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Are You Considering an MBA? Answer these 2 Questions First!

At the end of last year, I was in a career funk. So I considered going back to school to get my Master’s of Business Administration (MBA). With an MBA, you can advance in your current field or make a switch to a new field, everyone values an MBA.

I was stoked! I considered the possibility of getting an MBA in the past and it was a great time in my life to do night classes. So I began picturing myself adding the letters “MBA” behind my name on business cards and looking up schools.

However, I quickly hit the brakes!

Ask These 2 Questions before You pursue an MBA

Many of my friends are going back to school or currently in school, and I ALWAYS ask them these 2 simple questions that BLOW THEIR MIND. So I decided to test myself to see if I passed my own “Should You Get An MBA” test.

1. What is the EXACT dream Company and Job Title you want after graduation?

You should know this. Most people will get an MBA because they want to do something in business. They think they need MBA to for future promotions and career growth.

However, you should FIRST figure out what your dream job is. You can’t just say “something in business”. If you are going to spend $80,000+ on an MBA and years of your life. You should identify the exact company and job title you want before you even start school. Come on, it’s your DREAM job.

This is a role you will potentially be doing for the rest of your life. You should have a clear idea of what it should be. This will guide every future decision you make while in your MBA program, affect the electives you take and the networking events you attend.

What’s the point of getting an MBA if you don’t know what you’ll do with it? Seriously? So write down your dream job title and company.

2. Have you reached out to your dream company yet?

Once you can identify the exact company and job title you want, you should reach out to that company and ask what they look for. This should be less intimidating than looking at a future $80,000+ student debt bill.

Usually a company’s Human Resources department would be willing to meet with you if you share with them that you’re considering going back to school to gain the skills necessary to work at their company.

When you meet with your dream company’s Human Resources Department, you should ask them some of these questions.

My dream job at your company is a Marketing Manager (or whatever it is), what is the salary range they get paid?

You should ABSOLUTELY know how much your future job pays because that’ll tell you how long it’ll take you to pay off your newly acquired student debt. Plus it’ll give you an idea of what lifestyle you can expect once you graduate with an MBA.

It’s not all about money, but you should be aware if all your hard work in school will result in nightly ramen noodles once you graduate. Are you OK with that?

What degrees or education do your current Marketing Managers have? (or whatever your dream job is)

This will give you an idea of the education level of their current employees. Some of their employees may have MBAs and some may not. You should probe deeper to what the HR team looks for in your dream position. Perhaps you don’t need an MBA and you have the necessary experience to apply today.

If you need to get an MBA for that position, ask if they have a preferred school or partner with any specific schools. If your dream job regularly partners with a local university and hires pretty exclusively from there, that university may need to be on your radar for potential schools.

Does your dream company offer internships?

Yes, you’re getting an MBA but knowing if your dream company has an internship program is huge. Many companies will hire interns who are working towards their degree and help them grow into the position. There is no reason to wait till after you get your MBA to apply to your dream company. You should use every opportunity you can to start making connections.

What does career growth look like at that company?

If your dream job is to be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), they won’t just hire you out of school. What entry level roles will you need to start off with and how does one become a CEO? How did the current CEO get his role and what did they do before that? Some jobs aren’t attainable right out of school, even with an MBA. You need to understand what your career path would look like moving up to your dream position. You should understand what this looks like.

When I considered an MBA, I failed this checklist

Last year when I considered getting my MBA, I went full-throttle and visited 3 different universities. I dropped in classes and met with professors. I received all the brochures, met with all their “advisors” and compared costs ($39,000 – $80,000). I did soft applications and confirmed I would be accepted to each of them. So I was freaking close to full out applying.

I knew I wanted do something in finance because I LOVED writing about finance. So I figured I’d get an MBA with a focus in finance (hence why I write for Wallet Squirrel). This is how most people start the MBA journey. They love the idea of a degree, get an education THEN figure out where they want to work.

I did that when I choose my college degree. I went into Landscape Architecture without actually knowing if it was my dream job. I just thought it would be fun to draw and select plants. I didn’t learn till after internships and after graduation that they spend most of their time looking at a computer, drawing parking lots. UGH, so NEVER again.

So I asked myself these two questions and I failed.

