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Tuesday, 09 October 2012 15:05

Interview Questions You should Ask

Probably the toughest part of getting a new job is the interview process. It's not only what you say during the interview but how you end the interview that can determine if your land the job or not. According to CBS Money Watch, there are several questions you should ask as the interview wraps up. "Toward the end of a job interview, there's always a moment when you're asked if you have any questions. It's tricky. You don't want to sound too pugnacious (will they think I'm too aggressive?), but neither do you want to pass on the opportunity (will they think I don't have a mind of my own?)," reports CBS Market Watch. The questions you should ask: 1. Why did you want to interview me? Learning specifically what is in your resume that attracted a company's interest gives you a sense of how the organization, and other potential employers, view your talents. 2. Why is this job important to the business as a whole? This should give you a sense both of the company strategy (if there is one) and of where this job sits in the pecking order. 3. How would you describe the best people you…
Monday, 08 October 2012 16:25

Latino & Black Job Rates

While Friday's news that the overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent generated headlines and unfounded conservative allegations that the monthly jobs report had been rendered rosy in a conspiracy to improve Obama's election chances, two little-reported measures do indicate that Obama's odds may be improving. The nation's Latino and black unemployment rates -- both so critically elevated since the recession began that they have together kept the nation's overall unemployment rate far above a level most economists consider healthy -- also declined. In fact, Latino and black unemployment fell at a sharper clip than did that of white workers and the total workforce nearly reaching multi-year lows. In September, 9.4 percent of Latino workers, 2.3 million men and women, remained jobless. That's down from the 10.1 percent or 2.45 million workers who were unable to find jobs the month before. The September jobs report brought Latino unemployment near a level unseen since 2008. Black workers saw even bigger jobs gains. In September, 13.4 percent of black workers, or 2.44 million people, remained out of work. That's an improvement over the 14.5 percent of black workers, or 2.68 million black men and women who sought work in August but were…
Friday, 05 October 2012 14:25

Are You An Independent Contractor?

I have noticed a shift in the landscape of employment, or the lack thereof, since the recession hit our nation some years ago. As several of my friends and colleagues are just now returning to work, they are faced with a different type work relationship with the companies, firms and organizations they are accepting employment with. Specifically, the hiring process and work environments displayed through several recruitment efforts and job descriptions these days are swaying heavily towards that which is known as either a "Temporary to Permanent Employment" and/or "Independent Contractor" positions. According the IRS, a general rule of being an Independent Contractor is "if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done." Some examples of most Independent Contractors include: DoctorsDentistsVeterinariansLawyersAccountantsContractorsSubcontractorsPublic stenographersAuctioneers All of these are occupations of those who are in an independent trade, business or profession in which they offer their services to the general public are generally independent contractors. According to the United States Small Business Administration, the characteristics of an Independent Contractor include: Operating under a business name, has his/her own employees, maintains a separate business checking…
Thursday, 04 October 2012 14:03

How To Save Money

I don't know about you, but the first time someone told me nonchalantly to save six months of my expenses, I was instantly intimidated! I remember thinking to myself, "If I can't save $500 consistently, how in the world could I save several thousand?" And, if that was the key to this whole financial game, then quite frankly, I felt locked out for life! (Touch your neighbor and say, "Amen!" if you feel me!) Luckily, I learned early on that it just didn't have to be that hard. Instead of looking at a lofty goal that seemed so far out of reach, I decided to break my goal down into micro steps. So, if you've been feeling hopeless with the big saving goals, here's what I suggest: Step 1: Determine what a great savings dollar amount to start at would be for YOU. (Remember, this is not about what everyone else says or thinks...including the "experts.") I determined a goal that would seem like a big win for ME! At the time, if I could get $500 into a savings account and not have a need to touch it for 30 days or more, I was totally W.I.N.N.I.N.G! Step 2:…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 15:18

Milk Prices On The Rise

Got milk? Your answer may be no come January when milk prices could double. If the Farm Bill is not renewed by Congress by the end of the year, the price of milk could surpass $6 a gallon, according to CBS News. That would be a big problem for Americans who are already spending on average 10.6 percent of their grocery budget on dairy products. The Farm Bill currently regulates the price of milk. Without the bill, milk prices are projected to climb around four times higher than what the current bill permits, which could lead to skyrocketing prices in grocery stores across the country. "My lord, the grocery stores, it'll just be unbelievable," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the Chippewa Herald "So Congress has to get this done." Dairy prices are already climbing due to this summer's record-setting drought. While cows in Illinois typically produce around 90 pounds of milk per day, today they're producing around 60 pounds, Jim Fraley of the Illinois Milk Producers Association told USA Today. Milk isn't the only refrigerator staple that is fueling an uptick in food prices. Prices for snacks like chicken wings, chips and burgers have skyrocketed as much as 20…
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 00:00

