You Got That New Job: Now It’s Time to Make the Right Financial Choices

Millions of Americans will start new jobs this year. With the pandemic drastically changing how, when and where we work, a fall 2020 survey by resources software company Ceridian found that sixty-four percent of all workers were actively looking or open to a new opportunity.  The survey also found that a whopping 76% of workers under age 30 fell into this category.

I happen to be one of those young professionals who made a career change during the pandemic. Moving from Philadelphia to Charlotte, N.C., the opportunity to live where I want and do work that I’m passionate about was too appealing to pass up.  However, as anyone who has ever started a new job knows, employment changes don’t come without challenges.

Aside from learning new responsibilities, accepting a new job also creates a laundry list of financial decisions to work through. For instance, I had to figure out what to do with my old 401(k), which health care benefits to elect, and choose between making traditional or Roth contributions into my new 401(k). Even for a financial planner, the litany of decisions can quickly become overwhelming. 

If you’re starting a new job or considering a career change, here are five recommendations that will help ensure your personal finances are taken care of and allow you to focus on mastering your new role.

Determine When Your Old Health Coverage Ends and New Coverage Begins

Some employers will cover terminated employees for the remainder of the calendar month in which they leave. For example, if your last day is June 15, coverage would remain through June 30. The new employer may allow you to be covered on your start date, but may also have another coverage start date like the 1st of the month following your start date.

Don’t get caught without coverage, even only for a few days. If possible, work with human resources at both companies to learn their policies before giving notice to your current employer so you can coordinate your coverage within COBRA guidelines. Otherwise, you may need to look into a short-term health insurance policy to bridge any gaps.

Choose the Right Health Care Benefits

With health care plans constantly changing, start by paying attention to the various deductible amounts.  A great rule of thumb is to always have at least enough cash on hand to cover your highest deductible in case of emergency.

Additionally, be sure to account for the potential needs of any covered dependents.  If you or a dependent has a medical condition that requires regular doctor’s visits or prescriptions, it may be worth paying for the slightly more expensive option.

You’ll also want to give careful consideration to optional life insurance or long-term disability coverage.  One of the biggest and most often neglected risks for young professionals is losing your ability to earn an income over the coming decades.  Protecting yourself and your loved ones with disability insurance is almost always the financially responsible choice.

Lastly, if you choose a high deductible health plan (HDHP), enroll in a health savings account (HSA). HSAs receive what is known as “triple tax-advantaged” treatment, meaning contributions are tax deductible when they’re made, funds can be invested on a tax-deferred basis, and distributions are income-tax free if used to pay for qualified medical expenses.  Note that the IRS requires individuals to be covered by a HDHP to be eligible to contribute to an HSA.

Your employer may even make HSA contributions on your behalf if you participate in certain wellness activities, such as health screenings, so be sure to inquire about how you can potentially qualify for free money.

Know Your Old Employer’s Policy on Vacation Payout

Many companies will pay departing employees for unused vacation days.  In my case, I had nearly 25 days of unused vacation when I left my last job, for which I received more than $5,000 in addition to my final paycheck.  Even if you only have a few days accrued, I strongly recommend contacting your HR representative prior to your last day to inquire about your vacation balance, the amount you’re entitled to as your payout, and when you can expect to receive it.

Conversely, be aware the opposite can be true if you have previously used vacation time that has not yet been accrued.  In these instances, you’ll likely be obligated to pay the company back via a reduction from your last paycheck (assuming your paycheck covers the amount owed).

Enroll in Your New Employer’s 401(k) Retirement Plan

Find out when you can enroll in the new employer’s plan and do so as soon as you’re eligible.  Despite many companies adopting automatic enrollment policies, don’t rely on this alone. Many such programs automatically enroll new hires at fairly modest contribution rates, such as 3% or 5% of pay, which can serve as a starting point, but will not be enough to achieve retirement and financial independence goals for most individuals.

Many financial experts agree that saving 15% between your employer’s retirement plan and other retirement accounts is sufficient; however, I believe 20%-25% is ideal.  Even if that’s not feasible just yet, it’s crucial that you contribute at least the amount required to receive your full employer match.  Yet another plug for free money!

It’s also worth noting that people in lower tax brackets – at or below roughly 25%, including federal and state taxes – might consider making Roth contributions if their 401(k) plan permits them. Unlike “traditional” or pre-tax contributions, Roth contributions are made with after-tax money, which then grow tax-deferred and allow for tax-free distributions in retirement.

Finally, don’t forget to select your investments. For the majority of young professionals, a target date retirement fund can be a solid option. Just pick the retirement year that aligns with your goals, set it and forget it.

Roll Over Your Old 401(k) Account

Many young professionals have tens of thousands of dollars in their former employers’ 401(k) plans. Don’t let these accounts sit idle for long – they’re easy to forget about and much more difficult to manage when your money is in numerous places. Like many of my friends, I avoided rolling over my 401(k) for over a year after leaving my first job out of fear that it would be stressful and time-consuming.  Much to my pleasant surprise, it took less than 20 minutes to fill out a few simple forms, initiate the transfer, and have my money invested within a couple business days. 

One rollover method you might consider is rolling the money from the old account into your new 401(k), if your new plan allows incoming rollovers. Most 401(k) providers offer online account access and provide step-by-step instructions on the rollover process.  It’s really not as scary as it sounds – just be sure to elect a “Direct Rollover” and not a distribution.

Your other option would be to roll the money into a new or existing IRA.  Opening a rollover IRA is easy and can be done through an online brokerage firm in a matter of minutes.

Last, and most importantly, do not cash out these accounts. Regardless of the amount, cashing out will result in unnecessary taxes, penalties, and ultimately robbing your future self of a more enjoyable retirement.

Starting a new job is an exciting time, full of hope and opportunity. By making the right financial decisions, you can enjoy a fulfilling career while also building substantial personal wealth. Take time during those first few weeks on the job to study your options, put a strategy in place, and set yourself up for long-term financial success.

Wealth Planner, McGill Advisors, a division of Brightworth

Jalen P. Randolph is a wealth planner with McGill Advisors, a division of Brightworth.  He is based in Charlotte, N.C., and works closely with the firm’s partners and wealth advisers to develop financial plans for business owners, professionals and corporate executives seeking to grow and maintain their wealth.


5 Pieces of Financial Advice for New Graduates

The first few years after graduating college can be a whirlwind. You might be starting a new job, adjusting to a new city, or trying to make new friends while staying in touch with old ones – or you might be doing all of that and more.

By the time things settle down, it’s common to realize that your finances are heading in the wrong direction. That’s why it can be helpful to get your ducks in a row early on, so you can focus on building your new life without needing to stress about money management.

Thankfully, you don’t need to figure it out all by yourself. We’ve got you covered with these helpful tips.

Figure out your student loans ASAP

Most private student loans and all federal loans provide a six-month grace period after graduation. Payments will not be due during this time, making it the ideal window to assess your student loan situation and figure out what your monthly payments will look like.

If you have federal loans, log onto your federal student aid account and review your repayment options. The default option is the standard plan with a 10-year repayment term. This plan will have the highest monthly payments but the lowest total interest.

You can also choose an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, which will use your income and family size to determine your monthly payment. IDR plans often have lower payments but longer terms, either 20 or 25 years.

Only choose an IDR plan if you can’t afford the standard payment, or if you’re working toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). The PSLF program requires that graduates work 10 years in an eligible nonprofit or government organization while making payments. After 120 payments, the remaining loan balance is forgiven with no tax consequences. If you’re a teacher, social worker, or military service member, the PSLF program may be a good fit.

If you have private student loans with a high interest rate, consider refinancing at a lower rate. Compare quotes from several providers like SoFi, Commonbond, and LendKey to find the best rate. You may be denied if you don’t have a good credit score or haven’t lined up your first job yet. See your free credit score in the Mint app and check back in after finding employment to see if you’re a better candidate.

Save an emergency fund immediately

An emergency fund is the backbone of your finances. It keeps you from falling into credit card debt or withdrawing from your savings in the event of a financial crisis. Use your emergency fund for unexpected expenses, like losing your job, taking your dog to the emergency vet, or flying home for a funeral.

An ideal emergency fund for a recent graduate should include three months of expenses. Add up your basic fixed expenses, including rent, transportation, health insurance, groceries, utilities, car insurance, and debt payments. Multiply that figure by three. Don’t worry if it takes you a while to save up enough.

Keep your emergency fund in a savings account and only use it for real emergencies. Don’t tap into it to pay for Christmas presents or a bachelorette trip.

If you do need to use your emergency fund, try to replace that money as soon as possible. You might have to cut back on non-essential spending for a few weeks to build the emergency fund back up.

Start budgeting and tracking expenses

A budget is a list of your expenses and how much you can afford to spend in each category.  Budgeting helps you spend within your means, so you don’t overdraw your bank account or rack up a credit card balance.

To start a budget, sign up for Mint and use their budget template, which has a variety of categories. Then, decide how much you normally spend in each category. You can figure that out by examining your credit card and bank transactions.

Compare those expenses with your monthly income. If your expenses exceed your income, you’ll have to scale back. If you still have money left in your budget, consider allocating it toward saving or investing.

Create sinking funds for your goals

A sinking fund is a savings account that you use for a singular goal, like traveling home for the holidays, going on a trip with friends, or replacing your laptop.

