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How Much Do Flight Attendants Make?

flight attendants salary

Flight attendants fill a lot of hats—from janitor to EMT, they take care of everything related to the passenger.

In fact, flight attendants are more like aerial experts than they are servers. Below is a brief overview of the flight attendant profession and its salary.

Explore this Article

The career path you choose is important because you will spend a large part of your life at your job. So deciding on which career to pursue is no small matter. The career of a flight attendant provides a very unique form of work-life and can pay extremely well. If you want your job to include free travel and frequent travel opportunities then this career option might be the perfect choice for you. Keep reading to find out more about this career, the work-life it provides, and how much flight attendants earn.

The Life of a Flight Attendant

Anyone who has flown before has probably seen their flight attendant walking around the cabin, ushering people in and out of the plane, serving food and beverages to the passengers, and collecting trash. These tasks may not seem very glamorous, but flight attendants are actually much more than just servers and ushers. They are also highly trained professionals, taught to handle a variety of scenarios from medical emergencies to aerial ones.

Common Flight Attendant Duties
  • Greet and usher passengers to their seats
  • Process passenger tickets
  • Assist with passenger’s carry-on luggage
  • Keep the cabin clean
  • Make announcements
  • Serve passengers food, snacks, and beverages
  • Train passengers about basic plane safety and protocol
  • Train the exit rows on their specific duties in case of an emergency
  • Make sure passengers adhere to the safety protocol and regulations of the plane
  • Take part in preflight meetings with the pilots
  • Do preflight inspections and checks
  • Administer emergency medical care

As you can see flight attendants fill a lot of hats. They are trained professionals, hired to take care of everything related to the passenger, and trained to be ready for almost anything that could happen while they’re in the air.

In fact, much of what flight attendants are trained for actually has more to do with safety and the mechanics of the plane than serving passengers. They even need to have separate qualifications for each of the different kinds of aircrafts they work in. Short from maybe the pilot, your flight attendant knows a lot about planes.

So what is it like to be a flight attendant and how satisfied are they in their jobs? The Bureau of Labor Statistics and Payscale both have some promising numbers for the profession.

Payscale found that 4 out of 5 flight attendants reported feeling highly satisfied with their job. They also found that 71.7% of flight attendants are female and 28.3% are male.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the job outlook for aspiring flight attendants is very good, reaching a growth rate of 10 percent. They predict that this healthy job growth rate is due to the promising future that air travel has, which will mean an increase in plane passengers, and thus cause an increase in demand for flight attendants. Overall, the future looks bright for anyone thinking about entering the flight attendant profession.

How Do You Become a Flight Attendant?

First,

you have to complete training and certifications. There are places you can go to get certificates and then when you are applying to get hired by an actual airline they will put you through what is called ground school. If you pass ground school you are hired.

Second,

you go through training with your airline, and receive any specific training for the aircrafts you’ll be working on.

Third,

you progress through the ranks! Seniority matters a lot in the flight attendant world, so generally those who are just starting out will have to be on call for a while and work lots of holidays. But eventually you can work your way up, get better hours, maybe get off on some holidays, and get more pay.

How Much Do Flight Attendants Actually Make?

Flight attendants can really make good money. Some stereotypes about flight attendants may lead some to believe that their jobs primarily entail customer service work, like being a waiter or working in the gig economy. But the numbers show that this is far from true.

Flight attendants are actually more like airline experts than they are servers, though they do provide those services as well. Their pay also reflects the amount of training they require, and most flight attendants make much more than the average waiter.

Pay Depends On:

How many years of flight attendant experience you have.

Like many jobs, the longer you work as a flight attendant, the more experience you have and the more employers will pay for your expertise. Generally employers are willing to pay more for experience because it means they will have to train you less.

What airport you work from.

A flight attendant usually works from a specific airport. Just like other workers who go to the same office building each day for work, flight attendants also go to the same airport each day to begin their shift. Bigger airports are going to have higher salaries available than smaller ones.

What airline you work for.

Flight attendants may work from the same airport, but the airport is not their boss, the airline is. Flight attendants are primarily employed by airlines, like Delta or United, who all offer different kinds of pay and benefits to their employees.

How Much Do Flight Attendants Make a Year

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median annual wage for flight attendants was $56,000 a year. The lowest 10% earned less than $28,950, and the highest 10% earned more than $80,870.

How Much Do Flight Attendants Make an Hour

PayScale also did a study that found some interesting information about the flight attendant profession. They found that the average flight attendant’s hourly pay is $20.73 an hour. The lowest 10% earned $12.73 an hour and the highest 10% earned $50.97 an hour. As of August 2019, the national average for hourly wage was $28.11, so a flight attendant’s average hourly wage is not far behind the national average.

When deciding any career path it is important to do your research and understand not just the kind of financial life it can provide for you, but the work life it comes with as well. If you want to see the world you don’t have to quit your job. You can become a flight attendant and keep earning while you follow your traveling dreams!

Meanwhile, if you’re in between jobs and need some financial help, feel free to check out Check City’s Payday Loans.


Sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Flight Attendants.”

PayScale. “Flight Attendant Hourly Rate.”

Check City Blog. “Cheap Ways to Travel on a Budget.”

How to Write a Cover Letter

write cover letter

A cover letter sent in along with your resume, is a key tool for eager job seekers who want to stand out amidst their competitors.

Having a cover letter in your job application can be just what an employer needs to really get to know you and see what you have to offer. When you effectively include the key sections listed below, you can create an effective cover letter that ensures the employer has everything they need to see how qualified you are:

Explore this Guide:

What is a Cover Letter?
Cover Letter Format
Elements of a Cover Letter

  1. Your Name and Contact Information
  2. The Date
  3. Professional Greeting
  4. Introduction
  5. Key Experiences
  6. Conclusion
  7. Professional Closing

Cover Letter Examples

What NOT to Do in a Cover Letter
 

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is like the front page of your resume, but in letter form. You write it just like a regular letter, but include certain things related to your resume and the particular job you are applying for.

Cover letters are often used because your resume is only a page long so you might not have room on your resume to explain a lot of things. A cover letter summarizes the most important aspects of your resume, or the most important qualifications you’d like to highlight.

A cover letter also gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself a little more, and explain important aspects of your resume and why you want this job.

Cover Letter Format

Though not every job ad requests it, it is always a good idea to include a cover letter when you send an employer your resume. Like your resume, a cover letter is a single page and consists of 3 to 5 paragraphs.

When writing a cover letter it is also wise to research the company because just going off the job ad isn’t enough. Look up the company and try and learn a bit about them. This can help you make the letter specific since employers prefer it when an applicant seems to specifically want this job, not just any job.

Make a master cover letter where you store all the brief paragraphs you write to outline certain skills, so that when you go to write a letter for a specific job, you can pull from there. Sometimes certain experiences will relate to more than one job application, so these paragraphs can be reused.

