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  1. In recent times, various distinct career trends have been reshaping the legal industry. Workstyles and attitudes are changing, and so is technology. The good news is these trends enable law professionals to become more efficient and competitive in the global marketplace. Read on to discover seven career trends that are transforming the legal industry right now. The Law Sector is Expanding Beyond Lawyers According to the latest statistics from US News, in 2018, the average salary of lawyers in the US was around $121,000. The top 25% earned $182,490, and the lowest 25% earned $79,160. The law sector is as broad as it is diverse, so lawyer salaries for professionals working for state government earn much less than those in the private sector. With even low-paid lawyers on high salaries compared to other industries, hiring a lawyer is an expensive business for the average Joe. But the legal marketplace is changing quickly. Lawyers do not have a monopoly in the law industry anymore. Today, clients can gain cheaper legal assistance from a number of professionals who aren’t qualified lawyers, such as paralegal technicians, offshore legal vendors, and legal self-help sites. These new options allow disadvantaged and poorer people to address their legal matters at a fraction of the cost of hiring a lawyer. Collaboration In this modern age of the digital marketplace climate, boundaries that once separated locations and industries are dissipating fast. Technological advances are allowing new delivery models that transcend traditional divisions. Many law companies are now starting to collaborate more internally, with others in the supply chain, and with clients. Lots of law firms are now dismantling enterprise silos and replacing them with more integrated and fluidal workforces so that they can provide better service, understand, and monitor customer requirements. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Eco-Consciousness Endeavors As going green continues to become a worldwide priority for all industries, environmental law is a growing practice area in the legal sector. And law companies across the planet are establishing new environmentally-friendly initiatives to reduce carbon footprints, promote social responsibility, and cut expenses. Electronic Discovery In the US, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have altered how electronic data becomes used. Electronically-stored information is now discoverable in litigation. That includes data like emails, voicemails, instant messages, and data stored on handheld devices. Retrieving electronically stored information is known as electronic discovery. In recent years, the growth of electronic discovery has changed the face of large-scale and complicated litigation. Virtual Law Website technology, Software as a Service, and powerful mobile devices are changing the face of the legal industry. Now, law professionals can work virtually from anywhere in the world. And more and more lawyers and legal professionals are doing just that. Virtual law offices allow professionals to work from home, which enables them to work flexible hours and create a better work/life balance. Work/Life Balance For many years, the pressure to sacrifice personal life in favor of work has been a staple of the legal profession. But people in the legal industry are beginning to demand a better work/life balance. With the advent of workplace policies like flex-time, telecommuting, compressed schedules, and other alternative work arrangements, the law firm environment is gradually transforming to enable workers a better balance between work and home life. New Billing Models Lawyers have used the traditional billable-hours business model for decades, but it has often been criticized for rewarding inefficiency. Today, alternative billing models like flat, fixed, capped, or blended fees, are being utilized more and more. Alternative billing models enables law professionals to meet the needs of clients who are cost-conscious, create long-term relationships, and maximize value. View the full article
  2. Talk to a teacher for any amount of time and you’re bound to hear some grumbling. The pay stinks, the hours are unforgiving, the students can be unbearable and the parents can be even worse. And they’re right — being a teacher is frequently frustrating, often thankless and always tiring. It’s also the best profession on earth. Here’s why. Teachers Change Lives for a Living An accountant might draw pride from getting the numbers right, and pilots might feel good when the wheels hit the tarmac and everyone arrives safely. But only teachers boast a job description that reads “change lives.” We are shepherds leading our flock out of the darkness. We are the flames that ignite the passion for learning. What we do in the classroom will echo in our students’ lives for decades to come. It may be hard to see it through the fog of chaos and clamor and exasperation that the job brings. But we get the rare privilege of shaping pliable minds, boosting self-esteem and removing barriers. Teachers Change the World We often talk about politicians, corporations and major organizations making the seismic shifts that alter our society and shape our world. Teachers affect society in incrementally smaller but no less impactful ways. In fact, you could argue that in a broad sense, teachers are the most profound change-makers, paradigm-shifters, and world-shakers around. The knowledge we impart to our charges grants power. With this power, we are altering their trajectory in life — they can reach higher education, find meaningful jobs and fulfill their potential. And it’s more than just reading, writing and arithmetic or rote memorization. While those things are important, it’s our position as role models and guidance-givers that tells students they can follow a dream; they can find a passion and use it to contribute to the world in significant ways regardless of their circumstances, their lack of economic might or their impediments. If all of that sounds flowery, don’t worry. There are hard data coming up. Teaching is Fulfilling Despite all the challenges, the strikes, and the well-earned complaints, teachers are a satisfied lot. The Institute of Education Sciences at the National Center for Education Statistics conducted surveys of American teachers in the 2003–04, 2007–08, and 2011–12 school years. When asked if they were satisfied with their jobs, at least 9 out of ten teachers responded “yes.” Teachers in private schools were generally more satisfied — 95 percent, 93 percent, and 95 percent in 2003–04, 2007–08 and 2011–12, respectively — but even public school teachers were more satisfied in their jobs than many other professions (91 percent, 93 percent and 90 percent in 2003–04, 2007–08 and 2011–12). A study conducted by the University of Chicago found that Psychologists (66.9 percent), Operating Engineers (64.1 percent), Office Supervisors (60.8 percent) and Security & Financial Services Salespersons (65.4 percent) all had lower levels of satisfaction. The key to this sense of satisfaction? Experts say it lies in finding work that’s engaging, involves helping others and contributes to the world — all of which teaching does. Americans also see teaching as prestigious. A study by Harris Research found that people see teachers on the same level as military officers and above police officers, athletes, architects, and even clergy. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. How to Land a Job as a Teacher Look at your hands — they’re already dusted with chalk in anticipation. Now that you’re convinced, here are a few clever ways to find the perfect teaching job. Look for shortages. One of the best ways to increase your chances of getting hired is to look for the places teachers are needed the most. The U.S. Department of Education runs a site dedicated to this. Pop in your state, enter the year and it will spit out the areas with the most need. For instance, for the 2020-2021 academic school year, the state of Arizona especially needs early childhood special education teachers and Texas may be on the lookout for English as Second Language teachers. This is a great way to find a job tailored to your niche, whether it’s art, music or math. You can also find historical areas of need here. Keep the resume but get a digital portfolio. Resumes can be a great tool and they’re still the standard, but they can only go so far when it comes to showcasing your experience, demonstrating how you’d thrive in a classroom and letting potential employers know what makes you tick. Digital portfolios can accomplish this if you use them correctly. ePortfolios aren’t just a resume and cover letter uploaded to a portfolio hosting site. You’ll want to include things like your teaching philosophy, letters of recommendation and education-related experience (even if it’s just from an educator prep course). Many aspiring teachers get creative and add narration, video, graphics, and links to other works. Of course, no one needs your entire life story. Keep everything professional and focused on what would make you a great teacher. If you’ve got a passion for it, it’ll translate here better than a resume. For your interview, prepare, prepare and then prepare a little more. Once you’ve landed an interview, preparation is critical. They’ll want to know about you — how you’ve handled challenges, how you might respond to hypothetical classroom issues and your approach to teaching — but you should know about them, too. What were there standardized test scores last year? What programs do they offer? How many children are on the reduced lunch program? All of this info is available on state education websites and it’ll give you a chance to let your new employer know how you can be a part of the team. Teaching is tough, challenging and full of disappointments. But for the select few who answer the call to be leaders and devote their lives to generations of children, it’s also supremely fulfilling. View the full article
  3. If you are in the middle of your career or even just starting out, you are likely looking for ways to get promoted to a leadership position, where you will be able to showcase your skills, take on new responsibilities, and help your workplace to grow. However, getting promoted to a leadership position is not always easy, and you must be able to show your reliability and expertise to your manager. Here are some of the top steps that you can take towards getting promoted. Take a Leadership Degree If you want to increase your chances of getting promoted academically, you should consider taking a leadership course. Leadership degrees can help those who are already experienced within the workplace to build on their expertise and hone the skills that they need to meet the requirements of a potential promotion. Taking a leadership degree can also help you to gain the experiences that you need to be able to show your manager that you are the best candidate for the role. If you want to take a leadership degree that can suit your lifestyle, Deakin online courses are accessible to everyone with a Bachelor’s degree, allowing you to get the qualifications that you need without having to leave the company within which you are looking to get promoted. These will enable you to work towards a degree on your own schedule while gaining access to a professional network and real-world experience. Discuss Promotion at Your Annual Meeting Your manager is less likely to promote you if they do not know about your ambitions to get promoted to a leadership position. However, your annual one-on-one meetings are an excellent opportunity to discuss your options with a manager, and you should always mention your desire for promotion within these. Not only will you be able to tell your manager that you are interested in leadership positions, but this will also allow you to discuss what you need to do to be considered for promotion. This could include reaching specific targets, and your manager will help you to set these so that you have established steps that you can work towards meeting. Hire a Career Coach Hiring a career coach can be an excellent option if you feel overwhelmed when considering the next steps to take in terms of your career. Although they will not be able to ace that interview for you, career coaches can design an individualized plan that can help you to work more successfully towards your goals, highlighting job requirements or skills that you need to work on and ensuring that you understand the best steps to take to reach your goals. Career coaches can also be beneficial for those who are struggling to complete a job application or resume, which could potentially make the difference in your ability to be able to secure a promotion or a new leadership position. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Research and Stay Informed One of the best ways to get promoted is to stay informed about the latest developments in your sector and leadership practices. Not only will this allow you to understand new and innovative leadership techniques and methods, but researching your industry and the effect that this has on your business can help you to show your interest and allow you to make the right decisions if you do get promoted. To stay up-to-date, you should read industry journals and websites, as well as remain on the lookout for new press releases and other information that could have an impact on the business that you are looking to get promoted within. Look for Positions Outside Your Work If you fail to get promoted within your company, why not look for positions outside of your workplace? Some workplaces do not have opportunities for career advancement, and this can leave you feeling stuck within your job. If this is the case or you feel as if you are continually overlooked, you should look for other related leadership positions where your skills and ambitions can be realized, and you can make a new start at a company that appreciates you. Although it can be harder to get leadership positions within another company, the right qualifications and experiences can allow you to go straight to the top of the company. To find jobs outside of your workplace, you should: Use job websites, like Indeed Check newspaper advertisements Look at specific company websites Network with other professionals Develop Your Soft Skills Not only is it essential to develop your leadership skills, but soft skills are also as necessary, if not more so, for those that want to look at getting promoted towards managerial and leadership positions. These will show that you are prepared for the responsibilities of leadership positions and that you are ready for the potential issues that you may face. The soft skills that you should work on include: Written and spoken communication Computer literacy Teamwork Creativity Problem-solving Time management Network Additionally, networking can be vital for those who are looking for a promotion. Building up strong connections with your managers and colleagues is essential to help you to become an excellent potential candidate. Not only this, but networking is also key to helping you to find jobs and possible openings in your industry. By attending networking events, you will be able to connect with professionals who can potentially direct you towards those who are looking for people with skills like yours. Show Your Value CNN reports that only 16% of workers want to put in the extra effort to gain a promotion. However, the most vital step that you can take towards promotion is the ability to show your value to your manager and convince them that you are irreplaceable and an asset to your company. To go this, you need to be a motivated and engaged employee with a passion for the job that you perform. You should ask for extra tasks and opportunities, make sure that you get to work on time, complete all tasks on your to-do list, stay positive, and engage effectively with clients. View the full article
