3 Valuable Things TO DO When You are Unemployed That Can Make Your Life Better

Have you ever heard of this old adage, “Empty wallet, a broken heart, and hungry stomach are three best lessons in life”?

Being unemployed and having limited financial resources to live on a.k.a broke are two bad things in life. You can’t either pay for rent or fulfil your daily needs. You might even need to sell the most valuable things you have such as a phone or laptop to keep on living. In other words, you are just trying to survive from one day to another.

However, stop selling your stuff and go hungry (for a few days). It is not to say that you cannot eat at all, there must be leftover bread or cola that you can much at home. There are good chances that you read this article on your smartphone or laptop, which means that you have internet access, right? And when you click the title, it means you are trying to change yourself to be better. Probably, you want to get a job that can turn your life upside-down. Yet, everyone agrees that landing a job can be tough, especially for someone who lacks experience.

Here are 3 things to do when you are broke and unemployed that hopefully can change your life 180 degrees. Enjoy the process!

Thing #1 Get employed

This might sound ridiculous but seriously, get a job. An old granny would say having a low dead-end job is better than no job at all. Besides, a low-paying job can help you survive at least to help you have a full stomach. Find out here for some jobs that require no degree but pay enough.

Having those jobs will likely boost your chance of getting better employment as you can prove to recruiters that you are a person who doesn’t easily give up. That is a big investment for your future career.

See also: Fatal Mistakes New Hires Do in Their First Jobs

Thing #2 Write and write

You might consider yourself as a “bad” writer. You can also argue that this is not your niche and this is not a job you can do. But you should rethink that because writing can be your golden ticket to change your life.

For example, do you know Nicolas Cole? He began writing when he was 17 years old. He started his journey from free platform Quora by answering questions. It took him around 1 year and more to reach millions of upvote, views, and follower. Now, he is the founder of Digital Press. 

Thus, if you are still unemployed and willing to change your life, start your own writing journey. Write for free blogs such as medium, Quora, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Develop your own interest topic and share them with the world. After you develop your own writing niche, you can start professional writing for professional blogs such as Forbes or Fortune. All these can build up your individual reputation. 

BUT remember, all these writing journeys should be accompanied by reading habit. You should be knowledgeable first before anything else.

Thing #3 Volunteer

The next option, you can do volunteer’s work in an institution. It won’t produce money but it does improve your skills, happiness, and life insight. For example, if you do the kind act to veteran shelter, you will have valuable insight about life. Old people do like sharing stories and they are wiser. If you volunteer for a natural environment organisation, you can have a healthier life and knowledge about how to improve the environment.

By volunteering as well, you can also get nice ideas to probably start your own business. You can also leverage your network which is important to your future career.

“When you least expect it, something great will come along. Something better than you ever planned for. Be patient. Be smart. Stay focused.” 

Read also: If You Like Travelling, These Jobs ARE For You

A Beginner’s Guide to Investing for College Students

College students typically love spending their allowance on watching movies, hanging out in cafes, travelling, and other entertaining activities. But if you are a student who does not belong to such spender type and love saving money, congratulations! You have come to the right reading.

Why start investing

If you ever wonder, “Why should I start investing my money at a young age? I still want to live my youth life.” The answer is pretty simple: investing can help you live your life at the fullest while saving for the future.

Let’s say you receive a US$1500 yearly allowance from your parents or you earn more than US$1000 from working part-time during the summer.

Now you choose, if you spend all the money on drinks or foods, you can have fine dining all year long. But if you can spare some money and invest them, by the time you graduate – assuming you do nothing with the initial investment, your money could double to around US$15,000 or so.

See also: 11 Important Life Lessons for New Graduates

Investing, however, never comes at no cost. There are risks and bitter chances that you might lose your money, especially when you have a little knowledge of where and how to invest as a starter. Therefore, read the following article to not get lost in your investment strategy.

How to invest money

Remember, investing money is a big decision. To get started, you must find a broker who is willing to deal with investing small amounts of money. Online media is a good and fastest place to find a broker. After you find a broker, pay attention to the commissions associated with your preferred investments. NerdWallet suggested to pay close attention to these options.

