working http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9416/all en-US These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_bike_dog_492263352.jpg" alt="Woman finding things that cost a lot less in retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a lot of scary headlines out there about how poorly prepared people are for retirement. And it's hard to deny the research: Many people simply are not saving enough.</p> <p>One silver lining in the retirement funding equation, though, is that you'll probably spend less in your later years. Let's take a look at some of the most common costs that decline after exiting the workforce, along with some that may go up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. Housing Costs</h2> <p>Ideally, you'll retire your mortgage by the time <em>you</em> retire. Of course, you'll still be on the hook for property taxes and insurance, but entering retirement mortgage-free is one of the best ways to reduce the cost of living in your later years.</p> <p>You may also decide to downsize, which could cut the cost of home maintenance, repairs, and insurance, too.</p> <h2>2. Work Costs</h2> <p>If you're no longer working, you no longer have to worry about the cost of commuting, work-related clothing, or all those restaurant lunches. Plus, you'll no longer have to contribute to Social Security or Medicare as you probably had been doing via withholdings from your paycheck.</p> <h2>3. Car Costs</h2> <p>If you've been a two-car household during your career, it's possible that you could make it just fine as a one-car household in retirement, which would reduce the cost of vehicle maintenance, repairs, insurance, and gasoline. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what?ref=seealso">You Can't Make It as a One-Car Family: Now What?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Saving &quot;Costs&quot;</h2> <p>It's hard to call adding money to a 401K or IRA a cost, but the reality is that once you're done working you'll probably stop contributing to your retirement accounts and start withdrawing from them.</p> <p>By the same token, if you had been stocking a 529-plan account or two with college money for your kids, hopefully they'll be done with school by the time you retire, so those &quot;costs&quot; should disappear as well.</p> <h2>5. Kid Costs</h2> <p>Speaking of kids, even though people are marrying and starting families later in life, by retirement, the kids should be on their own. Just think of all the money you've been spending on their clothing, food, activities, medical care, insurance, and more.</p> <h2>Caution: Your Retirement Spending May Change</h2> <p>While many costs may come down when you leave the workforce, keep in mind that retirement is not a homogeneous season of life. You'll probably be healthiest and most active when you're newly retired. That means some of your costs could actually go <em>up</em> right after retirement. You may spend more on travel and recreation, for example.</p> <p>Then, as you age, you'll probably become less mobile, which means eventually you'll spend less on recreational activities than before you retired.</p> <h2>The Big Unknown</h2> <p>The largest question mark looming on the retirement horizon is health care. Your monthly insurance premiums may decline once you go on Medicare. However, what about your potential need for nursing home care?</p> <p>While that's not the happiest topic to think about, it's far better to deal with it now than when you actually may <em>need </em>the care. To manage that risk, you may want to look into the cost of long-term care insurance. And keep in mind, your choice is not just between paying the high cost of as much coverage as possible or none at all. You could opt for a more affordable policy that would help with <em>some </em>of the costs, while leaving you responsible for some, as well.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>The very real possibility that your living expenses will be less in retirement than they are now is not an excuse to shortchange your retirement accounts. The best approach is to run some numbers, creating pre- and post-retirement budgets based on your unique circumstances and retirement goals.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</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-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</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-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Cars expenses family housing costs kids saving money spending the future vehicles working Wed, 14 Dec 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Matt Bell 1852822 at http://www.wisebread.com How I Saved Enough for a Down Payment While Working in China http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_hand_globe_43186582.jpg" alt="How to save for a down payment while working in China" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was first considering teaching abroad after graduating from college, I had many friends and family who were concerned that I'd be setting myself back financially. With the best of intentions, these loved ones told me that I would be making a mistake by moving to Asia and accepting a lower paycheck. How would I ever afford a car or a house if I didn't find a high-paying job in Canada or the U.S. and start saving right away?</p> <p>Ten years later, I look back and realize that teaching abroad was one of the best financial decisions of my life. During our four years <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad" target="_blank">teaching in China</a>, my husband and I saved enough between us for a down payment on our house in Southern California.</p> <p>Not every job abroad will be a an ideal situation for saving, so if you're considering teaching or working abroad, and want to prioritize saving, here are a few tips for how to save as much as you can.</p> <h2>1. Find Free or Subsidized Housing</h2> <p>Many schools and companies abroad realize that it's hard for foreign employees to pick up and leave their home countries without having a living situation set up in the new country. Therefore, many employment contracts abroad include either a housing allowance, or a free or subsidized apartment that belongs to the company. In our case, the school we worked for owned an apartment block which provided heavily subsidized living quarters for teachers and employees.</p> <p>Living rent-free or on subsidized rent saves a <em>huge </em>chunk of your income that you can put entirely toward savings. It also saves a tremendous amount of time and stress when your overseas employer helps arrange your living quarters.</p> <p>It also helps greatly if the living quarters provided by the employer come furnished, which will cut down on the initial costs of moving. Having to purchase furniture and appliances can make it harder for you to start saving right away.</p> <h2>2. Take Advantage of the Lower Cost of Living</h2> <p>Another huge factor that enabled us to save was the lower cost of living in our host country. By choosing to eat at local restaurants and shop at local grocery stores, we saved hundreds of dollars every month on food in a city where the local cost of living was quite a bit lower than at home in the U.S. Of course, it would have been easy to blow our paychecks eating at expat-oriented bars and restaurants (Starbucks was pretty much everywhere in our city), but we saved the pricier international food for weekends and special occasions. A nice side effect of our frugal mentality is that we discovered a whole new world of delicious local dishes that we would never have tried otherwise.</p> <p>Not all countries will have a lower cost of living than your home country, of course, so it's worth looking into what it typically costs for food, clothing, rent (if you are renting a place yourself), health care, and other necessities before going.</p> <h2>3. Use Public Transportation</h2> <p>We saved the cost of having to maintain a car because our apartment was walking distance to the school where we worked. On weekends, a cheap and efficient subway system was our transportation of choice whenever we wanted to leave the school campus. When looking for a job overseas, be sure to ask questions about how you will get to and from work, and what transportation options exist to take you to the fun part of town. Some jobs (generally not teaching jobs, though) will even provide a company car and driver to make things easier for you.</p> <h2>4. Live Simply</h2> <p>Curbing excess spending is a good financial strategy no matter where you live, but I think it's easier to live simply when you anticipate moving in a year or a few. Because we didn't plan on staying more than a few years, I was less motivated to buy unnecessary stuff, with the mentality that everything needed to fit in a couple suitcases for the trip home. While we did spend money on leisure activities such as traveling during our holidays, for the most part, we just enjoyed meeting new friends and exploring our city, activities that didn't cost much.</p> <p>We did end up shipping a few souvenirs back home, but because we had to pay to ship them, we were more mindful about purchasing only what we loved.</p> <h2>5. Research Your Tax Exemptions</h2> <p>Although U.S. citizens and residents are required to pay taxes on foreign-earned income, a large chunk of that income (or even all of it depending on how much you make) could be <a href="https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-earned-income-exclusion">exempt from income taxes</a>. When filing your yearly taxes, be sure to file your foreign-earned income correctly. Of course, you may be taxed in your country of employment, but in our experience the local tax was very low. You will want to research the tax rate in the country you're thinking of working in before you accept a job.</p> <p>Before accepting a job overseas, be sure also to ask about health benefits and support in case you run into a medical emergency. If your employer does not provide adequate health benefits, you may have to purchase it privately, which you should factor into your savings plan. It also goes without saying that you should do research into typical salaries for the job you will be doing, as they can vary widely depending on the employer.</p> <p>If you play your cards right, you can certainly turn a few years of adventure working overseas into an opportunity to save and to meet your financial goals.</p> <p><em>Have you considered working overseas? What's holding you back?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20I%20Saved%20Enough%20for%20a%20Down%20Payment%20While%20Working%20in%20China.jpg&amp;description=How%20I%20Saved%20Enough%20for%20a%20Down%20Payment%20While%20Working%20in%20China" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20I%20Saved%20Enough%20for%20a%20Down%20Payment%20While%20Working%20in%20China.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china">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/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</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-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget">The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</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-ways-travel-in-retirement-keeps-you-young">6 Ways Travel in Retirement Keeps You Young</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-almost-anyone-can-afford-to-retire-in-mexico">How Almost Anyone Can Afford to Retire in Mexico</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/dont-let-these-expenses-spoil-your-retirement-abroad">Don&#039;t Let These Expenses Spoil Your Retirement Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Travel cost of living expats living abroad overseas saving money taxes teaching abroad transportation working Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:00:15 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1778730 at http://www.wisebread.com Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You? http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_freelance_work_82597869.jpg" alt="Woman learning if a day job or freelance is right for her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in three American workers earn their keep through a model of work that is <a href="http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2015/article/freelancers-in-the-us-workforce-1.htm">not a traditional 9-to-5 job</a>. Many of these are freelance and contract workers, earning their income from one or more different jobs, and known alternatively as &quot;portfolio careerists&quot; or the slightly less glam &quot;slashers&quot; (as in writer/coach/unicycle performer).</p> <p>For some people, a portfolio career is proof that necessity is the mother of invention. When the economy tanked and jobs were scarce, this was a great way to make ends meet. But it's a very different work environment than a typical full-time job.</p> <p>While it is unsurprising that the number of people taking multiple part-time jobs might rise during a recession, the trends seem to show that these numbers are continuing to grow &mdash; a sign that the days of the traditional model of work are numbered. By 2020, it is anticipated that <a href="http://http-download.intuit.com/http.intuit/CMO/intuit/futureofsmallbusiness/intuit_2020_report.pdf">40% of the American workforce</a> will work as a freelancer, with a mix of part-time, contingent roles. But which is really better? Here are some pros and cons of each lifestyle.</p> <h2>In Favor of Full Time</h2> <p>For now, at least, full time work is still the norm. So what's so attractive about the traditional approach to careers?</p> <h3>1. High Rollers Are Seldom Part-Time</h3> <p>If what you want out of your working career is to rise through the ranks and achieve the status and salary that comes with that, then a full-time, permanent job is definitely the right option for you. While people in portfolio careers certainly <em>can</em> achieve wealth and status in their respective fields, this is much harder to do. If you want a healthy 401K, benefits package, and paid vacation, then stick to the full-time gigs.</p> <h2>2. Society Is Still Structured to Suit Full-Time Employees</h2> <p>Bringing in a steady full-time income, from a company that is established and understood, has a number of benefits above and beyond the cash. Organizing your taxes, planning your retirement, keeping a healthy credit record, and getting a mortgage are all easier with a full-time job than a portfolio. The variety you get with working several part-time or freelance jobs has to be offset by the increased burden of admin. and organization, particularly in a financial sector which has not adjusted to the needs of this population.</p> <h3>3. It Leads to Better Work Relationships</h3> <p>For many people, the reason you get up to go to work is not so much about the work itself, but rather about the people around you. With bonds built over years of employment, your colleagues can often be the closest people to you &mdash; an experience that few freelancers get to share. Consider your social needs carefully before you think too hard about a portfolio career!</p> <h2>The Pros of Freelancing</h2> <p>It's growing at a rapid pace, but will it last? Why is portfolio living attractive to people who could choose a nice, safe 9-to-5?</p> <h3>1. Freelancers Have Multiple Sources of Income</h3> <p>Ironically, a portfolio career might mean better job security than a full-time job. Having multiple income streams means that if one dries up, others can fill its place more easily. Since the economic downturn, more people than ever have found themselves being laid off from their regular jobs. As a portfolio careerist, this can be less of a terrifying option, and more a redirection of your time.</p> <h3>2. You Build a Diverse Set of Skills</h3> <p>One of the reasons that a portfolio career can snowball into a very lucrative choice, is that you naturally develop sets of varied but complementary skills, which can be sold at a premium. Take a freelance writer, who can also take (and sell) a decent photograph, teach writing, or build a personal blog that draws in advertising revenue. Each individual effort links to the next, growing valuable skills all the time.</p> <h3>3. Variety Is a Given</h3> <p>If you're even vaguely thinking about a portfolio lifestyle, then you're probably a fan of new experiences. Since the &quot;same job for life&quot; concept disappeared a generation ago, people have increasingly questioned why staying in one career field is necessary. If you can't climb a traditional career ladder anyway, then why not seek new and varied working experiences. Welcome to the world of portfolio careers.</p> <h2>How to Make Freelancing Actually Work</h2> <p>We are still learning what it looks like to be a successful freelancer. There's probably no single correct way to nail this lifestyle. However, some useful advice has certainly emerged.</p> <p>If you're thinking of taking this route, then remember:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Keep one or two reliable income sources</strong>. Consider an anchor-orbiter model, in which you have one or two steady roles (the anchor), with other work which is more flexible, orbiting around this main income source. This works especially well for people who want to keep some form of a steady job on a part-time basis and build a freelance income on the side.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Build up an emergency fund.</strong> And learn to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">budget as a freelancer</a>. With no fixed income, budgeting becomes more complex, even before you start to worry about paying taxes and keeping up insurance and other necessary payments.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Nothing is forever.</strong> If you try the portfolio life and it is not for you, there is no reason why you can't take your newly acquired skills and experiences back into a traditional role. In fact, the broadened horizons of having worked independently might even mean you can find a better role than ever.</li> </ul> <p><em>What's your best advice for others looking to follow in your footsteps? Tell us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you">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/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</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-terrible-work-from-home-jobs-you-should-avoid">8 Terrible Work-From-Home &quot;Jobs&quot; You Should Avoid</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-signs-the-9-to-5-is-right-for-you">8 Signs the 9-to-5 IS Right for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-really-annoy-hiring-managers">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Extra Income Job Hunting 9-to-5 day job freelance freelancer job hunting job search workday working Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Claire Millard 1740456 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_food_service_21858355.jpg" alt="Woman sharing money lessons she learned selling office supplies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My first real job came when I was 16 years old and landed a position at one of those large <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-office-supply-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">office supply stores</a>.</p> <p>As jobs for high schoolers go, it was not a bad one. I earned some money to get through the summer, kept myself busy, learned a lot about varieties of printer ink, and made some friends in the process. I also took away some solid money lessons that have proven helpful over the years.</p> <p>So as we enter summer, let me offer these financial bits that I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-i-learned-working-as-a-corn-detasseler" target="_blank">learned from my first job</a>.</p> <h2>1. Work Isn't So Bad</h2> <p>Everyone fantasizes about not having to work. But by having a job at the office supply store, I realized that being employed isn't a bad thing. A job gives you income, which is a pretty important thing to have if you want do stuff. And working at a job allows you to learn and enhance key skills like communication, reliability, and even mathematics. A job, to put it simply, can give you a foundation for life.</p> <h2>2. Investing Is Better Than Spending</h2> <p>I can tell you for sure that the cash from my first paychecks did not go into a Roth IRA, or even a savings account with a decent interest rate. No, it went to movies, trips to Burger King, Stone Temple Pilot CDs, and baseball tickets. If I had enough money leftover for gas in my car, I was happy.</p> <p>I had fun as a teenager, but if I had saved more of my earnings and invested them, the total stash would have grown tremendously, and I'd have a lot more money in the bank now. Even just $1,000 invested in an index fund in 1996 would be worth about $4,000 now. If I had somehow managed to save $5,000, I'd have about $20,000 today.</p> <h2>3. The Government Get Its Cut</h2> <p>My first job meant my very first paycheck, which meant I got a glance at the amount of money Uncle Sam takes away. And it certainly seemed like a lot! By looking at my first check, I came to understand that you can only plan your spending based on take-home pay, not your gross wages. Later on in my work life, this understanding of the tax man led me to learn about 401K, Roth IRA plans, and other tax-advantaged ways to invest.</p> <h2>4. You Can Always Haggle</h2> <p>Everything for sale has a price, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's what you have to pay. There's very little downside to asking if you can pay less for an item if you believe it's overpriced. Often, stores will have price-match guarantees that aren't advertised. And you can always ask a manager to adjust a price if you think you have a good reason. When I worked at the office supply store, we had a small refrigerator for sale that had a damaged handle. It otherwise worked fine, but the manager agreed to cut the price in <em>half </em>simply because the customer asked.</p> <h2>5. Never Stop Learning</h2> <p>When I worked at the office supply store, we had many high-schoolers and college students on staff, but also a number of middle-aged and older employees who had been there a long time. Seeing these older workers made me realize that I did not want to find myself employed as a stockboy at an office supply store for the rest of my life. It was important for me to continue with school and develop a wide range of skills that would give me career options and the chance to earn more money over time.</p> <h2>6. Salespeople Want You to Part With Your Money</h2> <p>Though my primary job at the office supply store was to help with customer service, I also helped with sales of office furniture. I was encouraged to convince customers to buy our brand of chairs, desks, and shelves.