employment http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3863/all en-US 7 Things You Should Never Include in Your Cover Letter http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-include-in-your-cover-letter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-you-should-never-include-in-your-cover-letter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_work_thinking_473428184.jpg" alt="Woman learning things she should never include on a cover letter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Writing the perfect cover letter is a job skill unto itself. In just a few paragraphs, you need to capture the reader's attention and expertly sell your skills and experience, all while striking the right professional tone.</p> <p>It's tempting to slap something together and tell yourself that your resume is more important. Truth be told, though, your cover letter is a key part of the package. Avoiding these seven cover letter gaffes will get you through the interview door faster.</p> <h2>1. Wrong information</h2> <p>Make sure that you have all the details right. Double check that you have the correct company name and spelling, the correct job title, the right address, and, where necessary, the correct name of the hiring manager.</p> <p>If you don't have the name of the hiring manager, you can often find it by calling the company's human resources department. Let HR know which position you're applying for and ask, &quot;To whom should I address my cover letter?&quot; They won't always tell you, but sometimes they will.</p> <p>Also double check your own personal information, including your name, address, email, and phone number. It may sound like common sense, but you'd be surprised how often these tiny typos cost people a job opportunity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-half-of-job-applicants-make-this-same-foolish-mistake?ref=seealso">Almost Half of Job Applicants Make This Same Foolish Mistake</a>)</p> <h2>2. Poor writing</h2> <p>Use complete sentences. Spell words correctly. Check (and have someone else check) your grammar and punctuation. You want this letter to be the best possible reflection of who you are and how you work, and making silly mistakes won't put your best self forward.</p> <h2>3. What you're lacking</h2> <p>Don't mention any skills or qualifications that you don't have. The cover letter is not the place to bring up any shortcomings.</p> <p>Instead, use this as an opportunity to sell yourself. Tell the potential employer why your skills and experiences are a perfect fit for the position. Remember, your cover letter isn't actually about you. It's about the company you'd like to work for and why you would be a good fit for them. Wow them with what you're offering, and maybe they won't even notice the experience you don't have.</p> <h2>4. Generic, cliché language</h2> <p>Show that you care and that you spent time on your cover letter by eliminating any generic, cliché phrases that could be part of any cover letter, for any job. Don't say that you're a &quot;team player&quot; with &quot;leadership experience&quot; who is also a &quot;hard worker.&quot; Nothing about that is unique, and it'll do nothing to differentiate you from other applicants.</p> <p>Instead, fill your letter with facts that demonstrate your unique skills. Emphasize results whenever possible. Talk about how you led a diverse team to solve a particular problem, or increased revenue by X percent. Then, explain how you would bring those skills to your new job.</p> <h2>5. Lies</h2> <p>Most people who lie on a cover letter don't do so intentionally. They panic &mdash; maybe feel inadequate &mdash; and then they either make something up or, more often, stretch the truth so it looks like they have more experience or qualifications than they actually do.</p> <p>The problem is, these things are easy to check, and besides &mdash; why would you want a job requiring skills you don't actually have? Instead, focus on qualifications you do have. If you feel tempted to stretch the truth often, maybe you need to look at different jobs or take some online courses so you actually have the skills you need for the work you want to do.</p> <h2>6. Personal information</h2> <p>This is not the time to talk about your dog, or your divorce, or about how you need this job because you have to support your three kids all on your own. Yes, those are important things to you, but they don't belong in your cover letter.</p> <p>Like I mentioned above, the cover letter isn't actually about you. It's about the company where you're applying, and how you can make it better. Even if your need for work is desperate, or if there are some personal things you think the company should know about you before they make a decision, the cover letter isn't the place to list them. Wait for an interview.</p> <h2>7. Long paragraphs</h2> <p>No one wants to read a wall of text, especially when they are scanning cover letters for keywords. So, keep your paragraphs short and limit your letter to a single page.</p> <p>This means that you have to be pithy in what you say. Straightforward is usually best. Describe your experience and qualifications, highlight how they satisfy key requirements of the job you're applying for, and then wrap it up. More words aren't necessarily better.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-include-in-your-cover-letter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-college-grads-can-get-ahead-in-the-job-hunt">11 Ways College Grads Can Get Ahead in the Job Hunt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-half-of-job-applicants-make-this-same-foolish-mistake">Almost Half of Job Applicants Make This Same Foolish Mistake</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-low-key-jobs-for-people-who-hate-stress">5 Low Key Jobs for People Who Hate Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-resume-rules-you-should-be-breaking">4 Resume Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting advice career cover letters employment job applications Mistakes new jobs resumes Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1929793 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Unprofessional Habits That Could Kill Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/10-unprofessional-habits-that-could-kill-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-unprofessional-habits-that-could-kill-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-516608796.jpg" alt="Woman learning unprofessional habits that are killing her career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like most people, you've put a lot of time, energy, and money into your career. And you know that getting ahead in that career takes conscious (sometimes herculean) effort. With all you've invested, don't let a few bad habits drag you down the corporate ladder. Here are 10 unprofessional habits that could kill your career.</p> <h2>1. Ignoring the finer points of email</h2> <p>Sure, it's quick and casual, but electronic communication comes with its own set of rules. Crafting long-winded emails, not responding to messages in a timely fashion, typing in all caps, and forgetting to include fundamentals &mdash; like a personal salutation, or a please and a thank you &mdash; are all email no-no's. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-say-in-a-work-email?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things You Should Never Say in a Work Email</a>)</p> <h2>2. Using grade school grammar</h2> <p>In speech or in writing, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-grammar-mistakes-that-are-making-you-look-stupid" target="_blank">stupid grammar mistakes</a> can make you look uneducated and hurt your professional prospects. Polish your image by reviewing the fundamentals of good grammar, becoming more aware of how you communicate, and proofreading every word you write.</p> <h2>3. Dressing for a demotion</h2> <p>Though most work environments are casual these days, that doesn't mean anything goes. If you're confusing business casual with clubwear, wearing wrinkled shirts and slacks, and letting your pant cuffs drag on the floor, you're dressing for a demotion. Pay attention to wardrobe fundamentals like condition, fit, cleanliness, seasonality, and suitability. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-work-wardrobe-for-any-job-on-a-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build a Work Wardrobe for Any Job on a Budget</a>)</p> <h2>4. Constant questioning</h2> <p>Asking questions is smart up to a point, but cross that invisible line and you become a drain on management. When given a new assignment or a different set of responsibilities, get all the information you can up front and then show your initiative by figuring out the rest as you go along.</p> <h2>5. Always being late</h2> <p>Arriving chronically late to work or meetings shows a disregard for your professional commitments, your coworkers' time, and your job in general. Protect your professional image by being punctual, or even better, showing up a few minutes early.</p> <h2>6. Taking sides in office politics</h2> <p>Nearly every workplace suffers from a bit of office politics. Choosing sides carries two risks: First, it takes your eye off the most crucial aspects of your job &mdash; performing well, learning all you can, and moving up. Second, you could simply align yourself with the wrong (that is, losing) side and suffer the direct or indirect consequences. Stay employed by diligently avoiding <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-office-politics-goofs-that-can-set-your-career-back-years" target="_blank">office politics goofs</a>.</p> <h2>7. Displaying terrible table manners</h2> <p>Client dinners, lunch meetings, and all-day networking events are part of modern work life and opportunities to showcase your professional refinement. If your eating style is reminiscent of a bear fresh out of hibernation, it might be time to brush up on the basics of good table manners. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-people-with-good-table-manners-never-do?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Things People With Good Table Manners Never Do</a>)</p> <h2>8. Swearing like a sailor</h2> <p>No offense to professional sailors, but swearing in most work settings is a career-limiting communication habit. Even if it's the norm where you work, using profanity shows that you're not articulate enough to come up with more acceptable language. It may also make you appear quick to anger and unable to work through challenges constructively.</p> <h2>9. Bringin' the drama</h2> <p>How do you make tear-filled stories of sudden breakups, unfair arrests, and credit card problems even worse? You share those stories on the job and get fired. Constantly bringing personal issues into the workplace implies a problem with boundaries and a lack of professional focus. Save the drama for close friends and only discuss it outside of work.</p> <h2>10. Proselytizing</h2> <p><em>Proselytizing</em> is just a fancy word for promoting a particular belief or attempting to convert people from one religion to another. Living your faith is one thing, but pushing it at work is quite another. Belief systems are intensely personal &mdash; the result of life experience, cultural influences, and long family histories. Don't alienate your coworkers or risk your job by making your personal faith a professional matter.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unprofessional-habits-that-could-kill-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-types-of-bad-bosses-and-how-to-survive-them">The 8 Types of Bad Bosses — And How to Survive Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-succeed-at-work-despite-your-lousy-boss">How to Succeed at Work Despite Your Lousy Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-when-you-hate-your-new-job">How to Deal When You Hate Your New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what">They Offered You a Promotion and No Pay Raise. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income bad habits behavior demotions drama email employment politics unprofessional Fri, 14 Apr 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 1923961 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Succeed at Work Despite Your Lousy Boss http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-succeed-at-work-despite-your-lousy-boss <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-succeed-at-work-despite-your-lousy-boss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-499579316.jpg" alt="Man succeeding at work despite his lousy boss" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In an ideal world, your boss would be a great leader, a teacher, a mentor, and someone to be admired and celebrated. As we all know, it's not an ideal world. Sometimes, the boss is so bad, you dread going to work and spend hours looking for a new career. However, there is hope. You can turn the situation to your advantage, and help you &quot;manage&quot; when the boss is a lost cause. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-survive-and-thrive-in-a-job-you-hate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Survive (and Thrive!) in a Job You Hate</a>)</p> <h2>Get to know everything about them</h2> <p>What motivates them? What makes them happy, in and out of work? What about career goals, or people who inspire them? What do they like to do on weekends? Do they have a hobby? The more you know, the better.