5 Summer Jobs You Can Take With You to the Beach

Want a job that won't slow you down this summer? Here are some ideas for jobs you can do practically anywhere.

It’s no secret that technology is dramatically changing our world. In particular, it has reshaped the modern workplace and the way people choose to work.

The proliferation of high-speed internet and the affordability of laptops have combined to fuel the growing trend of digital nomads — people who rarely, if ever, set foot in an office cubicle. Instead, they work from wherever they want, whenever they want, and, for some, as many or as few hours as they want.

Remote job opportunities and digital nomad positions are definitely something we’ve seen growing over the last five to 10 years,” said Brie Reynolds, senior career specialist at FlexJobs, a site that lists thousands of such opportunities. “But really in the last five years, it’s become even more of an option for more people because the technology is so much better now and high speed internet is more accessible. Those kinds of forces really have transformed the way we work and where we work from.”

Given the freedom and flexibility that comes with digital nomad employment, Reynolds and other industry experts say these positions also make great summer jobs. Who doesn’t want to earn some cash to boost their bottom line, while still being able to spend quality time at the beach, or travel the globe?

If you’re interested in snagging one of these jobs, be sure to mention on your resume along with your skills whether you have previous experience working independently and remotely, said Reynolds.

In terms of where to find such opportunities, in addition to FlexJobs, digital nomad openings are listed on employment sites such as Indeed.com, and Remote.co, as well as individual company websites and more. (Pro tip: Some employers check your credit during the hiring process, so it’s good to know whether you have poor, good or excellent credit. You can get your two free credit scores right here on Credit.com.)

Here are five digital nomad job categories that are particularly suited for summer job seekers.

1. Virtual Teacher or Tutor

While schools close for the summer, online classes are in full swing, making this booming industry ripe for the summer job seeker.

“Online education is one of the growing areas in remote work,” said Reynolds, noting that tutoring openings are especially abundant in the summer, when people seek to extend their education or perhaps develop skills in a particular area of interest.

New Life ESL, for instance, is hiring education graduates to teach English as a second language online to Chinese students. Teachers only need to commit to five hours per week and can earn between $17 and $28 per hour.

“It’s an opportunity to teach great students and earn some excellent cash on the side,” said Brendan Gibson, New Life ESL’s co-founder.

2. Writing/Proofreading/Editing

The beauty of writing and editing gigs is you can choose to take an extended position providing these services, or opt for a one-off type of project, such as editing a manuscript.

On top of that, the skills are very much in demand, said Reynolds.

Corporate blog writing in particular can provide an ideal summer gig for those studying communications or creative writing, said Janel Scott, digital marketing manager for DatabaseUSA.com.

“Corporations are looking to add search engine optimization to their sites, and one way to achieve this is by generating relevant content for their website via a blog,” said Scott, who writes many such blogs herself. “Now as awesome as some corporations are, they don’t always have great writers on staff or their marketing executives are just too busy to get the job done.”

If you have the skills to provide blogging services, there are plenty of remote opportunities, said Scott. And if you’re good at it, you can make about $100 a day while sunbathing in Maui.

3. Online Community Management/Social Media Management

Online community management and social media management roles also make for great short-term, remote employment. That’s because many times a company will have a seasonal social media campaign it needs assistance with, or smaller companies seek someone to help get their social media off the ground or with a special project.

Bottom line, the time commitment can often be ideal for those seeking just a few months of work.

The pay for these jobs ranges from about $15 to $25 per hour depending on how big the project is and how involved it is, said Reynolds.

4. Google AdWords Certified Consultant

You know those ads at the top of a Google search engine page? They’re called AdWords and there’s someone whose job it is to manage those ads by bidding on them, testing them and writing ad copy. That someone could be you.

Being a Google AdWords Certified Consultant requires a bit of preparation to become eligible, but once that’s squared away, it’s a truly flexible job opportunity, said Scott.

Qualifying to be an Adwords consultant involves getting certified, which requires taking a test. But if you have the time to put in a few weeks of study and pass the test, you’ll open the door to a remote job that can be done for just a few hours a day.

“The whole AdWords interface is online. And most of the time you can automate an account and check in on it about three times a week for a couple of hours,” said Scott. “It can be 100% remote if you become certified in AdWords and connect with a company that’s looking to outsource this type of advertising. Thousands of companies use AdWords, and there will always be a need for people who understand it and manage it.”

5. Virtual Assistant/Executive Assistant

A growing field, virtual assistant jobs involve doing such things as making travel arrangements for executives and small business owners, typing letters, and other administrative and logistical tasks. Think executive or administrative assistant, minus the office and the 9-to-5 hours.

“It’s very on-demand sort of work,” said Reynolds. “You can say ‘I’m available for 20 hours this week.’ ”

A variety of sites list these job openings including FlexJobs and upwork.com. The pay ranges from $13 to $21 per hour.

