Exclusive: Ryan Guina from Cash Money Life

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Are you in college and want to know what to expect in the real world after graduation, or are you in the middle of your career and looking to make a change? Have no fear, Ryan Guina is here.  Guina created his blog, Cash Money Life, in 2007 as a personal journal to write about personal finance and career topics. He is also the owner and creator of The Military Wallet where he writes about military and veterans benefits. Why the difference in topics you ask? Guina served six years in the U.S. Air Force before settling down with his wife in the greater Chicago area. He writes about what he knows and shares his personal experiences. CashMoneyLife.com offers great career and small biz advice for all ambitious people from college students to mid-level professionals who are thinking about making a career change. We sat down with Guina to get some one-on-one career and money advice.

There’s more to college than books

Students shouldn’t only hit the books during college says Guina. “Students should definitely work during college if they have the time and ability to do so,” he says. Guina knows firsthand that trying to balance work and school can be difficult but it is doable if students set priorities. “I completed my Bachelor’s degree while I was serving on active duty in the US Air Force. I worked long hours and irregular shifts, but I made education a priority.”

Working during college gives graduates a major advance when entering the workforce. “Attending school gives you professional experience (and working) helps you learn how to manage time, expands your professional network (and) gives you experience dealing with people,” says Guina. Having an education and work experience is a resume must have.

Resume and job interview tips

Guina wrote the book on how to nail a job interview and create a great resume – literally. His resume writing guide shares a variety of resume writing tips and gives best practices for preparing for a job interview. He says the number one no-no on a resume or during a job interview is lying. “Never lie (and) don’t inflate your credentials,” he says.

The best way to prepare for an interview is to practice says Guina. “The more you interview, the more comfortable you will become thinking on your feet and answering a variety of questions. Be sure to research common interview questions and put some serious thought into your career goals and aspirations.”

You never know where your career will take you

As a kid, Guina had all the little boy dreams about what he would be when he grew up. He wanted to be an astronaut, a policeman, a firefighter, and a professional baseball player. But none of them ever happened.

Guina grew up went to college and got bored. “I decided I wanted an adventure. So, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft mechanic and traveled the world,” says Guina about how his career took a turn he never expected.

After the Air Force, Guina got married and quickly realized he knew nothing about the real world of saving, investing, insurance, mortgages, and 401k plans; that’s why he started Cash Money Life. It helped him learn about money and keep track of his personal finances. In 2008, Guina started The Military Wallet to help military members, veterans, and their families learn more about the benefits they may be eligible to receive.

Guina now lives his life online, blogging, consulting, and mentoring. “I have been self-employed for four and a half years, and it has been an amazing blessing to be able to work from home and watch my daughters grow up.” Guina loves what he’s doing for a living, but he is also looking forward to all the good things to come in his career.

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