There were some finance positions like Financial Planner, Mutual Fund Manager, Financial Analyst that sounded interesting but I wasn’t drawn to them with such vigor that I could stomach another $80,000 in student loan debt.

One position DID sound fun, but they earned even less than I was making now. So I had to ask myself if I would be willing to gain more debt for lower paying, nicer job? I didn’t like it that much.

Do the Math on your Future Tuition

According to Investatopia, the average MBA program costs $140,000, with higher ranking school costing more. They’re factoring in tuition, living arrangements, books (use ebates to save) and peripheral expenditures. That’s more than the evening only MBA programs I was looking at.

Now factor that $140,000 student debt at 6.8% interest which is the average Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan according to Federal Student Aid. Having that kind of student loan debt is similar to buying a house.

However the common response to seeing these numbers is that you’ll be paid more after your MBA. That is likely true. The average salary of MBA graduates in a full-time program was $126,919. This was taken from US News when they interviewed companies mainly on the east/west coasts which usually provide a higher salary than the Mountain States and Midwest.

Conclusion

Most people like me had to make an insane decision in High school to pick a college major before entering college. So at the same time I was focused on rehearsing for the school musical and wondering if the homecoming queen, Val liked me (she didn’t). I had to choose a degree that would affect the rest of my life. I was not ready.

Going back to school for your MBA doesn’t have to be like that. There isn’t any timetable, no matter what the college recruiters tell you about the deadline for an upcoming semester. You have all the time in the world to choose if an MBA is right for you.

So if you’re considering going back to school for an MBA to improve your future, you should have an idea of what your future will look like by identifying your dream job at your dream company. This is your opportunity to do WHATEVER you want in the world, have a plan that extends after graduation.

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8 Extremely Flexible Part Time Jobs For Us Grown Ups

8 Extremely Flexible Part Time Jobs For Us Grown Ups

Whether it was in high school or in college most of us have had one or two flexible part time jobs to earn some extra cash. For me, my first job, was detasseling in the corn fields of Iowa. Then I moved onto being a life guard at the local water park for a couple summers.

The issue with most of these part time jobs is they do not work out for us grownups to make some extra money to pay off debt. I wanted to pull in some easy to access part time job that will work alongside of your 9 to 5 full time job.

My goal for this list is to tell you several flexible part time jobs that are easy on your schedule and simple to jump right into.

Love to Interact With People? Work in Retail

This might sound like a job for only those younger people but it is not. Sure there are a lot of teenagers and college students working in retail but there are plenty of grown adults as well. Personally, I have worked a lot of years in retail and it is a pretty good place to be for a part time gig.

Back in college I worked at a major department store where I actually met my wife. Later on, after college, I worked at a landscape materials company where I helped sell rock and design yards. The latest experience was because I was in transition between careers. I worked at a major sporting goods retailer here in Denver. This gave me the time to work on my master’s degree while providing for my family.

Working in retail is one of eight great flexible part time jobs for anyone who is looking to earn more money.

Working in retail is one of eight great flexible part time jobs for anyone who is looking to earn more money.

Overall, I have just about seven years of retail experience. I found that the hours and time off needed were extremely flexible. The money is decent for what the job is. Working twenty hours a week might allow you to bring in an extra $800 a month.

Love Walking and Dogs? Try Dog Walking

There are several apps out there that are basically the Uber for dog walking. You can pay someone to walk your dog OR you can get paid by some who will pay you! If you are like my wife and I, we enjoy going for a walk almost every day after work. So why not get paid for that walk? Hop on one of these apps, Wag! or Rover , to see if one of your neighbors needs help walking their dogs.

Bonus Points! Both of these apps are not just for dog walking. They allow you to pet sit as well!

Can you Write? Do Some Freelance Writing

This is one that I do not have any personal experience with. My wife has been looking for some flexible part time jobs for this coming summer. As an English teacher, I plan on recommending freelance writing to her. It will be great because freelance writing is easy to engage into once school is out and disengage once school is back in session. For me, I will hopefully get a good article out of her experience 🙂

Freelance writing is one of eight great flexible part time jobs for anyone who is looking to earn more money.

Freelance writing is one of eight great flexible part time jobs for anyone who is looking to earn more money.

Michelle from Making Sense of Cents  recommends starting out slowly with one gig at a time. A slow start will ensure that you can focus on that article to make sure it is the highest quality. The higher the quality articles you write, the more likely people will hire you for more. It helps to find a niche you enjoy writing about. If you are having fun writing then it is likely that your writing will be even better.