</p> <p>When you are armed with this kind of information, you can use it to swing things in your favor. This does not mean sucking up, or blackmail. This is a way to figure out why they make certain decisions, and in turn, gives you the chance to steer them in a direction more favorable to you. For instance, if the boss is micromanaging you, find out if they are worried about their own performance review. They may fear you cannot do the job the way they want it done. If you can prove to them that this fear is unnecessary, they will focus on someone else.</p> <h2>Do not play their game</h2> <p>A really lousy boss will play head games with you. They'll ask you to work late when they know you've got tickets to the concert. They'll put you on a project with someone they know rubs you the wrong way. They'll ask for two hours of work to be done in one hour. You know &mdash; a really nasty piece of work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-types-of-horrible-bosses-and-how-to-manage-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Types of Horrible Bosses &mdash; And How to Manage Them</a>)</p> <p>Despite this, don't let them see that it bothers you. Like any bully, they get their kicks from your reaction. If you brush it off, smile, and happily do everything they request; it will eat them up inside. They'll end up doing something that reflects badly on them, or they'll focus their energy on someone who gives them the response they want.</p> <h2>Keep meticulous records</h2> <p>We live in a world of emails and text messages. If you're having trouble with a boss, start tracking everything. From every email exchange to every closed-door conversation, use technology to build a case against the boss's behavior. Take detailed notes in meetings, and send a copy of those notes to your boss to ensure that you understood everything that was required of you. Get approvals in writing. The more evidence you have, the less chance you will be a scapegoat for anything. Even if the boss is just inept, you can use this technique to keep them on task. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-warning-signs-your-new-boss-may-be-a-bad-boss?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Warning Signs Your New Boss May Be a Bad Boss</a>)</p> <h2>Take the initiative</h2> <p>A lousy boss will often keep you out of the loop, and may even try to marginalize your position. This approach keeps their employees uninformed, and as we all know, knowledge is power.</p> <p>Don't settle for this. Do everything you can to find out what you can through other channels. Speak to colleagues in other departments about projects they're working on. Get friendly with people in HR, or upper management. Make yourself available for jobs that the boss has &quot;forgot&quot; to mention in staff meetings. But of course, be polite and respectful to the boss, and make sure he or she knows you have only the best interests of the company at heart.</p> <h2>Give them the impression it was their idea</h2> <p>If you're having trouble getting your initiatives greenlit, you could have a boss who doesn't like employees taking their spotlight. In this situation, you should take a page out of the advertising agency book.</p> <p>Ad agencies often deal with clients who balk at original and bold ideas, so they plant seeds in meetings called &quot;tissue sessions.&quot; Here, the agency works side-by-side with the client to produce an idea, steering the client all the way. The client believes they have helped to birth this idea, and it is blessed with little or no changes. Do likewise. Plant seeds. Make the boss think your great idea is something they were planning to do all along. The people that matter will know who is really responsible for it, and you'll get to do what you want.</p> <h2>Make them look good</h2> <p>At the end of the day, most bosses just want to be successful. They rarely care how that happens, and if you can help in that quest, you'll come out smelling of roses. Ask them how you can help them in their day-to-day duties. Do they have something big in the works that you can assist with? Are they having problems with certain employees, and if so, what can you do to help them smooth things over?</p> <p>Become their most trusted and effective member of staff; the indispensable &quot;right hand man.&quot; They'll start to rely on you more, and you may even help them get promoted. When that happens, you'll be next in line. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-suck-up-at-work-that-wont-make-you-feel-slimy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Suck Up at Work That Won't Make You Feel Slimy</a>)</p> <h2>Learn their triggers</h2> <p>Every boss is different, and as such, your approach to every boss needs to adapt. Some bosses like to be challenged; others will find it offensive and believe it is insubordinate. Some bosses love employees to take the initiative; others will insist on having everything passed by them first. So, learn these triggers, and find ways to work around them. The less you hit their pain points, the better life will be for you. If nothing else changes, the fact that you are no longer ticking them off will make a huge difference in your daily work life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Signs You're Working for an Impossible Boss</a>)</p> <h2>Have a genuine heart-to-heart</h2> <p>Sometimes, a lousy boss has absolutely no idea they're causing you grief. They really do believe they're doing a great job, and everyone loves them (think Michael Scott from &quot;The Office&quot;).</p> <p>In this instance, you can make life a whole lot easier by clearing the air, and talking about the issues you're having. Now, no one likes to be told they're not performing well, so phrase things delicately. Have solutions at hand for problems you are about to explain. Let them know what their strengths are before pointing out areas of concern. A boss is still a person, and if you charge into their office with your rage level at 11, you'll put them on the defensive.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-succeed-at-work-despite-your-lousy-boss">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-types-of-bad-bosses-and-how-to-survive-them">The 8 Types of Bad Bosses — And How to Survive Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-public-speaking-less-terrifying">How to Make Public Speaking Less Terrifying</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what">They Offered You a Promotion and No Pay Raise. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income advice bad bosses employment managers strategies stressful jobs success work Mon, 10 Apr 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 1921764 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Types of Bad Bosses — And How to Survive Them http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-types-of-bad-bosses-and-how-to-survive-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-types-of-bad-bosses-and-how-to-survive-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-507516322.jpg" alt="Man learning how to survive bad bosses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us have a boss (unless you work for yourself!). For the majority of us, the boss is just someone we deal with as part of the daily grind. However, some bosses stand out for all the wrong reasons. Here are the eight worst offenders; which one do you have?</p> <h2>1. The Comedian</h2> <p>If you have ever seen an episode of either the UK or U.S. version of &quot;The Office,&quot; you know this kind of boss all too well. This kind of boss has one driving priority &mdash; to be popular. He or she will be cracking jokes at every meeting, and will have an office filled with &quot;wacky&quot; gadgets and posters that put a dorm room to shame.</p> <p>However, they are so focused on getting people to like them that they refuse to make tough decisions. They won't reprimand anyone for fear of losing a friendship. And they certainly won't make changes that are necessary, but unpopular. This kind of boss will lead to the downfall of his or her department.</p> <h3>Game plan</h3> <p>You know what motivates this boss, so use it to your advantage. Suggest that making certain decisions may not appear popular in the short term, but will make the boss a hero in the long term. At the very least, laugh at his or her jokes, and stay popular long enough to get a few raises and promotions before moving on to a different department, or company, that is not destined for a nose-dive.</p> <h2>2. The Seagull</h2> <p>The seagull boss flies into the department (often from another location or division), makes a lot of noise, and will &quot;take a dump&quot; on everything from a great height before quickly flying away. They don't know the real problems and strengths associated with the daily routine, and they really don't care. All they want to do is look good by making everyone else look bad. Nothing you do will ever be good enough, and even if you implement their ideas, you will be blamed when they don't work. This kind of boss reduces morale quicker than a pay cut and a canceled holiday party.</p> <h3>Game plan</h3> <p>First, don't react &mdash; at least, not negatively, and not to his or her face. They have power that you don't, and they are happy to use it against you. Let the seagull boss do what they have come to do, but take it all with a huge grain of salt. Then, when they leave, figure out as a team what you need to do to make the suggestions work, or improve the department to the standards that have been set, without annoying the boss or tanking morale even further.</p> <h2>3. The Ladder Climber</h2> <p>This boss has enough ambition for the whole department, but lacks the moral fiber of conscience to care how the promotions happen. Stepping on good employees to climb just one rung is seen as &quot;all part of the job.&quot; They'll smile to your face and bad-mouth you behind your back. They will take credit for your work, and put their mistakes firmly on your shoulders. They want just two things &mdash; promotions and raises. And if you get in the way, you're history.</p> <h3>Game plan</h3> <p>Don't do anything to impede their success. They're the boss, so they have the upper hand. Instead, be civil, and even ask how to help them achieve their goals. Your aim is to get them promoted into a position that no longer impacts your daily life. Hopefully, they'll take a job somewhere else for more pay and a better title. If you happen to send them these opportunities, saying they are meant for greatness, even better.</p> <h2>4. The Insufferable Martyr</h2> <p>Whatever this boss is doing, they're doing it for you. And, they work harder than anyone in the office. You think you had it rough last week? Well, just listen to their sob stories and be put in your place. 100-hour weeks. Being berated by clients and management. Rewriting proposals during their daughter's sixth birthday party. Building a time machine just to go back a week and stop a disaster from happening. OK, so maybe not that bad, but it does get ridiculous. Everyone rolls their eyes but stays quiet as this boss recounts the worst week of their life, which happens every single week.</p> <h3>Game plan</h3> <p>You really only have one way to deal with this one; go along with it. If you challenge them that they don't have it as rough as they say they do, they'll consider you to be unempathetic and against them. However, you really don't want to enable this behavior &mdash; it makes things worse. Just nod, agree that life is tough, and move on.</p> <h2>5. The Faker</h2> <p>There's an old saying; &quot;Fake it till you make it.&quot; Sometimes, people in business fake it really well, and sadly, they're still faking it by the time they become your boss. You won't learn anything from this type of manager, other than how to bite your lip when they say something that's clearly wrong. However, they got this far, and the chances are they'll continue to do well by employing the same charm and guesswork that got them here in the first place.</p> <p>If they have friends in high places, they'll take full advantage of that favoritism. If you're good at your job, they'll use you to make themselves look good. They may even ask you to do their job for them, in a roundabout kind of way. And as you wonder how they ever got this far, they'll get yet another raise and promotion. It really is infuriating.</p> <h3>Game plan</h3> <p>It's tempting to set a trap for &quot;the faker&quot; to show how little knowledge they actually have. But, a word of warning: Setting them up, perhaps in a meeting, will only put you on their bad side. They have spent years, or even decades, avoiding detection by those in power. They have more excuses than you'll ever be able to combat, and they have a long memory. You do not want to get on their bad side, especially with this kind of move. At some point, they'll either move on, or make a mistake they cannot squirm out of. Keep your cool.</p> <h2>6. The Chicken Little</h2> <p>The sky is always falling for this boss. Corporate is constantly down on his or her department, and the pink slip is coming any day now. Jobs are going to be severed. Wages cut. Bonuses slashed. Everything is horrible, the department is doomed, and you should start looking for new work because it's all going wrong.</p> <p>The problem with this kind of boss, other than the constant stress he or she exerts on employees, is that it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Time spent stressing and running around looking for answers becomes more important than the actual job. It gets noticed, and they eventually seal their own fate; perhaps yours as well.</p> <h3>Game plan</h3> <p>Be careful what you believe, and what you toss aside as speculation and worrying. There are always problems in every company, and news can be taken one way or another. In all likelihood, there could be some truth to the doomsday predictions, but more than likely, it's a storm in a teacup. Do your own research, and make your own conclusions.</p> <h2>7. The Sleazebag</h2> <p>This usually applies to male bosses, but that does not mean women are excluded from exhibiting this kind of behavior. This boss is all hands and roaming eyes. They notice every time you wear something that reveals a little skin. They make suggestions that would not even belong in a locker room. And, they make your skin crawl the second they walk into the room.</p> <p>You feel uncomfortable in their presence, and sometimes, you even feel afraid. This kind of boss will use his or her power to take advantage of every situation, and will often try to blackmail you into giving in to their horrid advances.</p> <h3>Game plan</h3> <p>Nip this one in the bud, and fast. Keep meticulous records of every interaction, every email, every voicemail, and anything that will support your genuine claim of harassment. Then, take it to HR. If you don't have an HR department, take it to the most senior person on the executive staff. And if that happens to be your boss &hellip; you need to leave.</p> <h2>8. The Mosquito</h2> <p>They are the back seat driver of the office. They come up behind you when you're working, and you hear them breathing in your ear. They look over your shoulder, they bug you 15&ndash;20 times a day, and they never seem to take a hint that you do not appreciate their constant irritation.</p> <p>This boss is something of a micromanager, but also seems to be at a loose end for the entire working week. Why don't they have something better to do? Why are they looking at every line you write, or every job you start? Why don't they just leave you alone!?</p> <h3>Game plan</h3> <p>First, prove to them that you know what you're doing. If they're bugging you because they don't trust you, it's time to gain that trust. If they are just the kind of person who likes to hover, have a genuine heart-to-heart. Tell them you appreciate the checking in, but you get more work done when you're left to do it yourself. But when you need their excellent advice, you will definitely ask for it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-types-of-bad-bosses-and-how-to-survive-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-succeed-at-work-despite-your-lousy-boss">How to Succeed at Work Despite Your Lousy Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what">They Offered You a Promotion and No Pay Raise. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-passion-into-a-living">Turn Your Passion Into A Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unprofessional-habits-that-could-kill-your-career">10 Unprofessional Habits That Could Kill Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income bad bosses employment managers morale strategies work Fri, 07 Apr 2017 09:00:13 +0000 Paul Michael 1922960 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Deal When You Hate Your New Job http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-when-you-hate-your-new-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-deal-when-you-hate-your-new-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-529254969.jpg" alt="Man learning how to deal when he hates his new job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 1994, I started a new job in an entirely new field. The gig seemed perfect: It was a step up financially, it was ripe with opportunity &hellip; and it was a complete disaster.</p> <p>Within days, I had a sinking feeling that my new dream job was actually a nightmare. But I was stuck. Without a clear plan, I stayed in that job for two years and hated nearly every minute of it. If your new job feels like a bad dream, here are seven things you can do.</p> <h2>1. Determine if it's the job or the transition</h2> <p>Starting a new job is a huge change, and one that can be very stressful. It's easy for that stress to be misinterpreted and misplaced. Ask yourself, &quot;Is it the job I hate, or is it the transition?&quot; Many times, once we settle into a new job, get acquainted with co-workers, and begin to understand the expectations, that &quot;nightmare job&quot; becomes just a job.</p> <h2>2. Focus on the good</h2> <p>OK, so you've determined that it's the job &mdash; not the transition itself &mdash; that's the nightmare. Now what? At the risk of sounding like a blind optimist, focus on the good. It can help you tolerate a job when there are no other options immediately available. What duties do you enjoy? Are there co-workers that make the day-to-day grind easier to manage? Is there a nearby coffee shop or park where you can unwind for a few minutes every afternoon? All of those things, even though small, are positives you can look forward to.</p> <h2>3. Retreat</h2> <p>Sometimes the smartest strategy is a hasty retreat. Contact the supervisor of your previous job and explain the circumstances &mdash; you made a career misstep and would like the opportunity to return to your old job. If you left on good terms, if the position is still open, and if you're willing to eat a little crow, this tactic just might work.</p> <h2>4. Set a deadline</h2> <p>Toiling away at a job you hate year after year can sap your motivation and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-that-job-you-hate-keeps-you-poor?ref=internal" target="_blank">keep you poor</a>. If you have a financial cushion, don't stay in a nightmare job one minute longer than necessary. Set a deadline for your departure and stick to it. In the meantime, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search?ref=internal" target="_blank">polish your resume</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-minutes-to-a-linkedin-profile-that-gets-you-hired?ref=internal" target="_blank">build a better LinkedIn profile</a>, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-come-up-with-1000-in-the-next-30-days?ref=internal" target="_blank">save aggressively</a> so you can weather gaps in employment.</p> <h2>5. Work your network</h2> <p>There's a kernel of truth to the adage, &quot;It's not what you know, it's whom you know.&quot; If you need to find a new job quickly, tap into the power of your professional network. To avoid the deadly &quot;job hopper&quot; wrap, frame your situation carefully but honestly. Be ready to explain to potential employers why your new job is a bad fit, what you learned from the experience, and how you're applying those lessons in your current job search. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-networking-tips-for-people-under-40?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Best Networking Tips for People Under 40</a>)</p> <h2>6. Be willing to take a step backward</h2> <p>Even if going back to your old job is out of the question, be willing to take a temporary step backward. Though it may bruise your ego, a strategic step down the career ladder allows you to regroup, plan your next move, and build additional experience in a more positive environment.</p> <h2>7. Once you're back on track, purge it from your resume</h2> <p>Mistakes happen, but there's no need to document each one permanently on a resume. If your nightmare job was short-lived, don't include it in your work history. Instead, own the mistake on a personal level. Use it to learn more about yourself, improve how you research new career opportunities, and &mdash; perhaps most importantly &mdash; make sure all your future jobs are nightmare-free.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-when-you-hate-your-new-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what">They Offered You a Promotion and No Pay Raise. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-ways-to-leave-your-job">10 Fun Ways to Leave Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-do-before-you-quit-your-job">5 Things You Must Do Before You Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-super-cool-ways-people-have-quit-their-jobs">6 Super-Cool Ways People Have Quit Their Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-search-tips-that-will-get-you-a-job-in-2012">Job Search Tips That Will Get You a Job in 2012</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income bad job employment job offers networking new job quitting resumes Fri, 31 Mar 2017 08:30:31 +0000 Kentin Waits 1915859 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Traps to Avoid With Your 401(k) http://www.wisebread.com/7-traps-to-avoid-with-your-401k <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-traps-to-avoid-with-your-401k" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-163904271.jpg" alt="Finding traps to avoid with your 401(k)" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>More and more Americans are choosing an employer-sponsored 401(k) as their preferred way to build up their nest eggs. As of 2014, an estimated 52 million Americans were participating in a 401(k)-type plan.</p> <p>When used properly, a 401(k) can be a powerful tool to save for your retirement years, but there are a couple of crucial pitfalls that you have to watch out for. From high fees to limited investing choices, here is a list of potential downsides to 401(k) plans &mdash; and how to work around them.</p> <h2>1. Waiting to set up your 401(k)</h2> <p>Depending on the applicable rules from your employer-sponsored 401(k), you may be eligible to enroll in the plan within one to 12 months from your start date. If your eligibility kicks in around December, you may think that it's fine to wait until the next year to set up your retirement account.</p> <p>This is a big mistake for two main reasons.</p> <p>First, contributing to your 401(k) with pretax dollars allows you to effectively reduce your taxable income for the current year. In 2017, you can contribute up to $18,000 ($24,000 if age 50 or over) to your 401(k), so you can considerably reduce your tax liability. For example, if you were to contribute $3,000 between your last two paychecks in December, you would reduce your taxable income by $3,000. Waiting until next year to start your 401(k) contribution would mean missing out on a lower taxable income!</p> <p>Second, your employer can still contribute to your 401(k) next year and make that contribution count for the current year, as long as your plan was set up by December 31 of the current year. Your employer contributions have to be in before Tax Day or the date that you file your federal taxes, whichever is earlier.</p> <h3>How to work around it</h3> <p>If you meet the requirements to participate in your employer-sponsored 401(k) toward the end of the year, make sure to set up your account by December 31st. That way, you'll be ready to reduce your taxable income for the current year through your own contributions and those from your employer before their applicable deadline (December 31 and Tax Day or date of tax filing (whichever is earlier), respectively).</p> <h2>2. Forgetting to update contributions</h2> <p>When you set up your 401(k), you have to choose a percentage that will be deducted from every paycheck and put into your plan. It's not uncommon that plan holders set that contribution percentage and forget it. As your life situation changes, such as when you get a major salary boost, marry, or have your first child, you'll find that your contributions may be too big or too small. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-its-okay-to-delay-retirement-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times It's Okay to Delay Retirement Savings</a>)</p> <h3>How to work around it</h3> <p>To keep a contribution level that is appropriate to your unique financial situation, revisit your percentage contribution every year and whenever you have a major life change. Don't forget to also check whether or not you elected an annual increase option &mdash; a percentage by which your contribution is increased automatically each year &mdash; and adjust it as necessary.</p> <h2>3. Missing out on maximum employer match</h2> <p>Talking about contributions, don't forget that your employer may contribute to your plan as well. In a survey of 360 employers, <a href="https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/bigger-401k-matches.aspx" target="_blank">42 percent of respondents</a> matched employee contributions dollar-for-dollar, and 56 percent of them only required employees to contribute at least 6 percent from paychecks to receive a maximum employer match.</p> <h3>How to work around it</h3> <p>Employers require you to work a minimum period of time before starting to match your contribution. Once you're eligible, meet the necessary contribution to maximize your employer match. One estimate puts the average missed employer contribution at $1,336 per year. This is free money that you can use to make up for lower contribution levels from previous months or years.</p> <h2>4. Sticking only with actively managed funds</h2> <p>When choosing from available funds in their 401(k) plan, account holders tend to focus on returns. There was a time in which actively managed funds were able to deliver on their promise of beating the market and delivering higher-than-average returns. That's why 401(k) savers often choose them.