One of the biggest problems I have in my freelance career is selling myself. First of all, I have a problem with impostor syndrome. But the other issue is that I’m unsure of how to talk myself up without sounding like an arrogant braggart.
No one likes a braggart, but, at the same time, when you’re trying to advance in your career, you are often required to toot your own horn. You need to show that you are a valuable addition to the team. It’s especially important to be able to show your value when you are asking for a pay raise. If you want to sell yourself, you need to be ready to say good things about what you’ve done. At the same time, though, you need to be able to temper your recital so that you don’t come across as arrogant.
1. Use Facts to Quantify Your Accomplishments
Rather than talking about yourself in a subjective manner, such as telling someone that you are the “best” at what you do, offer concrete examples of successes. In my case, I can point to high-profile publications that I’ve written for to demonstrate my experience and skill as a freelancer.
If you are a salesperson, your numbers are important. You can show how much revenue you’ve brought to the company. Consider your career accomplishments and how you can quantify them in a way that sounds like you are simply stating basic facts, rather than bragging about how awesome you are. Point out that you worked on a large project that received a great response. Point to a successful campaign you managed that brought in thousands of extra pageviews for a client’s website. Whenever possible, show numbers and concrete examples. This makes you appear more objective, and provides hard data for a decision-maker to consider.
2. Ask Someone to Speak on Your Behalf
Recently, during a conversation I was having online about a job opportunity, my business partner saw that I was back-pedaling and not selling myself at all. I was worried about sounding arrogant and over-selling myself. He jumped in and made a few comments about the quality of my work, and where I appear.
Sometimes, it works better to have someone else speak up on your behalf. If a co-worker compliments you on how helpful you were with a certain project, you can ask them to email the boss. When a client is satisfied with the work you’ve done, ask if they would be willing to provide a written testimonial that you can publish or include with your promotional materials.
Getting someone else to sing your praises not only allows you to be a little more modest about your accomplishments, but it is really attention-grabbing when you can show that others are so satisfied with you that they will go out of their way to express that satisfaction.
However, you can’t rely on the person to just do this on their own. Often, they don’t even think about the possibility of sharing the experience. Since it probably won’t occur to them, you can just say something like, “I’m glad you are happy with what I’ve provided. Would you mind providing a testimonial, or sending a quick email to my boss?”
With the right approach, you can prove your value without sounding like you’re bragging. And that’s something you can usually take to the bank.
How do you feel about selling yourself? Leave a comment!
Many of us like the idea of early retirement. We have visions of relaxing on a beach somewhere, enjoying our money. However, this might not be the case when you retire early. In fact, early retirement could actually result in higher medical bills.
According to a recent study reported on CNN Money, retiring at age 62 instead of age 65 means an additional $51,000 in medical expenses.
Of course, most of us don’t consider retiring at age 62 as early retirement. Most of us think of early retirement as something that happens between the ages of 45 and 55. So the problem is even bigger, because the $51,000 figure comes because Medicare coverage doesn’t kick in until age 65. So if you plan to retire 10 or 20 years before you are eligible for Medicare, your healthcare expenses could be a very big deal.
How to Deal with Medical Expenses in Early Retirement
If you are serious about retiring early, you have to consider the medical aspect of the situation. You are likely to be surprised how much health insurance costs, and how much you pay in medical expenses, once you no longer have access to your employer-subsidized plan.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
If you are in good health, you might be able to get an affordable health insurance plan on one of the state-run healthcare exchanges set up after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA – also called “Obamacare”).
You can also look into COBRA coverage from your former workplace, but the reality is that COBRA insurance is often quite expensive. It’s probably not a bad idea to visit your state’s health exchange for more information and possible coverage.
Another possibility is to make use of a Health Savings Account (HSA). Now, before you decide to retire, set aside money in one of these accounts.
For 2014, the contribution for an individual is $3,300 and for a family the limit is $6,550.
If you have a high-deductible health plan right now, and you qualify for the HSA, it can make sense. Your contribution is tax-deductible, providing you with an immediate tax benefit. On top of that, you also have the advantage of tax-free growth. As long as you withdraw the money for qualified healthcare expenses, you don’t have to pay taxes on it.
If you are contemplating early retirement, the use of the HSA is a great way to prepare for future expenses. It’s one of the best accounts out there when it comes to saving up for medical costs.
“Working” During Retirement
You might also consider working during retirement. This doesn’t have to be a “traditional” job. Consider consulting, freelancing, or starting a business. This can provide you with a little extra cash flow to help you cover healthcare costs, and you can choose to do something you love that also keeps you busy.
Saving Money During Retirement
And, of course, you need to save money as much as you can. If you plan on an early retirement, you will need to factor increased medical costs on top of your other expense calculations. It makes sense to set aside an extra amount of money in an effort to boost your nest egg.
If you haven’t consider the extra health care costs that come with early retirement, there’s a good chance you aren’t saving enough.
So there you have it. Are you still considering an early retirement? Leave a comment and tell us why or why not!
Many of us don’t want a career that is “just” a job. Instead, many of us like the idea of fitting a career into a lifestyle. If you are tired of taking whatever job comes your way, here is what you can do to change things up and figure out which career is best for your lifestyle:
1. Pinpoint Your Values
The first thing you need to do is get down to some serious introspection. What do you value? What are your strengths? What do you want out of life? The reality is that you won’t ever get a job you enjoy – and that fits with your lifestyle – unless you understand what you want.
Take a look at what’s important to you, and then look for careers that match your values. If you like helping people, there are a number of careers – from teaching to healthcare – that allow you to do that. Figure out what makes you “tick” and then focus on a career that fits into that mindset.
This is also the step that requires you to take a look at your desired lifestyle, including the hours you work each week. If you don’t want to work 70 hours a week because spending time with your family is more important to you, then you’ll need to factor that in.
You’ll also need to consider the lifestyle changes you are willing to make as a result of these values. If you are willing to accept less money for more flexibility and more time to yourself, you might need to change the way you spend money.
2. Discover Training You Need
In some cases, you might already have some of the training you need to begin a career that appeals to you. In other cases, you might need additional training.
Find out what qualifications are required for your desired career, and then figure out how you will make that training happen.
You might need to take a few classes to get a specific certification, or you may need to get a degree. Be realistic about what’s possible, though. There are times when you might need to rethink your specific career path and figure out if another career path can help you reach your goals and live according to your values without spending too much money.
Another possibility is to look for ways to pay for your training. An employer might be willing to reimburse your costs, or you might be able to get student aid to help you along.
3. Start Your Own Business
There are times when the answer is simple: Start your own business. You can do your best to start a business that allows you to live your desired lifestyle while having the career you want.
While you don’t want to put your current income stream in jeopardy, you can still, during your free time, research different business ideas and figure out what you might be able to do in order to make it work. Sometimes, the perfect career is the one you create for yourself.
No matter what path you decide to take, though, it makes sense to pay attention to what’s available, and then make a plan to get into the career you want.
What are some steps you’re taking to find the right career for you? Leave a comment!
One of the most stressful aspects of the job search is the salary negotiation. However, it is often a necessary part of the job search. Trying to come to an equitable agreement with a company is important.
On the one hand, you don’t want a company to decide you’re too expensive and decide not to hire you after all. On the other hand, you don’t want to sell yourself short and end up underpaid and unhappy at your new job. Nothing hastens burnout like feeling as though you aren’t getting paid enough.
If you want to avoid some of thorniest issues related to salary negotiation, it makes sense to remember the soft benefits when negotiating salary. Rather than looking at your salary only as the number describing your income, consider the total compensation package, and focus on soft benefits when you feel as though you are stalling during your negotiations. Considering soft benefits is an important part of your negotiations, especially if you are having a hard time agreeing on an actual salary.
What Are Soft Benefits?
