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8 Best Digital Marketing Courses and Certifications

These premium and free digital marketing courses teach you the essentials and beef up your resume with industry-recognized certifications. Ready to skill up and stand out?

What are the best digital marketing courses to further your career?

Hiring managers want candidates with stellar copywriting, social media, and analytics skills. They must also excel in ad campaign management and content creation and curation.

But finding candidates who check off all these boxes doesn’t come easy. And it may be why it takes 16% longer to fill digital marketing jobs[*].

So it’s time to enroll in a digital marketing course and use this talent gap to your advantage.

Not Enrolled In Digital Marketing Courses? Big Mistake.

 

Digital marketing courses help you:

#1. Level up your marketing skills. Experienced professionals teach online courses. So you get to learn from the experts and keep up with the latest industry trends.

Courses include case studies, real-world assignments, hands-on projects, quizzes, and more. You can complete most coursework on your own time at home without ever attending a lecture.

#2. Earn industry-recognized certifications. Courses teach you the skills hiring managers are looking for. But achieving certification takes your credibility to the next level.

Stick these badges on your personal website, social media profiles, resume, and more.

These low-cost certifications prove you know what you’re doing so you can zoom to the top of the resume stack. And they often lead to higher salaries.

#3. Show off a specialty. Hiring managers look for candidates who solve specific issues for a team or company.

SEO in the tank? Facebook campaigns not as profitable as they should be? If you’re an expert in these fields, companies want to know — and hire you to fix their problems.

So as you can see, advanced-level courses and certifications set you apart from the rest of the pack.

But the best part? You can find online digital marketing courses for all stages of your career and price range. And many of them are free.

The 8 Best Digital Marketing Courses to Catapult Your Career

 

Digital marketing salaries range from $45,000 to over $115,000 per year. So these free and premium courses make a smart investment if you want to become a:

  • Digital marketing manager
  • Social media manager
  • SEO manager
  • SEM/PPC wizard
  • Content marketer
  • Affiliate marketer
  • … and more

Start by enrolling in:

#1. The Online University Route

Don’t have the time or money to enroll in a prestigious university?

Many high-profile colleges offer online digital marketing courses and certifications.

If you skipped college and want a bit of clout on your resume, this may be the quickest and most affordable route to take.

The most popular online digital marketing university courses come from:

Sessions can take as long as a few weeks to an entire year. And the price ranges between $1,500 to over $5,000.

If you don’t have the scratch right now, keep this option on the back burner. Google has you covered with free digital marketing courses in the meantime.

#2. Google Ads and Analytics Academy Courses

Every digital marketer needs a basic to advanced knowledge of how Google Ads works.

Google Ads Certifications in Search, Display, Video, Shopping ads, and Measurement prove you have what it takes.

Google Analytics Academy courses help you learn about Google’s measurement tools. Find out how to grow your campaigns through intelligent data collection and analysis.

Employers look for both of these qualifications in candidates because they reduce company spend and boost ROI.

And did we mention these courses are free? Same goes for the next.

#3. Google Digital Garage: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

Google’s free Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course is a must. It’s accredited by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Europe and The Open University.

Enroll and you’ll explore 26 modules full of video tutorials and practical exercises. Google trainers created these based on real-world examples.

With self-paced learning, most users complete the course in 40 hours and earn a certification to boost their resumes and careers.

#4. Google Marketing Platform Certification

Google Marketing Platform‘s courses have an intermediate marketing professional in mind. You’ll gain certifications in courses that help you achieve marketing objectives as a:

  • Paid Search Director
  • Paid Search Manager
  • Paid Search Supervisor
  • Paid Search Analyst
  • Trafficker
  • Project Manager
  • Creative Developer
  • Creative Director

Google Marketing Platform certifications take about one hour to complete, and they’re also free.

#5. HubSpot Marketing Courses

HubSpot Academy is the leader in free online training for content and inbound marketing.

You’ll find single topic courses in bite-sized lessons. And you can work towards full certifications to earn their industry-recognized badges.

Here are the three most popular HubSpot Academy marketing courses:

  • HubSpot Marketing Certification. Covers 12 separate categories with intel about best practices, research, and content marketing.
  • HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification. Learn about buyer personas, the buyer’s journey, content marketing, and more.
  • HubSpot Email Marketing Certification. Discover how to generate and structure an email marketing strategy to grow business. This includes contact management and segmentation to deliverables and analyzing email sends.

Each course is free and only takes between three and six hours to complete.

#6. Hootsuite Academy: Industry-Recognized Social Media Courses


At Hootsuite Academy, you’ll develop the skills to use social media to its full potential. This will boost the impact of your marketing efforts, drive results, and prove your ROI.

They offer training courses and those with a certification reward upon completion in:

  • Social Marketing
  • Advanced Social Advertising
  • Social Media Value ROI and Analysis
  • Social Selling
  • Social Selling for Financial Services
  • Social for Healthcare Professionals (in partnership with Mayo Clinic)

Pass these courses and you’ll win permanent social media certifications and a badge to show off. Plus, you’ll get your name placed in the Hootsuite Certified Professionals Directory.

Check out the Hootsuite Advanced Social Media course. Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications co-jointly offers this academically recognized certification.

Courses range from four hours to 40 hours long. And they can be free or cost as much as $999.

#7. Facebook BluePrint Certification

Facebook Blueprint provides digital marketers with training, resources, and certifications. They teach you how and prove you can reach customers across all their products.

You’ll find free, self-paced online courses, which are only five minutes long. These are the most popular:

  • Facebook Digital Marketing Associate. Create, manage, and understand reporting on ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.
  • Facebook Certified Marketing Science Professional. Learn how to use data, insights, and measurements to make informed marketing recommendations.
  • Facebook Certified Media Planning Professional. Design Facebook media strategies that align with business goals and marketing plans. Discover how to plan Facebook campaigns and target audiences for the greatest impact.
  • Facebook Certified Media Buying Professional. Master campaign management, generating and buying ads on Facebook, and Facebook Pixel.

Each Facebook BluePrint Certification takes two to three days to complete. And each exam costs $150.

But an official Facebook-recognized certificate goes a long way for potential employers. Many are hoping to specifically hire someone to improve ROI on this platform (and Instagram).

#8. Simplilearn Digital Marketing Specialist Master Program


Want to become the complete digital marketing package? Consider enrolling in the Simplilearn Digital Marketing Specialist course.

In their 75+ live instructor-led online classes, you’ll have access to 45+ projects and MimicPro Simulation time. This will give you experience in:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media
  • Pay-per-click
  • Conversion optimization
  • Digital analytics
  • Content creation and curation
  • Mobile marketing
  • Email marketing
  • .. and more

Plus, you’ll receive The OMCP (Online Marketing Certified Professional) Certification upon completion. This highly-acclaimed certification costs $395 on its own.

