What are the fastest growing occupations?

As a senior job seeker, you should have awareness of employment trends. You also need to know where the biggest areas for job growth are. And of course, there is no better source of knowledge for this than the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, what are the fastest growing occupations? Using the bureau’s statistics, I have compiled a top ten list based on growth between 2016 and 2026.

I have conducted additional research and included this information. it will help you determine if a field is one you would like to pursue. But, if you’re already in one of these occupations, this information can help you decide if you should stay.

Furthermore, these occupations are ranked by growth, not by the numbers of jobs available. Thus, you will see that some are rapidly growing but have a relatively small number of openings compared to others.

Also, this information is relevant to the United States. Salaries, educations levels, etc. may vary if you live outside of the US.

Solar Panels1. Solar Photovoltaic Installers

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 104.9

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 11,800

Median Annual Wage (2017): $39,490

For all you environmentally aware people, this is really good news. It shows that the age of sustainable energy is upon us. In this position you assemble, install and maintain solar panels on roof tops and other structures. Most work is outside. However, there may be situations where inside work is necessary to connect panels to the electrical grid.

Generally, you will need a high school diploma and a willingness to learn on the job. You can also take certificate programs and technical college courses.

2. Wind Turbine Service Technicianswind turbine

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 96.3

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 5,600

Median Annual Wage (2017): $53,880

Again, this is good news for fans of renewable energy. In this position you are also known as a windtech. This job requires you to install, maintain and repair wind turbines. Generally, you will work outdoors in confined spaces and often at great heights. One of the growing segments is off-shore wind turbines and there will be good job growth in this area.

Keep in mind that there are certain areas of the US where jobs will be more plentiful. As of 2014 the states of Texas, Iowa, California, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, North Dakota, and Wyoming were tops in wind power production.

You will probably need to attend a technical school for a two-year technical degree to secure this position. You may have on-the-job training as well. It’s also beneficial to have mechanical abilities.

Nurse Aide3. Home Health Aides

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 47.3

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 431,200

Median Annual Wage (2017): $23,210

In this position you are a trained and certified healthcare worker who provides assistance to patients in the home. This includes personal care such as hygiene, exercise, meal preparation, brushing teeth, giving medicine, checking vital signs and light housekeeping.

Keep in mind that this job requires both physical and emotional strength. In addition, you need to be friendly and tactful because you will likely have to deal with difficult patients. Good communication skills are a must.

You don’t need advanced formal education for this job but will need training.

A major reason this occupation is growing so rapidly is the proliferation of small businesses devoted to home health.

4. Personal Care Aidesmale nurse

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 38.6

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 777,600

Median Annual Wage (2017): $23,100

A personal care aide provides services to a person who is unable to care for themselves. These services may include activities such as cooking, dressing, bathing, restroom assistance, moving objects and simple housekeeping tasks. In this position you will care for people who are disabled, chronically ill and elderly.

You may work with just one or possibly several clients. In some cases you may actually live with the client and in others you travel between homes. Sometimes you will work in nursing homes or adult day centers.

In this position you need compassion and patience.

As a Personal Care Aide, you are often trained on the job by nurses and other aides. Some states require standardized training. You can find this through community colleges, vocational school and home healthcare agencies.

PA5. Physician Assistants

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 37.3

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 39,600

Median Annual Wage (2017): $104,860

Physician Assistants are medical care providers who are licensed to diagnose and treat illnesses. In other words, they can do just about anything a physician does.

As a PA you will have the opportunity to work in primary care or outside in medical specialties and surgery.

Physician Assistants are important in undeserved areas. Here they might be the only healthcare professional.

For this position, you must graduate from an accredited PA Program. Then you must pass the national certification exam and obtain a state license. There are also prerequisites that may include a bachelor’s degree.

The number of accredited PA Programs have increased and 90% offer a master’s degree. The rest offer bachelor or associates degrees or a certificate of completion. All these are acceptable to qualify for the certification exam, licensing and practice.

6. Nurse Practitionerssenior female doctor

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 36.1

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 56,100

Median Annual Wage (2017): $103,880

As a Nurse Practitioner you provide a full range of healthcare services. These include ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests. You also treat chronic conditions, prescribe medication, manage care, counsel and provide health education. Nurse Practitioners work in hospitals, clinics, private offices, nursing homes and long-term-care facilities.

The core philosophy is individualized care that focuses on patient issues and the affect on the family. Further, Nurse Practitioners tend to concentrate on a holistic approach to healthcare.

Interestingly, there is much evidence that suggests Nurse Practitioners provide higher satisfaction to patients than doctors!

Sometimes, Nurse Practitioners may serve as a primary healthcare provider. In addition, they can also specialize in areas such as cardiology, oncology, pain management, surgery, orthopedics and others. Some may conduct research, teach and involve themselves in political lobbying.

To qualify for this position you must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or other undergraduate degree. Furthermore, it requires a Registered Nurse license as well as experience in this role. Then, you must graduate from an accredited MSN or Doctoral Program. After completing the required education, you must then pass a certifying program with a specific healthcare focus.

There is now a movement to require a Doctoral degree for entry into this profession.

Statistician7. Statisticians

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 33.8

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 12,600

Median Annual Wage (2017): $84,060

As a Statistician you collect, research, analyze, interpret and present quantitative data. You design and manage experiments and surveys and deal with data gathering. You then report findings and advise strategies based on the data.

Statisticians are able to take advantage of a very wide range of industries.  Thus, they can work in almost any field of science, technology and business. In fact, variety is what many statisticians report as being the best part of their job.

To enter this field you need a Masters or Ph.D in Statistics. It’s also possible to find positions with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics or computer science.

8. Physical Therapist AssistantsPhysical Therapist

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 31.0

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 27,500

Median Annual Wage (2017): $57,430

In this position you work under the direction of the physical therapist. You help patients who are recovering from injuries and illness regain movement and manage pain. Physical therapy can be used instead of surgery to treat a patient

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) provide a variety of techniques. This can include therapeutic exercise, functional training, deep tissue massage, electrotherapy, ultrasound and recommending assistive devices such as wheelchairs and crutches. Subsequently, a PTA may help the client create a wellness- oriented program going forward.

Additionally, you will provide important information for the physical therapist about a client’s response to treatment. You may also have responsibility for billing and other administrative tasks.

The vast majority of PTAs work in hospitals or privately owned practices. Alternatively, others work in home health, schools and rehab units.

To qualify, you must graduate from an accredited physical therapy education program. This typically is a two-year associate degree. Then you must pass a state-administered exam to obtain your license (it varies from state to state).

Program on screen9. Software Developers, Applications

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 30.7

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 255,400

Median Annual Wage (2017): $101,790

As a software developer you have a key role in designing, installing, testing and maintaining software systems. You may also be responsible for writing and coding or providing an entirely new software resource. Further tasks might include presenting ideas for system improvements, system review, writing codes, product testing and manual preparation.

Software developers find employment in just about every industry.

The skills that employers look for are expertise in current computer hardware and software. You must also have the ability to use one or more development languages. Additionally, strong communication skills, the ability to work as a team and analytical skills are necessary.

Most jobs require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering. You don’t need special licensing but may need certification. One option for certification is the Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

10. MathematiciansMathmetician

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 29.7

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 900

Median Annual Wage (2017): $103,010

Mathematicians use mathematical theory, computational techniques, algorithms and computer technology to solve economic, scientific, engineering and business problems.

Theoretical mathematicians advance knowledge by developing new principles and recognizing mathematical relationships. You also test old theories and discover new truths about numbers and the way they relate to each other.

If you are an applied mathematician you apply this knowledge practically to different fields such as science and engineering. Thus, you have knowledge of mathematics and of the field in which you work.

The industries that employ the most mathematicians are the federal government, scientific research and development services, education, management and manufacturing.

You typically need a master’s degree in mathematics although some positions are available for those with a bachelor’s degree.

