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Author: Will Chatham

Will Chatham is the Security Assessment Engineer for Arbor Networks. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. He started as a web developer, moved into Linux system administration, and ultimately found his place as a security professional. Having most recently conquered the OSCP certification, Will continues to hack his way into various things in an effort to make them more secure.

How To Find Casual Work During COVID-19

If you are someone who is used to working casual jobs, you might have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has seen many closures of venues and businesses that typically hire casual workers, such as restaurants, cafes, music venues and arts centers. Casual work is ideal for students, those with other part time jobs and artists who are trying to make ends meet. 

Read on to find out how you can find casual work, even during the pandemic.

Look For Industries Thriving Right Now

Although the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected many industries, some are battling it out against the odds. Companies such as Amazon, that hire people on short rolling contracts, are doubling down on employee hire as their delivery needs have skyrocketed. 

Similarly, online development industries such as tech engineering, content creation, social media management, IT support and web design, are all thriving due to the fact that so many companies have transferred their services online. This is an industry worth taking a look at if you are a gig worker with software expertise.

Sign Up To Online Load Boards

Online load boards are absolutely ideal for casual delivery workers looking for day-to-day projects to take up. If you work as a delivery driver, you can find loads of the appropriate size and distance that instantly pop up on a load dashboard. You can accept the job right away, and off you go!

This is perfect day-to-day work for casual workers with varying flexibility. If you have children, for example, or you attend college, you might not be available for the same number of hours each week. Delivering using load boards is a fantastic way to supplement your income. 

Market Yourself Better

One way to find casual work online is to market yourself better. In a sea of worker profiles on casual work sites, yours must stand out above and beyond the other workers with similar experience to you. How can you achieve better personal marketing? Here are five easy things to do. 

  1. Use professional photographs. There’s nothing worse than a blurry selfie on a professional profile. Have some pro photographs taken – or if that’s unavailable, have a friend take high quality shots of you looking presentable. 
  2. Expand on your experience. If you have worked as a copywriter, don’t just write ‘Copywriter’ on your resume. Detail the skills required to do so, and any positive feedback you received too!
  3. Capitalise on your interesting qualities. A few fun facts about you will never go amiss on a previously-bland worker’s profile!
  4. Use social media to your advantage. If you have a particular skill set that is invaluable in a niche industry, make sure you are connecting with others in the industry using social media. 
  5. Network, network, network. Even without networking events, you can network online by meeting like minded individuals on forums and job sites. You never know where this connection could lead!

With so many closures going on, it has been a tough time for individuals looking for work. Use this guide to help find casual work during COVID-19.

How to Deliver a Customer Service that is Consistent in Quality

You may have a brilliant product, but if your customer service is not helpful or if they are not reliable then people will hear about it. You will end up losing customers and this is one thing that you need to avoid. If you want your career to experience long-term success then you need to try and do your bit to ensure that you are putting in the time and effort to satisfy your customers beyond their purchase. You need to provide after-sales support and you will also need to give them the confidence to make another purchase from you.

Know your Product

If you are a customer service agent, then you will most likely spend all of your day troubleshooting the issues that your customers are having. For this reason, you have to make sure that you are an expert in your product.  Your job is to help your customers to make the most out of their product, so make it your goal to know everything there is to know. If you can do this, then you can ensure that you give them timely recommendations and that you also help them to feel more confident in your services. If you want to help your sales even more, then check out https://www.synergistix.com/.

Have a Positive Attitude

Attitude is everything. A positive attitude will go a long way when it comes to providing a fantastic service to your customers. The right attitude will change any negative customer experience into a positive one. Most customer interactions are not face to face, therefore you have to make sure that you are coming across well in your tone. It’s incredibly easy for you to misinterpret the tone of written communication, so don’t be afraid to use emojis when you are trying to incorporate good humour, or even pick up the phone if you find that the conversation is getting stale or tense.

Problem-Solve

Did you know that 80% of customers have gone to a competitor because they experienced a poor customer service? This is why you need to thrive and problem-solve where possible. Don’t be afraid to really blow your customers away. Don’t just fix the issue, go the extra mile to ensure that you are exceeding expectations. Sometimes you will need to be creative here because there may not always be an obvious solution. Either way, the more you can push yourself, the more your customers will appreciate your services overall.

Respond Fast

66% of people think that it’s important for a customer service team to value their time. If you are able to resolve any customer queries as fast as possible then this will give you a solid foundation in which to build upon for the future. Speed is essential and this is especially the case for smaller issues that probably don’t take much time to solve. If you can focus on speed, then you will soon find that you have way more time in the day to deal with other issues and that you are also able to give your customers a way better customer service experience overall.

