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  1. We have all heard accountants called “bean counters” or “number crunchers.” And sure, accountants do need to enjoy working with numbers and have the ability to perform regular, routine (i.e. not very exciting) tasks such as accounting reconciliations. But the accounting profession has become much more diversified than 25 years ago and there are many choices for accounting careers these days. Let’s take a look at a handful of careers in accounting. Tax Accountant Although this accounting career path is the one most people think of first when they think accounting jobs, tax accountants have become more and more specialized as the tax law continues to become more and more complex. Tax accountants can become very specialized and easily become subject matter experts. As Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” On a day-to-day basis, tax accountants focus on tax return preparation for individuals and businesses. Some tax accountants work directly for private companies processing their sales tax returns and perform other business-related tax compliance work. As a tax accountant, you will also enjoy working leisurely hours eight months out of the year. Potential clients including every citizen in the country and unlimited excitement as the tax law continues to evolve. Career growth opportunities usually include moving from tax associate to tax manager to partner in public accounting firms. In private companies, the highest position is usually a director of the tax department, depending on the size of the company. If spending your days talking tax sounds like your cup of tea, you can search for careers in this accounting field at any public accounting firm in your city. Many firms also hire contract workers for tax season. Auditor This career is the most popular path for accounting graduates looking to obtain their license as a Certified Public Account (CPA). Although, even if this is not your career goal, auditing may still be a good fit for you. According to CareerExplorer.com, an auditor is a result of crossing an accountant and detective. Auditors typically review the parts and pieces of a company’s financial statements to ensure they are accurate. Careers in the audit world include both internal auditing and external auditing. Internal auditors typically work for larger companies as staff and review the financials as well as other business process areas within the company. External auditors typically work for public accounting firms and are hired by various organizations to perform third-party verification of the accuracy of the company’s financial statements. On a day-to-day basis, auditors working in public accounting visit a variety of clients’ offices to perform the fieldwork required for audits. Internal auditors working directly for a company, spending their time reviewing various pieces of the company: both financial and organizational. Both types of auditors work as a member of a team the majority of the time. Career growth opportunities follow a similar path as tax accountants and can grow as far as a partner in public accounting firms. In private companies, the highest position is usually a controller (one step under Chief Financial Officer “CFO”) or CFO in some cases, depending on the size of the company. A simple Google search for “auditor jobs” will give you lots of options on this career path. Financial Accountant These careers in accounting include everything from an accounts payable clerk to a staff account to a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Financial accountants are responsible for every piece of the traditional accounting cycle that results in the publication of the annual financial statements for an organization. On a day-to-day basis, financial accountants work through the nuts and bolts of the transactions in the financial statements. Positions such as account payable clerks work with vendors to pay invoices and ensure they are accounted for accurately. Staff accountants ramp up at month, quarter, and year-end when they are responsible for “closing the books.” At year-end, they are also heavily involved in preparing the documentation required for the external auditors (when an audit is required). The CFO is the big dog in the finance department and a member of the executive team. They oversee the operations of the finance department and assist the Chief Executive Officer and the rest of the executive team at the strategic level. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Finance departments usually have various positions in the supervisor and manager levels and Controllers and CFO’s frequently have backgrounds in financial accounting. If this sort of bean keeping sounds like it is right up your alley, start with an internet search for positions in financial accounting. This will give you a list of options and you can start to research which type of position fits you best. Management Accountant If rubbing elbows with the leadership team of an organization is what you enjoy, a career in managerial accounting might be what you are looking for. According to Accounting.com, “Managerial accountants work within companies and organizations to direct internal financial processes; monitor costs, sales, spending, and budgets; conduct audits; identify past trends and predict future needs, and assist company leaders with financial decisions.” Typical job titles in this area include Budget Analyst, Financial Analyst, and Accounting Manager. On a day-to-day basis, these accountants are usually found reviewing historical financial information and using that along with other inputs from company management to run various financial forecasts and models. As far as career growth opportunities go, the management accounting functions frequently have supervisor and manager roles as well as director roles. Forensic Accountant Want to work for the FBI? Wait…hold the phone, an accountant can work for the FBI? You bet! Accountants working for the FBI perform forensic accounting duties. According to the FBI website, forensic accountants use their “…skills to investigate and analyze financial information and mission-critical assets.” They indicate that “following the money” skills are a huge piece of the puzzle in building a criminal case. According to Robert Half, “This job will keep you on your toes. There really isn’t a typical day in forensic accounting. Some days you may be crunching numbers, some days you might be conducting interviews, while others you may be reviewing documents.” Forensic accountants can expect career growth opportunities to include various certifications including Certified Forensic Accountant along with CPAs. Supervisory, management, and director positions are typical career paths in government and private companies along with partnerships in public accounting firms. Government Accounting If a career in the public sector and giving back to your community seems like the sort of ledger attending you want to spend your career doing, then working for the government as an accountant is your ticket to accounting happiness. Governmental entities including the city where you live to the federal government (and everything in between) employ various types of accountants including auditors, analysts, and all of the folks needed to prepare financial statements. Governmental accountants spend their time day-to-day doing many of the same functions as the accounting positions listed above, just using a slightly different set of technical guidelines specifically for governments. Career growth opportunities in government follow many of the similar paths as the previous accounting positions and folks with a finance background are good candidates for many high-level leadership positions within the government. To get started with a career in government accounting, first determine which type of position interests you most, then search for those positions in the government sector. Account Job Search Tips: Get out there on social media! If you stuck with us this far, you are probably considering one of these careers in accounting. Although the traditional methods of job hunting apply, don’t discount the power of social media. Using these platforms, especially LinkedIn, will open you up for direct exposure to the people making the hiring decisions. Recruiters and hiring managers routinely search LinkedIn for folks that fit what they are looking for and will reach out to you even if you don’t appear to be looking for new opportunities. LinkedIn is also a great place to be proactive and “connect” with hiring managers in your chosen field. Don’t be afraid of posting content either, there is no better time than now to start building your professional brand and getting one step closer to your dream career in accounting! View the full article
