Category Archives: Career

Making a Difference: How to Choose Meaningful Work

When you’re working one of the most important things is motivation. If you’re insufficiently motivated, you’ll find yourself dragging your lumpen carcass out of bed on a Monday morning, resenting every minute of your commute and sleepwalking through your day, ending up with no energy to pursue personal projects or relaxation in your leisure time.

The best motivation comes from choosing work that’s meaningful to you. Work that makes a difference, so that at the end of every day, you know the effort you’ve put in is linked to very real results – people working in medicine, in social work, in substance misuse jobs deal with people every day and despite being frequently stretched for resources and under stress, get to make genuine differences to people lives every day (for the better, crucially).

If you don’t have the skills or, in fairness, inclination to pursue a job like this you need to either reframe your attitude to your existing job to emphasise how you’re making a difference, or find an alternative career to move into that lets you feel that you’re contributing in a meaningful way. You don’t need to be an ambulance driver or brain surgeon, just find a job that you feel is worthwhile or take a fresh look at your existing role to understand your real worth within the organisation.

If you’re in a position to change your job, think before you leap. If you’re dissatisfied and leap into a new position before you’ve really thought it through, you might find yourself just as dissatisfied and needing to sit in your new job for months or years before you can change again.

Be honest with yourself, and make sure you’re reorienting yourself towards a career that you find important and meaningful, not what is, on average, expected to be. There’s no point pursuing a career as a social worker to impress your friends with your social responsibility when you simply don’t have the motivation. If your strength is in administration, then you can put that towards a meaningful job in local government. If you’re into sales at heart, becoming an estate agent allows you to put your skills into finding people homes, and while estate and lettings agents can get a bad rap, if you deal fairly with people you’ll impress them and they’ll never forget you!

If you’re not able to change your job, talk to your manager about shadowing people in other departments. This gives you an insight into how your input is valued across the company and a new commitment it.

Is There a Place for Machine Translation in Business?

Five years ago, the answer might have been “definitely no”. However, since then artificial intelligence has made significant inroads into business writing. You may be surprised to know how many articles machines generate on Huffington Post and Harvard Business Review.

Naturally, a human tidies them up afterwards, but the spadework is already done. Similar technology is evolving in the translation industry. Hence, it is best to understand the mix we require, before we contact a company specialized in document translation services.

Striking the Right Balance before Contacting a Translator

Human effort comes at a cost. If we can find a machine to do the heavy lifting, we save money and time. This is especially true for translation, because unlike original writing the content of the document is already set.

However, we do need to find a company specializing in document translation services with a thorough approach. This may mean comparing the original and translation line by line, as opposed to simply tidying up the latter. Here are a few examples of what I mean by this.

Product Descriptions for Internet Catalogues

E-Traders with hundreds of items are more interested in cost than exemplary grammar. Much of their content is there to meet Amazon/eBay requirements. Besides, shoppers are more likely to want to know what comparison sites say. Therefore, a tentative thumbs up for machine translation here.

Product Descriptions for High Tech Industries

However, if I were a nuclear power station operator to cite an extreme case, I would not recommend letting a machine loose on critical procedures. The words “must,” “should,” “may,” and “might” can be mission critical. Therefore, I would contact a company specialized in document translation services in this instance.

What about Marketing Copy and General Business Translation?

Yes, those are two good examples where a blend of machines and human translation provides the best mix. Any multinational corporate will see the sense of mass machine translation into multiple languages. However, I would ask a translator fluent in the destination language to cast an eye over the result and comment.

Things Are Seldom Black or White, Including in Translation

The third dimension to the decision is, of course, cost. I would love a Ferrari but I settle for a Toyota because it gets me there, albeit it at the loss of privilege. Professional translators understand the cost dilemma and always do their best to find the right balance.

Hence I recommend you contact a company specialized in document translation services that understands the potential, and the limitations of machine translation.

7 Signs You Should Start Your Own Business

Not everyone can be an entrepreneur. The hours are long, the decisions are tough, and failure comes as often as success. However, for some people, there is no other option – destiny is pushing them toward business ownership.

