Tag Archives: career growth

3 Ways To Grow Your Career While Working Remotely

While most companies are maintaining remote working schedules, employees often feel worried about their career growth while being absent from the physical workspace. When you work from home, your actual input and value are measured with the work you do, without so much emphasis on the amount of time you spent doing it. So it is not uncommon to worry about a promotion, potential vertical or horizontal growth, and your role in the company. While working from home has its limits, it is still possible to grow your career while working remotely.

3 ways to grow your career while working remotely:

Be proactive

The best way to contribute to your growth within the company is to seek ways to bring value proactively. Try to offer help or your opinion where it would be useful but not expected. There’s no secret that proactive and initiative employees have a higher chance to get noticed, recognized, and rewarded for their efforts. So try to think of any ideas outside of your regular duties that can be helpful to your team, colleagues, or management.

Ask for feedback

Clear and frequent communication helps you to get a better view of your job. When you ask for advice or seek feedback from a mentor, fellow coworker, or manager, you show interest in your work and it shows that you have the desire to improve. The more feedback you get, the faster you can improve your performance. While working remotely, clear communication is even more critical, as physical interactions are limited, which can lead to misunderstandings.

Collaborate

Once again, since remote suggests more solo time, it is important to reach out to your coworkers and collaborate. Try engaging in more team projects, bringing your value and efforts. The role of communication and emotional intelligence in the workplace keeps growing, so being helpful and open can also boost your career.

5 Jobs That Are In High Demand Right Now

With the coronavirus affecting the global economy, the job market took a big hit during the pandemic. In the U.S. alone, unemployment rates reached almost 15% in April, which is the highest ratio since the Great Depression. This has shaken the labor market, and for many employees, their career future is very uncertain during this time. Many people are afraid their job may be low in the demand or even become redundant.

Right now, we are witnessing some shifts in the job market that is giving people some home. Most people can easily adjust their experience and skills to get the right job. Considering current circumstances, some jobs are booming right now, so if you are on the job search, take a look at the following high-demand jobs.

Which jobs are booming right now?

Tech support

Everything in the past few months has gone online, and many servers are now overloaded with a high number of users. After this transition due to the coronavirus, remote work isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Most companies are now realizing that working from home actually works, and will not deploy the same amount of office space, or will get rid of it at all. Even such a giant company as Twitter has announced that more than 7,000 of its employees can work from home as long as they want to. With an increasing demand for cloud services, online platforms and servers, tech support, and IT workers will be in high demand.

Online teachers

The educational system has also suffered during this pandemic, as schools and universities had to close their doors to practice social distancing. Schools and universities haven’t opened yet, but classes, lectures, courses, and conferences had to transit to digital learning. Mass events will most likely be banned for a long time, and most people find it safer and easier to have private lessons online. More online classes could be a trend moving forward after the pandemic is over.

Nurses and medical care

There are plenty of jobs in the health system, ranging from nurses to administrative assistants. It doesn’t necessarily mean you will go to the frontlines to fight COVID-19, but can help contribute to the efforts from afar. The hospitals and nursing homes are generally overloaded and are looking for additional staff. Some job posting might even be offering a bonus or increased rate for coming on.

Delivery drivers

Most restaurants still haven’t returned to their normal functions, and neither had other services that can deliver their products. Deliveries have become the only solution for some grocery stores. Delivery drivers, whether it’s take-out food, groceries, or shipments, will be in high demand for a very long time.

Retail workers

Retail and cashier jobs are always in high demand and don’t require specific skills, experience, or education. Even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected these jobs to decline 4% in demand until 2028, retail-related jobs will likely remain hot throughout these upcoming years.

PLS is hiring!

PLS is now hiring account executives! To learn more about our open positions, or to apply today, please click here.

Building Your Personal Brand

Building Your Personal Brand

What is a personal brand?

A personal brand is an essential tool for marketing yourself. It is the way you choose to promote yourself and build your reputation. This is done by identifying and showcasing a combination of your values, skills, and experiences. Having a successful personal brand means that you not only believe you have certain qualities and qualifications, but others perceive that as well. In today’s age, many factors go into your brand such as social media, information available on the internet, and how you hold yourself.

Why having a strong personal brand is important

A strong personal brand is what sets you apart from others. It is important because it is something that will stick with you throughout your career. Whether you are a college student or in a senior management role, your personal brand matters. It can help you in interviews, achieve promotions, and develop relationships. Your brand influences how people perceive you, and you always want that to be in a positive manner. Establishing your brand gives you a chance to tell your story and influence what others think of you.

How to establish your personal brand

Social media

Social media is a major part of today’s society. When posting and interacting online, you need to make sure it is something you would be comfortable with an employer seeing, because chances are they will. Utilizing LinkedIn is a great way to help your brand. You can share articles you have written, stories that interest you, professional events, training, and certifications. All of these can help you build your credibility and let others know what you are passionate about.

