How To Become A Life Coach

If becoming a life coach is a dream of yours, then today’s post is one for you. I have been thinking about getting a life coach for myself, and possibly one day even coaching others.

If you love helping others, then becoming a life coach can be a fun and fulfilling career for you.

As a little background into the life coaching career, I will answer the question “What exactly is life coaching?”

How To Become A Life CoachLife coaching is sort of like counseling. This is where you help people in their lives reach goals by motivating them and providing guidance to them.

You will be helping your clients obtain and lead successful lives and motivating them to do so.

As a life coach, you might help someone determine what they want to do with their lives, provide guidance if something big (good or bad) has happened in their life), help them find ways to obtain a healthier lifestyle, help them figure out what type of life they want to live, and more. There are many, many things that you can be a life coach to a person for.

Below are things you might want to look into doing in order to become a successful life coach:

Hire a coach for yourself.

In order to determine if coaching is even for you, it’s usually a good idea to hire a coach for yourself. If you have never had a life coach, then how do you know if you would even like it.

The life coaching business isn’t exactly for the type of person who hates their job. In order to thrive in this industry you need to be happy and enjoy your line of work.

Hiring a coach for yourself can be great experience because you will learn what works and what does not work for potential future clients of yours. Many life coaches have coaches themselves as well, so there is no reason for you to feel odd or like a failure for having your very own life coach.

Attend at least some educational courses.

To become a life coach, you do not need any sort of degree. However, attending courses, obtaining certifications, and so on can really help you become more successful in the field of life coaching.

Taking in some education can also help because you will seem more knowledgable to potential clients. Anyone can label themselves as a life coach, so taking educational coaching courses can set you apart from others who are not good life coaches.

Practice on “test subjects.”

Before you get into the real deal, you may want to find a few people who are willing to let you practice on them. Yes, this may mean that you work for low pay or no pay in the very beginning. There is nothing wrong with that though. This is the best way to gain experience and bulk up your portfolio with meaningful work.

Would you become a life coach? Why or why not?

Image via Flickr by Celestine Chua

5 Ways To Prepare For An Interview

5 Ways To Prepare For An InterviewIf you have an interview coming up, I highly recommend that you start preparing for it now. Too many interviewees go into an interview without preparing at all, which can be a major disaster.

If you’ve gone so far as to create a great resume and/or apply for a position, then you should always take the extra steps to make sure that you are prepared for the actual interview. After all, it is a very important step when it comes to the job search process. A bad interview will most likely mean that you won’t get the job.

Below are 5 ways to prepare for an interview:

1. Do research on the company and the position.

Before you head out for your interview, you should know as much about the company and the position you are interviewing for.

You should know:

  • What the company does.
  • What the company sells.
  • Who the President/owner/CEO is wouldn’t hurt.
  • What your position entails.

2. Dress appropriately.

Do you know what the dress code is at the company and for the position you are applying for? This is a very important aspect of the interview process, so make sure you are prepared.

Being overdressed is sometimes okay, but if you show up too overdressed for the position or the company than the interviewer may wonder why you weren’t more prepared. Being under-dressed is usually worse than as it shows that you aren’t professional enough for the position.

3. Know exactly where the interview is.

Back when I was interviewing after college, I would always make sure to drive to the interviewer’s office if there was any chance that I was not absolutely sure where the office was. This made me feel much more comfortable when interviewing because I knew I wouldn’t be late for an interview.

4. Practice common interview questions.

I ALWAYS suggest that everyone practice common interview questions as much as they can. You can usually do a simple Google search and find many, many articles that should be able to help you out.

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5. Bring copies of everything you need.

Lastly, don’t forget anything at home. If the interviewer has asked for specific paperwork or proof, always make sure to bring it.

Also, don’t forget to bring extra copies of your resume. Even if the interviewer doesn’t mention that you need to bring them, you definitely should as you never know if they have misplaced your resume or if there is an extra interviewer that joins in on the interview at the last moment.

How do you prepare for an interview?

 

How To Set Yourself Apart From Other Interviewees

How To Set Yourself Apart From Other IntervieweesInterviews can be a stressful process. Even if you are great at interviews and/or if you think you are perfect for the job, you may still not actually be receiving any job offers.

So, what do you do when this happens?

