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In this interview series, we caught up with Kathy Caprino from Ellia Communications who shares her expertise and insights about job search, career change, etc. in today’s marketplace.

Tell us a little bit about your company
My company offers top-level career coaching and consulting for women, as well as a wide array of programs, services, training and resources that help professional women “dig deep, discover their right work and illuminate the world with it.”
Key offerings include the weekly Finding Brave, podcast, the Amazing Career Project 16-week career growth course, the Amazing Career Coach Certification training, and the Close Your Power Gaps course and membership program designed to help women address and close the most damaging power gaps that women face today.
Kathy’s new book, Close Your Power Gaps, due out Summer 2020 from HarperCollins Leadership, explores these gaps in depth, and offer new solutions for becoming more powerful, impactful and authoritative in our careers and work-lives.
How did you get started in this path?
I had an 18-year corporate career in marketing, market research and product management, and while it was successful on the outside, it was highly unsuccessful on the inside.
I faced bumps in the road that turned into full-blown crises including sexual harassment, gender discrimination, chronic illness, zero work-life balance, narcissistic bosses and toxic colleagues and more. But worse than all of that was the feeling of purposelessness in my work – doing work that wasn’t contributing anything meaningful in the world.
After a brutal layoff in the days following 9/11, I had a true awakening (thanks to a powerful conversation with my therapist) that I wanted to help people not hurt people and be hurt, and I made the decision to go into the helping profession.
I become a marriage and family therapist, which was a life-changing experience, and I also discovered coaching and trained as a coach.
That journey led me to focus on career coaching and consulting for women, which brought with it the desire to build a business centered around bringing new solutions to the table for women at work.
Is this something you decided early on in your career?
I write about this frequently – that I had some great skills, talents and passions early on in life, including writing, performing, psychology, helping people, managing projects, leading — but I bailed on all of it starting with my very first job.
I took the first job that was offered to me, which was a marketing role in science publishing, which I disliked.
I had fantasized about being a impactful book editor at a great fiction publishing house, but from the second I started working full-time, I gave up on my dreams.
Until my breakthrough experience at age 41, after my layoff from a toxic company that crushed me. I decided then and there that I’d never again let go of my dreams for who I wanted to be in the world and in my work.
What is the Best Career Advice You’ve ever received?
There’s so much! I’d say the best advice that I leverage every day and help others do the same, is that the happiest, most successful careers are built by tapping into work you’re passionate about, and leveraging your natural talents and skills – the ones that come easily to you and bring great reward.
As Maria Nemeth shares in her great book The Energy of Money – People are happiest when demonstrating in physical reality what they know to be true about themselves, and when giving form to their Life Intentions in ways that help others.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
For me, it’s being about to help professionals overcome what I call their “power gaps” and their areas of insecurity, confusion, and doubts about their worthiness and value, and start making the impact they dream to.
For me, it’s a dream come true to do this work, and to leverage all that I’m passionate about, including personal and professional growth, communication skill, branding, marketing, speaking, and more.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
I’m a Senior Contributor on Forbes writing a weekly blog called “Career Bliss” which affords me the opportunity to interview true movers and shakers and influencers in the world of business, leadership, entrepreneurship, writing and creative life.
This helps me stay abreast of the world’s top strategies for business and career growth and leadership.
In my career coaching and consulting, I believe in drawing on developments and innovations from not only coaching but a wealth of other industries and fields that can help us understand how to reach our highest potential. 
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
Read my book Close Your Power Gaps!
The top 7 gaps are:
1) Not recognizing your talents, gifts and accomplishments
2) Communicating from fear not strength
3) Reluctance to ask for what you deserve
4) Isolating from influential support
5) Acquiescing instead of saying “stop!”
6) Losing sight of your thrilling dream and 7) Allowing the past to define you.
I’ve just launched a survey that’s quantifying the degree to which professionals are suffering from these gaps and 98% of professionals surveyed have at least one of these gaps, and 75% have 3 or more at the same time!
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
Check out my Finding Brave podcast interview with Austin Belcak on How To Land a Dream Job at the Salary You Deserve for overcoming the common mistake job seekers make . 
How should job seekers approach job search today?
I think even the term “job seeking” is now outmoded and incorrect.
We shouldn’t be searching for “jobs,” per se. Instead, we need to be continually bringing ourselves out in the world, networking and connecting with influential supporters who can help us intersect with amazing opportunities that will move us forward.
Over 80% of jobs today are found through networking, NOT through applying online and other outmoded strategies.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Top jobs are becoming more scarce and far more competitive to land. Those who haven’t worked in the field of their choice or achieved some great experience and outcomes, along with strong recommendations, will find it very hard.
Also, it’s very sad to say, but many boomers are finding that there is age bias in numbers of critical jobs such as digital marketing and analytics. Stay very current with your skills and keep expanding your toolbox to stay competitive.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
You need to start developing your talents and skills, and pursuing and honing them, well before you are out of college.
The internships and work experiences you have before you graduate will be extremely instrumental for landing a great job that will move you forward after you graduate.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Follow my five-step process before you switch.
The key steps are:
1) Step Back for an empowered perspective of who you are and what you’ve accomplished,
2) Let Go – of the thinking, patterns and behaviors that keep you stuck (because if you don’t do that now, they’ll repeat in your next career),
3) Say YES! to your most compelling visions and keep moving forward to those,
4) Explore and Try On – the top three career directions before you leap, and
5) Create It SMART – with specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely goals and an accountability structure.
Check out my Amazing Career Project career course for all these steps and more. 
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
Connect, connect, connect and reach out to everyone you know to share what you’re hoping for, and ask if they have any ideas for you, or anyone who would be helpful to speak with.
For tons of powerful tips for how to leverage LinkedIn, listen in to my Forbes webinar on “Polish Your LinkedIn Profile for Success” that I co-hosted with Kimberly Horner, Forbes’ LinkedIn editor.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Today, workers want and expect much more from their employers than ever before, including accountability, flexibility, diversity, trust and transparency.
If your organization doesn’t demonstrate those traits, you won’t attract or retain the top talent.
And as employees continue to build their personal brands and their networks, top talent is being courted daily by organizations that are more attractive and compelling.
Kathy, what are you currently working on?
I’m so excited to be completing my new book, Close Your Power Gaps, and launching a new course by the same name, designed to help professional women experience more power, impact and success on their own terms, and reach their most thrilling potential. 
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?
Robert Half offers a great list of top websites for job seekers here 
Also, find podcasts and resources that are specific to what you want to achieve specifically. For instance, if you want to learn from amazing leaders, business experts and influencers who have “found brave” in pursuing their best and most thrilling work and doing it with great success, check out my podcast Finding Brave and my Forbes blog “Career Bliss.”
And for a course to guide you through the 16 essential steps to build your amazing career, visit my Amazing Career Project course
All best wishes!
What is the best way for our audience to reach you?
Connect with or Follow Kathy Caprino on Social Media:

Kathy Caprino and Ellia Communications has also been featured in our recent compilation of the most resourceful career experts and career blogs –  Top Career Advice Websites.   

