Owning real estate for investment purposes can be a great path to wealth. Depending on the property, it can generate predictable cash flow, capital gains and provide tax benefits. Besides being lucrative, real estate investing can be a hedge against inflation and an excellent way to diversify your investment portfolio.
There are several ways to invest in realty, from purchasing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), rental single-family or multi-family properties, flipping houses, building an investment property, or joining a real estate syndication.
Your choice in real estate investing will depend on the specific role you seek or want to avoid. Suppose you prefer to be a passive real estate investor as part of a group investing in one property and avoid the burdensome duties of landlords. Real estate syndication may be attractive to someone with capital who prefers to be a passive investor rather than getting involved in an investment property’s operational aspects.
What is Real Estate Syndication?
The structure of real estate syndication consists of two groups: syndicators and investors. The syndicators are real estate professionals of an investment company who team up with individual investors to make the syndication happen. This way, they combine operational expertise and pool financial resources to invest in a project that would be too expensive to tackle individually. Typically, returns are split between syndicators and investors by a 70/30 or 80/20 split. Investors should see a higher participation rate to feel “sponsors have skin in the game.”
A syndicated investment is an excellent way for individual investors to invest in a specific project. Still, it is far from a get-rich-quick scheme. You may be accustomed to long investment periods if you are already a buy-and-hold stock investor. The average holding time for the project is about five years, but some projects may be shorter or take as long as eight to ten years. This timeframe is a considerably long lockup period for some people who may prefer greater liquidity.
The average annualized returns are 15% to 20%. Some deals offer preferred returns averaging 6%-10%. (Preferred returns are paid to investors before the sponsors take their portion of the returns.)
The Structure of A Real Estate Syndication
Syndicators are sponsors of the real estate syndication, organized as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or partnership. As a partnership, the syndicators serve as the general partners (GPs) of the investment company that structure the syndicate and operate the property. They find and vet the specific property, perform due diligence, work with lenders, underwrite the deals, and arrange the deal’s funding.
They should have expertise in investing in real estate property, negotiating with the seller, developing and executing a business plan, property management, and finding investors and capital. They manage the asset and schedule meetings to share the property’s progress and essential information with investors, similar to the investor relations function of any investment.
The GPs do the heavy lifting by executing the plan as sweat equity. Sponsors are in charge of the decision-making, which may be difficult for passive investors who want to provide their input, like moving the project faster or in a different direction.
By financing the capital, passive investors or limited partners (LPs) receive proportionate ownership interests and get monthly or quarterly income distributions from the rental income of the asset as part of their return on investment. Besides investing, passive investors are responsible for paying various management, loans, refinancing, and acquisition fees that the sponsor should disclose.
Like many investments, especially real estate, there is never a guarantee about the timing or amount of profitability, and you can lose money. Longer term, investors should realize capital appreciation upon completion and sale of the project.
Benefits of Real Estate Syndication
The Drawbacks of Real Estate Syndication
How To Participate As A Real Estate Investor
One of the biggest challenges for an investor in a syndicate is becoming an investor with a reputable syndication group. Do your research, find Facebook groups, attend conferences, and talk to other real estate investors. Before committing to the real estate syndication, read the risk factors, read and understand the asset identified in the legal documents, and question the real estate group’s projections. Consider seeking advice from a real estate attorney experienced in syndications.
Although you cannot exit the real estate syndication, you can protect yourself by having an emergency fund with ample liquidity. Although I have done my share of successful real estate investing, I often share one of my most challenging experiences on a real estate project that taught me a lesson about real estate risks, notably recurring delays, added costs, and lengthened timeframe, eliminating most of the property’s profitability.
Various Individual Properties That Work In A Real Estate Syndication
Specific individual properties may work as part of a real estate syndication, including:
Accredited Investor Requirements For Real Estate Syndication
Real estate syndication has been around for decades. Becoming part of a real estate syndication was challenging unless you knew someone in the investment company or had a financial advisor who opened the door to real estate investment opportunities.
Before the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), investment companies would advertise and privately solicit funds from wealthy investors who dominated participation in available syndicates. The SEC, through the Securities Act of 1933, governs the raising of capital through real estate syndication, considering all new private offerings must register with the SEC for approval before soliciting investor funding, similar to the issuance of new securities.
Investing in real estate syndication is subject to Rule 506 of Regulation D, and the SEC outlines accreditation requirements. There are several different ways to be qualified as an accredited investor, including:
An accredited investor, in the context of a natural person, includes anyone who has:
Becoming part of a real estate syndication was challenging unless you knew someone in the investment company or had a financial advisor who opened the door to real estate investment opportunities.
How Does Real Estate Syndication Differ From REITS?
Although passive investors also favor REITs, they sometimes get these confused with real estate syndication.
REITs are publicly-traded securities that are more like a mutual fund of many income-generating properties. By law, REITs must distribute more than 90% of their earnings as dividends and may generate attractive capital appreciation. As marketable securities, they are highly liquid, and you can buy and sell them anytime.
Real Estate Syndication
Real estate syndication’s strategic focus is on a specific real estate property identified by the sponsor before investors contribute their funds. The investors are locked into the operational plan managed by the sponsor, who determines when to sell the property. Investors receive distributions on a monthly or quarterly basis but receive potential capital appreciation based on a prescribed split with the sponsor.
JOBS Act Spurred Crowdfunding Opportunities
The Jumpstart Our Business Startup (or JOBS) Act of 2012 relaxed solicitation rules, making real estate syndication more accessible through real estate crowdfunding, allowing real estate investors to participate in syndications as long as they meet specific criteria and satisfy accreditation requirements.
Crowdfunding means funding a project by raising small amounts of money from a group of investors, which aligns with real estate syndication. Several crowdfunding sites, CrowdStreet, EquityMultiple, and RealtyMogul, provide real estate investment opportunities, allowing accredited investors to participate in individual properties. They vary in minimum investments, fees, timeframe, and specific projects.
Real estate investing can be lucrative. A real estate syndication is an attractive way to invest in a specific real estate property as part of a team, with a common goal of enjoying predictable cash flow, potential capital gains, and tax benefits while diversifying your real estate portfolio. As a passive investor, you’ll avoid the onerous decision-making and duties.
This post originally appeared on Finance Quick Fix.
Whether you’re a young professional still thinking about your career goals or an experienced professional transitioning into another industry, you may have switched jobs a bit before getting to where you are now.
Job hopping is increasingly common in the workforce. However, it’s still seen by employers as a red flag if you have numerous short-term jobs on your resume.
Fortunately, with the right strategy, you can overcome job-hopping in your resume and make a positive first impression on employers.
What is job-hopping?
Job-hopping refers to someone switching jobs multiple times within a short period of time, usually a year or less.
Job-hopping can happen under circumstances outside of your control, like during layoffs or restructuring. Or, it can be a result of struggling to find a company that is the right cultural fit.