You need to start setting yourself apart from everyone else who is interviewing for the same positions as you are. If everyone is very similar, then little (or sometimes big) things can go a long way and earn you the job. You may have to start putting in more effort to land that job, but if you really want a job then it can be well worth it.

Not giving your full effort when applying for jobs is just a waste of everyone’s time anyways. 🙂

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Here are my tips to set yourself apart from other interviewees.

Understand what the company does.

Before you go into an interview, you should always understand what a company does. You should know what they sell, what they make, what their mission is, and what exactly you would be doing in your position. Most of this information can easily be found online with just simple online searches and/or reading the company’s website.

I promise it’s not that hard, yet so, so, so many people completely skip this part.

Attend events the company manages or ones they go to.

If you really, REALLY want a certain position, then you may have to go further out of your way. You may want to attend different events that the company may manage or events they often attend that you are suitable for. This way you can network and when you finally do have an interview, you can ask one of these people if they will refer you.

I did this when I was in college. The company I really wanted to work at was a part of a mentoring program and many people fought for their mentoring spots because it was a great way to network with people who already worked at the company.

Yes, they will judge the first few moments when they meet you.

Whether you like prejudgment or not, everyone does it. Those first few seconds and minutes when you meet your interviewer or interviewers are very important and they can go a very long way, or if can make your interview turn the wrong way.

You should make sure you have a firm handshake, you are on time, you smile, you smell decent, your hair is brushed, your hands are not dirty, you say hello and are polite, your clothing matches what someone would wear if they worked at the company, and more.

What interview tips do you have for interviewees to set themselves apart? What do you always make sure to do during an interview?

 

Image via Flickr by beneath_blue_skies

3 Best Websites To Find A Job

target-755802_640Finding a job has become somewhat easier than ever, as you can browse around online and check out different careers. You can also check out pay, requirements, and qualifications online on most of these websites.

We live in a day and age where applying online for a job is common, which makes it a lot easier and saves a bit of time as well. It’s comforting to be able to look around and do research on a job before applying, and it also feels better to apply for a job in a more relaxed environment, in the comfort of your own home.

These 5 websites will help you find a job and some will even alert you when a new job has been posted.

1. Job Indeed.

This is not only a website, but an app as well. I’ve been using this app ever since I was about 17 years old to find jobs. All you have to do is type in the city and state in where you are wanting to find a job in, and then voila. Tons of jobs will pop up, and you can even narrow the search down to a word.

If you want part-time or full-time, you can also enter that into the search bar and all of the jobs with those words will come up and make it easier to find a job you are looking for as well. This app/website also allows you to upload your resume to make it easier than ever to apply to a job.

2. Career Builder.

Career Builder is sort of the same as Job Indeed, but might have more or less job options. I believe it’s best to do as much searching as you can on all job search engines because there is a possibility of missing one job that you would really want. All you have to do is type in keyword and the location of where you are trying to find the job. This website also allows you to add your resume, so you can easily apply for a job with your resume linked to the website already.

3. College Recruiter.

This website is mostly for new students that are just coming out of college and looking for entry-level jobs. You would type in your job title or the keyword, along with the location of where you are wanting to work in. This website also has a blog with plenty of articles to swift through, along with allowing you to post a job if you are an employer. College Recruiter will also help you in terms of getting a job, with listing advice and tips. You can find the advice and tips at the top of the web page.

Using online job search engines have become easier than ever, allowing you to find the best job possible. Remember to always do research on the company you are applying to, as it makes you a better candidate to get hired when you know about the company.

Have you used any of the above websites to find a job? What other sites would you recommend using to find a job?

 

Benefits of Private Student Loan Refinance

Benefits of Private Student Loan RefinanceOver the last decade, America’s student loan debt has soared an astounding 400%. Today, $1.2 trillion in student loan debt hangs above our heads.

Student loans can be an expensive problem too. While federal student loans have relatively low interest rates, private student loans can be quite expensive. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans are issued by private lending institutions who qualify applicants based on credit worthiness.

About 10% of total outstanding student loan debt is private. Private student loan interest rates can range from 5 percent at the low end, all the way up to 14% on the very high end.

