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Is EU funding opportunities administration an art?

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Startup entrepreneurship is not only hard working , but partying as well !

  Happy New Year! We hope you had a fun and safe New Year’s Eve and are excited to dive into 2015. Like most of you we have had an exciting, exhausting More »

BrandBar Happy Hour Chat with Andee Hill, CEO of EscrowHill.com

We are excited to have Ms. Andee Hill the CEO of EscrowHill.com as our guest next week! Ms. Hill will be joining us November 6, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. EST via GoToMeeting. More »

Explore Swift Travel Deals : a brand new startup related to unique traveling

Interview with Ileaa Swift   Ileaa Swift opened Swift Travel Deals in February 2012, after spending 7 years of booking and researching travel for family and friends as a passion and a More »

Iraklis Fovakis,artist and young entrepreneur invites you to his exhibition Carte Blance

                                    Τhe Art gallery of Mykonos invites you to the new solo art exhibition “Carte More »

 

Explore Swift Travel Deals : a brand new startup related to unique traveling

Interview with Ileaa Swift

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Ileaa Swift opened Swift Travel Deals in February 2012, after spending 7 years of booking and researching travel for family and friends as a passion and a hobby. She studied the travel industry and researched several travel agency franchise options prior to starting her own travel agency in 2012. Since opening Swift Travel Deals in 2012, Swift Travel Deals has reached over 200,000 clients and potential clients worldwide and has a staff of 105 including travel and referral agents located in the United States, Europe and Africa.
Ileaa was recently awarded the Arkansas Business 20 in their 20’s Most Influential in Business and Community Award by Arkansas Business where only 20 people under the age of 30 were awarded in the state of Arkansas and has been featured in numerous magazines and news outlets around the globe.
Ileaa is a Certified Travel Agent, certified from the Travel Institute, a Travel Expert and a Travel Writer. She uses her presence in the travel industry as a platform for philanthropy through volunteer efforts and community service through Swift Travel Deals.

Iraklis Fovakis,artist and young entrepreneur invites you to his exhibition Carte Blance

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Τhe Art gallery of Mykonos invites you to the new solo art exhibition

“Carte Blance” of Iraklis fovakis at “Maria Igglesi” chamber,

Matogianni. The openings will occure on Tuesday 22 of July at 23:00

p.m.

“Many times I resist. But there are times that I’m using my fantasy

as a shelter. That place is the one which keeps attached with my

instinct. I cross all the lines, all the moral laws, but I do not regret.

Afterwards I go back to my life, in a life which I wanted to be in carte

blance, but it’s just without a backround.

And that’s why I dare you, I beg you, touch. Cause the only permanent

lover is ourselves.”

 

Info at: +30 6979200853 – www.iraklisfovakis.com

Brief Résumé

Iraklis Fovakis was born in Heraklion, Crete, in 1968. He studied at the

Faculty of Education in Belgrade in 1989, in 1996 he graduated from

the Psychology Faculty at the Rethymnon University and in October

of 2011 he completed his studies at the 4. Paint Laboratory of John

Valavanidis and afterwards of Panayiotis Haralampus of The Athens

School of Fine Arts. He has worked as a special educator in several

private and public schools of special education and practises from 1996

till the present day as a psychologist at the Evaluation and Treatment

Center of Psychological Support and Speech Therapy “Dia Logou” in

Heraklion and Athens, offering his services to groups of people with

Group Exhibitions

• 2005: Participation in a group painting exhibition at the

• 2008, March: Participation in a group painting exhibition

Heraklion Municipality in Crete on behalf of The Charity

“Zoodochos Pigi” for children with Special Needs.

within the “Differentiality” Festival at “Booz Cooperativa” in

• 2008, April: Participation in a group painting exhibition in the

• 2010, March: Participation in a group painting exhibition

• 2012, December: Participation in a group exhibition of Plastic

Museum of Plastic Arts in Heraklion entitled as “Art Starting-

of The Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) with subject

“Bipolarity and Art”.