</p> <p>Keep in mind, my job was not to ensure people ended up with the best product. It was to get them to <em>believe</em> our product was the best, whether that was true or not. I became a master in the art of spewing baloney, and it somehow worked a lot of the time. I earned a bonus each time a customer bought a product I helped sell.</p> <p>Remember this: A salesperson does not work for you and does not have your best interests in mind.</p> <h2>7. Everything Goes on Sale at Some Point</h2> <p>I worked long enough at the store to know that just about every product was discounted at one point or another. It wasn't always easy to predict when items would go on sale, but I learned that if you waited long enough, a lower price would come around. And certain items went on sale at certain times a year. There were usually deep discounts, for example, on many items at back-to-school time. And the holidays usually meant big <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-ways-to-save-even-more-on-black-friday?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campagin=article">Black Friday sales</a> and other promotions.</p> <p>I learned that the most patient shoppers were the ones most often rewarded with bargains.</p> <h2>8. Americans Love Their Credit Cards</h2> <p>As a teenager, I didn't have a credit card. And my parents were rather frugal people who used cash whenever possible. So it came as a surprise to me when, as a cashier, I would see most customers using credit cards, even for small purchases.</p> <p>It's possible that many of these customers were only using cards to collect reward points or cash back, but I can't help but think they were racking up considerable amounts of debt.</p> <p>We're up to about $1 trillion in credit card debt as a nation, and I can't help but think a portion of that is the result of people using cards for small purchases when they could have used cash.</p> <p><em>What was your first job? What did it teach you about money?</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-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/5-things-people-who-are-good-with-money-never-say">5 Things People Who Are Good With Money Never Say</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-tips-for-introverts">8 Personal Finance Tips for Introverts</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-money-lessons-i-learned-working-as-a-corn-detasseler">6 Money Lessons I Learned Working as a Corn Detasseler</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income investing life skills money lessons saving summer jobs teenagers working Wed, 08 Jun 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Tim Lemke 1725703 at http://www.wisebread.com You Don't Need a Retirement Plan — You Need a Financial Independence Plan http://www.wisebread.com/you-dont-need-a-retirement-plan-you-need-a-financial-independence-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-dont-need-a-retirement-plan-you-need-a-financial-independence-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_retirement_fund_000088359337.jpg" alt="Learning the alternative to retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the golden age of a &quot;job for life,&quot; and when defined benefit pensions were the standard, all you had to do was tough it out to hit the jackpot. A mere 40 years of employment, and you struck lucky in your golden years.</p> <p>Whether the idea of working in the same place for a lifetime fills you with nostalgia or horror, the reality is that those days are long gone.</p> <p>Without a steady employer doing the hard work for us, traditional notions of retirement planning do not work. The alternative, it seems, is the ostrich approach, with 48% of working age Americans saying they have never even tried to calculate the amount of savings they might need for a comfortable retirement. Ignorance might be bliss in the moment, but it's no genius long term plan. So what's the better option?</p> <h2>What Went Wrong With Retirement?</h2> <p>The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found, in their 2016 survey measuring retirement confidence, that nearly one in five American workers (19%) were <a href="https://www.ebri.org/pdf/surveys/rcs/2016/PR1157.RCS.22Mar16.pdf">not at all confident</a> in their ability to finance a comfortable retirement. For these workers, options are limited &mdash; spend less now, work for longer, and be prepared to compromise more on the lifestyle they expect in later years. Not a happy picture.</p> <p>To add insult to injury, working longer is not actually a viable option for many of us. The EBRI reported a large gap between expectations and outcome, with a massive 37% of people saying they expect to work past the age of 65, compared to the more modest reality of only 15% of retirees in 2016 who were older than 65. This is often because options to continue working later in life become limited, with layoffs and declining physical health ending working lives without regard to the size of one's pension pot.</p> <p>So with working until you drop off the agenda, what can we do to improve the prospects of having a happy, and financially secure retirement?</p> <h2>Start Thinking Personal Financial Independence</h2> <p>Ironically, part of the solution might actually be to stop thinking about retirement, and replace that thought with one of &quot;personal financial independence.&quot;</p> <p>Retirement today has changed as much as working life has, meaning there is no longer a cookie cutter approach to retirement planning that can be relied upon. The answer instead is to get educated about your household finances, with a focus on achieving personal financial independence &mdash; for life, not just for your later years. Getting clued up about your money is the only way to do that.</p> <h2>Start Creating It</h2> <p>Pull your head out of the sand, and get a realistic grip on what savings you have &mdash; and what you will need to finance your retirement.</p> <h3>Do the Math</h3> <p>Work out what you will want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-can-you-afford-to-spend-in-retirement">spend in retirement</a>. Tools are out there to help, like this <a href="http://money.cnn.com/calculator/retirement/retirement-need/">retirement calculator</a>, which helps you calculate what you might need to save to achieve a desired financial return in future. If you don't have an idea of your goal, then planning is a whole lot more difficult.</p> <h3>Optimize What You Have</h3> <p>If you have money in 401K plans, then you're in a strong position already. But don't just assume that it's being managed in your best interests. <a href="http://americasbest401k.com/fee-checker/">Check out the fees</a>, which vary wildly and through a compounding effect can whittle away your savings at an alarming speed. Once you can safely withdraw from your 401K without incurring penalties, you will be able to choose to take a lump sum if you wish, to help you achieve the magic 4% number described below.</p> <h3>Understand the 4% Rule</h3> <p>A common premise of modern retirement planning calculations is the &quot;4% rule&quot; which assumes that you can live happily on the growth of a savings pot, without significantly denting the principle, so long as you withdraw no more than 4% per year. This principle, put forward by Bill Bengen in 1994, has <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertberger/2015/05/20/how-much-do-you-really-need-to-retire/#90464644939a">come under some scrutiny</a> due to our current turbulent times &mdash; but as a starting point is still considered a sound measure.</p> <p>Here's how it works.</p> <p>Start with the amount of money you think you will need to finance your retirement lifestyle. Multiply this by 25 to get the amount of savings you need to have to make that number a reality if the 4% rule is applied.</p> <p>Then sit down, because in all likelihood that number is going to be scary.</p> <p>If you calculated that you would like a household income of $40,000, then the sums say you need a pot of a cool million. How hard this really is to achieve depends on your current position. If you're just setting out and don't plan to retire for 40 years, you will need to save something like $640 a month (shared out among the earning members of the household &mdash; so half that if you're in a couple), assuming a <em>modest </em>5% return on your investment. If you plan to retire a lot sooner, or do not not have existing savings or 401K plans, this number might be more daunting.</p> <p>If the savings you need to achieve financial independence feel unrealistic, then it's time to start thinking of the levers you have to close the gap. Earn and save more, or plan to spend less, perhaps through lifestyle adjustments or by taking <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford">advantage of geographic differences</a> in things like cost and quality of living. Or, plan to manage your retirement as a gradual wind down, continuing to be economically active after your usual retirement age, but in a flexible role. Considering these options now, rather than being pushed into them at the point you wish to quit working, is far more likely to have a happy ending.</p> <p>The new world of planning for later life brings with it more choices, but also more questions to mull over and decisions to make. Instead of facing these questions, too many of us are ignoring the issue. Experience shows that working longer (or windfalls, or a fairy godmother) is unlikely to be the answer. Getting clued up about your money <em>now</em> is the only way to give yourself a shot at the golden years you deserve.</p> <p><em>What do you think? What is the optimum way to plan for your retirement now?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-dont-need-a-retirement-plan-you-need-a-financial-independence-plan">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/these-5-expenses-will-probably-cost-you-a-lot-less-in-retirement">These 5 Expenses Will Probably Cost You a Lot Less in Retirement</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-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</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-ways-travel-in-retirement-keeps-you-young">6 Ways Travel in Retirement Keeps You Young</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-reasons-you-might-have-a-phased-retirement">4 Reasons You Might Have a &quot;Phased&quot; Retirement</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-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement calculator careers financial independence jobs saving money working Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Claire Millard 1693265 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways Working From Home Can Save (And Cost) You Big http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_from_home_000029434486.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways working from home can cost and save her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For several years, I had a full-time job that allowed me to work from home. But then I switched to a job that required me to be in an office. So I've experienced life on both sides, and can tell you that each job had its own impact on not just my lifestyle, but my personal finances.