</p> <p>However, passively managed index funds &mdash; funds tracing an investment index, such as the S&amp;P 500 or the Russell 2000 &mdash; have consistently proven that they can beat actively managed funds. Over the five past years, only 39 percent of active fund managers were able to beat their benchmarks, which is often an index. That's why over the same period, investors have taken $5.6 billion out of active funds and dumped $1.7 trillion into passive funds.</p> <h3>How to work around it</h3> <p>Find out whether or not your 401(k) offers you access to index funds. Over a long investment period, empirical evidence has shown that index funds outperform actively managed funds. Review available index funds and choose the ones that meet your retirement strategy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Steps to Getting Started in the Stock Market With Index Funds</a>)</p> <h2>5. Chasing high returns instead of lower costs</h2> <p>When reading the prospectus of any fund, you'll always find a disclaimer warning you that past returns aren't a guarantee of future returns. So, why are you holding onto those numbers so dearly? As early as 2010, investment think tank Morningstar concluded that a fund's annual expense ratio is the only reliable indicator of future investment performance, even better than the research firm's well-known star rating.</p> <p>And guess what kind of funds have the lowest annual expense ratios? Index funds! For example, the Vanguard 500 Index Investor Shares fund [Nasdaq: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/VFINX?p=VFINX" target="_blank">VFINX</a>] has an annual expense ratio of 0.16 percent, <a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0040&amp;FundIntExt=INT" target="_blank">which is 84 percent lower</a> than the average expense ratio of funds with similar holdings. If your 401(k) gives you access to lowest cost <a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundIntExt=INT&amp;FundId=0540" target="_blank">Vanguard Admiral shares</a>, you would shed down that annual expense ratio even further to 0.05 percent.</p> <h3>How to work around It</h3> <p>When evaluating a fund in your 401(k), look for comparable alternatives, including index funds. To maximize the growth of your nest egg, chase funds with lower annual expense ratios and investment fees. Regardless of their performance (which tends to be better anyway!), you'll minimize your investment cost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-5-sneaky-401k-fees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Watch Out for These 5 Sneaky 401(k) Fees</a>)</p> <h2>6. Not periodically rebalancing your portfolio</h2> <p>Even when choosing index funds, you still need to periodically adjust your portfolio. Let's assume that you follow this investment recommendation from Warren Buffett for your 401(k): <a href="http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2013ltr.pdf" target="_blank">90 percent in a low-cost index fund</a>, and 10 percent in government bonds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Warren Buffett</a>)</p> <p>Depending on the market, your portfolio allocation may be way off as early as one quarter. If the S&amp;P 500 were to have a huge rally, you may now be holding 95 percent of your 401(k) in the index fund. That would be much more risk that you may be comfortable with, so you would need to take that 5 percent and put it back into government bonds. On the other hand, holding 85 percent in government bonds would make you miss your target return for that year. Forgetting to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-important-thing-youre-probably-not-doing-with-your-portfolio?ref=internal" target="_blank">rebalance your portfolio</a> once a year when necessary is one easy way to derail your saving strategy.</p> <h3>How to work around it</h3> <p>Many 401(k) plans offer an automatic annual rebalancing feature. Review the fine print of this feature with your plan and decide whether or not it's suitable for you. If your plan doesn't offer an automatic rebalancing feature, choose a date that makes the most sense to you and set it as your day to rebalance your portfolio every year.</p> <h2>7. Taking out 401(k) loans</h2> <p>Treating your 401(k) as a credit card is a bad idea for several reasons. Doing this:</p> <ul> <li>Creates additional costs, such as origination and maintenance fees;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Becomes due in full within 60 days of separating from your employer;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Turns into taxable income when not paid back, triggering potential penalties from the IRS and state and local governments; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>May quickly turn into a bad habit: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/17/your-money/one-dip-into-401-k-savings-often-leads-to-another.html" target="_blank">25 percent of 401(k) borrowers</a> go back for a third or fourth loan, and 20 percent of them take out at least five loans.</li> </ul> <h3>How to work around it</h3> <p>Treat your 401(k) as a last-resort source of financing. There are very few instances when you should <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-when-you-should-borrow-from-your-retirement-account?ref=internal" target="_blank">borrow from your retirement account</a>. Make sure that you go through all of your credit options and include the opportunity cost of foregoing retirement savings, including potential taxes and penalties, when comparing a 401(k) loan against another type of loan.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-traps-to-avoid-with-your-401k">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-face-4-ugly-truths-about-retirement-planning">How to Face 4 Ugly Truths About Retirement Planning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-warren-buffett-says-you-should-invest-in-index-funds">Why Warren Buffett Says You Should Invest in Index Funds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-inventor-of-the-401k-has-second-thoughts-about-your-retirement-plan-now-what">The Inventor of the 401K Has Second Thoughts About Your Retirement Plan — Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-retirement-is-on-track">8 Signs Your Retirement Is on Track</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-retirement-terms-every-new-investor-needs-to-know">15 Retirement Terms Every New Investor Needs to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) actively managed funds contributions employer match employment fees index funds loans rebalancing Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:00:15 +0000 Damian Davila 1909973 at http://www.wisebread.com They Offered You a Promotion and No Pay Raise. Now What? http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525955132.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are usually two ways to get a pay bump in your career; either you move to a new job that offers more money and a better title, or you get promoted at your current company with a raise. These days though, a promotion is not always accompanied by a bigger paycheck. When this happens, you may be wondering: Is it worth it?</p> <p>Let's look at the arguments for, and against, this new trend.</p> <h2>Yes! Take the Promotion Even Without a Raise</h2> <p>If there's a title change on the table, but no extra money to accompany it, there are still plenty of positives to consider.</p> <h3>1. You Will Gain More Experience</h3> <p>Hands down, one of the best reasons to take a promotion without a raise is to take advantage of the experience you'll get. Moving into a bigger role means more responsibility, more work, and more to learn. While it would be ideal to be compensated for this, remember that experience in and of itself is a kind of compensation. Think about it: Everyone who is paying many thousands of dollars to get an education, or learn a new skill, is paying for experience. You're getting this additional experience at no cost to you, and it can only help you grow and become a better employee.</p> <h3>2. It Looks Great on Your Resume</h3> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search?ref=internal" target="_blank">flat resume</a> is like a flat landscape; it's not very inviting. If you're looking to move jobs, you want to show your prospective employer that you have achieved things. You made waves, you made a difference, and you climbed the ladder. Promotions without pay raises do that just as effectively as those that come with extra cash. After all, how often do you put a specific salary next to each job or position you ever held? So, if you get promoted from Account Manager to Account Director, but there's no raise in pay, don't worry too much. It may not pay off now, but when you do move to a different job, you can jump right in at the higher level.</p> <h3>3. You May Get Additional Benefits Aside From the Pay</h3> <p>So you're not getting any extra money. But, what else does the promotion give you? Ask, and you may be surprised at the additional benefits that could come with the job. In some companies, that promotion can mean extra vacation days and personal days. In others, it may mean that you can work at home occasionally, or travel more. Some companies will give you extra discounts on products and services, or freebies. You may be able to get the cost of your cellphone bill reimbursed, or get a free company phone, which eliminates the need to pay for your own. Is there a company car? All these benefits, and more, add up to either saving money, or you not having to spend it, and that's a kind of pay raise.</p> <h3>4. With a Better Title Comes a Bigger Role in the Company</h3> <p>Even without the extra money, a promotion can be an excellent way to get more gravitas at work. Now, you have the title to push through ideas that might not have gone very far before. You may also have people reporting to you, which means you can delegate some of the less interesting work to them. It is rare &mdash; very rare &mdash; for a promotion to give you nothing more than a title change. Take the chance to grab those advantages. Or even better, suggest some. If the new title doesn't come with more money, can it come with something else? Get creative.</p> <h3>5. Turning a Promotion Down Can Look Bad</h3> <p>Finally in the &quot;for&quot; camp, it's the one point you cannot ignore. How is this going to look? It may be that the company is in financially unstable times, and cannot afford to give you more money right now. But, they really want you to take a bigger role, and more responsibility. They may well be counting on you. Saying &quot;Not without a raise&quot; can make you look mercenary, and while it is your right to do so, it could have implications further down the road. So, think hard before saying no. You may be saying no to a bigger promotion and actual raise down the road.</p> <h2>No! Don't Take That Promotion Without a Raise</h2> <p>More problems and no more money? Here's why you should consider declining the offer.</p> <h3>1. It's More Responsibility for the Same Money</h3> <p>Or, to put it another way, it's a pay cut. Look closely at the new title, and look at how the new job differs from your current role. Do you have to come in earlier and leave later? Are you on the road more? Are you now handling a much bigger workload, more stress, and the working lives of a lot of new people now reporting to you? Will this mean less time with your family or other relationships? Will you have to sacrifice hobbies and other personal interests? You may even have to relocate, and without more money, that could be impossible. Weigh up all these options carefully.</p> <h3>2. You Don't Want to Be a Pushover<strong> </strong></h3> <p>As an employee, you want to be respected. You do what you are required to do, and you do it well. But, you do not want to be a pushover, either. Taking a promotion without a pay raise might leave you feeling taken advantage of. Explore the reasons why this promotion comes without money. Does the company have a good excuse? It's certainly not the norm to get a promotion without extra pay, so what's the party line from HR?</p> <h3>3. Your Company May Be Hiding Something<strong> </strong></h3> <p>There's a scene in the movie <em>Fun With Dick and Jane</em> where Jim Carrey's character, who works for an Enron-like company, gets a big promotion only to find out he's the fall guy for his company's fall into the toilet. Sadly, this is not just something that happens in the movies. People sometimes get promoted into jobs that are dead ends, or into positions that make them immediately liable for something bad happening. You really need to do the research here. What exactly does this promotion entail? What is the state of the department? Talk to people who had that position before you. Get the scoop before you even consider saying yes, or no.</p> <h3>4. The Position May Require You to Actually Spend More Money</h3> <p>Not only will you be doing more work for the same money, but it's possible you'll have to dip into your pocket more as well. The promotion may require you to buy clothing and equipment that won't be reimbursed by the company. You may have to do a lot more driving, which means more gas and more wear and tear. You may have to organize and attend lunch meetings, which are once again not reimbursed. Ask what is required of you in the new role, and do the math.</p> <h2>What to Do?</h2> <p>As you can see, there are more reasons &quot;for&quot; taking this promotion than &quot;against&quot; it. But, that doesn't mean you should blindly take any promotion that comes without a raise. Take each situation on a case-by-case basis. Really look into it. Chances are, it's a good career move, even if it doesn't do anything for your bank account. But, there are risks, and they can be big ones. Good luck.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-types-of-bad-bosses-and-how-to-survive-them">The 8 Types of Bad Bosses — And How to Survive Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-succeed-at-work-despite-your-lousy-boss">How to Succeed at Work Despite Your Lousy Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-when-you-hate-your-new-job">How to Deal When You Hate Your New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-got-a-raise-now-what">You Got a Raise! Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income employment job titles promotions pros and cons raises resumes work Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:00:20 +0000 Paul Michael 1896816 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Forget About These 7 Job Hunting Expenses http://www.wisebread.com/dont-forget-about-these-7-job-hunting-expenses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-forget-about-these-7-job-hunting-expenses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_shaking_hands_492496092.jpg" alt="Man forgetting about job hunting expenses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thinking about changing careers this year? There's a lot that goes into the search, like sending out applications and brushing up on your interview skills. But you might not consider how much it'll cost you.</p> <p>From hiring a professional resume writer to bulking up your work wardrobe and factoring in transportation costs, let's review these tips on how to prepare your money for a job hunt.</p> <h2>1. Hire a Pro to Polish Your Resume</h2> <p>Plenty of HR directors will tell you that if your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search?ref=internal" target="_blank">resume contains errors</a>, if it's lackluster, or if it's just plain boring, it's likely to end up in the circular file. That's a trash can, for the uninitiated. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-resume-rules-you-should-be-breaking?ref=seealso">4 Resume Rules You Should Be Breaking</a>)</p> <p>To give yourself a fighting chance against all the other qualified candidates, you have to stand out. You can beef up your resume on your own if you know what you're doing (and there are plenty of resources online to help you), but you also may want to consider hiring a professional resume writer whose job it is to keep up on resume trends and provide you with the most up-to-date vitae.</p> <p>A good writer charges anywhere from $150 and up for a revamp of your resume, though I probably wouldn't pay more than $300. Before you begin, however, ask for samples and references. Anybody can put a resume together &mdash; we've all done it for ourselves &mdash; but does the person you're paying get results? Research a solid writer so you don't waste your money. Some other resume-related expenses for which to plan include resume paper and printer ink.</p> <h2>2. Invest in Professional Headshots</h2> <p>Social media has been a bane for job seekers since it took off 10 years ago, and I can almost guarantee that your future employer will look you up on Google and investigate your social media profiles to get a better idea of who you are outside of the interview. As such, don't shoot yourself in the foot before you get in the door by leaving up posts and photos that don't portray you as a reliable person who's looking to advance their career.</p> <p>First, scrub your profiles of any offensive material. You don't have to go through all your photos and delete every picture of you with a drink in it, but, you know, use common sense when deciding whether or not the photo of you hanging halfway out of a taxi window at 2 a.m. is the best representation of you. Second, if there are no photos of you looking professional, get some &mdash; stat!</p> <p>Career coach Devay Campbell recommends investing in a professional headshot for your LinkedIn Profile &mdash; at the very least &mdash; which may have residual effects.</p> <p>&quot;Your future employer will look you up and if your profile is optimized correctly, you may even have profile views from recruiters in organizations that you have not applied to,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>3. Save Up Enough to Cover the Transition Period</h2> <p>Not every job change has you leaving your old workplace on a Friday afternoon and showing up at your new place of employment early Monday morning. There may be a transition period &mdash; especially if you left the old job before you landed a new gig &mdash; and you should prepare for that financially. Give yourself at least a three- to four-week window of savings that you can rely on, Campbell says, so you're not struggling or teetering on the verge of debt.</p> <h2>4. Enhance Your Wardrobe to Show You Mean Business</h2> <p>They say you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have. And that makes perfect sense when you're interviewing for a new position &mdash; because you want that job. Thus, take your frumpy butt over to your favorite store that sells business attire and pick up a few new items. This will likely set you back a few hundred dollars. But it's well worth it to show your future employer that you know what's up as soon as you walk through that door. Looking fresh also will give you more confidence, and that'll show.</p> <h2>5. Factor in Transportation Costs</h2> <p>You'll need to get to your interviews somehow, and that'll raise your fuel bill if you're driving. But depending on where you're applying for new positions, you may have to get there via other methods, like train or plane.</p> <p>When I was looking for jobs in Manhattan a decade ago, I had to foot the bill myself, generally opting to take a bus or train from Baltimore to New York City. If you're being considered for a high-level position, you may get special treatment wherein the potential employer will fly you out, but otherwise you shouldn't count on anybody subsidizing the cost of getting you to that interview.</p> <p>If you are traveling a distance, remember to factor in arrival and departure times. Don't book a ticket in the morning for an afternoon interview. Give yourself more time to get there and relax. Besides, you don't know what could happen along the way in terms of delays, and you'll be disappointed in yourself when you're passed over because you couldn't show up at your scheduled interview time.</p> <h2>6. Will You Need Domestic Help?</h2> <p>Conducting a job search is time-consuming and other parts of your life could suffer if you're not careful. If you have children, you may need to hire a baby sitter or someone to help around the house if you're otherwise occupied. If you're a pet owner, you might need to spring for day care or sitting so your furbaby is well taken care of while you're out doing your thing. Think about the impact your search will have on the other parts of your life and plan accordingly.</p> <h2>7. Do the Math Before Accepting a New Position</h2> <p>For most of us, the goal of changing careers is to be happier at what we do with a higher salary. Hey &mdash; that's America.</p> <p>But before you accept that initial offer &mdash; which you should never do immediately as a general rule; take a day to think about it &mdash; look into what you're losing or gaining by switching things up. Your new employer may have higher-cost health insurance, and it may not provide matching funds to your 401K. If this is the case, you may not be winning financially in the long run, and you'll kick yourself for it eventually. Do your homework and crunch the numbers to ensure that all your needs are met before committing to the change.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-forget-about-these-7-job-hunting-expenses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-questions-you-should-always-ask-at-the-end-of-a-job-interview">15 Questions You Should Always Ask at the End of a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-warning-signs-youre-going-to-bomb-your-job-interview">8 Warning Signs You&#039;re Going to Bomb Your Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-keep-your-new-job-hunt-secret">6 Ways to Keep Your New Job Hunt Secret</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting employment expenses headshots job interviews professional resume transportation unemployment wardrobe Wed, 11 Jan 2017 10:00:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1864687 at http://www.wisebread.com My 2016 Budget Challenge: Reduce Debt or Save for an Emergency? http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-reduce-debt-or-save-for-an-emergency <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-2016-budget-challenge-reduce-debt-or-save-for-an-emergency" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-491311400.jpg" alt="should max reduce her debt or build an emergency fund?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's Note: This is another episode in Max Wong's journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/max-wongs-budget-0" target="_blank"><em>here</em></a><em>.]</em></p> <p>Uh oh. Mr. Spendypants' contract is up. We anticipated that he might be out of work in mid-October and have been putting money into an emergency fund all year long for just this occurrence. The situation is not completely dire, as his company has paying work until March 2017. We have a very minor reprieve.</p> <p><em>Very</em> minor.</p> <p>As luck would have it I am also under-employed. I got furloughed this week by not one, but two jobs until a date that has yet to be named in 2017. Ugh. Really? I guess it's not just me who is strapped for cash at the end of the year.</p> <p>The big conversation Mr. Spendypants and I have been having all week is this: Should we continue to put money toward the $31,000 Budget Challenge, or should we put that extra money into our emergency fund in the event that Mr. Spendypants is unemployed come March and I am still under-employed?</p> <h2>The Argument Against Staying the Course</h2> <p>Who knows what impact the new administration will have on the economy? We currently have slightly over $13,000 in our emergency fund, enough to live off of for four months. But what if the job market tanks and we can't find jobs for six months or a year? Putting all our money into the emergency fund is obviously the less risky move.</p> <h2>The Argument for Staying the Course</h2> <p>Mr. Spendypants is really good at his job in video games. He's had his choice of companies to work for in the past. Also, the video game industry is fairly recession-proof because games provide cheap entertainment for the out-of-work masses. We do trust that with his talent and his 20 years of connections in the industry that he has a 90% chance of quickly finding another paying job, perhaps even before his current job ends in March.</p> <p>Naturally, the real financial wildcard in this situation is me, Mr. Spendypants' deadbeat wife. If Mr. Spendypants can't find full-time work quickly, will I be able to get a job that pays me enough to cover 100% of our bills? Probably not.</p> <p>That said, if push came to shove, we could definitely cover the mortgage with my current collection of little jobs. I will just have to freelance that much harder, with no weekends or evenings off. And, even if Mr. Spendypants couldn't find a full-time gig, he could also rustle up some part-time freelance work to cover the rest. The worst case scenario: He goes on unemployment and we have to stop putting money in our retirement fund every month.</p> <p>Also, if we continue to aggressively attack our $31,000 debt instead of putting all the extra money into the emergency fund for the next two months, we're potentially saving money in the long run on interest. Our debt load won't be so bad if we find ourselves in a financial pinch four months from now. It's much easier to weather a financial downturn, be it personal or global, if you have a small nut to cover.</p> <h2>How to Hedge Our Bet</h2> <p>After a lot of discussion and number crunching, we have decided to stay the course and continue to put money toward both the emergency fund and the $31,000 budget challenge.</p> <p>This is the riskier choice. To hedge our bet, we've decided to sell off anything in the house we don't totally love to make some extra money. This is a win-win situation for both of us. I get the hated clutter out of my house, and Mr. Spendypants gets more peace of mind.</p> <p>Initially, Mr. Spendypants wasn't sure that we could make enough money selling used housewares to keep us afloat. Unlike me, he hasn't sold a lot of stuff online. When a copy of Kuon, an old video game that I had listed on eBay for $199, was snapped up in under an hour, he was convinced.</p> <p>Although I would love to systematically go through our house Mari Kondo-style, Mr. Spendypants doesn't want to have to look at a giant stack of merchandise in the middle of the living room. As a compromise, we're going to do a series of mini-purges where we only pull the things that we can sell that week into a common area for sorting and packing. Since I will be the one managing our online inventory and sales, this means a lot more hunting and packing for me, but I'm not going to argue about it. I have been trying to get Mr. Spendypants to downsize since we moved into Dinky Manor eight years ago. If a little financial panic is what it takes for him to get rid of belongings that have gone unused for years, I'll take it.