Success comes to those who work at it. Sure, a handful of folks will get lucky and strike gold without lifting more than a finger, but for the most part, to achieve, one must put in the effort. This takes time, planning, and a special kind of work ethic, along with a go-getter, never-fail attitude.

We are going from A – Z with tips and advice to help a success-driven individual to reach their goals in the workplace. As we move along to P, Q, and R, there are three more ways to find success with persistence, quick thinking, and valuable relationships.

Persistence

The path to success will rarely, if ever, be a straight line. Roadblocks, twists and turns, and setbacks will all be part of the journey. Giving up at the first sign of struggle is a surefire way to never make it anywhere near the rich reward of success. Persistence keeps strong people pushing, fighting odds, and overcoming obstacles.

As per Erupting Mind, "Those who are able to keep going through periods of adversity stand a much better chance of achieving something of real meaning and value in their life. You must be willing to stick with something for the long-term and avoid the tendency to view things from a short-term perspective."

Endure the hardships, resolve to work through challenges, and remain constant in your desire to succeed. Those who push themselves the hardest propel the highest.

Quick Thinking

When money and time are of the essence, which is the norm in a workplace scenario, thinking on one's feet is imperative. The person who flip-flops or is poor at decision-making can fall behind in their work and miss out on opportunities that may not come back around again.

According to Illumine, "Whether you end up on the spot while presenting a proposal, attending a meeting, or selling an idea to customers, learning to articulate your thoughts in unforeseen situations is a valuable skill. The ability to think rapidly whilst on your feet is a skill that is in very high demand in the business world. Once you have learned to master it, your sharp and relevant responses will immediately instill confidence in what you are saying."

Dell EMC adds, "There's only one combination of speed and intelligence that can bring sustainable success and that is to be both quick and clever." Quick thinking is only beneficial if the ideas are smart and useful. So along with being on the ball comes business knowledge and that "gut feeling" that assures you that you're making decisions that will benefit your role and the company as a whole.

Relationships

They say it's lonely at the top, but it doesn't have to be. Success shared with co-workers, clients, customers, etc. makes "the more, the merrier" a far better way to celebrate the fruits of hard work.

As per Entrepreneur, "Every successful executive and entrepreneur will tell you, their most important asset is their network, and they don't mean social network. They mean people they actually know and work with in real time because they're the ones that actually get things done."

Good relationships are not only personally fulfilling, but they can help a business thrive. As per My Top Business Ideas, "If you are kind, courteous, and attentive to your customers, employees, and business associates, you will establish a good reputation for your business. And people will deem you and your business as trustworthy and experienced."

For tips on ways to build meaningful business relationships, Forbes offers sage advice that anyone can benefit from.

Stay tuned for the next installment in our A – Z series. Success gets closer with every letter!

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Developing further skills can boost your career at any stage.

Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to grow in your current one, getting a certification can be a great way to improve your skills.

Anyone can put that they are proficient in a computer program on their resume but having a certificate can help you stand out amongst the competition and give credence to the strength of your skills.

But what's the best way to invest in yourself without breaking the bank? Some certification programs can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We are going to walk through six of the best certifications you can get for $100 or less.

Tableau

Tableau's data visualization capabilities are comparable to Domo and Power BI.

Who is it best for: Those who work with analyzing and presenting data.

Cost: $100 for Tableau Desktop Specialist; additional certifications are available for a larger fee.

More companies than ever see themselves as data companies. Being able to understand data and use it to guide decisions at your company is often critical to taking on a leadership role. Not to mention, being able to present the data in a clean, attractive, and compelling way can help get buy-in from others in your organization or clients. That's why Tableau is a great tool to have in your toolbox.

Tableau allows you to create interactive visual analytics dashboards. In layman's terms, you can take data; create graphs, maps, or charts; and then allow end-users to interact with these graphics to better understand the information. It's a fantastic tool allowing non-technical users to gain insights for data-driven decision-making.

Tableau Desktop Specialist certification starts at $100 and has no expiration date. There are many videos on Tableau's site to prepare for your exam as well as Tableau Starter Kits allowing you to play around and learn the different capabilities of the program. Tableau offers a 14-day free trial as well as free license for one year for students.

Additional certifications after Desktop Specialist are Desktop Associate and Desktop Professional. Those working with a Tableau server may also be interested in a separate certification as a Server Associate or Server Professional.

The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

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Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.

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