Immortality and Mortality in the Economic Sciences

Immortality and Mortality in the Economic Sciences

Roberto Calvo Macias, a young author and thinker from Spain, once wrote to me that it is impossible to design a coherent philosophy of Economy without accounting for the (sad?) fact that we are mortals. This insight is intriguing. It is not that we refrain from Death in dealing with matters economic. What are estate laws, annuities, life insurance policies – but ways to cope with the Great Harvester? But this, admittedly, only scratch the non-profound surface of the question.
The industrial revolution taught us that humans were dispensable. The process of production was reduced to minute functional units that people could learn in minutes. Only the most basic skills were required to successfully endure this learning curve. Thus, for as long as humans bred, the supply was inexhaustible. Humans became entirely replaceable, interchangeable (and alienated, in the process). Motion pictures of the period (“Metropolis”, “Modern Times”) portray the industrial worker as a nut in a machine, driven to the verge of insanity by the repetitiveness of his work.
Yet, this view of human resources is fast becoming extinct in the rich Western countries. Training periods have lengthened, expert knowledge has taken over, the main value added is information. Humans represent a sizeable investment in education. They are no longer an inexpensive resource .With this realization, there came about a revolution in economic relations. Absurdly, inhuman totalitarian regimes (especially Fascism and Communism) were the first to emphasize the importance of the human factor in the total set of means of production. The concept of scarcity was extended (by virtually all the economic systems today) to apply to human resources.
All resources are scarce. Economy is the science of trading off: giving up one resource in order to get more of another. The concept of “opportunity cost” is the first that students of economy encounter. The classic approach included natural endowments in the group of scarce resources. The human element was barely perceived as yet another natural resource. Now it is. The size of the population, its life expectancy, its quality of life, health, education, income – are all important.
Economy is the branch of psychology which deals with behaviour patterns and with mental processes which relate to material wealth, with the opportunities to obtain it (=access to it) and with the processes and mechanisms underlying its attainment. Because material wealth can be expressed quantitatively, this specific branch acquired a “mathematical” nature, a twist not present in other branches of the human sciences. As such, it is highly surprising that so little formal thought was given to the issue of mortality (which is what makes the human resource scarce).
The legal profession is positively obsessed with Death. This is why economic activities are relegated to separate legal entities. The founders of a company are mortals – the company itself, immortal. This is why the concepts of last wish, legal testament, estate and inheritance are so strong: they survive the person, they have an existence all their own. Economic theories, on the other hand, generally assume that humans are immortal and that their economic activities and legal entities which embody them have an infinite horizon. To some extent, this is justified by people’s behaviour and by observing the social institutions that they form. People engage in very long term activities even when they are very old. No 80-year old inventor will give up his royalties just because he long surpassed his life expectancy and is about to die imminently. This is true even if he has no off-springs. No businessman will stop accumulating wealth just because he has enough for two lifetimes. No consumer will cease consuming simply because he has all that he needs to properly function. The life expectancy horizon is ineffective because w all deny the prospect of death. This denial mechanism is exceedingly strong in all of us – we suppress the fact that we will die one day and that many of our activities, efforts, battles and pursuits look absolutely outlandish from this vantage point. So, economy mimics and reflects human defensive mechanisms: it is long term, infinite in scope.
Surprisingly, as Mr. Calvo Macias commented, the more temporally finite the organization – the more dynamic it is. Religious establishments, which ostensibly trust in the after-life (a form of immortality) – are procedurally rigid, ossified, frozen. This is also characteristic of states. The longer their past and the longer their perceived future (the Reich of a Thousand Years) – the more morbidly paralysed these entities and their institutions. Dynamism is closely associated with finiteness and with the perception of mortality when it is coupled with rebellion. The rebel does not accept his own imminent demise. He fights back by being dynamic, that is, through the process of creation. The battle between creation and death is drawn along the lines of mortal fear.
And, so, we can distinguish two types of economic players: those who accept death and those who reject it. The first type is characterized by fear and anxiety as the driving force – the second by deep seated denial and false confidence.
Those aware of their mortality display a decrease in economic activity with the onset of old age. They tend to attach a greater weight to their income the more recent it is. They discount future income and attach negligible weights to it. They tend to think short term as they grow older, towards the end of their lives they refrain from any economic activity bar trading, speculation, arbitrage, brokering and investments in financial assets. They become less risk averse as time passes.
Those who deny the crawling end still demonstrate an emotional attachment to wealth and to its accumulation at an old age. They do weigh income in accordance with its expected maturity (the more futuristic the income – the less weight it carries) – but they still attach some weight to it. Dividend Discounting Models in stock valuation assume an INFINITE stream of future dividends, discount it, add the results to get the CURRENT price of a stock. Stock in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) are trading now at a p/e (price to earnings) multiple of 18. Assuming a 35% average tax on dividends and on capital gains – this means a person has to wait 28 years to recoup his investment. Taking into consideration risk free income (the interest payments that the person could have received had he invested the money in Treasury Bonds) – the effective multiple is really 60 and above. Investors are willing to wait 60 years and more in order to receive their money back plus a reasonable return. This is the quintessential denial of the finiteness of life.
These two types clash and conflict. As they do, they generate the very fabric of market economies as we know them today. Players are trading risks, speculating, investing in projects, buying stocks – all based on a hidden philosophies of life and death. It is this that we trade amongst us when we do: our own mortality.

