Always Have Your Resume Ready – How It Paid Off Huge For Us

Your career is what will earn you the majority of your income in most households.

Yes, some people make money in other ways or on the side, but the majority of most people’s income comes from their chosen career path.

Given this fact, it is extremely important to realize that your career is very important to your financial security.

Since your career is your major source of income, you must always be prepared to move to the next stepping stone in your career should something happen to your current job.

We had a bit of a scare with Tori’s job a few years ago when she was ready to go back to work after her foot healed from being on disability.

Luckily, her place of employment did offer her a job, but we weren’t so sure that was going to happen at the time.

We Were Prepared Just In Case

Once we saw that Tori’s employer wasn’t moving very quickly to get her a position at her workplace we started to get worried. We gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited many weeks to hear back about where she would go back to work.

However, once her return to work date was just a couple weeks away and she didn’t have a job lined up we knew we couldn’t leave all of our eggs in one basket.

Even though she didn’t want to, Tori began applying to other jobs within our community just in case her current job didn’t pull through and offer her a position.

We didn’t anticipate this was going to happen, but just in case, Tori had her resume updated and ready to submit with new job applications. It turns out that having her resume updated was a great decision that helped our out more than she thought it would.

An Opportunity Came Knocking

Tori’s old employer eventually lined up a position for her at the last minute. Once she started that position, she decided not to follow up on any of the applications she had put in prior to going back to work.

She felt it wouldn’t be right to continue to pursue other jobs after she just started working again and I don’t blame her. At least that’s how we both felt until she was asked to interview for one of her dream jobs. She couldn’t turn that opportunity down.

Tori went in to interview for her dream job and they pretty much offered her a job the same day. This presented a dilemma, but in the end we decided to do what was best for us.

The new job would advance Tori in her career significantly and it would get us a nice bump in pay which helped us to pay her student loans off faster. The new job seemed to be at a quality workplace, so she decided to take the job.

Why Keeping Your Resume Updated Is Important

If Tori hadn’t been updating her resume throughout her time at her current employer she may have forgotten some of the key accomplishments that enabled her to get her dream job.

There were a couple specific events that opened the door for her to get her dream job. If she had forgotten to add them to her resume when she was distracted by her job situation, she may have never received the call to interview for her dream job.

When you’re going through a rough time due to a lay off or job loss, it can be easy to overlook some of the things you have accomplished since the last time you have updated your resume.

It is even easier to forget some of these accomplishments when you’ve been at your most recent job for a long time.

Take some time at least once a year to add these accomplishments to your resume. It is really easy to remember if you update your resume once a year when you receive your annual review.

You never know when you’ll need your resume and how much it could pay off! Be prepared.

Do you keep an updated resume? Has there been a time where it has helped you get a new job in a bind?

Freelancing And Moonlighting Can Get You Fired

Believe it or not, I’ve seen people get fired because they were freelancing or moonlighting on the side of their day job.

These people shouldn’t have been shocked when they were fired.

The problem is, many people never consider that what they do for extra income on the side can end up causing them to lose their main source of income.

Things To Consider Before Freelancing

Extra income is a wonderful thing. I’ve even advocated that people try to make some extra income on the side, especially if they’re trying to pay off debt.

Just make sure that before you start trying to make money on the side that you’re not breaking any laws where you live or violating any policies at work. Why? It’d suck to lose your job just to make a couple of extra bucks!

Why Employers Care About Freelancing And Moonlighting

You would think employers wouldn’t care about what you do in your free time, but that isn’t always the case. The first and most common complaint your employer may have about freelancing or moonlighting is the fact that you’d be directly competing with your employer.

For instance, when I worked in public accounting, I was prohibited from providing any type of accounting service to anyone other than friends and family.

They didn’t want me directly competing with them for work. In fact, they’d prefer that I refer any potential clients directly to the firm.

Another common complaint employers have with freelancing and moonlighting is the fact that you won’t be available to work whenever they need you to.

By tying up your time outside of work with a side business, you’re decreasing the amount of time you would have available to come into work in an emergency situation.

Having less potential time to devote to work isn’t the only concern employers may have. Many employers are concerned that if you’re freelancing or moonlighting that you aren’t focusing solely on your work.

While others might think about work problems when they’re at home in the evening, freelancers and moonlighters are probably thinking about their side business.

Given all of these problems, how can you make sure that you won’t get fired for your freelancing or moonlighting business?

How To Check Your Employer’s Rules

You can’t find out for sure if your freelancing or moonlighting business will get you fired or not unless you ask your employer directly before you start.

If you want to ask before starting a side business, I suggest you ask your direct supervisor as well as your human resources department. Between those two people, you should have a solid answer as to whether or not you’re allowed to work on the side.

If you already have a side business and don’t want to risk getting fired by asking, there are a couple of places you should look.

First, go back and read all of the documents you signed when you started working for your employer. Normally, if you’re prohibited from freelancing, your paperwork will tell you.

