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  • 7 Industries Ideal for Remote Internships Nov 6, 2020

    We all know that the world is in a bumpy spot right now. Among other things, COVID-19 has rendered travel, especially international travel, irregular at best and non-existent at worst.

    But the world keeps turning. Job postings are still opening up. And students are still graduating, ready to head out into the world of work.


    We’re all still chasing that dream job

    We all know that the best way to tee ourselves up to land that job is to pack our CV with the best experience possible. One of the best ways to get that experience is to undertake an internship in your chosen industry.

    Even before COVID-19, remote internships were already fast on the rise. Equipment savings, higher employee happiness, flexible working, reduced environmental impact; you name it, companies were realising the benefits of remote work. If you can do the same job from home, why shouldn’t you have the option?

    Sure, there’s a stigma around online internships. You might worry whether they’re as respected. Or whether you’ll get the same experience as a traditional internship.

    But the reality is that it’s practically the same. After all, you’ll be doing the exact same job. As well as putting in the same number of hours (minus the commute – always a bonus). Plus, you’ll get the exact same experience to put on your CV.

    Meetings will be conducted over Zoom or Skype instead of face-to-face. And you’ll be effectively managing your workload in much the same way as you would in an office.

    And in a lot of ways, virtual internships are incredibly beneficial. Because location is no longer a factor, interning with prestigious companies all over the world is easier than ever. This makes an internship even more accessible.


    What Are The Ideal Industries for Remote Working and Internships?

    Of course, some industries are naturally better suited to remote work. Anything that’s computer-based – be that writing and editing, research, or graphic design – is more likely to transfer well to a virtual internship.

    So if you’re looking for a remote internshipand you’re unsure where to start, here are 7 industries most ideal for remote working.

    Journalism, Publishing, Media

    Traditional print media has been dying for a long time. To stay competitive in the age of the internet, newspapers have largely moved to online subscription- or premium-based services. And in a lot of ways, these new strategies are paying dividends.

    This means that a bit of digital savvy has never been more helpful for a role in journalism or the media.

    You’ll be researching, writing, and editing from home; or perhaps even building your own mini studio to record voiceover.

    And all the while, you’ll sharpen your copywriting and proofreading skills.

    Technology and Software Engineering

    A natural fit for remote work, software and tech is often a solo job. You’ll be diving into website code, or producing user experience analysis, all from the comfort of your home.

    You could even be working in the challenging and ground-breaking area of AI. Or generating new and exciting ideas as you head into the future.

    But if you need to get the team together for a brainstorming session, video calling is a great way to keep connected.

    Marketing, Advertising, & PR

    Marketing is a no-brainer for a virtual internship. You’ll feel completely at ease as you pitch a product strategy to the rest of the team over a video conference.

    Or you’ll be getting to grips with social media, finding yourself knee-deep in analytics as you discover what works and what doesn’t. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – what’ll be the next major platform? What’s the best way to prepare for it?

    And you’ll be building up the outstanding skill-set you need to succeed in marketing. From soft skills like time management and written communication; to industry-specific skills like website building, search engine optimisation (SEO) and graphic design. You’ll leave an internship in this area empowered and ready to start your career.

    Charities & NGOs

    You might be focused on child welfare, or passionate about environmental issues. Or your priority might be homelessness. Either way, you want to make a difference in the world.

    Because it can sometimes feel a bit like the world’s ending. It’s not just a global pandemic – social unrest, environmental disaster, and general instability have all combined to keep us anxious and off balance.

    That’s why undertaking a virtual internship for a charity or NGO has never been more timely. From the comfort of your desk, you’ll have a say in decisions that can change things for the better.

    The passion and hard work of one person can truly make a difference – and by making your start in this sector, who knows where you’ll end up?

    Law

    Virtual law firms are on the rise. Based entirely online, these firms are just as respected as a traditional city or high street law firm. And interning with a virtual firm is a great way to get some hands-on experience in law.

    You’ll still be attending meetings, providing support for solicitors or paralegals, and handling sensitive legal documents.

    And you’ll make full use of your administrative skills to keep track of your busy workload. While getting some invaluable experience that’ll make you stand out in a competitive industry.

