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Leslie Gilmour

How to Get Started in a Property Management Position

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The present-day job market is maybe more unstable than it ever was. Because of this, many people who are fortunate enough to own property have turned to rent as a secure source of income.

Fortunately for you, where there is property, there is the need for property management. While there are many well-established property management companies such as SCK Property management already out there, you might have what it takes to get started in a property management position yourself and build a career out of it.

What is a property manager? 

A property (or real estate) manager is an individual or a company in charge of taking care of some sort of real estate. In return, they receive a percentage of the rent or a fixed sum of money weekly or monthly.

There is more to this job than just collecting the rent and ensuring that the property is not just standing empty. Being a property manager comes with many responsibilities.

These include advertising the property for rent and showing it to potential residents. Also, it involves screening all the possible tenets or residents and doing a throughout background and credit check on them. 

Next, a property manager has to take care of lease renewals and provide tenant retention. TO achieve this, a manager has to tend to the tenants’ needs and help them with urgent repairs and general upkeep and maintenance of the property. 

In some cases, the manager can even act as a salesperson. While this is not the norm, expect to deal with a lot of paperwork as a property manager. In addition, you will be the one to handle contracts and evictions and coordinate maintenance and repairs with different contractors such as plumbers or electricians. 

What are the skills a property manager should have? 

As a potential property manager, you should be able to multitask. After all, your future job will involve dealing with both people and rental spaces.

Therefore a good property manager should have strong communicational skills. You should be able to organize yourself and others as well.

Besides that, a property manager should have at least basic knowledge of marketing. At this position, you will be expected to provide excellent customer support 24/7, so any previous experience in this field of work will be a valuable bonus.

What are the requirements for becoming a property manager? 

The minimal requirements for entering the world of property management are not that scary. All you need is a high school degree. On top of that, depending on where you live, you will need to pass a test of some kind. Some places demand that you just complete the required Real Estate Pre-Licencing coursework in the US, while other sites ask you to take and pass a test once the course is done. Legal requirements vary from place to place.

While you are not legally obliged to be certified as a property manager every bit of education counts and improves your odds of making it in this competitive world. You could go for as many certificates and complete as many training programs as you can.

Do you need a license to work? 

In the world of property management, legal requirements are different from one place to another. In addition, the demands are not consistent throughout the USA - some states demand that you have a license to practice property management while others do not.

However, when you are just entering the lucrative and exciting world of property management, the odds are that you will start your career as an assistant. In practice, this means that you will be working under the supervision of someone who has a real estate broker’s license or a property manager’s license.

Working as an assistant can be very beneficial for you. First, you won’t need a license, and at the same time, you will be able to learn all the finer details and tips and tricks of this craft under supervision.

How do I start? 

To begin your career as a property manager, you will most likely need to apply for an entry-level position with a real estate broker or an existing property managing company.

While high school education is enough to get you started, almost any type of degree will give you a competitive advantage - a business degree or accounting or finance diplomas are nice to have.

Once you finish your apprenticeship, you will have to keep improving your skills and continue learning, but it will all be worth it. And of course, this is when you will have to have licenses and certificates of your own. 

If you are willing to learn and build your career over time, this job has the potential to provide you with a genuinely satisfying and lucrative career that meets all of your professional and personal goals.

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Leslie Gilmour

Deciding on Your Career after University

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Graduating from University is the end of an era for sure, but also the beginning of a journey that can (and possibly will) mark the rest of your life. No pressure, right? 

While you may feel like the world will end if you don't have it all figured out upon throwing your graduation cap into the air, it really won't. Everyone's journey is different, and there are plenty of routes you can take after graduating. But how do you actually decide what you want to do after Uni?

If you haven't been set on particular career paths or haven't found any interests that trigger your curiosity and intent, there are a few strategies you can implement in figuring out what you want in life. Sitting a year out before committing to a career is also an option, just don't tell your parents we said that, okay?

