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5 things to know before becoming a Lyft driver

Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

Here are five vital things to know before you slap that Lyft sticker on your windshield The requirements are a little stricter than Uber's You can boost your earnings by referring riders and drivers It's usually best as a side hustle rather than a full-time job You may need additional car insurance Lyft has an Express Drive rental car program for drivers without a car

Rideshare services like Lyft have become increasingly common, especially in larger cities. For drivers, it's a popular option to make some extra money, since it lets you determine where and when you want to work.

RELATED: Uber isn't everything: 7 other lucrative part-time side gigs 

Lyft is one of the premier ridesharing options across the country, so it may come to mind for those looking for easy, extra cash. The transportation network, founded in San Francisco, started in 2012 and now helps the social butterflies, worker bees and everyone in between get to work in all 50 states.

If you’re seriously considering the possibility of breaking into the ride-hailing business with Lyft, here are five vital things to know before you slap that Lyft sticker on your windshield.


In some cities, you don't even need your own car to be a Lyft driver.(For the AJC)

The requirements are a little stricter than Uber's.

The vehicle requirements can vary according to where you'll be driving, but in almost every city, Lyft wants you to have a newer vehicle, according to consumer advisor Clark Howard.

You can boost your earnings by referring riders and drivers.

In many markets, Lyft will give you a bonus for referring new riders and drivers to the service. Referrals for riders are usually $10 each, and if you refer drivers who complete a required number of rides within a one- or two-month period, you can significantly boost your earnings.

Bonuses can vary by city. In Atlanta, for instance, referring a driver in September who goes on to meet the requirements for rides (239 in 60 days) could have netted you an extra $460, according to

It's usually best as a side hustle rather than a full-time job.

The median earnings for a Lyft driver were recently reported as $210 per month. The average driver earned $377 per month. That's more than Uber drivers earned in the same survey. They had median earnings of $155 and average earnings of $364 per month.

You may need additional car insurance.

NerdWallet recommends looking at what's covered with Lyft's insurance and also whether your personal auto insurance will provide any coverage. It's important to make sure you're protected before, during and after ride requests.

You may need to look at getting rideshare insurance (if it's offered by your company and in your state) or perhaps a commercial auto policy.

An Uber driver in Brooklyn on Sept. 30, 2017. Ride-hail apps Uber and Lyft have increasingly shifted focus from Manhattan to the other four boroughs, where frustration over subway overcrowding and constant delays and fewer taxi options have made it the ride of choice for many.(Dave Sander/The New York Times)

You don't need a car.

The first requirement for working for a ride-sharing service would seem to be a car, but that's not necessarily true. Lyft has an Express Drive rental car program in certain cities, including Atlanta. The costs vary according to the city, but the rental period length is flexible.

The amount you pay to rent the car will also include insurance and maintenance.


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7 of the most popular jobs for 2018 college grads

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 4:06 PM

Over the past four years, code schools in Central Texas have graduated hundreds of students. We spoke to graduates of three different Austin-area code schools to learn more about how they did it. Anthony Pekearo took nursing classes after high school and eventually working as a stagehand and a pedicab owner. He also dabbled in Bitcoin investment, before his account was hacked. “I lost $275,000 in one night,” he said. He discovered the University of Texas’ boot camp program, which focused on teach

It's the ultimate accessory for that fancy diploma they just placed in your hands. Not a frame, no. How about a job to go with it?

Pay attention, anxious parents, recent grads and anyone currently in the process of choosing a college major who would like to earn a healthy income post-graduation.

»RELATED: First job salaries for college grads up 5.2 percent from 2017

According to LinkedIn, the 2018 college graduating class will be applying for certain jobs in record numbers.

There are more students graduating than ever before (according to the National Center for Education Statistics), and hiring authority LinkedIn identified numerous companies, industries and locations where they are most likely to apply based on 2016-17 figures. Experts at the career site picked a short list of popular jobs for this spring's graduating class, including one sought-after job description that pays more than $90,000 annually.