  • Individual stocks which require you to pay a per-trade commission of $4 to $7. But some brokerages also offer per-share pricing.
  • Options trades which incur the stock trade commission plus a per-contract fee. Yet, there are brokers who charge only a commission or only a contract fee.
  • Mutual funds carry internal fees called expense ratios. You can either take it or leave it by selecting a broker that offers no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
  • ETFs are like a stock and are purchased for a share price.
  • Bonds which might charge you a fee to purchase individual bonds with a minimum and maximum charge. But you can purchase bond mutual funds and ETFs at no charge by using no-transaction-fee mutual funds and commission-free ETFs.

In addition, you should be “sceptical” regarding each information you receive. Why? Because according to Andre Hallam, the author of Millionaire Teacher, only by being sceptical of nearly everything people tell you when they are giving financial advice, you will be educated enough to make a good investment decision. You should not listen to a salesperson or financial advisor who refutes or supports certain advice as well. Find an academic study, something truly impartial, Hallam wrote.

Where to invest

After understanding what investment is, it is time to find a good place to invest your money. For starters, Hallam advised that you can invest in assets that appreciate over time because currencies (except cryptocurrency) don’t rise in value. When you trade currency, there is another person on the other end of that trade that will love to see you fall.

On the contrary, investing in assets will give less risk. For instance, you and your friend traded a stock market tracking fund for as long as stay in college. Both of you will benefit from the rising value of the stock market plus dividends. Moreover, the overall stock and bond markets increase in value over time just like real estate prices.

Hence, if you want to buy an asset and begin today, here are a few recommendations where to open an account.

  1. M1 Finance

The platform allows you to invest in stocks and ETFs for free. You can also build a portfolio and invest in your portfolio for free.

  1. Robinhood

Robinhood gives the option to invest in stocks or trade option. It might be hard to use than M1 but their platform is also free. You should be informed that Robinhood does not allow fractional share investing which means without a pile of money, it will be hard for you to register to the app. However, this is one of the awesome apps out there.

  1. Fidelity

Fidelity offers some free investing options, including no minimum IRAs and commission-free ETFs. They charge commissions and have minimums for other products and services.

  1. Ally

Ally is a stockbroker that offer commission-free commission trading. They have high-quality ETFs from market leaders that might complement your portfolio and help diversify your investing strategy.

A piece of advice

Now that you know where to invest and the type of investment, it should be noted that this short information is just as a guide, the rest is that you should be more knowledgeable by surrounding yourself with those who know about investment, the real person in the area.

Here are things to consider when contacting a broker. First, because you are a college student, you might not have a million to start, therefore, find a broker who accepts a small amount of cash, for example, $50 dollar. Then, you can increase your overall capital by investing more money on a regular basis. Second, remember that your personality and available funds are two determining factors for any risk happened in future. 

Read also: Saving Money Hack: 3 Tactics You Need to Adopt Now

business taxation and politics

Politics refers to the way a country is governed and how its government makes rules and laws for the citizens. Meanwhile, taxation refers to the practice of government collecting money from citizens based on their earnings and property to pay for public services. Without taxation, a country might not have public libraries, parks, or public transport.

Politics, tax, and government can be said as the backbone of any country. The problem is, from news and updates we often learn that these three things can be the most controversial topics that put headache to people, making them ignorant with their country’s political situation or taxation issues.

See also: 7 Top Languages You Should Learn to Face Future Workforce

What about you? How important is getting updated about politics and taxation to you?

Jonathan Dolen, an online political science professor at Grantham University, said that “the subjects” might be totally not glamorous for some and people might also be apathetic toward it. Yet, there are three major reasons why you should totally care about politics. Here’s why:

Reason #1 Politics impact nearly every aspect of your life

Politics impacts nearly every aspect of life because the laws government made have a huge influence in the way we do daily activities, ranging from what the price of food material at stores, the salary we earn, to what we can purchase. By having knowledge on this topic, you can help determine the best course of action for yourself or your surroundings.

Further, by understanding politics, you will have better knowledge about taxation rules and regulations, thus, helping you prepare for the worst. For example, when the government increases the tax on a certain car, you can calculate if buying the car is worth it and suitable for your lifestyle.

