Is a College Degree Still Worth It?

Pros and Cons of College Education

Is a College Degree Still Worth It?

Excited about the prospect of teaching, Ms. Perez fretted about going deep into debt for a four-year degree. There is reason for concern. Student debt, now estimated at 800.4 trillion nationally, is blamed for financially shackling so many college grads and often banishing them to their parents’ basement.

Debt is surely a big reason that fewer Americans today believe that going to college is a good move. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, only 49% said they believed a four-year degree was worth the time and money, compared with 47% who did not see the value of college. That narrow two-point margin was down from a 15-point spread in favor of college in a survey conducted four years earlier. People between the ages of 18 and 34 were especially skeptical about college. Some 57 percent registered a thumbs down on college, compared to only 29% who saw it as a smart path.

Such sentiments would appear to reflect a disconnect with hard data about the worth of a diploma. College graduates, on average, earn higher incomes, save more for retirement, and experience lower rates of unemployment. Even college grads with student debt are more likely to own a home than those with only a high school diploma.

Tens of millions of Americans have enrolled in college, taken out loans, but left school without a degree. The trap of debt-but-no diploma explains the seeming paradox that those with relatively small loans are much more likely to default than those with large debt. Those with bigger loans were more likely to have finished college and perhaps gone on to graduate school. Those who drop out of college, meanwhile, lack the credentials for the higher-paying jobs needed to repay loans. Some who majored in an esoteric field leave school to find a dearth of jobs. Others were burned by for-profit colleges, which often make big promises, but have very high default rates.

Andrew Merendino grew up in New Jersey with an aptitude for engineering, but a real passion for cooking. Still in high school, he had landed a good gig in the kitchen of a restaurant.

He enrolled in a private school in Pennsylvania with a focus on chemical engineering. He left after six semesters, with his interest in engineering fading and his debt rising. After a stint in a community college, he enrolled at the Philadelphia Art Institute to pursue culinary studies. He dropped out after his loans climbed to nearly $90,000.

He now works as an assistant manager in a pizza place. He earns about $18,000 a year. His loans have gone into default. His credit has been ruined. He continues to be contacted by loan collectors. A recent letter informed him that his income tax refund would be seized as payment for unpaid loans. When he tried to finance a car, his loan history triggered an interest rate of a whopping 26.8%.

Merendino, 29, is resigned to the likelihood that defaulting on his loans means he will never realize his dream of operating his own business or buying a house. It could even be a barrier to his hopes to marry and raise a family someday. “My significant other,” he noted, “would have to be willing to take on my risks.”

The insistence that a four-year degree is the only respected path, a message Merendino absorbed and now rejects, infuriates Maggie Thompson, the executive director of Generation Progress, the youth engagement arm of Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank.

“The drumbeat is so ingrained and it stigmatizes community colleges and trade schools,” she said. “For so many people with debt, but no degree, going to a four-year college was definitely not worth it.”

A study by the Georgetown University Center on Study and the Workforce found that 28% of those with an associate’s degree earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Andrew Hanson, an analyst with the Georgetown center, pointed to a friend who attended Harvard to study engineering and ultimately took a job as a school guidance counselor, earning less than his sister, who earned a nursing degree at a community college.

Janine Forte watched two older siblings enroll in four-year schools and go into significant debt. She took a more frugal route, commuting to Rowan College of Gloucester County in New Jersey and earning her associate’s degree in two years, without borrowing a cent. Shortly after her 20th birthday, she took a job as a paralegal starting at $40,000, an occupation that can climb toward annual earnings of $100,000.

“I got a jump on starting my career,” she said. “I know a lot of people my age who went to a four-year school, racked up a lot of debt and still don’t know what they want to do.” Without debt, Forte was able to buy a new car for a monthly payment that was almost exactly the same as her sister’s college loan payment.

Many students wait until late in college to draw the dots between a field of study and a job. As a mathematics major at Indiana University, Amanda Gault looked at the looming job market and grew anxious. “I have no idea what I’m going to do with this degree,” she fretted.

Quick Facts & Statistics on College Education – 2021

  • In today’s market, 35% of all job offers require at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • In 2019, the unemployment rate among those with a college degree was 2% compared to those with high school degrees at 5.5%.
  • On average bachelor’s degree holders earn 31% more than those with associate’s degrees and an incredible 84% more than those with just a high school diploma.
  • Due to the current crisis, 20% of students who were planning on enrolling in college now are reporting having second thoughts about enrolling in fall 2020.
  • The bachelor’s degree holders are 47% more likely to have health insurance with 74% of their health coverage being contributed by their employers compared to those holding high school degrees.

On a personal level, a college education can be a significant contributor to improving the quality of one’s life by helping one become more resourceful, responsible, and conscientious besides helping them develop knowledge and a particular set of skills in certain areas. These claims are supported by the Lumina Foundation report which established that:

1. College degree holders are demonstrating healthier habits than non-degree holders.

According to the Lumina Foundation report, higher education also means healthier habits which leads to a healthier lifestyle; they reported that based on their studies, the proportion of adults practicing smoking actually significantly decreases with an increase in education:

“The proportion of working-age adults smoking daily falls from 20% of high school graduates without college to 12% of holders of associate degrees, to 5% of those with bachelor’s degrees as their highest education credential, to 3% of holders of graduate degrees.”

Additionally, they continue to support this claim by providing a report from another NHIS survey that established a correlation between college education and exercise as well as college education and healthier eating habits.

2. College-educated citizens provide more help to society through volunteering.

The previously mentioned report showed the additional benefits of college education that assist in generating a better society; the studies showed that while the percentage of high school graduates who volunteered in their society is significantly low – 17%, this number goes way higher for more educated volunteers – 40% of working-age adults with at least bachelor degree participate in volunteering.

Many students see volunteering as a way to gain real-world experience and a chance to sharpen their problem-solving and leadership skills, so they start doing it at college; studies showed that 4% of college graduates (age 25 and above) volunteer each year. According to the last report on the page of the Corporation for National & Community Service, 25.7% of college students volunteered, which is over 3 million volunteers who did 286 million hours of service just in 2015.

Statistics are confirming that students are actually quite right about this: according to a study performed by Careerbuilder, the act of volunteerism is perceived as a valuable asset by over 60% of hiring managers when they are making recruitment decisions. They also confirmed that those who volunteer regularly have a 27% higher chance of getting employment.

3. College degree holders are better citizens: they donate 3 times more to charity.

While many may ascribe this to the fact that college degree holders have higher positions and therefore earn more money, it still doesn’t change the fact that college degree holders donate more.

According to the Corporation for National & Community Service, volunteers are twice as likely to donate to a charity, and college degree holders are 3 times as likely. Lumina Foundation report further adds that college degree holders also are more than twice likely to participate in different social organizations, such as community, school, or religious organizations.

Is College Worth the Cost in 2021?

Considering the current epidemic that shook the entire world and completely changed how the world works, at the beginning of this year, we witnessed many colleges withdrawing already accepted candidates, some waiting to see what happens before they announce their reopening, third already announcing it and others, deciding to start classes online in the fall. Considering how much of a rollercoaster the college news has been, many wonders is college worth it ? Is college necessary , are college degrees worth it in the upcoming years? The answer is yes, and statistics are here to back it up:

4. High school students are reconsidering going to college due to the pandemic.

Canceled classes, withdrawn applications, and pre-accepting candidates, confusing, non-clear messages regarding what colleges will offer this fall are the new reality for many high school students. Therefore, it’s not surprising that many students are reconsidering going to college: a Carnegie Dartlet survey which included 5000 seniors revealed that they are not sure whether they will be able to afford college; another study done in late March by SimpsonScarborough revealed that about 20% of high school respondents who were planning on enrolling in a 4-year college now are reconsidering their decisions.

5. College value will increase in 2020, hence making college degrees more valuable, desired, and needed.

The Guardian reported that in May, “the number of Americans who have lost their jobs in the past 10 weeks soared to more than 40 million” this means that the unemployment keeps on rising; the department of Labor reported that in March the unemployment rate was 4.4%, in April it jumped to 14.7% which is a drastic change and even more drastic is expected in May.

