Not the upper middle class yet, but..

Being a regular day to day worker in today’s economic arena, can be a challenge, and to some, it can be a daily struggle. Many are living “paycheck to paycheck” and that’s with the help of government benefits, while others, including those with a higher level of education are struggling to even find a job.

I am one of the few that have been lucky not only to secure employment, but most days, enjoy going into my workplace. There is comradery, teamwork, and when you least expect it, great fun to be had.

But, on to the real topic here, which is, living on a not so glamorous rate of pay. As most of us in the customer service field. Our salaries are not to be bragged about. No “fight for $15”. no union (for most of us), and lots and lots of hours!

The task for most of us is how to manage the income we do get from our daily employment to make our lives rewarding to us, allow us to enjoy the things we like to do and to do this without breaking the bank!

Although I am not rich by any means, I do manage to take care of my finances, and in turn, they take care of me.

Saving for a rainy day..

We have all heard the phrase “Save for a rainy day”. And for a number of us this is where the challenge starts. How can you put away any funds from your weekly paycheck, when you need every penny just to get buy? My answer: Open a checking and savings account.

I know, I know. Open a checking and savings account is not a way to save money. But, it actually can be. With most banks today, checking accounts come with a debit card. With the debit card and direct deposit, it makes it easier to track where your money is going on weekly basis.

Still not seeing the savings…

At the moment, you are probably not seeing the value of the checking account and debit card. But, these two, coupled with a savings account, can start to see savings within a 30 day period. Let’s do some math. You bring home (after taxes), an amount of $738.49.

Pay yourself first by transferring the $8.49 into your savings account. Now you have an even amount of $730.00 to work with! At the grocery store, you spend an amount of $75.18, leaving you a new total of $654.82, minus cell phone bill of $65.00, half-months rent of $240.00, and credit card payment of $160, leaves you a grand total of $189.82.! Transferring the $9.82 into your savings account gives you $18.31 that you didn’t realize you had.

You now have $180 left from your wages to cover gas, laundry, and other things that might pop up.

Oh! Now I see the savings!

What you make may be lower or higher than the figures I use here. But, the outcome can be the same. By using a savings account to balance your checking account to an even amount, can start to show a savings very quickly. I have been using this method, and now have a very comfortable savings amount. I have also been able to purchase a couple of penny stocks, and am now working on the purchase of mutual funds.

So, as I said, not in the upper middle class yet, but I keep plugging away at it everyday.  You can as well. Try it a little at a time, even saving a dollar can be a great start. as the old Nike commercials used to say – “Just Do It”!

 

 

A little late to be relaxing..but, oh well..

countryroad

Busy, busy week!

This weekend was a welcome one to see. It was nice to be able to take some time off and just take a nice stroll and have a relaxing day. Taking time to reflect on some recent changes and life happenings and all that kind of mental relaxation.

Just doing me (as the hip kids say..lol!)

Most importantly, took some time out and concentrated on making the best of my social media connections. About a month ago, LinkedIn allowed me to have a Premium Membership. And over the weekend that membership was used to reach out and connect with individuals in the fields of marketing and social media. The membership allowed me to send direct email to heads of social media and marketing departments in firms such as: SMG Venue Management, Rock and Roll Museum and Hall of Fame, and a couple of major movie studios. And when I did that, an amazing thing happened – positive replies were received back! Now, this is not an endorsement for LinkedIn, but I do have to say, that using direct email within a professional platform like LinkedIn, was pretty cool, if only for a while.

Using Social Media to be socially productive!

For me, this is what I have always thought social media was for. To reach out, be productive, and make contact with individuals in the career fields you are most interested in. And with the Internet making it easy to find the names of those who work in various fields, its a shame not to reach out to them. Even if you get no answer back, you have been bold enough to make the first move, and with some power-players, that bold move can not only get you noticed, but also help them to remember you.

Make sure they can see the real you.

So as you reach out to professional individuals no matter what platform you use,  be Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, or any other platform, be sure to present a professional look to not only yourself, but your content as well. Do you have to start deleting friends? No, rather instead focus your posts on the fields you are interested in, and maybe start a blog to increase your web presence. Be bold, but also be respectful as you reach out to professionals in the career fields you are interested in. You may be surprised as to who will answer you back.

 

 

 

 

Summertime equals employment time!

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In most areas, summertime can either be the best time to find a job, or the worst time! For the best, a vast majority of the chain restaurants usually do their hiring due to an increase in customers. Some that I have noticed in my areas has been:

  • McDonalds
  • Burger King
  • Taco Bell
  • Tim Horton’s

The advantage to this increase is that, in areas where there is an increase in tourist traffic, you are more likely to get hired. Now, as we both know, there are two side to each coin, so let me say that in a “non-tourist” area, the likelihood of getting the job decreases and this is where job tools come into play!

1. LinkedIn

One of the most ever looked tools in your job search can be your LinkedIn account. And, if you do not have one, take a moment and get one. It’s free, it’s a great way to get professional connections, and can be invaluable in your job search. Once you have your LinkedIn account all set up and have made a few connections, you are now ready to use their resume building tool to help create a professional resume based on the skills and employment history you have listed. Just follow this link to get to the link! http://resume.linkedinlabs.com/

2. Google +

Google + (https://www.plus.google.com) is sometimes referred to as the “other social media platform”. But is some ways, they are more helpful in a job search than Facebook. Now, all your friends may not be on Google+ (which in a job search can be a good thing..lol!) However, what you will find on Google+ is a more business like atmosphere, and more groups geared toward helping individuals find a employment in their area. Another helpful area is Google Groups and Hangouts. This can be a great tool for long-distance job interviews and a way to connect with people in business.

3. Facebook

Facebook (https://www.facebook.com) can also be a great tool in the search for a job Whether it is a local job or f you are looking to relocate to a new area for a job. You can search and find many listing for jobs on many community pages that people set up to focus on job openings in certain areas. Now, a word of caution here – in searching for a job from Facebook, make sure that your Facebook account reflects the person you would like a perspective employer to see. (translation equals – “might be time to take down the “frat house party pictures”!..lol)

4. Indeed

Indeed.com (https://www.indeed.com) is major job listing board that you find jobs by typing in the zip code for the area that you are interested in. When the results come up, most of the employers will have a link to the website were you can fill out an application for the position that you are interested in.

5. Your College Career Office

Most colleges now days, has a career guidance office where recent graduates can take a look at employment opportunities in the area. The advantage of this approach is that some companies will list job openings with a college instead of placing them in newspapers employment section, because they are seeking a certain type of applicant for the job listed.

Don’t forget you can also use the summer to brush up on your technical skill set. A number of employers today expect job applicants to know how to correctly use a computer, have a understanding of basic math skills, and how to use popular office management programs, software, and technical skills such as:

  •  Microsoft Office
  •  Internet Explorer
  •  POS systems (Cash Registers)
  •  Knowledge of sending and receiving email from your “smart phone”
  •  HTML 5 (web design)
  •  Business communication and customer service skills

This is just a short listing and many of these skills can be learned by taking courses at your local college (some even offer free classes in the summer), your local library, or you can check out YouTube (www.youtube.com) also. For Microsoft Office training, if you sign up for an outlook email account (www.outlook.com), you can get access to Microsoft Office online (www.office.com) and take your own time using the programs to see how they work!

Well, hope this helps in your summer job search and some important things to remember are:

  •  If possible, always apply for jobs in the morning. Lets them know you can be counted on.
  •  Apply for the job as if you are ready to work! If applying for construction,  a “3-peice suit” is not necessary. Any customer service or retail job, Guys –  a button down shirt, khaki pants, and dress shoes can go a long way. Ladies – a nice blouse or top with a matching skirt, and comfortable shoes (if heels, make sure not too much of a high heel) can be a great way to show a professional look.

Hope these tips help you in the search for a summer job and may the summer job turn into a job that becomes a career for you!

Good luck and take care!