50+ Tools to Change Your Career Path

Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 6:01pm by Site Administrator

Sometimes you come to a point in your career when you realize you’re just not on the right path. It happens to lots of people, and there are plenty of resources out there to help you make a change. These tools offer assistance for finding the best career for you, and how you can get there.

Assessment

First things first, find out whether or not a career change is right for you, and what’s best for you if you decide to start out in a new field.

  1. Quiz: Should You Make a Career Change?: Determine if the time is right for a career change with this quiz.
  2. A Guide to Going Online for Self-Assessment Tools: Get advice about using online assessment tools from this article.
  3. What Color is Your Parachute: Learn what career paths are best for you with this book.
  4. The Princeton Review Career Quiz: This 24-question quiz from The Princeton Review should offer some good suggestions.
  5. What’s Important to You?: Find out what beliefs and values are important to you, and consider how they affect your career choices.
  6. The Career Interests Game: Play this game to get a broad view of your ideal career.
  7. The Career Key: With this test, you’ll get a good look at yourself and your career options.
  8. O*NET Ability Profiler: Consider your abilities in nine categories to determine careers that are best for what you can do.
  9. Transferable Skills Survey: Use this survey to determine what skills you’ll bring to your new career.
  10. Finding The Perfect Job: Learn about the latest research devoted to matching your interests with a fulfilling career.
  11. The Career Values Test: Check out this test to determine the things that are most important to you in a career.
  12. O*NET Interest Profiler: Determine your level of interest in six different categories with this profiler.

Career Exploration

If you’ve found a new career you think you’d like, delve into it further with these resources.

  1. Career Briefs: Here you’ll find a listing of occupations, and you can use it to find out what appeals to you.
  2. Occupational Outlook Handbook: This resource offers in-depth look at nearly every occupation.
  3. Informational Interviewing Tutorial: Follow this tutorial to learn how to conduct an effective informational interview and discover more about potential new career paths.
  4. Cool Jobs and Cool Life Options: Take a look at this collection of cool jobs to get some great ideas.
  5. How Can I Find a New Career Path?: This Career Doctor offers advice for discovering a new career.
  6. VocationVacations: With VocationVacations, you can spend time finding out if you actually like your dream job.
  7. JobProfiles: Get advice from real people about their jobs with this site.
  8. Finding Your Niche: Read this article to learn how to fit into unconventional career niches.
  9. Career Research Checklist: Use this checklist to conduct effective research on potential new careers.
  10. Passion Pursit: Baby Steps or Big Plunge?: Read this article to learn how to explore and identify your passions, and take action to find a more passionate career.

Advice

Take a hint from the experts, and read the advice dished out here.

  1. Changing Careers in Midstream: This article offers advice on changing careers and has a few ideas for developing skills for your new career while you’re still in your old one.
  2. Making a Smoother Career Transition: In this article, you’ll find advice for a smooth career transition.
  3. Career Change Tools for the Mid-Life Woman: Although directed at middle aged women, this career change checklist is great for anyone who wants to shake things up.
  4. Choosing a New Career Path: This article follows the story of a Jane Doe as she transitions from one career to another.
  5. Seven Famous Career Switchers: Get inspired by these celebrities turned their skills into new careers.
  6. Thinking of a Career Change? Five Tips: These tips offer advice on how much you should change, how to find the right career, and landing a great new job.
  7. Is Changing Fields Right For You?: Read this article to discover 10 action steps you should take before embarking on a career change.
  8. Career Transition/Change Strategies: This article considers changes both in job title and industry fields.
  9. 10 Career Change Mistakes to Avoid: Avoid these common mistakes to prevent changing careers without planning, or doing so for the wrong reasons.
  10. Real People, Successful Career Changes: Take a look at these profiles of career changers for inspirations.
  11. Ten Steps to a Successful Career Change: Follow this advice for a step-by-step guide to switching things up.
  12. Do You Have What It Takes to Change Careers?: Consider the reasons why even top performers want to make a change sometimes.

Getting (Re)Hired

Use these tools to get a great job in your new career.

  1. Transferable Job Skills–a Vital Job Search Technique: Read this article to learn how to highlight the skills you’ve learned from your old career in a way that is attractive to new employers.
  2. Experience Works: This program offers paid internships to job seekers 55 and older, as well as training and other services.
  3. Temping Your Way to a Career Change: Check out this article to learn about strategies for breaking into a new field through temporary work.
  4. The Top 5 Things to Consider When Looking for a New Job: Keep these considerations in mind when searching for your new job.
  5. Career Change Letter: This sample letter from Monster will help you explain why you want to change careers and what you can offer your new employer.
  6. Emphasising Your Transferable and Marketable Skills in Your Cover Letter: Learn how to put skills from your old career to work in your job search with this article.
  7. Career Change Resume: With this article, you’ll learn how to write your resume so that you emphasise your new career goals.
  8. Volunteering Can Open Doors to a New Career: Read this article for advice on using volunteering as a way to gain experience and valuable contacts for your new career.
  9. Early Career Change Cover Letter: With this sample cover letter, you can explain your reasons for changing careers early on in the game.
  10. Self-Employed But Need a Job? Here’s How to Interview: If you’re transitioning from a self-employed career to working for someone else, use this article to learn how to highlight your unique skills in an interview.
  11. Work Your Transferable Skills: This article details some of the common skills that are transferable to healthcare positions.

Transitioning

These tools will make the change from one career to the next just a little bit easier.

  1. Take Financial Stock Before a Job Change: Read this article to consider financial steps you should take before you change careers.
  2. Career Transition Touchstones: Take a look at some of the stages of transitioning from one career to the next with this guide.
  3. Prepare for a Job Search: This article runs down a number of things to take care of if you’re about to change jobs.
  4. Stream in to Your New Career: Monster offers some advice on what to do once you’ve started your new career.
  5. Become Your Own Boss or Work From Home: This article offers valuable advice on health insurance, marketing, and doing work online.
  6. Quitting With Class: This article runs down what you should do when leaving your old career, from your strategy to last day.
  7. Adding Up a Career Change: Consider the costs and savings of a career move with this article.

The HR Bible: 100 Articles Every Human Resources Pro Should Read

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 1:30am by Site Administrator

As a human resources professional, you know that you’ve got to continually research job market statistics, the demographics of recent college graduates and new online technologies designed to help job seekers and HR departments find their perfect match. To help you make sense of all the paperwork, new studies and overwhelming number of job sites, we’ve put together the HR professional’s holy grail of resources. Packed full of resourceful guides, posts and more, you’ll find tips on everything from recruiting and interviewing to developing your own career.

Development Duties

Help guide your employees and clients along the right career path using these resources and tips. This list also includes articles about training and general HR development.

  1. Management Development: Training for Managers and Supervisors: This guide provides helpful tips for new employees in the HR department or for small business owners who want a crash course in training their own employees.
  2. Six Tips for Developing Your Employees: From pairing employees with a mentor to encouraging professional development, these tips will help you challenge your employees to perform better.
  3. Tips to Help Ensure Employee Success: The U.S. Department of Justice Worklife Program offers readers great tips on how to develop their employees’ careers.
  4. 7 Things to Do on an Employee’s First Day: HR World’s list of seven things to do on an employees first day includes tips like "get other employees involved" and "get feedback." You’ll make the new recruit feel welcome and engaged.
  5. The Work Environment and Employee Productivity: Learn which factors influence employee productivity and then use them to motivate your workers to perform their duties more efficiently.
  6. Work/Life Balance: Finding Time to Succeed at Both: Let your employees know that they need to spend time developing their personal lives as well as their professional goals. Read this article for tips on how to approach the issue together.
  7. Tips for Setting Employee goals: This article demonstrates how to come up with effective strategies for getting your employees to open up and share their professional goals within your company.
  8. Teams: A Formula for Success: Read this article for advice on implementing team-building and training exercises into your workplace.
  9. Coaching for Improved Performance: This article focuses on the ways in which David Kolb’s Learning Cycle can help HR professionals become better coaches and mentors for their employees.
  10. 5 Steps to Effective Training: Tips include providing new employees with overviews of the training session and giving short quizzes after each lesson.

Managing a Human Resources Department

The following articles have everything you need to know about payroll, sexual harassment laws, unions and other issues that affect HR management.

  1. Legal Guides and Links: hrVillage.com publishes this list of valuable legal guides and links so that you’re never out of touch with employee rights.
  2. The Top 10 Small Business Payroll Solutions: If you don’t have the budget to employ a team of HR experts, check out this article for smart tips on managing payroll.
  3. Discrimination and Harassment: Official discrimination and harassment laws and documents are outlined here.
  4. Holiday Cheer or Holiday Nightmare?: This article focuses on the dos and dont’s of planning a holiday office party, but HR professionals can use it as a guide for planning any social events for the company.
  5. Unions: Business.gov provides resources for HR departments that employ union-protected workers.
  6. Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Learn how to define and deal with sexual harassment issues in your office by reading this informative article.
  7. Conflict in the Workplace: Entrepreneur.com publishes this article full of analyses and resolutions for dealing with conflict issues at work.
  8. Managing an Independent Contractor: If your company prefers to outsource certain jobs, read this article for tips on understanding why managing freelancers and contractors is different than regular, full-time employees.
  9. 6 Tips for Managing Workplace Relationships: If you notice a flirtation emerging in your office, learn how to deal with the issue appropriately and discreetly.
  10. I Thought PTO Was Supposed to Be Easy!: This article has ideas for making Paid Time Off policies more trackable for you and more appealing for your employees.

Recruiting

How can you be sure that you’re tapping into the right recruiting resources? Read these articles for tips on recruiting qualified candidates who will develop into strong, reliable and loyal employees.

  1. Ten Steps to Hiring Your First Employee: Whether you’ve just opened up your own business or are new to the HR world, check out this government-sponsored website, which has links to tax forms, worker’s comp insurance and more.
  2. Immigration and Employee Eligibility: If your business attracts illegal immigrants or naturalized citizens, take a look at this guide for official information about hiring foreign workers and getting the right proof of employment status documents.
  3. The HR World Recruitment Solutions Buyer’s Guide: Investing in a smart, efficient software program or e-cruitment technology service will undoubtedly help your business in the long run. Use this guide to help you determine which plan is best for your department.
  4. Executive Recruiting: Recruiting a qualified CEO is a completely different battle than searching for summer interns. Discover smart ways to develop executive recruiting strategies here.
  5. How to Find Great Part-Time Employees: Pitch an attractive part-time opportunity to targeted demographics by using the tips provided in this article.
  6. Master Networkers: This article shows how "acquiring clients — and employees — on a limited budget" isn’t impossible. Through networking programs and self-promotion events, small businesses can be successful at attracting top talent.
  7. The Key to Hiring Right: Read this article to find out how to "hire people with a passion for your mission."
  8. Avoid Disability Discrimination When Hiring New Employees: This article has information about the Americans with Disabilities Act, so be sure to check it out before you plan your next hiring and recruitment strategy.
  9. Top Ten Recruiting Tips: Ten Tips for Successful Employee Recruiting: Tips include be known as a great employer, look first at in-house candidates and use your website for recruiting.
  10. Tips for Minority Recruiting: The American Society of Newspaper Editors lists ten great tips for recruiting qualified minority candidates.

Using Online Technology

From utilizing job sites to taking advantage of Web-based tools, find out why online technology can help your career move forward.

  1. Attract New Customers and Employees: Be Findable Online: This article explains why it’s important for companies to maintain a strong presence in the online recruiting industry.
  2. Reasons to Recruit Online: Monster.com’s Solutions page lists several advantages for using online job sites to find employees, including cost-effectiveness and longevity.
  3. Use Online Tools to Figure Pay Raises: This article links to online tools and sites designed to help you calculate pay raises.
  4. Top Job Sites: If you think Yahoo! Jobs is the only job board out there, take a look at this list of some of the best places to find quality candidates online.

Outsourcing

More and more companies are turning to freelancers, contractors and even workers overseas to perform day-to-day tasks. What does that mean for the HR professional? Read below to find out.

  1. HR Outsourcing Basics: This article helps small businesses decided whether or not they should enlist the services of an HR firm, rather than employ HR professionals in-house.
  2. Should You OUtsource Your In-House Recruiting?: HR professionals should be aware of this outsourcing trend that eliminates in-house recruiting.
  3. Outsourcing 101: Finding Freelancing Talent: Get tips on finding quality freelancers by checking out this article.
  4. Outsourcing: How to Use Freelancers: This article tackles issues like figuring out when you should outsource, calculating speed, cost and quality and more.
  5. Talent Management and Outsourcing: Sides of the Same Coin?: Learn about the differences in evaluating in-house talent and outsourced workers with the help of this article.

Interviewing

Don’t waste the time of your department or the potential employee by asking illegal or uninformative interview questions. Check out this list of articles for help determining what you should and shouldn’t bring up during the session.