Soft benefits are those benefits that aren’t readily apparent when it comes to salary. They are sometimes considered perks. Even so, they can be quite valuable and worth having. Some of the items that qualify as soft benefits include:
- Flex time
- Daycare for your children
- Unpaid leave
- Vacation days
- Gym membership or access
- Discounted services
- Ability to telecommute for part of the week
- Health benefits
For some, a good health plan is worth lower pay. Also, would you be willing to work for $5,000 less per year if you could telecommute three times a week? It would save you money on gas and clothing costs. Not only that, but you wouldn’t have the same commute, and you could spend more time at home. Other workers value a flexible schedule. If you can work your schedule so that you come in or leave a little earlier or later, depending on what you need to do that day, it might be worth it to accept a lower salary.
Rather than getting too hung up on hitting a specific number, look at the entire picture. Are there special perks for working at the company? I know a couple who works for a company that has an on-site gym and offers one free meal a day in the cafeteria (the food is good). Another friend works for a company that provides daycare. My friend can check in on his child on break, and there is no worry about what is happening during the day. These types of benefits and perks can be worth more than a little more money each year.
It’s never fun to negotiate pay, but see if you can find some common ground by negotiating soft benefits. You can enjoy life more, provide for your needs, and end up more satisfied with your job – even if it doesn’t pay what you originally thought it would.
What are some other soft benefits that would attract you to a job? Leave a comment!
One of the essentials when it comes to finding a new job or advancing your career is the connections you make. Networking is an important part of career advancement, no matter what stage you are at. In fact, even when you are self-employed, it’s important to learn how to effectively network and connect with others.
If you want to connect quickly with others, and let them know what you do – and how you do it – it’s a good idea to develop a short personal statement or an elevator pitch. This is something that you can tell people who ask you what you do, or who ask you who you are.
The idea is to convey your competence, and quickly be able to show the person you are talking with that you are the right person for the job – or at least that you are the right person for someone else. When you have a good elevator pitch, it’s easy for others to see where you might fit. It’s a great networking tool that allows others to see if you might work for a friend of a friend, even if you aren’t quite right for the organization at hand.
Create Your Elevator Pitch
Think about how to briefly describe who you are or what you do. When I’m not talking with bloggers, I use an elevator pitch that basically boils down to: “I’m a freelance journalist. I provide content to a variety of financial sites.”
Keeping your elevator pitch short is key. My description of myself and what I do keeps things simple, but it tells others what I do. The fact that I use a keyword like journalist automatically implies certain things about me, and confers a bit of credibility. I sometimes follow up with specific sites that I’ve written for, or that my work has appeared in. Being able to say, “I provide content to financial sites like MSN Money and US News and World Report” is a helpful variation on my elevator pitch. I can also say something like, “My work has been linked to from The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.”
Consider how you can keep things short and simple, while at the same time conveying useful information that others will find attractive. Develop different versions of your elevator pitch so that you can adapt to different situations. What I tell a blogger, who understands the world of personal finance blogging, is slightly different to what I tell someone who isn’t steeped in the world of online publishing.
Think about various audiences, and develop three or four different pitches that can be used. Also, take the time to think of ways you can elaborate once the conversation gets going. While you don’t want to sound like a robot, you do want to be prepared.
Your Online Elevator Pitch
Don’t forget that, in the job hunt, how you present yourself online matters as well. Your social media profiles act as a sort of online elevator pitch. You should keep the description of what you do short and to the point. Someone coming across your LinkedIn profile, Google Plus profile, or your Twitter account should be able to quickly see what you do.
With so many recruiters and employers looking online, it makes sense to consider how you look in these situations. Crafting your online description should take into account the purpose of your profile, and what you hope to accomplish. Spend some time tweaking your online elevator pitch as well as what you intend to deliver in person, and you’ll make better career connections.
It sometimes seems as if everyone wants to retire early, or maybe it just seems that way on financial blogs. Most people seem to agree that it’s a good thing to do, but we’re going to be contrary today and consider reasons why you might not. In fact, there are arguments against early retirement, solid ones at that.
