Here’s How to #Translate Your #Skills From One #Industry to Another

You’ve decided you want to make a career change, and you know that you’re going to need a polished resume to do so.

You sit down to make the updates, and it isn’t long before you feel stuck. The blinking cursor on that blank page has been taunting you for at least a half hour now. You have no idea how to translate your existing experience and skills in a way that will grab the attention of a hiring manager in this entirely new industry.

The job search is always a little intimidating, especially so when you’re aiming to make a switch. But rest assured, you absolutely can transfer your existing expertise and competencies to a brand new field—whether it feels that way or not.

Here’s what you need to know to prove you’re the perfect fit.

1. Identify Your Qualifications

The best place to start is reading the description for the position that you want and asking yourself: What boxes do I already check?

We’re assuming that you aren’t a former software developer applying for a role as a neurosurgeon or an airline pilot. So, even if this career change feels like a bit of a stretch, chances are good that you already possess at least a couple of straightforward qualifications that this role requires.

Pull out the requirements that you meet without a doubt—the ones where there’s no need for you to draw any parallels or offer any explanations for the hiring manager, because you satisfy those qualifications without any questions asked.

Maybe you have those 10 years of leadership experience under your belt. Or, maybe you’re a skilled public speaker as the job description requests. Put those things on your list.

This step is important, as it will arm you with the things that you want to draw the most attention to within your resume. Zoning in on those qualities that make you an obvious fit will help you present yourself as a seamless hire—even with your less traditional experience.

2. Emphasize Results

Employers everywhere—regardless of specific industry—appreciate an employee who’s able to get things done and produce results. That’s universal.

For that reason, it’s smart to highlight the results you achieved in your past positions—rather than simply listing the duties that you were responsible for. Particularly when you’re changing industries, prospective employers will care more about what you actually accomplished, and less about how you specifically did it.

Let’s look at an example for some added clarity. Kate previously worked in administration for a regional hospital, and is now aiming to make a change by applying for a sales position with a healthcare software company. She knows that her experience in the medical field will benefit her. But considering she’s never worked in sales before, she’s nervous about her perceived lack of qualifications.

Here’s a bullet point from Kate’s existing resume:

Responsible for planning, organizing, and executing the annual hospital black tie gala.

To emphasize results, Kate should quantify that point with some numbers while also tying it back to a larger, company-wide objective. In doing so, that bullet point could look like this:

Strengthened the hospital’s relationship with 500+ donors, board members, and other external stakeholders by coordinating and executing the annual black tie gala.

Not only is that second option far more impressive, it also touches on some qualities that would also be important in a sales career—including relationship-building and organization.

3. Connect the Dots

When applying for a role in a different industry, your duty as the job seeker is to make your previous experience appear as relevant as possible. Often, this means that you need to quite literally connect the dots for the hiring manager and bridge the gap between what you possess and what that position requires.

In some cases, this means cutting out things that won’t be applicable in your new industry—such as highly technical skills or specific pieces of software.

Then, challenge yourself to relate your existing experiences to this other field. Let’s look back again at Kate. Based on her research, she knows that meeting quotas are a key part of success in sales. While she didn’t need to meet specific sales goals in her previous role, she does have experience hitting fundraising goals. She could emphasize that in a bullet point like this one:

Consistently achieved the hospital’s yearly fundraising goal of $100,000 through successful relationship building, grant requests, and community events.

This statement proves a few important things about Kate that make her a fit for a sales role: She’s inspired by difficult-to-reach objectives, she recognizes the importance of relationships, and she’s comfortable making requests.

4. Don’t Neglect Your Soft Skills

It’s easy to think of soft skills as those non-important requirements that your eyes glaze over, especially since they aren’t as easy to quantify as more technical capabilities. However, they really do carry weight in your job search. Think about it this way: Would a company want to hire a customer service representative who wasn’t a skilled communicator? Probably not.

The fact that soft skills matter is good news for you, as they are the easiest skills to transfer from role to role and industry to industry. Things like time management, problem solving, or critical thinking will be desirable in a wide variety of fields.