If you have a doctoral degree, there is a likelihood you will work as a professor in higher education.

The skills that are used in the field of mathematics are creativity, researching, investigating, analyzing, imagination, communicating and problem solving

Conclusion

I believe you are never too old to learn a new skill or completely change careers. Why not? As they say, it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks! So, don’t let your age hold you back from pursuing your dream job!

If you don’t fit into any of the fastest growing occupations, there are many others. But, let’s say you don’t want to work for anyone. Maybe you want to be your own boss. Click here for another opportunity.

 

Work from home internet scams

Who are the scammers?Snake Oil

These are people with no heart or soul. Their only motive is profit. In my opinion, they are likely sociopaths. That is, they are unable to feel the pain of another person and thus focus only on what they can materially obtain. These are the people who bring you work from home internet scams.

Scammers were around long before the days of the internet. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Snake Oil Salesman.” The Chinese used snake oil in traditional  medicine for centuries to relieve minor physical pain. They made the oil from the fat of the Chinese Water Snake. This oil contains 20% eicosapentaenoic acid and has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

As it made its way into western culture, it became associated with deceptive marketing (read here about Clark Stanley). 

18th Century European and 19th century American entrepreneurs advertised and sold mineral oil mixed with herbs as snake oil liniment. They claimed it was a panacea; i.e., a solution or remedy for all variety of afflictions. This was particular among sellers who masked addictive drugs such as cocaine and opium based concoctions.

Thus, the term is full of negative connotations. Current online scams are products of the modern “Snake Oil Salesmen.”

You might be horrified to know that there were no federal regulations for the safety and effectiveness of drugs in the United States until the 1906 Food and Drugs Act.

psychologyPsychology of the scam

If you’re reading this, you’re likely an older person like a boomer or senior. And, you’ve probably encountered any number of scams. But, because of your experience, you’ve become wise and perhaps can spot a scammer a mile away! However, not everyone can.

So, what’s the psychology of the scam? In my opinion a combination of desperation, ambition and hope are the main ingredients.

For example, if you’ve been laid off your job and money is tight, you may be looking for a quick way out of your dilemma. You’re desperate and willing to try anything.

Or, let’s say you’re a young person full of ambition and drive and you’ve heard about people getting rich quick through internet marketing. You might be setting some unrealistic goals for yourself and the idea of being rich by age 21 is intriguing.

Furthermore, we all hope for a better life, don’t we? And there’s no doubt that having plenty of money allows us to live that life.

Who are the people most likely to be affected by online scams:

  • Sick, disabled or elderly people. Since it’s hard for them to land a traditional job, they are primary targets for scammers.
  • Stay at home mothers. Since there isn’t a double income in the family, working from home to make extra income can be attractive.
  • Low income or no income. Obviously, desperation is the key factor here.
  • Lack of education. Again, it may be hard to find a high paying job so working from home seems attractive.

Let’s get a little deeper into the psychologyDigging

Here is some information that explores the psychology of the scam a little deeper. It is from the Department of Psychology at the University of Exeter in the UK. Here are some of the main points from their report.

  • Scammers use appeals of trust and authority. People tend to trust authorities and fall victim to those who appear legitimate and reputable.
  • They exploit the human desires of greed, fear, avoidance of physical pain and the desire to be liked. This reduces the possibility that people will analyze the message. Then they will act without thinking.
  • Scammers often personalize their offer to make it seem like it is unique for that particular person.
  • They ask victims to take small steps of compliance to draw them in and make them feel committed.
  • Scammers present a disproportionate relation between the size of the reward and the cost of obtaining it.  In other words, you get a big prize for a small amount of money.
  • If a person has a lack of emotional control and is open to persuasion, they will be more apt to fall victim to a scam.
  • Interestingly enough, people who tend to analyze the scam are victims more than a person who immediately dismisses it without thought.

Work from home Internet scams to avoid

Here’s a partial list:

A company contacts you that you didn’t contact first for a work from home position. They contact you through a social platform like LinkedIn. They can easily fool you with this one since LinkedIn is a legitimate way to get job leads.

They ask you to give your personal banking information in order to start a work from home job. In 2012 the Federal Trade Commission helped refund $2.3 million to victims who were scammed by a fake company that used famous trade names. The company promised the victims they could earn $100,000 in 6 months when they ordered a work-from-home kit for a $4 shipping fee. The fake company didn’t tell them that they would also charge an extra $72 per month.

Craft Assembly: I bet you’ve seen this one. These scammers promise to pay you for assembling toys, dolls and other crafts at home. You just pay up-front for the starter kit which includes instructions and parts. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? However, once you finish the job and send it back they tell you  the work doesn’t meet their specifications and you’re out the money you have already sent. So, in this case, the scammer makes their money from selling the starter kits and not from the assembled products.

  • Medical Billing: Here’s another I bet you’ve seen many times. With this scam you pay $300 – $900 up-front to start your own medical billing company. How exciting! They promise you state-of-the-art medical billing software and a list of potential clients. What they conveniently forget to tell you is that most medical clinics do their own billing or outsource to third-party firms that specialize in this. Try to get a refund from these guys? Good luck!
  • At Home Typing: Again, you send a fee to the scam artist and you receive a disk and printed information. Then, they tell you to place home typist ads and sell copies of the disk. Thus, they rip you off and turn you into a scammer too!
  • Letter from Nigeria: This is my all-time favorite and I used to be contacted by this scheme quite frequently (It’s been a while though and oh, how I miss them! LOL).

scam2Anyway, this one contacts you by email and has many variations. For example, you receive a message from a man claiming to be a Nigerian Civil Servant (it could be another African country but Nigeria, being the largest in population, seems to show up frequently). He tells you that he is looking for a reputable foreigner with whom he can deposit up to $60 million while he deals with political situations in his country.

In return, he promises you 30% of the money once “documentations are concluded.” He will ask you for a deposit to include in his “business venture.” He will likely contact you again after “things don’t go according to plan” for additional funds. Needless to say, you might as well light a match to a wad of $100 bills.

  • Mystery Shopper: They send you a hefty check and ask you to deposit it in your bank account. Then you withdrawal it to check out the quality of services at local merchants. Problem is, the check they sent was phony.

These are just a few of the most famous internet scams to avoid. Of course there are thousands of others.

What to do when you encounter a scam

  • Contact the Better Business Bureau.
  • Never send money up-front.
  • Don’t give personal information.
  • Do your research using the Work-at-Home Sourcebook and other resources available at your library.
  • Ask lots of questions. If it is a legitimate company, they will have lots of answers.

In Conclusion

Work from home internet scams will be here as long as we have hopes and desires for more money. But as they say, “If you think it’s too good to be true then you are probably right.”

Still, not all offers are scams. Read here for an offer that’s legitimate.

We love comments so be sure to leave yours below. If you feel comfortable doing so, provide your email and we will send you updated information from seniorjobseeker.com. I know you’ve heard it before, but we will not share your email with anyone. Thank you!

 

Companies who hire older workers

Reject AgeSo, you’re over 50, seeking employment and would like to find companies who hire older workers. As you may have found, it seems harder to find meaningful work when you are older. In fact, the reality is that age discrimination exists. It almost seems baked into our youth-obsessed culture.

The number of seniors aged 65 and older within the working-age population is projected to increase from 19% to 29% by 2060. But new research shows that age discrimination continues to be a problem for older job seekers.

I believe that in many cases, the discrimination is not conscious nor malicious. This is because we are conditioned to focus on the accomplishments of younger folks and dismiss those of older folks.

However, this is not always the case and hopefully the practices of companies who hire older workers can show that.

RetirementJobs.com

If you are not already aware of this, you should be. Especially if you have been frustrated in your job search. RetirementJobs.com is a job board and career advise site for people over 50. Here is a quote from Tim Driver, its founder and CEO. “Our mission is to shine a light on companies that are doing the right things, advance the interest of older workers and save job seekers valuable time.”