For the $1,499 investment, you can fast-track your marketing career, whether you’re just starting out or totally starting over.

Give Yourself the Gift of Opportunity

These eight digital marketing courses prove it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to invest in your career.

Digital marketers with the skills you’ll learn in these courses are in high demand. So earning these certifications will help you stand out in this ultra-competitive job market.

Check out which skills you need to level up by browsing digital marketing jobs on FreshGigs now.

Enroll in a digital marketing course today and become the best candidate for the job you want tomorrow.

So You Want To Be a Programmer? Here’s How Beginners Land Programming Jobs

Follow the five simple steps in this blueprint, and you’ll be a standout candidate for programming jobs all over the world.

[Programmer Goals]

Want to start applying for programming jobs?

You must be pretty smart.

Not only do programmers boast an amazing, in-demand skill set, but they’re also some of the most highly sought after employees.

Snag a remote programming job, and you’ll get to work wherever and whenever you want.

The annual salary doesn’t hurt either.

Starting programmers earn around $40,000 per year. But it’s not uncommon for seasoned veterans to earn over $150k.

So now that you know all the perks of being a programmer, let’s get your foot in the door ASAP.

How to Land Programming Jobs In 5 Easy Steps

 


[Land a Programmer Job Now]

Follow these five steps in order, and you’ll have an efficient plan for the win:

#1. Think About Your Ideal Career Path

There are many different, equally impressive career paths in the programming world. 

What you choose to pursue should take into account your skill set, your work preferences, your goals, and how you want to make the world better with your code.

Here’s a rundown of the most popular programming jobs:

  • Front-end developers write code that visitors see either on a website or app.
  • Back-end developers craft the framework to keep websites, apps, etc. running smoothly behind the scenes.
  • Software programmers turn an idea into a usable, functioning end product.
  • Mobile app developers focus exclusively on programming applications for smartphones, tablets, etc.

Before you can pursue any of these programming careers, you’ll need to become well-versed in coding language.

#2. Learn the Lingo

You can’t be a programmer without learning at least one programming language — and ideally, two or three.

Once you learn the basic concepts, it’s easy to transfer your understanding from one language to the next. It’s kind of similar to taking Latin and then finding yourself on Easy Street if you learn Spanish, Italian, or French later.

Know which programming field you’re most interested in?

Find out which coding language those programmers mainly speak.


[Choose Your Language]

Front-end developers, for example, usually work in CSS and JavaScript; mobile app developers typically begin in Java or Swift.

Don’t know what you want to do yet? 

You’ll need to start somewhere.

These are the most versatile coding languages for new programmers:

  • JavaScript is versatile in both front- and back-end development for everything from websites, apps, robotics, games, and more.
  • Java is super easy to learn because it reads like English. It’s also fun for beginners to play around with mobile apps, back-end web dev, etc.
  • Python. It’s adaptable, widespread, and present in every field, from AI to software development.

What if you have a specific career goal in mind?

[Talking Code-y]

One of these niche programming languages may be a better fit:

  • CSS/HTML. These two separate languages are basically mandatory for front-end website developers.
  • Ruby. Developed recently in Japan, Ruby is a full-stack web development language worth checking out if you’re interested in web and game dev.
  • Swift. Apple released Swift to simplify iOS app development.
  • Solidity. Plan to tackle blockchain and cryptocurrency? Get Solidity under your belt before the demand for it increases exponentially very soon. 

Start learning and focusing on one language before moving on to the next.

While you can certainly spend the time and money earning a university degree, a majority of successful coders teach themselves.

You can buy a book on programming and coding languages, take an online coding course, watch programming videos, and so much more. 

Get creative and be resourceful.

Those are the marks of a real programmer.

#3. Write Practice Code & Share It With the Community 

It may seem obvious, but you can’t call yourself a full-fledged programmer — and expect to land a programming job — without actually earning coding experience.

Practice is the secret to becoming a programming hero, after all.

So practice everything you learn as soon as you learn it. There’s no reason to keep all these new ideas to yourself.


[Get It Out of Your Head]

Download a code editor to write your own programs.

Try solving an online programming quiz on Project Euler to hone your skills. You’ll find a description of a problem and an open question for programmers to solve.

Or join an open-source project and contribute to the programming community at watering holes like GitHub, SourceForge, and Stack Overflow.

Though no one likes having their work torn apart, feedback from veterans only strengthens your coding skills.


[Ask Around]

If you’re looking for a mentor, look no further than Codementor to connect with fellow developers and stay on top of the latest programming and coding tutorials.

Just practice, practice, practice.

Soon you’ll be fluent in your chosen language and ready to take on real projects.

#4. Build an Online Portfolio of Your Programming Achievements

Before you’re ready to start applying for programming jobs, you should complete small projects and share them on your website.

Bonus points if you create this stunning website yourself.

Your website and online portfolio help you:

  • Attract the right job offers and projects. A collection of your accomplishments is the best way to show off your coding skills to prospective employers, clients, and others in your professional network.
  • Stand out from your competition. When you’re applying as an entry-level programmer, most candidates won’t have much experience. A solid online portfolio inspires confidence and gives you a leg up.

Show off your coding accomplishments, and you’ll come off as experienced, self-motivated, and completely capable.


[You’re Awesome.]

To do this, start taking on freelance programming jobs or online programming jobs you can complete at home if you’re working a 9 to 5. Then post your finished project on your site.

You can also publish dev notes on your blog to explain your inspiration/motivation, ideas, etc. for the world to marvel at.

Don’t forget to add a link to your portfolio in your resume and cover letter anytime you apply for programming jobs.

#5. Apply for Programming Jobs (woo!)

When you meet the minimum requirements for an entry-level programming job, apply to as many as you can. You have the option to work in-house or work remotely almost everywhere.

Don’t get the first programming job you applied for? No worries!

Keep taking on freelance projects to beef up your online portfolio, strengthen your skills, and boost your experience meter.

You’ll get offered a role worthy of your calibre of coding soon enough.


[One of Us]

Just don’t get comfortable.

Programming these days is nothing like it was ten or even just five years ago. You’ll need to continually keep up with new advances in this rapidly developing field for potential employers to find you an attractive candidate.

See What Actual Programming Jobs Require

Programming is one of the most popular remote job categories, and people possessing these skills are very much in-demand in the job market right now.

If you’re willing to learn several programming languages, continually practice new code, and hone your portfolio, you’ll be a contender for any programming job.

The hardest part about becoming a programmer is just getting started. But now you have everything you need to rocket into the stratosphere of success. 

Canada’s Top Marketing Agencies: 15+ Marketing Firms to Work for In 2020

Looking for marketing jobs in Canada? Check out this guide to find the best-established agencies and inventive newcomers across the country.

Want to work at one of Canada’s top marketing agencies?