While your resume can’t be filled with only these softer proficiencies, calling attention to those solid qualities can help to fill in some gaps and present you as a well-rounded and qualified candidate—even if the rest of your experience is a little out of the box.

Making the switch to a new industry can inspire some sweaty palms and shaky knees. But, don’t beat yourself up over the fact that you don’t fit perfectly into the mold of people who normally fill those positions.

Instead, place your emphasis on your passion for this new field as well as the valuable things that you do bring to the table. Do that, and you’re sure to eventually catch the eye of a hiring manager who understands that you don’t need to be predictable to be qualified.


9 #tricks to help you #control #spending and #save more

How many times have you resolved to wake up early, go for a jog, eat a healthy breakfast before heading to work? Let us guess what happened instead.

You hit the snooze button several times, dragged yourself out of bed, rushed through your morning routine and went to work without achieving any of the personal goals set the previous night.

Often, our financial goals receive the same treatment. All of us know that spending sensibly and saving regularly ensures financial security in the future. Yet, many people are not able to save as much as they want to. Some just don’t have the required surplus, because high expenses leave nothing for investments.

Others put off savings for later, prioritising their immediate wants over future needs. Delhi-based psychologist Prerna Kohli says, “Young people often think there is an entire lifetime ahead of them to save for retirement. They understand the importance of saving, but it is superseded by the desire for the instant gratification they get by spending money.”

Is there a way out? Some people set their clocks 10-15 minutes ahead to make sure they are not late. Although the individual knows that the actual deadline is still 10-15 minutes away, he is forced into action to meet the virtual deadline set by him. Such tricks can be very helpful in financial matters too. We have identified nine tricks that can help one save more.

If you are among those who find it difficult to put away money, play some of these tricks on yourself and your savings rate will definitely improve. Read on to find out how to make them work for you.

  1. Invest the increment
    Have you got your annual increment? Some of the increase will be nullified by the rise in expenses due to inflation, but chances are you will still have a higher surplus. People tend to spend more if they have a fatter bank balance and gradually get used to higher expenses. Don’t give yourself time to adjust to the higher surplus. Increase your investments and put them on auto mode so that the money gets invested even before you have the chance to blow it away.

Commit to a monthly investment like an SIP in a mutual funder a recurring bank deposit, so a part of the increased income automatically gets deducted at the beginning of the month. This strategy can also be applied to one time inflows like a bonus, by committing the amount to a lump sum investment ahead of receiving it. A word of warning, though. Do not to commit the entire increment or bonus in your zeal to save. Leave some to deal with the inevitable rise in expenses and some for treating yourself for the hard work you put in during the year.

  1. Separate your accounts
    Too many bank accounts can get a bit confusing and difficult to manage. Yet, sometimes an extra account can be just what you need to manage your savings better. Have a separate bank account for all your investments and savings, much like the ‘jam jar’ approach that grandmothers follow.

Don’t use a debit card for the designated ‘saving and investment’ account. This strategy can be very effective for those who can’t seem to put any money away. Mumbaibased educationist Shahnaz Pohowala divides her income into three distinct buckets. “One is for fixed monthly expenses like EMIs, the second for variable expenses like groceries and household expenses and the third is for savings and investments,” she says. This ensures that even if expenses are high in a particular month, her savings are not impacted by her expenses.

In Pic: Shahnaz Pohowala, 54, Educationist, Mumbai

Her tricks: Have separate buckets

She divides her income into three different buckets: one for payment of EMIs and bills, the second for household expenses and the third for savings and investments. So, even if expenses are higher in a particular month, her savings and investments are not impacted.

Mumbai-based mother of two Trupti Lokhande uses a similar strategy, separating the household income up and putting it into two accounts: for saving and for spending. Though she has a debit card linked with the saving account, she has locked it away, and only dispenses what is saved in that account to invest in various instruments.

In Pic:Trupti Lokhande, 33, IT Professional, Mumbai

Her trick: Get a saving buddy

She and her husband periodically check each other’s investments and saving targets. They also take money decisions jointly, deciding in advance how much to spend under a particular head to avoid needless expenditure.

  1. Rope in help from the tax department
    Ritwesh Mishra, 42, pays no heed when his company asks its employees to declare tax saving investments for the financial year. “I utilise the entire Rs 1.5 lakh deduction under Section 80C and also pay house rent. But I don’t declare this to the company immediately,” says the Delhi-based marketing professional. As a result, his salary is subjected to a very high tax deduction at source. Tax professionals would baulk at this, but Mishra uses this approach to save more later in the year.

He submits his declaration along with actual documents only in December, by which time, the entire tax payable during the financial year has already been deducted. The remaining three months, Mishra gets his full salary without any tax deduction. Be careful when you use this strategy. If you miscalculate, you might end up paying more tax than required. Though it will be refunded when you file your tax return, the process could take several months. Also, your takehome pay will be significantly higher in the latter half of the year. But you stand to gain only if you invest this surplus. Spending it needlessly will not yield any benefit.

In Pic: Ritwesh Mishra, 42, Marketing Professional, Delhi

His Trick: Save by paying tax

Does not declare his tax saving investments to his company at the beginning of the financial year. Instead, he submits them in December, by which time TDS for entire year has been deducted. The next three months he gets a higher surplus which is then invested.

  1. Levy luxury tax on yourself
    We all work hard to be able to enjoy the good things in life. So it doesn’t make sense to deny yourself simple pleasures like a nice holiday with the family, a dinner outing with friends, a stylish garment of your favourite brand or a feature-packed cellphone. But when you treat yourself to these, remember to put an equivalent amount in your savings. Treat this as a luxury tax or penalty for indulging in unplanned shopping. Do this a few times and it will eventually become a habit. This works in two ways: first, the money you put away will keep growing in your investment account.

Second, since you will be matching the expense with investments, your shopping spree will cost you twice as much. This might discourage you from splurging on unnecessary things.

  1. Keep paying the EMI
    When you are paying off a longterm loan, the EMI turns into a habit. You become so used to the monthly outgo that you hardly feel it. So, what do you do when the loan is paid off? The first instinct is to enjoy the additional surplus and reallocate it to other expenses. But like automating your savings, the end of EMI payments is a great opportunity to redirect the surplus into savings without really noticing the difference.

When you have a few payments left, decide where you want to invest the EMI amount. After the last EMI is paid, start investing the same amount in the instrument of your choice. For instance, you can start an SIP in a mutual fund or a recurring deposit in your bank. Since the monthly outgo will not change, you will not feel the difference while your savings will witness a huge inflow.

  1. Lock yourself into investments
    Locking yourself into an investment that doesn’t allow a quick exit might seem like a bad idea. But it is also a great way to remain invested for the long term. AMFI data shows that nearly 70% of the money invested in equity funds is redeemed within two years of investment. So, most investors have not made the stupendous gains earned by mutual funds in the past few years. It is here that the lack of liquidity can prove useful. Put your money into long-term saving options that disallow or discourage early withdrawals.

The PPF is for 15 years, but allows withdrawals after five years. The National Pension Scheme cannot be touched before retirement. Insurance policies have very long lock-in periods of 15-20 years, and the fear of lapsation forces the policyholder to pay premiums every year. “When exploring investment tools, customers often look for those offering liquidity. It is strange that one should want liquidity of funds when building assets for say, one’s child’s education,” says R.M. Vishakha, Managing Director & CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance.

Pune-based software engineer Samir Purohit is among those who understand the importance of locking into long-term investments. His strategy to ensure that his long-term savings are not tampered with at any cost. “I invest first, and then make do with what is left of my salary. Even if this means stretching what I have left over and cutting down on spending, I wouldn’t tap into my savings. They are safe in long-term saving instruments.”

In pic: Samir Purohit, 33, Software Engineer, Pune

His Trick: Invest in illiquid instruments

Has locked himself into long-term investments with low liquidity which prevents him from early withdrawals. For instance, the NPS will not allow him to withdraw before he retires in 2045. Invest in illiquid instruments

  1. Get a saving buddy
    Sometimes you need a monitor to break out of a bad habit. Involving someone close to you can provide the checks and balances that you need to keep your financial decisions on track. If you can’t get on a grip on your finances yourself, get a friend or family member involved. They can serve as a regulator, keeping tabs on your spending and saving, and confront you if you veer off track.

Alternatively, you and your ‘saving buddy’ can act as friendly competition for each other. Set saving goals and try to beat them to it, or see who can exercise better control when it comes to frivolous spending. You can even work out a system of rewards and penalties. Lokhande swears by this idea and says that she stepping in to keep an eye on her husband’s finances has worked wonders for her. They are a family of foodies, so it’s important to budget for eating out. “We set a monthly budget for going out to eat as a family, and remind each other not to exceed the limit,” she says.

  1. Think it over
    The urge to spend can sometimes be overwhelming. Though it’s okay to indulge yourself once in a while, giving in to each impulse can burn a hole in your finances. The best way to deal with this is to give it time. You might have been eyeing that new smartphone, dress or piece of furniture for months, but just before you make the purchase, take some time off to really think it over. Leave your purchase in your online shopping cart, or ask the seller to hold out for a couple of days.

During this time, weigh the pros and cons of your purchase and figure out whether it’s a need or just something you want to own. If it’s the latter, think about whether it is worth the price you’d be paying for it. If you still want it in a week or so, go ahead and make the purchase. You might change your mind about wanting it, or forget about it altogether.

  1. Picture the future
    It pays to start saving for retirement early in life. Yet, so many of us fritter away the early bird advantage. One reason is that young people don’t foresee themselves in their old age. The culprit here is what behavioural economics terms ‘present bias’. Most people tend to prioritise payoffs that are closer at hand when considering trade-offs between two future moments. This means that you’re naturally more inclined to spend your savings on the trip to Europe next year, than to put it in retirement savings.

If you are in your mid-20s, retirement seems such a distant event that saving for it doesn’t feel like a priority. To deal with this mental block, try to picture your goal as clearly as possible. Write it down, make an Excel sheet, or even a mood board laying out how far away your goal is, how much money you need to save and how. Picturing your future self might also help you get started on saving for retirement. Use a photo aging software to see what you will look like in old age, and save with that person’s needs in mind.

Play these mind games on yourself to make saving seem fun and effortless.

Have no-spend days or weekends
Car pool or drive to work and pack your own lunch to keep from spending. For no-spend weekends you can plan movie nights at home or picnics in the park.

See who can go lower
Get together with a friend and decide on a few fl exible spending categories like groceries and eating out. Compete with each other to see who can spend less on each of them.

Save notes of a particular denomination
Choose a denomination, like Rs 50 or Rs 20, and at the end of the day, sift through the contents of your wallet and pick out all notes of that denomination and put them away.

Take the 52-week challenge
Start by putting away just Rs 10 in the fi rst week of the year, and then gradually increase your savings by Rs 10 a week throughout the year. By the time you fi nish, you’d be saving more than Rs 500 a week.

Treat yourself to cheat days
Like a strict diet, a restrictive spending plan might seem diffi cult and tedious after a while. To give yourself a break, plan a ‘cheat day’. Set aside a budget and indulge yourself with a shopping spree or expensive meal.

Hide your credit card
Set a budget on a weekly or monthly basis, withdraw the amount and then restrict yourself to spending only in cash for the period. Don’t touch your credit or debit card unless there’s an emergency.

Here’s How to #Compare a Great #Job Offer With Your Current Job (That You Like)

Casually browsing for jobs while watching TV? Stalking your best friend’s new employer? Taking informational interviews during your coffee breaks at work?

Whether you’re after that dream job, are feeling restless after two years on the job, or are keeping your interview skills sharp, job hunting has become a reflex—even when you’re happy where you are.

While most of the time this “exploration” is just that, every so often it yields itself to an offer that catches you off guard.

At this point, you might find yourself in the great but difficult predicament of deciding between a quality job offer and your current job—which you actually like.

First, recognize that you’re in a position of strength. You have two great options in front of you, and it’s your choice.

Once you’ve recognized that, here are five criteria you should be looking at to evaluate your options and make the right decision:

1. Salary and Benefits

Money is certainly not the be-all-end-all of your career, but you need to be honest with yourself about the type of lifestyle you want to sustain long-term.

Be extremely thorough in assessing all the elements of your job offer. Look beyond your base salary to compare perks like 401K matches, free meals, vacation days, and pre-tax accounts. These little things might seem insignificant, but can add up to tremendous amounts over time. (If you need some help breaking it all down, check out this handy calculator.)

The one trap I see many people fall into is leaving for a marginal improvement in salary. If you have unpaid transition time, require a physical move or longer commute, or have to work twice as hard to prove yourself, these are all costs that add up.

2. Learning and Development

Many people don’t leave their jobs because they hate them or because they want more money but rather, as seen in a recent Korn Ferry study, because of boredom.

When your day-to-day feels like “deja vu” and you’ve stopped learning anything new, it may be time for a change. For many, this means looking for a new job; however, it doesn’t have to.

An honest conversation with your manager can help you identify room for growth. For instance, one of the things I appreciated most when I worked at LinkedIn was that many employees are encouraged to think about lateral moves (such as an internal transfer) as critically as promotions. Often these lateral movements resulted in breakthrough career moments a few years later.

What’s important is for you to have a career plan, even if it changes. Where do you want to be in 10 years, and what are the skills and experiences that’ll help you get there? Once you know that, you can determine which option offers the path of least resistance to achieve those goals.

3. Room for Advancement

It’s easy to prioritize for today, but if the job doesn’t give you an opportunity to move up, you’ll be facing the same situation all too soon.

You probably know a lot about your current employer, but if you don’t, talk to people in the positions you’d like to be in in two, five, and 10 years in the future.

For a new company, talk to at least three current and former employees to get a well-rounded perspective. Figure out if your manager and their manager are people who would advocate for you and champion your accomplishments.

And, take advantage of LinkedIn to observe career paths. If you see people in the same position for three years who then leave the company, that’s a red flag.

4. Purpose and Culture Fit

In order to be at your personal and professional best, you need a job you’re connected to and to be a part of a culture where you feel comfortable bringing your whole self to work.

I’ve found that cultures and values are best observed in the smallest things. The company’s dress code, email etiquette, guest policies, or noise level may seem trivial, but can often be strong indicators of whether the company culture is right for you.

The best way to evaluate this is to write or draw out your ideal work environment. From there, break it down by identifying your deal-breakers, nice-to-haves, and non-factors. Then, use this to compare and contrast your current employment situation with your offer.

5. Your Life Outside of Work

While work-life balance is a work in progress for all of us, it’s important to take a holistic view at your goals.

What else is important to you? Whether it’s health and fitness, relationships, writing, hobbies, you name it, it’s important to think about how your job fits in.

Does your current role give you enough time and space for the other areas that matter to you? If not, can you fix it, or is another job the best solution?

Once again, the devil is in the details. Don’t forget to think about commute-time, proximity to your hobbies, and the time-cost of having to prove yourself to a new group of people.

The real trick is being utterly honest with yourself. It’s easy to be persuaded by what you should do or what people expect you to do. Instead, take stock of which of the above factors matter most to you, and use that to optimize your decision. If you take your time and are intentional, you’ll make the right choice.

5 #Coping #Strategies for When You’re #Feeling #Anxious at #Work

Gina, a former colleague of mine, spent most of her career dreading work. She constantly worried about her performance and often felt overwhelmed by the pressures of her job. As Gina’s anxiety began to interfere with her work, causing her to lose focus and miss deadlines, it became clear she needed to get help.

If you’re one of the 40 million people living with anxiety like Gina, you know that common office situations—anything from talking to co-workers in the elevator to speaking up on a meeting—can take on heightened stress.

You may find that you have trouble concentrating on the work in front of you. This may result in chronic self-doubt and work nightmares.

While it’s true that nearly everyone experiences some level of stress these days, living and working with anxiety is different. It can be crippling, but it doesn’t have to push you down. Beyond getting the right diagnosis and treatment like Gina did, you might consider incorporating some simple coping strategies into your daily life.

1. Know Your Triggers

Pay attention to situations that spike your anxiety—whether that’s getting feedback, writing important emails, being put on the spot, or starting the day with a messy desk.

Keep a journal to document your observations and look for patterns. When you know what makes you the most uneasy, you can better anticipate challenges and create a plan to deal with triggers.

When Gina realized rushing was one of her anxiety triggers, she created a warm-up ritual to practice before big meetings. She started blocking off 20 minutes before the start to review the agenda, jot down questions to ask, and grab water.

She began arriving to the conference room five minutes early, settling in if it was available, and, prepped and relaxed, she made easy small talk with her co-workers. The advance planning enabled her to feel at ease—not frantic. And this calmness in turn allowed her to be fully present and contribute to the conversation in meaningful ways.

2. Have Go-To Grounding Techniques

Anxiety activates the body’s fight or flight response, which sets off a number of uncomfortable reactions from sweating to tunnel vision. Calming yourself with grounding techniques—or ways to stay in the present moment—can get you back in control and feeling better fast.

Meditation, stretching, calling a friend, or going for a walk are all great options. You’ll have to find what works best for you depending on your personality and what’s acceptable in your office environment, but this list is a great place to start.

Your company might even offer mindfulness or yoga classes, or encourage power napping for productivity. All of these are self-care options that can benefit the anxious mind greatly.

I’m a big fan of Box Breathing, a method used by the Navy SEALS that involves slow, controlled breathing. It’s inconspicuous and many of my coaching clients use it during meetings or high-pressure situations when they feel anxiety coming on.

3. Create Conditions for Success

Make your well-being part of your daily to-do list. Simple changes like avoiding too much caffeine, working by a window with natural light, and controlling noise in your workspace with headphones can all help keep the racing thoughts at bay. While you can’t control most of your enviornment, make it a point to change what you can.

Prioritizing rest is huge. Studies have found that getting more sleep helps about 50% of people feel more at ease and less anxious. Outside of the office, focus on creating rock solid work-life boundaries. For instance, pick a non-negotiable time to put away your work—and stick to it.

Scheduling fun after-hours activities can help make that a reality.

4. Ask for What You Need

Know your rights when it comes to managing your mental health at work. You can ask for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, including a flex schedule, additional time for assignments, and more frequent breaks.

Consider also making reasonable requests that’ll help you enormously—things like soliciting questions ahead of a presentation or asking your boss not to send you late-night emails unless it’s absolutely urgent.

If you’re explicit about your needs, respectful of others’ time and schedules, and intentional about producing quality work, it’s likely your team will have no problem honoring your preferences.

5. Set Micro-Goals

Setting small, achievable goals is always smart, but it’s even more important when you struggle with anxiety. You want to expand your comfort zone, yes, but you also want to be careful not to overwhelm yourself.

For example, if you’re trying to grow your network and change careers, you might aim to go to one industry event a month—not one a week. Setting realistic expectations for yourself is key to not only building positive momentum, but also preserving your well-being.

Living and working with anxiety doesn’t have to be debilitating. While there may be setbacks in your journey, make sure you celebrate every little victory along the way. Rally a support team around you who you can lean on in good times and bad. And if you have an understanding boss, embrace that relationship and practice effective communication about what’s going on with you and when you might require a little flexibility.

CREDIT: Free Career Advice