It’s Time to Make a Career Change

People change careers several times during their lifetime. The main reason is that they don’t make informed decisions about the careers they choose. They do not take into account their own interests, values, personality types while selecting career path. Because of these reasons, you may find yourself wondering whether you should be doing something different. Here are some valid reasons to leave your current career for a new one:

  • Loss of purpose and passion

    If your career has no meaning, you are no longer excited about it or you have grown tired of getting up in the morning to compete for something you don’t believe in anymore – it’s time to move on. The financial incentives are not enough, when the chance to find real personal significance and happiness is missing.

  • Talent potential is not valued

    When your talent is not valued, it’s difficult to stay motivated.   When your boss doesn’t trust your potential and will not sponsor your career advancement, it’s extremely hard to remain loyal. You must value your talent potential more than anyone else. Never allow your talent to be taken for granted.  If it is, it may be time to move on.

  • Professional growth is stunted

    If you are unable to challenge yourself to grow and mature, then how can your employer help you? If you think your employer is not investing in your professional development, you must move on. If you don’t stretch yourself to do more or remain in your comfort zone for too long, you will have to pay the price later. Your resume should reflect enough success stories to merit advancement in your career.

  • Workplace culture is not trustworthy

    A hostile work environment that operates in silos – where the executives are not transparent – is difficult to trust. This type of workplace culture becomes corrupted and begins to impact your performance and ability to advance. When you are part of an organization that is full of leadership and workplace problems, it’s time to consider a career change.

  • Not sufficiently awarded

    It’s easy to become contented in your career, but in today’s fiercely competitive and dynamic marketplace, you must be your own manager and continually be accountable to keep a “reward scorecard.”   Rewards are qualitative and quantitative measurements.  If you are not being rewarded for your work – based on industry standards (or better), it’s time to consider a career change.

  • You make excuse for a day off

    Do you make excuses to call in sick or let go opportunities to take lead? It may be time to assess your current career. If your sense of satisfaction fades away, you aren’t worried your performance review didn’t go well, or you spend more time on surfing internet than concentrating on business, it might be time to move on.

  • Your life has changed

    When you chose your career your life may have been different than it is today. For example you may have been single then and now you have a family. The crazy schedule or the frequent travel that is typical of your career may not suit your new lifestyle. You should look for an occupation that is more “family friendly.”

  • Your job is too stressful

    Some occupations are inherently stressful. You knew that from the beginning about yours. You’ve come to a point, though, when it’s become too much to handle. To preserve your mental and physical health, you will have to find a career that is less stressful.

If you want to make a career change, talk to the career counsellor for guidance and making a right move. Think about roles or jobs where you can use the knowledge and skills you already possess. If you are convinced that you want to make a career change, then take a dive! There is never a perfect time, so don’t wait. Try to prepare plan B, and then do it!

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How to Find Internships

Internships can be a great way to get your foot in the door, gaining valuable work experience in a position that would not normally be open to someone with your skills. Finding one and getting it can be hard though. Follow these strategies to land great internships.

  • Look for internship listings

    Visit career services office of your school or regularly browse their website to check internship listings. Many companies also post internship positions on their ‘career’ web page. Select a number of different internships and be sure to follow the application instructions precisely. Many internships are very competitive and until you hear back from an employer – don’t assume that you will be accepted. Be proactive by continuing to apply to new internships as you find them.

  • Make a good resume

    You know what you are good at but the employer will need to see them in ink. Ready your resume, highlighting the skills that could be beneficial in that field and mention your achievements in previous internships or a project at college where you volunteered. Showcasing your skills, while keeping in the mind the requirements for the job, plays an important role in getting yourself the right internship.

  • Do your research

    Before going for an interview, research on not only the company and its products, but also on the business itself. Read about company’s stock market performance, its employees, their backgrounds, competitors, media coverage regarding news about the company etc. Potential interns who get noticed in an interview or on the job are the ones who have an opinion- they aren’t afraid to speak up, give input and contribute to brainstorming sessions. But in order to have effective and credible input, one has to put in the time and do the research.

  • Use and know the product

    Being unfamiliar with the product or web site of the company is fatal- because interviewers will get to know about your ignorance. Candidates, who have used the product or know it well, share insight and knowledge and they even have stories about how the product has helped them in their career etc.

  • Weigh benefits correctly

    Weigh the benefits of internship in terms of the value they add to your profile the knowledge that you gain from that role. Taking up just any internship is not good for your profile. Get the one that is relevant to the career you intend to pursue.

