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4 Alternative and Easy Business Ideas You Can Do From Home

A career change is a scary and often risky prospect. In today’s economic climate, quitting a full time job to start a business from home can seem like a huge financial gamble.  It can be seemingly easy should you take the time to think about what you want to do and how you can make it profitable.

Start with compiling a list:

  • What are your strengths

  • What are your weaknesses

  • What are you passionate about

  • Where do your key skills lie

  • What experience can you draw on from your previous roles

  • What experiences from previous workplaces, and businesses, can you take into your new venture

 

The list is not infinite, but should be a good starting block for starting a new business from home. Bear in mind, you do not have to quit the day job in order to start a successful business from your home. You can always start a part-time venture, should you not be ready to take a big risk to go it alone. While you may feel that you are putting in a lot of hours (as well as reaping the financial rewards) you will also get a sense of achievement from what you have started.

Moreover, should you feel that your venture is not working your favour; you can cut your losses much more effectively and not have to worry about the financial impact.

Should you want a career change, or feel that you want to get out of a work rut, take a look at this list of four alternative businesses that you can start from home:

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  1. Antiques Collectibles and Dealing

While you may not consider yourself to be the next David Dickenson, antiques dealing can be an extremely profitable business should you know what you are looking for. With plenty of information readily available on the internet, as well as in print, there has never been a better time to scour charity shops or car-boot sales in order to boost your earnings. While this trade might seem a past time for the more mature person, the rise of eBay has made antiques trading much more accessible.

   2.House Cleaning

This may not be the most glamorous of pursuits, but put simply, with the right motivation you can earn some serious cash. Consider turning house cleaning into a franchise. It has proved very successful, and ultimately profitable, for many, as well as having the benefit of being your own boss. Take a look at the Chicago cleaning service for inspiration.

  3. Wedding Planning

If your dream if to plan a wedding, and for someone else to cover the cost, and then consider starting a wedding planning business. Weddings are big business, and continue to be so year on year. The great thing is, is that you need very little start up costs and the profits (as well as the job satisfaction, ) can be huge.

   4. Website Design

In an increasingly technological age, website design has never been a better field to get into. If you consider yourself to have excellent design skills, then this is something to seriously consider. Every company has a website, why not tap into that resource and offer this as a service.

While the list may seem a little quirky, and less mainstream, than some business ideas, they are incredibly profitable. Should you have a canny knack for numbers and business, you can turn your quirky, alternative business dream into a profitable reality.

5 Career Tips for Those with Lofty Ambitions

Rising to the top is never a smooth, stress-free transition. Self-doubt, competitive co-workers and an endless number of headache-inducing deadlines are just some of the setbacks that threaten to throw us off course every day. So how do you make it big? How do you fulfil the personal dream that eludes so many of us? If you’re an ambitious individual, you’ve come to the right place. Below you will find five career tips that can transform your maybe into a sure thing.

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1. Seek Feedback

Nobody enjoys hearing criticism. That is the crux of the matter. However, without direction and honest criticism, how can you know where you need to improve? Whether it involves formal, structured meetings or casual coffee catch-ups, stand out from the pack by requesting regular feedback sessions. Not only will you be able to reduce or eliminate any perceived weaknesses, you will appear engaged and enthusiastic about your job.

2. Take Failure in Your Stride

If every single businessperson or entrepreneur decided to give up after their first failure, the world would be a very different place. There would be no Disney, no Harry Potter and no Oprah. Movies like Jaws or Indiana Jones would be unheard of, while KFC could stand for just about anything. The story of businessman Ron Bakir is a great example of how to rechannel disappointment. After achieving success at an early age, Bakir’s company went into liquidation. Instead of fading away, the business-savvy Australian then returned several years later with a new property development venture.

3. Self-Improvement

One of the easiest ways to reach a state of stagnation in your career is to become complacent. Push yourself each day to improve your performance and learn new skills or lessons. Ranging from learning Mandarin to wearing a tie each day, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, chooses a yearly challenge for himself and then works on it on a daily basis. There are so many ways expand your skillset, with courses, textbooks, magazines, blogs and websites all on offer.

4.Have a Mentor

Another great way to get ahead is to be connected with someone who is already there. Having a mentor immediately gives you an advantage over those who do not. They can offer quality advice, be a source of support and most importantly, open doors that could lead to just about anywhere. Many companies advocate a mentoring system; why not suggest this at your workplace?

