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September 13, 2021
CATEGORY: Career Hacks

There’s nothing more pleasing than using free services and getting free products, including free downloadable files. You don’t have to pay anything or mind monthly subscriptions. Whether you want to create presentations or just get the job done, these free productivity sources can save you money and time. Here we lay the non-exhaustive list of free sites.    PHOTOS/VIDEOS It’s tempting to use any high-quality photos or videos but using them without permission or giving at least a proper credit can land you into legal trouble. Fortunately, you can find free photos from photo sharing sites - also called stock images sites. Some of them don't require attribution while others do. Pixabay.com - This site was originally a German-owned site and now under the Australian design platform Canva. It offers free downloadable photos, vector graphics, illustrations, as well as videos for either personal or commercial projects. This site is very useful for adding images to your blogs and websites. Their stock video footage and clips are of very good quality as well. Attribution isn’t required but referring back to the author and Pixabay is a way of thanking them.   Unsplash.com - This site offers stock photos or free images for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The site categorizes and filters the images into animals, architecture, business & work, current events, experimental, fashion, film, food & drink, health & wellness, history, interiors, nature, people, and many more. You can create an account and submit your photos as well.   Pexels.com - This is another good source of free high-quality stock photos and videos which does not even require attribution.   AUDIO You can use audios for your videos as sound effects or background music. Getting audio clips or music is easy on the internet, although not all of them are safe to use because of their copyright. Luckily, there are royalty-free audio sites.  Freesound.org - This site is a collaborative database of free (creative commons), downloadable and shared sounds. On their landing page, you can find tabs for sounds, forums, people and help. Their blog occupies a big part of their body content. Clicking their search bar reveals a filter for the duration, relevance, downloads and rating.    Mixkit.co is geared toward providing music and sound effects. Their sound effects are categorized into animals, human, nature, technology and other miscellaneous types. Their free music can be filtered based on genre or mood. Attribution is appreciated but not required.   Viberary.com offers high-quality free music for commercial and personal use. It can be filtered by genre, mood, and tempo, as well other categories such as vlog/travel, corporate and wedding. Each track has a short and long version that can be downloaded. Attribution is not required but linking back is a nice gesture.   JOB POSTING SITES Paid job posting sites can cost you a hundred to thousands of pesos depending on the plan or subscription type. Good thing that many job boards still offer free job posting.  Ohjobs.ph offers companies to post unlimited job postings for free (at the moment) - no strings attached. The job board presents a green theme and an array of job categories from accounting to information technology to travel and tourism. Employers can even send messages to qualified applicants for free. The duration of job ads currently has no limit, that's why you can advertise your vacancy here for more than a month.   Jora is a free job search engine that sources job ads from different partners. You can also post up to 10 job vacancies here per month at no cost. Job posts can be active for up to 28 days.   TEMPLATES Writing is hard, that's why writing from scratch can be quite intimidating. Templates are a time saver when you write business documents without dealing with writer’s block. You can copy or modify templates appropriate for your purposes - job application, memos, request and policies.  Molly.com combines the powers of project management tools, intranet and HR software, including payroll. One of the free perks of using Molly is their free templates. From business letters to forms, you can just download the templates and use them as your guide for your business and personal documents.    JotForm reveals links to a myriad of free form templates. They can be filtered based on type, industry and category, and can be sorted by trend, popularity and date created. The type selection consists of order forms, registration forms, application forms, booking forms, request forms and many more.   EMAILS Aside from Gmail and Yahoo, free email sites abound. Some of them are free; others are paid.  GMX Mail is one of the top free email providers in terms of numbers. It supports both IMAP and POP. It offers 65 GB of email storage, 1 GB of file storage and 50 MB limit for attachment. It has drag-and-drop functionality to help you manage your schedule. It provides spam filtering and file sharing capabilities as well.    Zoho Mail a member of Zoho’s cloud-based office suite. The email features modules that let you organise your tasks, contacts, notes and calendar. Being a part of the Zoho suite, Zoho Mail lets you connect with other Zoho apps such as Docs, Zoho CRM Creator, projects and Zapier. You can start their ad-free email by choosing either business or personal email. You can enjoy 5 GB of email storage space for up to 5 mailboxes with their free plan.   CLOUD SERVICES Cloud services do the magic. You can access your files even without your hard drive or flash drive - just like a cloud that hovers above you wherever you go. With just an internet and your email and password, you can change, edit and update your files. Cloud-based apps automatically save your files as long as there is an internet connection. This way your work is saved without having to worry about forgetting to save the changes from time to time. Here are 2 of the best cloud services that are free. Google Drive - If you have a Gmail account, you’ve got access to a trove of Google Workspace apps, including Google Drive. Free users get 15 GB of storage and access to productivity tools such as Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms. The cloud service lets you organise your files by creating, deleting and renaming folders. You can share your file through links and change its access privilege to participants. Microsoft OneDrive - OneDrive lets you access free 5 GB storage and use of iconic document apps such as Access, Excel, PowerPoint and Word. Like Google’s, Microsoft’s cloud storage provides folder creation, file deletion, file archive and file synchronization functions. The clients include computer (Windows, Mac), mobile (Android, iOS), and web.

