Yesterday's Opportunities Should Be Today's Special Moments

Well, this year looks promising. The economy appears to be turning around.  However, if you are reading my blog you no doubt are recently unemployed or are still reaching out for that great job. What's interesting about life though is that it is in constant transition.  Things will always be changing around us--whether it's the job market, your health, or personal issues.  Over the last year significant events in my own life have required my attention. In processing this, a reminder jumped out loud and clear--put priorities first not problems.  What do I mean?

Solving and dealing with problems is just part of living.  Somehow you will continue to work through issues that arise from time to time in your life.  However, will the anxiety of handling daily problems dominate your very being?  When you become consumed with your problems, you may miss out on more important issues, opportunities and moments that you would have otherwise taken care of or happily indulged in.  Here are a few reminders:
  • Have you recently called your sibling/s or parents to see how they are doing?  How much more special this is if they live many miles away?
  • Have you recently checked out your pet's current health?  When you are consumed with problems, you may not recognize your beloved pet is not up to par.
  • Have you neglected to carry out a promise you made to someone?
  • Have you taken a walk with someone you love?
  • Have you checked out your own health?  Are you taking better care of yourself today than yesterday?
  • Have you visited anyone ill, elderly, or just needing encouragement? These may be moments you will never forget or get back again.
  • Has spirituality been an avenue you have been putting on the back burner?
  • Have you made a Living Will?  Hopefully, this doesn't sound morbid. However, it is common for many people to put this off when really it is a vital document.
  • Have you recently taken a mini-vacation somewhere to relax and restore your sanity?
  • Have you adjusted your eating habits to accommodate your needs and not just that of the entire family? Again, it is common for a parent to put their own needs secondary to that of the family.
  • Most importantly, have you recently told your family and friends how much you love them?
Yes, you will be able to solve some but not all of your unique problems; but, do not let them consume you.  Do not miss out on the more important things.  Whether it is work or family issues, life has a way of working these things out.  Just remember yesterday's opportunities should be today's special moments.

Not Employed Might Be Your Fault Now

You are still not working despite your best efforts to find employment.  Granted, the last few years have been rough for millions in a sick economy.    However, before you get too defensive, let me tell you what I am talking about.  If you have been unemployed for a number of years and you do not collect unemployment anymore, it is time to kick-start some type of work in your life.  Why?
The longer you are not generating work for yourself, the harder it is to get back into the routine of things. As time goes on, you may even begin to doubt your own self-worth.   Stop now.  You are valuable in so many ways. Each and every human being has honorable qualities and positive skills that are beneficial to themselves and others.  That being said, what are some options you can explore?

Besides temporary jobs, self-employment, and going back to school, there are other opportunities. Stop looking for the same type of work in the same fields.  Don't look at the pay scale either. What? For instance, look at what type of things you like to do outside work.  Do you enjoy shopping, swimming, or cooking?  There are jobs in all of these fields you may want to consider. A person who enjoys shopping might enjoy working in a retail store that sells fashionable clothing. Or, if you like sports, what about some type of job working at a health club? Do you see where I am going with this? It's more important that you get back out into the workplace despite the salary you may have made before. This would be a positive and forward direction.

Let's say for example that you get a job working at Starbucks Coffee Company.  Not your field of work; nevertheless, you are working.  What could be some benefits to consider?  Here are a few: 
  1. Meeting People Again
  2. Learning a New Skill
  3. Making Some Money
  4. Ability to Network 
  5. Self-Esteem Soars
  6. Realization That Your Life Isn't That Bad After All!
  7. Breaking the Couch-Potato Syndrome
  8. Establishing a Routine Again
  9. Happier 
  10. Additional Employment to List On Your Resume
I wrote this post not to upset or offend you.  No doubt you truly have tried your best to no avail when it has come to work.  I wanted to encourage you to try something different, perhaps not part of your mindset.  Although I am retired, I have recently been working as a companion caregiver. This is totally different than my experience in administrative work.  However, it has been great--a real eye-opener to the world of the elderly,  I have a learned a lot of new things I didn't have a clue about.  

You have nothing to lose at this point.  Be bold and adventurous!  Happiness can come from the least suspected areas...

