5 05 14

Update:Unemployment, the fear of running out of money, loss of unemployment benefits, fears of going hungry and becoming homeless, make you desperate and an easy prey. Emails are out promising a decent if not excellent weekly wage for only a few hours of work. Seems the most popular right now is called “Mystery Shopper” and the company to mystery shop is Western Union & Moneygram.

Here is the latest email I received:
From: Larry Page
Subject: $300/SURVEY
Body of email:
“Be a secretshopper and make $300 per assignment survey with western union and Moneygram. Reply with your Full names….complete address and cel # for the check to carry out assignments/tasks…….

Thanks.”

I replied asking for information about the company. This was May 2, 2014. I have not heard back and do not expect to. Ask the questions. Look up the email on Google. There are no results available for this email address. What comes up is UKR for Ukraine. Ukr.net is an email service for Ukrainians.

Due Diligence will save you a lot of heartbreak and stress.


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28 04 14

The fear of financial loss can be overwhelming. So much so that we grab onto any good job offer out there. This leaves the unemployed vulnerable to financial scams. Promises of earning millions, six-figure incomes per month, fast earnings, large weekly paychecks and many more phrases that catch the eye and hold promise.

A good rule of thumb is this: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

I am always in search of legitimate opportunities to earn a few more dollars an hour, week, and month. One of the most important rules of job search is to be prepared to interview the potential employer. In other words ask the tough questions, even if it means risking not getting the job. A legitimate employer will answer your questions, inviting you to ask about their company and policies. Any employer who insists on not answering your questions is not worth your time or energy.

There are many job offers that seem legitimate. You may find titles such as Mystery Shopper Wanted, Customer Service Representative, Personal Assistant, and a few other similar titles. Do not let the title fool you.

Another clue it might not be a legitimate offer? A skimpy job description or a requirement to have your own bank account.

Here are a couple of email samples I have received:

Hello,

We are searching for individuals to partake in our new secretshopper-survey

Descriptions :

You are to mainly act like an everyday customer doing a regular transaction to secretly investigate various western union outlets in your Area reported recently for unethical behaviors. You will be sent funding prior to each Assignment. Be advised that all Applicants are required to have a checking account for funding via direct deposit as per MSPA (Mystery Shopping Providers Association) regulations. Your funding will include your salary of USD150 And any monies required to pay for services acquired during the course of your assignment You will be paid USD150/assignment.

If you’re interested please provide contact details below to get started

Name:
Full.Address:
Genders & Age:
Phones:
Countries:

The quicker you apply the bigger the possibility you will get a shop to visit_soonest.

Sincerely,
Eliane Myers

This is not a legitimate job offer. The clue is in the way this is written.

Another one I received requested my information and the job description included a personal bank account, taking deliveries and cashing customer checks in my bank account, then paying his bills for him. NEVER use your personal bank account.

The income offer is for $650 per week or better, with a four day work week. Sounds great right? Ask questions, learn about the company, do your research.

Warning: If you use your personal account, cash and route money through that account, you are legally liable for every cent. The checks will not clear. Money orders are another form of payment that is not always valid. They are not accepted by all banks any longer because of the rip off potential.

Job boards are a great source for your search. However, they do not screen employers. Read the job description and ask questions. I had one man become insulted because I asked questions. I did not get the job, but that is alright, I won’t get ripped off.

Do you have a job scam story? Share with us here or follow me on my social networks. I look forward to sharing with you.


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22 04 14

The job market sucks. If you read the statistics regarding the unemployed in this country and around the world, you would be disheartened. Statistics only cover what is actually reported. They are a view to what may be, not what is. The unemployment rates are increasing with the closing of more department stores and factories. We purchase less, there fore the stores need to reduce their expenses. The end result is many find themselves unemployed.

Recently the long term employment assistance many were receiving was cut. With no hope of that changing many are in fear of being homeless and hungry. We do not need to be in despair or at the mercy of the economy. It is not easy but changing from no income to some income is a task anyone can undertake.

One of my favorite resources is What Color is your Parachute? The Job Hunter’s Bible is on line. The author of What Color is your Parachute?, Richard Bolles, has published this book every year for the past decade at least. I have not gone through history to look at the number of publications.

