How Self-Employed Workers Can Prove They’re Professionals

Stories abound every year about how unscrupulous self-employed contractors and other professionals take advantage of people and don’t, or can’t, perform the services they were hired to do. These types of news stories make it very hard for honest and respectable self-employed individuals like plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and roofers to gain the confidence of potential customers so they can get hired and earn a living.

 

Self-Employed Workers

 

Here is an overview of what you as a self-employed individual should do to help convince a potential customer that you are a true professional and the right person to hire to get a job done.

 

Certifications

Regardless of what services you offer to people, you should show that you have the knowledge necessary to fulfil your promises. The best way to show you have the training necessary to do the job which you are trying to get hired to do is by showing your potential customer your certificates from the training you have received from trade schools and other places. You should put copies of the certificates in a binder to keep it and other paperwork on hand to show potential customers you know how to do the work.

 

Experience

If you have a track record of doing the type of work your potential customer wants to get done, you should create a list to show it. You can keep an on-going log of completed jobs in a database on your computer that you can print up and put into your binder. The list should be broken down into the different tasks you perform. For example, if you are a plumber, you should have separate lists showing the septic service repairs or maintenance tasks you have done and a separate list of the indoor plumbing projects you have done like emergency pipe or toilet repairs.

This way when you are talking to a customer, you can look up a task you’ve performed that matches what the potential customer needs and have a discussion on how you handled the previous repair or service.

 

Before and After Pictures

You should take pictures of what the job site looked like before you started and what it looked like once you were done. You should also add pictures of what you did to complete the job. The pictures should also be put into your binder and will provide you with a visual aide you can use while explaining what the problem was and how you fixed it.

 

Tradesman Insurance

Reputable self-employed home improvement contractors and tradespeople will have a tradesman insurance policy. A tradesmen insurance policy protects both you and the customer in case of injury or property damage that might occur while you are working on a project at a business or home. Contractors who skip on getting a policy is a warning sign to potential customers that if anything goes wrong they could be liable to cover the cost of the damage or injuries that occurred on their property. You should have a policy and a copy of it should be put into the binder.

 

Trade Association Memberships

Trade association memberships show a potential customer a number of things including that you appear to be a valuable member of your professional, are aware of updated procedures and laws affecting your profession, and that you have easy access to continuing education courses.

Trade associations typically don’t allow disreputable contractors who could bring dishonour to the association to be members. You should keep copies of the certificates of membership and continuing education courses and seminars you have attended in your binder to show your potential customers.

 

References

People appreciate when they have been treated well and a job has been performed to their satisfaction. You should always ask a satisfied customer if they would be willing to provide you with a character and job reference that you can give to potential customers to give them an understanding of your work performance.

In some cases, especially if the work you have done can be viewed from the outside, a satisfied customer may allow a potential customer to stop by and view first-hand the work you have done.

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Career Options for Social Work Graduates

Graduating with a social work degree doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go on to be a social worker. Your skills and qualifications would allow you to find work in other fields. If you did choose to become a social worker, there are many different specialties, and different groups of people you could work with. Being a graduate of a masters in social work could open up many doors and allow you to have a long and rewarding career in whatever path you chose. Here are some of the great career options available to you.

Social Work Graduates

Social Work

Social work helps many different groups. From helping veterans finding their place in society and dealing with any issues they may have, looking after the elderly or children and families, to assisting the victims of domestic violence. Social work can be challenging, but there aren’t many more rewarding careers out there.

Advocacy

A social work degree would allow you to work as an advocate. Advocates use their skills and knowledge to represent their clients. Advocates work to ensure their clients’ voices are heard, defend their rights, challenge decisions on their behalf, and make sure they understand outcomes. Advocates work in a variety of different situations, from court rooms, to medical meetings.

Family Support Work

Family support workers work with families, children and young people to ensure they get the best help possible when they need it. Working with families who are facing either short or long term issues, family support offers both practical and emotional support. This could be anything from finding affordable housing and applying for benefits to being a shoulder to cry on.

