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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A Brain Expert Shares His 7 Hard Rules For Boosting Memory and Fighting Off Dementia

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The average human brain shrinks by approximately 5% per decade after the age of 40. This can have a major impact on memory and focus. What’s more, brain disorders are on the rise. In 2020, 54 million people worldwide had Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, and that number is expected to grow.

But serious mental decline doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of aging. In fact, certain lifestyle factors have a greater impact than your genes do on whether you’ll develop memory-related diseases. As a neuroscience researcher, here are seven hard rules I live by to keep my brain sharp and fight off dementia.

1. Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check

Your heart beats roughly 115,000 times a day, and with every beat, it sends about 20% of the oxygen in your body to your brain. High blood pressure can weaken your heart muscle, and is one of the leading causes of strokes. Ideally, your blood pressure should be no higher than 120/80.

Cholesterol is critical to your brain and nervous system health, too. The American Heart Association recommends getting your cholesterol levels measured every four to six years.

2. Manage sugar levels

Blood sugar is the primary fuel of the brain. Not enough of it, and you have no energy; too much, and you can destroy blood vessels and tissue, leading to premature aging and cardiovascular disease.

Keep in mind that sugar isn’t enemy, excess sugar is. It’s easy for grams of sugar to add up, even if you think you’re being careful — and usually, sugar will sneak in through packaged foods.

Where is the sugar hidden? Look for these in the ingredients list:

  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose

And be wary of any product that includes syrup, such as agave nectar syrup or high-fructose corn syrup.

3. Get quality sleep

Studies show that people with untreated sleep apnea raise their risk of memory loss by an average of 10 years before the general population. For most people, a healthy brain needs somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep a night.

My tips for memory-boosting, immune-enhancing sleep:

  • Keep a consistent bedtime and wake-up schedule.
  • Turn off devices one hour before bedtime.
  • Do something relaxing before bedtime, like listening to soft music or doing mindful breathing exercises.
  • Go outside and get in natural sunlight as soon as you can after waking up.

4. Eat a nutritious diet

One way I keep things simple is to have most, if not all, of these items in my grocery cart:

  • Fatty fish like salmon
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Blueberries
  • Cruciferous veggies like arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and collard greens

When food shopping, I ask myself three questions to help determine whether something is good for my brain:

1. Will it spoil? In many cases, perishable is a good thing. The additives and preservatives that keep food from spoiling wreak havoc on your gut bacteria.

2. Are there tons of ingredients in that packaged food? And for that matter, can you pronounce the ingredients? Or does it look like the makings of a chemical experiment? Also avoid anything where sugar is one of the first few ingredients.

3. Do you see a rainbow on your plate? The chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors help boost brain health.

5. Don’t smoke (and avoid secondhand and thirdhand smoke)

Smokers have a 30% higher risk of developing dementia than non-smokers. They also put those around them at risk: Secondhand smoke contains 7,000 chemicals — and at least 70 of them can cause cancer.

Then there’s thirdhand smoke, which is not actually smoke. It’s the residue of cigarette smoke that creates the telltale smell on clothing or in a room. That residue alone can emit chemicals that are toxic to the brain.

6. Make social connections

In a recent study, people over the age of 55 who regularly participated in dinner parties or other social events had a lower risk of losing their memory. But it wasn’t because of what they ate, it was the effect of the repeated social connection.

To lessen isolation and loneliness, you can also boost brain chemicals like serotonin and endorphins by performing small acts of kindness:

  • Wish others well or check in with somebody.
  • Give a compliment without expecting anything in return.
  • Make a phone call to somebody you don’t usually reach out to.

7. Continuously learn new skills

Maintaining a strong memory is not all about brain games like Sudoku, Wordle and crossword puzzles.

Learning skills and acquiring information are much more effective ways to make new connections in the brain. The more connections you make, the more likely you are to retain and even enhance your memory.

When you think about learning something new, approach it the way you would with fitness training. You want to work out different muscles on different days. The same goes for the brain.

Over the course of this week, try cross-training your brain by mixing mental activities (learning a new language or reading a book) and physical learning activities (playing tennis or soccer) .

