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Another great guest post – this one on remote jobs – by Jackie Edwards….

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

Working remotely may have seemed out of reach several years ago, but in 2018, remote jobs are gradually becoming a trend in many industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 23% of employees in 2015 reported doing some of their work in a remote location. This number is only rising, thanks to the fact that businesses are realizing how beneficial it is to their company to allow employees to work remotely. With a growing number of freelancers and programmers working from home, it is said that working alone can actually boost work productivity, as there will be far less distractions than in an office environment crowded with sociable coworkers.

Furthermore, companies that implement remote working can not only experience a decrease in their real estate costs and overhead, but it can also reduce employee turnover rates and boost the overall morale of employees. Since more businesses are offering candidates the option to work wherever they please, it may work to your advantage to update your resume template to reflect remote-working skills, like having knowledge of Skype or Slack. The question remains: should you follow the trend in remote working and apply for a job that allows you to be a location-independent employee?

In determining whether or not a remote job is right for you, consider the pros and cons:

Pros of Remote Jobs

One of the most obvious advantages of remote working is the time saved from commuting. Instead of spending an hour driving to work each morning stuck in traffic, employees can avoid the annoyances of commuting and use that time to get tasks done. Without a commute, you can choose to work from anywhere you want, like a coworking space in your city. This freedom will maximize what you make of your workday, as you can choose a location that helps you to be most productive.

Remote working also allows you to manage your own schedule, which gives employees the chance to work when it is most convenient for them. Not a morning person? Work in the evenings. Need to run your kids to school each day? Now, you can, and you don’t have to worry about missing out on working because you can start your job afterwards. Remote working is therefore an extremely appealing opportunity for people who need flexibility, and especially for people who want to spend more time with their families.

Cons of Remote Jobs

Alongside these advantages come the potential negatives of remote working that you should consider before you take a location-independent job. Some of the cons of remote working include:

  • Loneliness –you won’t have your coworkers to collaborate with and talk to during the day
  • Overworking – with your work always at home, it will never truly leave you and you can technically be working all hours of the day
  • Underworking – without face-to-face interactions with your boss or manager, your accountability will naturally decrease and could lead to less productivity
  • Limited team building – as a remote worker, you are your own team

With both many pros and cons to remote working, you must be aware of all of the elements that stem from location-independent careers when deciding if it is the right move for your career.

 

The post Should You Apply for a Remote Job? appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Guest post by Jackie Edwards

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

There are currently over 133 million US LinkedIn users with access to around 3 million active job listings on the site. There’s clearly plenty of supply and demand in the online work space but how do you make your profile stand out on such a crowded platform? You are probably aware of how to employer-proof your social media accounts but getting your LinkedIn profile just right requires some careful and strategic planning. However, if you get your page set up correctly then you may even find that the perfect employer comes straight to you.

How to Build an Effective Profile

Be very careful with the language you use on your LinkedIn page. Making your page too generic will just blend it into the background. The word ‘motivated’ is one of the most overused words on the site so make sure you are clever with the vocabulary that you use to sell yourself and show off how unique you are. You can make your LinkedIn profile powerful by grabbing attention with a creative headline and an effective summary but you need to ensure that your page is searchable. Think about what words you would search for if you were looking for an employee for the type of roles you are attracted to.

Employers are Constantly Searching for New Talent

LinkedIn report published in November 2017 showed that hiring rates are 24.1%  higher than this time last year. As soon as your resume lands in a potential employers inbox, you can be sure that the first thing they will do is check you LinkedIn profile. The unique selling point of the social media platform is its connections, and they really do work both ways. Your new employer can see if you have any mutual connections who can vouch for your skills, while you are able to virtually network your way to an interview with just the right person.

Job Searching Doesn’t Have to be so Hard

LinkedIn is the essential tool for job seekers in today’s working world. It’s not enough to simply have a profile on the site, you need to know enough to be able to ensure you are using LinkedIn to its full potential. LinkedIn is like a Google for employers and they are always searching for new hires online as it allows them to vet potential candidates quickly and all in one convenient location.

Employers are Busy People

Getting your page found is only half the battle and in order for employers to stay on your page long enough to see that you are the employee for them, you  need to have the right skills and attributes displayed on your page in an easy to digest way. Recruiters don’t have time to sift through lengthy pieces of text so being concise is really key here. First impressions have never mattered so much and once your new employer has found you, you definitely want them to like what they see.

The post Landing Your Dream Job: How to Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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When considering the best next step in your career, freelancing might be an option, but it’s not for everyone. For starters, it requires being adaptable, patient, and good at working alone.  For some, it can be a great source of career opportunities. How do you know if freelancing is right for you?

The folks over at MoneyGuru developed a quiz to help determine if you could be a good match with freelancing opportunities. Check it out here:


Quiz Maker – powered by Riddle

The post Is Freelancing Right for You? appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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What is a Comfort Zone?

