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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top 3 Business Linkedin Groups to Join in Chicago

Social Networking has expanded past our personal lives and into our professional ones. When a Facebook or MySpace account was probably your first jump into social media, we now know that Linkedin is the place for your online resume. When we have a question, we now look to our online professional communities and groups for answers. 

If you live or work in Chicago here are a few Linkedin groups you should consider joining.

1. Business Network Chicago (BNC)

Launched on August 7, 2008 this group continues a steady growth each month. With at current count of 8,102 it's one of the largest general business oriented groups in Chicago on Linkedin. The BNC also has events and workshops tailored to getting more involved in social media and face-to-face networking. 

Following the motto of "educate, support and empower" there are a variety of interesting discussions to be apart of. We discovered a recent discussion topic regarding what you think about having a professional profile picture - a topic we touched on earlier this month.

Jean Pickering is the President & Social Media Director of the The Tektite Group and creator of BNC. Jean is responsible for making the group more than just a presence on linkedin, but carries over to Facebook, Twitter, and

Top Industries: Human Resources (13%), Marketing & Advertising (9%), and Information Technology (9%). 

2. Linked N Chicago (LiNC)

Whoever said bigger is better is part of this group. It's huge! Seriously. Numbering at 61,538, you will definitely find answers to any hard questions you would like to bounce off other business minded people. You will will see a wide variety of questions. Favorite of last week was a discussion on peer-reviewing giant, Yelp.

Created by Mary McFarlin and managed by Mary Toomy this group has seen a big bump in the last four months adding 14,902 members since January 2nd. 

Top Industries: Information Technology (10%), Marketing & Advertising (9%), and Financial Services (6%).

3. Chicago Young Professionals 

This is a great way to get started in a group especially if you are a Gen Y or Xer. The one thing to watch out for is that this group has more sales-oriented posts. Just last week there were 74 discussion topics posted/posts and only 41 comments. We wish more young professionals were using this group of now 5,380 people for networking and discussion.

Created by Attourney Jeremy Kissell on Feburary 25, 2008 it's another group that has consistently high growth in membership.

Top Industries: Marketing & Advertising (13%), Financial Services (8%) and Information Technology (7%).

Do you have a specific group to recommend in Chicago? Let us know!

Still learning all that Linkedin can offer for you? Check out these stats. 


As an business owner or manager you can help stay organized by using NextCrew as a source for temp and shift based work to hire at moments notice. Follow NextCrew on Linkedin and click HERE

Numbers as of May 29, 2012. Image:

Monday, May 14, 2012

NextCrew: Vanity URL, Links to YouTube, & more!

We wanted to let you know about a few updates and things happening lately at We are building our database with temp/shift work to apply for. As we build on our end, there are a few features for you to to be aware of:

Vanity URL
In order for owners to find those looking for work we have developed your own vanity URL. Whenever someone registers on NextCrew, your username becomes your URL in this format:

For example, check out our marketing manager's vanity URL HERE (also pictured).


The credentials area of your account is a place for you to post links to items such as YouTube video, other websites, and documents to back up your expertise. Musician? Link a clip from YouTube. Lifeguard? Post your lifeguard certificate. Nanny? Upload your first-aide and CPR certification certificates, and so on.

Utilizing these options allows you to be more organized, prepared and helps develop your online profile on NextCrew (and get you hired!). 

Questions or feedback? Email us today!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Evaluate your talents: Hobbies turned to extra spending money

A hobby is defined as an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure. Immediately what comes to mind as your hobbies? You may not realize it, but you can turn your hobby into paying as-needed work.

We aren’t saying go out and start your own company – there are so many ways to do what you love without that kind of commitment. A hobby is also something you do in your leisure time, not full-time.

Here are a few hobby turned revenue examples for you to think about:
  • Shakespeare said it best, “If music be the food of love, play on!” Vocal, instrumental, or both, music is a talent. Skills as a performer could mean that you could sub for gigs in your local area and qualify you to work in music-related retail shops as an expert.
  • Pets = Happiness. Pets are wonderful and steering your love for animals could be your way of spending time with your furry friends and getting paid. Pet owners are always on the lookout for reliable dog walkers and pet sitters.
  • Should have been born a fish. Constantly at the pool, lake or ocean and can’t get away? Why apply and test for a lifeguard’s certificate? The American Red Cross offers a course and you can find out local certification classes at your local pool or YMCA.
  • Shop ‘til you drop. Well, maybe not literally but shopping to many is a favorite past-time. You could use skills such as finding the best sale and knowing what’s on trend to be a personal shopper.
  • Canon vs. Nikon. The new generation of digital photography has allowed this pastime to be more accessible to all. No longer having to develop your own film means if you own a camera you could be an amateur turned hired photographer.
Hobbies are as the definition says, pleasurable. Doing it probably means you are doing something you love.  “When what you are doing is aligned with who you are and what you’re naturally drawn to, it’s energizing. And not only is doing the work energizing, it also doesn’t drain you like work that doesn’t fit,” says Curt Rosengren speaker, author, and career coach.

Not sure what hobby to utilize or where to start? Identify a potential paying hobby by making a list of what you do in your spare time. Ask your friends and family what they think. Hidden (and some obvious) talents will emerge. Are you at the beginning of your career process (i.e. student)?

You probably are doing this already by thinking about what exactly your interests are for your career path in life. If you are already on your career path, look at it as an exercise to remind you what you love to do.

“When you love your job, you are able to really put your heart into it, which results in staying motivated, utilizing creative energy and doing the best job you are capable of,” says Andrew G. Rosen on

By channeling your hobby as revenue, you add valuable skills to your resume. Brush up your talents and make extra money by adding your hobby (aka: expertise) on  Check out our list of expertise options today.