Banking: Pros & Cons
Have you ever heard of working banker's hours? What does that mean anyway? Let's take a look at available positions that you may find at your local banking branch and some pros and cons that come with the work. Each financial institution is a little different, but they follow government established guidelines. I speak to my experience working in this industry.
When you think of banking, the most common position that comes to mind is usually teller, but there are a multitude of positions. These opportunities have an enormous range and could require no previous training or advanced degrees in finance. More common positions include teller, banker, branch manager, wealth consultant, or loan officer. Other positions within the corporation could include Human Resources experts, call center representative, web design or app developer, marketing and promotional workers, loss prevention, and even training and education specialists. Some of these positions do require you to move to a city where the bank you are working with has a hub, which is something to consider depending on the career pathway that you choose.
I found one of the most difficult parts of banking was that most consumers do not understand how banks work. For instance, banks keep limited amounts of cash on hand to help mitigate losses in the event of a robbery. If you ever want to withdraw a large amount, you should call ahead so the bank can order it in for you.
Another issue was that people don't understand why all bank accounts aren't free. They forget that banks are businesses and they make money based on their services. There are opportunities to waive most bank fees if you have a certain amount on deposit or if you have monthly direct deposits. Banks make money on offering different services, however, since they are able to use funds on deposit to earn interest they are often able to reimburse certain monthly charges. They base their models on making this money on the backend not necessarily on small fees that occur, this is why if you ever have an overdraw charge or a late fee if you call and ask for a customer courtesy waiver, they will often (Not, always, so don't "bank" on it.) refund your charge if the issue was immediately addressed. It never hurts to ask.
Does finance sound like fun? Check out your local banks for openings.
The Best job ever!
There are so many options for positions these days that you can really focus on what you love and where you are appreciated. It is not like our ancestors where they signed on for one position and it seemed like a death march until the end. We really have been presented with the ability to explore. That is just what I have done.
The best job ever...at least that I have gotten so far, was this: I was hired by a promotional marketing company for an acting gig! I was so excited. Even when they booked my plane ticket out, I was a little suspicious. Would this really be a performance position where I actually made money?
Now, something that makes most promotional marketing positions so lucrative is their timeliness. This position was a tour, but it only lasted for the summer(Yup, three months.). One of the amazing caveats was that the fourth of July was in the middle of tour and the staffers were afraid that if we went on break that we wouldn't come back. To keep that from happening they paid us to stay on over the holiday.
So, other than being paid to stick with a company, what made this position so wonderful? Well, being well compensated for one's time always helps. Having great benefits is perk too. While this wasn't a long term position that allowed for insurance benefits, I did receive per diem, a phone allowance, and even a stipend for doing laundry (since we had to clean our own costumes). There were many other great perks. While working this tour, I had access to a rental vehicle. Also, we were traveling, which I love! The program paid our hotel costs and also lent us extras(like breakfasts). We were provided a certain amount of reimbursement for our uniform costs, too.
This tour was one of my favorites because while we had a difficult schedule and had a lot of physical labor to support our goal, we were truly appreciated and got a great deal of joy out of educating our audience and working with our peers. We were able to do what we loved! We were all able to perform. We also taught those around us. With the time on tour, we experienced many diverse events as well. We traversed the St. Louis arch, swam with manatees in Florida, and tasted Phillies at Primate Bros.
If you think these things sound amazing, check out touring options now! Good luck!
There are plenty of college comedies that poke fun at the floor R.A. They are portrayed as always ruining the fun and perhaps even being a bit of a tattletale. If this is true, why would anyone ever do it? Let's explore what an R.A., or a Resident Assistant, does and why it might be a great opportunity.
What is an R.A.?
In college residence halls, an R.A. is an upperclass student that lives on the floor and has a variety of responsibilities. While some may view this position as an annoyance, their goal is really to create a safe community on the floor. This can be done through a variety of ways some of which may be required by your school. As always, I know that each school is a little different and job requirements may fluctuate, however, I will speak about my experience in this position.
In my role, we had specific weekly, monthly, and yearly requirements. Every year, we would assist in opening and closing of the building for the school year and all breaks. We would also provide door tags for each resident at the beginning of the year. Monthly, we were required to put up at least one bulletin board and conduct at least one program. We also would attend a full staff inservice. Weekly, we would be assigned duty nights where we would do rounds in the build every couple hours to make sure rules were being followed and everyone was being safe and we had a few office hours scheduled during the day to help with visibility and administrative tasks. We also had one-on-one and staff meetings with our supervisor each week.
