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Friday, 16 November 2012 16:12

I Decided To Quit My Job

I decided to quit my job because... I realized it was the ideal time to take a bet on me! It was the perfect time in my life to assume the risks of being an entrepreneur. My strengths, passion and background made me well-positioned to own and operate a successful business and reap the rewards. I have always considered owning my own business, but it was never the right time, nor had I identified the right business model. So, instead, I passionately (and patiently) pursued a career as a Human Resources professional for some of the world's leading brands (Pepsi, General Mills and Starbucks).During this time I had the great fortune of both loving and being successful in my HR career. Each of these experiences allowed me to build lasting relationships, be a part of great teams and drive strong results. But, equally important for my current entrepreneurial pursuits, each experience helped me to build a solid foundation in what is required to successfully operate a business, to build high-performing teams and to create strong, recognizable brands. I decided to quit my job because... I found myself at a bit of a cross-road–enjoying my work, but with diminished passion. Increasingly…
Thursday, 15 November 2012 15:16

Beyond the Resume

Beyond The Resume: Building your Career Story Resumes and job hunting go hand in hand, it has been that way for years. However, when it comes to having a career (not just a job) it may be time for you to cast your resume in a supporting role and leave the lead to your own storytelling skills. See, a good resume is like a valid driver's license. It proves that you are legit. It signals to a potential employer whether or not you have the type of education and work credentials to be considered for an employment opportunity. That's it. Nothing more. Nothing less. And just like a driver's license doesn't reveal whether or not you drive like a bat of out hell, a well-crafted resume doesn't reveal whether or not you're a rock star.Sure, your resume should be an indicator of performance but it cannot (and arguably, should not) include a headline that reads "I'm a BEAST at this game. I love it and my passion for it cannot be matched!" Your professional references can provide this subtext to your resume but that's just it–it's the subtext left for someone else to tell. Why give your resume and references…
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 16:38

Facebook Is Making You Poor

Facebook Users Spend More Money And Have Lower Credit Scores: Study We all know that Facebook is eating up our free time. But new research suggests that the social network may be making us fat and poor. Facebook increases our self-esteem, which negatively impacts our decision-making skills and judgement, according to Andrew Stephen, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh, and Keith Wilcox, associate professor at Columbia University. In turn, Facebook lowers our self-control and encourages negative behaviors like overspending and overeating. The researchers found that more time spent on Facebook means higher credit card debt. Just five minutes of Facebook usage a day was proven to lower a user's self-control, according to the study, which was based on an Internet survey of 541 American Facebook users. Facebook surpassed 1 billion users worldwide in early October and is expected to see that figure double by 2014, according to some estimates. The average American spends eight hours a month on Facebook mostly due to boredom, according to a recent study. In America, 71.2 percent of Internet users are on Facebook, according to the social network. Despite Stephen and Wilcox's findings, the relationship between social networks and self-esteem is hotly contested. According…
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 16:30

Target Employees Protest Black Friday

Target employees working Black Friday shifts may have to report to work earlier than ever. CNN Money reports that Target's 9 p.m. Thanksgiving opening is the earliest the store has ever started its Black Friday sales. Last year, some Target stores opened at 12 a.m. Friday, despite a petition that garnered more than 200,000 signatures from people asking the company to "save Thanksgiving for its employees, their families and consumers." This year there are new petitions on Change.org with similar messages. One petition, posted by C. Renee of Corona, Calif., urges signers to protest the "Thanksgiving Creep" that pushes retailers to open earlier and earlier on Black Friday. The petition has already garnered more than 166,000 supporters. Dear Gregg W. Steinhafel,Return to Friday morning opening I'm not complaining about being a minimum wage worker. Target, as a company, does some good and maintains a commitment to charity. Thanksgiving, though, is one of the three days retail workers get off a year, a day most spend with family. The issue is not black Friday, though it's not exactly this country's shining moment. Every year the opening time gets pushed up more and more. Midnight last year was pushing it. How can…
Monday, 12 November 2012 15:30

Having Money Problems?