Whatever your reason is, whether you’re looking for a more meaningful career or you feel like it’s time to find a new job, you may be concerned about how this will affect your chances of gaining employment.
Here are 3 tips to help you frame your job-hopping in a positive manner:
1. Choose the right resume format
The chronological resume is the most common resume format. It lists your work experiences in reverse chronological order, placing your most recent job title at the top.
This format is a good option for most job seekers, but if your resume features many short-term positions, you may want to choose a functional resume format instead.
A functional resume allows you to emphasize your skills rather than your work experience. You can then group together and elaborate on your acquired skills in categories. Under each skill category, use bullet points to highlight examples of the skills you’ve used in both your work and personal life and detail the positions you’ve used these skills in.
The functional resume format is best used in situations where you’ve experienced long periods of unemployment or you’re switching to a new industry. It’s also a good choice if you have highly specialized, industry-specific skills.
Here’s an example of what a functional resume looks like, with your relevant skills at the top:
If you’re wondering about how to write a functional resume, using a resume builder to optimize your current resume format can simplify the process and save you time so you can focus on writing a solid and customized cover letter.
2. Explain your job-hopping in your cover letter
Job-hopping doesn’t have to be a negative experience. Your cover letter is the perfect place to address job-hopping head-on and turn it into an advantage.
Use your cover letter to explain the circumstances surrounding your job changes. Emphasize that you’re looking for stability in your next role and that you’re not afraid to work hard to succeed. You should clearly state why you didn’t stay longer in a role and describe your departure in a positive manner, even if you experienced a layoff.
Frame your background in a positive manner by emphasizing your skillset and what your various experiences have taught you to pull employers’ attention away from your job-hopping.
For example, you could say:
“My previous workplace couldn’t accommodate my increasing caregiving responsibilities even though I surpassed KPIs. One of the reasons I’m interested in this role is because of the possibility to work on a flexible schedule.”
It’s important not to dwell on the negative experiences you may have encountered (this includes experiences with former employers). Try to find the positive aspects of your time spent in your past positions, such as skills and experiences acquired, and to emphasize those in your cover letter.
Highlight how your job changes have helped you grow professionally and how you’d be able to apply the skills you’ve acquired and developed in your current role. End your cover letter by mentioning that you’d be happy to answer any questions about your employment history if given an opportunity to interview.
Offer to provide references if necessary, which can ease a hiring manager’s doubts about your qualifications, work ethic, and character as an employee.
Since your cover letter is your best opportunity to make a good impression on the hiring manager this early in the hiring process, learning how to write a well-structured cover letter optimized for your unique situation is essential to create a strong job application.
3. Explain your job-hopping during the interview
An interview is your chance to explain any notable gaps in stable employment on your resume. Even if you already touched on the reasons in your cover letter, the hiring manager may still bring it up so it’s best to be prepared.
Be strategically transparent
If job-hopping comes up during your interview, be honest about why you left a position. Don’t be on the defensive, over-explain or downplay your job changes, or blame your former employer. But being transparent doesn’t mean complaining about what you were unhappy about with your previous job’s working conditions, like your manager or colleagues, your workload, or office politics.
A potential employer doesn’t want to hear about potential complaints you may have with their own workplace. Diplomacy is a better policy than full disclosure to avoid negativity.
Here are some acceptable examples to reframe a negative situation:
Note that it’s not mandatory to disclose information concerning highly personal matters like health issues or a difficult family situation, for example. Shift the focus of the conversation during your interview back to your qualifications by:
Focus on your acquired skills and accomplishments
In addition to being honest about your job changes, you should also focus on the skills and accomplishments that you have gained from each position. By emphasizing what you have learned and accomplished, you show that job-hopping has actually been beneficial for your professional development.
Additionally, highlight transferable skills you developed throughout your career to strengthen your application. Here are a few examples:
By being upfront about job-hopping, you show that you’re trustworthy and able to turn difficult situations into a positive learning experience. This will help put the interviewer’s mind at ease, and they’ll be more likely to see your job changes in a positive light.
People know what you’re thinking just by observing your movements and mannerisms.
And, this is true even if you aren’t working in a traditional office. We give off unconscious gestures all the time, and most of them are nonverbal. And believe it or not, these nonverbal expressions could be hurting your career.
Zoom has become a big part of your daily work life if you work from home. According to Zoom, people spend around an hour on each Zoom call. That’s enough time for other participants to notice what you’re doing, and believe it or not, they only need to look at your facial expressions to figure out what you’re thinking.
Most of us don’t realize that we’re making these career-destroying expressions during remote video calls on Zoom.
The next time you’re in a remote video call, pay attention to your facial expressions and nonverbal gestures to make sure they are not secretly hurting your career.
Here are 7 facial expressions that are hurting your career.
1. Raising or lowering your brow.
Furrows are little wrinkles in your forehead, often caused by raising your eyebrows. And, it’s a nearly universal sign that you’re either confused or worried. In some cases, it may indicate to others that you’re angry about something or disagree with what’s being said. Raising your brow is one of the most common nonverbal expressions to avoid.
2. Shaking your head no.
In some contexts, shaking no is perfectly acceptable. But in others, it can be perceived as a condescending reaction to something that you don’t like. And this is especially true if a smirk joins the head shake. Head shakes often come across as rude and judgmental unless you respond to a direct question.
3. Always looking elsewhere.
If you never look at the camera, that’s a clear sign that you’re probably not paying attention. If you are reading or watching something else during the call, resist the temptation to react to it. Out-of-context reactions on Zoom calls are a clear giveaway that you’re unfocused.
For instance, if your boss is talking about the details of a big project, but you’re giggling because you’re watching a YouTube video, that may not help your chances of a raise or promotion. Make a point of looking straight at the camera during the meeting.
Related: Is It Too Late to Buy Zoom Stock?
4. Tightening the lips.
People can usually pick out fake smiles. When we smile with tight or hidden lips, we unconsciously express displeasure or dishonesty.
“When Anthony Weiner said his Twitter account had been hacked, he pulled in his lips. So did A-Rod when he talked about using banned substances. I see many people do it when they’re trying to hide an emotion too uncomfortable to share,” Oprah.com wrote. It happens a lot without us even noticing.
5. Biting your lips.
We bite our lips when we feel nervous or anxious about something. If you bite your lips before speaking or giving an answer to a question, you’re nonverbally communicating to other people that you’re about to say something that you don’t believe. Or something that you’re afraid of what their reaction might be. Either way, it portrays a lack of confidence.
Whether on a video conference or not, slouching is a sign that you’re either disinterested or bored. And both of these nonverbal cues are negative. Instead, sit up straight, especially when you are speaking. Keep your shoulders slightly back and your eyes focused on the screen. This instantly makes you look more in-tune, confident, and professional.
7. Dressing in unprofessional clothes.
Even on video calls, the clothes that you wear make a statement. “While a face-to-face meeting gives you added opportunities (entering the meeting room, shaking hands, etc.), your visual presence sets that first impression on the screen,” writes Dr. Carol Kinsey Goman. Make sure that the clothes you wear put forth the right message.
