How to create a job for yourself

How to create a job for yourself

So there you are, coasting along at your current job. You enjoy your work, and you especially like your company.

The thing is, you’re feeling a little restless lately. Perhaps you know your job so well that you could do it in your sleep. Or maybe you don’t see much opportunity for growth or movement in your department. That little voice in your head is saying it’s ready for new challenges, but the thought of leaving your awesome company is really daunting. There’s got to be a better way, right?

Before you start polishing up your resume, it’s worth thinking about how you can create your own opportunity at your current company. But how do you do this? Where do you start? How do you even get the right people to listen to you? Read on for five easy steps for creating a new job at your current company.

1. Define a Current Business Problem and Match Your Skills to It

For your boss and company to consider shifting your role, they’ll want to know what’s in it for them. So, look around. What are some of the biggest challenges and problems that need to be solved at your company? Perhaps your department lacks a comprehensive training program, or maybe no one has developed a much-needed social media strategy. Maybe the marketing department is down a person who has never been replaced. Try matching up these opportunities to your own expertise, and think about what you can offer.

2. Create a Detailed Plan

Now that you’ve identified a new role or opportunity you could fill, you’ll want to create a plan. First, create a thorough job description, along with a set of goals for this position within the first year. (To speak your boss’ language, create it using the same format that your company uses already.) Spelling out exactly how this role will look will give management a better idea of what you can accomplish.

Then, put some thought into what will happen to your current role—will you keep some of your tasks and transition some of them to others, or will your boss need to hire a replacement? Remember, if that’s the case, you’ll need to make an especially compelling argument as to why your new role is needed or how it can impact the business. On that note:

3. Pitch the Idea to Your Supervisor

By this point, you might be so excited about your idea that you want to run straight to your boss’ boss (or higher). However, the best place to start is usually your immediate supervisor. He or she will hopefully be a great initial sounding board. Start by scheduling a meeting during a quiet time when your supervisor will be less distracted. Next, present a simple outline of your idea, starting with the business problem you will solve. Be sure to mention your strong interest in developing your skills and owning your career. After all, you’ve already mastered your current job, and you’re ready for new challenges now. It also wouldn’t hurt to mention how much you enjoy working for your current company and how you’d like to stay there long-term.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor to punch holes in this idea; you’ll want to be prepared to answer challenging questions if your idea gets to the next level. If your supervisor agrees that your idea could work, then ask about the next step—i.e., the right people to talk to in order to make the job a reality.

On the other hand, if your manager shows resistance, ask him or her to think about it some more and then get back to you with specific feedback. Maybe your idea could still work with a little tweaking. Or perhaps your supervisor is afraid of backfilling your role, and you need to work on a better transition plan. If the idea is flat-out rejected, don’t be afraid to talk to a mentor or trusted colleague who has a fresh perspective—he or she may have a different idea for approaching matters (or other thoughts on how you could shift your role).

4. Revise Your Idea and Present it to the Decision Makers

Once your boss has green-lighted the idea and pointed you to the right folks to talk to next, take another look at your plan. You’ll want to tailor your approach based on the people you are meeting with. If you’re meeting with a high-level director, you might want to pare down the details and focus on results. If you’re meeting with human resources, you’ll want to include some specific experiences that showcase your untapped talent.

No matter what, again you’ll want to focus on how this new role will be a great thing for the company—and why you’re exactly the right person to take it on.

5. Be Patient

Even if everyone from the custodial staff to the CEO thinks your idea is wonderful, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be starting your new job within two weeks. Some ideas need to be vetted with the right people before they can take flight, whereas others may simply need the right funding to become a reality. And unfortunately, some ideas may depend on the right timing. Your organization may need to wrap up current strategic projects before the right resources can be redirected to your idea.

But remember: If your idea is worth doing and you’d really enjoy it, try to hang in there until the timing is right—it just might pay off in the end. In the meantime, use that waiting period to brush up on those skills you’ll use in your new job. You never know when you’ll be tapped to make that jump.

Have you ever created your own opportunity at your current company? What did you do? Share your experiences with us at The Muse!

Over the course of your career, you will likely encounter certain people, organizations, or causes you want to work for. But what if there aren’t any available job opportunities?

You may think there’s nothing to be done—but there is. Why not pitch yourself for a job that doesn’t exist yet? Here are our best tips for creating and pitching for that nonexistent dream job.

What are you looking for?

Whether you’re scanning the job listings on or looking for more responsibility at work, clarity is your best friend. It’s not enough to know you want a job or that you want a promotion; you need to know what you are looking for. If you know at least some important details—such as your target job title, desired salary, or ideal organization size—that can help you focus and be more discerning about available opportunities, as well as shape what your dream opportunity looks like.

Identify opportunities as a job seeker

Once you know what is important to you, you can identify opportunities that are relevant for you. The best-case scenario is that you find a job description that is an exact or close enough match to what you’re after.

Then there are those other times when you find the right organization, but there are no relevant, open positions. So what can you do?

  • Do a deep dive. Research that organization’s projects and pay attention to the ones that pique your interest. Why do these appeal to you?
  • Know—and list—your strengths. As a job seeker, you probably already have a good grasp of what your strengths are, but now you’ll need to consider them more specifically. Write down what all your professional strengths are, then circle the ones you actually want to enhance. For instance, your writing and networking abilities could both be strengths, but you may be more interested in networking than writing.
  • Identify transferable skills. Are there areas of overlap between your organization research and your strengths? For example, if you are most drawn to donor relationship projects and one of your strengths is networking, your strength could help serve similar project work.
  • Make connections. Now, write down what you specifically bring to the table. It’s not enough to jot down “networking.” You want to write down, “I know how to find new prospective donors for this cause and, because of my past outreach experience, can organize and lead a quarterly call to onboard new donors.”
  • Design a new job description. Using your research and brainstorming, create a new job description. Include what this job entails, such as qualifications and responsibilities.

Identify opportunities as a current employee

If you are currently an employee who is seeking professional growth, but there are no formal opportunities available, you, too, can do something about it:

  • Focus. Because you are already working with an organization, you have had exposure to different aspects of the work being done. Now is the time to ask yourself: What do I want to do more of? Your answer to this question will help you focus on what your potential areas of opportunity could be.
  • List your demonstrated strengths. The keyword here is “demonstrated.” How have your strengths supported results at work? Let’s say that social media marketing is one of your strengths, you could have demonstrated this by spearheading a new, engaging campaign for your organization’s annual fundraiser.
  • Time to compare. Where is there overlap between what you want to do more of and your demonstrated strengths? Be specific in how you answer this question—it will be the foundation of the new opportunity you’re designing for yourself.
  • Design your new job description.

Make your case

Now that you have created your new opportunity, it’s time to pitch yourself for that job that doesn’t exist yet. If you’re a job seeker, you should:

  • Determine who to contact. Based on what you wrote when you made connections, you will know if there is a specific department you need to appeal to. Study the organization’s website or LinkedIn to figure out who you should email.
  • Craft your cover letter. Because you’re pitching yourself for a role that doesn’t exist yet, your cover letter will need to succinctly and unambiguously define what that role is, demonstrate your familiarity with the organization’s work, and how your strengths can support the work.
  • Update your resume. Make sure your resume highlights your strengths, especially those strengths you want to continue to focus on, nurture, and that are relevant for the job you’re pitching yourself for.
  • Send in your materials and do the requisite follow-up.

And you’re already working within the organization, there are a few things you can try:

  • Speak to your manager. Whether you schedule an in-person meeting or write an email, don’t be afraid to respectfully ask for what you are looking for. This could be as simple as: “Do you need additional help with the new research project?”
  • Highlight your demonstrated strengths. Remind your manager of your value. For example, you could follow up your question with, “I have experience doing research interviews since I’ve been a contributor to Idealist Careers for two years and was a researcher for five years before that.
  • Make their life easier. Let your manager know what you’re willing to do to help them figure out if your help is a value-add. That may mean sharing a copy of a past interview you conducted or suggesting you submit a test interview for evaluation.

Specific, concrete, and strategic

There’s no guarantee that your pitch will succeed. This is especially true when you are pitching yourself for a nonexistent job at a new organization. But that doesn’t mean that your efforts are ever for naught: learning to pitch yourself in this way will help you think more concretely and strategically about what you bring to the table, which can only help you with future applications and interviews.

Have you ever pitched yourself for a job that doesn’t exist? Tell us about it on Facebook.

How to create a job for yourself

  • Cris Nikolov
  • April 14, 2014

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This article was last updated on May 31, 2015

People often wait for opportunities, but is it worth waiting for opportunities? My answer – No, it isn’t. First of all you can’t depend on pure luck, you never know if you will be granted with a great opportunity or not. So why do you want to be dependent on luck? Instead you could be and should be dependent on yourself. This is the only sure way you know you will be granted with an opportunity.

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

Opportunities are missed by most people because they don’t realise they’ve encountered such. Here is one of those basic laws in life: There will always be opportunities for those who recognise and pursue them. The lucky people are simply those who have taken more chances than average.

Why Wait For The Opportunity? Create Opportunities By Yourself!

Know your limits. – You can’t be perfect. You can’t do everything yourself. You can’t create a business or live the life of your dreams or make a lot of money if you don’t know your weaknesses, strengths and passions. If you know your limits and what you are capable of, you will know exactly what you need. Once you begin to know yourself, you will realise your weakness and you can fill these weaknesses with others people strength.

Open your eyes. – There is a lot more happening in the world than you see. Stop listening to music all the time you are riding the bus or the train. Maybe there is someone who can change your life in that bus/train. Maybe the person sitting next to you is your next business partner or your husband/wife or your new best friend. You just never know, life is unpredictable, and that’s why you should always keep your eyes wide open. You might miss an opportunity simply because you were too busy listening to your iPod. Always be on the lookout even when doing simple activities as drinking coffee, riding the bus or walking back home.