1. Early retirement preparation will impair your early years.
Relatively few people retire early in life. The simple explanation for that: Early retirement requires far more sacrifice early in life than most people are willing to make.
Truth be told, in order to retire early, you won’t be able to make it happen by saving 10% of your income, or even 20%. You’ll almost certainly have to save something more like 40%, 50%, or even more. And that’s not just for two years or three or even five – you’ll have to do that for at least 20 years, probably more like 25 or 30.
Not everyone has that kind of discipline. What’s more, most people aren’t willing to trade off their youth for a better life in middle age. To illustrate the point, if you want to retire at age 50, you’ll probably need to become a committed saver no later than age 25. Most people haven’t figure out exactly what they want to do with her lives, or even how they want to live their lives at that age. Making that kind of commitment – which involves giving up a quarter of a century of your life, and most of your youth – is more than most people can stand.
2. Your best efforts may not be enough to get you there.
Let’s take that last point a step further. Let’s say that you spend 25 years preparing to retire at age 50. You do everything that you need to do – you live beneath your means, you live one step above a homeless person, you save more than 50% of your income, and you invest it faithfully. What happens if there’s a stock market crash when you turn 45?
Your grand retirement at age 50 may get pushed back to 55, or even 60. At that point early retirement is starting to look like normal retirement. That may not be a bad thing, but if you gave up the best years of your life to make it happen, you’ll have paid a high price for something that’s fairly normal.
There other factors that can derail the best laid early retirement plans. For example, it’s one thing to plan early retirement if you are either single, or married and childless. But if a child or two come in to the picture, the plan may go right out the window.
Even apart from children, you could get snagged by a career crisis that drains of some of your resources. You can also have a major medical event – either for yourself, your spouse, or a close loved one – that will soak up big chunk of your savings.
The point is, no plan – no matter how well carried out – is guaranteed to work. If you’re working diligently to provide yourself an early retirement, you’ll be giving up more than money to make it happen – you be giving up a big chunk of your life.
3. Early retirement increases the chance of outliving your money – dramatically.
The thought of out-living their money is a serious consideration for all who would retire. But if your plan is early retirement, that issue becomes even more complicated.
If you retire at age 65, you’ll probably have to provide for yourself for something like 20 years. But if you retire early at 50, you’re looking at covering 35 years. Unless you are a financial wizard, it may not be possible to provide for that many years on the strength of investment income alone. Markets rise and fall, and sometimes you’re distracted by other events that interfere with your investment success.
Many people who retire early in life find that their exit from the world of work is only temporary. Five, or 10, or 15 years after early retirement, they find themselves back in the workforce.
4. The need for a purpose in life.
Some people talk about early retirement as though they hate their work and want a way out. Early retirement becomes the default path to freedom.
But what if you don’t hate your work? In fact, what if you actually like your work?
That’s a complication in the early retirement scheme. We don’t just work to pay the bills – our work often fills other roles in our lives, emotional ones that we don’t fully understand. For example, work is a form of contribution to the human race – it’s our contribution. It’s also our connection to the world around us. Oh sure, there other ways to connect with the world, but work has a way of making a connection more intimate than other methods. It’s a form of interdependence between us and the world around us.
There are even some among us who feel that we have something to contribute to the world, something maybe extraordinary. Our work is our way to bring it about. Early retirement would short-circuit that desire.
Early retirement could remove those silent advantages that work provides.
5. Balance is always the key in life.
We all have opinions, and mine is no more valid than anyone else’s. But I tend to think that the recent emphasis on early retirement is way overblown. At its deepest level, it’s trading youth for a large enough pile of money to not have to work for the second half of your life. You can engage in something like that, but you have to carefully consider the cost of doing so.
I think that balance should be the real key in life. That means you live your life – and youth – as well as you reasonably can, while making a provision for the future. That’s similar to what people normally do by saving money in emergency funds, and for retirement – but at a more reasonable rate (the more typical 10% or 20% pay).
