The question is not if there will be another financial crisis in America but WHEN. Many Americans are already living paycheck-to-paycheck mode. The recession has been brutal for many of us who lost our jobs or have had to reevaluate what we want from life. Some people have chosen to leave behind the daily grind and others are working two (or more) jobs just to make ends meet. It seems that most Americans would prefer to work until retirement than retire early. We may feel stuck on how to get out of this rut, but don't despair! There's hope out there if you know where to look. Here are some tips to help you find your way back into the workforce.
Yes! If you're looking at quitting your day job and start an online business, then go for it! But keep these things in mind first:
1. You'll need time. Most businesses take months to build up so you should give yourself enough room to learn all aspects of running a new enterprise before jumping headfirst into something you've never done before. In other words, think about starting smaller with one part of your plan rather than trying to run multiple enterprises simultaneously. For example, maybe you could set aside 30 minutes every weekday morning to research new ideas. Or try opening a pop-up shop once per week. This allows you to test drive your idea while still keeping your full-time job.
2. Money management skills. When you're making $10/hour as a minimum wage employee, you probably haven't had any real training regarding budgeting and saving money. As soon as you step away from the security blanket of your current employer, you must develop good money habits. Learn about setting goals and sticking to budgets. Start by using free resources to gain knowledge, such as Mint.com and SmartyPig. These tools allow users to track spending, see where extra funds might come from, and create savings plans based off past experiences.
3. Time freedom. Once you establish a regular routine outside of work, you'll begin to realize that you actually spend quite a bit less time doing household chores compared to those performed during a typical workday. Now imagine having even MORE spare time after leaving your job. That means you can save money on home repairs and renovations, eat out less, travel more frequently, volunteer, etc. And remember, "free" time isn't always necessarily better spent outside of work either. Make sure to schedule downtime activities wisely and avoid going overboard. After all, nobody wants to become a slave to their own leisure time... right?
4. Work ethic. Starting anything new requires sacrifice and self-discipline. Not only does it mean putting in long hours, but also learning how to juggle schedules, manage a social calendar, prioritize tasks, and figure out which projects require immediate attention and which ones can wait until later. Don't expect to wake up each Monday feeling rested and ready to tackle whatever comes across your desk. Instead, remind yourself of why you wanted to quit in the first place and focus on building momentum toward your goal(s). Your energy level may fluctuate throughout the day depending on how much sleep you got over night, stress levels, family commitments, and other factors beyond your control. So, stay focused on accomplishing short-term milestones within reason. Remember, Rome wasn't built overnight.
5. Financial literacy. A common mistake made by young adults is thinking that debt is bad because they're paying interest. However, credit card companies use high APR rates to trick consumers into buying items that aren't necessary. Also, student loans often carry exorbitant interest rates that compound exponentially after graduation. Lastly, investors earn higher returns through stock market investments instead of traditional bank accounts. To compensate for these losses, you must invest additional time into understanding basic finance principles, including investing 101.
6. Networking potential. People tend to associate success with personality traits like confidence and ambition. Unfortunately, being shy prevents many from getting ahead. One solution is to join organizations that provide opportunities to network with successful entrepreneurs. Another option is finding mentorships that teach people how to succeed in today's economy. Consider signing up for classes at local colleges and universities, too. They typically offer excellent networking opportunities since students usually interact together regularly. Plus, college alumni often support one another financially and sometimes professionally.
7. Self improvement. Yes, you heard me correctly. Learning new skills and personal development techniques can open doors to different career paths. Take advantage of free workshops and seminars sponsored by community centers, libraries, churches, clubs, and non-profit organizations. Alternatively, search YouTube for relevant videos about topics related to your field of choice. Just type in keywords such as "job interview," "how to write resume," "home decorating DIY," "start a blog." By mastering new skills, you'll eventually acquire new qualifications and experience that employers value.