Jokes aside, here are some potentially helpful tips to get you going and paint a picture of your financial future:

#1 Be honest with yourself

Almost everyone gets to the point of confusion with who they actually are and who they've been for longer than they can remember. Parents' expectations, social pressure, emotional and/or mental struggles, interests done out of habit, etc. can all be reasons for building a path you don't actually like as much as you should. And that's fine; you wouldn't be the first nor the last person to realize they aren't as passionate about a career as they thought they'd be upon graduation. It's called growth, and it's very brave. 

So, when you realize a thing you've been focused on for a while isn't working any longer, sit down with yourself, and be honest about what truly moves you. Make a list of things you see yourself doing, things that make your heart and mind sing. Once you do, weigh in your talents, habits, objective budget conditions, and similar to see where you stand. 

#2 Pick a Job that Interests You

Once you are done with the list of your likes, try finding jobs that agree with your preferences. Are you interested in working in content marketing? Go for it! Looking to be the next An Le or Elon Musk? Why not! Have a love for retail and customer service? Contact companies with these sectors open to see if they're hiring. Hoping to conquer Hollywood with your acting skills? Yes!

Have a neck for finances and want to build a career out of it? Sure! Financial advisors are a trending occupation with so many new businesses popping around like mushrooms. Plus, people always need advice on how to improve their finances, don’t they? You'll never be out of work with this career, that's for sure!

Match your skills with job titles, and start your journey to getting hired!

#3 Connect with Recruiters on Social Media 

Social media has long gone from being an entertainment platform to an all-comprising source of information, fun, business options, global business connectivity, and everything else in between. 

These days you'll notice it is easier to find a job online than by sending millions of applications to firms directly. This is your chance to use your love for social media for something other than filtering your daily habits on Instagram and getting liked for it. Use social media to connect with recruiters and get the latest scoop on what's happening in the business world. 

Presently, LinkedIn is the best business platform, and reaching out through it may be the best way to get connected to people who can help you get a job. LinkedIn community is pretty tight, with people being very open and helpful regarding virtually all topics and issues. The easiest way to go about LinkedIn is:

  • Build your LinkedIn profile by filling it with your references, experience, goals, and expectations

  • Post things regularly that are catchy and relevant

  • Engage in other people's posts

  • Widen your network of LN friends by connecting with them

You won't benefit from LN immediately after you join, though. It'll take some time until you build your base, but you'll get there. 

Other than that, don't neglect other platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as sources of potential job applications in your field. 

#4 Go to a Career Counselor

Sometimes, going to an expert for advice is the best thing you can do for yourself – whether we're talking career or anything else relevant in your life (e.g., mental health, relationship therapy, etc.). Career counselors exist for a reason, and they'll surely be happy to help you out. 

Go to the nearest job center for some career guidance. You'll probably get tests to fill out and have questions to answer but they're all going to be shortcuts to your final destination. Embrace this journey, you'll learn more from it than you can imagine!

Final Words

Deciding on your career after University doesn't have to be as hard as it appears to be. It's important you remember that you don't have to choose right away and that your future career doesn't need to be something related to your degree. Pick a thing that makes you happy and hopefully is profitable enough to match that happiness. 

Take your time, think things through, and go for it. Even if your career doesn't happen straight away, it's okay - it all comes to us when we're ready to receive it, after all. 

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Leslie Gilmour

5 Guidelines for Transitioning Into Your Chosen Career without Losing Your Mind

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Entering the turbulent waters of a new job market and into a field, you are not sufficiently familiar with can come across as tough prospects that have the ability to drive people positively mad. And this is completely true, of course.

Now, if you are one of the folks on their merry way toward jump-starting their career, you’ve come to the right place, alright!

In this here article, we’re going to talk about how you can go through this transitioning process without stressing too much over it. Truth be told, you can’t avoid the stress completely, but you can definitely do some things that would help you deal with it more efficiently.

So, here’s how to approach the sensitive transition into your new career.

5 Tips for Transitioning Into Your Chosen Career without Losing Your Mind

1) Make Sure You’re Sufficiently Skilled for Your New Career

If you were to operate a nuclear aircraft carrier without having any idea of how to operate a nuclear aircraft carrier, that would surely lead to some anxiety. The same goes for accounting, woodworking, repairing fridges, driving cars, and writing articles online in MS word.