By doing that, you are enjoying the benefits of today, while making preparations for tomorrow. You’re trying to live a good life now, rather than delaying everything into your later years. In a way, early retirement is a form of back-loading your life, and that isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Given that we never know how long we’ll live – or what the quality of that time will be – it doesn’t seem that building your finances around early retirement is entirely worth the trade-off.
But that’s just me. What’s your thought on early retirement? Is it worth what you’re giving up to get, or do you agree it’s best to find some kind of balance over the course of your life? Leave a comment!
With more than $1 trillion outstanding in student debt (some of it mine!), it’s no surprise that many college grads and others are trying to figure out how to repay their loans.
For those with jobs that allow it, the next question is whether or not it makes sense to pay off student loans early. If you have student loans, carefully consider your own situation, as well as the general pros and cons associated with repaying your student debt early.
Saving Money on Interest
The first consideration is how much you could save. By putting extra money toward your student loans each month, you can pay them off earlier, and save money in interest. Cutting the term of your loan in half can save you thousands of dollars in interest. That’s a strong argument in favor of paying off your student loans as early as possible.
However, before you tackle your student loan debt, it’s a good idea to look at other types of debt. If you are paying 13% interest on credit card debt, it makes more financial sense to pay off that debt first, before attacking your student loan with 7% interest. Make sure that any student loan pay-down plan takes into account your other debts. Your student loan debt reduction should be coordinated with the rest of your debt pay-down plan.
What Else Could You Do With the Money?
If you have a student loan that has a higher interest rate, of between 6% and 12%, it does make sense to pay it off early. However, my student loans were consolidated back in 2005. Not only were interest rates on student loans much lower then, but my servicer knocked down my rate when I signed up for automatic payments, and dropped it again after I made 36 on-time payments. As a result, my rate is locked in at less than 2%. Even counting inflation and taxes, my investment portfolio is doing better than that. Instead of putting extra money toward paying down the student debt, I’ve increased my retirement account contributions. Over time, putting that money toward investing makes more financial sense than paying off my student debt early.
Another consideration is the fact that I also get a tax deduction for the interest I pay on my student loan. With higher-rate student loans, that tax deduction isn’t really worth it, unless you use it to your advantage while you pay off other, higher-rate debt. In my situation, paying off the student loans isn’t a priority because of the low rate and the tax deduction. I have other things to do with the money.
Peace of Mind
Of course, there is no price that can be put on peace of mind. Even with the financial advantages I see to not rushing to pay off my student loan debt, others couldn’t live with it hanging over them. Instead, they would feel better with the idea of being completely debt free. And there are risks to keeping the student loans around. My income situation could change, and then I wouldn’t be able to make payments. However, I have emergency-type funds, and with federal student loans, it’s a little easier to get a deferment than it is for other types of debt.
In the end, you need to look at your situation and decide what works best for you – what you are most likely to be comfortable with. Paying off your student loans early is a big decision, and it is one that you should carefully consider.
How about you? Are you going to pay off your student loans early? Leave a comment!
After you finish your job search and are ready to start at your new position, it’s important to assimilate to the situation. Sometimes, integrating into the company culture can be difficult. It’s important to jump into your job and become a part of your new position so that you fit in, and can quickly become an important part of the team.
Ford R. Myers, a career coach and author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring, offers six tips that can help you assimilate to your new job within 90 days.
1. Establish and Maintain Positive Relationships with Your Coworkers
First, do your best to establish positive relationships with your coworkers. But it doesn’t stop there. “Develop good communication habits to maintain those relationships,” Myers suggests. This is one of the best ways to become part of the company culture and begin finding allies and partners in your new work environment.
2. Produce Tangible Results and Keep Commitments
Next, look for ways to produce tangible results. Show that your contributions are valuable to the company, and keep your commitments. This means that you need to know your limits, and avoid making promises that you can’t keep.
3. Communicate Well With Others
This goes beyond just maintaining positive relationships with your new coworkers. You need to be able to communicate with your superiors as well. And your communication goes beyond just keeping them informed. You need to carefully communicate the progress you are making as well, so that your bosses can see that they made a good decision in hiring you, and so that you feel the sense of accomplishment that will allow you to continue enjoying your work.
