Monday, June 30, 2014

8 Mistakes You Should Never Make On LinkedIn

By Libby Kane, on

What do you do with your LinkedIn profile?

Do you check it only every once in a while when a connection request comes through? Have you linked it to your Twitter account? Did you never quite remember to sign up in the first place?

As much as it’s convenient to merge our FacebookTwitter, Tumblr and Instagram accounts into one large social networking experience, LinkedIn has a special designation: professional networking.
And there is a difference between professional and personal networking, according to LinkedIn Career Expert Nicole Williams: “I see the same mistakes over and over!”

And, on LinkedIn, those faux pas can damage your career.

In fact, data shows that LinkedIn is especially helpful when it comes to landing higher-paying jobs—”informal recruitment” is a favorite of hiring managers aiming to fill positions up there on the payscale.

So whether you’re hunting for a new job, making the most of the one you have or just looking to learn about professional possibilities, avoid these eight big LinkedIn mistakes.

Not Using a Picture

“One of the biggest mistakes I see is no photo,” Williams says. “You’re seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have one. Like a house that’s on sale, the assumption is that if there’s no photo, something’s wrong.”

She also makes a great point: If you leave a networking event with a handful of business cards, intending to follow up on LinkedIn, it’s much harder for you to remember who’s who without pictures. A missing photo can easily lead to missed connections.

If you’re worried about unwittingly sabotaging your career through social media, check out the ten worst blunders you can commit.

Putting Up the Wrong Picture

“No dog, no husband, no baby!” Williams says, adding that your photo is meant to show you at your professional—not personal—best. “Especially for mothers getting back into the workforce, a picture of their child doesn’t convey that they’re ready for a full-time job.”

Another photo blunder: Misrepresenting your appearance. “I see older people who are worried about age discrimination use a photo of themselves in their 30s, but an interviewer wasn’t expecting them to look so different. And instead of listening to your answers, the interviewer will think you’re deceptive,” Williams confides. “Unless you’re getting hired for a modeling gig, people are just looking for energy, which you can communicate through great posture, open eyes and a smile.”

In fact, HSN Beauty found that, when paging through LinkedIn profiles, 19% of recruiters look only at your profile picture.

Read the full article online... 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Making Decisions Today That Will Lead to Success Tomorrow

“There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.” ~ John Wooden

We not only make decisions, we are made by them. Every one of us is where we are today as a result of the decisions we made yesterday. Decisions powerfully shape our lives, and the effects of a major decision can linger for years or can even last for a lifetime.

Of course, not all decisions are equal. A few major decisions, particularly those about our personal values, give direction to all of the other choices we make. Values put choices in context and simply our decision-making, making it more consistent. In fact, once you know a person well, you can usually figure out which choices they’re going to make based on what they value.

Every leader faces a specific context in which they must exercise judgment in making the right call. However, some decisions transcend our individual situations and are worth making regardless of our particular circumstances. They establish values that, in turn, inform a host of future choices that we will make.

Decisions with Lasting Value:

1) Personal Growth: Decide to Grow Every Day by Developing Your Strengths
Being intentional about personal growth is a wonderful habit to have. However, taking the time to study, practice, and gather advice only brings uneven growth and miniscule gains if it happens haphazardly. We always get the greatest return by focusing our effort to grow on those areas where our natural ability (what we do well) intersects with our natural affinity (what we love to do).

2) Partnership: Decide to Add Value to Others Before Expecting Value from Others
When you make a habit of helping others reach their goals, then they will eventually help you attain your own aims. Young leaders eagerly scout out the road to success, searching for the quickest way to climb the ladder to the top. More seasoned leaders spend their energy building ladders instead of scaling them. Instead of wondering, “how can I excel?” they ask: “how can I help others to win?” On life’s journey, you’ll always go faster alone, but you will inevitably go farther in partnership with others.

3) Leadership: Decide to Add Value to Leaders Who Will Multiply Your Value Through Others
As undemocratic as it sounds, the best leaders invest their time unequally, favoring those with greater leadership aptitude. Investing your energies into non-leaders is like pumping water into a reservoir; it pools up and is prevented from going anywhere else. However, pouring yourself into leaders is like channeling water into a river; what you add is carried onward and can provide nourishment several miles downstream.

Check out the full article...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Study Shows Teaching Teens Financial Literacy Pays Off in the Future


Today’s schools are starting kids earlier in just about every department: math, science, literature, languages, and so many more.

The idea here is that, since children soak up knowledge faster and more readily than adults, it’s best to get the lessons going at an early age so they’re more likely to retain them into adulthood.

In short, taking advantage of wisdom you learned at age 6 is a lot easier than stumbling onto it at age 26 and playing catchy-up with the world.

This same philosophy should apply to the financial world as well, particularly savings and budgeting.

Starting Off on the Right Financial Foot

If kids begin the path to monetary carefulness early on, they won’t be so tempted to blow all their earnings on toys they’ll never play with, clothing that costs them an entire paycheck, and an overall lifestyle they can’t afford.

This is backed up by a recent study conducted by financial literacy organizations EverFi and Higher One.

They took 65,000 college students, some of which took a financial literacy course in high school and some who did not.

They were all given a survey of their financial habits, and the ones who studied basic finance in high school proved to be far more responsible with their cash than the ones who did not.

This shows that, even though they don’t always seem to be doing so, kids do pay attention to what people tell them.

So if you teach them from an early age to not carry too many credit cards, to not buy things they can’t afford, and to set up a budget that tracks everything they give their cash to, they’ll probably abide by those rules for the rest of their lives.

