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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 11

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What (Not) to Wear to an Interview

Getting a good job can really depend on nailing the interview, and the key to nailing the interview can often come down to how you present yourself. Dressing well for a job interview can be intimidating. But these tips can help you pick the right outfit to get the right job!

Pick the Right Colors

Everyone wants to stand out in a crowd, but a job interview is not the place to go bright. Stick to dark and neutral colors for your interview outfit, because the interviewer should remember your résumé, not your outfit. Blacks, navy blues, and grays are always safe bets. Simple patterns with these colors are acceptable, if they aren’t too big or too garish—think houndstooth prints, slim stripes, and plaids. If you must have some color, add a pop of red, such as a scarf or some jewelry. Red is a powerful color that will look assertive but controlled when paired with simple, neutral colors. Match your colors to your shoes, which should be closed-toe, either flat or with low heels.

Pick the Right Style

Pick clothes that fit you well and are not very tight or very loose. Slacks or slim pants, a nice blouse, and closed-toe shoes are a good basic interview outfit. A pencil or A-line skirt with a blouse, or a simple solid-colored dress, also work well for interviews. You can add a blazer or cardigan if you feel like it. If you stick with neutrals, you can wear this outfit for many occasions, from interviews, to events, to parties. Don’t wear anything with plunging necklines, short hems, or very high heels to an interview, and don’t dress casually. Jeans, T-shirts, and sneakers are off the table! Even if you aren’t applying for a more formal job, employers value interviewees who dress conservatively.

Dress for Your Body, Not Against It

Clothes can give us confidence, especially in an interview. But if you’re tall, petite, curvy, or even just a mom, it may feel difficult to feel confident in clothes that don’t work for you. You may feel that clothing companies just don’t cater to you, and that’s discouraging. So work with your body, and try on different styles of appropriate clothing to find the things that make you feel strong, confident, and beautiful. Companies like Woman Within, Chadwicks of Boston, and Long Tall Sally have many options for petite, tall, and curvy girls. Long Tall Sally, JCPenny, and Target have well-known maternity lines which include many interview-appropriate options. Of course, always watch for sales and coupons to make sure that you get the best deals!

Pick the Right Place to Shop

This is the hardest part, but it’s the key to looking professional without breaking the bank. It can be very difficult to find clean, appropriate interview clothes that don’t cost a small fortune. Keep an eye out for sales at your local stores. Try thrift stores and resale stores, but also check sites like eBay to find great deals, even on brand-name products. Google “(store name) coupons” or “(store name) sale” to find instant savings and future sales. Memorize your height, bust, stomach, inseam, and hip measurements (pick up a tape measure from a fabric shop for cheap!) so that you can shop online and know that items will fit you. You could also ask friends or relatives who are similar to you in body type if you could borrow clothes, or if they have favorite shops.

The Final Touches

As mentioned, you can wear a pop of color in the form of scarf or jewelry. Don’t go overboard with anything large, neon, or patterned. Keep your makeup simple and natural. Antiquated as the advice may seem, smile and stand up straight, and answer questions directly and clearly. Be confident and assertive. You look great, you’ve got this interview, and you are going to nail it!

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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 10

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What Is Telecommuting?

Many individuals will experience working in a traditional environment, whether it be a store, office, and so on, at least once in their lifetimes. Yet there is another job category, telecommuting, that often flies under the radar. Telecommuting, which most commonly refers to working from home via the phone and internet, may be a useful career alternative for any parent in need of a job with more flexible hours and a more manageable workload. Telecommuting jobs, like all jobs, have both their pros and cons. Weighing the benefits and drawbacks can help determine whether a telecommuting career will suit your needs while helping you reach your professional goals.

PROS

  • No Commute: The most obvious benefit. Since telecommuting means working from home (except for perhaps the occasional meeting), there is no commute, leaving more time for daily tasks, family fun, or self-care.

  • Increased Productivity: Working from home eliminates classic workplace distractions such as loud machinery, noisy co-workers, and smelly lunches. Without these factors, it is easier to stay on track and get work done on time, if not earlier than needed.

  • Saves You Money: Telecommuters can save money on gas, public transportation, parking, professional attire, food, and even day care, depending on the hours. In fact, it is estimated that telecommuters save an average of $2,000 to $6,500 a year—just for part-time work!

  • Improves Health: With a traditional 9-to-5 comes a lot of stress due to deadlines, traffic, tensions with co-workers, and quotas. Telecommuting reduces that stress by allowing you to work from the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. Additionally, there is no fear of running into sick co-workers or grimy office equipment. As a result, telecommuters are generally healthier than traditional commuters.

CONS

  • Isolation: When working from home, human interaction is limited to the occasional phone call or Skype session. This may make it more difficult to coordinate and brainstorm with co-workers on projects. Furthermore, without being able to bounce ideas off others rapidly, creativity may be stifled, leading to delays in progress.

