6 Steps to Safely Switch Careers

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If you’ve been in the same industry for a while now but have been nursing a feeling that it isn’t your true calling, you’re not alone. The average American changes careers five-to-seven times in their lifetime, and 30 percent change jobs or careers every 12 months. This sort of frequent disruption might not be ideal for long-term stability, but a change now and then can be ideal in the pursuit of living your best life.

With the pandemic in full swing, many industries are having a tough time staying afloat. Perhaps your industry is one of them, and to look out for your future and the future of your family, you may be thinking it’s time to pivot your career.

Related: 7 Sure Signs Now Is the Time for a Career Change

Whatever your situation may be, making a career change can be a scary leap. But when you’re prepared, you can handle anything. Here are six tips for preparing for a career change and starting down a more authentic path.

1. Don’t immediately quit your job

It’s one thing to strike while the momentum’s hot and quite another to remove your safety net precisely when you need it. If you’re fortunate enough to be employed, maintain that income while you plan the perfect exit by staying at your current job while searching for a new one.

Some people believe that quitting a job without any other prospects is the kick in the butt necessary to get serious about getting hired, but that’s too risky right now. While it may make you feel nostalgic for your college days, it’s no fun living off of ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as an adult.

2. Research the industry you’re interested in

What it takes to get your foot in the door in a new industry depends on the industry. Some jobs are going to require specific certifications or even another degree. Research what the expectations are so you’ve got a realistic chance of succeeding.

Related: Have a Business Idea? 6 Ways to Research Your Industry

Another key area of research is the salary. Check statistics around the average salary base of the role you’re considering to get an idea of whether it’s financially realistic for maintaining your lifestyle or if you’ll need to budget for a pay cut.

3. Find a mentor in the field

Finding a success story in the field you’re pursuing can inspire you to keep going even when it seems difficult. Tracking someone’s career trajectory will also give you a blueprint that you can use to plan your route.

Find a thought leader in the field and find out as much as you can about their professional experience. Maybe they’re a guest contributor and write for credible publications about the industry you’re interested in. If so, read the content they’re creating and check out their company website. We’re all different and have our unique paths to follow, but this approach will give you a real-world look at what it takes to succeed.

 4. Complete the necessary coursework

If you need classes for industry-specific knowledge or to qualify for jobs in the field you’re interested in, you’re going to have juggle coursework with your existing work schedule. It’s not easy, but it’s a necessary balance you’ll have to find. Look for night classes, weekend classes, workshops, and other learning opportunities that will allow you to learn what you need to without adding full-time school on top of full-time work. And if you have to go full-time, take solace in the fact that many people have done it before you and succeeded.

Related: How Online Learning will Change the Education System post Covid-19

If you have a spouse or partner that is willing to carry the bulk of your financial load, make sure you plan and prepare for a reduced household income.

5. Freshen up your resumé

If you’re switching careers, your current resumé isn’t likely to reflect the right skills and experience you’ll need for your desired role. But every job you have, whether it’s related to your preferred one or not, teaches you skills that prepare you to take on new challenges.

Get creative with your resumé, reworking it to show how your current skills will make you a star in your new career. Then, have someone you trust to review your resumé to see if there’s anything you’re missing.

6. Search for available jobs

Most of the career change process involves searching for and applying for jobs. Don’t settle for job postings that don’t sound like they’ll be an excellent fit for your strengths or won’t align with what you want. Consider pay and benefit options so you can be as selective as possible. If you apply for every job in the field you want to be in, you could land a position that isn’t a great fit and you’ll be back at square one.

Related: Are You Looking to Make a Career Switch?

Once you find a job to apply for, give your resumé another once-over to ensure the skills you’re highlighting align with the skills the job posters are looking for. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to build momentum in your search. The right opportunity is out there; you just have to keep applying.

What if I want to start my own business?

If changing jobs means starting your own business, then you will also need to put together a business plan to put your thoughts into actionable steps and determine what you want to achieve.

Make sure you research the market to understand any potential risks involved — there’s always a risk when starting your own business. And accurately identify the possible business mistakes you could make. You can never prepare enough, so take the time to look into what starting your own business entails. It will ensure that the decisions you make are the right ones.