The site has a feature called Employer Reviews where employees share opinions about the age-friendliness of an employer. In addition, they have a Certified Age Friendly Employer Program (CAFE). This identifies those companies who commit themselves to being the best places to work for people over 50.

Here are some well-known companies and possible positions, who receive a five star rating from RetirementJobs.com:

  • AAA Motorclub: roadside technician, claim representative, sales agent, call center representative, life and annuity agent.
  • Apple: signal integrity engineer.
  • Bankers Life: customer relations representative, branch manager, legal specialist, senior underwriter, finance assistant.
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): quality receiving inspector, operations specialist, aircraft maintenance, technician.
  • Goodwill Industries: e-commerce collectibles associate, retail supervisor, photographer, security officer.
  • Habitat for Humanity: specialist US grants manager, expertise center concept development.
  • Hallmark Cards: director of targeting, director of category strategy.
  • Lyft: drivers
  • New York Life: IT operations analyst, quality analyst, senior buyer, senior electrical engineer.
  • Office Depot: software engineer, customer service, technical writer, service manager, inside sales representative.
  • Panera Bread: customer relationship manager, driver, production worker, corporate trainer, restaurant manager.
  • Pet Smart: groundskeeper, warehouse operations, merchandiser, dog-walker, finance services manager.
  • Reynolds: mechanical engineer, senior financial analyst, manufacturing engineer, territory manager.
  • Starbucks: technical writer, barista, management, food and beverage director, new product specialist.
  • Total Wine and More: management positions and retail sales.

Certified Age Friendly Employer ProgramAge Friendly

A job seeker can open a free account at RetirementJobs.com. As a result, they get the full list of Certified Age Friendly Employers as mentioned above.

This designation is determined following an in-depth analysis based on interviews with the employer. The employer must show a commitment to employ people over 50 and further investigate complaints about discrimination.

There are 12 categories of best practice standards. And within each are several policies that comprise the framework of the certification.

The certification evaluation process is performed exclusively by the staff of Retirementjobs.com. These are highly experienced human resource professionals. The evaluation consists of 6 steps which are application or letter of interest, process review discussion, evaluation questionnaire, program review, related recognition and renewal/recertification.

To find out more go to www.RetirementJobs.com

Senior Friendly Fortune 500 Companies

Here is a list large companies and the percentage of workers who are 50 and older:

  • American Airlines: 39%
  • Eastman Kodak: 38%
  • Travel Centers of America: 38%
  • Delta Airlines: 37%
  • Weyerhaeuser: 36%
  • Edison International: 36%
  • Northeast Utilities: 36%
  • Smithfield Foods: 35%
  • United Services Automobile Association: 35%

More Top Rated Senior Friendly Companies

Kununu.com is another online employee review website that rates companies based on senior friendliness. The ratings are based on what employees and former employees have said about their work experience. So, here are 10 highly rated companies:

  • SafeStreets USA: Headquarters, Kent, Washington. They are one of ADT’s oldest and largest authorized dealers. They sell and install home security systems. Also, they hire for sales representatives and analysts. Reviewers have said that age is celebrated here and age diversity is considered a strength.
  • Adaptive Environmental: Headquarters, Provo Utah. Pest control services. They hire sales representatives, sales managers, branch managers, operations managers. Reviewers state that respect for elders is extremely high. In fact,  people here enjoy learning from older employees.
  • Liberty Tax Service: Headquarters, Virginia Beach, Virginia. This is the third largest tax preparation service in the US. They hire tax preparers, accountants, technical writers. Reviewers say that all employees are appreciated and supported. Further, they recognize that older workers have more knowledge and are a great help to others.
  • Omni Systems: Headquarters, Richmond Heights, Ohio. One of the largest label converters in the US. This company hires for printing press operators and business development sales executives. Reviewers say everyone is welcome  and appreciated because they place value on the years of experience older workers offer. Senior employees often become mentors to younger ones.
  • Franklin International: Headquarters, Columbus, Ohio. This company manufactures and sells adhesives, sealants and polymers for wood products. They hire for industrial engineers, chemists and mixing/blending machine setters. Reviewers say that many people work there until 70. This is because the company offers programs for phased retirement, part-time work and good retirement medical benefits.
  • H&M; Headquarters, New York City. One of the world’s largest fashion companies. They hire for store managers, sales advisors and visual managers. Reviewers say that older workers are treated the same as others.
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO): Headquarters, Washington, D.C. A government agency that provides auditing and investigative services for Congress. They hire management analysts, auditors, training and development managers and market research analysts. This organization places high value on the wisdom an older worker brings.
  • Wegman’s Food Markets: Headquarters, Rochester, New York. A family owned supermarket chain in the Northeast and Virginia. They hire for food preparation workers, cashiers, line cooks and pharmacy technicians. Reviewers say Wegman’s loves to hire older workers.
  • TJX Companies: Headquarters, Framingham, Massachusetts. They are an international fashion and home decor retailer that owns Marshalls and TJ Maxx. They hire for store managers, loss prevention managers and customer service. One reviewer said of older women who work there that “They are amazing ladies and loved by all.”
  • Nike: Headquarters, Beaverton, Oregon. Sporting goods and apparel manufacturer and retailer. They hire for associate merchants, store managers, software engineers and research analysts. Nike works to keep older workers happy and active.

In Conclusion

If you are an older person frustrated with the job search we hope that the information we provide will shed light on the situation and provide a more positive frame of mind. While there is a lot of negative news regarding the job prospects for people over 50, there is also positive news.

If you are looking for a work-from-home opportunity that doesn’t discriminate, click here!

Comments

We love comments so be sure to leave yours below. If you have experiences job seeking you’d like to tell us about, we’d love to hear about them!

Where can I find a job? – Top cities 2018

Where can I find a job? Top cities for job opportunities

So, you’re over 50 and you’re ready to reenter the working world or switch careers. And, you might even have the flexibility to move to a different city or state. You’ve probably asked yourself “where can I find a job?”

As you might have guessed, some cities are hot job market cities right now. So, here is a list of a few of them and a little information about each to help you choose your new place to live and work,

1. San Jose, Californiasan jose

Population (Metro): 2 million

Median Home Value: $609,500

Ranking Job Market favorability: 1

Salary ranking: 35

Work-life balance ranking: 3

Job security and advancement ranking: 5

Overall score: 100.0

Other facts about San Jose:

  • It is illegal for grocery stores to use plastic bags.
  • Thought to be California’s oldest settlement (1777).
  • One of the most educated cities in the country.
  • Considered the third safest city in the US.
  • It is illegal for animals to mate in public if they are closer than 1,500 feet to a church, bar or school.
  • Great weather – the sun is out 300 days per year.
  • Most concentrated tech center in the world.
  • The rock band the Doobie Brothers originated in San Jose.

2. San Francisco, CaliforniaSan Francisco

Population (Metro): 4.727 million

Median Home Value: $799,600

Job market favorability ranking: 2

Salary ranking: 34

Work-life balance ranking: 5

Job security and advancement ranking: 6

Overall score: 83.3

Other facts about San Francisco:

  • San Francisco’s cable cars are the only historic landmark that can move.
  • The official instrument of San Francisco is the accordion.
  • It is built on 43 hills.
  • San Francisco Bay is considered the largest land-locked harbor.
  • The original name is Yerba Buena which means good herb or good grass.
  • Filbert Street between Hyde and Leavenworth is the steepest street (31.5 degrees).
  • The bear on the California state flag is modeled after Monarch, the Grizzly who lived in Golden Gate Park.
  • San Francisco ranks 4th for the number of billionaires living in the city after New York, Moscow and London.

