Everybody Gets Fired

It's that unscheduled meeting with your manager and ends in a few moments of pained silence. After that, you're out of there. Maybe you knew it was coming all along, maybe you thought it was weird that you hadn't had a project in weeks. Or maybe not. Most people (and for very good reasons) identify with their employment and losing it often feels like losing part of who they are. It's not uncommon to feel weird and alone, with reservations about how you spent the past months, or even years, of your life. Kate Wendleton, president of a national career coaching organization, warns: "The first challenge following a layoff is to conquer your emotions."

Don't think about it

It probably makes, really, very little sense. I was once fired for being too chatty on the job. The next week, they fired my now-former coworker who had never talked once. You can think yourself to death about why it was you, instead of the guy one desk over who got the talk, but that's because "People lose their minds," says Liz Ryan, author of Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve. You've got to keep yours.

Stay Classy

Over at Forbes, Susan Adams, talks about how impressed she was by an email that a former employee mass-sent that was "striking in its tone of grace and confidence" and "offered heartfelt praise for the whole staff." So do that. For anyone not directly involved with your termination (which is probably one or two people at most), you can control the narrative of your departure and keep the doors open between you and any of your coworkers.

It's also tempting—especially if you know exactly why you were fired and who's really to blame—to let loose on social media, now that you can tell the truth. But alerting your vast group of friends and not-quite friends that something is wrong about the whole way a business is run doesn't translate very well either. In fact, Wendleton, recommends not to "talk to anyone outside your inner circle," until you've let your emotions settle. But don't let that stop you from:

Getting (back) on that Linkedin

Krista Canfield, a former Linkedin PR manager, recommends updating the current tab and professional headline tabs of your profile immediately in order to tell prospective employers what kind of position you see yourself in. Maybe you want to give a stab at PR after years of editorial.

Haven't been on the job market in the past two years? Then your Linkedin presence might be a tad underdeveloped or you might think your profession or goals aren't something that needs a linkedin. Well, they do: check out the good Deborah Jacobs for some excellent tips on how to craft one, fresh on the marketplace and contemplating a new direction. "Label yourself as what you would like to be," she advises, don't feel "limited by what your last job title was."

Also? Aim for punchy language. "Use active verbs, amply convey your responsibilities, and show results."

But Get On It!

One big temptation, if you can afford it, is to use the occasion to take the small (and undoubtedly well-deserved) break from the grind. Sandy Johnson, a former vice president at NEXCareer Inc. who now runs her own career and outplacement firm, is adamant: "Putting your toes in the sand could feel pretty good, but may be equivalent to sticking your head into it."

If you had worked at your old job for a while, make sure that you made every push you can for best severance package available to you. Make sure that you get everything that's due. And, more importantly, make sure you don't lose focus on the job market. Set a goal of applying for a certain number of jobs everyday and stick to it. Your better job will thank you.

PayPath
Follow Us on

Between buying a new home and transporting yourself and your belongings to it, moving can be an expensive process. One often underrecognized cost of moving occurs before one's original house has even been sold, and that's staging the house. Homeowners often spend hundreds of dollars making a home appealing to potential buyers. To ease the financial burden of moving, here are several tips for staging your home on a budget.

Downsize Instead of Storing

The goal of staging a home is to create a blank canvas that potential buyers can imagine their own lives painted upon. To accomplish this, homeowners should depersonalize the home as much as possible, removing items that are specific to their family and eliminating clutter. This is where homeowners often incur their first costs as they rush to put as many older things in storage as possible.

To cut costs, focus on downsizing rather than storing items. Look for items that you can sell, donate, or give away. For remaining items, look for alternative places to store them, such as a friend or relative's house. This will also reduce the cost of moving your belongings when it is time to go to the new house.

DIY What You Can

There are times when homeowners should bring in a professional to manage home renovations and decorating, such as when a task requires specialized skills. These types of jobs, when done incorrectly, will incur even greater costs if attempted on your own. However, many of the home improvement tasks that go into staging a home are simple enough that the homeowner can DIY them, such as painting, installing a backsplash, or refinishing the deck. Doing these tasks yourself will save you a significant amount of money.

Don't Redo, Update

Homeowners are often eager to make their houses look as appealing to buyers as possible. However, recall that the point of staging is depersonalization, making a home presentable so buyers can mentally impose their own style onto it. When staging a home on a budget, focus less on completely transforming the space and more on making what is there look presentable. For instance, if you wanted to give your bedroom a facelift, trying to replace the furniture and flooring would be pointless unless it was damaged or unkempt. Simply organizing the space and replacing the bed's comforter would be sufficient.

