Category: Blogger’s Hot Picks

Does Having a College Degree Still Get You Ahead

With the rising costs of college tuition and the fact that there are more people competing for open job positions than ever, it’s natural to wonder if a college degree is as useful as it once was. Everyone knows a story of at least one college graduate who’s still unemployed. It’s a simple fact: A college degree isn’t enough to guarantee that dream job by itself. Oftentimes contacts, luck and experience seem to matter more these days.

Does that mean college degrees are less necessary than they once were? Quite the opposite is true. College degrees are more useful than ever and are an important step in the process of perusing a lifelong career. Let’s take a look at the facts to get an idea of the big picture:

college degree

A college education opens doors to experience, internships and contact information.

One thing that hasn’t changed in recent years is the fact that college is a fantastic way to meet people, business contacts and obtain internships that can help pave the way to a career. Internships are harder to get than they used to be, but that doesn’t diminish their value. In today’s job market where competition is harder than ever, every bit of extra experience you can place on your resume increases your chances of getting ahead. Experience itself, of course, is also invaluable.

College prepares students for the road ahead.

People often claim that college is full of general courses that don’t teach practical or everyday information, but college does teach students about the value of hard work and the value of experience. Most degrees now also offer plenty of training courses that give students hands-on experience with the type of work they would likely do later in their career. Hands-on experience is almost always the most useful. It looks great on a resume as well.

In addition, there are many different types of colleges now that are tailored to the types of careers busy students are likely to pursue. If you don’t have the time to take a bunch of general courses, it may not be necessary for you to do so. A college education is easier than ever to obtain.

College degrees still present a necessary way for employers to narrow down their search.

With so much competition in the job market, every advantage you can get over your fellow job seekers increases your chances of landing that job before them. Employers are receiving more applications than ever and are are looking for any way possible to eliminate applications from their pile of potential employees. This means that employers have more requirements than in past years. One easy requirement is requiring a college education. The last thing you ever want to do is give them a quick reason to toss your application in the rejection pile.

Even though a college degree doesn’t guarantee that a job seeker will immediately find a job, it’s a simple fact that nothing gives you that guarantee. Pursuing a career is a long road that requires plenty of experience, hard work, smart planning and doing everything in your power to get ahead of the competition. Obtaining a college degree still helps with all of those goals. If anything, there are more reasons to go to college now than ever before.

Great Gifts To Send To Your Vendors This Holiday Season

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and what better way to show appreciation to your vendors than to send them a wonderful gift. Similar to any other special occasion such as birthdays and anniversaries, there is a plethora of gift ideas that come to mind when you think about vendor gifts. However, the following five key gift ideas are sure to wow your vendor this holiday.

Happy girlThe first key gift idea is a gift card to a popular restaurant. Restaurant gift cards cannot take the place of the live conversation that may have taken place if you actually hosted your vendor at the restaurant, but the fact that the vendor can choose who he or she will invite for this complimentary meal can be equally as gratifying. Consider choosing a restaurant that is conveniently located to the vendor or at least within a reasonable distance since the gift card may never be redeemed if commuting time is unreasonable. Most importantly, consider choosing a restaurant that your vendor has expressed interest in. This will make the gesture much more personal.

The second gift idea is an annual calendar. Let’s face it, everyone can use a paper calendar despite the fact that our day-to-day appointments are organized electronically in some sort of mobile or desktop application nowadays. Annual calendars can be personalized and branded to convey the precise message that you want your vendors to receive. If you want to keep it simple, consider simply printing your logo and contact information. For something more personalized, one can consider adding a message of gratitude, inspirational quote or other customized note.

The third gift idea is something that your vendors cannot function without – ink pens. Ink pens are easily customizable and are ideal for branding. Additionally, you can decide if you want to use regular ball point pens, retractable pens or something more extravagant. Nearly any style of pen can be branded with your company name and chosen text.

The fourth great vendor gift idea is something that will delight everyone in the office – baked goods made by a professional bakery. Whether you choose brownies, cookies, muffins or cupcakes, there is little to no chance that your gift will be considered the humdrum gift of the season. Everyone loves sweets. Many professional bakeries deliver gift packages freshly baked and warm to the touch.

