employment http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3863/all en-US 7 Reasons You Shouldn't "Vacation Shame" Your Coworkers http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_work_654187068.jpg" alt="Woman being vacation shamed by coworkers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2015, Americans left <a href="http://www.projecttimeoff.com/research/work-martyrs-cautionary-tale" target="_blank">658 million vacation days</a> unused. It's a problem that has continued to ingrain itself in the American way of life, and it's only going to get worse. It even has a name &mdash; &quot;work martyrdom&quot; &mdash; and one of the most troubling reasons for it is feeling guilty about taking paid time off.</p> <p>Have you ever felt guilty about taking vacation, or made your coworkers feel guilty for taking time off? Well, you shouldn't. It's dangerous, and bad for both you and your company. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-actually-take-all-your-vacation-days-this-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Actually Take All Your Vacation Days This Year</a>)</p> <h2>1. Vacation is vital for good health</h2> <p>You wouldn't want to make your coworkers physically ill, but by guilting them out of their vacation time, you could be contributing to some very serious health risks. The Framingham Heart Study, the world's longest running study of heart disease, has some frightening statistics on vacation and health. The biggest &mdash; that men who failed to take a vacation for two years or more were 30 percent more likely to experience a heart attack than peers who took regular time off.</p> <p>A Marshfield Clinic study showed that women who took at least two vacations per year were less likely to suffer from depression than those who don't take time off. Other research has shown that not taking vacation can also lead to higher blood pressure, stress, poor family relationships, and if you're extremely overworked, even suicide. So, it's vital to actually encourage coworkers to take time off, especially if they look worn out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/science-proves-it-you-need-to-take-a-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Science Says We NEED to Take a Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>2. Vacation refreshes the mind and body</h2> <p>Research has proved it; when you take a vacation, you are improving your mind and your overall health. And if you work with people who need to be great at their jobs in order to make you and the company thrive, then you should encourage vacation time.</p> <p>A vacation is to a person what a reboot is to a computer that is slow, glitchy, and taking forever to do tasks that used to be done quickly. Mental breaks <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/" target="_blank">recharge the mind</a>, and improve memory, productivity, and creativity &mdash; all vital in almost every job out there. You will find that although you may miss them when they're gone, your coworkers are upgraded versions of themselves when they return. And, they will be eager to dive in and get things done.</p> <h2>3. Vacation is just as much of a right as a bathroom or lunch break</h2> <p>Would you shame a coworker for daring to leave their desk for an hour to eat a meal? Would you point out that they could be doing valuable work when they are heading to the bathroom? Well, of course not. These are needs, and vacation is just as important as either of those.</p> <p>Vacation time may not be granted by U.S. law, but most employers offer paid leave as part of the benefits package. It's right there with health care and sick time (which, by the way, people also feel guilty about taking).</p> <p>The bottom line &mdash; every employee who takes paid time off has earned it, and they are simply using a benefit that comes with the position. In the case of people who don't get paid time off, which stands at around 25 percent, you have even less reason to shame them. They are losing money by taking this time, and that is a difficult financial decision for anyone to make.</p> <h2>4. Vacation keeps good employees at the company</h2> <p>An unhappy employee is one that is looking for another job. A 2015 Talent Trends survey found that one out of every three employees is actively looking for a new job. That's almost a third of the people at your company, right now, that wants out.</p> <p>It is a fact that it costs a company a lot more money to replace employees than it does to retain them. For entry level employees, it's between 30 percent and 50 percent of average annual salary. That figure increases to 150 percent for midlevel employees, and a <a href="https://www.eremedia.com/tlnt/what-was-leadership-thinking-the-shockingly-high-cost-of-employee-turnover/" target="_blank">whopping 400 percent</a> for high-level or specialized talent. And guess what? One of the big reasons people move on is the lack of a good work-life balance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a>)</p> <p>It is in the best interests of your company to keep people around, because it will not be spending excessive amounts of money retraining staff. Want a raise? More travel? A promotion? It's more likely to happen if people aren't quitting due to lack of time off.</p> <h2>5. Vacation broadens the mind</h2> <p>Well, to be more accurate, travel broadens the mind. But it's a little hard to travel if you don't take a vacation.</p> <p>In some careers, especially ones that require creative or lateral thinking, this can be a great asset to the company. A well-furnished mind is one that can draw from many life experiences. This can translate to new, innovative ideas and suggestions, and lead to positive changes at the company. This, in turn, can boost productivity and profits, and even lead to expansion.