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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

Entrepreneur, Writer, and Finance Analyst

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Last Updated on December 5, 2018

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

How do they do it?

By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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3. Demand Learning from Your Team

CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

“The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

“We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

  • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
  • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
  • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
  • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
  • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
  • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

  • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
  • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
  • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
  • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
  • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

    “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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  • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
  • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
  • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
  • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

10. Empower Your Employees

Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

11. Nurture Your Company Culture

Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

Be a Leader, Not a Boss

Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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