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5 Steps to a Solid Professional Development Plan

26 Nov

5 Steps to a Solid Professional Development Plan

A professional development plan (PDP) is a reference roadmap to your career goals. It gives you the clarity you need on the actions to take to move forward. Legacy jobs that you can do for the rest of your life are almost non-existent in this era, not to mention work is getting harder and more demanding. If you’d like a fulfilling, rewarding career for yourself, then you need to take the reins of your development into your own hands.

Here, Bangs Media shows you how to create a fool-proof professional development plan in 5 steps and offers some bonus career advice at the end:

1. Get to know yourself and your aspirations

Before you make plans, you need to get clear about what you want. What does a successful career mean to you? What do you find fulfilling? If you already have a career, is there a specific direction you’d like to move toward or a position you desire?

Evaluate your professional interests, your personal interests, your skills, and your experiences, and then try to find a direction that aligns with everything. You may not have all the answers – and that’s okay. You should consider taking online personality and career assessment tests – many are free – to determine the direction you want to take. For those with existing careers, researching your industry and the job market and talking to industry experts can help you identify your next step.

2. Set goals

Once you have a direction nailed down, identify where you stand currently in terms of knowledge, skill set, and experience. This will enable you to determine what you need to do to bridge the gap. Self-reflection and honesty are crucial – be brutally honest with yourself at this stage, as hard as it might be. You can only improve if you acknowledge you need to improve. Try to make it about the journey, not the destination.

Experts recommend you set practical, concrete goals at this stage. “SMART” short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals are best. PeopleGoal gives concrete examples of professional development goals to aim for – like taking a course, getting involved in an internal project, or asking your manager for feedback.  

3. Reach your goals 

Now comes the hardest part – practically reaching your goals. Typically, you need experience, education, and skills to advance. Gather your resources and invest them in gaining more experience, furthering your education, and practicing your skills. To gain experience, you could ask for more responsibilities, volunteer for projects, and shadow experts. If you need more education, then you could attend seminars and workshops or take professional courses. If you need skills, then you could practice more and get mentored, among other things. 

4. Track your progress

Life – and achieving your goals – rarely goes to plan. Tracking your career progress allows you to see where you’re meeting your targets and where you’re falling short. Furthermore, you can see which of your goals are realistic, which of them are going to take longer to reach than you expected to reach, and which of your strategies need a tune-up.

5. Rinse and repeat

Professional development planning is not linear but a cyclical process. It reflects the reality that your goals are dynamic, not set in stone, as is your career progression. Once you’ve tracked your progress, you should reassess your position, make adjustments, make new plans, and attempt to achieve your targets again. The average person changes careers 5-7 times during their working life, reports Career Advice Online. It’s the norm to have massive career changes in your life. PDP is, arguably, best used as a short-term tool (say a few years at a time) than a long-term one. 

Start your own business with a business plan

At some point in your life, you may find yourself hankering to start your own business. It’s a good ambition to have and not as hard as you might think. If you plan things carefully, you could be enormously successful. To get started, you need a solid business idea, some funding, and a well-written business plan.

A business plan is the equivalent of a professional development plan – it helps you plan out your business properly. The document describes your company, your services or products, the business structure, your funding, market conditions, financial projections, and other critical details.

Go back to school for a business degree

Business skills and knowledge can help you find more success with your business (as well as your career). You can go back to school to earn a business bachelor’s degree in a relevant field like business, communications, management, or accounting. You’ll pick up skills that will help you ably manage your business and help it to thrive. Online degree programs make it easy for you to run your company while going back to school at the same time.

Conclusion

If you find yourself lost or hitting a wall in your career, professional development planning (PDP) can arm you with the knowledge you need to move forward or overcome any challenges in your way. You don’t have to plan alone – your organization will likely help you plan your development and even fund some of your educational goals, whether that’s attending a professional course or going back to school for a business degree.

-Sharon Redd, Writer

#LiveAllThWay

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An Artist’s Guide to Making Atlanta Home

8 Oct

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

Whether you draw, paint, sculpt, or make music, making a living from your creative pursuits can be very rewarding. That said, not every city is particularly welcoming for artists. For example, while a place like New York may be buzzing with creative energy, it has a very high cost of living, which can make it a tough place to survive if you’re an up-and-coming artist. Enter Atlanta. This southern metropolis offers many advantages for artists, including grants like the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, and is a great place to call home.

This guide explains why Atlanta is such a great place for artists to live and offers practical pointers on settling into this vibrant city.

Recognize the benefits of Atlanta for artists

Atlanta has a burgeoning arts scene that’s gaining increasing national and even international recognition. According to ARTnews, there are many museums, educational networks, and new and old institutes feeding the artistic community. Examples include the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, which doles out millions in support for artists every year. Atlanta is also a relatively affordable city. The cost of living is two percent lower than the national average as a whole, so you can survive here even if you aren’t a star artist (yet).

Find the perfect place to live in the city

If you’ve decided to call Atlanta home, you’ve made a great choice. But you still have to decide exactly where in the city you want to live. Atlanta covers a lot of surface area, with many distinct neighborhoods. Scope out areas that are made for art lovers, like Midtown, Castleberry Hill, and Westside. Of course, you also need to consider practicalities like price when deciding where to live. You can use an online tool like this one to check prices in various neighborhoods.

Know where to get your creative supplies in the city

Once you’ve settled into your new home, it’s time to start getting creative. If you’re an artist, you probably want some supplies to set up your own home studio. This roundup of the best art and design supply stores in Atlanta can help you figure out where to get the goods you need. You might also want to set up a separate studio space in your new home where you can get creative. Make sure your studio is painted in soothing colors, has plenty of light to promote productivity, and includes some greenery to encourage concentration.

Connect with the creative community

As a creative person, you undoubtedly want to share your passion with others. Atlanta offers plenty of opportunities for artists to showcase their work and connect. This roundup of art spaces in Atlanta focuses on organizations that are boosting the city’s progressive creativity, from grassroots spots to museums. Meanwhile, Art Currents ATL has a list of event listings you can check to learn more about the city’s vibrant arts community. Going to events is also a wonderful way to explore your new city.

Prepare to network

As you venture out into the Atlanta arts scene, make sure you’re prepared. For example, when you attend events, come armed with an elevator pitch and links to your portfolio. You can have a business card with a QR code that people can scan to visit your website directly, for instance. There are many benefits to proactive networking, from meeting collaborators to finding new opportunities. Since you’re new to the city, it can also simply be a way to make new friends.

Atlanta has a lot to offer artists and is a relatively affordable urban center, making it a great place for creatives to set up camp. The above guide highlights the advantages and offers some resources to help you find your way in the Atlanta creative scene.

For more content about the Atlanta arts scene, visit the Bangs Media blog.

Sharon Red, Writer

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How NOT to Burn Out!

25 Aug


Tips for Overcoming Burnout When Working From Home

For most people, working from home is a brilliant position to be in. However, as with most things in life, it does have its drawbacks. So, if you’ve felt like you haven’t been giving the best you have to offer, you might be approaching burnout; here’s how to overcome it. 

Watch what you eat

We are more likely to resort to stress eating when we are facing a lot of pressure work-wise. Research has shown that eating unhealthily can cause all sorts of unpleasant effects on our bodies as well as our minds. So, if you’ve been failing in this area and have been resorting to fast food instead of healthier food options, there are ways around this. For one, you can have healthy food items delivered right to your door instead of going the non-healthy route when you are out and about. Before choosing a food delivery service, be sure to look up reviews to see what companies are offering top-notch delivery services, so you can be assured you’re receiving the very best there is. 

Creating a relaxing outdoor space

If you have been suffering from burnout lately, then why not get outdoors more?  What’s more, if your backyard is peaceful and serene, then you’re more likely to derive even more satisfaction from the outdoors, which should help to lessen your stress levels quite a bit. So why not hire professional landscaping services to transform your backyard into a dream oasis by connecting with local landscapers in your area that are close by?  Be sure to keep an eye out for deals or discounts, too, if you have your budget to consider. Also, having a preliminary meeting with them beforehand will ensure everyone’s on the same page design-wise. 

Eliminate all negative energy

Now that we’ve dealt with the exterior of your home, it’s time to deal with the interior of your home as well. For example, a well-organized workstation, with everything in its place, is sure to promote inspiration and creativity, which can enhance any positive energy there already is. 

Take regular breaks

While working from home can seem not as pressurized timewise, it is also easier to lose track of time. This can result in you not taking regular breaks even though you should, which can eventually lead to feelings of overwhelming exhaustion and burnout. So, make it a point to take small breaks often – your work will thank you for it! 

Create boundaries

Setting boundaries means knowing when to say no when your body and mind are telling you so. Again, establishing boundaries should enable you to accomplish much more as you’ll be focused on matters of priority instead of having your time and attention spread over too many things. 

Go to bed earlier

Going to bed earlier can make a lot of difference to your day the next day. Furthermore, you’ll be more alert and focused when it comes to handling pressing issues more thoroughly than you would if you were only just getting the bare minimum of shuteye daily. 

Go on that mini vacay

Take a holiday often, even if it’s just a mini vacay or a weekend getaway on the odd occasion. And when you return, you should feel more wide-eyed and bushy-tailed on your return. The above are just some of the things you can do to avoid burnout even while working from home.

Writer, Brady Baker
Brady.Baker@backfromburnout.net
Backfromburnout.net

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And in Her Reflection, Stood and Eagle’

12 Apr
“And here I am. Eighteen years old, writing my thoughts on notebook paper, only to bury it inside the bible. (You know the one- everyone’s grandma has with white Jesus on the cover). Partly because I need to gather my thoughts and more than anything, hoping God would BAIL me out, again!”


#PicklesAndPeppermintsMemoirhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B09YFD2GS5

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How to Boost Small Business Profit Through the Web

30 Aug

If you’re like many other businesses across the globe, you still feel like you’re treading water as the pandemic ends. And one thing we’ve learned from the closings and restrictions is that using the web is critical for small business success.

Fortunately, technological advancement has made it easier than ever to boost efficiency and profit; you just have to use the right tools and strategies! Check out these tips from Bangs Media for making your business more profitable via the web:

Take care of payroll.

These days, it makes sense to do everything you can in the cloud. It’s easier, more efficient, and more secure. For example, look for a cloud-based payroll system that will help you keep track of your team and ensure that everyone is paid on time, consistently. Your platform should also simplify the calculation and filing of your payroll taxes. Many software platforms also offer time tracking, real-time reporting, software integration, and a companion mobile app to manage payroll on the go.

That said, if you want to stick to Excel spreadsheet timesheets to track employee’s work time, you’ll want to include a few key components in the timesheet template so that you have all the information in one place. For example, be sure to include the date, job or shift, times clocked in and out, total number of hours worked, and any overtime or PTO time.

Pay attention to your website.

Regardless of what type of business you run, having a professional website that is up to date is essential. And if you run an eCommerce store, that entire element of your business hinges on the quality of your website.

Assess your current site to see what kind of improvements you can make. If you don’t have a website, then that should be the first step you take toward making your business more profitable.

A professional site will be attractive and effectively represent your brand. It will be easy for users to navigate, the pages will load quickly, and it will provide informative, engaging content. Hiring a professional graphic design agency could be a strong step toward improving your site and overall brand!

Moreover, your online store deserves a lot of attention. Make sure you have up-to-date, high-quality product photos and descriptions, and ensure that the checkout process is as seamless as possible for your customers.

Make it easy for customers to pay.

Speaking of the checkout process, part of creating a seamless experience will be to use the right payment processing system. These days, customers expect a plethora of options when it comes to how they pay for their products. Research the market for a payment processing software that will meet the needs of your customers. Ideally, you’ll accept credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal, among other methods.

Build your reputation and presence.  

Your reputation will in many ways determine the long-term success of your company. Providing exceptional customer service and high-quality products or services will go a long way in developing your reputation via word of mouth.

But you also need to use the web tools at your disposal for promoting your brand. Look into software and apps that can boost your marketing efforts via social media, email, SEO, and other methods. Employing a variety of strategies will ultimately help you build the online presence your company needs to have.

Become mobile-friendly.

Your website and online store must also be mobile-friendly if you are to achieve success in today’s business landscape. Make sure they load quickly on mobile devices and that they are compatible in terms of the size, layout, and overall design of each web page. More than half of consumers use their smartphones and tablets for making purchases. That’s a big chunk of the market worth capitalizing on.

Make smart off-the-web decisions.