How can we make ourselves look more professional on video calls?
First, understand that other people are watching us. They notice when we move. If we’re distracted, other people on the call will know. To combat this, stay focused on the meeting by looking over at the camera and screen every 30 seconds. Eye contact is vital.
Maintain good posture throughout the meeting, and avoid touching your face and hair. It’s an indication that you’re nervous or uncomfortable. “This includes playing with your hair, itching your noses, or chewing your lower lip. You want to avoid these when attending a virtual meeting as you don’t want to come across as insecure,” Forbes wrote.
Also, use hand gestures while speaking to avoid looking too robotic. Using our hands makes us appear engaged and focused, and those are two qualities that we always want to portray in professional video conferences.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
How you interact with and relate to others can impact how successful you are in life and your career.
No one wants to work with someone who is negative and always complaining. And no manager wants to hire or promote someone who is rude, temperamental, or unreliable.
Strong interpersonal skills are just as crucial to your career as technical hard skills and expertise. They help you navigate the day-to-day tasks and challenges you face at work.
So what exactly are these skills, and how do you improve them? The list below is by no means extensive, but it’s a good start.
What Are Interpersonal Skills?
Interpersonal skills are the personal and social skills we use to interact and collaborate with others, share ideas or information, and avoid conflict.
They include other soft skills like communication, active listening, critical thinking, empathy, teamwork, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and more.
Why Do We Need Interpersonal Skills?
We use interpersonal skills in all aspects of life, but they are vital if you want to be successful in your career.
Good interpersonal skills can help you be likable and build strong relationships with your co-workers and customers, making your job more enjoyable. Possessing these skills will help you navigate the day-to-day job complexities and changes in the work environment.
Employers value staff with interpersonal and communication skills because they also help you be a better, more productive employee. Being interpersonal will open up new opportunities for you, such as promotions and raises.
How To Learn and Improve Your Interpersonal Skills
It may seem like learning interpersonal skills is as simple as socializing with others. While that will help, it will only get you so far. Here are more ways to develop and improve your interpersonal skills.
1. Change Your Surroundings
A total change in scenery will help you open up your senses and learn from what is happening around you. So instead of sitting at your desk being aware only of what’s happening inside your brain, go and spend time around other people.
2. People Watch
Look around and listen to what others say, how they say it, and why they’re saying it. Take note of how the other people in the conversation respond.
You don’t necessarily have to jump into conversations to learn interpersonal skills. It’s okay to sit and watch for a while and reflect on what’s happening.
3. Identify People with Strong Interpersonal Skills
If you know someone who is friendly and charismatic, and everyone seems to love them, pay close attention to their behavior and words. What do they do differently? What qualities do they have that you admire?
4. Find a Mentor or Coach
It can be hard to learn interpersonal skills alone, so why not find a mentor or coach to work with? They can help you learn how to communicate effectively, how to resolve conflict, and how to build relationships.
A mentor or coach can also provide you with feedback and accountability, which can help you stay on track as you work to improve your interpersonal and other related job skills.
Having someone guide and support you while learning a new skill can make all the difference.
5. Read Books On People Skills
If you want to learn how to talk to others at work more confidently, many books will help you do just that. They cover topics from small talk, body language, successfully navigating relationships, public speaking, overcoming social anxiety, and more.
A few good examples include:
6. Learn How To Make Small Talk & Get Good At It
Making small talk with someone shouldn’t be a big deal, yet we often freeze up when faced with it.
The best way to learn to be a great conversationalist is to practice your conversational skills with new people. It doesn’t matter what you talk about, but choosing a subject you are both interested in is important. (You probably want to avoid politics and religion.)
Commenting on the weather or asking other people about their day is a great go-to conversation starter.
7. Be Approachable and Friendly
Don’t be afraid to say hello to people and start a conversation, even if you don’t know them. If you have the urge to speak to someone new, just do it! You’ll never know if the subject will be of any interest to them or not unless you take a chance. The worst thing that can happen is they give you the cold shoulder and walk away.
8. Join a Group or Club
If you don’t come into contact with many people throughout your day, consider finding a group and joining it. It can be job-related, like a professional association or networking group, but it doesn’t have to be. You could instead find individuals with whom you share the same interest or hobby, like a book club or a sports team.
9. Learn How to Read Body Language
You don’t need to be an expert at reading others, but you should know that some telltale signs give people away, especially when they’re not telling the truth. Various studies suggest that up to 90% of communication is nonverbal, so if you can learn to read body language, you’ll have a leg up on your competition.
10. Ask for Feedback
Try different strategies when making small talk at work and ask for feedback, especially from those you already have a relationship with. And ask your colleagues and work friends how you’re doing with your people skills and keep track of what they say. That way, if anyone gives you negative feedback, you can take the time to self-reflect on why that is happening and change your approach.
Stay open-minded about the feedback and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you’re unsure what someone means.
You can also ask your friends or family members for constructive criticism or suggestions on how you can improve.
11. Practice, Practice, Practice
It might seem like a no-brainer but mastering your people skills requires a lot of effort. You have to put certain things in place before you can expect to see any kind of results. If you want to get off the bench and into the game, you need to prove that you’re willing to work just as hard as everyone else.
Do you know why salespeople are so good at making sales? It’s because they practice their people skills every day. They know how to read people, and they know how to sell them what they want. To be successful, you need to learn how to do the same thing.
12. Take a Class
The internet has many free online classes, workshops, and videos covering ways of improving and practicing interpersonal skills. A few suggestions include:
13. Reflect on Your Interactions
You can learn a lot by reviewing your interactions with others. Think about the words and phrases you used, how you reacted to the conversation, and your body language. They all play a role in the way the interaction is perceived.
Interactions can also be revealing in terms of what someone is thinking or feeling. For example, if someone is laughing a lot, they may be enjoying the conversation. If someone seems angry, they may disagree with the other person.
14. Keep Track of Your Progress
To know how far you’ve come, you need a way to measure your growth. Make notes about what people have told you about yourself and compare that list with the original version from time to time.
15. Work on Your Communication Skills
Improving your communication skills will make your life a lot easier.
When talking or writing, be cautious of what words you use. Ask yourself if you might be misunderstood or cause confusion; if so, make your message clearer.
Non-verbal communication also plays a critical role in your interactions. Experts have found that a larger part of your message is communicated by non-verbal signals like body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and the pace you speak. These signals reinforce or contradict the words coming from your mouth, and they are hard to fake.
16. Don’t Just Hear, Listen!
Effective communication involves much more than the words you speak. There is a big difference between listening and hearing. That is why you should talk less and listen more before you react to anything.
Pay attention to what others are saying, and give them your full attention. Show them you have an interest in what they are saying.
17. Set Goals
One of the best ways to learn interpersonal skills is by setting goals for yourself and taking action to achieve them.
