Wrap-It-Up Friday

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Everyone loves Fridays, closing out the week and heading into the weekend. It’s no surprise, then, that Fridays are considered one of the least productive days of the workweek.

You may not feel like jumping into a new project on Friday or powering on at full throttle, but Fridays are actually a great day to be super productive in another way and do all of the things that you don’t get to on the previous days of the week because you’re heads down or running from meeting to meeting.

Make Friday a wrap-up and strategic-planning day. Try to keep meetings to a minimum. Take stock of what you accomplished, what projects you moved along and what action steps you need to attack starting Monday morning. Write down and chart out your action items for the following week. This can make you feel good about what you tackled during your week as you wind down for the weekend and have you organized and ready to hit the ground running on Monday morning.

Manage your inbox on Fridays. Answer any emails you couldn’t address on other busier days. Follow up on any sent emails that you haven’t received responses to. Delete or file emails that are lingering in your inbox but don’t require action.

Fridays are a great day to nurture business relationships, which is also considered work. Schedule coffee or lunch with a business associate or team members. Most people are in great spirits at the end of the week, making Fridays more conducive for team building and bonding.

Make and return phone calls on Friday. Chances are that your end-of-the-week cheeriness will make business calls easier and more enjoyable.

Dream on Friday. That’s right. It might sound like doing nothing, but engage in creative and purposeful ideation. What can be done better? How can you do it? Pull other team members into your dream session for brainstorming new business ideas or improvements. Order in the bagels or lunch for your visioning jam. Everyone will be more relaxed and open.

Fridays don’t have to be a waste. Walk away from your desk feeling like Friday was just as productive as any other day of the week – just in a different way. It can be fun to switch gears on Friday, tie up any loose ends and engage more with coworkers or business associates.

 

 

Fridayd Breaks the Mold of Traditional Job Search

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SuperbCrew recently interviewed Fridayd about how the company is revolutionizing job search. How is Fridayd doing it?

Q: What advantage does Fridayd have over its competitors?

A: Today’s online job search and application process is seriously flawed. Traditional methods of searching across multiple job boards and company websites to find the right opportunities, repetitively uploading resumes and completing online applications are extremely time-consuming processes, leaving little time left for more differentiating job search activities, such as networking and interview preparation.

With Fridayd, job seekers have…

Read the full story.

Should You Give Away Your Secret Sauce in a Job Interview?

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You’ve made it through the round of phone interviews. Maybe you’ve even had your first on-site meeting. The next step? The hiring company wants you to complete a project or create a strategy as proof of your expertise. Do you do it?

Testing as part of an interview process isn’t new. Employers want to be sure you know your stuff and can perform job requirements. It’s also not uncommon for companies to not only conduct hiring assessments to gauge your abilities, but also to measure anything from specific skill strengths, communication preferences, leadership style and dominant personality traits as predictors of success in a role. Can pre-employment evaluations cross the line into hiring discrimination, and how much is too much work to offer up for free as part of an interview process?

Pre-employment screening and assessments can be prone to discriminatory practice if administered tests violate Equal Employment Opportunity Commission laws regarding race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or age (40 or older). That’s certainly a concern. However, most professionals have greater cause for unease when they are asked to complete an in-depth, pre-employment assignment that may take a lot of time and require giving away knowledge and strategies as proof of capabilities.

The Problem:

If you are asked to create a strategic plan for your area of expertise, come up with a creative campaign or deliverable, you may be giving a company great ideas, plans and work products free of charge, especially if you don’t get the job.

The Solution:

You want to wow a potential employer and show them your skills, smarts and superior ability to knock it out of the park, but protect yourself upfront.

Ask for details about how the end product will be used if you are not hired. Some companies with savvy legal council will tell you upfront that your deliverable can’t and won’t be used. They may even offer added assurance with a signed agreement to that effect. Other companies may not offer such a safeguard.

Still, you can protect yourself by defining the parameters of what you can provide without pay and you can present a deliverable that meets the requirements but lacks fine details. Otherwise, you may give away your secret sauce that you’ve worked long and hard to acquire through education and experience. It can be disheartening to give it your all and spend hours on a project to find that you didn’t get the job. It may feel even worse, like being swindled or conned, to realize that you literally gave away what would be worth hundreds of dollars in consulting fees.

