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Did you graduate without a job?

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Good morning Loves.  Yesterday my colleagues and I were in our weekly team meeting and our boss announced she’s hiring a summer intern.  She said she’s happy to give a university student an opportunity to get real world work experience so she can find a full time job after graduation.  That’s nice.

Another member on my team said “That’s great because the average time a recent university graduate looks for a job after graduation is five years.”  I’m new to the team so I was in  no position to question what she said.  I have absolutely no source to back up this information, but doesn’t five years seem like a long time to go without a job?

It’s a different time from when I graduated

When I graduated from university back in 2005 job offers were pouring in.  Mind you I graduated in Economics, I was already working full time for an international bank and it was before the market crash.  I think the market crash of 2008 changed the world, not only the world of finance but for all people – students, graduates and experienced employees alike.  The job market is very different today.

I had my pick of jobs back then because having a university degree was an asset.  I couldn’t imagine graduating and having to move back to my parent’s house because I couldn’t find a job.  Doesn’t five years seem like a long time to go without a job? I think it’s a long time, not just for a recent grad but for anyone.

So what do you do if you can’t find a job after graduation?

I guess there are a few options if recent grads can’t find a job straight out of school they can go back to school or look for a job outside their field.  I didn’t know this but I guess the days of employers lining up outside a university graduation ceremony are over.

That didn’t happen at my university graduation, but it did happen on the day of my financial planning exam.  Recruiters from banks were waiting outside the classrooms, handing out their business cards to the 2007 class of new Certified Financial Planners.  Yes I guess the job world is very different today.

Pursue a higher education

I chose to continue studying after I graduated from university, but I did it as I was working full time not as an alternative to finding a job.  I think getting an MBA (or any type of post secondary education) is an asset because education is always a good thing, but is accumulating more debt if you just graduated with student loans a good idea?  I’m not sure.

Get a part time job

The five year statistic has me wondering if students today are just being too picky with their job searches.  I think it’s unrealistic for graduates to expect to find their dream job fresh out of school.  It probably won’t happen and who wants to peak in their career at 22 years old?

The concept of starting at the bottom and working your way up may be completely lost on today’s generation of young workers, but it shouldn’t be.  That’s how the world works and if recent grads need to take a job that’s below their expected standards then they should be open to do so.  After all a part time job is better than no job at all.

Did you get a job right after graduation?

Photo from I’d Pin That

Setting the Tone of Your Home Starting with the Front Entranceway

The entranceway is the first area of your home that people see when they arrive. You want this part of your home to impress people and make them feel welcome. Whatever you want people to feel in the rest of your home is what they should begin feeling the moment they step in the door. This article outlines four things that you can do to change the tone of your home by changing the look of your entranceway.

  1. Start outside

The tone of your home really begins as people make the walk up to your house. A well-manicured lawn and clear pathway is a good start. If you want to take it a step further, you can add flowers and solar lights that will make the walk up to your home even more pleasant. When a yard looks like it is cared for, the same is expected for the inside.

  1. Curb the clutter

It’s easy for the entranceway of your home to become a dumping ground for everyone’s items. All bags, jackets, sweaters, and shoes are dumped in the entry way as soon as people come home. It’s not a great feeling to come home and immediately see everyone’s belongings dumped in the entryway without care. Create spaces for these items. If there is no closet for jackets and shoes, you can put hooks on the wall and a bench underneath. This will create space for belongings as well as a comfortable place to sit. Space in the entry is limited, so it’s important to decide what can stay and what should be taken elsewhere upon entry into the home.

  1. Clean it up

Take pride in your entranceway. Wash the floors and windows and dust the furniture. There is nothing better than walking into your home and having it smell clean. You don’t have to become a fanatic and clean it every day. You can create a wonderful-smelling entry by using flowers, scented candles, and plug-in air fresheners. Make sure to tidy it up daily and remove papers or other things that have found their way into the space.

  1. Light it up

During the day light probably isn’t an issue unless your entranceway has no windows, but in the evenings and during the dark, winter months you’ll want to have good lighting in your entryway. It might not seem like an area of your home that should require such special lighting, but coming into a dark home can feel very uninviting. You might personally be used to a dim entranceway, but once you add more lighting you will immediately see and feel the difference. The change can be as simple as replacing the existing light bulb with a brighter one. If you don’t have an existing setup, you could look at installing an Outdoor 58-Inch Floor Lamp or something similar.

The entranceway of your home is the first glimpse into your home and your life. A beautiful and organized entry makes a good impression and shows what kind of person you are. If you want your home to exude positive feelings, begin with the entranceway.

