Career Choice, Career Change & Career Pivot
Career Outlook – https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/home.htm – The articles on this Bureau of Labor Statistics site provide data and information on a variety of topic including occupations and industries, pay and benefits as well as growth and trends and a day in the life interviews.
Career Interests Game – https://career.missouri.edu/career-interest-game/ – A game that can help you match your interests to potential careers. Fun, free and informative.
ONet Center – www.onetonlinecenter.org – There are over 1000 occupations in this database which was developed and is maintained by U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration. Confirm the fit with your current occupation and/or explore new occupations that may better fit who you are and what you want. Consider knowledge, skills, abilities, activities and tasks as well as the growth potential of each occupation.
Wordcounter – www.wordcounter.net – Use Wordcounter to show the top 10 keywords and keyword density in a job posting/vacancy announcement so you can tailor your resume to fit the requirements. The online editor can also help you to improve word choice and writing style.
Tagcrowd – www.tagcrowd.com – To identify keywords that you need to include in your resume, copy and paste text from the job posting or the “Duties” and “Qualifications and Evaluations” sections of the vacancy announcement and paste into the white box and click Visualize. The words that appear in large bold font are key words you want to incorporate into your resume.
Jobscan – www.jobscan.co – Tool that gives job seekers an instant analysis of how well their resume is tailored for a particular job, along with how it can be even better optimized for an applicant tracking system and for the hiring team to scan and read. Paste the job posting and your resume into the two white boxes to learn how well your resume matches the posting/announcement.
Interviewing.io – www.interviewing.io – Free, anonymous technical interview practice with engineers that have worked at a wide variety of companies including Google, Facebook and Microsoft. This site is also used for hiring engineers. Right now, the focus is on backend and full-stack roles.
Interview Cake – www.interviewcake.com – Study tool that prepares engineering candidates for programming interviews. Free 7-day e-mail course. Full course is $159.20 and is for 1 year access.
Job Search & Productivity Databases
USAJobs – www.usajobs.gov – Federal government jobs database. Search for and apply to jobs.
Indeed – www.indeed.com – Search for jobs, read company reviews and find salary information.
Flex Jobs – www.flexjobs.com – Features opportunities for freelance, remote and part-time work, while filtering out ads, old links and scams. The company, which has been around since 2007, screens every job it lists on its site to ensure that the role is flexible and legitimate. You can see some listings for free but must be a paid member to see all job postings. Subscriptions to the site range from $14.95 per month to $49.95 per year.
Go Job Hero – www.gojobhero.com – Keep track and organize your job hunt from start to finish on one dashboard. You can also upload documents like your resume or cover letters so you have them handy when job searching.
Hired – www.hired.com – People looking for technical roles such as positions in engineering, design and product management will start their job search by creating a professional profile. Companies can then invite users to interview and ultimately bid on them for hire. The site says it receives 70,000 job applicants a month. This is mostly good for high demand positions.
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com – Search for jobs, find inside connections and apply using profile or resume.
Glassdoor.com – www.glassdoor.com – Search for jobs, read company reviews by employees and former employees and about the interview process by candidates.
A gig is a temporary job. The employee often works freelance like their own business or on a specific project for a company like an independent contractor. Sometimes these gigs are full-time, and other times they are part-time. Some have a specific end date, while others go on indefinitely.
An employee working a gig might get paid hourly, receive one lump sum for a completed project, or might receive a salary (particularly if it is a longer-term position). Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Amazon delivery are all gig jobs you might already be familiar with. Below are some sites for gig jobs.
Behance – www.behance.net – is specifically for people in creative industries, including photographers, designers, illustrators, and more.
Care.com – www.care.com – Caregiving jobs from childcare, senior care to pet care.
Fiverr – www.fiverr.com – offers freelance positions in a variety of fields, from tech to graphic design to music to writing. Most jobs are only $5 or $10, so while you might not make a lot of money, it is a great site to use for building your portfolio.
Guru – www.guru.com – Freelance services in categories such programming, design, writing, translation, administrative, business, sales, marketing, engineering and more.
LiveOps – www.liveops.com – Be a call center service agent from home working the hours you want.
Rover – www.rover.com – Earn income by dog walking or pet-sitting in your home or the dog owner’s home. Provide peace of mind to dog owners and love and exercise for the dogs.
TaskRabbit – www.taskrabbit.com – Take on short term tasks and projects such as handyman, cleaning, delivery, moving, personal assistant and more.
Upwork – www.upwork.com Become a freelancer and sell your services based on your skills and the demand for what you do well.
Research & Networking
Google Alerts – www.google.com/alerts – Google Alerts will monitor the web for topics that interest you as well as help you stay on top of when you show up on the web. Create an alert for yourself with your name like this: “First Name Last Name” in quotes. Remember to use the quotes (even with other search terms), or you’ll be overwhelmed with notifications every time your first name and/or last name shows up! Then sit back and let Google notify you when you appear on the web. You can choose how often to be notified, and you can specify the media (blogs, news, web, video, etc.).
Reference USA – Research and develop a list of target companies using this database which is available through most public libraries. With your library card you can access this database online.
Directory of Associations – www.directoryofasscoations.com – Research over 38K professional and trade associations to locate organization(s) for networking and professional development.