Before you start updating your resume and cover letter for new opportunities, you should spend some time researching and getting to know the marketing firms in your job search area first.

After all, how will you know if your impressive online portfolio of marketing experience jives well with the vibes of your potential employer?

So use this resource to find the best marketing agency for your talents and work preferences and get ready to land your dream job in 2020.

 

Canada’s Top Marketing Agencies: 5 Established Firms with Clout

Working for a large marketing agency with hundreds of employees has its perks. Besides the job stability an experienced company brings, you’ll usually find entry-level positions and opportunities for advancement.

Recent grads and those with less experience may want to start here and learn from one of the most experienced marketing firms in Canada, including:

Havas Canada

Havas Canada splits its 100+ employee base between HQ in Montreal and its second office in Toronto. They’ve been in business for over 30 years, helping companies with their web design, advertising, branding, and consumer outreach. 

Notable clients include the Canadian Women’s Foundation, New Balance, Dior, and Volkswagen.

OKD Marketing

OKD Marketing has been around for almost 40 years in Burlington. Their employees provide strategies for marketing and advertising, web development, and social media marketing. They don’t recruit employees specializing in one category since they believe a wide range of thinkers keeps their offerings sharper.

Notable clients include Castello, Canadian Cancer Society, Integra Tire, UPS, Margaritaville, and HBC.

Cundari

Cundari is Canada’s most globally awarded independent agency thanks to its employees’ creative strides in branding, digital marketing, content marketing, user experience, and user interface design. They’ve been headquartered in Toronto for nearly 40 years and show no signs of slowing down.

Notable clients include Canada Dry, Cineplex, Motts, oecm, and Yellow Tail wines.

Giants & Gentlemen

Employees of Toronto-based creative advertising gurus Giants & Gentlemen have been specializing in advertising, digital strategy, and marketing for retail and hospitality groups since 2012. Their typical campaigns run above the $100,000-mark, so your ideas won’t be hampered by small budgets.

Notable clients include Royal Bank of Canada, Days Inn, Park N’ Fly, and Fisherman’s Friend.

Let’s Get Optimized

This full-stack Canadian SEO agency handles 100% of all SEO management in-house with SEO Consultants in three provinces: Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. They have over 20 years of experience and the organic results to show they’re the “best SEO company in Canada.”

Notable clients include Ikonek, Ethos Technologies, Holebeche Law, and Maison Du Beau.

 

Canada’s Top Marketing Firms for New, Inventive, and Creative Minds

Want to break out of your traditional marketing firm and go where your out-of-the-box ideas are encouraged?

These marketing agencies are blazing trails for what’s next in brand engagement:

Sid Lee

Sid Lee is based in Montreal and boasts over 900 artisans working from offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris. You’ll work on standard digital marketing services like branding and social media strategies. But their in-house studios provide clients with marketing solutions that create experiences, such as events and exhibitions, to help customers better engage with brands in-person.

Notable clients include Honda, Spotify, Starbucks, The North Face, and KFC.

Art & Science

Art & Science was ranked among Profit 500’s fastest-growing companies in Canada. This creative marketing agency combines the inspiration of an artist with the analytic rigor of a scientist to produce campaigns, products, and brands that wow.

Notable clients include Samsonite, The Orpheum, Starbucks, Hermès, Intel, and Tedx Toronto. 

John St.

Parlez-vous Français? This Toronto-based advertising agency keeps Canadian employees, clients, and customers in mind as they offer original marketing in French, along with French adaptations of their original creations. Their primary mission: to make their clients’ brands unignorable. 

Notable clients include Scotties, Mitsubishi, the World Wildlife Federation, and Alcon.

Massive Media

Massive Media is a full-service digital agency based in Vancouver. Their small team specializes in artistic branding, digital marketing strategies, and web design “for those with ambition,” according to their website. 

Notable clients include CBC, Staples, Microsoft, and Black Tusk Helicopters.

 

Canada’s Best Marketing Agencies for Social Media Wizards and other Specific Marketing Skills

These marketing agencies specialize in niche markets and are always looking for candidates who fit their specific skill sets:

Eighty-Eight

Eighty-Eight is a Toronto-based communications agency focused on growing startups, technology firms, and large brands. Their core services include PR and media relations, influencer and content marketing campaigns, and branding and design projects.

Notable clients include Lift & Co., Infiniti, Lyft, Sony Pictures Television, and Yellow Pages.

Jelly Digital Marketing & PR

Based out of Fort Langley, B.C., Jelly is a digital marketing firm providing clients with high-level strategies for SEO, PPC, social media marketing, conversion optimization, video production, content marketing, and media buying.

Notable clients include Big Splash Waterpark, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, Trading Post Brewing, Legacy Advantage, and Greater Vancouver Zoo.

Social Media 55

With headquarters in Montreal, the skilled marketers at Social Media 55 help businesses rank higher in Google SERPs and get their Facebook and Instagram pages verified for instant customer credibility, among other services.

Notable clients include Top Maui Hotels and JIVAGO Brands

Bob’s Your Uncle

Bob’s Your Uncle is an advertising agency for thoughtful food, beverage, and lifestyle brands. You’ll be a shoo-in with experience in this sector.

Notable clients include Popeyes, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Cadbury, Applebees, Quiznos, and Doritos.

Strano + Pettigrew Design Associates

If your marketing skills are strongest in packaging design, product branding, and corporate identity creation, this Toronto-based marketing agency may be the best fit for you. Strano + Pettigrew helps small and mid-sized businesses crush their competitors.

Notable clients include Air Canada, University of Toronto, Second Cup Coffee Co., and Aramark Canada.

Forge and Smith

Forge and Smith is a tight-knit team of designers, builders, and strategists out of New Westminster. They’ve been specializing in custom WordPress web development and design, and intelligent digital strategies, since 2012.

Notable clients include Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Agile Group, Olympics Canada, United Way, Knowledge Network, and Discovery Channel.

Arcane Marketing

Arcane is the original digital-first agency. They’re on a mission to change the reality of marketing spend from an expense line to a predictable income generator, helping brands realize a 5:1 ROI from their marketing dollars.

Notable clients include Lunapads, Cowbell Brewing Co., and Roots Canada.

 

Did You Know You Can Find Marketing Jobs at Canada’s Top Marketing Agencies on FreshGigs?


Marketing professionals, you’re in the right place. 

FreshGigs.ca is a Canadian job site specializing in marketing jobs. You’ll find positions of all levels at all the top marketing firms in Canada, including Marketing Coordinator, Marketing Assistant, Manager, Director, Executive, and VP. 

Save yourself time by checking FreshGigs instead of all these other company websites. Use these quick links to search marketing jobs in Canada by location on FreshGigs now:

And if you’re an employer, we welcome you to learn more about FreshGigs.ca, and why Canada’s top employers and brands trust our site for all their hiring needs.