So, if you want to go where the competition isn't, it's good to know that these seven jobs are like magnets (or free pizza, or naps) in their ability to draw lots of recent grads to apply.

Here are seven of the most popular jobs for 2018 college grads, along with the median income to expect:

Assistant media planner


New York City was No. 1 on LinkedIn's list of the Top U.S. Cities Hiring New Grads and it hired the most entry level folks in Marketing and Advertising spots like this one. Hello, Big Apple?

Abelardo Asensio Callol, 30, a software engineer from Cuba, fled to the United States and applied for asylum, but has been held in a prison for months as he awaits a ruling on his case. He is part of a group of asylum seekers suing the Department of Homeland Security over their prolonged detentions.

Software engineer


Yep, this is the heaviest hitter on the list, offering a $90K-plus income right out of school. Seattle is just one of the cities that needs software engineers–and it's also No. 10 on LinkedIn's list of the "Top 10 U.S. Cities Hiring New Grads."

Graphic designer


The Information Age is still hopping, and graphic designer hopefuls must make sure they've got what it takes to convey information across a wide variety of visual communication media. According to LinkedIn, Chicago and New York are both hiring for lots of marketing, advertising and Internet spots.

Investment banking analyst


Another one of the top-earning entry-level jobs for 2018 college grads is also a popular job description at some of the companies that did a lot of entry-level hiring in 2017, including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. But you can only fill the investment banking analyst role if your education (like a bachelor's in finance, accounting or economics) has prepared you for duties like performing valuation analyses and building detailed financial models.

Administrative assistant


Many different college degrees would qualify a graduate for at least some administrative spots, but one of the top degrees for this position is psychology, according to LinkedIn.



It's only a little amusing that one of the most sought-after spots for first jobs involves helping companies hire much more experienced people... According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resources specialists who work as recruiters may travel extensively to attend job fairs, visit college campuses and meet with applicants. Applicants usually need a bachelor's degree in human resources, business or a related field, but the BLS said that might vary by position and employer. It anticipated the human resources specialist job outlook overall to grow about 7 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is about average.

Account coordinator


Account executive also makes the list, but account coordinator (which pays about 30 percent less) is a bit more accessible for folks with college degrees, client service skills and eyes for detail. Account coordinator was just one example of a job people with a degree in marketing would be qualified for, and Marketing was No. 2 on LinkedIn's list of "The top 10 majors that led to the most varied types of opportunities after graduation."

And whether you're looking for a job with the fewest competitors or are happy to run with the pack heading for the most sought-after spots, make sure you consider this job-seeking advice. (And you thought you were through with lectures.) "Get 'em while they're hot." According to LinkedIn, the best time to apply is "right now." For 2017, LinkedIn identified April through June as the months when the most grads were hired into entry-level jobs.

Didn't march, not quite done, traveling to Europe this summer? "If you're not ready yet, don't worry," LinkedIn experts advised. "August is another hot time to apply."


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7 tips for males who manage or mentor females

Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 1:48 PM

Women are interrupted 30% more than men in the workplace Being constantly interrupted by men, or "manterrupted," quiets women and makes them lose confidence To avoid spiraling into self-doubt, here are some tips to put a stop to interruptions Speak with conviction using words like 'know' instead of 'believe' Use shorter sentences so your breaths in between aren't as long, making it harder to interrupt Lean in and make eye contact Speak authoritatively and don't open remarks with any type of apology Be sur

It's a sensitive time in this #MeToo era.

As Peter J. Strauss described it in Forbes, "Over the past few months, there has been an important and long overdue national conversation surrounding the topics of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior in the workplace." 

»RELATED: 7 ways women can avoid being ‘manterrupted’ at work

And while the movement has generated massive positive change, "some of the fallout from the ongoing discussion has been the expression of caution—and even a bit of fear—around male-female interactions in the workplace," Strauss noted.