Image: Rawpixel Ltd

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What to Do When Your Co-Worker Throws You Under the Bus

Have you ever been in a situation where your co-worker throws you under the bus? If so, here's what you can do.

You will encounter many different types of conflict in the workplace throughout your career. At any moment, you could become the victim of a co-worker waiting to stab you in the back, steal your award-winning idea, and then when you least expect it, throw you under the bus. Some employees will go to great lengths to sacrifice a co-worker so they can look good in front of management. It’s a dirty game and it’s often played by the very team members you thought had your back. When it comes down to possibly getting fired or reprimanded, office alliances are quickly forgotten.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to stop an underhanded co-worker, according to Brian de Haff, CEO of Aha! Labs Inc. “No matter who you are, you will get steamrolled by a bus or two in your career. It’s an inevitable part of working with groups of people,” de Haff wrote in a LinkedIn article.

No matter how talented or nice you are, you can’t stop the bus. The good news is you can do something about how you respond when you find yourself underneath it. How can you protect yourself? Here’s what to do if you find yourself in any of the following three situations.

1. You Weren’t There 

You can’t be in every place at once, so your name may come up when you aren’t there — and it may not always be done in the best light. Career expert and therapist Brandon Smith said it’s a good idea to be proactive and make a habit of documenting everything. This is because you never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to defend yourself. All it takes is one desperate co-worker to put you in a situation where you’re unfairly forced to fight for your job. “A critical way to protect yourself is to have a paper trail regarding your exchanges with untrustworthy or suspicious co-workers. Save those emails,” Smith wrote.

2. You’re Blamed During a Meeting

It’s never fun to be accused of incompetence in front of an audience. Your first instinct might be to take your co-worker down with you, but that will just make you look even worse. Do your best to stay calm and not make a scene during the meeting. “Yelling and screaming will not get your point across or finally get them to understand you,” Smith said. “All it will do is make you appear as though you are a part of the problem.”

Taking the emotion out of the situation will help you see the situation clearly. Letting the anger fester will just make you bitter, and this bitterness will sour your attitude. “Sometimes it helps to view a problem from a new perspective. Your co-worker is providing you with feedback. Be willing to try it on,” Forbes columnist David K. Williams wrote. “It’s like trying on a pair of pants. If they don’t fit, don’t get emotional (that is throwing yourself under the bus). Just take them off and return them properly folded with no added emotion to the original owner.”

3. Your Boss Used You as a Scapegoat

This is a tricky situation, particularly because not only is your boss involved but potentially so is your boss’s supervisor. Greg Baker, president and CEO of Advance Consulting Inc., suggested seeing what you can learn from the situation. Whether or not you had some responsibility in what happened, take steps to understand what went wrong, address the problem and do what you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“The better you understand why your boss threw you under the bus, the more informed your decisions will be regarding what to do about it. What problem or responsibility is your boss avoiding? How credible does your boss’s story sound to others? Why did you become the target? Why now?,” Baker wrote on the Advance Consulting website.

Baker said you can attempt to make sure you don’t run into a similar issue by anticipating and recognizing circumstances that breed conflict. “I have never seen someone get thrown under the bus when everything was going well. So as you develop your radar for potential conflict, let this be your guidepost. When things go wrong, some people tend to blame in order to protect themselves,” Baker said.

[Editor’s Note: Many employers review a version of your credit report as part of the application process, so it’s a good idea to know where your credit currently stands. You can see your free credit report snapshot, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.]

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.

Image: xavierarnau

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5 Strategies to Help You Get the Salary You Want

Talking about money can be challenging and uncomfortable, but there are a few ways to rise above the awkwardness to help you get the salary you want.

Few moments in the career growth process are more satisfying than receiving a coveted job offer, though for many, the contentment is short-lived once the conversation turns to salary. The topic of money can be challenging and downright uncomfortable, but there are a few ways to rise above the awkwardness to secure the salary you feel you deserve. Here are five strategies to help you prepare for that moment.

1. Practice

While the average job applicant prepares for an interview, it’s easy to overlook what experts deem the more difficult portion of the hiring process: Salary negotiations.

“The best thing to do is practice, because it’s just like an interview; the more often you practice, the better off you’re going to be,” Lisa Andrews, Ph.D., a career services manager for the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards, Inc., said. Andrews recommends going through a few scenarios, including “one where your offer is accepted right away and the handshake happens and everyone’s happy, one where the person pushes back on you and one where the person gives you a low offer and you really have to negotiate.”

“Practicing several scenarios over and over is definitely going to help you have a very successful negotiation because you will have already said the words out loud,” Andrews said. “When you do that and you hear yourself saying it, you’re going to become a more effective negotiator.”  

2. Research Your Worth

Nailing down your professional value is possible thanks to online recruiting and career databases. For example, in addition to location, services like Glassdoor can give job-seekers insight into compensation based on company, job title and experience level. If you crave specific salary parameters, it’s a good idea to put these types of online tools to work. Learning from your professional peers could help you gain insight during the negotiation process.

