#Less Is #More: 4 #Job #Search #Tips to Make the #Process Less #Exhausting

You’ve decided it’s time to look for a new job. Cue the exasperated sighs and the eye rolls, right?

We get it—looking for a job can be a daunting process. From tailoring your resume to preparing for interviews, there’s a lot involved in finding and landing your next great opportunity.

But, before you start cracking under the stress of it all, know this: There are a few tips you can put into practice to make the whole thing a little more manageable.

1. Understand What You Really Want

When it comes to your job hunt, that age-old “quality over quantity” rule holds some water. You’re better off applying to three roles that you feel really confident about—as opposed to blanketing the world in your resume and crossing your fingers that something sticks.

However, you’re only going to be able to target your efforts in this way if you have a really solid grasp on what exactly you’re looking for in your next position.

The best way to get started? Sit down and create your own personal wish list. Jot down anything and everything that you’re hoping for. Whether it’s a relaxed culture or a specific responsibility, write it all down.

Will you find a job that satisfies every single desire on that list? Probably not. But, you can still use it as an informal checklist of sorts when evaluating job descriptions. That way, you’ll be able to figure out which ones are worth your energy and application—and which should just be skipped over.

2. Refine Your Research Process

You know how important it is to do your research. But, this is often advice that’s dished out when you reach the interview stage of the hiring process—so that you’re prepared to recite the company’s mission statement on demand if requested (trust us, this hardly ever happens).

There’s nothing stopping you from rolling up your sleeves and digging into some research before you even apply for that open role. In fact, we recommend it.

Why? Well, investing the work upfront to become familiar with a company and its culture is another thing that helps you determine whether or not that job is worth your application. There’s no point in wasting your time (and the time of the employer!)—only to determine that it’s not really what you’re looking for.

So, don’t save the research for later. Scroll through that company’s website and do some detective work on their social media accounts to see if you can truly imagine yourself working there.

If that company strikes you as a place where you could really be happy? It might even be worth applying to several posted positions that you’re qualified for and interested in.

3. Set Bite-Sized Goals

Would you sit down at your desk with the intention of learning Portuguese in one day? We didn’t think so. So, why are you taunting yourself with the lofty ambition of landing a job in one sitting?

I know—it often feels like you’re racing the clock in your job search. You want to get your materials in for that perfect opportunity before the application period closes. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t break the process down into smaller, less intimidating milestones.

Maybe your goal for today is to find and apply to just one job that really seems like a good fit for you. That’s a far more manageable objective than “get a new job.”

The job search is stressful enough, so don’t put more pressure on yourself than necessary. Break things down, and then the entire process will feel a whole lot more doable.

4. Batch Your Tasks

If you haven’t previously tried batching your tasks, it’s a productivity hack that can be particularly helpful when you’re job searching.

It’s an odd name, but the concept is simple: You group similar to-dos together so you aren’t jumping around and constantly switching gears.

For example, you’d use one chunk of time to find and evaluate job descriptions. Then you’d tweak your resume for those job postings at the same time, and so on and so forth.

Not having to hop back and forth between different tasks can save you a ton of mental energy. Plus, since you’re technically focusing on one thing at a time, you’re far less likely to make an error.

The process of finding a new job can feel overwhelming at best. But, before you start huffing and puffing into that paper bag of yours, know that there are a few things you can do to make things a little easier on yourself.

Put these tips into play, and you’re sure to remove some stress from your job search, optimize your efforts, and get yourself one step closer to landing the role of your dreams. You’ve got this!

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3 #Lessons You Might #Learn If You #Work and #Travel at the Same #Time

You’ve probably read all about uninspired 9-to-5ers who ditched the office to become digital nomads. The stories make leaving the corporate grind to travel and work for yourself sound like a dream come true.

But if you don’t plan on being on the move permanently, what happens when you settle down? Does it hurt your career in the long-run?

I spoke to three people who worked remotely and feel confident that their stints abroad helped them get ahead in their careers.