Embarking on a new journey is filled with fear, uncertainty, and excitement. But as long as you’re prepared, your path will be a little less bumpy and a little more worth it. Best of luck. You got this!

By: Jonathan Herrick

Source: 6 Steps to Safely Switch Careers

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When and How To Say No To Extra Work

Yann Bastard

With more and more teams being understaffed, chances are you’ve been asked to take on more work. Top performers are a prime target for additional requests. But you need to be careful about what you agree to take on. In this piece, the author outlines when it’s best…

Consider your average work week. What percentage of your daily tasks fit into your job description? If you’re like most high-achievers, chances are that over time you’ve assumed many responsibilities outside your main scope of work. But how much do these new obligations contribute to your professional advancement versus running you ragged?

In the wake of the Great Resignation, quiet quitting, and major layoffs, many professionals are being asked to do more with less. When organizations are understaffed, the workload is typically redistributed to remaining team members. While an increase in scope can temporarily boost individual commitment and performance, in the long-term it can lead to burnout and hurt the organization’s results as a whole.

Top performers are a prime target for additional requests. Not only do they enjoy a challenge and the opportunity for growth, but in my experience as an executive coach, I’ve found many high-achievers are motivated by a need to please and to earn the proverbial gold-star for going above and beyond.

Take Irene, a project manager whose team headcount was recently reduced by 15%. Kind, generous, and loyal (sometimes to a fault), Irene wanted to look like a team player and to ease her boss’s stress at this moment of crisis. She volunteered to assume three major initiatives within 48 hours of her colleagues’ departure, rendering her over capacity. Irene soon found herself living at work, moving through each day with a cloud of dread hovering over her head, unable to find time for herself, family, or friends.

While there’s typically nothing wrong with pitching in to help when the organization or your team is short-staffed, you need to make sure you’re saying yes for the right reasons. If you’re someone who, like Irene, tends to agree to every additional request that comes your way, here’s how to gauge when it’s appropriate to push back and how to do so with grace and professionalism.

Say no when … your primary job responsibilities will suffer. 

Let’s say you work on the product team, but you’ve been asked to help with marketing. You may soon find yourself spending so much time reviewing promotional material that your primary job responsibilities — things like user research or strategy — suffer.

If an assignment would detract from your core responsibilities or would compromise your ability to consistently deliver high- quality work without any significant upside in terms of learning or skills acquisition, it’s best to decline and focus on what’s already on your plate.

Avoid saying, “Sorry, this isn’t in my job description.” A better approach is to use a strategy known as the relational account, or explaining why your refusal is in the best interest of everyone involved. Put simply, this means you say “If I helped you, I’d be letting others down.” Or more specifically “I would be unable to do a good job on your project, and my other work would suffer.”

Research shows that this strategy can help you be viewed as caring and conscientious. For example, you might share, “I have to say no, because if I devoted time to marketing activities, then we’d miss several key product launch dates and our revenue goals would suffer.”

Say no when … it’s someone else’s work.

In an age with matrixed teams and highly collaborative workflows, it’s easy to get sucked into doing work that isn’t your job, like the sales rep who finds themselves fielding customer service calls. Irene, the project manager whose story I shared earlier, found herself being dragged into solving issues their director of operations should have been overseeing.

She approached her boss to find a workable compromise and explained: “It’s not possible for me to continue executing these operational duties, nor is it within my purview. Continuing to do so only creates confusion. I’m happy to put together detailed documentation so that the operations team can take over.”

If you don’t mind doing the additional work or feel it contributes to your growth in a meaningful way, clearly outline what you expect the new responsibility will result in, such as better assignments in the future, a move toward a promotion, or a mention at the board meeting. Consider a compensation adjustment to reflect your added value. You could say, “For the last six months, I’ve assumed responsibilities A, B, and C. What’s the best way to ensure my compensation is commensurate with my increased scope?”

Say no when … there’s no clear exit strategy.

Only take on additional responsibilities when you understand the full scope of what’s involved. You want to avoid miscommunication down the road and you don’t want it to be an open-ended arrangement. Perhaps your boss asks you to participate in a new initiative. Get specifics. How long will you be needed on the project? What meetings will you be expected to attend?