Humor In Business Management

Humor In Business Management

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Emotional Intelligence plays an important role. The central place of humor in life makes it possible to use its precise emotional expression, as expressed in daily cartoons, for business training.

The progress in computers simulators enables the good businessman to simulate all his routines before he goes to the business work. He has the opportunity to concentrate on the non computerized human expressions in business. These are: customer service, work relationships, safety issues, self improvement and so on.

Any dealing with the human capital is an obligation to deal with emotions. Emotions volumes cannot be measured precisely, contrary to cognitive or physical volumes. The reason is that emotions expand all the time. It gives them their unique attribute: The human ability to be empathic.

We can measure exactly sales volume, I.Q. or weight lifting, but not the intensity of love and hate. For example: Questionnaires about satisfaction from a boss or a product give only limited answers. This leaves the business leader exposed to mistakes of emotional intelligence.

Large part of the business continuity, from the morning meetings through the motivation papers and finally with the private learning in the evening, is dedicated to practice on human resources. The amount of humor in it is small compared to ordinary life. While daily life is a continuous effort for laugher, business life is a cooperated effort for making life more serious.

There is nothing better then the sense of humor, the best known therapy for the soul, for the illumination of the human factor. Humor is derived directly from an overloaded mind which seeks to facilitate the feelings it faces with others.

The definition of humor is: Emotions made precise.

Every business negotiation is also a transaction of emotions. These are accurate emotions, purified through the long bargaining process. After a deal is closed, there is a mutual sense of emotional relief between the negotiating sides. When this sense of relief fades away, It create a by product in the form of a lightness of the spirit, a sense of humor.

The precision of humor makes it suitable for the businessmen training. There is a use for humor in all aspects of business communication. But Business fun is not as simple as it looks like. It demands professionalism both in humor and in business. It has to be precise. Otherwise there is a danger of getting out of focus. Laser precision is part of any humor. If the target is missed, the damage is big.

One medium of humor, the cartoon, is more suitable for the business office. The Visual aspect of the cartoon makes it easy to grasp the content. It affords a visual relaxation in the visually intensive business world.

There are few Daily Cartoon series that deals directly with the business work. One of them is The Daily Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen. It usually shows a sophisticated and delicate situation, which is the result of ordinary human behavior. The situation is mainly a very sharp event regarding money. The elusive world of money making motives finds here its accurate, funny representation.
The characters serve just as a mean for clarification. The subject is not a certain character with unique attributes, but a situation with a familiar background.

The reliance on practical situations makes the Daily Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen a favorable choice for the business world. Anybody can sympathize with a situation which was represented before him in a cartoon. If we shall apply it on a daily basis, we shall laugh all the way to the bank. To do so, we need a closer focus on business stories.

There is a huge need for sophisticated cartoons in all that is concerned with human resources. The greater part of Glasbergen’s cartoons is about the modern business environment: Computers and Internet, management and workers, decision making and ethics, and so on. In addition, there are many cartoons which contain ideas and advice regarding other aspects of life: Health, family, self improvement and more. The cartoons cover with precision almost any field with a very positive affect.

