The Oakland County area has an abundance of opportunities for existing businesses and new ventures.
When the going gets rough, the entrepreneurial spirit gets creative and resourceful.
The Oakland Press has gathered upcoming events, news and links to help business owners and professionals succeed.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

'Nothin But Net' business lectures planned in Birmingham

"Nothin' But Net," a monthly business lecture series is noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, March 3 and April 7 at The Community House, 380 South Bates Street, Birmingham. The lectures will feature local professionals presenting an array of topics aimed at improving business effectiveness. The series will focus on net profits and networking. Each "Nothin' but Net" will include networking for the first 20 minutes, followed by a 30 minute speaker presentation and 10 minutes of Q and A. The fee is $20 per lecture and includes a box lunch. To register, contact The Community House 248-644-5832 or visit www.tchserves.org.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Author: 7 WARNING signs of career distress

By Peter C. Diamond, certified executive coach and author

Midlife, it’s supposed to be the time when you have it all. In actuality it’s more like, “My life is more complicated than I ever imagined and my career is not turning out as I had hoped. I’m at a crossroads.”

Perhaps the most difficult part about finding your career in flux is that this is the time when you have the most to give. And yet, you are feeling the most vulnerable grappling with knowing if your company considers you valuable.


The 7 W.A.R.N.I.N.G. Signs of Career Distress:

1. Wavering Self-Confidence You have put pressure on yourself to succeed as defined by others, but you have never felt completely satisfied in your career choice, instead questioning the benefit you provide. After years of doing something you don’t love, often with unrealistic expectations, you have a diluted sense of worth. In turn, you are uncertain about your value and cautious about finding the career you want.
Tip: Create your own definition of success that highlights your value and the contribution you bring to your organization.

2. At Sea You are no longer learning and feeling challenged. In many cases, your career has lulled you into complacency. You have been a good soldier, performing as expected and, thus, allowing others to control your destiny. In doing so, you have not actively managed your career. But when something (such as a significant company change) forces you to finally look around, you discover your job has become something you never wanted it to be.
Tip: Reassess your career goals and ambitions. This may be the time for reinvention by learning new skills or potentially finding a new employer.

3. Relinquished Control Scratching and clawing your way to the top can result in losing sight of who you are. Your eagerness to be successful can be blinding. Without a good early role model you can quickly latch on to how others in status positions behave. You begin to sacrifice yourself in order to fit in and be part of the club.
Tip: Clearly articulate the leader you want to be. What are your beliefs? How do you want to be treated? How do you want to treat others?

4. Neglected Have you ended up in a career or job where you no longer feel as though you have any control over how your job is performed? Do you feel as though you are drifting in the swirl of corporate despair, neglected and shunted to the side by your team, superiors or board? Now, you are struggling to make yourself relevant.
Tip: Get reacquainted with your best assets. List your top five strengths and the key contributions you’ve made in your current position.

5. Idling Idling is characterized by the inability to make progress on decisions that affect you. You have become emotionally paralyzed and your life feels stuck. It begins when you lose sight of what you want and others become your focus. You feel the weight of every personal decision and the impact on those around you. But there is a slow simmer that is happening inside. The frustration is mounting, and you feel like you are losing bits and pieces of yourself.
Tip: Think of yourself first. Determine what you need for yourself in order to feel fulfilled and energized.

6. No Focus You might experience this if you enthusiastically imagine lots of potential career options but, like a kid in a candy store, can’t quite decide which one you want. Ultimately, you are overwhelmed with all the choices and every day you come home with a new exciting possibility. While this is encouraging because you can see the opportunities, it is frustrating for you and those around you because there is a lot of talk and little action.
Tip: Create a checklist of specific criteria for your career. What would you be doing? Why would you be doing it? Who would you be doing it with? How would you be doing it?

7. Growing Discontent By all accounts you have a great job. The title. The money. The office. The prestige of working for a respected company. But still, you are not feeling fulfilled, and it’s wearing you down. During your ascent through the company, you collected all the trinkets of success, but you lost sight of what really gets you excited. Now you know what you want to be doing, but you haven’t yet found the path forward. Something or someone (the organization) is holding you back.
Tip: Clearly and succinctly articulate how a change for you would also be a positive change for your company. Identify a champion or mentor who can help support and navigate this change.

If your current situation is not working for you, you do not have to accept it as your fate. You can set forth a new vision. It takes not only awareness of where you are today but self discipline to start taking a series of small action steps to initiate the change you want in your career and life.

Peter C. Diamond, “The Amplify Guy”, is the author of Amplify Your Career and Life: 4 Steps to Evaluate, Assess and Move Forward. He is a professionally trained, certified coach. For more information, please visitwww.petercdiamond.com and connect with him on Twitter, @petercdiamond.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Job fair with 50 employers set for Jan. 29

You're Hired Job Fair is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 at the Marriott Hotel, 3600 Centerpointe Parkway in Pontiac. Job Fair Giant, which is marking its 10th anniversary, hosts monthly job fairs in Michigan featuring numerous employers.
For the Jan. 29 fair, more than 50 companies will be onsite, ready to interview potential applicants for positions in Engineering, Information Technology, Skilled Trades, Seasonal, Manufacturing, Production, Industrial, General Labor, Customer Services, Retail, Management, Restaurant, Accounting, Banking, Office Support, Clerical, Data Entry, Call Center, Installation, Technical, Machining, Electrical, Mortgage, Financial Planning, Insurance, Education, Truck Driving, Real Estate, Nursing, Rehabilitation and Human Services.
The fair will feature representatives from Get Covered America to answer questions about the new healthcare laws.
"Our mission is to provide resources for job seeker at our job fair events, anyone that would like to enroll or receive information about government healthcare insurance can meet with representatives from Get Covered America," Community Outreach Director CJ Eason said. "We understand that many job seekers do not have telephone service this can make follow-ups with recruiters impossible, we have partnered with Budget Mobile to provide eligible job seekers with free government cellphoneservices."
The fair also features free workshops, held throughout the day to assist job seekers with resume writing, interviewing, salary negotiation and job searching; industry experts will keynote topics and answer related questions.
Additional job fair series dates are scheduled for Feb. 26 in Troy and March 31 in Sterling Heights. For more information, visit JobFairGiant.com or call 734-956-4550.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Waterford chamber invites business professionals to get hypnotized

Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce 2015 Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner with JimmyG’s Hypnotic Comedy Show is 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22 at White Lake Oaks, 991 North Williams Lake Road, White Lake. The cost is $48 per person or $360 for a table of eight. Register at www.waterfordchamber.org or call 248-666-8600.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Waterford chamber hosting meeting and awards dinner

Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce 2015 Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner with JimmyG’s Hypnotic Comedy Show is 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22 at White Lake Oaks, 991 North Williams Lake Road, White Lake. The cost is $48 per person or $360 for a table of eight. Register at www.waterfordchamber.org or call 248-666-8600.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Michigan Works! hosting resume revamp workshop in Troy

Optimize Your Job Search: Library Resume Revamp is 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21 at the Troy Public Library. Led by the Troy staff of Michigan Works!, this free workshop covers how to customize a resume for a modern job search and stand out as a sought-after candidate. Register at Troypl.org/jobsearch.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

12 types of bosses

There are 12 types of bosses, each with a different management style, says Geoffrey James, columnist and author of Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.
"Everyone needs a field guide to identify which type of boss they've got and how to get the most out of the experience," he explains.
Here are the 12 types of bosses:

1. The Visionary 
Visionaries are more concerned with the future than with what's going on here and now. They manage by creating (or trying to create) a reality-distortion field that makes a team believe they can accomplish the impossible.
While visionaries can be fun to work for, they can also be intolerant, overly critical, and sometimes throw tantrums when they don't get their way.
If you're working for a visionary, drink the Kool-Aid, work the long hours, and learn to repeat this mantra: "This product will change the world."
2. The Climber 
Climbers are interested in you only insofar as you can help or hinder their ascent to the corner office. They spend most of their time and effort figuring out how to win status, claim credit, and build alliances.
Because they're obsessed with their own career, they see you (and everyone else) only as either a help or a hindrance to achieving their personal goals.
If you're working for a climber, become the person who "has his back" when his fellow climbers try to stab it.
3. The Bureaucrat 
Bureaucrats want everything run by the book. They are resistant to change because they see their current situation as the best of all possible worlds.
Bureaucrats thrive inside "large enterprises" but falter in smaller firms because the lack of a crowd makes it too obvious that they really aren't doing all that much.
If you're working for a bureaucrat, document everything you do and limit your activities to what's been done in the past. Warning: Bureaucrats can grind your creativity into dust.
4. The Propellerhead 
When engineers get into the management chain, they bring a technology-oriented worldview with them. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean you'll be judged almost entirely on your technical competence.
The propellerhead boss prefers employees who are experts in some technical field—the more obscure the better. They consider all nontechnical types (like MBA holders) equally stupid and useless.
If you're working for a propellerhead, become fluent in nerdy pop culture references. If possible, illustrate business points by quoting lines from specific Star Trek episodes.
5. The Fogey 
Fogeys have been around since the days when "secretaries" used "typewriters". They're wise in the ways of the world but clueless about what's actually going on.
Fogeys who are close to retirement are often quite jovial and easy-going; those who must continue to work because they can't afford to retire can be meaner than dyspeptic weasels.
If you're working for a fogey, don't assume that every duffer is a doofus. Reassure your boss that he's still relevant and then recruit him as a mentor.
6. The Whippersnapper 
The flip side of the fogey is the barely-out-of-college go-getter who's assigned to manage a group of seasoned employees.
Whippersnappers are energetic, enthusiastic, but secretly afraid that nobody is taking them seriously.
If you're working for a whippersnapper, respond enthusiastically to the energy they bring to their job and never, ever remind them of their relative inexperience.
7. The Social Director 
Social directors consider the personal interactions that happen in the workplace as important as (and sometimes more important than) the work itself.
Social directors manage by consensus. They call a LOT of meetings and spend a LOT of time letting people air their opinions and ideas.
If you're working for a social director, build alliances and garner supporters before trying to get any decision made. Also, be the one who brings the donuts to the meeting.
8. The Dictator 
While most people find the "my way or the highway" boss irritating, working for a dictator has some advantages. They make decisions quickly, without over-analyzing.
On the other hand, dictators are impervious to outside opinion and brittle when it comes to change. When they fail, it's usually on an epic scale.
If you're working for a dictator, simply follow orders and hope for the best. But be ready to job hunt before the dictator drives your organization over a cliff.
9. The Sales Star 
Selling is part of every job, and every boss should be able to sell his or her ideas. The problem with sales stars is that's the only thing they know how to do.
Sales star bosses are usually created when top sales professionals are promoted into management, which is stupid because managing people requires a different skill set from selling to customers.
If you're working for a sales star, encourage them to sell for you! Bring them into situations where a deal must be closed or terms negotiated.
10. The Hatchet Man 
Hatchet men (or women) are brought into an organization to fire people as quickly as possible, usually to make the company more attractive to investors.
There are only two roles available for people who work for a hatchet man: henchman or victim. Ultimately the favored role, that of henchman, is temporary: They often get canned too.
The best way to deal with a hatchet man is to be long gone by the time he or she arrives.
11. The Lost Lamb 
Sometimes people who have no management talent end up in a position of authority, usually because a manager left and the organization needs somebody to "hold the fort."
Lost lambs continue whatever policies were previously in place and dread doing anything that will be held against them once they're pushed back into the ranks.
If you're working for a lost lamb, move your projects forward without forcing your manager to make any difficult decisions.
12. The Hero 
Heroes prefer to coach others than to do things themselves. They have a knack for figuring out exactly what their employees need in order to do a superlative job and then how to get that for them.
Heroes always give their teams credit for the wins but take personal responsibility for the losses.
If you're working for a hero, enjoy it while it lasts, because chances are the hero will get promoted upward or be recruited to work elsewhere.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Entrepreneurship event seeks challenge and exhibitor applicants

The 15th Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE'15) is expected to draw a crowd of top entrepreneurs, innovators and business leaders from around the Great Lakes region to network, learn and connect. The event is 2-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 at Burton Manor Conference Center, 27777 Schoolcraft Rd., Livonia. Visit http://www.ace-event.org/ to register. Admission is $25.
It features ACE Challenge showcase presentations, a keynote presentation by Jules Pieri, founder of The Grommet and exhibitors. It also includes 120 sessions for entrepreneurs to sign up for 20-minute, one-on-one consultations with experts on sales, marketing, funding, intellectual property, business startup and entrepreneurship in the Consultants' Corridor.
Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to participate in the ACE Challenge pitch competition. Apply at https://miquest.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1724937. The deadline to apply is Friday, Jan. 16. The ACE Challenge is an opportunity for early stage tech startups to get help with their executive summaries and presentations for sales, investment or recruiting talent. The ten teams chosen will present at the evening program for ACE'15 on Jan. 29 in Livonia.
To apply for an exhibit table at the event, visit http://ace-event.org/exhibitors-2/ The cost is $145 for an exhibition table, register by Jan. 20. Exhibitors get two admission tickets, a skirted table, listing in the ACE'15 program guide and an invitation to the afterglow reception.
The event is expected to draw 800+ attendees, representing the entrepreneurial community in Michigan.