Modern Rules for Working With a Virtual Assistant


Virtual assistants are one of the relatively few industries that have benefited from the pandemic. While restaurants and exercise studios shuttered their doors, remote work grew by leaps and bounds.


One poll found that 70% of virtual assistants reported an increase in inbound inquiries, and 45% increased their hourly workload in 2020. Labor statistics showed a 41% increase in the hiring of virtual assistants through offshore agencies, and many agencies increased their staff to keep up with demand.


If you’re exploring remote support, you have more options now. However, you may need guidance to sort through your choices. Brush up on the modern rules for working with a virtual assistant.


Hiring a Virtual Assistant:


  1. Consult an agency. Hiring decisions can have a big impact on your business, so you may feel more comfortable using an agency if you lack experience. For a fee, they’ll find appropriate candidates and conduct interviews.
  2. Do it yourself. On the other hand, you can save money by managing the process yourself. Browse business publications and websites for tips on writing a job posting, interviewing online, and checking references.
  3. Use online platforms. Many virtual assistants offer their services through companies like Upwork and Fiverr. You may need to sift through hundreds of applicants, but you can find help quickly when you need it.
  4. Search locally. Your virtual assistant may live on another continent or down the street. Use local job boards and word of mouth if you want someone close to home.
  5. Think ahead. However you hire, keep your future needs in mind. Look for candidates who may be able to take on more responsibility and help you grow your business.


Working with a Virtual Assistant:


  1. Clarify expectations. Misunderstandings can arise among colleagues in the same office. Imagine what it’s like working with someone without any face-to-face contact. Be specific about required tasks and goals. Set boundaries related to spending limits and confidential information.
  2. Document procedures. How-to manuals and video tutorials can explain routine duties and complex assignments. Ask your virtual assistant to write up any new responsibilities to keep your library up to date.
  3. Invest in tools. Technology will make collaboration easier. Shop for software that lets you edit documents and manage projects.
  4. Communicate regularly. Staying in touch may require a more deliberate strategy when you don’t run into each other in the hallways and breakroom. Schedule effective one-on-one meetings at least once a week. Discuss the best way to reach you with urgent and nonurgent communications.
  5. Encourage questions. New hires may feel pressured to appear competent. Let them know that you’re happy to answer questions when anything is unclear.
  6. Provide feedback. Constructive criticism is essential for learning and high performance. Make your comments prompt, specific, and actionable.
  7. Start small. Virtual assistants need onboarding too. If time allows, introduce them gradually to their new role and help them to connect with the bigger picture. Make their first assignment something simple that they can excel at.
  8. Respect their time. Maybe your virtual assistant has limited availability or you’re one of several clients. Make the most of your time together by being prepared for the hours they spend with you.
  9. Build morale. Team spirit has more to do with the quality of your relationship rather than sharing the same business address. Create a welcoming environment and promote two-way conversations. Give your new assistant their own company email and send them a coffee cup with your logo.


Your new virtual assistant could save you time and enable you to focus on tasks that maximize your strengths. Make your relationship happy and productive by choosing an outstanding candidate for the job and helping each other to succeed.

If you’re looking for something more traditional, or unique for yourself, check our Job Search Engine.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering a Career Change


When we leave school, college, or university, often we have no idea what we really want. We choose a job or career based on what our parents, friends, or career advisors say.


Then, ten years on, we find ourselves in a mediocre situation, with a growing sense of disappointment and dissatisfaction about our work and our place in it. Is it too late to change direction and do something completely new or different?


Of course not!


Life is changing rapidly and dramatically. New careers, ideas, and opportunities are popping up all the time. Things we would never have thought possible just a few years ago have become household favorites virtually overnight.


Who would have thought it was possible for the biggest taxi company in the world to own no taxis? Who would have thought that the biggest online retailer doesn’t have a single product of their own to sell? Who would have thought a whole new industry could be born simply from fast-food delivery?


What Do You Want?


If you want to change direction, at any age, the most important thing is to discover is what you really want out of life.