Evaluate your online presence

Have you ever googled yourself? If so, what comes up when you do? Build your online presence by building an online portfolio, participating in speaking events, and writing articles in your areas of expertise. Many recruiters google candidates, so building up a reputable online presence will make you look even more attractive and help you to share your brand.

Live it out

This is the most important part of building your brand. Stating what your brand is will not be enough. For others to recognize your brand, you must implement it into your life. Actions always speak louder than words, and you want your action to speak to your brand.

five year career plan

How to Create Your Five Year Career Plan

Why is it important to have a five year career plan?

Planning five years ahead can seem like an overwhelming task. However, a five year career plan is an important tool that will help you reach both your professional and personal goals. Creating a detailed outline of what you want to achieve will make this an easier feat and bring you closer to actualizing your dreams.

How to create a working five year career plan?

Brainstorm

The first and most important step in creating your plan is envisioning where you want to be in five years. Start by brainstorming and writing your thoughts down. Think about what you would like for yourself and where you want to be in life. Would you like transition careers, receive a promotion, go back to school, pay off student loans, or start a family? If it is a career-related goal consider what motivates you, your skills, and your experiences.  This stage is all about the big picture, nothing is off-limits when it comes to your goals!

Select your goals

In this phase, you begin to narrow down your focus. Look at the list you created and identify what is most important to you. Five years is a long time, but you can’t get everything done! It is a good idea to stick to a shortlist with five goals at the most. The goals you select should be both specific and tangible.

Steps using smart goals

The next step is to break-down your long-term goals into smaller goals. You should create a separate list for each goal. A good role of thumb is to come up with a SMART goal for each year. These yearly goals will serve as steppingstones for achieving the big picture.

Live it out

The final step is to live out! Remember to keep up with your goals and track your progress. Before you know it you’ll have accomplished your five-year career plan.

how to use linkedin

How to Use LinkedIn: Tips for Making the Most of LinkedIn

Everyone nowadays uses social media, and one of the most important social media platforms for job searching and your career is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional network, nurture leads and connections, and potentially find a job. With over 500 million users, it is important to optimize your profile to stand out. Here are some helpful tips on how to use LinkedIn and how to make the most of your LinkedIn page.

How to Use LinkedIn to Succeed?

Complete your profile

Firstly, it is important to make sure every section of your profile is filled out, including the about section. Be sure to write an informational and attention-grabbing summary because is the first thing users will see when visiting your page. You can do this by including keywords, your career history, and your future intentions. Be sure to give it some personality!

Be active

Having a profile is not enough, you need to be an active member of the community. You can do this through sharing interesting content, commenting on other user’s posts, and posting about industry trends. This will help make your profile visible, spark engagement with your content, and attract new users to your profile.

Make the right connections

Expanding your network for the sake of having a ton of connections is not necessarily the best route to take. You want to make sure your connections are meaningful and mutually beneficial to both parties. A good rule of thumb is to connect with people you know, other employees in your company, professionals in your industry or relevant industries, and recruiters or users with the role of a human resource.

Send personal messages

A way to stand out is by sending personal messages to others. This is useful when requesting a connection or just to stay in touch with an existing one. Sending a simple friendly message can go a long way!

Request Recommendations

A recommendation from a colleague or boss attests to your skillset and makes your profile more unique! Don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation to post on your page. You can ask for skill endorsements as well. The more recommendations and endorsements you have, the more reputable your page is.

Stay up to date

Lastly, stay up to date! Continue tweaking your profile and making it better, commenting on industry trends, and sharing your own updates. Staying active will keep you on your connection’s feeds and let them know what you are up to.

LinkedIn is a great networking tool and every professional should make the most of it. When properly used it can help propel your professional development and career!

Want to know more about networking and social media? Try How to Utilize Social Media in the Job Hunt or 3 Practices for Effective Networking

Stand Out Resume

5 Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out

A well-crafted resume should convey your experience, skills, and accomplishments. However, recruiters sort through hundreds of applications daily, so it can be a challenge to make your resume stand out from the rest. Below are five helpful tips to ramp up your resume and help you get that interview!

Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out

1. Customize It

Customizing your resume to each job you apply for is very important, and can make a big difference between getting an interview or not. To do this, take a look at the posted job description. Note what personal and technical skills the employer is looking for, what experience is required, and if there are any skills that are “preferred but not required.” From there, you should tailor your resume and frame your experience so it closely matches the job description.

This is also a chance for you to add keywords to your resume. Do some research and see what topics are trending in your industry, what the company you are applying for values, and their overarching business goals, then try to incorporate these to make your resume even more unique.

