Is it Safe to Ride Public Transportation Again?

should we still take public transportation

Commuting to Work: Returning to Buses and Subways

Although jobs are starting to return little by little, the fear of being infected with the coronavirus is still keeping many people from riding public transportation including buses and subways.

However, a lot of people are wondering whether or not it is safe to begin riding again, or if it would be a recipe for disaster. We highly recommend that you do some of your own research into your own cities safety precautions; however, from a global standpoint, you can get an accurate idea of how safe it is to ride public transportation from the information below.

New Precautions

In cities like Chicago, a lot of safety precautions have been put into place to help keep passengers safe from infection on the bus and train. Seats are sterilized, some seats are sanctioned off so passengers can socially distance and even the stations themselves are sterilized.

Although you should do your own research about what your own community is doing to stay safe on public transportation, more often than naught it seems that safety precautions are being taken.

What About Ride-Share?

Ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft are a lot of people’s go-to’s for traveling to and from work. However, getting into a stranger’s car who may or not be taking the pandemic seriously is keeping a lot of people from using them.

There are still things that you can do in order to stay safe while using ride-share. For example, you can wipe down your own seat, avoid touching surfaces while in the car and wear a mask.

Also, you can ask if you can keep the windows open and make sure that the air conditioning is not circulating throughout the car since the virus can be airborne.

What Can I Do to Stay Safe?

Whenever you are on public transportation (or even out in the world in general) there are several precautions that you should exercise yourself in order to stay safe.

  • Wear a decent mask the entire time. Make sure it covers your mouth and nose.
  • Wash your hands before and after riding public transportation.
  • Travel during non-peak hours
  • Limit the amount of surfaces you touch.
  • Socially distance
  • If any area seems crowded, don’t go there.
  • If you’re sick, STAY HOME!

The CDC also recommends that you have some supplies with you whenever you go outside your home.

Finally, the thing that is going to put you the most at risk of getting the coronavirus is other people being stupid. If people are not wearing a mask or are not socially distancing, get away from them and report them if at all possible.

But Is It Safe?

Thus far, there are no major outbreaks that have been tied to using public transportation. However, that doesn’t mean that there is no risk at all to using public transportation. At the end of the day, there is always going to be risk to using public transportation. It is about deciding for yourself whether or not you feel comfortable with the risks given your own precautions along with your communities.

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Make the World Your Home Office!

Work from anywhere

Why Work From Home When You Can Work Anywhere?

If you are still working during the pandemic, there’s a chance that you are now working from home. Even though your pets and roommates are probably ecstatic to spend more time with you, you should still consider working places other than your home.

A change of scenery can mean a lot to you and your career and productivity. Also, despite the pandemic, this is not a bad time to consider doing a bit of travel. If you’re interested in working somewhere other than your home, consider some of these options for a fresh new outlook!

Safety First

Before you make any rash decisions, remember that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Although you could potentially work anywhere with a decent Wi-Fi signal, you still shouldn’t put yourself in any dangerous situations.

Avoid working places where you are going to be surrounded by a lot of people. You should also avoid airports for the time being. If you aren’t comfortable with driving to the location yourself, mark it off your list.

Benefits of Working Outside

If working around the world is a bit too jarring for you, consider taking your work outdoors.

During quarantine, there were probably periods of time where you went days without venturing outside. Without fresh air and sunlight, you are probably getting a bit stressed and stir crazy.

According to an article from Entrepreneur.com, working outdoors can lower your blood pressure, reduce your stress levels and improve your overall health.

What You Should Know Before Heading Out

If you are going to spend some time with friends and family outside of your home, you should first find out that they are being safe. Make sure that they are practicing social distancing and have not been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Secondly, there is a risk to leaving the safety of your home. For example, if you learn that you came into contact with someone with COVID-19, you need to isolate yourself for two weeks so that you know whether or not you are sick.

Where Should You Go?

Hotels and motels may not be smart for the time being, so use your better judgment when choosing where you will be staying. A smart idea would be to stay at an Air BNB. Not only will you have a lovely home to stay at the place of your choosing, but you will most likely have all of the amenities that you have at your own home.

You should avoid visiting an area that’s a hot spot during the pandemic. You can find out what areas of the country are unsafe by going on the CDC website.

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Open Networks are the Key to Career Success

Be an open networker

Expanding Your Network is the Best Way to Succeed

If you work in marketing, your connections on LinkedIn are probably almost all fellow marketers with a few outliers sprinkled in.

When you think about some of the most successful individuals in the world like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos, we realize that these are people that changed the entire game rather than people who remained successful in a single field.

