How the Job Crisis is Affecting Young Adults

The COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent shutdowns in different states caused millions of people to suddenly lose their jobs. Though the stock market has almost fully recovered and many people are back to work, the job crisis is affecting one segment of adults more than others. Young professionals who recently graduated from college are having a difficult time finding work after school.

The Job Crisis and Young Professionals

The Washington Post reported that entry-level job postings dropped by 73 percent in recent months. In the past, these entry-level positions attracted young graduates who used them as a means to gain experience after college. The lack of employment prospects is posing financial hardships that could affect a young professional’s mental health. A June 2020 study by the Center for Disease Control found that anxiety, depression and substance abuse have all increased among this age group since the pandemic began.

What Can Be Done

Recent college grads may not have many job prospects, but the current job crisis does have its perks. Many experts recommend that young professionals move home and try finding a remote position. Moving in with parents can help save money on living costs while looking for a job. Another option is putting off getting a job and attending graduate school. This may be why graduate school applications are up by three percent compared to previous years. Taking courses in a professional skills program can give recent grads an advantage over other applicants; these programs are available across the country and may help graduates stand out.

How Businesses Can Help

Businesses that are looking to hire graduates for entry-level positions should support their employees. Providing stability can help alleviate the anxiety and depression that many are facing. Many states are offering tax incentives and grants to businesses who hire apprentices as a way to stimulate the job market. Businesses should take advantage of this opportunity to help recent grads find work.

Graduating from college should be an exciting time for young professionals as they begin their new life in their chosen career field. Though the pandemic has decreased the number of available jobs, it doesn’t mean that getting a job is impossible. Finding ways to stand out and looking for companies who are hiring entry-level employees are the best ways to secure the right position.

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Building a National Brand

The dreams and aspirations of becoming the next national brand and industry giant are one that many strive for. Before setting out to achieve those goals it’s important that the focus is narrowed down to a particular business niche. This is the area of expertise that is being designed to make an impact in the business world. When developing a niche business there is only one single area that is being focused upon. Marketing relevance, building a reputation, and growing a customer base is the smartest place to start. From these building blocks the focus can then shift to expanding to create a national brand.

Market research is a critical component to help discover a niche in which can thrive in the market today. It’s always encouraged to look for gaps where there has not been a niche developed yet. If the opportunity presents itself, dive head first into a new opportunity that no one else has capitalized on yet. There may be an area with unmet needs that present the opportunity to create an innovative product or to address an unsolved problem. This is how successful business niches are first created and then begin to thrive in the industry.

Communication strategies that are implemented can either make or break a niche business. The messages that are being communicated from the brand must resonate with the targeted consumers in order for it to be successful. In order for the the brand to grow national attention and build a consumer base, the expertise in the area that is being communicated must be done correctly. When developing communication strategies it is important to keep in mind that the messages being delivered to potential customers is what the company is being recognized for.

In order to build a national brand, leadership is a key component to building that kind of success. Implementing an effective team of leaders to steer the brand in the right direction is crucial. Finding a team of leaders that is knowledgeable within the niche area being focused upon is an investment that will pay off dividends. With these leaders in place they are able to provide expertise in all areas of the company, to both consumers and fellow employees.

4 Benefits to Volunteering

Nowadays, everyone’s either sprinting to their next work meeting or booking the next flight out for some R&R in a tropical destination. While this work-hard-play-hard system runs well enough that your days are kept busy, it makes for a very spiritually unsatisfying life. Log in some volunteering time to fill those downtimes with meaningful work. Here are four reasons why you should consider volunteering:

Network

Volunteering in your respective professional niche can yield invaluable industry contacts as well as open up better work opportunities. This can be a good strategic move, especially for college students, as it can also lead to internship or job offers after they graduate. For instance, law students can volunteer with a local legal aid program to gain experience working with those types of cases. During the program, you can learn how to prepare pleads, mediations, and court arguments firsthand, invaluable skills that can accelerate your career trajectory.

Travel

While not all charities and non-profit organizations can afford to send their volunteers to trips out of town or overseas, you can find some well-funded organizations that will partially or completely front your traveling costs as a volunteer. Being able to travel while working on a worthwhile cause, whether it’s reforesting the Amazon or cleaning up the Great Barrier Reef, can bring new personal and professional experiences that will help you grow.