Meet new people. – If you want to be presented with more opportunities, simply meet new people. The more people you know, the higher chances you will be presented with new experiences. Go to meetings with people having similar interests as you. Visit conferences. You can even meet people online these days; join different Facebook groups, follow people on twitter; join LinkedIn. People are not so mean as you think. Also if you are one of those people who meet a lot of people on a daily basis and have a problem remembering their names this app will help you a lot – Anki(This app will make you never forget a name, job position or age again. It does miracles.) Most people are open minded and are always looking for new friendships and connections. One of the reasons Motivationgrid had such a big growth in such a short time is because I meet new people everyday.

Don’t be afraid to ask. – Just DON’T! There is no shame in not knowing something, and there is no shame in questioning things. Do you know how I got my first job? I simply asked the manager could I work here and after he interrogated me a bit he said; Yes. So I found a job by simply asking a question in a company that wasn’t looking for employees. Most people would gladly help you if you asked them nicely for some help. People are not monsters, most of us are good and kind. You just have to ask the right way.

Don’t be afraid to try a different approach. – In Bulgaria(the country I am from) blogging is not something people make money out of. Here most people don’t even know what blogging is and when I decided I wanted to blog, people laughed at me and told me to find myself a serious job. But I didn’t think so; I knew I could create a successful blog myself and that all happened thanks to the steps I mentioned above. And in the end I did. Now I am earning x5 more than what my friends are earning. I am working from home, I work when I want to and I haven’t even mentioned the best thing yet – I am doing something meaningful; I am helping people and I love that. I simply love what I do. Why? Because I wasn’t afraid to go out of the box. Just because the masses of people think something is wrong, doesn’t mean they are right.

Travel. – You should visit different places at least one time a year. This way you will surely as well meet new people and also might be presented with an opportunity that simply doesn’t exist at your hometown. A friend of mine went for a vacation at Rome, but he never came back. He found a job there and he liked it so much that he decided to stay in Rome.

Build self confidence. – You can’t make people follow you if you don’t look confident. That’s why you need confidence, you need to be sure 120% the things will workout right in the end if you want other people to believe you as well. It might be fake confidence, but you need to have it. Most people follow the leaders even when they make bad decisions simply because of their leadership status. And if you could make people follow you, you will surely be able to create a lot of opportunities for yourself/ your company/ your work place.

Keep learning. – Learning is a process that never ends. You can always learn something new. Always maintain the attitude of student. If you think you are done learning, bitterness set in, but if you have more to achieve every day, in any arena, that makes each morning’s awakening full of potential and cheery portent.

In the end it all comes to doing. You will never get presented with opportunities by sitting and watching TV all day. Go out, feel, see, be and take part of live. If you are active and always on the lookout you will always end up on the right place in the right moment.

We see opportunities as opportunities only when we are ready to see them, otherwise we see them as difficulties. – Hristiqn Nikolov

Copy to Clipboard

During your career, you may need to write a document explaining your skills, abilities and qualifications. This document may be a cover letter, personal statement during the job interview process or self-appraisal for advancement opportunities. Learning how to write about yourself accurately can increase your chances of receiving a job interview or promotion.

In this article, we will describe the situations in which you may need to write about yourself, explain how to write confidently about yourself and provide an example for guidance.

When you may be required to write about yourself

There are several situations where you may advocate for yourself through a written document, which may include the following:

Internship inquiry letters

Graduate school applications

Cover letters and resumes

Career advancement opportunities

It’s important to consider your strengths and skills to help you write about yourself confidently in different situations. If you’re writing an “About Me” or similar autobiography, it is standard to write in either first or third person. For documents like cover letters and personal statements, the first-person language is advisable.

How to create a job for yourself

Cover Letter Format

Date and contact information

Salutation or greeting

Letter ending and signature

How to write about yourself confidently

You can follow these steps to write about yourself:

Include the most relevant professional experience.

Mention significant personal achievements or awards.

Introduce personal details.

Use a casual and friendly tone.

1. Develop a strong introduction

A concise, informative self-introduction can immediately interest the reader and make them more likely to continue reading the rest of your document. Write a short statement that accurately describes your skills and qualifications. Try to include skills that are relevant to the topic or situation. For example, an objective statement for an SEO marketing resume could be, “I’m a creative communicator dedicated to producing engaging content for online platforms.”

You may choose to write a self-introduction statement instead of a complete sentence, such as “Creative communicator dedicated to producing engaging content for online platforms.” Regardless of what you write or if you choose to include this statement, this task can be an exercise in marketing yourself and developing confidence.

2. Include the most relevant professional experience

The body of your personal document should contain professional experience related to the role or topic. If you’re writing a cover letter, review the job description and company website to select the most relevant experience. Including tailored details can help a hiring manager remain interested in your cover letter as they read it. It also shows how your qualifications are right for the open position. For an “About Me” document, include experience that you feel best describes your work history.

For example, “Maria is a well-rounded graphic designer with 10 years of experience working as a logo designer and brand identity designer for large corporations, mainly in the healthcare sector. She has been a senior designer for Flag Healthcare since 2018. Most recently, she was responsible for solely designing the logo for the Flag Healthcare New Mexico division. Her main focus is creating content that not only inspires others but also functions as a powerful marketing tool to increase sales.”

3. Mention significant professional or personal achievements or awards

Select achievements that best fit the purpose of your document. Using professional achievements—like promotions or awards—shows how you excel in the workplace, while personal accomplishments—such as completing a marathon or community involvement—reflect your dedication and drive. Writing about personal or professional achievements shows you are confident in your skills and qualifications.

For example, “Maria Valentina studied graphic design at Columbia University and the International Center of Graphic Arts. In 2018, she won the prestigious American Graphic Design Award, and in 2017, the Design that Educates Award.”

4. Introduce personal details

Your details should reflect your genuine interests. Share something unique about yourself to provide more context related to who you are as a person and team member. You can describe any hobbies or interests, such as reading, hiking or scuba diving.

For example, “Maria believes that creativity in the workplace is the key to success⁠—a concept she lives out through her interests in board games, exercise, playing the piano and painting.”

5. Use a casual and friendly tone

Using your natural voice will often help you maintain a balance of being professional and conversational. A casual and friendly tone will make the content easy to read and increases the likelihood that the audience will read the entire document.

Personal document example

Here’s an example of an “About Me” section for a professional website, blog or portfolio:

Brian Smith, Sales Manager

Dedicated to creating commercial and genuine partnerships to help businesses grow.

With 10 years of experience, Brian specializes in earning the trust of others. As a sales manager, he’s mainly worked for small- to medium-sized companies in the technology sector. Throughout his career, he has maintained a strong record in recruitment, training and motivating staff to achieve sales and business objectives. At Tanzen Computers, he was responsible for developing and maintaining over 100 end-user accounts throughout 15 territories, resulting in $10 million in additional annual sales. His main focus is to offer superior solutions for competitors’ clients.

Brian has a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Indiana University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 2015, among over 5,000 candidates, Brian won the Digital Sales Award, which is only presented to the top 1% of salespeople in the nation. In 2018, he won the B2B Sales Award from Sales Hacker.

In all of Brian’s past positions, he has consistently increased search engine results placements, website traffic, memberships, newsletter signups, client boarding and retention, sales, metrics relating to lead generation and more. He has successfully discovered new niche markets and strategic partnerships for companies of all sizes, refined product strategies, increased brand reach, reworked brands and developed and implemented marketing plans.

Brian enjoys meeting new people and learning about their lives and backgrounds. He easily finds common interests with strangers and tends to make most people feel comfortable. He finds this skill especially advantageous when kicking off projects with new clients.

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How to create a job for yourself

How to create a job for yourself

What does it mean to perform well during an interview? Well, you’ll need to show that you have the right background and experience, as well as being a good match for the role and the company’s culture.

Think of this as an amped-up, in-person version of the same work you did on the job application to obtain an interview.

But you’ll need to do more than check off the boxes on your interviewer’s list—you want the person you speak with to feel excited about making an offer. That means selling yourself to interviewers, to make it clear that you’re a strong candidate. Sound overwhelming? Here’s how to get started.

Carry Yourself With Confidence

If you feel unsure about yourself during the interview, it’ll show.

Do everything you can to outwardly project confidence when you meet with interviewers.

What you say in response to questions is essential (more on that later) but how you say it, as well as your overall appearance and how you carry yourself, is also meaningful. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Mind Your Body Language

Are you slumped in the chair? Fidgeting? Avoiding eye contact? These no-nos can make you appear unfocused, uninterested in the job, or unsure of yourself. Maintain good posture, make eye contact when you shake hands, and sit in a position that radiates engagement with the conversation. Here are body language tips to follow during your next interview.

Watch Your Word Choices

Nerves can make verbal tics even more prominent. Try to avoid saying “um” or “like” too much—and, curb any tendency you have to engage in up-talk—speaking with a rising tone at the end of each sentence. Uptalk is a speech pattern that can make you seem immature. Recording yourself practicing interview questions—or having a friend practice with you—can help you identify these habits.

Choose an Industry and Interview-Appropriate Outfit

There is no one answer for what to wear during an interview. Do wear something you’re comfortable in (if you have an itchy seam or keep tugging at a hemline, interviewers may notice) but also choose an outfit that’s suitable for the specific interview. What’s appropriate for an interview at a fashion magazine, tech start-up, and retail job differs.

Practice Answers, but Make Sure to Develop Ones That Are Specific and Memorable

It’s good to practice what you’ll say in response to common interview questions. Interviewers will expect you to be prepared. But just because the questions are common, doesn’t mean your answers should be!

Remember: you want to sell yourself during the interview, and no one is eager to buy a humdrum product.

Aim to be memorable, so your responses stick in the interviewer’s memory, even days after a conversation.

As you practice your responses, keep these tips in mind:

Be specific when you give an example. Don’t just say, “My work on that project saved the company money.” Tell interviewers how much money and what you did to save it. Avoid vague answers.

Tell a story as you relate something you have done or experienced. It’s easy to say you’re a team-playing, detail-oriented self-starter. These buzzwords come up in job listings, but it’s your job to translate them into stories about yourself. That proves you have the quality.