The other place you can check is your company’s policy manuals. There should be a copy somewhere in your office.

If you don’t have one, check with your human resources department. If you work for a larger company you should be able to find this information on the company intranet site.

Do you freelance or moonlight on the side? If so, are you worried it could get you fired? Did you look to see if you’d be breaking any laws or company policies before you started freelancing? Let me know in the comments below!

Would You Endure Misery For A Six Figure Job?

Six Figure Job MiseryHave you ever thought life would be perfect if you just made more money?

If you have, I have an interesting scenario for you to consider.

What would you do if someone offered you a six figure job starting tomorrow?

If you already make six figures, pretend the new job is two or four times your current salary.

The only catch is, the job would be absolutely miserable.

Would you take it?

Define Misery

A six figure job sounds awesome, but first we must determine what misery is in order to properly answer the question. For the purposes of this article, misery is whatever would drive you completely insane.

It could be sitting in an empty office with nothing but a single button that you must press every five minutes. It could be having to talk to annoying customers all day long.

Whatever it is, you would dread going to work and you wouldn’t even enjoy one second of your day while you’re at work.

Misery wouldn’t involve any type of physical pain or moral dilemmas. It wouldn’t involve spending a minute over 40 hour at work each week.

Misery would only be defined by whatever drives you crazy. So, now that we’ve defined misery, let’s explore the question on whether or not you’d take the job.

Why You Might Take The High Paying Job Despite The Misery

Misery at work is a very depressing thing, but luckily, the misery described in this question would only occur at work. Whenever you aren’t at work, you’d have more money to do whatever you wish.

I can think of a few cases in which putting up with this misery would be worth it, but it really depends on the individual.

For someone in a major amount of debt, I could see using the six figure job opportunity as a temporary way to use the extra money to pay down consumer debt.

I even believe there is a certain crowd of people that would be willing to endure the misery to pay down their mortgage debt in addition to any consumer debt.

I could see a highly goal driven person may even take a miserable six figure job to reach some short term goals. It might be saving for the perfect wedding or building up a large emergency fund.

Others might be saving to take a couple of years off of work to explore the world and travel. Regardless of the goal, I could see some people taking the six figure job to quickly earn some money for a short term goal.

Why You Wouldn’t Take The Miserable Job For The Money

If you’re in a sound financial position, then I’m guessing you’d be less likely to take the miserable job just for the money.

Whether you already have enough income to cover all of your needs or you have a ton of money in the bank, chances are you’ve realized that after your basic needs are met, a ton of extra money doesn’t really increase your happiness that much.

Even if you aren’t in good financial shape, there is a good chance you value your sanity more than you’d value a six figure job. Spending 40 hours a week at a job is a huge amount of time to be miserable every week.

While the offer sounds enticing on the surface, once you really consider how miserable the job would be you might not want to take it.

When you’re that miserable in your job, chances are it will slowly take over your time off the job, too. You’ll begin dreading Sundays because that means the work week is right around the corner.

You might even dread the late evening because after you sleep you have to go to work! Who wants to live life like that?

I think this decision is highly personal, so I’m curious whether or not you’d take the six figure, miserable job for the money or not. What led you to your decision? Let me know in the comments below!

Image by: quinn.anya Text added by: Lance Cothern

Are Two Incomes Better Than One? Single vs Dual Income Couple

Are two income, or dual incomes, the best? Or is it better to have only one income and a stay at home mom, stay at home dad or just a stay at home spouse? Should you go from two incomes to one? Find out what I think is the smartest move.Is being single or living in a dual income couple a more financially rewarding situation?

Dual income couples have the opportunity to make more money, but is it worth it?

Here’s what I’ve seen so far in my life.

One Single Income Individual

When I graduated from college, I lived on a single income.

My wife (girlfriend at the time) still had two years of college left to complete so living as a dual income couple was out of the question.

Financially speaking, I was at a disadvantage compared to a dual income couple but I found ways to minimize these disadvantages.

Unlike a dual income couple, I could not split the rent of my apartment. I couldn’t split the utility bill. I couldn’t combine our insurances to save money.

Instead, I had to pay the full price of these out of my pocket and my then girlfriend had to do the same for her apartment at college. If we lived together and had two incomes, these bills would have likely been much less than our costs of living separately.

Minimizing The Single Income Disadvantage

If I had truly lived like a single person by myself, I’d have my own apartment, utility bills and insurance bills along with many others. Luckily, I was smart and decided to rent a large apartment and split it with two of my close friends. This allowed me to live a similar lifestyle at a much lower cost.

Unfortunately, my roommates weren’t sharing their money with me, so we couldn’t take direct advantage of having multiple incomes living in the same housing unit. There were some things, like groceries, that we all paid for separately which ended up in more waste than a dual income couple would probably have.

To minimize the single income disadvantage, think of all of the ways a dual income couple living together could save money and try to replicate any of their advantages that wouldn’t be completely awkward with a roommate. Many things can be done, but you’ll never have the same exact advantages a dual income couple has.

