Local Lessons on Community Support

“There are many definitions of community. The one I like best is simple: People with common interests in a particular area.”

Written by guest author, Teri Williams

When I was a young girl my dad used to wake me up early most Saturday mornings to head downtown to Eastern Market in Detroit where we would shop for the weeks fresh fruits and vegetables.  The vendors would greet us with bright smiles and warm welcomes. Some who knew us would even have a few items already packed.  Every few minutes one of my dad’s coworkers would stop us to say hello and chat.

On the way home we would have breakfast at one of the local restaurants.  At one particular diner the chef would start cooking our breakfast when he saw us walk in the door.  The server (called a waitress back then) would have coffee, juice and chocolate milk in her hand before we even sat down.  Most times friends, family, or local officials would sit with us for a few minutes, catching up on the events of the week.  It was a weekend ritual that I loved not just because I hung out with my dad, more because we shared community spirit and the love of humanity with so many others.  Sounds like a scene from Cheers – without the beers!

There are many definitions of community.  The one I like best is simple:  People with common interests in a particular area.

GirlavantingGirls night out Elegance By Design Ferndale
“…the foundation of my success starts within my own home town by showing my support to fellow local business owners.”

the foundation of my success starts within my own home town by showing my support to fellow local business owners. 

Much has changed since I was a young girl; however the fundamentals of community living have not.  Whether you reside in a city or have a business in a city means you have a common interest with all who are part of that city; you have stake in the community.  The ultimate goal is for the community to thrive, to grow, to shine. For those of us who both reside in and do business within our community, our stake becomes even higher.  We want both our business and our home to reflect success.

As someone whose business is both local and global, I realize that the foundation of my success starts within my own home town by showing my support to fellow local business owners.  Every time I need something I look around my hometown first.

Why support local?

Local business owners recycle many of their dollars back into the community through taxes, hiring local residents, and spending their own dollars on the home front. 

Local business support means you reduce ecological waste with less gas, as well as less air and water pollution.

Local business shopping strengthens the foundation of social relationships by linking neighbors and supporting local causes. 

difference between soulcial and socialNext time you are looking for something, whether it’s a gift for a friend, a plumber, or something just for you, take a minute to look at one of the businesses within your city.  It’s better for you, it’s better for them, it’s better for the community and it’s better for the environment.

Teri Griffin Williams has spent most of her life supporting the Ferndale community in some capacity. With over 20 years’ experience in both the corporate world and mindful, heart centered energy work, Teri Williams shares her personal knowledge gained as a successful entrepreneur.  She is a multimedia and business consultant, as well as a Shamanic Practitioner, Reiki Master and Certified Intuitive Practitioner who relates the ins and outs of what works for her in the hopes that you, too, will live a more Soul-cially Conscious life.  She is the host of Soulful Living at Empoweradio.com and a regular contributing author for SimpleStepsRealChangeMag.com. For more about her, including free resources and how to work with her, visit TeriGriffinWilliams.com


Seeking the Success of our City

Jim Pool Bio Photo
“Wherever I am, I try to support the community, love people, encouraging all that is good that is happening in the city.”

Written by guest author, Jim Pool

When we opened our doors as the Renaissance Vineyard Church nearly three years ago, one of our values was to be a great friend to the city. We wanted to serve and support our local community, to not only love the people but to actually like the place that where we were at! For us, the church is not the building. The church is the people. So every Sunday, at the conclusion of our service, I encourage people to “go out and be the church.” To go love people and seek the success of our city.

We support our local community in a number of ways. We actively participate in Chamber activities, building relationships, helping network, and hosting connection opportunities in our building for small businesses that may not have a space of their own. We empower the small business owners in our church community. We championRenaissanve Vineyard Inside local events like the DIY, including them alongside our church events on our calendar. We advocate for our great school district. And we care for hungry area families and our homeless neighbors. Our food pantry (including our new garden providing desperately needed healthy vegetables) feeds 80-100 families a month, and our Warming Center sleeps about 75 homeless women and men for 12 days at the start of each new year.