So instead of saying, “I’m a self-starter,” say, “When I came on board, there was a paper- and digital-based workflow for the monthly report. I researched, and removing the paper-based workflow resulted in 10 percent savings and also removed duplicate work. I presented my findings to the executive team, and we transitioned to a new, digital-only routine the following month. The staff was relieved, and we’re all happy to spare the environment.”

Keep It brief in your replies but answer the direct question. Don’t ramble in your answers. It’s better to pause for a second to frame your thoughts than dive in and wind up babbling for minutes upon minutes. Be respectful of the interviewer’s time, and pay attention to cues. (If interviewers seem bored, they probably are—wrap it up!).

Following these strategies will help you avoid bland responses.

Know What Interviewers Want

In some ways, what interviewers want is obvious: a candidate who can do the job well, and fit in with the company. But this will vary across positions, industries, and companies. To gain insight into employer wants and needs, research the company and industry. If it’s been a while (say, since you wrote your cover letter) analyze the job description.

Think always: What can I do for the company?

Will you help them sell more widgets, resolve customer complaints faster, streamline the workflow, or make sure customers are happy? Figure out how you’ll be beneficial, then make sure it’s evident in your interview question response.

Put Your Strengths on Display

Interviews are not the time for modesty! Rather, it’s a moment when it’s appropriate to say, “I did XYZ” or “My work helped do ABC.” Avoid saying “we” and make sure to mention your accomplishments. If this feels uncomfortably like bragging, consider framing achievements in terms of other people’s comments:

  • My coworkers voted me the best team player two years running.
  • In my annual review, my manager was grateful for my organizational abilities.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be sure to impress interviewers with your confidence and suitability for the position.

The Best Way to Ask for the Job

One of the best ways to close the deal is to ask for the job at the end of the interview. There are strategic ways you can do that without coming across as obnoxious or push. Here’s how—and how not—to ask for the job during an interview.

How to create a job for yourself

There are two types of people in the world.

Type 1: Those who wish and yearn.

Type 2: Those who wish, commit, and achieve.

Do you know what’s the difference between the Type 1 and Type 2 kind of people?

It’s your level of commitment to what you’re doing that is going to decide your level of success in it. Sadly, most people just stop after the ‘wish’ part and hardly take the pain to commit to their dreams. Probably that is what stops them to be successful in any endeavor.

Let’s get this straight that there is no shortcut to success. The only way to be successful is to take the long road and follow your pursuit with hundred percent dedication and commitment to it.

However, the road to success isn’t easy as it sounds to be. You have to make several commitments to yourself to reach there and live the life you’ve dreamt in your dreams.

Don’t let your projects run your life. Let ProofHub come to your rescue.

Hereby, I bring you the seven commitments that one must make to himself on his pursuit to success:

#1 Commitment: Believing in yourself

You have got to believe in yourself before others start believing in you. Whatever is that you would like to achieve, make sure that you believe in it and trust your abilities to accomplish it.

The problem is that people tend to underestimate their capabilities that stops them to reach their true potential. Take a notebook and write your strengths, uniquenesses, greatest achievements and accomplishments in it and read them aloud every morning. This little technique can do wonders to strengthen your belief in yourself.

Everyday, I see so many people with a lot of potential but their low self-esteem and lack of confidence is getting in their way to success. It’s essential to accept yourself and believe in abilities to live your best life.

#2 Commitment: Taking massive action everyday

Now that you know what you want to pursue in life, it’s time to make an action plan for it. Whether your goals are small or big, you need to be commit yourself to take massive action every single day without any excuses.

It starts with preparing your brain to passionately chase your dreams or whatever you are passionate about in life. You can begin by making a plan. Well, there are many planning tools out there to help you out. While making your action plan, make sure you customize it as per your needs and strengths.

Don’t be too casual or overly ambitious about them. Be as realistic as possible so that you are inspired enough to take massive action on them everyday without any excuses.

#3 Commitment: Being adaptable and learning continually

Adaptability and zeal to grow can take you places in life. It’s sad to see that people are too rigid in their thoughts and beliefs that they reject any suggestions or new approach given to them. It can be dangerous for their career and overall life in general.

In the words of Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Learn as much as you can from whosoever you want as it would be something no one can take away from you. Never stop learning as most times there are more than one way to do a same thing. The moment you shed your preconceived notions and embrace adaptability, opportunities will automatically present themself in the most unexpected ways.

#4 Commitment: Willingness to lose some sleep and saying NO

Success often comes to those who are willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. You would not only have to work your butt off but might have to say no to several things that don’t align with your goals.

It might be tempting to go shopping or party with friends on weekends but working on your startup or writing your next blog is what is going to make to make an actual difference. If you are working on your job during day then the only way to work on your dream is by losing some sleep.

One more thing, start saying NO more often. It might take a lot of courage to say no to friends but doing it will make your life more successful and happier than theirs.

#5 Commitment: Not doing unethical or immoral stuff

There are two ways to succeed: the easy way and difficult one. Going for an easy way means doing ‘whatever’ it takes to reach there — by hook or by crook. It means taking shortcuts, favors, doing unethical things that go against the moral compass. Now, the commitment is not to do any of the things mentioned above.

You might get seduced with the idea of doing something unethical and get quick results. However, such things always come with a price — that can easily ruin everything within a snap of a finger. Remember that the journey to success is going to test your character along with dedication.

#6 Commitment: Maintaining proper work-life balance

Do you know what is the single most important thing in your life? It’s nothing else but your health. Your physical and mental health plays an important part in your life as everything directly or indirectly depends on it.

Don’t get too consumed in working hard that you start ignoring your health. If you’ve worked tirelessly for straight 40 hours, it makes sense to give your body the rest it deserves. If you’re working on weekends, try spending at least a few hours with your near and dear ones and recharge your batteries.

#7 Commitment: Never giving up.

As cliche` as it may sound but never giving up on yourself is the ultimate mantra to success. As you walk through life, you will fall down many times. You might also make mistakes and fail, and it’s absolutely okay. That’s life and things will happen but never let this hamper your spirits in any way.

Keep in mind that in order to succeed and become your best version, you have to have a lot of faith in yourself. This indomitable spirit will help you get through these tough times a bit easily. Don’t give up ever — come what may.

The thing about commitment is that it means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you. Now, it is up to you would like to commit yourself and act on things or let them happen to you.

Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, “Let’s go!” instead of “Go!” many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.

Take five minutes and read five practical steps to help you level up your job hunting.

Following our Guides to applying for a job and navigating the interview process, next we explore how to approach the first month in a new role.

Taking your place in an unfamiliar environment can be as challenging as it is exciting. Often, it can feel overwhelming. You arrive with high expectations for the future as well as baggage from previous experiences. Memories of old roles, trusty colleagues and favourite projects jostle with fantasies about ‘the new you’. That client who ruined your perfect design work three years ago? They’re still haunting you. That time you embarrassed yourself twice in one meeting? The stunned silence is forever ringing in your ears. Time to move on. But how?

Beginning a new role is a rare chance to create the structure – and set the tone – for how you want to work going forward. If you can deal with the usual nerves and natural insecurities that come with starting afresh, you’ll find an opportunity to shape and grow your job from day one. Below, we suggest five steps to reframe your first-month thinking so you can conquer your fears, embrace uncertainty, and forge a path towards years of learning and enjoyment.

Set Your Routine

Arrive on time, or early. Leave on time, or only a little after. The same applies if you’re working remotely. If you start working overtime during your first month, beware of creating a habit that may be hard to break later on. Don’t be a martyr, or a vampire. Grapple with your work in the daylight hours in the sociable company of your team. Fretting and fiddling on your own after everyone else has retired will not necessarily create an impression of professionalism or dedication. Choose having a life. Then come back in the morning with fresh eyes instead of a broken spirit. Have fun with the challenges of the job. Bring a lightness of touch and a sense of humour; you’re in the honeymoon phase after all.

Make Allies, Before Friends

Becoming indispensable doesn’t happen overnight, but you can set the wheels in motion. Organise short, formal introductory sessions with all relevant members of the team (every member if it’s a small team) where you can ask questions – What does your day look like? How did you work alongside my predecessor? What can I do differently? – and start to build a constructive two-way relationship. More informal chats – over lunch, a coffee, or waiting for a meeting to start – are another important foundation of healthy work collaborations that may evolve into friendships over time. Remember: these encounters are only enjoyable and useful if you’re able to be yourself, and if your colleague feels comfortable enough to be genuine too.

Be considerate towards your new teammates but don’t spend all your time making tea (or plotting a heavy session at the pub) in the hope that it’ll win you friends. A better way to connect is by being curious. Don’t be afraid to hover (always reading the room first to make sure your colleague isn’t noticeably stressed or desperately trying to concentrate). Ask them what they’re up to, what they’re thinking about, where they’d like to see the project go. You may even help them unlock the problem, or give them a new perspective.

Looking for a raise? We’re happy you are using our salary wizard to find out your job’s value. Our data can provide valuable negotiation points, and we have additional articles on how to ask for a raise we think you’ll find useful.

Here’s the top articles pertaining to how to ask for a raise we feel are worth the read:

1) Is it OK to Ask for a Raise?

If you’ve never had a job where it’s customary to ask for a raise or promotion, you may need a quick crash course. We’ve got plenty of specific tips and points of advice, but it’s important to understand the basic strategy behind the ask.

Here’s a basic overview of promotions and raises.

2) What Should You Not Do When Asking for a Raise?

If you’ve never asked for a raise, you might be surprised at what conversation points will lead you nowhere, or worse, negatively impact your likability. Even in today’s strong economy, you may be surprised to learn that aggressive takes like “I’m doing the work of three people…” can still work against you. Respect and level-headedness go a long way in negotiations.

Here are our tips on how not to ask for a raise and steer that fateful conversation in the right direction.

3) What is the Best Way to Ask for a Raise?