</p> <p>Working from home allowed me to wear pajama pants in the middle of the day or take afternoon naps without guilt. And in many ways, it allowed me to save some money. But there were some drawbacks on the financial side as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</a>)</p> <p>Here are some of the ways that working from home can impact your finances, both positively and negatively.</p> <h2>The Good</h2> <p>Working from home has some pretty amazing financial perks.</p> <h3>1. Zero Commuting Costs</h3> <p>When I worked from home, I put very few miles on my car. My trek to work consisted of a stroll from my bedroom to my home office 100 feet away. Now, I spend more than $150 monthly on public transit costs. My colleagues who drive spend a similar amount in gas and parking. Working from home = no commute = money saved.</p> <h3>2. The Eating Out Temptation Is Eliminated</h3> <p>When you work in an office, you might tell yourself that you'll pack your lunch every day. But that's hard when there are 10 great restaurants and coffee shops around the corner, not to mention all the places on the way to and from the office. You may have colleagues who invite you to lunch or happy hour, and you'll feel tempted to run out to Starbucks for that afternoon caffeine run. When you work from home, going out to eat is less probable.</p> <h3>3. Wardrobe Flexibility</h3> <p>Most office environments have some sort of dress code, and that's going to lead to some expense on your part. Even a casual office environment means you'll have to invest in a few decent shirts, dresses, or slacks. If you work from home, your comfort is your only guide.</p> <h3>4. Taxes</h3> <p>This really only applies to people who are salaried employees who work from home. If you fit that bill, you may be able to save on taxes by getting deductions for things like computer equipment or building a home office. If you can prove that you use a certain percentage of your home for work purposes, you can get a tax deduction based on that percentage of your utility bills. Even some automotive costs could be tax deductible.</p> <h3>5. You Can Argue for a Raise Based on Money Saved</h3> <p>There's a lot of evidence that telework policies save companies money, particularly on real estate costs. Fewer workers in an office means less demand for space. At your next performance review, raise this point when discussing the potential for a raise in pay.</p> <h3>6. You Can Be More Productive</h3> <p>If you were spending an hour commuting in the past, but now work from home, that's an hour that you can give to your employer. Working from home also frees you from various distractions, like co-workers popping in. (But be careful, as working from home can come with distractions of its own.)</p> <h3>7. No Relocation Needed</h3> <p>Many companies have found that it's cheaper to allow employees to work from home rather than spend tens of thousands of dollars to help them relocate to new cities. And imagine the money &mdash; not to mention the stress and hassle &mdash; saved by the worker who doesn't have to worry about uprooting his or her life. I personally know some employees who live in communities with low cost of living, but are paid based on the salaries of those near the company's offices in a more expensive part of the country. Score! (Of course, be warned that this could also work in reverse.)</p> <h2>The Bad</h2> <p>Despite the perks, there are still ways to burn through money while working from home.</p> <h3>8. Utility Costs Increase</h3> <p>One of the nice things about heading to an office is that you're not using up electricity, heat, or air conditioning during the day at home. Working from home can cause those bills to shoot way up.</p> <h3>9. Home Office Costs Add Up</h3> <p>When I worked from home, I was expected to keep a professional workspace, but was not given any funds to build it. So any costs associated with constructing a home office fell to me. Some of these costs were tax-deductible, but the deduction did not cover the full cost of things like a desk, a decent chair, lamps, and even some office supplies. These expenses can add up.</p> <h3>10. No Networking</h3> <p>Working from home can be socially isolating, but that isolation can also hurt your wallet. If you are removed from an office, you will get less face time with the boss, and may also miss out on office gossip and interactions that might be helpful to you and your career. It's harder to impress your employer if they never see you. If this sounds like you, make an effort to drop by the office for meetings on a regular basis, or even pop in to take a colleague out to lunch. <a href="http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/resources/costs-benefits">Global Workplace Analytics</a> reported that &quot;teleworkers who maintain regular communications with traditional co-workers and managers find career impact is not an issue.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you work from home? What other costs do you incur? Share with us!</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/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed">10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should">9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-earn-more-money-without-working-more-hours">6 Ways to Earn More Money — Without Working More Hours</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Budgeting jobs saving work from home working Tue, 22 Dec 2015 18:00:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1625207 at http://www.wisebread.com Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That'll Change the Way You Work http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee_break_sign_000068533353.jpg" alt="The productivity secret that will change the way you work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a person who makes a living doing freelance and contract work from home, there are two questions I tend to get about my job. The first is whether I work in pajamas. (The answer is no.) The second is how I manage to get any work done at all.</p> <p>&quot;If I worked at home, I don't think I'd get <em>any </em>work done,&quot; people often tell me. &quot;How do you manage to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">stay productive</a> for eight hours a day on your own?&quot;</p> <p>The simple answer? I don't.</p> <p>And, according to research about productivity in the workplace, you probably aren't productive for eight straight hours either, whether you're working at a laptop at your kitchen table or sitting in an office or cubicle. In fact, some research suggests that many office workers are productive for <a href="http://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/news/only-three-hours-of-productivity-a-day/103618.article">as little as three hours</a> per eight-hour work day.</p> <p>Here are five tips on how to get the most work done in the least amount of time so that you can head home early &mdash; or at least right on time.</p> <h2>1. Recognize Your Window of Productivity</h2> <p>When I sit down at my desk, I typically jump right into working. Then, after a while, my mind starts to wander. In the past, this really frustrated me. I need to be working! In fact, periods of inattention are pretty normal &mdash; necessary, even.</p> <p>Research by Draugiem Group, a social networking company, suggests that the average person can only maintain concentration and productivity for about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3035605/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/the-exact-amount-of-time-you-should-work-every-day">52 minutes at a time</a>. However, while many people try to push through this window, the most productive workers actually do something quite different: They take a 17-minute break during which they do something completely unrelated to work. They leave their desks. They take a walk. They chat with co-workers. They read a book. They take a nap.</p> <p>That might sound lazy, but research suggests that our brains &mdash; much like our bodies &mdash; need to rest following hard work. And, just like doing too much exercise without rest will eventually cause the body to break down, running your brain at full speed tends to lead to burnout. That's because our brains are designed to cycle between two types of activity: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/opinion/sunday/hit-the-reset-button-in-your-brain.html?_r=0">focused attention, and wandering or daydreaming</a>. And, it is in this latter phase of attention that our brains not only rest, but collate and process the things we've just been working on. It's why inspiration tends to strike when we're doing the most mundane things. It's while at rest that our brains have a chance to make new connections.</p> <p>So, the first step to becoming more productive is to get a sense of how long you can work before your mind starts to wander. Is it 30 minutes? 50 minutes? An hour? Once you figure that out, you can start breaking your work day into blocks of about that size, followed by short, restful breaks.</p> <h2>2. Be Realistic About Your Goals</h2> <p>No one's going to pat you on the back or give you a promotion for writing a single page of a huge report. Nevertheless, this is exactly the kind of goal that'll help you finish a project in the most efficient, effective way possible. Why? Because it's simple, it's achievable, and it's motivating.</p> <p>In fact, according to Harvard researcher Teresa Amabile, small, daily progress is the <a href="http://progressprinciple.com/books/single/the_progress_principle">most powerful workplace motivator</a> there is. So, rather than setting goals that are days or weeks in the making, set smaller goals that you can achieve each day. By completing a small, tangible goal each day, you will build momentum that'll help keep you on track. Plus, you'll be chipping away at bigger objectives in the most productive way possible.</p> <h2>3. Break Work Into Blocks</h2> <p>Now that you have some key goals, break your work into tasks that'll fit into 52-minute (or thereabouts) blocks. Start each work day by thinking about what you can complete within your productive window(s). Can you empty your email inbox? Finish a section of that spreadsheet? Write a specific portion of that big report? Whatever it is, prioritize your tasks and designate a block of your day for each thing you want to work on. Even with frequent breaks, your brain's mental capacity will wane as the day goes on, so you may also want schedule the most difficult tasks first thing in the morning</p> <h2>4. Spend Less Time on the Job</h2> <p>Depending on where you work, working less may not possible, but research suggests that it's ideal. Workaholics might <em>think</em> they're accomplishing more, but the research doesn't bear that out. In fact, it suggests we should all go home at 5:00 pm and get a life.</p> <p>We've known since way back that super-long work weeks deliver diminishing &mdash; and even negative &mdash; returns. In the early 1900s, Ford Motor Company determined that the optimum work hours for worker productivity amounted to no more than 40 hours per week. They even found that while adding an additional 20 hours per week boosted productivity initially, that increase only lasted for about a month, at which point the increase turned negative. More recent studies have found that the sweet spot for employment productivity is <a href="http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/sites/default/files/ef_files/pubdocs/2002/07/en/1/ef0207en.pdf">30 hours per week</a>. Other studies have found that after 50 hours, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/12/working-hours">output remained the same</a>. In other words, people tend to get the same amount of work done, whether they spend 50 hours or 70 hours on the job each week.