Moonlighting Boosts Your Career Skills

For many employees, the workday doesn’t end when they’re done with their 9 to 5. A new study from CareerBuilder revealed that nearly 30 percent of employees are working side jobs.

Whether it’s because they want to make some extra money or pursue another field, moonlighting is common, especially among younger workers. Specifically, 44 percent of workers ages 25 to 34, and 39 percent of those ages 18 to 24, have side jobs. That compares to 29 percent of workers ages 35 to 44, 22 percent of workers ages 45 to 54, and 19 percent of workers ages 55 and older.

The study found that professionals at all income levels are working side jobs. Nearly 20 percent of employees who earn more than $75,000 per year, and 12 percent of those making more than $100,000 per year, are working a job outside their full-time position. In comparison, 34 percent of workers who make less than $50,000 per year, and 34 percent of those who earn less than $35,000 per year, also have side jobs.

Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said having a side job not only provides employees with a little extra money but also makes them more attractive to potential future employers.

“When you’re applying to jobs, especially when you’re at the start of your career, other applicants could have more experience in your particular field,” Haefner said in a statement. “If you bring more skill sets to the table and have a unique perspective on how things can be done, you’re sure to stand out from the crowd and be seen as a valuable potential hire.”

The research found that employees working in the leisure and hospitality, retail, and transportation industries are the most likely to moonlight. Some of the most common side jobs include the following:

  1. Survey taker
  2. Child care worker
  3. Consultant
  4. Freelance writer
  5. House sitter
  6. Blogger
  7. Bartender
  8. Photographer/videographer
  9. Website designer
  10. Tutor

Most workers don’t plan to turn their side job into a full-time gig: More than 70 percent of those with a side job said they have no intention of making it their full-time position. In addition, many workers surveyed said they are more passionate about their day jobs than their side jobs.

The study was based on surveys of more than 3,200 workers in the private sector across a variety of industries and company sizes.

Globalization Are Pushing Job Growth

Discovering potential business and career opportunities is a lot like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. To succeed, you need skills in identifying patterns, finding missing parts and visualizing the big picture. While dozens of variables could affect a new business or job search, success often springs from knowledge of emerging trends in the marketplace.

According to a recent labor market study by CareerBuilder, three catalysts in the U.S. marketplace affect certain occupations, industries and related businesses. These trends, which have accelerated the demand for certain services, products and skill sets, are creating opportunities for both entrepreneurs and job seekers.

“Whether we’re talking about the rise of the sharing economy, the power of smart technology, or companies communicating in multiple languages or time zones, these trends are moving the needle on job growth for a wide variety of fields,”

Although the restaurant business has long been perceived as a risky enterprise with a high failure rate, employment figures suggest a growing demand for well-managed eating establishments. One key indicator is the rate of job growth in the restaurant business from 2012 to 2016. During that time span, nearly 165,000 jobs were added, an increase of 16 percent.

The study also noted that Americans are becoming more health-conscious. The growing popularity of grocery stores that specialize in organically grown, unprocessed food is one of several signs of an escalating consumer demand for products and services that support healthier lifestyles. Additionally, the 12 percent job expansion in the fitness profession reflects increasing opportunities for personal trainers, aerobics instructors, and entrepreneurs starting gym or fitness businesses.

Technology advancement

Predictably, technology continues to play a growing role in everything from business management and marketing to home security and vacation planning. In many parts of the country, career and business startup opportunities are available for software developers, tech-savvy marketing managers and IT consultants, the CareerBuilder study said.

Looking at the big picture, the growth rate of the U.S. technology market is expected to climb from 5.1 percent in 2016 to 5.9 percent in 2017, based on projections from Forrester Research released earlier this year.

Globalization

The trend toward a more global approach to doing business is also opening doors for consultants, corporations and aspiring entrepreneurs. As companies seek to gain a greater understanding of international markets, more opportunities will emerge for market research analysts. That profession has shown a 15 percent rate of job growth over the past four years, and is expected to continue growing.

The move toward globalization is also creating a stronger demand for cartographers to develop maps for mobile phones and navigation systems. Professionals fluent in several languages are also increasingly sought after in the corporate world.