  • What interests you?
  • What fascinates you?
  • What do you feel passionate about?


Make a list on each of these important issues and see where they overlap or have commonality. Hidden in there somewhere are the basic elements of a complete change of direction for you.


When you really dig into your lists, it’s possible to create a basic plan of careers, jobs, and opportunities to explore that can lead you to a life of fulfilment and happiness.


If you pursue that path as long as it keeps you happy and fulfilled, you’ll never look back. However, there might well come a day when life changes and/or you change, and it might be time to change direction again. It happens all the time in this rapidly developing world.


Exploring the Idea of a Career Change


Once you’ve gone through your lists and found some careers that will fulfil your passions and interests, you’ll want to consider other aspects of them, too.


Ask yourself these questions:


1. Will it make me enough money?

You’ll want to consider how you’ll monetize your interest and what pursuing that aspect will entail for you. Do you want to get a new job in this field? Start your own business?

  • With the advent of social media and internet marketing, it’s possible to reach out to thousands of potential customers or clients all over the world without ever leaving home.
  • The potential of making money is certainly there, but you might need to retrain and learn some new skills to reach out and get it.

2. What will others think of my career change?

This is an age-old question that stops many people from making changes that could change their life for the better, forever. However, keep in mind that all the time that you’re worried about what other people think, say, or do, you’ll never be free.

  • Consider the maxim, “Whatever other people think of me is none of my business.” 
  • We have no way to influence what others think of us other than by setting a good example. Let them think whatever they want while you go out and get things done! Never let those who think it can’t be done interrupt those who are already out there doing it.

3. What am I willing to give up in order to create something really incredible?

Many times, you’ll find that preparing for a new career encroaches on your current life. If this is the case, weigh the costs of time, money, and effort against your current life to help determine which aspect is more important to you.

  • Would you sell your car to fund a program where you could learn new skills and explore new ideas?
  • Would you give up your evenings or your social life to reinvest that time in educating yourself in a completely different career or opportunity?
  • Are you willing to work weekends and evenings to study new concepts, ideas, or strategies?

4. Will I be good enough to make it work?

The very fact that you’re reading this says that you’re searching for change, reassurance about change, and that something is pulling you forward towards change.

  • You already considered that there is more to your life than that which you are currently experiencing, and you want to know what it is and get fully engaged with it, right?
  • Mindset is vitally important. Let your motivation carry you forward. As you take action, a positive mindset will help you overcome any obstacles that may arise.


Your life is entirely under your control and what you do with it is your decision alone. Get busy, make some decisions and take action, and keep moving forward with your ideas and intentions.


The answers may not come overnight, but as long as you pursue what interests you, fascinates you, and makes you happy, you will find the answers that you seek.


Beware of any criticism of your dreams and ideas from anyone you wouldn’t go to for sound advice. After all, opinions are ten a penny. Everyone has them, but opinions are not going to help or support you.


Be relentless in your pursuit of happiness and fulfilment. Go at it like your whole life depends on it. Because it does.


If you’d like some help with finding some opportunities for that career change, check our Job Search Engine.

You’ve possibly been missing out on the best productivity tip ever!


It’s quite possible that this is the best kept secret to help improve productivity. There are many well-known people from history that were famous for taking naps, including Thomas Edison and Mark Twain. Many people take naps, but many more do not. A common complaint of the non-napping is that of grogginess upon awakening. There are two solutions for this: Nap for a shorter period of time and practice.


A quick nap avoids the deeper stage of sleep that leaves you feeling worse than you did before. With experience, your body will learn to not only accommodate a nap, but to welcome it.


Napping is a quick and easy way to refresh your body and mind. Increased productivity is the result. You’ll get more done over the course of your day if you include a quick nap. Your evening will be more productive, too.


Try these ideas to incorporate a short nap into your schedule:


1. Naps don’t need to be long to provide great results. Even short, 15-20 minutes naps have been shown to invigorate people that need a break.


