Tag Archives: career

Van Business in UK: Are the stresses and Strains Worth the Investment?

Starting a van business is no doubt lucrative, especially when you get the equation right, but it can be strenuous and even excruciating to keep it going. Anyone might say it is normal for any business to appear daunting at first, but with a van business, is the stress simply not worth it?

Why many start van businesses

There are a number of good reasons to start a van business, with one of them being the simple fact that you have an unused or underutilised van sitting in a corner. The smartest move to make in such a case would surely be to put your van to some profitable use as long as you have a bit of time on your hands.

With a van business, you get to choose the customers you want to serve as the business is versatile and you can engage in a diverse range of work. You get to decide whether you would rather focus on one niche and if business dries up on that end, you and your van can always move to something else. There is also the fact that van businesses will always be in demand, particularly because of the role technology has come to play in selling, with a higher demand for delivery services.

To cap it all, you get to choose when you work, the scale of business you are willing to take on, and how you work. It is the flexibility that makes van business a winner for some.

The ugly side of van business

As many are enticed to start a van business as a result of its many benefits, there are also many who turn away from it due to the associated stresses and strains of the business. Perhaps because they have experienced the uglier side of the venture or because they have heard the horror stories, former van drivers and intending ones change their minds about van business.

Van drivers in the UK often have to drive longer distances and spend longer behind the wheel. This is not healthy, both physically and mentally. After an entire day of driving, the pain can be unbearable and the fatigue would knock you out. Yet, van drivers are expected to get up again the following day and continue.

Doing it right

Driving a van to make a living does not have to be a hellish experience once you are able to do it right. Sometimes, it is the smallest things we do that make all the difference. For example, to avoid long term effects such as elevated blood pressure, you should take a break whenever you start to feel anxious while you are driving. What you need at that moment is to relax and calm yourself.

De-stressing after a long drive is also very important, however you prefer to do it. The bottom line is once you take charge of your health and work, ultimately you’ll be fine.

Why a Graduate Certificate Might Be a Better Be Than a Master’s Degree

Today’s highly competitive job market has left many college students wondering whether the extra time and money to get a master’s degree will pay off in the form of improved career prospects. But what many don’t realize is that a master’s degree isn’t the only option for post-baccalaureate education. There’s another, less expensive, faster way to gain industry-specific skills at the post-graduate level — the graduate certificate.

A graduate certificate takes about half as long to earn as a master’s degree, and is a fraction of the cost. In most fields, including project monitoring and evaluation, a graduate certificate can improve your job prospects and raise your salary just as much as a master’s degree. Even if you already have a master’s degree, a graduate certificate is a fast and economical way to upgrade your skills and stay competitive in the jobs market.

Advance Your Education in Less Time

If you want to enhance your skill set and pad your resume, but also want to hit the job market as soon as possible, a graduate certificate is the way to go. Online programs are a popular choice for students who want to earn graduate certificates; you could go to school online for a graduate certificate in project monitoring and evaluation, for example, while still holding down a full-time job.

The typical graduate certificate program consists of four to seven credits, although some programs can comprise as many as 15 credits. That’s about half as many as a master’s degree, so the degree takes a lot less time to earn — usually a year or less, compared to two or more years for a master’s. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a qualification that could help you get that big promotion you’ve got your eye on, if you want to earn more money, or even if you want to change careers.

Boost Your Earning Power

You already know that people with master’s degrees tend to earn more than people who have only a bachelor’s degree, but you don’t have to commit to a master’s program to bring home bigger paychecks. Graduate certificates are especially valuable for people working in technical fields, such as heating and air conditioning, or in emerging fields, such as cybersecurity, social media marketing, or homeland security. Thirty-nine percent of men with a graduate certificate earn more than their counterparts with a bachelor’s, and 34 percent of women with graduate certificates make more than their baccalaureate-educated peers.

Save Money

If you’re not sure whether you want a master’s degree or you’re in a field where a graduate degree doesn’t necessarily equal a higher salary, a graduate certificate can get you the education you need to advance at a much lower price tag.

A graduate certificate runs about $5,000, compared to the tens of thousands of dollars a master’s degree costs. And if you’ve already got a master’s degree, it just doesn’t make sense to go back to school for another one when a graduate certificate could give you the extra specialization you need at a lower price and with a shorter time commitment.

Improve Your Job Prospects

While it’s true that there are certain fields where a master’s degree is a must — think law, medicine, or business — in most fields, a job candidate with a graduate certificate will always win out over one with only a bachelor’s degree. Employers are impressed by the extra credential, as most graduate certificate programs are tailored to meet industry demands.

Since the programs are so short, there’s no risk of your skills becoming outdated by the time you hit the job market. They’re also a good way to update skills later in your career, especially if you want to break into or advance in an emerging field that didn’t even exist when you were a traditional college student; one-third of people who earn graduate certificates are over age 30.

If you’re reluctant to commit to a lengthy, expensive master’s degree program, why not consider a graduate certificate instead? You can earn a specialized post-baccalaureate qualification in half the time and at a fraction of the cost of a master’s degree, and hit the job market faster and harder with the kinds of skills that make employers stand up and take notice.

How to Start a Career as an Oil & Gas Landman

A landman is a well-paid and rewarding position within the oil and gas industry. However, getting your foot in the door after you meet the initial qualifications is not a clear-cut process. Most landmen started their career in oil and gas in different ways. That’s why it’s best to implement a multi-faceted approach to becoming a landman. How do you accomplish this approach? By following the steps below: make sure you possess the necessary prerequisites, then gain real-world experience by volunteering, enrolling in a program, taking a course or simply working your way up the corporate ladder.


You must possess four prerequisites before you can start working in some capacity as a landman: a Bachelor’s degree from a four-year university in science or business; outstanding interpersonal and communication skills; a high level of analytical skills and attention to detail; and experience in real estate, or preferably, the oil and gas industry itself. If you do not have all of these prerequisites, you may be able to land a job if you are particularly ambitious and show great potential, but most likely you need to fill the gaps in the value you provide any oil and gas company as a landman.

oil and gas job

Gain Additional Experience

Once you have the prerequisites to get started working, it’s time to find an outlet. This does not mean you will find a job right away — perhaps you need more specialized education, or maybe you even need to volunteer your time to get real-world experience. Yes, education can be considered additional experience if it consists of a landman course or a petroleum land management program from an accredited university.

  • Landman Course: These courses provide a fast track to the landman profession, available conveniently in person or online. Only pay for a course that is AAPL certified. As a side note, it may be crucial for you to get certified by the American Association of Petroleum Landmen.
  • Petroleum Land Management Program: Obtaining a degree in petroleum land management is highly desired by oil and gas companies, even if you already have a degree.
  • Volunteering: If you can’t get experience any other way, consider volunteering for an established landman. Though it may be hard to find one that needs help, when you do you will make many important connections that can help you establish your career.
  • Climbing the Corporate Ladder: It might sound basic, but working as a leasing agent or analyst, land tech or title analyst is one of the most common ways to advance to a full landman position, or before that, an Associate Landman position.

Oops moment you want to avoid when involved in a video meeting…

When it comes to communicating with one another, human beings can be very awkward. Not all the time of course, but often enough someone says something or does something that just makes others feel uncomfortable. Depending on the means of communication, these instances can be incredibly awkward, slightly annoying or somewhere in between. Talking face-to-face is the most effective means of communication possible, but it’s also where people can mess up and cause discomfort for others. Alternatively, chatting online or texting doesn’t have nearly the same impact for the same transgression. Companies use things like CIPHR HR Software to lessen the awkwardness of communication with others while boosting productivity, but sometimes, good ole’ person-to-person interactions is the only way to get things done.

Face-to-face communication is the top of the hierarchy of potentially awkward situations, but video meetings can make a close second (phone calls are up there too, but at least an awkward silence during a phone call doesn’t entail actually seeing the other person). Video meetings and conferencing can be used for a multitude of different tasks, school, personal and business related. Yet awkward situations can arise in either instance. Avoiding uncomfortable situations while on a video call with friends or family is not usually a big deal (it’s mainly a personal desire to avoid the situation and most often doesn’t incur significant consequences). But committing an error in social custom, business etiquette or any other unwritten code of conduct while participating in a business meeting can have dire consequences.

business suit

What to Do If You Mess up

The fact of the matter is, you will make a mistake at some point; everyone does. Depending on the circumstances the initial mistake is often not the problem; the real problem usually comes from how the person who makes the mistake handles the aftermath. It’s important to put things in perspective, according to Psychology Today. Quite often, the mistake you made is not serious and chances are many people might not even notice it. But if someone does notice, you should remember that what’s done is done, and you can’t change the past. What you can do, however, is apologize, especially if what you did had any negative effect on the situation. In addition, laughing at yourself is a great way to ease the tension and set the other person at ease, as long as the circumstances are conducive to a laugh. Whatever you do, do not try to make excuses; most people will see right through them and this will make the situation worse by showing you to be unwilling to own up to your own mistakes. Of course, there are some gaffes you could commit that might be unfixable, period, especially if you’re in a business situation. But for the most part, as long as you think before you speak and don’t do anything that could be construed as offensive, any awkward situations created by your actions should be easy enough to laugh off or apologize away as long as you are sincere.