Globalization has also affected the job market in the environmental arena. The occupation that has shown the most growth in recent years is wind turbine service technician, the report showed. CareerBuilder attributed the 37 percent surge in hiring in this field to “a greater emphasis on preserving the global environment.”

The CareerBuilder study was conducted through the company’s labor market analysis arm, Emsi, which collects and interprets data from more than 100 employment resources.

Job That Makes You Happy

If you find yourself unhappy at your corporate job, try looking for work at a smaller company.

The happiest employees work for businesses with fewer than 10 workers, according to a study from the staffing firm Robert Half and happiness and well-being expert Nic Marks. Specifically, on a scale of 0 to 100, workers in businesses with fewer than 10 employees have a happiness rating of 76, while those working for businesses with between 10 and 50 employees have a rating of 72.

Employees at larger organizations are the unhappiest. Workers at companies with 5,000 or more employees have a happiness rating of just 67, the lowest of all the groups studied. The average happiness score for all professionals surveyed was 71.

“This research shows a high level of happiness at work among professionals overall, but also demonstrates unique challenge areas by occupation and company size,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half, said in a statement.

When broken down by industry, the results show that those in education and training, as well as marketing and design have the highest levels of on-the-job satisfaction, while finance workers have the lowest.

Nothing drives being happy at work more than having pride in your employer. The study found that employees who feel proud of their organizations are three times more likely to be happy than workers who are not. Feeling appreciated and being treated with fairness and respect are the other top influencers of workplace happiness, the research showed.

“Work can be difficult and demanding, but if employees feel proud of what their organization does, respected as a person and appreciated for what they do, then they tend to be happy and do better work as a result,” Marks said.

Why your happiness matters

Being happy at work provides a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Past research from Horizons Workforce Consulting found that nearly two-thirds of happy employees report consistently putting in extra effort at work, while a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology discovered that those with high levels of on-the-job satisfaction also volunteer for optional tasks, help others and are more cooperative compared to unhappy workers.

“Happier people tend to care more about their work, so they put in greater effort,” Marks said. “This also means they are quicker to notice when things are not going right and take action to prevent negative outcomes.”

The Robert Half report also found that happy workers tend to be more innovative, create and healthy. Additionally, employees with high levels of job satisfaction are less likely to look for new job opportunities.

McDonald said organizations should not take lightly the effort to make sure employees are happy.

“Happiness is not a nice-to-have, but a necessity for a productive and successful business,” he said.

Employees Can Show Leadership

When you start an entry-level job, you might feel like you have a long road ahead of you to move up the ladder toward a leadership role. But there’s more to being a leader than having “manager,” “director” or “vice president” in your title. And conversely, you don’t have to have one of those titles to be a leader.

In an article that was published by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, clinical professor of strategy Harry Kraemer said that junior employees should “lead from where they are” and take the initiative to become a leader within their current roles, regardless of how long (or short) their tenure has been thus far.

Similarly, Jonathan Wasserstrum, co-founder and CEO of TheSquareFoot, said that if you can demonstrate leadership in your current capacity, management may be more likely to trust you with a higher-level role when the time comes.

“Furthermore, it’s a good way to find out what you’re really made of. When you’re [entry level], you have some room to learn … your strengths and weaknesses as a potential leader before the stakes get too high.”

If you’re ready to start building and demonstrating your leadership skills as an entry-level employee, here are four steps you can take right now.

Pay attention to leadership styles in your organization

No matter where you are in your career, you can learn a lot just by observing the leaders in your company. Catriona Harris, CEO of Uproar PR, advised junior employees to pay attention to current leaders to see what works, what doesn’t and what they might want to emulate in the future.

“An entry-level employee might not be leading anyone, but they should be noticing and taking notes on characteristics on effective … leaders within the organization,” she said. “This is the time to start visualizing how you will handle certain situations, so when the time comes, you are ready.”

Volunteer for projects outside your regular duties

Jay Deakins, founder and CEO of ERP software company Deacom, advised entry-level employees to investigate opportunities to help easy a manager’s heavy workload.

“While being respectful of their own processes and responsibilities, offer to take on some of the tasks that they may consider unappealing or annoying,” he said.

“Help your colleagues if they’re buried under work or struggling with a project,” added Wasserstrum. “If you’re collaborating on a project, be the one who sets the progress update meeting [or] proposes next steps after the meeting. These are the kinds of things that can build trust and affinity between you and your colleagues.”