Maximize Space

Another way to update the space without entirely redoing it is to rearrange it to maximize the space that is already there. For instance, pulling the furniture away from the walls will make a room appear bigger and allows more space for those touring the house. Using window trimmings that maximize natural light and incorporating wall mirrors can also make a room seem more spacious.

Raising a larger family than most means that your lifestyle is going to change. Costs will continue to multiply as your family grows larger. However, just because your family is large doesn't mean your quality of life needs to suffer. It just means you need to make a few adjustments to help things work smoother and more efficiently. We've compiled a couple of money-saving tips for larger families to help you get the most out of your dollars.

Always Buy in Bulk

The benefit of having a larger family is that things you buy in bulk rarely ever go to waste. Smaller families can benefit from buying in bulk, of course, but your large family will see the most use out of shopping in large quantities. You'll want to avoid going to smaller stores for necessities such as groceries and clothes, as these places generally have higher markups on their items.

Buy Wholesale Items Online

If you want to take buying in bulk to the next level, one of the best money-saving tips for large families is to buy online from wholesalers. Buying online comes with a number of benefits that you won't get when you go to a physical store:

  • You don't have to drag your kids to the store with you
  • You have a lower probability of making impulse purchases
  • You can search for exactly what you need
  • Wholesalers sell in very large quantities for a lower price per item

Never Throw Away Something Useful

When you have to buy things for multiple children, your costs to replace items will be much higher. That's why it's so important to keep everything you can. Clothing is a big part of this. Hand-me-downs can prevent you from needing to replace entire closets every year. Try to repair or upcycle any clothes that may have damage, as this is usually much cheaper than buying brand-new items.

Stick to a Budget

When you support a large family, expenses can sometimes get away from you. Proper budgeting helps to keep the extra purchases that add up to a minimum. Budgeting correctly can save you a lot of heartache in the long run. It's up to you how much control you want to take; you can make your budget weekly or monthly, depending on how tight a ship you need to run. What's important to remember is that making the budget is only the first step—sticking to it is where you'll really need to enact some willpower.

Spring may be the most popular time to list, but people need to buy homes in every season. Follow some simple steps to get your home sold in the winter.

Sometimes there is no choice—a home needs to be sold in the winter.

Spring may be the most popular time to put your house on the market, but homes do sell in the colder months. With fewer houses available, your home may be someone's only choice when house hunting in your neighborhood. As your neighbors hold out until spring, you'll already be done and ready to shop for your next house!

Here are a few tips for selling a home in the winter to get you on the right track.

Keep Paths Safe and Landscaping Fresh

Landscaping is the last thing on a homeowner's mind in the winter. Everything was cut back in the fall and may now be covered in snow. Still, take a walk around the house and yard to check everything out. Branches may have fallen from heavy snow, leaving a mess in the yard. Keep everything neat and tidy.

The last thing you need is a potential buyer slipping on the ice-covered walk in front of your house. Buyers often consider those moments bad omens, and this can affect their decisions. Shovel, snow blow, spread salt—do whatever you have to do to keep the driveway and walking paths clear, and don't forget the porch and deck.

Make the Inside Warm and Cozy

In cold weather, buyers won't spend a lot of time examining a home's exterior. Instead, impress them with the inside by creating an atmosphere which causes them to want to move in.

When there's time, leave wintery types of snacks and drinks, such as hot cocoa and cookies, available on a table during showings. This gives your home a welcoming feel to buyers.

Light the fireplace (if you have one) for a lovely ambience and set your thermostat to a comfortable setting. A warm home in the winter is much more appealing than a chilly one.

Make Your Home Less Personal

Understandably, this can be a tough thought for homeowners. After all, you've spent years creating memories in your home. To buyers, though, they need to picture it as their own. Too much personality makes that difficult.

It's always important to stage your home in a way that makes it look clean, comfortable, and move-in ready. Don't feel offended by the idea of taking family pictures down and replacing them with generic décor. This will help your home sell faster by helping buyers envision their own things there.

Cleanliness and Maintenance

Clean, clean, and clean some more. Make appliances, counters, and floors shine. No matter how old your home is, it needs to feel like new to potential buyers. If you aren't into dusting, now is the time to try. Don't forget window coverings that might need washing.

Be prepared ahead of time for home inspections by taking care of maintenance now. HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical should all be up to code and running smoothly.

Use these tips for selling a home in the winter, exercise patience during the slower months, and your home will sell before you know it.