Especially as an employee, said Tim Worstall, you should understand taxation better as it allows you to not be misdirected. As an example, employees constantly believe that they are responsible for paying certain tax while in reality, it is the company that is responsible to pay the tax. Therefore, to really understand how the business system works, you need to understand how taxation works.

Reason #2 Politics help you become a better voter

Having knowledge of politics helps make you an informed voter because it is important to go to the polls armed with the facts so you will not choose wrong. In addition, being an informed individual, according to Dolen, should not necessarily read and follow every news. Instead, you should do some independent research which will give you peace of mind that you have done your homework prior to casting your ballot.

Reason #3 Politics are entertaining

Some people believe that politics can be entertaining. Well, it might not be as entertaining as going out with your friends, but politics can be fun to some extent. You can stay ahead in your social status and include yourself in an insightful debate about political issues and scandal. 

Read also: Best Countries for Expats to Work and Raise More Pocket Money

Smart “Rate-Setting” Tips for Freelancers

Note: Rate-setting is how you rate yourself in a freelance platform to make yourself stand out among other freelancers.

Why doing a freelance job?

There is no doubt that being a freelance can give you the privilege of working at your most convenient time in your most favourite place. More than that, freelance job allows you to set your own standard income and get paid immediately after completing the tasks. The key to this matter, however, is that you should set your salary expectation based on your skills and familiarity with the tasks you enrol.

See also: How to Balance Your College and Work-life When You are a Freelancer

Getting clients as a freelancer

One of the biggest obstacles of being a newbie in the gig era is to get your first client. Getting a client as a new freelancer is not easy and a frustrating situation. First, you don’t have enough testimonials to showcase your skill credibility. Second, many companies are not willing to take a chance on someone who is still green, who is very fresh to join the freelancing world. They would rather find someone who is proven to be successful before.

Smart-rating to get your first client

Thankfully, you can shoo away the headache of getting the first client as a green freelancer by boosting your rating. Laura Pennington Briggs in her book quoted that rate-setting is important for freelancers to stand above the crowd and let hirers know their position.

To set rating that can differentiate you from others but still under your control is by thinking about your overall experience and knowledge of the business market, especially the area in which you are expert in. Generally, said Laura, factors that will influence your rates are as follows:

  • Your experience in the field or the writing world
  • The technical expertise or amount of research required for the project
  • The estimated time to complete the project
  • Whether other aspects of your time, like conducting interviews, will be part of the project
  • The length of the project

Most experienced writers’ charges will depend entirely on their preference, the industry, and the client’s willingness to accept that rate. Most freelancers start their career online with hourly rates and few charges per page.

Hourly rate, nevertheless, is tricky in the freelancing world because freelancer might work longer on the project. Thus, clients are often hesitant about hiring someone who appears too slow even if the time involved is perfectly reasonable. Yet, finishing the project too fast will also get penalised. This means that an hourly rate is a good starting point for creating an estimate, but it is not something most professionals rely on over the long run.

When you have your baseline price, you have a number to begin working with. Each project will be different, and you might also wish to reward clients who are hiring you for multiple projects or who are putting you on retainer.

Another important point is, according to Laura in her book, to consider your goal with your freelance business. If it is simply for a side hustle and additional income, the hourly rate might not be as important to you as someone who is attempting to replace their full-time job.

You should also remember that not every hour you will be working is a billable one. You might spend a lot of time marketing to clients as well as time doing administrative tasks such as submitting invoices. Likewise, you probably won’t work every week of the year since you will need to take some sick time and vacation days. Therefore, adjust your rate accordingly.

Read also: A to D Tips to be a Productive Freelancer

English Proficiency Test: Why, What, and How to Prepare

Why should I have English certificate of proficiency?

A certificate of English proficiency is required when you want to pursue a higher degree overseas. If you browse on the internet what the most common language used in academic teaching internationally is – English is the answer. No wonder, no matter where you want to study, universities usually ask you to take an English proficiency test, such as TOEFL, IELTS, CAE, or CPE.