3. Use Social Science to Self-Advocate

Don’t allow the question of salary to catch you off guard. When asked what you’d like to earn, a Columbia Business School study suggests providing a “bolstering” range (i.e., your ideal salary as the minimum amount) to gain a competitive edge in the conversation. For example, if your ideal salary is $80,000, the co-authors of the study suggest proposing a small range of $80,000 to $85,00. This strategy allows you to bolster your potential earnings by placing your ideal income at the low end of the range.

Why is this method effective? According to Ames and Mason, it comes down to social norms. “… We posit a politeness effect: We believe that an unaccommodating counteroffer seems less polite in response to a range offer compared with a point offer, thereby leading to more conciliatory responses to range offers.”

Translation: Managers are likely to reward friendliness and flexibility in kind.

4. Gauge Your Flexibility

When deciding how flexible you plan to be, it’s important to remember that negotiations may include more than base salary. You might also consider how health benefits, paid time off, flexible spending, stock options, 401K, bonuses and other perks factor into the equation. How do these variables impact your willingness to negotiate base pay? Are you prepared to make concessions in one area to benefit another? Ask yourself these questions as you calculate your salary requirements.

5. Set Aside Emotion

The days following a job offer can be full of conflicting emotions, including fear.

“People tend to be weary of salary negotiation because they think that it may somehow disqualify them for a position they were just offered,” Andrews said.

If this is how you’re feeling, you aren’t alone in your trepidations. A Salary.com survey found that only 37% of employees always negotiate salary, while 18% avoid the topic entirely. Those who don’t negotiate salary may be forfeiting years of long-term earnings according to Margaret A. Neale, a Stanford University professor specializing in business negotiation.

“Suppose that at age 22 an equally qualified man and woman receive job offers for $25,000 a year,” Neale said. “The man negotiates and gets his offer raised to $30,000. The woman does not negotiate and accepts the job for $25,000. Even if each of them receives identical 3% raises every year throughout their careers, by the time they reach age 60 the gap between their salaries will have widened to more than $15,000 a year.”

In Neale’s example, failing to negotiate during the initial interview would cost the woman $361,171 over the course of 38 years; a sizable — and perhaps, unnecessary — sacrifice.

When your financial security is at stake, it’s a good idea to leave emotion at the door. Rely on your research and professional qualifications to communicate with enthusiasm instead.

[Editor’s Note: It’s important to remember that many employers review a version of your credit reports as part of the application, so it’s a good idea to know where yours stands. You can view a free credit report summary, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.]

Image: UberImages

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How Much Notice Should You Give When Quitting a Job?

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As the saying goes, all good things come to an end — and often times that’s true for awful things too. If that good or awful thing is a job or career phase, having it end typically means planning an exit strategy, bowing out gracefully and telling your manager you’re quitting.

Quitting a job isn’t always a bad thing. Sure, you have your situations in which you’re miserable and ready to run out of there right now, but leaving a job may also mean you’re ready for bigger and better things. Or at least a raise and a promotion at another firm.

People quit their jobs all the time, and they do so in any number of ways. Some people storm out, stealing or breaking things along the way. Others make it known well in advance that they’re planning to quit, retire or otherwise move on. Some seemingly fade away — they stop showing up, and their colleagues forget all about them. There is a right way and wrong way, traditionally speaking, to go about quitting a job. How you do it, though, is ultimately dependent upon you and your circumstances.

But what if you’re just a prototypical employee who’s ready to move on, or has accepted a job somewhere else? You’re not angry or spiteful, for example, and just want to make the quitting process as smooth as possible. Well, you’re probably familiar with the general “two week’s notice” rule of thumb. That’s a good place to start.

A Two-Week Notice

The idea of giving your employer two week’s notice is that you’re doing them a professional courtesy by cluing them in to your plans. They’re going to have to replace you, in most circumstances, and by giving them a buffer to work with, that transition can be easier. It’s the same logic if you’re being fired or laid off — though that often doesn’t come with the courtesy of notifying you before it happens.

That’s the gist of the “two-week” rule. Though you’re not legally bound to or obligated to follow it, in most cases (you may want to review your contract for any exit regulations to see what rules may apply to you).

What’s the proper etiquette, though? Who better to quote than the folks at the Emily Post Institute, the keepers of all things etiquette-related?

Peggy Post, of the Post family and Post Institute, wrote a five-step plan for quitting in Good Housekeeping. The basic rundown is to tell your immediate supervisor, keep working hard, take care of your responsibilities and don’t burn bridges. Essentially, you’ll just want to handle it like an adult.

Remember, though: You can leave anytime you want, and never come back. Just remember: There are consequences for doing that.

Consider Your Overall Strategy

Professional courtesies aside, you’ll really need to take stock of your individual situation to know how and when to announce your resignation. While you might not like your boss or employer and spitefully want to walk out when it would hurt them the most, it may not be in your best interest to do so.

