promotions http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/799/all en-US How to Make Public Speaking Less Terrifying http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-public-speaking-less-terrifying <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-public-speaking-less-terrifying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-502920120.jpg" alt="Woman making public speaking less terrifying" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your ability to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-tips-to-beating-fear-and-becoming-a-stellar-public-speaker?ref=internal" target="_blank">speak in public</a> can be critical as you climb the corporate ladder. Struggling with anxieties about speaking in public can affect how your peers and other professionals view you, as well as limit your career opportunities down the line.</p> <p>Speaking with poise shows that you are confident, knowledgeable, and can handle pressure &mdash; all important qualities for a professional (especially a manager) to have. And handling questions after a speech, for example, shows how quickly you can think on your feet and how well you know the subject matter.</p> <p>If you cannot present confidently, or maybe you even skip speaking opportunities altogether, you miss your chance to showcase your skills. That gives others the chance to shine instead. Your fear of public speaking may be putting others in line for promotions ahead of you.</p> <p>Many careers consider presentation skills part of the basic job requirements. As you grow in your career, that becomes more common. Don't let this fear threaten to derail your professional life.</p> <h2>Improving your speaking abilities</h2> <p>For millions of people, public speaking is their number one fear. If you are one of them, there are ways you can conquer your fear. Below are four strategies you can use to help master speaking in front of others.</p> <h3>1. Books</h3> <p>If you struggle with anxiety and speaking in public, self-help books may offer some relief. Many people swear by Dale Carnegie's <a href="http://amzn.to/2mDZA1X" target="_blank">The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking</a><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Easy-Way-Effective-Speaking/dp/0671724002/ref=zg_bs_541648_6?_encoding=UTF8&amp;psc=1&amp;refRID=M8T0JDBET226D3E7M6XD">.</a> This book has helpful strategies on how to become more confident as a presenter and techniques on overcoming nerves before a big presentation.</p> <h3>2. Study what works</h3> <p>If you don't know where to start, study what works well for others. Look for speakers who speak well; they can be people within your workplace or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-presentation-secrets-of-steve-jobs?ref=internal" target="_blank">professional speakers</a> who perform in front of thousands. By studying what makes them engaging, such as their body language, volume, and presentation style, you can adapt their best practices into your own speeches.</p> <p>Watching popular <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks" target="_blank">TED talks</a> on subjects that interest you can provide fantastic inspiration, too. There are a wide range of topics and speaker styles, so you're sure to find something you can learn from.</p> <h3>3. Toastmasters</h3> <p>Toastmasters is one of the most well-known professional workshops out there. By joining a Toastmasters' club, you can practice public speaking in a relaxed, safe environment. You'll get tips and constructive criticism from polished professionals and experts, helping you hone your skills and get more comfortable at the front of the room.</p> <h3>4. Virtual reality</h3> <p>I tried a range of techniques to overcome my fear, including joining Toastmasters and reading dozens of books, but the most effective technique for me was virtual reality. While there are a number of apps and platforms available now, one of the biggest and most popular is Speech Center for VR.</p> <p>Speaking in front of a large group is difficult to prepare for; practicing in front of an empty room, while helpful in ensuring you know the material, doesn't ready you for presenting in front of dozens or &mdash; gulp &mdash; hundreds.</p> <p><a href="https://speechcentervr.com/" target="_blank">Speech Center for VR</a> is an app that uses virtual reality to make it seem like you're speaking in front of hundreds of people. There are different scenarios to choose from and virtual coaches that provide feedback, such as on your movement, eye contact, or voice level.</p> <p>While I felt ridiculous wearing the headset at first, I found it really helped me get more comfortable presenting to large groups. And it gave me good feedback on using the space available to me and modulating my speaking voice. Within a few sessions, I was still nervous, but I felt prepared and able to give a speech without getting sick.</p> <h2>Tips for making a great speech</h2> <p>When it comes to actually giving a speech, here are a few tips to help you through it.</p> <h3>1. Speak louder than you think is necessary</h3> <p>When people are nervous, they tend to speak quickly or softly. This can give you the appearance of timidity or unpreparedness. If you speak one level louder than you think is a normal presentation voice, you will naturally slow your speech and sound more authoritative and confident.</p> <h3>2. Breathe</h3> <p>If you tend to rush, force yourself to take a deep breath after each sentence. This will make your words sound more purposeful, while helping keep your nerves in check. And taking a moment to take a breath will also eliminate the need for filler sounds, such as &quot;um.&quot;</p> <h3>3. Hold a prop</h3> <p>For some, one of the most challenging aspects of speaking is what to do with their hands. Having a prop, even something as simple as holding a pen, can make you feel more relaxed and natural.</p> <h3>4. Know the material inside and out</h3> <p>One of the biggest public speaking fears is forgetting what you need to say. To combat that, practice the material until you know it by heart. That's not to say you should memorize the whole thing, but you should know the key stats and progression of talking points.</p> <h3>5. Find a friendly face</h3> <p>Making eye contact can be challenging when you're nervous or intimidated. Identify two or three friendly faces in the crowd to look at during key moments of the speech. That can give the illusion of making natural eye contact, while giving you encouragement to keep going.</p> <h3>6. Keep it simple</h3> <p>When writing a speech, it can be easy to use elaborate, wordy prose. But that can make it difficult to present naturally. Instead, use simple terms and short sentences to make it more engaging and understandable.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-public-speaking-less-terrifying">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-presentation-secrets-of-steve-jobs">The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs</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/you-got-a-raise-now-what">You Got a Raise! Now What?</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/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball">6 Secrets to Mastering the Debt Snowball</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 Life Hacks advice fear phobia presentations promotions public speaking speeches strategies Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:30:32 +0000 Kat Tretina 1909974 at http://www.wisebread.com You Got a Raise! Now What? http://www.wisebread.com/you-got-a-raise-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-got-a-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-510329664.jpg" alt="Man got a raise, so now what?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you got a raise! Now, it's time to start putting that money to work for you. While your first thought might be <em>shopping spree</em>, consider instead these other options that will build your wealth and secure your financial freedom.</p> <h2>Have Realistic Expectations</h2> <p>Your raise may sound like a lot, but once you receive your paycheck, you may be surprised to find how little your take-home pay actually changed. Don't make plans based on a quick mental calculation. Get the actual amount from your paycheck to know how the raise will actually impact you.</p> <h2>Make a Plan</h2> <p>Of course it's okay to reward yourself <em>a bit </em>for working hard and getting a raise. But don't just pocket the extra money and add it to your fun budget. Check your savings, credit card debt, and investments to see which areas can use a boost, and put your raise there. You can decide to put three months' worth to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay down your debt</a>, and then take a one month break to splurge. Consider your financial goals and how every dollar makes a difference toward reaching them.</p> <h2>Increase Your Emergency Savings</h2> <p>In an ideal world, you should have a three to six month cushion in your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund?ref=internal" target="_blank">emergency fund</a>. If you already have a sizable emergency fund, then you don't need to worry about saving more with your increased income. Otherwise, saving more now will mean less stress later when an unexpected event hits your wallet hard.</p> <h2>Pay Down Debt</h2> <p>Paying off debt should be a priority in your plan to gain financial freedom. It can also help improve your credit score, save on interest, and reduce stress. Consider putting your raise toward debt payments. Even a small amount that you can add to your monthly payments will significantly lower the interest paid and help you pay it off faster.</p> <h2>Increase Your Retirement Savings</h2> <p>Can you put some of that raise into your retirement accounts? Your retirement contribution might also automatically increase as it is usually based on a percentage of your gross pay. Have you at least set your 401K contributions to get the full amount of matching from your employer? If you have an another retirement account, like a Roth IRA, get your annual contribution out of the way.</p> <h2>Refinance Your Loans</h2> <p>With a higher income, you may be eligible for better rates on a personal loan, mortgage, and car loan. You can apply for better loans now or wait for your credit score to increase after you've made some positive changes (such as paying down debt and lowering your debt-to-credit ratio).</p> <h2>Start Investing</h2> <p>It's never too early to pad your wealth with smart investing. These days the startup capital required is minimal. You can start investing with a few hundred dollars. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-guide-to-online-brokers-for-investing-newbies-and-beyond?ref=internal" target="_blank">Online brokerages</a> often have a low minimum with low fees. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-trust-your-money-with-these-4-popular-financial-robo-advisers?ref=internal" target="_blank">Financial robo advisers</a> can take a lot of the work out of figuring out what to buy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-easy-ways-to-invest-your-first-1000?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Easy Ways to Invest Your First $1,000</a>)</p> <h2>Have Fun</h2> <p>It won't hurt to reward yourself a bit for a job well done. Have a celebratory dinner or buy an affordable gadget that you've been wanting. You can also start saving toward a vacation or other large purchase.</p> <h2>Prove Your Employer Right</h2> <p>Getting a raise means you've done a good job and deserve to be rewarded for it. Prove your employer right by continuing your positive behaviors, always putting your best foot forward, and looking forward to the next raise. You may also want to write a thank you card, especially if your manager or boss worked hard to get you the raise.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-got-a-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/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media</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/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a 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/turn-your-passion-into-a-living">Turn Your Passion Into A Living</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/wanna-put-away-some-cash-take-a-vacation">Wanna Put Away Some Cash? Take A Vacation!</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> Personal Finance Career and Income budgeting debt repayment extra money income job paychecks promotions raise saving money work Wed, 01 Mar 2017 11:00:10 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1898693 at http://www.wisebread.com They Offered You a Promotion and No Pay Raise. Now What? http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525955132.