  • It’s been reported that the famous artist, Salvador Dali, would sleep in a chair with a spoon in his hand. When he fell asleep, the spoon would drop from his hand and hit a metal pan on the floor, waking him up. He claimed this was the perfect length nap.

2. Make yourself comfortable. This might mean taking off your tie, loosening your belt, and removing your shoes. It only takes a few seconds and will help to ensure a productive nap.


3. It’s not necessary to even fall asleep. There’s little doubt that falling asleep for a few minutes is better than not sleeping at all. However, lying down, closing your eyes, and relaxing your body and mind can still have benefits even if you don’t fall asleep.

  • Empty your mind and simply relax.

4. Use an alarm. It’s hard to really relax if you’re afraid of oversleeping. Set the alarm on your cell phone and fall asleep with a clear mind. If you’re especially worried, consider two alarms.

5. If you have the time, experiment with longer naps. If your situation allows it, try sleeping for 30 minutes or more. Pay attention to how you feel after naps of varying lengths. Many people find that napping beyond a certain length of time leaves them feeling sluggish and groggy.

6. If one nap is good, maybe two (or three) is even better. Experiment with multiple naps. Some people never sleep for extended periods of time and take several longer naps instead.

7. Upon awakening, stretch, have a drink of water, and start with simple activities. It might take a few minutes to become 100% awake.

  • Filing papers, taking a short walk, and listening to voicemails are all good tasks after a nap, and will help improve productivity immediately.

8. Learn to recognize when a nap is needed. The signs will be different for everyone, but some common signs are fatigue, difficulty focusing, and irritability. If you’re feeling off, a quick nap might be a great solution.

You might believe that you aren’t suited to napping, but nearly everyone will benefit from a short nap or two during the day. The key is to keep the nap short and give your mind and body the chance to adapt. Give napping an honest effort before determining that it’s not for you.


You will improve productivity, and your day will be more enjoyable. You might find yourself doing more around the house in the evenings, too! Give napping a chance. It will not only improve productivity, but perk up your overall quality of life in multiple ways.


If you’d like some help with finding new opportunities, check our Job Search Engine.

COVID-19, lockdowns, work-from-home, vaccines, and web-meetings all day have worn many to the breaking point. Recovering from the pandemic may require taking a new job, maybe in a new place, and possibly even a completely new career. This isn’t necessarily a negative though. Most of us, at some point in our lives, are presented with the opportunity to make a fresh start. If you change your job, move to a different town or even country, you can reinvent yourself, tidy up all the loose ends in your recent past and step out into a brand-new persona.


You can change the way you dress, live, and how you show up in life. This is a particularly refreshing time for those people who welcome change, because it gives them a reason and a purpose to change everything at the same time.


If you relish the opportunity to change, consider these Top 10 Tips to help reinvent yourself:


1. Avoid giving in to what is expected, reasonable, sensible, or appropriate.

The point here is to enjoy yourself. For example:

  • If you’ve been ‘the grey suit guy’ all your life and you want to be the Hawaiian Shirt guy, just do it.
  • If you’ve been ‘the modest condo guy’, and you secretly lusted after a penthouse suite with views of the ocean, find one.
  • And if you’ve always been the ‘BMW sedan guy’ but love the idea of driving a 55 Chevy pick-up, this is your time to shine. People will notice that you live life according to your own rules, and you can enjoy every minute of it!

2. If you’re in a new job or locale, this is a time to make new friends

Choose carefully and wisely. You don’t need to be everybody’s friend.

  • Keep your circle small. Sound people out and use your new friends to sound out new places and potential new hobbies too. Others will notice that you’re friendly but have a private side too.

3. Practice being a great listener

You’ll be amazed at what you can learn about people, places, and everything else if you just listen. Ask lots of questions. You’re new here and others will expect you to ask questions. Ask some good ones…and listen.

  • A surprising perk of this technique is that others will refer to you as a great conversationalist!

4. Take time to explore the area …. alone

You’ll notice and appreciate more if you’re alone. Take pictures and make notes. It will make for great conversations later!

5. Be a good neighbor

Take time to help others. Practice random acts of kindness at every opportunity.

