Archive for Career

Have You Ever Thought Of An Online Craft Business?

Today we have a guest post

The popularity of making your own products at home has surged in recent years. With the help of social networking sites and DIY websites, more and more individuals are finding the internet to be a source of income and a perfect way of advertising their talents. Whether its candles, stationery or polymer clay jewellery, there’s so many craft businesses out there that are fighting for their own spot in the market.

Using Apache SSL, you can make sure your business is secure and as safe as houses. After all, if you want to grab the attention of buyers online rather than limiting your wares to craft fairs, you’re going to need to be trustworthy and a Symantec EV SSL  or similar could be just the answer. While fledgling start-up businesses may outsource their transaction process to a third party company such as PayPal, if your business flourishes, you will outgrow such a service and will require your own online shop. With this comes the importance of online security, ensuring that your customers’ sensitive information is in safe hands.

Regardless of how amazing your products are – it doesn’t matter whether you’re a genius with a craft knife or a legend with a piping bag – customers won’t buy unless they know their information is safe. SSL certificates are available to help secure your site, and provide the “https://” in the address bar that we all know so well. That little recognizable padlock. That’s down to SSL certificates and, with various packages available to suit your budget, are one of the most important things you need to consider when hosting your own online store. With this added security, the next time a customer lands on your site and hovers over “buy”, they’ll be more likely to click it.

Combine this with backing up your all important documents and you have the ingredients of a thriving business. Now all you need to do is make sure your supply can meet the demand!

Pros And Cons Of Working From Home!

I’ve been working from home for the past 6 years and I must say I absolutely love it. I know that it’s definitely not for everyone and I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone either. There are several pros and cons from working at home that I’ve discovered over the years.

Pros

Flexible work hours and location

You make your own hours, so you can schedule your meetings in the middle of the day to avoid driving in rush hour if you like. You can schedule a meeting in Starbucks, if you don’t feel like meeting in an office.

You could work in your PJ’s while eating spaghetti and meatballs

Since you don’t have to go into an office, you could wear what you like, or nothing at all. I never tried this, maybe I will one day! Ha-ha! Just have to remember to put on clothes if someone knocks at my door. Lol!

You spend less

I definitely spend less now that I work from home versus when I worked in an office. I use to bring my lunch to work, but the odd time I would buy my lunch, which I no longer do. I just eat at home or bring snacks if I have several client meetings. I also shopped more when I worked in an office. Often times a colleague would want to go to H&M or some other store just to browse and sometimes I would end up buying something. I would go simply because I wanted to get out of the office.

Cons 

Work way more than 8 hours a day

I definitely work more than 8 hours a day, sometimes I lose track of time or a client will call after hours and I’ll pick up the phone. I am much better at this now versus when I first started this job. I’ve learned that if I don’t answer really late calls they’ll stop calling really late. The flip side to this is, you can lose business.

Work on weekends

Yes I’ve worked on weekends, usually attending events, which if I had kids I could totally bring them, which wouldn’t really feel like work. But it is!

Many distractions, family, TV, phone

I’ve gotten better at blocking out distractions, especially the TV and family. I have set boundaries for the family, so they don’t bother me while I am working. For the TV, I either turn it off or put it on mute if I really need to focus. I like having the TV on sometimes for background noise, it makes me feel less lonely?

I work on vacations (I never did this when I had a 9-5 job)

I don’t know if this is a con, or I just need to smarten up and leave the blackberry at home when I am on vacation. A few years ago, I purposely started leaving the country every time I would take vacation because if I did a staycation I would still work. Now I find myself working at the airport when I am on vacation and turning my blackberry on when I arrive at my destination. I know I need to stop this.

Because I work from home, I am expected to be available more often

This is a trade off for having an office at home. Sometimes I get emails at midnight and a response is needed before 9:00am. It’s never fun when I get one of those, but I just deal with it and don’t complain.

I seem to have more cons than pros, but the pros outweigh the cons in my mind.

Do you prefer to work from home or in an office?

 

Are You Surprised At How Your Life Turned Out?

10 years ago did you think your life would be better than it is right now? I sure did! I thought for sure my income would be higher and I thought I would be married with two kids by now. It’s funny how we make plans for our life and it rarely ever works out the way we thought.

I was listening to a radio show recently and they were talking about a Globe and Mail article where a 29 year old was complaining about not being able to find a good job. He’s University educated and has only been able to get low paying contract jobs. He has pretty much given up on marriage, having children or buying a home since he can’t find a good job.

Here’s a bit of what he had to say. “Am I bitter about all of this? Not entirely, because it all just sort of works itself out. If I can’t get married (dating is tough when you’re broke) and have kids, I don’t need a home bigger than 500 square feet, nor is more study to obtain employment that I’m not only happier with and better at than what I already do but also more lucrative really necessary, since I’ll only be supporting myself. As for the issues revolving around savings, investments, and retirement, you may be surprised to find out how much happier one can be if you simply accept that you’ll be working until very close to your death. Assuming I do end up doing this, I’ll have a consistent income coming in until death, which should make up for lack of retirement funds.”

