Gone are the days when you got a job out of high school or college and then worked there for 40 years, got a party and gold watch before living off your pension and IRA.
Whether it’s for financial reasons or to fulfill a desire to remain productive and useful, workers are remaining employed way past traditional retirement age. According to Business Insider.com U.S. census statistics report that, as of February 2019, about 20% of Americans over age 65 — a total of 10.6 million people — were either working or looking for work.
This resulted in today’s multi-generational workplace, which brings with it conflicts from work ethic to technological know-how.
Here’s how older workers can face the workday feeling like an integral part of their team:
Break down generational stereotypes. Understanding other age groups’ work styles leads to respectful attitudes. Working on a project with a younger co-worker can integrate varied viewpoints, and often produces innovative ideas.
Learn from each other. While older workers can pass along their years of knowledge and experience as well as business contacts, younger workers can share their experience with the latest tech and social media channels.
Fill in communication gaps. Let your manager know if you are not comfortable with the method of communication in the office. Unless it is mandatory that workers use the company email or messaging system, let your manager know your preferred communication methods.
Respect each other. In creating a harmonious work environment, it all comes down to mutual respect. The key to establishing respect among generations is knowing that your co-workers’ motivation, work style and experience is different than yours. It also helps to be flexible and accommodate their needs and preferences.
It takes effort on everyone’s part to create balance in a multi-generational workplace. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Your turn: What’s your experience working in a multi-generational workplace? Tell us about it in the comments.
Title: Big Money Energy: How to Rule at Work, Dominate at Life, and Make Millions
Author: Ryan Serhant
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Hachette Go
Publishing date: Feb. 2, 2021
Who is this book for?
Anyone who is ambitious enough to dream big and willing to learn how to achieve the one thing they can always control: the energy they give off.
What’s inside this book?
Serhant’s rags-to-riches story, which includes the steps he took to pick himself out of the low-rent life and move upward until he earned his first million. An in-depth look at how pure energy can change the direction of your life. A lively guide for how to attain “Big Money Energy” and reach your goals.
5 lessons you’ll learn from this book:
The significance of the energy you give off and how it directly impacts every area of your life.
Why anyone can climb the ladder of success, regardless of their life circumstances.
How to exude confidence in any situation.
How to take control of your life and achieve your deepest ambitions.
3 questions this book will answer for you:
What is Big Money Energy and how can I bring it into my life?
Do I need to accept an average life?
Is it possible to dream too big?
What people are saying about this book:
“Big Money Energy is like a mentor for anyone with a big dream they want to make a reality! Ryan Serhant guides readers to find their confidence, overcome self-doubt and exceed their own expectations.” ― Barbara Corcoran
“This book isn’t just about changing your energy — it’s about taking control of your life. Big Money Energy provides an actionable blueprint that readers can use to create positive change now.” ― Mel Robbins
“Big Money Energy is the ultimate primer for success. Ryan Serhant shows readers how to exude positive energy, own a room and make their biggest dreams a reality.” ― Daymond John
“In Big Money Energy, Ryan Serhant shows readers that when positive energy is mixed with self-confidence and topped off with a heavy dose of hustle… anything can be achieved.” ― Sophia Amoruso
Your Turn: What did you think of Big Money Energy? Share your opinion in the comments.
Running a flourishing business means overseeing a constant flow of money. There’s revenue, payroll, suppliers, lease payments, taxes and so much more. It’s a lot to keep track of! Luckily, though, there are lots of products on the market that can help you cover, manage and track your business expenses effectively and smoothly. Let’s take a look at some of these products and share some tips for choosing those that are the best fit for your business.
Business checking accounts
A designated business checking account makes a company look credible and professional while enabling it to manage and track expenses, taxes and revenue. Separate accounts also protect business owners from losing their personal assets if legal action is taken against the company. Business owners can use their checking accounts to deposit checks made out to their company and to cover business expenses, such as payroll or payments to suppliers.
Here’s what to look for in a business checking account:
Generous cash-deposit limit per transaction
Generous monthly transaction limit
Low or no maintenance fee and other costs
Online and mobile banking
Possible dividend rate
[If you’re looking to open a business checking account, a Advantage One Credit Union Business Checking Account can be a great choice. Our business checking account has [a low maintenance fee of $xx/month/ no maintenance fees] and convenient features like [XXX]. Call, click, or stop by Advantage One Credit Union to learn more.]
Business savings account
A business savings account is an account designated for funds to be used in cases of emergency or for future business expenses. The money in this account will grow at a greater rate, but access to these funds will be more limited.