The post Interview Series – Career Experts – Kathy Caprino from Ellia Communications appeared first on CareerMetis.com.

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Whether you’re fresh out of college or have been in the search for your dream job for a while, most companies will always seem to pay too much attention to your university degree instead of your skills and capabilities as a person. Thankfully, this isn’t going to be the case for every job.

The good news is that there are plenty of options for those who either wish to find a job out of their regular field of work, or for those who haven’t got a university degree and would like to pursue a career in a certain field.

Here are some reasons why not every big company is going to ask for a university degree in your application.

1) Not every CEO is a college graduate

Most of us usually tend to connect successful people with those who receive a higher education and our entire lives we are made to believe that the only way to a higher income is higher education.

While a university degree can help a person grow, learn a lot of important and useful things and give them connections, it won’t always offer them the perfect job.

In fact, many successful people have not received higher education. A great example to support that claim comes from the CEO of Apple, Tom Cook, who said that the company was in fact founded by a college dropout. In fact, only around 42 percent of high school sophomores proceed to earn a university degree.

While getting is a degree will help your chances of landing a good position, it is not all that matters when it comes to employment. Employers will always prefer to hire talented people than ones who simply have a degree but lack the drive.

One of the most important things you can keep in mind is that no one will ever ask a CEO where they got their college degree. This can definitely show you that the chances for people without a major are equal to everyone else.

What will set you apart from your competitors will be your drive and your desire to work hard and become better and better at the field of work you have chosen.

2) Big companies need people with technical skills

Technical skills can be obtained through universities but there are also plenty of people who have acquired their skills through working experience, online courses and seminars. One of the things that usually happen is that university graduates only know and are good at one or two technical skills which they learnt through their years of studying.

On the other hand, people without a university degree but with past working experience in the field will know how to do quite a few things successfully. This is a result of their need to be able to take on different tasks and perform well so they can keep up with other employees who have received a higher education.

One of the most common groups of people with technical skills they didn’t develop through college work is usually freelancers.

People who work online tend to spend time trying to learn new skills in order to be able to be better at their jobs and in general, businesses online tend to give their new employees the chance to learn more and become better for the sake of the business.

Technical skills can be obtained through a variety of ways. For those who wish to learn something new without spending too much time and money, there are plenty of trusted online services such as Khan Academy and Udemy which work by providing their users with a variety of free and paid courses on a variety of technical skills.

Some of the most useful and common examples of technical skills include:
  • Writing
  • Programming
  • Assisting in various fields such as marketing
  • Managing projects

All of these can be very useful in any big company and they can help you land the job of your dreams with a lot more ease.

3) Universities can’t teach you certain soft skills

No matter the position you are looking to apply for, soft skills will be just as important as technical skills and the two are also quite different. Soft skills can also be known as professional skills and this essentially means the type of skills which are not taught through a course but are obtained through experience and coming in contact  with other professionals.

Most soft skills will revolve around being able to work as a part of a team, solving problems that might arise, communicating your problems effectively with your coworkers, coming in contact with customers, and many other skills of a similar type which will help you become better at your job and more competitive.

The truth is that while technical skills are always important, what can really make a big difference between two applicants are usually the soft skills they bring on the table. While having an employee who does their job perfectly is a big advantage for the company, no one would want to hire someone who won’t be able to follow instructions and work with their team in unison, without any conflict.

Your soft skills will help you appear more trustworthy, dedicated and approachable to your employers and this can really help you look more professional and ready to take on the job. Soft skills make you easier to work with and for big companies with many employees, this set of skills can really make your employers’ everyday lives in the office a lot easier to handle.

4) You can gain working experience without a degree

A common misconception is that a university degree will somehow automatically help the person having it land a great paying job. For most people who graduate, unemployment is a real issue and most of them end up working in jobs which have nothing to do with what they spent four years studying.

Certain companies tend to believe that having a university degree means that you have the patience and drive to devote your time and energy to working on something for a long period of time and actually follow through. On the other hand, a college degree does not offer you enough working experience in order for you to be considered a true professional in the field.

If you have landed a job in the field of work you are interested in and you have spent a good amount of your time learning and becoming better in this job, you are definitely going to have just as much experience and drive as a person who spent four years studying that certain subject.

5) Bigger companies like to train their new employees in advance

Last but not least, another big reason why bigger scale companies don’t really care about university degrees is because they have the time and resources needed in order to train their employees before they get started with their new jobs.

This is a big difference between them and other smaller, local companies which can’t afford to spend money on hosting a welcoming seminar or providing their new employees with enough materials in order to learn everything about their new position. Many smaller companies need people ready to work who won’t need a lot of training.

On the other hand, big companies understand that while someone might not have a university degree they might have amazing communication skills or be a natural at a certain task and they want to “take advantage” of these skills in order to help create employees who will be motivated to work hard and actually have the skills needed to fulfill their duties.

Motivation in these cases usually comes as a result of the fact that the new employee will feel grateful and excited that the company has picked them for the job.

By giving them a chance to learn new things and grow their current skills every further, the company is giving them a very important working experience. For people without a university degree, this is a big chance to grow professionally and broaden their horizons even further.

Working for a big company isn’t that far out of your reach

Whether you believe you have the skills to land a job or not, it is never a bad idea to try and apply for a position in a big company even if it seems out of your reach.

A college degree isn’t everything that matters when it comes to working for a big, international company and you will be surprised to know just how much they can appreciate the skills you have to offer to the team.

Instead of being afraid to be criticized about your lack of higher education, you can make it up with learning a variety or technical skills online and developing your core skills through webinars, books and speeches. There are truly so many ways for you to become the best in your field of work and the lack of a university degree should never stand in the way of your success.

The post Why Big Companies Don’t Care that Much About University Degree? appeared first on CareerMetis.com.

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Coffee makes the world go round, or so it seems. It’s such a typical sight in both popular culture and in real life to see folks grabbing a cup of coffee on the way to work.

And almost every workplace or office has a coffee machine in their break room where people go to refuel to continue working.

So that begs the very important question: how much coffee can you safely have during a workday?

How your body is affected by caffeine

Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, which means it mainly affects the brain. Your brain produces a hormone called adenosine which makes you feel sleepy and relaxed.