So how do you find these gigs? Michelle recommends checking out the ProBlogger job boards to find freelance gigs.

Have a Computer? Fill Out Some Surveys

Look you are not going to get rich by completing surveys, take a look at Andrew’s review of surveying, No more survey apps, they just don’t pay well. You can make some decent money for your savings account every month though. Using Michelle from Making Sense of Cents as an example again, she made around an extra $100 a month from surveys. I do not think this is bad since all you have to do is sit back on the couch with your computer to fill these out.

Some of the more popular services are Swagbucks, Pinecone Research, American Consumer Opinion, InboxDollars, and Harris Poll Online.

Use Swagbucks to earn some extra money.

Use Swagbucks to earn some extra money.

Can you Drive? Drive for Uber or Lyft

Uber and Lyft are the newish hip ways to catch a ride around your city. I really love these services as they provide a very easy and simple way to hale a ride. With a couple clicks on your phone and someone is on their way to pick you up.

These services have also became a great way to earn extra money with your own vehicle. With extreme elasticity on setting your own hours this is one of those flexible part time jobs that can fit anyone’s needs. Since you set your own hours, you can make as little or as much as you would like being an Uber or Lyft driver.

Uber or Lyft are great ways to earn extra money on your own time.

Uber or Lyft are great ways to earn extra money on your own time.

I once took a ride from an Uber driver who use to drive a cab. She said that she loves working for the service. It provides her with a lot more flexibility. In turn, this allowed her to spend more time with her kids, while making more money than she used to. I thought that was such an awesome statement for Uber.

Personally, I have never tried Lyft. Have you? If so, tell me about it in the comments section below. I’m curious to hear about your thoughts.

Have a Pulse? Donate Plasma

This was my part time job back in college. Donating Plasma was one of my favorite flexible part time jobs I have ever had. The hours were super flexible, the pay was great for what was entailed, and it was very easy. I donated plasma for over three years while in college. It provided just about $300 extra dollars for me a month while conforming to my crazy academic schedule as a landscape architecture student.

If you are interested in donating plasma check out my detailed write up, How to Earn More Money – Donating Plasma.

Are you Crafty? Sell on Etsy

Etsy is one of those flexible part time jobs that is easy to jump into but does take some time to get established. I have sold a few photographs on Esty but never put the time into really establishing my shop (that is what they call your personal page). I have read that this can take a little while but can be totally worth the effort that you put forward.

Etsy allows you to sell your own crafts as a part time gig.

Etsy allows you to sell your own crafts as a part time gig.

Similar to Uber or Lyft, you put time into Etsy whenever you can outside of your 9 to 5 job. The more you put into your shop, the more likely it will succeed. In the near future I will be revisiting my Esty Shop trying to revive it and see what I can get out of it. It looks like I have some work to do as they reset my shop since I have last logged in. Stay tuned!

Good With a Camera? Sell Your Photography

I absolutely love photography. Sadly, since moving to Colorado in 2011 my life has become WAY too busy to be able to put time into the craft. One way I have found to make a little money off of my photographs that are just sitting within an external hard drive is through stock photography.

Back in 2013 I decided to upload some random photos that I liked. Some were my favorite photographs of all time and some were just good. It turned out one of my random ‘just good’ photos that I took of the St. Louis Arch was really loved by people. This photograph has gone on to make me around $1,000! I only host this photograph on iStockPhoto and ShutterStock.

I have used stock photography to make true passive income for the past four years.

I have used stock photography to make true passive income for the past four years.

Stock photography is truly a passive income. I have not touched that photo on either service in that past four years. So fun!

Conclusion

All in all these flexible part time jobs are very easy to get started with. They all are very conforming to any grownup’s schedule. Anyone can get signed up for any of these eight positions right now. I recommend trying one that might interest you the most. This will ensure that you enjoy making this extra money.

If you are looking for some extra cash to help pay off debt then I recommend you trying out any of these eight flexible part time jobs.

We have come up with a bigger list on Ways to Earn More Money. Most of these are not flexible p

art time jobs. Rather this list has other experiences on how to make more money such as selling something on Craigslist.