5.Networking

Speaking of opened doors, the power of networking knows no limits. Time and time again, we hear of individuals who received a rare, fantastic opportunity thanks to someone they know. Could this be you? Expand your pool of contacts by reconnecting with old managers and colleagues on LinkedIn and always remember to ask for help when needed.

More often than not, the people who succeed in their chosen careers are talented, motivated individuals who use a number of strategies to get to the top. What other career tips have you been given? Did Ron Bakir and Mark Zuckerberg’s stories inspire you? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Enjoy Working Outside? These Careers Could Be Just What You Are Looking For

For many people these days, the career into which they fall when leaving school is not the one they will follow for the rest of their lives. There are far more options available now than at any time in the past when it comes to thinking about work. Generations of workers before were restricted, mainly by the inability to get about, in their choices and would often spend their lives working for the same employer. They did have the advantage of job security, however, that is sadly missing in today’s fast paced world.

 

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There are many factors to be taken into consideration when choosing the right career for you. Are you an academic type, for example? Perhaps you would prefer to do a job that is more manual. Often the choice of inside or outside work is a major consideration; some hate the thought of being cooped up in an office while others shiver at the thought of a winter outside.

Here are some great outdoor jobs you may consider taking up if you are a lover of the great outdoors.

Farmer

If you are a lover of animals, farming may be for you. Early hours and long working days are normal, so if you have trouble raising your head from the pillow farming may not be for you.

Street Sweeper

The street sweeper provides a valuable service to all of us. They carry out the work without complaint at a gentle pace and often go unappreciated.

Overhead Linesman

As the winter weather seems to be getting more extreme, overhead linesmen are kept busy. Power lines are brought down all over the country during storms, and they need replacing. A head for heights will help with this job.

Steeplejack

The steeplejack will work in, what appears to be, precarious positions, very high up in the air, and nerves of steel are needed. The job doesn’t only entail working on steeples; it includes repairing industrial chimneys too which can be very tall indeed.

Bricklayer

Laying bricks is an art form that takes a lot of practice and is far more involved than many people think. As with all trades in the Australian construction industry; a construction induction card is required to show that the worker is competent to work safely on site.

Lorry Driver

For lovers of the open road, this is a great job that will put a smile on your face. There are long haul jobs or local deliveries from which to choose. You will need to obtain the relevant licenses; however, lighter vehicles can be driven on a car license. Check the laws in your country.

Postman

Maybe you enjoy a lot of exercise and are as fit as a fiddle. A postman walks many miles in a day through all kinds of weather. Postmen aren’t afforded the respect they were years ago when the uniforms resembled those of the police force. They play a vital role in the running of the country, however, and deserve our appreciation.

Civil Engineer

Perhaps the thought of using heavy plant will be tempting. Roads need building and repairing all over the world.

As mentioned earlier, whatever career path is chosen, there is a strong possibility it will be for the foreseeable future and not for life. One career often points the way for the next and there are some fantastic outdoor opportunities to be had.

 

4 Engineering Careers You Should Definitely Consider In 2014

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When you’ve just left university after obtaining a top degree in engineering, it will be time to start thinking about all the employment options open to you. You probably want to avoid all the standard solutions, as hundreds of other qualified people will be applying for the same roles, and this means your chance of success is significantly decreased. No, you want to try something nobody else has even thought of. Something guaranteed to leave you fulfilled every single day of your working life. And this is why it’s vital you pay attention to the four suggestions made in this article.

After much research, I’ve determined the four jobs listed are probably some of the best engineering roles out there. Don’t get me wrong, they won’t be suitable for everyone, but presuming you’ve got an open mind and you’re not too bothered about working really hard when it’s requires, they could be perfect. So, give me your full attention as I relay information that could change your life for the better, for good.

1 – Structural Engineering

If you have an interest in how things are put together (which you probably have being as you’ve just completed an engineering degree), then opting to find work with one of the UK’s main structural engineering companies might be ideal. Whether you’re working on buildings, bridges or anything else exciting, your days will never be repetitive, and you should always find new and interesting challenges.