Arts at the “Zappeion” Mansion in Athens with the title

• 2014: Participation in a group exhibition at Museum

• 2014: Participation in a group exhibition at the Pantokratora

of Modern Art in Rhodes with the title “Upcoming”, a

collaboration with School of Fine Arts of Athens.

Gate in Heraklion of Crete with the title “In the honor of the

Greek” in memoriam for the 400 years since the birth of the

painter EL GRECO,a collaboration with the Museum of Modern

• “The Pass” at the city loft “Seventh” at Sintagma, Athens. 2011, October: Degree Paper Presentation with title “The

• “The 2010, December: Personal painting exhibition with the title Cortège” at the Area of Art and Action “Vrissaki”.

• “Intentions” at the Art Gallery Café in Athens. 2010, November: Personal painting exhibition with the title

• “Revising Everything” at the Hall of Art “Eran” in Heraklion. 2009, November: Personal painting exhibition with the title

• 2001, March: Personal painting exhibition with the title

 

Recognizing the Customer from Hell

“Are you fuckers listening?” 

“uh…wha…what?” I sputtered.

“I know what I want done and I want you fuckers to listen.”

Ignoring his insult, I ask a direct question. “This thing you’re asking us to do, you know it’ll hurt your business if it doesn’t work, right?”

Our toxic customer had asked us to do something we both knew would hurt their business. But this was pretty standard for them. Ask for something horrible or impossible, have it blow up in your face, then blame the people that warned you against it.

Insane right? Who allows a customer to treat them like that?

We allowed it because we couldn’t recognize the customer from hell.

Customers from hell behave badly and they get away with it because as entrepreneurs, most of us are ignorant. Most of us don’t know what the customer from hell actually looks like until we’re already in hell with them. But by then it’s too late, they’ve already done their damage.

Which means without recognition, we’re powerless to stop them.

But how do we recognize the customer from hell? Is there a pattern they choose to follow? You’ll need answers to these questions if you plan on using your customers from hell to attract all-stars.

The first step: Recognizing the Customer from Hell.

There are six main types. These customers aren’t necessarily malicious. They may have had a terrible experience with someone before you. Or they may feel that the only way to get what they want is to behave badly. Doesn’t matter, their behavior sucks and you need to fix it. Behaviors like…

1. The Know-it-all can do anything and everything better than you

They know how to run your business better than you (or so they say). They rarely miss an opportunity to remind you that they know more than you. It’s difficult to get these customers to trust you – they seem to believe that deep down you’re really incompetent.

2. Snobs think they’re better than you

They see you as “the help”. They smirk at you; they talk down to you and treat you as if you’re beneath them. Sure, they may follow your instructions, pay their bills on time and do whatever you ask, but only so long as you know your place (that you work for them).

3. Indifferents that love to say “just take care of it”

They pay for your product or sign up for your service. That’s the easy part. Once that happens they disappear. They disconnect, completely removing themselves from the process. They can’t be bothered to help you get the results they’re paying for or do the work themselves. The weird part? These Indifferents are pissed when they don’t get the results they “deserve”.

4. Freeloaders who take as much as they can for as long as they can

If they have to pay they spend as little as possible, working to stretch each dollar further than it’s supposed to go. If they agree to buy your product they want you to throw in a bunch of extras (on top of any bonuses you’re offering) as a sign of “good faith”. If you’re selling services they’ll use vague wording in your documents to squeeze more free work out of you. If 90% percent of your materials are free and you decide to charge for something they’re upset about it.

5. Dictators that tell you what they want, instead of asking

Their attitude? “I’m the one with the money; you’ll do as I say”. Working with these customers becomes an uphill battle as they fight for control over how things are done. They’re okay with abusing you so long as it gets them what they want.