Bolles provides tools to change careers, work from home, develop a small business, find employment in the same or a different job title, plus much more. You can create an outstanding resume from the many ideas and tools he offers. It is a great source of inspiration when you feel stuck.

Getting over the hump of no income or job is not always easy. A few ideas are as follows:

  • Develop a support group. This can be others who are unemployed, family, friends, or join a group.
  • Pull out your resume. Review. Make notes about what has changed since the last time you used it.
  • Google or Bing search your field. The job title you had, are there others similar?
  • Write a job description for this last job you had. Note improvements, accomplishments, skills developed.
  • Collect job descriptions within similar industries. Even the same job description in other industries.
  • Do you like the work you do? One suggestion Bolles notes is to look at what you liked and disliked about your current job.
  • Have you considered working at home? Perhaps starting your own business from home.
  • Take a look at the skills and job description you have written. What home business can you create? Is there a market for your particular skills?

Each day do something that will enhance your outlook, create opportunities. Do not get into a habit of wishing and waiting. You have the skills to succeed. Find a new way to use them to your benefit.

I would love to hear about your progress, perhaps suggestions to add to this article. Share what has worked with you. You can also connect with me at Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.Share your tips and tricks to survive being unemployed.


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9 04 14

Lunches are packed and the kids are off to school.  The house is comfortably tidy and the errands are done.  If you’re a stay-at-home mom you’ve probably got a system down that frees up a good bit of time in your day.  So what will you do with that time?  Many stay-at-home moms are discovering ways that they can remain at home to manage the affairs of the house and family without compromising the ability to also make a contribution to the household financial situation.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports a significant decrease in stay-at-home mother numbers from 2008-2012.  A strained economy forced many stay-at-home mothers to make a tough decision, pitting financial security against full time-mothering and household management.  But some women refuse to make that choice and instead opt for another option that entails a careful balance between family, house and finances.  How did they do this?  Simple.  Work from home.

There are many jobs that can be done from home while the kids are in school.

Computer Programming

In a technology driven world, it’s no secret that computer programmers are in high demand. While one would need to invest in some computer classes to be able to program computers, it is a time and money investment that is sure to offer great returns financially while offering flexibility to match.  How great is that?  US News Money reports that the average computer programmer in the U.S. is paid an annual salary of $78,260.00.  What a great contribution to the family budget—sans the daycare bill!

Photography

If you’re more of an artistic person photography could be an avenue of extra income while your little ones are in school.   You may have an eye for photographing things and with some basic equipment these days a person can produce a pretty impressive result.  Remember that photography doesn’t stop at taking photos of weddings and portraits.  There is also landscape photography, food photography and other small jobs working for real estate, appraisal and insurance companies taking photos of properties for listings, valuation and insurance inspections or claims.   If being a photographer isn’t necessarily up your ally, you could also consider other jobs related to photography, such as editing digital images for busy photographers.  These jobs do not require a degree, and little experience, much of which can be gained through on-the-job training.

Web Design

Web Design is a great choice for those who are interested in getting into the technology field, but still want an element of artistic creativity.  Most businesses these days have or need a website.  Even small operations should really have one—it’s almost an expectation in today’s technology dependent society.  There are a couple of ways a person can do web design as a job.  The first is to go to school and learn web design.  Another more simple way may be to offer design using hosting sites that have pre-made websites that are customizable.  As long as you can familiarize yourself with how each hosts site setup works, you can then use this knowledge to create a website for someone else’s business.

Daycare

The idea of having kids in the house after you’ve sent yours to school may not appeal to everyone, but if having little tikes around is something that you love, doing daycare for just a couple of children might be a great solution for you.  Most states require licensing only after a certain number of children are being cared for, and aside of the pay that comes from the parents, many states also have nutritional programs that offer supplement income to providers for tracking and feeding healthy meals to children.  This can be a very rewarding job, with some in home daycare providers being the first step toward learning, much the same as pre-school.