Sure, Apple is a tech company, but the company has evolved to create products that go so far beyond the personal computer. Amazon was originally just a company where you could buy books, but now they are the best company in terms of online sales and logistics.

If you want to be successful beyond your wildest dreams, you can only do so by opening your network and learning how your field can meld with others.

What Does it Mean to Have an Open Network?

Having an open network means more than having a network of people with different careers; it means having a network of wildly different individuals. This means people from different cultural backgrounds, religions, political affiliations, educational backgrounds and more.

We typically want people that are in our network who are similar to us. People of different mindsets can make us feel uncomfortable, so we tend to keep them at a distance. However, if we don’t allow them into our networks, we aren’t allowing our networks to reach their highest potential.

What’s Wrong With a Closed Network?

When you close off your network from others, your network goes from being a network to being an echo chamber. When you don’t have a network of people of different mindsets, you get a network of people who lack ideas that differ from yours. This means that when you need an outside perspective, you aren’t getting one from someone who can look at the situation differently from you.

When you have a closed network, you have a single perspective of the world rather than an accurate understanding.

How Do I Open My Network?

The first thing that you need to do is to keep an open mind. Again, we are all more likely to network with people that are our friends rather than people outside that comfort zone.  Start off by inviting people to connect with you who you know from school or work, but worked/studied in different fields.

You could also join some online forums where you can learn more about other industries and make connections with people at those forums. Once you start building up your larger, more diverse network, you can start using that network in your future endeavors.

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Five Habits That Can Change Your Job Hunt

5 job search tips

Behavior That Can Help Your Job Search

Your actions and your mentality are two of your biggest tools when it comes to both your job hunt and your overall professionalism.

A wrong move and a bad attitude can lead to a lifetime of failures and dead-end jobs that keep you down. However, there are several behavior of highly successful people that you can follow to help achieve a life of success.

Re-Think Your Wardrobe

When it comes to what you wear every day, you need to find a balance of clothes that reflect your own personality and style, and clothes that work in a professional atmosphere.

There’s a misconception that you always need to wear suits button-downs whenever you are representing your company. Although you should have some formal attire, your outfits should be ones that radiate professionalism that you also are comfortable wearing.

Don’t Live on Electronics

In an age of smartphones, tablets and laptops, it can be hard to find moments in life where you don’t feel obligated to be trapped in screen.

Not only can too much screen time make it difficult for you to focus or even sleep, but if you are using them to hunt for jobs throughout the day you’re going to be upset by responses quicker than usual.

Take breaks from using your electronics and from using them to hunt for jobs.

Hire a Professional Resume Writer

Without a doubt the best thing you can do to maximize your chances of landing a job in this job climate is to hire a professional resume writer.

Professional resume writers create resumes that are made to catch the eyes of hiring managers and get people job interviews. Click the above link for a free consultation with a professional resume writer.

Ask for Opportunity

A lot of us think that we need to only find opportunity through the traditional means of sending job applications in response to job postings. This is not the case.

You can find jobs by asking your network if they have any available opportunities. This is a good way to get ahead of job postings or to even find jobs that the company wasn’t planning on posting.

Be Grateful

Your manners and your attitude are what speak volumes of who you are as a person and as a worker. A great way to show that you have a good attitude is to be grateful. Say thank you in your emails and show your appreciation to others for helping you out.

This good behavior will make an impact on all aspects of your life.

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How to Balance Full-Time Work and Full-Time School

balancing school and work

Working and Going to School: Can You do Both?

During my senior year of college, I was taking five courses, I was the editor-in-chief of my college newspaper and I was working 40 hours a week.

From personal experience, I can honestly say that working full-time and going to school full-time is difficult, but it is also entirely possible. Whether you are a current college student who wants to get a job, or a current employee who wants to go back to school, this is possible! Keep in mind that this balancing act is not for the faint of heart. You will also struggle maintaining a personal life amidst all of this. It is possible to have it all, but if you don’t have the ability to make cope with the stress of everything, this course is not for you.

Don’t Make a Stupid Schedule

You need to make sure that you can be an effective student as well as an effective employee. If you build your schedule so that you have no time to get to class or work on time and fresh, this won’t be sustainable.

Before you start your new job, let them know what days you need off in order to attend your packed class days. This probably means that you are going to have to work weekends. You also need to structure your course schedule so that on days where you don’t work, you attend class. You will inevitably have some days that overlap. Try to put all of your classes either in the morning or at night depending on whether or not you work day or night shifts.