Cartoons are the best way for introducing emotional intelligence for businessmen. It is a business training technique which should be implemented to the infrastructure of business processes.

Why Joint Ventures?

Why Joint Ventures?

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As there are numerous good reasons both business wise and financial, to create a joint venture with a company that has a great complementary capabilities and resources, such as distribution channels, new technologies or finance, joint ventures are becoming an increasingly popular way for different companies to build strategic alliances.

In a Joint venture, two or more parent companies agrees to share capital, technology, human resources, risks and rewards in a formation of a new entity under shared managerial power.

But before going into a joint venture, you should consider something first. We have gathered some information on what are the most important things to think about before going into a joint venture, here is the list:

Before going into a joint venture, be sure to first screen prospective partners. Make sure that you are on the same level of the industry.

Also make a joint development of a detailed business plan and short listing a set of prospective partners based on their contribution to the development of the plans.

Check the credentials of the other party by doing interviews and research. Check their previous business and also the sales that they are getting. You may also want to check customer feedback regarding their services.

You should also develop an exit strategy and terms of dissolution of the joint venture in case things would go wrong.

You should also try to think of the most appropriate structure for you joint ventures, for example most joint ventures involving fast growing companies are structured as strategic corporate partnership.

You should also take notice of the availability of appreciated or depreciated property being contributed to the joint venture; by misunderstanding the significance of appreciated property, companies can weaken the economics of the deal for themselves and their parties

You should also point out the different special allocations of income, gain, loss or deduction to be made among the partners and so with the compensation to the members that provide services.

You should also take note of the role of your business architect, this is a person that initiates new business ventures or leads business innovations, designs a winning business model and builds sustainable balanced business system for a lasting success.

Business architects can be found in multitude of business settings, be it in corporate change leaders, initiator of joint venture, and managers of different and radical company settings.

Human resources also plays a special role in joint ventures, here are some thing that a human resource should look into to get good business ventures.

The business strategy should begin with a sound, well articulated strategy. Before going into the first step, determine first and explain why you wish to enter into a joint venture, why you have chosen such partner or partners, and what the goal of the company is. You should put into word the involvement of the parent companies and define how long will the joint ventures last.

You should also describe strategies to define the managerial, accountability, decision-making process and conflict resolution procedures.
Develop Human Resource strategies that align and support the goals of the JV. You should develop a distinct identity and culture for the newly form company. Communicate energetically to the employees and establish a distinct career goal, management, and a means of welcoming return to the employees transferred to the joint venture.

Create salary, bonuses and retention program that is inline with the success of the joint venture. Maintain open communication between the companies that have been tied up.

Define a process for leadership selection that is seen fair and credible and give credits to the top-tier leadership as soon as possible. Look for key indicators of leadership potentials such as behavior, past experience, and measurable outputs.

To engage and motivate your employees, communication should be frequent and used to create a common vision, establish a connection with leadership, explain the new rules, support the individual transition process, aid in retention, and ultimately, define the new organization in terms of “We” instead of an “It” or “They”. Share as much information as you can, and never sugar-coat or make false promises.

Conduct employee research to help the new organization determine what matters to employees and can serve as the foundation for all programs and incentives.

Investment Capital – Putting Brand Capital And Human Capital Above Working Capital Or Physical Capital

Investment Capital – Putting Brand Capital And Human Capital Above Working Capital Or Physical Capital

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When you start your own business, you commit to investing your time, talent and resources in the business to make it succeed. You authorize a spending plan; you ask the bank, your credit card company, friends, family, employees, to endow the business to follow your business plan and implement your marketing plan. There’s more to it. You need to determine where you can differentiate your company from the competition, so where should you invest the most resources? To garner the most flexibility, I suggest your investment priorities should be: Brand Capital, then Human Capital, followed by Working Capital with Physical Capital at the bottom of the list.

Brand Capital: Invest the most in your market and marketing to them. Up front this could simply be focusing on a small group of prospects. Do the economics to make them well satisfied customers. So much so, that they provide the testimonials or become the spokespersons for your future sales. Remember, the high value transfer of using relationships.