How to Break Into Tech and Land an Entry-Level Job Like a Pro

Follow these five simple steps to snag well-paying entry-level tech jobs in Canada while the market’s hot.

Entry level tech jobs in Canada are not only plentiful, but cater to all sorts of backgrounds, work experience, and areas of expertise. 

Canada’s tech bubble includes companies focusing on the future of AI, cloud solutions, and green technology for a better tomorrow. 

So it’s no wonder majors like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon now have HQs across the country. And it’s why Toronto’s one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the world (and currently beating out Silicon Valley).

If you have the skills and drive, almost any opportunity could be your big break into tech. Salaries for entry-level tech jobs in Canada start around $40,000 per year, and experts earn well over $150k.

But landing one of these prestigious gigs without much experience takes a few insider tips. 

 

How to Snag Entry Level Tech Jobs in Canada Like a Pro

Follow these five easy steps to get your big break in tech and beat out the fierce competition:

First, Understand What Entry-Level Actually Means

[Entry-Level Duty]

Every company defines entry-level positions differently. Some require skills over work experience; others just the opposite. 

Generally, an entry-level job:

  • Doesn’t require specific skills or a degree
  • May call for on-site or on-the-job training
  • Could be part-time and transition to full-time employment
  • Starts near the bottom of the pay scale
  • May not include employee benefits

Competition for entry-level positions typically includes recent high school and college graduates, and people starting over in a new profession.

What’s the deal with entry-level job postings that require one to three years of experience?

Many large companies set the bar high to weed out the hundreds of potential candidates they receive each day. This makes it easier for hiring managers to find their ideal candidate, and it helps the company recruit a workforce from the cream of the crop.

Unfortunately, this goal isn’t just unrealistic; it prevents many qualified candidates from even applying.

So muster up the confidence to apply for positions even if you don’t tick all the requirements. Your application will be a legit contender as long as you can identify and sell your transferable skills (and you’re not a total newbie).


[Entry-Level]

Remember, work experience and non-work experience includes:

  • Internships and work-studies
  • Volunteering
  • Coursework and certifications
  • Memberships in professional organizations 

And think about IT skills you picked up from other jobs that will transfer in your potential new role, such as teamwork, problem-solving, multitasking, etc.

Decide Which Career Path You Want to Pursue

Entry-level tech jobs in Canada call for employees from all sorts of backgrounds and career paths.

The best tech jobs for people with computer science backgrounds include:

  • Developer
  • Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • IT Consultant
  • System Administrator
  • Quality Assurance Analyst 
  • IT Manager
  • Data Analyst 

But there are also many roles in tech that don’t require a background in computer science or IT. Sales and marketing jobs in tech, for example, are second in demand after programmers and engineers. 

It’s incredibly challenging to find candidates with the right skills, passion, background, and experience to get these jobs done, but tech companies need:

  • Creatives like writers, photographers, videographers, editors, graphic designers, etc. They build everything else for consumers around the company’s tech.
  • Marketers to promote the tech to the masses.
  • Sales teams to earn revenue to scale the tech and grow companies. 
  • Business Analysts who teach businesses how to incorporate technology and become more efficient and profitable.
  • Project Managers and Project Coordinators to keep tech and IT projects on track, on-schedule, and in-budget.
  • Technical and Customer Support to help people when the tech goes wrong.


[Tech Jobs for Everyone]

No matter what you bring to the table, you may not land your dream gig on the first try. And that’s ok! 

Entry-level jobs are designed to work employees up the career ladder. 

So think about which tech roles you want in the present and those which will help you nab the future position you ultimately desire. Keep your stick on the ice, ace your work duties, and you’ll be the one in the spotlight come promotion time.

Start Earning Achievement Trophies

Many successful programmers and coders are self-taught, proving you don’t need a computer science degree to land a job in tech.

Thanks to the plethora of resources available, the best professionals are not only taking online courses but teaching them. You’ll find hundreds of free or very affordable courses you can take online on your own time without having to commute to class.

The most in-demand IT skills include:

  • Java
  • Linux
  • JavaScript
  • Agile
  • SQL
  • Python
  • C# and .NET
  • C and C++


[Coding Skillz]

Certifications are also important when it comes to IT skills, including:

  • Cisco certified network associate (CCNA)
  • Cisco certified network professional (CCNP)
  • Certified information systems security professional (CISSP)
  • Certified information systems auditor (CISA)

You’ll also find certifications for HP, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft certified solutions expert (MCSE). Even project managers can earn a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. 

Earn these in your free time and take on more tech projects in your work and home life. 

Does your friend need a website for their band? Design it. Want to put your local honey farm on the map? Set up their secure online storefront. 

All these projects make excellent resume and portfolio material. 

Create an Online Portfolio of Projects

An online portfolio of your achievements and projects goes a long way to establish your credibility and skills when your resume’s light on experience. 

It should contain a brief bio and mission statement, what you’re working on/interested in, completed projects, and your future goals and plans.

So track each project you complete, whether it’s an app, website, social media campaign, etc. Describe your work in mini case studies and show potential employers why you should be hired.

Each project allows you to hone your skills for recruiters. It also proves you’re a motivated self-starter and not a slouch, despite your lack of tech experience.


[Impressive Portfolio]

Link to your online portfolio on your resume and from all your social media profiles. Potential employers are sure to look up prospective employees online, so make sure your online presence gives off professional vibes.

You should also include a contact form on your website so recruiters can contact you even when you’re not scouting the job boards.

Use the Right Job Board (Hint: It’s Fresh Gigs)

You could spend hours every day checking open positions at all the major tech companies in Canada. Or you could let Fresh Gigs take this tedious task off your hands.

We’re Canada’s top place to hire tech and creative professionals — and all the best companies know it. We scour the web for entry-level tech jobs in Canada so all you have to do is spruce up your resume and apply for the most exciting gigs.

The Top Tech Jobs in Toronto: Average Salaries, Recent Growth, and More

Discover why Toronto is the fastest growing city for tech workers and top tech companies alike.

[Image Source]

Can you find awesome tech jobs in Toronto? 

Though often overshadowed by US cities like San Francisco and Seattle stealing the spotlight, Toronto has been flying under the radar and quickly becoming a top tech city for high-paying gigs.

With an overview of the top tech jobs in Toronto and their average salaries, you’ll soon find out why tech workers and technology companies alike are flocking to this beautiful city.

And then you’ll learn how to tap into the current job openings in Toronto for yourself.

But first, you may be wondering… 

Why Are the Top Tech Jobs in Toronto?

When you think about finding the top tech jobs, your first thought may be to check ads in cities like San Francisco, Austin, or New York.

While these cities are still very much on the tech map, one city has been outshining the others: Toronto.

