The Marben Bland Group Blog 2012 Year In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Marben Bland Group Selects Constant Contact Marketing Solutions

The Marben Bland Group (MBG) today announced that it has selected marketing tools from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT), the trusted marketing advisor to more than 450,000 small organizations worldwide. MBG plans to use Constant Contact’s full suite of tools: email marketing, event marketing, social media marketing, and online survey to engage with customers to create and build strong, long-lasting relationships.

The Marben Bland Group will use Constant Contact tools to create and build relationships with customers and prospects

Austin, Texas – January 3, 2013 – The Marben Bland Group (MBG) today announced that it has selected marketing tools from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT), the trusted marketing advisor to more than 450,000 small organizations worldwide. MBG plans to use Constant Contact’s full suite of tools: email marketing, event marketing, social media marketing, and online survey to engage with customers to create and build strong, long-lasting relationships.

MBG, President and CEO Marben Bland commented on the move by saying, “We are very pleased to partner with Constant Contact to provide the industry standard in email marking tools to our growing customer base.” Constant Contact is the perfect complement to our expert team and will enhance our ability to deliver on our promise of an “above expectation” experience to our clients.

With Constant Contact’s marketing tools, MBG can quickly and easily create professional-looking marketing campaigns, manage contact lists, and measure campaign results. Designed specifically for small businesses and organizations, all of Constant Contact’s marketing tools come with free award-winning support and personalized coaching to help users create successful campaigns that drive real business results. For more information, go to www.constantcontact.com.

About The Marben Bland Group
The Marben Bland Group houses over 60 professional career consultants, business experts and social media strategies with nearly 20 years of collective experience offering a wide range of social media, recruiting and job search services worldwide.

About Constant Contact, Inc.
Constant Contact is revolutionizing the success formula for small organizations through affordable, easy-to-use Engagement Marketing™ tools that help create and grow customer relationships. More than 450,000 small businesses, nonprofits, and associations worldwide rely on Constant Contact to drive ongoing customer dialogs through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and online surveys. All Constant Contact products come with unrivaled KnowHow, education, and free coaching with a personal touch, including award-winning customer support.

Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

The Marben Bland Group and the Marben Bland Group Logo are registered trademarks of Chandler Partners, LLC.

5 Ways to Power-Up Your Networking in 2013

Finding a job in today’s economy can be tough, but there are opportunities if you know where to look. And the best way to find these opportunities is not through online job boards, the classifieds, or employment agencies– they are found by networking. A survey from the top end job search site ExecuNet reveals that 80% of all jobs are obtained via networking.

Finding a job in today’s economy can be tough, but there are opportunities if you know where to look. And the best way to find these opportunities is not through online job boards, the classifieds, or employment agencies– they are found by networking.  A survey from the top end job search site ExecuNet reveals that 80% of all jobs are obtained via networking.

Hesitant Networkers

Unfortunately, many job seekers are hesitant to take advantage of networking because they’re afraid of being seen as pushy, annoying, or self-serving.  But networking isn’t about using other people or aggressively promoting yourself—it’s about building relationships. Tapping the hidden job market will take more planning and nerve than searching online, but it’s much more effective. Adopting a networking lifestyle—a lifestyle of connecting and helping others in good times and bad—will help you find the right job, make valuable connections in your chosen field, and stay focused and motivated during your job search.  Power-up your 2013 networking with these 5 tips from some of the best networkers I know.

Tip One: Figure out what you want before you start networking

Networking is most effective when you have specific employer targets and career goals. It’s hard to get leads with a generic “Let me know if you hear of anything” request. You may think that you’ll have better job luck if you leave yourself open to all the possibilities, but the reality is this “openness” creates a black hole that sucks all of the networking potential out of the connection.  A generic networking request for a job is worse than no request at all, because you can lose that networking contact and opportunity.  Asking for specific information, leads, or an interview is much more focused and easier for the networking source. If you’re having trouble focusing your job search, you can turn to close friends and family members for help, but avoid contacting more distant people in your network until you’ve set clear goals.

 Tip Two: Want to expand your network? —- Reach out to the people you already know

You may think that you don’t know anyone who can help you with your job search. But you know more people than you think, and there’s a very good chance that at least a few of these people know someone who can give you career advice or point you to a job opening. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!