If after receiving clarity, you determine it’s not a fit because the opportunity of saying yes is too great, you can lead with gratitude and say, “Thank you for the opportunity. It sounds like an interesting project, but it would be out of integrity for me to commit to it knowing I wouldn’t have the bandwidth or resources available to achieve the goal.”

You might also offer to help in some smaller way. Could you attend brainstorming meetings or agree to consult on drafts of the business plan? Pitching in where and how you can proves you’re a do-er and shows you’re a team player.

Say no when … the ask is unreasonable.

Maybe senior leadership has requested a business plan from scratch within two business days. You know that’s not possible, but what do you do? Try a positive no, which allows you to protect your time while still furthering the relationship. In response to senior leadership’s request, you could explain what you can get done in the time allotted. For instance: “It’s not possible to deliver the entire report by Friday afternoon.

What I could do is have a first draft of section one. How does that sound?” Or, you might offer to adjust the timeline, saying something like, “I hear this is important. Friday isn’t possible, but I can have everything for you by Monday afternoon.”

Perhaps you offer to introduce the person to a coworker who can help or a contractor they could hire. This may sound like, “This isn’t my zone of expertise, but I’ll email you the name of a colleague who I would suggest working with.”

You can’t say no to everything, but saying no for the right reasons can help you feel more confident and empowered.

By: Melody Wilding

Source: When — and How — to Say No to Extra Work


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Just How Valuable Is Tax-Loss Harvesting?


Investors looking to improve their overall portfolio returns often turn to tax-loss harvesting at the end of the year. This amounts to selling some stocks or assets that have fallen in value and using the losses to help offset capital-gains tax liability, reducing one’s overall tax bill.

But how much can you actually add to your returns by tax-loss harvesting?

My research assistant Kanwal Ahmad and I decided to tackle this question by running simulations over different tax regimens, portfolio sizes and holding periods. We found that on average an investor facing a capital-gains tax rate of 25% can juice an equity portfolio’s annual return by 1.10 percentage points to 1.42 percentage points with tax-loss harvesting.

The value that can be added is even greater when markets are more volatile, thus producing a bigger number of loser stocks, or when capital-gains tax rates are high, either because the federal government raised rates or an investor is selling short-term holdings.

To explore this issue, we pulled data on all publicly traded stocks on the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and the old American Stock Exchange (which was acquired by the NYSE) going back to 1930. We then created value-weighted portfolios to mimic how most people invest, and ran extensive simulations of each portfolio on how to best tax-loss-harvest. 

Each simulation we ran sold off particular positions that had incurred losses according to various cutoffs. If a losing position was harvested, we added a similar asset to maintain the portfolio’s asset-allocation mix and risk level — though any position that was tax-loss-harvested wasn’t allowed to re-enter the portfolio until a month later in line with the IRS’s wash-sale rule, which says if an investment is sold at a loss and then repurchased within 30 days, the initial loss cannot be claimed for tax purposes.

We then calculated the value of tax-loss harvesting to an investor on a yearly basis as the capital-gains tax rate multiplied by the return of the stock that was cut from the portfolio, adding this up over all stocks that were harvested that year. Averaging this over all simulations and over all years, we were able to come to a maximum estimate for the value of tax-loss harvesting.

To make it a bit more realistic, we put in a condition that no more than half the portfolio could be harvested in a particular year — this we defined as our “conservative” estimate of tax-loss harvesting benefits.

Our first interesting finding is that conservatively, investors can juice their returns 1.10 percentage points a year on average, assuming a 25% tax rate. If investors are pushing it in terms of taking advantage of every tax-loss harvesting opportunity, they can add as much as 1.42 percentage points a year to their portfolio’s return.

Fund investors often debate: Should I entrust my money to an experienced fund manager with a record over many different market cycles, or should I go with an upstart manager who might have fresh ideas on how to generate gains?

My research suggests that if you want a fund that will track an index better and provide superior posttax returns, the more-seasoned fund manager is likely your best bet. If, on the other hand, you are looking for outsize bets and potential home runs, a short-tenure manager may be the way to go.

