Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Keeping Your Job in a Bad Economy

My very first suggestion, for anyone seriously worried about job loss, is to check your attitude. By that I mean, are you a complainer, the office gossip, a feisty person who is difficult to get along with, or a backbiter? If so, you might want to remember that you work with people, people who can fire you because you don't get along well with your co-workers.

If your boss has to choose between firing two equally competent workers, one of them a negative person always causing trouble, and the other a person who gets along with everyone and speaks positively about the company, management, and his or her co-workers, which of the two do you think the boss is going to fire? The negative one that's who! 

So, get a grip on your attitude, your gossiping, complaining, and any negative talk about other people you work with or the company you work for, because it can seriously hurt your chances of holding onto your job.

Get yourself noticed, but in a good way. You want management to see that you work hard, do the job they hired you to do, and then some.

What you don't want is to get noticed for coming in late, taking extra long lunches or breaks, or for dressing in any way that is not appropriate for the job you do.

So cleanliness counts, both your clothes and you, and especially watch out for bad breath. No one likes to be around someone with bad breath. 

Ladies should avoid excessive or too blatant makeup, and everyone should wear their hair in ways that fit with their companies policies and image. This is not the time to dye your hair green or stick thirteen studs through your body. Keep those things for after work.

Take care of the basics-arrive on time or a bit early every day, don't take lunches or breaks that are longer than the time you are allotted, and stay off the phone for personal calls. This includes using your own cell phone while at work. People notice these things, and you could get reported to the boss. Just the thing you don't want.

Add to your skills and your value to the company you work for whenever you can. Take courses in whatever is being offered that will make you more valuable at work. This depends on the kind of work you do of course, so whatever that is, you know the things that would help make you an employee that management can't do without.

Bring in business for your company even if that isn't your job, and make sure people know about it.

Look for areas in your company that need improvement and offer suggestions to fix them. Even if management doesn't use your ideas they will remember that you had them.

Network with all the valuable people in your company whenever possible. You don't need to become their best friend but hang around with them every chance you get. Some of their glory may rub off on you. Plus, you can learn from them. Maybe watching how the company "stars" operate can teach you how to do some shining of your own.

Take good care of yourself when you're not at work, get enough sleep, exercise, eat properly, and have some fun and relaxation on your days off. 

Be prepared in case you do get laid off, it can happen to anyone. You'll have a bit more peace of mind if you are prepared for any eventuality, including losing the job you are working so hard to hold on to.

Keep your resume updated, and be aware of what is happening in your field. Don't, however, actually job hunt while you are at work in your current job. That could lead to getting you fired if your boss hears about it.

Start a savings program immediately. Try to save several months income if you can, because it could take months to get another job and you'll feel a lot easier in your mind with a bit of a cushion behind you.

This might be a good time to take on a part-time or weekend job, doing anything you can find that interests you. If you do lose your main job, at least you'd still have the income from your part-time job. Having a side hustle or secondary income just makes sense during times like this.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Making Do With What You Already Have

The ultimate in green living is to use up what you already have rather than buying new "stuff" all the time. Often, just by taking a closer look at what you already own, you can find ways to recycle it, or reuse it in some ingenious new fashion. 

Stop treating everything you use or own as disposable. We are the first humans on the planet to ever do this. For hundreds of generations before us people reused or recycled everything that they had until there was no further wear in it, or use for it. 

We are becoming painfully aware of how this throw it away attitude, and then packing our landfills with perfectly good items, things that can and should be recycled, has led us to the brink of ecological disaster. Not to mention how incredibly insensitive this throw-away attitude is to the remaining people on the planet who are not so blessed with material goods as we have been.

Seek out old-time ways, ideas, recipes, crafts, and recycling ideas and learn how to make do by following in the footsteps of the people who went through hard times before us. 
The people who lived through the great depression and World War 11 have a lot to teach us about making do. 

Back then, times were hard, goods and foods were rationed, and money and jobs were scarce or nonexistent for many. They left records, journals, cookbooks, and diaries about how they did it. This information can be found on the internet, in books and magazines, and in the minds and memories of the old-timers who lived through it, and who are still around. Pick their brains, read their cookbooks and journals, etc. Learn all you can from the past.

Get creative. Learn to look at everything you own without preconceived notions of its use, value, or possibilities for reusing or recycling.
When you need something, instead of going to the store and buying it, see if you might already have something that could be used or adapted for the thing you need.

Do things for yourself instead of paying someone else to do them for you. Cut your own grass, change the oil in your car, cut your kids hair, or your own. These things aren't rocket science. You can do far more for yourself than you currently do.

Learn to grow your own food, can and otherwise preserve the food you grow, and then learn to cook most, if not all, of the foods you eat from scratch. 
In the past, people made do with the ingredients they could grow, raise, or hunt or fish for. Neighbors worked together, and shared the food they had with each other. 

Cook from scratch, at home, with foods you keep in your pantry. Omit expensive ingredients, pick berries and share garden tools, canning supplies, etc. with family members, friends and neighbors. 

Stock your kitchen pantry with home grown and home canned food, as much as possible. Stock it with what food you can afford, enough to last for several months, just like our ancestors did. Many a family has been saved from hunger by a huge pantry. 

Simple but filling foods are healthier and usually cheaper, so avoid all the prepared and fast foods that take so much of your hard-earned money and give so little nourishment in return. 
It really isn't that hard, or time consuming, to prepare meals from scratch and it's a vital aspect in the making do lifestyle that can really pay off in savings and in health.

Try new things. Learn simple skills to make it do, like sewing by hand or machine and, again, cooking from scratch.

Don't throw perfectly good things in the trash. Pass them on or donate to charity, if you just can't find any use for them yourself.Stop wasting food. Use it all up. Throwing food away is just like throwing money away.