    Finance and Accounting

    You’ll know spreadsheet software like the back of your hand. And you’ve often got multiple screens open covering the world’s financial markets, as well as Twitter, for all the latest information.

    Your digital skills will certainly come in handy as you get to grips with the complex world of finance.

    You’ll be regularly producing market analysis, as well as attending plenty of phone and video calls with colleagues and clients.

    But you’ll also develop some soft skills too, from verbal and written communication to time management. And if you’re interested, there’s often space to move into a leadership or managerial role, boosting your skills even further.

    Human Resources

    It’s almost counterintuitive to think that Human Resources is a great match for a virtual internship.

    And yet...it is, because so much of this sector is conducted online. Whether it’s delving through CVs and application forms or preparing a comprehensive guide for new starters, your digital skills will be essential.

    You’ll often be sending emails as an HR intern; why not do that from home? And for that face-to-face requirement, any meetings can easily be conducted over video chat.

    As such, you’ll be building up a skill-set of in-demand skills and experience as you go. From the aforementioned digital skills to sought after interpersonal skills, you’ll be highly valued by top employers.

    So why not try a remote internship?

    Remote internships offer all the benefits of a traditional office-based internship.

    You’ll gain the same skills and experience; while building up a network of contacts that may prove beneficial down the line.

    And they even offer a few benefits of their own; from no commuting fees to more time to catch up on sleep or recreational activities. And you can balance your internship around study or part-time work.

    Because with a more competitive job market than ever, it’s vital that you make yourself stand out. A remote internship is a fantastic way to get the hands-on experience that’ll help you excel.
  • Key IT support helpdesk issues you hear every day Oct 27, 2020

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    IT problems are frustrating at the best of times. At worst, they can affect an entire business. They affect us all, whether you’re an individual, employee or business owner.

    The fact is, despite IT and technology dominating so much of our lives, so few of us understand it. As a result, IT issues can and do occur.

    But fortunately, many of these IT problems have quick and easy solutions. Especially with the right IT support provider behind you.

    The experts behind IT support helpdesks can often be taken for granted. But, they are a beacon of light in the darkness. The lighthouse that guides us and helps us navigate in the night with ease. As well as guiding us, they fix and assess IT errors and occurrences every single day.

    As such, here are 3 of the most common IT support helpdesk issues heard on a daily basis:


    1. "I’m having issues logging in"
    As sure as the sun will rise, this is one issue that an IT support helpdesk hears every single day.

    Luckily, it’s as easy to fix as it is common. To fix this issue, you’ll likely be advised to rule out the obvious. IS CAPS LOCK ON? Have you recently changed your password and forgotten? Did your old password expire?

    In all likelihood, it’s one of these culprits.

    Whether you've accidentally locked your account due to multiple password attempts or it’s too early on a Monday morning and you’ve not had your coffee; a quick call to your IT service provider will soon get you back on track.

    Naturally, if these issues continue, they can be diagnosed and fixed by your friendly IT support team with ease.

    1. "My PC has crashed"
    This problem is one that can sometimes rectify itself in the time it takes to call your IT helpdesk.

    And this is because, sometimes your PC or laptop operating system is working on a particular issue. Especially a common encounter for people working with large or complex data sets. For instance, graphic designers working with larger file sizes. Or financial analysts and accountants working on detailed Excel spreadsheets.

    But it will likely unfreeze or revert back to normal operation if you give it some time.

    Your PC can sometimes crash because of a recent update too. However, whatever caused the issue, it’s easily fixed.

    Most IT support teams will suggest pressing the Alt key + F4 to close your current application so that you can try rebooting it. Alternatively, they may advise you to end unresponsive programs via the Task Manager.

    Of course, you can always try the classic fix; you can try and switch it off and on again.

    But if these issues persist, shoot your IT support team an email and they’ll troubleshoot or diagnose accordingly.
    1. "The [internet/printer/email] isn’t working"
    Similarly, this is another IT issue that can actually be a case of turning it off and on again.

    If your internet or wireless connection isn’t working and it isn’t an internet provider error, your system is likely overloaded.