This means millions of people will be searching for jobs as soon as the situation improves, if not earlier; the question that students need to ask themselves then is, how will they be able to fight for a position in the pool of candidates without anything but a high-school degree?

With the Recession expected as an inevitable consequence of all this, it’s worth looking at the statistics from the last one to see the true value of college degrees and employment during the recession: At the peak of the great recession, 5% of bachelor degrees were jobless, compared to more than 3 times – 15.7% of youth workers with a high school degree.

Albeit there may be other factors that will influence the predictions for the 2020 recession for sure, we can’t neglect that college degree holders will most certainly have an advantage over non-college degree holders.

6. Сollege degree pays off and is key to economic opportunity.

If you are wondering are college degrees worth it , the answer is yes! According to the Centre of education and the Workforce, “College pays off over a lifetime, but occupation, gender, race and ethnicity matter too.” We will discuss more of these influences in the pro/con section. Moreover, they also report that a bachelor’s degree is valuable as on average bachelor’s degree holders earn 31% more than those with associate’s degrees and an incredible 84% more than those with just a high school diploma.

Resource:

https://unbound.upcea.edu/innovation/alternative-credentialing/is-a-college-degree-still-worth-it/
https://admissionsly.com/is-college-worth-it/

How to Write an Engaging Thesis Introduction?

thesis introduction

What is a Thesis Introduction?

A thesis introduction is the first chapter of your thesis. It informs the readers about several elements of your paper. These include the research objectives, the scope of the topic, and its usefulness.

Sharpness is the ability to directly communicate what your paper will discuss. It means that you should be specific in your thesis statement about the research aims and what you are going to focus on in your research.

When you are writing your thesis introduction, make sure that what you write is relevant to the topic of discussion. It should help the readers understand the thesis topic clearly and easily.

Last but not least clarity means that what you are going to discuss should be clear in the thesis introduction. You need to ensure that anyone who reads the beginning of your paper would be able to develop a good idea of your research’s aim.

Components of a Good Thesis Introduction

Thesis Introduction Outline

Your introduction must have a hook to interest your readers. It can be in the form of previous researches, an unusual phenomenon that you observed, or something that has made you curious about the subject.

It is necessary to give a background note in order to have a good thesis introduction. It will provide the necessary information about the topic of discussion. It can include previous researches, theories, assumptions, and ideas that are relevant to this paper.

This will present what you are going to discuss. It is usually written in one sentence and this should be stated in simple terms so that it will be clear to the readers what your paper is about.

You have to state the main points of discussion or what you are going to present in your research. You must organize your paper in a way that will be easy for the readers to understand and follow. The main points should be briefly discussed and organized so that they would easily fit in one paragraph.

Resource:

https://gradschoolgenius.com/blog/thesis-introduction

How to Set Up a Home Network- Beginners Guide

SolarWinds Port Scanner

How to Set Up a Home Network- Beginners Guide

Choosing a Wired or Wireless Network

Wired networks use Ethernet over UTP cable and tend to be faster than wireless networks, which is an important consideration if you are a gamer. The simple wired home network diagram below shows a minimum setup with a switch and broadband router.

Simple-Wired-Home-Network-Diagram

Wired Network Advantages

Wired Network Dis-Advantages

Main Uses

Home Wireless Networks

Wireless Network Advantages

Wireless Network Dis-Advantages

Main Uses

Setting up a Home Network -Components and Structure

Today however most home and small home office networks will use a wireless network or mixed network, as most people use Smart phones, and tablets which don’t have Ethernet support.

home-networking-diagram

The home network diagram below shows the structure of a typical small home network

For most home networks the Wireless Router or Hub which connects the network to the Internet will be the main component of the home or small home office network, and in many cases it will be the only component.

DSL Modem– converts digital signals into analogue signals that are suitable for sending over a telephone line. It is usually built into the Internet/broadband router and is not normally purchased as a separate component.

DSL/Broadband Filter– Used to filter out DSL signals from telephone signals so that you can access the internet and use the telephone simultaneously. Often included as part of the connection socket.

Wireless Router Location

The easiest way of testing you signal strength in various locations is to use the inSSIDer Wi-Fi checker which is an App that you can install on your Android Tablet or phone.

The general idea is to place the Wireless router in its preferred location and then move around the house with the inSSIDer Wi-Fi checker, and check the signal strength, and then adjust the location if necessary.

Extending Your Home Network

Home Router Setup

The two important one are the SSID used to access the Router and the router admin password as the default username/passwords are well known, and published on the Internet.

Connecting Wi-Fi Devices

However most modern Wi-Fi routers/hubs support a feature called WPS ( Wi-fi protected setup). Which usually involves pressing a button on the wi_fi router and a corresponding WPS connection button on the Device.

Home Network IP Addresses

IP address provided by the DHCP server are known as dynamic addresses, as they can change. You can also assign addresses manually, and these are known as static addresses.

When you connect to the Internet your device will use an external IP address. This address is the IP address of the router/hub. See Internal vs external IP addresses for a more detailed explanation.

Finding Your DNS, IP, MAC Addresses and Router IP Addess

ipconfig-command-example

Your home router is your gateway to the Internet. When viewing your configuration some devices refer to it as the default router whereas other use the term default gateway.

Splitting Your Home Network

For security reasons you may find the need to split your home network. This is especially true in small business networks like restaurants etc were customers are also given access to the network.

Firewall Configuration on Home Networks

A Firewall functions like a router, and generally what you use on small networks is firewall/NAT router combination in which a single device acts as a NAT router and firewall.

It effectively acts like a one way digital gate blocking access to your network from devices on the Internet, but at the same time allowing devices on your network to connect to devices on the Internet. (schematic diagram below)

Firewall-function-overview

Generally there is no configuration required as the default behaviour is only to allow connections from the local network to the Internet, and not from the Internet to the home network.

How can you test network stability?

Checking network connectivity

Network connectivity should never be lost; period. Apart from being up, it should also be fast and not prone to dropping packets. This can be done using three methods:

  • There are tools out there that help administrators keep track of their networks. One such tool is the Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL). This is an all-in-one network monitoring suite of programs that keep a constant eye on the connectivity between a host network and a test server like Google, for example, which aren’t expected to be down – ever.
  • If you have a grasp of even the basics of networking, you can conduct the test yourself using free tools like Ping and Tracert. If you don’t, keep on reading and we will show you how it is done.
  • Finally, connectivity and health testing can be done using third-party websites like Internet Health Test or Ping Can Be Useful. While these are the easiest way to go, they really don’t give in-depth information about network connectivity issues – at least not for free.

Monitoring network data

Only the right type of data should be transported on a network and not, for example, spam data from an attacker on the outside. In another scenario, servers shouldn’t be backed up during peak processing hours when they could hog the bandwidth.

Administrators should, therefore, keep track of what data packet is passing through their networks. They can use numerous deep packet inspection and network analysis tools found on the market which can be used to keep an eye on traffic and filter it as required.

Maintaining packet speeds across the connection

There shouldn’t be any attrition or loss of data speeds. Packets shouldn’t be dropped because the network is too congested, an access point is not up or performing as well as it should be, or because the specific packets have been blocked by mistake.

Administrators should have a plan as to how much bandwidth is allocated to every aspect of your data transportation – give more to VoIP and less to email traffic, for example, so audio communication doesn’t lag.

Ensuring network protection

Tools for Network Security and Stability

Finally, administrators know that their networks will only be stable as long as people who aren’t supposed to be on them are kept away. If outsiders keep meddling with data, configurations, and authorizations they will soon be able to hijack the network. They can then use it as a springboard for further attacks, hack the devices connected on it, or simply crash it.

Resource:

https://stevessmarthomeguide.com/build-home-network/
https://www.comparitech.com/net-admin/how-to-network-stability-test/
https://www.itprc.com/how-to-find-an-ip-address-on-your-network/

Give Zero F**ks: How to Care Less About What Other People Think

How to stop feeling guilty about unfinished work?

