Election Anxiety? Here Are 5 Popular Job Openings in Canada


It seems like the 2016 election has everyone on edge. Though threatening to flee the country during an election year has become somewhat of a tradition in recent years, this particular election — between two wildly different candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — has given those threats a tinge of seriousness. People are seriously thinking about moving to Canada if their candidate doesn’t win, and the numbers show that it may not be just hyperbole this time.

According to data from job search site Monster, the number of Americans looking for jobs in Canada has spiked 58% over last year. “Between January and October of this year, Monster saw 30,296 job searches using the keyword ‘Canada’ on Monster’s U.S. website, which is a jump from the 19,693 in all of 2015,” a Monster rep told The Cheat Sheet.

While these numbers are still relatively small, it does go to show that the 2016 election has people seriously considering some life-altering decisions in fear of the fallout.

Move to Canada? Mull it Over, First

Of course, talk is cheap. People threaten to move to Canada every election year, and very few ever actually follow through. But again, this election seems different, and if Monster’s numbers are any indication, there may actually be a bigger migration north of the border in coming years than we’ve seen before.

Keep in mind, however, that it may not be the best long-term move for most Americans.

As far as the data on searches goes, Monster’s team said the majority of Americans looking for jobs in Canada are looking in Ontario, with Toronto being the most often-searched destination. Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver followed close behind. In terms of the types of jobs Americans are searching for, engineering jobs had the highest hits. That’s trailed by IT work and jobs in the financial industry.

But when it comes to where the opportunity lies, Monster’s team ran down the top five jobs with the most openings (per its data) in Canada. If you truly plan to make a run for the border after the dust settles, these will probably be the easiest jobs to get.

1. Retail Workers

With 25,843 openings listed in Monster’s database, retail jobs present the most opportunity for American political refugees fleeing to Canada. These jobs can be challenging no matter where you’re living, as they’re commonly known to wear you down and often don’t pay extremely well.

2. Retail Management

All those retail workers need management and supervision, and there are plenty of opportunities for that in Canada. Per Monster’s data, there are 12,926 openings for retail managers and supervisors across Canada. You’ll still be in the retail sector, which may not be thrilling, but if you’re looking to build your management experience, this could be a good route.

3. Truck Drivers

With 13,002 openings, it’s clear that truck drivers are needed to transport cargo all across Canada. U.S. Census data has shown that truck drivers have one of the most common professions in the country, and given Canada’s similar layout — namely, sprawling geography ranging from the Pacific to the Atlantic — truckers are needed up north as well.

4. Sales & Account Representatives

Sales is a hot field in Canada, at least according to the Monster numbers. There are 12,411 openings for sales and account representatives, which may be an attractive field for those who wish to remain in the sales game, but don’t want to go into the retail sector. These jobs typically pay more as well.

5. Customer Information Reps

Finally, customer and information representatives, with 11,696 openings, fills out the list. Essentially, these jobs require workers help customers. That can include walking them through product choices or fixing any issues with their purchases. If this sounds like it’s more up your alley than straight-up sales, there are jobs to be had.

[Editor’s Note: Remember, if you’re simply looking for a new job in the U.S., it’s important to remember that many employers look at a version of your credit reports as part of the application process. Because of this, it’s a good idea to know where your credit currently stands. You can see two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.]

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.

Image: Dinic

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5 Ways to Talk About the Election at Work Without Starting World War III


The 2016 presidential election is the most contentious race in recent memory. Whatever your position on the question of Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton, chances are, you’re just ready for this election season to be over.

Unfortunately, the political fighting will likely get worse before it gets better. We can expect election chatter to reach a fever pitch in the last few weeks before November 8. Some of the talk will inevitably spill over into the workplace.

What should you do when water cooler chats take a political turn? Tread carefully, say experts.

“With passions running high this political season, individuals run the risk of saying things or behaving in ways that can be considered unprofessional or discriminatory toward each other,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, said. When the job search website surveyed people back in May and June, it found that 30% of employers and 17% of employees had argued with a co-worker over a candidate, most often about Donald Trump.

Office political debates were most common in the IT sector, followed by manufacturing and business services. Men were more likely to get involved in presidential election arguments than women, and younger people got into heated debate more often than older workers.

Political debates aren’t just happening between co-workers. Sometimes, CEOs and bosses jump into the fray, encouraging employees to vote for one candidate over the other. Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, estimates that as many as 14 million Americans had experienced political coercion from an employer, such as being told to vote for a certain candidate or risk losing their job.