By: Marc Milstein

Marc Milstein, PhD, is a brain health expert and author of “The Age-Proof Brain: New Strategies to Improve Memory, Protect Immunity, and Fight Off Dementia.” He earned both his PhD in Biological Chemistry and his Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from UCLA, and has conducted research on genetics, cancer biology and neuroscience. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Source: A brain expert shares his 7 ‘hard rules’ for boosting memory and fighting off dementia

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How & Why You Should Practice Anti Time Management

How (and why) you should practice ‘anti-time management’[Source Photo: Who’s Denilo/Unsplash]

If you feel overscheduled and overwhelmed, the answer might not be a new productivity hack. You might want to start asking better questions—because how you spend your time is how you show your love, says Richie Norton, author of Anti-Time Management: Reclaim Your Time and Revolutionize Your Results with the Power of Time Tipping.

“We’re all working, but not for work’s sake,” he says. “Ultimately, we’re working for something else.” Norton came to this realization after a string of tragedies. His 21-year-old brother-in-law, Gavin, died in his sleep. His son Gavin, named after his uncle, died at just 10 weeks of age from whooping cough. His wife had a stroke, and his 11-year-old son was hit by a car.

“I was like, ‘Does God hate me?’” he says. “So, I’ve tried to spend my time creating time. How can this job free up space? How can this job support me having more time with my family or more time to travel or more time for the things that really matter, as opposed to endlessly working toward something?”

Norton calls his philosophy Gavin’s Law, which is, “Live to start. Start to live.”

Rethinking Time Management

Norton was a mentee of Stephen Covey, the time management icon and author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. “Stephen said to ‘begin with the end in mind,’” says Norton. “But he never said begin with means in mind. I think, in many ways, we’ve turned goals and habits into ends unto themselves, when in reality, all these things we’re doing are meant for us to live in a different way.”

Traditional time management tools are designed to measure every drop of blood, sweat, and tears from workers, explains Norton. “[They were] never designed for freedom,” he says. “The question is, ‘Who manages my time under time management?’ Traditionally, it is about control. Your employer controls your time. They create your schedule. They tell you what to do when and where. And, if you want to get crazy, they determine that you only have two weeks out of the year for vacation and when you get to retire.”

Norton suggests embracing “anti-time management.” Instead of being the opposite or the reverse, it’s a different level of thinking. “You control your time,” says Norton. “You decide what you want to do, when and where. You decide if you want to create space or not.”

To practice anti-time management, start by identifying “final causes.” “It’s a term from Aristotle,” says Norton. “The idea is [that] an acorn becomes an oak tree. But in real life, a lot of us are planting seeds thinking they’re going to be an oak, when they never will. Why not just plant an oak tree from the start?”

“Final cause” is the sake for which something is done. It’s not the goal; it’s the success that comes from achieving the goal. “Once you realize the final cause, you can change the decision tree around who you want to be and what you really want to do and set up from the dream instead of working endlessly toward it,” says Norton.

For example, you may want to create a table. You might make a design, hire a contractor, and build a table. “That’s great if the goal is to have an heirloom table, but what if the purpose was just to have dinner?” says Norton. “What does success look like after success? Once you understand that, you might realize you could have gotten UberEATS or gone to a food truck. In that process, steps disappear, and you get your time back because the steps weren’t necessary at all.”

“Tip” Time Instead of Managing It

Norton calls the process “time tipping”—rescuing your dream from the end of a timeline and putting it front and center. To tip time and get to the real goal of your goal, you need to get clear on the four Ps of purpose: personal, professional, people, and play.

Your personal purpose relates to the priorities that are just for you, such as health or spirituality. Professional purpose relates to your career, such as promotions or recognition. Your people purpose relates to those around you who are important in your life, such as your family. And your play purpose relates to activities that make you feel energized. Make a list of your Ps, and whenever you have a choice, ask yourself if it fits your purpose priorities.

“They become your North Star,” says Norton. “Does the action bring you closer to or fulfill one of these four goals or not?”

Stop managing time and start prioritizing attention, says Norton. “Pay attention to what you really want, then fast forward the model, going from purpose to priorities to projects,” he says. “The way you’re paid should be in alignment with what you want to be doing. Change the way you work. Change how you’re paid. Change your life. The work you choose determines your lifestyle.”

