Three Factors to Consider When Choosing a Career

On average, we spend around a third of our waking ours at work. As a result, it’s crucial to consider the type of career path, work, and industry in which we’d like to invest so much of our time. It’s important that you select a career you think you will enjoy years down the line. It should pique your curiosity, match your skillset, and give you a sense of purpose.

If you’re not sure which career you want, continue reading to learn about some of the most important factors to consider while making your decision.

Personality 

Two of the most crucial aspects to consider are your personality and the level of enjoyment you want to get out of your job. Extroverted people generally enjoy interacting with others often and find fulfillment in careers that require social interaction, while introverts are the opposite.

To find your dream job, you’ll need to sit down and understand yourself. You’ll be surprised to find out things you didn’t even know about yourself before! Ultimately, this will help you determine the type of career you would like to pursue. Consider joining an online bootcamp and explore what skills you have to make a career out of. 

Lifestyle

When deciding on a career, another key element to consider is your ideal lifestyle. Many individuals aspire to be wealthy, live in a beautiful home, and drive a luxurious car. If this resonates with you, consider your lifestyle when making a decision. There is nothing wrong with wanting to work in a high-paying job. You should think about what you’re willing to give up in exchange for that money. 

Do you want to be a part of a vibrant social scene? Do you enjoy working long hours? Are you willing to put your happiness on hold to achieve success? There’s no denying that salary impacts productivity, but consider how it compares to your lifestyle choices. If you’re a laid-back or introverted person, a sales profession with hundreds of client interactions every week might not be for you.

Here’s the thing about jobs and pay: if you’re good at what you do, you’ll soon be earning as much as those in higher-paying fields. You will rise through the ranks faster if you have a job you enjoy. As you advance in your career, your compensation will increase. Advancing your career is easy when you obtain higher education and job training, such as a relevant online degree

Job Market 

While it is now the least essential criteria on our list, the job market used to be the most important factor for a long time. It was even thought to be the only consideration by some. After all, what’s the sense of pursuing a job in a crowded field?

In this view, it is reasonable to select a career path among the options offered. The only issue is that job demand fluctuates quite frequently. Every year, countries publish a list of the greatest jobs or most sought-after professions, like the BLS Fastest Growing Occupations list. A few examples of tech jobs in demand in the coming years include web developers, software engineers, and digital marketers. 

Going over the other factors first, making a list of career alternatives, and seeing what the job market offers in this area is a great approach to use. For example, let’s say you’ve reduced your employment options to finance and accountancy. You’ve determined that you’re likely to excel at either of them based on your personality, experiences, and values, among other factors. Next, look into which jobs in these industries are in high demand and are better paying.

Conclusion 

There are numerous other factors to consider while deciding on a career, but they will almost always fall under one of these major categories. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the ideal job.

If you start a job and realize you don’t like it, take what you’ve learned and use it to improve and refine your plan. Don’t worry; plenty of people change jobs frequently and still advance in their professions.

How to make a will online free

In all our lives comes a time when we feel we ought to make a will. Be it that we are at the end of the journey or that we’ve simply become aware of our mortality, making a will is an excellent way to ensure that things will be in order after we pass on. But, making a will can seem like a daunting task. You need to go through the trouble of outlying it and hire a lawyer to help you. Luckily, there is a more straightforward option. Here is how to make a will online free.

Make a will online free

We created our site solely to enable people to create free online wills. As we feel that making a will shouldn’t be a luxury but an essential commodity, we’ve made the process intuitive and straightforward. To clarify, we will use this article as an essential guide. If you go through it with due care, we are certain you will have no trouble creating your free online will. Please visit our FAQ page or contact us directly if you run into any trouble.

Basic details

When you set out to make a will online free you will first have to input your basic info. That includes your Full Name, your Prefered Name (optional), and your email address. Our system will recognize you according to these basic details for the rest of the process. So, make sure you get them right.

You must input your gender and birth date on the next screen. We use gender data to make demographic analytics and, hopefully, improve our services. Your birth date is an essential part of your legal data. In most states, you cannot make a free online will if you are not at least 21. That is also why providing an address of your permanent residence is essential, as different states have different laws regarding online wills. If you own property in the U.S. but don’t live here, we advise you to add the address where you have the most property. Providing your phone number is optional.

The next screen will require you to choose a marital status. That is a legal aspect and not a romantic one. So, even if you have lived with a significant other for years but don’t have official registration, you should consider yourself single for the will. You will also need to estimate the total value of your assets. That is solely to aid in outlining the necessary documents.

Nominees

In the next section, you need to outline whether or not you have children. Adopted children do count.

After that, you need to specify whether you would like to include your pets in your will. Keep in mind that, from a legal standpoint, pets are seen as property. Therefore, you cannot bequeath any gifts to them. But, you can outline financial aid to a person who will care for your pet.

Residuary

You can aid charity organizations, non-profit organizations, or social movements in the residuary section. If you feel that a particular organization is doing good for the world, and you wish to help them, this is where you can donate.

The next step is to choose who will be the primary beneficiaries of your residual estate. These individuals will be first in line to inherit your property once you are gone. For each individual (or organization), you will have to enter your full name. And the percentage of your residual estate that they stand to inherit. Remember that the residual estate remains after all the gifts, debts, taxes, and specific requests have been settled.

Once you finish, you will need to outline a second beneficiary. The beneficiary will inherit your residual estate if your first beneficiary does not survive you. Remember you should set a residuary beneficiary after you’ve listed the primary and secondary ones.

After you’ve entered the residuary distribution data, we will ask you to review it. As you can imagine, this data is essential, so you should read it thoroughly before proceeding.

Gifts

The next section asks if you wish to leave gifts for specific individuals. If you don’t want to leave any gifts, you can skip the entire section by clicking on “Save & Continue.” If you do, you will have to outline what kind of property you wish to leave and to whom. We advise that you also consider transportation costs. While you can find expert help with any task and many top movers to choose from while moving in Washington, DC, you should consider transportation beforehand.

Funeral

Seeing that you are outlining your will, it is only natural to outline your funeral requests. But, while your funeral executor will have access to these documents, know that they are not legally binding. You can choose where you will be buried and who will attend your funeral. You can even outline what the funeral service will be like in detail.

Provisions

In this section, you will outline who will be the executor of your will. As the name suggests, your executor will ensure your will is executed. Therefore, we advise you to carefully consider who you will pick for yours. You can choose a lawyer as your executor, but this is unnecessary. People often choose an executor that is a trustworthy and responsible family member. If they stand to inherit a decent percentage of your property, they will likely take good care of it and ensure that your wishes are met. Nevertheless, you should talk with your executor candidates and ensure you pick the right one for the job.

We also give you the option of picking a digital executor. That person will take care of your digital assets if you have them. By default, the executor you choose is also your digital executor. But, if you wish, you can choose someone else.

Another option you can choose is the no-contest clause. That entails that if a person challenges your will, they inherit nothing.

Review

What follows are straightforward answers to some basic questions and a final review. As such, we will assume that you’ve finished the process and managed to make a will online free. So, congrats! Again, contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Meta: If you want to know how to make a will online free, here is our step-by-step guide to help you make the best will.

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7 VA Loan Tips for Veterans

Do you want to get a loan, then you are at the right place. Keep reading if you want to know 7 VA Loan Tips for Veterans…

Homebuying Process: Getting Approved for VA Loan

One standout benefit of serving in the military, National Guard, or Reserves is your qualification to apply for a VA mortgage. Administered through a broad range of lending institutions, VA loans are guaranteed by the federal government. That’s why they usually feature lower interest rates and more flexible qualification standards. Many service members buy their homes through the VA with no money down. Overall, lenders consider VA loans less risky than conventional private mortgages.

To be eligible for a VA loan, you need to be an active or former member of the military. In general, you must have been honorably discharged, although there are rare exceptions to that rule. Additionally, surviving spouses of veterans can also apply for a VA loan unless they have been remarried. Depending on when you served and why you were discharged, there are service benchmarks you must meet in terms of time served. But to be clear just because you qualify to apply for a VA mortgage, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to secure one. Here are several tips for increasing your chances of being approved to take advantage of this useful benefit.

Don’t Let the Paperwork Get to You

Applying for any mortgage can be confusing and time-consuming. But VA loans come with an additional layer of complexity. Anything involving the government comes with red tape, right? First, you’ll need to secure a Certificate of Eligibility to be approved for a VA loan, which involves gathering a little more documentation than you would need to apply for a conventional loan. But you don’t need to have a certificate to begin the VA loan application process. In fact, most lenders will be glad to assist you in getting one. Remember that lenders want your business. And a good one will bend over backwards to get it.

Your New Home Must Be Eligible, Too

Here’s why working with a VA loan-savvy realtor can be a tremendous boon. The last thing you want to do is spend lots of time trying to purchase a property that won’t qualify for a mortgage in the end. The government doesn’t want to invest in properties that have major defects and neither do you. They’ve established a set of Minimum Property Requirements for homes purchased under the VA loan program. Your realtor or lender can explain these to you and help you steer clear of properties that don’t stack up to VA standards.

Get Familiar with Acceptable Use and Occupancy Guidelines

VA loans aren’t made for every type of property. Loans are only written for primary residences. Your new home can be a Colonial, a condo, a manufactured home, or anywhere in between but you have to live there. You can even take out a loan to build a home from scratch. But vacation homes and investment properties aren’t eligible for VA financing. In addition, the VA sets time limits around occupancy. Generally, you must move into your home within 60 days of closing. If you’re currently deployed, that rule can be challenging. A spouse can substitute for a deployed service member to meet the occupancy date, but single people may have a harder time fulfilling the requirement. It can be done, though.

Your Credit Does Count

One important advantage VA loans have over traditional mortgages is that VA borrowers are subject to more lenient financial qualifications. Officially, there is no credit score bar you have to clear before you can be approved for a VA mortgage. But having good-to-excellent credit can help you secure a larger loan and/or a better interest rate.

Even a quarter-point difference in the interest rate you’re offered can amount to thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. That’s why getting your credit in the best possible shape before you apply for a loan is essential. Download a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus to see where you stand. Then do whatever credit repair that needs to be done. Make sure all of your credit accounts are current—and stay that way—while you’re applying for a mortgage. Close any accounts that you’re no longer using. If you find any negative remarks on your report that aren’t legitimate, dispute them. Fixing mistakes on your credit report can take some time. So be sure you attend to your credit well in advance of submitting a loan application.

Remember to Get Pre-Qualified Before You Start House Hunting

Today’s real estate market is very competitive. Nowadays, home sellers are inundated with offers and 43% accept one within a week of listing their homes. Sellers aren’t interested in wasting time and want to talk to serious buyers only. Prequalifying for a loan through one or more lenders—that is, securing a letter that states how much money a lender would be likely to loan you and at what interest rate—is one way to show home sellers that it’s worth their time to work with you. Many home sellers won’t even entertain offers from buyers who aren’t prequalified.

Getting pre-qualified also can help you set home price parameters for yourself and hone in on properties you can reasonably afford. It’s easy to do. And it won’t affect your credit score, even if you prequalify with more than one lender. As someone who has served our country, you’re entitled to the rewards a VA mortgage can provide. And you’re entitled to great service from the professionals you work with during the home-buying process.

After the Military What Comes Next?

At the Dallas Ft Worth Veterans Chamber of Commerce, we know just how daunting the transition to civilian life can be. You’ve dedicated years to serving your country, but the experience and skills you’ve acquired aren’t always appreciated by the civilian world. How can you translate your military experience into civilian success?

After the Military What Comes Next

Here are a few ways that newly-separated veterans can find a path forward after military service.

Education

Going back to school is a great way to find direction and build skills for the civilian world. Veterans can take advantage of GI Bill programs which, as Military.com notes, provide up to 36 months of education benefits. Like other nontraditional students, most military veterans choose career-oriented degrees like business management, information technology, engineering, and nursing.

Worried about spending four years out of the workforce while earning your degree? If the idea of starting from scratch doesn’t appeal to you, consider an online college. Online schools emphasize competency-based learning over seat-time. This lets students with prior experience earn credentials faster, saving both time and money.

Employment

A career offers a sense of purpose and accomplishment after separating from the military, but where do your skills fit in the civilian world? Goodwill points out that veterans have more to offer the civilian workforce than you might realize. Employers value military veterans for their soft skills like leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork. Some MOS skills directly translate to a civilian career as well.

Healthcare, information technology, public administration, and defense contracting are among the most popular career paths for military veterans. These professions let veterans channel skills acquired in the military into a new, rewarding career. Starting your own business is yet another option, one that allows you to put your skillset to work as an entrepreneur. One of the first steps is deciding how to structure your operation. Many small business owners choose to form as a limited liability company (LLC) because of the protection of personal assets.

Still not sure where to take your career after military service? Visit CareerOneStop for self-assessments, career guides, and other helpful resources for your job search.

Retirement

While some servicemembers transition after a few years, others spend their entire careers in the military. Leaving the military after decades of service can be a culture shock. What will you do with all of your time?

The first thing to do is evaluate your military retirement benefits including retirement pay, healthcare benefits, and the Survivor Benefit Plan. Will your retirement pay match your income needs or will you need to work after retiring?

There are plenty of part-time jobs that don’t require starting a second career. Several military-friendly companies like Home Depot, Verizon and UPS have great reputations for pay and work environment.

Resources for Your Military Transition

There’s a lot to think about as you prepare for your military transition. Luckily, there’s also a lot of support available.

The Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, is a mandatory Department of Defense program for transitioning service members. TAP offers guidance on veterans benefits and helps service members choose a career track after service. Service members can supplement TAP with a Transitioning Veterans consultation from Military OneSource.

When it comes to buying a home, several financing options are available for veterans. For one, VA loans for mortgages are available at low interest rates and require no down payment. Like an FHA loan, a VA loan is government backed, which also guarantees no private mortgage insurance is necessary, meaning your overall borrowing amount will be lower.

Other organizations serving transitioning veterans include:

  • AMVETS offers career placement assistance, educational scholarships, and volunteer and networking opportunities for veterans.
  • The American Legion organizes job fairs, hosts career events, and holds workshops for veterans entrepreneurs in addition to other programs.
  • VetJobs is an online job board serving military veterans. VetJobs also publishes tips and resources for veterans starting a new career.

Don’t wait to begin your military transition process. The sooner you prepare for life after military service, the more confident you’ll be stepping into civilian life.

The Dallas Ft Worth Veterans Chamber of Commerce enhances the professional lives of active duty, transitioning military, and Veterans through business, employment and education. Contact us today for more info, or to join! 972.853.1622

Article by: Adam Evans

Forgotten Marketing Methods That You Shouldn’t Overlook

Though we live in the digital age, don’t assume traditional marketing is dead. Granted, certain traditional methods are declining, but many others are thriving and helping small businesses build their brands.

The first step to any impactful marketing strategy is to zero in on your target audience, which you can do by conducting market research and asking consumers how they heard about your company. Know your audience, invest in good branding, and choose your marketing methods, and you will have the essentials for creating a stellar marketing campaign!

Below, The DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce covers some of the forgotten marketing methods that can help your company flourish. Some of them can prove effective on their own, while others pair nicely with digital methods.                       

Direct Mail   

Not too long ago, more and more people were frowning upon direct mail and tossing it immediately in the trash. But the creativity, personalization, and targeting capabilities have caused direct mail to make a comeback.

For many consumers, direct mail is easier to understand than online materials, and it is an excellent way to elicit brand recall and faster consumer response while allowing you to target your key demographics.

Flyers and Brochures

If you are offering special discounts and offers to your customers, flyers and brochures are still the most effective methods to use. Similar to handing out business cards in person, giving out flyers and brochures to people is a more connective and interactive way of promoting your brand than directing people to your website or social media pages. If you run a brick-and-mortar establishment, using these materials can prove especially beneficial.

Signage and Billboards

Signage is thriving in the marketing world. These days, you can see impactful images on shop-fronts, malls, and buildings.

And the same goes with billboards. If you want to get your brand in front of commuters, investing in a highway billboard will do the trick. As with all the other methods in this list, you can even direct your consumers to your website to increase traffic when using signage and billboards.

Human Interaction

Nothing is more powerful than employing human interaction in your marketing strategy. At the end of the day, people are used to traditional marketing like face-to-face interaction.

Whether you are speaking with someone in person or they see your company’s signage, flyers, or billboard, the experience will evoke a sensation and a lasting memory. Think of ways you can meet new people and provide tangible connections to your brand.

