Work life

Starting a Small Business: Tips for Parents with Disabilities

starting small businessStarting a small business comes with a lot to consider, from figuring out whether you want a storefront or a solely online company to making sure you have the motivation and energy to put into running everything yourself. When you’re also a parent who is living with a disability, it’s important to also think about the best ways you can make life easier for yourself during the process of getting things off the ground. For some entrepreneurs, working from home is much easier than going into an office every day, but this can present its own set of challenges, especially if you’re a stay-at-home parent.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to get the ball rolling smoothly. First, think about the details: a brick-and-mortar store can bring a lot of benefits, such as bringing in lots of foot traffic, but it can also come with a lot more issues and responsibilities than an online business. Will you keep your stock on-site or dropship? Once you’ve figured out the details, you can move on to the big things, such as securing the necessary financing.

Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to start a successful small business when you’re a parent with a disability.

Understand What It Takes

Starting your own business may sound like a dream come true, but it’s much harder in many ways than finding a job with an established company. You need to be self-motivated, a problem-solver who can minimize distractions at home and get things done even when there’s no one giving you direction. Being able to give your all even when you’re sick or have lots of things going on at home will help you find success as an entrepreneur.

Consider How You’ll Support Yourself

Financing a small business is no small feat; there are many things to consider, from startup costs to maintaining your home and lifestyle until you begin making a profit. Often, new businesses don’t turn a profit for at least a year, although those run exclusively online can save a lot of money by not having a storefront. You might think about a loan or grant for disabled business owners to boost your funds, but make sure you find the right one for your needs. Look online to find out more about the resources available to you.

Think About Your Family

As a parent, you want to ensure that your family is well taken care of while you’re getting your dream up and running. This might mean securing daycare for your children if you’ve been a stay-at-home parent in the past, which can be a big change for everyone. Sit down with your family members and talk about your goals, and plan for the future together. Allowing your children to be involved in the preparation process will help them feel a little bit in control.

Take Care of Yourself

Starting a business can be a dream come true, but it’s also a lot of work, and it can be very stressful even if you’re organized. This is especially true when you’re living with a disability. Practicing self-care can help you reduce stress and anxiety when things become overwhelming, so take time out for yourself when you find things are getting busy. Ask for help when you need it. Get plenty of exercise and eat right, even on busy days.

Starting a plan for your future can be scary, but if you keep in mind that it’s a big step in the right direction when it comes to your goals, you’ll be able to stay motivated no matter how difficult things get. Start with some prep work and do some research online before you make any decisions. As a disabled business owner, juggling parenting and your dreams might sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to stop you from achieving your goals.

Author of this article is Ashley Taylor   ashley@disabledparents.org

Tips For New Graduates To Land Their First Job

Getting that first job is a critical step into future careers, but all too often it can be a real catch 22: all jobs seem to require experience, yet you need to get a job to gain that experience. It can leave you feeling very frustrated and wondering what to do next.

If that sounds like you, don’t worry – with our expert tips you will be able to find and secure that all important first job in no time.

Finding a job opportunity

When you are relatively inexperienced in job searching it can be hard to even find opportunities that might be relevant. It can pay to be a bit creative here; there are jobs available, it’s just a case of finding them (or even making them appear). Here are some suggestions:

  • Job adverts are probably the most obvious options – there are many websites that advertise jobs (indeed.com, monster.co.uk, reed.com etc.). This is good in that it lets you see the types of jobs that are out there, but often the competition can be particularly high when jobs are advertised in this way. Not all organisations advertise their opportunities, so if there’s an opportunity you’re particularly interested in, make a list of employers in that area and check their websites directly.
  • Graduate schemes are eternally popular for fresh graduates, but they’re not for everyone. Not only are they really competitive, a lot of people may find that the nature of the work might not suit them, that said there are many jobs available and it’s always worth taking a look at sites like www.prospects.ac.uk.
  • Internships/work experience are great for getting a foot in the door of your career – particularly if you want to work in the creative industries. However, these are often unpaid which can leave you with a dilemma – if you can afford to work for free then this can really open doors for you. Some organisations do pay interns so it is worth looking around for these.
  • Directly approaching employers can be surprisingly successful. If you want to work in a particular field, then it can be worth sending your CV and a covering letter to a number of organisations in that area. You can improve your chances of success by making sure the letter is addressed to a particular person, and following up with a phone call.
  • Use your network. Don’t be shy to ask people to give you a job or even introduce you to potential employers. It can be useful to draw a network diagram highlighting all of the people you/family/close friends know who might be able to help you. LinkedIn is also good for this.

Acing an assessment

Once you’ve got an invitation to a selection event/interview you’re halfway there – next you need to secure the position. If you’ve never had a (successful) interview in the past you need to spend some time preparing. Here are some useful suggestions:

Research the company. Make sure you know all about the company and the job; you need to be able to talk intelligently about this. Take a look at the organisation’s website, do a google search, talk to people who already work there. Be prepared to answer questions like:

  • Why do you want this role?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Who do you see as our main competitors?

