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Published on September 26, 2018

7 Very Best Job Sites on The Web to Help You Advance Your Career

7 Very Best Job Sites on The Web to Help You Advance Your Career

If you’re not satisfied with your current job and is trying to look for one that will make you feel more fullfilled, you’re not alone. Data shows that roughly 50% of US employees aren’t satisfied with their current jobs.[1]

So how can you advance in your career? By growing in the right places.

In this article, I’ll recommend 7 best job sites to help you advance your career. You’ll need to work on the right tasks, talk to the right people, and do the right research. But before you start using any resource, you need a game plan.

The game plan to advance your career

Empower yourself by evaluating

You may already know that you’re good in your field, but you need to know more.

Here’s what I mean:

Write down your soft and hard skills.

Hard skills are ones that are more technical and taught in a classroom. For example, learning to read, write, math problems and so on.

Soft skills relate to the way you interact with others. So, the way you interact with your team and friends determine which soft skills you have.

After writing down both your hard and soft skills, determine your next steps.

Brainstorm different ways you can improve. Courses will most likely help you with improving hard skills. But, you may need to join groups such as the Toastmasters to improve your soft skills.

Use feedback to skyrocket growth

Knowing yourself is important, but you still need feedback from others.

Now that you know your strengths and weaknesses, ask your team for feedback. For example, if you feel that you’re good at crunching numbers, ask a coworker for their honest feedback. You might find out they feel the same or that you need to improve in some areas.

Most companies have semi-annual or annual performance reviews.

Use this time to get feedback from your manager. Show them you’ve done your homework by letting them know which areas you’re looking to improve. They can offer you advice on the next best steps to take to advance in your career.

ClearCompany’s survey revealed that engaged employees received feedback at least once per week.[2] Chances are that if you’re not receiving constant feedback you’re not growing.

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Make it a priority to get feedback from your team to make faster progress in your career.

Setting goals are a sure-fire way to succeed

“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

Goal setting

is the most important task in reaching success. Think about it, if you have no direction, how will you ever know you’ve reached your destination?

Goal setting sounds simple, but this is where many people run into trouble.

By setting a goal, you’re using an outcome as your guide for which actions you’ll make. Take a project manager for example, who aims to get his PMP certification. After learning more about the test, he sets a goal to get this certification within 3 months.

Although this goal is specific, break it down further. Using the example above, the project manager can set a daily goal to study for 1 hour for the exam instead.

Make sure that your goals are SMART. And once you’ve broken down your goals, write them down in a journal.

A proven way to grow faster

You took time to plan. You’ve discovered your strengths and weaknesses, plus received feedback from your team. But that’s not all, you’ve also set SMART career goals.

Are you done? Almost, but now it’s time to work smarter and not harder. Take advantage of the many great resources out there to help you advance in your career.

Best job sites to kick-start your career in the right path

Here are the 7 best jobs sites to help advance your career:

1. MindTools

Emotional intelligence is an important skill to master.[3] A great site to help you improve this skill is MindTools. They offer many great resources to help you improve your emotional intelligence. Start by reading their blog daily to become more knowledgeable in this field.

So what is emotional intelligence? It’s the ability to manage your own emotions as well as the emotions of others. It helps you build better connections with your team, and handle pressure better.

Another trait of emotional intelligence is empathy. This involves seeing someone else’s perspective and feelings. For example, if your manager has many deliverables due, you may decide to offer him/her help.

Emotional intelligence will open many doors for you. In today’s workforce, it’s not enough to only have technical skills. You also need to understand others. And, improving your emotional intelligence will help you do this.

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2. LinkedIn

Why advance in your career alone if there are people who’ve already reached success? You need the help of mentors to help you avoid common mistakes and make progress quicker.

But how do you find them?

One of the best ways to do this is using LinkedIn. This social media platform has over 562 million users. And, most professionals who are serious about their careers have a LinkedIn account.

Another great feature of LinkedIn has is its degree separation feature. With this feature, you’re able to see first-degree, second, and third-degree contacts. In other words, you’re able to view friends of friends.

This is powerful because according to a Facebook study, we’re only 4 degrees away from anyone.[4]

Start by defining where you’re trying to head in your career. Then search for people who’ve already reached this level of success.

For example, if you’re wanting to be a marketing manager, type this title in LinkedIn’s search bar. Filter by people and a list of connections (first, second, or third) will display. From here you can reach out to existing contacts, or build relationships with new people.

3. VolunteerMatch

What if you could gain leadership skills and feel good about it during the process?

That’s what volunteering can do for you. A great site for you to find your next volunteering opportunity is VolunteerMatch.

So why volunteer?

In order to advance in your career, you need to be a leader. That’s because they’re equipped to make important decisions and collaborate with others.

And this is where volunteering shines. Research from Big Lottery Fund revealed that many of their volunteers reported feeling more confident.[5] Other benefits included improved social skills, and feeling part of a community.

All the traits mentioned above contribute to becoming a good leader. A big reason why it’s a great option for those looking to grow while impacting other people’s lives.

4. Mr.Money Mustache

Don’t fall trap in choosing a career only for the money.

Choosing the right career is challenging. But even more challenging when you’re stuck choosing between a career that pays more. Chances are your finances are preventing you from making the right career choices.

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Take, for example, a recent report that stated 8 in 10 Americans are in debt.[6] It’s no surprise why people choose to be miserable in a job they hate because it pays more.

The problem isn’t choosing a job with a higher salary. But you should choose a career that you’ll enjoy growing in. However, when you’re struggling with money, you’re prone to make bad career choices.

So how can you improve your finances?

By learning from the best. Mr.Money mustache shares worthwhile money hacks and how to reach financial independence. Immerse yourself in his blog to improve your finances. Eventually, you’ll start making better career choices.

5. Smart Passive Income

Entrepreneurs carry many key skills of high-performing employees.[7] For example, they’re self-starters, great leaders, and collaborate well with others.

The problem is most people aren’t entrepreneurs.

And while you don’t need to create the next big app, you can build something practical on the side. Many people refer to this as their side-hustle. According to a recent survey, about 40% of Americans now have a side hustle.[8]

So what exactly is a side hustle? It’s the same as having a part-time business that helps you earn extra income. But, the best part is the experience you gain as you’re building your side-hustle.

Think about it, you’ll be doing marketing, research and delivering your product/service. You’ll understand how business functions and become a better employee for it.

Take, for example, Pat Flynn, who started his journey as an entrepreneur studying for a LEED exam. Today his site is a go-to resource for learning how to build an online business. Pat continues to inspire others on what’s possible when you work hard to build something.

Building a side-hustle won’t be easy. But because it’s challenging, you’ll gain new skills.

Pat includes his monthly income and breaks down how his earnings on his site. You can use this as motivation when you’re struggling to build your side-hustle.

6. Coursera

Being specialized in a specific field will open many doors for you.

Research from the US Department of Labor showed that employees with certifications earned 30% more. And employees with certifications also had a 50% lower unemployment rate.[9] Without a doubt, certifications make a difference.

While it won’t guarantee any results, it will help you stand out in the competitive workforce. But don’t take any certification, first check where you want to head.

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For example, if you’re looking to be a project manager, then a PMP certification may be a logical next step. Determine if your company offers to pay for your certification or find a cost-effective route. Once you become certified, you’ll be able to stand out in a competitive workforce.

7. Glassdoor

Be a great negotiator.

How? By knowing the average salary in your industry. This way you’ll avoid getting paid a low rate and be better prepared when asking for a raise.

A survey by Robert and Half showed that only 39% of 2700 employees attempted to negotiate their salary.[10] That’s money left on the table due to fear and many other factors.

So what’s the solution? Use Glassdoor to get a glimpse of the average pay in your industry.

After doing research, focus on what skills set you apart. Use this knowledge to ask for the salary you deserve. For example, if you’re a network engineer with a Cisco certification you’d know to ask for a higher pay rate.

Achieve massive career progress

Imagine waking up at 5 am on a Monday to start your morning ritual.

A few hours later you’re refreshed and ready to start your day with intention.

Not too long ago you dreaded going to work, but you’re now taking charge of your career. The best part is you’re no longer doing repetitive tasks and earn a higher salary than you’d ever imagined.

Don’t you wish this was you?

You know have a blueprint on how to advance in your career. If you’re ready for change now is the time to do it. Many others were able to have successful careers,[11] so why can’t you?

Go ahead and reach that next level to advance in your career. The sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Christopher Alarcon

Content Marketer and Finance Analyst

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

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So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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