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monthly roundup no. 7: march 2018

Posted in Living by

It’s the end of March which means spring is officially here. That means it will finally get warm… right? RIGHT?! This long-lasting chill is making me crazy. Going through my Pocket this month shows me that I’ve been really career-minded lately, and this link round-up post is pretty indicative of that. Read on for some great resources to check out to build your employability and get organized (and also get clean teeth with really cute toothbrushes)!

Signature is one of my new favorite blogs, and their Memoir Writing Guide is awesome. I don’t have any grand plans to publish my own memoir, but past therapists have given me exercises to write about traumas and tough memories – this guide helped give me some more prompts on how to get started on this, and I love writing exercises.

I’m not a hypochondriac (said every hypochondriac ever,) but my family history of cancer has given me some pretty severe anxiety. Any weird ache or pain or ailment or symptom and I’m convinced that I’m the next in line for chemo. This post from WBUR on onco-anxiety – this specific fear I have is actually so common that it has a name – helps me realize that it’s a pretty valid fear for many.

Marisa Mohi is a Twitter friend-of-a-friend with a fantastic blog and super cute Etsy shop. I’ve been gearing up to clean and reorganize my office for literal months – this post with ideas on desk organization for creatives is what has finally gotten me off my butt to get moving.

Marlow is a new business and employment blog, but they already have promise. This article on expanding your network was really helpful – I’m very guilty of being a bit narrow-sighted in thinking that since I’m so happy in my current job that I don’t need to put effort into my career or brand (not to mention I get pretty nervous and awkward at networking events.)

Google’s Digital Garage is a really great free educational resource to work on your employment skills. I’ve been doing some of the digital marketing activities here, and they’re super useful! If you’re looking to career shift or even just build on your current job skills, it’s a really nice resource.

I’ve been a very long-time fan and reader of The Billfold, and current editor Nicole Dieker launched a podcast last fall called Writing & Money. I’ve ramped up my freelance pitching game lately, and this podcast has really helped me feel confident in pitches and stories! < If you have a LinkedIn profile and use any kind of software in your job, you could earn Starbucks or Amazon gift cards for adding reviews to G2 Crowd. They do apparently have a limit so even if you use a seemingly endless amount of programs, they’ll eventually put a cap on your rewards, but I used my Amazon gift cards from them (in conjunction with the ones I’m still loading up on from Swagbucks) to score some sweet new workout wear and running shoes. 

The Student Loan Refinancing Blueprint: I’ve been thinking for awhile about refinancing my student loans. This post from Comet broke down a lot of the remaining questions I had and helped guide me through which of my loans (if any) would be good candidates for refinancing. I also found this student loan spreadsheet from Student Debt Warriors which made me confront all my outstanding debt and really break it all down – something I’ve pushed off and ignored for years.

And now for something completely different, BF subscribed us to Quip a few months ago. I’ve never had an electric toothbrush before, so it’s a whole new world for me, but I really love the toothbrush and the toothpaste is super good. The brush has a built-in timer with notifications every 30 seconds so you know when to switch sections of your mouth, and my teeth are the cleanest they’ve ever been.

Do you read a lot of business or employment articles? Share your faves with me – I love to read career-related posts!

March 30, 2018

6 blog management skills to put on your resume

Posted in Blogging, Career by
This post contains affiliate links.

blog management skills to add to your resume

You might think that blogging is a fun hobby, and it is! But it’s also a great way to build marketable skills for your resume. As a blogger, you’re not only a writer, but also a marketer, designer, editor, and creative director. Depending on your niche, you’re also developing valuable sales skills as well. That’s nothing to shake a stick at! For years I wrestled with including my blog on my resume or professional portfolio at all, but I’ve been doing this for five years and have become an expert in many things I’ve never had the opportunity to explore in my day jobs. It’s important for prospective new employers to have a view of all of your skills – and if they check out your blog, they’ll even get to know more about you! Here are just six of the blogging skills you can add to your resume today.

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Marketing: You oversee the social media marketing plan for your blog – what tools do you use? Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and your blogging platform should all be listed on your resume or portfolio. Much like your media kit, you could also add in your social stats. Google Analytics and any other tools you use can be added here as well. Any advertising you do with other bloggers (or even in Facebook groups) are also really great to add. You’re also focused on writing posts with great SEO, which companies will find attractive (and add value with highlighting your Pinterest SEO skills as well.) Email marketing tools are popular in all industries as well, so if you’ve tried a couple out, be sure to outline that!

Community Building: While having a huge number of followers (probably) feels really great, building a dedicated audience interested in what you have to say is even better. Being able to show employers that you can engage readers and customers displays that you can create worthwhile content that adds value to their existing brand.

Brand Partnerships: Speaking of brands, partnerships and sponsors are definitely worthy of your resume. Showing that you have partnered successfully with brands or companies is impressive, especially if you’ve collaborated with them multiple times. It also shows that you excel at the “cold call” approach since it’s rare for brands to reach out to bloggers directly. This is a really valuable skill, especially once you’ve mastered it!