  1. How to Conduct an Effective Employee Interview: AllBusiness.com provides tips like "set the tone" and "prepare a script" to help you get the most out of job candidates during the person-to-person interview.
  2. Ask Right to Hire Right: Effective Interview Questions: Use effective interview questions to more adequately assess each job candidate during the interview.
  3. 38 Illegal, Sensitive, and Stupid Interview Questions…and How to Respond: This article from the Washington Post focuses on the interviewee, but HR pros can use the list as a guide of what questions not to ask.
  4. How to Interview and Hire Top People Each and Every Time: Even HR needs to brush up on their interview skills now and then. Use this article as a guide to help you ask the right questions.
  5. The New-Boy Network: This article asks "What do job interviews really tell us?" Find out whether the interview process is an adequate enough assessment of job candidates and if your hiring strategies need a makeover.
  6. How to Interview a Potential Employee: This article comes with a list of questions interviewers should avoid asking and ones which are worth asking the job candidate.
  7. How to Interview a Prospective Employee and Complete the I-9 Form: This article, from the University of Nebraska, has lots of helpful tips for employers new to the hiring game.
  8. Employee Interview Questions That Get Down to Business: The Washington Business Journal offers various ideas for asking questions that will really expose what kind of worker the candidate will turn out to be.
  9. How to Interview a Prospective Employee: This article from eHow.com covers all the basic tips and questions you’ll need to know to conduct an informative interview.
  10. Employee Interview Questions: Before setting up the interview, make sure you’re prepared to answer this list of questions that the interviewee may have for you.

Retaining Great Employees

After piling large amounts of time and money into finding and training qualified employees, HR departments must continue to invest in their top candidates by providing extra benefits, opportunities and flexibility.

  1. 25 Ways to Reward Employees (Without Spending a Dime): Find economical ways to spoil your employees here. From maintaining flexible work hours to sending them to parties and special events, you’ll boost everyone’s mood.
  2. Tips to Help Employees Cope With Disaster: In times of great stress or family emergency, employees look to the HR department for understanding and leniency. Use this article as a guide for what to do when a worker is faced with a disaster.
  3. Employee Wellness Programs: Consider starting an employee wellness program for your company to " increase productivity, boost morale and vitality, reduce stress, reduce absenteeism, and control preventable healthcare costs within an organization."
  4. Employee Loyalty: How Accurate is Your Perception?: Just because your top employees show up to the office each day on time and ready to work doesn’t mean they’re not planning on leaving you for one of your competitors. Check out this article for help deciphering your employees’ company loyalty.
  5. How to Attract and Retain Great Employees: Simple tips like "treat employees like human beings" and "keep [workers] interested in their jobs" actually go a long way when employees evaluate how happy they are in their jobs.
  6. Ten Ways to Attract and Retain Great Employees: Find out what today’s employees are really looking for in a career with the advice given in this article.
  7. 10 Reasons Why Organizations Are Not Able to Retain Employees: Management consultant and blogger Gautam Ghosh warns employers and HR pros against making one of these ten mistakes.
  8. How to Retain Employees: This AllBusiness.com article maintains that "a high turnover rate is costly in both direct and indirect costs." To retain your top employees, first understand their reasons for wanting to leave.
  9. Manager’s Role in Retention: This post argues that the manager’s role in motivating and retaining employees is vital. Learn how to reinvent your current rewards and review systems to integrate managers.
  10. Why Great Employees Quit: What You Can Do To Keep Them: Ph.D. Carl Robinson explores the many reasons why valuable employees quit their jobs and how human resources professionals can get them to stay.

Parting Ways

When you have to fire an employee or when one of your top workers decides to quit, read these articles for tips on managing the situation appropriately.

  1. Downsizing and Layoffs: If your business needs to lay off several employees, check out this resource to inform yourself about your rights and the rights of your employees.
  2. Firing Employees Who are Hurting Your Business: Don’t be afraid to let employees go if they’re doing more harm than good to your business. This article provides tips on smoothing over the firing process.
  3. Counteroffers: Effective Retention Tool, or Display of Desperation?: The HR Daily Advisor breaks down the pros and cons of submitting a counteroffer in the event a prized employee decides to quit.
  4. How to Fire an Employee: This article includes great tips that often go overlooked by managers when firing employees. Examples include letting the fired employee say goodbye to coworkers and allowing the worker to clean out his own space.
  5. Maternity and Paternity Leave: For ideas on "drawing up a maternity and paternity leave policy," read this article from PersonnelToday.com.
  6. Setting the Proper Tone for a Termination Meeting: Ideas like thanking the employee and letting the employee have a chance to respond are smart tips for dismissing workers with grace.
  7. When Should You Fire an Employee?: If you’re having trouble deciding whether or not an employee’s poor performance is worthy of a dismissal, read this article for help making your decision.
  8. How to Fire an Employee: Use this checklist to cover your bases before firing an employee.
  9. Situations Where You Have to Be Extra Careful When Firing Employees: How do you fire an employee that has previously made sexual harassment or discrimination complaints? What do you do when you want to break an employment contract? This article tackles all kinds of unsavory termination situations.
  10. What if Your Best Employee Quits Suddenly?: This article goes over the pros and cons of an exit survey and how you can protect yourself the next time through employee retention systems that include more communication and benefits.

HR Career Path

Your entire career is devoted to helping others feel comfortable in their jobs, but what about you? Read these articles for tips and advice on developing your own career.

  1. The Path Taken: Two HR Career Roads — Field and Corporate — Present Their Own Distinct Challenges and Rewards: Deciding which human resources career path to take can be difficult. Use this article as a way to help you determine which industry fits you best.
  2. Get Into HR With Three Steps to Success: Monster.com advises those wanting to land a career in HR to work on defining your goals, build a team of resources and mentors and keep your options open.
  3. How Do I Break Into Other HR Areas Besides Recruiting?: If you’d love to work in HR but are tired of recruiting ads, check out the advice given here.
  4. How to Break Into HR (Legally, That Is): The Evil HR Lady recommends different ways in which professionals can cross over to positions in HR.
  5. How to Get Into HR: This article from Personnel Today gives tips on how to break into the human resources industry.

Industry News and Support

HR pros need to stay on top of industry news and competitor’s offerings if they want to recruit the best candidates. Check below for articles and resources that will help you stay current.

  1. Internet and Web 2.0 Creates Unfamiliar Battleground for HR Professionals: Now that social networking sites like Facebook are also used for professional means, human resources professionals aren’t sure how to discipline employees for spending too much time online.
  2. Noncompetes Moving "Down-Market." Are They for Your Company Too?: This article chronicles the trend of noncompetes becoming more and more popular requirements for even blue collar and entry-level positions.
  3. Here Comes Paid Parental Leave: Feel guilty about not being able to afford paid parental leave for your small business employees? This article discusses the trend.
  4. How to Get Your CEO to Lean on You for Advice: Want tips for becoming the boss’s professional confidant? Read these great tips.
  5. Payroll Growth Slows Significantly: Check here for quick stats on payroll growth in U.S. employment.
  6. Firms Step in to Help Dover Employees’ Relocation Costs: As part of a benefits package, should your company start offering relocation costs to attract valuable employees?
  7. Human Resource Executive Online: This website updates news articles regularly so that you’re always informed about industry headlines.
  8. hrVillage.com: Browse newsworthy human resource articles at this site.
  9. Too Much Colleague Spam Inspires New Sorting Tools: Read about these tools and services which will help your office sort through e-mails more easily and remain productive all day.

For Inspiration and Humor

HR pros often feel under appreciated. Check out these articles and video clips for inspiration to keep on going.

  1. What People Want From Work: Employee Motivation and Positive Morale: Understand your employees’ situation better by reading this article. You’ll understand that money and an inclusive, mobile working environment are top factors.
  2. Gen Y Myths Debunked: Whether you’re a young member of Generation Y and feel discriminated against at work, or if you’re hesitant to hire the newest crop of young graduates because of negative stereotypes, read this article to find out why Gen Y has a lot more to offer than laziness and false expectations.
  3. 4 Things That Rile HR the Most: Get a laugh out of this list of HR professional’s top pet peeves.
  4. Why HR Gets No Respect: If you don’t think your HR department or position is getting the attention it deserves, read this article to find out why business execs undervalue their HR teams.
  5. What Do You Do All Day?: According to The Evil HR Lady, "one of the jobs of HR is to understand the business. This means we need to understand what people do all day." Click on the link for a well-deserved dose of humor.
  6. Casual Dress Humor: Send around these pretend memos from HR re: casual dress Friday to get a life from your coworkers.
  7. Top 10 Short Job Descriptions: Take a break from writing tedious job descriptions and check out this hilarious parody of the grueling HR task.
  8. Components of HR That I Sorta Kinda Like: The HR Wench admits that some parts of HR are actually rewarding and fun, like benefits administration, handling crises and generally kicking butt.

Miscellaneous Articles

From popular HR rants to exemplary recruitment campaigns, use this list of general resources to connect with other HR pros.

  1. Leadership Styles: The recruiting animal puts forth profiles of different types of leaders: the power-mad dictator, the expert know-it-all, the presidential coach and the professional. Learn how to spot them during your next interview session.
  2. Lie on the Job Like Ferris: Is It OK to Use Sick Days for Job Interviews?: The HR Capitalist wonders: "do you look the other way when people use sick days to kick back? Do your feelings depend on what the person is using the sick days for?" Check out this post about giving employees a little slack.
  3. "Assist" is the Operative Word: Tired of getting other employee’s chores dumped on your desk? Read this post to find out how to deal.
  4. How to Deal with Liars at Work: No one likes a liar. This post has tips on how to deal with one without causing a scene or seeming to accusatory.
  5. Top 10 Best Recruiting Websites: KnowHR lists its favorite recruiting websites, not for resources to help you find new talent, but for their great examples of how to attract great candidates.
  6. 10 Resolutions for a Healthy Workplace: Forward this post to your entire office for inspiration on how to promote a healthy, happy workplace.
  7. Conducting Employee Reviews: This detailed article from Entrepreneur.com provides excellent tips and ideas for evaluating employees.
  8. Morale and Motivation Checklist: Keeping managers and lower-level employees motivated and happy can be a challenge. Look to this list for ways to improve company morale.

The To-Do List To-Do List: 50 Tips to Streamline Your Task Lists

Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 1:10am by Site Administrator

Staying on top of all the things you have to do isn’t always easy, but there are lots of ways to make your task list simpler. Whether that means keeping unnecessary items out, or just getting a handle on organization, every little bit helps. Test out these ideas for the ultimate in task list streamlining.

