Free Printable Career Assessment

As the year comes to a close, I feel the need to take a step back and assess my career and job situation.  I want to learn from the past year, by recognizing both my successes and failures.  One of the best ways to do this is by asking a series of questions and then answering them honestly, even if it’s painful at times.  After completing my 2016 career assessment, I found many insights and was able to forge a good plan of action for 2017.  I have a list of goals, and now have made a solid plan to achieve them.  See this post for the top 10 steps for achieving any goal to get started.

I also have a post and list of questions here for a self assessment of your personal life.  Live moves at such a quick pace that sometimes we forget to stop and smell the roses.  We slip into autopilot mode, just going through the motions.  I know this is how it is for me, at least.  It’s truly important to step back and evaluate where we are and what we have achieved.  We all have goals that we want to achieve.  That doesn’t usual happen when we are on cruise control.

So here’s my 2016 Career Assessment.  I genuinely hope that it helps you.  Maybe you can even use it as part of a review or career advancement discussion with your boss or supervisor.  Maybe it will lead you to pull your resume together and start looking for a new opportunity.

Bonbon’s Guide Career Assessment

Click here for the free printable version!

  1. Are you happy at your job?  On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you?
  2. Do you enjoy getting ready for work?
  3. How are your commutes, typically?
  4. What is your favorite thing about your job?
  5. What is your least favorite thing about your job?
  6. Do you like and appreciate your coworkers?  Do you have a good or best friend at work?
  7. Do you feel that you are contributing to the success of your group, department and company?
  8. What are some ways you contributed?
  9. Are you trying your best?  Are you motivated?  Do you feel passionate about your work?
  10. What are you passionate about at work and in general?
  11. What were your favorite tasks?  What did you like the least?
  12. Did you work on any special projects?  If so, did you enjoy them?  What did you like about them?
  13. Do you feel like you were recognized for your hard work and contributions?
  14. Do you want to be a leader? Do you feel like you are equipped to be a leader?
  15. Do you feel that you are a part of a team or do you feel more like you are on an island?  How is the flow of communication?
  16. Do you feel that you are fairly compensated for your work?
  17. Do you feel you have job security?  If not, why not?
  18. What new skills did you learn this year? What skills did you find you could improve on?
  19. What new skills would you like to acquire?  How will these benefit you in your current and future role?
  20. What are some ideas you have for improving processes or new projects?  Can you present these ideas for approval to pursue them?
  21. Do you trust your boss or supervisor?
  22. What are some things you would change about your workplace, boss, colleagues and company if you could?
  23. Are you willing to accept the fact if you can’t change any or all of these things?
  24. Do you have a mentor?  If not, can you identify someone who would be a good mentor?
  25. Where do you see yourself in 6 months?  Where do you see yourself in 1 year? 2 years? 5 years?
  26. Do you want a promotion?
  27. Are you ready for a promotion now?  If so, why do you feel this way?
  28. If you are not quite ready for a promotion, what do you need to learn in order to be ready?
  29. Do you like your industry?  If not, what industries are of interest?
  30. How familiar are you with your desired industry ?  Do you know of resources to learn more about your industry or industries and become more knowledgeable?
  31. If you are unhappy with your current job, are you willing to search for a new one?
  32. What skills would you need in order to attain another job?  Are you willing to put in the time and effort?
  33. How long do you plan to remain with your current employer?

Click here for the free printable version!

Please feel free to share with others who you think would benefit from it.  I would love to hear your feedback, so please comment below!

affiliate marketing

The First Challenges of Being an Affiliate Marketer

In an effort to make a little bit of side income, I’ve decided to try my hand at affiliate marketing – specifically with the Big A.  I am starting to generate some steady traffic and getting excited about my progress.  This is definitely not a method to getting rich quick and easily, despite what many out there will lead you to believe.  It is seriously hard work.  I have spent quite a bit of money and time advertising, so far.

I’m not a marketing guru by any stretch of the imagination, so it’s all a learning game for me right now.  I have sent them about 100 potential customers according to the logs, with three completed sales, but that’s not very much so far.