Having multiple sinking funds in place ensures that you have enough money for what you really care about. It also means you don’t pull money from your emergency fund.

Create sinking funds for the following:

  • Car repairs
  • Travel and vacations
  • Gifts, including weddings and Christmas
  • Car insurance, if you pay for it semiannually
  • Down payment for a house

Set up separate savings accounts for each sinking fund to make it easier to see how much you have for each goal. Many online banks let you open multiple savings accounts and assign a nickname, like “Holiday travel” or “pet expenses.”

Start investing now

In your early 20s, the idea of retirement seems so far off. Why should you worry about retirement when you have decades to think about it?

But investing rewards those who start young, even if they can only afford to invest $15 or $20 every month. The earlier you start, the less you’ll have to save over time.

For example, let’s say you start saving $20 a month in an investment account that yields 8% every year for five years. After five years, you have $1,475.28.

Then, you get a huge pay raise and start saving $200 a month in the same account. After 40 years of saving $200 a month, you have $741,897.56. If you had waited until you could afford to save $200 a month, you would only have $705,717.89 total. That’s a significant difference, considering the fact that you only contributed $1,200 out of your own pocket during the first five years.

You can start investing easily with a robo advisor like Betterment or Wealthfront. Robo advisors examine your current income, savings, and retirement goals to determine how much you should save and what you should invest in.

You can link your bank account to the robo advisor, which will automatically start investing on your behalf. Think of a robo advisor like a slow cooker – as long as you put in the ingredients, you’ll have a meal ready when you’re hungry.

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27 Motivational Career Podcasts for 2021

Whether you’re currently in the process of looking for a job, transitioning into a new career field, or starting your own business to achieve financial freedom, you can gain inspiration from listening to motivational career podcasts. One major perk of podcasts is how convenient and time-efficient they are, since you can listen to them during your lunch break or commute to work.

Feeling stuck in your career and need some inspiration? Skip ahead to the infographic for career podcasts to spark your creativity, gain useful career tips, and boost your motivation.

Career Podcasts for Millennials

Being a young adult in the career field can be intimidating, especially if you’ve just graduated college or trade school. Here are some resourceful career podcasts for millennials to help you navigate the real world.

1. My Millennial Career

In the My Millennial Career podcast, hosts Emily Bowen and Shelley Johnson explore the world of working life. The podcast covers everything from toxic work culture and negotiating a higher pay, to finding jobs as a new grad and acing interviews. This resourceful and educational podcast is a great listen for young professionals trying to navigate the career world.

Recommended Episode: The Secret to a Winning Cover Letter & LinkedIn Profile

2. Advice To My Younger Me

Sara Holtz, the host of Advice To My Younger Me, launched the podcast as a pay-it-forward project to help women and young professionals alike reach their highest potential. In each episode, Sara invites expert guests to discuss topics and provide advice on everything career-related, such as dealing with job loss or networking while working remotely.

Recommended Episode: Becoming the Boss of Your Career

3. The Tim Ferriss Show

As one of the first podcasts to surpass 100 million downloads, The Tim Ferriss Show is without a doubt one of the most popular career and personal development podcasts on the internet. Though Tim covers a wide range of topics in his show, he often shares valuable career and life advice for professionals looking to better themselves. For example, how to cultivate success habits and how to design a better life.

Recommended Episode: Tony Robbins on Morning Routine, Peak Performance, and Mastering Money

4. Millennial Minded

In Millennial Minded, hosts Duncan Lowe and David Blackburn provide listeners with all the information needed to navigate the confusing yet exciting “real world” after college. Each week, Duncan and David sit down with Lee Caraher, the CEO of Millennial Minded, to discuss career topics that most students don’t learn in college, like how to actually land a job.

Recommended Episode: If You’re Interested in Getting the Most Out of Your Job…


5. How I Built This with Guy Raz

How I Built This podcast host Guy Raz talks to influential innovators, entrepreneurs, business owners, and idealists around the world, and dives deep into the story behind the empire or movement they’ve created. Over the years, the podcast has provided listeners with insightful stories behind businesses such as BuzzFeed, Ben & Jerry’s, Airbnb, Bumble, Spanx, and Southwest Airlines. How I Built This is a great source of inspiration for anyone looking to start their own business in the future.

Recommended Episode: Bumble: Whitney Wolfe

6. The GaryVee Audio Experience

The GaryVee Audio Experience podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, CEO, vlogger, and public speaker Gary Vaynerchuk. In this podcast, Gary shares everything about entrepreneurship, finding a career path, and how to become the best version of yourself. Apart from sit-down interviews, Gary also includes keynote speeches on marketing and business. For millennials looking to become an entrepreneur or start an alternative career path, consider listening to this podcast for daily inspiration.

Recommended Episode: The #1 Piece of Advice For Entrepreneurs To Achieve Success

7. Millennial

In the Millennial podcast, host Megan Tan explores the transition between college and work in real time, figuring out how to best navigate this confusing period of life. She discusses topics such as finding meaningful work and the pressure of making a high income. Besides her solo episodes, Megan also interviews her coworkers and friends to provide more perspectives on the experience of maneuvering your 20s after college.

Though this podcast is no longer producing new episodes, there are still gems in the archives to check out.

Recommended Episode: What’s Your Worth?

Motivational Career Change Podcasts

Are you currently job hunting or open to new opportunities? Here are some inspirational career change podcasts to help you manage the transition process.

1. The Job Search Boot Camp Show

In the Job Search Boot Camp Show, hosts Angela Loeb and Jay Markunas talk about career-related topics such as interviewing, salary negotiation, resumes, and much more. If you’re currently in the process of job hunting, give this podcast a listen. You’ll receive practical information and insider tips on how to job search more effectively and finally land that dream job.

Recommended Episode: Ready, Aim, Get Hired!

2. Career Relaunch

Career Relaunch is a motivational career podcast that guides you through the ups and downs of the job transition process. Host Joseph Liu has personally navigated through three major occupational changes in his life, and as a career consultant, he has plenty of experience helping others open a new chapter in their work lives.

Recommended Episode: Handling Setbacks with Aaron Leventhal


3. Happen To Your Career

Happen To Your Career is not just another career advice podcast — it’s a motivational podcast that will inspire you to find meaningful and fulfilling work in your life. It aims to transform your perspective on what it means to thrive at work, and to help you unlearn the misconceptions about having a career.

Recommended Episode: Figuring Out Your Perfect Career Match

4. The Meaning Movement

The Meaning Movement is a motivational podcast where host Dan Cumberland encourages you to explore your life passions and find a career path that excites and motivates you. Through the stories of experts and professionals that Dan invites to the podcast, you will find inspirations that will urge you to venture outside your comfort zone and explore the vast possibilities out there.

Recommended Episode: Let Your Intuition Guide You with Rick Snyder

5. Career Warrior Podcast

In Career Warrior, podcast host Chris Villanueva invites job-hunting experts and industry leaders to give advice on how to land your dream job and become the best professional you can be. In the short 10-to-30-minute episodes, Chris covers a wide range of job-related content, including topics relevant to entry-level job seekers as well as high-level executives. No matter which stage of your career you’re in, you can find helpful and inspiring content in the Career Warrior Podcast.

Recommended Episode: How to Build a Career You Love | Emily Moyer

6. Career Talk

Career Talk uses a humorous and playful approach to empower people to take control of their professional lives. In each 15-minute episode, host Stephanie Dennis discusses popular topics such as how to avoid burnout and salary negotiation. For those who are currently in the process of job hunting, Stephanie also provides helpful advice such as how to sell yourself in an interview.

Recommended Episode: How to Make a Career Change/Shift Without Starting Over

7. Repurpose Your Career

In Repurpose Your Career, host Marc Miller invites special guests and experts to explain their processes of making important life decisions and transitioning to a different career path. Since Marc has personally made over five occupation pivots over the course of his life, he provides valuable information in the podcast about how to create actionable plans and transition smoothly to a better career.

Recommended Episode: How to Create Your Career Story So That It Makes Sense

8. The Holistic Career Change Podcast

The Holistic Career Change Podcast is hosted by Vilma Usaite, a certified career coach helping people make smoother career transitions and find their dream jobs. In this podcast, Vilma not only provides advice on how to overcome hurdles and challenges in the career change process, but also dives deep into personal development-related topics such as discovering your true purpose in life.

Recommended Episode: Stages of Career Change

Inspirational Female Career Podcasts

Learn from influential businesswomen by listening to their stories and journeys to success. Here are seven female career podcasts you can gain inspiration from.

1. The Marie Forleo Podcast

Marie Forleo is an entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author who also hosts a popular podcast that explores everything career, business, and personal development. In this show, Marie and her guests share actionable tips and strategies to help women around the world become the best version of themselves, including valuable advice on growing personal wealth, building a business, overcoming fear, and finding your true passion in life.

Recommended Episode: Want to Start a Business? How to Finally Make It Happen

2. Being Boss

If you’re feeling a bit stuck in your career and need motivation, Being Boss is the motivational podcast you need to cheer you up. In this podcast, host Emily Thompson invites many inspirational female entrepreneurs to share their stories and how they’ve built successful businesses. Through these interviews, you can gain inspiration for your own business ideas and discover new ways to build steady income streams.

