Career Education Group Welcoming to Multicultural Community

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Julia Fell and I grew up in Russia. There, I majored in journalism and worked for newspapers covering the automotive industry. It was a time of significant transformation when international manufacturers were entering the Russian market, and my mastery of German and English was a competitive advantage. Eventually, one of my German newsmakers offered me a job in public relations. “You know too much about us, we have to hire you,” he joked. Later I had a child, took a break, and relocated to the US to join my family. Here, I had to start from scratch, with a new language, new culture, and no connections. Again, the German background helped me. I found a German technology company that needed an all-around marketer who could write content, organize trade shows, set up email campaigns, and do anything else marketing related. From there, my career took a new start.

Why were you looking for a job?
I was laid off because of budget cuts.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I was exploring networking opportunities because the statistics say that 70% of jobs are found through networking. That’s why I went to a LinkedIn Philadelphia event. There, Lynne Williams, who is Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group’s (PAGCG’s) Executive Director, gave a presentation about LinkedIn profile optimization and best practices. Since then, PAGCG has been on my radar.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
When I got laid off, I went to every workshop that PAGCG had to offer. That was almost every day and sometimes twice a day. Even though it wasn’t my first round of job search, I learned something new at every workshop, whether about resume optimization, personal branding, or negotiation. Also, talking to people in the group about myself helped me understand what I am looking for and what I bring to the table. From Les Segarnick, who brands himself as “The Interview Doctor,” I learned how to tell a story to highlight my experience instead of just saying that I could do this, and I’ve done that. Eventually, it was LinkedIn optimization that got me my job.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
It took me 2.5 months. It was faster this time because I knew the tips and tricks and devoted all my time to the job search. There were times where I had good traction on my search and periods of downtime. Near the end, I had four different opportunities: one from a job fair, another from a job board, a third through networking, and with the fourth, the recruiter found me on LinkedIn because I had the relevant keywords.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
I felt a strong sense of urgency because I am the breadwinner, and I have a child. There was no option for failure. I knew that I had to take one step at a time, keep moving, and stay resourceful.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Every step of the way you learn. Even if it feels like a lot of rejection or time spent spinning your wheels, it makes you better next time. Also, there isn’t just one recipe for success. The stats are that only 7% of people find jobs through job boards and so the recommendation is that you should ignore them or spend just 7% of your time there. But I met someone who developed a method to work with job boards that got her a job faster than her previous networking efforts. So next time, job boards will be in my job search tool kit.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Talk about your experiences with others and crystallize your story by talking about it to different people. These conversations will help you find a natural and straightforward way to explain what you do and what you bring to the table. Finally, learn to talk about your failures since these are opportunities from which you have learned.

What will you do in your new role?
I am a marketing manager for a radio-frequency identification (RFID) company. For example, they use technology to track every piece of clothing or shoes from the factory to the store. That allows for minimizing losses, theft, and mistakes. It makes the experience better for the customer, for example, allowing them to find an item in the store through an online search. It’s a growing market, and the company has a strong position, so I’m thrilled how it worked out.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to give us?
There is no one recipe for success. Keep moving, keep learning, and stay resourceful.

Embracing the Digital World with e-Residency

With more than 29 million Americans receiving some form of unemployment benefits from the government and the July unemployment rate being 10.2%, millions of people are looking for jobs. Due to the uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic and many businesses closing, if you’re looking for work, one option is to take a more entrepreneurial approach.

In short, start your own consulting business and provide your services to companies and people in need. However, competition for contract and freelance work is fierce, as many companies struggle to keep afloat by cutting costs.

Instead of competing in the same geographical location for work, why not broaden your search to work remotely in another state. If you’re still unable to find a job, why not become a digital nomad and obtain an e-residency card from Estonia?

What is an e-residency card?

The country of Estonian offers e-residency that “provides digital entrepreneurs the freedom to establish and manage an EU-based company paperlessly, from anywhere in the world.” By signing up online and then going through the application process, you can obtain an Estonian e-residency digital ID, set up a European-based company, and then with the digital ID card, be able to work with countries in the European Union.

Instead of competing for work solely in the United States, you can offer your skills to companies throughout Europe.

If you chose, you could then work from anywhere in the world. The possibilities are endless if you think from a different point-of-view.

Or, if you’re looking for a significant change in your life, Estonia began offering their Digital Nomad Visa back on August 1st that “allows remote workers to live in Estonia and legally work for their employer or their own company registered abroad.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, people have stopped to reflect on their career paths, life goals, and the very nature of work. If face-to-face work is more complicated due to health restrictions, taking an inventory of your skills and re-evaluating your career goals can help you chart a new path forward.

Richard Bolles’ What Color Is Your Parachute is a solid career advice book to help you identify your skills and define what you want out of your working life.

We’re living in a VACU (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world, and economic markets may be in flux for quite some time. How we choose to handle a difficult economic period is up to us.

Millions of people will look for work as they always have: Receive job alerts and then apply for jobs the traditional way.

But suppose you take a more proactive approach, by reinventing yourself to think globally. In that case, you’re not only broadening your reach, but you’re displaying an entrepreneurial attitude in approaching finding a new career, and new avenues of opportunity will present themselves to you.

By applying for an e-residency in Estonia, you’re creating a path that would enhance your career by setting out on uncharted waters. All the basics on how to apply for the e-residency are available online to how to start a European company. Yes, these steps take time, but if you’re planning for the rest of your working life, learning and completing the process is minimal.

Although some might scoff at such a radical plan, we are living in unprecedented times. Why look to solve a problem with the same tools if there are other options available?

In December 2019, Estonian e-residency celebrated five years of the program and announced that more than 62,000 e-residents are participating in more than 160 countries. And service companies have cropped up like Xolo to help entrepreneurs navigate through the process of e-residency and starting a European company.

None of us can see the future, but we can see the signs laid out for us. Over the last six months, millions of Americans worked remotely due to lockdown requirements to help mitigate the coronavirus’s spread. People (as well as corporations) have realized that they can work from home. And “home” can be anywhere that you have electricity, a laptop, and the internet.

Recently, Google announced that its employees could work from home until June 2021, and other tech companies (like Microsoft) are following suit. If you can work remotely and are looking for work, why not consider your options and think outside of the proverbial geographic box? Though you may live in a certain state, what if you could obtain work in another country?

When we stop, reflect, and look at a problem from a different perspective and are open-minded, new solutions will present themselves. Where some people see a wall, others see possibilities.

The challenges and struggles that many have suffered through over the last six months are not to be ignored. If you have an opportunity to reinvent yourself, now is the time to do it. Take stock, educate yourself, and then ask yourself this question: Where do I want to go next with my career?

You might be surprised at the options you now have at your fingertips.

As a member of the (Philadelphia Area) Great Careers Group & BENG, you will receive a link in the automated receipt upon purchase. This link contains many valuable resources, including a very extensive list of links for remote jobs.

Author Bio

Ron Vitale, an accomplished director of digital project management, has successfully overseen the launch of more than a dozen websites and is seeking employment opportunities.

His colleagues have come to know him as a diplomatic problem-solver with a proven ability to envision people’s web needs and then launch viable new web-based systems on time and under budget.

Ron is also the author of more than 15 fiction and non-fiction books and uses his author career as a platform to learn new technology and online marketing techniques. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn