There are a few things that you simply can’t get around in life. Death and taxes are two of the most famous but working and earning a living are perhaps the most pervasive and demanding constants in life. And while working a job results in financial compensation, it is not uncommon to feel like you aren’t getting everything you want out of a job. What you get from your job, however, can be up to you to some extent. Here are a few things that you can do to maximize the value you get out of your job.

Get Your Matching Contributions

The first thing that you must do to get more value out of your job is to get your matching contributions. If you aren’t taking advantage of your employers 401(k) contribution match, you are literally leaving money sitting on the table. At most businesses, your employer will match a percentage of your contributions to your 401(k), giving you more money in your retirement account. This can amount to thousands of dollars in compensation every year and is something that everyone should be doing at their job to get the most value possible from it.

Advantage of Insurance Benefits

In order to get the most value of your job, you should also be taking full advantage of your insurance benefits. Most businesses offer a collection of employee benefits, which often includes health coverage, dental coverage, and vision coverage. But many benefits packages offer you the opportunity to get other kinds of insurance which can be just as valuable. Disability insurance covers physical injuries as well as illnesses. If your employer offers disability insurance, you can get more value out of your job by signing up for it and taking out a policy.

Learn New Skills

The final thing that you can and should do to get more value out of your job is to learn new skills on the job. Whether you are picking up skills in an industry that interests you, learning how the business is run, or anything else, it will benefit you. The skills that you gain across your work experience can be what helps you get a promotion, a raise, or what allows you to start your own business or become a freelancer and take your skills to market yourself.

 

Working a job isn’t always fun. But if you know how, you can maximize the value your job offers you to get the most from your labor. Make sure that you are doing these three things to get the most value from your job.

Check out this workplace insurance benefits that may or may not be worth it!

 

 

How to Convert Your Solo Business into a Something Bigger

Convert Your Solo Business into a Something Bigger.  Some entrepreneurs start their business with a plan in mind and a lot of employees to help them along. But many others actually start their business as purely a side gig that they do on their own. If you are in the second boat, you might start thinking about the challenges you will face when you want to expand into something a little bigger. Turning your solo business into a larger venture can be a great way to take your success to a new level and reach your entrepreneurial goals.

Register Your Business

The first thing you need to do when you are expanding your solo business is to make sure that it is properly registered. Registering your business will also help to ensure that you are protecting your personal finances and separating yourself from your business. An accountant may be able to help you to figure out what kind of structure you should use. When your business is registered, you also know that you are legally protected, which can give you peace of mind as you start to grow.

Hire Employees

If you are serious about moving out of the solo business space, you also need to make sure that you hire people to join your team. This can feel intimidating if you have never hired someone before. You want to make sure that you choose people that will be a good fit for your team and that will work well together. Interviewing job candidates is about asking the right questions. The more you learn in the interview, the better it will be for your decision making process.  Consider hiring a virtual assistant or a VA.  You will need to teach them some skills but they are eager to learn and will stick with you for years.

Think Budget

Finally, you need to start addressing the budget, which can be one of the more difficult parts of expanding your business. Start thinking about how your budget will need to expand in order to scale up your processes. Sometimes you might have to seek out additional funding to help you through the early days of growing your business beyond a solo enterprise.

Growing your business can be an amazing opportunity for you and the company you are establishing. Get help from people you trust so you can enjoy your business even more than you realized you could. With that in mind, you can start improving your business as you add team members and reach more customers. 

Check out this article on how to get the most productivity out of your day!

The job hunt is an inherently stressful (and often tedious) process. And, sometimes, it may feel like that process is taking an especially long time! Why? Here are a few factors that may slow down the job seeking process, and how you can counteract them.  

A Large Pool of Candidates

The most attractive jobs are going to, well, attract. This means that you may have a lot of “competition” vying for a position! One way you can avoid the large crowds is by digging a little deeper in your job search, using less conventional platforms or avenues for finding positions that interest you, or utilize your skills. Networking is a huge part of this—whether you use connections from your educational pursuits, online professional platforms like LinkedIn, professional connections through current or previous employers or friends and acquaintances, you are more likely to find a niche job through people rather than job postings. Networking can set you up with positions without fighting against a crowd of applicants.