Changing Your Response to Change Equals Positive Results

For many people change is a not a welcome friend.  However, as times goes on you soon find out that life is always changing.  Very few things stay the same.  Example--millions have been knocked out of their so called "secure jobs" thrust into a tailspin. Yes, many changes occur whether we want them or not.  What about you? Are you a professional that recently lost your job after many years of expertise in your field?  Or, perhaps you are contemplating a change in careers because you are just unhappy with the present situation you find yourself in? How you respond to change in any of these situations could determine your future success and yes, even your happiness.

When it comes to change, please consider the following...

  • With regard to employment, most people are good at a number of things.  Just because you have picked one job over another, does not mean you can't do other types of work; and actually be good at it.  Consider embracing something new as an adventure.
  • You successfully adjust to change daily without even thinking about it.  Seasonal changes, traffic situations, unexpected phone calls, are just a few changes that alter the moment.  Bigger events requiring adjustments in your life may be just as easy adjusting to depending on your perception. Ride the change; don't buck every turn and twist.
  • Many changes can be reversed or just stopped if you really don't care for them.  Of course, caution is advised if it is something hard to reverse. Look before you leap. There are some changes that are permanent.
  • Give yourself ample time to accept the change in your life.  The average time according to research that a new behavior becomes a habit takes about 66 days (of course for some it may be less or more time). 
Life can be an adventure if you are willing to change and be flexible when needed.  Many opportunities are right at your doorstep, yes a foot away.  Remember, only a few tweaks here and there may make the difference.  Go for it my friend.

A great read, with a new approach on how to look at life, success, and happiness is the
book ... 
U Turn Your Life: 5 Simple Steps to Achieve Success ? Starting Now!

Save Hundreds of Dollars Streaming--Use Roku

Unemployed, under-employed, or just want one of the best deals around?  Of course you do.  There is a great way to save money and still get quality entertainment.  Start streaming.   What is streaming?   How much of a savings are you really talking about? Will I still have great entertainment? These are all fair questions.

In non-technical terms, streaming is basically compressed data that is transmitted to your television via a wireless internet connection and a streaming device. You will be able to see programs pertaining to exercise, food, news, music, education and thousands of movies and other topics of interest in the privacy of your own home. I personally use the Roku system and love it.  Depending on which Roku box or streaming stick you choose, you will get 1,000 + channels including many that are free. For a minimal monthly fee, you can also purchase additional channels such as Netflix and Hulu Plus. These stations also offer television episodes of some of your classical favorites. Some other channels give you the capability of purchasing or renting newly released movies without leaving your driveway.  Great feature in bad weather.

Unlike your cable bill that continues month after month, your purchase of the Roku is a one-time payment. Think of the hundreds of dollars you will save!  Of course, do not cancel your internet service.  Remember, the second item you need is a wireless internet connection.  If you don't have a wireless connection, it is easy to set up.  Your local internet provider can help you.  You will need your wireless username and password to set up the Roku box.  Don't worry it is easy...

There are other streaming devices on the market.  Our home purchased the basic Roku system a few years ago and have had many quality hours of entertainment for ourselves as well as my grandchildren. I forgot to mention the many children's stations and movies for the little ones. This alone is worth its purchase.

For further details and purchase, please follow the Roku link here or the link on the sidebar on this page.  You don't need to be a technical guru to set this up.  The instructions are as easy as 1, 2, and 3!
Have fun...

Making Money With a Small Business

Sending out an endless amount of resumes with no positive response can be discouraging.  In addition, the longer you are out of work, it may be increasingly harder to find profitable work.  However, have you ever considered starting your own small business?

Starting your own business does not have to be an elaborate and difficult achievement.  If you have the desire to make money and the courage to brave something new, you could be in for a great experience. Here are a few areas to consider in starting your own business:
  • Landscaping 
  • Cleaning (residential)
  • Pet Sitting/Dog Walking
  • Personal Shopper
  • Sewing
  • House Painting
  • Pressure Washing Houses or Buildings
  • Resume Writing
  • House Sitting
  • Laundry (include ironing)
  • Babysitting
  • Crafts for Sale
  • Car Washing
  • Window Washing
  • Snow Removal 
Now is time to tap into your inner and outer resources.  Get out of your comfort zone and try something new.  You may not make a bundle; however, every little extra you do make will help pay those never-ending bills.  