I am pretty good at making sure to take care of myself, because I know it’s important. I can force myself to go for a run, get something to eat, participate in a regular activity that’s not related to academia. But I can’t turn off the voice in my head that keeps nagging me about the work that’s waiting for me back at the office.

This is especially true when there are deadlines and people relying on me to meet them. On top of my research, I have mentees I should be spending more time with, students we won’t be able to hire if I don’t get my grant-writing act together, collaborators who keep asking when I’m going to write up that work we did together last summer. If I don’t do this, nobody else will; it’s not like a normal workplace, where your boss can reassign an important task if you are too overloaded to handle it.

One technique I’ve tried with limited success is to make a daily to-do list that is limited to three items, and tell myself that I’m not allowed to feel guilty about not doing things that aren’t on the list. It works when I’m not terribly busy. but most of the time it doesn’t.

Also related is How should I deal with discouragement as a graduate student? but those answers seem to address how to convince yourself that your efforts are worthwhile. I (usually) realize that my efforts are worthwhile, I don’t know how to convince myself that I’m putting in “enough” effort (whatever that means).

“it’s not like a normal workplace, where your boss can reassign an important task if you are too overloaded to handle it.” I think you have a very idealized image of non-academic workplaces if you think this is the rule. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but if something has to be done, it has to be done, no matter how “overloaded” you are. Like one of my former bosses used to say: if 24h are not enough, you have to work through the night 😉 This is just a bit of perspective from an applied research, but non-academic, context.

“A consequence of working in research is that the end is never in sight – unlike other jobs, there is always more work for you to do. ” -> As Christina said, your view is very idealized. There is not much of a difference regarding the “State of Done” between project based work and academia. A lot of people do week- or even year-long project work; nothing special about your job in that regard 😉 My knowledge of human nature says you are about 25 years old right? This is the age I observed many people seeing themselves in a very special situation (me too) that really isn’t. Time will tell you:)

I’m not sure if this question can really be answered here; the source of guilt can be very straightforward or very deep-rooted and varies greatly from person to person, and dealing with those feelings can range from simple self-reassurance all the way to identifying underlying causes through possible therapy. You’re touching on potentially deep psychological behaviors. Personally, I suggest taking the “little-kid-asking-why” self-examination approach: Why do you feel guilty? Why? Why? Once you get deep enough and hit a wall coming up with answers, you know you’ve gotten to the good stuff!

Unlike other jobs? Maybe you need to reconsider this. Most jobs are never-ending, and many are even completely unrewarding. Imagine retail. You will never “finish” retail. There aren’t even nice sub-tasks to finish.

Give Zero F*cks

Too many times we’re relying on other people’s opinions about us and our choices. The truth us, no one knows you better than you do. Take a day, a week, a year – however long it takes – to decide what you really want (regardless of what other people think you’re capable of), identify what is really good for you (regardless of what other people want for you), and make those convictions more important than anything anyone else says.

Only you can know what the right path is, and as they say, there is a voice that speaks without words. Listen to that voice; that voice is your highest self. Trust your gut, follow your instinct.

Insecurities, fears and doubts about ourselves only have power when we feed them with our attention. The more we pay attention to our insecurities, the more we feed them, and the stronger they become. Stop feeding your insecurities, stop obsessing over your fears, stop playing stories and thoughts about all the doubts and criticisms about your life and your body in your head on repeat. Give zero f**cks to the thoughts that make you feel bad about yourself.

Instead, start feeding your conviction. Start thinking more about the parts of yourself that you love: your creativity, your compassion, your ability to problem solve, your curves. Start obsessing over what you think is great about you – feed those thoughts, repeat those stories. Whatever you feed becomes most powerful; so take the power away from your insecurity and put it back where it belongs. Yes, your mind are strong enough to do that! Stop giving away your power!

Sometimes ignorance – as in ignoring something – really is bliss, especially when that thing is a hateful rant or a judgmental criticism. I learned this the hard way after writing an article on why I’m not ready for marriage even though I’m in a years-long relationship. Reading the comments is rarely a good idea, because other people will always provide over-stepping opinions that will just piss you off. On your instagram and facebook posts, on your blog, on celebrity gossip websites, wherever. If there’s a chance someone has something awful to say about you or to you, just stay away from that. Keep in mind that constructive criticism is very different, and you’ll need to learn that difference in order to grow. (You can usually tell the difference because criticism offers guidance for your potential and comes from people you admire, as opposed to harsh judgments and rudeness from total strangers.)
Only you are in charge maintaining the quality of what you allow into your mind, and that goes for what you read, watch, and listen to.

Validation. A better work environment. Forgiveness. Anything – if you want it, give it to yourself. Trust yourself enough to know which paths and efforts feel right for you, individually. This is about honoring and trusting yourself enough to believe that there are rights and wrongs for you, that there are things you are worthy of (like love), and you’re in charge of putting the rights into your own life.

Empty bank account, in a fight with your sister/bff, you showed up late to work today and your boss has been giving you side-eye. There’s a lot of things that could be going very wrong. Don’t brush it off, don’t try to avoid it; give a little breathing room for circumstances that aren’t going your way. Accept it rather than try to deny that it’s happening, or lying to people about it.

The only thing that can make your life worse when things aren’t going your way is when you don’t let your heart break, don’t allow space for the disappointment or pain, and try to judge yourself as a failure on top of trying to deal with everything going wrong. It’s ok to struggle, it’s ok for things to be a little messy, that’s just life. It’s not ok to make a conclusion about your own worth just because things fall apart. And trust me, they will fall apart now and again. The strongest bridges in the world still need maintenance to hold things together. So things aren’t ok? It’s ok that they aren’t ok, ok? You’re doing the best you can.

The point is that you understand your time and energy are limited. You do not have enough of these to be giving them to everyone and everything around you. Focus on what’s important to you. Be cautious about where you give your attention. You are a powerful, vivacious being and what you allow in your mind and heart ultimately affect the quality of your life. Stop giving your f**cks to things and people that hurt you. Start giving your all to things and people that help you evolve into a better and better you.

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TALK TO AN ADMISSION OFFICER NOW.

Okay so maybe now you’re convinced that you just need to chill out a bit over work and not take your work life so seriously. But how do you do it? It’s not a switch you can just flick off. If someone is are acting like an idiot at work, you can’t just turn that emotion off right? It takes time and practice to chill out so below are a few ways to help:

1.) Remind yourself that your job is for paying the bills, and the lifestyle you want.

Set goals in your personal life. For example for me I want to buy a house, and I know that my job contributes towards saving for that house. This is what my job is for, my job doesn’t define me. Just because a colleague was being dick today doesn’t mean I’m shit, it means I’ve ticked off another day towards getting paid, and towards living in that dream house with my husband.

2.) Remind yourself that there are more senior people than you who can do the caring.

There are leaders in the business who are probably paid more than twice what you earn so let them deal with it. So if they are happy to let the company make the wrong decision or turn a blind eye to problems, why are you caring more than them?

If your company is rotten, you’re not really going to be the one to change that. These are systemic, structural and cultural problems that you alone will not and should not be responsible for fixing.

3.) Put across your opinion, but if they don’t follow up, shrug it off and let them reap what they sow

Again there is a fine balance between not giving a shit at work and caring less. So still use your brain, offer your opinion and practice using your voice. You don’t want to get into a habit of not thinking and not being confident enough to air your views, you may eventually move to another job where people do value your thoughts so you don’t want to lose that muscle. However if your company isn’t listening, then that is their problem. End of.

TALK TO AN ADMISSION OFFICER NOW.

4.) Realise that there is no point constantly trying to prove your value to people who cannot see it

Some things in life you will never be able to change. If your boss or company have labelled you as junior when you’re not junior and they don’t respect or value you then it’s possible you will never be able to change their minds. If you’ve already thrown everything you can at it and there is no improvement accept that they will not change. Don’t get into the downwards spiral of constantly trying to prove yourself. Your 200% effort will become the new 100% and so you’ll have to put in 300% effort and then 400% and so on, just to try and prove you’re more than what they see of you. It ain’t gonna happen. This is when work starts to become your whole life. Don’t let work take over your entire life or let it define who you are or how you feel about yourself.

