Showing posts with label Work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Work. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Consider Returning To Work As A Manager

In Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs the top most thing that a person will aspire for in his life is self-actualization. This is what everyone strives for and for most people who are already in their 50's, it is expected that they are near this point already. At age 50 most persons have already reached most of the typical milestones in their lives. They have sent all their children to schools, their children now have their own lives and it is now time for them to sit back and relax.

For some persons however, this is not the case. Over the recent years many baby boomers have been forced to go back to the workforce simply because they need to finance themselves, to support their day-to-day needs and to keep up with the cost of their lifestyles. Some 50-somethings also go back to work simply because they want to remain connected, stay engaged, and keep their minds sharp. Some simply want to go to work just because they are bored and would want to do something productive with their time. If you are currently in your 50's and for any of the reasons mentioned above, you would want to return to the work force to have gainful employment you will need to think hard and deep if you really have what it takes to go back out there.

Use Your Network

By now you probably have built a huge network of friends, former colleagues, children of friends and peers who you have met and worked with during the time that you were still employed. Do not hesitate to ask help from them because they can definitely put in a recommendation for you. Reach out and let them know that you are currently looking for new opportunities. 

Do Your Research

With the internet just within easy reach use the dearth of information right at your fingertips to look for job opportunities. Just recently the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 published their list of awardees. Head on to their website to check out the winners and try to see if your skills and qualifications match any of the job openings in those industries. The list varies from different industry sectors such as financial services, construction, the healthcare industry, educational institutions, and government offices. In the construction industry you can even go back to work as an engineering manager. This is highly possible especially if you already have many years of experience to back you up. 

Learn New Skills and be Flexible

It is an extremely competitive world out there. Remember that you are going to be competing with fresh graduates and young professionals so you have to start by learning new skills. There are a lot of online courses that you could take and you can enroll in vocational courses too. Stay flexible and learn how to adapt to changes because that will be the only way for you to earn good money even if you return to work at the age of 50 and above. 

Seize Opportunities

Considering your age, you actually have more experience and more knowledge compared to your younger counterparts. Do not hesitate to go for higher positions. You can even consider going back to work as a manager in your previous company or in the industry that you worked for. Remember that by this time you have already established a name for yourself so your previous employers will see you as somebody who is way more experienced than the younger employees who are also vying for a position in the management team.

Being in a managerial position has a lot of advantages. Now that you are 50 your company will be paying you a higher premium because of your past working experiences. You can earn good money, which will help finance you throughout your retirement years. There will be a lot that is expected of you which is why you have to be up for the challenge.

Going back to work at this age can be very beneficial for you in order to keep your mind sharp and your body actively engaged. While most of your peers are slowing down you are once again the workhorse that you once was. You just might surprise yourself knowing that you still have what it takes to become a great manager and to be a mentor to your younger colleagues. Now that's called self-actualization.

Author Bio
Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he explains the process of returning to work as a manager and aims to encourage further study with a
OU Engineering Management Masters. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

8 Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction

One of the most important things you can do for the overall health of your business involves improving employee satisfaction. These are the people on the front line of your service, and they need to be happy. Satisfied employees increase work output and stay on board longer. Here are a few ways you can improve employee satisfaction.

Ensure Your Orientation Engenders the Right Expectations

Starting a new job is scary enough, but without guidance, you'll be completely lost. Offer a thorough orientation to ensure that their expectations are realistic and allow them to ask any questions that they may have about the company. 

By welcoming the employee and making them feel comfortable, you're encouraging a positive attitude that can reduce turnover rates.

Implement a BYOD Policy

Nothing kills productivity like making employees learn to use new devices -- it inspires frustration and costs your organization extra money for training. 

Allowing them to use their devices in the workplace is a cost-effective and simple alternative. By implementing a Blackberry byod solution that includes mobile device management, you'll be able to control what the employee has access to while keeping all of their apps updated. 

By allowing employees to use their own devices, they'll feel infinitely less restricted at work.

Recognize Those Who Work Hard

Employees often feel like they're just another cog in the machine, and for a good reason. Many of the tasks they complete daily only receive feedback if they're late or incomplete. Employees often “check out” when they are unhappy in their job. If you have an employee who has had any common de-motivators happen to them, they may be quiet quitters. 

What is Quiet Quiting? Quiet Quitting is a problem many employees have. Employees do the bare minimum and then go home. They are not motivated anymore and are simply collecting a paycheck. They do not want to quit, but just don't exceed anymore.

Recognize employees who sit at their desks and work diligently over those who complain and find excuses for missed deadlines. A simple acknowledgment, whether it's through an e-mail or face-to-face, can go a long way.

Offer them a survey to see how they feel about the benefits that they have, their wages, time is given to work on projects, and other items, and use that feedback to improve satisfaction levels.

Set Daily Goals

Sometimes, it's a bit overwhelming to look at the big picture regarding assignments. Therefore, you should break assignments up daily and set daily goals. Reorganize assignments to be more effective. 

Alternate the boring tasks with more enjoyable ones. Plan each day by what you aim to accomplish, and acknowledge when the employee meets or beats their goal.