Indeed, not having the necessary skills for the job you need to do would be one of the most disastrous situations that can befall a person entering a new professional field.

To prevent this, you have to do the obvious – fake it till you make it! No, not really. Simply ensuring your skillset is at the desirable level would suffice.

2) Connect to the Pool of People Already in Your New Profession

Nowadays, there are all sorts of forums out there on the Internet, where you can look up what different professionals are talking about. For example, if you’d like to become a translator, you can join a Facebook page for translators (in your target language, of course) and then you can see what the profession is like first hand.

You can see what the most difficult parts of the profession are, how the folks doing it are dealing with their problems as well as other things related to doing the job itself.

This can be a great way to determine whether or not you’re fit for the profession at hand, or a specific position within that profession.

3) Don't Be Afraid to Seek Support

Entering a new career is not a light prospect and wise people of yore have recognised this. So, to make sure people have more insight into what they’d like to do with their lives, these smart folks have ventured to organise structures such as career resource centres. You can also turn to a coach who can help you focus and overcome the hurdles that no doubt await you.

Many colleges have these inbuilt in the structure of the college itself, so you won’t really have a tough time finding these and connecting with them if you’re a student.

If you’re not a student, on the other hand, you can still reach out to one of these institutions and find out more about your designated career of choice before ever joining a workplace with that career. Grand stuff, indeed.

4) Try Shadowing Someone

Switching from college to work doesn’t mean you’ll just have to jump into a new position without ever knowing what awaits at the other end. In fact, there are multiple ways you can figure out if a job would suit you once you get employed.

For example, you can ask a friend who’s already in the business, inform yourself online by visiting a forum, or simply ask to shadow someone for a day. What you’d need to do pretty much amounts to doing their work for a day to see how you like it. If you find the whole thing favourable, you can apply for a position at that company.

If you don’t like it, you’ve saved yourself some nasty contract breaches and other problems down the road! What’s not to love?

5) Volunteer

This entry is fairly similar to the previous one, with the difference that you won’t be doing exactly the job you’re interested in, but a watered-down version of it.

Volunteering, in general, allows you to connect to likeminded people, get a general idea of how you like what you’re doing, and do some humanitarian work, as well. Of course, you need to make sure your volunteering work is in the same vein of work as your job position of choice.

There isn’t much use trying to figure out if you like accounting by volunteering for delivering calves at a cow farm, now is there?

All things considered, getting ready for your treading down your career path is no easy feat. It requires proper skills on your part, preparation, and perhaps a little support from the outside. Bottom line, as long as you’re willing to learn and work (and are not woefully underskilled), you’ll be good to go!

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Leslie Gilmour

What it Takes to Become an Architect

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Edited by Leslie Gilmour, Tuesday, 5 June 2018, 13:46

Becoming an architect takes a whole lot of commitment, dedication and desire. Being an architect is a serious professional career; nobody pursues it just because they like to draw or because they think it sounds fun. There is so much more to being an architect than many think and it is no easy process.

Architecture is regarded by many as a multi-discipline career. That is because being an architect is not just about being a good designer, but being a good mathematician and having a scientific way of thinking too.

You cannot simply design a building and hire a construction company to throw it up, either. Planning permissions, building codes and engineering costs all feature heavily in an architect’s career and you need to know all about them.

How do I become an Architect?

This is, of course, the question which you have come here to find the answer for. In Ireland, the title ‘architect’ is protected by legislation and only those with their names on the Register of Architects can use it.

With everything you need to learn, becoming an architect takes a number of years in education and undergoing specialist training. The requirements vary around the world, but in Ireland, the requirements stipulate that –

  • You must graduate with a prescribed degree in architecture
  • Undergo two years’ postgraduate professional training
  • Complete a professional practice examination mandated by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI).