So, if you’ve been itching for a change and dreaming of combining work and travel, get excited! Being a digital nomad could be just the thing to help guide you through a career pivot—even if you’re unsure of your next move.

1. You Might Learn Your Dream Job Isn’t What You Think it Is

Nikki Vargas got her start in advertising, but dreamed of working in journalism. She launched her travel blog, The Pin Map Project, in 2012, and a few years later left her full-time job in advertising to try to make a career out of it (while picking up freelance gigs to support herself).

She grew the site to more than 100,000 monthly visitors, but “despite my best efforts to pour everything into my website—money, time, effort—I couldn’t monetize [it] enough to earn a living,” Vargas wrote.

During a 2016 trip to Bali, she shared her dilemma with a fellow traveler who insisted Vargas read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Vargas credits the book with helping her realize that she was putting too much pressure on her passion project to pay the bills.

Nikki Vargas

Nikki Vargas on her trip to Bali (Courtesy of Nikki Vargas/The Pin the Map Project)​

She returned to New York City and applied to full-time positions. The twist she didn’t anticipate was that this decision would actually lead her to a “dream job.” The time she’d spent as a digital nomad helped her land a travel editor position at The Culture Trip, a media startup, and she got a salary and benefits to do exactly what she loved.

Vargas had learned first-hand during her travels that the people she meets can inspire new ideas to propel her career forward. She drew on that lesson once again when her role was eliminated in a round of layoffs and applied it back at home.

About a month after losing her job, she spoke alongside editors from CNN Travel and USA Today on a sexism panel at the Women’s Travel Fest in New York City. The discussion planted the seeds for her next project. She’s teamed up with three other co-founders to launch Unearth Magazine, written for and produced by women.

2. You Might Learn to Balance Work and Life in a Way That’s Impossible When You’re Home

Freshly recovered from a lifelong fear of flying, Melissa Smith decided that a year with the co-working, co-living program WYCO was an ideal way to finally see the world while achieving specific career goals.

After working as an executive assistant for more than 15 years, Smith had started a consultancy to help clients identify and onboard virtual assistants. Three years in, she felt it was time to level up. She wanted to create a virtual summit, write a book, and launch an online class—all the same year. Smith knew her goals were ambitious, but didn’t want to fall into the trap of working 16-hour days with little human contact.

“Doing things in isolation is much harder,” she said, adding, “I’ve always liked working in a team.”

Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith (clockwise from top left) at the Dead Sea in Israel; at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand; on the beach in Tel Aviv, Israel; at a rice field in Jatiluwih, Indonesia; and at the opera “Carmen” in Prague (Courtesy of Melissa Smith)

WYCO offered an easy solution. Surrounded by fellow nomads who were also juggling work with travel (and all those time zone changes!) kept her focused and organized. With limited time in each location, Smith and her new friends wanted to make the most of their off hours. And it turns out that having compelling reasons to set boundaries between work and play—like floating in the Dead Sea, taking a private food and wine tour in Mendoza, Argentina, and browsing the Botero Museum in Bogota, Colombia—is a great way to inspire productivity.

Over the course of 12 months and visits to 16 different countries, Smith kept her business going and made the course, summit, and book happen—just as she’d planned. And she wasn’t stuck at home alone while she did it.

3. You Might Learn That You Can Live on Less

At 26, Gabriel Loubier needed a challenge. He’d been working as the general manager of a restaurant at a ski resort in Breckinridge, Colorado. “I started to coast and let the restaurant run itself,” Loubier said. He felt frustrated working for a boss who wasn’t open to new ideas.

He quit that job and started learning skills like web design and coding to find a freelance niche where he could be his own boss for a change. Though he was making progress figuring out his strengths and interests, he was eating into his savings quickly. So Loubier decided to move to Thailand, where he could continue to experiment—but live on less than $1,000 per month instead of about $3,000, which he’d been spending on rent, car payments, food, and entertainment back at home.

Gabriel Loubier

In Chiang Mai in Thailand (left) and Hue in Vietnam (Courtesy of Gabriel Loubier)

He enjoyed writing and started producing articles for a cryptocurrency company, getting paid in their tokens. After just three months, he was able to cash out and fund two more years of travel. As he continued to freelance, he came across Rivetz, a blockchain company whose approach resonated with him.

