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.

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.

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.

4 Tips to Buying a Vacation Home During COVID

Although COVID-19 has essentially hijacked the year, there’s still enough time left in 2020 to carry out your plan of buying a vacation home. In fact, perhaps the only silver lining of the ongoing pandemic is how it’s dampened the housing market. As a buyer, you can get a vacation property at discount prices.

Know Where to Look

The housing market in certain cities are a lot more impacted than others. If you’re out looking for the best deals, the top three cities to focus your search in are Big Sky, MT, Cape Hatteras, NC, and Poconos, PA. The average property in Big Sky sells for about $542,000 while the city’s median annual income is around $80,000.

Use it as a Bargaining Chip

COVID-19 is bringing a lot of economic pressure, especially amongst the working class. Use it to negotiate for lower prices on your vacation home. Aside from the property, you can also try to negotiate on your broker’s fees and other expenses related to property acquisition.

Do Most Of It Online or Via Phone

Zoom with your real estate broker or, if you’re buying direct, with the current owners of the property. Complete tasks remotely if possible. Nowadays, you can sign for and submit legal documents online in a secure manner. You can also research the market in great depth without having to actually go to open houses or visit real estate agencies in person. Request for a self-guided tour of the property rather than having a broker with you. This minimizes your time outdoors and any consequent contact with people.

Practice CDC-Recommended Safety Measures

If you do need to meet with people in person during your property search, such as when you want to oversee the home inspection to make sure everything is done accurately and thoroughly, follow the safety measures encouraged by the CDC. This includes wearing a mask, staying six feet away from other people, washing your hands often, using a hand sanitizer with a minimum alcohol content of 60 percent, and avoiding touching your face.

Buying a vacation home during the ongoing pandemic remains similar in practice. Since many of the stages of home acquisition can be done remotely, including via phone, email, or video chat, prospective home buyers can find their dream vacation property without endangering themselves and their families.

Direct Mail: An Old School Marketing Tactic Making a Comeback

Direct mail is affordable, puts your advertising in a potential client’s hand, and it is a campaign you can learn to put together yourself. It’s also considered an old school marketing tactic that, for a while, had seemed to be played out. Too much direct mail in too many mail boxes was making it easy for people to ignore their direct mail without looking at it.

Making Your Marketing Stand Out

Today, putting something tactile in a potential customer’s hand has more value than it did ten years ago. Customers spend more time on their phones. They are scrolling past digital advertising every day. While there is still value in digital marketing, of course, there is also value in diversifying by reaching your potential customers with targeted direct mailer campaigns.

One of the things making direct mail marketing cool again is how online tools have made it easier to create targeted campaigns.

A smartly targeted campaign will have the right message going to the right customers. For example, if a real estate agent wanted to target home sellers in a particular neighborhood, there are now online tools where you can target a specific zip code. You can then create a mailer with a message written for the customer you’re trying to reach. This will include smart ad copy about selling your home.

A direct, simple, and targeted message can be extremely effective.

Another area where your direct mail campaign can benefit is from selecting a high quality material for your mailer. A large glossy postcard with a simple design that catches the eye and paper that has some weight to it is most likely to stand out when someone is going through their mailbox. A professional design will also speak well of your business and make a great first impression.

Avoid This Mistake With Direct Mail

While direct mail can be a great way to reach your customer, it’s important to do it well to be effective. This is true of any type of marketing.

With direct mail, many marketers lose sight of their targeting. This leads them to send out a generic campaign to a large area. They believe they are being effective by getting their message to as many people as possible.

This is the kind of advertising you would see by putting up a billboard on a highway or a television commercial. There is value in this widespread advertising. However, what has made digital marketing so great for small businesses is that they can afford to advertise by running campaigns that are targeted toward their ideal customer. When they pay to get eyes on their message, they’re putting it in front of people more likely to be interested.

The same is now true of smartly run direct mail campaigns. Send the right message to the right people and you can see the results you’re after.

Apply this rule to selecting the right list and sending the right message to them. Write a smart headline and use branding that speaks to your ideal customer.

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.

The Essentials of Innovation

Companies are overflowing in the world economy. Capitalism has made the process of starting a company very smooth; there is limited government interference. For a company to stand out, it has to provide solutions to current world issues and needs.

 

Innovation is an expensive and lengthy process. Large companies struggle to present innovative ideas because of their complicated structures. Decision making is time-consuming as a result of organizational red-tape.

 

Therefore, large companies should assess their capacity to undertake successful corporate growth-fueled innovations. Unfortunately, the field of Innovation has skyrocketed in recent years; a large organization needs to readjust cultural and structural factors to deliver powerful innovations. Some of the changes organizations should look into include;

 

  1. Aspire

 

Companies need to adopt a slogan that inspires creativity in their staff. Additionally, setting a financial target for innovative goals will spearhead growth. These quantitative targets should further spread across all departments. The goals must be high enough to motivate departmental managers to push for modification amongst their teams. Setting deadlines might catapult the process a little further as well.

 

  1. Choose

 

Large companies tend to suffer the most from failed innovation projects. The process of change primarily starts when a company decides it is willing to invest in an opportunity. Most organizations make the mistake of underfunding projects or spreading their income on many unyielding ventures. The best course of action is finding opportunities that are the most promising and financing them to success.

 

  1. Accelerate

 

Large companies tend to sabotage their innovative process. The ability of management to step aside and let reforms proceed will ensure fast product delivery. However, cross-departmental communication throughout the process is paramount. Marketing should be left to its own devices to collect data on customer preferences and adjust products accordingly. Innovations should satisfy new consumer tastes, a company that assumes user needs are contradicting the purpose of change.

 

  1. Scale

 

Companies ought to fully understand the size of their possible market. Global products will need more resources allocated to them at the initial stages. The safer option of adjusting the scale over time is risky; it may drive a company to bankruptcy. Innovation is a means to grow profits while managing risks; not a ride to financial crises.

 

In summary, large corporations often find it challenging to redefine themselves as innovators in society. However, those that set out to do so understand that it is a multi-departmental effort that will require redefining culture as well as structure.

Creating Healthy Boundaries While Working From Home

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world, businesses remain shut down and those that are open are encouraged to have their staff work from home. This new norm of remote workforces has created many benefits including lower carbon footprint, improved productivity and lower stress levels, and cost savings as companies forgo office leases. What is proving to be a challenge, however, is creating a healthy boundary between personal and professional life. Here are three tips that can help:

 

Create Walls

 

Setting physical boundaries may be enough to ward off any unwanted distractions, be it your spouse, pets, children, or outside noise. If you don’t have room to spare for your home office, you can simply buy a divider that can delineate your workspace. Dividers come in different sizes, colors, designs, and installation types. Some dividers require no installation and can stand on its own while others have to be mounted on the ceiling or side walls with rings or a rod.

 

Inform Everyone of Your Work Schedule

 

If you don’t have one yet, establish a work schedule that marks what times of the day you start and finish, what time your meetings are for that day, an itemized list of tasks you need to be done, and so on. Notify everyone in your home or post a copy of the schedule on the communal fridge. Update your work schedule as you get more information from your superiors.

 

Have a Separate Laptop For Work

 

On your work laptop, download and install site blockers to help you stay focused on your workload. Only install games and log in your social media accounts and personal email on your laptop. Having a separate laptop for your work helps you stay on track without interruption. Check with your company if they can lease you a work laptop. Most companies, especially those in tech, offer this work perk.

 

Working from home is only sustainable if you can separate your work and personal life. However, in an attempt to try and stop your personal life from seeping into your professional obligations, be sure not to let your work consume all of your waking hours. Strive to maintain an equilibrium between these two facets.