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06/22/17 Work #

How to Choose a Finance-Related Course That’s Right for You

Do you want to learn more about finance by enrolling in a finance-related course? With so many courses available it can be difficult to choose a program that’s right for you. Some courses are better than others and different topics are covered by different courses, which can be confusing.

However, the tips below will ensure that you’re more likely to choose a finance-related course that meets your requirements.

Identify the Course You Want to Complete

First of all, you’ve got to ask yourself why you want to complete a certain course. Some people want to become accountants and complete a bachelors of accounting program. Others want to know more about investing while some students simply want to increase their knowledge of this area. Once you are clear about why you want to do a particular course, you can then look at the best options available.

Online vs. Offline Courses

Traditionally, students had to attend classes and lectures in person at a college or university. However, the internet is changing the way we learn and the way colleges and universities teach their students. A wide range of accredited online courses like the online bachelors of accounting program are now available, which means students are free to study from the comfort of their own homes and at times that suit them.

Studying in the traditional way has its benefits too because you get to meet your fellow students and lecturers in the flesh. Deciding whether to study online or to go to a college or university is a personal choice and you have to decide which option suits you the most.

Cost of the Course

The price of a finance-related course is a concern for most students. To get the best value for money, you need to shop around and find out what online and offline courses you can enroll in that will not break the bank. However, make sure the course you eventually choose is a high-quality course because many courses that are advertised as being cheaper are not always that good.

Accreditation

Most students who start a finance-related course want to obtain a qualification that will enhance their resume and increase their job prospects. This is why it’s essential to choose an accredited course that will be recognized by employers.

An accredited course has to reach certain standards, so you should make sure that this is the case with the course you’re interested in. You can do this by contacting the college or university that is providing the course or by reading reviews of these courses that have been submitted by previous students.

Duration and Time Required to Study

While you’re studying for a particular finance-related course, you have to put certain areas of your life on hold for a while. How long you put your life on hold in this way is a major concern for many people. To put your mind at rest, you should find out how long it will take to complete your course and how much of your time it will take up each week.

Choosing a finance course that’s right for you is not as difficult as you might think. If you’re unsure about what course to take, the tips above will make this process a lot more straightforward.

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03/01/17 Work #

3 Big Ways to Continually Improve Your Skills at Work

3 Big Ways to Continually Improve Your Skills at Work

Going to work for five straight days each week can become monotonous. You can feel like you’re running on a treadmill and it can take all of your energy to just get through the workday — only to do it again the next day.

If you’ve reached that point, it’s a good sign that you need a vacation. But vacation time can be hard to come by, and there’s never enough of it.

A better solution, I think, is to keep yourself refreshed by continually improving your work skills. Doing this has two big benefits: job satisfaction as you enjoy improving the work you do each day, and a better chance at a pay raise.

Just like exercising and regularly and eating well, improving your work skills is a process that needs to be done regularly. Here are three of the biggest ways I’ve found to improve your skills at work continually:

Sharpen the saw

This skill is from the Stephen Covey book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” It’s a great book and one worth reading for your personal and professional life.

Sharpening the saw means renewing yourself in four areas:

  • Physical: Eating, exercising and resting well.
  • Social/Emotional: Making connections with others.
  • Mental: Learning, reading, writing and teaching.
  • Spiritual: Being in nature, meditation, music, art, prayer or service.

These are all big steps, but can be done continually at work and away from work to put balance in your life.

Take for example, self-development expert Trevor McClintock, who writes on his blog about how taking care of yourself will lead to being more productive. Making time for social interaction in your workday is important, McClintock writes, as is having time to daydream to spark creativity. Continue reading

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02/15/17 Minimalism , Work

Why I’m Dropping Another Side Gig

Why I’m Dropping Another Side Gig

For the past two years I’ve tried to increase my semi-passive income by buying two websites. As a side gig to my work as a freelance writer, I thought that they’d be easy enough to keep going while helping me meet an important financial goal — paying my family’s monthly mortgage.

It didn’t work out as well as I hoped it would, and I recently sold an investing website called Before You Invest after about two years of ownership. It was an interesting side gig, but I found that I didn’t have the time to devote to it that I thought it deserved.

The sale comes about six months after I sold another site I bought as a side gig and a way to add some semi-passive income — FamousParenting.com. I wrote about this sale in 2016, explaining that it was taking up too much of my time and wasn’t making much money.

After starting with a sudden change from how the site had been running for years with weekly posts on the best parenting sites, it looks like the new owner of FamousParenting has changed it to original blog writing that should hopefully attract more readers. Continue reading

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02/14/17 Work #

Beacon Resources: Key Skills for an Account Manager

Business people shake their hands

If a job title includes the phrase “manager” it is likely that the position will require some management skills. But when it comes to account managing, there isn’t a one size fits all for every employer.

Accounting recruiters are well aware of the challenges that employers face when seeking account managers, and there is a certain skillset that allows a candidate to rise above the rest of the resumes.

Proactivity

An account manager that provides solutions even before a challenge is presented is the type of account manager you need on your team. In the finance and accounting field, being proactive can mean the difference between success and failure for a company.

Account Managers who can look beyond what’s in front of them and evaluate future needs, possess a skill that can rarely be taught.

Multitasking

Being a jack of all trades may not appear as a requirement on a job description, but as an account manager, multitasking will play a big part of the role. Juggling tasks and switching hats at a moment’s notice is something every account manager should be able to accomplish.

Organization

Whether on the desk or in emails, account managers need to be organized. There are so many moving parts involved that it can be challenging to stay focused without organization. Accounting recruiters place a high value on a candidate with strong organizational skills.

Attention To Detail

Big or small, if it’s part of the job, it deserves time and attention. A valuable account manager is someone who maintains and dedicates attention to detail. Managing an account involves constant communication, and the oversight of even the smallest pieces of information can create major challenges.

The accounting recruiters at Beacon Resources are among the top finance recruiters in San Francisco and Los Angeles. If you are seeking accounting jobs in Los Angeles or San Francisco, our team of recruiters is here to help.

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01/10/17 Work # ,

How to Set Rates as a Freelancer

How to Set Rates as a Freelancer

 

One of the more difficult things I did when starting to work as a freelancer was setting the rates I charged clients.

I didn’t want to be too high that they thought I wasn’t worth it, or too low that my time was undervalued. I also had to figure out if an hourly or project rate worked best for my time as a freelancer.

Like many freelance writers starting out, I charged a low rate just to get my foot in the door. After a few months of that, I asked for raises and got it at a few websites that I wrote for, but mostly found that websites were willing to drop you as a writer because they could find other writers elsewhere who would write for low pay.

freelancerYou get what you pay for, and I suspect that many of those people who wrote for low pay either didn’t have the writing and reporting skills that I have or they were so desperate for a paycheck that they’d accept $25 per post.

Before I get too deep into how to set your rates as a freelancer, I want to mention that much of this information is covered in a podcast I did in early January with Liz Theresa on her “Liz on Biz” podcast. Listen to episode 17 for the fun of hearing me in stereo. Continue reading

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Hi, I'm Aaron Crowe. Welcome to CashSmarter. I'm a personal finance freelance writer who enjoys spending my money wisely and using minimalism to make my money last longer while increasing income.