To examine the relationship between fund-manager tenure and performance, my research assistant, Ioana Baranga, and I collected data on all actively managed mutual funds between 2010 and 2020. We then partitioned all fund managers by their tenure at the fund, using a range of zero to three years to define “short tenure” managers, and six years and greater to define the “long tenure” managers. If there were multiple fund managers within the same fund, we opted to use the oldest fund manager’s tenure to define our partition.genesis3-2-1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-2-2-1-1

Next, we explored how these fund managers differ in their returns and investment decisions. The results associated with managers in the large-cap U.S.-stock category highlight the results well. On a pretax basis, the average long-tenure manager underperforms the average short-tenure manager by 0.03 percentage point a year (12.39% average annual return for long-tenure managers versus 12.42% average annual return for short-tenure managers).

Yet this result flips when we examine posttax returns — it is actually long-tenure managers outperforming short-tenure managers by 0.14 percentage point a year, on average (9.15% average posttax annual return for long-tenure managers versus 9.01% average posttax annual return for short tenure managers).

Research Shorts

By: Derek Horstmeyer

Read more : https://www.wsj.com/


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Reopening Stocks Lead The Market Higher After Strong Jobs Report, Pfizer Announcement

The stock market rallied to record levels yet again on Friday after a better than expected October jobs report, a big announcement from Pfizer and a slew of strong corporate earnings results all helped boost investor optimism about America’s economic recovery.

Key Facts

All three major averages touched new highs: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6%, over 200 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.4% and the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite increased 0.2%.

The United States added back 531,000 jobs in October—better than the 450,000 expected by economists, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The long-struggling labor market is showing signs of improvement, notching its best monthly showing since July, while the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.6%—its lowest level in more than a year.

A major announcement on Friday from vaccine maker Pfizer also helped boost stocks tied to the reopening of the economy: The company said it will seek FDA approval for its antiviral pill, which reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19 by 89%.

Although the Pfizer announcement caused shares of other vaccine makers such as Moderna, BioNTech and Merck to plunge, travel and leisure stocks widely rallied on the news and led the market’s gains on Friday.

Solid earnings also helped drive optimism, including from the likes of Uber, which reported its first-ever adjusted quarterly profit as demand for ride-sharing recovered, and Airbnb, which had its “strongest quarter ever” as travel continued to rebound.

What To Watch For:

While reopening stocks have performed well recently, several pandemic favorites have struggled. Shares of at-home fitness equipment maker Peloton plunged over 30% on Friday after reporting dismal quarterly earnings—making CEO John Foley no longer a billionaire. Other companies have also seen their businesses take a hit from the reopening of the economy: Smart TV company Roku and online education company Chegg both reported lackluster earnings this week.


The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that despite labor shortages, supply chain constraints and inflation fears, the U.S. economy was recovering well. The central bank announced that it would begin reducing the historic level of stimulus it has been providing markets since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Fed chairman Jerome Powell also clarified his stance on high inflation, saying it was “expected to be transitory.” Markets have since rallied on the news.

Key Background:

The stock market has continued to hit fresh highs in recent weeks: The S&P 500 rose over 5% in October for its best month so far in 2021 and is up nearly 2% so far in November. Optimism around the reopening of the U.S. economy has grown, in large part thanks to third-quarter corporate earnings that have proved resilient despite higher costs and inflation fears. Of the 445 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results so far, nearly 81% have beaten expectations, according to Refinitiv.

Further Reading:

Peloton Shares Plunge Over 30%—And CEO John Foley Is No Longer A Billionaire (Forbes)

Stocks Hit Fresh Records After Fed Says It Will Taper Pandemic Stimulus (Forbes)

U.S. Economy Added 531,000 Jobs Last Month—But 7.4 Million Americans Are Still Unemployed (Forbes)

Billions Wiped From Covid Pharma Heavyweights—Including Moderna, Regeneron, Merck—As Pfizer’s Antiviral Pill Triggers Selloff (Forbes)

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

I am a New York-based reporter covering billionaires and their wealth for Forbes. Previously, I worked on the breaking news team at Forbes covering money and markets.

Source: Reopening Stocks Lead The Market Higher After Strong Jobs Report, Pfizer Announcement

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EATTIE, ANDREW (13 December 2017). “What Was the First Company to Issue Stock?”. Investopedia.