One of the most important parts of this position is to be available to assist your students. Those living in the halls can have any variety of concerns and you are a frontline resource to help them find the best way to get their answers. Just like the title says, you are there to assist everyone in having a great year!
Why should you consider becoming an R.A.?
First, R.A. looks great on a resume. It shows that not only did you complete your own college courses, but you were able to assisted others. You have a track record of being a responsible mentor. You have probably also mediated your fair share of roommate conflicts and developed excellent communication skills.
Next, the position can be quite lucrative. Compensation for this work varies from school to school. During my time working as an R.A., I received a double room to myself and a small monthly stipend. Just the savings on the room alone can be worth the work. Having that room to yourself is a great added bonus!
Finally, I really enjoyed the aspects of being an R.A. Creating fun and educational programs for the residents of my floor to enjoy was one of my favorite pastimes. I loved to plan the events and create invitations and marketing for them. It was always exciting to see my students building bonds and friendships throughout the year. Some of my residents were even inspired to become R.A.s themselves. I was able to head up the committee to recruit new R.A.s each year. I loved the quiet time in the buildings during openings and closings. The best part, however, was bonding with fellow staff members.
Are you attending college and looking for a great experience? Reach out to your R.A. to find out more!
"i can't" days
I’m going to be completely upfront with every single person, spirit, soul, demon, alien, entity, whatever that is reading this. I challenged myself to write for thirty days. Is that excessive? No. Have I completed it? No. Am I going to continue? Yes!!! Do I feel like it today? …no.
Even though I have a million ideas, thousands of experiences, and dozens of blog ideas… there are days that the words just don’ t flow like they should. I am still thinking about writing more about my babies and jobs in banking, tutoring, retail, and food and wine and travel and… At this moment, when I am writing less than two hours from my daily deadline—none of these things want to create a complete thought in my mind.
Do you ever wake in the night? Are you filled with incomplete thoughts? They could be images that just meld from one to another. Sometimes they are unstated or incomplete conversations. Mine are even songs that play on repeat(and “I Wanna Be Like You” was not on my recent playlist…where do these come from???).
The more important question: when you make a promise to yourself: what makes you follow through? Do you rely on not letting yourself down? Do you bribe yourself? Are you one of those that just follows through and never thinks about it? (Bless you because most of us can’t!)
Somedays, I am simply tired and have no answers. I want so desperately to be a great example of a “have it all”mom, but every once in a while luxuries like sleep are distracting. There are examples of moguls that have done whatever it takes to create empires, but how can we (have it all moms) to do that?
You are allowed to take time to think.
You are allowed to take time to regroup.
You are allowed to take time to plan.
You are allowed to take time to progress.
You are allowed to take time for yourself.
This life is not easy. There are no perfect directions to follow. You have one absolute. You must keep going. There are people that depend on you.
Keep going, dears! We are here for you. You are making a difference. It is worth it!!
Taking on Teaching
Are you thinking of teaching full-time? Many individuals find this to be a rewarding position and spend their entire working lives in this field. Schools are everywhere, even online, so there are an abundance of opportunities. There are several key points to consider, however, before pursuing this career path. For the best information, check out your state's Department of Education website. I will discuss my experience which may not be the same for all individuals.
Who do you want to teach?
Depending on the licensure that you are seeking, most are divided by grade level, content, or both. There is a huge range of licenses available and each has a different preparation process and a different amount of available opportunities. It is especially important to consider which positions are in high demand if you are committed to a certain geographical region. For instance, I qualify for a supplemental licensure in teaching drama, but, sadly, there are no positions that require that license in my area.
Are you ready to put in the hours?
Many take one look at teaching and only see the "summers off." Rarely do people account for all the hours that teachers actually put in. Day to day hours also include lesson planning, grading, and administrative duties in addition to actual teaching time. Educators are also asked to take on tasks like after-school detention, lunch duties, or other supervisory assignments. They could also be supporting students through extracurricular activities; including, sports, arts, class advisors, or any number of other clubs. Finally, just because you have your teaching license doesn't mean that you are done learning. Teachers must constantly be taking classes and earning continuing education credits to be able to keep their license current.
What is the best way to earn your license?
