Saturday, January 20, 2018

Questions to ask yourself before deciding on a career change

When a new year dawns, most of us think of making changes. One of those changes probably involve a career shift. I know this because I've been seeing resolutions on my Facebook friends' updates and many of them talk about starting a business or hoping to work abroad or even to work from home.

This is understandable. I think that when faced daily with the terrible Manila traffic, the worsening political climate, and the changes caused by technology, people are wondering, "What's my next move?" To me especially and to people like me who are from media (print and online), we're always dreading if this is the year we go hungry. 

If you are not getting enough job satisfaction or recognition, or you are worried that your company or entire industry is going to disappear in a few years’ time, you might want to change before it is too late. That's what I did years ago when magazines started dying off—I focused more on my blog even before my own title was killed. That way, when the magazine shuttered, I had actually already started another career online and so I wasn't so annihilated. 

No matter if you want to start a new career, or a business, it is important that you complete a reality check, and you are aware of the risks and challenges ahead. Find out more about what you should be asking yourself before making a final decision.

1. Are you ready to learn?
To enter a new work environment coming from a different industry, you are likely to have to complete some kind of training. No matter if your new job doesn’t require a degree, you will still need to learn. For me back in 2010, when I decided to focus on blogging, I did a ton of research on how other successful bloggers were doing it. I read up on all the blogging tips I could find. I asked established bloggers for their secrets—not all were helpful haha that's why I promised myself I'll always give blogging tips and do blogging workshops!

Now, if you're looking for another career that's not blogging, that's okay. Maybe you can ask your company if they offer on-the-job training and say you're expanding your skills set. You can also check out if your company (or another company!) will pay for your education in case you want to get extra training or a master's degree. Some people who want to go abroad train for an entirely new career altogether. I know nurses are paid well in the US, for example. Getting a family nurse practitioner degree can take a few years, but will pay off long term. You will, however, need to be committed to studying new subjects you are not familiar with. 

2. Can you afford a new career? 
If you need a degree or accredited qualification to do a new job, you need to find out two important things: how much it will cost, and if you can fit in learning in your current schedule. To be honest, I had thought of taking classes in marketing and public relations in the digital age. I looked at Coursera and there were lots of free classes offered. Why did I think this? Well, around two years ago, I was told that advertisers now prefer Instagram and vlogs. I'm a words person, not a visual or video person so I knew I couldn't compete. I don't want a massive following from pictures or videos. I want people to follow me because of what I write. So I thought maybe it's time to shift to a career in digital marketing. 

Here was my problem: With babies and a blogging business, I just couldn't find the time to study again. Thankfully, I was able to find my job as beauty editor at L'Oréal. I don't know if this job will be mine 20 years from now or even next year, however, so maybe I should start learning something new! 

So there: Think of the money involved in taking up a new career. If it's the same industry but in another part of the city, think of the transport costs. If you aim for a more prestigious position, will the extra hours spent in the office be worth it? Mothers find it hard to balance family and work life, so if you have small children, you might not have enough time to study, for example, not to mention the financial side of education, travel, and taking time off. If that's the case, maybe you should stay put first in your job and wait it out. 

3. What are your career chances?
Before you decide on changing your career, maybe you should read industry growth predictions, to make sure that you will have a job 10 years from now. If you're dreaming of becoming a magazine editor, I hate to break it to you but it's not going to happen anymore. A moment of silence please for magazines. 

It's not just print media that's in trouble. Some jobs are likely to disappear, due to the development of information technology and artificial intelligence. For example, the accounting of my business is currently handled by both Pinnacle Sources and Taxumo. Pinnacle does my business permit renewal and other things that involve talking to the government; Taxumo does the automatic payment of my taxes. Thing is Taxumo is adding more to their menu of services, and that means I'll let go of Pinnacle Sources in two years, maybe as early as this year. 

Some processes in different industries are going to be completed by robots, and you don’t want to end up being redundant after a few years, due to industry and technology changes. Build transferable skills, such as management, communication, languages, and so on, so you can change your career path when needed. 

So before taking a leap into another company, check the jobs currently advertised, the benefits, salaries, and career progression opportunities. You might want to have a chat with some of your friends who work in the sector and ask them about their experiences, so you don’t end up disappointed. 