I know it’s extremely difficult for people to find jobs, but I don’t think feeling sorry for yourself is going to make the situation any better. I told my fiancé about this article and he said maybe this was a strategy that he was using to try to obtain employment. I laughed and then thought about some of the other interesting things people have done to find a job. Do you remember the sandwich board guy? If not, let me refresh your memory. There was a man by the name of Joshua Persky who was an unemployed investment banker in New York City. He had such a hard time finding employment that he decided to dress up in a suit with a sign around his body saying “Experienced MIT graduate for hire.” He was quite strategic in where he was located, he made sure to appear in the area of commercial banks and investment companies. Persky was eventually hired as a senior manager with Accounting firm Weiser. That’s what I call thinking outside of the box.

Then there was the unemployed mortgage advisor who put an ad up on eBay to try and find work. His ad stated “I am willing to do anything – so long as it is not sexual or illegal.” I am glad he put that disclaimer in his ad. I am not sure if he ever did find a job, but he was pretty creative in his search.

I’ve realized in life that nothing is owed to me and things rarely ever just fall in my lap. If I am not willing to go out there and bust my butt, I can’t really expect much from life.

How far would you go to get a job?

19 Job Interviews Later…………

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you thought you were going crazy for trying to get it?

It was 2005 and I was working for BMO Bank of Montreal which is the oldest and one of the largest Banks in Canada. I had a great job but knew that I needed more and felt that I needed to get the heck out of there.  At the time I was attending University part-time and working full time, so I would spend every spare moment I had applying for jobs.

I must have applied for at least 20 jobs before I got my first phone interview. It went well, but obviously not well enough because I didn’t get called for a second interview. My field of study is business marketing so I was trying my best to get into BMO’s corporate marketing department. I ended up getting a few more phone interviews and face to face interviews, but never ended up getting the job. By the time I got to my 9th job interview a recruiter at the Bank said to me that I was applying for jobs that were way above my pay scale and that I should try applying for jobs that are closer to my pay scale. I remember thinking at the time that at least I was getting interviews. I just needed one person to give me a chance. Of course I didn’t stop applying for higher paying jobs. But I must admit, by the 9th interview I was getting really discouraged.

Everyone started to feel sorry for me, which I didn’t like. I hate pity parties, so I decided to stop telling my friends and family every time I had an interview and didn’t get the job. I just kept applying away and kept it quiet. I was still applying for higher paying jobs and still getting interviews. A couple of times I would get 3 interviews for the same job and still didn’t end up getting the job. When I would ask for feedback, they would often say they chose someone with more experience. I never really understood when recruiters say that. How do you get experience if no one wants to hire you.

By this time I had gone on about 15 job interviews in just over a year. I was exhausted emotionally and mentally, but I was determined and wasn’t going to give up. Then I decided to look outside of the company since I wasn’t having much luck internally. The first external job I found is the current job I have now. I applied and completely forgot about it, they took so long to call me back that it slipped my mind that I even applied. By this time I had gone on 18 job interviews in a year and a half. I went on to interview for my current job and it was the hardest interview I have ever had. It was in front of a panel of 3 and I had to give a presentation. I remember leaving that interview and saying to myself that those 18 interviews prior were preparation for that 19th interview which landed me the job.

By the way, this job pays more than all of the jobs that I interviewed for prior. It truly was God that was setting me up!

I wanted to share this in case there’s anyone out there who is in the middle of going after what they want and are feeling discouraged. I’ve learned in my 32 years on this planet that you have to FIGHT for your dream. It’s hard while you’re trying to get there, but it’s so worth it once you get it. Plus you get to help someone else who may be on their way.

Employer’s Ask Job Seekers For Facebook Passwords

If you haven’t heard of this yet, it’s true. Employer’s in the States are actually asking job seekers for their Facebook passwords so they can search through their Facebook site to find out who they are. That’s just crazy! We all know that Employer’s already view potential employee’s Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin sites to try to find information on people, but to ask for their passwords is just ludicrous. It’s like asking for someone’s email password. What ever happen to privacy?

A job seeker by the name of Robert Collins who lives in Maryland was asked by an employer to provide his Facebook password so a hiring manager could properly evaluate his application to be reinstated as a prison guard. Robert Collins was told his profile would be scoured for evidence of gang connections. Huh! What ever happen to just doing a criminal background check? Oh, I guess obtaining someone’s Facebook password would be much cheaper, in fact it’s free!

Check out this video below

We are a bit more fortunate here in Canada that laws protect us from this craziness. Labour laws here in Canada protect us from Employer’s asking for personal information.

Social media tips

  • Don’t ever put anything out there that you may regret in the future.
  • Nothing online is ever really private, remember that!
  • Change your Facebook settings to private (This is a good rule of thumb. However, there are savvy hackers that may be able to get past your privacy settings)
  • I know many people who don’t use their real name on social media sites.
  • Remember others can post pictures of you on Facebook. It could have been a picture when you were drunk in high school. Notify any friends or family members if you notice a picture you want taken off.

Do you have any tips to protect others online?

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