Business owners can use a savings account to build a cash cushion for slower seasons, prepare for unexpected expenses or to save up for new equipment, tax payments or an expansion. Many financial institutions also offer rewards and incentives for businesses opening a business savings account, such as cash-back programs, increased dividend rates for larger deposits and reduced fees.
Here’s what to look for in a business savings account:
High dividend rates
Low fees and a transparent fee structure
Rewards and perks
Online and mobile banking
[Opening a Advantage One Credit Union Business Savings Account will provide you with a favorable rate of [x.x%], generous terms, and convenient features like [XXX]. If you’re ready to open a business savings account, call, click, or stop by Advantage One Credit Union today.]
Business credit card
A business credit card provides small business owners with easy and unsecured access to a revolving line of credit. Business owners can use the credit to withdraw cash as necessary, cover large expenses, make purchases, fund an expansion or meet their monthly bill payments.
In comparison to a business loan, a business credit card is easier to qualify for, but it will nearly always come with a higher interest rate. If business owners are careful only to use the credit card when it is absolutely necessary and pays the bill before it’s due, interest will not accrue. A generous line of credit can be a convenient way to increase a business owner’s purchasing power without risking any assets. Credit debt that is managed well will also build the company’s credit score and may provide the business with rewards and incentives.
Here’s what to look for in a business credit card:
A low interest rate
Generous perks and rewards
A low or no annual fee
Interest-free introductory period
Purchase protection and insurance
[If you’re looking to open a business credit card, look no further than Advantage One Credit Union. Our Business Credit Cards feature a generous credit limit, easy qualifying terms, and great perks. Call, click, or stop by Advantage One Credit Union today to learn more.]
Tracking business expenses and marking which of them can be deducted from a company’s tax liability can be super-challenging. Tax software designed for businesses makes this task easy. Business tax software, like H&R Block, TaxAct and TaxSlayer, can track all the expenses of a business and help owners file taxes efficiently and easily. The software allows businesses to upload all relevant tax documents, provides online support from tax specialists and helps the business calculate federal — and sometimes also state — tax liability. Businesses will need to pay a fee to download most tax software programs, but the cost is more than offset by the time and money the software can save a business.
Here’s what to look for in tax software for businesses:
Online tax filing
Low monthly cost
Assistance with filing federal and state taxes
Compatibility with your devices
Managing expenses for a small business isn’t easy. There’s payroll, suppliers, monthly bills and so many other ongoing expenses that need to be covered. Fortunately, there’s an app for that! Money management apps like Mint, Truebill and ZohoBooks allow businesses to track and review all their expenses in one convenient location. Chart expenses on colorful graphs to visualize cash flow, see where the business money is going, categorize expenses for easier tax-filing and link accounts for automatic syncing of expenditures and income. Tracking business expenses on an app also makes for easy monitoring the business via mobile device.
Here’s what to look for in a money-management app:
Manageable monthly cost
Synchronization across multiple devices
Your Turn: How do you manage your business expenses? Tell us about the products you use in the comments.
Rich Jones and Marcus Garrett are a dynamic duo on a mission to help struggling millennials learn to manage their money and pay off debt. Together, the pair launched Paychecks & Balances, a podcast with more than 5K followers where they share insightful tips and advice on all things financial.
Jones brings his background in human resources to the P&B community, but it’s his journey toward a debt-free life that enables him to really connect with his audience. Likewise, Garrett has paid down $30,000 in debt and understands the financial challenges facing millennials.
The finfluencers’ interview-based podcast is super popular with millennials looking to learn more about money and/or seeking actionable tips on improving their finances.
Here are the core beliefs of Paychecks & Balances:
Money does not have to be complicated — or boring. When Jones wanted to broaden his financial knowledge, he found the podcasts and blogs available online to be incredibly boring. He’s therefore determined to keep his own podcast jargon-free and entertaining while still providing the audience with valuable information.
Freedom looks different to everybody. We each have our own version of freedom. To some, it can mean being excited to go to work. To others, it can mean having the ability to travel anywhere on a whim. At P&B, no one is shamed for having a day job and answering to a boss, so long as it brings them personal fulfillment.
Mental health matters. Jones and Garrett are big believers in mental wellness. They freely sprinkle conversations about mental health throughout their content.
Diversity isn’t just a buzzword. The duo believe that diversity is key to financial inspiration and education. The P&B podcasts feature a range of guest speakers from all kinds of backgrounds and demographics.
Good career decisions lead to good financial outcomes. You’ll find lots of advice on acing interviews, negotiating salary and choosing the best career path on P&B.
You can tune into the P&B podcast episodes on a broad range of financial topics, check out their blog for easy-to-read articles that pack a real punch and follow the duo on Twitter , Instagram and/or Facebook.
Your Turn: Are you a P&B follower? Tell us about it in the comments.
Taking on debt can be an inevitable step for many businesses. A loan or a line of credit can provide a struggling business with the cash it needs to expand or fund a new venture.
As with every financial move, thought, it’s best to consider all angles before going ahead with the decision. Here’s what you need to know about when and why it can make sense to take on business debt:
When is it a good idea to take on business debt?
Businesses can benefit from taking out loans or opening new lines of credit under these circumstances:
When seeking resources to help grow the business. It takes money to make money, and a small business loan can help business owners pay for an expansion when they don’t have the current resources to fund it on their own. The funds can be used to broaden the company’s line of products or services, pay for a move to a larger location, fund a marketing campaign or hire additional staff.
Before taking on debt for this purpose, it’s important for a business to first measure the anticipated return on investment (ROI) for the debt. The ROI for taking on new debt needs to exceed its post-tax interest costs for the debt to be profitable for the business. For example, if a business takes out a loan to pay for new equipment costing $10,000 that will enable it to sign a $20,000 contract, it needs to ensure that a loan won’t cost them more than $10,000 in interest and other fees. Otherwise, the business will not stand to gain from taking on new debt. The profit margin also needs to be generous enough for the venture to be worth the time and effort for the business. If the final gain is minimal, the business owner may be better off investing energy in another lower-cost endeavor.
When trying to build credit. Taking out a small loan or opening a new line of credit can be a great way to build a credit profile for a business and to strengthen its relationship with financial institutions. Small loans and lines of credit can help a business prove it is responsible and trustworthy for repaying debts. This will open the doors to larger loans that may be needed in the future.
When taking on debt for this reason, it’s important for a business to run the numbers and to be sure it can handle the monthly payments, even before the anticipated boost in revenue. If a company cannot meet its monthly payments, taking on new debt can wind up doing more harm than good to its credit.
Why is debt often a preferred source of funds?
Businesses in need of extra cash can choose from several options. Primarily, a business can decide to sell equity in its company or to take out a small business loan or open a new line of credit. Here’s why debt can be a preferred source of funds for businesses:
It has lower financing costs. Unlike equity, debt is limited. Once the loan is paid back, the business owner can forget it ever existed. On the flip side, selling equity in a company generally means forking over a part of the profit for as long as the business exists. (It’s important to note, though, that debt has fixed repayment costs as opposed to equity stakes, which are determined as a percentage of the company’s profit. This means a business owner will need to pay back debt regardless of the company’s success.)
It provides tax advantages. Business debt can decrease a company’s tax liability by lowering its equity base. As an added bonus, interest on business loans and lines of credit are usually tax-deductible.
It mitigates risk. Taking on debt to access funds, instead of selling equity, lowers the company’s risk in the event that the business does not succeed.
[If you’re ready to take out a business loan or to open a new line of credit for your business, we can help! Our business loans and the lines of credit feature favorable rates and easy terms. Call, click, or stop by Advantage One Credit Union today to secure the funds you need to grow your business.]
Your Turn: Tell us about your experience with getting a business loan or line of credit in the comments.
Things are falling into place, and after months of researching your options, polishing your resume and sitting through awkward interviews, you think you may have found your dream job.
You’ve already gone for a follow-up interview and the position is as good as yours. The only obstacle to cross before joining the ranks of the officially employed is salary negotiation.
If you’ve done your homework well, you’ll know the job you’re considering pays in the ballpark of your financial needs; however, the exact salary package you’ll be starting with depends on how the negotiations play out.
Here’s where things can get sticky. You may have your salary requirements and wish list in mind, but the company representative in charge of hiring has a lot more experience in negotiating salary than you do. It’s also easy to feel intimidated when you’re new to the workforce and desperate to find a good job.
You may not have the upper hand here, but you can still come out ahead.
Here are some tips to help you negotiate like a pro:
Choose the right time to negotiate
Only bring up your salary requirements when you have an actual offer in hand. Don’t jump the gun and assume you’re being offered the job because you’ve had a follow-up interview and you’re getting positive vibes from the company. Talking salary before you’ve officially been offered the position can jeopardize your chances of landing the job.
Do your homework
Before you walk into that room, make sure you know the average going rate for the position in question. You can find this information through a quick online search of sites like Payscale.com, Glassdoor.com and Salary.com, or by asking friends who are work in similar positions.
Once you have this number, hold it up against your own income requirements and ask for a starting salary that is slightly above your needs. You don’t want to walk away with less than you deserve, but you don’t want to overreach and come off sounding too greedy, either.
Research the company
Another crucial preparatory step for opening up the salary negotiations is to find out all you can about the company and its top challenges. Talk about ways you can help solve the company’s most pressing problems and you’ll prove you will be an employee worth hiring—at almost any price.
Understand the offer
If the company representative gives you a salary quote that is less than you expected, ask how they’ve reached this number. It’s possible that some of your skills and/or work experience were not considered when the offer was made. For example, you may have already mastered the entry-level skills for this kind of work during an internship for a similar position. This puts you at an advantage, as you won’t need to waste the company’s time and resources on basic training. Consequently, you deserve to start at a higher salary point. A simple question like this can save lots of aggravation on both sides of the desk.
Consider the full scope of the offer
When considering a position, don’t forget that job offers are about more than just salary. Look at the entire package, including all benefits, time off, retirement account contributions, etc. Sometimes, a job may have so many advantageous things attached it’s worth accepting a lower starting salary than you anticipated, as long as your paycheck will still cover your budget.
Similarly, if this job is one that offers tremendous room for growth and the ability to acquire a specific skill-set plus valuable experience, it may be worthwhile to accept it as a stepping stone for a more lucrative position in the future.
Role-play in advance
When negotiating salary, it’s important to find that sweet spot between insecurity and arrogance. It can be super-helpful to practice negotiating in advance by role-playing with a friend.
Remember not to sell yourself short. You’ve worked hard to acquire the skills and experience you have today, and you deserve to earn your true worth. Best of luck with your new job!
Your Turn: Have you successfully negotiated your starting salary at a new job? Share your best tips with us in the comments.
Elevator pitches take humble-bragging to a new level. At its core, the concept of an elevator pitch is to squeeze all you can about your talents, strengths and work experience into the time it takes for an elevator to travel from one floor to the next.
Your last few months in college are a great time for polishing your elevator pitch until it is perfect. You can use it to answer common interview questions as you job hunt, or just have it handy if you happen to run into a potential new employer, anytime, anywhere. Working on your elevator pitch will also help you clarify your work goals as you prepare to transition to a new stage of life.
To make this task easier, we’ve broken down the process of creating a killer elevator pitch into seven simple steps. While reading through each section, jot down a few sentences that cover the details of that category. Don’t worry about the writing or syntax here; we’ll get to that.
Step 1: Introduce yourself
Launch your pitch with a super-short intro about your background. Include your name, your major and your unique interests. You can also throw in a one-liner about any special research projects or volunteer work you’ve participated in during college.
Step 2: Talk about your work experience
Now that listeners know who you are, start listing any work experience you already have in your field. Include paid work as well as internships.
Step 3: Sell yourself
Now, you’re going to step in with your professional strengths and areas of expertise. It’s OK to boast a bit here, as long as you don’t cross the line into arrogance. Just speak matter-of-factly and tell the absolute truth. For example, if you’re a law major looking for a paid internship in a large law firm and you know you have a way with words, you can talk about the way you’ve always been chosen as the spokesperson in college work, or how you dominated the debate team thanks to your fantastic oratory skills.
Step 4: Talk about what you can bring to the team
What are your work goals? What kind of value can you bring to the company? Take a minute to put this into words.
Step 5: Wrap it up
Close your pitch with an eye toward the future by talking about how you can’t wait to hear back from your listener, or how you look forward to working for them or in their company.
Step 6: Put it all together
Now that you’ve got the content for an elevator pitch written down, it’s time to bring it together in a short, hard-hitting pitch.
First, go through each section to pull out the most important parts. Leave out anything that is not absolutely essential. Next, start the actual writing by putting it all together in one paragraph. Remember: Time is limited here, so keep it short and sweet. Elevator pitches are best when delivered in 30 seconds or less, which gives you approximately 75 words to work with. Once you’ve got it all in one place, read through your pitch again and again, weeding out anything that sounds awkward or isn’t crucial to your pitch. When you’ve got it down to 75 words or less, you’re ready to move on.
Step 7: Practice, practice, practice
A perfectly written pitch is worthless if the delivery is lacking. You want to come off sounding super-confident and capable to any potential employer you meet. Practice delivering your pitch in front of the mirror and with friends until you know it by heart. It’s also a good idea to record yourself speaking so you can hear how you sound and make any necessary changes to the word flow.
Keep at it until you can deliver the elevator pitch in your sleep.
Now that you’ve mastered the art of the elevator pitch, you’re ready to get out there and blow those employers away with your talent and skills. Go get ‘em!
Your Turn: We’d love to hear your elevator pitch! Share it with us in the comments.
As the coronavirus continues spreading across the country in waves and peaks, every state is making bold moves toward reopening under a strange new set of circumstances dubbed the “New Normal.” Face coverings are de rigueur. Floor markings have been slapped down exactly 6 feet apart near checkout counters in retail stores. Shoppers are weary, cautious and careful. And, as the country moves forward and adapts to the new realities, scammers aren’t far behind.
Watch out for these trending scams as the country reopens:
Even as retailers work toward reopening, shorter hours and percentage-capacity rules mean many consumers are still shopping remotely. Retailers are also busier than ever now as they comply with new rules and work to meet customers’ changing demands. This leads to an increase in online retail scams, like account takeovers, in which scammers hack a company’s database and break into a customer’s account. Using the customer’s remembered payment information, the scammer goes on to place large orders to their own address — all on the client’s dime.
Account takeovers are most commonly pulled off on dormant accounts. The scammer assumes these account holders won’t notice this activity, but you can outsmart them by checking your retail accounts for sudden orders or deleting the remembered information from accounts you rarely use.
Business owners can spot these scams by looking out for sudden large orders from customers who haven’t purchased anything in months, or even years.
“Help Wanted” signs and ads are a welcome sight for the more than 40 million workers who have filed for unemployment since the pandemic hit American shores.
Unfortunately, though, the flood of unemployed people looking for work has led to a rise in job scams. The FBI is warning against a surge in scams where cyber-criminals pose as employers by spoofing websites and posting bogus job openings on online job boards. They may even go as far as conducting interviews with applicants. The scammers ask for personal information, and sometimes demand payment, before the “application” can be processed. Of course, there is no job waiting for the applicant, their information is now in danger of being abused and they’ll never see that money again.
In a variation of this scam, “employees” are given work to do remotely, and then paid with an inflated paycheck. They’re told they had been overpaid and instructed to cash the check and reimburse the employer for the surplus funds via money order or prepaid debit card. The check will appear to clear, but in a few days, it will bounce and the victim will never be able to reclaim the lost funds.
Beware of outrageous job claims that promise big money for little work; they’re likely bogus. As always, never share sensitive information online with an unverified source. Don’t accept a job that overpays and asks you to refund the extra money; it’s likely a scam. Finally, before agreeing to an interview, research an alleged employer and company on the BBB website.
The Contact Tracer Scam
Many states have hired armies of contact tracers to track the movements of individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The FTC is warning of a new ruse in which scammers impersonate a contact tracer and reach out to people via phone call or text message. They’ll ask for the victim’s personal information, including their Social Security number, claiming they need this information for their work as a contact tracer. Of course, they’ll use this information to pull off identity theft or hack the victim’s accounts. The scammer will sometimes ask the victim to click on an embedded link, which will grant them access to the victim’s phone.
Contact tracers will always identify themselves and the department where they work. If a contact tracer reaches out to you, you can easily determine their authenticity by researching this information. The tracer will also have a basic understanding of COVID-19 and how it spreads. Most importantly, they have no need for your Social Security number nor will they ask you to share it.
As the country moves into a new period of healing and recovery, scammers are doing all they can to continue disrupting daily life. Stay aware and stay safe!
Have you been targeted by a reopening scam? Tell us about it in the comments.
As you work on perfecting your resume and portfolio for the best shot at landing that post-college dream job, think about who you’ll list as your job references.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this step. According to a survey by CareerBuilder, nearly 70 percent of employers have changed their mind about a possible job candidate because of the input shared by a reference. Make sure you choose yours well and follow these tips for ensuring they give you a glowing report.
You can list any of the following people as a job reference:
Extracurricular activity advisers
Here are four steps to ensure the best recommendation possible:
Step 1: Ask for permission
Don’t list a college professor, former employer or anyone else as a job reference before asking their permission. Your reference may prefer not to be listed. It’s also respectful to ask their permission before including their name on an application.
Step 2: Collect important details about the reference
While asking for permission to list a reference, verify their contact information and details. You’ll need the full name of each reference you list, as well as their official title, phone number, email and mailing address.
Step 3: Prepare your references
It’s best to share your employment goals and the particulars of your job search with your references. Tell them about the specific skills you hope to use in your future job, important projects you’ve worked on in the past and anything else that might be helpful for them to know. Provide each reference with a copy of your resume to make it easier for them to remember your personal details.
Step 4: Keep your references updated during your job search
Let your references know when you’ve just applied for a job so they’re prepared for a phone call or email from your potential employer. They will be more likely to give you a positive reference when they know to expect an inquiry about you. It’s also respectful for you to share with them when you’ve landed a job and to thank them for their assistance in the process.
Your Turn: What tips can you share about job references?