Recommended Episode: 7 Habits of a Successful CEO

3. The Classy Career Girl Podcast

Hosted by Anna Runyan, the Classy Career Girl Podcast aims to help ambitious women and entrepreneurs achieve their business goals and do what they love. In this podcast, you can find a variety of training sessions, expert interviews, inspirational stories about entrepreneurship, and plenty of helpful advice. If you’re looking for career tips and inspiration from like-minded female entrepreneurs, this podcast is for you.

Recommended Episode: 3 Phases of Your Career and How to Succeed in Each Phase


4. Not Wonder Woman

Not Wonder Woman is a podcast where hosts Cyran and Mel give tips on how to become a successful businesswoman without needing superpowers. In one episode, Cyran and Mel explore the idea of juggling motherhood and a career, a dilemma many women face today. Through hearing other women’s relatable experiences in entrepreneurship and business, you can gain confidence and the motivation to advance your career.

Recommended Episode: How to Network; for Women Who Hate Networking

5. Side Hustle Pro

Nicaila Matthews Okome, host of Side Hustle Pro, is a side hustler who was eventually able to quit her 9-to-5 job and make a full-time income with her own business. In her podcast, she shares her personal entrepreneurial journey to inspire women like her to start their own side hustles and strive for the same level of success. Nicaila also invites other successful female entrepreneurs to contribute fresh perspectives on career and business topics.

Recommended Episode: No More Excuses, It’s Time to Act on Your Side Hustle Idea

6. The Goal Digger Podcast

Goal Digger adopts a new way of engaging with listeners by offering a live workshop-style podcast where listeners can follow along and actually take action to advance their careers. Podcast host Jenna Kutcher has a passion for encouraging women to chase after their dreams. She often shares actionable tips on how to manage online businesses, achieve financial freedom, and overcome limiting beliefs.

Recommended Episode: A Lesson in Unapologetic Decisions for Empowered Women

7. The Clever Girls Know Podcast

Looking to advance your career and build real financial wealth? The Clever Girls Know Podcast will teach you everything you need to know about leveling up your professional life and personal finances. In many episodes, host Bola Sokunbi interviews women in different fields about how they were able to pay off debt quickly while working a normal full-time job. Through these interviews, you can gain knowledge about ways to overcome financial obstacles and move one step closer to financial freedom.

Recommended Episode: How Losing Her Job Became the Catalyst for an Incredible Business with Marianne Ladapo

Informative Tech Career Podcasts

Planning to start a career in tech? Check out these tech podcasts to stay updated on all the industry news and gain knowledge about what your future job might entail.

1. CodeNewbie

This tech career podcast is suitable for those who are interested in coding and web development but don’t know exactly where to start. CodeNewbie features a variety of tech-related topics, but is mostly centered around interviews with successful coders and tech professionals. In each episode, you get to hear stories about how different experts established their professions in the tech and web development industry.

Recommended Episode: How to Not Let Imposter Syndrome Hold You Back

2. Breaking Into Startups

Breaking Into Startups is an inspirational podcast where each guest on the show shares powerful stories about how they successfully switched careers and broke into the tech industry. Past guests include Alexis Ohanian, Dan Rosensweig, and Gary Vaynerchuk. If you’re looking into switching to a career in tech or upskill in your current career, you can find plenty of inspiration and tactical advice to help you begin this transition.

Recommended Episode: Iris Nevins: Teacher Who Became a Software Engineer at Mailchimp


3. Developer Tea

Developer Tea is hosted by Jonathan Cutrell, who is also the director of engineering at PBS. In this podcast, listeners who are interested in engineering and development can learn about how to improve their technical competency as well as interpersonal skills.

Recommended Episode: 4 Things You Have to Leave Behind as a Beginning Engineer

4. Front End Happy Hour

Interested in working in front-end development? This podcast is for you. Front End Happy Hour features a panel of software engineers from renowned businesses such as Twitch and Netflix. In each episode, panelists explore topics about all things front-end development. If you’re currently in the process of upskilling yourself for a career in this particular field, Front End Happy Hour can be a great educational resource for you.

Recommended Episode: Career Growth – Beers and Careers

5. Ladybug Podcast

In a male-dominated industry like tech, it’s rare to have a woman’s perspective in the podcast space. The Ladybug Podcast is here to change that. Hosts Kelly, Ali, Emma, and Sidney are seasoned software developers who decided to start a podcast to represent women in tech. On the show, they talk about all things software development, including how to start coding and how to land your first developer job.

Recommended Episode: So You’ve Got a Job Offer, Now What?

Podcasts are a great way to absorb new information in accessible, bite-sized chunks, which is perfect for those who have busy schedules. No matter which field or circumstance you’re in, there is a career podcast out there for you. Don’t have a degree but want to achieve financial success? Podcasts such as The Tim Ferris Show and The GaryVee Audio Experience will motivate you to achieve your goals in unconventional and creative ways.

After listening to resourceful career tips and inspirational stories from entrepreneurs and business professionals, begin your own success journey by first learning how to manage money with the Mint app today. Having a stable financial life not only gives you a sense of security but will also make your career and entrepreneurial efforts much less stressful.


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How to Get Sued for Age Discrimination

As the concept of age discrimination has become better known over the past few years, complaints from older American workers — people over 40 — have gradually increased. Since COVID-19, agencies that deal with age discrimination have seen a significant ramping up of employee complaints.

Recently I discussed this timely issue with Lou Reyes, who runs a YouTube channel for people over 50, appropriately called “Over 50tv.” While not a lawyer, his experience in this area came from 14 years as a publisher of business-to-business magazines and “having managed over 100 people.” His advice applies to employers, but employees who are concerned they are being targeted could certainly learn a thing or two about signs to watch out for themselves.

I asked him, “How do business owners wind up spending thousands of dollars in attorney fees defending age discrimination claims and likely paying a stiff judgment?” Here is Reyes’ by-the-numbers ways of getting yourself sued:

1. Suffer from “Suddenly Stupid Syndrome.” After years of giving an employee great reviews, single out and reprimand an older employee for things that everyone does and have done all along.

Consequences: The employee will feel they are being picked on for reasons that are not legitimate. A smart employee will keep a detailed record of what has been happening in addition to notes about feedback from co-workers who have seen the behavior and offer to be a witness. All of this helps to form the basis of an age discrimination suit.

2. Cut job responsibilities. Limit older employees’ authority. Change their title. Shift the employee into an area that is not taking advantage of their experience and skills.

Consequences: You will humiliate the employee, and they may feel motivated to take legal action against you.

3. Isolate your older employees from meetings, business lunches and strategy planning sessions that they had been invited to before. Transfer the employee to an area “outside of where the action is taking place.” Do not recall older employees back to work as often or as quickly as the younger ones.

Consequences: Employees will feel that they are not valued and may end up leaving the organization or contacting HR as a first step to legal action.

4. Cut older employees’ hours and reduce their pay. Use the pandemic as an excuse. Think that the rank and file won’t notice this happening.

Consequences: This hurts morale for the entire organization. Co-workers have compassion for each other and will think, “Is this going to happen to me? Should I remain here or leave?” A pattern of this can form the basis of an age discrimination suit.

5. Deny promotions or opportunities for advancement to your older, experienced employees but give them to young workers.

Consequences: This becomes an engraved invitation for the affected employee to file an age discrimination suit. You can’t find much better evidence, and it is easy to prove. Additionally, morale and productivity are badly impacted throughout the organization. Employees see this and wonder, “Why should I strive, work hard to further my career here when it is obviously at a dead end?”

6. When the economy slows, or if the pandemic returns, lay off or terminate a much larger percentage of older employees than younger ones.

Consequences: You are opening yourself up to being sued. If it is apparent that the older workers are bearing the burden of layoffs, you are asking them to band together and file suit.

7. Make disparaging remarks based on an employee’s age, such as “Hey, old man,” or assume that an older worker can’t grasp technology. Deny older workers the same training you give to younger employees. Think, “Why should I invest in an older employee who will not be around as long as a younger one?”

Consequences: You risk losing a loyal, experienced, responsible team member who has always shown up for work on time and acted in the best interest of your company. You will sow the seeds of discontent among all employees, who will view this behavior as unfair.

Reyes offers these recommendations for employees who can identify with the issues raised in today’s story:

  1. Speak to your immediate manager, unless they are the problem.
  2. Put your concerns in writing.
  3. Schedule an appointment with HR or a designated person in upper management.
  4. Meet with that person, let them know what your concerns are, show them the issues in writing and ask for their opinion on how to solve the problem.
  5. If nothing improves, then you have to make a decision: Either pursue the matter through legal channels, or leave the company.

Reyes concluded our interview with these words of caution for employees:

“Don’t react in anger. Do not spread rumors! Don’t let this destroy your career. Instead, try in good faith to resolve the matter before it becomes larger.”

I ran Reyes’ recommendations by Southern California employment attorney Jay Rosenlieb, who commented, “All of Reyes’ observations make perfect sense. Employers are well advised to take his advice to heart.”

