How to Navigate Benefits at Your First Job Out of College

Starting your first job out of college is exciting—a major stepping stone into adulthood. For a first-timer, the benefits that come from your new company can be confusing. You can navigate all of the benefits offered at your new job by understanding 401(k)s, choosing the right health insurance, and capitalizing on travel rewards.

All About 401(k)s

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, you can choose to contribute a portion of each paycheck to your plan. According to the NARPP, the benefits of investing in a 401(k) include creating retirement savings that you can deduct from your taxes. However, when you take money out of your 401(k), you are taxed the current income tax. There are penalties for withdrawing from your plan before 72, so keep in mind you must hit the sweet spot to maximize your benefits. Investing early in your 401(k) will start a snowball effect on the road to wealth and establish a comfortable lifestyle when you retire.

Choosing Health Insurance

When starting, it is important to ask what, if any, insurance plans they offer. According to Insurance Center Associates, after 26 you’ll no longer be eligible to stay on your parents’ insurance. Hence why it is important to start exploring options early on.

Insurance plans include indemnity of fee-for-service (POS) plans where the insurance company pays for a set portion of your medical bills and you pay the rest. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) is an association of healthcare professionals and medical facilities that have a fixed health care service package. Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) allow you to go to any healthcare professional outside of your network when necessary, although your benefits will be less.

Travel Rewards

If your job currently requires or will require traveling in the future, it is a good idea to get a credit card that will help you redeem points on your travel purchases. According to Money Crashers, signing up for frequent flyer miles will also help you stockpile rewards for seating upgrades and potentially free flights in the future that you can use to go on vacation. While most travel expenses are reimbursed, it helps to take advantage of the money you do spend to reward yourself in the future.

Your first introduction to the professional work environment is crucial for your career success. Maximizing the benefits offered is crucial for your financial success. Understand 401(k)s, choose health insurance, and capitalize travel rewards to gain the most from your first job.

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Industries That Are Ideal if You Favor Stability

Entering into the right job force is crucial if you want a reliable plan for the future. Stable jobs are particularly needed if you want to provide for someone other than yourself. While many jobs could last a while and pay well, there are three industries that you can turn to for reliable help throughout the years.

Healthcare

As long as there are people who need medical attention, there will also be a demand for healthcare jobs and services. Anywhere and everywhere, you live will need doctors, nurses, dentists, and so on. The healthcare industry provides a wide range of occupations to choose from. The common interest between all these jobs is the welfare of the people. Healthcare is a good job for anyone who enjoys helping others and is good at practicing patience. You get the satisfaction every day knowing that you made someone’s life better. There is also plenty of room for promotion in the industry, allowing you to grow as your time in the field continues.

Source: https://getreferralmd.com/2016/07/5-unique-benefits-of-working-in-healthcare/ 

Insurance Sales

Another job industry that is always in high demand is insurance. People want to be able to protect their assets, pay for healthcare, and cover vehicle damage and mishaps. To some degree, the amount of money you make is based on your own ability to sell insurance and work with clients.  Similar to healthcare, insurance sales offer different options depending on what you specifically enjoy more. Life insurance jobs are some of the easiest to find. You can work with a particular company, or you can help people find the best plan from different insurance lenders.

Source: https://www.podium.com/article/life-insurance-leads/ 

Real Estate

While Real Estate may seem like a business with many risks, it is a stable career. The reason why it often seems unreliable is that people think that real estate only applies to selling homes, which can be difficult depending on the economy. However, real estate can also include home rentals and flipping homes that sell for cheap prices. You can set your own hours for the most part and your work can be independently done. People will always be looking for a new home or office when the economy is good and can boost sales.

Source: https://www.realestateexpress.com/career-hub/become-a-real-estate-agent/the-pros-and-cons-of-becoming-a-real-estate-agent/ 

In an ever-changing world, stability is difficult to come by. However, there are still a few things you can control, your job being one of them. As you choose a stable line of work, you will see the comfort that comes from knowing that your job is valued and needed.

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Professions That Demand You Keep Up with Constant Changes

Most healthy industries change dramatically over time. Some professions, however, are finding new ways to radically change the way your job is done. Because the changes can be so consistent, you have to be aware of potential shifts so you don’t get left behind. The things you learn may not be obsolete, just applied differently.

Medicine

The medical field has developed dramatically over the past 100 years. Not only do doctors and nurses have more advanced technology at their disposal to help with surgeries and other procedures, but there are more training tools than ever before. Additionally, medicine regulations and recommendations change consistently as new tests are performed.

Some of the most notable changes in medicine have occurred through the use of AR technology. Students of health can now harmlessly practice surgeries. COVID-19 has also shifted the research dynamic to learn how the disease affects people long-term. Some professionals have devoted their time to build vaccine trust in various communities.

