B1 – 90 Garry St. Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H1 - Phone: (204) 478-6644, Fax: 204-478-6677 - info@indep.ca

Archive for March, 2015

6 Tips For Finding The Right Job For You

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We want youThere was once a time when a person would begin a career and retire from it approximately 40 or 50 years later. Today, we live in a world where career changes happen a whole lot more often. In some cases, career transitions become necessities in order to address the changes that may be occurring in our personal lives. A long term illness or injury is certainly a reason that many people use to consider moving from one career to another.

If the time for change becomes necessary due to one’s physical limitations, it’s important to consider what they are before looking for a new job. At Independence Incorporated, we offer a Job Search Assistance Program that is tailored to the needs of each individual client. The program includes regular client meetings to establish responsibilities and obligations, résumé preparation and a daily review of offline and online classified employment ads.

Here are six tips for finding the right job for you:

1. Focus your job search. Locating the ideal job for you begins with knowing exactly what it is you are interested in doing. With online listings being so prevalent these days, narrowing your search by using specific key words in search engines should help you to locate the opportunities that best suit your needs and skill set. “Narrowing your search criteria will help you focus your job search and will give you more relevant job listings to review and less non-relevant job listings to weed through,” writes Alison Doyle on About.com.

2. Seek to develop new skills. Perhaps, you’re looking to completely change your career path. If so, some new training may be in order. You’re never too old to learn new tricks! Mary Eileen Williams of The Huffington Post recommends that you take a class at a community college or senior centre. “You will not only gain the necessary knowledge (you can add this to your résumé),” she writes, but “you will also be able to network with your fellow students and the instructor.”

3. Do some volunteer work. There are few things on a résumé that seem to impress employers more than the experience you have in a related work field. Especially if you are entering into an unfamiliar industry, it will pay dividends to get some experience through volunteer work. “The very act of serving others will raise your feelings of wellbeing,” believes Williams, “Even more, because you will be volunteering in a field associated with your own, your new connections are likely to lead to unexpected opportunities and liaisons.”

4. Join a job search group. It certainly can’t hurt you to be around other people who are going through the same situation as you are. This is especially true if the entire job search process is bringing you some anxiety. Joining a job search group “will go a long way to lesson any feelings of isolation you may be experiencing,” says Williams, “In addition, you will have opportunities to share job search tips, exchange leads, and provide emotional support.”

5. Target your résumé and cover letter. Once you’ve narrowed your search to the job opportunities that you feel you are best suited for, be sure to prepare a résumé that speaks to that industry. “It’s important to take the time to write targeted résumés and cover letters that specifically link your qualifications to the hiring criteria for the jobs you are applying for,” insists Doyle, “The hiring manager will be able to see, at a glance, why, and how, you are qualified for the job.” Generic résumés, she believes, aren’t likely to impress.

6. Nail the job interview. Of course, your résumé and cover letter should help you get your foot through the door. But once that happens, you don’t want to put your foot in your mouth! It’s important to research the company that is interviewing you before you meet its hiring manager. As well, “dress appropriately, practice answering and asking interview questions, and make a concerted effort to impress the interviewer with your skills, experience, confidence, and expertise,” advises Doyle.

Good luck!

Introducing “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money”

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saving moneyIn our last blog, we detailed a number of ways in which people can save money during bouts with injuries or illnesses that prevent them from working. We also introduced a great new program offered by Independence Incorporated known as “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money”. It’s all about financial education. The program is geared to help those who are experiencing long-term disabilities or serious illnesses to manage their money in the best ways possible.

We know that it’s already a difficult situation to have to be nursing an injury or illness. The physical toll that it takes on your body is hard enough. At the same time, you are forced to deal with the emotional strain that is commonplace within those who are battling through tough times. Not to mention, the financial stress you may endure due to an inability to work is an added problem we could all do without. This is where our new program kicks in.

“Money Talks, and the Talk of Money” acknowledges that the very discussion of money can be a stressful occurrence. The many discussions that you are likely having or are likely to have with your loved ones can take on very negative tones that result in further depression and self-defeating attitudes. The program assists individuals who are new to these situations in an effort to help them make sound plans for financial management.

The better one’s attitude is towards his or her future, the easier the road will be to attaining financial success. Zanna Joyce is an experienced financial educator who helped to design and present “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money”. The program offers a series of individual consultations in addition to group sessions. Throughout each consultation or session, participants are taken through a thorough process of developing money management skills.

