Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
All the information regarding your credit score on the Internet can be overwhelming. According to a simple Google search, there are 66,500,000 pages on this topic alone. Instead of having to swim through all the articles trying to figure out what hurts credit, and how to improve credit, here is a simple breakdown of how your score is determined:
- 35% Payment history- Not making a payment, or making late payments will severely damage your credit score.
- 30% Total debt owed to available credit ratio- It's good to have at least 75% available credit on all credit cards. Car loans and mortgages are also a factored in you score.
- 15% Length of time establishing credit- Keep established credit cards open with a zero balance, the longer the better.
- 10% Types of credit established- Try to have at least few different credit cards, and maybe a car loan or mortgage.
- 10% Inquiries and New accounts- Running a credit check, and opening new credit cards will temporarily affect you score in a negative way. Running multiple credit checks in a short period of time can be interpreted as one credit check. Checking your own credit does not affect your credit score.
These are the factors the determine your credit score and hopefully this article will give you a better understanding of how to maintain your credit.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
- Many of us feel the need to sacrifice our lunch breaks and stay late at the office, but is it really necessary? Will it really solve world hunger and bring peace on earth? Odds are probably not; it will only build resentment towards the workplace and feelings of discontent. Granted there are times when it might be critical to stay late to finish a major project, but these occurrences should be far an few. Take control of you life stop burning the midnight oil.
How you're paid can make a difference
- Hourly- If you are paid hourly, overtime is a way to make some extra cash. Especially if you don't have anything else better to do. Just be careful because the greed of overtime dollars can quickly consume your life.
- Salary-If you receive a salary, it's simple "stop working for free." It is easy to think that the well being of the company rests on your shoulders, but I assure you it doesn't. The reality is: If you were hit by a car tomorrow, the business would continue to function without you. On top of that, most bosses won't even notice your extra effort, and if they do, it won't be to the extent that you're expecting.
No Self Esteem
Employees that lack self esteem can easily be coerced into working extra hours, because they are too nice to say no. Be assertive and stand up for yourself. Don't allow everyone in the office to nominate you as the scapegoat for tying up loose ends.
Have Plans Outside of Work
Ever noticed how certain people never work late because they have kids to pick up from soccer practice, a bus to catch, or some other kind of plans outside of work? Nobody seems to give it a second thought. After all, they are put in a full day just like everyone else. They're just not getting suckered into working the extra long hours. This is why it's so important to always have a top secret ninja back up plan. If your boss asks if you can come in on Saturday, tell him that you have plans with some friends, or that you have some important errands to run. More than likely he will think nothing of it and ask someone else.
Someone Always has to Play the Martyr
I've worked alongside plenty of people who volunteer to work late unnecessarily, and then hold it against everyone later. They eventually get upset with co-workers because they feel under-appreciated, and constantly complain about the unfair work load. A martyr is the kind of person that spends the whole shift gossiping over coffee, and then tries to save the day by putting in some extra hours after everyone else went home. A true hero doesn't have to advertize.
What is Actually Getting Done
Working late is never as productive as it seems. It's easy to burnout after too many consecutive hours at the office, and it will diminish your quality of life. It's pointless to work late, especially if it makes you a zombie the next day.
Look at the Bigger picture
If you have the kind of job that regularly requires you to work late and sacrifice your lunch breaks, then consider a procedural change like a redistribution of the work load, working more efficiently, or hiring some extra help. Things that may seem important are usually not, and most job tasks can wait until tomorrow.
Monday, May 18, 2009
In order to succeed in life one must learn when to put pride aside and ask for advice from an expert. When remodeling your home, or assembling your child's bicycle, it's easy to pretend that you know what you're doing. Unfortunately, not listening to that little glimmer of doubt can quickly cause catastrophic damage.
WHEN TO ASK:
A good rule of thumb is "If the thought crosses your mind to ask, ask!" You can choose not to take the advice, but two heads are always better than one. Sometimes I will even ask an expert for advice on important decisions just to confirm what I already know.
WHO TO ASK:
- Google - I have found that the all seeing, all knowing, expert of everything is Google. I constantly use google to conduct Internet searches which can unleash tidal waves of knowledge.
- Friends - If you are having trouble hanging ten with Google, sometimes simply seeking advice from a knowledgeable friend can prove very valuable.
- Networking - When your small group of friends can't solve your problems, consider seeking advice from a friend of a friend. Social Groups like Myspace and Facebook are proof that we are all connect to each other in some way.
- Ask the Pros - If you aren't acquainted with anyone that can help, pick up the phone an call someone in the related field or industry. Call your local Bike shop to find out the proper way to put a tire on a rim, or visit your local hardware store to find out the difference between Spackle, and joint compound.
By constantly seeking the advice of others, it will not only help you from making unnecessary mistakes in life, but it can also provide a viewpoint not clouded by your own personal feeling and emotions. It is better to have someone show you how to unload a gun than trying to figure it out on your own.
Friday, May 15, 2009
If your email address doesn't qualify you instantly like mine, you can still get the discount by bringing proof to an AT&T store.
Also, many hotels have Government discounts, and some office supply stores will have teacher discounts.
I heard that Comcast might even offers some kind of discount for those of us in the Public Sector, but I haven't been able to find anything online.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
As mentioned above, a Stop Order is used to "buy or sell a certain quantity of a certain security if a specified price (the stop price) is reached" according to investorwords.com.
[Example from Investopedia.com] If you own stock ABC, which currently trades at $20, and you place a stop order to sell it at $15, your order will only be filled once stock ABC drops below $15.
Are used to "buy a specific quantity of a security at or below a specific price, or to sell it at or above a specific price (called the limit price) according to investorwords.com.
[Example from Invetopedia.com] If you want to buy stock ABC, which is trading at $12, you can set a limit order for $10. This guarantees that you will pay no more than $10 to buy this stock. Once the stock reaches $10 or less, you will automatically buy a predetermined amount of shares. On the other hand, if you own stock ABC and it is trading at $12, you could place a limit order to sell it at $15. This guarantees that the stock will be sold at $15 or more.
Monday, May 11, 2009
- Tony: " Out of office, be back next week"
- Megan: "Sorry Not sure maybe Tony"
- Travis: "Cc: Megan see if she can"
- Glen: "don't know, maybe on the website."
- Travis: "Who idea was that? I need info ASAP"
Unfortunately, these types of conversations are very common even in the business world. Just because it sounds alright in your head, doesn't mean a readers will have a slightest clue of what you mean. A poorly written email can make even an educated professional look like a babbling 5 year old.
In emails, words are easily taken out of context, and can portray the wrong emotions. A misinterpreted message can quickly escalate office drama, and causing co-worker rivalry.
Think of an email like a formal letter. Try to write in complete sentences, and state whatever "it" is clearly. Write the messages so that even a complete stranger could understand it if necessary.
Too many important business decisions are fouled up everywhere due to the misinterpretation of emails. Do everyone a favor, and take the extra time to state exactly what you mean. Proof reading doesn't hurt either.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Whether it's a simple introduction, or sealing a multi-billion dollar deal, shaking hands is a customary form of acknowledgement here in the United States. We've all experienced shaking someone's hand that feels more like a rubber glove filled with spaghetti than a part of their skeletal structure. It's very uncomfortable, and can be construed as a sign of weakness.
Make an effort to look people in the eyes, and shake their hand firmly. People will inadvertently consider you more sincere and speak higher of you character. On the other hand, If your body type is the kind that makes approaching people cross the street, then be careful not to cause injury with your gorilla like grip strength.
If you are someone who gets clammy hands, try running your wrists under cold water before meetings, as mentioned in Nailing a Job Interviews. This will constrict the blood flow in your an keep your hands from sweating.
The act of shaking hands may seem trivial, but not being able to shake hands properly is just poor manners.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Simple mannerisms can greatly affect how people perceive you, and can even change the outcome of events. As mentioned in the first step of my article How to Own the Night, it's important to be assertive and have confidence in yourself. This is especially important in the workplace when you want to get ahead. If your boss constantly sees you on your cell phone making personal calls or always on break, he may wonder how much work you are actually getting done. If you appear to be more productive and always doing stuff, you might be considered among others for a promotion.
One of the best ways to look productive is to walk around the office at a faster pace. I am not suggesting doing laps all day long in a jogging suit. Just walk with a purpose. If you retrieve documents from the central printer, don't casually saunter over hoping that someone will stop and chat with you. Walk as if you have things to do, and time is critical. People will notice, and you will gain an underlying form of respect from your peers.