Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

The Unexpected Costs of Chasing Your Dreams [Infographic]

Many hopeful freelancers start their business adventure so they can take control over their time and finances. As a self-employed freelancer, you get to set your own hours and decide how much you make based on how hard you work. You can decide to pursue projects that interest you the most, and ultimately do your best work. The appeal of starting off on your own is the reason why a third of Americans are currently freelance.

If you’ve ever considered quitting your day job in favor for self-employment, you’ve also probably had a few reservations as well. While the work is more flexible, so is the income. There’s less security when it comes to benefits and salary, which can land you in hot water if you don’t have a solid savings. In addition, finding and pitching your own clients can be incredibly intimidating. The fact of the matter is that starting your own venture, whether as a freelancer or entrepreneur can a difficult process.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. With a solid plan for how you’ll make the transition financially, you can make the leap. To get you started on planning for unexpected self-employment expenses, Turbo created this helpful infographic. By making a few easy cuts, you can make your dream of quitting your day job a reality. Check it out below:

Via turbo.intuit.com: Read more of this post

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How Companies Use Skills Assessments

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

We analyzed how more than 4,000 companies use skills assessments on Vervoe, particularly employer and candidate preferences, and wanted to share the results with you.

Here are some of the most interesting things we learned:

COMPANIES

Hiring funnel

The first step companies tend to replace with skills assessments is phone screening. Intuitively this makes sense because it’s a manual process that is very time consuming. Instead, recruiters can avoid screening altogether and review candidates after they’ve completed a series of job-related tasks.

Many companies have been able to consolidate several steps into one and reduce the number of steps in their process. This reduces the burden for candidates. As a result, the average number of stages in a hiring funnel is between three and four.

Nearly 70% of companies are using a skills assessment at the top of the hiring funnel. This is consistent with the removal of phone screening, which is typically a top of funnel activity.

While corporates often use skills assessments at the top of the funnel, the companies most likely to use assessments at the bottom of the funnel are staffing firms. Read more of this post

How to Bounce Back After You Get Laid Off [Infographic]

The following is information that might be useful to many people out there. I found these tips on recovering from a layoff from Intuit Turbo. Not included in this infographic, however, are their fully detailed tips on what to do and what not to do after getting laid off. So please check back at their site, for “12 Ways to Bounce Back From a Layoff” (where this infographic originally appears), in order to access the accompanying information in full.

Here is the infographic however. Read more of this post

Online Hiring: Can You Hire Someone Without Meeting Them?

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

Today we can do so many things remotely. We can do our grocery shopping from the couch, we can pay bills or buy tickets without lining up, and we can see what our dogs are doing in the backyard from our phones. We even know when our ride will arrive without needing to speak to anyone. We owe that to technology, which has made our lives so much more convenient.

“Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards.”

– Fred Hoyle

Technology is not a substitute for everything though. Sometimes, our practical objectives can be achieved with greater speed but the intangible, human touch is missing. Just like the sensation of a scented candle can’t be experienced remotely, body language may be harder to read and rapport can be more difficult to generate. A handshake or an embrace are not possible.

The hiring process is a negotiation, with a view to form a partnership. Technically, that partnership is between a business and an employee. But in reality, it is a partnership between human beings who need to work together and achieve common goals.

Does that mean that you have to meet each candidate in person before hiring them? Not necessarily. But you do need a plan for overcoming the challenges that the physical distance can create. Read more of this post

Becoming an Industry Disruptor: What We Can Learn from Transportation Startups [Infographic]

The following content was submitted on behalf of The Zebra.

There are words and phrases that float around the business world that just seem to catch fire. Suddenly, you seem to see them everywhere. For a period of time it was “out-of-the-box thinking” and then “paradigm shifts.” Later we saw everyone talking about “leverage” and more recently: “agility.”

But one of the newest and most exciting buzzwords in industry today is “disruptor.” Now startups and entrepreneurs all over the globe are using this term in their pitches and elevator speeches to give investors something to be excited about. But what does it actually mean to disrupt an industry and why is it so desirable? Clearly, the most profitable part of disruption is that there is already an established customer-base for your innovation – but what else does this concept offer?

Below we see the answer through the lens of transportation startups and how they are working within their established industry to leverage their own agile companies toward paradigm shifts by using out of the box thinking.

Taking a look, we can see how ride-share companies like Uber are less rogue than you might think, and how traditional car manufacturers, whom one would think likely tend to stand strong against any outside innovation, are actually investing heavily in them. This might reflect the idea that while a new disruptive idea should be prepared to expect pushback from established companies, any idea that is truly worthwhile will get those same industry leaders on board.

Another good lesson that can be gleaned from transportation disruptors is how to establish the right angle. Looking for specific pain points like cost (in the case of new cars) or convenience (in the case of traditional taxi services) has given ridesharing services a leg up. What are the difficulties your targeted consumers face?

Below, check out all the facets of disruption that you can learn through interfacing with transportation startups. Maybe YOUR next word will be the one that everyone is using in their pitches.