You may consider creating a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before accepting the project to protect yourself and your work. Having such an agreement in place can keep your work product confidential and restrict how it may be used. If you don’t get the job and end up seeing your ideas in use by the company, you may have legal recourse.

You can find online resources to help you create a non-disclosure agreement.

If you really want the position for which you are applying, by all means take on the project with gusto, but don’t spend more than a few hours on it and show your business acumen, too, by seeking protection for the end product you provide.

Tax-Deductible Job Search Expenses: Know What You Can Deduct and What You Can’t

 

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Income tax filing deadlines are looming. With less than a month before the regular filing cutoff date, don’t forget to check out the law for job search deductibles and to include them when you file.

What’s deductible and what’s not?

Basically, if you were searching for a job in your same field of expertise, job search expenses, such as resume preparation fees, job search-related travel, employment agency fees, phone charges and mailing costs qualify for deduction.

But there are hitches in the rules for deducting job search costs. For instance, expenses must be more than 2% of your adjusted gross income. If you’re adjusted gross income is $80,000, your job search expenses would have to be more than $1,600 to be eligible for deduction.

College graduates are often at a disadvantage because they have yet to establish employment in a specific field. As a result, they do not qualify for the tax write-off if they are looking for a job for the first time.

You must keep a record of your job search expenses with receipts to prove what was spent in case of an audit and you have to complete a Schedule A when filing if you are deducting job search expenses.

Learn more about job search tax deduction by visiting the IRS website for tax filing guidelines.

Fridayd’s job search solution qualifies for tax deductions under the current rules for employment agencies and outplacement services – if you are searching for a job in your existing occupation.

 

 

Help for Foreign Professionals Searching for Jobs at Companies that Sponsor H-1B Visa Employees

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U.S. companies seek top talent within the country, but talent demands, especially for specialty professionals, may result in qualified candidate shortages within the confines of U.S. borders. H-1B Visas make it easier for U.S. businesses to broaden their search parameters to include a global pool of talent.

Designed to enable companies to hire non-immigrating foreign talent temporarily for three years with options to extend employment to six years, H-1B Visas also assure that those holding H-1B Visas are educated professionals in their areas of specialty or have an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Specialty professions, for example, include but are not limited to biotechnology, chemistry, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, law, accounting and business specialties.

When conducting a job search, foreigners wishing to work for a U.S. company under an H-1B Visa can target businesses that typically hire foreigners for specialty roles using H-1B Visas.

View a list of top U.S. H-1B Visa sponsoring companies.

Infosys tops the list with the greatest number of H-1B Visa sponsorships. Other notables on the list of 100 companies include IBM, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Ernst & Young, Facebook, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase.

Foreign professionals may also check out top sponsoring companies by job title, state, city, occupation and industry:

2017 Top H1B Visa Sponsors by Job Title

2017 Top H1B Visa Sponsors by Work State

2017 Top H1B Visa Sponsors by Work City

2017 Top H1B Visa Sponsors by Occupation

2017 Top H1B Visa Sponsors by Industry

Starting from April 3, 2017 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B visa petitions until further notice. That, however, simply means that fast-track options for processing H-1B Visa applications will cease for the time being. Normal processing of applications will continue.

Learn more about who qualifies to work in the U.S. under an H-1B Visa.

Fridayd helps foreign professionals in their search for employment in the U.S. by breaking down language barriers in the search and application process and by enabling users to target specific companies, such as H-1B sponsoring companies, in their search. Because job seekers can fine tune job search criteria with more detailed parameters in the Fridayd solution, users can get very specific in their search and keep an eye on emerging opportunities at targeted companies without having to do any of the leg work themselves.

6 Ways to Feel on Top of the World During a Job Search

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Searching for a new job can be overwhelming, especially if an ideal opportunity takes time to materialize. There is a lot of great advice on how to keep your chin up and stay positive, but sometimes you have to go beyond just an optimistic outlook and take action to keep feeling hopeful.