For example, let’s say you want to learn to be a better listener. You could set a goal to practice listening to people for 10 minutes daily. As you work on achieving this goal, you will naturally develop the interpersonal skills necessary to be a good listener.
18. Be Patient With Yourself
It takes time to improve how you communicate with others. You can’t expect everything to happen overnight. If this really matters to you, stick with it, and you will continue growing.
The better your interpersonal skills are, the more likely you are to be successful in various areas of life, such as your career, personal life, and social life. These tips will help you get there!
You’ve likely heard of Grammarly by now, but if not, it’s a secure app and browser extension that uses A.I. to improve your writing drastically. It will automatically catch spelling, grammar, and other language errors you may not notice.
If you haven’t used it yet, I highly suggest checking it out – especially if you’re currently job searching. This tool can help ensure your resumes and cover letters are free from writing mistakes, significantly improving your chances of getting an interview.
Then, when you are hired and start your new role, you can continue using Grammarly to ensure your emails, reports, and other work documents are clear and mistake-free. (Significantly improving your chances of getting a promotion.)
This self-described online writing assistant is incredibly useful for anyone who writes anything on a computer.
I truly love this software and use it every single day, both professionally and personally. I recommend it to everyone! But it does have some quirks.
Below I go into detail on why I’m such a big fan, as well as a few things that could be improved.
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a grammar-checking and proofreading tool you use to improve your writing. It helps you identify and correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
But it’s more than just a way to catch those typos. It also detects things like the use of passive voice, unnecessary words, and sentence structure mistakes.
How Does Grammarly Help Improve My Writing?
Even if you are a careful writer, it can be easy to make simple errors that reflect poorly on you and your work.
Overall, Grammarly will help you:
Yes, it really does all that!
How? It doesn’t just give you suggestions. It explains why your writing is being flagged as a mistake or why it’s suggesting you rewrite it. You are learning to be a better writer with every suggestion Grammarly gives.
Grammarly Costs: Free vs. Premium
Grammarly currently has three pricing tiers: free, premium, and business.
I used the free option for years and was impressed with all it could do. The free plan will do the trick if you only need a straightforward proofreading tool.
However, when I started my role as an Employment Specialist and started writing more career content online, I upgraded to the premium plan, and WOW! What a game-changer! Some things worth paying for give you great results, and this is one of them.
The paid premium version offers more, including a plagiarism checker, tone suggestions, engagement suggestions, and full-sentence rewrites. The price starts at $12 per month, but Grammarly is well-known for offering 40-50% discounts so that you can get it for even less. (Watch for sales in their emails and around Black Friday/Cyber Monday.)
The business plan includes the same features as the premium, with added style and branding options that are perfect for teams.
Who Should Use Grammarly?
Everyone! Seriously. I mean, it’s free, so why not?
Students should use Grammarly when working on essays, projects, and assignments because it will help them revise their work and get better grades.
Job seekers should use it to create professional, well-written resumes and cover letters that will make the best impression possible.
Employees should use Grammarly to improve their work and appear more professional and competent, which can benefit their careers.
Bloggers, content creators, and freelance writers should use it to produce error-free, high-quality writing that will get them more traffic or clients.
Small business owners should use it to save time and money by avoiding the need to hire a professional editor or proofreader.
And the list goes on…
I use Grammarly throughout my entire day at work and when hustling from home for everything: sending emails, scheduling social media posts, writing articles and blog posts, creating job search resources, and writing resumes and cover letters.
Grammarly is currently only available in English (including American, British, Canadian, and Australian English). It isn’t the right tool for you if you do not write in English.
How Do I Use Grammarly?
You can use their app in several ways, including:
Basically, if you are connected to the internet or sitting behind a computer screen, you can use Grammarly.
Getting the browser extension is a necessity, in my opinion. Once it’s installed, that’s it. It will automatically start checking for issues in real-time as you type. It will highlight spelling and fundamental grammar issues in red:
If you use social media like Facebook or Twitter, it will detect errors there as well. Your writing in emails, Google Docs, and everything done in the browser improves dramatically.
Don’t worry. Turning Grammarly on and off is easy if you don’t want it running all the time or on certain websites.
Why I Love Grammarly
It is hard to explain how much this app has improved my writing.
The free version was more than enough to help me with my own resumes and cover letters when I was job searching. (I was hired for the role I wanted, after all.) And it helped me develop new writing skills as a blogger, which has helped me earn extra money.
When my blogging mentors told me that Grammarly premium was much better, I was initially skeptical. But within my first week of upgrading, I noticed considerable improvements in my first drafts. It also takes me less time to proofread and fix my mistakes since there aren’t as many of them and because my skills are growing.
It has boosted my writing confidence. I’m less paranoid about my writing style and no longer worry about making silly mistakes.
It’s also interesting when you start to notice which writers don’t use a program like this, as there are common mistakes that Grammarly catches right away that many people miss.
Some users have complained they get slightly different results between the Grammarly options (such as the Chrome extension vs. the website). Personally, I have not experienced this.
What I have experienced is that it can be a little glitchy in Google Docs and WordPress Gutenberg. Sometimes the underlining is slightly off, so when I accept the suggested changes, it cuts off words, which I also have to fix. Although it’s not a dealbreaker by any means, it is one unnecessary extra step.
I’ve also been stuck in a few Grammarly loops where it makes a suggestion and then corrects that suggestion back to what you originally had.
Overall, the positives significantly outweigh the negatives, so I will continue to recommend everyone use Grammarly. There are already 30 million daily active users, so we can’t all be wrong.
Did I mention it’s free?
If you’ve recently had a job interview, you’re likely wondering if you should be expecting a job offer or not.
Although there is no for-sure way to know if you landed a job simply based on your interview performance, there are signs that indicate you might have – as well as clear signs that you didn’t get the job.
10 Signs You Got the Job
Here are the clues to watch for that indicate your interview went well:
1. The Interviewer Speaks Favorably of Your Background
Your interviewer might highlight your prior experience, relevant skills, or education that pertains to the position you are applying for. Sometimes your interviewer might mention little things, such as that you both went to the same college. Having a similar background as your interviewer can increase trust, thus improving your chances of being hired.
2. The Interviewer’s Body Language is Positive
Your interviewer’s body language can tell you a lot. If the interviewer displays attentive posture, often nods in agreement, and smiles as you answer questions, these are all good signs.
Similarly, if they are taking notes as you speak, they are likely interested in what you are saying.
3. The Interviewer Tries To Determine Your Interest in the Position
Your interviewer might ask direct questions about your interest in working for the company. Although these questions might be cloaked as typical questions asked to all candidates, they are actually indications of an employer’s intent to hire you. Remember, you only made it this far through the interview due to your experience. Being asked questions like this verifies their interest in you.
4. The Discussion Becomes Informal or the Interviewer Makes Personal Inquiries
Interviewers are not in the habit of wasting time; hence they only ask important questions. So if the discussion ceases to be about your qualifications and becomes more relaxed, that’s a good thing.