Graphic Design/Photography: Even if you’re just shooting snaps on your iPhone or editing graphics in Canva or phone apps, there’s a lot of design work that goes into blog planning. Finding stock photography, choosing fonts and colors, and even selecting a layout or theme for your blog helps to enhance your design skills every day. I even know some bloggers who had no design skills when they started, and now they side hustle creating graphics for other bloggers or brands. It’s helped me tremendously – the other day I got a glance of my first media kit and just wanted to shudder!

Chief Creative: What post goes where? What kinds of brands will you work with? What’s the color scheme, layout, and font pairings? You’re in charge of all the artistic decisions as well. Using HTML and CSS, even if it’s basic, is definitely worth adding this to your resume. It comes in handy if you’re writing or formatting blog posts or email marketing newsletters (and even on social media.) Mapping out your content calendar shows your skills at pre-planning, which will set you apart in a world full of procrastinators!

Copywriting: In blogging, we’re responsible for a pretty wide variety of copy. From blog posts to social media blurbs and newsletters, they each beg for their own tone. Running your own blog (and marketing) helps you exercise this muscle outside the workplace, and bring in the skills to apply to your new position.

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June 14, 2017

become location independent: Take Your Life Back book review

Posted in Career by
This post contains affiliate links. I was provided a copy for review, but all opinions are my own.

Leah Davis of The Sweetest Way knew she didn’t want to have a traditional career or life – but she didn’t know how to make it happen. Over many years, she eked out her own way to accomplish her dream: a life of travel, location independence, and entrepreneurship. She’s hugely successful in the travel & lifestyle design community and recently released an eBook, Take Your Life Back, in order to help others who dream of the kind of life she’s living make it a reality.

The beginning of the book has a nice introduction, and Leah talks about jobs she tried in order to get her remote dreams to come true. Some fit her better than others, and each position helped her hone in on her strengths and skills more and more. After an overview of what location independence is, she also walks through what to expect and what personality types tend to excel in this kind of lifestyle.

  • One thing I noticed specifically is that this book is geared more toward those with an entrepreneurial bend than those interested in working remotely for a company or organization.

Leah discusses some of the mistakes she made along the way, along with the things that really helped her build success, like seeking out mentors and engaging and interacting with them. She talks about the “comparison is the thief of joy” concept, which I think anyone (especially bloggers) can relate to. It was nice for me to hear that and not feel like I’m the only one getting jealous of the success of others from time to time.

The book is hugely informative as it goes on – once it transitions out of her backstory, she gives some actionable resources that let you start building your skills, or looking for remote or freelance positions. She even provides steps on how you could start to negotiate with your current employer to move to a partially remote schedule to start in your lifestyle transition.

Every digital nomad should definitely have some kind of passive income source set up, and I agree with her. For me, Swagbucks is a big source of passive income – since I’m searching for things online anyway, it’s nice to accumulate points to redeem for cash or Amazon cards. Leah makes some suggestions on products or other ways to generate income without much effort – both online and offline. She also provides a list of her favorite affiliate companies.

Chapter seven is on building your online presence, and I wish I’d had some of this advice back when I started my blog! If you’ve been struggling with how to brand yourself or choose a domain name, Leah has some great advice and even reviews her own rebrand. She makes a choice not to overwhelm the reader with information on how to start blogging, which is really nice since there’s a wealth of information on that topic out there.

One of the longer chapters is on Pinterest secrets, and it was a very timely section for me to find. She shares some great data on Pinterest users and why everyone should be using it for their blog and business. (Yes, your own freelance or entreprenurial career is a business!) I’ll be going back to review this often, along with the added value links, to apply the tips and up my Pinterest game.

Leah Davis, author of Take Your Life Back

Leah Davis, author of Take Your Life Back

Take Your Life Back also covers investing in yourself and networking. It’s important to build relationships as well as your skills – Leah shares her favorite courses, conferences, and books, as well as online and in-person networking communities. The book also includes interviews with many of the people she’s befriended along the way who are also digital nomads, spotlighting their journeys to entrepreneurship.

She covers some of the less “fun” parts of becoming a digital nomad as well, like financial and tax considerations. I think if you’ve gotten to the point where you’re reading a book about location independence, you’ve considered the monetary implications, but the tax information and resources are very helpful.

The book goes on with ways to stay motivated on your journey, and also staying connected – sometimes, the travel lifestyle can make it difficult to find reliable wifi! Leah also talks her favorite destinations and ways to save money – I consider myself pretty Google savvy, but she had a lot of helpful tips on how to hack the search engine to help you find deals!

The bonus chapter is her social media management contract. It can even be edited for any type of freelance position – just carefully edit “social media” to apply to your gig.

There’s a ton of value in this book. A lot of these tips are things I’m working on right now (like Pinterest marketing!) so I’m working hard to put them into practice. The links she shares for online networking are super helpful as well and I’m excited to get involved. The chapter on Legal and Tax Considerations was super valuable as well – for me, and for anyone who has dipped their toes into online entrepreneurship in any fashion.

Pick up your copy today, and be sure to visit The Sweetest Way for more great information and resources!

Are you a digital nomad, or are you aspiring to be? Share what you’re working on with us!

June 9, 2017

7 companies hiring right now for june 2017

Posted in Career by

It’s June, which means it’s finally summer! There’s no better time than this season to be a digital nomad. Anytime I want, I can take my laptop out onto the porch and soak up some vitamin D, or head out on a weekend beach trip and work from Starbucks. There are a wide variety of jobs that can be done remotely, and lots of companies are hiring work from home employees right now! It’s not for web developers and designers anymore. There are positions in every industry, including marketing and content writing, customer service and tech support, and even human resources. Here are seven positions you can apply to right now – some of them even without any remote or advanced experience on your resume!

Director, Brand & Content Strategies at Remote Year: Remote Year is an organization that helps digital nomads travel the world, working in twelve cities around the world for one month each. They’re looking for a marketing pro to define the brand, manage content and editorial direction, engage the community, and other marketing strategies. This job sounds challenging and fun. They’re a company dedicated to the idea of location independence, so it could be a great way to see the world!

Customer Service Pro (Full-Time) at MeetEdgar: MeetEdgar is a social media automation service, having launched in 2014 and continuing to grow >exponentially.If you have customer service experience in any area (retail, hospitality or food, or even working in a gym for a few examples) you can definitely apply that knowledge here!It’s best suited for a social media lover with some technical knowledge, and they’re looking for someone based in the States.

Content Marketer & Writer, Hubstaff: Hubstaff is an HR software service used by many remote companies, and they’re also renowned for their blog. They’re looking for someone with content writing experience as an hourly contractor to write posts, setup SEO, editing other writers, and more. (This would be a great position for any blogger who is looking to transition to a remote job. These are things we do in our own businesses every day!)

Customer Service Representative at Museum Hack: Museum Hack started a few years ago to offer “renegade” tours at museums throughout the country. Their business model lends itself to a partially distributed team. Their job openings never last long because company reviews are great – get your application in today.
Content Marketer at Qwilr: Qwilr is a company that lets you replace static graphics and documents with responsive web pages that plug in to presentations to make them more interesting. Based in Australia, they’re recruiting someone with excellent marketing and writing skills. Their job description page is thorough – that’s a good thing, because you can tailor your application materials directly to what they’re looking for! (And who doesn’t want to work for a company that invites them down to Sydney?)

Full-Time Technical Customer Success Contractor at MixMax: I personally use MixMax, so I can testify that it’s a great product and company! This tech company is based in San Fransisco, but they’re hiring a remote customer service employee to become an expert on their email tracking software.

Exectutive Assistant at SkyVerge: An eCommerce company based in Boston but with a fully remote staff, they’re looking for an Executive Assistant. This person will assist with a little bit of everything: HR, travel arrangements, and finance are a few of the areas noted. If you’ve been an Office Manager or Virtual Assistant, you can transfer over a lot of your skills!

Want to get access to a frequently updated database of companies in all industries that hire remotely, as well as other resources to help out in your career? Sign up for the mailing list today and you’ll get the database as soon as it’s ready!

June 2, 2017

types of remote jobs that let you work from home

Posted in Career by

Working from home has been growing in popularity – whether it’s owning your own business, freelancing, or contracting for a larger company, there are many ways you can start working from home. No more commute, no freezing office, and no annoying cubicle neighbors – sounds awesome, right? While it is really great, it’s not always as easy as it sounds, and these kinds of jobs are competitive. Today I’m sharing some ideas of jobs you can get to work from home.

Even a lot of traditional companies are hiring remote employees now. Businesses are going virtual for a lot of reasons: a smaller team means lower overhead cost for space, and eliminating the commute can also lead to higher employee happiness. Workers are using it as negotiating tools as well when landing a new job: sometimes they’re willing to accept lower pay for a full- or part-time telecommute schedule.

There are a lot of businesses you can start yourself to work from home, but there’s a difference between working for a company and being your own boss. Running your own business has tax implications, requires organization and responsibility that not everyone is inclined toward, not to mention benefits can be lacking vs. a traditional job. Since owning my own business is not my area of expertise, I’m instead focusing (primarily) on types of jobs for companies that hire remote workers.

Web Design/Development:  One of the most popular remote jobs, developers and designers have been working remotely for many years. It takes some training, but with dev bootcamp schools (many available virtually, so you can even learn from home) offering certifications in a few months, it’s not like going back to school for four years to walk away with a new degree. Start now and you could be looking for a remote dev job by the end of summer!

Music Industry Jobs: Many members of road crews might live in Nashville, but it’s not a requirement since there’s no office to check into every day. Crew members like guitar techs, sound engineers, tour managers, merch sellers, and accountants tend to meet up a few days before heading out on the road, meaning they can keep their home bases wherever they’d like. These jobs obviously require extensive travel, but if that’s not your speed, there are other music options – if you have an outgoing personality, a booking agent or promotions position would be great for you. Every performing rights organization hires remote employees as well for jobs ranging from research to licensing sales.

Read more…

April 7, 2017