25 June 2009

The Job Hunters' Survival Kit

Be sure to take a look at my On Stress article.

Highest Unemployment rate by state, for the US

As of May 1, 2009 the adjusted unemployment rate in Austin, Texas was 6.1%. A trivial amount, considering that Michigan sits with the highest unemployment rate in the country, at an eye-boggling 14%. All statistics aside, what if you are one of those 4.4% as in Nebraska? It doesn't matter how low the rate really is because you need a job, and you need it yesterday.

Today, we'll look at Job Search Engines:

The LOCAL – Does your newspaper have an online ad system? This is what my local paper's online job search looks like: http://www.statesman.com/hotjobs/content/hotjobs/

The OFTEN MISSED – Whether or not you're aware of it, Craigslist is growing under our feet. The free ads and high traffic for the site for job searches and other sales resources attracts employers. It attracts spammers and frauds also, so be sure you're looking at an ad that makes sense. Use an alternate email address for these initially: http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites Find your state and/or city, and go! The site has a whole search, or partial. I've found the majority of my jobs from this site.

The STATE JOB BANK – After a quick search, I was able to find this site that seems to lead to every state's job resources: http://www.50statejobs.com/gov.html This includes government positions. Before you write yourself off as unqualified, definitely take a look. State jobs pay less but tend to be very secure, with excellent benefits.

The ENGINES – Here is a comprehensive list of all the top engines for job searches I could find:

http://www.job-search-engine.com/
http://www.indeed.com/
http://www.simplyhired.com/
http://www.careerbuilder.com
http://www.monster.com/
http://www.jobpier.com/

The ODD JOB – Yes, there are sites out there just for you! Here's a few of the sites I've found for support and income:

http://oddjobnation.com/
http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/
http://www.freelancewriting.com
http://www.sologig.com/

*I don't work for any kind of firm. I just know that the unemployment issue is becoming a big problem. I want to help, and to practice writing articles.

24 June 2009

On Stress - An Article

Stress is beneficial.

That's right, and necessary too. Without some sort of tension, you wouldn't feel compelled to get up and report to work everyday. If there were no consequences, you would have gotten your hand stuck in the cookie jar long ago.

Stress begins at a young age, usually with school, or even with a parent's first attempts at discipline. Once you realize what stress is and how it can play a vital part in building a successful you, you can then put that 'motivation' to work for you.


Signs of Stress:


  • Fatigue – One of the most common signs of too much stress is your body's request for rest. Shallow, rapid breathing pave the way for sore, undernourished muscles in the way of oxygen.
  • Over/underconsolation – You know just how satisfying a cold beer can be at the end of the workweek with buddies. Or a satisfying cigarette during breaktime. Or a whole pint of chocolate-chip-cookie dough ice cream in front of the tv. During stressful situations, we either tend to withhold or overindulge in comfort. Eating can become a solace of sorts, with the foods ranging from the unique to the extreme (whole gallon of cookie-dough ice cream). Drinking can accelerate into alcoholism. Smoking can lead to a much more dangerous (and expensive) several packs a day habit.
  • Withdrawl – In this state, you are more likely to escape by withdrawing into an activity, whether sedentary or active, becoming unresponsive to others. Gaming. Television. I hesitate to say reading, but I do remember diving into book after book to escape my reality of my nasty previous marriage.
  • Irritability – I think we're all familiar with the snappy sort of way people act when under pressure. The fight-or-flight instinct kicks in, overtaxing the system, leaving muscles tired and sore, the brain depleted of oxygen and a wicked temper. Drivers on the road may infuriate you for little or no reason. Children may become victims of physical/verbal abuse. Your spouse may be left to deal with your unexpected reactions on their own. This serves to intensify the cycle.
  • Insomnia/oversleeping – I think that this is self-defined.

What sort of signs might you be seeing in your own life to signify undue amounts of stress?


Solutions:

  • Comfort/consolation – The same applied here from the list above. Television, socialization, an alcoholic beverage, gaming, hobby/activity (knitting, drawing, writing, crafting to name a few). Take a hot bath. Take a nap. Go for a walk with the family. Watch a movie with a friend.
  • Relaxation techniques – These include many different methods from deep breathing exercises to Yoga classes. Stretching. Guided Imagery narratives are also highly effective, and may earn you more of that sleep you might be craving/needing.
  • Sleep – The magic number, experts say, is seven-and-a-half hours a nights. Studies seem to show that four-to-six hours actually harms the body, and has a cumulative effect on the system besides.
  • Eat healthy – Instead of that entire half-gallon of ice cream, try an apple, grapes or a banana. Make a healthy sandwich. Cook dinner with fresh vegetables. Skipping meals only serves to aggravate an already delicate condition if you're overstressed. Turning to vices such as caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol also work against you, because now your body has to process these toxins in addition to managing your stress level.


The key question to ask yourself on any comfort/indulgence:

Does what I'm doing rejuvenate or deplete me?

Even usually-rejuvenating activities may deplete you. You have to be willing to shift priorities and activities to maintain a healthy balance. For instance: Television for an hour before bed, rather than the entire evening from the moment you set foot inside your door. Or, maybe that does work for you. You've had that hellish week, and only wish to vegetate in front of a game or the television.

Ask yourself the question above in bold and there you will have your answer on whether it is right for you.

Inform others of how you are feeling. Instead of coming home to yell at the kids and retreat into your room with a closed door, let your significant other/older children know you've had a rough day and that fifteen minutes should get you in a better mood if only slightly. This relies on valuable and very necessary communication skills already in place with your family/friends/housemates, etc.

The key points to this entire article are: What works to serve your needs? Is it compatible with others? What can you do to maintain a healthy stress level?

Take care of yourself and your body, for better chances to avoid nastier health risks down the road.

Thank you for reading.

22 June 2009

Unmorose and Strangely Calm

So much has been going on that is entirely too personal that I haven’t written in a bit. As I mentioned last post, the every three weeks seems to be working well as of right now.

So what have I been up to?

Life. Job. Not much writing at all, unless you count Twitter, which doesn’t count at all. It’s more of a holding tank for the furies that seem to arise when I’m held away from the blank page for too long.

I’ve lost five pounds by imposing a stricter diet, started watching a show called “Santuary” on Netflix, practiced some poetry skills, and supported friends as much as they truly need it.

I’ve discovered Beringer’s white merlot wine. It agrees far too easily with my taste.
I gave up hope of catching up for the year on certain needs.

I still think deep inside on what I could be doing, which seems as a distant echo to what I really am doing, and what am I doing?

Surviving, as much as I can these days.

This isn’t meant to be completely morose, just brevity of the absolute complications I find myself in lately.

I won’t be saying anything more of them, except in the same cryptic language that only I can understand, so perhaps this particular post was a certain waste of your time.

Perhaps and perhaps not. It all relies on your level and detail of concern for me as a human being or a friend.

Enough said.