  4. Today’s artificial intelligence does more than just answer basic queries and give back witty responses. It’s also giving opportunities to disabled employees. This is good news because it allows disabled people to be just as productive as their non-disabled counterparts. Curious how AI is doing it? Keep reading. These are the ways that AI benefits disabled employee candidates. 1. Increasing Communication People with visual impairments can greatly enhance communication with the help of voice-assisted AI technology. We’re already seeing it now with tools like Alexa, Echo, and Siri. There’s now text-to-speech and speech-to-text technology which allows people with hearing difficulties and brain injuries to communicate more effectively. The great thing about AI is that it doesn’t just take voice messages at face value. It evaluates the information against millions of data, making sure it is giving the most accurate response possible. This reduces any future communication errors because of the machine learning value for voice data validation. It not only takes into account different dialects but can understand different commands. 2. Remote Access AI allows physically disabled people to take action without having to use their bodies. For example, there are now select restaurants that use AI robotics technology which allows paralyzed employees to control robot waiters with just a few touches of a button. This gives disabled people morale to work despite their physical limitations. After all, skill can more than just physical movement but also intellectual creativity as well. 3. Self-Driving Cars One obstacle to disabled employees is the commute to work. It’s already challenging enough to move in this world with a disability –what makes it even harder is when certain infrastructures are not designed to accommodate the disabled. These barriers are now being broken with the help of self-driving cars which allows wheelchair-bound individuals to move around freely without the help of family members, friends, or caregivers. This is not just a great help in terms of navigating work but also doing taking care of their own. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. For example, you can go on short term disability and file it yourself without the assistance of a chaperone. If you want to go out and socialize, you can do so freely and not be constrained to your home. Personal help is nice but it can be greatly empowering for disabled individuals when they’re allowed to do these basic errands for themselves without having to depend on other people. 4. Abstract Summarization Disability is not just limited to physical limitations. For people with ADHD, dyslexia, or low literacy, it can be hard to perform optimally at work. Thankfully, AI is already helping with that using abstract summarization. There now exists a machine learning technology that analyzes lengthy documents and turns them into easy-to-understand sentences. This removes the heavy load of most paperwork while still allowing disabled individuals to practice wise decision making. 5. Less Hiring Discrimination Another way that AI is helping with disabled people is by reducing discrimination in the hiring process. In the last few years, we’ve heard stories of algorithmic systems that discriminate against a certain gender, ethnicity, and disability. These are biases that the machine was designed to fight against. However, most recent AI algorithms are now able to fight this by using data donated by disabled persons. It’s able to learn from this information to make smarter, less discriminatory hiring decisions. In Conclusion The development of AI technologies for disabled persons has no signs of slowing down. There’s still a long way to go with most workplaces unable to adapt accessible systems to their operations just yet. However, more and more companies are seeing the benefits of inclusive design. One of them is that it opens employers up to a demographic of productive and talented people who are able to contribute to the workforce. The more we see AI in action for disabled people, the more companies will get on board. What developments do you foresee with AI helping people with disabilities? Share your thoughts in the comments below. View the full article
  5. Choosing a career path can be scary. Whether you are 18 or 38, when you need to get your foot in the door of a company, volunteer organization, or tech field, you want to make sure you have all the qualifications the HR department is looking for as you apply for a position. The problem is, there are thousands, if not tens-of-thousands, of different types of positions available in a wealth of fields. How are you supposed to know what will be a rewarding path for you to take? Here are three tips to help you locate the right career for your current and future self. Knowing Your Goals Sometimes people find themselves taking up careers that suddenly appear in their paths. Others take over generational family businesses. If you want to make a career choice that makes you happy now and into the future, you will need to know what your goals are and how to satisfy them. Do you want to make a great deal of money? Do you require prestige and self-esteem to feel fulfilled? Are you happy with a structured work schedule or in need of hours you can set on your own? These are only a few of the many questions you may want to ask in order to get to know what your goals are. Understanding Your Style Everyone has a working style that is unique to them. Most people have a specific set of productive hours that easily fits into their lifestyle. If you know your sleep schedule, the hours you want to spend moving, and the time you wish to spend quietly or with friends, then you are just beginning to understand your style. Although many people force themselves into the 9-5 workday role, some people are more productive in the afternoon or early evening than they are in the morning. A few people sleep all day and work in the quiet of the night. Which are you? Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Locating the Fields Before you can decide what position you want to hold in the future, you may need to narrow the categories down and eliminate those jobs you do not wish to hold. Are you intellectually oriented and want to spend your time with tomes, indoors, or teaching students? Are you an outdoorsy type of person that deals in earth conditions, water sports, or weather patterns? Do you want to wear a suit or blue jeans to work? Do you like to sell, create slogans, or write alone? If you look at what you like to do within the various available fields, you can narrow down which position you may best fit into. If you want to find a career you will love for many years to come, you have to learn about yourself and what you love to do in the here and now. Once you understand yourself and how your mind and bodywork, you can begin searching for a job within that area. Only then can you locate the perfect career for your future self. View the full article
  6. Not that long ago, facial scanning and recognition seemed like something only in science fiction. A fictional man or woman would step up to a screen, they’d let their face get scanned, and then gain access to whatever information they were seeking. Technology, as it often does, caught up with fiction with a fervor. Biometric scanning has been growing steadily over the last nearly fifty years and is getting perfected. Biometrics Understand Facial Features It’s literally in their name- Biometrics accomplish perfect recognition by breaking down human facial features into valleys and lines. They can map out noses, guided by nostrils, and sharpened by the bridge. Human faces come in endless combinations of these features, except for identical twins; these features are rarely perfectly duplicated. Biometrics breaks these differences down until each piece of them becomes another symbol in a complex code. It’s the perfect password. Unreplicatable by anyone except the initial user. By understanding faces, it ensures that the identities behind them are safer. Using the Cloud Spreads Security Instead of having to hope for a password, they scribbled on a post-it note, and stuck to their fridge, will always be uncrackable- they’ll know that the password is still on them. People will be more likely to trust companies that use biometrics because they’ll recognize that only they can access their account. By using the cloud, and making this available through multiple services, the AI will be able to become better at recognizing users. The more it’s used, the more improvements will get found for it. A technology that’s continuously improving is one that will stick around. Hackers and Technology Crooks Get More Advanced Every Year Gone are the carefree days when you could trust that your account would never get hacked through traditional means. Two-factor identification had its moment, and with some gaining the ability to get remote access to customer’s texts and messages, using a phone to be the backup isn’t helping. Without the human factor to identify a user, hackers can easily slip past