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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Five Good Habits for the Unemployed

Bad habits come easy with no job, but what about good ones? Being unemployed can be overwhelming but these five tips will help with your daily routine and help you power through each day until you are right where you want to be.

1. Eat Breakfast. Break out your P90x DVD. Read the paper. Make your kids lunch. Whatever it is that gets you up and going is the key here. If you have an activity that you do each morning that makes you get out of bed, do it! Can’t think of something? Find out how to get out of bed fast.

2. Put on your 'work' clothes. No, you don’t have to put on a shirt and tie or dare I say anything that is office attire. Just make sure you have normal daytime 'I can see people in this' clothes on. It is too easy to get stuck in a funk of sleeping in and staying in your pajamas - which ads a somewhat sluggish and sleepy overtone to your entire day. Doing this also means you can run out the door for a quick networking meet up or even to take your job search out of the house and to a coffee shop.

3. Make a MUST do list. Instead of a never ending to do list, why not make a list with two columns? On one side write MUST do, on the other side, write TO do. The must do list should include at least one major benchmark item. For example, you have two positions you found the day prior and today is the day to research the companies in order to be prepared for your cover letter, resume and the potential prep for interview questions.

“Effective to-do lists are limited to specific tasks that can be tackled right away and finished fairly soon,” says Julie Morgenstern, a New York author and expert on time management. With a list that is logical, a particularly productive day can turn into total list domination! Check out Sue Shellenbarger’s article “Conquering the To-Do List.”

4. Reflect. Take a few minutes over lunch or in the afternoon to think about YOU. Focus on the things you know you are good at. Remind yourself you are a unique person with specific qualities that make you special. What are your future dreams? Take a step back from your daily tasks and situation and know that you can do whatever you put your mind to. It's all about The Power of Positive Thinking.

5. Family and Friend Time. When job loss has got you down, don’t let it bring your family life down too. Spend time with those you care about in order to re-charge your mission. Try a new hobby, play a board game or take on a new chore such as cooking dinner with the family. Staying glued to your computer and phone every day until a job offer comes through is not the way pass your time in unemployment. Your family and friends will agree.

“I am learning to be thankful for what I do have and I'm enjoying the little things in life, I'm looking at life in a new way. My future will focus on family first,” says Kristin during her job search.

Make these your good habits during unemployment and you will wake up each day knowing you are on the path to achieving your goals. Good things happen to those who wait and great things happen to those to who do.

NextCrew is a job maintenance website that allows owners to post open shift-based work and people to provide their expertise by applying for the positions and working the shift. Make some extra money during unemployment. Sign up for shift-based work that fits into your job search schedule so you are making money while finding the perfect job for you.

Photos by: LifeSupercharger & john.schultz

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Who needs a flexible work schedule? The Student!

By: Valerie L. Miller for NextCrew

Working Student - done with flexibility and motivation!Nine to five may not be everyone’s ideal work setting. It also may not be possible. We are going to be focusing different types of people who require a flexible work schedule, starting with: The Student

70% percent of you do it
Do you work while gaining your education? “Balancing college and a job is a task that approximately 70 percent of students manage while obtaining a four-year degree, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education,” stated in student newspaper The Colonnade.

Looming student loans and simply providing for yourself through your degree is reason enough to seek employment. "Some of the leading stereotypes of recent grads are that they have a sense of entitlement, they demand instant gratification, and they don't have a strong work ethic. What better way to disprove all of those negatives than to say "I worked as a barista at Starbucks while I was in school so that I could graduate debt-free without burdening my parents with college costs when they barely have enough saved for retirement"? says Zac Bissonnette author of 'Debt-Free U: How I Paid For An Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, Or Mooching Off My Parents'.

Job + Study = No free time (not necessarily)
Of course you want to find a job that doesn’t cramp your style and leave you too busy to enjoy your late night study sessions with pizza, going to the movies, and dare we say going on the occasional date? “There are plenty of cool part-time gigs out there that can accommodate a schedule stuffed with classes, club meetings, sports practice and even a little downtime catching up on “Jersey Shore,” says SnagaJob “In particular, restaurant jobs are prime territory for students looking to make a few extra bucks. And both quick service and casual dining restaurants offer after-school and weekend hours. Retail jobs can also fit an already tight schedule.”

