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Posts Tagged ‘Personal Finances’

December 23rd, 2011 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Career Advice, In the Workplace, On the Radar

Should You Ask for an End of the Year Bonus?Whether or not to ask for a year-end bonus is one of those questions that’s probably always going to plague us. On the one hand, that extra money would be really nice, and we feel like we’ve done a pretty good job over the past year - why shouldn’t we get a bonus? On the other hand, isn’t asking a bit presumptuous, especially in this financial climate? Could asking actually make the boss annoyed and hurt our chances at getting the next big project or promotion?

All of these things are valid questions, and you really need to think it through before marching in there to ask your employers to shell out extra money for you. Here is a list of things to think about ahead of time.

Are yearly bonus checks common? If the answer is yes, you need to get to know the typical schedule for when they come out and plan your request in advance to make your case. If the answer is no, you asking for a bonus might be a big deal, and will likely blindside your boss. In a case like this, you probably want to be laying the groundwork for having this discussion in advance by offering up persuasive evidence for why bonuses are a good idea at a company. Don’t know what the bonus situation is at your company? Well, you should definitely find out, however…
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November 1st, 2011 by Linda White   Posted in Career Advice, Job Search

your-money-your-lifeOne of my favorite books regarding work life is called Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. While it doesn’t have all the answers, it did open my eyes to the idea that each moment is a trade-off. Our society has agreed that we will trade money for time. So why not make that trade as beneficial as it can be?

Your Money or Your Life is not new. It was first published in 1992, during “a period of widespread financial uncertainty.” Oh really? I have bought two copies - the first one I gave away. It helps to prioritize things - figure out how you should spend your time, maybe even what your life is worth and what is important.

It may help you figure out if the job you are doing is really worth it. There are different ways to be rewarded, to be sure. But if we have implicitly agreed on this money for time swap, then it makes sense to really think about what you are doing with your time.

The concept may be very useful when looking for a job. Sure, you go through the postings and say, “I could do that.” But don’t just think that. Think instead, “Do I want to do that?” There are many jobs that any reasonable person could do. But try to aim for only those that you feel would best use your talents and skills. And that might even be interesting. Yes, even in a tough market. Because a tough market is the one in which you are more likely to make decisions that you will regret later, when you are stuck doing something that feels like a waste of time.
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August 22nd, 2011 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Career Advice, Job Search

istock_000004555269xsmallYour company is downsizing. Luckily, they’ve told you that your job is safe - if you’re willing to relocate. Or you’ve been out of work and finally got another job offer… on the other side of the country.

With times as tough as they are, you might be considering taking the job. After all, who knows when your next offer will come or if it will even be as good as this one? But before you make any decision, take as much time as you can to consider your options, and what relocating will really mean.

Who pays? With selling and buying a home, moving furniture and other belongings, and possibly even renting a temporary apartments while you house-hunt, relocating can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $75,000 for the average family. Many companies offer relocation packages for new employees that will cover most, if not all, of this, but it’s not guaranteed. You might have to negotiate to have this cost taken into consideration. If your new company still won’t foot the bill, you’ll have to cover everything yourself. The only good news here is that moving expenses can be deducted from your income taxes if you meet certain requirements.
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August 3rd, 2011 by Linda White   Posted in Job News, Resumark News

istock_000001700791xsmallThe dismal economic report last Friday prompted a whole lot of gloom and doom talk, including those hated words, “double dip.” Of course, a “double dip,” or a second dip of the economy into a deep recession, would be bad news for job seekers and business owners. It’s important to understand what is driving this discussion, so that you can make decisions based on all the factors that affect you. Don’t fall prey to all sorts of hyperbole about the whole country collapsing. The main thing to keep in mind is that the two most important words are “confidence” and “uncertainty.”

For those of you who didn’t see the story, the main number that is being bandied about is a reported 1.3% rise in economic growth. This means that the country’s economy only grew by 1.3% for the second quarter of 2011. The rate of the economic expansion for the first quarter was revised down to 0.4% from 1.9%. These are very poor numbers for two quarters in a row. It is widely held that the United States economy needs to grow at a rate of 3% per quarter just to start reducing the unemployment rate.

The poor economic growth numbers are the result of individuals and businesses failing to act because of factors outside of their control. Individuals lack confidence in the state of the economy. When this happens, business is slow. Businesses feel uncertain about how their operations will be affected by policy and other issues, so they are slow to expand, decreasing the potential for capital expenditures and hiring. Individuals and businesses have good reason to be cautious.
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February 4th, 2011 by Linda White   Posted in Career Advice, Salary & Finances

OptionsPresident Obama’s recent State of the Union address discussed many things, and much of what he mentioned is outside the scope of this blog. But there are some things he talked about that you had better be aware of. There are developments that will affect your career, your retirement and opportunities for the future.

In the beginning of his speech, he spelled out what for many of us is old news: the workworld is changing. No longer can you just walk in, fill out an application and have a lifetime job with good benefits. But it’s good that he spelled this out, because many people still aren’t getting this message. We need to look ahead. Much of what he talked about involved the ‘future.’ In fact, it was a key buzzword in the speech. How can you take advantage of these new initiatives? How can you be prepared to operate – and succeed – in the new economy and the new world of work?

Surprisingly, many of the areas that he talked about are areas you should be looking at. Healthcare, clean energy and education are all areas that hold opportunities. The idea is that you have to be bold. Solve problems. Look around and see solutions. Don’t expect someone to just hand you a paycheck for showing up. Be the innovator.
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