Having English certification will not only benefit you in terms of pursuing higher studies. When applying for a job, the certificate can prove to potential employers that you possess strong English skills – such that it will amplify your chance of getting hired because English is the most spoken language in businesses beside Mandarin or French. 

See also: Basic Requirements Needed to Work in Foreign Company

What should I learn TOEFL, IELTS, CPE or others?

There are numerous English tests to examine your language proficiency. But before taking one, you should understand that those tests are intended to give an official justification of you fitting into the system for either academic or working purposes.

For example, as cited in Project Access, if your purpose is to pursue an academic career or studies, CPE will suit better. IELTS will be so much necessary for visa purposes in Europe, Great Britain, and Australia, while TOEFL is for America. In terms of the expiry date, both IELTS and TOEFL certificates need to be renewed after 2 years, while CPE is valid for life.

On the other hand, if your purpose is for business or working matter, taking the TOEIC test is preferable. TOEIC is an English language test designed specifically to measure the language skills of people working in an international environment. The certificate is only valid for 2 years. 

If you are still unsure which tests to take, you could always ask your employer or university advisor. You could also get more information from the English test counsellor.  

What should I prepare for an English test?

This might not be your first time taking English language test. In fact, some colleges or universities hold IELTS or TOEFL test as a requirement for graduation. Yet, if you still feel a bit anxious about the test, here are preparations you can apply.

1. Get used to testing structure

Different tests have different formats. As an example, IELTS and TOEIC are paper-based tests while TOEFL and PTE Academic are taken on a computer. Albeit they examine the same competencies, including writing, speaking, listening, and reading, getting used to and comfortable with each form of a test you want to take is needed. It will give you ease when doing the real test.

2. Practice with additional test prep materials

English proficiency test uses information from various fields and by researching different source. Hence, you might feel more at ease if you prepare yourself by doing self-study. Read newspapers or books in English. Choose trusted courses which use a high level of English (either from books or online). Watch news or journalistic videos that cover different topics.

3. Know your ability and improve

In order to achieve your goal, you should know your ability and improve your weaknesses. In this case, get to know your English level. Identify which area you lack the most – is it reading, listening, speaking, grammar, or writing? Then, do learn all the skills but focus more on which you lack.

You might want to check your level on a trusted online platform such as British Council, Exam English, or EF SET and see how you improve during your learning time.

4. Practice your time management skills

As you strengthen your ability in each level, try to hone your time management skills as well. Commonly test takers have a limited time to complete all required sections of an exam. If you have mess-up time management, sure will you find it overwhelming, exhausting, and frustrating – nothing new there. Fortunately, by starting early preparation and by timing yourself on practice tests, you can feel more comfortable with the time constraint.

Read also: 7 Top Languages You Should Learn to Face Future Workforce

11 Important Life Lessons for New Graduates

The day has come! Graduation is your new beginning to achieve more purposes in life. It also marks an important period of transition from being a dependent college student to transforming into an independent working adult. What do you think about joining the workforce and becoming an adult is? Do you think it is scary? Fun? Or both?

Well, the good and bad experiences of turning into an adult could vary from one person to another, depending on how you want to live your life. One thing to notice, of course, the transition and growing up is not easy. You might have to face bigger and harder challenges as you walk along the road. You will also slip and find yourself in the middle of uncertainty. But don’t worry, here are 11 life lessons that can guide you towards the future.

See also: What Do Employers Look for in Fresh Graduates?

1. Result matters but process matter most – You must understand that life is about growing and evolving. Therefore, continue learning, enjoy the process, and the result will follow.

2. Don’t chase career, chase your purpose – Career is a never-ending journey and it creates little value to your satisfaction, while purpose will give you what you want and what you need. It does give that feeling of happiness and satisfaction when you achieve it. It improves and betters your life. So, have a purpose, inherent it, and start building it. 

3. Don’t wait for the better or perfect job – Listen, “there is no time that is as perfect as now”. If you just wait, you might need to bury your dream deep down in the ground, so own your time and act on it. Note: be mindful with your step towards your future career and life.

4. Do freelancing ASAP – After graduation, your financial life will be no longer your parents’ responsibility. The truth is, you should be financially independent starting from college. If you are not ready yet to work full-time, then freelancing is a good option. Read on how to freelance here.

