What I Have Learned From Being Unemployed

It has been seven months since I was laid off. My credit cards are maxed and my husband and I juggle bills like circus performers on a tightrope. Yet, this journey is helping me examine my own self-awareness and work on my personal ideology. I have gained some invaluable insights, like the following:

  • I am not a job. I am not less valuable because I lack employment. On the contrary, I am priceless and it would be a shame to take a job in which I’d be miserable. How would that be a step forward?
  • Ask for help. Networking is vital. I decided to start with people I knew and told them I am looking for work. It is tough at first, but people I didn’t tell found out anyway. I was incredibly fortunate to be invited to the Sandler President’s Club by former sales coach Jeff Schneider. Because of this group, I have confidence and a network of fellow trainees who I greatly admire. Watching videos on various career-related  websites is helping me figure out other places network and how to be more productive at it.
  • I must keep my options open. My big break may be lurking around an unsuspecting corner. Opportunities tend to arise when – and where – I don’t expect them. I don’t always see the “point” in prospecting or networking activities until later. So, if I receive an invitation to connect, why not explore it?
  • My time is precious. That means I need to find a fair balance between studying, learning, networking, job searching and enjoying life. Being smart saves me time. I’m finding job search tools that are much more productive which leads to much more happiness. Why shouldn’t I do things that make me happy? So I take a hike, volunteer, cook a gourmet meal … I am enjoying doing things my job schedule once prevented. These things relieve stress and stimulate my mind. Great ideas pop into my head while I am traversing through the mountains.
  • And finally, I need to RELAX more. This last, important ingredient is vital to maintaining my sanity throughout this job search process. I know this transition isn’t easy, but being frantic and stressed out won’t land me a job any faster. Frantically searching the job boards will not tell me who I really am or where to find my perfect career. I must take a breath, relax and go do some more networking. A good start is to make a list of things I am grateful for despite my lack of work.

What about you? What have you learned about yourself since you have been laid off?

What Everybody Needs To Know About Writing A Blog To Promote Your Personal Brand

Interested in promoting yourself on the Internet without spending a ton of money? Want potential employers to know more about you? Looking for ways to get recruiters to show more interest in your Resume? A Resume written by a certified resume writing service is an investment in your success. Also you need a blog.

Done well, a blog is an important tool for branding yourself. Make sure your blog is done well, because done poorly a blog will hurt any chance you have of landing a job.

Blogging is a tool used to build community and develop relationships. Thus the first thing you need to know about blogging is, what does your audience want to read about? Content drives traffic, but more importantly, the content needs to be something other people want or need. That’s one of the best things about blogs. They offer a space for feedback through the comments.

However, before you get comments you need to get traffic. Yeah, its pretty much a Catch 22. So how do you get past that? Well, William Randal has an interesting take on how to do that. He says, “Don’t walk around all day worrying how you can get to the top of Google. Worry how you can find your ideal customers right where they are. Because your business lives and dies with people, not computer tricks.” He goes on to urge blog writers to tell their story. I like that. As a technique for building your personal brand, storytelling is a great technique!

That takes us to your personal brand. There are many stories we could tell about ourselves. When writing a blog to promote your unique value, you want to be sure the stories you tell match the brand you want to promote. A blog is an extension of your resume and other marketing materials. Potential employers can check you out without actually talking to you. . . and they will! Do you want a potential employer to know you are someone who is trustworthy? Be sure you show trustworthiness in your blog. That means you don’t go around bashing others (especially current or former employers). Want to present yourself as someone who has a particular expertise in a certain area? That should be the focus of your blog. . . NOT your camping trip to Lake Tahoe last summer.

A third thing everybody needs to know about blogging is that this is a commitment. Lots of people start a blog, are fast and furious for a few weeks or months, and then drop off the face of the earth. Heck, I’m guilty of that myself. It takes time and energy to blog. But here’s the problem with that. You take time to build a readership. They come to expect that your blog adds value to their life. Then, you run off and don’t post for several months. Do you think they will ever come back?

Writing a blog can be a great tool for extending your personal brand on the Internet without spending a ton of money. But blogging as branding needs to be done right, or it can tarnish your professional brand.

The Real Cost of Unemployment

There are no tricks to finding your perfect career, but going about it in the wrong way can distract from your job search and making it take longer to find your next position.

For instance, many job seekers spend much of their day on the Internet searching the job boards. Unfortunately, only about 6-10% of all jobs are ever posted on these job boards. Smart job seekers understand that the key to finding the perfect career fit requires them to conduct a career marketing campaign.

A career marketing campaign begins by helping you focus your strengths and accomplishments into quantifiable statements that will show prospective employers what you can offer them – i.e. ways you can help them make or save money.

Once you have determined your key accomplishments, the next step is to find people and companies who need what you have to offer. Sending out professional resumes will just put your name into a pile of 500 to 1,000 candidates. A proactive career marketing plan will allow you to be one of only a handful of candidates, rather than one in 1,000.

So why would you want to calculate how much you unemployment costs? Isn’t that just a straight shot to depression-ville? Not really. I believe that one can make wiser decisions when they are better informed. If you don’t know what unemployment is costing you, you should take a few minutes to do the calculations. Trust me, it WILL help!

Here’s a simple way to calculate the cost of your unemployment.