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are usually two ways to get a pay bump in your career; either you move to a new job that offers more money and a better title, or you get promoted at your current company with a raise. These days though, a promotion is not always accompanied by a bigger paycheck. When this happens, you may be wondering: Is it worth it?</p> <p>Let's look at the arguments for, and against, this new trend.</p> <h2>Yes! Take the Promotion Even Without a Raise</h2> <p>If there's a title change on the table, but no extra money to accompany it, there are still plenty of positives to consider.</p> <h3>1. You Will Gain More Experience</h3> <p>Hands down, one of the best reasons to take a promotion without a raise is to take advantage of the experience you'll get. Moving into a bigger role means more responsibility, more work, and more to learn. While it would be ideal to be compensated for this, remember that experience in and of itself is a kind of compensation. Think about it: Everyone who is paying many thousands of dollars to get an education, or learn a new skill, is paying for experience. You're getting this additional experience at no cost to you, and it can only help you grow and become a better employee.</p> <h3>2. It Looks Great on Your Resume</h3> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search?ref=internal" target="_blank">flat resume</a> is like a flat landscape; it's not very inviting. If you're looking to move jobs, you want to show your prospective employer that you have achieved things. You made waves, you made a difference, and you climbed the ladder. Promotions without pay raises do that just as effectively as those that come with extra cash. After all, how often do you put a specific salary next to each job or position you ever held? So, if you get promoted from Account Manager to Account Director, but there's no raise in pay, don't worry too much. It may not pay off now, but when you do move to a different job, you can jump right in at the higher level.</p> <h3>3. You May Get Additional Benefits Aside From the Pay</h3> <p>So you're not getting any extra money. But, what else does the promotion give you? Ask, and you may be surprised at the additional benefits that could come with the job. In some companies, that promotion can mean extra vacation days and personal days. In others, it may mean that you can work at home occasionally, or travel more. Some companies will give you extra discounts on products and services, or freebies. You may be able to get the cost of your cellphone bill reimbursed, or get a free company phone, which eliminates the need to pay for your own. Is there a company car? All these benefits, and more, add up to either saving money, or you not having to spend it, and that's a kind of pay raise.</p> <h3>4. With a Better Title Comes a Bigger Role in the Company</h3> <p>Even without the extra money, a promotion can be an excellent way to get more gravitas at work. Now, you have the title to push through ideas that might not have gone very far before. You may also have people reporting to you, which means you can delegate some of the less interesting work to them. It is rare &mdash; very rare &mdash; for a promotion to give you nothing more than a title change. Take the chance to grab those advantages. Or even better, suggest some. If the new title doesn't come with more money, can it come with something else? Get creative.</p> <h3>5. Turning a Promotion Down Can Look Bad</h3> <p>Finally in the &quot;for&quot; camp, it's the one point you cannot ignore. How is this going to look? It may be that the company is in financially unstable times, and cannot afford to give you more money right now. But, they really want you to take a bigger role, and more responsibility. They may well be counting on you. Saying &quot;Not without a raise&quot; can make you look mercenary, and while it is your right to do so, it could have implications further down the road. So, think hard before saying no. You may be saying no to a bigger promotion and actual raise down the road.</p> <h2>No! Don't Take That Promotion Without a Raise</h2> <p>More problems and no more money? Here's why you should consider declining the offer.</p> <h3>1. It's More Responsibility for the Same Money</h3> <p>Or, to put it another way, it's a pay cut. Look closely at the new title, and look at how the new job differs from your current role. Do you have to come in earlier and leave later? Are you on the road more? Are you now handling a much bigger workload, more stress, and the working lives of a lot of new people now reporting to you? Will this mean less time with your family or other relationships? Will you have to sacrifice hobbies and other personal interests? You may even have to relocate, and without more money, that could be impossible. Weigh up all these options carefully.</p> <h3>2. You Don't Want to Be a Pushover<strong> </strong></h3> <p>As an employee, you want to be respected. You do what you are required to do, and you do it well. But, you do not want to be a pushover, either. Taking a promotion without a pay raise might leave you feeling taken advantage of. Explore the reasons why this promotion comes without money. Does the company have a good excuse? It's certainly not the norm to get a promotion without extra pay, so what's the party line from HR?</p> <h3>3. Your Company May Be Hiding Something<strong> </strong></h3> <p>There's a scene in the movie <em>Fun With Dick and Jane</em> where Jim Carrey's character, who works for an Enron-like company, gets a big promotion only to find out he's the fall guy for his company's fall into the toilet. Sadly, this is not just something that happens in the movies. People sometimes get promoted into jobs that are dead ends, or into positions that make them immediately liable for something bad happening. You really need to do the research here. What exactly does this promotion entail? What is the state of the department? Talk to people who had that position before you. Get the scoop before you even consider saying yes, or no.</p> <h3>4. The Position May Require You to Actually Spend More Money</h3> <p>Not only will you be doing more work for the same money, but it's possible you'll have to dip into your pocket more as well. The promotion may require you to buy clothing and equipment that won't be reimbursed by the company. You may have to do a lot more driving, which means more gas and more wear and tear. You may have to organize and attend lunch meetings, which are once again not reimbursed. Ask what is required of you in the new role, and do the math.</p> <h2>What to Do?</h2> <p>As you can see, there are more reasons &quot;for&quot; taking this promotion than &quot;against&quot; it. But, that doesn't mean you should blindly take any promotion that comes without a raise. Take each situation on a case-by-case basis. Really look into it. Chances are, it's a good career move, even if it doesn't do anything for your bank account. But, there are risks, and they can be big ones. Good luck.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-got-a-raise-now-what">You Got a Raise! Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-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/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/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion">5 Ways You&#039;re Sabotaging Your Next Promotion</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 6 Secrets to Mastering the Debt Snowball http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-109722901.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You probably already know it makes more financial sense to pay off debts with the highest interest rates first, a payment method known as the debt avalanche.</p> <p>But here's a surprise: A study published last year in the Journal of Consumer Research found that people were more likely to actually pay off their debts if they relied on the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-debt-snowball-method-0" target="_blank">debt snowball method</a>, instead. In this approach, you pay off your smallest debt first, followed by your next smallest, and so on &mdash; until you've paid off all of them. You take this approach without worrying about which debts have the highest interest rates.</p> <p>Why does this method seem to work better? Researchers say it's about that all-important feeling of accomplishment. You'll get a rush of good feelings when you pay off a credit card, even if the debt on that card isn't that high. Yes, you'll pay more in the long run by not targeting debt with the highest interest rates first. But if the snowball method works better, and if you've long struggled with your credit card and other debts, you might be better off taking this approach.</p> <p>So, if you're ready to give the debt snowball method a chance, here are some tricks to boost your chances of success.</p> <h2>1. Draft a Household Budget</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps" target="_blank">Creating a budget</a> doesn't sound like fun, but it's critical if you're ready to get serious about paying down your debt. Your household budget should include the money that flows into your home each month and the money you spend, including estimates for such discretionary expenses as eating out and entertainment.</p> <p>Once you have a budget, you'll better know how much money you can allocate to paying down that smallest debt each month. Without a budget? You might be paying too much, putting yourself at financial risk. Or you might pay too little, dragging out the process of paying down your debts.</p> <h2>2. Don't Use the Card You're Trying to Pay Off</h2> <p>It might sound obvious, but don't add to the debt you're trying to pay off first. Don't use your credit cards to pay for anything. Follow your budget and pay cash or check for your allocated expenses. If you have a balance already on the card from the previous month, using it will immediately start interest charges on that amount. Nothing stalls your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">debt elimination process</a> more than adding additional interest.</p> <h2>3. In Fact, Don't Purchase Anything You Can't Afford to Pay Off</h2> <p>You're going to have to get used to a different sort of lifestyle, and that means no longer buying things you can't pay off at the end of the month.</p> <h2>4. Automate It</h2> <p>When you're concentrating on paying off one debt quickly, it can be easy to overlook some of your other bills. You can avoid this, though, by turning to automated bill payment. If you find yourself overlooking your cellphone bill, create an automatic payment from your bank account to cover that bill each month. You can do the same thing with car payments, student loan payments, or utility bills. Do this, and you'll dramatically reduce the odds of paying one bill late while you're whittling down another.</p> <h2>5. Don't Waste Bonuses or Promotions</h2> <p>Are you in line for a bonus at work? Don't blow that money on a new laptop. Instead, funnel it toward the debt you are trying to pay off. There's no better feeling than lopping off a huge chunk of debt.</p> <p>Or, maybe you've earned a promotion and a nice pay raise. Don't think that this gives you more spending money each month. No &mdash; until you pay off your debts, spending extra on fun shouldn't be a consideration. Instead, take the extra money you earn each month and use it to pay down your debt even faster. And then when you eliminate a student loan, credit card bill, or car loan, keep using that extra money to help pay down your next largest debt.</p> <h2>6. Consider a Balance Transfer Carefully</h2> <p>This strategy is only for those who are diligent and committed to paying off a certain amount of debt within a specific period of time. Credit cards offer new cardholders various balance transfer offers. Some have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">longer promotional periods (18-21 months)</a>, while others will <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">waive the balance transfer fee</a> (usually 3%-5%). Using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">balance transfer to pay down credit card debt</a> can save you a lot of money in interest. However, if instead you misuse this opportunity, by not paying off the debt during the 0% promotional period, and continuing to rack up debt on the cards you transferred balances from, you will find yourself in a crisis dealing with more accumulated debt than you started with, and at an even higher APR. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-things-you-should-know-about-balance-transfer-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Important Things You Should Know About Balance Transfers</a>)</p> <p>Paying down debt is never easy. But if you remain committed, and you need a series of smaller, but quicker, victories, the debt snowball method can work. Just make sure to remain focused on that goal of eliminating each debt one at a time.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball">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/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It 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/the-simple-way-to-decide-which-credit-card-to-pay-off-first">The Simple Way to Decide Which Credit Card to Pay Off First</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/6-common-debt-reduction-roadblocks-and-how-to-beat-them">6 Common Debt Reduction Roadblocks — And How to Beat Them</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-debt-management-questions-youre-too-embarrassed-to-ask">5 Debt Management Questions You&#039;re Too Embarrassed to Ask</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-back-on-track-when-youre-behind-on-your-bills">How to Get Back on Track When You&#039;re Behind on Your Bills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management automatic payments bills bonuses budgeting promotions repayment plans snowball method strategies Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:00:08 +0000 Dan Rafter 1877971 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_text_94856801.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to improve finances using social media " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Social media is about more than just looking at friends' baby photos, posting what you ate for dinner last night, and watching the most recent viral videos. It can actually help you improve your finances, land a new job, and reach your savings goals more efficiently. That's why we've found some of the best ways to improve your finances by getting the most out of social media. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>&quot;Friend&quot; Your Credit Cards and Bank</h2> <p>Add your credit card issuers and bank to your social media accounts by &quot;friending&quot; or following them. Large institutions usually offer deals to followers, so you can enjoy a lower APR, higher savings interest rate, or other money-saving promos. In fact, according to U.S. News, social media is often the first outlet that banks choose to <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/06/03/why-the-financial-services-industry-started-tweeting">share news about upcoming deals</a>.</p> <p>Social media is also possibly the best way to get in touch with customer service quickly, as it will allow you to get their attention more easily. Just make sure to keep your account information, address, and any other private information off the message boards and social media pages.</p> <h2>Enjoy Travel and Shopping Deals</h2> <p>There are endless travel and shopping deals available through social media. Retailers often choose social media as the first outlet to announce upcoming sales, so their friends and followers are able to take advantage of the biggest discounts first. Followers are frequently offered early deals, as well.</p> <p>You can find Twitter-specific deals that can save you on everything from rental cars and vacations to eating out and even buying gifts. Before going out to make any purchases, check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to make sure there aren't any deals that you're missing. You can even check social media hashtags, such as #deal, to find the best deals in your area.</p> <h2>Share Goals</h2> <p>Many financial experts recommend sharing your financial goals online. By setting your goals early and sharing them with the people you love, it can help you articulate what you really want and hold you accountable to achieve your goals. In fact, research has shown that making <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3047432/work-smart/why-sharing-your-progress-makes-you-more-likely-to-accomplish-your-goals">public statements about goals</a> can help you achieve them more efficiently. However, you never want to reveal anything too personal, such as private information that fraudsters can use against you.</p> <h2>Get Money-Saving Tips</h2> <p>By following your favorite finance site on social media, you can find endless free money-saving tips and updates. You can also find forums and group discussions with unique money-saving ideas and encouragement from others. You can even find good financial and investment advice online.</p> <p>Seeing these tips on a daily basis on your social media pages can also be a good reminder each and every day to protect your hard-earned income. After all, we all need a reminder once in a while that we don't really need that new top or expensive latte in the morning.</p> <h2>Find a New Job</h2> <p>LinkedIn can be an invaluable tool when you're searching for a new job. You can apply for jobs directly through LinkedIn, perfect your resume, and even reach out to potential employers and former colleagues. Contacting them through Facebook or Twitter won't be as effective or as professional as contacting them through LinkedIn.</p> <p>With LinkedIn, once you have created a professional profile, employers and recruiters can even reach out to you with potential job offers. You can also join LinkedIn groups within your field so you are the first to know about potential opportunities. You can even add examples of your work, recommendations from current or previous coworkers, and any honors you've received to better build your online portfolio.</p> <h2>Make Connections</h2> <p>Networking through social media can result in better face-to-face communication, potential job offers, and endless contacts in your field. Simply following someone or sharing their social media posts can be a great first step in networking and making connections.</p> <h2>Build Your Brand</h2> <p>Whether you're promoting your personal business or services, or just want to build your reputation as the best in your field, posting on social media can be a great start. Just make sure to stay consistent so that you can reach as many followers as possible.</p> <h2>Research More Efficiently</h2> <p>Gone are the days of asking for financial suggestions from friends and coworkers. Whether you're looking for a new financial planner or would like information on which investments to make, you can find more information quickly through social media. With a simple social media search, you can find detailed research on the investment product or financial adviser you're interested in.</p> <p>You can also find suggestions for dentists and other service providers in your area through social media. This will ensure you get what you're looking for and don't waste money.</p> <h2>Sell Your Items</h2> <p>If you create and sell items privately, such as through Etsy, social media can be a great free platform for you to advertise your products or services. This can help you bring in more revenue, reach new customers, and show off your work to a limitless audience.</p> <h2>Make Some Extra Income</h2> <p>There are even ways to make some extra income using social media. If you have a large following, you can publish sponsored tweets or sign up for affiliate accounts, where you will receive your own unique link to earn some extra income when followers make purchases using that link. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-extra-money-using-social-media?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Make Extra Money Using Social Media</a>)</p> <p><em>Have you followed Wise Bread on social media yet? What are your best tips for improving your finances through social media? </em><em>Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-got-a-raise-now-what">You Got a Raise! Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you">Here&#039;s How a Spending Ban Can Help (and Hurt) You</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/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket">This Simple Negotiating Trick Puts Money in Your Pocket</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-surprising-perks-and-some-drawbacks-of-paperless-billing">9 Surprising Perks (and Some Drawbacks) of Paperless Billing</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-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology advice blogs deals extra money Internet job hunting promotions saving money selling shopping social media travel Mon, 25 Jul 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1753337 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_excited_hands_74632665.jpg" alt="Man making money moves after getting a promotion" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So your company finally recognized your hard work and gave you that promotion you've been wishing for. And it comes with a nice bump in pay!</p> <p>What should you do now? Do you immediately go and buy a new car? Celebrate with a trip to Saint Tropez?</p> <p>No. If you'll notice, exactly none of the suggestions below involves buying any material items. Celebrate your promotion if you want, but your new money is best off being used to secure your long-term financial future. Consider addressing these eight things if and when you are fortunate enough to get a promotion.</p> <h2>1. Build That Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Are you prepared if something big happens in your life? Do you have at least three months of expenses available in liquid savings? The new income from your promotion can be partially set aside to prepare for the inevitable disaster, whether it be a health emergency, car accident, or flooded basement. Once you get that emergency fund in place, you'll be able to invest and save for larger goals with a clear mind.</p> <h2>2. Get More Organized</h2> <p>If you're not making a lot of money, it's often hard to do anything more than deposit your checks and pay your bills. But with a bump in income, it may now be possible to be more strategic about your financial situation. Rather than having just a single bank account, open distinct accounts for specific savings goals. Begin using an account aggregation platform, such as Mint.com, to see a single view of your finances and track your spending. You may also benefit from meeting with a financial adviser to come up with a plan for short-term and long-term savings goals.</p> <h2>3. Evaluate If Your Expenses Will Increase</h2> <p>Getting a promotion usually involves more money, but it may also mean more expenses for you. Maybe now you will have to work longer hours, necessitating more child care expenses. Perhaps you will no longer be able to work from home, and will incur commuting costs. You may even have to spend more on professional clothing if you've moved into a high-profile position.</p> <p>Make sure to take these new expenses into account when determining how much your net income will increase from the promotion.</p> <h2>4. Bump Up Your Retirement Contributions</h2> <p>If you get a raise, you should strongly consider taking all or most of your increase and boosting your regular retirement contributions. (Or begin making contributions, if you haven't started.) If you have a 401K but aren't contributing enough to get the full company match, see if you can get to that level. If you've been saving more but are just shy of maxing out your annual 401K contributions ($18,000 for most people), try and see if you can reach that threshold. The same goes for making the maximum annual contribution of $5,500 into your individual retirement account (IRA.)</p> <p>Even if you can increase contributions by a mere 1% or 2%, that's additional money that can grow substantially over time.</p> <h2>5. Check Your Tax Situation</h2> <p>There's a dark side to earning more money: You may end up giving more to Uncle Sam. In some cases, a raise may even put you in a higher tax bracket, thus wiping out any salary gains. So before you go making any major lifestyle changes, check to see what your actual take-home pay will be. You may be able to avoid a big hit from Uncle Sam by boosting contributions to your 401K, contributing to a health savings account, or making other adjustments that reduce the amount of your income that is taxed.</p> <h2>6. Target Your High-Interest Debt</h2> <p>If debt is weighing you down, now's time to start tackling it in earnest. Use your extra income to go after the debt with the highest interest rate &mdash; usually, this is a credit card. Once you have that debt paid off, keep it up. You'll be amazed at the financial freedom you'll obtain through the extra income and the reduction in debt payments. It's almost like getting two salary increases! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">The Fastest Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>7. Ask for a Credit Limit Increase</h2> <p>This may seem counterintuitive, since we just suggested you get your credit cards paid off. But with new income, you can ask for a higher credit limit which will then improve your &quot;debt to credit&quot; ratio. That ratio compares the amount of debt you have to the amount of debt you can incur. Generally speaking, a low ratio of debt to credit is what will help your credit score, as long as you don't increase the actual amount you are spending.</p> <h2>8. Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage</h2> <p>You may have been wanting to lock in a lower interest rate on your home for some time, but found the upfront costs to doing so a hurdle. Now that you have some extra income, you might find it easier to pull the trigger on refinancing the loan, thus saving money in the long run. Interest rates are still historically very low, and your higher income may even help you get a higher credit score, making you even more attractive to lenders.</p> <p><em>Get a promotion recently? What did you do with your extra take home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">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-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</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-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies</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-financial-obstacles-that-are-especially-tough-for-women">5 Financial Obstacles That Are Especially Tough for Women</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/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income emergency fund investing mortgage promotions raises retirement saving Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 1747766 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Score Free Food at Chick-fil-A http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chick_fil_a_20495862.jpg" alt="Learning ways to score free food at Chick-fil-A" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before they put a Chick-fil-A in my neighborhood, my taste buds and waistline didn't know what they were missing. Now that I have a Chick-fil-A nearby, it is hard to resist the delicious food, but even more so the amazing customer service.</p> <p>As much as I love Chick-fil-A, I do not love that it costs almost $30 to feed my family of four. So I have rounded up the best tips to get discounted and free food at Chick-fil-A. No need to send me a thank-you note &mdash; a Chick-fil-A gift card will do just fine.</p> <h2>1. Use the Calendar Card Once a Month</h2> <p>At the end of each year, Chick-fil-A sells calendars for the upcoming year. These calendars have promo cards attached to them. Each month, they offer one free food item. These cards come with six mystery offers (usually for a full-price salad or sandwich) and six disclosed offers, which are usually for a large drink or fry.</p> <p>I did not find out about these counter cards until last month. However, I was still able to hop onto eBay and purchase two calendars and cards for $15.99. Despite only having them for two months and missing January through April's offers, I've already redeemed $20 worth of food and drinks.</p> <p>You are only able to have one card per customer, and to use one card per order. But, you are able to get a card for every member of your family! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secret-fast-food-menus-revealed?ref=seealso">14 Secret Fast Food Menus Revealed</a>)</p> <h2>2. Download and Use the New Chick-fil-A One App</h2> <p>Chick-fil-A just released their new app, <a href="https://one.chick-fil-a.com/">One</a>, which allows you to earn points through your mobile phone. Also, if you download and sign up for the app before June 11, 2016, you will get a free sandwich. Not only will you be rewarded right away, but the app is very similar to Starbucks' rewards program. Scan your app every time you order Chick-fil-A, and you will earn credit toward free food. Also like the Starbucks' app, you can order ahead and pay with the Chick-fil-A app.</p> <h2>3. Dress Up for Cow Appreciation Day</h2> <p>This is one of the most well-known ways to get a free Chick-fil-A meal. Chick-fil-A holds a cow appreciation day each year in July. Individuals that dress partially like a cow will get a free entree. Those who don a full cow outfit will get a free meal. It is speculated that cow appreciation day 2016 will happen on July 8th.</p> <h2>4. Check Your Local Chick-fil-A Social Media</h2> <p>Check in with your local Chick-fil-A to know what special offers are going on. For example, many locations gave away free food to active and retired military during Memorial Day. Currently, my Chick-fil-A is giving away a free breakfast item every Wednesday morning in June, whereas the<a href="https://www.facebook.com/CFAWilloughby/"> Willoughby, Ohio Chick-fil-A</a> gave out free breakfast every Friday morning in May. Be sure to follow your local Chick-fil-A's social media accounts to be in the know, rather than the general Chick-fil-A accounts.</p> <h2>5. Buy a School Fundraiser Card</h2> <p>Chick-fil-A is also a big contributor to local schools and charities. Many times, they will contribute a free drink or another small freebie to fundraiser cards. For my area, Chick-fil-A offers a free frosted coffee with any purchase with the use of the school fundraiser card. I did pay $10 for this card, which also has many other local deals on it, but even if I just used it at Chick-fil-A, the card would have paid for itself in three trips.</p> <h2>6. Ask About Senior Discounts</h2> <p>Chick-fil-A's are individually owned and operated, but many locations have a senior discount for individuals 55 and older. Typical offers are a free drink or coffee, or a 10% discount. Check with your local restaurant to confirm.</p> <p>Not only is Chick-fil-A generous with their free food offers, they are one of the top restaurants that contributes to local communities. Take a closer look at Chick-fil-A, and you will see that they contribute quite a bit of money to local schools, charities, scholarships, and more. So while I will enjoy my free Chick-fil-A food, I will also gladly give them my &quot;dining out&quot; budget over another restaurant.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite thing to order from Chick-fil-A?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a">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-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</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/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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-reasons-to-stop-buying-gas-station-food">10 Reasons to Stop Buying Gas Station Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink apps Chick-fil-a discounts Fast Food free food freebies promotions Tue, 21 Jun 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1733680 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Confidence Makes You Better With Money http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rich_man_with_money_000067124067_0.jpg" alt="Man learning how confidence boosts his finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to managing your money, there's a piece of the puzzle that some don't consider: If you're determined to improve your personal finances, you can start by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-even-shy-people-can-fake-confidence-and-get-ahead">boosting your level of confidence</a>. You might be thinking one has nothing to do with the other, but low confidence can stand in the way of financial success.</p> <p>Here's how boosting your confidence can also boost your pocketbook.</p> <h2>1. You're Not Afraid to Ask for What You Want</h2> <p>About 10 years ago, I had a friend who had recently graduated college and found his first &quot;real job.&quot; He became frustrated with the pay after only six months and felt he deserved more because he finished college with a high GPA and had prior experience through internships. He told me that he was going to walk into his employer's office on Monday morning and ask for a $15,000 a year raise &mdash; &quot;negotiable, of course&quot; (which got the side-eye from me) &mdash; but wouldn't take anything less than $10,000.</p> <p>We looked at him like he was crazy. He was only 24 years old and fresh out of college. We told the dummy to slow his roll &mdash; because that's what friends do. Let me rephrase that &mdash; that's what negative, house-poor friends do.</p> <p>He didn't listen to us, and that's a good thing, because he got exactly what he wanted &mdash; a higher salary and a better position. I don't remember what he said to his boss, but I learned a valuable lesson that day: Don't be afraid to go after what you want, and don't listen to naysayers. If he had listened to us, who knows how long it would've taken him to move up in the company.</p> <p>The point: Lack of confidence can cause you to doubt your abilities. And when there's doubt, you might miss opportunities that can result in a higher salary. A confident person, on the other hand, believes in himself. He's not afraid to ask for what he wants and deserves. From a financial standpoint, confidence gives you the strength to negotiate your salary and get paid your worth.</p> <p>Just imagine what you could do with an increase in income. You could stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, open a retirement account, or finally put a dent in your credit card debt. And you'd also pick up the tab for your idiot, low-paid friends the next time you go out. That goes without saying, of course.</p> <h2>2. You'll Appear More Competent to Employers</h2> <p>Even if you don't ask your employer for more money, she might notice your confidence and feel you're the right fit for a challenging position when she's ready to offer promotions.</p> <p>Employers don't only look for people who have a particular skill set or level of experience. They also assess an employee's boldness, poise, and assertiveness. Being confident can get you to the top faster than someone who's unsure or second-guesses himself. This is especially true for women, who tend to demonstrate less confidence in the workplace, suggest Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006223062X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=006223062X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DHDAQQDLAV2FV7TQ">The Confidence Code</a>.</p> <p>If your employer thinks you lack confidence, he might unfairly conclude that you're not ready for certain responsibilities. And when you're constantly passed over for promotions, you might stay stuck at the same pay grade living paycheck-to-paycheck for much longer than you'd like.</p> <h2>3. You Don't Have Anything to Prove</h2> <p>It's sad, but some people will risk serious debt just to prove they can maintain the same lifestyle as their friends. I understand not wanting to be left behind when your friends eat at nice restaurants or take exotic vacations together. But under no circumstances should you get into major debt or end up flat broke from supporting a lifestyle you can't afford.</p> <p>It all goes back to confidence. A confident person isn't going to sacrifice their financial wellbeing so they can rub elbows or kick it with the Joneses. They don't get in over their heads financing expensive cars or houses, and they certainly don't rack up credit card debt to give the appearance that they're doing better than they actually are.</p> <p>Confident people know that financial success isn't about material possessions, but rather how well they manage their money. Someone can earn a lot and be broke, whereas someone who earns far less can have a bigger bank account. When you're a confident person and have absolutely nothing to prove, you're more apt to keep your personal expenses low and enjoy more disposable income. Thus it becomes easier to save a three to six-month cash cushion, and you're able to reach other financial goals, such as paying off credit card debt, saving for a kid's education, or making home improvements that can boost your property value.</p> <p>Life is better &mdash; and cheaper &mdash; when you're not trying to be someone you're not.