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"Right on!" - Maggie Mistal said about Matching Your Personal Passion to a Promising Career. CNN dubbed Maggie "one of the nation's best known career coaches."

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Ellen writes feature articles for online content providers like the ones below, including Monster, USA Today, Scientific American, and TechRepublic. She is also a writer of website content, marketing copy, speeches, technical documentation, and pretty much any other kind of content development. Ellen's unique combination of creative, technical and business experience makes her quick to learn, efficiently productive, and valuable as a resource.

Read more about Ellen

Landing a Nonprofit Job Starts with the Right Resume

In many ways, non-profit organizations operate just like for-profit companies. They have many similar roles, departments, and policies. But there are some important factors to consider when preparing a resume for a non-profit job. The following are tips for writing a tailored resume showcasing the skills and attributes that appeal to non-profits.Working for a nonprofit organization can change what was the daily grind into a hopeful climb. Each completed task brings forth feelings of selflessness and purpose. For career seekers looking for more rewarding work - who want to see their contributions have more meaning than simply lining the pockets of profit - finding a paid job with a charity can lead them on a whole new path of lifetime accomplishment.

Read full article... External link

Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post for The Case Foundation External link


Positive Comments

"The post has gotten some great traction on our site!" - Stephanie Hackman for The Case Foundation

 
Techie Seeks Non-profit Job: How to Be a Big, Misunderstood Fish in a Small Pond

Trends in social entrepreneurship and skills-based volunteering, inspired by boomers who want more from work than wages and worry, are motivating greater numbers of corporate employees - even techies - to consider careers in the non-profit sector.

If you’re a techie who has bravely tuned into your wild inner longing for social change, no longer satisfied in hunting down bugs for dollars, you may be tempted to follow the scent to freedom. But making the transition from corporate to charity can be a rough one - akin to stepping back in time 20 years.

Trackball mice, Windows ME and After Dark

Most not-for-profit organizations operate primarily on funds from grants, foundations, and contributions from corporations or individuals Because of this, even if millions of dollars pour in, spending priorities are different. A charity that helps sick children is going to place services that directly help sick children as a higher priority than upgrading Windows on workstations or developing an Intranet to increase efficiency.

Read full article... External link

Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post for TechRepublic's Career Management Blog External link


Positive Comments

Note: There were 61 comments made in response to this article, and 19 votes. This article was #8 in the top 10 TechRepublic discussion threads for the last two weeks of 2010:

"Really enjoyed the article and sent it to some of the staff at the Dayton (Ohio) / Miami Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, where I have volunteered for over 10 years. The Chapter cannot afford a full-time technical person but your article gave insights to the "other side" as they have a paid person they use part-time and we have had some volunteers assist as well." John Sullivan, who also has written for TechRepublic

"Excellently described and the first 3 parts also describe my experiences with for profit enterprises." - kwickset@...

"This conversation is very important to me since I'll be retiring next July from IT work at Wright-Patterson AFB and am looking to volunteer for non-profits. I admit to some trepidation anticipating this adventure. Ellen's cautions hit the mark: I intend to get involved with the entire work of the charity (the mission and even the messy politics!) and offer to do IT where the opportunity arises." - william.sibbing@...

"Great article! And exactly on target for every non-profit I have ever worked for....EXCEPT Hillsborough Kids!" - Pamela Norris

 
Matching Your Passion for Photography with a Promising Career
This ancient Indian elephant shared a secret with me. Look for the profile of an Indian woman facing to the right. Her head starts at his eye, and her sari-wrapped body extends to the bottom of the image by his mouth. Taken with an Olympus Camedia C-740 UltraZoom

Photographers make a living in almost any industry and location – creating art, uncovering unseen data, documenting details, or telling a story. There are so many kinds of careers in photography – from highly creative to highly technical – that it can be difficult to choose which path to follow.

Photography Careers

Industries that rely the most on skilled photographers include:

  • Commercial / Industrial – Stock image, advertising, food and restaurant, fashion and glamour, real estate, portrait and studio, and event photography
  • News and Publishing – photojournalism and editorial photography
  • Fine Arts and Craftsmanship – fine arts photography and crafts photography

Read full article... External link

Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post for Memoirs on a Rainy Day External link

 
Take Steps Today to Become Your Own Boss

The day I walked out the door from my last job, knowing I was going into business for myself full-time from that day on, was a scary one.  I had built up in my mind that this was a major life change – a point of no return.