To put things into perspective, a prescribed degree in architecture lasts for five years of full-time studies which can easily turn into six years if you elect to take a year out for industrial work placement.

It is a huge commitment, so you need to be absolutely sure that being an architect is the right career for you. If you are up for it academically and know that it is what you want to do, it is a very rewarding and challenging career where no one day is the same.

Three Reasons to Become an Architect

Looking around online, there is a lot of talk about the negative sides of being an architect such as the huge amount of study, the competition for industrial placements and jobs and the long hours that you will work. Instead, let’s look at some of the reasons to pursue a career in architecture.

Simply put, architecture is amazing

Whilst studying at university, you are taught to be a problem solver and use design, construction and history to solve them. It changes the way you think, the way you look at the world and the way you interact with others. Studying at architecture school fine-tunes your brain and makes you think like an architect.

Architecture is a huge industry

And it is constantly growing. The internet, technology and computers have completely transformed the way in which the architecture industry operates and how the profession itself is practiced. It has grown beyond just being a career to an artform in its own right, with thousands of online blogs, vlogs and resources. You can even choose to explore internships or jobs in industry-related companies, such as Corell Timber – or even just talk to different employees to gain a vaster knowledge of the industry as a whole.

The best part of the architecture industry is that it is so vast and dynamic; there is plenty of work available for everybody and no one project is the same. In an architecture career, you can thrive based off of your own unique skills and strengths, rather than having to change yourself to suit the idea of a ‘perfect architect’ because there is no such thing.

Architecture lets you do what you love for the rest of your life

As the saying goes, if you choose a job which you love then you’ll never have to work a day in your life. If architecture is your one true passion, then there is no reason why you cannot do it for the rest of your life.

The architectural career is held in high esteem, it is universally recognised as a professional career with high standards which attracts some of the world’s brightest young minds. As an architect, you will probably meet clients who are truly influential and well-known figures themselves, which reflects just how high-brow an architectural career can be.

Many of today’s most innovative housing and other construction products will have far-reaching positive effects on people for decades to come; it is a profession which truly does its best to help people and that is truly satisfying.

Is it All Fun and Games?

No, but no career is. There are plenty of downsides to becoming an architect, just like there are with any professional career.

Architecture is a career known for having very long hours; the design process can often be lengthy and drawn out. In architectural school and the professional working environment, pulling all-nighters working on projects is the norm. Of course, this type of working environment does not attract everybody – architects included – so there are plenty of firms who adopt a fairly normal Monday to Friday 9 to 5 pattern of working. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to work more hours than normal.

As you have already seen, there is a lot of school involved. If you compare becoming an architect to becoming a doctor or lawyer, you will see that there is just as much – if not more in some cases – school involved. Lawyers typically qualify after six years, doctors after seven whereas some architects can be in education and internships for as many as eight years.

Something you may not have considered is that your career will be in the hands of how the economy is performing. Although this is something regularly overlooked, it is a key consideration. Who is going to be investing in new construction projects when the economy is weak or going through a financial meltdown? Nobody, that’s the answer. Although this is something you’re not going to have to worry about until you are an actual architect, it is still worth thinking about as it can impact your work and overall job security, especially if you’re an independent and not working for a firm.

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Leslie Gilmour

How to Set Yourself Up For a Successful Interview

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Edited by Leslie Gilmour, Monday, 25 June 2018, 09:34

Every student knows that sudden feeling of dread that comes after they leave their protective university bubble.  For many graduating students, this is where the real world begins.  One of your first tasks as a recent graduate is to hit the job market with a string of sent resumes, endless phone calls and just a little touch of groveling.  

Eventually, the time will come when an employer will be impressed by your tenacity and will set up an interview.  This is where the real work begins.  To ensure that you are putting your best foot forward, follow these simple tips to help you come one step closer to a career.

Be Prepared

Before you step foot into whatever work environment you are hoping to join, prepare yourself.  While it is a good motivator to always aim high, be realistic about the job you are applying for and make sure it matches your skills.  It is also important that you have some university training in the job you want, this is especially important if you majored in general studies.  For example; if you are looking for a job in the cosmetology field, one great way to prepare yourself is to take a short makeup course or workshop so that your potential employer will note that are willing to further your education, (be aware that some tattoos are not workplace friendly and you might need to cover them up)..