The following story embodies the essence of the posture we’re trying to take. As Ferndale continues to grow, one of the really cool things that’s developed are the many charitable 5K runs. As the City has continued to work on the intricacies of the standardized route for these runs, many of them have gone right by our church building (at 9 & Pinecrest). Which is awesome. On one such occasion, the bulk of the runners raRenaissance Vineyard Front Shotn by from 10-11am on a bright blue Sunday morning. When the start of our 10:30am service came, less than half our group was present. Rather than complain, we happily went outside and started cheering the runners on with gusto, encouraging them to finish strong, waiting for the rest of our community to be released from traffic. I loved it! I was so proud of our church.

I’ve lived in Ferndale for 13 years now and I walk around town every chance I get. I love being in the schools and parks and businesses and bars. Wherever I am, I try to support the community, love people, encouraging all that is good that is happening in the city.

I was in the Army for a short time before becoming a pastor. During that time, the rule of thumb was that for every infantryman on the front lines, there were seven heroic women and men making what that soldier did possible. You might say the Renaissance Vineyard Church is a little like that. Our church is filled with heroic women and men and kids caring for people on the frontlines in need, serving and supporting the great business, educational and civic leaders we have in our community.

The Renaissance Vineyard Church is so thankful to be part of our community and we are happy to #SupportLocal.

The Business of Supporting Local

 Written by guest author, Sandy Levine

When I started in the restaurant industry at the ripe old age of 11, I was already a really competitive kid.  I loved sports and hated losing.  It seemed natural that in the coming years, as I moved my way up through the ranks in kitchens and dining rooms, that other nearby restaurants with similar concepts were viewed by my bosses as the enemy (or at least the opposition).  Whether it was a deli, a pizza place, a burger joint, or a steakhouse, I was always very loyal to where I worked and ready to tell a guest why we were better than somebody else.

In the early 2000s, I moved to Philadelphia, and my eyes were opened to a completely different culture.  It seemed not only that restaurant owners (and managers, servers, bartenders, etc) communicated with one another, they often acted as champions of one another’s places.  In many cases, they would hold events at their competitors’ venues, or team up with other chefs for charity events.  It wasn’t rare if we happened to overbook, that we’d call another restaurant down the street, asking if they could squeeze in a guest we didn’t have room for.  The drastic difference in restaurant/bar industry climate in 1990s Detroit vs. 2000s Philly wasn’t lost on me.  Being so close to New York, we noticed that the bar scene had a similar communal aspect, with bartenders working one or two nights a week at a few different bars.  Everyone sang everyone else’s praises to whoever would listen.

This is the climate that has been building in the Detroit area over the last few years, and it’s

"We were really nervous about how a bar with such a different concept would be received, but something special happened."
“We were really nervous about how a bar with such a different concept would be received, but something special happened.”

intoxicating.  My wife and I signed a lease on a space in downtown Ferndale just over 4 years ago that became “The Oakland,” a craft cocktail bar.  At the time, it was a very new concept that not a lot of people understood (or necessarily cared to).  We were really nervous about how a bar with such a different concept would be received, but something special happened.

For the first month or two we were open, our guests consisted almost entirely of restaurant/bar industry and retail people, who not only liked what we were doing, but told lots of other people about us.  Our business has increased steadily since we’ve opened, and we’ve relied completely on word-of-mouth rather than traditional advertising. The community of Detroit area service industry professionals is growing and strengthening.

I’ve called other owners to borrow ice when our machine was down, to send a free round to our regulars who we knew were there, asked for a bottle of something we ran out of.  We’ve also done the same for several other places near us.  If a guest mentions that they’re headed to one of our friend’s establishments, we’ve been known to send a “special delivery” (read: shot) to the bartender on duty.

If we have a guest who walks out on their bill or is unruly, or if underage kids try to drink at our bar, we send out a text to our neighbors warning them.  I’ve discussed systems and strategies dozens of times with a bar owner that we’re compared to constantly.  All of this lends itself to each establishment improving, our city’s food and drink culture growing, and ultimately a better experience for the guest.  The proof is in the pudding – GQ named Detroit the “Best Bar City in America” in their Bars Issue last August.


We were at a soft opening for a new restaurant the night before this post was written that knocked our socks off.  I counted at least 10 separate tables with owners or managers of food or drink establishments, all of whom were cheering on this new establishment.  They all raved about the new place on social media, too.


Get Up and Take Action!

By Heather Coleman Voss, Business Services Coordinator

The most startling thing about experiencing a lay-off is that time stretches. What you used to accomplish in four hours now seems to take days. One minute it’s 10:00 am, and the next it’s 3:00 pm – and suddenly you realize you haven’t gotten dressed, or done a load of laundry, or sent out a resume yet. You may not even have been aware of the passing time.

I understand. I was there once myself.

This phase of working through the reality of a lay-off is normal. You may find yourself feeling physically weak, unable to cope with formerly simple tasks like sending an email or making dinner. Outwardly, it may look like you are simply sitting in front of the computer or the TV, but inwardly your mind is whirling with emotions and thoughts. It may feel like you are frozen.

Take this to heart: You will not be in this space forever. You are working through one of the top 5 most stressful events people experience in a lifetime. You are in the midst of the grieving process. It is important to work through the stages of grief – taking a few weeks to process through this time is important.

Then, even if it feels forced, you need to get up and take action.

My suggestions on how to make this happen are as follows:

1. Change your verbal and internal language. You are not “unemployed” – you are in a “career transition.” See the difference? How you speak about yourself will make a huge difference in how you see yourself – and how people react to you.

2. Set your alarm for 8:00 am every single day, Monday – Friday. Get up, shower and get dressed in business casual clothing. Put on your shoes. I know it may sound silly, but your routine will establish your activity for the day. How you feel is how you will act.

3. Set up a schedule. In the schedule, include 8 hours per day of active job seeking, broken up in a manner that suits you. Checking email and social media sites for professional networking and job opportunities may be one way to begin your day.

4. Get out of the house. Head over to the nearest coffee shop with WiFi and start updating your resumes and cover letters. (Remember, each resume should be geared to the specific position to which you are applying). If you don’t have a laptop or tablet, head over to the local library or Michigan Works! office, where you can utilize their computers free of charge.

5. At least twice a week, attend a networking event. Be open to meeting people! If money is an issue, search the internet for local free networking events – they are everywhere. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce – most chambers allow you to visit once without having to obtain a membership.

6. Attend or create your own in-person networking group for job seekers. Schedule a meeting once a week. People who are currently in career transition still maintain most of their professional contacts. After all…you never know who knows someone you should know.

7. Search the Internet for workshops and seminars geared toward current employment trends, resume writing, interviewing, creating a career action plan, social media for career seekers and more. Many low cost to no-cost workshops are available. Again, your local Michigan Works! office is a great resource for excellent workshops. Even if you consider yourself a pro, you will pick up great tips and meet people who are well-connected.

8. Spend time every week fine tuning your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and G+ accounts to reflect your career interests. Post articles and start conversations about your areas of expertise. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s new blogging platform – or start your own WordPress or Blogger account where you can showcase your career passions. Employers will search for you – make your profiles attractive to future hiring managers. Spend time in groups on Facebook and LinkedIn growing your network and learning about current career opportunities.

9. Use a free online calendar and apps like Evernote and Any.do to keep you organized and motivated. Remind yourself to follow up with employers, send out specific resumes, attend events and workshops. You may not have a job – yet – but you are working!

10. Every day, update a spreadsheet (I use Google drive) with the positions to which you’ve applied, the contact information of the employer, the title of the position and any other pertinent information. You will feel very accomplished when you can actually see the work you are doing. Additionally, this is a great way to be prepared for the employer to call you – simply check the spreadsheet for details during your conversation.

11. For chores around the house, I recommend creating a short and reasonable checklist. No more than 5 items that can be accomplished throughout the day. The point here is to be busy and proactive, not to overwhelm yourself. Create situations daily for your success.

12. Schedule in some “me time.” If you’ve set up a serious career seeking schedule, you are working. You still need time to relax and re-energize.

Bonus tip: Create business cards with your name, areas of expertise, social media links, email and mobile phone number.  Be prepared to hand out your business cards wherever you are – always carry them with you. Remember, how you present yourself is how you will be received. You are a professional.

Many local printers will print business cards for a very reasonable price. Otherwise, check out this article for free and low cost suggestions: Digital Trends – Business Cards.

**If you live near Ferndale, Michigan I recommend places like Chazzano Coffee Roasters, Java Hutt, Ferndale Michigan Works! workshops and resource center and the Ferndale Public Library as destination spots during your job search. If you are interested in networking with a local Chamber, definitely visit the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce, the Madison Heights/Hazel Park Chamber of Commerce and the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce.