If you are looking for internship positions with renowned companies, log on to ThGongzuo.com to find the right internship and save your precious time.

Should Start-ups Hire Interns?

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For some start-ups it is inevitable to hire interns at the initial stages of their company’s growth. While this may initially appear to be a good practice, especially with start-ups’ tight financial constraints, the grind of managing the interns could overshadow the benefits of having them in your office.

Internships are a “give and take” relationship because the commitment goes both ways – an intern works for your start-up, but you have to teach the intern the necessary skills and give him or her individual learning plan in return. The intern is working for you because he or she wants to learn and get experience in his or her field of expertise.

Pros and cons of hiring interns
There are mostly ‘pros’, but you need to be aware of one con: Interns are time consuming in the beginning of their internship. You need to take the time to teach them a new set of skills and integrate them into the workplace.

Here are the benefits of hiring interns:

  • The most important benefit to the start-ups is that they get cost effective dynamic workforce.
  • For most interns, it is their first job, so they give their best to the employer. They are motivated and have desire to learn and progress within their field.
  • Interns fill positions and assist employers with innovative ideas and technology.
  • Internships allow employers to connect with and build relationships with students early in their academic careers
  • Employers can test the candidates before offering him/her full time position within an organization.
  • Smaller, less important tasks could be given to interns, so that experienced workforce could devote their full attention to more productive work.

However, these benefits could come at a cost of your time and energy.

  • You spend more time teaching them how to work and what to work on
  • If you have more number of interns, your business activities may suffer when interns go back to school.
  • Most start-up founders will take the interns under their wing and teach them what they know. As an internship cycle usually repeats itself every 3/6 months, it can be quite taxing.
  • If handover is not done properly when an internship comes to an end, you could lose your business.

In a small start-up, interns can either make or break your company. However, if handled and planned correctly, internships can be meaningful to both you – the employer and your interns.

If you plan to hire interns for your start-up, register on TheGongzuo.com and advertise your open positions to get qualified interns.

I Missed an Interview. What Should I Do Next?

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An interview is your opportunity to impress an employer and show how perfect you are for the job. Missing the interview or arriving late can jeopardize your chances and is something you should avoid at all costs. However, unavoidable situations sometimes occur that would make it impossible to attend. If you take appropriate steps immediately, you might be able to appease the employer and get a second chance.

The right thing to do, regardless of the reason why you missed the interview, is to send the recruiter a formal letter or email message of apology/explanation. It’s best to keep your letter or message brief but sincere. Take responsibility for your failure to appear for the interview. If you still want to work for the company and you had a good reason for missing the interview, let the recruiter know this, too. It can’t hurt and you might get a second chance!

Even if you were caught among unavoidable circumstances, missing an interview is highly unprofessional. But, still you can request the employer to reschedule your interview. He/she may refuse, but you can try. If the interviewer does agree to schedule another meeting, make note of the time and date, and thank him or her for the opportunity.

If the interviewer agrees to reschedule the meeting, make an effort to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Thank the interviewer for the opportunity, but do not mention the missed interview and do not make any excuses about it. Be polite, professional and do your best to show the interviewer that you’re a reliable, competent candidate. Good luck!

Culture Questions to Ask before Taking up Job

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When you are in the process of job hunting, you get eager to land a job that you would love. And when you get an interview call, you obviously get very excited and face the interview well-prepared. At such times, it gets very tough to reject the job offer on the criteria other than salary. But, it is very important to find whether you will be ‘culturally’ fit within that organization or not. Remember, you can’t work where you don’t feel comfortable.  The culture of the company you’re applying for carries tremendous weight on your decision to work there. Therefore, before you accept a job, conduct ‘culture audit’ to assess company’s culture.

What is a culture?
Culture is one very important way in which employees describe where they work. It underlies their understanding of the employer’s business and helps employees orient themselves in the organization. Company culture is the shared values, practices and beliefs of the company’s employees. From hiring practices to how people work, make decisions, resolve differences of opinions, and navigate change, the culture defines the unwritten but very real rules of behaviour. If you are job seeker in that company, you should take into account its culture.