5.) Try ranting a bit less! Create boundaries between work life and personal life.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to offload frustrations. But set a time limit like 30 minutes and then start living your personal life. Do you really want to be that person where your friend asks you how you’re doing and you spend the next entire 2 hours moaning about work?

The more you start creating stronger boundaries between your work life and personal life, the more you stop work becoming such a core part of who you are and letting work define whether you’re happy or not happy.

This means switching off from work when its 5pm. It also means taking your unpaid for lunch hour. Of course there are times you may need to work overtime to get some things done, but on the whole try to really limit working more than you need to.

Resource:

https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/17988/how-to-stop-feeling-guilty-about-unfinished-work
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/give-zero-fks-how-to-care_b_9908398
https://infolearners.com/how-to-learn-to-not-care-at-work/

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers

The Baby Boomer Generation

From now until 2030, 10,000 Baby Boomers each day will hit retirement age. Millions will begin to officially retire, collect social security checks and go on Medicare. Other Boomers will keep on working either out of financial necessity or out of some less tangible need like identity and self-worth.

In the several decades prior to the Boom, babies in the U.S. were born at a rate of about 2.5 million a year. Then in 1946, this rate exploded to 3.4 million and maintained this pace for the next few decades. The peak years were 1957 and 1961 with 4.3 million births a year. In all, these years produced about 76 million Baby Boomers. The official retirement age to receive a Social Security check is 62. At 65, you’ll automatically receive Medicare which covers basic health care at 80%. If you wait to retire until you’re 67, your benefit will be about 30% higher than at 62. Wait another three years to retire and you could receive a 75% bigger check. It certainly pays to wait.

Are you a Baby Boomer or do you have a loved one that is? This generation was one of the largest in American history, and it is perhaps one of the most important right now when it comes to senior living. This group of people has very unique personalities, and their life histories are vastly different than today’s younger generation. Here’s a closer look at who they are and what they stand for.

The Baby Boom

The “baby boom” period defined and gave people born in this generation the name “baby boomers.” The baby boom phenomenon in the United States was a sharp rise in birth rates soon after World War II, beginning in 1946 where a record was broken for the highest ever number of births in a calendar year in U.S. history. Around 3.4 million births were recorded during the year.

The trend was only beginning, as higher births continued to be recorded until 1964. Between three million to four million births were recorded annually during the period. The U.S. baby-boom population was about 72.5 million in 1964 and peaked at 78.5 million in 1999 by including immigrants to the U.S. born in the same period. It was the largest generational cohort before being overtaken by millennials.

Baby Boom - US Fertility Rate 1940-1975

  • Soldiers returning from the war came back home with a zeal to start families and raise children after holding off on marriage until after the war.
  • The improved economic position of the United States soon after the war encouraged raising more children.
  • The U.S. government encouraged the growth of families after the war.
  • The effects of the war and the Great Depression had started to subside such that people were more hopeful and optimistic of a better future for their families.
  • Popular culture, which was gaining significance after the war, glorified marriage, pregnancy, and parenthood.
  • The passing of the G.I. Bill of Rights by the U.S. Congress gave American veterans economic and educational opportunities, which supported them in pursuing higher education and homeownership at very low interest rates on loans.
  • Soon after the war, the increased safety with childbirths was also a credible cause, as the average marriage age of women decreased from 22 to 20.
  • The high urbanization rate and the low cost of living in the city and suburbs encouraged starting families after moving to these areas.
  • The availability of credit spurred borrowing and enabled support for large families.

Boomer Favorites

Clearly, Late Boomers are a complex species. I called another person with a December 31, 1964, birthday — Shannon Borg, a poet, author and wine writer living in the San Juan Islands, north of Seattle. “I grew up as the youngest boomer,” she writes, “in a house full of them.” (Being a writer, she prefers to answer via email.) According to Shannon, boomers “took much of the promise of post-WWII Earth and frittered it away around the world.” But she also credits them for making “a totally new paradigm for what it is to be an American.”

Baby boom — good or evil? Shannon won’t play that game; she resists my efforts to pin down her generational allegiances: “What polarizes us is the labeling and categorizing into increasingly small boxes. Us against them. Right versus left. This generation versus that. It makes good journalism, but bad politics.”

My next call was to a man in the Midwest, born at 11:29 p.m. on that December 31. I’ll call him Max. He didn’t want his name used, and can’t fathom why I’m doing a story on the Last Boomers. “I don’t think it has much meaning.” I press him. “People my age don’t think about it much.” Didn’t the baby boom have any impact? He allows that he remembers a little of the “feeling of the ’60s.” Which was? “Anything goes.” Max went into the military.

In the late 1960s, there was indeed a short period of anything goes. Then everything went. Now it’s the Republicans who remember Woodstock. And yet, the world is inarguably a very different place from what it was when the Greatest Generation ran it, and the Last Boomers are part of that transformation — even if they prefer not to admit it.

Finally, I reached out to a man who has a strong claim to being the very last Last Boomer. He was born minutes before midnight in America’s westernmost time zone. But all attempts to contact him — by phone, email and social media — were met with gnomic silence.

So I stalked him on Facebook. I’ll call him Ace, after Ace Frehley, ex-guitarist in Kiss. This Ace is a heavy metal drummer, and Kiss is his favorite band. I found an album recorded by our Ace’s band in the late 1990s. It was weightily heavy and metallically metal. But Ace’s Facebook presence is modest — tributes to other bands, snapshots from his relationship with an attractive woman, pictures of cats.

A lover of loud music leading a quiet and kitty-filled life, a performer in an exhibitionist genre who skips an opportunity to exhibit himself — perhaps Ace, whoever he is, embodies the contradictions of the Last Boomers. They’re like the quiet youngest child in a big family of loudmouth older siblings. They grew up in the baby boom universe and take it for granted. They may not know that there was ever another cosmos.

No Going Back

Now imagine dropping a Last Boomer into the Greatest Generation galaxy, the one those big siblings saw. Where it’s considered innately hilarious on TV to be black (The Amos ‘n Andy Show) or gay (Percy Dovetonsils on The Ernie Kovacs Show) or a woman who doesn’t want to stay home (I Love Lucy). Where Masters and Johnson just discovered sex, cigarettes are aerobic and spanking is sanctioned at home, school and — if patting secretary derrieres counts — office. It was a veritable hellscape of inappropriate behavior and wrongheaded social norms. And the older boomers destroyed it utterly.

Let’s look at one more Last Boomer. Barack Obama, born on August 4, 1961, is among the “first of the last.” He had fun, then got serious. He had ideals and — agree with the ideals or not — still has them. He works steadily and (for a politician) quietly to achieve his goals, unlike some older boomers (me) who preferred to just make idealistic noise. He’s got that boomer charisma, but he’s a little aloof. It’s very hard to imagine him at Woodstock. But I bet he at least knows what it was.

Resource:

https://www.seniorliving.org/life/baby-boomers/
https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/other/baby-boomers/
https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/history/info-2014/youngest-baby-boomers-turn-50.html

10 Common Characteristics of the Millennial Generation

Sarah Ryan

10 Common Characteristics of the Millennial Generation

The Millennial Generation, a demographic categorization for those born between 1981 and 1996, is frequently a topic of debate. This generation has often been depicted in a negative light. Conversely, millennials are also described as one of the most adaptive and creative generations. When you present those traits positively and confidently, you can increase the likelihood of impressing future employers.

What is now known as the Millennial Generation was first referred to as Generation Y, referring to those born between 1981 and 1996. “Millennial” became a popular term since this generation was born near the end of the millennium. It is the most populated age group in modern history.