</p> <p><em>Are there other ways you think confidence can improve your finances? Let us know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money">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/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</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/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</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/6-dumb-places-you-re-leaving-your-money">6 Dumb Places You’re Leaving Your Money</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/8-ways-a-side-hustle-can-advance-your-career">8 Ways a Side Hustle Can Advance Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career Building accumulating wealth confidence money promotions self esteem Fri, 11 Sep 2015 13:00:19 +0000 Mikey Rox 1553987 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Millennials Can Become Bosses Sooner http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-millennials-can-become-bosses-sooner <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-millennials-can-become-bosses-sooner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/millennial_woman_at_work_000020810378.jpg" alt="Millennial woman learning how to become a boss sooner" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our generation receives a lot of flack for being spoiled and entitled, but there's no denying that we're ambitious. We want to be in control of our lives and careers, and for some, this means becoming the person who calls the shots. The best way to do that is through entrepreneurship (I had to slip that in there), but if you're hellbent on taking the corporate path, here are five ways you can claim your rightful position at the top faster than all those naysayers think you can.</p> <h2>1. Volunteer for Leadership Roles</h2> <p>To move up faster and become a boss sooner, you have to show your employer from the very beginning that you're capable of a leadership role. This isn't the time to second-guess yourself or hide in the background.</p> <p>Jonathan Coughtrey, content manager of the personal finance blog <a href="http://www.actioneconomics.com/">Action Economics!</a>, advises volunteering for leadership roles whenever there's an opportunity.</p> <p>&quot;I became a supervisor over a crew of six people in my company when I was 23,&quot; he says. &quot;This year &mdash; at age 28 &mdash; I was promoted to management and I am responsible for the day-to-day implementation of all the work on our project, which encompasses 75 people per shift.&quot;</p> <p>If you're young and fresh out of college, your boss may underestimate your ability and unfairly question whether you can effectively lead or manage a team. Volunteering for leadership-type assignments, however, showcases your abilities, giving your employer the opportunity to see you in action. You might have knowledge and traits that some senior employees lack, putting you in line for promotions sooner.</p> <p>&quot;I had to learn more about our procedures than the other crew members, and this knowledge helped me become a subject matter expert and go-to person,&quot; Coughtrey continues. &quot;Upper management noticed this and when opportunities opened up, my name was on the top of the list.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Develop the Qualities of a Boss</h2> <p>It takes more than education and stellar performance reviews to become a boss early in your career; you also need to act like a boss. Employers look at the big picture when deciding whether to promote an employee to a management or supervisory role. Do you think you have what it takes to lead people and contribute to the company's success?</p> <p>Some Millennials make the mistake of only setting their eyes on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-successful-millennials-do">becoming a boss</a>, and they fail to consider what it actually takes to get to this point.</p> <p>&quot;Focus on what traits and accomplishments are needed to get to where you want to be,&quot; says Brock Murray, co-owner and director of web marketing with seoplus+, a digital marketing agency. &quot;A good boss leads by example, communicates well, shows passion, discipline, organization, creativity, and goes above and beyond the status quo.&quot;</p> <p>Learn how to embody these traits and you'll not only win the boss title, you'll also win respect and become an effective leader.</p> <h2>3. Learn How to Build Face-to-Face Relationships</h2> <p>As a tech-savvy generation, you're a pro at e-mail, text messaging, and social media, to the point where you might not remember the last time you picked up the phone and had an actual conversation. (I'm with you, brothers and sisters; I rarely use the phone for voice activities myself.) However, while knowledge of technology and the digital world is highly beneficial in today's corporate world, being a boss requires familiarity with all types of communication. People of older generations often prefer face-to-face communication, so you have to be adaptable.</p> <p>Tim Elmore, founder and leader of Growing Leaders, a leadership prep program for students, explains the danger of relying too heavily on technology.</p> <p>&quot;Leaders of younger generations are from the most social generation in history,&quot; he says. &quot;They are in constant contact with peers and family through iMessages and social media. But, they are also highly isolated because so much of their relational contact is through technology. This has led to poor people skills, low emotional intelligence, and the inability to handle interpersonal challenges.&quot;</p> <p>This doesn't imply ditching social media or text messaging, but at the same time, don't be afraid to take advantage of opportunities to meet face-to-face or network, which can improve your communication and people skills, and help you become a well-rounded boss.</p> <h2>4. Ask for What You Want</h2> <p>Because of your age, your employer might think becoming a boss is the farthest thing from your mind. So even if he knows you're capable of this role, he might hold off offering you a promotion. Additionally, you might hesitate expressing your desire to move up for fear of coming off as overconfident or arrogant. But according to career and leadership coach Kamara Toffolo, who's also a Millennial, you're only holding yourself back by keeping quiet.</p> <p>&quot;Often your own boss has no idea you want to be a boss yourself, so have the conversation,&quot; she advises.</p> <p>Toffolo also believes it's important for Millennials to realize they don't have to sit idly on the sidelines and think hard work alone will get them to the top. This doesn't always work.</p> <p>&quot;Ask them how you can groom and prepare yourself for a management role and become an attractive candidate,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>5. Pave Your Own Path</h2> <p>Of course, advancing up the career ladder at work isn't the only way to become a boss. If you're feeling unfulfilled, boxed in, or like you're losing your mind, don't be afraid to jump ship and become the boss of your own company.</p> <p>&quot;The biggest mistake most Millennials make is assuming that the path their parents took will still work for them. Starting in the mailroom and working your way up to CEO just doesn't work anymore,&quot; explains Nick Fox, career coach and founder of <a href="http://www.successhacking.com">Success Hacking</a>. &quot;It wasn't until I jumped ship to run my own business that I realized that the greatest way to become a boss is to forge your own path.&quot;</p> <p>If you're living at home or have minimum expenses, or if you don't have a spouse or children, now might be as good a time as ever to build a business from the ground up and be in complete control of your income and time. It's much harder to take a leap when you're older and carry more responsibilities.</p> <p>&quot;When you're young, you have a lot of leeway to make mistakes,&quot; says Fox.</p> <p>In other words, the time is now.</p> <p><em>Are you a Millennial who's making moves to become his or her own boss? Share your story in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-millennials-can-become-bosses-sooner">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/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</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-find-freelance-clients-part-one">How to Find Freelance Clients - Part One</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-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion">5 Ways You&#039;re Sabotaging Your Next Promotion</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/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money">3 Ways Confidence Makes You Better With Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building bosses entrepreneurship millennials promotions self-employment young Wed, 09 Sep 2015 21:00:29 +0000 Mikey Rox 1547923 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Skills That Helped Your Boss Get Ahead http://www.wisebread.com/6-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_triumphant_000038262530.jpg" alt="Man using skills to help him get ahead like his boss" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever look at your boss and wish you had his or her job? Or maybe you wonder how in the world they got to where they are, given the fact that you are struggling with your own position.</p> <p>The fact of the matter is, somehow your boss got ahead. They stood out from the rest. Here are some of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">skills</a> that helped them land that big promotion &mdash; and that can help you, too!</p> <h2>1. Cut the Negativity</h2> <p>No one likes being around someone who is always negative. It's hard, and eventually you either get dragged into their negativity, or you have to put distance between the negative person and yourself. So don't be that person!</p> <p>Yes, every workplace probably has something to be negative about. Maybe it's a rough time of year, or you're currently being asked to do someone else's job on top of your own. But keep the negativity to yourself.</p> <p>Being negative drags everyone down, and companies don't promote people who are going to make teamwork harder. When your boss got promoted, it's likely that he or she was known for being positive or, at least, for keeping negative comments in. Do the same if you want to get ahead.</p> <h2>2. Line Up the Right Support</h2> <p>Most of us can't be the lone wolf at work. We need some sort of support to be able to do our jobs successfully. When we aren't getting that, we won't perform as well and, therefore, will be less likely to get ahead.</p> <p>In today's work environment, it often falls to the individual to find the support he or she needs to get the job done. Be proactive and ask your boss for a meeting. Go over expectations, especially if you feel like these aren't clear. Ask your boss how they prefer to manage and work from there. For instance, a boss who prefers weekly check-in meetings may be willing to let you have two weeks between meetings, especially if you've proven yourself trustworthy and can show how the extra time would help you do your job better.</p> <p>Getting the support they need is something your boss most likely excels at, and one of the skills they used to do their job well enough to get ahead. Figure out what you need in order to exceed expectations and ask for it.</p> <h2>3. Take on Challenges</h2> <p>Taking on something that is new, different, or difficult is scary, especially when you feel like your livelihood may depend on it. However, being willing to take on a challenge, being the person who steps forward and says &quot;I'll do it!&quot; makes a huge difference when it comes to getting ahead.</p> <p>Think about it this way: When you are considering who you want to lead something, do you want a person in charge who isn't daunted, who can outthink and outmaneuver obstacles, or do you want someone who is afraid, stuck in an old way of doing things, and who can't think outside the box? Most of us want the first kind of person.</p> <p>Even if your boss seems stuck in her ways now, it's likely she was once willing to innovate and take risks. Be the person who steps up to the challenge, and you can be the one who gets ahead, too.</p> <h2>4. Understand the Current Goals</h2> <p>If you want to get ahead, make sure you understand your organization's current goals and how your job fits into those. See your work as part of the whole and make sure you are doing your best to make the whole function well.</p> <p>It's easy to get lost in the details of your job and to forget about the role you are playing in the overall company. It's also easy to misunderstand where your company is currently focused. For instance, you may think that your company is trying to land new accounts, when the current focus is actually on giving existing clients a better experience.