  • Others will appreciate you and speak well of you, especially if you help with no thought of a reward. Do it because you can and for no other reason.

6. Stand up and speak out for things you have a passion for

Let others know that you are both willing and able to make your point, debate an issue, or speak up for those who have no voice. People will notice that you are selfless and put others before yourself.

7. Start early

Show that you have a zest for life and can’t wait to get at it each day. Walk quickly and with purpose. Always be the first to volunteer for everything.

  • You will win some and you will lose some, but overall, you will win because everyone will know you as the one who is up for everything.

8. Be generous with your praise for everybody who has earned it

Giving credit to others will show how much you appreciate them, and it will come back to you tenfold.

9. Keep yourself fit and healthy

Set a good example. You don’t have to go crazy – just eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and do some form of exercise that raises your heart rate for 30 minutes each day.

  • The pay-off is phenomenal. Others will notice you and be inspired, which, in turn, will inspire you to continue.

10. Thank others – for everything, all the time

Show your gratitude to as many people as you can, as often as you can. Most people are starved of thanks for a job well done, for sharing their wisdom, or for acknowledging their kindness.

  • People will appreciate you forever if you show them gratitude for good words and deeds.


Most of the time, our mind runs on autopilot because how we show up in life is directed by our subconscious mind. When you turn the job over to your conscious mind and really put some thought into it, amazing things can happen.


People’s perception of you can change in a heartbeat if you apply any one of these Top 10 Tips. If you apply yourself to all 10, you will, indeed, be a completely different person – one that you consciously designed. Try it – you’ll like it!


If you’d like some help with finding some opportunities to explore as you reinvent yourself, check our Job Search Engine.

A Foolproof Formula for Cutting Down on Excessive Meetings


Since we’ve transitioned to so many work from home employees, meetings on Zoom, Citrix and every other platform have exploded. So many meetings can have an effect on your productivity. Are you unable to complete your work because meetings are eating up your time? One study found that the average senior manager spends as much as 23 hours of their week in scheduled meetings. The figures are even higher if you add in the impromptu gatherings that occur in most workplaces.


There are logical reasons for why meetings tend to multiply. They provide an opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other.


However, when they start to feel overwhelming or pointless, they may actually lower morale and productivity.


Imagine what your workday would be like if meetings were less frequent and more productive. Try these suggestions for transforming your approach to meetings.


Making Meetings Less Frequent:


  1. Consult your boss. There are steps you can take on your own to cut down on meetings. However, you’ll probably make more progress if you work as a team. Ask your boss if they’re interested in developing an overall strategy.
  2. Clear the calendar. Do you attend weekly meetings whose origins are shrouded in mystery? It may be time to start from the ground up. Review each recurring meeting to ensure that it still serves a valid purpose.
  3. Call first. Make a quick phone call to see if you can resolve the relevant issues before asking your colleagues to attend a meeting. You could also try handling it on your own or asking another employee for assistance.
  4. Create meeting-free days. Take a day off from the conference room. Some companies have made a commitment to at least one day without meetings each week. This gives employees more time for tasks that benefit from deeper thought and fewer distractions.
  5. Opt out. If you’re tactful about it, you may be able to turn down meeting invitations without causing any friction. Explain your conflict and propose an alternative like using project management tools or creating internal reference materials. It also helps to have a supportive boss.


Making Meetings More Productive:


  1. Prepare an agenda. Keep your meeting on track by circulating a written agenda. It will provide a sense of direction and help participants to stick to the main subject.
  2. Limit attendance. Most experts believe that meetings are more effective when they’re limited to about 8 participants. Larger groups often experience more difficulties with communication and decision making.
  3. Shorten the time frame. Why schedule an hour-long meeting when 45 minutes will suffice? Having less time encourages greater focus and fewer conversations about items unrelated to the agenda.
  4. Finish early. Give your colleagues an incentive to be concise. Make it a habit to end meetings ahead of time when the work is completed.
  5. Stand up. Try conducting some of your meetings standing up or walking around. You’ll be less likely to want to linger on a cushioned seat because you’re sleepy. You may also think and speak more clearly when you’re on your feet.
  6. Ban browsing. Do you want to join the ranks of companies that prohibit phones and other devices from meetings? On the other hand, you may be satisfied with a policy for muting phones and using devices only for tasks relevant to the meeting.
  7. Upgrade your technology. Then again, some technology may enhance your meetings. Use video conference calls and screen sharing applications to keep things interesting and accomplish more in less time.
  8. Provide leader training. Talk with your employer about providing training for employees who conduct meetings. It may help you to build morale and achieve your objectives.


