Do you want to enjoy the benefits of telecommuting? Here are four jobs that can easily be done from home.
If you want to do this type of work, you must be proficient in at least two languages. Depending on your experience, you might be hired to translate anything from literary texts to technical documents. You can work remotely for an agency or find your own clients as a freelancer.
2. Social media manager
In order to effectively grow a company’s brand and audience across various social media platforms, you need to draw on skills ranging from copywriting and graphic design to marketing and data analysis. Creativity, adaptability, and resourcefulness are crucial attributes.
3. Accounting clerk
If you’re organized, meticulous, and great with numbers, this might be the job for you. With the help of spreadsheets and accounting software, you can easily carry out a variety of bookkeeping and clerical tasks without stepping foot in the company’s office.
4. Customer service representative
If you’re a good listener with strong communication skills who also enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems, consider becoming a customer service representative. Whether you answer questions over the phone, process return request emails, or man the technical support chat line, there are plenty of ways to assist customers from the comfort of your home.
If you decide to telecommute, visit office supply stores in your area, so you can set up an ergonomic workspace in your home.
The American Rescue Plan: What’s in it for small businesses
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed by President Biden on March 11, and small business owners should be aware: You may stand to benefit from its provisions.
According to CNN, the Act authorizes another $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, the popular program that offered forgivable loans to small businesses and other organizations that may have been hurt or had to temporarily close their doors due to the pandemic. But be advised that as in previous iterations, the loans will only be forgiven if at least 60 percent of the money is used to support payroll expenses, with the remainder going to mortgage interest, rent, utilities, protective equipment, or certain other business expenses.
Restaurants have been singled out for particular support in the Act, with $25 billion allocated specifically to provide grants of up to $10 million per entity, or up to $5 million per physical location if the restaurant is a chain, according to Small Business Trends. Restaurants owned by women, veterans, and socially/economically disadvantaged individuals will be given priority.
Other grants may also be available for struggling performing arts producers, operators, and promoters. The Save Our Stages Act, signed by former President Donald Trump in Dec. 2020, will offer $15 billion grants, starting in April. According to National Public Radio, the grants will be available not just to music venues, but small movie theaters, museums, live theater venues, and even unconventional venues like zoos and aquariums.
For more information on Small Business Administration grants, guidelines and other resources, visit sba.gov.
A dismal start to 2021 leaves supply chains in chaos
A port in Los Angeles is three weeks behind and there’s a traffic jam of ships. So, containers don’t get off the ships. That means an automaker doesn’t get its parts for an SUV and then, an autoworker is laid off in the Midwest.
That is why they call it a chain.
Like a pretty line of dominoes, the global supply chain worldwide is resilient, but also is exposed to danger from weather, accidents, and miscellaneous oddities.
This global supply chain has taken some hits since the beginning of 2021.
In February, freezing weather in Texas disrupted plastic production, so there was a shortage of materials for things like smartphones.
March was especially ugly as a chip factory in Japan was damaged by fire and car production stalled in Asia.
Meanwhile, at the end of March, one of the world’s busiest shipping arteries shut down as MV Ever Given was hit by a sudden wind blast in the Suez Canal. The 1300-foot container vessel was blown sideways to completely block the canal. In just three days, about 240 ships were stalled at the canal entrance, awaiting some solution.
One possibility was rerouting ships around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa, adding an estimated 3,800 miles and 12 days to the route. Meanwhile, along the coast of East Africa, pirates gathered with an eye toward targeting more ships traveling the coast, threatening further turmoil.
Oil prices jumped 3 percent in one day, but it wasn’t just oil at issue. According to the Wall Street Journal, the delivery of key materials worldwide was disrupted. Supply chains were already clogged on the U.S. west coast, where ports were jammed with traffic, delaying the flow of inventory for about a month. The ports on the West Coast handle more than a third of U.S. container imports.
This year, businesses struggled to restock following the coronavirus shutdowns, causing a shipping traffic jam.
How to discuss salary expectations in an interview
If you have a job interview coming up, you may be anticipating a question about salary expectations. Here are a few tips to help you avoid underestimating your worth or risking rejection by asking for too much.