After a week with this schedule, start looking for the holes in it. If you don’t have time to get to work or school freshly dressed and showered, or if you aren’t getting the sleep you need, this is not sustainable and you need to reorganize your day to make it work.

Don’t Allow Yourself to Procrastinate

Look, you’re going to be busy and you’re going to need downtime, but that doesn’t mean that you should avoid getting your work and school work done. Part of having strong emotional IQ at work is learning how to schedule breaks while still remaining productive.

If you struggle with procrastination, there are a ton of tools online that can help you kick it to the curb. Heck, even the timer on your smartphone can help you set short breaks without diving into full procrastination.

Prioritize Your Harder Courses

During my last semester of college, I had two classes that were very difficult and three that I could have done in my sleep. This was the case with almost every semester of my college career.

The reality is that you need to decide for yourself which courses are going to require more of your time. If you are a math wiz, but you can’t pass a composition course to save your life, devote some of the time you’d spend on your math class into your composition course.

This way if you are forced to miss one of your classes during the week, you know which one will make the smallest impact.

Know When It’s Time to Lighten Your Load

When your grades start to slip or your work output starts to diminish, you know that it might be time to start lightening your load. There is no shame in not being able to balance all of this because it is not for everyone.

If this happens to you, consider cutting your hours at work back to part time. If that isn’t an option for you, then you need to consider dropping a course or two. Remember, it’s better to drop one course than to fail two.

If You Can Make it Happen, Apply for Jobs With a Winning Resume

The ambition and desire to make this happen is half the battle. If you want to make it work and are willing to put the effort in, you can make it happen.

If you’re ready to start looking for work, make sure you are sending a resume that works! Professional resume writers have the ability to make a resume that gets attention. Your resume will stop a hiring manager in their tracks, and get you the interviews you’ve been craving.

Click here to set up a free consultation with a professional resume writer, and get your future started today!

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How to Manage a Job Search and Family Life

How to Manage a JobHow to Manage a Job Search and Family Life Search and Family Life

Tips For the Job Hunt If You Have a Family

Looking for a job can be hard; looking for a job while balancing life with your family can be impossible.

If you go into the job hunt blindly, you are likely to not only not find a job, but also you are going to take time away from your family. If you are looking for a job, but don’t want to compromise your family in the process, follow these steps to make life easier for you and your family.

Make a Plan of Attack

Before you just start throwing out job applications willy nilly, ask yourself what kind of job and working environment you want. You may want to work remotely. You may want to consider a different career path.

Whatever it may be, if you make your plan now, you will save you and your family time as you won’t be figuring all of this out in the midst of your job search.

If you are already working, talk to your boss about whether or not your job can change to fit your new needs. If it can, you don’t need to continue your job search!

Hire a Professional Resume Writer

Before you go any further, you need to make sure that your resume is up to par. You need to have a resume that is gone over with a fine-tooth comb so that you can maximize your chances of landing a job!

A professional resume writer is just the person for the job! To speak with one, click here and you can schedule a free consultation.

Cast a Wide Net

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to start applying. Get on job search sites like LinkedIn and Indeed and start sending out applications for what interests you. Send them out to as many as you can find.

The more companies that get resumes, the better your chances are of getting feedback!

When It’s Time For an Interview, Start Small!

During your job interview, you shouldn’t bring up your family life and your needs as they relate to having a family. Telling them about your family might spook them and make them think that this job will consistently play second fiddle.

You also shouldn’t make demands as they relate to your family needs too quick either. Once you get a job offer, you can start to make some more pressing demands, but for now, start small!

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What Hiring Managers Want From You in an Interview

What employers want during the intervierw.

Things to Remember During Your Interview

Jobs interviews can be a bit intimidating.

You have one part of your brain telling you not to get over excited, and one part of you saying that you need to show that you’re passionate.

There are several things that hiring managers want to hear and see from you during an interview that you can work on with friends and family members prior to your interview.

If you need help prepping for interviews, click the following link for a crash course in job interviews. In the meantime, work on these qualities so that hiring managers know you’re the person for the job!

Openness to Change

Especially during the pandemic, there are so many new factors to consider when applying for jobs.

There’s always a chance that a job will go back and forth between being remote and being in-office. There’s also a chance that you may end up needing to move for the job, or even learn some new skills in general. Make sure you let them know that you are flexible and open to whatever changes are necessary to get the job done!

Likability

Nobody wants to work with a jerk. During your interview, make sure that you are both polite and professional. If it boils down to you and one other person getting a job, but you were impolite during your interview, the hiring manager may be likely to hire the other person because they were more polite during their interview. This can also be the case even if they you are more qualified than them.

