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.

    Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

    Some of you may qualify for a tax refund this year.  If you have been unemployed recently, why not take a small portion of your refund and give yourself a treat.   A spa treatment, local trip away from the daily grind, a new outfit, or a discounted flight to an exciting area you may be curious about.  Of course, the practical side of you will definitely want to save some of the refund, catch up on bills, or invest in something that will allow you to make money or market any new ideas you may have. 

    Keep your spirits up and enjoy doing something new--but don't blow all of the money.  As you know, it is a long year with many unknown bends and turns.  Do you have any money left from your refund?

    Thank You "Dr. Corsi" for the Real Truth

    For quite some time now, this blog has addressed the many long-term workers who have been excluded from the national unemployment rate.  Now Dr. Jerome R. Corsi, a graduate of Harvard, reveals in his latest article, Here's the Real Unemployment Rate, the real rate of unemployment that includes those workers who have dropped out of the workforce over the last four years.  The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) includes those workers who have stopped looking for work and are still unemployed only for a one-year period; those past the first-year mark are not included in the stats.  Yes, that leaves a gaping hole.  How big?

    According to Dr. Corsi's article, the real unemployment rate should be almost 23%, not 7.8%.  Since the BLS has six levels of rates when comparing the unemployment numbers, it can be very confusing.  Thankfully, the economist John Williams who is responsible for figuring out this rate, has been able to come up with a more realistic figure.  What does that mean to you?

    A real reason to stop blaming yourself.  No doubt you have been discouraged and tried almost everything to get work.  Unlike other times that you may have been laid off work or lost your job in the past, you were able to quickly and smoothly transition into something else.  However, times are different!  John Williams, the economist quoted in Dr. Corsi's article, said our time is "at a level that rivals any other downturn of the post-Great Depression era.”  My dear friends, though, do not give up.  You may not get the kind of job you had or think you should have.  So what is so good about that?

    Alternative skills, creativity, and new priorities must be tapped into.  No doubt you have already begun the process.  There are opportunities out there.  In this economy you must think "outside the box" and be willing to do things you may not have considered doing before.  Who knows?  You may even find out that you actually like doing something different.  Whatever your circumstances, count your blessings.  Again, you may be tired of hearing that when you are struggling to pay bills. Whatever you do, do not give up hope.  YOU WILL SURVIVE THIS!   Follow this link,
    Recession and Depression--Coping Skills You May Need, for more suggestions in coping in today's economy.

    This blog contains other ideas you may want to look at in seeking work.  However, I would love to hear what ideas you have come up with in pursuing a new job and making money.  Feel free to share what has worked for you.


    Book Review:

    Author:  Blake Levine


    As a therapist, life coach, and someone who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at a young age, Blake Levine, shares his own experience and advice in coping with mental illness.  Mr. Levine gives the reader much more than a medical description of the disease.  He is honest, descriptive, and gives hope to millions that will read this book. 

    Here are some of the high points the author discusses:
    • Getting a proper diagnosis.  If possible, how to find someone that specializes in
      bipolar disorder and why it may be important.
    • Picking the right doctor for your personality may be critical to your recovery—when to change doctors.
    • Why honesty with your therapist and doctor are essential to proper treatment.
    • How to have wisdom and discernment in who you may share information about your
      disease with.
    • How parents can recognize the early symptoms of bipolar in an adolescent? 
    • Training your mind to think positive and how to smile again.
    • Why you should stay current with medical advancements in treating the disorder.
    • How to regain romance back in your life.  You don't need to be alone.
    • The value of hope.  Mr. Levine says hope should be carried in your pocket.

    As a friend or family member of anyone suffering with bipolar disorder, this book will help you to understand the negative stigma and unique challenges faced daily by those with this illness.  If you are personally coping with this disorder, you will find this book packed with gems of wisdom that will help guide you to a more productive and happy life.  

    I especially enjoyed Mr. Levine's candor and true life experiences as well as the many links to helpful material and his own web site,   I would recommend that this book, Beating Bipolar, be added to your personal bookshelf.

    Reviewer's Disclaimer:   Beating Bipolar was a complimentary copy received through Net Galley.  I received no monetary compensation from the author or publisher for this review.  It is now part of my personal library.  To purchase this book click the link below:

    Your Best Five Qualities--Safeguard Your Self-Esteem

    Unfortunately, we would like to say everyone is employed and working happily ever after. However, it just isn't so.  Unemployment is rampant across the world.  If you are in the ranks of the unemployed, what are you doing to keep your self-esteem and spirits up?  Have you recently taken inventory of your top five best qualities? 

    One of the first things to go down when you lose a job, especially through no fault of your own, is your self-esteem.  Most companies have made cuts as across-the-board layoffs.  As such, the quality of work along with your great character no doubt were not taken into consideration.  If they did consider your top-notch work and still added you to the ranks of the unemployed, then "shame on them."

    If you have been feeling down, now is time for you to look at your top five best qualities.  Why is this so important?  Worldwide there has been an increase in suicides.  Many experts believe this is a reflection of the economic downturn.  See my article, Recession and Depression--Coping Skills You May Need.  Although many other factors have contributed to the suicide rates, negative feelings certainly do not help the equation.  Everyone faces negative situations on a daily basis.  When you start to feel your problems are overwhelming, it is time to stop and take inventory of the positives.  So let's get started...

    Since some people may not know where to begin, let me suggest some qualities you may not have considered about yourself (I am sure you can list many more)...