Therapist

Therapists help people dealing with conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression, by talking to them and helping them to find their own coping strategies. The work of a therapist often reduces the need for medication and long term care.

Mental Health Worker

Mental health workers not only help to identify mental health conditions and care for patients, they also play an incredibly important part in educating society about mental health conditions and treatments.

Probation Officer

Probation officers work with those who are leaving and have left prison, to make sure they lead productive and innocent lives upon their release. Probation officers play a large role in educating offenders, as well as helping them readjust to society and find jobs, all while ensuring the safety of the public.

Charity Worker

Your skills as a social work graduate could help you work within a charitable organization. Charity work is exceptionally varied. You could find work with rehousing organizations, in sheltered accommodation, as an advocate or counselor within an organization, or as part of a fund-raising team.

Youth Worker

Youth workers work supporting young people who need help. Some may have problems with their families, while others may be in legal trouble, or struggling with mental disorders. As a youth worker, you would be responsible for identifying your client’s needs, and working with them to find solutions, offering emotional support along the way.

There are many ways you could use your social work degree to help others. While some of these careers might require you to complete further education or training, they are all incredibly rewarding and fulfilling choices.

 

Image credit: By PITER – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Consider Getting an Online Nursing Degree

The face of online education has changed greatly over the years, with an increasing number of healthcare facilities honoring online degrees when choosing candidates. Online degrees offer many advantages over traditional nursing schools and it would be wise to weigh the pros and cons of each option to see which one fits your needs the best. Here are five compelling reasons every aspiring nurse should consider getting an online degree.

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High Demand

One of the most compelling reasons to attend a nursing program is because of the increasingly high demand for qualified nurses. Demand is becoming more and more specialized and NPs with a bachelor’s degree will often be asked to have a master’s degree in a specific concentration to fill positions.

For this reason, job prospects are very high and there’s actually a shortage of nurses in many domains at the moment. As a matter of fact, jobs for registered nurses are expected to grow by 16% from 2014 to 2024, more than double the national average according to the United States Department of Labor.

Added Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of online education is the added flexibility it offers students. This is especially important in a field like nursing, where many nurses holding a bachelor’s degree may have to further their education while maintaining a job. You can set your own schedule and complete your degree in the time you want with an online program, which is something you can’t do as easily with a traditional program.

In addition, you can finish your masters or bachelor’s degree much faster online. For instance, you can finish an online FNP program in as little as 18 months, much faster than through most traditional brick and mortar institutions.

Variety

While the choice for specializations was very limited not too long ago, the various choices available through online courses are almost endless these days. From a family nurse practitioner, all the way up to geriatric nursing and nursing forensics, there is an online program for everyone. You can choose to specialize based on specific organs or organs groups, age, treatment type or specific health conditions.

Accreditation

Most institutions will accept qualifications from an accredited school. While online education used to be frowned upon, online degrees are being increasingly recognized, especially in the healthcare industry. This is especially true for those who already possess an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from a traditional school, but this applies to first time students as well. In order for a degree to be valid, it has to be accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Pursuing an online nursing degree is a great way to add a few notches to your belt without having to compromise your current position. It’s also a great way for new students to cut down on tuition costs and study at their own pace, wherever they are across the globe. So if you believe online education is the choice for you, don’t hesitate to contact some of the institutions in your area, as they will be more than happy to answer all of your questions.

 

Image credit: By Vlastimil – originally posted to Flickr as Studentky, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

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4 Benefits Of Vocational Education and Training

Vocational Education and Training (VET) means ‘work-related’, and offers a variety of benefits to choosing it as a learning pathway. Fields of study in VET usually include IT, community services, building and construction, tourism and hospitality, meaning you are gaining qualifications in industries that are readily available no matter where you’re from, or where you go in the future. Below are some other benefits of choosing VET.

Future call center operators
Image credits: Marcin Monko – https://flic.kr/p/apqMUj

1. Flexibility

One of the most lucrative benefits of undertaking a VET course is the flexibility that this type of study provides. Courses can be taken full-time or part-time, depending on your availability, and can be studied via distance education or through online learning institutions such as Careers Australia. These courses are also very accommodating, from students who didn’t get the highest marks in school, to parents, or people working full-time. Skills learnt and qualifications received can also be used to gain you credit into university degrees you may not have been accepted into otherwise.