Political disagreement and discussion may be unavoidable at this time of year, but it doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Before you get into a debate about the merits of Trump versus Clinton with your co-worker, make sure you’re aware of these five tips for talking politics at the office.

1. Don’t Do It

In the interest of productivity, try to keep your political conversations restricted to non-work times, Bruce Tulgan, a management expert and founder of Rainmaker Thinking, said. Focus on the job at hand, rather than the latest Clinton or Trump bombshell.

“You don’t want to feel like you are muzzled at work when it comes to talking about non-work matters,” Tulgan told The Cheat Sheet. “But most people have more work to do than they have time. If you don’t have enough time to get your work done, then you should definitely not spend valuable work time talking about politics. That’s especially true when it comes to controversial topics, especially controversial topics about which people are likely to have especially strong feelings.”

2. Understand the Ground Rules

A workplace free of presidential election chit-chat might be best for productivity, but it’s probably a pipe dream. With an election this dramatic, people are bound to talk. But before you hang up your vote Trump bumper sticker or “I’m with Her” poster in your cube, check to see what’s allowed and what’s not.

Some workplaces ban political paraphernalia, like posters, signs, and buttons. Others clamp down on political talk entirely. About one-quarter of employers have a formal policy on political activity and speech at work, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). With a few exceptions, companies are free to shut down political talk in the workplace.

“Private-sector employers may generally impose broad limits on employees’ political activities and discussions during working hours, even if other types of personal activities are permitted,” Dan Prywes, partner in the District of Columbia office of the law firm Bryan Cave, told U.S. News and World Report.

3. Keep it Civil

Roughly one-quarter of HR professionals said they were seeing more political volatility in their offices compared to previous election cycles, a SHRM survey found. With tensions running high, discussions can quickly get heated. Some fights have even turned physical, the Chicago Tribune reported.

When you do wade into the political waters, try to do so respectfully. Unrestrained comments about women, Muslims, immigrants, or other groups may be offensive to some, and could violate workplace harassment policies. And remember that not everyone shares your political beliefs, even in an environment where political opinions seem homogeneous. Your co-workers may keep mum about their stance to avoid conflict, according to SHRM survey respondents. You could inadvertently put your foot in your mouth if your start spouting off about the one of the candidates. The same goes for clients, where a moment of candor could cost your company business.

4. Be Diplomatic

You might prefer to keep your political opinions to yourself, but your nosy co-worker just has to know who you’re voting for. When someone tries to drag you into a political discussion you’d prefer to stay out of, you have two options. One, share your opinion briefly and diplomatically. Two, decline to get involved.

“Don’t be coy about it — that will only make people more curious and feel like they have the go ahead to badger you into talking,” Tulgan said. “But also don’t feel like you owe it to people to let them know where you stand politically. Do say, ‘I prefer to focus on work when I’m at work.’”

What if a persistent colleague just won’t stop pestering you to talk politics? (Or is trying convince you to switch sides?)

“All you can do is keep demurring as politely as you can,” Tulgan said. “Put it in terms of not wanting to spend valuable work time on discussing non-work matters, especially matters that might leave you or others feeling agitated or even just distracted.”

5. Watch What You Say Online

These days, many of our political conversations happen online and via social media. Some of that conversation is civil, but Facebook discussions, internet memes, and Twitter wars can get ugly. If a co-worker spots your off-color response to your Trump-supporting uncle on Facebook, it could come back to haunt you at work. People have been fired for broadcasting their personal political views online.

“Political or not — even if intended as satire — an employee who offends reasonable people with his online speech risks losing his job,” attorney Eric Meyer told the SHRM.

Does that mean you shouldn’t feel free to express yourself on social media? No. But you should be thoughtful about what you say and share. You should also be prepared for the possibility that others will see your comments, and that you may be dragged into a political discussion as a result.

“If you decide to post online, especially if your co-workers, direct reports, managers, vendors, or customers might see, then you will have a much harder time steering clear of the subject matter at work,” Tulgan said.

[Editor’s Note: You can track your financial goals, including building a good credit score, for free every 14 days on Credit.com.]

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.  

Image: Tijana87

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Does Donald Trump Have A HUGE Credit Score?