Allow Relaxation Periods

Working at a desk all day can be tiring. Give your employees a bit of time each day to take small breaks. Allow them to exercise, grab a bite to eat, or just walk around the office. Taking a much-needed break several times each day will break up the monotony of work.

Encourage Interaction With Co-Workers

A great way to boost employee satisfaction is by encouraging them to interact with their coworkers. By starting group e-mails or chats, you allow them to meet each other and find common ground. 

If you can, start group discussions based on sports teams or even where they're from. This will also give them the chance to exchange ideas and experience, which will help others increase their knowledge and skills.

Prioritize Life Over Work

This will be difficult to implement, but it's important to stress that life comes first. Understand that there will be many situations that are out of your control when it comes to an employee's life. Be flexible and embrace them as they come.

By placing value on life outside of work and their family, they'll be much more relaxed at work, knowing that if something were to happen outside of work, they would be able to take care of things. They should realize that while their job is definitely part of the equation, it's not the most important part.

Get Rid of Vending Machines

This may earn you a bit of hatred up front, but it's for your employees' collective good. Junk food makes your employees perform like junk. They do nothing for your brain power and productivity. Instead, offer healthy food that supports brain function and mental clarity, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Limit their access to company coffee, only allowing one cup a day if possible. Offer decaf for those who simply can't live without it. Your energy level directly relates to what goes in your body, so make sure you put healthy things in your body. At the end of the day, you want them to look back on the work they've done and be happy.

There's no foolproof method to increase employee satisfaction around the office. You'll have to try some of these tips, gauge response then implements another if necessary. Have your employees reported that they're happy with their job? If so, share your secret: What are you doing to keep them happy?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to Ask for and Get a Raise

Everyone knows that part of getting the most out of your money is to control your expenses. By managing the money that is leaving your household you can be certain that you are buying the things your family needs before you spend money on things your family simply wants. What people often forget to focus on, though, is the income side of the family finance equation. Reaching your full earning potential is just as important as controlling your expenses

So how do you reach your full earning potential? The first step is to confirm that you are currently receiving fair payment for the work you perform. During the tough economic situation of the past few years, many people have not received a raise for some time. Perhaps you felt lucky to have a job at all.

If it has been awhile since you reviewed your salary, it may be time to approach your boss about a raise. Before you knock on his door, though, take a look at the following tips to ensure that your request is granted. 

  • Know what you're worth. Take advantage of the internet’s resources to determine what your peers are earning in your city or region. Being able to show your boss concrete proof that you're being underpaid makes it much easier to ask for more money. 
  • List situations where you have gone above and beyond what was expected of you. Have you taken on new duties since your last raise? Be sure to detail those new responsibilities during your conversation with your boss. Did you come to the rescue during a crunch time at work? Make sure you point that out, too. 
  • Give examples of ways that you help the company be more successful. Perhaps you have brought in several new clients to your company. Or maybe you've developed a new filing system that saves time. Be prepared to regale your boss with tales of your achievements since your last raise. If you're afraid that you'll forget them when you're actually in the boss’ office, write down a few notes to keep you on topic. 
  • Avoid citing the length of time since your last raise. It can be very tempting to request a raise simply because you haven’t received one in a great deal of time. Don’t give in to the temptation. You don’t want your employer to think that you expect a raise just because you work for him. You’re much more likely to be successful if you stick to showing him objective ways you contribute to the company. 
  • Don’t give ultimatums unless you’re prepared to follow through with them. Many people think that the easiest way to get a raise is to mention that you’re prepared to look for another job if you don’t get a raise. Or, even worse, to threaten that you already have a new job offer. Unless you really are ready to look for a new job or have that job offer, don’t issue ultimatums. Your boss just might end up wishing you good luck on your new endeavors and leave you with no income at all. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Creative Ways to Make Money Online

Internets = Parody motivator.
Internets = Parody motivator. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’re unfortunately living in a time when people are struggling to make ends meet, selling off their luxury items and doing away with family holidays abroad in order to pay for the everyday essentials. Flash cars, Caribbean cruises, even things like gym memberships are now a thing of the past, and we now look for more economical or cost-effective investments instead, allowing us to pay our bills and have enough left over for some fun at least!

To make these investments easier and to help pay some of the essential bills – rent, course fees, fuel and food shopping for example – people are looking for alternative sources of income. While their salaries and pensions go someway to covering the costs, they often don’t bring home as much as you’d like – especially once the taxman gets involved!

Utilizing the Internet has become a popular option, opening doors to audiences that might be interested in what they have to offer, and presenting them with the chance to make a bit of cash here and there.

Some of the most popular online sources of cash at present include:

Online Auctions

Selling any unwanted items on auction sites like eBay is a great way of making some extra cash with relative ease. Take a few pictures of the item you want to sell – like a polo shirt that is the wrong size for example – and create a description of the product listing why you’re selling it, the colour, the brand and any other essential details, and then create a starting price that you want the bidding to start at. Then, set a deadline and let the auction commence! In a few days, not only have you managed to get rid of the items you don’t want or need – making extra space at home – you’ve got some extra cash in your pocket too!