Casual questions concerning your personal goals, your family, or hobbies mean the interviewer is impressed with you as a candidate, and now they want to know you better as a person and possible colleague.
5. You Are Introduced to More Employees
Getting introduced to other employees is a great sign that your interview has gone well. Usually, an interviewer will only introduce a candidate to other workers when they believe the candidate is a good fit for the job.
6. Your Interviewer Says “When” Not “If”
An interviewer’s choice of words is often a good indication of whether or not they are seriously considering you for the job. They might slip up and use the words “will” or “when” in place of “if.”
For instance, if the interviewer says things such as, “when you begin…” or “you will start your day with…” Such a slip of the tongue on the interviewer’s part is a sign that they think you are the one for the job.
7. Extended Interview Time
If your interview runs longer than expected, this could indicate you made the shortlist to get the job.
Being asked follow-up questions means they are genuinely interested in your skillset and what you could bring to the team. It also shows that you have desirably answered all their questions and demonstrated the abilities and traits the employer seeks.
Now they want to get to know you a little better before offering you the job. Take advantage of the situation and show your eagerness for the job.
8. Discussion of Job Benefits
One of the best signs you got the job is when the interviewer starts talking about benefits, compensation, and all the gratuities their company offers. The discussion of pay and benefits means they have changed gears from interviewing you to promoting the company, which clearly shows they like you for the job.
9. Interviewer Wants To Discuss Salary
If an employer does not like you or does not believe you are a good match for the job, they will not bother to discuss your salary with you. So if the interviewer starts talking about salary, you probably got the job.
10. They Ask For and Talk With Your References
When an interviewer asks for your references, you can bet they are strongly considering hiring you. Getting in touch with your references is an even stronger indicator that your interview was successful. The interviewer wants to learn more about you, your performance history, and your work ethic.
Be sure to inform your references that they might be contacted ahead of time to ensure they are prepared.
6 Signs You Didn’t Get the Job
While the following signs don’t necessarily mean you won’t be getting the job offer, they are red flags that you should be aware of. If you notice these things during your job interview, it’s a good idea to keep looking for a job elsewhere.
1. The Interviewer Did Not Show Interest In You
Did you get the impression that the person interviewing you was perhaps a bit indifferent towards you? Did you feel they just didn’t care about what you were saying? Maybe they constantly checked the time or kept checking their phones. Whatever the case, it could be one of several telltale signs that you didn’t get the job.
Unfortunately, if you sensed that your interviewer was not interested in what you were saying, you probably didn’t make the cut.
2. There’s No Chemistry
If you do not feel a connection between yourself and the interviewer during the interview process, it’s an indication that things are not going in your favor. You might get the feeling that things are going south. Listen to your gut.
A large portion of communication is nonverbal, which means one can pick up on unspoken messages from those around them. In this situation, you probably see the signs that the employer has decided not to hire you.
Remember, there are dozens of reasons why a company didn’t hire you, many of which have nothing to do with you.
3. You Got Stuck on a Question
There was one question in the interview that you were just not prepared for. Despite your research and preparation, this one vital question never occurred to you, and you stumbled in coming up with a decent answer.
Unfortunately, being unable to answer even one question might make the interviewer wonder if you have done your homework or are a good fit. Even if you nailed all other questions, your chances of getting the job are not as good.
4. You Received a Shorter Interview Than Planned
Perhaps the interview was scheduled for one hour, but in reality, it only lasted 30 minutes. This is an indication of an interview gone wrong.
A shortened interview could mean they have already decided to hire someone else. Another possibility is that you stumbled somewhere early in the hiring process, and the interviewer decided not to hire you.
5. Your Interviewer Did Not Discuss the Details of the Position
At the end of the interview, if the employer does not bother to discuss the specifics of the position with you, that could be a bad sign. If they have ruled you out as a candidate, they might consider discussing job details a waste of time.
6. The Interviewer Tells You That They Have More People To Interview
More often than not, when an interviewer says, “we have some more people to interview, but…” you can probably kiss that job goodbye. If a hiring manager is interested in you, they will typically say so right away.
So the next time you find yourself wondering, “did I get the job?” after an interview, consider these clues. Although there are no guarantees, the signs mentioned here are usually a good indicator of success or failure.
If you didn’t get this job, keep your chin up. There are a lot of reasons why you might not have been selected. Believe in yourself and keep trying for the jobs you want.
Do you ever feel stuck in a rut, working the same job every day for what seems like pennies?
You’re not alone.
Millions of people are struggling to make ends meet, but you don’t have to be one of them. Financial freedom is possible, but you’ll need to achieve it step by step.
The good news is that everyone can follow these steps. Although each person starts out at a different point, everyone can make progress toward becoming financially free.
With a little effort and discipline, you can create a brighter financial future for yourself and your loved ones. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.
Steps To Achieve Financial Freedom
What Is Financial Freedom?
Financial freedom means having control over your finances, so you do not have to worry about money anymore. As you are able to cover your monthly expenses, you’ll no longer stress over how to pay your bills or if you can afford to retire. It also means you have enough money saved to live comfortably without having to work.
Put another way, it’s the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re in control of your financial future and can do whatever you want with your money.
You might also hear financial freedom called financial independence or the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement.
Now that you know what financial freedom means, here are the steps to getting there.
#1. Evaluate Your Goals
Figuring out what you want for your financial situation will give you the focus and drive you need to reach financial freedom.
Everyone should manage their personal finance goals, not just aspiring millionaires. All the money you earn from striving toward financial freedom will one day go towards living a much more prosperous life.
So sit down and write down your goals. Then create a plan to reach them. Be sure to re-evaluate your goals every few years as plans and life can change.
#2. Track Your Spending
Consider your annual income, living expenses, and your current financial cushion in your emergency savings. Examine how much net money you can save and how many “want” purchases (as opposed to “need”) you make each month. Evaluate how much income you have that doesn’t go towards paying off debt and how much you spend across various categories.
To get further down the road to financial freedom, you must track your monthly earnings and expenditure. Do you spend frivolously? Are you building tangible wealth?
When you total up how much of your income you choose to spend and how much you save, the biggest surprise may be that you have much less money in savings than you realized.
Suppose you want to have enough money in your bank account to achieve financial freedom. In that case, you’ll need to keep tabs on how much of your money is going out the door monthly in monthly expenses.
#3. Make a Budget
A budget is a crucial tool that will help you achieve financial freedom in the long run. Many wealthy people have built sustainable, financially independent lives by putting away enough money each month into savings.
Building a budget isn’t complicated either. The hard part is finding the right budgeting method for you. You could use a zero-based budgeting system or the 50/30/20 rule depending on your goals, needs, and income.
There are multiple benefits to designing a budget that works right for you. Not only will you be smarter with your spending, you will also be able to dig yourself out of debt and save more money in the long run.
In your budget, you should set aside money each month for an emergency fund. Life throws us surprises sometimes. Being ready for them will help you stay steady in achieving financial freedom.