A comfort zone is your behavioral space where activities and actions stay within familiar routines and patterns to ultimately minimize stress and risk. We’ve all heard the clichéd (but often true) nudge to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s an age-old psychological concept that has helped many people embrace risk and make changes in life that often lead to increased personal growth.

Why Step Outside A Comfort Zone?

Living inside of your comfort zone can result in a consistent, steady state of well being while stepping out of your comfort zone into new and uncertain positions will create conditions for more optimal and unexpected performance. Psychologists have proven that a little anxiety and nervous preparation can help us perform at our peak. In other words, when we challenge ourselves, we tend to rise to the occasion.

Regardless if you are thinking of switching career fields, starting the job searching process, or focused on climbing the ranks at your current company, it is important to understand that feeling uncomfortable in pressure-filled situations is not only normal, but an opportunity for personal growth. Career progression doesn’t always feel comfortable, but the tough interview questions, big presentations, and unexpected opportunities allow us to grow. Learning how to embrace these moments will help for the next time we find ourselves outside of our comfort zone.

The benefits of handling an uncomfortable challenge are many:

  • Learn how to perform at your peak “optimal anxiety” level
  • Benefit from a lifetime of growth and transformation
  • Boost your creativity and future chances of risk and reward, and
  • Achieve improved well-being as you age.

Stepping out of your secure space can feel daunting and finding your own unique method to foster confidence will vary from simple mental preparations to little physical distractions. Through trial and error, you’ll find and learn which life-hacks best support your needs when pressure calls.

Tommy John, the experts in premium men’s underwear, are advocates of comfort, support, and confidence for all – no matter the stress, the excitement, or the uncertainty of a situation. They’ve created the following infographic with tips for handling six physically uncomfortable scenarios:

The post Outside of Your Comfort Zone: Tackling Uncomfortable Situations appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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I’ve written in the past about being careful with your social media accounts when it comes to job hunting. The majority of employers today are looking at candidates’ social media accounts. It can’t be reiterated enough that what you post, tweet, share, and chat about online can come back to haunt you.  I always recommend making your accounts private, but that’s not even a fool-proof strategy because a screenshot of something can always be forwarded and things can be misinterpreted or misconstrued.

On the flipside, your social media presence can sway a hiring decision in your favor.  The School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Stevenson University has put together a great infographic that outlines what to do on your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts to make a positive impact with potential employers. Let’s face it:  if we know they’re going to be viewing our profiles, let’s make it count. I think Stevenson’s advice for each platform is spot-on.

LinkedIn is the go-to site for professional networking and as such, your account should be complete. This is a great place to include honors and awards that help you stand out from your peers.

While Facebook is generally a personal site, do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Be careful what you post and comment on.

Twitter can add to your credibility when done correctly. Tweet intelligently and thoughtfully. Do not engage in debates that risk becoming less than professional.

Take a look at their infographic below for additional tips on each of these three social media platform:

This infographic was created by Stevenson University Online

The post Tips to Employer-Proof Your Social Media appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Allied Van Lines surveyed 3,500 respondents about relocating for a job to find out who relocates and why and then dived into the demographics of those who did move for a new job. Their infographic with those facts as well as other interesting statistics is shown partly below and can be found here in full.

It turns out the strong majority of respondents had never relocated for a job, but those that did, the most popular reasons were for financial reasons or career advancement. vital facts one may think about when considering a relocation. The survey asked about gender, age, the size of the company, whether relocation assistance was offered, and if so, which type. The decision to relocate is a hard one, but then the process itself comes with challenges. Allied asked its respondents about those as well.

The survey’s analysis of the different types of relocation assistance and how often each was offered can prove helpful when negotiating a relocation package.

Jump over to Allied’s survey page to read the full analysis.

The post Relocating to a New City for a Job: Who, Why, and How appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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September is International Update Your Résumé Month sponsored by Career Directors International.  It’s a good time to reflect on your career achievements over the past year and add them to your career portfolio. This will ensure they won’t be overlooked when you’re ready to revise your personal marketing documents.

Download this complimentary Annual Career Profile Update to help refresh your memory of any new training you received, or significant contributions you made to your firm. Take a moment to fill it out and keep it in your files along with your existing résumé — or use it to make a resume update now while the material is fresh in your mind.

The post September is Update Your Resume Month appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Laurie was recently asked to share her single most important piece of resume advice for an expert panel post published by Job Search Bible. Whether you’re in the middle of a resume update or it’s in your plans for the future, take a look at Laurie’s advice as well as that of her colleagues for a refresher on what matters most in resumes today.  This is a great post to bookmark or forward to someone currently conducting a job search.

The post Resume advice from the experts — just for you! appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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I’ve written in the past about the value of seasonal side jobs. The following is a guest post by Jackie Edwards, an editor, researcher, and writer, who’s held many jobs over the years.