One biggie: Since media reports of extensive sexual harassment started surfacing in fall 2017, a survey from women's empowerment non-profit LeanIn.Org and online survey platform SurveyMonkey found that male managers are three times as likely to say they are uncomfortable mentoring women. They're also twice as uncomfortable working alone with a woman than they are working isolation with another man.

Add to that, the statistic that senior men are now 3.5 times more likely to hesitate over establishing a working dinner with a junior female colleague (versus a male at the same level) and five times more likely to hesitate to travel for work with a junior woman, and women are clearly missing out. is already on the case; it created a #MentorHer program in February that already features many high power male mentors with female mentees.

Strauss also challenged his peers and the workforce at large to maintain mentoring strides and keep pushing for further gains.

"I would like to encourage my peers to change the tone of this conversation and focus on the many successful male-female work relationships we have each seen, fostered and benefited from," he said. "A workplace is super-charged by having a mix of well-mentored men and women. We need more men to mentor women because they'll be helping to positively change the workplace."

Male mentors benefit, too, according to sociologist David G. Smith and psychologist W. Brad Johnson, who described the aspects of cross-gender professional relationships that flood men with anxiety in Harvard Business Review. Many male mentors they interviewed said they often learned more from female mentee than the females learned from them.

»RELATED: These are the top 50 companies for women in the US, according to one site 

What holds men back from becoming a mentor?

"Partly, these guys are rattled by the prospect of close, caring, but nonsexual developmental relationships with women at work," the pair of researchers concluded. 

But when guys back away from mentoring women, "The net outcome is unsatisfactory for women and for the companies and organizations that hire them," they said.

Here are tips from Smith and Johnson and Strauss for men who mentor women, to the benefit of the workplace, the women and the men themselves:

Focus on professional progress. Rules for mentoring should be the same no matter the gender of the mentee. "What's the mentor or mentee's motivation for entering into this mentoring relationship?" Strauss asked. "You focus on skills, talents, goals and competencies."

Give constructive feedback. "Keep it real by not veering off the track of professional growth."

Think of mutual growth. "Focus on developing the women and men on your teams through impactful mentoring that elevates both the mentor and the mentee," Strauss said.

Ask if you're unsure. Colleagues or HR can help you understand what is considered inappropriate behavior and what is acceptable. "Something that was a compliment years ago might be considered an inappropriate comment today," Strauss said.

Practice common courtesy and respect. "Treat a female colleague as you would any other colleague," Strauss advised. "Men should take the extra step of educating themselves on the definition of sexual harassment and what it means to women in a professional setting.."

Learn to listen up. "Men can be more effective mentors for women if they practice listening skills with the goal of showing empathy versus trying to quickly problem solve or 'fix' things for her," Smith and Johnson noted. "In the process of listening, male mentors may find that they develop and appreciate enhanced interpersonal skills, access to larger networks and insider knowledge of their organization that makes them more effective leaders."

Quit worrying about the crying already!  Men must take it in stride if a female mentee cries. In the words of Smith and Johnson, "Get over it already, dudes. Men should appreciate the research showing that greater prolactin levels, human evolution and socialized permission are at play here, not weakness or distress."


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9 of the highest-paid doctors in America, per LinkedIn

Published: Wednesday, May 02, 2018 @ 10:56 AM

Top Paying Jobs in 2018

Doctors are often thought of as a highly-paid professionals, and, while that's true, some specialties pay better than others. 

LinkedIn gathered data from its salary tool and shared it with Business Insider, which reported the top highest-paid doctors in America.

»RELATED: These are the highest-paying companies in Georgia right now

The figures are self-reported based on information from LinkedIn's verified users over the past year. Base median salary information is included, as well as total median salaries, which also includes bonuses and other additional compensation.

The following are nine of the highest-paid doctors (starting with the highest pay) in America, according to LinkedIn and Business Insider:


Base median salary: $575,000

Total median salary: $575,000

Neurosurgeons top the list of highest paying medical professions. These specialists diagnose and surgically treat disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system (the brain and spinal cord and peripheral nerves). These can include tumors, brain or spine infections, stroke, or degenerative spinal diseases.