Basically, what you want to do is ensure you’re not doing any damage to your long-term career goals or strategy. This is why you want to be courteous — leaving on a bad note might cost you references or relationships down the road. If a potential employer calls the place you left and you didn’t go on good terms? That won’t help you land the new gig you’re hoping for. That’s why it’s a good idea to avoid these types of grudges and stop short of all out bridge-burning.

To sum it all up, consider your individual situation. In most cases, giving your boss a heads up two weeks out is appropriate. Most people expect it, and it’ll save you from ruffling too many feathers.

[Editor’s Note: Remember, many employers look at a version of your credit report as part of the application process. Because of this, it’s a good idea to know where your credit stands. You can see your free credit report snapshot, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.]

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.

Image: M_a_y_a

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Going on a Job Interview? These 5 Signs Could Mean You’re Getting Hired

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The job interview went well — or at least you think it did. You were cool and confident, answering questions with ease and projecting a friendly, professional demeanor. At this point, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get hired, right?

Not so fast. You might think the job interview went well, or you might think it was a bust, but unless you’re paying attention to how your interviewer behaved, you could be making all the wrong assumptions about your chances. Employers often give subtle clues as to how they feel about you during an interview. Sometimes, those indicators — such as an ultra-short interview or lack of follow-up questions — are a sign you’re not making the grade. Others, like positive body language and relaxed chitchat, suggest you’re making a positive impression.

Being able to read an interviewer can give you a lot of insight into your ultimate chances of getting a job, but it’s not foolproof. As with most other things in life, there are no guarantees when it comes to job searching. You could have wowed the interviewer, but budget cuts or other issues might cause a company to put a hold on hiring, or a more impressive candidate could have walked in the door right after you.

For those reasons, job searchers should temper their expectations, even when they receive positive feedback from interviewers, according to HR expert Alison Green.

“Even if the interviewer says, ‘You’re just what we’re looking for,’ or, ‘We’re so excited to have found you,’ or, ‘I can’t wait to have you start,'” you may not get the offer, she wrote on the blog Ask a Manager. “[T]hings change — better candidates appear, budgets get frozen, an internal candidate emerges, the position is restructured and you’re not longer the right fit for it, a different decision-maker likes someone else better, one of your references is wonky and makes them gun-shy, or all kinds of other possibilities.”

Nonetheless, some things employers say during job interviews can generally be taken as positive signs. If these five things happen, there’s a reasonable chance you’re going to get hired, or at least move on to the next step in the screening process.

1. You’re Asked for References

At most companies, checking references is the final step in the hiring process. They’ve already decided they want to hire you, but they want to do their due diligence before making it official. If your interviewer ends your conversation with a request for references, it’s a good sign. But know that some employers might ask for references as a matter of course, so being invited to hand over email addresses for your former bosses isn’t a guarantee an offer is forthcoming.

“Generally a request for references is a good sign,” Lars Schmidt, founder of Amplify Talent, told HR Bartender. “Most organizations only ask if you’ve passed the initial interview vetting, and they view your candidacy positively. It’s not a guarantee of offer, but it’s an indication they’re feeling favorable enough about your potential to get more insight.”

2. You’re Asked to Stay Longer

When a 30-minute interview stretches to an hour, things are looking up for your job prospects. A longer interview can signal the employer is interested in getting to know you and learning more about your experience. On the other hand, a very short interview is often a red flag.

“Nine times out of ten, if the interview time was a lot less than the actual time allocated — you haven’t got the job,” according to a post recruiter Rebekah Shields wrote on LinkedIn. “They have made their mind up quickly and do not want to go into any more depth into the job or with you.”

3. You’re Introduced to the Team

When a one-on-one interview turns into a meet-and-greet with the rest of the office, you may already have a foot in the door. At this point, you’ve probably proved you have what it takes to do the job. Now, your interviewer wants to introduce you to potential co-workers so you can both make sure the position is a good culture and personality fit. But pay attention to the nature of the tour you’re given. A general spin around the office is more likely to be standard interviewing procedure, while introductions to key players may be a sign you’re seen as something special.

“When hiring managers are keenly interested in you, they oftentimes want to get the opinions of others,” Lynn Taylor, a workplace expert and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant,” told Business Insider. “That may include their peers, their bosses, and your peers.”

4. You’re Asked About Other Possibilities

If a company is really interested in hiring you, they want to make sure they’re not going to lose you to another employer. When your interviewer asks about whether you’re interviewing other places, what your timeline is for making a decision about your next career move or if you have an offer on the table, they’re trying to figure out how quickly they need to act before you get away.

“They’re getting an idea of how active you are in the interview process,” Devony Coley, senior consultant for recruiting firm WinterWyman, told Fast Company. “Are you starting your search? Testing the waters? Or do you have other solid opportunities? This question helps them know if they need to step up their hiring pace so they don’t lose you.”