I have purchased three domain names to work this affiliate method.  Two completely different and unrelated niches.  I am pulling together some content, with embedded links, and the main focus on two of the sites is catalog style shop pages.  I have bought some good plugins and have a great theme.  My designs and customization need work, but I am getting positive feedback from any visitors I ended up engaging with.

The most challenging and frustrating issue so far is a few strings of correspondence with people who claimed they ordered one of the items on my website.  Three different very legit customers of another website.  I confirmed that they definitely did not get to their end purchase via my website by checking my Amazon reports.  I hadn’t had a single referral sale on this item.  I think these customers found me via Google, since I was ranking high for this particular item.  They just assumed that they placed their order through my website, and that it was my job to fix it.  It’s very hard to explain to someone who has no clue about internet marketing that you are an independent affiliate marketer with zero ties to the manufacturer of a product.  I am just referring people to items I like and recommend on the big A – you can’t even check out on my site because the shopping cart function is not active (no point since there was no commerce!).

Being a person with a strong conscience, I felt compelled to help, despite the fact that I had no involvement.  I’m also concerned about the website’s reputation, being brand new to this internet marketing world.

I started working in depth with the nicest one, and she gave me a copy of her invoice.  It turns out she did in fact complete an order, but on the manufacturer’s website.  Their customer service department was pretty much non-existent. I jumped through hoops to track down information about the company and after figuring out who to contact, I emailed the customer service department several times with no response.  Unbelievable.  They had a notice on their website that the item was back-ordered.  It was a toy and I’m pretty sure that these people ordered for Christmas gifts.  It’s a shame that the company let this happen.

I did what I could, but my hands were tied after those attempted communications with the shady toy manufacturer.  I left off on a positive note with each of the customers, and have not heard from any in a few weeks.  Hopefully it is over with.  Scary stuff.

The lesson I’ve learned is that I need to do some more due diligence with any products I’m recommending.  Check out the vendor thoroughly and make sure I’m willing to stand behind them.

I hope I will not be providing customer service to too many people for free anymore.  I honestly do love to help people and am great with customer service, but it’s not fair when I have no ties to the sale, whatsoever.

It’s got me thinking this may not be the best internet marketing model for me, so I’m at the drawing board now.  I am going to try my hand at the drop shipping/drop ship model.  I’m currently at the stage where I’m looking for fulfillment companies.  It has been grueling!  So many companies, so many directories, so many differing opinions.  I have spent hours looking around and haven’t landed on any one that I am fully satisfied with.  I’ve got one that I’m feeling decent about and now it’s just a matter of deciding whether or not I am ready to jump in and take a chance.  I will be posting updates about this foray as an affiliate marketer, so stay tuned!

If you have any advice and you are experienced in either drop shipping or affiliate marketing, please feel free to share in the comments below.  Thanks!

self assessment

Goodbye, 2016 – A Self Assessment

Here we are at the end of 2016.  It’s amazing how time flies and every year this time seems to sneak up on us.  They say it’s because time flies when you’re having fun – but I feel time also flies when you’re too busy to notice.  That’s the truth for me.  Don’t get me wrong – I have plenty of fun and life is good, but I don’t think I pause often enough.

Before ringing in 2017 with a list of resolutions I may end up breaking, I think for me it’s much more valuable to look back at 2016 and assess the year – to do a year in review.  I hope you will also pause and reflect on this past year.  These are the questions I am asking of myself.  I hope you find them to be valuable.

Bonbon’s 2016 Self Assessment

Don’t forget to be honest with yourself.  🙂

  • What is something you planned on doing this year, but didn’t get to start?  Why not?  Will it happen in 2017?
  • What is a project (home/personal/other) that you worked in, but didn’t complete? What stopped you? Will you try again?
  • What is your best memory from 2016?  What is your worst?
  • Did your views on anything change in 2016?  Do you feel more or less passionate about it?
  • Did you make any new friends?  How/where?
  • Have you drifted apart from any family members or friends? Is this a good thing?  Should you reach out to them?
  • What are your wishes and hopes for 2016? 2019? 2026?

For me there were many ups and downs, but they just serve to motivate me going forward.  Here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous and joyful 2017!

I’ve also added a free printable Career Assessment here.