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Is That Free Offer Legit? Tips that Can Help Everyone loves the chance to cash in some great free stuff, but navigating the world of freebie offers, especially online, can be like navigating a minefield. Unfortunately, a lot of people out there use the love others have of taking advantage of free deals to scam them out of money or personal details that can be used in identity theft scams. All of this gloom and doom doesn?t mean that you have to give up on free things altogether, however. The good news is that there are some simple, common sense steps you can take protect yourself from online freebie scammers. These tips will help give you the confidence that you can enjoy taking advantage of free offers without the fear of ending up facing some negative consequences. First and foremost, when you are checking out a free offer on the Internet, take a closer look at the website, beyond just reading the words and figuring out what you have to do get the free goods. Does the website look like it was made by a professional, with some consideration, or does it look like a five minute amateur job? Are typos and clip art the order of the day, or does it look like a website any business would be proud to call its own? What about the web address ? is a domain name that matches the business the website claims to represent, or is a ?free? domain address that includes the name of the domain company in the address? All of these factors can be red flags that determine the difference between a scam and a legitimate free offer. If the website looks half hearted or doesn?t seem to exactly ?match? the company it purports to represent, then don?t even think about trying to get anything from it. When you?re reasonably sure that the website is actually the front of a legitimate business, it?s time to turn your attention to the privacy policy of the website. The best privacy policies guarantee you that the email address you use to sign up for this offer will not be shared with any other companies ? but when it comes to free stuff, those kinds of privacy policies are few and far between. Many companies cover the costs of the free things you get by selling your email address to other companies that may have offers you they think you might be interested in. If you can?t find a privacy policy that lets you opt out of getting unwanted solicitations, at least make sure the site is secure and that any personal information can?t be obtained by hackers. Other things to look out for when you?re looking for freebies is products that are free but that require you to pay a shipping charge that seems beyond the pale for what it should cost to ship and freebie offers that seem to ask for way more information than needed for what the product actually is. Twenty pages of personal information for a travel size bottle of shampoo? That doesn?t make sense, and it should set off warning bells in your head. All of these red flags aside, giving out some amount of personal information comes part and parcel with freebie offers. There are a few things you can do to make life easier on yourself. Set up an email account that you will use specifically for freebie offers so all of the inevitable spam doesn?t clog up your main account. Use a phony phone number (preferably one that can?t be anyone else?s, like one that starts with 555). Last but not least, if you?re unsure about an offer, keep on moving. Better safe than sorry.

To Enter or Not to Enter Writing Contests (writing contests) If you are a freelance writer, it is because you love to write. Why not put those abilities to use and enter a writing contest? You have nothing to loose and a lot to gain. You can find writing contests by simply searching the Internet. Writing groups and message boards may also have listing for these contests. No matter what you writing genre maybe poetry, fiction, non fiction, there is a contest out there for you. Read about them and choose which ones are right for you. It is not necessarily about winning or loosing but about the experience and knowledge that you gain to get there. Whether you win or not there are still valuable things that can be learned or gained by entering into contests. Entering writing contests will help you hone the skills that you have. Try something new, you may choose to write in a niche that you normally wouldn?t. You get constructive criticism from someone new. Someone that doesn?t have to worry about hurting your feelings and that is unbiased can be a wonderful asset to your career. The feedback you receive can be invaluable to you. It will get your name out there and give you a place to showcase your work. Depending on how good your story, if you make it to the next round your writings could be in front of editors and agents. This feedback and criticism is even more important than the first. Do not your eggs all in one basket. Enter a couple contests to get multiple feedback sources. Not every editor or agent is going to agree. By entering multiple contests and find common points about your writing that need perfecting you will be able to concentrate on a general consensus about your abilities. There are some downsides to entering writing contests, too. Chances are that a simple contest is not going to launch your career into star status. Do your research just as if you were going to write an article about contests. For many contests you give up your rights to your entry whether it wins or not. You need to decide whether or not you are willing to give up all rights to your story. If you win it is not a big deal, but if you loose your giving your work away. Are you willing to do this? Research the contest. You can search the Internet for reports or opinions on contests run by the company. You can find valuable information on if the contest is legitimate, if entering has had any effect of previous entrant?s careers, and if it is really worth it in the long run. The bigger and well-established companies will give credibility to your work if you win. But the bigger and more well know the companies are will also bring in tougher competition with well know authors. Some companies offer contests as a disguise. Yes they will give away prizes and declare winners but their main goal with the contest is advertising. It can be in the form of offering you to buy obscure book featuring your contest submission. Sometimes it is an editing company that offers a discount for its services or a company that will offer you discounts on writing classes. A writing contest is just a possible stepping stone. Whether it helps you or not is the unknown, but it definitely won?t hurt you. It may help you reach the next level of your career. You and only you will be able to make the decision on whether or not writing contests are a good move for your career.

Networking Ideas to Land a Job You Want Finding a new job is always a chore, especially if you are looking for your ideal job. While all jobs have pros and cons, finding employment that you enjoy or feel strongly about can greatly improve your job satisfaction. There are many ways to network and find the job you want. One of the biggest ways to make connections is to volunteer or find an internship. If you have not been able to land a permanent position in the career of your choice, apply for internships or offer your services for free. This is an ideal way to get your foot in the door and since the employer will already be familiar with you, it increases your chances of being hired when an opening arises. Meet people in the field you want to be in. If there are conferences or organizations that members who work in your desired field join, see about getting a membership or attending. Networking within your field of choice can build connections that blossom in the future. Take a lesser position at the company you want to work at. If you want to be a manager but are offered a customer service position, take the customer service position. Management roles are less stressful when you know what the company expects from you. Watch and learn the ins and outs of being a manager at that particular company. After you have some experience under your belt, apply for the next opening. Ask around. Most job openings are not posted anywhere. Finding openings is typically more about inquiring than finding posting. If you are eager to be a part of a company, e-mail your resume to the Human Resources department and see what type of hits you get. Stop by local companies and inquire in person and leave a copy of your resume if there are openings. Most employers are using the Internet to find new employees. Even if the position they are hiring for is not posted online, searching through posted portfolios is commonplace. The best way to get noticed is to have a concise portfolio that goes into detail about past work experience and your future career goals. Before you make it to an interview, the employer should already have a good idea about whom you are. Having a web presence is essential to job-hunting these days. Many employers are using e-mail and electronic submissions to screen employees. With that in mind, you need to be Internet savvy. Brush up on Internet skills, learning the tricks and trades of using the web as a way to seek out the best jobs. Purchase a domain and post your portfolio there. Be sure to show versatility, accomplishment and organization in your portfolio. Also if you choose to use social or networking sites represent yourself in a positive light. Be sure to keep your portfolio updated even when you are not actively looking for work. An interested employer could choose to contact you based on your updated portfolio. Be open to relocating. Search through Internet job postings for other states. Leaving your hometown might be difficult but the job of your dreams may be out there somewhere. Pack up and move to a more economically viable area and mingle with the populous. Make your employment intentions known without seeming desperate for a job. No matter what type of job you have been dreaming of, there are numerous ways to get that position. The key to pinning down, and getting the job you desire is to never give up. If you have been on the job hunt for two years without any success, do not give up.

Positive Reasons Why Employee Turnover Can Be a Good Thing Employee turnover is the bane of many an organization. If you pick up any business paper, you will find headline after headline screaming about how much turnover is costing companies and how to keep your employees happy and on board to avoid the headaches and hassles of high turnover. The tide, however, is starting to turn. More and more business experts are stepping up and saying turnover doesn?t have to be the end of the world. In fact, in some cases, turnover can be the best thing that ever happened to your company. While some turnover is as bad as traditional wisdom assumes it is, other instances of turnover can be a real positive for your business. How can turnover possibly be a good thing? It all comes down to who is leaving the company, and why. Every office has its workers that are a drag on the business for one reason or another. Maybe the employee is dissatisfied with their job because they have been working it for too long and are overqualified, but they don?t have any room for advancement. Maybe an employee thinks that all of the decisions you are making about the business are the wrong ones and are constantly critical. Maybe the employee just has a personality conflict with the other people in the company and you and other works simply don?t like them very much. When these kinds of employees leave your company, it can be a shot of life into the business. Suddenly, everyone feels hopeful and re-energized because the negative energy in the air is gone. Negative vibes in the office can have a very damaging effect on the staff, and by extension, your business. When the person causing the bad feeling heads for the highway, they take with them all of the problems they created. Not only does the departure of an employee who was causing trouble in the office boost morale for the employees who are left behind because the bad feelings are gone, but it also boosts morale because it creates a job opening within company. If the person who left was a superior to many people in the office, there is now an instant opportunity for advancement. Your workers will step up with their games as they vie for the position, creating new business opportunities for you and generally keeping the spirit high in the office. If you decide to promote from within whenever possible after a turnover, your employees will work harder with the knowledge that they have a chance of moving up. These turnover positives hold true whether the employee in question quit the job or was fired. Who they were in the company and why they left are often much more important in determining whether the turnover was positive or negative. While losing an employee who is bringing everyone else down is a positive thing for your business, losing an employee who was an integral part of the corporation is another. Of course, there are costs involved in a turnover ? you have to re-train an employee, and if you hire from outside of the company, you have the costs of advertising the job and the cost of the time spent interviewing candidates. If you are losing employee after employee, and the employees you are losing are the ones who were holding things together at the office, then you need to consider things you can do to reverse the turnover trend. Despite the potential negative side, turnover doesn?t have to be a bad thing for your company. If you manage it properly and if you are dropping employees who have been bringing your business down, turnover could be just the thing to turn your fortunes around.