The effect caffeine has on your brain is blocking the receptors in your brain from binding with adenosine, making you feel fresh for longer and giving you an energy boost.

Boosted energy is a result of adenosine receptors beginning to bind to adenosine, only to be interrupted by caffeine, so the relaxation program is shelved for a while as the brain fires up again.

There have been plenty of studies regarding the various effects caffeine has on your body – some bad, some good.

Here are some of the more interesting results:
  • It can help improve your performance during exercise
  • It can help you lose weight
  • It may reduce the process and speed of liver damage
  • It may reduce the risks of certain types of cancers
  • It may increase the activity of beneficial gut bacteria
However, it’s not all roses – having too much caffeine has the following potential downsides:
  • Overstimulating the brain results in confusion
  • It can cause headaches
  • It can cause irritability
  • It can increase your blood pressure
  • It can worsen your insomnia if you already suffer from it
  • It can cause jitters

It is worth noting here that most of these effects are “it can” or “it may”, not “it will”. There’s a big difference and these are the results of certain studies that are far from conclusive evidence, though these certainly are indications.

As with anything else, coffee is best consumed in moderation to enjoy most of its benefits. Take the findings above with a grain of salt(pun intended), as there are other things we regularly eat and breathe that are far more likely to cause similar symptoms or results.

How your body processes caffeine

Caffeine is a comparatively small molecule so it can easily get through the various membranes in your digestive tract and into the bloodstream.

Within 45 minutes of consuming caffeine, nearly 99% of it will have been absorbed by your body. Within 4 to 6 hours, all of the caffeine will have broken down, and that’s when the effects will have worn off.

How well you metabolize caffeine is dependent on a few factors, but mostly your genes. The efficiency of the enzyme your body uses to break caffeine down is in your genes!

In case you’d like to read up a little more on this particular enzyme, it’s called cytochrome P450. The gene that codes for this enzyme is the CYP1A2.

In addition, there are some more factors which determine how well or fast your body processes caffeine.

Liver disease

Your liver is the most important organ for breaking down caffeine. Any liver problems will affect how your body breaks down caffeine.


Interestingly enough, studies have found that smoking nearly doubles the rate at which caffeine is broken down in the liver. I must point out here that the ill effects of smoking are much, much worse than the small benefit of possibly being able to drink more coffee!


There are a wide variety of foods that have different effects on caffeine metabolism. Grapefruit has been observed to slow down caffeine metabolism, whereas broccoli and Vitamin C in general have been observed to speed it up.


Pregnancy and other changes to the body will also have an effect. Obviously, pregnant women are recommended to have as little caffeine as possible as it can travel through the placenta into the baby’s bloodstream.

There are three types of people when it comes to caffeine:
  • Hypersensitive: if you take a sip of coffee, you’ll lose an entire night’s sleep and feel jittery! This is rare, but you’ll know if this is you.
  • Normal sensitivity: you can safely consume 200-400 mg of caffeine in a day without any ill effects. This is the average window of safe caffeine consumption, and most people fall into this category.
  • Hyposensitivity: you can drink more than 500 mg of caffeine without any overdose symptoms, and can sleep well even if you have a cup right before bed. This is me! I once had a shot of espresso from an airport cafe just to stay awake on an upcoming flight and ended up falling asleep within minutes of boarding!
Caffeine in coffee

Here’s a quick rundown of the average amounts of caffeine in coffee.

  • Espresso: about 100mg per 2 ounce shot
  • Regular coffee: 150-200mg per 8 ounce cup
  • Cappuccino/latte/macchiato: the same as an espresso, unless you have a double shot

These values are averages and will obviously depend on the kind of bean used. Per volume of coffee, lighter roasts tend to have more caffeine. Robusta beans(generally used in instant coffee) also have more caffeine than Arabica beans(generally used in higher quality coffees).

You should be aware that even decaf has 5-10mg of caffeine per 8 ounces, so while hypersensitive people may prefer to drink decaf, you’re not completely avoiding caffeine.

Caffeine during a work day

Assuming you have normal sensitivity and drink one cup of coffee during breakfast or on the way to work, on average, you have a window of about 3 more cups during the work day.

I’d like to point out here that a cup is in fact a US cup, or 8 ounces. If you drink 12 ounces of coffee in one go, that’s the same thing as 1.5 cups, so if you had 3 12 ounce servings of coffee, you’re effectively having 4.5 cups of coffee.

At this point, you’ll definitely go over the safe caffeine limit for most people, and if you add cream and sugar, you’ll also be consuming a lot of unnecessary calories.

Many coffee establishments serve specialty drinks that are guilty of this very thing. They’ll serve you a giant cup of coffee that’s loaded with caffeine, sugar, fat, and artificial sweeteners. Actually, the best kind of coffee is when there are as few additives as possible.

Most of the measurements of coffee caffeine content rely on a measurement of 8 ounces – just something to keep in mind.

What else contains caffeine?

Even if you’re controlling your coffee intake, there are a lot of other beverages that contain caffeine. If you were watching your coffee intake but downing a Red Bull or Monster on top of that, you’ll go over your caffeine limit.

Here’s a list of how much caffeine there is in some other popular beverages:
  • Energy drinks: 50–160 mg
  • Cocoa beverage: 2–7 mg
  • Chocolate milk: 2–7 mg
  • Yerba mate: 65–130 mg
  • Brewed tea: 40–120 mg
  • Soft drinks: 20–40 mg

Caffeine sensitivity is a spectrum rather than an exact number and you know your body best. Some people can drink 5 cups of coffee without feeling anything, and others can feel the effects in a single cup.

If you’ve been regularly drinking coffee for a long time, your body will have gotten used to caffeine and in most cases won’t affect you as much as it would others.

The post How Much Coffee can You Safely Drink During a Workday? appeared first on CareerMetis.com.

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When you think of harassment in the workplace, you probably have images of sexual harassment towards women that pop into your head.

However, many other types of workplace discrimination happen. Your workplace is responsible for maintaining an environment free of all kinds of harassment, and just about anything that makes you uncomfortable or violated probably falls into one category or another.

Harassment is a form of discrimination and is defined as any unwelcome conduct based on race, religion, sex, color, age, national origin, disabilty, or genetics. It becomes illegal when it involves offensive conduct, is severe and repetitive, and creates a hostile or intimidating work environment. This form of discrimination can come from a supervisor, boss, co-worker, vendor, or even a customer.

While many employers have expanded the diversity in their workplace in recent years to bring more awareness to the differences of people, with diversity can come new populations of people to discriminate against.

Let’s take a look at a few lesser-known forms of harassment and what you can do about them if they happen in your office.