8. Personal brand. Developing a strong professional reputation is crucial in today's competitive world. What sets apart the best employees is whether or not they possess certain key characteristics. Think about branding yourself as someone who possesses a positive attitude, works hard, takes initiative, and exhibits integrity. Be willing to share stories about overcoming adversity and achieving meaningful results. Let people perceive that you truly care about helping others. Even though you may lack formal education, you can prove that you posses great intelligence in everyday conversations. Simply show enthusiasm towards problems, questions, challenges, and opportunities. Employers notice when you speak confidently about your accomplishments and successes.
9. Social interaction. Although it may seem awkward, human connection plays a vital role in society. Research shows that friendships improve overall quality of life. Plus, having friends helps boost motivation, productivity, happiness, health, and mental well-being. Moreover, studies reveal that people who have greater social connections are generally healthier and happier than those who are socially isolated. Therefore, joining groups and volunteering to serve others gives you access to valuable information, inspiration, and advice. Being surrounded by supportive individuals encourages you to grow personally and achieve your dreams.
So now that you understand what it takes to live without a JOB, what will YOU choose to do next? Will you continue to put in overtime at your dead end cubicle, or will you pursue a change of venue? Are you tired of chasing down elusive careers and settling for low wages? Perhaps it's time to break free from the cycle of mediocrity and finally follow your passion. No matter what path you decide to take, remember to treat yourself along the way. Treat yo' self!
If you'd like to receive useful articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox, sign up below for the weekly Success Consciousness Newsletter.
The typical office worker spends 8 hours at his or her desk, another hour commuting each way, and perhaps an additional two hours reading email or checking Facebook updates. And that's not counting lunch time or any other breaks during which most people are out of the workplace for more than 2 hours. If your employer offers health benefits, then count on spending even more hours sitting in front of a computer screen.
In short, working a standard nine-to-five day is no picnic. In fact, many would say it's downright miserable. But what if there were some way to get rid of this type of routine? What if instead of having just one source of income, you had multiple sources of income from all sorts of different things you could be doing throughout the week? Here are five ways you might choose to answer those questions...
If you have ever worked a fulltime job, then you know how difficult managing both personal and professional responsibilities can sometimes become. You may feel overwhelmed by everything you need to accomplish every single day, especially since you don't really have much free time. And let's face it, we're creatures of habit -- once something becomes normal, we often find ourselves stuck in its rut until we decide to break away.
But what happens if you aren't locked into the traditional "9-5" career path? Couldn't you use some help creating new goals and strategies so you wouldn't end up feeling lost? Or maybe you'd benefit from someone who could show you how to create a plan for success, while also giving you confidence along the way. Wouldn't you rather look forward to waking up each morning because you actually want to go to bed at night? Well, now you can!
Here are three good reasons why making changes to your current situation will give you the best chance for longterm happiness:
1) Working harder doesn't mean getting ahead - It seems simple enough, but too many employees spend their days trying desperately to prove themselves worthy of promotions and raises. The problem here isn't necessarily about money (although it certainly helps), but about selfworth. Why does anyone think that showing up for work everyday automatically means that person deserves better treatment within the company? By placing too high expectations on our jobs, we devalue ourselves as human beings. Instead, focus on doing quality work and helping others succeed. This mindset will eventually lead to higher rewards (not only monetary).
2) Your boss has bad taste in music - So what if you've been assigned to sit next to your coworker who likes heavy metal rock all day long? Just imagine being able to listen to whatever style of music you prefer. Now that would change your entire outlook towards workday events. Sure, you'll probably still have to deal with annoying coworkers who insist on talking business over coffee refills, but at least you won't cringe every time you walk through the door.
3) A flexible schedule gives you flexibility - Whether you currently enjoy the 9-5 or wish you did, chances are you haven't given yourself permission to explore other options. Once you begin living outside these boundaries, you'll suddenly realize you can take holidays whenever you choose, travel more frequently, stay home with family members, etc. Suddenly your freedom feels limitless.