2. Hands-On

When it comes to studying, the biggest challenge is usually not the study itself, but what to do with your life once it’s over. University degrees, although high up on the scale of academic education, do not always offer a lot of hands-on experience, which prospective employees want. A benefit of vocational training is that these courses provide you with the practical skills you need to work in your industry of choice. For example, internships are a rare requirement for the undergraduate degree, but there are very few vocational courses that don’t have mandatory work experience placements.

3. Transferable

The skills you learn through a VET course have been developed to be relevant to the expectations and standards of the industry. This means that through regular assessment, students will be gaining skills that will be able to be directly transferred into the ‘real world’. For example, if you study a VET nursing course, you will become a nurse; if you study a degree in medical science, you may have to specialise your degree with post-grad diplomas before you can enter the workforce down the track.

4. You Can Earn Quicker

Depending on the industry, many VET courses allow you to start earning an income while you’re studying. For example, doing an apprenticeship in hospitality or construction means you are learning and gaining valuable qualifications, while getting some monetary reward to take home at the end of the week. Even for courses that don’t offer this type of earning/working environment, you will still find you can enter the workforce quicker, as you have practical skills to boost your job prospects, and can even start working towards qualifications while you’re still in high school.

Often thought of as the ‘easy’ way out, VET courses are actually a highly beneficial way to ensure you are ready to start earning money immediately – or even as you go. The truth is, university degrees and VET courses shouldn’t be compared. Where VET is more practical, university is more academic. Maybe the best form of education is a combination of them both!

What VET courses would you love to study and why? Leave your answers in the space below.

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How to Dress to Impress at Your Job Interview

So, you have a great CV, and your covering letter impressed somebody enough to get you called up for an interview. That means you’ve got to get your look right. Remember, first impressions are rarely changed once established. It’d be nice if your skills are what got you the job, but the way you look matters too!

If you haven’t attended an interview for a while though, you might be nervous or unsure about what to wear. Here’s how to dress to impress at your big job interview!

Men

When it comes to men’s job interview styles, the simple option is the best one. Go for a fitted black suit, and make sure it’s the right size. You can go for grey or blue instead, but black is always the safest option.

The other thing to be careful about is your tie. You’ve probably got a wonderful array of ties in all patterns and styles. But your job interview tie should be plain and simple, don’t go for anything too daring or risky.

Women

Women have slightly more scope than men. You can go with either a skirt or trousers. If you do choose a skirt, make sure it isn’t too high above the knee. Use your common sense and choose something you see as being sensible.

Like men, black is always the safest option when it comes to picking a color. You can add small splashes of color in other ways using a scarf or necktie if you want but don’t make your outfit too bright or offensive.

A Good Pair of Black Shoes

Whether you’re male or female, a good pair of black shoes is a must for almost any job interview. Women should make sure the shoes are stylish, yet remain sensible. Don’t go for a huge heel, pick something more modest.

Men need a well polished, solid pair of black shoes. There’s no need for anything fancy. You could go for brown shoes, but they look best with a grey suit, not a black one.

Get the Accessories Right

If you want to stand out and look a bit different to your fellow interviewees without looking garish, accessories are the way to go! You might want to exude style by wearing a watch. You can get designer watches from Houston Gold Exchange, they’ll show the employer that you mean business.

Remember not to go overboard with the accessories though. Only use things that are relatively conventional but hint towards a stylish instinct.

Don’t Forget to Tailor Your Look to the Employer

These style tips are giving you a broad overview of what’s expected of you when it comes to dressing for a job interview. But all jobs and job interview are different. If you’re applying for a niche job that would require a different way of dressing, tailor your approach to what is wanted. If you’re not sure about how you’re expected to dress, just contact the business and ask them.

Having a strong CV and top skills is only one thing you have to have to land your dream job. Make sure your style doesn’t let you down by following these tips.

 

image via: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4034/4320245924_f25c5a1edb_o.jpg

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