Destress

Volunteering brings you closer to others. It’s not just a tool for gaining professional connections. You can make new friends or strengthen existing relationships by volunteering with a friend or family member. Giving back to the less fortunate can also reinvigorate your mental health. Studies show that volunteerism can reduce stress and ward off depression. If nothing else, volunteering can give you a sense of higher purpose that your day-to-day work might not offer.

Learn

Although you’ll have a higher chance of being recruited as a volunteer by an organization if you already possess the skill set and knowledge needed for the job, many of these organizations will be open to teaching and training you for the role. As a result, you acquire a new set of skills and knowledge that you can apply in the future.

In a world driven by consumerism, volunteering is a nice slice of refuge to reconnect with your spiritual self. It’s also a good reset button for those who are physically and mentally exhausted from their normal routine.

4 Tips on How to Negotiate Your Salary

Whether you’re in a job interview or a one-on-one interview with your supervisor to discuss your quarterly performance, negotiating salaries is a very sensitive topic that requires some finessing. Here are four tips on how to negotiate for higher salaries or better benefits.

Determine Your Value

Figure out how much you’re bringing into the company you’re working for. For example, if you are the only person in a 20-man team who is familiar with the main tech stack that your company’s website is running on, then you should leverage that during a negotiation. Another example is if you are consistently the top salesperson in the company. These are all things that connote your professional value in your current employment.

Aim High Enough

You want to aim high when you negotiate your salary, but aiming too high can start off the negotiation on very shaky legs. Too high of an offer can make you seem arrogant or delusional. Research what other professionals with similar skill sets or responsibilities are making and then base your initial ask on that.

Give a Range, Not a Fixed Number

A flat number makes it difficult for either you or your employer to find the right amount that satisfies both parties. A range, on the other hand, gives your employer options as to how to proceed with the negotiation. To get an idea of what numbers you should consider when coming up with a range, use platforms, like Glassdoor or Payscale, to research what numbers are common in the industry.

Avoid Being Emotional

It’s common for people who are inexperienced in negotiating to approach it with the same tenacity or energy as they would a fight or confrontation. Negotiating, however, is simply convincing the other party that what you’re asking is fair. Instead of being emotional, think of the interaction as a sales pitch. Support your demands with facts that you can back up. Cite specifics, such as your major accomplishments in the last quarter or year.

A successful negotiation requires thorough planning, meticulous research, and timing. You’ll want to time your ask for a pay bump in a time when the company is in a favorable financial position. Make it easy for them to see that it’s the smart and fair move by supporting your ask with documents and numbers.

Tricks to Look Smarter Than You Are

We are all living in a parallel universe in which the perception of intelligence trumps intelligence itself. While this might sound like bad news for those that specialize in higher education and remaining ahead of the learning curve, participating in the deception of appearance can actually get others to finally take notice to what they have been missing. On the flip side, those who are lacking in brainpower can successfully sell their illusion of intellect by following these solid tricks to gain some extra IQ points.

Dress For Success

If the smartest person in the room shows up in sweatpants and a wrinkled tee, he will most likely get passed up for the guy in the spiffy suit. Dress in a way that commands the room at all times. Certain occasions call for more casual attire, but when hoping to be taken seriously, avoid stained, ripped, or wrinkled clothing, only wear jeans that can be offset by a collared shirt or sweater, and be careful not to reveal too much skin. And for a few extra points, toss on a pair of full-framed eyeglasses.

Use Proper Language

Not everyone has a wide vocabulary, but that secret can remain concealed as long as they choose the words that they do know wisely. This means doing away with slang and avoiding unnecessary fillers. And while the freedom to use profanity is one of the best things about adulthood, if a person curses a lot, they will inevitably offend others and ruin their chances of looking smarter.

Control All Body Movements

Nervous ticks are a huge no-no when trying to impress the crowd. Be cautious of any fidgeting, nail biting, hair fondling, or unnecessary shifting. All of these things scream self doubt. Practice keeping it cool, narrowing gestures down to the occasional head nod and a personable grin. And of course, eye contact is the most important part. Looking directly into a person’s eyes is not only a manageable way to show good people skills, but it also displays confidence, engagement, and comprehension.

The funny thing is, most people aren’t as smart as they seem, including those in supervisory roles and the charming souls that always manage to convince the masses to eat from the palms of their hands. But as questionable as it may be, this fact of life gives everyone the advantage of excelling without having to go through the mills.