Package up your experience. You are going to need to talk about yourself and what you can bring to this role. If you haven’t had a job in the past then this can seem quite hard, but don’t worry, you will probably have plenty of relevant experiences to draw upon. The key here is to look for the specific competencies (or knowledge, skills and experience) the organisation is looking for; you’ll be able to find these in the job description or advert.

Let’s look at an example. Perhaps an organisation is looking for experience in ‘Planning and Organising’. Whilst you might not have experience of doing this in the workplace, you probably do have experience of doing this elsewhere. Maybe you had to complete a project or dissertation as part of your studies. How can you relate the things you did to achieve this to competency of ‘Planning and Organising’? Did you make a to do list? Add items to your calendar? Make a plan? These are all good indicators that you can do this so make sure you are really selling the experience you do have.

Practice, practice, practice. We get better at things when we practice and getting jobs is no exception. Get someone to do a mock interview with you so that you know what it feels like to be in that situation. Make sure they give you feedback so that you know how to improve the next time. Lots of careers services offer this for free, but if that isn’t available to you, ask friends or family. There are also organisations or individuals who offer mock interviews and you can find them on google.

Some jobs require you to complete psychometric tests of ability as well as an interview. These tests present you with a number of problems and ask you to solve them within a specified time period. They typically include Numerical, Verbal or Abstract Reasoning. These tests can be tricky and feel very different to things you might have done before, so sitting some practice papers and getting some advice about how to answer the questions is really important this guide is a good place to start.

Manage your impact. It is really important to make a good first impression in an interview, here are some ideas to help you do this:

  • Dress smartly and ensure you are well presented. Neat and tidy is what we’re aiming for here so keep hair styling and make up elegant, and wear clean, smart and ironed clothes. Polish your shoes.
  • Be polite and friendly. Make eye contact and smile. Shake the hand of the interviewer and look at them when you are talking.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before the interview and have something light and healthy to eat before you go in, you need to make sure you have enough energy to perform well.

About the author:   Ed Mellett is an entrepreneur, careers professional and founder of practicereasoningtests.com. He is known for co-founding and launching the leading student and graduate careers website wikijob.co.uk. Now in its 11th year, wikijob attracts over 400,000 unique users per month and is a must-visit resource for students considering their careers post-university. Ed’s other interests include AI, neuroscience and psychology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Getting a Job during Divorce

The days of getting maintenance for life are over. High wealth spouses may get a large settlement, but it is rare to receive spousal support for decades. If you have been a stay-at-home parent – your solicitor may insist upon you finding a job during divorce proceedings for these reasons:

  • You have a source of income.
  • To get a sense of empowerment. One feels more in control of their life when being employed and not being financially dependent upon someone else. When both spouses are making some money (no matter how little) the balance of power shifts away from the sole earner. One does not appear desperate during divorce, even if earning much less than their former partner.
  • The new job’s salary can factor into the maintenance equation. In some countries the amount of income for both spouses is taken into consideration. Instead looking at a potential salary which can be unrealistic, what one is presently earning in the new job may be used when determining maintenance. For example, a nurse who worked with her husband in an office got a divorce and lost her job. Her solicitor mandated that she get another one immediately. She did, but in retail. She had not worked in a hospital in over two decades, yet her husband and his solicitor were trying to say her salary would be X amount if she got a job in the operating room. This was an unreasonable expectation, especially when other candidates would be more qualified for that position. Her solicitor said no, what she is currently earning would be the guide for the amount of spousal support. Had she not gotten that lower paying job quickly, she would have received less in support.

How do you go about getting a job in a hurry? Update your curriculum vitae (CV), getting professional help if needed. Check the classified sections to get an idea of what jobs are available and their requirements. The way many of us in the midst of divorce got jobs, was to ask businesses that we patronize if there was an opening.  Yes that takes guts, but I did this and worked five years at that company post-divorce. An acquaintance going broke paying legal fees, unloaded her wardrobe at a consignment shop. They gave her a job which she really enjoyed until she moved out of the city. A fellow with no experience in a restaurant got a job as a waiter, because the staff like his positive attitude as a customer. A woman in my parenting class got a receptionist job at her cat’s veterinarian clinic. She then used some of this money after divorce to train as a masseuse. Even if a business that knows you does not have any job availability, they may know someone that does.

Let your friends and family know that you have to get a job right away and ask if they have any leads. Go to an employment centre for assistance. There are some charities that help people find work. Ask other parents at your children’s school if they have any ideas. A few parents got part-time jobs at the schools, doing after school activities and other duties. The nice thing about this is that they see their children when they have shared care time with the other parent. Be creative, but not too picky. This is not something you have to do for the rest of your life.

Please read more  http://www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/go-back-to-work/