Friday, October 12, 2007

How To Become A Freelance Chef

When you think about chefs, what do you think of first? Which aspects of chefs are important, which are essential, and which ones can you take or leave? You be the judge.

Becoming a freelance chef does not mean that just knowing how to cook automatically qualifies you to go into someone’s home and cook for them. Obtaining the necessary industry (yes, it is an industry!) knowledge through a comprehensive training program puts you way ahead of the game. Knowing how to market yourself as well as how to go about everyday business functions like accounting, price-setting, scheduling, menu-planning, customer relations, and more can very well dictate whether or not your freelance chef business succeeds or fails.

Two of the biggest organizations in the business of training and bestowing accredited certifications to personal freelance chefs are the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCS) and the American Personal Chef Association (APCA). Both organizations offer information regarding liability insurance, software to help with scheduling and menu planning, tools and equipment, and local chapters provide coaching, advice, and other support for members.

Thanks to the advent of these trained personal freelance chefs, many families now have their favorite meals prepared for them up to several weeks in advance, ready to simply heat and devour. For many, this means getting a decent, home-cooked meal instead of relying on fast food or tv dinners. And most personal chefs not only do the cooking, they plan entire meals, do all the necessary grocery shopping, and clean up their mess when through in their client’s kitchen. Personal chefs spend, on average, four to six hours twice a month in their customers’ homes making such dishes as salmon with Parmesan crust, fettuccini Alfredo, crab cakes, and other fine meals. Some suggest and provide wines, as well.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there's more to chefs than you may have first thought.

Pricing averages from $7 to $15 per plate, but with savings found in time saved by not having to shop or do the cooking themselves, people from singles to seniors and professionals with little or no free time, find the service worth much more than the cost.

Training schools for freelance personal chefs provide cooking and business education through seminars, personalized mentoring sessions, classroom instruction, video- and audiocassette teaching, CDs, books, and online testing for a typical price of around $900. Information varies, of course, from school to school, but usually includes such things as checklists for starting out with your business, learning how to price, preparing recipes and planning menus, packaging prepared meals for storage, sanitation and hygiene, and more. Chefs who are already certified as personal chefs – and who are already successfully running their own personal freelance chef businesses – commonly provide instruction and support as mentors.

Personal chefs enjoy all the benefits of any other business owner – and all the responsibilities. Some freelance chefs cook for as many as 15 families. But to most, all the hard work is worth it. One personal chef summed it up nicely: “When you cook for a family for any length of time, you become a part of that family as well.” And who would not enjoy that?

Don't limit yourself by refusing to learn the details about chefs. The more you know, the easier it will be to focus on what's important.

In the meantime you can find out more by visiting the web site listed below.

About the author: To learn more, please visit Keith Londrie II klondrie @

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Finding Freelance Projects

Being a freelancer is a tough job for anyone. Whether you are a writer or a web designer you know that the competition is fierce and you must always be on the look out for more jobs when working on one. This is part of the course when freelancing. Most often there is no stability or guarantee when freelance is involved. You are hired on a project basis and will be kicked to the curb once the project is complete unless you happen to earn another project right away which is rare to say the least.

To help fill the gap between those needing skilled labor and the freelancers that provide the labor there are several web sites that have sprung up. These sites allow employers to post projects of a wide variety and then the freelancers can bid on those projects. This has become an effective tool in maintaining a steady flow of work for the freelancer, but there are several downfalls to some of these sites.

For one thing, there is normally a fee that is charged for using the service. How much and how often varies by site. Normally you will pay a monthly membership fee as a freelancer wanting to bid on projects. This fee can be as high as eighty dollars on some sites, but the average is twenty. One should be careful when working with a site like this as it will be much harder to turn a profit when you consider the amount of money you have spent on the monthly fees.

There are also sites that work on a commission basis. This works by paying a percentage of the money that you earned from a project to the site for successfully bidding and completing a project. The commission charged is different with every site and averages around 10%. This system of payment is a lot more popular as the freelancer can simply add the commission amount to their bid to ensure they are getting the amount they need to complete the project.

The services offered by these sites are normally wonderful. A project manager is a great tool for tracking the projects that you have bid on and those that you have won. This ensures that nothing gets swept under the rug and forgotten about thus tarnishing your reputation.

Other sites offer safe payment resources. These payment options are basically escrow accounts where the money is held until the project is completed and approved. This works to provide security for both parties. The employer does not release the money until the project has been completed and approved. The freelancer is guaranteed to get paid for all their hard work.

There are some sites that offer all of these services and remain free for the freelance worker and the employer. They maintain the site through advertising and do not charge a commission or a monthly fee. This has become a very popular occurrence as freelancers can earn more money without having to spend so much in the process.

