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Considering Starting Over? What No One Tells You about Changing Careers

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Changing jobs is hard enough, but changing careers? That’s a giant leap into unchartered territory.

During my decade-long career in marketing, I’ve considered doing everything from working in an animal shelter to trying my luck as a professional book reviewer (I haven’t ruled out either of those things, yet).

Staying in the same role for more than five years may have once been the norm, but over the past 15-20 years the job market has changed considerably. In fact, research has shown that career changes are happening more than ever before and not just that, but people are significantly happier when they’ve taken the plunge to pursue their passion.

There are many misconceptions surrounding career change, so what do you need to know to take the next step? Here are some of the things we don’t get told often enough when making the decision to follow a new career path.

It’s Never Too Late To Change

At the age of 35, former Air Force Officer Eddie Reece returned to graduate school to study community services. Unhappy with the many roles he had taken on throughout his life, he needed a career change and in his mind, it was now or never.

“My main motivation to change careers was that I knew in some way that what I was doing wasn’t really me”

Eddie says, “many of my career choices were driven by the desire to make a lot of money… but I would find myself unhappy and want a change.”

The myth that changing careers is a luxury reserved only for the younger generations continues to persist, despite little evidence to support it. In fact, a recent article on PayScale suggests that 82% of adults aged 47 and over are successful in their quest to change careers, with 87% saying they were very happy with the new direction.

As we get older, our priorities change and our mindset can shift. Your career goals at age 20 versus when you’re 40 are completely different, so it makes sense to consider different career options at different stages of your life.

Be Prepared To Learn – A Lot

You may be an expert in your field, having spent years building a reputation and the respect and admiration of your colleagues. But once you switch careers, you may no longer be at the head of every board meeting, so it’s important to let go of any ego you may have about your past career and treat this like a new adventure.

There’s a steep learning curve involved in transitioning from one career to another, not just in learning new skills, but also the different expectations that come with your new role. There may be aspects that are easier, but some things will also be more challenging. Learning can be a very exciting and rewarding experience, so stay humble and you’ll certainly reap the rewards.

Fear Shouldn’t Stop You From Doing What You Truly Want To Do

Transitioning into a completely different industry and role can seem frightening, but once you’ve done it, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner.

“I had to learn what really mattered to me”, says Eddie of his career change,

“living my life more authentically and working in a job that truly satisfies me in so many ways are just some of the payoffs of being in a career that fits the person I’ve become. It’s so much easier to go to work, and it doesn’t even feel like work.”

Your career isn’t everything, but being unhappy in your job can affect other areas of your life.

Don’t Get Caught Up In All The Advice

Well-meaning friends and family may have plenty of advice to give, but too much advice can make the decision making process more overwhelming. Of course, talking to your loved ones about your dreams is important and it can certainly be nice to hear their input but you also don’t want to lose sight of your own goals.

This is also true of those articles that tell you which career is the most stable, or what the happiest jobs are remember that these are often based on various factors that may or may not apply to you. Only you know what will make you happy in the long-term.

If you really want to talk to someone about a career change, make contact with the people who are doing the job you want to do, in the industry you want to work in. Ask them the tough questions and shadow them if you can. The advice they give will provide you with the most crucial information to help you decide if the move is right for you.

Fortunately, career pivots are not only possible, but quite common today. Just ask Eddie: Who has spent the last 25 years working as a psychotherapist; business consultant and writer, while running his own counselling practice helping others live better lives?

“The drive to change careers was an emotional one that came from unresolved emotional issues. Once I worked on those, choosing the right career and staying with it was easy.”

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Business

Why Do I Need a Financial Advisor?

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Everyone wants to improve their financial situation. Everyone wants to protect the assets they have and make the most of the opportunities those assets afford them. But in today’s economic climate, doing so is more complex than ever before.

That’s where financial advisors enter the picture. A financial advisor, such as Oak Street Investments in Denver, is there to help you manage your assets, plan for your future, and live your best life financially.

Read on to learn more about what financial advisors offer and how you might benefit from the services they provide.

Tax Imbalances

If you finish each year owing money to the IRS, you’re probably already aware that you need to make some changes in your finances. But if you receive a refund every year, the problem may be going unnoticed. People enjoy getting tax refunds, and its fun to spend your little unexpected surplus on a treat for yourself or your loved ones.

In fact, however, your goal should be to pay exactly the right amount of taxes each year. You don’t earn any interest on the balance you overpay to the US government, and if you’d had that money sitting in an account all year, it could have been working for you. So if you’re finishing up the fiscal year far off the mark in either direction in terms of your taxes, seek the help of a financial advisor. They can get you back on track.

Understanding your Investments

No matter what you choose to do with your money, understanding your investments is crucial. If you’ve got money in the stock market, you need to know how to read the trends and trade wisely. If your money is a high interest account, you want to make sure you’re getting the greatest possible rate of return.

Working with a financial advisor can make an enormous difference here. Your financial advisor is experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to the area of investments, and they can help you find the right investments for your assets. When it comes to your money, you shouldn’t be flying blind. Let a professional help you get the most bang for your buck.

Planning for Retirement

No matter where you are in your career whether you’re a few years from retirement or just getting started it’s a good idea to be putting money away and to have a plan for the future. When you reach the end of your working years, you want to make sure you have enough saved to continue living comfortably. A financial advisor can help you achieve that goal. Not only that, they can also help you structure your retirement savings so that you might be able to hang up your hat a few years earlier than you’d planned! Getting ready for retirement can be overwhelming, but with a financial planner on your side, you’re halfway there.

Preparing for Down Markets

You never know when the economy is going to take a turn, and the last thing you want is to be caught unawares. That’s where a financial advisor can really help. You need to diversify your assets, ensuring that not all your eggs are in one basket. That way, if something goes wrong, you’ll have something to fall back on. Your financial advisor will help you divide your assets wisely and comfortably, and you can rest easy knowing you’ve got resources should troubled times arise.

Finances are a complicated matter, and it always helps to have someone educated and impartial to help you through the tangle. Reach out to a financial advisor and get started planning for the future you deserve.

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Business

Accounting Tools Critical for Business Processes and Procedures

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An essential part of the success of any business is accounting – knowing how much money is being expended and how much is coming in. You need to make sure that your business is profitable, that you are bringing in more money than you have to spend to keep things running. But this is a complex question, and often it’s not easy to see a clear picture of the answer until well after the fact, when the money has already been lost.

The solution is to make sure your accounting, whether it’s done by a department, an individual, or just yourself – is both thorough and accurate. Adopt the following tools and practices to take your business’ accounting to the next level and ensure that things are running smoothly.

Establish Budgets and Stick to Them

It’s common for businesses to establish annual or semiannual budgets, and doing so is a good idea for a number of reasons. You’ll start out the year by planning how much money you intend to put into each of your business’ expenses, so it will be easier to keep track of and therefore, not exceed the amount you can afford.

When you build your budget, you should begin by looking at last year’s records. How much money did you spend, and how much did you bring in? Use these figures to project what the coming year will look like. Make a list of your business expenses. Can you trim the amount you’ve been spending in any areas? If so, you’ll give yourself the option to devote that money to another area of the business to stimulate growth, or to increase your profit directly.

An enterprise performance management (EPM) system can help you track your budget and ensure you keep to the plan. Living within your budget is a great way to make sure your business performs according to plan.

Utilize Cost Allocation

Cost allocation is a budgeting tool for those aspects of your business that do not have a concrete cost associated with them. Because it is difficult and sometimes impossible, to precisely forecast these costs, cost allocation is a tool that gives you a way to estimate. The ultimate goal of cost allocation is to spread the expense associated with a specific facet of your business appropriately, so the cost is borne in proportion by those departments or individuals who ought to be paying for it.

Track Financial Statements

In order to plan for the upcoming fiscal year, it’s important to keep track of how your business performed in the past. You should keep careful track of every financial statement, including – but not limited to – income, cash flows, and tax returns. You can take these papers to a professional accountant to help you analyze your finances, shore up weak spots, and prepare for the coming year. A good accountant, such as Nguyen CPA of Denver, can assist with many different aspects essential to managing the finances of your business:

  • Tax preparation
  • Budgeting and financing
  • Payroll management
  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable

And, in many cases, much more.

Forecasting

Forecasting is a complex tool, but it can help you predict trends in the market and be prepared for what’s next in your industry. You can gain information by reviewing the history of your business itself as well as trends among your target demographic. It’s also a good idea to look at how your competitors are doing and compare their performance in the market to your own.

Having your accountant look over your books and make sure everything is in order is critical to the success of any business. Use the tools mentioned here to ensure that your bottom line is always met.

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Business

Going Mobile: Does Your Business Need An App?

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Last year May, Google revealed the extent to which mobile interfaces have overtaken desktop in product searches, resulting in nearly all major online e-commerce companies and businesses moving towards mobile sales and marketing strategies. This means businesses who didn’t adjust to a “mobile first” strategy are being left behind… and at a definite competitive disadvantage.

Smartphones are everywhere, thus, mobile applications are a great way to keep consumers engaged and interested in your brand and of course it is vital to have a responsive website (website or pages that are mobile accessible) but the voice of reason is here to tell you that apps for business and commerce uses are not one-size-fits-all nor does every business need one. Now before you start shouting “sacrilege!” the reason why this statement is true is that there are simply so many apps available that many of them get very few downloads or are lost in the sea of the millions of other apps in every other app store.

Does Your Business Need An App?

When deciding whether or not to get an app for your business you should consider these factors before going through the process of developing an app:

Your Target Audience.

Knowing whom your customers are and what they are looking for is a good way to figure out whether or not an app is necessary and if it is, how complex your app should be. In a world with such diverse ages, genders, occupations and financial situations, it is not surprising that some consumers do not even own smartphones, and if they do they may not use apps. This means that you should evaluate the needs and wants of your consumer base and how beneficial an app would be to them. Surveys, polls, and forums are a great way to find these answers.

App vs. Mobile Site

Okay, you now know your consumer needs; the question that needs answering is “Is a mobile site more useful to my customers than an app?” Cross-platform mobile sites that are easy to navigate do offer a more cost effective solution and/or a stepping-stone towards mobile app development in the future.

Do You Have The Resources?

A mobile app is more work than you’d first think- you need enough bandwidth to maintain, refresh, and update (of the platform and app) on a regular basis in order to be successful. You need to be able to set aside enough time and money to develop new content and maintain functionality of your app and even basic apps can cost anywhere between $1000 – $4000 to develop depending on the features offered, so be sure you are up to the task.

If you are, however, looking to use Apps to improve the organization, connectivity, and visibility of your business consider a useful business management app like Evernote (to store, organize and share text, photos, and voice notes), Google Drive and LocalVox (a web marketing app that allows brick and mortar businesses to build their brands online).

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