If 2008 has been any indication, expect quite a few of us to start working from home in 2009. From an increase in telecommuting jobs to taking on blogging gigs and freelance work to make ends meet, more and more of us will be earning our keep from the comfort of our own homes. It’s a great setup if you can get it, but it holds the danger of being a little lonely; for some, the prospect of spending their lives working in pajamas with dust bunnies their sole source of company threatens their sanity. After the jump, 18 tips to keep sane and help you maintain a healthy work/life balance when clocking in from home. Keep reading »
This week, the female blogosphere is abuzz with chatter over a story by a college senior in Philadelphia entitled “My Sugar Daddy.” According to “Melissa Beech,” the pseudonymous author, she’s your average, upper-middle class girl: “I was blessed to have been raised with class, sent to the best schools, and taught to be well read, well spoken and well traveled.” During college, she worked in retail and as a waitress, but she spent more than she earned and the economy was tanking. When she set out to find a “real” job, she encountered a man who made her a different kind of offer: a “Mutually Beneficial Arrangement.” In a nutshell, he forks over around $5,000 a month, they travel together, he takes her to fancy hotels, and they have sex. He was already looking for such a relationship as a member of SeekingArrangement.com. Beech believes what she’s doing isn’t prostitution: “women have used their wiles and charms to get ahead for years.” So what do you think? Is she a smart girl working a recession to her advantage — or a call girl in denial? Keep reading »
Growing up, my mom and dad shared the responsibility of bringing home the bacon…well, the proverbial bacon — we’re Jewish. Anyway, my mom was a realtor and good at her job, but I’ll never forget her main competitor. His wife didn’t work and he was a jerk, the kind of guy who used too much hair grease and put his cheesy head shot up at bus stops. While my mother kept me in enriching after school programs, this other slick Realtor dude would scam his clients for sympathy by dragging his son around to meetings. One particular prospective female client even told my mother she was going to go with this guy because he was really his family’s breadwinner. Puke — that’s some serious girl-on-girl crime! I was always proud of my mama for Mary Tyler Moore-ing it up in the face of sexist foolishness, but apparently this chauvinist realtor isn’t the only man who has cashed in on close-mindedness.
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There was a period in my early twenties, not too long after college graduation, and even sooner after the painful break-up of my first real relationship, that I hopscotched through a series of dead-end jobs (seven in four months!), dated recklessly, and pumped my body with substances I wouldn’t clean a carburetor with these days. Then, one day, perusing the self-help aisle in Borders, I came across a book on the “quarterlife crisis.” I picked it up, found a comfy chair in the back of the store, and skimmed enough pages to understand there was a name for what I was going through, a phase, and it was just a matter of time before I’d move past it. Keep reading »
It used to be that people followed in their parents’ footsteps, career-wise. If your dad was an ophthalmologist, you became an ophthalmologist, and so on, but things are changing. In part, this is because the apprenticeship system has changed, but mostly younger generations are choosing their own profession because the “do what you love” mentality has been adopted by the last few decades. “The whole idea that work should be fun is something that was invented by the baby boomer generation,” said Jenny Ungless, a career coach at Monster.com. But parents sometimes don’t even want their kids to follow in their footsteps. One-third of male lawyers in a survey by a U.K. recruiting firm said they didn’t want their kids to have the same job as them. And some jobs — like mine — didn’t even exist until a few years ago. [BBC] Keep reading »
The 670,000 women in the British service industry wonâ€™t let you call them sweetheart — or baby, or darling, or sweet cheeks, or even honey. Just like the women in 9 to 5 sans the ball-gagged boss, Women and Equalities Minister Harriet Harman is putting an end to womanizing in overlooked workplaces. Minister Harman has used her new position to create a statute that will require bar, restaurant, hotel, and even gym managers to be responsible for protecting their female employees from sexual harassment. Since service industry jobs are known for their client lip service, the change is expected to cost British companies 10 million pounds to enforce, according to the government office. So while sexist comments might make the employees feel cheap, the repercussions certainly arenâ€™t. Keep reading »
Sure, from square watermelons to batteries that run on pee, Japanese culture can seem a little backwards to us Americans. On Valentine’s Day, traditionally, Japanese women give the men they’ve had their eye on chocolates. Then a month later, on White Day, the men have the same opportunity to gift give. While the holiday pairing sounds middle school-style romantic, it doubles the amount of days singles want to die. But luckily, Tokyo-based cosmetics marketers Hime & Company understand that flying solo is hard to do. In addition to sick days and vacation, the sensitive CEO, Miki Hiradate, offers his employees paid leave after bad break ups: up to the age of 24, you get one day a year, 25-30 years of age get two days, 30 and up’s get three days, plus two extra mornings off for everyone to shop away their sorrows! It’s like the man knows we want to curl up and cry while surfing the internet for cute shoes. Keep reading »