Giveaways

Customers love freebies, and giveaways for everything from store swag to contests can make a dent in your marketing efforts. Stock up on stickers, notepads, pens, totes and tumblers, and hand them out when customers spend a certain amount.

Drawings are another great way to generate interest. Consider offering a pair of tickets to watch the Houston Astros play the beloved Texas Rangers. With sites like TickPick, you can get affordable seats. You can also offer tickets to a play, concert or dinner.

Networking   

One of the most practical ways to increase the number of human interactions is to attend networking events. Persuasive copy on printed materials can go a long way in growing your customer base, but if you really want to generate buzz around your business, look to event marketing. Along with adding clients to your resume, networking will present opportunities to attract top talent and meet potential business partners.

Marketing Tools

The market is full of affordable tools to help you create impactful, traditional marketing materials. Look to design tools for creating a unique logo and laying out your colors and typography. Invest in a quality printer for developing your own flyers and brochures.

Don’t assume that traditional marketing cannot move your company forward, or you could miss out on valuable opportunities. Consider the methods above as you make a plan for implementing traditional marketing for your brand. And always keep an eye out for other ways that small businesses are getting their message out to their target audiences!

 

Hiring Veterans for Your New Business: A Quick Guide

When you think of the perfect employee, what attributes come to mind? Discipline, dedication, problem-solving, teamwork, and adaptability might be a few. And your best chance of forming a team of people with these qualities is by hiring military veterans. If you’re a new business owner looking to build a team that will guide your company to healthy growth, then check out this guide on hiring veteran candidates, courtesy of the DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce.

Why Hire Veterans?

There are more benefits for hiring veterans for your business than we can list here, but we will cover a few of the most prominent ones. For one, veterans are used to having to improvise and overcome challenges, and no one needs to tell you the importance of adaptability in organizations. Former military members tend to show uncompromising dedication to their teams as well and are used to solving problems and developing relationships with people from all backgrounds. And, of course, veterans have a reputation for maintaining unmatched discipline.

Another reason to consider veterans for your organization is that they often possess a variety of transferable skills. You could fill almost any role with a qualified veteran—from business development manager or project manager to database administrator or security guard.

Both new and established businesses should consider the financial benefits of hiring veterans as well. As Debt.org points out, while hiring a veteran is a noble gesture, there are several tax incentive programs that are a boon to employers. From the Wounded Warrior program to the IRS’s WOTC program, your company can enjoy practical gains from hiring qualified veterans.

Where to Look for Veteran Job Candidates

These days, you have plenty of resources for finding top-notch job candidates who have served in the U.S. military, and there are local events that can help with everything from networking to information gathering. But before you start hitting the job sites, ask around for referrals. And if you have any current veteran employees, enlist them to reach out to any military buddies they know who are looking for work.

You can post job listings on several websites that cater to veteran job searchers. Some of the top job posting sites include HireVeterans.com, VeteranJobListings.org, HotJobs.vet, Military.com, and Vets.gov. Be sure to personalize each job listing to appeal specifically to former military members to increase your chances of attracting the right candidates. You might even consider using a DBA to better personalize your outreach to veterans.

How to Land the Best Recruits

Along with knowing where to look, you need to develop and execute a good strategy to bring veterans into your organization. Start by making sure your company is well-organized and making identifiable steps toward growth. And foster a healthy work culture and environment. After all, you want to present your business as a promising place to work.

Moreover, you will want to make it clear that you are a veteran-friendly employer. If you have not done so already, think about implementing mentoring and support groups for veterans, and fine-tune your employee benefits to accommodate mental health services for people who suffer from various post-service disorders. Finally, make any modifications necessary so that your workplace is suitable for those who live with disabilities from combat.

If you are trying to build a dedicated, adaptable, and disciplined team of employees who can work cohesively, hiring veterans should be a top priority. Check your professional and employee networks, and use the best military job sites to connect with qualified candidates. Also, make sure your company is appealing to veterans at every turn. The U.S. military is one of the most well-trained workforces in the world, and your company can reap the benefits of the skills and expertise of these veterans!

For networking opportunities, veteran related information, career and education fairs, and much more, join the DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce.