Don’t #Chase The #Money! There Are More #Important Things To Look For In A #Job

There is recent news that the U.S. jobs market has picked up, and many people are looking to change jobs. Most job seekers are described to be looking for either money or advancement, but for what long-term career advantage? Whether or not you’re now looking for a new job, it may be a good time to get ready. What criteria will you use in seeking your next job, and how can you prepare? Here are some pointers.

Don’t chase the money. This is the most fundamental advice of all. The more your focus is on the money, the more you are playing into other people’s ideas about your career and career success. Of course, you will need a basic level of income to live your life, but there are many other considerations you can apply in owning your career. How about, for example, having a more engaging job? Or what about a more worthwhile, family-friendly or socially useful job?

Look for new learning. One fundamental consideration is to look for new learning. A successful job change will close one learning chapter in your career, and open another chapter. Moreover, if you look after your learning, the money will often follow. What learning can you expect to gain from your new job? What career trajectory will that take you on? Will you become more skillful in your occupation, or gain more opportunity to apply your skills in the marketplace? What can new learning mean for you?

Seek new relationships. This proposal complements the one above. Most learning takes place on the job, and much of it will involve other people – mentors to show you the ropes, customers to share their side of the story and occupational peers to give you the benefit of their experience. Aside from any learning consideration, you can also use your existing abilities to build your reputation, and thereby open new doors of opportunity that would otherwise not become available.

Show your commitment. Showing your commitment can make an essential contribution to gaining a job offer. Many young accounting graduates, for example, look alike. Many applicants for CEO positions can look alike, too. So a primary concern of the recruiter is whether you will invest the necessary hours, and show the required initiative to get the job done. You need to make sure you emphasize what your commitment will be, and illustrate that from your past experience.

Say what you would like. This is something that either deferential or cavalier job seekers may avoid. They don’t want to speak out of turn, or haven’t thought things through, so they don’t express their own career interests. If you behave like that, it will work against you. Show an interest in where the recruiting company would like to go, and expect them to show an interest in where you would like to go. If you both do that, you will each be able to recognize a good match.

The issues of money, learning, relationships, commitment and your career future will all be in play in any recruitment process. Moreover, making sure you are clear about what you would like from your next job is important to your career. You will be able to quickly respond to a new job opportunity when it is advertised – and also to network in search of new opportunities before they are advertised!

5 #Reasons Every #Newbie #Freelancer #Needs A #Mentor

When you work as an employee, you often have mentors. This is true, even if there is no formal mentorship program in place. You can nearly always count on your boss or even a more seasoned coworker for guidance and feedback. You may even find someone to help keep you sorted when it comes to your future goals. For freelancers, this doesn’t happen automatically.

This is a shame because freelancers, especially new ones, need mentors just as much as anyone else. Here are five reasons why as well as tips on how you can find potential mentors and build relationships with them.

1. Mentors can provide industry-specific insights

If you can find a mentor who is experienced in your field, they can provide you with insights that you may not get anywhere else. Think of them as kind of being a walking, talking, unofficial guidebook. They know the unspoken truths.

They can, for example, let you know which ‘influencers’ are actually considered to be quite disreputable. A valuable mentor will be able to tell you which tools and training are valued by others, and which are a waste of time.

2. A mentor can offer an honest perspective

One challenge freelancers have is setting goals for business and personal growth. Without someone to provide an objective, outside in perspective, all you have is your own wishes and opinions on your abilities to go on. Sadly, those aren’t always objective or accurate. This is why it’s so important to connect with a mentor who is willing to be truly honest with you.

For example, let’s say you work in web development. At this point, you largely work as a coder, but you want to get more into the design side of things. Without a mentor, you might simply dive right in and start marketing yourself in web design. Maybe you even pick up a few graphic design tools and learn those as well. After all, why not help people design logos along the way.

The only problem is that you don’t have an artistic eye whatsoever. Your designs are off-putting. You pick colors and fonts that simply don’t work. You don’t ‘get’ how visuals and branding go hand in hand.

If you have a mentor who truly cares about your growth and success, they’re going to be willing to have that tough conversation with you about your skills and give you a reality check.

3. Having a mentor creates accountability

“I’m going to take three classes next semester.”

“I’m going to revamp my website.”

“I won’t end a week without having made 10 cold calls to potential clients.”

As a freelancer, you  undoubtedly make promises to yourself that you will do things to grow your business and improve your skill set. The problem is that nothing happens if you only have yourself to answer to.

With a mentor, you have accountability. There’s someone that you have to report back to. It’s illuminating how flimsy the excuses you use become when you  direct them at someone else. This provides additional motivation for you to stay on top of things, and accomplish the things you need to in order to advance your career.

4. Your mentor can be a career sherpa

Speaking of career advancement, mentors are amazing career sherpas. If they believe you have potential, and that you will make the best of your efforts, many are happy to give you a hand up. This could mean introducing you to industry insiders or recommending you to potential clients. A mentor may even allow you to partner with them on some of their projects.

Another area where they can provide guidance is dealing with difficult clients. For example, they may be able to provide advice on negotiating the terms of contracts. They may even tell you potential clients that you should simply steer clear of.