  1. Use a small piece of paper: By limiting the room in which you can list tasks, you’ll be forced to choose only the most important items.
  2. Keep yourself to a 10 point maximum: Promise yourself to never keep more than 10 items on your to do list at one time.
  3. Categorize: Whether you’re breaking your list down by location or overall task, compartmentalizing it will help you stay on top of organization.
  4. Use Tudumo: This tool makes it easy to organize, prioritize, and search for tasks.
  5. Create a someday list: Keep aspirational tasks out of your revolving to do list.
  6. Write a Not To Do List: By writing out items that you need to let go of, you’ll free up time and mental space for what’s important.
  7. Implement a Tiny To do List: Write a list with only three important tasks for one day, and you’ll focus on the most important things to accomplish.
  8. Use a task bowl: If the order in which you complete tasks isn’t important, write items out and put them into a bowl, then fish them out and complete tasks on the spot.
  9. Break it down: If you’ve got a task that can’t be completed all at once, turn it into a number of tasks, so you’ll be able to finish each one at a sitting.
  10. Delegate: Some items just don’t belong on your list. If there’s a task that could be better done by someone else, give it to them.
  11. Be specific: Instead of writing vague tasks like "go to the grocery store," tell yourself to "pick up eggs, milk, and cheese."
  12. Get picky: Your task list doesn’t have to be a wish list. Only write down the things that, if neglected, will let someone down or make your life miserable.
  13. Hide future tasks: If you’ve got items that won’t be relevant for a few weeks, or are contingent upon completing some other task, use an application that lets you hide items until later.
  14. Start small: Start your list for the day, week, or month with small tasks that don’t take too much effort. This will give you the momentum to keep going and move on to larger tasks.
  15. Include time estimates: When writing down tasks, include an estimate of the amount of time the task will take you. This way, you’ll be better able to schedule your time and prioritize items.
  16. Assign ranks: Give each task a rating of A, B, or C based on your priorities, so your mission is clear.
  17. Use next actions: When working on tasks that require multiple actions, have only one action on your task list at any given time. Once you’ve completed that particular task, refer to a separate project list for the next action to add to your revolving task list.
  18. Set time limits: Keep items from living on your list too long by assigning them time limits. If you haven’t completed them within a certain amount of time, promise yourself to finally do it or mark it off your list.
  19. Avoid listing daily items: For repetitive, daily tasks like picking up the mail, or dropping kids off at school, use your calendar instead to avoid cluttering up your to do list.
  20. Stay on top of recurring tasks: For tasks that need to be done on a regular basis, but don’t have specific deadlines, use a task manager like Sciral Consistency. This way, you’ll stay on top of oil changes, laundry, and other items that don’t really merit a revolving spot on your task list.
  21. Use two-minute checks: Periodically, take 15 minutes to look at your task list and see if there’s anything you can finish in 2 minutes. If you can, knock them out within your period of 15 minutes, then move on.
  22. Focus on value: Set a monetary valuation on your time, and only add items to your task list if their profitability meets or exceeds the value of the time they’ll take up.
  23. Make the answer no until proven otherwise: Instead of saying yes to everything until you find a reason not to do it, start off with a no until you can find a good reason to do it. This will keep a number of tasks off your list.
  24. Do super-easy tasks right away: If the act of writing down a task will take almost as much time as doing it, leave it off of your list.
  25. Leave out the obvious: Items that tend to jump out at you when they need to be done, like emptying a smelly trash can, don’t belong on your list.
  26. Group tasks: Organize tasks like phone calls and responding to email together, and you’ll get them done quicker because your mind is in the communication zone at that time.
  27. Categorize by time: Create separate lists for different blocks of time, such as a 5 minute list, an hour list, or a weekend list.
  28. Consider reality: Can you actually do the tasks you want to list? If they’re impossible or better done by someone else, they need to stay off of your task list.
  29. Note projects: If any given task is part of a larger project, be sure to make a note of it for easy skimming of your task list.
  30. Assign a Most Important Task: Set your standards low and identify just one task that absolutely has to get done.
  31. Keep an idea list: Separate ideas from actual tasks by keeping them in a separate list.
  32. Throw it away: If you’re overwhelmed by your task list, take one last look at it to identify any truly important items, and just throw it away. You’ll start off with a new, clean slate and be able to focus on current, important tasks.
  33. Make an hour-based task list: Turn your task list into an hourly schedule, then promise to stick to it.
  34. Keep it visible: Put your to do list in a sidebar or another place where you can’t ignore it to stay on top of tasks.
  35. Put it all in one place: This sounds like a no-brainer, but you should keep your revolving list in one place, instead of where you are when you come up with a task.
  36. Use the Printable CEO: These printouts will help you track tasks and more.
  37. Color code: Assign urgency and importance, and it will be easy to see what tasks you need to get to next.
  38. Give yourself points: Make each task worth points, and limit your task list to a specific point value.
  39. Write it at the end of the day: By writing your daily list for tomorrow at the end of the day, you’ll still have the tasks you need to do fresh in your mind.
  40. Automate: If you’re using an electronic task list, make use of any functions that automatically update your to do list based on date, completed tasks, and other criteria.
  41. Use tags: For those with electronic task services, use tags to keep track of what you’re doing.
  42. Set up reminders: Make your task list work for you even when you’re not looking at it by setting up reminders through email, messaging, or SMS.
  43. Get mapping capabilities: Integrate your to do list with maps for added functionality.
  44. Share: Use a task list program that you can use with others so delegation and task sharing is easy.
  45. Take it with you: Use a task service that allows you to use it on your phone or via the web.
  46. Integrate with RSS: Share your list with others, or get updated about changes to shared lists via RSS.
  47. Keep notes: In many to do list applications, you can make notes on each item, so you can give yourself details or status updates.
  48. Stay on top of deadlines: Use an application that allows you to view deadlines at a glance to know what you’re up against.
  49. Use post its: Productivity experts may not agree, but by using post its, you can limit entries, categorize, and best of all, throw them away.
  50. Integrate with a calendar: Get an overview of your day, week and month, by using a to do list that shares a brain with your calendar.

50 Online Resources for Decluttering Your Life

Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 1:58am by Site Administrator

With so much going on at home and at work, getting the clutter off of your desk and out of your closet can seem like the last thing on your mind. But clutter can do more than take up space, it can also have a marked affect on your state of mind. Cluttered spaces can zap your productivity and make even doing simple day-to-day tasks take much longer than they should. Here are 50 resources you can check out to help you learn how to clear out the clutter and take back your productivity.

Blogs

Get great advice and ideas on clearing out the clutter in your life from these bloggers.

  1. Unclutter.com: This blog is all about fighting clutter and getting organized. Find articles on everything from decluttering your kitchen to cleaning out your purse or wallet.
  2. Zenhabits: Find your inner Zen guru on this blog. Learn about how to simplify, declutter, get in shape, increase your productivity and more.
  3. Your Life. Organized: Monica Ricci blogs all about getting organized here. You’ll also find a series of podcasts, and links to great organizational resources.
  4. Declutter It!: Written by Julie Bonner, this blog gives suggestions and advice on how you can make your life more clutter free both at home and at the office.
  5. The Positivity Blog: Learn to look at the bright side with this blog. There are also loads of posts on simplfiying your life and becoming more productive.
  6. FlyLady: The Fly Lady is a decluttering and cleaning guru. On her site you’ll find information on how to implement her clutter clearing process as well as humorous insights.
  7. Neat and Simple Living Blog: This blog is dedicated to helping readers let go of clutter, organize, acquire less, and learn to love life.
  8. The Clutter Diet Blog: Author Lorie Marrero blogs about all things related to organization and decluttering. Check out recent posts on organizing holiday decorations and keeping your bookshelf neat and clean.
  9. Jeri’s Organizing and Decluttering News: Professional organizer Jeri Dansky gives her ideas and thoughts on organization in this informative blog.
  10. The Happy Living Blog: Are the things in your home making you miserable? Check out this blog to learn how to live happier and more simply.
  11. Organization Place Blog: This blog gives you links to tons of organizational products that can help make your life a little easier.
  12. My Simpler Life: Here you’ll find advice and commentary on how to live a simpler life with less stuff and still be happy and fulfilled.
  13. Organising Queen: This blog is all about organizing your life. From your time and space to your business and personal life, you’ll find information on all aspects of organization.
  14. Organizing Your Home and Family: This blog lives up to its name, with loads of posts on how you can make your life easier at home by keeping things organized and streamlined.

Articles

Need a little guidance on getting started or help keeping up? These articles can give you some pointers and make getting clutter free easier than ever.

  1. Declutter 101: Where Do I Start?: Beginner declutters should check out this primer to learn the basics of getting started cleaning up your home or office.
  2. How to Declutter Your Life: Here you’ll find helpful advice on how to streamline your life and eliminate clutter as well as some tips on things to avoid.
  3. Organizing 101: Resolve to Declutter: This article from Style at Home can help you learn how to get organized by eliminating some of the clutter around your home.
  4. 15 Great Decluttering Tips: For those who struggle with decluttering, cleaning up and throwing things out can be a real battle. Here you’ll find 15 tips from fellow clutterbugs on how to keep your home clean and tidy.
  5. Declutter Your Desk: If you’re like most people, you spend the better part of your day sitting at your desk so make it a pleasant and organized place to be by using the tips in this article.
  6. 50 Tips to Unclutter Your Blog: If you make money from your blog, having one that’s clutter free and easy to read can make a big difference in your profit margin. This article will give you some pointers on making your blog look clean and user friendly.
  7. This is the Year to Declutter Your Life: Check out these articles from the Oprah show to help you start the year out clutter free. You’ll find videos and articles on the reasons behind clutter, how you can challenge yourself to make a clean sweep, and inspiring stories of others who made big changes in fighting clutter.
  8. Top Ten Creative Ways to Declutter: Clearing your home of clutter doesn’t have to be completely boring and tedious. This article gives some ideas on how to make cleaning out your closet more exciting and imaginative.
  9. Spring Cleaning Checklist: Start off the spring, or any other season, with a sparkling clean home. This checklist will take you through all the parts of your home that you should give a good scrub and thorough cleaning.
  10. 5 Steps from Clutter to Control: Fighting clutter doesn’t have to be a drawn out battle. This article gives some simple ways that you can start taking control of your space again.
  11. Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: Get advice on getting rid of all the junk sitting around your house and make it work in harmony with the principles of Feng Shui in this article from About.com.
  12. Conquering Clutter: This informative and in-depth article from the AARP gives some insight into the reasons behind the clutter in our lives as well as ways we can fight it.
  13. How to Purge Your Closet: Don’t let your clothes take over your closet. This article can help you learn how to fight the the overflow and gives a simple way you can help yourself know what to give away.
  14. Zen Mind: How to Declutter: Help to clear your mind by cleaning your space. This article gives several great tips on how to tackle day-to-day clutter without becoming overwhelmed.
  15. Top 10 Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life: Clutter doesn’t just have to be in tangible form, it can also make it very difficult to do work on your computer if you let files, photos and emails pile up on your hard drive. This article will give you ten ways you can reduce this kind of clutter.

Programs

These computer programs will help you clean up your desktop and keep the rest of your life organized and hassle free.

  1. Chaos Antidote: Have a messy hard drive that just can’t seem to be tamed? Try out this program to help you get control of the clutter that builds up on your virtual desktop just like it does on your real desktop.
  2. Famundo: This program is great for busy families. It has calendars, address books, photo sharing and more to keep you organized and ready to go.
  3. My Reminder Service: Get rid of all those sticky notes and index cards with reminders scrawled on them and put your important tasks in this program instead. It will send a reminder to your cell phone, PDA or email so you’ll never forget an important date.
  4. Check Free: Eliminate the messy paperwork from phone, power and water bills by paying them online. This service allows you to get and pay almost any bill online.
  5. Absolutely Busy: Never lose a client’s or friend’s email again with this program. You can enter contact information, track leads, and even stay on top of projects.

Organizations and Groups

Whether you’re looking for help cleaning out your garage or just want to meet with others that have clutter issues, these groups can help.

  1. National Association of Professional Organizers: Sometimes you just need a little professional help. Find an organizer near you through this association and get organization tips to help you get started on your own.
  2. Faithful Organizers: This organization focuses on professional organizers that also embrace the Christian faith. If you’re looking for a professional that shares your values as well as your need to get things organized check out this site to find someone to call in your neighborhood.
  3. Messiestalk: This online forum, created by founder of Messies Anonymous Sandra Felton, gives users a way to chat about any clutter, cleaning and organization issues they might have and get tips and advice from others.
  4. Clutterers Anonymous: Need some help and support overcoming the clutter in your home? Find all the resources you need on this site to get the assistance you need from others in your same boat.
  5. Freecycle: What to do with all that stuff you cleaned out of your closet? Try trading it or giving it away on Freecycle. You’ll be getting clutter out of your home and giving your stuff to someone who needs it.
  6. Declutter Meetups: Here you’ll find links to groups that meet to discuss clutter, organizing and living simply all over the United States so you can make new friends and get your clutter under control.

Websites

This collection of websites can help you find resources about clutter, give advice, and provide great reading material for motivating you.

  1. Real Simple: The online version of this print magazine is a great place to get tips and ideas on simplifying your life, cleaning, and organizing your home.
  2. How To Organize, Declutter & Simplify Your Life: This Squidoo lens gives some great advice and tips on ways you can help eliminate clutter from your life, organize your closet, and more.
  3. Online Organizing.com: Here you’ll find resources to purchase organization materials, hire a professional, get advice, get a newsletter and loads of other useful resources to help you get a handle on the chaos in your life.
  4. Clutterbug.net: Professional organizer Christy Best gives advice on everything from organizing for the holidays to how clutter prone people should shop on this informative website.
  5. Declutter First: This site is dedicated to helping people get organized by first decluttering their lives. You’ll find articles on clearing clutter from your kitchen, garage and closets as well as some general tips to keep in mind.
  6. Organized Home: This website is full of ideas on how you can clean up and organize your home. Learn how to create a storage plan, get rid of unneeded wardrobe items and more.
  7. Life Organizers: Does your life need a decluttering overhaul? This site has loads of articles on cleaning, organizing, and decluttering your home as well as on how you can live happier and healthier.
  8. Clutter Workshop: This site, by clutter relief coach Beth Johnson, contains an ebook, online classes, and even forums where you can get help eliminating clutter from your life.
  9. How to Get Rid of Things: If you’re the type of person who hangs on to 10 years worth of magazines that you never look at, chances are that you could use a little help getting rid of some things around the house. This site gives advice on what to toss in just about every category.
  10. Home Organize It: On this site you’ll find loads of resources on getting the mess out of your home. From hiring a professional to cleaning out your business or personal office, this site has information on it all.

25 Chores You Can Actually Do Online

Friday, January 25, 2008 at 12:42am by Site Administrator

Chores, by definition, are rarely fun. No one wants to do them, but everyone has to get them done. Fortunately, we live in an age that values using technology to streamline everyday life, so there are many services out there designed to make your chores less of a chore, and we’ve profiled 25 of them here.

