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You Got Fired. Now What?

Author and business expert, Paul B. Brown did a small experiment in which he asked  10 random people: “What Would You Do If You Got Fired Tomorrow?” Brown reports that nine out of the 10 people said that they didn’t know. The truth is, that statistic would probably not change if the question were asked to a greater number of people. If you’re one of those people who is thinking that they also would have said they did not know what they would do, Brown suggests a three part plan that you can start to put into place right away. 1. Save some money We’ve all heard that it is a good idea to save but it is surprising how a lot of people know that they should be saving some of their earnings but they don’t. If the day comes that you do get let go from your job, having a bit of savings will give you some breathing room while you consider what you should do next. 2. Start preparing for that second job today . Most people typically start working on their resumes and refreshing their skills after they lose their job. Here’s a great idea: invest the time while you have a job. Fix your resume, go out and network and keep your skills current. Even if you don’t end up getting laid off, the actions that you take to prepare for your next job could still benefit you at the current job. 3. Start the second job Brown suggests that you find something that you either care a lot about or could just be a “safety parachute”. What he means is that you can start investing a little as two to four hours per week in something  other than your current job. The best case scenario is that you don’t get fired from your job but you have acquired some additional skills that allow you to do your job better and you have a little more “cushion” in your bank account. At the end of the day, if you take Brown’s advice, you will be one of those people who can answer the question of what they would do if they were fired with a better answer than “I don’t know”.

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How To Get a Better Salary and Recognition

With the economy making a very, very slow recovery, the work place seems to be more competitive than it has ever been. Getting a 40 hour a week job and sticking with it for 40 years to retire on 40 percent of your income is no longer the great plan that it used to be a generation or two ago. In order to thrive and maintain your job, you must learn how to get recognition and in order to get a raise, you have to earn it. Huffington Post contributor and Career Coach, Marsha Haygood, contends that there are four things that you must do to get a better salary and be recognized. EVALUATE YOURSELF Before you stumble into your supervisor’s office and ask for a raise, you must have taken a good look at what you bring to the table. The question that you have to ask yourself is: “Am I solving a problem or fulfilling a need?” In order to be able to confidently ask for a raise, you must have answered yes to one of those two questions. Gone are the days when long service or an increase in your bills were enough reason to ask for a raise. It is also important to make sure you know what you’re going to say when you ask for that raise, as well as how to say it. Haygood suggests getting clear about your reasons for asking for the raise and then also practicing what you’re going to say. She suggests even practicing in the mirror to make sure that you will make a good case for your request. GIVE IT SOME TIME The amount of time that should pass before it is reasonable to expect a promotion varies from organization to organization. It helps to look at the pattern and culture of the organization. For example, some organizations will only give raises once a year after a performance evaluation. If this is the case, find out when evaluations are and be prepared when the time comes. DON’T MAKE A CASE BASED ON WHERE OTHERS ARE Comparing yourself to your co-workers is not a good strategy if you’re looking for a raise. For example, it’s not a good idea to say, “my co-worker makes this much so I want to make this much”. That is not a good enough reason and you will probably not get what you’re asking for. It is better to use other people’s salaries just to get an idea of what a reasonable expectation should be. BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR REQUEST According to Haygood, if you want to open up a salary negotiation, you need to consider three things, “This is what I really want; this is what I’ll accept; and this is a deal breaker and I’m going to do something about it.” Here is an example by Haygood: You’re making $70,000, you really want to make $100,000, you’ll settle for $85,000. The bigger the raise that you’re asking for, the more solid your reasons for asking for it should be. Make sure you are well prepared before you walk in to work to have the conversation with your employer or supervisor.

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Next Level Living: Finishing Strong After You’ve Fallen Behind

There is always a thrill watching a game of equally matched opponents who square off and match wits on both offense and defense. Although I wasn’t much of the athletic type growing up, I have always been drawn to a game which requires such preparation. When you watch the sports reports you see teams investing

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Nomalanga: How To Win a Fight With Your Spouse