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IRS Announces 2022 Tax Rates, Standard Deduction Amounts And More

The Internal Revenue Service has announced annual inflation adjustments for tax year 2022, meaning new tax rate schedules and tax tables and cost-of-living adjustments for various tax breaks. Most numbers are up more than in recent years because of higher inflation. Note, these numbers, for the tax year beginning January 1, 2022, are what you’ll use to prepare your 2022 tax returns in 2023. (You can find the numbers and tables to prepare your 2021 tax returns here.)

If you don’t expect your income or life to change significantly—by getting married or starting a gig job, for example—you can use the new numbers to estimate your 2022 federal tax liability. If you’re expecting major changes, make sure you check your tax withholding and/or make quarterly estimated tax payments.

All the details on tax rates are in Revenue Procedure 2021-45. We have highlights below. We also cover the new higher retirement accounts limits for 2022.

There’s one big caveat to these 2022 numbers: Democrats are still trying to pass the now $1.85 trillion Build Back Better Act, and the latest (November 3) legislative text includes income tax surcharges on the rich as well as an $80,000 cap—up from $10,000—for state and local tax deductions. Earlier versions included cutting the estate tax exemption in half and increasing capital gains taxes. So stay tuned.

2022 Tax Bracket and Tax Rates

There are seven tax rates in 2022: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%. Here’s how they apply by filing status:

2022 Standard Deduction Amounts 

The standard deduction amounts will increase to $12,950 for individuals and married couples filing separately, $19,400 for heads of household, and $25,900 for married couples filing jointly and surviving spouses.

The additional standard deduction amount for the aged or the blind is $1,400 for 2022. The additional standard deduction amount for increases to $1,750 for unmarried aged/blind taxpayers.

The standard deduction amount for 2022 for an individual who may be claimed as a dependent (including “kiddies”) by another taxpayer cannot exceed the greater of $1,150 or the sum of $400 and the individual’s earned income (not to exceed the regular standard deduction amount).

Personal Exemption Amount

The personal exemption amount remains zero in 2022. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended the personal exemption through tax tax year 2025, balancing the suspension with an enhanced Child Tax Credit for most taxpayers and a near doubling of the standard deduction amount.

Alternative Minimum Tax Exemption Amounts

Here’s what the alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amounts look like for 2022, adjusted for inflation:

Kiddie Tax 

A child’s unearned income is taxed at the parent’s marginal tax rate; that tax rule has been dubbed the “kiddie tax.” The kiddie tax applies to unearned income for children under the age of 19 and college students under the age of 24. Unearned income is income from sources other than wages and salary. For example, unearned income includes dividends and interest, inherited Individual Retirement Account distributions and taxable scholarships.

For 2022, the standard deduction amount for an individual who may be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer cannot exceed the greater of (1) $1,150 or (2) the sum of $400 and the individual’s earned income (not to exceed the regular standard deduction amount).

If your child’s only income is unearned income, you may be able to elect to include that income on your tax return rather than file a separate return for your child. This is allowed for 2022 if the child’s gross income is more than $1,150 but less than $11,500. But the tax bite may be less if your child files a separate return.

Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains tax rates remain the same for 2022, but the brackets for the rates will change. Here’s a breakdown of long-term capital gains and qualified dividends rates for taxpayers based on their taxable income:

Section 199A deduction (also called the pass-through deduction)

As part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, sole proprietors and owners of pass-through businesses are eligible for a deduction of up to 20% to lower their tax rate for qualified business income. Here are the threshold and phase-in amounts for the deduction for 2022:

Federal Estate Tax Exemption

The federal estate tax exemption for decedents dying in 2022 will increase to $12.06 million per person or $24.12 for a married couple.

Gift Tax Exclusion

The annual exclusion for federal gift tax purposes jumps to $16,000 for 2022, up from $15,000 in 2021.

Further Reading:

IRS Announces Higher 2022 Retirement Account Contribution Limits For 401(k)s, Not IRAs

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I cover personal finance, with a focus on retirement planning, trusts and estates strategies, and taxwise charitable giving. I’ve written for Forbes since 1997. Follow me on Twitter: @ashleaebeling and contact me by email: ashleaebeling — at — gmail — dot — com

Source: IRS Announces 2022 Tax Rates, Standard Deduction Amounts And More

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