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The internet has been proven useful in helping jobseekers find and land a job more quickly and more efficiently. However, with thousands of openings available on the net, it makes the process of finding the right ones that match your criteria becomes challenging. You might have found a job with excellent employee benefits, but the office is located abroad. Too far to go, but too tempting to miss. When looking for further detail about whether the company has option to remote work or not, you find that they only allow telecommute workers who reside in the same area.

But wait, aren’t remote and telecommuting job the same? Well, the truth is, NO. While the two terms are synonymous,  there is a slight difference in both. Here is the difference.

Remote work

Being a remote employee means that you can do the job from anywhere with no restriction of timezone, state, or country. You are able to do remote video call for a meeting without having to come to office or meet local clients. Your colleagues  might be located all over the globe as well.

For example: Credible Company based in New York sets their job ad as remote with clarification that no location restriction and almost all the whole team is remote. This is a great sign that Credible Company really looks for remote worker from all over the globe.

Telecommuting work

On the other hand, being a telecommuter means you can work from home or anywhere but your employer would like to meet you in person at the office sometimes. You might need to reside in a certain state, region, or country for a meeting or discussion with local clients. That being said, the company wants you to be closeby to reduce shipping costs for office equipments as well as to avoid paying sales taxes in states where their work based.

For example: CommunicationCo Company based in Paris Ris labelled their job ad as remote but they clarify that the applicants must reside within Singapore area. They cited in their ad as ‘Home based with travel to Paris Ris, Singapore’. In this case, instead of label their work as ‘remote work’, they should label their ad as telecommuting.

In the end, either remote and telecommuting job will let you work from the comfort of your home. The only difference is that one with certain area and the other is completely free. To decide whether you want to work completely remote from any place you are living now, or work flexibly with an option to come to the workplace, you need to guide yourself accordingly based on your necessities and preferences. In this case, creating a matrix job search would help you make better decision.

Read also: A to D Tips to be a Productive Freelancer

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Being a freelancer does not mean you can just sit around and wait for opportunities to come for you. Being a freelancer often means that you should set a gig and update your gig at least once in six months to attract a customer. It is more like selling your potential but you do not have to go far to workplace. Not only that, working as a successful freelancer also means that you should always learn and increase your goals each day. Likewise, improving your productivity is as important as the others.

If you want to finish your job fast and have more time to enjoy your day which is the main idea of working as a freelancer, you should double your rate and productivity. To do that, here are simple yet powerful tips to increase your productivity as a freelancer.

A   Begin each day with a set of plans

Instead of waking up then checking social media notifications on your phone, you can start your day by reading the to-do list you make the previous night or create a new one immediately. As you organise the tasks by the importance or the difficulty, you should also set each goal for  tasks. You should arrange your work schedule according to your ability and how you want to use your time. As a freelancer, you should not be sluggish. It is still important to get up early and get some exercise as it will help refresh your mind and improve creativity.

B   Meditate each day

Exercise is important and you can add meditation to your list. Doing a meditation each day or night can increase your focus. This simple exercise can help your wandering mind to focus more on one thing and help you have a peaceful life/mind. It is proven by science that people who mediate can have higher focus because their minds wander very little compared to those who don’t meditate. You can be more relax – the more relax your mind is, the more task you can get done. Almost all successful people do meditate in their life.

C   Apply Pomodoro technique

What is Pomodoro technique? Never heard of it?

It is a technique where you should work for 25 minutes without distractions – without ANY distractions. Then, you can rest for 5 minutes and after 4 session, you can have a longer break – 30 minutes at least. To help you with this technique, you can use time tracker or time reminder installed in your laptop or phone. Moreover, this technique is easily applied and likely to succeed. As a result, you can be more productive by not being in that social media or phone stuffs.

D   Plan your break time

At the beginning of the day, you have to check or create your to-do list but you should not forget to create a break list as well. Break list will help you organise your break time. Combining this list to your Pomodoro technique can be powerful to eliminate every distraction that might haunted you because you know when to rest and when to work. Therefore, you won’t keep checking your social media, phone, or even fridge during productive time.

Read also: How to Balance Your College and Work life When You are a Freelancer

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More than just a piece of written resume, winning your dream job is all about making a perfect first impression and putting your best foot forward. You might look great on paper and get shortlisted because your resume is perfectly and neatly crafted. But not every employer will love you, let alone hire you just based on your resume.

Often times, employers look at other traits on their potential candidates. They examine your behaviours and personalities as well. Without further ado, in the end of this year, make sure a Cupid arrow is landed up for you and your career progression. Read on the listed tips below to make yourself appealing to employers.