“I wrote a three-page letter about my experiences working for companies I didn’t believe in and how I wanted to put my effort behind a mission that I did believe in. I showed them the freelance articles I had been writing as my portfolio,” Loubier said. About a month after sending the letter, he joined Rivetz as a full-time writer. Unlike Vargas and Smith, Loubier decided to make his temporary adventure a more permanent one and stayed in Thailand even after he’d succeeded in leveling up.

For these three digital nomads, the experience was as much about the work as it was about the travel. The combination helped them pivot and grow. So, if you’re feeling restless on your career journey, taking a period of time to work while you travel won’t necessarily hurt. In fact, it could help you finally do what you’ve always wanted to do. And who knows? You might just stumble upon something or someone unexpected that leads you somewhere great.

What to do if your #TDS is not deposited with the #government

Tax deducted at source (TDS) from your salary or any other income must be deposited with the government within a certain specified time period. However, a recent scam of Rs 3,200 crore unearthed by the income tax department has highlighted the problems faced by many individuals and employees.

As it may happen, your employer may have deducted the tax from your salary but has failed to deposit the same against your PAN with the government. If your employer is not paying heed to your complaints regarding the same, then you can approach the income tax department.

Abhishek Soni, CEO, tax2win.in, a tax-filing website says that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued certain circulars with respect to this in the past. The circulars state that in cases where TDS is deducted by the employer or deductor and the same has not been deposited with the government, in those cases income tax officers must not harass the employees (deductee) and the same must be recovered from the employers/deductors.

While filing your income tax returns, you have to calculate your total tax liability, then subtract the TDS from this and arrive at the balance tax payable which could be a refund, additional tax, or nothing at all. The TDS figure here is to be taken from your Form 16 or Form 16A (TDS certificates), as applicable. However, the tax deducted during the year (as shown in the TDS certificate) must also reflect in the department’s record in Form 26AS. Any mismatch in Forms 26AS and 16 allows the department to demand additional tax under section 143(1) of the Income-tax Act, 1961. This is because the TDS claimed as paid by you will not reflect in the department’s records. There may be cases where the employer does not issue TDS certificates at all and the employee comes to know of the TDS only via salary slip entries or short payment of salary.

“This can lead to litigation as an employee will claim that his tax has already been deducted by the employer and the same should be recovered from the employer. On the other hand, the department will claim that since the dues are pending against the PAN of an employee, it is the employee’s duty to pay his dues,” says Soni.

Check your Form 26AS before filing complaint

It is advisable for every person, whose income is subject to TDS, to check their Form 26AS regularly during the year to ensure that all the tax deducted against their PAN is reflected in the form. You should also ensure that you have provided your correct PAN details to your employer. Otherwise, the employer may have deposited your TDS against the wrong PAN, i.e., into the account of the person to whom that PAN belongs.

A company files its TDS returns on a quarterly basis. The due date for filing TDS returns is one month after the end of a quarter, with quarter ending March 31 being an exception. The due date for filing of TDS returns for quarter ending March 31 is May 31. It is advisable that an individual checks his Form 26AS after 10 days of the expiry of the due date.

Thus, before an individual approaches the tax department to complaint about his employer not depositing the deducted TDS, it is important that he brings this mismatch to his employer’s notice and request the employer to correct the same.

There is no specific timeline mentioned in the income tax laws which states by when such mistakes must be rectified. However, it can take 30-45 days to reflect the deposit of TDS in the Form 26AS, depending on the efficiency of the company’s (employer) accounts department, says Soni. However, even after repeated request, if your employer fails to take action regarding this, then you can file a written complaint to your assessing officer (AO).

Locating your assessing officer

1. Visit https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/e-Filing/Services/KnowYourJurisdictionLink.html

2. Enter your PAN and mobile number. An OTP will be sent to your mobile number.

3. Enter the OTP received. It will re-direct you to another page showing details such as address of your AO, email ID etc.