If you feel that traditional career paths aren’t compelling, if you have a captivating business concept, if you are a hard worker with keen business sense, you might be a natural-born entrepreneur. Here are a few common signs of a life destined for entrepreneurship – and at least one reason you shouldn’t drop out of school and start your business too soon.

You Are Always Team Leader

Working in teams is a common occurrence throughout grade school and college for the same reasons workers team up in the real world: It encourages greater productivity and creativity. However, every team needs a leader – and you most often take that spot.

Good entrepreneurs prefer to be in control, which means they don’t enjoy being bossed around and they need the freedom to follow their vision. Though you might struggle to manage your controlling tendencies in other aspects of your life, entrepreneurship is where you can let your natural leadership shine.

You Search for New Achievements

“Good enough” is not what you strive for. For some reason, you feel the need to chase perfection, to excel and to win praise, awards and other recognition for your actions. If this is the case, you should become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have the ultimate opportunity to prove their worth. Business ownership can be brutal, but in success, you will show yourself to be the best of the best.

You Feel Comfortable With Risk

There is hardly a riskier endeavor than running your own business – save perhaps bull riding or base jumping. An entrepreneur’s goal is to reduce risk as much as possible, but that doesn’t mean you can ever eliminate it completely. Every decision you make as an entrepreneur carries risk, so you must feel comfortable with risk before you start your own business.

You Are Financially Savvy

Cash flow issues are the number-one cause of business failure, accounting for more than 80 percent of all small business collapses. Other money troubles, such as failing to acquire sufficient funding, pricing products and services poorly and improperly forecasting sales, claim nearly as high rates of fatality. Thus, it is imperative that you know some about finance before you nosedive into entrepreneurship.

Personal finance and business finance are two different beasts, but if you are relatively proficient with managing your own money, you will likely be better at juggling your business’s finances. Fortunately, you can always enroll in finance courses to become better at handling financial matters.

You Understand Yourself

Though movies and television shows often depict entrepreneurs as brooding, introspective types, you should not be indulging in soul searching after you launch your business. By the time your business opens its doors, you should know yourself inside and out: your strengths and weaknesses, your goals and dreams, your ideal daily routine, your social preferences, your favorite destressing activities, etc. etc.

Entrepreneurs who understand themselves are more confident in their abilities, more comfortable in their situations and less likely to make mistakes due to blind spots or insecurities. If you feel there is still much for you to learn about you, you should spend some time with yourself before you start a business.

You Are Committed to Being Better

A business has all sorts of competition, from existing competitors in the market to future market disruptions. However, an entrepreneur’s true rival is their past selves. If you are always looking to improve your skills and knowledge, if you are working toward answering any question and finding solutions to any challenge, you should start your own business.

Entrepreneurs must be the best versions of themselves to ensure their business succeeds. Unfortunately, that means it likely isn’t prudent for you to jump into business ownership right away; instead, you should spend a few years gaining more wisdom and experience in your chosen field. Obtaining a job in an appropriate role and industry while you are enrolled in an online MBA program should provide you with the skills and expertise needed to thrive as a new entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs are self-starters who constantly search for new opportunities and new challenges. If you are a natural leader, if you feel comfortable with numbers and if you know who you are and what you want, you should become an entrepreneur.

5 Signs that You Should Pursue a Career in Music

Music isn’t seen as a “career-driven” education direction by many. Most see it as a waste of time and money, with little prospects at the end of the road. However, the industry is changing and for those who succeed in landing a job, it can be a very fulfilling and rewarding career, not to mention lucrative.  However, if you are still on the fence about whether you should pursue a career in music you should read this article!

 pursue a career in music

Here are five signs that a music career could mean that it’s meant to be:

You are a Prodigy

Ok, this one might be a complete giveaway, but if you are crazy talented, and it’s not just your mom telling you this, a career in music is for you. Even if you do not make a name for yourself as the top violinist or tenor in the world, you still have a good chance to pursue a career in music in performing, composition, or something else like music journalism. Your education might actually be the thing you need to shape your direction and expose you to new things that might further inspire you. It also connects you with influencers in the music world, like your professors.

 

 You’re Great at Computers

This might initially sound strange, but give it a minute to sink in. So much of music is digitized nowadays, that being computer literate and good at music software can be what gets you exposure. Even if you yourself are not a great musician in the sense that you don’t play any instruments or sing, being able to engineer sound and produce music might get you more money than performing or recording your own music could. If mixing music and playing around with music software is your thing, it could lead you to consider a formation in a pro audio school.

 

 You’re Well Connected

This is definitely not a requirement, but having a music network to rely on once you’re done your education increases your chance for a great job in the field. Whether you have a family member in the industry, or have many friends who are already making waves and can introduce you to the right people, having those connections but choosing to do something else might mean that you are missing out on some great opportunities.

 

You’ve Got a Crafty Brain

Just because you want a career in music, doesn’t mean you have to study it! There are plenty of jobs in the industry that don’t require you to be a musician at all. From accountants, marketers, managers, and more, being smart and passionate about music can often get you further and land you a more stable job than those you would originally picture for someone in the music industry.

 

You’re Hard as Nails

A career in music means a lot of networking, a lot of “no’s”, tons of perseverance, and in the end: grit. The music industry is a tough one, and you need to be continuously proving yourself in order to stay relevant and successful. Its important to assess whether your chosen career will fit your personality.

If you are able to take criticism, yet have an unwavering belief in yourself, then you probably have what it takes to make a livelihood out of music. Though you don’t have to be topping the billboard charts, any artist or music industry partner who can pursue a career in music, pay the bills and live their ideal life thanks to a passion-filled and enjoyable job, is successful. 

A career for music isn’t for everyone. Remember that there are many who have dreamed and failed. However, there’s a lot of room in this industry and you could be one of those “lucky ones” living their dream life with the job they always wanted if you go ahead pursue your career in music.

Save Your Way to Retirement with a Roth IRA

Retirement should be a time to really kick back and enjoy the life that you have built for yourself. There is no way to enjoy your golden years if you are relying on Social Security and the kindness of strangers. That is why you need to be able to grab a Roth IRA as early as possible so you can get your money in it and figure out how to grow it as much as possible.

The beauty of a Roth IRA is that you contribute after tax dollars, which means that you are going to save on taxes when you are ready to take withdrawals from your account. The Roth IRA represents a tax break on the back end, after you hit 59 and a half. That is when you can take withdrawals out of your Roth IRA. Before that, you might be subjected to a penalty for withdrawing funds too early.

Another great benefit is that you can take money out of your Roth IRA in an emergency, penalty-free. You want to use that as a last resort, but you can tap into your Roth IRA as soon as you need to in order to get through an emergency house repair or a large, unexpected medical bill. Keep in mind that you can only withdraw what you have put into your Roth IRA, not any money that you may have made on your contributions.

The key to maintaining an effective Roth IRA is to make enough money and put a good portion of that money away. When you are budgeting effectively, you are able to make a real contribution to your retirement savings. Having a budget that makes sense allows you to spend on your essentials and then have enough left over to make real contributions to your Roth IRA.

When you take a look at your monthly budget, there are a lot of places that you can save money to increase your savings. You can reduce your restaurant spending and cook more at home. Cooking at home is a great way to build new skills and get healthier too. When you learn how to transform ingredients into quality meals for you and your family, you will feel better and be happier. That in turn will give you more energy to go out and make more money.

Learning to do some DIY house repairs if a great way to save money on household maintenance. Plus, you are making contributions to one of your most important investments when you are improving your home. There is no way that making improvements to your home won’t pay off in the future. Painting, for example, is a simple, learnable skill, that can make your house a more valuable piece of property. And improving the value of your home has a positive effect on your overall net worth.

When you are ready to make your Roth IRA a priority in your financial life, you are ready to take the next step as a smart capitalist.

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