While it’s important to avoid those overly-aggressive pitfalls in salary negotiations, you have to start somewhere! Make sure your arsenal is loaded with specific reasons why you deserve a raise. Coasting somewhere for a year with an adequate performance probably isn’t going to cut it. Have you gone above and beyond?

Consider some of these reasons why you deserve a raise, and decide if you’re ready to go to bat for yourself.

4) When Should You Ask for a Raise at a New Job?

Maybe you’re ready and confident for the talk, but is it a good time for the company? There are several factors that can help you pinpoint when to ask for a raise. Has business been good lately? Is your performance review coming up?

Check out the full list of signs that it’s a good time to ask for a raise.

5) What to Do When You Don’t Get the Raise You Asked for?

Hey, you shot for the moon – no regrets, right? There was always a good chance your request for a raise would be denied. You can be upset, and no one’s stopping you from looking at new job opportunities, but there are many proactive ways to respond to adversity. Start by staying calm and simply asking why.

Not quite ready to ask for a raise but interested in planning your career path? Here are some tools to help you along the way:

  • Search US Salaries
  • Cost of Living Calculator
  • Benefits Calculator
  • Personal Salary Report

A career change can happen in a number of ways. It could occur organically, after re-training or going back to school. Occasionally it can just be pure luck. But one of the best ways to tackle a career is by being proactive.

Here are four tips to help you create new opportunities:

    Follow your passion. Figuring out what you love doing could lead to the right career for you. A great place to start is to think about what you enjoy most about your current job or write a list of the things you do inside and outside of work that make you happy.

They could be small everyday tasks or more irregular responsibilities that you wished were a bigger part of your job. Now take a look at your list. Do you see any trends or patterns? It could be that your favourite activities point to a particular industry or role that you would thrive in. Or there might be one thing you listed that, once you see it written down, you realise it’s what you want to focus on.

  • Convince someone to give you a go. Your passion can take you a long way. All you need to do is find the right person to give you a go. A good way to try out your new dream job and convince someone to give you a go is to give it a trial run. That could take the shape of an internship, a volunteer role, or a casual job. There are many options that don’t require a long-term commitment, and it doesn’t matter which route you take, as long as you take one. Ask your friends and family, scout around online and check social media for opportunities.
  • Keep learning. Making sure your knowledge and skills are up-to-date will help keep your options open. Work-related short courses are often perfect for developing your knowledge and skills quickly. Graduating from one or more may be enough to get you over the first hurdle into a new career. That might be getting a competitive edge in your resume, showing a willingness to learn, or gaining the basics of the skills you’ll need in your new job.
  • Get experience. Look at everything you do as an opportunity to gain experience. Experience can be gained in a number of ways such as volunteering, internships or study. Your transferable skills are also just as valuable as experience and with a bit of brainstorming there’s probably quite a few that you could be highlighting in your resume, cover letter and online profiles. When it comes to experience look at what will give you the best chance of changing careers and fill the gaps in your resume.
  • Browse top search terms on SEEK

    Did you know, many candidates preparing a resume also research their industry by exploring top search terms?

    How to create a job for yourself

    If you’re unsure about how to introduce yourself effectively on Zoom, there are some simple steps you can take to make a great first impression. A little preparation and practice is important as what you say (and how you say it) can shape and set the tone for new relationships, whether introducing yourself to your team for the first time or outside contacts. Before your next virtual meeting, video conference or phone call, here are 5 important tips to remember when you introduce yourself virtually:

    1. You’re more than, “Title, Company.” Say so in your opening line.

    Don’t sell yourself short by just saying your name, position and employer. While you don’t need to present your life story, adding a bit more color (based on what’s most relevant for the situation and audience) can enrich and inform the conversation to follow. Consider the impact of each variation:

    • Hi, I’m Jennifer Jones, President of Any Corporation.
    • Hi, I’m Jennifer Jones, President of Any Corporation, a B2B marketing agency that helps accounting firms grow their business.
    • Hi, I’m Jennifer Jones, one of the rare few CPAs in B2B marketing. I run Any Corporation, an agency that helps accounting firms increase brand awareness and revenue.

    You control what people first learn about you — and by extension, the sound bite they can use to introduce you to others. Even if you work for a well-known company, noting some detail about your division, department, geographic oversight, specialization etc. is more helpful than name and company alone.

    Related to this, your LinkedIn profile headline often serves as how you introduce yourself virtually. It’s highly visible real estate, so take advantage of it and include more than just a job title. Messaging shapes first impressions and influences whether or not people want to check out your full profile.

    2. Practice brevity.

    Before logging on to your next virtual meeting, identify what’s most important to communicate. Then practice out loud, developing versions of varying lengths and focus (like above). Hearing yourself out loud is better than in your mind alone because we tend to self-edit when thinking to ourselves. You can also better identify if you’re rambling.

    Practice enough so you’re comfortable introducing yourself virtually to any audience. The goal is to sound confident and at ease, not scripted and robotic. Remember, too, that time feels longer on video, so shorter introductions and responses will make a stronger impact.

    One of the best ways to learn what works and what doesn’t is to pay close attention to how others introduce themselves (especially those whom you respect and admire). It helps tease out what sounds good and what you should avoid saying.

    3. . but don’t sell yourself short.

    While brevity is key, don’t overdo self-restraint either. By saying too little and not communicating what you want someone to know about you, you surrender the power to define who you are by relying on what someone else chooses to ask. An introduction is a valuable opportunity to set the tone and communicate essential information about who you are, so don’t waste it!

    Consider how you’d like to be known and what your goals are. There are ways to sow the seeds for the direction you’d like to move without going in for an ask. Is your company expanding services or entering new markets? Are you interested in taking on a bigger role? Are you looking for a board seat, next job or speaking opportunities? Depending what your goals are, your network can be a huge source of help… but only after you get to know people. Then, you can steer conversation to discuss mutual interests.

    4. Body language still matters when you introduce yourself virtually.

    What you say is important, but how you conduct yourself when saying it matters too. Body language and speech shape delivery of your message, even behind a screen. If you tend to speak quickly, consciously slow down when on video to ensure people can understand — and hopefully retain — what you’re saying. Making eye contact, even through a computer, also impacts how your message is received. Look directly at the camera because it feels more like you’re looking eye-to-eye with viewers.

    When others have the virtual floor, remember to smile and/or nod, which conveys active listening and engagement. Remove visual distractions (turn phones face down and turn off email notifications) because they can easily throw off eye contact and (unintentionally) communicate that you’re disinterested or not paying attention. Be mindful of facial expressions, hand gestures and nervous habits too because they’re much more noticeable on camera than in-person.

    5. Get to know new contacts before asking for something.

    Effective networking is about building relationships, not brokering transactions in the first conversation. While new connections may ultimately result in business or other beneficial connections, don’t approach a new contact with the intent to gain or sell something off the bat. It’s off-putting to pitch or lead with an ask before getting to know someone.

    When meeting someone new, communicate interest in getting to know them. A personable introduction can naturally evolve into conversation, paving the way for additional communication and the beginning of a relationship. In contrast, a “bait and switch” intro — one that flips immediately to a sales pitch — is more likely to be the first and final conversation. People are put off by direct solicitation and will be more hesitant to introduce you to others.

    This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever talk in detail about what you do, discuss who you’re looking to meet or ask for help from new contacts. The key is putting in the time to get to know them first, including what their needs are and understanding how you can potentially help them. This ensures that any requests you make in the future are sincere and appropriate.

    Knowing how to introduce yourself virtually is essential. Don’t miss the opportunity to make a great first impression that can influence business relationships. Consider your introduction as a conversation starter, not an elevator pitch. (A pitch, by definition, means you’re trying to sell something; this is not what you should be doing when first meeting someone.) Instead, with confidence and precision, share key information to spark further conversation and drive new relationships forward.

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    How to create a job for yourselfThis article was originally posted in 2015, and is being re-published in preparation for the new year.

    Last year, I ran a half marathon. But I didn’t just go out and do it. I made a 16 week plan of the runs that I was going to do every day, and how I was going to build up to my 13.1 mile finish.

    Professional goals are no different than personal goals like these, but professional goal setting often falls by the wayside. It’s important do strategic goal setting, both for your job and for your department — especially if you manage other people.

    Your professional goals also need a plan– a course of action, or a list of small daily steps you’re going to take to help accomplish these goals. Here’s how to plan for improvement in 2015.

    How To Plan Your Procurement Goals

    As a purchasing manager, the goals that you set have to do with business that you work for, so you will need to work with others to first understand the company’s overarching goals for the next year.

    Only then can you make a plan for what you will need to do to help them achieve success.

    Step 1: Understand Your Company’s Overall Goals

    Set up a strategic planning meeting with your boss or company owner. The purpose will be to get a better understanding of what they’re hoping to achieve in 2015.

    Get the list of the top 3 goals that the company executives are hoping to accomplish, whether you think you play a part in them or not. Make sure that you also get the “long version” of the company goals, including any smaller ones that you will play a role in.

    Step 2: Understand How You Tie Into These Company Goals

    Look closely at the company goals, both large and small to see what ones you will play a role in. Make a prioritized list based on how involved you will need to be to help the company accomplish it.

    For example, if one goal was to cut costs by 10%, you would have a big involvement in that goal as a purchasing manager. On the other hand, if the goal was to increase sales by 15%, this would be less of a focus for you.

    Remember that this is a key list of what the company is hoping to see you accomplish in the next year. Keep this list in the forefront of your mind, because it’s what’s being used to judge how successful you are in your role.

    Tips to help you accomplish these company goals

    Break each of these larger goals down into smaller pieces. You can make an overall goal list, and outline the steps that you’ll need to take to actually accomplish the goal.

    A project management system like Asana can be helpful in this situation. Add your goals in as projects, and then add in each of these specific tasks you’ll need to complete to accomplish the goal.

    Make sure you make a mental note to revisit how this is going 3 or 6 months in, and decide if you need to put a different plan of action into place if things aren’t going well.