Orthopedic surgeon

Base median salary: $450,000

Total median salary: $500,000

Orthopedic surgeons treat injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, including bones, ligaments, joints, muscles, nerves and tendons. They're the type of specialist you see for problems such as back pain, arthritis in the hip or knee or sports injuries. Some further specialize in areas such as the foot and ankle or in sports medicine.

Interventional cardiologist

Base median salary: $438,000

Total median salary: $438,000

Interventional cardiologists treat heart and vascular conditions by performing catheterizations. These procedures allow the interventional cardiologist to insert a long thin tube called a catheter into a main blood vessel (often in your thigh, groin, neck or arm). Small instruments are then guided to your heart or another problem area to diagnose or treat a condition. In this way, interventional cardiologists bridge the gap between cardiologists, who use treatments such as medication, and cardiac surgeons, who treat more severe problems with bypasses and other procedures.

Among the top cosmetic surgical procedures of 2017 were nose reshaping and eyelid surgery, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Plastic surgeon

Base median salary: $410,000

Total median salary: $410,000

Plastic surgeons perform operations that change the shape or appearance of a patient's body. Although procedures such as breast augmentation or liposuction may first come to mind, plastic surgeons may also perform reconstructive surgeries after accidents or birth defects or to help minimize scarring on burn victims.


Base median salary: $400,000

Total median salary: $400,000

Gastroenterologists treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver, including those that affect the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, pancreas and gallbladder. They treat conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colon polyps and cancer and gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD).


Base median salary: $395,000

Total median salary: $395,000

Urologists specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases of the urinary tract and male reproductive system. They use medication and/or surgery to treat problems related to the bladder, urethra, kidneys, prostate and more.

» RELATED: Best Places to Work in Atlanta: 2018 Top Workplaces


Base median salary: $353,000

Total median salary: $370,000

Anesthesiologists provide anesthesia and pain relief to patients. They're commonly thought of as providing anesthesia during surgery, but they also follow up in recovery and help decide when patients can go home or be transferred. They also provide post-operative pain relief.


Base median salary: $350,000

Total median salary: $368,000

Radiologists are doctors who use medical imaging tests to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries. These can include ultrasound, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computerized tomography) and X-rays. They usually work closely with a referring physician who sent you to the radiologist for testing.

Ophthalmologists earn a base median salary of $285,000.(WSB-TV/For the AJC)


Base median salary: $285,000

Total median salary: $285,000

Ophthalmologists are doctors who fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, but they've also received additional medical training to diagnose and treat eye diseases and vision disorders. They can also perform eye surgery. 


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8 ways to be on time without waking up earlier 

Published: Tuesday, May 01, 2018 @ 10:35 AM

Here's how to get a promotion anywhere in the world Understand what the hiring process looks like in your company Let the company know you want a promotion Make sure your values are in line with the company Make sure you have developed Emotional Intelligence Manage your stress levels

Even if you go along with the recent UK study that indicated nocturnal people are likely to be more intelligent than their "early morning" counterparts, it's not too bright to constantly be late to work.

Forbes, for example, lists tardiness right up there with lying and procrastination among "14 Bad Habits That Can Cause You to Lose Your Job."

»RELATED: 5 keys to a promotion, according to this international economics expert

And even if constantly arriving late for work, meetings or business lunches doesn't get you sacked, it can degrade your job performances and ability to get along with bosses and co-workers. Such habits display "an attitude of complacency and carelessness," business career program instructor Roxanne Peplow told Forbes.

Talent Zoo president Amy Hoover agreed and noted, "Whether you intend to or not, arriving late shows disrespect to the social contract of the office place as well as your co-workers who do make an effort to show up on time."

Some have literally been late since their earliest days of setting their own schedules, according to a San Francisco State University study. But while about 20 percent of the American population is chronically late, the study's lead researcher, Diana DeLonzor, said the reasons may not be what those in charge of performance reviews would imagine.

