Career and Income en-US 5 Ways to Discover Your Dream Career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-discover-your-dream-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="office worker thinking" title="office worker thinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're flailing, facing layoffs, or otherwise feeling unfulfilled at work, it might be time to reconsider your calling. Job researchers report that <a href="">the average American changes jobs seven times</a> in his or her lifetime, most often in pursuit of better job satisfaction or financial stability. (See also: <a href="">25 Career Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>But it's not always easy to know what direction to take. That's because we're prone to define who we are by what we do to make a living. So when there's opportunity to trade our profession for something completely new, it often feels like we're faced with the unsettling task of altering the basic building blocks of who we are as human beings. But it can be done, and <a href="">the payoff can be spectacular</a>.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the best ways to go about recreating your career and finding your true calling. (You can thank us when you're blissfully employed in your brand new niche).</p> <h2>1. Be a Skill-Shifter</h2> <p>Reflect on all of your skills &mdash; not just the ones you acquired in the workforce &mdash; and think about all the creative ways you can apply them to new careers or business ventures. What skills have you picked up from volunteering, coaching soccer, raising your children, paying off your credit card debt, or gardening in the backyard? How might those techniques serve you in the working world?</p> <p>&quot;<a href="">Don't limit your job search or career possibilities</a> to the exact field you have been in or with the same field on your educational degree,&quot; advises Dr. Stuart Sidle, an industrial organizational psychologist. The idea is to identify your most outside-the-box strengths and passions, and then play to them.</p> <h2>2. Unearth a Childhood Dream</h2> <p>Many people think childhood dreams are just dreams. Yet one in four working Americans are employed in the job or career field they dreamed about as kids, according to a survey by LinkedIn. People who work in a field they once dreamed about tend to be successful because <a href="">their job is on the same playing field as their passions</a>. When you do something you're passionate about, you're bound to do it well.</p> <p>&quot;The dream jobs we aspire to as children are a window into our passions and talents,&quot; says Nicole Williams, LinkedIn's career expert. &quot;Identifying and understanding those passions are key to improving our performance and enjoyment&hellip;&quot;</p> <h2>3. Try It Out</h2> <p>A restaurant chef might seem like the ultimate occupation, but how often does the average chef have the opportunity to experiment with flavors and create new dishes for the dinner menu? There's only one way to find out: Network with people in your desired field, find opportunities to shadow people working in your desired role, and ask a lot of questions. When possible, try out the work for yourself on a limited, exploratory basis to see if it's really for you.</p> <p>&quot;Making a major career change is not simply about picking up new technical skills and repackaging one's image and resume,&quot; writes Herminia Ibarra in her book, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1591394139&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MUC7F2E4CCXNBERS">Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career</a>. &quot;It is also about finding people we want to emulate and places where we want to belong.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Future-Proof Yourself</h2> <p>It's not a bad idea to <a href="">go where the growth is</a>. So you might want to jot down these fastest-growing occupations:</p> <ul> <li>industrial-organizational psychologist</li> <li>personal care aide</li> <li>home health aide</li> <li>mechanical insulation worker</li> <li>interpreters and translators</li> <li>diagnostic medical sonographers</li> <li>brickmasons</li> </ul> <p>These fields of the future are less likely to be affected by a shrinking economy or other setbacks. And they're more likely to provide workers with opportunities for growth and promotion. They may not be the sexiest of jobs, but there's certainly something to be said for stability.</p> <h2>5. Be Honest &mdash; Are You Up to the Challenge?</h2> <p>&quot;Much more than transferring to a similar job in a new company or industry, or moving laterally into a different work function within a field we already know well, a true change of direction is always terrifying,&quot; writes Ibarra in her book.</p> <p>That's why Dr. Stuart Sidle, an industrial organizational psychologist, recommends asking yourself these questions before <a href="">embarking on any major career shift</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Do you have the passion to do the hard work that goes along with succeeding in the field?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Is your choice practical?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are you taking a path because you believe it is a great option for you, or are you simply avoiding something, such as discomfort or fear?</li> </ul> <p>If your honest answer to any of these key considerations is &quot;No,&quot; you might want to consider making a trip back to the drawing board.</p> <p><em>Have you relaunched a career? How'd you do? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways to Discover Your Dream Career" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building career choice new career new job Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1245696 at 10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="employee fired" title="employee fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was laid off from my job recently, I had to quickly learn how to survive. I must do everything I can to save money while I search for work. (See also: <a href="">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a>)</p> <p>If you are in a similar position, you probably feel as if you are scraping by and that saving money is nearly impossible. But it isn't hopeless. Here are 10 ways you can save money and make some extra cash while you search for a full-time job.</p> <h2>1. Take Advantage of Local Resources</h2> <p>Even if you are not receiving unemployment, there are organizations that can help you with getting your basic needs met, including food and housing. The United Way and The Alliance for Information and Referral Services (AIRS) have created an easy way to find these resources in your area. You can dial 211 in most areas, or go to the <a href="">2-1-1 website</a> to learn more about what resources might be available to you. By taking advantage of social services, you can save a lot of money on the essentials.</p> <h2>2. Use Alternate Transportation</h2> <p>We all know that gas can be a major expense, especially if you rely solely on your car for transportation. Try not to drive unless it's absolutely necessary. Public transportation is much cheaper than driving, and buying monthly passes is often a better deal than a one-time fare. Check with your local unemployment office to see if your state offers free or discounted passes for public transportation in your area for unemployed people and low-income families.</p> <p>You might also find local programs that offer cheap, alternate modes of transportation. For instance, here in Burlington, Vermont, you can purchase a bike for as low as $30 through the non-profit program, <a href="">Bike Recycle Vermont</a>. Or you can get discounted tune-ups and bike accessories through the program. If walking, biking, or public transportation are not an option, some gas stations may offer discounts on groceries at local grocery stores when you spend a certain amount on gas, so you can at least save on food if you must drive.</p> <h2>3. Quit Unhealthy and Expensive Habits</h2> <p>A friend of mine also recently lost her job, and then she started smoking as a way to cope with the loss. Aside from the obvious health risks, smoking is an incredibly expensive habit. She often pays as much as $10 to $12 a pack! Alcohol is another nonessential that can take a huge chunk of your budget and a toll on your health. Keep in mind that recreational drugs and alcohol are also depressants that will make you feel worse about your situation. Even if you don't drink or smoke, there are probably other unnecessary purchases that you could cut out for the time being.</p> <h2>4. Eat Your Meals at Home</h2> <p>In addition to cutting out items that are not part of your basic diet, there are plenty of ways to save on the groceries you do need. First, avoid going out to dinner or grabbing fast food for your meals. Fast food joints might be cheap, but in the long run, eating out all the time can be more expensive than making food at home. Don't forget that soup kitchens offer free hot meals once a day, and you can find the locations through your local food shelf. Many food shelf organizations also offer recipes if you are picking up groceries, or you don't feel like you know how to cook very well. Also check with the unemployment office to see if you qualify for food stamps.</p> <h2>5. Find Ways to Save on Groceries</h2> <p>Resisting the urge to dine out and taking advantage of the food shelf are only part of saving on the overall cost of food. There are plenty of ways to save money when you go to the grocery store. Buy in bulk whenever possible, and take advantage of discounted items and coupons. One caveat: never purchase a sale item unless it is something that you buy regularly. You may end up spending more overall. Most co-ops offer a basic discount for members, and a larger discount if you volunteer a certain number of hours per week. (See also: <a href="">How to Feed Yourself on $50 a Week or Less</a>)</p> <p>Joining a local <a href="">CSA</a> can save a lot of money on produce, and some CSAs offer other staples, such as eggs, meat, and dairy. Ask a friend to join with you and split the cost and the food if you can't afford the membership. The CSA weekly pickups usually include too much food for one person to eat in a week anyway.</p> <h2>6. Create a Realistic Spending Plan</h2> <p>Everyone hates to budget, but it is an absolute necessity if you want to manage your spending. Because the word &quot;budget&quot; implies that you are limiting yourself, one trick is to call it a &quot;spending plan.&quot; Even though it is more difficult to create a spending plan if you don't have a regular income, it is much easier to save when you know how much you are spending. You can easily find templates for a basic spending plan online, and <a href=""></a> has some great advice on how to get started when creating a spending plan.</p> <p>The key is to be realistic about how much you spend each month and ensure that you are covering every category. This includes purchases you may not have thought about, such as entertainment (you have to treat yourself every once in a while), cat food, emergency fund, etc. Once you do find a job again, stick to your spending plan, and put some money into a savings account each month for an emergency fund. Then if you do lose another job, you won't be as stressed about finances.</p> <h2>7. Join a Support Group</h2> <p><a href="">Debtors Anonymous</a> is a great resource for people who have lost a job. Being unemployed for a long period of time can easily lead to crippling debt. The group meetings are based on the same 12 steps as AA and other 12-step programs. You may find that you already have issues with debting, and the group provides support when trying to break old habits, such as overspending or maxing out credit cards. <a href="">Underearners Anonymous</a> is a similar program, and often people find that they consistently accept jobs under their skill level and salary needs, which can easily lead to debting. These groups may not meet as often in your area as other 12-step groups, but if you go to the website to search for a local group, you should be able to find phone meetings as well.</p> <h2>8. Negotiate Reduced Rent or Mortgage Payments</h2> <p>Before I started receiving unemployment (keep in mind there is a waiting period, so apply as soon as you get laid off), I was unable to pay my rent in full at the beginning of the month. I decided to talk to my landlord about splitting my rent in two payments. She was very understanding and said she would be willing to work with me as long as I communicated my needs to her. You'll find that as long as you are honest about your situation, most people are willing to work with you, especially if you have been a good tenant and always pay your rent on time. If you own a house, talk with a loan officer about refinancing. You may be able to get a lower interest rate and lower your mortgage payments.