By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses One day last week, my husband made me so upset that I swear I could see red! I was steaming; so much so that my heart was racing and my nostrils were flared and I think I may have even broke a sweat.  I think my tongue still has bite marks from the series of things I felt like saying but did not say. If you’re wondering why I was so upset, I have only one word for you: Business-as in mind your own! But on a serious note, below are three things that I did, that you can do as well, in order to win the fight. 1. Bite your tongue Anytime you are upset, being upset colors everything. There is a reason why we use the word “mad” to describe being angry or upset. It really is true that in the heat of the moment, when a person is upset or angry, it could be said that they are “mad”. The wise thing to do is “bite your tongue” and not say anything until you have cooled off. If you choose to speak while you’re “mad”, you are more likely to escalate the fight-not win it. Running your mouth carelessly in the heat of the moment may feel somewhat good while you’re doing it, but it really only does damage in the long run and that is not winning. 2. Act the opposite of what you feel When you married your spouse, you more than likely looked into each other’s eyes and made some declarations about what you would do as a husband or a wife. So if your spouse offends you in any way, you should be able to take it back-right? Wrong! Just because your spouse has made you “mad”, it does not mean that you can use that as an excuse to behave in an unacceptable way. That day, after I wiped off the sweat and cooled off a bit, I proceeded to make my husband a delicious meal. No, there was no spitting in it or any ill will, somehow stirred into the food. What I was doing was acting in a way that was the opposite of what I was temporarily feeling. It doesn’t always have to be a delicious meal, it could be searching yourself and thinking about how you may have also offended your spouse and then approaching them and just offering an apology. Note: Offering an apology means just that-just an apology and no reason or explanations or expectations because that could just start something else. If you do this, you may not realize it, but you have won the fight with “the beast inside” and many, many marriages suffer from people not being able to tame that beast. 3. Say What you want Saying what you want does not mean that you carelessly run your mouth and destroy  the valuable relationship that you have built. What it means is that you make sure that you have calmed down and then ask your spouse if they are willing to  hear what you want. If they agree, then it is okay to let them know what you do or do not want. This is not an opportunity to blame and name call-that is not winning; it is destructive and may just escalate the fight. If your partner says no to your request to let them know what you want or expect, repeat steps 1 and 2 and try step 3 again at a later time. Most people typically get upset because they did not get what the wanted or expected. Saying what you want is an opportunity to open the doors of communication and allow room for negotiation and compromise. The only way to “win” a fight with your spouse is to dissolve it. Marriage is a partnership and no one wins when the two people in the marriage start to try to one up each other. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will add that any fly on the wall in our home can tell you that this process does not go smoothly every single time. If you fail at step 1, it becomes even more important to move on to step 2 and 3. Finally, remember that nobody’s perfect. We are all each a work in progress and a little forgiveness and humility can go a long way. Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at successfulblackwoman.com  

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George Curry: Mitt Romney Keeps on Running a Campaign Full of Lies

Why is Mitt Romney allowed to stretch the truth so much during his campaign?  This is a question being asked everywhere, since many Americans simply cannot understand how a man can run a presidential campaign while making statements that even moderate observers call blatant untruths.  George Curry, a respected black journalist (one of the last few that are left), says ...

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The HR Lady: Desperation Alone Will Not Get You A Job

. Everyone knows that we’re facing a tough economy — especially recruiters and human resources professionals. We have noticed the surge in job applications for entry-level positions over the years. We’ve also noticed the surge of applicants who are more vocal about their need for a job. Imagine interviewing 30 candidates and having each one of them tell you that they have a family to feed and they’ll do anything to get the position. As an interviewer, your sympathy for an applicant’s struggle may want to give them a job but you can’t. There is a very fine line between being persistent in your quest for a job and being desperate. Telling your potential employer about your family’s struggle with unemployment should not be the primary reason for your interest in a position. If you find that your struggle with unemployment is the only reason why you applied for a certain position, you need to seek another position that fits additional interests.      

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Purposeful Parenting: Staying Involved With Your Child’s Education

For every child, school is the most important place after home. Considering the amount of time a child spends at his/her school, parents should take an active interest in their child’s education to ensure a better future. However, job responsibilities and other priorities often take precedence over a child’s education. As a parent, you need to find a way of staying involved with your child’s education. Despite a busy schedule, you should keep a close watch on your child’s studies. Here are some simple tips that can help you stay more involved with your child’s education. Tip 1: Talk to the Teachers Teachers spend several hours with students on a day-to-day basis. They keep a track of your child’s performance at school. By speaking to them you can find out if your child is taking an interest in his studies or not. Tip 2: Focus on the Overall Development of Your Child Many parents consider grades as the only yardstick to measure their kid’s progress at a school. While academics should figure high on your priority list, it should not be the only aspect for consideration. You must find out if your child participates in extra-curricular activities, enjoys his/her time at school and has friends or not. Tip 3: Find out if Your Child Communicates Clearly with Peers and Teachers Developing good communication skills is another aspect of your child’s education. Many children despite scoring good grades struggle while making friends and interacting with peers. You should find out how your kid interacts with everyone at school. Tip 4: Help in Special Events and Field Trips You can closely monitor your child by volunteering in special events and field trips. Social events at school help in developing your child’s overall personality. With your supervision, you can help your child mingle with other kids. Dr. Ethel Drayton-Craig , life coach and accomplished community leader shares, ”Sorry, if you have a busy schedule.  Your child and his/her education should be first on your list.  It is a responsibility not to be taken lightly.  You need to carve out time to make it to parent-teacher conferences; to the school play, or other performance in which your son or daughter is involved.  These days, you have the advantage of technology to help you.  There is no reason why a parent cannot contact the teacher by email, Skype, or “Blackboard” type of school website in which teachers let parents and students know about homework assignments and welcome your comments.  Cell phones and PCs give you that alternative that once did not exist.  Be engaged and pro-active in your child’s education.” Staying involved with your child’s education gives you an opportunity to monitor his/her progress. By following these tips, you can keep a track of how your kid performs at school. Towanna B. Freeman is the creator of BlackLifeCoaches.net . She is also a mother of two, community mentor, inspirational speaker, and author of Purposeful Action, 7 Steps to Fulfillment .  

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Empowered Living: The Power of Tribal Leadership

I often wonder how the children of this generation would fare to the type of child rearing I endured growing up. It was the kind of parenting when you actually went to school and had a fear that your mother would pop up to make sure you were doing your work. It was an era

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