Read more of this post

How to Grow Your Business With Calculated Risk-Taking [Infographic]

The following content was submitted on behalf of Valpak.

Any major business move requires taking a risk. Whether you leave your corporate job to pursue a passion project, launch a new product, or partner with a new company, it can be daunting to make a drastic change. Thankfully, there’s a helpful strategy to weigh the potential outcome before taking the leap.

Calculated risk-taking involves carefully considering the pros and cons of a decision, with a thoughtful plan behind it. There are helpful steps, tools, and tactics you can use break down the outcome into smaller digestible steps. Make a list of everything that could go south if you move forward with the decision, whether it’s related to your business finances, relationships, self-care, or time. Schedule regular check-ins as you work towards a goal to see what kind of progress you’re making. The more you understand all potential costs to that risk, the better you can improve its outcome.

For a helpful breakdown on calculated risks, view the visual from Valpak below. It covers steps to follow so you can anticipate red flags and successful company who have used this method. Read more of this post

How to Price a Product or Service [Infographic]

The following content was submitted on behalf of Fundera.

In a dense market, it can be difficult for your business to acquire the capital it needs and stay afloat. Between branding, sales, and everyday operations, the cash that comes in can quickly flow out. That’s why it’s essential to select a pricing strategy that works for your business. The right strategy will not only help you stay afloat, but establish your branding within a market, and differentiate you from competition. To do this, you must conduct a thorough analysis of your company and the market.

First, if you’re not already aware of your costs, take time to account for these. Add up your expenses and overhead to get a finite number you’ll need to break even. Then set a ballpark number in profit that you’d like to achieve to determine a good price point for your product or service. This will give you a good idea about how much revenue you’ll need, as well as keeping you motivated to reach your goals.

Next, get to know your market. Take a look at the pricing strategies of your competitors, as well as how they’re marketing themselves to their audience. Look at the website, social media, and blogs to determine how they’re positioning themselves and what you can offer that they can’t. Knowing what your audience expects will go a long way towards help you compete.

With a thorough understanding of your market and profit goals, you will be better able to select  a pricing strategy that drives success for your business. For more on which pricing strategy is right for you, check out this infographic below by Fundera: Read more of this post

Flexible Working: Productive or Destructive?

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

It’s a much-debated topic and a growing trend, but most companies still don’t seem to take a deliberate approach to flexible working. Instead, they just offer a vague middle ground of “flexible working” on a case by case basis.

There are strong arguments for encouraging remote working and, conversely, arguments for bringing everyone together under the one roof. As recent examples highlight, there is no “one size fits all” answer. The key is to tailor your company’s approach to your objectives, operating rhythm, desired culture and workforce composition.

Back to the office

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer famously abolished working from home in 2013, saying that “people are more productive when they’re alone, but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together.”

It’s a powerful argument. It also contains an inherent assumption that working from home increases productivity, which may not always be true. But Mayer had to do something to shake up Yahoo!’s culture and she put collaboration ahead of flexibility, which is what she felt the company needed at that point in time.

In 2014 Reddit decided to consolidate its workforce in one location, San Francisco, and abolished remote working. Reddit’s reasons were similar to Yahoo!’s.

More flexible companies

Read more of this post

15 Ways to Get Ahead During Your Lunch Break [Infographic]

The following content was submitted on behalf of Self Lender.

If you’re someone who struggles to maintain a good work-life balance, there’s a great opportunity you have every day that you may be missing out on: your lunch break. If you’re longing to get ahead in your personal, professional, or financial life, don’t work through your lunch break. Take the time to get up from your desk and do something else that matters to you.

From going on a jog to listening to an inspirational podcast, taking full advantage of your lunch break can actually make you more productive when you return to work. Knowing that you got to take the time to do something you love will help you become a more well-rounded person.

So now that you understand the significance of regularly taking a lunch break, how will you choose to use yours? If you’re in need of inspiration, this infographic from Self Lender will give you 15 ideas on how to make the most of your lunch break. Read more of this post

Stop Screening Candidates: What Recruiters Can Learn from Designers

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

Screening candidates isn’t helping you.

In technology, user experience design is very close to our hearts. We are constantly trying to make it easier for our prospective customers to gain value from our products and services. We try to make the experience as welcoming as possible and take them on a journey.

When it comes to our prospective team members, perversely, we seem to take the opposite approach. When people express an interest in joining our teams, we seem to go to great lengths to push them away. We actively discourage them. We screen them.

To screen:

“To test or examine someone or something to discover if there is anything wrong with the person or thing.”

– Cambridge Dictionary

What? Really?  

That’s how traditional recruitment works. When people want to join our ranks, we try to find out what is wrong with them so we can rule them out. There is something inherently wrong with that approach.

What does that say about us? What message are we sending to people? When I try to put myself in the shoes of a candidate, this quote comes to mind:

“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.”

– Drake

If the journey is obstructionist and unpleasant, if I’m being screened as if there is something wrong with me, that must say something about the destination.

So let’s change that. Read more of this post

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