Freelance Writing

A lot of people are very creative with their writing, sitting down with a pen and paper and either writing their own books, maybe doing some drawings, while others type articles for the local paper or magazine. What they could be missing out on is the chance to make money for their writing, offering their services to media agencies for a small fee - $10 per article for example – making some easy money for the chance to do something they enjoy

Playing Games

The Internet presents a huge opportunity to make a bit of money just by playing games! Similarly to playing the lottery or putting a bet on a horse, you can play some of your favourite games and win either cash or prizes. To give you an example, sites like let users play traditional bingo – over the Internet – with the chance to win some money. Online bingo and other games on the net have become very popular in recent years thanks to the recent developments in technology meaning you can play anything, anywhere, anytime.

Sell your Creations

Many people make their own posessions – clothes, croquery, art, that kind of thing – and could get the chance to make more by selling the items online. Offering your services again as freelance, or just creating and selling in the online marketplaces can bring in money while you get to get creative!

This article was written by Matt Rawlings, a UK-based writer specializing in the latest technology, trends and developments.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Accounting Degrees Are in Demand

In a recent article on Yahoo's education website, they listed the top five in demand college degrees. In order they listed:

  1. Accounting 
  2. Finance
  3. Engineering
  4. Computer Science
  5. Business Administration

I found it interesting that 3 of the five concerned jobs in business and two of them concerned science. I am not shocked that accounting was listed at the top of the list. The last few years of financial scandals and high-profile missteps in the top financial organizations has increased the need for good accountants. Also when some well publicized business news in in front of the public it raises awareness to the career opportunities in the industry.

Government has stiffened it's regulations on businesses by requiring more overseeing of a businesses financial records. To head off further problems, the federal government passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002. This act requires public companies to strengthen internal financial controls and to ensure the accuracy of their reporting. Such legislation, of course, has greatly increased the demand for ethical, knowledgeable, and well-trained accountants.

There many other reasons that demand is increasing for accountants. The increasing globalization of companies in recent years, forcing them to comply with International Financial Reporting Standards, as well as an aging baby boomer population, which will leave many vacancies as retirements continue to increase.

Accounting Degrees

The United States has three main classes of certified accountants. They are Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). CPAs work for the the public, including auditing, accounting, litigation, tax planning, and financial advisory services. CIAs work in an auditing capacity for employers, while CMAs can work for companies but might also serve the public in a more limited way than CPAs.

Accounting Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accountants and auditors earned a median annual salary of $61,690 in May 2010. The highest concentration of accountants and auditors work in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, or payroll service firms. And a 2010 National Association of Colleges and Employers salary survey found that employment candidates with bachelor's degrees in accounting received an average starting offer of $46,718 per year.

Of course, no educational program can guarantee a future salary or employment upon completion, but accounting degrees and licensure certainly increase your opportunities for employment and advancement.

How Do I Get a Bachelor of Accounting?

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Best Accounting Firms to Work For in 2012

Accounting firms play a vital role in providing the services which businesses require. There are many accounting firms spread all over the world. Besides putting a systematic record of financial transactions, these accounting firms take care of all the risks involved in setting up and running a limited company. As staff of an accounting firms are trained for all types of financial situations they can easily bring success to your business. It is always a better idea to hire an accounting firm to deal with your business requirements. You can get your limited company set up help with ClearSky which is an IFA accredited accounting firm. Below are some of the best accountancy firms to work for in 2012.

Ernst & Young

Ernst and Young accounting firm offer a wide range of services regarding business intelligence. They have been offering their services for about a century. The services offered by this firm include advisory business services, tax, transaction advisory services, law and assurance. This firm has offices in various cities all over the world.


Deloitte has dozens of member firms which have been offering their services to about 150 countries. These member firms provide services like audit, tax, financial advisory, consulting and risk management services. Each member firm operates based on the rules and regulations of the country in which it operates.

Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton is a leading business consultancy firm which stimulates potential growth of the organisations. It has set up its branches in more than 100 countries. The member firm of Grant Thornton helps you to compete with your business competitors and grow. These firms take care of the whole process involved in setting up and running a business.

Moss Adams

Moss Adams is the 11th largest accounting firm in the country. The services provided by this firm include tax, accounting and consulting services to all the businesses and industries. Along with business intelligence, this firm also offers services like investment banking and asset management. This firm is also a founding member of Praxity, a global alliance of accounting firms.


KPMG is a New York based accounting firm which offers tax, auditing and financial advisory services to the businesses. KMPG has branches all over the world which has over 140,000 employees. The firm focuses on what the private company owners and entrepreneurs face every day and provides responsive and effective advice which stimulates the business potential growth.

Simon is a Tech writer from London with an interest in topics relating to Insurance, Finance, and green living. You can follow him @financeport on Twitter

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Retirement Options Are Changing for the 50 plus Employee

English: Mexican businessman Carlos Slim HelĂș....
 Mexican businessman Carlos Slim (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Billionaire Carlos Slim said that boosting the retirement age to 70 would help to prop up the world’s struggling economies, according to a Mexican press report, cited by Forbes. He says the current retirement age was selected because at that time people worked more physical jobs.