</p> <p>If you have student loans, you can get them deferred while you are out of work, or at least put them in temporary forbearance. For credit cards, make sure you are at least paying the minimum each month. It can be tempting to want to continue paying off debt with your normal payments, but you will risk getting further into debt if you can't realistically make those payments.</p> <h2>9. Don't Be Afraid to Accept Money</h2> <p>One of the key rules of Debtors Anonymous is not to start a new debt, which includes loans from friends and family. However, if a friend or family member offers you a monetary gift, it is okay to accept it, as long as you have a good relationship with that person. By the same token, avoid using loans to pay off other loans, even if the new loan has a lower interest rate. It may save a little money in the short term, but it can create debting habits that are hard to break.</p> <h2>10. Earn Extra Cash</h2> <p>This last tip has kept my head above water for the past few months. Even before I lost my job, I was a regular house and pet sitter for friends. While we had bartered for this service in the past, I had to ask them to start paying me after I lost my job. Again, people are very understanding if you are upfront with them.</p> <p>Find out what the going rate is in your area, and don't be afraid to ask for what you need. I've also been paid for doing yardwork, cleaning houses, babysitting, freelance writing, editing, and helping friends with websites. There are plenty of opportunities to make a some fast cash while you are out of work. Use social media and online forums to offer your services. Be clear about how much you want to get paid but also try to be a little flexible if the pay is still reasonable for the amount of work you are doing. (See also: <a href="">Earn Extra Income With These 15 Creative Side Gigs</a>)</p> <p>While I wish I had read <a href="">You're Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a> before I lost my job, I have found ways to make ends meet and minimize the stress so far. Just keep in mind that you are not alone, and there are plenty of resources and support groups to help you out during this difficult time.</p> <p><em>Have you ever endured a long period of unemployment? How did you reduce your spending?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Watson</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income Budgeting saving spending unemployment Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Ashley Watson 1245575 at 5 Bodily Fluids You Can Exchange for Cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-bodily-fluids-you-can-exchange-for-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="blood donation" title="blood donation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>John Mayer likes to say that<a href=""> your body is a wonderland</a>, but if you're into selling bodily fluids, it's more like a cash machine. If you haven't done it, it might sound pretty extreme &mdash; and pretty gross &mdash; but there's a booming business in bodily fluids. (See also: <a href="">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a>)</p> <p>So what bodily fluids are worth money? And what's the cost to donors in terms of their time, effort and, perhaps most importantly, their discomfort? Here are five bodily fluids you can sell.</p> <h2>1. Plasma</h2> <p>Plasma is probably the simplest, least questionable bodily fluid you can sell. This clear fluid contains enzymes and antibodies and is the largest component of human blood. Even though a lot of plasma goes to pharmaceutical companies, it is used to create treatments for people with blood clotting disorders, autoimmune diseases, or even serious burns, so it's a move you can feel pretty good about.</p> <h3>What It Involves</h3> <p>As long as you aren't too needle-shy, donation is relatively painless; blood is drawn from your arm and pulled through a machine that separates the plasma from the rest of the blood, which is returned to your body. The process takes about an hour. Even so, you have to be at least 18 years of age, 110 pounds, and will be drilled with rather personal questions to determine whether you might have viruses like HIV and hepatitis.</p> <h3>The Payout</h3> <p>Blood banks set their own rates for plasma, but they generally fall in the $20-$50 range per donation. According to the American Red Cross, it's safe for healthy people to donate plasma about once per month.</p> <h2>2. Sperm</h2> <p>For a young guy who lacks money, sperm donation can seem like the ultimate gig. It pays well, and the process involved is, um, pretty <em>familiar</em>. (The <a href="">vast majority of donors are college students</a>.)</p> <h3>What It Involves</h3> <p>Sperm donation kind of seems like getting cash for something you may (or may not, no judgments&hellip;) be doing anyway, but it's a lot more complicated than that. You have to be tall (at least 5'10&quot; or taller, depending on the sperm bank.) You have to be smart&hellip; or at least be enrolled in college. You have to be between the ages of 18 and 35. In terms of of your chances, most donors are caucasian (most recipients are white couples), of a healthy weight, and <a href="">not redheads</a>.</p> <p>If you fit the bill, you'll still have to sit through a job-interview-style round of questions about you, your life, and your future goals. This will be followed by a battery of health questions, including ultra-personal ones about your health status, your sex life, and your sexual partners. Even if you make it through this gauntlet of challenges, you'll have to hand over your first two donations free of charge, so that your little swimmers can be tested.</p> <h3>The Payout</h3> <p>Sperm banks set their own rates, but payouts range from $30 to $200 per, um, donation. However, if you're accepted as a donor, you'll often have to sign a contract to donate weekly over a long period of time &mdash; like six months to a year &mdash; during which time your checks may be held in escrow until your term is up. The money might be good, but it isn't fast and it isn't as easy as it sounds.</p> <h2>3. Eggs</h2> <p>I really don't know if eggs are a liquid or not. What I do know is that they are donated to people who are unable to conceive, and they provide a very high payout compared to most other fluids. So, let's just assume they come in liquid form and roll with it, okay?</p> <h3>What It Involves</h3> <p>Donating eggs is no picnic. In fact, just getting to the actual egg donation (and payment) stage takes time, energy, and some degree of physical discomfort. First, donors have to fill out a questionnaire. If that's accepted, they will be asked to come in for a physical exam, psychological testing, blood tests, and a genetic screening. If you're approved as a donor, you'll have to wait at least a month to donate.</p> <p>Next comes the donation cycle, and that's no picnic either. You will be injected with fertility drugs to stimulate the development of a number of eggs. Over the next two weeks, you'll have to continue to inject yourself with hormones and make daily morning visits to the clinic so that they can adjust your dosage and check on your progress. After seven to 12 days of this carnival ride, you'll be ready to have your eggs retrieved. You'll be anesthetized, and the eggs will be removed with a syringe. The procedure isn't painful, but the hormonal changes make it physically demanding, and mild side effects like moodiness and fluid retention can last up to two weeks. There are also some <a href="">very serious side effects</a> (although they're rare) to consider with this procedure.</p> <h3>The Payout</h3> <p>Well, it's big &mdash; $6,000 to $10,000 per donation depending on the market, the desirability of your particular donation, and the donation center you choose. If you work full time, that'll be offset by some lost time at work and some serious hassles, not to mention potential health consequences. There are no firm rules on how many times women can donate, but most clinics ask that they only do so a few times because the long-term health risks of the procedure are unknown.</p> <h2>4. Breast Milk</h2> <p>If you're a new mother, you may be carrying the equivalent of liquid gold: breast milk. And because some moms have way too much, while others have very little (or none at all), a group of moms got the idea to share the love by donating or selling breast milk to those who can't produce their own.</p> <h3>What It Involves</h3> <p>Pumping your breast milk and shipping it, on ice, to people who need it. There are online services to facilitate this process, most prominently <a href=""></a>, the Craigslist of breast milk exchange. You could probably even post your own ad in your community.</p> <h3>The Payout</h3> <p>On breast milk exchanges, milk tends to sell for $1.50 to $3.00 per ounce. To put that in perspective, a baby needs between<a href=""> 13 and 42 ounces of milk per day, depending on his or her weight</a> &mdash; at $3 an ounce, that's $39 to $126 a day. Yowza!</p> <h2>5. Urine</h2> <p>Why would someone want to buy your pee? Because those who are subject to drug tests &mdash; whether for work or sports or parole &mdash; may not be able to pass those tests with their own urine. And, where there's demand, <a href="">there will be supply</a>.</p> <h3>What It Involves</h3> <p>Producing, packaging, and shipping your pee to other people. If you're really enterprising, you could even make a business out of it. In the late 1990s, a South Carolina man produced 50 urine samples a day, selling more than 15,000 samples per year before the <a href="">state shut him down</a>. Several other states have since passed similar laws.</p> <h3>The Payout</h3> <p>The going rate appears to be about <a href="">$20 per ounce</a> &mdash; and possibly jail time.</p> <p>Whether it's a tiny condo in a bad part of town or a bag of someone else's urine, if there's enough demand for something, it will become valuable. Why do people sell bodily fluids for money? Simple answer: Because they can. That's just the way economies work.</p> <p><em>Have you ever parted with a bodily fluid for cash? Would you?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Bodily Fluids You Can Exchange for Cash" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Extra Income donating blood extra income medical donation side hustle Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Tara Struyk 1245572 at 16 Festive Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-festive-ways-to-make-extra-money-for-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="christmas gift wrapping" title="christmas gift wrapping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's that time of year again &mdash; time to start hemorrhaging money in the name of tradition and capitalism and Santa Claus. But what if you took a different approach this holiday season and made some extra cash before you spent it? It's feasible, and you can even be festive while you're at it. (See also: <a href="">25 Tips for Smart and Safe Holiday Shopping Online</a>)</p> <p>Take a look at these jolly ways to earn a few bucks to avoid ending up broke at the end of the year.</p> <h2>1. Offer Gift-Wrapping or Gift-Hiding Services</h2> <p>Fancy yourself a Martha Stewart-style gift wrapper with a penchant for sharp edges and expert ribbons and bows? Consider offering your gift-wrapping services to the people in your community who lack the discipline (or time and energy) to do it themselves.</p> <p>Promote your services on sites like Craigslist and online message boards in your area, make an announcement on local apps like <a href="">Nextdoor</a> (an awesome resource for lots of things in your specific neighborhood, by the way), and place flyers in your neighbors' mailboxes to drum up business.</p> <p>Also, if you have the extra room, you might want to consider renting gift-storage space in your home for parents who want to keep gifts well hidden from their miniature snoops. Charging as little as $5 a week could add up nicely if you get a few folks on board.</p> <h2>2. Bartend or Serve at a Holiday Party</h2> <p>If you have bartending skills and extra time on your hands this holiday season, put your mixology knowledge to use by slingin' drinks at local shindigs.</p> <p>Bartending services are at a premium this time of year because everyone is stretched so thin, so you can probably negotiate a more than fair deal from both individuals hosting private parties and businesses with bigger budgets. When negotiating, keep in mind that you likely won't receive tips from guests but rather the hosts at the end of the night &mdash; but even that's not guaranteed &mdash; so that should definitely factor into your hourly or per-gig fee.</p> <h2>3. Sell Homemade Holiday Crafts and Decorations</h2> <p>Set up shop at local craft fairs, bazaars and holiday markets if you've got items of interest &mdash; like holiday décor items and ornaments &mdash; that are marketable this time of year. You can find these events at your area schools, churches, and other community venues. Another option is to list your handmade goods in an Etsy shop where you can move product without leaving the comfort of your home.</p> <h2>4. Provide Holiday Party Entertainment</h2> <p>What's a holiday party without some festive entertainment? Notwithstanding the guests who have had too much eggnog of course, many hosts (especially for business parties) will want some type of music at their event, whether it be a soloist playing background music, a live group performance as a main event, or a DJ spinning tracks to fill the dance floor. If you have any of these skills, put out your feelers to see where you fit in.</p> <h2>5. Use Your Lifestyle Expertise to Become a Personal Shopper</h2> <p>As somebody who truly enjoys shopping &mdash; in person and online &mdash; I think this is one of the best jobs around. And you might be surprised at how many people are potentially interested in this service.</p> <p>There are lots of folks who are clueless when it comes to gift buying, and they'd rather put their burden in the hands of someone more capable so the holiday season doesn't crash and burn before their eyes when it's time to exchange presents. You can be their saving grace by charging a nominal fee to pick out the perfect gifts for their family and friends. You'll have to know this person fairly well &mdash; so you can already have a good foundation of what kind of gifts they need and because you'll be handling their cash or credit card &mdash; which is why it's not a bad idea to promote your services at your workplace, church, and other groups of which you're a part.</p> <h2>6. Fulfill Holiday Cards for Individuals or Businesses</h2> <p>I don't send out holiday cards anymore &mdash; I don't want to waste all that paper, time, or money &mdash; but before I put the kibosh on it, I would spend hours upon hours writing, folding, addressing, licking, and stamping cards and envelopes, and I always wished someone else was doing for me. I doubt that I'm alone, which is why you can be a hired gun for this purpose at holiday season for those who don't mind paying a reasonable fee to expedite this tedious process.</p> <p>Craigslist is a good place to start, but I also recommend using the Nextdoor app, mentioning it on social media, and reaching out to friends, family, and neighbors via email.</p> <h2>7. Use Your Handy Skills to Decorate Houses</h2> <p>If you're more of an outdoorsy type of person, there is absolutely a market for people who can effectively put up holiday decorations that homeowners don't have time for or who are frightened by the prospect of attaching strands of lights and other thingamajigs to their roofs and eaves. There are commercial companies who provide this service at a premium, but a savvier freelance entrepreneur can undercut the competition by using online outlets like Elance to post their skills and find jobs. I also would recommend documenting your work to start a portfolio that can enhance and grow your small business in the future.</p> <h2>8. Set Up a Cookies and Hot Chocolate Stand</h2> <p>Kids set up lemonade and Kool-Aid stands and sell snacks on their sidewalks during the summer, so it only makes sense to apply that same concept to the cooler weather by offering hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies to keep passersby warm and comfortable. Plus, children love to buy presents for people with their own money, and this is a great way to pad their pockets (and teach the value of a good work ethic while you're at it) so they can enjoy the holidays a bit more.</p> <h2>9. Bake for People Who Are Too Busy to Spend Time in the Kitchen</h2> <p>I enjoy baking, and I often share my pastries, cakes, cookies, and other goodies with my friends and neighbors. Some of them have even hired me to bake goods for them when they're hosting a gathering or just for indulging in themselves. You also can take samples to local restaurants and ask if they would be interested in carrying your items on a limited basis. You never know what could happen if you don't ask.</p> <h2>10. Rake Leaves or Shovel Snow for Neighbors</h2> <p>My mom and dad used to make me pound the pavement in my neighborhood when I was a kid to ask the neighbors if they needed a low-cost snow removal service by way of undocumented child labor. And it was torture!</p> <p>While I wasn't a fan of it back then, in hindsight I appreciate that the experience taught me early on to use my resources to earn extra cash while appreciating the value of a dollar. I'm not opposed to doing it these days, but I will admit that it might be a bit unsettling for many people if a grown person showed up on their doorstep asking to remove snow or rake leaves for money. Fair enough. But that's why I would generally recommend that your children get in on this act (through suggestion, not force) with proper supervision. It's not the most fun they'll ever have, but they'll be pretty stoked about the money they've made.</p> <h2>11. Clean Up Before or After Holiday Parties</h2> <p>Who wants to clean up the massive mess that party guests have left all over the house after a successful holiday party? No one &mdash; but as they say, it's a dirty job and somebody's gotta do it. That somebody can be you if you don't mind washing, scrubbing, and sanitizing the after-effects of a rousing get-together. You can promote your services locally (the usual suspects that I've mentioned previously &mdash; Craigslist, Nextdoor, etc.), but you also can try apps like <a href="">Handy</a> which helps connect house cleaners and handy people to clients.</p> <h2>12. Interview to Be a Mall Santa or Elf</h2> <p>While we continue to shift away from shopping malls culturally (<a href="">which sort of look like the apocalypse has already begun, by the way</a>), there are still plenty of them out there thriving &mdash; and they all need Santa and his helpers around the holidays. You can apply to be the Man in the Red Suit or one of his pointed-eared minions directly within the shopping center or by locating a national staffing service that specializes in this particular area.</p> <h2>13. Entertain the Public With Outdoor Performances</h2> <p>I live in New York City where there's no shortage of street performers with their hats on the ground, playing for pennies. You can get in on the act to by taking your show on the road, setting up in a well-trafficked area, and watching the dough roll in one dime at a time.</p> <h2>14. Try Planning Small-Scale Holiday Parties</h2> <p>Have a knack for planning and hosting events? Use those skills to help novice party planners share the responsibility and stress. You'll definitely want to start small &mdash; you don't want to bite off more than you can chew and potentially ruin someone's holiday festivities &mdash; so it's best to query folks in your social circle to see how you can help the event go off without a hitch.</p> <h2>15. Cater Small Holiday Gatherings</h2> <p>When I first started hosting my annual holiday parties, I made all the food by myself, which took hours and hours. By the time the party started, I was so exhausted that I couldn't properly enjoy the fruits of my labor. When I finally had enough of slaving in the kitchen after a few years of hosting, I decided to look into have the party catered. The problem, however, is that the catering was beyond my budget, which left me with few other options.</p> <p>If you enjoy cooking (and the results consistently yummy), you can potentially serve an underserved market if you can locate those people like me who don't want to cook everything myself but who also can't afford hundreds of dollars worth of catered food and staff. I think the best way to find that middle ground is to offer crowd-friendly food at a fair price that you'll deliver to the party without the extra expense of the servers, and then be on your way.</p> <h2>16. Pick Up Seasonable Retail Employment</h2> <p>Want part-time work that you don't have to look hard to find? Head to your favorite local retail store and ask it they're hiring for the holidays. If they are, fill out an application to throw your name into the hat. You'll likely make minimum wage, so that's something that you'll want to consider, but something is better than nothing &mdash; especially if your budget is already in a bind. Also, don't forget about the potential employee discount for which you'll qualify that can save you a bundle on gifts; that aspect should definitely be a factor in where you apply.</p> <p><em>Are you planning to pick up some extra cash this holiday season with a festive side hustle? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="16 Festive Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Extra Income extra money holiday hustle seasonal jobs side hustle side job Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1242062 at The 6 Best Reasons to Quit Your Job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-best-reasons-to-quit-your-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="stressed woman driver" title="stressed woman driver" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most Americans are unhappy in the workplace. Studies show that nearly three-quarters of corporate employees would realistically <a href="">consider finding a new job today</a>. About a third are already looking. Why? Well, these numbers shed a little light: <a href="">31% of all workers are irked by their boss</a>, 35% are troubled by internal politics, and 43% are suffering from a lack of recognition, according to a survey by Accenture. (See also: <a href="">The 10 things You Need to Do If You Want to Quit Your Job</a>)</p> <p>That many Americans are unhappy at work, however, is not reason enough to hand in your two weeks notice. So what is? Read on for our roundup of the top valid reasons to quit your job.</p> <h2>1. Your Commute Is Killing You</h2> <p><a href="">Long commutes trigger neck pain</a>, obesity, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia, according to research out of Sweden. That's a web of symptoms no job is worth. If the twice daily traffic jam is driving you mad &mdash; and tampering with your health and love life &mdash; then it's probably time to move closer to the office or launch a job search closer to your neighborhood.</p> <h2>2. Your Skills Aren't Being Tapped</h2> <p>If you're being underutilized, sooner or later you're going drift into a sea of boredom and indifference. That's not good for business, and it's not good for your professional growth, happiness, or self-esteem. Here are the tell-tale signs: You've been skipped over for assignments that perfectly fit your skill set, you've been passed over for a promotion on more than one occasion, and your workload has been reduced or simplified.</p> <h2>3. Your Company Is on the Fritz</h2> <p>There's no need to go down with a sinking ship. If your company is on its way out, it might be wise to make your exit &mdash; sooner rather than later.</p> <h2>4. You Don't Believe in Your Work</h2> <p>If you're not proud of the work you're doing, it's probably time to make some adjustments so that you are. And if your work or your company's ideals are at all in conflict with your beliefs, be they religious, social, or otherwise, your time would be well spent to figure out how to reconcile that &mdash; which could mean finding a new job. You'll never reach your potential if you're doing something you don't stand behind 100%.</p> <h2>5. The Office Culture Is Toxic</h2> <p>If you've ever said, &quot;My job is killing me!&quot; &mdash; you could be right. Research shows that people who work in hostile environments are <a href="">more likely to die sooner</a> than those who work in atmospheres that are more favorable. Death aside, toxic work environments are known to provoke aches, stress, and signs of depression. While more favorable than death, these are symptoms no one should have to suffer.