Welcome to Career Corner! Career Corner provides career and workplace related topics and information.

Have you ever thought about working independently or freelancing?  See what Samantha R. Else has to say about preparing for this new style of work. You can also find it on her blog post, Samantha in Rantings at http://bit.ly/PKVuAK

How to Prepare for the Career You Didn’t Know You Were Going to Have…

Welcome to the “gig” economy. More and more employers are hiring contractors, temps and freelancers. The idea of job security in the common sense no longer exists! So what can we, as the technically speaking self-employed, do in order to keep ourselves on our toes?! Lifelong learning! Here are 15 things to do on your own time to keep yourself and your career moving forward.

  1. Always have a book. It doesn’t have to be on you at all times, and it doesn’t have to be about your work… but you should be reading as much as possible. It will strengthen your vocabulary and broaden your knowledge base… Yes, this includes The Hunger Games, it doesn’t matter as long as you are reading something.
  2. Keep a “to learn” list. You’ve heard of the “to do” list, maybe even the “to read” list… Keep one that lists out the different things you want to learn, and work to check them off the list.
  3. Get more intellectual friends. Spend a few hours each week with people who will stimulate you intellectually or challenge you to learn and grow.
  4. Guided thinking. Don’t just learn, think! Once you’ve finished your reading for the day or have just learned something new, take the time to actually think about it. Allow the new information to settle in and form thoughts/opinions/ideas based around it.
  5. Put it into practice.If you have a skill, use it. What is the point of learning the piano, if you are never going to play? If you list the skill on your resume, make sure it is something you can do on the spot if asked.
  6. Teach others. Not only will you be helping someone else develop a skill or learn about something, but it will help show holes in your knowledge.
  7. Clean your input. Do your own research!
  8. Learn in groups. This will allow you to bounce ideas off of others, etc.
  9. Unlearn assumptions. Don’t approach topics or skills with any built in assumptions, walk in with a clean slate and learn from the ground up.
  10. Find jobs that encourage learning. Be challenged! Don’t settle for the job that does not offer a ladder to climb or new skill sets to be learned.
  11. Start a project. And finish it!
  12. Follow your intuition. About what job to take, what new skill set to learn, what current skill set to develop, etc. You will know what is right for you and when.
  13. The morning 15. Spend the first 15 minutes of your morning accomplishing something off of your “to learn” list. If you postpone it you are more likely to never do it.
  14. Reap the rewards. Enjoy it!
  15. Make it a priority.

Do you feel prepared for this new style of work?  We would like to hear your thoughts?


Welcome to Career Corner! Career Corner provides career and workplace related topics and information.

Michelle V. Rafter from SecondAct blog wrote a great article about workplace trends to watch and we would like to share it with you. So here it is…

The old saying that the only constant is change aptly describes the American workplace in 2012.

You may be in the same position at the same place you’ve worked for years. But the economy, technology and demographics are transforming how you get your job done.

In: telecommuting, more flexible hours and using your own laptop or smartphone for work. Out: commuting, 9-to-5 schedules and standard-issue office computers.

Here’s more on those and other changes that could be coming to your workplace:

1. Mobile devices.

More employees are using their own iPhones, iPads and other portable electronics for work instead of company-issued computers or laptops, a trend sometimes called “bring your own device” or BYOD. Some companies worry about how they’ll keep confidential information safe and workers on task and not on Facebook or playing Words With Friends. But that won’t stop the move toward fewer restrictions, not just on what devices employees use but also on how, when and where they use them, according to workplace experts.

2. Telecommuting.

Companies are offering telecommuting as a way to give employees more flexible schedules and in some cases make up for not offering bigger raises, but also to curb office space expenses. Among the biggest telecommuting advocates are boomers, says Kate Lister, a telecommuting researcher at the San Diego-based Telework Research Network. “The majority of boomers are at or near the highest rung of the corporate ladder they’re likely to achieve,” she says. “The raises, promotions and accolades that once motivated them have been replaced with thoughts of retirement, aging parents, mortality and ‘What do I really want out of life?’ AARP research shows 70 percent want to continue to work, but they want to do it on their terms.”

3. Open office spaces.

With fewer employees coming into the office, companies are reconfiguring floor plans to devote more square footage to communal areas and less to traditional, walled work spaces. Some have remodeled entire floors to include shared workstations and group areas for impromptu brainstorming or conference sessions. Employees who aren’t around every day may get lockers to stash personal items during office hours.

4. Instant communication.

Employees increasingly view email as an inefficient form of communication that moves at a snail’s pace compared to text messages, social networks and other alternatives. “Email is quickly going the way of the fax machine,” says Robin Richards, CEO and chairman of TweetMyJobs, a Twitter-based job service. “Just watch your [city’s] mayor. I’m watching every week, and more and more mayors are beginning to communicate via social networks and texting. It’s the only way their employees communicate with each other.”

5. Online collaboration tools.

More companies are using web-based software, rather than email, to communicate with telecommuters and mobile workers. Some companies now use programs such as Yammer, Chatter and Jive to create private, Facebook-style networks that managers and employees can use to exchange messages or documents. Video- and web-based conferencing is here to stay too, workplace experts say. Employees need to know how to use it all, regardless of where they work. Continue reading