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Guest Blog Writer – Matt Williams

Are you one of the many remote workers who experienced a COVID-19 job cut? As companies adjust their spending to the new world situation, you might feel like finding work is impossible. Despite the pandemic, there are opportunities out there. Evolution Career Consulting wants you to thrive, so check out these terrific resources to help you find them.

Start With Yourself

Dealing with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and a job loss is super stressful, so it’s critical to keep up self-care practices. Taking care of yourself ensures you remain happy and healthy while you’re on the hunt for a new job.

● The first thing you should do is ensure you maintain a productive schedule.
● Practice good self-care while you’re job hunting, such as eating right, exercising, and staying connected with friends and family.
● If money is tight, look for ways to slash your expenses.
● Consider adding meditation for stress management to your daily regimen.

Rethink Your Workspace

Could your existing office use a little tweaking? Take time to ensure you have an optimal work environment, so when the right position comes your way, stepping back into a daily work habit is no big deal.

● Appropriate lighting can make a world of difference in keeping you healthy and productive in your workspace.
● If you struggle with staying focused, you may need to create a distraction-free environment.
● Even the colors on your walls can affect your productivity, and now is the perfect time to apply a new coat of paint if necessary.
● Design an office space that fits thoughtfully with your lifestyle and work habits.

Choose Solid Job-Hunting Strategies

Part of every day should be dedicated to some aspect of your search for a new job. There are employers who are looking, so it’s a matter of connecting with them.

● A career coach can guide you through improving your professional presentation, from interviewing skills to a more polished resume.
● As Inc. explains, building a personal brand across multiple platforms will give you a critical edge over other job hunters.
● You can use job boards to post listings for any freelancers you may need.
Leverage your social network in your job search.

Consider A Startup

One way to get back into the swing of things is to start your own business. With remote work the new norm, it’s a logical option to consider, and it doesn’t need to be as risky as you might think.

● Choose a business with minimal overhead costs and start time.
● Protect your personal finances by establishing an LLC.
● A formal business plan can help with developing your strategies and timelines and provides validation to lenders.
Networking can be the key to finding investors, resources and customers.
● Find tools that will help you collaborate easily with clients and freelancers.

Losing a job is hard on you, especially in the midst of a world pandemic. Take proper care of yourself, adjust your workspace as needed, and employ great job-hunting strategies. It might feel like finding a great new job is impossible right now, but you can turn to Evolution Career Consulting for advice, interview tips, and much more. Put these resources in your back pocket so you can find the right position soon.

 

Ways Technology Can Help the Differently-Abled Advance Careers

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Guest Blog Writer – Patrick Young, Able USA

While disabilities have historically been a barrier to career advancement for differently-abled individuals, technology has made it easier to learn new skills and pursue more types of careers. From remote learning to home-based business opportunities and assistive technologies, technology has opened new doors for many with disabilities. For career guidance, Evolution Career Consulting is a great resource for those looking to advance professionally.

Remote learning opportunities

As the pandemic precautions remain in many places, most universities and other learning institutions have moved to remote learning on a large scale. This can be to the benefit of people with disabilities, as learning from home is often more accessible.

There are many degrees that can be obtained online now — even healthcare degrees have opened up to support online learning. Online courses in healthcare range from nursing to healthcare management and health service coordination.

Beyond healthcare, online degrees are also available in information technology management. This can be a great choice for those interested in computer science—it’s a growing field, and offers multiple career options that can be done remotely.

If you’re interested in communications, marketing is a degree that can easily be done online. Marketing graduates can work in a number of industries including non-profits, government offices, and private companies.

Home-based career options

Today, more jobs than ever can be done remotely. For people with disabilities, this opens up more work opportunities as employers broaden their hiring pool.

Another option for remote work is starting a home-based business. Business ideas can range widely, so determine your interests and abilities when deciding what kind of business you want to launch. If you’re sales-savvy, selling goods online is a great option. Or, if you’re a writer, starting a blog or turning to freelance work could be a great way to earn money.

Many small business owners who work from home require the bare minimum of technology: just a laptop, a mobile phone, and an internet connection will allow for most businesses to operate. If your disability requires you to obtain additional technology to do business, look into assistive technologies that can help.

Assistive technologies

The range of technology designed to assist people with disabilities has grown considerably in recent years. Tools such as screen readers, adapted keyboards, and speech recognition software can help differently-abled workers use technology with far more ease than ever before.

One great tool for the visually impaired is a screen reader. Screen readers can convert everything from text to buttons and images into speech or braille, allowing the blind to read emails, navigate webpages, and surf the internet. Along with screen readers, braille keyboards exist for visually impaired users to write messages, type emails, and conduct search queries.

Speech recognition software is another assistive technology that’s helpful for people with a range of disabilities. Speech recognition is often used by the blind but is also helpful for those with mobility or cognitive disabilities. It converts speech into text, and can also be used to navigate devices and perform various tasks.

For computer-users who have mobility challenges, joysticks can be helpful for controlling a mouse cursor. Similarly, tracking balls and head pointers can help those with mobility disabilities use technology with more ease.

While your disability may prevent you from some in-person activities, technology today allows for a broader range of opportunities in career advancement and further education. Look into remote learning options if you want to upskill or gain a new degree, and consider a home-based business that will allow some flexibility in your daily routine. And remember to seek out assistive technologies that will make it even easier for you to work and study using your computer.

 

6 Flexible Jobs and Positions Seniors Should Consider After Retirement

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Guest Blog Writer – Sharon Wagner, seniorfriendly.info

Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Wondering whether you should continue working after retirement? That is a huge question you will need to think long and hard about. If you decide to keep working during your golden years, however, finding a perfect new job doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most lucrative and popular jobs for seniors who are retired, in order to make deciding on your post-retirement career even easier.

Freelance Opportunities

Want some serious flexibility while you earn some extra cash in retirement? If so, you should consider freelancing. Online job and remote staffing boards like Upwork make it easy to find freelance openings that fit your interests and needs. Whether you want to work in sales, marketing, writing, customer service or any other, you can find the perfect retirement job via Upwork. Just fill out your profile and upload a resume or portfolio, and you will be all set to start wowing potential freelance clients and earning extra income during your golden years.

Gig-Based Economy Jobs

Another option for seniors who desire flexibility in their work schedule is to look for a gig job. Wondering about the gig economy? Well, if you have used an app to get a ride from the airport or to order food in recent years, you have actively participated in the gig economy without even knowing it. Gig workers can choose their own hours which can make these jobs perfect for seniors, and you can find lucrative gig jobs doing just about anything. So, whether you want to hang out with pooches on their daily walks or deliver groceries, there’s a gig job for you.

Part-Time Retail Positions

If you love shopping and talking to people, then you should consider a part-time retail position during retirement. Some of the best retailers for employees include popular stores like Trader Joe’s, Best Buy, and REI. In addition to getting a paycheck, seniors who work for these companies can also take advantage of other employee perks, such as generous discounts and even health benefits that can fill in the gaps left by Medicare plans. Plus, you will likely be on your feet while you are working, which can be beneficial for your wallet and waistline.

National Park Openings

For seniors who have a love of history and the outdoors, working for national parks can be a perfect post-retirement career fit. More adventurous seniors can opt for being a park ranger, but if you prefer something more laid back, you can also consider working in the welcome center or being a park guide. An added bonus about working within the national park system is that you can also choose from permanent or seasonal jobs, so you can retain as much freedom as needed for your retirement, without having to sacrifice an additional source of income.

Substitute Teaching Jobs

Did you know that being around younger generations can be beneficial for seniors and children alike? Connecting with kids can help keep your brain sharp and keep feelings of isolation at bay, but you can also help influence those kids to grow into healthier, happier adults. You can get and give these benefits by spending time with grandchildren or other younger family members, but you can also connect with younger generations by becoming a substitute teacher.

Consulting Opportunities

Retiring can bring a welcomed sense of freedom for many seniors. Still, if you are retiring from a career field that you love, it may be difficult to let that passion go when you leave. Thankfully, you don’t have to when you become a consultant in your area of expertise. You’ve likely worked with consultants in the past, but these self-employed pros provide essential business advice and assistance to entrepreneurs and organizations. You can provide services on your own time, which means you pursue your passions without giving up your retirement plans.

Working after retirement is a smart move for seniors who want or need extra income. If you also want to maintain some flexibility and freedom, you should think about choosing from one of the senior-friendly jobs listed above. That way, you can get the most out of your retirement.

 

A Note to Our Politicians

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Is anyone else highly anticipating November 7th? The day we can finally say the elections are over. This won’t be a political post I promise (at least not in the sense of supporting any one person or party), I just have to vent about how done I am with the phone calls, the media, the debates, the negative campaigning, the visits to my door, all of it. Here are a few things I’ve learned from the 2012 elections. You might even be able to take something away from it in your job search.

1) Smear campaigns are unethical. Don’t do it. It does not make you look better than other candidates. It makes me question your integrity.

2)The amount of soliciting both over the phone and in person is maddening. It borders on harassment. This will not get me to “hire” you. I don’t get this much attention from anyone, including my family. Please stop. Thank goodness for caller ID. We barely answer our phone anymore.

3) There is nothing wrong with changing your mind on your views. However, changing them multiple times will make voters (even party-supporting voters) question where you really stand. Will you change your mind again if you get elected?

4) When you are asked a question, just answer it! No double talk. No pointing the finger at your opponent. No skirting the issue and changing the subject. I want the truth. I want to know I can trust who I’m voting for.

I try to be an informed citizen, and I take my right to vote very seriously. But as in past years, I find it hard to fully support any candidate, whether it’s for President, State Representative, State Senator, or Congressman/woman. My opinion year after year remains the same – I don’t trust our politicians. I don’t trust them to make the right decisions for us as individuals, or communities. Our country is in trouble with the path we are on, and we need to fix it. It’s not up to one person, it won’t be easy, and it’s going to take time. But we all have some hard questions to ask ourselves. Do we love our country enough to personally sacrifice for its continued financial, economical, and social well-being? Can we get past our desire to point fingers and all take some responsibility for cleaning up this mess? Yes – politicians, the rich, the  middle class and the poor, the young and the old, in every color, creed, and nationality, I’m talking to you.