4. Build Your Network
“Begin building your in-house contact network by cultivating connections with everyone,” says Myers. This doesn’t mean that you have to be everyone’s best friend, but it does mean it’s a good idea to find common ground, and develop professional connections with as many people as you can. Integrate yourself into the team, and be helpful. You’ll gain a good reputation and others will want to work with you.
5. Balance Your Work Life and Health Life
Myers understands that part of enjoying your new job is maintaining your work/life balance (classic article link, think about smartphones . . . ). While you do want to give a good portion of your energy and effort to your new position, it’s also important that you remember to enjoy life. You will be more productive and happier at work if you take care of your life needs as well. Plus, you can avoid burnout if you are careful about maintaining that balance.
6. Review Your Job Description with Your Manager
Finally, make sure you have a meeting with your manager a couple weeks into your job to evaluate where you stand. You can also work on fine-tuning your job description and responsibilities. That way you can fit yourself into the job better, and maybe even work on helping the job fit you. This discussion can ensure that everyone is happy with your integration into the company.
Ultimately, though, says Myers, you need to move beyond the day-to-day work tasks. “This is the approach that is so essential, not just to maximize your chances of success within the first 90 days, but also for successful, long-term career management.”
How are you assimilating into your new job? Is it going okay? Leave a comment and let us know!
With so many options out there for credit cards, it makes sense to shop around and find the card that works best for you. The good news is that the Internet provides you with opportunities to find the right card for you, based on your own preferences. Here are some tips for getting the best result when you look for a credit card:
Make Sure You Have Good Credit
The first thing to do is to make sure that you have good credit. You are more likely to get the credit card you want when you have good credit. Those with excellent credit get access to the cards with the best rewards programs and signing bonuses.
Make it a point to make your payments on time and in full, and to keep your credit utilization fairly low. That way, you can manage your credit in a way that provides you with the best possible outcome for your finances.
Know Your Current Situation and Financial Needs
The reality is that you shouldn’t have a rewards credit card unless you have no consumer debt, and you don’t carry a balance. If you have debt, you might be better off with a balance transfer card. You will need to have a plan to pay off the balance before the interest rate rises, though.
Be realistic about your situation. If you know that you will pay off your balance each month, then a rewards card can be right for you. However, you need to be honest with yourself. If your interest charges will habitually offset your rewards, rethink the rewards card.
Also, think about which rewards would be most useful to you. This includes your signing bonus. If you travel frequently, and can get a card with a generous miles program, it makes sense to sign up for the big bonus, and then earn more points as you move forward. This can result in free trips. I know people who don’t ever pay for airfare because they can get it with their rewards.
Others find that cash back cards make more sense for them, since they regularly spend on things that offer cash back. Rotating category cards can require that you pay attention, though, so if you aren’t likely to sign up for the categories each quarter, these might not make sense. If you do most of your spending on everyday items like groceries and gas, it can make sense to get a card with tiered rewards so that you can get more cash back for the things you spend on anyway.
And don’t forget about perks and protections. Many cards offer rental car insurance coverage, or extended warranties on items you buy.
Ask for Better Terms
You can use the Internet to find a card that works for you, or even call an issuer. Card aggregators allow you to enter your preferences and can help you find what works for you. You can also talk to someone at an issuer to get an idea of what might fit your needs.
While you’re at it, though, see if you can get better terms. One of my card issuers has permanently waived the annual fee – just because I asked. Others might be willing to give you a lower rate, or waive other fees. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and you can use a deal offered by another issuer or on another card to help create the perfect card for you.
What are you looking for in a credit card? Leave a comment!
The average unemployed person in America has looked for work for 39.7 weeks, or more than nine months. That is the longest average unemployment spell since the Labor Department started keeping track way back in 1948.