Human Capital: This is your team and their track record coming on board. Only hire stars, no matter what. Only employ experts in the key roles of your company. For other positions, look for great talent you can mold to your vision, and move around to meet the company’s needs.

In addition, build a stellar Board of Advisors or Board of Directors. A Board of Advisors usually will help you for free, whereas a Board of Directors is paid. The key is to engage thought leaders in your niche who become early adopters of your product or service and advocate for you to their significant networks.

Working Capital: Invest minimally here because there’s no added value to the company or the product. Tying up cash instead of using credit may actually slow your time to market. This could be a critical timing mistake if your competition is racing you to market.

Physical Capital: Invest minimally here because bricks and mortar don’t sell product. Yes, you need a roof and windows that don’t leak (I’ve worked with many startups in the old mills where workstation layout was based on the leaks and drips.). You don’t need to be a miser. And you need the equipment, technologies and conveniences that will make everyone highly productive. Cost- effectiveness should be weighed here too.

Whenever you are investing in your business, recognize that you cannot manage everything, but you can manage the value equation of each investment. Be sure the value to your business is outstanding, so you can win business with every sale.

Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

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The first MRP systems of inventory management evolved in the 1940s and 1950s. They used mainframe computers to explode information from a bill of materials for a certain finished product into a production and purchasing plan for components. Before long, MRP was expanded to include information feedback loops so that production personnel could change and update the inputs into the system as needed. The next generation of MRP, known as manufacturing resources planning or MRP II, also incorporated marketing, finance, accounting, engineering, and human resources aspects into the planning process. A related concept that expands on MRP is enterprise resources planning (ERP), which uses computer technology to link the various functional areas across an entire business enterprise.

MRP works backward from a production plan for finished goods to develop requirements for components and raw materials.MRP begins with a schedule for finished goods that is converted into a schedule of requirements for the subassemblies, component parts, and raw materials needed to produce the finished items in the specified time frame, Thus, MRP is designed to answer three questions: what is needed? how much is needed? and when is it needed?

MRP breaks down inventory requirements into planning periods so that production can be completed in a timely manner while inventory level and related carrying costs are kept to a minimum. Implemented and used properly, it can help production managers plan for capacity needs and allocate production time.

Boosting of Business Process Outsourcing

Boosting of Business Process Outsourcing

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Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a controller of advance technology or expert process sellers to offer and supervise a company’s decisive or non-decisive venture applications and processes.
The most familiar examples of Business Processing Outsourcing are human resources, payroll, call center, and accounting outsourcing. BPO may comprise the usage of off-shore assets or resources.

Application of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) apart from an ASP or Application Service Provider frequently refer to a particular amount of risk is relocated to the third-party which is managing the process features for the outsourcer. Business Process Outsourcing comprises the process software and management as well as the people processing such service as a usual ASP only comprises the provision of entry to technicalities and functionalities offered or served up via available software, normally through the use online browsers to the clients or customers.

Though the Business Process Outsourcing term has been transparent and has gained popularity in the Information technology business for almost five years, the service providing itself has been in existence for over the years. For instance, numerous of the biggest service providers have considerable bequest streams which came from contracts of health processing claims. For most cases, such contracts comprise the whole back-office task. The payroll administration outsourcing has been a conventional practice for several years’ backs and is another scene of the real age of the BPO industry.

The BPO market is currently experiencing obvious momentum of broader customer acceptance as well as the surfacing of fresh service providing categories along with proliferation of the supplier from which you prefer. Certain service providers’ features are very established.

If you would like to do something right a lesser amount of money then an outsourcing option can be great way to go other wise, you can do it by yourself. Companies are increasingly trending Information Technology functions and input business functions. Such development is anticipated to gradually accelerate beginning in 2002.

For over the years, companies have been holding on to the worth of business outsourcing processes like billing, training, benefits-administration, human resources management, payroll and logistics function. And the BPO market is much expected to carry on its healthy development, manoeuvred by merger and gaining which craft laid off system and innovative application needs.