About the author: Visit the next generation of freelance portals, Besides a lot of features, the service is free of any commissions and fees from signing up to signing the contract with the project creator.

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Freelance Photography: How To Begin Your Career

Photography is a vast world. There are many different types of photography and many different kinds of people that enjoy it. It’s a hobby that be relatively inexpensive or one that you can invest a lot of money on. Photos are so special because they give us memories of times and places and events in our lives. We can hold onto these memories forever with a photograph.

As much as people love photos, many people love taking them even more. Whether it’s a mother who takes photos at every of her children’s moments in life (first smile, first step, first spaghetti meal) or maybe it’s the father who never forgets his camera for a football or basketball game, or maybe it’s the young girl who loves nature hikes with her camera; these people are not exceptions. They all have an eye for those special moments and they all appreciate the camera’s ability to capture that moment and freeze it in time forever.

What is Freelance Photography?

What if you love photography so much you wish you could do it for a living? I mean, you actually get paid for your photographs! But you work solely for yourself, selling each photo or series of photos individually. You don’t have a boss. You work sometimes on assignment and you may sell to magazines. That is freelance photography.

Freelance photography may be your entire career or it may start out as something you do in your spare time but begin making money from it. It’s just like freelance writing in this sense that many people turn it into a career and enjoy the freedom of working essentially for themselves on their own time and making money doing something they love doing anyway.

How to Build a Portfolio

To start getting jobs as a freelance photographer, you need a portfolio. A portfolio will show samples of your work. Even if you have never had photographs published or publicly displayed, you can start a portfolio of your best work and then add onto it if you win photography contests or start receiving paid work.

How to Get Jobs

As we mentioned, building a portfolio is the first step in submitting your work for pay but when it comes right down to it, it’s the quality of the photo that will determine if you get paid for it. Some people have more of a natural talent for taking great pictures than others but it is a skill that anyone can learn. There are schools dedicated to the art of photography and you can even get a degree in it. If you are just getting started, you can look into classes provided by your local community center or community college. Some cities have photography groups that meet to share photos and tips. There are also many groups online dedicated to photography and freelance photography.

You need to view as many famous photographs as possible. Take a look at what is getting published and compare it to your own photos. This allows you to compare and learn from other’s work. It takes more than just point and shoot to get a great photo. You need to learn about focus, lighting, colors and backgrounds and much more.

Once you start learning about photography and creating a portfolio, you can start submitting your photos to contests and magazines. Get a list of photography markets and start submitting to ones that accept your type of photos. Don’t expect to make it to the big times right away. Few people actually achieve this but you can start small and eventually make your way into a nice living from freelance photography.

About the author: Looking for information about Photography? Go to: 'ASA Photography' is published by Colin Hartness - An excellent resource for Photography! Check out more Photography articles at:

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

When Is The Ideal Time To Look For A Job?

Most people start searching for a new job when they "need" a job - when they've resigned or been asked to leave their current job, or have simply decided to leave. However, if you want a great job - one that suits you down to the ground - these are unlikely to be the best times to start looking.

Well, as it happens, the ideal time to start searching for employment has less to do with your need for a job and more to do with a particular organization's need to hire someone for that job. To be precise, the best time to be on the outlook for a new job is when the organization has realized it needs to hire someone for that job.
But let me clarify: the ideal time is not when the company has hired a recruitment agent or is already advertising for the job... it's when the company has JUST realized that it needs a specific position filled.

And just why is this the best time for YOU to start looking for a job? Because if you're "there" when the company has decided it needs to hire... and you have all the experience, qualifications and skills its looking for, then (except for any regulatory or political requirements to advertise the job) you're the one its likely to hire! The only reasons why the organization wouldn't hire you would probably relate to the remuneration you ask for or for corporate political reasons outside your control.

But, of course, if you've researched the organization and prepared yourself for the role... presumably you would only present yourself for the job if you understood the lay of the political land and knew what salary range would likely be accepted.

Having said all this, you still need to be "in the right place at the right time", don't you? So how do you accomplish that... when the organization isn't advertising the job? (And how do you know whether or not you want to work for that organization anyway?

Well, I'll be honest, this is where you will have to roll up your sleeves and do a little work. Nothing hard - but some decision making, research and a little networking. And the first step is to identify which companies you'd like employment with.

Let's say, for example, you wanted to develop project management skills and were particularly interested in the software industry. Therefore, you would identify medium to large sized software vendors where there were likely to be project management roles on offer.