5. Blacklist “excuses” from your dictionary – You know that the competition in the ‘real’ world is bigger and scarier than those in your university life. If you are being lazy, there is no chance to win.

6. Start saving and investing – Money comes and goes. You earn and you pay a bill. If you want to enjoy early retirement, do invest your money in something that creates value.

7. Enjoy youth – Well, you need to save money but don’t forget your own wellbeing. Once in a while, you should celebrate your life. And every day, do enjoy your life to the fullest.

8. Continue travel – “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

9. Never turn down an opportunity – World is highly competitive and second chance is rare. So, apply what Richard Branson advised us: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”

10. Start earning trust – We are a social human being, be conscious about it because trust is the basis of all human relationships.

10. Be thankful everyday – The very last and important thing, you should be thankful with your life. Call your parents, say thanks. Call your brother/sister, say thanks. Call everyone you love, say thanks. And call yourself, say thanks. Being thankful is the simplest form of satisfaction and happiness. 

Read also: How to Build Good Online Presence for Fresh Graduates

10 College Majors That Help You Succeed Better For Years

According to Georgetown University Center, more than 35 percent of jobs require a Bachelor’s degree or higher. On average, jobs that pay $33,000 annually at the entry-level or $61,000 at prime age will demand college or university certifications. That being said, a college degree does hold huge importance in one’s career. 

Amongst many university degrees, there are various different majors. So, buried in plenty of major choices, which one should you pursue?

Depending on your life or career goals, whether to produce more cash or seek career advancements, we have listed 10 most demanded and promising majors to complete.

Note: All the indicators are based on Kiplinger data and Bureau of Labour Statistics.

  1. Electrical engineering

Unsurprisingly, our data-driven and tech-driven world lead to high demand for people who can design, build, and improve electronic and electrical devices. The data showed that the number of electrical engineers is expected to keep growing by 10.7 percent over the next decade. And also, studying electrical engineering is not limited to just computer-operated electronics. You can expect to take courses such as circuit analysis and design, digital systems, electric components tools and semiconductor technology.

  •   Starting salary: $69,900/ year
  •   Mid-career salary: $118,100/ year
  •   Job growth: 22.7 percent
  •   Online job posting: 1.1 million annually
  1. Nursing

Nursing major is promising in terms of demand. The field is very rewarding with 82 percent of employees in this degree report feeling a high sense of meaning in their careers. Nursing students must take several science courses including anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, and nutrition.

  •   Starting salary: $61,400/ year
  •   Mid-career salary: $77,600/ year
  •   Job growth: 16.3 – 35.2 percent
  •   Online job posting: 1.6 million annually
  1. Computer engineering

The world will be completely autonomous one day and this is the job of computer engineers to make sure that the automation does the work properly. Being a computer engineer means you should handy in research, design, develop and improve computer systems. You should also able to work on broad components such as circuit boards, networks and routers. You might also have an additional specific course in terms of computer architecture, digital logic design and system programming.

  •   Starting salary: $72,600/ year
  •   Mid-career salary: $120.000/ year
  •   Job growth: 9.4 percent
  •   Online job posting: 1.7 million annually
  1. Chemical engineering

Typically courses for chemical engineering program include biochemistry, chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, and other types of math and science. Completing this major will give you a set of skills, including how to use raw materials to create products such as clothes, food, fuel, drugs, and much more.

  •   Starting salary: $71.800/ year
  •   Mid-career salary: $126,000/ year
  •   Job growth: 8 percent
  •   Online job posting: 116,736 annually
  1. Civil engineering

Job opportunities in civil engineering major are more plentiful than any engineering fields. Civil engineers, who design and supervise the construction of airports, sewer systems, and other large projects, are expected to add more than 38.000 positions. The courses include fluid mechanics, statics, structural analysis and design, and thermodynamics. 

  •   Starting salary: $60,400/ year
  •   Mid-career salary: $101,100/ year
  •   Job growth: 11 percent
  •   Online job posting: 259,586 annually
  1. Biomedical engineering

Biomedical students learn more about the way technology impacts medicine such as artificial internal organs or diagnostics machines. There are specific courses you can take, including anatomy, biomechanics and micromechanics, and robotics.