#1. Tech Jobs Are Rapidly Growing in Toronto

The San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and New York were the top three tech cities according to research from a study conducted by CBRE in 2017[*].

However, fast forward to their 2018 report, and the figures change a bit.

Now, the San Francisco Bay area ranks first, Seattle still comes in second, but New York City dropped out of the third position — and fell to fifth[*].

This allowed Washington D.C. to jump up to third place.

Where did Toronto rank?

While it’s not in the top three spots just yet, it did move from sixth to fourth position in just one year. So now Toronto is officially a top-five tech city.

And it showed much higher growth than other top cities.

Data reveals:

  • The San Francisco Bay Area went from 328,070 tech workers in 2017, to 329,200 in 2018 (a jump of just 1,130 workers).
  • Seattle grew from 136,910 tech employees in 2017, to 145,100 in 2018 (a bigger bump of 8,200 workers).
  • New York City jumped from 246,180 tech workers to 254, 300 during that same period — a gain of 8,120 workers despite slipping a few spots in the overall rankings.
  • Washington D.C. increased its tech base by 4,840 workers, up just a bit from 243,360 to 248,200.

While Seattle and New York City earned impressive jumps in their tech labor workforce, it’s nothing compared to what happened in Toronto.

[Image Source]

During this same period, Toronto went from 212,500 tech workers to 241,400. That’s a whopping increase of 28,900 employees, more than these top four cities combined.

And that may all be due to more tech companies moving in.

#2. Many Top Tech Companies Now Call Toronto Home

More tech companies than ever are seeing the appeal of headquartering their operations in Toronto. And this means they’ll need talented employees like you to work there.

Here’s just a small handful of great tech companies you’ll find in Toronto[*][*]:

  1. Shopify
  2. Cisco
  3. Oracle
  4. Ecobee
  5. Ubisoft
  6. Top Hat
  7. Limelight Networks
  8. Hubba
  9. Freshbooks
  10. EventMobi

Besides the career opportunities, there’s one more huge reason why you may want to consider finding your next tech job in Toronto:

#3. Pay Increases are On the Rise in Toronto

Compared to other popular tech cities, workers in Toronto, Boston, and Paris earned the highest salary increases in 2019:

[Image Source]

Both Toronto and Boston tied for 9% increases in salaries; Paris came in close at 8%.

But that’s not even the best part.

Since 2015, salaries for tech jobs in Toronto have been steadily climbing. They recently reached an average triple-digit earning potential:


[Image Source]

So now that you’re in the loop, you can see why skilled employees looking for the top tech jobs are headed to Toronto, right? 

But what types of tech jobs can you actually find in this hub of incredible opportunities?

The Top Tech Jobs in Toronto

Check out this list of the top tech jobs in Toronto, ranked by the highest to lowest average salary:

#1. Natural Language Processing Engineer

A recent report shows natural language processing engineers earn around $112,000 per year[*]. It’s currently the top tech job in Toronto so your resume better stand out from the competition. 

#2. Machine Learning Engineer

Machine learning engineer salaries aren’t too far off from the top. They earn about $108,000 per year[*].

#3. Blockchain Engineer

A hot and trending profession, blockchain engineers score an annual salary averaging $107,000[*].

#4. Software Engineer

Software engineers in Toronto may not make quite as much as employees in the first three tech jobs on this list. But their average salary of $85,000 per year is still attractive and competitive[*].

#5. Technology Specialist

Technology specialists earn a bit less than software engineers and come in around $76,113 per year[*].

#6. Mobile Applications Developer

Mobile application developers in Toronto can average $72,000 per year. However, above-average earners can reach as high as $93,000 annually, which puts them just under the top three tech job salaries[*].

#7. Systems Administrator

Systems administrators are in a similar position as mobile app developers. The average salary sits around $69,000 per year. But it has the potential to climb as high as $94,000 if candidates have superior experience and skills.

#8. Software Developer

Software developers also experience the same type of sliding salary potential. An average earner may score an annual salary of $68,478. Over time, this figure could grow exponentially to $91,000 per year[*].

Interested in any of these tech jobs?

How to Find the Top Tech Jobs in Toronto

Now that you’ve read about how fire Toronto is for tech jobs, you’re probably wondering how to snag one of those lucrative positions.

So we’ve compiled a list of the top job opportunities currently open in the Toronto area.

Click that link and start browsing open positions at the best tech companies in and around the city. 

Spruce up your resume, submit your application, and you’ll be one step closer to landing your next big tech opportunity and falling in love with Toronto for yourself.  

What Skills Do You Need to Do Freelance Marketing?

When I was pursuing a BA in Communications, marketing wasn’t something I thought I would be doing. Newly graduated and full of idealism, my dream looked like this: move to New York City, live in a tiny apartment in the East Village, promote indie bands, and change the landscape of the music industry. What did I want to do exactly? That part was unclear, mostly because I loved a bunch of different things: writing, strategic messaging, design, and social media. How could I just choose one? I didn’t end up moving to New York (does visiting The City of Dreams six times count?), but I did land a job with a local music festival and concert promotions company where I had my hand in a multitude of pots and eventually became their Director of Marketing. Since then, I’ve branched out to a few different roles and freelanced as my side hustle.

What I learned along the way is that the world of marketing is huge and full of possibilities; it comes equipped with a billion definitions. Finding your niche is one way to go, but in my experience, being skilled in more ways that one can land you more attention and create more opportunities to do more of what you love.

Writing

The ability to write concisely and effectively in various forms is a skill that’s widely welcomed, but in the case of a freelancer, it’s your arsenal that’ll set you apart. Here are a few different styles that’ll help you soar in all kinds of circumstances:

  • Creative: blogs, social media copy, etc.
  • Copywriting: messaging, tags, etc.
  • Content: blogs, whitepapers, etc.
  • Persuasive: blogs, emails, proposals, etc.

There’s a reason why there are so many courses available to improve your writing, and it’s worth it to brush up on your skills no matter what level you’re at.

Communication

As you probably already know, communication is a broad topic that marketing falls under. Aside from being knowledgeable in the different modalities and mechanisms of marketing, you’ll also be adapting your communication to suit your clients’ needs. Learning how to speak your clients’ language will help you negotiate better, create trust, and ultimately make the project process smoother.

An Eye For Aesthetics

Let’s be real, we live in a vain world. Knowing what sells is one thing, but making it look good in an effortless way for a specific audience and in a particular medium is a whole other ballpark. Keep an eye out for social media posts and blog articles that garner attention, and put these skills into constant practice:

  • Photography and editing
  • Graphic design
  • Colour palettes and theory
  • Videography and editing
  • Creative storytelling

Luckily there are a ton of inexpensive/free apps these days that make production a lot easier:

User Experience

You can have an eye for pretty things, but if that isn’t paired that with creating a good experience, the product won’t sell. 88% of online customers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, so knowing what makes a website convert customers is highly valuable.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization will likely be a major component of your strategy to get your clients noticed online. This skill is super valuable because you’ll be saving your future clients time and money by including this in your services.

Public Relations

Despite this industry dating back to the 1900s, knowing the ins and outs of reputation management is still coveted. Being tactful in what to communicate, when, and how truly is a skill.

Putting Yourself Out There

Ahh, networking; an extravert’s haven and an introvert’s nightmare. If going to networking events and socializing with strangers isn’t entirely your bag of chips, there are other ways to put yourself out there:

  • Set up coffee dates or one-on-ones with other freelancers
  • Join online communities
  • Start with your inner community and get them to put the word out
  • Make sure your website or portfolio is updated with your best work and consider starting a blog or being more active on social media so that people can see more of your personality

On another note, building your own network of graphic designers, web designers, developers, writers, etc. is something your future self may thank you for. These people are your future collaborators and sub-contractors on aspects of the project you don’t have the time for or the skills you don’t have.

Administrative

Administrative tasks are often a freelancer’s least favorite aspect. It’s boring, tedious, and you’re not billing any hours! But, again, your future self will thank you for setting up a solid foundation from the beginning. There are a ton of resources out there to help you set up proper systems for invoicing, templates for contracts and creating budgets.

Ability to Fly Solo and Collaborate Interchangeably

A lot of companies are outsourcing remote freelancers for their projects. Knowing when to step in with your expertise, collaborate, and work on your own is essential.

7 Signs You’re Ready to Quit Your Job

Sometimes we’re graced with alarmingly clear signals that it’s time to find a new job. Your work environment is toxic. You’ve been laid off. You’ve hit the ceiling for growth. The company you’re working for is going through a high turnover rate. All of your co-workers have quit. But there are those times in life – arguably most often – when making the decision to quit your job isn’t so clear. You’re comfortable in your role and know it like the back of your hand. You’re making decent dough. The benefits are killer. Your co-workers feel like family. But. You’ve been feeling unsatisfied for a while now, and you can’t quite pinpoint what the problem is. Are you at a crossroads and looking for clear indicators that it’s time to quit your job and move on? Here are seven signs you’re ready to make a change.

Nothing Ever Feels Good Enough

Since you most likely have a good relationship with your manager/boss/supervisor, you’ve probably communicated some of your discontents to find proactive solutions. But, when you’ve reached the point where your boss is pretty much backflipping to make your position work for you, it’s not the job or the company, but your own general unsatisfaction. Don’t beat yourself up over it, this just shows you’re ready for a change.

You Have a Consistent Case of the Sunday Night Scaries

Even though you’ve had the best weekend ever, it still doesn’t feel long enough. As soon as Sunday evening hits, you feel a pit in your stomach and the thought of returning to work the next day fills you with dread. Has this feeling become your Sunday night ritual?

You’re Always Hitting Snooze or Sleeping In

Let’s be real. No matter who you are and how much you love your dream job–nobody jumps out of bed ecstatically every single day. On the flip side, if you’ve been going through personal challenges and your sleep pattern has been inconsistent or you’re not getting enough hours, waking up and reaching for the snooze button is common. But, sleeping in because you’re overtired versus feeling overwhelmed by the thought of work are two different things. If you find yourself needing those extra zzz’s, your subconscious could be relaying your unhappiness.

“This is the start of the discontent,” says, Thomas MacNeil, chief technology officer at eSalon. “You’ve switched from being passionate at work to feeling like you’re just trying to survive. There are always issues and problems at any job, you’re there to solve them, but whether you see them as challenges that help you grow or problems that burn you out is entirely perspective. Though you should discuss your concerns with your manager, if nothing can be rectified, it’s likely smart to seek pastures new that make you want to run to the office . . . instead of running away.”

You Find Yourself Saying, “I Just Need to Vent” to Your Partner and Friends More Often Than Not

Even if you’re living out your life’s passion, there will always be aspects of any job that doesn’t spark joy. Venting now and then comes with the gig. But when you’re feeling an addictive pull to gossip about co-worker dynamics or you “can’t help” but complain about anything and everything job-related, this tendency is a signal for, “I need to get out of here!”.

You’ve Been Perpetually Sick/Exhausted

Your body’s a powerful communicator. Existing in a state of discomfort or unsatisfaction over a long period of time can add stress to the body, and over time potentially lead to burnout. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, your physical health can be affected “if the stress response goes on for too long or becomes chronic. With chronic stress, those same life-saving responses in your body can suppress immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems, which may cause them to stop working normally.”

Everybody reacts to and feels stress in different ways. While some may experience headaches, irritability or insomnia, others (especially under chronic stress) are likely to develop more frequent and next level symptoms like the flu or common cold.

You’re Feeling Bored at Work

Your to-do list is full yet boredom is still seeping in. You may feel easily distracted and find yourself cruising on Instagram more than ever. If you’ve been experiencing any of the physical symptoms listed above, chances are they’re influencing your productivity levels. In a UK study, researchers found that mental and/or physical health accounted for more than 84% of direct effects on productivity loss, as well as 93% of indirect influences.

Apathy is Creeping In

Job apathy can show up in a number of ways. Maybe you’re amped with a lot of creative ideas that’ll help improve your current marketing strategy or overall company culture, but you don’t feel motivated to share them. Perhaps you have disregard for success or progress. Or, your communication is suffering… or, you don’t have a desire to go “above and beyond” what’s expected.

So, What Now?

Now that you’ve identified these signs, first things first, be extra gentle with yourself. Most of the time, self-awareness can help alleviate some of the stress; now that you know what you’re feeling, you can begin planning your next steps.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some resources below to get you started:

How to Get a Job While Still Employed

Getting Creative With Your Job Search

Seven Ways a Career Coach Can Recharge Your Job Hunt

 

5 Organizational Apps Every Marketing Manager Needs

Today’s marketing manager wears multiple hats and is expected to be more agile than ever before. If you’re wondering how to balance high-level planning while tracking your team’s growth and evolving along with the expanding expectations of the workforce, this one’s for you!

According to current workforce stats, including more flexibility in the office and incorporating working from home and/or remote work structures is on the rise. This trend paired with the common expectation of balancing multiple roles and responsibilities is a great opportunity to lean on technology for support.

Before you dive into an ocean of endless possibilities, first things first, think of your department’s structure and decide what your team needs. From there, find apps that are:

  • Collaborative
  • Easy to use and simple to implement
  • Cloud-based

In this case, the goals are enhancing your team’s productivity and efficiency, while saving you time. Below are some of our favourites to help get you started.


Project Management:
Asana

Photo: Asana

Stay in sync with your team by tracking their progress on all projects, campaigns, and initiatives.