2 – Armed Forces

The royal engineers is one of the largest and best trained brigades in the British armed forces, and so long as you’re willing to undergo the military training involved, the day to day realities of this job could provide you with all the fun and excitement you’ll ever need. Obviously, you want to avoid being deployed in a warzone, but on the plus side; engineers rarely do much fighting. You could specialise in pipeline supplies or anything that takes your fancy.

3 – Demolition Expert

Most people think engineering only teaches them how to create things, but it also teaches them how to destroy them. These days, the buildings we throw up are far too large and sturdy to take down brick by brick, which is why demolition experts are called in. However, you have to understand how a building was made to work out how to bring it down safely, and this is something your skills are perfect for.

4 – Airplane Design

There are very few jobs ever available at places like B.A Systems, but they do come up occasionally, so you should bookmark every airplane manufacturers website you encounter while browsing the net. Generally, this is one of the best paid positions an engineer can have anywhere in the world, so thank your lucky stars you’ve heard about it here.

Well, unfortunately, I’ve got to head off now and give some career advice at my local school. Hopefully, the kids there will be just as enthusiastic as you were about going to university and giving themselves the best start in life.

 

Good luck with your job search!

 

Could you quit the day job to become an entrepreneur?

enterpreniurGone are the days when people were content with a job for life. If you feel disillusioned in the workplace, you know what, you can just up and leave. Life’s too short to feel unhappy at work. Why should you settle with an arduous commute only to feel undervalued and unfulfilled when you arrive.

The internet has greatly increased the options at our disposal. There is enough high quality information available for even a business novice to get a good grasp of the key strategies to grow a business from the ground up. Resources such as the business blog at Everline.com (a short-term finance provider for small and growing businesses), the BBC’s Entrepreneurship pages and the knowledge and community pages at Simply Business are an invaluable source of free assistance and ideas.

So, if you’re considering trading in your comfortable job, steady wage and paid holiday entitlement for the unpredictability, stress but ultimate satisfaction of going it alone, here’s some advice to help you along the way.

Don’t resign on a whim

It’s awfully tempting, particularly after a bad day, to make a snap decision and hand in your resignation without giving it the forethought it deserves. There are some days when the thought of going to work is soul destroying, but if you’re going to make this work, you need plenty of time to plan ahead while you have the safety net of a steady wage.

How are you going to support those who depend on you? Are you willing to work longer hours? Are you happy to except a drop in living standards? These are all important considerations before breaking the news to your boss.

Start your business while you’re still employed

It’s always best to start a new business while you still have a regular salary to depend upon. This gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to develop the business so you can transition seamlessly from employment to entrepreneurship while avoiding a prolonged spell without earning.

Prepare for the onslaught

The truth of the matter is, in the early days, you’ll probably never work so hard. The stress can be enormous, after all, your livelihood is at stake, and the thought of crawling back to your self-satisfied ex-boss is too much to bear. So you have no choice; you must make it work. The trouble is that at some stage, everything which can go wrong probably will, and when it does, the buck stops with you.

After a year of business you might think you’ve turned the corner and it’s plain, profitable sailing from there on in, but like the second album, it is often during the second year that a lot of businesses fail. You should still prepare yourself for plenty of rejection, inconsolable downs and plenty of late nights; but you know what? It’s still worth it.

Don’t dwell on the past

Mistakes are inevitable for any entrepreneur, but as clichéd as it may be, it is the mistakes you make which teach you the most. It is important not to dwell and think of what might have been. Stay focused on the future, set achievable daily goals and remain positive; all it takes is one email to completely change your fortunes.

Do you have a strong desire to become an entrepreneur? Perhaps you’ve made the transition to self-employment and you’d like to share your tips? Either way, we’d love to hear from you, so please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Considering A Career As A Corporate Lawyer? Read This First!

One of the attractions of becoming a corporate lawyer is the fact that you get to advise companies on mergers and acquisitions, and investments, as well as helping to implement them.

Corporate lawyers typically advise these companies on the sale or purchase of these other businesses, as well as how to raise the capital needed to buy them.

And because there is often an international element to the work, you would sometimes need to travel to other parts of the world in order to ensure smooth transactions.

Image credit: gauge opinion (obtained from Flickr).

But the question is, should you become a corporate lawyer? If you are considering pursuing this career path, it is important that you know the facts about the job before you commit to anything, so that you can make an informed decision about what can potentially be a life-changing choice!