Direct Sales

Yes, I said it!  Direct sales.  These kinds of opportunities aren’t for everyone.  They require a high level of motivation and discipline.  There are a myriad of reputable direct sales companies that nurture and mentor women to success—most of them focusing on empowering women to be successful in career without compromising family and home.   With everything from candles to weight loss programs, it’s easy to find a company that offers a product that is in line with your values to help you make a few extra bucks each month.


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1 04 14

The methods employed to increase your search engine rankings may seem like rocket science to you, so you have
probably avoided dealing with this issue. I am here to tell you – the time has come to face your website! A high search
engine ranking for your website is so essential that if you have the slightest desire to actually succeed in your business, there is no way you can continue to avoid this issue.

At least 85% of people looking for goods and services on the Internet find websites through search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The idea of optimizing your pages for high search engine rankings is to attract targeted customers to your site who will be more than likely to make a purchase. The higher your page comes up in search engine results, the greater the traffic that is directed to your website. That’s what search engine optimization is about.

You can immerse yourself in all the technical information available online to figure out how to optimize your web pages to achieve higher rankings. Or you can look at a few simple items on your pages, make some small adjustments, and most likely see improved rankings quite rapidly. The first item you should examine is the title bar on yourhomepage.

The title bar is the colored bar at the top of the page. Look at the words that appear there when you access your home page. To increase search engine rankings, the words on your homepage’s title bar should include the most important keywords or phrases, one of which would include your company name.

Then click on all your links and examine the title bars on the pages you access. Each title bar on every single page of your site should contain the most important keywords and phrases taken from the page itself. However, avoid very long strings of keywords, keeping them to six words or less. Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title bars, and make sure that identical words are not next to each other.

The next item to put under your microscope is your website content. Search engines generally list sites that contain quality content rather than scintillating graphics. The text on your site must contain the most important keywords – the words that potential customers will be typing into search engines to find your site.

Aim to have around 250 words on each page, but if this is not desirable due to your design, aim for at least 100 carefully chosen words. If you want to achieve a high ranking on search engines, this text is essential. However, the search engines must be able to read the text, meaning that the text must be in HTML and not graphic format.

To find out if your text is in HTML format, take your cursor and try to highlight a word or two. If you are able
to do this, the text is HTML. If the text will not highlight, it is probably in graphic form. In this case, ask your webmaster to change the text into HTML format in order to increase your search engine rankings.

Next we come to what is called meta tags. I know this sounds like something out of science fiction, but it is really just simple code. Many people believe that meta tags are the key to high search engine rankings, but in reality, they only have a limited effect. Still, it’s worth adding them in the event that a search engine will use meta tags in their ranking formula.

To find out if your page is set up with meta tags, you must access the code. To do this, click the “view” button on the
browser menu bar, and select “source.” This will pull up a window revealing the underlying code that created the page.
If there are meta tags, they usually appear near the top of the window. For example, a meta tag would read: meta
name=”keywords” content=. If you do not find code that reads like this, ask your webmaster to put them in. This may not do much for your search engine rankings, but any little boost helps.

Lastly, we come to the issue of link popularity. This is a factor that is extremely important in terms of search engine rankings. Almost all search engines use link popularity to rank your website. Link popularity is based on the quality of the sites you have linked to from your links page.

If you type in “free link popularity check” in a popular search engine, the search engine will then show you what sites are linked to your site. In the case that there aren’t many sites linked up to yours, or that the sites that are linked up have low search engine rankings, consider launching a link popularity campaign. Essentially, this entails contacting quality sites and requesting that they exchange links with your site. Of course, this requires checking out the rankings of the websites you want
to link up with. Linking to popular, quality sites not only boosts your search engine ranking, but it also directs more quality traffic to your website.

Search engine rankings are extremely important for a successful Internet marketing campaign. Before you go out and hire a search engine optimization company, try taking some of the simple steps listed above, and see if you can’t boost your rankings yourself. Don’t ever ignore this all-important factor in Internet marketing. Remember, the higher your search engine ranking, the more quality customers will be directed your way.

The best piece of software I have found to help with optimizing my blog and client websites: WebCEO. This program provides you with a full report, training, and insights into website optimization and a keyword search tool.


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