6. Irresponsibles who agree to the terms you lay out ahead of time

Then completely ignore those terms once the sale’s been made. You can’t count on Irresponsibles to keep their word or honor any commitments they’ve made. They’re not always malicious, but they’re not reliable either.

These customer types aren’t isolated either. A customer can be an irresponsible dictator, a freeloading snob or any other combination.

What’s worse, the customer from hell acts as all-star repellant.

They create an environment where all-star customers don’t stick around. If you can’t get all-stars to stick around you’re stuck with mediocre customers and you guessed it, the customers from hell.

So how do you use the customers from hell to attract all-stars?

Customers from hell and their all-star counterparts are attracted to similar things.

  • The know-it-all respects knowledge. All-stars look for knowledge and the sway your knowledge has over others. They want to see that you’ve got an audience (or you’re building one) that cares about the stuff you’re sharing.
  • Snobs believe you’re beneath them. All-stars look for prestige. Are you known in your industry? Are you gaining recognition or winning awards? Are you doing great work locally? All-stars that care about prestige look for elements that say “you’re somebody I should work with”. Prestige won’t eliminate snobbery, it just points it in a different direction.
  • Indifferents are apathetic. All-stars on the other hand, are available. They realize they’ll need to participate in the process to get the results they want. They’ll give you what you need to get the results you’ve promised so share your expectations ahead of time. Tell your customers what you need and when you’ll need it.
  • Freeloaders want something for nothing. All-stars want to try before they buy. They’re more interested in getting what they want and less interested in freeloading so they can do the work themselves. They’ll look for the resources that give them the greatest chance of success and once they’re comfortable, they’ll go for it. Give them an opportunity to sample or try your offer. Show them why they need it and show them how to sign up.
  • Dictators want to be in control. All-stars trust those that are in control. They respect entrepreneurs that have self control and control over their business. Offer dictators controlled choices (do you want A or B?). Give them control over as much as you can, whenever you can. Gently hold them accountable if they cross the line.
  • Irresponsibles are unreliable. All-stars look for reliability. Show all-stars that you’re reliable but make it clear you expect the same from them. Use your policies to create an environment where reliability is rewarded. Accountability makes Irresponsibles nervous but it attracts all-stars to you.

Wait a minute, aren’t most customers like this?

It’s true most customers act like this at one point or another. But you’re not looking for customers having an off day. You’re looking for behavioral trends. Customers from hell display bad behavior on a pretty regular basis; it’s a way of life for them.

Okay, if customers have an off day, does that mean they’re not an all-star?

Nobody’s perfect.

An all-star having an off day isn’t the same thing as a Dictator that’s constantly harassing you with support calls.

What’s more important is how you handle an all-star’s off day. An all-star customer can quickly turn into the customer from hell if they see that bad behavior works.

You’ll need to maintain the right mix of boundaries and expectations if you want them to stay an all-star.

What if my all-stars get contaminated?

How you treat your customers has more of an effect on them. If they have an off day and you handle it poorly your customer may have more “off days”. Too many of those and suddenly you’re dealing with the customer from hell.

You can’t use the customer from hell until you recognize them.

The customer from hell behaves badly and they get away with their bad behavior because entrepreneurs don’t recognize them. Seeing these customers for what they are gives you what you need to attract all-star customers.

Would you like to start your own online travel guide magazine for 29 usd ?

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Travelguidescript.com  is a platform where you can create a travel guide for your hometown, country, or another place you know really well. This might seem like a lot of work, but  www.travelguidescript.com gives you a template to work with so that you don’t have to think about any of the design or lay-out aspects. You just have to add places and write about them.

You know what’s even better? You can earn money from these travel guides!

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Our Travel Guide theme and script has been designed specifically for travel websites, and it has everything you need if you’re talking travelling on your website.

Our Travel Guide will help you get the beautiful and functional website your business deserves. If you have a travel or tour business, want to build a travel oriented portal, a guide website, or you just want to share your travel adventures online, this is the theme you need.