Craft a professional social media presence – You should be aware that employers will stalk their potential candidates even before calling them for a job interview. In this case, social media can serve as an unplanned resume because it can tell a lot about you. Bad social media attitude, often means bad candidates. Of course you do not want your recruiter to think that way. So, ensure that your social profiles are up-to-date, appropriate for business matters, and have something exciting to tell recruiters about your personality.

Highlight your accomplishments – Your resume tells a lot about you, so is the way you answer your interview questions. When employers ask about your accomplishments that you already highlight in your resume, you should answer it certainly and accordingly. Show the potential employers that you do not embellish those acts and that your achievements can help you when you are hired for the position.

Ask relevant questions – Oftentimes, employers do not only assess your candidacy merely from how best your answers are, but how good and relevant is your questions regarding the job you are applying. The general rule here is to never ask questions that you can easily find in company’s website or Google search. Show them that you are well-prepared.

You can ask questions that will help you understand if this job if the right job for you. For example, ask about resources, budget you have to work with, upper level engagement in projects, or role that you should contribute in workplace.

Express your interest and ask the next steps – Many interviews end with only formal thanks and good-byes but it should not happen to you too. To make employers fall head over heels to you, you should show that you are genuinely interested about the job and position you are applying. Show them that you are the right candidate. Also, add key points in how you can be valuable for company and ask them the next step. Employers love to hire hardworking and smart working candidates.

Read also: 7 Things You Should Do Before Starting a Job Hunting

 

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Finishing your study and graduating from university can be both exciting and daunting. Now that you have gained necessary skills and knowledge at school, it is time to implement the theories into practices in the workforce. During your study, you might have good GPA, actively participate in student organisations, and achieve recognition from the university for your contribution. However, the working world is different from school. With the burgeoning talent pools, you might find it more competitive and fiercer to land a job.

What should you do, then?

One of the easiest way to help you get out of the overwhelming job hunting is to keep moving and change your strategy. Searching for jobs via job platform or ads on newspapers is effective, but it might drain up your energy as you need to scroll through so many jobs and companies. Not to mention, not everything you find is the one you are actually looking for. However, a method called “matrix decision” can help you simplify your job search while still receiving the best result.

Using matrix isn’t something new. It is a decision making process people often use when making other decisions, such as deciding where school to go or evaluating which car to buy. It’s not a rocket science but doing what comes natural in a rigorous way can improve your career assessments. Matrix decision is useful when you have several choices of jobs and it can actually give a satisfactory result. There are more advantages you can get by using matrix, such as identifying new job opportunities faster while helping you think clearly and use time efficiently.

Without further ado, here are 3 easy steps you can do to create your own matrix decision.

Mainly, you should set objectives. Objectives will help you determine how successful your matrix will be. For example, you graduated with a BA degree in literature. After knowing your qualification, you should decide which objectives are the most important. There are five factors of objectives you should consider in your future career: field you want to take, role you want in the workplace, impact on your future such as salary or job status, personal growth, and what kind of organisation you want to work in.

Secondly, you decide from the most important to the less ones. At this point, you should be able to rate your decision either as high, low, or medium. To make your choice obvious, you can rate it from 1 to 5. To help you in making better decision, you can ask your friends or family members to share their thoughts and give suggestions to your career matrix because sometimes, close family or friends can see your quality better.

Remember, when rating your objectives, you should also be able to evaluate alternative against objectives. Your objectives are the primary concern in this decision. Therefore, judge how each alternative meets each category and think how it might affect your future. Also, consider what you might do if things do not work out. If possible, jot down the reasons of picking up certain job in each relevant box of matrix.

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Lastly, you can interpret the result. Your matrix structure is a stepping rock to lead you for a brighter career, but it is not the final answer. You must understand and figure out what it tells you. Matrix decision is as good as you want it to be and by using it, you’ll likely to know what job would be better and know what questions to ask in future career.

It is hard to decide what’s best for your future. But by assessing your career objectives and defining which are most important, you can make decisions with confidence as structured plan such as matrix decision can help you ease all your doubt in one place.

 Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

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“Follow your passion when you look up for a job.”

There are two different responses people usually give upon hearing this advice. Jobseekers and fresh graduates with more ideals and less work experiences are more likely to accept and follow the idea. Meanwhile, those who have been in the workforce long enough might be rolling their eyes when hearing the same advice.

Then the question pops up: is following your passion a bad advice? What about working following our skills? Is it better?

Before judging whether it is right or wrong, let’s see what passion and skill actually are:

Passion is something that you love doing or spend time doing it.