Dennis Beaver Practices law in Bakersfield, Calif., and welcomes comments and questions from readers, which may be faxed to  661-323-7993, or e-mailed to Also, visit

Attorney at Law, Author of “You and the Law”

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California’s Kern County District Attorney’s Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, “You and the Law.” Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge. “I know it sounds corny, but I just love to be able to use my education and experience to help, simply to help. When a reader contacts me, it is a gift.” 


5 Ways to Prevent Working Mom Burnout

We already know the devastating impact COVID has had on women in the workforce — four times as many women as men dropped out of the labor force last September, and 9.8 million working mothers were suffering from burnout. 

As a working mom, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to raise my children while also building my own career. I genuinely believe that I have been blessed with the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. Every mom knows the joy that comes from raising children — and how often that joy can be found nestled between the familiar and crushing walls of fatigue.

In honor of Mother’s Day and all the moms out there, I wanted to share five tactics that helped me navigate and balance employment and motherhood while avoiding burnout. 

1. Know your limits

It’s impossible to be everywhere at once. Try to split school events with your spouse or other members of your support system. When my girls were in grade school, my husband had more flexibility at work than I did. So, it was dad selling hot dogs with the other moms on “Hot Dog Day.”. My daughters loved seeing him there as it was uncommon for a dad to be there, and he had a great time. It’s a memory my girls still laugh about to this day.

 Don’t stress about making fancy desserts for bake sales, either. While you may feel obligated to say yes to everything, remember not to stretch yourself too thin. 

2. Outsource, outsource, outsource

Think about operating your home like a small business. Try to outsource everything you don’t like or don’t have time to do. Your time is valuable, so consider where it’s best spent. I am a very neat person and can clean my house better than someone else, but it’s so time consuming! Having someone clean my house once a week when the girls lived at home was the best money ever spent. This opened more time for me to spend on both the kids and my career. 

3. Take time for yourself

It may seem out of the question, but finding time for yourself is critical for your mental health. I know you’re probably so focused on your children, your career and your home, that finding a few minutes for yourself can seem impossible. But that time will be well spent — even if you have to wake up early to have some “you” time.

I love to wake up early to have some time to myself before the chaos of the day gets started. My “me” time is a daily workout. This is a part of my day I will never miss. It is a positive outlet that releases endorphins and a great way to start your day. Find your positive outlet. Every mom deserves at least one thing they do just for themselves. 

4. Negotiate for what matters most

This doesn’t only apply to your salary. Years ago, I lived on Long Island but worked in Manhattan. As my kids grew older, I needed to be closer to home. I asked my boss at the time if he would open a Long Island office for me, and his initial response was “no.” So, I took it upon myself to do research and build a case for an office space nearby. I found an office that was cheaper than the desk in their NYC office and showed him how I would be able to be more productive with a shorter commute. I made such a compelling argument that he had no choice but to say “yes.” This win was amazing and life changing for me and my family.

Understand what is most important to you and figure out a way to make it happen. You have to advocate for yourself, because no one else will.

5. Build a solid support system

Having child care was necessary for me to continue with my career. But beyond our sitter, I also put trust in my daughters’ teachers and took advice from other parents, especially those who had older children.

Starting with the fifth grade, teachers told us not to help our girls with homework so they could learn how to do it on their own. While it was hard at first, it was a blessing in disguise, because it taught my children how to be independent and figure things out on their own. I had friends whose kids were in high school and the parents were still trying to help them with their homework. So happy that wasn’t me! Other mothers also gave me great advice and helped me feel like I was not in it alone. It truly takes a village to raise a family, and it is always OK to ask for help.

As moms, we know just how difficult it can be to balance our work lives with motherhood. If we are stretching ourselves out too thin, then we won’t be our best selves professionally or for our families. As the world opens back up and we can return to some semblance of our normal lives, I hope these tips will help you find your balance and be the best working mom you can be. 

Registered Investment Adviser, ALINE Wealth

Gina Grippo-Martinez is a wealth adviser at ALINE Wealth. Her Wall Street days behind her, Gina currently holds her Series 7, 63 and 66 licenses, and helps her clients plan for their futures. She lives with her husband and their two daughters in Point Lookout, Long Island. For more information, please visit


The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs of the Next Decade

The job landscape is constantly changing, and if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that opportunity and security in our careers is highly valuable. For those looking to make a career change or just getting started, it may be in your best interest to find a job that’s projected to grow despite evolving technology, global disasters, and shifting work trends. Future-proof your career and use this list to gain insight on the 20 fastest growing jobs of the next decade.

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), we provide information on the jobs and industries projected to grow the fastest from 2019 to 2029. Feel free to jump down to the infographic for a visual on the future of jobs in America.

Note: All median salary and growth rate information reported is from the 2020 Occupational Outlook Handbook.


1. Wind Turbine Service Technicians

Increasing at a rate 15 times that of other occupations, wind turbine service technicians or windtechs, are projected to be the fastest growing job in the next decade. A windtech’s main responsibilities involve the installation, maintenance, and repair of wind turbines. Their work requires them to travel to turbine sites and involves dangers such as climbing and rappelling at great heights. Despite this job’s dangerous drawbacks, aspiring windtechs can find opportunities around the nation and a decent salary without a four-year degree. Wind power is also the largest renewable energy source in the U.S., and jobs in this sector are expected to increase with energy demand.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 61%
  • Median Salary: $56,230
  • Education: Associate degree or technical school certificate, plus 12 months of training
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: Midwest, Great Plains, coastal areas

2. Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners are another fast-growing occupation, with an above average growth rate of 52 percent. These health care professionals either coordinate with doctors or work independently to provide health care services to patients. While the scope of care varies by state, most nurse practitioners offer preventative and primary care such as performing health diagnoses and prescribing medicine. In order to qualify for this occupation, rigorous training and a master’s degree are required. The additional time spent in school may prove to be a worthwhile investment, as nurse practitioners make a median salary of $117,670.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 52%
  • Median Salary: $117,670
  • Education: Master’s degree and previously registered nurse license
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Ohio

3. Solar Photovoltaic Installers

In addition to wind power, solar is another fast-growing source of energy and jobs. Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers are responsible for assembling and maintaining all types of solar energy systems. Although job growth is strong, there is competition for limited positions. Entry-level positions generally require a high school diploma, but candidates with technical schooling, community college credit, or apprenticeship experience have a more promising job outlook.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 51%
  • Median Salary: $46,470
  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: California, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, and Virginia

4. Occupational Therapy Assistants

At a projected growth rate of 35 percent, occupational therapy assistants help address the demand for patients who need help recovering and maintaining the skills necessary to go about daily life. Under the guidance of occupational therapists, assistants in this profession lead therapeutic activities for developmental disabilities, socialization, and mobility. To become an occupational therapy assistant, you’ll need an associate degree in a health-related field and at least 16 weeks of hands-on fieldwork.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 35%
  • Median Salary: $62,940
  • Education: Associate degree
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: Ohio, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois

5. Statisticians

Statisticians are in demand in fields like business, health care, government, and engineering for their ability to analyze data and problem solve with statistical techniques. In order to develop their expertise, statisticians generally need to pursue a master’s or doctorate in a quantitative field. The job outlook for statisticians over the next decade is projected to increase, with an especially favorable outlook for those with strong data analysis skills, expert statistical knowledge, and experience with modeling or computer programming.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 35%
  • Median Salary: $92,270
  • Education: Master’s degree
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Texas


6. Home Health Aides

As the population of adults age 65 and older grows rapidly, trends toward aging in place create a large demand for home health care services. Home health aides help people with chronic illness or disabilities and any others who need assistance going about daily life. In addition to assisting with daily activities, they also administer basic health care such as monitoring vital signs. To be a home health aide, you’ll need at least a high school diploma or equivalent and training from a program or on the job.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 34%
  • Median Salary: $27,080
  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts

7. Physical Therapy Assistants

Physical therapy assistants (PTAs) help people with injuries or illnesses recover their ability for movement and help manage any pain associated with recovery. Before becoming a PTA, most positions require that you earn an associate degree and a license or certification obtained by passing the National Physical Therapy Exam. The job outlook for PTAs is growing faster than average thanks to demand from an aging population. To find ample opportunities, aspiring PTAs should look into home health, nursing homes, and orthopedic outpatient facilities.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 33%
  • Median Salary: $59,770
  • Education: Associate degree
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: Florida, Texas, Ohio, California, and New York

8. Medical and Health Services Managers

Managers of medical and health services are responsible for directing and coordinating the health services of a specific facility, group, or department. They’re also known as health care administrators or health care executives and must manage services according to changing regulations and technology. Although a bachelor’s degree is required, master’s degrees are becoming more common and are often preferred by employers. On top of a degree, clinical or administrative experience is required to reach a managerial position.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 32%
  • Median Salary: $104,280
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Years of Experience Required: Less than 5
  • High Employment Locations: California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania

9. Physician Assistants

Working in collaboration with doctors and surgeons, physician assistants (PAs) are needed to provide medical examinations, diagnoses, and treatments. To become a PA, a master’s degree is required, and candidates often need experience in patient care prior to applying to a graduate program. After earning your degree and obtaining a license, ample job opportunities exist for PAs in health care and medicine.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 31%
  • Median Salary: $115,390
  • Education: Master’s degree
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: New York, California, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania

10. Information Security Analysts

The role of information security analyst is important to protecting computer networks and systems for organizations. Thanks to the prevalence and evolution of cyberattacks, organizations are in need of professionals to develop security best practices and stay up to date on information technology and security trends. For those looking to enter this occupation, it’s important to get started in an information technology field to gain experience with computer systems and database security.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 31%
  • Median Salary: $103,590
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Years of Experience Required: Less than 5
  • High Employment Locations: Virginia, Texas, California, Florida, and Maryland


11. Data Scientists

Using data software and programming, data scientists’ careers revolve around transforming raw data into interpretable information. Data scientists analyze, visualize, and report their findings, as well as consult on analytical techniques used to solve problems. Top industries for data science opportunities include science, finance, and insurance. A bachelor’s degree is necessary to enter this field, but a graduate degree may be preferable to employers.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 31%
  • Median Salary: $98,230
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: California, Texas, New York, Illinois, and Washington

12. Derrick Operators

Oil and gas derrick operators rig and operate derrick equipment, which is used to dig oil wells and push drills into the ground. Derrick operators are also involved in a variety of activities that maintain, monitor, and control oil derricks. No formal education or experience is necessary to become a derrick operator, and training is offered on the job. The industries where this occupation is needed most are the mining, oil and gas extraction, and construction industries.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 31%
  • Median Salary: $47,920
  • Education: No formal education
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and California

13. Rotary Drill Operators

As another fast-growing position involved in the extraction of oil and gas, rotary drill operators are responsible for assembling and operating drills that remove oil and gas from underground. This position demands moderate on-the-job training, despite no education or experience requirements. Job opportunities are available in the mining, coal, oil, and construction industries for those interested in this occupation.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 27%
  • Median Salary: $53,820
  • Education: No formal education
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: Texas, Oklahoma, California, New Mexico, and Louisiana

14. Roustabouts

Roustabout positions are also growing fast in the mining, oil and gas, and construction industries. This role is necessary for the setup and repair of oil field equipment, and it only requires moderate on-the-job training with no formal education. Other job titles for this occupation include floor hand, rig hand, and galley hand.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 25%
  • Median Salary: $39,420
  • Education: No formal education
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Colorado

15. Speech-Language Pathologists

To become a speech-language pathologist and help people with communication and swallowing disorders, you’ll need at least a master’s degree and a clinical license. Also known as speech therapists, they’re involved with the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of children and adults with disorders like stuttering. This role may work in health care facilities to treat patients who have suffered from a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, brain injury, cleft palate, or autism. An alternative route for this career is to provide counseling and programs in schools.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 25%
  • Median Salary: $80,480
  • Education: Master’s degree
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois


16. Operations Research Analysts

Using advanced mathematical and analytical techniques, operation research analysts are tasked with solving complex problems in various industries. Operations research analysts have analytical skills that can be applied to health care, business, logistics, and science, and these skills are in demand by companies who desire savings and efficiency in their operations. A bachelor’s degree in operations research or another quantitative field is needed to get started, but those with graduate degrees will be more attractive candidates.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 25%
  • Median Salary: $86,200
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: California, Texas, Virginia, New York, and Florida

17. Behavioral Disorder, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Counselors

Counselors for substance abuse, behavioral disorders, and mental health offer treatment for individuals who suffer from mental or behavioral problems that interfere with their everyday life. They evaluate and assess problems such as addiction or alcoholism and provide treatment and education for recovery. Typically, a bachelor’s degree and clinical license are necessary to become a counselor, but requirements may vary from a certification to a master’s degree depending on the state. As more people continue to seek out mental health services, opportunities in this career will continue to grow.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 25%
  • Median Salary: $47,660
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: California, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Massachusetts

18. Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists

In order to prevent fire hazards, forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists examine residential and public buildings and outdoor areas for wildfire risks. They’re responsible for reporting fire code infractions, enforcing regulations, and reporting on fire conditions. As the prevalence of wildfires around the nation is increasing, forest fire inspector and prevention specialist positions will grow to meet demand. Although only a high school diploma is required, most who enter this field have previous firefighting experience and have completed some postsecondary education.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 24%
  • Median Salary: $42,150
  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Years of Experience Required: Less than 5
  • High Employment Locations: Florida, California, Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas

19. Restaurant Cooks

Aspiring restaurant cooks have many options for achieving this occupation. You don’t need formal education to become a restaurant cook, and on-the-job training on food safety and handling will teach you what you need to know. With that being said, many do choose to pursue culinary training through a professional institution, vocational program, or apprenticeship. Although this isn’t the fastest growing job on this list, with nearly 1.8 million positions projected in 2029, it’s definitely an occupation full of opportunity.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 23%
  • Median Salary: $28,800
  • Education: No formal education
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania

20. Animal Caretakers

If you’re passionate about working with pets and nonfarm animals, animal caretaking may be the career for you. As an animal caretaker, you’re tasked with feeding, grooming, and exercising animals, and you don’t need a formal education or any experience to perform this job. The number of animal companions continues to grow, and animal caretaking positions are expected to increase to fulfill new demand.

  • Projected Growth Rate: 23%
  • Median Salary: $26,080
  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Years of Experience Required: None
  • High Employment Locations: California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois

Fastest Growing Industries

The future of jobs in America will be influenced by the fastest growing industries in the nation. Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, we determined the main industries for growth over the next decade to help you choose your next career path wisely.

Health Care

In the past decade, the population of adults age 65 and older has grown by over a third. As society ages rapidly, the demand for health care and mental health services is expected to increase. To keep up with this trend, new job openings in health care fields will expand to meet demand. Take a look at this overview of growth in health-related industries below to see where you might find a lucrative career:

  • Services for the Elderly and Disabled: 44% growth
  • Offices of Specialty Therapists: 34% growth
  • Other Ambulatory Health Care Services: 31% growth
  • Offices of All Other Health Practitioners: 31% growth
  • Offices of Mental Health Practitioners: 31% growth


High energy consumption in the United States drives demand for higher energy production and more jobs. With renewable energy production reaching record highs and expected to provide a boom in jobs over the next decade, wind and solar represent promising career paths in the energy sector. Although coal and oil production are trending down, fossil fuels will also provide a decent amount of job growth for the foreseeable future. Find the growth breakdown below:

  • Solar Electric Power Generation: 42% growth
  • Support Activities for Mining: 32% growth
  • Wind Electric Power Generation: 32% growth

Technology and Data Science

As the world and work become more and more dependent on technology and data, the demand for professional services and skills in this industry won’t slow down. Companies desire in-demand skills such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and analysis to help run businesses, solve problems, and make strategic decisions. Consider a job in one of the fast-growing industries listed below:

  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services: 26% growth
  • Management and Technical Consulting Services: 22% growth

Many factors like salary, job security, and personal interests help determine your career path. It’s important to consider the advantages that ample job growth and opportunity may provide for your career. Benefits like career stability and longevity and a consistent income are very attractive in a constantly changing job landscape. Ultimately, your job should prioritize your values for work, life, and finances. Start your career in one of the fastest growing jobs to solidify your spot in the workplace of the future.


Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics 1 2 3 | Career OneStop | CompTIA | LinkedIn | Manpower Group | PWC Global | TechRepublic | TowardDataScience | Udacity |

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10 Ways to Fail Miserably at Office Politics

“Office politics,” says Boston-based Karen Dillon, “is impossible to avoid. But it is manageable if you know what not to do. As the former editor of the Harvard Business Review magazine and author of the HBR Guide to Office Politics, Dillon provides a wealth of accessible, highly useful approaches to prevent being steamrolled by nasty behavior in the workplace.

I asked her, “What are some of the worst things I could do when faced with craziness on the job from my boss or co-workers?”

1. Take everything personally when someone talks over you or criticizes your ideas. Fume!

Consequences: By doing this, you assume that anyone who dislikes, competes or in any way impedes your accomplishments is trying to take you down. You can drive yourself crazy by second-guessing who is an ally, instead of putting your energy into doing a consistently good job.

2. Become the worst version of yourself!  Get caught up in competing with a peer — or thinking the boss has a pet (but it’s not you). Spend an extraordinary amount of time obsessing over the unfairness of it all.

Consequences: You are so worked up — obsessed — over what you see as unfairness that it invades your personal life at home. This can threaten the stability of your marriage, not being the parent you want to be, the friend you want to be, while you are wallowing in misery.

3. Think only in terms of yourself. When something negative happens to you at work, immediately think of how this affects you personally, but never stop to consider whether others are also impacted.

Consequences: By only thinking of how something affects you, the opportunity to collaborate with peers in ways that can help improve the workplace for everyone is lost. You may have a colleague who is a bully, or a hyper-competitive peer. While it is normal for this to feel personal, in reality it is affecting others as well. Think beyond yourself.

4. Micromanage the people who report to you.  Hover over their desk, their projects, and never trust them to do a good enough job.

Consequences: These people will eventually lose all respect and won’t want to work with you. You are preventing them from growing, from becoming more useful to you and to the company and from enjoying their jobs. This behavior may reveal more about your insecurity and fear of failing than their competence. You could benefit from training — as micro-managing is often the result of not knowing how to support the people who work under you.

5. See yourself as a “friend” of your boss rather than a direct report. Blur the lines between personal and professional. Over-share personal information or opinions about others at work. Assume your boss always has your back.

