Do the extra credit: Step 1. You look on a company's website or a job search site and find a job you love. Step 2. You apply directly from that site. Step 3. Avoid step two at all costs. If you apply in this manner your application will get lost in the "black hole" of job applications. You'll be applying against thousands of other job searchers. Instead, do a little extra work for a bigger pay off. Scour the internet and LinkedIn for the hiring manager's name and address. Not only will a real live human be on the other end of that email, but they'll be about to see you have great perseverance and investigative skills.
You have a few months to go before you say Sayonara to school and officially become a working professional. You might have taken Psych 101 but chances are you never took a class on how to get a job or what to do when you scored your dream gig.
What if you're applying for your first job...ever: If you've recently graduated from a Masters, MBA or undergraduate program your first thought will most likely be...I have NOTHING to put on my resume. I have never worked! Except, that isn't exactly true. List your hobbies, clubs, conferences, volunteer experiences and activities you are a part of. Have you ever had a leadership role (class president, yearbook editor, captain of JV Field hockey) list it! You should also include what you learned from your school courses; business, teamwork, computer programs, marketing skills, public speaking, etc. All of these items should be a part of your resume. You'll see how quickly your resume fills up after some analysis.
Conquering a job interview: Be prepared. You would never show up to class without reading an assignment and same goes for a good interview. Come armed with information about the company, your boss, and your role. Sign onto LinkedIn and study the Company Page and the career trajectory of your hiring manager.
Be wary of pushy parents: Your parents will always want the best for you but there is a professional line they should never cross. Under no circumstance should your mom and dad be at the interview with you or apply for you. Think I'm kidding? A parent at my firm did just that. He didn't see anything odd about asking me to hire his daughter to be an intern and tell me how great she would be, how he'd be involved and how much he'd be "checking in."
Your parents would never take a test for you or sit in your Spanish class...I hope... same rules apply for the office. You should ask your parents to reach out to their network of co-workers, clients, and friends to see if someone might know of a job opening up. After that, YOU need to be the first point of contact -- not your mom. You could also ask your parents to review your resume or help you with a mock interview. After that, though, you are on your own.
When the new boss is always M.I.A.: If you only have a ask your questions the first few minutes of the day. Let them know you are interested in the business and want to be the best employee for them. Have an idea? Let them know that moving the straws next to the soda cups creates efficiency.
When the office is cliquey: High school cliques annoyingly also exist off campus. Often times these mean girls will at first see you as a threat. Be as friendly as you can to them and try to learn. Make them feel like they are the BMOC. However, if they are still icy – do your best to ignore them. Don't let it get to you and focus on the job at hand.
Ready for a promotion? Before you ask, make sure you deserve it. Here's a list of 4 questions you need to ask yourself:
- Are you helping the company's bottom line?
- Are you punctual and working overtime if you have last-minute client requests?
- Have you been there longer than six months?
- Have you felt that you've made your boss' life easier and are taking on more responsibilities?
If so -- go in for the ask. If not, be the best employee you can be and ask for a promotion 30 days down the line. If you are asking, make sure you come prepared with reasons why you have earned this. Have sales increased since you started? Are you able to get through your work much faster than other employers? Have you created a business website or helped with the social media strategy? Are you volunteering for projects outside your typical responsibilities?
Making a grand & graceful exit: Your employer knows that you won't be at their firm forever. Set up a meeting to chat privately. Start off the conversation by letting them know how amazing it has been to work there (even if it wasn't) and how much you have learned from them as a boss. Then let them know you'll be leaving and will give 2 weeks' notice so they have time to find someone to replace you.
Always end on good terms with a boss – you never know if you'll want the job again down the line or which business owners your boss is friends with in town. You'll also want to count on them for a reference.
Millennials have seen a major shift toward the "slash workforce generation" (professionals who hold several jobs in varying fields). Earlier this year, The New York Times documented the lives of professionals who juggle careers. In today's marketplace, many professionals are either unemployed or underemployed. They are looking for new opportunities in their field by working part-time while supplementing their income with service jobs like nannying or waiting tables. Professionals are also able to pursue their passion by working side projects on weekends or after work.
But another great way to make more money is to go freelance. As an added benefit, it's also a beneficial way to practice your passion. Here are some tips for making it happen.
Do your research. You might have shared one of your recent projects online and received a query asking for your freelance services. Before dipping your toe into the freelance pond, do your homework. Seek out the industry rates for your skillset, level, geographic area and field. Ask members how are part of industry-related groups what the rates are, or connect with fellow freelancers and see if they would be open to sharing their rates with you. Freelance sites like Elance orTaskRabbit will also grant you with access to the going rate. They'll also be a great place to look for work once you're ready.
Know your worth. Now that you know what the going rates are, you need to decide how to price accordingly and see if you can afford to freelance full-time. If you're thinking of making the jump to full-time freelance, understand what the variance would be from your current full-time job. Full-time freelancers should also use an equation to figure out what to charge their clients per hour.
What is your yearly salary? This is the salary you receive before taxes. You should also know the full-time rates of freelancers in your industry.
- Annual billable hours: Do you know the hours you spend working per year? Start with 365 days, remove any vacation/sick days, weekends, and the time that you'd spend doing administrative tasks (filing, billing, etc). Multiply that by the number of hours you would work per day.
- Yearly profits: This should be 10 to 15 percent of your annual salary.
- Yearly expenses: Items that you no longer get if you are a freelancer. This includes an office, health insurance, 401(k)/401(k) match, paid vacation, etc.
Grab a calculator and input the following freelancer equation: your annual salary + your annual expenses + annual profits / by annual billable work hours = your hourly rate
Be business savvy. Do you go hourly or charge by the project? Many freelancers debate this question before accepting a new gig. The best way to decide this is to have a chat with your client regarding expectations and make sure you set clear ones.
You also need to privately determine how long it will take you to complete this project. Is it 15 hours? Is it 20? Every project and every client vary. I once worked in-house with a woman who spent five hours on a 200-word article. When the boss found out, she was livid. She wanted her to spit out one article in an hour or less. What does that tell you? She wasn't looking for unique detail, extensive interviews or flowery language--she is looking for interesting, clean content.
On the other hand, I was working with a graphic designer who was so speedy that she would complete her work in less than half the time of other freelancers. In that instance, she was selling herself short and should have charged by the project. Just because she is a faster worker doesn't mean she should make less. Hourly seems to be the better angle, except if you cannot finish on time or if the client suddenly gets sticker shock. If you are charging per project, then you need to be realistic about how long and how much effort you'll be putting into that project.
Don't short-change yourself. Freelancers need to price according to whether this is their main career. You need to be able to live off your wages. As you start out, your fees will fluctuate. An infographic you design for a Fortune 500 company differs in cost for the one you create for a startup. Remember not to price yourself so low that you would be losing money on the deal. You are a brand and a business and need to act accordingly. Always negotiate and realize the impact your work has on other people, businesses, or corporations.