Meetings can encourage collaboration and strengthen professional relationships. Work with your employer to ensure that your meetings are essential and successful.


If you’d like some help with finding some opportunities, check our Job Search Engine.

We often hear about the luck of the Irish and four leaf clovers. Do you believe in luck? Does it really exist? Here are a few thoughts as St. Patrick’s Day approaches, this coming Wednesday.

While you can’t change your luck in the lottery, you can change your luck in life. When you’re lucky, good things seem to happen by accident. Of course, luck is no accident. Lucky people give themselves the best opportunity to experience good luck. Lucky people expect success, work hard, and stay alert for opportunities.


Try these strategies and experience more luck in your life:


  1. Have high expectations. Things rarely work out better than you expect. Having high expectations increases the odds of something positive happening. If you’re not expecting something great to happen, you likely won’t notice the opportunity when it presents itself. Raise your expectations and enjoy more luck.
  • Low expectations are often met with bad luck.
  1. Visualize success. Keep your mind and expectations positive by visualizing a positive result. Image yourself with more wealth or your perfect partner. It’s easier to achieve that which you believe.
  2. Trust your instincts. You’re only consciously aware of a tiny portion of what’s happening around you. However, your brain is exposed to it all, even if you’re unaware. Your gut feelings are often based upon information outside of your conscious awareness. Trust your gut and you’ll experience more good luck.
  3. Take full advantage of opportunities. An opportunity is often the first stage of good luck. You have to take the next step to reap the full benefits.
  • What opportunities do you have right now that you’re ignoring?
  1. Face fear head-on. Good luck is often on the other side of fear. Those that are paralyzed by fear aren’t lucky. The bold and courageous find good fortune more than the rest of us. Face your fears and step out of your comfort zone. Fear is an imaginary barrier to receiving good luck.
  2. If you’re stressed or otherwise mentally occupied, you don’t have room for luck to appear. One great opportunity after another could present itself and you wouldn’t notice. It’s easier to be lucky when you’re relaxed, alert, and fully present.
  • Meditation and prayer are effective ways to relax and open your mind to all the possibilities around you. Spend time each day relaxing.
  1. Instead of waiting for lightning to strike, set aside time to come up with a spectacular idea. Your brain is great at finding solutions, so be clear in your intentions. Ask yourself the appropriate question.
  • “How can I increase my earnings by $25,000 this year?”
  • “What is the best way to find the man of my dreams?”
  • “How can I go back to school and still earn a living?”
  1. Work hard. The harder you work, the luckier you’ll be. The best way to avoid good luck is to be lazy. Get out in the world and stir things up. Luck will find its way to you.
  2. Be generous. Generosity has a way of finding its way back to you. When you’re willing to do things for others, others are more willing to do things for you. You never know how or when your generosity will be returned, so be kind to everyone you meet.


Being lucky isn’t an accident. Lucky people create an environment for luck to occur. A positive attitude, hard work, and high expectations provide the best chance for good luck to happen. Think about the people you know that are very lucky and those that are very unlucky. Compare how they behave and view life. Can you identify the differences?


Which way would you rather live? In any case, happy St. Paddy’s Day!


And, by the way, if you’d like some help with finding some opportunities, check our Job Search Engine.


“How you do anything, is how you do everything”

The way we behave in our personal lives will almost universally affect how we behave in our work lives. 

