Career & Life Strategy: 3 Ways to Avoid Your Own Fiscal Cliff

January 8th, 2013 No comments

dontbelateMillions of Americans greeted the New Year with exhaustion and relief as Congress negotiated a last-minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff — and avoid the prospect of a deeper economic recession. As a country, we’d just survived weeks of negotiation and a psychological cliffhanger.

StartWire is non-partisan, but we have a firm belief in the rights of job seekers. We believe that — as a job applicant — you should be treated with the same respect an organization shows its customers. We believe employers should let you know where you stand in an applicant pool — regardless of whether or not they want to hire you. We’re on a mission to help you organize your job search so that you can find an optimal position in a minimal amount of time.

While we focus on the process of making your job search process easier, we also care about your economic well being. After all, it’s harder to feel psychologically healthy and prepared for interviews if you are not sure you can pay your bills and keep the lights on.

One of the easiest ways to ensure your own fiscal security, safety, and happiness is to focus on what you can control and take responsibility for your own career. Here are ways to do this — even if you want to change industries or switch to a new job:

  1. ¬†Explore your interests, but know where you stand in terms of supply and demand. Have any friends who’ve just enrolled in an expensive training program — but haven’t seen any jobs even posted after finishing? Before you set your heart on a new role, get a sense of supply and demand for the field. How many employers need people to perform your desired job? Use to see skills and training needed to perform a role, projected salaries and employment availability, and local resources.
  2. Take charge of your own education. Does not knowing a software application — or completing a training program — stand between you and your next job? Don’t be afraid to teach yourself new skills. Need to learn how to do an e-mail merge in Microsoft Outlook? Search YouTube for training videos. (We found over 300 on this topic alone!) Inspired by the way Will Hunting teaches himself math in Good Will Hunting? You too can take a class at MIT; they offer over 1,800 classes you can study yourself through their Open Courseware program.
  3. Diversify! Unemployed? Need to supplement your current income? Consider doing odd jobs, freelance work, and/ or temp jobs. While less reliable than permanent employment, these types of assignments can provide you with additional income — and give you the chance to try a new line of work without committing to 40+ hours a week immediately. If you’ve never tried this before, chances are good that you have a friend who has. The number of U.S. workers working on projects — often referred to as 1099s — has rapidly increased in recent years.

These are just three of the ways you can help yourself maintain financial stability; do you have any others? Share.





Categories: Job Search Advice Tags:

A New Year, Fresh Momentum For Your Career: Ready, Set, Go

December 31st, 2012 No comments

“Find a new (or better) job.” If this is your New Year’s resolution, you will be in good company with one out of four Americans who set goalsstellar at the start of the year.

But what’s the best way to keep your resolution? Especially given that a majority of individuals who make promises to themselves in the form of resolutions don’t keep them.

Here are three ways to help yours stick:

1. Get Ready

Create your own inner circle of trusted friends and supporters. Tell them three things:

a. What interests you
b. What you do best — skills and interests
c. How you plan to conduct a search

Then make the big ask: Now that I’ve shared this with you, will you hold me to it? Will you ask me regularly how it’s going and encourage me to keep it up?

Why this works: Peer pressure. It is harder to give up when you’ve said what you want to do out loud. In addition, people who know you are looking can keep an eye out for jobs that might fit you — and put in a referral or a good word on your behalf. (Did we mention that referrals are one of employers’ favorite ways to find new employees?)

2. Get Set

There’s no need to rush out to the 50 percent off Calendar sales to get better organized…use StartWire’s¬† free tools to:

a. Find and apply for jobs (check out our Express Apply features under Application Connect)
b. Track where you’ve applied (you may be able to receive auto updates on your application status)
C. Download an electronic record of your job search activity (StartWire keeps your data confidential but allows you to generate a report you can use to update others on your search. If you are receiving unemployment, you may be able to use this for your Work Search record.

3. Go!

Even if you applied for a job in November and are waiting to hear back, follow up! Following up and making a habit of applying for jobs as soon as you see them listed is a good way to stay visible for employers — especially if you’ve asked contacts inside a company to put in a good word for you.

As always, we’ll continue to give you tips that you can use for your job search in 2013.

Regardless of whether we hit the fiscal cliff or not, we will be back next week with tips you can use to protect yourself from economic slowdowns and unemployment.

Let’s make it a great year!



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