Still, always read through your cover letter before sending it to make sure there aren’t any references that don’t apply to that specific job application. Each letter should be written for that job in mind, and shouldn’t sound like a reused template.

Elements of a Cover Letter

Just like a resume, a cover letter has key sections that are always included.

Your Name and Contact Information

Put your first and last name at the top of the cover letter, on center stage, in a similar way to how you put your name at the top of your resume. This way, if the two papers should get separated they’ll still be distinguishable as a unit because of this similarity. It will also leave the readers with no confusion about who they are reading about.

Then you’ll want to place your contact information below your name, just like how you did on your resume. You can think of your name and contact information as the header of your job application documents, present on each page for optimal clarity.

Contact information to include:

  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Your website or online portfolio
  • Your LinkedIn account

 
name and contact info
 

The Date

Include the date you submitted or sent the letter right below your name and contact information—right before the rest of your letter.

 
date cover letter
 

Professional Greeting

There are several ways you can address your letter. If you are able to find out the name of who would be receiving your letter or who the hiring manager would be, then you can address them by name.

But more often than not, we aren’t able to know such specific information in the application process. When this happens, you can simply address your letter by the name of the corporation with whom you are applying.

You can also use a general term like, “to whom it may concern,” but this might be seen as too impersonal or like you didn’t research the company enough.

 
professional greeting
 

Introduction

First, introduce yourself. Write a brief paragraph about yourself, introducing some key information they’ll want to know—like who you are and what you’ve been doing with your career so far.

For instance, you can tell them if you’re a student, if you’re looking for a career change, or if you’re looking for a new job in a new area after moving.

Second, tell them how you came across the job opening. Maybe you found it on indeed, or knew someone who referred you to the job opening.

Third, tell them why you want this job. Briefly explain why you are interested in this particular job and what caused you to apply for it.

This section should only be a small paragraph—just a couple sentences to briefly outline the three items mentioned above.

 
cover letter intro
 

Key Experiences

In the main body of your letter you’re going to talk about two or three key experiences that prove your skills. This may be the most important section of your cover letter. If a cover letter is the written form of your resume, then this would be the experience and skills section combined into one.

Here is where you’re going to outline choice experiences that illustrate important skills and abilities. Give real life examples that prove your qualifications. Be careful about which experiences you decide to write about, and make sure they are relevant to what the employer would be looking for.

Below is a sample template of how you could format these paragraphs:

 
key experiences
 

Conclusion

The closing paragraph should be as brief as your introduction, if not shorter. It is where you place your call to action. But since this is a job application you have to be careful how you frame this call to action. If you’re too pushy or seem arrogant, you could give a negative impression to the employer before they even meet you.

Simply let them know that you would be happy and willing to come in for an interview, or be contacted for any additional information they may need.

Framing your call to action this way invites them to act on your cover letter, without making demands or assumptions about your acceptance.

 

 

Professional Closing

Now it’s time to wrap up your letter with a professional closing. Here are some examples of professional letter closing phrases you can use in a cover letter for a resume:

  • Sincerely,
  • Regards,
  • Best,
  • Thank you for your consideration,

 
professional closing
 

Cover Letter Examples

Unlike a resume, there aren’t any websites that will let you simply plug in information while their template arranges your cover letter for you. You have to write it yourself. But here’s an example of a basic cover letter template you can use to help you write:

 
cover letter template
 

People also often wonder how to write a cover letter if they’re still in high school, or if they’re applying for an internship instead of a job. Either way the main principles of your cover letter will be the same. The only main difference will be in the key experiences section.

Cover Letters for High School

If you are a high school student, or lack work experience, get creative and use other experiences you have. Maybe you don’t have stories from a past job, but you were in the marching band where you learned about hard work and dedication. You can talk about these kinds of experiences instead.

Cover Letters for an Internship

If you are applying for an internship instead of a job, make sure you understand what the internship is all about, and the kind of tasks they’ll want you to do. Showing you understand what the internship entails will help them take you more seriously as a candidate.

Then you can talk about the things you are learning in your college classes that make you a good candidate for the program.

You should also talk about how you plan to use this internship to further your professional career, so that they can see all you plan to gain from this program.

What NOT to Do in a Cover Letter

Here’s a list of some things you should never do in a cover letter:

  • Don’t send the same exact cover letter in every job application. This can make you look detached and sloppy if there’s ever something on it that relates to a different job you previously applied for.
  • Don’t use a casual voice, or any slang.
  • Proofread! Make sure you thoroughly edit your cover letter before sending it so there are no spelling mistakes, run on sentences, or any other mistakes or oversights.
  • Don’t be pushy. You want to sell yourself in your cover letter, but if you do so in a demanding way you could make a bad impression.

If you’re worried about how you come across in your cover letter, it’s always a good idea to have some other people read it too. They can give their impression of you through the letter and make sure you’re portraying yourself in the correct light and clearly getting your points across.

Having a second or third set of eyes look over your cover letter is also a great way to make sure you don’t miss any spelling or grammar mistakes.

Meanwhile, if you’re still in between jobs, you can always take out a Check City Personal Loan to tide you over while you write your killer resume and cover letter to land that great new job!

READ MORE
Don’t forget to check out Check City’s other article on how to write your resume, “How to Make a Resume.”

Take a look at GlassDoor’s article about cover letters, “How to Write A Cover Letter.”

Learn some other cover letter tactics, “How to Write a Cover Letter.”

How to Write a Resume

make a resume

Resumes are a very important part of the job application process.

A resume is often the first impression you’ll make on an employer and can be what gets your foot in the door and gets you that interview!

Explore this Guide:

Job seekers everywhere are panicking about how to make an effective resume so they can start seeing success from their job searching. Even if you’re just starting out in your field you still want a professional resume that will clearly show any hiring manager what you can bring to the table.

What is a Resume?

A resume comes from the French word, résumé, meaning outline. Now we spell it without the accents and use it to refer to an outline of our work history, expertise, and skills.

Resume is pronounced re-zeh-may, or “re-zə-mā” if you understand the phonetic alphabet. Either way you can easily listen to the pronunciation of the word at Merriam-Webster.com.

Resume Objective

The objective of a resume is to show a potential employer, an easy-to-read, brief outline of why you qualify for the job. They want to see a quick glance at your career, accomplishments, and what skills and qualifications you’ve gained so far.

It is a formal document showing your professional life thus far, that a potential employer uses to make an educated decision about whether you merit an in-person interview or not. When creating a resume you’ll want to make sure it includes all the information an employer would need to make this decision.

Create a Master Resume

It’s a good idea to create a master resume where you simply write everything you could ever put on a resume. This can also be considered a curriculum vitae (CV)—a lengthier version of a resume that isn’t meant to be an overview, but instead a thorough outline of all your experience, certifications, awards, achievements, projects, and publications. A CV or master resume, is meant to be a complete history of your academic and professional career, endeavors, and accomplishments. You want to keep a copy of your master resume, or CV, because different jobs are going to necessitate you include different information, depending on the job.

