In this issue:
'Keeping Up With the Joneses' Isn't Just About Stuff, It's About Habits
3 Unexpected Tips For Finding A Job You Love Online
Winter Auto Maintenance Checklist
|'Keeping Up With the Joneses' Isn't Just About Stuff, It's About Habits
Your neighbor gets a fancy new car and now you want one, too: most of us are familiar with the concept of "keeping up with the Joneses." But it's not just about comparing materialism. We often compare our savings habits with other people's, too, and that doesn't make much sense.
For example, when I paid off my debt, I knew I should start saving more, but I didn't want to. I wanted to spend, and for a while, that's what I did. I had a sweet 401(k) match, but I only saved a paltry amount in it. Instead, I bought stuff I didn't need. My reasoning? "Eh, I probably save more than anyone else I know."
And here's the kicker: even if your friends have great savings habits, it still doesn't help to compare. According to a study published at the National Bureau of Economic Research, we won't save more either way.
Yale Finance Professor James Choi co-authored a study that asked subjects how much they wanted to save in a retirement plan. Before deciding, they were given information about how much their peers were saving. In an article in The Wall Street Journal, Choi reported:
We went into the study thinking that peer information would increase savings, but we found no robust evidence that it did. And for the subset of nonsavers that we thought would be most susceptible to peer influence - those who weren't subject to 401(k) automatic enrollment - peer information actually discouraged them from joining the plan. Most of the people in this group weren't opposed to saving; rather, they simply hadn't gotten around to joining the plan. Yet peer information reduced subsequent enrollment rates in this group by a third - from 9.9% to 6.3%.
So when you keep up with the Joneses' habits, you're always falling on the side of saving less - even if they're great savers. Something to think about.
Article courtesy of Lifehacker.com
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|3 Unexpected Tips For Finding A Job You Love Online
There's an exhaustive supply of advice out there about how to use LinkedIn for your job search. But what about other online tools for landing a job you love? As a professional career coach, I am always on the lookout for innovative approaches that make the most of the Web. Here are my top three ways to expand your job search online beyond the obvious.
1. Kick it old-school with listservs. While it may seem like listservs are a relic of the past - given they've been around since the late '80s and are not especially high-tech - they are often one of the best places to hear about job openings. The beauty of listservs is they usually involve professionals in a particular industry or alumni groups that share information under the radar, away from the thousands of people combing large job boards. When someone posts a job to a listserv, they will often let you know if it's for their direct team along with extra background information. I've been on a local New York City listserv for progressive public relations professionals ever since I used to do this type of work. I forwarded one recent job posting to a friend, which quickly turned into an interview after she emailed her application directly to the listserv poster. Another listserv, WIN.NYC (also in Washington, D.C.), has more than 1,000 members on its Google Group and is highly organized in terms of jobs, events and apartment listings. It's an incredible daily source of job openings.
So how do you find the appropriate listserv for your area of interest? It's usually through word of mouth. Talk to a wide range of people in your field of interest and keep asking. If you're looking to move cities, I recommend you talk to or email people who live in that area and see what lists they might be on that you can join. Check your college alumni lists. Not every school has them, but many do, and often they are regional. Don't forget to actually read the listserv emails once you sign up!
2. Find the best curated and specialized online job websites. I'm still amazed when people looking to break into nonprofits or social justice work are not familiar with Idealist.org, the largest job, internship and volunteer board for nonprofits nationally. Whatever your industry, it's important to determine what the specialized job boards are for your field. For higher education jobs nationally, for example, you'll want to look at HigherEdJobs.com and InsideHigherEd. In the tech community, there's Dice.com and GitHub, among others.
When you do find the right website(s), make sure to take advantage of the option to set up a daily or weekly email alert using keywords, the appropriate job level (say, entry versus more experienced) along with functional area (marketing, operations, HR) or other search functions that make sense for you. This way you don't need to remember to go back to the site every day. It requires more work on the front end, like setting up an account and creating a search, but you'll save time and energy later. You can also create a filter so these dump into an email folder for when you are ready to review them. If you're looking to relocate, you'll want to find regional websites that area recruiters are posting to for local talent.