If you know the PAN of your employer, then you also have the option to file the complaint with your employer’s assessing officer. The above mentioned link does not require the same mobile number to be entered which is registered with the PAN.

Soni says, “There is no specific format on which compliant needs to be filed. A person can file his complaint on a plain piece of paper.” To support your grievance, you must also attach the following proofs:

1. Salary slip showing deduction of TDS;

2. Copy of Form 26AS not reflecting the deposit of TDS;

3. Copy of letter written to your employer pointing out the discrepancy;

4. Form 16, if available.

What if TDS not deposited is discovered at the time of filing ITR?

If you discover that there is a mismatch in Forms 16 and 26AS at the time of filing your ITR, then you can file it on the basis of the TDS deducted as shown in the salary slip or Form 16. Along with that, you must also bring the discrepancy to your employer’s notice. If the issue is not resolved, say within 30 days, you can write your grievance to your assessing officer to explain your case, says Soni. On administrative grounds, normally, the lower authorities will not give credit for the TDS not paid by the employer.

As per the income tax rules, it is the duty of taxpayers to pay any shortfall in tax liability. Therefore, if the department does send you an additional tax demand notice, i.e., 143(1) after filing the ITR (despite you pointing out of non-deposit of your TDS by your employer), you will have the option to file an appeal to the Commissioner of Income Tax [Appeals]. The commissioner will decide the case on the basis of the facts of the case. If you do not wish to appeal, then your only other option is to pay the tax demand yourself, adds Soni.

Source: Economic Times

The Fastest Way to Get #Promoted Is….

Sometimes we’re all guilty of just wanting to get the job done—no frills, no fuss, and definitely no overtime. But one of the fastest ways we can move on and upfrom our current jobs (in other words, an almost surefire way to snag a promotion) is to over-deliver, and not under-impress. Or, as career coach Hallie Crawford explains, “over-delivering translates to being diligent, motivated, and passionate about your job.”

After all, what boss doesn’t want his or her employees to wow at work? Average may not get noticed—but above-and-beyond normally does. “Going the extra mile,” says Crawford, “whenever possible, shows your superiors you are serious about your job, and able and worthy of getting promoted versus just remaining where you are.”

Of course, it can be tough to over-deliver, and do it often. But Crawford says you can push yourself to do more by focusing on what motivates you—say, a promotion. And then, use these expert-approved tips to over-deliver on every project, large or small.

1. Keep things organized.

It can be tough to go above-and-beyond if you can’t find the materials you need. So, Crawford recommends that before you try to knock your boss’ socks off, you start with cleaning your desk. “Knowing where everything is at your work station will allow you to spend that extra time on your project—not looking through cluttered drawers for what you need,” she says. Here are our best tips for getting organized.

2. Ask for feedback.

When you work extra-hard on a project or task, you want to make sure you’re giving your boss more of what he or she really wants. That’s why Crawford says you should “ask your boss for ways you can enhance the work you are doing.” If you don’t, “you may feel that you are over-delivering, but your boss may not,” Crawford warns. And if you “know what they’re looking for, you can amplify your performance,” she says.

3. Be disciplined.

As we all know all too well, “it is easy to cut corners and just do the bare minimum,” says Crawford. If you can be self-disciplined, however, going the extra mile becomes more manageable. According to Crawford, “self-discipline will help you stay with the project until it’s completed correctly—and then some.” Now that sounds good.  

4. Take breaks.

You can’t give a task your all if you’re too tired to work hard, Crawford points out. So, be sure to “take time throughout the week to recharge,” she instructs. And she doesn’t mean by taking a coffee break—though that’s OK too. You could rest and recharge “with a hobby or by doing exercise,” Crawford says. Hot yoga, anyone?

5. Give your best.

This last tip may seem obvious—after all, we are talking about over-delivering—but Crawford would encourage you to “always do your best work, even if it’s a simple task,” even tasks for which you don’t think you have to do more. “This will get you in the habit of giving high-quality work, no matter what the assignment,” she explains.