For instance, if you’re applying for a job where you’ll be designing someone’s website, you won’t need to include the cashier job you had as a teenager. But if you’re applying for a job in customer service, then the employer will want to know that you have that customer service experience as a cashier.

You also only want your resume to be a page long, but a resume with absolutely all the experience you’ve ever had in your life is going to eventually be longer than a page, so keeping all this information in one place on your master resume is a good idea to have as a reference.

resume example

Resume Sections

There are a few key sections that go into every professional resume. Once you have a master resume to work from you can start putting everything into these main sections.

Personal Info

Somewhere near the top of your resume, you want to put your name on the center stage of your resume so the employer can easily know right away who they are looking at. Then you can kind of introduce yourself briefly by including a personal bio section that may list your personal interests and hobbies. If you’re including a cover letter on the front of your resume, you can also put this personal introduction there instead.

Contact Info

You’ll also want to include your preferred contact information on your resume. This information is usually so that they can contact you in case they want to offer you a job interview, so make sure you put down the best way for them to contact you for this. Usually this includes your phone number and email address.

Your email address on a resume should be simple and professional. If you don’t already have an email username with your name instead of a TV reference, then it’s time to make one for professional purposes like this.

You can also include other ways for them to get to know you and see your qualifications if those apply for you. If you have a personal website, or an online portfolio you can include that here too. You can also include any professional accounts you have, like your LinkedIn profile.

Experience

Here is where you outline your job history. You don’t necessarily need to include every job you’ve ever had, sometimes it makes more sense to show the work experience that most applies to the job you’re applying for now.

You also want to list your work experience in reverse chronological order, meaning that the job you had most recently goes first, and the oldest job experience goes last. This way you are putting the most relevant information, the most recent and therefore most applicable information up front.
When listing each job you’ll want to include the following information:

  • Job title (the title you had at this job)
  • Company name
  • Location
  • Job description (what were your main duties at this job, and what did you accomplish there)
Education

This section is where you outline your education. Many people have questions about what to include and not include in the education section, like when do you stop putting your high school education on your resume? Once you have a bachelors or associates degree you are usually ok to stop including your high school education on your resume.

Your high school education is a basic education that everyone receives, so there really isn’t anything specific about it that applies to your future job. And once you’ve officially gained some form of higher education an employer can easily assume you also have a high school education, but it’s what you did in your higher education, what you studied and learned specifically there, that interests them now.

  • When listing your education you want to include the following:
  • The name of the school
  • The years you were there
  • What degree you have (associates, bachelors, masters) and in what

If you haven’t finished college yet you can include your estimated future graduation date and what you are studying, meaning your majors and minors.

Achievements

You don’t have to just put down jobs that you’ve had though, also put down any other achievements, accomplishments, awards, or community involvement that might be important for employers to know. If you’ve published anything before here is the place to list that. Any volunteer work you’ve done. Any licenses, certificates, or other special training you may have, including if you speak another language.

Skills

When making your skills section the first thing you want to do is look into what skills are involved in the job you’re looking for. Job ads usually list the kinds of skills they are looking for in an applicant. If any of these skills apply to you be sure to include them.
The skills section should include both hard and soft skills.

Hard skills are specific abilities and knowledge that you have, like knowing how to use Photoshop.

Soft skills are useful attributes, like being organized or friendly.

Then, if you have room, don’t just list these skills, but provide examples to show how you do indeed have these skills. These examples can also be included on your cover letter instead, where you’ll have more room to tell key experiences that prove you have these skills.

For example, if one of your skills is that you know how to use Photoshop, you can also say that you used Photoshop to design a poster in your most recent job. Or if you list that you are organized, you can briefly talk about how you created a new filing system at your last job.

Design a Resume

You can make your resume on Microsoft Word, on Google Docs, or even online. Both Microsoft Word and Google Docs have free-to-use resume templates that can also work as good examples of how to professionally format your resume.

Resume Template Websites

How you design your resume is how you’re going to make your resume stand out. But this doesn’t mean you should make your resume flashy, in fact you should do the opposite. Your resume’s audience doesn’t want to be distracted by too many colors or graphics, they want to focus first on the information that is most important, so center your design around the information itself.

Create a Path for the Eye to Follow

You want your resume to be easy to read. One way to accomplish this is to create a path for your reader to follow. We read left to right, so this path tends to make a kind of Z shape on the page.

Make it Organized

Use bullet points to help organize your lists. Use headings with a clear heading hierarchy so the sections and subsections are clear.

Use a 10–12 Point Font Size

This way your font size won’t be too small to read, but it also won’t be silly looking by being too large.

How to Make a Resume for a First Job

If you are making a resume for a first job then you may not have a lot of experience yet to fill out your work history. A resume for someone just entering the job arena is often called an entry-level resume or a student resume if you are still going through school.

But the experience section of your resume isn’t just for your work history. You can put all kinds of other useful experiences there as well. You can list programs, clubs, and organizations you’ve been a part of, or volunteer work you’ve done. For example, you may not a previous job to list in the experience section, but maybe you were the president of the horticultural club, or the lead flutist in the concert band. You can replace your work experience with these types of high school experiences instead.

Another approach you can take to fill out your resume as an inexperienced student is to make your resume more skill focused than experience focused. If you can’t list any jobs than you can list different skills you have and describe how you gained those skills.

You can list your high school experiences in the same way you would list a job, including the following information:

  • Your Title (Volunteer, Club Secretary)
  • Company/Organization Name (National Honors Society)
  • Location
  • Description (what were your main duties, what did you accomplish)

How to Make a Resume for College

If you’re in college, or freshly out of college, you may also run into a unique problem when creating a resume. Your experience section is also going to look different because you may not have a lot of jobs to list. But college provides tons of exceptional experiences that you can include in a resume instead of jobs. You can list internships you’ve done, or apprenticeships. You can talk about capstone classes and the major projects and research you did for these key courses, and show how these classes have prepared and trained you for a job. You can also talk about any programs, clubs, and organizations you were apart of during your college career.

In the accomplishments section, be sure to include all the certifications you’ve received while in school. Today, successfully obtaining degrees and certificates from your college classes can mean a lot to a potential employer. If you received any awards, special honors, or published your work in a student journal you can include these kinds of accomplishments as well. You can even include your GPA in your college resume if you have a particularly high GPA to boast about.

How to Make a Cover Letter for a Resume

It is always a good idea to include a cover letter when you send an employer your resume. A cover letter is formatted like a formal letter consists of these main points,

  • Your name
  • Your contact information
  • The date
  • Professional greeting
  • A brief paragraph about yourself
  • A paragraph or two for key experiences where you prove your skills
  • Conclusion
  • Professional closing

To create a winning resume all you have to do is follow the advice in this article and remember the whole point of a resume—to show what you have to offer in a brief, clear, straightforward way. Meanwhile, if you’re in between jobs and need some financial help, feel free to check out Check City’s Personal Loans.

READ MORE
Check out another great article about writing a resume, “How to Make a Resume for a Job.”

Read another Check City article about getting a new job, “New Year, New Job.”

How to Choose a Career

how to choose a career

What career you choose determines what major you study while in college. It influences what life you can afford and what you spend so much of your time doing each week of your life until retirement.

Explore this Article:

  1. Understand Yourself
  2. Research Options
  3. Weigh Options
  4. Make a Plan

 

Choosing a career is a big decision to make and high school seniors each year are stressing out about how to go about deciding their future. But deciding a career path doesn’t need to be too stressful.

 

Finding your passion is largely about self-awareness and researching all your options. By following the suggestions below you can decide your future career with ease.

 

Understand Yourself

girl looking up

 

Becoming more self-aware can be especially difficult for younger, high school students who are still figuring out so much about who they are.

 

But this journey into self-exploration can be fun and eye opening too! You want to discover and record your skills, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and passions.

 

Start exploring the things you love right now. This is the first part of the journey that leads you to a career you’ll love. You also want to know your values, or what you will and won’t do in a job.

 

This is where learning more about your personality type will come in handy. For instance, if you are more introverted, then working with customers may be on your list of things you don’t want in a job.

 

If you love being up on your feet then having a more hands-on job might be on your list of things you do want in a job.

 

Taking the Myers Briggs Personality Test might help you better understand key aspects of your personality.

 

If you have trouble finding these personal answers within yourself, there are some things you can do to find the answers.

 

Ask Yourself Questions

 

Giving yourself an introspective interview can really help learn more about yourself. Questions are good because they help you analyze yourself and what you do and don’t like.

 

It also helps you look at yourself more realistically. You may like the idea of being a lawyer, but you have to ask yourself if you are willing to do all that is necessary to become a lawyer, and if you’ll really be happy with the required daily tasks of a lawyer.

 

Questions help you see patterns and become more self-aware, which is paramount to finding a career path for you.

 

They also help you to know what you would like in a job (so you can accumulate a list of options) and what you wouldn’t like in a job (so you can cancel certain options out).

 

To conduct your introspective interview you can ask yourself the following questions, or you can have someone else ask them while you respond and talk about your answers together.

  • If I could choose one friend to trade jobs with, I’d choose __, because __.
  • I’ve always wondered what it would be like to do __. It’s interesting to me because __.
  • If I had the right education or skill set, I’d definitely try __, because __.
  • If I had to go back to school tomorrow, I’d major in __, because __.
  • My co-workers and friends always say I’m great at __, because __.
  • The thing I love most about my current job is __, because __.
  • If my boss would let me, I’d do more of __, because __.
  • If I had a free Saturday that had to be spent “working” on something, I’d choose __, because __.
  • When I retire, I want to be known for __, because __.

 

Take an Aptitude Test

 

There are lots of online career tests you can take. A career quiz will give you ideas about what fields and jobs that might be right for you.

 

You’ll be asked questions to determine your skills and interests. Then the test will pair your results with careers that best fit your answers.

 

You can then weigh these different options and research them to help you pick one. Below are two free tests you can take right now:

 

Research Options

research notebook

 

After you have some options in mind you can learn about your choices in order to make an informed final decision. Don’t only research specific jobs though. This can be really helpful, but think about broader fields of work as well.

 

There are fields of work and then there are jobs in those fields. Sometimes deciding a field of work first will help you find the specific job you’re looking for.

 

Types of Careers
  • Arts and Communication
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Law and Government
  • Medical
  • Science
  • Social Services

 

Once you’ve decided on a career field, you can narrow your search down to a specific job in that field. Deciding which job to pick is easier if you read the requirements or the responsibilities for each job, and see if they interest you.

 

You can search actual job openings to find the most common real-world requirements involved. Indeed and ZipRecruiter are two popular job search websites where you can see real postings for the careers you’re interested in.

 

You can research other important aspects of the career by visiting PayScale.com.

 

This website has surveys about almost every profession imaginable, and can tell you things like average salary, what people on the high end of the job get paid vs the lower end. You can even search by your location and experience to assess how much you can expect to get paid.

 

They also list the skills that are most important to the field, the tasks and requirements involved, how people review the job, gender percentages in the field, and the health benefits you generally get.

 

It’ll even show you related jobs and jobs in your area and it’s all shown to you in pretty, simple graphics.

 

Do Internships and Job Shadowing

 

Internships and job shadowing can be a great way to get some hands-on experience with the careers you’re interested in. Often your school advisers can help you find internships and job shadowing opportunities near you.

 

Conduct an Informational Interview

 

If you don’t have the time for internships and job shadowing, you can conduct an informational interview. It’s like a reversed job interview.

 

You visit with someone who has the job you’re interested in, and you ask them a series of questions to get a feel for their job, what they did to get where they are, and any other insights or advice they might have for you.

 

Here are some example questions you could ask from the Berkeley University of California:

  • What are your main responsibilities as a…?
  • What is a typical day (or week) like for you?
  • What do you like most about your work?
  • What do you like least about your work?
  • What kinds of problems do you deal with?
  • What kinds of decisions do you make?
  • How does your position fit within the organization/career field/industry?
  • How does your job affect your general lifestyle?
  • What current issues and trends in the field should I know about/be aware of?
  • What are some common career paths in this field?
  • What kinds of accomplishments tend to be valued and rewarded in this field?
  • What related fields do you think I should consider looking into?
  • How did you become interested in this field?
  • How did you begin your career?
  • How do most people get into this field? What are common entry-level jobs?
  • What steps would you recommend I take to prepare to enter this field?
  • How relevant to your work is your undergraduate major?
  • What kind of education, training, or background does your job require?
  • What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?
  • What is the profile of the person most recently hired at my level?
  • What are the most effective strategies for seeking a position in this field?
  • Can you recommend trade journals, magazines or professional associations which would be helpful for my professional development?
  • If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change?
  • I’ve read that the entry-level salary range for this field is usually in the range of ______? Does this fit with what you’ve seen? (Don’t ask about the person’s actual salary.)
  • What advice would you give someone who is considering this type of job (or field)?
  • Can you suggest anyone else I could contact for additional information?

 

Weigh Options

crossroads

 

Now that you have a couple choices in mind, and have done your due diligence learning all about each one, you have to make a final decision.

 

When making this final decision about your future, it’s important that you keep certain things in mind.

 

Think about the future, retirement, the family life you want. Think about what you would like your life to be known for and any other long-term goals you may have for your life. Will this career choice help you reach those goals?