  2. When people think about social media, their minds might immediately fill with improper images of hard-partying ways and social networks you may want to keep private. The common belief is that social media can hurt your reputation and a lot of people strive to keep their photos, information, and postings under wraps. But today, we’re going to take a look at how social media platforms and your career can work hand in hand. 1. Social Media Can Showcase Your Abilities Instead of advertising that you are the person to go to for wild parties, why not broadcast your expertise and skills on your social media? Potential employers looking to hire you may be impressed by what they see. Many think social media and career opportunities clash, but in reality it could work in your favor. List all the skills you have acquired over painstaking hours of hitting the books. Investing your time and money in your skills may be a good sign for your future employer. 2. Link Up with Like-Minded People Through many platforms, you are able to find people in the same circles or with the same interests. This is beneficial because it can put you in connection with people who could help advance your career. As they say, it’s all about who you know these days. Maybe your last day in the military is fast approaching and coming back to your home soil and entering the workforce can be daunting. Depending on which platform you use, they link you up with people with similar backgrounds. This will help you feel less overwhelmed when facing new opportunities. 3. Locating Opportunities You can enhance your social networking career by using social media to help you locate companies in your industry. This will allow you to reach out to these companies and prove you’re proactive. Social media and your career are linked in the sense that all it takes sometimes is the right person to notice you. Put your best foot forward while seeking out potential opportunities on your own. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Since social media is so widely utilized, companies now even use these platforms to find the right candidates. With the right social media profile, this could be you! 4. Follow the Right People Keep your finger on the pulse of all the latest discussions and advancements in your industry. Following the right influencers and publications related to your industry can do just that. Participate in the discussions and do your best to interact with authority figures in your line of work. This could not only further develop your skills, but also increase the chances of getting noticed. It’s all in the interaction. Share other people’s content, don’t hesitate to provide insight and opinions and offer opposing views. Support those in your field and in turn garner support for yourself. 5. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms If you’re living in Asia where Twitter is less dominant, you wouldn’t want to set up a professional profile using tweets. Figure out which platforms are most popular in your field of work and where you live. In what way do you plan to market yourself? Instagram has become more commercial but great lengths have gone into returning Instagram to a more personal platform. Facebook is mostly used for friends while LinkedIn is more professional. The Essaywriter specialist advises you to come up with a strategy that is right for you. What do others in your profession tend to lean more towards? There is also nothing standing in the way of you taking on 2 or more social media platforms. 6. Which Strategy Do You Plan to Use? This next part depends on your values and what your end goal is. If you want to take the “what you see is what you get approach”, then the open strategy is more up your alley. People who adopt the audience strategy will keep their personal and professional lives separate. You can also bundle it all together into the content strategy, and instead of filtering out people who have access to your posts, you filter the content you post. The last one is the custom strategy, which means you post different content to different lists or circles, each carefully curating the image you want to put forth. An article from the Harvard Business Review first came out with these four strategies and we quite agree with them. Conclusion Which strategy is for you? Once you have identified how you plan to organize your content, you can then choose the proper platform and get started with networking. Social media and career opportunities are greatly linked. Whether it is in a positive or negative way is dependent on you and the impression you want to make. We believe it’s high time social media is used with more positive intent, and that can start from a professional standpoint. Your online presence is in a sense, there forever, and how you change, cultivate and shape it is up to you. View the full article
  3. There’s a lot of confusion going on around EAM and ERP — enterprise asset management and enterprise resource planning software. While they do often have similar functions and features and help companies in the same way, they aren’t completely similar. A slew of differences separates them. The part of the problem lies in the fact that rarely which corporation uses and implements them effectively. Add to that their rarity, and it’s easy to see why so many entrepreneurs misinterpret both terms. In this post, we’ll try to remove these misconceptions and discuss how they differ in functions and business usage. What is EAM EAM is an acronym that stands for Enterprise Asset Management. Basically, it’s a software that manages the life cycle of material assets, inventory, vehicles, machines, and equipment. All in the goal of maximizing their lifetime, lowering expenses, improving quality and efficiency, asset health, and sustainability. Corporations implement enterprise asset management systems to develop more complex plans, begin, optimize, and monitor maintenance tasks according to inventory, workforce, assets, tools, and data. Moreover, EAM systems allow you to schedule preventive maintenance on your company’s assets. Preventative maintenance is based on the idea that you change the oil in your automobile on every certain number of miles, instead of when it falls apart. EAM utilizes this idea on a much larger scale for different kinds of assets. The Difference Between EAM and CMMS While some refer to enterprise asset management as CMMS — Computerized Maintenance Management System — these two systems are different, even if they have the same goal. Businesses predominantly utilize CMMS to manage activities during the life of assets. What we mean by this is it manages assets while they’re up and running. The principal features of CMMS include: Planning maintenance Monitoring asset data Handling spare parts inventory and work activities On the flip side, enterprise asset management systems are way more complex and robust since they supervise the complete life cycle of assets. In essence, the EAM platforms enable C-level executives to look at a much bigger picture when we compare them to computerized maintenance management systems. Enterprise assets management systems outline the company’s objectives and let executives view how they can complete those objectives by including account budgets and finance, worker skill set, human resources, spare equipment, and assets data. “Enterprise” stands for the scope of asset management across corporative locations, departments, plants, and supporting operational functions such as human resources, procurement, equipment, etc. These assets may be fixed as well — facilities, buildings, machines — but also moving assets such as vehicle fleets and ships. The Difference the EAM and QMS Yes, enterprise asset management systems do manage environmental safety, manufacturing, distribution, and quality. Yes, companies implement to increase manufacturing quality and efficiency. However, enterprise asset management software is not the same as QualityOne quality management software. Corporations use EAM systems to increase productivity, automate, and consolidate manufacturing processes. For example, cost analysis, product management, and to account for capacity requirements. However, only quality management systems can make you audit-ready, anytime an auditor comes. QMS enables you to adhere to CAPA — Corrective and Preventive Action — a necessary part of any quality management procedure. CAPA is especially important for the health sector and even the electrical sector, including pharmaceutical and medical device industries. In the United States, companies that fail to adhere to rules under CAPA may violate federal regulations regarding acceptable manufacturing processes. However, CAPA is also a timely process brimming with errors and expensive tasks. This is where quality management software differs mostly from enterprise asset management software as it cuts hours or employee labor and business risk through data and document integration in a single location with all audit trails. EAM takes a more holistic approach and isn’t viable for health-intensive industries like pharma. QMS can also let you : Present CAPA reports at an instant. Lower costs of quality management with dashboards and workflows. Immediately discover and repair quality problems. Implement corrective operations with accuracy. Make sure your suppliers also meet your quality regulations. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Defining ERP ERP is an economese word for enterprise resource planning. However, even this doesn’t explain the term and what enterprise resource planning software does. For this, we’ll need to take a step or two back and remember all the different processes that are necessary to run your company: Management of purchase orders Inventory management Accounting Finance Human resources Customer relationship management At its simplest, enterprise resource planning programs integrate all these different operations under a single banner — or system — in order to streamline them and data collection and usage across your entire business. The key characteristic of all ERP platforms is that you have a shared database that helps several organizational functions that various company departments utilize. Leaving the theory behind, this means that your workers in various departments — for instance, finance and human resource — can use and share the same data for their particular needs. C-level executives employ enterprise resource planning platforms in order to manage and control a wide range of day to day activities in an even wider range of industries. Some businessmen say the enterprise resource planning system is the jack-of-all-trades in the computing world, and for the right reasons. It covers a broad range of business processes and has various management tools for managing your complete business data. Such features have a broad umbrella of capabilities that you can implement or integrate with numerous other types of software. However, keep in mind that you should always implement an ERP platform with the help of