  1. Banking: These days, many people rarely have to step foot into a "real bank," preferring instead to perform banking transactions online.
  2. Bills: Just like online banking, paying your bills online is now easier than ever. It’s hard to find a bill that you can’t pay online, and many banks offer a one-stop place to do it all.
  3. Grocery shopping: Netgrocer, Peapod, and even brick-and-mortar stores like Albertsons and Safeway have ventured into online grocery store territory. Many shoppers find this method to be cost effective and time saving because of the organization it offers.
  4. Taxes: Individuals within a specific income limit can use Free File from the IRS to prepare their taxes online. Others beyond this limit can use widely available alternatives like H&R Block, TurboTax, and TaxACT.
  5. Travel planning: Whether you’re checking out fares or researching the best places to go, the Internet is an increasingly popular place to go for travel advice.
  6. Photo sharing: While sharing photos may not feel like a chore for some, people with children and/or far flung family members often find that their loved ones are no longer satisfied with an annual holiday card photo. Keeping up with this chore is easy when you use one of the many photo sharing sites online.
  7. Update your family: Beyond photos, you can use emails, newsletters, and blogs as a great way to keep your loved ones up to date on family happenings without going to too much trouble.
  8. Get movie listings: The days of picking up the newspaper for movie listings are all but gone. Now, you can look up showtimes online, while at the same time reading reviews and viewing trailers to help you decide on the best pick. You can even use movie sites to find free sneak previews, deals, and more.
  9. Plan a party: Online services make it really easy to plan a party online. You can send out invitations, consider themes, get ideas, and more, all with a few clicks of your mouse.
  10. Get directions: Your key map has been taken down a notch by the plethora of online mapping services available today. Using these services, you can get detailed, turn-by-turn directions, often with helpful add-ons like highway preferences, gas station price comparisons, and business directories. You can even send directions to Grandma via email or links.
  11. Renew government documents: Many local governments offer online renewal and registration for driver’s licenses, plates, and more, saving you a trip to the office.
  12. Shop: Hitting the mall and other shopping centers is a dreaded experience for some, but with online shopping you can skip the crowds and often find better deals to boot.
  13. Ship a package: With many shipping services, you can calculate rates, print documents, and pay for the shipment, all online. Often, all that’s left is a drop off, but you can usually pay to have your package picked up if they’re not stopping by already.
  14. Nag others about doing chores: Getting others to do work is just as much a chore as regular ones. Services like Monkey On Your Back automate the nagging process for you.
  15. Order pizza: Nearly every major pizza chain now has online ordering, so you don’t have to rummage through your junk drawer for a coupon anymore. Rather, their specials and deals are cleanly presented on the ordering page.
  16. Comparison shopping: Before the advent of e-commerce, comparison shopping was a costly venture, both in time and gas money. But now, all you have to do is go to one of the many sites that tracks prices to find the best deal out there.
  17. Clip coupons: Often paired up with comparison shopping sites, coupon sites track the best deals, both online and off. You’ll usually find coupon codes or printable coupons that can be taken to brick-and-mortar stores.
  18. Check out the news: If you’re not a newshound, keeping up to date on the latest in current events may feel like a chore, especially if you’re tuning into overhyped TV news or flipping through old-fashioned newspapers. Reading the news is more streamlined than ever online, with organized categories, RSS feeds, and newsgroups.
  19. Check out the weather: No longer do you have to wait until your local news burns through the latest fires and murders to figure out what you need to wear tomorrow. Learning about weather in your area or where you’ll be traveling is as easy as entering a zip code or metro area into a web site.
  20. Find a doctor: Through doctor directories, you can literally shop around for your physician. These sites make it easy to learn about their education, insurance details, and even read reviews to find out about what others have experienced with the doctor.
  21. Get recipes: You don’t have to read women’s magazines or drag out cookbooks to learn how to cook tasty concoctions anymore. There is a seemingly endless supply of recipes online that are easily categorized, searchable, and reviewed by other cooks.
  22. Research your health: Whether you’re in search of helpful pregnancy information or curious about alternative treatments, the Internet is full of useful resources that offer helpful tips and create talking points you can bring to your doctor.
  23. Research DIY projects: Whether you’re the do-it-yourself type, or just forced into servitude by your spouse, you can find loads of great ideas and step-by-step instructions for projects online.
  24. Reserve and renew library books: Save yourself a trip to the library, or snag the latest Harry Potter before some punk kid gets their hands on it by using online library services. Many local library systems offer online catalogs, reservations, and account services designed to make your life just a little bit easier.
  25. Set up utilities: Moving is a chore, not just because of the mass of stuff you have to load and unload, but because you have to go through the process of setting up services to your home all over again. Luckily, most of this can be accomplished online, either one by one through your providers, or using services that do the work for you, and even offer comparison shopping.

Top 100 Motivational Blog Posts of All Time

Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 2:41am by Site Administrator

The new year ushers in loads of resolutions and good intentions, many of which don’t make it past the first few weeks of January. Staying motivated enough to find a better job, lose ten pounds, or create a solid personal budget are tough when we’re already battling hectic lives. To help you find the inspiration you need to stay focused all year long, check out this list of 100 motivational blog posts.

Our Favorites

This first list includes some of our favorite posts about staying motivated, from discovering strength and inspiration where you least expected it to learning how to organize your entire life.

  1. 1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward: Learn how to stay positive with this simple mantra, even when you’re experiencing setbacks.
  2. Stay Motivated When You Don’t Like It: The problem with motivation is that sometimes you’d just rather give up. Read this post for tips on how to boost your morale even when you don’t feel like being productive.
  3. How to Wake Up Feeling Totally Alert: Steve Pavlina helps readers go from "grog monster to early riser" with the tips and ideas in this post.
  4. Top 5 Tips for Getting Motivated: Life coach Fiona Harrold doles out five surefire tips for finding motivation and sticking with it.
  5. How to Be Motivated to Get Down to Work: This post explores how time management, human nature and momentum affect motivation.
  6. Developing Positive Patterns: Improve your life with baby steps by discovering and implementing positive patterns in your lifestyle.
  7. Design a Home Office: Tips for Setting Up Your Work Space: Working from home is great…as long as you can stay motivated. Learn how the design of a home office can affect your productivity.
  8. How to Stay Positive When You Know Your Life Sucks: It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the bad things in our lives. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, learn how to stay positive and motivated to make the changes that will improve your life.
  9. Maintaining Motivation: This post has tips for staying motivated when you want to exercise, set goals, get organized and more.
  10. Free Tools to Manage New Year’s Resolutions: Lifehacker’s set of online tools will help you manage your New Year’s resolutions all year round.

GTD Posts

David Allen’s Getting Things Done philosophy has helped countless individuals and businesses become more productive and successful. Check out the following posts for tips on staying motivated and organized, whether at home, in the office or on vacation.

  1. Getting Started with "Getting Things Done": 43 Folders posts this beginner’s guide to the GTD philosophy.
  2. David Allen Speeds Up by Slowing Down: Lifehacker explores David Allen’s method of emptying the mind of useless information so that we can "slow down and think," eventually resulting in a faster, more productive work day.
  3. How to: fix Leaks in Your GTD System: If you’ve noticed a few holes in your implementation of GTD, don’t give up. Read this article to discover remedies for all kinds of GTD leaks.
  4. Are Your Lists Really Complete?: Learning how to create effective lists is one of the basic principles of GTD. Check out this post for tips on how to make sure you’re maximizing each of your daily lists.
  5. GTDInbox: Read all about this Gmail app that coordinates your inbox with GTD principles.
  6. 17 Interviews with GTD Master, David Allen: Lifeclever puts together this list of 17 interviews with David Allen for expert tips and advice from the GTD master himself.
  7. A Guide to Getting Things Done: This overview of David Allen and the GTD system is a helpful guide for anyone wanting to learn productivity and motivational tips.
  8. Geek to Live: Getting Things Done with Google Notebook: This tutorial shows readers how to use Google Notebook according to GTD principles.
  9. The GTD FAQ: If you have questions about starting or maintaining a GTD system, use this FAQ guide to find answers.
  10. Massive GTD Resource List: Zen Habits publishes this resource guide of GTD-related links to connect you to all things GTD, from books to blogs to tools and software.

Fitness

Getting into shape and losing weight is a popular New Year’s resolution. Read this list for tips on how to stick to your workout and diet routines for good.

  1. Fitness Programs: Staying Motivated: After you’ve made the decision to join a gym or start a running club, how do you make sure you stick with the program? This post from the Mayo Clinic gives great tips on staying motivated.
  2. How to Stay Motivated to Exercise: Follow this simple guide from eHow.com for tips on sticking to your plan to get fit.
  3. 8 Mistakes that can Wreck Your Fitness Plan: Check out this list of things not to do when starting a new fitness routine. You’ll find out how to beat burnout, stay motivated and more.
  4. Exercise and Cold Weather: This post shows readers how to "stay motivated, fit and safe" during exercise, even when the weather is freezing cold.
  5. Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity: If you’re still not convinced that exercising will affect your body in a healthy, beneficial way, read this post to find out how simple exercises can improve your mood, fight chronic diseases and help you sleep better.
  6. Offbeat Ways to Eat Better, Exercise More: If you’ve tried every diet and exercise plan out there, read this post for creative ideas on how to burn extra calories and reinvent your menu.
  7. Gyminee Blog: Gyminee’s online fitness and nutrition tracker keeps your goals on track by helping you easily manage schedules and more online. Check out their blog for product updates, the Entrepreneurs of the Week specials and featured chats on the group forum.
  8. Staying Motivated: This post gives tips on staying motivated, even when you’ve reached a plateau in your fitness program or when you don’t notice results as quickly as you’d hoped.
  9. Sick of the Gym? Find Your Sport: If you’re having trouble sticking to your fitness plan, you might need a change of scenery. Use this guide as a resource for finding what sport or activity gets you moving.
  10. 13 Fitness Tips to Stay Motivated and Work Out Effectively: Buzzle.com posts this itemized list to give readers an approachable way to conquer their exercise obstacles.

Health

From battles with stress to overeating, these posts help readers manage their health issues in a positive way.

  1. 9 Hidden Reasons to Stay Motivated: If the skinny pictures from your past aren’t keeping you motivated any longer, take a look at this list of different inspiration ideas for losing weight.
  2. Healthy Recipes: The Mayo Clinic offers up lots of healthy recipes for heart-healthy, meatless, diabetes and other special diets.
  3. Your Diabetes Diet: Stay Motivated by Breaking Down the Barriers: Anyone with diabetes, especially those who develop the condition later in life, can experience set backs when trying to stick with a diabetes-friendly diet. This post helps you deal with barriers like financial limitations, social stigmas and more so that you can continue to put your health first.
  4. 11 Things Children Can Teach You About Weight Loss: Find out how a child’s outlook on life can help you lose weight. Items include "everything can be a game" and "it’s always more fun with friends around."
  5. Eight Ways to Beat Stress: Discovery Health provides readers with eight effective ways to beat stress so that you can use more energy on realizing your goals.
  6. 19 Hacks to Stay Healthy at Your Workstation: While most of us have good intentions when it comes to taking care of ourselves, our resolutions leave us as soon as we walk into the office each day. Read this post for 19 ideas on how to continue being healthy and energetic even when you’re at work.
  7. How to Stay Clean After Drug Rehab: Entering the real world after spending time in drug rehab is frightening. If you’re nervous about relapsing or you want to help a friend who’s leaving rehab, take a look at this post for ideas on staying clean.
  8. Teenagers: How to Stay Healthy: Teenagers sometimes don’t believe that the health choices they make today can affect their bodies in the long term. This post details the ways in which smoking, vaccines and sex can be risky even when you’re young.
  9. Top 10 Ways to Stay Motivated: This post has great tips for staying motivated while on a diet.
  10. How to Fight Depression and Anxiety: Depression often leads to apathy, making it difficult to pull yourself out and start living life. This post has ideas on staying focused on the fight against depression and anxiety.

Spiritual

Whatever your religious background, finding ways to nurture your spirit can help boost the motivation you’re looking for in other areas of your life.

  1. Feng Shui Your Life: Consider discovering the elements of feng shui to promote peace, harmony and energy in your life. This page will connect you to tips on arranging your office, bedroom and entire lifestyle according to feng shui.
  2. The Purpose of Yoga: Motivation for Better Health: This article documents the ways that yoga can unite the mind, body and spirit to increase productivity and motivation.
  3. Motivating Your Spiritual Side: This post gives tips on how to improve your own personal spirituality like "practice focusing more on others" and volunteering and practicing mediation or prayer.
  4. Avoiding Spiritual Complacency: Christians may want to read this post to find out how they can improve their spiritual lives by continuing to challenge themselves and learn more about their faith.
  5. DailySpiritualGuide.com: This website publishes daily spiritual messages to inspire and motivate readers of all faiths. Click through the posts to find one that speaks to you or submit your favorite message to share your inspiration with others.
  6. The Benefits of Meditation: Tips and Techniques: Meditation can help you stay focused on achieving your goals by clearing your mind of harmful, distracting thoughts and energies. This post gives lots of tips for practicing effective meditation.
  7. Meditation for Beginners: 20 Practical Tips for Quieting the Mind: The Zen Habits blog eases beginners into meditation by sharing tips like "make it a formal practice" and "notice small adjustments" in mood and movement.
  8. How to Stay Focused and Live Life Wholesomely: New Age Today gives advice on how to stay focused through self-love and self-discipline.
  9. Finding Daily Inspiration in Difficult Times: No matter what goal you’re working towards, you’ll experience bad days along with the good. Christians can stay motivated by reading this article about "reaching out to God everyday."
  10. Stay Focused with Essential Oils: Lifestyle "change expert" Laura Lewis shares with readers the kinds of oils and scents that promote motivation and productivity to help you stay focused.

