Inquiring minds want to know!
I got some terrific questions during the Q&A session that followed a recent presentation to several hundred job seekers. Here are the answers to six of the questions that I wanted to share with job seekers and the folks who advise and coach them.
Q1: How do I know if I am cut out to be a remote worker?
A1: Begin by answering these five questions about yourself:
1. Can I motivate myself in the absence of my supervisor being there?
2. What experience do I have with working remotely?
3. How strong are my remote communication skills (phone, email, virtual meeting)?
4. Do I have a strong attention to detail, producing complete assignments without coaching?
5. Do I have a strong sense of urgency and goal-orientation to keep myself productive?
Positive answers to at least four of these questions suggest that you may be effective in working remotely. Learn more: 5 Traits to Look for When Hiring Remote Workers
Q2: What is the craziest idea you’ve heard that has resulted in solid job leads?
A2: This is a novel idea proposed by job seeker David Johnson – crowdsourcing a job! He created a two-hour event (dubbed a Job-a-Thon), recruited a select group of people to the event (equipped with tablets and laptops), and together they had a blast uncovering 25 good job leads. Read all about it in his article, How I Crowdsourced My Job Search to Friends and Ended Up With 25 Solid Leads.
Q3: What are the best TYPES of Websites to search online when looking for a job?
A3: Before you can identify the specific websites you want to visit, consider that job websites fall into a number of different categories, such as:
1. Employer websites on which openings are posted.
2. Career and job search advice websites, such as The Muse and Careerealism.
3. Job boards, such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Simply Hired. These may also offer advice.
4. Specialty job boards, which focus on jobs within specific industries or type of work.
5. Social networks, such as Twitter and its applications like TweetMyJobs.
6. School and alumni groups, whether accessed via LinkedIn or via a college website.
7. Association job boards where professional organizations provide job listings to their members.
Q4: How do I find keywords that provide a perfect match to my ideal job?
A4: The better your list of keywords match what an employer has established in its Applicant Tracking System, the more likely you are to be selected for an interview. Suppose you wanted to work in childcare as a pre-kindergarten teacher. When you looked online you found childcare positions that were located in places where you could not work. You examined a dozen or two such job listings and from them built a more complete list of keywords associated with a pre-kindergarten teacher. As a result, you embedded the keywords in your application, online profile, and résumé. Because you did, you have improved your chances of receiving a call from the employers to whom you’ve applied, as well as possibly attracting interest from employers who find your social profile.
Q5: Should I consider working for a start-up?
A5: Start-up and early stage companies are hiring people every hour. It is easy to look back and see how well the first 100 employees at Apple or Facebook have done with their careers. Yet for every Apple and Facebook, there are hundreds of thousands of start-ups that failed, leaving employees unemployed. While there are many things to love about working at a start-up, there are reasons not to do so. Here are several helpful sites and articles to help you make a more informed decision:
2. What you should know before working for a start-up: 10 Things You Should Know Before Working for a Start-Up; 5 Things You Should Know Before Working at a Start-Up; Joining a Startup? The Top Six Questions You Should Ask
3. Why you should work for a start-up: Five Reasons Why I Work at a Start-Up; 8 Reasons to Choose a Start-Up Over a Corporate Job; 5 Reasons You Should Work for a Start-Up At Least Once
Bottom line: better check the destination BEFORE you buy the ticket! Make sure you are cut out to work for a start-up, and that you can afford the risks.
Q6: Should I consider freelancing?
A6: Freelancing – working for yourself while contracting out your services to an employer – has become a mainstream alternative to traditional employment. Experts suggest that more than a quarter of the workforce freelances today, and that number is projected to rise. It is not uncommon for full and part-time employees to freelance on the side to earn extra income. There are many examples of people who successfully started out freelancing this way, and later turned it into a full-time career.
Pros of freelancing. These include more control over your work; variety in what you do; freedom to accept or reject assignments; being able to keep your own schedule; tax benefits (most work expenses will be tax deductive – check with your tax expert on this); competitive compensation; and exercising your entrepreneurial muscles.
Cons of freelancing. These include dependence upon your ability to generate assignments (this is the big one); the likelihood of inconsistent income; a lack of long-term job security; dealing with the distractions of working on your own; and the initial expenses associated with freelancing (such as equipment and reliable transportation).
As with any career decision you want to fully investigate this option before plunging in. Here are some resources to help educate yourself:
a. My LinkedIn Pulse article on freelancing: The Big, Bright Beautiful World of Freelancing
c. Infographic: How to Figure Out Exactly What to Charge For You Freelance Work
Boyer Management Group works with some of the world’s top employers by helping them get the most out of their talented people. Our extensive leadership development course catalog provides effective skills-building for everyone in the organization, from the new / developing leader to the seasoned C-level executive. Our coaching programs produce significant results in compressed periods of time. We also help job seekers, higher ed, and employment services connect people to better jobs faster. Our acclaimed career development tools, the Job Search Readiness Assessment for experienced professionals/skilled workers and Graduate Employment Preparedness Assessment for students/recent grads both assess and explain over 2,500 career and job search best practices. To find out more, please visit us at www.boyermanagement.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 215-942-0982.