consultants that specialize in your particular industry. For example, if it’s a food and beverage industry, then you should find help from Food and Beverage Industry ERP Specialists. The Difference in Scope of EAM and ERP Regarding the scope of both platforms, enterprise asset management software is more narrow in scope and sometimes is a part of enterprise resource planning software. When EAM works as a separate platform from ERP, this often indicates that the business needs to concentrate on more particular activities and tasks, control them deeper, improve their operational time, effectiveness, and sees asset management as a crucial process that requires more plans. On the other hand, enterprise resource planning includes business processes across a wider range of business functions. ERP is also often harder to implement, integrate, and deploy. This is because it is bigger in terms of platform deployment, software development expenses, implementation costs, and onboarding. Takeaway Now that we have a clearer sense of what both enterprise asset management and enterprise resource planning platforms do, their main differences should be obvious. The first is much narrower in scope — concentrating only on the management of maintenance and life cycle of your assets. On the other hand, ERP is much wider in scope. It can cover a wide range of features and business processes that are usually managed by various separate programming systems. And ERP does this all in a single platform. While ERP often does have the same capabilities of EAM when it comes to asset management and financial plans, it doesn’t have all the capabilities. Yes, a lot of ERP platforms even come equipped with asset management modules. However, ERP can’t compete with EAM when it comes to small and complex details of assets monitoring. ERP can only do basic functions. ERP is able to do some EAM operations, but not all of them. EAM is compatible for more particular, nitty-gritty operations than ERP. However, it also doesn’t come with any features outside of asset maintenance and supervision. View the full article
  4. The COVID19 pandemic has posed a unique challenge for candidates seeking full-time work opportunities. The social distancing norms must be followed, but how are job seekers supposed to land a job in such a situation? The crisis requires remodeling the current recruiting format. This has led most companies to adopt the video conferencing format of screening and hiring candidates. Here are a few essential things to keep in mind while preparing for a video conferencing interview: Tech set up The most important aspect to be taken care of is to find the best video conferencing software for the interview. It should be user-friendly and easy to navigate. Make sure you are familiar with the technology beforehand to avoid any last-minute issues. It’s best to test all the equipment like the microphone and camera well in advance. Practice by making calls to friends a couple of days before the interview and if it’s not up to the mark, replace your equipment. Your internet connection too must be tested for stability to ensure a seamless experience. Remove all distractions It is crucial to find a spot where you will not be interrupted. It should be quiet with a good lighting source in front of you. The background should be free of distractions and clutter-free. It’s best to find a plain wall and angle the camera to avoid anything unnecessary to be visible behind you. Follow interview etiquettes Even though you are not physically in front of the interviewer, your body language visible through the screen can convey a lot about you. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact throughout the call. Bad postures or excessive / inappropriate hand gestures portray a non-sincere attitude. Always wait for the interviewer to finish speaking before you put your point across. Looking elsewhere when answering questions or interrupting them is considered rude and it shows a lack of respect. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Get groomed Interviewing from the comfort of your home can make you lazy about putting in the effort to look as presentable as you would if you were interviewing in person. But it’s important to remember that first impressions matter and dress professionally to stand out. It also adds to your confidence if you are dressed for the job. Make sure your clothes are well ironed and free of stains. Confidence “With confidence, you have won before you have started.” Video conferencing interviews are very different from in-person interviews and hence can make you nervous. Focus on your plus points and give yourself a positive pep talk. Rehearse the interview in your head and see yourself handling all types of questions well. Make a schedule and practice talking in front of the camera to make sure you are in control of your body language. This will instill confidence in you when facing the interview panel. Study and Practice well Study up in advance and try answering the commonly asked questions out loud. This can make a whole world of difference in making you feel well-prepared on the day of the interview. It is highly ignorant to avoid researching the company you are interviewing for as well as its services/products. Make sure to be up to date about this information and if you are aware of your interviewer, study about them as well. It can be very helpful to request someone from your field of study to conduct a mock video call interview so your preparation is intense. Conclusion If you have a video conferencing interview coming up, just follow the above-mentioned tips to ace it. At the end of the interview, remember to be courteous and thank the interviewer for their time. And if there were any unexpected interruptions in between, don’t forget to apologize. View the full article
  5. Real estate recruitment can be a challenging task. Agent discovery can prove difficult, especially with other brokerages also looking for the best people to join their ranks. Differentiation is also a pressing concern since you need to stand out among your competitors in order to be noticed and considered. Of course, retention is also an important element of recruitment. If you’re aren’t retaining top talent, there may be problems with your recruitment strategy. If you need a bit of help in improving your real estate recruitment strategies, you can go here for some ideas. One of the most easily accomplished in that list is having an employee referral program. It’s one of the most popular sources of new hires, not to mention the most effective. After all, your current employees have essentially pre-screened their referrals. To make your current employee referral program more effective and to encourage your team to participate, consider giving them the following incentives: Financial Bonuses Cash gifts are perhaps the most common form of referral incentives across the real estate industry and beyond. It’s very straightforward, which makes it so popular, not to mention highly motivating. After all, everyone can do with a little more cash. What you can do is develop certain payout schemes to ensure the quality of the referrals of your current roster of agents. For example, if you’ve promised a referral incentive of $1,500, you can give an initial $500 once the candidate gets an interview. You can give another $500 once the candidate is hired and the last $500 if the referral lasts more than six months on the job. Paid Vacations or Days Off Just like any other job, being a real estate agent is rewarding but can also be stressful. Offering paid vacations or extra days off can therefore be good motivators for your people to refer talented agents to the brokerage. There are many ways to approach this kind of incentive. There is, of course, the most obvious one: an all-expense-paid trip. You can also book a staycation at a local hotel, or even book a spa day and conclude it with a sumptuous dinner. Experiences are also good options, such as nature trips or a hot air balloon ride. Of course, you can also give your employees paid days off and let them decide what they want to do with their free time. Charitable Donations There are people who prefer giving to others instead of receiving gifts. In this case, you’ll do well to give your employees the option to donate to a charity of their choice. Remember: helping others can make people feel good about themselves. What’s even better is that when you give this kind of incentive, you’ll actually be giving the opportunity to help twice. The first is the referral itself since they will be helping a friend find a job and the brokerage to hire talented agents. The second is, of course, the donation in their name. You may even make a day out of it. Instead of just sending the check, try to arrange a personal visit and have the employees hand over the gift themselves. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Learning Opportunities Let’s face it: attending conferences, trade fairs, and similar events can be quite expensive. As much as you would love to give everyone the chance, it simply isn’t possible for many brokerages. Thus, incentivizing your successful employee referrals with the chance to attend conferences and workshops could be quite appealing. If you can afford it, choose a national or global real estate event and sponsor the employee’s entire stay. Virtual workshops and conferences are also an option. What They Love Many people enjoy many different things during their downtime. They may play video games, dance, knit, or paint. You can therefore incentivize your employees by allocating a budget to show your support for their passions. For gamers, you can buy a game they’re interested in or even a console. For painters, a new set of paints and brushes can go a long way. Giving this type of incentive also reinforces your commitment to your employees’ well-being by helping them cultivate their interests. A Physical Gift This is another straightforward incentive, much like a cash bonus. The gift can be anything, from a new gadget like a smartphone to a high-end accessory like a watch or handbag. To make sure that your employees will truly appreciate and use the gift, present them with choices and ask them what they would like to receive. Remember that your people are your greatest assets. Without them, your brokerage will not enjoy the success it has today. As such, your focus needs to be two-fold: you need to hire the right people and you also need to reward the employees who help you accomplish that. Establish an employee referral program, if you don’t have one yet, and make sure to explain its goals and benefits. Soon enough, you’ll be working alongside a group of the best real estate professionals. View the full article
  6. We all love to talk to our children about what they might want to do when they grow up. Typically, answers range from the handful of obvious jobs that they know to exist (e.g. teacher, police, doctor, race car driver – for some reason, race car driver always gets a high billing), to a smattering of seemingly random jobs pulled out of thin air, like ‘elephant zookeeper’, ‘singer and dancer’, and my personal favorite, ‘van driver, so I can keep all the packages’ (you know you’re ordering too many things online when your child wants to drive the delivery van – they no doubt see it as some kind of Aladdin’s cave on wheels). Then, there are careers in law. For kids who want to be lawyers, the future could be very rewarding. For example, check out a group of personal injury lawyers based in LA for more of an idea. The work isn’t easy. And the time spent in classrooms and passing exams before anybody will let someone in training close to a client’s case may seem insurmountable at the outset. But despite the route being long and winding and testing and varied, the route is nevertheless broadly defined – anything is possible with a goal in mind and a constant check on both progress to date and next steps. The next question is: is my child a good fit for a career in law? Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Determination (hitting targets other people didn’t even know were there to be hit) Being a lawyer means a lot of leg work and research. It’s sort of a mix between being a detective and the captain of the debating team all at once. You ask preliminary questions, you get answers, you assess the answers and you take the next step. This can feel a little like wandering around in a dark room with a fading torch trying to find hidden batteries – that’s why it takes determination to get the answers you need and form your client’s case in a time frame that suits everybody. Does ‘determination’ come to mind when you think of your child? For some people, the answer is an outright yes. For others who aren’t sure, perhaps a career in law isn’t suited. Empathy – it’s more than saying ‘there, there’ Empathy is something we all have to a degree. It would take an especially cruel mind to witness an injustice and think nothing more about it. Empathy drives us to help others. Empathy connects us and fans the flames of camaraderie and teamwork. If your child is empathetic, law is ideal. If your child is lethargic towards the plight of others, perhaps a rethink of suitable career paths is in order. View the full article
  7. Building your personal brand is crucial for any entrepreneur, artist, or influencer. Having a unique style that incorporates your work, talents, and interests is vital to your success, and showing it off to others is the key to making it all come together. An elevator pitch is a condensed summary of an idea that will pique a listener’s interest. Having an elevator pitch for your personal brand is vital to the networking process. If you’re looking to cement your brand, read on for everything you need to know to craft the perfect elevator pitch. Create a Conversation Shouting facts about yourself isn’t going to help your personal brand. You want to weave your elevator pitch into enjoyable conversation. Find ways to be more social. Try expanding your interests and learning about new topics that help strike up a conversation. Being knowledgeable about a wide array of subjects will make you more interesting to others and have people intrigued by your personal brand. In addition to knowledge, you should also have passion for the things you love. Put effort into your interests and create work that people will want to spend their time and money on. Be Confident Confidence is key to personal brand-building. If you’re too shy, or it seems like you don’t have faith in yourself, others won’t believe in your brand. There are a few key factors to having confidence during your elevator pitch: Relaxation – Nerves can ruin an elevator pitch. You don’t want anxiety to have you fumbling over your words. Use meditation, or natural remedies such as CBD (get your own at https://cbdfx.com/collections/cbd-vape-juice/), to calm yourself down prior to networking. This will make you seem more confident, authentic, and prepared. Posture – Hold your head high when giving your pitch. You want to show you have faith in yourself, and words mean nothing if your body language doesn’t reflect this confidence. Maintain a straight spine (learn how here: https://www.uprightpose.com/), make eye contact, and loosen the tension in your neck and shoulders. Smile – People are drawn to happiness. Confidence is great, but when it’s paired with anger, condescension, or snobbiness, you’re going to lose your audience as quickly as you got them. Remember to be friendly, warm, and smile often. Keep your teeth white (these are some great products you can use: https://caliwhite.com/) and clean to stay confident (and minty fresh) when networking. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Stay True to Yourself A personal brand shouldn’t be a mask you wear. If you’re not true to yourself, it will show in your pitch. Faking your interests, sacrificing your values, and pretending to be someone you’re not will result in people seeing through the facade and losing interest. If you want to work on your personal brand, it’s better to enhance your truth rather than shift gears. Here’s how you own your uniqueness without sacrificing professionalism: Put more effort into your interests Take the time to learn more about your passions Put real knowledge and experience behind your brand’s claims Don’t be afraid to try new things, just make sure you truly like them! Cultivate a Social Network Social media is a great way to hone your personal brand. From connecting with peers to building a particular aesthetic, social networking is the go-to platform of the modern professional. Some ways to utilize social media include: Having an Instagram Theme – Photography is a stellar way to capture your personal brand. The colors, quality, and composition of your Instagram photos work together to create visual consistency in your curated profile. Build a Following – What’s a personal brand if nobody can see it? Use social media to connect with others, whether they’re your customers, fans, colleagues, or mentors. No matter what, be sure to engage with, listen to, and appreciate your growing following. Post Work – Social media is a great way to boost your career. Having photos and listings for your work, no matter what it is, will add validity to your elevator pitch. If you really want to use the internet to your advantage, create a website for yourself and keep business cards with the URL on-hand at all times.A Personal Brand Takes Work Your personal brand is more than just what you do—it’s who you are. Combining your work, passions, and unique style is a job in and of itself, and condensing it down to a few key sentences is even harder. No matter what, don’t sell yourself short. Put in the work it takes to prepare your pitch, develop a following, and stay true to who you are. If you follow these steps, success will be closer than ever. View the full article
  8. If you have the opportunity to relocate as part of your role with an organization, it could be an incredibly appealing prospect depending on your aims, ambitions, and situation. Of course, the relocation process itself is a potentially challenging, expensive, and stressful one, so most businesses will sweeten the deal in some way by incentivizing the move with perks to tempt talented employees. Even with this being the case, that does not mean you should accept the first relocation package you are offered outright, as negotiating can leave you even better off in the long run. Here is a look at how to handle negotiations to maximize your chances of coming away satisfied. Get the ball rolling In some cases, you will need to instigate the talks to discuss your relocation package in the first place, rather than simply expecting your employer to kick things off. Because of this it pays to be proactive and come right out to ask about the kinds of perks you will receive and the support that the firm will offer you if you accept the offer. Prepare thoroughly It is all well and good to ask for a relocation package, but you will never know whether you are getting a fair one if you are unsure of what you will actually need. For example, be sure to think about the kinds of services that will be necessary to complete the move, and remember that relocation benefits are now considered taxable. That means there is no point in over-extending yourself with your ask, just as you should not undersell your needs. Your initial research should be thorough enough to factor in precise costs, covering things like the expense of moving your belongings, storage fees if relevant, and also the outlay you will face for selling your home and finding accommodation when you arrive at your destination. It may sound like a lot of work, but if you have all of these figures to hand and put everything in writing, a moving checklist or guide, you will know what to ask for and how much support your business should be willing to provide to make the move worthwhile from your perspective. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Provide comparisons No business operates in a vacuum, and you can often push for a better relocation package if you point out that a rival organization is known for offering employees cushy deals when they decide to uproot their lives and move elsewhere for their job. A business that wants to keep talented team members happy and satisfied will realize that its reputation could be hurt if it is seen to be hampering its staff with sub-standard relocation deals. This could be a powerful negotiating tool, or at least give you an alternative option if you decide to jump ship to a different firm in the future. Point out the benefits to the business The final weapon in your arsenal when negotiating a relocation package is that your time is valuable to your employer, so the less of it which is monopolized by the big move, the better. This should convince any company that splashing out for support makes sense, especially if deadlines are tight. Prepare carefully, be bold, and know your worth to get the best out of this experience. View the full article