So, how long have you been without work? Does it seem as if there are no jobs available at all? Has the idea of starting your own business crossed your mind? Maybe it should. Self-employment may be the best option after a layoff. And sometimes, it’s the only option.
1. Your layoff may be part of an industry-wide slowdown.
What’s going on in your industry? Is it possible that management was really telling you the truth when they said there’s no work? Sometimes – and in some industries – that’s exactly what’s happening. It isn’t anything you did or didn’t do.
If your job loss was the result of an industry problem, there may be no job to return to. Your only choice may be to leave the industry entirely, and to start fresh somewhere else. If you have to make that big of a career transition, you might want to consider self-employment.
2. Industries that layoff people are often looking for contractors to fill the void.
Even if there is an industry wide slowdown in your area or field, that can help you along with self-employment. Employers who lay off regular employees often make liberal use of subcontractors to complete the work that they no longer have employees to cover. This could be the beginning of your own business.
Contact employers in your industry and offer your services on a contract basis. This may be especially productive if you try to work with smaller employers. They have specific jobs that need to be done, and they may welcome your offer to work as a contractor. This can be especially beneficial to them as this will avoid the need to hire someone on a full-time basis, with the built-in requirements of payroll taxes, insurance and benefits.
Once you land one client on a contract basis, you can work on finding a second, and then a third. At that point, you’ll be self-employed. Mission accomplished!
3. Hedging your bets against a job that may never appear.
If you have been unemployed for more than a few months, and finding very few solid prospects, you may need to confront the reality that you are done in that field or industry. Unfortunately, this fact often doesn’t make itself clear until well after the fact, when many months have passed and you realize that your attempts to find a new job were never going anywhere.
Don’t be willing to give up on the search too easily. But you can use self-employment as an alternative strategy, just in case there really are no jobs. If you build a business while you’re looking for a job, you’ll be setting yourself up for two potential options. Either you will find the job that you’re looking for, or you will create a viable business that will eliminate the need for a job.
And if it turns out that the job you were looking for was never actually there, you’ll have already done what you need to in order to deal with the situation.
4. You may not have anything better to do while you’re looking for a job.
The reality in virtually any job field is that there are only a limited number of potential employers. And there’s only so much that you can do in an attempt to reach them. What do you do with the rest of your time?
Well, you can sit around and worry – but that’ll be completely counterproductive. You can fill your days with busy work, but that won’t get much done either. You can also spend your time applying for a bunch of jobs you’re not qualified for, and that will just get you a great big pile of rejection letters.
Or you could use it to do something productive.
By working on building your own business – while you are looking for a new job – you will be developing skills and building new contacts. You’ll also be learning a lot about yourself – you may come to realize that you’re capable much more than you’ve ever shown in the past.
And even if you do find a new full-time job, you may decide to keep your business as a side venture. You never know when you may need it again in the future, and in the meantime, you can always use a little bit of extra cash.
Converting Your Job Skills Into A Business
Probably the biggest dilemma for most people to start their own business is deciding exactly what kind of business they’ll go into. This can be a tough decision, but you should start with what you know and go from there.
Create a list of all of your salable skills – it doesn’t matter that you’ve never sold direct to the public in the past. If an employer has paid you to do a certain job, that represents a skill that you can convert into an income. Review your resume, and determine exactly what skills you have that found favor with employers in the past.
The key to starting a business is to begin with the skills that you already have. You may need to perfect those skills, or even to add some additional ones, in order to make them salable, either to the public or on a business-to-business level. So be it – these are your strengths and that’s what you need to play into.
You can also take a different approach. Start by thinking long and hard about what it is you want to do for the rest of your life.
Once you make that determination, look at your skills and see which of them will help you in that business. You may be surprised at what you find. And even if you don’t have all the skills that you need, you might be able get where you need to go by adding two or three new skills.
Once you can match your career passion with the necessary skills, you’ll have all that you need to start and run your own business. In the meantime, what do you have to lose?
And if you’re unemployed, that’s something that you need to seriously think about.
Does self-employment sound like a good option to you? Why or why not? Leave a comment!