The base cost for the theme is a measly $29, or if you want a year of free hosting and a custom logo, $99!

The theme is customizable, and you can opt out or in for the features you want it to have! Unlike other travel themes who can’t be edited or who saddle you with unnecessary features, you can make Travel Guide as complex or as minimal as you want it to be!

Features of the theme include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Map and geo tagging
  • Rating system
  • Photo gallery
  • Integrated Google maps
  • Reviewing platform
  • Posting platform – text & gallery
  • Hotel booking system
  • Blogging platform
  • Directory system
  • Events management system
  • Regional Festival scheduling
  • & much more

 

Want more revenue than what your website brings to you? Travel Guide is also optimized for Google Ad Sense, placing ads where they will attract more attention and bring you more revenue! Not only that, but the booking feature can help you get more money too.

With Travel Guide Script you can:

  • Maximize earnings for each travel site you apply it to, by attracting more customers and making them stay on your site
  • Increase your passive income with AdSense
  • Earn booking fees for each hotel reservation of up to 25%
  • Earn income from advertisement sales

Travel Guide Script is the best thing you can add to your site if you’re travel oriented!

Are you ready for a better brand image and more customers? Then go to www.travelguidescript.com  and get the theme today!

For more information, go to – link -!

Best regards,

Travel Guide Script !

 

Estonia is a Startup Paradise

Everyone is always looking for the next silicon valley and there are always rumors of which nation will rise to the challenge. Often times countries do not live up to the hype but sometimes there is merit behind all the buzz, the perfect example being Estonia. You can’t talk about digital excellence without mentioning Estonia in the same sentence, after-all they are nicknamed E-stonia for a reason. This European nation loves technology as their president Toomas-Hendrik believes the tech industry is the future and it is not uncommon for technology education to be taught at the kindergarten level. This is the same nation which were the brains behind Skype and Kazaa, which was once a file sharing giant.

This is a nation where voting can be done from the couch and you can sign documents digitally as Estonia has one of the fastest broadband Internet speeds in the world. In 2000, the government deemed Wi-Fi a human right and made this service free throughout the country, it is no wonder Estonia is home to so many wonderful startups.

15 Estonian Startups You Should Know About

1. 3D Wayfinder – 3D Wayfinder is a digital building directory that helps visitors find their way in large public buildings and building managers to earn new revenue through advertising sales. The solution has been designed to provide a pleasant and a convenient navigation experience.

2. Bondora –Bondora is a meeting place where individuals and businesses can borrow and lend money between each other. This website unites investors and borrowers from all corners of the world and allows them to borrow up to £10,000 quickly and easy.

3. Click & Grow – Click & Grow is a smart system that independently grows plants without the need of watering, fertilizing or any gardening know-how. They develop innovative plant growing systems from flowerpots to city farms.

4. DonateIT – DonateIt links together blood donors and donation centres in a quick and convenient way. They allow centres to inform potential donors when their particular blood type is needed and to keep them involved throughout the year. The app aims to promote regular blood donation, especially amongst younger people. It also tracks and shares your blood donations, how much you donated and when you can do it next. DonateIT makes donating blood socially engaging competing against one another for who can save the most lives.

5. Erply – Erply 3.0 gives retail stores a new operating system which adds social features to small businesses and makes them easy to use for everyone. ERPLY is a real-time POS & retail management system that manages all areas of your retail organization including point of sale, sales back office, inventory management, employee payroll, accounting, customer CRM, multi-channel/e-commerce and more, in a single integrated system.

6. Fleep – Fleep is a chat communication tool for teams and businesses. Incorporating some elements of Skype and email, Fleep is a simple tool that  strives to replace email in a business environment and helps you organise your multiple discussion streams easily.

7. Flirtic – Flirtic is the future of online dating, it makes dating more social and flirtatious, giving users the ability to express themselves more easily in order to find their perfect match. Flirtic.com incorporates the most popular and addictive features of social networks, including messaging, wall posting, ‘likes’ and entertaining games and quizzes. These features make it easy for even the shyest and most cautious people to help them to engage with new people, break the ice and start conversations.