  •   Starting salary: $66,000/ year
  •   Mid-career salary: $110,300/ year
  •   Job growth: 8.4 percent
  •   Online job posting: 35,893 annually
  1. Computer science

Another board subject in computer, computer science program helps you prepare a number of jobs in the tech field from app developer to systems analysts. Learning to program is key to this major. You can also expect to take additional learning like a theory of formal language, intro to program design, digital systems design, and artificial intelligence.

  •   Starting salary: $68,800/ year
  •   Mid-career salary: $113,900/ year
  •   Job growth: 30.4 percent
  •   Online job posting: 2.2 million annually
  1. Construction management

The demand for buildings, especially eco-friendly buildings, is growing from time to time, which means there will be growing opportunities for construction managers. Obtaining this degree, however, requires you to cover both subjects in the physical labour of related work and business side industry. The courses include construction materials and systems, blueprint reading, cost management, labour law, and electrical-mechanical systems.

  •   Starting salary: $59,000/ year
  •   Mid-career salary: $100,400/ year
  •   Job growth: 3.3 percent
  •   Online job posting: 119,947 annually
  1. Mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices. You should also cover devices in terms of tools, engines, and machines. To complete the course, however, need a longer time for approximately 5 years or 4 years including a couple of summers. Yet, it is a promising job with hands-on work experience that complements your theoretical studies.

  •    Starting salary: $65.800/ year
  •   Mid-career salary: $108,700/ year
  •   Job growth: 9  percent
  •   Online job posting: 116,736 annually
  1. Petroleum engineering

Petroleum engineering is the strand of engineering concerned with the extraction, production, and management of oil and gas from natural environments. This field will give you technical and theological skills required to operate heavy machinery, manage computer systems, and discover new sources of energy. You can expect to study reservoir engineering, petroleum geoscience, drilling engineering, petroleum economics, and production technology.

  •   Starting salary: $82,700/ year
  •   Mid-career salary: $183,600/ year
  •   Job growth: 13.1 percent
  •  Online job posting: 1,643 annually 

Read also: Graduation Dilemma: Should You Take a Gap Year or Just Get Into the Workforce?

8 Top-Notch Freelancing Sites You Should Give-a-Go

We know that working as a freelance is a high-wanted job for most of us, probably all of us. Who does not love the idea of staying in a cosy home or beautiful nature while working, after all?

Yet, while the perks of being a freelance could be too good to be true, depositing your resume in the wrong freelance platform could be such a waste. Not only will it waste your energy and effort, but you might also need to spend a dime on a platform with questionable standing.

See also: How to Balance Your College and Work-life When You are a Freelancer

Worry no more, here we have listed some top-notch freelance marketplaces on the internet for you. No hoax, just profitable and reliable sites, here are eight surprisingly best marketplaces where you can both build your reputation and earn more bucks to your savings.

Fiverr

With over 90 percent user satisfaction review, Fiverr is popular amongst those who look for freelance jobs and hire a freelancer. Fiverr has also won a Great User Experience Award in 2018, making them trustworthy to sign up. In Fiverr, you are required to set gigs with your own expected salary and niche.

Guru

Guru is a non-negotiable marketplace for finding part-time jobs and projects. They have a straightforward hiring process, making it easy for clients and you to connect. Besides, Guru is best-suited for long-term freelancers and employers with employers don’t require to pay a fee to post their projects.

WriterAccess

If you are passionate about writing, starting your freelancing career here will be so helpful. You can get some good experience by allowing yourself to connect and work for a famous brand company. Writer Access also gives better communication experience to their users so you can effortlessly communicate with your customers.

Travelista

Travelista is another freelance platform for writers. However, such as the name suggests, the writing will be about travel or tips and tricks about travelling. Additionally, before starting to freelance here, you need to build your own websites which will be very useful to help build your reputation. After registering, they will guide you to buy a domain then build your own niche and hand you a freelance task about writing with reliable payment.  

Upwork

Upwork is one of the largest marketplaces for projects. You can sell every expertise you possess here. Additionally, Upwork will give you a wide range of job choices such as short-term project, long-term-project, entry-level project, etc.

