The best states for job hunting in 2019

It’s a whole new year, and for many people, that means it’s time to make a fresh start. That may entail settling in a new state, finding a new job, or maybe even both. If you are considering a radical life change in 2019, it might be useful to look into which states have the […]

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It’s a whole new year, and for many people, that means it’s time to make a fresh start. That may entail settling in a new state, finding a new job, or maybe even both. If you are considering a radical life change in 2019, it might be useful to look into which states have the most thriving job markets—doing so may help you map out a game plan for the new year states with a thriving job market.

Colorado

Despite labor shortages, Colorado is still adding jobs like there’s no tomorrow. Over 2018, some 73,000 new positions opened in the Centennial State. New employees tend to be flooding in from outside of Colorado’s borders, proving that it is an attractive spot to resettle and guaranteeing that it has become a hub of new construction. Those jobs are in a wide selection of areas, from the service industry to high-tech.

Washington

As living costs in California’s Silicon Valley balloon, many techies are fleeing to Washington State. The Puget Sound tech community there is really benefitting from all those new recruits. Washington is home to such heavy hitters as Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook. For those looking for less-intimidating employers, there are also many attractive startups popping up in Washington, and the 96,000 new jobs that needed filling in 2018 have also stimulated substantial growth in the state’s construction industry. However, the biggest growth of all has been in retail.

Texas

As oil prices spring back, Texas is feeling serious growth these days. The state began 2018 with the country’s most speedily expanding economy, and no state can compete in terms of the number of new jobs created over the year—we’re talking about 352,000 jobs here! For those who are looking for work outside of mining, there is also plentiful work in construction and health care.

Nevada

As new construction soars in Las Vegas and 37,000 new jobs have emerged over the past year, Nevada is looking like a good gamble in 2019. The state is emerging as a major provider of something the world desperately needs these days: clean energy. Near Reno, Tesla recently constructed a multi-billion dollar factory and is looking to fill it with 10,000 new employees. Other companies such as Panasonic and Switch have also set their sites on Nevada, while housing markets are getting stronger and stronger.

Utah

As industries ranging from tech to tourism to construction boom in Utah, there are many slots waiting to be filled. Over the past year, the state added approximately 50,000 jobs. The nucleus of that expansion is Wasatch Front, which is like Utah’s very own Silicon Valley. Adobe and Snap are snapping up new employees, and many of them are eager to move into the million dollar homes rapidly springing up in the area. And looking toward the . future, $1 billion dollars of road construction is also planned for the Beehive State.

Idaho

With an unemployment rate currently around 2.7%, Idaho is second only to Hawaii for the lowest percentage of unemployed citizens in the United States. Unlike Hawaii, Idaho boasts the highest rate of job growth in the country, making it an ideal place to relocate for job seekers looking for stability. In fact, the state’s whole economy is swelling with a fresh influx of new blood from big cities looking to lower their living costs.

Federal employment is at a high in Idaho, with new jobs opening at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Labor Management. Semiconductor-developer Micron Technology in Boise and the non-profit St. Luke’s Health System are also big employers in Idaho. All of the state’s new residential and industrial construction and new job growth are practically wiping away memories of the 2007-2009 recession and ensuring that 2019 will continue a strong time in the Gem State.

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Great second jobs for Baby Boomers

If you’re one of the huge wave of Baby Boomers reaching (or already past) retirement age, you may be thinking a lot about the next phase of your life. For many, continuing to work is a financial necessity. For others, it’s about staying professionally active without the same 9-to-5 grind. If you’re looking for ways […]

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If you’re one of the huge wave of Baby Boomers reaching (or already past) retirement age, you may be thinking a lot about the next phase of your life. For many, continuing to work is a financial necessity. For others, it’s about staying professionally active without the same 9-to-5 grind. If you’re looking for ways to stay active and stay earning, here are some second-stage careers to consider.

5 great second jobs for Baby Boomers

Teach what you know

One of the perks of coming to the end of your first career is that you have lots of expertise and experience built up. What better to do than share that expertise and get paid for it? Many local community colleges, continuing education programs, or online schools can always use qualified teachers who have flexible schedules. Or you could consider substitute teaching. Check with your local school district to see what their requirements are, but many states don’t require substitute teachers to have a specific teaching degree.