5. The Timeline Is Specific

When an interviewer says “we still have a few more candidates to interview” or “we’ll be in touch soon,” it’s hard to know for certain where you stand. The employer is being vague or noncommittal, either for reasons of politeness or because they’d prefer to keep their options open. When someone gives you a firm date for when they hope to make a hiring decision, like “we’ll get back to you on Thursday,” that can be seen as a good sign.

“If an interviewer is interested in a candidate, they may even ask when you’d like to or need to have their decision by,” Bryan Brulotte, president of MaxSys Consulting & Staffing, wrote on LinkedIn. “They won’t let you leave without knowing what your timeline looks like.”

[Editor’s Note: It’s important to remember that some employers review a version of your credit reports as part of the application process. Because of this, it’s a good idea to find out where your credit stands ahead of time so you have an idea of what they might see. You can see a free credit report summary, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.]

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.

Image: SIphotography

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TRUMP VS. CLINTON: Where the Candidates Stand on Job Growth, Taxes, and Housing

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With the election a month away, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have just a few weeks left to woo voters across the U.S.

If you’re still on the fence about which candidate to vote for, your final decision may hinge on how their policy ideas could potentially impact your wallet.

We have simplified and broken down each candidate’s stance on three key issues — job growth, taxes, and housing — to help you understand exactly how each candidate’s proposals could affect your wallet.

Jobs

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Hillary Clinton plans to create new jobs by investing $50 billion in programs that promote youth employment, small business growth, and re-entry programs for the formerly incarcerated. She plans to invest another $50 billion in the Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, a publicly funded initiative that seeks to invest in public infrastructure in rural areas to attract more businesses and, as a result, more jobs for the under- and unemployed.

Clinton is also a supporter of the “ban the box” movement to get rid of the box on applications that requires job seekers to select whether or not they have a criminal past. She has proposed banning such questions on applications for federal employees and contractors. She will also require companies to only consider criminal history when it is related to the job applied for and grant the right of appeal to those who are rejected because of a criminal past.

Clinton says she will invest $25 million in small business and private investment. She wants to do that through mentorship programs and by expanding federal funding for programs that target small business development.

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Donald Trump has said he plans to relax federal regulations in order to lower the cost of doing business for major corporations in the U.S., an effort he hopes will dissuade them from moving their business (and jobs) overseas.

Trump’s plan points to energy as a source for new jobs in the future. He says will make the U.S. the world’s dominant leader in energy production by scraping programs like the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, a 2015 initiative led by President Obama to reduce carbon emissions and increase regulations on coal-powered plants. The plan has been stalled since February, when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that questions the constitutionality of the plan.

Taxes

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Clinton’s tax plan focuses on raising taxes on high-income taxpayers (the top 1%) and closing tax loopholes. Her plan also includes increasing estate and gift taxes. The majority of her proposed tax policies won’t affect the bottom 95% of taxpayers, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Part of Clinton’s plan is to raise taxes on higher-income taxpayers with a 4% “Fair Share Surcharge,” which would apply to those making $5 million or more annually. She also says she’ll close tax loopholes favored by the wealthiest earners in part by supporting the Buffett Rule, which would levy a 30% income tax on any individuals earning $1 million or more. The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group, has warned that such a plan would provide a meager boost to tax revenue.

In addition, Clinton wants to restore the estate tax to its 2009 level. Doing so would increase taxes on multi-million dollar estates — to as much as 65% for an estate valued at more than $1 billion for a couple — and close loopholes that deflate the value of the estates.
According to the Tax Policy Center, a left-leaning think tank, which in March completed an analysis of Clinton’s tax proposal, the plan would generate an additional $1.1 trillion in tax revenue. Households earning less than $300,000 would see little to no change in their federal income taxes, according to the analysis.

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At the core of Donald Trump’s plan are tax cuts for everybody — with an emphasis on corporations and middle- and high-income Americans. Trump says he will reduce the number of tax brackets to three from the current seven.
Under his plan, the new tiers would be:

  • 12% (married filing jointly households earning less than $75,000)
  • 25% (married filing jointly households earning between $75,000 and $225,000)
  • 33% (married filing jointly households earning more than $225,000)
    *Brackets for single filers would be half of these amounts.

The Trump plan would also increase the standard deduction for joint filers to $30,000, from $12,600, and the standard deduction for single filers to $15,000. His plan would also eliminate the death tax (aka. the estate tax) and gift taxes.
Trump’s plan would reduce the nation’s income by about $4.4 trillion to as much as $9.5 trillion over the next decade, according to several independent research groups. It would also mean increased income for all income levels, with the largest gain going to the top 1%. The top bracket could see its average annual income boosted by as much as 16%, while the bottom 80% would see a 0.8% to 1.9% rise according to the Tax Foundation. The Tax Policy Center estimates that Trump’s plan could increase the national debt by as much as 80% if it isn’t counterbalanced with huge spending cuts.

