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Published: Thursday, December 28, 2017 @ 1:42 PM
— Oh, it happens −you just hope it never happens to you.
All kinds of people lose their jobs without notice, whether it's the unexpected company takeover, the "how can you be so harsh" before a holiday layoff or a downsizing that even the gossip girls didn't have a hint about.
If you've become one of the suddenly unemployed, your first inclination might be to huddle under the covers and moan for days, but you should try talking sense to yourself instead, according to psychologist Robert L. Leahy in Psychology Today. Keep repeating that being unemployed is simply a current situation to deal with, not a character failing.
"Unemployment is a normal part of life for millions of decent people," he said. "Being unemployed is not a crime or a moral failing. Feeling ashamed of economic conditions is like blaming yourself for the economy. You didn't cause it, you don't control it. Bad things happen to good people during difficult times."
Along with a good dose of positive thinking, experts recommend taking these five steps if you lose your job suddenly:
Face your finances
"Don't ignore it. Don't think it will go away," David Jones, president of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies, told PsychCentral. "You don't need to panic, but you do need to address it right away."
Take steps to apply for unemployment as soon as you are eligible and adjust your budget immediately. Don't wait −not even a few days −before cutting out expenses for things you can live without, from cable TV and eating out to cleaning and gardening services.
Determine how many months you can live without a paycheck before you must take a second mortgage on your home, advised professor of behavioral science Wayne L. Strom in Pepperdine's Graziadio Business Review. "This is an important number," he said. "If you know that you can make it for six months you will feel less pressure to take the first job that comes along. Taking the first job is sometimes a mistake."
Be honest with your family
If you don't have a job, don't leave the house every day like you do, Strom advised. Right off the bat, begin normalizing your status as a suddenly unemployed person. "Don't assume that people will judge you. Maybe they have been through this in the past. The more people you talk to, the better your chance of getting a job."
Get your resume out there
Start with updating your profile on LinkedIn, which reported that 43 percent of employers use social media to recruit and 88 percent of those use LinkedIn. Make sure to follow LinkedIn's tips for the unemployed and take particular care not to enter "Unemployed" when you fill in your profile's current "Job Title" at "Company." Instead, show viewers of your profile what you want your next role to be by listing "Desired next role (specific keywords)" at "your industry." The fact you're "seeking opportunities" can be addressed in your Headline and Summary, according to LinkedIn experts.
Tap your real-life contacts, too
Be methodical and considerate when you're asking for job-seeking assistance from friends. It's a mistake to tell someone you've lost your job and then rush straight to asking about job openings. "Such an approach usually puts the person on the receiving end into a defensive, self-protecting mindset," Strom said. "A better approach, if it is a friend, is to ask if he or she would spend a few minutes critiquing your resume. Offer to buy a coffee. Ask if they know people you might contact for an executive informational interview."
Keep in mind that pressing directly for a job forces your contact into a yes-no situation. "Your objective is to warm up the conversation, gently build rapport, gaining the other person's confidence so that he or she will introduce you to others."
Help someone else while you've got open hours
Once you've put in the obligatory hours of job searching each day, make it a point to donate some time to a worthy cause, PsychCentral recommended. "Although you may be tempted to hang out in your sweats, don't let self-pity take over your life. You could feel useful by helping someone else. Find out if there are any volunteer opportunities in local food banks, schools, shelters or pet rescues."
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 4:52 PM
— No one expects to navigate the work world without the occasional argument. And it's nice to "win" when you're in the right.
But what really matters more than besting your manager or co-workers in an argument is how you handle the conflicts that are an inevitable part of work, according to a Forbes piece co-written by Travis Bradberry and Joseph Grenny.
"A persistent finding in both of our research is that your ability to handle moments of conflict has a massive impact on your success," they said. "How you handle conflict determines the amount of trust, respect and connection you have with your colleagues."
Psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne gave tips for winning arguments in any setting in Psychology Today, borrowing ideas from Israeli psychologist Eran Halperin about political conflict and interpreting them on a personal, rather than global, level.
"In an argument, your appraisal that you're losing, your belief that you need to be 'right' and the extent to which you like the other person can all have an impact on the emotions you experience," she wrote. "Your emotions can also get aroused by the desire to gain the respect of onlookers - no one enjoys being made to look ignorant in front of others, and when you feel that you're being made the fool, your outrage only increases."
Anger pretty much kills your ability to win an argument in any sense of the word "win," Whitbourne said. Instead of building to an outraged furor, she recommended six key, argument-winning tools:
Know your facts
Whitbourne reminded people of all the times they made a claim about a bit of trivia, quickly realized they were wrong, and then stuck to their guns anyhow. "This is not an ideal way to win (or enter) an argument." Stop and think before you make a blooper and you'll be less likely to lose an argument, whether it's trivial or actually important to your career.
Prepare to acknowledge the other person's point of view
You don't have to agree with your foe, but if you want to win the argument, "you do need to be able to see the world the way your opponent does. Stepping into the mental set of those you argue with allows you to figure out what's influencing them. Perhaps they're feeling threatened, anxious, or annoyed. Perhaps they know something that you don't. In any case, showing empathy will lower the temperature of the debate."
Try to be, or at least seem, open-minded
"Becoming defensive is one of the worst ways to win an argument. Don't let your opponent sense that you're digging into your position without being willing to consider alternatives. And if you let your opponent speak, he might come to your side without your having to do anything other than listen."
Keep your emotions in check
Halperin's research revealed how important emotions are in determining your ability to appraise situations. "If you lose your temper, you'll only antagonize your opponent, which will further heighten his or her wrath, and the process can only escalate upwards," Whitbourne explained. Worried that you'll seem weak if you suddenly become calm in the middle of the argument? Don't worry. You'll gain points by showing self-control.
Stay hopeful that the argument can be resolved
Arguments can stir up negative emotions. If you're in the midst of a screaming fest, it's tough to envision a resolution where you still have your dignity intact. But strive to stay optimistic. "Invoking the feeling of hope allows you to think more clearly, leading to the possibility that you'll win by sheer force of logic." If you believe there's a way out, you're more likely to find one. "This is what happens in ordinary problem-solving, when thinking outside of the box can help all sides come up with a solution. Such an 'aha' moment in an argument can lead you straight to victory."
Respect your opponent
You may not emerge as the clear victor in an argument, or you may get your way but make your business relationship worse. It's important not to insult or degrade your opponent during the conflict. "Even if the individual is someone you'll never see again, it's still important to show that you meant 'nothing personal' in the dispute."
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:29 PM
— Whether it's the teen who'd like extra money for things like clothes or gas or a parent who'd like to see their high school or college-aged child get off the couch when school’s out, a part-time job can be a wonderful thing.
Of course, child labor laws dictate how young is too young to work and what hours (and under what conditions) older teens can work. They'll eliminate a few job options for teens, but there are still plenty of places to work.
Just keep in mind a few things, according to the team at Localwise: "It's important to be able to get to your job easily and relatively stress-free." They also advised teens to make sure the job fits with their schedule and note any unique experience a job might require before applying.
»Localwise and other employment bloggers recommended these eight part-time jobs for full-time teens:
Barista: "Working as a barista will hone your skills at making the perfect cup," Localwise noted. If you can hack the early morning shifts, it also gives you a chance to become a coffee snob.
Juice/smoothie shop cashier: "The only thing you need to know going into this job is how not to stick your hand into a blender," Localwise joked. There is also a little math involved, so overall this job is great for teens looking for money-handling experience or who are interested in non-greasey fast food work.
Lifeguard: Localwise considers this job as "close to Super Hero as it gets." While lifeguard jobs can involve winter hours at health clubs and indoor pools, they're more likely to be available in the warm months. Check into water parks too. Be sure to find out where you'll get your CPR training and lifeguard certification - and who pays for it.
Caddy: One of Localwise's "best paying jobs for teens," caddies can make $50 to $100 in a day, sometimes in cash, and you can choose your own hours. You do need to know your way around a golf course and be able to walk and lift equipment, though.
Product merchandiser: Teens can flourish on the sales floor of a shop, restocking, taking inventory and styling display mannequins. Expect to make around $12.50 per hour in this position, according to Localwise.
Car wash attendant: Money Crashers highly recommended working at a car wash for students who like to stay busy at work, like to have a shiny car themselves (since they can probably get washing services free) and would appreciate the occasional tip in adddition to minimum wage.
Packing and moving services: If you like to stay active and are organized, look into working for a bonded and insured moving company as an assistant for packing and moving personal possessions.
Photo scanner and archivist: Teens whose schedules are chock-full of activities and high-pressure homework can still take on work if they concentrate on side hustles instead of employer-based schedules, according to Money Crashers. One good idea scanning and archiving documents and photos. "No one has the time to tackle this time-consuming task," Money Crashers noted.
How to help your teen get a job
Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 4:56 PM
— Certainly, it's ironic that it costs money to work to make money to pay your bills. But if you haven't considered how much you spend on the expenses of working, from commutes to coffee, you may be missing significant ways to cut back your personal expenses.
These tactics are even more important if you're considering cutting back on your work hours in the near future, or another upcoming event in your life will necessitate saving money in all areas.
Cutting back on work expenses may be far easier than you think, according to frugal bloggers. And there are side benefits like improved health from walking instead of always taking a cab, or packing a lunch instead of eating fast food.
Here are eight quick money-saving ideas to consider:
Consider sharing your ride. If your work involves a lengthy commute, or even a short one, you may be kissing hundreds of dollars a year goodbye in commute expenses. One way to save the big bucks, according to Marie Claire, is simply to find someone to carpool with. If you're feeling adventurous, check out erideshare.com to hitch a ride with a friend you haven't met yet.