April 15, 2021
CATEGORY: Career Development

Security is indispensable for the peace and order of companies, organisations, small to medium enterprises and every community. If anyone can be trusted, there could be less to zero need for security services. If you’re eyeing a career in the security industry, here are some of the jobs to consider. CCTV OPERATOR CCTV operators are the eyes and ears of the security system. You operate sophisticated TV monitors, two-way radios, smartphones and cameras. You may be posted at airports, hotels, banks, central bank offices, transport terminals, offices, seaports and in any place where security is crucial and CCTV systems are installed. Responsibilities: Constantly monitor 10 to 15 screens showing different live streams or pictures or surveillance cameras installed in different locations. Notify management, police and security guards of any incidents such as antisocial, suspicious objects and behaviour. Maintain cleanliness and order inside the CCTV room. Keep logs or reports of incidents. Provide CCTV footage evidence when requested by courts. Qualifications/skills: Able to concentrate for long hours Computer literate Depending on your country, you may or may not need a special degree although some companies require a license in Public Space Surveillance authorised by a recognised agency or authority. Knowledge of security protocols such as discreteness, not discussing what you saw on CCTV to anyone but to an authorised person. Passed training on CCTV operation Willingness to work shifts of more than 8 hours a day (12 hours shift) AIRPORT AND SEAPORT CUSTOMS OFFICER Airports and seaports control the flow of goods, people and animals. Left unchecked, illegal and dangerous items can enter the country’s border. The job of a customs officer is to enforce the country’s laws on what can and can’t enter. Responsibilities: Communicate and coordinate with team members. Enforce rules on anti-money laundering laws. Flag and question suspicious behaving individuals. Liaise with the police and other authorities. Monitor X-ray machines to ensure no restricted items go unchecked. Restricted items are allowed things but with certain limits (quantity) and documentation needed (licenses and paperwork). Monitor X-ray machines to ensure that there’s no contraband left unchecked such as illegal drugs, goods from endangered species, weapons, explosives, and pornographic materials. Question and refer people who have been found with illegal and restricted items. Screen inbound passengers and ask them to remove and place their shoes, belt and metal objects onto conveyors of X-ray machines. Search vehicles, luggage, and containers. Write incident reports. Qualifications/skills: Computer literate Meticulous or attention to detail Politeness and customer-friendly demeanour BODYGUARD Bodyguards mostly work for security agencies or direct hire of an individual. Hollywood made movies about bodyguards such as the one portrayed by Kevin Costner who protected a music superstar (Whitney Houston). Bodyguards are like military men, they must know how to protect their client who can be a politician, businessman, high-ranking government official or any person whose life is at risk. Responsibilities: Advise clients of valuable information or intelligence. Check points of entries. Deal with issues such as burglary, trespassing, and theft. Deny entry to unauthorized individuals. Direct clients to safe passageways. Monitor CCTV feeds. Protect clients from possible physical harm. Qualifications/skills: Knowledge/skills in intelligence gathering and counterterrorism Physically fit Skilled in self-defense IMMIGRATION OFFICER As government employees, immigration officers play a central role in safeguarding the countries’ borders, airport and seaport. They work with customs officers to uphold immigration laws and mitigate security risks. Being one, you’ll work in a booth-like workplace and thousands of people. Responsibilities: Ask inbound and outbound passengers about their job, length and purpose of stay, etc. Conduct interviews. Deny entry to individuals who lack proper travel documents (forged passports), or are blacklisted. Flag and refer inbound individuals deemed suspicious to appropriate authorities due to health risks, bad behaviours and intelligence reports. Mark entry and exit stamps to the passport Organise the removal of passengers who are not eligible for entry. Record personal details and take fingerprints. Use immigration-related software via computer to check records. Verify inbound and outbound passengers’ travel documents - passport and visa. Qualifications/skills: Computer literacy Customer service (positive demeanour) Meticulous and attention to detail Use of database software JAIL (CORRECTIONAL) OFFICER The price of violating a law warranting incarceration is losing freedom and being confined in crowded jail facilities (in developing and some developed countries) and eventually the loss of freedom. The responsibility of keeping prisoners in jail goes to jail officers and wardens (the managers of jail facilities). This job can be tough as you will be dealing with possible riots. Responsibilities: Check baggage to ensure no contraband (drugs and weapons) goes inside. Count inmates through manual or asking them to self-count. Count inmate’s issues of receipts and personal properties. Enforces rules on inmate conduct, hygiene, facility and visitation hours. Lock and guard cells.   Perform checks on inmates and visitors. Prepare reports of incidents. Prevent physical confrontations and riots to protect inmates and fellow jail officers. Provide emergency assistance such as first aid, CPR, escape and evacuation. Qualifications/skills: Calm and positive demeanour Meticulous and attentive to details Physically fit Skilled in self-defense SECURITY GUARD/OFFICER The most visible and common security job, security guards are the frontline of the security team. They face many people, different personalities and various temperaments. In this job, you must be resilient since you might work for long hours/shifts standing or sitting in front desks or entrances. You must be ready for different kinds of personalities (arrogant, polite, weird) and any type of people you can think of. You could be posted at concierge, malls, supermarkets, retail stores, airport, seaport, headquarters, construction sites, offices and schools. Responsibilities: Aid client motorists by directing traffic. Enforce rules and policies regarding safety and security. Operate CCTV. Operate defense weapons to mitigate. Patrol premises to make sure everyone’s safety. Restraining trespassers. Screen incoming visitors by frisking, patting or using metal detector tools to prevent entrance of dangerous items (guns, illegal drugs, weapons, knives). Use two-way radios or any communication devices to coordinate with other team members. Write reports about incidents such as thief, quarrelling and other anti-social behaviours. Qualifications/skills: Computer literacy Emotional control Honesty and integrity Physically fit Surveillance CONCIERGE RECEPTIONIST Here you are the face of an organisation – the first person to meet visitors, applicants and employees. You’re likely to work at a hotel, office towers and bank. Responsibilities: Operate intercom. Politely greet and ask visitors to register their names and provide their IDs or any identification documents. Provide reference numbers to visitors. Qualifications/skills: Customer service English and other languages Security procedures Telephony

March 30, 2021
CATEGORY: Career Development

There’s a law of nature where everything is affected by time and changes. From wilting leaves to rusted iron bars - nothing is permanent. Being loyal to your company or management is admirable but soon you’ll face situations that can affect your decision making, comfort zone and personal economy. Whether you're employed for a year or months, this list will help you gauge your decision before quitting your job.  You’re at a difficult working environment A difficult working environment can make your work more laborious, tiring and monotonous. It can zap your motivation quickly and drain your peace of mind. A difficult working environment involves: Dangerous working conditions (metal foundry, exposure to biohazards, nuclear power plant) Unhealthy working hours (working late at night) Difficult working peers - aloof, bossy, control-freak and the hot-headed team leader, manager or director Prolonged and unpaid working hours Negative office politics that affect your productivity and career advancement To take advantage of a better opportunity The best opportunities are akin to comets - they occur seldomly. Ignoring them is like throwing away a winning lottery ticket. A saying “Excuses will always be there for you, opportunity won’t”, upholds this wisdom. So if you’re 100% sure that a better opportunity comes and negates your current working environment - grab it immediately. If you’re just in your comfort zone, you could be missing many opportunities. You may never know what lies out there until you start to search and analyse.  Missed chances can be:  Better working conditions, pay, and career advancements Workplace near home which means no need to pay monthly rents Job abroad or overseas that pays well more than your local employment The years spent on your current job could be better spent on more lucrative careers.  Obviously, if you get a new job offer that presents better pay and environment, then it’s reasonable to quit or resign. Once you passed the interview and signed a contract, and as long as there’s nothing holding you back, there’s no better alternative but to say goodbye to your current job and say hello to your new career. Career Change Career change refers to taking a new role different from your current job. You’ll do career change to improve job satisfaction, life quality and remuneration. This strategy is the best way to uplift your current standing and change the course of your life. A career change could mean: Assessing skills, beliefs and values Considering a new job within the same industry Setting up a job shadow (following and observing a professional) Planning to study for a short course or new degree Studying for a short course or degree is the best way to move up the social or career ladder. It can help you gain new skills that only an extra short course or degree can offer. While it’s possible to work and study at the same time, it might take a longer time than committing full time studying to finish. If you have enough savings and side income, you can still study full-time without going broke. Lay-off is looming Lay-offs are mass removal or reduction of staff caused by bankruptcy, company merger, and economic downturn. Just waiting for a lay-off and ignoring the signs can surprise you, if one day, you have been told that you no longer have a job while minding how to pay your never-ending monthly bills and rent. Relocation Working far away from your home can be taxing especially if you’re commuting.  You’ll wake up early and arrive early to cope with the distance of 40 to 60 km between home and workplace. Even if you own a car, it can be tiring to drive back and forth for such distance and endure heavy traffic. Conflicting schedules and working hours You may have urgent and important schedules that can be more or equally important to your work. Conflicting schedules include: A family member with a disease  Newborn child Schooling Serious personal medical condition

March 19, 2021
CATEGORY: Career Development