Gaining Skills? Me?!
You may not realize it but you are gaining skills with every shift you work. Babysitting? Interpersonal skills . Retail or Restaurant? Customer service, communication, and team work. Event Planner? Organization and conflict resolution. “It doesn’t matter what sort of job you have, just have one. Students with shining academic careers can make a good impression, but your future boss probably doesn’t want to be your first. Even if is a minimum wage job, it can still teach you valuable skills you will need in a professional setting,” says Molly Mitchell for Big Think.

We at NextCrew know as a student you have a lot on your plate. Let us help you make your job to study life easier by registering your expertise at NextCrew and selecting shift work that allows you to be you!Who needs a flexible work schedule? The Student!

Oscars aside, who needs a flexible work schedule? The Artist.

We aren’t talking about silent film The Artist  which struck gold (five times) this year at the Oscars. The artist we speak of has many forms: Artist, Musician, Thespian, Chef, Photographer, the list goes on. Creative trades come with a schedule that is anything but nine to five. Continuing our series on flexibility, we focus on the creative professions and why they need a flexible work schedule.

What are your dreams for your craft?

Each Day is Different
You get up each morning, make coffee, eat breakfast and take the same route to your job every day. There is a large demographic of people who don't have this traditional routine. Photographers for one are at the mercy of whatever event they will be shooting. Weddings mean weekends and events mean evenings. “If you work for yourself, I would like to say that the majority of photographers never have a day that repeats itself,” from The Lifestyle of a Professional Photographer

For those involved in theatre, rehearsals sometimes last nightly for an entire month leading up to performances. Chefs (other than Project Runway stars) are back in their kitchens cooking every evening and lunch for hungry patrons. Artists work as inspiration moves.

Each day is different with new inspiration

Personal Branding and Income
For many young and aspiring artists, you are investing time and money into getting noticed. Getting involved, networking, and doing whatever you can to expand your trade are paramount. Personal branding “will turn into a part-time job, consuming about 15 hours out of your week. Create a website that shows case studies, your bio, a client list and samples of your work. From there, you should be going to industry events, blogging about your business, speaking at local associations and conferences, creating an e-mail newsletter to keep clients and potentials engaged, and writing articles for trade magazines and websites,”says Dan Schawbel, managing partner of Millennial Branding.

Ability to devote 15 plus hours a week means you will have to delicately balance a current paying job, your dreams, and branding your name. “I think for lot of artists you have a job on the side and then you make your work and maybe you continue that until the work that you made can somehow sustain you,” says artist Fritz Haeg on

See the world through your own lens, how does it look?

And the Oscar goes to…
There are many artists that made their way from a humble beginning of working a flexible schedule. Celine Dion used to practice her songs at her father’s piano bar. Famous talk show host, David Letterman was a stock boy at Atlas grocery store in Indianapolis. Madonna worked at a Dunkin' Donuts restaurant at one time.

Writer Debra Ginsberg wrote an entire memoir about her 20 years of experiences working as a waitress on the side. “It was waiting that enabled me to support and raise my son as a single mother. In these years of waiting, I have developed a self-reliance, resilience, and the ability to manage high levels of stress, all of which have become invaluable life skills.”

We get it and we are behind you, the artist, as you persue your dreams. Sean Aiken for TEDx Talks has said it well, "Yet our career is only one means of expressing our gifts, one means of fufilling your passions. For some working to pay the bills allows them to explore their passions outside of work. What is important that in some asspect of our life we give ourselves permission to express our gifts. This is when we feel truly alive."

About NextCrew
If you are an artist perusing your dreams, know you aren’t alone in finding flexible work to support yourself. Registering your expertise at NextCrew and selecting shift work based on your personal schedule allows you to be your creative self! The sky is the limit!