Tips for Your Resume Makeover

Today’s world has changed significantly as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many people have lost their jobs and businesses have adjusted their workforce to includes fewer people, leaving many people wondering how to land themselves a new job. This is a time when businesses are receiving large numbers of applications and applicants’ resumes are being even more critically looked at because of it. If you haven’t given your resume a makeover recently, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Make Sure You Have an Opening Statement

Your resume should not just be a list of your previous experience. Although this information does provide insight into what you are capable of, it doesn’t show who you are or what you enjoy doing professionally. Making a statement about yourself and what you seek to get out of this new job will show employers your passion and help them connect with you more memorably. If changing fields, make sure this statement reflects your versatile nature and desire to learn new things.

Focus on Your Accomplishments

Employers are not necessarily interested in which tasks you completed at a previous job. They want to know what you worked to accomplish and what your achievements are. When outlining your experience on your resume, include specific keywords that reflect which new skills you learned, what kind of results you helped produce, and which accomplishments you feel would make you more marketable to the next employer.

Keep the Length Short

If you currently have a three-page resume, find ways to reduce the page count. As employers are receiving more and more resumes on their desks, they are less likely to read through a three-page resume. Stick to one or two pages if you can. This may require you to condense some sections of your resume or even remove portions completely.

Even though getting a new job these days is more difficult than ever, there are still things you can do to make yourself marketable. Having an updated resume outlining your accomplishments at each job, focusing on simpler, more concise words, and ensuring you have an eye-catching opening statement is important to focus on. Employers are sifting through hundreds of resumes, so yours will need to be memorable right from the top of the page.

Surviving and Thriving in the Future

Our society was already going through significant changes, but the coronavirus pandemic has added a sense of urgency to those changes. Now that businesses are starting to open back up, it’s not safe to assume that things will return to the way they were just a few months ago. Instead, most businesses have changed how they operate, which means finding new ways to thrive.

Realize That You’re Competing With the World

Even before the global pandemic, the continued growth of the internet has forced people and businesses to compete on a global scale. This is becoming more prevalent as people begin returning to work and start consuming products again. Whether you’re a new entrepreneur, or the leader of an existing business, developing strong relationships with your customers is important. Encouraging customer loyalty is more important than ever, which is why you’ll see more businesses offering better customer service, information of value, and other perks for sticking with them.

Establish Your Brand

Creating a brand for your products is more important than ever because it will provide consumers with a reliable point of reference. If you offer one specific type of product, you should resist the urge to try to establish yourself as an expert in a broader field of interest. Instead, focus on your specialization, and present your brand as the most reliable source of information for that specialty. This will help you build consumer trust, so people will recognize your brand as the “go-to” for information and resources relevant to that product.

Multiply Your Growth

While entering the digital global marketplace means competing with more businesses that are targeting the same demographics, it also means you’ll have access to that same, broader customer base. Your marketing efforts should be designed to target that broader base, especially when you can offer your products to consumers in more geographical areas.

Understanding the needs of consumers will become more important than ever. As we develop a new global community, eCommerce becomes more vital, and your brand’s ability to meet consumer needs from around the world will determine how well your business thrives. If your brand can grow and learn how to adapt to the changes in a post-pandemic society, your business will have an edge over competitors that may not be as open to change.

Three Habits to Cultivate For Success

Successful people have taken different paths to get to where they are today. However, what this group of people shares is the habits they perform without fail every day. These habits come to successful people, like Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, and Dr. Jane Goodall, as second nature, an automatic reflex, or an itch that they just can’t ignore. Here are five habits to cultivate if you want to be successful:

 

Waking Up Early

 

There is a ton of scientific evidence backing up the claim that waking up early can lead to a more productive day, which in the long run can lead to a more successful life. Waking up early is a habit of many successful people, ranging from Navy SEALS to CEOs of well-known companies. Immediately after waking up, the mind is still in a sleep-induced state of inertia where the brain is foggy and slow. This state can last for up to four hours. Waking up early gives you more time to clear out the brain fog before you start working or studying.