Another great way to be prepared for an upcoming job interview is to do your research.  Study up on the company you are hoping will hire you so that you know what you are in for.  This is also a great way to impress potential employers.  The more knowledgeable you are in an interview will show them that you have great instincts and that you are truly interested in their business.

The Day Before

The day prior to your job interview is the day when you should lay all of your plans out.  It is better to have everything ready to go the day before so you are not rushing before your interview.  This also gives you time to relax and get your head in the game.  Carefully choose and lay out the clothes that you are going to wear.  Always dress better than you think you should, even if you are applying to a more casual work environment.  This will show your interviewer that you are professional and that you are taking the job seriously.  Don’t over dress as this may come off as too eager which is something you should avoid.  Finding the perfect balance between motivated and humble is critical.

Have your resume printed on cardstock or high-quality paper.  Even if you have already sent your resume in prior to the interview, it is a good rule of thumb to bring an extra with you.  You never know if they will ask you for your resume again.  To go the extra mile, you can even have some personal business cards on hand that list your contact information.  These little touches will help to ensure that potential employers will remember you.  The job market is a competitive field, so if there is an opportunity for you to set yourself apart from the pack, seize it. 

Interview Day

Wake up early.  Even if your interview is later in the day, start your day off right.  Mornings are the perfect time to set a precedent for the rest of your day.  It is important to take the time relax so that your head is in the right place.  Interviews are stressful and you will naturally get nervous, so find a way to expel that nervous energy and try to channel it into something positive.  This way you can walk into your interview confident and strong.  When you are confident in what you are saying, your interviewer will get pick up on it and it will set your interview off on the right foot.

Always get to the job interview early.  Try to plan on being there 10-15 minutes earlier than scheduled.  This shows that you are punctual and are taking the interview seriously.  Many times a great interview will be clouded by a tardy appearance.  If you know that your interview is during a time where traffic is high, prepare for this and adjust accordingly.  Try to avoid get there too early.  There is such a thing as being overeager and this can often read as desperate which is never a good look.

Be clear in the things that you say.  To make sure that your point is coming across, truly listen to the questions you are being asked.  Take a mental second to gather your thoughts before speaking.  This will show that you have great communication and listening skills which are two major components to being successful in your overall career.  The best way to show interest through words is to ask questions.  Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer specific questions about the company as well as the job itself.  This will show them that you have a great interest in the job at hand.  Make eye contact.  Indirect eye contact is one way to show people that you are not confident or do not believe the words you are saying and this is the last thing you would want a potential employee to think of you. 

Don’t be afraid to be yourself.  While humor is often a defense mechanism; it is also a great way to showcase some personality.  Make sure that the humor stays on the appropriate side of the scale; the last thing you would want is for them to think that you will be an HR nightmare.  When leaving your job interview you should have just as strong of an exit as an initiation.  Shake their hand firmly and thank them for their time.  This is their last impression of you, so make it a good one.

Follow Up

Some people are wary about whether or not to follow up after a job interview.  As long as you are not hounding your interviewer, it is perfectly okay to follow up.  The best way to do this is to wait a day or two and send them an email thanking them for their time and stating how you look forward to hearing from them in the future.  Even if you don’t end up getting the job, they will remember you for reaching out politely to them.  This will help to keep you in their good graces in case another job opens up in that company.  The last thing you would want to do is burn any professional bridges before you ever even officially enter the job world.

Don’t Give Up

It isn’t always the case that you will land your first job right out of the gate.  While if it does happen, take the time to celebrate, but you should also never let a rejection slow you down.  Take each job interview as a lesson to be learned and apply that education to the next interview.  Over time you will find that each time you step foot in an interview room you are more confident and prepared than the last time.  As long as you stay motivated and vigilant, the only thing that is stopping you from landing the perfect job is you.  Good luck. 

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