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How to Earn More Money – Donating Plasma

Introduction

Hello Everyone! Before I get to today’s main way to earn more money, donating plasma, I wanted to introduce myself. As a lot of you already know from Andrew’s introduction of me from his post last week, I am Adam. If you didn’t see his introduction, go check it out now. It is a really good read! Don’t worry, I won’t go anywhere, I’ll still be here when you get back.

You back? Great! I hope you enjoyed that article as much as I did.

Anyways, back to what is important, me! As I’ve already mentioned, I am Adam, the newest and greatest (shhh don’t tell Andrew) contributor to Wallet Squirrel. I am very excited to work alongside my best buddy Andrew making great content for you while learning in the process.

My goals here are to learn more about becoming financially free and to become that. My wife and I have a lot of debt (car, student loans, and house) that we want to break free from. I want to include you in on this journey to paying off our debt!

A little about me. I am married and we have a four month old. We also have two dogs, a lab-retriever and a husky. Living in Denver, Colorado allows our little family to do what we love the most, spend time in the mountains. We love to hike, climb 14ers (Mountains above 14,000 feet in elevation), and to camp. One of my favorite hobbies is photography so you will be seeing several posts from me about it and how you can make money with your camera. Be excited!

Earn More Money With Photography

A little self promotion of one of my photographs

 

I guess I’ll stop rambling and get to what you are really here for. Way #72 to earn more money by donating plasma.

Earn More Money – Donating Plasma

A lot of people cringe at the thought of having a 12 gauge needle moving towards their arm. I don’t blame them, it can be a very nerve racking process. Especially when a trainee would come to stick you but most weeks the experience was great. I am here to walk you through the donation process to help ease those nerves.

Back in college donating plasma was my main income for a few years. Twice a week one of my roommates and I would go to Biolife Plasma in Ames, Iowa to donate plasma. Typically we would earn between $50 to $70 a week for our plasma and time.

So let’s walk through what my typical visit was like. Keep in mind, I have experience with only one facility and your local donation center might vary.

When I initially started I had to take a physical to make sure I was fit enough to donate. This is not a traditional physical that you get at the doctor, so do not worry about that. It takes about an hour to complete between all of the paper work, the million and one questions they ask you, as well as the general physical health checkup they perform. The physical needs to be repeated every year, which was my least favorite part of the experience. Not because it was hard or anything like that, it was just really annoying.

Now that the initial physical is complete and I was approved the rest of the visits were easy. I would walk through the front door and sign in at the front desk. This included answering a bunch of questions on a computer. Some examples are. Have you visited certain countries within a particular time frame? Were you sick recently? Did you donated blood recently? Then I would go sit in the waiting room for a little bit. A nurse would call my name to check my temperature, blood pressure, and verify so other items. If I had too high of temperature or blood pressure I could not donate for the day. If I passed, the nurse would take me back to the donating beds.

Once back there and settled in, a technician would come to stick my arm so the donation process could start. This is the part most people cringe about, don’t worry about it. These technician do go through a thorough training process. Out of the three years I donated, only a few sticks did not go too well.

Earn More Money - Donating Plasma

Technically this photo is of someone donating blood but looks very similar to the plasma donation process.

After getting hooked up I was able to relax during the donation process for the next thirty to forty-five minutes. This is when I would read/study or watch a movie. I really enjoyed this part of the donation process as you were literally forced to relax. When done and unhooked, I went to check out, sign up for my next donation time, and get paid! The whole visit took about an hour and a half.

Payment wise, Ames was a smaller market so we only got $50 to $70 a week for the donations. We were limited to two donations a week each time. They would pay $30 for the first time and $40 for the second visit. Some bigger cities paid a lot better. It was rumored that people in Kansas City were getting $130 a week!

Conclusion

For anyone with a few extra hours in the week and looking for more money I highly recommend checking your local plasma donation center. This is a fairly easy way to gain some extra income. It is mostly a painless process that allows you to get other work done during the process. If I missed anything about the process or you have a story about your own experience, give a comment below.

Now that you know a little more about way #72 to earn more money, donating plasma. Head over to our comprehensive list to check out other ways you could earn more money in 2017! We will continue to try out and review these ways throughout the year for you. If we are missing something on the list and you want to see us review it shoot us an email or tweet (@WalletSquirrel)!

Cheers!
-Adam

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