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com – Business and professional networking site with over 530 million users in more than 200 countries. Build a profile and manage your professional identity. Cultivate and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights and job and learning opportunities. You can search for jobs and join professional and alumni groups. A good profile is a must in today’s world of work.
Salary & Cost of Living Information
OPM Government Salary Tables – https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/2017/general-schedule/
Salary.com – www.salary.com – Research current salaries in different geographic areas according to occupation. Use the cost of living wizard to determine how well your salary correlates to your lifestyle and living expenses.
Paysa – www.paysa.com – Determine your worth based on your current occupation, job offer or researching a job. Look up salaries of positions in many companies.
SalaryExpert – www.salaryexpert.com – From the Economic Research Institute. Research salaries and use the cost of living calculator to determine if your salary fits with your geographic area.
Learning & Development
Lynda/LinkedIn Learning – www.lynda.com/www.linkedin.com/learning – Offers over 6,000 virtual business, technology and creative courses to learn new skills and to close job related skills gaps. Free 30 day trial then it is $29.99 per month or get access through LinkedIn Premium. You do not need to have a LinkedIn profile or use it to take classes.
* Free access to courses through many public libraries. All you need is a library card.
Udemy – www.udemy.com – Learn from an extensive library of over 55,000 short courses in a wide variety of categories. Prices vary per course.
Khan Academy – www.khanacademy.org – Non-profit organization that offers free courses from kindergarten to the adult learner. Courses include practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empowers learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.
Coursera – www.coursera.com – All courses and degree programs are taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions. Classes include recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums. Course prices from $29 – $99. Degree programs – $20,000+
SkillShare – www.skillshare.com – Offers over 21,000 courses. Free 1 month trial.
- US Small Business Administration (www.sbaonline.sba.gov) – Tips on financing, business start-up, SBA services and more.
- SCORE Counselors (www.score.org) – Get free business mentoring from SBA’s Service Corp. of Retired Executives. A chapter is located in most cities.
- US Patent and Trademark Office (www.uspto.gov) – Information as well as rules and regulations.
- U.S. Business Advisor (www.business.gov) – Site sponsored by the SBA exists to provide businesses with one-stop access to Federal Government information, services and transactions. Has good business resource library and provides information about business development, financial assistance, taxes, laws & regulations, and international trade.
- Edgar Online (www.edgar-online.com) – Retrieve all government filings (10ks, 10qa and more) made by public companies and general SEC information.
- IRS (www.irs..gov) – Information and tax forms. Publication 583 – Starting a business and keeping records. IRS Code Section 162 – clarifies what can and cannot be deducted.
- Bankrate.com (www.bankrate.com) – Compare credit card deals.
Not everyone who starts and runs a business begins with a business plan, but it certainly helps to have one. If you are seeking funding you will most definitely need one that is well thought out and contains sound business reasoning. Even if you do not need funding a business plan will help you to think through and clarify all aspects of your business and test the viability of your idea.
A business plan should prove that your business will generate enough revenue to cover your expenses and make a satisfactory return. Below you will see the main sections of a business plan. What you want to show is a well thought out idea, clear and concise writing, a clear and logical structure that shows management’s ability to make the business successful and profitable
- Executive Summary–features the highlights of your plan and sells your idea in two pages or less.
- Company Summary–a factual description of your company, ownership, and history.
- Products (or Services or both)–describes your products and/or services and how they stand out from competitive products and services.
- Market Analysis-provides a summary of your typical customers, competitive landscape, market size, and expected market growth.
- Strategy and Implementation-describes how you will sell your product, how you will put your plan into action, and establishes milestones.
- Management Summary-provides background on the management team, their experiences, and key accomplishments.
- Financial Plan-contains key financials including sales, cash flow, and profits.
Looking at a blank computer screen as you prepare to start your business plan can be daunting. If this is what you are experiencing you may want to look at some alternatives that will make the process a bit easier. Business planning software such as Business Plan Pro can make this process easier and less painful by providing an outline while asking you the right questions that pull the most important underlying concepts within your business idea. I would highly recommend consider purchasing this software if writing a plan from scratch is not your cup of tea. It is probably one of the best business planning software packages available at a very reasonable cost.
Nolo Press Books are what I consider to be the best small business legal guides. They are practical and easy to understand with essential legal information.
Form your business structure online to save time & money. Most attorneys charge between $800 – $1500. The two most popular sites are Nolo (www.nolo.com) and Legal Zoom (www.legalzoom.com). These sites do not give legal advice. You may need to talk with an attorney. For tax considerations in choosing a structure I recommend talking with an accountant or tax professional.
- SBA Funding – https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs – For loans, the best option is typically SBA guaranteed funding. The loan is through a bank and the SBA lessens the risk to the bank by guaranteeing a portion of the loan amount.
- Crowdfunding – Kickstarter – www.kickstarter.com – Raise funds for your business from a large amount of people on this platform
- Garage.com (www.garage.com) – Learn about venture capital and angel financing.
- Vfinance.com (www.vfinance.com) – A rich venture capital library with links to venture capitalists.
- VC Advice (www.vcadvice.org) – Forum that gives venture capital advice to the public.