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Success Advice

Don’t Stress About Your Career Path, Do This Instead

Unlike your parents’ or grandparents’ careers, people no longer enter a job believing they’ll stay with that employer for the long haul



Image Credit: Midjourney

Today’s career paths no longer follow a linear trajectory. Unlike your parents’ or grandparents’ careers, people no longer enter a job believing they’ll stay with that employer for the long haul.

Employers have come to understand that career paths are seldom a straight line, and if candidates display a seemingly unrelated job history, it no longer carries a stigma but shows that they — like anyone with a bit of mettle — are multi-dimensional. 

This new world of expanded versions of job experience lends itself more to a career portfolio than a career path. Some may have run across portfolios in schools or colleges where they’ve been utilized to grade students based on “artifacts” and accomplishments — whether related or tangential to their area of study — rather than tests and papers. 

Today’s hiring managers have taken a similar approach to reviewing job candidates’ resumes. They search out those who show initiative, courage, and creativity as much, if not more than, experience in their field. 

Passionate pursuits are considered a plus — especially when candidates can make a solid case for the cumulative skills they’ve gained and contributions they will therefore be able to make.  

For example, if you earned an MBA, but instead of immediately taking a job in finance, you spent the next two years as an outdoor adventure guide in South America, you may have a leg-up in a company doing business in Latin countries over someone who spent the equivalent time behind a desk. 

You can parlay your people and language skills, cultural competency, and leadership abilities into your next stage of discovery along your passion-driven career. 

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash

Thinking of your career as a portfolio rather than a straight, ascending path allows you to explore different facets of yourself as you make your way in the world. 

You could have, for instance, received formal training as a mental health counselor, but then followed a twisting path of positions from doing art therapy with children, to leading women’s retreats, to writing an advice blog, to working on a research team deciphering the cognition of marine animals. 

A career portfolio catalogs your range of experiences that combine to describe your own unique professional journey. 

Here’s how to take a portfolio-building approach to your career:

1. Follow your gut

If it appears that some of your peers have their lives entirely figured out while you have no clear sense of what next steps to take, don’t despair. 

Stay open and flexible to opportunities that feel right, even if they may not slot in nicely with what others expect when paving your professional future. Trust your instincts to lead you on a purposeful path where you can make your mark.

2. Forget about paying your dues

Avoid any mind-numbing, soul-crushing grunt jobs just to get your foot in the door. Instead, choose to engage in work that allows you to shine because you care about what you’re doing and are able to capitalize on the learning it offers.

If your enthusiasm and initiative stand out to those with opportunities to offer, all the better! One caveat, however — make sure to stay technologically savvy as the vast majority of today’s jobs require an adequate level of understanding.

3. Tout your experiences and capabilities

Your portfolio need not be limited to paid positions, but can include anything that reflects your talents, experiences, individuality, and potential adaptability. If your favorite free-time pursuit is birding, include that, too! 

Think outside of the resume box and plug those qualities that combine to give a prismatic sense of you. Effectively share your common denominator with employers so they’re aware of how all the disparate parts of your career portfolio add up to a winning combination.

4. Try out different jobs to learn what’s the best fit

Whether sampling separate industries that call to you or exploring different facets of one profession, take a learn-as-you-go attitude until the stars align. 

Finding your optimum professional fit can involve any number of factors — from being able to pursue interesting projects, to landing with a creative and respectful team, to work that enables you to achieve a flow state. 

Keep in mind, also, that the best fit for you is likely to change over time.

5. Keep a focus on personal as well as professional development

A career portfolio is a way to leverage your strengths, and this includes your strength of character. Strive to develop qualities of discipline, honesty, and integrity. 

This involves surrounding yourself with people you admire — ideally as mentors who can help you develop emotional strength — and building your capacity to navigate your career with purpose, clarity, adaptability, and authenticity.  

The forces driving today’s professions call for independent and creative problem-solvers. Candidates who have a diverse range of experiences and life lessons will be sought after, providing they craft their career portfolios boldly and decisively.

Vicky Oliver is a leading career development expert and the multi-best-selling author of five books, including Live Like a Millionaire (Without Having to Be One) (Skyhorse, 2015), 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions (Sourcebooks 2005), named in the top 10 list of "Best Books for HR Interview Prep," and Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers, and Other Office Idiots (Sourcebooks 2008). She is a sought-after speaker and seminar presenter and a popular media source, having made over 901 appearances in broadcast, print, and online outlets. For more information, visit

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Success Advice

How to Choose the Best Affiliate Programs for Your Blog

If you follow these steps, you can create an affiliate marketing plan that makes money, fits well with your content, and connects with your readers



how to choose the best affiliate programs for your blog

Picking the right affiliate programs for your blog is really important. It can make a big difference in how much money you can make and how much your readers get out of your blog. With so many choices out there, deciding which ones to go with can be tricky. 