1) Bullying in the workplace

Did you know that nearly 75% of employees have experienced workplace bullying in the past as either a witness or a target?

Bullying is the repeated, unwanted mistreatment of another person by one or more individuals. The attention given to the target is abusive and aims to embarrass, humiliate, intimidate, or threaten. Workplace bullying tends to be more psychological and less physical compared to the bullying that happens in schoolyards across the nation.

Bullies at work are often the workers who are threatened by a co-worker’s success. The victim might be a better worker, more skilled, or possess technical abilities that the bully doesn’t have. They are usually manipulative and controlling, and they might view just about everything as a competition.

How to Handle the Workplace Bully

It’s critical you know that bullying at work doesn’t usually end quickly. However, you also don’t have to just sit back and take it. Here are a few strategies to use when confronting a workplace bully:

  • Keep a record of the interactions: At first, you might want to do this just to prove to yourself that you’re not crazy. However, the longer it goes on, the more critical it becomes to have a record of each incident. Include things like the date and time of the event, any witnesses, and what triggered the confrontation.
  • Talk to your boss or the bully’s boss: You can let the bully know that you don’t like the interactions and that you want them to stop. Then, you need to report it to your boss or their supervisor and let them address the situation from there. Be sure to follow any workplace policies that might be instituted to address these types of cases.  
2) Sexual Harassment against men

Sexual harassment at work in the #MeToo era has brought much awareness to the problem. However, when you hear the words “sexual harassment,” you probably still picture a female victim.

Specifically, sexual harrassment is defined as, “any type of sexual activity or contact that you do not consent to,” and does not specify genders involved, as anyone can be a victim. 

In fact, a 2017 CNBC article detailed sexual harassment in the workplace, reporting that about 19% of all workers experience sexual harassment during their careers. Of these people, around 10% of the targets were men.

While it’s still more common for women to be the target, cases in which a man is the victim of sexual harassment are being reported more often in today’s socially aware environment. The perpetrator of the harassment can be either a man or a woman.

Harassment can even happen between one male and an entire group of men. You might also think that sexual harassment towards a man only occurs in factories or warehouses, but it’s common in professional office settings as well.

How to Handle Sexual Harassment Against Men

Sexual harassment in the workplace is handled the same way, regardless if the victim is male or female. Here are a few things you can do if you’re the target of sexual harassment:

  • Review your company’s sexual harassment policy: Familiarize yourself with the policy so that you can decide for sure if what’s happening to you fits the definition.
  • Follow the Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure: If the policy advises you to make a written report or notify your direct supervisor verbally, do it. Just be sure to follow the policy so that you’re covered. If your boss is the perpetrator, you might have to go to their boss or to the human resources department instead, but this should be outlined in your company’s documents.  
3) Sexual orientation discrimination

We’ve come along way in educating others about individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, and bisexual. However, discrimination based on sexual orientation at work still exists. There are no federal laws that specifically say that it’s illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation in the private sector. Some states, like Iowa, Washington, and California, have laws to protect people from this type of harassment.

Sexual orientation discrimination can look very different from one workplace to the next. You may be fired, passed over for a promotion, or laid off solely because of who you choose as your partner outside of work.

Another person may experience differences in pay or benefits. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to identify and then prove that you’re the victim of sexual orientation discrimination.

How to Handle Sexual Orientation Discrimination

If you or someone you know is receiving unwelcome conduct because of the sex of the person you date or marry, and it makes the workplace unsafe or hostile, you might be the target of sexual orientation discrimination. Here are a few ways you can handle it:

  • Know you have rights: Even if you live in a state that doesn’t have specific laws about this form of abuse, you could be covered under other laws. You may need to seek out legal counsel to create a plan to address the situation.
  • Report it to your supervisor or human resources department: If the perpetrator is your supervisor or the company as a whole is perpetrating the offense, you’ll probably need legal advice. However, if it’s possible, start by discussing your feelings or observations with your boss.
4) Third-Party Harassment

Another type of workplace harassment that’s common is known as third-party harassment. This happens when the perpetrator is someone outside of your company. It might be a customer or outside vendor who comes into the office. Third-party harassment might be sexual in nature or could be related to your age, sex, nationality, or any other category.

How to Handle Third-Party Harassment

Third-party harassment can get a little tricky because many companies feel that customers are always right. You may also worry that you’re misinterpreting a vendor’s actions since they are only in the office here and there. It’s critical to remember that you don’t have to take harassment, even if it only happens once a week when the vending machine guy is in the building. Here are a few ways to address this type of discrimination:

  • Firmly, but politely tell them you want the behavior to stop: Don’t make it personal about them as an individual. An example of how to say this might be, “Jim, I don’t like when you touch my arm or shoulder during conversations. I would like this to stop.” Don’t ask them to stop, be sure to tell them you want it to end.
  • Report it to your supervisor: If your request for the behavior to stop doesn’t do the trick, talk to your supervisor about what’s happening and ask for their help.
5) Psychological Harassment

Everyone feels like they might be losing their mind at work from time to time. However, if someone at work is constantly belittling you, putting you down, and sharing needless condescending remarks on the daily, you might be the target of psychological harassment.

Statements like these are not only unprofessional, but they can also cause you to feel stressed, anxious, and even a bit depressed.

How to Handle Psychological Harassment

Handling this situation head-on is best. Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Talk to your boss: You might want to bring the situation up to your boss to see if they’ve noticed any of these behaviors from the perpetrator. This is also an excellent time to ask if your employer has a formal complaint process, just in case you need it.
  • Address the perpetrator directly: Let them know that you don’t like the comments they make and ask them to stop. Keep a note about this conversation, including the date so that you can keep track of behaviors if they happen again.
Moving Beyond the Harassment

You must address any form of discrimination quickly. If you allow it to linger, you’ll soon be wondering if it’s time to quit your job and move on.

Use these descriptions of lesser-known forms of harassment and our strategies for addressing each to keep the situation from getting to that point.

The post 5 Lesser-Known Forms of Workplace Harassment [And What to Do About Them] appeared first on CareerMetis.com.

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In this interview series, we caught up with Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter from Career Trend who shares her expertise and insights about job search, career change, etc. in today’s marketplace.