As a working mother with two small children, she feels it’s important to make others in similar situations aware of the issues seasonal workers might face, especially those with families to raise. With that in mind, she wrote a post that helps people who work in seasonal jobs understand their rights and how their work affects them in terms of claiming benefits. She shared the following highlights for my readers. You can read her full post here: http://aboutunemployment.org/unemployment-rules-seasonal-workers/

Do You Qualify for Unemployment Benefits if You are a Seasonal Worker?

Not everybody has a full-time job all year round. Some people work as farmers, gardeners, tourism workers, and fishermen whose services are only required during certain seasons. As seasonal workers typically work less over the course of a year, they are more likely to experience financial instability, yet they are not eligible for certain benefits that are available to full-time employees. However, in some situations, they may qualify for unemployment benefits, which can help improve their financial situations significantly during the off-season. So, can you get unemployment benefits if you are a seasonal worker?

Eligibility Requirements for Seasonal Unemployment Benefits

  • Duration of Employment

The requirements that seasonal workers have to meet in order to qualify for unemployment benefits vary from one state to another. However, there are basic rules that apply to most situations. The US Department of Labor states that seasonal workers have to meet the requirements of their states for wages earned and time worked during a certain length of time, which is typically the first four of the previous five calendar quarters before they file their claims. This means that the duration of your employment has a direct impact on your eligibility for seasonal unemployment benefits.

Unemployment Rules for Seasonal Workers

  • Reasons for Unemployment

The state will look into the reasons for your unemployment when it is deciding whether or not to provide you with unemployment benefits. In order to qualify, you need to prove that you are unemployed due to no fault of your own, and you have been actively seeking employment while you are unemployed. Also, you must be physically able to work and immediately available to take up a job.

  • Independent Contractors

If you are an independent contractor who works seasonally or irregularly, you will not be able to get unemployment benefits. This is because you are considered a self-employed person under the Small Business Administration’s definition of independent contractor.

Availability of Unemployment Benefits for Seasonal Workers

According to CNN, many states are stripping seasonal workers of their eligibility for unemployment because of insufficient funds. In fact, 15 states have established laws to prevent or restrict seasonal workers from getting benefits. For instance, in New Jersey, unemployment benefits are only accessible to workers who perform certain types of jobs.

If you want to know whether or not you are eligible for unemployment benefits, you can call or visit the website of your state’s department of labor to find out more specific details.

The post Do you qualify for unemployment benefits if you’re a seasonal worker? appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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Many folks find themselves out of the job market at some point or another, sometimes for just a short amount of time and other times for longer. Reasons range from starting a family to health concerns to family and personal obligations, going to school, travel and more.

Whether you’ve taken a break from the job force willingly or not, it can be tough to head back to the full-time grind.

Resume Revamp

Regardless of the reason for your hiatus, your resume will need to reflect the gap. Though you can go further in depth on your time away from the workforce, your resume and cover letter should explain what you did during your time away. You can also highlight any transferable skills you may have gained during your time off.

It may be worthwhile to seek out a resume writing professional to help you organize your resume in a logical fashion — for example, a functional resume instead of a chronological resume based on your individual circumstance. While functional resumes tend to focus on your skills as opposed to the dates that you were employed, they can also be a red flag to potential employers who think you might be trying to hide a large gap or a series of jumps. For this reason, a hybrid of the two resume formats has sometimes been the best answer for some of my clients.

Interview Prep

Once your resume is completed and put out there, it’s wise to take some time to prepare for any interviews you may land. In addition to preparing answers for common interview questions, it’s also wise to print out five copies of your resume to bring to an interview (because you never know who is going to show up, it’s better to have too many rather than not enough).

Additionally, you should put some time into your appearance, because when we look our best we feel our best. Choose a professional-looking outfit that is freshly cleaned and pressed, along with clean shoes. Women should consider minimal jewelry and a natural-looking manicure while men should be clean shaven. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

A New Approach

Before jumping in head first to a new job, consider what best fits your current lifestyle. For example, if you quit your previous position because you didn’t enjoy it, now is as good a time as ever to choose a new path.

Today, more than ever, options for non-traditional or remote working opportunities are available. For example, Amway offers a unique way to generate income on your own time and your own terms. This can be particularly helpful for folks who have an entrepreneurial spirit and seek greater flexibility.

This comprehensive education program is a great way to sharpen your job skills while also generating income on your own time. Furthermore, Amway offers top-notch education and training to help get your business off the ground. The intensive curriculum was created to put Amway Independent Business owners at the forefront of success from the time they join, as well as a focus on communication, building your business and more. The training program can help folks gain valuable skills both personally and professionally, which they can take with them wherever they go in life.

Entrepreneurship is growing at a faster rate than ever and, according to statistics, millennials under 35 were the most excited to become business owners. Self-employment is a lucrative way to do what you love, when you want and to generate an unlimited income potential. And it shows no signs of slowing down.

The post Tips for re-entering the job force after a hiatus appeared first on Sterling Career Concepts.

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