Richard Jalichandra, CEO of Bodybuilding.com, agreed, and said that as a senior executive, he’s always looking for junior employees who volunteer for additional responsibilities outside the scope of their jobs.

“[These are] people who proactively reach out to me, their managers or other leaders in the organization and offer their efforts on … special projects or initiatives, over and above their main job responsibilities,” Jalichandra said. “By doing so, you not only show people that you’re willing to work hard and take risks, but you also usually get to do cool work, too! [A]t some point, leadership comes looking for you because they know you’re up to the task.”

It’s important to note, however, that these assignments should never hinder your existing job performance, Deakins said, so accomplish these new projects during free time after work, on weekends or when your day-to-day responsibilities are completed.

Share your ideas

One of the best ways to contribute o your company — and get noticed by the company’s leaders — is to speak up and share thoughtful, intelligent ideas.

“Don’t be afraid to speak your mind,” Wasserstrum said. “Smart companies respect good ideas and thoughtful dissent, regardless of where in the organization they come from. But at the end of the day, your actions speak louder than words. If you do the work, do it well and are unafraid to own the results, people notice.”

These Important Steps That You Need To Know

Asking for a raise is nerve-wracking. It comes with the possibility of rejection and dealing with your manager’s perception of your work.

But you shouldn’t be afraid to bring it up: According to the PayScale Compensation Best Practices Report 2016, 73 percent of employers consider their employees to be fairly paid, while only 36 percent of employees feel that they are fairly compensated. Sometimes, the only way to fix this problem is to ask for that raise.

While it may be a hard task to summon the courage to ask, PayScale indicates that 75 percent of people who ask for a raise, receive one. With the right preparation, your conversation with your boss can be productive and fruitful. Here are five important things to keep in mind when you’re requesting a salary increase.

Timing is everything

It may be tough to decide when it’s the right time to approach your boss or manager about your raise, but timing truly makes a difference.

“If your company has a regular performance review schedule, try to have a conversation about your compensation a couple months in advance so that your boss has time to make a case and advocate for budget ahead of that process,” Lydia Frank, editorial and marketing director for PayScale, wrote in a blog post. “If you wait for the performance-review process, often the decisions about salary increases have already been made by the management team.”

Think about timing in terms of your company’s overall performance as well, said Brian McClusky, human resources director at InkHouse.

“If your firm had just had an unprofitable quarter, lost a major client, etc., the timing may not be right to request a raise, regardless of how strong your individual performance is,” McClusky said.

Determine your worth

Characterizing your worth is a combination of the work you’ve done and the national average for your position. Take stock of what you’ve done and research how much people in the same field are making before you present the numbers to your boss during your conversation.

“Be realistic when reviewing the data, considering experience, location, education, etc.,” said Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of human resources at Indeed. “Once you’ve determined a comfortable range, develop a plan to broach the subject with your manager.”

“Being able to take inventory of your work demonstrates self-awareness and the readiness to have serious conversations about your career,” Ragini Parmar, vice president of talent operations at Credit Karma, said in another Business News Daily article. “For example, if you’re looking for a raise or promotion, it’s important to do your homework. You’ll always be more effective if you’re able to have a real data-driven conversation with your manager.”

According to Hannah Morgan, the career expert behind Career Sherpa, a great way to keep your current boss up to date is by sending him or her a weekly or monthly email update. State what you accomplished in objective, measurable terms. And always try to tie your achievements back to organizational goals or how those accomplishments benefit the bottom line, she said in a Career Sherpa blog post.

Plan your approach

How does your manager best process information? Are they data-driven? Subjective? If they are data-driven, lead with your research and clearly state your request, Wolfe said.

“If they are more subjective, start with what contributions you have made to the organization, your performance, and then give them an overview of the data and your request,” Wolfe said. “Be prepared for them to say ‘no.'”

Get comfortable talking about salary

Compensation remains a touchy topic at most companies, and the way you approach the situation will dictate the overall process. McClusky said that you should keep the focus on yourself and your own performance, rather than on comparing yourself to colleagues.

“Asking for a raise because you heard that a peer earns more than you diverts the emphasis from your own performance, and may also lack proper context,” he said.