Recording Music: Why You Can’t Make Excuses Anymore

It used to be that making excuses for recording music was pretty easy. After all, you needed a record deal and all the trimmings that come with a machine behind you, and they were hard to find.

Today, the landscape has changed dramatically, making the process of recording music more accessible than ever before. However, you might still be in the mindset of believing the industry is exclusive, which stops you from creating songs.

If you are, you are holding yourself back because you’re making excuses for your behavior. The reality is that most of the pitfalls don’t exist any longer, and these are the reasons why.

Studios Aren’t Hard to Find

It turns out that a studio is right under your nose, just waiting for you to find it. Where is it? Well, it’s in your home thanks to software such as Garageband. Developed by Apple, the program allows users to make music through Apple-related products, like macOS, iPadOS, and even iOS devices. Yes, you can do it via your iPhone! Not only is the quality great, but Android and Microsoft users can also leverage it with a Garageband on PC download. You don’t have to leave your bedroom to start recording. Isn’t that cool?

Equipment Isn’t Expensive

If you are waiting for the latest Fender, you’ll have to splash out a significant sum of money. But, this doesn’t mean the cost of musical equipment is high – it’s a lot lower today. Instead, it means that you must be savvy about where you purchase your tools. For instance, you can buy used instruments off the internet. Or, you can leverage social media to find the latest bargains in competing stores. The number of incredible deals is very high, so as long as you shop around, you will find what you need.

You Can Build A Fanbase

Talking of social media, you shouldn’t ignore the potential pros of recording music and releasing it directly to your fans. Whipping up support used to be challenging since most people listened to songs on the radio or through their stereos, and you required a formal deal to get onto these platforms. Currently, the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter cut out the middlemen and provide access to the people who matter the most – your supporters. It’s almost impossible to launch a pro music career without their help, yet you have it in abundance with social media accounts.

You Can Learn

Whether you’re Keith Richards or new to the game, you never stop learning. The problem with education is that it isn’t as accessible as it should be, not for people on the bottom rung of the ladder. Thankfully, formal classes are everywhere, and the hardest part is choosing which course to use to boost your knowledge base. Producer Hive has a list of ten of the best available right now which should help. The key is to invest in your education. When you do that, nothing can get in your way.

Have you stopped making excuses or are you allowing them to derail your career?

Is Teaching Online a Viable Career Choice in 2021?

Teaching is one of the most viable career choices that anyone could ever invest in. However, with the global pandemic taking place and more online opportunities being created than ever before, it’s time to start considering the possibility of teaching online as a viable career choice.

There’s a lot of software that supports online learning for both schools and individuals

One of the great things about teaching online is that you have access to a huge variety of software tools that make it easy for you to teach. There are many types of teaching software for school and hybrid learning and you’ll find that they’re not only easy to use but can actually enhance your lessons in a number of different ways. If you’re concerned about translating your teaching experience to an online-focused approach, then you’ll be glad to know that there are a lot of fantastic software tools to assist you.

There are quite a few job opportunities, but you could also run your own business

A big thing to decide is if you want to work for a company or run your own business. Working for a company typically means that you’ll need to follow their instructions and use the software they do. However, if you find that you work better on your own then there’s always the option of running your own business instead. This means creating your own courses and promoting your own brand. It can be a lot more work, but it can also be more stability and freedom for some people.

However, you’ll need to know how to work social media and get noticed through networking

One of the most important things about learning online is getting noticed on the internet. If you get noticed by people, then you’re far more likely to get new students. You’ll have to work out how to best advertise your services on social media, and you’ll need to get used to engaging people as a form of networking. Social media can be daunting to use for many people, but it’s important if you want to make a career out of teaching online.

Teaching online is a completely different experience than teaching in-person

One of the benefits of becoming an online teacher is that you have lots of unique tools at your disposal to help your students. For example, you get access to a plethora of online-only options such as leaving study materials for your students to work through at their own pace. You also get to create interactive experiences using a variety of different software solutions. There are some fantastic options available to you, but it’s important that you understand the differences between teaching in-person and online in order to get the most from it.

Teaching online is an extremely viable career choice, but it’s important that you understand the major differences between teaching online and in-person if you want to get accustomed to it and adapt your existing experience.