Career-Oriented

Whether you’re in the market for a new gig or just need some motivation to show up each day, check out these inspirational posts.

  1. Job Satisfaction: Strategies to Make Work More Gratifying: Push yourself to find the meaning in your job by reading this post from Revolution Health.
  2. What Does Your Career Mean to You?: Find out which professional field you’re meant to conquer with the tips and information provided in this post.
  3. How to Survive (and Thrive!) in a Job You Hate: Though it’s tempting to walk out every time your boss ignores your hard work, quitting without a plan isn’t a good idea. This post helps you survive your nightmare job by reminding yourself why you’re there in the first place and having realistic expectations.
  4. Finding Balance and Meaning in a Nine-to-Five World: Tips like "stay young" and "work in a state of awareness" help readers find the meaning in their jobs and learn how to create balance around work and their personal lives.
  5. Beginning Your Job Search: Getting stuck in a frustrating job search is maddening. Don’t lose your motivation, though, by taking any old job that comes your way. Use the tips and resources at WomenForHire.com to keep you focused on the career you really want.
  6. Success for Short Timers: How to Stay Motivated While Moving On: If you’ve already decided to move to a new city or make a career change, how do you stay motivated at your current job? Let this guide help you show up to work on time each morning without being miserable.
  7. How to Be Bulletproof in the Outsourced Economy: Employees lose jobs to international outsourcing everyday. Instead of getting frustrated or giving up, learn how to protect yourself against outsourcing and boost your overall job performance.
  8. How to Stay Sane During Your Contracting Career: Signing on as a contractor usually means you get to create your own schedule, pick and choose clients and maybe even work from home. On the other hand, contractors miss out on regular benefits and have to figure out their tax situation on their own. Read this post for tips on staying sane during your stint as a contractor.
  9. Find a Job: Create a Job Search Plan: Staying motivated during the job search is tough. Make a solid job search plan to help you stay on schedule and achieve your career goals.
  10. How to Resolve Conflicts with Your Co-Workers: The Career Journal from the Wall Street Journal offers advice for professionals who run into trouble dealing with irritating co-workers.
  11. 17 Ways to Survive Your New Boss: Just when you were getting comfortable with your office space, work schedule and job responsibilities, your department welcomes a new supervisor to boss you around. Learn how to survive the change with these helpful tips.

Setting Goals

Learning how to set the right kind of goals will get you started off on the right foot. By understanding how realistic expectations can affect your motivation, you’ll work your way down your to-do lists in no time.

  1. Goal-Tracking Tools: This post gives different ideas for creating your own goal-tracking tools to help you stay on track.
  2. How to Set Goals You Will Actually Achieve: Steve Pavlina’s post includes a detailed guide for setting realistic goals in a timely manner.
  3. How to Set Goals: wikiHow: If you want a basic how-to guide to explain the easiest ways to set goals, check out this tutorial from wikiHow.
  4. Goal Setting: Why Should I Set Goals?: Setting goals "can provide motivation, persistence and desire" so that you can more effectively achieve the results you want, whether in your career, fitness routine or personal life.
  5. How to Set Goals for the New Year: Learn the difference between short-term and long-term goals, the problem with setting goals that are too big and tips for setting your own goals, all in this post.
  6. 10 Questions to Help You Set Achievable Goals: Questions and activities like "write down 3 things you love" and what do you want less of" in life will help you set appropriate, life-changing goals.
  7. Tools to Help You Focus and Concentrate on Your Goals and Objectives in Business and Employment: This post outlines why it’s important to track your goals during each step of the process. The end of the article provides links to helpful tools and websites that can help you organize your professional goals.
  8. Setting Personal Goals: Take a minute to think about the last time you focused all of your energy on bettering yourself. If you haven’t reevaluated your goals since college, it’s probably time to examine your priorities and learn how to set new personal goals.
  9. 11 Goal Setting Software and Tools: This list of free tools will help you track goals from start to finish.
  10. How to Set Financial Goals for Retirement: If you need some extra motivation to understand how saving the $50 you could have spent on shoes will affect your retirement, take a look at this simple guide for setting up a long-term budget.

Finding Inspiration

Once you’ve found what drives you, you can keep going back to your inspiration every time you lose motivation. Let these guides help you discover your secret inspiration.

  1. Your Best Self: Find Inspiration: When in doubt, ask Oprah. This special section features testimonials of successful women who found inspiration when they needed it most.
  2. How to Find Inspiration to Write Everyday: Bloggers will find this article useful, as it has great ideas for finding motivation and subject matter to create frequent postings.
  3. Motivational Quotes and Inspirational Quotes: This collection of quotes from About.com features messages about creativity, health, relationships, the military and more.
  4. 8 Ways to Find Creative Inspiration: If you’re involved in a creative project but keep losing inspiration and motivation, try one of these eight tips for bringing it back.
  5. How to Find Inspiration for Song Writing: This post focuses on finding inspiration for writing songs, but its ideas are useful for all kinds of writing, from editorials to poems.
  6. MotivateUs.com: This website is full of inspirational quotes, stories and articles designed to motivate all kinds of people.
  7. What Drives You to Success?: This list of "10 of the most compelling "drivers" that account for the correlation between success and excess" will help you put your priorities in order.
  8. What Drives You?: Take this fun test from Tickle to find out your true inspiration.
  9. Where do Writers Find Inspiration: This posting from Helium.com lists different ways that writers find inspiration. The tips are useful whether you’re involved in a writing project or not.
  10. Blogging Tips: Hundreds of Resources for Finding Content for Your Blog: Lorelle from WordPress lists all kinds of places to find inspiration so that you can continue posting on your blog.

Discovering Yourself

These posts help readers find out what motivates them by helping them create personalized tactics for achieving goals and more.

  1. Identify and Live Your Personal Values: HR reporter Susan M. Heathfield coaches readers on how to identify the values that are most important to them. Because "values impact every aspect of your life," you’ll have a much better understanding of yourself, which will help you achieve your goals and stay focused.
  2. Achieving Peak Motivation: Steve Pavlina’s belief that polarity drives productivity and motivation requires a self-examination so that you can better understand what drives you. Read this post for more tips on how to achieve and maximize peak motivation.
  3. Improve Your Self-Confidence in 15 Minutes: This posting shares with readers secrets for boosting self-confidence so that you can win back your motivation.
  4. Do You Know What You Really Want?: You’ll never stay motivated if you’re chasing after someone else’s dream or are pursuing a lifestyle just because everyone else told you to. Find out where your heart is, and make an investment in what you love.
  5. Our Limitations are Self Imposed: Dave Cheong maintains that our limitations and labels are self imposed," and he cautions, "do not let your labels draw boundaries around who you are, what you can do and how you behave."
  6. How to Stay Confident in Your Decision to be a WAHM: Work-at-home-moms who need reassurance that they’ve made the right personal and professional choices should check out this article.
  7. How to Discover What You Really Want from a New Career: Before making the switch, read this article to help you determine what you really want from a new career.
  8. 10 Effective Ways to Stay Motivated: Staying motivated is a personal process. Learn how to stay focused by reading this informative post.
  9. Map Your Accomplishments to Stay Motivated: By tracking every progression and recession, you’ll learn a lot about what drives you, what makes you stumble and more.

Fighting Obstacles

From social constraints to negativity, distractions can ruin your plans to stay motivated. These guides show you how to stay on track no matter what comes your way.

  1. How to Stop Complaining: One of the biggest obstacles in staying motivated is complaining. Learn how to challenge your destructive energy and create a new, positive outlook.
  2. Succeed After Failure: After a series of failed attempts, you might be tempted to trade in all of your hard work for a pity party. Instead of giving up, check out this article for tips on how to succeed after failure.
  3. Getting to Now: How to Beat the Procrastination Habit: This popular post gives tips like "if it comes to mind, then do it" and "use a timer to bring you back to reality" to help you beat procrastination.
  4. Eliminate Procrastination: This article helps readers understand the causes of procrastination so that you can effectively eliminate it from your life.
  5. Low Carb Restaurant Eating: Learn how to eat healthy even when dining out with this great guide from About.com.
  6. 18 Ways to Stay Focused at Work: Learn how to avoid temptations and other pitfalls at work with the ideas provided here.
  7. Stress and Self Sabotage: Are You Creating Additional Mental Stress for Yourself?: Stop sabotaging your efforts to achieve your goals by checking out this post from About.com.
  8. How to Stay Positive When Business is Down: If the economy’s in trouble, there’s not much you can do about frugal customers and overpriced supplies. You can, however, focus on the positive "concentrat[ing] on the opportunities you still have" and "surround[ing] yourself with positive people."
  9. How to Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Giving Up: Whatever you do, don’t let yourself give up! Take a look at this guide to help you beat a negative attitude.
  10. How to Stay Motivated Forever: Once you’ve reached your goals, how do you stay motivated so that you don’t regain the weight, lose your business or become less productive? This post shares secrets for staying motivated forever.

Rookie Mistakes: 15 Blunders New Freelancers Make and How to Avoid Them

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 1:58am by Site Administrator

Like any novice in the business world, the beginning freelancer is bound to make a few flubs along the way to professional success. After all, nobody is perfect. Most mistakes are harmless learning experiences that help you in your path to becoming a better businessperson, but there are some mistakes that can really make your life difficult, and that you might be better off having never made. Here are a few of the most common, and sometimes most painful mistakes that freelancers make, and some tips on how you can try to avoid them, or just make them less harmful on your path to freelancing success.