Avoid specific figures
Ideally, the question of salary will only be brought up once the recruiter has clearly expressed interest in your candidacy, as this puts you in a better position to negotiate. If the subject comes up early in the process, however, explain that you’d rather wait to discuss salary but that you’re confident you’ll be able to come to an agreement.
That being said, the recruiter may still try
to deduce your expectations by inquiring about your current salary or asking what your minimum rate would be. In this case, you can mention that your current job doesn’t have quite the same responsibilities as the open position and that you’d like to know more about the company’s expectations for the role before you discuss specific numbers.
Despite your best efforts, you may end up in a situation where the recruiter insists on an answer. Therefore, it’s a good idea to research the average for this type of position beforehand and inquire about the company’s salary range to help you determine a fair rate. Be sure to emphasize that you’re open to negotiation.
Finally, keep in mind that you’ll have opportunities to revisit your salary after working with the company for a few months.
3 tips for contacting an employee at a company you’re interested in
If you want to learn more about a company before you apply for an open position, one option is to reach out to a current employee. Here are three tips to ensure the interaction goes smoothly.
1. Talk to the right person. Make sure you contact someone who’s familiar with the role you’re interested in, preferably someone with seniority. If you can’t get a referral through your friends and former colleagues, use the company’s website or LinkedIn to identify the right employee.
2. Avoid being intrusive. Opt to send the person an email or a message on LinkedIn rather than call them. Introduce yourself and briefly explain why you’re reaching out. Conclude with a request to schedule a phone call or meeting. Alternatively, you can use professional events to network.
3. Prepare your questions. Write down what you want to know about the company, so you’re ready if the person agrees to speak with you. Prioritize three or four questions to avoid taking up too much of their time.
Finally, be sure to remain polite and professional at all times.
5 ways to thank administrative staff from a distance
With so many employees working from home, you may be wondering how to ensure your colleagues get the recognition they deserve during Administrative Professionals Week. Here are five ways to express your gratitude this year, from April 18 to 24.
1. Create a compilation video
Ask each of your colleagues to record a personalized message and assemble the clips in a heart-warming video. This will show members of your administrative team that their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed.
2. Deliver a gift basket
Contact local shops and producers to find out if they can put together an assortment of goodies to send to your colleague’s home. Think artisanal cheeses and chutneys, organic skincare products, craft beer, and spirits or handmade candles and knitwear.
3. Treat them to a night in
Many local restaurants, including some fairly upscale establishments, now offer delivery services. Send your colleague a gift card so they can enjoy a delicious at-home dinner. Consider dropping off a bottle of locally made wine to complete the meal.
4. Find a fun online class
Give your colleague an opportunity to learn a new skill or pursue a hobby from the comfort of their home. Increasingly, local groups are offering virtual courses for activities that range from yoga and fitness to creative writing, cooking, and professional development.
5. Upgrade their home office
Show your colleague how much you value their work by helping to make their home office a more comfortable, functional, and welcoming space. Send them a gift card for a home office supply store in their area, so they can get exactly what they need.
Remember, even if you don’t see them in person every day, administrative professionals work tirelessly to keep your business running smoothly, and they deserve to be recognized for their dedication this week and throughout the year.
How to get a job without work experience or a degree
Are you looking to land your first job or make a career change? Even if you lack experience in a prospective field, it still may be possible to find a position in it. Here are some tips to help you get the job you want.
• Diversify your training. Whether you sign up for online courses, participate in professional workshops or complete a certification program, any attempt to broaden your education will show employers that you’re dedicated and eager to learn.
• Rely on your network. Your friends and family members may have connections that prove invaluable to your job search. Let them know the type of position you’re looking for, and ask if they’d be willing to make a referral or arrange an introduction.
• Expand your knowledge. Spend some time researching the field that interests you. This will allow you to determine what roles you’d be best suited for and familiarize yourself with the industry terms and key players.
• Refine your résumé. Organize your CV to highlight the skills that would make you a good candidate for a particular position. Include relevant volunteer work, passion projects, and hobbies to demonstrate your interest in the field.
If you succeed in getting an interview, don’t let your lack of experience be seen as a flaw. Focus on discussing your strengths, and emphasize your willingness to learn on the job.