Stringent Hiring Practices

The companies you are applying to may be causing some slowness, too. Of course, these businesses want to be cautious with their hires, but this sometimes can mean they use thorough processes to ensure the reliability of their applicants. Many types of jobs require background checks as a condition of employment. Applications may also require letters of recommendation, skill tests, multiple rounds of interviews, or even a trial period before actually committing to a hire. If you are intent on a job that requires any or all of these things, be patient and prepared! The more determination you show, the faster the process will be. At the beginning of the application process, don’t be afraid to ask for the timeline and the expectations involved, so that you can know exactly how to prepare.

Staying Under the Radar

 Finally, you may find that your efforts aren’t reaping the progress and success you want simply because you haven’t marketed yourself as effectively as you could! Make yourself stand out of the crowd with a resume that shines, and showing interview skills that impress. Avoid using templates or generic descriptions of yourself in CVs, opting for modern but professional formats for your resume. Practice answering interview questions, or telling narratives of your education and work experiences that are relevant to the skills necessary for the job you’re applying for.

With these qualities and skills, your job hunt will be much more effective, saving you time, energy, and frustration! Use the right tools and get to work!

Check out the article on tips for finding a job with great benefits!

When you have worked your way up through your career, you start to get better compensation for your work. This comes in a few forms, most notably in salary increases and higher bonuses leading to a higher total pay. But there are additional ways that your compensation improves, through additional vacation days or better sick leave, and even through better and different kinds of insurance. But not all the insurance benefits that your workplace offers are a good idea for you. Here are three types of workplace insurance that may or may not be worth it for you and your situation.

Life Insurance

The first workplace benefit that may or may not be worth it for you is a group life insurance policy from your employer. For many people, employer provided life insurance is a no cost option, but it comes with significantly lower coverage amounts than individual policies typically. If your options are free, you should definitely sign up, but if you are considering a supplemental plan, going out on your own may be better. You should see the coverage options and costs of a supplemental plan through your work versus the cost and coverage of a private plan instead.

Dental Insurance

Another common workplace insurance benefit that may or may not be worth it for you is dental insurance packages. Many employers offer you the option to opt into their dental insurance coverage program. These programs can offer you plans at lower costs, but perhaps with limited options or lower coverage than you would hope for. Dental insurance usually only covers procedures that are medically necessary. If you have higher than standard dental health care needs, then getting a private plan with better coverage may be your better, more cost-effective choice.

Health Insurance

The final workplace insurance benefit that may or may not be worth it for you is their health insurance package. Everyone needs health insurance, or else they are liable for a tax penalty each year. But your employer provided insurance package may no longer offer you the best bang for your buck, or the best coverage possible. Consider shopping around the private market to see if you can find a plan that better aligns with your needs.

Having great insurance is one of the many perks of having a great job. But what if your great insurance isn’t as great as you thought? Make sure that you are considering these three different workplace insurance packages and whether they are really meeting your needs.

Check out this article on how to get the most productivity out of your day!

Millions of people work as freelancers or independent contractors, and many more would like to take the plunge. The attraction is evident: as an independent contractor, you are your own boss, and you make your own rules. Both your finances and your lifestyle can benefit.  

More Flexible Hours

As an independent contractor, you don’t have to work 9 to 5 unless you want to. You can set your own schedule, sleep late, work into the night, take a day off in the middle of the week—it’s up to you. That doesn’t necessarily mean less work; it just means you can choose your own hours.

Depending on what you do, you may have to be available at the times your clients need you. That can sometimes mean working late hours or weekends. But, when the project is finished, you can take comp time without asking anyone’s permission.

Create Your Own Retirement Plan

As a contractor, providing your own benefits package takes a little investigation, but it’s not only possible, it can work to your advantage. Often, employers will give you choices of benefits, but their “menu” is still rather limited. You’ll have a wider array of options available to you.

Creating your own retirement plan is a good example. Since you run your own business, you have the opportunity to save more tax-deferred money towards retirement. A SEP-IRA is simple to set up and run and lets you deduct up to 25% of your wages.

Work Where You Want

Most independent contractors run their businesses out of their homes, which means they don’t have to worry about commuting time. Many who work remotely with computer-based work, such as bookkeeping, tax preparation, or information technology, can live wherever they want.

If working at home is a distraction, you can always take a break and work at a library or coffee shop. Renting a shared office space may also be an option. Some coworking arrangements allow space for meeting with clients. The costs can be low and may be tax deductible as a business expense.

The thought of leaving your traditional job to become a contractor or freelancer may be appealing but also a bit intimidating. There are many advantages, however, that can make it worth it. You may be able to improve your financial situation and your work-life balance by transitioning to contract work.  

Check out this article to learn more about the benefits of working for yourself instead of an employer!