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Wednesday, 12 December 2012 16:25

Making Professional Dreams A Reality

It's a good chance that throughout your childhood you were encouraged to dream big. Consequently, you probably grew up envisioning a big lofty goal that you hoped to achieve someday. And many years later, your goal is still just a "big dream" to you. Well I have some good news for you and that is: Dreams do come true! But, in order for your dreams to come true, you need help. You have to seek the right guidance and create a success-support system. In today's world that's highly driven by technology and social media, you have many resources right at your fingertips. The essential key is discovering exactly where to look for information and the players that will inspire you to fully live your dreams. Two amazing trailblazers and role models that you don't have to look too far for are Michael Baisden, host of The Michael Baisden Show, and George Fraser, author of Success Runs in Our Race: The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the Black Community. They both worked regular jobs for many years before they began to fully tap into their passion and gifts. Despite being faced with many challenges and life altering encounters, they were…
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 16:32

How To Handle Career-Change Jitters

Sarah McCord | The Daily Muse Starting a new job is incredibly exciting (translation: incredibly nerve-wracking). Figuring out the ins and outs of your job description is only the tip of the iceberg—organizational culture, new personalities, and an unfamiliar office mean you're constantly learning new things. And while the adjustment period feels new and different for everyone, some of us struggle with feeling downright overwhelmed. If this sounds like you (and you have the bitten fingernails to prove it), we've gathered four ways to conquer your nerves and take these new experiences in stride. Wake Up Earlier Ever notice how your hands clench the steering wheel when you have five minutes left for the last 15 of your commute? Know that sinking feeling when you miss your train and have to wait for the next one all too well? When you cut your commute too close and are rushing, you begin your day flustered and worried. But you can make all (OK, most) of that angst disappear—all you need to do is leave earlier. Set your alarm 30 minutes early (in case you need to hit snooze once or twice) and aim to get to work at least 10 minutes…
Monday, 10 December 2012 17:37

10 Words You Should Not Use On Resume

Are you a "creative" and "effective" job candidate? News flash: you're also "predictable," like a lot of other applicants using these same buzzwords. LinkedIn released their annual list of the most overused buzzwords on their 187 million profile pages this week, with "creative" taking the dubious honor for the second year in a row. Words commonly used on LinkedIn are also likely to appear on resumes, meaning the list outlines the buzzwords you should be avoiding when formatting and writing your own resume. LinkedIn's top 10 repetitive words for the profiles of U.S. professionals were as follows (with some helpful translations): 1. Creative2. Organizational3. Effective4. Motivated5. Extensive experience6. Track record7. Innovative8. Responsible9. Analytical10. Problem solving (One of this guy's big character traits) The lack of creativity in using the word "creative" to describe qualifications isn't confined to the U.S. -- it was also the most overused buzzword in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Singapore, Sweden, and the Netherlands. New words like "responsible" and "analytical" replaced popular buzzwords from last year such as "communication skills" and "dynamic."Still, removing the unoriginal buzzword entirely can be difficult. "These words and phrases are often code words to gain acceptance into a group," said The…
Friday, 07 December 2012 16:12

Make Your Holidays Affordable

FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) - Are you tight on money? Don't let Christmas make your problems worse. The 2012 holiday shopping season is under way and non-profit credit counseling group GreenPath Debt Solutions wants to remind shoppers and budget-minded consumers that it's never too late to start planning for an affordable holiday season and welcome 2013 debt-free. "Now is the time to get together with family and friends and discuss a game plan for the rest of the holidays," said Mark Munzenberger, GreenPath's director of education. "Whether it is gift giving or meal planning, it's important to have a plan and set limits when it comes to holiday spending." In honor of the season, GreenPath financial counselors have put together a five-step plan to help keep your finances in check this holiday season. THE TALK: Dial down the holidays. Consider asking family and friends to downsize the holidays to something less commercial, with fewer purchased gifts, more valuable time spent together and a "less is more" sentiment. You'll be well on your way to a very meaningful holiday that doesn't evolve into overwhelming financial stress in early 2013. THE LIMIT: Start saving and budgeting now. Set a specific and reasonable amount…
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 17:38

Grow your money

If you have money that is already invested or ready to be invested either by you OR a financial advisor, but don't have the confidence to move forward or evaluate the performance results, your focus should be on getting some basic knowledge so that you can confidently invest or hire the right person for the job. Maybe You...Have money invested in a 401K or other account but don't understand what you own. Know you want to hire an advisor but don't know what you should consider in choosing the right person.Have an advisor but don't know what or how you are paying her or if they are doing a good jobYou have accumulated savings beyond the six months living expenses minimum recommended before you begin investing, but the thought of taking on another task may feel overwhelming. You live with a constant nagging feeling that need to take action to grow your money, but you want to feel more confident and in control because you really are afraid of losing the money you do have. Another family member may oversee your investments now, but you may feel a little dependent and thus, unsettled about this. You may have enough wealth…
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 15:48

Are Your Financial Goals Evil?