  9. Job hunts start with a CV. It helps if you have some connections, but trying out multiple places and hoping for the best will only bring you so far if you do not have an outstanding resume. It is highly likely that there are hundreds of other candidates applying for the same position. And you will not even make it to the second round if the person in charge of hiring will throw away your CV after they take a look at it. It is no secret that most departments do not bother reading through every single CV from start to finish. They skim, and if something catches their interest, they will put the resume in the “invite for an interview” pile. Look at some of the best CV examples on the Letstalkaboutmoney website, and you will notice that there is certainly something special about them. But what makes a resume successful? You will find the answer after finishing this article. Step #1 – Start Strong Like already mentioned, first impressions matter a lot. You want to start your resume with a bang and make the list of the candidates who will get an interview. Some CV experts recommend using the first two lines at the top of your resume to summarize who you are as a person. Usually, you would put an objective statement there, but those do not seem to be as effective as they might have been before. Step #2 – Echo the Job Ad Pay attention to what the job ad is asking you. There is a reason why companies put ads and use specific words or emphasize particular criteria for potential candidates. They want to see a response. And those who respond in a way that pleases potential employers will have higher odds of getting hired. Echo the job ad and use the exact language that you see on the ad. Make it as if you are directly replying to a message. Step #3 – Think About Applicant Tracking Systems There are automated systems that can sort a lot of resumes in a matter of minutes. If such systems do not find buzzwords and other keywords that are relevant to what the company is seeking in a potential candidate, do not expect to get a phone call. Take some time and figure out how a computer would think and react to a resume that you have right now, and how it would be different if you made some changes. Step #4 – Keep the Resume Neat The overall look matters as well. Employers need resumes because it is a piece of information that reflects what the potential candidate is like. Squeezing all the highlights and trying to impress is what you may want, but going over the top will only come back to bite you back. Overall, most resumes tend to be rather boring, so simplicity and lack of cluttered information are some of the things that will help you. Ideally, everything you want to say should be on a single page. See how much you can do with that. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Step #5 – Speak About What You Can Offer The point of a resume is to sell yourself and get an interview. Speak more about what you can offer to the company and how everyone and the business itself would benefit from having you as an employee. Step #6 – Do Not Stand Out Too Much While some uniqueness can be a good thing, there are plenty of cases when people went a bit too far. It might sound counterproductive, but trying to stand out too much can also turn into a negative thing. Step #7 – Emphasize Your Achievements Be more specific with what you have managed to accomplish. For example, instead of saying how you worked in an IT department, mention what problems you solved. Or if you were in a marketing department, talk about how much money you made for the company instead of saying you were part of the digital marketing team. Step #8 – Proofread Proofreading should never be underestimated. Some people neglect this part because they believe that they are immune to typos. But everyone can make mistakes, and even a slight grammatical error will make your resume less professional. If the person reading notices it, expect nothing but a negative reaction. Proofread the resume multiple times and make sure that it is free of any typos or other errors. Step #9 – Include Relevant Stuff Outside Previous Workplaces There might be some relevant things that are worth mentioning outside your career. Maybe you are in a club, or maybe you participate in local politics actively. Volunteering is also appreciated by quite a lot of employers. Such information can be put in the section where you talk about more personal stuff, like hobbies. View the full article
  10. Job hunting can be a long and tedious process. Moreover, when you are in a situation where you are currently unemployed and in need of income sooner rather than later, there is a lot of pressure on finding a job quickly. It can be frustrating when you are at a point of having sent out multiple applications without so much as an invitation for an interview in return. You might assume that your qualifications just simply don’t match what a specific recruiter is looking for. While this might be true for some cases, repeatedly receiving negative responses to multiple job applications might be indicative of a deeper problem with how you are presenting yourself and your credentials. Here are three things that you should look into when you are searching for a job that will either be helping you or hurting your chances of receiving a positive response from potential employers. 1. Your Social Media Pages In today’s job market, the likelihood that you will receive an invitation for an interview depends on much more than your resume or how you fill out the answers to the questions on a job application. Employers are taking the time to investigate their potential hires a bit by looking them up on social media. There are many ways in which your social media pages can show that you are a good potential hire, but for the most part, when someone is looking you up on these platforms, they are most likely looking for red flags more than anything else. Such red flags might consist of unprofessional photos and posts riddled with profanity. Other times a potential employer might shy away from a prospective employee who just generally doesn’t appear to take themselves or their career too seriously. There is nothing wrong with posting whatever you want on your social media pages. However, if your profiles aren’t of a professional nature, you might consider switching them to private so that only your connections can view them. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Some social media platforms are designed to help employers and potential employees connect. LinkedIn, for instance, is an incredibly popular site of this nature. If you are looking to have a profile on such a site, make sure your resume is up to date, and your qualifications are explained appropriately. You might also want to use a photo resizer to ensure that any images you post are clear and professional looking. It is that attention to detail that will help you land the job interview that you need. 2. Your Resume Perhaps your social media pages are all in line and ready for any prospective employer to have a look. Unfortunately, they might not even be taking this step if your resume isn’t up to snuff. While you might have listed all of the necessary credentials that would make you an excellent candidate, if your resume isn’t polished and organized, then it won’t really matter what you list. An unpolished resume gives off an unprofessional air and indicates that you don’t pay attention to details. If you want to land a job interview, make sure your resume has the key components that employers are looking for. 3. Your Attire If you have a polished resume and no red flags show up on your social media pages, you might be able to land an interview. However, the success that you have at that interview will depend on more than your ability to answer questions well. Your attire says a lot about you to prospective employers. Make sure that you present yourself in a professional manner that indicates how eager you are to be offered a job. View the full article