  1. Quitting your 9 to 5 without any preparation. While your cubicle may feel more like a prison than a workspace, you shouldn’t just run out on it without any prior preparation. However bad your current job, ending up without a steady income and wholly unprepared for managing your own business is much worse. Before you take the leap into freelancing, make sure you have enough money saved to keep you afloat, at least a rough business plan, some solid contacts and a good understanding of where you’ll fit into your particular market. This will make it much easier on both you and your finances to make the transition from the corporate world to working for yourself.
  2. Working for less than you deserve. One of the biggest mistakes that new freelancers make is not charging clients what their time is actually worth. While you don’t want to charge so much that clients balk at your rates, you also don’t want to be forced to work ridiculous hours just to make ends meet because you aren’t charging enough. You can find a happy medium by researching what the going rate is for freelancers in your field and using that figure to gauge what you should charge. If you’ve got load of experience and a killer portfolio, you might warrant more than the average, while if you’re just starting out in your field you’ll likely have to work your way up to the higher echelons of work.
  3. Choosing the wrong clients. Something freelancers will quickly learn is that not every client is a good fit for your abilities and some may even test the limits of your patience and sanity. Sometimes the money made on a project simply isn’t worth the headaches that come along with it, and can result in you working more hours for less money than you should be, and ultimately being unhappy. Before working with clients, consider their working style, how difficult they will be to work with, whether or not they’ll pay on time, their particular market and how well these things fit with your needs. When choosing clients you have just as much of a right to interview them as they do you. Ask lots of questions and see if you can do a few projects on a trial basis before committing long-term.
  4. Spending too much on equipment you don’t need yet. It can be really tempting to give yourself a sweet office setup, especially since you’re going to be spending so much time in it, but investing in brand new computers, copiers, scanners and other equipment before you’ve got the workload to absorb the cost can cast a shadow over the success of your business before it has even gotten off of the ground. You can avoid overstepping your budget by only investing in the equipment that is required to do your day to day business. Once you build up your clientele, and your need for more office equipment, you can then make an investment.
  5. Working all alone. Just because you work at home and aren’t surrounded with coworkers doesn’t mean you have to completely isolate yourself. New freelancers are prone to take the term "going it alone" a little too literally when in actuality, you don’t have to do it all by yourself at all. Avoid feeling isolated by seeking out communities and resources for freelancers in every field to learn how to get started, network, and make positive and lasting connections with clients. They can also be a great place to get feedback on your ideas and vent when clients are making your life difficult.
  6. Not researching your market. When you’re first starting out and looking for new clients, it can be a daunting task and you can often make pitches for projects that are less than stellar because you haven’t done the appropriate research on your client. Approaching someone asking for work without really knowing their needs, desires, or how the work you will do will really benefit your client isn’t going to win you much business. Avoid this common pitfall by researching your clients thoroughly before ever even attempting to work with them. Check out their website, see what their company is about, and what their long term goals are. Then you can more accurately assess what you have that will be of value to them, and increase your chances of getting hired.
  7. Failing to be realistic about business expenses. Many freelancers make the mistake of underestimating their business expenses and how much they’ll really need to stay afloat during the preliminary stages of their business venture. You’ll need equipment, computer programs, advertising, websites, domain names, business cards, and loads of other small expenses that can add up quickly. Don’t let this scare you away from freelancing, just be honest with yourself about the potential costs you’ll face when you decide to pursue it. After all, you don’t want to end up not being able to afford to put a roof over your head. Before you make the transition to freelancing, carefully lay out your current expenses, as well as any additional expenses you think you’ll encounter when going into business. It’s better to overestimate slightly rather than underestimate, as unexpected expenses always seem to come up when you’re short on cash. Once you have this estimate, you can figure out how much you’ll need in the bank before you start your business.
  8. Not educating yourself on the basics. Even if you’ve been in your particular line of business for a while, there may be things that are different when freelancing that you might not expect. New freelancers can be taken advantage of if they don’t take the time to learn about how to work with clients on a one on one basis. For instance, when you’re drafting or signing a contract with a client, will you know what makes a good contract and what makes one you should avoid? You can avoid getting tangled up in messy legal battles or stuck with the client from hell by taking the time to learn about contracts before you ever have the need to sign one. The same holds true for managing your business finances, taxes and marketing. If you’re at a loss, try asking others in the business or take a class online from the Small Business Administration.
  9. Not keeping set business hours. Now that you make your own hours, you can work whenever you want, right? While that might be the case, if you want to maintain your personal life you might want to lay down some ground rules with yourself and your clients. Without set hours you could end up working all hours of the night not only to get things done, but dealing with client calls and last minute changes, which is probably not what you had in mind when you decided to become a freelancer. By setting hours, you will create a time when you’ll force yourself to sit down and work, with few interruptions from friends and family, and later have time to spend with friends and family with few interruptions from work.
  10. Taking on too many projects at once. When you finally start finding work, it can be tempting to take every client and assignment that comes your way in an attempt to build a more solid portfolio and get your name out there in the freelancing world. While the money may be good, chances are pretty good that you won’t get much repeat business this way. You’ll be so busy juggling projects you won’t have time to give each one the attention it deserves and your clients may start to feel like they aren’t important to you. Avoid stretching yourself too thin by only taking on what you can actually handle, no matter how tempting those additional projects might be. You don’t want to get overwhelmed and burnt out in your first few months of freelancing.
  11. Getting too personal. Every once in awhile as a freelancer you will have a client that you simply love. They’re easy to work with, you get along great, and have a great rapport. But it’s very easy to fall into the habit of becoming a little too personal with your client and that can ultimately make working with them much more complicated. Feelings can become hurt at decisions that are simply business related, or you can start to appear unprofessional. You can avoid this by keeping your correspondence friendly, but professional, and making sure that while you’re working together, your relationship is strictly business.
  12. Having only one income stream. For new freelancers, figuring out how to make ends meet with assignments from clients can be difficult. If you find a client that’s willing to give you continued work, that’s great, but don’t stop looking for other work just because you’ve found a reliable client. After all, if your client goes out of business or suddenly no longer has a need for your services, you could be left out in the cold, quite literally. It’s better to rely on a few different clients for your income, so that even if you lose one, you have something to fall back on. When you’re starting out that might be difficult, so consider taking on a part time job to supplement your freelance work, just in case.
  13. Allowing yourself to slack off. Everyone has days when they wake up and simply don’t feel like doing a thing, and as a freelancer you are perfectly capable of taking advantage of that feeling and curling up on the couch all day to watch reruns of Full House and eat junk food until your stomach hurts. And every once in awhile, that’s totally fine. But a little slacking can turn into a lot, and soon you’re not making money and not getting work done on time. It’s fine to allow yourself the flexibility to work with your natural productivity highs and lows, but at the end of the day, you have to get your work done. Push yourself to make deadlines, please clients, and further your business. Once your hard work has paid off, reward yourself with a few days of guilt-free slacking.
  14. Not communicating effectively. This isn’t a problem just for freelancers, but for people from all areas of business, and it can have a big impact on your success at running your own business. In order to deliver a good product, you’ll need to know what questions to ask, how to conduct yourself in conversations, and how to not lose your temper or get overly emotional when your work is criticized. And in order to make sure that you’re happy, you’ll need to know how to ask for the pay you want and terms you can live with. While you won’t become a savvy, confident businessperson overnight you can give yourself a leg up on communication skills by tying to be honest, clear and professional in all of your communications with clients. Don’t leave room for interpretation and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure.
  15. Failing to create a business plan. It’s very easy to go into freelancing without any idea of where your business will end up in six months or a year. You may be the fly by the seat of your pants type, but you’re really doing yourself a disservice not to mention taking a risk when you fail to plan for the future of your business. Figure out who you are and where you want your business to go before jumping in or you could find yourself way off track when you reflect on it after a few months in the field. Having a basic outline of what expenses you expect to incur, what your target market will be, how you will find clients, how much you’ll charge, and a plethora of other issues should be addressed before you ever take the leap to avoid unhappy consequences later on.

Even armed with the knowledge of what to avoid, you’re bound to make a few mistakes in your freelancing career. Don’t let it get you down-everyone has been there at one time or another. So long as you learn from what you’ve done, and improve for the future, there are few mistakes that you can’t recover and come back even more successful from.

50 Tools and Resources for Freelancers During Tax Season

Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 1:01am by Site Administrator

Freelancers have a lot to worry about when it comes to taxes. Just thinking about estimated payments, deductions, and extra forms is enough to make your head spin. Oh, and did we mention that freelancers are some of the most often audited taxpayers? Let this collection of advice, tools, and resources ease your stress and get you on the right track for this year’s tax season.

Tips

There’s a wealth of tax advice out there for freelancers, and these articles represent some of the best.

  1. Tax Tips for Freelancers: This article from About.com discusses Schedule C and some of the expenses you need to track.
  2. Freelancer Tax Insights: Learn about depreciation and expenses in this helpful dialogue.
  3. Tax Tips for Freelance Writers: This discussion covers self employment taxes, deductions, and more.
  4. Freelance Tax FAQ: The Anti 9-to-5 Guide discusses deductions and more in this simple question-and-answer session.
  5. Working at Home: Kiplinger offers tax advice for freelancers and independent contractors that work at home.
  6. Freelance Tax Tips: This former CPA goes over the basics of income, deductions, and how to pay taxes.
  7. Is it Time to Upgrade Your Accounting Software?: Find out if you need to step up your software to meet your needs.
  8. 7 Things That Every Blogger Should Know About Tax: TaxGirl discusses important tax issues for bloggers that apply to nearly every freelancer.
  9. Tax Tips for Freelancers, Contractors, and Consultants: Find great ways to save on your taxes in this article.
  10. Business or Hobby? Answer Has Tax Implications: Learn about the difference between a business and a hobby, and how it affects your taxes.
  11. Planning for e-business: Don’t Forget the Financials!: This article discusses things freelancers need to know when working online.
  12. Tax Rules for Your Side Business: This article covers issues that freelancing moonlighters face.
  13. 9 Ways to Get Your Tax Return Noticed by the IRS (and that’s not a good thing): TaxGirl discusses the many ways you can get red-flagged by the IRS, and why you should avoid doing so.
  14. The Self-Employment Tax: Learn about self employment tax and estimated taxes in this article.

Accountant Advice

If you’re going to bring in a professional, check out this advice first.

  1. What’s a Reasonable Price to Pay for Having My Taxes Prepared?: This article offers a good accountant pricing guide to get started with.
  2. How to Find a Good Accountant: Get tips for finding an accountant that works for you in this article.
  3. Five Steps to Hiring a Tax Pro: Here’s what to do when it’s time to call in a professional.
  4. Building Your Small Business Accounting Team: Understand whether or not it’s necessary to hire a financial professional with this article.
  5. Tax Pros Give Bad Advice: June Walker advises self-employed taxpayers to be wary of advice from inept CPAs.

Documentation Details

Get details about keeping your papers and forms in order from these articles.

  1. What Kind of Records Should I Keep?: The IRS goes over guidelines for saving documents.
  2. Use one debit card: Lifeclever offers a useful tip to keep track of expenses.
  3. Schedule C-Reporting Business Income and Deductions: Learn about filling out the Schedule C form in this article.
  4. 8 Reasons to Ditch Your Shoebox Accounting System: The shoebox method of accounting is bad for business, and this article explains why.
  5. Freelancers, Meet Schedule C: Kipliner offers a guide to Schedule C, Schedule SE, and some ideas for lowering what you owe.
  6. Keeping Good Tax Records: Follow this guide to record-keeping, and tax time will be much easier.

Deductions

The silver lining to every freelancer’s taxes is a great opportunity for deductions. Make the most out of this opportunity by taking advice from these people.

  1. 46 Tax Deductions that Bloggers Often Overlook: Tax Girl goes over a number of deductions that bloggers and other freelancers have an opportunity to make, but often don’t think about.
  2. Can You Take a Home Office Deduction?: Freelancers who work out of their homes should pay special attention to this piece of advice.
  3. 20 Tax Deductions for Freelancers: This list goes over a number of deductions freelancers can make, including magazine subscriptions, health care, and bank fees.
  4. Convert equipment and supplies from personal to business use: June Walker discusses how you can calculate equiment deductions for materials that used to be personal.
  5. Tax Deductions A to Z for Freelance and Contract Workers: This CPA-authored book goes over relevant tax deductions for freelancers.
  6. IRS Business Expenses: Check out this guide from the IRS to better understand deductible business expenses.

Support

Get help understanding your taxes from these professionals and tax support communities.

  1. Tax Forum: Check out Tax Forum for advice from tax professionals and other freelancers.
  2. TaxGirl: This blogger offers general tax advice and answers specific questions from readers.
  3. Don’t Mess With Taxes: Texas journalist Kay Bell discusses ways to make taxes less troublesome, and even offers a handy tax calendar.
  4. IRS Small Business: Believe it or not, the IRS wants to make it easy for you to pay your taxes. Check out their small business section for guidance.
  5. June Walker: June Walker has been a tax advisor to the self employed for almost 30 years, and she’s got a wealth of information in her blog. You can also ask her a specific question.
  6. TaxHelpOnline: Get help from a tax expert on TaxHelpOnline.
  7. Fun With Taxes: Gail Perry’s Fun With Taxes offers loads of support and tools for freelance taxpayers.
  8. IRS: Free Tax Help Available: The IRS offers a number of ways to get free tax assistance, and the methods of contact are listed here.

Tools

These items come in handy during tax time and beyond.

  1. Turbo Tax: A perennial favorite, TurboTax prepares tax documents for you as you answer easy questions.
  2. H&R Block Deduction Finder: This tool from H&R Block makes it easy to find deductions related to your occupation.
  3. TaxACT: With TaxACT, you can prepare a free simple tax return, and if you want more help, their upgrade options are affordable.
  4. H&R Block TaxCut: Follow the interview in this software, and you’ll find deductions that help you get the maximum refund you deserve.
  5. TaxACT Tax Calendar: TaxACT’s calendar breaks down important dates by both month and taxpayer type.
  6. Valuation Table: This table offers low and high end valuations for commonly donated and deducted items.
  7. H&R Block Tax Tools and Calculators: Check out this calculator from H&R Block to estimate your taxes for the year.
  8. EFTPS: Enroll in this system, and you can pay your tax bill electronically.
  9. TaxBrain: TaxBrain offers web-based tax returns.
  10. Guide to Tax Tools and Calculators for Small Business: This guide offers advice and tools for freelance and small business tax payers.
  11. Tax Terms Glossary: If you’re confused by tax vocabulary, this glossary will help you understand.

25 of the Most Expensive Gifts Known to Man

Friday, January 11, 2008 at 6:21pm by Site Administrator

Even though Christmas season is over, everyone knows the gift giving never stops. From birthdays to Valentine’s day, it’s hard to come up with original ideas for those who already have everything. If you’re looking to impress your loved ones this year, take a look at this list of 25 of the most expensive gifts known to man, from the truly outrageous to the impossibly indulgent.