With its elegant interface and simple UX, Asana has a robust drag-and-drop system that allows you to shift deadlines and assign tasks in an intuitive manner. You can also integrate over 100 tools and pull from over 50 templates. Asana is also a great app to work with clients or contractors for specific projects.

  • Apps: web, desktop, and mobile
  • Pricing: free and paid options
  • Runner Up: Trello


Communication:
Slack

Photo: Slack

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know that Slack is one of the most recommended communication apps out there for productivity improvement.

If you haven’t heard of Slack, do yourself a favour and read all about it! Your inbox and future remote team will thank you.

  • Apps: web, desktop, and mobile
  • Pricing: free and paid options
  • Runner up: Twist


File Storage/Sharing:
G Suite

Photo: Google

With G Suite, you get Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet and more. The key benefit is that Google designed this specifically for your workplace, aligning all key apps so that your workflow becomes smooth and efficient. Say goodbye to time-wasting, long hunts for files or worse yet, attachments in your emails.

  • Apps: web, desktop, and mobile
  • Pricing: free and paid options
  • Runner up: Dropbox Business


Time Tracking:
Toggl

Photo: Toggl

As you juggle various responsibilities, it’s easy to lose track of what’s taking up your time–let alone your team’s. Including a time-tracker tool is a great way to boost productivity, invite focus, and improve time allocation without feeling like you’re being watched over. ‘Cause, we all know that nobody likes a micro-manager!

  • Apps: web, desktop, and mobile
  • Pricing: free and paid options
  • Runner up: Harvest


Meetings:
Zoom

Photo: Zoom

Not every meeting needs to happen in person. Save time on your commute and money on coffee by using video conferencing for meetings dedicated to status check-ins, first or second round interviews, stand-ups, etc. With its simplistic and modern setup, this app offers quality video and audio, and capabilities such as screen sharing, recording, streamlined calendaring, and more.

  • Apps: desktop and mobile
  • Pricing: free and paid options
  • Runner up: Google Hangouts

Don’t forget, incorporating new apps into your workflow still requires communication about this new process. Taking the time to anticipate potential hiccups may take a bit longer to set up, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

What are your favourite organizational apps? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below!

5 Secrets to Improve Your Relationships With Clients, Bosses, and Head Honchos

You don’t need to become best friends, but relationships make gigs more enjoyable and boost your chances of referrals for future jobs.

[Become everyone’s #1]

 

How would you describe the relationships you have with your clients or boss?

 

Making solid connections with your clients and higher-ups not only makes your gigs more enjoyable but also means you’ll have more referrals and recommendations thrown your way later.

 

Whether you’re new to the gig economy or want to level up in your department, these tips will help you build and improve your relationships so everyone wants to work with you.

 

Ignore this major aspect of your partnerships and you’ll find just the opposite.

Why the Health of Your Professional Relationships Matters

Clients and bosses are more than bags of money.

 

While certain ones can be a total pain to deal with, most will help you climb the ladder to your next awesome role if you know how to impress.

 

And if you foster these healthy professional relationships, you’ll give yourself:

 

The chance for more work. Impress decision-makers and you’ll prove you can take on bigger, more prestigious projects. If you’re working contract, this may mean extending your time on the project or taking on another.

 

Stand out from the crowd and become a client’s preferred vendor to work with and you’ll have more repeat business to take to the bank.

 

Networking opportunities. After your stellar work, your contact will recommend your skills to their network of contacts.

 

Free marketing. Happy clients and supervisors will gush about you. Put those testimonials on your website and they’ll literally sell your services to new leads — at all hours of the day and from anywhere in the world — like free advertising.

 

But the secret to nabbing all these perks takes more than answering emails and Slack messages as soon as they come in (though that’s also super important!).

5 Secrets to Improve Your Work Relationships

You may be working with several clients simultaneously or only answer to one big cheese. No matter which boat you’re in, you should always try to:

#1. Focus On Them

It’s easy to remain distant with supervisors and clients and only focus on the work you’re assigned. But you’ll miss the chance to establish a working relationship (and they may move onto someone they connect better with).

 

So just like you get to know someone in your personal life, try to get to know your boss or client to understand exactly who they are, what they need, and where you fit in.

[Be what they need]

 

This takes asking a series of questions and talking to them about:

  • Their career story
  • Their struggles and pain points
  • What they’re looking for
  • How they work
  • Their preferred communication methods
  • What’s most important to them (i.e., sticking to deadlines or error-free work, for example)

 

Again, no one’s saying you have to become best friends and cross the professional line into personal territory. But the extra effort to get to know someone’s needs goes a long way for better communication.

 

It may be easier for you to open up and care if you start practicing this next tip.

#2. Think of Everyone Like Your Partner

Treating your clients or higher-ups like your partners, rather than separate entities you’re working for, may help you become more invested in their goals.

 

But this isn’t just an incentive for you to perform well. It’s also a chance for them to feel like they’re on your level.

 

See, everyone will come to you with a problem they need help resolving. This puts them in a vulnerable position while you’ll be holding all the answers as the expert.

 

Many people keep these power dynamics in place so they can guarantee more work for themselves in the future.

 

But you can change the dynamics of your relationships and make them more collaborative so everyone feels like they have something meaningful to contribute.

[Become partners]

 

This mutually beneficial partnership will give you more to work with so you can further erase the pain points they’re dealing with and make them happy. You’ll come out looking like a rock star and they’ll be psyched to be part of your band.

 

And just like friends, you should always be upfront and honest.

#3. Communicate Honestly and Frequently

There’s a rule you should live by: Never overpromise and underdeliver.

 

This means when clients or supervisors have unrealistic expectations, you need to be the one to bring them back down to earth.

 

Instead of shooting down the idea immediately, try to explain why certain elements of the ask won’t work and always suggest a better option.

 

Clients would rather have someone tell the truth and put forth a realistic workaround than someone who yesses them and fails to deliver what was promised.

 

The same honest approach goes for projects you’re already working on.

 

Mistakes happen — it’s how you deal with them that makes all the difference.

 

Do not ghost your client or boss when there’s a problem. The longer it takes you to address the issue, the more distrust you’ll sow.

 

If you’re going to miss a deadline, let them know sooner than later so they can plan around it. Though they may still be disappointed, they’ll appreciate the honest heads up a week out versus the day of.

 

With these open lines of communication, make sure your clients also feel the same level of comfort. They should see you as friendly and approachable; someone they can bounce ideas off or ask questions without feeling dumb.

 

This may become easier if you keep them in the loop (and the technical jargon out).

#4. Keep Them In the Loop and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

When you discover your client’s preferred way to get in touch, stay in contact every step of your process, or every few days.

 

Clients and managers like to know what to expect from the people they work with.

 

Since they’re not experts in your line of work, they don’t know what to expect other than the vision of the finished product they have in their heads.

 

Ease their anxiety and confusion and they’ll be more confident in your ability to deliver.

