From the category archives:

Career

college student majorChoosing the right major in college is a very important decision, and one that should not be taken lightly. However, by putting too much pressure on yourself, you may end up making a hasty and incorrect choice. If you do your homework, take a close look at yourself, and check all available options, you’re more likely to select a major that will offer you long-term happiness and financial benefits.

1. Choose Something You Will Enjoy
Choosing to focus on a subject that you enjoy is the most important factor in determining your major. Becoming mired in a career for which you have no passion is an unenviable position – you can make all the money in the world, but if you’re not happy with your work, you’ll never be satisfied.

2. Evaluate Yourself
A wealth of online quizzes and evaluations are available to help uncover your strengths and talents. While you may think you know yourself, these tools can often identify hidden skills and reveal intriguing career paths to consider. Usually, when taking such quizzes, you can choose only one response for each question. If you feel that you could have chosen more than one answer for one or more questions, simply re-take the test to get a more comprehensive picture of your abilities.

3. Ask Friends and Family
When attempting to choose a major, you don’t need to place the entire decision solely on yourself – ask your friends and family what industry they think you’d perform well in. Often, you’ll be surprised at what they tell you. People that are close to you can offer an unbiased and objective opinion as to what career in which you could potentially excel.

4. Research
There are literally hundreds of choices available to you to major in, so it can be tough to narrow them down to a select few. But once you’ve got a good idea as to where you think you could be successful, fully investigate each industry. Research job descriptions, average starting salaries, advancement potential, and what the future job prospects are for each industry. Even if you think you’ve found the perfect major that could lead to a dream career, you could instead have a big problem if nobody is hiring.

5. Intern
By interning, you will receive an in-depth look at the industry in which you are considering entering, while establishing contacts with professionals in the field, which will be helpful when it comes time to look for a job. Both paid and unpaid options exist, and many will earn you academic credits. If you remain “undeclared” during your first semester or two of college, an internship during your first summer break could help point you in the right direction.

6. Take Your Time
Rather than having your mind set before attending your first class, you can always simply wait. Most core curricula at universities are similar in nature for the first year or two, so you do not need to commit to a major until you start your third year.

Start by attending core classes and earning the best grades you can. Meanwhile, get to know other students who are studying subjects that you’re interested in. They can offer you insights as to the classes are like and what the major can be used for after graduation – plus, this allows you to establish a wide range of contacts, which can come in handy in later years when it comes to finding a job.

Final Thoughts

You may decide upon a major during your first semester of college, or you may choose it after your second year has concluded. Regardless, there will almost always be time to change your mind further down the road. It may take you a bit longer to graduate if you make a change later on in your studies – it is advisable to try to avoid switching majors beyond your sophomore year – but it is also crucial to earn a degree in a field that you truly love and that will provide you with a long and beneficial career. To achieve this, it may very well be worthwhile to slightly extend your studies than to graduate with a degree that you regret or do not use in your professional life.

What other ideas do you have for choosing a major in college?

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What is the #1 thing that it seems that most entrepreneurs say they love about being self employed and also the #1 thing that most aspiring entrepreneurs point to as being the best part about the “job” of being an entrepreneur? The fact that you get to be your own boss! While this certainly sounds like a great thing are you really 100% sure that you want to be your own boss? For me the answer is a resounding yes. That being said, there are certainly some very important things to keep in mind before you jump out on your own and think that being your own boss is all rainbows, cotton candy, and lollipops. As someone who has had many different bosses over the years while working for “the man” and as someone who has been their own boss for the last 6 years here are a few observations to consider.

The Pressure is All on You

If you love pressure then you will love being your own boss. If you break out in a cold sweat just thinking about your company’s current ratio tanking and potentially not being able to meet payroll, or pay the business credit card balance off, or having to not pay yourself a salary while your startup company is just getting off the ground then guess what? Many first time business owners find themselves in that scenario over and over until either their cash flow situation stabilizes or they go out of business. When you are your own boss the pressure is all on you. Some people love the pressure and some people get paralyzed under the weight of the pressure. Being the boss is not for everyone.

No One Tells You What to Do

“Yes!!! No one is telling me what to do! I am my own boss! I can do whatever I want! Yesss!!!” …. “Wait… what am I supposed to do exactly and how am I supposed to do it?” If you are someone who just simply works better when someone else lays out a clear plan of action for you with specific tasks to accomplish then you are probably not cut out for being the boss and especially not cut out for being your own boss.

Being your own boss means that you often have to make order out of disorder, deal with ambiguity, and make tough decisions on a daily basis. If you are not a highly motivated person that is comfortable with attacking projects and tasks where there is a lot of uncertainty about how to accomplish the task then welcome to being your own boss and starting a company where you are often learning many new things as you go (paying taxes, health insurance benefits, business licenses, etc.).

Yes, it is important to rely on trusted outside advisors and the more you learn then the more experienced you become but the fact remains that if you are unwilling to be self motivated and constantly learning then you may not be so thrilled with being your own boss as you maybe think you might.

You Have to Pick up the Slack, Jack

In the corporate world when things go wrong then you likely turn to your superior for guidance, assistance, and maybe even a little good old fashioned “cover your rear” precautionary “if something goes wrong then it’s not my fault” evasive maneuvers that one sees so often in corporate America. Well, if you are your own boss then there is certainly none of that because when things go wrong then the cleanup usually falls right at the big boss’s feet (Hint: If you are your own boss then that’s you). It’s up to you and you alone and that can be either a good thing or a bad thing. Your company may have great customer service and that is a good thing but when things go bad in a small business then it’s usually the boss and not one of the underlings that has to make things right.

So – Do YOU Really Want to be Your Own Boss?

I love being my own boss but it’s certainly not for everyone as there are both pros and cons to being your own boss. What about you? Do you want to be your own boss? Do you think that you are cut out for being your own boss? If you already are you own boss then what other pros and cons to being your own boss do you have?

This was a guest post by Joel. Joel is a CFP® and serial entrepreneur that loves working for himself (although he sometimes gets sick of how “his boss” makes him work such long hours). He has been working lately on a website for comparing insurance providers and also a website for comparing car insurance companies.

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Last week I found myself watching the show Undercover Boss. It is where corporate executive go undercover within their organizations to get a better idea of how their business is really operating. The show is a little bit cheesy but the idea of sending a CEO “undercover” in an organization is pretty solid. Think about the CEO of the company you work for, if you even know who he/she is, and you can imagine how out of touch that person really is with the day to day operation the company. It is the nature of business that upper management becomes concerned with the bottom line and efficiency while losing touch with the regular employee.

Last week the show featured the CEO of 7-11 who was working undercover as a new employee at different jobs in 7-11. He grew some stubble and then went to start work as a stock boy, night shift clerk, warehouse worker, and delivery driver. Not surprisingly each person he met and worked with had a touching backstory, the delivery driver he worked with was Igor from Kazakhstan. The following clip from the show is Igor’s segment, I don’t know why but this piece moved me.

Now think about someone you know, or hell even yourself, doing this job. Most likely you would resent the company for keeping you away from your spouse and making you work long hours. You would complain about this that and the other. This guy gets it, he is the happiest guy in the world and he is a delivery driver for 7-11 who sees his wife two days a week. This guy doesn’t complain about his hours, bitch about his pay, or complain at all. Why is he so happy? Because he has freedoms and the ability to earn that he never had before. He said it himself when he told the CEO “America is the best country in the world, you guys just don’t really know how blessed you are.” He couldn’t have said it better. Americans have gotten to a point where they feel they are entitled to this, entitled to that. We complain when things aren’t pretty and perfect but fail to realize how good we really have it.

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When Opportunity Knocks, Open the Damn Door!

February 25, 2010

Seriously, if opportunity comes knocking open the door and quit trying to figure out why. That is what everyone tells you to do anyway. I am personally of the belief that opportunity does not come knocking on your door. Opportunities are something you make as a result of your actions and choices in life. Everything […]

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Organize Your Office

December 10, 2009
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One of the key pieces to getting your daily work accomplished is maintaining and organized workspace. Whether you work from home or work in the office being organized is crucial to maintaining a productive work environment. Your workspace not only says a lot about you but it has a direct effect on HOW you operate. […]

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