In the media world, something unprecedented happened last week. Arguably, the most neutral media property in the land, USA Today, ran an editorial entitled, “Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency,’ ” with an explainer (in case the message wasn’t sufficiently clear): “The Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. We’re doing it now.” This, oddly enough, got me thinking about Mr. Trump’s credit … not his business credit. His personal credit, i.e., his credit score.

Of the alleged faults and foibles noted in the editorial, a few of them have the potential to hurt a person’s creditworthiness. I started to think about that. What sort of credit profile and credit score might Mr. Trump have according to the criteria used by most lenders?

First, let’s consider the five criteria that comprise a credit score:

  1. Payment history. Timely payment, late payments, nonpayments are all reported, and account for around 35% of a person’s score.
  2. Credit utilization comprises about 30% of your credit score. If you have $5,000 in available credit, you should try to keep the unpaid balance during any given month below $1,000—better yet, $500. The less debt a person carries, the better risk (or lack thereof) he or she represents to a lender.
  3. The age of your credit accounts for about 15% of credit score. Closing an account can impact both credit utilization and the overall age of a person’s credit.
  4. The mix of accounts matters. About 10% of your score is based on what kinds of credit accounts you have. The more varied, the better here.
  5. Hard inquiries are about 10% of your score. The more credit you shop for, the more potential lenders get concerned that you are a bit too interested in building your spending power — which is a positive spin for potential over-crediting and financial difficulties.

What Might Be Trump’s Credit Score?

There isn’t enough gold on this planet to tempt me to make a guess given how litigious the Republican candidate has consistently been during his long career, but there is enough evidence out there based on public statements made by The Donald that he would almost certainly say, “I guarantee there is no problem. I’m a 990!”

Note: The scale for most credit scores tops out at 850.

While doubtless Mr. Trump can borrow from any number of banks, unlike the American people, they get to see his tax returns.

Major caveat: While there is a firewall between a person’s business dealings and their personal credit (so long as there have been no personal guarantees and the business has a sufficient balance sheet and credit history), what follows looks at a hypothetical situation where that firewall doesn’t exist.

There are some indications that perhaps Mr. Trump might not represent the best risk to a potential lender. Yes, he has been using credit for a long time, so the age issue is not going to be a big factor. As for utilization — 30% of your credit score — it’s hard to know since the public has not been afforded a look into his finances beyond the fact that companies he owns have at least $650 million in debt, a reasonable amount in light of his alleged assets, which The Donald has often proffered. And yes, based upon what we know, Mr. Trump has a good mix of loans. One would also imagine in Mr. Trump’s credit phantasmagoria there are plenty of hard inquiries and he utilizes his credit to its utmost.

That said, on the first factor, payment history, which accounts for up to 35% of a credit score, Mr. Trump, based on countless reports, appears to have had some issues. While he may well pay off his credit cards and other personal loans in a timely fashion, in this hypothetical there’s no firewall between business and personal. Trump’s companies are alleged to have a long history of not paying for services rendered. Fox News, in fact, did a story in June stating that, “Donald Trump has been sued at least 60 times by individuals and businesses who accuse him of failing to pay for work done at his various properties.” That story referenced earlier reporting on the subject by both The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Hillary Clinton, it appears, was wrong when she said Mr. Trump’s companies had filed for bankruptcy four times. His ventures have filed for bankruptcy six times according to the Pulitzer Prize-winning organization Politifact. As these were not personal bankruptcies, they would not affect The Donald’s score, but in our firewall-free hypothetical (AKA “the real world”), those bankruptcies could really hurt – and don’t forget, bankruptcies stay on your credit report for 10 years.

Of course, without access to Mr. Trump’s taxes and credit report, it’s very hard to make a well-reasoned guess as to the state of his credit. But all of this does remind me a bit of the Great Recession of 2008. Liar loans – also known as “no-doc loans” played a major role in that mess. This was the process by which consumers applied for loans without having to provide paperwork documenting their income and assets. Financial institutions went right along – wink, wink — knowing full well the moral hazard of allowing a borrower to vouch for his or her own financial situation.

Donald Trump is the only candidate for president in our lifetime who has not released his personal tax information to the public. That arguably makes him a kind of a “no-doc” candidate. This may matter to you because if he is elected president, we will be entrusting him with one of the most complex financial instruments in existence: the United States economy.

This story is an Op/Ed contribution to Credit.com and does not necessarily represent the views of the company or its partners.

Image: andykatz

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