</p> <p>Someone who is staring at the same four walls day after day, month after month, is not going to be as valuable to the company as someone who has gone out into the world and done something new. Your company needs people who are well-traveled, not overworked.</p> <h2>6. Vacation boosts organizational morale</h2> <p>Who wants to work in a company filled with miserable, exhausted, irritable employees? That's what you get if you work in an environment that vacation-shames people.</p> <p>When you have very little to look forward to, coupled with a hectic work schedule and poor work-life balance, you're not going to be much fun to be around. Compare that to someone who is planning to go on vacation. They are recognizably happier and more enthusiastic, because they're looking forward to doing something fun. For those weeks, or months, they bring a sunny disposition with them to work. Then, they go on vacation and come back rested, refreshed, and ready to help.</p> <p>This is all good for the company, and good for you. You will get a lift from their energy, instead of being dragged down by morale that's in the gutter.</p> <h2>7. Vacation leads to better performance reviews and higher salaries</h2> <p>Put this in the &quot;strange but true&quot; category if you like, but a 2006 study by Ernst &amp; Young found that each additional 10 hours of vacation an employee took led to performance reviews that were 8 percent higher the following year. And, of course, higher performance reviews lead to increased salary bumps, promotions, and greater opportunities within the company.</p> <p>Why would this be? Well, look back at all the reasons given in this article for taking a vacation, and the answer becomes obvious. Employees that take vacation are sharper, happier, healthier, and more productive than coworkers who do not take time off. Naturally, this translates to better performance at work, a better attitude, and a better review.</p> <p>So, even if you're not vacation-shaming anyone (and hopefully that's the case), you should look at your own vacation plan and increase your days off. It will positively impact your career.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Reasons%2520You%2520Shouldnt%2520Vacation%2520Shame%2520Your%2520Coworkers.jpg&amp;description=7%20Reasons%20You%20Shouldn't%20%22Vacation%20Shame%22%20Your%20Coworkers"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Reasons%20You%20Shouldnt%20Vacation%20Shame%20Your%20Coworkers.jpg" alt="7 Reasons You Shouldn't &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers" width="250" height="374" /></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/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">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/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is 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/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement">How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement</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/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should">9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should)</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/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income employment health benefits promotions shaming sick days time off vacation days vacation time working Wed, 05 Jul 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 1977385 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Unexpected First Jobs of the Wealthy and Famous http://www.wisebread.com/9-unexpected-first-jobs-of-the-wealthy-and-famous <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-unexpected-first-jobs-of-the-wealthy-and-famous" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_serving_ice_cream.jpg" alt="Woman serving ice cream" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Singer, actor, author, business tycoon &mdash; everyone still starts somewhere. And while some people have the luxury of starting with wealth and fame behind them, others have had to scrape their way to the top. If you think millionaires and billionaires have always had it easy, think again. Many of them have worked jobs that may surprise you.</p> <h2>1. Orlando Bloom: Clay pigeon trapper</h2> <p>You probably know him as Legolas from <em>The Lord of the Rings</em>, or Will Turner from <em>Pirates of the Caribbean</em>. And although he's considered one of the sexiest men in the world, Orlando's first job was not exactly &quot;sexy.&quot;</p> <p>He was just 13-years-old when he took this job at the shooting range, and by all accounts, he loved it. &quot;I was a clay trapper,&quot; he said in a 2006 interview. &quot;People would go clay-pigeon shooting on the weekends, and when they said 'pull,' I was the one who released the pigeon. It was wild.&quot;</p> <p>Today, Orlando Bloom has a net worth estimated at $35 million.</p> <h2>2. Oprah Winfrey: Grocery store clerk</h2> <p>One of the most successful women in the world started her working life as many of us do &mdash; at the local grocery store. Oprah recounted her time working at the corner store for Oprah.com, part of the vast empire this billionaire businesswoman has created.</p> <p>&quot;I wasn't allowed to talk to the customers, and can you imagine for me? &hellip; That was very, very, very hard.&quot;</p> <p>She was in her early teens when she took the job in Nashville, but by the time she hit 16-years-old, she already had her sights set on broadcasting. She then landed a job reading the news at Nashville radio station, WVOL. The rest, as they say, is history.