It's not that latecomers don't value other people's time, noted DeLonzer, who is the author of "Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged.

"Repetitive lateness is more often related to personality characteristics such as anxiety or a penchant for thrill-seeking," she told Fast Company. "Some people are drawn to the adrenaline rush of that last-minute sprint to the finish line, while others receive an ego boost from over-scheduling and filling each moment with activity."

Late people also tend to procrastinate more, demonstrate trouble with self-control and be thrill seekers."People who are chronically late are often wrestling with anxiety, distraction, ambivalence or other internal psychological states," psychologist Pauline Wallin told Refinery 29.

But there are still ways to start being on time, even after a long career of being the last to join the meeting or get to your desk. None of them (phew) advise waking up earlier. Instead, time management and psychology experts recommend these eight strategies:

Analyze this.

The first step toward timeliness, DeLonzor told Refinery 29, is self examination. Take a good look at your history of lateness and any patterns that emerge. Are you indiscriminately late to everything, or do you select certain events or times of day? How does being late make you feel? What causes you to run behind?

Professional organizer and productivity expert Julie Morgenstern encouraged a further question: Are you always late by the same amount of time or does it vary? "If it's always the same, that is indicative of a psychological hurdle," she said. "Maybe you're afraid of downtime, or feel that you have to fit as much as humanly possible into your day (even if it's not humanly possible). If you arrive late by 10 minutes to one thing and 30 minutes to another, the problem is likely mechanical. Your time management skills need work."

Try a tiny bite (of punctuality.)

Wallin advised getting a taste for punctuality with a one-time experiment. Make it something small, like vowing not to get on Facebook before work tomorrow, even for a few seconds. "If you can't commit to a small inconvenience like that," she cautions, "you are not ready to tackle your chronic lateness." Also experiment with just a single episode of being on time. "Just once," Wallin advised, "just to see how it feels. Note your reaction. Are you relieved or anxious? Proud or bored as hell? Then work your way up from there."

(JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

Relearn to tell time.

DeLonzor's research indicated that one shared trait of punctual people is that they're realistic about how much time things take. To join them, she encourages chronically late people to write down how long you think it takes to shower, get ready in the morning and drive to work. Then for a week, track the actual time each of those activities take. Chronically late people are often off of their time estimates by 25 or 30 percent, according to DeLonzor.

Stop planning to be on time.

Sorry, this isn't an "out." It's even harder than planning to be on time: you'll need to start planning to be early, giving yourself time for such contingencies as missing a single traffic light or needing to return to the apartment and grab an umbrella. DeLonzor and Morgenstern both recommended planning to be everywhere 15 minutes early.

Make the plan; work the plan. Especially when you're brand new to a commitment to be on time (even if you've been in the work force for decades), you may need to go overboard a bit in planning to be on time. DeLonzor recommended such foreign tactics as checking directions online, checking traffic reports before leaving or even driving to an new location the day before to understand the route.

Bring something appealing to wile away the early arrival minutes.

"Knowing that you have something to occupy your time will help," says DeLonzor. Make the activity specific and compelling, like a fun game on the handheld or a crossword, not 10 minutes extra of bookkeeping for taxes or something like that.

Tap the power of technology.

One powerful component of a habit "loop" is the cue or trigger that prompts you to engage in your habit, according to Harvard Business Review. For being on time, schedule plenty of cues on your phone or laptop. Instead of setting alarms that go off when you're supposed to arrive, though, set one for each duty you need to complete to arrive on time. Another cool idea: set a location-based reminder, for example, a reminder that you have 10 minutes to be on time once you reach the parking garage.

Time your exit. 

DeLonzor says many late people — including herself — have an aversion to leaving the house, and suddenly feel the need to straighten the blinds or open the mail when they should be heading out the door. To combat this she uses a mantra of sorts: "When I catch myself doing this, I'll snap or clap and say 'This can wait.'"


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