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Topic: Career stuff

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  1. #1

    Question Career stuff

    Hey, guys.

    As most of you know, these days instead of playing guitar for a living I run a consulting company. Although my books and speaking have thus far been along the lines of corporate / management / etc., I've been thinking about adding an additional aspect to my work, - "career strategies". Since there's such a wide variety of careers that people have here, I was hoping to get a little advice and insight from you.

    The idea of career strategies is really something I've done for years, giving people advice on practical and benevolent ways to advance their personal careers (getting promotions, better pay, cooler assignments, coping with office politics, beauracracy, personal agendas, Pointy Haired Bosses, etc.).

    When I'm doing business with companies, the cost of keynote speaking, seminars, hourly consulting, etc. is naturally a lot more than individuals would be able to spend on improving their career path. So, I'm trying to figure out what would be the appropriate kinds of products and services for individuals who want help with their careers, and what kind of price range is reasonable for Real People in the Real World.

    I currently have business clients that I do eConsulting with (hourly consulting via web, email, attached docs, etc.), and I thought that some version of that might work with individuals. There's also hourly phone consulting, audio CD courses, toll free conference call seminars, web based services, and... I'm running out of ideas. I've been dealing with companies for so long I've kinda lost perspective on what's practical for individuals.

    You guys always have a good way of looking at things no matter what the subject, so I was hoping I could impose on you for some real world thoughts about this stuff. Assuming that my advice and expertise is worthwhile , what do you guys think the best business model would be to help individuals? I need to strike a balance between worth my efforts business-wise and realistically affordable for the people that I really want to help - the regular folks who work for a living.

    What do you think?
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  2. #2

    Re: Career stuff

    Have you considered talking to a consultant about this, Chris?

  3. #3

    Re: Career stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    Have you considered talking to a consultant about this, Chris?
    Funny guy.

    Although I suppose a therapist wouldn't be out of the question...
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  4. #4

    Re: Career stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Duncan
    Funny guy.

    Although I suppose a therapist wouldn't be out of the question...
    I wasn't being funny, Chris; my apology if it sounded that way. I may joke around a lot, but I never take pot-shots when someone is trying to work through a problem.

    After a twenty-five year career as a consultant, one of the observations I've been able to make is on the "Shoemaker's Children Syndrome": Consultants, so accustomed to providing advice and guidance, often do not realize that they, too, can sometimes benefit greatly from the specialized knowledge and experience of others.

    What you're trying to do here is a specialized area of business development and management. Talking with someone well versed in that area could be money very well spent!

    My best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

    My bill is in the mail...
    .

  5. #5
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    Re: Career stuff

    That's a tough one Chris. Dealing with individuals and business clients can be vastly different. The expectations, protocols and economics are totally different.

    Businesses often know they need help and have budgets to seek outside help. There's collaboration going on but with the individual there's only one person and no idea that help is needed. It's like telling a sleeper he's sleeping or a drunk he's inebriated. And the individual is often often struggling (especially the musician community). A good practice may be to specify how the services will benefit their lives.

    As far as a business model, building an online community of your clients or potential clients may be worth considering. Word of mouth is still the best way to spread the word. Just my $0.02

    Gary Garritan

  6. #6

    Re: Career stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    Have you considered talking to a consultant about this, Chris?
    There's always such a good spirit among the people here that you tend to look for jokes, even when not necessarily intended. It was still a great one-liner!

    Part of the problem in talking to a consultant is that I don't know of anyone doing the kinds of things I'm talking about, so even finding the proper consultant is a bit of a treasure hunt.

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    After a twenty-five year career as a consultant, one of the observations I've been able to make is on the "Shoemaker's Children Syndrome"
    Nice to know other people have heard this phrase. I wrote a song once called "The Cobbler's Shoes", and at least half the people had never heard the saying, so they missed the joke.
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  7. #7

    Re: Career stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    That's a tough one Chris. Dealing with individuals and business clients can be vastly different. The expectations, protocols and economics are totally different.
    Yeah, that's the product / pricing thing I'm trying to work out. For instance, although I'm primarily working towards improving existing careers, one aspect is helping people on a job search, such as writing effective resumes, getting the interview, negotiation skills, landing the job. I recently wrote the 2nd edition of my Career Programmer book and covered a lot of that stuff for techies in the new chapters, so I know it's useful. However, how do you charge someone who doesn't even have a job? That seems counter intuitive to me. Job finder sites typically charge the employers, not the job hunters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    A good practice may be to specify how the services will benefit their lives.
    That's the easy part. I can come up with a gazillion "benefits" bullet points, but without an effective product/service/price model, there's nothing to sell. That's the real question - "what product or service do I sell (i.e. how do I package and offer these benefits), and how much do I charge for it?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    As far as a business model, building an online community of your clients or potential clients may be worth considering. Word of mouth is still the best way to spread the word. Just my $0.02
    And you would know!

    I actually have something I'm working on in that regard, combination of community and framework to enable people to help and mentor each other, but no matter how excited I am about that particular idea, I have to resist the temptation to put the cart before the horse...
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  8. #8

    Re: Career stuff

    By the way - what I'm working on here is intended for "normal" people and their jobs, not for musicians. That's one career I would never try to advise!

    However, you're a smart bunch of folks, and I'm sure you know at least some normal people, so I thought you might have some ideas...
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  9. #9
    Senior Member newmewzikboy's Avatar
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    Re: Career stuff

    Why dont look under the heading of "Career Councelor" out there? There are quite pros out there that do this. They do it on a con-slut-ant basis at various rate levels using varous "methodologies".

    Having done IT Management consluting in Big Five, all I can say is get rid of the buzzword bingo out of the vocab. People will find it annoying and false. I hear a lot of $$$ modelling blabla in this thread. If you *really* want to help people, you will do it for something reasonable and not worry about it.
    75,000th Post Winner on the Garritan Forum
    "Don't you wish you were me?"

  10. #10

    Re: Career stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by newmewzikboy
    con-slut-ant...I hear a lot of $$$ modelling blabla in this thread.
    I see no need to get insulting here, dude. Making my living by helping people is hardly being a "slut", and every person on the planet who has a full time job works for $$$.

    I asked for the thoughts and opinions of the people here because I have a great deal of respect for them, and for the incredible amount of intelligence, diversity and creativity we have in this community.
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


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