</p> <h2>3. Michael Dell: Dishwasher</h2> <p>In 1992, eight years after his computer company Dell was founded, Michael Dell became the youngest CEO ever to run a Fortune 500 company. He attributes his success to hard work, dedication, and doing whatever it takes to make your dreams happen.</p> <p>For the 12-year-old Michael Dell, that dream was to own a stamp collection. So, he took a job washing the dishes at the local Chinese restaurant &mdash; a job that, as you can imagine, was long hours for little pay, even for a boy not yet a teenager.</p> <p>But great oaks from little acorns grow, and just a few years later, he took apart an Apple computer to see exactly how it worked. His next dream was much more ambitious. And he achieved it.</p> <h2>4. Rod Stewart: Wallpaper screen printer</h2> <p>Known for his signature raspy crooning voice, Rod Stewart is an international singing superstar.</p> <p>Before he rose to fame, Rod held a couple of odd jobs, including newspaper deliverer and grave plot measurer. But before that, he had another unusual job that was short-lived &mdash; wallpaper screen printer.</p> <p>After dropping out of school at age 15, Rod worked printing the patterns on wallpapers. For some, a job like this could be a creative outlet. For Rod, it was never meant to be. Rod Stewart is colorblind, and that adversely affected his take on his job.</p> <p>&quot;If you are colorblind, one of the things you can't be is an aircraft pilot,&quot; he said in an interview. &quot;One of the other things you can't be is a wallpaper designer.&quot;</p> <p>He was laid off shortly after getting the job, but didn't let that dissuade him from pursuing the road to success. Today, Rod is worth about $235 million.</p> <h2>5. Sir Sean Connery: Milkman</h2> <p>He's considered by many to be the best James Bond ever to grace the screen. He is also still considered a sex-symbol, despite being 86-years-old. Back in 1944, when he was just 14, he earned his living pushing a barrow at the local Corstorphine Dairy, in a small village west of Edinburgh. The salary back then was 21 shillings per week &mdash; that's roughly &pound;1.05, which today would be the equivalent of around &pound;42, or $54.</p> <p>For most 14-year-olds, over $200 per month is a nice chunk of change. Still, he went on to become a legend in the acting business, but those early days pushing barrels of milk gave him quite the foundation.</p> <h2>6. Sir Richard Branson: Parakeet breeder</h2> <p>There are some people destined to become a huge success, and you can tell from an early age. Richard Branson clearly had the entrepreneurial spirit from the get-go, and at the age of just 11, he started a small business with his best friend breeding parakeets (known as &quot;budgies&quot; in the UK).</p> <p>&quot;With my best friend Nik Powell as my partner, we set about breeding budgerigars,&quot; Branson wrote in a 2013 LinkedIn article. &quot;We saw a gap in the market to sell budgies as they were very popular with kids in school at the time.&quot;</p> <p>Branson says that when he went off to boarding school, rats got to some of the birds. The remaining ones were set free, and he went on to sell Christmas trees, and a student magazine that became the foundation for Virgin Records.</p> <h2>7. Stephen King: Laundry worker</h2> <p>Stephen King is the master of horror, and one of the most famous authors who has ever lived. As a publisher of over 54 novels, inspiring countless movies and TV series, he's sold over 350 million copies of his books. But his beginnings were humble to say the least.</p> <p>After graduating from college in 1970, he tried to find work as a teacher, but there were no positions available. After marrying his wife Tabby in 1971, he was desperate for any kind of income to help support her and his children. So, he took a job as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and also moonlighted as a janitor.</p> <p>It was here that he set up a makeshift desk in the laundry room, between a huge washing machine and dryer, and on his wife's Olivetti typewriter, wrote stories for Playboy, Cavalier, and Penthouse. And from those small successes, and his wife's encouragement, he wrote a book &mdash; <em>Carrie</em>.</p> <h2>8. Barack Obama: Ice cream scooper</h2> <p>The 44th President of the United States of America honed his charming social skills at an early age. As a teenager, he took a job at the Baskin-Robbins on Honolulu, scooping the 31 flavors daily to lines of hungry patrons.</p> <p>Sue Thirlwall, brand operating officer for Baskin-Robbins, says that this job builds essential skills for use in later life. &quot;Scooping for America's favorite neighborhood ice cream shop can result in obtaining basic lifelong job skills, like handling consumer care in real time and keeping calm under pressure,&quot; she told the L.A. Times in 2009</p> <p>And if you look back on his presidency, even if you did not support him or his party, how often did you see Barack Obama become unhinged, or lose his cool? Maybe we should all take a stint in an ice cream parlor.</p> <h2>9. Amy Adams: Hooters waitress</h2> <p>Some of the most notable movies of the last decade feature Amy Adams, including <em>The Muppets</em>, <em>Doubt</em>, <em>Man of Steel</em>, <em>American Hustle</em>, and <em>Arrival</em>. But when she graduated high school, she only had one thing on her mind &mdash; a car. She was &quot;sick of taking the bus&quot; and found herself in the famous white and orange outfit at Hooters.</p> <p>&quot;I wasn't cut out to be a waitress, and I certainly wasn't cut out to be a Hooters waitress. That was a short-lived ambition,&quot; said Amy of her brief career. She lasted just long enough to raise the money, $900, for her new set of wheels &mdash; a Chevrolet. And thankfully for us all, she then pursued a career in acting.