This generation has witnessed technological growth and development. As a result, they are considered more progressive, creative and far-thinking than earlier generations. Many millennials may also identify as being more concerned with intrinsic and moral values over extrinsic and material ideologies, according to Pew Research Center

Characteristics of the millennial generation

1. Values meaningful motivation

Millennials value meaningful motivation. They may be characterized as being motivated by creative work, sharing their gifts and making an impact on others and within their communities. Oftentimes, these intrinsic motivators can be seen in a millennial’s approach to their careers. Many can frequently be found working toward helping others, imparting inspiration or working to improve on a community or worldwide issue.

Additionally, many millennials aim for goals that further meaningful work rather than monetary gains. While this generation’s professional drive often helps them advance in their careers, many seem to do so for reasons other than a salary increase or monetary bonuses.

2. Challenges hierarchical status quo

Millennials are known for their resolve in sharing their opinions and ideas, as well as challenging their superiors when they feel it is warranted. This characteristic comes from the idea that what is best for the company results from active listening, collaboration and considering all points of view.

Millennials also seem to prefer working across many functions, offering creative solutions and moving away from the boundaries of professional status and level. Additionally, this generation seems to believe that approaches such as these are more beneficial to the workplace than merely following orders passed down from the top of the professional hierarchy.

3. Places importance on relationships with superiors

Millennials have shown that when it comes to their careers, they prefer a supervisor or manager that they can connect to as a mentor. This generation strives to be comfortable working with their superiors and asking for advice and counsel about their career development. In addition to receiving advice and feedback, millennials emphasize building rapport as well as pathways for frequent communication with their managers.

4. Intuitive knowledge of technology

As many millennials grew into adulthood, they witnessed the expansive growth of technology. They may even be the first generation to be fully globalized online during adolescence and early adulthood. With that growth, millennials have developed the ability to quickly adapt and change according to new technology. Smartphones, virtual reality, interactive software and even artificial intelligence may continue to see millennials adding to their development.

5. Open and adaptive to change

Not only are millennials adaptive to change, but many also embrace it. Oftentimes, this generation has ushered changes in business, technology and the economy. Most seem to recognize that these industries are constantly changing and that the methods of working within the modern-day career field must change with them. Being adaptive to a continuously changing atmosphere allows this generation to advance and take on a variety of roles.

6. Places importance on tasks rather than time

Millennials seem to be more task-oriented rather than time-oriented. This can appear in the form of productivity with producing results, as well as placing a higher priority on the quality of a product, deliverable or otherwise task-related output. This generation emphasizes working toward an end product rather than how many hours it takes to produce it. More often, millennials may want to be flexible in their schedules, working outside of a traditional “9-to-5” career so they can pursue things outside of work.

7. Passion for learning

Not only are millennials open to change and adaptive, but they also seem to possess an extraordinary passion for learning new things. This generation exhibits deep curiosity about the world and displays the desire to further develop skills and knowledge that can help them within their professional lives. Millennials seem to understand the importance of setting and achieving goals, both for personal growth and their careers.

8. Receptive to feedback and recognition

Rather than waiting to be reviewed on a biannual or annual basis, millennials appreciate regular feedback. This generation values input, advice and mentorship from their managers, and they seem to be receptive to feedback on a weekly or daily basis. Performance management and development can often be priorities for millennials, resulting in the need to hear from their supervisors about how they are performing in their jobs.

Additionally, this generation seems to thrive off open recognition, so positive praise in the workplace can benefit their motivation. Millennials generally appreciate knowing that what they are doing is making a difference and that their talents are valued.

9. Free-thinking and creative

Millennials grew up during the time of transition from conventional methods to modernized and technologically advanced ways of working. Because of this innovation, they may be more imaginative in their thinking. If problems arise in the workplace, millennials typically can come up with creative solutions.

What Do Millennials Think About Work?

Currently, millennials are the largest generation of active workers. Studies show that millennials identify their strengths as optimism, willingness to work long hours, and a multi-tasking ability.

Compared to baby boomers, millennials have a drastically different outlook on their work. They are communicative, tech-savvy, self-confident, and they have plenty of creative energy. Millennials have very high expectations for themselves and prefer to work in teams. While millennials seek growth and challenges, their work-life balance is of equal importance to them.

Most millennials have high social intelligence and realize that older, more mature colleagues might see their desires for social interactions, fast results, and quick advancements as weaknesses.

Resource:

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/10-millennial-generation-characteristics
https://www.workvivo.com/blog/millennials-in-the-workplace/

Why do we procrastinate, and how can we stop? Experts have answers.

Why People Procrastinate: The Psychology and Causes of Procrastination

If you’re a procrastinator, then you’ve probably asked yourself at some point “why do I procrastinate so much?” or “why do I keep procrastinating even though I know that it’s bad for me?”. These are important questions, since understanding why you procrastinate is crucial if you want to figure out how to stop doing it.

Specifically, you will learn about the psychological mechanism behind procrastination, and see a comprehensive list of the reasons why people procrastinate, based on decades of research on the topic. Furthermore, you will learn how this information can help you figure out why you procrastinate, and how you can use it in order to successfully overcome your procrastination.

Note that this article is extensive, since procrastination is a complex problem, that different people experience for different reasons. However, don’t let this discourage you; feel free to skim through this article, especially when it comes to the list of reasons why people procrastinate, and focus on the things that are the most relevant to you. Furthermore, if you prefer to just read a summarized version of this article, then simply scroll right on to the next section.

Why do we procrastinate, and how can we stop? Experts have answers.

If you’re reading this article instead of tackling one of the many projects you meant to do during the pandemic, or before starting the report due tomorrow at work, or as an alternative to changing your car’s year-old oil, feel no shame: This is a safe space, procrastinators, and you’re among friends.

Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and author of “Still Procrastinating?: The No Regrets Guide to Getting It Done,” has found that about 20 percent of adults are chronic procrastinators. “That’s higher than depression, higher than phobia, higher than panic attacks and alcoholism. And yet all of those are considered legitimate,” he said. “We try to trivialize this tendency, but it’s not a funny topic.”

Ferrari was speaking while on a road trip with his wife, who chimed in to say that she’s a procrastinator. Her tendencies helped spur her husband’s research interests. He doesn’t procrastinate — he has a 107-page résumé, he said, because he gets things done — but he’s built a career around understanding those who do.

Among his findings: Chronic procrastination doesn’t discriminate based on gender, race or age ; we’re all susceptible . As he put it: “Everybody procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator.” And contrary to popular belief, procrastinating has little to do with laziness. It’s far more complicated, he said, than simply being a matter of time management.

To understand what causes procrastination (outside of conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, where executive functioning issues might interfere with task completion), it’s important to be clear about what it is — and isn’t. Procrastination is different from delaying a task because you need to talk to someone who isn’t available , or not getting around to reading a literary classic such as “Moby Dick . ” Fuschia Sirois, a professor of psychology at the University of Sheffield in England, defines procrastination this way: “The voluntary, unnecessary delay of an important task, despite knowing you’ll be worse off for doing so.”

On its surface, procrastination is an irrational behavior, Sirois said: “Why would somebody put something off to the last minute, and then they’re stressed out of their mind, and they end up doing a poor job or less than optimal job on it? And then they feel bad about it afterward, and it may even have implications for other people.”

The reason, she said, has to do with emotional self-regulation — and, in particular, an inability to manage negative moods around a certain task. We usually don’t procrastinate on fun things, she said. We procrastinate on tasks we find “difficult, unpleasant, aversive or just plain boring or stressful.” If a task feels especially overwhelming or provokes significant anxiety, it’s often easiest to avoid it.

Ferrari theorizes that there are three types of procrastinators: thrill-seekers, who crave the rush of putting off tasks until the last minute and believe they work best under pressure; avoiders, who procrastinate to avoid being judged for how they perform; and indecisives, who have difficulty making important or stressful decisions, often because they’re ruminating over several choices.

Whatever type of procrastinator you are, pushing off tasks over and over again is a risk factor for poor mental and physical health, experts say. Chronic procrastinators have higher levels of stress and a greater number of acute health problems than other people, Sirois has found.

Those who procrastinate are also more likely to experience headaches, insomnia and digestive issues, and they’re more susceptible to the flu and colds. The association with health problems is best explained by stress, but another factor is that procrastinators often delay preventive treatment, such as regular checkups.