  Money Problems: Why It's So Hard To Say "I Can't Afford It" Why is it still so difficult to say those four little words? That's the question journalist Veronia Dagher posed recently in the Wall Street Journal. After all, huge numbers of Americans are struggling financially at the moment; anyone having to cut back or do without has lots of company. Reuters broke the news last week that the second quarter of 2012 saw the most significant rise in household debt since 2008. Forbesreported that outstanding student loans together amounted to over $1 trillion in March 2012, and, according to the Washington Post, American consumers "are projected to finish 2012 with a net increase of $43.5 billion in credit card debt." And yet, admitting that there's no room in your budget for that dinner or new outfit, or even a haircut or pedicure, sometimes feels so hard that you go ahead and spring for it anyway -- as those credit card debt numbers bear out. The reason we can't just say "no," Carl Sword, a New York-based psychoanalyst told the Journal, is that the pressure to spend often comes from peers. Dagher wrote that "feelings of shame, embarrassment or a desire to avoid conflict are just some of the reasons…
Friday, 09 November 2012 05:19

Women Handling Money

6 Things Women Should Know About Money Women are four times more likely than men to be Alexandra Armstrong, a financial planner in Washington, D.C., isn't a widow herself, but she's long been surrounded by them: Her father died when she was eight years old, leaving her mother a widow, and today, many of her clients are widows. Those experiences helped lead Armstrong to coauthor a book, On Your Own: A Widow's Passage to Emotional and Financial Well-Being, now in its fifth edition. "It's really important for women to understand the basics of their money so if they do become widowed or divorced, they're not thrown for a loop and have that add to their anxiety," Armstrong says. Today, women across all age groups are more likely to become widows than men are to become widowers, by a factor of about 4 to 1. For those between ages 40 and 44, there are 170,000 widows, compared with 52,000 widowers. For those age 85 and up, there are 2.2 million widows and 564,000 widowers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Here are six strategies Armstrong recommends for women of all ages to prepare themselves: Know your money. Armstrong says women of…
Thursday, 08 November 2012 14:50

Wal-Mart unveils Black Friday deals

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Wal-Mart wants you to forget Black Friday this year. Instead, the store is kicking off some of its hottest "Black Friday" deals on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, beginning at 8 p.m. The retailer says its best deals will be on electronics, tablets, TVs, gaming consoles, home appliances and toys. Last year, Wal-Mart rolled out its Black Friday deals at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. This year is the earliest that Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), the world's largest retailer, has ever jumpstarted its holiday sales bonanza. Duncan MacNaughton, Wal-Mart's chief merchandising officer, said the decision was based on customer feedback. "Our customers told us they wanted to shop earlier this year, and go to bed earlier," he said. MacNaughton also promised that Wal-Mart's Black Friday deals will be "some of the most aggressive" the retailer has ever had. Wal-Mart is rolling out the discounts in three stages. Phase 1: Beginning at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the best in-store deals are on toys, games, home goods and clothing. These include Xbox 360 4GB with SkyLanders bundle for $149; Nintendo's Wii console for $89; a Crock Pot 6-quart slow cooker and Mr. Coffee programmable 12-cup coffee maker for $9.44 each;…
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 16:43

Tackle Your To-Do List

Have you ever had a day where you are rippin' and runnin' non stop and when you finally lay down to go to bed (if you even can get to bed) you still have a million things you haven't crossed off your to do list? As moms, we all seem to have this never-ending to do list but when do we say enough is enough?! Let's be honest, most of the craziness we feel during the day is self-inflicted. Yes, I said it. We are causing the trauma.Take this into consideration moms everything does not have to be done in one day, everything is not a priority and everyone does not have to hear the word "Yes" from you! I know first-hand how beneficial a "to do" list can be and I also know how it can ruin my day because I put way too much "busy stuff" on it. Here are some quick tips to help you organize your life and tackle that to do list the right way! 1. What are your top priorities? Everything in life isn't a priority and some things can be cut off completely. Think about your top priorities and goals for the month…
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 00:00

What Tax Bracket Am I In?

What tax bracket am I in? It's a question many Americans are asking themselves right about now, even though tax day—April 15, 2013—is a long way away. Below is a chart of the projected tax brackets for 2013, as posted on MyDollarPlan.com and numerous other websites. Tax Rate Single Married Filing Joint Head of Household 10% Up to $8,750 Up to $17,500 Up to $12,500 15% $8,751 – $35,500 $17,501 – $71,000 $12,501 – $47,600 25% $35,501 – $86,000 $71,001 – $143,350 $47,601 – $122,850 28% $86,001 – $179,400 $143,351 – $218,450 $122,851 – $198,900 33% $179,401 – $199,350 $218,451 – $241,900 $198,901 – $222,750 36% $199,351 – $390,050 $241,901 – $390,050 $222,751 – $390,050 39.6% Over $390,050 Over $390,050 Over $390,050   The figures are based on President Obama's budget proposal for 2013, and if the administration gets its way, the top tax rate will increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. The reason for the increase is that several tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush are set to expire. Experts believe Congress won't vote on the matter until after the 2012 presidential election, but if the Bush cuts are not extended, will mean higher taxes for…
Monday, 05 November 2012 09:00

