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Category Archives: About Julie

Why I need to be the author of my own blog content

Why I need to be the author of my own blog content

Why I need to be the author of my own blog contentIn recent weeks, at least two people asked who writes my blog content. Until they asked, I assumed everyone knew I write everything on my site. I truly believe that my voice has to be the one on my blog.

I get requests frequently from people who would like to supply content here. I generally hit delete because the requests are from people I never heard of before and I don’t want anyone else writing my content.

Who writes your blog content?

One of my clients said that he didn’t know when I found the time since he knew how very busy I have been all year with new clients. He assumed I bought content or had other people write for me. He couldn’t see how I found time to write blog content with the number of clients I was juggling.

When he bought his package, he was disappointed because there were no open appointments for two weeks. But all was well and he was happy because I immediately added him to my cancellation list. He was able to get his project going much sooner due to clients who had to cancel because they were ill or had unexpected work commitments.

I told him that one reason I am writing more content lately is I recognized I failed to prioritize writing content. It is this blog that built my business and as I got busier, I slowed down writing blog content because I was writing for clients all the time. By reorganizing my schedule and by dropping other things, I found time to write.

Why writing blog content makes me a better career professional

In this blog, I often expand on answers to questions my clients asked. The blog allows me to give more career marketing information that will interest my clients and others looking for career help. I know I will never work with most of the people who read my blog, but I can make sure that there is quality content and information out there to help job seekers.

In the writing of this blog content, I find myself learning new things to help job seekers. It’s a win-win. The blog also gives me the opportunity to talk about things that are on my mind that go beyond career marketing, like this post. It’s a platform that let’s me reach out to other people and share my thoughts.

Love of writing

It helps that I really do love to write and you always get better at what you do with practice. Writing this blog for the past eight years and creating 970+ blog posts improved my overall writing and helped me understand content marketing to allow me to teach others.

This blog is a commitment but one that I truly love. As my list of regular readers expands, I find myself even more motivated to create new content.

Do you want to be on the cutting-edge of your career and job search? Read More Posts Like This One!

If I know there are people who appreciate my writing, it makes me want to continue writing.

Land your next role! I am the pioneer of a unique resume writing strategy. I use interactive live writing and coaching sessions to capture your value. This positions you for success in your resume, on LinkedIn, and throughout your job search. I help bring out your passion and stories to dig deep into your experiences with you. Learn more here

Image courtesy of iamharin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Slow down – you move too fast

Slow down – you move too fast

This year for Christmas (yes, I will always say Merry Christmas), I am working on consciously moving slower. We move too fast almost all the time. This year starting with the Christmas tree, I was deliberately slow. I documented it on Facebook. I took a photo of the empty tree. Two days later, I took a photo of the tree with just a few lights on and then later with just a few ornaments. I told the family as they passed through to put on a few ornaments. Last night, I took the photo you see in this post.

Ancient Christmas angelsTime for reflection

This allowed me to reflect on the process, to think about the memories attached to the ornaments. See those angels in the top middle? That’s a handmade ornament dating back to my grandmother. She was 72 when I was born and they were on her tree as long as I can remember. She died the day after Christmas in 1979. She met my further husband that year but told me she wasn’t coming to my wedding because she was going home before then. I complained when she said that and told her she could hang around a bit longer, she was 95 then but she knew. We got married in August of 1980.

The tree tells a story. Decisions made, choices, family, history. I think that’s why themed trees never held an appeal for me. I like taking the time to remember and this year, I took that time very slowly.

A few of my favorite things

I’d like to share a few more of the favorite things on my Christmas tree. Yes, it is a real one. I love the smell of the evergreen in the house and don’t mind the mess of the needles. To me, everything is too fast today. We don’t take the time to appreciate things. A real tree – even with needles that will need vacuuming makes me happy.

Christmas BirdThe next ornament I would like to share with you is the Christmas birds. There are actually many of them all over the tree. In the large photo at the right, you can see one at the top of the tree.  At the left, there it is in more detail. The bird says peace to me. They come from my Aunt Gardy who used to work for a special gift store and when she stopped putting up a tree, she passed them on to me. The birds were designed to fit on bulbs and illuminate but since our LED lights are much larger, we only have the birds positioned near the lights. The LEDs are cool lights but we did melt one bird some years back by having it too close to the wrong light. (Christmas memories.)

Being purposeful

Christmas GarlandThe tree is wrapped in handmade garland crafted in a third world country and bought at our church’s Mission Store. I make sure I buy something each year from the Mission Store. It lets me have tangible memories of why we need to help others. All of the funds from the store go back to the crafters. In the inset at the left as well as on the tree, you can see the little red tassels. My cousin, Judy, made those when my sons were little. They remind me both of family that I miss and my children’s early years.

There are many handmade items on the tree. Very few were made by me. But I treasure the time put into their crafting and creation. They all allow for contemplation.

Slow down and stop rushing

I think we all rush through everything these days. Seasons overlap each other and we live distracted lives. I am guilty too of being sucked in by electronic devices that take time away from contemplation and even interaction.

Breathe and treasure those moments

Today’s post is a break in my normal job search topics to share with you some of my memories and urge you to slow down. Breathe and treasure those moments. They don’t have to be elaborate or fancy. Simple memories will last longer. Slow down, we move too fast.

Make a move and trust!

Make a move and trust!

Make a move and trust!