A tone of work requires to be undertaken to set up a business outsourcing plan. Companies must be able to identify the value of performing such internal processes, choose a certain service provider, and create a well-designed contract. However, for those companies searching for unsurprising costs, BPO is an appealing and a smart option.

The Basics Of Project Management

The Basics Of Project Management

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Any project can only be successful if the people behind the project implements proper project management skills or hire a reputable and dependable project management group.

Project management may sound like a complicated term and it really is as it involves the process of organizing the different factors involved in creating and completing a project.

All projects should start out with a good plan so that the project creator would know the things required for the project to proceed as well as the necessary timeframe within which these requirements must be accomplished. The project plan should identify the scope of the project and the people accountable for the various aspects of the project.

The plan should include the costs involved in managing the project including the costs involved in hiring human resources and materials for the project. A good and realistic plan will enable the project manager to fulfill the project requirements on time and in an efficient manner.

Like every other project, a project management plan should include a good plan for human resources as they will be the best resources the project manager can have. Another important aspect is the communications plan not only between and among the project manager and the employees or workers. It should also include a good communication system with the outside world.

The project manager should be more wary of a good communication plan especially if the project has a very great impact in a certain community. If this is the case, the project manager should also make sure to include a public relations plan as well as a communications plan in cases of emergency or negative reaction from the public.

Risk management should be one of the most important aspects of the project plan. The project manager should avoid being reactionary whenever emergencies or negative publicity comes up. To avoid this and to become proactive he should establish a contingency plan for possible situations.

One of the most challenging projects to handle or to manage is a software project because of the technical emergencies that may happen, the sudden changes in costs and the sudden changes in technical people involved in the software project.

However, a project manager should always be prepared for any eventuality for any type of project he is handling. The best thing to do is to prepare a very efficient project management plan so that he is not caught unaware of very important aspects of the project.

Your Job Just Got Easier with Outsourcing

Your Job Just Got Easier with Outsourcing

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If you are like most Internet marketers you often find yourself wearing a variety of hats. Those involved in the industry of Internet marketing are a hard working breed by nature and are typically not afraid to roll up their sleeves and become involved in all aspects of their marketing campaign. From brainstorming to develop a niche to designing aesthetically appealing and well optimized websites and from writing scintillating website content and intriguing press releases to remaining active on industry message boards, Internet marketers do it all. However, problems arise as the individuals become more successful. Their niche markets begin to thrive and increase in number and completing all of these different tasks for several different niches is no longer feasible. This is when it is important to know what aspects to outsource to other qualified individuals. This article will take a look at outsourcing both copywriting and website design.

Outsourcing these two elements to professionals enables the Internet marketer to retain control of crucial elements of the business such as creating new niches and promoting existing niches. These two components are the most critical and by retaining absolute control of these elements and overseeing other elements it is not likely the quality of the niche markets will be compromised by outsourcing.

Leave the Copywriting to the Professionals

The copywriting required for an Internet niche marketing campaign is one of the first elements which should be outsourced. The content you provide on your websites, as well as in press releases, sales letters and ebooks is likely the first impression potential clients get of your niche market. Logically, it stands to reason that your copy should be well written, concise, informative accurate, persuasive and search engine optimized. With so many requirements it is obvious this work should be completed by a professional copywriter.

The services of a quality copywriter, especially one skilled in search engine optimization (SEO), may be a significant expense with many copywriters charging close to $1.00 per word for optimized content and over 30 cents per word for content which is not optimized. However, those in the industry of Internet niche marketing realize the value of quality copy for their websites and are willing to pay these fees because they know they will be more than compensated by the success of their niche markets.

Let the Experts Design and Optimize Your Website

We have already discussed how writers with SEO skills are a valuable commodity but it is also important to note that website designers who possess SEO skills are critical to the success of Internet niche marketing campaigns. SEO is so important because high search engine rankings can drive a great deal of traffic to a niche website. Internet users constantly rely on search engines to find them the most useful information for particular search terms and as a result it is not likely these same users will visit websites buried on the third or fourth page of search results. More realistically, they will visit the first couple of links in the search results and find the answers they are seeking. This is why it is so important for those in the industry of niche marketing to invest in SEO.