    With a quick call to your IT support team, you’ll be back online in no time. Whether it’s through a different channel or device. Fortunately, if this technical issue is ongoing and your entire network needs updating, most IT support teams are equipped to provide better WiFi coverage for you.

    When it comes to printers and other hardware, chances are it’s a power issue. Nine times out of ten, the machine has been unplugged. Or the paper has jammed. However, the underlying problem can also often be caused by a network issue.

    After checking for any warnings, flashing lights or error messages - it’s time to contact IT support. They will ensure your device is connected and configured properly.


    How to Avoid Common IT Pitfalls

    For people who don’t come into contact with IT or technology in their working lives, it can all seem a little complicated. Even despite the growing need for technology in our lives. When IT problems occur, it can be incredibly stressful.

    And for some, it’s easy to take IT helpdesk staff for granted. But these people keep our businesses running smoothly. Which is why it’s important to have a reliable, business IT partner at your side. A good IT support behind you will enable you to solve IT problems quickly and efficiently. Regardless of your business size or needs. You can avoid common IT pitfalls with an expert team of IT professionals by your side.
  • Adapting your marketing for a post coronavirus lockdown period Jun 4, 2020

    The coronavirus lockdown in the UK is now making its first signs of winding down, with some businesses starting to open up as we all begin to adjust to the new normal.

    The question I am frantically trying to work out is how best we should all approach marketing, as budgets gets squeezed and we start to adjust to this new normal?

    A month ago, I wrote an in-depth piece about how topivot your marketing in a Coronavirus period just after the lockdown came into force.

    I argued that businesses were going to cut back on their marketing in the short term as market demand falls and inevitably tightens, as customers will either have less money or have less confidence to spend as much as they did before the pandemic hit.

    The real challenge arrives as the lockdown starts to lift and companies want to reengage with their audiences. They might find that the marketing strategies open to them before lockdown are not quite as effective now.

    I made the point that whilst this period would be hard, it is also a huge opportunity for those businesses who take the time to really focus their attention on creating valuable content for their audience.

    This means thinking about your audience, working out how best you can solve their problems and then creating content which aligns your company to their pain points.

    Now that lockdown is starting the wind down (a moving state of play), my attention has moved towards isolating the few key steps businesses can take in order to maximise their ROI in the current climate.

    For example, I used the lockdown period to completely redesign my website, to better align my site towards particular keywords and to move me towards a more content lead marketing approach.

    Now that I have done this, the challenge for me is to understand which key steps I can take to help me stand out from the competition and get new leads in a smaller, increasingly more competitive market.

    In other words, what can I practically do to improve my usefulness?

    I see overcoming this challenge as the key battleground for all UK businesses over this year.

    Businesses will need to be much better at providing value and being useful for them to survive. That might mean completely changing their approach to online marketing to be more central to their business priorities.

    They need to adapt to an increasingly online first world, which means solving customer pain points and having to take a more content lead, lead generation approach to marketing.

    As a lot of companies tighten their belts to save costs, those that do head in this content lead direction will start to survive as other businesses gets squeezed over the next year.

    If coronavirus has taught us anything, it is that online is becoming more important than ever, therefore your ranking on Google is also becoming more important than ever.

    Get ahead on Google, and you are far more likely to be in a position to survive. Orientating your business towards this marketing approach will ensure you survive and thrive after the pandemic passes.

    For me, this means really stepping up the quality content my team create around key marketing problems.

    It also means creating a lot more free content so I can build an audience I can speak to, and create enough value for them that those readers then turn into customers.

    This approach might sound counterintuitive as other businesses cut their marketing costs to save money, but I see this as the only way to really ride the storm and come out the other side smiling.

    A slowdown is inevitable, simply cutting back and hoping things improve soon is not a productive approach to business. Especially as we don’t know how long a downturn might last and how deep it might be.

    Ultimately, it is those businesses who can adapt and innovate in the current climate who are going to do best, it is up to business leaders to work out what that innovation looks like and take the challenge head on.

    A proactive customer centric approach to marketing is the answer, the question for all businesses leaders is how best to apply this approach to their business to thrive in their market.