As you can see, having a creative outlet such as writing articles for EzineArticles.com allows me to express myself freely and provides ample opportunity to earn extra cash. Writing online articles helped me learn how to write effectively and gave me the motivation needed to continue learning and building upon my skills. Not everyone enjoys expressing creativity, however. For some, writing comes naturally and they simply don't require external inspiration to produce top notch content.
For example, many aspiring entrepreneurs began blogging after discovering the power of sharing ideas and thoughts online. Blogging became their passion and their primary method of communicating with readers and customers alike. While blogging itself is entirely optional, earning supplemental income via affiliate marketing is highly recommended. Affiliate programs allow bloggers to promote specific products or services related to their interests and hobbies. After signing up for an affiliate program, you typically receive links to relevant sales pages where visitors interested in purchasing items similar to yours can click through. When potential buyers follow links provided in emails promoting your blog post, you receive commissions based on various fees associated with purchases made. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you never have to worry about handling orders, shipping products, refunds, customer service issues, etc. All of those tasks fall under affiliates' jurisdiction. Simply put, affiliate marketing is ideal for individuals looking to build passive streams of residual income.
Another option for generating extra income is freelancing. Freelancers can offer their services directly to clients via sites like Upwork.com, ODesk.com, Elance.com, Fiverr.com, Gigbucks.com and PeoplePerHour.com. However, before taking advantage of these opportunities, remember to research companies thoroughly. Make sure you check references and read reviews posted by former clients. Also keep track of previous performance history. Don't forget to ask about future contracts and projects. With proper planning and preparation, freelance careers provide plenty of room for growth.
Many writers today rely heavily on article directories such as EzineArticles.com to generate traffic and leads for their businesses. As mentioned earlier, writing articles for this site allowed me to improve my own skills and develop my voice as an author. Article submissions alone cannot guarantee instant results, but it definitely increases search engine rankings and exposure among targeted audiences. At first glance, submitting articles to article directories may seem like a waste of time and energy. However, it's important to understand that article directories serve as useful tools for growing a brand and establishing credibility. In order to gain trust and respect, you must consistently deliver value. In turn, consumers will seek out your expertise and buy your product(s.)
One thing to note about article directories is that they tend to attract spammers and dishonest reviewers. Therefore, it's critical to implement effective keyword filtering techniques to protect your inboxes and identities. Most spam filters include keywords, phrases and messages within incoming e-mails that appear suspicious. Before sending off anything sensitive, always doublecheck information to ensure accuracy. Another tip is to avoid using generic titles and descriptions. Try using unique headlines and catchy subheadings to grab attention quickly. Lastly, never submit duplicate copies of your same article to several directories. Doing so will negatively impact your reputation and prevent you from receiving credit for original content.
Once you start exploring alternative avenues for bringing in extra income, you may discover you already possess certain talents that others lack. Maybe you found that you enjoyed speaking in public and decided to enroll in Toastmasters International. Perhaps you discovered that photography was your true calling and decided to pursue a degree in film studies. Whatever your interest, there are likely numerous courses available to enhance skill sets and knowledge base. Taking classes to further educate yourself is a great way to increase overall productivity and reduce stress levels. Plus, once you graduate from college, employers appreciate candidates who have taken steps toward improving their employment prospects.
Learning something new can also help you expand your social circle. For example, joining a book club or volunteering for charitable organizations allows you to meet interesting new people. Sharing common threads between friends creates bonds that strengthen relationships and open minds to fresh perspectives.
Of course, you should consider whether you truly want to leave behind a stable paycheck. Do you miss staying connected with family and loved ones? Does it bother you that people expect you to be available 24/7? Is it hard for you to step back from daily routines and try new experiences? Are you afraid of changing? These types of concerns usually arise when considering leaving a steady salary for uncertain futures. Even though fear tends to play a big role in limiting possibilities, it doesn't have to stop you completely. One idea is to set aside 20% of your earnings for unexpected setbacks. Then, figure out how you can replace that amount to cover expenses until your main source of income returns. Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Now that you've learned some valuable insight into how you might proceed with your current position, and how you might grow your income beyond it, you might wonder whether it's possible to transition smoothly into a new line of work altogether. Can you maintain stability while moving forward? How will your family react? Will you lose friendships?