Slim suggested the cure for our economic ills would be raising the retirement age in all countries to 70 thus taking the pressure off budget shortfalls. But for half of all Americans the idea is moot because they do not have the resources for retirement even with Social Security helping.

The normal job tradition of retirement at 65 is obsolete. So you must make sure you are a valuable asset to your employer so you can keep on working. One way to increase your value is continued education. You should consider going back to school but if you cannot attend day classes then an online line degree is your other option. There are online mba degrees that can provide you with the necessary education.

In the 1930's the age of eligibility for Social Security was 65 while the life expectancy was just under 60. Social Security was essentially old age insurance if you outlived your useful working years. Today the life expectancy is close to 73 and the eligibility age is 67.

In my own situation I also do not have enough saved for a retirement at 65 years old. The perfect storm of a divorce, 3 in college, and a 25% cut in business income have blessed me with working well into my seventies. Luckily, I'm fine with this future but what's OK for me is a real damper for others who were counting on retiring at 65 or earlier.

How will a company react to having mostly older employees? Just because an employee is older, does business have the right to judge your overall capacity to perform your job? In today's economy, business should integrate up to date policies concerning older workers. If a good employee has served a company well, their knowledge and experience must be utilized for training or supervising new blood that’s joining the team.

Society is used to having the old replaced with the new. Not because it's better but because there is a perception of improvement. But, new blood in a company can be good for the vitality and growth potential needs. Separately, they each can contribute something good, but together they offer a sum greater than the parts.

Being a valuable employee is hard work. Ask yourself, would you hire you? If the answer is no, maybe it's time to evaluate things. Here's a list of tips to consider:

1. Further your education. Just because you over 50, why do you think you think you shouldn't have continuing education? Your younger team members have more recent educational opportunities. These are the people you’re competing with for your job security. You may be knowledgeable but many employers look at youth and energy as positive attributes. Make sure you are staying up to date education wise. It couldn't hurt to take some online courses and maybe add a degree to your resume. When you are continually trying to better yourself you stay sharper and it shows the team leader you are trying to make yourself a more valuable asset to the organization.

2. Enhance your critical skills. Having a handle on your time management skills make you an asset to an organization. Being an organized team member by planning your days and weeks by priorities will give you peace of mind and allow you to have your goal on a clear track. Continued education with a masters degree organizational leadership could support this goal. A life in order will benefit you and your work production. Having good organization skills will be noticed by the organization.

3. Network outside of your company. Networking with people in other companies in your industry will keep you connected and it will benefit you and your company. Do not just network at your level; seek others above and below your level. Join clubs and organizations. Volunteer wherever you can make an impact. You will be enhancing yourself and showing the public that your company cares and wants to give back to the community.

4. Cultivate your work ethic. It may be a shocking thing to do but showing up on time for work and staying a full day is a radical thing to do in a company. Caring about your job and maybe coming in to work early and staying later will get you noticed by your boss. Start this habit and at least do it once a week. You will get noticed and if the day ever comes when your boss has to fire someone, the person giving a 150% to the company will not be at the top of the list.

5. Learn a new language. If your company deals with companies that are global, a foreign language will make you more valuable. Learn a language of a country your company deals with. When the day comes a translator is need you will be ready. When a promotion comes where a foreign language is needed you will be the top choice for it.

Its common sense that a company is going to only keep employees that are producing and an asset to increasing the bottom line. If you are contributing to that, then you are a valuable commodity to the company and you will have your job for a long time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How To Overcome A Bad Financial Habit - Procrastination

It takes work and having a plan if you want to have control of your money. Whether it is budgeting, saving, planning, investing or organizing; to get good results it takes an investment of time. But that's the tough part, finding the time to do it right. 

Many people fail in their financial goals because they just don't plan. They want to do it right but just keep putting it off. To some of us, like myself, seeing a monthly budget just doesn't thrill me. I know many people enjoy these types of things but actually doing it is no fun. I like to write about personal finance but I can find more fun things to do than balance my checkbook.

I admit it I am a procrastinator. So what do you do? Need some help? Here are a few tips:

Schedule financial tasks

Scheduling financial tasks and completing them in small chunks will help you feel a sense of accomplishment. For example, most consumers receive several types of financial mail, including bills, brokerage statements and bank reconciliations. Place all financial mail in a basket and set aside some time periodically to go through them at one time. You will develop a habit that will become part of your routine. This routine will eliminate procrastination. Also, try to save time by using online bill payment services or developing a system that works for you.

Create a savings strategy

You may believe that you do not have enough money to save, and therefore, you develop inertia. Also, retirement may seem like such a distant dream. However, saving a little now will help get you started, and over time you will see how the investment grows in value. Watching your money grow will motivate you to create additional savings.

Divide and conquer

If you have a spouse or significant other, work together at the same time and split the duties. People who make commitments and have a “buddy” in the task will not be as likely to delay. One person can pay the bills while the other files statements. At this time, you may also have the opportunity to talk and discuss financial matters which will reduce uncertainty and stress. After you have worked together, reward yourself for staying on task.

