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Sideliner


  • "It is a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose your own."

    Harry S. Truman


  • "It is true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?"

    Ronald Reagan - U.S. President


  • "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it."

    Thomas Jefferson - U.S. President

  • The Mystery Shopping Club

    (Operated by ed-u.com's sister site)


    Are you a student over 18? Part-time teacher? Parent? Just someone that needs some extra income? Some free food and drinks perhaps? Would you like to pick your own hours? - Casual work is available to you now...

    The following is an article taken from Choices Magazine after a visit to the Mystery Shopping Club.

    "Wanted: Shopaholic nosey parker with excellent observational skills, a good ear and flexible attitude to part-time work. Anyone can apply. Work available in all areas. Must be prepared to eat free meals, enjoy shopping discounts and visit pubs - and be paid for it."

    Believe it or not, the above job advertisement is not as far fetched as it sounds. If you love shopping, you'll be pleased to hear that it's possible to shop for a living. In fact, it's a multi-million pound industry for market research companies who employ "mystery shoppers" to shop up and down the country - all in the name of customer service and research.

    There are a number of mystery shopping companies who organise whole armies of professional shoppers on behalf of retailers, pubs, restaurants, banks and other service industries. Their mission? To mingle in, look inconspicuous and file a report on anything from customer service to cleanliness in the restrooms.

    If you visit one or two pubs in a night, you'll get your food and drink paid for, travel expenses and you'll be paid anything from £6.00 to £8.00 up for each visit.

    But there is one problem with mystery shopping: truly dedicated shoppers never switch off from their work. You'll find yourself compulsively evaluating service and checking ceilings for cobwebs even when you're not on duty. It eventually becomes a part of your life.

    To find out more about casual employment opportunities in the "Secret Shopper" industry, please visit ed-u.com's sister site:

    Click here for the Mystery Shopping Club UK


    ed-u.com brings you the World

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    The Transatlantic Education Mega-Site...

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION ppi Have you taken out a credit card, mortgage, secured loan, unsecured loan or hire purchase agreement in the last ten years? If you have (or have had) a mortgage, loan or credit card with providers such as Abbey, Barclaycard, MBNA, Halifax, HSBC, HBOS, Lloyds TSB, Natwest, RBS or in fact any other credit provider, you may be able to reclaim up to 15,000 if you were sold PPI insurance - in most cases even if you've lost the paperwork. Learn more about PPI Claims now!

    BECOME A MYSTERY SHOPPER Are you a student over 18? Part-time teacher? Or maybe a parent or just someone that needs some extra income? Some free food and drinks perhaps? Would you like to pick your own hours? Casual work is available now.

    The Mystery Shopping Club provides you with an EXCEPTIONAL collation of intelligence that is crucial for anyone with an interest in Mystery Shopping. Become a Mystery Shopper now!

    EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITY It is simple to get your site listed on ed-u.com! You simply pay a small one-time-only administration charge for a PERMANENT lifetime advert! Learn more about advertising on ed-u.com now!

    Kate
  • Writersdepartment.com; WritersDepartment.com is an online freelance writing agency that hires professional writers, editors and researchers. Freelancers may also get free writing tips and share their knowledge.

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    Everything You Need to Know about Saving for Retirement

    When you're young and haven't long started out your working life, it can be easy to neglect retirement plans as that time of your life is so far off in the distance. Too often though, we start to think like that right up until we're at least in our 30s, which can have a gross impact on the lifestyle we'll be able to enjoy in retirement.

    If this sounds a bit like your train of thought and you're not sure where to start when it comes to retirement, then here are the main things you should be considering:

    Time

    Time is of the essence when it comes to retirement. You'll need to ask yourself the question of how much time you have to save until you plan to retire. This is of course dependent on your age now and at which age you plan to retire. However this time frame will also establish how much it will cost you each month to save for retirement, based on the standard of living you wish to keep in retirement. There are plenty of online pension calculator tools you can use which will take into account your age, planned retirement age, salary and planned retirement income to come up with the figure you should start saving in order to meet your ideal retirement lifestyle. In most cases, it basically means that the earlier you can start saving, the more affordable your pension will be.

    401k

    This is of course the most popular of retirement benefits offered by employers. This method of saving involves a direct proportion from your paycheck heading straight into a 401k account each month. The benefits of this are that it allows you to save a proportion each month from very early, allowing you to grow an investment over time, with your employer often adding a percentage to match your contributions. Plus, as the money is deducted from your paycheck, it's also classed as a tax free amount. However there are limits as to what you can pay into your 401k per year. You can check this beginner guide for more information.

    IRA

    Whereas a 401k is a fund set up to invest money for you, an IRA gives you more control over your cash and where you invest it. The idea of an IRA and the benefits of it are pretty similar to a 401k, however not everyone is eligible and again there are contribution limits which you'll need to look into before investing. With an IRA you'd still save a proportion of your paycheck each month and invest for as long as you could to grow your retirement fund to the max. Here you can find beginner guide.

    Gold IRA

    Here's the quick beginner's guide to gold IRA investments: basically you can use money saved in an IRA to invest in gold rather than stocks or shares options. It's pretty much the same kind of idea, saving monthly adhering to tax and contribution limits, providing you're eligible. Some people prefer a gold IRA to a traditional IRA as they see gold as a more valuable investment than stocks, shares or currencies. For more information, you can check this guide.

    Avoid common mistakes

    No matter where, how or when you choose to invest, there are a few things you need to watch out for in order to maximise your income. For example, if your employer offers a 401k programme, take advantage of their match.