Boston

3. Boston, Massachusetts

Population (Metro): 4.836 million

Median Home Value: $393,600

Job market favorability ranking: 13

Salary ranking: 16

Work-life balance ranking: 10

Job security and advancement ranking: 13

Overall score: 65.4

Other facts about Boston:

  • The Boston Common has been around since 1634 and is the oldest public park in the country.
  • Revere Beach is the county’s first public beach.
  • Boston built America’s first subway in 1897.
  • Fenway Park which opened in 1912 is the oldest original major league baseball stadium still in use.
  • Boston is home to Harvard – the first college in North America (founded 1636).
  • Over 1/3 of Boston’s population are college students.
  • Christmas was not a legal holiday until 1856.
  • Boston’s nickname is “Beantown.”

San Diego4. San Diego, California

Population (Metro): 3.337 million

Median Home Value: $463,300

Job market favorability ranking: 18

Salary ranking: 46

Work-life balance ranking: 4

Job security and advancement ranking: 2

Overall score: 59.1

Other facts about San Diego:

  • The country’s first drive-in restaurant, Oscar’s was opened in San Diego.
  • Was home to Dr. Seuss.
  • San Diego County is home to the most missions in the country.
  • Fines are issued if you leave your Christmas lights up after February 2.
  • The US Navy is the biggest employer.
  • The San Diego Chargers have never won a Superbowl.
  • San Diego imports 168 million gallons of water per day.
  • San Diego has excellent climate year-round.

LA5. Los Angeles, California

Population (Metro): 13.353 million

Median Home Value: $471,000

Job market favorability ranking: 26

Salary ranking: 47

Work-life balance ranking: 1

Job security and advancement ranking: 3

Overall score: 57.7

Other facts about Los Angeles:

  • Oil was discovered in 1892 near what is now Dodger Stadium.
  • The LA Coroner’s office has a gift shop.
  • Beverly Hills started out as a lima bean ranch.
  • It is illegal to lick a toad in Los Angeles.
  • It is illegal to drive more than 2,000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard.
  • Los Angeles has more cars than people.
  • LAX is the second busiest airport in the US.
  • Eldred Street in Highland Park is the steepest street in California (Yep, steeper than Filbert Street in San Francisco) with a 33% elevation grade.

Minneapolis

6. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Population (Metro): 3.6 million

Median Home Value: $205,300

Job market favorability ranking: 3

Salary ranking: 17

Work-life balance ranking: 21

Job security and advancement ranking: 26

Overall score: 55.4

Other facts about Minneapolis:

  • Minneapolis is the nation’s third most literate city (topped by Seattle and Washington DC).
  • It has the highest number of golfers per capita in the nation.
  • The nation’s first armored car was built in Minneapolis.
  • Minneapolis has no sales tax on clothing and accessories.
  • An average of 10,000 cyclists use the bike lanes every day.
  • Recording studio, “Sound 80” created the first digitally released audio recording – The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra performing Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.
  • There are over 20 lakes within the city limits.
  • Charles Schulz, creator of “Peanuts” was a native.

7. Sacramento, Californiav

Population (Metro): 2.324 million

Median Home Value: $238,500

Job market favorability ranking: 23

Salary ranking: 11

Work-life balance ranking: 11

Job security and advancement ranking: 18

Overall score: 50.6

Other facts about Sacramento:

  • Sacramento has a large underground network of tunnels.
  • It gets really hot in the summer
  • Sacramento processes more almonds than anywhere in the world.
  • It is second, only to Paris, for the number of trees per capita in the world.
  • It is the birthplace of the Pony Express.
  • California had several capitol cities before Sacramento.
  • Sacramento evolved from the California gold rush.
  • It is considered an environmentally friendly city.

Miami

8. Miami, Florida

Population (Metro): 6.158 million

Median Home Value: $224,600

Job market favorability ranking: 45

Salary ranking: 48

Work-life balance ranking: 2

Job security and advancement ranking: 1

Overall score: 46.5

Other facts about Miami:

  • Gets its name from the Mayaimi tribe which is native to the area.
  • Miami is the only major US city founded by a woman – Julia Tuttle.
  • Home to one of the world’s largest collection of art deco architecture.
  • Known as the Cruise Capital of the World.
  • Miami has more than 800 parks and is surrounded by Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.
  • The first Burger King opened in Miami in 1954.
  • 22,000 New Yorkers move to Miami every year.
  • It has snowed once in Miami in its recorded history – January 19, 1977.

9. Seattle, WashingtonSeattle

Population: (Metro) 3.867 million

Median Home Value: $452,800

Job market favorability ranking: 6

Salary ranking: 18

Work-life balance ranking: 32

Job security and advancement ranking: 34

Overall score: 43.5

Other facts about Seattle:

  • The Boeing Aircraft Company was founded in Seattle.
  • It is the birthplace of Starbucks coffee (I know one of the founders – Zev Siegl).
  • When the space needle was built in 1962, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
  • Seattle has the world’s longest floating bridge.
  • Home to the world’s first gas station – opened in 1907.
  • Seattle is ranked the most literate city in the country.
  • More sunglasses are bought per capita than any city in the country.
  • Seattle’s Pier 52 ferry terminal is the busiest in the country.

WA DC

10. Washington, D.C.

Population: (Metro) 6.216 million

Median Home Value: $475,800

Job market favorability ranking: 20

Salary ranking: 49

Work-life balance ranking: 6

Job security and advancement ranking: 4

Overall score: 42.8

Other facts about Washington DC:

  • Residents drink more wine per capita than any US state.
  • There is an empty crypt beneath the Capitol Building.
  • Three alligators have lived in the White House.
  • Residents of DC could not vote for president until 1961.
  • Was built on a mosquito-infested swamp.
  • Baseball’s seventh inning stretch originated here when President William Howard Taft stood up to stretch his legs and everyone else stood up out of respect.
  • DC averages 39 inches of rain every year – more than Seattle.
  • The Library of Congress is the biggest in the world.

Conclusion:

We hope this information is helpful if you are moving to take a new job in one of these cities. It is never to late to start anew!

We love comments so please leave yours below. If you have other facts about any of these cities to share, we would love to hear from you!

Healthy Living Tips for Seniors – the Chris Method

Senior coupleIf you are going to reenter the working world or start your new business, you’ll want to know these healthy living tips for seniors. After all, you’ll be more successful with a fit body and a sharp mind.

So, I’m going to talk about what I personally do to stay healthy at age 65. I will admit, I sometimes fall off the wagon and don’t follow my own advice. No one is perfect. However, if you have a plan, it’s always easier to get going again.

Foods to avoid (or cut back on considerably)Avoid

There’s so much information on diet it’s enough to drive you crazy! And, so much of it is contradictory. However, I have learned what is best for me and you will likely do the same.

  • Meat: I’m a vegetarian but I don’t expect you to become one. This is for the simple reason that meat eating seems to be embedded in our DNA. However, we eat way too much and that’s not healthy. My recommendation is to do whatever you can to reduce your intake of meat. Here’s the good news. There are delicious vegetarian substitutes available. So, keep a close eye out for these brands when visiting your supermarket:
    • Beyond Meat (Their Chicken Strips are especially tasty).
    • Tofurky.
    • Yves – really good cold cuts.
    • MorningStar Farms
    • GardenBurger (many varieties – some especially tasty)
    • Impossible Foods. I haven’t tried their products yet because they are not available here in Seattle. However, I’m very excited to do so. I hear that they have a hamburger patty that even the most ardent carnivore would think is meat!

Seattle is full of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. If you are living in or near a significant urban area, you can probably find them as well.

  • Processed Sugar: There is no doubt about it. We are overdosing on sugar! It seems to be in just about everything. So, why do so many food manufacturers put it in their products. Because, it is cheap and ADDICTING!

As a smart consumer, it is your job to read labels very carefully to make sure there is only a small amount or no sugar at all in the product you’re purchasing. Also, it is good to know that food manufactures are sneaky. Thus, watch for diversions such as “cane juice.” It’s still sugar. Sugar causes all kinds of health problems like diabetes, obesity and cancer.