Cut gas costs while you're driving. Keep your heater or AC on just long enough to get your car to the right temperature, or roll down your windows to save gas money.
Double check the bus and train fares. Marie Claire suggested re-checking your route and pinpointing the place at which your commuting fare goes up. "If you can save a few bucks a day by getting off two blocks earlier, it might be worth the extra cash," it noted.
Walk on by expensive hosiery. If you're habitually spending $40 a pair for hosiery that adheres to your company's dress code, cut it out, Real Simple recommended. "That $40 pair may take a little longer to ladder, but in winter especially, you're usually better off buying multiple pairs of cheaper tights than one or two pairs of expensive ones, New York-based image consultant Annie Brumbaugh told RS.
If you're in a white-collar career, buy one really good jacket. Instead of spending lots of time and money coming up with new business outfits each week, buy a quality jacket and base your wardrobe on that. "A very good jacket can do a lot for your overall look," Brumbaugh said. "You could wear just a T-shirt and jeans, but an expensive, fabulous jacket upgrades your outfit." RS advised to look for a jacket that fits the widest part of your body and if your bust is large, buy a jacket that will close over your chest. In any case, have a reputable tailor fit the jacket so you can wear it with several outfits a week.
Protect those expensive work shoes. Instead of buying lots of inexpensive shoes that won't last or continually replacing one high-quality pair, Brumbaugh recommended buying high quality in a style you can wear daily. To protect that investment, have your good work shoes weatherproofed and the soles reinforced with rubber at a shoe repair shop.
Break the fast food lunch habit. Eating lunch from home instead of greasy fast food may be one of the easiest ways to start saving money, according to the Balance. "Food prices are going up, and it is common to spend around $7.00 or $8.00 a meal at a fast food restaurant," it said. "If you add this up for lunches, it would be around $40 a week or $200 a month. This is just for one person for one meal."
To make eating lunch at work easier, the Balance recommended packing a lunch the night before and carrying it to a park to eat if you can't bear to stay at your desk while you eat. "Frozen dinners and soup are a good fallback for the days you didn't have time to prep a lunch," the Balance noted.
Published: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 @ 10:58 AM
— Since you spend so much time at work, of course you want to have friends there! But whether you're enjoying the nonphysical, non-romantic friendship of a "work spouse" or have numerous buddies at the office, some friendships do more harm than good.
According to workplace and psychology experts, these are six signs you might need to end a workplace friendship:
Your friend needs you... all the time. "Women tend to rely on their friends more heavily for emotional sustenance," Irene S. Levine, psychologist and author of Best Friends Forever, told Real Simple. "But if someone is constantly depending on you, that's when it's toxic." An overly-needy buddy will exhaust you and take up precious workplace time, with demands that range from acting as her consultant on every decision to requesting financial help.
You're on a rollercoaster. Similar to off-hours friendships, a workplace friendship that goes up and down and around might need to come to an end, according to Levine. "The unpredictability takes a toll on you," she said. "It can make you anxious, nervous, or depressed when you don't know what to expect from a friend whom you're supposed to rely on."
Your "work spouse" is showing signs of too much attachment. If your go-to work partner is now closing the door each time you meet, scheduling lots of after-hours activities that don't really have much to do with work or spending every hour in your cubicle, you may want to pull back a bit, according to Monster.com. Even if you don't have a spouse waiting at home, you want co-workers to know that your workplace relationship is on the up and up. Aside from stopping the rumor mill, you also want to let other colleagues know they are appreciated and equal.
A work friend wants you to do their chores. A friend who's taking advantage of you should cease being a friend, starting tomorrow. You can assume you really are charming and co-workers like spending time with you, but only up to a point, according to U.S. News. If a recent friend, or even a long-time pal, starts asking you to take on some of their work, it's time to question the validity of your connection. "More devious types may simply be the equivalent of that kid who, during group projects, unloaded all the work on you and walked away with an 'A' on the project," U.S. News noted. "You're mature now, so don't let that happen ... again."
Colleagues essentially consider you the same person. If you're so close to a co-worker that people literally cannot distinguish you, your friendship is depriving you of a chance to shine as an individual and take on new challenges, said psychologist Andrea Bonior in Psychology Today. You'll also suffer from any negative parts of your friend's reputation or job performance. "Don't let your bosom-buddyhood keep you from being seen as your own person," Bonior said.
It would be too drastic to end such a friendship, but you should definitely seek other buddies at work, ask to be put on separate projects occasionally and ask others for input when you can, not always your work twin.
Your supposed friend betrays you. A friend who betrays a bond doesn't get a pass just because it happened at work, according to Levine. Don't ignore that gut feeling telling you it's a big deal. Any betrayal is a sign to reevaluate the relationship.