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-unexpected-first-jobs-of-the-wealthy-and-famous&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Unexpected%2520First%2520Jobs%2520of%2520the%2520Wealthy%2520and%2520Famous.jpg&amp;description=9%20Unexpected%20First%20Jobs%20of%20the%20Wealthy%20and%20Famous"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Unexpected%20First%20Jobs%20of%20the%20Wealthy%20and%20Famous.jpg" alt="9 Unexpected First Jobs of the Wealthy and Famous" width="250" height="374" /></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/9-unexpected-first-jobs-of-the-wealthy-and-famous">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/make-sure-you-get-paid-and-4-other-great-tips-from-famous-commencement-speakers">Make Sure You Get Paid and 4 Other Great Tips From Famous Commencement Speakers</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/9-crazy-investments-of-the-rich-and-famous">9 Crazy Investments of the Rich and Famous</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-bedtime-routines-of-famous-financial-gurus">5 Bedtime Routines of Famous Financial Gurus</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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search">10 Resume Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Entertainment Barack Obama celebrities employment famous people first jobs odd jobs Oprah stephen king Tue, 04 Jul 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1974218 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-529066538.jpg" alt="Woman realizing her work-life balance is off" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many Americans, the daily 9-to-5 is just a dream. The U.S. is renowned for having the longest work hours in the industrialized world, and our hours are only getting longer. Family, friends, personal pursuits, and general relaxation are all sacrificed.</p> <p>Too often, it's by choice. While extra toil may seem like the best way to advance your career, numerous studies &mdash; summarized in the Harvard Business Review &mdash; have shown that <a href="https://hbr.org/2015/08/the-research-is-clear-long-hours-backfire-for-people-and-for-companies" target="_blank">overworking can backfire</a> by damaging your health and <em>reducing </em>your productivity at work. One study in particular by HBR and the Boston Consulting Group found that forcing consultants to take time off at predictable periods (such as nights and weekends) improved their efficiency and effectiveness.</p> <p>Are you part of the growing, and disturbing, trend of self-sabotage through overwork? Read on, and see how many of these red flags you check off. It's possible your work-life balance is completely out of alignment.</p> <h2>1. You're working way too many hours</h2> <p>Let's start with the simplest red flag. The typical workweek is 40 hours. Some days you may work a little more, some a little less &mdash; but it should even out to around 40 hours overall. You may not have a time sheet to fill out, but you should still have a general idea of how many hours you're putting in.</p> <p>If it's consistently more than 50 per week, you are working too much. Any more than 60&ndash;70 hours a week, and you pretty much have no life outside of the office. This kind of stress can affect your health in many negative ways, including increasing your risk of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22952309" target="_blank">heart problems</a>, <a href="http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587%2814%2970178-0/abstract" target="_blank">type 2 diabetes</a>, and <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26793-long-hours-make-people-more-likely-to-drink-heavily/#.VSLlF5N4r6c" target="_blank">substance abuse</a>.</p> <p>Even if you work from home, you need to delineate your time. If you have a home office, make it off limits after certain hours. If it's a laptop or computer in the corner of a room, shut it down. If you are working overtime for extra money, only do it for short periods of time.</p> <h2>2. Falling asleep (or barely staying awake) at work</h2> <p>If you're routinely having trouble staying awake on the job, you are probably putting in too many hours. It's not unusual for some professions to demand an excess of 40 hours per week. In advertising, for example, it's considered the norm to work 60 or 70 hours, which burns many people out. This burnout is not only dangerous &mdash; it's deadly. You risk having a stroke, severe anxiety, depression, and if you work more than 80 hours per week, your <a href="http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/PressRelease/pressReleaseId-112164.html" target="_blank">risk of major heart disease</a> increases by 94 percent!</p> <p>If you're sleeping at your desk, getting in early, staying late, and drinking eight cups of coffee to get through the day, you are working way too much. Slow down. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a>)</p> <h2>3. You have no social life</h2> <p>Think back over the last few months. How many times did you cancel plans because your job took priority? How often did you turn down invitations to parties or get-togethers because &quot;something came up at work?&quot; Did you have to sell your tickets to a concert, or back out of a weekend trip, because the boss needed you to come in?</p> <p>These are all signs that your work-life balance is completely messed up. It's OK to work late once in awhile. Sometimes, it's unavoidable. But if your social life always takes a back seat to your career, you will suffer. And so will your work. You need down time. Take it.