Research suggests that procrastination is associated with sleep problems, such as shorter sleep duration and an increased risk of insomnia symptoms and daytime sleepiness . Lots of people engage in “revenge bedtime procrastination,” which describes a tendency to push off sleep to make time for personal activities.

Procrastinating is also linked to heart problems. Sirois led a 2015 study in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine that found that people with heart disease were more likely than healthy people to self-identify as procrastinators. According to the study, procrastinators with hypertension and heart disease were less likely to take action to cope with their illness, such as changing their diet or exercising .

Practice self-compassion. Procrastinators are often hard on themselves. They might feel guilt about letting others down or be appalled by their own slowness. Sirois’s research indicates a connection between procrastinating and low levels of self-compassion. To counter that, treat yourself with kindness and understanding. “Just sort of recognizing that, yeah, maybe I screwed up and maybe I could have gotten started earlier, but I don’t need to beat myself up,” she said. Tell yourself: “I’m not the first person to procrastinate, and I won’t be the last.” Sirois notes that self-compassion doesn’t make people lazy. On the contrary, “research has shown that it actually increases people’s motivation to improve themselves,” she said.

The real reasons you procrastinate — and how to stop

Have you ever sat down to complete an important task — and then suddenly discovered you were up loading the dishwasher or engrossed in the Wikipedia entry about Chernobyl? Or perhaps you suddenly realize that the dog needs to be fed, emails need to be answered, your ceiling fan needs dusting — or maybe you should go ahead and have lunch, even though it’s only 11 a.m.?

For many people, procrastination is a strong and mysterious force that keeps them from completing the most urgent and important tasks in their lives with the same strength as when you try to bring like poles of a magnet together. It’s also a potentially dangerous force, causing victims to fail out of school, perform poorly at work, put off medical treatment or delay saving for retirement. A Case Western Reserve University study from 1997 found that college-age procrastinators ended up with higher stress, more illness and lower grades by the end of the semester.

But the reasons people procrastinate are not understood that well. Some researchers have viewed procrastination largely as a failure of self-regulation — like other bad behaviors that have to do with a lack of self-control, such as overeating, a gambling problem or overspending. Others say it’s not a matter of being lazy or poor time management, as many smart overachievers who procrastinate often can attest. They say it may actually be linked to how our brain works and to deeper perceptions of time and the self.

Most psychologists see procrastination as a kind of avoidance behavior, a coping mechanism gone awry in which people “give in to feel good,” says Timothy Pychyl, a professor who studies procrastination at Carleton University, in Ottawa.

It usually happens when people fear or dread, or have anxiety about, the important task awaiting them. To get rid of this negative feeling, people procrastinate — they open up a video game or Pinterest instead. That makes them feel better temporarily, but unfortunately, reality comes back to bite them in the end.

Once the reality of a deadline sets in again, procrastinators feel more extreme shame and guilt. But for an extreme procrastinator, those negative feelings can be just another reason to put the task off, with the behavior turning into a vicious, self-defeating cycle.

Tim Urban, who runs the blog Wait But Why, created an amazing and funny (if layman’s) explanation of what may happen inside the brain of a procrastinator. Urban calls himself a master procrastinator — he didn’t begin writing a 90-page senior thesis until 72 hours before it was due. Urban recently gave a TED Talk about his own extreme procrastination tendencies, in which he used some of his own cartoons to explain how life is different for an extreme procrastinator.

This continues until things get really bad — the prospect of the end of your career or your schooling looms. Then something that Urban calls the “panic monster” kicks in and finally spurs you into action.

People can be various kinds of procrastinators, Urban says. Some procrastinate by doing useless things, such as searching for cat GIFs. Others actually accomplish things — cleaning their homes, working their boring jobs — but never quite getting to the things they really want to accomplish in life, their most important, long-term goals.

To illustrate this, Urban uses a concept that is known as an Eisenhower Matrix, a graphic that was included in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” It’s named after Dwight D. Eisenhower, the famously productive president. Eisenhower thought that people should spend their time on what was truly important to them — the tasks in Quadrants 1 and 2 below.

Unfortunately, most procrastinators spend little time in those quadrants, Urban says. Instead, they mostly hang out in Quadrants 3 and 4, doing things that may be urgent, but are not important. Occasionally, when the panic monster takes over, they take a very brief detour to Quadrant 1.

Urban says this habit is disastrous because “the road to the procrastinator’s dreams — the road to expanding his horizons, exploring his true potential and achieving work he’s truly proud of — runs directly through Quadrant 2. Q1 and Q3 may be where people survive, but Q2 is where people thrive, grow and blossom.”

Pychyl discusses the idea of the “monkey mind” — that our thoughts are constantly darting all over the place, preventing us from concentrating. And psychologists agree that the problem with procrastinators is that they are tempted to give in to instant gratification, which brings people the kind of instant relief psychologists call “hedonic pleasure,” rather than staying focused on the long-term goal.

Important goals (the kind that occupy the first and second quadrants above) are more challenging but in the long run bring longer lasting feelings of well-being and self-satisfaction that psychologists call “eudaimonic pleasure.”

Source:

https://solvingprocrastination.com/why-people-procrastinate/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/procrastinate-why-stop-advice/2021/07/09/13b7dc2c-e00e-11eb-9f54-7eee10b5fcd2_story.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/27/why-you-cant-help-read-this-article-about-procrastination-instead-of-doing-your-job/

How to Label an Envelope

canadian envelope

How To Address An Envelope: What To Write On An Envelope

We all know the basics of what to write on an envelope, and you’ve probably addressed hundreds of envelopes. But unless you’ve read through the US Postal Service requirements meticulously, it’s very likely you’ve been missing some little-known facts about addressing envelopes. Unknown to many, the US Postal Service has very detailed requirements for how they want their mail addressed. To help you learnwhat to write on an envelopeand fulfill those requirements, we’ve listed the most commonly missed USPS requirements.

  1. Addresses cannot be written in pencil. An address should be in ink – either written in pen or typed.
  2. Everything should be in capital letters. Whatever is written on the face of the envelope should be written in all capitals. While most mail is sent and carried without capitalized letters, it’s preferred for every line of the address to be capitalized.
  3. There should be no punctuation. When you were taught what to write on an envelope,chances are you learned to write “Mr. and Mrs.” or “New York City, NY.” By USPS standards, this is incorrect. Regardless of numbers, titles, or abbreviations, there shouldn’t technicallybe any form of punctuation on your envelope.
  4. Only list the recipient’s full legal name. The USPS prefers no other form of name, whether it be a nickname or initials, listed on the face of the envelope.
  5. Abbreviations should be used for streets, apartments, states, etc. For the full list of abbreviations acceptable to the USPS, try the links below:

How to address an envelope

Don’t worry! Just because these are the technical requirements of the postal service doesn’t mean you can’t make your address more exciting. Your mail will still be processed and delivered even if it doesn’t match this formatting.

Where To Write Return Address?

How to write a return address on an envelopeis generally a question of placement. The format of a return address should be the same as the main address on the envelope. The traditional placement of the return address is in the top left corner of the envelope. However, it may also be placed on the back flap of the envelope. If you’re sending private mail, this is a great placement because it keeps the front of the envelope looking clean.

If you’re sending a formal or professional letter, it’s wise to stick with the traditional placement in the upper left corner. The recipient can quickly see where this letter is coming from and it keeps all contact information in one general area.

Return address envelope

While these basic addressing formats are extremely important, there are even more occasions, titles, and countries that can make envelope addressing a little confusing. We’ve compiled a list of helpful guidelines for when you’re addressing in unique situations.