Well, which are you? A professional shows up every day and does the necessary work. An amateur does not. Even your hobbies can be approached in a professional manner. However, being a pro doesn’t have to mean that you’re obsessed and spend every possible moment and thought on your objective.


Being professional means that you take it seriously, spend your time and energy appropriately, do what needs to be done, and avoid allowing less important things to interfere.


A high school student can be a pro or an amateur at school. A pro would attend class regularly, have their homework done on time, start studying for tests early, and spend some time studying each night.


An amateur student would daydream, study at the last minute, and only complete some of the homework. A pro student wouldn’t go out the night before a big test. An amateur would.


Are you treating your career and relationship like a pro or like an amateur?


Pros outperform amateurs over time, every time:


  1. A professional sticks to a schedule. An amateur works when he feels “inspired.” If you only work when you feel like it, you’ll never be successful. Whether you’re writing a book, training for a marathon, or starting a business, it’s important to do what needs to be done and do it each day. A professional does this. An amateur does not.


  1. Professionals have priorities. Amateurs have priorities, but they have a different set of priorities. Professionals make their work a priority. Amateurs make comfort a priority. The high school quarterback that spends each evening looking at game film has a different priority than the quarterback that would rather play video games.


  1. Professionals expect, and deal with, discomfort effectively. Pros know that most of what they have to do doesn’t involve sunshine and unicorns. But they do it anyway. Amateurs want to have fun and lose their motivation quickly if the task is unenjoyable.


Are you acting like a professional, or dooming yourself to mediocrity as an amateur?


Anyone can become a pro. And you can become a pro at anything you choose. You can be a pro at being a dog owner or caring for your lawn. There isn’t time to be a pro at everything, so choose wisely.


Become a pro and leave the amateur world behind:


  1. Identify the most important tasks. What you’re trying to master will determine the most relevant behaviors. For example, if you’re a real estate broker, your list might look like this:


  • Market myself by ranking my website – write industry-related articles and acquire backlinks from real estate authority sites.
  • Acquire new clients – cold call expired listings and knock on doors.


  1. Make a schedule. When will you perform these tasks? How many times will you repeat them each day? Determine when and how often. Make a schedule that uses your time wisely and effectively. One cold-call each week won’t accomplish much. Making a cold-call in the middle of the night won’t gain you any fans, either.
  2. Stick to it. This is the real difference between a pro and an amateur. Whether you feel like doing the work or not, you’ll do it if you’re a pro. A pro just does what needs to be done.
  3. Evaluate other decisions by how they affect your area of concentration. Making a fool out of yourself in public won’t do much for your political career or your climb up the corporate ladder. An all-night party won’t help your attempts to secure a tennis scholarship. A pro considers how any decision impacts his area of expertise and his goals.


It’s time to take yourself seriously and go pro. Real success requires commitment to do the things that others aren’t willing to do consistently. Choose to handle your important business like a pro. You’ll never have to worry about competing with the amateurs.

If you’d like some help with finding some opportunities, check our Job Search Engine.

13 Strategies for Making Your Job Search More Efficient


Some things are beyond your control when you’re searching for a job. You wait for companies to call you back, and you compete with other candidates who may have stronger qualifications.


However, you can take charge of making your job hunt more efficient. That way you’ll make the process faster and more rewarding, regardless of the state of the economy.


The secret is getting organized and taking care of yourself. Use this checklist to work smarter rather than harder while you’re preparing for your next position.


Tips for Organizing Your Job Search


Careful planning and helpful routines reduce stress and enable you to accomplish more. You’ll maximize the return on your efforts.