Probably you are wondering why your friends can work in a prestigious company with flashy job title and it seems that they really enjoy their jobs, despite the fact that the job does not match their true passion. But believe it or not, there are chances that they might feel restless inside as if something is ‘missing’ from them.

Needless to say, working while following your passion gives you more satisfaction and happiness because you really love what you are doing ‘at that time’. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, believed that passion is the key to satisfaction. He also mentioned that we need to pursue our passion first but never settle. When you find a job you are passionate about, you feel amazing and satisfied but after long months of dealing with the same routine, you might feel tired and want something new.

Another downside of working according to your passion is that it might get you nowhere because it limits your choice. For instance, you are interested in literature, it is easy to think that being a writer will give you a satisfying career, and thus you ignore other options such as being an accountant or teacher. That being said, rather than having a single passion, you can be more than what you expected to be because your interest grows from time to time.

Skill is an ability that you can acquire or learn after lots of practice or hard work.

Focusing on your skill can give you a rewarding career given that skilled talents are highly sought-after. Yet, it might feel like you are lack of happiness when the job does not suit your interests. You can receive fat paycheck for the skills that you contribute to the job, but is that all you want? No satisfaction or happiness in your job?

For example, you are working as a writer because you have great communication and English skills. However, you do not find any meaning or pleasure in your job. In this case, you might consider to choose passion over skill when it comes to finding a job.

All in all, you can see that passion and skill occupy different parts of your life. You can find a professional work according to your skills, but you can also explore your passion freely if it gives you satisfaction in the workforce. Caro F., a team leader for Tech Companies 3YOURMIND and a coach, suggests that instead of giving confusion to yourself whether you should follow your passion or skill, you can answer these questions to help clearing the confusion.

  • What do you want out of job?
  • Do you want financial security to travel the world or maybe you want provide for your family?
  • Do you want a challenge, something that makes you grow? Or something that comes easily to you, routinely and that you can predict?
  • Do you value working environment as a contributing factor for your happiness, working with amazing people? Or do you value own space or progression more?

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong in choosing your career path because it is all up to you. Just the same as when you go to career advisors, they will only give you options and you need to choose one. The best thing you can do now is explore which one is the most suitable for your own career personality and characteristics.

Next read: Got an Interview? Get Rid of These 9 Behaviours

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At some point in a career journey, there are times when an employee feel exhausted with overload tasks given to them and start to think that they deserve better jobs. Some others find a bitter fact that they do not have any chance to achieve career growth and personal development in their current company. If you find yourself trapped in similar situation, this could be the early sign that you should move on and pursue a new career.

Seeking new job while you are still employed is just like gambling. If you are lucky enough, you can find new employer within a short time. However, sometimes reality bites and the job search could take a really long time. People say that the best time to change job is when you already find a new one. Therefore, rather than letting go your job whereas you have not land a new one, it is better to hold onto your current job on until you are accepted elsewhere.

Then the question remains: how to do job search while you still has contract with your current employer? When your boss knows that you intend to leave the company, there are chances that he would feel betrayed and disappointed about your plan. This will ruin the well-built relationship between you and him even before you really move on to the new job. So, you need to do the job search silently to avoid negative comments people around you.

You should know what to do and what not in conducting the job search while you are still employed. Follow the tips below:

Dos:

Let the prospective employer knows you are still employed

Some people believe that letting prospective company know that you already have a job is important, as being employed means that you have certain proven qualities and skills. While such belief is not necessarily true, putting your current employment status on your application and resume is crucial, such that hiring managers can manage the right time to arrange an interview and tests for you.

Schedule the interview around lunch hour

Despite conducting active job search, you should remember that you are still employed. It means that you still have the responsibility to perform well and get your tasks done at your current job. When prospective recruiter invites you for an interview, you should find the best time to do it. For example, you can ask to schedule an interview during lunch hour, such that it will not disturb your main job.

Mind your outfit

Your current office culture might let you dress casually, but in order to come for an interview, you often have to wear formal dress. It will seem suspicious when you suddenly dress formally while you used to wear casual one in the office. To avoid such suspicion, you have to make a plan. For example, you can come to the office wearing T-shirt as usual, but keep the formal shirt in your bag and wear it once you get outside before coming to the interview.

Don’ts:

Don’t tell your coworker

You cannot simply believe that your coworkers are going to keep silence when they know about your job search plan and leaving the team. Even it is someone whom you trust so much, you cannot risk the possibility of him telling about your plan to the others. If rumours spread out, it will be uncomfortable for you to stay. Until you seal the deal and sign an employment contract with new employer, you should consider the job search as a kind of secret mission that no one in your office should know.