You may never be able to totally eliminate processed sugar, but you can definitely reduce your intake considerably.

  • Processed Foods: You can find a ton of these in your frozen food aisle. What is so bad about them? They are generally stripped of nutrients and have too many added, unhealthy ingredients. Take a look at the label. Here’s a rule of thumb: The more ingredients listed on the packaging, the more additives there are and thus, the less healthy they are.
  • Empty carbs: This is another thing we eat WAY TOO MUCH OF. You’ll find these in white bread, white rice, donuts, cookie and just about any prepackaged sweet item.
  • Dairy: My advice, eat/drink as little as possible. If you stop and think about it, it’s really weird that humans are the only animal to drink the milk of other animals (no, your cat is actually not supposed to drink milk).

veggies and fruitFoods to Eat

Vegetables: You heard it a million times while you were growing up, “eat your vegetables.” Well, there’s a great deal of wisdom in that statement. Admittedly, it’s hard to get enough. But, you can never eat too much! As far as I know, all veggies are good veggies but I always go for organic. And, as they say, go for the rainbow of colors – green, red, yellow, orange, etc.

My advice is eat as many as you can!

Fruit: Fruit is also a food group you should eat daily but probably not as much as veggies because of the sugar (although not the dreaded processed sugar as mentioned before!) Again, I always go for organic. Also, better to eat the whole fruit instead of drinking the juice. However, if juice is the only thing available, go for it (but don’t overdo it).

Whole grains: Whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa.

Nuts: I eat as much of these as I can get a hold of.

Beans: Again, I eat as much as I can get!

Soy: Not everyone can eat it but for a vegetarian like me, it’s great!

So, if I were to always eat in what I consider a ‘healthy way”, the above would be my diet. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me. Perhaps you can tweek things a bit to make it work for you.

Supplements: I don’t know a lot about them but I do recommend Emergen-C vitamin supplement to mix into water. It comes in several flavors and is loaded with vitamins!

Alcoholbeer

To me, alcohol is a tricky subject. Mostly you hear about the benefits of alcohol used in moderation. I belong to this camp. It just so happens that I love beer. However, in my experience, any more than one drink a day can slow you down.

Of course, we all are aware of the disastrous results of drinking too much alcohol.

CoffeeCaffeine

Here’s another of those tricky ones. You hear about the benefits of caffeine but in my experience you can definitely overdose. I try to keep it to a cup of drip coffer per day or no more than two shots of espresso. I drink it in the morning to give my brain a jumpstart!

Exerciseweightlifter

I’m a big advocate for both cardio exercise and weight resistance. You can’t deny the benefits of exercises like running, swimming and tennis. They strengthen the heart and lungs. And, as you age, I feel it’s absolutely essential that you engage in some kind of weight training – even with light weights.

The older you get, the more muscle mass you loose and this leads to all kinds of problems like frailty. Weight training helps you maintain that essential muscle mass. But, I don’t believe you need to overdo it unless you are trying to become the senior body-building champion of the world!

dog sleepingSleep

Sleep requirements really seem to vary from person to person. I probably need more than most. Thus, I sleep nine hours a night as a general rule. In any case, sleep is absolutely essential for good health. As you know, getting older often equals more sleep difficulties.

One such problem is sleep apnea where you actually stop breathing and then choke or snort to start again. You should most definitely see a sleep specialist about this. Another is particular on to the male of the species – enlarged prostate. What does this mean for sleep? If you are a man over 50 you may already know that it causes at least one to several trips to the bathroom per night to urinate. And there is nothing that ruins a good sleep like frequent bathroom trips.

Meditationmeditation

Sometimes, you just have to slow the mind down and get centered. Meditation helps with this. If you can find a quiet, calm spot even for a few minutes, sit down and clear the mind.

brain working outBrain Fitness

I like to say “ya gotta keep moving and that means both the body and the mind.” What good is a healthy body if your brain isn’t up to speed? There are so many ways you can keep your brain fit:

  • Reading
  • Puzzles
  • Brain Teasers
  • Trivia
  • Board games
  • Luminosity.com – check it out because it has wonderful exercises for the brain.

Personally, I do crossword puzzles, write and perform music (guitar and singing) draw and paint.

In Conclusion

So, these are my healthy living tips for seniors – the Chris method. Remember, it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks and you want to stay healthy as long as possible.

We love comments! Please leave yours below!

 

Best Work From Home Jobs For Seniors

Want to work from home?Gal sitting in office

You’re retired and perhaps you are looking for ways to make extra income. Or, maybe you don’t need the income but would like to be productive and engaged. However, you don’t want to commute to an office (undoubtedly you have had enough of that). So, you’re thinking about working from home. And, perhaps you are asking “what are the best work from home jobs for seniors?”

The growth of technology has greatly increased the work-from-anywhere opportunities. Furthermore, there are more companies that connect home workers with employers.

As a retiree, you likely have a long record of employment and many unique skills. Also, you have a more developed work ethic and a higher level of education than younger generations. As a result, you are a very good candidate for all kinds of employment.

scamWatch out for the scams

First of all, it can be hard find legitimate work from home jobs. That’s because there are so many scams out there. Of course, these scams have been around for decades – even before the internet. However, the Federal Trade Commission has seen the number of complaints regarding scams double in the past few years.

The two leading red flags that indicate scams are:

  • The promise to earn more than you have ever dreamed. I’m sure you’ve seen them – “Earn $1,000 a day today, no experience necessary.” or “Make $20,000 per month working just a few hours a day!” These are likely get-rich-quick schemes. Furthermore, they are designed to drain your pocketbook, not add to it.
  • You are asked to pay for the privilege of working. Christine Durst, an internet fraud and safety expert says that payment to work is rarely acceptable.

But, hey, you’ve been around the block a few times and know how to recognize a scam when you see one.

How to prepare for working from home (Remote jobs)Prep Key

Assess your skill set: Has it been a while since you’ve worked? If so, you must consider that things are changing rapidly. You may discover that you need to bring your skills up-to-date. Thus, you might need new certification, classes or even a degree.

Make sure you have basic computer skills: Also, you will need a laptop or desktop computer and a fast, reliable internet connection. In addition, there are other tools to learn. For example, you will need to know various collaboration programs like Google docs and other applications inherent in your field.

Conduct a trial run: That is to say, see if at home work is right for you. Set up your home office, learn new programs, study the latest innovations in your chosen industry. Get a feel for working from home before you make the plunge.

Concentrate on your experience and what you bring to the job: No question. Age discrimination exists. However, there is good news. Many employers recognize the value that older workers bring to the table. As an older worker, you take pride in hard work and doing your job well. Also, you have strong communication skills. Furthermore, you are mature and that means you are able to handle the sticky situations because of your experience and poise.

Who are the companies that hire remote workers?Hired

FlexJobs is a company that vets different kinds of flexible job listings which include part-time, telecommuting and freelance. In 2017, it released a list of the top 100 companies that offered the highest number of such jobs. To see that list go to https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/01/31/work-from-home-in-2017-the-top-100-companies-offering-remote-jobs/#6b4e760242d8FlexJobs.

These kinds of opportunities seem to be increasing. As a matter of fact, the percentage of workers doing all or some of their work at home increased from 19% in 2003 to 24% in 2015 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 68% of US workers say they expect to work remotely in the future.

Industries that are most likely to offer remote jobs include computer and information technology, medical, health, finance, government, customer service, education/training and sales.

ideaHere are three ideas for work from home jobs for seniors

Online Juror: Online companies such as eJury, OnlineVerdict and JuryTest pay you to sit on mock juries and give feedback on cases. You sign up for this online and when an attorney needs a juror that matches your demographics you are contacted via email.

An attorney posts a case on a secure website for you to review. You might listen to audio, view video or read material. Then you submit a verdict. Once a minimum number of verdicts has been submitted the case concludes.