Try these top tips:


  1. Clarify your goals. Charting your career path will help you to understand your values and make sounder decisions. You’ll be able focus your efforts on your top priorities.
  2. Leverage your strengths. Customize your job hunt based on your skills and resources. Maybe you have a powerful alumni network. Maybe you communicate more effectively in writing or on the phone.
  3. Limit your research. You need to know about the companies where you’re applying but ensure that you’re allocating enough time for the rest of your to-do list. You can gather more information if you’re invited to interview.
  4. Polish your writing. Make your applications stand out. Edit your cover letters to match the requirements of each position. Use keywords. Describe your past achievements and what you can offer.
  5. Take advantage of technology. Automate tasks to save time. Email alerts will notify you of new openings, so you can be among the first to apply. Use project management apps to track and evaluate your progress.
  6. Batch similar tasks. Block out time for checking job boards or keeping in touch with network contacts. Activities that require the same thought process usually take less time because your brain doesn’t have to switch gears.
  7. Avoid distractions. Figure out where you may be wasting time. Let your family and friends know the hours when you want to be undisturbed. Set limits on video streaming and internet browsing.
  8. Clear away clutter. Tidy up your environment. Try to cut down on paper documents and develop a filing system that works for you.
  9. Ask for help. Let your family, friends, and colleagues know how they can assist you. Talk with recruiters and consider hiring professional services like resume writing if your own efforts have stalled.


Tips for Taking Care of Yourself During Your Job Search


It’s difficult to be productive when you’re anxious and depressed. Investing in yourself will keep your energy levels up and help you to make a more positive impression when you’re interviewing.


These strategies will help:


  1. Sleep well. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day even if you’re unemployed. If anxious thoughts make you toss and turn, get out of bed and do something boring until you feel drowsy.
  2. Eat healthy. Fuel up with nutritious meals and snacks. If you’re watching your grocery spending, stock up on beans, lentils, and oats. Frozen produce often costs less than fresh and can be just as healthy.
  3. Exercise regularly. Staying active will give you more energy, enhance your mood, and help you sleep at night. Go for a run or jump rope. Do stretches and body weight exercises at home.
  4. Manage stress. Take time to relax and have fun. Call a friend or a community hotline if you’re struggling with difficult emotions.


A long job hunt can take its toll on your self-esteem and bank account. Being efficient will help you to increase your success rate and move ahead in your career.

If you’d like some help with finding some opportunities, check our Job Search Engine.

The Secret to Leading a Successful Online Meeting


If you think it’s more difficult to lead a meeting when it’s conducted online, you have plenty of company. Nine out of ten meeting organizers say online meetings and virtual events are more challenging, according to a recent poll by the software company Slido.


Picture your own experience. One minute you’re looking at a spreadsheet, and the next you’re wondering what to eat for lunch. Maybe you’re even tempted to take a quick look at the carryout menu from that new  burger place.


Keeping a group engaged requires more effort when you’re logging in from separate locations.


Use these ideas to make your next online meeting a success.


Steps to Take Before Your Meeting:


  1. Choose video. For the closest thing to being in the same room, choose video. Attendees are more likely to stay alert when they’re on camera. Plus, being able to see facial expressions and body language enriches the discussion.
  2. Run a test. Safeguard precious meeting time by checking your technology in advance. Test for video and audio quality. Have microphones and other devices on hand if needed.
  3. Distribute your agenda. Ask attendees to read the agenda and supporting materials in advance. This gives them an opportunity to process their thoughts, plan appropriately for the meeting, and seek input from others if needed.
  4. Rehearse thoroughly. Practicing what you want to say will increase your confidence and enhance your performance. Record yourself if it helps.
  5. Be flexible. Ideally, each participant will log in from a quiet and private location. However, it makes sense to accommodate employees who may still be adjusting to remote work. That might mean having to feed a baby or reminding others to stay on mute when they’re not speaking.

Steps to Take During Your Online Meeting:


  1. Greet each other. Log in early so you can spend your first minutes socializing. Small groups can ask for brief updates from each participant. Larger groups may want to introduce themselves. Knowing each other’s names and roles will make it easier to interact.
  2. Assign jobs. Giving each employee something specific to do reduces the risk that they’ll zone out. Rotate responsibility for taking minutes or using an app to collect questions. Ask staff members to prepare brief presentations on subjects related to their responsibilities and expertise.
  3. Engage a facilitator. Put someone in charge of keeping the meeting flowing smoothly. You can use a staff member or hire a consultant. Having a facilitator helps with guiding the discussion and encouraging active participation.
  4. Consider breaking out. Separating into smaller groups often leads to deeper conversation and greater inclusiveness. Choose video platforms with features that support such options.
  5. Vary the agenda. Attendees may start checking their Facebook page while listening to long speeches. Grab their attention with fun activities like polls and quizzes, as well as regular breaks.