Remember, finding happiness within yourself is key to becoming successful in life. Take control of your finances, establish healthy habits and surround yourself with supportive peers. Over time, you'll gradually achieve greater peace and fulfillment within yourself and around others.
The word "job" conjures up images of long hours spent in an office or working on a computer for someone else. The concept is tied into our idea of money being the reason we work -- that if we didn't have a paycheck coming at the end of each week or month, we'd be lazy slobs who don't want to get off our couches. But what about those people who are happy to wake up every morning and go to bed every night because they're passionate about something other than making a buck? What does this lifestyle entail?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then read on! We'll explore how to navigate a career-free existence while still maintaining quality of life.
You may think that having a traditional nine to five job means getting paid by another person, but there's more to the picture than just money. You also need stability, security and freedom from stress. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about ways to earn income outside of a typical corporate environment.
Spend less than you earn. If you spend all day earning $10 per hour as opposed to spending only four hours doing $5 worth of chores during the same time period, which one will help you save more money? Unless you enjoy feeling like a slave (or feel guilty), avoid debt and overspending. Save money so that you're not forced to sell yourself short.
Make friends instead of clients. A client is someone you must impress in order to gain business, whereas a friend is someone you look forward to seeing again. Think of your family members, close friends, neighbors and co-workers as potential friends rather than prospective customers. This way, everyone wins.
Be wary of free stuff. In general, anything given away freely tends to come back around eventually. When you give out services for nothing, take good care of the people who rely on you. They tend to return the favor someday.
Create passive income streams. Passive income refers to earnings made regardless of whether you're actively involved in generating them. Examples include selling used items online, renting properties, investing and writing books. These types of activities are ideal for freelancers looking to create steady cash flow.
Start small. One great way to test the waters before diving headfirst into entrepreneurship is to volunteer for side projects. Find areas where you could use your skills and start giving others a hand. Once you've demonstrated your value, begin offering your talents to others. Start small, build momentum and grow gradually.
Find flexible jobs. Flexible jobs involve finding alternative modes of employment rather than going full force behind a single industry or company. Look for positions within organizations such as schools, churches and non-profit groups. Also try consulting gigs, temporary assignments, part-time work, teaching and volunteering.
Take advantage of networking opportunities. Networking events allow people to connect through common interests. Take advantage of social gatherings and charitable functions to meet new acquaintances and find possible employers. Keep track of relevant Web sites, blogs and newsletters, too.
There are many different options available to stay employed even after leaving a conventional workplace. Some ideas include taking freelance contracts, starting a home-based business, joining a network marketing organization, becoming self-employed, using online resources and creating your own product line.
Here are some examples of the kinds of additional sources of income that exist beyond the standard nine to five job:
Freelance contract work. Freelancing involves finding multiple clients to pay you directly for specific tasks completed. It gives you greater control over scheduling and payment methods. There's no boss breathing down your neck and telling you what to do. Instead, you set your own goals and objectives, manage your workload, choose your own schedule and decide how much you wish to charge. Plus, once you establish credibility, rates usually increase.
Home-based businesses. Running a home-based business entails developing products, packaging, distributing goods and servicing existing clients. Many entrepreneurs choose to run their companies out of their homes due to low overhead costs. For example, consider opening a retail store front in a neighborhood grocery shopping area. Or open a bakery and offer individual loaves of bread for sale. Another option would be to become a consultant and provide advice to local firms regarding running profitable operations.
Network marketing. Network marketing is a type of direct sales model whereby distributors receive commissions based upon the volume of qualified leads generated by team members under their supervision. As a distributor, you focus on building relationships with prospects and helping them solve problems they face. Companies recruit distributors by sending letters explaining exactly how the program works and inviting recipients to join. Distributors often sign up several people below them and form teams, thus increasing their chances of success.