Are you loving your money? Or are you thinking to yourself right now "I'm not supposed to love my money, am I? Isn't that bad?" The only way to answer that question is to know what you want to accomplish with your financial goals, and then decide if those accomplishments are evil. My guess is that they aren't! So, now that we have established that it's okay to love your money, how can you feel great about your money so you can nurture and grow it? Recognize that there are negative feelings tied to loving your money that many of us hold on a subconscious level related to the old belief that money is evil. Think of money as a tool that helps us get and give what we want in life. Own that Plan B empowers you, and Plan B happens when you pay attention to your money rather than ignore it. You ask and explore what else is possible that you're not currently doing to create your own financial freedom. Recognize all of the good things that you want to do with your money. Choose to pay attention to your money just like you would do for anything…
Monday, 03 December 2012 17:48

Increase Cash Flow

If you're ready to increase your income using your skills or expertise while enjoying life more along the way, then you need a strategy to increase your income now. You may be...Feeling unsatisfied with your current income or job situation. You know that you have skills that are valuable, but you're not sure that you are being fully rewarded for them. Deep down, you know you can do better, and you may even feel a calling to be more than you are right now. You may be at a new stage of your life, with older or grown children. You're concerned about your retirement funds, and want to have the security that comes with additional income streams and potential tax benefits. You know that increasing your income is the answer but you don't know which idea makes the most sense; you're afraid of wasting money and time on a bad idea. You may have felt a calling to enter a new area of business for some time. You may feel alone, or confused about whether you can even start a new business at this time in your life, and the whole idea may feel too big and overwhelming. What Will Help...You…
Friday, 30 November 2012 17:09

Be Friendly, Get The Job

  Prior to an interview, job seekers may fret about whether their analytical skills are up to par or whether their experience is extensive enough, but when it comes to landing certain positions, new research shows that considerable weight is put on whether the interviewer would like to have a beer with the interviewee. Having the same tastes, experiences and leisure pursuits as the interviewer -- as well as good "emotional spark" with him or her -- is just as important, if not more, than actual job skills, according a new study by Northwestern University management and organizations professor Lauren Rivera. "I had one interview, who was the head of recruiting with an investment bank, who started off the interview saying, 'You're just hiring yourself,'" Rivera told The Huffington Post. The research will be published in the December issue of the American Sociological Review. By speaking with representatives from 120 prestigious law firms, management consulting firms and investment banks throughout the course of two years, Rivera found many people are looking for a good "cultural fit." In other words, they want to find people with similar profiles to themselves outside of work. In fact, more than half of the study's…
Thursday, 29 November 2012 16:32

Do Minority Banks Still Matter?

Black-owned banks once offered financial credit and stability to the African American community. The Huffington Post found that the number of black-owned banks across the nation has decreased drastically. "In 1994, 54 such banks were identified by the FDIC; now there are just 28," reports HuffPo. One city where minority banks have been hit hard is Chicago. According to Chicago Business, "Before the financial crisis that hit in 2008, the Chicago area was home to 17 banks owned by or focused on lending to minorities. Six since have failed, and five are saddled with so much in troubled assets that their futures are in question." What remains are five banks catering to African Americans, one to Hispanics, and six to Asian Americans. But even these are struggling to stay open; two black-owned banks, Covenant Bank and Highland Community Bank, and one Asian lender, American Metro Bank, are trying to find funding in order to continue operating. The one remaining Latino bank, Aztec-America Bank, and another Asian bank, United Trust Bank, have high levels of troubled assets, which means they too might close their vaults. Among those that have already failed are ShoreBank, which had $2 billion in assets and was…
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 16:24