  • Hard to Track: When going into an office, it is easier to be held accountable for the work you do. This is because people can see you and know whether you are working or slacking off. At home, there is usually no need to really “clock in.” This can make it more difficult to keep track of hours and may lead to some errors when it comes to compensation.

  • Strained Relationships: In some office environments, telecommuting is not available to all employees, which can cause some co-workers to get competitive or jealous if they are not chosen for a telecommuting position. This can decrease morale and make it more difficult to work with co-workers.

  • It Is Not Very Common… Yet: While research suggests that telecommuting jobs are on the rise and that more companies may start to adopt the practice, many employers may be reluctant to allow telecommuting, especially if they have never tried it before. If your current boss refuses to permit the switch to telecommuting, it may not be worth it to begin a hunt for a new career.

The switch to telecommuting is not always an easy or fast process. It takes time and requires commitment and communication between the employer(s) and the employee (you). It may prove useful to make your own personal pro and con list before deciding to ask your employer whether he or she would be willing to allow telecommuting.

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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 9

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How to Create Your Own Portfolio

Portfolios are a way to help make you stand out from the crowd in an interview and in your job search. Portfolios show your potential employer a tangible track record of your accomplishments in a particular field. Having a succinct portfolio shows not only your achievements and skills but also that you are a serious candidate for a given job.

Depending on the type of employment you are looking for, there are two main types of portfolios: paper and online. Having a portfolio will make you stand out by showing proof of your abilities. Certain jobs, such as journalism, photography, and different types of design work, often require portfolios to show proof of your work. But there are advantages to creating a portfolio to bring to an interview, even if it is not common for the type of job you are applying for, as the interviewers will see the extra effort you went to while preparing for the job interview. The contents of your portfolio will depend on the specialized type of career you are looking for, but there is a general setup for how to format them:

  • Include an index of what it contains.

  • A résumé showing key accomplishments and skills.

  • Show quality, not quantity—fewer impressive examples of your work are better than showing every little piece of work you have done in your entire career.

  • Examples of your work with the most relevant and recent coming first, but also ending on a strong example to leave a lasting impression.

There are many online portfolios on the web, so be sure to design one that will stand out from others to give you an edge in your job search. If you are looking for a designing job, an example of your work will show what no amount of talking and writing could. Make your online portfolio clean, simple, and informative. It is easy to want to show all your work on an online portfolio, but that will lead to a cluttered and overbearing webpage, which recruiters will not have time or patience to look at.

These are some general tips to keep in mind when building portfolios:

  • Know what type of position you are looking for, so you can cater your accomplishments and skills toward it.

  • Design online portfolios so they are easy to navigate.

  • Keep updating it and adding your best, latest work.

  • Provide context for the examples, but avoid lengthy introductions to the work.

  • Create a cohesive unit of your accomplishments, so they flow smoothly from one section to another.

Portfolios are becoming more popular for a variety of different jobs, but even for jobs that do not require portfolios, you can stand out from your competitors by creating one.

Check out WeeblyPortfoliobox, and Crevado to get started, but keep searching for portfolio-building sites to keep your options open!

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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 8

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Pursuing Jobs in the STEM Fields

As a woman or mother entering the workforce, you may desire a job that offers both a high salary and flexible hours. If that’s the case, you may consider pursuing a job in a STEM field. Not only are STEM jobs high-paying, but they are becoming more and more abundant as we live in an increasingly technological world!

What Is “STEM”?

STEM stands for “science, technology, engineering, and math,” and STEM jobs are any jobs that center around these fields. In fact, these jobs cover a huge expanse of skills and interests, from civil engineering to financial planning. So, you can undoubtedly find a STEM job that matches your own passions well! And don’t worry—you don’t have to have a degree in the sciences or engineering to pursue a STEM career. Many jobs only require an associate degree or a few years of field-specific training—both less expensive options than a bachelor’s degree.

Some possible STEM jobs include:

  • Science: dental hygienist, registered nurse, athletic trainer

  • Technology: web developer, graphic designer, computer support specialist

  • Engineering: plumber, electrician, civil engineering technician

  • Math: marketing manager, finance manager, architect, economist

  • And many more!

Why STEM?

Not only are STEM jobs becoming increasingly abundant, making college graduates with STEM degrees the most desirable candidates entering the job market, but they pay extremely well, too! STEM jobs offered the highest starting salaries in 2016, averaging from $50,000 to $70,000 for STEM majors right out of school. Instead of having to work five, maybe 10 years for a company before reaching your desired salary, STEM jobs can provide this salary almost immediately.

Women in STEM Fields:

For years, STEM fields have been largely dominated by men. To make up for this, many companies have been encouraging, or even actively pursuing, women to work for them. Women offer an important perspective that many male-dominated fields have been missing, and employers are increasingly recognizing and acting on this. If you are a woman, there’s no better time to pursue a STEM career than now!

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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 7

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Is CNA Work Right for You?