two-factor authentication like it’s nothing. Knowledge-based authentication isn’t much better since people live so openly on the internet these days. It’s only a Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, search away from finding out what street you grew up on, or what the name of your childhood pet was. Hackers have been eyeing biometrics, looking for a way to game them as well, for years. The technology is thankfully growing, but if it weren’t for the element of needing a live user, it would get bowled over already. Biometrics improve and grow every year, and because of that, ensure more customer’s safety and peace of mind. Biometric authentication authorizes customers to take their security in their own hands, and know that they’re the only ones with access to their information. Flexibility Biometric scanners aren’t just for your face! Although that’s the main focus, there are so many variants that also offer security. From fingerprint scanners (popularized by Apple in recent years) to retina and iris detection, to even voice detection- new biometric scanners pop up every day. Whatever the company decides will fit it best can be used, and at a much higher security level than whatever password the customer can invent on their own. Of course, facial recognition is still crucial- and it shows in its growth. Facial recognition is most reliable when paired with liveness detection. LDR is an incredibly complicated, yet seamless, ability that allows biometric scanners to tell whether the camera gets aimed at a photo or a live subject. LDR counters against a lot of hackers’ one go-around of using a picture of a target to gain access to their accounts or devices. It’s impossible to replicate natural motion with a photograph- and videos would be too hard to get perfect since most biometric scanners ask or customers to be in specific positions with specific expressions. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. The Future of Biometrics Some reports are offering the idea that biometrics may aid consumers in withdrawing money from an atm, and allow customers peace of mind with every monetary exchange in 2020. If people can relax and feel safe, they’re more likely to spend money. America right now is heavily focused on cybersecurity, and ensuring that their private information stays private. Password leaks, hacked accounts, and spoofed phones are distractions that pull back from people’s trust. Biometrics aim to hit in retaliation against mistrust and put the power of decision back in the customer’s hands. Biometrics have a lot to offer and are continually growing and improving. By investing in and developing biometric systems, companies gain a chance to provide their customers with peace of mind. The Future of Employment There are so many jobs in biometric authentification more than we realized. According to some experts in the field, you perhaps don’t even need a specialized degree in it. It’s become an extremely accessible by-product of today’s society ranging from hackers not being able to forge it and phones increasingly requiring it. If you think about it, the technology for biometrics is taught by humans. Therefore, there will be an influx of jobs that need someone to teach these machines how to function effectively. Biometrics essentially is taking over the digital world from banks to video games, to school security systems. Not only will employment rise for engineers creating those systems, but it will also increase other jobs as well. While some may think it’s taking away jobs as a consequence of replacing humans, it’s actually giving humans with those jobs like security guards more managerial experience and a chance to make better wages. The system is meant to improve our current state of security to a wider scale. View the full article
  7. Database administrators (DBAs) are increasingly in demand as the digitization of information helps organizations to operate more efficiently. If you are thinking about potentially becoming a DBA, it will be useful to know exactly what to expect from a career in this field, so here is a brief overview of the main talking points. Basic duties The specific responsibilities of a DBA will vary depending on the size of the organization they work for and the culture of the workplace as a whole. However, there are a few commonplace duties that most DBAs will be expected to fulfill at some point in their careers. Database maintenance is chief amongst these since this is necessary to ensure that mission-critical systems are operating as intended. Using tools such as SQL server monitoring to check up on performance, in addition to other solutions dedicated to establishing the integrity of the database as a whole, empowers DBAs and affords them greater control over their maintenance duties. Another expectation is that DBAs will be able to ensure that database security is up to scratch, while also optimizing the way that storage is managed to make sure that information is available to users as and when they need it with minimal delays. At a time when data breaches are on the increase, the skills of an experienced administrator are more valuable to businesses than ever. DBAs might also be expected to play a part in training employees on the proper use of database resources, especially in the event that new systems are rolled out and changes to established practices are necessary. Similar guidance will be required when businesses are in the process of procuring database software since in most cases the DBA will be in the ideal position to make an accurate assessment of the various options available. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Essential skills As you may have gathered, a DBA’s role within a business is fairly multifaceted, in spite of the suggestion of specialization that the job title brings along with it. Because of this, the ability to communicate effectively with others and work well as a member of a larger team will be vital skills for any aspiring DBA to demonstrate to prospective employers. It is not just about having a firm grasp on the latest systems, but also the ability to convey these potentially complex ideas to other members of staff who may not be as technically literate. Problem-solving is another core aspect of a good DBA since they will need to keep complex systems running smoothly and this, of course, means dealing with issues that inevitably arise over time. This might range from a minor mix-up to a major outage, the costs of which can be severe. Being able to monitor and manage a database effectively also requires a high degree of analytical prowess, since performance data is often complicated and even with modern tools it still requires a degree of experience and intuition from DBAs to glean actionable conclusions. Career prospects There is stronger than average demand for database administrators at the moment thanks to the fact that businesses across all industries are increasingly reliant on digital solutions to store, manage and assess all of the information that is generated by their operations. This means that anyone who is just starting out in their career as a DBA can expect that their skills will still be required for the foreseeable future. The growth of cloud computing is helping to fuel this trend further, creating a very positive outlook for DBAs with the right skills and training to fill the available positions. View the full article