Consultant. Are you skilled in a certain field? Then why not turn your knowledge and expertise into a service that helps others achieve personal fulfillment? Consultants charge fees for advice and guidance. Depending on the nature of your occupation, you might be able to offer your consultancy services at little or no cost. Consider setting up shop at a community center, library or similar venue.
Online marketplace. Selling physical merchandise on eBay, Etsy or Craigslist allows users to buy and trade secondhand goods. Sellers list items according to category in hopes of attracting buyers interested in purchasing. Users searching for particular items post bids to purchase the item at specified prices. After successful transactions occur, sellers ship the purchased item to its destination.
Self-employment. Self-employment involves owning a business. Although it requires more commitment and planning, operating independently has numerous benefits including flexibility, creative license and lower startup expenses. Starting a business takes time and effort, but if done correctly, the rewards outweigh the risks. However, it's important to remember that most people fail miserably at launching their own enterprises, so proceed cautiously. Seek professional counsel and assistance.
Product creation. Creating a unique product is another popular method of staying afloat financially. Entrepreneurship expert Richard Branson started Virgin Records because he wanted to release music created exclusively by himself. Similarly, Martha Stewart began her empire by crafting and designing everything from dishes to curtains. Whether you plan to produce clothing apparel, jewelry, foodstuffs or household supplies, it's best to identify a niche market and target it specifically.
It may sound strange, but if you're unhappy with your current circumstances, quitting your job isn't always the solution. Sometimes, it's better to change your surroundings. Living without a regular source of income is challenging enough without worrying about bills. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable ways to keep a roof above your head. Here are three main strategies to consider:
Go green. Recycling old bottles, cans, newspapers and cardboard saves landfills space and prevents pollution. By installing solar panels and compost bins, individuals cut down on utility usage and contribute to environmental conservation efforts. And although recycling programs aren't widespread everywhere, communities across America participate in bottle deposits schemes wherein residents drop off empty soda bottles along designated routes. Cities typically collect the empties and exchange them for deposit tickets redeemable for gift cards, groceries or gas discounts.
Get organized. Having a place to put everything keeps clutter to a minimum and reduces stress levels. Try turning unused spaces into functional rooms. Use baskets, shelves and cabinets to organize closets and pantries. Invest in a filing cabinet, desk and storage containers.
Buy cheap. Buying inexpensive furniture, appliances and linens cuts down on wastefulness and increases savings. Check stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond and Costco to see deals offered daily.
Yes, absolutely! Even though you won't be pulling in a big check each month, you can still lead a fulfilling life. All it takes is creativity, determination and persistence. So forget about counting pennies and embrace financial independence. With hard work and dedication, anyone can accomplish his or her dreams. Follow these tips and guidelines to ensure success:
Investigate various avenues. Research viable alternatives to employment in depth. Determine the pros and cons of each possibility before committing fully.
Donate time and/or money. Volunteering provides ample opportunity to demonstrate leadership abilities, develop interpersonal skills and learn valuable information. Donating regularly to charity offers similar advantages plus boosts morale by providing meaningful experiences.
Set reasonable expectations. Anticipate setbacks and prepare for challenges ahead of time. Be realistic about what your situation entails and expect results accordingly. Set clear goals and follow through by keeping focused.
Learn new trades. Taking classes in subjects unrelated to your present position creates new connections and opens doors to future possibilities. Additionally, pursuing courses in fields related to your profession broadens your skill sets and demonstrates interest.
Volunteer abroad. While visiting foreign countries doesn't necessarily guarantee monetary gains, traveling overseas shows the world that you're ready to compete globally. Volunteerism also helps you develop patience, empathy and compassion towards others.
Build alliances. Joining associations and committees serves two purposes. First, it builds confidence in your ability to handle responsibilities. Second, it establishes contacts beneficial for later endeavors involving finance, law, politics, academia and science.
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.