Are you interested in working in the medical field? Are you looking for a job that pays well and includes paid training? Do you like to help people? Do you want a physically demanding job, not sitting behind a desk all day? If you answered yes to any of those questions, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) may be right for you.

What Does a CNA Do, Where and When?

Certified Nursing Assistants work in a variety of settings helping people who struggle with basic personal daily needs, such as bathing. Some of the settings CNAs work in include:

  • A client’s personal home

  • Long-term care facilities and nursing homes

  • Residential facilities for the handicapped

  • Hospitals

  • Hospices

  • Rehabilitation centers

The hours that a CNA works can vary. CNAs are needed 24/7, so you can work day shift or night shift. You will be required to work some weekends and holidays. Depending on the facility, shifts can be eight to 12 hours long.

What Is Involved in Hiring and Certification?

To be hired, you need a high school diploma and a demonstrated ability to physically meet the demands of the job.

Once you are hired, your employer will pay for you to go to classes and meet other requirements to get certified. You can work as a Nursing Assistant in a limited capacity as you work toward official certification. Certification requirements can vary from state to state. Generally, they include six to 12 weeks of classes in helping people with basic care, first aid training, CPR training, and a background check. Depending on where you work, you may also need a special driver’s license to be able to transport clients.

Have You Thought about Becoming a Nurse?

If you have thought about going into nursing, being a Certified Nursing Assistant gives you a front row seat to what an LPN or RN does every day. As the name suggests, CNAs often work under the direct supervision and direction of an LPN or RN. Some facilities will even help you pay for nursing school if you work as a CNA for them part time while in school and agree to stay with the facility after you graduate. I worked as a CNA for six years, and I had many co-workers who started as CNAs to help pay for nursing or medical school.

Insider’s Tips

Working as a CNA will stretch you to your limits mentally, emotionally, and physically. It will make you all around a stronger person. Working with people so intimately teaches you patience and compassion. It is highly rewarding and you will develop a tight connection to the clients and your co-workers. They become like a second family. And you go through some pretty intense, once-in-a-lifetime experiences together.

Depending on what you do, you will witness people die, and you will witness people be born. You will see people fight against the odds to walk again. You will see medical conditions that your average person has only read about. One of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever had was holding and comforting a 5-year-old as he had a grand mal seizure, carrying him to a safe place, and letting him know he was not alone.

You will need a good support system to work in this field. You’ll need time to prepare to work and to decompress afterwards. If you have children, you will need back-up childcare options. Many of your co-workers will also be parents, so they will be able to give recommendations and support on that front.

In many parts of the country, this is a field that is in high demand and high supply. On the bad side, that means some employers don’t treat their CNAs well. On the other hand, however, since they are in such high demand, you can have your choice of employers. If you don’t like one facility, you can find work easily at another. You can work with the population that touches your heart, be that the elderly, children, or people with mental disorders.  

Being a CNA is a rewarding, well-paying job with opportunities for growth. I would encourage anyone looking for work to at least give it a try.

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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 6

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9 Tips to Make Working from Home Work for You

So, now you found a way to work from home, but you’re not sure how to make it work. Here are some pointers from someone in the trenches:

  1. Get an assignment book. Yeah, that silly little spiral thing that you had to have in high school. It will save you a lot of headache keeping track of everything. Use the calendar app on your phone and make to-do lists, too! It is not physically possible to keep all your work duties, mom duties, and household duties straight in your head.

  2. Have a set place to work. It doesn’t need to be a desk although that would be ideal. The perfect situation would be to have your own office where you can have a desk and close the door. But realistically, it can be an end of the couch or the dining room table. Wherever you can have your space to dedicate yourself to your work.

  3. Take help wherever you can get it. You will need to have some time away from your child from time to time. Working from home does not always completely eliminate the need for baby-sitting, although it does cut down on it substantially. Check out our articles on how to find affordable day care options.

  4. Utilize bedtimes and nap times. And when they are really little, learn to type with one hand while they use you as a pillow.

  5. Make sure your child is busy or napping during teleconferences. One pointer I’ve seen is to have walking teleconferences: Just stick the baby in the stroller and talk on the phone while you both get some fresh air!

  6. Prioritize your work. Keeping open communication with your boss or client is important in any job, but it is even more so when you have a little person depending on you. Make sure what is important to them is also important to you so what time you have is used efficiently.

  7. Plan ahead. If you have the fridge space, make meals and snacks ahead of time.

  8. Don’t spread yourself too thin. When working from home, it is important to learn how to say “no.” You won’t be able to do everything for everyone at all times. It’s OK to look out for yourself sometimes, too.

  9. Be flexible and patient. What works one day won’t necessarily work the next as your child changes and grows. Your routine this week might not look like your routine next week, and that’s OK. That is part of being a parent, especially a parent who works from home.

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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 5

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6 Top Tips to Nail Your Interview

Do your research.