4. Will you enjoy your work?
Chances are you would like to change your career because your job satisfaction level is low. You absolutely must make sure that you will enjoy your new vocation, and you will find continuous challenge and learning opportunities, as well as recognition.

If you find yourself fascinated by programmers that work behind what people see in the internet, you can enroll for courses that will enhance your logical and coding skills. This will eventually open opportunities for you as you start to find a software engineering job

This doesn't have to mean bigger pay, funnily enough. A lot of us moms are okay with smaller pay if it means having more time with our kids or not having to go through traffic every day, or if there are other benefits like traveling opportunities with the kids. Sometimes, we'll be happier if we start a business or leave the city and start a farm. Some of us want to do meaningful work—usually with no pay. Or maybe some of us moms will be happier if we decide to NOT work and be a housewife. No shame in that!

Good luck, mamas! Happy new year and may this be the year your career dreams come true!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

I put the Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick to the 16-hour test

I have found the lipstick of our dreams, working mamas! Last week, I was able to get all 10 shades of the Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipsticks. I love all the shades since they're all wearable. And by wearable, I don't just mean the colors look great on everyone and for daily use; I also mean the wear super stays put all day long.

It's my best beauty find of the year and I know it's only January but I'm really in love with these lipsticks!

Okay, so the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipsticks were launched in the US last year and now it’s finally here in the Philippines!

The Matte Ink Liquid lipstick comes in a tube with the best kind of applicator—a diamond-shaped sponge with a hole in the middle so that it grabs a lot of product and then makes it so easy to apply. That said, you don't really need a lot because it's so pigmented.

The texture is creamy and takes a while to dry, but when it does, you never need to worry about reapplying because what you put in the morning is enough to last you the whole day. No transfer, no fading, no nothing anymore!

When they slapped Super Stay on the label, they meant it. My lipstick survived a lunch of greasy burgers and fries, kissing my kiddos, making out with my husband, snacks and dinner, and even a nap and I woke up and my lipstick didn't stain the pillow at all!

The lipstick isn't drying at all. It's best to exfoliate your lips first before application because when it dries to a semi-matte finish, crusty lips will be exaggerated.

Look at that burger, mamas. No hint of lipstick at all. Amazing! The lipstick will stay put all day, like I said, because they are that permanent. I don't know if all the shades are like that (I didn't test the dark ones) but I feel confident that all the shades will stay put. In fact, even when I wiped my lips vigorously with a napkin after eating, the lipstick didn't transfer at all. In the evening, I really had to use an oil-based makeup remover to wipe off the Matte Ink.

Check out screencaps of my IG Stories when I tested Matte Ink last weekend. I got so many DMs because of this asking me to reveal the mystery lipstick! Well, I'm wearing the Lover shade of the Matte Ink line and I LOVE IT!

Anyway, watch this!

My favorites are Loyalist, Lover (my absolute must-have!), Pioneer, and Voyager. But I'm planning to buy more if and when the other nude shades come to our shores.

These lipsticks ara available on Lazada now. GET THEM ALL! In fact, as I type this, my lipsticks from Lazada just arrived. Too a while. I ordered them Sunday morning and they arrived 4 days later. Anyway! This is not a sponsored post. I didn't even get any free lipsticks. I just got to try them for my job (I'm a beauty editor at L'Oréal Paris) and once I tried it, I just knew I had to share my fantabulous find with you! Buy now!

Monday, January 15, 2018

What an accountant can do for bloggers, freelancers and small business owners

It's January and that means it's time for me to renew my business permit. It's no joke starting and maintaining a business in this country. It seems like the government hates businesses, what with all the hardships and documents and fees and taxes to pay every single month for as long as the business is up. It's also no joke closing a business here because to do so is quite expensive and such a painfully long drawn out process.

So yes, I sometimes regret starting a business but because my business has allowed me to work with huge brands like Smart and L'Oréal Paris, I really can't regret it. I didn't want to be small-time. I wanted the big guns and so I had to open a writing business. It's thriving and providing for my family so even though I hate all government transactions, I am willing to go through all the hoops required.

Unless, of course, someone else will do it for me!

Because I am always on the look out for things that will make my life easier, I have found that hiring professional accountants from a reputable company is the best way to make my businesswoman experience better. Emphasis on "professional" and "reputable" because I hired an accountant before and he was unreliable and I am still dealing with the mess he left. 