 

Make sure you take priority over what you want to do over any societal expectations pressed upon you. After all, you are the one who’s going to live with this career.

 

Make a Plan

calendar

 

If you’re graduating high school and starting college soon, then you’ll want to not only pick a college but a major, and possibly minor, that will be useful for the field you want to go into.

 

You can also start taking advantage of high school and college advisers and mentors if your school has a program like that. These counselors can act as career coaches to help you map out your career path.

 

In your research and studies you should figure out the steps, milestones, and requirements that people in your field must go through. Then you can plan these steps out in your own life.

 

Record these plans in a place or a calendar that you can easily revisit and adjust as needed. Plan is a great website that can connect to your gmail or outlook account to help you plan your future effectively in one easy to use space.

 

If you need some help planning financially, a Check City Personal Loan may be able to help you as well.

 

how to choose a career infographic

 

Whether you are a college freshman looking to decide on a career path for the first time, or a seasoned career veteran looking for your dream job, the process is going to look about the same.

 

By following this guidance you can learn more about yourself and discover what career path is the best for you, and find happiness and success in your professional life.


Sources


Indeed. “Guide: How to Choose a Career.”

The Balance Careers. “How to Make a Career Choice When You Are Undecided: 8 Steps to Choosing a Career,” by Dawn Rosenberg McKay.

How Much Money Do YouTubers Make?

How much do youtubers make?

Have you ever wondered how YouTubers can afford to spend all that time making viral videos?

Becoming a successful YouTube star may not be as easy as it sounds, but it is possible.

Explore this Article

YouTube has taken over the vlogging scene with full-force, creating a growing arena of self-employed, money-making vloggers. It’s easy to see why using YouTube’s platform has become such a lucrative business for some.

For instance, YouTube has become the second largest search engine in the entire world, and one of the most visited sites on the web. It has been estimated that all of us together spend a billion hours a day watching YouTube videos, and over 400 hours worth of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute. youtube video genres YouTube has become such a giant generator of content that it has even developed its own list of genres, or “niches.”

YouTube Genres:

  • Gaming
  • Lifehacks
  • Gossip
  • News
  • Top [#] lists
  • Fail compilations
  • Food
  • Art
  • Product unwrapping and opening
  • How-to demonstrations
  • Animals
  • Spoofs
  • Online education course
  • Hauls

Facts about Earning on YouTube

To start off our understanding of how much YouTube stars can and do make, let’s take a look at some cold hard facts. The following are some lists of the top most successful YouTubers in the year 2015, 2017, and 2018 along with how much they earned that year:

youtube earnings chart

Needless to say, these are some impressive numbers. A lot of people would love to make these kinds of figures each year while being working from the comfort of their own home doing something they love. So how does it work? How do people make money on YouTube?

How YouTubers Make Money

There are many ways that YouTubers make money, and it’s often because they’re branching out, partnering with others, and creating a brand for themselves that goes beyond their YouTube channel alone. Below is a list of some of the most common ways YouTubers are making money:

1. Ads

There are 2 kinds of ads: Cost Per Thousand (CPM) ads pay you per thousand views and Cost Per Click (CPC) ads pay you each time someone clicks on the ad on your channel.

Your money goes to your AdSense account. You can direct deposit your earnings out of your AdSense account when there’s more than $100 in it.

2. Merchandizing

Many YouTubers end up making their own products like makeup, clothes, t-shirts, fan gear, and many others.

3. YouTube Partner Programs

When you are part of a YouTube Partner Program you can get paid for views and ads on your page. You can also access a large variety of content creation tools and get an opportunity to win prizes based on the number of views you have.

But you have to qualify for the program:

  • Your YouTube channel needs to reach 4,000 watched hours and 1,000 subscribers in the past 12 months.
  • You can apply for the membership anytime, but to get the top rated partner programs, you should have accumulated 15k of watched hours over the last 3 months.
4. Affiliate marketing

YouTubers can get paid to reference or recommend a product or service to their viewers. Online shopping sites will pay YouTubers a commission for any traffic or sales they get from the YouTuber referring viewers to their product.

They usually get paid based on how many people click the link to the product and how many people actually buy the product through that link. This can be done by a YouTuber in any of the following ways:

  • A video unboxing the product you are trying to sell
  • A video in which you recommend the product or service
  • A video reviewing the product
  • Links to the product in the video’s description
5. Sponsorships

A brand will sometimes pay YouTubers to create a video specifically about their product. Sometimes the brand will sponsor the entire YouTube channel and then the YouTuber has to use, recommend, or mention the product in every video. Sponsorships aren’t easy to get, and usually only come to YouTubers who have already made a name for themselves.

YouTubers can charge their sponsors anywhere from $10 to $50 per 1,000 views. So if the video hits 1 million views, then the YouTuber makes anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 for that one video.

6. Crowdfunding or Patronage

Patreon is currently one of the most popular examples that online entrepreneurs like YouTubers use to make money off their craft.

By becoming a patron on patreon fans can get extra perks like extra content, behind the scenes footage, bloopers, and more.

7. Live engagements

Depending on what your YouTube channel is about you can also get paid to do live events, like speaking.

Why Doesn’t Everyone Become a YouTube Star?

youtube income

You may be thinking at this point about quitting your job and starting a YouTube channel of your own, but there are some cons to online self-employment. Yes, some YouTubers can make a lot of money from their branding and their channel, but MOST YouTubers don’t.

To put it in perspective, 90% of all YouTube views only go to a small 3% of YouTubers. Also, 97% of all aspiring YouTubers don’t make it across the U.S. poverty line ($12,140) with their YouTube channel earnings. Even if you do manage to make it to the top 3%, you’re looking at making an average of $16,800 a year, which is not very much.

Below are some other cons to remember before putting all your hopes on the success of a YouTube channel:

  • Advertisers don’t always pay very well.
  • Not all sponsorships are paid. Some come in the form of free goods or services instead.
  • YouTube takes 45% of what advertisers pay you.
  • Many YouTubers are a part of an agency or multi-channel network, and these partners will take a cut of your earnings too.
  • Personal costs for equipment or anything else you might need for your videos.
  • It takes a lot of your personal time to create quality content that will do well.

YouTubers can make money from their channels, but those who are actually successful at this are often branching out and making money in other ways as well. Their YouTube channel is often just one part of their larger brand. If you’re an aspiring YouTube star and need help with funds to get started, you can take advantage of the Check City Personal Loan and expand your brand as well. Isn’t it amazing that we live in a world where personal branding and creativity can allow so many a livelihood doing what they love?

READ MORE

Watch the Check City YouTube Channel!

Visit the Influencer Marketing Hub to see how much different YouTube stars made in 2015.

Visit the G2 Learning Hub to see their figures for how much different YouTube stars made in 2017.

Read Forbes’ article “Highest-Paid YouTube Stars 2018: Markiplier, Jake Paul, PewDiePie And More” to see how much different YouTube stars made in 2018.

Read the article “How Much Do YouTubers Make? (A Lot!)” to learn more about how YouTubers are making money.

How to Set Goals

setting-goals

We all make goals and we make them for many reasons. They can help us be productive in both our personal and professional lives.

But if you don’t know the key aspects of goal making than your efforts can seem pointless. By taking into mind the following key components of goal setting, you can successfully accomplish all your goals.

Explore this Guide:

  1. Make the Main Goal
  2. Find the Goal’s Purpose
  3. Make a Detailed Plan
  4. Measure the Results
  5. Reward Yourself

Why Make Goals?

Goals are how you decide to do something and the plan you take to achieve it. Goals consist of long term and short term goals. Sometimes your goal is a big picture, far in the future kind of goal, and other times your goal is closer to the present. Sometimes long term and short term goals can be seen as main goals and sub goals that lead you to your ultimate goal.
For instance, maybe you want to start a successful business, having a successful business would be your long term or ultimate goal. All of the tasks and accomplishments that are necessary for you to get to your ultimate goal are the short term goals or subtasks or steps necessary to achieve the main objective. One of those short term goals might be getting the papers for your business in order.

inspirational-quote-goals

Different Kinds of Goals

Goals don’t just have to be professional. You can make fun goals too! There are lots of formal, professional, and serious goals we need to make throughout our lives, but there are personal and fun goals we can be making along the way as well. Make goals for your more professional and serious successes, but set goals for yourself as well, like to get out every Friday, or to save up for a vacation this summer. You’ll also want to be making financial goals, like to save up for a new car, or spend less on entertainment this month. If you ever need help reaching your financial goals and getting back on track you can take out a personal loan at Check City.

  • Professional Goals (goals about work, or your own professional endeavors, hobbies, or talents)
  • Fun Personal Goals (goal to save up for vacation this summer)
  • Serious Personal Goals (goals to better your physical or mental health)
  • Financial Goals

What are SMART Goals?

SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. It is an acronym that describes the kind of goals you want to make. You want the goals you make to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
 
Don’t just make a blanket goal to lose weight, make a specific goal to lose 10 pounds.
Utilize a scale to measure your progress.
Plan to achieve your goal by formulating a new plan for your meals and exercise.
Make a plan to lose weight because this goal is relevant to your life, and will give you tangible health benefits.
Give yourself a timeline by planning dates for weigh-ins, with specific weight goals for each weigh-in date.

1. Make the Main Goal

Don’t have too many goals at one time. This may be difficult if you are creating a business, but that is why hiring dependable employees and delegating effectively and communicating well with each other is so important, especially in the beginning. If any one person in your project has too many goals they need to achieve they can have trouble focusing and end up not accomplishing anything very well. So delegate goals so that each person can have the most focus possible for their manageable set of goals. That way, each goal gets accomplished on time, and in the best way, done all the way and not incomplete or done poorly.

2. Find the Goal’s Purpose

Every goal needs a clear sense of purpose. You need to have a specific objective in order to effectively motivate yourself to achieve this goal. Yes you may want to have a successful business but why? Think about your reasons and write these down. Many successful businesses today made it big because they had a clear motivation behind all they do, and a lot of them end up sharing this in their company’s origination stories or in their company motto.

3. Make a Detailed Plan

When planning your goals you’ll want to list out a series of steps or subtasks, or sub-goals that are going to get you to your main goal. You want these steps to be very specific things you can really do. Be detailed so nothing important falls by the wayside. For instance, only saying “make print ads” may not be helpful. You also need to plan out how you’re going to make them, when they are due, and where they’re going to get posted, and who is in charge of getting the permissions to post them at each location. Right all these things out, plan out the times, the places, and the people involved.

4. Measure the Results

Keep track of how you’re doing. If the steps you have in your plan aren’t giving measurable results than you can change your plan.

5. Reward Yourself

Sometimes an extra motivator or benefit is helpful when reaching your goals. In life we always like to have good things to look forward to, so feel free to reward yourself when you reach your goals. There are many healthy ways you can reward yourself. You can reward yourself with food, like a celebratory dinner, or a favorite dessert. You can also reward yourself by going shopping and buying yourself a gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Activities like fun outings, a movie or spa night, can also be great ways to reward yourself for achieving something.

 

goal-chart-printable

Create a Goal Workspace

It can also help to have a place where you write all these things down. Some even find it helpful to hang up your planned goals where you can see them every day. It can also help to place your plans in the most relevant place. For example, if your goal is about losing weight it would make sense to keep your goal chart in the kitchen, or near your treadmill. If your goal is about work then you’ll want to keep your goal chart in your workspace.

  • Put your goals on a calendar. With a calendar you can easily outline the dates of your plan.
  • Put your goals on a template, or chart. With a chart you can keep track of your progress levels and check off items once you’ve finished sub-goals.
  • Use an app. There are countless apps out there to help you track your habits and reach your aspirations. Here are some of the best goal setting apps:

Daylio is a great app for journaling and tracking your moods. It is also one of the most customizable apps, and allows you to track anything you want. It has a pleasing design, icons, and color palettes.

Loop is another great app for tracking. With Loop you can easily see all your goals and their progress in one place.

ATracker has some nice calendar and task features.

TickTick is a great goal app for groups or partners. You can sync and share tasks and goals with other people. There’s also a function to help you focus on certain tasks.

In some ways, goals are how we live our lives. It’s how we make decisions and enact change. Knowing how to properly set goals can help you level up in your personal and professional life. As Les Brown once said, “Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.”

READ MORE

Learn more about setting goals by reading, “How to Set Goals the Easy Way.”

Read more about SMART goals and how this acronym applies to your personal life by reading, “Personal Goal Setting: Planning to Live Your Life Your Way.”

How to Sell Gold

sell-gold
 
There are some things when decluttering your life that you want to get rid of but don’t necessarily want to just throw away. Precious metals and jewelry may be one of those things. But you don’t want to sell your gold without doing your research first. By remembering these key points you’ll know exactly how to sell your gold.

When you know that you want to sell your old gold for cash, it is important that you know the best way to sell it. Selling gold for cash may require a little more thought than you would think. Doing a little research ahead of time and making sure that you know how to sell your gold properly will ensure that you get the best price for your gold.

What Can You Sell?

Gold buying is the process of selling your gold and other precious metals of value for cash. Some people use gold buying services like Check City because they have some old jewelry they would like to get rid of in exchange for cash. But it isn’t just gold that you can sell at places like Check City. There are an array of precious metals that you can sell to us for cash.

  • Necklaces
  • Bracelets
  • Rings
  • Dental gold
  • Pendants
  • Coins
  • Chains
  • Earrings
  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Silver
  • Platinum

gold-examples

What Determines the Value of Gold?

Check City, and many places where you can sell gold, uses the daily New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) market value to determine the value of the gold you want to sell on the day you want to sell it. The NYMEX is part of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange & Chicago Board of Trade Group (CME Group). On their website you can see for yourself their projections of gold prices for this year.

However, the best way to determine the exact value of your gold is to bring it into a Check City Store near you to have it evaluated that same day by an expert. The person evaluating your gold’s value will look at the NYMEX gold prices that day, and then weigh your gold on a jeweler’s scale.

How is Gold Weighed?

A jewelers scale is a sensitive scale that can weigh in grams and karats. It is also a highly accurate kind of scale in order to get the most accurate price evaluation for your gold and other precious metals. This scale will measure the gold in a Troy ounce. This means that there will be 31.1 grams for every 1 Troy ounce. When you are working with the company or individual that is buying your gold, it is important that you know how much your gold weighs and how much you are getting paid per unit. Some people may try to measure your gold in one unit and then pay you based off of another. Pay attention while your gold is being measured to ensure that you are getting paid what you should be getting paid.

Make sure that the person buying your gold is measuring for the karat fineness of the alloy. A karat equals 1/24 of pure gold by weight. Measuring the karats of your gold before you try to sell may be beneficial. You want to make sure you are getting accurate karat count and getting paid accordingly. Some jewelers may not pay what they should and understanding the karat count ahead of time will ensure you can recognize this and go elsewhere to sell your gold.

If you are trying to sell more than one type of gold, it is important that you do not let two different karat weights get weighed together. You will want each type of metal weighed on its own to ensure you are getting a higher price for the higher number of karats. Be aware of which pieces have the heavier karat weight as you are going to sell them.

Market Value of Gold

The price of gold is constantly changing, so make sure you know how to get ahold of the current price of gold. Talk with a jeweler to ensure you have the accurate price for your gold, or keep up with the gold price projections from the New York Mercantile Exchange. When you know the accurate price of gold before heading in to sell, you can be sure you don’t end up selling the gold for less than it is worth. If someone quotes you for a price that is less than what you’ve heard, don’t be afraid to speak up and talk to them about prices.
 

Selling Your Gold

Make sure you sell your gold to a person or company that is reputable. You want to be working with a business that is registered with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that any complaints against the company have been resolved properly. Reading through reports on the Better Business Bureau website is a great way to understand the caliber of the company that you are choosing to work with.

Read the Fine Print

Whenever you decide to sell gold it is important that you understand the fine print of any contract that you sign. You should take the time to read through all of the fine print before you sign anything or before you decide to mail your gold in. If you are selling your gold by mailing it in, it is important that you get the package that you are sending insured.

Shop Around for Gold Buyers

Don’t be afraid to shop around. Look to sell your gold to a few different vendors or even a few different individuals. When you can talk with a few different people that are buying gold, you will be able to get a feel for who you really want to be selling your gold to. Don’t be afraid to walk away from the first few people even if you think you will end up walking back into their place of business. Get a feel for a few different buyers and then make your pick.

What You’ll Need to Bring

You have to make sure you bring your I.D. with you when you purchase gold. Every vendor is required to ask for your I.D. before purchasing gold from you. Bring your I.D. the first time around so you don’t have to run home to get your I.D. in order to make the sale official.
 
When it comes time to sell your gold we hope that you decide to visit your closest Check City Location. If you have any questions about selling your gold for cash feel free to leave them in the comments section below.


READ MORE
See a timeline of the US mint.
 
See this comprehensive chart for a thorough history of the price of gold.

Pitfalls to the In-Home Business Operator

In previous posts we’ve talked about how you can make money from home with the Check City Affiliate program. While you can make some great money with the Check City affiliate program it’s till important to point out that if you choose to make money from home as a full time income you’re still goign to be starting and running a business so it’s important to understand everything that goes along with that.

Since the introduction of the internet to the modern world, and its subsequent complete integration throughout almost all aspects of modern life, it has become increasingly easy for people to run their own small business from the comfort of their own home. Easy, on second thought, might not be the correct word choice, because operation one’s own small business from home is anything but easy.

Perhaps the right word choice should have been accessible. Since the integration of the internet into the modern work world, it has become more accessible or plausible for an aspiring entrepreneur to open a profitable business from their home.

But even with this accessibility to the option of starting one’s own business, there are many pitfalls that beginning entrepreneurs will need to be on the lookout for once they start down the path of an in-home business. One of the first and most important pitfalls that can entrap any business of any size is running out of money.

You Still Need Capital

If the funds stop, the company dies; it is just that simple. Most individuals who are determined to open their own business will know and understand this simple truth to commerce, but the funds mentioned before do not necessarily mean profits.

What some new in-home business owners may not account for is the initial startup costs that it will take to get their business off the ground to begin with. Most owners will understand that in order to survive they will need to make profits, but one of the major pitfalls that engulf many new startups is the issue of running out of money before the company has a chance to turn a profit.

Luckily, for the in-home business man or woman, this potential hazard to their new company of running out of startup funds before turning a profit can be largely avoided by taking some necessary steps. The first step to avoid drying up the money well before letting profits take off is simply to budget well.

Budgeting should not be a new idea for most who are starting an in-home business as they have more than likely made effective use of a budget before in their domestic lives. Similarly to planning a budget for a family or for personal expenses, preparing a budget for an emerging small business will take careful planning and honesty.

Check Your Resources

First, a new business owner should take an account of all the available resources that they have available to them. Once they have a good idea of the amount of funds available, then they will be able to begin the process of proportioning out sections of those funds to various startup expenses that are foreseeable.
One should strive to reserve a large chunk of funds for unforeseen events as unexpected costs are almost always a part of starting a business. With a startup budget set and in place, a new in-home business owner will be able to initiate the process of opening their new business with the assurance that a planned budget affords.

Create Your Web Presence, The Right Way

After clearing this common pitfall, the in-home business owner will need to think more technical or more logistical in order to have their business succeed. For example, it may seem like a minor detail, but the next major pitfall that swallows many new home-based startups is the faux pas of directing potential clients to an empty website or landing page.

A landing page is the part of the website that a new visitor will “land” on after clicking a link to the site. Landing pages can be the homepage or separate pages within the site itself, which means that even if a site has a good looking homepage their actually landing page sites could be barren and have the potential to drive business away from the unprofessional look of blank or sparse landing page.

As a new business owner, people who create an in-home company should be aware of the extremely detrimental effects that an incomplete website can have on their potential. Because most of the commerce from an in-home business will most likely come from their online presence, it is vitally important that the website is well maintained, user friendly, and aesthetically pleasing.