If you are stuck paying high amounts of interest on private student loans, you should know that there are options out there for you. Private student loan forgiveness is not an option for most people. Don’t believe those late night television ads talking about private student loan forgiveness. But private student loan refinancing is a possibility for many student loan borrowers. As it sounds, private student loan refinancing is the process of refinancing private student loans into one new loan with a private student loan lender. Refinancing is a great option for borrowers looking to lower their interest rate. Borrowers can even tailor their monthly payment to their financial situation. Refinancing interest rates start at about 2.00% on the low end, and range up to 8% on the high end. Only very qualified borrowers will be able to lock in at 2.00%. Whereas, most refinancing applicants are offered rates around 5%. Every basis point matters when it comes to student loans. Even saving 1% on a student loan is significant. Over the course of 10 or 15 years, 1% can add up to thousands of dollars.

Student loan refinancing lenders allow borrowers to refinance and consolidate both federal and private student loans. The borrower usually has the option of selecting a new term length as well. If you select a shorter term length, the interest rate you pay will usually be much lower. However, if you select a longer term length, such as 25 years, you will find yourself paying a relatively higher interest rate. Most student loan refinance lenders offer term lengths from 5 to 25 years. Borrowers also have the option of choosing a new interest rate type. Borrowers can select from fixed, variable, and even mixed interest rates.

Refinancing variable private student loans into a fixed rate can be a great idea. When interest rates rise, variable rates will rise too! Locking into a fixed rate loan can be a useful option and will provide protection in a higher interest rate environment. Fixed rates mean stable monthly payments and total loan costs.

One organization looking to help private student loan borrowers is called LendEDU.com. LendEDU is a marketplace for student loans and student loan refinancing. In 5 short minutes, you can compare up to 9 student loan refinance lenders with one application. All you need to do is fill out a short application that does not affect your credit. From there, LendEDU matches you to top student loan lenders such as SoFi, DRB, and LendKey. You will be able to view quotes from all the top student loan lenders without damaging your credit. Furthermore, you will know that you are getting the lowest rates from the start.

Too many consumers don’t price compare when it comes to student loans and student loan refinancing. Private student loan refinancing can be a great option for borrowers. But make sure that you compare lender offers before locking yourself into a new rate with a new lender. Lastly, make sure that you look for special deals from the lenders. Some lenders are offering borrowers cool deals such as 1.50% cashback and even cosigner release. You can find all these deals at LendEDU! And if you are lucky enough to get approved for multiple offers, you can even give your negotiation skills a shot. We had a couple readers who were able to negotiate their offers down after multiple approvals.

Definately look at refinancing those private student loans if you have them. These days there are about 10 lenders looking for your business. If you refinance with a particular lender, please shoot us an email with your feedback. We would love to hear from you so that we can make even better recommendations going forward.

Budget Tips For College Students

Budget Tips For College StudentsBeing a college student can have many perks and downfalls. Colleges and universities can be quite expensive these days, which is why it is crucial to make the best out of being a student.

I didn’t start taking full advantage of the perks of being a student until about a year ago.

1. Use your student discount.

Like I said above, take full advantage of student discounts.  You would be quite surprised how many places have student discounts. This can also come in handy if you need to buy more expensive items, such as laptops or other electronics.

2. Find ways to save money.

If you’re in college, I’m sure you have some sort of smart phone. If you do, next time it breaks try to fix it yourself with an iPhone screen replacement. This can probably save you at least 50% plus you can do it yourself at home in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. Who doesn’t want that?!

There are many other ways to save money as well. Try to challenge yourself!

3. Think about skipping the school’s meal plan.

If you don’t live on campus, don’t buy the meal plan from school. The meal plan at my college is extremely overpriced, and it isn’t buffet style as well. Either way, having a buffet to your access at all times isn’t a good idea for your health either. Instead, start taking care of yourself now and preparing your meals yourself. Soon enough you will be buying your own groceries and having to fend for yourself.

4. Take advantage of the gym available at your school.

I know of some colleges in the U.S. that have gyms the size of a football field. Some gyms even have aquatic parks in them that look a little bit like paradise or even a decent rock climbing wall!

The gym at my school is fairly small, but it has exactly everything you need. If your school for some reason doesn’t have a gym that is available to you, then take a stroll or run around the campus. Most colleges are and should be fairly beautiful with nice scenery, so it adds a little bonus to your run.

5. If you buy your books, return them right when you are done with them, instead of waiting.

You’ll most likely get a better price while they are somewhat new and in good condition as well. Try not to write in your book if possible, so the value of the textbook remains as high as possible. I actually have never even bought a book, I rent all of mine. There are websites that will tell you the cheapest price available for the book and where to buy it. If you are taking a short class that is only a month, the textbook is even cheaper to rent.