The fifth example of a great vendor gift is a branded coffee mug. One can never have too many coffee mugs. Unlike other gifts, coffee mugs are liked by virtually everyone since most people can find use for a mug whether it be coffee, tea or other tasty beverage. Branded coffee mugs keep your company close at hand for your vendor. By merely sitting on someone’s desk, a branded coffee mug can generate business for you since it is exposed to anyone that walks by.

Regardless of which one of the five great vendor gift ideas you choose, keep in mind that nearly any product can be branded. This holiday season, take into account your vendor’s business style and personality then choose the gift that best suits him or her. The holiday season is the ideal time to express gratitude to existing vendors and renewing business relationships with others.


The Truth About Becoming A Professional Gamer

Becoming a professional gamer is often on a list of dream careers for people who love games and show a talent for the form. But that dream is often a complicated one — with only a small percentage of players making the cut to “professional” status, and of those only a handful achieving something resembling a long-term career. Still, the prospect of doing a job that you love has got many people wondering what the outlook is like for someone wanting to take a chance in the world of eSports.

professional-gamerLike any professional endeavor, there is a question as to whether innate talent or hard work matters more in gaining professional achievement –– but when looking at those who have accomplished big results across a range of fields it would seem that whatever the role of talent, it is often trumped by sheer hard work and practice.

Indeed, the old adage that “practice” is the way to get to Carnegie Hall isn’t just old-fashioned advice: Journalist Malcolm Gladwell has suggested through his research that there is something called the “10,000 Hour Rule,” of which he believes there is a requisite amount of work — about 10,000 hours — that it takes for someone to master a task. It’s the kind of time commitment, reduced of course if you’ve been gaming for many years, but intimidating nonetheless, that might make you stop to think about the potential downsides of this career track.

When something you love becomes something you have to do, many find that passion is quick to leave. It’s the sort of curse of having too much of a good thing: Many of us find that our favorite activities are a form of play and a relief from the stress of work. When that relief becomes a form of stress it can become a frustrating experience.

So, like the Beatles, who played back-to-back sets in small clubs for hours upon hours and years upon years — and through this practice became extremely successful — Gladwell might suggest that becoming a professional gamer is within the grasp of those who would seek out its possibilities as well as grueling challenges, with the caveat that the hours and dedication one would have to put in are immense and often lacking in rewards.

There’s also the downside of job security as a professional gamer: when you’re self-employed, even as a professional, the lack of benefits (or even a guarantee of work months down the line) creates a “feast or famine” environment, in which one can be reaping financial rewards one month and have a steady stream of income dry up the next. For these reasons, another old saying, “Don’t quit your day job,” is one way of having the sort of reliability of income that a self-employed gamer might not.

In this way, learning tasks that build on skills used in gaming — an understanding of how computing, coding and design works, for example — can be a few extra arrows in a professional gamer’s quiver that will allow them to bring in extra income when times are lean.

So for these reasons, educating yourself about the benefits and downsides of being a professional gamer — and knowing the kind of sacrifices that you’ll have to make — is a key component in putting your foot in the professional water, so to speak. Whatever you do, remember that the values of hard work and honesty will always be of help.

The Facts About The Marketplace Fairness Act Online Sales Tax Debate

Because every American state regulates its own procedural methods for collecting taxes, the implementation of new federal standards can be potentially chaotic and confusing. Due to the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act within the United States Senate, there will inevitably be an overhaul of the national methods for collecting taxes on all online business activities. As the House of Representatives mulls finalizing this legislation, it is crucial to understand the specific language of the bill to determine any personal impacts beforehand. The most important skill to possess is an ability to discern between hyperbolic rhetoric and factual information; as such, a comprehensive overview of this oncoming law is provided below.


The Purpose Of New Regulations:

The Marketplace Fairness Act seeks to consolidate the entire country into a singular method of taxation in an attempt to recoup the annual loss of government income. While the statistics vary drastically between states, it is estimated that millions of dollars are being withheld from regional governments. This shortfall is the result of current loopholes that allow a majority of remote retailers to dodge standard tax rates.