Tell us a little bit about your company
I’m an Executive Career Strategist + Storyteller.
At the helm of a boutique team, I author richly woven, storied portfolios for serious-minded executives and professionals ready to invest in themselves and their careers.
Content + strategy includes: executive resume, cover letter suite, LinkedIn profile, elevator/e-pitch, executive biography, illustrated biography, etc.
I also am a regular career blogging contributor for several companies whose target audiences are job seekers, employers and leadership/recruitment executives.
Moreover, I have been tapped to write blogging and website content for technology businesses in Silicon Valley.
How did you get started in this path? Is this something you decided early on in your career?
After graduating college in 1986 with a Bachelor’s degree in writing/journalism, I honed my writing, marketing, communications, public relations and project management abilities via a number of office jobs, before exiting to bootstrap my start-up in 1997.
Initially, I sold services as a corporate writer, including marketing / copywriting for individuals and small businesses–and resumes. In response to one of my ads, the owners of CareerTrend hired me to manage their resume clientele.
The people I met and the stories I got to tell were invigorating, the original owner a wonderful mentor. One of my early clients was a former CIA agent turned private-sector lawyer. His stories were cloaked in mystery and intrigue, my ability to convert his past into a future goal, fulfilling.
I loved the entrepreneurial lifestyle, the freedom of being my own boss, and the quiet act of writing, daily.
In 1998, I had the opportunity to purchase the CareerTrend portion of the business.
I rented a brick-and-mortar space in Greater Kansas City, and began to build the business through intense resume industry study and conference participation, including public speaking, volunteering and committee leadership, learning resume writing vocabulary and strategy, and hours of in-person networking.
What is the Best Career Advice You’ve ever received?

Focus, focus, focus. Recalibrate when needed. Focus some more. Stay the course.

What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
Receiving notes–or calls!–from my clients that they landed a dream job, and that the work we produced, and the rigorous processes we underwent, played a role in that.
Of course, the icing on the cake is when the client expounds on specific content that influenced the hiring executives and decision-makers.
Equally exciting is putting the finishing touches on content that you know has never been written before.
While it may seem there is ‘nothing new under the sun’ in regard to the written word, your story is YOURS, uniquely you; the thinking writer knows how to weave in the right subtleties to tell your story, differently, and with verve. It is exhilarating for me to be able to be part of that creative process.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
So many different ways.
Over the years, attending + speaking at industry conferences.
Lots of reading, research and collaboration with executives and leaders, worldwide.
Social networking.
Industry volunteerism + networking that plunges me into the thick of the top global resume writers + their strategies; and much more.
My primary learning tool is the day-to-day work and results I accomplish for my clients.
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
Focusing their message.
Taking a stand as to the type of role and company they want to attract with their resume and then homing in on the right message to appeal to that opportunity.
They also think the job search is about them, when in reality, it should be more focused on the reader’s needs. This is more difficult to do than most people think.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
Not asking for the right kind of help.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
There is no one right way.
The right way is to start, and work on it as you would any other project that mattered to you.
Research, take a tangible step in the right direction, ask for help, listen to what others suggest (especially an expert whose advice you trust), and then test-drive their suggestions.
Too many people are over-confident and stubborn in their ways. Others are too timid and/or overly contemplative. Strike a balance.
Experiment and grow as you go.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
AI and job search is a trend that’s big.
Be prepared to adapt to the way technology affects all our jobs and careers, including the sometimes intricate process of job search.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
Look for a company where you feel a culture fit and where it’s clear there is a path for growth.
Be ready to take an entry level role, but be proactive about ensuring you are hiring on with a company that honors your desire to learn, grow and advance. And then, be prepared and willing to make your boss look good, so s/he will in turn be ready to promote you when the time comes.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Be prepared to take a step back in title and salary to bridge the learning curve.
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?

Use LinkedIn in some fashion every week.

Start reading other members’ content; comment judiciously, or simply press the ‘like’ button. Take it slow, but steady, if you’re new.

If you’ve been there awhile but do not feel LinkedIn is serving your job seeking needs, then follow experts (like those you have been interviewing) to glean nuggets of value from them.

Apply learnings. Test drive new techniques. Stop doing things that aren’t working. Be patient. Be thoughtful. It will work for you if you do the work. Focus on others first, before asking for something.

Ensure you have meaningful content in your profile.

If you are uncomfortable revamping your profile with a marketing twist, then start by including ‘just the basics’ in your About and Experience section. Also, include a quality head shot.

Maybe you should reconsider how you are presenting your Experience.

Are you forward-looking, or does it read like a career obituary? Have you targeted your message, or does it seem ‘all over the place’?

It’s not for the reader to figure out how to puzzle your details together. YOUR job is to do that. Be proactive and positive.

Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
Great economy!
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Again, it’s technology and the impact of various forms of technology and how they drive candidate interactions and expectations.
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?
Connect with or Follow Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter on Social Media:

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter and Career Trend has also been featured in our recent compilation of the most resourceful career experts and career blogs –  Top Career Advice Websites.   

The post Interview Series – Career Experts – Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter from Career Trend appeared first on CareerMetis.com.

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With the heat of the competition turning up in the digital sphere, it has become all the more important to make use of cutting-edge technology to gain an edge over your competitors.

To ensure that web applications serve their intended purpose while offering a great user experience, it is important to make use of development tools that can accommodate these features.

At present, MEAN Stack is emerging as a technology that offers a highly competent JavaScript framework.

MEAN is a free, open-source platform for creating dynamic web applications and it is widely being used for developing the latest web-based applications.

MEAN stands for:
  • MongoDB
  • ExpressJS
  • AngularJS and
  • Node.js

A large number of developers are enrolling for MEAN Stack web development course to stay up to pace with the recent developments and make use of the powerhouse that is MEAN. It enjoys great favor for the development of mobile apps, which are a call of the present given that internet users are shifting to mobile devices.

Some of the main reasons why you must undergo MEAN Stack web development training are:

1) Uniformity at Client and Server Ends

Using MEAN, you can make use of similar JavaScript between the client and server end. This isomorphic nature allows the developer to switch between the front-end and back-end without the involvement of a third-party server.

Due to Node.js, developers can open and run the application directly on the server. This feature cuts down on the requirement of specialists or masters of other languages.

The time required to code in the different languages also gets saved. With MEAN stack, all you need is a JavaScript expert who can oversee the complete project from one end to the other.

2) High Flexibility

Given the involvement of three solid JavaScripts, MEAN stack offers a high degree of flexibility. Most importantly, as it has been mentioned earlier, usage of JavaScript throughout the project also ensures efficient code development.

For example, if you have written your code in Node.js environment and would prefer switching to the AngularJS framework instead, the process is seamless over MEAN. Thus, you no longer have to make drastic changes to the code. 

3) Compatible with Cloud Technology

Cloud-based technologies have been gaining prominence of late. Thus, it is important to make use of cloud integration in your web applications.

MongoDB adds a strong database system that is built to operate on the cloud. Integrating the database with the cloud allows cluster support over multiple servers and also enables automatic sharing.

