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How to Afford a College Degree

May 17 2017 , Written by Micheal Gibbens

Finding Free Money

The best strategy for obtaining, finding money for college is applying for financial aid and scholarships early, finding schools recruiting in your area, making top grades, saving and cutting expenses. Scholarships are the best source for free money and although it may be tough to find the right scholarship, we recommend searching on. But before you go on the hunt for scholarships, there are money saving decisions you should consider from the start, such as: is the cost of the program worth it?

Find a Program That Works for YOU

Finding the right education program is the clearest path towards earning more, but it has to make sense.  The most important feature that should influence your enrollment decision is the program offered not the price, but the reality is that if you are investing in an education program you should research if and when you will be able to pay back loans and college expenses after graduating. The numbers are out there, all you have to do is a bit of research to find the highest paying degrees and the starting salary in a variety of fields.

Thanks to online schools education options are expanding and more students have access to higher education. Current students fill credits on summer and winter breaks by taking an online class specific to their major, and others are opting for the 100% online route to save on cash and time. It is no longer just the well known and established online programs at University of Phoenix, DeVry University or Capella University, many established campus schools such as Boston University and Quinnipiac University offer successful online options too.  Learning online means learning at your own place, online education, online tools for students, however, is not right for everyone.

Just like a traditional program, online colleges are no walk in the park! You have to commit time to learning and be self motivated, to make the grades, but when financial aid is not available this is a viable path towards successfully getting your degree and starting a career.  Online programs can range in costs, but offer additional savings in travel and parking and the ability to keep a current job. A benefit of working while earning your degree online is tuition reimbursement. Many employers will compensate an employee for their education efforts by increasing pay, or through tuition assistance and reimbursement programs.

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What is an open-door policy?

April 13 2017 , Written by Micheal Gibbens

An open-door policy is much more than propping open an office door, although that certainly is a start. (I would be very suspect of an individual who always keeps an office door closed.) Colleagues, administrators, other division or department employees, customers or students (who really are customers) all must communicate with you. And one of the most important communications involves face-to-face or one-on-one communication. Have you ever sat down to write a letter, an email or even to “tweet” a message to someone and thought, “I really don’t even know this person. How should I begin this email?”

You do not want to appear too forward or presumptuous; but you need to communicate something.

Such thoughts may be entirely appropriate and even necessary. However, they do slow down efficient communication.

Why is an open-door policy important?

Now, by contrast, suppose this person who we will call Joe, even though new to the organization, had engaged you in conversation several times in the hallway, usually kept his office door open and just this morning acknowledged you at the door and invited you to come in his office. Joe created a very friendly atmosphere and even shared some important information with you about the project you are currently pursuing. You were only there less than five minutes. Now you are sitting down in your own office. You think of a very important idea or question about your project and want to query Joe. You start typing an email, “Hi Joe, about that project you mentioned…” You get right to the point and efficient and effective communication is taking place.

The above scenario might involve any of the colleagues, administrators, other division or department employees, customers or students referenced above; or it might involve still others. However, the scenario certainly underscores the importance of something as simple as an open-door policy. Additionally, Joe will similarly be able to communicate back to you.

Are you approachable?

But such efficient and effective communication may never have taken place, or even been possible, if Joe had not had an open-door policy – both physically and by the atmosphere he created when he invited you into his office. Are you like Joe? Or, are you so caught up in your own little world, with your own myriad of problems and concerns, that you really do not have time for other people? Or, do you give this impression even though you really do have time for other people and want to be approachable? Either way, other people at your work are not going to engage and communicate with you the same as they would with Joe.

Develop a rapport with people. The benefits will far outweigh the value of the time invested. Even when you are extremely busy with your work or special project, let other people know they are important enough for you to take time out of your busy day to acknowledge and spend at least a few minutes with them.

Although there were other notable professors in my many years as a college student pursuing college degrees and during my tenure at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, there are only two, who really stood out as exceptionally approachable and extraordinarily effective teachers. These were Mr. Gray at Frisbee Junior High School in Kittery, Maine and Mr. Rhodes at Robert W. Traip Academy also in Kittery, Maine (who later taught Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth,NH). If anyone reading this ever attended these schools and knew these individuals (who undoubtedly have passed on now), I am sure you would agree. They immensely enjoyed their work, were extremely knowledgeable about their subjects (health and history) and were highly respected by students, parents, colleagues and administrators. And they consistently employed and open-door policy.

As always, your comments are most appreciated and welcome.

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Researching Ways to Improve Business Technics and Profits

April 13 2017 , Written by Micheal Gibbens

There is only one true reason why any of us go into business for ourselves and that is to make money.

There are a lot a benefits to being in business. Some of these benefits can include more free time with family and friends, being your own boss or setting your own schedule. Even though these benefits are excellent incentives to start a business we are always in it for the money. There is not a single business alive today that can survive without money. This is exactly why your business contact manager should always be looking for new and improved ways to increase business profits.

With countless ways to research the best ways to increase profits you would think that every business would be successful.

Unfortunately this is not the case and is a very important reason to be careful in implementing new methods for making money. Just as there are great ways to improve profits or just make money there are also ways to fail in making money or increasing profit.

Even with an economy in recession it is not difficult to increase profits if you know where to look.

We can all be thankful for the vast communication system that we have today. The internet alone is a great resource for information. If there is a way to improve or expand your business, it can be found on the internet. Another source for information is your competition. If you know what your competition is doing to be so successful then this gives you the ability to find a way to improve your business until you are taking out the competition. The greatest source for information on improving your business is your customers. You can simply have your customers fill out a survey asking about their service experience or what they think could be improved about your business. Your customer make your money so it is extremely important to keep them happy and coming back.

The research can be time consuming, so don’t be afraid to outsource the research to a marketing specialist or a business consultant.

The business contact manager would be a perfect individual for the research, as every business contact manager should be customer oriented and focused on improving the business. Every business needs to be flexible as times change, so there will always be a need for increased profits and business improvements or changes.

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Loyalty vs. Transition

April 13 2017 , Written by Micheal Gibbens

There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to better yourself with a new job. But first, carefully consider why it is, or may be, “better.” Is it because of compensation, advancement opportunity, a desire to change careers, the next step in your career planning or a combination of these factors. Regardless of why you may regard the change as “better,” here are some important considerations.


There is something to be said, actually many things, for staying with one employer for an extended period. Consider each one carefully.

Favor. Often employees who have been with the company for many years receive preferred assignments, more opportunity for advancement and the associated compensation increases, additional fringe benefits (health insurance, life insurance, accelerated retirement benefits, vacation time, etc.) and possibly general favor with their superior/boss, often due to the rapport developed with him or her.

Stability. Job security is usually greater when you stay with one company for an extended period. This is particularly important if you have a family with several children. Moving to another geographical location, sometimes even out of the country, will impose both stress and at least temporary hardship on your entire family. These may include possible temporary loss of income, moving and relocation expenses, leaving friends and relatives, and making new friends. However, if you are single, or have a spouse and no children, you may still be flexible enough to make the transition; but this must be a joint decision between you and your spouse.

Resume. Frequent employment changes, especially if it is not a clearly planned career move, may not look good on your resume. Employers often look for the potential for company loyalty when hiring new employees. For example, cab driver to flight instructor to commuter airline to a national or international Part 121 carrier (Delta, American or United Airlines) are all clearly planned career moves. However, moving from one flight instructor position to a second and then to a third within a two or three year period will not give the desired impression to new employers.


Will moving from your present employment to your new employment be a smooth process? Will you be using skills developed with your present employer in your new employment? Does your new employer consider your present employer as a competitor, a supplier of required materials or supplies, or a non-consequential factor in their business? Each of these could have different consequences for both you and your new employer.

Competitor. Is your new employer trying to attain a competitive advantage by hiring you? If so, and if you regard this as legitimate, the move may be best for you and both companies. You are promoting your career and bettering yourself; the former employer is realizing that the transition to higher quality workers, and retaining quality employees, must be part of their business planning; and the new employer is learning about new sources of employees as their business is growing. Conversely, if hiring you is meant to punish or put another company out of business, you have to decide if the new company really wants you or if they are using you as an ends to a means; and that means may not be completely legitimate, maybe not even in your best long-range interest.

Supplier or Non-Consequential Factor. Is there a motivation for your new employer to hire from one of their suppliers? The motivation may be very innocent or even non-consequential. However, do look at the situation from your new employer’s perspective. Additionally, consider the perspective of your present employer and how they may view you, and your work, if they are knowledgeable about your efforts toward seeking new employment.

Thank you for reading!

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