Social Media, Students and Careers

Written by Heather Coleman Voss, Business Services/Social Media Coordinator

Young people with the goal of applying for their first jobs, college, or beginning their career need to start utilizing social media with a “brand” in mind. Even high school students have the opportunity to begin this positive branding process while still enjoying social media platforms for social interaction.

Here’s the thing: Employers are Googling applicants every day. They are checking out Facebook Timelines, Twitter profiles and posted photos via Instagram. Why? They want to get a feel for the personality, communication skills and interests of applicants. Times are different. Employers and college admissions representatives are not using social media to turn a candidate down as much as to find reasons to recruit you.

This is very good news. Becoming an attractive candidate is as simple as sharing blog posts, interesting posts and tweets from organizations, your community and companies. Publicly sharing content which showcases your upcoming professional interests, and joining in discussions where your voice is heard on these topics, can be a key factor in your future success.

I reached out and asked some local experts their opinions on this topic. Here is what Samantha Bankey, Marketing Coordinator at HelloWorld (@HW_inc), shares:

Samantha Bankey
Samantha, a 2013 Ferris State Grad, was hired via Instagram the summer after graduation (see photo above).

“It’s important to brand yourself as soon as you enter your undergraduate. Who do you want to be noticed by, and what do you want them to think about you? That’s your personal brand. Your personal brand defines who you are as a professional and a potential employee, so it’s important to realize that your social accounts really do reflect you. Do you have a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, etc.? Be sure it’s cleaned up. You have a few scrolls down your page to make an impression, and you control whether it’s a good or bad one. 

I always encourage others to not be afraid of social media, but to use it to their advantage. I think it’s totally silly to have a personal Twitter page and a professional Twitter page. Your character shouldn’t be two separate identities. Show your personality and your interests, but don’t go over the top by sharing too much information or by being offensive. You should be able to be 100% yourself with your future employer, not a completely different person. An employer is going to look at your character as a whole, not just your skill sets.

You have to find a way to make yourself different from the other applicants and other students in your field. What makes you unique? For example, when I had my interview at HelloWorld (ePrize at the time), I gave every single person I met that day my personalized business card and resume, all decked out with my logo, contact information, and website. That made me memorable (and landed me an internship, turned job!).”

Social media is hugely beneficial to those who understand how to use it for both personal and professional networking. Emilie Mecklenborg, Recruitment Media Strategist at Alexander Mann Solutions (@WeAreAMS), advises:

Emilie Meck
Emilie’s effective use of Twitter was key to opening a new door into a satisfying career.

“How you manage your online presence is critical for new grads and job seekers whether they are in college or as early as high school. It helps establish your personal brand which will differentiate you from the competition. Social media can be used as a 3D resume showing your strengths, talent and accomplishments. Your social media presence is like your credit history, it will open or close doors for you depending on how you manager your online presence.”

Additionally, many professionals have embraced social media as a way to interact, network, build authentic relationships, crowd source and collaborate across all platforms.

To underscore the importance of the connection between social media and your career, consider carefully what Joseph Gacioch, Chief Innovation Officer of the City of Ferndale (@FerndaleMich), advises:

Joe was promoted from Assistant to the City Manager to Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) within one year of employment at The City of Ferndale.
Joe was promoted from Program and Grants Coordinator to Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) within one year of employment at The City of Ferndale.

“Establishing and managing a social media presence should be an important focus of young graduates and professionals. Sites such as Linked In and Twitter have granted young professionals the opportunity to engage in networking with peers and organizations in locations of their choice. Your soft skills, interests, and opinions are a unique and valuable brand that should be contributed to the ongoing digital conversations.

Linked In and Twitter have often replaced my business cards in context of professional networking at conferences and industry events. Linked In empowers me to continue a conversation and establish a connection where a business card cannot.”

Interested in learning more on this topic? Join the #VZHRchat I have been invited to host on Wednesday, June 25 at 1:00 pm!

Additionally, we have several outstanding career and social media workshops to choose from. Find our calendar on our Facebook page, and call us to register!  We’d love to see you on Twitter: @FerndaleMIWorks

Unemployed is Not Who You Are

by Heather Coleman Voss, Business Services Coordinator

We have been trained in business or even casual situations that once introduced to someone, the next question we will answer is, “What do you do?” If you have been laid-off, this question can throw you for a loop. Unfortunately, most job seekers will answer with, “I’m unemployed.” I never allow my clients to describe themselves as “unemployed.” Here’s why:

  • Responding with “I’m unemployed” is often a conversation stopper, and it makes people uncomfortable because they do not know how to appropriately respond, other than to offer sympathy.
  • It is not an accurate description of who you are and what you do. And when you look at it realistically, it doesn’t actually make sense. You can’t “do” unemployed – it’s not a skill set, and saying “I am unemployed” does a disservice to you – and to the people who may need your talents and abilities.

An alternative answer I  have heard many others use is something along the lines of, “I’m in business management. What do you do?” Though slightly better, there are a few problems with this answer as well. First, you’ve deflected conversation back to the other person without first truly answering their question. Second, while it does reflect your skill set, it doesn’t accurately describe your situation – and that means that the connection with whom you are speaking will never have the opportunity to inform you of potential job leads, or introduce you to someone who may be hiring.

I was in this situation myself seven years ago, and I can never remember feeling so depressed, despondent and utterly worthless as I did then. I have worked since I was 16 years old, and had never been in a situation like this. I was a recently divorced single mother with a young child, and I felt like the world was crashing in on me. I also didn’t want people to know – I felt like I had to deal with this on my own. I was ashamed, confused, terrified and full of raging anxiety.

My answer was always, “I’m in non-profit, what do you do?” Needless to say, that answer didn’t lead me to further opportunities. This answer certainly didn’t help me, or my daughter – or any potential employer who may have needed my services. And it kept me stuck – right where I was.

Acting as if everything is just fine – or acting as if “unemployed” is who you are – neither one of those things will move you forward.

I challenge you to accomplish these 12 steps within the next two weeks:

  1. Make a list of every single accomplishment for which you’ve been responsible over the last five years. Whether on the job, as a volunteer or as a stay-at-home parent, write them down or type them up. Big or small – every accomplishment is important. Once you’ve finished, take some time and read it back to yourself. Remember who you are and all that you have done. 
  2. Search on sites like www.mitalent.orgwww.indeed.com or www.linkup.com to find positions that interest you. Just use keywords to search out positions that get you thinking, “Hey, I’d like to do that.” Get excited about opportunities out there. Start seeing yourself in those roles. 
  3. Use sites like www.onetonline.org to research labor market information, salaries and bullet points describing various job positions available. Remember all that you’ve done and match those skills up to potential jobs for which you should apply. Use those bullet points as a springboard to reconstruct your resume.
  4. Order business cards through free sites like www.vistaprint.com, and include keywords which describe your skill sets to fill-out the card. Include your mobile number, your email and your social media sites. Take them everywhere – and hand them out the next time you are introduced to interesting people.
  5. Contact your local MI Works! office and take advantage of the numerous resources available for people in career transition.
  6. Update your social media profiles to reflect your talents and abilities, and the direction in which you are heading. That’s your “About” section in Facebook, your LinkedIn “Header” and “Summary” sections, your Twitter and Pinterest “Profiles.” (More on social media for job search in subsequent posts).
  7. Tell your Facebook friends that you are taking the next step in your career. Be specific and positive. Let them know that you’d love to get connected with someone who may need your services. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to connect you, and how many people are hiring or know someone who has recently posted a job.
  8. Set up a professional email account – I recommend Gmail. Use your name as your handle.
  9. Use the features via Google to create a Google Calendar and use it to schedule your time – designate certain times for job search, free networking events and workshops, sending out resumes and interviews. You will be organized and feel very productive – and this tool will greatly assist you in moving forward in your job search.
  10. Use Google Drive to create a Job Tracking Spreadsheet – log-in every position for which you apply, contact information, title, company and so forth. Keep track of your job search – and give yourself credit for all that you are accomplishing.
  11. Understand that you will be creating a tailored resume for each job posting. Phrased differently – you will need to study each job posting and match your skill sets and accomplishments to the specific needs of each employer. This will require work and effort on your part, and the results will be very well-worth it! For professional, cost-free assistance check out our Workshop Calendar on resume writing, interview prep, social media for career and business and much more.
  12. Follow great blogs for career-seekers such as: Interview Angel | Career Trend | The Job Quest | Resume Bear | Tim’s Strategy | YouTern | Career Sherpa | The Write Solution

Now that you have regained your confidence in yourself through the proactive actions you are taking for your career, let’s circle back to the introduction. The next time you shake someone’s hand and he or she asks you what you do, make eye contact and smile. Hand this person your business card with confidence! Say, “I’m currently searching for new opportunities in [insert field of choice here]. If you know of anyone who may need my services, please feel free to connect me. Here’s my business card, do you have one? Now, tell me – what do you do?”

One last suggestion – connect with each person you meet on LinkedIn, and ask them if they’d like to network on Facebook. Connections stay alive when we interact on a weekly basis.

Remember this, career-seeker:

Unemployed is not who you are – it is a situation you are working through. 

Let us know how we can help!

No Experience, No Job, No Experience, No Job….Break the Cycle!

One thing that I come across very often working with the youth population is that many jobs (especially in today’s market) require experience.  So how do you get experience when no one will give you a chance to gain experience?  There are several ways to get around it, and sometimes you have to be creative!


1. Volunteer

I’m sure that you have heard lots of teachers and counselors telling you that you should consider volunteering at a non-profit organization to gain some essential work skills.  Well, I’m here to tell you the same! Volunteering has several benefits.

First, and in my opinion most important, it expands your network.  Volunteering allows you to make connections with new people who are often in a position to give you what you want…..paid employment!  Perhaps the person in charge of the organization that you are volunteering with will see your work ethic and consider you for a paid position with their company.  Another possibility is that you will volunteer with someone that owns their own company or knows of a paid position that you would qualify for.  A substantial percentage of job openings are never advertised or announced publicly, but filled though word-of-mouth or networking – it’s all about who you know!!

Second, volunteering helps you build skills for future employment.  Not only does it help build specific work skills but also gives you the opportunity to gain general employability skills such as time management, following directions, customer service skills, and even interviewing skills as you will likely still have to interview with someone to be accepted as a volunteer.

Finally, volunteering provides you with a wealth of personal satisfaction.  You might realize that you really want to go into that specific field of work or on the flip side, realize you hate that specific field of work.  You might really develop a love for volunteering as a new hobby.  You might find a new sense of dedication to the people of your community.  The bottom line: volunteering is almost never a waste of your time.      

2.  Connect with Co-Op

I cannot express enough how important it is to get in touch with your co-op/internship office.  They are one of the best ways to gain experience in your field.  Cooperative Education (co-op) programs are usually run through a college or university but there are some high schools that run co-op programs as well.  You generally do not need any experience as long as you have had some school in the field.  The idea behind these is that you will get work experience (some paid and some unpaid) and get credit towards school at the same time.

It’s beneficial for employers because they get employees that are motivated to work for more than just a paycheck.  They also have the opportunity to teach these youth more about the business than a regular employee might be willing to learn.

Students that participate in co-ops or internships have a humungous advantage over other students that choose not to participate.  You gain specific career experience.  Many, many, many (did I stress many?!?) of these internships actually turn into full-time or extended employment.  They generally pay decently (if they are a paid experience), usually above minimum wage.  And…wait for it….you get school credit too! Seriously, go to the co-op office in your school or on campus now.

3.  Federally Funded Programs

Okay, so I might be a little bit biased in this one….but it really is an extremely beneficial and somewhat untapped resource.  The programs such as the one that I coordinate at the Ferndale Career Center, Michigan Works are an excellent way to gain actual on-the-job work experience.  There are some eligibility requirements for these programs but if you are eligible, you will get individualized help with job searching, interviewing skills, resume building, soft skills, and ultimately a paid “internship”.

In my program, I take pride in really getting to know each individual youth participant to get a better understanding of specific needs and career goals. It is an essential piece of my service philosophy to appreciate each individual’s path and more importantly to help the youth to figure out their own way of succeeding.  I have encountered the same philosophy and attitude from every other Youth Coordinator that I have worked with throughout the Michigan Works! Agencies.

4. Create Your Own Skills

If you don’t have work experience, create some!  Perhaps you can start a small lawn company or babysitting gig.  In to art or music?  Start creating it and open up an Etsy account or sell your tunes on iTunes!  If nothing else, this can show a potential employer that you are capable of being committed to something that you’re passionate about.  It also allows you the opportunity to develop a personal brand. No matter what age you are, it’s never too early (or late) to develop a personal brand and show people what you really care about!

This is by no means an extensive list of ways to gain experience when you feel stuck in the “no experience, no job, no experience” cycle, but it will get you started.  The bottom line is, find new resources, be creative, and tap into your existing group of connections and you’ll be on your way to permanent employment in no time!