Remember late fees

In many instances, handling financial matters early can actually save considerable money — but it involves planning ahead. For example, try to pay January’s mortgage near the end of December to get the mortgage interest deduction on the current year tax return. Many people save on Christmas supplies, such as wrapping paper and ornaments, for next year by purchasing them immediately after Christmas. Also, irrigation companies will offer substantial discounts to install irrigation equipment during off-season times. Even some colleges give substantial discounts for getting tuition paid early.

Because many businesses want smooth cash flow, it makes sense for them to offer such discounts. Of course, it is very important to weigh the discount you will be getting with any interest or investment income you might have earned by retaining the money. While savings can be the reward for paying early, late fees, penalties and interest can be the penalty for not getting financial tasks done by the due date. It is especially important to pay credit card bills on time, as just a short delay can add considerable late fees to a bill.

Remember procrastination is a bad habit that can take some work to overcome. The trouble is it takes time to set up procedures to help you change old habits. But it is necessary to succeed with your money plans.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kidflation Affects The Children With Higher Prices At The Candy Store

2010 Chile earthquake - Kids playing in TalcahuanoImage via WikipediaMom and Dad think they have it bad, with paying $4.00 for gas to go to the supermarket to shop for ever rising food prices. Kids have it rough too in this economic downturn. While adults are feeling retail prices increasing 8.5%, kids are feeling it worse in the pocket book with a rise of 14.3% for the things they need to buy.

Typical costs for kid purchases of sweets and candy have risen 24% on average. Soft drinks are up 16% and kids clothing is also up 17%. To make matters worse for the kids, Mom and Dad are handing out less and less pocket money. Some parents have reduced or eliminated giving the kids their pocket money. Though many parents are making the kids earn their extra money by taking on additional chores around the house.

This terrible affect of the recession on kids has helped them learn the cold hard facts of life. They are learning money is finite and you have to work for the money you receive. Today's kids have many more hands out for their money. Also income from jobs and chores have not kept up with the prices. If they have jobs they are probably receiving the minimum wage. With expensive gas, movie tickets, clothes and cell phones the kids are having a hard time making ends meet.

The high cost of video games is affecting junior's pocket book. The average new, must have video game sells for $50. Being in the baby boomer generation, thinking of spending $50 on toys when I was young, Mom and Dad would of thought I was crazy to spend that much.

Teach good lessons

All this spending can be used to teach good economic behavior to your children. Teaching wants verse needs is a lesson that can be taught at a young age. This kind of lesson probably will have to be taught again and again depending on the maturity level of the child.

Teach how money is earned

Handing the kids an allowance is not a good idea because it teaches money is free with no action taken by the child to receive it. Rather teach the child to work for their allowance by doing chores around the house. Linking their regular chores with the money teaches WORK = MONEY. If you get that lesson into that head of mush it will be the best thing you can do for your child.

Teach how money is used

When they finally receive their money they must be taught how to make financial decisions in life. This is the parents time to guide the youth in making good spending decisions. Eventually they will be on their own and you won't have this influence anymore. The kids should learn to spend and save for future spending. Eventually, you should not be paying for everything. So start by keeping things simple. Kids (via their allowance) pay for the wants (toys, snacks, gifts for friends). Parents pay for needs (school supplies, Grandpa’s birthday present) and the expenses that are random or unpredictable (class trips). Of course, it’s still your money. But transferring the responsibility for those expenses to the child gives them the chance to learn to budget and save and make wise choices.

Learn to let go.

You have taught them how to spend now step back and let them try it out. If they do well with their spending you have accomplished a lot. If they fail miserably you have an opportunity to use the failure to teach a lesson. Remember this is a process. As their maturity level rises, or doesn't rise, you will have to at time step in and reinforce the lessons not quite learned yet.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Best Place For You To Work May Just Be Under Your Own Roof

Vacation HomeImage by Let Ideas Compete via FlickrThe traditional job market is expected to have slow growth for many years to come. This has forced many people to find work in the most unlikely place, their own home. There are indications that business are hiring, but they are hiring workers on a contract basis.

Let's face it,our slow economy is going to be slow for quite a while longer. Businesses are not hiring because they just don't have the work or just don't have the money to hire full time employees. Their only option is to hire part time, contract based employees.

The benefits of part time or contract workers to the employer are many. They don't have to pay for the usual expenses like health care, social security, 401(K)'s, and actual office space. Hiring outside help, is a big savings for the company.

The facts.
The facts are online employment middleman Elance is showing tremendous growth. The increase is 50% higher than last year. They have had over 48,000 jobs posted in the last 30 days.

There has been a reboot of the way companies hire people to do their work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 68% of hiring in 2010 was in the form of contract based freelancers.

This kind of freelance work is the bread and butter of the younger generation just entering the workforce. The freedom of working from home for multiple employers is highly appreciated.

Many people have pounded the pavement, sent out resumes, and have gone interviews only to be disappointed. Many of them should have stayed home and started a freelance business.

