Cleanse Your Work Palate: What to Do In-Between Jobs

Being laid off or getting fired are, unfortunately, common events that many people will have to deal with at least a few times over the course of their professional career. While you may feel remorse for friends and family members when this type of event happens to them, you can feel a sense of panic or extreme stress when it happens to you.

Of course, some people who are currently out of a job may have quit on their own accord, and this may have been because of poor management or another similar type of issue. In any case, this professional gap can be stressful, but you can more easily navigate through this tumultuous time without scars by following a few tips.

1. Keep Calm and Focus

After losing or quitting a job, you may understandably feel confused or even hurt. It is normal to feel these emotions, so embrace them for a short period of time. During that period, consider everything from meditating to working out, blogging and more to get your mind off of the pain. You can and should spend time reflecting on what may have gone wrong in your previous position so that you can learn from it.

However, you should not dwell on negative emotions tied to those life lessons, but let them go so that you can move on with your life. Embrace this break from a work routine by spending more time with friends and family, relaxing, having fun, and enjoying the resulting reduced stress levels. After all, this break is only temporary, and you may soon find another job. By adjusting your line of thinking so that you focus on the transient nature of this break, you may be able to relax and enjoy a sense of calmness.

2. Enjoy Your Free Time

When you are not working regularly, you may have many hours in your day to enjoy at your leisure. Think of this time as a vacation of sorts that you can use to regroup and focus on your physical and mental health. Use it to reconnect with loved ones and to focus on nurturing these relationships.

You can explore new hobbies or interests that you have been meaning to try, such as taking dance lessons, cycling and more. If you have the funds to do so, you may even travel without concern about getting back to a job. Your trip will be much more relaxing than it would be if you had the stress of job responsibilities looming over you.

3. Make a New Financial Plan

A lot of individuals out of work for even a few weeks may begin to feel financial stress related to a lack of incoming funds. While you may want to enjoy your time off of work, practice moderation so that you can avoid overspending. Consider reducing your personal expenses so that you can conserve your savings. For example, you may cut back on cable TV, your entertainment expense, restaurant meals and more. You may also find a side job that can offset your lack of full-time income.

This could help you to stretch your savings for a longer period of time and reduce the financial strain that you may be feeling. If you are offered COBRA health insurance, consider the benefits associated with taking advantage of extended coverage for as long as it is available to you.

4. Get Back on Track

It is easy to get lazy when you have ample time to yourself each day. You may find yourself sleeping in regularly, spending hours watching TV and more. However, this can create boredom and may even lead to depression.

To prevent it, make a to-do list of items that need your attention around the house. Focus on improving your skills by working toward a new certification. Attend professional networking events and job fairs. You could even volunteer for an organization that supports a cause that you feel strongly about so that you feel productive each day. Another smart idea is to revise your resume and update your LinkedIn profile accordingly.

5. Start Looking for a New Gig

Many people will take a few days or even longer than week to enjoy their time off of work and regroup after quitting or losing a job. That is perfectly fine; however, you do not want to spend too much time taking it easy. The sooner you start looking for a new job, the sooner you may be able to start working and get your career and finances back on track.

While looking for job postings online, you should also network with personal and professional contacts to learn about jobs and to potentially get your foot in the door. If you are out of a job for an extended period of time, ensure that you follow forums, blogs, trade journals and more so that you can keep up with industry changes that may be relevant when you interview for a new position.

Tomorrow is Another Day

Regardless of why you are currently out of a job, your lack of gainful employment can seem like a stressful setback. You may even take your lack of income and your employment issues personally, and this could lead to depression. When you follow these important tips, however, you can navigate through this rough patch more comfortably, and you may more easily find a great new gig that takes your career to the next level.

Author Bio:

michelle_lauryMichelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life and daydreaming about visiting new places (and actually visiting them). Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. You can reach her via Twitter.

Are You Ready to Move into the Flexible Jobs Market?

2017 might be the year when flexible jobs explode. For many looking to wrest some control back over their working lives, this could be the year. Flexible jobs give people the ability to have more control over when and where they work. For some this means cutting down from full-time, 9 to 5, Monday to Friday working, while for others it means taking their job and moving it to the spare bedroom. Initial results are showing higher levels of job satisfaction and higher rates of engagement and productivity within the work itself.

