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artificial-intelligence-2167835_640All businesses need a good data backbone in the digital age. Whether it’s to interpret data from your clients and provide insights that will help you refine your proposition, or manage your social media presence, it’s important to ensure that this side of your business is being looked after, as it repays investment many times over. One of the most surprising and important developments on the data side of businesses that you may not be aware of yet is in the field of AI.

You might think of AI as either belonging to the realm of science fiction, as relevant to a modern business as Doctor Who’s TARDIS or the Starship Enterprise. If you’re a little better informed, you might think of AI as the sort of programming that tells the opposing side how to attack you in video games like Battlefield or Mass Effect.

AI as an emerging field, however, has some very current and useful business applications, and specialist recruiters like Heather Barnes of Savannah Search are beginning to place more and AI experts into modern businesses.

Google was recently in the news for the Neural Net technology it uses to create search results. Specifically, the ‘deep dream’ routines it used to identify pictures and show searchers similar images. You can use Google Deep Dream Image generators to create weird nightmarish pictures, but this is only a side effect of the AI learning to look at a picture and see the same meaning in it a typical browser would.

Google’s now using this sort of technology to order it’s search results for users but more interestingly to link users with advertising and videos, via Youtube. If your business works within the marketing field, or has a basis in retail, an AI expert on your team can help you to understand how to use Google’s own systems to get your products and adverts in front of more people.

As you can see, hiring people with AI experience and programming is a canny move that will future proof your company for the next great leap forward in technology, to help you to be first in line and take advantages of the new opportunities it will bring. It’s strange to think the world is changing in such a remarkable way because Google tried to teach a computer to understand what a dog looks like!

Defining Your Goals Before Job HuntingLooking for a new job is not always the easiest. It can take a lot of time depending on what you’re trying to do. Job hunting can be stressful especially if you need a new job as soon as possible. I’ve been in a situation where it took me a year to find a full-time position. I had part-time work during half of that time, but it was still a very stressful time. One of the mistakes that some people make is to rush and end up in a job that is not really for them. To help you avoid that, it’s good to define what you want with a new job before you start searching. Let’s look at a few ways that will help you identify your goals.

Goal Mindset

The first thing that you should do is get into the goal mindset. Your goals should help direct your job search, not the other way around. At times, people take what they can get and then find themselves stuck. Is that how you want to spend the next 30-40 years? Do you want to be stuck somewhere that you don’t like for the majority of your adulthood? I’m not sure about you, but that’s not how I want to live my life. I’m sure most people probably feel like that. You need to come up with some goals and then let them steer your job search.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

The second thing that you need to do is to be proactive. If you see a job or position that you may be interested in, reach out to them. If there is a company that you may want to work for, check to see if they have any future openings. Some companies don’t always advertise their jobs to the public. By searching for a business or employer that you want to work for, you are being proactive. You may be waiting forever if you want them to find you. Get in a proactive mindset. Take some time to search for employers that fit your criteria, and that will help you progress your career.

What are your skills?

Do you know what your skills are or do you just put something generic on your resume? Take a look at what your skills really are. Jot them down on a piece of paper and list them best to least. This is done to show you what you are good at. Write down anything you can do such as troubleshooting to coding. In this exercise, there are no right or wrong answers.

Experience

The next step is to consider the different job experiences that you have had. Some job experience might not be needed for certain positions. It also doesn’t need to be just job-related. If you’ve done community service or have experience being in an organization in college, make sure that you include it.

Connect

The final thing is to connect your skills with your experiences. I’m sure you will now see career ideas opening up that you probably haven’t thought of. Is one your skills working on websites? Maybe you could help a company update their web page. Make connections between your skills and experience. When you do this, you will be well on your way to defining your new career goals.

Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom, is a motivational and powerful guidebook. It goes into detail on how to break totally free from what he calls the “rat race,” by shifting from the “left side of the quadrant” where the majority of people work to the “right side” and in the long run financial freedom. He sets out how people confined in jobs or self-employment can progress by becoming financially literate and systematically build financial assets that generate income; which would ultimately free them to invest some time doing what they truly love.

The Cashflow Quadrant

Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad was actually his best friend’s father. He was a wealthy business owner that schooled Kiyosaki’s on how the rich and wealthy look at money.  He also cautioned that how one looks at money determines how financially free they become as they get older. To explain this point, Rich Dad taught him the cashflow quadrant.

E     S
B     I

Just think of any job, and it will definitely fit into the Cashflow Quadrant. On the left side lives 99% of those who are in what Kiyosaki calls the rat race — the race to earn more income and get much more property that causes, even more, work, added stress and significantly less time for the things that truly matter. On the right side of the quadrant reside the people who generate their money passively. They get other people’s money and time to work for them, and as they become more productive and successful, they have an overabundance of time for the things they love.