8. Funderbeam – Funderbeam x-rays startups using standardised scores and familiar metrics from the financial markets. They provide startup intelligence to wealthy individuals and professional investors from start to exit and offer them unbiased analytics. They are a startup which provides information about other startups.

9. GrabCAD – GrabCAD is leading the open engineering movement, helping engineers get products to market faster by enabling truly collaborative product development. Their collaborative product development (CPD) tool helps engineering teams manage, view and share CAD files in the cloud.

10. HealthDiary – Using HealthDiary gives you a safe and a private place to keep, access and easily export all health-related notes, reminders, reports, pictures of children. You can record your child’s growth milestones, stomach troubles and doctor’s visits. Reminders help you keep track of important appointments. It also lets analyse your child’s data across the years or bring it along to the next doctor’s visit. HealthDiary is currently preparing for a beta launch, you can sign up now and be the first to use HealthDiary.

11. Lingvist – Lingvist is a personalised approach to language learning that makes every learner a fast learner. Using mathematical optimisation, Lingvist’s tool tailors tasks according to your knowledge and skills. They take languages apart and arrange them into microlessons that each learner completes in the order that is most efficient for them.

12. Marinexplore – Marinexplore provides a proprietary cloud platform that helps streamline ocean data workflows and make sense of large-scale disparate ocean data. They help customers make better business decisions faster by dramatically reducing data handling time and mitigate environmental risk in offshore and maritime businesses.

13. SignWise – SignWise service cloud offers legally binding e-signing and strong user authentication both in-country and across borders. Their technology allows anyone to sign a document legally across the border on any device in just minutes. Here’s exactly how it works.

14. Realeyes – Realeyes is able to understand people’s feelings and behaviour based off their body language and gestures. Using this data, Realeyes enables brands, publishers and agencies to make profitable marketing decisions by measuring emotions via webcam in real-time.

15. Wellbiome – This wellness service adds scientific precision to your dietary decisions and helps to improve your quality of life by providing you a DNA analysis of your gut microflora. Wellbiome’s mission is to give people insight into their body and increase wellbeing and quality of life with relatively small effort.

 

Greek Turkish Economy Forum

 

Greek Turkish Economy Conference was organized succesful from Youth Business Network -associate organization of Students  for Liberty and International Platform for Young Entrepreneurs at Bilgi Law School 9 to 11 May 2014 . More than 100 participants from both countries attended the conference with main topic international relationships ,economical cooperation between Greece and Turkey .Also 2 startup companies showcased at the duration of the event . Lot of  journalists from Turkey have attended , and their interest for Greek Speakers was quite interesting
Some of the main speakers were :

 

 Emre Semercioğlu The role of International Platform for Young Entrepreneurs”

Myrto Dimitriou-Michaela Papamichail  -Youth Business Network -How we promote Greek startup ecosystem
Nikolaos Kostopoulos 10 reasons your startup will fail
Dr.Vasileios Grammatikas (Keynote speaker ) 
Haris Donias “Creating a Culture of Job Rather Τhan Job Seeking”
Enver Mısırlı Startups’ sector in Turkey”
Yro Chatziathanasiou Volunteering Instead Unemployment
Euthymia Papagianni “Investment Opportunities in Greece”
The second part of Greek Turkish Economic Forum will be announced soon and it will be organized in Greece

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Does a Bitcoin Weigh More Than a Gold Coin? Alternative Assets in Retirement Plans

The problem with being young and successful is that right now you’re, well, young and successful. However, that’s a situation which eventually takes care of itself. At some point most intelligent people come to that realization, and they start thinking about saving for retirement. The problem is that they start thinking about it a little too late. Most Americans never save enough of a nest egg to adequately supply their retirement needs. Even starting just a few years earlier with retirement investing could mean conservative differences in excess of a $100,000.

Sold!

So you’re willing to put aside a few bucks for the coming rainy days, but the question still remains. Where should that money go? You could go the traditional route and just park it in a mutual fund. That’s a popular choice now with most people betting that the market and the funds will keep on delivering. Or you could go a completely different route. One of the more exciting alternatives in retirement investing is Self Direction. In Self Direction investors choose retirement assets that they understand (e.g. real estate or private business). The draw is that the profits can be higher and more consistent than typical market returns. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular alternative assets, and find out which ones make sense as a retirement investment.

Gold

Out of all the alternative assets, gold has definitely received the most extensive marketing campaign.Numerous companies have trumpeted their gold investment platforms as the best alternative to the stock market, but is gold really worth the hype? In actuality gold is a commodity like any other and its price follows the standard laws of supply and demand. Currently gold is riding a huge wave, but there are no guarantees that the wave will continue. With the somewhat chaotic nature of single asset prices in general, a prudent investor would not want to bet his/her entire retirement fund on gold alone. Gold, though, does have one unique feature that makes it attractive as a retirement investment. Namely, you can hold the physical gold and take it with you if the situation ever calls for it. Not allplatforms allow for physical possession, but those that do allow gold to function as a kind of insurance policy. Presumably gold will retain a large percentage of its value at any given time, and, more importantly, in any given location. That renders it a highly portable store of wealth.

Real Estate

Real estate has always been the classic venue for those who want to branch out on their own. It comes in a variety of forms, and it seems that rehabs and flips have captured the minds of today’s investors. However, flipping is not necessarily the best retirement investment. A successful flip requires real estate knowledge as to which properties are the most suitable, as well as how much it really takes to do a proper rehab job. Novices jump in, but then find themselves in trouble when they’re stuck with a property that doesn’t sell.  This approach could knock out your retirement fund before it even gets off the ground.  For most investors, a more conservative approach is in order. In real estate terms, conservative means foregoing the big deal and instead securing a small but steady stream of income. This can happen with a rental. Many retirement investors have found long term success by placing their funds in a single or multifamily rental. With the help of a qualified real estate agent, you should be able to find a rentable property that will provide your funds with a steadystream of retirement income.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the first fully digital currency that has achieved some degree of general acceptance. It’s also one of the hot alternative flavors of the day. The question, though, still remains: is it a good retirement investment? For the answer to this, let’s take a lesson from the medical world. When a new pharmaceutical is released to the general public, it has already gone through extensive FDA safety testing. Still, many doctors recommend waiting a few years before taking it. The reason for this delay is that even with all the testing, the long term effects in real world scenarios have not yet been determined. This idea also holds true for new investment assets. When something as new and revolutionary as Bitcoin comes around, it might potentially be very profitable, but the long term stability is not yet known. As a retirement investor its best not to place your retirement solely in unproven assets. If you’re the adventurous kind, then take the plunge with some of your funds, but leave the majority of them to safer investments.

Alternative assets can definitely provide higher returns than a standard mutual fund, but caution should always be your first response. The best thing to do is choose a reputable financial firm  that offers alternative investment options. Next up, get educated. Choose an asset that appeals to your investment sensibility, research it fully, and then make a sensible judgment with all of the facts.

Cara Price is a caffeine based life form who ardently believes in the convergence of technology, communication, and art to help businesses thrive. She is currently working as a content and communication specialist for Broad Financial, a leading custodian of enhanced retirement platforms. She loves people, Pinterest, and the written word, and she can be contacted via cprice@broadfinancial.com