#4. Live Below Your Means
Living below your means can be challenging. But if you want financial freedom, evaluating your spending and cutting out unnecessary expenses is essential.
The main reason for this is lifestyle creep. As we earn more, we naturally spend more money. We also tend to ignore small price increases that, over time, have a significant impact on our finances.
According to Lori Bodenhamer, a financial advisor at AbundoWealth, “Being mindful of your spending helps bring awareness to your values and what matters to you most. But at the extreme, it’s possible to make saving money too much of a priority and lose sight of what makes a good life. The goal is to find that balance.”
Take the effort to review your spending and find areas where you can cut back and still enjoy living for today.
#5. Pay off Credit Card Debt
Debt is one of the biggest roadblocks to financial freedom. Believe it or not, becoming debt-free does not simply mean getting more money.
The “debt snowball method” is one popular method where you lay out all your cards and loans ranging from the smallest to the biggest debt.
Pay off the smallest debt first to build momentum so that you can put more money into the larger debts. Not only do you get the satisfaction of paying off a debt, but you also have more money to pay off your larger outstanding debts.
The “debt avalanche method” also effectively helps you to pay off debt. First, pay off your highest interest rate debts and work down the list to your lowest interest rate debts.
By applying more money to the debt with the highest interest, you can ensure that your money is paying off the debt, not the interest buildup on the debt.
Student loan debt typically has a low-interest rate. However, you should still ensure you meet at least the minimum monthly payment.
The road to financial freedom can be challenging, especially if you have tens of thousands of dollars in debt. However, paying off your credit cards and loans is crucial to reaching financial independence.
#6. Pay Yourself First
You’re probably familiar with the idea of paying yourself first, but to many people, it may seem counterintuitive. After all, why would you pay yourself when there are still outstanding bills to pay? Well, because it forces you to save money to protect you from unplanned expenses. Suppose you don’t put any money aside and your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) unit breaks. You are going into debt without any savings to purchase a new one.
Now suppose you put something aside from every paycheck. When a surprise bill comes up, you have the cash to pay for it and don’t go farther away from your goals.
Saving first also goes a long way towards building your nest egg so you can be financially free. It essentially guarantees that you always have money in savings for your future goals.
Finally, don’t get caught up on the amount you can save. The important thing is that you are making saving money a habit, according to Nick Covyeau, Certified Financial Planner and Founder of Swell Financial.
“Even if it’s just a little in the beginning, what’s happening when you make this shift, is all behavioral finance related. You’re conditioning yourself to begin saving and prioritizing your finances. It’s why 401k plans upon starting a new job enroll you automatically rather than having you choose to. If they left it up to you to enroll, most people would never get around to it. Then over time, you gradually give yourself a “raise” and pay yourself more.”
#7. Start Investing
Many people who achieve financial freedom start by building wealth through investing at a young age. There’s a lot of negativity directed toward the stock market, but there are many ways to build enough wealth to live a rich life when you retire.
Compound interest is the key to building wealth. Don’t stock pick. Set up an online account and put money into a balanced fund. Your money is likely to double over ten years.
It’s the accepted wisdom of those who’ve earned their wealth over the years. High yield bonds and index funds compounded over decades can help you build enough wealth to be financially free.
#8. Take Care of Your Assets
Your assets are critical to maintaining your wealth and preparing for your future. Your home, for example, should stay well maintained and in good condition. Not only will this save you loads of money in repairs and maintenance, but you’ll be able to build up your retirement savings and protect yourself from unexpected bills.
Your health is another often forgotten asset you should maintain. Poor diet and lifestyle choices can signal expensive medical bills years or even decades down the line. These are manageable habits you can start implementing today to live life to the fullest and save money in the long run.
Jay Rishel, CFP®️ of Overman Capital Management, puts it this way. “I highly encourage individuals seeking financial freedom to focus time and energy on improving their nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress reduction activities. Healthcare is one of our most significant expenses in retirement, if not the most. A healthier lifestyle can lead to fewer healthcare costs in the future, and you’re also likely to feel mentally and physically better as you age.”
#9. Automate Your Savings
Automating your savings can help you fill significant gaps between how much you make and how much you spend. Put money in your savings account regularly, particularly your emergency fund, which you can use for sudden major expenses.
Ensure you’re utilizing matching contributions in your employer’s retirement plan to prepare for your future. If you struggle with overspending, setting up your emergency and retirement planning funds to come straight out of your paycheck is best.
That way, you’re not tempted to take out unnecessary spending. The amount you can and should put into your emergency fund varies. It’s essential to pay off your debts and monthly expenses. If you refer to your monthly spending chart, you’ll probably be able to find one area where you can cut back.
#10. Start a Side Hustle
Side gigs are a great way to supplement your income regardless of living paycheck to paycheck. If you enjoy social media, consider starting a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel.
You can deliver food, dog sit, rent home space, tutor online, or participate in various research studies. The resources available to you to make money are astounding. Moreover, you can access countless resources to help you find and keep a good side gig.
Most jobs have flexible hours, decent pay, and the possibility of turning your side gig into a full-time business. Why spend precious years working a 9-5 when you could potentially have a flexible, fully paid side hustle that turns into a larger income?
On its own, a side hustle can majorly impact your finances. If you are getting by financially, adding the income from a side hustle can help you eliminate debt more quickly or boost your savings.
And if you are struggling to get by, having a side income can be the difference between staying stuck in your current life and experiencing a better one.
#11. Calculate Your Net Worth
Knowing your net worth is an excellent measure of your progress during this long journey. As an added benefit, it is easy to calculate.
Total up the things you own, your assets, and subtract your liabilities, the money you owe others. The ending number is your net worth, and the higher it is, the better.
Calculate this number today, and then update it at least annually to make sure you are moving forward. However, a lousy year for the stock market can be misleading, making it appear like you aren’t making any progress.
But the reality is that you are making great strides. So be sure to keep this in mind the next time you calculate your net worth.
#12. Test Out Your Plan
Any plan can look great on paper. You only notice its flaws when you take action on that plan.
Give it a try. See if you can take a sabbatical from work. Doing this will help you to see if you enjoy not working. It may give you better insight into what you want to do.
Another benefit is that you will feel what it is like to have little to no income and how that impacts your spending. When you return to work, you can apply these lessons to your plan and make the necessary adjustments.
Financial freedom can feel so far away, especially if you’re bogged down with a lot of debt and don’t feel like you’re earning enough to be stable. However, financial freedom comes one step at a time.
Start evaluating your future life. Do you want to clear all of your debts? Build your own business? Retire comfortably? Whatever your goal, financial freedom is achievable with discipline and hard work.
Evaluate your spending, pay yourself first, and put away money each month into savings and your emergency fund.
Invest your money wisely, relying on the principle of compound interest to prepare for your future so that you can retire with enough money.
Take care of your assets and your health to save money on future bills and maintenance expenses, which can impair your journey to financial freedom.
Set up a side gig to help you cover regular expenses and potentially earn additional income for savings.