  1. Bombardier Global Express XRS Executive Jet: $48 million: If you’re constantly booking last-minute plane trips to exotic locations, this may be the gift for you. Back in February, TeamSugar posted Jim Trippon’s annual list of the Most Expensive Valentine’s Day Gifts in the World. The Bombardier Executive Jet topped the list at $48 million, so that you and your honey can fly off into the sunset to celebrate in style.
  2. First G.I. Joe: $200,000: G.I. Joes were meant to be tossed around and buried in the dirt by rough and tough little boys, but the buyer of this action figure will probably want to keep it locked up in a glass case. Setting a world record for the most expensive toy soldier, the buyer purchased the G.I. Joe in 2003 directly from the creator for $200,000.
  3. 3D Motion Simulator: $300,000: Forget Nintendo and Wii gaming systems: what your kids really want this year is a 3D Motion Simulator from FAO Schwartz. At $300,000, it’s included on the Forbes list of the Most Expensive Toys, and this ride "seats eight for CD-ROM-driven excitement, including space trips, roller coasters, slot car races… and more."
  4. The Christian Hammer: $3.5 million: The most expensive Stradivari violin ever auctioned off, this gorgeous instrument is three hundred years old. No word on how well it still plays.
  5. Ferrari Go-Cart: $50,000: If your kids are too young for a real Ferrari, ease them into the luxury auto market with a $50,000 Ferrari go-cart, also from FAO Schwartz. Your children will be the toughest, coolest kids on the block and will put all those Barbie-mobiles to shame.
  6. Marks and Spencer Christmas Basket: $1,500: Christmas baskets are usually last-minute gifts thrown together for your kids’ schoolteacher or the hostess of your next holiday party and can consist of everything from gift certificates to baked goods to scented bath soaps. The British department store chain, Marks and Spencer, decided to up the reputation (and price) of traditional Christmas baskets by offering this gift of champagne, wine and gourmet goodies for a grand total of $1,500. According to The Most Expensive Journal, "the most expensive gift basket appears to have been a limited item" and is no longer offered.
  7. Most Expensive Champagne: $17,625: What would a holiday or birthday celebration be without a little bubbly? If you’re feeling extra generous the next time you’re invited to a party, why not try to get your hands on this bottle, which was sold in 2005 at an auction for over $17,000.
  8. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head: $8,000 each: Luxury department store Neiman Marcus publishes its annual Christmas Book each year to tempt the world’s elite with outrageously expensive gifts and goodies. In 2004, a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head collector’s set was offered for $8,000 per figure, which were covered in dazzling Swarovski crystals.
  9. Bugatti Veyron: $1.7 million: In 2006, Neiman Marcus included this super charged car in its annual Christmas Book for the price of $1.7 million. According to Wikipedia, the Bugatti Veyron "is the most expensive and fastest accelerating street-legal production car in the world." In other words, it’s just perfect for the speed-obsessed millionaire on your list.
  10. Boeing Business Jet: $35.2 million: In 2002, About.com reported that the Boeing Business Jet was "the most expensive item ever offered" up for sale in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. With its swank interior and unbeatable reputation, it’s no surprise that the big boys’ toy was a tantalizing item even in its unfinished form.
  11. Neil Lane 15 Carat Diamond Earrings: $750,000: Jim Trippon isn’t just mad about Valentine’s Day: he’s also released his list for the Top Ten Most Expensive Christmas Gifts of 2007. Number two on the list is a pair of Neil Lane 15 carat diamond earrings, sold for a whopping three-quarters of a million dollars. Often considered one of Hollywood’s preferred jewelers-to-the-stars, Neil Lane has designed engagement rings for celebrities like Kate Walsh, Brooke Shields and Kate Hudson.
  12. YSL Crocodile Uptown Bag: $26,995: Wealthy women love luxury purses, and the Yves Saint Laurent crocodile uptown bag is no exception. Customers who don’t mind buying real crocodile skin probably won’t mind the exorbitant price tag either: $26,995 at Neiman Marcus for the 10"H x 14 1/2"W x 6"D tote.
  13. Baby Shiloh 3-Carat White Diamond Pacifier: $17,000: If you’re welcoming a new baby into the family, you’re probably loading up on diapers, bibs and cozy blankets to spoil him or her. If, however, your tastes are a little more extreme, er, expensive, the baby aisle at Target probably won’t cut it. Instead, consider treating your baby like a movie star, or at least like one of their offspring. Shop5thAvenue.com now offers the same 3-carat white diamond pacifier that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie received as a gift for baby Shiloh. Friends and family can personalize the pacifier by choosing different jewels like rubies, sapphires and emeralds and by adding the baby’s initials to the shiny bauble.
  14. Vertu 7.2 Carat Pink and White Diamond Phone: $75,000: $75,000 for a cell phone? Well, it does work in more than 150 countries and features a 24-hour one-touch concierge service just waiting to indulge your every fantasy. According to NeimanMarcus.com, only 100 exist in the entire world, and each phone comes encrusted with 7.2 carat white and pink diamonds set in 18-carat. rose gold. Your jet-setting pre-teen just can’t wait to get her hands on one of these.
  15. Triton 1000: $1.44 million: Perhaps the most bizarre gift featured in the 2007 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book is the Triton 1000 submarine, just in case your holiday plans include plunging into the ocean for research, top-secret military missions or, you know, sightseeing.
  16. 10 Acres in Paradise Valley: $2.3 million: Many people agree that land is the most precious possession, especially as humans continue to overpopulate even the most remote areas. If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway for your family, try bidding on "10 acres of secluded land among the mountains of Paradise Valley in Montana, up for grabs for $2.3 million" and included in the 2007 Christmas Book.
  17. Diamond Studded Lipstick: $62,000: If you think all lipsticks are equal, you are highly mistaken. Spoil your wife or girlfriend this holiday with the lavish gift of $62,000 diamond studded lipstick, courtesy of beauty and cosmetics company Guerlain. Appropriately named KissKiss Gold and Diamonds, Luxist.com reports that "you’ll get a consultation with Guerlain’s artistic director Olivier Echaudemaison and a lipstick shade customized just for you that comes in an 18-karat gold lipstick tube encrusted with 199 conflict-free diamonds, plus rubies and emeralds."
  18. His and Hers Double Portrait in Chocolate: $110,000: This gift is for the truly indulgent. If you long to see a portrait of you and your honey hanging in the hallway, why not have it created in chocolate? Artist Vik Muniz will create a "60" x 48" museum-quality photographic" portrait of any couple that purchases the gift, and all proceeds will be donated to his personal charity, Centro Especial Rio de Janeiro.
  19. Diamond Barbie: Around $85,000: Many little girls find Barbie dolls wrapped up under the Christmas tree, but this extra special doll is a true collector’s item. Named the world’s most expensive Barbie, Diamond Barbie was co-designed by De Beers and "comes with a gown sporting 160 diamonds," as reported by CanUAffordIt.com.
  20. Clive Christian No. 1: $2,350 per ounce: Perfume is a popular holiday gift, but if you want to set yourself and your sweetie apart from conventional gift-givers this season, splurge on a bottle of the world’s most expensive perfume. The blog, The Lifestyles of the Rich, reports that Clive Christian No. 1 is currently the most expensive perfume available, on sale for $2,350 per ounce. The high cost has not deterred buyers, however, as the perfume is sold out online at Nordstrom.com and SaksFifthAvenue.com
  21. World’s Most Expensive Cat: Around $40,000: Cute and cuddly puppies and kittens may suddenly find themselves rescued from pet shops and animal shelters during the holidays, as pets are traditional Christmas presents. This Bengal cat won’t be discovered at the local pound, however, as it is generally regarded as the world’s most expensive cat. Purchased in 1999 for around $40,000, this exotic kitty probably won’t find herself topped with a bow underneath the Christmas tree.
  22. Rothschild Faberge Egg: $18.5 million: Faberge eggs have been a tradition in aristocratic Russian families since the times of Alexander III, but none have received such a high bidding price as the Rothschild Faberge Egg when it was auctioned off at Christie’s this year. Originally "created in 1902 as an engagement gift for Baron Edouard de Rothschild," the pink Faberge egg was sold for $18.5 million to a Russian art collector.
  23. Amour Amour Dog Collar: $1.8 million: Even if your pooch is one of the family, would you spend almost $2 million on a sparkly diamond dog collar to hang around its neck? The Love Dog Diamonds company believes that dogs deserve to lounge around in luxury just as much as their wealthy owners, and the Amour Amour 18-carat white gold dog collar will go perfectly with that fluffy pillow.
  24. Ronde Island: $100 million: Don’t bother mixing with the common riff-raff during holiday resort season; instead, purchase your own island as a gift for your family so that you can enjoy a unique vacation in private luxury. The website Gifts.Infoniac.com advertises the Ronde Island in Grenada in the Caribbean, which, for $100 million, could be yours to enjoy.
  25. World’s Most Expensive Diamond: $7.98 million: If you’re planning to pop the big question during the holidays, why not do it with the world’s most expensive diamond? In November 2007, the Moussaieff Jewellers of London purchased the blue diamond for nearly $8 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong. How could anyone turn down that kind of a proposal?

Balancing Work and Family: 100 Resources for Pregnant Career Women

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 6:10pm by Site Administrator

Congratulations! Now that you’ve found out you’re pregnant, you’ve got a lot of exciting planning to do: set up the nursery, notify friends and relatives and start saving your paychecks for all the added expenses your new family will accumulate. Career women, however, have extra responsibilities when it comes to prepping for the new baby. How soon should you tell your boss the good news? Do you qualify for paid maternity leave? What if you’re currently searching for a new job and aren’t sure how your pregnancy will look to potential employers? Read below for all those answers and more in our list of 100 resources for pregnant career women.

Blogs and Websites

During your break time, check out these helpful blogs and websites, which are full of valuable resources for working moms and moms-to-be.

  1. PregnancyandBaby.com: This website has all kinds of resources for pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant, and women who have recently given birth. If you’ve got a quick question about morning sickness or just want to update your "countdown to baby" calendar, jump onto this site during work for a quick and easy search.
  2. Pregnancy and Childbirth Blog @ Suite101: Read the pregnancy and childbirth blog at Suite101 for resources to help you estimate the cost of your pregnancy, how your professional life will affect your pregnancy and more.
  3. WebMD Health and Baby Center: The Health and Baby Center at WebMD.com has lots of articles, tools and other resources to help busy women celebrate pregnancy.
  4. Black Pregnancy Blog: This blog focuses on pregnancy issues for black women. Read posts about health conditions, managing your life after the baby comes and more.
  5. BlueSuitMom.com: This blog has lots of "advice to help executive working mothers balance work and family." Browse through existing posts or submit a question of your own.
  6. Work and Maternity Leave: The Work and Maternity Leave resource on Babycenter.com is full of posts and advice for pregnant career women.
  7. iVillage Work and Pregnancy: The favorite women’s website iVillage has a special page with articles, resources and links that are all about managing pregnancy in a busy office environment.
  8. Pregnant at Work: The website Pregnancy-Info.net hosts a Pregnant at Work section to help pregnant professionals figure out maternity leave, discrimination suits and more.
  9. WhatToExpect.com: The author of the bestselling book What to Expect When You’re Expecting posts articles and tools on this site to help prepare moms-to-be.
  10. Type-A Mom: Busy women now have a place to go to get advice, support and ideas on how to balance work and family.
  11. RollerCoaster: This website is all about general pregnancy and parenting issues, but frequent posts and message board chats from working moms make it a must-read.
  12. YouandMeKid.net: This site is an excellent resource for single pregnant women and single moms. Find out how you can manage a career and a baby, all on your own.

Career Advice and Support

These resources are full of tips and ideas to help you survive the work week when you’re pregnant, from beating morning sickness to figuring out how to break the news.

  1. Working During Pregnancy: Before you make an official decision to continue working or to quit your job because of pregnancy issues, take a look at this post from Families.com to help you evaluate your situation.
  2. Sharing News of Your Pregnancy: This post gives tips on when to tell others (including your boss) the good news and what to expect when you do.
  3. Investigating Maternity Leave Options: It’s important to have a solid plan in place when deciding how and when to take advantage of maternity leave. Let this guide help you figure things out.
  4. Quick Food Fixes for Moms-to-Be: Hopefully, your boss will make some allowances for you during pregnancy; however, if you have to show up to work late everyday due to morning sickness, you might get yourself into trouble. Use this list to help you beat morning sickness and get your back on track.
  5. 40 Healthy Snacks for Moms-to-Be: Keep several of these healthy but appealing snacks in your desk to curb overwhelming cravings.
  6. When to Tell the Boss You’re Expecting: Use this post to help you find the right moment to tell your boss that you’re pregnant.
  7. How to Manage Morning Sickness at Work: This post from eHow.com has more advice for pregnant moms with morning sickness.
  8. Being Pregnant at Work: BabyCenter.com answers questions like "What should I do if I work around toxic substances?" and "How can I stay comfortable on the job?" to help pregnant women manage their professional careers amidst a changing lifestyle.
  9. Working During Pregnancy: Check out this guide designed to help career women safely and comfortably continue working while pregnant.
  10. Working During Pregnancy: The Proudly Pregnant blog encourages women who can’t take extra time off from work to "look for ways to ease the burden of working" by working only 40 hours a week and taking advantage of breaks.
  11. Planning for Working Mothers: Getting Pregnant and Dealing with Work: Use this resource to help you plan for your pregnancy by negotiating maternity leave, reworking your schedule and being prepared to face discriminatory comments and coworkers.
  12. Pregnancy and Your Job: This post from the Monster Career Advice website walks pregnant women through the process of creating a new work/life balance.