Andrea Harris loves to fix up her old home in the country. When she’s not pounding a nail or smoothing out wallpaper, she’s writing about it online. You can find her engaging and helpful articles on a variety of websites today.

How to Save Like a Millionaire

1b48510073c9494aa260bed235293796Is there anybody out there who wouldn’t want to be worth a million dollars? Probably not. Most people dream of being rich, imagining how great it would feel to have that kind of financial freedom. How can you get there, though? Or, at least, which habits of millionaires should you copy to have some sort of financial stability? Read on.

  1. If you’re going to get married, look for a spouse who shares the same ideals when it comes to money. According to the book “The Millionaire Next Door,” the average millionaire has a husband or wife and three kids. The partners of these millionaires tend to be good at budgeting and have a frugal approach to living life.
  2. Try to live off of one income, if both you and your spouse bring money in. Budget your set expenses to come out of one income. Save the money that comes in from the other income. This will set you up with a strong savings account, which you’ll need in case one person loses their job. Plus, you’ll increase your net worth while staying on top of your bills and expenses.
  3. Choose your career wisely. While self-employed workers make up under 20% of the workers in the U.S., they also account for two-thirds of millionaires. However, freelancers work 55 hours per week or even more, which doesn’t fit with the common view of freelancers playing golf all day. Whatever career you choose, make sure it’s one you enjoy. Picking a job that you actually like is the only way to ensure that you’ll work as much as necessary. Also, make sure that your career choice is in line with current trends. For example, you may love old school photography, but you’re not going to make a living by selling film cameras.
  4. Invest your money in appreciating assets. According to a survey by Stanley and Danko, millionaires invest approximately 20% of their household income every year. The investments tended to be in transaction securities, like mutual funds and publicly traded stocks. Plus, those surveyed very rarely sold their equities. Also, a very small number of those surveyed leased a car, drove a current model, or sold their home in the last 20 years. In the end, the millionaires put a priority on assets that would make them money, like living in a home while it significantly increased in value.
  5. Don’t live like a millionaire! For a great example of this, look at Warren Buffet, who lived a frugal lifestyle despite his net worth. People who spend money on non-appreciating assets cannot see the return that would come from investing that money in an appreciating asset. If you truly want to build your worth financially, don’t throw money away on fancy cars, expensive toys, and designer clothing.

For more financial advice, check out Pete Briger on CNBC. With some discipline, you may even make it into the millionaires’ club!

4 Fitness Events to Attend in 2015

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(That’s me at the Victoria’s Secret booth at SELF Workout in the Park)

If you want to take a vacation this year but don’t know where to go, I have a few suggestions.  I personally love planning my vacations around events that are happening in the city.  Sometimes it’s a conference, sometimes it’s a show and sometimes it’s a fitness activity.

If you want to get active and visit a new city at the same time here are five fitness events I’ll be attending this year:

SELF Workout in the Park

I discovered this event in SELF Magazine two years ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since.  I love being outside because there’s something really comforting about fresh air.  When I first heard about the event I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday than working out in Central Park.

For only $25 you get access to the event,  unlimited classes including dance workouts, Reebok Cross Fit and yoga from fitness experts at CRUNCH Gym, snacks and drinks all day, a swag bag and all the freebies you can stuff into it.  This event takes place in both Chicago and New York City.

The 5k Color Run

If you’re going to run a 5k why not make it fun!  What’s more fun than getting covered in bright colors by people you don’t know?  Nothing I can think of.  Just check out the photos and you’ll see what I mean.  Tickets start at only $35 per runner and it’s a really fun way to get your workout done that day.

You show up dressed in all white, run a 5k and finish covered in bright pink, yellow, blue and green neon colors.  You won’t be able to do much after the run except go home and shower – but still it’s a fun time!

The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers

Four years ago I was looking for volunteer activities during the summer time and I discovered this wonderful event.  Back then it was called The Weekend to End Breast Cancer and has since evolved to include all types of cancers that affect women.

I like volunteering for this two day event because walking for two days is not really my thing and camping out overnight is really really not my thing.  Of course both those activities are optional but I like to volunteer my time whenever I can.  This event takes place in Montreal and Toronto but there are several walks that support breast cancer across all of North America.

The Boston Half Marathon

I should say that any half marathon event is exciting.  It’s just that I live in Montreal and Boston is the closest major American city.  Oh and I LOVE the city of Boston. The people are fun and the city has a perfect mix of old town charm mixed with a modern day big city.

People train for half marathons for a long time.  Two of my colleagues have been training for about eight months for the Boston marathon (we have a corporate team) and come Saturday April 18 they’ll be ready.