Housing

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Hillary Clinton’s proposed policies include a $25 billion investment in housing. She plans to offer a federal match of up to $10,000 for savings going toward a down payment for people who earn less than the median income in their area. She also plans to increase access to “lending in underserved communities, support housing counseling programs and police abuse and discrimination in the mortgage market.”

Clinton says she will raise support for affordable rental housing and wants to motivate communities to try land-use strategies that may make it easier to build lower-cost rental housing near businesses. Clinton says she will also make efforts to expand living options for recipients of housing vouchers.

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Donald Trump doesn’t have a housing policy outlined on his campaign site.

Make sure to register to vote by Oct. 14.

Illustrations by Kelsey Wroten.

The post TRUMP VS. CLINTON: Where the Candidates Stand on Job Growth, Taxes, and Housing appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

How to Fight With Your Boss Without Losing Your Job

fight-with-your-boss

No matter how great things are going at work, there may come a time when you and your boss disagree and tempers start to flare. How you handle the situation could greatly impact your future with your employer or even your long-term career prospects.

While you may want to get exceptionally angry at your boss, that’s not the recommended course of action. If you’re angry with your boss, remember to use your words (carefully). When you and your boss are engaged in a heated discussion, tread cautiously. Here are some tips on how to constructively fight with your boss.

1. Don’t Turn Into the Hulk

Now is not the time to turn over chairs and throw desk ornaments across the room. If there was ever a time to stay cool, calm and collected, it’s right now. Keep your temper in check and try your best to calmly discuss things. A shouting match will only escalate the argument. And if things get really out of hand, you run the risk of not only getting written up for being disruptive but also being escorted off the premises by security — meaning you can probably say buh-bye to your job at that point.

The key here is not to suppress your anger, but work through it. Donald Gibson, co-author of Managing Anger in the Workplace, said that while it is OK to express anger, it is best to do so in a respectful way.

“The key to managing anger is creating conditions in which anger can be expressed appropriately and productively … anger can be a source of important data that should be recognized, processed and acted upon. When effectively managed, anger can produce many positive results,” Gibson said in his book.

2. Watch Your Words

In your head, you might be calling your boss every nasty name you can think of, but don’t verbalize these thoughts. Name-calling is a no-no. Also be careful not to start screaming; you won’t get your point across by raising your voice. While you may want to defend yourself and argue your case, it’s important to stay clear-headed. Leadership expert Annie McKee said it can be tempting to give into the urge to aggressively defend your case during a fight with someone more powerful, but it’s important to remember who you’re communicating with and the impact your actions could have on your career.

“It’s tiresome, really, but we can’t help ourselves. It feels like a fight to the death. That’s because fighting with a powerful person — like a boss — sparks a deep, primal response: fear. After all, these people hold our lives in their hands — the keys to our futures, not to mention our daily bread,” McKee said in her Harvard Business Review column.

3. Don’t Play the Blame Game

When things start to get heated, resist the urge to blame. This will make your boss more defensive and might cause him to shut down your discussion prematurely. You can steer clear of appearing to blame by starting your sentences with “I” instead of “you.” Using “you” statements can make your boss feel like they’re being attacked, and they are more likely to fight back even harder.

4. Document the Fight

Become an expert note-taker. Your ability to clearly document what happened between you and your supervisor could save your job if human resources gets involved (and they probably will). Depending on what you and your supervisor were arguing about, it will be important to document exactly what took place. Take a moment to write down the issue you were discussing and what each of you said. If your boss became physically or verbally abusive, document that as well.

5. Have an Exit Strategy Ready

No matter how well you follow all the “rules” for fighting fairly, you could still get fired. Some supervisors don’t like to be challenged, so if you happen to get under their skin, you could be sent home packing. It’s unfair, but it’s a reality you’ll need to be prepared for, McKee said in her column.

Conflict with one’s boss usually backfires. That’s because our many cultures place huge value in the official hierarchy: The higher you are, the more ‘right’ you are assumed to be —especially by people even higher up. It is a self-perpetuating system that respects and rewards people by virtue of their level in the organization, not their behavior. This means that you can lose a battle with your boss — in his eyes and others’ — even before you start. So, if you must fight, be sure you have a strategy to protect yourself from the fallout.

If you notice emotions are still running high and your boss is acting cold toward you in the days and weeks after your argument, it might be time to look for another job. Chances are, when it comes down to the two of you, upper management is more likely to take your boss’s side. So dust off that resume, talk to your network and make your job hunt a priority.

(Editor’s Note: Some employers look at a version of your credit report as part of the application process, so it’s a good idea to take a look at yours before you apply. You can see your free credit report summary on Credit.com.)

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.

Image: Jacob Ammentorp Lund

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A Few Extra Pounds Can Hurt Your Job Chances, Study Says, Especially for Women

job-chances

Getting soft around the middle may not just trigger a bout of self-consciousnesses — it could throw a wrench into your chances of landing a job. At least that’s according to a study recently published in the journal Plos One, which found weight gain can hamper a job applicant’s prospects, particularly if that applicant is female.

The team of Scottish and U.K. researchers, Dennis Nickson, Andrew R. Timming, Daniel Re and David I. Perrett, decided to explore whether a slight change in weight could turn employers off. What they found wasn’t pretty: “Employing a unique simulation of altering individuals’ BMIs (body mass index) and the literature on ‘aesthetic labour,’ the study suggests that, especially for women, being heavier, but still within a healthy BMI, deleteriously impacts on hireability ratings,” they concluded. Here’s how.

Methodology

In 2013, a group of 60 men and 60 women were asked to imagine themselves as company recruiters reviewing snapshots of applicants. Each photo showed four men and four women, all white and lacking expression, and at various, digitally enhanced weights. Though the various weights fell within healthy BMI ranges, the changes were apparent to the untrained eye. Still, participants were assured that the candidates all had ideal resumes.

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Image courtesy PLOS One

When asked to hire each, on a scale of 1 (extremely unlikely) to 7 (extremely likely), for customer-facing roles or more independent jobs, the “recruiters’ ” responses were striking. (Keep in mind, they were asked to go on their gut, unlike what most human managers would be advised, given legal precautions.)

Thinner faces were deemed more employable than fuller ones, especially for the customer-facing roles. What’s more, the ‘original’ versions received an average score of 4.84, while the corresponding heavier ones averaged 4.61.

Larger women received even more of a knock, being rated 0.66 lower on average, compared to 0.26 lower for men. “For women, it seems, even seemingly minute changes to the shape, size and weight of the body are important,” the researchers said.

The Takeaway

So what’s a woman to do? Countering societal expectations is hard enough, and women currently earn less than men, dollar for dollar. The gender pay gap for women of color and mothers is even worse, according to The American Association of University Women, a think tank focused on promoting equality and education for all women and girls.

Fortunately, you can research employers ahead of time to find ones that will judge you based on work and not on appearance. And you should always do your best to prove yourself on the merits of your work. Because some employers check a version of your credit reports during the application process, particularly for roles that require government security clearance, it wouldn’t hurt to get your finances in order. You can take steps to clean up your credit by pulling your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing your free credit report summary, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.

Image: Jacob Ammentorp Lund

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5 Places Where Wages Are Growing

There hasn’t been a whole lot of significant wage growth since the Great Recession, to say the least, but, based on new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), things may be looking up. The BLS’s latest County and Employment Wage Summary compared the 344 largest counties in the United States. The good news is 164 counties experienced over-the-year increases in average weekly wages.

But there’s even better news if you live in one of these top counties.

5. Merrimack, New Hampshire

The county experienced a 4.3% over-the-year increase in average weekly wages. The average weekly salary is now $907.

4. Ventura, California

Wages went up year-over-year by 4.4% with the average weekly salary now at $1,083.

3. San Mateo, California 

Wages went up year-over-year by 4.8% and the average weekly salary is now $2,195.

2. King, Washington

Wages went up year-over year by 5.1% where the average weekly salary is now $1,456.

1. Clayton, Georgia

This county had the largest percentage increase in average weekly wages: 15.5%. The average weekly wage in Clayton is $1,146. “Within Clayton, trade, transportation, and utilities had the largest impact on the county’s average weekly wage growth with an increase of $305 (23.7%) over the year,” according to a BLS press release.

The BLS’ employer reports cover 140.1 million full- and part-time workers. And, if you’re thinking of finding a job, now might be the time. Per the BLS, employment increased in most (318) of the largest counties in the U.S., with Williamson, Tennessee, taking the lead with the largest percent increase: 7.9 % in job growth over the year, far above the national job growth rate of 2.0%. Within Williamson, the largest employment increase occurred in professional and business services, which gained 3,598 jobs over the year.

Using Your Wages Wisely 

If you’re one of the lucky ones who experienced a raise in your paycheck, it can be tempting to upgrade your lifestyle. Before you do, consider paying down your debts first. High debt levels can hurt your bank account — and your credit. And a good credit score can pave your way to a better situation if you ever find your paychecks stagnating, because it can help secure lower interest rates on any financing you’re looking for and save you on certain service plans. You can keep an eye on two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.

Image: JackF

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This is Why Wages Haven’t Increased in 50 Years

why-wages-havent-increased

Most experts will agree the economy has improved dramatically from its pale, feeble days during and directly after the Great Recession. Unemployment is down (even if there are a few caveats), low interest rates make it easier to make big purchases, and the stock market has largely recovered, except for a few bumps along the way. So why aren’t people rejoicing? The answer is simple: Their wages aren’t growing enough to afford the post-recession celebration.

