Jobs which aren’t as popular as they used to be

jobs

These days it can be difficult and overwhelming deciding what you want to study after school. The choices are limitless with so many pros and cons to each.

The internet has also opened up a realm of information about careers, making it difficult to know who or what to believe.

With that also comes a changing world which no longer offers the same career opportunities as it used to.

We’ve listed some of the professions which no longer offer the same financial benefits to those who study in these fields which they used to.

 

Lawyer

Enrollment at law schools across the world have plummeted. That is likely due to two reasons – it is known that the prospects of finding a job after completing school isn’t great and because of the crippling debt most people will have racked up during that period.

 

Family doctor

While some doctors do earn excellent salaries, family doctors aren’t well paid. They face a similar problem to that of lawyers. While they do earn quite a good salary, they face large amounts of debt after the years of studying which comes with medicine.

 

Travel agent

This is something which most people are doing online and for themselves. There is a wide range of website and apps available which makes it possible for us to figure out for ourselves where we should be travelling to, how to get there and what to do once there.

 

Stockbroker

Part of what stockbrokers used to do can also be done online. We will all need some financial advice throughout our lives. But, chances are most people aren’t going to have the big bucks needed to invest in the stockmarket. What money they have, we’ll likely invest it ourselves without needing to call in a stockbroker.

 

The job market isn’t the same as it used to be. Both the internet and ever-increasing education costs mean that earning potential isn’t what it used to be. These days you’d be better off studying a diploma in business management which will teach you the skills to excel in commerce and industry.

Keep your startup’s finances in the green

financeAs anyone who has launched their own business venture can tell you, financing a startup is not for the faint hearted. Whether your plan is to employ bootstrapping methods, i.e. self-financing the initial capital, or to take out a loan, you inevitably risk major money problems if the business performs poorly.

Although all new business ventures carry an element of risk, there are multiple methods of limiting the possibility of accumulating massive debt. Doing extensive market research, for instance, should help you foresee certain setbacks.  You could also limit outlays in your leading years by working from home and renting equipment (in lieu of buying) until the business reaches stable fiscal ground.  

However, at some point or another, you and your bank account will have to go out on a limb.

Where does financing begin?

First of all, having a clear cut business plan should provide you with enough insight to estimate how much initial capital you’ll need . In general it is better to overshoot slightly and ensure you have enough to cover unforeseen expenses and maintain a healthy cash flow.

Once you have a figure in mind, your financing options become clearer.  Do you think you could reel in one or more investors? Are you willing to report to them about growth and profits once the business has taken off?

Generally, as long as your credit record is positive and your business plan sound, a bank or alternative registered credit provider is your best access to sound financial assistance. Opting for corporate finance means you’ll have more freedom when it comes to making decisions, but it also means you’ll carry sole responsibility for debts.

The dos and don’ts of starting out with a loan

The golden rule of business financing is to incur any and all debt in the name of the business. You may be tempted to delve into your personal credit, but beware of this slippery slope.

Using your personal credit card, or even a business credit card  means your limit on expenses is compromised. The difference between a credit account and a loan might not seem significant, but your credit limit might be more than what you need, making it very easy to abandon your carefully set-out budget and business plan. To keep your financial decisions frugal, stick to your initial capital and wait until you can use profits to purchase the indulgent extras.

If you do find that your initial capital is not sufficient, and you have already cut expenses down to minimum, speak to your bank.

Once things are on the right track, it is time for you to purchase the assets which you have been renting. Perhaps you need to consider getting a mechanical warranty in place, should something unfortunate happen and you need in later.

Whichever form of financing you choose to kick-start your business, your success is largely determined by your ability to plan, adapt to unforeseen challenges and hang in there during the challenging times.

What technology is being phased out

Consider the poor VCR. Many young people today have no experience with video cassette tapes or the players that ran them; there was no struggle to calibrate the impenetrable settings to make a tape play properly. Progress means moving forward so it’s important to consider what will no longer exist and what we should start reconsidering.

The stethoscope, that classic symbol of the medical profession, might no longer be in use. As The Daily Mail reports:

“Doctors will soon be hanging up their stethoscopes for good after almost 200 years, according to a new report.

A medical mainstay since 1816, they are being elbowed out of the way by new technologies such as ultrasound which has only been about since the 1950s.