6. Watch your entertainment spending.

There are many different ways to have fun. Whether you like to play on casino.netbet.co.uk, go for a hike, play board games, or something else, always make sure you stay within your budget. You can allocate however much money to your entertainment category in your budget as you realistically want to, just make sure you are still paying off debt, saving money, and so on.

What other budget tips would you recommend a college student taking advantage of?

 

Working Online – Positives and Negatives

macbook-690276_640Working online has become a new way to work instead of going to an office. As the world is becoming focused on internet and staying connected online, it’s becoming more and more easier to work online, which means you can work anywhere and anytime.

Positives of working online.

1. You get to work at home. For me personally, I love working at home. I love being able to stay around family members and getting other tasks done when I need to. You get to spend quality time with the people you love. If you have children, this is especially convenient because you don’t have to hire a nanny or babysitter which would require work finding someone who you will trust with your children. You will also save money on hiring a nanny and we all love saving money!

2. You get to pick your schedule. This is probably my favorite part about working online because I no longer have to follow a strict schedule of waking up at the crack of dawn. I’m not much of a morning person and because of that I’ve spent a lot of money on picking up coffee in the mornings that I didn’t wake up early enough to make my own coffee.

3. No commute to work, saving time and money on gas and car expenses. People travel up to 0-2 hours for work and I even know of a person who travels 1.5 hours to a different state to work. So her total commute time is 3 hours of working! I’m not a fan of driving so whenever I did have to commute to work, I made sure it was less than 30 minutes each way. One time I had to drive 45+ minutes for a job that lasted 3 hours, but they paid for driving so that made up for it.

4. You can travel since you work online. Since you have no place to be, you have the ability to travel wherever you want to go. All you have to do is make sure you are budgeting right and not wasting a bunch of money on items you don’t have money for.

Negatives of working online.

1. You can get easily distracted at home. It can even become more distracting if you have kids and pets to take care of. You also have to find ways to keep your kids distracted while you are working and you also might have to find someone to watch your kids while you work.

2. You aren’t in a work environment, therefore you might work less or stop working often since no one is watching you. When I first started working online, I noticed it was a lot less stressful, but it was also harder to stay on track of my work. I would get easily distracted, but it was because I had so many items distracting me. I had to lay out everything that was distracting me and find ways to make my working area work well for me.

3. Depending on your job, there can be a fluctuation of income. You won’t be getting a steady income as you would at a job out in the corporate world. This can create issues for some people but you have to find solutions to work around this.

What other positives and negatives do you find with working online? Do you agree with what I mentioned?

 

Become A Freelance Writer

Become A Freelance WriterIf you are interested in learning how to become a freelancer writer, then you’ve come to the right place.

Here on Grad Money Matters, we talk a lot about taking control of your life and doing what you want to do, which might include learning how to become a freelance writer.

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There are many positives of becoming a freelance writer, such as for a blog or a website like thepensters.com. The positives include:

  • Having a flexible schedule.
  • Being able to work from home.
  • Being in control of the amount of money you earn each month.
  • And more!

Writing online is a career that many people enjoy, including myself. I love what I do and I honestly wouldn’t do anything else!

So, what should a person think about if they are interested in writing for a living?

Do you enjoy writing?

The first thing you need to think about is whether you enjoy writing or not. If you do not, it will usually come through in your writing and it will probably be somewhat hard to write enough articles in order to make a living, because each article will most likely take longer than usual to write since you are forcing it.

If you love writing though, then becoming a freelance writer may be a perfect idea for you! I actually hated writing in school, but I love blogging and freelance writing more than anything. It still surprises me to this day, so even if you think you do not like it, I recommend that you at least try it out to see.

Do you have a blog of your own?

Blogging is a great way to see if you will enjoy being a freelance writer. You will get to experience everything that is related to owning a website, freelance writing, editing, etc., which can help you understand what goes into a freelance writing career before you ask someone to hire you.

It is also great because you can use your blog sort of as your portfolio, which you can then give to future clients for them to view and analyze very easily.

Due to the reasons above, I always recommend that a person has a blog of their own before they start freelance writing for others. A few have done it the other way (write for others, then start a blog), but it is usually harder to take that route as it’s a little harder to free freelance writing clients to hire you since they can’t really see your writing skills.

