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Cindy* is one of the 30+ scholarship applicants we have received since launching Allies to the Out-of-Work. Being unemployed has thrown her in a deep depression that she can't seem to shake. She isolates herself in order to avoid the dreaded questions about her tough situation. Harnessing the power of the micro-fundraising site, Indiegogo.com, we launched a campaign to raise $10,000 that will give 100 long-term unemployed people a full scholarship to our Job Search Accelerator Program (JSAP). This program is helping hundreds of people find work. However, it’s not something we can give away for free. So, we are hoping to get donations from those of you out there who:


A) Have been out of work recently and know how hard the job search really is.

B) Know somebody long-term unemployed and want to sponsor them.

C) Care about getting Americans back to work and on their feet.

Find out how you can be an ally to the out-of-work. You can learn more about the program (and donate) by click the botton below: DONATE NOW ► For the next 3 weeks, we will share stories of those who have applied for a scholarship (see the application form here), so you can see how important it is that we get them the help they want and deserve, but can’t afford. Meet Cindy: Q: What’s the hardest part about unemployed long-term? A: As the time goes on, I am getting more and more depressed. I worry all the time about my finances. I have been socially isolating myself. I have refused invitations to meet my friends. I dread seeing acquaintances; they keep saying, "what is wrong with you? How come you did not find a job?" Many of them have never been unemployed; they do not know what it is like. I also have no patience for friends who complain about work. They don't know how lucky they are to make a living. Q: What have you been doing to look for work so far? A: I am doing all what I can to get a job, without results so far. I have applied to jobs on line, exhausted all my network, attended meetings at the job club, and meeting with a career counselor. I am also doing volunteer work to get out of the house. Q: Why do you feel our Job Search Accelerator Program can help you? A: It will give me a fresh perspective on how to do job search. It will give me hope and help me lift my depression. Comments I hope that I get the scholarship.

Your Turn

If you're interested in helping out job seekers in need, please donate to Allies to the Out-of-Work and help them get back on their professional feet. Learn more here... DONATE NOW ► Photo Credit: Shutterstock *Name changed
Learn how to land a career you love


Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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