Don’t do the search during work hours

This could be obvious, but it will be awkward when you are opening a job portal with your PC at work then suddenly your boss walks by and sees it. Even when no one knows about your job search activity, you should keep in mind that your employer might track your browsing history if you use office facility during work hours. Therefore, do the job search in the evening at home. You should also ensure that the email address you use to send job application is your private email and not the one you use to exchange emails with clients. Additionally, you need to be careful with incoming calls from recruiters. Given that they usually call during work hours, make sure that you talk with him away from the place where your coworkers can hear the conversation.

Don’t ask for recommendation from your current employer

When applying for particular job, you should ensure that the prospective company does not have any cooperation or close relationship with your current company. As you need to do it in silence, it will be a problem if your future employer asks for recommendation about your performance to your current employer. Therefore, you can ask for reference or recommendation from anyone but those who work at your company.

Read also: Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired: Jobseeker Tips for Attending Career Fairs

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Are you feeling stuck in your job search? Despite all the efforts you have put in it, it seems that all the time and energy you invested in sending job applications and attending rounds of interviews are going to be in vain. If this happens to you, cheer up! Do not let your spirit wane and keep going. All you need to do is rethinking your job hunt strategy: leverage the power of networking.

The most unfortunate thing that happens since the rise of internet and technology is that most jobseekers nowadays tend to be lazy. Instead of going out and building network with real people, they prefer spending their time in front of the computer to search and apply jobs online. While it is true that these online job portals do offer many employment opportunities, you might miss the chance to network and connect with prominent business players.

Networking is a crucial strategy to help you conduct an effective job seeking. By getting to know and building good relationships with people from various backgrounds and expertise, it will open the chance to find more information and job opportunities from wider scope. Not to mention, you never know if an acquaintance might help you find employment faster by giving a reference to his employer about your skills. Additionally, growing a network will give you a lot stories related to job hunt, such that you can learn from them.

Follow the tips below to network the right way:

Connect to people around you

It is a big opportunity if you can connect with people around who can give you information about the job you have been searching for, especially if the person is working at your dream company. Not only getting bigger chances of getting hired, you will also gain useful information about how the company works and its culture before you apply the job. Family members, neighbours, school friends, and even ex-coworkers can share many advices and experiences about working in the job you want.

Use the internet the right way

Some people argue that sending online application is useless, while some others say that it is effective and efficient. The truth is, the outcome depends on how you use and take advantage of this media. Using Facebook and LinkedIn to push your profile can be a good choice to let people know you. You can build a network with people you find on social media who can provide you with useful information about career, or someone with whom you can consult about the job.

Join a professional community

Professionals create a community where they can gather and meet other people in the related profession. Within such community, they will share with abundant information related to the work field, including work experience, tips, and job vacancies. It is also a good opportunity to join their activity if they conduct seminar, training, internship, or similar events that will hone your knowledge and skill.

Consider the opinion wisely

You should be a smart networker who can digest all the information coming to you with full consideration. You should be careful with persuasion or even scam that might lead you to the wrong decision. Comparing one opinion to others and recheck the truth is important to get the accurate information.

Give a balance contribution

Networking should not be a one-way communication. You should not forget to maintain the relation by saying gratitude to your colleagues or acquaintances when they inform you something important for the job search. You also need to contribute by giving information you have when they need it.

Read also: Seize the Day: Time Management Tips for New Employee

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“What kind of career is right for me?” This could be among the most common question crossed a fresh graduate’s mind. In fact, such thought even comes up when they have not graduated yet. It is not without reason that many people think about their future career, as landing on your first job could determine your future direction in life. Getting a good job in a reputable company could be your ticket to better life, while on the opposite, choosing the wrong job could make your life going downhill instead.

Choosing the right job is not easy, as you have to consider many aspects. Not to mention, being a fresh graduate means that you have no prior experience about the professional world. Some fresh graduates end up regretting their first job after realising that they have chosen the wrong job. To prevent similar case, you should avoid some common mistakes fresh graduates do when choosing their first job. Here they are:

Listening to your family too much

When it comes to your future, many people around you might think that they should have a say about what you should do in your life. Your parents or relatives might tell you to choose this job or avoid that job. While it is good to take their sayings into account, it is not a good idea to swallow them all. It does not matter when the suggestions align with your values and passions, but inner turmoil will arise when they say the opposite. Rather than working in a company you do not really fancy and work half-heartedly only to please your family, you should follow your heart instead.