Many online sources can get you the work you have been looking for. With the expansion of the information age and telecomputing, you will never have to leave your home to go to work, again.
There are many sites to find work, but the biggest is There you will find work consisting of programming, designing, writing, marketing, administration, consulting, and finance. There are othe websites so search around to find the perfect job for yourself.

Some key skills are needed to make working from home a good experience:
  • Enjoy your work. If you don't love it, it will show.
  • Sure working from home has a lot of perks. But make sure you like the work you are doing. Do the thing that you are most qualified for otherwise you may tend to lose interest. 
  • Make sure you are educated with home tech. Like computers, fax machines, and printers

To make working at home easier you must have a basic knowledge of your computer and it's peripherals. Getting online and being able to cure a sick computer or business machine is a must.

Are you a self starter?
You have to be a self motivated person to work at home. You won't have someone looking over your shoulder every day.

Give your best effort.
You must always over deliver on your freelance work. Many times your work is given a score on free lance websites. A bad review may make you unhireable in the future.

The bad economy has caused a shifting in the standard job. The new norm is independent contractors and free lancers.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Charlie Sheen's 5 Tips To Dealing With Difficult Co-Workers

Charlie Sheen in March 2009Image via Wikipedia
Charlie Sheen has finally been fired from his hit show "Two and a Half Men". Over the last few weeks, we have been witness to the rantings and diatribes of Mr. Sheen and have learned quite a few tips on how to deal with difficult co-workers.

We have seen Charlie divorced twice, in the company of porn stars, taken to the hospital because of drug overuse, and domestic violence. All of this has been on display in the press for several years. Yet he wasn't fired. These incidents are very serious and grounds for termination in many companies, but not CBS or Warner Bros. What did it finally take to finally fire Charlie Sheen, he insulted his bosses.

In companies, like families, there is going to be conflict. To make it worse the TV industry has people with large egos backed up by large check books. This gives people a false sense of importance.

Here are 5 tips I have learned from Charlie Sheen's troubles to make it a little easier to get along with that pain in the @$$ at work. Don't waste energy having a breakdown on account of someone you can't stand. Be ready and proactive in the office environment.

Dealing with Co-Workers Tip #1: Be prepared for Conflict

 If you have people in the organization who are difficult, be prepared for a potential situation. If you don't you may react with anger or some useless childish behavior that will only make the situation worse.

It may help to practice a potential argument in your head to get ready for the situation. Listen to what your saying to see if it comes across as immature or foolish. Also remember to not be wishy-washy, uphold your morals and values. Don't be arrogant but be self-confident. And by all means don't let the person get under your skin, be ready for cheap shots.

Your job is already quite stressful with deadlines and difficult bosses. Not getting along with co-workers makes your job ten times more difficult. You have no choice but to try and get along, or just change jobs.

Dealing with Co-Workers Tip #2: Don't fuel the fire.

If tempted to retaliate, don't. People who cause tension and confrontation also thrive on it. They feel powerful with an exchange of harsh words. Don't get sucked in, you'll only look like the bad guy. Instead react in the opposite way they expect, be nice to them. It drives irrational people crazy. You'll either become friendly with them or drive them away.

Dealing With Difficult Co-Workers Tip #3: Lend a Helping Hand

It may not work in all situations but difficult people may be just a troubled person or someone with poor social skills. They end up making enemies instead of friends because they have money problems or marriage problems at home. This makes them an actual miserable person to be around. They may not be justified in mistreating you, but at least you know why they act the way they do.

Dealing With Difficult Co-Workers Tip#4: Get a Third Party Involved.

No matter how hard you try you may just not be able to get through to the person. This is when you get a neutral party to help. They can listen to both sides and try to find common ground.

Dealing With Difficult Co-Workers Tip#5: Move On

You tried your best and nothing worked. You will reach a point where it's not going to be resolved. If one of you doesn't move on your going to have to suck it up or quit. If this treatment by the person effects your productivity it could he considered grounds for termination. But before all this occurs be careful in examining your own behavior and if your doing the right things. Most of all don't ignore the situation it will only get worse.

We haven't seen the last of Charlie Sheen. He will continue to lash out at his former bosses, sue them, and probably win. CBS will replace Charlie with another actor, but the show will flop and Charlie will feel vindicated. 

Charlie, why not just take the goddesses on a vacation far away and let everything cool down. Especially you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Making Money Online is Possible - Learn How You can Do it

If your like me you are always looking for ways to make a little more money. Working on-line is a way and sometimes the only way most people have. It's a great way to to supplement your income and you can do it after hours or anytime you want. One way I am looking into is, writing articles.

Writing articles for people is a great way to earn income online, writing content for people is much easier than you may think it is. There are a few websites where people can join for free, and write content, and get paid per article they write. Using these kinds of websites is a great way make a few dollars and itch that writing bug. Below are two websites that you can try to write for.

The first website is, but this website only accepts writers who are American citizens. The second website accepts writers from other countries, as well as citizens of the USA, and that website is Textbroker pays its' authors a little bit more money. For average writers they pay between $4.50 and $6.50 per 400 word articles. For better writers and longer articles the pay is more.