Greek Turkish Economy Forum 10-11 May Bilgi University

We have the pleasure to announce the Greek-Turkish Economic Forum: Reform—Challenges & Opportunities which will be held in Istanbul Bilgi University on 11-12 May 2014. This conference is jointly organised by Bilgi University , Youth Business Network and International Platform for Young Entrepreneurs  Draft agenda: I. Prospect, Risks and Challenges for European Growth II. Start ups III. Financial Reform and Special Financial Zones and Its Effect on Real Economy IV. Renewable Energy V. Turkish Venture Capitals
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Our forum  believes that in defiance of the deepening economic and financial crisis, of lagging innovation, and of record youth unemployment in Europe, together, using this shared-risk approach, we can empower European youth to play a transformative role in Europe’s future by  offering them the inspiration, resources and mentorship to help them turn their talents, energy, enthusiasm, and innovative early-stage ideas into successful projects and businesses that will stimulate the economy and generate new employment.
GTEG believes Innovation is THE driver for economic growth, social development and citizens’ progress and that Innovation fosters the development of European citizenship, particularly amongst young Europeans, by using the paradigm of shared endeavours and mutual responsibility to communicate the Union’s social and cultural values.
Check the website www.economyforum.org for more information
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Build Your First CV with Volunteer Work

Not only does volunteer work serve humanity and the world, helping people who need it and contributing to your community, but choosing to volunteer will yield countless personal benefits as well. Depending upon the work you do, volunteering will likely give you first-hand experience and develop a new skill set; volunteering will empower you and make you more aware of the world around you; and your personal commitment to service will appeal to potential employers, as well as demonstrate to them your abilities, leadership, and skills. If you haven’t yet had a paid job or experience in a field you’d like to pursue, volunteering will help you build a CV to get your foot in the door.

New Skills

Volunteering can potentially provide you administrative experience, as well as applied experience in the field. As a volunteer, you will often work with a team, so you’ll be able to develop your ability to coordinate with others, along with improving your interpersonal communication skills. You will also likely be responsible for independent work, requiring you to demonstrate initiative, the ability to meet deadlines, and competence in completing various assignments, both simple and complex. The opportunity to apply your new skills in the field will allow you to improve upon them, which will not only be an asset to you and your CV, but will build your confidence, making you more assertive and ambitious.

Community Development

As a volunteer, you can better the environment, through taking part in a recycling program, planting trees, or picking up litter; you can help support your fellow citizens by spending time with the elderly or taking care of children; you can educate, through tutoring or improving literacy; you can become a mentor and role model to the youth by being involved in after-school programs; you can assist the less fortunate by organizing a food drive or building houses. There are so many great opportunities to volunteer, so many ways to serve your community. And you will only grow through the experience.

Personal Growth

If you’ve never before had a job or career, volunteering will be your first professional experience. You may feel intimidated or unprepared when stepping into this role, working with a team and being responsible for completing tasks on target and on time. However, asserting yourself as a volunteer won’t be scary; it will be beautifully life-altering. As a volunteer, you will be made aware of your community’s needs, and you will develop empathy, which will improve the way you relate to others. Volunteering will build your confidence and increase your knowledge, making you a better candidate for future employment.

The knowledge you glean from volunteering is infinite. By working with non-profit organizations, volunteers learn about how a business is run and about how the government operates. You’ll be made more knowledgeable about the resources available in your community, thus, you’ll be able to take initiative in solving community needs. And, along the way, you will discover what is most important in life. You will feel a sense of purpose. Your priorities may even change as you become more involved in the world around you.

Network Building

As a volunteer, you will meet many people from different backgrounds and different walks of life. Your fellow volunteers will be some of the best people you’ll ever meet, because they, too, wish to change the world for the better. The communal ideology ingrained in those who choose to volunteer will allow for easy friendship and because of the diversity of those who are attracted to volunteer work, often you might connect with someone with whom you would otherwise have never crossed paths. Volunteering brings people together, and that’s a positive thing for both your personal and your professional life.

The connections you make through volunteering will build you a network of contacts. You learn from these contacts, and you can also request a character reference in the future, if you need a recommendation. This network may even put you in touch with other job and career opportunities.

