Looking for a new job? You can always check Monster, Indeed or LinkedIn, but there's a new app in town: Planted. Think of it like a Tinder for your job search. The app simplifies your job hunt by turning job postings into cards that you approve or disapprove in one step. With a tap of a button, you can send your application to a new potential employer. No fuss or extra hassle.


Planted is completely free to use. All you have to do to get started is create an account and answer a few simple questions. Based on your answers, Planted will show you which industries or careers you might be interested in. Check off which ones will work for you and select the locations you're interested in. You can also connect your account to your LinkedIn profile to provide potential employers with additional information.


Planted


Then, you'll be presented with your first batch of jobs. This section looks the most like the Tinder app. You are presented with a group of three to five jobs. Read each card and then decide whether or not to apply. This is as easy as tapping on a check or an X. Each day, you'll be presented with a new job batch — if there are any postings available.

The limit of job postings is a downside to Planted. The app gets its postings from startup companies. As such, established, long-lived companies won't be featured on the app. However, this is great if you want to get into the startup scene. My suggestion is not to limit the types of jobs the app will present you. Check any category or subject you think you could perform reasonably well in, even if you don't have specific experience in that area. Startups that are hiring usually need someone who is willing to work hard around the clock. If you have that kind of drive, you'll probably fit right in.


Planted


Another drawback is the location limits. Right now, Planted lets you choose between five different cities: New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City. And that's it. You can list other cities you would be interested in working manually and you can also check off a box for a remote position. But if none of these places interest you, you're kind of stuck. But then again, if you want to live in a less populated area, a startup scene really isn't for you anyway.

Planted will likely get better over time. The app advertises that its users will be prioritized in a company's job search. You can even earn an $100 credit if you invite a friend who gets hired through the service. Planted also works with their partner companies to offer sign up bonuses for its users who end up getting hired. But for now, Planted is a good service to use in conjunction with more traditional job websites and networking. You'll likely be exposed to job postings and opportunities you wouldn't have seen otherwise.

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Developing further skills can boost your career at any stage.

Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to grow in your current one, getting a certification can be a great way to improve your skills.

Anyone can put that they are proficient in a computer program on their resume but having a certificate can help you stand out amongst the competition and give credence to the strength of your skills.

But what's the best way to invest in yourself without breaking the bank? Some certification programs can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We are going to walk through six of the best certifications you can get for $100 or less.

Tableau

Tableau's data visualization capabilities are comparable to Domo and Power BI.

Who is it best for: Those who work with analyzing and presenting data.

Cost: $100 for Tableau Desktop Specialist; additional certifications are available for a larger fee.

More companies than ever see themselves as data companies. Being able to understand data and use it to guide decisions at your company is often critical to taking on a leadership role. Not to mention, being able to present the data in a clean, attractive, and compelling way can help get buy-in from others in your organization or clients. That's why Tableau is a great tool to have in your toolbox.

Tableau allows you to create interactive visual analytics dashboards. In layman's terms, you can take data; create graphs, maps, or charts; and then allow end-users to interact with these graphics to better understand the information. It's a fantastic tool allowing non-technical users to gain insights for data-driven decision-making.

Tableau Desktop Specialist certification starts at $100 and has no expiration date. There are many videos on Tableau's site to prepare for your exam as well as Tableau Starter Kits allowing you to play around and learn the different capabilities of the program. Tableau offers a 14-day free trial as well as free license for one year for students.

Additional certifications after Desktop Specialist are Desktop Associate and Desktop Professional. Those working with a Tableau server may also be interested in a separate certification as a Server Associate or Server Professional.

The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

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Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.

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