Left-side (most people)

E: Employees

The majority of people are employees. They appreciate the very idea of financial security over the associated risk that comes with financial freedom. They make money for B’s and S’s who get wealthy and rich from their productive labor. Although working harder in this quadrant will earn you more money, it results in an unhealthy shortage of time for the things that matter which includes spending quality time with family and relaxation.

S: Self-Employed

A good number of small businesses are owned by the self-employed. If the Self-Employed want anything done right, they often have to do it themselves. They mostly are control freaks and are typically perfectionists. If the self-employed left their company for a long period, there would usually be no returns; they are the ones that keep the business going.

Right-side (the wealthy)

B: Business-Owners

Several small enterprises and nearly all large businesses and corporations are owned by B’s. They cherish building systems of people that make money, over “doing it right.” They know the distinction between the product and the business model. Even though quality might be important, profit potential is extremely important. Since they create systems and move out of an active role in operations, if these business owners leave their business for a long time, they would find it even more profitable than they left it.

I: Investors

The peak of financial growth is simply becoming a profitable investor. These individuals can make use of their money and other people’s money (OPM) to generate much more money with minimal physical effort. These are the people that provide B’s the funds to create and run businesses. Even though a lot of E’s have savings in the form of retirement accounts, I’s really live off their investments.

The Cashflow Quadrant shows the actions you have to take to become financially free. Although it doesn’t give instruction in any special skill, it is going to guide you to the skills you need to learn as well as the hurdles you will most likely face to your ideal goal. This book is extremely important for people who are actually keen on learning more about the process of becoming financially free.

The Ten Roads to Riches Review Pt. 2Last week I started a brief review of the book “The Ten Roads to Riches.” Today is part two of the review. I will go over the last ideas that the author goes over.

Steal it legally – no guns necessary

The sixth road to riches is to steal it legally. A lot of businesses do this all the time. They steal or use ideas that other companies have, and they make money off of them. There are hundreds of examples of this happening through the years. I want to go over a recent example. Instagram is a picture sharing app. A few months ago, they added a feature called Instagram stories. That feature is very similar to an app called Snapchat. With Snapchat, people take pictures and stories that you can see for up to 24 hours. The Instagram story feature is the exact same thing. IG took Snapchats’s idea and ran with it.

Capitalize on other people’s money (OPM) – where most of the mega-rich are

This is another tip that makes a lot of sense but isn’t the easiest thing to do. People aren’t just going to give you their money. If that were the case, we’d all be rich or wealthy right now. Starting a business or getting into real estate are two ways that you can capitalize on other people’s money. With real estate, you can rent, lease or sell the property that you have.

Invent an endless future revenue stream – even if you’re not an inventor

Having an endless revenue stream is another thing that can bring wealth. If you can create something that people love, you can make money off it forever. For example, if you write a best-selling book, you could get royalties from it. That is just one example. There are so many things that you can do to generate that endless revenue. Getting something patented or licensed can make you, even more money.

Trump the land barons, by monetizing unrealized real estate wealth

Communities are always growing. Businesses are always expanding. What is the one the thing that isn’t growing or expanding. Land is that thing. People will always need it. Even if they don’t want to buy real estate, people will want to rent. They need it for homes, office space, and businesses. Learning about and then investing into real estates is one of the smartest things that people can do. It’s something that I want to learn more about it in the near future,

Go down the road more traveled – save hard, invest well – forever

The last road to wealth is the safest road. Save hard and invest well. There is nothing wrong with going the safe route, but it could take decades for you to get wealthy this way. If you want your wealth sooner, combine this one with some of the other ideas that the author discussed.

The ten roads to riches is a great read. I believe that everyone should read this book when they get a chance. You should figure out which “road” works for you and get to work.

The Ten Roads to Riches ReviewThe Ten Roads to Riches is a book written by Kenneth Fisher. In this book, Fisher discusses how much your net worth is and how much it can be. Today, I want to go over the ways that he discusses.

Start a successful business – the richest road

The first way that Fisher has for you is to start a successful business. He also states that you will get wealthy the most by starting a business. I believe it. A successful business can generate tons of money for you. It could lead you into other ventures. Also, you can make money from it if you decide to sell it. If that’s the case, you can use the money that you make from the sale to start another business.

Become the CEO of an existing firm and juice it

The second way to wealth is to become a CEO of a current company and continue to grow it. If you’re doing well as the CEO, other businesses will take note. There is a chance that other firms will throw money at you and try to get you to bring your successful habits to their business. If that happens, you’re in the driver’s seat. You can leave and make more money, or you can let your current firm know. One of two things will happen. They will let you leave, or they will make a counter offer. In either situation, it’s a win.

Hitch to a successful visionary’s wagon and ride along

There are a lot of bright leaders out there. I have no problem learning from the best. This is basically what some people do. History shows us that people become rich or wealthy when they pay attention and listen to these visionaries. From Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg, these leaders have helped numerous people make a whole lot of money. Everyone isn’t a visionary, but if someone has an idea or business that seems like a can’t miss opportunity, support them, invest a little money and follow their moves. Your life could change ten-fold.

Turn celebrity into wealth or wealth into celebrity and then more wealth

The fourth tip is unique when you think about it. Turning your celebrity into wealth or vice versa is a very smart concept. Celebrities are already out in front of the public for the most part. They have fans that will support them. If a celebrity is popular, they can get sponsorship money and lots of it. Look at an athlete like LeBron James. He has endorsement deals with Nike, Samsung, and Coca-Cola to name a few. You can’t beat that. If you’re not a celebrity but have a following, you can still make money with some local sponsorships.

Marry well – really, really well

I laughed when I first read this one, but people do it all the time. If your significant other has money, you may not have to work ever again. Money could also be passed down to you through inheritance.

Those were just the first five tips of The Ten Roads to Riches. Check back Monday for the last five.

backpack-1149462_640These days you need a college degree to be as competitive in the job market as your parents did with a high school diploma. To be as competitive as they were with a college degree, you now need a graduate degree. As adult learners go back to college later in life, they often find themselves encountering considerations they thought they had left behind years or even decades ago. Issues such as where to live, how to budget on a reduced income, and how to fund their educational expenses. This article will provide some insights into these and other considerations for those who have been in the workforce and are considering going back to school.

Consideration #1 – How will you fund your degree?

For most people, this is their primary concern with going back to school. Luckily, there are a ton of options available to help you fund your degree. Federal student loans are available to most borrowers and are not age-restrictive – meaning, you can take advantage of them whether you are 24 or 84. In addition, one advantage that later-in-life students have over typical college freshman is a higher credit rating.

With this in mind, there are many private student loan lenders willing to fund well-qualified borrowers at better rates than the government. Some private lenders will allow borrowers to defer repayment of the loans until after graduation, just as the government does. There are plenty of options out on the market, so it takes a bit of shopping to figure out the best solution. On top of this, borrowers must meet stricter criteria compared to federal options, so private loans may be more advantageous to later-in-life students.

There are also scholarships available specifically for those who have spent time in the workforce and want to go back to school to finish their original degree or obtain a second degree. And of course, there are plenty of scholarships available according to geographic location, area of study, ethnicity, and other factors. Don’t mistakenly believe that you will be uncompetitive for scholarships or grants simply because you are older than the average student. In many cases, age and practical job experience will actually boost your chances of receiving aid.

Consideration #2 – Where will you live while in school?

It might be hard to imagine moving into the campus dorms. However, some nontraditional students enjoy living on campus and being close to classes, extracurricular student activities, and the college library. If the thought of it doesn’t exactly float your boat, though, consider living off-campus but within walking distance. This will put you outside the bubble of campus life when you want to be, but still close enough that trekking to and from school will not be difficult. There are plenty of apartments up for rent near college campuses, so do some shopping to find the cheapest options.

Of course, many students going back to school have families at home to consider. If that is your situation, you may be faced with a commute since moving on or closer to campus is not a viable option. In that case, try to arrange your class schedule in a way that maximizes your opportunity to do things like spend time in the library or attend study groups, while avoiding heavy traffic to and from school when possible.

Consideration #3 – How will you budget while attending school?

With rare exceptions, the student who leaves the workforce to go back to school will need to trim their budget to accommodate a total loss or reduction of income. You will need to decide if you can afford to quit working entirely or will need to continue to work part-time when not attending classes. The relatively easy availability of student loans can lead to students over-borrowing when it would have been smarter to remain employed part-time while pursuing their degree. However, the reverse is also a potential problem, because overextending yourself at work at the risk of grades or important internships can be a greater long-term detriment than taking out sufficient loans to get by while in school. Budgeting resources can come in handy when planning out personal finances, especially for unpredictable college students.

Consideration #4 – What will be your support network while in school?

Last but certainly not least, you must have a plan for who you can rely on during the next few months or years while you focus on your degree. If you have a spouse or children, it’s important to prepare them ahead of time for the transition. This is doubly important if you plan to continue to work while attending school, since that leaves even less free time for others. That said, your family is likely to be your most significant source of support, both financially and emotionally, while you focus on finishing your education.

Employers, coworkers, friends, and also other classmates, are additional people who can round out your support network. Having someone to pick your child up from school last-minute, or bring you lunch when you’re stuck in the library studying for a final exam, will make all the difference in the world. Start preparing your support network well ahead of time by having heart-to-heart conversations with the people in your life that will be most affected by your transition back to being a student. They are also the people who will be in the best position to help you when the time comes.

hand-648448_1280Hello, everyone. I hope all is well. Getting a new job can be stressful at times. You could apply for months and not hear anything. That can be very depressing. Other people could apply for one job, have an interview and be hired within a month’s time frame. How do they do it? What are their secrets? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not sure of everything that they may do. There are multiple things that people have been known to do to get hired quicker. Today, I want to discuss five of these things.

Keep applying for jobs

A lot of people get discouraged when they don’t get a call back from jobs that they apply for in the beginning. Don’t let yourself get down. Finding a job is a numbers game. The more jobs that you apply for, the better your chances are of getting another job quickly. If you’re applying for five jobs a week, boost that number to fifteen. You will see better results.

Have a connection inside

Having a connect at your potential new job can help you more than any of these tips. They can put in a word for you with the hiring manager. They also may be able to tell you the type of person that they are looking for with the position. I’ve had a couple of part-time jobs where I’ve had a friend working. Both times I was able to get an interview pretty quick. After both interviews, I was hired within a week. It pays to know someone on the inside.

Detailed cover letter

A lot of people make the mistake of using a generic cover letter when they are applying for jobs. That generic cover letter doesn’t do anything to set you apart from the other candidates. It’s a huge reason why many applicants don’t get an interview. I know I may take some time, but make sure that you create a detailed cover letter for each job.

Have reliable references

Make sure that you have reliable references listed on your resume. That can be the difference between you getting the new job or not. Make sure that you ask the possible reference if they could do it before you add them to your resume. Also, make sure that you get a working cell phone or office number from them.  Third, make sure that you tell them that someone might call them in a few days and remember to pick up the phone. I’ve heard stories of people missing out on jobs because their references didn’t pick up the phone. That flat out sucks. Please remember to communicate with your references.

Send a thank-you note

Sending a thank you note is the last tip for today. This gesture goes a long way. It shows the interviewer that you respect the fact that they took the time out of their day to see you. Many people don’t send thank-you notes. This could give you a leg up on the competition.

job-interview-156130_1280If you’re currently looking for a job, you need to have a great resume. Your resume is critical when it comes to you getting your next position. You want to make sure that you are submitting the best version of it. If you take the time to craft a sound resume, you should get a new job in no time. Today, I want to share with you a few tips on how you can create a good resume.

Tailor it for every position

One mistake that some people do when applying for jobs is turn in a generic resume. In this day and age, a generic resume won’t get you anywhere. Employers will look at that resume and discard it. You have to update your resume for every position that you apply for. Different jobs call for different skill sets and knowledge. Your resume should show that information. Speaking of skills, let’s look at the next tip.

List your relevant skills

Make sure that you list your relevant skills on your resume. You’d be surprised at how many resumes don’t have that info. An example of this would be if you were applying for a customer service position. Relevant skills would be if you worked with people in the past whether it was face to face or on the phone. Those communication skills are necessary. Listing that you know how to fix computers wouldn’t be a relevant qualification for that job. Make sure that you remember to include only relevant skills in your resume.

Include details

Make sure that you include details in your resume. You want your potential employer to get an understanding of your previous work experience. A couple of sentences in each section should suffice.

Check for errors

Sometimes you can be so anxious when getting ready to send your resume that you forget to proofread it. Please, make sure that you take time to check it for errors.  Employers don’t want to try to read a resume that hasn’t been edited. As a matter of fact, they probably won’t look at it at all.

Keep it 1 or 2 pages

Even if you have the best work history or all time, keep your resume at 1-2 pages max. Nobody wants to read 4-5 pages of work history. You should scale it down to your most recent and relevant work history. Your potential employer may have hundreds of resumes to look through. If yours is one or two pages, it will have a better chance of being seen.

Correct contact info

The final tip is to make sure that you have the right contact info on there. It would suck for you to be a potential candidate for a job, but miss out on an interview call due to you not having a working phone number on there. Also, be sure to make sure you have an e-mail address on there that you check each day.

In summary, the tips on how to create a good resume are to tailor it for each position, list your relevant skills, include details, check for errors, keep it 1 or 2 pages and make sure you have the correct contact info.

What have you done to update your resume?