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13 Epic Techniques To Job Hop Like A Pro

13 Epic Techniques To Job Hop Like A Pro
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The education system lied to us.

We were promised that if we went to school, worked hard, and earned a college degree, an excellent job would be the reward of our efforts. As many of us have found out, though, that’s far from the truth. Fulfilling, well-paying careers are few and far between these days. In fact, unless you attended a top school, it’s challenging to find a good job at all after college.

It gets worse: College graduates are left out to dry with an average college debt of $35,000. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 7 in 10 Americans across generations say that Millennials face tougher economic challenges than previous generations did at the same age.

Many of us don’t have a choice but to job hop because, frankly, we’re flat broke and we need to get paid more. Moreover, not all of us know what we want to do when we graduate. By working different jobs, we can find our passion sooner. And even better, by finding a position at a new company you can make 10%-20% more than you do at your current job.

It happened to me. I landed in jobs where I was stuck – no room for growth, negative coworkers, and work I wasn’t interested in. I jumped around eight times in three years looking for a company that fit. Now I get paid much more, have the best coworkers, and I wake up excited to see my boss.

It wasn’t always easy to job hop. But through honing my skills, I continued landing jobs using these 13 epic techniques:

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1. Don’t quit before you find another job

Sounds like common sense, right? I’m surprised at how many people don’t follow this advice. The job searching process has many ups and downs. You might get swamped with interview requests one month, and then not hear back from anyone for the next two. Don’t trick yourself into thinking there will opportunities waiting for you once you’ve left your job. Nail down a new position before leaving your current one.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve saved; you’ll find that it disappears quickly when you’re not making any.

2. Create a standout online portfolio

Having a great portfolio that exemplifies your expertise in a particular field can do wonders. Job titles can often undermine the work you’ve accomplished, so it’s important to have another channel besides a resume where employers can see your actual worth.

I suggest a simple WordPress theme or Squarespace to get your portfolio up without having to write a single line of code. Also, make sure to link to your portfolio in your email signature, on LinkedIn, Facebook, and your other social media sites, and especially at the top of your resume.

3. Expert job hoppers walk in with value propositions

This easiest way to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of resumes collecting dust on an employer’s desk is to create a value proposition. Research the top companies you want to work for and write three to thirteen pages of how you can improve the company immediately.

Now, walk into the company on a slow day, preferably a Thursday or Friday afternoon, and hand your value proposition to whoever has the most leverage in getting you a job. Four of the jobs I landed resulted from creating value propositions and walking into a company to hand it to someone of authority.

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4. Act surprised when they call you a job hopper

If someone calls you a job hopper, don’t start defending yourself. The worst thing you can do is act like you’ve heard the accusation before. So, take it with a grain of salt and move on. The more you linger on the topic of job hopping, the deeper the hole you’re digging for yourself.

If the employer persists on the topic, then subvert their accusation of job hopping into how you created huge value for each company in such a short period.

5. Outsource company leads

If you’re spending countless hours searching for businesses to submit applications to, stop. Use an outsourcing site like Upwork or Elance to gather the contact info of all the companies you should apply to.

Sometimes a simple Google search of the top companies in your favored industries will yield you countless results you can forward to your freelancer. Keep in mind that if you spend too much time looking for a job, you’ll lose some of the most valuable skills you’ve worked hard to maintain.

6. Tell employers you’re looking for more growth

If your interviewer asks you why you change jobs so frequently, then be honest and tell them that you’re in search of more growth. Stay clear and concise with your message that you’re ambitious, learn incredibly fast, and always exceed expectations. If they don’t respect what you have to say, then you shouldn’t work there.

7. Complete projects worthy of showcasing

Job hoppers can’t depend on a resume to speak for them. They need projects that garner attention – from Kickstarter campaigns to organizing an industry event.

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Any time you put yourself in the position of accomplishing something big, chances are you will meet people in your industry who can make career moves for you. These people are unlikely to dig into your job history because they’ve seen what you can accomplish first-hand.

8. Focus on making great friends

Staying connected with others will give you inside access to tons of unseen opportunities. These will allow you move around within an industry without the extra hassle of breaking into a new career. The quicker you can move into new positions, the easier it will be to job hop.

9. Start working at companies part-time

An excellent way to get your foot in the door at a company as a job hopper is by asking for part-time employment. This strategy eliminates all the risk that employers take on by giving you a salaried position. By quickly establishing deeper relationships with your coworkers and showing that you’re worth a salary, you’ll most likely move up to full-time work quickly.

10. Guest post on well-known niche publications

A great way to establish credibility is to go to the source – industry publications. If you can position yourself as someone who has enough authority to write for these news sources, then employers are more likely to skip over the job hopping stigma during interviews.

11. Look for companies with a long-term vision

In a fast-paced technological world, companies are failing to compete with giants such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google. It’s important to find a company that’s willing to take a huge risk on a long-term vision, and not just focused on monthly sales.

With so many companies going out of date mere months after turning a profit, you’ll continue to job hop until you find one that’s looking to revolutionize an industry. The truth is that in today’s competitive landscape, there’s more risk in not taking risks.

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12. Don’t tie yourself down to a particular location or industry

As a job hopper, it’s important to explore all of your options. Giving up the search for a new job because you can’t find one in a certain city or industry will not help you move forward. Keep your options open, because you never know where the most appealing work will come from.

Moreover, life is about jumping into new experiences. The more you limit yourself, the less potential you have to further your career.

13. Stay persistent

The quickest way to fail at job hopping is to simply give up. Every moment counts, whether it’s an hour, a day, or even a week. When you let discouragement get the best of you, your chances of landing job shrink dramatically. Persistence is always your strongest ally in times of uncertainty.

Think you’re ready to start job hopping?

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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