Tip Three: Make a list of the people you know

Your network is bigger than you think it is. It includes all of your family members, friends, of neighbors, co-workers, colleagues, and even casual acquaintances. Start writing down names and you’ll be surprised at how quickly the list grows. Think about people you know from former jobs, high school and college, church, your child’s school, the gym, social media, or your neighborhood. Also think about people you’ve met through your close connections: your sister’s co-worker; your best friend’s boss; your college roommate’s spouse; friends of your parents; your uncle’s business partner. Don’t forget to include people like your doctor, landlord, accountant, dry cleaner, or yoga instructor…..Yes, you do have a job network, and it’s more powerful than you think.

Tip Four: Reach out to your network

All the connections in the world won’t help you find a job if no one knows about your situation. Once you’ve drawn up your list, start making contact with the people in your network. Let them know that you’re looking for a job. Be specific about what kind of work you’re looking for and ask them if they have any information or know anyone in a relevant field. Don’t assume that certain people won’t be able to help. You may be surprised by who they know.

Tip Five: Improve your communication skills

Effective communication is a cornerstone of job networking. As simple as communication may seem, much of what we try to communicate—and others try to communicate to us—gets misunderstood. Effective communication combines a set of learned skills, such as: attentive listening, recognizing and using nonverbal cues, managing stress in the moment, and understanding your own emotions and those of the person you’re communicating with. Toastmasters is the best place I know of where you can both enhance your communication skills and build a network.  Go to www.Toastmasters.org to find a club near you.

The Bottom Line: Focus on building relationships

Networking is a give-and-take process that involves making connections, sharing information, and asking questions. It’s a way of relating to others, not a technique for getting a job or a favor. You don’t have to hand out your business cards on street corners, cold call everyone on your contact list, or work a room of strangers. All you have to do is reach out. It may take a while but having a networking mindset will pay off.   Good luck with your 2013 networking efforts.

 

Because There was “No” Room

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
The word “No” is a constant in the lives of those seeking employment. Relentless and persistent, “The “No’s” can sap our strength, our confidence and our will during the job search. In this Christmas 2012 post, Marben Bland uses the story of Jesus’s birth to highlight strategies to overcome the “No’s” in the job search.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

We all know the story of Jesus’ birth as told in Luke 2:1-20.   The Roman emperor Augustus ordered all the people to be counted in a census.  As part of that count, all males had to return to their ancestral homes.  Joseph, a descendant of King David, traveled from his home in Nazareth to Bethlehem with his pregnant fiancée Mary in tow.  While in Bethlehem, the time for baby to be born came.  With the town teeming with people for the census, lodging was not available.  The only place Joseph could find for the birth was a manger “because there was no room at the inn.”

“The No’s” 

The word “No” is a constant in the lives of those seeking employment.  Think of the many times and many ways you have experienced “The “No’s” during you job search.

…”No – We don’t have a job for you.”

…”No – You are under qualified.”

…”No – You are over qualified.”

Relentless and persistent, “The No’s” can sap our strength, our confidence and our will during the job search.  Learning how to take “The No’s” with the confidence, grace and humility demonstrated by Mary and Joseph that day in Bethlehem can make all the difference in successfully weathering the “The No’s” in the job search storm.

3 Ways to Fight “The No”

Career expert Molly Cain, writing in Forbes Magazine, says that with the employment rate hovering around 7.5%, competition is at its highest right now, which means there can be lots of reasons you were told “No” about the job.  Molly recommends 3 things that we can do to fight “The No”.

1. Your Resume

Take a look at what you gave your prospective employer. If they’ve got any sort of head on their shoulders, they can typically read through lies, they can read through “elaboration” and they can read where you’ve panicked and tried to insert just about anything to lengthen the word count. Consider these resume “No No’s:”

  • Sticking your entire 20 year career on 1 page – Forget what your college career counselor told you – 2 or more pages is commonplace and is expected.
  • Failing to adequately explain breaks in employment – Due to the Great Recession, long breaks in employment is the new normal.  In my e-book the Smart Job Search, I show how savvy job seekers use the resume to highlight job productive things they have been doing while out of work.  List volunteering, freelancing, classes taken and other industrious stuff you have done while you have been unemployed.
  • Nonprofessional email address – An email address saluting your favorite Justin Bieber song is charming.  However, the email address on your resume should reflect the seriousness that you are bringing to the job search.   So while it is much more boring, use your name in your email address, such as: marbenbland@gmail.com.  It will be far more effective.