 

Read a Book, or 50 Books

 

In an interview, Bill Gates says he reads up to 50 books a year. That’s almost 1 book per week. In a survey among the wealthy demographic conducted by Tom Corley, an accountant and financial planner, close to 90 percent of participants said that they allotted at least half an hour each day to read a book as part of their self-care routine. Most successful people don’t read for entertainment, either. They read self-help books, tutorials, historical accounts, and autobiographies of other successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

 

Surround Yourself With the Right People

 

The adage “You are the average of the five friends you keep” rings true for successful people. They are very careful of who they surround themselves with. If your friends are only interested in having fun, bar-hopping every weekend, or binge-watching the latest TV series, then you won’t be inspired or motivated to do anything else. Find like-minded individuals who will challenge the way you think of problems and nurture your ideas.

 

If you want to reap the benefits of these successful habits, you’ll need to be consistent and use them every day. Incorporate more healthy and productive habits into your lifestyle as you become more comfortable and consistent with the three listed above.

Five Ways to Start a Side Hustle With Little to No Money

If you’re a born entrepreneur, you’re all about side hustles and making businesses that generate passive income. Many aspiring entrepreneurs, however, are held back by limited finances. Luckily, you don’t need deep pockets to start a side hustle. Here are five ways you can do just that:

List Your Options

Nowadays, you don’t have to create something new and revolutionary to succeed as an entrepreneur. You can simply choose from existing businesses based on what fits your personality, expertise, and budget. Side hustles can range from part-time or independent contractor work i.e. dog walking and uber driving to buying and selling stuff online and running a dropshipping store. Narrow the list down based on what meets the aforementioned criteria.

Do The Ground Work Yourself

The do-it-yourself approach may take more time and frustration as you learn new skill sets, but it’s definitely an effective way to start a side hustle on a shoestring budget. In addition, it’s a great way to master the ins and outs of your business. If there is an internal issue later on, you can easily find the problem and fix it yourself.

Have a Business Plan

It’s common advice, almost to the point of overused, in many business-related articles. However, for someone with little to no startup capital, a business plan can give you access to third-party funding. You can approach banks and private lenders with a well-detailed business plan and get the loan you need to start.

Start a Crowdfunding Campaign

Platforms, like Kickstarter, have helped a lot of entrepreneurs bootstrap their ideas into full-fledged businesses as well as draw priceless attention to their relatively nascent brand. Start a crowdfunding campaign of your own. You’ll need a good sales pitch, marketing materials including video or at least images of the product/service you’re trying to sell, and a prototype.

Get Your Hands on Everything “Free”

Capitalize on anything that you can get for free – free marketing exposure, educational resources, zero-interest loans, business expos and conferences, customer leads, etcetera. Avoid paying for things that you can get for free.

Conclusion

There is a common misconception that businesses of any size and magnitude require high startup capital. Don’t let that get in the way of your entrepreneurial drive and spirit. Use the five tips in this article to build your money-making empire.

Useful Guidelines for Negotiating in a Crisis

Trying times are inevitable; hence, you need strategies to bounce back when you get into financial trouble. Negotiation is delicate since many parties are involved making the process quite technical. However, there are tips to use to make the activity seamless at all times. This way, all the people involved will come into a reasonable agreement.

Determine the Problem at Hand

It is crucial to define the problem in the business as the initial step to finding a solution. Plus, remaining calm and composed gives a clear mind to make the best decision. It is prudent to analyze the situation and come up with ideas that define the issue. For instance, if reducing rent and scaling the venture is the way forward, it is vital to say it clearly.

Accommodate all Needs

Considering the needs of all parties is the ideal negotiating strategy to deploy in the process. Writing down expectations is the best approach so that everyone can meet the other person halfway. Business owners can ask for a rent reduction of about 20%, while landlords will say that they need consistent cash flow for their lenders.

Consult other Entrepreneurs

Business owners can also consult those who have gone through a crisis to get information about how they succeeded. Social media is the ideal platform to get tips since one can access the records seamlessly. There are discussions on how to negotiate for a rent reduction, lease extension, and credit relief as well.

Ask Open Questions

Asking open-ended questions is another negotiating tip to use as it brings about more understanding. On that account, it is essential to avoid items that come with yes and no answers. Utilize queries that start with “What or How,” such as; “What can we do to ensure that you have a consistent cash flow while I maintain the business for a long-term partnership?”

Use Both I and We in the Statements

Entrepreneurs have to use “I and we” so that the other party can feel appreciated. An example goes like this, “I am asking for this, and here’s how we will gain from the request.” The other person will have a listening ear, and they will not dispute a lot. Plus, he or she will come up with the way forward to solve the problem