Following this initial research, it's time to find out more about each company you've identified. This will allow you to sort the "wheat from the chaff" so that you can target the three or four firms you'd most like to work for. Ideally, you'll also try to meet the key decision makers at those companies - the people with the power to hire you or recommend that you be hired. This may be a matter of attending industry events and even meeting other people who might be able to introduce you to the "decision makers" (the people with the power to hire you or recommend that you be hired)... or of calling up the person you want to meet and asking if you could take them out for a coffee in return for a chat. Do whatever is appropriate to lay the basis for a relationship... so that, over time, the decision maker(s) will keep you informed when a job opportunity comes up.

Now that you're as "in the know" as you can possibly be, your job is to (1) keep your ears to the ground, (2) think, and (3) act! In other words, if you learn that the company is thinking of bringing out a major new product - think about the implications of that. Does that mean that they'll need more project managers to help with the launch? If so, get on the phone to your contact and ask for the chance to present some ideas about how you could help.

Obviously, when the opportunity arises you'll have a better idea of what approach to take, but the point is, all it really takes to get the job is to be aware of what's going on with the companies you're monitoring, analyzing that information, and acting on it. And, really, that's as hard as it gets.

Okay, so this approach may not be the best way to go if you need a job and you need it NOW (who knows when the companies you're targeting will need to hire?). However, it really is the approach to take in order to land your dream job... and only requires a little research, patience and the confidence to talk to people to do it. Try it!

About the author: Anna Johnson. Get the job you want! Watch Anna's funny and inspiring movie, Career Choices, then download a free chapter of her shocking and controversial ebook, Insider Job Secrets Revealed:

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How To Choose A Career

By definition, a career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life, which typically offers opportunities for progress. When it comes to choosing a career path, it’s important to consider a number of factors and how they may affect your future.

It isn’t always easy to know what you want to do tomorrow, much less 10 or 20 years from now. Right? This is why so many people often struggle with choosing a career, but there is one way to improve your ability to choose the right path. If you choose a job in a field that you already love, work will be enjoyable and you may find yourself with the perfect career. Many people have turned their hobbies into a career, while others have used their talent to land them the perfect job. If you have an interest in a certain topic, find yourself passionate about a hobby or simply have a natural talent, it may be worth considering as a future career possibility.

During your search for the perfect career, education will undoubtedly play a significant role. For certain careers, you may need a specific type of degree or certification. If this is the case, it’s important to look at various colleges and what they have to offer. Some offer job placement assistance, which is important to those who are new to the workforce. Speaking of which, your geographical location may impact your ability to succeed in a particular career. In some cases, you may find yourself in a situation where relocating for a job is a requirement in order to find success within a specific field. When choosing a career, it’s important to consider your willingness to travel and/or permanently relocate.

As mentioned earlier, a career generally is a job that offers the potential for progress. If you find yourself in a rut, you may lose interest in your career choice, so consider selecting one that will give you the chance for advancement. As is the case with almost everything in life, progress is an important part of happiness.

Have you ever heard someone say that money isn’t everything? Well, it’s true. With that being said, it’s important to note that money is necessary and the career that you choose will greatly determine your livelihood. Some careers are naturally more profitable than others, but the key is to look for a career that offers you a combination of financial stability and will provide you with enough left over to save for retirement. Regardless of your age, it’s never too early to think about the future and how to prepare for it.

The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional career advice and/or recommendations. For additional information or advice relating to job placement or selection, consult a professional career counselor.

About the author: Leslie Gerard is a consultant for Red 3 Enterprises ( ) and its subsidiaries ( , )

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

High Speed Internet

I'm trying to consider Comcast Cable Deals for my high speed internet needs. My internet connection has been too intermittent recently that pushing updates to my client servers has affected badly. Update script executing stops in the middle of the critical procedure resulting to corrupt files most of the time. These are the times when you wish it didn't started updating at all. Trying to pickup where you left off isn't a desirable to be in.

Anyway, the Comcast Cable offers: Comcast's Bundled Service Plan seem to fit my home entertainment and work needs. It got digital cable, highspeed internet and digital voice bundled in one plan. It will be saving me $200. With that amount I can get a second new 19in LCD monitor.

Another bonus is that for all of that Comcast Cable sends only one easy to read bill. I'm a sucker for simple things so a simplified, unified and a easier to understand billing statement wins. It saves me from the hassle of paying three different products at three different billing cycle.

Currently here are the prices for their services. Digital Cable starts at $33 per month with $75 credit cash back. High Speed Internet plan have prices starting at $33 per month with $125 rebates and a FREE modem. Digital Voice also starts at $33 per month with $25 cash back and has only 1 rate for all your calls so you won't overwhelmed when the bill arrives.