Why Dual Incomes Provides Awesome Opportunities

Living as a dual income couple provides a ton of opportunities. Personally, after we got married, my wife and I were able to viciously attack her student loan debt and pay off all $80,000 in just three years.

There is no way she could have done that as a single person. We pooled our resources and allocated them as best fit out situation as a married couple. We lived lean, rather than paying for two of everything or buying expensive things.

We basically lived on less than one income and dedicated the rest to the student loan debt pay off. Unfortunately, single people don’t have the bandwidth to be able to have that full second income available to them in most cases.

Living as a dual income couple also allows you to save even more money for retirement if you’d like to retire early. While a single person could save 25% of their income, a dual income couple may be able to save 50% to 75% of their income easily.

Is A Dual Income Always The Right Answer For A Couple

While single people don’t have the option, dual income couples can decide if having both people work is the best decision for them. Sometimes, it makes more sense for the higher earning person in a dual income couple to continue working while the lower paid person stays home for a variety of reasons.

For instance, if a lower paying person could stay home and allow a higher paying person to advance their career, and income, at a much faster pace, it could make sense to live as a single income couple.

Alternatively, if a dual income couple has a child and the child care costs would be higher than the lower earner’s income, it may make sense to take time off from work to take care of the child yourself.

None of these situations are straight forward, but they do exist and can make a huge difference in a couple’s life. Make sure to consider these options rather than assuming living as a dual income couple is the best alternative.

So, Is A Single Person or A Dual Income Couple Better Off?

While a dual income couple has more potential to earn more income and combine expenses, not everything is about money. Some people love living the single life and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

In fact, as a single person, you can dedicate even more time to work and you could potentially increase income to a much higher level than a dual income couple could earn.

However, given the choice, I like the idea of the dual income couple best. Income sources will likely be diversified and great savings can be had when it comes to common expenses that would otherwise be duplicated.

Keep these differences in mind next time you hear someone in a different living situation explain their finances. As a dual income couple, sometimes it is difficult to relate to a single person trying to pay down massive student loan debt.

The single person likely doesn’t have the same resources available to them that we had as a dual income couple.

What do you think about the differences between a single individual income versus a dual income couple? Do you think there is a huge difference in finances, or that the differences aren’t that big. Let me know in the comments below.

Photo by: mrhayata Text added by: Lance Cothern

One Simple Thing Could Earn You A Massive Promotion & Raise

Are you ready to kick start your career? Need more money? One simple thing can lead to a massive job promotion. Get a raise at work by following this one simple pay raise tip shared on around you is getting promotions and big raises. Unfortunately, you just got news that you will be receiving the standard 2% raise and no promotion this year.

You’re bummed because you worked really hard this year. You even worked harder than some of your coworkers that got promotions, so what gives? Why didn’t you get the promotion?

One small detail might be holding you back.

Professional Designations and Certifications

These things are key in advancing your career in many fields. If you don’t have the professional designations or certifications, you’ll get passed over constantly by those that do. It doesn’t matter if you are the best employee in the world.

Some companies simply won’t promote you or give you that fat raise you deserve unless you join the club and get the professional designations or certifications.

In my career field, that designation is actually a license. As an accountant, getting a Certified Public Accountant license is a huge key to unlocking the door to your career growth. If you don’t have a CPA license, you could easily be left in the dust.

When I worked in public accounting, you would never be promoted to the manager position and you would definitely never make partner if you didn’t have your CPA license. It’s a sad truth, but without it your career would hit a brick wall after just 5 years out of college, if not sooner.

Have You Figured Out The Simple Step Yet?

The step is to find out what professional designations, licenses or certifications your superiors have and get them yourself.

If you’re not sure what licenses your superiors may have, you can try searching for them on LinkedIn and see if anything pops up. If that doesn’t work, chances are your superiors will have certificates hanging in their office or you’ll see the designations they have on their business cards.

Once you know what licenses your superiors have, find out how to get them and see if it is worth the time and cost involved to obtain the designation. For example, the CPA exam required 150 credit hours of college courses, a $2,000 study course and countless hours of studying. 

It didn’t result in a raise or promotion directly related to my new license, but I did get a small bonus that covered my costs. However, it paid off in bigger ways.

Certifications and Designations Provide Instant Credibility

While I didn’t get a raise from my then current job when I earned my CPA license, it gave me instant credibility when I was looking for a new job closer to home. Having my CPA license immediately opened doors for other accounting positions because people knew I was serious about my field of study.

Having my CPA license allowed me to get a big bump in my pay, too. A CPA license can be worth an pay increase of 10%. Of course, everyone will have different experiences based on their work history and current company.

Earning a license or professional designation might be a quick process or a long endeavor but most will pay off in the long run. Just do your research and see what designation you might need to get ahead in your career.

Do you have a professional license? Did it help you get ahead in  your career?

Photo by: Joebeone Text added by: Lance Cothern