</p> <p>Depending on where you work, you may not be able to cut your work days short, but you may be able to avoid being sucked into a culture that promotes staying at the office well into the night. Going home on time isn't a sign of laziness. It's smart idea, and one that'll help you deliver more and better work when you are on the clock.</p> <h2>5. Work Hard, Play Hard</h2> <p>Being more productive isn't about working longer or even harder. In fact, it's all about giving yourself a break. So if you find yourself unable to resist a few cat videos during the day, or you spend a little too long chatting with a coworker at lunch, it doesn't mean you're wasting time. As it turns out, that space between periods of work is where the real productivity happens.</p> <p><em>What techniques do you use to increase your productivity?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">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/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternatives-to-nagging">15 Alternatives to Nagging</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-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</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-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity attention span motivation taking breaks working Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 Tara Struyk 1493871 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Transition to a New Career After 30 http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/career_focused_woman_000021163237.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to transition into new career after 30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average American <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704206804575468162805877990">changes jobs seven times</a>&nbsp;over a life time of work, and the pursuit of better job satisfaction and financial stability are among the top reasons. Most of these career shifts happen in a person's teens and twenties, when hop-scotching from bartending to telemarketing is more common than not. Mid- and late-career changes, however, are less common, largely because they require the implicit trade of the familiar for the unknown. The risks may be bigger, but the rewards are sweeter.</p> <p>If the mere thought of jumping from a well-heeled spot on one industry ladder to the bottom rung of another is intimidating enough to prevent you from pursuing the job of your dreams, you're not alone. Later in life <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-its-time-to-make-your-side-gig-your-career">career changes</a> can seem impossible when you weigh the financial risks of starting anew with the responsibilities of child-rearing and mortgage payments. But if you're truly unfulfilled at work, over time it will take a toll its toll. So don't let a little fear of failure hold you hostage.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the best ways to transition to a new career after 30.</p> <h2>1. Skill Shift</h2> <p>Grab a pen and pad and take a few minutes to list all your skills &mdash; and not just the ones you acquired on the job. Be sure to include those you picked up while volunteering for the Parent Teacher Association, leading your child's Girl Scouts troop, caring for an ailing relative, paying down your debt, fundraising for cancer research, and building the new deck in the backyard. Now brainstorm all the ways you can apply these strengths of yours to a brand new business venture. You just might surprise yourself with how quickly your experience planning a neighborhood block party complete with food vendors, a bouncy house, and live music seems to become more beneficial than what you learned from your collegiate calculus homework. Especially if it's a new career in event planning that you're pursuing. So don't be afraid to acknowledge your outside-the-box accomplishments and play to them.</p> <h2>2. Get Educated</h2> <p>While you may find you have a slew of transferable job skills, the likelihood that you'll need to acquire some new ones is pretty high. That doesn't necessarily mean you need to dole out tens of thousands of dollars for a new degree &mdash; although, depending on your new occupation of choice, it might. Education, in all its forms, will counter what you lack in experience. And it will show potential employers that you are committed to your new career choice and driven enough to do what it takes to land a job in your new field. Books, lectures, certification courses, and volunteer opportunities are all great ways of snuffing up.</p> <h2>3. Go Where the Growth Is</h2> <p>There's something to be said for career fields that are forecast to add future jobs. And that something is stability. Job growth means there's less likelihood that your bread and butter will be rattled by economic turmoil. It means you'll have a better shot at securing promotions and making lateral moves with pay increases. So you might want to jot down these fastest-growing occupations: industrial-organizational psychologist, personal care aide, home health aide, mechanical insulation worker, interpreters and translators, diagnostic medical sonographer, and brick mason. All these fields are on pace to see stellar growth rates, which means you'll have an easier time finding a niche for yourself.</p> <h2>4. Stage a Dress Rehearsal</h2> <p>A travel magazine editor might seem like the ultimate occupation, but how often does he or she actually get the opportunity to fly to Morocco for an all-inclusive stay at a posh new resort? There's only one way to find out: Network with people in your desired field, mine for opportunities to shadow folks working in your desired role, and ask a lot of questions. When possible, try out the work for yourself on a limited, exploratory basis to see if it's really for you. You just might find that the travel editor gig you've been swooning for actually brings about more computer eye strains than passport stamps.</p> <h2>5. Tap Your Network</h2> <p>Determining your new career calling is half the battle. The other, of course, is getting hired. But when you lack the typical resume for a career that lies outside your realm of experience, it can be difficult to secure a position &mdash; no matter how captivating your cover letter is. So don't rely on a piece of paper to get your foot in the door. Instead, tap your network: Friends, family, former colleagues, past classmates, neighbors, and mentors. These are the people who know your work ethic, smarts, and potential for success in ways that can't be captured in black ink. They can vouch for you. They might even be able to help you land an interview you otherwise wouldn't have scored. The rest is up to you.</p> <h2>6. Rebrand Yourself</h2> <p>If you're going to take on a new role, it will serve you well to look the part. That goes for your online persona as much as your wardrobe. Before you begin the interview process, be sure your social media accounts, websites, business cards and voicemail greetings are reflective of the professional life you want. The fact that you're in a period of transition is no excuse for an outdated or sloppy digital presence.</p> <p><em>Have you made a career change? What worked for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30">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/finding-the-right-job-there-s-plenty-of-phish-in-the-sea">Finding the Right Job: There’s Plenty of Phish in the Sea</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-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead">6 Skills That Helped Your Boss Get Ahead</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-things-to-do-on-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">6 Things to Do on Your First Day at a New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should">9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-splurge-resume-writer">When to Splurge: Resume Writer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building employment jobs skills transitioning working Tue, 21 Jul 2015 09:00:12 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1490872 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money Blogging http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-extra-money-blogging <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-make-extra-money-blogging" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_online_shopping_000042128972_0.jpg" alt="Woman making money as a blogger" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've been blogging on my current site &mdash; <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/">Never Homemaker</a> &mdash; for the last six years. I started out writing just for fun. In fact, I didn't understand that bloggers could actually make money by simply sharing their lives online. Somewhere along the way, I discovered that I could monetize my blog and earn a little extra money while working from home. Here are some of the essential insights I've learned along the way, and how they can also help you make some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-bloggers-make-money-what-every-non-blogger-should-know">extra cash through blogging</a>.</p> <h2>1. Image Ads</h2> <p>I started making money all those years ago through <a href="http://www.google.com/adsense/start/">Google AdSense</a> ads. My blog is hosted on Blogger, and the ads fit into my template like a glove. When my site gets lots of traffic, my revenue is higher (you get paid a varying amount per click), and the inverse is also true. In more recent years, I've had mixed experiences with these ads. I've definitely made less money despite similar traffic rates, which is why I've ultimately diversified.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can seek out advertisers on your own. For example, craft bloggers might get shops from Etsy to sign on for ads at monthly rates. Local blogs might attract area businesses for support, and so on. You'll need a spot on your sidebar to display the ads to drive traffic to their sites and get the artwork from your advertisers in the form of a JPEG. I've seen bloggers set up contracts for this type of advertising on one month, quarterly, or yearly commitments. Some also offer different sizes at different prices.</p> <h2>2. Ad Networks</h2> <p>When I noticed my AdSense ads weren't performing optimally anymore, I shopped around for a publishing network. I chose <a href="http://www.blogher.com">BlogHer</a>, which is now known as SheKnows, because I liked the community of women writers and several of my friends had shared good experiences. Like many networks, I had to apply, be accepted, and sign a contract. In the years since, I've been pleased with my decision.</p> <p>Networks require bloggers to place a banner or sidebar ad in prime real estate on their sites. In return, bloggers get opportunities to write sponsored posts and do paid reviews for campaigns the team coordinates on their behalf. Another popular ad network I've heard great things about is <a href="http://www.federatedmedia.net">Federated Media</a>. Truth is, there are many out there &mdash; so be sure to read all the fine print before signing.