As mortal beings, humans are expected to do their prime activities in their mid or late 20s. Others who aren’t fortunate enough to fund their education or unlucky to meet economic hardships, still decide to further education and career even at a later age. There’s a common mentality that learning is enough in college and that learning at a later age is futile. But here are these people who defied against odds - time and their age.   Ramil Comendador (Filipino janitor turned lawyer) The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that a former Janitor of COMELEC - Ramil Comendador became a lawyer after years of studying at the Universidad de Manila while doing full-time work at COMELEC. He is 38 at that time (in 2017). Mr. Ramil told the media that his mentor is the former constitutional commissioner Rene Sarmiento. Before pursuing the bar exam, he finished the pre-law course of Public administration. The bar passer hails from Catanduanes - an island province in the Bicol region.   Soichiro Honda (Japanese businessman and mechanic) The founder and chairman of Honda Motor Company started as a car mechanic in 1928. By 1948 at the age of 42, he formed the company. After 10 years, he turned his company into the leading motorcycle manufacturer. At 82 in 1998, Soichiro and his company made it to the Automobile Hall of Fame. The Honda chairman quoted “Success represents the 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure.”   Generito U. Yusores Mr.Yusores is a Filipino tricycle driver who graduated with a degree in Education from Western Mindanao State University. Despite his age at 64 (in 2019), he pursued schooling and worked hard by doing two jobs - tricycle driver at day and student at night. Previously, his parents enrolled him in Ateneo de Cagayan but because of alcohol and peer influence, he lost his interest in schooling and eventually he dropped out. After years of contemplating and realizing that some of his classmates were earning good wages, he decided to enrol in a university.    Taikichiro Mori (Japanese real estate tycoon) Before he went to the property bloom, Takichiro left as an economic professor at 55 in Yokohama State University and started in 1959 as a real estate developer. He was successful in persuading businessmen and residents to agree to his plans of redevelopment. By the 1980s, his company Mori Building Company opened Ark Hills complex that includes a concert hall, apartments, offices, hotel, a shop and a television studio. In 1992 he became the world’s richest man with a fortune of $16 billion or $84.4 billion when adjusted for today’s inflation. Taikichiro is also known as “Ooya-san” - a friendly Japanese term for a landlord.   Paul Siromoni Paul Siromoni of Chennai, India was 90 years old when he became famous for earning a PhD even at his advanced age. Dr. Paul Siromoni earned his Doctorate degree after finishing his thesis or research entitled “God’s call to the church to join in transforming the world into a kingdom of love”, some seminars, six papers and three exams. Paul Siromoni is one of the inspirations for young, middle-aged and old people to learn even at old age.   Raj Kumar Vaishya Raj Kumar Vaishya of Patna, India, proved that learning post-graduate studies isn’t too late. At the age of 98, he passed the Master of Arts in Economics from Nalanda Open University (NOU). He finished his three-hour exam in 2017 along with students who could be younger than his grandchildren. Another amazing fact about this man is that - he can read even without glasses. His tips for longevity include - being vegetarian, avoiding fried foods and eating in moderation.   Gladys Burrill Aged 92, Gladys Burrill managed to complete the Honolulu Marathon in 2010 which took nine hours and 53 minutes, setting a Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest female to finish a certified marathon. She was a horseback rider, climber, hiker and aircraft pilot.    Susan Boyle  Susan Boyle is a British singer who joined Britain’s got talent. Despite criticisms, she managed to defy all odds, amaze the jurors and send her albums into one of the best sellers in the United Kingdom.   Ray Kroc of McDonald’s The founder of the famous golden arch franchise has a humble beginning. Ray Kroc started selling milkshake machines. When he passed by a burger stand in San Bernardino, California, he bought the McDonald brothers’ business. At this time (in 1954), he was 52 years old. After six years, Ray Kroc expanded his McDonald’s franchises to 200. He managed to bring his franchises to stardom when he entered the Franchise Realty Corporation. The rest is history - McDonald’s is a global fast-food restaurant.