2. Your cover letter

Take a fresh look at the cover letter you sent.  Does it have typos?  Was it addressed “To whom it may concern?  Or, was it not captivating enough to get perspective employers to open the resume attachment?   I have an admission to make– I hate cover letters–they are filled with potential to bite you–but we have to do them.   Alison Doyle, the brilliant job search and employment expert, says that there are 3 general types of cover letters:

  • The application letter which responds to a known job opening
  • The prospecting letter which inquires about possible positions
  • The networking letter which requests information and assistance in your job search

Go to Alison’s website: www.about.com/carrers for examples of the cover letters listed above. I did. and now I have taken the “No” factor out of writing cover letters.

3. Your Networking

Are you getting “No’s” when submitting resumes to online job postings?  Well, you are not alone.   With nearly over 1,000 job seekers for any one job, it is easier to win Powerball than to get a call back from an online posting.   Now, I’m not trying to dissuade you from posting for jobs online, however a survey from the top end job search site ExecuNet reveals that 80% of all jobs are obtained via networking.   The vast majority of job openings are never advertised; they’re filled by word of mouth. That’s why networking is the best way to find a job.  Unfortunately, many job seekers are hesitant to take advantage of networking because they’re afraid of being seen as pushy, annoying, or self-serving.  But networking isn’t about using other people or aggressively promoting yourself—it’s about building relationships. Tapping the hidden job market may take more planning and nerve than searching online, but it’s much more effective. Adopting a networking lifestyle—a lifestyle of connecting and helping others in good times and bad—will help you find the right job, make valuable connections in your chosen field, and stay focused and motivated during your job search.  Several of my best networking friends have given me these 3 tips to pass along:

  • Figure out what you want before you start networking – Networking is most effective when you have specific employer targets and career goals. It’s hard to get leads with a generic “Let me know if you hear of anything” request. Asking for specific information, leads, or an interview is much more focused and easier for the networking source.
  • Improve your communication skills – Effective communication is a cornerstone of job networking. As simple as communication may seem, much of what we try to communicate—and others try to communicate to us—gets misunderstood. Effective communication combines a set of learned skills, such as: attentive listening, recognizing and using nonverbal cues, managing stress in the moment, and understanding your own emotions and those of the person you’re communicating with. Toastmasters is the best place I know of where you can both enhance your communication skills and build a network.  Go to www.Toastmasters.org to find a club near year. 
  • Focus on building relationships – Networking is a give-and-take process that involves making connections, sharing information, and asking questions. It’s a way of relating to others, not a technique for getting a job or a favor. You don’t have to hand out your business cards on street corners, cold call everyone on your contact list, or work a room of strangers. All you have to do is reach out.

What are you saying “Yes” to?

Clearly as a job searcher we are going to hear the word “No”…. repeatedly. However, we have plenty to say “Yes” to and those “Yeses” can be parlayed into a job.  Your days of unemployment should not be idle time. There are only so many episodes of “The Price Is Right” or “Sports Center highlights” one can endure before your mind turns to mush.  This may sound strange, but your time of unemployment should be a joyous time, a time of personal growth, a time of rejuvenation, a time to get your groove back, or a time to discover a new groove, or a time to give your groove to others.

In my e-book The Smart Job Search, I profiled Leslie Ross, a truck driver by trade, but out of work due to the post-traumatic stress caused by an accident where a young mother was killed.  Leslie, who was not at fault for the accident, couldn’t drive any more.  However, she had a broad and impressive, almost encyclopedic, knowledge of topics that ranged from the Dalai Lama to the origins of Honky Tonk, gained from hours listening books on CD’s in the cab of her 18-wheeler. After a year of job searching “No’s”, Leslie said “Yes” to a volunteer gig at her local library reference desk.   In the weeks that followed, Leslie assisted a struggling author with an obscure factoid from a book that she heard on an early morning drive from Modesto to L.A.  She helped a young student with a term paper about molecular biology, a topic that Leslie happened to hear about one day while listening to the leading expert on the subject interviewed on a late-night, call-in show as she drove from Destin, Florida to High Point, North Carolina. And, she astonished an executive with her insightful knowledge about his company gained through years of overhearing conversations at the loading dock of his company’s main factory.

Saying “Yes” to the volunteering proved to be Leslie’s eureka moment. She didn’t need to volunteer for the library…. she needed to work for it. Leslie the trucker reinvented herself into Leslie the librarian.  She enrolled in the library science program at the University of Pittsburgh. There, she thrived in the environment of knowledge, discovery, and arcane facts, and in two years, this former trucker from Indiana became a librarian.  Today, you can find her in the streets of Indianapolis serving the city’s neighborhoods.  With her newfound confidence, Leslie, the librarian, has started driving big rigs again. Only this time, instead of the books being on CD’s, they lined the shelves of her new 16-wheeler — the city’s bookmobile.  Leslie, our hard-driving, trucking librarian, found her new gig through the magic of saying “Yes.”