In a Facebook conversation with Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter from Career Trend while talking about my husband’s decision to leave the caregiver role he had with his dad for the past 8 and a half years, I said “Sometimes you just have to make a move and trust.” Jacqui can relate. She and Captain Rob (her husband) moved from Kansas City to Texas to be able to follow their sailing passion. With a business such as Jacqui’s and mine, your physical location isn’t all that important any more since most of our clients are virtual anyway. Meeting with a client is just a phone call, Skype call, or WebEx meeting away. Communication is always national today and sometimes global.

Make hard decisions and Make a move and trust!

In our case, we aren’t moving to another state or even another house but my husband might as well have lived in another state for the small amount of time we had together in the last 8 1/2 years. Quality of life was missing and for us it is a critical component to our happiness. My experience with trying to keep the non-profit contracts going when I wasn’t happy with the demand on my time showed me that you have to make hard decisions sometimes and trust that it will work out. My choice to focus my energy on Design Resumes has definitely been the right decision.

I have been blessed with an incredible amount of wonderful clients who have helped me grow the business. Many of those wonderful clients have been directly responsible for sending me new clients who also fit the wonderful client description. Solidifying the technology to be able to replicate my in-office consultations was key. Now 70-plus % of my clients or more are virtual though I do see some Central Wisconsin clients in the office. Communicating with Skype and WebEx has made a huge difference.

Key to quality of life for many of my clients is integrity and because the market is changing and opportunities are growing, they are not willing to stay in roles that expect them to compromise their integrity or quality of life. Your work is important but it shouldn’t overtake your ability to have family time and personal down time.

If you are now in a role that doesn’t fit, maybe it is time to move on and trust.

Need help? Hire me, Julie Walraven, Certified Master Resume Writer. I can take the pain out of writing your resume and even make it fun with a personalized, interactive process that teaches you strategic job search.  To find out how to hire me, Click Here.

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When you are starting a new chapter in life

When you are starting a new chapter in life

 

When you are starting a new chapter in lifeIt was five years ago in December. December 2009 to be precise that I took a plunge into running Design Resumes full time or solo as I like to call it. It was a huge step. My business had been partnered with non-profit contracts since 1991 and had reached the point in 2008 that it provided a base of about $1600 for my business. In March 2008, I resigned from the Kiwanis contract and was left with $1000 from Wausau Whitewater. In December 2009, I made the final decision to drop Wausau Whitewater too.

Starting a new chapter in life Don’t Let fear drive your career and life decisions

On my mind from the outset was that I had let my fears drive my decisions. I had been afraid to face running a career industry business without the safeguard of the contract base even though I knew that around the world, many of my colleagues had done exactly that without that kind of base.

But in 2009, a bigger concern was driving me to make this big change. I was concerned that I would go through life without ever following my own dreams. In my family, there is a history of Alzheimer’s or dementia and I didn’t want to wait any longer to test the waters.

Starting a new chapter in life

I took that plunge and resigned. Then I took steps to learn my industry better and learn marketing strategies based on sound principles that also used social media as the base of the marketing. 2009 was still the height of the recession. Bold move considering the economic climate.

But it was also the beginning of when social media was growing and you could connect with someone across the world with the click of a mouse. I was willing to take that challenge.

The result has been a growing business that connects me with clients nationwide and sometimes worldwide. My content marketing strategy lets me use what I love. I have loved to write since I was a child. This blog and the other avenues out there have let me build relationships that have propelled my business into new areas.

I rapidly replaced that $1600 with new income from clients by extending my marketing reach, packaging better, and increasing prices to the industry standard.

Starting a new chapter in life – Today’s life challenge

After prayer and thought, my husband, Bill, who is now 67 and has been the paid caregiver for his father for the past 8 1/2  or more years, has decided to let someone else give that care. His father who is 92 is a strong-willed person and since Bill is cut out of the same block, they were increasing butting heads or at the very least, Bill was coming home every night exhausted and defeated. We spent those 8 1/2 years with only Sunday most of the time to share dinner with since he ate his meals with his dad. He rarely got home before 7pm and often left between 7 and 8am. We have not had a vacation in those years and were on call even when Bill wasn’t there.

We don’t yet know where this will go. Bill was a remodeling contractor for 20 years and a home inspector for 8 years but the market is still soft here and there are many younger men in the game. Bill has always been independent. Shortly after we married, we landed a job managing property and did that for 6 years together until we accepted a transfer to Naperville that rapidly ended and left us with no jobs, no home, and no income and 2 children under the age of 2. When that job ended, Bill sold advertising until the profitability of the commissions became much less than remodeling income. I started Design Resumes and the non-profit contracts. Here we go again.

Starting a new chapter in life

On the flip side, I have never been busier and I can use someone to run errands and take care of the many things I can’t do when I am busy with clients. Ironically, his income from his father was $1600. We have replaced that before. I have a solid marketing strategy now and a network of wonderful clients who generously refer me to their friends and family members.

In the end, I know we will survive. I know it hasn’t been healthy for Bill or his dad to try to sustain this life. With an outside caregiver, there won’t be the family interaction of father and son. Emotionally, it has taken such a toll on Bill that it affected his relationship with everyone. It will be healthier for him to find out what is next.

Starting a new chapter in life – Your life challenge

I speak often about the challenges job seekers face when things end. I also speak about giving up unhealthy roles in search of the right fit. If you are currently struggling with life situations and trying to figure out where you are meant to be, perhaps it is time to speak with a career professional.

Need help? Hire me, Julie Walraven, Certified Master Resume Writer. I can take the pain out of writing your resume and even make it fun with a personalized, interactive process that teaches you strategic job search.  To find out how to hire me, Click Here.

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