Interviewing prospective employees can be a very arduous process for those responsible for hiring. Show that you respect their time by spending some time of your own getting to know the company and the position you are interviewing for. When and by whom was the company founded? What is its mission, and has that mission changed over time? What duties and responsibilities does your position entail? Try to answer all of these questions before arriving.

Bring in questions you want answered.

Almost every interview has a part at the end where you are offered the chance to ask questions of your own. It might be tempting to ask no further questions, hoping to indicate that you understand everything that has been said and aren’t confused. But interviewers like to see enthusiasm from their interviewees, and that usually comes in the form of probing questions. Try to come up with at least five questions that you need answered (salary, time off, etc.) as well as a couple that would be interesting to know (“How did you end up here?”) in case all of your essential questions are answered during the bulk of the interview.

Be prepared for questions they want answered.

One of the most common questions is, “What are your greatest strengths?” Tie your answer to the job description. “As an editor, I’m obsessed with AP style and fact-checking, without destroying the author’s voice,” or, “I love to keep learning new technologies,” etc. Likewise, when answering, “What is your greatest weakness?” make sure it’s really a strength, like you tend to be early or stay late to ensure you get the job done. Questions about salary and benefits are not always discussed at a first interview. That is the time to ensure you know you are there to make your boss’s life easier to complete the mission/vision/task laid out before you.

Prepare examples ahead of time.

It is very likely that you will be asked to provide examples of times you worked well in a team to accomplish a challenging task, overcame a conflict with a coworker or subordinate, or responded to a customer complaint. Don’t try to come up with these off the top of your head. You might completely blank, or you might use the first example you think while overlooking a much better one.

Try to be memorable.

You may think your résumé and experience are strong, but chances are that many candidates are equally qualified, if not more so. Considering how many candidates most interviewers speak with, it’s important that you stick out. Remember that the point of a résumé and cover letter is to get the interview. The point of an interview is to get called back for your references, and a second interview is reserved for top candidates… or a job offer. At that point, you may be able to negotiate if a range of salaries offered depending on your skills and experience. Determine what makes you unique and try to incorporate this into the first interview, even if it seems unrelated. Are you fluent in Dutch? Do you raise miniature pigs? Having a unique skill, hobby, or life experience may not make you more qualified, but it will make you more memorable.

Get comfortable.

While you certainly want to remain professional, you’re not giving a deposition, so try to relax. Smile, laugh, and make eye contact. This will make you appear confident in yourself, which will inspire others to have confidence in you as well. Before your interview, take some deep breaths, remind yourself how great of a candidate you are, and nail that interview!

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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 4

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5 Tools to Find Job Training Opportunities

Starting a job search can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t have experience in the field you are applying for. Thankfully, the United States Labor Department funds some very helpful tools for people looking to acquire skills through Training and Employment programs.

  • For most people seeking training for employment, the best place to start is Career One-Stop. This hub, sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, is your window to finding centers near you that provide services like career-counseling, training, resume-building, and job fairs, referrals, and placements.

    • An alternative site also sponsored by the US Dept. of Labor is MyNextMove, which has an interest profiler to help you discover careers you may not have considered before, among other tools.

  • Career One-Stop can also help you locate your nearest American Job Center. Alternatively, you can call 1-877-US-2JOBS (1-877-889-5267). These centers provide similar services to the other job centers you’ll find online, but they can also help you if you qualify for these three programs:

    • Dislocated Worker/Rapid Response Program: This program provides additional resources to help laid-off workers transition into their next job. Just Google to find programs like this in your area.

    • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)—This program provides training for workers who lost jobs because of increased foreign imports or shifts in production out of the US.

  • Apprenticeships are an option that you will also find on Career One-Stop and Apprenticeship.gov. They provide work experience, classroom instruction, and credentials in fields from electrical work and carpentry to nursing and software design.

  • If you are on SNAP, the USDA nutrition assistance program, you may also qualify for SNAP E&T, also known as “SNAP to Skills.” This program helps you get your training through AJCs, community colleges, or community-based organizations (CBOs) by contributing to costs of transportation, dependent care, equipment and supplies related to training, books, uniforms, licensing fees, administrative expenses, tuition/fees, case management/career navigation, and/or job development.

  • For 16 to 24-year-olds who need job skills, are income eligible, and can legally work in the USA the Job Corps is also a good (cost-free) way to learn and acquire skills for employment. (A note for parenting students: If you are a parent, they do require you to have pre-arranged childcare because most students live in dormitories.)

And these resources are just the first step! By investing time in acquiring the skills employers are looking for, you can earn the confidence and credentials you need to secure the job you want.

 

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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 3

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What Is a Trade Certificate?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, career sectors with high levels of trade or vocational training are projected to have the most growth between now and 2026. With this in mind, it’s clear that there is no time like the present to consider the next step to achieving your career goals: a trade certificate.

What is a trade certificate?

A trade certificate is a career-specific certificate earned in no more than two years by taking courses and getting credit from hands-on work at apprenticeships or skills trainings.