5. You can bounce ideas and frustrations out of your mentor

Freelancing is difficult work. You have stressors that you must deal with that simply aren’t present in other types of work. Not only are you your own boss, you wear many other hats as well. You are your marketing team, salesforce, technical support, and likely financials person. There’s no buffer between yourself and people who may be rude, clueless, or incompetent. In the fact of all of these things, you  must remain polite, professional, and accommodating.

A good mentor gets this. They understand your frustrations. Even better, their experience allows them to provide advice and perspectives that can help you to deal with these things successfully. Not only that, when you have new ideas, they are your perfect first audience. They’re there to be supportive of your goals, but also honest enough to give you valid input.

If you are new to freelancing, you should consider connecting with a mentor. There are so many career and personal benefits to doing so. Reach out to someone who is more experienced in your field, and you might be surprised at how much you can learn from them.

How To Take #Charge Of Your #Career #Path At Your Current #Employer

Just a generation ago, working for the same employer for decades made sense. The timeline went something like this: Employer hired employee, employee got raises, employee maybe got promoted a time or two, employee enjoyed stability.

These days, work life has a different rhythm.

Not only are businesses dealing with unforeseen disruptions, but traditional corporate ladders have disintegrated. Consequently, workers often find themselves without a clear way to rise through the ranks because the ranks aren’t well-defined or aren’t inherently part of the culture. Is it any wonder, then, that half of employees feel like they can’t advance within their current companies?

Of course, many analysts suggest advancement does not rest solely in the hands of the employer. Today, workers have a responsibility to take charge of their career route by being proactive, smart, and creative.

Installing The Rungs Of Your Career Ladder

Although many organisational leaders have a plan for role succession, many of them never share that plan with their team members. At the same time, employees don’t always tell their managers what they want in terms of advancement. Imagine how much better it would be if both parties — the employer and the worker — made their wishes known. Two-way communication would create clearer routes to new positions.

That’s why the onus is on you, as an employee, to get the ball rolling. At the end of the day, employers will focus on business objectives and filling seats. While that could get you the raise you desire, you may end up filling a position that is completely misaligned with your career goals and interests.

“Bottom-up career pathing, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on the employees’ career goals,” says Linda Ginac, CEO of TalentGuard, a talent management software-as-a-service provider. “Paired with succession planning, this method lets managers and HR professionals tailor their employees’ objectives to those of the company, not the other way around.” This approach works because it gives everyone a holistic view of how to retain good workers while meeting corporate objectives.

Career pathing, in which employees chart out possible vertical and lateral moves at their company, allows individuals to take charge and construct their own ladders rather than waiting for an employer to notice their desires to achieve more. Getting started is fairly straightforward, as long as you’re willing to take some calculated leaps of faith.

1. Adopt a “possibility” mindset.

The employment landscape is rapidly changing, thanks to everything from outsourcing to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and chatbots. Find out all you can about your industry and investigate departments in your company that are new to you — maybe operations, IT, marketing, sales, or customer service. Then, project a few steps ahead: How can you be an asset to the business? What are the possibilities for you based on gaps you see?

Take time to think about your findings. Hash out some ideas with friendly contacts in your network. When you’re ready, you can bring them to your supervisor or HR manager to discuss your future. The meeting shouldn’t be about a hostile “This is what I need or I’m leaving” ultimatum. Instead, you should aim for a conversation about opportunities that would let you stay with an employer you like.

2. Target your bliss.

What do you absolutely love about your job? Write down all the tasks you perform that keep you motivated, even when you have to work overtime or you’re having a rocky day. Use this document as a springboard to consider what else you would like to do to turn your position into a true dream job.

You might discover that you can’t fully explore some of your wish list skills — like leading a team, creating killer content, or analyzing legacy data to jumpstart sales revenue — in your current position. Take these thoughts to your boss to figure out how you might try on some new skates. Consider accepting additional projects related to your ideal role. At the same time, be sure to pay attention to your regular responsibilities; your work ethic shouldn’t lapse for a moment.

3. Define the relationship.

You may remember when you and your significant other had the “Where is this relationship going?” talk. You might need to have the same kind of serious discussion with your supervisor. Explain where you see yourself in a year, two years, five years. Talk about your desires to move ahead in your career path, and be forthright about any concerns you have regarding whether your employer offers upward mobility.

Of course, your mindset shouldn’t be “My way or the highway.” Start the conversation with a matter-of-fact description of your expectations. You’re doing your boss a favor by being honest, because he or she now knows that you’d like to stay, but you need some give-and-take.

4. Seek out a career advocate.

We can all use someone in our corner, and that’s where a career advocate comes into play. Career advocates are folks in your business who push for you to advance, even if you aren’t technically ready for a job opening or don’t have all the prerequisites.

Obviously, the more influential your career advocate, the better. Still, don’t overlook same-level colleagues in other departments who have your back. Not only can they put in a solid word for you, but they can tell you when openings are about to happen so you can prepare ahead of time. And if you do end up moving to another company? You can be allies for each other. Your ally might even end up joining you at your new employer.

If you love your organization but aren’t getting raises, more responsibility, or greater influence, you don’t necessarily have to leave the company. Explore your home-base options first. You may have far more choices than you thought.