  11. We all enjoy a glass of wine or a few beers to relax with after a long week at work. It helps us unwind, socialize and it’s the perfect way to sign off for the weekend. But when does that little tipple, that bigger glass or that extra beer, start to turn into a full-blown problem? Understanding why we drink can help us manage our stress better and make better lifestyle choices. Unfortunately for many professionals, it’s their job that pushes them into the realms of heavy drinking and even substance abuse. Alcohol and/or drugs can help relieve the symptoms of high-stress levels, anxiety, depression, and anger, creating a “self-medicating” culture that simply doesn’t work in the long term. Employers have an obligation to perform random drug tests on their employees at any time, especially if they have concerns over substance abuse among their workforce, their insurance policies demand regular drug testing or they want to reduce workplace accidents – click the link to find out more about Texas drug testing laws. So, what career paths have the highest rates of addiction amongst its workforce? Read on to find out. The hospitality sector Kitchen workers, chefs, hotel workers, restaurant staff or any business that provides high levels of service to the public are at risk of alcohol and substance abuse within its workforce. These roles are often stressful, and employees are often under huge amounts of pressure to get everything right the first time. This combined with long hours, low pay and low job satisfaction makes the hospitality sector a candidate for high rates of addiction. Construction Jobs in the construction and mining industry are often considered high risk. They’re also high-pressure jobs with tight deadlines and demanding roles. Again, this leads to high levels of stress within the workforce, and even a bullying culture. It’s these factors that give the construction industry it’s high rates of alcohol and substance abuse. Sadly, the mixture of dangerous working conditions and illicit substances often means more accidents in the workplace. Healthcare Believe it or not, those who work within healthcare including doctors, nurses, dentists, and consultants are at risk of becoming involved in substance and alcohol abuse. Again, these kinds of roles come with long hours and are both mentally and physically challenging. Often, these jobs are emotive, and witnessing traumatic injuries or reactions of parents and loved ones can also play havoc with mental health and the need to find relief. Easy access to drugs is also a factor that needs to be considered. Management and business Long hours, high pressure, cash handling, stressful business relations, problems with homelife – just some of the reasons why those in high-power business roles are considered likely to indulge in drugs and alcohol. Trying to find a balance between home and work life often means turning to illicit substances throughout the day. Final thoughts If you’re worried about your own levels of drinking or substance abuse, reach out to your doctor as soon as possible. View the full article
  12. Various news outlets predict 2020 to have the largest year-over-year increase in applications for MBAs in recent history. This is because there is no better way to hedge against widespread economic and professional volatility than by investing in personal and academic growth. If you apply in 2020-2021, you will be in the MBA Class of 2023. This will allow you to benefit from a refreshed and perhaps an entirely new economic landscape. There are several questions that plague potential applicants. Should you apply for an MBA during uncertain times? Which MBA is right for you? Is there going to be a tough competition since many people are out of jobs? The fact is nobody could have predicted the current global situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. However, humans are resilient and it is far from the end of the world. There is no reason why you should not be optimistic about your personal and professional future. This post will attempt to explain why it is a good idea to invest in an MBA. Earning an MBA during Covid-19 is a Great Idea You need to understand that going back to school during the pandemic is not something you would do to pass time. It could actually have a long-lasting positive impact on your life. Earning an MBA will be a great way to weather the economic storm that is soon to come in the pandemic’s wake. Almost all experts agree that Covid-19 is going to lead to economic fallout triggering yet another recession. Historically speaking, recessions have always led to a spike in demand for highly educated and trained workers. During the 2008 financial crisis, there was an upturn in MBA applications. The trend is expected to repeat itself in the oncoming recession. History proves that going back to school is a great idea even if the reasons and circumstances leading to the impending recession are different from the 2008 financial crisis. However, like with every other important decision, you need to be sure about what you are doing. Which MBA is right for you? Should you opt for regular classes or part-time? You need to seek answers to these questions if you want to be successful in your MBA endeavor. Recession and Education You may feel skeptical about going back to school during economic uncertainty. It is going to add to your debt and may seem counterintuitive. However, getting an MBA could actually be the smartest move you make. Economic and higher education trends are indirectly related. Over the years, when the economy has been on an upward curve, jobs have been abundant, and people have not really had to further their education. However, a strained economy or recession puts pressure on companies and they want only the best candidates. Business schools over the years have observed that the state of the economy plays a major role in the decision to go back to school. Business professionals prefer getting an MBA to make themselves more attractive to employers. There is a smaller risk of being laid-off or not securing work. The business world tends to get highly competitive during an economic downturn. Having an MBA can be an effective way to get noticed in an otherwise saturated market. Almost all businesses and companies understand the value of this degree. They prioritize professionals that have advanced degrees. However, this is where you should think seriously about some important questions. Which MBA is right for you? Should you opt for an MBA in Finance or Human Resource Management? What should be your major? The program you choose could help improve your chances of gaining and keeping viable employment. MBA Programs Are Expected to Change During The Coronavirus Pandemic The whole world is changing and this is fast becoming a new normal. It is only common sense to believe that the way further studies are undertaken will change too. It is best to stick to schools that have a decent reputation and have been around for a long time. Elite programs, like the M7 business schools, have the technical prowess and feasibility to adapt in extraordinary ways. This is owing to their deep financial resources, intelligence, and innovation. You can expect other universities to take a cue from the top business schools. The M7 programs are expected to evolve with the changing environment and employ a host of in-house professors that will add profound value. Rather than fearing change, you should embrace it. This is because as the class of MBA graduates in 2023 you will be trained to think, work, and adapt to the new economic setup. In short, you will be well-equipped to handle the uncertainties ahead. There is a growing interest in MBA applicants about the kind of program they choose and the school they earn their degree from. Applicants have become more particular about the program and brand they invest in during the Covid-19 pandemic. You should consider being a part of this movement. Ask the following: Which MBA is right for you? Which brand is right for you? How much are you ready to invest? Suddenly, factors like test scores are becoming trivial. Instead, aspects like the resilience and character of an applicant are thought to affect admissions decisions. You should not let anything hold you back in aiming for the top programs. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Reasons to Go Back to School There are several obvious benefits of opting to do an MBA right now. For instance, the more cautious or skeptical are expected to hold back now. These are a few other reasons for earning an MBA. 1. Pandemic Equates Less Competition Competition is going to ease making it easier for you to get the program you want. This translates to enjoying better career prospects. Besides, most schools are doing everything in their power to ensure a smooth application process. However, the current indecisiveness is expected to be short-lived among applicants. Business schools are already anticipating a boom in applications with the impending economic downturn. 2. Improved Career Path Many business professionals turn towards furthering their education when it becomes difficult to achieve career progress or a job. This holds true during an economic slowdown as well. Earning an MBA during the pandemic could be a shrewd strategy to stand apart from the crowd. MBA applicants attain new knowledge and expand their skill set. You can focus on your studies while the pandemic is raging and benefit from the economic recovery when you graduate. Rather than wasting your time trying to hold on to your current job, you could be taking real steps for improving your career prospects down the line. According to a Bloomberg analysis involving MBAs from over 12 business schools around the world in 2010, 2011, and 2012, most applicants found well-paying jobs in accordance with their career trajectories despite the post-recession job market. 