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THE OFFLINE SOCIAL NETWORK – Should You Join a Local Professionals Group?

August 8, 2018

Yes. That was a bit quick and presumptuous, but purposefully so. You’re busy. Too busy, maybe, to join professional groups, locally. You’re busy planning for your future, working to improve your present, and living as large as possible. Great.

Why then did we say “yes?” Because those are the exact goals a local professionals group can help you accomplish. Perhaps even with a bit of style. We’ll break it down for you.

PEERS:
Where are you in life? Not physically, but professionally, mentally, and even emotionally? You can learn a lot from those who’ve walked in your shoes already and you can be motivated by those who are going through life with you at the same speed. Like minded professionals working together and creating a community, that’s where these groups excel and are among the biggest benefits.

Breaking past the limitations of the internet, past the trends of “follows” and “connections,” you have the stated purpose of getting to know members of the group as actual people, not just faces or icons. It’s right there in the description — NETWORK, which is both a noun and a verb here. Go to a meeting and start a conversation. That will quickly turn into a connection, a recommendation, and eventually an opportunity. Turns out, 60 to 80 % of jobs are found through personal connections. That’s called having big “social capital,” which is a real term used to describe people in the know with people who know.

And who knows, you might even find a new set of friends. A recent study found that 58% of local professionals polled already belong to a group. Among those who don’t belong to one, 77% are currently looking to join.

PLATFORM:
Local professional groups are the perfect playground for exercising your leadership skills and strengthening talents you hope to flaunt in the workplace someday. For instance, working with new connections on a charity project will not only build you up but showcase your abilities to other people who will be in similar industries and can spread the good word about you, for you. It could lead to freelance or even a new job.

PERKS:
On top of the benefits highlighted above, many local professional groups have distinguished membership incentives such as professional coaching, exclusive deals specific to your business, travel discounts, and even healthcare.

Just remember, the more you put into the community, the more you get out.

Every community is different, but most major cities should have a division of the Young Professionals Organization or a Chamber of Commerce you can look into. Another option is to explore specific interest groups. Do you love the industry you work in, like to work on community events, help people less fortunate, play with animals? Regardless of what you enjoy spending your time on, take the time to search online to see what’s out there.

So:

Are you too busy to join a local professionals group? Yes.

Should you still join a local professionals group? Yes.

Whereas right now you have so little time you don’t know how you’re going to make it; down the road you’ll have more friends, connections, and opportunities than you’ll know what to do with. The strength you’ll get in numbers will carry you so much further than the weight you could carry on your own.

 

3 Steps for Negotiating a Salary

 

Reference Links:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246691 

https://www.alexslemonade.org/blog/2017/04/beyond-linkedin-10-reasons-join-young-professionals-group

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Engineer working on plane propeller
2019-09-30
Top-Earning Majors in the US

Do you know what you want to do for the rest of your life? If you’re like many students, your answer will change as you progress through your college years. Will your career pay well out of the gate, or will it take some time to reach financial success? Some top-earning majors on this list start out with high-earning salaries, while others, such as a business analysis, start out on the lower scale before eventually offering a higher salary as experience grows.     Sometimes your passion is profitable, but if it’s not, knowing what college major to pursue can be hard. This purpose of this blog isn’t to steer you toward a certain top-earning major, but rather to help you make an educated decision based on data. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what careers earn top-dollar in the US.

Highest Starting Salaries

If you’re looking to earn a high salary right out of college, engineering may be the major for you. U.S. News reported that according to PayScale data, these top-earning majors had the highest median starting salaries for workers with a bachelor’s degree:
  1. Electrical engineering. Median starting salary: $71,659
 