    Step 3: Come Up With Your Own Goals For The Purchasing Department

    Now it’s time to brainstorm. Pretend that you are the CEO of your company, and make your own goals for what you’d like to see the purchasing department accomplish.

    You know your role better than anyone else, and you understand the impact that your decisions have on the company. Ask yourself things like:

    • What would make your department run better?
    • How could you make a bigger, better impact on the company’s success?
    • What would you change about how you’re doing things now to make them smarter?

    Of course, these are usually big goals and will usually require your boss’ (or the company owners’) okay to budget and put these ideas into play. But don’t think about that now– dream big! Pretend that you can improve your role and your department in any way possible.

    Examples of goals like this would be:

    • Decrease the cost of our most expensive ingredient by 5%
    • Invest in a fork lift to increase efficiency
    • Provide training to my purchasing team on XYZ
    • Implement strategy meetings (including all new hires) in the purchasing department once a month to increase innovative and cost saving ideas.
    • Cut out all unnecessary meetings and instead, allow for 15 minute unscheduled small group planning talks throughout the week.
    • Work with R&D to see which ingredients we may be able to swap out to save money.
    • Implement a new inventory/purchasing system

    Removing the brainstorming barriers will help you come up with some creative ideas. Chances are, some of them will be free, some of them will be easy to implement and some would be a worthwhile investment for the company to make in the future.

    Present Ideas Outside of Your Jurisdiction

    Go through this list after your brainstorming is over. Are there any that you want to bring to your boss or company owner. Do you have an idea for how you might achieve these goals and how much manpower or investment it would cost? If you have some good ones, bring them to the right people to discuss.

    Any good business owner will appreciate an employee that thinks outside of the box, is innovative and always has the company’s best interest in mind. If these ideas don’t get put into place immediately, this is outside of your hands and it’s important to not take it personally.

    Step 4: Come up with goals for yourself in your role.

    Go back through this last brainstormed list, and look for any goals related to your job alone. Are there any goals that you can work on individually, that don’t require approval from a superior? If so, take the following steps:

    1. Write your goals down.
    2. Put them somewhere you will see them everyday, like your wall or a desk drawer.
    3. Don’t share them with anyone.

    Studies show that if you share your goals, you’ll actually be less likely to achieve them. Contrary to popular option, sharing your goals makes you feel like you’re “one step closer” to achieving them, even if you haven’t really done anything. This feeling of being on your way actually makes you less motivated. Keep them to yourself and you’ll be more likely to achieve them.

    As you accomplish these goals, you can present them to your boss. Keep a running list, because at the end of the year, you can bring these goals (along with your success with their goals for you) to your superiors attention in your year-end review.

    To be successful in the job market you have to understand what you are selling in order to be able to market yourself successfully. It’s important that you understand what makes you unique and how to communicate that to employers. One way to think about this is: If your name was a brand, what would your brand say about you?

    Marketing is often seen as a business-related activity, but it is at the heart of every successful job hunt. Whilst you’re at university you are developing your own individual brand. When employability is viewed in its crudest form, we are all products attempting to sell our skills in the job market.

    Building your brand

    The ‘I Brand Employability Model’ below highlights the fact that being a successful graduate is not just about your degree; it’s about actively developing generic employability skills, so you can develop rich examples to include in your applications and interviews.

    So how do you build your brand and subsequently market your skills? University is not just about your degree, the extra curricular activities are just as important. Ask yourself the question: Every year over 300,000 students graduate with a degree: what makes me stand out?

    From day one at university you need to think about how you will complete your course, but also how you will become a successful graduate. The difference being that to be a successful graduate is not merely limited to your degree, but includes developing additional skills which make you more marketable and as a result increase your employability. You need to actively engage with your career development and ensure that upon graduation you have developed a brand that employers will want to buy.

    Your extracurricular activity is what will separate you from the numerous other graduates in the market place. Being active within the Students’ Union, doing voluntary work, playing sports and getting involved with other activities will speak volumes to employers, and will show self-motivation, commitment and drive.

    Top five tips to build your individual brand

    1. Join an existing society within your Students’ Union or start your own society. Become an active member of a society and take on one of the following roles: president, marketing coordinator, treasurer or event manager. Each of these roles will help you to develop valuable employability skills.
    2. Volunteer, even if it is only for one hour a week. Over the course of a year this will amount to 52 hours of volunteering, which will emphasise your ability to commit to a worthy cause.
    3. Find out about enterprise activities at your university. This is the perfect opportunity to develop your entrepreneurial skills.
    4. Sports provide the perfect opportunity to develop leadership skills, teamwork and motivation.
    5. Don’t use lack of time as an excuse– make time, it’s your future.

    How to market yourself successfully

    Once you’ve developed these skills, it’s important to understand how to communicate them to employers. A great CV or application form depends on how well you can market your skills, but it’s also about recognising the skills you have developed. Many students often don’t recognise the transferable skills they’ve developed and how relevant they’re to the world of work.

    Top five tips for marketing yourself successfully

    1. Self-assessment. Use the generic employability skills highlighted in the ‘I Brand Employability Model’ to develop examples of these skills in both your degree and your extracurricular activities.
    2. Elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a summary of what’s brilliant about you. It should be concise and to the point, but communicate an interesting fact about your skills. Make sure you know your speciality; what makes you unique?
    3. Networking. Networking provides the perfect opportunity to market yourself. Building a network is invaluable as it provides links to individuals and organisations who may be able to help you find an internship or graduate role. Find networks related to your field or career interests.
    4. LinkedIn. Building an online network provides the perfect platform to network. It also gives you the opportunity to join forums and discussions that will help keep you abreast of changes in your industry. LinkedIn can also make it easier for you to research companies and identify who in your network is connected to the company.
    5. Alumni. You are not the first to graduate from your course, so build links with other alumni. Former students understand how hard it is to compete in the job market and thus can often help you to navigate the pitfalls. You can also use alumni to help identify different routes into your sector of choice.


    It’s not just about marketing yourself; it’s about having a product to market. Your marketing strategy will only be as good as the product, so take the time to graduate with a brand that employers will want to buy.

    How to make yourself more competitive in the job market: 5 tips

    Available in 33 languages:

    Having a good education isn’t enough to land you your dream job in today’s competitive job market – you need the right mix of education, experience and other softer skills – including language skills – to really stand out.

    Here’s how to make yourself more competitive in the job market:

    1. Improve your language skills

    Learning a new language is an impressive addition to your CV. Not only does it demonstrate that you’re curious about the world, but it also shows your commitment to self-improvement and to expanding your skill set. It’s also a bankable skill with a positive correlation to higher incomes .

    One of the most sought-after languages to master is English due to its global dominance and importance in global business, diplomacy and academia, but there are plenty of other ‘desired’ languages: those include Arabic, Mandarin , Spanish and German , with millions of native speakers and geopolitical and economic weight on the global stage.

    2. Get cross-cultural experience

    Whether it is working abroad or studying in a different country, having broader horizons and gaining experience living in a different culture is something that helps you grow as a human. You’ll have faced different challenges than if you’d stayed at home, making you more adaptable and creative in how you solve problems and approach unexpected situations – all essential skills in today’s job market.

    Studies also show that people who have lived abroad are more likely to have a greater ‘sense of self’ , so you’re in a better position to realize what you want from your career, and you’re likely to only apply for roles you’re genuinely interested in (read: great for employers!).

    3. Complete further education

    In many fields, having a university degree increases your earnings significantly and will help you land a job. Sectors like banking and finance, economics, politics and business in particular often exclusively hire university graduates for many roles. So it’s essential to find a course that’s right for you. And it’s not just the degree that you finally achieve that employers love, it’s the fact that you’ve proven that you can work hard, problem-solve and think for yourself.

    Already have a university degree? Studying shouldn’t end there; doing further education (online or in person – the options today really are endless) is a great way to continue expanding your skill set.

    4. Network, network, network

    The saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is half right: A good education and the right kind of life experience are essential, but when it comes to finding the right job opportunity (and having an “in”), it’s all about who you know. Networking, even though it may feel like a chore, is an essential part of growing your contact list.

    Attend networking evenings sign yourself up for conferences and make polite, friendly chat with everyone you meet (here are more tips on how to network like a boss ). Remember to stay in touch with the most interesting contacts, even if you’re not looking for a new job right now. You never know who, one day, might think you’re right for a certain job and put your name forward, or who might be able to offer you work experience.

    5. Get relevant work experience

    How do you get your first job, when every job requires prior skills and understanding? Secure some work experience or an internship. Do a little digging (use your network!) to find out about opportunities to intern in your chosen field. You might have to give up your time for free and work your way up from the very bottom, but getting the coffee, doing the filing or running the social media for a relevant company is the first step on the ladder.

    With some work experience on your CV, you’ll make yourself more qualified for a full-time role than many other candidates who are fresh out of university. Plus, you’ll get a really good idea about whether that career path is right for you before you commit to a permanent job.

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    Additional Resources

    With unemployment at 9.7%, many people find themselves competing for the same jobs. So, how can you distinguish yourself in a job market filled with so many applicants?

    You can increase your chance for success in this tough job market by sharpening your skills and making yourself a more attractive applicant Here are 5 tips that will make you more marketable in the current job market.

    Making Yourself More Marketable

    1. Go Back to School

    Furthering your education is a great way of improving your employment prospects. Economic downturns are normally a boom for educational institutions as job applicants return to school to get a competitive advantage. Have you been meaning to finish your undergraduate studies? Have you been thinking about getting a graduate degree to increase your chances of finding a management position? There are a number of schools that offer distance education classes for your busy schedule. Some of the more popular online schools include University of Phoenix, DeVry University, and Strayer University. It’s important to check the accreditation of each institution and make sure that they offer the major you are seeking. If you can’t pay cash for the higher education, make sure you weigh the cost of the degree versus the value it will bring to you in the job marketplace. Don’t just get a degree to get a degree. Do your research and make sure it will translate into a higher salary in a job industry you want to be in.

