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Maybe you’ve just had a child and can’t see yourself returning to your 9-5 job one hour away. Or maybe you are in a job that is not satisfying or you’re not employed at all but want to find a career, work or business opportunity that can provide you with necessary income. The key point is you have decisions to make about your life and your future and you want those decisions to be the right ones.

Answering personal goals questions is a great start.These questions will help you to identify your strengths, your priorities, your financial needs and your risk threshold. Take the time you need to answer these questions honestly and thoroughly. Go to the library look through books and magazines that can provide you with insight into the work environment or careers that interest you. Delve into your finances to determine what kind of income you need.

If you’ve decided that you’re definitely going to improve your happiness quotient by cutting out your commute and finding employment close to home, then make sure you thoroughly research businesses in your region. There are many ways to help improve your chances of landing that dream job close to where you live.

  • If you are considered a senior level specialist or manager contact an executive recruiter or “head hunter” to locate a position in your area of choice. Reputable head hunters do not charge a fee to candidates and if your recruiter is good he or she will be plugged into the news and buzz around who is looking to hire in your specialty field. Make sure you find a head hunter that is truly knowledgeable about your area of expertise.

  • Use an employment agency to look for a wider range of employment opportunities. Employment agencies are hired by employers to find the best, most suitable candidate for the job. Again you don’t have to pay a fee. Your employment agency is looking to play matchmaker. They want both you and their client (the employer) to find the right match so make sure you clearly and confidently communicate your strengths, your preferences (for example: you want jobs close to where you live) and present yourself well!

  • Use your regions most reputable job boards – monster.com, your chamber of commerce job board, your local university or community college are just some of the resources you might look to for job postings and job leads.

  • NETWORK: your local community organization, from your child’s school to local gardening groups—these are more than groups they’re networks offering up prime opportunities for you to get to know others and in the process make more people aware of your skills and career attributes. Once you’re in a network all you need to do is to let it be known that you are looking for work. You’d be surprised at some of the local employment opportunities that might come your way.

  • Finally, if you know what you’d like to do but don’t have the skill set, research learning opportunities in your community or online. To be involved in continuing our education is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. You might want to learn how to design websites so you can work in the technology or design department of a firm. Or you might want to learn how to be a personnel administrator so you can work in human resources. Perhaps you want to work as an independent contractor supplying business services to a local company. Then maybe you should learn how to be a virtual assistant or meeting events manager. The choices are almost limitless.

Now even if there are no decent employment opportunities in your region, you might be able to work as a telecommuter for a company located far away.

Telecommuters may be full or part-time employees or even independent contractors who do work for a company off-site, usually from their home. You maintain a connection to the company through the internet, telephone or other means that allow you to do the work required by the company.

In the coming weeks we’ll share with you additional resources to help you find the right career or business opportunity for you. Keep watching this page!