Thus, you can even develop, test, and maintain your codes on the cloud, which saves disk space and makes it greatly accessible. Additionally, once the application has been developed, you can easily host your application directly on the cloud.

4) Budget-Friendly

Startups and small businesses find it even more crucial to make their mark in the digital space. However, such enterprises are normally faced with financial restraints that may act as a dampener.

In such a case, MEAN Stack will come to their rescue. MEAN Stack is an open-source software, which means that its technologies are available at no extra cost.

Additionally, given that MEAN makes use of a single language throughout the project, you no longer have to hire teams for various units. The company would need to hire a JavaScript specialist who can take on the task.

Such a strategy would not only save the company’s time and money but shall also make good use of the business resources as you can hire the best expertise in the development field.

5) Ideal for Real-Time Applications

Whether you are looking to develop a new and trendy social media platform or a stock trading dashboard of a broker – real-time applications have started to gain a stronghold in terms of popularity.

MEAN makes use of single-page applications (SPAs), which bypasses the need for periodically refreshing the web pages as a response to server requests. Thus, you can include quick changes in real-time without constant page updates. The transformation will be subtle and elegant rather than appearing clunky.

As a roundup, MEAN offers great benefits to developers. The availability of expansive libraries and online community support make it easy for even novices to get onboard.

Further, MEAN technology is constantly evolving and improving to cater to their user base.

A number of businesses are looking for MEAN Stack developers owing to its efficient and cost-effective nature. Thus, as a developer, gaining MEAN technological skills will definitely set you apart.

The post 5 Reasons Why MEAN Stack Development is a Must for Developers appeared first on CareerMetis.com.

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Scrum as a project management framework has gained immense popularity as it serves to leverage teamwork, makes communications meaningful, and drives complex projects with speed and accuracy. Teams can self-organize themselves and can adapt to changes rapidly in alignment with Agile principles.

Scrum methodology has been adopted across the world by organizations of various scales alike. If you have already completed your Scrum Master certification, you can go for Advanced Certified Scrum Master® (A-CSM training) from Scrum Alliance to become more adept in directing the courses of complex projects with stiff deadlines and inflated customer expectations.

The importance of Scrum professionals with advanced certification can be understood from the fact that they are instrumental in preventing budget overspends due to project overrun. This has been revealed in the analysis of about 5400 IT related projects which suffered from budget deficits owing to stretching of project timelines.

If you are still confused about the benefits that would accrue to you and your organization after completing the A-CSM course, read on to learn more.

Advantages of Completing A-CSM Certification

By becoming an Advanced Certified Scrum Master, you can reap rich rewards on your knowledge and career fronts.

1) Strengthen Your Grasp Over Scrum

Your fundamental understanding of Scrum would be taken to the next level with advanced certification.

You can help peers upskill so that the implementation of Scrum methodology across the organization can be streamlined. All gaps in your knowledge of Scrum would be filled as the advanced course would acquaint you comprehensively with all aspects of strategic project management.

2) Add Maturity to Your Approach

The advanced course would equip you with a more incisive mindset that would enable you to leverage the agile principles of Scrum more effectively. This would allow you to build better self-sustaining teams capable of adapting to tough situations with agility.

Consequently, opinion clashes and disagreements would be lesser and the resultant cohesive approach would lead to a higher success rate for projects.

3) Become More Marketable

The advanced certification would allow you to demonstrate that you have comprehensive and sweeping knowledge of Scrum principles. This would make you more marketable to potential employers and help secure better professional mileage in terms of higher perks.

Since the Agile knowledge would be relevant to all organizations which employ agile management practices, you would never run out of lucrative opportunities.

4) Help Your Organization March Ahead

If your organization has still not adopted the Agile methodology, you can be the harbinger of success for it. The decision of switching over to a new practice that impacts processes, customers, and management would become justifiable when you can exhibit its benefits within a short time.

Also, as tangible and real advantages would become evident with predictable release schedules and self-sustaining teams, the promise of superlative results would come true.

Your support would convince management to invest in Scrum methodology. Your advanced certification would be the mainstay during implementation. 

5) Less Friction Among Colleagues

Your advanced certification in Scrum would help to work in a more authoritative and autonomous manner while steering projects to success. You would face less resistance to change as team members would respect your exhaustive knowledge.

You can even develop common vocabulary tweaked in alignment with your unique business needs to reinforce the base understanding of all team members. Unnecessary time need not be wasted to convince colleagues that you are aware of the advanced principles.

6) Be a Respectable Member of Scrum Community

After completing your advanced certification, your position as a distinguished member of the Scrum experts’ community would get elevated. Your commitment towards continuous improvement by leveraging agile methodology would be evident from your skill tag.

You can also become a Scrum trainer and can guide others. Further, your organization can also win prestigious projects by stating your advanced Scrum certification to prospective clients. The advanced certification is a badge of honour that would be with you for a lifetime.

Here Is How You Can Become an A-CSM Certified Professional

To become an Advanced Certified Scrum professional, you need to complete your A-CSM certification from an institute that offers hands-on practice sessions and comprehensive introduction to theories.

Advanced Scrum training would help you learn the 4-phased approach of Concept-Initiate-Deliver-Deploy. Working in hands-on mode on real projects, you can gain a better insight into the challenges from the perspectives of organization and people which will render you proficient in the project management process.

You can feel elated about your future career prospects as growth prospects and median salary base for Advanced Scrum Masters are among the best in the IT industry.

Additional Resources: You can browse these additional resources to learn more about Scrum:

The post 6 Career Advantages Upon Completing Advanced Certified Scrum Master® Course appeared first on CareerMetis.com.

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While there is nothing wrong with pursuing conventional education, there’s an undeniable truth to the adage that “time is money”.

With that said, if the outcome is a successful career and all else is equal, why enroll in a four year program when two years will suffice? Or one? What if you could emerge from a 17-week course ready to become a part of a booming industry filled with near limitless possibilities?

While the above question might sound too good to be true, it is a very realistic outcome for those who have enrolled in a Creature and Character Design Program.

If you’re dubious that such a program exists, rest assured that it does—and it’s being offered in the centre of Hollywood North’s bustling production scene at Toronto’s CMU College of Makeup Art & Design.  

What Does a Creature and Character Designer Do? 

A creature and character designer works with their client (this could be a director, a writer, an advertising agency, a private commission, etc.) to bring the idea of a character to visual life.

The designer works with stakeholders to ensure the character exemplifies everything his or her collaborators are looking for to meet the aesthetic requirements of the project brief.

In so doing, they must draw upon their knowledge of realistic anatomy and mobility, as well as their 3D sculpting ability to make sure the end result is a believable entity that suits the overall project.