I'm so grateful for Pinnacle Sources Global Consultancy Inc. They are a team of qualified accountants who provide end-to-end business solutions for start-ups. They will handle everything from business registration, HR and recruitment to all the nitty-gritty of accounting services that streamline a business’ accounting tasks to help us reduce costs and maximize profits. Through a team of skilled Certified Public Accountants, Pinnacle Sources will not only keep track of expenses but help the business create and manage budgets, forecast future revenue and track the financial health of the business. 

For me, Pinnacle is more than a service. They are so kind and patient with me especially when I'm so stupid and just can't understand all the hows and whys of what the government requires. Even when I've lost my resolve and given in to despair, they encourage me. Even when I am so ashamed and say, "I don't have money now," they tell me what we can do. They are more than professional. They care.

If you're a business looking for accounting services, if you're just starting out and need a professional accountant to manage your bookkeeping and taxes, you must give Pinnacle Sources a call. You will not be disappointed. They will really take care of you. I think they're one of my best finds as a businesswoman. Because of them, I don't regret starting a business anymore. In fact, they've made me believe I'm doing a good job. Thanks, Pinnacle!

Anyway, if you're still hemming and hawing about hiring a professional accountant like Pinnacle Sources, let me share with you what they told me which convinced me to hire them:

A qualified team of accountants will not only keep your books in order; they can help your business save by offering cost-efficient spending solutions or even help your business earn by helping you make accurate financial forecasts.

Yet for businesses that are just starting out, it can be difficult to allocate time and resources for accounting personnel as you focus on getting your company off the ground. That is why for small to medium enterprises or new business owners, outsourcing is a viable solution to fulfilling your accounting needs. Here’s a closer look at the specific advantages outsourcing your accounting:

Financial Savings 
Money can be tight when your business is just starting out. By outsourcing your accounting, you can pay for the specific accounting services you require without incurring the additional cost of hiring an employee. This will help you save on expenses like benefits and insurance and also on work space, office furniture, computer and software that you may not be able to afford just yet. 

Outsourcing your accounting also gives you more flexibility in terms of scale. Whether you are looking to grow your business or suddenly have to cut back, you have a team who can help provide different plans and options to achieve your goals, which in-house accounting can’t provide. 

Time Savings 
Think of the weekly hours it will take to manage in-house accounting staff—taking away from the time you can spend on business. Outsourcing your business’s bookkeeping operations frees up valuable time that can be put into better use for the company, such as improving your operations, product or marketing. Entrepreneurs also don’t have to deal with the typical headaches involved with recruiting, hiring, retaining and overseeing staff because that’s what the outsource service provider will handle.

Expert Services 
Outsourcing gives you a great way to have full-time knowledge on your team without having to pay for it around the clock. By putting your books into the hands of highly skilled staff who understand the best practices, your job becomes a whole lot easier—and efficient. Accounting service providers also have to constantly hone their skills to keep up with the competition, ever increasing the quality of their work. This means when you go to an accounting service firm, you can trust that your accounting will be handled well. 

Access to top systems 
Outsourcing your accounting operations gives you more access to the top tools in the industry. Most businesses can’t afford to pay for the extremely expensive bookkeeping programs nor can they afford to spend the time keeping up with changing laws and regulations. By outsourcing, you’re essentially purchasing those tools and that knowledge by proxy. In addition, these top systems create nightly backups and keep organized records and books for years, ensuring that you will have access to reports and will always be ready should an audit be required. 

Contractual Obligation 
Accounting service providers face higher liability than in-house staff, which makes them less of a risk for your business—they’re more likely to follow through on their obligations because they have more to lose if they don’t. Furthermore, dealing with the contracts or agreements of outside providers can be much easier than dealing with the hiring negotiations, employee management and other human resources issues involved with employees.

One of the companies who offer outsourced accounting services is Pinnacle Sources 
“Accounting is something that every business needs whether it is small or large. When you outsource your accounting services to us, you are assured of a team of Certified Public accountants that will help you make better financial decisions that will grow your business,” said Pinnacle Sources’ Managing Director Christine Li.

To find out more about Pinnacle Sources and their services, visit their website, or their office at 32/F BPI-Philam Bldg, Ayala Ave., Makati. You can also send them an email: