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Balancing Act: I Help People Get Out of Job Jail

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Whether you're employed, underemployed, or unemployed, chances are the tight job market has you thinking about your professional, and often more importantly, your financial future. According to Audrey LeGrand, author of "How to Get Out of Job Jail," many people are dissatisfied with their titles, duties or even field of work, but remain stuck -- feeling helplessly trapped in careers they don't enjoy. LeGrand has always had a passion for what she does: connecting people. Twenty years ago she combined her human resources and business skills to launch her own company, Innovators and Motivators, Inc., a human resources consulting firm. Today, in addition to consulting with firms, she works the speaking engagement tour circuit and is affectionately referred to as the "Job Jail Lady." LeGrand is known for her straight-shooting advice on how to determine your "dream job," what it takes to move from sporting sneakers to stilettos at your 9-to-5, and how to land the position you spend hours daydreaming over. Here are four tips from LeGrand, who has a bustling career and loving family, on how women can get their careers in balance: 1. Learn what you do well. Most people are too busy trying to rebound from a job loss, or just keep their position, to really take the time to deepen their skills. Make the time to determine what you do exceptionally well and how that translates into a position. Aptitude tests are a great tool for assessment. 2. Meet people where they are. If you want to make a career change, you have to get out and find the gatekeepers. You can do this by networking within your industry at events, riding public transportation during work hours or frequenting the lunch spots of people in your field. 3. Work on your communication skills. Read everything relevant to your industry and be able to communicate your knowledge in a concise manner, verbally and on paper. 4. Be mindful of your appearance. Carry yourself in a manner that is clean, crisp and on target for the type of field you're in. Make sure your hairstyle and attire complement your look. Companies are looking at overall image.
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