</p> <h2>4. Work is always on your mind</h2> <p>You muse about it at the dinner table. You think about it in bed. You lose track of the conversation because you're worried about the project you're working on. When the only thing on your mind is work, you have a serious problem.</p> <p>At work, it's great to be this focused. At home, your focus should be your family, your friends, your hobbies, and other nonwork pursuits. Thinking about the job all the time will take its toll on your mental health, and you'll eventually burn out.</p> <p>If you find yourself unable to switch off, it may be time to seek help from an occupational therapist. They will teach you coping skills that allow you to turn off the &quot;work brain&quot; and come back to reality.</p> <h2>5. You are constantly checking work emails</h2> <p>These days, we carry smartphones that put the office in our pockets. You can open emails in the checkout line at the grocery store, at the ballgame, or even on a date. And if you're doing any of those on a regular occasion, your job is taking over your life.</p> <p>You need to put hard restraints on your private time. You should not be expected to check emails all hours of the day and night. Some people even get woken up in the middle of the night by emails from an overzealous boss or coworker. Set limits. Refuse to answer emails after a certain time. It's as simple as that.</p> <h2>6. You never take a vacation or sick day</h2> <p>Americans aren't using their vacation days. As of 2015, workers only took an average of <a href="http://www.projecttimeoff.com/research/state-american-vacation-2016" target="_blank">16.2 days of vacation</a> per year &mdash; almost a week less than the average between 1978 and 2000 &mdash; and 55 percent left days unused. That's a lot of wasted opportunities for a healthier work-life balance.</p> <p>Vacation days are important. Sick days are important. Refusing to use either of them is going to have serious repercussions on your wellbeing. Even if you think you're completely fine, but haven't taken a vacation in years, you may be ready to burn out. Sadly, by the time it happens, it can take months to put right. Sick days are vital for when you are genuinely sick. Not only will showing up to work prolong your illness, but you'll also spread it to other people in the office.</p> <p>Your work suffers when you're sick, too. This is why companies want you to use your sick days when you are ill. Dedication is one thing, but letting your health suffer isn't helping you or your employer.</p> <h2>7. You crack under the slightest pressure</h2> <p>You find yourself having far less patience these days. You shout and become frazzled at the smallest provocation. You apologize often for outbursts that never should have happened. You are almost certainly showing signs of a work-life balance that is very unhealthy.</p> <p>When we have our work-life balance right, we can more easily handle problems that arise. We don't crack, and we don't fly off the handle. But the more we work, and the less time we have to relax, the quicker our patience reserves go into the red. If you're breaking easily, you need to re-evaluate the time you're spending at work.</p> <h2>8. You constantly think about quitting</h2> <p>They say that if you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life. Most people don't have that luxury. It's a job, it pays the bills, it provides health insurance, and it serves its purpose.</p> <p>But if the job starts consuming your life, and all you can think about is quitting, then your work-life balance is way off. Yes, it may also be because the job itself is not pleasant, but when the bad job becomes the bane of your existence, it tips the scales. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a>)</p> <h2>9. Your personal space is a mess</h2> <p>No time to clean. No time to organize. No time to do anything other than work &mdash; and boy, does it show. It usually starts with your desk at the office, and then it spreads. Before you know it, your home is just the place you sleep and shower. Your space is an utter mess, and you ignore it all.</p> <p>Why? Because you're never there long enough to care. And when you are home, you're exhausted. Take a look around you, right now &mdash; has your personal space gotten out of hand? Is everything a mess? Then it's time to take a much-needed break.</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/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">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/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</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-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers</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/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</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-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should">9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should)</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/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income burnout employment exhaustion overworked personal time stress work life balance working Tue, 16 May 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1947497 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Work Perks You Can't Get as a Freelancer http://www.wisebread.com/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-511733684.jpg" alt="Woman learning work perks she can&#039;t get as a freelancer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In some industries, the number of gig economy workers is growing faster than the number of payroll employees. Working as a freelancer certainly does have its advantages, the biggest of which are flexibility, freedom, and the ability to experience variety in your work.</p> <p>But if you find yourself staring at the walls of your cubicle, daydreaming about escaping the 9-to-5 and finding freedom as a freelancer, don't overlook the perks you could be getting at your regular job, right now. It may not be so easy to leave these things behind.</p> <h2>1. Stable income</h2> <p>One of the biggest benefits of a regular 9-to-5 job is the steady paycheck. As a salaried employee, you can plan your budget based on a stable stream of income. As a freelancer, your income can vary significantly from one month to the next. A few slow weeks can throw your finances into disarray, so you'll need to shift your entire budgeting strategy to make sure this doesn't happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income</a>)</p> <h2>2. 401(k) match</h2> <p>Many traditional employers offer matching contributions to 401(k) plans. In other words, when you make a contribution to your retirement fund out of each paycheck, your employer will also contribute something. This is free money, and can total thousands of dollars each year. In the gig economy, you won't get this kind of assistance building your retirement fund. You'll need to make efforts to save for retirement all on your own, such as with an IRA or solo 401(k). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-retirement-plans-for-the-self-employed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Simple Guide to Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed</a>)</p> <h2>3. Retirement counseling</h2> <p>Employers frequently offer training or educational programs to help workers plan their retirement investment strategy. Often, they'll even provide free access to financial planners to answer questions. Freelancers are on their own to figure out the road to retirement, and consulting with financial pros will have to come out of your own pocket.</p> <h2>4. Health Savings Account</h2> <p>A valuable benefit that many people miss out on is participating in a health savings account. Every paycheck, you can contribute pretax dollars to be used for health-related expenses. Some health savings accounts allow the funds to be placed in investments where the money can grow until it is needed. As a freelancer, you may be able to set up your own health savings account, but you will need to do a lot more research than someone who simply signs up for an established program through their 9-to-5. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-saves-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How an HSA Saves You Money</a>)</p> <h2>5. Paid vacation and holidays</h2> <p>Paid time off is an undisputed benefit of a regular 9-to-5. As a freelancer, you don't earn a paycheck while on vacation or holiday. If you want time off, you take time off from earning any income, too. This can certainly put a damper on enjoying your down time.</p> <h2>6. Making connections</h2> <p>As a 9-to-5 employee, you'll have opportunity to build relationships with the coworkers and senior-level staff you see every day. These connections can give you a special level of access to approach and meet other influential people in your company. Plus, it never hurts to have a few people to chat with as you pass the day. Freelancers can still find plenty of opportunity to network, but they'll need to go out of their way to make it happen. It won't be as simple as showing up to work.</p> <h2>7. Tech support and replacement</h2> <p>I have thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment sitting on my desk. It gets supported, maintained, and upgraded by my employer. As a freelancer, you are on your own to buy and support your technology needs. Do you need a special monitor? You'll need to shell out for one. Is your computer too old to do the job? The replacement comes out of your pocket. If something breaks? The repairman will be billing you directly.</p> <h2>8. Training, certification, and professional development</h2> <p>Companies often invest in their employees by providing training or certification programs to help them be better workers. Staying up-to-date on skills, technology, and industry trends is incredibly useful to the employees as well, and makes them more valuable in the marketplace. Freelancers will need to find, purchase, and commit to their own training. It can be very easy to rest on your laurels and let your skills become outdated, especially with no boss insisting you keep learning.</p> <h2>9. Awards and recognition opportunities</h2> <p>It looks great on a resume to list awards and other work honors that you have received. Many employers have some form of &quot;employee of the month&quot; or similar recognition. You may not be able to stock your resume with such accolades if you go out on your own. At the very least, you'll have to seek out and apply for awards, where you'll likely be up against a much larger pool of talent.</p> <h2>10. Employee discount programs</h2> <p>Another perk that businesses offer their employees is discounts on products and services. These can range from cellphone plans, to personal computer purchases, to fitness club memberships &mdash; even discounts on concert and amusement park tickets. As a freelancer, you'll miss out on these discounts.