Legal Advice and Discrimination Resources

Make sure you’re aware of your rights as an expectant, working mother.

  1. Family and Medical Leave Act: Writer Alison Doyle discusses the details and eligibility issues for the Family and Medical Leave Act in this post. Find out what benefits your employer provides and whether or not you will be able to take time off during your pregnancy.
  2. Women Filing More Pregnancy Discrimination Claims Nationally: The South Carolina Lawyer Blog explores why more pregnant women have been "filing pregnancy discrimination claims with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission" in 2007.
  3. National Advocates for Pregnant Women: This national organization posts articles and information about the legal rights, advocacy events and other important resources that affect pregnant women.
  4. Verizon Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement: Verizon Wireless was ordered to pay over $48 million to female employees who filed discrimination suits against the cell phone company.
  5. Just Found Out You’re Pregnant?: Dawn Rosenberg McKay writes this post for career women who aren’t sure how to discuss their pregnancy at work. Check it out for legal advice and other discrimination issues.
  6. Terminated While on Maternity Leave: One woman seeks advice after being let go while on maternity leave.
  7. How Long Can I Wait to Tell the Boss I’m Pregnant?: CNN Money’s Ask Annie column advises that "the sooner you break the news, the better — especially if your boss can keep a secret."
  8. Maternity Rights: TotalJobs.com shares information about maternity rights in the UK, answering questions like "what terms and conditions apply during ordinary maternity leave?" and "what rights do I have as a pregnant employee?
  9. Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission publicizes information about pregnancy discrimination here.
  10. It’s Hard Being a Pregnant, Working Mom — Even if You’re Elizabeth Vargas: After former ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas revealed that she was pregnant, she voluntarily gave up her anchor position and agreed to continue only a co-hosting job after giving birth. This editorial explores the ins and outs of her decision, as well as ABC’s position on pregnant employees.
  11. Pregnancy Discrimination: PregnancyEtc.com posts valuable information about "accommodating pregnancy in the workplace," including issues regarding maternity leave, telling your employer about the pregnancy and more.
  12. Dealing With Unfair Treatment at Work While Pregnant: The BabyCenter doles out advice for pregnant women who are discriminated against at work.

Pregnancy and the Job Search

Looking for a new job is tough enough without having to worry about discriminating hiring managers. Use these resources to prepare yourself for the questions, rejections and eventual successes that are sure to come your way.

  1. A Pregnant Pause: Career Pregnant Women at Job Interviews: "Can being visibly pregnant during a job interview hurt my chances of getting hired?" This Q & A from Black Enterprise discusses how pregnant women can prepare themselves for an in-person interview.
  2. Why is Pregnancy Discrimination on the Rise?: The Monster Blog publishes this post in an attempt to figure out why pregnant women are still discriminated against in the workplace.
  3. Pregnancy and Your New Job: What do you do if you get pregnant soon after starting a new job? This post explains why some women may not receive paid time off if they find themselves in this situation.
  4. When Will I Start to Show?: If you’re wondering how to plan your pregnancy around your job search — or vice versa — read this article for help predicting when you will start to show.
  5. Advice for Women Trying to Balance a Career and Pregnancy: ABC News publishes this report that helps pregnant women survive the job search and figure out when to tell the boss the big news.
  6. When to Tell Employer That You’re Leaving: Find out what advice this career coach has for a woman who receives a great job offer while she’s on maternity leave from another company.
  7. Pregnancy and Mothers in the Workplace: JobDig posts this Q&A about looking for a job while several months pregnant.
  8. Tips for Job Seeking When a Pregnancy, a Handicap or Other Personal Needs are Part of the Package: The Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes this article to help pregnant women and those with disabilities conduct a successful job search.
  9. Job Hunting While Pregnant: Writer Liz Ryan offers advice for pregnant women in their first, second and third trimesters as they try to find employment.
  10. Can Pregnancy Hinder a Job Search: Northeastern Illinois University Coordinator of Career Counseling Dr. David P. Helfand reviews legal options and office culture trends for pregnant women looking for a job.
  11. Interviewing While Pregnant: Find out how to master a face-to-face interview and conquer discrimination even when you’re several months pregnant.
  12. The Pregnant Job-Seeker: What to Say, and When?: This article from the New York Times considers several questions pregnant job-seekers may have as they are about to begin the interviewing process.

Taking Time Off

Read below for resources on maternity leave, figuring out how much time you need or want to take off from work and finding support when it’s time to return to the office.

  1. Will You Work or Stay Home with Baby?: Families.com helps pregnant moms make the decision to stay at work or take extra time off after the baby comes.
  2. Pregnancy and Your Career: Taking Maternity Leave: This post helps women prepare for the conversation they’ll have with HR about taking maternity leave. Find out how to research the affects of maternity leave on the rest of your benefits, outline your salary and pay schedule for when you leave and more.
  3. Proposal for Part-Time Work Schedule: If you need advice on pitching a part-time work proposal to your boss during or after pregnancy, check out this post.
  4. Career Breaks: Find out if it’s time for you to take a career break and spend more time with your family with the tips and advice listed here.
  5. Family-Friendly or Freeloader-Friendly?: This article from CNN Money questions how family-friendly companies need to be when making allowances for their employees.
  6. Taking Leave After a Miscarriage: Most pregnant women know about maternity leave, but what about taking time off to grieve after a miscarriage? This article explains the rights of parents who find themselves in this situation.
  7. Should You Go Back?: After taking time off, do you know whether or not you should go back to work? Let this article help you make the best decision for you and your family.
  8. Extending Maternity Leave: When your maternity leave is up, you may or may not be ready to get back to work. This article provides "tactics to stretch out that precious maternity leave with your new baby."
  9. U.S. Stands Apart From Other Nations on Maternity Leave: USA Today explores why the U.S. has such a bad reputation for being chintzy with maternity leave.
  10. Maternity Leave: The Basics: Find out everything you need to know about taking maternity leave from this resource, from dealing with denied requests to details about short-term disability leave.
  11. Returning from Maternity Leave: Tips for Working Mothers: After spending a couple of months at home with your new baby, going back to the office can be jarring. The Mayo Clinic provides this guide to help working mothers make the transition as smoothly as possible.
  12. 7 Tips for Keeping Your Career on Track During a Maternity Leave: If you’re going crazy being away from the office for so long, check out this list of tips that will help you keep close contact with the outside, working world.

Work/Family Balance

Read these posts to find out how other parents have managed to maintain a healthy work/life balance after welcoming a new baby.

  1. Life After Birth: Blending a Career and a Family: Career counselor and author Robin Ryan reveals the challenges of combining a professional career with life with a new baby.
  2. Working Mom Secrets to Happy Evenings: This article is a valuable resource for helping working moms who want to make the most out of their evenings with the kids. Get tips on keeping your energy up, maintaining an after-work schedule and more.
  3. Balancing Work and a New Baby: Time Management for New Parents: Revolution Health offers detailed tips for adjusting your work schedule once the baby comes.
  4. Work/Life Balance: This article from the Washington Post reveals current trends in American office culture and how companies may or may not improve their employees’ work/life balance by making allowances for families with young children.
  5. Negotiating Work/Family Issues: Women concerned with taking extra time off once they give birth should read this article for tips on proving your value at work, setting goals and priorities and more.
  6. Work/Life Balance: Pipe Dream or Possibility?: This blogger takes a look at those professionals who have successfully mastered the art of a work/life balance. Read the post for tips on how you can incorporate their practices into your lifestyle.

Finding Child Care

If you’re unsure how to decide where to keep your kids while you’re at work all day, use these guides to help you determine what form of childcare is best for your family.

  1. How to Choose the Right Childcare for Your Baby: This post from About.com lists several questions parents should consider before deciding where to drop their kids off each day.
  2. Child Care Options: The What to Expect website has lots of great tips for finding an appropriate, cost-effective child care solution for working moms.
  3. Daycare Coping for Working Moms: This article helps new moms go back to work by getting used to the idea of dropping their kids off at daycare.
  4. Child Care Checklist: How to Find the Best Option: It’s never too early to start searching for adequate child care services, especially if the centers you want your baby to attend have wait lists. Take this checklist with you when you start researching day care facilities around town.
  5. Tips for Staying Close to Your Children When You’re Away: If your job takes you out of town or overseas, read this article for tips on coping with separation anxiety.
  6. Day Care: Choosing a Good Center: FamilyDoctor.org lists questions that new parents should ask day care centers before dropping their kids off for the day.

Staying at Home

Whether you’ve decided to quit your job or you operate a business from home, check out these resources for tips on balancing your pregnancy with other responsibilities.

  1. The Office Plan for Pregnancy: This post reveals how one woman started her own Virtual Assistant business so that she could stay home during her pregnancy.
  2. Working From Home: Read this testimonial from a mother who managed a home-based career during her pregnancy and continues to work from home while raising a daughter.
  3. Work at Home Ideas for Pregnant Women: If you’d like to start working from home during and after pregnancy but aren’t sure how to make ends meet, check out this article for tips on how to get paid for working from home.
  4. Should I Work or Stay Home?: This article helps moms-to-be make "the decision on where to work after baby."
  5. Confessions of a Pregnant Work-at-Home Mom: This stay-at-home mom gives tips on finding reputable job opportunities that allow her to work from home.
  6. Mother Guilt: This post explores the sense of isolation and guilt that many stay-at-home moms feel after giving birth.
  7. FrugalMom.net: Read this blog for ideas on how to make money from a home-based business.
  8. Help for Pregnant Moms Who Can’t Work and Need Money: Pregnancy.LovetoKnow.com provides links and information for moms who need financial and rental assistance during pregnancy.
  9. HireMyMom.com: This website specializes in connecting businesses with stay-at-home moms looking for outsource projects.
  10. Mommy Enterprises: This work-at-home blog offers moms and moms-to-be support and advice for maintaining a work/life balance and finding great job opportunities.
  11. Daycare vs. Being a Stay-at-Home Mom: Check out this chart of the pros and cons of daycare vs. being a stay-at-home mom to discover which balance works best for you.

Medical and Safety Information

Even if you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, there are certain safety issues that you should consider when working in the office or out in the field. Check out this list for health information that will keep you and your baby healthy and comfortable during the entire pregnancy.

  1. Night Work Linked to Increased Risk of Late Pregnancy Loss: This post from PregnancyandBaby.com reports the findings from a study that links miscarriages to a late-night work schedule.
  2. Pregnancy and Work: Dr. Robert Warnock from WebMD writes about the health risks and stereotypes associated with women who decide to work during pregnancy.
  3. Pregnancy and Work Safety: Parents.com details what you can expect if you’re a pregnant woman who decides to continue working as long as possible before giving birth.
  4. Working During Pregnancy: Stay Healthy and Productive: CNN.com publishes this article full of tips and ideas to help pregnant career women avoid nausea, stay alert and comfortable and reduce stress.
  5. Health Hazards in the Workplace: Pregnancy-Info.net details "what you need to know for a healthy pregnancy," including chemical and physical hazards in the workplace.
  6. Working During Pregnancy: The Caremark Health Resources site answers questions that pregnant career women may have, including "Is it okay to work right up until I go into labor?" and "How can I keep comfortable and safeguard my and my baby’s health on the job?"
  7. Working While Pregnant: This guide from PregnancyEtc.com lists tips for staying comfortable and healthy during a busy day at work.
  8. Mommy’s Minute — Working While Pregnant: Watch this AOL video to get tips on how to manage a healthy pregnancy while still retaining your professional responsibilities.
  9. Coping with Stress While Pregnant: Managing a work/life balance when you’re pregnant can be difficult. Use this guide from Yogaholistics.com to help you reduce stress and focus on the positive side of pregnancy.

Miscellaneous

From buying an appropriate pregnancy wardrobe to being prepared for pre-partum depression, these resources will keep you prepared for anything that comes your way.

  1. Seven Tips for Creating a Pregnancy Work Wardrobe on a Budget: Buying an entirely new wardrobe during pregnancy can cost a bundle. Use these tips to make the most out of your shopping trips so that you look and feel good at work.
  2. Pregnancy Over 40: This blog is full of support and advice for women who become pregnant after the age of 40.
  3. How to Work During Pregnancy: Your office and work schedule may need a makeover once you find out you’re pregnant. Follow these tips to help you remain comfortable at the office.
  4. 10 Tips to Working While Pregnant: These tips from AskDr.Sears.com include "explore your options," "know your rights" and "review your company’s policy."
  5. Flying While Pregnant: If your job requires you to do a lot of traveling, take a look at this post to find out at which point in your pregnancy you should stop flying.
  6. Pre-Partum Depression: Discover ways to guard yourself against pre-partum depression so that your professional and personal lives don’t have to suffer.
  7. Working Around Your Pregnancy: Tips like "expect good and bad days" and "think comfort and safety" will help career women prepare for pregnancy.
  8. Guidelines for Working During Pregnancy: Use this list of guidelines to make sure you don’t injure yourself or your baby at work.
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