Make sure that you are kind during your interview, and thank them for the opportunity to speak with them. Also, be social! If you can spend a few minutes having a casual conversation with them about something non-work related, you will make yourself memorable!

If you end up working for this hiring manager, they are going to be spending so much of their time with you, so make sure they know that you are a job to be around.

Knowledge

Take a look at the job description for this position. Look at all of the requirements for the job. From there, think of a story relating to each requirement that shows how you know what you’re doing in that field.

It’s one thing to say that you know what you’re doing, but if you can tell a story that gives the hiring manager and example of how you know how to do that job, you’re sure to impress them.

Ambition

Hiring managers want to know that you have goals for yourself in your career. When you’re asked where you see yourself in five years, show that you’ve put some thought into your future.

Give reasonable goals that you have set yourself, and explain how you are working to obtain those goals.

Proactivity

Don’t go into the interview without knowledge of the company, or a list of questions that you want to ask.

You need to show that you care about the job enough to do some research on what they do. Show that you have an understand of how they operate, and explain some of your thoughts for if/when you would start working.

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Should You Go Back to School?

Things to Consider Before Going Back to School

Deciding whether or not to go back to school will set the tone for the rest of your life, for better or worse.

Going back could lead to you taking the next steps in your career, and finding the job you were destined to have. It could also plunge you into student debt and end with you landing another dead-end job to pay the bills.

If you are considering going back to school, take a look at these tips before making any final decisions.

Decide What You Want to Do and Whether College Will Get You There

Think about what you want to end up doing in life. If the end goal is just to make money, college isn’t necessarily going to be the road to that future. However, if you have a passion for something and a higher education could pave the way to that future, than it just might be.

Sit down with some friends and family members and chart out where you want to be in the next five years and the steps that can lead you there.

Do You Have the Time and Money?

College is not cheap.

If you are looking o go back to school, you need to realize that you are going to be forking over some serious money to make that happen. Even if you go to a public college in your own state, you will still pay nearly $10,000 on average per year.

Even if you can afford to make college happen, ask yourself if you have the time to do it. Remember, if your degree is going to take 120 credit hours, you will basically be a student full-time. If there are other things in your life that require a lot of your time such as a job or family obligations, this might not be the time to go back.

Is College the Best Learning Environment for You?

Think about the times in your life where you learned the best. Ask yourself how the information was delivered to you that made it easier to retain.

A lot of people need hands-on experience in order to best figure out how to retain important information. Unfortunately, very few of your classes are going to give you hands-on experience. Even if you are able to work your way to a passing grade, there’s still a chance that you won’t retain any of the information that was taught to you.

 

 

 

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Essential Elements of the Modern Job Search

the modern job search

What You Need to Get a Job in 2020

For every piece of solid job advice that’s out there, there is some that’s outdated, and unhelpful.

There are certain things that you absolutely need if you want to survive in the 2020 job market, and we decided to compile a list of 10 of them.

If you want to land a job in this modern job market or at the very least get a leg-up on your competition, make sure you have these tools on your belt.

Blog/Portfolio

One thing that will become apparent as you apply for jobs is that many people are looking for things beyond the average resume and cover letter. Many hiring managers want to see some examples of your work

This is where the online portfolio and blogs come in handy. If you have physical examples of your work, or links to examples of your work, compile them all in an online portfolio, which you can send out to hiring managers. If it’s a bit more difficult for you to compile examples of your work, consider writing a blog where you can go over your work and your history in the industry.

 

A Plan of Attack

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Although this question is a bit of a cliché’, it is still one that you should consider during some of the crossroads of your life.

Before you just blindly send out applications, ask yourself what kind of work you want to be doing, and what type of company you want to work with. This will keep you from wasting time, and from getting a job that you end up not wanting.

References That Make a Difference

Take a look at some of the places where you have worked and asked yourself which of your past supervisors you would want potential new supervisors to speak with about you. Reach out to some of your former supervisors and ask if they would be willing to be listed as references on your applications.

Remember, you should always ask permission to list someone as a reference rather than just throwing them on an application willy-nilly. A few years ago, a former employee of mine asked me if I would be willing to be used as a reference. This employee often lied about the number of hours that they worked, and often slacked off on the job. I told them that I did NOT want to be listed as a reference as I had no intention of speaking ill of them to a potential new employer or lie and say their performance was exemplary. It turns out that they assumed that I was going to say yes and listed me anyways.