5 Personalities Your Company Needs

Photo Credit: Henrik Sorsen/Getty Images It's natural to hire like-minded people. But by doing so, you might be missing crucial ingredients for your company's success. Typically, leaders think to build teams based on job title: CTO, CMO, VP of Engineering, Director of Sales. While functional leadership roles must certainly be filled, slotting talented people into an org chart will never unlock your company's fullest potential. By thinking of your team only in terms of roles, you risk building a group with homogeneous cultural attributes. This is an easy trap to fall into, as we tend to hire like-minded people, often in our own image. But by doing so, we miss crucial ingredients for success by passing over candidates who just might be the difference makers. Rather than only looking at educational background and functional experience, make sure your organization has each of these personality types: The VisionaryWhile the rest of the company is heads down on the challenges of the day, someone needs to be heads up, willing to dream wildly and think ahead. When your organization has a senior leader who focuses on what's possible and breathes reinvention, you ­­­have a chance to reach those stellar, dreamed-about heights. Without…
Monday, 01 October 2012 13:59

How To Quit Your Day Job & Start A Business

Tired of being overworked and underpaid? Ready to do your own thing? Well, you aren't alone. I speak to women every week who say they want to take the plunge into converting their dreams, thoughts and ideas into reality. But, not so fast! Before you jump off the diving board to start your own business, here are a few tips you should consider. 1. Start Where You Are. If you already have a full time job, it's a little difficult to just dive into a new business venture. You have to create a written plan which includes the exit strategy from your current position, as well as, details your transition into the new opportunity. While you're working on that plan, get into the "hustle while you work" mentality. What does that mean? Well, as my friend Hotep, author of the book, "Hustle While You Work" states, "It's about getting on your grind even while you have your full-time job." When I met Hotep a few years ago, he'd written several books, filmed DVDs, traveled across the country speaking and was training other entrepreneurs to do the same, all while being a full-time elementary school teacher. No one is trying to…
Friday, 28 September 2012 17:16

Helpful Interview Tips

Job interviews are nerve-racking and an interview that goes badly can turn even the most confident person into a sobbing mess. Hopefully, these 16 tips will help put your mind at ease, and make your next job interview bearable, perhaps maybe even an enjoyable experience! 1. Be Confident. It may seem obvious but confidence is definitely key. Even if your insides are like jello and you feel like you may throw up at any second, appear confident. Try not to look down at your lap, use too many 'ums' and 'ahs', or answer questions with only one word, such as 'yes' or 'no'. 2. Do your research. You need the employer to think that you really want this job, and by bothering to do some background research on the company, it shows that you do. The employer is bound to ask you something along the lines of 'So what do you know about us?', and having a depth of knowledge will really make you stand out from the other candidates. 3. Dress appropriately. Even if you have the most outstanding resume, and are the best person for the job, if you don't look the part, you won't have a chance…
Friday, 28 September 2012 09:00

Banking Mistakes You Can Make

There's nothing more expensive than spending money you don't have. That, of course, is a lesson you might learn the hard way if you carry a balance on a high-interest credit card. But spending beyond your means can be a pricey proposition even with a debit card. Bankrate.com released its annual checking survey Monday, assessing the fees charged for various services associated with checking accounts. Perhaps the most notable finding was that only 39% of banks offer totally free checking with no minimum balance requirements, down from 45% in 2011. (With that said, customers have become adept at finding ways to get their checking services for free checking, with 59% of Americans recently reporting that they pay nothing for their checking account.) But in addition to those findings, the checking account survey contained a good reminder to banking customers: The costliest thing you can do with your checking account is to overdraft your account while signed up for overdraft protection. Sure, your wallet can suffer death by a thousand cuts if you get charged for monthly maintenance fees (which average $5.48 a month, up 25% over last year, according to Bankrate) or use out-of-network ATMs ($2.50 to the ATM owner…
Thursday, 27 September 2012 16:28