10 Worst Paying-States for women

In 2011, men working full-time earned a median of $48,765. Women earned just $38,373. That difference of more than $10,000 only tells part of the story of the continuing gender wage gap in this country. Depending on the industry, men in some states earn as much as $20,000 to $30,000 more a year than women. In some cases, the difference is even more. Men in corporate managerial positions earn roughly $35,000 more than women working full time in the same field. Ads by GoogleJim Cramer's Stock PicksGet Action Alerts PLUS. Trade Like Jim Cramer. Get a Free Trial Now.www.thestreet.com/JimCramerRead: The 10 Worst-Paying States for Women Income inequality is severe in some industries, and there are states with concentrations of these businesses. In these states, the gender earnings gap for full-time workers is extremely high. In Wyoming, where there are several of these "pay disparity" occupations, women earned $17,838 less than men in 2011 — the largest disparity among all states. Based on data from the Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the worst-paying states for women. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Institute for Women's Policy Research study director Ariane Hegewisch explained that the biggest…
Friday, 02 November 2012 15:30

Job Report is Good But-

The U.S. Labor Department announced Friday morning that in October, the economy added 171,000 jobs and the national unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a percentage point to 7.9 percent. Political observers hotly anticipated the jobs report for any sign it could affect next Tuesday's presidential election, but what does the news mean for unemployed people who want jobs? The jobs added, along with an increasing labor force participation rate, suggest an improving economy. But Rosanne Bono, who has been unemployed off and on ever since the start of the Great Recession four years ago, said she doesn't think a rising tide necessarily lifts her boat. "I think at one time it would have, but I don't know that it does right now," Bono, 58, said in an interview on Friday. "I guess just because it's been so long." Bono's been working, but she hasn't had a full-time job in her field in a while. She used to be a product designer working for several companies that produced bedding and decorative home furnishings. When the housing sector crashed hard, Bono's career crashed with it. Since then, she's freelanced in her field and held a stream of part-time retail and…
Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:02

Good News About The Job Market

WASHINGTON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, a sign the labor market's slow recovery was gaining traction. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 363,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was below the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 370,000. An analyst from the department said New Jersey and Washington, D.C., did not turn in data due to the mammoth storm Sandy, which hit the Northeast earlier this week. The Labor Department estimated results for the state and for the nation's capital. Economists have said the storm could lead to volatility in jobless claims over the coming weeks. There were no signs the storm had any impact on last week's data, the Labor Department analyst said. The four-week moving average for jobless claims, which smoothes out volatility, dropped 1,500 to a 367,250. Economists generally think a reading below 400,000 points to an increase in employment. The country's weak labor market has dominated its presidential campaign and Friday's employment report will give the last jobless rate before Tuesday's election. Polls show a very tight race between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger…
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 14:19

Career & Family: Can Women “Have It All?”

Go to work, come home, cook, clean, wash the children, help them with their homework, make love to your significant other, then wake up and do it all over again; in that order. As women, we inherently hold a lot of responsibility. As black women, we have that much more on our plates with which we deal. At times it can seem unbearable and having "it all"–unattainable. By "all," we mean a successful career, a full family (including a satisfied husband and well-rounded children), time for yourself after an exasperating bout at the office and your childhood dream of being swept away by a shining knight on a white horse. A recent article "Why Women Still Can't Have it All," in The Atlantic, questions this very theory. The writer, Anne-Marie Slaughter, is an established women. She is a well-educated and mingles amongst other prestigious women, who too find it hard to balance a family and occupation. She writes:When people asked why I had left government, I explained that I'd come home not only because of Princeton's rules (after two years of leave, you lose your tenure), but also because of my desire to be with my family and my conclusion…
"I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today," the catch phrase of Wimpy from the cartoon Popeye, commonly describes the mindset of many shoppers. They want gratification now, even if they can't afford to pay now. This is especially true as the holiday season approaches. Holiday shopping can easily put the squeeze on one's wallet. To help shoppers keep spending to their hearts content, many retailers have brought back layaway or deferred interest financing. Following suit, Paypal recently announced that it is now offering a "Bill Me Later" option to small- and medium-sized businesses.This will now give customers the ability to buy now and pay later for any purchase above $99. After credit approval the customer will have six months of no-interest financing (if they pay off the balance within that time frame). If the customer doesn't pay off their balance within six months the Annual Percentage Rate is 19.99%. This is an excellent deal for small businesses as well as they'll get paid right away without any additional cost or credit risks. Businesses that took part in the pilot over the last month seem to be impressed. "It's very easy to set up and install," says Nick…