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Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:32

Don't let your degree hold you back

Written by Deb Neuman

Within the last few weeks I've witnessed two young women trying to land a job. One has been successful; the other is still looking. These women don't know each other and they live in different towns. But they share many of the same traits. Both were raised in Maine, left and have now returned. Both are in their 20s, well educated and bright. I'm thrilled for this state that they're both back to stay!

What's been interesting is how each has approached her job search. Both are hoping to work in their chosen field. Both have been networking and talking with people in their industry a great strategy. But their expectations differ greatly. One has been unwilling to accept anything that she thinks is beneath her. She has passed on opportunities in her industry because they are parttime, not in her preferred community, don't pay well enough or are too entry level. She is still looking. The other young woman interviewed for a number of positions and was even willing to accept an internship (not a job) with a company because she wanted to get her foot in the door. By the end of her first day as an intern, she was offered a permanent job!

Tuesday, 03 July 2012 16:03

Bidding the boss farewell

Written by Deb Neuman

I recently interviewed two women who made the decision to leave their day jobs to go into business for themselves. One is launching her wedding and family photography business full time and the other is a veterinarian who is launching a house call vet service. Although their business differ greatly, their path to getting to the point of submitting their resignation letters have many similarities.

Before you decide to do the same, there are a few lessons they shared with me that might be helpful to you.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 16:04

Tie it down!

Written by Deb Neuman

It was a nice-looking wicker chair brand new and in good condition - and it was free. But I chose not to pick it up. It was lying in the middle of I-95! Seems it had flown off the back of a trailer hauling furniture (probably to someone's summer camp) and landed smack dab into traffic. I managed to swerve around it, but it took me moments to realize 'that was a wicker chair in the middle of the interstate!' I'm hopeful everyone else managed to avoid a collision with the wicker.

I've spent a lot of time travelling on the roads lately, and I've seen way too much stuff flying off of vehicles. The most common items I see coming off of vehicles travelling at rates of speed greater than 70 mph are plastic bags, cardboard boxes and plastic coffee cups. These typically are flying out of the backs of pick-up trucks. The more unusual items (in addition to the wicker chair) have included a plastic cover off a cooler from an ATV being towed behind a truck and a hammer off the roof of a commercial vehicle! The hammer incident scared the heck out of me. Fortunately I was at a safe distance behind this vehicle when I noticed an object fly off the roof of the vehicle in front of me. I hit the brakes and moved to another lane to avoid the object. When I realized it was a hammer I uttered some choice words out loud that I won't repeat here and thought how bad it would have been if that had been thrown into my car or worse yet through my windshield! Getting 'hammered' on the interstate is not the way I want to go!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 16:43

I'm sort of annoying

Written by Deb Neuman

I hope I don't annoy my co-workers. I try not to, but the fact that I often talk to myself out loud might annoy some. If you work in an office with others, chances are you may annoy or be annoyed by - someone there. Career experts advise that you should confront an annoying co-worker and address the issue. But sometimes that just exacerbates the problem, leading to tension and more annoying behavior. Sometimes it's just better to accept your co-workers as they are focus on the positive!

According to an article in 'The Grindstone,' here are eight annoying habits of our co-workers that are best to just live with.

Thursday, 14 June 2012 08:36

Stop planning!

Written by Deb Neuman

I caught a snippet of a graduation speech that Jane Lynch (of GLEE fame) gave at a recent commencement. She told the recent college graduates to 'Stop planning!' noting that she would not be where she is today had she followed her plan.

Hear, hear, Jane!

Think about the plans you had for yourself on your graduation day. How's that working out for ya? Chances are you can look back over the years since graduation and note that most of what has happened to you was not part of your plan.

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 16:06

When working for someone else doesn't work

Written by Deb Neuman

A friend of mine has a dilemma. She has a job with great pay and awesome co-workers, and she enjoys her work. Yet she's miserable. I know her well enough to diagnose the problem. She's an entrepreneur. As much as she likes her job, living by someone else's rules and schedule is making her nuts. Not to mention working to advance someone else's business rather than her own. I suggested to her that coming to terms with her entrepreneurial nature is the first step to finding the right career path.

It is possible for those of us with these traits to work for other people providing the environment and culture allows our inner-entrepreneur room to breathe. But being in the wrong work environment can cause the entrepreneur to feel caged in. Of course, one option for my friend is to start her own business, and that is likely the direction she will take.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 14:32

Summer bucket list

Written by Deb Neuman

Ms. Jetta's snow tires have been replaced with her summer shoes. The hats/mittens/scarves and winter coats have been packed away. The flower gardens have been planted. I'm ready for summer in Maine! You and I both know all too well how quickly the summer season flies by, so now is the time to make your plan to insure you get out there and enjoy all that Maine has to offer.

It's time to make your annual Maine Summer Bucket List! Think of your Top 10 things you want to do this summer. If you have kids, engage them in the process. Write down your annual mustdos, but also add a few new things you have never done before.

Seeking some new ideas myself, I posted this question to Facebook. Here are some great ideas you might want to add to your list:

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 16:21

Watch out for Moose

Written by Deb Neuman

I'm on the road for business and staying at the Hampton Inn in Presque Isle, Maine. I'll be spending the next several days in Northern Maine with representatives from various agencies meeting with businesses throughout the county in my role with the Department of Economic and Community Development.

As I checked into the hotel last night, I recalled the last time I stayed at a similar hotel. It was in Pasadena, California a few weeks ago. I love California it's my birthplace. But given the choice I would rather be here than there any day.

Northern Maine is truly one of the best places on earth. That is my opinion and I'm sticking with it. I drove here from Bangor on a beautiful afternoon that turned into a stunning summer evening. Seeing the view of Katahdin to my left and the sun setting over rolling hills and fields that are being prepped for this seasons potato crop was breathtaking.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 16:47

Making it in Maine

Written by Deb Neuman

In case you haven't heard manufacturing is alive and well in Maine! This was abundantly clear when I had the privilege to introduce nine Maine companies as part of a Business Showcase at the 2012 Manufacturing Summit held in Rockland by the Manufacturers Association of Maine. The companies included Howe & Howe Technologies, Sappi Fine Paper, Biovation, Pepin Associates, Revision, Wentworth Technology and more. The companies ranged from those that have been doing business in Maine for a long time and employ hundreds of people to start-ups with one or two people.

What was particularly interesting and exciting was the range of products being developed by these companies right here in Maine - everything from paper being used in Nike sneakers and Gucci jackets to medical dressings that are made to not stick to skin, robots being used to fight fires, headsets for the fast food industry, airplane parts being made by new lightweight composite materials, and highly-absorbent fiber products being used in packaging to preserve fresh food.

Wednesday, 09 May 2012 13:36

Waking up in Bar Harbor

Written by Deb Neuman

This is the time of year when I get itchy to be back in business for myself - when I remember those days of owning businesses in Bar Harbor and the anticipation and excitement of what the coming season would bring. Even though I don't own a business there anymore, I have friends who do. So this past weekend I ventured there to share in some of their excitement as the town comes back to life.

Walking the streets, I witnessed the preparation and anticipation of the coming season. Fences were being painted, furniture was being placed on restaurant decks, storefronts were being swept up, inventory was being hung up and OPEN signs were beginning to show up in more places.

I spoke to several business owners about their prediction for the coming season, and what I heard was very positive. They said that hotels and inns are reporting busy bookings way ahead of last year at this time. This confirmed what the Maine Office of Tourism told me: Inquiries to their website and requests for information were up 40 percent compared to this time last year. This is great news!

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