That action can take many forms, but most people feel happier and more fulfilled when they are learning, growing and contributing to something outside of themselves.

Novelist Alice Hoffman tells a story of how her protagonist in “Faithful” survived and thrived after a tragedy that changed the trajectory of her life. A secret admirer helped her find her way on a path to a new existence and career by sending her simple, two-word notes of encouragement, such as “Be Something” and “Do Something.” Those words of inspiration required action, and that action resulted in improved feelings and well-being.

As it turns out, two-word action steps can be good guidance for anyone facing a job search and waiting for the right position and interviews to emerge. Here are a few other action steps that can help keep you feeling great about yourself and what you are doing in the present when it seems like nothing is happening on the job front:

Read Something

Read about anything. Read to learn or read for pleasure. You always expand your view and knowledge in some way when you read.

Learn Something

Learn anything. Learn a new skill, a foreign language, how to play a musical instrument. It doesn’t matter. Learn about whatever is of interest to you. Learning requires intense focus and keeps us grounded in the here and now.

See Something

Notice more about your environment, wherever you are, or make a deliberate effort to visit some place new to see new things. Seeing, really seeing, helps us appreciate all that is.

Explore Something

Explore new ideas, new people or new places. If we are curious and always exploring, we feel more alive.

Create Something

Most people think of creating something as an artistic endeavor. It’s not. Create something right where you are. Create a more orderly home or office, create an evening with friends, create an event to help a cause. Live to create and make things happen. When you are deeply involved in the creative process, almost magically more creativity flows in your life.

Give Something

Give anything: your time, a helping hand, advice, clothes to charity, a cup of coffee to a friend, love, kindness or even a simple smile. Give.

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Focusing 100% on landing a new position can really drag you down. And you don’t have to. Concentrating so much on your search is really fixing your attention on yourself. Direct your attention to activities that can really make a difference in your life.

A job search can be time-intensive, though, so how do you find room in your schedule for the activities that can be so much more life-affirming? If you are using Fridayd to manage your job search, you’ll have the time to focus more on what matters most and all of the activities that make you feel better about yourself!

 

 

 

 

Step Away from Your Computer in Your Job Search

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You shouldn’t sit at your computer for more than a couple of hours at a time when conducting a job search, according to Liz Ryan, founder of Human Workplace, Forbes contributor and author of Reinvention Roadmap.

As Ryan advises, there are more impactful and important job search tasks you should focus on to score a new job. Networking, searching LinkedIn for hiring managers at targeted companies, composing pain letters and creating human-voiced resumes is time well spent in your search.

Still, you have to uncover the right job postings and complete applications as part of your job search. Some career experts advise that a job search is a full-time job and that you can expect to spend 35 to 40 hours a week on your search. Job search demands are a challenge for someone unemployed, but even worse for those who already have a full-time job. Something has to give to fit the full range of differentiating activities into a schedule.

That’s where Fridayd comes in. Fridayd’s technology with live backend support functions like the job seeker’s concierge.

Imagine having someone not only conduct your job search for you, but also manage the complete application process and uncover networking connections, too. That’s the tiring, frustrating administrative side of a job search that no one likes. Offloading these time-draining tasks frees job seekers, giving them the ability to focus more on what matters most.

Searching for a new job more effectively while saving hours of time and stress makes good sense for any job seeker. Why work harder than you need to? Fridayd can rev up a job search while reducing stress and saving time.

No one likes searching for a new job. Hands down, it’s a drag. With Fridayd, job seekers can search smarter, not harder; save on average 40 hours per month; and have more time for networking, interview preparation, career development, and family or personal interests.

Call The Career Experts

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Don’t go it alone in your job search. You don’t have to, and you can increase your odds of landing a new job by seeking help. Even the most skilled and seasoned professionals can benefit from guidance and support in their search.

Getting trapped in your own perspective limits you to viewing your strengths, opportunities and job search approach from a single lens. You may not sell yourself optimally or recognize the range of career options aligned with your skills and experience.