3. Learn from History If economic slowdowns and meltdowns in the past have taught anything, it is to improve personal skill sets. Employers have a big pool of options when jobs contract. You need to protect yourself from uncertainties. Business schools have anticipated a significant rise in applications and are already gearing up for the influx of students. However, they are confident that most students will apply only a few weeks before the closing date. This is because the majority of applicants are going to waste time thinking and then rethinking about the best course of action. Business schools have based their decision on clear historic patterns. As the economy worsens, MBA applications are on the rise. It may be revealing to take a close look at previous crises and how they impacted business education as the world is in the throes of another crisis. The coronavirus pandemic is different from the 2008 financial crisis. In addition to the economic meltdown, government, businesses, and people are also up against a public health challenge. There can be nothing better for you to do than to invest in your education. Earning an MBA While Staying At Home Several US cities are still under stay-at-home orders. You may wonder how to attend a business school if you are not allowed to leave your house. The fact is most business schools were already considering making a shift to online learning, even before the pandemic became a reality. You can choose between part-time and 100% online programs depending on your scale of movement. For instance, you can apply to the University of Miami that offers a high quality, fully-online MBA program. You don’t need to worry about the curriculum. It is as rigorous as taught by world-class professors on campus. The long and short of it is that there are several options for you to choose from. However, it is more important than ever for you to pay attention to the type of programs you select. So, which MBA is right for you? Think Long-Term When Thinking About MBAs It is important that you look at the big picture when deciding about getting an MBA. A degree never goes to waste in any economic situation. However, by earning an MBA, you could improve your chances of furthering your career prospects. Consider the tangible benefits of attaining new skills and knowledge that come with earning an MBA. In addition, you also benefit from improved credibility among employers and peers, increased confidence, and self-discipline among others. View the full article
  13. Thinking about delaying your college plans? You’re not alone. According to Google Trends, searches for the term “gap year” experienced a huge uptick in March, around the time when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 an official pandemic. With the fate of college classes still unclear, a growing number of high school graduates are now weighing the pros and cons of taking a gap year. So, what is a gap year and how do you know if it’s right for you? Allow us to explain. What Is a Gap Year? A gap year refers to a year-long break that some students decide to take after they graduate from high school. Many students use this break to travel, explore career options, find internship opportunities, and give back to their community, among other various personal development activities. Gap years have long been common across Europe, but in the last decade, the idea of taking a year off has become an increasingly popular option in the United States. Indeed, many colleges even encourage it. Harvard is particularly welcoming to gap year students, as well as Princeton, Florida State University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Why You Might Want to Take a Gap Year While gap years can be immensely valuable, they’re not right for everyone. Without proper planning, you may find yourself stuck in an unrewarding job or sitting around at home with nothing to do. If you’re tempted to take a year off from academics, here are a few solid reasons why a gap year might make sense for you. Develop a Meaningful Career Path Not sure what you want to do with your life? Take a gap year! Seriously, it doesn’t make any sense to spend tens of thousands of dollars on college when you’re not completely sold on the idea, to begin with. By taking a year off from academics, you can use your spare time to fully explore career options that will more likely lead to a meaningful career path. Learn More About Yourself In high school, you probably had a million things going on at once. You were studying for exams, taking standardized tests, applying for scholarships, researching colleges — the list goes on and on. That probably didn’t leave you with much time to really think about the things that were important to you. What are your passions and skills? What are the things that hold meaning to you? Consider taking a year off to find out. Developing your identity through hobbies, interests, and new experiences can help you discover who you really are. Gain Relevant Work Experience Some students worry that taking a gap year will negatively affect their job prospects when, in fact, the opposite is often true. Taking a year off from school can give you a major edge in the job market by giving you ample time to gain relevant work experience. Employers generally don’t mind seeing a gap year on your resume, so long as you can show that you’ve been keeping busy with internships, externships, job shadowing experiences, and other forms of hands-on training. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Save Money for College Um, spoiler alert: College is expensive! If you’re stressing about how you’re going to afford the cost of higher education, a gap year may be worth considering. By deferring your enrollment, you can potentially save money by living at home (obviously, you should run this idea by your folks first) and working to save for your college education. If you can get a job in your future field of study, even better! Get the “Real” College Experience It’s no secret that COVID-19 is changing the traditional college experience. The next semester or two will likely come with a slew of modifications to campus life, including virtual learning experiences, sparse residence halls, and limited spectators for college sports. If you want to get the true college experience, you might want to wait and see what next year will bring. Avoid Academic Burnout Are you sick and tired of tests, homework, and studying? You’re far from alone in your academic exhaustion. According to a report from the Gap Year Association, 81 percent of gap year students cited “wanting to take a break from academics” as their main motivation for taking a year off from school. Academic burnout is a real phenomenon and a completely valid reason for wanting to take a gap year. In fact, studies have linked academic burnout to poor academic performance, which is one of the reasons why many colleges (including Harvard) encourage students to take a year off before they return to their studies.Bottom line? Do what’s best for you and your mental health. Increase Your College Admission Chances A particularly common myth about taking a gap year is that students will inevitably lose their momentum and therefore struggle to get into their dream school. This is only true if you decide to waste your gap year by watching Netflix and doing little else. A gap year can actually increase your chances of admission by giving you the opportunity to do something cool and impactful, such as volunteering in your community or honing a skill that makes you stand out. However, be aware that taking a gap year can affect scholarships and financial aid. Before you defer enrollment, you may want to talk with your college admissions counselor about the potential implications. Travel the Country While traveling abroad may be out of the question right now, traveling locally is still on the table. Compared to other countries, the United States is a huge place and has many different landscapes, cultures, attitudes, and traditions. Exploring different areas of the U.S. can help you gain new perspectives that will serve you well in college, the workplace, and beyond. Have a Plan There’s no doubt about it — gap years can be extremely beneficial for some students. If you think that you could benefit from taking some time off, be sure to have a concrete plan in place for how you will spend your year. By coming up with a plan, you can make the most of your gap year and return to your studies more mature, focused, and driven to succeed. View the full article
  14. You thought about starting your company, being your own boss and making the big decisions but you don’t know where to start? The risk of getting into this new venture seems intimidating? It’s not surprising! The fact that a lot of small companies fail before their five-year mark is frightening. Building your own business from the ground up can, without a doubt, be a challenging task. But with a few useful tips and some entrepreneurial spirit, you can do your best in making your idea a profitable reality. Planning You already have an idea. Now it’s time to develop a proper strategy for it. A business plan is not a final, unchangeable product, but will serve you as a guideline along the way. So make your plan flexible and adjustable, but also focused and task-oriented. It is a draft for all the further details that you will have to get into, like financial situation, branding, target audience, etc. Don’t forget that you’re in charge of all decisions! Consider your leadership skills, your strengths and weaknesses. Try to be as objective as possible. Permits First of all, you need to choose your business structure: a partnership, a corporation, an LLC, etc. After that, you need to think about acquiring the right permits accordingly and making your company legal. Reminder: Starting a business can differ from place to place. For example, if your business is based in Louisiana be sure to do the research about how to form an LLC in Louisiana. Having all the useful information in one place can save you a lot of time and effort. Finances Before you start looking for outside investments, you need to make sure you fully understand your personal finances and their limitations. It goes without saying that you will need some kind of initial capital. The amount of seed money will, of course, depend on the business itself. In case you are only relying on your own investments, start small. As the business grows, there will be time for further expansions. If your budget allows you, hire an accountant or a bookkeeper in order to deal with all the financial issues. Business bank account After reviewing your financial situation and making a proper financial strategy, make sure you open a bank account for your company. Separating your company’s account from the personal one will aid you tremendously in keeping track of your business expenses and investments. Target Demographic When considering this part of your business strategy there are a few questions you need to think about: Who is my target demographic? How can I reach them? What is the best way to present my product or my service? How do I retain customers and how do I acquire new ones? Understanding your customer is crucial! Without them, your business is just an idea, they are the ones that will make it profitable. Your job is to know your customers and accommodate them to the best of your abilities. Do surveys and research in order to anticipate their future needs. Don’t forget that improving your customer service and expanding your target demographic requires constant effort. It might sound like an overwhelming task, but luckily there are tools that can help you with all that. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Online Presence We live in a world dominated by social media. Use this to your advantage! There is no easier (or cheaper) way of getting a word around. It is an effective method of reaching your target audience. Online tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc are a very direct way to establish a connection with your buyers or clients. Not only are you able to communicate with them, but you can also just broadcast any and all news and information about your business. Keep them interested and motivated to buy. You can also use social media as a means of connecting with other business owners. Keep track of other success stories and experience, while also sharing your own insights. Additional tip: Don’t forget about the other means of spreading the word around. Besides the social media platforms, use email, blogs, newsletters, articles, and of course the phone. It might seem old-fashioned but interacting with people over the phone is still an effective marketing strategy. Building your brand It is important to construct a brand around yourself and your business and to stay true to it throughout your ventures. There is no better tool for this than social media platforms. Think about the image you want your company to portray and take it from there. Whether it is about your product or your service, building a brand will help you reach your target audience. It is All About the Location You know how they say in the real estate business: Location, location, location! This is also true when it comes to starting your own company. Think about setting up your office in a location that is accessible and easy to find. You also need to consider the size of the place, the rent, and investing in the proper equipment for you and your employees before committing to a certain space. Home office If you are starting small, a home office is a good solution. This way you can cut your additional expenses to a minimum. You do, however, need to think about making a professional work environment. Whether it is a separate space in your home or just a part of a room, you should create your surroundings in a way that puts you in the working mindset, it should stimulate and inspire you. This might also be the place where you are going to meet any potential clients, so it should always reflect your brand. In Conclusion Hopefully, these few tips and pointers answered some of your concerns and guided you in the right direction. Maybe it prepared you to start planning and to develop your initial idea. After you did the research, build the strategies, and made all the calculations, it’s time to take that leap of faith and start a new business chapter in your professional life! View the full article
  15. Well, where to begin? First off, the world as we’ve known it, really for decades, has rapidly shifted multiple times over the course of a short few months. Everything has changed and everything will continue to change for years to come. The changes have touched every industry, every business and organization, and the economy at large, from a micro and macro lens. So, what now? In terms of your career, you have likely seen shifts as well – from what you have as your career to what you wanted for your career to what you want for your career now in anticipation of future changes. What should you know going into the next year? What should you think about when it relates to your career? We’ve compiled a list of career tips to consider for answering those questions for a post-COVID-19 world. Tip #1: Try to anticipate what markets will be most impacted by the after-effects of COVID-19 As an entrepreneur, I empathize with people who invested in any type of business prior to COVID-19 that was dramatically impacted by the quarantine. This goes for bars and restaurants, hotels, and travel companies. They didn’t see the virus coming; they likely could not forecast its impact on the main driver of their core business: people leaving their homes and being active. It’s on you as “your own boss,” as Steven Pressfield argues with his concept of “Me, Inc.,” to be proactive in trying to anticipate changes to major markets so that you know what economic lanes are widening and which are narrowing. For example, let’s say your dream was to open up a painting school. Would that be something you’d want to do right now? Probably not. Why? Well, because the market for painting schools is uncertain; it’s contingent on unpredictable measures such as when will people feel comfortable being around others to learn how to paint in-person. Sure, you can take the digital route, but is it really a bet you want to make when it comes to your career? Think about all of these factors. An industry can disappear or change completely in a matter of weeks, like big events (sports, concerts, etc.). Be cautious and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Don’t let it be the “be all, end all” of your career decision-making process. Instead, use it as a resource when conducting your research and determining what route you want to take. Tip #2: Sharpen our skills and find ways to stand out as a candidate We know that unemployment claims during COVID-19 reached unprecedented numbers. This means a lot of things to a lot of people (and we truly, truly empathize with their situations), but it also means that there will be a lot of competition in the future for every job position that survives in the post-COVID-19 world. When it comes to your career choice, this pretty much means that you’re going to need to stand out as a candidate to ensure you’re not overlooked. You already had to do this pre-COVID-19, but you will have to do this even more aggressively post-COVID-19 because the competition will be so high. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Think about this way: jobs are zero sum and they function in a supply and demand environment. If there’s less supply (less jobs being available), and more demand (more people needing jobs due to being laid off or running low on money), then you have to sharpen your skills and do whatever it takes to stand out as a candidate. Look at job descriptions (even old ones) and invest in educating yourself on all the skills and requirements needed to be considered an ideal candidate for the job position you’re seeking. Do the research. Do the work. Sign up for a free or affordable online class. Maybe even get a master’s degree. Get going and give yourself the best shot to succeed. Tip #3: Work on your productivity, time management, and technological skills There are three things that will test you in a post-COVID-19 world most. First, is your productivity levels. You’re going to be working from home more (it’s unclear when offices will open up back fully) so you’re going to need to hold yourself accountable for your work. According to Healthine, staying mobile can increase your productivity. Therefore it might be worthwhile for you to invest in a standing desk (or build one), take walking meetings, and avoid the pitfalls of sitting health risks. Businesses will want to hire advanced practitioners who understand how to operate in a remote environment in the face of challenges across the board. Second, is your time management abilities. Can you manage being at home, being around your family, handling food and other house chores, all while taking conference calls and not getting tired? Not losing enthusiasm and optimism for your job? It’s really difficult and can only get harder over time. It’s going to be on you to be able to manage your schedule, organize your day, get things done, all the while dealing with the unpredictable nature of the world around you. Third, is your technological skills. Companies will want to see that you’re keeping up with the technological changes around you. Can you multitask between different tools and platforms? Can you learn something new quickly without being overwhelmed? These are the types of things companies will be looking for when it comes to selecting an ideal candidate. Not only that, but you’ll work better, smarter, and faster if you’re able to use technology to your benefit. Final Thought At the end of the day, the choice is yours. But the one most important tip is to move at your own pace. These times are hard. They’re not easy for anyone. As productive and proactive as you want to be, it’s critical that you don’t beat yourself up if you’re not moving at the pace you’d like. Breathe. Focus. Meditate. Take your time. Eat well. Sleep well. Start there. Then work your way to thinking about the future – and the future of your career. Do the best you can and always try to think positively about where you’re headed. Then map out a path to get to that goal and build out the daily process that will guarantee your success. In a post-COVID-19 world, we’ll need to think critically with pragmatism, intertwined with supportive self-care. View the full article