  8. Becoming a real estate agent can be a rewarding experience. Lucrative job, flexible working hours, becoming your own boss, plus the opportunity to meet and network with a diverse clientele. What’s not to like. However, starting and growing a real estate business ain’t for the faint of heart. Industry experts estimate that 87% of real estate businesses fail within the first 5 years. But if you have what it takes, now might just be the perfect time to become a real estate agent. Why? Shifting winds are changing the housing market. Earlier this year, long-term mortgage rates slipped for the first time since Feb 2018. As buyers take advantage of the lower rates, it’s not ‘business as usual’ for real estate agents. So how do you start a career as a real estate agent? Here is our step-by-step guide. Step 1: Get Licensed The very first step in becoming a real estate agent is to get licensed. The states require aspiring agents to take pre-licensing training from a certified institution before sitting for the licensing exam. Once you’ve passed the pre-licensing training, you become eligible to sit for the main licensing exam. The exam covers many areas, including the principles governing the real estate business and the legal aspects of the business. Step 2: Consider Joining NAR A license gives you the right to sell real estate property. However, you cannot call yourself a realtor until you’ve joined the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and agreed to abide by their rules. While joining NAR is not mandatory, being able to call yourself a realtor can add some credibility to you as a real estate agent. Moreover, doing so will give you access to a variety of real estate tools, including real estate data, research & statistics, as well as discounted programs geared towards helping you succeed in business. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Step 3: Choose a Brokerage New real estate agents are required to work with a supervisory broker for at least 2 years after getting a license. These are companies (brokers) licensed by the state to oversee real estate transactions and ensure you are adhering to the laid down legal and ethical standards. Once you’ve gained enough experience, you could also apply for a license to become a real estate broker. Step 4: Develop Your Professional Image In real estate, your professional image and reputation matters, and people will make a quick judgment call on whether you’re a good fit based on your story. Start by creating a compelling sales bio that will make the reader see you as a qualified pro. Your sales bio should tell your story. It should be backed with personality while including the key, yet fun facts that will make the reader want to interact with you on a personal and professional level. Your image is also conveyed by the way you dress, speak, respond to others, etc. To that end, consider hiring a professional photographer to take a professional photo of you that will be shared on your website, social networks, and in all marketing materials. Don’t hesitate to refer to online resources to receive advice and get inspired by your fellow agents’ creative ideas. Step 5: Build a Contacts List and Prepare to Meet Your First Client As a new real estate agent, your first contacts will probably be your friends and family. You can start by creating a list of all your contacts and putting them in a database. Then devise ways to reach out to buyers through word of mouth, social media, blogging, and attending public/community events. View the full article
  9. Customers are at the heart of a business, and many companies invest huge resources into making their customer experience better. Ensuring customers get good service from their first interaction with a company to their last is a good way to keep those customers coming back, and customer relationship management software helps businesses do this. If you’re a whiz with software or have experience working with CRM software and the know-how to get the best out of it, then this can make your very desirable in many industries. Creating the right customer experience is something modern businesses care deeply about, and your ability to use CRM software to help you do this can make you stand out when it comes to hiring time. Sales Making sales is a complicated process, and you need someone with the ability to keep track of their pipeline. CRM software helps salespeople by putting all the information they need in one place, keeping track of customer interactions, and helping everyone on the team stay updated. They also provide lots of analytical tools which can help you make more sales and become more efficient. Not everyone knows how to get the most from their CRM software, so your CRM skills can make you stand out. As a salesperson, your job is to guide the customer through the sales process, and the better you can work with the CRM system, the better you can do this. Call Centers and Customer Service These roles are all about collecting, storing, and accessing customer data, so it’s no surprise that CRM software plays a big part in these jobs. CRM systems can help streamline the whole process, allowing you to access customer information, dial out, log new information, and many other functions all from one screen. When you’re answering customer questions, you need as much information available to you as possible, and that’s what a CRM system gives you. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. IT CRM systems play a big role in IT in areas such as IT support. Again, information is key when it comes to fixing peoples’ IT issues, and you need to know how to effectively access that information. A CRM system helps to facilitate support tickets for clients, allowing you to update the ticket with the relevant information. This makes it easier for you to resolve the customer’s problem, but even if you can’t help them, it makes it easier for you to pass the customer on to someone who can help them. Marketing Many businesses access marketing features through their CRM system. Functions such as lead generation, campaign management, and email marketing can all be found in CRM software, so it can be very beneficial to have experience with the software. So much happens in marketing that it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s going on. CRM software helps businesses keep track of lots of different aspects of their marketing, automating processes, and helping to make their employees more efficient. View the full article
  10. Although you might have already decided that you want to strive for a career as a nurse, this does not mean that you will automatically be able to find a position that suits you or your abilities. In fact, you may have to apply for many roles before you are able to acquire your dream job as a nurse. To help you beat the high competition for nursing places in the country, here is a guide to finding and applying for great positions and some tips for standing out from the crowd. 1. Get the Right Qualifications Getting the right qualifications is the first action that every potential nurse needs to take, and you will not even be considered for a position as a nurse if you are unable to provide evidence of basic qualifications. However, there are different educational routes that you can choose from when deciding to become a nurse, and each may influence the type of job you are able to get. Although you will only need a BA in Nursing, an Associate’s degree, or completion of a LVN or LPN training program in order to become a nurse in the US, if you are applying for leadership positions or those focused on a specialism, you may have to achieve a Master’s degree or take an extra training program. For instance, a DNP nursing leadership qualification can help you to take on managerial positions due to its focus on HR allocation and financial management. 2. Go on a Local Placement Another way for you to both gain experience and find out about job opportunities in your area is to go on a local work placement. These allow you to get to know and network with professionals in your area, as well as understand the requirements of nursing positions. At the end of your tenure, your employer may also keep your resume, give you advice on securing a job, or offer you a job position. The best ways to get experience on a work placement include: Getting a placement at a hospital Volunteering at a care home Visiting a GP surgery Helping at community facilities Traveling on abroad placements and volunteer programs Work experience and placements in your local area are also advantageous as they allow you to shadow experienced nurses, see what the daily routine of a nurse is like, and help you decide whether you are still interested in nursing as a career. They also give you the opportunity to learn basic skills and try new tasks and responsibilities. 3. Network with Other Professionals Networking with other professionals is also a great way to find out about job openings near you, as they will be able to tell you about positions which may be opening in your local area. Networking can also give you the chance to communicate with potential employers, allow you to find mentors who may be able to guide you to find a position and get advice from experts in the field. Making yourself known is important when it comes to finding available job positions, and you can find nursing networking events near you on online networking forums and groups. If you cannot attend an event locally, you should network online through business social media pages, such as LinkedIn, or through online networking websites. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. 4. Look Where Nurses Are in High Demand There are 2.86 million nurses in the USA. However, there is still a major shortage. When looking for a job in nursing, it is also important that you look to see where nurses are in high demand, as this will give you an opportunity to apply and to be considered for more positions. Currently, there are many different states with large nursing shortages, including: Texas New Jersey Florida California New York The places where nurses are in high demand will usually be highly populated states with many large cities or those with an aging population where many nurses are already needed. You should also look to specialize in areas where nurses are most needed, with some types of nurses more in demand than others due to the training and qualifications needed to become the type of nurse in question. The types of nurses that are most sought-after include: Pediatric Nurses Nurse Anesthetist Nurse Practitioners ICU Nurses Neo-Natal Nurses 5. Spruce Up Your Resume and Interview Skills You will also need to make what you can offer to employers appealing, as with any job that you apply to, and you can do this by sprucing up your resume and interview skills. When you are thinking about your resume, try personalizing it towards each job role, stating what drives you to become a nurse and finding innovative ways to show this, such as using images or graphs. You can also increase your interview skills by ensuring that you are dressed in a presentable manner, that you practice likely questions in nursing interviews, and that you are able to show that you have the right character traits to become a nurse, such as being caring and patient, with examples to prove this. 6. Search Online Job Boards Lastly, the best way to find positions in nursing is to use online job boards that are tailored towards nursing. Although many basic online job boards offer nursing career options and filters, you should try using a nurse or healthcare job board for a more cultivated experience, which allows you to pinpoint the exact types of jobs that you want to apply for. Using these is the easiest way to find nursing jobs without coming into contact with a workplace environment, but you should also check healthcare facilities’ websites and other portals where you might be able to find job openings. Online job boards also give you the advantage of being able to apply for multiple jobs easily, sometimes in one click, and have the additional advantage of storing your CV online. View the full article
  11. Graphic designers can enjoy rewarding, engaging careers that fulfill their creative urges while still letting them pay the bills. That’s not to say that attractive opportunities for professionals in this space are easy to come by; you still need to make careful decisions if you want to get ahead. If you’re a graphic designer who feels like you are stagnating in your current role, here are a few tips to follow to give your career the boost it needs right now as well as improving its trajectory in the long term. Refine your focus A graphic designer can be a jack of all trades, dabbling in various aspects of design from day-to-day. This is fine for some, but if you are sick of being sporadically deployed to different projects and feel like you’re spread too thinly to really let your talents shine, opting to take on a more focused role could help. For example, you might consider becoming a motion graphic designer, capitalizing on the demand for this skill at the moment and also specializing in an area that will only become more relevant in this highly competitive segment of the job market. Go freelance This is not an option for everyone, but even if you do not want to take the plunge and become a freelance designer rather than working for one agency, there are still opportunities for expanding your portfolio as well as your career options if you take on some freelance work. Finding clients as a freelancer has never been easier and it is a great way to run a business from your home, escaping the office politics and distractions that can really be vexing. If you develop a following on social media, many clients will end up coming to you, and you could even promote yourself as an environmental graphic designer on social media. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Develop different skills One of the key reasons that a graphic designer’s career can hit a plateau too soon is if they stop acquiring new skills and are instead limited to doing the same old things over and over again, missing out on job opportunities and promotions as a result. Training is the best way to overcome this, and there are myriad means of learning new things and expanding your skillset in a way that will make you more valuable to employers. In some cases, your existing firm may offer to pay for training, or you could make use of free online resources to achieve this. Perhaps you may want to dig into web design, motion design or video making. All of those are in high demand right now. Become an educator This is an alternative to pursuing an extended career as a graphic designer, but one which many people find rewarding. If you have a solid background in education under your belt, including a postgraduate degree, then taking up the art of teaching others graphic design could be a good move. There are plenty of different ways to go about this, as well as a variety of approaches to education that you might want to adopt. From dealing solely with the nuts and bolts of graphic design to espousing on the theories which define the practice, the world is your oyster. This is also an area of rapid growth, with plenty of demand for academics dealing in a variety of subjects. Add to that the fact that remuneration for teaching at a postsecondary level can be higher than you might earn as a graphic designer in the first place and the reasons to make the switch become even more compelling. View the full article
  12. It’s a bit of a sobering moment when we come to look at our lives and realize that we’ve been stuck in the same old routine, and in the same old role, for months and years of our lives. We come to wonder where our passion and our energy went – where our ability to make sweeping changes to our life, learn new things and progress in our career left us. This article is about addressing that feeling with positivity, dragging you from the rut you may feel trapped in, and showing you plenty of alternatives to help you advance and delight in different paths for your career. One-to-Ones If you feel like you’re in a rut, and that’s making you feel demotivated, unhappy and resentful, it’s time to take a meeting with your manager. Find yourself a manager that you really trust – and one that you think will put your needs above their own, or the company’s. Sit down with them in private and share your feelings. They may offer you, counsel, they may offer you a promotion or a pay rise, or they may simply suggest that you move to a new company where you’ll be happier. Your manager should know if you’re feeling stuck in a rut – as they may be able to help. Careers Counsel Now you should also look to independent sources of career counseling in order to help you make a constructive decision about the future of your life and your direction towards, hopefully, a better and more fulfilling career. Pick one of these specialists that you can trust so that you can talk frankly with them about your hopes and dreams, and where you believe they might have briefly abandoned you in your current career. They’ll listen, make notes, and think of all the options you have before you. What’s exciting is that there are dozens of ways that you can move into a more exciting career at this juncture – you just need guidance to the right methods for you. Back to School There is nothing bad about the feeling of going back to school after some time spent in an unfulfilling career. In fact, a huge and growing number of US citizens do just that, deciding in good time that they’re not as fond of their current roles as possible, and choosing to make a sideways move into a new career, via some important training that’ll help them get hired. Here, you can study an online accounting MBA from the comfort of your couch and your laptop – or head into night classes at your local school to learn how to use computers, how to code, or how to make arts and crafts. Whatever you’re thinking of moving into, there’ll be educational opportunities to help you make the most of your move. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Consult Your Network After this period, in which you’ll have gained some new skills and met some new people, it’s a wise idea to turn back to your network for ideas and inspiration. Your personal and professional network is as much a source of inspiration, and jobs, as anywhere else, and they’ll be able to point you towards the opportunities that you alone may not have been able to consider. Use your network to help you at this delicate stage, you never know, someone may know somebody who’s looking for a new employee just like you. Take a Break There’s an element to career ruts that simply seems to revolve around the fact that you’ve been going to the same place, sitting in the same seat, chatting with the same colleagues, and doing the same tasks for months and months on end. As such, you may just need a break, and if you have enough cash, it could be a constructive idea to up sticks and head out traveling for a couple of months. The same can be said of moving to a new city and starting from scratch. Life, remember, is there to be lived and not endured. If things aren’t working out for you, there’s always time to change. Get Excited Now that you’ve made some decisive steps towards working in a happier and more fulfilled future career, you’ll be able to launch into all of your new tasks with an added gusto and pride that’ll carry you far. Use this newfound excitement to spur you into making new friends, enjoying new experiences, and adding new zest to your life that you never had before. These tips should help any individual that feels they’re struggling in a boring and unfulfilling job. There are plenty of ways to change that, as you’ll have discovered above. View the full article
  13. Many people dream of one day launching their own business, but this is no small undertaking. Launching a business before you are ready is a route fraught with peril and potential pitfalls. Below are four signs that you are ready to take the plunge. You Are Passionate About Your Work Starting your own business is always a challenging endeavor. Most businesses will fail during their first year. In order to maximize your chances of success, you need to be truly dedicated to your business venture. A half-hearted attempt at launching a new business is a bad idea and unlikely to lead to long-term success. It is simply too difficult to juggle the many pressures of being a business owner if your heart is not in it. Unless you are truly passionate about the business that you are going to be starting, trying to lead a business yourself is only going to be opening the door on an excessive amount of stress and worry. On the other hand, if you are really passionate about the field that you work in, the work you do often doesn’t feel like work. The best position that you can possibly be in professionally is to be paid to do what you would be doing anyway. That’s not to say that passion alone will be enough to overcome the challenges you face as a business owner. On the contrary, while having a passion definitely helps, don’t think that it will translate into an easy ride for you and your business. You Feel Like You Aren’t Being Challenged There’s nothing worse professionally than having to go to a job every day that you do not enjoy. If you are feeling like your professional career is beginning to stagnate and you aren’t making any progress on a personal or professional level, it can be seriously demotivating. If a job that you previously enjoyed is no longer challenging you or enriching you as a person then it may be time to look elsewhere. When you own and manage a business, there is little chance of you not being challenged on a daily basis. Sure, after a few years of successful operation, maybe you will be able to step back and just let the money roll in. However, the only way that you are ever going to reach that point is if you work hard and are truly dedicated to your business. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. You Have An Idea You Can’t Shake After working in the same industry or profession for a number of years, many people will begin to have their own ideas as to how things should be done. If you can’t help but look around the marketplace that you work in and see bad decisions and short-sighted behavior all around, then it might be time to start your own business and address these shortcomings in the market. In order for a new business to be successful, it either needs to offer something that other businesses aren’t, or it needs to offer what other businesses are offering but better or cheaper. No business is going to survive by providing an inferior level of service to its competitors. It is therefore important that you don’t confuse a novel idea with a good idea. You may think that you have the perfect business proposition ready to go in your head, but just because you are looking at things differently does not necessarily mean that you are looking at them better. However, if you truly have confidence in your idea and you really think that you are onto a winner, then taking your idea and turning it into a tangible business can be an enthralling experience. You Are Thinking Like A Business Owner One of the most important indicators that you are ready to launch your own business is that you are starting to think not like a worker but as an owner. That means that you are looking beyond the surface, beyond the immediate interaction with customers and clients, and thinking about things at a deeper level and over the long-term. For example, when it comes to choosing suitable premises from which to run your business, a regular worker tasked with finding a suitable option would consider the cost of the rent and insurance and probably not consider things beyond this. On the other hand, a business owner will also recognize the existence of hidden costs. One such often overlooked cost when launching a new business is business utility prices. There are price comparison websites like Utility Bidder that will enable you to establish these prices easily. However, this is the kind of thing that only someone thinking as a business owner will consider. Once you find yourself thinking about things in this way, considering the bigger picture in every decision you make, this is a good sign that you are ready to take on your own business. When you are ready to launch your own business, you will know. Launching a business is always going to be challenging, but when you are ready to take on that challenge, it is a hugely rewarding endeavor. View the full article
  14. Would you like to become a UX/UI designer but don’t know where to start? We have asked UX/UI professionals from top design companies about how they started their careers and prepared a step-by-step instruction on how to climb the career ladder. Get familiarized with the job description The profession of a UX/UI designer is on the rise right now, but not so many people fully realize what this term means. They also cannot tell the difference between a UX/UI designer, a web designer, and a product designer. Let us have a look at the definition of this job title. A UX designer makes sure that a product makes sense to the user. He builds up a path that leads the user to perform the needed actions in the app step-by-step. A UI designer takes care of the visuals of each page and helps the UX designer to guide the user. At large companies, these are two separate professions. However, in the majority of cases, a UX and UI designer are the same person. If you decide to become one, you will: develop and bring into life user-oriented designs; conduct intuitive and UX tests; optimize user interface; implement business logic into the designs; combine creativity with in-depth knowledge of the design principles; make prototypes and mockups of new products. Understanding what people expect from you in the workplace will be very useful once you start thinking of the skills you need to get this