    2. Complete a Certification Program

    Let’s assume you would like to work in a company’s IT department. You could become a Microsoft Certified Professional. This certification can be used to work as a software engineer, network administrator, IT technician or in any IT related field. Cisco, Apple, and IBM all offer similar certification programs that could help in your career path. There are certifications in just about any field including accounting, education, finance, law, security, and technology. Professional certifications offer an assurance to employers that you are qualified to perform certain job duties and tasks. Certifications help you stand out from the cesspool of job applicants that you’ll be competing against.

    3. Improve Your Skills

    Learning a new skill is always a worthwhile endeavor, and it can lead to job offers or job promotion. Just about any employee can benefit from improving their communication skills. Or you could increase your technical skills by learning a new computer language. For example, an individual seeking employment as a computer programmer may find it beneficial to learn how to write code using C++, Java or PHP. You could improve your computer skills by taking classes at your local college. Becoming proficient in document, spreadsheet, and database management will look good on your resume as well and help out no matter what industry you want to work in.

    4. Work for Free

    Are you having a difficult time getting a company to hire you for a particular position because of a lack of job experience? If so, why not volunteer? If you can afford to do it financially, take an internship or volunteer position. Think of a volunteer position as an opportunity to get your foot in the door. This is one of the best ways to get the inside track to a job. Not only are you gaining valuable knowledge and experience, but you are making lifelong contacts. Most companies hire from the inside which makes it very possible that a volunteer position could end up turning into full-time employment.

    5. Practice Your Interview Skills

    With so many employees entering the job market, more employers are using telephone interviews to sift through potential candidates. Surviving the phone interview is the first step to securing a face-to-face interview.

    4 Quick Tips for the Phone Interview:

    1. Dress up. I know it seems pointless, but most people speak differently based on what they are wearing. Dressing professionally will help you talk more appropriately.
    2. Pay attention. Be energetic and enthusiastic. Listen closely. Respond without cutting off the interviewer. You can gauge if an interviewer is losing interest in you as a candidate. Listen for words like “great” and “uh-huh”.
    3. Be proactive. Be prepared with answers to potential interview questions. Always answer questions with action words such as can, have, and will. Make a list of questions about the job that you would like to ask the interviewer.
    4. Practice. There may be companies that contact you about a position that you’re not excited about. Even if you know you’ll never take the job, still take advantage of the opportunity to interview and hone your skills. This will really come in handy for that interview you do really care about. Also, if you have a family member or friend willing to help out, have them give you a mock interview.

    Final Word

    I know that finding a job in this economy is not the easiest thing in the world. But with persistence, dedication, and hard work you can improve your chances of finding employment. What other tips do you have that could increase a job seeker’s chances for finding employment?

    How to find those little nuggets. and the things you shouldn’t bring up

    By Shabana Bachu

    It happens to the best of us: As soon as someone says, tell me an interesting fact about yourself, everything you know about who you are and what you do, flies right out the window. An important job interview only packs on the pressure. But we’ve got you covered with a quick guide to breezing through this question, while making yourself stand out as the most thoughtful, interesting candidate.

    Questions to ask yourself to dig up those interesting facts

    What are your interests outside of work?

    • How do you spend nights and weekends? (Be careful with this one—more on that later.)
    • Do you belong to any clubs or community organizations?
    • Do you have a passion outside of work that you’re honing or pursuing?
    • Do you do volunteer work or do you sit on the board of a non-profit organization?
    • Did you have any interesting hobbies or pursuits in high school or college?

    Have you moved around or traveled?

    • Where and why?
    • Did you fund your travels with unique means?
    • Did you use a unique mode of travel?
    • Did you pick up a new language or skill on your travels?
    • What did you discover about the world? About yourself?
    • What are your future travel plans?
    • What’s an underrated destination you love?

    Are you artistic?

    • What is your process like?
    • How long have you been practicing your craft? What got you started?
    • Have you ever been recognized or won any awards for your art?
    • Do you ever get paid to produce your art?

    Do you have a connection that helped you find this job?

    • How do you know them?
    • Why did you trust them with connecting you to this job?

    Have you had a non-traditional career path?

    • Do you have a unique degree for your field?
    • Have you ever changed careers?

    Have you won any nominations or awards?

    • These might be in your professional career, academic career, in your community, or for a hobby or artistic venture.

    What about this job ties into your interests?

    • How can you grow personally/professionally at this job?
    • How might this job integrate into your life instead of being “just a job”?

    What are your long-term career goals?

    • How do you plan on achieving them?
    • How does this job specifically help you do so?

    When talking about your interests, it’s important to be honest and only talk about the things that you genuinely enjoy instead of what you think sounds impressive.

    Now let’s discuss what you shouldn’t say when asked about yourself— because although you want to be open, there are boundaries to recognize.

    How not to answer the question

    I don’t know

    The worst possible answer you could give to a question that asks you to talk about yourself—because you do! There’s something unique about all of us.

    With self-deprecating jokes

    There’s no need to undercut or undermine yourself, and self-deprecating jokes might hurt your chances of being taken seriously by superiors (and coworkers).

    With what you did last weekend

    If you spent last weekend at the local swing dancing club, great. If you spent last weekend at a rager, keep that one to yourself.

    Negative feelings about your current job (or former job)

    If you are interviewing for a new job while still at another, it’s to be understood that you want to leave. However, this shouldn’t mean that you trash-talk your current employer.


    This one’s a given, but as a helpful reminder—don’t swear, don’t even risk it. Even if it’s a casual work environment. Even if it’s common in your field.

    If you’re telling a particularly exciting story that’s adventurous or funny, remember where you are and whom you’re speaking to.

    A note on sharing personal information

    There are some questions that are illegal for interviewers to ask. Questions about your marital or parental status, where you live, and your age are just a few examples. That’s because this kind of information can be used to discriminate against job candidates. Keep in mind that while you can share information like this if you want to, you are under no obligation to do so, and some interviewers, whether they intend to or not, may use this information to discriminate in the hiring process.

    Answers to some of the above questions may reveal information like this, so keep that in mind when crafting your answer. And if they press for more information about things like your age or parental status—you don’t have to answer.

    But not to worry—experts are here to make the process seamless. Below, learn what the benefits of having a daily routine are in the first place, plus easy-to-follow instructions for how make a daily schedule for yourself, without shedding any tears of boredom during the process.

    Why is it important to have a daily routine?

    If you’re a spontaneous free spirit who relishes variety and has never shown up on time for a coffee date, like, ever, you might need some convincing here about why it’s beneficial to know how to make a daily schedule for yourself. After all, the word “schedule” makes you cringe and goes against the limitless feeling of freedom you love. But on a mental-health level, routines can provide for a sense of control and psychological comfort in sameness. One 2011 study from Tel Aviv University even concluded that a healthy amount of repetitive behaviors are correlated with a reduced prevalence of anxiety.

    “When we can’t decide whether to work out, meditate, journal, or read a few pages of an inspirational book, we use our energy thinking about what to do versus doing something useful.” —Susie Moore, life coach

    One reason for this is the possibly that routines eliminate the potential for decision fatigue, or difficulty in making a good decision as a result of the number of decisions one needs to take. “When we can’t decide whether to work out—and if we do, what type of workout?—to meditate—and using which app or YouTube video?—journal, or read a few pages of an inspirational book, we use up our energy thinking about what to do versus using our energy doing something useful,” says Susie Moore, life coach and author of Stop Checking Your Likes: Shake off the Need for Approval and Live an Incredible Life. “It’s kind of like scrolling through Netflix trailers for an hour, frustrated, versus just starting a movie and getting cozy.” Having a planned daily schedule you can count on can eliminate that wasted mental energy.

    For more evidence, note that many CEOs wear the same outfit every day—which isn’t coincidence. While you certainly don’t have to stick to one outfit as your strategy for freeing up mental energy, having a daily schedule of some sort is important, especially if you’re a big dreamer who aims to be one of the greats. After all, psychologists like Freud, composers like Beethoven, and artists like Picasso have all embraced personalized routines in order to dedicate more effort toward their craft.

    So whether what you’re after is mental calmness, increased helpful structure, or professional success, knowing how to make a daily schedule for yourself is a great first step. Below, Moore shares four easy steps for making one you can live by. And once you’re set with her tips, use an online template, like this free one from Microsoft Office, to bring your daily schedule to life.

    How to make a daily schedule for yourself in 4 steps

    1. Identify what matters most to you, and prioritize it

    Identify what you want to work into your schedule, whether that includes abstract concepts like “practicing gratitude” or must-do work tasks like “check my emails.” Have a list of what you want to be part of your life, so you know what to fit into your schedule. Being able to identify your daily goals can serve as inspiration for meeting them.

    “To me, inspiration is everything,” says Moore. “It positively impacts every single interaction and thought I have throughout the day. So I’ll spend 10 to 15 minutes reading over coffee to boost my mood and get into my high vibe for the day. Exercise, meditating, journalling all come later in the day—if at all.” Figure out your priorities, and schedule accordingly.

    2. Address an important aspect of your routine during the first hour of the day

    Since many of us are more productive in the morning, it makes sense that you’d push your most important rituals up front, if you can. If, for instance, you feel great after completing your vinyasa flow, but you tend to not want to roll out your mat by the end of the day, make sure to practice in that first hour you’re awake so you can joyfully check it off your list and move it out of your way.

    “The first hour of the day sets the tone for the entire day, so don’t let that golden hour of the morning get lost,” says Moore. When you start the day well, no matter what happens that day, you’ll be satisfied your morning routine was a positive investment into yourself.”

    3. Acknowledge the length of your entire schedule

    Keeping track of your time ensures that you have the time to fit in everything you want to complete. And alarms are a good tool to help you make sure that you budget for everything. Track your time for a week or so to provide a basis that allows you to accurately block hours when you do make a daily schedule for yourself.

    “This means you won’t run late, have to cut your routine short, or feel overwhelmed with the idea of structuring it,” Moore says.

    4. Forgive yourself when you skip the routine

    Routines are important for keeping you on track, accountable, and, yes, put-together. But we’re all only human! No need to beat yourself up psychologically if you give yourself an off day.

    “A militant life is not the goal here—the goal is ease,” says Moore. “So when you just need extra minutes to snooze, it’s okay. There are many mornings in your future. You can jump back in tomorrow.”

    As Moore tells me, “good enough” is good enough when it comes to making a daily schedule for yourself. “Discipline is freeing,” she says. “But it doesn’t have to be perfect.”

    Working from home right now? Here are some stay-on-track tips that productivity experts recommend. And this is why your midday self-care activity might actually be fueling your burnout.

    How to create a job for yourself

    The thought of a future career can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t yet have a clear sense of your direction. Don’t feel bad if you don’t, as many people are still figuring out what their perfect job is based on everything they have experienced up until this point.

    You can, however, prepare yourself for your future career in a number of ways. This article will go over seven such approaches.

    Wouldn’t you want to take some time to decide what you really want to do, rather than rushing into it? The norm is certainly that you have to make a decision as soon as possible. You graduate high school and all of a sudden you are expected to have a clear vision about where you see your life going.

    Make a mental note that it’s completely okay to take a step back in order to evaluate whether or not you are making the best choices for yourself. Don’t dwell on what those around you are telling you to do, if you feel that it isn’t right for you.

    The aforementioned, as well as other tips on how to best prepare for your future job, are outlined below.

    Take some time to decide what you want to do

    Taking some time for yourself in order to reflect on what you should do is always worthwhile. Of course, you won’t know by sitting on your couch and contemplating your future. You also won’t be closer to figuring out your future career by doing online career tests. While this may give you some ideas, you still can’t be sure over whether or not this is the best possible decision.

    While you take some time, you should place yourself in new situations and experiences that can open your mind. It is exactly for this reason that travel is such a beneficial pastime to do, whether after high school, college, or even after a job and before you perhaps switch career directions.

    Talk to professionals working in your desired field

    In order to get a better sense of a job that you are contemplating, be sure to talk to a professional that is working in that particular field. Even ask if you can shadow them, and see what their day-to-day work is like. This will ensure that you are not romanticizing the job, and you will know exactly what to expect from it. It may also open your eyes, making you realize that it isn’t the right path for you.


    It’s important to volunteer to make a difference. Devoting your time to a cause that you believe in will benefit the community you are helping, and it can provide you with a newfound sense of purpose.

    You may even decide that your future job should be in a related field, who knows? The point is, this is always something worth spending time on. Not only does it benefit you but it also benefits the community, too.

    Attending school or getting the degree online

    You can either attend a college of your choosing or get the degree online, thanks to the technologically advanced world that you currently live in. Once you have decided on a major, keep in mind that you can switch at any point you feel that you haven’t made the best decision for yourself.

    Now, imagine you got an undergraduate degree and you want to obtain a master’s program in order to further your education. However, you also want to gain work experience. Remember that you can work and get your degree at the same time if this is something that will benefit you! JCU online offers online postgraduate courses in a number of different fields, for instance.

    The point is, you can shape your education the way that you want to, and you certainly don’t have to get your degree right away, whether it’s undergraduate or postgraduate.

    Build up work experience

    Aside from school, you need to build up work experience for your career. A book and your classroom can only teach you so much, and then comes the hands-on experience. This will give you a true sense of what working in the job of your choosing is like, above even shadowing someone else that is doing it.

    Only with time will you naturally get better at your job and obtain more knowledge that will allow you to progress within that particular field. That is why job experience is critical in order to reach higher-level positions, and of course, this also comes with a pay raise.

    Learn how to network

    Learning how to network is what will often get you a job in the first place, or it may allow you to find a new place of work. The question is, how do you do it? Communication skills are a must, but you need to sign up for events that are related to the industry you are interested in. Your connection to the individuals you meet can be based around the fact that you are both interested in the same line of work.

    The more networking events you attend, the better you will become at networking in the process.

    Be confident

    Confidence is always key in anything that you do in life. If you want to be successful, you need to be confident in your ability to achieve this. Consider getting into the habit of meditating in order to silence the chaos inside your mind.

    Realize that any self-doubt you experience is not a reflection of your actual capabilities, but is rather a negative thought that is floating around in your mind. Tell yourself that you are able to accomplish the task that you set out for, and this will make a big difference in everything that you do.

    Knowing that life doesn’t stand still, you should never wait for it to pass you by. Even if you feel lost and are unsure over what degree to get, remember that the best way to find the answer is to soak in as much new information as possible. Put yourself out of your comfort zone and talk to people, join clubs, volunteer, and do anything that you feel will help you get closer to realizing how you want to spend most of your days, and what your ideal career choice is. You won’t know until you try. Remember that it’s never too late to change your mind, and any skills that you have learned up until this point are transferable.

    Elizabeth Larkin is a professional organizer with a strong interest in productivity, time management, and process refinement. She used her organizational skills and effectiveness to pen articles with helpful information on cleaning, organizing living spaces, and decluttering.

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    How to create a job for yourself

    ​The Spruce / Ruthie Darling

    Habits are powerful, but they’re not easy to form—particularly good habits. Creating a schedule for your daily tasks and activities that you’re able to stick to will help you to form good habits and break bad ones for a more productive, happier life.

    Setting up an organized daily routine is a little bit art and a little bit of science. The science is figuring out what you need to get done, while the art is figuring out when to do it.

    Make a List

    First, write down everything you need to get done daily, both in your home life and at work. Don’t worry about how you organize this list; this is a brain dump, not a to-do list. Take 30 minutes with a notebook to jot down everything you do each day, as well as everything you should get done.

    If you feel like it’s too hard to remember all the tasks in one sitting, carry around a notebook and take notes throughout the day. In the beginning, no task is too small—if you want to work “brush teeth” into your routine, put it on the list.

    How to create a job for yourself

    Structure Your Day

    Early birds get things done most effectively before lunchtime, while night owls tend to get their creative burst of energy in the evenings. Think about when you work best, and group your tasks into the time of day that makes the most sense for when you will best complete them.

    • Mornings: Mornings are often about getting out the door, which can be its challenge. Group all your early tasks here, like feeding and walking pets, unloading the first load of dishes for the day, and putting dinner in the slow cooker. Once the morning rush is over, reserve the mornings for the tasks that require the most critical thinking and troubleshooting. There’s a common saying, “Eat the frog,” which refers to getting the task that you want to do least done first thing in the day, so it’s not looming over you.
    • Midday: This is a tricky time of day because your energy levels—and perhaps the caffeine from your morning coffee—have likely dissipated. However, this means you might be primed to do the boring, routine stuff that doesn’t take a lot of brainpower. Use this time for tasks like answering emails, setting appointments, and running errands. If you are based at home during the day, use this time for routine cleaning, like emptying the dishwasher and loading it back up, scrubbing the bathrooms.
    • Evening: Evenings work best when they’re set aside for planning and preparation for the next day. Layout your clothes, pack lunches, and declutter the rooms where items tend to pile up, like the kitchen. If you follow the weekly organizing routine, you’ll be picking up one room a day for 15 to 20 minutes.

    How to create a job for yourself

    Get Specific (Optional)

    Within these loose outlines of each part of your day, you can get as specific as you want. For example, you might want to write out a routine for your morning that looks something like this:

    • 6 a.m.: Wake up, brush teeth, and shower
    • 6:30 a.m.: Breakfast
    • 7 a.m.: Leave the house
    • 7:15 a.m.: Drop off the kids at school
    • 7:30: Arrive at the office

    That’s a very detailed schedule, but some people might feel more comfortable with that—at least until they get the hang of the routine.

    How to create a job for yourself

    Schedule in Time for Flexibility

    Life gets in the way of even the most detailed of routines. The point is to harness your most productive times to use for your most challenging tasks, and your least productive times to do the more mundane tasks. There might be times when you have to go to a doctor’s appointment during the hours you usually set aside for work, or your evening is taken up by a social gathering—a daily routine will keep things flowing smoothly, despite hiccups.

    How to create a job for yourself

    Test Drive Your New Routine

    Take your new routine for a test drive for 30 days. How does it feel? Did you schedule your tasks at activities at times that make sense? Do you need to adjust things? Tweak anything that is not working on a case-by-case basis, and then assess after 30 days to see how your new routine is working for you.

    How to create a job for yourself

    Creating a daily routine seems daunting at first, but you will soon reap the rewards when your productivity soars, morning meltdowns are reduced, and you find you actually have pockets of free time throughout the day or week. Even better? Nothing is written in stone so if your daily routine doesn’t work perfectly at first, simply make some tweaks until you find the ideal schedule.

    “I’m currently working for a family-run online media company where I wear many different hats. The hat that gets me the most excited is anything marketing-related. We recently launched a podcast to attract new sales leads to our SEO product.

    I was tasked with launching the podcast including content development, project management, branding, editing, and producing. To help, I enrolled in a few online courses and interviewed a few podcasters in a similar field to get their best tips.

    I’m happy to report that the podcast has been running for six months and so far, it has brought in $30,000 of additional sales. Launching and tracking the success of this project is why I was excited to learn about this marketing opportunity at Wondery Podcast Network.

    Additionally, I love that Wondery produces scripted series and has moved into a subscription model. With my enthusiasm for podcasts and my skills working on multiple projects, I think I’m a unique fit for your project manager opening.”

    Tell Me About Yourself Answer Example 2:

    “When I was a kid I used to go through the real estate section of the paper every Sunday. In college, I had an internship with a realtor and, most recently, I enrolled in some design programs to learn CAD so I could mock up interior design ideas for me and my friends. All this to say, I love good design and the quality behind how things are built.

    In my current job, I’m working for a non-profit where I help with fundraising. In the two years I’ve been there, I’ve grown our database of donors by 8% and created our first online fundraising event—a complete pivot from the in-person event we’ve done for 15 years—and I’m happy to share that we raised $100,000 more than our original goal.