In my state, there are several options to earn your teaching license depending on if you are approaching the field as a first career or changing fields. If you are just starting out, most four year colleges offer an education degree. You do need to check to see which specific licenses they support. This can change over time. When I was in college getting my bachelor's, my school offered a program for those who were pursuing a license to teach drama or theatre. Now, that university no longer supports that licensure path, though they still help students get licenses in early education or those who hope to teach certain subjects in high school. This is another reason that it is important to decide what and who you want to teach. Not every school offers every license.
There are a few different opportunities for those changing careers to earn a teaching license. Going back to get an education bachelors is always an option. If you already have a B.A. or B.S. or B.F.A, you may be able to apply for alternative licensure or gain licensure through a post-bachelor or masters program.
The alternative program is offered through the state and is a relatively low cost option to learn the educational theories needed to teach specific subjects. These may include, but are not limited to: high school math, social studies, language arts, or science. All of this is based on what credits you have earned with your initial degree. Post-bach and master's programs are also excellent options and can help you start out at an increased salary, depending on your school district's contract.
Remember, no matter what path you take there will be a student teaching component. This is several weeks of full-time teaching. It is time-consuming and includes having your teaching evaluated and often a large written component submitted. Know that if you are working another job, you will probably not be able to continue it at this time.
Be sure to explore all your options before deciding the best route for you. Certain grants or loan forgiveness opportunities are also available for those who are licensed in a field of high need and work in a low income district. Beware, the schools on this list fluctuate from year to year (https://studentaid.gov/tcli/). Do your research.
My path, as you may have noticed, is a little different from most. I had B.A.s in Theatre and Interdepartmental Science and a decade of varied work experience when I decided to pursue teaching. At that time, I thought the best option was to go through Western Governors University's M.A. Teaching, Science Education (Secondary) program. (Check out my graduation speech!) This allowed me an initial licensure in Life Science for grades 7-12. I, then, took a few classes with the University of Findlay to add Integrated Science to my license. Finally, when the pandemic hit, I took the time to make myself as marketable as possible by completing a second masters with WGU. This time I added Integrated Mathematics to my credentials.
There are a multitude of opportunities out there! Good luck learners!
Baby A: Part 4
As we approached the time to make the announcement, the world seemed in need of a little good news. On Christmas Eve, we lost my great-aunt, who was the sister to my grandfather who we had lost in January 2020. It was this grandfather whose birthday was the twins' due date. Upon hearing the news, I texted my cousin, my great-aunt's daughter, and let here know I was expecting. I was hoping maybe the joy of two new souls as we lost two would be comforting.
Christmas morning, however, still wasn't quite as joyful as I hoped. Getting up with big sister and discovering overflowing stockings and gifts from Santa was thrilling for all, but when we were getting ready to head to my mom's for festivities, I went to set down some gifts that we were taking and...Ouch! I pulled something in my back. Now, I had had back issues before and I know it's a matter of time, Tylenol, heat, and Bengay, it was just a disappointing event. Luckily, mom picked up big sister and brought back Christmas dinner.
A few days later, I was still having pain and on top of the exhaustion of this pregnancy I wasn't sure what to do. I attended the viewing for my great-aunt and felt like I could barely breathe sitting through it. The next morning, New Year's Eve, as we were prepping lunch before the funeral, I decided to call the doctor.
I called in and explained what had happened. I added that the pain had seemed to extend to my left side. I also noted that I had been tracking my weight gain and wrist circumference and both had increase dramatically in the last week. The nurse on the phone just laughed and said that most people didn't keep track of things so well. I informed the nurse that I was at 24 weeks with twins and wasn't sure if all this was a normal growth spurt or if I should come in to get checked out. She asked when my next appointment was (four days later) and how I would rate my pain (Who knows? What is just before tears? Maybe a 7.). She said oh well we close at noon today, so if your pain reaches an 8 go to the emergency room...
I though, perhaps I am just being a wimp, but I am not sure how the next four months are going to go. Needing some cheering, I posted my pregnancy announcement for the world to see, or at least my Facebook friends, I hunkered down, tried to relax, and asked my boss if I could work from home the morning of the appointment until I could get some answers. Thankfully, he was agreeable. Part of me wondered if the doctor would put me on bedrest.
Meanwhile, my husband, who pre-pandemic had traveled extensively for work, was preparing to leave for a meeting in Chicago the day before the appointment. We have had lots of experience being apart and usually it is not a concern, but this time with both expressed unease as his absence. It was a little disappointing because this would be the first baby appointment that he had missed. Not to skip work unnecessarily, I arranged for my father to take me to my appointment, told my husband not to worry, and asked my grandmother to come watch big sister.
How I Started Touring
Or as my mother would call it, How I Ran Away with the Circus.
I have had the opportunity to tour under a couple different job titles. I had a theatre background, but I got my first touring job through a marketing company. I had been working in promotions consistently for about a year when I got an interview for a performing position. A marketing company was looking through their pool of promotional models for those with acting experience to help a company do some internal training. I applied and was thrill to be the youngest selected to be one of four touring trios. This was a short term position, but helped me to put "touring experience" on my resume.
It all happened very fast. I got the official call and the next morning, I was on a plane to Duluth to learn a new position and join the tour. I was able to be a "plush cart operator" for the remainder of the tour, so I sold toys and lights to little kids. In my downtime, I would try to watch the show load in and learn from the technicians. I made a little money and a lot of friends and headed home five months later with a greatly enhanced resume and a focus on spending as much time learning in local theatre as I could.
Never underestimate the power of networking, flexibility, and a drive to learn.
Gig Life: Promo Style
Need something flexible. either full or part-time? Promotional marketing may be for you. Never heard of promotional marketing? Have no marketing background? Have never seen anyone in this position? Actually, you don't need any training and you've seen people in these positions all over the place.
Ever gotten a sample of a new product at a fair, gotten to try a new liquor from branded representatives at a bar or club, or visited a booth to enter for a prize? The people working these events likely have no affiliation with the brand they are representing. They are simply hired for the shift of for the length of the event.
Promotional or event marketing companies hire people to work on a short term basis to represent a product or service. There are many different job titles out there that have slightly different job descriptions, but fall under the promo gig umbrella. The basic position entails wearing a specific uniform, learning brand information to share with consumers, and often helping the the set up and teardown of the event. Here are just a few brands that I have worked with and titles I have had.
Promo Gig F.A.Q.s
How much should I make?
This depends on the position. If you are working a single event, you could make between $16 and $40 per hour. Depending on the client and location, you may also be reimbursed for parking, receive gas money or drive time, or be provided with lodging. It all depends on the client. Make sure to read all the details before accepting a position.
On a long term position as a tour manager? Expect to make $800-$1200 a week on average. These positions often come with added benefits and of course, travel!
What types of brands are hiring?
Did you see my list? All of them!!!
How do I get hired for these positions?
Seek out staffing companies and start creating profiles with each of them. You can also look for these types of positions on job boards or even in Facebook groups. I found my first one on Craigslist (yes, really.). Make sure you have a great, recent, natural headshot and full-body shot to submit to clients.
What will get me fired or blacklisted?
Not following instructions, taking unschedule breaks, smoking in uniform, discussing pay, and bad attitude can all be factors in not asking you to return. Most importantly, always show up. The best way to get ousted from the promo business is to miss a scheduled event and not let your contact know. This is known as a "no call/no show."
How often can I work?
This is totally up to you. These positions are available year-round all over the country, so the amount you work is up to you. Be courteous, work hard, and follow directions and local managers will be more likely to refer you for future work. Just make sure you are organized. Keep an accurate calendar of your work and the sky is the limit.
Most everyone has experienced having a substitute teacher, but what do they actually do and what makes a good one? One of the worst situations for both students and teachers happens when the sub doesn't know what is going on, but how do you combat that? While substitute teaching can seem like a glorified babysitting position, to do it well you need to be prepared and ask the right questions. As always, this blog is based on my real experiences in this position.
First, know what you are teaching. When you get a call, you will be asked if you are available on a certain date, if it is a full or half day, and, usually, you will be told the grade level and sometimes the subject that you are being requested for. As one colleague wisely pointed out, "If you are subbing for a gym teacher, dress like a gym teacher." Keep in mind, if you are working with younger students, you need to be sure to be able to crouch down to help with assignments, take on recess duty, or be prepared to complete a messy art project. Likewise, if you will be in a lab make sure to wear closed-toed shoes and long pants. Layers are also helpful to adjust to room temperatures which can fluctuate throughout a building.