Freelancer

Another professional platform to try is a freelancer. It welcomes any talents who are passionate about working with your own time and schedule. There are plenty to choose as well because there are a lot of projects posted every day. Bid on a project, complete it and take your reward.   

99Designs

99Designs can be categorised as the largest marketplace for logo, web, and Graphic designers. Thus, if you are trying to build a reputation for your design skills, it is good to give it a try. Generally, clients in 99Designs will provide a brief description of the design they want, and designers submit their entries. So, it is more like a contest based platform to show off your ability while get paying for your hard work.

HubStaff

HubStaffs is a zero-fee marketplace that connects businesses with high-quality freelance talent. Therefore, you can showcase your skills without having to spend a penny. As a freelance in HubStaff, you do not need to go to a third party website to communicate with your clients. If the client is interested in you, they will directly email you and vice versa. Recently, HubStaffs launched a remote job board for freelancers to get remote positions on your chosen company.

Read also: A to D Tips to be a Productive Freelancer

Graduation Dilemma: Should You Take a Gap Year or Just Get Into the Workforce?

Admit it, we all have been in a position where we aren’t ready to leave school and enter the workforce.

Upon graduation from college or university, there are good chances that fresh-graduates feel unready to join the adult world. The transition between being a dependent student to independent worker could be tough. You might find yourself surrounded by new people you don’t know how to deal with, get to know professionals that inspire you, make funny mistakes in your first job, and even embarrass yourself while adapting to the new environment.

Taking a gap year

As daunting as it might sound, landing a job is an important stage in life we cannot avoid. But here’s the good part: you do not have to get into there directly after graduation. Instead of putting yourself in the talent market directly, you can take a break first. 

See also: What Do Employers Look for in Fresh Graduates?

Having a “me-time” during the time gap will help you discover so much more. According to stats from Global Banking & Finance review, 80 percent respondents believed that taking a gap year can greater their chance of employability. You can fill the gap year with training or taking courses to help you prepare entering the adult world. You can also use the gap year to figure out what you really want to do in life. It will be a good experience as you can avoid making mistakes from your lack of knowledge. 

In order to make your gap year more valuable, here are some other suggestions.

  1.  You should make your gap of employment useful to make intentional choices by taking a course or training. You will not be fully ready until you make a decision – so, use your knowledge and willingness to decide better.
  2.  You can set plans during your gap in employment. Of course, you cannot be unemployed forever unless you are being supported financially for a lifetime. So, create a plan of when you should be employed and what kind of job you want, then set a date to when you need to send the resume. Create an eye-catching resume so recruiter will see you during their employment. Visit here to find more tips on how to create best resumes.  
  3.  You should clear your “bad reputation” in the network. Remember that no one wants to hire a ‘jerk’. So, if you happen to have posted something bad on your social media, it will be better to remove them immediately as recruiters nowadays conduct an online background check before hiring candidates. 
  4.  You can create a journal of your journey. Be it journal of your gap experience or lifetime, the notes will help you track your ability and improvements better. The journal will also help you during job interview session. For instance, you can refer to your journal what you are good and capable of doing best.
  5.  You can surround yourself with competent, good, and kind people. Consult and tell them about your unreadiness to join the adult world. They usually can help you set better goals and re-evaluate them for you. But of course, in the end, you should decide what’s better for you because only you know who you truly are and what you truly want to be/do in life.

Learning the adult world

While taking a gap year will benefit you a lot, you might wonder what employers will say about that when reviewing the resume as you might think that gap year will decrease your value in the employer’s eyes. Jason Clark in an interview, however, stated differently. He commented that an individual who has taken a worthwhile gap year is indeed an appealing prospect. “What we want to know is what people have done, why they did it and what they do to get out of it,” Clark emphasised. In other words, as long as you make a meaningful gap year, recruiters will still think positively about your unemployed time.

Nonetheless, if you want to get a job as soon as you graduate from university, college, or high school while you are not ready, you can always learn. You can learn how the adult world works by employing yourself in their world. It will not be as scary as you think it is. You might make funny mistakes but you can always learn from it. Besides, there is a free on-the-job-training, pocket money during your training, more experience and more chance of employability. You can also meet experts of your interest field as well as leverage your network when you join the workforce.