1) Your desired monthly salary $_______________
2) Subtract your current monthly income (i.e. unemployment, severance, etc) $ _______________
3) Equals your monthly LOSS of income $ _______________

If your monthly loss of income is $500, then in 3 months your will be out $1,500. If you are $2,000 in the red each month, 3 months will take $6,000 out of your savings or put you that much deeper in debt!

When you know this information you really have two options:

Trim expenses.
Invest in various tools available on the Internet to help you cut time off your job search.

What is it worth to you to cut time off your job search? What is ONE week worth? A month? 3 months? How much more time are you willing to WASTE on your job search?

Tips for Applying to Law School

Applying for law school can often seem like more work than actually being in school.

However, if doesn’t have to take some herculean effort to get it done. Whether you’re applying to one of the prestigious law schools in Boston, or a less competitive school nearby,

Follow these simple tips to ease the process:

  1. Get a move on it. One of the biggest tips for applying for law school is to start early. Being prepared and ahead of the game will be your biggest asset in successfully completing your applications. Because it can be extremely stressful, the extra time cushioning will help you complete the application process without the stress and strain off a time crunch.
  2. Set realistic expectations. Nothing sets you up for possible disappointment more than unrealistic expectations. From thinking you can get a multiple month process done in a week or getting a perfect score on the LSAT, being unrealistic about the application process is only going to create frustration. Be familiar with your own personal limits, schedule and goals and plan accordingly.
  3. Weigh your options. It seems obvious, but it is imperative that you spend a considerable amount of time deciding whether law school is right for you or not. Attending law school is an arduous, lengthy and expensive commitment, so you’d be unwise to make the decision hastily. Think not only if you’d like to attend, but also where you would want to attend.
  4. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Writing the essay for a law school application can be very intimidating, and while a minor error in your essay probably won’t kill your chances of getting in, having several or a major error just might nix you from their acceptance list. To avoid this unfortunate situation, be sure to proofread your essay and have several friends review it to make sure it’s ready to go and error-free. Giving new, fresh eyes a chance to see it will improve your odds of turning in a perfect paper.
  5. Organization is the name of the game. While everybody is different and has different ways of staying organized, or ideas of what organized looks like, you simply must stay organized. Keep track of deadlines, check lists and important papers by using a calendar and folders in a designated spot where they cannot be lost or misplaced. It would also be wise to separate each application into its own folder so nothing gets switched around or mixed up. Stay organized in whatever fashion works best for you, just make sure you do it!

Should I Get a Finance Degree Online? Part 2

Cons:

  • You May Lack Hands on Financial Experience While an online degree in finance definitely does have its pros, you may graduate with not as much hands on experience in the field of finance as graduates who attended a brick-and-mortar program. Studying solely online may prevent you from getting the real world experience you may need to impress potential employers but you could easily compensate for this by trying to get at least one finance internship under your belt before you graduate.
  • There is Still Some Stigma Surrounding Online Degrees Unfortunately there is still some negative stigma surrounding online education. Some employers still favor candidates who completed in-person degree programs over those who haven’t, and you may experience this once you graduate and are looking for your first finance job. However, you can beat this stereotype by emphasizing in the interview process all of the ways in which your online finance degree equipped you with the necessary skills and experience for a lasting career in finance.

An online finance degree can be a great solution for those with busy lives that want to transition into a career in finance. Use our above pros and cons to help you make the best educational decision possible and good luck!

Also, if you’re considering getting a degree in finance online then you’ll likely be glad to know that finance degrees were recently ranked as one of the top ten degrees for graduate earning potential. Research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers ranked degree in finance graduates as in the top ten of high earning entry level salaries, with the average entry level finance major salary being a whopping $57,300.

Let me know in the comment section below what did you chose and what have influenced you choice. And, maybe if you already finished online courses tell us how it was and maybe write your pros and cons. Let’s share our experiences with people who really need the advice now. But remember, that something that works for one person, doesn’t always work for another. So choose wisely!

 

Should I Get a Finance Degree Online? Part 1

A career in finance is clearly lucrative, but perhaps work and personal responsibilities are stopping you from going to a brick-and-mortar school to get your bachelor degree in finance.

If this is you, then you may be wondering Should I Get a Degree in Finance Online? as an alternative to studying finance at an on-campus institution.

Of course the answer very much depends on your unique circumstances and long term goals but the fact is that there are plenty of finance degree programs out there that could give you the skills you need without having to give up any of your personal responsibilities.  However, completing an online degree in finance is definitely not without its advantages and disadvantages and here are the main pros and cons to getting an finance degree online:

Pros:

  • You Can Keep Your Job A huge benefit of studying online is that many distance programs will provide a flexible study schedule, so you can study around your work and other responsibilities. Therefore, you may easily be able to keep your current full-time job as you get your finance degree which could both help you graduate with either little or no student debt and prevent any gaps of unemployment from appearing on your resume. In this respect, an online degree is very much a win-win situation.
  • You Can Save a Lot of Money Not only can money be saved from not having to give up your day job for the sake of  your education, you can also save a lot by not having to commute to school on a daily basis or having to relocate to be nearer to your campus. Some programs provide lower tuition rates compared to their brick-and-mortar counterparts and others even offer tuition guarantee. Overall, online education can provide a great education for less.

You Can Learn Invaluable Finance Skills from Home With an distance finance degree you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to learn invaluable and highly marketable finance skills. These skills can help you become a qualified finance professional and stand out from the crowd in the hiring process when you’re looking for your first finance job after graduation. With an online finance degree you can gain finance skills from your own home and in your own time.