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5 Ways to Be Extremely Productive Even If You Are Unemployed

5 Ways to Be Extremely Productive Even If You Are Unemployed

A man is measured by what he does with his time. It’s quite possible to hit a rough patch in life and enter a period when you can’t find a job that can pay the bills. Nobody in their mid-twenties wants to live with their parents, but the truth is that if you put your mind to it, you can acquire a set of skills that will definitely land you a job. We live in the age of information and if you have an internet connection, ignorance is basically a conscious choice.

Almost anything you want to do today has a tutorial online. In other words, by fully devoting yourself to mastering a new skill, you can easily become proficient in a new field after only a year. So, here are some approaches you can take while unemployed, and build yourself a better future.

1. Learning WordPress

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    With the arrival of online shopping, and with crowdfunding as a source of financing, the number of small business owners and startups has skyrocketed in the past decade. Any newly fledged business owner is going to need one thing, and that is a website. Most of these websites are WordPress sites, which means knowing WordPress will not only get you a short term job of creating a website, but also they will need someone to update it and maintain it.

    Of course, learning WordPress without any previous knowledge of coding can be daunting, but believe it or not, it’s not that hard. You can go through video tutorials, take one step at a time, and with every small victory you’ll build up your confidence. Here’s another great website for WordPress beginners where you will learn some additional tricks that are certainly going to come in handy.

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    You’d be surprised just how many web design job offers there are on freelancing platforms, and you can apply any one you want. Just make sure you have a website of your own, to show what you are capable of. Again it may seem like investing a whole year is a lot of time, but this is a pretty safe bet, because it is a skill that definitely won’t go to waste.

    Once you manage to find your way around WordPress, all that remains is to get acquainted with some of its quality themes and plugins, and you’ll be fully equipped to take on any job offer. So, if you are in need of a new hobby, start learning WordPress.

    2. Creating your own website

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      As mentioned, once you learn WordPress you should create your own website as part of your portfolio. However, you do not necessarily need to create a website just to display your skills, as a website is a valuable asset on its own, if you have a specific purpose for it. You can create an interesting content, and become a part of an affiliate program. Meaning that you use your website to sell someone else’s products and get a certain percentage of every sale.

      So, even if you don’t know WordPress, you can invest some of your resources into a website and have an online corner of your own that can generate revenue. If you manage to rank well, and create a high domain website, then you can also earn some cash by putting ads on your site.

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      Think about the topic for your website. Do you want to create a blogging platform, or maybe you want to create videos, or post edited images, basically create engaging content for people to enjoy.

      Your website can either help people or entertain them, the important thing is to have a specific purpose and to live up to it. You will also need to pick a name for a website, which will most likely become your brand name at some point, and quality branding is quite important nowadays. So, do not just pick any name at random, since you need something that people can easily discover, when looking for content that is on your website.

      Another thing to look out for when creating a website is getting a quality web hosting services. Web Hosting and website’s code complexity influence its loading speed. If your site needs more than 5 seconds to load a single page, then visitors are very likely to leave without giving it a chance.

      3. Start a blogging career

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        Another profitable hobby is to become a blogger or a video blogger. This is relatively easy to pull off, but becoming an influential blogger is an entirely different thing. If you want to be become a minor online celebrity, it needs to become your full-time job, and just re-writing or spinning other content you’ve read online won’t cut it.

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        Your posts and content you create needs to exceed what can be currently found on the Internet. This is called 10X content, and the name suggests that it needs to be 10 times better than existing content on the same topic. It’s something that’s really hard to create, and it’s very time consuming, but it is definitely worth it.

        If you only want to blog for the sake of blogging you’ll get stuck in the sea of other bloggers. Even just being a common blogger has its perks, but not as many as being an online influencer. Also it would be good to go through some writing tips for blogging, so that you can create articles that are easy to read and engaging for the audience. It’s also good to remember to use quality pictures or infographics to demonstrate your point, use videos and links as additional reading material.

        If you are good at blogging, you can even earn money by writing for paying platforms. Again most of these platforms are after the aforementioned 10X content, but at least this way you’ll secure some income for all that hard work, but on the downside, instead of putting that content on your website you give it to someone else.

        4. Become a freelancer

        If you do not have a job, then there is nothing stopping you from becoming a freelancer. You can be freelance writer, graphic designer, or web designer. There are also jobs for those who are skilled at sound, picture or video editing. However, even as a freelancer, you’ll need to look professional if you are to land a job.

        So, if you have a blogging portfolio, or a website that is certainly going to increase your chances significantly. Also, you should make a deviantart account to present your graphic design skills, and as far as video and sound editing goes, you can go with a YouTube account.

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        As far as freelancing platforms go, you can create an UpWork account, and make sure your profile is fully filled out. You can also do some test related to line of work, you have selected as your field of expertise, in order for potential job owners to see that you are legit.

        5. Learn new skills

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          Lastly, you can learn some new skills in general that do not require you to sit behind a desk all day, like coding, writing, or drawing. There are ways to earn enough money as a handy-man, since there are also job platforms for those tasks as well. Again you can also learn by watching tutorials, and you’ll have a skill set that will always be useful, and you won’t have to feel like you are unproductive.

          If you become a skillful craftsman, you can both repair and create items. You can become a DIY expert and create decorations and furniture that you can sell online on eBay or etsy. For example there are a ton of DIY pallet projects that are quite easy to pull off, but look amazing at the same time.

          Even these skills can work in synergy with the previously mentioned tips, because you can create video tutorials of how to create furniture or accessories, or how to make some common repairs at home. Just make sure you have a quality camera and start recording.

          As you can see all is not lost, there are various ways to be productive, even if you can’t get a job. This is a great coping mechanism if you are feeling depressed, because every project you complete fills you with a sense of achievement and builds up your confidence. In other words, get to work and start conquering new heights. Besides, when you are employed you get focused on one thing, but this way you can be a jack of all traits, which is significantly better, and you will feel much more accomplished.

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          Djordje Todorovic

          Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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          Published on March 20, 2019

          How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

          How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

          Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

          As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

          While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

          What is a Mission Statement?

          Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

          In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

          “Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

          In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

          Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

          While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

          First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

          While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

          While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

          “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

          This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

          What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

          When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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          Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

          When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

          • What we do?
          • How we do it?
          • Whom do we do it for?
          • What value are we bringing?

          Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

          After all, that did check off all the boxes:

          What we do? Provide widgets.

          How we do it? Online.

          Who do we do it for? The consumer.

          What value we bring? The best widgets.

          The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

          Compare that mission statement to this one:

          “We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

          What’s the difference?

          Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

          Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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          You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

          A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

          Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

          1. Keep It Brief

          Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

          You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

          2. Have a Purpose

          A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

          Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

          3. Include a “How”

          Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

          How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

          4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

          This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

          Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

          5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

          It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

          Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

          6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

          Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

          7. Think Long Term

          A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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          8. Get Feedback

          This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

          Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

          9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

          You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

          First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

          And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

          For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

          The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

          It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

          First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

          If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

          Strategic Planning

          A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

          Measuring Performance

          By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

          Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

          Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

          Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

          As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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          Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

          To Hold Management Accountable

          By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

          So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

          If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

          To Serve as an Example

          This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

          After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

          Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

          Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

          Final Thoughts

          Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

          Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

          That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

          By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

          More Resources About Achieving Business Success

          Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
          [2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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