    Between my appreciation for design and my knack for building relationships, I believe I’m a great fit for this sales role at Kennedy Real Estate Agency. I have no doubt I can bring value to this organization and help break new sales goals with the team.”

    Tell Me About Yourself Answer Example 3:

    “I currently work in public relations for a large bank where I focus on product launches and work collaboratively with agencies, designers, product managers, and our internal comms team.

    My biggest accomplishment was launching Marcus by Goldman Sachs, our consumer banking tool that got 1 million sign-ups in the first 30 days. Working on this consumer product launch has made me excited to do more of them.

    When I saw this job opening, I jumped at the opportunity to apply and I think my past experience working at a large company can add a lot of value to a growing startup.”

    When I decided to leave my day job and work on my business full time, one of the first things my dad-slash-financial-advisor helped me with was figuring out how much money I needed to earn — both to maintain my standard of living and to meet my life and financial goals.

    Because while there are lots of benefits to working for yourself, this is a most definite down side: you have to earn more money when you work for yourself to end up with the same take-home paycheck you’d get as a company employee.

    How to create a job for yourself

    This is so much better than putting money down the drain.

    This is absolutely nuts, especially when our economy needs jobs. Here I am, creating a job — not to mention creating paychecks for the six or seven contractors who work on my team — and there’s a HUGE disincentive to keep at it.

    But that rant is for another blog post (coming soon). This post is about explaining the WHY. Why do you need to earn more money when you’re self-employed than when you’re working for someone else?

    If you’re thinking about making money on your own terms, whether that’s starting a side hustle in addition to your day job or turning your passion into a full-time income, you’ll want to understand this financial nonsense hurdle.

    As a sole proprietor (and that’s an important distinction because taxes will affect you differently if you’re incorporated or have some other fancy title), here are the four places you’ll get hit harder than if you worked for a company:

    1. Social security tax. It’s 10.4 percent. If you work for yourself, you pay it all. If you work for a company, you pay 4.2 percent and your employer pays 6.2 percent.

    2. Medicare tax. It’s 2.9 percent. If you work for yourself, you pay it all. If you work for a company, you pay 1.45 percent and your employer pays 1.45 percent.

    Social security plus medicare is often referred to as the self-employment tax. It’s a total of 13.3 percent (on income up to $110,100).

    3. Business expenses. Being able to “write off” expenses like conferences and office supplies and lunch with important people is often seen as a benefit, but don’t forget that if you worked for a company, they’d cover those costs. Expenses range significantly depending on what kind of business you’re running and how you choose to spend your money, but it does tend to add up, even if you go lean.

    4. Health insurance. If you can jump onto your spouse’s insurance, you might not have to worry about this. But for the rest of us, you’ll likely spend more — perhaps significantly more, depending on your health and the kind of coverage you need — by purchasing insurance on your own than if you signed up through your employer.

    Now, this doesn’t even go into other employer-sponsored benefits like maternity and sick leave, vacation (no paid time off when you work for yourself), 401k match, disability insurance… but these are the four components that tend to make it difficult for freelancers and consultants and solopreneurs to make a living.

    Still having trouble visualizing just how much of a difference this will make in your take-home pay? Here’s a table my dad, an accountant, put together (with my help) to show how much money you’ll end up with if you’re working for yourself verses working for an employer.

    Oh, and we’re excluding state taxes for simplicity’s sake; this deals only with federal taxes. And yes, that means you have to pay MORE tax than what you see here.

    In both of these situations, the worker earns $75,000/year — one works for a company and the other is self-employed. (Click the image if you prefer a larger version.)

    How to create a job for yourself

    That yellow row at the bottom is spendable cash, otherwise known as take-home income. Notice how much LESS the freelancer takes home — $49K vs. $58K.

    Keep in mind that components like health insurance and business expenses are highly variable. We estimated on the LOW end for business expenses, mostly so no one could blame the sizable differential on that. But a lot of small businesses have more than $4,000 of expenses each year, especially if you go to a conference or two.

    So how much would you need to make while working for yourself to end up with a take-home pay that’s equal to the employee who earns $75,000/year?

    That’s what this next table explains:

    How to create a job for yourself

    See how numbers in the yellow row match this time? Both workers have a take-home pay of $58K.

    We worked backwards to figure out how much the sole proprietor would have to earn to take home as much as the employee who earns $75,000. And the answer is… $88,710.

    Yes, you read that right. You’d have to earn $13,710 MORE — that’s an additional 18 percent! — to take home as much as the company employee.

    So what’s the GOOD news, you ask?

    The good news is that when you work for yourself, you are bound by no one’s limitations but your own (click to tweet that idea). You don’t have to wait until your one-year mark to ask for a raise — you simply get out there and hustle your butt off if you want to make more money. And if you’re willing to hustle, you have the potential to make far more than you made at your day job (which, by the way, I’m doing, not even a year after going off on my own).

    Yes, more of your hard-earned cash will go to taxes. But that makes those of us who value freedom in our work and life push that much harder to earn a living. It makes us that much more determined to succeed.

    What do you think? If you’re already bringing in money on your own terms, do you feel the burden of the self-employment tax? The sting of health insurance? Why do you choose to face those costs rather than work for a company?

    For those of you who are thinking about working for yourself, does this make you reconsider?

    If you found this post helpful, here are two resources with more information:

    • How I Surpassed My Day Job Income in Just 6 Months of Self-Employmentis full of practical advice, including the juicy financial details behind my own personal transition to career freedom.
    • My dad and I are co-writing a digital guide on all the financial stuff you need to know when working as a freelancer, consultant or entrepreneur — basically a biz money guide for non-financial people. If you want a heads up when it becomes available, sign up for my newsletter.

    . and leap the biggest hurdle between the life you have and the life you want.

    Posted October 18, 2016

    How to create a job for yourself

    “Andy” entered my office seeking help for his depression. But after a few therapy sessions, the root of his problems became clear: He had a deep-rooted belief that he wasn’t good enough.

    He’d started believing he was inadequate during childhood, and he held onto this belief throughout his life. His assumption that he would never amount to anything led him to be an underachiever. Because he concluded he wasn’t smart enough, talented enough, or motivated enough to do much of anything, he’d created a lifestyle that reinforced those beliefs.

    He had worked an entry-level job for years. He didn’t bother to manage his money well because he assumed he’d always live paycheck to paycheck and be deeply in debt. He rarely took the initiative to meet new people. And he never established new goals for himself. His depression was simply a side effect of the lifestyle he’d created.

    Much like Andy, many people create lifestyles that reinforce their self-limiting beliefs. But, quite often, those beliefs are inaccurate and unproductive, and they cause people to live a life far beneath their potential.

    How You Develop Negative Core Beliefs About Yourself

    You develop many of your beliefs about yourself during childhood. Perhaps you grew up always feeling like an outsider. Or maybe you had a parent who was verbally abusive. Those types of experiences could lead you to believe you’re a loser or a failure.

    Those types of conclusions will cause you to subconsciously seek evidence that supports your beliefs. Every time you fail a test or get rejected by someone, your negative beliefs will get reinforced.

    Whenever you discover evidence to the contrary—like you ace a test or land a promotion—you chalk it up to external factors, like luck. You ignore your accomplishments and magnify your mistakes. That’s just how your brain works when you so wholeheartedly believe something.

    Because you believe those things about yourself, however, you won’t recognize that you’re doing this. Instead, you just think your failures and problems serve as more proof that you’re not good enough.

    Your Beliefs Turn Into Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

    Just because you believe something about yourself doesn’t make it true. But there’s a good chance that you’ll make it come true in a subconscious manner. What you believe influences the way you interpret events, how you feel, and how you behave. And much of the time, those beliefs turn into self-fulfilling prophecies.

    If you believe you can’t handle stress, you’ll be less likely to step outside your comfort zone. Then, because you never practice doing anything scary, you’ll struggle to handle discomfort when it arises.

    If you believe you are socially awkward, you’ll be less outgoing. The less you talk to people, the less likely you’ll be to make social connections. The fewer friends you make, the more you’ll believe you’re incapable of forming healthy social connections.

    The list of examples could go on and on.

    How to Give Up Self-Limiting Beliefs

    If you’ve spent 30 years believing you’re a loser, then simply telling yourself, “I’m a winner,” isn’t likely to be helpful. You can’t unlearn deep-rooted core beliefs that easily. Instead, you have to challenge your beliefs by testing them to see if they’re really true.

    Conduct a behavioral experiment by challenging your beliefs. If you believe you’re too socially awkward to make friends, ask yourself, “What would I be doing if I were socially savvy?”

    Then, use a skill called “acting as if.”‘ Behave as if you are a socially savvy person. That doesn’t mean you need to be a phony; instead, behave in a way that brings out another side of your personality.

    If you believe socially graceful people start conversations with others, try doing that yourself. Set a goal for yourself when you’re at a social event; for example, introduce yourself to five people. Rather than sit in the corner worrying that you look awkward, branch out and strike up conversations. You might find that behaving in a more outgoing manner leads to more social success.

    In addition, look for evidence that runs contrary to your self-limiting beliefs. Write down the reasons your belief might not be true. Look for exceptions to the rule and take note. Simply raising your awareness of the fact that there are times when you are more capable than you give yourself credit for can help chip away at the belief that you’ve held so strongly.

    Challenging Your Beliefs Takes Time

    Your mind can be your best asset or your biggest enemy. If you’ve drawn inaccurate conclusions about yourself, your self-limiting beliefs could prevent you from reaching your greatest potential.

    Everyone has a few self-limiting beliefs. To discover yours, spend some time thinking about your potential and assessing the assumptions you make about yourself that keep you from living your dreams.

    Your beliefs, rather than your lack of ability, could be the biggest hurdle standing between the life you’re living and the life you want to live. But the good news is that with a little time and extra effort, you can develop the mental strength needed to overcome the self-limiting beliefs that prevent you from reaching your greatest potential.

    How to create a job for yourself

    Want to know how to give up the bad habits that rob you of mental strength? Pick up a copy of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

    This article first appeared on Inc.