</p> <h2>6. Your Work-Life Balance Is Out of Whack</h2> <p>Work has a way of getting in the way of what, for many of us, matters most &mdash; Family time. These numbers offer a glimpse at the epidemic: 55% of all employees say they don't have enough time for themselves, 67% of employed parents say they don't have enough time with their kids, and 63% of married employees say they don't have enough time with their spouse, according to <a href="">Families and Work Institute's National Study of the Changing Workforce</a>. Striking the right balance is typically touch-and-go, but if you're severely under-serving yourself or your loved ones, it may be time to find a new job that offers more flexibility. (See also: <a href="">9 Ways to Protect Your Personal Time From Work</a>)</p> <p><em>Have you ever quit a job? Why? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 6 Best Reasons to Quit Your Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income Personal Development Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:00:06 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1240624 at 7 Job Search Stunts to Get You Noticed by Employers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-job-search-stunts-to-get-you-noticed-by-employers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="job seeker" title="job seeker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you ever think your dream job would be snatched away by a desperate grad with a viral gimmick? No. No you didn't.</p> <p>In today's society, we're more interested social media hacks than work experience. We'd rather follow a good speaker than a good leader. And we'd rather have an out-of-the-box thinker than someone who knows what he/she wants. (See also: <a href="">10 Outdated Job Hunt Techniques to Avoid</a>)</p> <p>But don't worry, the same rules apply to you. If your previous job hunting strategies have failed, we've compiled an inspiring list of crazy stunts that landed real jobs for real people.</p> <h2>1. Billboard Lands Media Grad 60 Job Offers</h2> <p>By far the most publicized job stunt in recent memory is that of <a href="">Adam Pacitti</a>, a college grad with a media production degree who found himself working as a coin exchanger at a video game arcade.</p> <p>After job applications failed, Adam decided enough was enough and of course, as any of us would have done, spent his last 500 pounds on a billboard. After being featured in literally every news source imaginable, Adam received over 60 solid job offers and went to work for award-winning production company KEO.</p> <p>What few people realize is that Adam put a whole lot more work in than simply buying a billboard. His spot in news media was only the result of a successful multi-platform social media campaign that went viral. Viral media always finds its way into the news these days, so his success shouldn't be a surprise.</p> <p>If that sounds like too much work, you'll love our next stunt.</p> <h2>2. Grad Student Suits Up, Hits the Metro, and Lands a Job</h2> <p>If you aren't one for all that social media nonsense, you'll love the story of <a href="">Alfred Ajani</a>. Alfred's marketing degree wasn't enough to land one of 300 positions he applied for, so he decided to go on the offensive.</p> <p>Armed with a suit and a stack of CVs, Alfred posted up at Waterloo station, collecting a few emails and business cards in the process.</p> <p>Oh but wait, that's actually not what landed him his job. Twitter took his post viral, where it caught the attention of recruitment company Asoria Group, who offered him a job via&hellip; LinkedIn.</p> <p>Looks like you're going to need those social media accounts after all.</p> <h2>3. Grad Lands Dream Job After Walking London Streets In a Sandwich Board</h2> <p>At this point, you're probably frantically following people on Twitter, preparing for your next job stunt. But just take a breather. It might be easier than you think.</p> <p>After making the unfortunate decision to get a history degree, <a href="">David Rowe</a> found himself predictably jobless. Emboldened by a father-son debate, David strapped a sandwich board around his shoulders and advertised that he would work the first month free.</p> <p>He was then interviewed by recruiting firm Parkhouse Bell and ended up landing his dream job, which I'm assuming was in recruiting. We're guessing the firm saw his photo on Facebook, but it hasn't been confirmed, so you know... there might just be room for something more old fashioned.</p> <h2>4. Send QR Code Cupcakes to Editorial Teams</h2> <p>If public infamy isn't your cup of tea, what about something more direct and personable?</p> <p>Like cupcakes. Everybody loves cupcakes.</p> <p>Blogger and fashionista <a href="">Katie Oldham</a> decided to take her summer internship into her own hands with the help of a local bakery. Katie researched the editorial teams at her favorite publishing companies and delivered special batches of cupcakes with her website's QR code to their London offices.</p> <p>And it worked! She interned for Cosmopolitan, and her website is currently part of the Vice blogging network.</p> <h2>5. Home Brewed Beer Resumes</h2> <p>Nothing says work hard and party harder like a home-brewed batch of beer. What makes that beer even better? Resume covers of course.</p> <p>Brennan Gleason takes a distinguished spot on our list as being the only to pull off a successful job hunt stunt outside of the UK. Then again, he did it in Canada, so potato-patata.</p> <p>Brennan wanted to nab a sexy graphic design job, so what did he do? He designed custom resume covers for six-packs of beer he brewed himself.</p> <p>Let's see...</p> <ul> <li>Creativity&hellip; check.</li> <li>Graphic design skills&hellip; check.</li> <li>Free specialty beer for the office&hellip; CHECK!</li> </ul> <p>Surprise, surprise &mdash; <a href="">Brennan</a> was hired.</p> <h2>6. Wacky Website Campaign Turns Bakery Manager Into VP</h2> <p>Many of you are under the false impression that working successfully at your company will translate into a promotion.</p> <p>Not true!</p> <p>That VP spot just went to this guy. Despite seven tries, his CV tells us he hasn't been able to hold down a job for even one calendar year. But guess what!? He acted super wacky on video and a lot of people laughed, so he's qualified to be your boss!</p> <p>His name is <a href="">Dan Conway</a>, but you can call him &quot;Yes, Sir.&quot; Dan launched a wacky website campaign consisting of him doing wacky things in order to find work and was eventually made a VP of marketing for a company I won't advertise.</p> <p>Apparently, <a href="">THIS</a> is what British marketing employers look for in their executives.</p> <h2>7. Grad Lands Social Media Manager Position by PMing a Stranger</h2> <p>What's the quickest way to land an interview? Find the owner's profile and hit them up with a private message.</p> <p>&hellip;Said no one ever. Unless you're <a href="">David Cohen</a>. David knew a guy who knew a guy, and he randomly messaged that guy, who then interviewed him with another guy, and now David's their top social media guy.</p> <p>Sounds quaint. Perhaps you should try it. Just don't blame us if you get slapped with a restraining order.</p> <p><em>Have you ever tried to land a job with an outlandish stunt? What did you do &mdash; and did you get the job?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Job Search Stunts to Get You Noticed by Employers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jacob McMillen</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Job Hunting job search promotion resume self promotion Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:03 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1238130 at 6 Simple Steps to Discovering Your True Salary Potential <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-simple-steps-to-discovering-your-true-salary-potential" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="wealthy businessman" title="wealthy businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Salary negotiation is not always easy, especially if you don't know the value you and your position bring to your team and to your company.</p> <p>So ask yourself these six questions and uncover your true market worth before you start driving a hard bargain. (See also: <a href="">You Should Always Negotiate a Raise: Here are 10 Reasons Why</a>)</p> <h2>1. How Valuable Are You to Your Team?</h2> <p>For any salary negotiation to be successful, you need to be highly regarded by your boss and colleagues. If your reputation is lacking, it's time to start enhancing skills and networking within the office. People who <a href="">get ahead at work</a> tend to follow through on their commitments, help other people reach their goals, and do more than what is merely expected. Get a firm understanding of what skills and traits are valued within your organization and do your best to personify them.</p> <p>If you don't know what these are, it never hurts to ask. Set up time with your boss to ask which skills she'd like to see you develop. Talk to senior team members and find out what successes led to their promotions. Ask peers how you're perceived within the organization (or even within your team). All of this feedback can help you develop the picture of where you currently stand and what steps you can take to move up within your organization.</p> <h2>2. Do You Understand Your Compensation Structure?</h2> <p>Many positions come with multiple compensation streams including salary, commission, stock options, and retirement and health benefits. Each is (normally) offered for a different reason and so should be considered separately when negotiating for compensation.</p> <p>Salary is what your employee offers in exchange for your job performance. In theory, if you do a good job, you'll get higher pay raises.</p> <p>Stock options, in contrast, are generally offered to incentivize employee loyalty, which is why you'll often see this perk packaged with a vesting schedule. In other words, don't fail to negotiate for a salary bump because your employer offers a stock option. According to one career writer, the best time to ask for a raise is when you first recognize <a href="">you're not being paid your fair worth</a>. If you wait for your annual review, your team's salary increases will have already been planned out, and your boss likely won't have budget flexibility. Start lobbying six months in advance, however, and you have real potential to change the outcome of the conversation.</p> <p>Attractive health and retirement benefits are designed to make a job more attractive than competing offers for new prospects.</p> <h2>3. How Is Your Industry Compensating Your Role?</h2> <p>You'll want to be aware of the salary range for your role, within your industry and geographic location. Jobs in some industries and areas of the country pay substantially higher than in others. Check out services like <a href=""></a> or <a href="">Payscale</a> to research the range for your current field.</p> <h2>4. What Would It Cost to Replace You?</h2> <p>Before you can negotiate, it pays to know that what you're asking for is less than your<a href=""> replacement cost</a>. According to one health benefits and insurance blog, it costs a business the equivalent of six to nine months of salary to recruit and train a new worker. For someone making $40,000 per year, that adds up to $20,000 to $30,000.</p> <p>If you're an employee worth keeping (i.e., you're good at what you do and not at PIA to be around), then your boss would probably rather avoid the hassle and cost of finding a new recruit. The problem? Bosses aren't always proactive about making sure their employees are paid fairly. It's up to you to open a dialogue about your expectations. Ask what steps you can take to improve your job skills and reach a higher salary level. If your boss isn't willing to discuss a potential salary increase (even over the long term), it may be an indication that you're not valued in your role or that there just isn't budget for the bump. If this is the case, then consider step number 5 (or 6).</p> <h2>5. Is Your Current Employer Your Best Option?</h2> <p>If your current boss doesn't appreciate the value you bring to the role, it may be time to start looking at other options. Sometimes a non-quantifiable event like a personality conflict with a boss can get in the way of an employee's upward mobility. If you know you provide quality work but still can't seem to move beyond your current role, it may be time to explore options outside of your current employer. (See also: <a href="">The 10 Things You Need to Do If You Want to Quit Your Job</a>)</p> <h2>6. What's Going On Outside of Your Company?