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer">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/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit 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/8-ways-a-side-hustle-can-advance-your-career">8 Ways a Side Hustle Can Advance Your 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/5-great-retail-jobs-for-working-parents">5 Great Retail Jobs for Working Parents</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-work-experience-without-having-a-job">How to Get Work Experience Without Having a Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income 9-to-5 benefits employment freelancing gig economy pros and cons self employment side jobs work perks Mon, 08 May 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1940327 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit Interview http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_work_discussion_516896268.jpg" alt="Woman asking questions during her exit interview" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Exit interviews are common when someone is leaving a job. And usually, the onus is on the employer to ask the questions. If you're taking a new job offer, they may want to know why you're leaving, or what they could have done to keep you around. If you're being let go, they'll want to make sure you know everything about the package you're receiving, and your legal options.</p> <p>Rarely do people talk about the questions <em>you</em> should ask in your exit interview. Here are eight that can provide invaluable answers.</p> <h2>1. Will my feedback be anonymous?</h2> <p>If you have some important issues to get off your chest, this is a very important question to ask beforehand. You don't want to tear into an awful boss or coworker, only to find out that it has gotten back to them. You may even want to consider if it's worth the risk at all; if you work in similar fields, your paths may cross again in the future.</p> <p>Despite this, you may feel a moral obligation to tell HR all about the problems that certain coworkers caused, for the sake of the people who are left behind. If you must spill the beans, ask this question before you say anything negative or controversial about anyone. You may even want to write something down that can go on record &mdash; minus your name, of course.</p> <h2>2. What did I do well during my time here?</h2> <p>You can phrase this question however you feel most comfortable, but what you're looking for here is feedback on your strengths. What did you do that made a difference to the company? Were you a rock star at certain things? Were you highly prized in areas you didn't even consider?</p> <p>All of this can be great information to take with you to your next job. You may have thought that speaking up in meetings about potential issues with a project was a cause for grief. But it turns out that people really valued you asking those &quot;Devil's Advocate&quot; questions, as it helped with the development of otherwise unconsidered issues. This kind of feedback can really bolster your performance in your next position.</p> <h2>3. Do I have the option to come back here one day?</h2> <p>It may seem like an odd question to ask &mdash; after all, you're probably leaving the company for very good reason. However, &quot;boomerang&quot; employees can be common in some industries, especially if you're leaving to relocate out of state and may one day return. If you're leaving on good terms, this probably won't be an issue. If you're leaving because things went sour with certain people, it may be tricky to return until they, too, have left. If you're being laid off, you should be given the option to apply for other job openings that match your skill-set in the future.</p> <h2>4. What could I have done better?</h2> <p>No one is perfect. Even an employee that is being begged to stay will still have some areas that could use improvement. Now is the time to find out what those shortcomings are, as this will help you become an even better employee for your next company.</p> <p>Don't take any of this feedback personally. You asked the question, and you need to be an adult about the answers you get. Even if things take a turn, and you suddenly find out someone you respected was constantly complaining about you behind your back, just take it in stride. Fix what you think needs fixing, and ignore the petty stuff.</p> <h2>5. Can I use you as a reference in the future?</h2> <p>It may seem like a no-brainer that they'll say yes, especially if you were a good employee, but many companies frown on their staff providing references for ex-employees. If someone from that company provides a glowing reference for a person who turns out to be unreliable, a thief, a sexual predator, or anything else negative, it can come back on the business and bite them.</p> <p>The HR department's job in any company is to look out for the business, not the people who work there. So, if you think you may want to use them as a future reference, ask before you put their name down. Otherwise, they'll typically verify your dates of employment, and that's about it.</p> <h2>6. When can I expect my final paycheck, and how much will it be?</h2> <p>Your final paycheck may not be issued to you on a regular pay period. It may also include unused vacation days, and depending on your company, unused personal days, sick time (although that's rare), and a portion of the annual bonus you were set to receive.</p> <p>Not only do you want to ask about the final total, but when you can expect to receive that amount, and whether it will be a live check or a bank deposit. If the numbers don't add up, say something now. If they don't have final totals yet, make sure you have the phone number of the person in the payroll department.</p> <h2>7. Is there any kind of noncompete in place?</h2> <p>If you were given an employee handbook when you first started, this may be covered in there. But, roles and responsibilities within an organization vary greatly between departments, so now is a good time to clarify. It's possible that you will be asked not to have any contact with your current clients or vendors for at least a year or two, especially if you will be looking to poach current accounts from your company.