Steps to Take After Your Meeting:


  1. Wrap it up. Online meetings are different because employees won’t be running into each other in the hallways afterwards for casual conversation. Spend your final moments reviewing what you’ve accomplished, including clarifying deliverables and next steps. Give each employee a chance to comment.
  2. Ask for feedback. For more input, send out a written evaluation survey. Ask each participant what they liked and what they would want to change.
  3. Send a podcast. Record your session, so you can give your team a podcast afterwards. It will help update anyone who was unable to log in. Attendees may also want to refresh their memory or have documentation to clear up potential misunderstandings.


The secret to leading a successful online meeting is making your session valuable and fun. Slido suggests using a game or quiz. Experiment with techniques that encourage interaction and collaboration. You’ll be able to accomplish your objectives while enjoying the safety and convenience of connecting online.

If you’d like some help with finding some opportunities, check our Job Search Engine.

Of course networking is important to help find the right opportunity.


But what does that mean? There’s no doubt that networking can give your career a good boost. Many employment opportunities are never posted, and they’re ultimately filled by someone that knew someone that knew someone else. It’s important to put yourself within that social chain.


With the internet, it’s not as important to network face to face, but it’s still necessary to get the most from your networking efforts.


Remember that everyone you meet is an opportunity to network.


Spend part of your week networking and making new contacts with these methods:


  1. Examine your current resources. You already know someone that is well-connected. Think about all of your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Consider your entire social network. Maybe you’re a member of a church, Moose Lodge, or a local women’s group. Are you leveraging those contacts effectively?
  2. The key to effective networking is consistency and persistence. A little each day is more effective than a monumental effort every once in a while. It’s like going to the gym. You need to be consistent in your efforts if you want to see big results. Set aside time to reach out to people each week.
  3. Join relevant local and national organizations. Whether you’re a chemist, firefighter, priest, school teacher, or plumber, there are organizations that cater to your needs and interests. Become a part of them. In many cases, your employer will foot the bill. Do some research and see what you can find.
  4. Make use of social media. is great for networking. Utilize social media and make your presence known to the world. Make contact with a few people regularly via social media.
  5. Be proactive. You can’t just stand in the middle of the crowd at a networking event and expect people to line up for the privilege of talking to you. The burden is on you to start conversations. Take the bull by the horns and mingle. You’ll get much better with practice.
  6. Learn to ask open-ended questions. It’s hard to maintain a conversation by asking questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no”. Ask questions that require a detailed answer. You’ll find it much easier to speak with others when you use open-ended questions.
  7. Follow up religiously. Communicating with someone one time won’t do much for you. Reach out to the most promising contacts you’ve made and touch base. Stay in touch.
  8. You can’t expect to receive more effort and value than you provide. You truly receive what you give when it comes to networking. You won’t get much if you don’t give much. Make a real effort to help others.
  9. Focus on quality over quantity. Passing out your business card like you’re passing out car wash coupons won’t do you a lot of good. Everyone can see what you’re doing. Make an effort to make a few real connections rather than throwing a 100 darts at the wall. Quality counts.
  10. Connect others together. This can be especially powerful. Bring other people together. This is especially easy to do and can pay off down the road for your own career.
  11. Avoid selling or asking for anything. If every time you reach out to someone you’re trying to get something from them, people will tire of you very quickly. Instead, give them something. “I know you’re interested in the effect of the Trans Pacific Partnership on the trade deficit. Here’s an article I thought you might be interested in.”

Networking can be an effective way to begin the process of building relationships with potential employers. You can also get to know people that can give you referrals. Ensure that you’re also doing all you can for your network. The more value you can provide, the more you’re likely to receive.

If you’d like some help with finding some opportunities, check our Job Search Engine