</h2> <p>Keeping your finger on your industry's pulse is the best way to stay aware of new job opportunities. If you're not properly valued by your current employer, you may want to find out what a competitor would pay for your skills.</p> <p>Make connections through trade organizations, your local chamber of commerce, or by befriending people who perform similar functions at the competitor down the street. You never know what opportunities may arise and it can pay off to be well networked. You may even want to apply for competitor jobs. Being offered a position that pays 20% more can provide valuable leverage with your current boss. Or, you may simply decide that the new position offers better long-term opportunity than your current gig. Either way, the more you know about the current market in your industry, the better prepared you are for any opportunities that may come your way. (See also: <a href="">Your 31 Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land Jobs</a>)</p> <p><em>Have you used your negotiating prowess to land a new and better job? What knowledge did you arm yourself with and what strategies worked best for you? We want to hear about it in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Simple Steps to Discovering Your True Salary Potential " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Alaina Tweddale</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income earnings paycheck promotion raise salary Fri, 17 Oct 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1236864 at These 7 Companies Have the Craziest Employee Perks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-7-companies-have-the-craziest-employee-perks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="scuba diving" title="scuba diving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking for a job that offers more than the standard salary and health benefits combo? Look no further. From scuba diving lessons to a full-service concierge that will pick up the drycleaning and then stand in line for concert tickets in your stead, there are wonderful benefits to working at one of these seven companies we've scouted out. (See also: <a href="">The 29 Companies With the Best Maternity Benefits</a>)</p> <p>Read on for the full scoop on the zaniest perks reaped by those lucky enough to be employed by a business that knows full well how to keep its workforce happy and loyal. Then you might want to freshen up that resume &mdash; we hear the competition is thick for gigs at a place with its own rock climbing wall.</p> <h2>1. Cisco's Acupuncture</h2> <p><a href="">Acupuncture is one of the many health and wellness benefits</a> enjoyed by employees of information technology giant Cisco. This traditional Chinese medicinal practice is said to ease pain through the insertion of needles into the skin or the application of heat and pressure on specific pressure points across the body. The going rate for the rest of us is about $50 to $75 dollars per treatment.</p> <h2>2. Chesapeake Energy's Scuba Lessons</h2> <p>Free <a href="">scuba diving lessons are among the mind-blowing perks</a> offered to employees as part of Chesapeake Energy's &quot;Living Well&quot; program, which pays up to $1,000 for workers to participate in on-campus fitness and education classes. Ballet, aerobics, beach volleyball, rock climbing, and flying lessons &mdash; yes, we're talking airplanes &mdash; are also on the roster.</p> <h2>3. Google's Automotive Extras</h2> <p>It's widely known that Google employees enjoy some pretty amazing perks &mdash; gratis gourmet meals, massages, yoga instruction, an on-site bowling alley, child care assistance, top notch legal advice, business-travel destinations to paradises like Lake Tahoe and Hawaii, and up to $12,000 in annual tuition reimbursement. But did you know they also get <a href="">free oil changes and car washes</a>? That's a big bonus considering the average American spends more than $7,000 annually on their vehicle.</p> <h2>4. SC Johnson &amp; Son's Private Concierge</h2> <p>The company that manufactures Glade, Ziploc, and Windex offers its employees <a href="">a full-service concierge</a> that'll shop around for the best auto insurance quote, pick up the groceries, and stand in line for concert tickets. It's like having a willing and able assistant to complete all of life's tiresome errands and chores in your stead. The goal, company officials say, is to provide employees with a healthy work-life balance.</p> <h2>5. Eileen Fisher's New Age Fitness</h2> <p>Pilates, Qigong, creative movement, and nutritional education are among the health and wellness courses available to employees at Eileen Fisher's headquarters in upstate New York. EF employees also receive a $1,000 annual stipend to pursue their health and wellness goals outside of work through massage, acupuncture, or the perhaps the purchase of some new home exercise equipment. The company offers <a href="">an additional $1,000 annual stipend for educational pursuits</a> like yoga teacher training, pottery classes, museum memberships, and horseback riding.</p> <h2>6. Deloitte's Paid Sabbaticals</h2> <p>The financial advisory company offers associates <a href="">partially paid three- to six-month sabbaticals</a> to pursue personal or professional growth opportunities in career development or volunteerism. Deloitte workers can also opt for an unpaid one-month leave during which there are no restrictions on how they spend their time. Europe, anyone?</p> <h2>7. Infertility Perks at Facebook</h2> <p>Facebook is now offering employees <a href="">up to $20,000 toward infertility treatments</a>, sperm donations, and, for women who want to delay pregnancy, procedures to freeze their eggs. &quot;Anything that gives women more control over the timing of fertility is going to be helpful to professional women,&quot; Shelley Correll, a sociology professor and director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, told a Christian Science Monitor reporter. &quot;It potentially addresses the conflicts between the biological clock and the clockwork of women's careers: The time that's most important in work, for getting your career established, often coincides with normal fertility time for women. This can potentially help resolve that by pushing women's fertility into the future.&quot; Apple will roll out a similar program next year.</p> <p><em>Does your company offer any great perks? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="These 7 Companies Have the Craziest Employee Perks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income benefits compensation employee benefits employers job search Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1231233 at 5 Money Lessons People Learn at Their First Job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-lessons-people-learn-at-their-first-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="stressed businessman" title="stressed businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your first job teaches a lot of important lessons. For example, you learn how to be punctual, how to get along with others, and how to develop a thick skin. But these aren't the only lessons you learn. A first job teaches several lessons specifically devoted to money, too. (See also: <a href="">7 Lessons Learned From Working Retail</a>)</p> <p>Here are five key ones.</p> <h2>1. You'll Bring Home Far Less Than You Expected</h2> <p>Whether your first job is in high school or after college, the amount you bring home is always less than your hourly wage or salary. Although everyone knows about the Tax Man, you might be surprised to learn just how much of your check goes toward federal and state taxes. You can lose up to 25% of your pay to taxes, and that's before other payroll deductions, such as retirement, disability insurance, and 401(k) contributions. So, if you're earning $50,000 a year, don't get excited and think you'll bring home $4,000 a month. After subtracting all deductions, you'll be lucky to bring home $3,000 a month.</p> <h2>2. You Realize How Much Things Really Cost</h2> <p>If you're living at home with your parents supporting you, you may not fully realize how hard it is to stretch a buck. Getting a first job can also give us a dose of reality. Before, you might have spent your allowance impulsively. But now, you have to budget and track where your money goes. This may seem like a major downer, but you'll develop smart money habits that offer long-term benefits. If you have a budget, it'll be easier to live within your means.</p> <h2>3. The Job Perks Aren't Always Attractive</h2> <p>While preparing for your first job in college, you might envision yourself working for a company that offers amazing benefits, such as a 401(k) match and paid health insurance. But once you get into the workforce, the reality isn't as picturesque.</p> <p>The truth is, many employers have been hit with economic problems and don't have the cash flow to offer an attractive benefits package. To survive, these companies might ditch their 401(k) match program and they may no longer offer paid employee health insurance, or they'll pay a very small percentage of this insurance. Either way, the absence of these perks can impact how fast you're able to grow your retirement account; and if you're paying your own health insurance, that's less money on your paycheck.</p> <h2>4. Bosses Don't Give Money That You Don't Ask For</h2> <p>If you're interviewing for a first job after college, you may feel that your knowledge justifies a particular wage or salary. However, your boss may offer far less for the position than you anticipated. Like most things in life, salaries are negotiable; and if you don't open your mouth and negotiate your salary, don't expect your boss to pay up.</p> <p>Even if you don't receive the salary or wage you had in mind, your boss might be willing to meet you halfway &mdash; but you won't know unless you ask. There's a simple way to approach this situation. You can say something like, &quot;I appreciate the offer of $30,000, but I was hoping to be in the $37,000 range based on my degree and average salaries in the area.&quot; (See also: <a href="">How to Negotiate Higher Pay at Your Next New Job</a>)</p> <p>If you start practicing how to negotiate salaries early in your career, you'll master this art and become skilled as you move up the corporate ladder.</p> <h2>5. Buying Lunch Every Day Adds Up</h2> <p>When you're rushing to leave the house each morning, there might be little time to make your lunch &mdash; or maybe you don't like sandwiches or frozen meals and prefer grabbing a hot meal each day. It might be fun and convenient to dine out with your coworkers, but one thing you'll learn at your first job &mdash; especially if it's also your first full-time job &mdash; buying lunch every day adds up.</p> <p>You might only spend $5 a day on food and coffee, but that's $25 a week or $100 a month. Since your first job will likely have an entry-level salary, spending $100 a month on lunch might be too much for a modest salary. There are better uses for your money, such as contributing more to a retirement account or beefing up your emergency savings account.</p> <p><em>Do you have other lessons to add that people learn at their first job? Did you learn it the hard way? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Money Lessons People Learn at Their First Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Finance Career and Income first job money lessons paycheck retirement taxes Mon, 06 Oct 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1227737 at Master These 15 Interview Questions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/master-these-15-interview-questions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="job interview" title="job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>First impressions are everything, and making a good one during a job interview can very well snag you the job of your dreams. Interviews can be nerve-racking, especially if it's for a job you really want. The only way to calm your nerves is to do a lot of prep beforehand so you'll be ready for your interview. Read on for 15 common interview questions.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="">4 Rules for Answering the Weakness Question</a></p> <h2>1. Tell Me About Yourself</h2> <p>This question usually takes about one to two minutes to answer and will be your elevator pitch. You want to give them a brief rundown of who you are as a person and show how you articulate you are. Don't start rambling on about your personal history. Talk about highlights from job positions or schooling and how you can contribute to the company with your background and experiences.</p> <p>Know what the company is looking for. If it prizes technical skills, play those up. Showcase the qualities needed for the job you're interviewing for.</p> <p>Before the interview, write down two to three notable achievements, and be sure to bring them up during your elevator pitch.</p> <h2>2. What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?</h2> <p>Think about what others have said about you when you're trying to come up with a list of your strengths. Remember, always back up your points with an example.</p> <p>Pick strengths that align with the company's culture and goals. If you're applying to a scrappy start-up, highlight your ability to multitask and to take initiative.</p> <p>The most important factor when choosing which strengths to highlight is to make sure they relate to the position your applying to. For example, if you're applying for a human resources position, talk about your interpersonal skills.</p> <p>The weakness question is always the hardest to answer. Don't give a clichéd answer such as you work too hard or you're too much of a perfectionist. Try your best to stick to the truth and make sure you mention the steps you take to counter the weakness. Don't disclose anything that will make you look like an incompetent employee, such as not meeting deadlines and getting into conflicts with co-workers. Put a positive spin on the weakness but make sure it doesn't sound too practiced. An example of weaknesses can be impatience, which can mean that you want to get the job done. Another weakness can be time management but make sure you name the steps you take to beat that problem. You will look like a problem solver when you show them what you did to fix a flaw.</p> <h2>3. What Salary Are You Looking For?</h2> <p>You don't have to answer this question at the interview, and you can try to deflect this question until you've received an offer. Tell the interviewers that you want to hold off on salary talk until the both of you know that you're right for the job.</p> <h2>4. Why Do You Want to Work for Us?</h2> <p>Read up everything you can about the company, including the website, news articles, profiles of employees, and any tidbits on LinkedIn. If you or your friends know employees at the company, ask if they can speak to you about what the company is like.</p> <p>Try to get a sense of what the company culture is and what its goals are. Once you've done your homework, you need to figure out how the company ties into your own career path and future.</p> <h2>5. Where Do You See Yourself in a Few Years?</h2> <p>Think about how you can move forward from the position you're eyeing. Figure out the natural career track and tailor your answer to the company. Try to be honest but not to the point where you make yourself look like an unattractive candidate, such as saying you want to work for their competitor or something too personal like becoming a mom. Stick to professional examples; they don't want to hear about your personal life plan.</p> <h2>6. Are You Interviewing With Other Companies?</h2> <p>Try not to spend too much time on this question and answer briefly. A simple yes and mentioning the fact that you're open to opportunities will do the trick. You can also say that this particular job is your first choice. Remember, honesty is always the best policy, and don't lie and say you're interviewing at certain companies when you're not.</p> <h2>7. What Can You Do for This Company?</h2> <p>There are several versions of this question, which also includes, &quot;What will you do when you're at [job position x]?&quot; When you're preparing for the interview, think about why you would do a good job at the position and what steps you would take to achieve that.</p> <p>Bring in new ideas and examples of what you have done in the past that has benefited your previous companies. One trick that will help the company visualize you in the position is to tell them exactly what you'd do in the first two weeks at the job. Be specific about what you'd like to accomplish, so it's more believable and impressive.</p> <h2>8. Why Do You Want to Leave or Why Did You Leave Your Current Job?</h2> <p>It's understandable if you were laid off given the rocky economy. You don't have to share the dirty details, but you should be truthful and mention that your company had to let go of X number of people or the department was being restructured.</p> <p>If you are leaving because of a negative situation, be sure not to badmouth your old company or boss. It just reflects badly on you if you do. You can focus on the fact that you're looking for growth and that you feel this company feels like the step in the right direction.</p> <h2>9. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?</h2> <p>Asking good questions can reveal a lot of your personality and can be the most important part of the interview. Take some time into crafting very personal, well thought-out questions that require more than a &quot;yes&quot; or &quot;no&quot; answer.</p> <p>Don't ask questions that seem to be too assuming and that make you sound like you think you got the job. Don't try to focus on pay, benefits, and getting promoted. Focus more on what you can do for the company and not what the company can do for you.</p> <p>Use your judgement during the interview on how many questions are appropriate.</p> <h2>10. When Did You Have to Deal With Conflict in the Office, and How Did You Resolve It?</h2> <p>Be careful when you're addressing this question and make sure that you're not bitter or negative in your answer. You should always be positive because this reflects the fact that you take conflict well. Talk about a problem you faced (preferably not something you created), and detail the steps you proactively took to resolve the problem. The best examples will come from your past experiences.</p> <h2>11. Testing Your Knowledge and Experience</h2> <p>Make sure what you can live up to your claims in your résumé and cover letter, because your interviewer may try to test your knowledge and experience.</p> <p>For example, he might ask you questions in your field or get your professional opinion on some current events happening in your expertise. Another way to test your knowledge is to walk you through a sample scenario you might face in this new job, and ask you how you would solve the issue.</p> <p>The best way to prepare for these questions is to read up as much as you can about industry that you're applying to, and brush up on items in your past. Give yourself time to think about how you would tackle the problem they present to you, and don't rush your explanation. Even if you don't arrive at the conclusion the hiring manager is looking for, they may be impressed by your thought process.</p> <h2>12. Tell Me About Your Achievements</h2> <p>It's your time to shine when you talk about your achievements. Make sure you're preparing ahead of time for the achievement question.</p> <p>Write down three possible past wins relevant to the company and position you're applying to, and practice articulating your answers. Do your best to be specific and possibly throw in numbers to really back up your answers. For example, saying something like &quot;As a result of achievement x, revenue numbers increased by x percent year over year.&quot; This will really show your hiring manager how you added value to your past company's growth and reveal your worth as an employee.</p> <h2>13. Tell Me About Your Failures</h2> <p>Be careful when picking which failures to talk about because it can either be a hit or miss answer.</p> <p>Be honest in your answer. Don't pick a weak example, where the failure wasn't truly a flop. It's very telling if you're uncomfortable with the question. The interviewer may see you as someone who can't take responsibility for her mistakes and grow from it.</p> <p>You want to make sure that whatever you mention, you're able to explain how you bounced back stronger than ever and how you took steps to make sure that the mistake never happened again.</p> <h2>14. How Would Your Co-Workers Describe You?</h2> <p>It's time to talk yourself up! Highlight your positive traits, and make sure you're not bringing up your flaws. You should only bring up negative things if you're asked to do so.</p> <p>Think back on what your co-workers and bosses have said about you in your past reviews. This will help you formulate your answer.</p> <h2>15. What Was Your Last Salary?</h2> <p>Remember, you don't have to reveal anything you're not comfortable with to the hiring manager. You can answer this question indirectly by giving the interviewer a range you're expecting.</p> <p>Liz Ryan, CEO of consulting firm The Human Workplace, writes in a <a href="">LinkedIn post</a>, &quot;When we call the plumber because our tub drain is clogged, we don't ask, 'What did you charge the guy down the block to unclog his drain last week?' If we do, the plumber is going to say, 'My rate is $95 an hour. Do you want me to come over or not?'&quot;</p> <p>She suggests responding to this salary question with &quot;In this job search, I'm looking for jobs in the $95,000 to $100,000 range. Is that in the ballpark?&quot;</p> <p>The best way to prepare for this question is to figure out how much salary you want to be paid. <a href="">Here's how</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Land a job interview? Great. Now seal the deal by learning how to answer these 15 common job interview questions. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href=""><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="">How to Start Off Your Cover Letter Right</a></li> <li><a href="">Follow Up After a Job Interview With This Email</a></li> <li><a href="">5 Rules For Following Up After the Interview</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Job Hunting interview Job Interview job search new job Fri, 03 Oct 2014 21:00:05 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1221623 at Bosses Say These Are Their 6 Favorite Qualities in Employees — Do You Have Them? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bosses-say-these-are-their-6-favorite-qualities-in-employees-do-you-have-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="boss employee working" title="boss employee working" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you can't get ahead at work, there's probably a reason why. You might not have the experience or educational background for a specific position &mdash; or worse, your boss may feel that you lack important qualities. (See also: <a href="">5 Things to Say to Your Boss to Get a Promotion or Raise</a>)</p> <p>Since your boss holds the key to your future with the company, it is imperative that you understand qualities employers look for in employees. This can be the difference between advancing up the corporate ladder and staying stuck in the same position.</p> <h2>1. Good Communication Skills</h2> <p>Bosses look for employees with strong communication skills &mdash; written and spoken. Being able to clearly express yourself is a major asset and can take your career to the next level.</p> <p>&quot;If you have a gift for the spoken and written word, you will always put your best foot forward. Being articulate is highly prized in today's workplace, when time is at a premium and technology requires constant communication,&quot; Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0470457643&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FSOK7MOUNS3ZLT5N">Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job</a>, <a href="">told</a></p> <p>Master good communication skills and you might become the official or unofficial spokesperson for the company. You don't have to become a walking dictionary. But if your communication style needs improvement, it doesn't hurt to brush up on your English and writing skills, or take a public speaking course or workshop on your own dime.</p> <h2>2. Adaptability</h2> <p>Companies must adapt or evolve to keep pace with the times, and it's important for employees to evolve as well.</p> <p>&quot;I have found that people who are comfortable with change in general tend to be more successful,&quot; <a href="">says Jennifer Dulski</a>, President and COO at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Even if you do not understand the changes taking place in the organization, go with the flow and trust that your boss knows what she's doing. The end goal is simple &mdash; grow the company. And if the company grows, so can your income. So, don't buck the system or make it difficult for your boss. Being adaptable goes hand-in-hand with being a team player. Team players put aside their personal feelings and work for the common good of the company.</p> <h2>3. Honesty</h2> <p>Bosses have enough on their plates, and they don't have time to supervise each employee. Therefore, employers need workers who are honest and willing to follow rules and policies, even when no one's watching. An honest employee is committed from start to finish, honest in everything, and takes responsibility for his actions.</p> <p>&quot;If they can't be honest with themselves and honest with me, then we are likely going to be wasting time and not operating at our full potential. I expect all team members to express any concern that comes up so we can keep improving not only our processes, but also our morale,&quot; <a href="">says Patrick Curtis</a>, founder at <a href=""></a>.</p> <h2>4. Hard-Working Mentality</h2> <p>Bosses need employees who go beyond the call of duty. Technically, you shouldn't be expected to do anything outside your job description, especially if you're not getting paid for your time. But at the same time, taking the initiative and going the extra mile speaks volumes.</p> <p>Karen Rehn, owner of HH Staffing Services, brings attention to a recent employee trait survey that says &quot;57% of <a href="">managers are looking for hard working employees</a>, those who embody work ethic and good ole hard work.&quot;</p> <p>It takes hard work for a company to succeed, and most employers can't get to the top without help from diligent employees. So, your commitment to the job won't go unnoticed and it can open doors to a brighter future with the company.</p> <h2>5. Punctuality and Conscientiousness</h2> <p>From clocking in on time to meeting deadlines, it only takes one tardy or unreliable employee to get everyone off schedule. Do a self-evaluation to determine whether your punctuality needs improvement. A manager may not say anything to you, but arriving even five minutes late or turning in an assignment 15 minutes late doesn't go unnoticed. If you can't be counted on to handle seemingly insignificant tasks, how can your boss trust you with bigger responsibilities?</p> <p>&quot;If the resume has typos or the candidate is late or sloppy, you can be sure those typos will translate into frustrating quality issues on the job,&quot; <a href="">says Josh Bersin</a>, Principal and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte.</p> <h2>6. Leadership</h2> <p>Your boss might be the top dog, but he needs a few leaders on his team. No good comes from being a follower. And when bosses look to promote, they prefer applicants who aren't too impressionable. As a leader, you can motivate your co-workers or be a voice of reason during difficult situations.</p> <p>&quot;Anyone can get others to show up for work. Leaders, on the other hand, genuinely inspire people to choose to follow them &mdash; on a mission, toward a goal, or perhaps even to transform an industry,&quot; <a href="">says Walt Bettinger</a>, President and CEO of The Charles Schwab Corporation.</p> <p><em>Are you a boss? Are there other qualities you'd like to add? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Bosses Say These Are Their 6 Favorite Qualities in Employees — Do You Have Them?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Personal Development career getting hired good employee job promotion Thu, 02 Oct 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1225625 at 10 Things Interviewers Really Want to Know When They Ask These Questions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-interviewers-really-want-to-know-when-they-ask-these-questions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="job interview" title="job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't take your interviewer's questions at face value. Often, the reasons why she's asking you these questions is not just to hear your answers, but to read in between the lines and find out what your intentions are and how your character is. We've listed a couple of the most <a href="">popular interview questions</a> below and what the interviewer <em>really</em> means when they ask you these questions.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="">9 Costly Interview Mistakes That Can Lose You That Job Offer</a></p> <h2>1. Tell Me About Yourself</h2> <p>Okay, you should ace this question because it's the most basic and expected question out of every job interview. We want to see how you carry yourself and how articulate you are. We also want to know what you think are the highlights of yourself and your career and what's special about you.</p> <h2>2. What Are Your Greatest Weaknesses?</h2> <p>You know this question is coming, let's see how honest and thoughtful you can be. Not to mention how prepared you are. Please don't give us the clichés like, &quot;My weakness is I work too hard.&quot; We can see right through that. <a href="">This question</a> can reveal how self-aware you are and how proactive you are when a problem arises.</p> <h2>3. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?</h2> <p>We want to make sure you're here for the long haul and you've really thought about this. It takes resources to train a new hire, so ideally, we would like you to stay a while. Your answer will clue us into your ambition as well, and if you've truly thought about what your career track with us will be like. It's a chance for us to hear your strengths and your goals.</p> <h2>4. Why Do You Want to Work for Us?</h2> <p>We want to make sure you really want to work for us and that you did your research. We don't want to hire people who just want this job because it's a job.</p> <h2>5. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?</h2> <p>Was there drama in your last company? We're actually curious to see if you left your company on good or bad terms. Obviously, most of you will catch on to this question, but your answer can also give us an insight into your relationship with your former company and how you work. If you badmouth your previous employer, no matter what the circumstance, we'll probably take it as a red flag. We also want to make sure that you're not going to leave our company for the same reason.</p> <h2>6. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?</h2> <p>This is my opportunity to see if you have been paying attention and how passionate you are about this position and company. It's also a test to see how much homework you've done on the company and the position. This can be your chance to wow us, and it can be one of the most memorable things about a candidate.</p> <h2>7. [Insert Incredibly Hard Problem]</h2> <p>We want to know how you think on your feet and what your thought process is like. You <a href="">may not be able to answer this question</a>, but we want to see how you deal with the stress of not being able to answer the question and to see if you can at least tell us the steps you would take to find the answer. This shows good initiative and problem-solving skills. We're not looking for someone who would give up as soon as something hard comes their way.</p> <h2>8. [Insert Surprising Question]</h2> <p>Okay, you may be completely thrown off by this question, but we want that to happen. It may elicit a more genuine reaction and that's what we really want to see. Perhaps, we can catch a glimpse of your personality.</p> <h2>9. What Would Your Co-Workers Say About You?</h2> <p>We want to know how you think others view you. It says something about how self-aware you are, and it can clue us into how your relationships with your former co-workers are.</p> <h2>10. What Are Your Hobbies?</h2> <p>We want to know what you are like as a person outside of your job. This is a good time to bring up your side projects and impressive hidden talents. What you do with your free time can be a big reflection of what kind of employee you will be. For example, having a successful Etsy store can show us that you're productive, driven, passionate, and creative. This is your chance to stand out and share something personal about yourself that will make us remember you.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Learn to read the truth behind these common job interview questions, so you can respond with the answers that get you hired. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href=""><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</a></li> <li><a href="">5 Things to Bring to a Job Interview</a></li> <li><a href="">13 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Job Hunting Job Interview questions underlying meaning Thu, 18 Sep 2014 21:00:05 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1203902 at The 29 Companies With the Best Maternity Benefits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-29-companies-with-the-best-maternity-benefits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="pregnant woman job" title="pregnant woman job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What does the United States have in common with Swaziland and Papua New Guinea? We are one of only three countries in the world that does not mandate paid maternity leave. That's right, 178 other countries require paid leave for mothers who have just given birth.</p> <p><a href="">This map</a> shows paid leave around the world if you're looking to move.</p> <p>But if you're planning to stay in the United States you're probably thinking: What about FMLA? The Family Medical Leave Act only provides unpaid leave, not paid leave. Moreover, if you haven't been at your job for a year, if you work fewer than 24 hours a week, or if your company has fewer than 50 employees, you aren't covered by FMLA. This means that under federal law, you may not even be entitled to take any unpaid time.</p> <p>So, if you're a woman thinking of having children in the foreseeable future, you should give strong weight to an employer's maternity leave benefits when considering jobs as it can mean tens of thousands of dollars in extra income and extra time off with your little one.</p> <p>Here are the jobs with the best maternity benefits &mdash; listed according to rankings by Working Mother Magazine and also by industry.</p> <h2>Working Mother Top 10</h2> <p>Working Mother gives weight to more than just the number of weeks of paid maternity leave in putting together its &quot;Working Mother 100 Best Companies&quot; list. Other maternity benefits can include baby &quot;stipends&quot; and childcare. This <a href="">year's top ten</a> were the following companies (in alphabetical order).</p> <h3>1. Abbott</h3> <p><a href="">Abbott</a> gives new moms four weeks of paid maternity leave, but one of the biggest benefits is a flex schedule &mdash; which 97% take advantage of.</p> <h3>2. Deloitte</h3> <p><a href="">Deloitte</a> offers fully paid maternity leave for 14 weeks. Plus, the company covers up to $25,000 for fertility treatments and $5,000 in adoption costs.</p> <h3>3. EY</h3> <p><a href="">EY</a> (Formerly Ernst &amp; Young) offers 14 weeks of fully paid maternity leave (22 weeks in total). Plus, women can come back with a reduced schedule after maternity leave.</p> <h3>4. General Mills</h3> <p><a href="">General Mills</a> gives new mothers six weeks fully paid leave plus offers other benefits like sabbaticals, flex-time, and plenty of amenities (like a salon, cafeteria, day care, and gym).</p> <h3>5. IBM</h3> <p><a href="">IBM</a> gives its employees six weeks of fully paid maternity leave.</p> <h3>6. KPMG</h3> <p><a href="">KPMG's</a> maternity leave policy includes an average of nine weeks of fully paid leave plus sabbaticals.</p> <h3>7. Procter &amp; Gamble</h3> <p>At <a href="">Procter &amp; Gamble</a> new moms get eight weeks of paid leave.</p> <h3>8. Prudential Financial</h3> <p><a href="">Prudential</a> only offers five weeks of fully paid maternity leave, but new moms can take up to 26 weeks of leave (nine of those are partially or fully paid).</p> <h3>9. PwC</h3> <p><a href="">PwC</a> gives new moms 15 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, and 80% of employees at PwC use a flextime schedule.</p> <h3>10. WellStar Health System</h3> <p>WellStar's three weeks of paid maternity leave doesn't compare to the others on the list, but Working Mother was a big fan of the company's other benefits like fitness centers, walking clubs, wellness coaches, and on-site fruit and vegetable deliveries.</p> <p>Other than the Working Mother top 10 list, what other companies have the best maturity policies? Generally they fall into several categories: jobs in the technology industry, jobs in the financial sector, and legal jobs. Here are the best companies by industry (other than the companies listed above).</p> <h2>Technology Industry</h2> <p>The technology sector is well known for its glamorous benefits like flexible work schedules and free food, but it's also known for generous maternity leave policies. Here are the number of paid weeks off at the following technology companies all according to <a href="">reporting done by Mother Jones</a> in 2013:</p> <h3>11. Google</h3> <p>Google provides new mothers a whopping 18 weeks of paid maternity leave (22 if there are complications with the birth).</p> <h3>12. Instagram</h3> <p>Instagram gives new moms 17 weeks paid leave.</p> <h3>13. Reddit</h3> <p>Reddit also pays maternity leave for 17 weeks.</p> <h3>14. Facebook</h3> <p>Like Instagram and Reddit, Facebook moms get 17 weeks of maternity leave.</p> <h3>15. Yahoo</h3> <p>Yahoo's maternity leave policy provides for 16 weeks of paid leave.</p> <h3>16. Twitter</h3> <p>Twitter's policy is for 13 weeks of maternity leave.</p> <h3>17. Pinterest</h3> <p>Pinterest provides 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.</p> <h3>18. Microsoft</h3> <p>Microsoft also gives new moms 12 weeks of paid leave.</p> <h2>Financial Sector</h2> <p>Companies in the financial industry aren't quite as generous as those in the tech world, but many banks, investment companies, and others in financial services offer a lot of paid leave. Here are the number of paid weeks off at the following financial companies (from the Working Mother list).</p> <h3>19. Deutsche Bank</h3> <p><a href="">Deutsche Bank</a> gives new moms 18 weeks paid leave.</p> <h3>20. Goldman Sachs</h3> <p><a href="">Goldman Sachs</a> offers new mothers 16 weeks paid leave.</p> <h3>21. Morgan Stanley</h3> <p><a href="">Morgan Stanley</a> provides 16 weeks of maternity leave.</p> <h3>22. FINRA</h3> <p><a href="">FINRA's</a> maternity leave policy is for 13 weeks.</p> <h3>23. JP Morgan Chase</h3> <p><a href="">JP Morgan Chase</a> provides 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.</p> <h3>24. Bank of America</h3> <p><a href="">Bank of America</a> offers new mothers 12 weeks paid leave.</p> <h3>25. Credit Suisse</h3> <p><a href="">Credit Suisse's </a>maternity leave policy is also for 12 weeks paid leave.</p> <h2>Law Firms</h2> <p>While large law firms are best known for requiring long billable hours, most firms are actually quite generous with their paid maternity leave. Many offer 12 weeks paid maternity leave for their female attorneys. Here are the number of paid weeks off at some of the larger law firms which were included in Working Mother's top 100 list. (Another good place for details of all benefits &mdash; including maternity leave &mdash; is on the <a href="">NALP Directory</a> which is reported by law firms to help with recruiting.)</p> <h3>26. Arnold &amp; Porter</h3> <p><a href="">Arnold &amp; Porter</a> tops the list of law firms with 18 weeks of paid maternity leave.</p> <h3>27. Cooley</h3> <p><a href="">Cooley</a> offers 13 weeks of paid maternity leave.</p> <h3>28. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett &amp; Dunner</h3> <p><a href="">Finnegan</a> also provides 13 weeks of paid maternity leave.</p> <h3>29. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman</h3> <p><a href="">Pillsbury's</a> maternity leave policy provides for 12 weeks of paid leave.</p> <p>While over half of new mothers in the US don't get any paid leave, if you're fortunate enough to find a position at one of the above companies, you'll be better off financially and likely much healthier and happier for having additional time with your little one.</p> <p><em>How much paid maternity leave does your company offer?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 29 Companies With the Best Maternity Benefits" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Elizabeth Lang</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income benefits maternity benefits work and family Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1213200 at The 6 Craziest Things People Have Done to Land a Job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-craziest-things-people-have-done-to-land-a-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="job interview" title="job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the job market continues to disappoint with <a href="">fewer and fewer available jobs</a>, we have to work harder at impressing potential employers.</p> <p>There are thousands of tutorials out there about how to impress interviewers and job gatekeepers. And just like you, everybody else is reading those same tutorials. That's why you need a secret weapon, a special edge, or just something plain crazy to stand out from the competition. (See also: <a href="">6 Unconventional Ways to Find Your Next Job</a>)</p> <p>So think about getting your foot in the door by imitating these six creative applicants that landed a job with a crazy stunt.</p> <h2>1. The Google Job Experiment</h2> <p>Fact: about <a href="">56% of people search their own name on Google</a>.</p> <p>Unless you share the same name with a major celebrity, you will experience search results without the interruption of any Google ads. That's when the lightbulb went off for Alec Brownstein, and he created the <a href="">Google Job Experiment</a>.</p> <p>He created Google ads for the top advertising creative directors, so that the next time they happened to search their own names, they would see a message from Alec asking for an interview. The stunt worked and Ian Reichenthal, creative director at Young and Rubicam, an ad agency in New York City, hired him after an interview. Ian was so impressed that he even went on <a href="">TV interviews with Alec about the Google Job Experiment</a>. For just $6, Alec got wide media attention and landed a job.</p> <h2>2. Interactive Video Resume</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//"></iframe></p> <p>If a picture is worth a thousand words, why are we still using only words to describe our resumes?</p> <p>That's exactly what PR executive Graeme Anthony must have been thinking when he created and uploaded his <a href=";v=9EzNll1U2N8">interactive video resume</a> to YouTube.</p> <p>Through a clever script, good soundtrack, and great video production, Graeme was able to gather about <a href="">2,000 views within the first hour</a> that the video went live. He believed that the video would better show off his personality and creative skills. The stunt worked and London's Frank PR agency <a href="">quickly invited for an interview and offered him a job</a>. He <a href="">continues to work there</a>, and his video resume has gathered over 300,000 views.</p> <h2>3. Chocolate Bar Resume</h2> <p>Nicholas was looking for a position as a marketing professional. Instead of sending the standard paper resume, he opted for a <a href="">chocolate bar resume</a> with &quot;credentials that would satisfy any organization's appetite.&quot;</p> <p>With 100% of the recommended servings for leadership, creativity, and business acumen, and a 110% for work ethic, this <a href="">delicious business treat</a> got him the job. This proves that chocolate makes anything look irresistible.</p> <h2>4. &quot;Will You Fit In?&quot;</h2> <p>Here is a great strategy for the next time that a potential employer asks you the usual: &quot;Things get a little crazy around here, how do I know you'll fit in?&quot;</p> <p><a href="">Richard Waddington</a> had been working for the same company for over a decade and was ready for a change. Since he hadn't had a job interview in a long time, he was a bit stressed. As he was going out the door, his four-year-old daughter handed him a small plastic cow from a barnyard set and said, &quot;Daddy, take this for good luck!&quot;</p> <p>Fast forward several hours of interviews and Richard was sitting in front of the VP of HR. She gave him the usual &quot;little crazy around here, will you fit in?&quot; question. Richard immediately responded, &quot;I have a cow in my pocket!&quot; and sat the little plastic cow on the table. The VP burst into laughter and Richard got the job.</p> <h2>5. The Resume That Took 2,000 Hours</h2> <p>It is estimated that it takes a person about <a href="">10,000 hours to become an expert</a> in anything.</p> <p>A high school graduate took this rule to heart and with time on his side, he embarked on a mission to create an enormous project in hopes of <a href="">impressing potential employers at Bethesda Softworks</a>.</p> <p>Alexander Velicky spent a total of 2,000 hours over a one-year period to develop a modification (or &quot;mod&quot;) for one of Bethesda's hit titles, <a href="">Skyrim</a>. Except this is no run-of-the-mill mod. Alexander's &quot;Falskaar&quot; uses the talents of 29 voice actors, provides about 25 hours of gameplay, has an <a href=";">original soundtrack</a>, and is the joint effort of over 100 people with Alexander at the helm.</p> <p>Take a look at the impressive <a href="">preview video of Falskaar</a>.</p> <p>With <a href="">close to 4 million total views</a>, Alexander caught the attention of Bethesda's rival, Bungie, which offered him a job as an <a href="">Associate Designer</a>.</p> <h2>6. Attempt to Destroy Own Property</h2> <p><a href="">David Germanico was in the middle of a interview for a sales job</a>. The interviewer asked if he had a phone and David produced his very old Nokia &quot;brick.&quot; &quot;Sell it to me,&quot; requested the interviewer.</p> <p>David started to panic as his mind raced to find a reason that anybody would want such an old phone over a slick and powerful smartphone. No Internet access, no cool apps, no camera.</p> <p>Then a light bulb went off. &quot;It's tough as nails! I challenge you to do this with any other phone!&quot; said David as he threw the phone against the wall.</p> <p>The phone survived. The drywall got a small dent. David got the sales job.</p> <p><em>What is the craziest thing that you have done to land a job? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 6 Craziest Things People Have Done to Land a Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting interview job hunt job search resume Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:00:03 +0000 Damian Davila 1213127 at Best Money Tips: Ways to Make Your Career a Success <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-make-your-career-a-success" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="business team leader" title="business team leader" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on ways to make your career a success, money ideas for freshmen, and catching up on Christmas savings.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Ways to Make Your Career a Success</a> &mdash; Knowing how to form relationships is vital when it comes to making your career a success. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="">7 Essential Money Ideas for College Freshmen</a> &mdash; College freshmen would be wise to join campus organizations and get involved beyond the campus. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="">10 Tips to Help Debt Proof Your Christmas &amp; Catch up on Christmas Savings</a> &mdash; If you want to debt proof your Christmas, give up dining out and reduce your cell phone plan. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="">7 Proven Ways to Boost Your Morning Productivity</a> &mdash; To be more productive in the morning, wake up at the right time and have a good breakfast. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="">9 Tips to Give Your Best Speech Ever</a> &mdash; Give a great speech by knowing your audience and practicing. [Lifehack]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">How to Deal With the Crappiest People</a> &mdash; It may be best to try to ignore the people you can't stand and remember to not give them advice. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">How Do I Ask Someone to Be My Mentor?</a> &mdash; When asking someone to be your mentor, ask them face to face over coffee as opposed to via email. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="">10 Toxic Behaviors That Kill Your Confidence</a> &mdash; Making excuses can kill your confidence, as will second-guessing your intuition. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="">7 Things Stopping You From Pursuing Your Impossible Dreams</a> &mdash; If you aren't making your dream a priority, you may be preventing yourself from achieving your dream. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="">4 Fun Books for Kids Who Love Animals</a> &mdash; Bella Lost and Found is a great book for children who love animals. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Make Your Career a Success" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building best money tips career success Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1207168 at