No two deals (or law firms) are ever the same

Corporate lawyers get to work on a variety of different deals, and often you would be expected to work on at least four or five different deals at any one time! Large firms typically have corporate lawyers in offices dotted around the world, and you could be working with a small team of five lawyers or a large team of one hundred lawyers!

Being a corporate lawyer isn’t full of drama

You might be fantasising over dramatic courtroom scenes like you might see on programs such as Law & Order, but actually being a corporate lawyer isn’t full of such drama! In fact, you will be spending most of your time sat behind a desk or large table covered with paperwork, textbooks and a computer.

Most of your time will be spent writing reading and reviewing all sorts of legal documents, so if you were looking for a law career where you could spend your time dramatically interrogating people in a courtroom, you should probably look to another job within the legal profession!

You spend a lot of time doing research

If you wanted to be a Seattle lawyer that specialized in corporate law, for example, you would need to have an analytical mindset because most of your time would be spent doing research.

The types of things that you would be researching include jurisdictional rules, any local laws that may have a significant bearing on the sale or purchase of a business, and a whole host of other topics.

Sometimes the work can feel a bit monotonous, so you have to know how to handle long periods spent on your own consumed by paperwork, law books and other relevant documentation.

Corporate law is generally recession-proof

You might be concerned that getting a job in corporate law could be adversely affected by any recessions, but if anything a recession will generally bring more work to corporate law firms (as unfortunate as it sounds) due to companies needing to downsize their subsidiary companies in order to remain profitable and stay afloat whilst riding the tides of uncertainty.

As with any business, corporate law firms would generally have to adapt to changing market conditions in such circumstances, but it’s unlikely that you would ever be out of work.

Fantastic Job Suggestions For People With A Biology Degree

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If you’ve spent the last three or four years with you head stuck in the books, it must be incredibly relieving to finally gain your degree and leave higher education. What you’ve just achieved is no mean feat, and now you’re in a very strong position when it comes to finding suitable employment. As one of the least interesting sciences, the field of biology is severely lacking young talent at the moment, which means you should have no trouble obtaining a good job if you just hold out and wait for the right company to get in touch.

Just in case you’re a little undecided though, I’ve chosen to publish this article today in the hope of highlighting some really cool career options you might like to consider. Personally, I’d love any of the jobs listed below, but unfortunately I dropped out of my own university course after only a few months. This is why I completely understand how dedicated you must be to the subject.

So, if you need some employment ideas, read on…

Pharmacologist

In most instances, pharmacologists will be responsible for testing drugs and determining how they will affect the human body. This is a particularly interesting job because it could see you travel all over the world due to its “in-demand” nature. For the most part, people who accept this role stay in the same position for their entire lives, which should tell you something about how enjoyable it can be.

Research Scientist

If you’re more interested in going back to basics, then becoming a research scientist and working for specialist providers of biology services could be perfect. Your job will involve identifying chemical compounds and determining if they could be useful for the treatment of certain conditions. Also, you’ll spend a lot of time testing compounds for antimicrobial activity.

Higher Education Lecturer

Of course, if you enjoyed university that much that you simply don’t want to leave, you could spend some time gaining extra qualifications that would allow you to become a lecturer and teach the subject you love to other young and fresh minds. Just bear in mind that this role will become incredibly monotonous after a few years, and so perhaps it’s better saved for when you’re a little older and looking for less demanding forms of employment.

Clinical molecular geneticist

If you’re looking for something that will truly push you to your very limits and provide completely new challenges every day, then becoming a clinical molecular geneticist could be exactly what you need. The basic premise of this job involves assessing strands of human DNA and identifying any possible anomalies associated with diseases that may have been inherited. So, you’ll be doing society an amazing service by getting involved.

I sincerely hope these suggestions have been of some use to you, and now you’ll be more inclined to think outside the box and really try to push yourself when selecting the ideal career.

You’ve come this far, now there’s just a few more steps to go…

Good luck!

How To Become A Marine Surveyor In 3 Easy Steps

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We all know how boring unskilled jobs can be, so if you’re looking to make a change to your employment options and retrain to gain more exciting prospects, now is the time to start looking at your options. Working at Tesco or Wal-Mart will only satisfy a person for so long, which is why applying for a university course and obtaining a degree could be the best solution to your problems. There are obviously endless career choices out there for people with recognised qualifications, but today, I’m going to focus on what you need to do to become a marine surveyor.