</p> <p>Most people who get ahead in a company do so because someone thinks they will be able to help the company achieve their current goals. You boss probably focused on these when he was working to get ahead, and doing the same should help you, too.</p> <h2>5. Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes</h2> <p>It may seem counterintuitive to think that owning your mistakes will help you get ahead. However, taking full responsibility for yourself and your actions generates trust, and so it helps you build stronger relationships with both your coworkers and your clients/customers.</p> <p>Before you can take responsibility for any errors, you need to know your own role. Make sure you really know it, inside and out, so that you can honestly tell someone whether a mistake was yours or whether it occurred elsewhere. If you did make a mistake, be sure to apologize and, if necessary, change the way you do things so that it doesn't happen again.</p> <p>Most managers have, at some point in their career, demonstrated their ability to own their role, including any mistakes that are made. If it helped your boss get to where she is today, it can help you get ahead, too.</p> <h2>6. Find the Right Communication Style</h2> <p>Different people communicate in different ways. We use different words, different tones, and even different body language when we talk to one another. When you use your boss's communication style, you are more likely to get ahead because you'll be more likely to persuade him of the points you try to make and because he will see you as compatible with the overall company.</p> <p>Before you do this, you have to determine how your boss communicates. Listen to the words he says, whether he speaks quietly or loudly, quickly or slowly, and how he uses his hands, face, and body when he is speaking. Then try to do some of these same things when you are communicating with him and with your team.</p> <p>Matching communication styles probably helped your boss get ahead, and working to do it will help you, too. Don't worry about being false, because the ideas you want to communicate will be the same as they would be if you were using your natural communication style.</p> <p><em>How are you trying to get ahead at work? Is it helping you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead">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/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30">6 Ways to Transition to a New Career After 30</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-tips-for-better-workplace-body-language">7 Tips for Better Workplace Body Language</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/ace-your-next-performance-review-with-these-7-tricks">Ace Your Next Performance Review With These 7 Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-bug-your-boss-for-more-money-and-get-it">4 Ways to Bug Your Boss for More Money – and Get It!</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-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion">5 Ways You&#039;re Sabotaging Your Next Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building boss jobs Office promotions skills success Thu, 09 Jul 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1478349 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Next Promotion http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_saying_no_000035683416.jpg" alt="Man sabotaging his next promotion" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no way to know when or if you'll be promoted at work. And as promotions happen to others, you might wonder why your boss never offers you the job. Sure, some employees are more qualified and a better fit for a position, but there's also a chance that you're sabotaging <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion">your next promotion</a> without realizing it. Give yourself a better shot at a cushier position by avoiding these five moves that sabotage your chances.</p> <h2>1. You're Constantly at War With Your Boss</h2> <p>Since you and your boss work closely together, it's safe to say that you won't see eye-to-eye on every single issue. Having a minor argument or disagreement with your employer doesn't necessarily signal the end of your career. Most employers are reasonable and forgiving, and able to look past small issues with no hard feelings. On the other hand, if you're always getting into battles with your boss, your attitude and behavior could hold you back.</p> <p>If there's an employee with the same qualities and skills as you, who is also able to work well with others, your employer may feel that they're a better candidate for the promotion. You have to learn how to pick your battles and realize your employer is not your equal. In other words, slow your roll, feisty, and good things may come.</p> <h2>2. You Have a Negative, Toxic Attitude</h2> <p>Not only can arguing or fighting with your boss sabotage a promotion, but being a negative person can have similar consequences. You might not back talk to your employer, but if you're known as the &quot;office complainer,&quot; or if you constantly voice how much you hate your assignments, don't expect any promotions to come your way. Even if you're only speaking out of frustration, too much negative talk can get back to your employer. He might conclude it's safer to promote someone who's happy on the job, since this person will likely stick around longer than you.</p> <h2>3. You're Too Emotional</h2> <p>Every job has good days and bad days, and sometimes you might have to hide in your office and have a good cry. Yeah, we've all been upset or overwhelmed by work at some point, but if you've had more bad days than good days, or if you have a reputation for being fragile or too sensitive, your boss might think you're unable to handle a promotion. This is especially true if the new job is demanding and stressful. He might feel the position is a better fit for someone with a thicker skin. Plus, if you're crying in your office, there's a high probability that you'll come off looking emotionally unstable. Grin and bear it as best you can, then eat your feelings when you get home (not really, but pizza and ice cream always make me feel better). If it's a chronic problem, it may be a new job that you need, not a promotion.</p> <h2>4. You Hide in the Background</h2> <p>When the time comes to promote within, employers look for employees with the best qualities, skills, and drive for the position. Unfortunately, if you're the type of person who likes to hide in the background, your boss might not recognize your desire to move up or see you as a go-getter. As a result, your name doesn't pop into mind when it's time to promote someone.</p> <p>If your future plans involve moving up the career ladder, you have to go the extra mile and take the initiative. This is how you get noticed by employers, especially when working for a large company. You might not advance if you do just enough to get by.</p> <p>Even if you're an introvert or a low-key person, you must be willing to step outside your comfort zone. For example, you can volunteer for projects, or accept assignments that give you the opportunity to use your leadership skills and show your boss what you're capable of. The rest of the office might think you're a suck-up, but will you care when you're getting paid the bigger bucks? One, there's nothing wrong with being dedicated and enthusiastic about your job, and two, I didn't think so.</p> <h2>5. You're Not Teachable</h2> <p>It doesn't matter how much you know or how well you do your job, there's always room for growth. Moving up in the company isn't just about having the necessary skills and experience &mdash; you also have to be teachable.</p> <p>If you're a know-it-all who doesn't listen to instructions or suggestions, your employer might feel you're not the right person for a particular position. Additionally, you might miss out on new opportunities if you don't keep your skills up-to-date. Moving up within an organization might require taking a course or a workshop and gaining an understanding of new software and technology. If you're not willing to continue your education, your employer will promote someone who is.</p> <p><em>Do you have other examples of how we might be sabotaging our chances for a promotion? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion">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/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what">They Offered You a Promotion and No Pay Raise. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unmistakeable-signs-youre-slacking-at-work">5 Unmistakeable Signs You&#039;re Slacking at Work</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-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work">10 Times You Should Speak Up at Work</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-tips-for-better-workplace-body-language">7 Tips for Better Workplace Body Language</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-bad-habits-that-are-ruining-your-career">6 Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Office promotions raises sabotaging work Mon, 22 Jun 2015 09:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1462212 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Times You're Better Off Without a Promotion http://www.wisebread.com/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000062383406_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="business woman window" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've been with a company for years, and have received excellent performance reviews. You may even be due for a promotion. Maybe it will come with a bigger paycheck, a larger office, and a fancier title. But should you automatically accept a promotion if one is offered? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-finally-get-that-promotion-this-year?ref=seealso">12 Ways to Finally Get That Promotion This Year</a>)</p> <p>Moving up the corporate ladder seems like a no-brainer, but there are many reasons why you might be better off declining.</p> <h2>1. You Wouldn't Be Doing What You Want to Do</h2> <p>You went into engineering because you really love using technical skills to build things and solve problems. But now you're a manager, and you spend more time in budget meetings and strategy sessions than actually working on projects. Promotions can bring some extra money and influence, but what's the point if you're not doing something you enjoy &mdash; or worse, if you're being derailed from your intended career path?</p> <h2>2. Your Job Might Actually Become Less Secure</h2> <p>It seems a bit counterintuitive that a promotion would actually make you more vulnerable to a layoff, but it is possible. It's often more cost-effective for companies to get rid of a layer of management than lay off workers in the lower rung. There's also a perception &mdash; right or wrong &mdash; that <a href="http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/caught-in-the-middle-rising-unemployment-takes-its-toll-on-older-managers/">middle managers aren't tech savvy</a>, and are therefore more dispensable.</p> <h2>3. You Would Have No Real Authority, But Would Be Accountable</h2> <p>So you got that promotion and now have some employees reporting to you. But you may find it frustrating to learn that while you're accountable for your department's performance, there are outside factors that impact your ability to control outcomes. Before accepting a promotion, try to gauge how much input you will actually have on key decisions.</p> <h2>4. It Would Require a Relocation</h2> <p>You've been offered an opportunity to move up in the company, but there's a catch: You need to move to Portland, Oregon. Now, Portland is a lovely city, but you're from Baltimore, and so are all of your friends and family. Living in Portland may be a little pricier, and the city doesn't even have a Major League Baseball team! For some people, moving for work is a fun adventure, but for many others, the change in location might not be worth it.</p> <h2>5. It Would Be a Promotion in Name Only</h2> <p>Some companies like to add &quot;senior&quot; to your title and give you a lot of extra responsibility. But does it come with extra pay or other perks? Is it really just a &quot;lateral&quot; move? If you're being saddled with extra work and stress but aren't being compensated for it, it may be the wrong kind of &quot;promotion.&quot; Occasionally, this is okay if you're learning some new skills that will pay off down the road, but it's important to make sure your employer isn't taking advantage of you.