2. Describe Your Achievements

Now that you have identified what the employer is looking for, think about how you meet that criteria. The experience section of your resume should not simply just list out the duties you performed in your last position. Ask yourself what you have accomplished and how you exceeded the expectations of the position, and include that in your description.

3. Quantify Your Success

The next step is to quantify your success. Numbers stand out in a resume and offer tangible results. Doing this wherever possible makes your resume more unique, descriptive, and concise.

For example, if your description says: “Attract and develop new business accounts through cold calling.” You could quantify it by instead saying: “Attract and develop new business accounts through cold calling 50 prospects per day with an average success rate of 35%.”

4. Always Write a Cover Letter

If there is an option to submit a cover letter, do not ignore it! The cover letter is your chance to further explain your skills, tell the hiring manager why you are a good fit, and to show off a bit of your personality. Make sure your cover letter is relevant and well-crafted.

5. Use your network

Lastly, after submitting your resume, reach out to your network. Knowing someone within the company and having them put in a good word for you can result in the recruiter taking extra time to look at your resume. A good way to do this is to look at your connections on LinkedIn and see if anyone you know is working for the place you are applying to. Shoot them a message and see where it goes!

Recruiters are the gatekeepers to interviews and your resume is the key! Having a standout resume gets you one step closer to getting the job!

For more information related to the job search try: 5 Best Ways to Get Hired

how to set career goals

Setting Career Goals for the New Year

The new year is the perfect time to take a step back, evaluate your performance over the past twelve months, and set fresh career goals to focus on.

Why should you set career goals?

Setting professional goals is important because it creates a clear career path and is a key step to success. Doing so at the start of a new year allows you to hit the reset button and have a fresh start. Setting and achieving goals gives a sense of self-fulfillment, job satisfaction, and confidence. Goals also give you a vision and mission, because having an objective to work towards makes work a little more exciting.

Types of career goals

Professional development

If you are looking to advance in your career in the upcoming year, it would be a good idea to set a professional development goal. This includes objectives such as working towards a promotion or building out your network.

Education

There is always something new you can learn. A good idea for a goal in the new year is learning how to operate a new software program or getting some type of professional certification.

Performance

Increasing productivity is a common goal. This is usually quantitative, such as increasing sales, boosting ROI, or growing your customer base.

Skill improvement

Everyone has their strengths and weakness. Identify and work on your weaknesses in the upcoming year. For example, cold calling may not be your strong suit, so you make a point to cold call more often to get more comfortable and improve your communication skills.

How to set professional goals for the New Year?

Once you identify what type of goal you would like to achieve, it’s time to come up with an action plan to make it a reality. Here are some tips on how to do just that!

  1. Be realistic. Set goals that will challenge you but are still attainable.
  2. Follow the SMART goal guidelines.
  3. Write down the steps you need to follow and check them off as you go.
  4. Select a mentor. Telling someone your goal will hold you accountable and they may even be able to offer you some helpful advice.
  5. Lastly, be sure to reward yourself! Each step you complete is a step closer to achieving your goal and that is celebration-worthy.

With this information in mind, you’ll be sure to have a successful year ahead!

elevator pitch

How to Perfect the Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is an essential part of any professional’s portfolio. Preparing an effective elevator pitch to keep in your back pocket can be very beneficial to your career development.

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a short persuasive introduction about yourself. The objective is to concisely and memorably explain what you do, laying the foundation for future conversation. It is called an elevator pitch because it lasts no longer than 30 seconds, about the time it would take to ride an elevator.

When to use an elevator speech?

Despite the name, the speech is not confined to the walls of an elevator. An elevator pitch can be useful in many scenarios! Some examples are:

  • Making a sales call to a prospect
  • Explaining what you do at a networking event
  • Introducing yourself in a job interview
  • As a bio for your social media pages

The perfect elevator speech template

Introduce yourself – start your pitch off by introducing yourself and the company you work for. Grab the other party’s attention by sharing a specific problem you solve or need you to meet within your industry.

Share your skills – follow up with how you solve the problem or meet a need. Identify why you are qualified to do so and what skills this requires. Share what makes you and your organization unique.

Define your goals – end your elevator speech by specifying your goals. Think about what you are looking to gain from the interaction. Are you looking for a new position or trying to make a sale? This lets the other party know your intentions.

Have a business card ready – the time is a valuable resource and may not be something the other person in the conversation has. Have a business card ready so the conversation can be continued at a later time.

Example of a good elevator pitch

“Hi, my name is Jane and I work for PLS Logistics as an account executive. I connect shippers to carriers to move freight across the country. PLS has the technology and capabilities to move freight efficiently with great pricing. I’d like to see how our transportation solutions can help your company.”