</p> <p>Legally, you may not have anything to worry about, as this is typically more of a courtesy. How you handle this, of course, is entirely up to you. At the end of the day, you have to do what's right for you and your family, and if there's nothing in writing to stop you approaching people, it's your call. And of course, if they approach you without any prompting, that's another ballgame entirely.</p> <h2>8. What about a severance package and health benefits?</h2> <p>If you're being laid off, your company may have a set severance package in place. Many businesses offer two weeks of pay for every year of service, up to a cap of their choosing. Others give you a set figure (anywhere from a week to a year) regardless of your time there.</p> <p>You'll also need to know what's happening with your health benefits. Unlike most other countries, health benefits are tied to employment in the U.S. and losing coverage can be costly (or even deadly). Will the company continue covering your health insurance, and if so, for how long? What about COBRA? These are important questions to ask, and if they won't continue coverage, ask for more money in your severance to help cover the costs.</p> <p>If you are planning to leave your company soon, make sure you have at least some of these questions ready for your exit interview. And if you suffer a layoff, please remember to ask about your severance and benefits. 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/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">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/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer">10 Work Perks You Can&#039;t Get as a Freelancer</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self">7 Career Tips You Wish You Could Give Your Younger Self</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/5-things-you-must-do-before-you-quit-your-job">5 Things You Must Do Before You Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income benefits employment exit interview feedback human resources job hunting Job Interview layoffs quitting severance Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:31:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1936196 at http://www.wisebread.com 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-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/how-to-keep-your-job-search-a-secret">How to Keep Your Job Search a Secret</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/the-proper-ways-to-discuss-salary-in-a-job-interview">The Proper Ways to Discuss Salary in a 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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </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/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is 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/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers</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-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit 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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer">10 Work Perks You Can&#039;t Get as a Freelancer</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/how-to-make-public-speaking-less-terrifying">How to Make Public Speaking Less Terrifying</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/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/6-pearls-of-career-wisdom-from-brian-tracy">6 Pearls of Career Wisdom From Brian Tracy</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-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-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/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</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-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/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit 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/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/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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </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-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-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/how-to-save-for-retirement-when-you-are-unemployed">How to Save for Retirement When You Are Unemployed</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-every-millennial-needs-a-roth-ira">6 Reasons Every Millennial Needs a Roth IRA</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/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> </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-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/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</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-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers</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/you-got-a-raise-now-what">You Got a Raise! Now 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/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer">10 Work Perks You Can&#039;t Get as a Freelancer</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-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/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-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/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-job-creation">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Job Creation</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-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-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/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money">10 Ways for College Students to Save Loads of Money</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</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