Robin CollinsHelpful advice on career goals

and the power of your own voice.

By Robin Collins

Everybody is talking about jobs. All over the country. From the president on down to those of us who sit in San Rafael coffee shops. How to get one. How to keep the one you have. How to enter the work force. How to get back into the work force. Age discrimination.  How to find your dream job. I hate my job but am afraid to quit because I might not find another.

And the burning questions: What do I really want to do with myself? What fulfills me?

So I decided to run a several part series on jobs. The first of my articles  discusses some things the experts say we should think about even before we answer an ad on Craigslist or go to an interview, in person or online, even before we seek help from an employment agency.

Consider the following questions:

What do you really want to do?

What kind of first impression do you make?

Today, I introduce two local experts I interviewed recently. Heidi Kraft is a career coach and Sandra McKnight is a voice coach.   Perhaps you have never even thought about either of these services. If you are unhappy in your present career, or not getting second interviews, perhaps you should.  These are both successful, savvy, and results-oriented women who are ready, willing and able to offer advice and expertise on landing a job in today's market.

Kraft Your Success

Heidi Kraft, who founded Kraft Your Success, believes that everyone should love the work they do. Kraft Your Success helps individuals find what they do well, so they do it better and enjoy it more.

Her company helps teams work better together. And helps organizations maximize productivity and foster the kind of professional fulfillment that leads to a healthy, creative and dynamic workplace.

"The last couple of years have been difficult to find employment. We are all aware of that," she said.  "But I am seeing a significant increase in the number of jobs out there.  More importantly, however, people are realizing that there is less security with any job they take.  So that brings a great opportunity for individuals to take a step back and figure out what they really want. This is where the Kraft Your Success one-on-one coaching approach is very effective. We help you craft your own unique path so that you love the work that you do," she said.

"The process we use is to help you:

IDENTIFY what it is you really want.

BELIEVE you can successfully achieve your dreams, goals and successes.

KRAFT a specific action

PLAN to reach your goals.

MOVE you forward with consistent momentum.

CELEBRATE your victories."

Kraft's clients move toward their goals much more quickly with a coach to cheer them on,  because they are accountable on a weekly basis to what it is that they want to achieve.

"We've helped people in many industries to successfully transition from a corporate career to entrepreneur, achieve the next level 'dream' job, navigate promotions or become more well-rounded in the leadership role or work past obstacles in order to create a clear path to the work they are meant to do," she said.

And best of all, Kraft offers a complimentary consultation so you have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal of fulfillment to gain. - for more information

Your Voice is Power in Business

Successful people know that how you communicate is as important as what you say.

According to a study published in Psychology Today, the sound of your voice is much more important in making a first impression than what you actually say.

Sandra McKnight, who lives part time in San Rafael and part time in New Mexico owns Voice Power Studios.  After much research in the field of business and effective communication, McKnight has concluded that how you sound is who people think you are.

"An essential ingredient that gives you the competitive edge in today's job interview market is a voice that conveys confidence, authority, self-assurance, persuasiveness and trustworthiness," she said.

"Most of the initial interviews are conducted by telephone or on the computer through services such as Go To Meeting, and you are being critiqued on the way you sound and speak. It can make the difference as to whether you get to the next interviews," she said.

Among other things, she helps people have "an executive presence", increase sales, and project the confidence to be promoted.

Besides being a voice and communication consultant and trainer, McKnight is also a professional actress and comedienne who speaks worldwide on "Your Voice Is Power In Business" and "Charisma is Made not Born!"

McKnight has delivered more than 2,000 keynotes as a corporate keynote speaker, workshops, seminars and tele-seminars throughout the United States and China.  Her powerful voice and presentation ideas, fast-paced humor and charismatic presence always receive high evaluations.

She is off to St. Louis in early February to work for Nestle Purina PetCare doing an all day workshop for their Sales and Marketing Women's Leadership Conference.

Check her website for details on receiving a complimentary voice analysis.

If you prefer to work on your own, on her website you will also find "Your Voice Is Power in Business" MP3's, which have extensive voice exercises. - for more information

If you are a job seeker, or thinking of changing careers, or if you just want to be more powerful in your own business life, I hope you have found this article a helpful start. Tomorrow I will pass on more advice from the pros about getting job in today's market.