5 Steps to Funding Your Business

A must read before you seek business financing. As a small business owner you might agree that coming up with the idea for your business was a piece of cake. Financing the business, however, is an entirely different story! Sometimes you may only have very few opportunities to present your business for funding, so it's your job to make sure they count! Here are five strategic steps to help you fund your business and get to the next level before you start pitching to potential investors and lenders. 1. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is – You have a great idea, product or service that everyone will love, huh? So how much of your personal funds have you invested in it? Expecting a bank or investor to come in and save the day when you haven't spent all that you can to make it happen is a bit naïve. If you haven't bet the farm on your idea, then don't anticipate anyone else to. Last year I attended a White House forum on entrepreneurship where Tyler Perry gave the keynote address. During the Q & A, participants lined up to ask about how to find investors or receive access…
We can't help it. Whether we hear Apple, BMW, Coca-Cola or Wal-Mart, we automatically create very specific images in our head about each one of those brands and what they represent to us. Likewise, very specific images come up when we hear names like Beyonce, Cher or Michael Jackson.Brands don't only pertain to businesses, but people as well. So, it's important to understand that whether you are trying to or not, YOU represent a brand. And whether you want to accept it or not, there is absolutely no way to separate your personal and professional brand. Just think of the late Whitney Houston. What she may have considered "personal business" still managed to impede her professional brand when it was all said and done. So, if we know this is true, let's tackle three areas where your personal life DOES impact your professional brand. 1. Your Appearance and Attire:What does your appearance say about you? Remember that getting up and getting dressed is not just reserved for the days you go into the office. In today's society, anyplace you set foot in has the potential to produce an ideal client, business partnership or new contract. The question is, "Do you…
Monday, 02 July 2012 19:41

When Life Gives You Lemons

By Chris Bryant There’s no denying these are challenging times with jobs, healthcare and home values right at the top of that list. The great Dale Carnegie once said; ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. Of course that’s easier said than done especially if you can’t afford the other ingredients to make the lemonade taste just right. These times will certainly test the character, integrity, and resolve of people to make the most of every opportunity. Nothing can better illustrate this than a wonderful story I just heard. A woman who was in one of my recent seminars shared a true story that truly inspired me. There was a gentleman that ran a hotdog cart outside a hospital for many years and we’ll call him Tim. Everyday a homeless man (who we’ll call Kevin) would stop by at the end of the day and Tim would give him hotdogs as he closed-up for the day. One day Tim received an emergency call that his wife had gone into pre-mature labor at another hospital across town and he needed to leave immediately. About that time Kevin showed up for his daily hotdogs. Tim was frantic to leave but the cart…
The Simply Hired June trends report was recently released. The report shows that nationwide job openings increased in May by 3.3 percent over the previous month. Nationwide job competition held steady at a ratio of three unemployed persons for every one job opening. Job openings increased in 49 of the 50 major metros, with Albuquerque & Santa Fe showing double-digit growth and the largest increase at 14.2 percent. Greenville (8.4 percent) and Harrisburg (7.1 percent) also saw significant increases. "This month we're seeing a positive outlook on the economy from employers, with increased confidence spurring an increase in hiring," said Gautam Godhwani, CEO of SimplyHired.com. "In addition, as summer heats up, many companies looking for seasonal workers are contributing to positive growth across all metros." Job openings in 14 of 18 industries increased in April, with non-profit (28.5 percent) experiencing the largest growth. As the economy warms up for the summer travel season, growth was seen in: Hospitality (18.3 percent) Retail (10.9 percent) Travel (5.5 percent) Also a reflection of the season, construction (12.8 percent) grew.
For most consumers, an auto loan is their biggest monthly expense after their mortgage or rent payment. That’s why when you’re thinking about buying a car it’s as important to research the loan as it is to check out sales prices and gas mileage. Here are some strategies to consider. Before Going to the Dealership: Review your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus long before you apply for a loan. Something as simple as fixing mistakes in your report — for example, correcting erroneous information that indicates you made late payments when you always paid on time — may qualify you for a smaller down payment or a lower interest rate. Under federal law, consumers are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Since the information can vary significantly among those three companies, obtain copies from all three. To order your free copies, go towww.AnnualCreditReport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228. Think carefully about how much you can afford to pay for a car. Your monthly payment will depend on the term (length) of your loan, the interest rate and the amount you borrow.…
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