What can I do with a trade certificate?

A trade certificate can open the door to a rewarding career in fields such as automotive service, computer programming, culinary arts, and human services, just to name a few. Specifically, careers in medical records/health information, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), information technology, and accounting services are projected to have a 13 to 14 percent increase in employment prospects between now and 2026.

Where can I get a trade certificate?

Usually, people attend classes at either a trade school or a community college to earn their trade certificates.

  • Community College:

    • Community colleges can offer a wide variety of accredited trade certificate programs taught by instructors who are trained to teach, in addition to the skills they are teaching you. They can be a less expensive option than private trade school, and the certificate programs are equivalent when applying.

    • If you may become interested in earning an associate degree, community college is also a good option because credits may transfer and count toward that degree.

    • Disadvantages may include less depth of resources dedicated to your specific program and less hands-on style learning, with more classroom-based learning instead.

  • Trade school:

    • The advantages of choosing to get your certificate at trade school include flexibility of schedule (because they typically don’t use the traditional academic calendar) and more resources focused on the specific trade program.

    • Hands-on learning is typically a valuable feature of trade school, with opportunities to intern or apprentice for credit.

    • Disadvantages may include less breadth of certificate programs to choose from and potentially higher costs.

The Bottom Line: When looking to get your trade certificate, it’s a good idea to do your research. Check for: first, your program of interest, then tuition estimatesaccreditationprogram schedule, and opportunities for hands-on learning. These can be found on the school’s website and online reviews, and by talking to career/college counselors, and even students who have gone through the program you are interested in.

TO BE CONTINUED. . . .

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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 2

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Pros and Cons of the Gig Economy for Moms

The booming gig economy can provide great opportunities for moms and caregivers to make money while allowing for schedule flexibility. But as with all great opportunities, there are also risks. Here are some of the pros and cons of working in the gig economy with children.

Pros:

Set your own hours: The gig economy is great for fitting in pediatrician appointments, school plays, sick days, exam week, or internships. With no one to report to, you get to live by your own set of priorities. This draws in workers who are students, single moms, immigrants, and others whose circumstances may be limiting them. 

Work from home (if possible): For moms with children not yet in school, working from home is the best of both worlds—you can skip child care expenses while still earning an income! Unfortunately, most gig positions require transport of some kind: either transporting yourself to clients (e.g. dog walking, physical training), transporting goods to clients (e.g. grocery delivery, food service), or transporting clients themselves (e.g. ride-hailing). These transportation gigs won’t work with small children who cannot be left unsupervised but can be great for moms whose children are in school all day.

Be your own boss: The prospect of opening a small business in today’s economy can be enticing but intimidating. Working in the gig economy gives you a taste of a business owner’s autonomy without the financial risk. There is a lot of growth and learning opportunities offered to those who strive to make their small business a profitable and professional venture. 

Financial perks: If you are in the house-sharing business, your rent or mortgage becomes a tax deduction. For most self-employment, necessities such as internet and phone service are considered work expenses. These deductions are a great way to help with costs of life that would otherwise have to be paid for anyway.

Cons:

No guaranteed income: Those in the gig economy are more vulnerable than most to changes in customer preference and trends. Without a steady paycheck to rely on, getting bills paid on time and creating a budget can be challenging.

Personal liability: Sure, you can take all the sick days you need, but these sick days will come at your expense. If you drive for a ride-hailing service and your vehicle breaks down, you’re on your own. Drivers could end up responsible for others in a ride-hailing-related crash, and homeowners may have to pay for a house guest whose injury was determined a fault of the host. In addition, although they are tax-deductible, you are responsible for your car payment, insurance, oil changes, mileage, and repairs. And you can forget about paid vacation days and retirement plans. For most, the gig economy is a side job or a short-term option. It is a poor substitute for full-time employment.

Issues with pay: Some companies take large (and often increasing) percentages out of their independent contractors’ paychecks. Other companies may let you set your own rates, but this can lead those seeking a competitive edge to undercut standard prices, prompting others to lower their rates as well and creating an overall “race to the bottom” effect. Independent contractors are also responsible for paying their own taxes, which are typically due ahead of time so as not to give them an advantage over those whose deductions are withheld throughout the year. It can be tempting to ignore this expense, until April comes around.

Time management: Setting your own hours can be tricky for those not highly motivated or not focused on managing multiple priorities. Sometimes the need for self-care will have to be put aside in order to work at peak business hours. Forgoing sleep or skipping the gym may be required to make budget on any given week. You will constantly need to determine what must be done now versus what can be be done later. 

The gig economy is subjective. What works for one may not be the best solution for another, and what helps today may need to be adjusted tomorrow. There are times when the drawbacks may seem overwhelming, but there are also times when the benefits make it all worthwhile.

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TIPS FOR FINDING A JOB PART 1

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How to Network and Build Your Personal Support System

Workers across industries know this proverb to be true: “It’s not what you know, it’s whom you know.” 