Check out’s simple budgeting tools that can get you started on financial organization, no matter how young or old you are!

And yet, the vast minority of kids take these courses, because the vast majority of schools don’t offer them. Right now, only 17 states require that their high schools offer at least one course on financial literacy.

Why the other 33 aren’t interested in doing so is a mystery to everyone.

Perhaps they feel that managing money is common sense? Because based on the amount of debt we’ve accumulated and continue to accumulate, clearly it’s not.

Until more schools get with the program, parents should take the time to educate their children on how to manage money, and they can start as early as grade school.

It’s actually quite easy to do so.

Read the rest of this article from 


Monday, June 9, 2014

4 Great Pieces of Budgeting Advice from Top Money Experts


Earning money is great, but spending it properly is even more important.

If you pull in the big bucks and just spend it all recklessly, you’re risking walking down a very dangerous path.

Budgeting your money, no matter how much or how little you have, is one of the most important skills you can learn.

Below are a few sage tips from various financial experts to help you get started.

By listening to their words and applying their wisdom properly, you can survive and thrive on even the most meager of salaries.

Suze Orman: A 10% Cut in Family Spending

Financial guru Suze Orman suggests cutting your family spending (or just plain fun spending, for 10% every month.
those without a family) by

It’s just enough of a cut that you’ll start to see savings pile up quickly, thereby making it easier to pay back debts and cover actual, important expenses.

However, it’s not enough of a cut that you’ll feel like you’re depriving your loved ones of anything.

Let’s face it — if you’re used to spending $100 on movies and gaming every month, trimming that amount down to $90 a month isn’t going to cause mass wailing and angst.

Everybody will still have fun, including your wallet.

Dave Ramsey: Overbudget for Groceries 

The ever-animated Dave Ramsey knows why you budget and save, save and budget, and yet still end up broke every month –you forgot the food.

According to Ramsey, when people put together their monthly budget, a lot of them don’t consider their grocery bill at all.

And if they do, they severely underbudget, so even though they may think they’re putting $100 aside every month, $80 of that is actually going to num-nums they forgot to calculate.

So next time you go grocery shopping, hold onto your receipts, and add them all up at the end of the month (this includes times you ate out, because even though Burger King can barely be considered food, it still technically is.)

Whatever that amount if, add $50 to the total, just in case.

There’s your real grocery budget, and if you go under, great. That’s always preferable to going over.

Check out the full article online... 

Monday, June 2, 2014

The 3 Things Every College Graduate Should Know

At this time of year, as many people exchange their well-worn student IDs for brand new alumni discount cards, they are being bombarded with information -- from credit card offers, to (hopefully) job offers, to advice from authority figures -- irrespective of their actual authority or right to dispense worldly wisdom.

Some of the counsel you will receive is worth its weight in gold -- from Steve Job's Stanford commencement speech, to the ever-present wisdom in Dr. Seuss' Oh the Places You'll Go, to the seemingly eternally viral and oft-misattributed "Wear Sunscreen" advice by Mary Schmich in the Chicago Tribune. As a clinical psychologist, I often bear witness to the struggle that people encounter during these transitional periods. As a couple of my patients are nearing graduation, I have begun to consider the indispensable lessons that are worth sharing with recent grads, or actually anyone who is in transition.

Regardless of whether you have the rest of your life planned or you are as clueless as Homer Simpson was when he was about to graduate --

Counselor: Do you have any plans for after graduation?

Homer: Me!? I'm going to drink a lot of beer and stay out all night!

-- you will, undoubtedly, eventually bump up against that pesky seven-letter word that gets in the way of living: reality. And so, if you lend me you mind's eye for a moment, I will share with you the three things that every college graduate should know:

The Power of Failure, The Power of Words, and the Power of Kindness

1. The Power of Failure -- One of the things that they don't teach you in school (along with how to manage your money, but that's a topic for another day) regardless of how much success you have had up until this point, in life, you will, with any luck, fail. I hope that you fail early and often. In contrast to what may have been led to believe by overbearing parents or overreaching teachers, failure is good for you. When you truly fail, it means that you actually did something, or at least you tried to. You put forth the effort and you took action, but you didn't get the result you wanted. When failure comes a knockin' and you get that twisty feeling in the pit of your stomach or you experience the heat of shame that rises through your gullet, don't suppress it. Use it. Your emotions are a gift, and when properly directed, they will fuel your rise. This is a part of what I call intelligent failure. Pay attention to why you failed, take copious notes, re-tool, and try again. The only thing that matters when you fail is what you do next. Regroup and attack with more vigor and intelligence. Remember that everyone who has ever done anything worth doing has failed. You can join this crew if you craft your response to failure intelligently.

2. The Power of Words -- School is an absurdly verbal place filled to the brim with words. When you are in school, words have power and meaning. However, when you graduate, that changes. Words are no longer powerful. People will say things that they don't mean -- usually out of laziness, but occasionally out of malice. Don't be seduced by words. There is only one thing that counts: what people do. If you are spending time with someone -- a friend, family member, co-worker, boss, or lover -- who tells you lots of things but then doesn't follow them up with action, it's probably time to re-evaluate the relationship (or job). When I graduated college and was in the dating world, my friend JP used to say, "When a girl is nice to you but rude to the waiter, she's not a nice girl. It's time to move on."

"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I watch what they do." -- Andrew Carnegie

On the flip side, some people do more than they need to. Those people are kind souls, and guess what, they are out there too. It just takes a little bit of work to find them. But I swear to you, they are there too and they will help you.

Read the full article from the Huffington Post online...