Be a consultant

If you’ve got decades of experience in a particular field, consulting can be a way to transition from the full-time working world to one where you set your own schedule and salary. Many Baby Boomers find themselves in a position to do work for their former companies, and others expand their business to take on new clients. One of the biggest upsides of consulting is that it lets you take the skills and experience you have and use it to create a new business for yourself.

Build a business out of a hobby

If you find yourself with more time after retirement, you may find that what used to be a hobby can now be a profitable side hustle. Now more than ever, people are seeking out unique or artisan goods, so it may be time to ramp up that home woodworking shop or set up that Etsy store.  

With a variety of ways to sell goods and services online, something you’ve always done for fun can make for a fulfilling and profitable next wave of your career.

Make the world a better place

After all, the Baby Boomers are the generation of Woodstock and ’60s social justice. Working for a nonprofit can be a way to keep that social idealism going, while staying professionally active. Nonprofits come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s likely one in your area that fits with your worldview and your priorities.

Many Baby Boomers also find that volunteering and giving back to the community is a way to create a new wave of productivity. Like consulting, volunteering capitalizes on your skills, experience, and time to help others.

Find a franchise

Owning a ready-made franchise can be a great way to build a business without building it from the ground up. Franchisees can often be as involved or hands-on as they want to be, directly managing the business or being the boss from a distance. It’s also a way to learn new sides of a business, whether it’s food service, a retail store, or other venture. The existing branding and marketplace can ease the transition into a new field, making it ideal for someone looking for a next stage instead of a start-over.

Whatever your interests and strengths, there are plenty of options and opportunities for building a second income, developing skills, or filling the time after you’ve transitioned away from your first career.

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Why “follow your passion” is bad advice

“Do what you love”… that’s the dream, right? Everyone fantasizes at some point about quitting their day job and going full-time after something they already love to do, whether it’s a hobby or a secret passion. Steve Jobs once famously said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” So […]

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“Do what you love”… that’s the dream, right? Everyone fantasizes at some point about quitting their day job and going full-time after something they already love to do, whether it’s a hobby or a secret passion. Steve Jobs once famously said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” So what could possibly be the drawback of making your passion your career?

6 reasons passion shouldn’t drive your career

1. Not everyone has a passion

If you feel like you should be pursuing something you’re
passionate about in order to feel fulfilled, that presents an immediate
question: what is your passion,
anyway? For some, it’s an easy answer. For others, not so much. If “do what you
love” sounds more like a command and less like an opportunity, then that
pressure may lead you to do something just for the sake of doing it—not because
it’s the right path.

It’s totally okay to keep your passion as a free-time activity. It’s also okay to have a lot of different interests instead of one driving passion. Not everyone feels a calling to do one particular thing, forever and ever.

2. Passion might not pay the bills

Your career is about the life you want to create for yourself—it’s a comprehensive picture. For most people, that includes long-term stability for themselves and/or their families. Pursuing your lifelong love of being a performing accordionist may sound appealing now, but what’s your strategy for the long haul? If you can’t plan how your passion path will be sustainable as a career and not just a temporary choice, then it’s probably not the best professional option.

3. Pursuing your passion may not solve your problems

Following your passion may seem extra appealing for a lot of reasons: stress at work, boredom, and general life malaise are a few. But even if you march into your boss’s office and hand in your resignation tomorrow, that doesn’t mean your life will be magically happier or more fulfilling. Before you consider making any big life change, it’s important to think about why you’re making the choice, and what (realistically) you will achieve by doing it.

4. Making a career out of a passion can blur boundaries

If you love to do, say, stand-up comedy on nights and weekends, but keep it entirely separate from your day job as a nursing assistant, that might not be a bad thing. If you make your passion your career, that means you’re going to be spending a lot of time on and off the clock thinking about it, doing it, and engaging with it. There’s definitely something to be said about setting work-life boundaries and keeping a balance.

And it could be that comedy is a great release for your work stress or daily routine, but wouldn’t be as fun when you’re not only doing it all the time, but also need to focus on making it pay the bills. Will you love doing this as much when it’s your main source of income and you’re doing it every day?

5. What we love may not be what we’re strongest at doing

Fact of life: sometimes our passions don’t line up with our
skills. For example: I love to bake. I’m decent at it, but definitely don’t
have the skills or infrastructure to do it professionally. And although sometimes
I think about what it would be like to quit my office job and bake cookies full-time,
I’ve made peace with the fact that my most marketable professional skills are
geared toward jobs outside the kitchen.