To further challenge my resolve, the organization I worked for really wanted me to stay – so much so that my boss created a special position for me, and the president herself asked me to stay.  But I knew that if they wanted me that much, they’d be willing to hire me as a consultant – on my own terms.

That next day, with no routine to follow, felt lonely and scary, even though I knew I was finally going to do what I love every day, my way.  My success or failure was now 100% up to me, and I had bills to pay and people counting on me.

Would I be able to attract and keep enough clients to support myself? What if I took on more work than I could handle? Who could I count on to do the things I couldn’t? What if I made a mistake so big there’d be no way to recover?

Read full article... External link

Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Work Happy Now External link


Positive Comments

"Thanks for sharing your experience. This is very helpful and inspiring to recognize that taking the “leap” of self-employment isn’t often so drastic." - Joe - Shakeoffthegrind

"I like your step-through and calling out some of the key considerations that can shape your path, along with things to watch out for." - J.D. Meier

"You’ve offered some great tips and ideas here." - Sue

 
When Cover Notes Work Better than Cover Letters

"Good things, when short, are twice as good." - Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Swamped with emails and phone calls, deadlines and program changes, staff issues and meetings, most managers these days are challenged more than ever to be efficient with their time. To them, reading a long cover letter that makes a detailed case for hiring a candidate may be as frustrating as a meeting that goes on without getting much accomplished, or a phone call with a client who just keeps talking. So when you send a carefully-crafted, succinct cover note, it can be like a breath of fresh air.

Why a Cover Note can be more Effective than a Cover Letter

  • Slingshot response - If managers read long cover letters at all, they are likely to breeze through them to see if the name of the candidate or referrer is familiar, or to look for red flags like spelling errors or tone. They know that they get the information that is most useful to them from the resume itself. Later, if there is need for further consideration, they could refer to the cover letter but most likely would just ask the candidate questions in an interview. Therefore, wordiness can render a cover letter ineffective. A quick cover note, on the other hand, acts like a slingshot - a simple, effective tool that motivates the reader to go straight to the resume.
Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Susan Ireland's Job Lounge External link


Positive Comments

"I agree 100 percent with everything you write here. It initially makes my clients incredibly nervous when I provide them 300-word-max cover letters. But then they put themselves in the hiring manager's shoes and suddenly, they see how much better a short cover note is. I'd testify under oath to how effective this can be!" - Elissa Poma

"Ellen, your idea of sending a "Cover Note" instead of a cover letter looks good and more importantly it is a welcome innovation in the field of job applications." - Cover letter format

 
10 Careers for the Survivalist

Are you being paid to be prepared? Smart survivalists choose careers that allow them not just to stockpile money and supplies, but to actually get paid to learn preparedness and survival skills. Here are 10 careers that will give you real-world experience in prevention, protection, rescue, and recovery:

  1. Emergency Management Training Program Coordinators are disaster management professionals that manage the details of training programs designed to improve a state or local government’s ability to respond to disasters. They may also act as advisors to political leaders about ways to reduce loss of lives or property in natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Read full article... External link

Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on The Survival Mom External link

 
Capture Your Passion in a Paycheck: Promising Careers for Photographers

It’s hard to find photographers who aren’t passionate about what they do. Perhaps it is the boundless potential of what can be done with photography – and the images that it captures – that inspires such enduring interest. Used to create art, document details or tell a story, photography is both an artistic and scientific medium – unlike any other.

But there are so many ways that photography is used – in almost any industry and location – and it can be hard to choose which career or careers are best suited for you.

Read full article... External link

Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Epic Edits External link


Positive Comments

"A very interesting and informative post. All new aspiring photographers should have a read." - CStGPA

"I thought in taking pictures, it’s enough that you have the write angle of your subject, but I realize it’s not only the “thing” you need to considered. Thank you for this post. Now I’m planning to take a short course in a much broad field of photography." - Photo pop art

 
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