You’ll need to accompany the above moves by making smart off-the-web decisions for your business. For example, you might consider moving to a location where you have more of an opportunity to attract local customers. If you want to test an area out, look for an affordable apartment to rent. You can use the filter by price feature on Rent.com to find an option that works for your budget. You might also consider opening a brick and mortar location for your business or occasionally doing a pop up. This is yet another way to help you attract new customers.

Making the most of all the web offers small businesses has never been more important. Ensure you are using a reliable and efficient payroll system. Make any necessary updates to your website so that it is attractive, engaging, and easy to use. Lastly, focus on developing your reputation and online presence, and make sure that your website and online store are mobile-friendly.

By Derek Goodman

Inbizability.com

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Headshots and MOHR

24 Apr

SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR BRAND and IMAGE?!

Be Sure to Connect with #cedricmohr

for a WOW’d Experience!

https://www.cedricmohr.com/

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Skip the Financial Struggle: 5 Tips to Launch Your Dream Business

16 Apr

Finances might be the single most difficult part of business ownership. From startup costs to seasonal slumps to attracting new customers (and their wallets), it’s tough to keep your company in the black. Especially if you’ve already experienced financial setbacks before, success may feel far away. If your business plan is on the line and you’re not sure how to fix up your finances, try these helpful tips from Sunn Legacy Group LLC.

Check Your Niche

Finding the cash to support your dream business can sound daunting, not completely overwhelming. However, tons of financial programs offer resources to would-be business owners in all niches. The trick is tracking down the programs that will work for you.

You can start with conventional financing options like small business loans and support. Then, look into special programs for companies in your niche. For example, the National Association for the Self-Employed offers specific grants of up to $4,000 for eligible businesses.

Other organizations provide grants and loans with varying terms. See what’s out there for your intended industry and start applying as soon as possible.

Seek Social Support

There’s a reason so many startups turn to crowdfunding for money: it works! Some crowdfunded businesses with humble beginnings even became million-dollar companies thanks to their customers’ initial buy-in.

You may not reach millionaire status with crowdfunding, but a well-planned campaign could help you get a jump on your business goals. Popular crowdfunding sites that are also trustworthy, says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, include:

  • Kickstarter
  • Indiegogo
  • GoFundMe
  • Patreon
  • Fundable

Check out each platform and its options before signing up. Consider the fees required and how transparent your campaign will be to potential buyers.

Get Legit on a Budget

A legitimate business model and structure is likely a top priority for your startup. Having a recognizable business name and branding is great, but you’ll want to check all the legal boxes before you can take off. Fortunately, you can DIY much of the business setup process for less cash than you might expect. Searching for existing business names on your state’s filing site is a good place to start. After all, you don’t want to run into any trademark or copyright issues.

Your next step is to define your organization with a solid business structure. You might go for an LLC setup for tax advantages and flexibility. By filing using a formation service web site, you can save money that you would otherwise spend on a lawyer. For an affordable cost, you can have your business documents in order before your doors (online or in-person) open.

Pick Projects That Count

You likely have a long to-do list of things you want to accomplish before starting your own small business. However, tallying up the expenses for each item may leave you wondering whether business ownership is really your jam.

The good news is that hiring help for business setup tasks might be cheaper than you think. Outsourcing freelance help project-by-project means you can get your logo designed, have your website set up, and source branded product packaging for less than you think.

Think about the essentials and pick projects that count the most. For example, your organizational branding is vital for helping customers discover you online and in print materials, so that may be a must-have service you decide to shell out for.

Prioritize your to-do list project by project and decide whether outsourcing a bit at a time is a better use of your time and energy. It may be preferable to spending hours flip-flopping on design ideas or learning new tools. There’s plenty of time for that later, as your business grows!

Take It One Step at a Time

Business growth doesn’t happen overnight, and neither will success (or your first sales). Having a cushion in your savings account to fall back on is ideal. But if you’re operating on a shoestring budget, it’s still possible to operate on very little cash flow while growing your company.

Of course, if you need help attracting audiences, think about new ways you can engage audiences with Bangs Media.

By Derek Goodman

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FLAMES: a Poetic Tale……by Marcus T Kelley

5 Mar
Where I’m from is no fairytale. And the story I’m about to share with you is Everything but Fiction!

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world- he didn’t exist.