Stay Organized

Along with setting up a functioning budget and creating a workable and effective website, an in-home business manager can be most profitable if they will avoid the pitfall of disorganization. Because the work that an in-home business conducts is by its very nature within the home, it can be temptingly easy for a new business owner to spread the details of their business across the entire expanse of their home.
This is a potentially fatal pitfall for a small business as it often directly leads to a severe case of disorganization. Having an organized work space, along with a functioning budget and a well-working website, will be key ingredients to a successfully run in-home business.

A Guide to Investing in a New Business

In the Hollywood movie “Hitch,” Allegra Cole talks about her interest in investing money in her friend’s business. Although this is a fictional story, the idea strikes the hearts of many throughout the country. Hopping on board has the potential to have incredible payback rewards and can end up being a great way to make money fast. It also has the potential of failing and flushing your money down the drain. How do you know whether or not you should invest?

Conservative: Shark Tank

If you’ve ever watched the popular TV show “Shark Tank,” then you’ve seen that these high-income investors are worried about two things and two things only. First, they want to know how unique the product is. Can someone else make it, or is someone else making it. If the business just makes soap similar to Dove, than why care about it? This isn’t something that will necessarily take off (because it has no unique value). Second, they want to know how much success you’ve already had with the product. The ones scooped up and fought over are the ones that have already successfully moved product and seen drastic growth. They simply need a little money to truly kick start their idea into the clouds.

So from a conservative standpoint, you would want to ensure that the company has (1) a unique idea, and (2) has had success and is seeing growth. These “sharks” have seen unparalleled success in the business world and this is why. They don’t usually invest in something that doesn’t have an overwhelming chance of taking off.

Trusting: Believing in a Dream

These investing decisions are often made before the business gets off the ground. People that choose to take this side often believe in the person or the dream before it becomes a reality. They’re money is at the most risk, but they usually have designated that cash as disposable income. It is meant to help a dream, not necessarily turn a profit.

Consequently, many of these investments are burned off in the engine of entrepreneurship. Some never pay back. Some do. The people who make these investments are more interested in helping someone achieve a goal rather than turn a profit. Investors that decide to do this need to see it from the real possibility of losing an investment. If they don’t, they could regret the decision for the rest of their lives, or lose a real friend.

Somewhere Between: You?

Sometimes you find yourself unsure where you stand. Maybe you want to invest in a dream, but at the same time you don’t want your money to go to waste. If the money is going to go to waste, why don’t you just use it on something else (like the new 45” HD TV you’ve been looking at). You’re investing because you expect the project to work. Maybe you have one of the following worries though.

How’s the money going to be used?

The idea is good; you just don’t trust the person using the money. Perhaps you really believe in the product, but want to keep an eye on how finances are spent to make sure they’re going to good things.

You can solve this concern by only giving money when he comes asking for it. Tell him you want to invest X-amount of dollars, but you need him to create a proposal for the expenditures he needs. You would then approve, or reject proposals accordingly.

You can help determine if it’s worthwhile by asking the following questions

  1. Does it add value to the business? If it doesn’t, is it worth buying?
  2. Does it make processes more efficient? Purchasing a program that reduces the time you spend working on mundane tasks can save you time and money. These can be well worth the buy.
  3. Does the expense pay itself off? Purchasing your own equipment to do things in house could very well pay itself off in years to come.

These are helpful criteria to begin with, but do not have to be hard rules to follow. Adjust them according to special circumstances.

A word of warning to those that pursue this route though: entrepreneurship reaches its ultimate potential when the entrepreneur is allowed to make some of the decisions that everyone thinks is crazy. Often, those “crazy” ideas have translated into massive success before. If you limit your investee’s ability to pay for these crazy ideas, than you could limit the businesses’ ability to actually succeed. Agreeing to pay for certain things is a great way to make sure your money isn’t being wasted, but the best way to do it is with an open mind.

What if it’s a scam?

You’ve heard too many horror stories about financial scams that come from people asking you to take a chance on them. They happen enough to be scared. Recent articles have warned against “Help hurricane Sandy” fundraising scams. Not everyone is honestly trying to help the people there. Some would rather steal. There are two things you can do to help you determine if you should invest or not.

First, invest only in people you trust. How likely is a family member going to scam you and get away with it? How often is your best friend going to risk your friendship for a couple thousand dollars? If you can’t answer that question with an affirmative, are they the best friend for you? When people you really trust come knocking for money, you can consider investing in them.

Second, do real research into their product and see the processes happening. Ask them to see their business license and qualifications. Watch their business and see what you can find in public records to confirm the company’s existence. Make sure you know beyond a doubt that they are (1) a legitimate business, and (2) doing what they say they are doing.

Once you’ve inspected the business, determined how you would want to invest your money, and decided to actually invest, there are a number of things you’ll want to set up.

Keep a record of every penny you invest

If money is leaving your pocket and going to another business, keep a record of who it went to, when, and for how much. The government will not recognize your contribution otherwise and you will be taxed for it.

When you itemize your taxes, you can report the amount of money you invested. The IRS will then be able to make a fair assessment of your actual financial situation. A fair assessment will help ensure that you aren’t paying too much in taxes.

Keeping a careful record will also help you follow up with your investee and prove that money was given.

Create a flow of communication

Now that you’re investing in the business, you’ll want to upkeep a healthy chain of communication with the owner. A periodic flow of communication will help you understand what’s going on. It will reduce the number of anxious nights when you wonder what’s going on. You will always know about what’s going on.

Create a schedule of times you plan on following up. Call her on those days and ask how things are going. The best approach is to be friendly, encouraging, and interested. Then let her begin to tell you how things are going. Write down plans that she intends to pursue and follow up on them in the weeks to come. Ask what’s working and what’s not.

Be interested in her ideas, progress, and work. Support and encourage her. Be excited about the things she is excited about—even if you don’t always understand them. Find out what she’s doing and ask how you can help. A helpful investor is one that she doesn’t fear being completely honest with.

Communicate your plan to follow up to your investee so there are no surprises. She’ll appreciate knowing when she can expect your call. She’ll also be able to plan progress around your calls. Planning to report progress makes her set and work toward goals. They don’t want to disappoint so they’ll push themselves to work better.

A flow of conversation will help build the business and keep you at ease throughout the process.

Believe in your investee

If you’ve decided to entrust money to your investee, it’s time to start believing in them. You’ve evaluated their need, how much you’re willing to spend, and believe in their product. Now it’s time to go forward with your plans and trust your investee to go about this the right way.

A true entrepreneur believes in this dream much more than you do. It would crush him to fail more than you. That’s enough pressure to help them make smart decisions. They could use someone’s faith, and there is no one whose faith they can trust more than the person helping pay a portion of the bills. Once the decision has been made, believe in the person you invested in.

Investing is a great way to give support to an entrepreneur. Your money and encouragement could be the one thing that person needs to really take off. The task can be terrifying though. Go about it the right way and you will be best set to give them the support they need.

 

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