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"I like this piece, Ellen!" - Toni Bowers, Head Blogs Editor for CBS Interactive's Tech Republic, about Techie Seeks Nonprofit Job: How to Be a Big, Misunderstood Fish in a Small Pond

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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.

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Is Graphic Design the Right Creative Career for You?

A lot of people ask me about my job as a graphic designer. They either don't know what it is, say "they don't have a creative bone in their body", or express a desire to be one, too. When I met my first graphic designer as a teenager, I had the same response - "What exactly is that? That sounds interesting - but I don't think I'm creative enough."

My interest was renewed in graphic design several years later while I was working as a public relations coordinator. My boss asked me to create an employee newsletter that would be sent out by email, and left it up to me to figure out how.

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Mommy Doodles External link


Positive Comments

"Well researched and well structured discourse. Please we need more of this thought-pro provoking article. God bless you. Good approach with the readers also good article. Give more information of this topic. I want to subscribe it please tell me the procedure. Thank you for the sharing." - web design singapore

 
5 Tips for Making Good Money as a Freelance Writer

The marketplace is full of opportunities for writers. There are always new messages that need to be communicated or old messages that need to be communicated in a new way. There are always people and businesses who need help looking good through the use of good writing. When economic times are challenging, the need to spread the word about products, services, and causes increases exponentially.

The following are 10 lessons I learned in the 12 or more years I've been doing work as a writer (in some capacity or another):

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Conversations with Writers External link

 
A Boomers’ Guide to Choosing Volunteer Opportunities

The face of volunteerism is changing. Challenging economical conditions, advances in technology, and boomers approaching retirement age are major influences on how non-profit organizations operate differently than in the past. There are many more people seeking help from service organizations, but there are also many more people who are volunteering.

These and other social trends inspired by boomers, such as the green awareness movement and flexible work schedules, are spurring the non-profit community to respond in pioneering ways. However, some boomers are finding that not all non-profits are ready for their services. The resources below can help boomers make informed choices about their encore careers as volunteers.

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Boomers Next Step External link

 
Matching Your Personal Passion to a Promising Career

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Passion can be a powerful motivating force – one that gives us a sense of reward when we fulfill it, and a sense of frustration if we try to set it aside. That deep need – whether it’s to contribute, change, curb, create or conquer – drives not just the decisions we make at moments of big change, but the daily actions we take as well. The key is to make decisions and take actions that turn our passions into work that pays off. The goal is to spend each working moment discovering our potential and creating a foundation for its fulfillment.

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Boomers' Next Step External link


Positive Comments

"Right on!" - said Maggie Mistal External link, who CNN dubbed "one of the nation's best known career coaches."

 
Create a Promising Career from Personal Passion

“All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man has taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of your first.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most of us seek a sense of reward from our work, and get frustrated if we don’t get it. We’re driven by some form of need – whether it’s desperation to pay the bills, a desire to establish a foundation for a secure future, seeking a way to get out of the house each day, or the pursuit for success, something compels us to keep working.

Pursuing a deeper passion, though, can lead to a more lasting sense of reward. Below the motivations of the moment lie hungers for fulfilling our unique potential that can lend powerful purpose and meaning to work, but only if they are fed. The challenge is to honor them – to listen to their guidance and each day take a step closer to fulfilling them, so that eventually our work is our passion.

Whether you’re driven to contribute, create, change, curb, or conquer, here are some tips for creating a rewarding career from your personal passion.

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Common Sense at Work External link

 
Use Social Media to Help Achieve Your Goals

It’s easy to feel like you’ve got a lot done in a day when you spend time on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. It’s that false sense of productivity that comes from accomplishments of dubious value – like levelling up in Farmville by teaming up with friends to grow patty pan squash (11 million people play Farmville), exchanging tweets with Nathan Fillion of the TV show Castle (670,000 followers), watching clips of last night’s dancing contest, or beating the top score in Word Twist or Bejeweled.

It’s hard to justify pulling yourself away from hundreds of neighbors who want you to send them fuel or houses or pineapples so they can keep digging for buried treasure or building a civilization or slopping their pigs. The sense of urgency to win the next round, support a friend who just posted a sad status update, find out what your favorite celebrity is doing at this moment, or watch an amazing video that all your friends are excited about can easily beat out that growing sense of impending doom about not getting an assignment done.

But social media doesn’t have to be a “waste of time”. There are lots of ways these sites can be used to help with productivity, motivation, and learning.

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Erica Says External link

 
Approach Your Career Plan Like a Project

What we think or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do.” – John Ruskin

I’ve always had a plan for my career, but after getting laid off recently, I decided it wasn’t working for me. I was frustrated with how long it was taking to reach my goals, and I felt destined to be stuck taking detours just to pay the bills. I felt overwhelmed about how to approach my career.

Then I shook myself awake and came to my own rescue. It dawned on me that my career was simply a project in my life, and I’m trained in my work to handle projects a certain way. So I applied my knowledge of project management to my career, and came up with a career project plan.

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on Luke Houghton External link

 
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