job. Decide on your learning materials It is up to you whether to study by the book, an online course, or in an expensive private school of design. If you are sure that you have enough discipline to explore by yourself, feel free to do that. However, it’s undoubtedly advisable to communicate with some people who already work as UI/UX designers to ask them about the resources they have used to learn. For example, this blog post highlights some of the top UI/UX design agencies in the world. Here are some books that we can recommend: “The Shape of Design” by Frank Chimero. It will teach you the basic principles of designing a product people will want to use. “Digital Behavioral Design” by T Dalton Combs. How to make users do what you want? This book will show you how to program their behavior. “Pixel Perfect Precision Handbook.” A free online guide for beginners in UX/UI. “Don’t make me think” by Steve Krug. A bestseller and must-read for everyone who wants to work in design. You will learn how to create designs that make sense to real people. “Fundamental UI Design” by Jane Portman. In layman terms, this book tells about how to create stunning and intuitive app designs. If you’re a more of an online course fan, check out the online education platforms Udemy and Coursera for more interactive materials on UX/UI design. Specialization in UX/UI from California Institute of Arts. Not free but some courses you can access for free without getting a certificate; Introductory course from Georgia Tech. Teaches you the basics and provides opportunities to practice by submitting homework; The Complete App Design Course – UX, UI, and Design Thinking by App Brewery will teach you to make lovable apps. You can do this on forums on Facebook groups. Also, social networks usually contain plenty of relevant materials that you can use to study up-to-date things. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Master the UX/UI tools Before you can start obtaining real-life working experience, you need to know how to use the necessary instruments of design. They might depend on a company where you are going to work, but the minimal survival kit includes one or more of the following: Adobe Photoshop. Underlying software for anyone working with graphics and design. It takes time to learn, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll become almighty. Sketch. A cool program for sketching but works only on Macs. It allows collaboration and offers convenient working tools. Figma. It comes in handy when it’s time to develop app prototypes — one of the simplest yet powerful programs for prototyping out there. Balsamiq. Use this application to create mockups and wireframes for the future product. It also allows for collaboration. Study the designs around you Pay attention to the details in the app that you use and search for the collections of successful designs on the internet. Browsing through the ideas of your colleagues is excellent to form your professional taste and inspire your future projects. Probably, the biggest collection of all sorts of app interfaces you’ll find on Pinterest. Start preparing your portfolio After you did your reading, it’s time to practice what you have learned and start developing real skills. Nobody ever became a professional by just reading a book. Try to dedicate 1-2 hours a day to sketching and prototyping regularly. Perfect if you can find a mentor to have a look at your work or at least a friend who also studies design. When you have zero work experience, make up your project, or deliver your interpretation of an existing solution for a famous brand. After you finish it, you will have something to show to your potential employer on a job interview. Sign up for an internship If you have this possibility, offer to collaborate with a real company as an intern or volunteer. In this case, you get practical experience without too much responsibility or risk to let somebody down. The companies usually hire interns who did well. In any case, completing a trainee program is an excellent addition to your CV. Find a job There is no need to exaggerate your work experience or lie about it to your employer. Many companies hire beginner level UX/UI professionals if they see their passion and the ability to learn. The best way to become a professional is to start working on real projects. So, as soon as you complete the previous steps, don’t hesitate to apply for your dream job at a UX/UI agency. Never stop learning Read and take courses in typography, marketing, painting, and so on. There is not a direct connection with UX/UI, but they can help expand your professional horizons. If you got a job, it doesn’t mean that you can get stuck in your development. Learn from your more experienced colleagues as well. And good luck! So, let us mention all the steps once again: Get familiarized with the job description Decide on your learning materials Master the UX/UI tools Study the designs around you Start preparing your portfolio Sign up for an internship Find a job Never stop learning Summing up Everything is possible for a willing heart. It is possible to become a UX/UI designer even if you have zero formal education and work experience, as long as you’re determined. You got instructions on how to become a designer in 8 easy steps, and now it’s time for you to fulfill your dreams! View the full article
  15. If you’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, you might have been lulled into working for somebody else due to the higher job security involved. It’s a good bet to build your company while you’re still employed if that’s where you see your ideal career going, but you might be nervous about actually doing it. Here are 5 key tips for you to keep in mind if you want to build a career as an entrepreneur if you’re already employed. Try to go part-time first. This way you will continue to have income that you can rely on while you test whether you will be able to depend on income from your entrepreneurship. Make sure you check your employment contract. Some employers consider anything created by the employee as part of their intellectual property. This is especially important if you use your company computer at home or vice versa. Employers can and sometimes do comb through emails or files that their intranet has access to so they can check to see if this intellectual property has been created with their resources. Therefore it’s a good idea to restore an old hard or RAID drive and use that almost like a cheap burner phone to store all your entrepreneurship-related files while you’re at work. Remember that employers may have the right to read whatever keystrokes you’ve entered using their hard drive. Want to Read More Articles Like This One? Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Career Enlightenment, and never miss another powerful job searching tip! SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! We hate spam too. Unsubscribe any time. Save as much as you can. If you’re even thinking about taking the plunge and going for entrepreneurship you should have some savings to rely on. Some extra cash reserves can sustain you when you decide to leave, or cover any expensive investments that you need to make even when you’re still working in a part-time position. Keep in mind your relationship with your employer. This tip is for those whose company is going to be working in a similar niche to the employers, but not competing with them directly. If you have a good relationship with your employer, be open with them while you leave: you could end up collaborating with them or even being a client or customer. If they are really interested, they might even ask to invest. Don’t jump ship too soon. If you get an influx of interest or even customers, it can be quite important for your career to hold on a bit longer. You need to make sure that your small business is sustainable enough for you to quit your job, and you may be fooled by your business gaining traction as part of its natural life cycle. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re completely secure yet. There you have it: 5 absolutely vital things you need to keep in mind if you are currently employed and want to start a small business. Even if you’re not there yet, doing the part-time route can be a great way to decrease your risk and diversify your portfolio — figuratively speaking. View the full article