</p> <h2>Progress So Far</h2> <p>I had the death flu for most of October. One of the suckiest things about the gig economy is that there are no sick days for people who work from home. If I don't do work, I don't make any money. Because I was sick in bed through the middle of the month, I only made $324 creating a database for my real estate agent and $199 selling Kuon on eBay. I am now, also, two weeks behind on all my work, which is kind of a nightmare. The only positive thing about getting the flu is that I was too sick to go shopping for anything, even food, so we didn't actually spend any money.</p> <p>While I was suffering at home, Mr. Spendypants was suffering at work. His schedule was so crazy, that his bosses ordered dinners in to incentivize him to work late. Between the long hours and the catered meals, he was too busy to go shopping for anything, even food, so he managed to sock away $1,101 from his paycheck.</p> <p><strong>Goal:</strong> $31,000</p> <p><strong>Amount Raised:</strong> $25,219.17</p> <p><strong>Amount Spent:</strong> $12,853.66</p> <p><strong>Amount Left to Go:</strong> $18,634.49</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-reduce-debt-or-save-for-an-emergency">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-three-lessons-about-saving-one-husband-learned-in-a-year">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Three Lessons About Saving One Husband Learned in a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Does Taking a Regular Day Job Mean Giving Up?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-what-to-do-with-a-totaled-car">My 2016 Budget Challenge: What to Do With a Totaled Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-job-creation">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Job Creation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Everything Breaks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting budget challenge clutter emergency funds employment freelancing max wongs budget saving money selling online Fri, 23 Dec 2016 10:30:31 +0000 Max Wong 1860472 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money-Smart Things I Wish I'd Asked Santa For http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-smart-things-i-wish-id-asked-santa-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-smart-things-i-wish-id-asked-santa-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/santa_good_list_-499122032.jpg" alt="Asking Santa for items on Christmas list" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I spent a couple of decades asking Santa Claus for toys, clothes, and gadgets galore, but I don't have a single thing to show for it &mdash; I mean, besides a basement full of outdated stuff. Instead, I should've begged Ol' Saint Nick for these eight things that would have paid for themselves over and over again &mdash; so I could afford an even bigger basement full of outdated stuff. Take a look:</p> <h2>1. An Impenetrable Credit Score</h2> <p>When I turned 18 and the friendly lady at Discover Card called to ask if I'd like my very own credit card, I enthusiastically said yes. I generally consider that my very first adult mistake. Not that credit cards are bad, but they're the devil in the hands of a financially irresponsible college freshman. Because not only did I max the card out in less than six months, I was unaware that not paying the bill for five years thereafter would result in a disaster of a credit score when I entered the &quot;real world.&quot; If only Santa could have done me a solid by fortifying my credit score &mdash; against myself.</p> <h2>2. Everything Gold</h2> <p>In 2006, I asked Santa Claus for things like seat covers for my vehicle and a new digital camera because that's what materialistic 25-year-olds in major credit card debt ask for. Instead, I should've asked for straight-up gold bars. Heck, I would've been happy with a few flakes &mdash; like this guy who got away with <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/04/nyregion/the-one-that-waddled-away-retracing-a-weighty-gold-theft.html">86 pounds of jeweler's &quot;bench sweeps&quot;</a> worth $1.6 million. Because 10 years ago, on Dec. 11, gold was valued at $625.81 per troy ounce. Flash forward a decade and the price has nearly doubled to between $1,100 and $1,200, depending on the day, and that's really just midrange. On Sept. 12, 2011, gold hit its 10-year high of $1,861.49 per troy ounce, which &mdash; if you were feeling lucky that day &mdash; raked in three times its original amount if you unloaded a few bricks.</p> <h2>3. EE Savings Bonds</h2> <p>Hardly anybody gives savings bonds as gifts anymore (well, except maybe your grandma) because what fun is a certificate that you have to hold on to for, like, ever to reap its benefits? But just because they're not as popular as they once were doesn't mean they're not still valuable &mdash; if you got in on them in the 1980s and '90s, that is. EE bonds issued in the 1980s had rates of return of 6% to 9% a year, compared to today's 0.1% annual fixed rate. Mathematically, if you have a $500 bond from June 1983, for instance, it reached full maturity in June 2013, with a value of $1,014.40. Santa, can you hear me?</p> <h2>4. Real Estate in Depressed Markets</h2> <p>Throughout my years living in major cities like Baltimore and NYC, I've heard legendary tales of beautiful row houses and brownstones in economically and socially depressed areas, like Federal Hill in Baltimore and Harlem in New York City, that sold for crazy-low prices like $1. The $1 price is probably a myth, but dilapidated properties have in fact gone for very affordable prices with agreements that buyers reside in their neighborhoods for a specified period of time. I personally know a few people who purchased homes in blighted areas for around $30,000 20 years ago and are now sitting pretty on $2+ million lots.</p> <h2>5. College Tuition</h2> <p>All I needed was a cool $100K, Santa. I would've paid my college tuition and room and board outright so I didn't have to make up for half that amount myself over the next 20 years after graduating. Alas, I'm halfway there, and I've paid two of three notes off, but if you could cut a check for the rest this year, I'd appreciate it.</p> <h2>6. A Trust Fund</h2> <p>My financial woes would be nonexistent if I had asked Santa for a generous trust fund at an early age. Then I'd be just like the rest of my friends who were lucky enough to be related to someone filthy rich &mdash; free of debt with plenty of time to take selfies on a beach and dedicate my life's work to my own liver replacement.</p> <h2>7. Guaranteed Employment</h2> <p>There's nothing more stressful than job hunting, and I'm thankful that I haven't had to do that in a while since I'm self-employed. But self-employment isn't easy, either. I'm responsible for my own income instead of enjoying that twice monthly direct deposit for just showing up at my desk five days a week. Still, even that's on shaky ground if you don't mind your Ps and Qs &mdash; a friend of mine was recently laid off two weeks before Christmas &mdash; so this year I'd like to ask the big guy to make sure everybody can get (or keep) the job they really love for a happy and prosperous 2017.</p> <h2>8. Winning Lottery Numbers</h2> <p>I rarely play the lottery, but I do spend a few bucks when Mega Millions is, like $300 million, because, hey, somebody has to win. If that ever happens, my friends, you'll never hear from me again. Ev-er. Send me those winning numbers, Santa!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-smart-things-i-wish-id-asked-santa-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/renting-is-cheaper">Renting is cheaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account">10 Places to Stash Your Money Besides a Savings Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-the-ebola-outbreak-could-hurt-the-economy-and-your-wallet">5 Ways the Ebola Outbreak Could Hurt the Economy — And Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living credit score employment gold personal finance real estate santa savings bonds trust funds tuition winning the lottery wishlist Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1853793 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Financial Reasons 2016 Needs to Be Over ASAP http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-reasons-2016-needs-to-be-over-asap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-financial-reasons-2016-needs-to-be-over-asap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2016_money_78468345.jpg" alt="Why 2016 needs to be over ASAP" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The year is winding down, and for many of us, it can't end soon enough. From a financial standpoint, 2016 was a mixed bag, at best. Of course, there's no guarantee that next year will be markedly better. But here are a bunch of financial reasons why we're ready to put up a new calendar.</p> <h2>1. Poor Economic Growth</h2> <p>For most of the time after World War II, Americans could count on a growing economy, usually to the tune of at least 3%, and often significantly higher. These days, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States is stuck on a slower growth path. While the economy did have a good third quarter, it's likely that growth for the year will be under 3% because of a dismal first half of the year. It's better than being in a recession, but this slower growth could have big implications on incomes, investment returns, and Americans' overall quality of life over time.</p> <h2>2. Mediocre Investment Returns</h2> <p>So far in 2016, the S&amp;P 500 has increased in value by a little over 7%. That's not bad, but many investors were hoping for a bigger jump after an increase of less than 2% in 2015. In the post World War II period, there have been only about a dozen instances when investment returns didn't average at least 5% annually over a two-year period. This will be the eighth consecutive year of positive market returns, and that's a good thing. But the last couple of years have fallen into the &quot;good, not great&quot; category, and that may force a lot of people to adjust their overall retirement projections downward.</p> <h2>3. Fewer People Working</h2> <p>America's unemployment rate is 4.9%, and that's historically quite low. So good news, right? Well, any excitement over that number is tempered by the fact that overall participation in the labor force is at one of its lowest points in the last 50 years. About 63 million people are considered part of the civilian workforce, but that's down from 67 million 15 years ago. The unemployment rate does not consider people who have voluntarily left the workforce or have been out of work for a very long time.</p> <p>There are a variety of reasons why fewer Americans are working, and not all of them are bad. An aging population means more people are retiring. More people are pursuing advanced education. The Affordable Care Act has made it easier for some people to get health insurance without the need to get it through an employer. People who choose to be out of the workforce for too long may lose skills that will make them more employable later. And a declining workforce also has a negative impact on household incomes, consumer spending, and, ultimately, economic growth.</p> <h2>4. Paltry Interest Returns</h2> <p>We've been in an ultralow interest environment for years now. Many of us have benefitted from the low cost of borrowing, but this also means that our savings accounts aren't generating much return. This is bad for anyone starting out saving and for older retirees who rely on interest income. It's also generally a sign from the Federal Reserve that the economy still needs some propping up. Low interest rates can be helpful to us in some respects, but most economists yearn for a time when rates weren't hovering near zero.</p> <h2>5. Flat Wages</h2> <p>Did you get a raise in 2016? If not, you're probably not alone. Real wage growth has been basically flat for years, and this year has been no exception. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that real average weekly earnings rose just 1% in September compared to the same month a year ago. The average worker earns just 11 cents per hour more than this same time last year, when you factor in inflation. This stubborn wage stagnation has a negative impact on the middle class, especially when you consider things like the rising cost of education. Will 2017 be better?</p> <h2>6. Brexit Reax</h2> <p>The world pretty much freaked out over the summer when people in the United Kingdom voted to have their country leave the European Union. It was a result that many believed could not happen, and sent stock markets around the globe tumbling. The British Pound lost a good chunk of its value, and overall uncertainty of what happens next has led to a drag on the economy and England and Europe as a whole.</p> <h2>7. Fumbling Phone Makers</h2> <p>In recent years, companies that make smartphones and other digital devices have been huge drivers of the stock market and the economy. Apple and Samsung certainly come to mind. But in 2016, it was a lot of bad news and disappointment.</p> <p>Samsung was forced to recall and stop production on its Galaxy Note 7, after reports that the phones were catching fire. This news virtually wiped out all of the company's profits for the third quarter of 2016.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Samsung's top competitor, Apple, hasn't exactly taken advantage. The company sold 45 million of its popular iPhone in the most recent quarter, compared to 48 million in the same period last year. And reviews of the newest iPhone 7 have been tepid. Shares of the company are up about 8% this year, which is solid growth but less than what we've come to expect from the tech behemoth. There is hope for 2017, however, as Apple says it will spend a whopping $16 billion on capital expenditures next year.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-reasons-2016-needs-to-be-over-asap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-the-election-could-impact-your-wallet">Here&#039;s How the Election Could Impact Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-money-goals-you-can-still-reach-by-2017">13 Money Goals You Can Still Reach by 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-get-rid-of-credit-cards-if-stores-give-more-discounts-to-customers-who-pay-cash">Would you get rid of credit cards if stores give more discounts to customers who pay cash ?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/suze-orman-tells-us-to-pay-only-the-minimum-on-credit-cards-wait-what">Suze Orman Tells Us To Pay ONLY The Minimum On Credit Cards. Wait, What?!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-we-really-need-help-in-getting-more-debt">Do we really need help with getting more debt?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 2016 2017 Economy employment finances jobs New Year news stock market wages Tue, 08 Nov 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1828890 at http://www.wisebread.com My 2016 Budget Challenge: Does Taking a Regular Day Job Mean Giving Up? http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_job_search_9131941.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if taking a day job is giving up" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's Note: This is another episode in Max Wong's journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/max-wongs-budget-0" target="_blank"><em>here</em></a><em>.]</em></p> <p>Although most people hate their boring job, there is something to be said for mindless labor &mdash; at the end of the workday, you can leave the job at the office. I am currently looking for a regular, turnkey job, and money is not even the first reason why.</p> <h2>I Am Tired of Thinking</h2> <p>I know. This seems like a stupid thing that only a stupid person would say. But I am really tired at the end of every day. Like, my brain is worn out. And, when I wake up in the morning, I don't feel mentally refreshed. In fact, my first thought upon waking is a rundown on that day's To Do list, which is basically the list of what I didn't finish the day before.</p> <p>Other than having no benefits like health care or a 401K, the biggest drag about my current battalion of creative, freelance jobs is that I have to do 100% of the brainwork. I have to write the stories for Wise Bread. I have to organize the photo shoot. I have to make the jam. If I worked a standard service job, I would have time between customers for reflection or even daydreaming. With my current work, I have no time to work through complex problems or innovate. My creative jobs are actually preventing me from being creative.</p> <p>Yes. This is a first world problem. Most definitely.</p> <h2>Getting Paid by the Gig Is Actually a Problem</h2> <p>I love beekeeping because bees are endlessly fascinating. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don't learn something new about bees or how to keep them. Unfortunately, bees wait for nobody. I have pretty much given up trying to schedule around beekeeping jobs. Also, depending on the size and the grumpiness of the hive, the simplest beekeeping tasks can take five minutes or five hours. While the master beekeeper I assist tells me that I will get better at assessing the work flow as I level-up as a beekeeper, right now I get paid the same for swarm capture jobs whether I get stung once or 20 times.</p> <p>The days that I get stung 20 times are the days I wish I had a salary.</p> <h2>My Random Payment Schedule Is Annoying</h2> <p>I spend all day harvesting lemons and making marmalade on the assumption that I will be able to sell it. While my profit estimates are usually accurate, the schedule of payment never is. Sometime I sell out of jam in 48 hours and sometimes it takes months for me to sell 100 jars. I know that I will make $4,000 in profit if I sell my entire summer harvest of honey, but I might not make the brunt of those sales until Christmas rolls around. Meanwhile, I still need $423 by next week as the minimum payment on my bank loan.</p> <p>Okay, thanks for letting me get all that whining off my chest.</p> <h2>Hooray! Three Job Offers</h2> <p>I had the most peculiar Monday. I got three job offers in one day.</p> <p>I woke up to the first job offer. A tech startup wants to hire me to write content for their blog. It's an intriguing company &mdash; working in affiliate marketing &mdash; a white-hot space right now. Creatively I said yes, but financially, I said no. The company isn't funded, and I currently can't afford to take a spec job for someone else. If I am going to work for free, it has to be for me.</p> <p>I am sure I am walking away from a million dollar opportunity.</p> <p>The second job came through a knitting buddy who has created a probiotic cookie that Los Angeles foodies are going crazy over. She's never run a company and needs someone to be her factory manager. Although I have experience working as a private cook, I don't have the mass production experience she needs to make the jump to the big leagues. With my family's restaurant background, I feel like I could probably figure out what she needs to do to get her product into Whole Foods. Even though a salaried job is so tempting, I know that running any kind of food-based company is a 24-hour job that will take over my life and brain. I don't take her up on the job, but I do take her up on the offer of free cookies. I need probiotics. And cookies.</p> <p>I am sure I am walking away from a million dollar opportunity.</p> <p>The third job came from my sister who is an illustrator. The company she works for is short on freelance inkers. Since I have never worked as an inker, I am naturally worried that I will fail spectacularly at the job and bring shame upon my entire family.</p> <p>Here's her assessment of my skills: &quot;I think you're going to get this. Your obsessive tendencies and perfectionism&hellip;well, you are like a meth user without the meth. Those are the makings of a good freelance inker. How fast can you learn Adobe Illustrator?&quot;</p> <p>That's comforting, I think.</p> <p>My sister hadn't considered me for the job before because she thought I would get bored with the assembly line aspect of the work. But then she discovered that her boyfriend's brother just made $50,000 in two months working as a freelance inker. Granted her boyfriend's brother is like a cyborg with a stylus and is super fast on Adobe Illustrator, but if that guy could make $25,000 in a month, I could at least manage that amount of work by the end of the year. This is my sister's plan to help me make my $31,000 budget challenge.</p> <p>What makes me think this is the dream-come-true, turnkey job isn't even the pay, it's my sister's description of the work: &quot;It's mindless, but never boring. It's relaxing, like coloring.&quot;</p> <p>It's times like this that I could kiss my fine arts degrees. And my sister.</p> <h2>Progress So Far</h2> <p>My husband managed to save $600 from his last paycheck. I made $410 from writing gigs and $15 running an errand for a neighbor. While we didn't earn much this pay period, we managed to spend $0 in the last two weeks because we were both submerged in work.</p> <p><strong>Goal:</strong> $31,000</p> <p><strong>Amount Raised:</strong> $19,905.84</p> <p><strong>Amount Spent:</strong> $10,653.66</p> <p><strong>Amount Left to Go:</strong> $21,747.82</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-reduce-debt-or-save-for-an-emergency">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Reduce Debt or Save for an Emergency?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-where-to-find-cheap-training-for-a-new-career">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Where to Find Cheap Training for a New Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-what-to-do-with-a-totaled-car">My 2016 Budget Challenge: What to Do With a Totaled Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">Location Independent Career Basics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor">Meet Meg Favreau, Our Senior Editor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Career and Income budget challenge employment entrepreneurs freelancing job search max wongs budget new jobs Fri, 24 Jun 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Max Wong 1737543 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000077659843_Large.jpg" alt="she needs to make these money moves after getting fired" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just about everyone goes through a job loss at some point in their lives. Hopefully, any job loss you endure will only result in a short time out of work, and minimal financial hardship. But even if you expect your time between jobs to be short, there are a number of things you should do right away to ensure you can make it through a stretch of time with no income.</p> <p>As someone who endured two layoffs in the past, I can tell you that these steps will help keep you afloat until you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-after-a-promotion">land a new position</a>.</p> <h2>1. Determine if You Are Eligible for Severance and Vacation Pay</h2> <p>If you've been let go from a job, employers will often provide severance pay based on the length of time you worked there. You may also be paid for any unused vacation time. The company should explain your eligibility for these funds upon your termination, but if not, make a point to check with the human resources department. In some cases, you may have to engage an attorney to fight for what you believe you are owed.</p> <p>Companies generally aren't required to offer severance at all, but there are instances when you may feel you are due money for uncompensated overtime or other reasons. Just keep in mind that benefits may vary depending on if you were fired for cause or laid off through no fault of your own.</p> <h2>2. Assess Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Now is the time when your savings will come in handy. If you've followed the advice of many personal finance experts, you have at least three months of expenses available in liquid savings. But now is the time to assess precisely how much you have and what your expenses actually are. With proper savings and cuts to your spending, you should hopefully be able to pay your bills until you get back to work.</p> <h2>3. Reduce Unnecessary Expenses</h2> <p>You may <em>think</em> you're living frugally, but now is the time to really strip life down to the bare essentials. Your expenses should really come down to your rent or mortgage, utilities, and a modest food budget. (Keep the Internet and cell phone services, as you may need them for your job search.) But that cable TV subscription? Kill it. Gym membership? Suspend it. Avoid going out to eat, or shopping at high-end grocers. And turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees. Every penny you save now is money that will help get you through to the next job.</p> <h2>4. Assess Your Health Insurance Situation</h2> <p>If you received health insurance through your employer, your benefits may no longer be accessible to you. It's likely that you are eligible for COBRA benefits, which provide discounted coverage between when your benefits run out and when new benefits kick in. After a job loss, you usually have 60 days to apply for COBRA benefits, and they last between 18 and 36 months, depending on your situation. At this time, it's also worth exploring insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act at HealthCare.gov.</p> <h2>5. Apply for Unemployment Benefits (But Don't Necessarily Claim Them Right Away)</h2> <p>If you've lost your job, there's a good chance you'll be eligible for compensation from unemployment insurance. In most states, unemployed people are entitled to up to 26 weeks of benefits that are a portion of their previous salary. Note that earnings from part-time or freelance work can be deducted from unemployment benefits. You don't necessarily have to claim unemployment benefits right away if you still have some money coming in, but it's still important to research options and get your name into the system immediately after a job loss.</p> <h2>6. Accept Outplacement Service if It Is Offered</h2> <p>You may feel like you can do a job search by yourself, but if your former employer is connecting you with assistance for free, take it. Outplacement professionals can help you update your resumé, assess your skills to see what jobs might be right for you, and even help you with interviews and salary negotiations.</p> <h2>7. Update Your Resumé and LinkedIn Profile</h2> <p>Hopefully, these are things you've kept more or less up-to-date anyway, but if you haven't looked at them in a while, give them some attention now. You don't have to necessarily reveal that you are between jobs, but it's important to have up-to-date information on your skills and accomplishments. Be sure to make several resumés based on the different types of jobs you may be pursuing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-minutes-to-a-linkedin-profile-that-gets-you-hired?ref=seealso">30 Minutes to a LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Hired</a>)</p> <h2>8. Collect All Your Retirement Account Information</h2> <p>If you've lost your job, you're no longer going to be able to contribute to your company's 401K, or other similar retirement plan. You don't necessarily have to do anything with the account right away, but eventually, you may want to roll your old 401K into another 401K or IRA.</p> <p>In the immediate term, make sure you save the login and password information to the account, as well as any relevant paperwork. It will also be important to check your account balance to see how much of your matched contributions were &quot;vested.&quot; If you leave a company after a short amount of time, it's possible that the company can reclaim some matching contributions.</p> <h2>9. Adjust Your Auto Insurance Premium</h2> <p>What you pay for auto insurance is often partially based on how much you drive. If you are no longer commuting to work, you may be able to reduce your premium slightly by arguing that you're driving less. Your rate is especially likely to go down if you're no longer driving and parking in a dense, urban area.</p> <h2>10. Take a Breather</h2> <p>It's okay to take some time off before doing any hardcore thinking about your next career move. While you don't waste a lot of time in getting back to work, it's important to make decisions with a clear head. Do you want to remain in the same field? Do you want to start your own business? Do you even need to go back to work full-time? There is a lot to think about, so take some time. This is as much a financial move as one for your mental health, because the last thing you want to do is rush into a job that you're not suited for and find yourself back in the unemployment line again.</p> <h2>11. Reallocate Some Investments for Income</h2> <p>If you have some investments in a non-retirement account, it's worth examining whether you can adjust them to produce some income. It's not necessarily a good idea to immediately sell a large quantity of stocks or mutual funds, especially if they are for long-term savings. You certainly don't want to do anything rash. But perhaps a portion of your portfolio could shift to bonds or dividend stocks that will help bring you some extra cash.</p> <p><em>What other money moves should you make after getting fired? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-1">What&#039;s an employee to do? Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-difficult-jobs-that-are-worth-the-effort">10 Difficult Jobs That Are Worth the Effort</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Budgeting employment fired getting fired job loss jobs layoffs money moves resume unemployment Tue, 08 Mar 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1667924 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Career Tips You Wish You Could Give Your Younger Self http://www.wisebread.com/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000071991467_Large.jpg" alt="thinking about career tips she wish she could give her younger self" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Imagine if you could go back in time and have a heart-to-heart with your 22-year-old self. What career advice would you give? What behaviors and habits would you thoroughly encourage? What fears would you try to put to rest?</p> <p>Granted, I don't know what the condition of your professional path has been, but if you're like most of us, there have been a few ups and downs along the way &mdash; as they're nearly impossible to avoid. With the lessons you've learned tucked securely in your back pocket, let's rewind the clock. Here are seven career tips your younger self needs to know.</p> <h2>1. Understand That Your Career Will Evolve</h2> <p>Very rarely is a person's career the product of a single epic choice. Building a career is a process of trying new things, responding to new markets and new technologies, making incremental moves, and listening to our changing interests. Don't stress out if you don't know at 22 what you want to do with the rest of your life.</p> <h2>2. &hellip;But Be Active in the Process</h2> <p>Not being sure what you want to do professionally is very different than not caring. The key is to begin <em>something</em>. Be conscious, be curious, and be active in the process of growing your skills. If a job isn't a good fit, figure out why before you move on. Use what you learn and then develop a strategy that keeps you constantly moving toward your goal &mdash; even if that means making a lateral move from time-to-time.</p> <h2>3. Start Saving Immediately</h2> <p>I'm writing this as I stare into the gaping maw of 50. And while life is great, I'm still trying to figure out how the last 25 years flew by so quickly. Start saving something &mdash; anything &mdash; with your very first paycheck and make structured saving a habit you never abandon. Compounding interest is a force worthy of your undying respect &mdash; learn about it; love it; live it. If you're not sure how to begin saving, some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-microsaving-tools-to-help-you-start-saving-now">simple microsaving tools</a> can help you get started now.</p> <h2>4. Job-Hop Carefully</h2> <p>Make sure you're not job-hopping just for the sake of variety. There's real value in building experience, history, and a reputation within a company. If you're unhappy in a job, explore opportunities in another department or work toward a promotion. If moving on is the only answer, be clear about your goals, gather as much information as possible, and know exactly how the move will benefit you.</p> <h2>5. Don't Waste Time in a Job You Hate</h2> <p>There are countless benefits of youth, and having time to recover from our mistakes is a big one. If you have the luxury of choice, don't stay in a job that isn't (and won't ever be) a good fit. Dragging yourself to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-that-job-you-hate-keeps-you-poor">job you hate keeps you poor</a>, trains you to be unmotivated, and wastes your time and talent. Though no job is a carnival ride every day, search for what inspires you. Find work that speaks to part of your soul.</p> <h2>6. Don't Burn Bridges</h2> <p>Who hasn't dreamt of killing the copier, finally telling off the boss, and speeding away in a cloud of righteous exhaust fumes? Dramatic endings might make great cinema, but burning bridges is a terrible career strategy. However much you think your employer may deserve it, avoid leaving things on a bad note. Give two weeks' notice, express gratitude, and move on. You may need that bridge again someday. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-repair-a-burned-bridge?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Repair a Burned Bridge</a>)</p> <h2>7. Explore the Unconventional</h2> <p>I worked for large corporations until the recession of 2008 gave me space and time enough to reflect on a few career assumptions I'd made. The financial crisis proved to be just the motivator I needed to reinvent how I made a living &mdash; I only wish I'd made the leap sooner. My point is, don't be afraid to explore unconventional career paths while you're young. Find your professional niche and, if possible, gradually build your living around it. There are few things sweeter than thriving in a career you built from scratch.</p> <p><em>What career advice would you give a new nine-to-fiver? What lessons were the hardest for you to learn? Share with us in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-really-annoy-hiring-managers">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-questions-to-ask-before-you-take-a-job-offer">12 Questions to Ask Before You Take a Job Offer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-must-do-after-the-interview-to-land-the-job">6 Things You Must Do After the Interview to Land the Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-extreme-job-interview-tactics-that-worked">6 Extreme Job Interview Tactics That Worked</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income career tips employment Job Interview job search younger self Wed, 27 Jan 2016 18:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 1645871 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Low Key Jobs for People Who Hate Stress http://www.wisebread.com/5-low-key-jobs-for-people-who-hate-stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-low-key-jobs-for-people-who-hate-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_video_games_000044435178.jpg" alt="Woman having low key career because she hates stress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know people who really seem to thrive in high-profile, high-stress stress occupations. They're the ones who voluntarily come in early and stay late, those who don't ever stop talking about work, and the people who seem to eat, sleep, and live for their jobs.</p> <p>And then there are the rest of us.</p> <p>I don't know about you, but I don't love to work. When I have to do so because I need the money, I try to find jobs that are cool in some way and don't leave me all stressed out at the end of the day. Sound like you? Here are five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-productive-ways-to-reduce-stress">low-key jobs</a> that pay the bills, and probably won't leave you a ball of nerves at the end of your shift.</p> <p>A note to remember: While these jobs are often fairly low-key, they too, like any other job, demand a strong work ethic and your ability to handle stressful situations should they arise.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. Teach English Abroad</h2> <p>In many countries, but especially in China, there aren't terribly high standards for someone who wants to <a href="http://www.internationalteflacademy.com/china-english-teaching-jobs-abroad-asia">teach English</a>. Sometimes the only requirement is to be born and/or educated in an English-speaking country. As long as you have a good reputation, you can often choose your clients and your hours (so sleep in every day &mdash; why not?), and you can make enough to live a a pretty decent lifestyle.</p> <h2>2. Become a Security Guard</h2> <p>If you can land the right gig, being a <a href="http://study.com/articles/Security_Guard_Requirements_for_a_Career_as_a_Security_Professional.html">security guard</a> can be fun while not requiring a ton of energy, especially if you're guarding a posh country club or a gated neighborhood. You might get to sit in a guard shack monitoring camera feeds, walk through areas looking for people acting inappropriately, or drive around a neighborhood periodically. While there <em>is</em> a lot of training involved to teach you how to react in certain dangerous situations, luckily it's pretty rare &mdash; and you can get the police involved if need be.</p> <h2>3. Be a Professional Foreigner</h2> <p>In some countries, having white skin bestows status, all on its own. This means that &mdash; believe it or not &mdash; some companies will <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/rent-a-white-guy/308119/">recruit white people</a> to dress in a suit and represent them at formal functions, even if that person doesn't actually hold any official job in the company. You might have to give speeches, buy official clothes, attend parties, or hold a meet-and-greet. But you can make $1000 a week, just for standing around and looking like yourself.</p> <h2>4. Video Game Tester</h2> <p>Love to play video games? It's good for you, then, that &quot;<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/what-its-like-to-be-a-video-game-tester-2015-6">video game tester</a>&quot; is a job that actually exists. Your salary will probably start low &mdash; between $10 and $18 per hour &mdash; but since you won't have to buy work clothes or eat out, your expenses will also be low. And, after six years or so, you could make over $70,000 annually. For someone who has gamed all their life, it could be the best career you've ever had. Just keep in mind that when it's &quot;crunch time,&quot; it can require a lot more of your time and energy.</p> <h2>5. Power Plant Operator</h2> <p><a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/power-plant-operators-distributors-and-dispatchers.htm">Operating a power plant</a>, especially for the government and if you're willing to work the night shift, often means a 12-hour shift with as few as two hours spent actually working. And you can make up to six figures with a few years of experience, simply because you have the right knowledge and you are there in case something gets out of whack. (Which, on second thought, may be a pretty stressful day!)</p> <p><em>Do you have a job that is both cool and not a lot of work? What do you do and how did you get into it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-low-key-jobs-for-people-who-hate-stress">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-include-in-your-cover-letter">7 Things You Should Never Include in Your Cover Letter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-college-grads-can-get-ahead-in-the-job-hunt">11 Ways College Grads Can Get Ahead in the Job Hunt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-cool-jobs-for-fashion-lovers">18 Cool Jobs for Fashion Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-passion-into-a-living">Turn Your Passion Into A Living</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting career easy work employment hate working lazy Tue, 10 Nov 2015 09:15:14 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1608487 at http://www.wisebread.com