A piece of advice

So, how to decide between taking a gap year and diving into employment directly? The trick is to consider your needs and preferences first. After encountering your own doubts, you will figure out whether you are ready to apply for a job or not. Because if you are waiting to be ready, you might never move from your current position or you might never develop as a person. Best of luck!

 Read also: Things to Get Rid of If You Want a Career Success

Saving Money Hack: 3 Tactics You Need to Adopt Now

What would you do when you need to pay an emergency hospital bill, apartment rent, and car repair all at once at the end of the month while you run out of cash and – to make it worse – your salary has not been paid yet?

Some people might turn to take money from the medical loan when trapped in similar condition. While this method could help, it could be a more serious problem if you cannot pay them back, especially if it comes with significant interest. That being said, the best financial source to pay those bills is from your own savings.

Money saving is one of very important aspects you should prepare in life as it would be a great help when you have to deal with unexpected things mentioned above. It will also help you stay away from crushing debt and loans. Melanie Wright, an independent money mentor and a financial journalist, commented that there are 5 added reasons why you need to save early, starting from today. The reasons are: you will be financially independent sooner, will not have to worry for unforeseen expenses, will have financial back-up once you lose your job, will be prepared if your circumstances change, and will be more comfortable in your retirement.

See also: 22 Rare Jobs that Make Good Money

Wendy de la Rosa, a co-founder of Common Cents Lab, shared her evidence-based research on how money saving is important. She agreed that saving as small as £1 a day or once a week will help our future to be better as we would be less threatened by unexpected things. According to her, saving money is not about how smart your money management is. In her study, de la Rosa argued that saving behaviour isn’t about how smart you are or how much willpower you have. It is about the amount we save depends on our environmental cues. It is proven in her study that money savings will much depend on your environment and mindset.

So, how can we save money by empowering our environment and mindset? De la Rosa talked about her backed-up tactics on how we make use our environment and mindset to save more money for our future self. In her Ted Talk, here are tips she humbly shared.

  1.      Harness the power of pre-commitment

Fundamentally, humans think about themselves in two different ways: future and present. For our future self, we believe that it will take care of us, for our retirement, for our work, or for our financial security. And so – our present self does not save because we believe in our future self. However, we forget that our future self is actually the same as our present self, said de la Rosa.

Therefore, the best decision is to commit to your present self just like how you will commit to your future self. For example, you can sign up for an app that lets you make savings decision in advance. “The trick is, you have to have that binding contract,” added de la Rosa. Contract here means you should commit for real consequences that might happen. The decision you make today for your future must matter.

“In our tax savings experiment, users made a real commitment when they told us how much they planned to save; they knew their refund money would be directly transferred into their savings accounts,” de la Rosa advised.

  1.      Use transition moment to your advantage

In psychology, there is something called “fresh start effect”. It is when you should think about whether you need to start a new year or a new season, whether you need to change career or retire from a job. To the best practice is, you should identify the financial things you want most to do.

For example, is it the time for opening a retirement savings account? Is it the time for consolidating your student loans and credit-card debt? Is it time for building a new home with your beloved one? After you know which transition you need to follow, you should then make it non-cancellable or move around.

  1.      Get a handle on small, frequent purchase

Have you ever regretted spending too much money on food? Or spending too much on entertainment? If yes, you should practice this.

Pre-commitment tactics mean you should take a look at your expenses and identify your most regretted purchase. Then, you should modify your environment to make it harder for you to spend. For example, you linked your credit card to subscribe to a popular magazine or food apps that you frequently use. Without realising it, you spend more than 1000$ on both. So, you need to unhook the credit card and change it to a debit card with some money like $300. You will soon manage your expanse better.

Other than that, de la Rosa suggested that if the thing cannot stop even when you have a debit card, limit yourself from entering your card number to purchase something online. As far as possible, you can withdraw money from an ATM, and purchase the thing without your card. Leave your card at home and only bring some mighty dollar in your pocket.

Read also: Best Countries for Expats to Work and Raise More Pocket Money