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Career and Work

5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Failing to Remain Competitive Within My Field

by Sasha

I’ve made a few financial mistakes in the past year, but the last one I’ll share is perhaps the worst of all, since it’s about more than just money. If I don’t recover from this one, I could pay years of penance, not just suffer through one dismal tax year. My earning potential is something ... Continue reading this article…

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8 Tips for a Unsuccessful Office Holiday Party

by Luke Landes

If your office is like mine, you celebrate the holidays (but primarily Christmas) with a gift exchange of some sort as well as a party. I’ve found the office holiday experience to be hit or miss. Now, with the help of NBC’s The Office, here are some pointers for making December in the workplace awkward, ... Continue reading this article…

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Always Be Prepared: 5 Tips for Unexpected Job Loss

by Luke Landes

Whether you’re Joe Torre or Joe Cubicle, your at-will (more aptly, fire-at-will) contract may come to an end unexpectedly. If you’re smart, you may have seen the writing on the wall and given yourself time to prepare. Life isn’t always that obvious, so you should be thinking ahead and protecting yourself. Here are some tips ... Continue reading this article…

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The Distraction-Free Workplace is the Path to an Unfulfilled Life

by Luke Landes

Anyone who knows me, or anyone who feels they know me after following Consumerism Commentary since 2003 or my personal blog since some time in the previous century, will know that I always turn a critical eye towards the so-called benefits of the “productivity” movement. Techniques like those popularized by Getting Things Done and thousands ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Signs You are About to Lose Your Job

by Luke Landes

Many of us depend on our employers for our livelihood. Even those not living paycheck-to-paycheck count on being employed to build up savings, invest and insure for the future, and of course pay the bills. Here are some things to look out for. If these apply to you, start hedging your bets and planning for ... Continue reading this article…

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Filthy Rich

by Sasha

USA Today has a nice article and amusing video online detailing those who have made their fortunes by doing work no one else wants to do. Among those profiled are a six-figure-earning septic business owner, a wealthy fertilizer industry CEO who worked his way up and, most notably, the founder and several franchise owners of ... Continue reading this article…

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Who is More Likely to Become a CEO

by Luke Landes

There have been various studies as scientists and other curious individuals try to determine what aspects of a human make he or she more likely to become the chief executive of a company. There is a wide range of companies in the world, with CEOs to match. When you look at these studies — scientific ... Continue reading this article…

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Unrespected Careers: Real Estate Brokers, Bankers, Accountants, etc.

by Luke Landes

A co-worker of mine has had an awful time dealing with her real estate agent. It’s not my story to tell, so I won’t, but her experience is helping to turn me off from dealing with real estate agents at any point in the future. They’re not all the same; many of my close friends ... Continue reading this article…

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Should You Accept a Counteroffer?

by Luke Landes

Reader Aaron writes in with his latest workplace developments and a question. While working at my current job, I have been interviewing for a new position with the same company. The new position is at a significantly higher level with a title to match, a higher salary, a better commute, and what seems to be ... Continue reading this article…

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Do You Waste Two Hours Every Workday?

by Luke Landes

This was a cross-cubicle conversation topic earlier this week. Salary.com apparently has time enough to waste which allowed them to complete the 2007 Wasting Time Survey. Across all workers, 1.7 hours of an 8.5 hour workday is wasted on tasks like arranging doctor’s appointments, socializing with co-workers, and using the Internet for personal purposes. As ... Continue reading this article…

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More Increases to Minimum Wage on the Cards

by Luke Landes

Last Tuesday, the federal minimum wage officially increased to $5.85 per hour and will be $7.25 by 2009. Senator Ted Kennedy and other Democrats are already talking about increasing the minimum wage further beyond 2009, to $9.50 by 2011 or 2012. Liana Fox of the labor-backed Economic Policy Institute said part of the reason for ... Continue reading this article…

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Penelope Trunk’s Career Tips Don’t Always Apply

by Luke Landes

Penelope Trunk is an outspoken supporter of everything Generation Y has to offer. Most of the time, I agree with her. I do believe the workplace is changing to make the most out of the skills and behaviors of younger people — it’s “adapt or die.” But not all sectors of the working world are ... Continue reading this article…

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Be Grateful for Generation Y

by Luke Landes

Be grateful for Generation Y. They don’t settle for meaningless work, they don’t worry about being seen at their desks, they play well with others, and they don’t put up with jerks. [Penelope Trunk]

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Don’t Expect a Big Pay Increase: Other Options

by Luke Landes

Hewitt Associates is saying that companies are not planning above average base pay increases in 2008 thanks to rising health insurance costs. This is the same reason I’ve heard over and over again. Average employees have nothing to look forward to in terms of raises, as perhaps they shouldn’t have. Even above average employees will ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Your Job on the Bottom 25 List?

by Luke Landes

If you’re reading this blog, the answer to the question in the title is, “Probably not.” Perhaps a better question is whether you can live on the mean incomes provided by the occupations on Forbes’ 25 Worst-Paying Jobs. As I said when commenting on the top 25 jobs, the “mean” calculation is often meaningless as ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Your Job One of the Top 25?

by Luke Landes

Here’s a list on which you won’t find “senior accounting associate.” It’s the 25 best-paying jobs, in terms of base salary in 2006 of salary and wage workers, not including the self-employed. Here are the top 25 along with their mean salaries, from Forbes. * Anesthesiologists: $184,340 * Surgeons: $184,150 * Obstetricians And Gynecologists: $178,040 ... Continue reading this article…

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Fear of Throwing Money Away Keeping You From Quitting?

by Luke Landes

Recently, Mapgirl’s 401(k) balance surpassed the $20,000 balance milestone. That’s not small accomplishment for less than two years on the job. For comparison, I’ve been investing in my 401(k) for more than five years now, and my balance is only approaching $40,000 including company match. I started investing only 4 percent of my salary and have ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Dream Job: 3 Steps for a Career Change

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I started a contest by asking about your dream job. There have been great responses so far. Patrick wants to pitch: My dream job would be a professional baseball player — specifically a knuckleball pitcher. Why a knuckleballer? Well, it is a niche player who can be tremendously successful one game, ... Continue reading this article…

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Review: Excuse Me, Your Job is Waiting by Laura George

by Luke Landes

Excuse Me, Your Job Is Waiting: Attract the Work You Want Laura George (7/10) A few days ago, I finished reading Excuse Me, Your Job Is Waiting, by Laura George. This book follows in the footsteps of another, Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting. The premise of both books is the “law of attraction,” which ... Continue reading this article…

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Five Couples Living on $46k, Number 5: Susan Slingland

by Luke Landes

The final “couple” in CNN Money’s series on the spending habits of households living on about $46,000 isn’t a couple at all. Susan Slingland is a full-time piano accompanist at Appalachian State University. Susan seems to have her expenses under control. At $675 a month, her rent is her biggest expense, and she keeps that ... Continue reading this article…

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