Following someone else’s steps

You know one of your friends earns big salary by working in a particular company whose job is much different from your skills and passions. However, seeing their successes makes you possessed to force yourself pursuing the related job. The truth is, you should keep in mind that every person has different passion and capacity. Instead of merely following someone else’s steps and being unhappy, you should not forget to be just yourself and set your own goals.

Ignoring the environment

Finally you land the job of your dream, but the office is located far from your home and is difficult to reach by public transportation. After deciding to live in a boarding house around the office area, you feel uncomfortable with the surrounding environment, expensive living cost, as well as isolated location that makes you unable to meet your family or friends too often. While this might sound trivial, you should not underestimate the location and environment aspect when choosing a job.

Going only for money

Many fresh graduates are often blinded with the idea of earning their own money, without considering whether they will enjoy the job or not. It is worth noted that considering the salary before picking the job is a must, but it should not be the only reason to choose certain job. Forcing yourself to work in the office that does not match with your basic education and passion is not good for your mental health.

Next read: Where Did All the Money Go? Smart Guide to Manage Your Salary

Reasons on Why You Should Move On From Your Current Job

Have you ever consider to quit? If so, remember that there is a right time for successful career change.

Otherwise, you feel that you finally have the job that you wanted. Your current job is okay, and you also have good relationships with your boss and colleagues. However, you need to improve. Some people said that we shouldn’t stay on our comfort zones for too long.

As an individual, it’s always important to continue growing and face different challenges in the professional world. Take a look at how your job is affecting your career. See the bigger picture!

If there’s any of these reasons below that you are feeling right now, it’s time to consider moving on to another job:

  1. It’s been a long time in this position

Staying in the same position is not a good thing, unless you are the boss. It has drawbacks. Everything you do will be too familiar and unexciting. You will start functioning on autopilot, which is bad for your own competency.

There is a suggestion that the optimum number of years to remain working in a given field is your age divided by six or seven. Thus, people in their twenties could stay in one department for four years, while someone in their forties would move round after eight years.

So please, explore other opportunities. People are competitive nowadays. It is vital to have new skills, in order to keep developing as a professional. Doing a self-assessment can indicate whether it is the right time to find a new job.

  1. There is something wrong in the office

You might perform well as an employee, but your company is not growing as expected. There are certain situations that easily indicate how your company is slowly dying, such as plenty of resignation in a year or dwindling job openings.

If your company seems to be cutting back, you should have a plan B (before you become unemployed). Remember, you have other options.

  1. You are underappreciated

The fact that you are in the same position for so long could be a bad sign: you are simply underappreciated. Nobody want to stay at the company where they are no longer being valued.

If you don’t know why you didn’t get a promotion, you better change your own future. Everybody is in charge of their own career.

  1. The industry is going down

In this current economy, some industries are struggling more. There’s a chance that the industry you have built your career in is slowly disappearing. Take a quick step before it’s literally shrinking. A lot of people change careers, even to a new industry.

Don't Find a Job, Build a Career

How many times you have applied for a job? Perhaps, countless. Moreover, more and more people are job-hoppers nowadays. They are always looking for better prospects outside their current office.

Well, is it really good for you? Many people also think that they can’t find the job they love. Every job demands you to do a hard work, probably making you put your personal life aside, and there must be moments when you feel the job is not suitable for you. Also, who will ever be satisfied with their current salary? People always want more!

So, instead of only finding a job (which feels bad at some points), let’s look at the bigger picture. Does your current job (or the job you’re applying for) able to build you a career?

It’s important to build a career, instead of hopping from one job to another. It’s even worse if you keep changing your profession. Nobody would hire someone who had years of experience on unrelated jobs, because it’s pointless.

Here are why it would be better to reach career contentment than landing an insignificant job:

1. Career is just like stepping stones that should always lead to bigger things

People say that career ladder doesn’t exist anymore. That’s why they are always looking around for other opportunities. When they are working at the new company, they felt unfilled and apply for new jobs again. People do that on repetitive mode, resulting a series of unfulfilling jobs.

The truth is, it’s not always the other company that leads you to a better career. You can’t always count how successful you are by how much money you can collect this year. Happiness and the overall emotional well-being are also involved with career contentment.

2. Being a master of one

It’s always nice to do something that you love, but love is not a constant term. You might love it today, yet you might not tomorrow. Just choose one thing that you decide to be your thing. If there’s a moment where you, say, hate it, remember that you always need to learn to love what you do.

3. A great career could be the best thing in your life

It’s important to validate the career you want as early as possible. No, you don’t need to try various industries. You can do some research about different industries. Find something that’s clearly a good fit for you. Think wisely on every single step of your career.

In fact, a career is not just a way to earn a living. You are also able to discover yourself and feel important in this big, big world.