 

Make your process transparent and touch base often to mention what you’re working on and what issues you may be dealing with. Don’t complicate your conversations with technical terms and keep it simple so everyone’s in the loop.

 

 

[Stay in touch]

 

You’ll build trust quickly and avoid clients sending frantic emails and Slack messages asking what’s up.

 

When your project or contract wraps, continue the honest dialogue by asking for feedback.

#5. Ask for Feedback

It’s helpful for all parties involved to discuss what went right and what could be improved after each project or contract ends.

 

So send out an email about much you enjoyed working together. Highlight the good and take ownership of areas you wish went better.

 

Clients and bosses respect someone who can admit their mistakes and pledge to work on them.

 

If you’re brave, send out a quick survey using something like Google Forms to ask for feedback and what you can improve for next time.

 

This feedback loop tells clients and higher-ups you really care. They’ll want to work with you again if you’re a good listener and actually follow their advice.

Win Over Clients and Bosses As You Rise to the Top of Your Game

With fire communication and relationship-building skills, you’ll have no trouble earning repeat business from clients and neverending praise from your bosses.

 

Follow these tips and word about your work ethic will go viral, your calendar will fill up, and a promotion may be in your future.

 

Did you know FreshGigs has both contract and full-time jobs?

 

Check them out here and use your new intel to start your work relationships on the right foot

Why the Most Creative People are Also Usually the Most Productive

Don’t wait for inspiration to strike; steal these secrets to build a productive life where creativity flows naturally.

Does creativity depend on productivity?

Or does productivity require a bit of creativity?

The truth is, you often can’t be successful at one without the other. Creativity gives you the idea, but it’s productivity that determines what you’ll do with it.

So can you increase creativity by simply being more productive?

Creativity and Productivity are Intertwined

People may be born with different degrees of creativity, but everyone has the power to be more creative.

You may not be painting landscapes like Bob Ross, but you still need creativity to:

  • Create content
  • Write persuasive sales copy and calls to action
  • Brainstorm new marketing campaigns
  • Reach out to customers on social media
  • Develop a portfolio to outshine your competition

 

Since jobs in design, social media, marketing, and more all require an endless stream of creativity, you can’t wait around for inspiration to strike.

 

The only problem is creativity tends to disappear when people aren’t productive.

 

Without productivity, or the physical act of producing something, all your ideas and everything inspiring you to connect with others, will simply stay in your head.

 

And if your brain’s not rewarded for coming up with interesting ideas, you’ll stop having them.

 

That’s why you must not only find a way to boost your creativity, you also need to create a follow-up plan to transform it into a tangible product.

The good news is besides sharing your idea, content, or masterpiece with people who need it, an Adobe study says creators earn 13% more than non-creators[*].

And you know what’s even better?

You can boost creativity and productivity at the same time.

Secrets to Greater Creativity and Productivity

You don’t need separate to-do lists to spur your creativity or kick your butt into being more productive.

These tips will allow for greater productivity and higher creative thinking to enter your life simultaneously:

Carve Out an Uncluttered Space to Thrive

An artist doesn’t begin painting with bills, to-do lists, and cat toys hanging on their easel. So you shouldn’t let your workspace become a giant mound of mess either.

 

Clutter is the enemy of creativity and productivity and[*]:

  • Bombards your brain with excessive stimuli
  • Drains your attention
  • Makes it impossible to relax physically or mentally
  • Causes anxiety and creates guilty feelings
  • Tells your brain your work is out of control/never done

 

That’s why you need a clean, open space to brainstorm your ideas and solve problems.

 

It should be free of distractions, filled with inspiration (like motivating quotes, happy pictures, or a window to look out of), and closed off from loud, busy areas.

 

Free up this space and you’ll also free up space in your brain for creative ideas and questions.

Ask More Questions

Creative people are inherently curious. They’re interested in everything — and find everything interesting.

Science says creative people use both sides of their brain when analyzing the new experiences they have, a skill most people don’t practice often enough[*].

 

To cultivate this ability, expose yourself to new places, people, and things, and ask lots of questions about them — as often as you can.

 

Simply thinking more about what or who you encounter will feed your brain and spark inspiration, which can then fuel your creative train of ideas.

 

So when you’re stuck on a project, ask yourself a series of questions to let creativity unblock you, such as:

  • What’s the ultimate goal?
  • What’s the first step I need to take? And the second? And so forth.
  • What makes this unique or interesting?
  • Why is this important?

 

With these answers in tow, you’re sure to find greater clarity and inspiration to get your work accomplished. It also creates a mini checklist of steps you need to get done to further increase your productivity.

 

If you’re stuck here, your way of thinking may need an adjustment.

Practice Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking, a term coined by Edward de Bono in 1967, is the practice of “moving sideways” to solve a problem rather than tackling it head-on[*].

 

In De Bono’s system of Six Thinking Hats, he encourages people to use different ways of thinking as a checklist for solving a problem[*]:

 

  • Blue for managing and identifying what you have
  • White for using facts and information
  • Red for using emotions, intuition, and gut reactions
  • Black for the downsides associated with the idea
  • Yellow for the positives associated with the idea
  • Green for out-of-the-box alternatives

 

 

While you may think this approach seems counterintuitive to productivity, it actually stimulates your creative thinking and forces you to see situations from multiple angles.

Put on each hat and think about the idea you have. Seeing an issue from all sides will inspire creative solutions. And it keeps your productivity rolling when you get stuck.

 

This unique approach can help you with everything from upgrading your design skills to helping you stand out from your peers in a crowded market.

 

Set deadlines for uncovering these answers and you’ll be even further ahead of the game.

Follow a Schedule and Set Deadlines

A schedule can be one of the greatest productivity hacks people forget about.

When you follow the same routine, your brain doesn’t have to worry about when lunch is or what you’re going to be up to after your workout. It gets in the habit of being creative and productive at specific times during the day.

 

While many think creativity can’t be planned or doesn’t do well under pressure, creativity is greatest when constrained[*]. Setting a deadline will force your brain to make those connections sooner by concentrating all your attention on one task.

 

Sticking to self-imposed deadlines is also amazing for your productivity. Not only does it improve your time-management skills, it helps you prioritize and accomplish more.

Are You Using Your Creativity Productively?

The opposite of being productive is procrastination, or putting off a task you need to do.

 

Most procrastination stems from feelings of inadequacy or anxiety, which may make you too scared to tap into your creativity or start a big project for fear of failing.

 

If you’re not in a role where your creativity is being supported, your mountain will be much harder to climb. So it might be time to find a job where your creativity is valued, appreciated, and celebrated everyday.

 

Check Fresh Gigs for the best marketing, design, and tech jobs in Canada and connect with people who will pay for all your brilliant mind has to offer.

 

Follow these tips and your creativity and productivity will be unstoppable.