If your schedule is quite hectic or you don't think this is worth the amount of time needed, this isn't for you. But if you need to supplement your income and don't have more profitable options you should give this a try. 

If you could write an article in 1 hour, at $5.00 per article, for 20 days a month, you could earn $100 per month. It's not chicken feed. Contrast that to selling something on Ebay, with all the work of listing, packing, shipping, and acquiring the item. Can you make $100 on Ebay per month?

I have joined both Zemandi and Textbroker. If your thinking that you may not be a good enough writer to join these site and have acceptable articles, don't believe it. Most people with average intelligence can write decent articles. Most of the blogs you and I read everyday are written by average people with average ability. You could be a great writer and don't even know it.

Click Here for a Guide to Being a Freelancer

If you are good at writing, and have excellent grammar skills then writing for the website Wisegeek could be for you. Wisegeek is a website that people go to when they need answers to questions. People who want to write for Wisegeek need to fill out an application to write for them, and if they are accepted, they can be paid between $10-$14 an article. Wisegeek requires a more proficient writer with some professional background. and are two more websites that are kind of like Textbroker and Zemandi. These two websites allows writers to choose articles and receive a flat rate for the articles that they submit. is a website that allows people to be citizen journalists. If accepted then they can submit news articles and make a few dollars.

This is something I am going to try. Check this out for yourself and let me know how it goes for you.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Do I Motivate My Son to Save Money?

Children volunteeringImage via Wikipedia

In life I believe most people are not born savers. So take this into account when your trying to help someone change direction. I was a spender for most of my life and did not change direction until I was forced to, out of necessity. Even then it didn't happen overnight, there was a lot of false starts along the way.

Kids are especially tough to motivate. They are usually so immature it's hard to find a way to reach them. They are inundated by a constant barrage of TV ads, showing them nice shiny things to buy. They actually expect their parents to buy them these things. So back to the question; How do I motivate my son to save?

There isn't a one size, fits all answer to the question. Like me you will have to find something your child feels strongly about. Kids always want you to buy them something. This is your opportunity to use the situation to teach a lesson. Showing them that life is about prioritizing todays wants and integrating them into long term goals. 

One technique I have used to teach my kids is to relate a story about my youth. I told them the story about when I was young and went to my parents to buy me a bicycle. I described how they couldn't afford it and told me to save up for it. I had a small job at my Dad's work, sweeping up. I worked many months at that job. Over time I made enough to buy that bicycle. I told them that the way to get things was to work for them. I told them that they must learn WORK=MONEY. My Dad taught me that lesson and I will be sure to teach that to my children.

You must show your kids how present choices affect their future options. Talking to your kids about the things they need and want. Letting them come up with ways to reach their goals. Kids know they have to save for things but they chose not to because they are in the "I want it now" mode. Getting them to stop acting like this, only comes with time.

I am lucky to have 3 out of 5 children that have learned saving is the way to operate. But the other 2 don't quite get the idea and are taking a little longer to catch on. I firmly believe that if your children don't learn to work and make their own way they just could be living with you the rest of your life.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Do You Have Financial Etiquette?

Mind Your Manners by Claire Wallace (1953)Image by Ann Douglas via Flickr 
Many years ago when I was a young lad my parents would take me and my siblings out to dinner. When the check came I would ask how much the bill was. Dad proceeded to hand me the check and told me to pay. He explained to me how talking about money was not done when it wasn't your business. It was a lesson we were all taught that there was a privacy issue when talking about others finances. It's a facet of American culture that you don't ask what someone earns, their religious views or how they vote. 
What happens when someone crosses these cultural boundaries it throws you off and I don't know how to respond - usually I say the wrong thing. What I did was go to the source for expert advice on etiquette. I went to Mary Mitchell. She is an author of many books and president of The Mitchell Organization, she's made a career out of coaching people in relational situations. 
You probably can't get out of talking about money with a spouse or a parent who's participating in your finances, you can with a friend or acquaintance who crosses the line and asks you something better left private. Mitchell suggests saying " it's raining outside". This is the same tone of voice you should use when responding to someone who asks an inappropriate financial question. No emotion, no judgement. If someone gets aggressive, you can smile and say,"Why would you ask a question like that?" or "If you will forgive me for not answering that question, I will forgive you for asking it. " 
Here's a list of the top ten uncomfortable money situations: 
1. Your friends make more money than you, and they treat you like a charity case. 
2. Someone asks how much your spouse makes. 
3. A friend borrowed money from you and they haven't paid it back or even mentioned it. 
4. You go out with a group of people and order a salad and water, everyone else orders wine and lots of appetizers. At the end someone says let's split the check. 
5. Someone asks how much an item of clothing costs, like shoes or a purse. 
6. A good friend is having hard financial times. How do you approach them and offer to pay for them. 
7. You're with an old friend and their credit card gets declined. 
8. An acquaintance criticizes your spending habits. 
9. A friend or family member always thinks your going to pay for them. 
10. Someone asks how much debt you have. 
In all these situations it's always best to approach your answer with a calm tone and politeness. When your responding to the comment or situation is the the time when you, or both of you will feel awkward. Remember these people are not trying to be unkind. They are just overstepping in a social situation. Try to respond calmly and then change the subject. Saving embarrassment for both you and your friend. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