February 26, 2021
CATEGORY: Work Life Balance

While remote working is a blessing for some, unfortunately not all industries can switch to or offer work from home. Not everyone has skills for work from home jobs and so they have to report on-site or work on the companies’ offices or job sites. Knowing what work can be performed at home or not will help you choose a job and career especially during this time of pandemic. Flexible jobs - These are the jobs that can be performed on-site or at home Remote working is doing tasks right in the comfort of your home. The following jobs can adapt or are ideal for such setup: Accountant Animator App developer Beautician (home service) Bookkeeper Carpenter (home service) Chef (cooking foods to sell online) Child caregiver Content writer Customer service representative  Data analyst Data encoder Event planner Front-end and back-end web developer Graphic artist Healthcare writer Marketing consultant Medical doctor (telemedicine or online medical consultant) Online language teacher Online seller Physical therapist (home service) Proofreader Psychologist QA Tester Realtor/Renter (landlord) SEO consultant Technical writer Video editor Virtual assistant Voice actor What industries have work from home jobs Information technology Social media marketer Arts and graphic designer Database administrator Front-end web developer Back-end web developer Network administrator Insurance Accounting firms Healthcare  BPO related accounts Remote consultations Medical transcriptionist Telemedicine operator Marketing and sales Social media marketer Online seller Entertainment Subtitle transcriptionist Advertiser Voice over artist Dailymotion, Vimeo and Youtube content creator Matrix The matrix below lets you analyse the degree of likelihood for the specific industries (words in purple) and jobs (words in black). The two arrows correspond to the degree of computer or telecommuting usage and social interaction.  What jobs can’t be performed at home Jobs that are obviously can’t be made at home: Ambulance worker Bank teller Barista Construction workers Delivery riders Factory worker Garbage collector Grocery store worker Hospital assistant Hospital-bound doctors Mortician Nurses Pharmacist Physical retail store staff Pilot Police Security guard Social worker Soldier Statistics surveyor Taxi driver Truck driver Waiter Welders Conditions that qualify a job or tasks for work from home: Tools used to finish tasks should be procured and available at home. Such tools include a laptop, desktop, webcam, external keyboard, extra monitor, graphics tablet and software. Availability of stable internet and electrical connection. Contingency plans such as pocket wi-fi, Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) and extra hardware in case of problem or trouble such as wifi or power outages and computer breakdowns  Working arrangements and procedures allow efficient submission of deliverables before or within a deadline. Conditions when work from home isn’t possible: Products and services that only can be made or manufactured on-site. The production of product and rendering of services require sophisticated/professional machines and raw materials. Example, you can’t have car factory workers to work from home. The manufacturing tasks and handling of raw materials or ingredients are too dangerous to be performed at home. The performance of a specific task involves highly classified or confidential info or material.  Social interaction is absolutely needed to perform or finish the task - such as in the case of police, soldier, statistics surveyor and social worker.

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