Generally their tools range from pen and paper when developing rough sketches and evolves into using sophisticated digital tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Pixologic ZBrush to add colour, texture and mobility to create a realistic 3D rendering.

The Digital Effects Artist Program

So what can you expect from CMU College’s Digital Makeup Effects Artist Program?

What will you learn in a mere 17 weeks?

While the course load is substantial and arduous to say the least, it is designed to maximize the number of skills developed in the shortest amount of time.

Here are a few of the highlights:
  • An introduction to 3D scanning, modeling and printing;
  • Combines special effects makeup artistry with 3D modelling into one, allowing the student to design realistic creatures and characters;
  • Offers a foundation in Photoshop, drawing from life and sculpting;
  • How to conceptualize, design, build molds and paint an advanced sculpture;
  • Teaches the student how to create realistic and highly detailed digital character renderings using an industry tested tool,  ZBrush;
  • Provides the student with an impressive online portfolio to showcase finished 3D sculptures in a variety of mediums;
  • Provides the student with the skills necessary to pursue other digital careers such as” 3D character designer, mock-up artist, mold/model maker, prototype fabricator, 3D printing technician, and many more.

The amount of content taught can be comfortably covered in one year, but CMU College has condensed the program into a 4-month program with the goal that students will be industry ready upon graduation.

The 17-week course can be broken down in the following timeline:
  • Digital sculpting using Adobe Photoshop – 2 weeks;
  • Life drawing – 1 week;
  • Figurative sculpting – 1 week;
  • Digital character design using ZBrush – 6 weeks;
  • Practical character design and sculpting – 6 weeks;
  • Career planning and portfolio creation – 1 week.
What Exciting Career Opportunities Are Awaiting Upon Completion of  the 17-Week Course?

The obvious careers involve television and movie production, as well as video game development. These are exemplary choices to be sure, however, they are far from the only opportunities available to graduates of this program.

Digital design has many different applications and more are making themselves known each and every day.

Having said that, here’s a list of some of the more mainstream roles a graduate of this program can expect to compete for:
  • Visual effects;
  • Animation;
  • Illustration;
  • Graphic design;
  • 3D printing and scanning;
  • Advertising;
  • Concept design;
  • Toy production.

In short, the career opportunities are varied and plentiful. Few professions can claim this type of versatility relative to the amount of time it takes to hone the necessary skills.

The only real question for the graduate is whether they want to master one industry or pursue interesting opportunities in related fields.

If you’re curious where a diploma from the Digital Effects Artist Program at CMU College can take you, the only thing you need to answer is, am I ready to change my life in just 17 weeks?

The post Kickstart Your Career in Digital Makeup Effects [with a Diploma in just 17 Weeks] appeared first on CareerMetis.com.

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 “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”

Oh, how Henry Ford was right. Our attitude is everything!

And self-confidence is an extremely powerful thing. With the right attitude you will build a self-confidence that will be your prince in a shiny armor (or princess for that sake). Who doesn’t want a shiny armor? I know I will, for sure!

So why is it so difficult (and sometimes impossible) to get the right mindset? Let’s get to it!

Think of a little child. A smiling 4-year-old girl with eyes that lightens up when she’s telling you about how she wants that little pony for her Birthday. How that little pony can live in the garage. It’s no big deal, she can feed the pony before she goes to the kindergarten. And if her father needs to have his car in the garage, the pony can sleep in her room. It’s easy peasy!

For her, it’s possible. For a grown up, it’s not (there’s no rule without an exception, though; my friend had her horse in the garage… So, for some people it’s possible!)

That little girl had the right attitude when it came to what was possible for her or not. She thought she could have that pony in the garage. As this little girl gets older, she will also change her attitude, her mindset.

When her parents tell her the story of how she desperately wanted a pony in the garage, she will laugh, thinking back to those days when her biggest dream was getting her very own little pony (…in the garage). You see… as we experience life, as we learn new things, as we live in a community, we build an attitude and mindset that is expected of us. We don’t want to be different.

Let’s turn the table and look at it this way: If every neighbor had a horse in their garage, it would be strange NOT to have a horse in your garage, right? You would have a completely different attitude when it came to garages vs horses if that was what was expected of you (and your garage…).

That is how our minds work! What we see is what we believe. If we see that all our neighbors have a horse in their garage, then that’s the most normal thing in the world, and then we can have a horse in our garage as well. That is one way to change your attitude. By following the flow…

Train your mind

Another way to change your attitude is by training your mind. (Remember what they say: It’s 90% mindset and just 10% skills!)

When we know that it’s 90% mindset and 10% skills that will get us from where we are today to where we want to go in our life and in our career, it should be “easy peasy” to build a mindset that is assertive and positive, right?

But it’s not… Sorry, but I have to tell you right away: The human brain doesn’t work that way. But we can train it to! It’s not so difficult!

When we train our mind, we will build a mindset that helps us think thoughts like “I can” instead of “I can’t”. You know, the Henry Ford way of thinking.

You might ask: “How do I train my mind so I finally can change my attitude?”.

Well, you can do so by using two words consisting of only three single letters. The words “I AM”. These two words have been called the most powerful words in the Universe, and I couldn’t agree more.

Let me give you an example…

Let’s say that you have a colleague that is a pain in the part of your body that is placed right beneath your back… And let’s call this colleague by the name of John.

If you are constantly telling yourself (and those around you) phrases like:

  • I am so sick and tired of John!
  • I am so irritated that John always get the best jobs!
  • I am so happy that John is away for a few days!

then your attitude towards John will be negative. Very negative. And believe me: your colleagues will see and feel how you behave when John is around. What do you think that says about you as a person and colleague?

You might have a very good reason for having those feelings when it comes to John. But really… Your attitude towards him does not serve you, John OR the work environment.

But you know what? You can change your attitude by the use of the two most powerful words.

Let’s take a look at how those words can help you make a new attitude when it comes to this colleague of yours:

  • I am happy that I have colleagues like John that is totally different from me. It just helps me appreciate the rest of my colleagues even more!
  • I am glad that someone at the office get good jobs. I am going to do my best to get those jobs myself!

In the beginning, it might seem a bit artificial, but things will change… Give it a try, it’s worth it! And who knows? Maybe John will change based on your new attitude towards him!

Here’s another example of the words “I Am”:

Let’s say it’s 5:30 am. Your alarm goes off. You might think this:

“Aaaargh! I am so tired! I need more sleep! Let me snooze 10 minutes!” What you could think instead is this: “It’s 5:30. My alarm worked today as well. I am ready to start a new day.” You see the difference?

I know it seems kind of phony, but give it a try!