What we love to do and what we’re trained/educated/great at doing may not be the same thing at all. So when someone tells you to follow your passion as a career, there’s a significant risk that what we love to do on an amateur level just may not be a strong choice for going pro.

6. Even passion projects require a plan

“Follow your passion” is very vague. The logistics of your
new passion career are probably not. For example, would your new business
require you to get additional education or certification if you were to go pro?
What kind of connections would you need to dig up employment opportunities in
your passion field? There’s a very good chance that elevating a passion to a
career would involve starting over in many different ways, so be prepared to
plan it out beyond “I really like doing this, therefore I should do it
full-time.”

Making a personal passion into a career sounds like great,
life-affirming advice—and it can be. But in many cases, it’s just not feasible
or sustainable. So before you follow your bliss, consider all aspects of your
hot new career path. And remember: there’s no shame in doing a job that may not
inspire an all-consuming passion. If you’re doing work that challenges you and
helps you fulfill your goals, you’re already doing pretty well!

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How to write a great two-page resume

For decades, there were some hard-and-fast rules about how you should write a resume: good-quality stationery, a rigid reverse-chronological format, only one page long. But as hiring and applying have changed over the past 10-15 years by going digital, so have those rules. What the “rule” now comes down to is this: your resume should […]

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For decades, there were some hard-and-fast rules about how you should write a resume: good-quality stationery, a rigid reverse-chronological format, only one page long. But as hiring and applying have changed over the past 10-15 years by going digital, so have those rules. What the “rule” now comes down to is this: your resume should be a lean, mean snapshot of your professional life.

Most resumes are read either by robots or people using different devices, so the length is now much less of an issue. After all, an applicant tracking system doesn’t care how long your resume is—it cares about what’s in it. So let’s walk through some strategies for crafting a great two-page resume.

4 steps to writing a long resume to get you hired

1. Focus on content over length

Unless you’re making an academic CV or an IMDB page, you don’t need to include everything you’ve ever done. That said, one page can feel like an artificial constraint. The happy medium is expanding slightly to go in-depth where necessary (like your skills or your work experience) without having to obsess over fractional font sizes and margins that end up looking ridiculous. Tailor your work experience bullet points to the job you’re applying for now, including only relevant information.

With two pages you have a bit more space to play with, but you should still give careful consideration to which elements you want to include. For example, two pages may give you more space up front to craft a significant summary statement instead of a pithy one-line objective. Use your extra space to make your narrative even clearer.

2. Use the extra space to your advantage

Too much white space can make a resume look skimpy, but some
white space is also key for readability. Even if your resume goes through automated
system to identify it for further rounds of review, it will (ideally) make it
to a pair of human hands at some point. This means it has to be functionally
good, but also presentable. Use your two pages to create a clear outline, with
well-defined bullet points that are concise and easy for any reader to follow.

Resumes that look like solid bricks of text often end up in
the “I don’t have time for this” pile, so an eye-catching, highly readable
format will help you position your resume well. Remember that the average
hiring manager spends mere seconds looking at a resume to start, so you want to
grab and keep attention any way you can. Boosting readability is an easy way to
do this.

3. Make your resume a cohesive document

You don’t need to put your full contact info on each page, but it’s not a bad idea to include page numbers in a footer or a header, with your email address on the second page. That way, if your resume gets printed but the pages are somehow separated, the reader won’t be left mystified about why your work experience suddenly leaves off in the middle of 2015.

4. Make sure you’re telling a story

You’re asking the reader to stick with you through more than one page of text, so it’s important to stay on message and make sure you’re using every inch of that space to sell yourself. Start your resume by setting a clear message (again, a summary statement or an objective really helps here), and make sure that every section of your resume supports that story.

A two-page resume is an opportunity to expand on your experience and achievements, and declutter your crowded one-page resume. As long as you pay careful attention to what you’re including and how, it can be a great asset for your job hunt.