</p> <h2>3. Product Reviews</h2> <p>Bloggers who don't want to join special ad networks can also seek out sponsorships on their own. This process might require some hunting time or &mdash; occasionally &mdash; companies might contact you directly about certain campaigns they'd like to run. Payment can vary wildly from free products/services to several thousand dollars depending on the arrangement.</p> <p>Whenever I do a review outside of my network, I make sure to have a contract with all the details and conditions written out clearly. Don't be shy about setting your price. In the beginning, you might want to just do plain reviews of products in exchange for the free product. As your site gains more traffic and popularity, you can start setting rates and negotiating. Above all, it's important to give true thoughts and opinions in any reviews &mdash; no matter the pay. Otherwise, you might lose the trust of your readers.</p> <h2>4. Affiliate Links</h2> <p>There are lots of different stores and marketplaces with affiliate programs across the web. One of the most popular with bloggers is <a href="https://affiliate-program.amazon.com">Amazon Associates</a>. Of course, there are many <a href="http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/amazon-affiliate-alternative/">alternatives to Amazon</a> if you'd rather stick with something more specific, too. The way it works is anytime you link to a product using your referral code, you'll earn a percentage back if your readers purchase that item (and sometimes other items in that order).</p> <p>Adding affiliate links to your blog is easy, but take care not to oversaturate your content with products. Instead, consider occasional shopping posts where you recommend some of your favorite items or review things you own and enjoy. That way, your content is helpful to your readers and not just a big referral link dump.</p> <h2>5. Text Link Ads</h2> <p>I've never personally used text link ads, but I have received emails with offers. Usually these arrangements involve linking a few words on a certain post to a designated site. Payments can range from $25 to several hundred in the offers I've received. There are also sites like <a href="http://www.linkworth.com/#publisher">LinkWorth</a> where you can sign up to get opportunities for your site.</p> <p>Be careful with this type of advertising because the sites linked often have little to do with your blog's actual content and, therefore, can seem inauthentic. Regardless, bloggers can make a good sum of money through this type of advertising.</p> <p>My best advice to any blogger looking to monetize is to write first and make money second. If you are new to blogging, take care in creating unique, thoughtful content that will engage and entertain your readers. The rest can come later once you've built the relationships.</p> <p><em>Bloggers: How do you earn money? There are certainly other ways that I haven't tried (or maybe even heard about). Please leave 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/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-extra-money-blogging">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/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-instragrammers-are-getting-rich-by-traveling-the-world">These 6 Instragrammers Are Getting Rich by Traveling the World</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-ways-to-make-money-during-a-semester-abroad">7 Ways to Make Money During a Semester Abroad</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-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income">9 Easy Ways Retirees Can Earn Extra Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-extra-money-using-social-media">6 Ways to Make Extra Money Using Social Media</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income ads affiliates blogging revenue websites working writing Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:00:14 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1454569 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things to Do on Your First Day at a New Job http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-do-on-your-first-day-at-a-new-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-to-do-on-your-first-day-at-a-new-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_packing_000031078772.jpg" alt="Woman learning what to do on the first day of her new job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As Plato wrote in 380 B.C., &quot;The beginning is the most important part of the work.&quot; It's a truth that still stands today: How you begin a new job sets the tone for how the rest of your work days will go. If you make the right impression, you can achieve faster, stress less, and gain a general sense of respect from your brand new peers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-successful-people-do-every-morning?ref=seealso">13 Things Successful People Do Every Morning</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top tips and tricks on starting a new gig off right.</p> <h2>1. Be Prompt</h2> <p>The fact that your employer wants you to arrive on time for work shouldn't shock you out of your seat. But considering nearly 20% of Americans are habitually late for work, it's worth rehashing: Supervisors perceive prompt workers to be more conscientious, responsible, and productive. If you're a few minutes early &mdash; even better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-before-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">5 Things to Do Before Your First Day on a New Job</a>)</p> <h2>2. Shake Hands With Your New Colleagues &mdash; Every Last One of Them</h2> <p>New neuroscience research has confirmed the power of a handshake: Strangers who meet really do <a href="http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/jocn_a_00295?prevSearch=authorsfield%253A%2528Sung%252C%2BKeen%2529&amp;searchHistoryKey=&amp;#.VW1K_WRViko">form a better impression</a> of one another if they shake hands while greeting. &quot;Be aware of the power of a handshake,&quot; says Sanda Dolcos, postdoctoral research associate for the Beckman Institute Department of Psychology. &quot;We found that it not only increases the positive effect toward a favorable interaction, but it also diminishes the impact of a negative impression. Many of our social interactions may go wrong for a reason or another, and a simple handshake preceding them can give us a boost and attenuate the negative impact of possible misunderstandings.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Project High Energy</h2> <p>Allow yourself to exhibit your true zest for the work you're doing. The most successful employees have a real love for the work, so act like it! Not only that, but happy employees lead directly to better performance and higher profits. Bottom line: you'll fare well to show your enthusiasm.</p> <h2>4. Clear Your Desk of Clutter</h2> <p>If your new desk is housing old materials &mdash; outdated paperwork, that stack of memos from last week &mdash; throw it out. Studies show that a cluttered workspace actually hinders our ability to process information and concentrate. We aren't aware of it, but <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21228167">clutter competes for our attention</a> in much the same way as a whining child or a barking dog does.</p> <h2>5. Write Tomorrow's To-Do List</h2> <p>You'll save yourself time on morning number two if you scribble down the next day's to-dos before heading home on day one. That way when you arrive at your desk the next day, you'll have a list of tasks all ready to focus on. Experts say it's best when we begin the work day by&nbsp;<a href="http://hbr.org/tip/2012/12/19/create-rituals-to-get-more-done">crossing off tasks with a single focus</a> &mdash; something we can truly feel accomplished about. So take some time to identify what that task might be and put it at the top of your list.</p> <h2>6. Say Goodbye</h2> <p>&quot;We tend to think about the importance of checking in and saying good morning to kick off the day,&quot; international business speaker Michael Kerr told Forbes, &quot;but we forget that it can be just as important, and make us feel good as well, to say a friendly and proper goodbye to everyone rather than just silently drift off into the night. This is triply important if you are the supervisor.&quot;</p> <p><em>What do you do on your first day on the job?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-do-on-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-before-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">5 Things to Do Before Your First Day at a New Job</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades 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/how-to-deal-when-you-hate-your-new-job">How to Deal When You Hate Your New Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building employment first day hired new job Office working Tue, 16 Jun 2015 09:00:15 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1454553 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_work_stressed_000035696454.jpg" alt="Stressed employee trying to avoid burnout at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While some people in some countries work to live, in America we live to work &mdash; and we spend 40+ years putting in 40+ hours a week on the job. You can imagine then, over the course of four grueling decades answering to the The Man, we're susceptible to experiencing symptoms of burnout. To avoid this exhausting byproduct of a seemingly never-ending grind, consider these stress-relieving (and sanity-saving) hacks.</p> <h2>1. Plan Your Week in Advance</h2> <p>I understand that not everyone is as organized as I am (it's been a point of contention among coworkers in the past), but I stand by my usual suggestion to plan your work week in advance so you know what to expect over the next five days. In doing so, you'll be able to handle surprises much more gracefully without feeling an onslaught of pressure. Personally, I plan an <em>entire month</em> of projects, which has worked very well for me since I started my own business more than six years ago. With this calendar in place, I can see the full scope of work, cross items off as I finish them, and move projects around to make space for additional items or allot time that I need to relax and recoup.</p> <h2>2. Edit Your To-Do List</h2> <p>To-do lists are helpful, but you can quickly overwhelm yourself if you pack too much in. If you start to get that sinking feeling, revisit the list and decide which items are musts and which can be put on the back burner. Ask yourself, does this need to be done right now or can it wait? Prioritizing your to-dos will help lessen the stress and declutter your mind so you can concentrate fully on the issue at hand.</p> <h2>3. Simplify Your Work Life</h2> <p>All day, everyday, we're inundated with all types of communication and media &mdash; news, ads, e-mails, texts, digital documents &mdash; that can wreak havoc on our ability to concentrate. Simplify your work life a little more by taking steps to streamline or eliminate distractions, like unsubscribing from nonessential e-mails, putting mobile and social media conversations on mute for a period of time, organizing your hard and digital files, and keeping the amount of time-sucking meetings to a minimum.