“History of the NY Stock Exchange”. Library of Congress. May 2004.

Bull Markets Usually Don’t End With a Bang

Unlike bear market lows, which tend to be short and sharp, bullish stock market highs tend to occur gradually over time as a sector or investment style first peaks and declines. , then another.

This means that investors should not manage their equity portfolios assuming that there will be a specific day before which it would make sense to be 100% invested and then be in cash. Even if the precise timing of the stock market wasn’t incredibly difficult, it would still make more sense to gradually build up cash as individual positions hit their targets.

Of course, there is no way to know whether the current stock market – which abruptly retreated from record highs in late September, ahead of Friday’s rally to begin October – has entered such a protracted peak process. But the bull market will end someday, if it hasn’t already, and it’s important to review the characteristics of past highs so that you don’t manage your portfolio on the assumption that you will be able to peak in real time.

A recent illustration that not all sectors and styles are reaching their bullish highs at the same time appeared at the top of the internet stock bubble in early 2000. Although the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes did reach their bullish highs in March 2000, value stocks – and small cap value stocks, in particular – continued to rise. The S&P 500 at its October 2002 bear market low was 49% lower than its March 2000 high, and the Nasdaq Composite was 78% lower, but the average value of small-cap stocks was 2% higher than what it was in March 2000, according to data from Dartmouth professor Kenneth French.

Although this is only an example, it is not unique. Consider what I found while analyzing the 30 bull market highs since the mid-1920s that appear in the timeline maintained by Ned Davis Research. In each case, I determined the dates on which various sectors of the market reached their particular bullish highs: the large, mid and small cap sectors, as well as the styles of value, growth and mix, as measured by the market. share price. -accounting reports. On average over the 30 bull market highs, there was a 225-day gap between the first date one of these sectors peaked and the last. It’s been over seven months.

There are exceptions, especially when an external event causes the market to collapse and virtually all sectors fall in unison. The stock market crash of 1987, as well as the declines following the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the pandemic lockdowns of March 2020, are good examples of this. But in most cases, it is more accurate to view a bullish top as a process rather than a one-time event.

Another reason to view market highs as a process is that, the day major stock indices such as the S&P 500 hit their bullish highs, you will have any idea that a bear market is imminent. . Instead, you’ll likely be caught up in the exuberance of the moment. Only with hindsight will it become clear that a bear market was starting.

This exuberance leads investors to be too heavily invested in stocks during the later stages of the bull markets. Believing that the exact day of the peak has not yet been reached, they hold on to their stock positions for too long. Viewing market highs as a process can counterbalance this exuberance, as it causes investors to focus on their individual positions rather than on the market as a monolithic whole.

Many resist this advice because their memories play tricks on them, leading them to believe that it is possible to spot a bullish top the moment it occurs. This is certainly not the case, according to my company’s daily monitoring of advice from stock timers – advisers who tell clients how much of their investment portfolios should be in stocks and cash. Over the past four decades in which the S&P 500 peaked in the bull market, the average level of exposure to equities recommended by these timers was 65.7%. This is a higher level of exposure than 95% of all other days over the past 40 years.

On the days when the S&P 500 hit its lowest bear market level, by contrast, the average exposure level recommended by stock timers was only 5%. Remember October 2007. Even though the S&P 500 was on the verge of entering a 57% 16-month decline, hardly any of the 100 or so stock stopwatches my company monitors were considering anything. the type.

This failure was true even for market timers with the best long-term records entering that month. One of the long-term top performers at the time was telling clients that a bear market was such a distant possibility it wasn’t even on his radar screen. Another went from full investment to 25% margin – borrowing to invest even more in stocks – the day before the exact day of the S&P 500 bull market high.

If these market professionals with good, long-term track records weren’t able to anticipate the onset of one of the most serious bear markets in U.S. history, you’re kidding yourself if you think that you can always do better. You are more likely to be successful by viewing the end of a bull market and the start of a bear market as a process rather than a one-time event.

By: Mark Hulbert

Mr. Hulbert is a columnist whose Hulbert Ratings follows news bulletins about investments that pay a fixed fee to be audited. He can be contacted at reports@wsj.com.

Source: Bull Markets Usually Don’t End With a Bang – WSJ


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