Fridayd can take the job search and application work out of finding new work. Our technology delivers highly relevant job postings, and we eliminate the tiresome task of completing online applications, enabling you to get your résumé in front of more recruiters and hiring managers faster while freeing you from the busy-work processes. We also partner with career consultants and other job search specialists to help you prepare for your employment transition with résumé writing and coaching.

In this post, we highlight our partners at The Career Experts, a one-stop shop for career advice, coaching and résumé writing. Everyone has different career support needs. At The Career Experts, you can easily search by location for experts who offer services aligned with your specific needs, such as career coaching, career assessments, career development, career transition counseling, interview coaching, and networking.

We often undersell ourselves with our personal branding and positioning for a new role. A career expert can help identify your professional assets and accomplishments, framing them on a résumé in language that will resonate with recruiters.

However, a successful job search requires even more than a glowing résumé. Today, social media profiles have to have the same appeal as a glossy CV. And you can look good on paper, but you also have to wow an interviewer by selling your own value proposition. The Career Experts offers assistance from soup to nuts and can help job seekers at any phase of their search.

 

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Don’t Confuse the Role of Your Manager as Mentor and Coach

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It’s true that employees often leave jobs because of bad managers. They also voluntarily exit a company for other reasons, such as dislike of a company’s mission or products/services, cultural fit, and better opportunities overall, but more often than not employees jump ship because of poor managers.

What makes a good manager? The truth is it varies from person to person, but most want a leader who will respect them and their ideas; give them the resources they need to do their jobs; and provide a collaborative, innovative environment for growth. A manger who will inspire, motivate and create team camaraderie is also highly valued, and employees also desire a manger who is a mentor and coach.

The roles of mentor and coach can be confusing, though, leading employees to set unrealistic expectations for what a manager should deliver as teacher and guide. Mentoring and coaching are not handholding in the sense that a manager should instruct employees like a classroom professor and teach new skills. If you don’t know how to create a spreadsheet, communicate clearly or understand technology solutions, for instance, your manager is not responsible for showing you how.

Instead, a good mentoring manager points out areas for growth and advises an employee on how to obtain the necessary knowledge or expertise in order to excel. A rock star leader will strive to create more rock stars by pointing them in the right direction. However, the learning and development are up to the employees who take it upon themselves to improve. If an employee can’t take the initiative to bring more and better skills to the table, he/she is not on track for rock star status – even with the best of managers.

Many companies pay for education or provide learning solutions and opportunities for employees. There are also low-cost online solutions like Udemy, and even YouTube hosts tutorials on almost everything. Don’t wait for your manager to set development goals for you. Set your own; start learning and wow your manager with your new-found knowledge.

Good mentors and coaches lead by example so that employees want to emulate them. They are constantly improving themselves and readily admit their own shortcomings, making it easier for their employees to acknowledge and address their own. As good coaches they also encourage their reports, recognize their achievements and cheer them on during their career journey.

 

 

Be Prepared for Creative Interview Approaches

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During an initial phone interview, the hiring manager throws out a random question that seemingly has nothing to do with your skills and qualifications: “Tell me all the ways you could use a brick?”

In all of your interview preparation, you didn’t plan for that one! Think fast, and that is one of the reasons for the question. The interviewer wants to gauge how quickly you think on your feet, in addition to how innovative and creative you can be.

Some hiring managers and recruiters are getting far more creative themselves in their approach to getting to know you. Why the veer away from typical interviews? New York Times writer Adam Bryant explains that taking a non-traditional approach can enable the interviewer to get to know the candidate better in a more relaxed setting. An interview doesn’t have to be an off-site excursion to be more inventive. The questions themselves can make it so.

Most people prepare for interviews with measured and canned responses to tough questions. Such answers don’t always reveal the true personality or strengths of a candidate. Whereas outside-the-box queries may help candidates open up and reveal more of their true selves.

What kind of novel questions does Bryant suggest you could encounter? A few examples include:

  1. What is your natural strength?
  2. What kind of animal would you be? And why?
  3. What qualities of your parents do you like the most?
  4. What is the biggest misperception people have about you?

You still need to prepare for traditional interview questions to highlight your experience and ability to meet job requirements, but you also need to expect the unexpected. And check out some imaginative uses for a brick in case you ever get that question!