Consequences: By hitching your wagon to one star, you leave yourself vulnerable should that person ever leave the company or fall out of favor. Your peers may come to resent you.

7. Align yourself with a certain group of people who are very exclusive as to who they allow in. Always go to lunch together and have inside jokes you don’t share with others.

Consequences: You will be seen by others in the company as snobbish and never having matured beyond the level of a high school student. You miss opportunities to grow and collaborate. When the power dynamic shifts — and it almost always will — you will be left out of good opportunities.

8. Never have a difficult conversation.

Say you have a disagreement with a colleague, or you feel that your work has not been fairly credited, or you want to speak up and say you don’t agree with the decision that has been made, but you don’t! Instead, your anger spirals in private and you never take the opportunity to try to express what’s bothering you.

Consequences: If you never develop the skills of navigating conflict in a constructive way, people eventually will stop respecting you. Some of the most successful professionals are those who find a way to work through conflict without making it personal. Don’t attempt to respond to conflict when you’re angry and worked up. At a minimum, you won’t likely be able to express yourself well in those moments.

Take a little time to cool off, think about whether your reaction is reasonable, and then even write down or practice what you’re going to say. If you have a trusted colleague or friend, bounce the situation off them and see if they think you are justified in your response. Think of how much better you would respond to someone coming to you with a thoughtful concern rather than the white hot heat of anger.

9. Assume that your personal social media posts won’t affect your job.

Consequences: Everything you say in public will eventually make its way back to your job. Act accordingly, or you may regret it. For example, the newly appointed editor of Teen Vogue, a prestigious and prominent magazine job, recently had to resign before she even started the job because of previous intemperate comments she had made on social media when she was younger.

10. Quit a job you like because of office politics.

Consequences: Using good listening skills and confronting issues that are challenging usually leads to understanding and harmony. If you make a good faith effort to address what’s wrong and fail, at least you tried, and then it’s OK to quit.

Dillon’s book is like taking a drink from a magical bottle that gives the reader insight and maturity.  If I had it when starting out in the working world, my foot would have felt so much better for all the times I didn’t insert it in my mouth!

Attorney at Law, Author of “You and the Law”

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California’s Kern County District Attorney’s Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, “You and the Law.” Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge. “I know it sounds corny, but I just love to be able to use my education and experience to help, simply to help. When a reader contacts me, it is a gift.” 


Land a Job with These Must-Have Skills for Your Resume

It’s no secret: job hunting is a pain in the neck. Sending out resume after resume hoping an employer emails you back for an interview can get pretty tiresome after a while — especially if you’re really looking for that perfect dream job. 

There’s no surefire process to guarantee a job, but there are big steps that you can take to make your resume more appealing to potential employers. One way to do that is showcasing your skills. Skills are a great resume booster because they show potential employers exactly what you’re bringing to the table. Sure, education and past experience are important to include, but often, employers want a more direct description of your abilities before they seriously consider you for a job.

 In this post, we’ll walk you through what you should know about skills for resume building. Read through and apply these tips to your resume today to start seeing better results in the future. 

What are the best skills to put on a resume?

Good skills to put on a resume depend on your industry and personal expertise; there’s no one-size-fits-all set of skills that will work for everyone. However, there are some prominent skills that almost every employer will find appealing, including:

  • Clear, direct communication
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Team leadership and collaboration 
  • Problem-solving
  • Basic computer literacy 

When listing skills, it’s a good idea to tie them back to some experience that you have. For instance, let’s say that in your current job, you collaborate with a team to produce a budget report every month. When you list your “Team leadership” as a skill, be sure to cite your budget meeting collaboration as an example. 

We’ll explain more about how to include and format skills in your resume further down. But first, there’s an important distinction that we should explain. 

The difference between hard skills and soft skills

You might have heard recruiters, HR reps, and other professionals mention hard skills and soft skills. It’s not a hard science, but this is how each one works. 

  • Hard skills: Industry-specific skills that often require school or training to achieve 
  • Soft skills: General skills that can be applied to a diverse range of work environments

It’s easier to understand the difference by considering a few examples. 

Hard skills: examples for your resume

As mentioned, hard skills are developed through training or in school, and usually apply to one or more specific industries. For example, here are a few hard skills for your resume that employers are often interested in:

  • Computer programming
  • Web design
  • Technical writing
  • Marketing copywriting
  • Applied math
  • Engineering
  • Heavy machinery operation
  • Research skills
  • Legal analysis
  • Medical diagnostics
  • Psychological counseling 
  • Electrician skills

Typically, hard skills are part of the hard requirements for a job. If you don’t have chemical engineering as one of your hard skills, you will likely not be hired for any job that requires it. To learn hard skills, it’s a good idea to attend a trade school, junior college, or four-year university and take the necessary classes. 

There may also be industry-led training programs that you can apply to, such as initiatives to train employees in programming and other skills for growing industries. If you need a certain set of hard skills to put on your resume in order to succeed in your favored industry, your first step should be to research how you can get those skills. 

Soft skills: examples for your resume

On the other hand, soft skills are more general. They can also be developed in a variety of places: in school, on the job, volunteering, and sometimes people are just born with them. Soft skills often involve working with others. A few examples of soft skills for your resume include:

  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Empathy 
  • Active listening 
  • Public speaking
  • Problem-solving
  • Computer literacy 

Soft skills might not be strict requirements for many positions, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. In fact, because many applicants to a given position will likely already have the hard skills required to perform that job, soft skills can make a huge difference when it comes to setting you apart.

For instance, say you’re applying to that chemical engineering position mentioned before. Likely, most of the applicants will have a four-year degree or equivalent training, and will know the basics it takes to get the job done. However, you might be the only one with a proven track record of communicating and collaborating with a diverse team. Highlighting that skill can set you apart from the pack. 

How to match your skills to the job description

Something you may have read online or heard from professionals is that it’s smart to match your skills to the skills asked for in a job description. It’s pretty clear why you’d want to do this: potential employers are looking for someone with a certain set of skills, so you want to make it obvious to them that you have those skills. 

On top of that, some employers use algorithmic methods to sort out resumes because they get so many applicants. Using the skills mentioned in the job description increases the likelihood that the algorithm will serve your resume to the human hiring manager. 

Matching your skills to the job description is pretty simple. Take a look at your resume, then look at the skills the job description asks for. Let’s say that the job description asks for an “effective communicator,” and your resume skills section (more on that in just a sec) says “clear communicator.” These are pretty much the same thing; simply change the wording on your resume to match the wording from the job description. 

Where to include a skills section on your resume

We’ve mentioned a few times that it’s a good idea to have a skills section on your resume. These days, having a well laid-out, dynamic resume is important. A simple Word document printed in black and white Times New Roman may still be the standard for some industries, but in many fields, visually standing out is important. 

One way to do that is to have clearly labeled sections on your resume, sometimes graphically laid out in modular boxes that are fun and eye-catching. Whatever layout you choose, prominently identifying your skills is usually a good idea. In that section, simply list your skills. Some professionals also recommend giving clear examples of your skills in action. 

For instance:

  • Web design: Build company website from the ground up using HTML and CSS coding. 
  • Clear communicator: Worked collaboratively with a team of designers to improve software UI
  • Leadership: Stepped up and took the lead on a project when the manager had to step out. 

Using evidence to support your skills gives potential employers an idea of what they can expect from you — a critical leg up as they assess their many options. It’s also just part of having a strong, well-rounded resume

When it comes to placing the section for skills for your resume, there is some debate over where the best location might be. There are some options to choose from:

  • As the first item on the page: This bold move demonstrates your abilities immediately, before even getting into education or experience. This might work better for jobs that require a number of harder-to-find hard skills. 
  • Near the bottom: Some jobs might be pickier based on education or experience. If that’s the case, you’ll still want to include your skills, but foregrounding those other accomplishments might be the savvier move. 
  • MIxed in with experience: Some resumes pepper skills in with experience. List each job you’ve had, then under it, the specific skills (and accomplishments) that you attained there. 

Ultimately, the important thing is that you customize your resume to suit the job you’re applying to. Different industries, different employers, and even different individual hiring managers might all have their own preferences and standards. Doing your research to try to match your resume to those standards is your best bet when trying to stand out. 

  • Pro tip: if you’re headed to a career fair soon, don’t just stop at your resume. Check out our guide to questions to ask at a career fair so you show up informed and prepared.

Resume-boosting skills: the takeaways

Here’s what to remember as you start putting together your professional resume:

  • The best skills to put on your resume include both hard and soft skills. 
  • Hard skills for your resume usually require education or training, and include skills like:
    • Computer programming
    • Technical writing
    • Medical training
  • Soft skills are more general, can be learned from experience, and can be applied to many jobs. Good soft skills to put on your resume include:
    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • Computer literacy 
  • One way to help your resume stand out is to phrase your skills so that they match the job description. This lets employers know you’re paying attention, and will help keep you from being sorted out by a resume-sorting algorithm (if they use one). 
  • Different jobs and industries require different resume layouts. However, it’s usually a good idea to highlight your skills in their own section. 

Having a well-written resume can increase your earning potential, help you find better jobs, and even help with getting a promotion or salary increase. Try these tips out as you continue your job hunt — and good luck on the market!