Just in case you’re unaware of what this job entails, it might be worth me spending some time explaining the ins and outs of the industry. Basically, marine surveyors are used whenever a company needs to know details about underwater landscapes. They might be planning to build a new waterside construct and require information relating to possible stability issues, or sometimes the surveyors could be called in when foundations need to be assessed.

Anyway, if this career path sounds appealing to you, here’s three easy steps you can take to get involved…

1 – Getting Your Degree

As this is a rather specialist profession, it’s important you first head off to university and get some relevant qualifications. In most instances, it would be suitable to enroll on a naval architecture course, which would allow you to become a dock engineer or something similar. A job like this entails surveying dockland structures and ensuring no ships will become stuck when entering a port. This is obviously a very important role and is usually only available to the most talented of individuals. Also, it’s a good idea to spend time becoming a good swimmer, because accidents do happen from time to time. Your naval architecture course should last for around three years.

2 – Starting Your Training

This is best done through work placements, and so it’s wise to start contacting marine engineering firms as early on as possible to secure your placement. For the first few months, you’ll be working with a fully trained professional and learning how to use all relevant equipment properly. Alongside this, you’ll learn about how to record your findings accurately and how to present them to board members or whoever else needs to know the details.

3 – Getting A Job

With a bit of luck, the company who trained you will be inclined to offer you a full time job. At the end of the day, it’s in their interests to have only the best and most qualified people on their team, and as they’ve spent so long training you, it would seem silly to let you work for one of their competitors. Still, sometimes there aren’t enough jobs available and so you might have to spend some time looking at specialist job boards online to find something else suitable.

So long as you follow these three easy steps, you should have no trouble realizing your dream and becoming a marine surveyor in less than five years. As with anything else in life, your level of success will depend heavily on your ability to retain information and work hard, even in the worst of environments.

Good luck guys!

Becoming A Renewable Energy Engineer: What You Need To Know

One of the benefits to becoming a renewable energy engineer is that you can potentially get the chance to do a lot of travelling around the world, taking in all sorts of weird and wonderful scenery, and have a sense of achievement knowing that you are working towards improving the future of our planet.

Image via Flickr

Of course, you might not always end up being sent to some exotic locations like Hawaii or Bermuda, and you could spend an awful lot of time in rather cold and windy parts of the world!

But having said that, it’s an awesome industry to get involved with, and aside from the obvious environmental benefits there is also the fact that you will be paid quite well for what you do!

The renewable energy industry gives you the opportunity to work with sustainable sources of energy such as biofuels, hydropower, solar and wind power.

If you are considering becoming a renewable energy engineer, then here is what you need to know in order to pursue such a career in the renewable energy industry.

What you would typically get involved with

As a renewable energy engineer, your job would comprise of many of the following aspects:

  • Research – finding new ‘green’ ways to generate energy, such as assessing locations suitable for building new wind or solar panel farms;
  • Development – designing bespoke machinery and tools to improve existing green energy extraction processes;
  • People management – supervising other team members to ensure goals or deadlines are met;
  • Liaising with third parties – dealing with contractors, geologists, and geophysicists and assisting with any queries;
  • Experimenting – trialling new technologies on small scales prior to setting up production processes.

Working hours

You should bear in mind that being a renewable energy engineer means that you do not work typical 9 to 5 days! It is not uncommon for engineers to be working shift patterns on a seven-day basis; this includes evenings and weekends.

Office-based roles such as those involved with research and development tend to have more forgiving working patterns akin to typical office workers.

Salary

Graduate engineers can expect to earn salaries of between £21,000 and £31,000 per annum, although these figures might be higher or lower depending on which discipline you work in.

Seasoned renewable energy engineers that have more practical experience can expect to earn anything from £35,000 to £70,000 per year.

Many renewable energy engineers actually work as self-employed contractors rather than directly for one specific firm or organisation, and in such cases it is not unusual to attain even higher rates of pay.

Entry requirements

In order to become a renewable energy engineer, you will need to have a university degree, such as a BEng or BSc, or a Masters (MEng or MSc) in an engineering or science subject like environmental technology, Earth sciences, environmental engineering or renewable and sustainable energy.

Additionally, being certified after completing LEED AP training can also help your chances of getting that dream job, as well as showing documented interest in the subject by submitting research papers, for example.