This guide is here to make it easier for you. It will give you clear steps and helpful tips to choose affiliate programs that fit well with what your blog is about, what your readers like, and what you stand for. 

For more articles on this theme, please head over to this blog

Understanding Affiliate Marketing

Before you start picking affiliate programs, it’s important to really understand what affiliate marketing is and how it works. 

Basically, affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service on your blog, and then you get paid a little bit every time someone buys something or does something because you recommended it. 

It’s great for both the person selling the product and the blogger, because the seller gets more sales with low risk, and the blogger can make money from their blog.

How to Choose the Right Affiliate Programs for Your Blog

1. Assess Your Niche and Audience

The key to doing well in affiliate marketing starts with really knowing what your blog is about and who reads it. Consider the following:

  • Your blog’s content: What topics do you cover? Ensure the products or services you promote are relevant.
  • Your audience’s interests and needs: What solutions are they seeking? Choose affiliate programs that offer products or services that solve their problems or enhance their lives.

2. Research Potential Affiliate Programs

Once you know what your blog is about and what your readers want, start looking for affiliate programs. Choose ones that are well-known for good products, great customer service, and helpful support for affiliates. Resources to find these programs include:

  • Affiliate networks like ShareASale, Commission Junction, and ClickBank.
  • Direct searches for “[Your Niche] affiliate programs” in search engines.
  • Recommendations from other bloggers in your niche.

3. Evaluate the Commission Structure

The commission structure is a critical factor to consider. Look for programs that offer competitive rates that make your efforts worthwhile. Consider:

  • The percentage of commission per sale.
  • Whether the program offers a flat rate per action (e.g., per sign-up).
  • The cookie duration, which affects how long after a click you can earn commissions on sales.

4. Consider the Program’s Reputation and Sureness

Join affiliate programs with a solid reputation for quality and sureness. This not only ensures that you’re promoting good products but also that you’ll be paid on time. You can:

  • Read reviews from other affiliates.
  • Check the program’s history and background.
  • Look for any complaints or issues reported online.

5. Analyze the Support and Resources Offered

A good affiliate program gives you things like ads to use, training on their products, and helpful managers. Having access to these resources can really help you do a better job at promoting their products.

6. Understand the Terms and Conditions

Before signing up, thoroughly review the program’s terms and conditions. Pay close attention to:

  • Payment thresholds and methods.
  • Any restrictions on how you can promote their products.
  • The program’s policy on affiliate marketing on social media platforms.

7. Test the Product or Service

If possible, test the product or service before promoting it. This firsthand experience allows you to offer genuine charge and build trust with your audience.

8. Look for Recurring Commission Opportunities

Some affiliate programs pay you again and again for subscriptions or services that charge fees regularly. These can provide a more stable income compared to one-time sales commissions.

Implementing Your Choice

After choosing the best affiliate programs, the next step is to smoothly include your affiliate marketing in your content plan. This includes:

  • Creating valuable content that naturally incorporates affiliate links.
  • Disclosing your affiliate affairs transparently to maintain trust with your audience.
  • Tracking your results to understand what works best for your audience and adjusting your strategy accordingly.

Picking the best affiliate programs for your blog involves careful planning, research, and making sure they match what your audience likes and needs. 

If you follow these steps, you can create an affiliate marketing plan that makes money, fits well with your content, and connects with your readers. 

The real key to doing well with affiliate marketing isn’t just about the products you talk about, but also how much your audience trusts and values your advice. 

With enough time, patience, and hard work, your blog can grow into a successful space that earns a good amount of affiliate money and helps your readers choose the right products.

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The Power of Ethical Leadership: How Integrity Drives Success

By leading with integrity and ethics, leaders create an environment where employees feel excited to come to work



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What differentiates a positive organizational culture that enjoys a clean reputation and long-term success from a toxic culture drowning in scandals, mistrust, and legal fines?  (more…)

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10 Landing Page Hacks Experts Are Using to Generate Leads

Crafting a landing page that converts is both an art and a science



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If you are in the online marketing world, you know the importance of a high-quality landing page. It’s like a secret sauce that can turn a casual user into a solid lead. I will walk you through ten great tips that have worked wonders for me and could do the same for you in creating landing pages that generate leads. (more…)

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An Easy to Follow 8 Step Strategy for Creative Problem Solving

A complete process of creative problem-solving encompasses finding problems, developing creative solutions, and implementing your solutions



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No matter where you look around the world today, entrepreneurs face a common challenge: The need to stand out from their competitors and win over customers. (more…)

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