The pay usually starts at $10 per case and can go to $100 per case depending on the investment of time. A case can take from 20 minutes to an hour

To be eligible:

    • You must be a US citizen.
    • Be of sound mind and good moral character.
    • Be able to read and write.
    • Have a clean criminal record

Online Tutor: This is a growing area because of the uber-competiveness in college admissions. Subjects in demand include:

    • World History
    • Physics
    • Math
    • English
    • Foreign Language
    • Preparation for standardized tests such as SAT and GED

Tutor.com is an online employer that offers one-on-one help to students. The student connects with the appropriate tutor inside a secure classroom. Then, the student and tutor can chat utilizing instant messaging. Also, problems can be drawn on an interactive white board, files shared for review and resources found through web search.

Hours for this job are flexible. Some firms ask that you put in a least five hours per week.

Hourly rates range from $10 – $14 based on experience. Private tutors can earn around $20 per hour with some making as much as $65 per hour

You do not need teacher certification to be eligible. It is your professional experience that opens doors. Generally, you are given an online exam in the subject you wish to teach prior to employment. Also, you must pass a third-party background check.

Virtual Assistant: In this position you provide administrative, technical or creative assistance to your clients. Common modes of communication are email, phone conferences and technology such as Skype and Google Voice.

Clients post details about the types of task they want to fulfill and the maximum rate they will pay, Freelance workers then bid on the job and submit work samples. Video conferences are also set up for interviewing purposes.

For the client, the advantage of hiring a virtual assistant is flexibility because they can contract just for needed services.
Virtual assistants earn anywhere from $10 to $29 per hour. The average in the US is $16.27 per hour.

Typically, five years of experience in areas such as executive assistant, office manager, secretary, legal assistant, Paralegal and information technology is required.
It is estimated that there are between 5,00 and 25,000 virtual assistants worldwide.

In Conclusion

I have listed the above positions as the best work from home jobs because they are more unusual and interesting than the typical “customer service” positions you are likely to hear about.

With the growth in technology it seems that opportunities to work from home will increase. Also, if you live in an urban area, you probably don’t want to deal with the traffic and other hassles of commuting.

Remember, watch out for the scams, assess your skills and experience. Then, get to work!

By the way, click here for another one of our best work from home jobs.

We love comments! Please leave yours below. Feel free to tell us about your own experiences.

Thank you!

Is Age Discrimination Real?

Age discriminationWhat is Age Discrimination?

If you are on my website you are likely over 50 and maybe you have asked “Is age discrimination real?”

Yes it is. However, it is difficult for you to prove it.

This website is all about finding employment and business opportunities. So,  I will talk specifically about age discrimination in the workplace.

Age discrimination in the workplace happens when you are the recipient of an adverse employment action because of your age. This includes:

  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Reduction in Hours
  • Reduction in Responsibilities

Age Discrimination in the Workplace

“Age discrimination in the workplace has always been harder to identify and quantify than race and sex discrimination,” writes Michael Winerip in the New York Times. “Blacks and women have experienced a long history of being underpaid, which researchers can calculate.”

So, why do people, especially in the workplace, discriminate against older people? I suppose it depends on the situation but I think there are consistent reasons.

First of all, our culture (and I am sure many others) obsesses over youth. Conversely, we avoid the representation of older people. After all, people don’t want to think about the aches and pains that might come with age. Further, they view aging as ugly. And, ultimately, it means that you deal with your own mortality.

In the workplace, potential employers are likely to believe that older workers aren’t as flexible or as easy to train. Maybe they think the older job applicant will leave if a better offer comes along. Of course, these reasons are terribly misguided.

Can You Prove Age Discrimination?

According to Legalmatch.com there are two kinds of age discrimination:

  • Disparate treatment: An employer intentionally treats you differently because of your age.
  • Disparate impact: When a policy (that seemingly appears neutral) has a disproportionately negative impact on older workers.

Federal law says you have a prima facie age discrimination case if you can prove:

  • You are 40 years old or older.
  • You are qualified for the job.
  • Your employer took an adverse employment action.
  • Someone substantially younger replaced you.

Furthermore, there are different kinds of evidence you may use to prove your case. Rarely, do you have direct evidence of discrimination. For example, if your boss demotes you because of your age, then that is direct evidence.

However, few people are this stupid and unaware. Actually, it is more likely that you will cite circumstantial evidence such as a pattern of demoting and firing older workers.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) covers federal age ADEAdiscrimination claims. It is a US labor law that forbids discrimination against anyone 40 years or older. In 1967,  President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill into law. Depending on where you live, state and municipal laws may also apply.

However, with all this in mind, it is still incredibly difficult to prove discrimination. The 2009 Supreme Court Decision, Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. made it even harder.

The court ruled against the plaintiffs who claimed they were targets of age discrimination under the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

The court held the plaintiffs to a stricter standard of proof than those pursuing claims under other anti-discrimination laws.

Actual Examples of Age Discrimination

Here are a few examples of actual age discrimination:

  • In Fresno, California, Timeless Investments, Inc. was conducting business as the EZ Trip Golden State Convenience and Auto/Truck Plaza. In this particular case, the employer passed over older job applicants  in favor of younger candidates. This case was easy to prove.

The employer instructed older applicants to write their age at the top of the job application. However, they didn’t ask the younger applicants to do the same. Obviously, this employer was not only prejudiced but also stupid.

Subsequently, the older applicants were denied employment. The EEOC took this case. Then they settled a suit against Timeless Investments, Inc.

  • In Hawaii, the EEOC brought suit against Hawaii Healthcare Professionals. Specifically, an employee complained her owner fired her after he  made negative remarks about her age. She accused the him of making remarks such as “looks old” “sounds old on the telephone” and “like a bag of bones.” It is amazing that someone in a position of authority would make such remarks.

They gave a monetary award to the plaintiff. Subsequently, they ordered Hawaii Healthcare Professionals to train all staff regarding age discrimination.

  • The EEOC filed suit against Wal-Mart when an employee complained that a supervisor taunted him because of his age. The company subsequently fired him. EEOC also charged that the employer did not make reasonable accommodations for his disability. Wal-Mart agreed to pay monetary damages. Furthermore, EEOC told Wal-Mart to retrain employees in the area of age discrimination, harassment and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
  • In Sacramento, California, Trinity Protection Services, violated federal law. They favored younger females and dismissed older males for armed security guard positions. This firm dismissed four men, ages 66 – 73 and three women ages 28, 29 and 50. They said it was  because of their scores on an arms requalitification test. They  told the males to wait six months before retaking the test. However, they  asked the females to return earlier. Trinity stated that it brought back the younger women because of a shortage of employees.

But an investigation by EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) found that this was indeed discrimination.

Stop DiscriminationWhat You Can Do About Age Discrimination

Laurie McCann, senior attorney for AARP says that often people who are victims of age discrimination don’t pursue it. They decide they will spend their financial and emotional resources  looking for a new job instead of getting their old one back. However, with a group layoff, there is strength in numbers. People can pool their money and work together.

If you are included in a group layoff or series of layoffs, you may be able to find statistical evidence to support your claim. The Older Worker Benefit Protection Act, requires employers to give employees who are being laid off information that will determine if the layoffs are being targeted to older people.

Furthermore, compiling anecdotal evidence can be helpful.

Lori B. Rassas, the author of Employment Law: A Guide to Hiring, Managing and Firing for Employers and Employees, recommends that you keep a journal as soon as you get any hint that a layoff may be coming. Furthermore she says, “When you’re fired, it’s too late.”

It is hard to win a discrimination case after you have lost your job. However, it is even more difficult to prove you weren’t hired for a job because of your age.

With either of these discrimination claims it is hard for you to prove discrimination. This is  because the proof means showing what’s in the mind of the person who fired you or failed to hire you.

In Conclusion

Is Age discrimination real? As you can see, it is. And, while it is difficult to prove, there are steps you can take.

By the way, here is a business opportunity you can pursue. And, you won’t find a hint of age discrimination. Click here.