How To Write an Address To A Business

If you’re addressing an envelope to a business, write the company name on the first line where you would normally put the name of an individual. Since the letter is to a business, you can replace the individual’s name with the name of the business.

business envelope

If you’re addressing an envelope to an individual ata business, you need to add an additional line. To avoid any confusion, begin the first line with ‘Attn’ (the abbreviation for ‘Attention’) followed by the individual’s name. Below this should be the business’ name, and the rest of the address should follow traditional guidelines below.

person at business envelope address

How To Write A Military Address

Once again, the recipient’s name should go on the first line and always be preceded by their rank. While abbreviations are acceptable, try to write out their whole rank if possible.

single military envelope

If the recipient is married, the husband’s rank and name should precede his wife’s. Even if both are in the service or if the wife outranks her husband, the name layout should still appear the same:

married military envelope

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Envelope Categories Based on Usage:

1. Security envelopes:

These are used for carrying important documents and are designed to be tamper-proof. The interiors of these envelopes contain pattern which tints the content inside and makes it hard for anyone trying hard to decipher the contents of the letter from outside. So confidential documents can be parceled through such envelopes.

2. Invitation envelopes:

3. Remittance envelopes:

Yes, it is used when you need to fill in details and mail it back to the company. Such envelopes are provided by the company itself with the address already printed on it and the cost of the stamp is also borne by the company. This is the remittance envelope.

4. Commercial envelopes:

5. Catalogs and Booklets:

6. Window Envelopes:

These have a window cut on the front side secured with transparent plastic. The name and address are visible from the window. Though these are not so secure, it is still popular since it eliminates the need to separately write the address on the envelope.

Apart from this, we do have the CD envelopes, office envelopes, small envelopes, fancy envelopes, and customized envelopes. Well, isn’t that a wide range of envelopes to choose from depending on your purpose?

Types of Envelopes based on the size:

Commercial:

Catalog:

Announcement:

Booklet:

Baronial:

Square:

  • Uses in commercial applications include that for mailing annual reports, brochures, general body meetings or documents and letters related to the firm. Window envelopes use to post dividends and interest checks to the investors.
  • Office uses are like mailing or handing over paychecks, invoices, payment receipts, reports, brochures, insurance policies, and appointment letters. Window envelopes and the pockets are of common use here.
  • Invitation uses may be personal or commercial. Also use for greetings, well wishes or for congratulatory cards.
  • Advertising purpose includes posting of brochures, event invitations, booklets or pamphlets to advertise your services and products.
  • Envelopes used to have personal correspondence between two individuals or between firms and institutes.

Source:

https://www.bluesummitsupplies.com/blogs/envelopes/how-to-address-an-envelope-what-to-write-on-an-envelope
https://www.wikihow.com/Label-an-Envelope
https://content.wisestep.com/write-envelope/

How to do a Marketing Audit

How to Prepare a Marketing Audit to Shape Your Marketing Strategy

Much of the success of any business is riding on its marketing strategy. It may have abundant resources, with a management team composed of brilliant and innovative minds, and teams of hardworking employees diligently and passionately performing their tasks. However, the business will never be able to grow, and succeed in achieving its organizational goals if it does not have a marketing strategy in place.

The growth of a business is closely linked to how its image is developed and presented to the market, and how it is able to establish a presence in that market. To accomplish that, there is a need to work on creating and increasing its brand awareness, which inevitably leads to increased profitability and accelerated growth.

The million dollar question is: what goes into the development of a marketing strategy? Businesses devote a lot of time and resources in crafting a strategy that will help propel the organization toward its goals. Several factors are considered, and more than one or two processes are undergone. One of these activities or processes is a marketing audit.

How to Prepare a Marketing Audit to Shape Your Marketing Strategy

In this guide, we explore 1) what is a marketing audit, 2) the importance of marketing audits, 3) the different components and types of marketing audits, and 4) how to perform a marketing audit.

Guidelines for a marketing audit

  • Providing management with an in-depth look at the business’s marketing strategy and performance, with particular focus on how to plan, implement and manage marketing activities.
  • Pinpointing marketing efforts and practices that are thriving and successful, as well as those that are less so. Think of your business as a rose garden: it needs some occasional pruning in order to stay healthy. With a marketing audit, you can determine which parts of your marketing strategy are yielding fruit, and which are not.
  • Don’t know where to start with a marketing plan? That’s easy. Trust your audit. Its systematic and structured approach will never let you down when it comes to your marketing plan.
  • If you perform regular audits, you can catch mistakes and errors before they cause any irrevocable damage to your company’s reputation, or to your bottom line.

When we say marketing audit, that’s something of an umbrella term. Businesses typically examine three major components during a marketing audit: the external environment, the internal environment, and the current marketing strategy. Within these three categories, seven identified types of marketing audits exist.

marketing audit

External Environment

  • Macro-environment audit . This type of audit examines the external factors that might affect the marketing performance of the company, such as demographic factors, economic factors, cultural factors, environmental factors, and political factors. For the most part, these are factors that influence the consumer market: their beliefs, hobbies, or any social trends that could affect the company’s marketing performance.
  • Task environment audit. This type of audit also focuses on factors outside of the company, but still closely associated with marketing activities and operations. While it does take some factors of the consumer market into account, it is slightly different than a macro-environment audit. A task environment audit will assess the size of the industry the company belongs to, identify competitors, and examine the company’s relationship with distributors and retailers.

Internal Environment

Marketing Strategy

Elements of a Successful Marketing Audit

1. List All Your Marketing Goals

Marketing is all about meeting goals. Whether you want to bring in new leads, increase market share, or build brand awareness, every marketing action should have a goal in mind. If you want to understand how well your marketing is performing, you need to compare your current results with your goals. Thus, the first step of the auditing process is to identify your goals.

2. Build Customer Personas

Next, you should focus on your customers. What do they want from your business, and how different are their needs? For instance, a cookware company may sell to newlyweds, expert chefs, and new hobbyists. Each of these customers has a different perspective on why they’re using your products. The messages you send to each of these subsets should be different.

3. Name the Competition

You probably know your main competitors, but do some research. Are there any new players who’ve entered your industry recently? What do your competitors offer? Have they changed their method of operation since the last time you looked into them? List all of your competitors, along with their strengths, weaknesses, offerings, pricing, and anything else you consider relevant.

4. Describe Your Offerings

Now you can begin to look inward. Just like you examined your competitors, you should objectively analyze your business offerings. What do you offer your customers? Describe it in detail, from features and drawbacks to distribution methods.

5. Understand Your Marketing Assets

Zooming in further, explore what you have within your marketing department. You should develop a comprehensive catalog of everything your marketing department runs and creates, from your website to brand materials. If you have data from previous audits, you should pull that out, too.

It’s not enough just to name each webpage and social media account. You also need to collect information about how each one is performing. The results of this process will deliver a snapshot of your marketing department’s performance. The more information you gather now, the better your analysis—now and in the future.

6. Analyze Your Results

It’s time to explore the data you’ve collected. You should have a massive collection of information about your business and how your marketing is performing. Examine that data for trends. Where is your advertising strongest? Where does it need improvement? Are there any accounts or initiatives that don’t seem to be worth your marketing efforts? Marketing audit tools like SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) and five forces analyses are good ways to help you understand the data. Writing a general overview of your current marketing status may also help.

7. Develop an Action Plan

You’ve found your strengths and weaknesses, you’ve done your competitive analysis, and you understand the customers you’re targeting. Now you can develop a plan to guide your marketing into the future. It should have four parts:

8. Repeat

Set a date for the next audit as soon as you complete your current one. A reasonable audit period is every 6 to 12 months, depending on the size of your company. You can determine an annual or semi-annual schedule right away.

What are the components of a marketing audit?

We can split marketing audits into four clear categories to get a better understanding: digital marketing and branding, outreach and advertising, customer service, and collateral. Splitting up your marketing audit in this way helps you to assess all keep elements of your business.

