Monthly Archives: October 2014

Making a Backup Plan for Your Career

In times of economic uncertainty, having a backup plan for your career makes a lot of sense. It might come in handy if your industry goes belly-up, or you might find yourself falling back on it if changes at your workplace make what was once a great job no longer enjoyable. Having a plan so that you’re prepared for any eventuality can be invigorating and liberating as well. If you think you might benefit from having a backup plan in place for your career, consider the following when creating it.

– Is it flexible? Many backup jobs are good precisely because they can work in a dynamic situation. Good fallback positions are often simple jobs in which you can vary your hours and schedules to suit your needs. Freelance and part-time positions are also smart options.

– Does it allow for growth? Sometimes the best part of a backup plan is that it exposes you to an unexpected opportunity. Applying for a basic job at a company that also has more desirable positions can put you in the best possible place from which to jump on an unexpected opening.

– Is it scalable? You may be able to start your backup plan small and grow it quickly if the need arises. Freelance and side gigs are a great way to establish a small secondary income stream while you’re employed and can turn into a full-time occupation if you suddenly lose your job. Starting a microbusiness like an online shop selling handcrafted goods or a blog that derives revenue through advertising and affiliate sales may also give you a scalable backup plan.

– Will it be around when you need it? Generally speaking, you want your backup plan to be more stable than your current position. It doesn’t do much good to have a well-developed plan for moving into an industry likely to be hurt by the same economic forces that would cause you to lose the job you currently have.

What is an Influence Letter?

Sending a thank-you note after a job interview has long been a mainstay of career-search advice. But in the last couple of years, job coaches have begun pushing a new tactic: the influence letter. While the thank-you letter provides a brief point of positive follow-up contact, the influence letter offers the opportunity to address challenges… Read More…

Tips for a Solid Phone Interview

The phone interview is an important part of the hiring process for many companies, as it helps employers to screen applicants before going through the time and expense of bringing them in to speak with somebody. While it tends to be a preliminary step, a solid phone interview can help you to land a position.… Read More…

Keep an Eye Out for Colloquialisms in Your Cover Letter

The use of colloquial language can sound the death knell for an otherwise promising job application. Colloquialisms are a clear sign that your writing may have slipped into dangerous territory. However, using strictly formal language like you would in a legal brief won’t do you any favors either. However, in general you’re better off erring… Read More…

Speech Habits to Avoid at a Job Interview

Many employers evaluate your communication skills during the interview. In practical terms, this means that how you speak matters as much as what you say. Poor speech habits, such as mumbling or racing through your replies, can eliminate you from consideration for a position, and for good reason. An employee who communicates poorly can cost… Read More…