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Career and Work

For Procrastinators Only

by Luke Landes

Marty Nemko has an interesting article on procrastination on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. He must have been speaking directly to me; I am an offender, but probably not one of the worst. Whatever the cause, my clients find the following approach helpful in overcoming procrastination. Ask yourself, “Is it in my interest to start on this ... Continue reading this article…

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2006 Benefits Enrollment

by Luke Landes

I suppose this is a problem facing corporate employees across the country, but I feel like outlining how much my health benefits choices for 2006 will be significantly more expensive than this past year. Not only are our choices more limited (except for an introduction of a Consumer Directed Health Plan and a High Deductible ... Continue reading this article…

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Employee Health Plans

by Luke Landes

Marketwatch reports that “Two out of three adults would rather have their employer pick a set of health plans than be given an employer-funded account so they can go out and buy it for themselves on the individual market.” My company provides several options for health coverage, but the selection is getting more complicated next ... Continue reading this article…

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Negotiating for Salary – Men vs. Women

by Luke Landes

I’m a fan of social experiments, and here’s an interesting study. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University wanted to determine if sex had a role to play in hiring decisions. Male and female observers, playing the role of decision-makers, watch an interview with male and female participants (job candidates). When the candidate was asked what he ... Continue reading this article…

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Thinking About Changing Jobs?

by Luke Landes

The Wall Street Journal is offering a free article on evaluating motivation before changing jobs. The article doesn’t give much advice other some throw-away lines from career advisors, it just chronicles the stories of two individuals who recently made the decision to take a turn in the woods and forge a new career path. “The ... Continue reading this article…

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It’s Not What You Make, It’s What You Spend. Whaa?

by Luke Landes

A little tidbit gurus like to throw around is the first part of the phrase in the title of this entry. The second part is the sound Seth Green uttered as the voice of the character Chris Griffin in the new episode of Family Guy that was on earlier tonight. “It’s not what you make, ... Continue reading this article…

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What Are You Afraid Of? Part 2

by Luke Landes

Earlier, I posted a summary of the first half of Money Magazine’s newest feature, Your Six Biggest Money Fears. In the feature, six general fears regarding personal finance are discussed and debunked, and for each an alternate concern is posited. Outsourcing makes many white-collar Americans concerned about their job. Still, it’s mostly blue-collar jobs that ... Continue reading this article…

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Weblogs, Inc.’s Blogger Contract

by Luke Landes

Yesterday I mentioned that Weblogs, Inc. is rumored to be preparing a personal finance blog. Here’s a look at the contract that the corporation uses when hiring bloggers (as independent contractors). Here are some highlights: * Bloggers are paid $4 per post, with a maximum of $500 per month. * All published writing is property ... Continue reading this article…

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Outrageous CEO Compensation

by Luke Landes

We’ve all heard the reasons (sometimes excuses) for the fact that many CEOs are compensated orders of magnitude higher than the working class or middle management. Perhaps sometimes the justifications have merit. How about when corporate profitability or performance has plunged under a CEO’s guidance? Here is MSN Money’s list of the most outrageous offenders: ... Continue reading this article…

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No Tips, Service Charge Instead

by Luke Landes

A fancy restaurant in New York City is eliminating tips and opting for a mandatory service charge of 20 percent of the bill. The restaurant has a noble mission. The cooks are struggling at minimum-wage jobs while waiters, also minimum-wage workers, retain all the benefits of the tips. However, I’m not sure that this is ... Continue reading this article…

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Starting Salaries Up

by Luke Landes

Starting salaries for recent graduates have gone up in the past year. Various engineering fields are at the top of the list. The starting salary for my current field, accounting, is up 6.1 percent at 43,003. Teaching, my previous occupation and the field for which I originally spent many years in education, is up 0.9 percent at ... Continue reading this article…

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Flirtation at the Office

by Luke Landes

USA Today is revealing some bad news for office flirts: those who flirt are less likely to see career advancement. In the first study to make plain the negative consequences of such behavior, 49 percent of 164 female MBA graduates said in a survey that they have tried to advance in their careers by sometimes engaging ... Continue reading this article…

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Business Lexicon of Evil

by Luke Landes

I couldn’t agree more with the Anne Fisher. According to her article in Fortune, she despises business buzzwords. I’m all for the malleability and transformation of the English language, but for some reason I cringe when I hear certain phrases. I understand that with the use of any jargon, it’s just a case of individuals ... Continue reading this article…

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Tuesday’s Article of Interest – Fewer Pay Freezes

by Luke Landes

Good news for working stiffs: pay freezes have declined sharply. In 2002, the percentage of companies experiencing salary freezes was 16 percent, an all time high. This year that number has dropped to 2 percent. In 2005 and 2006, there should be an average salary increase of 3.6 percent, up from last year’s 3.5 percent. Companies have also increased ... Continue reading this article…

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The Overtime Test

by Luke Landes

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been running a sort of experiment. My job is designed such that I end up working a fair amount of overtime. To go into the details, I work a 37.5 hour week, salaried. If I work an extra 2.5 hours in one week, I get paid my equivalent ... Continue reading this article…

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Time to Quit Your Job

by Luke Landes

How do you know when it’s time to quit your job? I’ve left jobs before, whether it was because it was time for me to do something else or because it was due to a “mutual agreement to move in separate directions.” But how do you know if you’ve stayed too long in a less-than-ideal ... Continue reading this article…

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Career Advice

by Luke Landes

Here’s some good career advice that has netted millions of dollars for some lucky individuals: If you want to get ahead quickly, leak to the public a sex video of yourself. It’s worked for the likes of Paris Hilton and Rob Lowe.

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Accounting is Sexy Now

by Luke Landes

Apparently accounting is sexy. That’s good news [AccountingWeb] for a large number of nerds. Accountants are in high demand due to the many scandals that have emerged in the last few years. Kids entering college have tuned into the need and now accounting is the most popular major for freshmen. We can all give thanks ... Continue reading this article…

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Wasting Time

by Luke Landes

Although employers expect workers to waste some time on the job, they don’t expect the actuality: employees waste more than two hours each day. That is what Salary.com discovered through a survey. The top item on the time-wasting list is, of course, use of the Internet, including email, web browsing, and surely blogging for many. ... Continue reading this article…

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Real Estate Career Change?

by Luke Landes

I’m not considering it, but maybe someone out there is. As with anything, you have to take a realistic view of the ramifications of a choice. It seems like real estate is a hot career right now, with stories about people making millions of dollars and membership organizations continuing their growth. Here are some things ... Continue reading this article…

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