The key to building a great career is networking, or growing the circle of people in your field of work who can help you find a job.

Although your skills and qualifications do matter, here is why networking may matter even more:

  • Recommendations. Words on paper can only tell you so much about a person. What employers really value may not necessarily be the qualifications that you possess, but how you as a person will add to their organization with your particular talents and personality. The best way to know this is through a recommendation from someone in your network. Just as we value recommendations on which products to use in our homes from our friends and family, employers value recommendations on candidates from people they trust in their hiring decisions.

  • Workplace environment. A company not only wants to hire someone who performs well at her job, but who fits into the workplace environment. A company that values an entrepreneurial spirit is more likely to hire a candidate who primarily displays creativity and not one who primarily displays analytical skills. When you surround yourself with people in careers or with skill sets similar to yours, organizations can glean from your network how you will fit into their workplace.

  • Support. A network is not only a group of people to help propel your career in the right direction, but they can also support you by their example. Their own stories of success and failure can support you through times of confusion or frustration. 

Here are some practical ways you can build your network: 

  • Networking events in your area. You can search online for different networking events, such as cocktail hours or casual meet-and-greets. It is a great time to meet professionals in your field, ask questions, and get your name out there. Be sure to dress business casual, bring business cards, and have a résumé on hand so that you can make a good first impression and have the chance to stay in touch with anyone you meet. Getting coffee or having a phone call to ask questions about someone’s career is a great start to building your network.

  • Internships. As we discuss in our “Why Intern?” article, internships are a great opportunity to put yourself out there with the kind of organization that you would like to work for. Even if you do not get hired, be sure that it will give you great work experience and that the potential recommendations from your supervisor could be a game-changer for getting hired in the future. 

  • Social Media. Put together a LinkedIn page so that potential members of your network or employers can easily find information about you online. This helps to put you in contact with people who have similar career goals as you. It gives you the chance to look at the profiles of people with the career that you want and also to make connections with people who may be hiring (or know of someone who is searching for) someone like you! 

Lastly, the most important person in your network is your mentor. A mentor is someone you can trust for guidance on your career path. You can ask this person for advice on which jobs to apply for, how to navigate job interviews, for contacts in your field of work, and more. Your mentor should be a person who knows you professionally and personally, and who is successful in her or his own career. Building your network is essential to finding a mentor, and vice versa!

TO BE CONTINUED. . . . .

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What Do Narcissists Dislike? Your Decisiveness.

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Your decisions reveal your priorities, preferences and beliefs. 

You make scores of decisions each day, right? They may be about trivial matters, major issues, or somewhere in between. Each time you are decisive, you display a piece of your personality. What do narcissists dislike? Your decisiveness and ability to choose.

Commonly, you will hear from narcissists who make it plain: “I don’t like your decisions and you need to change them, pronto.” Giving them the benefit of the doubt, there could be times when it’s reasonable for you to rethink matters. That said, it is also quite likely that their interference is a manifestation of their controlling nature. They are, after all, very inclined to giving unsolicited advice. As far as they are concerned, there is room for only one decision-maker in the room, and it’s not you.

Narcissists illustrate their manipulative attitude in the ways they respond to your decisiveness.

They can: gripe, belittle, invalidate, argue, debate, insult, point out your errors, glare at you, curse, etc. In other words, they make it known that they should be deemed superior and you are inadequate.

It’s wise, of course, to remain open to input when decisions are on the line. But when the narcissistic retort is demeaning and indignant, you need not collapse. You need to remember what narcissists dislike – which is decisiveness. You could defend or argue back or insult, but that would only fuel the flames.

Instead, remember that your decisiveness can be interpreted by narcissists as rejection.

They are quite thin-skinned and easily threatened. By letting you be decisive, they somehow interpret it as a loss of power. It makes no sense, but that’s how their minds operate. 

When narcissists look down upon you for being you, one primary question needs to be asked: Do you believe in you? When the answer is yes, I’m hoping you will determine to be true to what you know is wise and best. Don’t let the controlling, thin-skinned narcissist hijack your resolve. It is, after all, your life.

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ABORTION CHANGES YOU -EXPLORE EMOTIONS PART ONE

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Exploring your feelings after an abortion is an important part of working through your abortion experience. People will experience a variety of emotions and at different levels of intensity. The following tools and exercises can be used to help you explore your emotions regarding abortion.

