Career Column

Your career is probably one of the most important aspect of your life. It helps define who you are, who you want to be, and what you’d like to be remembered for. As a young professional who has worked at two companies and dealt with two different corporate personalities, I try to impart my perspectives on the working climate today.


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Blindly chasing any and every job isn’t a smart way to launch your career…Here’s how to do better

I think we can all agree that time = money. But, when it comes to job hunting, that may not be the only equation worth considering.

I’m in my mid-twenties, and since graduating college, I have always been told to apply for jobs, as many as I can, even those that seem far out of my league. I think this is advice that permeates an entire generation. We can “have it all.” That is a great notion and I fully support the idea of challenging oneself and pushing the boundaries of our respective comfort zones.

But, many people like me (a full-time freelance journalist) wind up spending massive amounts of time applying for jobs we will never get under the misconception that we can land that dream job if we just keep trying. Some of us will! But most won’t.

Fortunately, I think there are ways to job hunt that need not waste our precious time. (Of course this advice is not applicable to everyone — recent grads, and others, from all walks of life, often just need to find something to keep them afloat.)

If you have a little wiggle room though, you should be looking hard for jobs you could realistically perform and wantto do.
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 Career 
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Work from home? 5 free ways to beat the stir crazy

Stir crazy cat is stir crazyMake no mistake, I love working from home. The freedom and flexibility are awesome.

Maybe that’s why so many people are doing it. According to a 2012 U.S. Census report, 13.4 million Americans work from home, up 41 percent since 1999.

But there are days that I find myself having conversations with my cats while I’m still in my coffee-stained pajamas at noon. I could stand to have less of those days.
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4 real ways to make money when your career stalls

Could professional snuggling be for you?The time between school and “adulthood” can be full of ambivalence and regrets for career gadabouts, but it need not be entirely unfunded.

For lots of people, the time after college is all about “personal exploration” (should they have the luxury). This is the time to finally make the exodus to Burning Man or to spend your days repeatedly hurling your paint-drenched body at the canvases blanketing your apartment walls.

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Are women really paid only 77 cents for each dollar men are paid?

Do women really earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to men?It’s fairly common to hear that women are only paid 77 cents for each dollar that men earn. While this number comes from the Census Bureau and is based on solid data, it’s important to understand that it doesn’t account for factors such as education and experience.

Indeed, when you start digging into the data a little bit, you find that there are a number of causes that influence the pay gap between men and women. And, while it’s definitely there, it might not be as big — or quite as sinister — as we think.


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 Career 
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How to Quit Your Job the Right Way

Quit your jobIt’s common, at some point, to decide that it’s time to quit your job. Whether you are moving on to a new position at a new company, or whether you are quitting the rat race altogether, you might feel as though you are ready for bigger and better things.

Your coworkers, and even your bosses, shouldn’t be forgotten, however. In fact, these same coworkers and bosses might be helpful to you down the road. You might need a letter of recommendation, or a former colleague might prove valuable as you network.

Before you quit your job, make sure that you are ready to do it right. Executive coach Kathi Elster is the author of Working With You is Killing Me, and she has 7 tips that can help you quit your job, hopefully without burning bridges:

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Do You Have to Quit Your Day Job to Be Happy?

New officeOne of the common career themes these days is the idea that you might be much happier if you are working for yourself, rather than for “the man.”

The dream is to start a side hustle, cultivate it, and then quit your day job so that you can have the freedom that comes with working from home. For some people, this makes sense. It makes sense for me. I love the flexibility that comes with working from home. I give up a little bit in terms of stability and regular income, but working from home suits me.

Even though I love working from home, I know that there are those who aren’t as interested in quitting their day jobs to work for themselves. The reality is that you don’t have to quit your day job in order to be happy. For many, the benefits of a day job outweigh the risks associated with quitting to become self-employed.


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 Career, Investing, Retirement 
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5 Tips for Starting a Retirement Account When You Get Your First Job

RetirementYour first job is a major milestone. You can learn a lot from your first job, as well as start down the path toward financial freedom (if you manage your money right).

Unfortunately, too many us start first jobs and our thoughts go to how we’re going to spend our money. When I started my first job in high school — and even when I started my first job after college — I could think of little beyond how I was going to spend my money.

It didn’t really occur to me to save some of my money (even though my parents had tried to drill that lesson into my head), much less open a retirement account and start contributing. If you are starting your first job, it makes sense to pay attention to the future. Don’t forget to pay yourself first. Here are 5 tips for starting a retirement account with your first job:


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How to Build a LinkedIn Profile that Will Help You Get a Job

Linkedin ChocolatesLast year, CareerBuilder released the results of a survey indicating that 37 percent of employers look at social media as part of the hiring process. As our society becomes even more dependent on technology and the web, more employers are likely to take a look at your online activity, and make decisions about you. As a result, it’s vital that you present yourself in the best light on social media.

One of the web sites that’s especially important when it comes to making professional connections is LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile can make or break your job search. On top of that, if you are looking for a job, LinkedIn can be a way for others to find you. Even though I’m not in the market for a traditional job, LinkedIn has resulted in freelance gigs.

Here are some tips for building a LinkedIn profile that is more likely to help you get a job:

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