</p> <h2>4. Know When to Say &quot;No&quot;</h2> <p>In an effort to impress the boss with our go-get-'em, team-player attitude, we often say yes to everything that comes our way. Big mistake. Being a &quot;Yes Man&quot; (or Woman) can result in dire consequences, like biting off more than you can chew, which in turn can affect your productivity negatively. In that case, you'll look like you can't handle the workload &mdash; and that won't bode well for advancement opportunities. Thus, learn how to say no. If you're already at capacity, let your superior know. Decent bosses will understand and help you find the balance.</p> <h2>5. Keep a Self-Care Marble Jar</h2> <p>Stay with me here; this is one of the more interesting ways to avoid burnout at work that I've heard. Dr. Emma Mansour is a licensed psychologist who has seen her fair share of clients experiencing symptoms of work burnout, and as such she's had to make self-care a fundamental part of her life. One of the resources in her arsenal is a self-care marble jar. Sounds kooky, but the concept make sense.</p> <p>&quot;I take a small glass jar &mdash; similar to the ones we use to can preserves &mdash; and place marbles in it. Each marble represents a moment or action that was taken to either restore the self/engage in self-care or contribute to the feeling of burnout or being overwhelmed,&quot; Dr. Mansour says. &quot;Some examples of self-care moments at work include eating lunch (a working lunch does not count!), sitting back in an office chair and closing one's eyes and other brief meditation techniques, prioritizing and writing to-do lists, getting up and walking around the block, delegating tasks, etc. Examples of times in which you would take a marble out of the jar are working through lunch, not taking a restroom break, continuing to look at the computer screen despite the fact that your eyes are burning, etc.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;The idea is to keep as many marbles in the jar as possible,&quot; she continues. &quot;When one is taken out, it serves as a reminder that a self-care moment is overdue.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Keep Plants in the Office</h2> <p>Plants not only add a sense of life to an otherwise drab office environment, but studies have shown that the presence of plants help increase energy, happiness, and productivity. If your office is currently devoid of plants, talk to your coworkers about brightening the place up. Cite science to make your case if they tend to be sticks in the mud. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality?ref=seealso">The Best Cheap Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality</a>)</p> <h2>7. Set a Time to Unplug Each Day</h2> <p>As creatures of habit who are more plugged in than ever (I'm waiting for the day they announce mobile implants for humans), it's hard to put down our devices and disconnect. But it's necessary &mdash; if you want to stay out of the looney bin, anyway.</p> <p>Jacel Egan, media relations coordinator for the blog TechnologyAdvice, suggests setting &quot;...a firm time to 'unplug' and unwind &mdash; whether that's 5 p.m., 6 p.m., or 8 p.m &mdash; and stick to it.&quot; By doing this, she says, &quot;you're making a commitment to yourself, your family, and your sanity to quiet the buzz in your head and recharge your batteries.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Schedule After Work Activities</h2> <p>I'm not one to go straight home after work, get in my jammies, and plop in front of the TV. Never have been. Instead, I prefer to stay active until just before bed time, engaging in all manner of activities, from meeting friends to going to the gym to preparing for the next day. I especially like nighttime activities, like a kickball league or bar trivia. These activities help me unwind &mdash; especially necessary if I need to blow off steam or aggression after a particularly rough day &mdash; so I don't succumb to burnout.</p> <p>Egan offers a few tips on how to make the most of your down time, with added motivation. &quot;Incentive yourself by putting happy hour with a friend on the calendar, or plan a date with your significant other on a weeknight,&quot; she says. &quot;Having things to look forward to can increase your productivity &mdash; especially since you're expected to be there at a certain time.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Let Things Slide More Often</h2> <p>Admittedly I need to take my own advice on this one and learn how to let more things take their course without getting worked up. When problems arise, stop and think before you react. Is this something that really merits your attention at this moment, or is it something that will be less important if everyone involved steps back and evaluates the issue responsibly? Let cooler heads prevail, as they say. Or join Team Elsa and #LetItGo entirely. (You didn't stand a chance of getting out of this one without a <em>Frozen</em> reference.)</p> <h2>10. Delegate Responsibilities When You Can</h2> <p>Feeling overwhelmed? Is there too much on your plate? If you're behind, or if you feel like you're in danger of falling behind, delegate the work (if you have that luxury) before a small fire turns into a five-alarm blaze. There's nothing wrong with farming out work if you're in the position to do so, so long as everyone is contributing to the team equally.</p> <h2>11. Change Your Relationship With Time</h2> <p>Those of you who feel like there's never enough time in the day &mdash; don't worry, I'm with you &mdash; might identify with this fresh perspective from Melissa Heisler, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1940014417/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1940014417&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DSPAW7HJHRA6TNLO">From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop &quot;Doing&quot; Life and Start Living It</a>.</p> <p>&quot;When I was working my nine-to-five job, I would wake up in the morning and immediately go through my to-do list and what I had planned for the day. The result was feeling behind the 8-ball before I even left bed,&quot; she explains. &quot;One of the ways to release time's hold on you, before you get out of bed, say, 'I have more than enough time today to accomplish everything that I need to do.' Just making that statement changes your outlook on the day. This reframe empowers you to deal with the day differently and avoid burnout.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Use Your Well-Earned PTO or Vacation</h2> <p>I see this all too often from workaholics who complain about how stressed they are and how burnt out they are; they have plenty of accrued time off &mdash; but they rarely take it. It's hard to have sympathy for someone who has the opportunity to enjoy a break but doesn't seize it, and it's nobody's fault but your own in that case. If you have PTO or vacation time, then use it. When you start feeling burnt out, clear your schedule to rest, relax, and remember that the only way you're going to make it through the next two decades of work is to strike a decent work-life balance &mdash; starting today.</p> <h2>13. Talk to Your Employer</h2> <p>Here's someone who can help you avoid burnout: your boss. There's no shame in letting him or her know that you might need a bit of breathing room to stay productive.</p> <p>&quot;Most people are afraid to speak up for fear they will be immediately replaced by someone whose motivation isn't in doubt,&quot; says Harold Mann, owner of an IT consulting firm in San Francisco. &quot;Here's what I recommend: Talk early with your supervisor. Mention you're not burned out, but you're concerned about the risk. Ask for suggestions or guidelines, mention the warning signs or indicators. If you're a great employee, they should work as hard as possible to keep you happy.&quot;</p> <p>Or, if you want to look at it another way: &quot;It's less work than replacing you,&quot; Mann says.</p> <p><em>Do you have other hacks for avoiding burnout at work? 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/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">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-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</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/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That&#039;ll Change the Way You 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/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-maximize-desk-space">11 Smart Ways to Maximize Desk Space</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/our-productivity-obsession">Our Productivity Obsession</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity burnout free time organization stress working Tue, 12 May 2015 09:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1415530 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should) http://www.wisebread.com/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/welder-467855179.jpg" alt="welder" title="welder" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, it may seem like a decent job is hard to find. Unemployment is still on the high side, and many people have left the workforce altogether. But there are decent and meaningful jobs out there for people who are willing to think outside the box.</p> <p>Consider these nine professions that offer solid work, and in many cases, good pay and a growing demand for applicants.</p> <h2>1. Welder (in North Dakota and Many Other Places)</h2> <p>Former &quot;Dirty Jobs&quot; host Mike Rowe recently offered some career advice to a young person and noted that <a href="http://https//www.facebook.com/TheRealMikeRowe/photos/a.151342491542569.29994.116999698310182/773932499283562/?type=1">welders in North Dakota</a> were &quot;writing their own ticket.&quot;</p> <p>He may have been overstating things a bit, but there's no doubt that the oil boom in that state and elsewhere has opened up a lot of job opportunities for people who have the skills to cut and shape metal. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said job growth for welders is projected to be slower than normal nationwide but notes that &quot;skilled welders with up-to-date training should find good job opportunities.&quot; It's challenging and somewhat dangerous work, but with an average salary of $36,500, it pays OK for a job that does not require a college degree.</p> <h2>2. Hospice Worker</h2> <p>Americans are getting older, and more families are faced with making difficult decisions regarding loved ones near the end of their lives. Hospice workers will assist in making a person's last days as comfortable as possible, and work with palliative care specialists to ease physical pain and suffering. While many hospice workers are doctors, there are social workers, counselors, and health aides that play very important roles and do not hold advanced degrees. It is not easy work, nor is it particularly high paying. But it could be one of the most meaningful jobs out there.</p> <h2>3. Personal Care and Home Health Aides</h2> <p>Like hospice workers, these jobs are more in demand as we look to assist an aging baby boomer population. The job outlook for these positions is good, with <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/most-new-jobs.htm">more than a million new jobs</a> expected in the next eight years. Many aides will need a nursing degree or other medical training, but some aide positions only require a high school diploma. If you like helping the elderly, there may be jobs for you in the coming years.