Flexible Jobs with Potential

According to Forbes.com, there are 20 jobs above all others which are primed to be the top flexible jobs of 2017. These are:

  1. Statistician
  2. Product Manager
  3. Physical Therapy Assistant
  4. Operations Manager
  5. Operations Analyst
  6. Office Manager
  7. Occupational Therapy Assistant
  8. Nurse Practitioner
  9. Nurse – ICU
  10. Medical Director
  11. Information Security Analyst/Manager
  12. Genetic Counselor
  13. Front-End Developer
  14. Financial Analyst
  15. Data Scientist
  16. Client Services Coordinator
  17. Business Process Analyst
  18. Business Development
  19. Account Manager
  20. Account Executive

With 63% of employees believing the 8 hour work day will soon be a thing of the past, it is worth considering if flexible work is right for you. The main considerations are financial and practical. Can you afford to work less? And can your job be done from home? Or can it be shared? Then you have to see if your company is willing to enter into flexible working arrangements. Reduced work, for example suits those with savings, stable income from a partner, or a second job/side hustle to fall back on or build up. Those on low wages with financial insecurity cannot afford the less work option, but may be able to wrangle a work from home remote position if it improves productivity for your employer.

Can You Go 100% Flexible?

For the above, it is mostly about reconstructing or renegotiating jobs you are already in. For many, this is not an option. The first decade of the 20th century saw an explosion of jobs relating to the Internet. So far, the second decade has seen working patterns fracture and become more flexible with more jobs being related to servicing online needs or performing everyday business tasks and services online. The so-called gig economy has been around for a long time, but it seems more prevalent now and has allowed many people fired from work to instantly get back up on their feet and move forward with their lives. Instead of applying for a steady stream of jobs, many people are able to brainstorm how to turn their situation into a job or at least a steady income be it driving people around or delivering items.

Make no mistake, the flexible lifestyle of a freelancer can be stressful. You do have the ability to work when you want, as you want, but each gig is not always well paying, and they may be hard to obtain too. You need tremendous self-discipline and the ability to go out there and make things work for you. Furthermore, whether a freelancer or a remote worker, flexible work needs a lot of organization and an ability to ignore distractions. Strike the right balance, work hard, and it can be a very rewarding lifestyle.

Jenny Holt is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

What’s Next After Being Fired From Your Job?

greatnessAre you struggling to find a new job after being fired? Or maybe you’ve been fired recently and your next move is still unclear.

Recovering and getting back into work after a firing isn’t easy, but it can be done.

Here are seven top tips to help you get your career back on track….

Be Honest with Yourself and Employers

No one likes an employee who plays the blame game. Be honest with yourself and potential new employers about what happened.

If you caused the firing, don’t shift the blame, and definitely don’t badmouth your former employer.

If you were fired through no fault of your own, such a restructuring, be honest about that too, but still avoid the blame game. Try to keep it as positive as is reasonable.

Take Stock of Your Career

Now is a good time to take stock of your career and decide where you really want to go next.

Ask yourself:

  • Were you happy in your job prior to being let go?
  • Why or why not?
  • Is there a direction that would be a better fit for you?

If you want to retrain, now is a good time to look into doing that.

Stay in the Loop with Networking

The article “You Were Fired: Now What?” suggests keeping up with your network even after a firing. Former colleagues and clients can be a rich source of leads for new roles.

Networking can help you feel less out of the loop and keep you up to date on what is happening in your industry.

Keep things friendly and professional and there won’t be any awkwardness.

Keep on Good Terms If You Can

It’s easy to get angry at your boss after a firing, but trying to stay on good terms will serve you much better in the long run. If you can’t do that, at least be civil and avoid pointing fingers.

Depending on the circumstances of your firing, your boss may even be willing to act as a reference for you, or let you know about any opportunities that are a good fit.

Look to People Who Know You

Gaining a new employers’ trust after a firing can be challenging.

After all, they’re looking for people they can rely on, and if the choice is between someone who has been fired and someone who has a spotless record, it’s easy to see which direction they’re going to take.

That’s where people who know and already trust you can be helpful.

Look to friends, colleagues or others in your network for leads and recommendations.

You might also approach former employers who you parted from on good terms.

Stay Busy

It’s important to stay busy after a firing. If you don’t, you run the risk of getting yourself into a slump and subsequently finding it harder to get out and get back in the game.

Consider taking a training course, doing some further education, or even doing some volunteer work. You’ll be brushing up your skills and keeping your mind active at the same time.

Secure Good References

Good references can be a challenge after a firing.

You don’t have to approach your immediate boss, however – are there any colleagues who would be willing to vouch for you?

Staying involved with your local business network, or doing some volunteer work, can help you build up current references.

Getting back on your feet after a firing can be a challenge.

Use these tips to get proactive and with some honesty and determination, you’ll soon be back in the game.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a variety of topics including social media, how to build customer relationships, content marketing and how to get back on your feet after being fired.

Working Moms Blazing a Trail

women_IT Women have been rising to the top of the business world for years.

Many of them are also mothers who must balance personal lives with their professional lives. It is a challenging task to manage a busy household and a business with numerous employees, customers and vendors.

However, it can be done and your life can be more fulfilling because of it.

Shoot for the Moon

As Marissa Mayer proved, you can begin a new career or take on a leadership goal when you are about to become a mother. She took over the reins at Yahoo as CEO as an expectant mother. A new career and impending parenthood made for quite a challenge.

While most women won’t have the prominence of such a career, they do know what it is like to try not to let anyone down. Mayer’s situation and that of other women in the corporate world show that you can dream your own dreams and make goals for your career even while being a dedicated mother.

Becoming a parent does not make you less of a person or turn you into someone who has no goals or desires of their own.

Be Great at What You Do

Be the best employee that you can be, especially if you are starting out at a new company. Once you have proven your value, the company will be more likely to offer flexibility when you are trying to balance family and work.

According to the article, “A Visual Guide to the Financial Lives of Working Mothers,” 48 percent of mothers who work are employed full-time. Employers are used to working with this demographic to manage workload and scheduling.

This advice is easiest to follow if you are planning a family. For those who already have kids, it can be more difficult. When you are at work, focus on your job.

Try to avoid personal phone calls and other distractions that keep you from doing the best job possible.

Be Honest

You cannot always be all things to all people. You will find times that you fail to live up to expectations even if those expectations come from you. You will miss your kids’ appointment or wait until the last minute to work on a project.

It is important that you are honest with yourself and with those around you. Don’t try to act like Super Woman all of the time because they already know you aren’t.

Be Honest with Yourself

Know what you can and can’t do and live within those limitations. Instead of trying to do everything, figure out a work-around.

If you know you can’t make it for a kid’s appointment; ask someone else to go in your place. If you are going to be pushing a deadline at work, find out if someone is available to work with you on it for a share of the credit.

Having it all, career and motherhood, sounds like a dream. But it is often a struggle for those caught in the middle. Instead, you must focus on what is most important. Don’t compare yourself to other working moms or men who are excelling in their careers.

Understand that you are doing what is best for your family and career even if it looks a little different from everyone else.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including finance and the workplace.

Is a Career Change in the Cards?

are_you_readyChanging careers can be an exciting but scary prospect.

If you have been feeling burned out at your current occupation, it may be time for a change to give you that excitement for your career. However, you may not want to start all over back at entry-level in your new career either for pay or for responsibility.

The key is to consider industries that hire people changing careers and utilize their current knowledge in a new way.

Consulting

Consultants are in high demand, especially from companies that are seeking to grow and expand. Use the knowledge you have gained in your previous field to help others. This is an ideal career choice if you once loved your job but were tired of some aspects.

Your knowledge comes at a good price, especially if you were in a management role or other high-level position.

Information Technology

As the following article shows, another of the industries that hire people making a career change is computer and network security or information technology. You often don’t need a special degree since many departments prefer to train you on their own.

A background working with computers, especially if you know a little coding, could be enough to get your foot in the door.

Even though you may start out in a lower position, you often see higher salaries because of the industry. It is easy to promote up in the ranks if you have good basic skills and learn quickly.

Online Media and Marketing

If you have a background that is compatible, you will find a wealth of jobs in this industry. From journalism to advertising to public relations to web design, there are many aspects of your former career that can give you the edge over the competition.

The key with this industry is to look for an online version of your prior job.

For example, you can find jobs in IT management working from a remote location. If you worked in sales, transfer that knowledge to internet marketing.

Teaching

More people are involved in virtual learning than ever before. This allows you to use your background to teach others online.

Traditional colleges offer online classes and often look for teachers dedicated to that aspect rather than having one teacher manage both physical and virtual classrooms.

Other educational sites hire people to write and teach courses as part of programs they offer to businesses.

The subjects are vast and can be generalized like how to be a good manager, or they may be specific to an industry. You often can set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want.

Making the Change

Before you quit your job, find out what options are available in a new career. Consider using some of what you have been doing in your current job to give you an advantage over others. Don’t forget to consider volunteer experience as well as your previous career.

It’s never too late to find a job that you love, so don’t hesitate to switch careers.

Just make a game plan and know where you are going.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and careers.

Is Big Data in Your Career Plans?

If you’re ready to make a career change, big data could be the answer. Not only does a career in big data offer job security, it also offers a number of different career opportunities.

When it comes to career success, here are a handful of opportunities big data provides:

Big Data Career Outlook

It’s always important to know your future career path has plenty of job security that goes along with it. Fortunately, big data is in it for long haul in terms of job growth and security. In fact, according to PC Mag and Wired, the world produces over 2.5 quintillion tons of data every day.