</p> <h2>6. You Don't Plan to Stay With the Company</h2> <p>Let's say you've been fantasizing for years about opening your own gourmet donut shop, and are about six months away from having enough money saved for it. Then your employer calls and offers you a big promotion. Do you accept the offer, knowing that you were on the verge of leaving to pursue your dream? Taking a promotion when you're a short timer is pointless &mdash; and is unfair to the employer. This is also good advice for someone who is considering leaving a company due to its shaky finances. If you weren't confident in the company before, getting a new title and bigger paycheck isn't going to change matters.</p> <h2>7. You'd Be Asked to Fix the Unfixable</h2> <p>I once had a friend who took a job to turn around a struggling division. He saw it as an opportunity to show off some leadership skills and execute his own vision. In a short time, however, he learned that the division's problems were so deep that they were beyond his ability to repair. Occasionally, higher-ups might give credit to an employee for making the best of a bad situation, but it's often just misery with no happy ending. Don't accept a promotion to &quot;save&quot; something that is beyond saving.</p> <h2>8. Your Work-Life Balance Would Suffer</h2> <p>Is this new job going to require longer hours at the office? Will you be on the road constantly? Will you constantly be on call? You may be at a point in your life when you need to be home more often to care for kids or an elderly parent. Or maybe you just want more time to pursue various interests. CNBC last year reported on some&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/101755874">dads who declined promotions</a> because they wanted to spend more time with their families. You should not be so reliant on that extra paycheck that you're willing to sacrifice the quality of your non-work life.</p> <h2>9. You're Not Qualified</h2> <p>It's great to take on a new challenge, but it's important to be honest about your own talents and experience. We may be conditioned to fight off a fear of failure, but there are instances when those fears may be valid. If you enter into a job without the right skill set, you could find yourself with no career at all.</p> <h2>10. The Only Reason You're Considering It Is for the Money</h2> <p>A better paycheck is great motivation to climb the corporate ladder, but if it's the only reason you're even thinking about taking the job, turn it down &mdash; assuming the money isn't really needed.</p> <h2>11. The Job Doesn't Align With Your Values</h2> <p>If you're a vegetarian, would you enjoy being in charge of a marketing campaign for the beef industry? If you're a Quaker, could you be an engineer of a major weapons system? We all have values and beliefs that guide us, and working in any job that's contrary to those beliefs can make us miserable.</p> <h2>12. It's a Dead End</h2> <p>You may think that moving up the ladder is always good thing, but it's important to also think of the next step. Do you see a potential path to other opportunities within the company? Does this new job really add anything to your resumé? If you lose this job, will you be able to easily find a new one in the same field?</p> <p><em>Have you ever turned down a promotion? If so, why?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion">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-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</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/avoiding-grass-is-always-greener-syndrome">Avoiding grass-is-always-greener syndrome</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-15-coolest-silicon-valley-job-perks-you-wish-you-had">The 15 Coolest Silicon Valley Job Perks You Wish You Had</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/10-depressing-jobs-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Depressing Jobs That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what">They Offered You a Promotion and No Pay Raise. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income careers job market jobs promotions Wed, 25 Feb 2015 10:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1304052 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Simple Ways to Market Your Side Business http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-marketing-notepad-desk-Dollarphotoclub_70821536.jpg" alt="businessman marketing" title="businessman marketing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you run a side business &mdash; especially when you're first starting out &mdash; you usually don't have very much money. Most advertising is out of reach for people running businesses on the side, and many free marketing techniques require so much energy that they aren't worth it, either. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-generate-new-leads-for-your-side-business?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Generate New Leads for Your Business</a>)</p> <p>However, there are some fabulous ways to generate customers for your side gig without killing yourself in the process. Read on to find out what has worked for me &mdash; and countless other folks.</p> <h2>1. Word of Mouth (Referrals)</h2> <p>This is the simplest way possible to get more business. If you do good work, your customers will put other people in touch with you, and your business will grow organically.</p> <p>Word of mouth is one of the best ways to grow your business, because people trust their friends and loved ones more than they trust a website or a listing in the phone book. However, it can be slow.</p> <p>If you want to speed things up, it's quick and easy to ask your customers to be sure to tell their friends about you. You can even create incentives &mdash; maybe offer a discount on their next purchase if they refer two people to you who actually buy something.</p> <h2>2. Make Real Connections With Customers</h2> <p>If you want your customers to connect you with their friends and family members, you'll want to forge a solid connection with them. If your business allows you time to interact, be sure to make the most of that. As appropriate, share your story and that of your business &mdash; let them know why you do what you do.</p> <p>Even if you don't have the chance to talk, you can find other ways connect with people. It's easy to include a handwritten note if you're sending a product, or a &quot;thank you&quot; card when you're finished working with someone. Anything that shows you spent a little extra time and energy to personally interact with them will make them feel closer to you.</p> <h2>3. Social Media</h2> <p>Having an active social media presence can help almost any business. It usually takes some trial and error to figure out where your customers are hanging out online, when they're there, and what they'd like to hear from you. Spend some time experimenting, so you can maximize your time and energy later.</p> <p>Most businesses find customers via Twitter and/or Facebook, though some (such as clothing, art/design, or food businesses) find that Instagram is a better choice. You may even find that LinkedIn is the best place to find your customers &mdash; especially if you're in a B2B or professional services field.</p> <p>The beauty of social media is that it can potentially find customers for you, so the more viral or shareable your content, the better. Before you post to social media, ask yourself: &quot;Do people want to read or look at this? And would they want to share it with their friends?&quot; If you can answer those two questions in the affirmative, you're on your way to building a successful social marketing program.</p> <h2>4. Give Something Away</h2> <p>People are often reluctant to purchase something the first time they hear about it, but they usually aren't hesitant to try something that's offered for free. What you give away depends on what your business offers. In general, it's simple to compile some blog posts into an ebook, create a downloadable infographic, or make a template that potential customers can try for free.</p> <p>Offering something for free not only allows potential customers to get an idea of the expertise you offer, but also gives them just a taste of how you work and what you might be like to work with. This can go far towards reassuring them that doing business with you is worth their while.</p> <h2>5. Join a Chamber of Commerce</h2> <p>Most cities offer chamber of commerce networking events. Some will bring in a speaker, while others will offer cocktails at a meet-and-greet. Joining these groups is usually cheap or free, and can connect you to people in your community who might need what you're offering. Even if they don't need it, though, making the connection means you'll be closer to the top of their list when they meet someone who <em>does</em> need what you offer.</p> <p>It can be hard to get to these meetings if you're still working full-time. But a few of these groups offer online networking as well, and some entrepreneurs opt to take time off from work to attend. It's worth looking into it, and if you find yourself getting a lot of business via your contacts at the meetings, you can decide how to invest yourself further.</p> <h2>6. Offer a Groupon</h2> <p>Some side businesses find that offering a deal via <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10788528">Groupon</a> or <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-11429060">LivingSocial</a> is a great marketing tactic. It gets new people in the door, where you can <em>wow</em> them with your amazing presence, products, or expertise.</p> <p>The idea is to keep people coming back for more. In reality, there are a good number of pros and cons to <a href="http://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/should-your-business-offer-a-groupon-deal/">offering a deal</a> like this. You will need to decide whether you can structure a deal so that you will still make money, and what you will do to bring people back after their first interaction with you. If you think you can make it work, the actual offering of the Groupon is an easy process.</p> <p><em>What's your side gig (or your dream side gig)? How do you, or would you, market it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business">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-you-can-earn-18-to-25-an-hour-with-amazon-flex">How You Can Earn $18 to $25 an Hour With Amazon Flex</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-things-i-learned-about-money-after-i-went-freelance">7 Things I Learned About Money After I Went Freelance</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/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start">13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start</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-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well">11 Freelance Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well</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/what-to-do-when-youre-sick-of-your-side-gig">What to Do When You&#039;re Sick of Your Side Gig</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income marketing promotions side gig side job Tue, 17 Feb 2015 10:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1289849 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is How You Win Sweepstakes http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-win-sweepstakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-you-win-sweepstakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tablet-461535927.jpg" alt="excited woman" title="excited woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of winning something for nothing is appealing. As an avid enthusiast of entering sweepstakes and contests, I have over 15 years of experience and plenty of wins, I can vouch for the hobby as one that can help you obtain cash, trips, gadgets, and more with just the investment of time and patience. For many people, however, a lack of both time and patience leads them to frustration. &quot;Why haven't I won?&quot; many ask &mdash; even after just a few weeks of starting the hobby. Here is what I've learned over the years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-big-in-online-sweepstakes?ref=seealso">How to Win in Online Sweepstakes</a>)</p> <h2>The &quot;Sweepstakes&quot; Cycle Can Be a Long One</h2> <p>Back in 1998, when I started entering sweepstakes, most promotions were administered the old-fashioned way &mdash; with a stamp and an envelope. The Internet was relatively new, so most contests were done via postal mail. The time it took to enter, win, and find out about your win could be six months or more. Today, even with the web hosting most promotions, there is still a timeframe of eight weeks or more for people to get their entries in, two weeks for the sweepstakes administrator to draw and verify winners, and eight weeks for the prizes to be mailed out. Before you start complaining that you never win, check to see if it is even possible for you to have been picked and notified yet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andbreathe-become-more-patient-in-9-easy-steps?ref=seealso">9 Steps to Become More Patient</a>)</p> <h2>Odds Can Vary by Promotion</h2> <p>Every year, HGTV holds its &quot;Dream Home Giveaway.