You have experienced enough “No’s” in your job search…..what are you saying “Yes” to?

The Bottom Line – Jesus said “Yes” to us

The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”

Luke 2:8-11 NLT

Jesus’s birth in a manger was “No” accident.  He was born in these humble circumstances to demonstrate to us that the word “No” should not deter us.  If the king of kings, our Lord and Savior was told “No”, what should being told “No” mean to us?  Instead, Jesus said “Yes” to us. He said “Yes” to our sins so we can live lives of significance, lives of dignity, ….and “Yes” lives of work in service to Him.

My gift to you in this joyous season is the hope you will be like Jesus and say “Yes” to not being defeated by the “No’s”

Merry Christmas

Making sense out of the tragedy at Sandy Hook

I have no answers for this tragedy for now I can only ponder with sadness about the unwrapped presents that won’t be opened this year, the birthdays that won’t be celebrated, the high school graduations that won’t be attended, the weddings that won’t be held.

It started as just another school day for the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  Children at the bus stop, children on the playground, and children in the classroom. However, it was not just another day for at about 9:30 a.m. as announcements were read over the loudspeaker shots rang outAnd when the shooting was over 20 children first graders between the ages of 6 and 7 were dead.

Why

The tragedy at Sandy Hook has shaken all of us.  Speaking for the nation a weeping President Obama simply said…”Our hearts are broken.”

This tragedy again beckons the question why?

—Why would someone shoot innocent children?

—Why do bad things happen to Good People?

—Why do these senseless rampages continue to happen?

I have no answers to these questions; the time for answers will come later.  For now all I can ponder is

– The unwrapped presents that won’t be opened this year.
– The birthdays that won’t be celebrated.
– The high school graduations that won’t be attended.
– The weddings that won’t be held.

Making sense out of the tragedy

What makes sense to me now is love. The outpouring of love within the Newtown community, the torrent of love from the nation, and the surge of love from the world tells me; while we are still filled with faults ….people are still good.

At times like these I am driven to my knees in prayer for solace and to my bible for comfort.  For as Abraham Lincoln said “I have no place else to go”.  Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them!  For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”   Matthew 19:14

The safe harbor of Jesus’s love is now the home of 20 children from Sandy Hook, 12 girls and 6 boys. Their death reminds us how precious and fleeing life can be.   And for now that is all the sense I can make out of the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

5 Ways to Grow Your Charisma

Who wouldn’t want to be charismatic? Synonyms for charisma are alluring, bewitching, captivating, fascinating, charming, enchanting, engaging, magnetic and seductive. Charisma is powerful and charismatic people can make others “drink the Kool-Aid.” When possessed by people like Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson, charisma is dangerously powerful. But when it’s used for good, the Kool-Aid is really sweet.

Why are some people charismatic and others are not? Are we born charismatic or do we cultivate it? And once you have it, can you lose it?

Joyce Newman, a consultant to high profiled executives, celebrity spokespersons, athletes and authors says “Everyone can be charismatic.” While we are not born charismatic – we cultivate it in many ways.” One way is by observing and learning from people who you think are charismatic. You don’t need to copy them, but learn their secrets, try them on and fine-tune them until they fit you. It’s a trial and error process. Bad news is that once you have your charismatic status, you can lose it. Just look at Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan. But here’s the good news – if you lose it, with self awareness and effort, you can regain your charismatic ranking.”

You may be charismatic and not know it here are 5 ways to grow charisma.

1. Be Self-Confident

Self-confidence is the difference between feeling unstoppable and feeling scared out of your wits. Your perception of yourself has an enormous impact on how others perceive you. Perception is reality — the more self-confidence you have, the more likely it is you’ll succeed and the more charismatic you become to others. The blog Pick Your Brain offers tips on growing your self-confidence, here are 3 of the best tips: Tip one: Walk Faster – One of the easiest ways to tell how a person feels about herself is to examine her walk. Is it slow? Tired? Painful? Or is it energetic and purposeful? People with confidence walk quickly. They have places to go, people to see, and important work to do. Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self-confidence by putting some pep in your step. Walking 25% faster will make to you look and feel more important. Tip two: Good Posture – The way a person carries herself tells a story. People with slumped shoulders and lethargic movements display a lack of self-confidence. They aren’t enthusiastic about what they’re doing and they don’t consider themselves important. By practicing good posture, you’ll automatically feel more confident. Stand up straight, keep your head up, and make eye contact. You’ll make a positive impression on others and instantly feel more alert and empowered.  Tip Three Compliment Other People. When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling on to others in the form of insults and gossip. To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people. Refuse to engage in backstabbing gossip and make an effort to complement those around you. In the process, you’ll become well liked and build self-confidence. By looking for the best in others, you indirectly bring out the best in yourself.

2 Tell Great Stories

Appropriate and well-told stories are powerful tools to reach and relate to people.  Great stories teach without preaching they paint mental pictures worth more than a thousand buzzwords.  Geoffrey James writer of “Sales Source” one of the world’s most-visited sales-oriented blogs has come up with three tips for developing great stories that hit an emotional cord.   1. Decide on the takeaway first:  Figure out exactly what you want the listener to believe, understand or do when you’ve completed the anecdote. In social settings, stories are generally told to strengthen relationships; you might tell a funny story, for instance, so that everyone can laugh and feel closer. The same thing is true in business relationships–except that, in addition to creating a better relationship, the anecdote should advance whatever business transaction is taking place.  2. Begin with who, where, when … and a hint of direction. Every great story–and indeed, every great movie, novel, or TV show–starts with a person (who is going to do something), a place (where things are going to happen), a time (so people can relate “then” to “now”), and just a hint of direction, indicating where the anecdote is headed.  3. Pick the ending that will create the takeaway. When you tell the anecdote, you’ll start at the beginning of the story. However, what’s most important is the ending of the anecdote, which should make the point that you’re trying to communicate.

3. Become Realistically Pragmatic

In his landmark book Good to Great Jim Collins describe how companies transition from being average companies to great companies and how companies can fail to make the transition.  Collins introduces his readers to James Stockdale the highest-ranking naval officer held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.  During his seven years of captivity Stockdale observed that prisoners who were relied on being optimism about their situation did not survive.   He noted his survival was predicated on his realistically pragmatic view: That he would prevail in the end regardless of the difficulties however at the same time he must confront the most brutal facts of his current reality, whatever they might be.   Contrary to popular belief   charismatic people are not optimists they share Admiral Stockdale’s realistically pragmatic outlook.  They never doubt that the goals they set can be achieved however; they always take an honest stock the situation they current find themselves in. Charismatic people are realistically pragmatic they combine optimism with brutal honesty and a willingness to take action to change things to their ultimate long term favor.

4. Develop into a Servant Leader

A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid.” By comparison, the servant-leader shares power puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.  Charismatic people really does not care who gets the credit they just want to get things done. The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, which advances the modern servant leadership movement notes 3 common traits of servant leaders: Trait One: Listening: The servant-leader seeks to identify the will of a group and helps clarify that will. They seek to listen receptively to what is being said (and not said!). Listening also encompasses.  Trait Two:  Empathy: The servant-leader strives to understand and empathize with others. People need to be accepted and recognized for their special and unique spirits. One assumes the good intentions of co-workers and does not reject them as people, even while refusing to accept their behavior or performance. Trait Three: Commitment to the growth of people: Servant-leaders believe that people have an intrinsic value beyond their tangible contributions as workers. As such, the servant-leader is deeply committed to the growth of each and every individual within his or her institution. The servant-leader recognizes the tremendous responsibility to do everything within his or her power to nurture the personal, professional, and spiritual growth of people.

5 Grow into a Lifelong Learner

We have all seen “the most interesting man in the world” advertising campaign for the Dos Equis beer.  The advertisement features a montage of daring exploits involving “the most interesting man” when he was younger. Roughly in his 70s the exploits demonstrate that he grew into the charismatic most interesting man in the world because of his commitment to lifelong learning.  Rich stories and experiences just don’t happen they come to us as we activity see to learn new and different things in out of the classroom.  Abraham Lincoln said, “I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” This opens the premise that learning is a daily adventure.  The website WikiHow offers three tips on lifelong learning.  First, look at learning as an exploration and opportunity, not a chore. Don’t just force yourself to learn things because they’re important or necessary. Instead, learn things that you need to learn alongside things you love to learn. Second, read, make friends with your local library and new and used book sellers. Reading is a portal into other worlds and into the minds of your fellow human beings. Charismatic people read lots of books, all the time; it’s as simple as that. And reading will help you to learn the discoveries and mistakes of others who have gone before you; reading is, in effect, a shortcut so that you don’t have to learn things the hard way.  Thirdly create. Not all learning comes from outside you. In fact, some of the most powerful learning happens when you are creating or formulating something for yourself. Creation, like intelligence, can be artistic or scientific; physical or intellectual; social or solitary.  For me I have found writing, speaking and developing a business to be highly creative exercises that have sparked a wave of learning for me.  The most interesting man in the world has a point of view that life should be lived interestingly and his interest is powered by lifelong learning.

The Bottom Line

Being charismatic is not an antidote for all the difficulties of life.  Bad things happen to charismatic people.  Including feeling stressed, disappointed, and loss of employment.  In fact I know many charismatic people who have been unemployed for several years.   However, the five traits of being charismatic, 1. Self-confidence, 2. Telling great stories, 3. Being realistically pragmatic, 4.Developing into a servant leader, 5. Growing into a lifelong learner fosters a mindset that enables us the overcome life’s difficulties and to handle our victories with grace and humility.

Are you charismatic? How many of the 5 traits do you have? What about your co-workers, boss, spouse, friends and family – how many traits do they have?  It is never too late to become charismatic simply start living the traits.

 

5 Practical Ways to Make Money While Unemployed

Being unemployed is always difficult and especially challenging during the holidays when monetary pressures mount. I have been unemployed and broke a time or two during my career. Those experiences inform my work as a job search expert and small businessperson. In this blog, I am pleased to present five practical ways I have actually used to make money while unemployed. I present these tips with the strong admonishment to “check your ego at the door.” While all of these moneymaking methods are legal, moral, and ethical, many may perceive them as being beneath “your current station in life.” Remember the goal is to create income during the time that you are unemployed, not keeping up appearances.

Being unemployed is always difficult and especially challenging during the holidays when monetary pressures mount.  Financial guru Phil Taylor says it is important to stay positive and pragmatic when you have no job and no income.  Positive enough to know that things will get better, yet pragmatic enough to know that with effort there are ways to make income while unemployed.

I have been unemployed and broke a time or two during my career. Those experiences inform my work as a job search expert and small businessperson.  In this blog, I am pleased to present five practical ways I have actually used to make money while unemployed. I present these tips with the strong admonishment to “check your ego at the door.”   While all of these moneymaking methods are legal, moral, and ethical, many may perceive them as being beneath “your current station in life.”  Remember the goal is to create income during the time that you are unemployed, not keeping up appearances.

1. Waiting Tables – This is the perfect job for job searchers, allowing you to work nights and weekends, leaving the day free for job search activities.  Try to get hired at high end establishments– they are great for larger tips and networking opportunities.

2. Selling Your Stuff – One woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure.  And, in this interconnected world, there are endless outlets to make the sale–online with eBay and Craigslist and offline with yard sales and consignment shops.  Sold all of your stuff?  Consider selling stuff for other people or make a deal with your busy working friends to sell theirs.  It is a total win/win–your friends get rid of needless clutter and you both make money.

3. Collecting Aluminum Cans – There is money in those old cans! Metal recycling companies across the United States pay for aluminum cans. Although the going rate for aluminum changes daily, the demand for the aluminum remains constant. With time and effort, you may turn what others casually tossed along roadsides into a small but steady source of income, as you help to clean the environment. The website eHow.com has a wonderful article on how to make money collecting aluminum cans

4. Tutoring – Have a knack for a certain subject?   Consider offering up your brain power for some quick cash.  The market for tutoring is best with grade school kids, particularly with students attending schools that are members of National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS),  My son attended a NAIS school and I can tell you from personal experience that I spent a ton on tutoring.  Use the link above to find a NAIS school in your area.

5. Baby Sitting– If you enjoy kids and are good with them, this can be a fun and easy way to make a little cash. Advertise your babysitting services for free online with SitterCity.com, the premiere site for finding the right babysitter.

Bonus Tip:  Blogging – I hesitate to put this one in this list because it really isn’t quick money, but you can make decent money with a little luck and a few months of solid, consistent effort. Believe me, it can be tough and a bit time consuming, but it can be done.  Many people who write blogs today simply want to share their opinion on something. But then there are the business-minded folks, who have found a way to use blogs, or Web logs, to bring in a little extra cash too.  Microsoft Business Hub has a great blog on how to get started.

The Bottom Line 

The five tips and one bonus tip presented have one thing in common–they all require action.  Generating cash with no job or prospect of a job takes work, imagination, and the willingness to leave your comfort zone.  Take it from me–I have been unemployed and broke and when it seems darkest, money can be made, but it takes effort.   I know you can do it and I look forward to hearing your tips for making money while unemployed!