Lastly, test out your plan to make sure the life you envision is a life you will enjoy living.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Do you love to read books? What if I said you could get paid for it? Believe it or not, several companies will pay you to read books and write reviews.
Americans are not reading enough. According to a recent Pew Research Centre survey, 23% of adults in the country haven’t read a book in the past twelve months. Yet, according to UNESCO, approximately 2,210,000 books are published worldwide every year, based on the most recent country data available.
Publishing a book is undoubtedly competitive, and authors are dying for readers to review their books so they can gain more exposure. They are willing to pay readers (like you and me) to get engrossed in a good book.
This post will discuss how to get paid to read books online and some of the best websites that offer this opportunity. So if you’re looking for a way to make extra money, keep reading!
Get Paid To Read Books Online Sites
The following websites are looking to hire freelancers to read books:
Kirkus Media is a company that pays people to read and write book reviews. The company covers all genres and lengths of books. The paid task is to read a novel and write a review of roughly 350 words within two weeks. They are looking for experienced reviewers who can read English or Spanish books. According to freelance reviewers online, Kirkus Media pays up to $60 per book review. Find more information here.
Online Book Club
Online Book Club allows reviewers to read and review books in exchange for a payment. The books are free, and you will get paid to provide an honest book review. The payout is typically between $5 and $60 per review. While this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, it provides additional cash flow and saves money on books you would have otherwise purchased. Find more information here.
If you don’t want to work through a company, why not try putting a freelancing profile on sites such as Upwork or Fiverr? You can offer your services as a book reviewer and get paid per job. Set your rate and offer, which will vary depending on the book length and the depth of the review required. The money paid through the platform will be safely deposited into your account when you complete the job.
U.S. Review of Books
The U.S. Review of Books hires experienced writers to provide reviews of 250-300 words to books assigned on a best-fit basis. Reviews should summarize the book while delivering thoughtful insights within a 2-3 week deadline. To apply, you will need to send your resume, sample work, and two professional references. They pay reviewers by the fifth of each month. Find more information here.
Women’s Review of Books
The Women’s Review of Books has been around since 1983. The journal covers all genres of books, especially those written by women. They want to give a platform for feminist scholars and creative writers and champion women’s critical writing. Expect feminism and perspective on today’s literary world. According to sources, reviewers are rewarded $100 for each review. Find more information here.
Booklist is a publication of the American Library Association that has been around since 1905. It delivers over 8,000 recommended reviews on a range of books, videos, audio, and other material formats each year. Booklist freelancers provide reviews of 150-175 words. Reviews may be published on the online blog or in their magazine. According to guidelines, these reviews should capture the context, plot, ideal audience, and more. The reviews function as a reference for librarians on which books to purchase and recommend. Booklist pays $15.00 per review. Find more information here.
If you want to earn more from your passion, why not try reading books aloud? If you are a professional voice actor or narrator, you can sign up with Findaway Voices and get paid to record audiobooks. Set up a profile and provide audio samples so authors can find you. Rates vary depending on the length of the book and other factors. Findaway Voices estimates that the average 50,000-worded audiobook costs between $1000-$2000 to make. Find more information here.
ACX is a site similar to Findaway Voices but is best known for audiobooks available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. Authors may choose to produce the audiobook themselves, or they can hire a narrator with experience in recording and editing audio. Once you create a profile, you can browse the available projects and audition for the voice acting jobs you are interested in. Rates vary depending on the book’s length and other factors, but narrators typically earn per finished hour, or they can choose to earn up to 50% in royalties, or both! Earnings vary depending on experience, and narrators may set their rates. According to the website, “some Audiobooks don’t sell many units, but happily, most sell hundreds or thousands.” Find more information here.
Baker Publishing Group
If you are a fan of Christian fiction or non-fiction books, you may want to try your hand at reviewing for Baker Publishing Group. They send out newsletters via email with potential books to review. You must be committed to reading, reviewing, promoting, and supporting the books you sign up for through your online platform. Due to shipping costs, they can only accept U.S. residents at this time. Find more information here.
Moody Publishers is a not-for-profit Christian publisher that has been around since 1894. Reviewers will receive free book copies in exchange for a review on their website and a third-party website, such as Amazon or Walmart. Find more information here.
NetGalley helps debut authors, future bestsellers, and indie books reach a wider audience. Request and read digital copies of books before they are published. While anyone can sign up to review the books, they give priority to bloggers, experienced reviewers, or those from professional organizations. While there is no payment, it is a great way to find new books to review and recommend. Find more information here.
Reedsy Discovery is a service that connects authors with reviewers. Once you sign up and are approved, you can browse the available books before they have launched and request the ones that interest you. When you finish reading and reviewing the book, your review will be displayed to a community of book readers who may turn into potential followers. Followers provide tips of between $1-$5. Find more information here.
How To Be A Successful Book Reviewer
Being a successful book reviewer takes practice, patience, and unquenchable love of books. Here are some tips:
How Much Can I Earn Reading Books?
A professional book reviewer in the United States earns an average salary of $29.62 an hour, or $61,614 per year. The top 10% of book reviewers earn $151,000 annually, while the bottom 10% earn under $25,000. 59.3% of book reviewers have a bachelor’s degree, and 24.4% of reviewers have a master’s degree in English or a related field; however, it is possible to become a book reviewer with only a high school degree or GED. Many previous book reviewers have experience as writers or editors before commencing this role.
Voice-over artists do more than just read books out loud. They may also be involved in radio, T.V. commercials, or other professional services. The average voice-over talent in the U.S. earns $83,515 per year, or $40.15 an hour, in the United States. This ranges from $55,000 (at a junior level) to $124,000 (at a senior level). This salary varies widely from state to state.
If you are looking to earn extra money and want to get paid to do something you love, reading books and writing reviews might be the perfect gig for you. With practice and perseverance, you can become a successful book reviewer, build a readership and even make a living from your passion.
Making money reading books can be a great side hustle for passionate book readers, lovers of literature, or other writers. These book review sites are a quick introduction to help you start but do your own research before pitching.
This article originally appeared on My Work From Home Money.
The phone might seem old-fashioned. But, the phone is still used today for important business like conducting job interviews and phone-screen calls.
A telephone interview is a common way for a company to get a high-level feel for candidates who applied for an open position before inviting them in for an in-person interview. These “phone-screen” interviews are typically more high-level. Be prepared to discuss your experience and qualifications related to the job opening.
These calls are usually scheduled beforehand, allowing you to prepare for the call. You may get a call out of the blue, but impromptu interview calls are uncommon (and, in my opinion, highly unprofessional).
It’s critically important to put your best foot forward during your phone interview. This is the first (and hopefully not the last!) time the company interacts with you. It’s your time to shine.
Make the call work in your favor. Here’s how.
Technique #1: Have notes available
The significant advantage of a telephone interview is that you can keep various notes right in front of you during the interview (this would be awkward during an in-person interview!).