In fact, several analyses show that “real wages” — the ones that adjust income and buying power with inflation over time — haven’t grown in decades. One chart from the Pew Research Center shown below illustrates that wages have barely budged in 50 years, growing just over a dollar in purchasing power since 1964. The average hourly wage in the United States in 2014 was $20.67. When you take inflation into account, that buys roughly the same amount of stuff that the average wage of $2.50 did in 1964, give or take a few cents.

Wage_stagnation

Our economy doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither do wages. They’re impacted by a number of complex factors, which is why the President has more than 30 economic experts advising him at any given time. However, to simplify things we’ve taken a look at some of the biggest items to influence wages in the last several years, and why people haven’t experienced the bump in their paychecks they really need — even if they’re getting an annual raise. (And that’s not even a guarantee anymore.)

Who Experiences Wage Stagnation?

Pew, along other sources, point to 1979 as the year when purchasing power was roughly the same as it is today. For that reason, you’ll find many models that compare today’s wages with that year.

For example, you’ll find that when we talk about wage stagnation, we’re really only talking about low- and middle-income earners in the United States. A chart from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows why — middle-wage earners saw their incomes rise just 6% over from 1979 to 2013, while the lowest wage earners lost about 5% of their wages. In that same time period, the top earners in the country experienced a wage growth of 41%. The growth of middle-income earners was only because of a boost around 1999 — wages were stagnant for 20 years before that, and another 10-plus years following it.

Why Wages Haven’t Grown

People can point to a number of reasons why wages haven’t grown in a real, useable sense in years. Some of it has to do with economic policy, and some of it happens organically when recessions hit — wages grow and shrink just like any other economic indicator. However, there are some more obvious factors that have hit wages particularly hard, causing most people to see little increase in their spending power over time. Here are a few of them.

1. The Cost of Benefits Has Skyrocketed

Wages and salaries might make up about 70% of how employees are compensated, but those aren’t the only costs of employment that companies need to balance. Unfortunately, the rising costs of the other 30% is contributing to wage suppression. Health care, one of the most obvious and costly forms of employee benefits, have notoriously skyrocketed, completely out of the control of workers themselves.

Overall, the cost of benefits to employers has risen roughly 284% from 1982 until the end of 2015, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (We averaged the employment cost index for benefits from each year, then calculated the percent change over time.) With those kinds of increases, it’s not a huge leap to conclude that executives have balanced their books by compensating the larger benefits costs with stagnated wages — even if the benefits don’t change much on the surface.

2. Globalization & Technology Have a Significant Role

Both globalization and technology advances have made it easier for businesses to accomplish their goals for less money. However, that also means that other companies can get in on the action — and drive up competition. To keep costs low and stay competitive, many businesses are stagnating wages to meet their bottom line objectives, U.S. News & World Report argues. “The intensification of competition makes it very hard to simply pass along the increased costs,” Robert Shapiro, an economist with the Brookings Institution, told U.S. News. Somebody’s got to lose money in the business equation, and in many cases it’s employees.

3. CEOs Are Taking a Larger Cut

As we’ve written about before, CEO pay has skyrocketed in the past several decades, a trend that helps the people who are taking the most risks and (presumably) doing the most work. However, this leaves much, much less money in the company coffers to boost wages for the majority of employees.

Another chart from EPI shows CEOs make roughly 296 times what the average employee makes at their company. In most cases, CEO wage increases aren’t tied to extra company productivity, but do help to explain the gap between the typical worker’s salary and productivity overall. It used to be that company productivity increases also led to average employee wage increases. However, that’s not the case anymore, with productivity far outpacing worker salaries and wages.

The One Bright Spot With Wages in America

It’s easy to become Eeyore-like about wage stagnation in this country, especially since we haven’t seen any real increases to speak of in the past several decades, but particularly since the recession. However, there is a small shard of a silver lining in all of this: After years of post-recession stalling, wages are starting to go up in larger increments.

The June 2016 jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that jobs are hiring hundreds of thousands of new employees. But more relevant to this topic is that wages have also increased to an average of $25.61 per hour in June 2016, representing a 2.6% increase compared to the previous year. Is that anything to go crazy about? Maybe not. The EPI recommends that year-over-year wage increases need to get into the 3.5% or 4% range for workers to really experience any positive effects on their livelihoods.

However, the organization also put together a chart showing there is reason to be cautiously optimistic. The 2.6% year-over-year increase in wages is the highest level we’ve seen in almost seven years, since 2009 around the time the recession ended. That’s not large, considering that most year-over-year increases in decades past were around 4% in the years right before the Great Recession, and in the 8-9% range during the height of inflation in the 1970s and 1980s. However, if the upward trend continues, and the labor market remains tight (with unemployment low), we might start to see some changes in a positive direction. For the sake of our paychecks, let’s hope so.

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.  

[Editor’s Note: Your income doesn’t directly affect your credit, but low wages or a bout of unemployment can make it harder make loan payments or keep credit card debt under control, which can hurt your scores. To see where your credit currently stands, you can view two of your credit scores for free, updated each month, on Credit.com.]

 

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