Firstly, they are required to evaluate their present financial situations. They then go on to identify their specific financial goals. Participants are given information about how to research support opportunities to better their financial situations and develop effective relationships with service providers. Planning for the future is a big part of the program. One of the biggest benefits of “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money” is that it inspires greater hope for the future.

And we’re not just talking about your financial future. We’ve found that one of the greatest aspects of the program is that it motivates individuals to think more positively about their lives in general. As a result, participants are greatly encouraged to bring themselves back to better states of health, putting their past troubles behind them. Developing optimism, after all, is an essential part of one’s overall success.

By encouraging participants of the program to be better with their money, they develop a stronger sense of confidence. In turn, they are often more willing to fulfil their obligations towards their physical or psychological rehabilitation programs. They become more engaged with their caregivers, physiotherapists and even friends and family members. All in all, they are in better positions to move forward with their lives.

At Independence Incorporated, we offer the “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money” program at our 204 – 90 Garry St. address in Winnipeg. Our consultations and group sessions take place right on our premises. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for information about each of the two types of programs. For further information, please contact me by calling 204-474-2228 or emailing at victor@indep.ca.

6 Ways To Save Money While You’re Not Working

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Saving moneyExperiencing a long-term disability or a serious illness is hard enough. Obviously, health must be put first. And any measures necessary to take in order to return to a state of well-being should be made priorities. However, there is another stress that comes with being unable to work due to an injury or illness. And that would be the blow to the wallet. It’s not just that many individuals who are unable to work are bringing in a lot less through their insurance claims. Some are unable to earn any money at all.

What to do in such a situation? How can one save money while there is lot less of it being earned? It’s not an easy transition. It’s important to discover where one stands financially, what his or her necessities are, what the goals are for the future and how to attain the necessary support. It’s also important to manage the money you do have as effectively as possible. Here are six ways to save money while you’re not working.

1. Seek lower interest rates. One obvious way to save money is to spend less of it. At the same time, it would help you to begin paying off the debts that you may currently owe. On CanadianLiving.com, Krystal Yee writes that you should “contact your creditors to negotiate a lower interest rate, and see if you qualify for deferments on any outstanding loans. If you were paying more than the minimum on any debts, cut back for the time being.”

2. Pay off your creditors. On Forbes.com, Katherine Pilnick suggests that you do yourself one better. If you can afford to pay off those credit cards, then go ahead and do so. Saving yourself from having to pay those high interest rates on your purchases will work wonders in rescuing your finances. “Depending on how much debt you have, this can require a financial commitment for months or even years,” she writes, “It’s important to keep at it until you’ve resolved your debts completely.”

3. Conserve your cash. Yee reminds us that, often, one doesn’t know how long he or she will be away from his or her job. It’s important, therefore, to create a budget. Being frugal is key. So avoiding the purchases of any unnecessary items will be very helpful. “It might be hard at first, but stretching your money as far as it can go will keep you from relying on credit cards or loans to get you through until your next job,” she encourages.

4. Build a rainy day fund. This tip falls under the “still working” category. Pilnick suggests that the best time to begin saving your money, for instances when you may not be able to work, is while you are still working. “A good emergency fund is enough to cover living expenses for at least three to six months,” she describes, “While growing this fund, keep up with minimum monthly payments on all of your debts. Then save for retirement.”

5. Apply for Employment Insurance. Falling under the “no longer working” category, this tip affirms the necessity to find a source of income while you’re unable to perform the duties of your job. To reiterate an earlier point, you may not know how long you’ll be away from work. Therefore, “when you qualify for EI, take advantage of it,” insists Yee, “even if you received a severance package, or think you have the savings in your bank account to get you through until your next job, truthfully, you just don’t know when that might be.”

6. Consider debt consolidation. Pilnick notes that this is a tip that can be especially helpful for those who are reaching their retirement ages. “Debt consolidation rolls all your debts and loans into one,” she explains, “It simplifies the repayment process and typically saves you money on interest and fees. Debt settlement, typically considered the better option, actually reduces the amount of money you owe. It can get you out of debt years earlier and save you thousands of dollars.”

At Independence Incorporated, we offer a new program called “Money Talks, and the Talk of Money”. It is designed to help our clients with financial management during bouts with injuries or illnesses. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly by calling 204-474-2228 or emailing victor@indep.ca.