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How to update your LinkedIn profile for 2019

Whether you have a New Year’s resolution to boost your network or you are gearing up for a job search, sprucing up your LinkedIn profile is a great way to start the year. Let’s look at some strategies for starting your year off right, and setting yourself up for even better connections and opportunities in […]

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Whether you have a New Year’s resolution to boost your network or you are gearing up for a job search, sprucing up your LinkedIn profile is a great way to start the year. Let’s look at some strategies for starting your year off right, and setting yourself up for even better connections and opportunities in 2019.

6 ways you can refresh your LinkedIn profile for career success

Update your profile photo

The human eye tends to gravitate toward images first, so
when you’re making over your LinkedIn profile, thinking about your photo is a
good place to start. How old is your current photo? If it’s several years old
at this point, consider replacing with a newer photo. You may not have changed
much, but it’s still important to keep things fresh.

Remember, your LinkedIn profile picture should be a natural-looking headshot, or at least a photo of you solo. (No party pics, for so many reasons.) You don’t have to be doing a Zoolander-esque Blue Steel pose to show everyone you mean business, so a little smile and approachability can go a long way. It also doesn’t have to be an official production—a candid shot is fine as long as it’s a clear shot of you and is appropriate for any professional context.

Upgrade your headline and summary

Your LinkedIn profile is the very definition of “first impression.” A hiring manager or recruiter might be browsing, or checking up on you to supplement a job application. You want the first thing they see to be attention-grabby, but informative.

Here are some examples of strong headlines:

  • Salesperson of the Year
  • Innovative Project Manager
  • Creative Social Media Maven

Your summary should be an updated snapshot of where you are in your career right now. That means taking stock of the past year and thinking about what you’ve been working on, what you’ve achieved, and what you’ve learned about your industry. The summary isn’t a full-on resume, but it should be a brief paragraph or two for a reader to get a quick sense of who you are as a professional, at this moment.

Check your settings

This is a good idea with any social media account these
days, but you should take this opportunity to do a yearly review of your
LinkedIn account and privacy settings. Who’s able to see your profile? Who’s
able to contact you? Are you officially open to opportunities from recruiters?
All of this information is in your Account settings page on LinkedIn. The “open
to opportunities” setting is most important if you’re about to kick off a job
search. It’s not available to the world, but can bring opportunities your way
that might not otherwise pop up.

Update your keywords

Most industries move pretty fast these days, so the trends and buzzwords from the last time you updated might not be so relevant anymore. A little legwork can help you modernize your profile for 2019. Look at job descriptions in your field. What kinds of skills are they looking for? Are there new software programs or skills that are emerging? What kinds of qualities are they looking for? Even if you’re not actively looking for a job, browsing the current job openings can tell you what the landscape looks like and what language employers are using. Then you can apply that to your own profile, using keywords that can catch attention.

Update your experience bullet points

This is especially true if you haven’t really touched your LinkedIn profile in the past year. Consider what projects you’ve done and whether you’ve picked up any new skills, certifications, or accolades. Part of LinkedIn’s appeal is that it can serve as a kind of living resume in addition to its social media aspects, so take advantage and make sure your professional bio is up to date.

Review your connections

If you want to broaden your LinkedIn connections or maybe get rid of some that are no longer relevant, now is the time to do it. Look at your current connections and think about whether you want to keep them in your orbit. Browse connections-of-connections and see if there’s anyone new or interesting you’d like to have in your network. Search content or blog posts in your field and discover potential connections that way. If you want to maximize LinkedIn this year, make sure you’re getting the most out of the massive network of human connections.

Your LinkedIn profile is one of the easiest targets for upgrading your professional life this year. It puts your most up-to-date information out in the world, so pay attention to it and keep it fresh! Some great new connection you make now could lead to awesome opportunities in 2019.

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5 New Year’s resolutions for your career in 2019

‘Tis the season… to come up with all the ways your life will be better, more healthy, and more profitable next year. In a few weeks, all our best intentions will kick in and we’ll be ready for changes. Some may stick, and some may not, but it’s always good to have a plan. Here […]

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‘Tis the season… to come up with all the ways your life will be better, more healthy, and more profitable next year. In a few weeks, all our best intentions will kick in and we’ll be ready for changes. Some may stick, and some may not, but it’s always good to have a plan.

Here are some resolutions you can dedicate yourself to in order to boost your career in 2019.

Resolutions to boost your career in the coming year

Resolve to be more accountable

The reason so many New Year’s resolutions fail is that although we’re great at coming up with things we need and want to improve, actually getting the work done tends to get lost in the realities of everyday life and routine. If you want to make lasting changes to your professional fortunes in 2019, start by committing to a set of (reasonable) goals. If you lay out your goals and write down the steps you’ll need to take to get there, you’re more likely to stick to them. Setting small goals along the way and having the satisfaction of ticking them off makes distant year-long goals seem more attainable and may keep you on the right path.

Resolve to take the next step in your career, even if you’re not ready to quit

“Find a new job” is a pretty common resolution. But if you don’t want to leave your job, job hunting isn’t the only way to move up. Think about what it will take to get a promotion in your current gig. What skills will you need? Start working on those. What does that next step look like? Talk to your boss and let him or her know that you’re looking to take the next step, and discuss your options for taking on more responsibilities, getting more training, or doing whatever you need to do to level up.

Resolve to be less stressed

Work stress is not only an impediment to your goals, but it can also damage your health and overall happiness. Resolve to find good outlets for work stress. Maybe it’s a new hobby. Maybe it’s arriving at work half an hour early to have some peaceful time before emails need answering and coworkers start arriving for the day. Whatever would help you feel more calm and centered when things are chaotic, try to build some of it into your routine on a daily basis.

Resolve to build your network

Your professional network is one of the best assets you have in your career. It can be a sounding board, or a pipeline to new opportunities. Unfortunately, social media is a double-edged sword here—it makes it easier to add people to your network, but also easier to keep those relationships shallow and stagnant without having to put in much effort.

To get the most out of your network, build relationships outside of Facebook likes and LinkedIn notifications. Start with your existing network and think about which relationships you’d like to polish. If you live in the same area as a key contact, have lunch with that person every few months. If you’re distant, drop an email to get a conversation going.

If you want to make your network bigger, set a goal of adding X number of new contacts per month—maybe find friends of friends who work in industries or at companies you’re interested in, or join professional meetups or other communities.

Resolve to take more risks

One of the best things you can do, career-wise, is take a chance on new opportunities. This could mean taking on tasks or projects that are new to you, or attempting a new job that’s outside of your comfort zone. That’s not to say you should quit your job tomorrow and go where the job market takes you, but at least be willing to consider making changes outside your routine.

The “new year, new you” novelty and enthusiasm may last about as long as your new January gym routine. However, if you approach them realistically and with commitment, the goals you set for your career now can help set you up for a whole year of successes and learning opportunities.

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The fastest growing jobs and industries through 2023

Even in a good economy, with significant job growth and high employment, there are shifts that favor some industries over others. According to a recent Careerbuilder study, this means good news and bad news for the U.S. job scene between now and 2023. First, the bad news: middle-wage jobs (like customer service representatives, maintenance workers, […]

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Even in a good economy, with significant job growth and high employment, there are shifts that favor some industries over others. According to a recent Careerbuilder study, this means good news and bad news for the U.S. job scene between now and 2023.

First, the bad news: middle-wage jobs (like customer service representatives, maintenance workers, construction workers, or truck drivers, for some examples) are not expected to keep pace with high-wage jobs (like nurses, accountants, and IT specialists) and low-wage jobs (like home health aides, retail sales, and receptionists), which are both poised for serious growth. The study identified 121 jobs that will decline in growth between 2018 and 2023, and 75 of those jobs were considered middle-wage.

But now the good news: these high- and low-wage fields are about to experience significant growth, meaning millions of job openings—approximately 8 million by 2023. Let’s look at some of the industries in the study, divided by high-, mid-, and low-wage job types.

Fastest growing jobs 

Fast-Growing Occupations By Wage Category Jobs Added, 2018-2023 % Change, 2018-2023 Median Hourly Pay
High-Wage
Registered Nurses 255,047 8.39% $33.55
Software Developers, Applications 143,466 15.57% $48.49
Postsecondary Teachers 110,955 7.25% $33.53
Accountants and Auditors 86,079 6.02% $32.33
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 83,187 12.60% $30.21
Computer User Support Specialists 54,044 7.48% $24.16
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 43,625 8.58% $23.72
Middle-Wage
Customer Service Representatives 120,673 4.21% $15.88
Medical Assistants 102,274 14.51% $15.62
Construction Laborers 92,182 6.56% $14.73
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 83,931 5.41% $18.08
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 55,345 7.34% $21.56
Light Truck or Delivery Service Drivers 48,837 5.12% $15.04
Billing and Posting Clerks 44,283 8.59% $17.85
Low-Wage
Home Health Aides 207,732 22.42% $11.17
Waiters and Waitresses 146,281 5.49% $10.01
Retail Salespersons 108,229 2.37% $11.29
Cooks, Restaurant 100,664 7.46% $12.06
Nursing Assistants 96,384 6.33% $13.23
Security Guards 61,964 5.12% $12.97
Receptionists and Information Clerks 69,461 6.29% $13.70