Luckily for this person, I was not contacted by their prospective company. If I had been, I would have told the truth about my former employee’s performance.

Proper Use of Business Cards

We often forget the magic of business cards. They’re a wonderful piece of cardboard that people tend to forget to throw away. Consider spending a few bucks on business cards that you can hand out to hiring managers.

Even if you are not hired for the job you applied for, you might get lucky down the line when they find your business card cluttering their wallet.

Also, make sure that you ask for business cards from everyone who interviews you. This is a good way to remember to send “thank you” messages after interviews, and a good way to build your own professional rolodex.

Resilience

You’re going to hear “No…” a lot.

You are going to apply for a ton of positions that are never going to get back to you.

You are going to get to the final stages of the application process on numerous occasions and still not get the job.

It’s important to realize that these situations do not reflect on you as a professional. Pretty much everyone is going through similar situations right now. You need to be resilient to being turned down, and stick with it.

Networking

You need to have a network of industry professionals that you interact with on a regular basis. Keep in contact with professional from previous jobs, and work on building connections with other professionals in your industry.

Manners/Professionalism

You catch a lot more flies with honey than vinegar!

Whenever you talk to anybody, you are representing yourself as if you were your own brand. That means that you need to be on your best behavior and act as a professional with everyone you speak with.

Give firm handshakes, look people in the eye when talking with them and say “Thank you” often.

A Powerful LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is essentially the front page of your professional life. Because of that you need to put some real effort into building your LinkedIn page.

Regularly post articles on your LinkedIn page, ask people in your network to endorse your skills and write a solid bio about yourself that will attract hiring managers who stumble upon your profile.

Persistence

Never forget that you deserve to hear back from hiring managers. If nobody is responding to your applications, reach out to the hiring managers directly by calling or email them.

You shouldn’t be persistent to the point that you’re sending multiple emails or making multiple calls every single day, but make sure that you are being persistent and are working to hear back from the company!

A Professional Resume

When it comes to finding a job, nothing matters as much as your resume. You need to make sure that you have a professionally crafted resume that can get through applicant tracking systems and into the hands of hiring managers.

That journey starts with hiring a professional resume writer. A professional resume writer can maximize your chances of getting your resume into the hands of a hiring manager. Click here to schedule a free consultation with a professional resume writer.

 

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Master the STAR Interview Model

STAR interview method

Understand and Implementing the STAR Interview Model

Job Interviews can be one of the most nerve-wrecking experiences ever if you feel unprepared.

If you Google tips for nailing your interviews, you will find millions of results that vary in degrees of success. However, you will see a common theme in these tips that talks about using storytelling as a method to intrigue hiring managers.

One of the best outlines for storytelling is the STAR Interview Model. The model has nothing to do with the cosmos or galaxy; instead, it stands for Situation-Task-Action-Result. These four components illustrate the main ways to concoct a story for your interviews.

How Do I Use the STAR Interview Model?

Let’s say you are applying for a job as the manager of a warehouse. During your interview, you are going to be asked questions about your experience that qualifies you for the job.

Think about the work you have done in the past and how it relates to the work you would be doing for this job. Next, thing about the qualities that the hiring manager wants to see in the warehouse manager. You can also think about the questions that they might ask you.  Finally, craft a story that shows that you have that experience using the STAR Interview Model.

Situation

For this example, we are going to say that you want to show that you know how to handle situations where you feel overwhelmed.

“Situation” doesn’t refer to the problem you were facing at your job (that’s task). “Situation” refers to, well, your own situation at that point in time. This includes where you worked, what your position was, what your position entailed, how long you were there and your employer’s status in its market.

For this example, we are going to say that we were a warehouse employee at a Target in the suburbs of Chicago. We are going to say that we were there for a few years and that the store was always remarkable busy.

Task

“Task” refers to the actual problem you and your company faced at a point in time.

So, going along with our previous example, we are going to say that one day there was a perfect storm of chaos where the warehouse was understaffed, it was a big day for deliveries and the shelves needed to be restocked.

Action

 

“Action,” as you might have guessed, refers to what you did as a result of the task at hand. Remember, you are picking a moment where you shined bright. However, you shouldn’t overly gloat or speak ill of your past company or coworkers. Instead, show how you exhibited great leadership skills and how you behaved as a team player.

Result

Finally, we have reached the “Result.” This is the tail end of the model that goes over how your “action” went. Explain how it went well and what you and the rest of the business learned from it.

If the “result” has any sort of legacy to it, include that in the story. “Legacy” refers to how your action had lasting effects to the company and how they do business.

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