5 Things You Need To Know Before You Become A Lawyer

Becoming a legal professional is something that many people aspire to do. The great working conditions, excellent pay, and retirement benefits all make a career in the legal profession something worth striving for. 

However, there are some things that you’ll need to know before you start working on your first practice. It’s not all plain sailing. 

Some Law Careers Are More Flexible Than Others

Going into law isn’t a one size fits all process. Instead, it is a highly varied field with multiple opportunities and working styles. 

Some legal jobs are much more flexible than others. If you go to work for a big firm, for instance, you’ll have to put in the hours just like everyone else. 

If, however, you switch to more of a consultancy role, you can take on projects as they come to you. There’s no pressure to be in the office Monday to Friday, nine to five. 

You Won’t Spend A Lot Of Time In Court

Hollywood loves to focus on lawyers’ theatrical appearances in court. But the reality is that that kind of thing is usually only a small part of the job. Most lawyers spend most of their time doing research and looking up precedents with legal research software. A lot of their time is actually spent trying to defuse potential legal situations on the part of their clients so that they don’t get to court in the first place. 

You Won’t Become A Partner Immediately

Once you become a partner at your firm, you know that you’ve made it. All of a sudden, you have control over the firm and a degree of authority and autonomy. 

Getting to such a position, though, doesn’t come swiftly, even if you’re a top performer. Usually, you have to wait for the old-guard to retire before being allowed to take their place. 

The best strategy for young lawyers looking to improve their pay grade is to look horizontally, not vertically. Seek out other firms offering more senior positions to work your way up the ladder faster. 

You’ll Need To Become An Adept Writer

Writing is a challenge for most people, but especially lawyers who have to be particularly precise in the way that they use it. You can’t rattle off letters to clients using everyday English. That simply won’t suffice. Most of your communications will have legal content, meaning that how you phrase your sentences matters.

Unfortunately, speaking in legalese isn’t an option either. You need to communicate with your clients in a way that they can understand. So most lawyers put considerable effort into improving their writing skills once they graduate from training. 

You Can’t Always Find Clear Answers

Legal systems seem well-defined on the outside. But in many cases, there are no clear legal precedents for what a court should do. And that means that you’ll need to do a lot of analysis and research to make your case. 

This is the part of the job where you’ll need to engage your critical thinking skills and put them to good use.

How To Lessen Strain When Working At Your Computer All Day

No matter if you’re producing music, writing content, playing video games or just keeping up with the latest news, many of us spend more time than we would care to admit on our computers. This has led much of our recreational and professional time to be focused on staring at one, two or three screens in particular, for hours at a time. 

Of course, we were not designed for this, despite how convenient and productive this can be. As such, we need to take certain measures to help us better adapt to this physical, mental and ocular strain when using our computers. Putting together a few worthwhile measures now can prevent us from having to worry about repercussions later.

For instance, if sit slouched in a terrible chair with little lumbar support, one day, you will feel the effects. However, sitting in a good and ergonomic chair (which you should totally invest in) is hardly the only consideration to keep in mind. With the following advice, you’ll be able to work long hours without having to pay over the odds for it:

Invest In Your Desk

A great desk, just like a chair, can help your ergonomics. It will help dictate where you sit, how you sit, and how comfortable you are using it. Ideally, you should have a desk that’s big enough to hold all of your equipment (including specialty peripherals), and still have enough space to store temporary items. This can help you feel more connected to your workspace, as if it isn’t constricting you. It’s also worthwhile to consider how standing desks can help you undo the damage of sitting, as they provide a worthwhile investment for anyone hoping to benefit in the long term.

Blue Light Protection

Blue light can play havoc with our circadian rhythm, because when the sun has gone down, this light hue emitted by most screens simulates the sun, thus telling our brains that it isn’t dark outside. You can overcome this with blue light glasses, which can also help you avoid digital eye strain, headaches due to long-form screen work or gaming, as well as affording you the worthwhile frames that fit your style. For people who use their devices late into the night, this is a great investment.

Keyboard & Mice

It’s important to invest in a good keyboard and mouse. Those with mechanical switch are known to be easier to type on, allowing for a more comfortable finger traction when typing. This helps you type for long periods without pain. A mouse and keyboard, if ergonomically designed, also allow for the clicking and movement motions to be less taxing on your fingers and wrists. Certain laptop models also allow for this kind of keyboard, and they’re work investing in. This might not seem like much, but add this up over potentially hundreds or thousands of hours and you’ll see how effective your efforts can be at delaying physical issues such as repetitive strain injury.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily avoid strain when working at your computer all day.