Before we go to the next way to change your attitude, I want you to take a look at these two phrases as well:

  1. I am so stressed out right now
  2. I am ready to do a change, because of the stress that has affected me lately

Which of these two phrases felt most exhausting? And which gave you most hope of a new beginning? I think you will say that number 1 felt most exhausting. Even if those two phrases say exactly the same thing, it’s how you say it. It’s how you put it that makes all the difference!

Start today, right here, right now: Say something positive after the words “I Am”, and you will feel the difference. You will!

If you only have this in mind

Always keep in mind that you cannot change your past. None of us can. You cannot change how other people act either. It’s all up to them.

Unfortunately, you cannot change the unavoidable, even if you try your very best. Even if so many people out there have been begging, crying and praying that it was possible to change the unavoidable, none of us can. Unfortunately.

What you can change, is your attitude. Changing your attitude is all up to you. No one in this world can change your attitude, but you. No one. Ever.

When you use as little as three minutes every single morning thinking of how you can do your very best that day, you have come far. You have.

You see…

You will come up with good ideas, you will become more positive and resolute.

By doing so, you start changing your mindset. For the better. And remember what we talked about in the beginning of this article:

It’s 90% mindset, my friend!

You can read more about planning and having the right mindset in one of my blog posts right here!

The post 3 Proven Ways to Change Your Attitude appeared first on CareerMetis.com.

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Getting a hit on your criminal record, no matter how big or small, can make it feel next to impossible to jump back into the working world. If you have a record that’s going to get pulled up during a background check, you might even avoid certain jobs altogether.

Further, you might be unable to earn the experience, education, or the right skills needed for a variety of jobs due to the consequences of your record. However, putting yourself out there to get a job can start you off on a brand new journey so you can build up your resume and continuously grow over time in a career field.

Whether you’re embarrassed or certain employers won’t hire you based on your past, finding solid work isn’t easy when you’ve been convicted of a crime. But it’s not impossible.

Putting Yourself Out There

There are a few things to keep in mind as you start your job search. First, keep in mind that you’re not alone.

About one-third of the adult population has some type of criminal record. So, as you go to check “that” box on a job application — the one that asks if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime — remember that you don’t have to feel ashamed or embarrassed about your past.

Feel proud that you’re trying to do better for yourself and move ahead in life. When you get over your own personal fears that might be attached to your past life of criminal activity, you can start to focus on how to land the job you really want.

It’s important to know what employers are looking for, and not being afraid to put yourself out there. You also don’t have to box yourself into a “conventional” 9-to-5 job.

Don’t be afraid to try something new if you’re striking out in the corporate world. While teaching, law enforcement, finance, and government jobs may largely be off the table, there are many other opportunities to explore.

It might even be a good idea to hold off on applying for jobs right away. Instead, you could focus on building up your skills through something like a trade school or online courses to further your education. You might try performing odd jobs to gain experience that you can put on a resume.

Everything from landscaping, to driving for rideshare companies, to other freelance gigs can be great resources to eventually help you land a more stable career.

With all of that in mind, let’s dive in a little deeper on how you can get a job, despite having a record:

Know What Employers Are Looking For

When you fill out an application and are being considered for a job, your potential employer will probably run a criminal background check. They’re typically looking for past convictions or any dealings with the police.

Employers are often afraid that people with criminal pasts might end up costing them money or doing damage to the business, other employees, etc.

While you need to answer truthfully when confirming that you have a criminal background on the application, some employers will unfortunately look at that checkmark and disregard your application completely. This is wrong and unethical, but it happens.

It’s important to know what employers are looking for and how you can get around the potential stereotypes surrounding your conviction — not with dishonesty, but with hard work and a true showcase of the kind of employee you’re willing to be.

One of the best things you can do is to build up as many references as possible. This includes both job references and character references. If you had a steady job in the past, you might be able to get a recommendation from them.

Other options include former teachers, guidance counselors, advisors, or past supervisors. If you’re friends with anyone in your community who has a strong reputation or is held in high regard, ask them for a reference too. It isn’t impossible for someone with a criminal past to build up a lot of professional and personal references quickly, depending on who you know.

You can also work on making a good impression from the start by dressing appropriately for any interviews you might have. One of the best things you can do is dress for the position you’re applying for. Try to avoid wearing things like T-shirts and jeans or clothes that are dirty or damaged.

During the interview, you’ll need to know how to discuss your criminal history tactfully. While you might be hoping that the topic simply won’t come up, it’s important to offer a short explanation — generally no longer than a couple minutes — of your past.

Explain what the charges were and how long you were incarcerated, but focus most of your time on how you’ve been rehabilitated. Note that you’ll want to be more specific when it comes to charges that are vague or could lead an employer to worry.

However, remember that there is a difference between being honest and being prudent with information. If you have multiple felonies and misdemeanors, it’s wise to only answer questions that the interviewer asks; don’t volunteer additional details or discuss unrelated offenses.

You must be honest when asked a direct question about specific events, but building a case against yourself by offering unnecessary information isn’t the best use of your energy and can cast you in a negative light. Carefully assess your criminal history, then only discuss relevant details.

Building Your Resume After a Conviction

It’s important to stand out somehow when you’re trying to get a job. That’s the case whether you have a criminal record or not. But, if you do, it’s even more essential to be seen above other applicants as someone who is the perfect fit for the specific job.

Things like past job experience, training, and schooling help. But, even without a lot of those things, you can still set forth a good impression before you even land an interview.

One of the best ways to do that is with an impactful resume.

Resume templates can help you personalize your resume to suit the career field you’re interested in. While more traditional fields may call for a more conventional format, art- or tech-related fields may warrant a more creative approach. However, instead of just jotting down your past experience and life skills on a piece of paper, why not try something new?

Online portfolios and personal websites are becoming more popular than ever because they’re no longer limited to certain industries or careers. They can offer a potential employer so much more than a sheet of paper ever could.

You can include photos and media, share more about your personal experiences and your professional skills. If you do go this route, make sure you know how to design a quality website that works quickly and is easy to navigate.

In your resume, you might even mention how your troubled past has changed and shaped you as a person. It’s a great way to form a more personal connection with your potential employer before you even meet them, and by acknowledging your record, you gain control of the situation, rather than allowing it to work as a surprise against you.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter what kind of crime you were convicted of. Because past convictions are so common, you don’t have to feel as though you’re not good enough to land the job you really want.

The best thing you can do is to be honest and straightforward with a potential employer. Rather than getting stuck in your past, focus on showing them what you have to offer going forward.

The post Tips for Getting a Job When You Have a Criminal Record appeared first on CareerMetis.com.

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