</p> <h2>4. Doula</h2> <p>According to one report, an increasing number of <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/12/02/more-american-women-employing-doulas-during-childbirth.html">women are turning to doulas</a> for support during their pregnancy and the childbirth. A doula &mdash; also referred to as a labor companion or labor support specialist &mdash; provides emotional support for pregnant mothers and can help communicate with doctors about your care. They differ from midwives, who are trained to actually deliver babies.</p> <p>If you love the idea of helping to bring a child into the world but aren't in a position to go to medical school, this could be the job for you.</p> <h2>5. Instructional Coordinator</h2> <p>If you're interested in education but aren't sure you want to be a classroom teacher, this is an alternative path. Instructional coordinators work to oversee school standards and establish and enforce curriculum. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm">job growth outlook is strong</a> due to recent calls to improve school curriculums and evaluate the effectiveness of teachers. Most instructional coordinators will need a Master's degree, but median annual pay is quite competitive at more than $60,000.</p> <h2>6. Genetic Counselor</h2> <p>In recent years, there has been great advancement in the area of genetic research, and doctors are now learning about the role genes play in the health of patients. A genetic counselor is someone who works with individuals and families to assess the risk of certain medical conditions or birth defects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/genetic-counselors.htm">job growth is expected to rise 41%</a> between 2012 and 2022. You'll need a Master's degree, and many genetic counselors earn a PhD.</p> <h2>7. Laborer</h2> <p>If you're not afraid of some hard work, there are some opportunities for anyone willing to help out on a construction site. Construction laborers are in demand, with nearly 260,000 new jobs expected between 2012 and 2022, according to BLS. Demand for these jobs is expected to grow about 25% faster than average.</p> <h2>8. Air Traffic Controller</h2> <p>Sit in front of a screen and direct planes in the sky? It may not seem glamorous, but it's hugely important work and very well paying. A typical air traffic controller makes about $122,000 per year, according to BLS, and a college degree isn't even required. The number of positions in this field isn't expected to grow much over the next 10 years, however.</p> <h2>9. Gaming Surveillance Officer</h2> <p>This may be a little more interesting than a typical security job. If you work in the gaming surveillance field, you work at a casino and monitor live video feeds of the gambling floor. There is a growing demand for these jobs as all but a handful of states have legalized casinos in recent years.</p> <p><em>Do you do any of these jobs? Please share your experience in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-working-from-home-can-save-and-cost-you-big">10 Ways Working From Home Can Save (And Cost) You Big</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-difficult-jobs-that-are-worth-the-effort">10 Difficult Jobs That Are Worth the Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30">6 Ways to Transition to a New Career After 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income employment jobs working Wed, 21 May 2014 08:00:25 +0000 Tim Lemke 1139952 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Tips for Working While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tips-for-working-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-tips-for-working-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2309149754_3596f8b057_z-1.jpg" alt="Tips for Working While Traveling" title="Tips for Working While Traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on tips for working while traveling, negotiating for a better deal, and tax strategies for salaried employees.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://freelanceswitch.com/productivity/working-while-traveling/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FreelanceSwitch+%28Freelance+Switch%29">9 Tips for Working While Traveling</a> &mdash; When working and traveling at the same time, make sure to set concrete work hours. [Freelance Switch]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moolanomy.com/5766/things-you-didnt-know-you-could-negotiate-for-a-better-deal/">12 Things You Didn't Know You Could Negotiate for a Better Deal</a> &mdash; If you are signing a lease for the first time or renewing your lease, negotiate with your landlord for a better deal. [Moolanomy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/basic-tax-strategies-salaried-employees/">7 Basic Tax Strategies For Salaried Employees</a> &mdash; As a salaried employee, don't forget to deduct eligible job-related expenses. [The Digerati Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/10-habits-change-save-money-year.html">10 Habits You Can Change to Save Money in the New Year</a> &mdash; This year, change your habit of working out at the gym and replace it with working out at home to save money. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cardhub.com/edu/what-to-do-with-unwanted-gift-cards/">5 Ways to Put Unused Gift Cards to Use</a> &mdash; Put your unused gift cards to use by donating them to charity. [Card Hub]<a id="fck_paste_padding"></a></p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Nice-Things-Do-People-21449581">10 Nice Things To Do For People That Won't Cost Much</a> &mdash; Do something nice for someone without breaking the bank by helping them with their job search. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/lack-of-mother-toddler-bond-can-lead-to-teen-obesity">Lack of Mother-Toddler Bond Can Lead to Teen Obesity</a> &mdash; To prevent teen obesity, take time to play with your toddler. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/money-tips/three-not-too-pricey-valentines-ideas/">Three Not-Too-Pricey Valentine's Ideas</a> &mdash; Save money this Valentine's Day by taking the time to write a heartfelt love letter. [Money Ning]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/unused-529-funds/">What To Do With an Unused 529 Funds</a> &mdash; If your child decides he or she doesn't want to go to college at all, you can roll the funds over to another beneficiary. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://billeater.com/tips/15-ways-reduce-hotel-expenses-when-traveling">15 Ways to Reduce Hotel Expenses When Traveling</a> &mdash; To reduce hotel expenses when traveling, leverage coupons and deals. [billeater.com]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tips-for-working-while-traveling">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-9"> <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/what-to-do-if-you-dont-have-your-id-at-the-airport">What to Do If You Don&#039;t Have Your ID at the Airport</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb">13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb</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/eat-these-6-foods-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling">Eat These 6 Foods to Stay Healthy While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china">How I Saved Enough for a Down Payment While Working in China</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/7-apps-for-the-tech-challenged-traveler">7 Apps for the Tech-Challenged Traveler</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips traveling working Tue, 24 Jan 2012 10:48:20 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 875790 at http://www.wisebread.com Your Work or Your Life? http://www.wisebread.com/your-work-or-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-work-or-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/death.jpg" alt="Karoshi Death, Death kanji" title="Death" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="210" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p> Today my friend showed me an <a target="_blank" href="http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jO5Kw6yAWP8IoSNIcYvYraa_bZRgD91QEI4O0">article about a Toyota engineer</a> who died from overwork. Apparently the 45 year old Japanese man was working 80 hours of overtime a month for two months and finally his heart gave out. It is a sad example of a person who chose his job over his life.</p> <p>In Japan, deaths resulting from overwork is called &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kar%C5%8Dshi">karoshi</a> &quot; and Japan's Ministry of Labor has been publishing statistics about the problem since the 1980s. It has been shown that many workers that die from overworking die from strokes or heart attacks, and the deaths are usually quite sudden. Many workers also commit or attempt suicide due to work induced depression.</p> <p>Personally, I have never worked an extreme amount of overtime even though I am an engineer in the Silicon Valley and this is a place full of workaholics. However, I have seen the effects of extreme overtime on people. A company I used to work for has an Indian office where people worked 14 to 16 hour days. One of my ex-coworkers went over to India for a short while and actually fell ill because he was working the same extreme hours as them. After he came back the CEO cut the hours at the Indian office to 12 hours a day. I think there is no point to working more than 8 or 9 hours a day because when a person is tired and stressed he or she would not be extremely productive.</p> <p>When work is not mandatory, I have met two types of people who work overtime. The first type is the stakeholders that are passionate about their job. For example, I have met CEOs that work from 7am to 1am because they are bent on buliding their own company. In other words, work is life for these people. The second type is the people who need or want money. I have met a guy that had two full time jobs so he worked 16 hours a day and then slept and another guy that works overtime purely for the overtime pay. In either case, I think there needs to be moderation because everyone needs time to enjoy the fruits of their labor.</p> <p>So do you choose your work or your life? It is a no brainer for me since I would gladly choose &quot;homeless and alive&quot; over &quot;rich and dead&quot;. For those people whose lives are inseparable with their work the choice might not be so clear. Regardless of how much you love your work, if your work starts to affect your physical and mental health significantly, then it may be wise to cut back.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-work-or-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/can-you-really-make-a-living-in-the-gig-economy">Can You Really Make a Living in the Gig Economy?</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-the-real-world-my-best-advice-for-new-graduates">Welcome to the Real World - My Best Advice for New Graduates</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-questions-to-ask-before-you-quit-your-job">6 Questions to Ask Before You Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income death death by work job karoshi life working Wed, 09 Jul 2008 23:28:53 +0000 Xin Lu 2226 at http://www.wisebread.com