Avoiding the Situation in the First Place

While everyone is human and everyone makes mistakes, trying to avoid committing them in the first place is your best plan of action. When in meetings, either face-to-face or video conference via Blue Jeans Network, it’s incredibly important to hold yourself in a way that tells your bosses you are paying attention, listening and focused on what is being discussed, according to Today. Body language is incredibly telling, according to Nonverbal Group. Anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of communication is transmitted through nonverbal cues. This means that the way you move, your facial expressions, your hand movements, leg jitters and any other body movement can communicate your mood and interest in a conversation. This can be good or bad depending on multiple variables like who you’re talking to, what you’re talking about, how lenient that person is and plenty more. Self-control is important, so make sure you are capable of it. If you’re ever unsure of your ability to hold your own during a video meeting, then it can be useful to practice. It’s actually a very mature and responsible habit to practice speaking or acting for when you might be in an interview or video meeting. It may be clichéd, but practice does make perfect. It’s also incredibly important to keep calm; don’t let any small mistakes or your nerves distract you, and if you do make a mistake just get over it and move on, according to US News. Look directly into the camera. You can’t actually have eye contact through a video screen, but looking through the camera instead of the screen will show the other person you are intent, focused and interested. If you are participating in the meeting or interview from home, make sure you wear appropriate clothing; showing up on screen in a t-shirt is not a good idea. And above all, watch your language; not just swearing, but any slang or jargon that might be seen as either immature or overly casual will not help you at all.


Best Majors For Making Money Right Out of College!

college to cash

There’s no doubt about it: college will likely provide some of the best times of your life.  While the next four years of relative time freedom should be savored, don’t forget why you are in school in the first place – to get a degree that will help you get a position that will pay a generous salary.  Such an accomplishment is becoming tougher in today’s economy, where jobs for certain degrees are evaporating due to outsourcing and automation.

As such, much greater care must be taken when it comes to selecting a degree and a major, as it will make the difference between playing in an optimal position, and being forced to take your shots from behind the proverbial 8 ball. Now that we have your attention, may we suggest five degree paths that grant their recipients a higher percentage chance of landing a good job in their field?

We can?  Great!  Let’s begin with…

1) Information Technology

From managing networks to programming in various computer languages, the demand for people to help continue the unprecedented expansion of the internet continues to grow.  While things aren’t quite as crazy as they were in the gold rush days of the 1990’s, the need for creators, analysts and developers in this field is still strong.

For a web app developer, who pulls in $80,000 on a median basis, to IT managers at bigger firms, who comfortably earn six figures on average, the prospects for a good living are still here.  The computer-intensive nature of much of this work also lends itself well to mobility, meaning that freelancers can earn a living doing what they do best from a beach side bar in Thailand if they choose to do so!

2) Engineering

The world will always need problem solvers, and as this is at the core of what an engineer does, the demand for these professionals will always be steady and strong. Specialties run the gamut from chemical, civil, and electrical engineering to fields as far flung as human factors engineering (aka ergonomics). Median salaries range from $75,000 to $90,000 depending on the field, but in parts of the world where labor shortages are active, these earnings can spike considerably.

3) Marketing

The core of business, forever and always, is getting people to check out your stuff, then getting in there and closing the sale. This is what the motivated marketing graduate is innately good at, and the best promoters and closers get paid very, very well for the services they provide. The median earnings of many marketing managers is perpetually close to $100,000 per year for most regions, and with performance bonuses tied in, most killers finish with considerably more than that in their bank account come Christmas.

4) Geology

At this point in history, the oil industry is in its twilight years.  The day where clean energy rules the roost will likely be here within the next generation or two.  Until then, a crapload of money stands ready to be made in this field, as easy oil finds don’t exist anymore, and finding more supply to prop up our oil-dependent civilization requires the ingenuity of petroleum geologists (i.e. you).

These specialists can be making $96,000 on average straight out of school, with low to mid six figures per year possible as you progress through your career. The best part is this: it doesn’t include the many performance bonuses that exist at many workplaces, so the potential to make even more depends solely on your work ethic.

What about the day when oil is over?  The world will continue to need to dig gold, iron ore, and rare earth elements (used in smartphones and other electronics) out of the ground, so if you plan ahead, simply transition over when the ship begins to sink and with any luck, you’ll be in a new position with minimal disruption!

5) Pharmacology

That dude that fills prescriptions behind the counter at your local drug store?  He isn’t a chump.  Not even close.  Despite the tendency to stereotype anybody that works in a retail environment as a low wage earner, pharmacists stand out from the pack, making a cool $80,000 per year on a median basis to ensure that your grandmother gets the right pills for her condition, and not something that will, you know … kill her!

After shouldering this enormous responsibility, having the certainty of steady hours and a plush wage make this sterile-appearing career seem positively appealing in today’s economic landscape, especially when you consider how old the boomers are getting.  Excuse us while get our lab coat…

Do you think you know one of the best majors for making money right out of college? Share it below in the comments!

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