  1. Nuclear engineering. Median starting salary: $73,175
 
  1. Chemical engineering. Median starting salary: $73,627
 
  1. Computer engineering. Median starting salary: $74,026
 
  1. Petroleum engineering. Median starting salary: $96,544

PayScale’s Highest Paying Majors of 2019

Data from PayScale’s research confirms US News’s report on engineers’ earnings. Analyzing the overall top-earning majors and not just the highest starting salaries shows engineering jobs are still at the top of the list. The salaries below reflect the median salary for each group described.
  1. Aeronautics & Astronautics
      Salary with 0-5 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $73,100        Salary with 5-10 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $131,600  
  1. Pharmacy
     Salary with 0-5 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $79,600      Salary with 5-10 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $132,500  
  1. Business Analysis
     Salary with 0-5 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $57,200      Salary with 5-10 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $133,200  
  1. Electrical Power Engineering
    Salary with 0-5 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $72,400     Salary with 5-10 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $134,700  
  1. Actuarial Mathematics
    Salary with 0-5 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $63,300     Salary with 5-10 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $135,100  
  1. Political Economy
     Salary with 0-5 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $57,600      Salary with 5-10 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $136,200  
  1. Operations Research
     Salary with 0-5 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $77,900      Salary with 5-10 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $137,100  
  1. Applied Economics and Management
     Salary with 0-5 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $58,900      Salary with 5-10 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $140,000  
  1. Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS)
     Salary with 0-5 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $88,000      Salary with 5-10 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $142,200  
  1. Petroleum Engineering
    Salary with 0-5 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $94,500     Salary with 5-10 years work experience + Bachelor’s degree: $176,900   You can see a full list of top-earning majors according to Payscale here.   Even if you’re not studying one of these top-earning majors, your degree will likely earn you more in the workforce. According to Forbes, the average college graduate will earn around $900,000 more than the average high school graduate throughout their lifetime. Over time, you’ll likely earn the money to pay back your student loans and earn financial independence. In the meantime, focus on your studies and know that in the end, it’ll all be worth it.   If you’re interested in a private student loan to help pay for college, our Personal Loan Advisors are available and would love to speak with you and answer any other questions you may have. Let’s connect.*   *Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply.   NOTICE: Third Party Web Sites Education Loan Finance by SouthEast Bank is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of the websites that have links here. The portal and news features are being provided by an outside source – The bank is not responsible for the content. Please contact us with any concerns or comments.
Girl standing on college campus
2019-09-21
Facing Student Loan Debt? How The Right Job in School Can Land You the Right Job After School

When it comes to landing your first job after graduation and getting a strong foothold on paying back student loan debt, nothing is more important than standing out in the workforce. This doesn’t mean you should equip yourself with a gimmicky resume or a flashy outfit for going on interviews. The way to impress a prospective employer is with experience and skills suited for the position -- not only will this put you on track to paying back your student loan debt, but it will also set you up for long term financial success. When it comes to hunting for a job, college graduates can be put into three categories: ● Those who have waited until after graduation to look for a job. ● Those who have waited for a couple of months (while enjoying their last summer of freedom) before searching for a job. ● Those who have been planning their job search since well before their final exams. The latter understand that in order to give themselves an edge in the job market, they needed to start early.

Gain Work Experience While in College

There is often a catch-22 that applies to looking for a job after college: many entry-level positions require some experience, but you can’t gain experience unless you have already worked in that field. Although there are exceptions, one of the hard facts is that most employers prefer to hire a college graduate who has some work experience to put on the table. So, your best bet is to find part-time work in your chosen field while you are still in school. It might not be easy, as trying to keep up with a full course load and working at the same time can be a challenge. But the reward may be your dream job after graduation. ● Best-case scenario: You find a part-time job related to your field and then use your experience to segue into a full-time position once you have your degree. ● Worst-case scenario: You can’t find a part-time job directly related to your field, but you have demonstrated your ability to hold a job and you have some work experience to put on your resume.

Five Ways to Find the Right Part-Time Work

1. The Federal Work Study Program All federally accredited universities and colleges offer the
Work Study Program. This program matches students with job opportunities which are located both on and off campus. Counselors do their best to pick positions closest to your field of study. These jobs are paid at the minimum wage rate or a little higher and are assigned at a maximum of thirty hours per week. 2. Freelancing If you have certain skills, such as writing or graphic design, you can make some extra cash using freelance sites such as upwork.com and contentrunner.com. The beauty of this kind of work is that you can choose your own hours. There are many internet platforms that are searching for part-time talent – just be sure to research them carefully to avoid scams. Even if you find work that isn’t in the field you are aiming for after college, you will be demonstrating initiative to any prospective employer. 3. Volunteering Volunteering usually means that you won’t get paid, which while admirable, won't make a big dent in your student loan debt. But getting involved with community organizations, charities, animal shelters, etc. shows initiative, a sense of responsibility, and your ability to work with others. It is often easier to find an unpaid position in the field that you want to work in after college through volunteering or an internship. Simply, if you can afford to volunteer you'll likely refine the personal and professional skills that will last a lifetime. 4. Internships Finding internships in your chosen field is one of the best ways to land your dream job after college. Companies love internships because it’s an easy way for them to find talent with hardly any risk or expense on their part. Internships represent the lifeblood of college work experience because nothing beats a hands-on education. The best internship is one that will help you launch your entry-level career.

5. Career Services Department

Most colleges and universities have a Career Services Department whose main goal is to help students fine-tune their professional skills in hopes of landing a great job. From resume tips to mock interviews, they're a wealth of knowledge. Every day they're working with students just like you who have varying amounts of student loan debt and actively want to help you get rid of it! ● Why the Big Companies Aren’t Always the Best Choice: Many academic advisors recommend choosing internships in smaller businesses where they really need hands-on help so you won’t be stuck just making printer copies and coffee runs. Research a few local small to medium-sized companies in your field, and then contact their HR departments to ask whether they have programs for interns. Don’t forget to talk to your professors - they are probably aware of a few good companies that you can contact. As an added perk to employees, many companies are also adding competitive benefits, like tuition reimbursement, helping pay of student loan debt, or providing generous time off. ● When to Start Looking for an Internship - After your freshman year, begin to contact companies that interest you. A good resource is your college’s career-planning office. You may be fortunate enough to be enrolled in a college that offers grants to enable students to accept unpaid (or poorly paid) internships. Or you can consider combining a part-time unpaid internship in the field you want with other work that pays. Fortunately, some high-paying fields also pay their interns quite well, especially if those students are close to graduating.