The Law

Laws in your area, whether that be locally, nationally, or somewhere in between, are always subject to change. You need to take some of these changes into account when developing plans for your own cases. Because so much of the law is based on precedent, a shift in precedent can cause you to reanalyze current policies and future cases.

Keep up with major cases in your area. There are a number of good legal podcasts that can help you stay up to date with new changes. You can also develop better critical thinking skills as you attempt to apply legal principles to your case.

Computer Software

If your job is based on using a computer, chances are you will face many different forms of change. Computer software faces numerous updates to make your work life easier and more flexible. However, the amount of change you may face can seem daunting, and the programs you have learned from may be obsolete if you aren’t careful.

You need to embrace these forms of change. If you don’t, it can be quite easy for a potential employer to abandon your current skill set. Always adapt to new software—it keeps you useful to your employer.

Change is never easy. People like predictability and schedule. However, this is just not possible in the current world. Digital progression isn’t going to wait for people who are clinging to past programs and procedures. Don’t get stuck in the past!

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How to Make a Career Change to a Completely Different Industry

You may have found that the industry in which you work isn’t all you wanted it to be. While it may feel challenging (or even impossible) to change course once you are in a career, it is possible to enter a new industry successfully. Networking, educational qualification, and establishing your value in this new field will make the transition feel less like moving a mountain.

Start Networking in the Industry

Networking is the best opportunity builder. Communicate with people you know who have any connection with or relation to the industry you are interested in entering. This serves a couple purposes: first, it allows you to research niches that you may feel most successful in as you learn about organizations and the requirements of different jobs. Second, it inserts your name into circulation with people you may want to work with in the future, familiarizing your name with the people within the industry and thereby making your entrance less intimidating.

Get Educational Qualifications

Make sure you are capable of fulfilling the requirements of the career you intend on switching to! Educational qualification will help potential employers feel confident in your work. Because school can be difficult to manage while in the middle of a full-time job, you should consider taking online courses, as this will give you more flexibility. There are many options of courses and certification programs that can help you feel more “in the know” in your new industry, even allowing you to specialize in specific areas that will give you an edge in the crowd of employees.

Establish Your “Crossover”

Utilize your past experience! Likely whatever you want to switch to will have something in common with what you have been doing. Make that a selling point in your self-marketing to employers. You already have a specialized area of expertise in your “old” field—create a narrative or pitch promoting that knowledge as a special skill you have to offer, a new perspective that can benefit this industry in ways it did not have available before. Not only does this make you stand out, it will increase your own confidence that you can work well, and you have been successful before. Rather than starting from scratch, build off of what you have and what you know, and you will hit the ground running.

Entering a new industry is not an impossible task! Get to know people, get to know the industry, and let the industry use your perspective to its benefit. You will find the transition is not as intimidating as it seems.

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How to Start Driving for a Rideshare Service on the Side

If you’re looking for an easy, super flexible job to add to your income, consider rideshare driving! As a driver, you set your own hours of availability, meet new people, and make a good amount of money just for getting your guests to or from their destinations. Getting into ridesharing is an easy process—follow the tips below for a smooth start!

Sign Up for an App

As GigLaunch points out, there are a number of companies and platforms for ridesharing, each offering different layouts or processes for their business. Look into the differences between each app, the benefits offered, and the requirements needed, and determine which platform is the best fit for your needs. Keep in mind the ways you can increase your productivity on the app, and the popularity of the app in general, as these may have a big impact on the number of clients you are able to reach. In addition, while rideshare jobs are flexible they may still have guidelines on minimum amounts of hours or times of high-need that you may be required to be available for, so be ready to alter your schedule if necessary.

Pass a Background Check

Just about every rideshare company will require a background check to get started (and may even require regular background checks throughout your time with them. Because the safety of you and your passengers is of the utmost importance, these checks are meant to assure that you are capable and responsible enough to drive professionally. As Rogers Beltran points out, a conviction such as a DUI can have long-term consequences for your ability to drive, and other convictions for drug or substance abuse can be red flags for driving companies. Drive safe and live safe, and these companies will be eager to have you.

Prep Your Car

You aren’t the only one that will be checked for safety and readiness—your car should also be up to code on safety measures (functioning seatbelts and airbags, brakes and engines, even air conditioning). Make sure your car is running smoothly to prevent potential issues on your drives. Furthermore, make sure your car is clean, that it looks professional for your passengers to feel comfortable in. Some drivers go the extra mile for positive reviews and provide drinks, snacks, or even the aux cord to make their drive relaxing. The better your car looks and feels, the more likely you are to be picked for a ride and the better your reviews will be.

This is a great opportunity for making money with some of those extra hours you have to spare. Look into different companies, and prepare yourself and your ride, and you’re ready to go!

Looking to push your personal success to the next level? Check out these tips!