Want to know more about networking? Learn some helpful tips here!

how to find a job

How To Find a Job? 5 Best Ways To Get Hired

Hunting for a job can be very challenging for both new graduates and skilled professionals. In some situations, you need to get hired as quickly as possible, while other times you may have a few months available for an extensive job search. Job-hunting is a hot topic for everyone who’s looking for new opportunities, so how do you find a job and get hired quickly?

Job boards are not the only way to find available job positions. There are plenty of other methods and channels through which you can find the job of your dreams. Using all the possible platforms to promote your skills and experience will speed up the job search process.

How to find a job?

Social connections

There’s nothing better for publicizing yourself during a job search than word of mouth. Let your connections know you’re looking for a job! Every social connection leads to another social connection, creating a limitless network of touch points. You will never know who can help you link up with your potential employer: a former classmate, friend, professor, or even a hairdresser. If you know directly what you want, ask people if they know companies or employers who are searching for a hire. Attending networking events can also help you land a job.

Apply directly to companies

This is the best option for people who know exactly where they want to work and what they want to do. Instead of digging through hundreds of irrelevant job options, you should try targeting a certain company you see yourself working in. Learn about the company and check the open positions on their website. A diligent approach and persistence can increase the chances of you landing the position.

Social media help

Social media platforms are the new job boards. With the high number of job postings, there is a high chance of finding a job through Facebook or LinkedIn. Since it includes your social profile and recommendations, it may be easier to promote yourself and get in touch with potential employers through social media. If you are going to apply to positions using your social profile, don’t forget to clean your profile up and present yourself as a professional before diving into the job hunt or applying.

Self-promotion

If you have a nicely crafted resume and some experience, placing your CV on job searching platforms can attract companies. You might end up being hunted by numerous job offers if you chose the right platform for promotion!

Traditional job boards

Essentially, job boards remain the most common and traditional channel for job seekers. If you have time and patience to scroll through endless offers, there is a high probability you will find something you’re looking for. It’s a great idea to start with a job board and use all the above channels for a proactive approach to job search.

Read: How To Land a Job In 2019?

How To Answer 5 Most Popular Interview Questions

Making it through a job interview can be a stressful process, even for seasoned professionals. Obviously, it is even more pressure for young employees or fresh graduates. While the best way to succeed in the job interview is being yourself, you should definitely show up prepared.  Depending on the company and the job you’re applying for, interview questions can differ. Times are changing, and more and more basic interview questions are becoming outdated. However, there are certain questions that you’ll hear almost in every interview. While many of them seem pretty simple, these questions are much trickier than you think.

Saying a rehearsed answer won’t land you the job, but it’s better to know the reason why a particular question is being asked, and what the interviewer wants from you. Let’s walk through the five most common interview questions and how to answer them.

How to answer interview questions?

Tell me about yourself

This is a tricky question and is often underestimated by interviewees. While many assume it’s too simple, and others may consider it pointless, the concept of the question is none of these options. First off, it helps the interviewer to start the conversation. The best way to answer this question is to briefly describe your current position and 1 – 2 of your greatest achievements. It’s also possible to touch on past experiences related to the job you’re applying for and share your vision of the future on this post. The interviewer doesn’t want to hear your A-to-Z work employment journey, so make sure to squeeze the most relevant and valuable information.

Why should we hire you?

While it seems a bit weird, it’s a good chance for you to summarize your skills and show your benefits over competitors. While preparing to answer this question, try to focus on the contribution you’ll bring to the company. Doing some research on the company you’re applying to would help you define the problems they need to solve, and how you can provide solutions for their issue.

Why are you leaving your current job?

Many applicants fail this question due to one simple reason: they start dissing their boss, manager, teammates or the company in general. Of course, it’s obvious that there is always a reason to leave. However, don’t mention any personal issues with people at your prior job. If you were fired or left because of whatever reason, focus on the future, not the past. It’s okay to say you left because you wanted more growth, challenge, involvement, experience, etc.

What are your salary requirements?

The biggest mistake while answering this question is taking numbers out of nowhere and the inability to justify your request. Make your research on the salary level including your location, experience, and skills. You will find what the average wage is for someone in your position, and can provide facts to back up your request.

Do you have any questions for us?

This is a must! Having questions prepared for the interviewer is a great way to show them that you are truly interested in the position and learn more about things that you have not covered already. Doing decent research on the company is crucial for a successful interview. You don’t necessarily need to switch roles and take another hour to ask your questions, but preparing a few would be perfect. Avoid asking primitive questions about the company, if you can easily find answers on their website or elsewhere. Demonstrate your interest in the job by asking questions about specific duties, team, company plans, etc. It’s a good chance to figure out whether this workplace fits you or not.

Learn How To Successfully Pass Job Interview!