The Bottom Line

Carefully planning your part-time jobs or internships while you are working toward your degree will give you the best chance of achieving your career goals. And the sooner you begin to earn money out of college, the sooner you can start to pay off your student loan debt. Talk to ELFI about our private student loan offerings by giving us a call today! Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. NOTICE: Third Party Web Sites Education Loan Finance by SouthEast Bank is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of the websites that have links here. The portal and news features are being provided by an outside source – The bank is not responsible for the content. Please contact us with any concerns or comments.
2019-09-19
Adulting Tips: 8 Resume Keys to Help you Score that Next Job

Whether you are in the process of heading off to college, or you are graduated and looking to continue your path to financial freedom through student loan refinancing – the work ethic you developed to get into and through school will be a major part of your continued success. But as you enter or progress through your career, the way you present yourself holds even more weight. It’s time to start thinking of your personal brand. Your resume is a key component of how your personal brand comes across to employers. It’s your first opportunity to impress hiring managers and will determine whether you get that in-person interview. For these reasons, it’s essential that is promotes you in the best light possible. Follow these steps (and avoid these mistakes) to achieve the perfect resume.  

1. Customize it.

Submitting a vague, boring resume is a sure way to get yours moved to the bottom of the stack, or out of the pile altogether. No matter where you are in your career path, whether looking for a part-time job in high school, an internship in college, or applying for a job after school, you should always take the time to customize your resume to the job you’re applying for (check out Huffington Post’s tips for customizing your resume). But remember, a little goes a long way here.  

2. What does your email address say about you? 

Your prospective employer shouldn’t look at your resume and think “this person is cool.” In fact, you probably don’t even want them thinking twice about it. You should always avoid email addresses that use nicknames, profanity, or have humorous connotations. Use a simple email address that consists of variations of your first, middle, and last name. We love the tips on creating a professional email address from Hubspot.  

3. Organize it.

You want the employer’s eyes to be drawn to the most important parts of your resume – so be sure to highlight them and make them prominent. If you’re fresh out of school with no work experience, highlight your academic accomplishments; if you didn’t have a great GPA in school but have good work experience, highlight the experience first. Know what your selling point is and prioritize it over your supporting facts.  

4. Don’t be passive or lazy in your use of language.

Showing laziness in your resume? A recipe for unemployment. Be sure to explain your duties at each job, and don’t sell yourself short. Even if two jobs are similar in nature, be sure to express how the experiences were different because it will exemplify some versatility. Using statements like: "same as above" and "etc." when writing your resume shows poor effort and undersells your experience.   

5. Choose the right font.

Be sophisticated, not flashy. Choose a standard font that will be readable by the hiring manager on their phone, laptop, tablet, or any operating system. Your resume may be scanned by automated applicant tracking software, so using a basic font is probably best. Some common examples of “resume-safe” fonts are:
  • Calibri
  • Arial
  • Garamond
  • Georgia
  • Helvetica
Check out some more tips on choosing font size and weight from Indeed.  

6. Show that you are detail oriented. 

Typos and other errors are one of the most common blunders that would cause a hiring manager to discard a resume. Submitting a resume that has typos only confirms that your attention to detail is lacking. Don’t be that person. Just like your credit score can reflect your attention to detail in your personal finances as you seek out student loans or to refinance student loans, your resume is that short summary of your professional experience. Don’t let a typo drop your score with your future employer.   

7. Why you? 

Most importantly you want to make an impact on a hiring manager. You need to put emphasis on your accomplishments. Think of instances where you achieved success at previous jobs, on classroom projects, or during extracurricular activities. Your goal is to demonstrate measurable successes to the greatest extent possible. Maybe you were you able to help a previous employer increase revenue by 10%. Or you created marketing campaigns in your college courses that five actual companies were able to use and implement. Or you organized a fundraising event that raised funds for a charity in your community. For some inspiration, here’s JobScan’s list of examples of accomplishments you can put on your resume.  

8. Algorithms are everywhere.

Many employers use electronic databases to store applicant resumes, and scanning tools are programmed to look for key terms in your resume. Using the right keywords may help you get noticed and earn an interview. Use the job posting or description to help you determine which keywords, such as specialized degrees, languages, skills, etc, to include on your resume. We hope this Adulting Tip lets helps you score that next big career move. Education Loan Finance is here to help you along your financial journey from funding your college career to refinancing student loans – we want to empower your path to financial freedom.*   *Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply.   NOTICE: Third Party Web Sites Education Loan Finance by SouthEast Bank is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of the websites that have links here. The portal and news features are being provided by an outside source – The bank is not responsible for the content. Please contact us with any concerns or comments.