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5 Career Changes You Can Still Make Past 30

5 Career Changes You Can Still Make Past 30
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It really doesn’t matter what you do. The sad reality is that many people are really unhappy with the career they find themselves in.

From the outside, it may look like you’ve got it all, but on the inside, you wake up each morning knowing that you’re doing something that you no longer feel any passion for. The worst thing you can do in this case is to grin and bear it. This may seem like the safest and least disruptive course of action to follow, but what are you waiting for? Life gives you no second act.

If you want to make a change, you have to be brave and go for it. Below are five career changes that can be actioned relatively quickly, and without the need for you to go back to school for three or four years.

1. Teaching

In many ways, going into teaching later on in life has many benefits as this is a career that can grind you down over the years. Many teachers start out as fresh-faced graduates and after ten or fifteen years, they have lost most of the passion which drove them to become teachers in the first place.

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If, however, you go into teaching later in life, you may well find that the excitement that comes with making a career change and the opportunity to pass on not only your knowledge of your specialist subject but also your accumulated years of life knowledge, will put a definite spring in your step.

If you have a degree already, teaching is a relatively simple career change to make. You will need to do some specialist training but this can often be done on the job. In less than a couple of years, you will be a fully-fledged teacher ready to take on the world and really make a difference in young people’s lives.

2. Go Freelance

One of the big bugbears many people have at work is that they simply don’t like being told what to do. If you work for any kind of organisation, there will almost certainly be superiors to report to, training weekends to attend, Christmas parties to suffer. Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep doing what you are doing, but be your own boss?

Freelancing is the perfect solution for those people who enjoy what they are currently doing but want to do it on their own terms. The big drawback is that you lose the guaranteed paycheck each month and any benefits that come from working within a bigger organisation, but the sense of freedom you will get in return is certainly worth the pay-off.

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A freelancing career move suits some professions better than others, but in almost all fields, it is a possible solution if you go about it in the right way. You need to fully prepare yourself for the uncertainties that will come your way when you take this kind of brave career change decision, but if you approach this move with a lot of planning and with your eyes wide open, you can definitely make it work.

3. Start A Social Media Career

Almost all of us spend way too much time than we would care to admit on social media. If you’re one of these people, a great career change might be for you to take all of your social media skills and convert them into a brand new career.

This is by no means the easiest switch to make, but businesses everywhere are turning to social media more and more every day. If you can exhibit how skilled you are at running your own accounts, the chances are that a lot of people will be interested in you doing the same for them.

Getting a foothold in this kind of field may be one that takes you a little while, but this is something that you could actually start to look into before handing in your notice at your current job. So why not test the waters and see what you can pick up when you first try your luck?

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As with all new career ventures, it’s only once you begin to take the plunge that you’ll see exactly how quickly these decisive career changes can quickly snowball into a whole new life for you.

4. Maximising Under-Appreciated Skill Sets

For many of us, the world pretty much takes place mostly online these days. Without even realising it, we possess skill sets that surpass those of previous generations when it comes to being tech savvy and computer literate. The great thing about this is that a lot of our basic skills can very easily be developed into ones that can make you a specialist in your field.

There are probably many things that you dislike about your current role if you’re thinking about making a career change, but there are also likely to be some things that you do actually enjoy. For those who have a lot of daily contact with the web, there are a plethora of options open to you.

Enjoy taking part in the development of your company’s website and online profile? Awesome, so take this to the next level and learn how to become a web designer in your own right. Like the aspect of your job that means having to keep up on relevant articles and blogs in your field? Brilliant, use that in-depth knowledge of your industry in such a way so that you can start to be one of the people who actually writes the content that people want to read. Already write the content and understand the power of SEO? You’ve hit the jackpot. Turn this skill set into one that you can outsource yourself to the thousands of companies out there who are dying to see their online profile grow and hit the first page on a Google search.

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Many people’s day-to-day tasks have become so multi-faceted that we take them for granted. Have a good think about what you actually do like doing at work and you’ll be amazed at how easily that could be turned into a whole new career.

5. Start Your Own Small Business

If you don’t enjoy your job, one of the biggest reasons that you’re still doing it is probably because of the lifestyle the salary brings you. Having money is a true blessing, but it’s not really all that great if you are genuinely unhappy with the way you’re spending the majority of your week.

Why not tighten your belt a little bit and start to save up some money to start your own business? This is clearly quite a risky strategy to take. If things don’t work out, you could see all of your savings burnt up and be left without a job. That’s the worst case scenario, though. If you plan out a move into a field that really makes you happy and which you understand how to make work, there is no reason for you not to give it a go.

The rewards that will come with success will more than make up for the stress that will also inevitably come along on the ride. Most importantly, you’ll feel happy and invigorated about getting out of bed each morning and trying to make things work on your own terms.

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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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