Trends in hiring over the next 5 years

If you’re in a field that’s expected to decline, this news can be dismaying for your career outlook. However, it’s also a great time to take stock of your career goals and your near future, and decide whether you’re able to adapt your skills to be more industry-flexible, or whether you’d like to change careers altogether to maximize your job potential.

Healthcare

Healthcare is one of the fields that is exploding now, and is likely to continue growing at a very fast pace for the foreseeable future.The healthcare field is popular because with a growing population (especially one that skews older and more in need of medical care), the need will continue to grow. But healthcare is also one of the most innovative fields, with digital equipment and recordkeeping requiring ever more tech-literate employees.

Technology

As everything becomes more technology-focused, more and more companies will need dedicated tech teams and services to provide the digital infrastructure necessary to do business. People with IT expertise and skills will find themselves in demand in many different fields and companies. Having a flexible skill set that’s technologically advanced can help guarantee a spot in the digital jobs boom over the next several years.

Data Analysis

Everything comes down to data these days, from marketing and customer service to accounting and financial data. This is also an area where a strong set of analytical and problem-solving skills can be applied across different industries, in different roles.

Basically, the professional future is flexibility—if you’re willing to develop future-facing skills to go along with your education and experience base.

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How to write a salary increase request letter (with examples)

You’ve been plugging along at your job, picking up responsibilities, and rocking it for a while now—and even if you don’t have an annual review coming up for a while, maybe you feel like it’s time to start thinking about a raise. But unless you’re a seasoned negotiator, that may be no small task. If […]

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You’ve been plugging along at your job, picking up responsibilities, and rocking it for a while now—and even if you don’t have an annual review coming up for a while, maybe you feel like it’s time to start thinking about a raise. But unless you’re a seasoned negotiator, that may be no small task. If you don’t feel ready to sit down with your boss and talk it out, it’s best to start with a basic pay raise request letter or email to get the process started.

Why to put your salary request in writing

Most negotiation tips are created with a face-to-face interaction in mind—how to use effective body language, how to use active listening strategies, and how to frame your verbal request. However if you’re not quite at that stage yet, putting your request in writing gives you a chance to collect your strongest talking points (and spin them exactly how you want to) without having to worry about the ebb and flow of a negotiation conversation. It’s also a paper trail, for better or worse, which can help you later.

What to include in your letter

Always start with a friendly professional greeting and some background about your history in your job or with your company.

For example:

Hi Phil,

As you know, I’ve been with the company for two years now, and I find it to be a challenging and rewarding environment every day. I have become a crucial member of the marketing team, working on initiatives that have increased our productivity and improved our results.

Once you’ve set the tone, it’s time to touch on the specific achievements that you think merit a raise. You don’t need to go into great detail on each one—succinct, specific bullet points are the way to go. The letter shouldn’t be a long slog for the reader. Instead, think of it as a highlight reel.

For example:

In my time here, I have made significant contributions to the team’s success, including:

  • Implementing a new SEO program that increased web traffic by 15%
  • Improving social media response time by an average of 20 minutes
  • Developing a promotional program that uses giveaways to increase brand awareness and customer engagement

Then tell ‘em what you came for: what you’re seeking, and why. When you’re writing this, be sure to stay focused on your own achievements and growth. It’s not about what your colleagues get or what you feel like you’re owed—it’s about building a case for your value to the company.

For example:

I’ve exceeded the goals that were set out for me when I was hired, and I believe that going above and beyond my existing role merits a pay raise of 5%. This is in line with the industry standard for someone of my experience in this kind of role, especially with the goals I’ve met and exceeded in my time here.