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular, accurate, smaller to the point of being handheld and cheaper to make.”

Even iconic symbols fade as better devices, cheaper devices and more mobile and integrated technology come to exist.

GPS systems are another example. These days, most phones come with apps linked to major networks or software. Google Maps is a popular and high quality navigation tool, used by millions every day. It’s simplicity and that it’s on devices we take with us anyway, as well as being free, means it makes GPS systems redundant.

Or consider digital cameras. While, obviously, professional photographers have high-end ones, low-end were quite popular for the average person and proved a great investment for companies. Now, with the ubiquity of smart phones, digital cameras for non-professional photographers are useless: camera phones are perfectly adequate, makes the need to carry another gadget pointless and serves exactly the same purpose.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the story of Kodak. As Pete Pochal write in Mashable:

Kodak has finally formalized what had been expected for years — it’s gone bankrupt. In the past 15 years, digital technology changed photography dramatically, and Kodak, a former heavyweight in the analog film business, got left behind.

[But] Kodak missed the boat on digital not once, but at least three times. Besides never capitalizing on the digital-camera tech it helped create, Kodak also gravely misunderstood the new ways consumers wanted to interact with their photos, the technologies involved, and the market forces surrounding them.

“It’s sad because they still have good people there,” says Jeffrey Hayzlett, who was Kodak’s Chief Marketing Officer from 2006 until 2010. “Overall the company has made a bunch of bets on technologies and business models that needed a longer runway than they had.”

Another key area is examining the kind of tech that you can only find in pre-owned cars or airplanes. Think about the last time you saw cassette radios in cars; Mental Floss has a list of 11 things you no longer see in planes – some of which you didn’t know we even had.

Tech is always moving forward, but it’s important to view these technologies being left behind with a positive, not negative light; it shows we improved and we are improving.

 

 

Jewellery store robberies: Nightmare becomes reality

Imagine you are out shopping, looking at a lovely necklace, when robbers burst into the store, guns waving around and screaming at everyone to get down.

You don’t have to imagine. This is not a nightmare.

This scene has played itself out a number of times recently in Cape Town jewellery stores.

So, stop for a minute before heading into a nearby jewellery store to scope out all the sparkly bits and pieces.

A string of jewellery stores in Cape Town have been hit by armed robbers in recent weeks.

And you would not want to be there when that happens next.

Shops in Hout Bay, Somerset West, Franschhoek and at the Blue Route Mall have been targeted.

The most recent incident took place in Camps Bay in mid-January when robbers entered the store and held staff at gunpoint.

It’s not clear yet how much jewellery was taken.

They fled in a white BMW which was reported stolen from Kirstenhof earlier this month.

 

The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed concern at the robberies.

“We’re very concerned because it seems as if it’s a regular occurrence instead of an irregular occurrence. Our businesses need to jack up their security,” said the chamber’s Janine Myburgh

 

Perhaps jewellery stores should look to 90s television for the answer to their security questions.

We’ve all seen that ancient Friends episode where Phoebe gets caught in a mantrap inside a jewellery store.

She’s trying on loads of different types of jewellery while she’s supposed to be keeping an eye on an engagement ring Chandler picked out for Monica.

Phoebe’s so distracted by her tiara and revolutionary war musket, she ends up locked inside the “little jail between the doors”.

A mantrap is a security device which monitors two interlocking doors which can never be open at the same time. If it was enough to trap Phoebe, surely this could be the answer for jewellery store robbers?

What you should start doing when you start earning a steady income

cashA steady income is essential to modern living. Having a large sum might seem preferable, but a steady, stable and consistent income can actually allow you to make better decisions. The question is what should you be focused on.

 

Income versus lump sum

If you had a lump sum – like the total you would earn in your life – there is a high chance you would struggle to portion it out so that you obtain maximum benefit from it. We are not very good at delaying gratification. Having a steady income allows us to plan out our purchases, so that we can save and store and focus on doing what’s best of us – this is forced because our income amount is not a lump sum of all our hard work at the end of our lives.

But the distinction isn’t as sharp as many imagine. After all, you could just consider the income as being your lifetime’s earnings being divided by your employer(s).

 

Vehicle purchase

Independence isn’t just a state you acquire upon getting your ID, your senior certificate, diploma or degree. Just having an education doesn’t tell anyone whether you’re independent: you could still be on your parent’s dime due to the demands of study. When you finally get around to making a steady income, this can give you the opportunity to break free by, for example, getting a car.

Most people can’t afford to pay a one-off sum for a car. This is why dealerships and auto-traders allow for instalments and deposits, via various tools such a vehicle repayment calculator, bank agreements and so on. You can lower your monthly fee by making a large lump sum deposit. But overall a bank will agree to foot the bill as long as it can see that you are making a steady income.

 

Property

Once you have a car, it doesn’t say much when you’re still under your parents’ roof. We all want to be outside their grasp and be able to live as adults. Yet, this means paying bills like rent, water, electricity.

Once we know how much we’re earning monthly, with a fixed income, we can work out whether we are able to buy a home. Use a home loan calculator to find out how much you could afford to pay on a bond. You’ll find out the values of the property you should be looking at, the deposit which will be required and the monthly bond payments you’ll be required to make.

How to save on your biggest expenses

Few of us are so rich that we can afford houses or cars with one off payments. Sure, some of us can save over a long time but more often than not we’ll need to focus on savings and loans to help acquire necessary items, appliances and so on.

Yet, there are ways to save on these without it becoming too much of a hassle, that are often merely lifestyle decisions.

Shop around

The most obvious response is to shop around. Whether you’re looking for the right car, home loan, gym membership and soon, exploring your options is the obvious smart and easy way to try find the best result.

But just because you’re looking doesn’t mean you’ll find it. Speak to representatives from the relevant institutions; do extensive Google searches; sign up for news alerts regarding specials.

What is essential

A lifestyle change can have an incredible ripple effect. Cut out non-essential activities and behaviours: reconsider whether you need to go to an expensive restaurant; learnt to turn off your geyser when you’re not using it; consider what leisure activities that aren’t essential you’re paying for that can easily be avoided.

The point isn’t that you’re saving toward a large amount but that you have enough to live comfortably while paying off a loan of some kind.

Target the loan itself

Lots of organisations also suggest you focus on shrinking your loan as much as possible. As we noted, you can first try this by finding out the best deal on offer.

But from there you can also, according to MAS: “Make the payments as big as you can afford… Put any extra money towards your home loan… Negotiate your interest rate… Split your loan… Be aware of fees.”

Making large payments is one of the best ways to reduce it, since it means your total comes down faster. Naturally negotiating your interest rate is also key, since you are, in the end, paying more if you’re paying back a loan – than you would if you bought a home or car once-off.

Of course, even people who have the money at the time, might prefer to choose a car or home loan because it makes sense for managing finances. With a large lump some given away, you can’t prepare for the rest of the days absent that amount – whereas managing a smaller amount over a greater time gives you more control.

 

How do cities secure themselves during festivals?

Everyone in cities enjoys it when their cities come to life. This is often what occurs when tournaments, festivities and other celebrations occur. Yet, with this added life comes increased risk to security – since more people are out and about, more likely to leave valuables unattended and more likely to, for example, use their car.

Consider the Telegraph’s Favourite City Worldwide, Cape Town. With a vast number of tourists visiting everyday, it particularly rose to prominence when it hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

Well before the World Cup started, the city was already putting in place various measures to help combat various security issues. As Cape Town Magazine notes: “The City’s safety and security resources have been significantly enlarged to the benefit of all Capetonians and visitors to the soccer tournament,” says Councillor JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security.”

In response, new security jobs in Cape Town were created and managed.

“More than 440 jobs will be created as part of the City of Cape Town’s safety and security plan. But what they specifically did is our main concern:

“Fire and Rescue Services have received seven new fire engines and is awaiting a new Hazmat vehicle and a hydraulic platform. In addition, 122 fire-fighters have been appointed.

“The Disaster Risk Management team has acquired a new mobile Incident Command Vehicle for on-site emergencies, Smith said, adding that it was large enough to house representatives from all the relevant emergency services.

“According to the plan, City Traffic Services have appointed 35 trained traffic officers and another 70 will be appointed soon. It has also acquired five Golf GTi patrol cars, 10 bicycles, protective clothing and equipment as well as 40 motorcycles.

“Metro Police received 16 new Chev Optra sedans plus horse-box trailers for its equestrian unit, while the Law Enforcement received 19 bicycles, four mini-buses, four Chev Optra sedans, five Segways and a light delivery vehicle.”

The city has also considered other kinds of security responses such as drones, which can be utilized in especially populated events – since they’d be occupying airspace not ground space.

Other places and festivals around the world have themselves come up with solutions, such as Onam Ramzan festival in India – where security officials use bike patrols, instead of either cars or on-foot. This allow officials to not worry about petrol, but still maintain speed and effectiveness.

Security responses will always be dictated to be the festival and city itself – and no matter the response, it remains important to keep that what works in one space might not work in another.

Car sales trends for 2015

carsThis year is expected to be a challenging one for the South African automotive industry, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers in South Africa (Naamsa).

 

The outlook for 2015 remains uninspiring with the best case scenario, at this stage, one of marginal volume growth in domestic sales.

“Naamsa projections are based on expectations of an improvement in South Africa’s economic growth rate to between 2 percent and 2.5 percent in 2015, relative stability in automotive industry industrial relations, stable interest rates and credit ratings as well as prospects for moderating consumer price inflation,” says Naamsa in its flash sales results of cars for sale in South Africa.

 

But, Naamsa cautioned, these positives factors were expected to be offset by higher than inflation new vehicle price increases as a result of the weakness in the Rand in 2013 and 201. This resulted in cost pressures in respect of imported content used to manufacture vehicles locally.

 

Provided the expectations materialised, aggregate new vehicle sales volume growth during 2015 could improve by around 4 percent. This would represent a commendable performance in relation to the fairly high sales base established over the past few years.

 

According to Naamsa, vehicle exports would remain connected to the performance of global markets.

“Signs were emerging of a modest improvement in the global economy led by a recovery in vehicle sales in the United States and continued growth in Asia.

“Demand for light commercial vehicles in African markets were also expected to show above average growth and these trends were expected to support 2015 Industry export sales.”

 

An improvement in exports was expected for this year with 600 000 vehicles to be produced this year, compared to the 542 000 produced in 2014.

“The projected higher levels of vehicle production are consistent with the official vision for the Industry which is to remain a premier supplier of high quality, competitive automotive original equipment parts and accessories and vehicles to international markets and, in the process, to achieve an annual domestic vehicle production figure of close to 1 million vehicles by 2020.”

 

One of the most important factors for the realisation of South Africa’s goal to produce more than 1 million cars per year is the stability of labour relations and close cooperation between employers and unions.

This after the automotive industry suffered crippling strikes last year and in 2013 over wages for workers.

 

The good news for consumers is there are plenty of specials and deals available as car salespeople are keen to secure deals.

 

Navigating the seas in the modern age

Mostly we do not yearn for the experience of transportation so much as we do for arriving at our intended destination. But one of the issues of travel, beyond the method of travel, has been navigation. Today, we take for granted we can enter an address and have road navigation dictated to us. But what are and were alternatives? How do marine travellers navigate ever changing oceans?

The stars are forever

While the ground might be changing, the skies above do not. You might not be able to point to a wave, but you can point to the moon – and this principle has allowed marine navigators to use heavenly bodies’ positions to navigate the Earth.

Celestial navigation, says GlobMaritime: “involves reducing celestial measurements to lines of position using tables, spherical trigonometry, and almanacs.” And by this reduction, you can use the maths to calculate your own position and adjust your trajectory accordingly.

But this is only one kind and navigators have to use more than one method to be effective. GlobMaritime notes:

“Electronic integrated bridge concepts are driving future navigation system planning. Integrated systems take inputs from various ship sensors, electronically display positioning information, and provide control signals required to maintain a vessel on a preset course. The navigator becomes a system manager, choosing system presets, interpreting system output, and monitoring vessel response.

In practice, a navigator synthesizes different methodologies into a single integrated system. He should never feel comfortable utilizing only one method when others are available for backup. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. The navigator must choose methods appropriate to each particular situation.”

Those methods mean things like chartplotter, which specifically “executes an important function of assimilating GPS data with the aid of an electronic navigational chart.”

Navigation is an essential part, obviously, aside from being able to actually steer – that’s why you’ll find navigation as a central focus for many qualifying degrees and courses, such as Yachtmaster ocean courses.

These aren’t just skills for yachts or boats and can be useful skills in general, as you acquire and utilise skills you otherwise might not.