Likewise, it’s estimated that 94% of all data collected on a daily basis is in the digital format. This includes data from search engines and social media.

Google processes close to 4 billion search engine requests each day and, between content and photos, Facebook processes 500 terabytes of data every day.

As for the future of big data, well, the outlook is amazingly strong. By the year 2020, there’s predicted to be 40 zettabytes of data – that’s more than 400 million gigabytes.

With plenty of opportunity out there, the question is which big data career paths are most promising?

Business Intelligence Analyst

As the following article looks at, along with the 6 career opportunities provided by big data are also business intelligence analyst positions.

Analysts need to have a clear understanding of all things big data and database technology. This includes analytical processing, data reporting, stored procedures, and the ability to develop a company-wide data analyzing plan.

If you’re aiming for a career as a business intelligence analyst, you can likely expect a starting salary in the $90,000 range.

Data Modeler

As a data modeler, you’ll be required to address data quality control issues with management as well as clients. Other job responsibilities include creating and analyzing data flow models.

Because you’ll likely work directly with IT teams, having strong communications skills is also a must.

Data modelers work with many complicated data sets, which means organization and problem solving is a top priority. Most data modelers have starting salaries in the $85,000 range with plenty of room to grow.

Portal Administrator

As big data continues to expand in business environments, the need for portal administrators is on the rise. The main responsibility of portal administrators is to manage access for users within a business. In addition, administrators also make sure enterprise web environments are available for all users.

Enterprise web application is a large part of being a portal administrator, so it’s important to have knowledge of web application systems, services, and corresponding technologies.

As a portal administrator, you can likely expect a starting salary in the $95,000 range.

Database Administrator

Big data requires massive storage centers, which is where database administrators come into play. Database administrators maintain company databases.

In addition, administrators also monitor backup infrastructure protocol and ensure all data is recoverable after disaster strikes. Salaries for database administrators typically start at $92,500.

When you’re ready to change careers, consider some of the big data opportunities above.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including big data and job-hunting.

Did You Make the Right Career Choice in 2015?

career_chageIf you’re unhappy in your current career, don’t worry. There are still plenty of opportunities to find an exciting and fulfilling job in 2015.

With fruitful job-hunting in mind, here are just a few careers that are definitely worth pursuing the remainder of this year and beyond:

Physician’s Assistant

Don’t let the title fool you, a career as a physician’s assistant doesn’t require six-plus years of medical school.

There is training involved and a master’s degree is required, but if you have an interest in treating those in need, you can be working as a physician’s assistant within a few short years.

From administering tests to recommending treatments and diagnosing ailments, physician’s assistants have plenty of responsibilities, but that’s what keeps the job fresh and exciting.

As for income and job security, physician’s assistants make upwards of $80,000 a year and the field is predicted to experience a 15% growth in the next 5 years.

Public Relations Professional

The world of public relations has quickly moved into the digital sphere in recent decades, which has made the profession more accessible.

If you enjoy fine-tuning websites and improving your social media presence, today’s PR careers might just be for you.

Most public relations careers involve creating a positive online image for companies of all kinds.

Through brand recognition and customer outreach, you can help companies in need improve their image. Not to mention the annual income for public relations professionals is in the $50,000 range.

Cosmetologist

If you’re looking for a career that offers plenty of flexibility, career growth, and artistic freedom, cosmetology is a great option.

The cosmetology career field has grown to include hair styling, makeup, manicuring, skin care, and a number of other specialized personal care services.

As the article, “What’s the job outlook for cosmetologists?” notes, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in the field of cosmetology are expected to grow by 13% in the next 10 years.

Likewise, most cosmetology professionals earn $30,000 to $40,000 annually depending on the position.

Personal Trainer

Fitness and health is on everyone’s mind, which is why personal training is such a smart career choice. Most personal trainers make their own schedules, hand pick their clients, and don’t experience much stress during their workweeks.

You need to be in shape and have some training in your field of choice, whether it’s strength-building exercise, cardio, or another discipline.

However, personal training offers a change in scenery and routine, especially if you work out of multiple gyms.

As for pay, annual incomes start in the $30,000 range with room to grow if you take on group training.

Financial Advisor

If you’ve always been good with your finances and have a passion for money trends, you should consider a career as a financial advisor.

You’ll need a degree in finance, accounting, or similar, but financial advisors have plenty of job security and unlimited opportunity. Also, most financial advisors make a healthy income in the $60,000 to $80,000 range.

If you have your sights set on a new career, keep in mind the opportunities above.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including the economy and education.