Harvard Business Review | Indeed | Purdue OWL

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Top 25 Highest Paying Jobs Without a Degree

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Although college is a great way to invest in yourself, it’s not always for everyone. A college degree may be a stepping stone to overall success, but 43.2 million Americans have also left college with an average of $39,351 in student debt. Take inspiration from the likes of college dropouts, like Steve Jobs and Racheal Ray, and build your wealth without a university degree. Check out the 25 highest paying jobs without a degree to find your alternative path to professional and financial success.

Jump down to the infographic for a visual of the top-paying jobs as well as inspiration from other highly successful people without degrees.

Note: We used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ median salary data from 2019 to compile this list and infographic.

1. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers

This highest paying job without a degree involves all activities relating to the planning and coordination of distribution, transportation, or storage. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers are responsible for directing these activities in accordance with government regulations and organizational policies. Tasks include planning and implementing warehouse safety, supervising shipping, receiving, storing, and testing of products, and integrating logistics with business operations. With just a high school diploma and five years of experience getting things where they need to go, you can level up to this higher position and higher salary.

2. Police and Detective Supervisors

First-line supervisors in this occupation directly oversee detectives and police officers, and they offer expertise in coordinating the investigation of criminal cases. Responsibilities include the training and management of personnel to conduct police operations according to the law. With just a high school diploma required, you’ll be well-rewarded for rising up through the police force with a close to six-figure salary.

3. Commercial Pilots

While airline pilots typically need a bachelor’s degree, commercial pilots perform a similar job without one. Commercial pilots operate and fly aircraft, such as helicopters and airplanes that aren’t affiliated with airlines. Their responsibilities include preparing and inspecting aircraft conditions, making flight plans, communicating with air traffic controllers, and navigating aircraft. Unlike airline pilots, commercial pilots generally perform unscheduled flights such as charter flights and aerial tours. Reap the benefits of pilot’s salary while getting to stay closer to home.

4. Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers

Installers and repairers of elevators and escalators are tasked with fixing, maintaining, and installing lifts and movable walkways. This occupation requires workers to work at tall heights and in cramped spaces. Full-time workers may have to work overtime or be on call for entire days. Despite the working conditions, they’re compensated well. Start your path to becoming an elevator and escalator installer or repairer by obtaining a high school diploma and gaining experience with an apprenticeship.

5. Firefighting Supervisors

Supervisors in this career are responsible for overseeing and coordinating the work of firefighters and any others involved in fire prevention and control. Firefighting supervisors function as leaders of their crew and are involved in communicating fire details to all personnel, administering medical services, assessing fires, and strategically assigning firefighters to rescue and extinguish fires. You can work your way up to this supervisory position in less than five years and start earning well above the standard median income in the United States.


6. Transportation Inspectors

Another transportation career with a high salary and no degree requirement is a transportation inspector. This job is responsible for inspecting products or equipment that are involved in the transportation of people or cargo. Inspectors can specialize in freight, rail transportation, or other vehicles. Duties include inspecting shipments for security, recording freight conditions and handling, observing loading for compliance, and offering expertise when stowing heavy or dangerous cargo. If you’re interested in transportation and management isn’t for you, this role is a well-paying alternative to being a transportation manager.

7. Theatrical Performance Makeup Artists

Makeup artists who apply makeup for theatrical performances are compensated generously for their work and artistry. Theatrical makeup artists generally use makeup to convey a certain period or setting that enhances the performer and their role. Their craft requires them to have precision in their work when duplicating looks for characters on a regular basis, and they specialize in using a variety of materials to achieve their looks.

8. Non-Retail Sales Supervisors

In this role, individuals supervise non-retail sales workers and may also take on budgeting and accounting responsibilities. Non-retail sales supervisors manage their staff and offer guidance in hitting sales goals and resolving problems regarding services or products. Although this occupation’s jobs are projected to decline, the current job landscape indicates a robust field with 409,800 employed in 2019.

9. Lighting, Media, and Communication Equipment Workers

Individuals who work as lighting technicians or media and communication equipment workers are well-compensated for their services. This career finds high levels of employment in the following industries: radio and television broadcasting, motion picture and video, colleges and universities, rental and leasing services, and federal government. Jump into this career after earning a high school diploma and going through short-term on-the-job training.

10. Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers

This career consists of maintaining and installing the power grid, and entry-level positions require a high school diploma. Electrical power line installers install power line networks and repairers service high-voltage lines and towers or even street and traffic lights. Typical duties include inspecting power lines, identifying defects in the power grid, and climbing poles to string power lines. These electrical line installers and repairers work in dangerous conditions off of the ground and with high-voltage electricity. This risk may be balanced by the strong projected job growth and compensation.


11. Agricultural Managers

Agricultural managers, farmers, and ranchers make a decent salary producing livestock, dairy, or crops. This occupation typically needs a high school diploma to get started, but as farm management grows more complex, a secondary degree may be necessary. Agricultural manager positions are expected to decline as farms become more efficient, but about 81,000 job openings are projected each year for the next decade. Explore this career if you enjoy working outdoors with crops or animals.

12. Subway and Streetcar Operators

With just a high school diploma and moderate on-the-job training, you can operate subways, suburban trains, or streetcars for a salary over $60,000. As a streetcar or subway operator, you transport passengers by operating the train or streetcar controls, driving and regulating the vehicle on a railway, and conducting emergency procedures when necessary. This role is another high-paying transportation job that doesn’t require reaching the management level to be paid well.

13. Mechanic Supervisors

This role is in charge of supervising the work of mechanics, repairers, or installers. Mechanic supervisors deal with scheduling and assigning work based on an employee’s skills, reviewing work performance, maintaining safety procedures, and investigating accidents. It takes less than five years of experience to reach a supervisory level, and with a 3 percent projected job growth rate, it will be possible to grow into this role quickly.

14. Construction and Extraction Supervisors

Supervisors of construction and extraction workers coordinate and inspect work activities and ensure that safety standards are met on work sites. It typically takes five or more years of experience in extraction or other construction trade to reach this role. However, with this area growing faster than average at 5 percent, once you have the experience, there will be plenty of job openings on the market.

15. Police Officers

If you’re at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma and valid driver’s license, and are a U.S. citizen, becoming a police officer is a career option for those who don’t possess a degree. In addition to those eligibility requirements, written and physical exams must be passed before becoming a cadet. Police cadets typically attend a training academy to learn about federal, state, and local laws, civil rights, and ethics. They’ll also receive on-the-job training to be able to perform duties such as traffic control, self-defense, first aid, patrol, and emergency response. After completing training and passing a series of interviews, cadets are allowed to become police officers.


16. Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians

Avionic mechanics and service technicians perform routine maintenance or make repairs to aircraft. After completing high school, mechanics and technicians can get technical training and complete a certification at an aviation technician school that is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Another pathway is to start training on the job with constant supervision in order to gain enough experience to become certified. Responsibilities include fixing electrical or mechanical issues and repairing parts relating to the brakes, wings, and other electrical components.

17. Correctional Supervisors

Supervising and coordinating the activities of jailers and correctional officers is another job that doesn’t require a degree. Correctional supervisors are in charge of the custody, discipline, and welfare of inmates, and they’re also tasked with maintaining order and enforcing rules and regulations at the correctional facility. At times, they must direct operations in emergency situations like during escapes. This occupation is expected to decline over the next decade.

18. Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

Boiler operators and stationary engineers are responsible for operating mechanical equipment, specifically boilers and stationary engines. In order to qualify for a job in this role, you will need a high school diploma and will learn your trade through long-term on-the-job training. An apprenticeship will also help you get the experience you need and yield natural job opportunities. Before becoming employed, you’ll have to demonstrate competency by passing an exam or obtaining a license.

19. Farm Labor Contractors

Interested in earning $60,000 a year without a high school diploma? With some short-term on-the-job training, you can learn to recruit and hire temporary or seasonal farm workers. Some farm labor contractors may need a high school diploma, but less than five years of experience as an apprentice or employee also qualifies. This job involves supervising agricultural laborers, paying their wages, and providing resources for food, water, shelter, transportation, and sanitation during their contracted work.

20. Fire Inspectors

Generally, fire inspectors and investigators have a background in fighting fires and have postsecondary training from that field. With that being said, a high school diploma and on-the-job training provide the basic foundation you need to get started. Fire inspectors identify fire hazards, ensure fire codes are met, test fire extinguishing systems, review evacuation plans, and offer education on fire safety. Investigators are tasked with analyzing evidence from fires, documenting it, and determining the cause and origin. If you’re interested in this field, either route will earn a median salary above $60,000.


21. Production and Operations Supervisors

In these positions, you’re responsible for supervising the work of production and operating workers. Operations and production supervisors handle work records, plan schedules, inspect products and equipment, evaluate product estimates and output, and maintain compliance with sanitation and safety regulations. It takes less than five years to reach a supervisory position in this field, but it’s important to note that the growth rate is declining.

22. Executive Assistants

Looking for a job that has no technical training or degree involved? Become an executive secretary or assistant and set yourself up for success with some basic office experience and skills. Typically, this role consists of more complex clerical and administrative work for high-level executives. Tasks include reviewing communications, doing research, and compiling reports. Although a decent job decline is expected in this occupation, job openings will still occur when an existing job holder leaves the field. With nearly 600,000 executive assistants employed in 2019, there will be plenty of opportunities on the job market.

23. Construction and Building Inspectors

Building and construction inspectors review construction to make sure all necessary building codes and zoning regulations are met and all contractual requirements and local ordinances are followed. Inspectors are required to have a high school diploma, and most states also require a license or certification. Training happens on the job, and it varies by location and type of inspector.

24. Court Reporters

To qualify for an entry-level court reporter position, you’ll need to complete a certificate from a community college or technical school. Certifications will prepare you to pass typing-speed exams and obtain a license, which is required in many states. After gaining your credentials, you will work in court creating word-for-word transcripts of proceedings, hearings, and depositions. Court reporting is essential to legal proceedings, and you can feel confident about doing work that benefits society while also getting paid well for it.

25. Property Managers

You don’t need a college degree to manage real estate, property, or community associations. Property managers maintain the operations and appearance of real estate or communities in order to generate income from the property. Their tasks include showing property to potential renters, discussing financial options and terms of leasing, conducting inspections, scheduling repairs, and running operations according to fair housing laws. Although this occupation isn’t in a decline, automation of property management has slowed this field’s growth.

Successful People Without A College Degree

Need some inspiration for what it takes to be successful without a college degree? Learn from the examples of these uber-successful business moguls and entrepreneurs who never started or finished college.

Just remember, if you’re already in college and have student loans, you’ll still need to repay your loans even if you don’t complete your degree. Think about the investment you’ve made so far and evaluate whether your degree is worth it before deciding it’s not for you.


Rebecca Minkoff

At the age of 18, Rebecca Minkoff decided to forgo college and pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer by moving to New York City. She quickly became an overnight sensation when one of her designs was featured on The Tonight Show, and her iconic designer bags solidified her status in fashion and lifestyle. Today, she is an award-winning designer recognized for her apparel and accessories, and she has a net worth of $10 million.

Steve Jobs

Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, never completed his degree at Reed College. He has said that his time at Reed did help inspire the design of Apple’s Macintosh computer. However, even with a lack of a college degree, Jobs managed to amass a $10.2 billion net worth at the time of his death.

Rachael Ray

Talk show host and celebrity food personality, Rachael Ray, spent two years at university before dropping out to concentrate on work. She put on “30 Minute Meals” while working at a gourmet food store and eventually landed on local television. From there she went on to do cooking shows on the Food Network and turned her following into a food empire and net worth of $100 million.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is a Harvard dropout, but who needs a Harvard degree when your computer programming projects are earning you $20,000 at the age of 17. Gates would go on to enroll at Harvard, but his coding and programming abilities would garner him a job offer before he ever completed his degree. That job offer turned into a business partnership and Microsoft was born, catapulting Gates to fame and fortune for creating one of the world’s top software companies. With a $127 billion net worth, read one of his book recommendations to help level up your money mindset.

Mary Kay Ash

Mary Kay Ash launched her iconic beauty business in 1963 in an effort to empower women and disrupt a male-dominated workforce. Ash’s company, Mary Kay Inc., went on to achieve global success and recognition and earned her a net worth of $500 million at the time of her death in 1984. Although Ash didn’t originally attend college, she eventually pursued a degree at the University of Houston but dropped out after a year.

Mark Zuckerberg

Multi-billionaire Mark Zuckerberg seems to have managed quite well without a college degree. Like Gates, the CEO and founder of Facebook is also a Harvard dropout. He started his successful social network while at university and dropped out to pursue it full time. With a net worth of over $113 billion, we can say he definitely found his best path to success.

A college degree isn’t the exact formula for success. With the right spending and saving habits, you can grow your wealth by working one of these high paying jobs without a degree. Try perfecting your budget based on your salary with the Mint app and take charge of your financial future today.


Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics | Education Data | Inside Highered | Glassdoor | Bloomberg | Celebrity Net Worth | Discover Praxis | Investopedia | Wealthy Genius | Yahoo |

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How Much is Your FICO Score Costing You on Your Car? (Infographic)

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A FICO credit score is a credit score developed by FICO, a company that specializes in what’s known as “predictive analytics,” which means they take information and analyze it to predict what’s likely to happen.

In the case of credit scores, FICO looks at a range of credit information and uses that to create scores that help lenders predict consumer behavior, such as how likely someone is to pay their bills on time (or not), or whether they are able to handle a larger credit line.

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Scores developed by FICO can also be used to forecast which accounts are most likely to end up included in bankruptcy, or which ones will be most profitable. And credit-based insurance scores, which they also create, are used to help insurance companies identify which customers are least likely to file claims.

What Does FICO Stand For?

The name FICO comes from the company’s original name, the Fair Isaac Co. It was often shortened to FICO and finally became the company’s official name several years ago.

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To create credit scores, they use information provided by one of the three major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. But FICO itself is not a credit reporting agency.

Though a FICO credit score is the most widely used among lenders, there are other scores lenders can choose from, such as the VantageScore, which is becoming more widely used.

What is the FICO Score Range?

There are actually dozens of FICO scores, with each version serving a different purpose (more on that later). Generally, the FICO score range is 300 to 850, with the higher number representing less risk to the lender or insurer.

What Is a Good FICO Score?

Consumers with excellent FICO scores (usually around 760 fico score range or higher, though every lender has different standards) are likely to get the best rates when they borrow, as well as the best discounts on insurance.

What Goes Into FICO Scores?

Five main factors go into FICO scores, and they each have a different effect on your score. Here’s the breakdown:

All these factors are considered in other credit score models, so it’s safe to say that if you have a good FICO score, you likely have a strong score with other models as well. However, for some people, the weight of these categories can vary.

For example, people who haven’t been using credit for very long will be factored differently than those with a longer credit history, according to FICO. So, the importance of any one of these factors depends on the overall information in your credit report.

That’s why it’s a good idea to not get too hung up on the specific number of your credit score. Instead, focus on what areas of your credit are strong and which ones you might want to work on to better achieve a good FICO score.

What’s Not in My FICO Score?

While FICO considers a wide range of information to come up with your credit scores, there is a lot of information that is not used. According to FICO, the scores do not consider anything that isn’t on your credit report, which includes your race, religion, national origin, sex, marital status and age.

Here are some other things that FICO says it does not factor into its scores:

Is There Just One FICO Score?

FICO has dozens of credit score models. Some are specific to what the consumer is applying for. For example, if you’re applying for an auto loan, your potential creditor may use a FICO score formula that gives significant weight to your history of making auto loan payments. Other models are customized for FICO’s clients.

Additionally, FICO updates its general formulas from time to time, with the most recent being the FICO 9 rollout in 2014. Paid collection accounts are not factored into FICO 9 scores, and unpaid medical collections have less of a negative impact on credit scores, compared to other credit scoring models and previous FICO algorithms.

A Few More Facts About FICO Scores

A lesser-known fact about FICO scores is that some people don’t have them at all. To generate a credit score, a consumer must have a certain amount of available information. For example, to generate FICO scores, the consumer should have at least one account that has been open for six or more months and at least one account that has been reported to the credit reporting agencies over the last six months.

Did you know that it is also possible to achieve a perfect FICO score? The best FICO score a consumer can have is an 850, and that number has been reached by only about 0.5% of consumers that practiced better credit behavior.

Paying all your bills on time, not carrying your credit card balances month to month, and not opening multiple accounts are all good behaviors to follow to help you reach your FICO score goals of 850.

Each of the three major credit bureaus will generate their own FICO scores. It is recommended that you look at each credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion because the FICO score for each may slightly vary. You may also find that there is more than one FICO score available from each reporting agency.


FICO scores are not just for individuals either. Small businesses also have their own FICO scores, and these scores are what banks and other financial institutions use to help determine if they should lend to a business or not.

The FICO SBSS is the small business FICO Score (FICO Small Business Scoring Service) and counts as one of three main business credit scores. These FICO scores range from 0 to 300 and like regular FICO scores, the higher the sbss score, the better.

To calculate a FICO SBSS, the personal and business credit history is considered alongside other financial information such as payment history to vendors and suppliers. These scores can then be used to prescreen or determine loan terms and credit amounts that could reach more than one million dollars.

If a small business would like to improve their FICO score, then they should take a closer look at their personal credit history while they take positive steps to begin to build business credit.

FICO Score Versus VantageScore

Like FICO scores, VantageScores are also utilized by all three of the major credit reporting agencies. The VantageScore credit score is another scoring model that was actually developed by TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

While both scoring models use much of the same information to calculate scores, FICO bases their model off the reports from the three credit bureaus to come up with one formula. They both use a scoring model with scores ranging between 300 and 850.

VantageScore is most often used if the individual does not have an adequate credit history while FICO is used if there is a history of at least six months or more. VantageScore credit scores are given to people who don’t qualify to receive a FICO credit score due to the short or nonexistent credit history.

In addition to a FICO score and VantageScore, you can also find a TransRisk Score. This score is also a three-digit number on a scoring model of 300 to 850. The TransRisk Score, however, is found with information on a TransUnion credit report and is not often used by lenders.

How to Get Your Credit Score

With a free account, you get a free credit score. This is not a trial offer, there is nothing to cancel, and you won’t be asked for your credit card information.

You can also purchase a FICO score online, and some credit card companies also provide free credit scores with an account or on your regular statement.