Keyword density is one component of SEO which is usually handled by the copywriter. However, there are many other SEO strategies which can be incorporated into the design of a website to bolster rankings. Some of these strategies are careful selection of domain names and titles, use of META and ALT tags and clean website design which contains an easy to navigate sitemap. These are just a few of the most basic SEO strategies but techniques and strategies for SEO change regularly as search engines adjust their algorithms and industry professionals attempt new techniques to improve their rankings. SEO is not a simple process and is basically a full time job. For these reasons hiring a website design firm with SEO capabilities is critical to the success of Internet niche markets.

Succeeding At An Online Business Administration Degree

Succeeding At An Online Business Administration Degree

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An online business administration degree helps students understand how businesses work, so that students emerge from their degree ready to take on positions and job opportunities in the business world. A course of study can include courses in global business strategy, management information systems, management, marketing, accounting and finance, human resources, organizational behavior, and communication, to name just a few. Once students graduate, they can qualify for jobs in management, human resources, finance, or sales and marketing.

While choosing to complete an online business administration degree can boost your career and can allow you to study on your own terms, it also requires work and dedication, especially if you want to make the most of your education. Online programs give you plenty of flexibility and allow you to work at your current job, even as you prepare for a better job. To get the best post-graduation possibilities, though, you will want to study smart so that you can succeed at your degree program.

One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your online business administration degree leads to great opportunities in the future is to make sure that you select the right degree program for you. Make sure that your course of studies allows you access to professors and qualified faculty by phone or email. Make sure that you will get the resources and help you need to succeed in school. Finally, make sure that you will be pursuing your studies at a respected institution that hires great faculty. When all of this is in place, your degree will be more valuable and you will have all the tools in place to do your best at your studies.

The second thing to remember is that an online business administration degree is your responsibility. While this sort of program can offer you intensive studies that can help you qualify for a great job sooner, you need to make sure that you have the self-discipline to put work into the program. Buy a planner or calendar and block out time to study, review your notes, read course materials, and complete any projects that require work. Read over your course outlines to understand exactly what will be expected of you and block the time into your schedule so that you can complete everything on time. The good news is that since online programs are so flexible, you will be able to plan your study time around your other responsibilities. If you plan well, this can actually help you become a better student.

Be sure to find out what resources your school offers and make a serious effort to make use of them. Your tuition pays for these resources, and you can often get more value from your degree by taking advantage of all that your degree offers. If you have email access to professors, for example, be sure to get in touch with your instructors. If your school offers study skill help, be sure to take advantage of this so that you can become an even more effective student. You can never be sure which resources will prove the most beneficial for you, so give them all a try to see just how much you can learn.

A good online business administration degree can be your key to a bright future. However, it is not usually enough to just complete your course of studies. Make a real effort to complete your studies well and to get the most out of your program and you will find that your investment of time and money pays off in the opportunities and skills you will be able to enjoy.

How To Get Security Clearance For U.S. Citizens

How To Get Security Clearance For U.S. Citizens

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If you’re actively searching for a government or state job and are a U.S. citizen, chances are you’ve come across the term ‘security clearance’ a time or two, or want to know more about how to obtain it.
Here are some facts about security clearance for U.S. citizens that will help in your job search, and may even help you to get the security clearance you need at your existing job.

A security clearance is a determination, usually in written form, that a person is willing and able to protect valuable and secure national information. In order for a person to receive security clearance, an investigation has to be conducted on that person. However, the investigation is non-criminal and usually goes back about 10 years.

One of the best ways for U.S. citizens to get security clearance on the job is by contacting the Human Resources department of an office or place of employment. Human Resources will determine whether or not a state or government job requires security clearance, and will then give you the necessary materials to obtain that clearance. You will most likely be asked to fill out a questionnaire, and your questionnaire will be reviewed before you have a face-to-face interview.

Once you think you’ve found a state or government job that you think may interest you, be sure to ask for more details about security clearance during your interview. In most cases, normal, every day citizens are granted clearance, but you’ll want to know about any factors that could potentially complicate your being granted security clearance.

The agencies who look for people with security clearance include federal agencies, homeland security, FAA, IRS, defense contractors, Army, Navy and the Air Force.