Again, this should be straight to the point. You should definitely have a number in mind, even if you don’t feel comfortable spelling it out as a starting point. Before you even start writing your request, do your research: check out sites like Salary.com or Glassdoor to see what people like you are making throughout the industry. If you make an unreasonable request, it could shut down your negotiation before it even really starts.

Next, having made your initial pitch, it’s time to start wrapping up your letter. Offer to set up some time to talk about this in person or ask to talk about it in a standard one-on-one meeting with your boss.

For example:

I look forward to speaking with you in more depth in our next monthly meeting, and am excited about the projects we have on the horizon.

Best,

Jo

Your letter doesn’t have to be hyper-formal, especially if you have a fairly casual relationship with your boss. But it should always be direct, polite, and professional. Even if you’re buddies with your boss, now is not the time for jokes or sarcasm. This letter or email should show you at your career best, and highlight you as a competent and productive professional.

The note you write now will help set the tone for the negotiations to come and help you pull your thoughts together to ensure that you’re in a good position to get the raise you deserve.

Good luck!

The post How to write a salary increase request letter (with examples) appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Are you being paid a fair salary?

Here’s a question that will inevitably come up at some point (or several points) during your professional journey: Am I being paid what I’m worth? It’s a fair question—and one you should be comfortable with asking yourself whenever you do a “status check” while traveling along your career path. Why? Well, the truth is, in […]

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Here’s a question that will inevitably come up at some point (or several points) during your professional journey: Am I being paid what I’m worth?

It’s a fair question—and one you should be comfortable with asking yourself whenever you do a “status check” while traveling along your career path. Why? Well, the truth is, in today’s ultra-competitive job market, employers in any given industry can offer a wide range of salaries for positions, and it’s absolutely within your best interests to know what end of the salary spectrum you’re on.

Of course, many variables will come into play when you’re given a salary offer at the time of hire for a position (things like geographic location, years of experience, and even the relative financial health of the company can factor in), but one thing that’s true for employees across fields, positions, and locations is that the salary you agree to for a position can have a real impact on your long-term earning potential—both at your current position and company and for future positions, either there or at a new company. Many companies base things like salary offers and even raises and bonuses on your prior earning history, and if your salary is below the industry average for your position and experience, it may take years before you’re able to catchup to other, better compensated colleagues.  

Taking into account the time and effort most of us put into our professional lives, it’s obviously important to ensure that you’re getting paid a fair salary for the work you do and contributions you make to your employer. And you can’t have faith that your employer is staying on top of what’s fair. In the tricky world of salary negotiations, you’re often going to be your own best advocate towards ensuring that you’re being compensated fairly.

Hopefully, it’s now clear why educating yourself about compensation standards, practices, and trends in your industry is a valuable use of your time. Consider using the following strategies to help you determine if you’re being paid a reasonable salary.

Steps to take to ensure your salary is what you deserve

Research

You don’t need us to tell you that the Internet is often your best friend when you’re in need of doing some research on a subject. When it comes to gathering salary info, it’s an invaluable tool as well. In fact, there are sites that are practically dedicated to this—check out Salary.com’s salary calculator tool or Glassdoor to determine what other folks in your field and position typically make.

In addition, professional associations in your field may openly share important information like average salary and compensation to help you figure out where you’re at relative to your peers. Many professionals across industries maintain blogs that are designed to create supportive communities and share key information with their colleagues—use these to your advantage and feel empowered to ask questions as needed.

Utilize your HR department

Remember, your company’s HR department is there to support you with all sorts of issues that come up during your professional tenure. If you have questions or concerns regarding compensation, these are often good places to start. And if they don’t have all the answers you’re looking for, if they’re good at their jobs they’ll be able to direct you where to go for next steps.

Check yourself

Don’t forget that the issue of professional satisfaction, which includes being content with your current salary, is highly personal—what makes you feel satisfied and fulfilled and meets your life needs will be different than anyone else. Therefore, a strong source to determine if you’re being paid reasonably is yourself. Look within, do a personal inventory, and try to assess whether or not you feel as if you’re currently in a good place salary-wise. Regardless of what others in similar positions make, if you feel content with where you’re at, take that into consideration when deciding whether you’re compensated fairly.

What not to do

Salary issues can be highly emotional. If you feel as if you’re underpaid, it may set you off on a charged and volatile footing. That’s never a good place to operate from when it comes to issues involving your career. Be sure to keep your emotions in check when addressing compensation matters with your company. Also, avoid discussing salaries with your coworkers—many companies frown upon this, and it can also lead to animosity if there are clear disparities.

One last thing to avoid—avoid ignoring the issue. If you feel unsatisfied or unclear regarding your compensation, simply ignoring it will undoubtedly lead to ongoing negative results. Take proactive steps to ensure that you’re a valued and fairly compensated member of your organization, and both you and your company will benefit from it.

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How to Keep Your Resolutions in 2019

Making resolutions each January is the easy part. Sticking to them beyond, say, February, that’s the tricky part. It’s not necessarily the goals themselves that are failing you, though—it could be the way you’re setting them, and the way you’re setting yourself up to implement them. Let’s look at some key strategies for crafting and […]

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Making resolutions each January is the easy part. Sticking to them beyond, say, February, that’s the tricky part. It’s not necessarily the goals themselves that are failing you, though—it could be the way you’re setting them, and the way you’re setting yourself up to implement them.

Let’s look at some key strategies for crafting and keeping resolutions for a happy and productive 2019.

5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Write them down

Your goals and resolutions may be top of mind for you, and you may understand intuitively what they are and how you want to achieve them. But no matter how well you think you’ll be able to keep them in mind, write them down—on a Post-It, in your phone, in a spreadsheet; it doesn’t matter how or where. Just put it in writing.

The act of writing helps make your resolutions official. And if you put them somewhere you’re likely to see them often (like at your desk or on your fridge), you’re less likely to lose track of your intentions when you’re back to the daily grind after the holidays.

Be realistic

This is probably the most important part of creating actionable and achievable resolutions. Think better self, not necessarily best self. Losing 20 pounds or being fluent in a new language within a year sound great. But how likely are those to happen?

If your goal is vague and lofty, be specific about what you want to achieve and think hard about whether you can achieve it with the time and resources you’ll realistically have available to you throughout the year. Maybe15 pounds by September is a more realistic goal. Perhaps you can take on one hour of French practice with an app every week. The more you think about your real life and what it will take to achieve your goal, the better your resolution will be at the outset.

Break them down

If you break your resolutions down into pieces throughout the year, it gives you a series of smaller goals that you can accomplish—making it easier to stay on track for the big goals. For example, if your main resolution is to get a new job this year, consider the components of that. You’ll need to update your resume, start looking for job openings, apply for job openings, upgrade your interview outfit, etc. Each of those steps is something you can do in the meantime, and feel good about checking each one off as you complete it.

Small wins add up to big wins. And even if you don’t ultimately hit your main resolution by the end of the year, you can look back at these smaller tasks you completed and feel accomplished at what you did and how you did it.

Set a time frame

I’ve got all year, so I’ll deal with this later. That’s a fatal mindset for any resolution, but especially professional ones. If you’ve already got a job or you’re caught up in daily routines, it can be harder and harder to push out of that comfort zone and do the things you need to do to maintain action toward your resolution.

Setting specific due dates for yourself creates accountability, even if you’re the only one who knows they exist. And like breaking your goals down into manageable chunks, timing helps make your goals more achievable on a daily, weekly, and monthly level. Say your goal is to build your professional network throughout the year. Set milestones each month: add two people to your LinkedIn connections; set a coffee date with a different former work colleague each month; post a new update each week about your professional activities. Or if you’re looking for an upgrade at work (new job or a promotion), set interim milestones like having an updated resume by March, doing comprehensive salary research by April, etc.

Reward yourself

Achieving your goals is a reward unto itself, sure. But y’know what’s also a reward? Treating yourself for hitting those milestones. Think ahead of time what would be an incentive for you to make progress on your resolution. Spa day? An afternoon off and tickets to see your favorite sports team play? It doesn’t have to be huge or expensive, just a gift to yourself for the work you’ve done throughout the year. Anything that helps you keep your interest when things get busy or frustrating, that’s what you want to use as the carrot in front of you.

New year’s resolutions can be a great way to reset your thinking and refresh your goals. However, if you’re not approaching them in a way that will help you keep your focus and your interest, what’s the point? The more effort you put into setting yourself up now, the more likely you are to stick to your resolutions, and grow as much as you can in 2019.

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