If you ask an interviewer following types of questions, you will understand a company’s culture:

  • What makes you proud to work at this company?
  • How would you describe the culture here in few words?
  • What’s the process for on-boarding employees, and how do you handle beginner mistakes?
  • Are the firm’s executives approachable?
  • Is employee input sought for new initiatives including strategy?
  • How are big decisions made?
  • Does the firm get together when new sales records or big customer orders are achieved?
  • Could you please give examples of people who succeeded wildly within the boundaries of the organization?
  • What’s the difference between an average employee and the best one in this role/department/company?
  • Is risk-taking encouraged and what if people fail?
  • How does the organization support professional development and career growth?
  • Are there formal quality initiatives in place such as Six Sigma or Lean?
  • What’s one thing you would change about this company if you could?

Company culture is everything. You can’t work where you don’t fit. Ask a few of these questions on your next interview, and you’ll be sure to find the organization that’s the right environment for you.

Best US Cities for Startup Businesses

When we think of tech start-ups, Northern California region comes to our mind. Companies in Silicon Valley area receive the largest share of funding from venture capitalists, but there are several other promising cities around the country to launch tech start-up.

The following ranking is based on start-up survival rates, available talent pool, day-to-day start-up costs etc.

  1. Austin, TX – Austin has topped the list, becoming alternative to Silicon Valley. It has a smaller population and that is  great for quality of life. It has the necessary talent available needed for tech industry.
  2. New York, NY – This is city is very much open for business. Internet businesses are thriving in Manhattan. NYC’s mass transit system is a big plus in its digital success.
  3. Seattle, WA – Seattle has great universities producing engineering and IT graduates. So, it has the highest density of tech talent. This is the biggest advantage for entrepreneurs.
  4. Denver, CO – It has comparatively low office rents, affordable for budding CEOs and CFOs. It has smaller population, so people enjoy great quality of life.
  5. Atlanta, GA – It has great public transport and subway system for commuters. Low cost of office spaces is good news for start-up owners. They get more money in hand to expand their business or to hire quality workforce.
  6. San Francisco, CA – Here, over half of the population holds a Bachelor’s degree. This is fantastic as it means there is a good spread of academic qualification and experience throughout the city to aid recruitment. Major downside is, it is the costliest place to open a new office.
  7. Washington, D.C. – Academic talent pool is larger than most of the cities. This is fantastic news for anyone looking for a more academically qualified workforce, or looking for specific qualifications that come out of advanced degrees.
  8. Miami, FL – Miami has one of the most thriving local business cultures of the entire Top 10 cities of this list. It can attract many different businesses from different sectors. It can attract many different businesses from different sectors.  Miami is blazing ahead in terms of number of new company formations.
  9. Los Angeles, CA – It has second lowest transportation cost among the top cities listed here – good news for employees needing to get to their workplaces and the bosses who need to get them there early. LA is great place to start and grow business. It has a high rate of new entrepreneurs.
  10. Houston, TX – Houston is the best city in terms of office prices. Being highly populated, it gives great local market for businesses. It has a wide variety of skills available, which is a big plus.

How To Make Money Online?

When money is tight, an extra $1,000 a month could be life-changing. Although an additional $12,000 a year might not sound like a ton of money, for a single-income home, or for a family with a hefty car payment or medical bills, it could make all the difference.

You can start an online business if you have the right attitude and willingness to learn. Follow these steps to utilize your spare time and invest it into an online business.

  • Find what interests you most and what are you good at

    This is the starting point of setting up your online business. Spend enough time on thinking about this. Write down whatever comes to your mind and then make a short list of 5 such business ideas. Finally, you can come down to one such niche area, which you love the most or enjoy doing in your spare time.

  • Develop your own website

    The next step is to write blogs or articles about your interest area on a website. You don’t need tech skills for building a website. You will find online resources where you can get ready-to-use templates. You will get visitors to read information on your website. Your website contents should aim to solve their problems. For specific information, you can develop a video or present expert’s interview clip or info graphic and can ask for viewer’s email address in return. For additional free resources, visitors will share their email ids with you. In this way, you regular visitors become your subscribers.

  • Start selling

    Once you generate the list of subscribers, you can start selling your product. For example, if your niche area is tutoring, you can actually develop an online course for which your loyal visitors will pay you fees. Once you provide them quality information for free, they are ready to buy such services from you. People compare the cost of actual tutoring and the pain of commuting with the online resources.

Once you follow these steps, then the sky is the limit for how much you can earn. Keep updating your website contents to get repeat visitors. Keep growing your number of subscribers and enjoy being a successful businessman!