Unfortunately, small businesses that rely on the internet simply do not have the resources to collect taxes from every customer. This is because every regional location is subject to the tax codes of their local government. Therefore, if the new legislation is passed in its current form, states that participate will be required to massively simplify the process of tax management for their local small businesses.

How Location Will Matter:

Currently, online retailers are typically only required to collect sales tax from residents who live within the legal proximity of their business operations. States that choose to adopt these new regulations in the future will be able to enforce sales tax income by setting up free services to conduct the convoluted calculations. Even though the legislation is aimed at universalizing the taxation system, it will not succeed in implementing unanimity among the states; however, instead of having fifty different sanctioned methods for collecting online sales tax, there will theoretically be a mere three.

There may be states that prefer to avoid the adoption of federal tax regulations, and these unions can choose to opt out of the changes. Their freedom from widespread taxation will still be widely limited by the parameters instigated by a new national taxation framework. The second option that states can consider is to operate within the context of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement without pursuing further modifications. This would allow them to recover some financial losses without having to commit to creating a new collection system. The final option is to accept the clauses contained within the Marketplace Fairness Act. This would generate the most governmental income, but it also shifts the onus of responsibility and liability onto individual states instead of business owners.

Divisions Among The Debaters:

Advocates of the legislation include the National Conference of State Legislatures and National Governors Association. These organizations wish to revitalize dwindling local economies by relying on increased internet taxes; contrarily, executives from major online retailers disagree with the entire concept. They claim it is excessively detrimental to the ability of individual sellers to compete with corporations. Either way, the Marketplace Fairness Act is here to stay, whether it amounts to economic lubricant or interference.


How Working Remotely Is Changing The Way That We Do Business

Americans are increasingly working from home or on the road. As a result, workers are treated differently by employers and clients have different expectations from the companies that they partner with. decided to ask a group of professionals what are some of the biggest changes that have come about due to employees working remotely?



A Set Schedule May Not Be Necessary

If you have a cell phone and an Internet connection, it is possible for your employer to reach you at any time. Therefore, as long as you are getting your work done on time, there may be less of a need to adhere to a strict work schedule each day. The only exceptions to that rule are when you have to meet with a client or if you need to meet with your boss to discuss an important matter.



Working From Home Is Becoming Increasingly Popular

The ability to work from anywhere has made it possible for more and more workers to get their work done from home instead of at the office. This is preferable for those who have kids or don’t want to interact with their colleagues. While employees may end up having to furnish a home office, there are plenty of online stores ready to deliver directly to your door, such as for example. Many companies will reimburse their employees for these expenses, and they see this as a good way to lower their overhead costs because they don’t have to pay as much for electricity or a phone line if an employee is working from home instead of at the office.



It Is Easier To Do Business On A Global Scale

The ability to communicate with clients and employees at any given time allows for more work to be completed with clients who may not be in your time zone. For example, an employee in New York can communicate with a client in Europe before, during or after work simply by using Skype or any other VoIP product. This allows for meetings to take place at a mutually convenient time for the employee and the client without having to leave the office or fly to another continent to have the meeting.



Working Weekends Is A Fact Of Life

As the business world evolves, it has become commonplace for employers to conduct business on nights and weekends. Therefore, you may have to cancel your Saturday golf outing to come to the office or put your lunch plans on hold to have an impromptu meeting with your boss to make sure that he is ready for the shareholder presentation on Monday.



No One Is Truly On Vacation

The downfall of working remotely is that you rarely get to truly escape your boss, clients or colleagues. This is because you are only a phone call, email or text message away at all times. In some cases, employers will strongly suggest that employees respond to messages while they are away. For some employees, this means that their vacation in Hawaii can feel just as much like a business trip as it is a chance to relax and unwind for a few days.

Working remotely has benefits as well as drawbacks for workers. While businesses can get in touch with their employees regardless of where they are, the employees may have to forget about taking vacations or making plans on Saturday if something comes up. On the plus side, working from home as well as having some control over your workweek can be a good thing if you are the type that doesn’t need a set schedule.