    • Are you a kind person?  Do you try and help someone less advantaged than you?
    • Are you loyal?  Loyalty is greatly lacking today; at all levels.  This is a wonderful asset.
    • Are you a good listener?  Listening is an art.  If you already possess this great skill, then be happy.
    • Do you love to smile?  Smiling is contagious, warm, and inviting. 
    • Are you patient?  Patient people actually are healthier and at times less stressed than other people. 
    • Are you punctual?  Other people like it when you are on time. It shows your courteous and respectful side.
    • Are you industrious?  An industrious person completes the job and is dependable. 
    • Are you a good cleaner?  This is important.  Having a clean home or environment is a welcome mat for visitors and a comforting place for members of your household.
    • Are you a moral person? Today, morality of any kind is disregarded too quickly.  It is refreshing to find a person with strong morals.
    These are some qualities I came up with that you may be wonderfully endowed with.  Don't take for granted your good qualities.  We live in an age when character is tossed aside too easily.  You may lose your job and money but nobody can take your character, made up of all your lovely qualities,  away from you.  Keep your self-esteem. 


    Insurance While Unemployed--Are There Any Options?

    Insurance while unemployed is a real concern for the millions of unemployed workers who have not only lost their job--but have also lost their health insurance benefits.  Whether you are currently looking for work or have accepted a temporary job without any benefits, there are optional short-term health care plans with numerous providers that may fit your need.  Who may need short-term insurance coverage?  Also, what are some main points to consider before purchasing short-term health care coverage?

    Who needs short-term insurance coverage or coverage that lasts between 6-12 months?  Actually, everybody needs some type of medical coverage--even if it is short-term.  Why?  A family with low-cost health care needs can get hit at any time with a sudden illness, accident or catastrophe creating a financial dilemma.  Then, there goes without saying the families with higher cost prescriptions and those in their family suffering from a chronic illness that must have medical care.  Short-term insurance can bridge that gap between your old coverage and a new plan you are waiting to go on.  The downside of short-term though is that you would have to renew the policy at the end of the term; thus screening of your eligibility requirements again are necessary.

    What are some other points you may want to consider when and if you decide to purchase short-term health insurance:

    • Deductible -- The deductibles can run pretty high on short-term insurance.  Some of the deductibles that I looked at were several thousand dollars.  However, once the deductible is met (depending on the policy you pick) their can be a significant drop in the amounts you may be paying in co-pay and prescriptions.
    • In or Out of Network -- If you choose a physician within most networks, the cost is usually less out-of-pocket.  However, if you choose a physician outside the network it is generally a higher cost. Also, you need to know if your physician is covered under said policy.
    • Capping of Costs -- Check the capping of the overall amount of costs the policy will cover for your benefit period.  This is important if you anticipate incurring higher than usual medical costs for that period.
    • Preventative Care -- Does the policy include yearly physical, breast-care exams, etc. at no cost?  If not, you might want to reconsider the policy.
    In my estimation, your medical needs should warrant the higher cost of short-term health care insurance. For many of the unemployed purchasing of any insurance is just not an option.  For many unemployed the lower budget they now have will not stretch that far.  However, should you be in a  position to pay for a health care plan, you should review and compare the various plans available by getting online quotes.  There are representatives always ready and wanting to help you find the right plan to fit your personal needs. Yes, insurance while unemployed is possible for you.  With plans changing every day you may find one to fit your temporary needs if it is within your current budget.  Good health to you.

    Temp Jobs May Be Your Next Option


    If you are reading this blog, you may be one of the millions of people that have found themselves unemployed over the last few years.  While a portion of people are still collecting unemployment others have fallen off the unemployment ranks and just stopped looking for work.  Please do not be downhearted. There may be another option for you.  Have you considered temping?

    By "temping" we are referring to taking a job on a temporary basis either through an agency or directly from the company. In the past, you may have put a "thumbs down" to such an idea.  However, more and more companies are hiring employees on a temporary basis. Here are a some benefits you might receive if choosing a temporary position:
    • You can spruce up your skills.  We all get rusty if our skills are not being fully utilized. Temping is a perfect opportunity to get your groove back.
    • Learn a new skill.  At times, your assignment or job may have need of some skills you
      may not have.  Many employers that hire "temps" are willing to teach you a new method, skill, or procedure. The newly mastered skill can then be added onto your resume.
    • Being employed as a "temp" looks good on your resume when sending to potential
      employers.  Prospective employers like to see that you have an industrious spirit.
    • Networking.  Whenever you are a temporary worker you will have the opportunity to
      network with other employees and at times depending on the business--prospective
    • If you are a good worker, and the timing is right, you might transition into the same
      job as a permanent worker or springboard into another position that opens up with the
    • As long as you complete your temp job and continue to look for work once the job is
      finished, you might be able to accumulate earned weeks toward future unemployment.  Of course, that will depend upon your benefit year eligibility and the state's legal requirements.
    • Earning a paycheck throughout the year may qualify you  for the "earned income tax credit" with regard to your dependent children.  Check with your tax preparer to make sure what the tax law requires and your tax status.
    • Pays bills.  This is helpful!
    • Restores your self-worth.  Unfortunately, losing a job has a way of stripping  your
      positive spirit. Having a routine again may put zip back into your step.
    Temping may not necessarily get you your dream job; but there are opportunities to find.
    Look into the temporary jobs in your area, check with temp agencies, and check online too.  Temping may be the right option for you at this time with some unique benefits.