Heading Back into the Office After Working Remotely? Tips for Putting Yourself Together So You Look like You Never Left

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people looked at work. After a year, the vaccine has come out, and people are finally able to head back to work safely. But a lot has changed over the course of a year. It may be hard to feel like things are back to normal when you look different. Here are some ways to change that.

Wear Clothes That Fit You

You should always wear clothes that fit you nicely. People have become accustomed to hanging out in sweatpants and t-shirts all day. While this is certainly more comfortable, you should probably start wearing clothes that look professional and fit well.

Obviously, you don’t want to dress formally all the time, but according to Gentleman Within, wearing well-fit clothes looks professional. You should seek out modern styles that complement your skin tone and body type. Flattering clothes not only reflect positively on your company, but they can also help you maintain confidence in yourself. Clothes have more power than you might think.

Get Your Hair Back Under Control

You also have to get your hair back in order. According to Blake Charles Salon, having some dry shampoo to deal with excess oil or some leave-in conditioner to control frizziness can make a real difference in how your hair looks throughout the day. You should also get a haircut if you’ve noticed split ends.

For men, hair isn’t usually as big of a concern. However, facial hair might not be allowed in your type of business because it “lacks professionalism”. In these cases, you might want to buy some new razors and trim down the beard until it is at a respectable length. Avoid unruly patches, and if it bothers you at a shorter length, just shave it all off.

Hit the Gym

Everyone’s physical health has likely taken a dip over the last year. If you have gained some unwanted weight, it might be time to exercise and go on a diet. Scheduling out your eating habits and exercise is an important step to maintaining upward physical health.

As far as diets go, choose a balanced one that works for you. According to Riverside, you should avoid sugar, eat plenty of vegetables, and get enough protein and fats to function throughout the day. Not only will this help you feel better throughout the day, but it can also keep you safe from COVID-19.

Now that you are heading back to in-person work, you can start feeling better and more confident in yourself. Dressing for success, getting back in shape, and taking care of your hair are all good ways to do this. Joy is found through self-care!

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Unique Situations That Can Prevent You from Getting a Job

Finding a job can be difficult, no matter the state of the economy. There are so many requirements to navigate and hoops to jump through during the application and interview process. To assist you in your job search, here are three unique situations that may prevent you from getting your dream job.

Negative Social Media Content

With today’s technology and open online platforms, your social media profile is another part of your application. The likelihood that a hiring manager will investigate your social media is very high. If they do not feel what you post is appropriate or reflects the company’s values, you put yourself at risk of being hired. Once you are hired, you should consciously maintain a positive tone and image to mirror the job or industry you work for.

Criminal Convictions

If you have a criminal conviction, it can be harder to get a job. There are certain industries like healthcare, childcare, and finance that do not hire ex-convicts. For the company’s safety, the safety of their employees, and their customers, business owners are often hesitant to hire someone they might view as a liability.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Convictions on the federal or state level can be pardoned. You can remove obstacles to getting a job by having your criminal record expunged. There are several ways you can do this, one of which is through hiring an attorney. An attorney will work with you and the government to clear your record, giving you more opportunities to find work.

Lack of Experience 

Unfortunately, many jobs require an educational degree or technical certification. Even with a degree, employers are often looking for someone with experience. Whether the experience is in the line of work they are applying for or proof that the applicant has potential, hiring managers to want to know that an employee will learn quickly and work hard. Building up your resume will be the most valuable thing in helping you reach your ultimate dream job. 

Thomas H. Palmer said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Most successful people in this world have faced rejection multiple times. The most important thing you can do to ensure future success is to evaluate your physical and social presence and build up your experience. Prove to the next person that interviews you, that you are what they’ve been looking for.

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How to Make Yourself a Stronger Job Candidate

So, you’re looking to get a new job. That’s great! But how can you make yourself stand out among perhaps hundreds of other candidates for what might be only one position? Easily. No need to worry—there are a few things you can do to guarantee you’re one of the applicants the employers remember.

Go Back to School

Adding new skills and education can make yourself a more attractive job candidate. Not only does it show you are qualified and know your stuff, but it also increases your worth to an employer.

Going back to school doesn’t have to be difficult or inconvenient. Take advantage of online opportunities to further your education, such as programs for online licensing. Choosing an online licensing program can come with many benefits. Online, you can earn certifications, licenses, and even degrees, which allows for greater flexibility and less financial strain than you’d perhaps face in pursuing an on-campus education.

Refine Your Resume

Your resume is an essential part of any application. You want it to be targeted for the position for which you are applying. A really good resume, showcasing what you could bring to a certain job, will help you stand out further and hopefully get an interview.

It might help to have a professional resume service look yours over and make recommendations. They may catch issues or notice ways you can improve which may not be evident to your own eyes. Perhaps you have grammatical or spelling errors, or maybe your style is outdated. Professionals will be able to pinpoint places where you can polish up your document.

Make a Good First Impression

When it comes time for an interview, how you introduce yourself—even to the employee at the front desk—can make a lasting impression. Conduct yourself professionally and pleasantly. Dress well, make eye contact, and smile. Even your body language will communicate a message.

Do your research before your interview. Know about the company and the position so you can really wow your audience and make sure they remember you. Then, follow up with a thank-you note. Referencing specifics from the conversation can make a big impact on the person in charge of hiring. If you make an effort to present yourself as a kind, genuine person, they are more likely to want you on their team.

There are many ways to increase your desirability as a job candidate. Even the larger steps such as returning to school for further education can be completed easily. There is no reason why you can’t be the applicant who stands out in the hiring process.

Read this next for more great tips: Crucial Tools You Should Take Advantage of to Get a Job in the Healthcare Industry

4 Techniques to Help You Overcome Addictive Habits

Addiction impacts millions of individuals of all ages around the world each day. With millions of people struggling with their own addictions, understanding how to overcome addictive habits is essential for the best chance of a complete and full recovery.

Create a Healthy Routine

Creating a healthy routine in your everyday life can significantly help you to stick to better lifestyle choices while eliminating temptations and falling into addictive habits. Improve your diet by eliminating processed and junk foods, exercise at least 30 minutes each day, and be sure to spend time outdoors and away from technology to provide your brain with a healthy break.

Learn About the Science of Addiction

According to SafeLaunch, learning about the science of addiction can help you to face and overcome your addiction head-on. Addictive behaviors may stem from past traumas, PTSD, or other underlying issues such as abuse or toxic relationships that have not been managed. Additionally, it is possible to exhibit addictive behaviors much earlier in life if you were exposed to substances at a young age or if you already have a genetic predisposition due to relatives who also struggle with addiction.

Seek Out Help

Seek out help and assistance from a local rehabilitation program. There is no shame in seeking out help for an addiction, as it is often necessary for long-term recovery and a life of sobriety. According to the Transformations Treatment Center, people who seek help to overcome addictive habits have a higher success rate. Seeking out help is possible with an inpatient rehabilitation program, an outpatient program, or even an intensive outpatient program, or IOP. Once you determine the type of help you require to face and conquer your own addictive habits, getting the help you need becomes much easier.

Build a Network of Support

According to Psych Central, building a support network of friends and family members can significantly improve your well-being while working towards a life of sobriety. Consider the friends and family members you have in your life that you can trust and rely on. Building your own support network is highly recommended, even if you are already enrolled in one or more rehabilitation programs to ensure you remain motivated and committed to sobriety.

Overcoming addictive habits is not a process that is simple by nature or possible overnight. However, with the proper guidance, assistance, and support, you can learn to live your life free from the chains of addiction.

Here’s another great article: The 6 Deadly D’s of Business Partnerships

3 Tricks to Use When You’ve Hit a Wall

There are times in life when you feel like you’re a hamster on a wheel. You’re running steadily and giving it all you’ve got, but you’re getting nowhere. It’s discouraging, but giving up is not an option. Instead, try these three tricks to break through that wall and grab success.

Break the Wall Into Smaller Problems

The metaphorical wall you’ve hit is probably a complication that seems too large to solve. Just like a real wall is a stack of smaller bricks, a large problem is a stack of smaller ones. Rather than bludgeoning your way through, try dismantling the wall brick by brick. Take a moment to answer some questions. What caused this problem? What happened afterward to make it grow? Tackling these smaller issues one by one is simpler and less exhausting. Stay focused. Before long, the whole wall will disappear from your path.

Take a Step Back

Furiously throwing yourself at the problem isn’t going to work. You might as well throw yourself at a literal, physical wall. In the end, you’ll only wind up bruised and drowsy. That is the last thing you want to be. Honestly, being drowsy is as bad as being drunk. You can’t focus. Your response time is lowered. Not only is being drowsy as bad as being drunk, but it also comes with a whole other host of problems that really won’t help you. Your mind and body need rest. Without it, your health, both mental and physical, can tank. Stepping back can help you to avoid burning out.

Stay Motivated

Perhaps the most difficult part of breaking through a wall is staying motivated. It’s demoralizing to feel like no matter how hard you try, it isn’t good enough. It’s isolating to think no one sees or understands your struggle. But, you’re not alone. That there’s a need for this article is proof of that. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Take a break to clear your mind and tackle your struggles with renewed strength. Don’t admit defeat. Failure is frightening, but when you run from the chance of failure, you also run from the chance of success. Staying motivated is the only way to conquer that wall.

So, take a breath, gather your strength and tear that wall down. Just keep these three tips in mind going forward. It won’t happen overnight, and that only makes the victory sweeter.

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