Audit component What to look at…
Digital branding and marketing Email marketing, social media, website, videos, photography, fonts, colours, and brand logo
Outreach and advertising All advertising efforts, influencer campaigns, sponsorships, partnerships, and press releases
Customer service Internal processes and paperwork, customer experience, reviews, and your staff members
Collateral Any piece of media that is used for the promotion of your business, i.e. promotional clothing, coupons, flyers, pamphlets, brochures, menus, and so on

Resources:

https://www.cleverism.com/marketing-audit-that-shapes-marketing-strategy/
https://www.digitallogic.co/blog/marketing-audit/
https://compose.ly/content-strategy/marketing-audit
https://blog.avada.io/resources/marketing-audit.html
https://www.creative.onl/marketing-audit/

6 Places to Find Writers to Hire for Your Blog

How to get more contributors for your blog

Always be on the lookout for people who:

  1. Guest Posters: If you have published guest posts in the past, take a look at them. How much traffic did they get? What was the quality like? How easy were they to work with? Did they go above and beyond with the post? If one of the guest posters stands out, contact them.
  2. Readership/Commenters: Look at the comments people leave on your blog, and contact the writers who know a lot about the topic, are genuinely helpful, and are well written.
  3. Commenters/Participants in Other Places: Check out comments people leave in other places, such as other people’s forums and blogs, Facebook pages/groups and podcasts.
  4. Magazines/Freelancers: Find people who already create paid content elsewhere, whether it’s as a freelancer or on their own blog.
  5. Word of Mouth: If you’re looking for someone, put the word out through friends, colleagues, business partners and others.
  6. Advertising: Use tips and tricks when looking to hire by advertising on the ProBlogger Job Board. If you’re willing to put a little work into going through the applications, you’ll usually find some gold.

Hi there friends, it’s Darren Rowse from ProBlogger here. Welcome to episode 248 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse, as I said and I am the blogger behind ProBlogger, a blog, podcast, event, job board, series of ebooks, and courses all designed to help you to start an amazing blog, to create some great content on that blog, to grow your audience, and to build profit around it. Also, you can find more about what we do at problogger.com.

Now, in today’s episode, I want to talk about where to find writers for your blog, particularly where to find paid writers— those writers that you want to add your own voice and to help you to create more content for your blog on an ongoing basis.

I want to share with you the five places that I found writers for free without having to advertise for them at all. These are five places that are probably under your nose right now, they may be writers already in your network and it’s about how to unearth them. And then also, I want to share some tips of how to advertise for writers as well if you can’t find them within those free places that I’ve talked about.

Today’s show was inspired by Richard, who’s one of our listeners who sent in this question. He writes, “I’ve been blogging for three years now, and while my blog is making enough income for me to probably go full time with my blog. I also have a full time job that I love and don’t wish to leave. As a result, I’ve decided to look at hiring a writer or writers for my blog. To this point, I’ve only ever featured my own content and one of guest posts unpaid, and have no idea where to even start when it comes to finding writers. Where should I look for writers for my blog?”

Thanks, Richard, for the question, I appreciate it. Firstly, congratulations of building your blog to a point that you’ve come to already. I think it’s great that you have built to this level where you could full time but also I think it’s great that you’ve decided to keep your job. That must have been a tricky decision to make but one I do applaud. Because I do know that a lot of listeners of this podcast dream of going full time but also have work that they really love as well. So you can do both.

One of the ways that you can do both is to outsource aspects of your blogging—one of which is the writers. Onto your question, where do you look for writers? Some people are probably thinking that I’m going to just use this podcast to promote the ProBlogger job board. It is a place on ProBlogger where you can advertise for different roles that you’re looking to fill for your blog, including writing but also editing, marketing, copywriting, proofreading, that type of thing. We’ll certainly touch on the ProBlogger job boards later on in this episode.

I do suspect that Richard my not even need to advertise for a writer because it sounds like he might already have them under his nose. I started hiring people to write on my blogs and to edit my blogs quite a few years ago now. In fact, I think it was probably around 2005 that I hired my first blog writer and she also became an editor for one of my early blogs. It’s actually a blog that doesn’t exist anymore today; it was a blog about camera phones. Today we all call them smart phones but back then, I don’t even think that would existed. It was just this new type of phone that was coming out that had a camera in it and that seem to be the whole newby craze. I had a blog about camera phones.

The reason I wanted to hire someone for that blog was that I simply wasn’t passionate enough about that topic to keep the blog ticking over. And yet, it was doing reasonably well in terms of traffic and revenue from AdSense. I thought it was probably worthwhile hiring someone to keep that blog ticking over.

Create a Frontend Blog Submission Form

Post Submissions addon

When you install the addon, you get a brand new post submission form template that you can easily customize. The template ships with the addon, so you’ll see it in the form templates area once the addon’s active.

A blog post submission form

When someone submits a guest post from your guest post submission form, it will be automatically added to your posts area in the WordPress dashboard. It will be marked as ‘pending’ so you can easily review and publish it.

After creating your guest post submissions form, embed it on a page that is blocked from search engine crawlers. This will stop search engines from indexing the page. When you accept a proposal from a writer, you can send them the link to submit their article.

10 Sites to Hire a Freelance Writer

There are several online marketplaces and websites that make it easier for businesses to connect with writing professionals, exchange information and decide whether they’d like to work together.

Below is a list of the 10 best websites and online marketplaces that you can use to search for international and highly experienced content writers. The entries in the list represent websites that feature some of the best writers that you can hire at an affordable rate.

Content Guppy

Content Guppy bills itself as a done for you seo content marketing agency. They will create an SEO plan, manage freelance writers (so you don’t have to), and publish seo content on your website.

Content Guppy will do keyword research to come up with blog post topics for the next 90 days, optimize the post for SEO, do copy editing, and ensure that posts get published on time,

Upwork

We’d be completely remiss if we didn’t include Upwork in this list. It’s the largest freelance platform in the world. Anyone who has ever hired a freelancer or worked as a freelancer is familiar with website.

For instance, the image on the right shows a particular filter that will help a business owner find a writer that fits your budget pertaining to a freelancer’s expertise, hourly rate or fixed price, and number of previous clients.

These filters are how Upwork enables you to look for native writers, freelancers from certain parts of the world, people that are fluent in specific languages or writers that have a particular number of experience years.

Though some of the writers have a stellar reputation, others aren’t capable of giving you the quality you desire. In order to find the writer that is best for your business, you’ll have to filter through numerous applications to weed out the unqualified writers from those that will give you the type of quality content that will help build your online reputation.

To get started with Upwork, you’ll need to create a profile and publish your ad. Publishing an ad happens free of charge. The site makes money by deducting a 10 percent fee from the freelancer’s earnings. Try to keep this in mind when creating a budget range within your ad.

Guru

Guru is a platform that’s once again dedicated to various types of freelance fields. According to official information, Guru has 1.5 million members from all parts of the world. In a sense, this website is similar to Upwork.

Within Guru.com, you can create agreements, define milestones and tasks, communicate, and share documents. All of the necessary functions needed in order to complete your blog post, email, or website content.

Posting a job on Guru is free of charge but there’s a fee that is deducted from the freelancer’s payment. Depending on the type of membership plan the freelancer has chosen, this fee can range from five to 10 percent of the total cost of the project.

The cost of hiring a freelancer on Guru.com are reasonably affordable to most small business owners. If you’re looking for a nice price to quality ratio, the website is one you should definitely consider trying. To get started with posting an ad on Guru, you will simply need to create a membership account.

Textbroker

Textbroker is the first marketplace on this list that is dedicated strictly to finding writers and content creators. Textbroker is a site designed specifically for businesses who need custom content to help create an online presence.

Textbroker provides multiple options at multiple price points for small business owners. First, you can purchase content by quality. Content is ranked on a scale of two stars to five stars. The more experience the writer has, the more you’re going to pay per word.

Textbroker options

You can also purchase content either by commissioning an individual author, by hiring a team of writers, or by making your order available to over 100,000 proven, qualified authors.

WriterAccess

WriterAccess online marketplace

And there are various degrees of pricing. At the lowest level is the pay as you go pricing structure where you pay per word starting at 2 cents per word. As you move up in quality, you can pay as much as 5000 per word, depending on how much research is required to complete your content request.

WriterAccess plans and pricing

Source:

https://problogger.com/podcast/find-writers/
https://wpforms.com/how-to-get-more-guest-post-submissions-on-your-wordpress-blog/
https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/websites-to-find-a-freelance-writer/