Who would your clients be? How would you find them?

There are many, many different people to write for as a freelance writer. You can start writing for a blog, a company, a magazine, a newspaper, a website of your own, an advertising company, a site such as thepensters, and more.

If you want to find clients, you can search message boards, look on job boards, contact websites you are interested in writing for, letting others know that you are looking for a freelance writing opportunity (such as by networking with those in your niche), and more.

Are you interested in learning how to become a freelance writer? Why or why not?

 

Are Post-Secondary Degrees Really Necessary Anymore?

books-691980_640With so many alternatives for career advancement available these days, there’s a hot debate over whether post secondary degrees, such as an Online Masters in Organizational Leadershipare even necessary for success any more. Certainly there are fields, like science, medicine and engineering, where an advanced degree is a requirement, but what about those who aren’t interested in pursuing careers in those fields?

Aside from the cost of a higher education and the delay in beginning your professional life, there are many more benefits to furthering your education beyond a high school diploma or undergraduate degree that go beyond a much higher pay rate, sometimes up to three times more than a bachelors degree alone. For example, courses are often taught by instructors who have extensive knowledge and experience in the subject matter they teach. Those who have worked in the field often have valuable insights they can share, based on their experience.

College also provides you with an opportunity to have experiences you would otherwise miss, like the chance to meet people outside of your home environment and the means of exploring who you are and what you want out of life in a relatively safe, structured environment. Those who have attended college wouldn’t trade those experiences and social opportunities for anything, and those who don’t often regret missing out on them.

Internships, which are often required for a graduate degree, are another value-added part of college life. Although you may think of these as unpaid, low-level jobs, they provide hands-on experience in the real world that may reinforce your decision to work in your chosen field. Internships also provide great opportunities to network with people in your industry, a benefit that is also offered by alumni associations, as well as fraternities, sororities and other student groups.

As to the negative aspects, namely financial considerations and time, there are remedies. First, let’s address the financial part. These days there are many employers who are willing to invest in the education of promising candidates that they want to keep. There are also more scholarship programs opening up everyday, as well as work/study incentives, where all or part of the tuition is paid in exchange for working in a much-needed sector of your chosen industry for a specified time period.

As to the time factor, online education is making it easier and more convenient for all adult students to work their courses around their family and work obligations. Prospective employers also consider the time and effort involved in earning an advanced degree to be emblematic of one’s commitment and work ethic.

How To Not Be A Broke College Student

How To Not Be A Broke College StudentBeing in college doesn’t have to be so difficult to save money. You don’t have to be broke either.

Use being a student to your advantage while you can because it can save you a decent amount of money.

You can always keep your student ID card and use it after, even if you aren’t currently a student, it will still work!

1. Invest in a ISIC card.

I just bought one today for $25 and I’ve basically already been paid back when I use it for my Machu Picchu trip. I will save about 30 dollars. This card is for US students only and it lasts 1 year.

You can buy a new one each year but the cost is $25 in the US. This card can be used all around the world and has the potential to be used as several different thousands of places. It can be used at certain restaurants, landmarks, trips, etc.

2. Sublease your next room.

If you are deciding to live off campus while in college, consider sub-leasing a room with a family.

I did this for 1 year and I am so thankful I did! I was able to focus on my studies and didn’t live in a party house at all. I didn’t ever have the pressure to drink or throw parties, and it was somewhat quiet. (I did live with little kids so it was obviously a little loud at times.)

Although I might have gotten a little annoyed at times, I did really like living with a family. I got the feeling of living with my old family and I didn’t feel so lonely at all. I didn’t get homesick either which helped a ton during the school year. I obviously saved a ton of people as well because I wasn’t paying the high cost of living in the dorms at my college.

3. Use your student ID to your advantage.

Simply type in on Google ‘student ID discounts’. You’ll be just as shocked as I was when you see how many things come up. It’s overwhelming and it kind of made me mad at first because I would go to all of these places without even knowing I could save money!

There are tons of restaurants/fast food chains/clothing stores on the list, along with electronic stores. You can save a ton of money on computers during the beginning of the school year.

If you have kids, use their student ID to your advantage as well! When you go out, use their student ID to save money on the tab. Although college is incredibly expensive in the US states, you can make the best out of it.

Do you do any of the things that I mentioned above? What else do you do to not be broke during college?