Volunteering and Your CV

Volunteers are more employable, as they’ve taken the initiative to acquire some practical experience along with the theoretical experience provided by education. Presenting this information properly in your CV will give you a leg up when you’re trying to get your foot in the door. So let’s walk through the steps of including volunteer work on your CV.

The most effective way of highlighting your volunteer experience is to include it amongst your paid work, as their importance is equivalent. Your paid employment may even have less relevance to the job for which you’re applying, so if your CV is in chronological order, simply include your volunteer experience amongst your paid employment. However, make sure to note on your CV that it was unpaid volunteer work. Also, if this volunteer work was fixed-length (such as a three-month internship), mark it as such.

The information you should include about your volunteer experience:

  1. Note the name of the volunteer organization, your title and the duration of your work.
  2. Highlight your responsibilities, your tasks, and your acquired skills.
  3. Outline your achievements, such as the progress of your project or money raised.
  4. Tailor your CV to the job placement to which you’re applying. Highlight the achievements and skills which correspond to the potential job placement.

Kate Funk is a passionate coach and writer. She is a part of a team of experienced writers at www.aussiewriter.com, that provides students with quality essays, which help them improve their writing skills.

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How to get a job without degree ?

With the latest recession, a new trend has developed. Companies increasingly ask for degrees or advanced degrees in job applications. It’s not because degrees are always needed, but because there are so many people with these qualifications that companies can use the criteria to wean candidates in the first screen. This screening is particularly hard on three types of job candidates:
  • Laid off Boomers who rose through the ranks without degrees
  • Younger candidates from more rural environments who have only associate degrees
  • Employed Boomers wanting a new job but who no longer qualify for the jobs they currently have much less new positions
For many Millennials the recession resulted in longer education stints as parents encouraged them to stay in school since there were no jobs to be had. Now, many are entering the work force with higher debt, but advanced degrees. Is it Game Over for Boomers? No. Experience still counts for something, just not everything.
When applying for new jobs, here are questions to ask yourself:
  • What knowledge is needed that an advanced degree was desired?
  • Can you demonstrate that knowledge in a different way?
  • Even if you have an advanced degree, is it too dated?
  • What other qualifications might gain attention?
  • How can you get those qualifications or certifications?
Listed requirements in many job postings state: “Degree Preferred or a Plus.” Don’t be deterred. Just because it’s desired, doesn’t mean they’ll get it. Your job is to position yourself as relevant so the lack of a degree is not the deal breaker. One method is continued course work or certifications particularly when you are unemployed. Consider these benefits:
  • Keeping your mind busy
  • Meeting teachers and professionals active in your field.
  • Showing recruiters that you’re a life-longer learner and still in the game
  • Gaining credentials you didn’t previously have
In today’s digital world, some certifications and courses are free while others cost. Some can be done from home, and some require physical class time. Regardless of the certification you seek in your chosen field, the investment is worth your time and effort on many levels.
Employers admire and seek talent who demonstrate a growth mentality – those likely to foster company growth rather than wait to be trained. For Boomers, this means being a candidate dedicated to continued learning/growth opportunities.
Major universities and many organizations now offer MOOCs – Massive Online Course Work. Other groups such as Lynda.com offer trainings with endorsements that can be uploaded to LinkedIn upon course completion. Associations frequently offer industry-specific certifications such as the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives.
Certifications vary and some are easier to obtain than others, but don’t get hung up on the word “certification,” either. Just taking a course and listing it on your resume, or using a course to list “X credits towards Y qualification,” lets a recruiter know that you are growth oriented and not just sitting home licking your wounds.
The trick is to start learning something new of any sort that can give your resume a leg up in the job pool. Keep in mind that in applying for a job you’re asking an employer to invest in you. A salary is no longer just payment for work provided. It’s money invested in hoping you make a difference in the company’s growth. The best way to send an alert that you’re worth the investment is to show that you believe in yourself enough that you also have invested in yourself. That’s the true value of a degree or any course completion certificate.