We love comments! Please leave yours below.

 

 

Start a hobby

HobbiesHow to start a hobby

So, now that we’ve talked at length about working and business, let’s take a break and talk about hobbies. Would you like to start a hobby? Have you ever had one? Do you have interests that could be turned into a hobby? Maybe there is something you have always wanted to do but thought you didn’t have the time or the resources for it.

After all, you can’t work all the time.

Anyway, I would like to share with you the hobbies I have acquired in my “old age.” Perhaps one of these will be just right for you or inspire you to start a hobby.

Painting/Drawinggal painting

I started painting a drawing when I was around 50. I am not sure if I have talent or not. However, I can say that this is another one of those very satisfying endeavors in which I become completely absorbed. Also, painting and drawing are very therapeutic. Furthermore, they bring about focus and calm the mind. As a matter of fact, I can literally spend hours on a piece and not be aware of the passage of time.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this hobby. Indeed, all that is needed for drawing is pencil and paper and perhaps a physical subject or photographic reference. However, painting can be a different story. For this you will need paints, brushes and painting surfaces such as canvases. The costs for these things can run up pretty fast so look for the good deals.

There are a variety of other low cost mediums available that I use. These include pen & ink, colored pencils and charcoal.

cameraPhotography

Let me tell you, there is nothing more fun than venturing out into the world to capture great photos. For a period, I was a photo hobbiest and enjoyed it immensely. It very satisfying to rise early in the morning and drive 3 hours to Mt. Rainier for those beautiful sunrise shots or walk around the streets of downtown Seattle to take in the cityscapes.

Obviously, you need a good camera, probably something very portable like an SLR or range finder and of course, a good, sturdy tripod. Unlike in my day, you no longer need the expense of film and film developing because everything is digital.

The one great thing about the cameras of today as opposed to just 20 years ago is that you can see exactly what you are getting in terms of a photo.

Anyway, to show for my efforts I have boxes of color slides and prints that I may someday organize and turn into digital images.

Singer/Songwriterguitar guy

About 10 years ago I took up songwriting and musical performance. I had always played the guitar but had never actually written a song. Furthermore, I didn’t know how to sing and was absolutely terrified at the prospect of playing in front of people. Well, 10 years later, I have probably performed a couple hundred times, written over 100 songs and developed a fairly strong singing voice. I now consider myself a singer/songwriter.

I can tell you that it is a real thrill to be in front of an audience pouring out my heart through my music.

Is this something you would consider? Have you always wanted to sing or play and instrument? Do you think you may have a knack for performing? Maybe you would like to give this a try! There is a comment section below so feel free to ask me any questions you would like about this.

In Closing

I talk about hobbies to emphasize the importance of occupying the mind with non-work related projects. I believe that keeping the mind active through creativity is healthy and a way to bring meaning into your life. Furthermore, I think it is especially important to keep the mind engaged as you age. So, start a hobby!

I love comments so please leave your below. I would love to hear about your hobbies

Three Unusual business opportunities

Three unusual business opportunities

Here are three types of unusual businesses opportunities that you might consider. Interestingly enough, they all involve animals. If these don’t peak your interest, they might at least get your imagination going for new ideas!

Cat CafésCat Cafe

A cat café is a themed cafe where patrons can interact with cats. Yep, that’s a thing and can certainly be included under the heading of unusual business opportunities. The world’s first cat café, “Cat Flower Garden” started Taipei, Taiwan, in 1998. As a result, it became a craze in Japan where the first one was opened in Osaka. From 2005 to 2010, 79 cat cafes opened in Japan

Japan tends to be crowded and many people live in small apartments where pets aren’t allowed. For pet-loving Japanese who seek companionship and stress relief, the cat café is the answer.

Today, many countries boast cat cafés. These include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

There are two ways cat cafés make money. One is to have a cover charge for playing with the cats and provide complimentary refreshments. The other involves a lower cover charge with paid refreshments

Other than the monetary benefits, the purpose of a cat café is to raise awareness of animal issues and pet adoption. As a matter of fact, some cafés are set up for the purpose of adoption.

If you decide to operate a cat café business, here’s what you need:

  • Obviously, a love and respect for cats
  • Ability to operate a cat adoption business
  • Cat interaction area
  • Private area for cats
  • Cat living expenses
  • Veterinary care
  • Ability to run a food service business
  • Purchasing or leasing a space
  • Food and drink service equipment
  • People food and drink
  • Business licensing
  • Health inspection

Is there training for a cat café business?

As a matter of fact, there is. Here are some resources:

How much can I charge customers?

This varies. For example, Crumbs and Whiskers in Washington, D.C. charges $18 to $22 for a 70-minute visit. Meanwhile, Cat Café Madison in Madison, Wisconsin charges $7 for a 60-minute visit. Of course, Washington, D.C. is a very expensive city so operating costs are higher than in Madison. Your charge will likely be based on your operating costs as well.

How can I promote my business?

One of the best ways to promote your new business is by hosting events. These might include lectures on cat-related topics, cat-oriented meet ups and yoga with cats.

You will also need a website.

If you are interested in finding out more contact the Cat Café Embassy at 416-844-0646.

pooping dogPooper Scooper Services

Here’s another in our list of unusual business opportunities. Yes, it’s a growing business because so many households have one or more pets. Furthermore, the people who own them have disposable income (get it?) for this kind of service. And, as much as people love their pets, they just don’t want to pick up their poop (I wonder why?). This business tends to focus on yard pet waste as opposed to public waste (In most places, at least in the US, people are required to pick up the waste of their own pet from public areas).

The pooper scooper business is one of the fastest growing in the pet industry sector. As a matter of fact, the pet waste business has become so large that it has its own professional organization called the Association of Pet Animal Waste Specialists (APAWS).

According to a report by Packaged Facts, sales for pet’s waste products reached 3.5 billion in 2015 and it continues to grow.

There are an estimated 83 million pet dogs and 90 million cats in the US. One pooper scooper business estimated the amount of waste they can produce would fill 5,000 football fields ten feet deep. Visualize that if you will!

What do I need to start a pooper scooper business?

So, you may be asking, “What do I need to start a pooper scooper business?” Fortunately, this business is not expensive to enter. Furthermore, you need minimal equipment. This will include rakes, shovels, bags and the possible rental or purchase of a dumpster. Your greatest expense will likely be your vehicle (unless you already have it). A practical vehicle choice is a pickup or van.

In addition to your equipment, you will need to establish your business as a legal entity like an LLC or sole proprietorship (as you would do for any business). You also need to purchase insurance such as liability as accidents could occur while you are working on someone’s property. Additionally, here is a list of other legal documents:

  • Service contract documents
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License and Permit
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Federal Employer Identification Number
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Choose a name for your business as well. Here are some examples of actual pooper scooper businesses:

  • Poopless in Seattle
  • In the Line of Dooty
  • Pain in the Grass
  • The Grand Poobah
  • The Penny Hoarder
  • Super Duper Pooper Scoopers
  • Poop, Scoop and Away

Furthermore, you need to advertise. Where and how you do this is up to you and there are many avenues to choose from including online, newspapers, radio and television. You may want a web page as well. Of course, these cost money. However, there are no cost methods such as leaving your business card at pets stores and veterinary offices.

What can I charge?

The average charge is $10-$15 per visit. This doesn’t seem like a lot but when you consider that one poopy yard doesn’t take that long to service, it’s not bad. If you have a tight geographic area you are servicing, you can get to a lot of yards in one day. As a matter of fact, Scoopers can generally cover 4 to 6 yards per hour.

If you are interested in finding out more about this business, contact Association of Pet Animal Waste Specialists (APAWS) at www.apaws.org.