&quot; Millions of people enter the sweepstakes (sometimes every day) to get their chance at being the lucky winner of an amazing property worth millions of dollars. If you were to enter just these types of high-profile promotions, you would likely never see any wins. The odds of winning are so astronomical that you could enter and enter and enter&hellip; and wonder if it was worth your time. By entering a promotion that hits the &quot;sweet spot&quot; of many prizes of moderate values, however, you can increase your odds of winning. Examples of this type of promotion could be one that offers 20 prizes of $1,000 savings bonds, a 50-state promotion that gives out restaurant gift cards to one entrant per U.S. state, or an instant win sweepstakes with thousands of prizes each valued at $20 or below. Sure, you won't be a millionaire by the end of it, but even winning a prize with a value of $100 makes you a winner (and can improve your quality of life somewhat).</p> <h2>Disqualification Can &mdash; and Does &mdash; Happen</h2> <p>It's super important to read the rules of any promotion and make sure you are following them <em>exactly</em>. Most contests and sweepstakes have common regulations that require the entrants to be a certain age, meet residency requirements, and sometimes even have a certain occupation. Other rules include how many total times you can enter and how many people per household can enter the same sweepstakes. Some companies won't let the same person win more than one time in a given timeframe, as well. If you are entering, but also disqualifying yourself with your entries, you will never see a win.</p> <h3>Use a Form Filler</h3> <p>I highly recommend using a form filler, either as an add-on or extension to your web browser or as a separate software feature, to save time and ensure accuracy for each entry. Using any automated &quot;bot&quot; however, can be detected by most sweepstakes sites and can result in your entry &mdash; and all further entries from your IP address &mdash; to be disqualified. Reliable form tools include Roboform and the Form Filler extensions for Chrome. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-time-and-money-saving-apps-for-freelancers?ref=seealso">16 Time and Money Saving Apps</a>)</p> <h2>You Could Be Missing Your Win Notifications</h2> <p>As a blogger, I run two to three giveaways on my site each month. Each time, I notify the winner at the email address they give in their entry. One out of six times, however, I send multiple notifications and never hear back. This tells me that winners are either typing in the wrong email on their entry forms, or they are not checking their email on time, or emails are going to spam and being tossed. Make double-sure that you are providing the correct info on your entries, and always check daily &mdash; even in your spam folder &mdash; for winning notifications. Nothing is worse than finding that special email after the timeframe for claiming your prize!</p> <p>While I personally don't enter giveaways that don't notify winners (but rather rely on the winners to come back and check a winner's list to claim their prize), notifications can be lost. Setting up a Google Alert with the name you use to enter giveaways, as well as the word &quot;winner&quot; can help ensure you get an email when a website lists you as a prize winner. You can then contact the sponsor to see how to get your prize.</p> <h2>A &quot;Winning&quot; Habit Helps</h2> <p>It's much easier to do anything in life if you do it consistently.</p> <p>Many of the &quot;lifelong&quot; contesters I know have a special schedule to their entering that they follow religiously. While the time of day may not have as much importance as the fact that they commit to just doing their entries, the fact remains that developing a habit ensures many entries. In addition, many entries mean a higher chance of winning. Make entering fun instead of being a chore by tying it to something else you like to do like watching your daily newscast or listening to tunes. The more regular you are with the practice, the more wins you'll see coming in later! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/habits-arent-boring-theyre-the-secret-to-happiness-heres-why/ref=seealso">Habits Are the Secret to Happiness</a>)</p> <p>Some things I've done to help me develop a regular habit include:</p> <ul> <li>Sign up for Online-sweepstakes.com's &quot;<a href="http://www.online-sweepstakes.com/mysweeps/">My Sweeps</a>&quot; tracking tool. This feature is free for lite users and allows you to save your favorite sweepstakes, as well as check off each time you've entered, along with what time of day your entry took place.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Subscribe to email reminders for the most coveted prize giveaways, alerting you to the fact that you haven't made your daily entry yet.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tying your sweepstakes hobby to a favorite pastime you do each day (watching reruns of &quot;Burn Notice&quot; or catching up on the news, for example) gives you a way to do your entries at the same time each day, as well as multitask in a relaxing way.</li> </ul> <p>Luck has something to do with winning, but most people I know that &quot;never&quot; win don't understand the concepts above. &quot;You can't win if you don't enter&quot; holds more truth than any other advice I know on sweepstakes and contests. You can win if you don't give up too quickly.</p> <p><em>Are you a sweepstakes regular? What have you won?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-win-sweepstakes">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-win-big-in-online-sweepstakes">How to Win Big in Online Sweepstakes</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/be-a-winner-with-your-dinner-or-not">Be a Winner with Your Dinner (Or not)</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/i-scream-you-scream-i-m-lovin-free-ice-cream">I Scream, You Scream… I’m Lovin’ FREE Ice Cream!</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/really-great-uses-for-kitty-litter">Really Great Uses for Kitty Litter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks contests promotions sweepstakes Tue, 11 Mar 2014 10:36:33 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1129913 at http://www.wisebread.com Easter Eggs Aren't Only For Easter http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012215816Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I've always been drawn to products that have that extra little <em>something</em> in them.</p> <p>It's always interesting to hear when people discover nifty little built-in &quot;easter eggs,&quot; or extra hidden features that only a few people may notice inside of a product. These easter eggs might be hidden tracks on an album, special hidden features in a game or web application, or a special prop in a TV show. There are plenty of ways easter eggs are added into lots of things we watch, use, or listen to.</p> <p>It may seem frivolous, and yet one more thing to think about, but hiding an easter egg in your product or website can help you build a better relationship with your customers.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Reward the TRUE Fan</strong></p> <p>Sometimes adding a little unexpected something to your site or product can give your fans something to look forward to. The producers of the TV show <em>Psych </em>have included a pineapple in nearly episode to give fans &quot;in the know&quot; something to look forward to.</p> <p>The true fans are the ones you want to reward, and giving them a little extra something lets them know that you care.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Break the Monotony</strong></p> <p>Google <em>loves</em> to <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/217752/googles_top_easter_eggs_gags_and_hoaxes_2011_edition.html" target="_blank">add easter eggs into their products</a>: nifty logos, funny error messages, and April Fool's Day pranks every year. For a company that specializes in something as monotonous as search, they can get away with adding lots of fun extras.</p> <p>When you have a web company that does mundane things, it can be a refreshing break from the monotony with fun, unexpected &quot;treats&quot; for users.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Can Add Much-Needed Humor</strong></p> <p>Easter eggs may not be applicable to every type of &quot;boring&quot; company: you probably wouldn't want a fun or comical easter egg on, say, on the <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/" target="_blank">Mayo Clinic website</a>. But companies have learned that humor can go a long way to adding a bit of fun. And easter eggs are a great way to add humor.</p> <p>Humor is being used more and more to market more traditional, no-nonsense types of products like <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndHOmYCMaXQ" target="_blank">insurance</a>, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0GsNhLt9Ds" target="_blank">online stock trading</a>, or even <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE" target="_blank">soap</a>.</p> <p>Look no further than Google's famed <a href="http://google.about.com/od/experimentalgoogletools/tp/aprilfools.htm" target="_blank">April Fool's Day jokes</a>. Fake products like Google Translate for Animals or the Google Copernicus Center, a fake hiring center on the moon, make people laugh every year.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Add Intrigue</strong></p> <p>When you hide easter eggs in your product, you give the user a reason to wonder what else might be hidden.</p> <p>The PC computer game <em>Myst</em> of the mid-nineties was almost solely based around finding easter eggs and clues hidden on the mythical island. The game centered around the excitement of exploring the unknown and poring over every detail within the game for easter eggs.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Give Your Team a Fun Project</strong></p> <p>Teams who work hard every day appreciate being able to cut loose and create something that doesn't necessarily have the pressure of (directly) influencing the bottom line. It's good for team morale.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Can Be a Marketing Tool</strong></p> <p>J.J. Abrams is the master of using easter eggs to sell something. With Abrams' blockbuster film <em>Cloverfield</em> Abrams created <a href="http://www.1-18-08.com/" target="_blank">1-18-08.com</a>, a site with pictures that the viewer could move around and try to interpret a series of events. Viral sites for a drink Slusho! and a Japanese drilling company Tagruato were both created to add to the mythology of the Cloverfield story. Abrams used these sites to tell side stories and add even more mystery and interest around the movie.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Can be Viral</strong></p> <p>Easter eggs are inherently viral. What's the first thing you want to do when you discover an easter egg? You want to tell your friends. We humans don't want to share the mundane; we want to share the unique. We're drawn to it. Easter eggs are natural viral tools.</p> <p>At the end of the day, easter eggs show an attention to detail to your customers. Sure, it's all fun and games. But sometimes it's the little things that make the difference to the person using your product.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/glen-stansberry">Glen Stansberry</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter">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/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</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/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business">6 Simple Ways to Market Your Side Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</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/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</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/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start">13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center customer rewards Easter eggs marketing promotions small business Sun, 20 Nov 2011 19:47:20 +0000 Glen Stansberry 788828 at http://www.wisebread.com