Your notes should include the job requirements, your resume, a few questions that you want to ask the interviewer at the end (always ask questions at the end of your interview), and high-level details about the company. These details can help you ask better questions.
Be familiar with your notes before the interview. Don’t rummage through papers during the call because that will make you look unprepared. Only have available what you need, and make sure your notes are easy to read and accessible.
Technique #2: Stand up during the call
Believe it or not, standing up during your phone interview will make you sound more confident and engaging. Whenever I’m on an important call, I stand and walk around rather than sit still. I also talk with my hands, even on the phone. Again, standing, walking, and using your hands will help you sound more forceful and confident.
If you can’t stand, at least sit with proper posture. Yes, your interviewers can tell just by the sound and inflection of your voice if you’re slouching or seem bored.
In addition, avoid using filler words on the call (words like “Umm”, “You know”, etc.). These words can kill your credibility on the call, mainly if you use them all the time. Instead, speak slowly and enunciate when appropriate. Remember that your phone interview isn’t a race. There’s no need to speed through your answers and stumble over your words.
Also, just smile. It’s true, smiling over the phone will give your voice an upbeat tone.
Technique #3: Prevent distractions and background noises
Find a quiet room in your home and make sure your family knows that you’re interviewing over the phone. Background noises distract everyone on the call (including you!), and too much noise can prevent you from interviewing well and getting the job. Whenever possible, use a closed-off room with a locking door.
In addition, resist the temptation to use a speakerphone. Speaker phones are notorious for bad audio quality and they commonly make you sound distant or echo-y when talking. Speakerphones will also more easily pick up on background noises. Instead of a speakerphone, just speak into your phone as you usually would. Using a headset, make sure the headset’s audio quality is top-notch.
Technique #4: Control your mute button!
Many of us use the mute feature on our phones when we aren’t actively talking but forget to unmute ourselves when we’re ready to speak. This is especially true during remote video conferences and applies when interviewing over the phone.
If you need to mute your phone during the conversation, pay special attention to unmuting yourself before answering a question. This will help you avoid awkward silences when the interviewers expect you to answer a question.
Technique #5: Let the interviewer lead the conversation
The advantage of in-person interviews is the visual feedback you’ll get by observing your interviewers and their body language during the discussion. This visual feedback is a great way to control the flow of conversation by avoiding talking over one another. Naturally, we don’t get that advantage over the phone.
To help prevent awkward silences or inadvertently interrupting your interviewers, let them do the talking and only respond to a question after they’re done asking the question. Note that there may be more than one interviewer on the line, so be sure to wait before answering a question to avoid talking over anyone else on the call.
In conclusion, the phone interview is generally your first exposure to the employer. Your goal is to make it count by coming across as confident and excited. If this is a phone-screen interview, your next step will probably be an in-person interview. Congratulations if you get to that point!
More Job Interview Articles
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
How can you tell that it’s time to start looking for a new job? It might be time to find a new job even if you like where you work.
It’s great to like your job, but don’t let that stop you from making an intelligent career choice.
The most successful professionals are proactive. They see the writing on the wall and take action before it’s too late. They know when it’s time to leave for greener pastures.
Is it time for you to leave your job?
Sign #1: No upward mobility
Promotions and raises advance our careers faster than remaining loyal to a single employer. No room for advancement is a clear sign that it is time to update your resume and start applying for new jobs.
Don’t leave career advancement to chance.
During my career in information technology, I switched jobs every three to four years to ensure I kept boosting my experience and salary over the years.
Sign #2: You don’t get along with your coworkers
Spending 8 to 10 hours a day working with people we don’t get along with is no way to go through a career. Arguments can quickly turn a workplace toxic. Backstabbing or sabotage can as well. And it hurts your chances of success.
If you don’t work well with your coworkers, finding another employer will probably help you advance in your career.
Sign #3: You are getting bored
Jobs that bore you will never be satisfying. And at the end of the day, most of us need to feel like we accomplished something meaningful. Or something that we can be proud of.
If your job bores you, talk to your boss first. There might be something they can do to improve your work responsibilities. If not, it’s time to start looking for other jobs.
Sign #4: Your job is too easy
Easy jobs might seem attractive at first, but they also kill career advancement. Easy jobs don’t challenge us. They don’t help us learn. However, those challenges help us gain the skills and experience needed to take the next step. Easy jobs are especially damaging if you are early in your career. The best time to acquire new skills is when you’re young.
Check Out: 30 Places to Learn New Job Skills for FREE!
Sign #5: You keep getting passed over for promotions
If you are not getting the promotions you think you deserve, there’s a problem. Maybe your boss doesn’t know that you want the promotion. Or, perhaps you are inadvertently doing something at work that is hurting your chances of getting promoted.
The first step is to find out the problem by having an open conversation with your manager. If that doesn’t work, bailing to another employer is probably the right move.
Sign #6: The company was just acquired
Businesses buy other businesses all the time. Sadly, this often spurs changes that aren’t good – at least for the employees. Things change. I worked for a 50-person company about ten years ago. After a substantial 200,000-person enterprise bought the company, I quit less than two months later. Things changed, and not for the better.
More managers. Less work freedom. More oversight. Less on-the-job autonomy. They even reduced our company-provided snack budget in the office break room. Get your resume updated if your company was acquired (even if your boss says “nothing will change”).
Free Resource: Free Resume Templates
Sign #7: Your salary is below market value
Do a little research to determine how closely your salary matches the market value for your role. Glassdoor has a “Know Your Worth” tool that can help. If you are paid below what you think you’re worth, talk to your manager about a raise.
If that doesn’t work, be proactive and start looking for other jobs. Taking a new job is often the perfect time to negotiate a much higher salary.
Sign #8: Your employer has shoddy business practices
If your employer’s business practices do not match your ethics, that’s a clear sign to move on. If your employer is doing anything illegal, it’s only a matter of time before they get caught. Indeed, you don’t want to get caught up in that.
Sign #9: You only do busywork
If your manager only gives you busy work, that’s a sign they don’t value your contributions to the company. In that case, it’s probably time to look elsewhere for work. Just as with being bored or unchallenged, busy work ruins careers because that type of work does not help us stockpile career-advancing skills.
Sign #10: You feel stuck in a routine
Doing the same thing every day can wear on us. While routines can be nice (our brains like routine), they can also sap a lot of the creative juices from us.
For instance, did you know that working at different coffee shops can boost productivity? “The combination of noise, casual crowds and visual variety can give us just the right amount of distraction to help us be our sharpest and most creative,” wrote BBC. New routines are the spice of life.
In conclusion, be proactive in your career. Liking your job may not be a good reason to stay, especially if advancing your career is a priority. If you notice any of these ten signs at work, it might be time to look for a new job.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
My Life, I Guess is a personal finance and career blog focusing on what it's like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment. We also offer advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources. We help others find jobs, facilitate career changes, and learn about money and self-care. Follow for financial tips, career tips, personal development, and more.