Rent-a-Goatgoats

This is my favorite among unusual business opportunities. I live in Seattle, Washington, USA. Seattle, like many other areas, is overrun with non-native plant species, particularly blackberries and Ivy. Many times I have happened upon a field or parcel full of happy goats munching on blackberry bushes and clearing the place in short order! You may know that blackberries are full of sharp thorns but this doesn’t seem to matter to these hungry ruminants!

People rent goats specifically for clearing an area of unwanted plants and they are great alternatives to pesticides and herbicides. Furthermore, they are less expensive than the rental or purchase of machinery and the manpower necessary to operate it. They can be used to clear new construction lots, yards and to prevent forest fires by removing brush. And, unlike machinery, they are able to work on steep terrain.

Tammy Dunakin, owner of Vashon Island, Washington’s Rent-A-Ruminant, says the demand for goats to help clear vegetation in the Seattle area has grown exponentially since she started her business in 2004.

How many goats do I need?

That all depends on the size of the jobs for which you contract. You will always need at least two because goats are social and it is absolutely essential that they have the company of others. However, to tackle most jobs you will likely need a lot more than two. Consider that goats typically eat 20% of their body weight a day. So, you will have to calculate how many you need based on the amount of vegetation.

Incidentally, the Boer goat can eat up to 8 pounds of foliage a day.

What do I need to start this business?

  • First and foremost – goats. They range from $75 – $300 depending on sex, age and temperament
  • A barn or stable to house your goats as well as enough property for them to roam
  • Veterinary care
  • Food (not for you, for the goats!)
  • Business licensing
  • Goat transportation
  • Insurance

What can I charge?

One source cites $200 a day for a dozen goats.

If you decide to embark on this business you will also need to advertise. However, there is no better advertising than a herd of goats working the field. You can be sure the sheer cuteness of this spectacle will attract a crowd of onlookers so make sure to have your business cards handy!

Additionally, please remember that goats are sentient, intelligent animals and not commodities. You should always exercise the utmost care for these animals.

In Conclusion

These are just a few unusual businesses. I bet if you scour the web, you will find more. Indeed, with a little thought, you may even be able to come up with unusual business opportunities of your own.

Click here to find another opportunity. It is not necessarily one of the unusual business opportunities, but it is a good one!

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How to have a great job interview

A great job interviewinterview

Now that you’re out there looking, you’re probably wondering how to have a great job interview. Even though you may have had dozens of interviews, its good to get back to the basics of interviewing. You are meeting new people with every interview and for this reason you need to prepare for each one. Furthermore, each company will look for something different and you need to be ready for any question.

Also, if you are an older person who hasn’t interviewed in a while, you must consider that things have changed in the business world.

Following are some tips to prepare for the interview so you can showcase yourself and have a great job interview!

microscopeResearch the company where you will interview

Most companies have a website where you can glean a wealth of information prior to your meeting. You will particularly want to know about their products and services. Furthermore, learning their business mission is important. Additionally, when interviewing, it helps to volunteer relevant information you know about the company even though you are not asked.

Find out what the culture of the company is ahead of time if you can find it. That is to say, what is the social atmosphere? Is it casual? What is the dress code? Is management hands-on or are you more independent? Again, information about company culture may be hard to find prior to your interview. However, if you know someone that has worked for the company, make sure to ask them.

Here is one further tip for a great job interview. Try to find out if you will be interviewed by one person or a panel of two or more. The answer to this may have an effect how you prepare.

Practice and prepare

You know the old saying “Practice makes perfect.” Indeed, it applies just as much in an interview as it does anywhere. You can actually think of the interview as a performance. A good performer knows their lines. So, try to anticipate questions that will be asked and how you will answer them. Say your answers out loud since you will be speaking in the interview. These are effective interviewing skill practices.

Don’t do everything at the last minute before you leave for the interview. Specifically, have your resume ready-to-go, your clothing pressed and firm directions.

Also, bring extra copies of your resume as well as references. Always carry a pen and paper to take notes.

Dress for success

outlandish suit
Maybe not quite this much

I believe that it’s better to overdress for an interview than to under dress. That is to say, even if you suspect the office atmosphere may be pretty casual, consider wearing something that makes you look professional. Jacket and tie for the guys. Ladies, you already know what to wear. Make sure everything is pressed and fresh. Additionally, It’s probably best to keep the jewelry and accessories to a minimum.

Be on time

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the building 10- 15 minutes ahead of time. Use GoogleMaps or MapQuest if you don’t know where you’re going. As an extra precaution, you might even drive to the interview location prior to your meeting. You want to have time to check for the suite number and take the elevator, if necessary. Also, you may want to find the restroom to give yourself one last look in the mirror!

Develop a connection/rapport with the interviewer

In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with very brief small-talk at the beginning of the interview. For example, you might notice a picture or diploma on the wall and make a short positive comment about it. But, keep it short because you mean business! First impressions count. I believe that sales (and you are selling yourself) is most effective when a rapport or connection is made. Additionally, know the interviewer’s name because people like it when others remember. Perhaps you can even pepper it in there a couple times during the interview.

Stay calm

Yes, this is easier said than done but you can do things to help alleviate nervousness. For example, give yourself some extra time before the interview to deep breathe and meditate. The result of this will be calmer nerves and increased focus. While you are in the interview, listening carefully to the interviewer helps take the focus off yourself. This goes a long way towards calming nerves. Also, the more prepared you are the less nervous you will be.

body languageBe aware of body Language

Are you sitting straight up? How about that smile? Equally important is good eye contact. And, here’s my pet peeve – crossed arms. Indeed, you see people do this all the time while having conversations. The consequence of this is that the interviewer may get the impression that you are defensive. In addition, watch the fidgeting in the chair. Remember, body language says a lot about you!

Show enthusiasm

Give a good firm handshake (no wimpy handshakes please!) and look the interviewer in the eye. Speak confidently and distinctly. When the interviewer says something about the job or the company, convey interest by asking questions. At the same time, always be truthful and authentic. This goes a long way toward a great job interview.

Ask questions

Studies show that an employer judges an applicant’s interest in the job by whether they ask questions. Furthermore, asking questions shows that you have done your homework about the company. Asking questions also indicates you have curiosity and a willingness to learn. Again, pre-interview preparation is essential so you can come with the right questions for a great job interview.

Listendog and can

If there is one thing I have learned in life, it’s that people want to be heard. Even if they are in a position of power. Most of us spend way too much time talking and not enough time listening. Besides, when you listen you learn! If the interviewer makes a statement, sometimes it is useful to paraphrase to let them know you are listening. Always get further clarification if you need it. Also, practice the skill of reading between the lines. Sometimes, what is not said is as important as what is said.

Answer the question asked

Again, this comes from effective listening. When you need to answer, take a moment to do so because you want to avoid the ums and ahs. If you have practiced before the interview, you can make your answers concise and to-the-point without rambling.

Talk about what you have done and what you can do for them

Use specific examples of your experience and how you can apply this to your new position. For example, “I was the project manager for Jones, Inc. and we installed the heating systems in 20 office buildings. This experience can be effectively utilized in the project manager position for which I am applying.” Remember, a company hires you because of what you can bring to the table. When you give strong answers that are relevant to the position, it makes for a great job interview.

Close the deal

As a final point, close the deal. That is to say, make sure to ask about next steps in the hiring process and when you can expect to hear their decision. I would end with something like “I feel I am a good fit for this position and believe I can offer a lot to your company. I look forward to hearing from you.” And make sure to say those two magic words “Thank you!”

Follow up

As a final point, always make sure to send a thank-you note. In it, you might even briefly touch on the conversation points and why you are best for the job. In this day and age, email works fine. However, imagine the interviewer’s surprise if they receive a hand-written thank-you through the mail! In any case, send your thank-you within 24 hours.

In conclusion

Keep these points in mind before, during and after your interview. Remember, if you don’t get the job, it’s not the end-of-the-world. Besides, every interview gives you that much more practice that will propel you to a meaningful career.

However, if you really don’t want to interview but are looking for money-making opportunities, click here.

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