  • Alive
  • Afraid
  • Tortured
  • Unprepared
  • Unloved
  • Understood
  • Worthless
  • Beaten
  • Brave
  • Afraid
  •  
  • Bleeding
  •  
  • Fragile
  •  
  • Exhausted
  •  
  • Empty
  •  
  • Discouraged
  •  
  • Depressed
  •  
  • Confused
  •  
  • Changed
  •  
  • Calm
  •  
  • Broken
  •  
  • Ashamed
  •  
  • Angry
  •  
  • Alone
  •  
  • Afraid
  •  
  • Ashamed
  •  
  • Alone
  •  
  • Ashamed
  •  
  • Fragile
  •  
  • Exhausted
  •  
  • Fake
  •  
  • Empty
  •  
  • Discouraged
  •  
  • Dirty
  •  
  • Depressed
  •  
  • Dead
  •  
  • Depressed
  •  
  • Degraded
  •  
  • Dead
  •  
  • Broken
  •  
  • Betrayed
  •  
  • Beaten
  •  
  • Ashamed
  •  
  • Anxious
  •  
  • Afraid
  •  
  • Alone
  •  
  • Ashamed
  •  
  • Alone
  •  
  • Ashamed
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5 Types of Narcissistic Blame Shifting PART THREE

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CONTINUED. . . . .

What Can You Do?

When someone blame-shifts like this, there is an (understandable) temptation to explain yourself, defend your name, and prove your point. But the problem is, this is exactly what they want you to do. They blame-shift so you’ll react. So you give them the attention they need.

They will always accuse you of doing everything they themselves do because it’s so infuriating that you just have to say something. But again, that’s the point.

By sucking you into these arguments, they are consuming your energy and watching you be progressively self-destructive, so they can use your reactions to prove their own points. (“Wow, look how bitter and angry you are!”)

The term JADE stands for Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain. When it comes to people with Cluster-B personality disorders, don’t do those things.

You will feel compelled to, but don’t. When you try to defend yourself against a false accusation, you legitimize it by even acknowledging it. The only way to respond to these tactics is to stand up and walk away. Just walk away. Silently.

Odds are, you are an overly reasonable person who is always trying to see things from everyone else’s perspective. You constantly worry that you’re being unfair (“Oh no, what if I actually am this terrible thing they’re accusing me of”), which makes you a prime target to people like this.

Unfortunately, in all your worry and self-doubt about being unfair, you fail to see the actual unfairness in the situation.

 

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5 Types of Narcissistic Blame Shifting PART TWO

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CONTINUED. . . . .

3. Arguing About the Argument

Every argument becomes a meta-discussion about the argument itself, rather than the point you’re actually trying to make.

They pull you into pointless fights, mincing words and debating semantics in order to put you on the defense.

Instead of focusing on the actual point of discussion, they comment on your voice, your gestures, tone and accuse you of doing things they’re doing (playing the victim, gas-lighting, projecting). The blame is no longer on them, but instead the way you approached the argument.

 

4. Guilt Tripping & Pity Stories

If you’re prone to feeling sympathetic for others, chances are they’ll take full advantage out of this. If you point out something hurtful they’ve done, they will start talking about their abusive childhood or an evil ex.

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5 Types of Narcissistic Blame Shifting PART ONE

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Individuals with Cluster-B personality disorders regularly use blame-shifting to manipulate conflicts within themselves because admitting fault is not an option to them.

The existence of a malignant narcissist is predicated on extracting narcissistic supply from their significant others. A narcissist always functions on a psychological void.

Hence they cannot maintain the façade he/she has masterfully crafted during the idealization stage for too long.

narcissist will readily engage in blame-shifting when he/she has experienced a narcissistic injury, his/her partner has set up a boundary, or have cut out the narcissistic supply, resulting in the narcissist feeling a sense of lack of control/power.

What are the most common techniques of blame-shifting used by a narcissist?

 These 5 types of blame shifting techniques are commonly used by a narcissist:

1. Playing Victim

Playing victim is the most common type of blame shifting. You notice his ill-treatments towards you and point it out as it is causing you pain. Since that situation paints you as a victim, they are quick to turn the table (because they always need to be the more pathetic victim).

Instead of addressing your legitimate concerns, they will bring up (or make up) something completely unrelated from the past where they claim you to be the one hurting. Before you know it, you’re the one apologizing to them out of guilt.

 

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART TEN

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CONTINUED . . .

FERTILITY AWARENESS OVULATION QUESTIONS

When an Ovulation Predictor Test Kit Says Positive

Ovulation predictor kits determine whether the luteinizing hormone (LH) is detected. The luteinizing hormone (LH) rises right before ovulation occurs. Kits are supposed to detect whether you’re going to ovulate but cannot ensure that you do ovulate.

Women may have a high level of the LH if they have certain conditions such as polycystic ovaries, premature ovarian failure (POF), or for women over age 40 who are experiencing perimenopause. Also, women with Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome (LUFS) may have a surge in the LH hormone without ovulating. Any of these conditions could result in a false-positive result on an ovulation predictor test.

Can You Ovulate Without Having a Period?

Since a woman releases an egg 12-16 days before her expected period, it is possible for women to get pregnant without having periods. Women who are not menstruating due to a certain condition (i.e. low body weight, breastfeeding, perimenopause, etc…) risk the chance of getting pregnant because ovulation could start again at any point.

If you ovulate and do not start your period a couple of weeks later, you may want to take a pregnancy test.

For those who want to conceive, the lack of periods could make it more difficult to know the timing of ovulation if you are not charting your basal temperature and cervical fluid changes.  But if you are not having periods and wanting to prevent pregnancy, a form of contraception should be used since there is no way to know when ovulation will occur.

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART NINE

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CONTINUED . . .

FERTILITY AWARENESS OVULATION QUESTIONS

Can You Ovulate During Your Period?

Menstruation or a period is the bleeding that occurs when the endometrium is shed 12 to 16 days after ovulation. With this definition of a period, you cannot ovulate while on your period.

However, some women experience mid-cycle or ovulatory bleeding (bleeding that occurs around ovulation) and may mistake it for a period. This can happen to women with very irregular cycles coming once every 3 months or 2-3 times in one month. Mid-cycle bleeding can occur in women with regular cycles as well. They may experience what appears to be a period, but, in reality, this is most likely ovulatory bleeding. Ovulation can occur when you experience mid-cycle or ovulatory bleeding.

Keep in mind that while you cannot technically ovulate while on a period because sperm can live in the body for 3-5 days after sex, pregnancy could occur from intercourse that takes place during a period.

Can You Ovulate Right After Your Period?

That is determined by how many days are in your cycle. The number of days in your cycle is calculated by counting the number of days from the beginning of one period to the beginning of the next period. If you have a short cycle, for example, 21 days, and you bleed for 7 days, then you could ovulate right after your period.

This is because ovulation generally occurs 12-16 days before your next period begins, and this would estimate you ovulating at days 6-10 of your cycle.

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART EIGHT

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CONTINUED . . .

FERTILITY AWARENESS OVULATION QUESTIONS

When Do You Ovulate After Your Period?

A woman’s monthly cycle is measured from the first day of her menstrual period until the first day of her next period. On average, a woman’s cycle is between 28-32 days, although some women may have much shorter or longer cycles.

Most women ovulate anywhere between Day 11 – Day 21 of their cycle, counting from the first day of their last period. This is your “fertile time” and when  sexual intercourse has the best chance of producing pregnancy. Ovulation can occur at any point during this window and may occur on a different day each month.

A combination of methods such as observing your cervical fluid, taking your basal body temperature daily, and tracking your periods can help you identify your time of ovulation. Try our ovulation calendar to get you started. A Fertility Kit or Monitor from our sponsor Fairhaven Health is a great way to pin point your fertile days.

When are You Most Fertile?

During ovulation, an egg is only available to be fertilized for about 12-24 hours. But sperm can live in the body for 3-5 days after sex and the egg is available for one day, so your most fertile time is about 5-7 days.

Don’t You Ovulate on the 14th Day After Your Period?

This is a myth that many, including healthcare professionals, still believe. The “14th-day” thinking appears to come from either taking the average of when all women ovulate or from just dividing the 28-day cycle in half. This is not an accurate way to calculate ovulation because many women do NOT ovulate on the 14th day of their cycle.

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BIRTH CONTROL ALTERNATIVES PART SEVEN

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CONTINUED . . .

FERTILITY AWARENESS OVULATION QUESTIONS

What is Ovulation?

Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary, travels through the fallopian tube, and is ready to meet sperm and be fertilized. Approximately every month an egg matures within one of your ovaries. The lining of the uterus is thickened to prepare for the fertilized egg. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining, will shed during your period. Fairhaven Health is a corporate sponsor and they provide effective and affordable ovulation prediction tools.

What are the Signs of Ovulation?

  • Change in cervical fluid

  • Change in cervical position and cervical firmness

  • A brief twinge of pain or a dull ache that is felt on one side of the abdomen

  • Light spotting

  • Increase in sex drive

  • An elevated level of the luteinizing hormone which can be detected on an ovulation test

  • Basal body temperature chart that shows a consistent change

  • Breast tenderness

  • Abdominal bloating

  • A heightened sense of vision, smell, or taste.

Can You Ovulate More Than Once During a Cycle?

A woman should not ovulate more than once during each cycle. This is due to a careful balance of hormones and their levels – it takes just the right timing and release of hormones to bring on the release of a mature egg. Therefore, she cannot get pregnant more than once during a cycle. Remember, if you are not using a tracking method such as OPKs, basal body temperature, or cervical mucus, there is no guaranteed way to pin down the day you are ovulating. Many period tracking apps will give you your “day of ovulation,” but this is only an estimation of when it might happen. Thus, two days (or more) after the predicted ovulation day may not be a “safe” day to have sex to avoid pregnancy, since it’s possible that you have not actually ovulated yet.

Multiple ovulation is another phenomenon that can occur and is when two or more eggs are released in a single cycle. The eggs are released during one 24 hour period and are responsible for the birth of fraternal twins. It is believed that this may occur in as many as 5-10% of all cycles but does not result in that many twins due to a type of miscarriage referred to as the “vanishing twin phenomenon.”

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