Next, get all the information that you can. When you arrive at the office to check in for your assignment, you will usually get a name tag, directions to your room, and, possibly, keys. Check to see if there are any forms to fill out (like a sub log) and if it should be left for the teacher or brought to the office at the end of the day (I always make sure to leave a note for the teacher with specific details about absences and behavior for each class period.). This is a good time to ask about cellphone policy. Sometimes it is teacher specific, but it is good to have a general idea, because this is one of the first things students will try to get away with. Also find out if there is a substitute log in for the school computers. Another great thing to ask is if there are any special events in the building that day.
After checking in, head to your room. Hopefully, the regular teacher has left you specific notes about the day. Take this time to read through the day, locate your teaching resources, find out if you switch rooms throughout the day or have extra duties (before or after school, or at lunch), and get organized for the morning. Morning tasks generally include reporting attendance, taking a lunch count, and showing the announcements. Often, if you cannot do one of these things, there will be a note about where to send students or a student that can be put in charge of the task. If there are no classroom instructions, check with the office or neighboring teachers. In a worse case scenario, you will run a study hall all day. Write your name on the board and be prepared for constant monitoring. Finally, take a few moments to check out the posted emergency procedures. You never know if there will be a last minute tornado drill or evacuation.
Throughout the day, try to move through the room as much as possible. Students know they are less likely to get away with misbehaviors if you are not sitting like a lump in the corner. Also be consistent. If there are no specific instructions, be upfront with your students and let them know what you expect. Can they work with a partner? What is an acceptable noise level? What activities can they do if they are done with their assignment? If the classroom teacher has left a way to reward their students, tell them exactly what you expect to be able to reward them. Unless otherwise stated, I always limit people leaving the classroom for bathroom breaks or locker runs to one guy and one gal and I keep an eye on the clock to let the teacher know if they were gone for an extended period.
Normally, a substitute will have two breaks throughout the day. One is a plan period. This is a great time to run to the bathroom (You should not leave the room while you are supervising students.), check your phone for messages (You should not have your phone out while supervising students.), and relax (Bring a book.). The other is a lunch break. Depending on your school, you may be able to head to the cafeteria and pay cash for lunch. Some schools require you to have an account set up to purchase lunches and may not set one up for the casual sub. This is something you might inquire about with the office. I always found it easiest to simply bring something cold for lunch. Most schools will invite you to use the teachers lounge, but lunch periods are usually very short and taking time to find the lounge and participate in a microwaving cue will eat into your break.
Remember, safety is the most important thing. You want to get all your students through their day safely. Follow your teacher's instructions as closely as possible. If in doubt, call the office for backup. Good luck!
Having a sick child is stressful and most people, thankfully, have not had to experience having their child in the hospital for an extended period of time. When my little one was in the hospital, we also had big sister at home. On top of that, I was working remotely and my husband worked a combination of from the office, remotely, or while traveling. We were grateful that things were as flexible as they could be so that we could spend as much time at the hospital as possible. We knew it was going to be a long haul because, though no one knows for sure, the best guess for babies in the NICU is that they will be there until their due date. Our mini miracle came into the world at 25 weeks and 1 day, so the estimated length of stay was fifteen weeks. Remember, I am not a medical professional, simply a mom that has been through it and hopes that my shared experience might assist or enlighten others.
What do you do at the NICU? There are a lot of little things you can do to help support your preemie and our hospital staff was very supportive. First, they gave us two Snoedels (snoedel.com). These are little dolls designed to hold your scent so that it will be comforting to your preemie. There were two so that we could swap them our and she would always have one while I would wear the other one. Next, I was pumping to feed our wee one and to maintain a supply until she was strong enough to breastfeed (We are still working on this.). All the staff also encourage you to get as involved as possible with things like diaper changes, baths, and belly massages. Finally, as long as baby can tolerate it, mom and dad are encourage to participate in kangaroo care.
Kangaroo care is stripping baby down and holding them skin to skin on your chest. This encourages bonding and helps to stimulate the growth that baby missed out on in the womb. It can also help with brain development.
There are lots of things that can change baby's schedule. This could be medical procedures, types of feedings, length of feedings, and more. Usually, the schedule calls for feedings and assessments every three hours or every four hours. This is an example of what a typical day looked like while we were in the NICU and baby still had a feeding tube. We would try to go to the hospital six days a week, but this all happened in the winter, so we did have to take a few snow days.
It is absolutely exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. Take each day and each new bit of news one at a time and utilize your support system. Talk it out and ask for help, most people want to do something and are waiting for an opportunity. You've got this!
Rayna Moore -
© 2021 by Rayna Moore