IRS To Allow Deduction For Chinese Drywall Problem

A Pleasant Valley Modular home on the assembly...Image via WikipediaHere in South Florida we have a big problem with many homes being built with toxic drywall manufactured in China. It emits a higher level of sulphur than regular drywall and corrodes metal, causing problems for air-conditioners and other electronic equipment. 
To make matters worse many homeowners have complained that the fumes have made them sick. The federal government hasn't been able to link the drywall to their illnesses, but has recommended that homeowners replace the drywall and wiring, a process that can cost more than $100,000. 
Complaints about the drywall started a few years ago with many of them in Florida and Louisiana. The problem is worse because homeowners must still pay their mortgages on the damaged homes while also paying for temporary accommodations, while their homes are uninhabitable. 
Of course many lawsuits have been filed but the process is long and drawn out. The good news is the IRS has created a tax deduction for these homeowners. Under the new rules taxpayers can deduct the casualty losses ( the cost of repairs from a sudden and unusual event) in the year in which the loss occurs as long as the losses are not covered by insurance or other parties. The restrictions are that they must itemize their federal returns. And deductions are only allowed on amounts exceeding $500 and on amounts that exceed 10 percent of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income. 
Taxpayers who have pending insurance claims can take advantage of the plan but must later report it as income if reimbursed later. 
At the present time most homeowners have gotten no relief from any source. This tax relief will only help people who have the money or can borrow it for the repairs. 
Many homes in my area are new construction and are built with the toxic drywall. They are just sitting there either unoccupied or never sold. They are just waiting on lawsuits and insurance claims. This problem just adds to the foreclosure problem, overbuilding and excessive inventory in South Florida. These problems contribute to the depressed prices here. This also leads to property values not being high enough to qualify for mortgages, aggravating the home sales market. 
These problems along with the foreclosure process at a dead stop will only prolong the borderline depression here. At least this IRS help will help some homeowners rebuild at get the housing inventory selling. With many homeowners facing these many challenges, believe it may take a decade to come out of these problems.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Are You Financially Responsible?

Cover of "The Richest Man in Babylon"Cover of The Richest Man in Babylon
Financial responsible simply means to live within your means. That means you spend less than you make. 
Credit Cards and Debt 
Being able to make you credit card payment is not what I'm talking about. If you have a credit card payment and aren't able to pay it of it shows you spend more than you earn. Paying off your credit card balance on your account every month means you are financially responsible. 
Credit cards should be used as a convenience and for an emergency, not to make ends meet. 
The same goes for recurring payments that have interest. Paying interest means your paying extra for your purchase, is that being responsible? But with big ticket items like homes and vehicles it's impossible to avoid paying interest. In those situations try to minimize the purchase price. 
It's very doable to avoid credit card debt but those big ticket items like your home or car are a fact of life and are tougher to get under control. So the only way to make them manageable is to not to buy a luxury car but get the minimal needed to get the job done, even getting a used car. With the house, you don't need a mansion, get the house that will suit your needs. The problem with these purchases is we don't see the difference between necessities and luxuries. When we purchase a home we probably qualify for a mortgage much higher than we need. Irresponsibility is the taking the largest mortgage we qualify for, not thinking if we can afford it over the long run. It's the difference between wants and needs. Th rule of thumb is your mortgage payment should not be more than 25 to 30 percent of your monthly income. If this is not the case it's better to rent till your able to afford it. 
Are you paying your self first? 
In the book "The Richest Man In Babylon" one of the main lessons are you must pay yourself first. Every week take 10% and put it into savings. This money is for your future when you retire. To not have savings and a plan for your later years is irresponsible. Make sure you invest it in something that allows your money to grow and work for you. 
Emergency Fund 
This item is separate from your 10% weekly savings. It's money set aside for the rainy days that are sure to come. This fund allows you to stay out of debt when trouble comes. It's your insurance policy against going back into debt when there's a problem. We must be prepared for the unexpected. This is being financially responsible. 
Don't Try to keep up with the Jones's. 
Your job is to take care of your family. Keep your eye on the needs of your family, present and future. Their wasteful habits shouldn't throw you off track. Don't let them set the bar for your standard of living. 
What? Don't tell me you don't have a budget? A budget is one of the core pillars of financial responsibility you should know where your money is going. Being organized with your money allows you to save more, plan better and be more content in your life. 
The bottom line to all this financial responsibility is spending less than you make. It's not about being a miser with yourself and family. It's about being prepared for today's and future purchases. It doesn't mean doing without lifes pleasures, it's about purchasing them the right way. Do you want to go thru your life with the peace and satisfaction that comes with financial responsibility or the anxiety and fear of seeing a mailbox full of credit card bills and debt collection letters. Make the choice today to do it the right way and enjoy the piece of mind that comes with it. 

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