3. Join Meetup.com. When I wanted to explore whether recruiting would be a good career move for me, I asked a recruiter friend how to meet more people in the field. She suggested I join the NY Recruiting Meetup Network. Indeed, I went to a few events and met a variety of in-house and third-party recruiters. Admittedly, when I went to these events, I did meet other jobseekers like myself, which may not prove especially useful or can feel frustrating. However, I think the pros outweigh the cons, and even fellow jobseekers can have contacts and valuable information.
Here's how you might make use of Meetup.com: Say you want to move to Michigan but don't know anyone there and are not sure where to start. Do a quick search on Meetup.com under Detroit, then click "careers and business." You'll find Detroit Urban Sustainability Happy Hour (193 members), Michigan Internet Marketing & Real Estate Investors Club (1,167 members), D-NewTech for those in the startup community (1,392 members) and more. Visit the group and see how active they are along with upcoming event listings. You can also check out profiles of members. Even if you haven't moved to the area yet, you can get a head start by joining these groups to feel part of the community.
These three online tools have generated a lot of success stories for my clients. What tools have you used effectively that may not be obvious?
Article courtesy of HuffingtonPost.com
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|Winter Auto Maintenance Checklist
Winter is upon us, and winter driving comes with it. While safety is an important consideration all year long, there are certainly some auto maintenance jobs and safety checks that are specific to chilled air and winter driving that are a good idea to check into before we're knee deep in the season. To be sure you don't end up a road popsicle, or even worse end up with your holiday budget on ice thanks to unexpected repairs, have a look under the hood to be sure things are ship shape. As with any change of season, you should go to your regular maintenance log to make sure you are up to date on the maintenance items that should be taken care of throughout the year. The change of seasons is a great time to go through some once-a-year or twice-a-year auto maintenance tasks.
In addition to the added perils of winter driving, the change in weather can bring peril to your car's systems. Freezing temps, salted roads and wintery precipitation can gang up on your car if you don't give it a baseball-bat sized maintenance session. These winter maintenance jobs will keep you out of trouble:
Annual Maintenance Procedures
- Check your antifreeze
Your antifreeze (the juice that goes in your radiator) is an essential part of your car's winter protection. Your car contains a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. Make sure the level is full and the mixture is close to 50/50. Many auto service stations and repair centers will check this mixture free, or you can buy a tester for around $5. You did remember to perform a radiator flush last spring, didn't you?
- Inspect your tires
The last line of defense between you and an oak tree are your tires. Winter is not the time to get cheap about your tires, so take the time to check the tread depth. The National Highway Transportation Safety Board says you need at least 2/32" of depth to be safe. It's been my experience, especially in winter weather, that anything less than 4/32" (1/8") be replaced soon. The old penny test is as reliable as anything to find out whether your treads are ready for winter action. Also, be sure to check your tire pressure. Believe it or not, they lose a little pressure when it gets cold, so pump 'em up.
- Replace your wipers
Wipers? What do your windshield wipers have to do with winter weather? Two things. First, anything falling from the sky is going to end up on your windshield, and unless you have a team of beavers riding on the hood of your car the task of clearing it falls on your wipers. Second, in areas that see snowfall in the winter, you're also driving through that soupy muck that's left on the road once the highway department does their thing. This muck includes a lot of sand and salt, both of which end up on your windshield. It takes wipers that are in top shape to keep your windshield clean and safe.
- Check your windshield washer fluid
You'll be using lots of washer fluid as you try to keep your windshield sparkly. A mile stuck behind an 18-wheeler will have your windshield looking like a Desert Humvee if you're low on washer fluid. *Tip: Don't fill your washer fluid reservoir with anything except washer fluid, it won't freeze!
On top of the checks you need to perform to ensure safe winter driving, now's a good time to do some annual maintenance. These aren't necessarily specific to winter driving, but it's a good point on the calendar to get around to doing this stuff.
Cold-weather safety should be a concern for anybody living in a cold climate. These tips will give you the upper hand when Old Man Winter tries to put a chill on your winter travels. If you're extra curious about staying generally safe in winter weather, the National Weather Service has an excellent Winter Safety & Awareness guide that covers everything from how storms brew to a list of history's billion dollar winter wonders.
Article courtesy of About.com
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