Get Out of Debt

Many cringe at the thought of a New Year's resolution. After all, only about 8 percent of those who make a resolution actually achieve theirs. There are even online tools and apps to help stay on track with your resolution. If our troubled economy has taught us anything, it's that the less debt you have, the better. Here are eight resolutions to help you climb out of debt in the new year: 1. Reduce Credit Card Debt. One of the best things you can do for your financial stability is to reduce your credit card debt. Your approach should be to pay off all new charges immediately, while working to pay down your existing balances. Paying down credit card debt is also one of the quickest ways to improve your score. Part of your credit score factors in your debt utilization ratio—the amount of debt you have compared to the amount of available credit you have. By reducing your debt, you will boost your credit score. 2. Track Your Spending. Knowing where your money is going is one of the first steps you need to take when examining your finances. You can use a website like Mint.com to track your…
Monday, 26 November 2012 16:39

Women DO Negotiate Salary

It's almost 2013, and American women still earn an average of 79 cents for each $1 made by their male counterparts. Theories abound on why this is -- academic studies have suggested that women are less willing to engage in competition, have less human capital than men, or are simply less likely to negotiate on a salary offer. But a new study from researchers Andreas Leibbrandt of Monash University and John A. List from the University of Chicago may debunk that final idea. The results, published in a working paper sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, show that women are more likely than men to negotiate their salary when this is explicitly mentioned as an option in a job ad. The research team discovered this by putting out job ads in nine different U.S. cities for an administrative assistant position. Some ads specifically stated that wages were negotiable; some did not. The researchers then gathered data from the 2,422 jobseekers who responded to the ads. They found that when the ad explicitly mentioned that wages were negotiable, using phrasing such as "The position pays $17.6 per hour/ negotiable" or "The position pays $17.6 per hour. But the applicant…
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 18:01

confidence boosting tips for unemployed

In times like these, no job is guaranteed. Life is already tough as it is, but there aren't too many things that can make you feel worse than being laid off or fired. I remember being laid of for the first time in my life. I sat across from my boss thinking that we were just having a routine weekly meeting to catch up. Little did I know that his intention was to let me go and in the middle of the week at that! When he finally revealed why I was there, everything from that point on seemed to be in slow motion. I tried to keep a smile on my face and tears from welling up in my eyes. I was successful at that but man did it suck. I didn't like the job, nor did I really want to be there but rejection isn't an easy thing to handle in any situation, period! So how do you build your confidence and keep it after you've been laid off? First things first, being unemployed is only a temporary thing and you have to truly treat it as such. It's all about changing your mindset. Here are a few…
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 15:02

What Women Need To Succeed

In today's ever-evolving workplace, women say the key to succeeding is being able to keep up with the constant changes, new research finds. A study by Randstad US shows that women believe flexibility and adaptability are the two top skills they need to succeed in the workplace. Technology knowledge and teamwork were other talents on which women place a high priority in the office. Taking on these new skills have made many women feel secure in their workplace status. The research found that nearly three-quarters of the women surveyed have a strong sense of job security and aren't concerned about being laid off. That doesn't mean, however, that they aren't looking for something better. Nearly half of the women polled plan to explore other options when the job market picks up, while more than 40 percent would give serious consideration to a job offer from a different company. "Women are taking on leadership roles and advancing to the top levels of organizations faster than ever before," said Linda Galipeau, Randstad CEO of North America. "It is, therefore, critical that companies not lose sight of what it takes to successfully identify, retain and engage high potential women." Rewarding female employees for…
Monday, 19 November 2012 16:43

Unions fight bonuses for Hostess execs

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Hostess Brands will ask a bankruptcy judge on Monday for approval to shut down the company and pay $1.75 million in executive bonuses. Unions representing workers at the maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Drake's snacks are arguing against the bonuses. But there appears little the unions can do in court to block the shutdown of Hostess or save the 18,500 jobs at the company. At a court hearing set for 2 p.m. ET, the company will ask U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain in New York to approve retention bonus payments to executives expected to oversee the shutdown of Hostess. "The cessation of ... operations is not a simple matter of turning off the lights and shutting the doors," the company wrote in a court filing. "A freefall shutdown and fire sale liquidation" could result in damaged production equipment and the "improper disposal" of waste, the company added. Under the plan, bonuses ranging from $7,400 to $130,500 will be paid to 19 executives. The company argues the bonuses are below market rates for such payments. But the unions, which blame mismanagement for the company's demise, say the bonuses are unjustified and should be rejected by…