Category Archives: Career Seeking

An Overview of Freelancing and the Gig Economy

As the world changes, so do work options and the workforce in general. The inevitable emergence of artificial intelligence and automation has also played a role in the shift and perception of work. Traditionally, when most people thought of work, they were reminded of a specific place where they went to offer a particular service or product. However, this, too, is changing. More and more people are rejecting notions of traditional work and pursuing other options and avenues such as freelancing and the gig economy. Findings from the Harvard Business Report moreover affirm that over 150 million individuals across North America and West Europe are pursuing the aforementioned work avenues.

Thriving in the Gig Economy/Freelance Market

Many people dream of a carefree lifestyle where they can work when they want, how they want, and where they want. Despite the possibility and attainability of the foregoing lifestyle, it does not come without hard work. The first year as a freelancer can be most challenging. It takes time to network, get work from various customers, and build up a network of clientele. However, with persistence and gumption, it can be done.

One of the most important, yet frequently overlooked requirements for freelancers is the ability to work well with others. While many freelancers can work from their laptop in any location with internet access, they still have to interact with the clients who are contracting their services. The clientele is absolutely paramount to success in the gig economy. Without clients, freelancers have no business or autonomy.

Freelancers and others who work in the gig economy must also meet deadlines, complete assignments, and communicate with their customers. All of this goes back to the ability to work well with the clientele that breathes life into the freelancer’s ability to do what they do. The preceding requirements are applicable regardless of whether or not one is a freelance writer, editor, graphic designer, etc. While each field varies, the general must-haves remain the same across the board.

Getting Started in the Gig Economy/Freelance Market

When breaking into the gig economy, one of the most important factors entails knowing where to begin and how to reach clients. Thankfully, there are many job platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer which are excellent for freelancers at all levels. Not only do the aforesaid platforms connect freelancers with clients, but they also allow freelancers to market their skills and abilities on their profiles. Clients who have worked with freelancers can then leave feedback on their profiles. If the feedback is positive, it may result in additional work. Feedback from past clients can also impact whether or not future prospective clients choose to do business with a freelancer or move onto others. As previously stated, clients are the ones who make it possible for freelancers to succeed in the gig economy.

A Final Word

There is no step-by-step success manual on how to succeed in the gig economy. Each freelancer will inevitably encounter their own difficulties and struggles that they must overcome in order to enjoy the perks. While each journey varies, the right tools, a strong work ethic, and the determination to succeed will make all the difference in the world.

Authored by: Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

How to Convince Your Boss to Give You a Payraise

Virtually everyone would love to receive a pay raise from their employer. Whether or not said raise is deserved or feasible depends upon many factors and circumstances. However, there are still certain steps that employees should take when they are pondering asking for a salary increase.

Consider the Value You Bring to the Company

Like virtually everything else in life, a pay raise has to be earned. The odds of employees successfully receiving higher pay from their boss is almost zero to none if the employee is unable to effectively show how their value or work for the company has increased since being hired. Fast Company furthermore affirms that when asking for a pay raise, the numbers make all the difference in the world. Contributions to the company’s financial growth, salary rates of other colleagues, and profit numbers engendered by one’s work can greatly impact whether or not an employer feels inclined to honor the request of an employee who desires higher pay.

Pick the Right Time and Place

Similarly to an employee’s company value, the time and place which in they decide to ask their boss for a salary increase is a considerable, determining factor. Although seemingly apparent, workers should abstain from asking their employer for pay raises in front of other colleagues or at a time where the employer appears busy, frustrated, or otherwise preoccupied. Requesting a salary increase at the wrong time can result in a resounding no, even if the answer might have been yes under different circumstances. The right time and place are equally as important as the ability to present the numbers.

Ultimately, each employee will have to make the judgment call regarding the best time to request a pay raise from their boss. However, setting up a meeting is arguably one of the most appropriate occasions to ask for a salary increase. Not only does this circumvent the employer being busy or preoccupied with other matters, but it also conveys professionalism. During the meeting, employers should preferably come with a portfolio showcasing the aforementioned numbers and anything else which may help their cause in terms of securing their desired pay raise.

Always Maintain Respect and Professionalism

No hardworking person enjoys being turned down for a pay raise, but unfortunately, it still occurs sometimes. An employer may decline a worker’s request for a salary increase for multiple reasons. Sometimes the pay raise may simply supersede the company’s budget. In other situations, the boss may simply feel as though the worker requesting a raise has not earned it or they just may feel like saying no. Regardless of the outcome, the employee still has a duty to remain respectful and professional at all times. Whether he or she is told yes or no, the meeting should always end with a handshake and a ‘thank you for your time.’

In the event that an employee is turned down for a raise, they will have to decide whether or not they wish to continue working for the current company. If so, they should continue performing their duties to the best of their ability. If not, the employee then has the responsibility to respectfully turn in their two week’s notice to the boss.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

 

Signs That You Should Go Into Business For Yourself

In current times, more and more individuals are choosing to go into business for themselves in one form or another. However, self-employment is not for everyone. Despite the many upsides and benefits that come along with entrepreneurship, going into business for oneself for the wrong reasons can have horrific impacts. Individuals who feel ready to take the plunge into self-employment should first make sure that going into business is their best course of action.

You Are Comfortable With Risk

Risk is an inherent factor which comes along with pursuing entrepreneurship and going into business for oneself. Some people are comfortable with risk, while others prefer to remain in their comfort zones and have a safety net. Neither inclination is right or wrong and nobody deserves to be shamed for either taking risks or playing it safe.

However, circumstances change considerably when an individual is thinking of going into business for themselves. Anyone who wishes to pursue self-employment needs to be comfortable with risk. Working for oneself is a venture which requires hard work, persistence, overcoming learning curves, and so much more. Some people will make it as entrepreneurs and others won’t. Risk comes with the territory of self-employment; those who are adverse to risk are more likely to fare well in professional avenues outside of entrepreneurship.

You Are Passionate

In the world of self-employment, passion is equally as important as comfortability with risk. Passion is what drives people and keeps them motivated. As pointed out by The Balance, motivation is critical for entrepreneurs and others who are going into business for themselves. Individuals who are passionate about their business ventures are considerably more likely to put in the hard work even when it’s difficult and go the extra mile.

Passion furthermore serves as fuel against critics and naysayers. Virtually everyone who has chosen to go into business for themselves has faced skeptics who have doubted their abilities. Self-employment may be a rising trend in the workforce, however, there are still some people who view traditional employment as a more practical, feasible line of work. Nevertheless, individuals who are truly passionate about going into business for themselves will not be swayed by critics.

You Are Willing to Work Hard

Anyone who wishes to succeed in life has to work hard in one way or another. This especially applicable for individuals who have decided to go into business for themselves. Entrepreneurship requires grit, persistence, and determination to succeed. The aforementioned traits are truly important for people who are just starting off. There will be bumps in the road, challenges, setbacks, and difficulties, but this should never halt one’s work ethic or determination to grow their business.

A Final Word

As the popularity of self-employment increases, more and more people will have to decide whether or not going into business for themselves is something they wish to do. Automation and other forms of technology are rapidly changing the world of work from what we once knew it to be. Those who decide to take the plunge and pursue entrepreneurship should always remember that risk, passion, and an unbeatable work ethic will serve them well.

How Self Employment Can Increase Your Income

In this day and age, “work” has various meanings, depending on who is asked. Some people remain in the workforce as traditional employees, while others are self-employed. There are multiple forms of self-employment, but ultimately, self-employed individuals work for themselves, as opposed to working for another individual or corporation. A person who is self-employed may have various clients or customers, however, the success, or lack thereof, of their business ultimately depends upon them. Self-employment in an inherently risky venture, although few things worth having come with ease.

The Potential for Income Growth is Limitless

In most cases, individuals who work as employees generally receive paychecks. Upon being hired, there is usually an agreed upon salary or amount of hours to be worked. Employees generally stick to these hours and for the most part, the ability to significantly increase income from the aforementioned stream is difficult, if not impossible. Workers can ask for a raise, but there is no guarantee that an employer or boss will agree to it.

The game is completely different for self-employed individuals. Income surges are readily attainable, so long as the person at hand is willing to take the proper steps, market themselves accordingly, or offer new products or services. For instance, a freelance writer who wishes to increase her monthly income can do so by taking on various styles of writing, working with a wider network of clientele, or even increasing her current rates. Conversely, were that same freelancer working as an employee 40 hours per week with a set salary of $15.00/per hour, growing her earnings may be a more difficult feat.

When an individual works for someone else, their income is greatly dependent upon the person who employs them. However, when someone works for themselves, their earnings are determined by their quality of work, ability to market themselves, and make lucrative business decisions. While self-employment is not for everyone, those who are serious about growing their income may find this economic route to be beneficial.

The Options For Tax Deductions Are Plentiful

Most employees’ taxes are automatically deducted from their paychecks prior to reception. While tax season may be easier for traditional workers, easier does not always mean economically fruitful. A full list of self-employed tax deductions can be found and read on Quickbooks; some of the most common deductions include marketing tools, home office expenses, meals with clients, wages paid to employees, etc.

In some cases, self-employed individuals may be able to write off so much that the government actually owes them money. That money can then be saved, invested, or otherwise used to grow one’s business.

A Final Word Regarding Self-Employment

Success in the self-employment field takes work, dedication, and the willingness to work hard, never give up and continue growing one’s business. In current times, every working individual should be striving to increase their economic capital. Living expenses are surging and financial emergencies can occur at any time. Opportunities to grow one’s income and decrease owed taxes are two of the most productive ways self-employment has and continues to transform lives.

Authored by: Gabrielle Seunagal

Financial Secrets Every Job Quitter Should Know

So, you hate your job and want to quit? Are you really ready to do something like this? Don’t forget the everyday costs you have! While it is your personal choice to decide when to quit a position, it is also important to realize that decision has to be owned. If this is going to put you in a bad financial situation then you should wait. It’s smart to be wise and think twice! Let’s discuss some options and tricks that might help you make that smarter decision today! Many Canadian families rely on both partners working, so if one ups and decides to just quit–there has to be a strategy. Let’s examine some thoughts.

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If you’re going to quit your job you really have to have some kind of financial backup plan. Let’s face it. No one can just up and quit work without dealing with some kind of financial distress–that is, if they have no plan in place. Just to begin, you have to analyze your financial circumstances very well and determine if this is really the year that is right for quitting your job. Only you know if it is the right time for attempting to start over somewhere else. If you’ve been preparing for such a move, then that is great. If you have not then you need to make certain you have enough to sustain you and your family for several months. This will alleviate a great deal of financial stress.

Right now, 47% of Canadians are committed to staying on track financially, which is great. With this in mind, it is pretty certain hasty work decisions are minimal, but of course, things can happen too. When you’re resolved to be financially ready to leave your job, then you have a step up. This is a good thing. However, if you are intent on finding a career position that is going to help you gain a foot hold over debt and assist you in meeting financial goals–right now might be the best time.

The following tips and strategic advice might be helpful to Canadians who are unsure where to start, what they should be doing, and what needs should be in order. Hopefully those leaving their current positions have started banking resources and have a starting plan.  Let’s now turn to some helpful advice and tips now.

The Importance of Cutting Expenses When Quitting Your Job

Of course it makes rational sense to cut back on your expenses when you quit your job. Even if you have a nest egg put back, this can go fast with no income coming in. Once you’ve made that step into new territory you have to itemize and make priorities. You have to be willing to cut back on excessive items and with regard to food, you have to be more willing to go with no name brands on some items. Of course, this isn’t forever, but it is until you find that position you’ve been searching for.  The below list will help you stay on task and keep the important things in order!

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  1. Make sure you have your mortgage in order–Banks don’t care about why you left your job, they only care about ensuring they get paid! You have to make certain you can pay your mortgage and keep a roof over you and your family’s head. This is when you have to know where to cut back and what is most important to pay on time! Also, if you don’t own a home yet, quitting your job could really hurt your chances down the road. Banks frown on those who just up and quit. This could impact your chances for more than 3 years, so once again–have a plan!
  2. Don’t let tax time catch you unprepared–If you quit your job to start out on self employment you need to have an idea of what those end of year taxes are going to be like. It might not be the wisest decision to run your own freelance business at this time. Decide if you’ll be doing better financially working on your own and choose wisely! This has to be sustainable for the long-term. There is no skirting taxes.
  3. Don’t take out loans and don’t borrow from anyone–You have to stand on your own two feet, so forget a loan or borrowing–even if this is from family. Once you make the decision to quit your job you have to own it and accept the consequences. Be prepared and ready!
  4. Create consistent income–If you’re going to work for yourself then you’re going to have to develop a plan to guarantee the same amount of income week to week and month to month. There can be no variation if you’re going to meet all financial goals and save money too. Be smart here and know what you’re getting into!
  5. Don’t just count on will-power–If you don’t devise a way to save money before you even see it, will power alone won’t help you much. Most people always find an excuse to spend, but if you can have money taken from your pay before you even get it, that guarantees saving and having when you need it the most!