Here is a link to my kindle book on amazon, How to Start a Cleaning Business on a Poor Man's Budget Some of the steps for this small business can be applied to many other smaller-type businesses.  Since you may not currently be working at the job of your dreams, why not try working for yourself.  You may even come up with another idea for entrepreneurship.  Just go for it!

Unemployed--Don't Drop Your Roadside Assistance

Being unemployed or under-employed may cause you to necessarily cut corners in your budget.  However, do not hastily drop your towing or roadside assistance coverage.  Although your car may be running fine today, it could break down tomorrow.  As the money tightens, you may put off or get by with as little as possible in car repair. You may want to read the article "Sick Cars--Millions May Be on the Road" for some practical ways to address your maintenance needs. However, do not drop your towing or roadside assistance coverage.

I speak from experience.  My truck, which was over twenty years old, broke down three times this past winter.  I wasn't financially ready for a huge truck repair.  However, since I had recently purchased roadside assistance coverage, I was able to have my truck towed twice and jump-started once.  By the third time, I was in a better position financially to repair the truck.  Needless to say, the mechanic finally figured out the problem!

Some of you may have this service included with your auto insurance payment.  Others may pay a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual fee for coverage.  There is another route--purchasing coverage on a monthly-basis at a smaller premium amount, with no penalty for cancellation at any time.  By doing it this way, you have more money in your pocket for immediate needs.

I personally recommend Motor Club of America (an independent contractor).  They were professional, courteous, and quick considering the miserable weather conditions. So whatever you do, don't drop your coverage.  You never know where you'll be if or when your car may need help...

To Move or Not to Move for Work

If you have been unemployed for some time, you may have pondered moving out of your local area to find plausible work.  Perhaps "the grass looks greener on the other side."  Realistically though, each person must weigh out the pros and cons unique to their situation.  I have moved across country several times during this economic snag. Here are some things that I observed in my travels that may be helpful to you:
  • Check the Unemployment Rate - Take a look at the unemployment rate in the area you may move to.  If the rate is at the top of the list or higher than your present location, you may want to reconsider moving or checking out what skills or trades are actually hiring in the area. Local newspapers may give you an idea of what companies and the type of positions that are hiring.   U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Cost of Living - You definitely need to look at the cost of living factors in the new location. For instance, some areas of Florida have very high rent coupled with low wages.  I repeat, some areas.  You should do your homework.  Look at the real estate market in the area.  What are the homes valued at?  What are the rents?  What are the grocery prices ?  You get the picture.
  • Transportation - Does the city of your choice offer public transportation?  If not, how will you get around if your vehicle breaks down? Is it a rural area?  If your car needs repair, what kind of prices are the mechanics charging? All of this matters when it comes to gasoline prices and upkeep of your vehicle.  Also consider if your car insurance rates may change.
  • Medical Needs - You no doubt will need to find a new doctor and dentist.  Personal recommendations are always helpful; this may take a little time as you make new acquaintances.  However, if you have any special medical needs, you may want to consult the local hospitals and other medical agencies before moving.
  • Degree or Certification - Is your particular degree or certification honored by the state you are moving to?  If you want to use your credentials, this might be your first step in deciding to move or not. 
  • Flexibility - Are you a flexible person?  I don't mean physically!  Is it easy or hard for you to adjust or accept differences in surroundings, attitudes, cultures, or methods of doing things? No two places are exactly the same.  Is the area drastically different than what you are use to--or just slightly? 
  • Friendliness -  A friendly person will find it easier to meet  people and ask questions when needed.  How easy is it for you to talk to strangers? 
  • Relatives or Close Friends - Do you know anyone, family member or close friend, in this new location?  A relative or close friend can give you tips on where to eat and shop, what areas of town to avoid, and what social events take place, etc. 
This is just a short list of what I encountered in my moving across country several times.   There are many more things to consider before jumping the fence onto "supposed greener grass."  On the other hand, if you are a friendly, flexible, and a focused person, you may be in for the adventure of a lifetime.  Only you can make that decision.  Just make sure you do your homework and know that some sacrifices may be necessary.  If possible, visit the location you are considering, get a local newspaper to get a feel for things, and talk to as many people as possible.  Good fortune to you my friend.