    Don't forget to diversify your portfolio - it's better to spread your cash around to safeguard anything happening to your investments. Choose a range of different investment options for your IRA and 401k, to ensure you yield maximum returns. And don't forget to have a regular savings account too, as a back-up if nothing else. Whilst there are many more things you can do to ensure you create the best retirement fund for you, these handy tips will put you on the right path to retirement in no time.

    "Why Can't You Find A Job In This Economy?"

    By Guest Writer Deborah Brown

    I hear a lot of people say that they have to stay in a job they dislike because there are no available jobs today. They tell me to look around and see the layoffs, see all the people out of work, and see the companies whose earnings are lower. How can they possibly look for something else? They should just be grateful for what they have.

    Yes, the economy is worse today than it was 2 years ago, but is that a reason to stay in a job that is making you unhappy? You can give into the notion that it cannot happen for you, or you can do something about it. Which way do you want it to go?

    So, how do you find a job in this economy? Follow these easy steps.

    1. Believe That It Is Possible To Find Another Job:

    This is the first and most important step, as believing that it is possible will put you on the pathway to making it happen. Sure there are layoffs in today's economy. And, people you know still have not found jobs since they were let go. I am not saying it will be easy, or will not take some time, but that does not mean that it cannot happen. Believe that it can, and put steps in place to make it a reality.

    2. Stop Listening To Other People Who Say There Are No Jobs:

    There are still plenty of companies looking for good people, and you are one of the people they want. People sometimes say that it can not be done because of their own fears or misfortunes. Maybe they have wanted another job for a long time, but have been afraid to do anything about it. Or, maybe they have been looking for a while with no luck. So what they are really saying is "I am afraid I will not find another job", or "Finding a job has been difficult for me."

    Each person's search is different and your experience may be more positive that those who are afraid or have had trouble. Once you have this perspective, you can see that that there is no real evidence that no jobs exist, just other people's opinion about what the job market has been for them. You are not out to save the world, you just need one job.

    3. Update Your Resume:

    This seems simple enough, but I see the resume process as the number one roadblock that keeps people from starting their job search. They wonder "What did I accomplish at my present/last job?" or "Maybe my experience will not be worthwhile to another employer?" Updating your resume can be daunting at first, but once you sit down and think about all the things that you did accomplish, the ideas will start flowing.

    4. Start Researching Companies You Want To Work For:

    Yes, even if this economy you can still say whom you want to work for. Get on the Internet and start looking at the companies that interest you. Write them a letter or send them an e-mail telling them why you want to work for them based on the conclusions you made from researching their company. They will appreciate the time you took to do this, and you may be rewarded with an interview, or even a job!

    5. Get An Action Plan Together:

    By what date do you want to have your new job? What action steps will you take to make this happen? Once you have your job search mapped out, you can move forward. Remember there is no outcome without a goal. And planning on the front end will make your job search easier, and more effective

    6. Get Support:

    Enlist the help of a friend, spouse, coach, etc. Someone who will objectively support you and keep you accountable for your word. Looking for another job can be frustrating, time consuming, and disappointing. You want someone who can support you through the obstacles, both external and internal. Remember that you do not have to conduct a job search on your own.

    7. Reward Yourself:

    Yes, the final reward is a job you love, but there are milestones that can be rewarded along the way. Sent your resume to five employers? Reward! Went on one job interview this week? Reward! When you look back at your job search from your new desk, you will be grateful for the journey, as this is what brought the brand new happy you!

    So, what will it be? You only have one life to live so it might as well be a life you love.

    You can visit Deborah Brown's site at Surpassyourdreams.com, send an e-mail to info@surpassyourdreams.com or call (516) 432-2440

    Interview Tips

    We realise an interview can be a stressful experience, but there is help at hand. Read the following tried and trusted tips carefully and be prepared.

    1. Place a piece of paper and a pen in front of you now.

    2. There are few things worse in life than running late for an important interview. Consider setting the alarm much earlier than usual and giving yourself TOO MUCH time. It will enable you to arrive a little early and you'll have time to collect your thoughts. Write a list of the things that you will have to do on the morning of the interview and the times that you have to do them. Along with the time of the alarm call, write down the time you expect to be finished breakfast, get washed and dressed, get the kids to school etc. and keep to this schedule.

    3. Plan what you are going to wear to the interview well in advance - make sure that you will look smart and tidy. You don't want to be rushing around at the last minute and risk being late.

    4. Try to find out a bit about the company beforehand. Ask family, friends and neighbours and check if there is any information at your local library.

    5. Know what you are going to say to them and try to anticipate the questions they might ask you.

    6. Make eye contact, smile and shake hands firmly and with confidence - first impressions DO matter.

    7. Wait until you're asked to sit down.

    8. Don't slouch in your chair, fidget, swear or smoke. Don't cross your arms, keep them on your lap. Look and be professional.

    9. Keep car keys in your pocket or bag - held car keys may give the impression that you are in a hurry.

    10. Don't keep looking down or away from the interviewer - maintain eye contact.

    11. Don't mumble and don't interrupt the interviewer. Answer questions honestly in a clear and confident voice, but don't sound overconfident or jokey.

    12. Nod occasionally when the interviewer is talking, to show that you are paying attention. Sound enthusiastic about the company and the job.

    13. Ask the interviewer for clarification if you don't understand a question or answer, it could be crucial.

    14. Only after you are offered the position ask more detailed questions about pay, holiday, etc.

    15. Thank them, smile and shake their hand on the way out.
    If all this just makes you more anxious then click here for advice on stress.

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