Starting Over: Career Change

A growing trend in today’s job market is for workers to change careers at least once.  There are a multitude of explanations for these changes. A big reason is being able to try out a career that didn’t exist years ago.

Technological fields such as social media and cyber security are some of the largest growing areas. Another reason for increased job switching is the rate that companies are downsizing, closing, or relocating.  

Initially upsetting, these misfortunes can lead to great opportunities to look in a new direction! Many women who return to the work world after having children find that having a schedule that coordinates with their kids’ school schedules is more important than making big bucks. Still, others find themselves at the other end of parenting after children have moved out.

Now can be the time to take on the new career that you’ve been wanting to try but were worried about job security as you raised a family. Perhaps you don’t need quite as much income, as many work hours, or the stress that comes along with all of that.

Even as the career change trend shows an increase, surveys show that while a large percentage of older workers wish to change careers for many of the reasons mentioned, less than 10% of them will make a change.  However, the vast majority of those who do make the switch report being very satisfied and successful in their new career. So how do you successfully make the switch?

Talk to family, friends, and professionals in the new career. LinkedIn is a well known online tool for meeting and talking with professionals across job sectors. Career counselors can also be a valuable asset. List the skills, training, perspective, and experience that you’ve acquired over the years that can make you valuable in a new position.  Research what additional training you would need to enter the new field. An online search of available training is a great place to start as is talking to those currently working in your desired field.  

If you are someone who tends to be adverse to risk, consider options to enter your new career part-time to start, while still holding on to the security of your full-time position. Last, plan your budget to determine what you truly need to earn to make ends meet.  Be honest during this phase of the planning and check out “Your Family Budget” for tools to help set-up and stick with a new budget.

Finally, time to polish off that resume!  Monster.com provides a free resume review.  This can be a great place to start if you’re updating for the first time in several years.  Utilize friends and family to practice interviewing skills.

The Muse shares 31 Common Interview Questions, along with tips on how to answer them!  When interviewing, let it be known that you are switching careers because you’re passionate about the field you are entering.  Your enthusiasm and energy, combined with the skills and experience gained in prior careers will make you an attractive candidate!


Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse

Did you know that Lancaster City has its own movie theater?  For over 20 years Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse has been serving up great independent films and treats to patrons.  They have moved twice since first opening their doors in the 90s and their current home is one you shouldn’t miss!

Zoetropolis – more than just movies!

Zoetropolis is newly re-opened at 112 N. Water Street, operating under a new model – the Cinema Stillhouse. It’s a unique balance of different things including a theater/restaurant/distillery combo. The building space itself is shared with two other local businesses – Columbia Kettle Works and La Cocina Mexicana.  Although they remain independent entities, these three local businesses compliment each other very well!

Zoetropolis offers outstanding alternative film content that they’ve become well known for…art house film, independent, documentary and foreign films. They are beginning to add more live music events to their calendar.  Currently, Zoetropolis is featuring 1-2 nights of live music performance per month, when the whole place transforms into a fantastic concert venue. Other live events that can be found at Zoetropolis include The Lancaster Story Slam and Lanc Out Loud Comedy nights.

What’s new, besides the fabulous location and live music?  They are on the brink of opening their own restaurant and distillery. Their distiller is excited to be sharing his own quality spirits with the initial offerings including vodka, gin and rum. The restaurant will offer a shared plates menu and when the weather is nice, their large garage doors will lift to allow for outdoor courtyard seating.

Zoetropolis is not like just any other movie theater.  Films are carefully selected for content and substance.  Movies are shown that bring value and meaning, artistic relevance, and a social connection – making you think in new and interesting ways.  The experience is enhanced further by the viewing environment. The theater offers comfortable seating to hang out afterwards allowing patrons to discuss and process while still completely in the moment.

For an upcoming list of movies and events, hours and pricing, refer to their website.  To get in touch with someone personally, email is the best means at info@zoetropolis.com

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Finding the Right Tax Preparer for YOU!

Finding the right person or company to prepare your taxes is an important choice.  You want someone who will do the research to get you the best possible refund for your situation.  Of course, you need someone who will do so ethically and responsibly. And you don’t want to pay more than necessary or wait forever to have those returns completed.  So how do you go about finding the best person for the job?

itp taxes

Many people start with recommendations from friends and family.  Knowing who others trust is a valuable guide to who might work well for you.  Checking with the Better Business Bureau is another good way to verify the history of a potential tax preparer.


Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the tax preparer before committing.  Some important things to know up front include whether the preparer will e-file for you.  Get a quote for preparation fees ahead of time and an estimated time-frame for completion.

After your taxes are completed you can protect yourself in several ways.  Review the completed return before signing. Make sure that the refund is coming back into your bank account by double checking the routing numbers.  Be sure that the tax preparer has included their PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) with their signature before you pay for their service. The IRS is seeing a rise in the number of what they call “Ghost Tax Preparers”.  These scammers can cheat you out of the fee that they charge without being actual certified preparers. So make sure your satisfied and everything looks correct before making that payment.


If you have issues or concerns with your tax return, please report it to the IRS.  Complete IRS Form 14157 to file a complaint or if you suspect illegal practices.  This is the best way to be sure that unethical behaviors are stopped and don’t recur in the future.  


Earned Income Tax Credit

Never heard of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?  Unfortunately many Americans have not. This has compelled the IRS to declare January 25th “EITC Awareness Day”.  The purpose of January 25th being to educate the public about this important credit.

The EITC was originally created in the 1970’s in an attempt to help alleviate poverty.  It has been an effective tool in doing so, in several ways. The credit provides an incentive to work because it is calculated based off of earnings.  

The EITC percentage increases the more you earn, up to $22,300 of income per year. It then decreases on its way back down to a salary level of $47,162 at which point the EITC is not offered.  The maximum credit allowance is $6,431 and the minimum is $519.

However, it has in more recent years been the subject of attack.  Critics are frustrated because the credit gives money back to Americans who aren’t currently paying into the system.  Many of the qualified recipients of EITC fall below the income level required to file taxes.

With increased EITC awareness, the IRS is finding that some taxpayers may be due credit from previous years.  Fortunately, it is possible to go back in time three years to claim a refund. For tax year 2018, refunds can be claimed as far back as 2015.  At this point, electronic filing is not available for prior year refunds and paper claims must be submitted.

If you are claiming the EITC credit, there are tax forms that must be filled out to do so.  The IRS recommends getting help filing for EITC. Uncertain about forms, whether you are eligible, or need assistance getting caught up from previous years?  Our office is here for you this tax season!