I’m from a small town called College Station, located in Arkansas- but outside of Little Rock. There
are many families and churches that we were taught to protect and we did- at ALL cost!


My hood has love but some hate too. And like many neighborhoods, we also have our share of secrets.

I wrote my 1st poem when I was 6 years old. God said it was MY duty to finish the mission.
He said to make every word BURN like FIRE.
This is my story.


This is the Book of FLAMES!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093JHZKCT

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“Sunny Speaks” …….Voyage ATL

19 Jun

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sunny Kelley.

Sunny, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
BACKGROUND: At an early age, I knew I was a WHOLE hustler. From painting & selling pebbles for 5 cents to being a kitchen beautician, I was FEARLESS when it came to earning my own money!

Take a Look:

Voyage Atl

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Breakout Actress, Patience Adia’s…Timing is PERFECT!

27 Mar

Patience Adia Rozier is a budding American entertainer with emphasis in Acting in TV/Film and Theater. Being born and raised in metro Atlanta, GA. it would be a mere assumption that talent grows on trees, however Patience learned that she had a Special gift, 5 years ago. Her gift to interpret feelings and emotions on cue is what set her apart from other young artists. Where many would spend years of training, Patience would naturally evoke. In addition to acting, she had an ear for music and would often mimic notable legends, soulfully belting songs from Broadway to Pop.

 

PATIENCE was DESTINED for GREATNESS

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Patience’s name is symbolic for the sacrifice (to abstain) her parents made to each other, before they were wed. And Adia, means Gift from God. Since the very beginning, they knew Patience had divine purpose and was sure to labor, tirelessly in their assignment as her parents!

They exposed her at an early age to Fine Arts. Their passion inevitably rubbed off on her. Patience began dancing at 3 years old, in Modern and in Tap. She is an avid reader who also plays the ukulele and keyboard in her spare time. She attended several shows and movies, imagining what she’d do if she were the character. Patience even had the opportunity to see musicals at Aurora Theater. She enjoys and is inspired by watching other thespians perform Live.

As Patience is currently a Sophomore in High School, that doesn’t limit her from her dreams, at all! In fact, she portrayed Charlie Bucket in the Aurora Theater’s production of Willy Wonka Jr. This served as a very instrumental experience, not only because it was her 1st Lead role in a musical, but because she was reminded to never let the color of her skin or gender keep her from going after the roles she desired!

Patience, what is your Purpose?

“My purpose is to inspire other people by SHOWING them, as an actor, or anything that you’re in pursuit of; you must step out of your comfort zone to better yourself.”

Like her name (Patience), she has exuded much patience when it comes to preparing and honing her craft. She is a student of life and is constantly embracing the next segment of her Artistry.

Patience is a proven scholar of Hott Theater for Children (Lauren Keeton). She has served as a member on the production team, (technical area) at her high school with the 39 Steps and Ensemble in James and the Giant Peach.

In addition, she gave a striking performance as Carter in the short film, Selfless: True Happiness. Other roles, Seraph (TPN) of Temporary Darkness and Umara of the Award Winning, Noise (Damn Write Originals), would be the catalyst that subsequently caused her to surge through a growing catalog.

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Patience has modestly made a name for herself around the Atlanta entertainment community. She has been nominated and won Best Breakout Actress at the 2017 TPN Awards for her role as Charity in the CDs. As if that wasn’t enough to brag about! With no surprise, she also won 1st place (youth) at the REPYourAct 2018 Talent Competition.

Wisdom appears to be the guide for Patience as she meticulously makes strides towards her goals. She is very practical with alignment and timing. “Never let the internet rush you, No one is posting their failures”, says Patience as she echoes a quote from social media. This carries much weight and allows for clearer perspective.

Patience is a model of perseverance. She has completed the manuscript for her 1st teen novel, with hopes to see it on shelves in stores and other outlets, as well as beginning her 2nd.  She loves composing piano pieces. Her dreams of becoming a professional actor/entertainer in a Broadway Musical, whether the role is lead or behind the scenes, would be a major win, considering the impressions she has made with her emerging blueprint. You guessed right!

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Patience’s Timing is Perfect!

Be Sure to Follow and Subscribe to her Amazing Journey.

Instagram @patienceadia

Facebook @Patience Rozier

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7947500/?ref_=nv_sr_1

TDH Talent Agency