How Can You Turn Your Artistic Talent Into A Job Winning Skill?

The total size of the U.S. creative industry stands at $43.9 billion, according to recent research undertaken by the Association for Creative Industries. The very year Etsy started up, it garnered sales worth $2.4 billion, indicating the extent to which art can be a lucrative trade.

Some of the most in-demand careers that require artistic skills include those of cartographer, architect, set and exhibit designers, and interior designers. Some of these jobs – for instance, that of an architect – require technical knowledge and a degree, while others (including the post of interior designer) require a blend of natural talent (or an eye for style) and knowledge of computer design programs catered for a specific industry.

If you are keen on breaking into an arts-based industry, how can you convince recruiters you are the perfect fit for the job? Continue reading

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5 Lucrative Career Choices You Need To Know About

Choosing a career pathway is always going to seem difficult. Because when you’re faced with a wealth of choice, and you have a range of interests, it can be hard to trim them all down. How do you decide? How will you ever know which career is going to work out best for you?

Well, in short, you won’t. You’ll only ever know based on what you do choose to do. So you may need another factor to help you to choose. For many people, this can be about money and prospects.

Because it’s always going to be important for you to enjoy your career, but know that you can support your lifestyle with it too. So let’s consider five choices that could work out for you. Continue reading

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Considerations When Going For A Career In Childcare

A career in childcare can be extremely rewarding. The feeling of helping young children to develop and learn new things is incredible. Plus, there are so many different ways you can get involved in childcare, from being a child doctor to a nanny. However, like all careers, this is not a path for everyone. Keeping that in mind, read on to discover five key things you need to take into account before embarking on this journey. 

  1. Do you have what it takes?

A lot of people want to go into childcare because they love children. Nevertheless, loving children is one thing, but caring for them properly is an entirely different matter. It is important to recognise that being a good parent does not necessarily mean you are going to be suited to a role as a childcare provider. There are lots of qualities you need to have. You need to be adaptable, patient, and organised. You also need to have the right temperament and the ability to work well with all children. Be realistic with yourself and make sure you have some experience before determining whether this is the right career path for you. Continue reading

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Improve Your Employability After Being Out of Work For a While

Have you been out of work for a while? Perhaps you took time off to raise your children, or maybe it was an illness that meant you had to stop working for a period of time. Perhaps you spent your youth hopping from job to job for various reasons, but your recent stretch of unemployment has lasted longer than it should have.

It might have been the case that due to the recession, there simply were no jobs available when you finished school or college. Since then you could have fallen into a rut, and lost your confidence with getting back into work. There are lots of reasons you could be in this situation, but thankfully there are ways out.

If you’ve been out of work for a while, here are some things you can do to get yourself earning and building up your skills again. Continue reading

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Are You Being Treated Fairly At Work?

Work can be tough for just about all of us a lot of the time. After all, if it was always easy and fun then it wouldn’t be called work, would it?

Sure, we all often have to put up with long hours, frustration, and days where you’d really rather just be doing something else. However, sometimes a job can end up being a whole lot worse than that.

Sure, having to work a job that you don’t really care that much about can be frustrating, but even the best job in the world can end up being a total waking nightmare if you find yourself working for someone who doesn’t treat you properly.

Most of us aware that being friends with your boss isn’t that likely, or particularly sensible for that matter, but at the very least we all know that there should be an exchange of mutual respect between you both. Continue reading

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What Could Your Startup Benefit From

Your startup could probably benefit from a lot right now. It’s hard enough as it is for an established business to stay afloat in the business era we’re in at the minute, but for a startup to try and burst through the market, well that’s a whole new story altogether.

Which is why it can sometimes feel for a lot of startups, as though they’re never actually going to be anything more than a start up. Well, that’s where we’re here to try and change a few opinions.

We think we know exactly what your startup could benefit from at the minute, no matter how far along the line you are into your business venture. If the tips below don’t help you, then keep on searching!

 

Office Space

Office space is definitely something that your business should consider. Even as a startup, it can work so much better if you actually have a place of business to work from. You can have all mail sent there so it will look more professional, and you can benefit from having more space to slowly expand.

You will be able to find plenty of commercial properties for sale on the internet, you just need to make sure that picking one that is going to benefit your business. One that is a central location, with easy transport links. And easy business links. You also need to make sure that your office space is fun and exciting for your employees, when you do eventually hire them. Continue reading

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How to Ace Your Next Competency-Based Interview

Competency-based interviews (also called skills-based interviews) have been found to be significantly more effective than general interviews, for two reasons: they are objective, and predictive. Rather than asking you about general abilities, they are aimed at discovering whether or not you have been able to demonstrate key competencies or skills in your previous job.

For instance, instead of asking “Tell me what makes you good at resolving conflicts,” your interviewer may ask, “Tell me about a specific time in which you resolved an important conflict at work.” It is easy to see how this type of question can take you aback if you are unprepared.

Competency-based interviews are an excellent way to truly show what you can bring to a new organization but they need considerably more preparation than generic interviews.

Before the Interview: Drafting Your Resume

When taken by surprise, you can become blocked and fail to think of an exact instance that matches the skill you are being questioned on. Thus, drafting an excellent resume is vital.

The skills you include in your CV will steer your interviewer towards questions you have prepared for. It is important to be as  specific as possible and to provide numbers where possible. For instance, mentioning that you are ‘goal oriented’ or that you ‘consistently meet sales targets’ is way too generic.

Think about the specific contribution you made. For instance, “I beat the sales record at my previous company” or “Boosted sales by 20% in my first year at my previous company.” Chances are, your interviewers will be intrigued by this information and ask you to expand on it.

Identifying Core Competencies

In order to prepare for a competency-based interview, you need to look well at the specific skills or competencies listed in the job description. For each of these, you need to think of three specific instances in which you displayed them.

For instance, if you are applying for a job in Sales, a core competency might be ‘Self-Motivation’. Think of three situations in which you motivated yourself to land a big sale or meet a target. Once you have listed them down, start practicing your answers.

Using the STAR Method

Think of questions your interviewer could ask and practise answering in role plays, using the STAR method. STAR stands for Situation (Tell the interviewers about the challenging situation you faced); Task (What was your aim in this situation?); Action (What actions did you take to fix the problem?); and Results (What results did you achieve? More importantly, how did you grow and evolve from the challenge?).

Start off with a nice lead such as “I know that being self-motivated is very important for the position I am applying for and I have had to motivate myself many times. Let me share this one instance with you.”

Practise Makes Perfect

Enlist the support of a mentor or trusted colleague and run your answers by them. Also, ask them to formulate questions; they may ask you a question that stumps you, which is good. It will test your ability to ‘think on your feet’. In a typical competency-based interview, it is hard to predict all the questions you will be asked to on the spot thinking is key. Your mentor will also help identify statements that should be phrased in another way.

The input of a trusted mentor is key because competency-based interviews are challenging by nature. Most questions ask you to admit a past challenge, but also expect you to have surmounted each obstacle with a growth mindset.

The key to acing this type of interview is preparation. Think of possible questions, answer them in a role play, and record these sessions if possible to look at your body language, tone, and other cues that are vital when it comes to effective communication.

Jane Francis is a freelance writer and editor. She spent over a decade working as a career advisor and coach, helping thousands of people create career plans and follow them through. Now she’s taken a step back to spend more time with her growing family and to write about her favorite topics.

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